Race Recap: Never Quit Beach Fest 5k

I ran in the Never Quit Beach Fest 5k on May 21, 2011.  We started the race early in the evening at 5:00pm on what felt like one of the hottest days of the year.  It was 93 degrees on the beach.  I had to work early in the morning, but I left early so I can make it to beach for the race.  I rushed home to change and made myself a pre-run snack - a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and some Gatorade.  I left my place with I thought was enough time to spare, but it took me longer to get to the location than I expected.  The traffic to the beach was ridiculous and the parking was almost nonexistent.  I drove around for about 20 minutes looking for parking until I stalked someone walking to back to their car.  At this point it was about 4:30pm and I was about 7 blocks away from the start line and I hadn’t even picked up my race packet yet.  Luckily, by the time I met up with my friend, Maria, I had about 10 minutes to spare to get lined up.  We weren’t able to get towards the front of the start line, because of the large crowd.  There were about 5,000 people running on the beach so getting past the start line was a very slow.

The first 2/3 of the race was okay, but it was super hot.  I started out running in the 9:00 mile paces and I crossed the first mile at 9:15.  Mile 2 was a little harder and I had to tell myself to “keep going!”  I starting breathing very hard after mile 1 up until the halfway mark and then I had to walk in order to catch my breath.  I started to feel a little nauseous and light-headed, but I figured it was because of the extreme humidity and the sun blaring down on us.  I ended up passing the 2 mile clock at about 19:50.  During the last mile, my pace slowed to about 11 or 12-minute mile and I was huffing and puffing and I stopped to walk every few minutes.  I think that the heat and running on the beach really effected my time. Even though the sand was hard-packed, it was a little difficult to run the whole way. 

I crossed the finish line at 31:44 L - this was certainly not my personal best and I wasn’t pleased with my performance. As I’ve mentioned before, all races are not equal.  The final stats on the website posted that the race had 4191 total finishers – 1294 male finishers and 2897 female finishers.  This was a great race that I would be happy to participate in again next year – maybe it won’t be so hot.  What I loved most about the Never Quit Beach Fest 5k Race was how many people came out to support such a wonderful cause.  The Never Quit mission is to educate the community on how to avoid brain bleeds, stroke and heart disease through healthy life choices and to encourage everyone to take on a Never Quit attitude and live life to its fullest.   
OXOX Natasha

miscellany monday

happy monday everyone – i’ve added my random ramblings to carissa’s miscellany monday party!  check out carissa’s blog here and join in on the fun.  

{one} memorial day.  i’m extremely grateful to all the men and women who have fought and those who are currently serving our country so that we can be free.  we should take a moment of silence today to remember all of the fallen soldiers and to keep their families in your thoughts/prayers. we truly do owe them everything. thank you!

{two} a j.crew giveaway.  molly over at my closet travels is hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card to j.crew.  check out her blog here for all of the details on how to enter.  this contest ends tonight at midnight.

{three} couponing.  have you ever watched extreme couponing on tlc?  i watched it for the first time the other day with my sister and i was amazed.  i sadly realized that i have been missing out on saving lots of money.  these families save hundreds of dollars in trips to the store all due to discount coupons.  i’m going to start paying attention to saving in the grocery stores and start clipping some coupons.  do you coupon?
OXOX Natasha

Fresh Picks to Follow: Espadrilles

I hope that you all are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend so far.  Unfortunately, my weekend is pretty uneventful.  My only day off that I have is Memorial Day and I plan to run in a 5k race on Monday morning – I’m really looking forward to it.   Anyways, I’m late as usual in posting my Friday Fresh Picks to Follow, so here we go. 

Espadrilles are the ultimate spring/summer shoe 0f 2011 and it’s the perfect shoe for the 70’s inspired clothing for the spring season.  A classic espadrille style is made of canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole that is made of rope or rubber material molded to look like rope (info from Wikipedia).   The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille shoe.  Did you know that jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that is spun into coarse, strong threads?  I didn't know what jute was before I looked it up today.  The sole of the shoe may be flat, platform or wedged-shaped and the upper part of the shoe may be open-toed or closed-toe, open-back or they come with a wrap-around ankle tie.

I currently own 4 pairs of espadrilles that I bought several years ago and I never got rid of them.  All of my shoes are either platform or wedged shaped and one of them has thin straps to tie around my ankle – it’s very sexy.  I don’t own any flats yet, but I think that I’ll have to buy a pair this summer.  You will find that espadrilles come in several exciting designs and styles this season.  Check out my top 10 Fresh Picks for the week.   I'm personally obsessed with #'s 6, 7 & 10. Do you own any espadrilles?  Which ones are your favorites? 

