Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Update/Marathon Monday


Hey y'all!! Happy Monday!!! 


Before we get started on my weekend, I have some exciting news...
Did you notice the title of my post?!

Marathon Monday?! Say what?!
 Yep, that's right it's back...because well...I'm officially registered for a marathon...And not just any marathon...


The Chicago Marathon!!! I may or may not have squealed as I typed that ;)

A few weeks back I put my name in the lottery and told myself that if I was chosen then it was meant to be...


Well...I wasn't chosen for the lottery (that whole process happens tomorrow) but I am officially registered for The Chicago Marathon (I love saying that!)

How you ask? Well shortly after signing up for the lottery I got in contact with an incredible organization...Have Dreams.



 Have Dreams is a non-profit organization serving children, teens, and young adults affected by autism. 
You can read more about it here.

After emailing back and forth and getting more information on becoming a part of Team Have Dreams...I decided to go for it. I committed to not only running the Chicago Marathon, but I committed to raising money to help an incredible cause that is so very near and dear to my heart. 




As I talked with the Team Have Dreams coordinator; I knew that I still had a chance to be chosen in the lottery...but I couldn't turn down the the chance to run for a good cause...which will make this experience all the more incredible.

Training doesn't officially start until the end of June...but I haven't wasted any time checking out the plans on RunKeeper. 


  
I signed up for the sub 3:45 plan (tentatively)...which again is a pretty lofty goal (why do I do this to myself?!) I finished the KC Marathon in 4:04 last fall, which means I would need to cut 19 minutes off my time in Chicago...Can I do it? Well...right now I feel pretty confident that I could...but with the wedding this summer and beginning of the school year crazies that always hit in August/September I am not sure how committed I can be to a more aggressive training plan.

I'm going to take it day by day and if I am not sub 3:45 ready by Oct. 11th then so be it! I will run and do the best I can and enjoy the fact that I am running THE Chicago Marathon...and that I am running for a great cause. 

Alright...onto my weekend.

Running 'N' Reading

It was a LOOOONG week and I had been counting down the days until Friday...since Monday morning :)

After a rough week I knew I needed a quick pick me up so Friday right after school I headed to my parents house to see my cute little niece. She was as always hilarious and just what I needed to shake off my week :) 

I stole this darling photo from my sister-in-law's FB...because Miss Busybody doesn't sit still long enough for Aunt Heavy to take pictures...and I couldn't deprive you of this cute face!

I got home Friday night and AJ and I had dinner quick before he had to go to his soccer game. It had been such a busy day that I didn't have a chance to get my run in so after AJ left for his game I headed to the gym for 3 miles and some weight training. 


Sorry for the "crazy-eyes" this is what happens when you are spending your Friday night at the gym ;)

Saturday morning I got up bright and early for a quick 4 miler before my friend Laura's baby shower...

Unfortunately, I misjudged the rain....and by misjudged I mean I thought it was done for the day...but it was not.



I made it about 3 miles before the torrential downpour...and unfortunately me and my mascara did not escape unscathed. I guess that is what I get for being too lazy to wash my eye make-up completely off ;) 

After documenting my disaster I got cleaned up and headed to the baby shower...



Such a great day celebrating Baby D and a great friend :) 



Please don't me being a weirdo...I'm so grateful that my friends put up with me ;)

Right after the shower we hit up Garry Gribbles (the local running store) because my chiropractor was there. After fighting some hamstring pain (as well as my nagging glute) all week I decided I would stop in and see what he could do for me. He did a quick treatment there in store and I went ahead and made a couple of appointments over the next few weeks hoping to get my body in tip-top shape for my final half of the series.

While we were at Garry Gribbles I spotted a pair of the Mizuno Sayonara 2's...ON SALE! I tried these out on a test run last fall and LOVED them...I was in the midst of marathon training at the time and didn't want to risk switching things up. However, when I went looking for them this spring I couldn't find them anywhere...so when I found then on Saturday...in my size and on sale...I just had to have them :) 


I also "had" to grab a Pro-tec Athletics Orb Massage Ball...my chiropractor suggested it and OH-EM-GEE it makes my sore hip/bum so happy!! I highly recommend it! It's like a foam roller but better. You get a deeper massage and it's multi-directional so it's easier to target in on those sore spots.

