odds and ends to be thankful for

I know I’m odd… its BEAUTIFUL weather here yesterday and today but it freaks me out.  77 degrees at the end of October?  Polar bears are crying… I can feel it.  Nevertheless, it’s Thursday and a day to chat about what I am grateful for in life.  This is important.  So, without further ado, what am I thankful for this week?

1.  I finished a marathon.  Yep, I know I mentioned this (a few 100 times) but I’m kind of still getting used to the idea.  It doesn’t really feel like it happened.  People are still asking me how it went and the answer I keep telling them is, “it was HARD!”.  Because I inhale blog posts from a number of bloggers, I had kind of lost the whole concept of, “marathons are tough and not everyone runs them”.  In my cyber-world, EVERYONE runs marathons, so it ain’t that special.  Hello?!  Earth to Amy!  You rocked 26.2 miles!  Way to go!

2.  I laughed out loud at this:

this caught me off guard and I laughed so hard I scared the cat!

3.  I’m carving my pumpkin this weekend!  Yippeee!

4.  I recently saw a quote on pinterest or facebook and it said something about the days being darkest before the dawn.  Or maybe it was something about a storm passing and a rainbow.  I’m not putting these memes/sayings down – I’ve found comfort in them many times.  What I realized though, was for the first time in a year, I WASN’T in need of this type of boost.  I’m not trying to brag here.  I feel like the foggy blah of depression/where is my life is going doesn’t feel so overwhelming.  This has been nice.

5.  Thanks so much for the awesome feedback on my whole carb-y “problem”.  Haha, I feel like there should be some kind of support group for us carb-folks.  Although I have a feeling it would turn into one heck of a carb recipe-swap! ;)

6.  I have a bib for Tyranena!!  Oh my gosh!  Thanks to Kim from Life in the Twin Lane , I will be running alongside my Panty Raider teammates in WI.  I can’t wait to see them!  These women rock my socks off and totally crack me up.  It’s going to be a fantastic weekend full of laughs, running, beer and hopefully cheese – I mean, it’s WI after all.  Next weekend… Yay!

7.  The Tiger’s are in the World Series!  I’m not a super fan but I love how excited fans get around here.  People are absolutely GIDDY – I love that energy!

my first Tiger’s game ever was this season! Yes, I take partial responsibility for them being in the World Series… I mean, where would they be if I hadn’t been there?!

8.  Tuesdays nights – these are spent hanging out with friends watching scary stuff on tv.  It’s just for the month of October but it has been a blast.

9.  My blog-aversary is coming up soon!  Okay, in about a month but STILL!  The fact I am still writing is a major feat for me.  I guess it’s like running – it has become one of my passions.  I have some ideas of how I am going to celebrate and I’ll keep you updated!

10. I’m getting some of my running/working out mojo back.  I know tons of people talk about how they can’t wait to get back to running after their marathon but I’ve enjoyed the lazy time.  However, I am starting to feel the “crazy” seep in (running is cheaper than therapy) and I’m not sleeping as well.  All point toward the need to lace my running shoes back up.  It’s weird though, the last time I had them on I was trucking through the hills of San Fran.  It seems like a life time ago!

good thing nike took some pics… I have some of me actually running – I just need to buy them

hey guess what? i’m a marathoner

I conquered this beast!

I was so happy to get back to union square and proud that I had run this sucker!

After we got back to Union Square, D and I decided we were definitely hungry and my need for coffee was fierce.  We had stopped by the store Lush, on the first day and they had told us if we came back after the race we could get free foot treatments.  Since it was on our way to the mall (where there was an “internationally renowned food court”, yep, kinda weird and very good!), we stopped in and guess what?  NO line!

The foot treatments were the bomb.  It wasn’t just a massage but the oils and clay they used really refreshed our feet.  D and I then each got thin crust pizza from the this nifty little Italian place to go and I picked up this celebratory cupcake

it was a caramel chocolate cheesecake flavor – worth every calorie!

D and I decided we were exhausted and not interested in going out on the town.  To be honest, I was tightening up, needed a shower and wanted to sit.  A lot.  After eating and catching up on facebook (my awesome fans!) I decided I should probably shower the stink off of myself.  That’s when I saw this (umm it’s kind of nasty, be prepared!)