1. Anthropologie – Beaded Mercury Wedges…$120.00

2. Toms – Red Canvas Women's Wedges…$69.00

3. Anthropologie – New Wave Espadrilles…$138.00

5. J.Crew – Canvas Espadrilles…$98.00

6. Kate Spade – Lido…$99.00

7. J.Crew – Sardinia Wedge Espadrilles…$118.00

8. Stuart Weitzman – Alex…$365.00

9. Nine West – Braxton…$99.00

10. Coach – Ireena…$79.00 (was $148.00)
OXOX Natasha

miscellany monday

happy monday everyone – i’ve added my random ramblings to carissa’s miscellany monday party!  check out carissa’s blog here and join in on the fun. 

{one} anthropologie tag sale – part 2?  did you buy anything at the tag sale last week?  i was able to make it to the store the day on the sale after all and i got everything that i wanted.  i’m curious to see if the store is going to markdown any more items.  fingers crossed!  

{two} the bachelorette.  so a few months ago i wrote  about abc’s the bachelor, brad womack, and some of the girls in the finale.  well if you didn’t know this already, abc brought back miss ashley h. to prime time for her chance to find love again on her own show – the bachelorette.  the season premiere aired tonight with 25 really good looking men vying for ashley’s attention.  i think that she’s going to have a real tough job over the next several weeks finding “the one.”  ashley is super lucky to travel to some amazing countries too – i’m looking forward to see the footage in hong kong, thailand, fiji.

{three} running.  my co-worker and i ran 3 ½ miles today after work today.  we are gearing up for another 5k on memorial day.  i’ve been a running fool lately, but this florida heat may change things a bit.

{four} oprah.  i just got finished watching part one of the surprise oprah - farewell spectacular.  did you watch it? her team did an amazing job so far.  i really enjoyed beyonce and rascal flats’ performances.  oprah is truly an amazing woman – it’s kinda hard to believe that she won’t be on the air everyday.  she’s been in our lives for 25 years and she is an inspiration for so many people.  she’ll be missed more than she can ever know.  what do you guys think about oprah retiring?

{five} tornadoes and floods.  as you know, the midwest and southern states have been hit hard by harsh weather over the few weeks.  tornados have destroyed parts of alabama, kansas and most recently, missouri.  and of course we know that the mississippi river is close to flooding parts of louisiana.  if you want to help out by volunteering or making a donation to those in need in the affected areas, please check out these links to the red cross and the humane society. 

OXOX Natasha

Race Recap: Marty’s Run 5k

I ran in the Marty’s 5k Run on May 14th and I had a great time.  It was a gorgeous day for a race.  The Marty’s Run benefited Memories of Love, which is a non-profit organization for families whose parents are battling a life-threatening illness.  Check out the website if you want to learn more about this great organization.  The weather was pretty warm that morning, but it was not unbearable.  The race itself was just okay - the course was very simple because the road was flat the whole way and it went through a cute little neighborhood. 

I’m not sure where I finished overall because the race officials split the result between men and women.  There were 346 total race finishers and 199 female finishers.   I came in 4th in my age group and I was the 36th female finisher overall.  My official chip time was 28:12.  I was a little disappointed about my stats since I wanted my time to decrease from the previous race.  It just goes to show you that no matter what kind of 5k race you run in, there are no two 5ks that are the same.  There are so many factors that can impact the outcome of a race, like the weather, how much rest you had the night before, sneakers, playlist/music.  This list can go on and on.  This race in particular, I ran too fast for the first 2 miles and just gave out during the 3rd mile.  I realized after this race that I need to work on my pacing over the next few weeks.
OXOX Natasha

Fresh Picks to Follow: Running Apparel

Hiya ladies – Happy Friday!  I hope that you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend planned.  I only have a couple of things planned for the weekend which includes a 5k race tomorrow afternoon and a baptism to attend on Sunday.  Anyways, since the weather has been warming up over the past few weeks, I’ve been running and working out a lot more.  I’ve also been updating my workout wardrobe.  So, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post regarding running fashion.

As you brave your first run on the treadmill or compete in your first race, you may want to reconsider your workout wardrobe. You may not think about it, but style is a key issue when it comes to running or working out.  The right running apparel not only ensures that you feel confident when you pound the pavement, but it will aide your performance and help you feel comfortable.  Here are my top 10 running apparel pieces for this week’s Fresh Pick to Follow.  What is your favorite piece of running apparel? Do you own any of the items that I listed below?  Let me know what you think. 

