6-month check-up

So, as June comes to a close I have been considering my New Year’s Resolutions. My theme for the year has been “health and control”, but would you like to know a secret?

I had to look up my New Year’s post to remember what the heck I had laid out for myself for this year. Safe to say, I have not been good about keeping up with all of these crazy goals I had set for myself… save for one.

…Thus my goal to improve my overall physical health! I plan to do this by training to run a 5k per month (Starting in February – had a minor setback for January) for the entire year of 2013.

Hi my name is Ashlea, and, maybe, just maybe I now could call myself a runner.

I don’t know really what makes someone a runner, but I do know that I have successfully completed 4 5K races so far this year, with improving times. I know that I had to replace running shoes this past weekend for the first time in my life. I know that I have been consistently running at least 2 times a week for almost this entire year. I know that I have 3 more 5K’s coming up in the next 5 weeks. I know that I just scheduled my first ever 10 K for October. I know that I have more endurance and feel stronger than I did a year ago. I know that the first time I ran 1 mile without stopping, I nearly cried with happiness. I know the first time I ran 2 miles without stopping I felt empowered and unstoppable. I know that I am looking forward to the moment I finish 3 miles without stopping. So I don’t know if you would consider me a runner, but I certainly do.

Let’s take a look back at my running experiences this past year –
I started off at the Hot Chocolate 5K back in November 2012. My friend Alli convinced me to do it because there was chocolate involved. It was a huge race – like marathon scale (says Alli, I have no idea how many people would be at the Chicago Marathon) – there were nearly 40,000 people there. I trained for this one because I didn’t want to be horribly embarrassed running with experienced runners. Turns out I was nowhere near Alli anyway since she started in A corral and I started waaaaaaaaay back in Q.

Next up was a race in March at Blackberry Farm. This was kind of a sad, pathetic race for me. I went to the race alone, ran it, and jumped in my car and had to go straight to church for Easter rehearsals. I felt kind of awful afterwards and struggled through this one - maybe because I knew no one was at the finish line? I am not sure, I didn't ask anyone to come and the hubs is a tax accountant - anything I do in mid-March, I am on my own. 

In April, I went to Texas to visit my college roomie Janna. We had decided to run the Digital Race – Houston, a night race. We thought it would be great, I bought light up tutus and stunna-shades and we went decked out in neon. This was the most disorganized race I’ve ever been too! We waited nearly 40 minutes for it to start, there was no bag-check, and the course was not clearly laid out. We ended up doing more walking back and forth to the car than running. It was only about a 2.5 miler, but we walked nearly 3 miles back and forth from the car! It was an experience that’s for sure!

My May race (actually ran on June 1) was a tiny 5k sponsored by a local high school. Brandon ran it with me – well he ran it way ahead of me. This race was small, but well organized, except they did have a malfunction on the timing mechanisms, so no official time for this one. They also had Olympic runners Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher there because the school studied the book they wrote on running this past school year. It was really neat to see a smaller, local school host this type of event.

My times for the above races:
Hot Chocolate, 11/2012: 39:06
Spring Gallop 3/2013: 38:48
Digital 5K, 4/2013: no “official” time – somewhere around 40 minutes (see above-noted disorganization)
Metea Valley, 5/2013: 36:36

I have at least 7 more races planned for the rest of the year. I might just meet this New Years Resolution yet. 

Changing my name

For awhile now I have been considering changing up the name of my blog, and figured it probably wouldn't be a huge deal if I did so, since its not like I have a huge following. However, I have seen it go pretty badly when other blogs have changed their name and wasn't quite ready to commit to something new. I had this same 'not quite ready to commit' feeling about changing my maiden name and so I hyphenated. I had this notion that it would be this great happy medium and I could keep a part of who I was with me as I moved into a new phase of life. Well, I was wrong then - not about who I was, but just about hyphenating my name being great! Hyphenating my name has been such a ginormous pain and I always talk about going back and changing it. Once I decide to change careers, I will probably just take out my hyphen and I will be OK with that.

Anyway, I digress. I didn't want my indecision to stop me from following the direction my blogging has taken, which has clearly been towards fashion. I have this newly found passion for fashion, red carpet looks, clothing, creating fun outfits for myself, and learning to love and express myself through the medium of fashion.

Now, I don't consider myself super fashion-forward, nor do I intend to be. I don't want to be a stylist or anything like that. This is just a newish interest which I have felt more and more like sharing lately.

I like some clothes that are trendy and I like others just because I think they are adorable. I am in love with some of the fabulous fashion blogs out there like Rachel the Hat, Not Dressed as a Lamb, and Retro Rack, just to name a few. I enjoy the challenge of finding great clothes at cheap prices, but wouldn't consider myself to be a thrifter. I may have many different adventures in exploring this new hobby of mine and I plan to share that on the old bloggy-poo here, and I hope you will join me. You may also see posts about this other crazy new hobby I've developed, running, as well as the old stand-bys of book reviews,  posts about life, the pups, decorating, and who knows what else!

So, without further ado, I officially welcome you to:

Books, Pups, and Stilettos

Sometimes life gets so busy that you have to write lots of unfun things like 12 page term papers with 30 page portfolios and blogs suffer.

Be back soon I promise!