Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active. I'll be keeping up my 101 in 1001 list until its completion, but will not be writing new posts. You can read the post below if you want the long version. Thanks for the journey to all my friends in the blogosphere!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

9 Events in my 99th Post on the Last Day of 2009

Even though I haven't been blogging much lately (and not because I've been passed out in yoga since then...luckily, that was a one time occurrence and I appreciate y'all's concern), I still have been keeping up with some of my blog reading and I'm really enjoying everyone's end-of-the-year-reflection-looking-forward posts. Everyone is more creative than me. Look at how lovely these are:

I don't know how Chic Runner did this, but I think it's adorable. There is even a little pop up caption for each one.
Natalie compiled a list of her stats this year which include, but are not limited to, having a baby, running the Boston Marathon, and logging 1,645.5 miles. All of the sudden, I feel like I've been incredibly lazy. : )
L. has her resolutions ready, including the goal of Michelle Obama arms. A worthy goal, indeed!
Mrs. Everlasting recorded her year at a glance, which I definitely should do because I like to remember what happened (I think L. has a good idea directly above.) but I'm way too lazy to do right now.
I thought Meredith had a really cute idea for her last post of 2009, so I totally just copied hers. I'm pretty sure I've completely copied other ideas from Meredith's blog before, too. : )
I like the idea of narrowing it down to 9 events and it just happened to be my 99th post. 2008 was a really busy year (moving 3 times, getting married, getting a new job, buying a house, etc.) so comparatively I thought I hadn't done that much in 2009, but looking back, I think it's been pretty okay for 365 days.

9 in 2009
1. I ran a marathon. Sorry, I'm still just really happy about that.
2. I started work on my masters in Instructional Technology and am becoming a huge tech geek.
3. We got our first pet, a lovely little cat named Gayle.
4. I have run 360+ miles this year. (Ironically when I added up my monthly totals plus an estimate of the few measly miles I've run in December it was 364 miles...which is pretty darn close to 365, which be ironic because it's not really 365 runs, but still. I'm still keeping that goal in the back of my mind.)
5. With a group from my church, I read the entire Bible, cover to cover, in 90 days.
6. I starting blogging, obviously.
7. My husband and I have settled in here, setting up our house, meeting new people, having a mostly failed attempt at a garden, etc.
8. I was awarded my first grant and my students have been working on their reading fluency with iPods.
9. I've gotten a little bit better at this whole balancing act of life, work, family, etc. I'm still busy and I'm still working on doing even better in 2010, but 2009 was this first year that I've really loved being a teacher and not let it take over my whole life.

So, anyway, that was 2009. Tomorrow's a new decade!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's a Simple Equation.

Giving blood + developing a cold later that day + reduced sleep due to cold + cold medicine = Passing out and throwing up in yoga class the next day.

Yes, at my very first yoga class at the one and only studio in the county.

They were really nice about it though. I think the repeated phrase was, "Listen to your body next time."

Lesson learned.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Milestones that Shouldn't be Milestones

Today, on my first weekday of Christmas break, I decided it was time to check a few things off my list. I decided to get in a workout, any workout, even if I didn't go outside. I popped in a Dancing with the Stars DVD and it had the desired effect: Four minutes in, I got bored and felt like I was getting a "real workout" so I dug out my running shoes and then realized my iPod was dead and spent 15 minutes recharging it and buying new songs for my running playlist and hit the road.

It's amazing, but not surprising, how quickly I've gone from 26.2 miles to phhhhhmmmpt. ("phhhhmmmpt" meaning that I'm not even continuously running a mile right now.) You would think I would feel guilty for letting my endurance go without a fight, but I really just needed a break after the marathon. This was my first run since Thanksgiving and really represents how much I need to sign up for a race and get motivated!

(Does anybody else have problems with sore teeth when they run in the cold? That bothered me even when I was little and ran around playing in the yard in the winter. And, come on, this is North Carolina we're talking about...it's not even that cold.)

In other milestone news, I finally went and signed up for a library card after living here for 1.5 years. I already was a little embarrassed about this and while I was filling out the new card application, who should walk up but my husband's primary school librarian who goes to our church! A librarian found out that I hadn't even entered the public library in over 14 months! (In my defense, I did spend most of the summer finishing the Bible in 90 days with my church, so I hope she remembers I was reading something.)

This got me thinking about all the things that I loved doing as a child...reading, playing the piano, tennis, exploring outside, swimming...and how much we encourage children to do these things, but then when you grow up you're supposed to be too busy to worry with such frivolous things. One of my 2010 resolutions will be to prioritize these types of "enrichment" activities. (Except swimming, because there is not an indoor pool within a 45 minute radius of here...)

And lastly, I decided, on a whim, to stop a blood drive today and give blood for the first time in 5 years. I usually make up all these halfway valid excuses like, "I'm running 8 miles tomorrow," or "All I've eaten today is a pile of brownies and Diet Coke," but since I jogged a grand total of 2 miles this morning and think yoga class is the most strenuous exercise I'll get tomorrow, I really didn't have an excuse.

I was kind of worked up and nervous, but I thought of how I tell my 3rd and 4th grade babies that it's not that bad to be stung by a bee (since there is an infestation between our mobile unit and the bathroom, I'm sending at least one bee stung child to the office a month) so it shouldn't be that bad to be stung by a needle. It really was fine, but I asked the nurse to cover my arm with a paper towel because I really don't like to see the blood exit my body.

So, all in all, it was a pretty productive day. Let's see if this can be the new pattern.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great excuse, right?

I know it appears that I've dropped off the edge of the blogosphere, but I'm still poking around reading other blogs, just completely neglecting mine. Things have been hectic, but last weekend I wrapped up my grad school classes for the semester and now there are only 4.5 more school days with my babies before Christmas break!

Then...back to running. And blogging (which equals accountability for me). I'm researching races right now, but too occupied with cooking and eating Christmas treats to run now!

Great excuse, right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is there a pattern here?

I know I have fallen off the side of the earth lately, but don't be offended, it's not just blogging I've neglected but fitness/nutrition in general. It was Thanksgiving...I wasn't the only one off track, right?

I've always wanted to run a holiday morning race. I would feel like a member of a secret society: getting up while everyone else is sleeping in, sneaking out to meet with my fellow runners, getting in a good workout, and then being home and showered in time to cook and celebrate. Although the closest Thanksgiving race was a little too far away, for the past few years my mom and I have created our own little Thankgiving morning long run tradition. It makes you feel just a little teensy bit justified in that extra (or extra 4) sourdough roll when you put in a good 5 miler in the morning.

We stayed here with my husband's family this year, so I couldn't get in my run with my mom, butI did, however, get out for my own personal "Turkey Trot." It felt really good to get out, but it's amazing how slow and lazy I've become in a matter of a few weeks! Something about this particular run made me reflective though and I started thinking about past and new goals.

When I got home, I broke out my little "Workout Log" that I recieved for Christmas four years ago. I was in great shape then; I just got home from studying abroad in Spain and had been running to explore the town I lived in and joined a gym in one of many failed attempts to "immerse myself in the native language." (I learned a lot of really crucial aerobics and dance class lingo, like "squat" and "stomp your right foot," but I didn't have many other interactions with the Spanish women who were working out. Their approach to exercise is a little different and I never quite understood the appeal of working out in heels. I think most of them thought I was a little goofy, too, because I was the only one who ran to the gym.)

In my workout log, I was surprised to see that I'm not that far off from where I was then. I've got some more pounds and inches to lose, but not as many as I thought. Glancing through the "Goals" page, I recognize many of the same things I'm working on now: "less Diet Coke, more fruit and vegetables," "consistent strength training," faster 5K times.

(I found a race time in the log that I couldn't find when I posted my previous race results. I remembered this race because it was on Christmas Eve, but could not find my time anywhere. I have it now and it's actually a post-high school PR! It's only 3 seconds different from my 5K from a few months ago...further evidence that things don't change much!

