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Monday, December 31, 2012

My last race for 2012

This was the 9K that I wrote about in my last post. These are a couple of friends I told about the race and they ran it too.

It was a nice, relaxed community race and I ran it in a nice, relaxed 41 minutes. Of course I do have a goal for next time: 35 minutes! 

I don't know if I'll run that particular race again (it started late and was kinda "bootleg" to put it kindly.)

However, I did enjoy the funny costumes people wore out there. I hope you enjoy them too.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Before the New Year begins...

I am not one to do New Year's resolutions because I live how I want to everyday of the year! However, I wanted to share some pictures of my hair and some new hair regimen stuff I've been thinking about trying going into the New Year.

Normally, my hair stays in twists (you know how I do) but I actually tried to make an effort for my job's Christmas party.

As you can see it was just a pin up style using my hair combs and tons of bobby pins. I had some serious volume!
Then I had a nice little lunch with the people I worked with and got some further use out of those hair combs I bought awhile back.

This style was just a simple side ponytail as you can clearly see.

The people that I work with organized this cooking competition. It is based on the popular British TV series Come Dine With Me. When I lived in England that was the only show that I watched all the time. 

Basically, a group of friends get together and cook for each other. There is a budget and you have to create a menu (three-course meal) along with some form of entertainment. The person with the most points at the end wins 1,000€.

Since we are poor teachers we each just put in 5€ so the one who wins gets about 55€. Not bad, right? So this lunch was the second installment. I'm next year sometime and will definitely be breaking out vegan goodies from my two cookbooks: Veganomicon and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. But I digress...

In the New Year I'd like to try the Curly Girl Method and take a break from twists. I find that the twists make it such a chore to detangle my hair. Maybe it's doing more harm than good, I'm not sure, but I want to try something new. There are many ways to protective style that don't include twists.

I plan to buy the book either on my kindle fire or from Amazon.co.uk. We'll see what happens. I also plan to Henna Gloss every two months instead of every month. No matter how hard I try there is always some little particles left in my hair and I hate that! But I do like the results.

So I will just be extra diligent with my deep conditioning and do the Henna Gloss every two months. I did a mayo treatment the other day with mayo, Castor oil, olive oil and some sweet orange oil (for fragrance). My hair felt super good and smelled good too. I'm going to stick with that for awhile (maybe 3 months?) and see how I like it.

Every night I will moisturize my hair before going to bed so that in the morning I just have to refresh and then style. Last night I misted my hair with water and aloe vera juice. Then I put in my kimmaytube and detangled my hair. I put it in four giant twists for bed and today I will wear some roll, tuck and pin style. 

I will try to update the blog every month on how I like this new hair regimen. I'm also trying to use more all-natural products. It's just that the funds are not where I need them to be to revamp everything I own just yet.


Just a quick update on working out. I'm still struggling to establish a schedule. I got sick twice (once in November and once in December) and that completely crushed my plans. However, I'm doing what I can. I ran for 1 hour on Monday, 30 minutes on Tuesday and did some weight training. Today I did a 55 minute run and some weights. I'll probably do a fast run tomorrow.

To ring in the New Year I'll be running a 9K on New Year's eve (Monday). I'm excited about that since it will be my first 10K (well, almost 10K). I'm definitely enjoying this time not training but I still want to make sure I stay fit.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Half-marathon Recap: Córdoba

Here I am about 30 minutes before the start of the race.

Getting my warm up and stretching in.

There's my bib number. I almost didn't sign up for the race on time!

As you can see, the race is starting to fill out. This is about 30 minutes before the start.

I have a lot of space now but soon I won't even be able to move!

These are the people who run it in 1 hour and a little (or 1 hour 15 for females).

It was amazing how many people were there. It was such a nice day as well.

Here's a shot probably 5-10 minutes before the start.

Here's the track where the race ended.

There I am. My best time was 1 hour 39 minutes in North Carolina.

As you can see from the pictures above, I decided to run the half-marathon. Even though I had been sick all week and even though I'd only run twice (30 minutes both times) after marathon #2 in Ciudad Real.

It was an interesting race because I didn't experience any of my usual nervous-ness before or leading up to the race. I didn't bother taking pictures of my race pack or my running gear. Honestly, my husband had to remind me to even pick up my race pack! I know, crazy right?!

I woke up on race day relaxed and rested and ready to run. I had no preconceived notions or goals. It was just to run the race and have fun doing it. I felt under-prepared and way below my usual level of fitness...but what the heck, I ran anyway.

To me, I ran an abysmal race. But I actually came 3rd in my category (yes I have a trophy!), 10th in local results and 30th out of the 303 women who ran. I didn't think I would win anything so I left before they gave out trophies. 

We'd waited for the results for like 90 minutes. I was smelly and sweaty so we left. I looked online later that evening and saw I won a trophy! I called this morning and I should be able to pick it up this week sometime.

The race was exciting for the simple fact that there were TONS of people there. This year the race had record participation in that it was sold out! There were 4,000 people there ready to run Sunday. 

It was a really amazing sight to see. I also was able to position myself in the front. There aren't many women who run so all these males were trying to push me around.

Of course I stood my ground! It was cool to actually be in the front! I'll definitely have to do that for next year. Actually, Chema (the hubby) said he might try to run it next year. Now that would be an amazing sight to see!

My next race will probably be December 31st, a 9K...unless there's another race before that. I've never run a 10K before so this should be a lot of fun.

Today I plan on running a bit just to stretch out my legs. Although it's raining... This week I plan to run M/W/F and then do weights Tuesday and Thursday. I'm trying to get back into shape!

Overall, I'm happy with the results. Especially since I didn't feel at all confident running this half-marathon. I guess I'm more fit than I think! 

The last time I ran the half-marathon in Córdoba (2010) was my first ever "important distance" race. I had trained but I came in 20-something in my category. So go figure.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

End of the month check-in

The plan was to do my henna gloss treatment this past weekend. So I left my hair out so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking out a bunch of twists. 

I wore my hair Monday-Wednesday as shown in the above photos, last week. Then I just put them in chunky twists for the rest of the week. (By Wednesday the puff was humongous!)

Saturday I had an all day conference to go to in another city (Seville). I got up at 6:15am, took the train at 7:55am and didn't get back home until 9:00pm. The plan then was to do the henna treatment the following day.

However, I got sick while at the conference. Go figure. I still am sick actually. I didn't want to sit around with a wet head while sick so it's been postponed. I guess with all that recycled air on the train and in the conference rooms...I caught something.

It sucks because it's just bad timing. The last time I was sick was this time last year! Plus it does have me worried about the half-marathon on Sunday. 

Of course I'm not even going to attempt to run this week until I feel 100%. That might mean that I have to run the half-marathon after only running twice after my full marathon.

That's completely unimpressive, but what can I do? It will be a bummer but I don't plan on running the half-marathon either if I'm not feeling better. Yes, this super sucks.

I also wanted to try this new workout I found on youtube but I guess it'll have to wait until next week:

My wish is to feel better by Wednesday. (As if I could control it, right?) But I have a feeling this decision is going down to the wire...