1. Adidas - Supernova Racer Bra…$35.00

2. Saucony - Women's Run Lux Short Sleeve…$35.00

3. WrightSock – SLR Low Quarter Sock…$10.00

4. C9 by Champion - Women's Running Shorts…$14.99

5. Lululemon - Run: Speed Skirt…$58.00

6. Under Armour - Escape Get Started Tank…$29.99

7. Adidas - ULT WO Tee…$20.00

8. Nike - Tempo Track Women's Running Shorts…$15.97 (was $28.00)

9. Under Armour - Form Loose Capri…$44.99

10.  Puma - Large Logo Tank Top…$23.00
OXOX Natasha

miscellany monday

happy monday everyone – i’ve added my random ramblings to carissa’s miscellany monday party!  check out carissa’s blog here and join in on the fun. 

{one} anthropologie tag sale.  i went to my local anthro store tonight and they were in full swing: moving fixtures around the store and marking items down.   i only saw a handful of items that i recognized, so i can’t write out a list of them.  i’m so excited about this sale…i can’t wait to see everything that got marked down.  and i really hope that they plan to add free shipping and an additional discount.  i guess we’ll find out in the morning.  according to an email that i received from anthro, some stores plan to open early for anthro card holders only.  here are a list of stores (here) that will open early for the big sale.  unfortunately, i won’t be able to make it to the store tomorrow.  i’m hoping that the items i put on hold will still be there by wednesday.  i’m keeping my fingers crossed!  let me know what you hope to buy at the sale.

{two} gossip girl.  did you watch the season finale of gossip girl?  what did you think?  i’ve always held a torch for blair and chuck.  i love the back and forth they go through and i’m always rooting for them.  do you think that they will ever get back together?  we’ll see next season.

{three} running shoes.  i finally bought a new pair of running sneakers.  i went to my local running store and got my feet fitted for some new shoes.  the shoe-fitting specialist performed a series of measurements and tests including video taping me run on the treadmill to figure out what shoe would be best for me.  the specialist told me that running shoes are classified into several shoe types: cushion, stability and motion control.  i’m glad that i went because my old sneakers were doing more damage than good.  it turns out that i needed a shoe that provides stability for my ankles.  who knew?  i ended up purchasing a pair of asics gt-2160 and they feel amazing.  i can’t wait to try them out in my next race. 

{four} never quit beach fest.  i’m so excited about this weekend.  i signed up for the never quit beach fest in jacksonville, fl on may 21.  i signed up to run in the 5k run on the beach.  it sounds like it’s going to be a great event.  i’ll write up a race recap when the race is over to let you know how it went.  for more information about the never quit fest, check out the website (here). 
OXOX Natasha

Fresh Picks to Follow: Bangles and Cuffs

I had a real tough time trying to figure out what to feature for my Friday Fresh Picks to Follow post.  However, I was in the process of adding some Anthropologie items to my wish list and I realized that I added a handful of jewelry pieces to my list.  In particular, I added a handful of bangles and cuffs.  Lately, I’ve been  a little obsessed with bangles and cuffs.   I already have a handful of bangles in my collection, but I don’t own any cuffs.  I’m ready to start adding a few of these cuffs to my collection very soon.  Check out my top 10 Fresh Picks for the week and let me know what you think.  Are you a bangle or cuff wearer?

1. Anthropologie - Starfish Cuff…$198.00

2. Anthropologie - Best Bunch Cuff…$78.00

3. Alexis Bittar - Golden Silk Medium Cuff…$225.00

4. Anthropologie - Gilded Link Bracelet…$168.00

5. Anthropologie - Coin-Operated Cuff…$198.00

6. Pamela Love - Tribal Spike Cuff…$195.00

8. Anthropologie - Quatro Bangles…$58.00

9. Ted Rossi - Mirror/Extreme Bling Cuff…$288.00

10. Ted Rossi - Turq Faux Lizard Bangles…$65.00
OXOX Natasha

May Wish List – Top 3

Here are my top 3 items from Anthropologie for the month of May.  I really love so many pieces right now.  I’m not sure if I can pick only 3 items, but I’ll try to do it.  I just saw the Shine Through Dress on the website for the first time today and I fell in love.  I would love to see it in person.  Last week, I tried on the 2 strapless tops listed below and they fit perfectly.  I decided immediately that these 2 beauties are definitely coming home with me before the month is over.   What are your must have items this month?  Let me know!
                          Shine Through Dress                 Eyeleted Corset Top                          Pesisir Top
OXOX Natasha

OOTD: Vestiges Dress

I wore my Vestiges Dress for the first time today and I love everything about it.  The vibrant and colorful top and ruffles really makes this dress special.  The dress has a classic shape and it compliments my hourglass figure.  It comes with a sash that can be used as a belt or you can use your own wide brown belt instead – I plan to try that the next time I wear it.  This dress is versatile enough to wear to work and then out to dinner or drinks afterwards.  I wore this dress to work today and then met up with some friends for a birthday dinner celebration.  If you like the Vestiges Dress, check out the Sunny Soiree Dress at Anthropologie.  The Sunny Soiree Dress  is the same style and fit, but in a bold white/yellow combo for the spring and summer season. 