Mooresville Fire Department 5K
December 24, 2009

I'm remembering now also that I ran 14 miles the day before that, stayed out late with my friends in Charlotte and then met my mom at that race early that morning...I wonder if I would have had a better PR with a little rest.)

There is one goal from that page, however, that I have achieved: Complete a Marathon. So, at least I've made a little progress. Between now and the end of the year, I want to tune up so I can set my sights on my goals for 2010. I've got some ideas, but none are set yet.

What about y'all? Am I the one that sets goals for the end of the year, in preparation for new goals for the new year?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Exercise, nice to meet you again!

Whether I wanted it or not, I think my body was just bound and determined to have a month off after the marathon...at least that's what I'm saying to make myself feel better about how lazy I've been the past three weeks.

I've been really surprised, that despite a plethora of poor fitness and nutritional decisions, I haven't gained back any weight since the marathon. That puts me in a scary place though because I've had this feeling before and it's always right before the weight sneaks back up and attacks me!

I got back on the Jillian Michaels/running train today. I need a race though. Both my old college roommates are planning marathons in 2010; one will run the Nashville marathon in April with her husband and the other is contemplating a June marathon in Minnesota with her mom. I need a plan, too, but I need some more local options.

Anybody know any can't-miss races (from 5Ks to marathon) in the Carolinas?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rained In

A few weeks ago, we were working on data analysis in my class. My third and four graders made circle graphs to show how they would use 24 hours in an ideal day. Many of their first drafts looked kind of like this:After some work on fractional pieces, time, daily needs (i.e. sleep, food, etc.), and keys, they were much improved, but many of them still had some pretty quirky days planned. One of my darling students scheduled 4 hours for "washing my hair", and 2 hours for "eating pie."

That was funny and all, until today, which put me in mind of that graph. Except I haven't washed my hair.

I had a very long list of things I wanted to accomplish on my Wednesday off today, but as per usual, I've only crossed off a few. It has been raining non-stop all day and I just decided I would be not going out into it. So I've stayed in and looking back it would make a pretty sad circle graph. I would need wedges for:
  • watching multiple documentaries on NetFlix on demand
  • cooking
  • grading papers
  • eating pie
  • eating other food of approximately the same nutritional value of pie
  • laundry
...and that's pretty much it. I've opened the door to let the cat in and out, but otherwise have not been into the world.

Maybe I should dust off the treadmill...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The advantage to living in a fitness-backward community is...

winning the one and only race of the year!

This weekend was our small town's big yearly festival and one of the annual events is a 5K/8K run. (I had thought it was a 10K before, but I was mistaken.) To my knowledge, this is the only 5K or 8K race in the county. All. year. long.

Are we a little fitness-backwards here? Anyway....

I was thrilled to come out and participate in this event and was very curious to see who else would be there. There are a few other people I know in town who run occasionally, but I wasn't sure who would come to race.

There were approximately three people milling about a half hour before the race started, including the woman taking registrations. When I filled out my form, I asked her how many people had signed up for the 8K and she said I was the thirteenth. As in there were only 13 people in the race, 30 minutes prior to start time.

I didn't know whether to be sad that there were so few participants for our town's singular running event or thrilled that I might have a chance at winning this thing. As the rest of the runners arrived over the next 20 minutes, I scoped them out to decide how fast they looked and which race they'd be in. There were two women who looked like they might be contenders, but I was pretty sure they were in the 5K. It was so bizarre to actually thinking about not just finishing a race, but possibly winning. And not just an age group, but the whole event! I tried to channel my little sister who at age 17, has won dozens of races, including a women's 5K of nearly 2000 participants. (We didn't exactly get the same running genes...) Everybody looked pretty casual, except two serious-runner men types with little belts for their race numbers. (I assumed they were from out of town.)

At 8:00, they herded our small group to the start line and very uncermoniously started a stop watch and told us to, "Go on." I went out fast and was only behind a few high schoolers (who I was pretty sure were only 5Kers) and one of the serious racing men. The other serious-runner caught up to me in just a moment. He and I talked briefly and it turned out he was local, too and lives near the school where I teach!

Of course, if you remember, he was a serious running type though, and while being very nice about it, left me in the dust very quickly. The course went through all the same little neighborhoods I normally run through and I was just by myself the rest of the race. They had little arrows at the corners where we were supposed to turn, but that was it. I could see the orange jersey of the serious runner ahead of me (looking back every so often to make sure I made the right turn), but didn't see anybody else until a little loop about mile 3. When I saw the next runner was a good bit behind me, but not completely out of distance, it gave me some motivation to keep up the pace!

I picked up the pace a little on the last mile and sprinted the last tenth where there were about 10 spectators cheering. People were smiling and the guy wrote down my time at the end, but I was instantly disappointed because I knew I must not have won. The high school girl must have run the 8K because surely they would have congratulated me on winning if I was first, I thought.

I thought I'd have a decent time if nothing else so I asked for my time and for what place I came in and honestly the stopwatch guy looked a little perplexed that I'd ask for either. He told me, "Oh it was somewhere around 44 minutes and you were second after that guy in the orange."

Well, that was good enough for me! I was so ridiculously excited and ran over and high-fived the orange jerseyed runner. It was the one and only race I will probably ever win! I thought it was pretty darn exciting! I think I'm supposed to even get a trophy.

So, bask in the glory, becuase this is only post I'll ever write about winning a race! Thanks, small town of non-runners! : )

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Okay, I've got to get this off my chest:

I have not run, not even once, since the marathon.

I've done two minute sprints in my Jillian Michaels plan, and I've almost ran (like when I went two blocks last week) a couple of times, but that's it.

And I have fallen off the Jillian Michaels wagon all week long. It has been a very long, not-get-home-until-well-after-dark week and it just hasn't happened.

I did receive my very first grant for my classroom today, though! I was ridiculously giddy when I opened the enevelope in the copy room and almost hugged the custodian who was innocently standing by. Then, I busted in on my principal while she was observing another teacher because I was too excited to wait to show her.

So, it's definitely been an exercise FAIL week, but at least it's not a complete FAIL. Tomorrow's the beginning of the weekend and fresh starts!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Really, half a year?

Since I haven't really been running at all for the past few weeks, I forgot about posting my October mileage. Putting it together now, I realized I've been blogging and keeping up with my running (mostly) for 6 months now...which seems to have flown by.

October 1

5 miles, Lowes and back, fartlek

October 4
13 miles, around town...sick of long runs loops by myself

October 7
2 miles, downtown
(Am I really running a marathon in less than 2 weeks?)

October 11
10 miles, Lowes and back, courthouse loop, McDonald's and back

October 15
2 miles, around UNC-W campus

October 16
2 miles, Grinnell, Iowa

October 18
26.2 miles!!!!! Des Moines Marathon

May Total: 43.5 miles

June Total: 50.5 miles

July Total: 76 miles

August Total: 49 miles

September Total: 75 miles

October Total: 60 miles

6 Month Total: 354 miles

Monday, November 2, 2009

(Relatively) Guilt Free Weekends

I've been through 2 weekends now since the big race and I'm pretty spoiled already. It feels like such a luxury to not worry about staying hyper-hydrated and rested! I woke up yesterday morning and for a moment felt a little twinge pre-long-run worry...How would I squeeze in a 2+ hour run?...would I be able to complete it?...what is the weather like?...and then I remembered: No long run today!

As much as I love running, it's been a relief to have to worry about where I am in a training schedule. I feel completely maxed out with work and school right now and it feels like one less thing to worry about right now.


I know this is a very bad complacent place for me to be. I took off for a short jog on Thursday and, literally, two blocks in, said, "Oh forget about it...I have too much else to do." I'm obviously not maintaining marathon endurance...or even 5K endurance, at this rate. I'm keeping up with my Jillian Michaels, but I need to get back out on the road, too.

