Monday, March 31, 2014

How NOT to run a marathon (Circular Logic Recap)

1. Don't make your single longest run only 13.31 miles, with the other "long runs" more like 9. Or 8. Or 6.5... (I could blame this craptastic winter, but the fault lies with my own will. I choose not to run long in the brutal cold or on the treadmill).

2. Don't stay up late the night before. Even if it's the first time you've really had a good conversation with your husband in a while, he'll understand. Definitely don't stay up past midnight, and then get up at 4 am.

3. Don't forget to factor in wind when you get dressed. It's not going to warm up as much as you hope, you fool.

4. Don't quit. 8 miles in, when you have to put the extra shirt back on that you had just taken off a mile ago, and you are so cold and grumpy (but somehow still smiling), don't quit. Even when you run within 10 feet of your car. DO NOT QUIT. (taking extra bathroom breaks in the heated bathroom is perfectly acceptable, though)

1. Do remember to smile.
See the ponytail? WIND. Stupid, stupid wind.
2. Keep smiling 6 miles later.

3. It's ok to tell a volunteer you're "full of four-letter words" when you are 23 miles in and so undertrained, especially if you're still smiling.

4. And when you finish, do remember why you run. For me, it's all about fun. And since every photo taken of me had at least half a smile that day, I can overlook being undertrained, miserable in the cold wind, and the fact that my legs are still swollen 2 days later. It's hard to explain to non-runners how I could be so miserable and still be having so much fun, but that's the magic of running.

Marathon #5 took 5 hours, 31 minutes and change. That's my second slowest time, but all things considered for the day, I feel like finishing is winning. 

That makes 7 races at marathon distance or longer. It will probably have to stay that way for at least the remainder of the year with all the moving coming up (and that silly promise I made to my husband about training for half marathons or less while he's gone). But, I am excited to run 2 half marathons coming up (Carmel and the Indy Mini). As the year reveals itself, I hope to add a few more.

What's your worst race experience? This was definitely my worst marathon. But if the worst marathon still had me grinning, I'd say a bad run beats a good day in office!

Have you ever DNF? DNS? I thought about quitting, more than I care to admit. I do not tolerate a cold wind at all. I couldn't get warm until I stopped by my car towards the end (and resisted temptation to get in and leave) and grabbed my winter fleece jacket to run the last 3 laps. 

I better get back to packing. Any moving tips? Seriously. Want to come help me pack? When I'm unsupervised, I tend to pack a box and then "oooooo, look at this, let's do something completely irrelevant for the rest of the day...."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Money-saving habits and tips

How is this related to running, you ask? More money leftover in the budget means more race fees!

1. Buy cheaper paper towel. Do you really need paper towel that can hold a bowling ball? Chance are, you don't. And if you are not using the paper towel for washing dishes, you don't need quintillion layered, super quilted, fairy dust coated paper towel.

But I do not recommend buying the cheapest, either. There is a nice midgrade range of paper towel (I personally love Aldi paper towel that comes in a three pack for $1.49). It will hold up to light counter scrubbing and cleans windows well, and functions as a great napkin, too.

2. Speaking of napkins.... Why not use your paper towel? Eliminate redundancies. Do you really need napkins? Two separate paper products when one can function for them both? I get it for special occasions. They look cute. But I would lean toward fabric reusable napkins for holidays anyway, which, if you buy (or make!!) in a solid color, can function well beyond a single holiday. Two sets of fabric napkins will work for every holiday- red for Valentine's Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and green for St. Paddy's, Easter, Mardi Gras, and (since it often has the most) added to the red for Christmas.

Here's another bonus for paper towels: they don't blow away when you take the roll out to the patio for a cookout!

3. My personal favorite: buy in bulk.

My mom refuses to buy cheaper paper towel. Refuses. So what did I do today?

I showed her how she could save $14 by purchasing paper towel and toilet paper in large quantities- even with buying the expensive brands! By driving 10 minutes further to a big box store, she saved that much. Plus, as a bonus, there was an additional $5 coupon if you sent a text, so I showed her how to retrieve that, too. Yep, that means by purchasing in larger quantities she saved $19! Crazy. I have ran a few smaller 5ks for that price!

What is your favorite money-saving tip?