I tried lightening up the colors a bit so it didn’t look quite as much like a crime scene…

NOOOO!!  I used non-chafing stuff!  Why?!  This is the worst I’ve had it.  In fact, even after 4 days, it hurt and I’ve had to put cream on it.  Wednesday, it was still bleeding.  The weird part is, I didn’t feel it happening.  I’ve e-mailed Moving Comfort to ask them for their help and I’m on the look out for some different body glide stuff.  It’s just too painful!

D had a super early flight but I had until the evening before I flew out.  After checking out, I walked to get coffee and just sat there for a while.  I was sore.  The night before I walked across the room and D laughed at me!  I’m pretty sure I waddled!  Then I decided I wanted to find Trader Joe’s.  This ended up being about a 4 mile hike since I got lost, was harassed by some homeless people and was really losing steam.  It was a bit of a mistake but I found TJ’s and picked up some lunch.  I wanted to go home by now.  I was dehydrated, tired and feeling oddly emotional.

it’s my car’s grandpa! I saw this on the way to tj’s and had to snag a pic!

I was able to meet up with an old friend from high school, which was great!  We had a couple of drinks at the airport and then I got the run around from United – boo, almost missed my flight and had to hoof it to the gate.  By now, my legs were trashed again!  The overnight flight was a bit miserable.

I must say, a red-eye was a bad combo with a marathon!  I’ve been exhausted ever since and had a migraine all of Wednesday/Thursday.  I’m sure it was the lack of sleep, dehydration and what I put my body through.  I ballooned up by 7 lbs in water weight!  I lost 5 of it so far, thankfully.  My ankles and feet looked like a busted can of biscuits!  *Marathon lesson #1: drink LOTS of water the day after the race as well!

Now that I am a few days out, it still seems unreal.  My legs are feeling a lot better and if I could wear a sports bra I would give running a shot.  Considering my poor chest, I think a few more days of not running is a better idea.  I do plan on hitting the pool.  I’ve already started to think about the Disney World marathon.  I think Crossfit was a great training tool for me, however, the time commitment necessary was too much with my current job responsibilities.  I’ve already started reading, Run Less Run Faster.  I have sub-5 dreams/goals to achieve and think this book will help.  One thing I do appreciate about my personality is I don’t mind changing training techniques up to fit my lifestyle and this seems to fit a little better with where I am at.  Not to mention, people who have used this report 20 min PR’s!  I’ll talk more about my impending marathon #2 goals soon but I’m still working them out in my mind.

Well, that’s about it.  I know this isn’t the last you will hear of my 26.2 since I’m still processing my experience.  I can’t figure out how to use some of the brightroom pics but I’ll be buying one or two and then I’ll post those too :)  Thanks for reading!

as the queen of excuses, this was a powerful message for me!

26.2 – i finished! part 2

Heading into mile 14 I started to get a fresher feeling in my legs and spirit.  Mile 13 had been tough and when I turned the corner for the last half of it and into 14 I got a second wind.  I felt my form depleting a bit so I pushed my shoulders up and back and kept on.  I know my pace had slowed but I didn’t care too much.  When I crossed over the 25k marker I wasn’t too far off my time from the 25k I did back in March.  I also didn’t feel as hopeless as I did back then.  Haha – at the 25k for the last two miles I thought I wouldn’t finish.  Not feeling like this was refreshing and confidence boosting!

The path took us to by the ending of the 1/2 marathon where I grabbed a mini Luna bar and literally SHOVED that thing in my face!  Haha, I was hungry!  Then we ran along side mile markers 23, 24 and 25.  Seeing this was cool!  I couldn’t believe I was going to be there soon!  Of course it made me a bit jealous to see them but in my mind it made the miles seem SO CLOSE!  It was also on the beach, which was neat.  Around mile 11 I also noticed that my feet were bothering me.  I think the going up and down the big hills and using the balls of my feet/toes definitely caused some issues for me.  This would continue to be a problem for the rest of the race.  I would have to stop a bit, flex my toes to ease the pain and then keep going.  At one point, I saw this and knew it wouldn’t stop me.

*tons of support from awesome strangers! my fave was one that read, “good luck random stranger!”

I would say I started to hit a physical wall around mike 18.  I knew I would finish but I was getting tired of running.  The course wasn’t as scenic, it had started to “mist” a bit more and a ton of people were walking around me.  It was hard to stay motivated.  This is when some of the walking breaks started.  I kept them short and limited.  19 was tough and I kept thinking when I hit mile 20, things would really turn up.

