Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It was quite grand...

This past Saturday, I held a grand opening for my little cupcake counter downtown. It was so much fun! (And so much work, haha.)

The cupcake counter has been open since the beginning of July, but I wanted to do a grand opening of sorts to make it 'officially' open. If that makes any sense. It turned into more of a grand opening/fall open house. My parents even came out to visit and help with it! They haven't been to visit since the cupcake counter has been open, so that was fun.

As soon as they got here Friday afternoon, I put them to work. Yes, my dad learned how to use the blow torch on the S'mores cupcakes. He did a pretty fantastic job, if I do say so myself. (Mom, you did great with the pecan pie filling, too. :-P)

In addition to having cupcakes for sale at the counter, I planned a few more activities to ramp up the excitement of the day. 

I held a Create-a-Cupcake Contest in the days leading up to the grand opening... anyone could submit their brand-new cupcake idea. The top ten were then taken to voting on Facebook, and the top three were baked and taste-tested at the grand opening. The three contenders were Puppy Chow, French Silk Pie, and Snickerdoodle. While they were all delicious, Snickerdoodle came out as the champion. (By just one vote!) The winner gets to have their cupcake on the menu, plus they received a pretty sweet prize pack.

We also had cupcake decorating for kids... it was definitely a hit! (With some adults, too. Hey, we're all kids at heart!)

These were the raffles - a few prize baskets and some gift certificates for free cupcakes. You could earn raffle tickets for various reasons. (Walking in the door, making a purchase, wearing a Sara's Sweets cupcake pin, bringing a friend, etc...) Wishing I could have won! Lol.

All in all, I baked over 700 cupcakes and not a single cupcake was left by 2:30pm. (The event was supposed to last from 11am-3pm.) I think my dad was a little disappointed when he realized that he & my mom weren't going to be able to take any cupcakes back home with them! Haha. 

Under-the-bed storage containers are just giant tupperwares, right?

the menu line-up: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Carrot, Chai Latte, Vanilla Raspberry, Apple Cider, Black-bottomed Cheesecake, Buckeye, Pecan Pie, Vanilla Tie-dye, and S'mores

And... I also finally got some Sara's Sweets tshirts! They are so cute. And I also love the fact that I do not have to think about what to wear when working the counter anymore. My life goal to never wear real clothes again is coming along quite nicely, haha.

So, it was a pretty smashingly successful weekend... minus the attempted 18-miler on Sunday morning that turned into a 14.5-miler. I think I was just a wee bit exhausted after working a few consecutive 15-hour days, lol. Absolutely lovin' life, though. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

That time when I signed up for a marathon that's only 6 weeks away...

Yea, that happened this week. It's actually now only 5.5 weeks away. Yikes!

Sure, why not?

I haven't been in a running routine since I was training for Boston last spring. Through May & June, I kind of lost my running mojo and it was really hard to get motivated. I told myself I was 'recovering' from Boston. (Which is totally legit.)

Somehow I squeaked out a 5k PR on July 4, without doing much speed work at all. I've been running most of the summer, but no real training plan or focus. At the end of August, I found myself telling someone that I was still 'recovering' from Boston... 4 months later. Lol, don't think I can use that as an excuse any more. :-P

So, one of my running buds here in the Bean Town runs the Columbus Marathon every year, and I have run the half-marathon the past couple years. I've done a few of her long runs with her, and last weekend we did 14. I felt pretty good, so I decided to go ahead and sign up for the half-marathon. But... the half was already filled up, so I did the next logical thing - signed up for the full! Haha... it is on October 20, so just 38 days away.

I have a strange sense of peace about this race... I know it's very unlikely that I will PR so I am going in with a 'just have fun' attitude. Usually I plan out a whole 16-week marathon training cycle, with tempos and hill workouts and three 20+ mile runs. This time, I think I will try for a 16, 18, 20, and then taper. It has actually been a lot of fun to approach the marathon in a pressure-free way. (I know, I am the one who usually puts the pressure on myself to perform well. It's so hard not to when you are putting in a lot of hard training!)

So we'll see how it goes. In other news, I finally broke down and got one of these...

I have been using a Wal-mart watch for the last 5 years or so. Its only function was to keep time, so I would either just run for time or map the route when I got home. Well, my Business Man had some extra points in the prize-catalog at work and gave me free rein. (Which was like the best day ever. Think back to fundraisers when you were a kid... the more junk beautiful knick knacks you sold, the better prize you got to pick from that rockin' prize catalog. This was just like that, but without the door-to-door selling and disappointment of never earning enough points!)

This pretty green watch was in the catalog so I decided to go for it. Now, I don't really use it much besides start & stop like my old watch. (I have no idea how to set it up for intervals and whatnot.) But it is so fun to see my splits & elevation broken down after the run! I have noticed that my first mile is always a lot slower than the rest. I'm pretty sure that's because I am sleep-running that first mile. 

On a more pathetic note, I did a depressing 'hill' workout on Tuesday. First of all, I went out around 10:30am on a day where it was already 88*F with something like 85% humidity. Not the wisest choice. So I ran my 400m 'hills' that I have done in the past, where I run hard (but steady) up the hill and then jog back down. I came home, so excited to see the elevation climbs on the watch. I pretty much climbed mountains! (Or so I thought.) And... it was a total elevation change of about 50ft. Haha, so hardcore. Not. Oh well, at least it was something.

So, I might be back to blog about marathon training. (Or 'marathon training'.) But more than likely I won't, since my track record of blogging hasn't been so great lately. At least I have an excuse to eat more carbs now...

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