Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I know some pretty awesome people

I’m incredibly lucky.  I have a wonderful family who supports me in everything I do.  I also have some amazing friends and co-worker BFFs.  The last two years of running has been a rollercoaster journey.  I’m glad I’ve had these people in my corner rooting for me.  They’ve seen me at my best and at my worst.  They cried when I cried last year when I hurt my hip, and they helped me celebrate PR milestones.  I’m so grateful.  They all make me smile, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

My parents taught me to dream big.  They’ve supported me in every adventure I’ve embarked on.  They never missed a sporting event in high school, and no matter how rough of a game I had, they told me I did my best.  I always wanted to work hard and make them proud.  My mom has been to several of my races to drive me, take pictures, hold my bags, and cheer me on.  I’m so glad she’ll be with me on Saturday.  I joke that it’s so I have an emergency contact present in case things don’t go well… but really, it’s for the calming support.

I have a great friend I met through the YMCA who has ran the Brookings Marathon before.  She got me a card and some awesome gifts.  Her advice and support have meant so much to me throughout this entire training!

I love my job, but it has its days… In the nature of the financial aid business, you don’t always get to be the “good guy”.  People aren’t always nice to you, and you don’t always get to make everyone’s day all warm and fuzzy.  The reason I love it is truly because of the people I work with.  They’ve been my family for almost seven years now.  I’ve spent more time with them over the past 6 ½ years than I have my biological family.  This card makes me smile.  And my favorite coffee as a good luck gift!  Mocha Mint is way out of season and hard find, so I almost jumped out of my chair with excitement when Ang delivered this to me this afternoon!

Ben doesn’t really understand my running obsession, but he’s been there for the entire ride.  We started dating in March 2011, and I ran my first race ever that June.  He was at the finish line for my first half marathon in Lincoln in 2012, and I was so happy to see him.  He’s really the one that deserves the medal out of all of this.  He’s put up with me when I’ve been injured, when I can’t get out and run, when I can and have a bad one, when I’m freaking out with pre-race anxiety.  He deals with it all.  Sometimes I think his success is due to selective listening… But I’m so grateful none the less.  I know I could never date another runner, it’s best he is not so he can keep me sane!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Do you believe in magic?

I've never been one to really look for luck or signs before a race, or before anything really.  In high school I would get slightly superstitious before basketball games.  If some food or some activity before the game led to me having a good game, I would usually try it again.  I had my special number in high school that I was convinced brought me luck.  I had to have the number 21 on my jersey.  Granted, our home white jerseys were even numbered... but this was my special number.  I've pinned on countless bibs with all sorts of numbers on them, but I've never actually looked at them.  I've never really thought about a bib number having any sort of symbolism.  Until this year...

I mentioned in this post when I first signed up for Brookings I was convinced that 5/3/14 would be my lucky day.  May 3, 2014 would have been my Grandma's 81st birthday, so running my 1st marathon on this day is incredibly special to me.  I 100% believe in the stuff you see on "Long Island Medium" (I'm OBSESSED with her BTW)  I believe that our loved ones who have passed send us signs and communicate with us in many different ways that we can sometimes overlook.  But if you really think about them, and look deeper, you'll be surprised at what you will find.

My bib from my first race this year, the 5 miler in Wisner.  I never really looked at it until now, but we have the 5/3 going on.

The 8 in the bibs means something different.  Ben lost his first cousin, and best friend, in a motorcycle accident last summer.  One of Kyle's friends spoke to a medium a few months ago.  The medium said he's with a close relative and what does the number 8 mean?  Ben's favorite number has always been 8, and it was his jersey number in football and baseball all throughout high school.  So this bib was extra lucky, 5/3, 8, and 5+3=8.  I had a great race, a 5 mile PR, and placed first in my age group, second overall.

Second bib of the year, the 5K in town that I ran casually a few weekends ago.  Again, 5/3 is present by adding the last two numbers.  The three numbers total to 8.

My bib number in Brookings is 143.  Call me a crazy fruit loop for looking so deep into this, but obviously there is 5/3 again with addition.  The 14 shows me my Grandpa, who passed away last November on the 14th.  And last but not least, the numbers again total to 8.

Regardless if next Saturday really is my lucky day or not, I know for a fact I have three angels rooting for me.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Workout Recap 4/21 - 4/27

Another week that just flew by.  I say this every week, but honestly, time is flying, and I'm ok with that!  Bring on next weekend!  I had Monday off to observe Easter.  I'm lucky my job gives both Friday and Monday off for the Easter week.  It was a MUCH needed four day weekend.

