Sunday, May 30, 2010


I have officially finished the Buffalo Half-Marathon!!! I'm proud to say I have accomplished my goal. Here are the official stats:
Overall Place: 2313
Gun Time: 2:48:42
Class/Place: Female 25-29- 262 out of 296
Gender Place: 1268
Pace/Mi: 12:41
Chip Time: 2:46:07

I woke up bright and early this morning, took a quick shower, and had a big bowl of oatmeal. I also began to drink water, then it was off to the race. Here me putting on my "belt" to hold my phone and electrolyte gummies.

We gather all our stuff and headed downtown to get some decent parking, then we headed to the potty line because I figured by the time it was my turn that I would have to go- I was right.

Next stop was the starting area:

In the starting zone there were flags indicating completion times so you knew about where to get lined up, and there were people that had signed up to help the runners meet their pace goals. I didn't see a pacer for 2:30 (which was the longest half-marathon pacer time), so I followed the 2:20.

Here's a video of the race start, so you can get an idea of what it feels like:

So to start the race I figured I'd stick with the pacer as long as possible and then adjust as needed. I had no problem keeping up with him for the first 3 miles, but it seems like after he got some water from the water station he found some speed and he took off. I tried catching him, but I thought I would burn myself out so I just kept moving. It was a very hot race for being so early in the morning. My normal pace is around a 12 minute mile, but I was a bit slower this run.

Around mile 5 I saw our friends Mary and Brady running- they did the whole marathon!

Then around mile 6 I ended up running with a girl named Anna, she was the same pace and she was quite talkative. Since I normally run alone it was different to have someone to talk to, but it work out because she kept me going and moving toward the end.

Around mile 12.5 she decided she has some energy to burn so she decide to pick up pace to the finish line- I wished her luck and told her I'd see her there shortly. I finished up on my own. I came around the line at 2:48:42 with my awesome hubby cheering me on, he took a video- see if it works for you (you may need to tilt your head).

After crossing the finish line they handed me a bottle of water, then I grabbed a cup of water. After that it was on to the fruit- I had some orange wedges and half a banana. I was thirsty, and beginning to feel the effects of 13.1 miles in the hot sun. Thankfully the finish line was in the shade.

I met up with Matt after getting through the crowds at the finish line. I was feeling pretty weak, and drank lots of water. Then he presented me with a cupcake that he picked up to go along with the headband I wore for the race. I look pretty happy to be done don't I? Wearing my finished medal with pride.

Other Interesting observations:

Two guys running in socks around mile 2!! Yes socks- I had to do a double take and wish I was able to get a picture. Matt noticed a guy crossing the finish line with red running down his shirt...only to realize it was blood from chaffed nipples.

Now we can see why it would be smart for a guy to go shirtless or get nipple covers! (Yes they do sell them at the running store.)

People crossing the Full Marathon finish line at the same time I was just finishing the half-marathon! Some people are amazing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Getting prepped...

This morning I'm getting prepped to run 13.1 miles to finish my first half-marathon, I can't believe it's here already. We headed downtown this morning for some breakfast and coffee, then it was over to the Convention Center to pick-up my race packet, a plastic grocery bag with all the necessary race gear and information for tomorrow.

It contained:
Race Number- Be on the look out for #3243!
The Buffalo Marathon technical T-Shirt (way too big!)
Race Chip for my shoe
General Information for the race
Smucker's Jam
Softlips Chapstick
And other miscellaneous samples

After we looked at a few of the vendors, and I got two Bondi bands. They are sweat wicking, stylish head wraps.

One reads- "Will Run for Cupcakes", and the other is just a fun fabric. I plan on wearing one of them to keep the sweat out of my eyes. It is suppose to be a hot day here in Buffalo, so we are luck to be running at 7:00am. I hope to be done sometime around 9:30am.

The rest of the day will be spent resting, doing laundry, and I might also go look for some shorts. Oh, and we are helping Sabrina move later this evening- though I'm not sure I will contributing much. Have a great day!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My that's a big...


Tonight we went out to do a little kitchen shopping and found this awesome wrench. Every home owner needs one of these babies! And Sabrina needs a house warming present, coincidence- I think not!

We also took a look at under cabinet lighting, and got a few tools to assist Matt in playing the subflooring tomorrow. I put in some work tonight on the kitchen- my skills include wall paper removal. I did a little on Tuesday evening, and continued tonight. With 2 layers of paper over two layers of paint over a layer of wallpaper it takes some time- but vinegar/water sure helps out. The sweat equity will be worth it soon enough. And hopefully after this weekend we will have some new progress pictures to post since we'll finally be around to work on the kitchen!

