Tuesday, May 22, 2012

run like a diva 5k

after a week in the bahamas and a short week of work, i dashed off for a long weekend in myrtle beach. (i know, my life is rough). i'm sure i've mentioned it 120 times before, but i love the beach. i must figure out how to get relocated to a beach town...

i was there with a few friends to celebrate a bachelorette weekend, and the bachelorette wanted us to plan her weekend around a race! she ultimately picked the run like a diva event in north myrtle beach, sc. the bride-to-be and one bridesmaid ran the half marathon while the other two of us ran the 5k. we booked a suite at the ocean drive beach and golf resort which was perfectly located right in front of the start and finish lines.

my regular runs have been so-so lately. i still feel slow and take walk breaks sometimes, so i wasn't really looking forward to this 5k. i mostly run 3 miles, but have done 4 or 5 a few times. i'm still only running about 4 days a week with an average pace of 10:13/mile (for may). i know i should be building back up a little more aggressively, but i've been slack.

half-marathon divas ready to run!

on race morning, emily and i discussed our survival strategy for the 5k. obviously i've been rebuilding and she hasn't ran in two+ months so our goal was to not take walk breaks. we lined up in the 10:00/mile corral and ran together for the first mile, which did not take 10:00. at the one mile marker i tapped into my former cross country mindset* and decided to push it a little in mile 2. i pulled away from em and passed a bunch of divas. i was surprised by the crowd support and hoped that the half-marathoners had a good turnout of spectators too. i've only been running easy lately so i had no idea what type of pace to expect from myself. mile two was under 9:00.

i was now in the third mile and a little tired, but not as bad as previous 5k's where i was (truly) racing. i turned a corner behind two other girls and quickly passed them; 5 blocks to go. i was gaining on a guy (there were a few who were brave enough to run this diva-licious event) and overtook him just past the tiara and boa station. honestly, i think he let me pass him since this was a women's event, but who knows. mile three took less than 8:00. i rounded the last corner and cruised into the finish (i didn't super sprint in like i normally do); emily finished shortly after me.

the clock time was 25:xx and there weren't many finishers standing around, so i checked the results. turns out emily and i both took 2nd in our respective age groups! not too shabby considering our current lack of training. it was a nice surprise and confidence booster - now i know i can handle more running and start adding back in some workouts.

race swag: tiara, boa, rose, and a medal from hot shirtless firemen
not pictured: champagne

note: i ran a 33:26 in my return 5k i did a month ago and a 25:13 in this 5k, so if i use jill's math i will be running 17:xx 5k by mid-june.

*coach always said to pick up the pace in mile 2 and hang on in mile 3 (or something like that).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


went on vacation last week and i think my brain is still there. before that we went to philly/nj for a wedding, and before that we went to the lake and another wedding. i realized i've been going non-stop for a few months now. busy work weeks followed by busy weekends - working, traveling somewhere, hosting guests... while the travels have mostly been for fun things, it still wears me down sometimes when combined with busy week days. and let's not even discuss the last time the bathroom was cleaned.

most natural running pose ever

got to meet the lovely jill of one little tri girl while in nj!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

taking the plunge

you guys have been amazing with all the postcard offers! there's no deadline (well at least not anytime soon) due to the rate at which i (don't) get things done ha. if you say you'll send one and end up forgetting that's ok too, i won't hold it against you.

anyway, as i mentioned in my april recap post, i took my first venture into clothing-crafts. no, i don't own a sewing machine, it's not like i even know how to turn one on, however i do own a stove.

awhile back, gracie had shared a little how-to/success story about dyeing some (cotton) pants. it inspired me to attempt to dye a dress of mine but i procrastinated. a year later, i finally worked up the courage and got on it.

first, i purchased some iDye poly (because my dress is 100% polyester) from here*. it's cheap. i wanted navy blue, but they don't sell that shade so i purchased blue and black and figured i could mix them.

i also purchased a large (but should have gone larger) pot from walmart because somewhere online i read that you shouldn't use a pot you also cook with. turns out this was good advice because the inside of the pot now has a blue tint to it.

i hemmed and hawed over doing a test run with a pair of white 100% polyester gym shorts but decided i didn't want to waste time. i was nervous about ruining my dress but i told myself i wasn't going to ever wear it as-is anyway**.

you see, the company that makes iDye poly heavily disclaims dyeing 100% polyester clothing - "not all polyesters will take dye", "do not even think about dyeing your clothes if it says 'dry clean only'", etc. other websites also supported these statements, especially stressing "dry clean only" tags. as you may have assumed, my dress did say "dry clean only". i got it dry cleaned right before dyeing it, since i never had it done after i wore it two years ago (i am really good at doing laundry).

ok. back to the process.

i set up my work area, covering as much of the stovetop, countertops, cabinets and floor as possible. newspapers would work (that's what grace used i think) but i didn't have one so i just used trash bags.

following the directions on the inside of the iDye packet, i put my dress in the pot and filled it with water. once the dress was thoroughly soaked, i added a little more water and removed the dress (laying it on plastic on the floor). i put the pot on the stove on high heat and added the blue dye packet and intensifier (comes with it). once that dissolved, i opened the black dye packet and threw some in willy nilly. i was hoping to achieve a navy blue color but there were no guidelines as to how to mix the iDye poly colors. i would guess i put in about 1/3 of the black dye and intensifier. i'd rather err on the side of too blue than end up with yet another lbd (little black dress).