After that we headed home for some much needed relaxation and got caught up on some long overdue shows in the queue...including Grey's. I am not sure if it was because of the spoilers, but I didn't shed one tear...and I felt really disconnected. I felt as if it were rushed and not well done at all...but hey, that's just bitter ol' me...

Later that evening AJ headed out to watch the Sporting KC game at his brother's house and I happily stayed home with my books and some snacks to celebrate  Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. I didn't officially sign up or participate in any of the fun activities on social media...but I did get in some good quality reading which is what this home-body had been craving all week! 



I ALMOST finished my book "The Devil in the White City" and I polished off my bag of SweetTart jelly beans. If you were to ask me to describe my perfect night...this would be it! 

Sunday morning I was up bright and early for a 10 miler with the Sunday Runday group at KC Running Co. 



I was a little worried about my hamstring and glute, but Dr. Sindorf seemed to have fixed me right up! I had zero hamstring pain and just some slight glute pain...I tell ya...he is a miracle worker! 

After my run I came home, thawed out...and showered and got cleaned up for our engagement pictures :)

For some reason ever since we got engaged I have been dreading this...I have had so much anxiety over them not turning out and me hating every single one of the them...

  
so I had a glass of wine to help loosen me up before we left! This was my first glass of wine in MONTHS...and I have to say I have missed my dear friend! 

Turns out...all my anxiety and worry was for nothing. Our photographer Kelly (First Class Photography) is amazing!! 

Literally seconds into our session all of my anxiety and worry disappeared. I was having way too much fun to even worry about how they were going to turn out. 

She posted a few teasers last night...and I cannot wait to see the rest!! I cannot even begin to say enough nice things about Kelly! She made this experience (that I was not looking forward to) completely perfect! 





 She took close to 600 photos...so I am definitely sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest!! Don't worry I won't create an entire post dedicated to them or anything ;)
Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday...my second favorite F word ;)

 

Seriously....longest.week.ever! I wasn't sure I would make it through this week in one piece.

The end of the school year crazies seems to have started sooner than normal...lord help me...and on top of that I have had something going on every single night this week and being the home-body that I am...I am definitely craving some alone time.

Due to this very long week I am feeling kind of grumpy today...


Can someone explain to me why people insist on posting TV spoilers on social media? Why can't anyone watch a TV show without updating their FB status or tweeting about it? Put your phone/computer down and enjoy.the.show!

Grey's Anatomy apparently threw everyone so far off last night that people forgot that not everyone is able to watch TV live...

 I don't know exactly what happened, but between all of the FB posts and a blogger I follow creating an entire post around it (and titling it with the spoiler) I have a pretty good idea...

Sigh...I know it's just TV...but it makes me grumpy.

Now that I have that off my chest I shall counter act my negativity with some positivity


Great news....these exist


...and a package is heading my way in the mail as we speak!! 


The governor of Minnesota declared today "Finisher Shirt Friday"

No...I'm not from Minnesota...but that didn't stop me from busting out my new favorite finisher t-shirt. It's from last weekend's Garmin half...and seriously, who doesn't love a t-shirt with flying monkeys on it?
 

My school family threw me a shower on Tuesday...and WOW! They certainly know how to make a girl feel special and extra loved :) I am a lucky, lucky girl to work with such generous and wonderful people!

After a busy weekend...these are my plans :)


A few days ago Tara over at Running 'N' Reading posted about Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and it definitely has me intrigued. 

No...I don't have the time or reading stamina to read for 24 hours...but it has definitely encouraged me to set aside a big chunk of time on Saturday to devote to reading. After being busy all week I am definitely looking forward curling up on the couch with my books!


As part of my New Year's Resolution this year I wanted to read at least 2 books a month...and with this month being so busy, I am a little bit behind. 