I'm running a local 10K this weekend and then I think it might be time to set my sights on a new running goal, whether it be another race or something for me personally. It's not the right time to start over my 365, but I need something to tide me over until then.

Obviously, just a healthy routine of regular exercise would make sense and all, but I've found, for me, a goal is necessary.

What running/exercise/life goals are y'all working on? Am I the only one that needs a moving target?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Magic

We didn't have a TV growing up and my grandma didn't have cable. This seemed pretty tragic to me in 1992, but in retrospect, it was a pretty good plan. There was always something else to do and I always had something quirky for the name-something-interesting-about-yourself ice breaker games at camp.

Like I said though, there were many times in my childhood that I pulled the TV Guide from the newspaper and fantasized about the possibilities. I felt a little out of step with my classmates at certain times and there were many a joke/reference I didn't get. Sometimes I pretended I knew more about Nickelodeon shows than was technically true.

So, it seemed really magical to me when we spent the night at Grandma's and got to see what came on TV after 8:00! I remember sneaking into the kitchen one late October night (in my flannel pajamas and matching flannel nightcap that my grandma and I made), catching part of Hocus Pocus and feeling very naughty. Although my grandma didn't really approve, we always watched The Simpson's Halloween special and whatever other mildly spooky things came on before 8:00, too.

Halloween is such an understated holiday in comparison to the fast-approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I like how it sneaks into the evening line-up. My husband has been out of town for a few days and I've been home alone and burying myself in school work. So, when I happened to flip on the TV last night just in time to catch The Great Pumpkin (while grading papers) I instantly felt like I was a little kid again.

I'm currently enjoying a whole line-up of Halloween themed sitcoms (guilt-free because I have a teacher workday tomorrow!) while I fold laundry and pick up all my piles of school things before my husband comes home. It brings a little bit of childish Halloween magic to me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The people have spoken...

and the name will stick. I'm kinda attached to it, too, I just didn't want to come off as a phony. I did do a little updating...new pictures and all, but I haven't decided what will stick yet.

Making the Cut is going fine so far, but I need to mix in some more cardio and definitely get a handle on my eating. I'm still taking in calories like I'm marathon-training, but there are no upcoming long runs to compensate.

That's about it. Just trying to keep up. Does this whole treading-water-just-trying-to-stay-afloat feeling ever abate or is this just adulthood?

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's in a name?

I only have a moment before I run off to complete Day 2 of Making the Cut (aren't you proud I've almost stayed on track for two days? That's pretty monumental, right?) but I've been thinking...

I guess I should change the name of my blog...since I'm not really doing the 365 thing right now. (I still kind of have my eye on January 1, 2010, but don't tell my husband.)

Maybe "365 Runs...Someday"?

Is that too pathetic?

Or maybe something else running related? Or maybe something completely unrelated because I'm feel more non-running random thoughts pushing to the surface lately?

I dunno...let me know if you have any strokes of genius.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's Next

This has been a crazy week at work just trying to get caught up...caught up from being gone for two days and just caught up in general. My house (more specifically the 4 overflowing loads of clean laundry that need folding and the kitchen I just trashed) need some catching up, too.

I keep feeling another familiar guilty twinge saying, "I should be exercising..." but I'm cheerfully shutting down that thought for the rest of the week in the name of recovery. On Sunday, I'm restarting Jillian Michael's Making the Cut. So far I've made it to Day 3 about eight times, but never further. Which is pretty pathetic. Since I'm not training for any runs (or currently participating in any obsessive running goals), however, I think I can actually make it through the 30 days.

If I stick to it, I'll be finishing the day before Thanksgiving, which I think is a pretty symbolic goal. I'm very happy about the little bit of weight I lost last month running, but the marathon pictures confirmed again for me that I definitely have farther to go. I think it would be really good for me to have a deadline and goal for before the holidays so I will have some motivation not to put on weight during the winter.

(Several years ago, I had this great idea that for the whole month of December, I would just be guilt-free about food...I was running, it was Christmas...it'd be okay, right? Not ironically, a few weeks into that following January I was just sitting at my desk in my dorm room when my jeans spontaneously split open at my thigh.

Not at the seam.

I could explain away that with faulty sewing or something. It was the very fabric ripped open by my expanding leg.

The pants just gave up.

If you witness something like that, it is burned onto your retinas forever.)

You see why I need to lose some weight before December?

By the way, I completely stole this whole idea from Meredith, who I completely envy in her whole balanced approach to life. She has been giving me tips. : )

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life, Post-Marathon

The afternoon of the marathon, it was my knees and ankles that were screaming. Which was a little bit frightening to me; I'm used to muscles pain, but not feeling like my joints had been hammered repeatedly.

When I awoke yesterday morning (Can I just say that I'm incredibly glad we decided to NOT fly home the day of the marathon and NOT be at work the very next day? I can't believe I ever even thought that was a good plan.), however, my joints were fine. It was my incredibly tight Achilles tendons that almost did not permit me to leave the bed. I've never been sore there before, but had to continually stretch all day to just be able to walk.

Today, my quads are a little sore, but that's about it. There's little other evidence that I ran 26 miles on Sunday. My students were duly impressed (but kept asking over and over again, "What place did you come in?" and could not fathom how that was of no concern to me) and I showed them a few pictures. One or two co-workers asked how it went, but I'm not quite sure they even know how long a marathon is and I feel weird about going around making announcements about my mileage.

There's still papers to grade, laundry to fold, and no heat because we've been procrastinating about this whole heat pump thing. I've got pounds to shed from carb loading and bags to unpack.

At least I have the memory of triumph, crossing the line! Anybody else have post-race letdown?

Oh! By the way, they posted chip times and my official marathon time is 4:39:45. Which looks so much speeder than 4:41, right?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So...I'm a marathoner now!

I'm very pleased to announce that both my mother and I are now officially marathon finishers! I loved the experience and am looking forward to many more (though not in the immediate future) marathons to come! My mom is very pleased to mark "Marathon" off her list and have it not return there, thankyouverymuch. Neither of us had any real pain or "hit the wall," even though we're sore and exhausted.

In the weeks and days leading up to the race, I've been surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing. In fact, I slept okay last night and wasn't even nervous this morning....UNTIL we arrived in downtown Des Moines this morning at 7:00 in the dark and I was freezing under two layers of race clothes, a sweatshirt, gloves, ear warmers, and my winter coat. We ducked inside a building to use the restroom (amazingly, I avoided all porta-potties today, which is an accomplishment within itself) and when we emerged, I could not find my $3 purple ear warmers which caused me to instantly burst into spontaneous, out-of-proportion freaking-out...which I think was my little way of displaying my pre-race nerves. I was distraught over those darn ear warmers and fretted around for a good five minutes while my family offered hats and concerned (over my sanity, not the ear warmers) looks and searched my layers.

Luckily, when we stepped outside into the slightly warmer and lighter exterior, I reached in my coat pocket for my gloves and I discovered my lost treasure! Suddenly, all was right with the world again and I was ready for the marathon!

My mom and I decided to line up and stay a little ahead of the 5:00 pacer. That worked out beautifully for the first half of the race and we frolicked along through the chilly air at a nice, relaxed pace. My family ran from the diner along the course where they were having brunch to cheer for us as we went past at mile 10 and 12.

We started feeling it in our legs and feet after mile 15 and Mom slowed down a little. We stayed together almost to mile 19, but at that point, she gave me the blessing to go on. After taking my remaining gel packs and jelly beans from her (She graciously carried my food in her oversized pockets almost the whole race...I'm not quite sure why I didn't really consider this detail when planning my race outfit. I had some gel packs shoved in the side of my shorts and had to put one in my sports bra in the end), I turned on the iPod and hit the road!

