Quest For A Sub-30 Minute 5K Race Number Four

The last race in my summer’s quest for sub-30 Minute 5K, is done. I really enjoyed the series put on by the Lakeland Runners Club. The races were well-organized and the volunteers were excellent. To read about the other races in this series, please see Race One, Race Two, and Race Three.

Running all four races, I earned this snazzy t-shirt.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Series 2012 Shirt

$30 for four 5K’s and a t-shirt, this series is such a good value.

The race took place around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. I really need to make an effort to run there more often because it is a beautiful area. The path around the lake has views of gorgeous homes, Florida Southern College (with their many Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings), and tons of birds. It is worth the drive to Lakeland if you are looking for a place to run in Central Florida.

The weather was clear but as humid as every August day is in Florida. This race I actually remembered to bring my sunglasses, so I could see when the sun was coming up. No major issues but I did have some slight cramping again. I am starting to think the cramping is caused by the humidity. My pace felt comfortable, so it was not that I was running too fast.


Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Number 4 Splits

I am pleased with how even they are. They need to be a little bit faster for a sub-30 but I am getting there.

My strong finish and Garmin adjustment. (I like how this picture makes me look like I’m flying.)

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race Number 4 DinaRuns

Clock Time: 32:39

Chip Time: 32:18

This was the final race of the series and I was not able to run a sub-30 minute 5K. Even though I did not make my goal, I learned a lot training for a shorter distance. I did more speed training and tempo running than I ever have before.This has led to an increase in speed. Being a fairly new runner, learning how I feel and react to different types of training helps me learn what works best for me. Seeing the results of these training runs lets me know that I can get faster and my running can improve. I just have to put the work in.

This summer I was able to bring my 5K PR from 35:24 to 31:21. It is not a sub-30 but I’ll take it.

The Best New TV Show For Fall

This post will contain a few things that I hold dear including fall TV, free stuff, and cats.

The number one show I am looking forward to this fall is Revolution which is premiering September 17 on NBC. This show is getting lots of Hunger Games comparisons (dystopian storyline and a heroine with a bow) but who cares because The Hunger Games is really good. Please watch the trailer if you have not seen it and I know you will be as excited for this show as I am.

Awesome right?

I was lucky to receive all this free stuff in the mail this week. As a long time BzzAgent , I have gotten lots of cool items over the years.

CoverGirl Plus Olay BzzAgent Kit

I received a CoverGirl + Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 foundation.

CoverGirl plus Olay Tone Rehab 2 in 1 Foundation Base

I was also sent a pressed powder.

CoverGirl And Olay Pressed Powder

Of course, if I am doing anything anywhere in the house a cat pops up. So curious and so in the way.

Tail The Cat In The Way

A few weeks ago I tweeted a picture of baked garlic squash.

Garlic Squash

Followed by a Twitter exchange with GE.

@ That looks fantastic, Dina! Do you enjoy making healthy meals?
General Electric

Then they sent me a basketball.

Spalding Basketball

I know nothing about basketballs but J assures me it is a nice one.

GE Healthy Share

GE recently launched HealthyShare which allows people to set health goals and share them with friends on Facebook. They have different apps on the site where you can track sleep, diet, and your moods. As someone who takes my health seriously, it is nice to see a place where people can get inspiration and motivation to create healthy habits.

Do you have a fall TV show that you are looking forward to?

Getting It Off My Chest

I rarely get political on here because it is a running blog and you are not reading here for that. Anyone who follows me on Twitter or is my Facebook friend certainly knows which side I butter my bread. There are some stories that are so over the line that I have to use this platform (for the four people who read here) to get this off my chest.

Todd Akin (R-MO) is a huge asshole.

In case you missed the story, here is a clip below of what this elected official, he is currently in the U.S. House of Representatives and running for a seat in the U.S. Senate, said about rape.

A sitting U.S. House member actually said on TV “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The statement is gross, horrifying, and false. Of course such a statement brings out cries for him to resign from the race (mainly because there is no way to defend such ignorant and hurtful statements but also because Akin is linked to GOP VP choice Paul Ryan through a co-sponsored personhood bill which outlaws abortion in all cases including incest, rape, and the life of the mother. It also draws attention to the newly released GOP party platform that is also against abortion in all cases.) So what is a guy to do? Go on Mike Hukabee’s show while announcing that you will not drop out of the race.