Um… that didn’t happen.

Mile 20 was just as hard.  More shot bloks were offered somewhere along the way and every water station had Nuun and water – I started taking both.  I kind of wondered if I was over-doing it but I went with it.    When I had the final 10k left, it had been 4 hrs.  In my mind, I had a moment of hope that I could finish in one more hour.    This was a pipe dream and I soon gave up on it and concentrated on finishing.

There was one more f-ing hill at mile 22-ish, (which seemed just mean at that point) and I walked a small portion of this and started running again.  I knew I would finish but I didn’t know HOW LONG it was going to take me.  I almost started to cry around mile 24 or 25 because apparently when I’ve been running that long, I can’t count and I thought I had one less mile than I actually did.  NOOO!  haha… it was also hard because there were so few miles to go but it was taking FOR-E-VER!

But then the time came when I needed to run (and stay running) and just finish this beast.  Running down the final shoot I think I looked more like a zombie running down there.  I wanted to walk.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to sit down!  I didn’t.  I ran across the finish line and in my head, I sprinted.  In reality, paint dries quicker ;)  I pumped my arm across the finish line and the picture turned out well!

Then I got this

*little blue boxes of happiness

oooo – look what was inside!

I call this my “bling of glory”

then I also got my first warmer blanket

the hoarder in me wanted to keep this forever and ever… I settled for a pic

I also grabbed a half of a banana and a half of a bagel.  I thought for a second and grabbed another bagel half.  I was starving.  I got in line for my finisher’s pic with a hottie fireman.  I apologized and said I was disgusting.  He said, “nooo, you ARE NOT disgusting.”  Awww, yes, hottie fireman, we can get married :)

Okay, so at this point in time, I was kind of on autopilot.  Safeway also provided bottles of chocolate milk that did wonders for my mental state!  I had expected this massive overflow of emotions and it didn’t happen.  I headed to the tent where you could buy more race gear, which of course I did!  There is one shirt that was all sold out that I am going to order and it says, :26.2 miles of glory”… I want that shirt.  I did get one that said, “I Can, I Will, I Did”

my bib got a work out as well!

Got on the shuttle for a ride home and D listened to me go on and on about the race – thanks D!  I FINISHED!  One thing I totally wasn’t ready for is just plain how exhausted I was while doing it.  Wow.  I never quite knew how to combat this so I will need to think on this a bit.  While my time was over what I had originally wanted, I also knew finishing was special.  I’ll get a bit more into the whole aftermath and recovery tomorrow since I have a lot of thoughts on what I did well and what I can improved upon for my next 26.2.  Not to mention some horrible chafing, a bomb reward of a cupcake and a trip to Trader Joe’s… yep, it’s all waiting for you!

Thanks so much for all of the incredible kind words, cheers and confidence!  Sharing this wild ride with all of you has been so much fun – I love it!

*all the pics marked were from the Nike Women’s Marathon facebook page

nwm 26.2 recap part 1

Race day FINALLY arrived!  As I lay there the night before, I kept trying to remind myself, “hey, you are RUNNING a full marathon tomorrow!”  Nope – it still didn’t sink into my skull!  Wake up was 4:30 am – well, I got up at 4:40 am and D and I quickly got ready to go.  I put on my capris and was content with my wardrobe choice, even though I wasn’t sure what it would be the night before.  About 10 mins before  we were going to leave, I changed into my skirt.  There is a seam behind one knee that would drive me bonkers.  I also body glided up… this is some foreshadowing, btw.  I wore my red compression socks, a brooks short sleeve T, my Tough Chik arm warmers and visor.  I was ready.

we are ready to go!!!

D and I walked the 8 blocks to the start line and picked up a random “friend” along the way.  It was so early when we passed the strip club as the dancers were just getting off work!  We made did the bag check deal (giant buses) and our way to our corral – this was Nike’s first year doing them and I thought it went well.  It also meant we started two blocks back from the start line, which was odd.  We ran into a hotel where a bunch of Team in Training runners were and used their bathroom so we completely avoided any porta-potties.  Freakin’ awesome.

In the corral, D and I chatted together and with a few fellow runners.  Finally, 7 am hit and we started walking toward the start line.  We crossed and started at 7:19/7:20 am.

