The Elephant in the Room

First off, I think I’d be remiss in my duties as a human being if I didn’t talk about the big huge elephant in the room.

Our country is in a really weird time.  I think when I open my kid’s history book, it will be unreal – the book will talk about social unrest, racial tensions, and a certain Apprentice turned presidential hopeful that captured the hearts of an alarming number of people.  It’s going to sound really cool, and exciting, but living it?  Waking up to another incidence of police using deadly force?  It’s not fun.  It doesn’t feel fun.  And because social media is so prevalent, you get to hear every single person’s opinion on every single topic.  Which is really fun when you find out one of your acquaintances from high school is at best, misinformed, but at worst, flagrantly racist/sexist/homophobic.  (Not fun at all).

I don’t know what to say about all of this except that I’m ready to wake up one time, ONE TIME, and have it be a good news day.  With that, I leave you with this…


I’ve always liked this woman.  I started looking at her blog when I was still in grad school I think, and she always seemed to have a really decent head on her shoulders.  If you’re someone who feels genuinely concerned for the state of things, but you wonder how you can help, or what us black folks are talking about all the time, this is a really good way to start.  Generally, I approach this stuff with a grain of humor, like “haha, white people, please stop asking to touch my hair all the time,” or “tee hee, no, I cannot braid your hair,” but I’m just not in the mood today.

Tomorrow will be a better day, right?

Terrified: thoughts before a half marathon.

Want to hear something that really made me laugh hard yesterday?

This is so so rude, but I was at home sort of in the middle of the day because I’m on duty Thursday nights, and I was sending some emails and such, and listening to E! in the background, when I realized that they were playing all the episodes of KUWTK involving Kris Humphries in Bora Bora.  Now the reason why this is so good and so rude is because clearly, Kim is no longer married to Kris (they only made it 72 days, which Austin and I celebrated as our “Kardashian Anniversary”), and Kimmy was the biggest asshole she’s ever been during the Kris era.

Exhibit A:

Now this particular scenario was really exquisite because Kris tosses Kim into the ocean…

Bora BoraCausing her head to slam against the ocean’s surface and her to lose her $75k diamond earrings.  Instead of being a logical human, Kim begins to whimper, then cry, as she runs to and fro on the dock.  When she tells Kourtney whats happening, Kourtney responds by telling her…

DyingIt must also be noted that the earrings were insured, so the tears were just extra.

The Kris era also ushered in this gem.

Ugly Little TrollNow, I won’t bore you all day with the wonderful things that KUWTK has brought to my life, but suffice it to say, that I was entertained for a full at least 5 minutes.

I’m terrified. 

I haven’t talked about it much here because of my fear of looking like a complete idiot, but I’m racing for the first time in a while on and it scares the piss out of me.  Here are my thoughts before a half marathon.

  1. Water?  I should hydrate.  Yes, hydrate.  Water.  Now.  Water, some tea, some seltzer, more water.
  2. Speaking of water, I should prep my water plan for tomorrow.  Where’s my hydration backpack?
  3. I’m not sure what they’re gonna have on the course, let me make sure that I pack some gels.  But gel makes my stomach hurt.  Maybe I should ask the chicks at Fleet Feet when I work what I should do.
  4. What shoes am I going to wear?  I don’t think the Glycerin is doing it for me anymore.
  5. What do I eat for dinner with only a smidgen of fiber so I don’t poo my pants tomorrow.
  6. Speaking of pants, what am I going to wear?  I should lay that out.
  7. Do I have any Coke around for after the race?  Shit. Shit.
  8. Also, what am I going to eat for breakfast tomorrow?

And then, I commence to not sleeping, or sleeping fitfully all night whilst dreaming that I’ve overslept and missed my race.

How was your weekend?  What do you worry about before a big race/event?



It’s official…I’m addicted to quinoa.

It all started when I got a free quinoa bowl from Happy and Hale a few months back.

Photo via Bizjournal
Photo via Bizjournal

The place is a really cool concept – a very “Stuff White People Like” deal, with a full bar of fresh ingredients waiting to be combined into your delicious salad. Prior to my intro to the ‘noa, I’d kind of just avoided a ton of rice and grain, simply because the serving size on it is so small and I’d really like to eat more of something else without me getting bloated.  But I discovered the incredibleness that is quinoa, and now I just can’t get it out of my mind.

Similar to rice, you can cook it in the steamer, get a ton of fiber out of it, stay full for hours, and it’s SO plain, you can mix it with just about anything that you want.  Why I waited so long to be introduced to quinoa, I don’t know.  But I love it, and I’m not turning back.