The next 5 miles were fantastic. This brought me back to my training mode: just me, my iPod, and the thoughts rolling around in my head. I felt great, really picked up the speed, and passed dozens and dozens of people. When I approached, then left behind the 4:45 pace group, I knew I was on a roll. I got a little choked up at mile 20, smiled ridiculously big at mile 21, 22, and 23, and went by 24 without even really seeing it. My mind and my body had just kind of glazed over at about mile 20 and I just kept running.

At mile 25, I got a little choked up again (overly emotional much?) and that last mile was not as speedy. In fact, it was pretty rough and for the first time, my knees and ankles started complaining. I considered walking a little bit (up until then, I just had walked at water stops), but I'm pretty sure I didn't. I honestly can't remember since my brain was pretty much mush at that point. I think I just slowed down a little because I was shocked (and yes, emotional) when I very quickly saw the 26 mile marker ahead.

I could barely see the finish banner at the end of the block after the mile marker, but I didn't take my eyes off it for the rest of the race. I tried to gradually speed up and after I hit 26, I really pushed it. I was aware that I probably looked like a total freak staring at the finish banner and making strange noises as I sprinted that tenth of a mile, but I did remember to smile and throw up my arms as I hit the finish line. I could hear my family cheering and I felt all the ridiculously happy and excited euphoria that you're supposed to feel after your first 26.2! I was thrilled with my time, 4:41, and I'm really hoping that my chip time will be a minute or two faster. (It was a very slow and crowded race start...we were shuffling towards the start line for a looong time.)

My mom finished in 5:12 and was happy enough with that time. Our goal from the beginning was to finish and we both did! I feel very proud that I was able to accomplish something I've dreamed of and trained for for a long time, and even more proud that my mom was able to do so with me. How many marathoners have marathoner moms, too?

I'm finally able to check off one of my running goals for this year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tomorrow's the Big Day!!!!

We arrived in Iowa yesterday and are relaxing and spending time with family. I haven't been here in at least 4 years or so and we are enjoying time with my grandparents, aunts, and cousins.

I've only had two easy runs since Sunday. I slept 10 hours last night. I have a water bottle stashed in my purse and am drinking constantly. I've been eating just enough more than normal that I feel like I'm carb loading (and definitely putting on at least a pound or two this week...), but hopefully not going too crazy. I'm having pasta tonight, but I'm well aware that I'll be carrying that pasta tomorrow! I hope to get a good night's sleep this evening and then tomorrow's the big day!

Thanks for all your encouragement this week! I'll be thinking about all of you during the race, especially my blog friends at It is Everlasting (running her first 1/2 marathon!) and Run like a Llama (running her first marathon, too)!

I'll let you know what happens tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There's a fine line between...

...carb loading and gaining multiple pounds in a week!

I think I'm probably on the wrong side of this line.

Oh well! I'm remarkably calm about running 26.2 miles in 5 days. What will be, will be.

Check out this much improved forecast though...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Advice, Please!

It's officially less than a week until the marathon! I'm very excited about the race and seeing my family. We are flying to Iowa on Friday and spending a few days with my grandparents (who I haven't seen in two years) and some other cousins/aunts/uncles on my mom's side of the family.

I know this will be a hectic week trying to get everything ready to be gone for a 4 day weekend. I'm going to try to get in a few short, easy runs, eat healthy, and drink water, water, water! Any last minute advice from marathoners on what I should be doing this last week?

I'll also accept just life-in-general advice from anybody who wants to chime in as well. I'm kind of feeling like I need a lot of that too. : )

Saturday, October 10, 2009


So, I know it's Iowa and all, and it is October, but we have kind of been fantasizing about ideal running conditions. On the marathon website, they claim,

"You will likely experience a bit of a chill to the early morning air on race day. Average lows are in the lower 50's and highs in the upper 60's."

Sounds like pretty perfect running weather to me.

Which was why I was a little flabbergasted to log on to weather.com today to find:
Say what?! SNOW?! This was not advertised.

Luckily though, looking ahead, the weather is predicted to be in the 50s on race day....

....with a 56% chance of rain. This is not promising.

I'm not going to get too stressed about a 8-day forecast, but I will be checking up on the weather approximately 300 times between now and next Sunday.

In other news, my weekday mileage (and blogging) has been approaching zilch. Four new students, from another grade level, came to my class this week, and it has been a busy and challenging week. As anyone who has taught elementary school knows (and other people really can't quite fully comprehend) there is never any "down time." Even when students are working independently, there are more little hands and little questions and little nosebleeds and little disruptions to ever allow a moment of rest. When you squeeze another grade level of instruction in there, there is absolutely no wiggle room. Even though I'm going a hundred miles per hour all day long, I'm actually really excited about the two-for-one combo. I have a wonderful group of kids and the extra challenge keeps me on my toes and is forcing me to be ├╝ber-prepared/organized/time efficient. However, it's leaving me very little time for leisure activities, such as, say...training for a marathon. I'm getting in 10 miles before church tomorrow and then hopefully a few short runs next week. I'm hoping for a miracle for 26.2 in 8 days!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Today on my run, I learned...

  • It takes a looooong time to get through 13 miles if you are completely lazy and end up walking every couple miles.
  • Gatorade makes me thirsty and also makes me feel like I'm 7 years old, drinking Kool-Aid at camp.
  • Now that my body has experienced energy gels, water and Gatorade just ain't cutting it.
  • My fancy new running shoes are officially broken in.
  • New running shoes + Cotton-free socks = No blisters!
  • I can't listen to Matt and Ramona podcasts while I run because they make me laugh and look ridiculous while I'm running.
  • I'm really, really tired of running the same loops around this small town and getting funny looks from the people eating at McDonalds while I run by multiple times.
  • Even though today was a really blah, pathetic run, I finished the thing, which means I'm getting mentally stronger if nothing else.
  • Nothing is going to stop me from running this marathon in 2 WEEKS!!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Mileage

So, I realize that most people who are training for a marathon (or just running seriously) have weekly mileages that look like my monthly totals, but it is what it is.

I completed the longest run of my life this month, lost six pounds, and got through the first month of teaching and taking classes at the same time, so I'm just going to check September off as a success. :)

Someday, I'll hit 100 miles in a month.

September 1

1 mile, downtown loop

September 2
1 mile, treadmill....with no TV. I forgot about this little tidbit when we cut the cable.

September 3
1 mile, courthouse loop

September 4
0, Made up on Sept. 5

September 5
15 miles, Take the Lake
1 mile, bridge and back

September 6
1 mile, lake, to bridge and back

September 7
1 mile, courthouse loop

September 8
0, Made up on Sept. 14

September 9
2 miles, downtown and back

September 10
1 mile, courthouse loop, fast

September 11
1 mile, driveway in the dark

September 12
5K, Historic Mooresville, 25:57

September 13
1 mile, to Amish mailbox and back

September 14
1 mile, courthouse loop
1 mile, treadmill

September 15
5 miles, Lowes and back

September 16
1 mile, treadmill

September 17
1 mile, courthouse loop

September 18
1 mile, around with hubby

September 19
0...to be made up this week

September 20
13 miles, to Lowes and back, two courthouse loops (while trying to get down my power gels), to downtown and back, and around the neighborhoods...though not in that order

September 21
1 mile, courthouse loop

September 22
1 mile, treadmill

September 23

September 24
1 mile, to church choir and back

September 25

September 26
20 miles!!! (Y'all...I know I'm slacking during the week, but this makes up for it, right?) Lowes and back, 3 courthouse loops getting down energy gels/beans and water, to football stadium and back, extended Grandma loop, and McDonald's and back...though not in that order.

