Ten For Tuesday: Wednesday Edition

I like alliteration, as seen by my blog title. I'm trying to write interesting posts about my life as much as I can, but during down times, I'm coming up with daily alliterations. I have seen some blogs that have Ten for Tuesday. This could either be where they answer ten questions, make a list of ten things, or rate their top ten of something.  I'm going to do a little of everything starting with ten questions.

I apologize its a day late. I was excited about my interior design task and wanted to share with you instead of waiting for today.

Top Ten Questions Guys Should Ask A Girl On A Date:
From AskMen.com

1. What do you think is the biggest mistake that men tend to make in relationships? 
When they do not treat the girl right or respect her. They don't not treat her like the princess she is. There is always another guy who will treat her like one, so treat her like one or she'll leave you for her prince. Also when they don't take the girl or the relationship seriously. They think they can hang with the guys all the time and never spend one on one time with the girl and expect her to always be there for him. They half ass it when it comes to dates or gifts or forget important dates. 

2. Do you think men tend to be too macho or too sensitive?
Too macho. Being a jackass does not impress anyone. Being a dumb jock is also not very impressive. 

3. What are the qualities of your ideal relationship?
The number one quality of my ideal relationship is true love. The other qualities of an ideal relationship are trust, honesty and respect.

4. Have you ever gone out with a guy who was a challenge?
Yes. He would ask me to pay for dates, and if I didn't (I never did), he would take me to really cheap places. He would also frequently back out of our dates to play poker with the guys. After about two weeks of dating him, I broke it off for obvious reasons. I went to another good guy friend of mine for consolation, and that guy friend ended up being my lovely hubby.

 What's the most important thing that men don't understand about women that they should? 
Two things...1) Our subtle hints aren't as subtle as you think they are. They are actually quite obvious. If our  anniversary is coming up and we keep pointing out jewelry that we like, don't just take us to dinner and a movie and say, "Well, you never told me what you wanted?" 2) If we're acting uninterested and we say we're uninterested, it means we're uninterested. We're not playing hard to get. Girls want a partner as much as a guy does, so she'll let you know if she's interested.

6. Have you ever had your heart broken? 
No. I actually haven't been in that many relationships. I'm one of those girls who knows what she wants, so I didn't date guys I didn't like. And if I did date a guy and they turned out to be not as great as I hoped, I did the dumping.

7. What scares you the most about opening your heart to a man?
Nothing scares me per se, I just don't like opening my heart to anyone because I'm one of those people who holds in my emotions and keep them to myself...sometimes for the better...sometimes for the worse.

8. Were you usually the dumper or the dumpee in your past relationships? 
Already touched on this. I was usually the dumper. I know what I want in a guy and in my life, at least when it comes to the big life decisions. I'll worry about the details later.

9. Do you feel that you've ever had a truly successful relationship?
Yes, I wouldn't have married my hubby if I didn't think it was a successful relationship.

10. Why did your last relationship fail?

See Question 4

Interior Decorating

This weekend, hubby and I will be moving into our first house. Granted, its a rental, but I can't tell you how excited I am to both be out of an apartment and to have my first very own house. I'll be even more ecstatic when we actually own it and can do whatever we want with it.

The house has three bedrooms and two baths. Bedrooms is used loosely as one of the bedrooms doesn't have a closet, so technically it can't be considered a bedroom. Can you tell I watch too much HGTV? It is 1600 square feet and sits on a 1 1/2 acre of land and includes a car port. Its a cute little country house located right next to a hay field. Here are some pictures the owner has sent us:

Hubby has assigned me the difficult task of picking out a theme and color scheme with which to decorate our house. Actually, I've been dreaming of this for quite some time. Thus why I love watching all the great shows on HGTV. I'm a little obsessed with my dream home. The problem is that there are too many themes that I love. I've compiled some ideas here to help me figure out what I want. Any input you guys have would be greatly appreciated. Especially if you know a thing or two about interior design (which is way more than I know), maybe you can give me some ideas.

Note: The pictures are just ideas. Not necessarily the exact thing we'll buy. Also, hubby hasn't seen these yet to give his input, so I hope he likes these as much as I do. We usually have the same ideas about things, so I'm sure he will.

~Urban Sophisticated~
Colors: Black, Gray, White, Silver/Stainless Steel

~Traditional Elegance~
Colors: Brown, Tan, Light Blue

~Vintage European~
Colors: Wrought Iron (black), brown, gold, maroon

Well, what do you guys think? What's your favorite?

