spotted cow, tyranena, & panty raiders

Oh my… I had a freakin’ AWESOME weekend!  Seriously, as I was driving back yesterday, I kept randomly smiling because of all the fun times that were had!

yay reunion!

But let’s back up a bit… on Friday I drove to the fascinating land of WI.  Actually, I am not being a jerk – I love WI.  I have romanticized it a bit, I’m sure, but it’s one of my favorite places.  Everytime I’ve gone there, whether for work or pleasure I’ve had a great time.  Lucky for me, my friend let me borrow her GPS so I didn’t even get lost.  This is HUGE people!  I always get lost.  And stressed.  And sweaty – eww.

I got to Rachel‘s (a.k.a. the best hostess ever) and we waited a bit for Falon and Flaherty to arrive.  As I mentioned, it was our Ragnar team’s reunion weekend.  Panty Raiders invaded WI!  Once there, we headed out to carb load for the 1/2 the next morning.  We ended up at a bar where I discovered this

yum!

and rounded it out with some pizza for the win.  This is my new favorite beer.  I’m working on my beer education and Spotted Cow has a podium spot for sure.  I’ve never had a beer the night before a race… might become a new fueling tradition

Falon and I got a bed and proceeded to slumber party it up middle school style!  Yes… we stayed up late giggling.  It was perfect.

my super fun slumber party buddy

The race didn’t start until 11:30 am on Saturday so there was time for coffee and a bagel.  It dawned on me that I was running 13.1 miles.  I had only ran twice since the marathon and I was getting slightly nervous.  On the drive over, I had decided I was going to push the pace despite being under trained so I could prove to myself I could do it.  After some Panty Raider reunion hugs and pictures it was time to get this sucker moving.

time to run!

First of all… I don’t think people liked being passed by women wearing frilly undies on the outside of their pants.  It was odd – I think everyone thought I would be their “road kill” but I held my own.  The course was beautiful.  And hilly.  I hadn’t looked over the course at all since I was buying my bib from an injured runner (thanks Alicia!) so I didn’t realize mile 3 was all up and down, including a lovely steep one.  Well played Tyranena, well played!  Yes, I did utter these words as I dug deep to get to the top!

these signs always made me happy

I kept a 10 – 10:15 min pace for a while and then moved to a 10:30 as the miles kept passing.  I was concerned I would totally crash before the end but I was determined to keep pushing.  I always have this thought to hold back and I want to get rid of this mental barrier.  Mile 7 was tough for me – just getting tired.  Then miles 11 and 12 felt like doom!  By that time, I sunk into the 11 min mile pace but I was happy I had lasted as long as I had.  My teammates were on the corner yelling that the finish line was right around the corner and I “sprinted” for the end.  The good thing?  I really had left everything on the course – my sprint speed was not terribly fast!  My final time was 2:21.  My garmin said the race was 13.23 with the same finish time so I’ll keep that stat!

I didn’t bring my handheld and I really wish I had.  There were 4 water stops and I could have easily used 2 more.  After shoveling a yummy lasagna post race meal (yes, this was provided!) and a delish Tyranena blonde ale we headed back to Rachel’s house.  And to this!

these medals are HUGE! this tasty drink is a pineapple upside down cake – pineapple juice and cake vodka, very tasty!

The rest of the evening was spent chatting, laughing and partaking in both liquid and solid carbs.  I had so much fun!  We ventured out to a local bar where we were practically celebrities.  I was a hot ticket that night with some of the mens and it was not only just really fun but flattering as well.  We finally rolled in at some wee dark hour of the night and I went to sleep with a huge smile on my face.  I loved the feeling of accomplishment from pushing my body 13 miles.  I loved the feeling of camaraderie with women who I’ve shared a stinky van with, fun blog stories and all kinds of run-talk with.  It was wonderful.

ohhh – Rachel, you kind of got cut off – boo!

Oh!  I totally forgot!  I grabbed a (mini) cup of beer from the unofficial beer station along the course!  I probably won’t ever do it again but it was fun to be able to say, “I did that!”