September 27-30
Nothing but walking around the neighborhood with the hubby

May Total: 43.5 miles

June Total: 50.5 miles

July Total: 76 miles

August Total: 49 miles

September Total: 75 miles

Total Since May: 294 miles

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mid-Run Fuel

With my ginormous blister healing up nicely (I was pretty worried it was infected...it was red and painful and just generally gross) and my quads no longer sore, it is more than time for me to hit the road this afternoon.

And I will...after I finish this post and maybe grade a few papers.

I've been meaning to share my mid-run fueling experiences though and wanted to see if anybody had some suggestions. Until my last two long runs, I have never used any kind of energy gel or beans or what-have-you at all. In fact, I mostly have tried to avoid the Gatorade at water stations during half-marathons. I just had this hang-up about taking in calories while I was trying to burn them. It didn't make sense to me.

Well, I got over it. I've accepted that (obviously) my body is going to be able to perform better during 10+ mile runs if I have some kind of calories during the run. I knew that I would need some kind of energy to survive 26.2, for sure.

So, while I was home at my parents' (remember? the promised land of 5Ks and running partners and proximity to running stores?), we went to a wonderful running store in Charlotte and I loaded up on a sampling of energy products. I used them about every 4-5 miles during my 13 and 20 mile runs the past two weeks.

I was advised to take the gels gradually and drink water while doing so. I timed my fuels so that I could pick up the gel and water bottle on the porch then run a mile around the block while getting it down. Which worked pretty well, except that I had such a hard time getting down the whole package of 100 calories! (Mark this as the one and only time I'll complain about not being able to finish my food.) Out of the five I tried, I could only completely finish two over the course of a mile.

This is not scientific at all (I think a lot of it had to do with what point I was in my run) but here's what I thought about each of them.

The strawberry banana PowerBar gel was pretty tasty (think smoothie), but it was a little heavy. I was not quite about to finish it.
I will not be purchasing an Accel Gel again! The taste was okay, but the texture was really thick and kind of gritty. I could not even get down half of the package.
The Sport Beans were the surprise winner of my unofficial test! I really did not think I would like eating jelly beans while running, but they were actually the easiest to get down. It might have just been coincedence, but I had the biggest energy boost after these as well.

Even being the chocolate addict that I am, I was unsure about eating liquid chocolate during a run. The Hammer Gel was pretty delicious (it reminded me of the syrup that comes in those brownie mixes, but a little more bittersweet), but was a little too thick and I couldn't get down all of it. And I got chocolate on my hands. Which I normally don't complain about, but it was kind of sticky and gross at mile 8. The GU Chocolate Outrage was my favorite gel. It was a little sweeter than the Hammer Gel and not as thick. The girl at the running store warned me that it was a little too much chocolate for some and did not settle well with their stomachs. My stomach, being quite acclimated to large doses of chocolate, did quite well with this. This was the only gel I was able to get all the way down.

Does anyone else have a problem eating the whole pack? I thought spreading it over a mile (9-10 minutes) and drinking water was more than enough time. What kind of fuel do y'all use? Do some long-distance runners just use Gatorade?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me!

Even though I (well, I'm supposed to, I guess, since it's in the title and all) mostly blog about running, I'm pretty much obsessed with some blogs from many genres. I love to catch up on my real life friends' happenings, visit other running sites, read about other 20-somethings, and yes, though child-less at this time, I love a good mommy blog. Which brings me to the ultimate mommy blog: MckMama. And also brings me to Not Me! Monday (which I have never participated in before but just couldn't resist this week, because I've had many a Not Me! moment in the past week).

This weekend, I most certainly did not accidentally bake 3 cakes instead of 2. I always read directions very carefully and never double a recipe just because the original "just doesn't seem like quite enough cake."

As a result, I do not have 1.5 cakes in my refrigerator at the moment.

I most definitely did not frost the extra, spontaneous cake in leftover (from the first, intentional cake), mixed together, blue, green, and brown icing thinking it would look "creative and abstract."

I would never take such a cake to school, give it to my co-workers, and tell them my little cousin helped decorate it so I wouldn't have to explain how ugly it was.

In other news, I did not once again admit defeat to my "running-every-day-for-a-year" challenge. I would never get so overwhelmed with work (did I mention I'll be teaching two grades starting next week?), grad school, housework, and being a human being that I would say (again, again, again), "Forget it for now." Especially not in the same week as the 20 mile victory! That would be too ironic.

Speaking of irony, I certainly did not beg my husband to carry me piggy-back while walking around the neighborhood this afternoon. I'm a runner, for goodness sake...my legs would never have a hard time keeping up with my 6'3, long-strided husband.

And speaking of legs (or feet, rather)...it would never even occur to me to take off my boot and sock after school today to show my gnarly, long-run blister to my co-worker. Definitely not me! I want to keep my friends, right?

So there you have my week, from cake to feet. Appetizing, right? What did you not do this week?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Y'all, I ran 20 miles...

...by myself, running in circles around town, in 95% humidity.

I am so tickled that I was able to do this that I cannot put it into words. It went surpisingly well. I walked for just a bit twice while I was trying to get down energy gels, but kept a really great pace (for me) almost until the end.

When I passed mile 17, I got a little emotional because last time I tried this (four years ago) I crumpled in pain at mile 17 and had to limp home on a bad knee. That was the end of my marathon training and all running for several months.

Today, mile 17 with no pain (except worn-out quads) was a sign I could make it. I did walk and even stretch a little in miles 18 and 19 because my legs were starting to say, "No more, please!"

Mile 20, though, was mine. I was at a pretty slow pace at that time, but pulled a little (what I had left of) a sprint on the last block to my house. I wish I had a picture of the completely goofy grin I was sporting when I finished and knew: I ran 20 miles today.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Snakes (well, snake) alive!

I almost forgot about the most dramatic part of my run yesterday!

I have a few running fears that I carry somewhere at the back of my head: unfriendly dogs, being hit by a car, meeting up with bad company in a dark alley (although I generally avoid both running in the dark and alleys), along with some other somewhat rational worries. One of my biggest, and most ridiculous fears, though, is running right onto a snake! Can you imagine?! Just jogging along the side of the road and one of those little critters slithering his scary little self out of the grass and right under your foot? What would happen? What if one touched me with its slithery snake tongue?! (I'm really less worried about being bitten and more concerned about accidentally making contact with a snake...they really gross me out.)

Well, yesterday, at about mile 9, while running through a neighborhood and taking in the scenery, I looked down just in time to see my foot almost trample a huge, hungry, vicious cobra! Due to my amazing dexterity and speed, I was able to swerve and miss him and barely escaped with my life.

Actually, it wasn't quite that dramatic. There was a snake and I did almost step on him, but he was not that threatening. He was maybe 2 feet long, skinny, a little wimpy looking and almost cute (as far as snakes go, I mean). I still jumped 4 feet into the air, yelped, and sprinted out of its proximity, but I was over it in 30 seconds.

The morale of this story is that my fear (literally running into a snake), when realized, was actually not that bad. It was much worse in my imagination and now that it's over, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to survive any future serpentine encounters.

I'm having a little fear about 20 miles next weekend. Perhaps it won't be as bad in retrospect either? (I think that's a stretch.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amazingly, Still on Course

I awoke this morning at 5:10, all ready for my big run.

No, not really. I woke up at that time (I think I was getting nervous about my run) but I definitely rolled over and went back to sleep. I did, however, faithfully get up at 7:30, put on my shoes, and hit the road, hoping that I could stay on pace so I could make it to church on time at 11:00.

Which I did. : )

I had a pretty good 13 miles by myself this morning, which was a big relief after last week's fail. I used power gels for the first time (I'll let you know about that later), wore my new cotton-free socks, and was even assisted by my husband! I left my water and gels on the porch and planned my run so I would go by there about every 4 miles or so. I was thrilled to jog up for my first refuel to find him sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair, reading the Sunday papers (how Southern Living) and he was kind enough to refill my water and throw away my trash for me.