Cheapest race you've ran? Besides the free 5ks on base, I ran a race in Denver, Indiana for $12. That was with a soft cotton tee, too!

Monday, March 24, 2014


It's about to get quiet here. Two weeks until we move, a full marathon Saturday, followed by a 10 mile the next weekend and a half the weekend following...

Things are busy. Crazy. But good.

So it will be quiet around here. 

I promise I will try to at least share a few finishing photos from the races coming up.

Come mid-April, I will be back. Living with Mum. THAT will be it's own type of adventure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Last 5k on that course.

I ran my last 5k at Grissom today. I'd say it was bittersweet, but It wasn't. I'm ready to move on from that place.

But the 5k.

5ks hurt. When I push it, when I get ugly early (one of my mantras- get ugly early- in other words, push myself early in the race, and push enough that if anyone were taking pictures, they'd all be race face at its finest), 5ks are painful from about 60 seconds in until the end.

Well, today, I pushed from the start. I bolted out at the beginning, and then forced my legs to go at a consistent, difficult pace.
 The course is about .25 miles on road, then turns into a gravel-ish path. It's crushed old pavement, but it really needs another layer or four. In areas, it's not much more than rutted dirt with a few random, palm-sized pieces of a formal road. I have consistently run it about a minute slower than I run on roads (Grissom PR was 24:47 while my road PR is 23:48). Today, Zac, the coach/friend, told me it was muddy, squishy, and somehow still had snow and ice despite the last few warm days. "It's not in PR shape" were his exact words.

That's all I needed.

That's why I pushed from the start.

7:51 mile. Not bad, considering the mud. The squelching. The soft ground that seems to suck you down rather than letting you spring off. And the wind. Did I mention the wind? I have never ran at Grissom without their being at least sustained 10 mph winds, and today's were in the teens and low twenties.

The second mile runs along the fence by the airfield, and is the windiest. Somehow, the wind is always in your face. You run west first, and it's in your face. Then you turn north, and it's still in your face. Then you turn east, and have a brief reprieve between a few pine trees for about a hundred feet before coming to another open area and, you guessed it, the wind is in your face. It's the Grissom wind vortex, or something.

My second mile clicked off in 7:59. Ok, hanging in there. From this point I just tried to keep hanging on.

The route heads back to the first L shape of the course and reverses it, and the normally circles the fitness center. There is construction going on, though, so today we had to follow the blue line through a parking lot. I hate that blue line. But I started rounding it, and by now, I was wheezing. Like full-blown asthma, scary-to-bystanders wheezing with every inhale. Wheezing so loudly I didn't hear my garmin click off another mile (8:09). My face must have looked terrible because Zac asked if I was ok as I approached the finish BEFORE he called out time. 

I was so happy to be done! The two guys who finished before also asked if I was ok, and I gave some sort of vague hand gesture while I walked with my hands over my head. It took a few minutes to regain full composure, but I was ecstatic once I realized- I had run my best time on that course!!!


Woohoo! That makes me wish I had a road 5k coming up to see if I could PR there, too!

Tonight, I hurt. My legs hurt, my lungs reeeeeaaallly hurt. But I am happy with the hurt. I worked for that time. I conquered, despite soft ground, mud, snow, ice, wind. I gave it everything I could, and I can sit here proud of my run today. No one, not even Zac, thought there would be PRs today. I love when people doubt- it's just the fuel I need!

If you made it this far, congrats! Sorry I had no pictures.

What fuels your best runs? This is the second time I've PR'd during a 5k when someone specifically said the conditions were not favorable for PRs. :) That's just how I am.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To celebrate, I'm wearing green to teach yoga, whenever I get dressed (this often doesn't happen until I have to, as in, thirty minutes before work. Don't lie- you'd stay in sweats until 2 pm on a Monday if you could). And that's the end of my festivities.

I had a good weekend- I took both dogs for a run (separately- Prudence did almost 3 miles, while Matty only did half a mile) on Saturday to enjoy the nice weather again. That made it just barely under 3.5 miles, which is only half of what I had planned, but I irritated an old back injury during the week so I chose to ease off this weekend. It seems to have worked because I am finally pain-free today. Perfect timing, too, because there's a 5k on base tomorrow.

