Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zooma Half Marathon

I did it! I finished my first half marathon! There were some challenges and some things that still need to be worked out, but I did it, and I even met my goal pace (or at least one of them - I followed some advice I read in runners world and set three goals A) The best case scenario goal 9:42 pace B) the Middle of the road goal  10:06 pace and C) the Worst case scenario goal 10:30 to 11:00 pace). 

I met up with the wonderful CKE from Fun with the Super Munns before the race, and although I outpaced her at the beginning, she had caught up to me by mile 7. She was my lifesaver on miles 7-10 at which point she really pulled it together and picked up her pace with a smile and a wave she took off and finished the last 3.1 miles a full 2 minutes ahead of me! In all honesty, I can't imagine how much worse my race would have gone without her sweet encouraging companionship from miles 7-10! And lets not forget about her wonderful husband who hitch-hiked all around the course to cheer for us. It was so great to see his smiling face and hear someone yelling my name mile after mile! 

The race expo was pretty lame, and the post race lunch was a mini bagel, hard boiled egg, apple slices, cheese and peanut butter, which would have been great except you could smell the BBQ the resort was cooking poolside, and somehow that delicious smell made the bagel and peanut butter much less palatable.

The race itself was in a beautiful setting with the bluebonnets in full bloom as we traversed around the central Texas country side. It was also lots of fun to see the great quotes that the Zooma people set up along the course for encouragement. 

They didn't make any attempt to group you by time, or even suggest that you self-monitor by expected time at the start. What that meant was that we got stuck behind lots of people who were walking within the first 1/4 mile. So there was lots of zigging and zagging for the first mile and a half or so. The race was very, very hilly. The only flat miles were the last half of mile 2, mile 7 and mile 8. I looked at the elevation map before the race, but didn't really understand how hilly it was going to be, trust me this race is very HILLY! Also, the last 3.1 miles were on their golf course paths, which meant that there was this long line of runners zig zagging back and forth in front of you for 3 miles. At that point in the race it was pretty discouraging to see all those people just zig zagging back and forth. It was also incredibly boring! 

There were water and gatorade stations at almost every mile, and Gu along mile 8. It didn't seem to me like they were in danger of running out of anything which I hear can sometimes happen at larger races. And at the finish line they announce your name as you run across which is fun (they might do this all the time -but since this was my first it was new to me). 

I had a challenge with mileage measurements. First of all they advertised that the aide stations would be at the mile mark, but in reality on the first mile the aide station was just after the mile mark, and then for each subsequent mile the aide stations were about a 1/4 mile before the actual mile mark. I know its not that big of a deal, but for some reason it bugged me. I wore my polar foot pod which is what I've used to train to track my mileage and I got pretty discouraged because my polar had me running 1.1 miles for every 1 mile that zooma measured. So overall my foot pod said I ran 14.4 miles, where zooma of course says I ran 13.1. I'm going to re-calibrate my foot pod later this week to see if it was off, but so much of what I focus on to get through long runs is thinking about my pace for every quarter mile, and it really threw me off mentally when my foot pod didn't match the mile markers. It also made me doubt all of my training, because all of my training has been done based on the foot pod mileage. Either way I'm happy with my pace which was a 10:42 mile.

They also handed you a necklace for completing the race as they collected your timing chip. Just after the finish line they had bagels and bananas and oranges and gatorade and water. Again it didn't seem like they were in danger of running out of any of this. They did give out towels, but by the time I got there they had ran out.

Parts of the race were really well organized, and parts of the race were not. All runners and spectators were asked to take a shuttle to the resort where the race was being held, and from Austin the last shuttle left at 6:30, and runners were encouraged to take the 6:00 am shuttle, which meant we had about an hour and half at the resort to kill before the race started. And it also made it really hard for people to come watch the race... I know at least for me personally a lot more people would have come out to support if they could have driven out at around 8:30 and caught the last few miles or the finish, instead of having to leave Austin at 6:00 and hang out for more than 3 and a half hours to see the finish. 

