Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving & Humble Pie

I checked the blog to make some layout changes earlier today and realized that the last time I posted was October 11th. Well....whoops. Suffice it to say, work has been absolutely ridiculous. Sworn in October 4th and then BOOM, immediately in the deep end. It started out harmless enough, and then somehow within the last 3-4 weeks I've been working 11 hour days Monday through Friday and Sunday afternoons.

Ron, thoughts?

Last time I posted, I was still "Undecided" about the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon. Suffice it to say, I made a decision: I did not run. It was one of those things where I knew there was only one right choice, but it didn't make it any easier. I've never quit a race I entered or failed to finish one that I started. I sold my bib to a friend who wanted to run, so at least it didn't go to waste. Still, it was a big, steaming slice of humble pie that was very difficult for me to choke down.

Since then, my running has been minimal at best. The first week or two I was working this schedule I was absolutely wiped out once I got home. I can't express how hard it is to be a newlywed, let alone a runner, when you work 8-7 and fall asleep on the couch at 9:30. No, I'm not exaggerating....that's really how it was. Very very unglamorous.

Sleepy Puppy, Sleepy Mom

Never fear, however, because I'm finally back in the groove. I'm finally starting to get the schedule under control - or at least being more comfortable with it - and working exercise into the routine. At first I felt really guilty for leaving work at 7 and going to the gym for an hour: I have a husband and a puppy at home who miss me so much and I'm going to further delay my arrival? After the first day or two though it started making sense: workout after work, stay up later and enjoy more quality family time (and be a nicer person around said family). We're still adjusting, but it's been really enjoyable having an hour to "detox" from work before I come home.

The rebirth of the Runner-Me couldn't have come at a better time! Last week marked the beginning of the 2012 Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. Last year was my first experience with the Challenge and it gave me the kickstart I needed to stay honest and motivated over the holiday (Read my turkey day wrap up from LAST year here!). The challenge is exactly what I needed to get me back in the habit of exercising and generally being good to my body (which I've not done at all lately).

Like most people, Thanksgiving is a real test of both my willpower and predisposition towards Gluttony. One of my favorite traditions for years now is participating in a Turkey Trot. I used to run by myself at my local Y but now that we spend the Feast Weekend with Josh's family, we've joined in on their fun. The Boston Marathon it is not, but it is a lot of fun and an awesome excuse to wear a ridiculous hat.

Much to my family's embarrassment, I wore the hat the whole way!
We ran 10:09 min/miles which is better than I could've asked for considering my complete lack of preparation, minimal water intake the day before, and lack of breakfast or fuel. Not too shabby.

So what's on the docket for this week? Trying to earn those coveted HBBC points of course! First and foremost though my main goal is DRINK MORE WATER. I've been indulging in too much soda and coffee to get me through the day rather than giving my body proper hydration. To fix that, I've packed several small water bottles and removed all the soda-machine change from my bag. Bring it on, Monday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday Quick Hits

After catching up on your blogs I felt sad about my poor inert status. So, since I only have 20 minutes before I have to be in court, here are some quick hits:

  • I passed the bar exam! It was super dramatic (Josh & I were in a bank opening our joint account when we found out on our iphones). I was a ridiculous mix of relieved and overwhelmed. Thank God I don't have to do that again
  • Along those lines, I got sworn in as a member of the Kentucky Bar! Not just me, but Josh too. As of last Thursday we're both Attorneys and I'm an Assistant Public Defender and he's a Jefferson County Prosecutor. We're a sitcom waiting to happen.
  • My back is back to 100%. Once I realized that I needed ice not heat, it healed really quickly. Talk about feeling like an idiot. Oh well, hindsight and all that
  • With my back "back" in gear, I continued with my training for the Nov. 3 LSC Half Marathon. It's more difficult than I thought to get back in the habit of running 4 days a week, but not unpleasant
  • A lot of my runs lately are run/walks with the puppy. I say puppy, but at 7 months old she has a level of strength and endurance that is astonishing. She loves to go for runs with me and gladly lets me take my walk breaks. I've found a lot of joy in taking her after I know she's been cooped up in her crate all day.
  • Did my first "long run" Saturday and made it 6 miles! Can't tell you how happy I am about this since my last "Long" run was a 5 miler before the wedding (so....back in August). I took walk breaks every five minutes for thirty seconds and felt strong and comfortable at the end. 
  • I"m still undecided about this half Marathon next month. My work schedule is starting to pick up and I'm just exhausted when I get home at night. I think if I do run it I'm going to have to seriously reevaluate my goals. Not a bad thing, just something to think about. 
So that's what's been up with me - What about you?!