Yep, a total winner of a weekend.  There will be more Panty Raider reunions in the future – I’m excited already!

for your viewing pleasure…

kim was the first panty raider I met – I answered her call for a ragnar teammate on her blog! so glad I did!
yeah – the dudes had a lil’ thing for me… it was pretty funny!
nope – I have no idea but this pic cracked me up!

thanks for the pics Rachel, Kim and Kim!

 

 

the laundry fairy doesn’t exist

To say my dirty laundry was out of control would be an understatement.  I was getting low on all kinds of necessities – undergarments of the running variety, running skirts/capris, running socks… oh and some work clothes :)  Part of this has made me wear clothes I haven’t worn in some time.  I get caught up in a cycle of clothing so this has made me push past this.  Good news.  I came home tonight all motivated to get this at least partially under control.  I did two loads (big ones).  I went upstairs to change them to the dryer and one washer had completely spilled everywhere and my clothes were still sopping wet.  Boo!  Of course, the part I didn’t mention was the washer was unplugged when I got up there and thanks to a few acrobatics I was able to plug it back in, simply thinking it had come unplugged accidentally.  Nope.  I rewashed that load (another $1.50).  I miss my own washer/dryer!  I LOVE doing laundry!  Haha, can you tell?  Me and the W and the D had moments of silence before I left my last place.

doing laundry makes me happy

Alright, you probably didn’t click here to read about my laundry woes.  Let’s talk a bit of crossfit!  Last night was my first night of endurance crossfit.  Wow.  It was tough but it was really good.  We did more running than the other crossfit sessions I’ve attended, which I enjoyed and I worked HARD.  So hard, I got a decent headache for a little while and came pretty close to vomiting – yay!  Burpees will be the end of me, that’s all I have to say.  Oh and I got my first burpee blister.  Now I’m official!  Outside of endurance sessions, we have runs given to us.  This week we have to do some time trials – a 5k, a 40 min time trial and then a 10k.  These are supposed to be all out, run hard, come home a sweaty disaster kinds of runs.  I’m still trying to figure out my schedule and hopefully next week I’ll be able to hit an actual routine.  Tonight I had to work late and missed a WOD session but it wasn’t mandatory.  My goal is to make them 4 days a week and then hit the runs the other 3.

I still love this

When I got home last night, I was BEAT!  My whole body was kind of vibrating!  I was definitely proud and somehow I am not horribly sore today.  I was really surprised.

The other day I was thinking about goals I had set back a few months ago.  One of the stress relievers I talked to my students about last week was to sell yourself TO YOURSELF!  Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for a job well done!  In light of this, here were a few of my goals and the status of each:

Run the RiverBank 25k – DONE!

Run Ragnar – DONE!

Budget – spend less on things and more on experiences – I was doing much better on this before the summer hit.  Once I moved I suddenly felt like I had to decorate my apt completely.  Then I went on a shoe binge.  There were some other necessary items in there too but still, I’ve realized I need to pull back a bit!  I’ve got some amazing experiences up ahead and I don’t want to stress about money because I spent too much at Target.

Cross Train – oh man, this was a huge failure for a while.  With the addition of crossfit, I’m getting better.  Progress is being made.

Train for a marathon – in progress!

I made this my screen saver on my phone – gotta stay motivated!

Get a new job – DONE!

Eat healthier – hmm, this has been off and on – definitely time to refocus!

Lose 10 lbs – again, off and on and need to refine my healthful routines!

Stress less – in one of my last work evaluations, it was written I needed to learn to manage my stress better.  Nothing like having that front and center!  I tried yoga for a little while, running of course, sleeping more, sleeping less – all kinds of things!  Attitude is a major part of this so I’m working on reframing my thinking so I see the positives rather than the negatives.  I also started drinking tea :)  I don’t know, I think this will always be a learning curve for me.  I am naturally an anxious person but I’m mindful of this and working on it!

my new mantra

I think there were other goals but these are ones I can think of and that have been on my mind lately.  While there are areas I need to refine, I’m proud of myself for the goals I’ve met!  I’m excited what I’ve accomplished and it does make me feel more encouraged.  If you are having a rough day, try thinking of what goals YOU have accomplished and then give yourself a MAJOR pat on the back!

way to go YOU!

second wind part 2 (p.s. read this book!)

