Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The next adventure!

The garden has begun!


Lent ends Sunday. I gave up buying fabric and athletic apparel. I made it all the way until today, strong, able to withstand temptation of sales at JoAnn's, sales at Running Warehouse, etc.

And then, Running Skirts sends an email this morning. THIS is the half off print this Friday. I swear it jumped in my cart on it's own- it's that cute. Along with a teal friend. Justifications include reward points expire soon, I had a code for 15% off, and it won't arrive until well after Lent is over anyway. Plus, I've been drooling over it since it debuted. I even suggested it as a Christmas present.

So, yeah, I was a little bad.

It could have been worse.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I finished

The odds felt stacked against me for the marathon last Saturday. Of the previous 10 days, I spent 7 feeling like death with the flu. Of the previous 4 months' training, I missed or cut short half my long runs, and never ran past 16 miles. I ran less than 250 miles over that time frame. And often only ran 3 days a week... occasionally, less. What can I say, I got sick twice, and life got in the way.

Some people wouldn't have even attempted to run it. But, despite all of this, I KNEW I could finish, and I knew I could finish strong. I knew THIS
 would be my outcome.

Why? LOTS of this:
I'd been attending a strength and conditioning class twice a week, and thanks to the nasty winter we've had, our running group did circuit training at least once a week, if not both days we met.

S&C and this circuit left me feeling strong. Powerful. Like an athlete again.

That is why I persevered, and blew away my last marathon time by nearly a half hour.

In case you're interested, our running group's circuit is as follows:

6 suicides using the base lines, free-throw lines, and half court (so it's 4 different length of the court to make 1 suicide).
30 squats with a shoulder press
30 butterflies on an exercise ball
30 box jumps
30 pitcher pours
30 step ups with toe raise
30 bicep curls
30 high steps over that yellow hurdle
30 bench presses on an exercise ball
30 squats
40 push ups
60 sit ups
6 more suicides

On a good day, I finish this in about 25 minutes. Yesterday, 3 days after the marathon, I was a little slower- 31 minutes- but I still loved every minute.

I'm a believer that strength training is as important (if not more!) as the long run for endurance.

Don't worry, Mom, I'm resting again today. Even though I feel amazing, I am going easy on my body this week and the next. Today's agenda: dress shopping! We have a wedding to attend in May, so I need to find a dress. I'm both excited and dreading it.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Circular Logic Marathon Recap

Let me just start this off by saying, if you live near West Lafayette, IN, you should definitely look into this event! Though small, this event is top-notch.

I got up half hour before my alarm (that almost always happens) and ate some cereal and had coffee. Then, after slowly waking up some more, I had "second breakfast"closer to when we needed to leave: grits with butter and CHIA!!!
 Yeah, it looks gross, but it tasted good and I load my grits with salt, so this was a good choice for me.

The drive took a little over an hour. My awesome husband decided to come with, which worked out great for both of us: he got a bunch of homework done, and also ended up being a major help to me by adding more Nuun to my water towards the end!

Once there, bib pickup was efficient- took all of 2 minutes- and then I set up my spot on the aid tables. Since this is a 1 mile loop and a litter-free event, participants brought their own water bottles marked by bib number. I wish more events would do something like this. It was amazing having all of my Gu just waiting for me, and being able to have my Nuun-filled bottle was awesome. I normally only drink water during races since I'm allergic to an ingredient in gatorade.
At the start.

I wore this for the first lap, since I knew my husband would be waiting to take it from me once I got warmed up. I love my Tough Chik sweatshirt!

The course is literally a 1 mile loop. Sounds boring, right? NOT! It made the time fly. The first 3 laps went by like a blink. Then a few more, then all of a sudden I was 9 miles in and my husbeast had returned to check on me. And then I was at 13 laps. And then 17. And then 21. All the while, staying well-fueled for once, hydrated just right, and STILL SMILING! One volunteer refused to call me Chubs for the first half, but eventually caved, and the second half, he couldn't believe how I was still smiling, lap after lap after lap.

What can I say? I was having SO MUCH FUN!
9 miles in. SMILING!

