My three favorite running things: iPod, Garmin, and Oakleys. What are yours?
My three favorite running things: iPod, Garmin, and Oakleys. What are yours?
In the words of Eminem:
“Nobody asked for life to deal us
With these bull**** hands we’re dealt
We have to take these cards ourselves
And flip them, don’t expect no help”
On the way to Michelle’s Baby Shower yesterday, I dropped off cupcakes for a Bridal Shower! Told you… what a crazy weekend!
Melissa Pippin, who is also a dental assistant at Stansell Dentistry ordered cupcakes for a bridal shower she was co-hosting on Saturday. Melissa trusted my creative license and had easy, simple requests… vanilla and chocolate cupcakes that matched her party plates! Pinks, greens, and browns!
Decorating her cupcakes made me super excited for Spring! The little daisies reminded me of Chris and Rachel’s sunflower-theme wedding last year and the springy colors were so sweet together.
I dyed the vanilla buttercream icing a light green with a touch of yellow and brown to get the perfect shade of color… and the pink flowers seemed to jump off the cupcakes… and of course, who doesn’t love a brown and pink combo?
Thank you again Melissa for thinking of me when ordering your cupcakes for such a wonderful occasion! I’m very grateful for the amazing feedback and hope the bride-to-be had a fantastic day.
Ready for MORE cupcake pictures from the weekend???
When it comes to the debate of whether or not to run with music, I am very much pro-music. Music inspires me, motivates me, and can change my mood from bummed out and lazy to ready to take on the world. Case in point: during the last mile of my long run this past weekend, I played Fort Minor’s Remember the Name and I finished it in 7:18 - for me, music is powerful.
I’m always on a quest to find new music. Once I start rapping the words to Eminem, I know it’s time for a new song. But music is something that is completely a personal preference. Whereas I may like some rap to get me through long runs in the rain, someone else may like something a little more mellow. Therefore, stalking out other people’s running playlists may give you a few ideas, but it might not always be the exact music you are looking for. I speak from experience. This past Saturday I spent quite a bit of time in iTunes listening to the playlists of Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Sara Hall, Josh Cox, and many other elite athletes. I got a few ideas but still needed some songs that would get me through those last miles. I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but I found a pretty cool website to recommend some new music for the workout playlist.
Jog.fm is a website that recommends workout music based on what you’re doing (running/walking/cycling) and how fast you you’re doing it. For example, if you want to run a 9:00 min/mile, Jog.fm will suggest songs that are best suited for running at that pace. If you are training in a particular heart rate zone, it will recommend songs that will keep you in that zone. You can also search songs for what’s new, what’s hot, and which songs are the most added. The feature I like the most on Jog.fm is the ability to preview the songs directly from the website. This avoids the time and energy spent going into iTunes and having to search for the songs. There is also an app you can purchase for $2.99. However, based on the reviews, your $3 are better spent somewhere else. Apparently the app doesn’t work like it is suppose to and Pandora is a much better free option. So if you stay away from the app and use the website as a way to get some new ideas to add to your playlist, you’re certain to find some pretty good music. I would also like to add that some of the recommendations for target heart rates and paces seem a little off to me, but again, music is completely personal. Redneck Yacht Club might work for you at 170 bpm, but I prefer a little Panic! At the Disco. It’s just a pretty cool website to broaden your music library.
Good luck finding some new running music, and I always welcome any of your recommendations!
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
I recently downloaded The Flinch onto my Kindle, and I definitely think it’s worth the quick read. It’s free, short, and although no Atlas Shrugged, it definitely gives you something to think about. The basic idea behind the book: stop flinching, start putting yourself in those not so comfortable situations, and become a better person because of it. Something a friend said to me earlier this week caused me to reflect on the relationship between this book, treadmill running, and outdoor running (odd, right?). I was asking her why she didn’t want to run outside and she said that it was easier to reach her mileage goal on the treadmill than outside. And yes, she is absolutely right, but what is more important? Running X amount of miles or running those miles outdoors, in unpredictable conditions?
