Don’t Get Too Excited.

Oh hey. Long time no talk! If you still follow me on twitter or Instagram, first of all, awwww, thanks :) And secondly, you may or may not know that I finally succeeded in running a marathon. Actually, I’ve run two in the last year and had some success with it, which comes as a slight shock. But, more on that (maybe?) later.

Anyway, I’ve decided to chase 26.2 again, this time in Vancouver on May 3. Rather than simply following the Smart Coach plans I have in the past, I’ve decided to hire a coach. I figure, if I’m able to run a 3:24:51 without any coaching, I’d love to see what I can do with professional guidance!

IMG_3535

I feel like this is kind of a noteworthy thing in my life, so I want to have a record of it, hence the “out of retirement” thing. Don’t get too excited.

Here’s the very condensed Reader’s Digest version of what’s been going on in my running life since we last talked. I’ll give you bullet points because we really do not have all day here.

  • I began seeing a physical therapist in the Fall of 2013 and had some success there. She helped get my back and glutes stronger, and by February 2014, I was pretty much pain free. Party.
  • In January 2014, I ran the Celebration Marathon with Paula and Michelle, and it was painful. I hadn’t trained and that damn Florida humidity tried to kill me. Also, my old knee pain came back around mile 9 and was fairly excruciating. So that was fun. I finished in around 1:45 or so and could barely walk.1533781_10151954777251902_766654416_n
  • Because that race went so well, I figured I’d go ahead and train for double that distance. #logic I ran the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in DC last March on 6 weeks of training and finished in 3:38:06. It was basically my most favoritest race ever, and I was stupid happy the whole time. Well, maybe not the last 4 miles which consisted of rolling hills and heard me yelling (literally) obscenities as I crested each one and saw a new one approaching. Still. Loved it.race1
  • Continued running a bit for the next few months and decided to register for Chicago 2014. As I worked on building my base for that, the old back/glute pain came back, so I started going to a new PT closer to my apartment (because of course I moved yet again). He’s done wonders for me. Maybe I’ll write about that at some point, too.
  • I trained for Chicago through the end of summer and early fall, and it was fantastic. I just felt great all the time, was fueling well, strength training, and generally in top shape. Had an amazing race. Again, stupid happy. Apparently, this is my default state when I race the marathon.10979702_1547137235537930_1846208414_n
  • And, finally, I can’t recap the last almost 2 years without mentioning that I got a blister during Chicago which then got infected which then caused me to go into septic shock and spend 6 days in the hospital. They stored me in the oncology ward since apparently infectious diseases doesn’t get its own area. After I was released, I realized there’s a 60% mortality rate for what I had. Close call.

I’m sure I’m glossing over lots, but I guess we’re all up to speed now!

Time to Take It Offline

Hi friends!

I write today with somewhat bittersweet news: this will be my last post.

I’ve loved blogging the last 2 1/2 years, but lately it’s lost its sparkle for me. I feel like I have so much less to say, so much less to share, and I think it’s due in large part to the fact that I’m in a place of acceptance, familiarity, and ease. When I started this blog, it was because I didn’t feel like I knew myself. I wasn’t sure of my likes, my passions, my interests. I was a truly unhappy person, and it makes me sad to think of how long I lived like that. Now, I’m comfortable with who I am. Even if other people don’t like that person, I’m ok with it because I do like her.

No, life isn’t perfect. I’m sure it never will be. And honestly, nothing really has changed. Regardless of where I live or how I earn my money or who happens to be in my life, I’m still the same me. The main difference is that I look for the good and the fun and the positives rather than being bogged down by negativity. I’m confident in my ability to handle whatever comes my way, and I know with absolute certainty that no matter what happens–how fast I run or how much I weigh or who I’m dating or who does or doesn’t want to be my friend–I’ll be ok. I know that I’ll never really finish working on myself and that I really don’t want to. There is always always room for improvement, and I’m sure I’ll never quit chasing ways to be better.

I’ve learned these things through running, writing, and the many online friendships I’ve made through my blog, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Now it’s time to take my life offline and just live.

I’ll still be around on Twitter and Instagram, so I hope to keep in touch in some capacity.

Thank you thank you thank you for being such wonderful friends! XO

Supergirls!

I made you a workout video. Well, kinda.

{I am so embarrassing.}

OK, so here’s what’s behind this. I do all kinds of HIIT workouts all the time with weird moves that I can’t really describe. The Daily HIIT website is my go-to, but it’s not super easy to navigate or find a video of the exact move I want to share with you. So all the credit goes to them for the idea, but I made my own little video because a). I’m a total dork and b). I really want people to try this stuff, but I know it’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on on that site.

