Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still Here...

Things are clicking right along for the Brooks family this spring. After almost five years in Kentucky, we are finally wrapping things up. Chad will be graduating with his Master of Divinity at the end of May, and we will be moving back to Louisiana at some point in June. We are both so excited to get back home and start the next stage of our lives!

June feels so far away right now, but I know that it will be here before I know it. When I look at the calendar and see the things we have lined up for the next few weekends, I know the time is going to fly by and before we know it we will be loading a moving truck.

Here are some of the things on my calendar this spring:
April 2&3 - volunteering at the Run the Bluegrass Half-Marathon expo and race. This will be my first time to volunteer at a large race, and I am really excited about it.

April 4&5
- Spring Break! Asbury Seminary is closed for two days during spring break, so the staff gets a short break, too. I am looking forward to this long weekend! My plan is to use the days to do a deep spring clean on our house. We're talking ceiling to baseboard type cleaning.

April 29&30
- Derby Festival half-marathon expo and race. This was my first half-marathon in Kentucky, and will be my last half-marathon in Kentucky! It will be great to run this race with my friend Kelly. This will be our 5th half-marathon to run together!

May 7 - In honor of the Garage Sale King's birthday (aka my dad), I will be holding our first ever garage sale! We have a ton of stuff to get rid of before we move, so I am looking forward to the garage sale. Getting rid of stuff + making cash = a win/win situation for me.

May 21 - Graduation weekend! My parents and Chad's parents will be in town to celebrate, so I am really looking forward to this weekend. I love when they come to visit. We will have to make it special, as it will be one of our last weekends in Kentucky.

So, that is what we have going on the next few months. I have been running pretty consistently since January in preparation for the Derby Festival half, but I need to add in some swimming and biking sometime soon. My sister has challenged me to a re-match at the River Cities triathlon this summer, but I am not sure if I will have adequate time to train and prepare with our big move this summer. We will see!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Touched by an Angel

There are not many things that I could gorge myself on, but I am pretty sure I could easily eat an entire Angel Food cake. Easily.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Rental Car

When I made our rental car reservation through Enterprise, I requested a "standard car", so we were expecting to get a Chevy Malibu, Ford Focus, or something like that. When I got home from work yesterday, this was in our driveway!

(note: this is not our driveway)

A fully loaded 2010 Suburban. Enterprise was out of everything but this and a single cab work truck, so they told Chad he could upgrade to the Suburban for free. It is way more than we need, but it is pretty comfortable!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bootleg Texas Half Photos

I got an e- mail yesterday with the link to my Texas Half photos. It was awesome to see that almost all of them included Megan and Kourtney, too! We really stuck together the entire way.

I was able to bootleg a few of them off the site with screen shots - I think it is ridiculous that photo companies charge $20 for one digital print! I wanted to post a few here, so I had to get a little creative.

At the start-me in green (#354) with Megan behind me in gray shirt and sunglasses

Me, Kourt, Megan getting it done!

Me and Kourtney spotting our family at the end (Megan was just out of the frame)

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

6 Day Forecast...

...looks amazing! It is incredibly cold right now (7!) but we are warming up tomorrow.

I can't wait to start running outside regularly again!

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Evolution of a Watch Dog

On alert

Growling at potential danger

Nothing to worry about

Back to sleep

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bye Bye Beard

After working on his beard for almost 2 years, Chad decided to shave it off last night. It needed to go for a variety of reasons, but it was still a sad day in the Brooks household. Chad doesn't seem to miss it too much, but I do! A lot of people assumed that I didn't like it, but I did like it and actually encouraged him to grow it out. Either way, he is still a handsome devil!

Let's reminisce...



Goodnight beard, goodnight moon.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, which means that we should have an early spring. I am very pleased!

"His handlers insist, whimsically, that Punxsutawney Phil is over 100 years old and that he drinks an "elixir of life" each year which adds seven more years to his life. In reality, groundhogs have a typical lifespan of about six years."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Half

The Texas Half in Dallas was a fantastic race. It is not too big and not too small (there were about 1,000 runners) and it was very well organized. I highly recommend it!

Saturday morning started bright and early at 5:30am when Megan and I got up to start getting ready. I took a quick shower and then ate a Clif Bar and drank a Starbucks Doubleshot (breakfast of champs).

At 6:30, our friend Kourtney came over to our room (she was staying in the room next door with Emily and Amy) and me, Megan and Kourtney headed to White Rock Lake. Emily planned to run with us, but she has been plagued with IT band issues all fall and was unable to train.

We made it to the boathouse at Winfrey Point around 7:00 and had time to park, get our shirts and bib numbers, and make a bathroom stop before the gun went off at 8:00. We all pretty much had the same goal for the race - stay together, have fun, and keep a nice and steady pace.

The race FLEW by! We talked and laughed the entire time. The route was basically one huge loop around White Rock lake, and the weather and scenery were beautiful. Kourtney did an amazing job for her first half-marathon - she never slowed down or walked once, she just got it done!

