Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active.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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

100 Miles in April & Marathon Nerves

I got in 5 miles this morning to finish 100 miles this month! I know 100 miles doesn't seem like much to a serious runner, but to me, it's a big deal. This is my highest mileage month ever and I'm so grateful to be able to get in these miles injury-free.

And number 10 from my 101 in 1001 is finished!

That said, I'm starting to get a little case of the marathon nerves. I have felt really, really good through all of my training up to my 18 mile run, but the past couple weeks haven't been that magical. I'm going to just trust my training though and keep a positive outlook towards next week!

Any week before marathon tips? Since I'm running with 3 friends- one running her first 26.2 and two running their first 13.1, I feel like should be the helpful one, but I need to make sure I've got all my ducks in a row too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Umm...can you pick me up at the hospital?"

Okay, I wasn't quite dumb enough to open with that line when I called my husband because I didn't want to incite panic, but that was the general gist of it.

As y'all know, the weather has been crazy all over the south and today was more of it. I feel terrible for all the people who have lost loved ones or their homes by tornadoes the past couple weeks. There have been tornado sightings, but luckily no one in our county has been hurt.

By this evening though, all the tornado watches were off and it looked like a pretty, clear evening for a run. My husband even gave me his blessing- which I was surprised to receive.

I looped around town, dodged a few dogs, and was having a great time until I got about a mile from home and saw storm clouds billowing in the not-too-far-off distance. Normally, I'd just roll along and brace to get wet, but I knew that wasn't the very most responsible thing to do today.

So, I ducked in the nearest building- the hospital- and hunted around until I found someone who let me call my husband to come pick me up.

I felt like a teenager having to call home and admit they've been drinking, asking for forgiveness and a ride. Luckily, my husband played the role of the relieved parent- glad that I'd had chosen the responsible choice in the end. He picked me up out of the visitor's parking lot and I had to settle for 2.5 miles today.

Which leaves me with 2 days left in April and 10.5 miles to go to reach 100! I was already planning to do 5 on Saturday and I think I'll break tomorrow up into 2 short runs- one morning and one evening. (Does that still qualify as tapering?) I can't remember the last time I got 2 runs in one day, so make sure I follow through!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

101 in 1001 Progress

I finally got my 101 in 1001 list up in January and then I promptly got next to nothing on it done for the next 4 months.

The only tasks I've completed thus far are:
19. Finish the paper required for my graduation.
I put this off for months and months and months. I would work on it a little here and there, but finally I just got up at 5:00 am one morning and finished it before school. (I'm the most focused first thing in the morning.) Huge weight off my shoulders immediately.
34. Get a SLR camera.
Technically, the camera isn't in my possession just yet, but it's in the mail! I'm so thrilled that my husband got me a Canon Rebel XS for my birthday/graduation and will be teaching me to use it.
67. Plant flowers in front of house.
Ironically- the first thing on my list I accomplished because I didn't even remember I put it on the list. I'm actually pretty proud of how well my pansies have held up, but from the looks of them...

...it's about time to replace them with something that can tolerate the heat.

75. Attend Girls on the Run training.
Self explanatory.

I've started several of my other goals, but not enough that they're worth a paragraph yet. I'll, hopefully, be knocking out a lot in the next little bit though.

Hope to Complete in the Next Month
10. Run 100+ miles in one month. (86 miles this month as of 4/26/11)
1. Run another marathon.
13. Break 4:30 in a marathon.
16. Complete portfolio.
17. Finish my master’s degree.
68. Put something, anything on the walls in our bedroom.
74. Organize the second annual Farmers Market Run.
81. Coach a Girls on the Run team.

Hope to Start in the Next Month
4. Get back to my healthy weight.
6. Finally, finally complete the 30 Day Shred.
28. Read 50 Newbery books. (0/50)
33. Learn to use a camera beyond the automatic settings.
36. Learn to use photo-editing software.
78. Shop at the Farmers Market throughout the whole season.

That looks like a lot when I put it down on paper like that, but a lot of it is just finishing or starting something.

What are y'all going to get done in May?

(I was tickled to see that I reached 100 followers the last week and I am working on a 100 list...however I decided 100 facts about me would be too much to stomach, so I've got an idea I should roll out this week. Also, I'm ready to share my marathon goals soon too! I can't believe the race is only a week and a half away!!!!!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's my birthday and I smell like chlorine!

Is it really weird that I LOVE the smell of chlorine in my hair after a swim? It just reminds me that I was lucky enough to be swimming earlier.