2015 Events

Since I’ve been focusing more on the budget the past few months, even thought I’ve really wanted to sign up for races right and left, I’ve kind of held back, and as a result, I’m only signed up for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, and I’m so itching to sign up for something in order for me to keep my motivation and my fitness up throughout 2015.

So here are the options I’m looking at.

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC

P1160281I did this race, and since I stayed at the Westin, I ran into some cool-ass people like Carrie Keagan, who used to host Big Morning Buzz on VH1.  Still one of my favorite races, except for the killer hill at mile 6.

North Face Endurance Challenge

Since reading Dean Karnazes’ books, I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of ultra marathons (any marathon over 26.2 miles).  The idea makes my husband really really nervous, but I’m thinking about doing it just to see what I can do.  I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing one of these things.

Marine Corps

Marine Corps isn’t open, but the lottery opens in March.  Which means that if I got in, I would have to train throughout the summer.  In North Carolina.  Kinda blah, but I hear the race is absolutely awesome.  I also did training with a friend end of last summer, and I forgot that I don’t completely hate running long.  I just hate the heat kinda.


So this one is just sort of annoying.  The past two years, I’ve done the Nike Women’s Half marathon, and love it.  Nike canceled their DC event, and have yet to announce a spring event, leading me to believe there is no spring event.  It sucks, because these races are definitely one of my top races, but it’s also a total first world problem, and I have clean water and a warm bed to lay my head down at night, so no complaints.  Well, not that many.

So those races are on my radar for the year.  Any races/events you’re looking forward to signing up for to keep you motivated?


4th recap

The three-day weekend was perfect, but I’m almost at the point where three days was a little bit much for me because I laid on the couch nearly all day on Sunday, avoiding a smelly pile of laundry that needs to get done, and a dirty blender that has been in my sink all day.

As for my list of things that I wanted to do on the 4th, I think I achieved them all – the only thing I didn’t do was lay by the pool because the weather was unseasonably cool for North Carolina, and it was in the 80s all weekend – not blazing like I usually like it for pool days.

So on the fourth, we started the gorgeous day by doing NOTHING.  Well, almost.

First, I ran the Raleigh Downhill Mile with Matthew, where I found some friends.

photo 1I was able to crank out the mile fast enough so that I could cheer that little cutie on.

photo 2Matthew is a dear friend and my supervisor (for like two more days), and it was so fun to do something other than track down clients on a Friday morning at the race.  The girls raced first, so I was able to see him punch out a really impressive finish!

photo 5I cranked out a mile in 7:21.  However, my last name is not Armack, so the only proof you really have that it happened is my Garmin.  Which actually says I ran a 7:20 so HOLLA!  One of these days I will maintain a pace like this over the course of 13.1 miles.  A girl can dream, right?

photo 3

We were able to hit a local fancy coffee shop for some post-race eats.

photo 4And post race, we hit the WRAL Sand Desk that they’d set up.  How cool is that, right?

Once I got home, I laid on the couch, reading ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ while Austin loudly chomped on peanut butter and jellies.  For hours, literally hours, Austin and I watched American Ninja Warrior while I fantasized about one day getting my upper body strong enough to fly through that course and make it up the Warped Wall.  Maybe one day…

I napped, of course.

And finally we headed out to see some friends for the 4th.

4thofJulyThe rest of the weekend was spent reading, napping, and running.  We also meet our wedding officiant, which is a fabulous woman who we seemed to click with really really well, so it feels awesome to cross another thing off the list.

On a personal front, I feel like emotionally, I’m a mess.  But I need to keep my eye on the prize, at the end of this emotional road, I get a new, wonderful husband, new pets, a new home, and a ton of time with friends and family, and that’s what’s important.

How was your 4th?

Race Etiquette

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday morning, which you totally know if you follow me on Twitter, IG, or Facebook. And yes, that is a shameless plug, but ya girl’s gotta eat!

I promise, I promise, I promise, you are going to get a full recap of that race, but I literally took 10 million pictures that I need to get together, and I might actually have to split it up into two posts.  And I literally just thought of that, and I think that’s a good idea.  I might do that!  Less overwhelming that way, right?

Okay, moving right along.  So I had a wonderful time at the race this weekend with the exception of one really really nagging issue.

So, race day, we were organized into corrals according to our estimated finish time, which we estimated way way back in December, when we were registering for the race lottery.   This is where I made my first mistake – I think I was still reeling from the death of my grandmother, and from having puked all over the Greensboro Marathon, because I must have put something much slower than my normal pace in.  When I got my bracelet which organized me into my pace group, I was pretty surprised to see that I was in like the 10:00-10:30 group.  “Alright, no big,” I said to myself.


