That said - there was actually a good reason I did not bake Valentine's week this year - I was trying to be good and get some rest (between haircuts, and well-check doctors appts, car appointments, valentine's day parties, and other last minute stuff before going on a trip :) before my half marathon in Myrtle. Thus, the last thing I wanted to do was to stay up late baking or cleaning up from baking - so I resisted the temptation and stuck to my light running and baking taper :) and I have to say it paid off, as for the first time in four years, I finally pr'd again in the half marathon! If you can't tell, I was(am) pretty excited! I was honestly starting to wonder if I had completely forgotten how to race and push myself. So pulling off a PR of about a minute was pretty big in my world right now. I know life has been busy and trust me my kids mean way more than any PR to me, so I am A-OK with the four year cycle it has taken, but I have to admit it was really nice to finally see the early long runs and track workouts finally pay off :) And as a bonus all the super-duper fast girls (ie 1:25 and faster half marathoners!) who showed up last year did not all come again this year, so I snuck in third place in my age group, too. Woohoo - thank you fast girls!
The race was definitely more of a mental battle for me than a physical one. My legs actually felt pretty good - despite driving down the day before and being up late with a pre-sick Addie. (she is home now with an ear-infection, but we just thought she was out of sorts not sleeping at home). My cadre of "coaches" :) have given me some great advice over the past few weeks such as: 1)only thinking positive thoughts the whole second half, 2) making sure to take gatorade at the last few water stops for the extra fuel, 3) keep your arms down and shake them out as needed among others and these little tid-bits made all the difference. The gatorade sip - and seriously only a sip as I am TERRIBLE at drinking during races, some day I will figure it out - was huge, as I definitely got a second wind that carried me through the end of the race. The positive thinking was big, too as I definitely usually start to doubt myself around miles 8-9 which seems to make/break my race. This time though, anytime I wanted to slow down I made myself go faster - even if only for a few steps and thought about how I can do this. It was also around mile 9/10 where I realized this might actually finally be my year to do this and I thought about how much I wanted to get to the finish line fast so I could send a text with a new PR time to my running buddies (especially Coach Kathy ;) SO SILLY I know, but whatever works and they are such amazing friends and running partners, I knew they would all be excited to get such a message as well! Thankfully everything fell into place, it was a perfect day for racing and I felt good, and although I definitely did still slow-up my last few miles as is typical for my racing, I had a solid enough first ten and was able to hang on to the PR and immediately grabbed my phone from my husband after a quick hug and sent my long awaited messages :) before enjoying the post-race party with my family!
Krispy Kreme with Sprinkles - one of the highlights of the MB Marathon Post-Race Party!
A 9AM Beer with G&G :)
3rd Place Age Group Award - with one of my number one fans!
The whole gang!
The rest of the weekend was a blast - as much as I love the Myrtle half - it really is a perfect, flat fast, and fun course - the real reason we go is to visit my Grandparents who spend the winter there every year. It kind of became a tradition my first year out of college when I got hooked on half marathons and I have run everyone since (except for 2009 after my son was born - being my first baby I was not sure if I would be ready 4 months out - the race was snowed out anyways - it was like they knew I wasn't coming :) In any case, our crew has grown with Kellan and Addie now in the mix and my cousin Kara joined us last year - she is awesome with the kids and super fun so it's such a treat to have her. And now there are a few from Jer's family who live near Myrtle so they have joined my cheering squad so it's become a bit of a party! We all went to Margaritaville in the afternoon to have our annual margarita with G&G - CHEERS :) and let the kids run around on the beach finding sea-shells and chasing Sea Gulls for a while - but besides that we really did not do much but hang out and relax - which was exactly what we all needed and simply AWESOME!
Okay - well since I have no new cupcakes to report, here are a few more from the 2012 wrap-up :) Also here is a link I just found today that has me itching to definitely make some new ones soon! How can you beat Disney cupcakes...and fairly easy ones at that! http://spoonful.com/disney/top-disney-cupcake-recipes-gallery?cmp=NLC-NL|spoon|SpoonfulRecipes|Hero|Best-EverDisneyCupcakes||021913|||famM|#carousel-id=photo-carousel&carousel-item=46
First these are a set of hockey themed cupcakes for my Capital Crazy office mate for her 40th birthday last winter. Tough to see in the picture - but they say Happy Puck-ing Birthday :) I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself on this as she may use the F-word a little more than most - so thought it was fitting :) The Hockey Pucks are chocolate covered mini-oreos with icing 40s or NHL on them and the Jerseys I made from red-candy melts in the shape of shirts.
Next up are Pirate themed cupcakes for Mr. Ethan's 6th birthday last year. I followed a Pirate face patern I found online using fruit rollups for the headbands and then icing with candy eyes for the faces. For the sand I used brown sugar (YUM!) and then I made the little treasure chests out of mini-twix bars that I cut opened and filled with icing and rock candy for jewels.
In addition to the Pirate faces, I made a Pirate Island scene using a set of legos as in addition to loving Pirates, Mr. E is all about Legos, so this doubled as part of his present then. It was actually pretty easy and really fun to make the scene just using colored icing, the sugar rocks and sand and then pretzel sticks topped with icing for the trees.
And last but not least, a Cupcake-cake, which I don't ususally do, but was requested for a rock-themed 60th birthday party. Turned out to be a lot of fun! Think the biggest challenge was on my friend Christy for getting it to the party! :) This was pretty much all icing work, with sanding sugar for the color (red is still such a tough color for me to get right with icing) and think they taste great that way! Just used a few chocolate chips for the bottom of the strings and used icing and silver colored sugar covered baby cookies/crackers (all about being resourceful :) for the part of the guitar holding the strings and wa-la..a Cupcake Guitar!
Well that's all I have for today, and my little ear-infected Addie (the reason I am home today) has decided that she is not in the mood to nap, so need to go get her. Happy February! :)