I've got a whole pile of mess I want to blog about after a wonderful long Easter/birthday weekend with my family, but luckily I've got the whole week off and will have time to catch up on my blogging! (Remind me to tell you about the rabid possum that threatened to ruin our family's egg hunt.)

Hope all of y'all had a great Easter weekend too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break, More Water, Less Diet Coke

I realize that title doesn't make any sense.

I'm just too excited to finally be on spring break to think clearly! It's time. Things have been crazy lately.

Because of said craziness, I have been giving myself a pass on my ridiculous Diet Coke consumption. It kind of gotten out of hand though. I may, or may not, have realized with horror one evening this week that I had consumed 5 cans over the course of that day.

Besides the fact that that is just kind of sad, it also is limiting the amount of water I drink. Which is probably the culprit of the monster headache from last weekend.

So...since I've got a work break this week and I'm only two(!) assignments away from finishing my masters program, it's a good time to step away from the Diet Coke.

I'm pretty sure I'm not going cold turkey, so don't expect any miracle turnaround, but my recycling load will be much smaller this week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Headaches after long runs?

Quick question: Do any of y'all get headaches after long runs? I don't remember having this problem last training cycle, but it's been a routine the past few weeks.

I'll run in the morning, feel fine all day, and then out of nowhere get a headache about 9:00 pm. It happened several times in a row before I figured out the pattern. Mostly, they haven't been that bad.

Saturday evening though, after my rough 20 miler that morning, I got a headache that hit me hard. I took Tynenol PM and it knocked me out, but my head was still throbbing all day Sunday and even Monday morning.

I asked my good friend, Google, and he said I might not be hydrating enough. I drink a lot while I'm running but I guess I'm probably not drinking enough afterwards. (I'm definitely eating enough- so don't worry about that.)

What do y'all think? Have you ever had this problem?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Big 20. Warning: It wasn't pretty.

Last night, I prepared mentally and physically for my last long training run. My playlist was organized, my Garmin was charged, everything was good to go.

I wanted to get in at 4 miles before I met up with my two(!) running friends. I lollygagged over my oatmeal and then only had 25 minutes before meet-up time, in which I was determined to get in 3 miles. Which may have been stupid. I got in 3 in just over 26 minutes which is the fastest 3 consecutive miles I've ran in a while. (I'm really itching to train for a speedy 5K once I get through this marathon.)

The next 10 miles were fun, easy, carefree and filled with chatter with my two friends. We ducked inside my house once and the old McDonalds once to refill our water bottles. The weather was sketchy at a couple different points and we got completely drenched about mile 8 (their mile 5). I may have wimped out at that point if I had been by myself because I knew what wet socks/shoes were going to do to the rest of my run. We decided to keep rolling though.

After I dropped them off, I just had 7 left. Due in part to my speed shenanigans in the first 3 miles and in part to being soggy, it was kinda rough. I never doubted that I'd be able to finish, but it definitely was not kin to the euphoric 18 and 16 mile runs of past weeks. I was barely plodding along in the last two miles. (I really, really wanted someone to pass me on the sidewalk or roll down their car window and say, "Whoa. You look tired. How long you been running?" So I could say, "18 miles, but I've just got 2 left." I guess to justify how horrific I looked. It didn't happen.)

In any case, the beast has been slain! I'm so thrilled that I've made it through the roughest part of the marathon training uninjured and smiling. Now it's taper time! : )

Thursday, April 14, 2011

8 of 10's not too bad, right?

So, the alarm rang at 5:00 am this morning and I was up and going.

All my running mess was laid out with my long sleeve shirt t-shirt laid strategically on top so I could read, "Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard to find alloy called guts," off the back of the shirt. (Nothing like your ratty old shirt from track regionals junior year to get you motivated.)

I had a granola bar, geared up, and hit the road. It was all so exciting! It was dark! I was out when I shouldn't be! (Did I mention that my husband was not informed of this little adventure. I left a note on the counter in the unlikely event that he might wake up before I returned.) The streets were empty!

Well, that lasted about half a mile.

My body did not know what the heck was going on. It has never been summoned to run so early. (I've been up to drive to a race that early- but never actually running an hour before sunrise.) I was slow, tight, and not quite in the right mindset.

My second goal, after getting up and out the door, was running out to see the opening of the new McDonalds. (What else is there to see at 5 am on a Thursday? It just worked out so ironically perfect that my first early morning run ever coincided with the first morning of our town's second McDonalds opening. Because we really need another fast food restaurant for the most unhealthy county in the state, right?)

It wasn't that impressive. It was just a McDonalds. There was only one truck in the drive-through. I guess I expected a huge crowd lined up to be the first.