So much has happened in the last week!  My mind is full for sure and I find that it’s almost difficult for me to put some order to the chaos and actually write it all down.  Thankfully, it was time for another Running and Reading Long post (which is now REALLY late) so I have a bit of structure to work with for this post.

Before I start though, guess what?!  Cami Ostman, author of Second Wind, posted a comment on my last blog post about this book!  I saw it the other night and couldn’t be more thrilled/honored.  Oh yeah, I still get the chills when I think about it :)

This will be the last post about Second Wind and we are going to be discussing each one of Ostman’s 7 marathons that were part of her quest to run one on each continent.  At least that was the plan – instead I am going to focus on a few and then encourage you to read the book!  I’m long winded… we would be here all night!

1.  Europe – Ostman ran her first marathon in Spain – to say it didn’t go as planned is an understatement!  After reading the start time wrong, not being able to quite get to the start line and then getting lost on the actual course, I totally felt for Cami and Bill (husband).  To emotionally deal with running a marathon is a lot – to do that with everything going wrong can seem unbearable.  Cami and Bill had to jump across part of the course to catch up with the other runners in order to make sure to stay on course but this meant they missed some milage.  They were determined to do all 26.2 though and walked the pieces of the course when the race was over.

I really identified with Bill, especially considering my recent Ragnar experience.  Bill felt it wasn’t “really” running a marathon because they had to make adjustments.  We, too, had to make some adjustments after we realized at checkpoint 18 that we were one of the very last teams.  Our start time was too late for our pace.  We were told to jump ahead some legs and then double/triple up on runners at other legs so we could all still run the milage.  At first, I didn’t want to – I wanted to keep slogging along.  But I went with the team decision and realized after running almost 17 miles that I had DONE Ragnar, even if it wasn’t in the conventional way.

4.  Asia – Ostman and her hubby went to Japan to run this marathon.  I was really moved by Cami’s experience in Japan because I’ve been there as well and it brought back so many wonderful memories.  Ostman was treated like royalty upon their arrival and throughout their stay.  The section of the book where Cami was listening to the women drummers made my heart soar!  She connected with the female warriors’ cries and used this deep connection to bond her spirituality with nature.  I really appreciated this because I too, try to use my surroundings and experiences to find more meaning in life, in running – in most everything.  I find it furthers my passion and makes me feel rooted.

6.  South America – alright, this marathon was my worst nightmare!  First of all, they had to run in the rain – in a deluge is probably a better word for it!  But that wasn’t all of it – half way through she noticed something wet running down her legs… nope it wasn’t the rain.  Cami was on her period and due to some changes in birth control it was heavier than normal.  She kept running though, even though it was clear to all of the spectators what was going on with HER body.  Again, this would suck for me.  It took me YEARS just to feel comfortable talking about it with my friends much less having a whole town spectate.  Over the miles though Cami came to terms with her womanhood.  Ugh, that sentence sounds cheesy but seriously – it was moving for me to read.  I’m proud to be a woman but still sometimes ashamed of what this means – jiggly boobs, junk in the trunk, a monthly visitor – the whole kit and kaboodle!  Why am I ashamed of the way I was made?!  I’ve been thinking about this a lot and it won’t be the last time I talk about it.

7.  Antarica – wow – this marathon was a mess!  I felt so badly for Cami during the planning for this last leg of her journey.  Isn’t that always how it seems to work though?  You are so close and then road block after road block seems to be thrown up and somehow you have to perserve to get to your goal?  From natural disaster to pissy organizations, Cami was up against it all.  I think what I took away from this marathon was the fact she came to terms with the fact that it may just not happen.  Then some light would shine and the maybe’s would start all over again.  Life is a roller coaster.  Heck, so is running!  One day, you have an amazing run and then the next day you can feel as though you have never run in your life!  Sometimes, you simply have to accept these challenges as is and try to hold on until life/the situation starts to improve.  Cami did fight, which is important, however, she also started to realize that even if the the goal she had envisioned for so long didn’t come true it didn’t dampen what she HAD already accomplished!  How often do we have an “all or nothing” kind of outlook on goals?  I am very guilty of this and working on it.