24 miles in: SMILING!
 So, yes, you run the same mile 26 times (plus a .2 spur the first lap). But I was never bored. Between the camaraderie of all the other runners, the spectators, and even the smarmy frat boys and sorority girls who were having a softball tourney, it was never boring. I may have thoroughly disgusted some sorority girls, though, when I let fly the most majestic snot rocket you can imagine. :) Hey, that's what happens when you run after having the flu!

The finish: I encouraged that guy in blue, Zebulon, to run it in for the last quarter mile and got a huge thanks at the end (hence photo #2's awkward post-handshake, awkward laughing slump posture).


I'm so happy the race went as well as it did. I felt amazing- yes, I hurt some, it was 26.2 miles long- but I still had energy. I still felt ALIVE. It made me feel like a 50k is possible this December.

Yes, the bib says Chubs. It's a nickname my husband gave me to remind me not to be OCD about my weight.
If you are looking for a race that has friendly volunteer, excitable crew, and an all-around great atmosphere, come run Circular Logic next year. Simply a top-notch event. I don't have a single complaint. Even the weather was fabulous!

The shirt and the medal both have a mobius on them. Makes my nerdy little heart pitter patter a bit.

I can't say it enough: if you live nearby, this is a race worth doing!!!!!!!! And it was under $40!

So, despite being sick with the flu last week, despite feeling like I hadn't done enough long runs (not one was beyond 16 miles), I managed an official PR of 5:12:05, which is 29 minutes faster than my first marathon in September. All the strength training, cross training, and speed work paid off, big time. I will probably stick to 16 milers over the summer as I prep for the AF marathon again. They're just so much more manageable than 20 milers, and easier to talk myself into!

I'm still riding the good vibes from that run.  Even THIS can't wreck my mood:

We got over 12 inches of snow by the time it stopped today, which got me a snow day from work. which means I've been looking up more races to run... the addiction continues.

Hope your weekend was as awesome as mine!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 4

This is the sickest I've been in recent memory. Definitely the sickest my husband has ever seen me. He's been taking care of me (as much as I'll ask) in the morning before he goes to work. Love that man.

I've been doing a whole lot of nothing today, other than channeling my inner warrior as I sleep/cough/sneeze on the couch. I've been wearing my shirt from when we completed Warrior Dash last summer, and my Endorphin Warrior bracelet that came yesterday.
Come on, body. Let's kick this crud. The marathon is just 7 days away!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The upside of feeling down

Well, I still feel terrible. It definitely has that virus up-down roller coaster. But, because I refuse to be completely negative, there's this: Circular Logic has no course time limit! So, I'll walk the whole darn thing if I have to!

With that in mind, I've cancelled what few plans I had this weekend, and I have a date with the couch, some soup, and some hot tea.

The hay is in the barn anyway. Missing a few more runs won't kill me.

hope your weekend is off to a better start than mine!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still sick, but SASSY!

Today, I feel like death warmed over. Whining out of the way, my day was made when the mail came- and along with it, the Sassy bands I won from a recent giveaway over on Amy's blog, Running Escapades

So, even though I'm not feeling the best physically, mentally I'm about as sparkly as these headbands!
And check out that added bonus- I got to pick three headbands as my prize, and since Paula, Ms. SassyBands herself, wasn't sure which pink one, she sent both!

I did as much product testing as I could today. I can tell you they stay in place while making pizza, watching TV, and even during a failed attempt at a nap that included much tossing and turning as I tried to breathe.
I really hope I feel at least better enough to teach Zumba tomorrow so I can test them further (thank goodness I use hand cues for my class, since even if I feel amazing in the morning, there's no way I'll have a voice back since I'm a decibel away from mute right now!).

Seriously, though. Go check out Sassy bands. They're competitively priced (lower than some of the other brands you see online!), and they're a small business from Ohio. You know exactly where your money is going when you support a business like this.

And who knows, maybe they have healing powers, and I'll wake up feeling 100% tomorrow! And, if I don't, I'll be sure to wear a sparkly one so it will distract from sickface. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Circuit, and Sick!

