Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

There's only 14 days until Christmas and it's so hard to believe. I absolutely love this time of year and I'll admit - I get really sad once it's all said and done. Soaking up the memories and moments this season brings and seeing the wonder in a child's eyes are some of my favorite things about it.

Thank you for being patient with me on this Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon recap. Over the weekend, we performed a Grinch production that reached right at 5,000 people, so this recap is a little behind and I'm sorry for that. More on The Grinch later...now, on to Rock n Roll San Antonio!

Although this race was held in downtown San Antonio, I stayed at my brother and sister-in-law's house which is about 45 minutes or so from downtown San Antonio. With this being my first time to run Rock n Roll San Antonio, I had to do a little research on the start/finish line and parking. Thankfully, this one started and finished right in the same general vicinity (unlike New Orleans...which I'm not complaining about, because Rock n Roll NOLA has its own special charm). In the end, I decided to go ahead and purchase a ticket to park at the Alamodome so we didn't have to fight traffic and parking garages. If you missed the Expo recap and would like to read that also, you can do so here.

 After laying out my clothing the night before the race, I was ready to go!

The Alamodome was all lit up for Christmas and even had Christmas music playing from the speakers! It was such a fun start to the morning!

My dad and sister-in-law (Kayla) rode down to the start line with me and hung out until I finished! I thought that was so very nice of them!!

This race was a large one, kind of like New Orleans with 20+ corrals and began right above the River Walk.

I ended up in corral 9 and this was the crowd ahead of me!

Before long though, we were at the start line and ready to go!

As I was standing there waiting on the race to start, I started to ask around to fellow runners about the hills and was relieved to hear their perspective. From so many others, I'd heard that the hills were horrible here and unrelenting. Thankfully, I was informed that the route was changed this year and shouldn't be "that bad". In my head I thought "we'll see about that..."  Being from Southwest Louisiana with completely flat ground and zero elevation kinda makes you see even the slightest incline and term it a "hill".

Also, I went over my race game plan in my head again. Since I'd been so sick most of November, I didn't get to properly train for this one and wanted to just finish standing upright. My longest run was a 10 mile trail run at the end of October. I also only went to Orangetheory maybe three times in between. I knew I could do it, but I just didn't know how fast. So, I decided to walk when I needed to walk, take my time, and take pictures. This was actually just a training run planned for Princess, anyway!

 Before long, we were at mile 3 and I had 10 miles to go!

Rock n Roll always has such entertaining bands along the way and I loved it! At mile 4 or so, there was a praise and worship band which was fun to hear on a Sunday morning! They also had mariachi bands all over the place and a group of dancers at one of the major hills.

With this being San Antonio's Tricentennial year, there were celebrations going on all over the city! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this picture. I had to laugh though...runners didn't form an orderly line for this one and people kept slipping in to take their photo in front of me. I thought in my head "obviously these people have never run Disney!" (It truly was comical!)

One of the most touching parts of this race was around mile 8 or so. It was called the "Military Mile" and for about half a mile, photos of fallen soldiers with their names, ages, and the date they were killed in action were listed on these pictures.

Never in my life DURING a race has a moment touched my heart like this one did. It seemed like an endless number of pictures kept going by. Nothing but complete silence could be heard, except for the sound of the runners shoes hitting the pavement. My eyes filled with tears at the photos of soldiers with their babies and families. My heart so admires our veterans and those who dedicate their lives for our freedom. We truly should be thankful for them.

As we neared the end of the military mile, I stared to hear cheering. It grew louder and louder and as I looked up from the photos, I saw people with flag after flag after flag...and they were cheering US on. This is where I could no longer hold the tears back and I lost it. Some of those holding the flags were dressed in fatigues and it was so great being able to give them a high five and thank them for their service. It might sound a little cheesy, but my heart was definitely swelling with pride for our great nation we live in. Yes, we have our flaws just like any other nation...but for real, it's pretty great.

This whole entire mile has seriously made my top 10 favorite race moments list!