Overall, the event was a fun one but I don't think I would repeat it, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a first half-marathon if you are like me and have serious mental roadblocks around running hills!

I was 99th in my age group, 584th out of 2964, and my time was a 2:20:57.

I will post some pictures later this week when I get around to uploading them from my camera! Go here to read CKE's review of the race, she gives a lot more detail than I do, and since she has ran one before she has something else to compare it to!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Preppy "Muchiness"

Last weekend the Preppy Boyfriend took me to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. I was tickled to see the show because I have always been a big Alice in Wonderland fan, it was my second favorite childhood story behind the Frank L Baum Wizard of Oz series (which by the way there are at least 20 Oz books... that are so much better than the original movie, which is pretty darn great to begin with)!

Anyway, as I'm sure you know Tim Burton's Alice, combines the stories of Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through The Looking Glass into a new retelling of the classic stories. I liked it, but if you're married to the traditional Alice story you may think Mr. Burton took one too many creative licenses with the plot. 

However, this post is actually about a quote from the movie... at one point in the film the Mad Hatter turns to Alice and says, "You used to be much more... muchier... you've lost your muchness."

It occured to me that we were all probably much more, muchier when we were younger, and I wondered what part of my muchness have I lost? 

I think I've lost the ability to get lost in my imagination, as a child I could play house, or dolls, or kitchen for hours and completely get absorbed in my imagination. Now as an adult, I'm lucky to get lost in thought for 5 minutes before I get distracted.

What part of your muchness have you lost, that you wish you still had?

Preppy Nautical Designer Barclay Butera

One of my new favorite blogs is the At Home Arkansas blog, from their post earlier this week I found a great new designer - Barclay Butera.

Mr. Butera's room designs are simply stunning, with their varying layers of blue and nautical themes throughout.

I am head over heels in love with his collections of pillows for sale. Granted, said pillows are a titch* out of the budget for a young prep headed off to medical school, but one can dream!

*By titch I mean holy feather pillows batman! How on earth does one afford a $500 pillow and still have groceries on the table and a roof over their head?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Preppy Pretty Wedding Favors

Not that anyone at Completely Preppy is thinking about future nuptials, but I stumbled across these charming wedding favors while reading At Home Arkansas blog. They featured a table scape designed by Arkansas event planners Young Designs... and I found these images on the Young Designs blog.

How charming are these shaped bird seed wedding favors? And wouldn't they look simply stunning in these little boxes? I have long leaned towards giving out bulbs.

 I adore tulips and daffodils, they are my favorite flower, because they are the first signs that spring is coming... and who doesn't love a little sunny daffodil face smiling up at you? 

Although, the Preppy Boyfriends Sister has a degree in horticulture, and I wouldn't be surprised if she did something with plants or bulbs as her wedding favors... and of course if she does it first then I can't do it... So, these shaped bird seed feeders are making the list as a back-up if the Preppy Sister beats us to the altar and gives out bulbs! 

PS... tomorrow is race day! Aak! The race starts at 7:30 AM so for those of you who are up bright and early send some positive thoughts my way, and good luck wishes for race day. This is my first half marathon so I'm not sure what to expect but I am excited to be running it with my girlfriend Sol, and with CME from Fun with the Super Mumms. CME I can't wait to meet up with you on Friday night!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Preppy Nicknames or The Random Things I Stress About

I am a worrier. I tend to think through and worry about all the little details in life... sometimes there are mundane silly details that aren't even worth my time, and yet I worry about them.

What's the latest detail that's eating away at my worrisome little heart? My nickname... that's right my nickname. You see I'll be starting medical school this fall, and with that comes a whole new group of friends and a whole new type camaraderie. 

Growing up in middle school and high school I had a Danniele and a Daniele in my class, and I am of course a Danielle (which by the way is the correct way to spell the name, none of this extra N one L business thank you). There were also several Daniel's. So to keep things from getting confusing we all had nicknames that we went by, Danniele was "G" (the first initial of her last name), Daniele was Dani, and I was Johnson (my last name). All of the Daniel's also had nicknames but I don't remember theirs.