McDonalds aside, the first six miles were somewhat uninspiring. It wasn't miserable- just slow and kinda off. I had to stop and stretch a couple times and quickly realized 10 wasn't happening and decided to aim for 9.

Well, at about 6.5, things got ugly. I was going through downtown for the second time and my stomach suddenly brought me to a forced walk. I had to make a pit stop at the local gym and that put me further behind schedule.

After that, the sun was finally fully out and I actually felt good. By then, I only had enough time to finish 8, but considering the circumstances, I counted that as a good effort.

I didn't really feel any different throughout the day. No more or less energized, stressed, tired, or accomplished. My day was so packed though that I don't think any start could have made much of an impact.

So...the big question: Am I a morning running convert? Short answer- no. According to my 101 in 1001 list though, I've got 14 more times to try it out before I make up my mind though.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best-laid plans...

So, I was going to run 10 miles this afternoon. I had just enough time to squeeze it in. Then something came up and I had just enough time for 9. But something else came up and I could have squeezed in 6. Then... 4. Then... 3. Then, it wasn't even worth it.

I refuse to give up on this 10 though.

So it's happening in the morning. Which is a little nuts for me because I've never ran before work before. And this will be an 1.5 hour+ endeavor.

Oh well- it's gotta happen. And I'm jotting it here so y'all can hold me to it!

Ask for the report! Don't let me wuss out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Speed Versus Fun

Friday night I started wondering if I should have been knocking on wood about my long run love. I stayed up too late, was eating junk, and was worrying about 18 miles in the morning.

I slept a little later than I should have, letting me only get in 1 mile before picking up my half-marathon training friend (I need a whole post dedicated to how excited I am to have a running buddy here now!) and I wasn't feel the love yet then either.

A mile or two later though, I was good to go. The weather was perfect-cloudy and a little cool. I got up to 8 with my friend and then did the last 10 by myself. I had 4 Chocolate Outrage GUs, ran by several people I know around town (including one of my students!), didn't wander onto any movie sets, and just generally had fun.

Overall, I was around a 10:30 pace. I don't really worry too much about speed. I've got too many benchmarks to reach at work and in school without making my runs some kind of additional pressure or worry. I was feeling so good at mile 17 though that I decided to try and push it that last mile.

I kinda had that crazy running lady thing going on. I may or not have been whimpering, emitting other strange noises when I hit an 8:00 pace. I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open- which was a strange phenomenon I've never experienced while running. (Has that ever happened to any of y'all?)

It was fun. All of the sudden I missed speedwork.

I stretched and used The Stick afterwards and was barely sore at all. Felt fine yesterday. I'm starting to think I might have just a little untapped speed in me!

It's a little late in the training cycle to really turn this into serious speed training for May, but I do hope to improve on my last marathon time a little. I just don't want to focus too much on speed and make myself miserable if I don't reach my goals. I've got more than enough stress in my life without self-inflicting more.

You, speedsters. How do you work on speed and not make it a chore?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Yesterday, when I got home from school, I strapped on the Garmin, iPod, and fuel belt and headed out the door for 9. I didn't really have a specific route in mind but decided I'd start out towards downtown.

As I neared downtown, I saw a police car parked in the middle of the intersection and people standing around. I thought there was some kind of wreck, but since there were no ambulances and everyone looked pretty calm, I figured it was just a fender bender. I didn't want to rubberneck, so I didn't pay much attention to the cop or the other people standing there and just kept running by.

As I crossed the street though, I noticed there was a LOT going on up ahead- people standing around, cars, all this strange equipment. Before I got any further, an unfamiliar woman flagged me down and I stopped and pulled out one earbud.

"Could you run somewhere else?" she asked. "We're filming here."

And then, I realized- I just ran past multiple people, including the police officer, who must have tried to stop me... because I was running smack dab into a movie set and about to ruin a scene. I was so wrapped up in my own little running world with my iPod on that I completely forgot that downtown was blocked off for filming this afternoon.

I felt pretty dumb. And as soon as I was rerouted around the corner, it became pretty obvious what was going on. I can't believe I didn't notice- the whole street outside of filming was lined with flashy cars and I saw people who clearly thought they had fallen off the edge of civilization into nowheresville.

Of course, the obvious question is: Why on earth was any kind of movie filming here? (You might recall I live in a dot on the map over an hour from any dots big enough to even have a YMCA.) And this is a for real movie. (Blake Lively and Alec Baldwin are on the cast list but unfortunately do not appear in the scenes filmed here.)

The answer, of course, is that the movie is called, "Hick" and the setting is rural Nebraska in the 1980s.