13 Days Until Rev3 Cedar Point

To say the least, I'm way overwhelmed by everything right now. We're moving this weekend. I start my new job a week from Tuesday. And...duh, duh, DUH...we're 13 days from Rev3 Cedar Point.

We just got the athlete packet the other day. Even the packet itself is long and a little overwhelming. As if I wasn't already super nervous about the race.

To add insult to injury, we couldn't do our last long 100 mile bike ride this weekend (Thanks, Irene). To be honest, the bike part of the race is what is making me the most nervous. The longest I have ever ridden at once is 80 miles.

The swim is easy. I'm one of those people who can swim slow and steady for forever. And to prove it, we did the Wild Fish 2 Mile swim a couple of weekends ago and I did really well.

The run is my forte. I have been doing distance running since joining my high school's cross country team my sophomore year (9 years ago...OMG!). I have ran two half marathons (not including my 2 HIM's) and two full marathons, with my slowest being 4:59 which included a good bit of walking the second half. People have said that you can expect to run/walk a marathon in an Ironman about a half hour slower than your stand alone marathon time. Others have said they PR on the Ironman marathon because they are warmed up from the swim and bike. Either way, even if I just barely make the bike cutoff, I will have 6 hours and 30 minutes to do the marathon. Seriously, I could walk that fast, so its not going to be a problem.

I'm just not sure I can bike 112 miles, let alone fast enough to make the cutoff. I have at least 8 hours and 30 minutes to do the distance, and that's if I have a painfully slow swim and T1. That means I need to average a little over 13mph. We've been averaging a higher speed than that during our training rides, but our training rides include stops and starts and hills and dodging pedestrians and all that jazz. Without all those things, I should be able to do well over 13mph for the majority of the ride.

I've been trying to give myself some pep talk. Like I did my HIM bikes in 3:48 and 3:55. If I double that, it would give me a full distance time of 7:36 to 7:50. That gives me 40 to 54 minutes of "fatigue" time if you will, or "worst case scenario" time. Plus, the two HIM's that we did had more climbing in 56 miles than in the entire 112 miles of the Rev3 Cedar Point course. That should make it easy peasy to maintain a 13mph average.

And in talking to other people, and what I did for Timberman and seemed to work, was to break the race down in to smaller, more manageable pieces. The swim will be two 1.2 mile swims. The bike is eight 14 mile bikes (14 miles is sooo easy on the bike). The run is four 6.5 mile runs/walks (again, so short and easy).

And after thinking about it further, and listening to my stomach, I decided to weight until after the race to worry about how much I am eating. I want to eat as healthy and clean as I can leading up to the race, but with all the training I am doing, I have been so hungry while trying to limit my caloric intake. I decided for my own sake and for the sake of the race, I'll listen to my stomach now and to my increasingly disappearing abs later.

Famous Friday: Hair Color

Hey all,

I would like your honest opinion. I have always had blonde hair. Occasionally, I would dye it different shades of blonde, but I have never been bold enough to change it to a completely different color. I have finally decided that I do want to try a different color at least once. What's the worst that can happen? I'll not like it and can dye it back or grow it back out.

Here's a picture of the color that I am feeling the most...

Haha, I know its kinda silly looking, but I just wanted to give you guys a general idea.

I got this picture from InStyle.com. They have a fun little tool where you can upload a picture of yourself and then try on different hair colors and styles, or you can pick a celebrity and try on their hair. The hair I used here was from a picture of Blake Lively. I have seen her with this color a couple of times and it looks amazeballs on her.

So what do you think? Does it make me look...lively?

Wild Fish 2 Mile Swim

And now, for the much anticipated race report from the Wild Fish 2 Mile Swim. Hubby and I did the race last Sunday, but with all that is going on with our lives right now (oh, interviewing for jobs, planning a move, etc...NBD) I just haven't had much time.

The swim was an ocean swim, but fortunately it was in a cove/harbor/inlet (whatever you want to call it) so there was no wave action. Only tide action, low to high. Thus the swim wasn't until 11:30AM so the tide could be high enough for the water to be deep enough to swim in.

Hubby and I got there about 10AM to make sure we had enough time to get there, find a parking spot and pick up our packets. We also wanted some time to get our wetsuits on and get acclimated to the water temperature. Needless to say, we were there excessively early, but we got a really good parking spot. We're used to having to be at races super early for parking and to set up our transition areas.

