Thursday, June 23, 2016

I will NOT be running a marathon this year

This morning FB reminded me that 2 years ago today, I started training for my very first marathon...

You can read my proclamation post here

I had so many emotions coursing through me after I made the decision to run a marathon...and even more on that first day of training.

During that first run I was filled with excitement, dread, anxiety, worry, elation, hope, and did I mention dread? ;) I kept thinking to myself...on race day you will only have to run 20ish more miles than this...#Silly

Spoiler alert...I managed to finish those 26.2 miles, mostly in one piece...and while I told myself before that race "never again" I ended up running another marathon the following year #BecauseRunnersAreLiars

While training for, and running, both marathons was a scary experience...I am still on the fence as to which was scarier.

The first was scary because I had no idea what to expect...but the second was scary because I did know what to maybe they are tied ;)

Although scary, both marathons were incredible moments in my life...and crossing the finish line was euphoric. Both races were very different...but equally as amazing! first marathon...the one and done marathon ;) This was the first time I experienced the highest high of my life. Crossing that finish line after 26.2 miles in Kansas City and being surrounded by my friends and family is an experience I will NEVER forget. 

While I would say the KC marathon was a mostly positive experience, when I began training for Chicago last summer I couldn't quite put those last 3 miles of the KC marathon out of my mind. I ended up hitting a major wall (thank you hills) and used every ounce of willpower to push myself across the finish line.

I wouldn't say I expected the marathon to be pain-free...I didn't expect it to be THAT painful #Delusional 

I mean, seriously #MyLegsWereDead

Training for Chicago was a struggle from the start...I started in June last the midst of last minute wedding plans, buying a house, packing and moving. Needless to say, fitting in double digit long runs was hard...physically and emotionally.

About a month into training we got married and spent a week in Mexico eating and drinking All.The.Foods...and I ended up running once the whole time we were there...

#5kInParadiseMyAss #MoreLikeHell

After getting back from our honeymoon we immediately moved into our new house, I got sick, and started back to school...and all my teachers friends out there know...

I struggled big time to get back into a routine and get my training back on track...

There were tears shed and promises of "I'm NEVER doing this again" mostly while writhing on the floor in exhaustion and pain. 

And, somehow in the fog of life I was able to get my butt in gear and finish out marathon training as best I could.

And then...

(yes...I was too cheap to by the "really reasonable" $75 pictures...)

I had the BEST race of my about a runners high. I felt great the ENTIRE race. I didn't hit a wall...I didn't walk...I didn't want to hail a cab and high-tail it home #Success #IWantedToDoItAgain

And best of all I walked away with a Sub 4:00 goal was achieved and honestly, I am still on cloud 9.

This year, the memories of the beginning of marathon training are popping up on FB's "on this day" and my Timehop and I am a little sad...because this year I will not be running a marathon.

Last year I was shouting "NEVER AGAIN" during my 16, 17, 18, and 20 mile training runs. I was complaining of the exhaustion, whining about the heat...and was happy to be done with marathons...for awhile ;) 

But here is a little secret...runners will complain about training for a marathon until they are blue in the face...but the minute we cross that finish line it's like it all disappears and we forget all the misery and miles that it took to get that what childbirth is like?

Last year, I promised myself (and my poor husband, who gets the brunt of my complaining) that I wouldn't run a fall marathon this year. I promised that I wouldn't embark on the most amazing yet challenging 18 weeks of training #ThisYear

Although I am more than confident with my decision, I can't help but feel a little sad that today is not the start of my marathon training...part of me would love to run another fall marathon...because honestly...there is no other feeling that comes close to that of crossing the finish line of a marathon...


The marathon is 26.2 miles...and honestly, those miles are the easy ones. The hardest miles of
a marathon are those lonely 18 mile training runs...those early morning
tempo runs, those ever dreaded taper runs...
and right now...on the tail end of a running slump, and
melting through this already horrific summer I am reminding myself of
all the blood (yea, sometimes I fall while running), sweat, and tears
that come along with training for a all honesty,
the race is the fun
part... and I know I sound crazy, but trust's true. 

While I would love to run another marathon and experience that high of crossing the finish line...I am not really in the mood to train for one...this year ;) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Humidity Bites...

I've said it before but...

Summer running is the worst!

