Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

rain, the claw, and my 10,000 best friends

with JT after my first and last Tulsa Run (2007)

At the request of the lovely OK Chick, here is my weekly running update. The Tulsa Run is just days away, and I feel strong and ready. On Saturday morning, I ran eight miles without walking. In the rain. If you've ever run in the rain, you know how glorious this feels at the right temperature. The light drizzle was like an oasis on the South Riverside running trail, where I was just moments before seriously regretting my decision to wear a long sleeve shirt. To me, there's almost something cathartic and cleansing about running in the rain that makes me smile. And believe it or not, my smile lasted through my Longhorns' abysmal performance.

As I posted before, I'll be flying the Tulsa Run solo as both JT and my parents will be out of town. But when I really think about it, I won't be alone. I'll have an estimated 10,000 of my closest friends with me, all bound by the same blood, sweat, and tears spilled on behalf of the same goal, the same Tulsa pavement, the same pains and thrills, just with different stories.

And that's what I really love about the running community: the total strangers shoving cups of liquid gold in runners' hands, people holding signs and shouting encouraging mantras, bands playing upbeat music, fellow runners not thinking twice when I reach into the depths of my sports bra for the Shot Blox stuffed therein, and the almost electric determination that comes from 10,000 people spiked on exercise endorphins.

If you've been following the Texas Rangers' cinderella story like my family of lifelong fans, you know that they bust out The Claw (shown above) when someone hits a home run, guns a base stealer out, or exhibits some other feat of incredible strength. In a moment of pride, I definitely gave myself The Claw as I was running on Riverside by the River Spirit Casino, and somehow managed to not take out any bikers in the process.

My goal will definitely not be The Claw's counterpart, The Antlers, which the Rangers designate for speed plays. But to avoid what happened in my last Tulsa Run experience and my first race ever, the 2007 Tulsa Run, my goal is just to finish before the post-run snacks are gone.

Friday, October 22, 2010

dear JT

dear JT,
Thank you for going to the grocery store with me last night.
For bringing me my favorite ice cream cone.
For date nights.
For listening to me with patience.
For pursuing me and learning more about me.
Thanks for letting me sleep in sometimes.
For taking the dinner bowls in the living room to the sink.
For being supportive of my running.
For hugs and kisses whenever I want them.
For being patient that I haven't cooked very much lately.
For liking my friends. And my food.
For turning off the lamp and taking off my glasses and putting my book up when I fall asleep
For listening to stories. And repeat stories.
For watching my sports teams. 
(Even though you hate the Longhorns and baseball. (GO RANGERS!))

Thanks for putting up with me always. 
Because I know it's a lot sometimes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

molasses and other running rambles

Tomorrow marks one month until my half marathon, and Saturday is the Tulsa Run! I ran seven miles on my last long run, which I switched to Thursday since we were out of town this weekend (new post to come on that!), so hopefully that means I am on track to a strong half marathon. I know I need to run more short and moderate runs during the week. Life has been really crazy on Mondays and Tuesdays, when I'm supposed to do a shorter run.

My plan is to run only a six-mile long run this weekend, four during the week, and depending on how I'm feeling, maybe one or two on Friday morning before tackling the big 15K on Saturday. JT will be out of town, so I will be driving myself to the Tulsa Run solo (unless there are any takers out there?) and running it by myself. Don't worry, though; as much as I love the support and encouragement knowing JT is miles and miles ahead of me on the course, I did the Route 66 by myself and the only thing that stresses me out is parking downtown!

Training is definitely taking its toll on my legs. My right hip and sciatic nerve feels pinched right now, the back of my left knee is tight on and off, probably because I haven't been to Pilates in a week, but I am doing my best to take care of myself, stretch and recover well. It might be no secret to you, but I don't really have issues with resting :) But ultimately, running is coming easier to me as long as I fuel properly, and recovering from runs in general is getting a lot quicker and easier!

I'm slow as molasses, I acknowledge. I run slower than most people walk. Average people can run full marathons in the amount of time it will take me to run my half marathon or less. But if that's what it takes, that's what I'm going to do. And hopefully when I get more consistent about healthy choices, it will be even easier to trek along and I can look back on my 2010 time, not to laugh, but to be proud of taking this step forward to a new, more disciplined LB.