I also spent more time sewing up stuff to help organize.

I made three more zippered pouches. The middle one is already being out to use wrangling my spare epi-pen and inhaler box so I know where to look when it's time for refills, and once we get to Moving Day, the rest of our medications (which is basically just my singular and a bottle of ibuprofen) will go in.

The biggest and smallest are being contemplated.... I feel like I have a bunch of things that need their own pouch, so I'm trying to prioritize. 

What will probably happen: I will go buy more zippers and make more pouches. Packing is a lot more fun with pretty pouches... And sewing breaks.

Today's packing pondering: how many muffins will I need to make to get through the next 30 days?

If I make enough and freeze them, I can pack the muffin tins! 

It's not a simple 30 days = 30 muffins. I want to be able to say, "Yes, dear, you can have a muffin," instead of "STAY OUT OF MY STASH!"
I think three batches should do it. That would be somewhere between 36 and 50 muffins, depending on what kind I make. That will give variety, too. Cranberry-orange, cinnamon, and a third... Tbd. Looks like I needs to get more muffin cups.

Muffins- are you for or against them? My brother is weird- he loves the muffin top, but will not eat the dense muffin stumps, as he calls them. 

Did you run a St. Paddy's themed race this weekend? Do you wear green today, or say, "pinch me if you dare"?

Friday, March 14, 2014

American psycho

The gelatin face mask happened again.
Or, as my husband called it, American Psycho.

(How do men remember movie scenes so well? I've seen that movie three or four times, and didn't even think about the face mask until he reminded me!)

I told him to stop making me laugh because the mask was hardening and I was about 2 minutes away from not being able to talk.

It's a simple "recipe"- unflavored gelatin, a little milk, microwave 15 seconds and spread it QUICKLY over your face (I use a cheap paintbrush because it's fun).

And then you wait. Let it harden. And then peel that sucker off in giant pieces. 

I recommend you do this before a full shower in case you miss some bits... And because it smells a little. 

But then end result is worth it. Last time, my skin felt wicked smooth for over a week. And my annoying zit zones didn't flare up for over three weeks, so I'd say it's worth it to do once a month. 

Plus it's fun to have a little at-home spa treatment.

I will warn you- it's a little painful to pull off at times. Like a giant biore strip painful- still far below waxing, and below band-aid level.

Do you ever do any at home facial treatments?

Or are you one of those fancy people who has actually been to a spa? I'd love to go to a spa someday... But I'm shy, and easily embarrassed, so I'd probably need a spa buddy. So much of the girly-girl world is still foreign to me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fighting the cold with something hot

Not cool, man.
After yesterday's glorious weather, I wake up to this.


Prudence and Matt have decided the best way to cope is with a blanket. 

My strategy is slightly different. Yesterday's weather made me want grill season. But, since I won't be going outside, I've spent (way too long) some of the morning dreaming up summer food I can make inside. Further complicated by a husband who won't eat bread anymore (he actually might have a gluten intolerance... He has all the symptoms, but refuses to go to a Dr).

Lo and behold, I came up with this:

Jalapeño cheddar meatballs!!!!

The recipe:
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
Half an onion, chopped
~1/3 cup chopped jalapeño
Sprinkling of seasoned salt. Probably about 1/4 teaspoon.

Mix that all together and form into balls. Place on a baking sheet (either greased or lined with parchment paper) and bake at 375 F for 25 minutes (for small balls) to 35 minutes (for big balls)... And of course, sacrifice one to check that they are cooked through. The cook *has* to check! and then eat it to make sure they taste good!

Mmm. So good. It's like a ball of summer. 

We will be eating these with a side of asparagus later tonight. They were going to be lunch, but since the meat wasn't thawed, it took waaaaay too long and I ended up eating pizza from last night.

They do make a great post-lunch snack, though... :)

You could easily substitute banana peppers in place of jalapeño, or turkey instead of beef.

If you make them, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

1 run, 2 outfits, 13.31 miles

I was ecstatic to be running in short sleeves today.
Soooooo happy! Short sleeves and capris for ten miles today. 

But when I ran out of water, I stopped at home and changed BECAUSE I WAS OVERHEATING!!!!! Do you know how happy that makes me after this nasty winter?
It seemed like a good reason to try out my marathon maniac singlet again.