Todd Akin says that he misspoke and should not be punished for making a mistake. He gives a feeble apology and says that he used the wrong word. It is obvious that he does not get it. The issue should not even be his weak apology but the fact that he is still a supporter of legislation that harms women. Banning abortions in all cases harms women. Women have the right to make health care decisions with their doctors and that might mean terminating a pregnancy. The war on women 2012 edition just keeps going on. I hope the people of Missouri are smart enough to keep Todd Akin far away from the U.S. Senate.

Caturday #2

Hope you are enjoying your Caturday! I am recovering from the Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K by ingesting lots of coffee and bagels. I also find that many cute cat pictures help with tired legs.

Tail is a strange sleeper. He often has one of his front legs straight in front of him as he sleeps. J and I call it the Super Tail.

Tail The Cat Arm

This is a great spot because you can see the great room and kitchen from this perch. No one is getting by Tail the Stalker.

I like to have my phone with me when I am walking around the house. You never know where you might catch a cat sleeping.

Cat Sleeping In The Closest

Neither cat is immune to making sure there is cat hair on all of our clothes and towels.

Cat In Dresser

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Weekly Book Haul

I may have gone a little bit crazy buying books this week.

Stack of books

In my defense, many of these were purchased from the local used book store.

The Death Cure by James Dashner

If you haven’t read The Maze Runner (Book 1) and The Scorch Trials (Book 2), you need to get them immediately. This series is an exciting and mind bending read.

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

This is book two of The Mortal Instruments series. Book one, City Of Bone, contained both angels and incest. I am sure City Of Ashes will be full of surprises.

delirium by Lauren Oliver

I enjoyed Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver so much that picking up this series is a no brainer.

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier is one of my favorite books. I am typically not that interested in historical fiction but this well-written novel does an amazing job of tying together a modern-day story with a historical one with the pacing of a mystery. This book is excellent and I highly recommend it.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is a new to me author and one that is very popular. This book is a mystery for kids set in the Florida Everglades. I am discovering how much I enjoy children’s literature lately.

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson And The Olympians # 3) by Rick Riordan is another kids book on my to be read list. I loved the first two books and am sure will enjoy this new to me Percy Jackson adventure.

It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini first caught my eye as a movie.

It's Kind Of A Funny Story Movie

The movie came out in 2010 and I plan on watching it after I read the book.

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen is a another book turned movie. I have seen the movie and really enjoyed it. I am interested to see if the book is better.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness has occupied a spot on my to-be-read list for a long time. I have heard nothing by good things about this book and am so excited to finally get to read it,

What are you reading this week?

Book covers from goodreads.

Movie cover from IMDB.


This Week In Working Out

It’s getting to be that time of the year when the real training begins. I need to start getting used to being on a schedule. Here is my first attempt in a while to plan out my workouts.

Monday -

Rest day

I have a meeting after work where the local Democratic candidates for the U.S. House Of Representatives are speaking. The speakers will be Alan Grayson, Val Demings, and Will Bronson. I am lucky to have heard both Val Demings and Alan Grayson speak before and know it will be a great meeting. I usually don’t get home until 9 from these meetings and there is no time to workout. It works out because I probably do not take as many rest days as I should.

Tuesday -

Morning – The New Rules Of Lifting For Women Stage One Workout B Number Five

The New Rules Of Lifting For Women Lou Schuler Cassandra Forsythe Alwyn Cosgrove


I am really gaining a lot of strength following this program but about a month I am starting to get ready to move onto Stage Two. Each workout has five exercises which is great for simplicity but it gets stale pretty quickly.

After Work - Run

No particular distance. I am running by feel until I start the base building part of half training at the end of August.

Wednesday -

After Work – Run

Probably anywhere from three to six miles depending on how I feel.

Thursday –

Morning – The New Rules Of Lifting For Women Stage One Workout A Number Six

After Work – Run

Easy run while watching terrible TV on Netflix.

Friday -


Saturday -

My last 5K in the Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K series. In case you missed the other three races you can find them race one, race two, and race three.  Maybe this will be the one where I finally run a sub-30 5K? (Please cross your fingers for me.)


I take so many pictures of my cats that if cats ever go extinct, there are enough pictures on my hard drive to document to all of humanity how they existed.