Monday - Boston Marathon Monday!!  I got up and headed out for my run before the crazy wind picked up.  5 miles, I don't remember by exact average pace, but it wasn't blazing or anything.  Just an easy run.  I went to the Y for some light cardio on the elliptical and a few upper body weights and then hit the 9:30 CXWORX class.  I came home and showered and watched the feed of the Boston Marathon!  I missed the women's finish, but watched Meb's finish live.  INCREDIBLE!  Watching the marathon and seeing my Instagram feed LOADED with blue and yellow made me dream of Boston.  Someday!

Tuesday - 6 miles, 8:33 avg.  Nothing special here!

Wednesday - CXWORX at noon and Body Pump after work.  I hadn't taken a full pump class in several weeks, and this one kicked my tail!  It felt great to be dripping with sweat in Body Pump, normally I don't sweat that much in that class!

Thursday - 5 miles in the wind.  This was so rough.  My legs were a little tired from pump the night before, but the wind really did a number on my lungs.  I just couldn't get in a breathing rhythm.  This NEVER happens to me when I run.  Normally my legs give out long before my lungs even think about being tired.  It was a weird run, and I felt really out of shape.  Anyway, it got done.

Friday - REST.  Finally got my custom orthotics from the foot doc.  I'll be trying those out for running once the marathon is over.  Hopefully that will help out with some of my many issues!

Saturday - 10 miles.  Last long run.  Well, sort of long.  It felt really strange to think that was the last Saturday I HAVE to get up and run X miles at home for awhile.  I think I will enjoy the change of pace for a bit, but I know I won't be out of training for long.

Sunday - Elliptical and upper body weights at the Y.  Pretty easy, nothing exciting, just something to get my legs moving.

Bring on taper week... Besides running and working out, I really don't have any other hobbies.  Watch out world, this could be a rough one!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Secret Goals

Ever since I got serious about racing, I’ve always had a “secret goal” time for each race.  Some I’ve hit, some I haven’t.  I’m never public with the specific goal before the race for a lot of reasons.  It’s not that I’m scared of public failure, but there is so much to celebrate with each race, that regardless of time, it should be about celebration rather than disappointment.

My marathon goal last fall carried over to this spring.  I feel 1000 times more confident in my abilities now than I did last August before I hurt my hip.  But the reality is regardless of how confident training runs have made me, I’ve never ran 26.2 miles, and a lot can happen.  That said, the reason I am confident is my consistency.  I’ve never really been all of the board with long run or half marathon paces, I’m pretty darn consistent.  The first four half marathons of 2013 were all 1:47s, two of which were 1:47:14.  I think it’s crazy to run two halves in the same year with the finish time matching down to the SECOND.  My long run paces have been consistent this spring as well.  Some days are slightly faster than others, but temps and wind have played some factor.
I made a secret goal before my first 15K last fall.  I’d never ran a 15K race before, and it was an afternoon race.  I had no idea what to expect or how my body would respond.  I hit my goal, and felt amazing.  I felt disappointment after a couple of my half marathons last year when I didn’t hit my goal.  I think the 13.1 distance comes with more pressure now.  I know exactly what I want and what I’m capable of, and don’t want to come up short.  Maybe the secret to secret goal success is that unknown distance… no pressure, just determination to do the best I possibly can.

In exciting news, I received my bib number for the marathon today!  I can’t believe one week from now I’ll be hitting the road and spending my last night prepping for the race.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marathon Countdown

9 DAYS!!!!!

This means the 10-day extended forecast for Brookings is available, and I'll probably be stalking it.  Right now it looks perfect, but lots can change.  I'm praying hard and crossing every finger and toe that the weather holds out!

Last night I started making my carb loading menu and planning snacks for next week.  I love carbs, so eating lots for 3 days will be awesome.

I went to my last Body Pump class before the race last night.  I hadn't been to a full class in awhile, and it kicked my butt.  I love the strength I've gained from getting back into pump on a semi-regular basis.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I'd get here.  I expected something to go wrong and have this race flop like Sioux Falls.  The reality has finally sank in, and I'm so excited.  I know it's going to hurt, and be a huge challenge, but I'm ready to face it head on.  I've been waiting since last September for the chance to step to that starting line, and I'm finally getting that chance.

