Monday, December 29, 2008

Mortal Kombat and Hula Hoops

I love my family. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family where I actually LOVE spending time with them. This past week my sister and I drove up to St. Louis to spend the holiday with our mom, dad, and younger brother. Nothing but a week full of good conversation, wonderful food, great runs through St. Louis, listening to my brother and cousin play the bongo's and guitar, consuming massive amounts of wine, and ice skating!! :) Life really can't get any better.

Mom - finding her inner bongo player

The girls did not get the height in the family

My brother and cuz getting ready to go ice skating

Allison decided to stay on the couch - while mom, dad and I went out for a FREEZING run!

But I can't leave out playing WII fit. I'm not into game systems at all - the last game I played was probably Mortal Kombat sitting with Gina at a swim meet when we where 16 on our game gears. Seriously. But Wii fit was awesome. Just call me Hula Hoop master! My WHOLE family got into it - aunts, uncles, everyone!

Here I am working the hula hoop. Our Wii fit players name was 'Barbara' - she was 4'10 and weighted 190. Needless to say - Barbara was rocking the Wii fit all night.

If you are ever in St. Louis and looking for a great running store - check out Big River Running Company. Awesome, knowledgeable staff with a great selection shoes and fun running garb. Except for pink compression socks. They looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them if they had any! Oh well - must be a southern thing.

And we do have a new member of the family - her name is Margo. My aunt and uncle adopted this freaking cute ball of fur a week before christmas. So far she is fitting in well with the rest of the pack we currently have running around every family function!

But it's good to be back on beach time. Warm weather, salt water in the air, and sunshine is what my body functions off of. Hope everyone had a great holiday - now to think about those New Years Resolutions.....hmmm...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yolo - ing

If you have not tried it - you need to! It's actually called stand up paddle board, but a friend of mine who I train with is marketing it in this area (as well as Southern Florida) as Yolo Borad. Yolo stands for You Only Live Once. Love it. Below is a picture of me and two other members of the female team that one last years race series. I was kind of a 'bandit' on the team - one of their members was not able to make it for the finaly race - but still it was awesome! What a great workout! Check out the site...

You have a a bar

You never know who you will meet on a random Thursday night. Living here we run into some pretty random people - Michelle Kwan (ice skater) was here last week, Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo spend time here, and this time of the year you'll see the members of American Rejects out and about quite a bit. But last night took the cake. Captain Morgan - the smoking, cat calling bird who only shits when you hold him over a deck. This bird was pretty darn cool. The owner, Jim, had 17 birds at one time and actually traveled with his wife doing bird shows. It was a pretty neat story about how they got into it. They first purchased a bird for pet therapy - and it escalated from there. They went all over the county with their flock of birds entertaining. He is now down to four brids - but this bird specifically had a pretty cool story.

Captain Morgan was once owned by a general who kept the bird in his office at the Pentagon. Well, according to Jim, this type of bird can be traumatized and can effect the Bird for the rest of his life. Captain Morgan was in the Pentagon durning 911 - so he had some anger issues for awhile.
Jim ended up adopting Captain five years ago and pretty much saved the bird from being put down. The bird is around 40 years old - and they can live to be between 80-100. So good old Jim has a friend for life.

But I'm not going to lie - birds like that kind of freak me out (as you can tell by the pictures). I just think about that huge beak and how it can look at me and take off my nose.

After such a crappy and stressful day yesterday - I have to admit that running into Captain Morgan really lifted my mood :) Not only that - but last night was just one of those good, unplanned, evenings. Jason and I went out for a glass of wine (or two) and some dinner and ended up running into some good friends of ours. Everyone has been really busy lately (one being a mortgage broker, one being a builder, and me being a property insurance agent) so it felt so good to catch up and unwind for a bit. I remember when I was younger how I didn't understand why it was so hard for people to get together. I mean - who wouldn't want to be able to go out to dinner with your friends every night? But now it's hard for us to even chat on the phone! With the holidays, work, and training - at the end of the day I just want to lay in my bed, with a good book and veg.

Ahhh..when ever I'm finished with my work today, my sister Allison and I are off to St. Louis for the week! Soooo excited to have some quality time with the family - plus I LOVE that town. So much to do and see - great places to eat with wonderful live bands to dance to!! For those of you who live in the St. Louis area - you'll see me making my rounds of Forrest Park for my long run of the week! I can't think of a cooler run - not only do you get to run by a huge outdoor skating rink, but you get to run by the St. Louis Zoo! And the best part is - is that my whole family runs as well. We seriously look like a track team when we run. Love it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Martha Stewart and Hoping Not to get Shot By Hunters

I love weekends.

Friday night was our office Christmas Party which is always a good time. We started out with drinks at our boss's house and then had dinner at D&K's which is right down the street in Grayton Beach. So for dinner we had excellent buffet of wonderful Creole food. YUM. Still full. Then we headed back to our boss's house for dessert. And more wine. I love wine. Really love wine. But the boyfriend and I did really well and made it home early. But the down side was the next morning my sinuses where out of control! Some of the co-workers smoke, and living in Florida you can't smoke in bars or restaurants, so I'm never around it. THANK GOODNESS! I was not hungover, but my body was not happy with the smoke that I was around!

