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!

bits and pieces

Mondays have become super busy days for me.  I seem to be constantly running from one place to another, and considering I LOATHE Mondays I tend to end up in a crabby mood.  However, the last few Mondays have been pretty good.  Busy, but good.

First yoga… yesterday the instructor said, “we are going to do strength building today”.  Okay, two weeks ago, she did NOT refer to the session as “strength building” and I almost had to call in back up to help me move my arms the next day!  I considered jumping up and running out!  But class was even smaller than usual and I decided to suck it up.  My instincts were correct though – OUCH!  It was an amazing class!  During the last part where we are relaxing/meditating the instructor came around and made some adjustments.  I don’t know if this is what it’s called but I really like it when she does this.  I know it may sound weird but I feel like she is sharing some of her energy with me and it makes me feel better.  Maybe there is something maternal about it too but it’s honestly one of my favorite parts.

The final aspect that seals the deal for my Monday nights is hanging out with a new group of friends.  They make me laugh so hard and I find it just as stress-relieving as yoga!  It also helps set me up for a much better week!

Guess what yesterday was?!

The lottery started for the NWM!  I am so excited and totally keeping my fingers crossed!  I REALLY want to do this marathon – it will be my first one and I think it would be a blast.  Yes, the firemen and “frosting” make it fairly appealing as well :)  I even wrote to Nike to see if they were looking for a first time marathoner to write about training in a blog for them.  And guess what?!  I was denied, haha.  Oh well, I will still chronicle what is going to be a THRILLING adventure I’m sure, right here!

I also think I’ve decided to join a gym.  There is one here that has really cheap monthly rates, is open 24/7, has a pool and I can pay month by month if I want to.  I have a 25k in one month and I would like to feel more prepared than I currently do.  Obviously, running will help but I would like to be a little more fit overall.  I would never have considered paying for a personal trainer before but since my motivation is up and down these days I am thinking it might be a wise decision.  I decided tomorrow is the day and I am going to join!  I feel intimidated.  I know, it’s dumb but I do.  The coolest thing about this gym?  From the outside it looks like a one room place but then there is all of this inside so I think of it as a “bat cave” of sorts – my own personal superhero training facility!

Okay, now are you ready for some really disturbing news?  I think I might be allergic to eggs – NOOOOOOOOO!

I LOVE EGGS!

On Saturday I was talking with my sister about how I wasn’t feeling good.  She asked what I ate and I explained an egg sandwich (this is one of my favorite meals) and she explained how for the last year and a half she has had to be really careful about eating eggs because they really upset her stomach.  They are fine in baked goods or whatever and sometimes if they are more fully cooked then I don’t feel as terrible (and neither does she).  But here is the deal, I eat eggs EVERY SINGLE DAY!    This whole time I thought I felt bad afterward because I was nervous or something!  So, I need to do a few experiments to test the allergy.  I do think my days of over easy eggs are over (a small tear or two!) but maybe hard scrambled won’t be as bad?  Orrrrr, maybe I just switch up to oatmeal…  I think the one of the worst parts for me is I really believe eggs helped me lose the weight in the first place!  Ah well…

yoga enlightenment

River Bank 25k – 74 days

Ragnar Relay – 101 days

It was a long day at work today.  In fact, by the end of the day, I felt so tied up in knots, panic, anxiety and frustration that I could barely sit still.  This is what I looked/felt like

it was a bad day

I feel it’s important to explain that ever since my mom died my coping skills have been sub-par.  While I have always dealt with anxiety, now I can shoot straight from things are okay to panic in 60 seconds.  Today for instance, my cheeks were flushed and I almost had to throw up – all of this hit me as soon as the some of the stress started.  It seems my reserve is on empty.  I find this extremely frustrating!  The thing is, the rug was completely ripped out from underneath me on that December day.  When my friends first heard about my mom, one of the things they told me was I was going to have to get used to a new “normal”.  At the time, I thought they were talking about how hard it would be not to see her, hear her voice or just have her in my life.  Trust me, all of this IS the hardest part.  But another aspect of this new “normal” is that some of my safety and security as a person has been stripped away.  So while it is so frustrating to feel like my internal compass is off, I am realizing everyday that this all takes time.  I know, it’s probably written on every sympathy card out there but now I’m living it.  When I talked with my doctor last week, she said I need to work on my coping skills.  I decided to add them into my training plan and this way it could feel a bit more normal rather than only doing it because of my mom.

Yoga was on my training schedule tonight and before the class started the instructor had us go around and talk about either an injury we might be dealing with or maybe something that was bothering us.  I said I had a stressful day and a few others said their’s was as well.  So, today was restorative and relaxing and then she had us focus on gratitude and letting go.  All I have to say is WOW!  I felt so amazing after the session!  My earlier stress and anxiety had melted away and I felt so much more at peace.  It wasn’t until tonight that I realized how incredible yoga could be – pretty much I didn’t believe the hype.  After tonight though, I am a believer.

