Friday, April 18, 2014

Austin Weekend

Aside from running ten miles last weekend, I also managed to have some fun while in Austin for the weekend.  David and I drove over on Friday afternoon.  This is usually a great time of year to go for a drive outside of Houston and Austin, because it's bluebonnet season (Texas' state flower).  The bluebonnets didn't disappoint- they (and more Indian Paintbrush than I remember seeing in previous years) were everywhere! But unfortunately, we didn't have time to stop for the mandatory photo in bluebonnet fields. 

A photo from the car was the best I got this year

Since I didn't get a bluebonnet photo this year, here's one from a few years ago. 
That evening we met up with one of David's college friends and his wife for dinner in downtown Austin.  Then we had some drinks at a few bars while we killed time waiting to pick up David's sister at the airport at 1AM.  We stumbled upon a cute outdoor/patio bar that had a really great live band. 

After picking up our race packets on Saturday afternoon, we rented water bikes on Lake Austin.  It was a beautiful day to be out on the lake.  And although I was a little skeptical, the water bikes were really fun- and super easy to maneuver.  They even guarantee they won't tip over- which sold me, since I was definitely not in appropriate clothes for being on the water. 

After water biking, I insisted that we get ice cream at Lick Ice Cream- I had heard about it from an Austin blogger, and I'd been dying to try their crazy ice cream flavors.  Lick didn't disappoint- if you are ever in Austin, you must try it!  It's a really cute little shop with very friendly staff and locally farmed ingredients.  The best part is their flavor choices- they're like nothing you'd ever expect to have in ice cream, but they are DELICIOUS. 

These are only about half of the flavors

My choices: Goat Cheese,Thyme, and Honey & Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt - AMAZING!!
This place is incredible... and I'm really not even that big of an ice cream person.  The next day during the race, at about mile 7, I decided that we would definitely be stopping by here again for more ice cream on our way out of town.  You know, to undo all the calorie burning I had just spent two hours doing.  WORTH IT!  This time I got a scoop of Cilantro Lime and a scoop of Coconut Avocado Curd.  I was skeptical of these flavors, but I liked them both- especially the cilantro lime!  Oh, and for any of you out there who live in Texas, they are now selling some of their flavors in pints at Central Market.  And I think cilantro lime is one of the ones being sold there now.  GET YOURSELF SOME.  You can thank me later. 
So that was about it for our short Austin weekend.  We drove back in rain, so we didn't get another opportunity for bluebonnet photos.  Oh well, there's always next year!  

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Austin 1020

On Sunday I ran in the Austin 1020, which is a 10 mile race with 20 bands along the way.  My sister-in-law, Renee convinced me to run it with her in celebration of our 30th birthdays.  I had been training for this race for just under a month, so I was pretty nervous about it.  In my training, the furthest distance I had run was 8 miles.  And I did that only ONCE. So thinking about having to run 10 miles had me pretty nervous. 

We arrived at the start line bright and early and prepared to run with about five thousand other runners.  It was a really cloudy day, and looked like rain the whole time, but luckily it did not, and the clouds kept things cool. 

The race turned out to be really fun!  The bands were a nice distraction, and the atmosphere was really upbeat and laid-back.  It was also really nice to run alongside Renee the whole time, even though I told her on several occasions she could totally go ahead, since I am 100% sure I was slowing her down.  But she was nice enough/sympathetic enough to stick with me.  My favorite mile was mile 6 when they handed out iced wash cloths.  At that moment it was the best thing I'd ever experienced.  My least favorite miles were miles 9-10... since those were distances I had never run before.  During those miles, I started getting really overly dramatic and thinking things like, "Oh my God, I don't even remember what my life was like before I started running this race!"  I wanted to stop so badly, but what I wanted even more badly was to just be finished, and at that point I knew the only way to finish faster was to keep running.  I was hurting though!  Sidenote- I realize I sound pretty negative, I just unfortunately am not one of those people that enjoys running immensely, gets the "runner's high," etc.  I did have fun though- promise!

David met us at the finish line, and we spent some time stuffing our faces with the post-race food, drinking our free beers, and listening to the final band (Puddle of Mud).  Apparently we ran straight back into the early 2000's?...

Just after we crossed the finish line- hands already full of food.


I'm proud of myself mostly just for signing up in the first place, but also for going through with it and finishing at all!  But I'm also proud that I met my two other goals: 1.) Do not stop running the entire time and 2.) Finish under two hours.  I think my final time was around 1:45.  So I'm pretty excited about that!  What I'm even more excited about though, is that I get to stop running now :-) 

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014


I've pretty much always had my hair shoulder length or longer.  The summer before my senior year of college, I cut it to my collar bone, and that was the shortest my hair has ever been.  For me, long hair is just easier.  I know long hair takes longer to wash, dry, curl, etc., but I don't have the patience for those activities anyways.  Five to six days a week, my hair is in a ponytail, braid, or some other quick up-do.  Because of that, long hair was always just easier for me. 

Before we moved to Australia I was kind of getting to the point of being sick of my long hair.  I considered cutting it short at that time, but I figured such a decision shouldn't be made in the midst of a stressful move.  I had also always wanted to donate my hair at some point in my life, just had never been brave enough to a.) grow it long enough that it wouldn't have to be super short after the cut and b.) pull the trigger.  So I put it off once again.  Well, like most things in Gladstone, finding a pace to get a good haircut was a challenge.  I went for a 2-3 inch trim a couple months into our move, and the girl literally parted my hair down the middle, divided my hair with half over each shoulder, and then simply trimmed those two sections.  Done and done... $75 dollars later.  After realizing that I could have very easily just had David give me the same exact haircut, I decided to save my money and finally grow my hair out nice and long so that I could donate it when we went home for Christmas. 

When I saw this photo, I KNEW the hair had to go- OUTOFCONTROL. 
Photo by
Katie Miller Photography
Fast forward to the weekend after Christmas, and I was SO ready to chop my mane.  It was seriously out of control long... even giving me headaches sometimes.  Totally unnecessary.  My favorite hair stylist in Phoenix excitedly agreed to cut it for me, so off I went.  She kept asking me if I was nervous, but I really wasn't at all. 

She divided my hair into four ponytails and chopped away.  Easy as that!  And truly, it didn't end up looking as short as I thought it would.  We thought she had cut about 8-10 inches, but when I got home and measured it more carefully, it was actually a good TWELVE inches- a FOOT! 

Right after the big cut!

AFTER - I still have yet to replicate this style
Totally creepy

I went back and forth when deciding where to donate my hair - Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  I ended up going with Pantene Beautiful Lengths, because I liked the idea that they focus on wigs for adult women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.  I got the impression that Locks of Love gets more publicity, so I figured I'd give my hair to the place that probably "needed it more-" although they are both worthy causes/organizations.  You can see the story of a Pantene Beautiful Lengths donator below:

Oh, and since I didn't donate at an organized event, it was up to me to send my donation in on my own- which was really a very simply process.  But of course, I procrastinated and it took me a few weeks.  Every time I opened the drawer where I had my ziplocked ponytail, I would get totally creeped out.  It's weird how the second hair isn't attached to your head anymore, it seems so gross.  I kept threatening David that I would hide my "hair creature" under his pillow or in his work bag.  Muahahaha. 

Anyway, that's my Rapunzel story.  My hair is growing crazy fast- probably about three inches already!  I still don't mind the shorter hair, but I AM really excited to get a few more inches, because I really miss the braids that I used to do.  I am actually thinking that I will probably grow it long and donate it one more time.  Why not, right?

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