Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas from Sharona and The Canadian

Santa Sammy and Elf Mannie wish you a Happy New Year!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

So you want to run the Boston Marathon...


I promise that I didn't forget about you or anything, but has been busy, not with anything special, necessarily, but just normal life stuff (like kitty cuddles, running, time with The Canadian, and workity-work-work).

Speaking of work...I have my finisher's certificate from the 2015 Boston Marathon up in my cube space, and it seems like once a week, someone will ask me about it. My boss is also very excited that I'm running Boston this year, and has already asked about runner tracking for the race :)

I also seem to get a fair number of questions about how do I, exactly, end up at the starting line for Boston. Do I have to qualify? What's my training like? What do I like most about the race/Boston experience? Why on earth would I subject myself to a marathon?

If you've ever thought about any of those questions, I have a treat of a post for you! Read on, gentle readers, read on...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2016 LA Marathon

Woo hoo! Race recap time!

My first marathon in ~10 months was a good reason to be very excited AND nervous in the days leading up to the 2016 LA Marathon. Originally, my runner gal pal Erin from Purdue was going to run LA too, but an injury in December sidelined her training, and I was going to be racing solo :/ To add insult to injury, the Southwest got HOT the week before the race. When I checked the weather on Wednesday or Thursday night before packing started, the Sunday high was predicted to be 90. NINETY. WHAT.

Ready to run LA
Saturday, the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon was held right by the Convention Center where packet pickup was. Of course I didn't want to miss an opportunity to runner-geek-out and see so many of my running idols, so The Canadian and I picked out a spot in the shade of a fence along the course and stuck around for about 75% of the race before retreating to air conditioning and relaxation. I can't imagine how difficult that race must have been for everyone; we saw a few runners walk off the course, and they all looked pretty miserable...
Maybe...2020? :)

Pre-race buddies!
After consulting with Coach T, the game plan was to hydrate like a madwoman, and stick with my original game plan (7:15-7:20 pace) as long as I could. Giant Gatorade bottles were my friends for all of Saturday :) I also had the joy of cooking pre-race spaghetti in a multi-cooker pot in the studio apartment "kitchen" of the Airbnb where we were staying. (I missed college cooking...not!)

Dr. W, catching my best side uphill around 5M
Come race day, the predicted high had dropped a little (mid 80's) and the start was actually nice and cool. It was pretty freaking awesome to start at Dodger Stadium, high above LA, and see a pretty sunrise and so much of Los Angeles stretching out before your feet. Chinatown was really fun, as was Beverly Hills. Somehow, I missed seeing the HOLLYWOOD sign (I'm going to blame smog and marathon-brain)...womp womp. Crowd support along the course was really good everywhere except...the really fancy neighborhoods (go figure). The Air France team may have been a bit overdressed for spectating, but I'd rather run past girls in berets, skirts, and red lipstick than beside a guy in a Speedo and short cape. o.O

Probably hot and miserable here...
I held things together well (sub-8:00 pace) through mile 16. From 16-20, I was trying to hang on, but it was getting HOT and there was no shade and gee whiz, LA was a lot hillier than I thought it was going to be. 21-25 were pretty rough - I stopped for two walk breaks to chug down a
bitty bottle of water, but kept going otherwise. I was praying for shade and/or downhills for pretty much the entire course :) Channeling my inner runner badass, I ran the entire race in a hat AND sunglasses, my feeble attempt at staying cool :) I grabbed water or Gatorade at every single aid station to either drink or dump on my head...I was rewarded with two epic blisters by the end of the race.

Just as proof that this course was HILLY
Maybe halfway? Thumbs up!
Almost there! Marathon #9 in the books :)
The last little bit of the race in Santa Monica was foggy and it felt like it was about 15 degrees cooler! My legs were getting wobbly the faster I tried to go at the very end, but I was super close to coming in under 3:30, so I was going to try as hard as I could. Finish time of 3:29:30 which was totally not what I was shooting for time-wise, but given the weather and the fact that I just didn't prepare enough for the hills, I was happy with it.

Coach T and Dr. W and The Canadian all came out to cheer me on, and I am so thankful and happy to have an amazing cheer/support squad :) The Canadian and I went to Bubba Gump for lunch, and then down to Long Beach to visit Dr. W that evening and partake in some celebratory pizza. We spend Monday at Knott's Berry Farm - not Cedar Point, but still a really good time. Tuesday we flew back to Tucson, but not before checking out Endeavour at the California Science Center.
Red shorts and rainbow wigs make sure I spot you along the course!

Post-race bliss :)

Overall, a good first marathon back after almost a year away, a fantastic weekend in LA, and a fun start to 2016!


 OT pictures, if you're into that sort of thing:

Meb and Galen
Kara and Desi!

Shalane and Amy!

Sara and Ryan Hall

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not-yo Cheese

Sometimes, you just need a bunch of Funfetti Nachos. Recipe to maybe never come, because I don't want to be blamed for turning anyone into an addict...