Around mile 11, we hit our first major hill. This one reminded me of the underpass near the Contemporary (for my runDisney friends)! At the top of the bridge were dancers dressed in their cultural costumes - it was so cool!

Ya know I gotta take my traditional mile 12 photo!

As we were nearing mile 13, I started to realize that we hadn't seen The Alamo. I thought maybe I missed it, but at that moment, I heard another runner say to her friend that she was bummed we didn't run in front of The Alamo.  Kinda funny since that's one of San Antonio's biggest landmarks. My brother later told me that they were doing construction at The Alamo so maybe that's why? I'm still not sure!

My dad and sister-in-law were waiting for me near the mile 13 sign, so I stopped to say hello and take a picture!

The finish line wasn't far behind and just like that - I finished my 32nd Half Marathon and you know what? The hills were NOT bad at all. There were only two of them which was totally doable to me! (I'd honestly had this environment of one giant hill that just kept going up and down and up and down the entire race!)

I also received an extra medal since I ran Rock n Roll New Orleans this year, too (lets face it, that extra medal is one of the only reasons I signed up for San Antonio)!  We didn't stick around long because the race took a little longer than I wanted it to - I think I finished in 2:36 or something along those lines.

On our way back to my brother and sister-in-law's house, we stopped for a coffee break and I ordered the Candy Cane Mocha. It was SO good!!!

We also had a late lunch at McAlisters which I (of course) loved!

Brayden wasn't amused that he had his own Rock n Roll San Antonio shirt, too...but I still made him take a picture with me anyway!

That's a wrap on our Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon weekend! If you're interested in a video recap, check this one out below! :)

Thanks for following along! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

This past weekend, I ran the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in San Antonio, Texas. Although I've run numerous Rock n Roll races in the past, I'd never run this particular race and was excited to see a new (to me) city!

To be honest, I wasn't incredibly excited about this race because I'd been sick throughout the month of October with lingering bronchitis, wasn't able to train right, and every time I thought about running 13.1 miles after not having properly trained, I kind of panicked.

The expo was just what I needed to put me in the running spirit!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

The Expo wasn't hard to find, but finding a parking spot was! We ended up in a pay by the hour garage. The expo was located inside the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center which was right above the River Walk.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

This expo was very similar to all of the other Rock n Roll races I'd run.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

Runners entered via the red carpet for check in and bib pickup, then made their way over to the tshirt/bag area.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We arrived about an hour and a half before closing time, so the expo was not crowded at all.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

Of course, I had to take a picture with my bib at the "finish line"!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

After browsing the official race merchandise (and purchasing a finisher shirt) we headed into the main expo floor. Before that though, I had to find my name on the list! Too bad these shirts were all sold out. Oh well!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

It didn't take long for the excitement to hit! I couldn't believe I was about to run another half. This year of running was so much fun, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue my running journey!

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

However, I was nervous about the hills. Oh, the hills. I'd heard crazy stories about how unrelenting they were, so I knew I was in for a much slower half than normal and I was ok with that.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We literally stayed at the expo until almost closing. During our time there, we had the chance to see all kinds of vendors from The Stick (I convinced my sister in law to buy the hand held trigger point release...that thing is amazing!), One More Mile, The B.F.F., Flip Belt, and more! This Expo was on the medium-ish size and very close to that of Rock n Roll New Orleans.

Rock n Roll San Antonio Expo

We left excited and ready for another half marathon the following day!

Stay tuned for a recap of my race adventure throughout San Antonio!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Weekend

Well, despite not being fully prepared (due to this prolonged sickness I'm finally almost over), Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio weekend is here!

I'm currently registered to run the half and am looking forward to experiencing the sights (and hills...yikes) of 13.1 miles in a new city. To date, I've only run 10 miles of training, so I'm not expecting a lot from this race experience other than just that...the experience. This will also be a good training run on my way to the Princess Half Marathon in February.

