Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Five #68

Alternate Title : It's MacMod Wedding weekend! Ahhhh! Seriously, 8 months ago when this guy asked me to marry him, I never quite imagined the time would fly by like it has. Or that table runners would be stressing me out. Or that my dress would have just arrived to Pittsburgh late last night. Or that people would suck so bad at RSVP-ing.

Things going on this weekend... so much love from all my people. Starting in a few hours we're setting up our reception venue, all the way down to the chair covers, and the Pittsburgh Cookie Table. 1200-ish cookies? Don't mind if I do.

Today's Friday Five is going to be a little different than the rest. No funnies, you'll have to find those elsewhere. Instead, I'm talking 5 relationship moments. The ones that stick out more than the rest. Other than that, just call me Mrs. Sass, and I'll catch y'all on the flip side. I probably won't make it back here until post honeymoon, or maybe even June, but, I'll be on Instagram, so follow me there.

one // On our third date Mr. Sass took me hiking to Ohiopyle, we hiked a few different trails, and even snapped this awkward picture of us. We grabbed a burger mid-day, and after he dropped me off, we were having so much fun that I just grabbed a shower and headed to his house for dinner. I was doing Whole 30 at the time, so he graciously listened to all the rules, cooked me dinner, and then asked me to be his girlfriend.

| side note | - Can we talk about how many things I'm wearing around my right wrist? Why was I doing this!? Also, why did I keep doing it for months following this picture!?

two // The first time he told me he loved me. Mr. Sass planned a winter camping trip, in the dead of December so I could test out my hiking gear for Kilimanjaro. He even convinced 2 of our friends they should join us. Day 1 was great, but day 2 was about as enjoyable as you would expect camping in December to be.

three // How about the time when less than a year into our relationship, we booked a trip to New Zealand further into the future than the amount of time we had been dating. And somehow it all worked fine, and I may have gotten a little hangry, but no one died. 

four // We had had a long weekend planned for months. While I thought there was a chance he might propose this weekend, I definitely had my doubts, he just seemed like his normal self. Wasn't he supposed to be acting all nervous and weird? Instead we hopped out to a rock in front of a waterfall, and he got down on one knee. You can read the rest of our engagement story here.

five // I think sometimes in the day to day, and all the little things that make life keep spinning, like, what's for dinner, and put tissues on the grocery list, and mowing the grass, it can be easy to forget some of the things that you love most about this person. These qualities are not at the front of your mind. Then one thing happens and they're tossed back in front of you and you remember how great this person is and why it is you want to share your food with them love them forever. Like when your future MIL has pneumonia and Mr. Sass hops out of bed after an hour of sleep to make quiche, mop floors, and without a single complaint. If there is ever an emergency, whether it be shortbread bars or a burning building, without a doubt I want Mr. Sass on my team.

Am I nervous about Saturday? Yes. I'm nervous we'll run out of booze, or cups, or ice, or that the weather will suck and rain all day. I'm nervous that the priest won't show, or a groomsman will be late, or my hair will look terrible. I'm nervous about a million things, but none of them are you. None of them are about committing in front of friends and family to spend my life with you. That doesn't make me nervous at all.

No questions - but leave me your best piece of marriage advice if you have any.

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pittsburgh Half Marathon 2017 Race Recap

If you tuned in to my May goals last week, then you know that my goal for this half was to have fun! Honestly, I'm not sure I can say I've ever had a good experience at this race. Partly due to the hot humid weather that usually plagues race weekend, and partly due to the high expectations I place on myself each year. This year was void of both.

Several folks asked me if I was going to race Pittsburgh after my underwhelming race at Boston Trail Half Marathon two weeks ago. And my answer? Nope. I know myself well enough to know that if I put a goal in my brain, and then failed, I would spend the first few days of this week having a pity party, something I didn't want leading up to the MacMod wedding this weekend.

So, my only goal (okay, two goals) for my tenth half? Have fun & finish the race. And, spoiler alert. I totally nailed it!

Gretchen and I made plans to stick together and enjoy ourselves. After deciding this, I proceeded to break pretty much the Golden Rule of Racing - nothing new on race day.