Speaking of getting in better shape, I am realizing very quickly that it's really hard to slim down while long distance training. Even though I haven't weighed myself in a very long time, I've noticed that my muscles have changed a little, and on top of that, I'm hungry all. the. time. I've been reading lots of blogs and articles and really want to shift my focus to choosing good, whole foods to fuel my running. That's definitely something I'll have to be more intentional about.

On a positive note, I have figured out a way to calm my stomach and still fuel my activity: Clif Shot Bloks. They taste delicious and give me energy without weighing down my stomach. I've tried and love all of the berry flavors. Do any of you have any other go-to fuel alternatives? I also mix Gatorade with water and like that a lot!

All in all, I'm feeling really upbeat and enjoying running again. As in, I want to do keep this up after my half marathon and do one short run, one medium run, and one long run every week. Having an awesome playlist and a really cool running app on my phone (iPhoners, download Runmeter!) really, really motivates me. The way Runmeter works is, it tracks all of my stats -- though I'm not so concerned with my pace or time or anything at this point; just finishing -- and it even updates my twitter status with my distance and run map. My favorite part about it, however, is that the app speaks Twitter replies to me. So if you see me beginning a run on Twitter (@laurietomlinson), and wish to reply to me, a really cool British robot will give me the message through my headphones and help me tackle a really killer hill or something!

Thank you so much for all of your comments and encouragement! Since running is such a mental thing for me, it helps more than you'll ever know!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The other day, we came home from work and went out the front door to check the mail. To our surprise, we found an orange plastic pumpkin full of candy and two pieces of paper.

We had been BOO'd.

Booing, we've learned, is a tradition in our neighborhood, and yet another reason we love it so much. Aside from the wide streets, tall trees, and kids playing outside all the time, we have absolutely the best neighbors. They've been so warm and welcoming since we've lived at our current house, and the kids treat Sampson like one of the neighbor kids. They seriously come to our door and ask if Sampson can come out and play, and even wrote his name on the BOO paper. We feel so blessed to have the people around us we do. We had no idea what a wonderful atmosphere it would be.

So when it came to paying it forward, I decided to bake my go-to chocolate cake batter cookies and put Reese's Pieces in the batter. They tasted so delicious with colors perfect for fall! You can do Halloween candy, baked goods, whatever floats your boat, really. I chose two neighbors who don't live on our street who I thought would enjoy it. Their kids like to pet Sampson when they see us walking or running, so I was a little biased!

If you don't know your neighbors well or want to come up with a fun way to get to know them better, I'd encourage you to visit this site with Boo grams or eHow's detailed instructions, assemble some goods, and shower with your neighbors with blessings -- whether there are kids involved or not!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

where were you...

...during the Earthquake of 2010?

I was sitting at my desk, getting things in order for my work day...on the 48th floor of my office building! Yikes! My chair shook and it felt like they were using a jackhammer under my desk. Everyone ran into the hallway, asking each other if we'd felt it. Asking each other if there was going to be another one.

Twitter and Facebook are lighting up with people who felt this 4.5 earthquake in Tulsa, Norman, even Dallas. Even PW felt it!


When I called JT, he said he thought it was just commotion going on in the shop he works near.

"No! It was an earthquake," I insisted. "Everyone felt it!"

"Whoever felt it dealt it," he said. I love that one.

Okay, time to get back to work, business as usual, nothing more to see here -- let's pray. But as one of my coworkers' friend put it, we have tornadoes, ice storms, mosquitoes, and other natural disasters in Oklahoma. Now earthquakes?

Did you feel it where you were?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a special announcement

My BFF is engaged! I cannot tell you how excited I am for her and her new fiancé. (Or how hard it was to keep his plans a secret from her.)

He let me know that it was about that time a little over a month ago and enlisted me in some super secret ops. LJ made it super easy on me, however. Pretty much right away, she told me she wanted me to take her ring shopping when she was in town and we ended up finding the ring she absolutely loved. We took tons of pictures, you know, "just in case Geoff were to call me sometime," and I took notes on my iPhone of exactly what she wanted.