Belated birthday party this weekend, awwwwful long run/workout on Saturday, rounding up tax forms on Sunday.

This is a dangerous combination.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I love (head)lamp

I know that I am either a.) getting old and boring or b.) a ginormous running nerd when getting something as simple as a NEW HEADLAMP for running makes me legit happy!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

29 and feeling fine

Yay! I had a birthday this week (Thursday, if you care to know)! Even though I had to work Thursday AND Friday (ugh, 5 day work weeks are THE WORSE), The Canadian tried his darndest to make sure I had a good time :)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Hip Saga: Part I

In keeping with this year's (apparent) theme of regular blog updates, I should probably fill everyone in on the latest development in my life: Gimpy Hip.

Gimpy Hip is masquerading as a fully-functional right hip in this picture.
I had problems with my right hip starting back in undergrad. At first, it was just an issue while I was driving - it felt very much like someone was ramming a steak knife into my hip socket from the side. Ouch.

It wasn't until sometime in grad school (the exact timeline gets *very* fuzzy here...) that it started to become more of an issue. At first, it was just a nuisance during long runs, and then only when they were done piecemeal with stops to pick up new people. The first few steps after a stop, I'd be all hobbley for a little bit. Then, it started to pop up more often during long runs, even during short stops, like at traffic lights. Then speed workouts. Then hills. Then during normal, easy-pace runs.

If I didn't stop every 2 hours during road trips to get out and stretch, I'd be hobbling out of my car at my destination. It turned into a sometimes sharp, shooting pain, initially a (literal) pain in the butt, but by Boston 2015, it had migrated to the front of my hip.

At some point in here, either January 2014 or 2015 (see, told you, FUZZY), I went to the student health center at Purdue and got a physical therapist referral. The helpful PUSH PT told me that he didn't really know what, exactly, was wrong with my hip, but hey, here are some exercises that should help!

So I did my exercises, religiously at first, and then with the enthusiasm of a Christmas-Easter Christian. Initially, I could get away with skipping a session once a week, but then things got to the point where as soon as I fell off the PT bandwagon, BAM!, back to Step One.

After I did my double-marathon adventure, I took May almost totally off, and was pretty low-mileage in June and July 2015 in hopes that some time off would bring a reconciliation between Gimpy Hip and the rest of my body.

And...Nope. Not at all. Things were just as bad, even getting worse, than before. It was a dull, background ache if I didn't get up to walk around a little every hour at work. The Canadian would have to drive for larger portions of road trips because driving, even with cruise control, was really uncomfortable. And runs? Ugh. The worst was an easy 6 mile day where it hurt the entire 3 miles out, I cried at the turnaround, and we walk/jogged the 3 miles back home.

So FINALLY I got a PT appointment set up with someone who came very highly recommended.

What happened then?


For those of you playing along at home:
1.) What's the worst exercise-related injury you've ever had?
- Mmmm, THIS. Hands down...
2.) Are you a terrible human like me and super procrastinated getting something checked out?
3.) What's the weather currently like in your neck of the woods?
- Tucson has been rainy this past week, but today is SUN out the wahzoo and mid 50's!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cheers to a New Year!

In another astonishing feat, I am actually keeping up with updating the blog! BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.

In case you forgot what my resolutions were for 2015 (because I totally did...), here's a handy recap:

That said, 2015 is already shaping up to be better than 2014 was! The Canadian and I rang in the New Year at Howl at the Moon in Chicago, I'm going to run the Walt Disney World marathon on January 11 [Success! 3:20, and a fantastic week at the Disney Parks...], a pretty awesome trip for Spring Break is (kinda) in the works [A trip actually happened! The Canadian and I celebrated my last Spring Break in Las Vegas], I have a schedule that I feel good about to get my defense and dissertation FINISHED [Also: it happened, despite my advisor's best efforts...)], I'm going to run Boston again (and then run Big Sur six days later...) [Yup, and never doing it again...TOO MUCH], and I'm going to FINISH my PhD [Bam!]. That gets me to mid-May. [Which was totally fine, since life kinda vomited CRAZY there for a few weeks months.]

So...resolutions for 2016? The Canadian has suggested that I stop belching (so much). So I guess that's my resolution, since I'm basically trying to go against my genes and heritage (sorry Dad and Seester) by suppressing it. :D

To celebrate the start of 2016, The Canadian and I went to the Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes game up in Phoenix. We then headed over to the Talking Stick Casino for a really fun New Year's Eve party! {I am 2/2 in NYE's where a.) I wear my $15 green sequin dress and get compliments and b.) a random drunk person tells The Canadian and I that we are such a cute couple omg please let me take your picture.} 

Here's to another year full of fun travel adventures, happy running endorphins, and too many pictures of Regal Beast Manwich. Cheers!

70's cover band, band 1/3, and probably the best room of the bunch

Go Jets Go!

Because cat pictures.