Happy Running!

Monday, September 24, 2012

So that's what that feels like

More often than not, when I take time off from running my first run back is a complete disaster. For instance, you may recall this lovely little run a few weeks back:

That first run after time off usually feels as awkward, exhausting and just plain weird as it can get. Add to that the fact that I haven't taken more than one full week off from running since....well, I don't know, and you can understand why I was a little apprehensive about resuming training this week.

Josh went for his run first and I stayed with the puppy and the whole time I thought "ugh, this could be bad." What feeble attempts at running I've had in the last 3 weeks have been just that, feeble. Nonetheless, I laced up my shoes and headed out the front door as soon as Josh came in the back.

What I got? A beautiful run! The weather was perfect and my legs steady and overall it just felt like a lovely little afternoon trot.

Despite today's awesome effort, I'm feeling more and more unsure about this November 3rd half Marathon. Last week I had an appointment with my friendly Sports Doc. and got both good and bad news.
Good: my back is just a bad muscle pull. He gave me some exercises (that I was already doing) and prescribed a muscle relaxer. Unfortunately, you can't drive or really do anything while taking said prescription, so I haven't even had it filled. We'll see how long this "hold out" lasts. Two weeks later and my lower back is still one big ball of OUCH 
Bad: I finally got my knee looked at. While he could definitely feel the swelling and tell there were differences between my legs/knees, he couldn't figure out the cause. Luckily none of the ligaments or muscles appear torn and the structure of my knee is intact. Unfortunately, he wants me to get an MRI. With work the way it is, the likelihood of me actually getting said MRI before Veterans Day is unlikely. On a positive note, he didn't give me any restrictions - manage the pain as best I can and just don't do anything more than what I've been doing. Since "Marathon" is on my list of "recent physical activities" I'm pretty sure I'm cleared for anything

So in light of these most recent developments, I've basically scrapped my original training plan. Lucky for me there was a great article in the August issue of RunnersWorld (I'm a bit behind!) tailored for just this situation. You can find the article here and while it's listed under the Beginners section, I think it's applicable for just about anybody. So in accordance with their advice and my desire to actually heal, here's the plan for the week:

Monday - Check! Tuesday, I'm coming for you next!

Have you ever taken a significant amount of time off? How did you recover?

Happy Running!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Setbacks

Sometimes life hands you lemons and you make some lemonade. Then there are times when life hands you a triple fudge sundae with nuts, caramel AND a cherry on top and you just eat the damn thing and ignore the consequences. September, it seems, has given me both of these.

September started off with my triple fudge sundae - I got married! The event we'd been waiting for these last 16 months finally came to pass and it was wonderful. Hurricane Isaac's threat to ruin the entire (outdoor based) day, but ended up causing nothing more than a very stressful week and a little bit of mud. We had a blast, the Cards beat Kentucky, and I'm now officially a Mrs.

Best of all, the morning of the wedding my mom and I got to put aside all of the craziness and do what we love to do: go walking. The rain kept us out of our favorite park, but we headed to the mall and churned out three mindless miles. We talked about so many random things and window shopped and laughed. After what was a pretty stressful lead-up to the wedding, this was a great start to the day. For those of you who don't know, my mom got me into running initially. When my weight started to get out of control back in college she and my grandfather started making me walk with them on Saturdays. What started as a (somewhat) painful chore became two marathons and five half-marathons. Walking with mom on my wedding day was an amazing way to reconnect to that memory, and to honor both our relationship and my grandfather at the same time.

However, one thing got sacrificed for the good of the wedding (and the honeymoon that followed): my training plan. There are 2-3 weeks that are just blank on my calendar. Does this bother me? Yeah, it does. I'm a type-a runner girl and it annoys me to have stretches without training before a race. Will I get over it? Absolutely. I'm glad I was able to put aside my often neurotic need to run in order to enjoy the occasion. When life hands you the perfect sundae, you don't stop and worry about how it will effect your waist line, you eat!