Again, I LOVED this book and highly recommend it!  My training this week was okay but my mileage fell short of my goal.  However, I also was recovering from Ragnar so I am calling it successful!  I needed a huge amount of sleep!

*sorry for lack of pics!  I’ll do better tomorrow!

yep – i’m exhausted… and i have the fever

Well… I did it… I ran the Ragnar Chicago this past weekend.  As much as I would love to say this is going to be a recap, it won’t be.  I’m simply not there yet!  Not to be completely dramatic but WOW.  I have a lot to process and need to figure out how I am going to write about all of it.  Yes, it was only a couple of days total but so much has happened!  I will show you my nifty medal/bottle opener/potential weapon though

this sucker is substantial!

I am definitely, completely exhausted.  Thankfully, my body isn’t terribly sore – I mean, I can tell I ran almost 17 miles but I’m not in agonizing pain.  This is reassuring!  You know what else?  I gained some pounds this weekend!  WTF?  I’m guessing it’s some bloat from lack of sleep, dehydration, eating at odd hours and snacking rather than actually eating meals.  Still, it’s one of those things where it just seems unfair considering all the running!  Ah well…  I can sport this bitchin’ badge so what’s a few pounds?!

Okay… I have a disease… it’s called RACE FEVER!  I’m serious!  All I want to do is sign up for races, left and right!  It has been building recently but it is reaching epic proportions at this point.  Here are the list of races I am looking at signing up for:

Kalamazoo Klassic – this race is on Saturday morning.  I have done it multiple times and there is a 5k and 10k option.  The 10k includes a mountain a.k.a. Maple Hill.  This hill is T.O.U.G.H.  The last time I did the 10k I was determined to run the entire hill and I was going so slowly ppl were walking next to me.  Did it break my spirit a bit?  Maybe, but I knew deep down I wasn’t going to stop running!

The Cheetah Chase – 5k on June 23rd at the Binder Park Zoo (local zoo).  I did it last year and it was my first race back from a 7 month racing hiatus (kind of a running hiatus too).  Umm…it kicked my trash!  Seriously, it is a hard course.  I would love to go back and redeem myself a bit!

source

Seaway Run – this is also on the 23rd of June so I will need to pick.  This race has a 5k option as well as a 15k option which I have never done.  It’s not too far away and it is along the lakeshore, which is sure to be beautiful.

Color Run Grand Rapids – Wahooo!  I am really excited for this 5k!  I am doing it with a team of besties and I know it will be a fun time.  I’ll be showered in color on Aug. 5th.

See Jane Run Half Marathon – this one is set in stone.  It’s July 15th and is my goal race for the Running and Reading Long program.

Tyranena Beer Run 1/2 – my Ragnar teammates are talking about getting together for a reunion and doing this half.  I am really considering it since it would be awesome to see them again and my van talked about this town a lot.  I feel like I have to get there!

Hot Chocolate Run, Chicago – I know this run got some bad press in D.C. but it sounds fun. Again, it’s a cool distance – 15k and it’s just something different.  I have friends in Chicago who I could crash with so while it would be a destination race, it wouldn’t break my bank.  Oh yeah, there is rockin’ technical sweatshirt in the goody bag!  This race on a Sunday and the Tyranena race is the day before – back to back racing?!

I love a good swag bag :)

Disney World Marathon – Yes, it’s a long way away – Jan. 13th but I have been wavering back and forth on this one for months.  The price increases in a few days and it’s already half full.  It’s the 20th anniversary of the marathon and I am a sucker for that kind of thing!  In true Disney fashion, it will be done up big.  I also have always loved Disney.  I’m pretty sure I have made up my mind but need to figure out a few logistics.

See what I mean?!  The two automatic races I will do in the fall include The Peacock Strut 10k and the Campus Classic 5k.  These are staples in my racing diet and unless something drastic happens, they will continue to hold a place in my heart.  Not to mention, if people ask me, “hey Amy, wanna do a race with me?” it’s tough for me to turn them down!

