Wednesday Ramblings

Today’s post is about some things going on in my life, hence the title “Wednesday Ramblings.”

  • I’ve been dealing with some right foot pain after running the Publix Georgia ​Half Marathon on March 20. I dealt with plantar fasciitis about a year ago in this same foot​,​ and it’s back. My running mileage has suffered over the ​last ​10 days as a result. I’m still running,​ but taking a day off in between and lowering the distance. It’s starting to feel a little better today. I have another half marathon on April 17,​ so hopefully by then I’ll be close to 100%.
  • One of my oldest and closest friends from my childhood (Matt) lost his dad last Saturday,​ March 26. Matt’s dad (Larry) was a wonderful man. I love this family and was very sad to hear this news. Rachel and I aren’t able to get down to the funeral, but we are planning a trip to visit Matt and his family at the end of April. From someone who has lost a parent, my thoughts and prayers are with Matt and his family. Lifelong friendships like the one I have with Matt are few and far between.

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    Matt (3rd from the right of me) was one of my groomsman.

  • Rachel and I just finished the 4th season of House of Cards on Netflix. After a disappointing 3rd season (my opinion), this new season was excellent. Frank and Claire Underwood are two of the most fascinating characters on television. If you haven’t watched this show yet, we both highly recommend it.netflix-house-of-cards
  • We also finally got around to watching Spotlight ​(from Redbox)​. Spotlight won best picture this year,​ and I had heard great things about this film. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say it is a must-see in my opinion. I’m still thinking about it days later! NvHyDLUwOlFGaXYidabJzhmiqi
  • Finally, I’m in the middle of the book Creativity, Inc.​,​ by Ed Catmall​,​ who is one of the co-founders of Pixar Animation Studios. I love Pixar movies and the creativity behind each film. This book takes a closer look at their story, but also the leadership principles and philosophies behind the key people who started Pixar. I am learning some great stuff through this book. I’m looking forward to reviewing the book in a blog post soon.

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Guest Post: Runner Musings

(Today’s blog post is from my amazing wife Rachel. Enjoy!)

This may surprise some people, but I still have trouble calling myself a “runner.”

“What?!” you might exclaim, confused. “You recently ran a marathon, have run several half marathons, and consistently run multiple times a week.”

And still…the designation makes me uncomfortable.

There are myriad reasons why this term is difficult for me. It could be due to the fact that I’m not the fastest runner, or I rarely compete (with others or myself [i.e., aim for a PR]), or I don’t run as many miles as “real” runners (ahem, Allen). But I think my biggest struggle is that I truly don’t love running.

Yes, it’s a fantastic way to stay in shape, and it’s something Allen and I can do together, and it’s a great way to see backstage at Disney (priorities, people). But, almost every time I get ready for a run, I have to steel myself for what’s coming.

Several weeks ago I wrote about my experience at the Disney World Marathon. If you’ve read that entry, you know exactly what my experience was like…and if you haven’t, read it right now! I’ll wait…

…By now you should know that the marathon did not go well. One of the most excruciating aspects of that experience was suffering a panic attack. Why my brain decided to freak out and my lungs decided they didn’t work, I still can’t pinpoint.

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After the marathon, one of the things I was told repeatedly (mostly from my mom) is that I was an “athlete.” “Just like Serena Williams!” Mom said. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t even call myself a runner, much less an athlete…I chalked that up to motherly love (thanks, Mom!).

Then again…was I an athlete? One portion of dictionary.com’s definition of the word is, “a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.” That was me, right?

To this day I can’t tell you exactly what happened, or how I was actually able to finish (something tells me it rhymes with Schmallen). But gosh darn it, I did it! And if completing a marathon doesn’t qualify me as a runner, I don’t know what will.

What I do know is, I’m going to keep running. Because if I don’t, I’ll never call myself a runner. At least this way, at least I have the opportunity to do so.

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Publix Georgia Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran the Publix Georgia Half Marathon here in Atlanta. One of my running goals for 2016 was to add some more races in Atlanta, and I had heard great things about this particular race.