Top Left-right: in front of the Shedd Aquarium, On the Willis Tower Skydeck
Bottom Left-Right: with the Lions of Tsavo @ the Field Museum & dinner @ the Capital Grille
September has also brought some damn lemons my way. Last week during volleyball my back started getting super tight. Sometimes I get lazy and don't really bend my knees when I play (whoops!) and end up stretching my back out. Usually the soreness goes away after a day. Not this time. Within 3 hours of playing my back was totally locked up and any bending was searing, needle-like pain. Slowly over the week with the help of a good heating-pad and lots of Motrin things started to ease up. Thursday morning I felt good enough to take Ellie for a walk before work and a nice 2.4 miler afterwards. Unfortunately Friday was back to square one.

I've never had a back injury so this is all new to me. I have no idea whether to stretch or heat or ice or immobilize or what. I have no way of knowing whether it's a strain, sprain, or what. Unfortunately, a visit to the doctor is almost completely out of the question since I just took a week of unauthorized time for my honeymoon (worth it!). I'm hoping that more Motrin, some light stretching and heat heat heat will help.

All in all - I'm still up on the month. My first priority right now is to rest my back and make sure I'm completely healed before I do something stupid. My second priority is to dive into YOUR world and find out how things are going for you! Whenever I need inspiration, you guys are always there to lend some (in a big way!). For instance, knowing that my dear friend Julia @Pain Pride & Perseverance finished her first UltraMarathon yesterday has kept a smile on my face all weekend.

Keep up the good work everyone! You're all so wonderful :)

Happy Running!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pet Peeves

Being an only child who is relatively high strung, I've been known to have a bit of a temper. I'm one of those people who has sarcastic one sided conversations with other drivers whenever I'm driving (despite the fact that they cannot hear me, nor do they care). So it's no surprise that there are some things about running that really burn my grits. So here, in no particular order are my running Pet Peeves:

1. Sidwalk Hogs
Get it?
Where I grew up in Suburban Ohio, sidewalks were 2-way streets. Though sometimes narrow and uneven, one endeavored to be aware of his/her surroundings and allow others room to go about their business. This is apparently not the case around here.

Nothing bothers me more than when two people who are walking/running together choose to take up the ENTIRE sidewalk and force others onto the road/grass to pass them. I walk as much as I run, so I understanding taking a leisurely stroll with a friend or loved one and wanting to focus on just that. However, that doesn't give you the luxury to take up the whole 'road' and prevent anyone else from sharing it. Case in point: the other day these two (morbidly obese, yes) women were walking at the park and an older man was walking behind them. The two women saw him coming, saw that he was about 150 years old, and yet did not shift aside or give him any room to get by. He was forced into the grass where he tripped on a tree root. True story. Don't be a sidewalk hog.

2. Crazy Dogs and Clueless Owners

This one goes hand in hand with the sidewalk hogs. I despise it when people use their dogs to hog the sidewalk. If you are walking on the right hand side of the sidewalk/road, do not let your dog wander around on the left hand side. Not only are you taking up too much room, but you're a trip hazard!

Similarly, people need to accept the fact that not everyone loves dogs. Now I think I've made it clear I'm kind of obsessed with my puppy. That doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to the fact that she can be absolutely horrible on a leash. While I realize my 14", 16lb beagle isn't going to put anybody in the hospital, I get that some people just don't want her jumping in their faces and love-biting their noses (why not is a mystery to me, but I digress). Lately it seems owners are oblivious to this little fact, letting their dogs run leash-free or on an unlimited amount of retractable leash. Lady, I realize not all pit bulls are blood-crazed killers, but I really don't know anything about your dog and you don't want me to have to punch you. Don't act shocked when I tell you to control your loose Mastiff in a public park, dude.

3. Lack of Race-Day Port-o-Potty Etiquette

Port-o-Potty's at a race event are a hot commodity. I've waited in line for an hour before the start at bigger events, and I was happy to do so. While I don't mind waiting in line for a potty, what really gets me is the clueless person in front of me who doesn't seem to realize said line. Maybe you'll remember my port-o-potty incident at the KDF Marathon this spring (which I wrote about here). No joke, it cost me 5 or so minutes waiting for Mrs. Clueless to realize the potty was open and then get in.

All I ask is this: Be aware of the line! If you see the potty flip to vacant, go! Don't stand around and stare, don't be chatting with a friend - GO! On the same note, once you flip the potty to vacant, don't just stand in there fixing your hair or race belt - GO! I don't expect rocket speed, just awareness and a little quickness, please.