One of our friends and WWMS teammates also did the 2 mile race with us (there was also a 1 mile race). I think she said it was her fourth or fifth consecutive time doing this race and she loves it. She's one of those crazy super swimmers who does multi-mile swim races like every other weekend. She also swims without a wetsuit in May. She's pretty much a beast. I just hope that one day I don't cry when I go swimming in May because its so cold.

The water temperature at race time was 68F (20C). Much warmer than I expected from the ocean this far north, but it felt every bit as cold as I thought it would be. I acclimated to the chilly temperature in time for the National Anthem and then we were off. Off course, in the 20 minutes time *eye roll* that it takes to play the American National Anthem, I had unacclimated and was gasping from the cold once I started to try to swim.

When the water is cold (which for me, it doesn't take much to be considered cold), I have a hard time getting a rhythm down. I breathe in when my face is in the water and out when its not and I semi-drown. I try to breast stroke, but that was also a losing battle. As anyone who has ever breast stroked in a wetsuit will tell you, the wetsuit makes you too buoyant to actually do a productive breast stroke. Its like attempting to make a snow angel when there's that thin layer of ice on top of the snow. I feel like if you took an aerial shot of me breast stroking in a wetsuit, that's what it would look like. In fact, the photo crew for the race did manage to get just such a shot of me...

I quickly realized by the fact that there was a kayak paddling right along side of me that I was A) last and B) looked like I was in a lot more distress than I really was. I immediately switched back to front crawl and I kinda wanted to yell out, "Stop following me. I'm ok. I know what it looks like, but trust me, I can swim 2 miles. For reals, yo. When it comes to swimming, I'm more of a tortoise than a hare. I may start slow, but I'm straight up passing hares as the races goes on."

The race was a two loop course, which made it kinda interesting dodging all the one milers as we were starting our second loop and they were finishing. I did a terrible job sighting on the first loop. I seemingly kept getting "washed ashore". Every time I looked up, no matter how frequently I sighted, I was no where near the buoy line and I was almost up on the shore. And do you know who else was swimming close to shore? These...
Fortunately, they were too small to sting, but they're still gross. It freaked me the hell out when I touched the first one. I hadn't actually seen them yet, so I didn't know what I touched. Then I saw one. Then two. Then swarms of jellyfish. Hubby swears to high heaven there were not any jellyfish in the water, but a bunch of my fellow racers said they also saw and felt them. They're kinda hard to miss when they are that abundant.

Another obstacle I had to face on the swim, almost literally, were the floating concrete blocks that were right smack dab in the middle of the course. No one was quite sure what they were or how they were floating, but they were hard to see as they hardly surfaced above the water and they were painted blue. It wasn't until you practically ran into them that you saw them. Thanks for the heads up, race organizers.

The two other challenges that I faced aside from what was in the water was the saltiness of the water (whoops, I guess that still goes under the "what's in the water" category) and the fact that my fingers went numb half way through the second loop. It was my first ever ocean swim in terms of racing or lap swimming. You don't realize how overpowering the salt in your mouth gets and how quickly until you do one of these things. I was parched before I even got to the first buoy.

All in all, I finished right about the time that I expected, a little over 1 hour and 22 minutes. All I really wanted out of this race was to get another training swim in before our big race and to see how we stacked up against the swim cutoff for the big race. I wasn't too concerned about cutting it close, but I know hubby was doubting himself a little bit, so we did the race together. With this time, I'll have 58 minutes to swim 0.4mi. I think I can handle that.

P.S. For those looking at doing an ocean swim, invest in Body Glide or something similar. I never had chaffing from my wetsuit during freshwater swims, but I got it bad in the salt water. There's nothing like salt to exfoliate...really well.

Pre-Ironman Goals

Since moving into a hotel, my eating habits have gotten out of control. Its hard when you are eating out for most of your meals to eat healthy. Who wants yet another side salad when there's other more delightful options? And for whatever reason, I have lost motivation to train. Its good and bad news that we're less than three weeks away from the big race. Its good because than I can take a much needed break from training. Its bad because motivationally, I've already given up on training. I need to find away just to give that last little push. After all, I just have one more long run, 20 miles today, and one last long bike ride, 100 miles this weekend. The rest is just tapering. Piece of cake, right?