Yep. This is where I live.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Girls on the Run!

We're about halfway through our training cycle with Girls on the Run and it's past time to give y'all an update.

First of all, if you're not familiar with the program, here are the basics:
  • Who: 3rd-5th grade girls
  • What: Training for a 5K and little games/learning activities/conversations to build self awareness, healthy habits, cooperation and teamwork skills
  • When: 2 sessions twice a week for 10 weeks
  • Started in 1993 in Charlotte, NC- programs in 44 states now

As the most unhealthy county in the state (unfortunately this week it was just verified that we have this ranking for the second year in a row), we need programs like this! I have been interested in Girls on the Run for a long time and suddenly the timing was right this spring.

It's not just about improving their physical health though- I love these girls and I desperately want for them to be confident that they can tackle whatever lies ahead. And if there's one thing I know to be true- running builds confidence.

Before I joined the cross country team in high school, running even a mile seemed like an almost impossible feat. But after weeks of training, I finished that first 3.1 mile race- conquering something I thought was out of reach. That moment expanded my idea of myself and what I could accomplish. That's what Girls on the Run is about: giving these girls a chance to achieve something that they think is unattainable, to strengthen them for all the opportunities and challenges that they will meet in their lives.

It literally makes me tear up thinking about it.

Of course, I tend to kind of romanticize ideas when they're rolling around in my head. When things play out in real life, however, there are kinks and bumps to work out out. Girls on the Run is no exception. If you're going to get 25 elementary school girls running together, there's going to be a certain amount of whining, "injuries," cliques, and fussing. I'm thrilled to report, however, that friendship, running, team spirit, and general girl power conquer all these things- both on a daily and weekly basis. Just over the few weeks we've been practicing, the girls increased their endurance and maturity and I cannot wait to see where we're at by race day!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I think I'm in love...

...with my long runs.

When I was marathon training last time, long runs were a huge, daunting challenge. A big question mark, because I didn't know what to expect and if I could make it.

This time, since I know my legs are capable of it, I don't fear double digit runs. I crave them. I'm ridiculously excited about them. Like having-running-dreams-the-night-before excited. Like popping-out-of-bed-unprompted-by-the-alarm-clock at 7:25 excited. Like running-around-(mostly)-giddy-for-2-hours-and-43-minutes excited.

It's ironic because I sometimes fail to muster up the enthusiasm or energy for even a 3 mile run on a week day. I guess it just doesn't have the same glamour.

16 miles down yesterday! I've got 5 and 9 during the week and then 18(!) on Saturday.

What does your week look like? Anybody else in love with the long run?

Friday, April 1, 2011

April To Dos

I can't decide if I'm eternally optimistic or forever naïve. It's not enough for me to have New Year's Resolutions and fail those. Each and every month, I really think this is going to be the month that I'm going to get it together/catch up/run more/organize everything/lose weight/eat healthier/cook more, etc.

Yeah, hasn't happened yet.

I'm trying to not set myself up for failure and really prioritize what I can/will accomplish this month. And let go of some of the guilt for the things that aren't happening just yet. (For example, my diet coke addiction is in full swing right now. I may, or may not, have had 5 cans one day this week. I know I need to cut back and perhaps cut out, but for right now, I've got bigger fish to fry.)

April To Dos
  • Finish planning Farmers Market Run (sponsors, t-shirts, promotion, logistics, etc.)
  • Keep my little Girls on the Run moving and almost ready for the 5K! (I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet. Remind me.)
  • Keep my fourth graders learning and almost ready for the EOG!
  • Finish my last graduate class.
  • Complete my graduate portfolio.
  • Drop a couple more pounds (but not stress when I don't completely get where I want to be.)
  • Finish off my marathon training. (16 miles tomorrow and I can't wait! I'm about to lay out all my running mess.)
  • Get our taxes done.
  • Keep up with church commitments (head usher and Sunday School this month, Session meeting, Circle meeting, committee meeting, shut in visitations, and Easter luncheon, which means figuring out how to make banana pudding for 50-60 people)
  • Prepare for my summative evaluation at school.
You see why I'm keeping the diet coke? (I don't do coffee.)

My reward if I get through all of this in the next 22 days will be...
  • Easter with my family!
  • Spring Break!
  • May- which means... my marathon, graduation, the Farmers Market Run (my Girls on the Run race), EOGs, and summer around the corner!
Once I get through these two crazy months, I'm think it will be easier to focus on all those other maintenance goals. I really like Sue Mac's idea of one focus a month.

What are y'all focusing on this month?