*oh guess what? I crossed that… it was a bit lighter by the time I got there!

D told me the night before, “If you feel like you are starting out too fast then you are… slow down”.  I heeded this advice.  I indeed started out with the 4:40 pace group and was ahead of them for a little while.  My garmin was all crabby and wouldn’t stay linked for about 5 mins into the race.  The weather was great – cool with some misty business that was pretty refreshing.  We ran along the wharf and hit the first hill.  I ran up it and felt confident.  We got to hill #2 and I ran up that puppy too, although it was a bit more of a struggle!  Mile #3, where a bunch of others were walking, I ran it and wondered if I could keep this up.  I hit the water stops and drank some water and stopped while I did this.  At mile #5 ish they handed out shot blocks so I grabbed those and took off again.

*down along the wharf there was a gospel choir singing to us! how cool is that?!

I was about to meet my hill nemesis… mile #6 was completely up hill.  Oh my goodness.  It started about a half mile into mile 5 and it kept going.  And it was steep.  I did finally have to walk, which dampened my spirit a bit but I had planned for this in case it became a reality.  When we finally crested this beast it was a nice downhill for a little bit but then another freakin’ hill!  We just kept climbing!  There were orange slices on this hill and they were so refreshing!  I stuffed one in my face, breathed for a few minutes and plugged on.  I got to the top of this hill and think it was right into mile 8.  It dawned on me that my legs were trashed and I had a lot more running to do.  I really wasn’t sure how I was going to keep it up.

*this may have been the start of my hill nemesis – brutal

I had brought my handheld with Nuun in it and a GU and some blok’s stuffed in there as well.  I also brought an emergency pack of a glide product since I was wearing my skirt and didn’t want my thighs to catch fire.  Once I finally got over that last hill, we came to what would have been an amazing view of the ocean if the fog had lifted.  But at that moment, I didn’t care.  All I kept thinking about was “WOW!  I am running the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco!  I am so LUCKY!”  I simply embraced the moment.  My tired legs became a badge of honor, I ran down the hill loving the fact that I had the most beautiful view and loved that I was there.

Around mile 11, I looked around and saw only 1/2 marathon bibs.  Minor panic set in – had I missed the turn off somewhere?!  I also realized I was getting really tired so I paused, took a Chocolate Raspberry GU (really good btw!  I picked it up from a vendor table at the Ragnar Relay), took a drink and kept running.  I kept going and finally saw other full bibs.  At last, I saw the area where the half went one way and the full went the other.  Mile 13 was also up hill (wth?!) and I struggled a little and had to walk.  As soon as I passed 13 though, I got a renewed sense of energy!  I could make it!

Yes… this is an epic recap… but it was my first full and a lot happened… at least in my head!  I’ll finish the recap tomorrow!

some san fran talk

Where do I start?  I ran a freakin’ MARATHON!  Wahooo!  To be honest, I am still trying to get used to this idea.  It’s very surreal and sometimes I’m not even sure it DID happen.  Then I move and I am reminded ;)

I really want to tell everyone I meet!

All last week was I nervous.  For my first full, I did a major undertaking – traveling across the country, an elevation chart that looked like a heart monitor in a hospital and a 25,000 runner marathon/half-marathon.  It was a bit overwhelming.  I drove down Thursday to visit my friend Meagan and to fly out the next day.  She and I had a great time talking all about running.  She ran the Chicago Marathon the weekend before so I asked her as many questions as possible.  We went on a shake out run, 4 miles in 41 mins and ended with a yummy dinner.  The run felt good and M was a major ego boost for me.

I got to San Fran at 3 ish and waited for my dear friend Danielle to fly in – it was sooo great to see her!  We grabbed a shuttle and got to our hotel.  We stayed in an American Best Suites and it was simple, within walking distance of the race start, cheap and clean – perfect!  We dropped our stuff and were out the door within 12 mins to head to the Expotique (yes, this is what Nike calls it).

Union Square was about 8 blocks from the hotel and after getting slightly lost, this came into view

there it is!