Moving on.

As mentioned in the video, I’m trying to strengthen my hips and back for running so I don’t get injured again. I realize that I’m not going to spot-strengthen anything, so strengthening everything is the name of the game. This move–the “supergirl”–is a single leg squat to single leg deadlift. Ish. It’s tough because it not only requires strength, but balance as well. The thing I’ve noticed, though, is that when you have to balance, it’s great for that overall strengthening piece. This move will work quads, hamstrings, hips, back, ankles, etc. It’s one stop shopping.

The other thing to note about this: it’s hard. You will wobble. You might fall. I am not an expert, so attempt at your own risk and please try not to hurt yourself. I’d start with no weight or even with light dumbbells until you get the hang of it. Let me know what you think!

Also: is this helpful? Do you like my barely amateur/non-existent video production skills? Should I quit embarrassing myself and never make a video again? Or should I quit my job and become the next Jane Fonda?

Currently.

1. Listening.

photo

I was just thinking a couple weeks ago that I hadn’t heard any great summer songs yet. Then this popped up on the radio almost immediately, and I can’t get enough. Happy making.

2. Wearing.

Mildly obsessed with these tinted lip balms. I have no idea why I waited so long to hop on this bandwagon, but I’m quite confident it will only be a matter of time before I own the entire collection. So much goodness. Sheer color so you’re fancier than old-fashioned Chapstick and feel like a real grown up. Yep.

3. Sporting.

photo

Yes, I shop at H&M and totes purchased and am sporting this fluorescent skirt ($12.95) and screen printed tiger tank ($5.95). My inner 13 year old loves it. Who am I kidding? My inner 33 year old does, too.

4. Drinking.

Still can’t get enough kombucha. Manfriend showed up with a case of it the other night (buy one, get one free at Whole Foods!). He gets me.

5. Eating.

Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with curry. Israeli couscous. Pinenuts. Basil. Lemon. #vegan ;) Seriously could not stop eating this. I wound up eating the leftovers cold over a bed of spinach for added greenness. So yum.

6. Reading.

OK, so it’s not the book in the picture, but how cute is my dog?!? Anyway, it’s Fortune’s Rocks time! I’ve mentioned it before, but I read this book every year around the summer solstice (since that’s when it takes place). If you haven’t read this book, please do. It’s one of my very favorite, most beloved books ever. I want to hug it. For serious.

7. Sweating.

HIIT TabataMore Daily HIIT butt kicking! Loving lots of tabata/interval workouts the last couple of weeks. I’m still running, but far fewer miles. This workout leaves me dripping with sweat, challenged, and only takes 17 minutes! It’s good to feel like I’m getting some of my strength and muscle tone back, too.

Training to Run a Half Marathon PR

You guys.

You need to read this article about training to run a half marathon PR.

OK–maybe those of you who don’t run don’t want to read it.

But! The rest of you: READ IT.

I, for one, am completely smitten by it and immediately want to find another half to train for so I can implement these ideas because I’m a super nerdy runner like that.

So this all started because I came across this article and started rambling to Manfriend about it via gchat.

Manfriend is not a runner.

He’s plenty athletic (he plays all the sports), but my running rambles got stale for him pretty quickly. It was basically this scenario:

It’s Not About the Nail from Jason Headley on Vimeo.

So. I reverted to my usual first reaction: emailing this lady, obvi. But I wanted to talk about it MOAR. And here we are.

My favoritest parts of this read include, but are not limited to:

  1. Long Runs. I wonder if adding a 2 hour run every week would help build aerobic capacity long term? Or does this just work during training and require downtime (ie., non-training time) to be effective?
  2. Strides! Why am I not doing these? I don’t know why I never do strides, but I should, especially given that they take almost no time and very little effort. Same with incorporating fartleks. I used to do intervals fairly regularly, but almost never do now. At least not running intervals. HIIT is a different story.
  3. Hills. I know running uphill is great for training, but what about downhill? The part about running downhill and strengthening quads is so smart, especially for a course like the one I just ran, which is a very gradual downhill course.
  4. Lactate Thresholds.  Funny, I was just talking to my co-worker (who used to be a rower) about this. Apparently, you reach a point in your workout where you start producing lactic acid (you know, the part that really hurts), and you can’t push yourself any further. Your body literally starts to break down. (Yes, literally). I think it’s interesting that you can increase it, though. I want to do that!
  5. Last Miles = Fast Miles. I know you’re supposed to pick up the pace at the end of long runs, but I always go out too fast and then get tired. If I could pace myself better, I know this would help me.