Oh, and heads up if there's no TP. Just a courtesy thing.

4. Awful Running Attire
Probably runs a 5:20 mile
Newsflash - I'm going to judge you if you're running in cutoff jean shorts and Toms shoes. I can't help myself, it's my natural reaction. That being said, I applaud everyone who takes the plunge to get into running and takes positive steps to ensure good health. That doesn't mean I won't judge you though.

Also, I don't care how hard you worked to get that marathon/5k/Ultra shirt - if it's 100 degrees outside and you're wearing a long-sleeved shirt, I'm going to roll my eyes at you (and make sure that you see it). This isn't a "peeve" so to speak, It's more of a "what the F#%@?"

What about you?!
- Did I miss anything? What are some of YOUR pet peeves?
- Am I wrong? Too harsh? Let me have it - change my mind!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I've had this post written forever but no pictures to go with it.  Call me lazy, but I just haven't had any motivation to do much of anything, let alone copy and edit all of the ridiculous photos that could accompany this otherwise boring post. So we'll just add some random pictorial interest points in along the way.

Where I've been
It's been almost three weeks since the bar exam! At the end of the day, it was exactly as horrific as everyone had told me it would be. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like my months of study really got me anywhere (and I'm not alone in feeling like that). Oh well - I find out in late September whether I get to do it all again. 

Since then, I've been doing a lot of nothing. It's been glorious. I wake up, drive Josh to work and go to the gym where I immerse myself in Olympics coverage. Then I come home and spend most of my time like this:
Or sometimes this:

There are days that I feel really guilty about Josh going off to his 9-5 and me turning around and going to the gym or back to the house to take the pup to the park. But mostly I'm just trying to enjoy this lull while I've got it.

Where I Am
I started training for the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon last week! After a few weeks of sloth & gluttony it's really nice to have some structure - and just to be running again period. I've decided on ____ key markers to gauge my progress through this training cycle. I'm hoping by focusing on a few key things I can see gains overall at the end and not just in my splits or my overall time (which will be badass, of course). They are:

Stepping back from running this summer has really upped my speed. During the exam period it was too hot to get any real distance in so short runs were all I could muster. I'm really going to try to focus on speedwork this time around to keep my legs peppy. I'm going for an A time of 2:20 (10:41 min/mi) & a B time of 2:24 (11:00 min/mi) both of which I think are really do-able.


The big gains I made in flexibility over the spring were lost over the summer. I'm just barely able to touch ye-old-toes. How important is flexibility in running? Not too much, truly. But being flexible makes me feel strong, and it really helps me release tension. A flexible back and shoulders is important in keeping me calm and relaxed, so I definitely have some work to do here.

Weight Management

I am a champion stress eater. I could stress eat this guy outta this world. That being said, the exam was definitely a set back for this particular fitness point. But I'm back on the healthy body bandwagon and making strides!


Despite the recent need for speed, my lungs and legs have kept some of their stamina up. I can get in five miles (about an hour of activity) without feeling 'tired'. I'm interested to see how my first 5+ miler goes!

Active recovery is the name of the game this time around. I've been using my HR monitor to keep me on track, making recovery runs actually restful. Nothing really to report on this point right now because I haven't done much that would require recovery :)

Where I'm Going
79 Days until my next half marathon! I'm so excited I could burst. It feels like the Derby Fest was so long ago and I"m eager to get out and race again.

Just before the bar I got hired on to my dream job as a public defender here in town. I can't tell you what a blessing this was, as it was the only job in the world I wanted (besides professional pool lounger, of course). I start on the 27th and I'm eager to figure out how to work running into my new 60 hour work week :)

Perhaps the biggest destination on the horizon....Marriage-ville! We're only 18 short days away from the nuptials and I couldn't be more ready to go. We're also 18 short days away from the start of UofL Football season. If I told you how many people have complained that the two days are the same, you wouldn't believe it.

Happy Running!

Where have you been? I'm trying to catch up!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bracing for July

Does anybody know what happened to June? It seems to have up and disappeared on me. 

As promised, I'm back in action! We're T-Minus 22 days to D-Day (aka the Kentucky Bar Exam) and I wish I could say I was feeling (at all) confident about it. Now that we've entered the month of July it's time to put my head down and focus. Because the exam is as much about physical endurance (two consecutive 6 hour days) as it is about legal knowledge, I'm trying to incorporate as much exercise and healthy eating into the mix as possible. Positive thinking will always prevail!