Yay!  My heart rate jumped a bit at the sight of this purple tent.  The expo opened on Thursday so I didn’t think we would get many freebies but this was the exact opposite.  There was no line for packet pick up and it was very smooth – I had a print out of a bar code that they scanned and I got my bag with goodies and my bib.

at the expo

We went started through the tent and WOW! there were a ton of people.  Maybe I was simply tired (or the massively loud music) but I found it kind of too much.  We walked around, got some awesome free granola from the Safeway station (they also had a “gerbil wheel” you could run in but we bypassed!), stalked the Neutrogena make-over line – too long, got some free Nuun, Luna bars and I picked up a ticket for the shuttle back from the end of the race.  From here we headed over to the Nike store and found our names on the wall!

this was pretty nifty – the wall was along the outside of the Nike store, I felt famous

The Nike store was PACKED!  I wanted one of everything!  We shopped for a while but again, maybe it was the lack of food, lots of ppl or whatever, I was getting done.  We made a few more stops and then went for dinner.  By this time it was around 9 pm?  After a tasty dinner, we went back to the hotel where dumped our Nike bags and made plans to return to the Expotique the next day.

Truthfully, it still hadn’t sunk in that I would be running 26.2 miles.  I went through the fun race packet, read everything cover to cover but still couldn’t wrap my head around it.  We went back to the tent the next morning around 8:30 am.  They had this really cool booth where you could get your picture taken but it didn’t open until 9:30 am so we got in line for the mini make-overs.  Well, this took a little over 2 hours!  Haha, at first I was all angsty but then D asked what else did we need to be doing?  Oh yeah!  It was ALL race business ALL weekend!  This change in mindset really helped me for the rest of the day/night.  Here is our fun photo from booth!

sorry about the bad pic – it’s a pic of a pic… this is our tough pose

Then it was onto some lunch (I had awesome french toast) and Fit Approach‘s yoga class!  It was fantastic to meet Jamie and Alyse in person – they are the sweetest.  We had a really incredible stretch session and then some chatting, free swag bags (which of course included some Sweat Pink laces) and some hugs.  It was a perfect pre-marathon workout session.

Okay, your eyes are probably bleeding by now!  So a brief rundown of the rest of the night: we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood, the sights and a trip on the trolley.  It was great fun but standing in line for the trolley there and back did a number on our legs and feet.  On the way back, there was some very odd downtime with the trolley and we got to hang out with GIANT rats, a street performer and a long line of frustrated, cold folks.  We didn’t get back to the hotel until 9:30 or so, which was way past the time we had planned.  Here are some fun pics!

tomorrow will be the race recap!

twas the night before 26.2

So… here we go… in only a matter of hours I will be hitting up the starting line of my first marathon.  Not to be incredibly dramatic but this is a BIG deal, haha!  I’m so excited but on the other hand, it doesn’t even feel REAL!

I promise a much better recap of all good things marathon and San Francisco very soon!  Thanks all for the support and just know, I have to be up in about 6 hours so I am headed to bed – even with this lame post/update.
See you on the other side of 26.2!

4 more sleeps until the race!

Once upon a time there was a kid named Kevin.  When he was in either 7th or 8th grade he decided he was going to run a marathon.  He ran a few shorter races, had done the STP – the Seattle to Portland bike ride and some other adventure-type things.  When he told his family he was going to run said marathon, pretty sure they doubted him.  Then the little tyke when and ran it in about 3 and 1/2 hours.  I know, crazy, huh?

baby Godzilla! the whole fam should have known NOTHING could keep this kid from getting what he worked for!

Yes, this was my little brother.  He has always said, if you can do half (whatever distance of the race) than you can do the whole thing in a race setting.  I’m holding him to this advice.  He rocked that marathon!  I talked to him the other night and he wants to another marathon at some point in time in the future.

Me?  I’m getting very ready for this sucker!  Pretty much, I’ve stayed off the blog because all I can think about is this run.  Oh, I’ve been able to work and actually, I’ve been fairly productive.  But now, on the eve before I leave (hey it rhymed!) I’m going a little nutso!  I probably should have taken the whole day off tomorrow but I needed to save some vacation for my DISNEYWORLD MARATHON!  Haha, yes, I got my first e-mail for that today!  I know… probably not too many ppl schedule their second marathon before even running their first.  Again, me=ridiculously confident.

I can DO THIS!!!

My brother was the same way though.  When he smoked everyone in his “age group” – yeah, there wasn’t anyone IN his age group, he just took out all the older folks, he knew he could finish.  He didn’t doubt that at all.  He just ran.  (uh-oh, I can feel some Forrest Gump quotes coming on!)

