Monday, April 30, 2012

I am faster

I don't know when exactly it happened, but I am faster.  Suddenly my runs are all averaging a 10:30 pace.    I think I've really noticed it since the Tar Heel 10 Miler.

Every time I've noticed progress in my running it's been sudden like this.  What a wonderful surprise!  Hopefully in another couple of months I'll be able to knock out sub-30:00 5Ks!  I think I could probably do it now, but I have a hard time pushing myself during a race.  I'm spoiled by distance training and half marathon pace - I like to feel comfortable when I run!  But I think it's time to step up and know how to be uncomfortable during a short race in order to reap the rewards at the end!

Peonies are my favorite flowers.  Last summer I planted two peony plants in the backyard.  They did not grow, did not die, did absolutely nothing for the entire summer until they went dormant for the winter.  When spring began this year they shot up like crazy!  There are more than 10 buds forming on them and I have been waiting for the last couple of weeks for one to finally burst into bloom.  Today, I got my wish!  Looking forward to summer!  :)

FUMC Missions 5K

Saturday I ran the First United Methodist Church Missions 5K.  This was the first 5K put on by my church so I was very excited to participate!  Hubby and I went out a few days beforehand and ran the course just to see what it was like.  The course was 3 laps of a 1-mile loop surrounding a local park.  It was a nice course, but there was a long gradual incline on one side of the loop and a short, steep hill on the other side.  There was also a nice downhill portion.

When the alarm went off at 7:15am I did NOT want to get out of bed!  Even when I got up and got moving I just wasn't feeling like running.  I kind of resigned myself to having a bad time because I couldn't get myself geared up.  But I got out there anyway and decided to do my best!

Pete has been running all fast lately so I knew he would leave me in the dust early on.  It seems that in 5Ks I'm always the very last runner before all the walkers.  I don't love it, but I remind myself that this is the pace I'm comfortable starting out with and if I run faster my legs will cramp and it will take me 40 minutes to finish!  According to Toby I was starting out with a pace of 10:30 anyway so I enjoyed the scenery and kept my pace steady.

I finished the first mile at 10:44.  Right about the time I reached mile marker 1, the boy in the lead comes flying past me.  Fun - I'm getting lapped already!  As I made the next loop a few more of the lead runners passed me as well.  The two mile marker happened to be right next to the finish line and as I was approaching it, some of the first runners were finishing.  This was a little annoying because the people who had come in first had turned around to run backwards on the course and give encouragement to other runners.  I happened to be right next to the woman who actually won First Overall Female.  The guy was shouting, "You're almost there, this is the home stretch!" to us and I wanted to say, "Nope, not for me.  One more lap to go."  Also, a very speedy friend's wife was standing on the sidelines as I ran past and she saw me and said, "Tina?" in this stunned voice!  I laughed and told her I was just starting my final lap.

I finished my second lap in 10:33.  I was feeling tired and not wanting to do the uphills again, but I pushed through and tried to keep my pace up so I could finish with a kick.  Lately, the final mile has been where I really shine in 5Ks.  I start passing people like crazy - they've used all their zip at the start of the race and mine is just kicking in!

As I came over the hill and started approaching the finish, Pete was there cheering me on!  There was a clock at the finish line, but I couldn't see it until I rounded one last curve.  It was at 31:40.  I found new energy to try and beat 32:00!  I really kicked it into high gear and was running about a 7:00 pace as I barreled towards that finish line!  I crossed at 31:58 - a PR for me!  *Does this count as a PR since it's only my second 5K?  I'm counting it!*  I took second place in my age group (out of two, but I still did well) and Pete actually took first in his age group with a time of 27:29!  Great race for the Smith family!

My third mile was completed in 9:43 and the last .1 (Toby measured it as .13) was in 00:57.  I'm really starting to enjoy 5Ks and I can't wait for the others we have on our schedule this summer!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The big shift

Let me just say - I knew this was going to happen.  I knew because I've been able to think of little else for the last couple of weeks and hubby and I have been talking about it constantly.

We signed up for the 2013 Disney Marathon.

This means, of course, that we're going to have to put baby plans on hold until the race.  But I'm okay with it.  Honestly, the whole experience of trying was really painful for me.  It was consuming me and I hated feeling so desperate.  So my goals are undergoing a big shift - from getting pregnant to running 26.2 miles.  It's going to be tough and it's going to be a lot of hard work, but I know that it will absolutely be worth it.

