Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jamberry Runner Girl

In honor of the Houston Marathon, this week's Jamicure features Runner Girl and the sadly retired Raspberry Sparkle (and my race bib from my July 4th 5K).  This is the most tame manicure I've had in a while, so I had to use Raspberry Sparkle to spice things up a little.  I love how well the two wraps go together, but I already have some ideas of other funky ways to pair Runner Girl.  I'm thinking Black & White Stripe or Black & White Chevron would be a fun pairing, or maybe Vintage Bicycle (especially since I like to bike ride, too).  I could always go for a really bright manicure and pair Runner Girl with something like Carnival or Venus.  Oh, Jamberry, you make it too easy to play with matching wraps and make me want to buy them all!

This Manicure Monday is a little late, but my posting schedule got sidetracked by my new purple hair.  I was so excited to be a purple head I had to go ahead and post that on Monday, lol.  But at least I'm posting and trying to stick with a loose editorial calendar.  Baby steps, right?

Tell me, what would you pair with Runner Girl?

The Epic Houston Marathon

Even though I've been running for about a year now, I still consider myself a baby runner.  I'm miles and miles away from where I'd like to be as far as my endurance and speed are concerned, so actually running in a marathon or half-marathon (or even just the 10K I'm determined to finish this year) are just pipe dreams right now, but I did go out and spectate at this year's Houston Marathon, and man, what an amazing thing a marathon is. (and what an amazing run-on sentence that was, lol).

I woke up early on Sunday morning to get to a good spot for spectating along the course.  I originally planned on riding my bike the few miles from our house to the start line in downtown (and then to a few other places on the course), but when faced with a ride alone before the sun was up I came to my senses and decided to find another watching point that I could drive to.  Getting run off the road by a crazy Houston driver or mugged along the isolated bike trail was not something I wanted to risk just to see the start of the marathon.  I really should've left my house earlier to get to the spot I wanted (the split where the marathoners take one course and the half-marathoners take another) so I could see both the marathon runners and half-marathon runners, but the roads were already closed.  And if I'd tried to find another way to that vantage point or parked and walked, I would've missed the elite runners zoom past me.

I had accidentally spectated at the New York Marathon one year and happened to see the winner run past at a blink-and-you-miss-it pace, so I kinda knew what to expect, but actually seeing runners go past you at 13 miles an hour (let that speed sink in for a second - 13 MILES AN HOUR), even if you're prepared for it is mind boggling.  The winner of this year's marathon, Birhanu Gedefa finished 26.2 miles in 2:08:03.  Two hours to finish a marathon - two hours, people, two hours!!!  I managed to get some shaky video of the elites going past, but the video does no justice to their epicness (plus I was watching them with my eyes instead of through the screen and I was cheering, so please pay no attention to the video quality or my very loud wooooooos).  I spectated between mile 8 and mile 9, and the elite runners passed me less than 45 minutes after the start of the marathon.  Some perspective on how slow I am:  It took me 48 minutes to run my first 5K, and that's only 3.1 miles.

Adding to the amazingness of what the elite runners are able to push their bodies to do is the wait for the next group of runners to come by.  The amount of time that goes by with no runners in site, between the winners of the marathon and the just-as-epic runners that qualify for the Boston Marathon (with a time of roughly three hours to finish - and let that sink in for a second) is a good half hour.  The elite runners are half an hour ahead of the slightly less elite Boston Qualifiers - the regular runners of the marathon don't even see the elites they're so fast.  Amaze-balls.

some of the Boston Qualifiers

4 hour finishers (still a faster pace than my fastest 5K)

Once the Boston Qualifiers run past, the running field significantly thickens.  A steady stream of people ran past me for 3 hours before I headed home to pick up Jack and Dennis and head to another spot on the course.  I was also super stoked to spot all 3 marathoners I knew, which is no small feat when thousands of people are streaming past.