So to try to keep myself on track, I have made a few short term goals. I sent them to my husband so he can help me stay focused, and I want to post them here as well.

This week: 

- Eat one salad a day (Hopefully, this helps with the fact that we eat out at least once a day. If I force myself to have a salad for that one meal, I won't be tempted to have fried chicken or something equally bad.)
- No more than 2 desserts for the week (Work in progress. I grew up being allowed to have one dessert a day, so limiting the dessert intake has been a struggle for me)

Next two weeks:
- Workout 6 days a week
- Do Cosmo workouts 7 days a week (I have a Cosmo magazine subscription. Each magazine has four exercise that target a certain area of the body and they all chosen by celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson. I'm going to do two of the workouts a day, one core workout and one other workout for a total of eight exercises.)
- Eat within Weight Watchers points (as much as I can considering our living situation...its hard to always know how many points are in a sandwich from a mom and pop sub shop. Until I can prepare my own food regularly, I'll do my best to estimate how many points I'm eating and stay within the points I am allowed each day.)

Letter to a Friend

Dear PIC (Partner In Crime),

I know we didn't start off on the right foot, what with you being my 1st through 4th grade teacher and all. Man, those were some tough times.

And I apologize that you had to listen to me plunk away on the piano once a week for five years. You tried your best to make me a pianist extraordinaire, but I think I was born without the music gene.

I couldn't have asked for a better PIC. The inventory days may have been long and hard, especially when you work for such a strict boss ( love you, mom!), but we made it through together, one crime at a time. I think we spent more time laughing than we did working. After all, that's what a good PIC is for, right?

You were also a great friend, not only to me, but to my family and to the other students that you taught. You attended our graduations and other family events long after finishing 4th grade which is way more than anyone could have expected from their elementary school teacher. I hope my children have teachers half as good as you.

I never thought that when I spent Christmas Eve with you in the hospital a couple of years ago, it would be the last time we would spend time together here on earth.

Hopefully, we will be able to spend more time together in heaven. Please, put in a good word for me.

I'll be missing you!

Campbell Camel

After numerous applications, multiple phone interviews and three in person interviews, I finally have a job. I accepted an unofficial job offer Friday afternoon to work at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. I know its a bustling hub of 2,200 in North Carolina and most of you know where it is, but here's a quick geography review.

Its about 30 miles south of Raleigh, 30 miles north of Fayetteville,
2 hours from the ocean, 3-4 hours from the Smoky Mountains
Once I pass my background check, I will receive an official job offer. At least for the time being, I will be assigned to the women's basketball and men's and women's tennis teams. Go Camels!

In other winning this weekend, I have been doing some serious bargain shopping. Part of it is starting to acquire some of the clothes I have been wanting for a long time (a girl's gotta treat herself for finally getting a job, right?). The other part is that I only brought a week's worth of clothes with me to the hotel. Normally, that would be sufficient, but I have been having eating/drinking issues this week which have forced me to change my clothes more than once a day. This week, I have turned a week's worth of clothes into 3 days worth of clothes, so I had to buy a few tops to supplement my wardrobe. I got some really good deals and I almost feel like an "extreme couponer" or something. Here's a look at what I bought:

Zara Pleated Dress
Original Price: $89
Actual Paid: $40
Saved: $49

Couldn't find the exact shirt I bought, but this is close. Mine has white trim along collar and cuffs.
Brooks Brothers V-neck Sweater
Original Price: $60
Actual Paid: $24
Saved: $36

Again, the closest to what I actually bought
Gap Curvy Straight (oxymoron, no?) Jeans, Dark Blue
Original Price: $45
Actual Paid: $19
Saved: $26

Gap Gray V-neck t-shirt
Original Price: $20
Actual Paid: $4
Saved: $16

Old Navy Olive Green Cardigan
Original Price: $20
Actual Paid: $2
Saved: $18
Forever 21 Blazer (I purchased it in beige)
Original Price: $24
Actual Paid (Thank you gift card): $17
Saved: $7

Not pictured: 
Old Navy Kansas Jayhawks t-shirt (my bro goes to school there)
Original Price: $20
Actual Paid: $2
Saved: $18

Defunct Running Team Singlet (can never have enough running shirts)
Original Price: $30
Actual Paid: $5
Saved: $25

Original Price: $308
Actual Paid: $113
Saved: $195 (Major winning)