So, I'm pointing towards 20 next week. Eek!

By the way, since I've been back in school (and pretending to be a healthy eater in front of my fourth graders all day), I've lost about 5 pounds. That's 5 less to carry on the marathon and I'm trying to make it 10 less by October 18th!

Friday, September 18, 2009

T- 1 month to the Marathon!

There are exactly 30 days left until I will be hauling myself across 26.2 miles of Iowa.

I probably should be freaking out, considering my training has not been as intense as I had planned, my max distance has been 16 miles, and I'm still carrying more pounds that I would like, but (right now) I'm pretty calm about it.

Even if I have to walk part of the race, I will finish and that will be an accomplishment in itself!

In this last month, I'm going to really focus on the things that will get me across that finish line healthy and happy. As very best as my schedule permits, I'm going to stick to my Runner's World plan. I'm going to try to fuel my body properly and give it more of the things it needs and less of things like No-Bake Cookies (which I really think are pretty great as far as cookies go...oats, peanut butter, milk...my body needs those things! Just not the pile of sugar and butter, I guess.) I will remember and take the time to stretch and ice when needed. I (flinching as I type this) am going to cut out Diet Coke from my daily routine. I'm not saying I won't have one here and there, but I'm going to replace my after-school Diet Coke with water.

What else? I know it's too late to make any changes that will have a huge impact on my race, but is there anything else I should be doing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well, that didn't work.

Yesterday, I very purposefully mentioned that I would going on a long run today. I thought, if I publicly announced that I would run 15+ miles (and I know I can because I did it last weekend) and block out 3 hours and hit the road, a magical mid-week long run would materialize!

Well, I apparently didn't use enough fairy dust, because 5 miles in, I said, "Forget it."

I was hot, dehydrated, stressing about my teetering pile of papers to grade, a little worn out from a long day of fourth graders, and generally not feeling it. I scraped this week's (already two days late) long run and decided to conserve my time and energy for this weekend.

I rediscovered my marathon plan after a few weeks off track and saw that I need to complete a 13 miler this coming weekend and then hit the big 2-0 the following week. I honestly think I can do it. Slowly, pathetically, but it will be done. I've come too far to turn back now. I just desperately wish I had someone to run with here though.

It's hard for me to fathom that about 4 years ago, the last time I was training for a marathon, that I joyfully hit the road (iPod-less, can you imagine?) for 13, 15, 17 miles at a time by myself. (Except for my one and only running blind date, but that's a story for another day.) I ran, even while limping, before I had to accept my knee was not compatible with a marathon at that time.

I'm just not feeling it now. How do y'all get through long runs by yourselves? I need a partner, I need water stations, I need to not compete with traffic! I really enjoyed and felt good about that 15 miles with my mom last weekend, but alone today, it just wasn't happening.

Monday, September 14, 2009

There was a clue.

Earlier today, I was rushing out the door, trying to get my run before my next obligation. I went to put my house key into my pocket, but it was kind of flipped over funny and I had to fold it up to keep the key in.

Which should have been my clue.

But I didn't catch on and went running around town, thankfully not for very long. Because now, hours later (still in my running clothes because I'm going to get in another mile on the treadmill before bed), I walked by a mirror and realized...

My shorts are inside out. As in, the bloomers are on the outside. As in, it looks kind of like I'm wearing a gray cloth diaper over my shorts. And I ran around in public like this. Aren't I a great ambassador for runners?

P.S. I had a lot of running excitement over the week: 5K! New Shoes! The Best Running Store Ever! I'll share all about that later, but I had to let someone else in on this shorts issue.

P.P.S I'm getting in my long run after school tomorrow. I'm trying to get jazzed up about it, but I really wish I had someone to run with here. I just need a little more distraction from the fact that I'm trying to run 15+ miles.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So, here are the rules.

If you've been following along this little journey of mine, you might have noticed that I made this great proclamation that I was (again) running every day starting September 1st and I was determined and unstoppable! A few days later then (yes, only 4 to be precise) you might have noticed a gap on my mileage where a run was nary to be found. Which is pretty pathetic, but something came up and no matter how big a fit I threw about it, the run was not happening.

I was still upset about the run-that-wasn't the next day as my mom and I set out to run 15 miles together. Ridiculously upset about it. Beating myself up about it. I was having a good run though and at about mile 11, I had a thought, Why on earth am I stressing myself out about something that is optional?

Running is not my job (thanks B.O.B for reminding me of this), the world does not fall to pieces when I miss a run, and this is just my silly plan anyway. So I decided to write myself a loophole: if I miss a run one day, I just have to make it up. Which means some days I'll have a two-fer. Which isn't a bad thing, either. It still adds up to 365, right?

I think this loophole was inspired by an event in my classroom last week. Each night, I have my students read for 20 minutes and record their books in a reading log. I check their logs each day to make sure they've read. Last week, I had a studious, obedient little girl practically in tears because she hadn't read the night before. She was so embarrassed and stammering, "I'm so sorry! I really like this book and I meant to read, but I had dance class and church and we were at my Grandma's and then my mom made me go to bed."

Even when you're in fourth grade, life's like that sometimes. You just can't fit it all in (even when it's just a 10 minute run or 20 minutes reading) and you have a parent (or a husband) that insists upon a bedtime (especially when the treadmill in is the bedroom). So, without hesitation, I told this student, "Honey, it's okay. Read an extra day this weekend. You'll catch up. It's not a big deal."

And I've decided to tell myself the same thing (except, you know, about the running). So, if see a gaping 0 on my mileage, look for an extra run the next day, or on the weekend. It'll be there. That slightly painful extra mile later in the day after the 15-miler is proof. As will be my extra run this weekend for Tuesday. Just keep me accountable!

Monday, September 7, 2009

We took the lake!

I just arrived home from a lovely weekend at the nearby lake with both my own family and in-laws. I feel very, very fortunate that I grew up in a wonderful family, married into a wonderful family, and both of these families are even able to socialize with each other! (Right before we broke out the sparklers and exited our wedding reception, our photographer pulled my husband and I aside for a couple quick shots and told us, "You both have such nice families. And they even get along and seem to be happy together! Nobody was stressed out or pushy or anything. I don't see this very often." Since this guy had been to more weddings that year than most attend in a lifetime, I took that as a pretty good indicator.)

My family's trip down here, as per usual, was in part prompted by an athletic event. Every Labor Day weekend, athletes, mostly local, gather at Lake Waccamaw to "Take the Lake." This year was the first year that it has been truly organized and advertised, complete with water stops, porta-potties, online registration, and even Twitter! Between both of our families, we pretty decently covered the event. Here were the offerings and the participants:

Saturday, 8 AM
Run/Walk 15 miles around the lake

My mom and I ran and were pretty pleased with the result. I haven't run this distance in 3 years and my mom had never ran this far. Part of it was through wooded and sandy trails, so it's hard to translate to marathon pace time though. I finished in 2:57, which is about 5 miles per hour. If I'm able to be just a tad faster than that on October 18th, I might be under 5 hours for the marathon. My mom wasn't far behind. (I'll give the full race report later this week.)

My husband and father-in-law both completed the 15 mile walk and my mother-in-law and several family friends walked part of the way.

(Without being part of the official event, one of my sisters accidentally biked around the lake that morning as well.)

Sunday, 8 AM
Bike 15 miles around the lake

I worked on grad school work and skipped out on the bike, but my youngest sister, dad, mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and her boyfriend all biked. They kept stressing throughout the weekend that these were NOT RACES, but that kind of motivated my mom and a few of the other competitive bikers and they raced tightly along (even through the woods where they had to run pushing/carrying their bikes). My mom was 3rd overall and the first woman to finish, which makes us very proud, and also makes me glad that I was at home typing instead of trying to keep up with her.