Some things I'm looking forward to this weekend include:
  • Running a brand new (to me) course 
  • Extra bling for running both Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans and Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio
  • Experiencing Christmas in a new city
  • Seeing the River Walk all decked out for Christmas
  • Visiting with my brother and sister in law again and spending time with family
  • Expo shopping
Things I'm not looking forward to:
  • Running hills
  • Hills
  • More hills
  • Did I mention the hills?
I had to seriously laugh out loud last week when I was reading a review of this race course that called it a "flat course". Clearly the person who wrote that has never run a race in Southwest Louisiana...with zero inclines or even the slightest bit of a hill. We shall see what I think about the course after running this race! 

Ready or not, here we come!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram for all of our race weekend fun!!

Have you ever run Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio? Any advice?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Well, the holidays have officially kicked off and I'm absolutely in heaven. This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year!

We had a lot of fun over Thanksgiving weekend! This time is so special to me, especially when shared with family and friends!

Jason had to work on Thanksgiving day, but Brayden and I were able to celebrate it with his side of the family. We had a huge luncheon with a ton of family! The food was delicious, too.

On Friday, my usual crew of friends (plus one this year) went Black Friday shopping. We started our morning around 5 a.m. and had a blast checking out the fairly empty stores. Although there were a lot of good deals out this year, none of us really "needed" much, so we didn't purchase as much as we have in years past. We still had a ball, and we've already started brainstorming new shirt ideas for next year!

After a full day of shopping, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family that evening. Talk about worn out...but we still had a fun time together! 

For our annual Friendsgiving, we started off with part one at a local crafting shop called "Junkin Gypsies". I've been here once before, and that's where my door hanger came from. This time around, the owner offered a 2 hour workshop at different times throughout the day where people could create a choice of five items. Shown here are our works of art and three of the five options that were available that day. This really was a ton of fun! I can't wait to go back to make another!

Last but not least, our friends got together yet again for our Friendsgiving part 2 celebration! At the last minute, we decided to move the shindig to my house so we could watch the LSU game and relax. Although LSU lost, we still had a great time! And yes, those are matching sweaters, because nothing says friends forever like matching sweaters! Amiright?

Also, I decided to do my weekend version of vlogidays once again! I had so much fun doing this the past two years and I've loved being able to look back on our family and how much Brayden has grown and changed over the years.

Here, you'll find weekend number 1 for 2018!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did you do anything exciting this past weekend?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The holiday season is always a tough time to stick with healthy choices and exercise (at least for me, it is)! I know I devoured a few too many goodies last week during Thanksgiving and want to get back on track before Christmas arrives, so I thought of a few tips and I wanted to share them because they might help you, too!

Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

#1 Plan Ahead and Don't Overdo It

Going into a party or festive gathering can cause a little anxiety, especially when trying to live a healthy lifestyle (which may seem impossible to keep during the holidays)! Sure it's easy to say "oh, this is just ONE party, I'll work it off later.." bur if your schedule looks like mine, I have several Christmas parties to attend this year...and that's before Christmas even arrives! Having a game plan and sticking to it ahead of time will help a lot! If asked to bring a side dish to a party, bring a healthy option. Others will thank you for this, too!

#2  Make Time to Exercise

Yes, the holidays are SUPER busy and our schedules are jam packed. Follow me here for a minute, though....there's 24 hours in a day, right?  Well, taking 30 minutes or even an hour away from those 24 hours is not a whole lot of time. Let's break it down even more - there's 168 hours in a week - setting aside 3 to 5 of those hours for exercise is totally doable. Your body will thank you later, I promise!

#3 Wash Your Hands

Here's where the nurse in me is coming out - hand washing cannot be stressed enough. Its' cold and flu season, people. Wash your hands and do it often! This will definitely help to keep you as healthy as possible this holiday season. Even my 2 year old knows how to wash his hands! Keeping a tiny hand sanitizer in your purse is a great option as well.

#4 Get Some Sleep!

Rest. Rest. Rest. Getting adequate rest is so important and will help your body rejuvenate for another day. Even though it's a busy time of year, making time for adequate sleep (8ish hours a night) will help you stay rested and energized for the day ahead!

