Abusing the Taper

Wanna know how I know I’m not a “real” runner? Because my legs aren’t aching to run 18 miles a day during taper weeks. In fact, my legs are perfectly content laying in bed while my eyes read a book. Perfectly content.

My Marine Corps Marathon training program has me building up miles and tapering back down a few times for the next couple of months. This week was a taper week, so all I had on the schedule were two 5-milers on Tuesday and Thursday. I totally abused the privilege and used this taper week as an “easy” week. In reality, I should have been gearing up for a 20-miler this weekend, but I have absolutely zero intentions of actually completing that. Instead, I used my taper week to goof off. I ditched my 6-miler (because “missing a 6-mile run isn’t going to set me back” <- WRONG!) last weekend and, instead, made up for it in the number of beers I drank. I was too tired lazy to do my 5-miler on Tuesday and instead made up for it on Wednesday.

With all of these factors, I ended up taking 5 whole days off from running and my body hates me for it. My legs felt heavy and were dragging during both of my short 5 mile runs this week. It’s amazing how quickly I lost leg strength and it’s no one’s fault but my own. Instead of totally disregarding my 20-miles this weekend (like I want to), I plan to split it up over two days – running 10 miles on Friday, and 10 on Monday. I’m worried about getting hurt if I try to do 20 all at once without rest because I know my body isn’t strong enough. Remember my plantar fasciitis? It’s back and it’s giving me some pain. I don’t want to overdo it too early and risk injury. But at the same time, I need to get my butt in gear. No more slacking.

In summary, I took too much time off; my legs want to fall off; I’m an idiot.

Glad that’s out of the way. Instead of running, I used this week to catch up on my social life! I got dinner with a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile (and ate a pound of queso), I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, I got to meet the adorable Kyle,

Gratuitous picture for your viewing pleasure

I was finally victorious in my battle against my fingernails,

Check out that paint job. First try, BITCHES!

and the biggest factor taking up 90% of my time this week?

(Source)

As fun as Shark Week sounds, when you actually work for Discovery it takes on a whole new meaning. That meaning = logical nightmares, last second schedule changes, fibers to air, you know the drill. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, enjoy your Shark Week because a lot of people worked REALLY hard to make it happen!

What’s your favorite part about SHARK WEEK?

Mine is Chompy, the massive shark that they hang on Discovery HQ.

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Sons

Oh my gosh, I have so much to share with you guys. The theme of this post is SONS, because that’s what the last few days have been all about.

Let’s rewind to Saturday when I went to see Mumford and Sons! Marcus, Lindsey, Jim, and I headed down to Bristol, VA/TN for an all day music festival. Bristol is one of the coolest small towns I’ve ever been to. It sits directly on the state line, so half the town is in Virginia and the other half is in Tennessee. The funniest part to me is that smoking is banned in Virginia restaurants, but not in Tennessee, so you’d walk into a bar on one side of the road and there were ashtrays and people smoking, but right across the street that was illegal. So weird!

Mandatory tourist picture, standing in two states at once!

I’m guessing that not too many bands make pitstops in Bristol, because the town went all out. All of the shop windows on State Street were decorated, there were tents set up with BBQ grilling and beer on tap. It was awesome! The festival itself was held in a massive parking lot. There were 2 stages set up with about 10 bands playing, plus lots of food and entertainment. We enjoyed our time eating food, drinking beer, sitting in the perfect 80 degree shade, listening to bands, and trying to blend in with hipsters.

Did we succeed? Hipsters love fedoras, for the record.

The highlight, of course, was Mumford and Sons. They played an amazing set and really got the crowd into it! I didn’t know too many of their songs (other than their hits), but I enjoyed every single one that they played. At the end of their set, they brought all of the bands from the day on stage for a grand finale ditty. Sidebar: does anyone still use the word ditty? If not, we should bring it back in style.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day, seriously. What a blast!

Yesterday, “sons” took on a whole new meaning as my sister, Erin, and my brother-in-law Robert welcomed their first-born son into the world. I’m officially an aunt!

Kyle Robert Studer was born at 11:38am on Monday, August 13th weighing in at 6 lbs 4 oz. Mom and baby (and dad too!) were doing great when I went to visit them last night.

Aren’t they a cute little family?

Everything about him is absolutely perfect. He’s the most adorable baby I’ve ever seen, ever. Between my mom, his mom, and me this kid is going to be so spoiled. All of our hearts were overflowing yesterday, I think my mom and sister cried tears of joy about 8 times. Even I choked up a bit when I received a picture text from Robert with the details. I feel lucky that I live close enough that I could go visit him on his first day. He is already loved by so many people.

I can’t wait for Kyle to get old enough where I can start corrupting him. Oh, and Erin and Robert, if you ever need a babysitter…you have mom’s number. 😀

Is it possible for a heart to explode from being so full of love? Because I love the crap out of this guy already!

What makes you supremely happy?

