Thursday, December 19, 2013

All The Things!

Without going in to details, I'll just say that my life had a bit of a shake up this past weekend. This has caused me to take a look at 2014 and really sit down and think about my goals and ambitions and plans for the year.

One thing I had considered, but have now definitely decided on, was to apply to the Saucony Hurricane team. The 2014 application was just recently posted and I downloaded it tonight/this morning (depending on your definition...). To be totally honest, I think I have absolutely no chance in being selected simply based on their 'guideline' times, and the fact that beyond the Boston Marathon and a spring 5K or two, I have no races set for next year.

I guess I have until January 31 to figure out my running goals for the next year and come up with a plan to convince Saucony that I'm worth it! I basically have no idea what I'm doing with my life beyond school, but I do know that I'm going to keep running until my legs fall off or someone yanks me out of my running shoes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Temptation comes wrapped in cellophane

Pretty much everything in my life has been on an up and down rollercoaster over the past few weeks, hence the abysmal updating schedule (aka, there has been no updating, especially not on a schedule).

Nichole warned me of an impending 'leg crash' (ie, I wasn't going to feel great forever - get ready for it! But it's not you, so don't worry!) coming up in the next few weeks of training, but I was feeling pretty gosh darn good when that particular email floated my way. After all, I had an awesome workout last Sunday...and then a really crappy one yesterday. But that's ok. I think I'm getting better at just letting poor workouts roll off my back and looking forward to the next one as a chance for redemption (especially when that 'poor workout' was a shock-to-my-system mile repeat @ 5K pace workout!).

So after a great run with the Purdue Run Club (shoutout to Evan, Billy, and Chandler!), I decided I was going to go grocery shopping.
Totally unrelated sidebar: As I was changing for my run, I noticed that I hadn't shaved in a bit. Usually this is not a problem in November because I'm wearing tights, but today was warm enough for half tights/capris...and Sasquatch legs. Awesome! Nothing screams 'I'm too busy for basic grooming!' like epic-ly hairy legs.
Anyhoo, so I'm carting through Aldi, stocking up on their cheapy stuff (things in cans, milk, eggs) and generally doing a good job of avoiding snacky stuff (oh potato chips, love you bunches, dude). At Payless (aka 'Fake Kroger'), I felt like a vegan hippie person - fresh veggies, hummus, baked snack crackers to go with said hummus, etc. 

All that fell apart when I got to WalMart. I just needed pita bread (which I never did manage to find; thin sliced bagels are a poor substitute), face wash, and new makeup. But lo and behold, what did they have on prominent display by the front door?

Little Debbie Christmas Trees

Lemme 'splain something: I think I ate a LD oatmeal creme pie with my lunch every single day my senior year of high school. My mom never bought that kind of stuff, so I don't know where my Little Debbie obsession comes from. As much as I love OCPs, the Christmas Tree snack cakes are pretty much my life partner of snack foods.

I actually stopped in the middle of the aisle and stared at them. I thought about picking up a box, just in case, maybe I wouldn't really want them by the time I was done hunting for pita bread. I didn't, though, and despite stopping and staring two more times before I left the store, I was Little Debbie-less upon checkout.

Then when I got home, I saw this article floating around Facebook and decided that I like visible abs (which I do not have, btw) more than sugary, sprinkled, decorated, light-as-air Christmas tree snack cakes.

At least for now...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicago Recap: Part II

So I guess I did run a marathon last weekend that I promised to talk about...

Going in to Chicago, I was pretty excited. I wasn't as excited as before Columbus (my first marathon), but I was still looking forward to the experience and ready to bust out a huge PR.

First up: the expo!

Speedy friend Karen!

Hashtags are annoying, but hey, this was cool. I guess.

So Karen and I got our packets, bought expensive Nike tops, and headed back to the hotel for a pasta buffet dinner and some good ol' college football. I wasn't really nervous when I went to bed, but when I woke up...

Grape race nails + Mizuno Sayonaras = race ready!
So my race didn't go the way I had envisioned it. I was excited to start, especially after Karen and I made it through security and the porta potty line (me) and gear check (Karen, with my bib, so she could check my stuff) and into our Corral B without any issues. I never did find the rest of my Fleet Feet crew before the race, but that was ok.

I tried to get up toward the 3:15 pace group with limited success. I was pretty close to 3:20, so I wasn't too worried. I was warned that my GPS watch probably wouldn't get a signal for the first 5 miles or so, so I wanted to stick with the pace group(s) so I wasn't too far behind.

