Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dogs and running.

The big boy, Matt Lauer, went for a 3 mile run with me today, so he's happy and exhausted. Little girl, Prudence, stayed home, so she's jealous and treating me like her own personal electrolyte popsicle.

Dogs. So funny sometimes.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mmm, dessert!

With the lack of running while I recovered from the marathon, I got all caught up with my Dessert of the Month cross stitch! Just in time for the next one to be release for October.

I'm hoping for a pain-free (or at least, less painful) run tomorrow- stupid IT band acted up on Thursday, so I've been foam-rolling the crap out of it, and even traded proof-reading my husband's philosophy paper for a leg massage.

It just needs to work itself out by the 6th of October.... I may have signed us up for the Cole Porter Classic 15k while going through post-marathon depression. :D

Monday, September 24, 2012

Little things

Sometimes, it just takes something small to make me ridiculously happy. Like this fabric I found at Joann's this weekend.

Running fabric!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

HBD, Momma

I can't believe tomorrow is my mom's birthday... Or that even though I started this project in January, I just quilted and bound it today! It's not my usual color palette, but I do love the softness of it all. And so will my mom- she picked out the charm pack that I used!
I hope to do my first short run since the marathon tomorrow, which is great because I'm running out of projects to keep me busy while I don't run.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wearing off

I think my post-run habits are wearing off on my dog. You see, when I do a long run, I usually come home, lie on the ground, and elevate my legs against a wall or some piece of furniture. And now, Prudence has started sleeping like this. She's definitely the dog of a runner.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Random marathon happenings worth mentioning

I'm going to be basking in the glow of finishing the marathon for a few days, just warning you. There were a few random things that I feel still need to be mentioned, or were kind of entertaining. I wish I had more pictures, but I failed as a photographer over the weekend.

1. I met the incredible Jess- very nearly ran into her in the hotel lobby as we were preparing to leave. And then had to try to introduce myself without sounding like a stalker. Thankfully, she gets that a lot (that's what happens when you're such an inspirational rockstar, and a fellow Tough Chik). She's just as nice and friendly in person as she comes across in her blog.

2. I had some moments of weakness during the marathon- my left knee acted up (I haven't had knee pain since 2006!), and the blood sugar issues really got bad between 16-19. But I can honestly say, for the most part, I was smiling. I was having fun. The beauty of being slow and a first-timers is that no one has any expectations. No one puts any pressure on you to place. Nothing matters beyond finishing, which brought an unexpected level of freedom and fun. It was actually pretty great that none of the others from my husband's unit on base ran the marathon, too, since that meant the competitor in me didn't feel the need to prove anything (in last year's half marathon, I took great pride in finishing before all but one of his coworkers- I can't help but compete sometimes).

3.I tried Turkish food for the first time. Well, first time in a Turkish restaurant. I realized as we started eating our appetizer sampler that I've had quite a bit of Turkish food through the carry-ins my Middle Eastern dance teacher would have. It was all very tasty. The restaurant was in the shopping complex at the Greene.
That made it easy to see the parachute dude, then hobble/waddle a shopping block over for dinner, then hobble/waddle back to enjoy a little beer and live music, surrounded by 100s of other crazy half and full marathoners, and even a bunch of 10Kers.

4. On the way home, my husband and I passed a go-kart event happening in New Castle- little did I know that my 66-year-old uncle was racing there! He's been racing either motorcycles or dirt bikes or karts for as long as I can remember, and he's now in an age group where he usually gets 1st or 2nd, even though that's often because there are usually just 2 or 3 people!
Shortly after, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant for second breakfast. We both got the "Old Timer's special" which seemed appropriate the way we moved any time we tried to stand after sitting. It had 2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 2 slices of toast, hash brown casserole, and grits. I'm not usually a plate-clearer, but both of us had ate every morsel of our meal (Tim had biscuits, gravy, and sausage instead of my bacon and toast). When the bus boy asked if he could take our plates, I sounded like a sad little kid when I said, "Yeah, go ahead, there's nothing left to eat anyway." Thankfully, that meal seemed to quell the Runger until late afternoon.

5. I'm so happy to be home- especially with these 2!
They were, if possible, even more exhausted than we were. Playing on the farm, catching and plucking chickens, and tormenting cats is a tiring business.

I'm back to teaching Zumba today- and so glad that I'm not as sore as expected. The only problem is that it's going to be hard to rest as much as I should before I lace up my running shoes!

Happy Monday!
I'll have to get back into my sewing room to keep myself busy while I rest.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Air Force Marathon Recap!

So, by now you know I finished.

Best day ever since I married this man!