Sunday, 2 PM
Kayak 14 miles around the lake

My mom and father-in-law were interested in this event, but a little concerned about how boring kayaking in a giant circle for 4 hours might prove to be. They started, but encountered very choppy water an hour or so in, and bailed. We watched the other paddlers from the pier, as they passed several hours later, and once again, I was glad I sat that one out.

Monday, 8 AM
Swim 4 miles across the lake

Unfortunately, there was not a representative from our family in this event. I swam the lake 3 years ago. It was the most athletically challenging thing I've ever done and I'm a pretty decent swimmer. (I have a lot more skill as a swimmer than a runner, actually. In my wildest dreams, they would build a YMCA here and I would faithfully swim every day.) Next year, I think I'd like to conquer the swim again.

In any case, our two families together circled the lake 11 times this weekend! That's 165 miles, if you were counting. Hope y'all enjoyed your labor day weekend too!

(Tomorrow, I'll catch y'all up on my 365 and marathon training. I haven't forgotten!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm comtemplating "The Stick."

Before your imaginations get away with you, let me explain "The Stick" for any non-runners or those who have not encountered it yet. It is this, well, stick, that you use to massage sore muscles and help your legs recover. At least, that's my understanding. I've seen them in running stores and visited the website, but until lately, have never really felt the urge to buy/use one.

For the past month or so, I've been experiencing this kind of weird tightness in my right calf, at the beginning of my runs and after I finish. It's not exactly painful, just an odd uncomfortableness that stretching doesn't seem to help much. When I get into my running stride (even for 9 minutes or so) it goes away, but then it comes back to haunt me afterwards and sometimes even into the next day or days. I don't think it has anything to do with effort or distance because it's actually happened more often the less I've been running.

So, my question is: Do I need "The Stick" or another recovery tool or should I be stretching more or should I just be sucking it up? Advice, please!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August and Reflection

I remembered today that I had not yet posted my August mileage. I'd like to also pause for a second (prompted partially by Meredith) to reflect upon my miles and days running since I started this twice thrwarted journey in April. Maybe some reflection will either inspire me or educate me in my new attempt.

August 1
1 mile, up and down driveway at midnight

August 2
13 miles, ran home from town with Mom, stopped for water at Barbara's

August 3
1 mile, treadmill

August 4
3 miles, Grandma Loop

August 5
1 mile, treadmill

August 6
1 mile, treadmill

August 7
1 mile, courthouse loop

August 8
4.5 miles, around town with Amy

August 9
1 mile, treadmill

August 10
1.5 miles, downtown and back

August 11
1 mile, courthouse loop
(It did take me over an hour to mow the lawn though....so is that a good excuse for skipping the other 3 miles? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.)

August 12
3 miles, across bridge and back, very humid

August 13-16

August 17
5 miles, to Lowe's and back

August 18-22
I moved a lot of boxes in my classroom. That count for anything?

August 23
12 miles, to Lowe's and back twice, loop around

August Total: 49 miles

July Total: 76 miles

June Total: 50.5 miles

May Total: 43.5 miles

Since I started on April 25th, I ran 109 days and a total of 229.5 miles. So, that's something. Does that compensate for my 1 mile again today? : )

Why not?

For the sake of my quickly approaching marathon, and just because I love y'all, I started over my 365 yesterday. September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010.

The past few weeks, when I haven't had the goal of running daily, it's just been been too easy for me to make excuses and say, "tomorrow." I've barely run at all. This does not bode well for 26.2 on October 18th.

So, in my own true fashion, yesterday, I ran one mile. Real quick, before it got dark. Hey, one is more than zero!

I'm happy to know, no matter what, that I'll be running later today, too.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I worry just a smidge about being too preemptively excited, but I think this will be a really good school year for me. This is my third year teaching and I feel much more together than I have in the previous years. (Which, of course, makes a lot of sense. Practice makes perfect and all.) It has been a really busy week, but very productive and promising.

It has not been as productive in the field of athletics, however, specifically running. I'm feeling remarkably almost guilt-free about this because it has been the first week of school. Guilt, and training, do kick back in this weekend though. I'm seriously considering (partially guided by your encouragement) to starting over my 365 now, instead of waiting until after the marathon. It definitely couldn't hurt, because anything is better than what I've done this week.

Maybe on September 1st. There's just something a little snappier about starting on the first day of the month instead of any old day.

Or maybe this is still a bad idea, considering I have lessons to plan and haven't even touched my grad school assignments for this week. And this scenario will continue for the next 10 months.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thanks for the push!

I got in my 12! After slacking off for 2 weeks, I was a little worried about it. I made my Run vs. Reese's Puffs (which I ironically had a huge bowl of right after I got in from my run) earlier and then spent the rest of the afternoon otherwise occupied and waiting for the weather to cool down.

When the time tolled, I checked my email right quick before heading out. I was so surpised and happy to see I had multiple comments: encouraging me, slightly scolding me for slacking off, wanting to hear about my long run. Suddenly, I went from worried to inspired!

I bounced out onto the porch and announced to my husband, "My blogger friends are cheering me on! I can do this long run after all! See, I need them. Besides my mom, I don't have anybody in real life to get excited about me running 12 miles."

So, thank you, for holding me accountable and keeping me motivated.

It was actually a pretty good run. It's been raining all weekend so it wasn't 2 miles before I accidentally trampled through a puddle, but the wet shoes didn't bother me too much. (I did end up darting in the house real quick when I was passing it at mile 10 to change into some dry socks...by that time, it was pretty necessary.) I ended up walking a little here and there, but I feel no shame in that. I had some faster spurts too, so it kind of evened out. Overall, it was about 11 minute miles, which is about what I'm aiming for in the marathon.

After not running for 5 days, it just felt so good to be out there. I'm still contemplating the next step in my running plan and I appreciate all the suggestions and advice y'all been giving. Keep 'em coming!

This about sums it up...

An irony on my to-do list cracked me up the other day. Notice "Run," (even with the little star of importance next to it) is untouched. For about five days in a row. I did manage to pick up those Reese's Puffs though. Obviously, my priorities are a little jumbled right now.

Later today, I'm going to run at least 12 miles. Not optional. It might be ugly, but I'll let you know. I've been at school almost every day until dark and working on grad work at night. Running has fallen the way side. That's why running-every-day-no-matter-what works so well for me; if I can say, "Oh, I'll run tomorrow..." it never happens.

It will today though! There's a marathon looming in the near future.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You can't always get want you want....

...but it is indeed true, that if you try, sometimes you get what you need. (Is that on anyone else's running playlist?) Maybe a little running break might be what I need (even though it wasn't really what I wanted) right now. After Thursday's mistake, I didn't run for four days and then gave up on my long run after 5 miles today. Lazy, I know, but I'm just not stressing about it. I've been on track so far and am jumping back on this week.

I appreciate y'all not cyber-bullying me and calling me a wimp. (Feel free to at any time though. I response to different styles of coaching.) The whole "365 Days of Running" is officially on the back burner, but still on the stove! (Let's revisit this goal after the marathon, perhaps?) I'm taking this opportunity to focus more on my overall health by getting re-acquainted with my long lost friends: strength training, nutrition, and cross-training. Oh, and my bestie, Jillian Michaels, of course.

So, again, combining the Runner's World Marathon Plan with Jillian's Making the Cut
, here's the schedule:

Ran 5 miles
JM Day 1

5 miles, evening
JM Day 2

3 miles, MIGHT try morning before my teacher workday

2-3 miles, right after work
JM Day 4

No Run (Seems like cheating!)
JM Day 5

12-14 miles, first thing (Do NOT let me get by without this run! It's been busy, hot, and humid and I'm letting this week's long run go, but it cannot happen again.)