Not. A. Problem. Quite the opposite, actually, as the 3:15 pace dude was a kamikaze marathoner and was a bit fast. I realized this (eventually) and backed off the pace. I was doing ok for a while, but I wasn't feeling awesome. I rolled through the half in 1:38 and it felt Hard. I was worried. At this point, I knew that Chicago wasn't going to be my big PR race, but I could probably still manage a small PR and still hit a BQ time.

Wrong! Somewhere between miles 15 and 17, my calves started cramping up pretty badly. Cory passed me at mile 17 and I told him I couldn't do this. I've never been so negative during a race before, but it was hard to stay positive when a.) my legs were seizing up and felt worse than anything I had ever felt before, b.) my chance at a PR was totally shot and the BQ pace group for my age just passed me, c.) the previous 4 months of hard work seemed like a total waste of time, money, and effort, and d.) I was crying as I was pushing again a tree trying to stretch my stupid, stupid legs out.

I was pissed that my body had basically imploded and I was trying to figure out in my head how long it would take me to walk the final 4 miles. I walked through every aid station from 35K to the end, managing to run about a mile before things got too bad.

I am proud to say, however, that I crossed the finish line of the 2013 Chicago Marathon with a smile on my face.

It's taken me a little while to get to this point where I can be mostly upbeat and positive about the general experience. Yes, I finished my third marathon and yes, a 3:40 is a time that tons of people would kill to run, but that's not what I set out to do and that's not what I was training for. I appreciate all the people that tried to cheer me up post-marathon by saying stuff like that, really I do :) I know they were just trying to help!

Post-race with my Fleet Feet crew - all smiles!

This dynamic duo is pairing up again for Boston 2014 - we're going to have a GREAT race
I'd just like to point out that Nichole Porath is pretty much the coolest person ever. She had a herd of cow-costumed friends and family to cheer her on! Even though her race didn't go the way she wanted it to either, she was super supportive and positive when I (finally) found her after the race. She's been awesome post-marathon as well and I can't wait to see what she's dreaming up for Boston 2014 :)

So remember the Saucony poster - the further you go, the bigger the sundae? Late Night Snack - my pity party ice cream. Caramel Hazelnut Fudge Truffle - the "I just ran a marathon" diet plan. Denali Chocolate PB Moose Tracks - because I was still angry/upset/bummed about my race when I went ice cream shopping and decided that if I was going to be fat and lazy, I was going to do it right, gosh darn it!

I ran a grand total of 10 miles the week after Chicago...and I didn't run for TWO WHOLE DAYS after the race. I just didn't want to. I didn't want to run yesterday either, so I didn't. I did, however, get a Jerry Scott massage on Friday. His verdict is that I am a giant ball of muscle knots and he's surprised I even finished Chicago. I guess I'll be buying massages instead of ice cream for the next few months!

This week, I'm just trying to rediscover my passion for running. I made it 10 miles today with a few aches and pains, so tomorrow I'll take it easy (and maybe push a fartlek run to Friday instead of Thursday). 

There's only so much you can do to prepare for a marathon. Some days, you're unstoppable, and other days it feels like you should just quit now before you kill yourself doing something stupid. I guess that's why I'm looking forward to marathon #4 - you have to take the good (marathon #1, mostly) with the bad (marathons #2 and #3). 

I'm tired of lazy and ice cream. The running bug is nibbling my toes :)

10/23 EDIT:
So this beautiful post showed up in my Feedly (RIP Google Reader) feed this morning. That far-out goal? That Homer Simpson meme? The love of (possibly faulty, at the very least, it's sketchy) math to prove whiners WRONG? Love it, love it, love it :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicago Recap: Part I

I went into the 2013 Chicago Marathon hoping to have an incredible race. I ended up with one, but not exactly what I was expecting.

So in light of that, I'm just recapping the non-running bits of my weekend. The other stuff will come later :)

I didn't get lost, I didn't get in an accident, I didn't get mugged in the Millennium Park garage. I found the hotel, I found Karen, I got all my stuff up to our room. The hotel was awesome, the expo was crazy, and I got lots of fun pictures :) Dinner was delicious, I learned about Karen's Jamba Juice addiction, and we watched a great game between Penn State and Michigan before going to bed early like old people.

Mid-50s and sunshine for the start, sparkle skirt bedazzling my corral pals, pirate flag tattoo on my left shoulder blade. Gu's tucked away for later miles, the porta potty had toilet paper in it, no tummy troubles and no 'I gotta pee NOW' moments when there's no time left.