I use to do all my runs during the week on a treadmill and my long Saturday runs outdoors. I got injured, I got bored, and I began to cower from the cold and the rain. Somewhere along the road, I realized treadmill running was not the best thing for me. I altered my stride too much, it gave me bad running form, and it certainly didn’t prepare me for the 40 degree pouring down rain marathon I did a few years ago. Over the years, I have learned to embrace the hills, the cold, the heat, and the rain, not as obstacles, but as uncomfortable situations that make me a better runner. Not to completely ignore the benefits of treadmill running (because it is a great form of exercise), but there is something about being outdoors in the cold/rain/snow/sunshine, running up hills or through trails, that can never compete with the endless running on the belt.
Thinking about this led me to spend some time researching what other runners, doctors and studies had to say about the debate. It seems well agreed upon that any form of running is great exercise, but outdoor running tends to produce those conditions that make us stronger, faster, and a little tougher. Here are some things to think about:
1) Treadmill running offers no wind resistance. Yes, it is possible to encounter calm conditions outdoors, but the reality is, you can’t control the weather. Training with a little wind in your face is good for you.
2) When running on the treadmill, your terrain is pretty consistent. Unless you up the incline, you’re running on a flat, smooth surface. However, come race day, you more than likely will encounter a hill or two along with a few potholes. Not avoiding those hills and varying your terrain does something good for those calves and makes flat races seem like a walk in the park.
3) Running indoors is typically done in a nice climate controlled environment. Therefore, when we stick to only treadmills, we learn to avoid all weather that isn’t ideal. There are two issues with this. First, few races are run indoors (could you imagine 1,000+ runners racing a marathon on a treadmill?). You should train in similar conditions to race day. Second, how will you ever learn that the rain won’t make you melt unless you get outside and pound out a few miles in the puddles? Bad weather won’t ruin you, it just isn’t ideal. However, once you learn you can make it through bad weather conditions, you open your running world up to endless possibilites.
Finally (and I think this is the most important):
4) Studies have shown that when running outside, runners will run further and faster with a lower rate of perceived exertion than when running on a treadmill. In addition, studies have demonstrated that the overall feeling of accomplishment is greater after a run outdoors versus a run indoors.
Of course, one cannot deny the many benefits a treadmill can offer when used correctly. Just check out this great video of Kelly Gonzalez demonstrating how to incorporate intervals into a treadmill workout. Even some Olympians do up to 80% of their training on a treadmill. But I am willing to bet that those people possess a level concentration and determination that make their workout as challenging, if not more, as any run outdoors.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
This weekend was BUSY! Preparing food, helping Dad host, and cleaning up our festivities was so much fun, but extremely exhausting. My ankle is swollen, but it was all for such a great cause. Happy Engagement Dani and Davis! We’re so excited for you and looking forward to celebrating your marriage next year. Lots of love and hugs and kisses… Pictures to come soon! xoxo
Since, my current project was “free caterer” yesterday I wanted to share a few other amazing blogs with you. I have many motivations for starting “beautydetermined” and much of this decision was encouragement from my dear friend and bosom buddy, Tracie Talbert Rodriguez. She writes about running, volunteering, and overall the love of life in her blog: http://runworkeatsleep.wordpress.com/ Tracie and I met at White Barn Candle Company in 2004 and have been inseparable since. She has an amazing personality and is one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. She has guided me through life lessons including my running, training, and recent DEPRESSION with my ankle injury all while smiling and cheering me on. Tracie has always been one of my inspirations in life to be a better person… and I hope she motivates you as much as she does for me. You’ll love her too… READ HER BLOG!