I had originally planned on hitting up the expo on Saturday so that I could attend the #werunsocial meet up. However, due to some scheduling conflicts, I ended up heading down to the Georgia World Congress Center (expo location) on Friday during lunch. One of the nice things about living so close to MARTA is I could ride down to the expo/race in about 20 minutes and not worry about finding somewhere to park in the city. 

I was very pleased with how easy it was to pick up my race number and shirt. Everything was very well marked and staffed. There were quite a few booths, including one for the Atlanta Track Club, where I picked up a new running hat! I spent about 30 minutes at the expo before making my way back up to Brookhaven.

Saturday was a super laidback day for me. We went up to visit our friends Katie and Kevin for their daughter Kaylee’s 1st birthday party. They live about 45 minutes to an hour north of the city. We loved getting to see them and celebrate Kaylee’s birthday. They are some of our favorite people! After the party we grabbed some pasta for dinner before calling it an early night. My alarm was set for 4:30 am the next morning.

The next morning, I was up early and ready to roll. The weather was quite chilly, so I took an extra layer. I took MARTA down to Centennial Olympic Park, where the race start was located. The MARTA trains were running every 20 minutes so I aimed to get to the station by 5:30, which would give me plenty of time.

Once I got to Centennial Olympic Park, I ran into Brandi and her mom standing in line for the bathroom! It was awesome to see them, as I wasn’t able to hit up the #werunsocial meet up the day before. I ended up hanging with them for a bit and meeting some awesome new Atlanta runners.

We all got in our corrals around 6:50 and the race started right at 7:00 am. I was in corral C, but the corrals were going every 3-4 minutes so I was off in no time. It was definitely chilly, but the wind made it feel even colder. Thus, not having to wait very long in the corrals was super nice.

The goal for the race was to have a good time and take in the sights of Atlanta. My right knee had been bothering me a little bit recently, so I knew I couldn’t push it too much. I figured around a 10 minute per mile pace would be safe. Plus, Atlanta is quite a hilly city and this course was no exception. 

The first few miles were nice and easy. We started through Five Points and Georgia State University before making our way through Midtown. Some of my favorite parts of Atlanta are on this course. The next several miles go through Inman Park and Little Five Points and into Virginia Highlands. Once you get to mile 9, you come into Piedmont Park and the toughest part of the course. It’s a pretty steady incline for the next 2 miles as you head towards Georgia Tech. Fortunately, since the sun was shining and the crowd support was strong, this part flew by.

After Georgia Tech, we made our way back towards the finish line. I finished with a little slower pace that I had originally hoped for, but in fairness I had to stop 2 different times for the bathroom. I guess I had too much water that morning! But with 2 different stops, my knee not at 100% and quite a few hills, I’ll take my 2:17:18 finish time.

I picked up my medal (which is seriously one of my favorite race medals), Powerade, water, chocolate milk and runner’s box before grabbing a quick finisher’s picture and heading back to MARTA.

All in all, it was a fantastic race! I loved running through my city and meeting so many amazing runners. The weather (once the sun came out) was just about perfect and the medal and shirt are excellent. I definitely plan on doing this race again next year, and hopefully can convince Rachel to do it with me too!

Friday Favorites

Welcome to another addition of Friday Favorites, where I will talk about several awesome things in the world of Allen.

Garmin Fenix3

I’ve been wanting this watch for months. It has everything I’ve been looking for in a watch.

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  • Multisport (running, biking, swimming, hiking)
  • Amazing battery life (16 hours in GPS mode, 3 months in watch mode)
  • 3-axis compass, altimeter and barometer, steps, sleep tracking, cadence (and other running dynamics), tracks personal records, creates advanced workouts with goals, pace alerts, intervals, calorie burn, move bar for inactivity
  • Bluetooth Smart Notifications: emails, texts and social media alerts
  • Connect IQ compatibility for customized apps, widgets, watch faces (including the #werunsocial watch face) and data fieldIMG_4103

I’ve been wearing it the past 2 days and I love it. It works great and also looks amazing. Can’t wait to wear it during the Publix Half Marathon on Sunday!