Sunrise and the Chicago skyline, hearing 40K people singing the national anthem when the PA system kept cutting out, meeting a group of enthusiastic Mexicans at the start. No tripping and falling over other runners, no tripping and falling over the concrete lane dividers.

Drag queens in Old Town, a huge dragon in Chinatown, a pep band and cheerleaders by UIC. At some point, there was a huge group of Japanese drummers. I saw SpongeBob and ran past a guy dribbling two basketballs. I ran with some Canadians for a while, ran with Adam in a rainbow tutu, and saw lots of South American athletes. There were points along the course where the crowd was so loud, I wanted to turn my brain off. I think there were maybe 100 feet of open sidewalk the entire 26.2 miles.

Thank you to the guy at the aid station somewhere between 17 and the end who said "Here you go, beautiful" as he handed me a cup of Gatorade. Thank you to all the people along the course who told me they loved my sequins/sparkly skirt. Thank you to the super sweet finish chute volunteer who picked up tons of free food for my bag and made sure I could walk after my calves kept seizing up. Thank you to my fantastic training group at Fleet Feet for starting long runs in the middle of the night. Thank you to Nichole for making me a stronger runner and for hanging around after the race to catch up with me and, most importantly, for reminding me that I am NOT a 3:40 marathoner or even a 3:30 marathoner.

I had a blast this weekend and finished my THIRD marathon. I'm running Boston in April. Dear Chicago, I'm not mad at you for a crappy race. I'll be back sooner or later :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Taper time!

Ack, I know, I know, another tardy update.

Running has been going well. I had a couple of very good tempo workouts between the last time we talked and now. I had a really good race/marathon pace workout at the Fort4Fitness half. It was also a test-run of my Chicago outfit (ugghhhh, I sound like such a girl):

Sparkle skirt for the win!

Today was my last workout before Chicago! It went well (3 x 1200) and it was nice to get back on the track for a little bit. It was also nice to run into J on my run last night and talk to her for a bit. I've been alternating between being very excited and very nervous about this marathon. I'm trying my best to not let either emotion get totally out of control, but it's easier when I can talk to someone about it too :)

Anyhoo, today's the last day of Purdue's Fall Break (lots of sleep...YAY!). This time next week, I'll have marathon #3 done and can finally eat all the candy corn (chocolate/orange/white, please) I can stomach. (This is a dangerous thing about fall marathons - candy corn is so tempting. Also: spring marathons + Easter candy = danger.)

This exchange on Facebook happened. I love my friends here at Purdue! I educated Neil about running (and hopefully taught him that the Midwest isn't that weird), found out that Erin is a closet cereal junkie, and learned that candy corn does indeed count toward a balanced diet:

Friday, October 4, 2013


The first time I typed the title, it ended up as "Bootober" which, while also seasonally appropriate, isn't quite what I intended.

In case you live under a rock, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's when the NFL decks their players out in pink shoes/gloves/towels. It's when all the tacky 'Save the tatas/Save the racks/I heart boobies (or boobs)' pictures start showing up on Facebook. All of a sudden, it's cool to talk about boobs.

I can't help feeling a little icky and annoyed by it all, though.

Before you fly off the handle and accuse me of being a heartless waste of carbon, I have lots of experience with breasts - I'm a woman. I know people who have dealt with breast cancer or had abnormal mammogram.

Do we have a prostate cancer awareness month where we can run around with witty slogans about "Save your bloke - give him a grope!" to raise awareness? Nope. Why? Because your prostate isn't sexy, perhaps? It seems like the majority of the 'awareness' slogans are not very tasteful. It seems like October is the only month of the year where it's acceptable for lots of people to talk like frat guys and not have anyone slap them for it.

Do I want to talk about my mom's boobies? Does my 'aunt' have a nice rack? Ugh.

I have breasts. They will feed my children one day. I don't have tatas. I don't have a rack, nice or otherwise. If I have boobs, it's because I'm annoyed with them and will refer to them as boobs.

Let's get back to breast cancer awareness. It's not an excuse to talk about boobies but hey, I'm wearing pink, so it's ok. It's about early detection and support and research towards finding a cure or more effective treatments.

Seeing my favorite QB wearing pink gloves doesn't make my breasts feel safer. I just feel like I'm going to be objectified for a month because of my breasts but I can't get mad at people because they're just supporting breast cancer awareness. I realize that some people use humor to lighten up a serious situation, but I can't help feeling like we've gone overboard with it.

Women are more than just boobs. Quit talking about tatas, take off that stupid pink throwing glove, and do something that will actually help someone.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hang in there!