I'm a cool weather runner. Give me 40-50 degree weather and I am a happy camper. Any warmer than that and I am toast...

Yes...the 70's, 80's, and 90's are much too hot for me #Wimp

These last few months I have  been in somewhat of a running slump and I am trying my hardest to get back into a routine. I don't have any races in the near future...just the Go Girl Half in September...but I am desperately working to get back to a place where I can enjoy my 4-6 miles runs without feeling like I am sucking major wind at the end. 

Hot, humid, Kansas summers are quite possibly the worst time to pull myself out of a running slump...but here I am #KillingIt #StruggleBus

Running in the summer has to happen before 7AM; and with summer school right now it really is my only option since I have to leave my house by 7:30AM. 

This morning I was up and out the house by 6AM...but I did not manage to #BeatTheHeatOrHumidity

4 1/2 miles had me wondering whether I went running or swimming...

The only thing that made this mornings workout a little better was the return of #TrackTuesday

 Call me crazy...but I love, love, love running at the track. First of all...we live about 1.5 miles from the track, which is the perfect distance for a little warm-up

and second...speed work is about 1000 times easier on the track. Something about being able to visualize the finishing line makes it easier to keep pushing through those painful intervals ;)

Today's track workout was 4x200M repeats; I am starting back slow and steady...maybe I will work back up to 400M and 800Ms #Maybe

My 200's felt pretty good today, although I didn't time them, but by the time I got home I was definitely still huffing and puffing...and even after my shower I was still sweating #Awesome

Have I told you how much I hate summer running and the humidity?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekends are my favorite!

Whew...what a weekend! I woke up this morning with extra heavy eye-lids and a strong desire to turn off my alarm...but alas duty called. One more week of summer school and then I am a free lady for 5 weeks! 

While this morning was extra painful, we had such a wonderful weekend...I guess it was worth it ;) 

Friday night started off really mature-like with a wine and cheese party at our friend Dustin and Manuela's. 

Something about drinking wine and pairing it with cheese makes our night sound a little more grown up than it actually was :) 

The night started out great... I mean, how could 8 adults sharing more bottles of wine than I could count go wrong? Don't answer that ;) 

We started out okay...

Although, as you can see I was already having trouble smiling like a normal person for the picture...but sadly, that is not the wine's fault ;) 

We even managed a halfway decent selfie :) 

Then...the selfie stick came out ;) 


Then...the real test of adulthood was presented...

The fanciest of all cheeses made an appearance...

and I clearly handled myself like a lady ;) 

Luckily for me...being the driver...I took it easy and didn't over do it...AJ on the other hand...he loved his wine ;) 

Thanks to taking it easy on Friday night I was able to get up and head to my first Pilates Mega Reformer Class at Body Lab.

I wasn't hurting from the wine...but my body wasn't pleased after this class...#Woof

I also made my very first trip to Trader Joes...I know, I know...judge away! 

When I got to the register, I made a faux pas (per usual) and I apologized telling the guy it was because "it was my first time there" and that's when it happened...he jumped away from the register rang a bell and presented me with flowers in honor of my first Trader Joes visit! 

Sunday evening we hosted Father's Day dinner at our house. Last time we hosted dinner, I completely forgot to get out my camera and take any pictures. 

This time? Well...I got my camera out and got a few pictures...#WorkInProgress

The one and only shot of the guys...I's not like it was Father's Day or anything ;) 

They were busy talking about all things "men" so I took my camera outside to hang with the ladies :) 

I am sure blessed to have these wonderful ladies in my life

I snuck in some quality snuggle time with my two of my favorite ladies

Finley and Grammy played on the slide...

While GG and Norah stayed cool in the shade 

We absolutely love having everyone over for these fun family events...and what makes it even better is the blending of our two-families is so seamless. I feel so lucky to have these people in my life. And Gracie...

Entertaining wears her out :)  
Thursday, June 16, 2016

Simplifying and Consolidating

Last year I had the brilliant idea to start another blog in addition to this one, and I convinced myself that I would easily be able to manage posting to 2 blogs #Delusion

AJ and I had just gotten married and bought a house and I wanted a space to write about all things newlywed and new homeowner-like.