Alright off to make dinner and pack a lunch- see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm baaaack....

I've been gone for a while now, but I couldn't help it- I've been busy. Yeah sure I could stay up late into the night to get a post in, but I need my sleep. I do have an update for you tonight.

In my last post a couple people guessed that I was in NYC, and that was right. I left for NYC last Wednesday for a speaking engagement, I took a small plane into the city then a taxi straight to Time Square. Yes I was in the center of it all- I could even see the famous New Year's Eve Ball. Needless to say my hotel room is probably primo real estate on New Year's Eve. Here's some pictures:

It was a short trip, but I did get a chance to visit with my step-sister and see Time Square at night. By the time I got back to my hotel Wednesday I was tired, and needed some sleep for my flight out the next morning. I was back in Buffalo by the afternoon, and set to work on my next task. Baking a birthday cake!

Yes, you read that right while in construction mode for the kitchen I agree to do a 1st Birthday Cake for my niece. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but I couldn't resist. So Matt hooked up the stove and I set to work. I went with a three-layer 12 inch base, a six inch pedestal layer, and 12 large cupcakes. I know it sounds like lots of cake, but I need it all. Oh, and I just white cake and red velvet cake to create all this fun. Here's what we came up with when it was all done:

If you look closely at the cupcakes you'll noticed I went with three types: classic with sprinkles, 'roses', and 'hydrangea'. Traveling with all this decorate cake was quite interesting, but we managed to get it done without any problems or ruined frosting.

Saturday morning I got the chance to go to swim class with my niece, here she is looking hot in her little two piece. She loves playing in the water, she's definitely a water baby!

Later at her birthday party, my niece chose a purple hydrangea for her celebration- and had a pretty good time with it, though it does not appear that much made it into her mouth. She was stained purple until she got her bath.

In other excitement, my nephew turns 2 this week so we had a birthday party for him on Sunday. It was a fun filled weekend, and very busy. I saw lots of family and a couple friends- but there is never enough time to do it all even though we try.

One disappointment over the weekend was my 9 mile training run that never happened. I was all set run to meet Katie during my run, so I'd finally have a running partner. I rarely get to run with anyone so I was pretty excited, only to realize around 10pm on Friday that I left my sneakers in Buffalo! It sucked, but at the same time I think that the skipped run has really helped my knee feel so much better (knock on wood). I plan to take one last run tomorrow, then I'll be saving energy for the big day!!! Sunday is the day I conquer 13.1 miles.

Monday night I was planning to post, but we we're out of town for the weekend Monday usually ends up being a day to get groceries and do random things around the house. Tonight I took some wallpaper down in the kitchen, but stopped at 8 to make some dinner. I was in the mood for some Mexican Green rice. Yummy!

Then I got a chance to blog and watch Biggest Loser. I find that the last episode is one of the best because it just give so much inspiration that it is possible to do what seems "impossible'. You just have to do it, and not let anyone get in your way of being you!

Have a great night!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where is Jen?

I'm off on a little adventure today, and I will be continiuing to conquer my fear of public speaking. I've been gettting better and I've prepared for it so I'm ready.

I was going to attached a picture from my hotel window, but I can't do it from the iPhone. So here is a hint instead: I'm am currently located in the middle of it all- from my window I can see the famous ball we watch once a year, Billy Joel is here, Lion King too. Oh and lots if people with cameras. Can you guess? It should be easy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back at it...

This morning I got back on the "horse", well in my case I it was time to putmy feet back on the pavement. I found a one one mile loop and repeated it eight times. The knee was feeling much better, but I wouldn't say 100% just yet. I don't have my splits available right now, but I know my average pace was a 12 minute mile- which means I'm meeting my original goal pace for the entire mileage covered. After the race in two weeks I plans to drop my mileage down to about a 5k or 8k and focus on my speed by doing intervals. Intervals are good for working speed, and will help me reach my other goal- a healthy weight for me.

Some people tell me I look good and my current weight is great, but I have goals that I'm still working on for me. I agree that my current weight is an awesome improvement from where I was 18 months ago, there are still levels of health that need to be obtained. Up first is bench pressing 90 pounds. This weight is based on a job i'm interested in pursuing- and it requires proving physical abilities.

Alright enough rambling from me today. Everyone at the Syracuse Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure- have a great day and keep striving for your goals!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Takin' a break...

