Thursday, September 29, 2011

winner: uprinting.com labels


as usual i had to be a little unique with the drawing method (though not as unique as in the past) and i used random.org's playing card shuffler to pick today's winner.



congrats to arena of "i run for my kids", a new member of the running-blogging community. she just started her blog a week ago!

arena, leave your email address below (email AT address DOT com is perfectly fine) so i can send it on to the uprinting peeps. please do so before 10:00pm est on friday 9/30 or forfeit the prize (sorry, uprinting gave me a deadline).

(second place was an ace card, or shannon of arkansas runner who shall fulfill the winner's duties should arena not be able to serve who will assume the duties of the winner if for some reason arena cannot fulfill her responsibilities)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

neon cats

you may have noticed the lack of running talk around here (again). after taking august off, i had two good weeks of cardio rebuilding (it's rough!) and then had a little relapse. i've taken another week and a half off but i'm thinking i'll be able to get back out for a few miles this week.

surprisingly, i'm ok with this huge cutback in running. i'm dedicated to getting better and figuring out my health issues, and hopefully working my way back into my old running-self in 2012. i'm seeing a new doctor (thanks to some motivation from cclark) and she said "it'll take me a minute but we're going to get to the bottom of this!" the new doc put me on a limited diet, and it's been 12 days since i've had an m&m, or any form of sugar for that matter. i figure it won't hurt to give my body extra rest as we (hopefully) straighten everything out, but still hope i can do something in the interim. perhaps something other than pinterest all day long?

in other breaking news, jenn posted first-day-of-school pics the other day, which made me think of one of my finest fashion moments - 5th grade:

first day 5th grade
just look at those socks!

i distinctly remember this outfit with it's splatter paint effect because i froze all day in school.

perhaps i should start a fashion blog...

what first-day outfit do you remember?

there's still time to enter the uprint giveaway until 11:59pm tonight!
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Friday, September 23, 2011

friday freebie: uprint labels

win custom labels from uprinting.com, one of top online printing companies.

you could customize these labels for christmas presents, organizing a pantry or craft room, your kid's school stuff, mailing labels... hmm what else?


what
250 labels for one (1) winner
label specs: 2" x 3.5", 70lb matte, front only printing (a $40+ value)

when
now until wednesday 9/28, 11:59pm est.

how
  • leave a comment on this post - what would you use the labels for?
  • for a bonus entry: "like" uprinting on facebook (and let me know in your comment below)

not-so-fine print
this giveaway is sponsored by uprinting.com and is limited to u.s. residents 18+ only. i have not used uprinting.com before but i will be receiving labels in exchange for hosting this giveaway (i receive no monetary compensation). one winner will be chosen via random.org and announced on thursday 9/29.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

in five years

in 2006, a mere 4 months after i graduated college (and on my 22nd birthday) i bought my first house.*

home sweet home

i spent the next three years wishing i had never bought it because i (thought i) wanted go to the art institute in san diego or open my own b&b in jamaica**, but ultimately knew the house was keeping me grounded. i had even less of an idea of what i wanted to do with my life then than i do now, and being forced to stay employed was a good thing.

since receiving the keys on that fateful day, i've been renovating the house (it needed it!). the carpet was disgusting, there was spray paint down the kitchen counters, across the fridge, on the floor and out the side door, and ivy was growing in a couple of the windows. i still cringe when i see houses with vines covering part of the house.

in the beginning i decorated each room separately which resulted in a rainbow bright house. part of this was because i often found $5 cans of "oops" paint at home depot and i figured i'd take advantage of the bargain. the kitchen was bright orange and yellow striped (sadly i have no photos of this), the dining room was pink and brown, the living room a bright spring green, the foyer purple and gray, and the master bedroom a grassy green. what was i thinking?

as i've matured, i admitted to myself that it's ok to paint the walls neutral instead of pretending i live in mexico. the kitchen became buttercream yellow, dining room is neutral and brown, and the foyer brown and gray. eventually i'll repaint the living room an off-white/very light beige (probably) for a more grown-up beach vibe.

a lot more than painting was done; there isn't much of the original-ness left other than the "bones" of the house really. the master bathroom and walk-in closet still haven't been renovated, we'll probably hire out the tile work for the stand-up shower (in case it's holding hidden surprises) and haven't gotten around to hiring anyone.