Training won't officially start until September, but we've got to keep up the endurance we've built so far.  I can't wait to put that 26.2 sticker on my car!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekend in Chapel Hill

One of the best things about running the Tar Heel 10 Miler was getting to spend a weekend in Chapel Hill!  I lived there for 3 years while in law school and I miss it so much.  Chapel Hill has all the things I love about big cities (lots of things to do, great restaurants, excellent shopping, parks, safe places to run) but it still has that small town feel.  There are no skyscrapers in Chapel Hill, and "downtown" is Franklin Street, which literally opens up onto the oldest part of UNC's campus.  I could go on and on about the wonders of Chapel Hill, but I'll try to contain myself!

I was so happy that we were able to book a pet-friendly hotel so our baby girl could come along.  She always stares at me with this broken-hearted face when she doesn't get to come along for a ride, so I was happy to grant her wish this time!  When I first got Honey, I bought a little bag to carry her around in.  She doesn't often go out in the bag, but she sure does love it.  It stays in our coat closet but whenever I bring it out she flips out and immediately jumps in!  We decided to record her excitement this time, but it wasn't quite as cute as usual (I know, it's already so cute).  Usually she jumps right in the front of the bag and then immediately turns around so her head is sticking out the right way!  She's so adorable.

We had a lovely drive up I-85 (I think I've spent half my life on that road) and when we got to Chapel Hill we made a quick stop at University Mall to pick up our race bibs and then headed to the hotel.  Honey enjoyed the ride but was glad to have arrived at our destination!

We took it easy on Friday with our usual pre-race dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then turned in early.  Saturday it was up bright and early for the race, which you can read the recap of here!

Pete and I knew exactly where our post-race meal would be from the moment we signed up.  I think it might be our favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill - Pepper's Pizza.  Their toppings are always so fresh and they have an enormous variety, combined with the soft doughy crust--not thin crust, but not heavy like chain pizza crusts either--it's pizza perfection!  The only problem is that we usually argue somewhat about what to get.  I'm a big fan of white pizzas and all veggies, while Pete likes to pile on every kind of meat they offer.  You can order by the slice, but we really wanted to get a whole pizza (something about the experience, ya know?) so we compromised.  We selected a pizza piled high with veggies and then added pepperoni.  I think the toppings consisted of broccoli, onions, black olives, artichoke harts, bell peppers, and pepperoni, but I feel like I'm missing a few things!

We didn't bring Honey along to Pepper's so after we ate we headed back to the hotel so we could bring her out for the afternoon.  The thing that got me through the final miles of the race was thoughts of a large waffle cone full of Oreo frozen yogurt at The Yogurt Pump.  This place seriously has the most delicious flavors of yogurt.  Oreo is always there, but they change up the others.  In the past I've had cookie dough, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip, to name a few.  As soon as we got our yogurt it started pouring down rain, so we took cover under a little awning on Franklin Street and lapped up our cones while staying dry.

No trip to Chapel Hill would be complete for us without a walk on campus.  We visited the Old Well and of course had drinks from the water fountain.

Honey also consented to pose for a picture, although she was much more interested in chasing squirrels.

Feels like home...

Tried to capture a family photo in front of Wilson Library, but Pete got a little lost in the mix!

Wilson Library is one of our favorite spots on campus.  When you climb the steps to the top, it's quite easy to walk out onto one of the ledges flanking the steps and sit on the edge.  We almost always go there and sit for awhile because you have a beautiful view of one of the quads, but on several occasions we've sat out there for over an hour just talking and being together.  It's particularly nice on summer nights because you can smell the magnolia trees near the library and everything is quiet and bathed in the soft glow of the street lamps.  We actually had some of our engagement photos taken at our spot at Wilson Library in 2009!

It was too wet to sit at our favorite spot, but we hung out for a bit at the top of the stairs where it was dry.  Honey enjoyed the rest but was ready to go looking for more squirrels!