Before we knew it we were heading back to our cheering section and the finish line at Winfrey Point. My mom, Emily, Amy, and Kourtney's husband Cassidy were all there to cheer us on. We finished in 2:24 - 6 minutes faster than our projected 2:30 finish time. The Texas Half is definitely in my "top 5 races" list!

Kourtney and Emily

Emily, me, Kourt, Megan, Amy

Me, Kourtney, Megan
(the sun was pretty bright!)

Lunch at Cafe Express post-race

Dinner at Cheesecake Factory Saturday night...I had a slice of this while we waited for our table!

I had such a fantastic time in Dallas this weekend and look forward to moving back much closer to my family this summer. We are already planning on doing another half marathon together in the fall, but this time hopefully Emily will be running with us!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Memory Lane

I landed in Dallas Friday afternoon and my mom and sister picked me up from DFW. We headed to Arlington for lunch and to visit our childhood home. It was so crazy to be back there! We lived there from pre-school through 5th grade, but I haven't been back to visit in 16 years!

We went to Braum's for lunch (a delicious hamburger & ice cream place) and then stopped by our old house. It was crazy to see! It was for sale, so we walked around the backyard and peeked in the windows.

I loved that house because it had a huge, amazing backyard with a 2 story playhouse that my dad built, a tree house, a half court basketball court, and a long split level deck. It was sad to see that it is all overgrown now and the tree house is gone.

We also talked with our neighbor who still lives in the house next door. She had a precious 8 week old dachshund/chihuahua puppy! After looking at the house we drove by our elementary school and Lake Arlington. It was such a surreal feeling to be back in the places I knew so well as a child, but are just memories now.

We headed back into Dallas to check into our hotel and meet up with our cousins, Emily and Amy. When they arrived we went to get dinner at J. Pepe's, a Mexican food place that was close to our hotel. It was so good to see Emily and Amy-they are the most hilarious people I know and the four of us (me, Megan, Emily, Amy) have been BFF's since birth. I can't wait to be back in Louisiana with them!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and turned in early-we needed to rest up for the race!

Braum's = delicious

Dachshund/chihuahua puppy!

Lake Arlington

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Questionable Reading

So I'm at the airport going through security when a TSA agent looks at me and says "Girl, what are you reading...?"

I looked down at my bag and saw this peeking out:

Which is the top half of this:

I said "Oh, it is about a guy who got run over by a bus." She gave me a look like "yeah right" so after I got through security I did this:

PS: The girl in front of me got a more, ahem, thorough screening and it was crazy! I thought people were maybe overreacting a bit with all the hype around the screenings, but now I believe it.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shoes Are In

My new pair of Nike Free's arrived yesterday! I took them out for a short run this morning and they felt good. I did take a spill on some black ice though!

It has been cold & snowy here for weeks, which has resulted in some pretty icy sidewalks. Since I run in the dark, it is not always easy to distinguish a clear path vs an icy one, but I like to think this helps with my agility.

Heading to Dallas tomorrow - can't wait!

The Livestrong Free's

The result from my slip down!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Texas Half

Just over five years ago, on a cold, dark December morning, my sister Megan and I pulled up in front of the American Airlines Center in Dallas. It is probably most famously known as the home of the Dallas Mavericks, but on one day in December each year it is also home to the starting line of the White Rock Marathon.

Megan was anxious and jittery that morning as she prepared to toe the line of her first marathon, and I just stood there in awe of my surroundings, and her. She had trained diligently for months and was in great shape. I definitely felt fat and pale standing next to her, and there are pictures to prove that was actually the reality of things. I had never seen so many people of all shapes and sizes and abilities gathered in one place to do what a lot of people think is the unthinkable - run 26.2 miles. On purpose. During the time span of one morning. And pay good money to do so!

This morning in December of 2005 was my first real introduction to the world of endurance sports, and from that moment I was hooked. I'm actually not sure what the motivating factor was for Megan to get her to sign up for the marathon, but I am forever grateful that she did. And thankful that she invited me, my sister Michelle, and my parents to Dallas that weekend to be a part of her marathon experience. One year later, in November 2006, I began training for my first marathon. Five years later, I am still running and training every week and loving it. I have an active and healthy lifestyle, have made lifelong friends through running and have been able to travel to places I probably never would have visited (such as the exotic Columbus, OH) if it weren't for a race. Needless to say, I am thankful I was a spectator that December morning! If you are a runner, know that you could be inspiring someone to start running - just by getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other.

All that to say, this weekend I will be heading to Dallas to meet up with my mom, Megan, my cousins Amy and Emily and friend Kourtney to run the Texas Half. I suppose I am feeling nostalgic because this race will also be held at White Rock Lake. After running a 15k this summer, Emily and Kourtney decided that they would like to train for the Texas Half. Unfortunately, Emily has been plagued with IT band and knee issues all fall and will not be able to run this weekend, but hopefully we will get to do a race together this year. I am looking forward to the race, but more excited about spending time with my family! Hopefully I will have a race report and pictures posted fairly soon after I get back home.

With three of my favorite people in the world -
me, Emily, Megan and Amy in May 2010

Kourtney, in an amazing picture with a dachshund bride!