I should have known better, because I ran into this issue last year, when I started at that back of my pace group, and spent like the first three miles of the race duck, diving and dodging folks to try and rally for a good nice spot that I could cruise in for the rest of the race.  So that part was my fault, and I should have not been so hard on myself about my pace (I averaged a 9:05 for the race, which is still a little slow for me, but nowhere near that 10:30 I was tripping on).

The rest was just folks with bad manners.

Race etiquette. 

These are a few actual things I observed during the race that created a sometimes annoying, sometimes dangerous situation for me and other runners.

  • Know your pace, and stick to that pace group.  Hey, I was guilty here of starting in a pace group that was a little slow for me.  And I had to work my way up.  But when you start in the 7:30 corral, and you’re walking within the first 3/4ths of a mile, you’re creating a really dangerous situation for the runners around you that have to dodge, have to slam on their “brakes” when you decide to stop, or who have to slow down and idle behind you until they find an out.  Now, I understand that sometimes you start there, and you realize it’s just not gonna happen that day.  And that’s fine.  But that brings me to my next point.
  • If you decide that you’re not gonna stick to your pace, get over, kind of like you’re driving a car, and kind of hang out there while you stretch, catch your breath, tie your shoe, or walk it out.  Again, don’t slam on those brakes because it creates confusion and congestion for the runners behind you.
  • If someone sticks their hand out for a high five, don’t be an a-hole.  High five them back!  Chances are, because you’re with me in the 9:05 minute club, you’re not breaking any records, and you can spare a high five.  Plus, it literally makes the minutes and hours go by a little faster.
  • If you’re stopping to take a photo, get over.  I mean, seriously?  Don’t stop, whip out your friggin iPhone, and have me trippin over you because it’s time to take a selfie.  And I get it, I love a good selfie this time of year, but let’s keep it appropriate.
  • Anticipate water stops.  I saw so many people do these awkward crab walks across like 10 lanes of runner traffic for a cup of Nuun.  Fun fact:  most of the water stops were on both sides of the street (nice perk!) and didn’t require that crab walk.

So these were some of the things that I caught…what are your race pet peeves?

Race week! Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh!

It’s race week.  Which I almost forgot with everything going on around here, but I am so so so excited for the Rock ‘n’ Raleigh, but it’s so interesting to be doing races at a time in my life when I’m busier than I could ever have imagined, and all in positive ways.

This time last year, I ran these races with a very specific goal in mind, wanting to get better and better.  Now, I want to run fast, surely, but I also want to run strong, and feel happy and healthy throughout the race, and warp it up with a smile like this one.


Without further ado, here are some of the things I strive for this week, and in the race on Sunday morning.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  This time last half marathon, I was vomiting violently from a little stomach bug I’d contracted.  If we can stay healthy, hydrated, and not drink this week, that would be great.  I will certainly allow myself a beer the night before, but other than that, I’m gonna chill on what I drink, and focus on consuming a good bit of water.
  • Rest.  I’m not good at this.  I am going to sleep this week.  I am going to sleep this week, dammit, if it kills me!
  • Foam rolling.  From last week’s 15-miler, the lactic acid has built up into my legs, and during a little maintenance run yesterday, my legs burned the entire time.  I grabbed the foam roller after, and rolled, and need to stay on that in general, and not neglect my poor legs/quads/butt.
  • Compression.  Along the same vein, I need to be sleeping in my compression socks to keep my legs fresh and rested for the race.
  • Time goals? Eh, it’s funny where I am at this point in my life, but until I get married, I don’t feel like I’m gonna be too crazy about time goals.  As long as I feel good and strong throughout the entire race, I feel okay.

Anyone else running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh? Racing this weekend?  What are your goals leading up to/the day of the race?

What was your workout tune of 2013?

Fitsugar posted this sweet list of the “Top Pop Workout Tunes of 2013,” and I’ve brought it to you!

  1. “Timber” — Pitbull, Ke$ha
  2. “Roar” — Katy Perry
  3. “Safe and Sound” — Capital Cities
  4. “Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke, T.I., Pharrell
  5. “Pompeii” — Bastille
  6. “Work B**ch” — Britney Spears
  7. “Demons (Remix)” — Imagine Dragons
  8. “Best Song Ever” — One Direction
  9. “The Monster” — EminemRihanna
  10. “White Noise” — Disclosure, AlunaGeorge
  11. “Don’t Save Me” — Haim
  12. “Get Lucky” — Daft Punk, Pharrell
  13. “Slow Down” — Selena Gomez
  14. “Under Control” — Calvin Harris, Alesso, Hurts
  15. “Wake Me Up” — Avicii
  16. “Mirrors” — Justin Timberlake
  17. “Burn” — Ellie Goulding
  18. “Wild” — Jessie J, Big Sean
  19. “Applause” — Lady Gaga
  20. “Can’t Hold Us” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  21. “I Love It” — Icona Pop
  22. “We Can’t Stop” — Miley Cyrus

So, I find these kinds of articles totally interesting, because I love my pop, and I love love matching up to see how many of these I hit in my workout playlist.  Funny enough, when I went back and checked my Spotify, I’d hit a really good number of these.