Anyway, the article is written by Greg Strosaker who is a marathon runner, author, and online running coach. I was pretty impressed with the quick look I took around his site. Definitely worth a follow.

Suffering Through My Own Stupidity

Often occasionally, I’m not very smart. 

Example: I typically forget I have asthma until I’m wheezing and feeling like I’m drowning in the heat and humidity. This may or may not have happened at last weekend’s race.

Example 2: Sometimes I don’t exactly pay attention when my body is sending me signals that something’s not right. Case in point: a week or so before the race, I woke up seeing halos which I know is a symptom of a migraine. Basically, you see spots of light that follow your line of vision and only go away when you close your eyes. It’s a little disorienting, but not the end of the world. However, if you don’t know what’s happening, it’s freaky as hell. As luck would have it, it’s happened to me before, so I didn’t give it much thought. Plus, it went away after 30 minutes or so–not a big deal then, right? I had also gotten a pretty poor night’s sleep the night before, so I assumed that it might be related to that, took some ibuprofen for my lingering headache, and got on with my day. Read: I forgot about it, even thought halos + headache = migraine symptoms. Duh.

In my defense (of me to me?), I didn’t have any other symptoms the rest of the week. No headaches, no auras, no halos. So when I arrived in Morgantown on Friday night with a wicked headache, I assumed it was just because I needed to eat. When that didn’t work, I figured sleep would take care of it. If I had thought to pack ibuprofen, I probably would’ve taken that, but I didn’t, so I went to sleep.

Even when the intensity of the headache woke me up later that night, even when I spent an hour vomiting, even when I was feverish and miserable, it never once crossed my mind that I might have a migraine.

That morning, the headache was much better and the nausea had substantially subsided, so I thought it was just a fluke thing–maybe something I ate.

Finally, two and a half days later, I realized that it was a migraine (duh). Had I paid better attention, I could’ve just taken some precautions (Excedrin Migraine as soon as the symptoms start usually works for me) and avoided the whole thing.

Ugh. Life.

Life and Stuff

This post is, at best, moderately interesting, but I feel like I haven’t talked about much of interest lately, so I figured a random mash up of things on my mind wouldn’t hurt. It’s just, you know, life stuff.

1. I now take the Metro (DC’s version of the Subway) to work. Somehow, I just kept my head down on the bus and paid as little attention as possible to the people around me. This is not the case on Metro. For one, I’m underground so my phone doesn’t work. For another, I’d get too motion sick trying to read anything. This leaves one choice remaining: people watching. I am alternately appalled and fascinated by the things I see.  Like the Patrick Swayze doppelganger? Truly remarkable. But the number of grown, adult, professional women going to work with their hair wet? Appalling. I know. I’m awful.

cantbegood

2. I know a lot of people think the Before Sunrise and Before Sunset movies are ridiculous and pretentious, but I just love them. So  romantical. But, like, real life romance, you know? Anyway, I came across this list of An A-to-Z Guide to Celine and Jesse’s Conversations in Before Sunrise and Before Sunsetand I love love love it. Like really really love. I know. I’m so descriptive.

3. Today I had a (vegan) Baked Falafel and Chickpea salad from Sweetgreen for lunch, and it was omgdelicous. I’m already scheming about how I’ll recreate it at home. Or hijack the Sweetgreen folks for the recipe.

Chic P

4. It is a great aspiration of mine to have a fantastic self-tan that is more  Jennifer Aniston than Kardashian on the spectrum. I’ve always been a fair, freckly girl, so an actual tan has never been a real possibility for me. I hated this as a teen, but the fact that I will (probably) ultimately have fewer wrinkles because of it makes me happy now. Anyway,  I recently picked up some St. Tropez bronzing spray at Sephora, and while I occasionally find myself weeping over the exorbitant price tag, I am mostly totally and completely smitten. It’s golden and natural and lovely.

st tropez bronzing spray

5. I tried a not-to-be named brand of kombucha in a can the other day. You know by now that I am a confirmed kombucha lover and find its puckery-ness delightful, but this variety? Was like straight vinegar. I’m typically too cheap to waste anything and pour it down the drain, but this stuff was so awful that I couldn’t even make my thrifty self drink it. Kids: just say “NO!” to mini cans of kombucha.

6. D.C. has decided it’s cold, and I don’t know–March? so we’re having a lot of cold and wind happening this Memorial Day weekend. It is, however, somewhat fun to think that a year ago I had just moved here and was running around making a spectacle of myself. Seriously, though, this year has gone by so quickly and so slowly all at once. I daresay it’s been one of my best yet. Apparently, I dig my 30s.