Trek Up The Tower 2018

It feels so good to be done.... for now!  I love that Omaha has this race every year because it's the only one that I will ever do!  As painful as it is to run stairs, the accomplishment of climbing the tower & finishing makes it all worth it!  

A little background:   the First National Bank tower is 40 flights or 870 steps.  They allow participants to go one at a time, every 5-10 seconds, to try to keep the stairwell from clogging up.  There are water stations set up about every 10 flights if you need to stop.  Once at the top, they give you the medal, water, and lots of space to walk around & catch your breath.  Unfortunately, they don't allow phones or anything like that so I've never been able to get a photo of what it looks like once you reach the top.  One of the most difficult parts of the race is the lack of oxygen in the stairwell.  They don't allow very many doors to be open so you're constantly coughing & it feels like your throat is on fire.  Sounds pleasant, right?  😂

This was my third year doing the race & Curtis' second year.  My first year, I did it in 9 minutes, 39 seconds and last year was 9 minutes, 7 seconds.  So, my goal for this year was to get UNDER 9 minutes.

We both signed up for the 9:30 check in again this year.  I wanted some time to sleep in!  Curtis' parents came over & drove us downtown where we met up with my mom.  They don't allow any spectators in the building so once they dropped us off (after taking a few pictures), they went to a coffee shop until we finished.   

Curtis & I checked in our stuff, got our bib & trackers, made a quick bathroom stop, and then got in line.  We stood in line for about 15 minutes which really made my adrenaline pump!  I was nervous but so excited & ready to get it over with.  

Finally, we made it to the front of the line, swiped our chips across the timer mat, and were off!  This year, I had to tell myself to NOT sprint up those first few flights.  It's really hard to go somewhat slower at first because you just want to run.  I learned my lesson the last two years that sprinting makes you burn out very very quickly.  I did run up a few flights but overall just took my time.  I remember seeing the 10th floor & feeling like I was never going to finish though.  My legs were already on fire by that point but I just tried to ignore it.  I remember telling myself that I was NOT going to do the race next year, haha.  I eventually caught up to Curtis somewhere around the 27th floor but then he ran up the rest of the flights ahead of me.  I think around the 30th floor, I had to stop for a quick second to stretch my calves but then I continued on.  Once I saw the 35th floor, my adrenaline took over again & I pushed through the burning in my legs/throat to get up to the top.  

This year.....   I finished in 8 minutes, 50 seconds!!!!  🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌  Curtis finished in 8 minutes, 39 seconds!  I was shocked!  I thought it would be right about the same as last year if not slower since I felt like I went pretty slow the entire time.  I was #17 out of 117 in the 25-29 age group and #90 out of 810 females.  I feel pretty darn good with my time despite not feeling super confident going into the race (stupid legs have been constantly sore the last few weeks).  

So, I think I'll do it again next year. 😊 After I take a LONG break of doing anything stair-related.

Linking up with Jen & Jessi for What's Hap-Pinning Wednesday!  

How We: Take Care of Ourselves

We are always on the go or have something planned but having some downtime is just as important!  If you're taking care of yourself, then you can better serve the people around you.  It can be tough, especially because it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes.  These are some ways that help me stay sane & also re-charge when I'm feeling a little blah.  

Exercise.  This is probably the biggest & most important way that I take care of myself.  I've been an avid gym go-er for awhile after having some very unhealthy post-college years.  I felt awful-- both physically and mentally-- so I decided to make a change.  One of those being exercising frequently.  I fell in love with group fitness classes which are my go-to workouts with my favorites being HIIT classes, boot camps, and anything involving kettlebells. 

Reading.  This is somewhat new for me as I recently got back into the habit of reading regularly.  I loved reading when I was younger but I sort of pushed it to the side for quite a few years.  Reading helps me relax before going to bed every night so you can usually catch me getting into bed around 9-9:30 and reading for awhile.  I can't wait for some warmer weather so I can sit outside on the back patio to read!

(Old picture from when we had our foster pup, Sophie)

Quiet time.  Weekend mornings are usually spent sitting around on the couch, drinking coffee, and reading blogs/wasting time on my computer.  This is something that I've been doing for years & is something that I find to be relaxing.  I'm not one of those people that wants to constantly be on the go on the weekends.

Staying organized by meal prepping for the week.  I already talked about it in last week's post but honestly, this helps keep me sane.  Basically, if I didn't do this on the weekends, I would be running around like a crazy person in the mornings & late to work all the time!

Music!  I can't leave this one out.  Blasting some Metallica helps me to relax and unwind.  It also helps me at work because I can just put my headphones in if I am feeling stressed out or just need to block out all the noise around me.

Happy Monday everyone!  Linking up (late!) with Shay and Erika!

Friday Favorites #6 - Race Weekend!

We made it to the weekend!  I am off work today & have nothing planned.  Talk about glorious!  We also have Monday off thanks to the holiday so I'm definitely excited for this long weekend.  I am terrible when it comes to taking time off just for the sake of it.  I have plenty of vacation time so I need to use it for my own mental sanity! 

I guess I shouldn't say that I don't have anything planned.  I do hope to get some cleaning done around the house, catch up on blogs, and maybe go run a few errands.  We are also helping set up for the race tonight at 5:00 but that usually doesn't take too long.

Speaking of which....  Trek Up The Tower is TOMORROW!  I can't believe it's already here because it feels like we just signed up for it.  AH!  I'm so so so ready to get it over with though!  My legs have been feeling absolutely dead these last few weeks and I'm not entirely sure why.  As in, I walk the three flights to my office & my quads are on fire which is not normal.  It makes me a little nervous because I don't remember being so sore before the race in the past.  So, I've been chugging BCAAs every day this week and did some foam rolling to try to help.  I may need a leg massage tonight as well! 