2.5 weeks until Chicago! I got my participant guide in the mail's full of race info, ways to spend your time in Chicago, and (most importantly!) my race number! Sign up for runner tracking so you can see if by how much I crush my PR :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oy, with the busy!

Hey hey hey! Another double week update (because I've fallen off the face of the earth and can't get up).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

34 days to go!

Woo hoo! Today is a bonus/double post since last week's training spilled over in to this week and I never got around to telling y'all about it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The last first day of school

This was a decent week, despite being the first week of class at Purdue. It's always so weird for the first week or so to see a formerly vacant campus explode with people. This also means that WalMart is packed, you are always running in to clueless people who decide that the middle of the sidewalk is a good place to STOP and figure out where they are, and that I'm walking at least 10 minutes from my parking spot to campus.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another weekly update

Oy, I am so boring with these post titles, sorry guys :(

This week, however, was anything but boring - stuff literally every single day for OMEGA. I think that my life is incapable of just having a normal pace: it's either moving at warp speed, or I feel like I'm riding a turtle.

80 miles (but with 92 in a 7 day period!), 1 workout, 1 fantastic long run

High points: Tuesday's workout was ok, and I eventually started feeling better as the week went on. The best run of the whole entire week, though, was Saturday's 22 miler. I woke up at 3:30am, met Stacy at the store at 4am for 2 miles, then picked up 3 more people for our first 10 (including a cookie stop at Cory's house!), then a few more at 5:50am for the last 10 (with a stop at Armstrong Hall for our traditional long run group photo). My right knee was really bothering me during the last 5 miles or so, but other than that, a great run at a decent pace and with my favorite group of crazy runner folk - I've missed them terribly :)

Low points: Monday's run was terrible. I didn't really eat dinner the night before, and I only had a glass of juice before heading out the door. Needless to say, I was playing mind tricks with myself to keep me moving forward and not trying to hitchhike my way home, or jump on the bike rack on the next CityBus that drove past. Tuesday's secondary run wasn't bad, but by that point I was completely drained. I remember wanting to just break down in tears and eat an entire pizza, but I had time for neither activity.

Classes start back up this week and I'm heading to Fort Wayne on Friday for a wedding. I also need to balance 75+ miles and 3 workouts (18 mile long run/workout) along with training group/Fleet Feet stuff and getting myself back into a schedule. AND I need to call Comcast and get them to send me a new cable box so I can watch Grey's Anatomy again and all things Food Network.

Mannie is currently curled upside down on the sofa napping. I think that sounds like a fantastic idea and will probably join him before the afternoon is up. Tomorrow is my 22nd (but hopefully the very last) first day of school. Last year I celebrated my 21st first day with a drink; tomorrow I'll probably just stop by DQ for a s'mores Blizzard on my way home from the lab, possibly before a core class at the CoRec.

Giddyup turtle, I've got 15 weeks until Christmas break! (And only 8 more until Chicago!!!!!!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vacation time, la versión editada

This past week was pretty good: I got to spend some time in Ohio, and it was a down week for running! That meant that I was lazy and ate lots of whatever and got tons of sleep.

58 miles, one less-than-stellar workout, one big workout/race, and one day off!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Eh, stuff happened this week

Well, I guess I should get the big news out of the way first: I passed my prelim!

For those of you who are (un)lucky enough to not know what I'm talking about, this basically means that I'm an official PhD candidate now. Your prelim defense (at least in the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue) is like a hybrid research proposal and MS thesis defense. A lot of it depends on your advisor or if you've already done a Master's program. In my case, it took me two years to get to this point. I tripped right out of the gate (called one of my committee members the wrong name) and was sweating through my cardigan by the end (there's a reason I wore black), but it's ALL DONE NOW and I passed :)

So. There's that.

Running update! 76 miles this week, two ok-ish workouts, one big scare where I thought I lost my GPS watch, and more good weather. I will update this with my highs and lows when I'm not so exhausted...

I'm back home in OH (IO!) this week to recuperate after the prelim and enjoy some down time before classes start back up on August 19. This summer just FLEW by and I can't believe it's already August! Down week for running...might I actually sleep in?!?! If Mannie has any say in it, probably not. I might give him my room, the lucky beast, and crash in the seester's room instead. My stupid cat is NOT going to disturb my beauty sleep :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

12 weeks to go!

This title almost sounds like a pregnancy countdown, doesn't it? Too bad the only belly pictures this blog features are those of Manwich...