Saturday, August 15, 2009


So, Thursday was a busy day. So busy, in fact, that as I was lying in bed, seconds away from falling asleep, this thought popped into my head:

"When did I run today? Wait...I don't think I ran today. I definitely did not run, at all, today. It's one in the morning, my husband is asleep, the treadmill is piled up with clothes, and I haven't run a bit."

Instead of going into a mild panic and scheming ways to run a mile in the middle of the night (as I did the last time this happened), I just thought, "Well, there goes that." I admitted defeat, rolled over, and went to sleep.

So, in other words, I've been issued yet another fail for this challenge. (See here , here, and here.) It's not an issue of physical or mental difficulty; I don't run hard or long enough to be adversely affected by daily runs. It's a not really a time issue; even in the busiest day, I can't say that I couldn't squeeze in one 9 minute run. (Possibly in the time it takes to write a blog post or catch up on my Google Reader...) It's really a priority issue.

I've messed up this whole daily running thing so many time since April 25 that all the special is kind of washed off of it for me. I've definitely reaped benefits from all this running, but to have to start over my year now seems kind of pathetic. I'm still running, no doubt. I've got a marathon coming up, remember? I just wonder if I should shelf the whole "running every day for a year" thing for a little bit. What if I restarted the day after the marathon, with one big accomplished checked off behind me? Could I run every day of 2010? That would be a nice, neat, clear-cut goal.

Anyway, I still love the idea of this challenge and am not (as my husand and probably others do) writing it off as just an unpractical and unachievable goal. Somehow, it seems that the timing wasn't quite right this time. What do y'all think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sit and Reach

Remember those "Presidential Fitness Awards" you could earn in elementary school by being a mad-fit child? You had to run a fast mile, speedy sprints, stretch, complete a ridiculous amount of sit-ups (yes, I remember the time before they introduced "the crunch" to us as "the new sit-up") and pull-ups.

Yeah, I never was up to Presidential fitness levels.

(I was the fastest girl in the mile in 2nd grade, though. I remember being pretty proud of that. Then I broke my leg in 3rd grade and became the slightly chubby, slow girl for the remainder of my elementary and middle school years.)

I did, however, excel in the "Sit and Reach." Which was, by far, the least athletic of the challenge. You had to sit with your legs straight out in front and your feet flat against this funny box with a piece of plywood on the top. (Did everybody do this in elementary school?) Then you had to stretch your little body forward to touch your little fingers on the highest number possible on the ruler painted on the plywood.

All those years at Tilley's Dance Academy must have paid off, because I was almost always the most flexible in my class. I laughed a little (internally, of course, because I was very polite) at the fit, fast boys and girls who kicked my butt in every other category, but couldn't even reach their toes.

All this reminiscing about the Sit and Reach (what an ingenious title, by the way) is because I think I need to spend a little more time stretching now. I love yoga, pilates, ballet, and all endeavors that value stretching, but I just haven't gotten around to much of it lately. My right calf has been tightening up (strangely enough, not while running, but while doing everything else) and bothering me a bit and I think a little more stretching might just do the trick!

It's funny how easy it is to say things like that (and like that I'm going to run 4 miles in 90 weather, today...yeah, didn't happen) and how I still don't always follow through. This should be a pretty easy goal though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 7 of Marathon Training

Even though haven't exactly stuck to it run by run, it has been really helpful for me to plan with the Runner's World Plan. This is my last week of summer before workdays start. Planning and structure are going to be of paramount importance in the coming weeks if I want to stay on track. So, let's see what's in store for this week....

(Oh, by the way, I still have been a total failure at my strength training. Such a failure, that I'm not going to bother with listing it in my plans for right now.)

1-2 miles, morning (hmm...that means I should probably be running right this second)

4 miles, morning

5-6 miles, morning

1 mile, evening

3-4 miles, morning

1 mile, whenever

14 miles, hopefully in the morning before church

I'm considering switching my long runs to Saturday and may do so this week. We'll just see how things pan out.

P.S. I had a wonderful first anniversary with my husband in Charleston last weekend! Part of my gift to him was leaving behind my running shoes when I packed. : ) (I ran right before we left on Saturday and right after we got back on Sunday. Saturday morning, I even got to run with my friend Amy who is also training for a marathon, which was a real treat!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Running with ID

How many of y'all run with ID? I know that I'm supposed to, but that's just one of those things I haven't got around to yet. I don't know if I should spring for the real thing, or just cram an index card with my name and my husband's phone number in my shoe.

It kind of seems like a moot point here in my husband's (small) hometown though. If I were to ever fall off the sidewalk, not see an approaching car, or get attacked by a wild cocker spaniel, I'm pretty sure I know how it would play out...

Lady who discovers me on her power walk: Oh dear! Mary Jo, there's a fallen runner in the road! Call your nephew over at the fire department!

Mary Jo whips out her cell phone and the paramedics are quickly dispatched. Mary Jo and her friend wait with me (unconscious) for them to arrive.

Mary Jo:
Hmm, they say that that running is bad for you. Bad for your knees, too. My cousin's uncle that lived up North was all into that running mess and, bless his heart, died from a heart attack while he was running. It's unnatural, Thelma.

Thelma: Goodness, isn't she ________'s wife?

Mary Jo: I knew she was familiar! ________, from church is his mama. Call
Derb and have him get their number from the Presbyterian church directory. Let her know to meet us at the hospital.

By this time, the volunteer fire department paramedics have arrived and Thelma is on the phone.

Paramedic 1: Alright, what we got here? Oh! I've seen her before, but she's not from around here.

Paramedic 2: Oh yeah...she's married to ______________. Remember, I used to date his cousin in high school?

Thelma: Oh, you mean ________________. She's such a sweet girl, how's her daddy doing?

By this time, they've loaded me up in the ambulance and the whole town, including my husband, in-laws, friends, and church circle have been notified. It's a closed case.

So it seems a little silly to worry about being Jane Doe here, but I do occasionally escape from this small town. Maybe I'll order the Road ID after all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just Running Along

I really have nothing new or exciting going on right now. My trip home to visit family and friends was so good for me and now I'm very happy to be back in my own house with my husband.

I'm just very content.

I'm running along. I'm feeling like this marathon is really possible now. Just 9 more weeks to stick to my training schedule.

*By the way, I've been tagged by Maggie at It is Everlasting in my very first blog tag. I feel like a 3rd grader who just got invited to my first slumber party by one of the cool girls! : ) Unfortunately, I don't feel like I can jump full into this one, but I did post a response on her original post.*

Monday, August 3, 2009

Week 6 of Marathon Training

I've been slightly off my Runner's World marathon training schedule for the past two weeks, but I'm still really pleased with my progress. Without even planning to, I accomplished a past goal I had almost forgotten: to run from the pool (where I used to lifeguard) home.

My mom and I wanted to get in a long run and didn't want to go out and back. (Sometimes I get wimpy on out and back runs and just want to turn around early.) We had this great plan that my sisters would drive us to town and dump us out of the van. Then we'd run home. So we got on g-map pedometer and mapped out our course and it just happened to start on the road of the pool. So, there we were dumped, and we ran. It was hot and hilly, but through some really beautiful backroads. It's so flat where I live now that I was enchanted with the little valleys, hills, and creeks we encountered.

So, we're officially up to half the distance of a marathon! The real excitement though, is that I'm not (that) sore today! My quads are a little tight, but didn't bother me at all on my run. When the two of us ran a half marathon (for which I didn't train) in February, I was crippled for days. It was pathetic.

Anyway...here's the plan for this week. (Yes, I am starting over again with Making the Cut.)

1 mile, ran this morning

2 miles, evening
JM Making the Cut Day 1

4-5 miles, evening
JM Day 2

1 mile, evening
JM Day 4

3-4 miles, morning
JM Day 5

1 mile, morning

4-5 miles, evening (My Runner's World said no long run this week and I'm not going to argue with the experts!)