I cannot tell you how much fun we had spending precious girl time together and how special it was to me that she would ask me to be a part of that! We have been best friends since freshman year in high school (over 11 years??) so we have seen some pretty major life moments together. I have been praying for her future spouse for a long time and I don't think God could have picked someone better for her.

We got along with him from the minute we met him, and I can tell he loves her SO much. He is so good to her, considerate of her, always making her laugh, and they just go so well together and make each other better. And when she talked about him, even before they were dating when she insisted they were just friends in the same grad program, part of me always knew there would be something special about him down the road :)

LJ, I love you, I'm so incredibly happy for you, and I cannot wait to stand next to you on the beach when you become Mrs. R.

Monday, October 11, 2010

the ultimate running playlist

After I received so many wonderful tune recommendations on this post and facebook, I thought I'd return the favor. Although, just a disclaimer, JT doesn't like running to some of my music! Either way, here are some staples to my workout playlist that help me have the optimum run possible.

And yes, my blog is going to be taken over by running until November 21. So, in the words of Scar from Lion King, be prepared.

Anberlin - "Time and Confusion"

Jimmy Eat World - "Sweetness"

Hanson - "If Only"

Nelly - "Heart of a Champion"

Matchbook Romance - "Promise"

Finch - "Post Script"

P.O.D. - "Boom"

Also worth a mention: "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap, "Beautiful Day" by U2, "Only One" by Yellowcard. Any more recommendations out there in the blogiverse?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

did you know?

bonus: this is what little LB looked like in 1989

 Jenna posted some "did you knows" today, which was lots of fun to read. So since I'd love to know more about you, I'll go first. And if you feel so inclined to do a post like this, link in the comments to share the fun with everyone! Here goes...

Did you know?

1) I'm (technically) a published co-author...of a Spanish/English medical dictionary with an original printing of about 15 at my small university press.

2) For years, I played basketball and softball but have never considered myself athletic or competitive, a nightmare for the only daughter of a sports fan with two athletic sons. Coincidentally, my favorite sport I've ever played was indoor soccer, which I discovered in college.

3) I graduated a semester early from college and later found out that if I'd gone that extra semester, I'd have enough classes for three bachelor's degrees (English, Spanish, and Mass Communications/Journalism). For the record, I won't go back and do it because I think having a degree is important, but experience is the most important factor in the professional world.

4) Quaker Oatmeal Squares is our new favorite cereal! We eat it night and day, especially since I've been in a bit of a cooking slump lately.

5) I secretly love Dog the Bounty Hunter and Billy the Exterminator's shows, to my husband's horror, and I've also recently started watching "Friday Night Lights". It reminds me of high school, sadly.

6) I not-so-secretly love Elton John.

7) The first meal I tried to cook for JT after we got married was a spring risotto with peas and herbs and lots of parmesan. I'd never had risotto and had no idea how extensive it was for a beginning cook to make. But I stirred in the broth bit by bit, stirred for what seemed like forever, and got it cooked to my liking. Then I accidentally dumped in a ton of black pepper, tried to syphon it off, and made JT and I tear up when we ate it. Everyone has to start off somewhere, right?

8) One of my proudest moments was walking hand-in-hand across the stage at my college graduation with Betty, the 70-year-old, 80% hearing impaired lady I tutored in Spanish for two years. 

9) If I weren't a publicist, I'd want to be a chef, nurse, physical therapist, opera singer, bakery owner, magazine editor, or food writer.

10) My puppy Sampson's middle name is...? I will give you hints:

+ he is named after a sidekick from a historical/epic movie
+ this sidekick is European
+ this sidekick looks horrible in a skirt
+ this sidekick can grow some epic facial hair
+ this name also means "James"

Leave a comment with your best guess and/or a random fact about you, and one of you might find a special might involve a little baking I plan to do this weekend. Also, hello to all of the wonderful bloggies I met at the Tulsa Blog Meet-up on Thursday! Welcome to my little corner of the web!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

thoughts after week one

58538_443795571816_648036816_5676346_5174748_nthis guy cheered on my friend Candace in the Chicago half.
reeeeeally hoping he’ll be at my race!

I’m going to be completely honest.