This week: 84 miles, 21M long run, 2 workouts - highest mileage week ever! And my legs are still attached and functional, but I did pick up a few new blisters...womp womp :(

Low points: Sunday night/Monday morning, when I pulled my very first all-nighter finishing up my prelim document. This threw off my sleep schedule for a few days. Blargh. By Friday, I just wanted to lay in bed and never get up, so I stayed there for a while (like, at least an hour post-alarm). Then once I got up, I didn't want to do anything, so I just laid on the living room rug for a bit and cuddled with Mannie. Eventually I got out the door for a run I really didn't want to do that seemed like it lasted forever and a day in weather that was a little warmer than what I was used to. Whatevs. I survived.

High points: Wednesday morning's tempo run! Solo effort, but the weather was awesome. I was pretty close to being exactly on 7:00 pace for all the tempo segments, so I felt super good about that. Saturday morning's long run (ran from Decatur to Berne, 6 x 30 second pickups during the last 2-3 miles) also felt pretty good. My hips were very sore afterwards, but it was a pleasant early morning run.

11 weeks until Chicago! August is another big month, both for mileage and workouts. I've got a couple of races coming up, a wedding (again, not mine!), the start of another Fleet Feet training program, and the start of classes. This will be my very last fall semester at Purdue. FINALLY :) Prelim defense is at 1pm on Friday - wish me luck! Ph(almost)Done!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Please PLEASE, just make it stop.

Oh good lawd. This week has been crazy. Thankfully it was a down week for running (50 miles what?!), otherwise I don't know if I would have made it.

Running recap!

Low point(s): I was very liberal with my interpretation of training 'plan' this week, as I moved my day off (due to travel), scrapped a secondary run (too hot, too late, I can make up lots of stuff), and I only got one lift in. The weather sucked, PS.

High point(s): I guess Saturday's race? I really wanted to break 20:00. Like, really really. And I almost did, running a 20:02. It was a little easier to take when I finished and my watch said 20:07. I can handle being that far away, but 3 seconds? Then the 'what ifs' start to creep in and I get bummed out and feel fat and slow and blahhhhh. Tuesday's track workout went well, so there's that too.


My prelim defense is scheduled for Friday, August 2. I spent 7 hours (!) at the lab today, trying to work out the last few bugs in my model. I hate modeling. It's now almost 11pm and I just need (ha!) to type everything up. I want to sleep. I want to cry. This has been a rough week and I keep telling myself that it's almost all over, but I know that once I get my prelim typed up and emailed to my advisor, then I'll need to make corrections and start on my presentation. Then I can head home but I still need to get ready for class and oh yeah, the OMEGA budget is due and I still have to RUN FOR ME and do training program stuff and work at the store (but don't forget about research!) and my fridge won't fill itself, nor do I own self-washing dishes.

Hence my plea for life to just CHILL OUT for, like, 2 minutes. I was really looking forward to vegging on the beach for two days and recharging the batteries, but instead I was experiencing the joys of public transit and everything was being planned as it happened, basically, which stresses me out to no end. study break (aka dinner) is just about over. I need to take out my contacts and get ready for an all-nighter. Nothing to prep you for an 80 mile week like no sleep, right? Le sigh...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 6

Hey guys!

This summer has really started to suck for running - no matter how early I get up to run, it's still miserable. I can either pick 6:30am with mid-70's temps and almost 100% humidity, 8am with mid-70's temps and 90% humidity, or 8pm with mid-80's temps and 80% humidity. Blech.

Last week: 74.3 miles, 2 workouts, 20 mile long run!

Low point: Wednesday's 1200/200 workout. I just could not hit paces for those 1200's to save my butt. I was really worried and frustrated, so when I emailed Nichole for my weekly workout update email, I told her all of that. Her advice?  Be patient, little grasshopper! Sunday's run was supposed to be 6 miles, but I called it at 4.5. Saturday's long run really took it out of me and my legs just felt terrible. And it was hot and humid, Virginia style. Yuck-o!

High points: Monday's tempo run! Goal was to run 2 10:00 sections averaging 7:00/mile pace. I totally nailed it, averaging 7:01 and 6:58 pace. My friend S helped to pace me on the bike and I think I need to bribe him into helping me out again. Saturday's 20 mile run was also a good experience. K and I ran around Norfolk, VA (I really need to post the route was crazy!). We started too late, got kinda lost, ran out of water a few times, and got poured on, but it was fun. I felt super awesome all the way to 18.6 miles when K ran out of steam and we had to stop and walk for a bit. Maybe I felt really good because we were stopping to cross roads and re-check the map and double back after getting turned around, but I was still on my feet for over 3 hours and running for almost all of that. It made for a very long Saturday, but getting my first 20 miler out of the way feels awesome :)

Week 7 features a day off (supposed to be Wednesday, but it ended up being Monday since travelling home totally wiped me out), a track workout (1K/200s again), and the Zoo Run Run on Saturday. Creeping up on halfway to Chicago!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week the fifth!