I give you Tail who is super cute but a huge jerk. (I can just see him defending himself in this picture. Claiming his utter lack of jerkiness.)

Cute Cat Sleeping In Bed

He will only sleep at the highest point of any room or facing a door so he can see (and control) who enters or exits. He is a control freak cat who needs to know everything that is going on in his universe (otherwise known as our house.)

Alia is quieter. She spends most of her time hiding or running from Tail. If you asked her if Tail should leave, she would emphatically say yes. (Doesn’t she look so serious? I always imagine if she could speak, she would have an upper-crust British accent.)

Alia The Cat Staring

Tail is very photogenic. (Maybe vain is the right word?) He always looks so peaceful and calm in pictures but really is demonic on the inside.

Tail the Cute Cat 52

J and I hope you have a very Happy Caturday!

The Fault In Our Stars By John Green

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green


“Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.”

This is my first John Green book and if the others are as good as this one, and I suspect they might be, then the wild popularity and best-selling status is much deserved. The ability to write a story centered around teenagers who have cancer, one being undeniably terminal, and not allowing the reader to feel bad for them is a rare talent.

Death and dying is such an uncomfortable topic for most people that they usually can only deal with it in platitudes. One of my favorite parts are the expressions all over Augustus’s house (home is where the heart is and such.) It seems so lacking in light of the real life drama that Hazel and Augustus are living with.

The Fault Of Our Stars is filled with characters that feel very real. The dialogue throughout was perfect, witty and quick. The kind of conversations you remember from your teenage years when you could talk on the phone for hours.  I loved that the characters themselves deconstruct death in such a way that the reader is left knowing the hole left is with the living. Referring to the dying as a grenade which wreaks havoc on the survivors is such an interesting way to think about it.

The love story was beautiful without being cheesy. It is nice to read a Young Adult novel where the characters themselves are not so overly dramatic as to make their romance more akin to that of a harlequin novel (I’m looking at you Twilight.)

I loved everything about The Fault In Our Stars, especially the ending. It was perfect without wrapping the story in a neat bow. It is sad,  but you can believe that the characters are all the better having known each other.

You’re So Vain

I’m not a vain person. (Says the lady with the blog name that starts with her name.)

You won’t even find many pictures of me on this blog (mainly because J never takes pictures, so I would have to ask him to take one of me to have any, and I feel strange being all take a picture of me.) So luckily this pose has passed me by.



I do love make-up though.

It started as a love affair with black liquid liner (turned up at the edges with tons of mascara was my high school look) and continues to this day as I follow make-up blogs and drool over the newest products. One of the best changes in make-up since those high school days, is how nice drug store products have become. Armed with my copy of Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me (great reviews found on Beautypedia Reviews) I love to shop for make-up in the aisles of CVS.

One product I am loving lately is CoverGirl LashBlast 24 Hour Mascara. It makes my lashes super long and fat plus lasts without flaking for my entire workday. The brush is one of the best I have used and really allows the mascara to coat each individual lash which is so important if you want volume.


P&G (you may have seen some of their Olympic ads because they are a huge sponsor) is offering 10% off on all orders now through August 31st 2012 and free shipping over $25. They are even offering Olympic-themed bundles and deals to keep you in that Olympic spirit.

If you would like to help keep a girl in running shoes or books and you were looking for a new mascara anyway, please click the below link. If you would like to share this deal with friends (or cats) please send them this post so they can click on through from here.

CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara

The link above is an affiliate link and I will profit from products purchased by those who click it. 

All About Books

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews in which you post what books you received for that week. If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr, I often post my book hauls and thought it would be fun to share my love of books here.

Library Books (Otherwise known as bring more books I purchased into the house may enrage my husband.)

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Can you believe that I have never read any John Green books? I am attempting to get through my current to read list (225 books according to goodreads) and picking up authors that I have not yet read. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green came so highly recommended, it seemed like a great place to start.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Sticking to my new to me author theme, I picked up Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. I read the reviews about this book when it first came out and they were so positive I immediately added this to my to read list. I just love the vintage feel of the cover and cannot wait to dive into a world of gators and theme park (luckily I live in Central Florida and am quite comfortable with both of those subjects.)

All photos courtesy of goodreads.