For those of your that have been reading since January, or those who have been keeping up, I've been striving really hard to prepare myself for this half-marathon. In January I couldn't run a full mile at my 12 minute pace, so I've come a long way to be able to go 12 miles jogging the whole time. I've also been able to keep pretty close to 12 minute miles by just pacing myself and feeling it.

Well part of the reason I keep up with my schedule is the blog. If I don't do my long runs or I don't post about completing the half-marathon at the end of the month, I think a few of you might be wondering what happened. And I'm a people pleaser so I want to make sure I do it, and the blog holds me accountable.

However, what I am learning more about along my journey to being a runner is that I need to listen to my body (and it's not easy to hear sometimes). Since my long run on Sunday my left knee has been a bit sore. I don't think I have an injury, but I did take a fall at the end of my run (yeah I'm a bit of a klutz) and I went down on my knee. So today I took another day off from running, and I feel guilty though I know I shouldn't feel guilty. I'm so close to the half-marathon so I'm not willing to take any chances.

I'm also considering some new goals for after the half-marathon, but I'm still weighing it all out because life is a bit hectic right now with the kitchen remodel.

Have a great night!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Want more...

Want more kitchen information? Matt is writing out of more lengthy version of our remodel as we go along. He even posted some pictures of the future kitchen design.

Check it out on Matt's "Blog".

Alright off to bed early tonight, I'm tired!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peeling back the layers...

This weekend was kitchen focused. Matt was busy at work removing the last of the cabinets, but needed a little help when it came to taking off the sink. Nick came through with some extra tools and help Matt cap the water lines.

After getting all the cabinets out, Matt found that we had extensive water damage and mold. Not only was it under the sink but it extended outward.

Matt and Nick put on their masks and went to work removing the many layers of flooring, I think it was 5 different layers through the year. Under all those layers Matt found the original hardwards that match the rest of the house. We really wish we could refinish them, but with the water damage from the sink that won't be possible.

Matt finished up cleaning off the floors, and getting more of the glue and stick residue off. He also got the stairs off the kitchen cleaned off too. You'll also notice that he took out the closet and drop ceiling that previously was in the hall.

You may be wondering, 'Jen- what did you do?' Well my job at this point in the game was to organize and label all the flat packed cabinet boxes, each cabinet has a specific label. I was able to do this and I arranged it neatly against the wall by cabinet. I'm also in charge of nutrition, we need to eat but the goal is to avoid going out for each meal. The challenge right now is that we can only use the microwave, toaster oven, or grill. So far it has been a success. Tonight was grilled flank steak with grilled onions/peppers. On the side we had a Cilantro bean salad I made the other day. Yummy.

The "kitchen":

Then this afternoon, after procrastinating all day, Matt encouraged me to go tackle my 10 mile run. So I got on Map My Run, and figured out a route that would take me on a 10 mile route from the house, around town, and back to the house. I think I spend so long procrastinating because it was a cold windy day, but once I got out there it wasn't too bad. I had to stop at few stop lights, and I dragged a bit at the end but my average pace was 12:30 min/mi so I'm good with that. I find it difficult to pace myself, I'm hoping to feed off fellow runners during the race.

Here are my splits:
mi pace
1 12:10
2 11:51
3 11:19
4 12:11
5 12:42
6 11:57
7 12:51
8 12:29
9 13:09
10 13:00

Alright off to relax before a busy week...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Special Delivery...

Thursday night we continued to work on clearing out the kitchen, we're almost there. Our biggest accomplishment of the evening was getting the dining room floor covered and re-arranging our temporary kitchen. Now we have a fridge and everything is on one side of the room so that the other side of the room can be used for assembly of cabinets and other construction tasks.

Friday we got up early, took the day off work, and headed down to Pittsburgh to pick up our kitchen. We ordered all the supplies about 2 weeks ago, and were excited to take delivery. However we were nervous about just how much space all the boxes and appliances would take up. We figured since the smallest truck we could get was 10 feet that it would be more than enough room, we really wanted to rent a van but they don't allow you to take them one-way between cities.

We arrived in Pittsburgh around noon, picked up our moving truck, and then headed to get our kitchen. We decided we needed some food fuel before we actually loaded up the kitchen so we headed to a sub shop, then returned to the furniture pick up.

We arrived to about 3 pallets of boxes about waist high. With the assistance of the IKEA employee Matt loaded all our boxes, and the employee verified everything was there. Once all the boxes were in the truck Matt went to work arranging the boxes so that they did not move or shift during the trip back to Buffalo.