Best run I've had all year. Simply amazing. I wanted to run more, but I was out of food and hungry. So while I elevated my feet for a bit when I got home, 

I ordered some more Salted Caramel Gu.... YUM.

That was the other amazing part of this run- 13.31 miles and I only consumed two gels and one bel vita cracker. That's only about 260 calories. It used to take me about 400-600 calories to get through a run of that length because my blood sugar was just stupid. Being able to eat less is awesome-and I think eating more protein throughout the day is at least part of the reason why.

Any great runs lately?

Did you get to enjoy the great weather yesterday and today? It's hard to believe we are going to be under a winter storm warning in 7 hours! 5-8 inches of snow expected. Crazy weather!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sugar and a smile

Seriously. How can you not love this? Unless you're allergic to candy.

The pattern is from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, but in my usual fashion, I've personalized mine. Where the original had an alphabet in the middle, I am declaring my love for sugar, in all forms. 

By the time I finish it, I will ba packing up all the current decor in our house, so this piece will hang in a future kitchen, I hope. Or maybe I should put it by my bed.

I do love sugar.

A lot.

Too much.

Which is why I run. 
That's the epitome of a runner's high, my friends. Practically giddy at the end of 4.36 miles. And again, maintaining a pace average in the 9:20s felt easy

I kept checking my watch at each mile, initially thinking I was running about 10:00 miles, since today was intended to be easy. By feel, it was easy. So I'm stoked that it was that quick of an an easy pace. And the overall average stayed at 9:28 even with forgetting to stop my watch before I walked the garbage bin back up the drive and then walked in.

Looks like all those squats are paying off! Stronger legs mean faster legs. I'm starting to dream of a half marathon PR at either Carmel or the Indy Mini. 

Did it warm up near you yet? I hate that 27 degrees felt so warm, especially in March, but it did. It was delightful. And tomorrow will be even warmer! We might break 50!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday Confessions- moving edition

Confession: I should be sorting, purging, starting to pack.

But instead, I'm sitting on the couch. Who can resist this sweet face?

Or this adorable project? 

Confession: part of my procrastination is because I'm overwhelmed.

The thought of moving in ~6 weeks is intimidating. 
I will miss my husband during his work week, and will relish the days off when he can come visit before he heads to OTS. 
But not knowing where I will be is driving me bat-shit crazy. 
How do I pack my essentials if I don't know where I'm going? Sure, some basics are going to stay the same, but some won't. Will I need boots? Or will I be able to get by for a year without winter shoes. Will I need my super warm, I-hate-winter parka, or will my fleece be enough? Will I be near water where I will want more of my bathing suits (if they still fit!) or will one just in case bikini be fine?

Confession: the other half of the procrastination is because it's sill ~6 weeks away.

Yesterday, I successfully purged a bunch of stuff from my desk (what's left should fit in a single box, yay!). I also took six bags of clothes, shoes, belts, etc to Goodwill from Sunday's purge. I know when it comes time to pack I can probably get rid of at least one more bag full of clothes.

But right now, there are so many things I feel I can't pack because it's still so far off. Can't pack pans, glasses, dishes, because we still need to eat. Can't pack clothes because I hate being naked. Can't pack sheets and towels because I need to sleep and stay clean.

After talking with the Husbeast, we might try to pack some of these things, just to get started. But them we will be living in a house of boxes half packed. Oy.

I know six weeks will fly by. But I also know that's a lot of living. A lot of laundry, cooking, cleaning. The list of things I can is so much smaller than the list of thing I know I still need. 

Confession: I'm not giving anything up for Lent this year.

Usually, I do. But I feel like rather than giving up something, this year I will focus on getting things done. Like a box a day, or another area purged, etc. if things continue to go smoothly, we will be moving right before Easter. So I will round out Lent by unpacking.

If only I knew where. 

Confession: I owe some of my sanity to Team Tough Chik. 

Seriously, those ladies are like family. And they've listened and helped me through these initial headaches, and I know they will continue to be there as the best support system I've ever know outside of my parents.

And who knows, maybe one of the moves these next few years will bring me close to some of them. :)