I am about halfway through 2 different books....

 
I always love anything written by Nicholas Sparks and I scored a killer deal on the iTunes version that I just couldn't pass up. I usually only read on my iPad while running on the treadmill...and with this beautiful spring weather I have been getting outside more so that's why I am only about halfway through.


Each month I have tried to mix things up and read one fiction and one non-fiction book. This book came highly recommended and I have to say I am loving it so far! This is definitely not your run of the mill "boring" non-fiction books...if I could stay awake in the evenings this would definitely be one of those "can't put it down" books. 


Last but certainly not least...I am hoping to get out for a nice long run this weekend. I haven't been running much this week because of some strange pain in my hamstrings. It didn't start bothering me too much until after my post-run massage on Monday, so I have been resting and icing like crazy hoping that will help. 

It seems to be feeling better today, so I am hoping to be back to 100% for a good 10 miler to lead into...you guessed it...another 2 weeks of tapering ;) 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two down...one to go!


 This quote just about sums up the feelings I had as I crossed the finish line of the Garmin half-marathon last Saturday.

After 13.1 miles of pleading with my legs to just go a little bit faster, a little bit further, hold on just one.more.mile. and then crossing that finish line at 1:44:21, just 39 seconds under my goal of 1:45 I wanted to jump for joy! Jumping was not really an option for my legs at that point...so it was more of a subdued celebration ;)

 

 After running Rock the Parkway just one week earlier, I knew that the Garmin half would be a unique challenge. I wouldn't be running on fresh legs this time around. 

However, after RTP I had minimal soreness and felt pretty good during my runs that week leading up to the race and on top of that, Garmin was one of my favorite races from last year (despite the torrential downpour and hail) so I was feeling pretty confident going into it. 

On Friday night, while I was digging through my drawer of running stuff looking for my iPod (I usually run with my phone, but with the threat of rain I decided against it) I found this...


This was a damn Christmas miracle...you see...I keep nothing. I am the opposite of a pack-rat. I find very little sentimental value in things...but I am oh so glad this somehow avoided the trash. This is my results ticket from last year's Garmin half...my fastest half, (up until RTP 2 weeks ago) the half that re-built my confidence after the RTP disaster of 2014... and the race that convinced me to run a full marathon.


I don't always lay out my "flat person" before a race...but since I did it before RTP and things went so well I decided I HAD to do it again. I mean if I do everything the same leading up to the race, I will end up with the same result in the race, right?


I was so excited when I saw the pace bands at packet pick-up again. I feel like it really kept me "running the mile I was in" during RTP so I of course had to have one for this race...

It's really too bad I ended up forgetting it...along with Brian's bib (which I had offered to pick up for him) Unfortunately, even with laying everything out I ended up having one heck of a morning. It was a hectic, chaotic mess...luckily they were able to get Brian another bib before the race started...but with all the chaos I barely made it to the start line on time. I slipped in with the 1:45 group right as the National Anthem was finishing up and had just enough time get my watch set and ready to go! Whew...


Luckily, once the race started I calmed down and forgot all about the chaos of the pre-race. I figured out pretty early on that this was not going to be an "easy" race and that I was going to have to fight for it. My legs were tired and I felt sluggish. I played head games with myself the whole time. There were hills I had no recollection of from the year before...and by the time I hit mile 9 my body was screaming at me to stop. 

I almost did...I wanted to. I thought, it won't hurt anything to stop and walk for a second...but then I saw a couple of my friends. They were standing and cheering at the PERFECT spot....exactly where I needed them for that last push and encouragement to make it to the finish line. 

About mile 12 I started to hear the 1:45 pacer's voice (he was LOUD and had a very distinct voice) and at that point I knew it was going to take all I had to stay ahead of him. I had come way too far to lose my sub 1:45 now!! I had to dig REALLY deep for a last surge of energy in that last mile, but.....