Erin’s Baby Shower

My older sister, Erin, is pregnant with her first child and if you missed the announcement, IT’S A BOY! This weekend, my family threw a baby shower in her honor up where my grandma lives in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely wonderful to see my extended family (whom I don’t see nearly enough) and to celebrate the mama-to-be!

I overcompensated on my lack of photography last weekend and took waaay too many photos this weekend. So, here is Erin’s baby shower…in photos.

The spread

Aren’t these plates so cute?

Balloons my mom picked out

Cake!

I couldn’t resist…

Flowers! Kinda washed out the pic 😦

My sister requested that everyone bring a book with a personalized message to the baby. This basket was full by the end. What a great idea!

My sister’s favorite appetizer!

I’ve heard that having a baby is similar to running a marathon, so obviously, we had to carbo-load

Opening presents

Roscioli cousins and Grammy!

Fam and Grammy Ros

Erin and her friend from middle-school, Nikki (who is also pregnant with TWINS!!). I think Nikki said it best, “We’ve been through everything else together, so why not this too?!”

Mi padre and Pop Pop to be!

Stop takin’ my picture!

Excited daddy-to-be!

Grammy Troxell and her granddaughters!

Part of the big ol’ Troxell clan

Grammy and her kids (minus Uncle Mark!)

The shirt says it all 🙂

This little guy is so spoiled already. I can’t wait to meet him and welcome him to our family soon!

Aunt Cait Update: It’s a………..

The suspense is killing you, right? It was killing me too!

Last Friday, Erin and Robert found out the sex of their soon-to-be little one. They had a very exciting and creative way to share the news with the whole family (including themselves!). On Friday, my sister went to the doctor’s office for an ultrasound. Once they had determined the sex, she asked them to hold off on telling her, but rather to write it down on a notecard and put it into a sealed envelope. They then, brought that envelope to a bakery where they asked the baker to make the icing on the inside of the cake blue if the notecard read: boy, and pink if the notecard read: girl.

On Friday night, my whole family met up at my sister’s house for a dessert-first (!) dinner party! We were all itching with excitement. So much so that I don’t even really know how to describe the moment. Luckily Naturally, I caught the whole thing on video. So, I think it’s best if you just watch:

Excuse my obnoxious screaming. We were all overjoyed! IT’S A BOY!!!

The cake was actually delicious, made even better by that bright blue icing. Congratulations Erin and Robert!!!!

Perhaps you are wondering why I took an extreme close up of my mom in the video. Well, here’s the reason: my mom was 100% convinced that Erin and Robert were having a girl. When we asked her how she was so sure (I mean, there’s a 50-50 chance that it could be either) she said she “just knew” because she had a “motherly instinct”. The fact that she was so adamant about it being a girl clearly made me want to wager some money against her. I swear, I don’t have a gambling addiction! I placed a “friendly” $5 wager on it being a boy, after which we proceeded to trash talk for about 2 weeks. It was sweet vindication when I saw the blue icing! Thanks for the easy $5, mom! [For the record: she’s thrilled that it’s a boy. I’m sure she would have been thrilled either way, actually!]

Not only did I find out that I’m getting a nephew on Friday, but I also tried jambalaya for the first time. I told you, I’m on a cajun food kick! I really liked it. Robert made his with sausage, shrimp, rice, beans, onions, peppers, and tomato. Everyone thought it was super spicy, but I didn’t think it was spicy enough! This also marks my very first bean experience. Be proud, y’all. Be proud.

Of notable mention for the weekend, I also went to my first National’s baseball game of the season. So much fun! Would do again.

What a happy weekend. 😀

Aunt Cait and the Body Challenge

Indeed, you read the title of this post correctly. Remember how in my last post I said I had exciting family news? Well, I have been silently wanting to implode and tell everyone ever since I found out, but it was not my news to share so I had to wait until the right time. That time is now.

I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT!!

My sister, Erin, and her husband, Robert, are expecting their first child! Her due date is late August/early September sometime. My family is super, super excited! It’ll be the first child for the next generation in our immediate family. It will be my mom’s first grand-baby and she is just bursting at the seams with joy. This also means that the poor kid will have to endure me as an Aunt. I’ve already warned my sister that I plan to be a “cool Aunt” and aptly corrupt their future son or daughter. Just kidding……kind of.

Congratulations to Erin and Robert!!

Whoo, now that I’ve finally shared that news, onto my next bit of news. Today, I joined my company’s Weight-Loss Body Challenge. It’s been difficult to maintain motivation to diet and exercise. And my motivation has certainly been waining lately. That’s when I found out that Discovery was doing a weight-loss challenge with a cash prize at the end. Sign me up, por favor!!

The cash prize pot for the first place winner is up to: $640! Second place is even getting over $100. I don’t really have any disillusion that I’m going to win this competition, but it would be pretty cool if I could get close and shed a few more pounds in the process. It aligns with my current weight loss goals, and there’s nothing like a little cash-money to help renew my motivation. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!

I’ve already decided that if I win, I’m booking a vacation. To somewhere AWESOME!

I’m also thinking about signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon. It’s in October, it’s in my backyard, and I’m sort of itching for another long race to run. Thoughts?

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