This will be my third year doing the race and I'm hoping to get under 9 minutes!  🤞🤞  My first year was 9:39, last year was 9:07, so this year.... ??? 

What did you all do for Valentine's Day?  Honestly, we aren't big into celebrating so it was sort of a normal day for us.  I did get Curtis a gift card to Scooters (local coffee chain) but he surprised me with tickets to see A Perfect Circle in May!  I am so flipping excited, I can't even describe it.  I listened to them a LOT in high school but then they seemed to disappear up until recently. 

I have had a major sweet tooth this week & have been craving chocolate like none other.  I found these waffles at Target last week & I'm about to go get some more! 

They are like eating a mini chocolate cake but without all the calories.  I can eat one (or two) of these, get my chocolate fix, and still be within my macros.  👍

Well, I need to wrap this up & do something productive!  I got up at my normal time so I could enjoy more of the day rather than sleeping all morning.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking up with AndreaErikaNarciAmanda, and April!

All About Organization - Girl Chat

Happy happy Thursday! 

Organization is something that I *try* to be good at.  I have a planner but I don't use it like I should.  And even putting reminders on my phone -- I always seem to forget! 

I am one of those people that cherishes sleep & I tend to squeeze in every minute of it in the mornings.  The last thing I want to be doing is wasting time by putting my lunches together.  On the weekends, I cut up my fruits (usually strawberries & pineapple) and portion out into plastic containers.  I've also been eating a lot of breakfast sandwiches in the mornings so I bake all of my eggs & turkey bacon on the weekends and put everything together on an English muffin.  Everything else, I prep & pack together the night before so all I have to do is throw it in my lunch bag before I leave!  If I didn't do this, I'd be late to work every single day.  🙈
Typical meal prep Sunday

Other food-related organization includes using the My Fitness Pal app.  I started using this when I began counting macros last month & it is a must have.  It keeps me on track so I can see where I'm at as far as my numbers go for the day but I can also plan ahead.  For example, if I'm making my lunch for the next day on a Monday night, I will enter all the foods for Tuesday.  That way I'm able to see what numbers I'm hitting throughout the day which also helps me figure what I can/can't eat for dinner.

side note:  these aren't my exact macro numbers but I don't want to pay for the premium subscription so I just keep a note of my actual numbers to compare to what I enter into MFP.

I won't show you my closet because it is a hot mess right now & needs a major overhaul.  However, I keep plastic totes for when I need to swap out my winter/summer clothes and shoes.  I also use plastic storage drawers in my closet for my workout tank tops, sports bras, and other random things.

At work, I have lots & lots of notepads.  I feel like I have at least 3 or 4 different ones that I'm using at any given time.  I spend a lot of time on the phone or get phone calls so I have a running list of people I've left a voicemail for or people that I need to call back.  If I didn't do this, I'd completely forget about who I needed to call.
Sorry, crappy office lighting!  

Have a great day everyone!  I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's posts to see if there are some other/better ways I can organize stuff!  

  Linking up with EmilyLizzieSierraDanielle, and Lindsay!

Couple Survey

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've actually had this post (mostly) drafted since last year when I saw a bunch of bloggers post it!  I could never find a decent time to post it so I just hung on to it until today!  So, let's get into it!

But first.... a reminder from TimeHop from SIX years ago!  This was before a fundraiser with his old company when he lived in the bachelor pad (if you couldn't tell by all the posters on the wall).

Who Is Oldest?   I'm older by 5-ish months.

What Was Interested First?   Curtis was interested first.  During the spring of our senior year of college, he told my friend Nancee that he thought I was 'cute' but we never really actually talked to one another until after we graduated.

Same High School?  Nope, we didn't meet until college.

Most Sensitive?  Me, maybe?  Not sure.

Worst Temper?  That would probably be me again.  🙈   I mean, I think I'm pretty calm most of the time except when I'm driving.  Or when I haven't had enough sleep.

More Social?  Curtis, for sure.  He can talk to anyone whereas I'm usually the quiet one.

Hardest Working?  I don't know, I'd say his job is a little bit more demanding than mine.

More Sarcastic?  Um.. not sure.  I'm going to with Curtis probably!

Who Makes The Most Mess?  Haha, well.. I would say that this one is about equal. 

Wakes Up First?  Weekdays, I get up earlier.  Weekends, he's usually up before me depending on what time the dog wakes up.

Bigger Family?  And that would be Curtis once again.

Who Cooks The Most?  I do.  Especially this past month since I started macro counting.

Who Cries More Often?  Me but it's super rare that I cry.

Better Singer?   Neither of us, haha.  The only time I've heard Curtis sing was when he had too much to drink!  I know I'm terrible because I can't hold a note or tune to save my life.

Spends The Most?  Curtis.  He's more of a techie & like all things electronic/technology!

Hogs The Remote?  Curtis.  Only because I rarely watch TV and he watches football/basketball/baseball.

Better Driver?  And that would be Curtis again.  Pretty sure I'm a target for people who feel like they want to side swipe someone.

Smarter?  Um... I think we're both equally smart! 

Most Patient?  Me, haha. 

Common Sense?  I'm going to throw myself under the bus & say Curtis for this one.  There are some days where I don't even know how I make it as an adult.

How Many Years Together?  We just hit seven years in November!  But, we've been married for a year & a half. 

Have a wonderful day!  💞💝💓