With July also starts a new quarter of 2012. What better time than to check in on my 2012 goals!

Run a Marathon
- Derby Festival Marathon April 25 2012 (DONE! - You can check out my recaps HERE and HERE
- Create a training plan and post it on the fridge (DONE!)
- Find a running group/partner to complete long runs 
- Run at least one 20 miler (DONE!)
- Use the blog & daily mile to keep me accountable for my training (Work in progress :) still love it!)

Healthy Body for the Wedding
(Best way I could think of to say 'lose weight' without actually saying it)
- Maintain free lifetime Weight Watchers membership in 2012 (still free through June! Truly proud of this)

- Try new vegetables and recipes! Add good finds to the blog
    I'm particularly happy with how this goal is going! We recently purchased a little grill and we've been trying new things! Earlier this week we had shrimp, pineapple and mixed veggies and it was delish. Still looking for new creative ways to incorporate different foods into "our" diet. Cooking for two is still so new!

- Take stock of what I'm eating, how I feel, & how it effects me (30 day food journal challenge)
   I'm continuing to track through weight watchers and it's helpful with the new medication. Still trying to gauge how new/different foods effect my system and what tends to set me off. I'm still pretty obsessed with ice cream, but at least now I"m having salads for lunch and ice cream after :) 

- Continue my effort to take the word "Fat" out of my vocabulary
    My attitude about my body lately has been awesome. Even on days when I feel rather gross, I have managed to change my mindset to keep in mind both the day-to-day changes but keep focused on the long-term goals. 

- Note: This goal has been working so well that my wedding dress is having to be altered! It fit perfectly in January when I picked it up but she's having to take it in! I'm so excited I could die - huge accomplishment! 

So obviously things have been going pretty well so far in 2012! I've managed to accomplish most of my concrete goals and made a lot of progress on my on-going goals. So here are some updates to the goals list!

- Run A Sub 2:30 Half marathon
- Try at least one trail run (thanks to Julia for inspiring this goal!)
- Get married/pass the bar/get a job

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Plan

I've been beating myself up over the last week about my complete lack of running, run blogging, or fitness in general. While June has brought many awesome things into my life, running has hit the back burner as I try desperately to get ahead in other (awesome) things.
Yeah, your'e reading that right
So here's the plan: I'm out until July 1. No blogging, no training runs, no nothing. I'm not going to put any pressure on myself to do any of it. If it happens I'll be thrilled but for the most part I'll have my head in a book until June is out of the way.

Hopefully once we get this silly month over with, I'll be able to downgrade some priorities and upgrade running! I had the realization this morning (in the shower, of course) that running (and blogging about it) don't need to be things that stress me out. Instead, I'm going to be confident in myself and my ability to embrace it again in two(ish) short weeks.

I'll still be blog stalking, but not as much. Good luck to all the summer racers out there! And to everyone else battling heat, injury, family issues, work stress and life in general - you constantly inspire me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running day everybody. It couldn't be more beautiful here in the Bluegrass and I hope wherever you are that it's a beautiful day for a run :)

Now that life is "calming down", I'm feeling like I'm getting into a bit of a groove. Like most of you, by 'calming down' I don't mean there's less going on I just mean I'm getting more capable of coping with it.

For instance, this whole bar prep/bar examination thing has been a whirlwind to get used to. I have class (mostly) Monday-Friday for roughly four hours until the first week of July. This class - like a bad coach - imparts two kinds of wisdom: (1) don't stress! Take it easy, chug right along and (2) spend every waking moment working on this. It's like the training plan that says "for novice-beginner runners" yet has you logging 40 miles a week. Contradictory, at best. For instance here's a sample 'schedule' one of our academic advisors gave us:
7:30-9:00am - shower, breakfast, dress, and travel to bar review class
9:00-1:00pm - Bar review class
1:00-2:00pm - Lunch Break
2:00- 4:30pm - review and consolidate notes from morning's session; make flashcards
4:30 -5:00pm - break
5:00-6:30pm - work through MBE questions in subject you're studying
6:30-7:30pm - dinner break
7:30-9:30pm - work through another group of MBE questions OR 1-2 essays
9:30-11:00pm - review materials for the next day's bar review session
Does that look realistic? No? I know.  I'm not phased though - I'm treating this like I would any race: get a good base, build up endurance, train hard, don't peak too early, save some gas for the finish line.

