Week 2 Work-Out Recap.

Thursday, July 27. [Group Run]

I joined RacePace for another group run at their location on Taylor St. in the Heights. This time, I completed 2 miles in about 35 minutes. I’m still working on my breathing pattern, placing more focus on my calves. When my legs began to “burn”, I slowed down and stopped to stretch them out. Maybe it’s best to startout at 1-2 miles to get my legs used to running rather than trying to jog/walk for 3 miles. Baby steps, right?

The weather was very hot and humid, and I’m still not used to running in it. My body definitely needs to acclimate to running outside. Running on the treadmill is definitely easier since the temperature and elevation is controlled. However, marathons don’t happen indoors.

I used the Strava app for the first time and it did not work very well for me. If I’m walking too slow, the app doesn’t think I’m moving. I’ve come to a conclusion that depending on the GPS location of my phone is not accurate enough when trying to track my run.

Mood: Hot. Just feeling hot.

Total: 1 day.

This week was definitely a low for me, and publicizing this for everyone to see is a little embarrassing but really motivates me to work out more.


~ gwinger

Week 1 Work-Out Recap.

Monday, July 17. [Treadmill]

This is was the first time on a treadmill in over a year. I completed 1.85 miles at zero elevation, jogging at 4.0-4.5 mph and walking around 2 mph. Pressing buttons and trying to find a good speed was quite challenging for me. I guess it’s better than running in the summer heat right now.

Mood: Better than expected, but stopped early because my stomach wasn’t feeling too good.

Wednesday, July 19. [Upper Body]

3 sets x 10 reps.
Dumbbell Curl. 10 lbs.
Lat Pulldown. 45 lbs.
Underhand Cable Pulldown. 45 lbs.
Tricep Pushdown. 25 lbs.
Pectoral Fly. 20 lbs.

1 mile on the treadmill at zero elevation, jogging at about 4.0-5.0 mph and walking at 2.5 mph.

Mood: Tired, but it felt like a productive work-out.

Thursday, July 20. [Group Run]

RacePace hosts a group run every Thursday at Holler Brewery. I gave myself another try at a 5K distance, but my body was not ready for the changes in elevation at the Bayou trail. The more I ran, the more my calves just burned. I felt like my muscles were cramping up or my legs just wanted to give out from under me. My friends have suggested that I stretch more, hydrate more, and keep running.

Another frustrating aspect during my run were my strides. I’m not sure what is considered a “good stride.” I feel like my strides are too small, yet, when I do take longer ones, I feel like I’m using up way too much energy.

Using the Nike+ Run Club app on Android has been very unreliable. The app cannot capture my location correctly, thus I cannot view my stats. Endomondo has recorded my runs more accurately, but I would like to see more details, such as pace per individual mile. After chatting with some runners in the group, they suggested I download Strava (and add them as friends as well.)

Mood: Defeated. My upper body felt so sore.

Total: 3 days.

How did you cope with muscle aches? How did you find your stride?


~ gwinger

Getting into Watercolor.


I’ve been wanting to expand my knowledge in watercolor for a while now, and after doing some research on all of the sets on Amazon, I decided to go for the Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box.

I figured it was a good set to start out with and to add some color to my sketches in my sketchbook (a complimentary birthday gift from Jerry’s Artarama). I even purchased a 3-pack of Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brushes with assorted tips. Both the watercolor set and brushes were approximately $25. All of these supplies fit nicely in my purse, which is great for traveling!


Winsor & Newton is a reputable brand in my book. I haven’t had any major issues with their acrylic paints and the reviews of this set were pretty solid. The Sketcher’s Pocket Box is compact, and includes a small brush and 12 half-pan colors:

  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Cadmium Red Pale Hue
  • Crimson Alizarin
  • Ultramarine
  • Intense Blue
  • Emerald Green
  • Sap Green
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • China White

The pans seem really tiny, but I don’t expect to go through them in less than a year. The only concern is that there’s no black and I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do with white. Still, all of the colors showed up nicely in the sketchbook. The pages are meant for mixed media, so if I’m a little heavy on the water, it will seep through.


Nevertheless, I’m excited to start getting into watercolor!

So, what are your favorite on-the-go art supplies? Any tips for a newbie on watercoloring?


~ gwinger

La Barbecue.


This past weekend, my boyfriend and I ventured back to Austin, Texas – home to the University of Texas. Hook ’em horns!

Of course, we had to get some BBQ from La Barbecue. Our wait time in line was about an hour and a half. However, we got there around 11:30 am, so there was already a long line. I suggest going before they open so the wait is short and you have a better chance of getting everything you want (the beef ribs were gone by the time we got to the front).