#5 Don't Deprive Yourself 

I mean, it IS the holidays after all - if you see a delicious looking dessert or dish you want to try, go ahead and do so. This does not mean eat all the things! I know if I deprive myself too much, then I go overboard later. Just remember to keep in mind tip number one - don't overdo it! Remember to keep things in moderation and you will be ok!

I hope this holiday season is off to a great start for you! Stay safe, happy, and healthy! 

Any tips you would add to this list? Leave it in the comments below! :) 

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

It's the day before Thanksgiving and that means tomorrow officially kicks off the holiday season! (Even though some have already decorated for Christmas - myself included...whoops.) With all the hustle and bustle this time of year can bring, I'm realizing a few very important things.

I want to just hit the pause button on today...
Truly immerse myself in this special time with my family...
Slow down and enjoy the moment...
Savor the memories this magical time of year brings...
Be thankful...truly thankful...for all of the blessings that surround me...

We say all of these things year after year, but do we truly live them out? I'm making it a mission to do just that this year, because these moments can slip by so quickly. This really is a magical time of year and it always seems to go by so very fast.

Thankfulness is another mission I am trying to live out this holiday season. I know this phrase is so overused but it's a very, very true one - we are so blessed and really have SO much to be thankful for.

Do you have a roof over your head? You're blessed. Do you have a mode of transportation? You're blessed. Do you have running water and food to eat? You're blessed.

A couple  of years ago, a church in North Carolina shared a video about thankfulness and it totally put things into perspective for me.

Take a watch and see what you think!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and truly take time to savor the moments as they pass by! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Three Things Thursday

It's been a week, what's been going on?

 #1 I've been sick.

As in one trip to the doctor and two trips to urgent care, two steroid shots, once antibiotic shot, and SEVERAL prescriptions kind of sick. I somehow came down with bronchitis and had a cough from you know where for three, going on four weeks. I'm FINALLY feeling on the mend, but my left ear is still plugged and my right back hurts from what I think is a bruised rib from so much coughing. I have another appointment with my ENT on Friday to see if she can help with the ear thing. I've never had a sickness drag out this long, but the weather changes from hot to cold and back again and it's miserable!

All of this sickness means my Rock n Roll San Antonio training has taken a serious turn. I did manage to run that 10 miler in the state park a few weekends ago, and that seems to be the highest mileage I'll be able to achieve before running my next half. I'm not going in to for any crazy goals in Texas anyway, I just wanted to run a new race in a new area and experience some Rock n Roll fun outside of the New Orleans/Dallas area!

I did manage to return to Orangetheory this week for a workout on Tuesday and it felt amazing. I'm hoping to go back for a second one this afternoon if my back cooperates.

#2 New Furniture

I. Am. So. Excited!! Back in May, we ordered a new table for our little breakfast area. Our old table was sentimental in Jason's family and was fun to have for a while, but it was definitely time for something new. I fell in LOVE with a table at Ashley Furniture and although I was told there was a production delay, they said I would have the table by the end of June. Well, when I called in June to verify, I was told that production time had been pushed back to AUGUST. Huh?

I asked to speak to the service manager and he was super nice, told me I could cancel my order if I wanted to, but said he thought I should stick it out if I really wanted the table. Well, Jason and I looked around at other furniture stores and couldn't find anything else we liked better...and I didn't really NEED the table right then and there...so I decided to stick it out.

Fast forward to August. I called again to check on dates and guess what? I'm sure you guessed...delivery time had been pushed back to the end of October. I called in October and...yep, it had been pushed back again, this time to November. What in the world?!

So, I spoke with the service manager again and he said that although the date had been moved, he could see that it looked as if 40 tables and 200 chairs were set to be loaded on a truck in Mississippi in November which looked promising. I must have called a million times since then to check on dates, but the dates continued to remain the same!

Which means TODAY...is delivery day! I'm so excited that I'm going to have my new table for the holiday season!!