I did it! I completed part 2 of my goal. When I first set the goal of a 1:45 half, I thought, wouldn't it be cool if I could run a 1:45 for all 3 races? Well...I am 2/3 of the way there :)



While this race was a little bit slower than RTP, it almost meant more to me. I feel like it confirmed that my all my hard work and training worked. It proved to me that RTP wasn't just a fluke or the result of a "perfect day" and it proved to me that I have gotten faster and stronger. Overall, it just felt so damn good :)


This guy had yet another incredible race...he ended up placing 3rd in his age group! When I grow up I want to be just like him ;)


These ladies were my saving grace...If they hadn't been standing and cheering at that exact location I am not sure I would have made it under 1:45! There is seriously no better feeling than having the support of your family and friends at a race :)


After the race AJ and I headed to our favorite post-race spot (Perkins) and I refueled with a yummy breakfast. On our way out I spotted this tray of pies...if my legs were working properly I may or may not have grabbed the cart and ran ;)


This...a thousand times this :) Meb is seriously one of the most incredible human beings and such an inspiration. Watching him cross the finish line hand in hand with another runner on Monday gave me chills...it still does. He absolutely embodies everything it means to be a runner. #TeamMeb 


It's Wednesday...so I must...and you should too ;)

Femme Fitale Fit Club
Friday, April 17, 2015

I've become a permanent resident of Taper Town

Tapering is a very strange thing. A trip to Taper Town can put you through a whirlwind of emotions.

At first you feel like...


Then you're kinda like....



with a side of....




  paired with....




which can lead to this...



As you can see tapering can be weird...and with the Heartland 39.3 series my taper has been extra weird. I tapered for 2 full weeks before Rock the Parkway, and to be honest it wasn't horrible at all...after tapering for the KC Marathon in the fall I was prepared for an onslaught of wacky behavior...and for the most part kept it under control this time around. 



 Luckily the only symptoms of the taper crazies I experienced this time was wanting to eat all the time and stressing about the race ;)



Now I am technically tapering again (or still tapering?) for the Garmin half this weekend. Having 2 races back to back weekends has made things a little tricky...

I spent the last week trying to balance recovery and tapering all the while trying to keep a tight hold of my sanity. 


Post race recovery is usually my favorite...



but with back to back races (and another half 2 weeks later) my recovery needed/needs to look very different. On Saturday after the race I allowed myself to indulge a little (think Sonic)...but I also knew that I needed to focus on recovery so I would be ready to do it all again in 7 short days...



And I also needed to (continue to) carb-load...



The term carb loading sounds kind of like a feasting free for all...which in a way, it kind of is...but balancing recovery and prepping for another race meant I needed to make sure I was getting enough protein in my diet along with the good carbs...which unfortunately didn't mean drinking all the beers ;)



At this point if this post seems really disjointed and confusing...please just blame it on the Taper...and be prepared for more randomness below ;) 


While I have shed a few tears this week...totally unrelated to running...they were definitely linked to the emotional roller coaster that is the taper (and exhaustion)...because I NEVER cry...unless I see someone else cry...I am a sympathetic crier (yes...that's a real thing)...other than that I have been feeling okay. 




I do have to say that I am not quite as nervous or as anxious about this weekend's race as I was for RTP...I mean don't get me wrong...picking up my packet yesterday gave me butterflies in my stomach....I slept pretty crummy last night...and my naturally competitive spirit is HOPING that I can do a sub 1:45 again...but other than that I am as cool as a cucumber ;) 


Last year's Garmin half was definitely my favorite of all 3 in the series... mostly because it was my fastest and I didn't feel like crawling in a hole and dying afterwards like I did in the race before :)



This year I am hoping to have a similar experience...minus the second half thunderstorm and hail greeting me at the finish line.



It's not looking too promising though...



I guess it will just be my motivation to run faster :)

 
Even if the weather is crummy... at least the shirts are about 4 million times better than they were last year...


and the medals are awesome...it's all about the bling right? ;)

Hopefully, the next time we talk I will be as excited as I was last week about RTP and bragging about another sub 1:45...and going out on a limb here...maybe a PR? Yep...that's me going too far yet again...I can't help it :)