Woo, another week done!

High points: Monday's telephone fartlek was decent, Saturday's long run was super humid but the Fleet Feet crew made it through the entire thing, and on Thursday, I won the Fowler Firecracker Frenzy 5K and felt really awesome, especially with the power of the Sparkle Skirt :) (The race shirt features GLOW IN THE DARK fireworks!)

Low point: Wednesday's 1K/200 workout. I ran this faster and felt so so so much better the last time, so it was frustrating to have a workout that I know is completely doable for me go so poorly. I talked to Nichole a little about the nutrition side of running, so hopefully a few little changes will help me out in big ways. I also ran out of time in the evenings this week and didn't get in my second PM run, but it's ok because my legs were feeling so junky after Wednesday - extra miles just for the sake of mileage weren't going to do them any good.

70.5 miles this week, even more this week, plus a Virginia vacation and my first 20 miler of the summer. My next big decision is trying to pick a half marathon in September. At the top of the list currently are the Quad Cities, Detroit Women's and Heritage Haul half marathons. Quad Cities sounds like fun because I'm so close to qualifying for 'elite athlete' status! Detroit is a little scary/sketchy to me, and the Heritage Haul is a really small race that I could probably win the women's race and finish top 10? overall.

Hope everyone had a good Fourth of July. I played some mini golf, saw Monsters University, and spent a lot of quality time with my bassoon and K. Can't believe the summer is halfway over!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cuatro semanas de correr

It's scary to think that 59 miles is a down week for me now. Yeesh.

High point(s): Tuesday's 10 x 400m workout - I was able to hit my paces for every single repeat AND I didn't feel like I was dying/wildly flailing about/redlining it the entire time. It was surprisingly comfortable (not necessarily pleasant, mind you) and under control. Go team! Sunday's long run (17M) was also pretty nice. It rained almost the entire time, but I had the chance to run with a new group of folks and it was nice and cool.

Low point: Thursday's 800's/400's workout. Hot, humid, bad. Womp womp :(

This week is UP in mileage, meaning I practically live in running clothes and I often eat second breakfast. K and I are probably heading to Fowler, IN on the 4th for a fun 5K (he'll race, I'll yog and enjoy my all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast after :D). The cool weather is supposed to stick around for a bit - I have no problems at all with that! Also: it's already July!??! Yikes! Slow down summer!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Recap, week the third

Derp derp derp, I'm a day late.

69 miles in 7 days with two workouts and a 17 mile long run/half marathon race!

High point: Hrm, I guess Wednesday's workout (1K repeats with 200s at the end) was pretty good. Although I wasn't able to recruit a friend to run with/pace me, I still hit my goal times and felt awesome on the 200s. ALSO, I finished 39th at Sunday's race! That's definitely the closest to the front I've ever been at a big race! The sparkle skirt received lots of compliments, and I think I was the fastest bedazzled runner :)

Low point: The aftermath of Sunday's race. It was hot and humid and even though my time was stinky slow, I figured it would suffer because of the weather. HOWEVER my legs feel abnormally garbagey today, so I think it's time to retire my beloved Saucony Tangents. They've been my half marathon buddies for quite a few races :( Also: I pooped out hardcore Sunday afternoon because of the heat. I just could NOT cool down and ended up spending the better part of an hour laying on the floor in the A/C with a fan aimed at me. Ugh.

Up next? A down week! Aaaaaaaamen for that :) The legs are ready for a little break before Big Mileage July.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 2 running recap

Oy...what a week! 68 miles in 6 days with a glorious day off :)

Low point: Wednesday's tempo workout. It was very warm and humid when I headed out the door for my run, and I think I was just too ambitious for the weather conditions. I bonked out pretty bad and had to make a pitstop at the end of the tempo sessions before starting my cool down. I did have a friend bike with me though, and that helped.

Highlight: Saturday's long run (17M with the last 1.5M at marathon pace). I ran with a big group of people from the running store and had at least one person with me for the *entire* run!

My legs were feeling crappy Monday through Thursday, but Friday's day off made them feel sooooo goooood on Saturday! Sunday's easy run was a little rough to start, but I felt decent after about half a mile. All in all, a pretty good week. Looking forward to a workout on the track and a half marathon this week!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Clothes are overrated...