so, in celebration of five long years of being a homeowner, here's a look at some of the "before's", "during's" and "current's" for your enjoyment (and because i'm proud of the work we've done, my dad and josh included of course).

foyer
foyer before

foyer during
of course there was wallpaper under the paint

foyer current

hallway
hallway before

hallway after

hall bath
hall bath before
a full bath, but hard to photograph because it's small

hall bath after

hall bath after

living room
living room before
this ivy was growing through the window... yeah.

living room progress
no more nasty carpet!
you can see skid marks in the sawdust from where my friend
and i would run and slide across the room - we were so cool

living room after

living room after

dining room
dining room before

dining room progress
during the rainbow house phase

dining room more progress
it's no longer these colors, but it's messy right now
and i didn't feel like tidying up for another picture

kitchen
kitchen before
yes, that is ivy wallpaper

other side of kitchen before
you can see ivy overtaking the patio

kitchen progress
had to show off my vintage oven
(that i actually kinda wanted to keep)

kitchen after

kitchen after


updated porch
the outside has gotten it's share of updates too

personally i think i'll always want to buy fixer-uppers - i love rehabbing and making things beautiful again. i'm pretty sure josh does not feel this way as he is a little tired of the never ending house projects.

happy 5th birthday house!
(and if you paid attention and did the math you'd know that means happy 27th to me!)

*i'll admit this may not be the right time in anyone's life to be making such a big purchase, but i was stubborn in my "it's an investment" mindset.
**i was (still am) all over the place sometimes.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

snip snip

(note: no gory photos. sorry?)

my left toe/toenail has been sore on and off lately, so i decided to suck it up and go to the podiatrist. better to go now while i'm rebuilding my cardio and not chugging away towards a goal race. i assumed it was another ingrown toenail. i went back in march 2007 for my right toenail, and back then the doctor said i would probably have to come back for the left one. i kinda put it off.

so there i was, reclined in the big blue chair, waiting for the numbing shot. he first sprayed something super cold (kind of like those air cans used for cleaning keyboards) before jamming the needle in. the cold spray helped but it didn't fully block the sting.

while we waited for the anesthetic to kick in, he kindly clipped off my two black nails (2nd toes). then he used a dremel tool and essentially sanded the new mini-nail growing underneath. oh to be a podiatrist! glamorous.

numbed and a little swollen

15 minutes later he came back to check on me and the numbness. unfortunately the first shot hadn't fully numbed my toe as intended. turns out i have a unique nerve on the bottom side of my toe, which the doc said wasn't in many textbooks. go figure. a second shot and a couple minutes later, it was good to go.

from here i can only assume what went on because i was too nervous to watch. i was holding my phone in front of my face to text block the view (even though most of the time my eyes were shut) and he asked me if i was video taping the procedure. i guess i have blogger written on my forehead. sorry to let you down, but i did not take a video. basically what happens is the doctor trims the nail down the side of the toe and then burns the root with acid to hopefully prevent it from growing back (and possibly becoming ingrown again).

surgical shoe cardio

for the next couple weeks i have to tend to the bandaging and wear a sexy black shoe-boot. i can resume running when i'm able to get my foot in a shoe. i found this a little odd because last time he said it would take two weeks, but whatever. either way, i knew that i'd be modifying an old pair of shoes (like last time) to keep my toenail from hitting the toebox before it fully heals. unfortunately it seems i've thrown away that pair so i had to cut up another pair. hopefully this time i won't run into get run over by a car.


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sock it to

sock punch

valerie!

valerie, contact me at lindsay at chasingthekenyans dot com by tuesday, 9/13 at noon est. if i don't hear from you by then i will move on to the next person. i will give your email to the new balance/coolmax people so they can get in touch with you to mail you your socks.

random.org screenshot

(thanks to random.org for randomly selecting a winner)
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

never forget

9/11/01
image credit to brian niemann

world trade center hearts
image from ground zero museum
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ten things i know about suar

amanda of runninghood is holding an art contest of sorts. no talent required, just the willingness to pretend you are in ms. frizzles class and "take chances, make mistakes, get messy".

there are three "topics" to choose from to create your masterpiece:
  1. beth of shut up and run (suar)
  2. running / sports in general
  3. motherhood
naturally, i chose suar.