I finished and was still smiling, too. Which is a victory in itself. We crossed the line holding hands, and I think running the whole 26.2 miles together is one of those things that makes a couple stronger than ever. It was nothing to brag about time wise, but crossing that finish line in 5:41:36 is still my biggest running accomplishment to date. I may not be fast, but I am TOUGH!

Let's start with the highlights:

1. The expo is pretty well organized- you can spend a ton of time shopping, or just breeze through, get your bib and get out. Though, last year we were there at the time that the 5K was about to kick off, which made it a zoo.

 We also were able to get there in time to hear Dean Karnazes speak, which was pretty darn cool.
2. The shuttle is a lifesaver! Last year, we stayed in billeting, which had a shuttle that also picked up from the Hope Hotel. So, when we booked our hotel and couldn't get into billeting, I insisted on the Hope. It is so nice on race morning to know someone else will get you there on tie, even if it means waking up earlier. Let's face it, I never sleep more than about 2 hours the night before a big event, so I was up early anyway. And, after the race, the last thing a first-time marathoner should be doing is, well, just about anything beyond stumbling or sleeping. I don't think either of us would have been a safe driver!

3. The course- spectators, aid stations, etc. Though I heard afterwards that some of the half marathoners got lost and ran extra (I speculate that they had headphones in or weren't paying attention and followed someone else who wasn't paying attention), the full course was well-marked, and staffed with plenty of volunteers who guided the various runners along their respective courses. There were very few "lonely" places- it felt like we never ran more than half a mile before there were more small groups of spectators, or the scenery changed.

4. MILE 10! Not just the physical mile ten, but the whole region in Fairborn from about miles 9-12 where the street was LINED on both sides with spectators, bands, and more motivation than I've ever had during a race. The town of Fairborn has organized this cheering block for about 6 years now, and they are AMAZING. The only problem was that we got so pumped, we picked up the pace a bit too much.

5. My personal experience from mile 6-8- Best runner's high ever. I felt like I could have tackled Everest. It was amazing. I fear I will be chasing that high for a while before I ever get close again.

6. Running the entire race with my husband. Talk about a bonding experience! We were never out of each other's sight. Every time one of us was suffering more than the other, the leader served as motivation. We had no time goal (5 hours would have been phenomenal for us, even 5:30, but as first-timers we really just wanted to cross that line!), so when one of use needed to slow down, walk, or make one of 8 porta potty visits between the two of us, it was no big deal. We even paused to pet a giant black Newfoundland around mile 8, and a dachshund at mile 23! Yeah, puppy power!
Running something like this with my husband shows me how tough he is, and how much he cares for me. We held hands across the finish, and our official chip times are identical because of it. Disgustingly cute, yes. :D

7. The After Party at the Greene- they had live music in a lawn area at a shopping area- a giant party for runners. Can it get any better than that? Well, YES! Add an army guy parachuting in with a giant American flag!

Now, for the bad, which is thankfully a shorter list:

1. Hotel pillows- TERRIBLE! I understand when the mattress is crappy (which is was) but giving me a pillow that it 2 feet thick doesn't make up for it! It was seriously the thickest pillow I have ever seen.

2. No complimentary coffee at the hotel. For the price we paid (twice what you pay at billeting), I thought there would at least be hot coffee in the morning. But if you used your one tiny coffee pod in the room (which tasted like it was 50 years old and half made of dirt), then you had to pay $1.50 for coffee.

3. The shuttles arrived a little too early- which meant we had to stand in the cold morning air for almost 1.5 hours before the race started.

4. The walk to shuttle pick up after the race was over half a mile. Seriously? We just ran 26.2 and you want me to stumble another half mile more? Good thing we didn't sit down to relax after our finish, since the last one left at 2, and we boarded at 1:50!

All in all, I love the Air Force Marathon. Sure, I'm a little biased because my husband is in the Air Force, but as far as a running event goes, I think it's very well done. You can't eliminate human error when 15,000+ humans are involved (like the mistake for the half marathoners). But at least there was nothing dangerous like complete lack of water or dismantled water stations before the runners had passed (hey, Kosciosko Runner's Association, you could learn a ton about that!).

I got tons of compliments on my Team Tough Chik gear, but there were a few ladies out there who were straight up TOUGH in their own right- we caught a couple half marathoners who were still trucking along, and I bow to them. They each had personal situations that most people would have used as excuses, but not these ladies- there were out there, doing it, and finishing their race. Not your race, not mine, but their race. I made sure to high five them and pass along a little encouragement.

With that, I need a nap. 8 hours of sleep over a marathon weekend isn't nearly enough. Perhaps that's why my dear husband left me home while he went to go pick up our dogs- he saw my zombie-like countenance and decided it would be better for us both if I stay off the road!