Yesterday, we did my favorite thing for our running group: the CIRCUIT! 10 exercises, bookended with 6 suicides, and 40 push-ups/ 60 sit-ups. LOVE IT. It makes me feel like an athlete again. Yesterday, it made me feel more exhausted than usual, so I wasn't surprised to wake up and find myself feeling like crap. I'd been fighting a bug since Monday evening.... UGH.

I'd rather get sick this week than next, though. Circular Logic Marathon is 10 days away!!!

The worst part about being sick today is that Sheila, the strength training/conditioning class instructor, called in sick, and they called me to sub for the first time. I WOULD HAVE LOVED THAT! It killed me to have to say no. But I did make my boss laugh when I replied, "Oh, so it's her fault I sound like a chain-smoking elf."

I hope to feel well enough to join the running group again tomorrow. My mind says I'll be fine by morning. Usually, I'm not down for long. Dinner tonight is going to be chicken soup, apple juice, and a side of Mucinex. Every time I take it today, I get about 2 hours of feeling back to normal (another bit of info that tells me I'm beating this thing for the most part, if only I could get rid of the drainage).

Tomorrow, we'll be close enough to marathon day for it to show up in my weather app... which means I'll be obsessively checking it over and over and over again. I have no clue what i'm going to wear for once. The weather has been so up and down... what doofus thought it would be a good idea to run a marathon in Indiana in March?

(If any of this is rambling more than usual or makes no sense, please forgive me. Cold meds of any sort always seem to make me goofy)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prudence's 5k PR

60 degrees outside- running skirt weather!

This little girl and I ran a 5k in 34:00, which a new PR for her! And that was with 2 potty stops for her, and letting 3 different little kids say hello. What can I say, she's a social runner. She'll probably sleep until dinner time now. Frankly, I might, too- DST does a number on me every time we change.

Hope your weekend was wonderful!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Candy and Caminos

Did you know "camino" means the path, road, or way? I didn't, until I looked it up at dinner tonight to satisfy curiosity while out with friends at a local restaurant called Los Tres Caminos.
Proof: every once in a while, I actually wear clothes that aren't sweat-wicking, and even a little mascara!
And proof: I love jelly bellies. And sour jelly beans. Yum!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Over it.

This is what we get for having 8 80 degree days last March.
Ugh. There's about 7 inches of snow out there.
I'm over it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winging it

I don't advise anyone to follow my current "training plan."

Let's put it this way: I have a marathon in 18 days, and haven't done any long runs past 17 miles. My last long run was 2 weeks ago, which would make it slightly over a 5 week taper, because, let's be honest, any long run I do at this point will probably just leave me unrecovered on the big day.

On the brighter side, I've done more strength training this training cycle than I had the previous three years!!!! I also have a pretty big window for a PR- just need to finish under 5:41. Honestly, I think I'll easily (well, as "easily" as anything happens in a marathon) PR. I have one marathon under my belt, and I'm relaxed about this one. Maybe too relaxed.

I know I'll walk a bit. I have no shame in walking. I am not fast enough to even dream of an age group win (especially since the whole Gillette family seems like they're entered in this run... yes, as in Justin Gillette, the guy recently featured in Runner's World because he wins). I am running for fun, and to test fueling strategies- the beauty of a 1 mile loop will be setting up my own aid station and not having to carry everything. I can go through a whole box of Gu if I need to.

So yeah. I'm actually really excited to see how well I do, or how quickly I crash and burn with this laissez-faire attitude I've got going on.

In other, extremely exciting news, my husband got the call for which he's been waiting- HE GOT SELECTED FOR OTS!!!!! TO BECOME AN OFFICER, AND EVENTUALLY A PILOT!!! WHOOHOO!

Last week was exhausting as we waited to hear. And then I had to much going on Saturday, I simply crashed from about 3-5 in the afternoon. I needed that nap. And this is what I rolled over to see when I woke up:
Mr. Matt, my guard dog.

I've noticed a pattern with him lately- the days when my blood pressure is super low and I nearly fall upon standing, he's RIGHT THERE by my side. I think he can sense it. This morning, it was so low I half-blacked out (I lose most of my vision for a few seconds) and my knee buckled, but caught myself on the chaise with my left hand and on his big furry head with my right.

Dogs. They're amazing. And entertaining.