Okay, this post is really just me rambling because I am SO excited and SO nervous and absolutely every emotion in between.  Tomorrow I get to see my dear friend who ran the Chicago marathon a few days ago so it will be all run talk all the time.  I’m sure her hubby is going to offer to work late.

yep, posted this 10,000 times but I love it… I love the silhouette, I love the colors and I love the fact that the runner could be any woman out there – including me!

More mind-numbing, marathon crazy talk coming at you tomorrow!  Only this will be the thankful version!

thankful it’s thursday!

What am I thankful for this week?  Umm, I’m kind of thankful my marathon is NOT this weekend!  Haha but seriously, here is my list for this week!

1.  I had a great run last night.  Earlier this week I was feeling pretty Eeyore-ish.  After being sick all weekend and into the first part of the week I hadn’t run in a few days.  Yesterday it was rainy and yucky but I laced up my Brooks PureCadence, put on a hat and headed outside.  I had a quality 6 miler that did wonders for my mood.  I have no idea why I forget how much better running makes me feel.  I pushed the tempo as well and for the first time in a long time I didn’t slow down for fear I wouldn’t be able to finish.  That was freedom in itself!

2.  This

Yes, I know I put all of these up yesterday but this one I couldn’t find.  It brings me happiness that I can’t even behind to describe!

3.  Skyped my family this week!  It was wonderful to see them!

4.  My niece gave me some quality advice about men.  She is 18.  I’m crazy about that kid

5.  This weekend is the Campus Classic!  I love this 5k!  It was the first race I ever ran and I’ve done it every year since.  It always reminds me how far I’ve come physically, mentally and emotionally.  There is a MONSTER hill at the end that either a) brings ppl to their knees (literally), b) makes ppl vomit – last year I had to give it an “uumph” just to not get hit by the woman behind me or c) makes ppl simply give up.  Me?  It makes me push harder and get rid of the barriers in my mind!  And helps me dodge vomit! ;)  I NEVER dreamed I could be a runner.  The race pretty much changed my life.  Crazy, eh?

campus classic from last year – can’t wait to pick up my bib tomorrow!

6.  A great talk with my fabulous friend Kara :)

7.  My dear friend Meagan has her first marathon this weekend!  Good ol’ Chicago!  I am SO incredibly proud of her.  Last year, we did a half together – her first and she really put the pedal to the metal in her training.  She has cut 2 mins off of her time and knocks out mileage like nobodies business.  I absolutely can’t wait for her to cross that finish line!  Of course I’m going to pick her brain a bit!

M is the bride – and now she will be a marathoner! btw – LOVE these girls!

8.  One of my besties got me this!

it’s pink… it’s a magnet… it’s PERFECT! thanks em!

9.  I am so happy to be feeling better!  It was a brutal start to the week

I also got some fantastic mail this weekend – a lovely hoodie from WHOOHA Gear!  I’ll be doing a review very soon!

respect the distance

Happy October!  I’m thrilled to welcome this month!  Lots of fun stuff for this month and I am looking forward to embracing all that it has to offer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming marathon.  I’m super excited.  But I will admit, I haven’t been respecting the distance – what I am about to take on.  I read a lot of running blogs (I call them “my stories”) & I feel I’ve started to take the distance for granted a bit.  I mean, doesn’t it sometimes feel like everyone is running a marathon, so what’s the big deal?!  Haha, or maybe it’s just me and my ego over here :)

not sure if I’m petrified or thrilled!

I remember right before my first 1/2.  I was NERVOUS!  I was consuming anything and everything running related (including cheeseburgers but that’s a whole other story!).  I kept finding people downplaying the 1/2 marathon as not much of a distance.  It made me hopin’ mad!  Haha, and now I have found myself doing the same thing.  So, I’m stopping this insanity!  For all of you runners out there – be proud of whatever distance you are running!  It’s all an accomplishment!  If you are running 10 feet for the first time, a 10k or your first 26.2 – we should be so proud of ourselves!  Running is HARD!  Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your running accomplishments!

yep, that’s an “A” on her chest – I didn’t even plan that!

I’ve got some goals for these next two weeks as I finish out the prep…

1. eat healthfully

2. hydrate.  then hydrate some more

3. decide on a marathon outfit (yes, this really is THAT important!)

4. get some solid sleep (stop taking naps and then going to bed at midnight!)