That night we had dinner at one of our other favorite Chapel Hill spots, Top of the Hill.  Top of the Hill is an awesome restaurant and brewery.  It's one of the first places I ever ate in Chapel Hill and they have a really excellent selection of beers and other drinks.  Unfortunately, I don't drink beer (I've tried but no matter what, I just don't like it) but Pete was very excited to see that they now offer a chocolate stout.  He enjoyed that while I had a yummy glass of Pinot Grigio!

For an appetizer we had our all-time Top of the Hill favorite, Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with cheddar and gorgonzola.  These things are to die for and they didn't last long!

We usually like to order 3 or 4 appetizers and feast on those, but they actually no longer have our other favorite, Hot Crab Dip, on the menu so we were a little stumped as to what to order.  We eventually decided to just each get an entree and I had the grilled cajun salmon on a bed of corn maque choux...

and Pete had the Pork Mac & Cheese!

After we finished eating we decided to go sit at the bar and enjoy another round of drinks.  Pete ordered his standard Top-O beer, Old Well White, and I had a glass of Prosecco.  The drinks were delicious but we were sleepy and so decided to head back to the hotel and crash.

When we woke up Sunday it was cold and rainy, so we decided to just head back home.  What a great weekend!  Can't wait until we head back to Chapel Hill in July for one of Pete's triathlons...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Running rite of passage

Looks like I earned not one, but three, black toenails at the Tar Heel 10 Miler.  My right big toe and the second toes on my left and right feet.  Big toe still hurts a bit, but not so much that it's painful to run.

Woohoo, black toenails just in time for flip flop weather!  Before today and I had the cutest, most summery bright coral pedicure.  Sigh.

lulu Love

Went for a run this afternoon in my new lululemon outfit!  I have many lulu items for yoga, but not quite as much for running.  I did get some great tights and a pullover in winter for cold weather running, but for quite awhile I've been wanting to get some lulu running shorts.

If you know lululemon, you know that they have a huge variety of shorts.  It has been really tough deciding which ones I wanted to try, especially since the closest store is an hour away and I don't get over there very often.  I usually order online so I don't always get to try things on first.  The Speed Shorts are what I considered most strongly, but I've never been able to bite the bullet on those because they seem so short...I tend to like just a little extra length on my shorts so that I don't feel like I'm running in underwear. The Turbo Shorts are the long version of the Speeds, but I just didn't think they looked very flattering.  I also considered the new Shorty Shorts, but I had a feeling that the tight leg openings would give me reverse muffin top of the thighs - not pretty.

Then last week something happened to make my decision much easier!  Lululemon introduced the Tracker Shorts in the color flash.  Flash is a neon highlighter shade of pink that I am kind of obsessed with!  I read every single review of the Trackers - many people said the length was between the Turbos and the Speeds and that the elastic waistband (which looks really weird in the model photos) smoothed out very nicely in person and actually looked super cute!  I was sold.  I ordered the Tracker Shorts in flash and for good measure snagged a Cool Racerback tank in gray that was on sale.

Well, my new gear came today and let me just say that I have a new favorite running outfit!

The length of the Trackers is perfect for me.  They're short enough to be cute but not so much that I'm self conscious and constantly trying to tug them down.  I also followed the recommendation of several reviewers and went down a size.  I wear either a 6 or 8 in bottoms depending on the fit, so I went with the 6 and I'm very happy with it.  Other reviewers said that in the larger size the shorts had kind of a baggy diaper look to them, rather than the signature fitted cute booty lululemon is known and loved for!  The one complaint I have about the Trackers is that the liner is a little on the thick side, so my bum got pretty sweaty on the run!  Nothing serious enough for me to take back my new shorts, though!

And about the Cool Racerback - I have run in my Power Y tanks several times since the weather has warmed up and they are very comfortable.  My problem with them is that they are pretty thick and they just don't breathe enough to keep me cool on 80 degree days in North Carolina.  Power Ys are PERFECT for yoga, though, they don't even show sweat!  Anyway, I had been wanting to try the CRB in hopes that it would be a little cooler and I wasn't disappointed!  This tank is so flattering and so comfortable, I'm going to start collecting it in every color (I wish)!

Any other lululemon devotees out there?  What are your favorite running shorts?