We usually order a little bit of everything:

  • 1 lb of pork ribs (4 ribs)
  • 1/2 lb of brisket
  • 1/2 lb of pulled pork
  • 1 link of chipotle sausage
  • 1 serving of potato salad, beans, and cole slaw
  • A couple slices of bread

The cook was even let us try some of their house-made pickles.

I’m no BBQ connoisseur, but I highly suggest the pork ribs. They were so moist and the meat just slid off the bone. You should also try their beans and pickles! Adding some sides definitely balance out all the meat you will be grubbing on. You also don’t even need that bottle of sauce they provide at each table – the flavor is already packed in the meat.

We met some cool people from Ole Miss, had some free beer, and ate some delicious BBQ! Worth every minute in line!

What are your favorite places to eat in Austin? 

~ gwinger


Run Wild 5K.


Running has always been a challenge for me. When choosing a workout, I would never think, “Let’s go for a run!!!”

So, why now?

Improving my fitness level is my top priority. In my Keep Me Accountable. post, I noted that I want to be able to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes. Hopefully, training will lead me to completing a half-marathon or even a marathon, which is such a great physical feat. Plus, all you need are a pair of shoes and the will to run, right?

To see where my time currently stood, I participated the Run Wild 5K on the 4th of July. Let me tell you: it was hot. This was my first time ever running in the Texas summer heat. I’ve lived here all my life and I can never get used to this heat – more so, running in it.

Well, I did finish the 5K, and it took almost 51 minutes…


The problem was not my time, it was my mentality. I kept beating myself down because I could see people passing me and I felt like I was too slow. People could walk faster than I could walk/run a 5K!

One important lesson that I need to learn is to not compare myself to others. There will always be people who are faster and better. There will be people who have ran and trained longer than I have.

Then, there’s me: a 50:48 finisher who just started.

It can only get better from here.


~ gwinger


Fleet Feet.


When getting into running, I’ve heard that it’s best to start out with good pair of running shoes for optimum comfort and to prevent injury. I had no idea on which running shoe would suit me best, so, last Sunday I decided to visit Fleet Feet, a local shoe store in Houston. One of the store assistants, Jake, was super helpful. He answered all of my questions and made sure that I wasn’t rushed when picking the perfect pair.

First, Jake directed me to walk in a straight line while he observed my feet. It was determined that I have over-pronating feet: mine appear to have a normal arch, but once I walk or run, my arch collapses. Basically = flat feet. Thus, I will need good arch support.

The next thing was to make sure I was wearing the correct size shoes. Luckily, I am!  I’m a Size 6 with wide feet. With as many heels and flats that my feet have tried squeezing  into,  that was no news to me.

Jake gave me 4 different pairs, instructing me to walk and run around the store, and if I wanted to, I could go outside and give ’em a try. He also noted that I should wear one shoe on one foot and a different one on the other. My verdict:

  • asics: I could barely fit my foot in the shoe. Once Jake saw my struggle and discomfort when putting it on, he told me to take it off immediately. Unfortunately, they didn’t carry any wide sizes that were in my size.
  • Saucony: There was a lot of cushion all around the shoe. However, when I ran, the bottom seemed really stiff. Maybe I’m just used to Nike Free’s, but I didn’t feel like the Saucony formed with my foot as I ran.
  • Brooks: The shoes fit like a glove. It wasn’t too tight or too loose. They doesn’t seem too heavy while running either. There was also enough flexibility in the sole.
  • New Balance: The comfort level was really similar to the Brooks. The only issue that I really had were the laces. If I wanted to use a runner’s lace lock (which I learned from Jake), I was constantly struggling with tying them up since the laces were so short. 

In the end, I went home with a brand-spanking-new pair of Brooks GTS 17 and a pair of Balega socks.

I’ll definitely follow up on my first experience running with them.


~ gwinger

Keep Me Accountable.


I finally finished college, moved to a new city, settled in my big-girl job, and just turned 24. There should be nothing holding me back from my goals – seriously though, no more excuses. For now, let’s keep this post short and sweet:

By the age of 25:

  • Complete a 5K Run in less than 30 minutes
  • Complete a 10K Run
  • Complete the entire MS 150 (if the weather will ever permit)
  • Learn to swim
  • Fill up a sketch book

By the age of 30:

  • Complete a Marathon
  • Complete a Triathlon
  • Participate in a Disney Run challenge event
  • Start my own business
  • Pay off my student loans

And most importantly, be happier with myself.

So here it is: New year, new me, and a new blog – please keep me accountable. 


~ gwinger