5. hit my work outs and runs

6. save some money for souvenirs!!! :)

7. get rid of unrealistic expectations of my first marathon performance – I want to be proud I finished!

8. get even MORE EXCITED!

9. run a strong 5k this weekend

10. concentrate on not stressing out!  Haha, this might be the hardest one to achieve!

I love having a personal banana cheerleader that’s proud of me!

Nothing too complicated with these goals and they are all achievable.  I’m simply setting myself up for all kinds of success!  I also want to enjoy the whole experience!  Yay!  I’ll  leave you with this because a) it’s TRUE and b) it’s FUNNY!

can I get a volunteer?!


promises kept!

The last day of Sept… what a long and crazy month.  I know October is going to FLY by since there are just a few gigantic things happening this month

sorry – are you getting tired of this pic?!

I also have a couple of other smaller races and it will be just as busy work-wise as Sept.  Wacky school year!

Yesterday I promised a few things… first a long run update.  Last Sunday I went for a 15 miler.  It started out decent.  I went to the Kal-haven trail, even though the trail and I have a contentious relationship.  This time proved no different!  I made two major mistakes:  1.  I broke in a brand new pair of shoes.  Yikes!  Don’t do this!  I didn’t have much of a choice but by the end my legs and feet were completely worn out.  2.  I didn’t bring any fuel with me.  Oh I brought Nuun and this probably saved me from completely passing out on the trail!  On my 10 miler the few days before, I only brought Gatorade/water and I was okay.  So of course me and my gigantic ego thought I didn’t need anything.  Yep, at the end of this run, I faded.  Seriously, with my legs wanting to jump ship and sheer lack of energy, I’m sure I looked like a zombie coming out of the trail.  Scary!  I was also freezing towards the end of the run and couldn’t get warm until I took a 20 minute HOT shower.  While I don’t know the science behind all of this, I’m guessing I did my body wrong and won’t be doing that again.

yep – this is a fairly accurate picture of me!

Today was supposed to be my last long run before the MARATHON!  18 miles were on the agenda and I was kind of looking forward to it.  As I mentioned in a past post, I was (sort of) diagnosed with PCOS.  Today this is happening

this should probably say, “can’t move today”

Sorry for the over-share but I’m in so much pain, I’ve had to resort to doubling up on pain killers.  Yep, I’m a little high.  I checked with my pharmacist friend before to make sure I wasn’t doing anything dangerous.   I’m trying to figure out when and how I’ll get those 18 miles in since today is totally out of the question.  But they are important to me – simply for confidence sake.

Onto more pleasant things:  Recipe… enjoy!  Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t the healthiest meal on the planet but it isn’t the worst and you know what’s in it.  I got this from pinterest so I’m not sure of the original creator of this yumminess – my apologies!

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
The chicken coating:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
The sweet and sour sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
       Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9×13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.  
Don’t skip the part of turning the chicken every 15 minutes – this really helps to coat the chicken in the sauce.  I also put a little less than a teaspoon of garlic salt in there (personal preference).  Next time, I am going to mix in some red and yellow peppers and pineapple in with it and hopefully it will make a bit more sauce.
Lastly, I’m crazy jealous right now… as I mentioned on Thursday, my brother is in the states.  He and my sister are getting fun sibling time – without me!  Boo!!
love this pic – it was just taken the other day :)

So I’m wearing my fleece polar bear pants that I convinced my sister she should give me (they originally were her’s) and sent them very sappy text messages.  Real quick – anyone with sisters ever notice how their clothes are always so much cuter and more comfortable than your own?  I swear, I could hijack my big sis’ ENTIRE wardrobe :)  I’m also decorating for Halloweenie very soon (it was supposed to be today but the whole curled in a ball in pain thing got in the way)!  Heid and I have this way of always decorating at the same time.  It’s strange.  One of us will text the other and sure enough, without discussing it first we are putting up the holiday decor.  Kevina cracks me up and I always get a boost of motivation from the little go-getter.  He is a fiercely hard worker – I tell him to sleep every time I see him and I really admire his tenacity.  Kev also has more talent in his pinky finger than I do in my whole body.  Yep, I’m definitely missing my sibs!

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!  I’m going to start a petition to make weekends three days and work weeks 4.  Let me know if you want to sign it.  I’m going to change the average work week – you on board?!