Saturday was the perfect day in. My inner Martha was calling, so I had to take advantage of it. I'm not the most domestic person, so this was going to be interesting. Sugar cookies where on the menu - which a special thanks to Mrs. Gina Jolly's (that still sounds weird even though she's been married since July) awesome recipe. So I made a few dozen from scratch sugar cookies to pass out this week. This process takes awhile - if I don't take mini breaks, I get bored and end up doing a crap job. So it was a day long event.

I wanted to do a few with the 'Tiffany Blue' color which are not very Christmasey, but I really don't care. They looked good! Jason approved - because they where not super sweet so with the addition of the cream cheese frosting they where perfect. Now I need ot figure out who I can pass them out to! **Please note that I did the majority of the cooking watching IM Kona on tv :)**

Sunday I met up with an awesome friend of mine, Lisa P, and ran the trails in one of the state parks in our area. It is always so good to get 'off the beaten path' and to run a different route. Lot's of sand involved, so I can already feel the soreness that I'm going to encounter tomorrow! But it feels so good to use different muscles and switch it up a bit. Keeping around an 8:50 pace - Lisa and I got an awesome 11 mile sunday morning run.

But, this time of year, you have to be careful of hunters. I'm all about hunting season - I am not a fan of running into a deer in the middle of the road late at night. When I lived in Michigan we actually had no school the first day of hunting season. Being from Southern Missouri and 10 years old, I thought it was awesome. Anyway, we heard a few gun shots before we started and saw a few deer stands, but luckily we both dressed in super bright colors and stuck out like sore thumbs.

Picture of my sweet running outfit and Ms. Buela -my dog for the weekend.

Finished off this awesome morning with some very tasty juice made from the juicer which I'm finally getting around to learning how to use (thanks Lisa!). Carrots, celery, orange, lemon, and apple with a shot of "Tahiti's Finest" Super Noni. YUM! And a plate full of fresh caught stone crabs! YUM YUM! (thanks Jason!!)

I love weekends.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A few more pictures

Here are few more pictures from the Zooma Hilly ass 1/2 marathon from about a month ago in Atlanta. I know I talked about it before - but I don't think I could have pulled through all of those hills with out Karen. She is such an excellent runner - and an even better 'talker'. Seriously, I think she talked through out the whole race which was awesome! I am so looking forward to seeing her and her family on the beach over Christmas! Thanks again Karen for all of the encouraging words!

On the note of long runs - myself and three other people where planning on doing a 16-18 mile run on Sunday. Well, after running through a few state parks and 1/2 completed neighborhoods (which we have a few of in this area) it ended up being pretty close to 19-20 miles. Needless to say, my body just stopped about about mile 18. I was hurting. Calfs, hips, gut, everything. So, after the run, Burk becuase he is such a great running partner and friend went over my nutrition for the day and spotted some problems. Not enough nutrition through out the run. That is something I am playing with every time I go long - so it's a work in process. But in the Draggin Tail 18 miler - I had a GU and some water about every 4 miles and felt AWESOME! So I'm just going to have to stick to that from now on!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Talk about cheesing it up....

I can't help it! Everytime I see a camera when I'm racing - I have to pull an 'America's Next Top Model' pose. Here are a few pictures from the Destin Crab Trap this past fall. This was a short and fast race, 800 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. I came in 16th female after over all but I came in 9th in my age group!! WTF?!? But for my first tri season - I'm not to upset :) Looking back at this past season - I have to admit that joining this crazy sport has made me one happy girl. I love the new friendships that I have made, how my lifestyle has changed for the better, and how I just feel (period). I could not be happier. Looking forward to next season to learn from my past mistakes and to improve. Life is good!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Random thoughs...

This is kind of random - but I wanted to put everything on one post. Here is the break down:
1. Watercolor Turkey Trot - Thanksgiving
2. New Trainer - my bedroom
3. Saturday morning party

Over Thanksgiving we ran a 5K on the beach - yes - on the very sandy beach. It was put on by Camp Watercolor (my sister) Thanksgiving morning. 200+ people showed up to enjoy the 3.1 mile stroll along the lovely coast. Its so good to see just a ton of families along with all of their children enjoying the start of a food filled day :) Here is a picture of 'Team Elfrink' along with Mike the Turkey:

Adding onto the topic ot Thanksgiving - my sister and I were so excited when my family decided to come down here (and not stay at our place!) for the holiday! So last week we got to spend a ton of time with my Mom, Dad, brother, Lilly the dog and my crazy (in a good way) Grandmother. Grandmother just turned 80 a few months ago, still looks awesome, and likes to throw back some dirty martinis! I love my family! But we would spend our evenings cooking dinner, drinking wine and then playing random dice and card games. Good times no doubt!

Ok - topic two. As I mentioned before, Santa came early via UPS with my new trainer. I finally got it put together and now there is no reason I can not get my ass on my bike. So pretty much every morning that I'm not running, I will be enjoying the news with my butt on the butterfly seat. Ugh. I'm just trying to get excited about this.

Finally on to topic three - Saturday morning running party. Who else wants to meet at 7am to run 14 miles?!??! Last week there where quite a few. And actually we had some random vacationers who where just out running and our group just kind of sucked them in. Just looking at the picture just brings the humidity back. That was such a hot, sticky run. But you must admit, we are a pretty good looking crew for just rolling out of bed!