The cool thing about all of this?  When my mom died, I swore I was going to stop buying stuff and wanted to spend my money on experiences instead.  I’ve been working hard on this and I’ve been moderately successful!  Racing definitely falls under the “experience” category.  I’m proud of myself for putting my money where I want it to go, doing something I love and being healthy – all things my mom would want too!

running and reading long – second wind

It’s time for another Running and Reading Long post!  (yes, it’s a little earlier – I’ll be out for the next few day!)  And guess what?!  We get to talk about Second Wind!!!  Wahoo!  Second Wind, by Cami Ostman was an incredible book and I have been thinking about the lessons I learned for the last week and a half. Wouldn’t you know it?  That’s exactly what we are supposed to be talking about!

source

The first question is did Second Wind make me think differently about running…

The answer is a unequivical YES!  Cami is not a “fast” runner.  Her marathon times are around 5 hours and while she never talks about her specific mile pace she does say how she is usually at the back of the pack.  If you have come around this blog a bit, you know I have slowed down in the last year and half.  I have been whining about said slow down A LOT.  But after reading this book I realized what a gift it is to be able to run in the first place.  Does this sound cheesy?  Maybe… but Cami talks a lot about what she learns about herself through running and a major part of this is simply appreciating being out pounding the pavement.

pounding the pavement – with everything I had

I am embracing my current speed with open arms!  I do want to get faster – it’s fun :)  But I am also not going to beat myself up and continue to get down on myself.  Running for me, is very mental.  Yesterday I went out and ran 4 miles at a 10 min pace, which was 40 seconds faster per mile than a run I did last week.  Two of those miles were under a 10 min pace.  Why?  Because I knew I could do it.  I pushed myself for sure but I also told myself, “you ARE mentally strong”.  This is becoming my new running mantra.  The other aspect of this is I want to help others embrace their pace as well!  How often do we read (or write) “I did x many miles at x pace, which is fast for me”  Why are we qualifying and downgrading our hard-won efforts?!

me, running in my first race back last June

I don’t think Kara Goucher is going to read my blog and think, “wow, she thinks a 9:50 mile is fast?!”  Nope, if Kara were to actually read this blog (and Kara you are more than welcome too!!) I believe she would applaud me for working hard, celebrating my personal victories and because I love running!  I also don’t believe anyone else would read this and think that either.  So, join me in celebrating our times from the roof tops – no matter what they are!!

The next question to focus on is if Ostman’s story has made me think differently about life…

Again, YES!  Ostman writes how she has spent a huge part of her life being a people pleaser and this rang true with me.  I, too, feel the need to be “a good girl” and make sure others are happy even if it’s at a personal cost.  I have been working on this the last few years so I feel it’s a work in progress.  One aspect I am working on?  I am trying to stop apologizing – I apologize for EVERYTHING!  Even things that are in no way my fault.  Or I apologize for some non-existent error I perceived I made.  Learning to let go of my imaginary ability to control the world means learning to accept I can’t be perfect no matter how hard I try.  While this can certainly seem like a HUGE load off my shoulders, it’s also scary!  :)

the desire/need to be perfect was very real even at this age!

I also loved how Cami’s running took her on a quest – one to better herself, challenge herself and completely broaden her horizons.  While not all of us can run a marathon on every continent, I think it’s great how BIG Cami’s quest was.  Why not think BIG!?  Sometimes, I get nervous to think big; it’s scary to fail and when you have a big plan and it doesn’t turn out this means a big failure.  The last couple of years, I have been really afraid of failure.  Oops – see the connection with the need to be perfect?  Jumping in feet first is not something new to me though – I’ve been known to throw caution to the wind, just not lately.  I think after my break up in November and then my mom passing in December I started waking up to this and decided to make some changes.  It’s a process but it’s one I am welcoming.

running 200 miles with AMAZING women I have never met IRL? jumping in with both feet!