So this morning, I was feeling super-productive and decided to head over to Le Target to get some new pillows, maybe a new swimsuit (replace the one that's, uh, six? years old?), maybe some running tank tops.

After spending some time cuddling with plastic-wrapped pillows, that part of my task was done. On to clothes shopping!

Two of my favorite running tanks are from Target and their cheapie C9 collection. Plain, simple, fitted, nothing wild and crazy. Unfortunately wild and crazy seems to be the norm for running apparel this season, along with a looser style that had me pawing through the racks looking for XS.

Disappointed with my tank top shopping, I was relieved to find that Target's swim collection hadn't been picked over too badly. I ended up with a size M top and bottom.

On the way to the checkout, I saw the girls' workout apparel 'section' (all two or three racks of it). They had a cute tank top in XL. It looked big. It was big. It fit me. It was also $5 cheaper than the women's tanks I had been looking at, so I swapped tops and bought a pair of sandals with the $15 I saved :)

So 'splain something to me here: I am an XS and M in women's sizes, but can still (very comfortably and without looking like a sausage) wear girls' XL. I am so confused about what size I am. Men, this is why the women in your life generally hate it when you ask them what size they wear. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW.

But I do have nice puffy new pillows. At least my bed always fits...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chicago Marathon, Training week 1 recap

55.5 miles later, Week 1 of Chicago training is done!

Two workouts this week, a fartlek and a tempo. While they were both difficult, I was reminded just how challenging tempo pace (7:00/mile) is for me. They were both fun workouts and I wasn't dead after them, so that's promising.

The highlight of my week was my 15 mile long run yesterday morning in Rochester, Indiana. They are at the northern end of a really nice bike trail that was built on an old railroad track, so it's super flat and really pretty. I ran with a flashlight for the first 45 minutes (I was out the door by 4:50am), but I enjoyed beautiful weather, a gorgeous sunrise, and a perfect long run. My stomach gave up on me over the last 1-2 miles, but my legs felt good and I didn't have any issues getting down my mid-run Gu.

This week, I want to make sure I keep up with my post-run abs and push-ups and STRETCH! I've been so bad about this, it's a hard habit to break. My first day off of running (completely and utterly off!) is Friday. Wish me luck with that :)

Only 18 weeks until Chicago ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are you there, God? It's me, uh, not-Margaret.

Oy vey. I have neglected you for so many weeks, poor blog. I am sorry. I need to update about the rest of my adventure to Colorado (approaching the 1 year anniversary...smells like the perfect time for a recap), my conference trip to Germany (sooooo much food), share the giant backlog of recipes I have, tell y'all about Mannie's latest adventures, and yak on about running.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2013 Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is a Big Deal. Even if you're not a runner, you know about Boston. Your stationary feet and Big Mac-clogged heart still know that lots of runners aspire to run Boston, and maybe you don't think of them as Runners until they've done Boston. Runners know that Boston is like the Olympics for normal human beings. It's probably the only chance you'll ever have to run a race where people like Shalane Flanagan, Ryan Hall, and every East African you've never heard of are toeing that same starting line just minutes (or maybe hours) before you.

I haven't run Boston (yet). My first marathon this fall was run with the intention of qualifying for Boston, and I was 3 days too late to get in on the action for 2013. Since I had lots of friends running it this year (and I was pulling for Shalane to win SO BAD), I was watching the live feed online. Listening to the story of the female athlete from Columbia who was leading the race for a while, cheering for the Portuguese woman (she had boobs and awesome hair and I was cheering for her to win if Shalane couldn't), seeing the absolutely amazing crowd support lining every single inch of those 26.2 made me so excited and emotional and overjoyed to be a runner.

I watched the live feed until about the 3:00 mark, then decided I should probably be productive for a bit. I was tracking results for six of my friends, and kept refreshing the BAA runner tracker site so I could still 'do stuff' as I marathon stalked. At some point, I noticed that one friend didn't have any splits past the 35K mark. He should have finished, I thought. I decided to give him 10 more minutes before I refreshed the results page again, so I started Googling Boston stuff to kill time.

And then someone blew up the finish line.

Running is a beautiful sport. It's you against the clock, yourself, running solo, joining forces with teammates. It's logging miles and hours in sunshine, in the pre-dawn coolness, in the snow, in the rain. You run because you're angry, you're upset, you need to think, you want to get in shape, because you can.

The marathon takes the essence of a person and boils it down. Finishing a marathon, regardless of if you can do it in 2:10 or 4:30, is a test of everything you're made of. Seeing (and then crossing) that finish line is indescribable.