On Running Shoes

I saw these shoes about a year ago at the Fit2Run store in Disney Springs. I loved the colors of the shoes, but wasn’t sure what I thought about the “clouds” on the bottoms. A few weeks ago when we were at Disney, I decided to try on a pair. And friends, I loved the way they felt. I decided to pick up a pair and ended up wearing them 2 different days at the parks. They are so comfortable! I haven’t taken them out for a run yet, as I wanted to get past my half marathon on Sunday just to be safe. But I’ve read some great reviews from some social media running friends who rave over them as running shoes!

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Pier 1 Table

Rachel and I have been looking for a console table to go along the wall between our living room and kitchen for quite a while. This past weekend, we ended up at Pier 1 and found a great table. It was a shade more than what we were aiming for, and it was missing a knob for the drawer. So Pier 1 hooked us up with a 25% discount! We ended up buying the table and picked up 4 new drawers knobs as well. We love it! It looks great in our house.

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Busy Week

I know this is true for all of us, but some weeks just bring about more than others. This week is no exception. Between personal stuff and work stuff, I’ve got a lot on my plate this week. Here is a sample of what I have going on this week.

  • We are hosting a Children’s Consignment Sale in our gym Thursday-Saturday. This is a huge moneymaker for our preschool/children’s ministry at the church. Hundreds of people from all across the area come. It requires a lot of manpower to pull off this event. While I’m not overseeing the sale, I help with the scheduling of the building for that week among anything else that is asked of me. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet so many people in the community, but it makes for a very busy work week on top of all of my other responsibilities.
  • I have several work meetings this week, one specifically that I’m hoping will help shape my future role on the staff.
  • I am running the Publix Half Marathon on Sunday morning. But before then, I need to get in a few more runs, get down to the expo in downtown Atlanta to pick up my race number and figure out my plan of action for getting there early Sunday a.m. There is a #werunsocial meet up on Saturday, so I’m hoping Rachel and I can go to the expo that day.
  • Some of our closest friends are having a birthday party for their 1 year old. We love this family and their daughter. They live about 45 minutes to an hour north of us and the party is on Saturday afternoon. Thus, the race expo, #werunsocial meet up and birthday party will make for a busy Saturday.
  • We have dinner plans with friends tonight (Tuesday) and Thursday night. Plus, Rachel and I try to go to Wednesday Night dinner each week at the church I work at.
  • Rachel’s brother Travis and his wife Erin are having everyone over on Sunday evening for dinner to celebrate Travis’ birthday (which is March 17). Looking forward to seeing Rachel’s family.
  • My iPhone has been giving me some major issues recently so today (hopefully) I will be upgrading to a new phone. Need to get to AT&T this afternoon and see if I can get this figured out.
  • Finally, today I’m putting my name in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. The drawing is in mid-April. This is one of the Marathon Majors that I talked about on my bucket list blog post a few weeks ago. I didn’t get into NYC this year so I’m hoping I have better luck with Chicago. Wish me luck!13b7ab1f97c6e015a1187b8c3c4de1d9.jpg

How does your week look?

Allen’s Bucket List

“Every man dies – Not every man really lives.” ~ William Ross

I saw this blog post idea the other day and decided I wanted to create my own bucket list of things to do before I die. So without further ado, here are some things on my bucket list! (please note this is not an exhaustive list)

  • Travel
    • Italy
    • Australia
    • Paris
    • Grand Canyon
    • Pacific Northwest
    • Machu Picchu
    • Ireland
    • Greece
    • Austria
    • Hawaii
    • Disney (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo)
    • Patagonia (Chile)
    • Great Wall of China
    • Holy Land
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  • Learn a new language
  • Complete a Half Ironman (70.3 miles)
  • Learn to play bridge
  • Write a book
  • Take a road trip across the USA
  • Meet a US President
  • Learn to Sail
  • Watch the 100 top movies on IMDB
  • Read the classic novels

What are some things on your list?

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