Training!!  Wahoooo!  I started mapping out marathon training and taking a closer look at my training for the 1/2 that’s in July.  Right now I feel I am on a good track with training and yesterday I joined our local Y for a month.  Our pool is closed until July and they closed our track on Monday – boo!  Maintenance-schmaintenance!  After Ragnar this weekend (!!!!!!) I’m kicking off my cross training like a champ!  I need/want to step my hills – eek! which I am also going to be working on next week.  But I do know, I AM mentally strong!

chicago ragnar week = panic, happiness, crazy eyes!

aarrrrgggg matey’s!

IT’S RAGNAR WEEK!!!!

Oh my gosh!  I am so freakishly excited!  Yesterday, I was working hard not to vomit all over the place because I was nervous but then I started talking to my teammates and I felt so much better.  They are all really excited as well!  They have the best attitudes and are giving women.  I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be part of this team.

isn’t our logo so cute?! I’ll post the name of the woman who designed it in the next few days

So, here is the deal…

PREP!

1.On Sunday I ran a 5 miler then walked a mile home on very fatigued legs.  In fact, at one point they just plain ol’ hurt.  I stopped for about a minute and then rallied.  I did have to walk a couple of times but the last mile I told myself to go for it.  Then I kept repeating, “you ARE mentally strong”.  I wanted to prepare myself for the running 3 times business that is coming up this weekend but even more I wanted to prove to myself I am capable.

2.  Some shopping – yes, I do need some supplies before hitting the road on Thursday morning.  We need to pack lightly since we are taking two mini-vans.  Packing lightly isn’t one of my strengths but I am determined to make it happen.  Sunday I bought some baby-wipe things for a “shower”, some Neutrogena face wipes (I really don’t want to massively break out this weekend!) some feminine wipes (let’s face it ladies – there is some delicate pH balance going on with us!) and some snacks.

sorry it’s so dark! yes, this is the start of my packing!

3.  I bought my train/bus ticket.  Good thing I plan ahead!

4.  Hooked myself and my teammates up with some pirate-y gear!

5.  Ordered my ruffle-bum undies last week and they arrived today.  They are pretty cute – one pair of pink ones with a bow and then some hot red ones.  ALL ruffles, all the time!

oh my! yes, these are not super flattering BUT pretty stinkin’ cute! 

6.  Bought some Nike capri tights.  I tried these on last week when I bought my run skirt.  Then the next day I got a coupon for $10 off and took it as a sign it was meant to be.  Plus they have a yellow stripe down the side that I am hoping will help with a bit of reflection at night.  Do I need new capris?  Well, the last time I wore one of my favorite pairs there was some unfortunate chaffing.  Not having to experience that on a 200-mile relay = PRICELESS!

7.  Found a white pullover long sleeve on sale at Target.  More of that reflection business – here’s hoping I won’t get hit by a car!

8.  Made meatloaf.  Not really sure how this helps me to prepare but I watched an old episode of “Dinners, Drive-In’s and Dive’s” last week and someone had a meatloaf sandwich.  I don’t eat meatloaf sandwiches but I do LOVE this super tasty Weight Watchers recipe!  YUM!

9.  Figured out my caffeine issue… okay, I do have an addiction to coffee!  I LOVE IT!  I also really do “need” it to get my arse up and running.  Considering we won’t be sleeping much this weekend, I don’t want to be a total failure all because I’m caffeine-dependent/deprived.  SO, I have planned to scope out some chocolate milk and then add some instant coffee to it.  I already have the instant and I’m dang proud of my ingenuity!

10.  Freaked out, wanted to vomit and took a rest day.  Don’t worry – I won’t include any pictures of wanting to vomit!  I did however, decide to take a full and complete rest day yesterday.  While this means I ruined my RW Run Streak, I have been waiting for the Chicago Ragnar since November.  I am going to restart my own streak simply because I really wanted to do it.  However, my legs were incredibly tired and sore.  I do feel better and feel confident I made the right decision.  Tonight I ROCKED 4 miles speedy-style!

crazy eyes of excitement!