It was a long drive back to Buffalo, and once we arrived it was threatening to rain so we quickly decided to unload the boxes into our office/living area. We figured since it is slightly out of the way so it would be a good staging area for the boxes. Here are some before pictures of the space:

And then once we got all the boxes off the truck it looked like this:

Our dishwasher and microwave only made it to the foyer, no room in the main house just yet:

Up next is to finish clearing out the kitchen, taking up the floor and stripping wallpaper from the stairs next to the kitchen.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

It's Cinco de Mayo today which is basically just a great reason to eat Mexican foods and have a bit of fun. So the hubby went to work after we got home from the gym.

He made us Tilapia tacos with all the fixins'. Fixins' included: red cabbage, red onion, fresh cilantro, cheese, homemade guac, and his secret special sauce. Can you say yummy!

Here's picture of the chef's spread:

Here's the taco I created w/ blue corn chips and guac:

Alright off to enjoy the rest of the night...although it appears to be later than I thought...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Obviously I've been running a lot lately to get ready for the half-marathon, but lately it takes at least an hour so it's hard to fit it in along with my strength training routine. So I decided this week to switch it up. I'm going to do strength training Monday, Wednesday, Friday; and I'm doing my running on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday(long) with a walk on Sunday.

Tonight was my run, so I decided to try out my running skirt and hit the local sidewalks for a five mile run. It went pretty good I weaved my way about 2.5 miles out from the house then turned around and headed home. On the way home it got a bit windy on my way home as a storm appeared to be coming, and it started to sprinkle. Luckily I made it home without any major rain. I also was able to pull off five miles in 1 hour 1 minute, which means I was able to maintain my pace of 12:00 minute miles on average.

I was very happy to see that because it is so hard to run alone, against the wind and with no tunes to keep you groovin'. Although I think I am taking a liking to running.

Check out today's splits:

mi pace
1 12:44
2 12:58
3 11:55
4 12:12
5 11:42

Have a great night!

Happy Birthday Katie!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Creation Monday....

Tonight's Dinner

Chicken Sausage w/ Red Quinoa

Tonight we needed a protein packed meal after our strength training, so I created a quinoa side dish for our chicken sausage. It was created by sauteing onions and garlic, then cooking the quinoa in chicken broth for added flavor. Once the quinoa was prepared I add left over chopped asparagus from last night and black beans. It turned out pretty good considering I was just making it up as I went along.

Have you created anything lately?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The fun has begun...

This weekend was the official kick-off to the kitchen remodel. The beginning to a long journey to a new kitchen and an efficient place to cook, we're super excited. So far we have cleaned out all the cabinets and taken about 1/2 the cabinets out. We moved the dining room to the living room, and then we created a temporary kitchen in our dining room. Eventually the dining room will also have to be the assembly area for our new cabinets. Basically it will be getting crazy around here, and we're trying to be as prepared as possible. Here's some picture of how a temporary kitchen looks.

You might have noticed there is no stove in the temporary kitchen, and you're right. For now it is still usable in the kitchen, but once it is time for the new floors we will be down to only the microwave, toaster oven, and grill. We're going to make it work.

Before the kick-off I was cleaning out some items from the fridge and decided to take our apples and made some dried fruit for our oatmeal. I peeled and diced about seven apples that were going bad, covered them in cinnamon, then let the dehydrator do the rest of the work.

I also baked up some egg cups for Matt. Often he is crunched for time in the morning, so I mixed up some eggs and egg whites and baked them in a muffin tin with some sauteed spinach. It will make the morning quicker, and will be easier since our kitchen isn't fully functioning.

Alright off to finish the weekly laundry...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

She's going the distance...

Here's today stats for my long run:

mi pace
1 12:11
2 11:53
3 12:47
4 12:36
5 13:02
6 13:58
7 13:09
8 14:16
9 14:54
10 14:22
11 11:59

It was rough run today. I went to a local park that has a 1.75 paved route, only they are getting ready to repaved the path so they have ripped it all up. It was like running on a trail with the terrain being so rough, and to top it off it a bit windy out. Don't get me wrong the wind did a good job keeping me cool, but running into the wind makes it more difficult.

I got through it. It wasn't easy physically or mentally, but I'm glad I got it done this morning. Now it is off to get ready for some kitchen renovation shopping. And I think tonight we're going out with some friends so it should be a good day!