I’m really looking forward to going back again next week.  Even now, a couple of hours later, the anxiety and angst from the day has not returned.  I also got a fantastic stretch!  I have always struggled with stretching after running.  I have been getting better and better but I have never felt like I was doing it right.  I will definitely use some of the stretches I learned tonight when I am done with a run.  Oh yeah, and did I mention it was a work out?  Ok, I know some of you are rolling your eyes and wondering where I have been all this time.  Maybe, it just wasn’t the right time for me to figure it out but now it is.  Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful.

yoga first timer and a delish recipe

Soooo, I’m a bit gross right now.  Tonight was my first real yoga class and it was just a tad harder than I thought it would be!  Or maybe it was different from what I thought it would be – who knows.  I am VERY happy I went though.  The instructor did an awesome job of integrating relaxing/breathing moves with strength training moves and I definitely felt like I got a work out in tonight.  It’s offered every Monday night for free (you can give a donation).  I think this is so helpful considering I can see how much I like it without forking over a huge chunk of cash.  Oh, I even got a bit sweaty.  And now I haven’t showered…  yep, I’m kinda gross!

But I did rock some awesome new leg warmers tonight!  My friend and I walked from her place and I was wearing capris and I wanted to stay warm

they really kept me warm - who knew they were more than a fashion statement?!

Umm… yes, those are safety pins in my capris.  They are just a tad too long and if I don’t wear them rolled up and pinned I look like I am wearing hobbit pants.

You know when you go grocery shopping and you have so much good stuff in your fridge that you don’t even know where to start?!  I got home from yoga tonight and just wanted EVERYTHING!  Luckily, I managed some restraint and ate some tasty So Sweet Potatoes and then leftovers from last night.  But to be honest, some greek yogurt is still calling my name!

Yesterday’s din-din was/is one of my favorites and it is so easy.  It’s called “Tex-Mex” Chicken and I got the recipe from my friend Jeremy.  The first time I had some, I knew I had to be able to make it over and over!

almost finished!

Here is a snapshot – seriously, it is really versatile as well.  I have used it as a dip at parties, in soft taco shells (albeit, it’s really messy this way!), as a chowder and over salad.  Last night I chose the salad style.  So first off, make a kick ass salad

isn't she a beaut?

Lately, I’ve been craving salad non-stop.  I must be missing some vitamins or something.  I put this puppy together as the tex-mex was simmering.  Dinner probably took about 45 mins, including cutting everything up (including the chicken) so this is one of those meals that can be put together really quickly.  And you can mix up the leftovers as well.

yay! I was so ready to eat!

This wasn’t my best picture – sorry!  But I topped the salad with the tex-mex chicken and then a sprinkling of cheese and a few tortilla chips.  Fantastic meal!  The recipe is at the bottom – make it soon!

Hmm… I have 81 days until the Riverbank 25k!  I am definitely going to start using this blog as a countdown to keep me honest with my training!  Any words of encouragement or training ideas are welcome!  I’ve decided to do hill training as well as some speed work to increase my speed.  My last half marathon, I feel I half-assed my training and I do not want to feel like this again.  My best time for a half is 2:04 and I would really like to be somewhere near this for the 25k.  Since I run hills all the time around here, I want to be more intentional with my hill training by running up the hills over and over at quicker speeds.  Yep, it’s going to suck!  I’ll report back.

Oh, I bought some melatonin the other day and I took one last night.  I think it helped me to sleep but all day I have been dragging.  Not sure if it’s just because it’s monday or if it was the natural helper.  Tonight I’m going to take it earlier and see how it works.  Has anyone else ever had issues the next day with being drowsy after they took it?

Tex Mex Chicken Salad

Ingredients

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

½ cup chopped seeded jalapeno peppers

1 green onion, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 carton (12 oz.) whipped cream cheese

1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes w/jalapenos, drained

½ cup salsa

½ teaspoon salt

Shredded lettuce

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 can (3.8 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained

3 cups crushed tortilla chips

 

In a large skillet, sauté the chicken, jalapenos, and onion in butter until chicken is no longer pink.  Add the cream cheese, tomatoes, salsa, and salt; stir until blended.  Serve over lettuce; sprinkle with cheese, olives, and tortilla chips.

That’s it!  It’s really easy to make.  If you decide to just to use the sauce as a soup, you can still sprinkle the chips and cheese over the top.

*Some of the changes I make are I use green chilies rather than jalapenos because I’m a wimp!  I also only use the olives if I have them on hand.  I also sprinkled some chili powder over the chicken last night just for some extra flavor.