The next spot on the course where we watched was at mile 23.  There was quite a difference in the runners from mile 8 to mile 23.  The field had thinned out considerably, and people were smiling less and grimacing more.  There was less running and more walking, but despite everything, everyone was still looking good and trucking along.  Those runners are epic in their drive and determination to finish.  And if I ever did a marathon, I would still be slower than them!  I managed to get over to mile 23 in time to see everyone I knew go past a second time, too.  Plus there was someone dressed up as a gorilla at mile 23.

mile 23

After watching at mile 23 for a while, we headed downtown to the finish line.  I wasn't able to get any good pictures of the finish line, but it was still pretty amazing to see everyone running that last little bit to actually finish a marathon!!!  I am definitely more motivated to run after spectating; I'm even toying with the idea of signing up for a half marathon next year, but we'll have to see if that's just a crazy reaction after seeing everyone go 26.2 miles, or if it's something I might actually be able to accomplish.  We'll just have to see!

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Love My New Purple Hair!

photo by Rina Dee

I've been playing around with this idea for a while and I finally pulled the trigger on a fun new hairdo.  My Pixie cut has finally gone through all the awkward growing out it's going to do and is just about bob length, but all that awkward growing out left me feeling like I had Lady Politician hair.  Lady Politician hair on a quickly approaching 35 woman who feels like she's still 23 just won't do, so I had to make a big change.  Enter Rina Dee from Kat's Meow Salon in Houston, and BOOM!  Purple hair.  This will come as no surprise to you if you're following me over on Instagram, and if you aren't (why aren't you?!!?) go follow me now, so I don't drop purple hair bombs all over you.

This isn't my first forray with rainbow colored hair, but it is the first time I've done my entire head.  And. I. Am. LOVING. IT!!!  In highschool and my early 20's, I'd typically do one thick streak at the front of my hair and I'd change the color to match the holiday (I'll find some of those pics the next time I visit my Mom), so I'm already thinking about what my next color is going to be (but I'll probably keep it like this for a while - bleach does a number on your hair).

Bye, bye, Lady Politician Hair

I'm lucky that I have a job that lets me be myself with funky hair, facial piercings, and visible tattoos.  If you're not quite in the same boat (and things are changing and have changed a lot in the last decade), there are still ways you can rock some fun hair colors.  Clip in hair extensions is a totally non-permanent way to add some fun to your 'do.  I got these extensions for all my bridesmaids.  They can be cut and styled with heated styling tools.  You could also add streaks of color in an under layer of your hair that would pretty much stay hidden with some hairstyles and then on the weekend, pull your hair back and WOW, colored hair!!!  I also have a friend who is in corporate America who is rocking super skinny blue and purple highlights in her hair.  It's so subtle you miss it at first glance.  And then she goes into the sun and it's all HELLO BLUE AND PURPLE!!!!  

I look like Jared Leto in Fight Club
Also, I suck at selfies

And don't tell me you can't pull off rainbow hair.  I've had a ton of people tell me that they like my hair but feel like they couldn't rock the same look.  Now I know rainbow hair isn't for everyone, but if you've always wanted to try it and you like the way it looks, then you, too, could pull off rainbow hair.  I promise.  Am I loud and crazy and goofy and out there?  Yes, yes I am, but not to any sort of extreme (there are waaaaayyyyyy crazier and wilder people out there then me - I'm offbeat-lite).  You don't have to go for a whole head transformation.  Try pink highlights or purple streaks or blue ombre tips.  Have fun with your hair!!!  And don't be afraid to experiment!!!  When I was a teenager with crazy hair back in the '90's, in small town Louisiana, I was a pariah and people treated me differently, made assumptions about me, gawked, and made rude comments.  Things have changed a lot since then.  People don't even comment on my nose ring anymore.

now I look like Zorg from The Fifth Element
photo by Rina Dee
It's only been a couple of days and I'm having so much fun as a purple head.  Have ya'll ever had an extreme hair color?  Considered it?  Plan on going through with it?  If you're in the Houston area, I HIGHLY recommend Rina Dee at Kat's Meow Salon!!!  Go like them on Facebook to show them some love, too!  Their brother shop, Big Kat's Barbershop is where I went to keep my pixie in line while it grew out.

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