New Thing #1 : The weather made dressing for the race super confusing. Raining when I left the house, with temps hovering right around 40. Potential to be sunny by race start, and the temp ended up rising to the low 50's. I was way overdressed in my long sleeve and capris, an outfit I had never worn together before. I carefully laid out my Flat Jessie, only to change my mind 10 nanoseconds after I took this picture and wear a totally different shirt.

New Thing #2 : After my aid station snafu two weeks prior, and at the many suggestions of all of you, I decided to carry my hydration pack. Well, now I remember why I don't. While it's wonderful to have water whenever I want it, it definitely makes my lower back ache after a few miles. Maybe something to keep playing with.

New Thing #3 : Glukos. My fuel choice failed miserably my last half, so I chose Glukos, something I've had success with in the past on training runs. The thing I failed to consider, is that all the fuel on my training runs is taken while stopped. Sooooo, when I tried to take my fuel, which is totally liquid, on the move, I managed to send it down the wrong pipe and send myself into a coughing fit. Smooth move Jess.

New Thing #4 : I ran a race with my phone for the first time ever. I really enjoyed taking selfies, but don't think this will be a regular occurance for me.

Okay, back to the race.

Mile 1 // 9:01, Mile 2 // 8:50, Mile 3 // 8:56
Start time was 7AM, I was fully prepared to cross the start line around 710AM, but I did not expect it to be 720AM by the time we crossed the start.

It was still a little cloudy, but the rain had stopped and the temperature was comfortable. The start was crowded as I expected it to be, when we actually passed MM 1, my watch showed an 8:38. And it felt every bit that fast. We made it a point to slow down.

Mile 4 // 9:10, Mile 5 // 8:38, Mile 6 // 9:12
There was a course change this year, that I can't entirely remember the reason for. These miles were fairly unremarkable. A few hills. I believe Amanda found us at some point. Which still amazes me, because we've never actually met, unless you count the two times she has randomly spotted me from behind, all without knowing what I'm wearing. #Skillz

Mile 7 // 10:13, Mile 8 // 9:56, Mile 9 // 10:43
I had planned to take my fuel around mile 6. But, as we finished up mile 6, I saw an aid station was coming up. Gretchen was planning to grab some water, so I figured this was the perfect time to fuel. Or, end up sending it all down the wrong pipe, as the case may be. Oops. Walk break #1.

We headed over the West End Bride, and the Ohio River, before heading up another hill, making a quick loop and heading into the South Side. And also the point at which I acknowledged that my lower back was starting to ache. So we took a pretty damn long walk break as we headed up a small hill. It felt great to take a little break.

Mile 10 // 11:24, Mile 11 // 10:56, Mile 12 // 12:29

I was surprised at the lack of bands through this stretch, or music in general. The crowd support was nice, but I would have enjoyed some music. I had hoped to see a co-worker who was handing out I.C. Light. But I didn't know exactly where he would be, and ended up not spotting him. As we hit the Birmingham Bridge I told Gretchen I was planning to walk up the incline of the bridge. This was where another part of the course re-route for this year came into play. Typically after the incline portion of the bridge, there is a steep off ramp followed by an uphill portion. This year, the bridge was all uphill. You read that right, all uphill, to get us to our next turn and part of the final stretch.

Shortly after our turn off the bridge, we saw a beer stop, so you best believe we high tailed it over to grab a cup of beer! It was cold, and exactly what I needed.

Mile 13 // 10:03, .29 // 8:41 pace

The new course this year meant a new final few miles, though the finish line was the same as in years past. Gretchen and I picked it up for the final quarter mile or so, and in a totally cheesy finish line move, grabbed hands to cross the finish line together.

Garmin Time : 2:12.00
Official Time : 2:11.54

My finish time was officially a new personal worst, but a personal high, because through the back pain, and the walk breaks, and the coughing fit, I had a great time. I loved the no pressure zone. I loved that I was able to take a walk break because I was tired, or stop for beer, because I could. And I think that it's good to have a race like this every once and a while.