*Disclaimer: lululemon has no idea who I am or that I'm writing this post, I just adore their clothes and wanted to do a post about my quest for the perfect running shorts*

Find all the things I mentioned in this post:
Run: Speed Shorts $54
Turbo Run Shorts $54
Run: Tracker Shorts $54
Run: Shorty Shorts $58
Power Y Tank $52
Cool Racerback $42

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let's work out

Last night I had a Stella & Dot event in Charlotte and my very sweet husband offered to go with me to help.  It was a good thing he did, because I had a lot of stuff to haul in and out and he was a huge help!  We had a great time but we didn't make it home until 9:30pm.  As we were pulling into the garage, Pete looked at my and said, "I want to work out.  Let's work out."

My husband NEVER wants to work out in the evenings.  Before we really committed to getting fit, he would say that he couldn't work out less than 2 hours before or after eating, and he couldn't work out less than 2 hours before going to bed.  I pointed out that that meant he needed a 5-6 hour window at the end of the day to be able to work out - kind of ridiculous.  He realized that and started bending his rules a little bit.  I told him it would be fine to eat before or after a work out as long as he was eating the right things!  Don't pig out on fajitas right before a run, but if you're hungry then have a banana and some peanut butter or a bagel.  So he's lightened up a lot, but he still hates to work out late at night, so I was stunned when he said he wanted to work out at 9:30pm!

I quickly got changed and asked him what kind of work out he wanted to do.  Both of us were still pretty sore in our quads from the 10 Miler on Saturday, so we decided to work on arms.  We have a few weddings to go to this summer and my shoulders and chest need a lot of work before I'm ready for strapless dresses!  Pete hadn't done any arms in a long time and I think he was surprised and how tough it was.  I've been doing this workout once a week for about 3-4 weeks now so I did a little better.  But it was great to work out together!

When I started running, one of my reasons for running was to encourage my husband to work out more as well.  His birthday is next Wednesday and he's been having trouble deciding what he wants as a birthday gift.  Sunday night, after he spent a considerable amount of time on the computer, he told me that he'd just registered for 4 more triathlons this summer and that's what he wanted his birthday present to be!  I was so surprised but so happy!  He signed up to do the half marathon and his triathlon this year but that was largely because I really pushed him to do it.  I don't think he was that into it starting out, but now he's definitely caught the racing bug!  We're also looking into planning our vacation in October around a run somewhere in New York, DC, Virginia, or elsewhere!

I'm beyond thrilled to be a fit family!  I love racing with my husband and working out together.  It feels great and I think it's brought us closer together too!

I don't have another long distance race on my calendar right now, but I'm still looking.  I don't think there are many half marathons during the summer, so I might just be doing lots of 5Ks and 10Ks and keeping up my endurance on my long runs.  Pete and I have, however, been talking a lot about the Disney Marathon, which is in January.  Obviously I won't be running any marathons if I'm pregnant or have recently given birth.  At this point, we won't be having a baby before January.  I'm trying to take the whole TTC (trying to conceive) thing very lightly this month and just put it out of my mind - it was too stressful and too heartbreaking last month.  But I've come to an unspoken agreement with myself that if I'm not pregnant by the end of the summer, I'm going to take some time off from trying and we are going to train for and run the 2013 Disney Marathon.  Big decision, but I'm very happy about it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tar Heel 10 Miler

Saturday my husband and I ran the Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill, North Carolina!  We both graduated from UNC and love it there so this was the perfect race for us!  We decided to get a hotel room and just make a whole weekend of it so we could relax and enjoy one of our favorite towns.

Dinner at California Pizza Kitchen has become our traditional pre-race meal!  We had pasta there the night before the race and then called it an early night.  Before bed I got all my race gear laid out and ready to go!

The start line and finish line were both located in Kenan Stadium.  We were running a little late on race morning and we made it to the start line just minutes before the race started!  But we did have time to take one last bathroom break before the race.  I had drank lots of water the day before and had a little that morning, and I fueled with a bagel and peanut butter.  I carried 4 packs of chocolate Gu with me...I was going to make sure I had plenty of carbs in this race and not get grumpy like I did at the end of the Princess Half!

Pete took off ahead of me at the very start of the race.  I was already running much faster than I usually do at the beginning of a race (about 11:30 pace) and I had to keep reminding myself that if I tried to go faster I would either get leg cramps or run out of steam way too soon.  I kept it steady and felt very happy!  I was certainly moving much faster than I usually do at the beginning of a run, but I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard.