Aside from the above ridiculous schedule and working, I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate some more running back into my life. I need goals to be successful - or to even be motivated! - and my primary goal of "must look good in wedding dress" wasn't doing it. Luckily Beth @Running Around My Kitchen wrote this great post with tips about how to get out of a rut such as mine. Beth had great tried and true ideas about how to get myself ramped back up about running. Not being one to just pick and choose, I decided to go all in and ramp it up a LOT:

1. I FINALLY got new shoes! 
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12
I've been dying to step down into something more minimalist, or at least less bulky, for awhile now. These little changes to my stride have been helping and a shoe that facilitates those changes would be great. At the end of the day though, I just wanted shoes to run in NOW. Seeing as though my MAJOR problem has recently (read: always) been blisters, I wanted told the friendly ladies at Blue Mile Louisville "Give me the widest toe box in the world." They did not disappoint. So far I'm really happy with these babies, but only time will tell.

2. I signed up for a race!
Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon
November 3, 2012
I'm one of those runners that needs a race to actually go out and run. Granted, I've gotten a lot better recently about running just to run, but if there isn't something on my calendar then running always manages to slip to the bottom of my priority list. Trying to work around the July Bar Exam and our September wedding made things a bit difficult. So November it is! I"m really looking forward to doing a half again - I think I can really rock this flat, urban race if I just stay healthy.

It's a good thing I've gotten back into running, too, because I've gotten back into eating BIG time! This past weekend was filled with parties: wedding, birthday, graduation, you name it. We had three separate cakes. But it's not all bad: living in the new house and having someone to cook for has been amazing! Josh is really open minded about things and will try just about anything I make. Monday night I tried a new weight watchers recipe I'd been eyeballing.
Shrimp & Spicy Tomato Sauce nomnomnom
I served it with Penne pasta & some good french bread and it was delish. Want the recipe? You can find it right here - there's lots of room for variation. I'm sure you more 'seasoned' cooks out there will scoff but hey, it was my first venture with shrimp!

Oh yeah, we still have the puppy. Despite her penchant for pooping (everywhere) and her bitty little puppy teeth, we've somehow totally enamored with her and just can't live without her.

Happy Running!

Are you running on national running day?
Any of my Louisville folks running the LSC (Half) Marathon?!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The "Get To"

Well this morning I checked one of my goals for this week off the list by getting up early and going for a morning run.

I'd been thinking a lot about how I was going to make it work. Our (mostly) sweet Ellie wakes up around 6 a.m. every morning and our alarm is set somewhere around 7:30. One of us wakes up with her at 6:30,  takes her out and then crashes on the couch for another hour or so (all while a crazy "morning puppy" is biting, swiping, and jumping all over you). While Josh can pass out on the couch almost instantly, I don't go back to sleep so easily. So this morning I got up and tossed her outside and then Josh slept with her on the couch while I ran.

It worked like a gem! I got to go for a 2 mile run (not used to that only taking 20 minutes) and I came home to a sleeping man and biting puppy. Perfection.
Thought I was going to get puppy kisses - got puppy bites instead
The rest of my morning was spent in a Bar Review lecture. The topic was ok - criminal law, thankfully - and the lecturer did his best not to be dense but lets face it: 3.5hrs of anything is going to be boring. He surprised me at the end though by offering us one last piece of advice. I was expecting "get a good night's sleep before the exam" or "take this studying seriously" or even just something totally silly. Instead, he said:
"Everything in life can be broken down into two categories: things you have to do, and things you get to do. Remember that this is something you "get" to do. You'll do far better if you think of it like that"
I know we runners talk about the power of positive thinking all the time, so I won't belabor the point but I will say this: there are so many things in live that we have to do. We have to pay bills, we have to change diapers/take out the trash/clean the floors/go to work at a job - or two, or three - we hate. At the end of the day there are so few things we "get" to do. Even then, they can sometimes become a chore.

So if nothing else, don't let running fall into the "have to" category. Even if you feel like you "have to" get in x number of miles, or hit a certain pace, remember that there are so many people who wake up every morning and don't even have the option to run a step. It's easier to remember when we're injured, or when we're coming off of a great race - it's a lot harder to remember when we're in a rut. Running may be a natural part of the human condition, but being a runner certainly isn't. At the end of the day, being a runner is a privilege we've earned by having the courage to try it, and because we love it. We run because we love it, and we get to.

Keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow brings another opportunity for a morning run. Whatever the case, tomorrow's miles will be for all of you out there who can't run today or tomorrow. And because I get to.

Happy Running!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Five Quick Updates

Lets just start by saying that these last two weeks have been absolutely crazy. If you follow me on DailyMile you may have noticed...
Or if you realized I haven't posted in a week
I'm going to do this in some sort of orderly way lest it devolve into complete long winded chaos (too late? too late).

1. Last Friday Josh's whole family rolled into town and we celebrated our graduation from Law School. On Saturday, we actually marched across the stage and received a piece of paper that tells us how to receive our actual diploma at a later date.
(Juris) Doctors!
2. When we were not celebrating we were moving into our new house. I don't care how far you're moving, it's always stressful. Granted it was only really Josh moving (I'll move in at some later undetermined date) but it still managed to stress me out. I have had the opportunity to do some running around the new neighborhood though (not really reflected above). We're only 2 miles from my favorite park so I'm pretty excited about the possibilities.
Upside? Awesome new bloggy space in the new house!
(Including giant new computer thanks to Josh's folks)
3. I'm LOVING my new job! It is mindless, friendly work that doesn't require any added responsibility or outside work. It's perfect. The only downside is the standing. For those of you who work in the service industry and spend so many hours on your feet and still manage to run so far and so often...I salute you! After a 5 hour shift last night my feet were so sore and tired and my legs were beat up this morning. It's a nice challenge, but definitely hasn't helped my running motivation.

4. Miss Eleanor has been a joyful - and exhausting - addition to our lives! The vet thinks she's mixed with basset hound by the way and thus the really huge looking feet (which are actually just really low knees). We took her on a long walk Thursday and she's a perfect lady on a leash. So excited for her to get big and strong so she can go exploring with me.
But we like being lazy too
5. I'm setting some goals for the upcoming week. Not knowing my new surroundings - or how my legs are going to feel at any given moment - I'm going to go based on time this week. Goals include,
  • 150 Minutes of Cardio
  • At least 3 Runs
  • At least one run in the morning
  • Getting my new running shoes!!
I think it's equal parts challenging and doable

That's it for me! We're off to Lowes to pick up an air conditioner and yard tools. All of the sudden we're so domestic. It's not too shabby.

Happy Running!

Anybody raced lately? How'd it go?
How do you manage your fitness/running in the midst of chaos?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2 Weeks out & A new Running Partner

I woke up this morning and realized that it has been almost 2 weeks since the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon. I can't decide if it feels a lot longer or shorter than that, but somehow 2 weeks just doesn't seem right.

My body is almost completely back to normal after the race. During the first week out I managed to get some quality walk/runs in, going for time rather than distance. My hips feel a lot better and those two horrible blisters on my feet have all but disappeared. Well, one has turned to a callous that all but dominates one of my toes. Oh well, I'll take it!

Life post marathon is a little bit weird. I finished Law School and my marathon in the same week which was exciting and thrilling and depressing all at the same time. With both I experienced the overwhelming feeling of, "that's it? oh." I know sometimes you come off of a race and you're so high, and it feels so good that you feel like you're floating on a cloud for the next week. For me, neither one of these major achievements left me with this feeling.

Instead, we're turning life upside down!

  • Old - Clerking at the Public Defenders Office. New - Working retail at the Mall
  • Old - Legal Education. New - Prepping for the Kentucky Bar Exam in July
  • Old - Current Just-Me Apartment. New - House with Josh
  • Old - Training for KDF Marathon. New - [Giant Blank Space]
  • Old - Running Solo. New - Running With Ellie

Among all of these crazy new things, the new running partner has to be the most notable running-related item. Who is this new running buddy you ask? Meet Eleanor
Back in January I opined that I needed a dog like the desserts needed the rain. I was studiously doing my research, checking into the rescue associations so we could rescue our new best friend. Lo and behold Saturday after a rescue event we stopped by our local human society and there she was. Two month old Beagle Mix just waiting for us. 

She does great on a leash for a pup that's only had a collar on for four days and I can already tell she'll be needing some evening tempo runs to wear her down. I'm over the moon. Now if only she'd stop trying to chew my hair off (and stop pooping in my bedroom, but one thing at a time). 
 While the addition of a new pup and a new job are making it really hard to get out and run (as in I have only done 30 minutes of physical activity this week, ugh), these lazy summer days spent with puppies are once in a lifetime. I'll try to ignore the non-running blues and soak up the puppy kisses. 