So, as a total side note,  for those of you kind of new to figuring out the easiest way to do your music on your treadmill or long run, Spotify, is the total jam.  I discovered Spotify like 3 years ago.  Basically, when you do the free version, you have access to every single song you can think of across the world for free.  I pay about $9.99 a month to access Spotify premium, which allows me to access the songs when I’m not connected to WiFi, and it’s been really awesome for me, not only to create sweet playlists for me to race to, but also to create and explore new music for me to bring to my Zumba classes.  Because I can switch which country I’m based out of too, I can pull new Latin music for my classes from the top songs from Mexico, Cuba, and Spain.  It’s pretty sweet!

But I digress.

SpotSpotify was kind enough to sum up my year, and as you can see, there were a few songs I couldn’t get enough of, especially when racing and working out, including Pegate Mas, Balada, Kiss You (for all you 1D fans), Blurred Lines, and the ever classy F*ck You by Lily Allen.


What were your workout tunes of 2013? 


My year of running. #runchat #run

I cannot believe that we’re approaching the end of the year. I don’t know where the year went, but I feel so hashtag blessed that I’m still here.  It has been an absolutely beautiful year.  I’ve experienced a ton – good and bad, but I’m excited to see what 2014 in store for me and my family.

yearofrunning 225x300 How was your year of running?

I stole this fun idea to sum up my year of running from Miss Zippy, and I encourage you guys to go ahead and steal it from me now!  I’m nosy as hell, so I’d really like to know about your year – and I’ll post this to my Facebook status so some of you guys can play, and I’ll pull some of your comments into my blog.

What was your:

  • Best race experience?  Hands down, my best race experience this year was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which I blogged about back in April.  The race itself was awesome.  The weather was beautiful, the terrain was flat, and it was just incredibly well-organized, and I feel super lucky, because for the second year in a row, I won my lottery entrance into the race.  Eep!  Additionally, I am so enamored of Washington, D.C., and spending the weekend there with good friends made the weekend super duper enjoyable.  Now I hope this year my ENTIRE name makes it onto the wall of race participant names they plaster the street with in Georgetown.  ‘Member this?


  • Best run? I need to choose a few.  One of my best runs was in Asheville, the weekend of Alexa’s bacherlorette party up in Asheville….

cabin 4

And this view of the river we stayed along…
Cabin 3
And I’d have to say my second favorite best run was a run I did with my brother the day after Thanksgiving a few weeks ago.   It was just fun to work out with a member of my family who kicked my butt.  It’s also so nice to talk to that kid, who’s really impressed me with how he’s matured in the past year.  Kid gets up at 3:45 to go to swim practice, and still manages to make it to school each day.  Like – bye.  Amazing.

  • Best new piece of gear?  Geez, that’s hard.  I have a lot of good stuff.  But I think my favorite piece that I’ve acquired this year would either be my Glycerin 11s, cause that shoe update was so  sweet, or this purple Moving Comfort full-zip that work gave us at the company holiday party.  I have a problem staying warm, so the fact this jacket can stand up to some of the ungodly temps we’ve had lately around here in the mornings says a lot to me.

Moving Comfort

  • Best piece of running advice you received?  Put one foot in front of the other.  A co-worker told me this as I was training for Shamrock in March, and that’s really all you can do, in racing, and in life.  When a race becomes challenging or miserable, you have to tell yourself to place one foot in front of the other.  There’s simply not another option.
  • Most inspirational runner?  I cannot pick just one, because working with runners, I am so inspired by my coworkers.  Jenny, who I ran Shamrock with, was a mother, a wife, and still found time to run that full with me.  Kerri teachers a full yoga course load, works, and trained hard and well enough to qualify for Boston.  Kerry runs a big race a month.  Fast.  Shelly is pregnant and still running.  I could go on and on and on, but you get it.  My coworkers rock, and when I don’t feel like working at my running, I think of them, and I usually can muster up enough to get moving.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Be present.  Don’t let worry or anxiety steal your happiness.

Now it’s your turn – fill me in in the comments, on your blog, on my Facebook, or Tweet me little tidbits!