The course wound through all the most beautiful parts of campus!  The first water station was at the Old Well and the volunteers were all girls decked out in lululemon (might they have been representing the new store going in at Southpoint Mall?).  I told the girl who handed me water that I loved her lulu!

Shortly after I passed the Old Well the pace police made their first appearance!  There was a 12:00 minimum pace requirement for the race that we were slightly concerned about.  The race officials even sent emails about the pace requirement in the days leading up to the race!  I had done some research and knew that they didn't pull you from the course if you fell below pace, but that you would have to run the rest of the race on sidewalks without police assistance or closed roads.  We were running on some busy roads and I did NOT want to tackle that without police assistance!  When the pace police showed up I was actually the last person before the bicycle that was following us, but I was bound and determined not to fall behind.  I actually moved up pretty quickly and did not see the pace police anymore after that!  Major accomplishment for me.

There were a couple loops through historic neighborhoods and I kept thinking I'd see Pete coming out as I was going in, but we were just far enough apart not to see each other!

I did wish that there were more aid stations during this race.  There were only three - mile 3, mile 5, and mile 8.  I was so thirsty and was actually staring longingly at the fuel belts some racers were wearing and wondering if they'd notice if I reached out and snatched one of their water bottles!  I guess I was spoiled by having water at every mile marker during Disney races.

The night before the race Pete and I had driven the course, so I knew what was coming at mile 8.  Shortly after mile 8, the course went up a mile-long road called Laurel Hill.  Laurel Hill is actually 2 (very steep) hills, climbing about 200 feet over a little less than a mile.  I had been doing great during the whole race, but I was tired at the end and I knew I was going to walk up Laurel Hill.  Thankfully, there was a nice little downhill stretch in the middle so I could run and make up some time, but I and everyone around me was walking up the steep parts!

At the top of Laurel Hill, the finish line was only about a half mile away.  It was mostly downhill, but I pushed myself and even ran the last little uphill stretch into the stadium and actually put on a huge burst of speed in the last tenth of a mile and passed five people!

My finish time was 1:56:51with an average pace of 11:41!  I actually did a little better than that, though, because Toby measured the course as 10.31 miles and I finished in 1:58:something with an average pace of 11:23!  Whichever pace I look at, I am so proud of myself for keeping a pace under 12:00 for 10 miles (which included at least a mile of walk breaks so I know when I was running I was even faster than that).

The only negative part of this race was the finish line logistics.  About 20 feet after crossing the finish line, there were huge bins of Vitamin Water.  Volunteers were there handing them out but they were obviously understaffed and not able to let all the racers know that they could have a Vitamin Water.  I don't even like VW, but I was so thirsty at the end of this race I was ready to drink one!  It was room temperature - not appetizing.  I was dying for some water, and apparently there were water bottles there near the VW being passed out, but I did not get one or even see them.  Then we were directed to climb to the top of the stadium steps (after just running 10 miles...seriously?) to get our finisher's medal.  There was no order to handing out the medals - just a couple people standing there handing them out.  I think any person could have walked up and been given a medal.  It took me awhile to even figure out where the people giving out medals were.  But I got my medal and then had to walk even farther around the stadium to find water.  I couldn't find water bottles or any station giving out water, but I did find a water fountain so I dumped out my Vitamin Water and refilled the bottle from the fountain.  Finally, as we were leaving the stadium we found a Primo Water station handing out water bottles and providing places for people to fill them up.  A note to the race organizers - don't make finishers climb hundreds of steps immediately after running a 10 mile race, have clearly marked and easily accessible stations to hand out water, and make receiving the finisher's medal at least feel a little special.  Other than that, excellent race!

One of my biggest motivations for running this race was the awesome bling!

Honey was proud of us too, but mostly just happy to not be alone in the hotel room anymore!

We had no entourage at this race so it was a challenge getting a picture of us together, but we managed!

