Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active.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, 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