For the last year I have posted very sporadically to both blogs, but often found myself torn as to which blog to put what stuff.
I felt like my other blog should only include things that AJ and I did together or things having to do with the house...and I felt like this blog could only be running...which in turn caused me not to post very often on either one...especially since running and I have had a love/hate relationship this year.

I would often have things I wanted to write about or share and when I couldn't decide where it belonged I would just push it to the side and ignore it...and the moment would pass #OhTheHorror

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my two blogs and I came to the conclusion that all I really needed was the one blog...

This one :) My original blog...the blog that really and truly has changed my life over the years. It started out so simple as a documentation of my New Year's Resolution and my year of "What the Heck, Why Not?" but it sort of grew to be so much more than that over the years.

Starting today, this blog is now a space for me to write about whatever my little heart desires...which could be anything from running to house projects, fun adventures with the hubby...and whatever tickles my fancy at the moment :) #GetExcited

I did spend a whole year documenting newlywed/first-time home-owner life on my Wordpress site (which is awful btw) #BloggerAllTHeWay so I haven't deactivated it...yet. I have slowly been transferring all of my posts from there to here in an effort to consolidate all of life's fun into one place. Formatting has been somewhat of an issue #BecauseWordpress so if you happen to stumble across a post that has been kind. If it looks stupid, blame Wordpress ;) 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

May Book Review

Summer vacation means I have more free time...which in turn should mean more time for blogging...but that is a lie. 

When I have more free time and a lack of schedule I usually get less done. I end up having less motivation to do things...i.e. blog ;)

So here I am almost 2 weeks late posting my book reviews for May. I can't decide if it was my lack of schedule or my lack of excitement for the books I read in May that had me avoiding this task...guess one will never know :)

May is always a pretty busy month in the life of a teacher so I knew I would be stretching it to read 4 books. I ended up reading I finished on May 1st, so technically I read it in April...and one of the books I read was a read-aloud for my me a cheater if you wish...but I do what I want :)

Here are this month's books...

 I finished this book on the morning of May 1st...I tried to stay up late and finish in April...because that is how my mind works...but end of the school year tiredness won out. 

 This book was absolutely incredible! I had limited knowledge on this subject, but the book was written in a way that made it easy for me to understand without extensive background knowledge. While reading this book I had a few moments where I got pretty emotional...this account of what happened was raw and real and I felt a connection with the men. When I finished I was absolutely amazed by the bravery and selflessness of those men. Everyone I talk to about this book asks me how  I feel about Hillary Clinton now...and honestly, the book doesn't go into much detail about her involvement (or lack of involvement) but I do have to say it was hard to understand why something wasn't done sooner to remove these men from the base.

Eh...I ended up giving this book 2 stars on Goodreads...which is pretty rare. I tend to give 3-5 stars on most books. I would say I generally am more positive when it comes to books...even if they aren't the best. This It wasn't terrible, but it was extremely slow paced and didn't get my month of reading off to a good start. I for the most part love a mindless "beach read" here and there...but while this was was one I would classify more as a "beach sleep"

So...remember how I said I rarely give 2 stars to a book on Goodreads...well this book got 1 was THAT bad. It came highly recommended and I was excited to get started with this book. However, I found myself forcing myself to read this book...and even contemplated not finishing. I would say my biggest complaint is the organization of the writing and the fact that I felt like there was no point to the story. I have never been overweight or dealt with body image maybe that is why I couldn't relate?

This was a surprising book for started out pretty slow and I was frustrated that I had yet another 1 or 2 star book on my hands...but then whoa...did it ever pick up! The writing in this book was beautiful and the descriptive language painted such a beautiful picture of the setting. It's a book that if you read I urge you to be patient with.

Every year I read "Tuesdays at the Castle" to my third graders...and they always LOVE do I! The characters are lovable, the suspense/mystery is there with lots of fun places to stop and leave my students in suspense...I'm mean huh? But seriously...I love a book that when the chapter ends my kids beg me to keep reading :) 

This year I promised my kids we would read the sequel to this book...Wednesdays in the Tower...and I was hoping to feel the same way about this book as I did its predecessor. Unfortunately for me at least...that was not the case. My kiddos seemed to love it...but I on the other hand felt as if it were slow and often times confusing. There are several more books in this series and I can't decide at this point if I want to keep reading them. 

That's all for this month...I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next two months of summer reading :)