I’m sure there is more – we are putting the finishing touches on plans as a team and I think the biggest way I am prepping is just getting completely PUMPED.  Earlier I was nervous because my pace isn’t as fast as I would like, blah, blah.  Truthfully though, I want to ENJOY this experience!  It’s such a fantastic and fun opportunity!  Not to mention part of my FUN-FILLED SUMMER!

will bake for a massage

Can we all talk about how much Mondays suck?!  During the academic year, they are always filled with anxiety for me.  Luckily, the school year is over so I don’t hate them as much as I used to.  But still, I dread them a wee bit.

Today, I woke up not feeling so hot.  I am fairly certain it’s all related to my long run last night.  12.5 miles.  In the interest of full disclosure, I walked the last mile.  I was beat.  I was starving.  I was ready to come home.  Oh yeah, not to mention the lightning that started and it was 9:15 pm.  This is just a bit too dark out for my comfort level.

The 25k is THIS Saturday!  I can’t believe it!  I’m sooo going to need to trade some baked goods for a massage when it’s done!

ummm… 15 miles is a long way!

But yesterday’s run went fairly well and was 12.5 miles of sheer confidence for Saturday.  Here is what I was happy with:

1.  I kept my pace fairly steady – 10:45-11:20… at least until the end ;)  I also totally accepted if I wanted to run 12 miles (15 soon enough) I needed to embrace the time/pace and enjoy the run

2.  I wore my Aspaeris pivot shorts – this was an AWESOME choice!  I have only ever worn them for recovery but these really helped and I will be wearing them on Saturday.

2.5 – I also iced my knees and sported my compression socks when I got home – how did I never realize how much this combo helped before?!

3.  I added a GIANT hill at mile 3 – lately I have been trying to avoid hills around this mile because I felt I couldn’t tackle them or I would be too tired to keep running.  But I ate this hill for breakfast!  Or at least as a snack!  For those of you local folks, I did Howard hill up to Oakland Drive!

4.  I brought water with me – I typically think I don’t need fluids but I am so happy I’m getting smarter!

5.  I didn’t have any expectations for this run.  Instead, I went out there ready to enjoy it and if I fell short of my goal than this was okay.  But I did well!  I also exceeded my expectations.  I didn’t really start getting uncomfortable until mile 9, a major improvement.

6.  I kept running!

7.  I wore my sparkle skirt!  I think I got a marriage proposal from a passing motorist as I was running :)

this is one powerful skirt!

Things I still need to improve upon:

1.  I only took one shot blok while I was out there.  I didn’t notice my waning energy until much later but at this point it was too late.  I was EXHAUSTED.

2.  I didn’t eat enough before I started running.  Again, I didn’t notice this until much later but when I got home I was feeling a bit light-headed.  I ate something immediately but then I started to feel nauseated.  I ate more after a shower (lots of protein) but still felt pretty sick.  Then today I still felt kind of crappy.  Lesson learned!

3.   I didn’t bring ENOUGH water – I was out by the time I made it to the track for the last couple of miles and really thirsty.  So, apparently, I am not smart enough.

The good thing is the positives outweighed the negatives!  I know I will finish on Saturday.  I also readjusted my goal – before I thought maybe I would finish around two and half hours.  Buuut… I am now a bit more realistic and am hoping for three hours or less.  I also decided to dedicate this race to my mom.  I decided this last night as I was running and knew it was the right thing to do.  It will be more constructive than wallowing on Mother’s Day and I know it will give me some great motivation to dig even deeper to keep going.

me and mom…

Okay… sad stuff aside, I do have a great announcement!  Duck on the Run put a call out on her blog for some runners to join her on this

I might just be addicted!

as an ULTRA!

Haha, crazy girl!  But in the excitement of this past race weekend (more on this tomorrow) I decided to jump in with both feet and told her I was IN!  I am super excited!  We are still looking for a few more runners so let us know if you are interested!  It’s going to be a BLAST!

Running and Reading Long starts today!  Yay!!  I will be posting on Thursdays about my reading so I for the next several weeks I will be doing my Thankful Things Thursdays on Tuesdays.  Or maybe on Fridays – I haven’t quite decided yet.  I am thrilled to share the insights from the program though and have a feeling it’s just what this introspective gal needs right now as I’m reconnecting with my love of running!