I need some strategies to "KEEP CALM"!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


10 Days until the marathon!!!!!!!

I don't understand why wind exists.  Rain, snow, sun, all seem important for life, but wind has NO purpose.  Please go away.

Ben decided to try some of MY Quest Bars... not cool.  I bought him some of his own, a variety to try.  Paws off my Double Chocolate Chunk!

I'm REALLY focusing on nutrition these last two weeks.  I had been eating like crap, and I was feeling it.  I raided my cabinets and threw away a lot of junk I had hanging around.  I've eaten the same meal the last two nights... Turkey breast, sweet potato, and salad.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't part with my Gushers.  Hey, it's a serving of fruit right?  No?

Thought of the week:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Workout Recap + Last Long Run!!!

We had another crazy weather week.... shocker.  Snow, wind, cold.  Mother Nature better get her poop in a group ASAP so everyone racing these next few weeks won't suffer!

Monday - CXWORX at noon and 8 miles after work.  That was my last mid-distance week day run.  All these lasts... I'm ok with that!

Tuesday - Cross training daaaaay.  Body Pump Express and some elliptical and arc trainer magic.

Wednesday - 5 miles on the treadmill and Jillian Michaels.  This was a toughy.  I wasn't thrilled about the idea of running on the treadmill, call me a paranoid FREAK.  Things tend to hurt after a treadmill run, and I can't handle that right now!  The run went ok, but it kicked my butt.  I posted earlier in the week about this work and my lack of speed training lately.  It showed.

Thursday - 6 miles.  My watch emergency really through this run for a loop.  No pun intended...  I stood in my driveway for a solid 10 minutes looking for the signal.  I gave up and quickly downloaded the Nike+ Running app on my phone.  It worked pretty slick.  I'm probably sounding like I'm from 1990 when I say I'd never used it before.  I have the Nike + on my iPod for treadmill runs, but I'd never used the GPS form outside.  I liked that it paused automatically when I was stuck waiting to cross the street.  I ran my normal 6 mile route, and the GPS was spot on.  I thought maybe it was telling me I was running a little fast.

Spoiler alert, my watch is fine.  I plugged it in and it had a software update.  It's linking up like a pro again!

Friday - REST.  Well, I went shopping, I think that's a workout in itself!

Saturday - 20 freakin' fantastic miles.  Last long run done!  To be perfectly honest, this was the first time I honestly felt like I CAN run a marathon.  Before this, I really wasn't too sure how I was going to survive those last 6 miles.  Now my focus is recovering from this run properly, and TAPERING!!!!!

I made this run the best dress rehearsal I could with fueling and gear.  I picked up a shirt and shorts to race in, hopefully the weather allows me to wear it!  I feel very relieved that this aspect of training is complete.  The biggest hurdle now is to keep my body feeling good these last two weeks.  I'm focusing on not eating so much crap (problem lately), getting plenty of sleep, and just thinking positive thoughts!

Tomorrow might involve some recovery miles, but otherwise it's all about Easter with the fam!  Have a great one!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Missing Speed

Last night I knocked out my last run with any speed work in the marathon training cycle.  Truth be told, I hadn’t done much lately, and I could tell.  I’ve been in body preservation mode the past few weeks.  I’ve had random pains in my feet and hips, so I’ve played it as safe as possible.  I’ve ran hills, but not as many as I should, and speed work has been pretty non-existent.  Oops.
I managed 5 miles, all on the treadmill, and it was rough.  I have some lofty goals for fall racing, and I know once my marathon recovery period is over, speed is back on the FRONT burner.

 HELLO SUPER SWEATY SELF... yikes.  Proof that I worked hard.

Finished off with some Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  Level One because I was wiped out anyway.

My goals be like:
Sub 1:40 half…. I want this BAD!
10K PR… preferably sub 46.

I’ll work towards this by:
Speed work.  Duh.  Track and treadmill.
More strength training incorporating HIIT.

On a random note, I finally purchased KT Tape PRO as opposed to the cotton basic version.  GET. THE. PRO!  Much better!  It stays put.

Another random, my delicious breakfast for supper last night.  Egg beaters, turkey sausage, low fat Eggos, PB2, half banana, and sugar free syrup.  Can't beat that!

Off for an evening run, rest day tomorrow, and last long run on Saturday!
16 days until Brookings!