art supplies

materials used:
--8.5x11", 92 bright, 20lb paper (scrap piece from the defunct printer at work)
--corporate express .5mm #2 mechanical pencil
--sanford pink pearl pencil eraser

who is suar?

ten things you will learn about suar from studying this piece:
  1. she wants to have dean karzanseznesy's babies (who can really spell that without googling. it's like matthew mconohognayhey)
  2. she spent a good chunk of 2010 in a boot
  3. which forced her to get her cardio workouts at the pool
  4. sometimes in a bathing suit that was see-through
  5. often with the geriatric's water aerobic class (she has a different name for this group)
  6. she has a one-eyed, three-legged dog named lucky
  7. her mouth is dirtier than a sailor's
  8. as a social worker, she knows her way around the system. she puts the kids to work with their toothbrushes when she isn't grooming sam for his role as the next hugh hefner
  9. scientists try to blame greenhouse gases on cows, but the real #1 contributor of nitrous oxide is suar
  10. she may not have an ass that will swallow up a g-string, but up top, uh, two bee stings*,**
amanda's friendly competition runs until 9/27. you can literally define "art" however you want - no experience necessary.

*reference: run this town, about 3:23
**i felt this was a safe joke to make because she even has a t-shirt to prove her presidency of the ibtc, and she has the most sarcastic sense of humor of anyone i know. though i guess technically i don't 'know' her. suar, please don't send the posse after me.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

product review + giveaway: new balance coolmax socks

i've never been picky about my socks. thankfully, i've never had to be. for the longest time i wore white, no-show socks that came 6+ to a pack from walmart and they worked just fine/i didn't know better.

it turns out there is a difference between el cheapo socks and nice, moisture managing ones. it's not as obvious as rubbing sandpaper on your skin, but there is a noticeable difference.

lucky for me, i started getting free socks at races, for my birthday/christmas, and occasionally from sock vendors themselves.

new balance coolmax socks


recently, i received a pair of new balance socks with coolmax® fabric technology, available at academy sports and outdoors (and other retail locations). i've only run in them once (i did just take a month off) but i've worn them casually around the house as well. i also wore them to work once, because nothing says "i'm a professional" like white athletic socks!

fit comparison of new balance coolmax socks
fit comparison of new balance coolmax sock to one of my typical socks


most of my socks are tight-fitting and no-show (such as the sock on the left side of photo). the new balance coolmax socks are "looser" (in a good way) and low-cut (sock on the right side of photo). these socks are incredibly soft. it's like slipping a cashmere sweater on your feet, except a breathable one of course. perhaps cushiony is a better word.

new balance coolmax socks available at academy sports


these socks can be worn for other sports and activities other than running, such as hiking and cycling. the coolmax® technology is designed to wick moisture away, keeping your feet cool and dry.

i wore them for my first run back and had no problems. i haven't given them a thorough test (one 2-mile run doesn't seem sufficient) but i like them so far.

so what does all this jibber jabber mean for you? well the fine folks behind coolmax® technology would like to give you a week's worth of new balance coolmax socks for free!

to enter:
leave a comment on this post with the words "sock it to me".

winner will be selected at random. he or she will receive six pairs of new balance coolmax socks. giveaway ends thursday 9/8 at 11:59 est.

many will enter. one will win.

disclaimer: i was provided the socks free of charge in exchange for a review and hosting a giveaway. the enjoyment of the socks thus far is my own.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

a fresh start

september 1st. a new month.

i hopped out of bed at 5:30am, eager to start running again. i had no idea what 'level' to start on, but i figured two miles would be a good start. maybe i should have done a little couch-to-5k run/walking, but i didn't want to. i wanted to run.

i hoped i had not forgotten how to run (i hadn't). it was slow (and felt even slower), but technically i was running.

thursday (9/1) am run: 2miles!!!, 20:13**, 69ยบ
**as in, just a few seconds slower than my 5k time. ohh yeah. ;)

i gained a new respect for newbie runners, so i wrote them all a note:
dear beginner runners, 
i applaud you with an unending standing ovation. having been running for 12 years or so, i had long forgotten just how hard it is to start running. 
that first day is brutal! the first quarter-mile might be fine, but then your lungs start to burn, your heart feels like it is pumping out of your chest and you have to force yourself to maintain a little bounce in between strides to qualify it as running vs. walking.  
it gets better - i promise.
hang in there,
a runner on her 2nd take
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