We loved the Tar Heel 10 Miler, even though it was tough, and I'm sure we'll run it again in the future. It was hard not to enjoy a run through the most beautiful campus in the country!  Combined with the perfect weather and beautiful historic homes, I don't think you could ask for a more scenic run in the Piedmont of North Carolina!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thoughts on miscarriage and trying to conceive

I know I haven't been trying for long enough yet to label myself infertile, but I can't shake this feeling that there is something wrong with me and making a baby is going to be difficult.  I thought it might help free up some space in my over-crowded mind to get out some of my totally irrational thoughts on this subject.

Things that happen when you have a miscarriage:
- You get angry at every pregnant person or young mom that you know.  Clearly, they are flaunting their pregnancy and/or baby to hurt your feelings.
- When someone announces they are pregnant, you realize that they got pregnant as a personal attack directed at you.
- You get even angrier at moms announcing they are pregnant with their second child.  They already have one, now they are being just plain greedy.
- You constantly think about what point you would have been at in your pregnancy if the baby had lived. "I would be 22 weeks today, with a cute little baby bump but not feeling huge and uncomfortable yet."
- Your desire to have a baby becomes desperate and obsessive.  You NEED to have a baby in the same year that you would have had a baby if it weren't for the miscarriage.
- If you know someone who got pregnant on their first or second try with no complications, you want to punch them in the face.  Freaking show offs.
- Seeing parents who look less than responsible (very young, etc.) out and about with a baby makes you want to punch someone in the face.
- If your husband is an attorney who deals with a lot of clients accused of child abuse or neglect, or who willingly give up their parental rights, but get pregnant time after time, you want to punch everyone in the face.

Clearly, I now spend a lot of my time wanting to punch people in the face.  No, I haven't actually punched anyone (just my pillow).  I understand that many of these things happen when you are just trying to conceive and it's not going so well, but all these things are intensified when you've had a miscarriage.  I was so close.  I saw 2 pink lines on those tests.  But my baby got taken away.  And it just isn't fair.

I need to cheer up.  And honestly, I have been a lot more cheerful since the miscarriage has been officially over.  But now the realities of trying to conceive are sinking in and bringing up more negative emotions.  This month I'm going to try to push through a lot of the negative because it's not doing me any good.  Crying and daydreaming about punching people in the face will not help me make a baby.  Obsessing over what's happening in my body will not help me make a baby.  Here is my action plan - lots of yoga, lots of running, relax.  Easier said than done.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear Yoga, I Miss You. Love, Tina

Dear Tina, Then come to class more often.  Love, Yoga

I went to my first yoga class today in a loooong time!  To be honest, I stopped going to yoga so much after my miscarriage because I had this scary idea that it contributed to the ectopic pregnancy in some way.  I am trying so hard to get over that because I truly love yoga and the way it makes me feel.

The yoga classes I have been to recently have been gentle or deep stretch yoga.  Since I had the day off work today and I was meeting my sister-in-law and nephew for lunch today, I decided to get my lazy butt out of bed and go to a morning class!  I was hoping there would be a hot vinyasa class on the calendar today but instead there was regular vinyasa with Tammy, one of my favorite instructors.  Tammy's classes are great because they are very physical and always leave me drenched in sweat.  I'm still a yoga novice so the physical aspect of the practice is a lot bigger for me at this point than the mental aspect.  I do love quiet, gentle yoga where I can close my eyes and relax, but I was really craving some serious lunging and balancing and today's class delivered.  

Even though the sweat was pouring off of me in class, yoga always leaves me feeling clean and refreshed and not slimy and smelly like other workouts.  I threw on a tshirt and met my SIL and nephew for a yummy lunch at On The Border and then headed back home.  Time for some productivity!

No workout tomorrow (unless I make it to another morning yoga class, which I'm strongly considering) because the Tar Heel 10 Miler is in 2 days!!

Finding a happy paced career

I've posted several times about my career and how I feel lost in it.  I recently decided to step WAY outside my comfort zone to try something new and see how it works for me...

Generally speaking, I've always disliked direct selling companies.  I've resented being invited to Thirty-One, Willow House, and other parties and usually didn't go.  But while reading one of my favorite fashion blogs, J's Everyday Fashion (a truly wonderful blog that's helped me find deals on clothes and be a better dresser), I learned about Stella & Dot.

Stella & Dot is a direct sales company that designs jewelry and handbags.  I immediately fell head over heels with the jewelry!  I wanted every single piece, I wanted to dress in all Stella & Dot every single day!  At first I didn't even realize they were a direct sales company, I just knew I had to have the jewelry.  As I read more and discovered that I could be an independent stylist and share the Stella & Dot love with others, I felt like I should give it a try.