Getting on the proverbial horse was hard for me to do. I put off my first official run by a day, changed my training plan, made my training plan more of a training guideline, and once I got on the horse, at the end of the week, I ended up running a glorious six miles.

Running is a roller coaster, I’ve found. And it’s more mental than I ever thought possible. Is it like that for anyone else, or do I just let my deep-seated emotional issues associated with running get the best of me? I am sincerely curious! Hopefully soon I will write out my work-in-progress story with running. Luckily I’m liking this story more with every new chapter.

Initial thoughts on week one:

  • Whoever invented Clif Shot Blocks is a genius! They are the best fuel for runs that you don’t have time to eat and digest before. And they are especially handy for someone with GI issues like me who can’t stomach food very well before a run.
  • Most weekday morning runs don’t happen for me unless I have enough race day fear stored up or I know it’s the only/last possible time I can run. Maybe someday I will learn the discipline to run every morning! Funny, my excuse that these new fall mornings are chilly didn’t go over well with JT. My handsome man kindly reminded me that November 21 will be most likely be wintry. Makes me shiver just thinking about it!
  • Still loving my shoes, but my knee straps are missing and my legs are paying for it. I might just have to cut my losses and buy new ones. Blerg.
  • After my six-mile run, I started feeling a twinge of the injury that kept me from running for months last year. Basically, the back of my knee is super tight, but I’m trying to be smart about it and not overdo it, so hopefully I’m just being paranoid and it won’t develop into the full-blown annoyance it once was.
  • I’m learning the importance of choosing good, smart fuel for my runs. I’ve kept a huge cup or Nalgene bottle of water at my desk, filling it multiple times a day. And I’m also trying to limit myself to one serving of dairy a day and foods that are easily digestible and closest to the source as possible. Of course, I did eat Arby’s for lunch today, including a Jamocha shake, so I’m still a work in progress. But every baby step counts, right?
  • While running six miles, I felt like I could have run more – I won’t say easily, but I could have done it and even wanted to do it, but restrained after interpreting my body language. It told me it wanted me to stop, and for the sake of my cranky knee and achy quads, I’m glad I listened.
  • I think I am coming down with The Fever. That’s kind of a good thing, considering I’ve signed up and paid for two fairly long distance races in the near future!

Tomorrow morning, I am going to do a quick and easy three-mile route, and then on either Saturday or Sunday, I will do six miles again, and if my body will behave, I plan to jump up to 7 or 7.5 miles in the weeks to come. My 15K (9 mile) race is on October 30th!

My motto for this week is: Work, Play, and Listen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

snapshots of late











creeeepy album cover that looks like ME!
do you know how creepy it was to see this
staring back at me?




best wine ever: it’s called kickass






Saturday, October 2, 2010

letters from a morning run

letters inspired by my dear Emily at Today's Letters
her letters have made all the difference in my mornings. 

Dear Fall, You've probably shaved a minute off of my time since you arrived with friendly breezes and gorgeous sunsets. Thanks for returning the love, LB

Dear Running Shoes, I think I'm starting to develop a little crush on you. Who would have known that going up a size would completely change the way my feet feel when I run? Plus you're just so dern cute! Same place and time tomorrow? LB

Dear Lungs, I'm so incredibly proud of you. Today during our long run, you didn't show the tiniest hints of distress. I'm thinking we need to thank us some cardio pilates for whipping you into shape. Please accept this fresh air as a token of my appreciation, LB

Dear Route, 5.99 miles? Really? I know you might as well be 6 miles, but seriously? Time for an extra lap around the block, LB

Dear Knee Straps, Come out, come out, wherever you are? I haven't seen you in almost two weeks and my knees really, really miss you. Where are you hiding? Not amused, LB

Dear Hanson/Jimmy Eat World/Anberlin/Nelly/Matchbook Romance/Sugar Ray/Nickel Creek/Temper Trap, Thank you for making my runs more bearable. Whether your beats push me up a rough hill or your cathartic lyrics make me feel like I'm flying, I couldn't do it without you. Viva la rundancing, LB

Dear JT, Thanks for being so supportive of my running efforts. I really like when you and Sampy ride up next to me in the car and honk and whistle. It kind of makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Hubba hubba, LB
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