What did you do for fun this weekend? Any advice to retrain my stomach that I'm no longer marathon-training, and therefore can't empty out the fridge? I've still got some pretty serious Runger going on!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm ready, I'm ready

Today, I am back to being super excited. I'm about to run my first MARATHON! And nothing is going to steal that joy away.

Now, go read that title again in the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, because that's how I've been chanting it as I skip around the house.

This was my debate on Wednesday- which shoes to wear for a 5k fun run.
I ended up going with the Vibrams, and also ended up running my second-best 5k ever. And I didn't feel like I was pushing it hard enough to be only 5 seconds off a PR! That makes me feel like marathon training has really improved my fitness.

I don't care if you're not a runner, set a fitness goal- achieving it gives you so much pride, so much strength, so much love for yourself!

I'm ready, I'm ready!

And, when it gets tough, I'll just switch to Dory- Just keep swimming (running), just keep swimming (running), Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming! What do we do? We SWIM! SWIM! (RUN! RUN!)

Enjoy your weekend- I'm leaving the laptop behind, and going to enjoy a slightly less-techy weekend. Though I may have to mobile-blog once that medal it around my neck. :D

Are you enjoying the cooler weather? I'm so happy the temps for Saturday are in the mid 70s rather than 80s. Perfect for running- cool start at 49 degrees F, ending around 75 by the time I expect to finish- AWESOME!

Are you a pumpkin spice latte fan? I've loved the PSL since college, even before I was a barista. I love them so much, I usually try to prolong the first one of the season to prevent overkill. Because of the marathon, I chose TODAY as the day I would let myself have my first PSL of the year. You hear that, Dayton baristas? Tall, nonfat, no whip PSL, please.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

That's life

I was really hoping this would be an "I'm so excited I can't stop smiling" type of post, but alas, life has a way of smacking you upside the head the minute things seem perfect.

It's never good when "routine tests" come back abnormal from the Dr. I need to remind myself that it's USUALLY not bad, either. But, it's kind of hard to not be freaked out initially.

I am going to attempt to use this worry to power through the marathon. I am going to use this worry to enjoy every painful minute. Those 26.2 miles just might define me even more than I initially thought they would.

I need to remember that there is a much, much, much better chance that everything is fine.

I am a Tough Chik. I am strong. I am brave. I have faced things down in the past, and if by some crappy chance thins get difficult, I am strong enough to face it.

I am going to do my best to remember that this is probably nothing. But I might need a little reminding.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Any guesses what/who I am going to be for Halloween?
Hint: she's a bit stitchy, and has a thing for the pumpkin king.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Big news!

I've made the first of a pair of yoga socks.... Because starting in October, I will be teaching yoga, too!!! That means I'll be teaching zumba and yoga. Can life get any better than that? :D
One week until the marathon! Btw, don't look too closely at my toe- that's a blood blister. Sorry!
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day "Festivities"

My idea of fun today- 10 mile run followed by chocolate milk and ratatouille.the best part? 10 miles almost felt easy. It really made me feel ready for the marathon in 12 days. The rest of the day shall consist of knitting, stitching, and some mindless tv.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Benadryl hangover

 Do you see the word "gum" anywhere in that photo? As in xanthan gum, guar gum, or any others? Or carrageenan? Glister ester of rosin? No? Me either. Which is why I thought it would be safe to eat. But, after having the WORST allergic reaction to food of my life, I'm beginning to wonder. My best guess at this point is that the processing factory either 1) left an ingredient off the label, or 2) cross-contaminated from their other flavors (all of which had one of my lovely allergy fiends). Regardless, I'll never buy those noodles again. Not after an evening coughing, wheezing, hives on my neck, feeling like fire ants were dancing in my ears and throat, and being semi-comatose from benadryl the rest of the time.

Food allergies suck.

I went to bed at 9:30, which is early even for an "old lady" like me.

Today, I woke up with a Benadryl hangover, and didn't feel like doing much. Which means I didn't go for that longish run I had planned.

 I ran the necessary errands, then came home and flopped for a bit. After the hubs left for work, I sat in my sewing room for nearly an hour, and finally had enough energy to play with  these squares:
 I won them at the shop hop back in July. They're 8 inches, which seemed odd, but who cares when you win something!

So, in my still-fuzzy head, I came up with a simple project:
AND managed to sew it all together without any mistakes! It just needs borders, then quilting/binding and it will probably end up on the wall somewhere in our house. Thank goodness my husband agrees that quilts can be art/decor.

I cooked from scratch tonight- chicken lettuce wraps (like the ones at P.F. Changs). One of these days, I'll completely give up trying to take short cuts. I don't get to very often anymore, but after last night, I'm starting to feel like they're not worth the risk anymore.

If you're in America, enjoy your long weekend.

Anyone have anything fun planned?

Anyone else have food allergies? Gotta love reading labels all the time!