People who know me, my husband especially, thought I was absolutely crazy.  I'm a very shy person and no good at talking to people, but I thought Stella & Dot might be a way for me to get past that.  It also might be a way for me to meet new friends, other young wives and moms, and branch out from my very limited social circle.

Well, I decided to take a leap of faith and I signed up to be a stylist, and I'm loving it already!  I get to wear fabulous jewelry every day, I've found motivation not just with my business but in my everyday life, and it's helping me become a more open and fun person.  I still struggle with shyness, but once I get the ball rolling with someone conversationally I find it to be much easier than I expected.

I'm certainly not trying to sell to anyone here, but if you want to know more about Stella & Dot just let me know or check out my website HERE!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blogging fail

How have I not posted anything in a whole entire month?  I have been a big, huge blogging slacker.  In all honesty, I just haven't felt like writing.  I felt like I haven't had anything new to say and my mind I'm always consumed with the same old things (babies, jobs).  I've still been running, although I was a little bit slacker in that department for the last two weeks as well!  Before that, though, I completed two long runs of 8 and 10 miles each.  And this Saturday is the Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill!

Today marked the end of our second month of trying to get pregnant and being unsuccessful.  I'm trying to fight off the fears that something is really wrong with me and we're not going to be able to conceive without serious help, but it's hard because I felt like everything really lined up perfectly this month and it should have been it.  Maybe I just thought about it too hard and too often this month - I could feel it taking over my brain but was powerless to stop it.  I've got to do better from now on because I need to stay positive.  This month I'm going to try hard to engage in other activities so I can hang on to my sanity.

I've also had jobs on my mind a lot lately.  I've posted plenty of times that I'm just not into the whole attorney thing.  My parents and husband aren't thrilled about that fact, but they are as supportive as they can be.  I know I went to a lot of school and a lot of money was spent (on my part as well as my parents'), but at the end of the day I don't want to do something that I don't enjoy.  First of all, I've been completely unsuccessful in finding a permanent job for the last 3-4 years.  In law school, you start looking for your permanent job around the end of your first year of school.  That was 2008 for me.  I've applied to lots of jobs, haven't even had an interview.  I've applied to jobs that I honestly thought would be a great fit for me and I really thought I would get...but I didn't.  And I'm smart - I graduated with honors in the top third of my class and was an editor on the Law Review - so it's not like I don't have the grades.

The only job I've been able to get is as a document reviewer.  Document review consists of reviewing hundreds/thousands/millions of emails from large companies involved in litigation to weed out what's relevant and not relevant to the case, as well as determining if the information is privileged.  The work is fine, but what isn't fun is that I'm working as an independent contractor.  Sometimes they need me, sometimes they don't, and when they don't, I don't get paid.  When I work I make $25/hour so it's great when the work is steady, but I haven't worked for the last week and a half (although I've really enjoyed being at home).  Document review is fine, but it's not rewarding or steady.  It's also giving me zero experience for all those real jobs out there.  I mean, I'm really excellent at reading email and checking boxes on a computer if you know of any jobs that prize those skills, let me know!

I did apply for a new, non-legal job yesterday.  We'll see what happens...

But between all the obsessing over babies and jobs I have still been exercising!  I actually got on a little Insanity kick over the last couple of weeks so I've done those workouts a few times.  Running continues to go well and I'm expecting a cute new pair of running shorts from lululemon to arrive sometime this week!

I need to get some more races on my calendar to carry me through the summer.  We've signed up for several 5Ks, but the Tar Heel 10 Miler is the last distance race we have scheduled. I need another big goal to work towards!  The Disney World Marathon has been in the back of my mind for awhile...but I haven't been able to commit because of our baby plans.  Should I throw in the towel on baby plans and make marathon plans instead?  Part of me wants to, but I know in my heart I can't do it.  We'll just continue to try and maybe if we continue to be unsuccessful, it'll be a sign that it's time to make these marathon dreams a reality.

After all, it is the 20th anniversary of the Disney World Marathon and I'm DYING to know what the super special surprise at mile 20 is going to be!!