Dress: Anthropologie Vestiges Dress
Earrings: Anthropologie Buttercup Posts
 Shoes: Gianni Bini Gold Flats
OXOX Natasha

Fitness: A Couple of 5k Races – My Recap

I’ve been in a couple of 5k races over the past few weeks and I didn’t have a chance to post my progress. 

The first race that I completed was an early evening race that started at 6:30pm on April 21, 2011.   The weather was a balmy 92 degrees and very humid.  Overall, the race was fun and the race course was pretty simple – it was mostly a flat surface.   However, there wasn’t any cold water to drink until the end of the race.  During the race, there was only warm water after 1.50 miles…it was miserable.  Despite the water mishap, I finished 289 overall and my time was 30:57.  I was pretty happy about my stats considering the weather and lack of water.  There were 2996 total race finishers and 1668 female finishers.  

The next race that I completed went much better than the last one.  I improved my time, my pace and I even won an award.   This particular race was designed for women only, but there were a handful of men that ended up participating.  Anyways, I woke up pretty early on April 30, 2011 to meet my running partner at 8:00am.  I was able to make myself a small protein smoothie that kept me energized throughout the race.  The race started at 8:30am and to my surprise I finished 31st overall out of 270 total race finishers.  My time improved to 27:57 and I also came in first place in my age group.

I plan to enter another race this Saturday and I’m hoping that my time improves again – so, we’ll see.

OXOX Natasha

Fresh Picks to Follow: Maxi Dresses

I bought a beautiful chambray maxi dress from Anthropologie yesterday (see # 1 below) and this dress gave me the inspiration for my topic for this week's Friday Fresh Picks to Follow.  Maxi dresses are everywhere again this season and it’s not a surprise to see them back.  These dresses are flowy, feminine, romantic and versatile for the warm months yet to come.  I think that this is one essential item that should be in any fashionista’s spring and summer wardrobe.   Since I live in Florida, the maxi dress is my go to item during many the hot and humid days.  The dress is perfect because of the endless variety of styles, colors and shapes.  From halter neck lines, bold vibrant colors, daring geometric patterns, floral print, to strapless and spaghetti straps, it is evident that this year’s maxi dress is here to stay.  Check out my top 10 Fresh Picks for the week and let me know what you think.  What are your thoughts about maxi dresses?  Do you have a favorite maxi dress in your collection? 

1. Anthropologie - Tiered Chambray Dress…$79.95 (was $128.00)

2. Free People - Sunburst Maxi Dress…$108.00

3. Alice + Olivia - Mena Printed Halter Maxi...$242.00

4. Anthropologie - Macias Maxi Dress…$228.00

5. White House Black Market - Ruffle Maxi Dress…$188.00

6. Anthropologie - Spellbound Maxi Dress…$358.00

7. Banana Republic - Hailey Printed Halter Maxi Dress - $98.00

8. Free People - Tracks of My Tiers Maxi Dress…$148.00

9. Tory Burch - Shelbee Dress…$478.00

10. J. Crew - Evelyn Dotted Long Dress…$795.00

OXOX Natasha

Fresh Picks to Follow: Sheer Delights

Hiya ladies – I’ve been a little MIA because I have been working straight since last Saturday and I’m exhausted.  I work a full-time job Monday thru Friday and I have a part-time on Saturday and Sunday.  I know – I’m a glutton for punishment.  Anyways, I didn’t have a chance to post last Friday’s Fresh Pick to Follow, but here it is now.  This spring, major fashion designers featured sheer tops, sheer dresses and even sheer maxi skirts over shorts through out the websites and clothing stores creating a real feminine presence. Some of these sheer garments could border between dreamy and vulgar.  Of course the key to wearing this trend in public is pairing the sheer item with an opaque piece underneath for coverage. Here are my top 10 sheer garments for last week’s Fresh Pick to Follow.  Let me know what you think. 

1. American Apparel - Sleeveless Lace Dress…$58.00

2. Anthropologie - Heroine's Homecoming Top…$118.00

3. Wal G - Sheer Flower Dress… $84.00

4. ASOS - Cheap Monday Maxi Skirt…$100.41

5. Anthropologie - Dogwood Blouse…$98.00

6. Urban Outfitters - PJ by Peter Jensen Sheer Silk Dress…$89.00

7. Anthropologie - Silk Blooms Eternal Top…$88.00

8. Bare Necessities - Nation Ltd.: Kingston Sheer Stripe Tee…$68.00

9. Urban Outfitters - Staring at Stars Sheer Chiffon Dress…$59.00

10. Anthropologie - Textural Paradise Top…$98.00
OXOX Natasha
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