Anyway, although Johnson isn't the greatest nickname it certainly wasn't the worst. However, my family always called me Dani, and so when I went away for summer camp, and swim camp, and mission trips I would often introduce myself as Dani. But I never dared to correct a teacher, you know during the first day of class when they ask you if there is something else you like to be called, I never had the courage to speak up and say Dani, and really I actually liked my full name. So it never seemed worth the trouble to correct a teacher.

When I went to college, several of my friends and swim team mates called me Dani, my family still calls me Dani, and The Preppy Boyfriend's sister calls me Dani (but she spells it Danny - which drives me crazy!). Anyway, it doesn't phase me one bit that my family calls me Dani, but I'm just not sure I want anyone else to adopt that nickname. I mean for heaven's sake, I'm not a perky little teenager anymore, I'm a grown adult. 

Here in Austin, one of my friends from my gym gave me the nickname Ellie, which is where my signature from this blog -Elle, came from. And I've grown rather fond of Elle. So, this brings me to my dilemma, when the big move for medical school happens am I allowed to give myself my own future nickname. Meaning rather than having someone adopt the nickname Johnson, or Dani for me, am I allowed to introduce myself by a nickname I would rather be called? I mean you can't get much shorter than Elle. It's quick, it's easy to say and easy to spell. And I think it's rather pretty, it brings to mind Elle Woods in her charming pink suit (although I would of course be sans Chihuahua, I need a big dog in my life)!

I know that some people spend their whole lives going by a nickname. Working on wall street with the Ivy League set I met my fair share of Tripp's, and Jr.'s, and Chip's, and Muffy's and so on... And in college I had an associate whose first name was Matthew, but he always liked his middle name better, so from the first day of class he started going by Austin, and he goes by Austin to this day.  I'm just wondering, is it lame to carry a nickname from one phase of life into another?

Also, I created a Facebook page for our class of medical school, and over 1/3 of our class are already members and having active discussions. So many of them know me by my full name which is what is on Facebook. Does that mean if I want to go by Elle, that I should correct them when we get to school? You see now how this is a worry-some problem right? Do you have any nicknames you like or dislike?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Preppy Running Update

The half marathon is 4 days away and I am so nervous to run it, but I'm so excited to meet up with CME from the blog Fun with the Super Munns. This is my first half marathon, but she's ran at least one before so I'm hoping I can tag along with her for at least a few miles and glean some great strategy!

In the meantime, my last two long runs have been sort of awful... but I'm not going to re-hash the awfulness, instead I'm going to focus on my awesome short run yesterday. I ran a 5K yesterday at an 8:38 pace.... hold on, let that sink in, 5K...at 8:38. 

Yes, it was hard, yes I was dying at the end, but it was exactly the confidence boost I needed.  Mile 1 8:21 -woot woot! My fastest pace ever! triple Woot! Mile 2 8:29... Mile 3 I died but ran an 8:56, and the .2 miles I ran a 1:42. That makes my total 5 K pace 27:29.6. :) I haven't done a very good job of keeping up to date on my running log, so while I was running I was pretty discouraged thinking that I was going much slower than my previous training personal records... but when I double checked tonight, I realized that I was zooming along! :)

Here's to a great run on Saturday! and San Francisco Marathon here I come!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preppy Giveaway -- Cards

Hurray! I am finally getting around to anouncing my giveaway. The giveaway was held when I reached 100 followers, all you had to do to be entered, was to have commented on my blog once in the 10 days before I reached 100 followers. For each comment you left, you got one entry.

I typed in the names of all of you who commented on my blog into random.org. This is just a part of the list.

Then I selected Randomize

And this is what I came up with! Congratulations AEOT! 

You have $10 to spend at MDCardsandGifts Etsy shop. You can use it towards any of the handmard cards you see on the site, you can have your own monogram or thank you cards made, or since I know puddin' is coming just around the corner you can also have her make you some baby announcements! Anything sold on the site can be personalized, and she is super wonderful at listening to your ideas and creating something gorgeous just for you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Preppy Favorites...