once the dye was dissolved, it was time to make the plunge. i nervously lowered my dress into the pot. i forgot to buy a spoon/stirring device at the goodwill or even walmart so i had to use one of our wedding-gift calphalon ones. 

then i had the pleasure of standing over the stove and constantly agitating the dress in the pot. for an hour! it was hot standing over the stove and my feet hurt (is this what cooking is like? no thanks!). the dye also has some fumes to it so i am sure that was good to inhale. i should note that i wore yellow rubber gloves while doing this to keep my hands from being dyed.

had i bought a bigger pot, i may have been able to get away with not standing over it the whole time but the dress barely fit in the pot and i wanted to try to ensure an even coverage of color. josh was watching a riveting documentary*** on netflix in the living room while i was 'cooking' so i listened to that for entertainment.

finally, the timer buzzed and i emptied as much water as i could down the sink. once the dress had cooled enough for me to grab it, i pulled it out and laid it back on the same plastic on the floor. per the directions, you have to let the garment cool before washing it. after it had cooled off some more, i put it in the washing machine on a short, cold, "hand-wash" cycle with a little bit of 'all free & clear' detergent (the directions recommend a mild detergent, i assumed mine is mild). i then hung it up to dry  overnight (with a trash bag underneath just in case there were any blue drips).

if you've been my friend for the past 2+ years, you may be thinking "where have i seen this dress before"? well let me tell you where...

i dyed my wedding dress! and while i loved it white (erm ivory), i know i will get so much more use out of it now that it's dyed. in fact i've already worn it once...

did anyone recognize it here? :)

unfortunately it didn't come out perfect - there is one spot on the bottom in the front that turned out darker for some reason - so i might attempt to dye it again to 'cover up' that spot. i could also get it altered into a knee length dress, but i love it as a 'maxi' dress. it was also super wrinkly after all the soaking and i don't own a steamer. i attempted to iron it on medium-low heat but after 30 minutes it was still just as wrinkly so i decided to just go with it because they looked fairly uniform. they also helped conceal the dark area too.

morals of the story - "dry clean only" is probably a lie. 100% polyester may not always dye successfully, but it's probably worth a shot.

oh, and the dry cleaner only charged me $32 for my dress. they called it a "formal" and i wasn't going to correct them (it would have been $150-200 for a wedding dress). i win.

*this is not a product review (i paid for everything). i'm just sharing my experience because i want to, and there weren't many good "stories" out on the google about dyeing 100% polyester (mostly just people trying to scare you from doing it).

**unless i were to get invited to p.diddy's white party.

***the kellogg brothers: corn flake kings. you're intrigued i know it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

april 2012

miles run: 59.45 woo hoo!

other workouts: stationary bike (2x), nike training club/body weight type workouts (4x) maybe 5?

days off: 12

netflix obsession(s)/fail: didn't netflix this month. i did watch shark tank and touch on hulu though.

artistic/creative outlet: attempted another watercolor. it's better... but i still don't know if i like it enough to actually hang it up (not to mention i still haven't finished it, go figure). i also dabbled in clothing alterations, which is a tale for another post.

new food i tried: hmm, nothing. and i was very bad and 'cheated' on my elimination diet so basically i have to start that all over again if i want to finish the food-challenges. i know, you're shaking your heads at me. sorry, but rice and veggies gets old.

book(s) read:
hunger games (suzanne collins) - yes, i finally hopped on this bandwagon, though i haven't read the other books in the series yet. i read this book in a mere 3 hours or so.

no way out: a story of valor in the mountains of afghanistan (mitch weiss and kevin maurer) - apparently i like reading books about the middle east. this was a good read about a mission our special forces went on, even though every bone in their bodies told them it was not well planned out. easy read; good pacing. this was supposed to be "the book i read when at the gym on the stationary bike" to force me to go do cardio on my non-running days but i only went once and ended up finishing it on the couch.

forbidden lessons in a kabul guesthouse (suraya sadeed) - the "new books" section at my library had a few middle eastern books on display, can you tell? another good read about an afghan-american woman who, after a life-changing event, turned her life around and started a non-profit (before 9/11) to provide aid to her war-ridden home-country of afghanistan. also an easy read, i think i read it all in one day.

number of blog visitors: 862 (thank you!)

number of doctor visits: 8

april kicked off a busy 2012 wedding season
with a college teammate's nuptials

i dug out my postcard collection

i've been 'collecting' postcards since i was a kid though not avidly as some have probably been thrown out over the years, but i do have a hoarder-ish sized pile of them. i want to make two big collage frames for the living room, but i don't quite have enough for that. not without repeating a bunch from the same destination at least (i have so many from california i could make a collage of just them).

you can tell we took a family vacation
touring the midwest back in the day
(ia, in, il, mn, mi, wi)

i'm mentioning this because in the event you want to mail me a postcard from your town/state/travels, i would love to include it in my collage(s)! as you can see i'm going to do one collage of map-style postcards and one of anything-goes postcards. my only rule is no guys-in-speedos or women-in-thongs type postcards, sorry.

so please! send me an email anytime if you remember to grab a postcard and want to mail it my way (lindsay at chasingthekenyans dot com). i'll even reimburse you the $1.50 or however much it costs for a postcard + stamp these days.