Who else raced this weekend?
When was the last time you raced just for fun?

Linking up with Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights
Linking up with Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the run to share.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 2017 Goals + April Goal Update

April was kind of a crazy month. There were plans on the calendar for every single weekend, which included me being out of town for 3 of the 5 weekends. Which somehow managed to make the month both fly by and drag on. But, my success rate for making it through continues to be at 100% - because, I made it.

Though I kept my April goals simple, I'd say I had a pretty damn good month. And more than accomplished my goals - let's see how it all went down.

Complete all HM training workouts | Every.Single.One.
Though you all know by now that I didn't end my training cycle with a PR, I couldn't be happier with my overall training this go-round. I was dedicated. I completed every run, at paces I wasn't sure I was capable of, and I did it mostly with a smile on my face. 10 hard weeks. I loved the training plan I used, so I plan to use it again. You can read my review of the plan here.

Outside workout 1x per week | Hot & then cold
I continued my outside workout streak. And actually managed to do all of my speed work AND all of my long runs outside during April. We had a cold snap during the second week of April that had me pulling out some winter workout gear, but we made it outside! 

This is consistently one of my favorite goals. And though some days I think I am a crazy person for heading outside when I know I could hop on a treadmill at the gym nearby, the sunshine & fresh air always do me good. 

Make good choices | Meh
With so many out of town plans my routine was seriously out of whack. We did a lot of cleaning out the freezer, which made for some, shall we call them, less than nutritionally complete meals. And overall I'm in kind of a meal planning rut. I'm excited for consistently warmer weather which will mean more grilling. Everything tastes better done on the grill. And Mr. Sass and I are both content to eat repeat meals of meat & veggies so long as they're done on the grill. I'm excited to grill eggplant this summer!

We did still make some quality meals though - and I got over my fear of cooking fish, or rather my fear of ruining it.

Figure out wedding booze | It's bought.
Though we still have people who haven't RSVP'd - and I've told them all they've been marked as a "No", we have bought booze! We were able to pre-order online & just pick it up which was wildly convenient. We've ordered beer, and will pick that up closer to the actual date. Now we're just hoping it's enough. I used 8 different online calculators that all gave me different answers. Eek!

Enjoy my people | I feel so loved!
Seriously, so much love, people. Bridal shower#2, a Bachelorette party, and an Easter back in KY with Mr. Sass.

Re-schedule & actually take engagement pics | It's done!
This actually wasn't on my list of April goals. I was all set up to have the weather suck again on April 23rd as it had so many other times before when we tried to re-schedule. But then, the sun was shining, with a light cloud overlay so it wasn't deadly. And the weather was perfect. Our photographer said we should have them back by the end of the week. But if you don't see one in this post, then we either didn't quite get them yet, or they're all terrible. But, channeling my inner Holly - It Is What It Is. We got them back. I'm my own harshest critic. But here's one of my favorites.

So, May goals. If you've been around here for more than 2 nanoseconds you know the countdown to the MacMod Wedding is on. 10 days as of go-live for this post. So, that means another month of simple goals.

Enjoy my people | All sorts of friends and family will be in town to see Mr. Sass and I tie the knot and officially become Mr & Mrs. Sass. We'll have over 15 states represented among all our friends and family & we are so grateful to everyone making the trip to celebrate with us. I know the weekend will fly by, but I want to soak as much of it up as I can.

Get Married | Pretty sure I'll be able to totally nail this one...

Run HM#10 & enjoy it | My plan for the Pittsburgh Half is to just have fun. No goal time, nothing. I always end up bummed with my performance at this race, so I'm setting myself up for success this year. Even if I walk the whole damn thing, I want to have a good time to celebrate half marathon #10!

Travel cross country via train | Umm, is putting something you know you're going to do on your list of goals kind of like writing "Eat dinner" on your to-do list? Maybe. But I don't even care.We'll be honeymooning and rocking our rail pass all across Switzerland. All while crossing another thing off my 30 before 30.

Linking up with Amanda +  AngeGretchen + Kristen