Seeing what was going on at the finish line was gut wrenching. I immediately thought of my friend who had finished shortly before the explosions, and if his running pal from college had finished or was still out on the course. I worried about my friends who had already finished, if they were safely out of the way. All the spectators that were there, cheering on the runners, congratulating those who had trained for months for this moment, they were the ones who bore most of the impact, sadly. Thank God that there were so many medical and security personnel there to immediately assist the injured. I've heard stories of runners crossing the finish line, then continuing on to the hospital to donate blood. First responders ran toward the explosions as everyone else was running away.

This morning I read that the Westboro Baptist Church was planning to picket the funerals of the Boston Marathon victims. Congratulations, WBC, you have three people, one of whom is an 8 year old kid, that died because Jesus hates the gays. This upsets me on so many levels, but I hope that people ignore these jackoffs and they don't go through with it.

The story of a 78-year-old man who was knocked down by the blast, but got up and walked across the finish line is probably old news by now, but it embodies everything that we runners are.

Today someone tried to knock us down. We're going to get back up. We may need some help, but we're going to cross the finish line. I'm still going to run Chicago this fall and Boston next spring.

Running is freeing. It doesn't have boundaries, it can hurt and be so painful and make life seem so unfair and so real.

Instead of hating those responsible for the bombings, go for a run and pray for peace. Instead of hating the WBC, go for a run and pray for love and compassion. Instead of opting out of running races in big cities, go for a run and pray for your family, friends, and emergency personnel.

Instead of barricading yourself in your house and lamenting the state of humanity, volunteer at your next local 5K and see what kind of people runners are.

We get back up, and we do it together.

Thoughts and prayers are with the runners and spectators from Boston, their families, and all those who are helping to care for the injured, and sort out the mess. I am so thankful that all of my friends running the race and who live in the area are all ok. Thank you to all of my friends who checked up on me to make sure that I wasn't at Boston and that my runner friends were ok too.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Please, do eat cake

I'm sure I'm not alone when I think that there are certain times where a girl (or guy) is just allowed to crave things. Like I think you're totally justified in any flavor of Ben & Jerry's after bad news of the significant other variety. I think you're allowed to want all the doughnuts in the world on your birthday (with sprinkles!). And then there are times that call for cake. Sometimes it's celebration cake and sometimes it's cake for the same reason that you need Ben & Jerry's. Like when your boyfriend decides to be late for (or forget about) your date. Or your friend forgets your birthday. Or you spill wine (red, of course) on your favorite shirt. Or when you realize that you left your car trunk open all night and now you have a dead battery and snow in your trunk...

In the case of bad news bears cake, you really don't want to make an entire cake because a.) you are UPSET and that takes energy and you don't want to spend the effort to make an entire cake and b.) if presented with an entire cake, you will probably eat all of it AND THEN we have even more issues, the least of which has just become the original problem that drove you to CAKE in the first place.


We have Nutella Cake in a Cup (or cake for one...possibly two if you're feeling generous, but I wasn't going to share after I took one bite of this).

Nutella Cake in a Cup
4 T. self-rising flour*
4 T. sugar
1 egg
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. Nutella
3 T. milk
3 T. vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1½– 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave; mine took 3 minutes.) Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping if you have it, or just eat with a large glass of milk handy.

*If you're a normal person like me and you don't have self-rising flour, Ms. Smitten has handy instructions, but it's for a cup. Here's what to do for your 4 tablespoons:
4 T. normal flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking powder

Monday, April 1, 2013

In which things are delicious and odd

If your family, like mine, usually celebrates holidays with food, there's always at least one recipe that you can count on to make an appearance somewhere on the table. In our house, it's Cheesy Potato Casserole. Since my sister and I are basically moved out of the house, it also makes occasional appearances at Welcome Home! dinners. I am not complaining at all.

I made this casserole yesterday for Easter dinner with my Pastor and his family and some other church friends. Easter this year was a little weird for me, but I can't really put my finger on it.

Recipe and explanation of 'weirdness' after the break...

Friday, March 15, 2013

I want pie.

Good news y'all!



Since I have free time, here's what I'll be doing for the next week-ish: Nonsensical celebrity clothes stalking
Oh, and probably doing a real bracket too, but this is FUN! There's no Bjork bracket in the NCAA tourney.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I think I can, I think I can

"It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."
     --Finnick Odair, Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay

An old friend got me the woot!shirt for Birthmas, a new friend reminded me of this book during a run.

I love my friends so much - you are all so encouraging and supportive. You guys mean the world to me :)