Another awesome blog that was my FIRST blog to follow was Project: BABY (http://www.projectbabyblog.com/). Definitely a MUST READ for any mom, mom-to-be, or hesitant to take on the new title as mom, but is totally curious… ME! Kristin Broeils Timmerman and I met during our study abroad trip to Prague, Czech Republic. Fate it was! I had originally planned to be roommates with other girls on our trip, but since I flew in late that day, I was a lone traveler. I tried to get into the hostel after midnight and everyone was sleeping. I basically was kicked out of my planned room, but a half asleep girl I didn’t even really know and really didn’t know what to do. I contemplated sleeping on the couch in the foyer of our hostel imagining crying myself to sleep, but I decided to knock on one more door. Kristin, half asleep, came to the door and let me in! Who cares if I was an axe murderer!? She had already accepted me as her new roomie and I wasn’t an axe murderer. We haven’t seen in each in years, but I think about all of the amazing people we met and all the memories. Much love to that summer! We need a Prague Family reunion. Kristin also offers style advice and pure honesty… READ HER BLOG!
And, Miss Ashley Teeter Tot Bitting! She’s married to a great guy, who happens to be a cop and is pregnant with her first BABY. A little boy is on the way and she is the cutest pregnant lady EVER! Ashley and I have actually known each other since high school. Mount Tabor Alumni… Spartans, you know! Check out Facebook… there are even prom pictures of us on there. You can’t miss our dresses either. I think some of mine kept sequin companies in business that year. I started reading Ashley’s blog when she posted this AMAZING homemade headboard for her master bed. Martha Stewart would be impressed. If you are a young professional, crafty, and a mom-to-be OR just love sarcasm… like ME… READ HER BLOG! http://cuffedforlife.tumblr.com/
Guys, I know we’re all short for time day-to-day, but check these blogs out when you have a chance. These ladies are funny, creative, intelligent, and clever! They have motivated me in ways they’ll never know and I really just wanted to share my other inspirations for starting my own blog.
Love and happiness to you all. Sweet dreams… xoxo
Happy Almost Turkey Day everyone! Hope you’re able to share the day with family or good friends. I’m looking forward to sleeping in, seeing Mom and family, and eating well. I’m so thankful for this year… for Tyler, our family, friends, furbabies, and our lives. People are having such a tough time right now and even though Tyler and I have been on a budget, we are very blessed.
I’m up late tonight baking Spicy Kahlua Pecans! My mother-in-law, Deborah Dean makes the best in the whole world. I went off her ingredients, but guessed on the actual amounts. They are deliciously spicy and addicting!
For a Spicy Spicy Spicy Kahlua Pecan Version:
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and pull out a large flat baking sheet.
4 cups of pecan halves
2 tbsp vegetable oil (or a large egg)
3 tbsp kahlua (I actually used 4 tablespoons for extra flavor)
2 tbsp chili pepper
2 tbsp red pepper/cayenne powder
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together so pecans are well covered. Spread evenly onto your baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Stir and bake another 5 minutes. Still a little moist? Stir and bake for another 5 minutes. Just don’t let them burn. Really watch them after the first 25 minutes. One you start to see edges brown, pull out and cool on parchment or wax paper. They easily freeze in an air tight container for future occasions. If you’d like to use a LESS spicy recipe - use 1/2 tbsp of chili pepper and 1/2 tbsp of red pepper/cayenne powder then use 8 tbsp of sugar instead of 6 tbsp. Google online to check for other recipes, because there are TONS of versions. As Claire Robinson says, “Be Your Own Chef!”
I’m also bringing green bean casserole and a pumpkin & goat cheese risotto to Mom’s tomorrow as well. YUM! I’ll be sure to post recipes and pictures tomorrow.
Love to you all! Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
Ahh, my first blog post… this actually feels really great. I always joke with Tyler, my hubby that I’m like a George Lucas film. There’s so much going on in my head at all times. Don’t get the comparison? Watch a Star Wars film and pay close attention to the background in his movies. You’ll be amazed at all the activity going on BEHIND the main characters and scenes. There are stories within stories going on throughout the entire movie. This is exactly what’s happening inside my head!
I have decided to start blogging in order to create another way to organize my ideas and thoughts, especially to help me FULLY-bring back my artistic roots. Any projects, art ideas, paintings, creative thoughts that flow through me on a regular basis will be shared with all.
So, WELCOME to my blog! I’m excited for this journey and hope that you enjoy my experiences, while I learn to appreciate beauty in life. My discoveries will hopefully lead me to success… and me…
“May the Force be with you” :)