*Warning* At the end of this post you are probably going to be thinking... gads Elle is such a preppy nerd...

I think that diversity within humanity is one of the most wonderful things about God's creation. I'm not talking about diversity like skin color or culture (although I do think those are beautiful reflections of God as well), but in particular today I am talking about the diversity of our preferences.

We each of endless lists of our favorite things. We have favorite animals, favorite types of dogs or cats, favorite colors, favorite clothing labels, favorite flowers, favorite foods, favorite drinks, favorite books, favorite sports, favorite songs, favorite tv shows, favorite countries... and the list just goes on and on.

Of my own endless lists of favorite things one of those that I particularly enjoy, and particularly enjoy talking about is my favorite type of cloud... That's right I'm an earth science nerd and I have a favorite type of  cloud.

I love cumulous clouds, they are formed when segments of hot air are pushed up quickly. And they are the big puffy cotton ball clouds that dot across a summer sky. They're the clouds that leave huge shadows that move across the landscape like a giant game of heavenly shadow puppets where all the world is the back drop. They're often a little darker at the bottom and nice and white and puffy at the top.

Cumulous clouds are the ones that call you to lay on your back in a field of grass and to pick out what shapes you see dotted across the blue, blue sky. 

At the end of a long summers day they catch the light just right and look like they have a silver lining. Thus, the saying every cloud has a silver lining.

And perhaps my favorite quality of cumulous clouds, is when there is enough hot air and it is pushing up high enough and fast enough, they can grow to incredibly tall. And these big tall Cumulonimbus clouds are the thunderheads that roll in and create gorgeous lighting storms.

Most afternoons this week Austin's skyline has been dotted with bright white puffy cumulous clouds on a stark blue background. And all I have to do is turn around and look out my wall of windows from the 27th floor, to be reminded of the beauty and glory in all of God's creation. After all God could have made clouds ugly, or given us only one kind, but he blessed us with three types of clouds all with different shapes and functions. And I know that every time I pause to find shapes in the clouds, and giggle when my cloud snoopy becomes a cloud dragon, that I am in that moment enjoying God and His creation. And as John Piper says, we are called to love God BY enjoying Him forever. Today I enjoy God by appreciating the diversity of our favorite things and by smiling about His big puffy cumulous clouds.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vintage Louis Vuitton On Sale

Hello Readers,

For those of you who are purse lovers Billion Dollar Babes will be having a sale on Vintage Louis Vuitton pieces... to join this members only site (Similar to Rue La La) CLICK HERE... the Louis Vuitton sale starts on the 22nd (tomorrow).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

All About The Preppy Boyfriend

Keri over at The Blue Eyed Runner asked me some questions about The Preppy Boyfriend and I... she pointed out that I haven't ever done a post telling our story, and I figured since this is The PBF's birthday week it would be a great time to do such a post.

I originally grew up in Wyoming. My hometown is so small that we only have two stoplights, but it's actually big for the area because we have the only two stop lights in the whole county... that's right folks, it's a BIG CITY :)

I went to college at John Brown University on a swimming and academic scholarship. JBU is in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

In the summers I took courses at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 

I worked as a server in a fine dinning restaurant in Fayetteville, where The Preppy Boyfriend was working in the kitchen. We started hanging out one day when I picked up a Sunday brunch shift and a Sunday evening shift and I had about two hours between shifts, so we went over to his house and played  frisbee with his pups in the back yard.

PBF and I have been dating for 4 1/2 years. After we both graduated college he went on to Culinary School at the Culinary Institute of America. 

We lived in New York for two years, 

and spent 6 months in Orlando, FL while The PBF did his externship for culinary school.

After he graduated culinary school 

we knew we wanted to move back to the south, but we wanted to move somewhere new to us, through various areas of research we ended up deciding that Austin was the place.

We've lived in Austin for two years this July, and then we'll be off to the San Francisco Bay Area.