Stay tuned to instagram for pictures and updates!

#3 Christmas Decor

Speaking of the holiday season, who's ready?! I am!! Well, not yet...but I'm getting there! I always decorate for Christmas on the weekend before Thanksgiving, so that's the plan here for this weekend and I cannot wait! I am leaving out a few fall items (like table decor) for our annual "Friendsgiving" that's usually held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

It's going to be a great weekend!

So, how about you? When do you decorate for Christmas? I'm not judging...I just love the holiday season in general and this time of year is just the best!

Friday, November 9, 2018

2.5 Year Toddler Update

I might be a month behind on this one, but better late than never, right?!

Last month, Brayden turned 2 1/2 years old and has grown, developed, and changed so much in just 6 short months! I'm not going to lie, I'm super sad that his baby features (chubby cheeks and thighs) are slowly fading away.

Clothing: Mostly 2T and some 3T
Diapers: Size 5 - working on learning to use the potty has been an interesting time!
Shoes: Size 7 and some 8's
Weight: 34 pounds (estimated)
Height: 36 inches (estimated)

In his last update, I mentioned that he hit a "word explosion" right before turning 2. Since then, those words have turned into more words which turned into phrases and he hasn't looked back for a single second. His current favorite phrase is to say "I want _____"! It's also hilarious to hear how he mispronounces things. Take orange pumpkin for example - "ooo-range pun-kin". I just love it!

His favorite place ever is the park. He also still LOVES the splash pad! Anywhere water is, that's where Brayden wants to be. We keep a pair of boots at both my house and my mom's house so he can splash in the puddles after it rains.

Like the rest of the country, he’s super obsessed with the “baby shark” song and it’s so cute to see the look on his face when the song starts. We’ve listened to it at least a million times!

He also LOVES his momma which of course melts my heart. I've heard before that there's just something about the bond between a little boy and his mom and "they" were right!

As far as food goes, Brayden loves it, especially "ice cream" aka frozen yogurt. Other favorites of his include pizza, spaghetti, tacos, waffles, chicken nuggets, cereal, chips, refried beans, french fries, fruit, and of course, candy (which is totally limited). He's not always open to trying something new, but once you convince him to take a bite, he will usually want more.

Favorite TV shows include Puppy Dog Pals and Mickey Mouse, but he now asks for Little Einsteins by name as well as "Paw Dogs" which is also known as Paw Patrol.

Landmarks are something he's picked up on as well. For example, he knows when we've made the turn to go to the park, my mom and dad's house, the frozen yogurt place, school/church, etc. 

Over the summer, we had all kinds of exciting adventures like swim lessons...

...seeing the 2017 World Series trophy on its tour...

...feeding the giraffes at the San Antonio Zoo...

...an Astros game...

...and Sea World in San Antonio!

Brayden travels really well in the car and we love going on new adventures and exploring new areas!

He LOVES animals of any kind, especially dogs! My dogs still aren't super agreeable to allowing him to touch, but we can convince them every once in a while with a little snack or treat!

Just like any boy, Brayden loves playing in the dirt. I ended up purchasing a giant plastic container that I keep topsoil in for him to play with. He loves using his shovel and bucket to repurpose the dirt (aka put it all over the backyard)! Another new fascination as of late has been dinosaurs. Being a boy mom sure is interesting!

Since moving up to the two year old class at school (where we also added an extra day), I've seen a huge change in the information Brayden absorbs. He knows his numbers of 0-10 and even surprised me the other day by counting to 10! He also knows his colors very well. We are currently working on letters and shapes, too! He's come a long way in just 6 months and I love seeing the new things he says and does every day!

Personality wise, Brayden is still a pretty chill, happy, and sweet kid although he has his moments/days just like most toddlers. He's easily redirectable when he's upset by reminding him to use his words and asking what he wants. We are loving and cherishing this time with this sweet kid we've been blessed with!

Thanks for following along in our journey! Stay tuned for his next update at 3 years old! :)

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