Happy Running!

Have you ever had a case of the blues after finishing a big race?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

KDF Race Report - The middle and the End

When we left off our protagonist was bearing down on mile 9 as the marathoners split off from the Mini Marathoners....

As we rounded the corner from the split, I saw it. There in the distance were four port-o-potties sitting completely on their own. They glistened in the sunlight like an oasis in the desert. As if on cue Pacer Greg piped in, "Now that we've thinned out, this would be a great time to use the bathroom. We'll see you when we see you." Though he was speaking to everyone, I knew this was the best shot I'd get to both use the bathroom and keep my pace group. But I wasn't alone. As soon as Greg got the words out of his mouth, three other members of the group took off in a dead sprint towards the impromptu rest stop. I bolted in an attempt to gain some seconds on the pace group and get ahead of the others.

The woman in front of me came to a screeching halt to start a line. She was staring around, whistling, looking totally carefree in the moment. I heard the port-o-potty click "open" before I saw it, and then I saw the green. To me, the little green "vacant" sign on a port-o-potty handle means "GO." Unfortunately, this woman did not have the same idea. Over 8 miles I'd learned that she was not a novice, she'd run marathons before, and this time she was running as part of a team. What she hadn't learned in all of these outings was how to handle this port-o-potty situation. Before I knew I was doing it I looked at her and pointed to the port-o-potty and said (ok, yelled) "MOVE!!" Socially graceful? No, but there is no room for social graces in a mid-race port-o-potty line. 

After the pit stop I jumped right back in. I had no idea how long I'd been in there or how far I was behind. Guessing I wasn't too far back, I kicked it into high gear. I felt great, and I pushed the pace without feeling like I'd die. Since this part of the course was an out-and-back I started to see marathoners scattering the oncoming street. I was uplifted by their energy and their speed. I didn't even hear my Garmin beep at mile 10. I could see the little "5:00 Hour" sign up ahead and I knew that If i just kept pushing I would catch them. What I didn't know, and would soon realize, is that I was going way too fast.  When the Garmin beeped at Mile 11 I saw a 10:32 min/mile pace. Add that to the 10:19 min/mile I made out of mile 10 and I was throwing the plan out the window. I reevaluated and decided I didn't want to trash my legs early; if i just tried to stay 2 steps faster than the pace group then I'd catch them when I made a strong surge in the park. I reluctantly pulled on the reigns and focused on staying strong and steady.
Next up - Iroquois Park! Horrible shots of the map & elevation chart
Elevation? Hilly!
Sure enough, as we started into Iroquois park I put on my big girl pants and prepared to race. This hilly 3 mile look used to be part of the mini-course and routinely kicked my butt. I ran it several times during training in an effort to kill it on race day. I felt great both up and down the hills and curves. Sure enough, I met up with my group about half way through as we passed the half-way point. I felt a huge relief knowing I'd made it back to them and was really proud that I'd managed to get back without being a total idiot. I hoped from here out I could just sink in and ride the energy to the finish.

Once we left the park it was just a matter of heading back downtown. Miles 14 through 17 were uneventful. It was starting to get really warm - not just sunny, but humid. I don't remember exactly where it was, maybe as early as 16, but we started getting faster. I looked at my garmin and saw something like 10:46. We'd been walking the water-stops and I guess we had to compensate was too fast. Slowly they started pulling ahead of me and I couldn't catch them at the water stops.

I realized I was still making good time, but feeling left behind and outrun by the group really took a toll on me mentally. I turned up the Ipod and just kept moving. The shade from the trees was keeping things cool and the water stops - though only pouring out about maybe 1.5" of water per cup - were plentiful. As I saw the sign for mile 19 I thought, "If I can just make it to 20 I can make it."
Slow-poke Bonus: no one around to steal your photo time
(chillax legal-types, I plan on buying this obviously copyrighted photo)
Like most mothers mine always told me "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Well, I have nothing nice to say about the last 6 miles of the 2012 Derby Festival Marathon. It's been almost a week since, but I can still feel the disappointment and the failure I felt in that hour in those miles. Rather than relive it all in detail, lets sum it up:

Mile 20: No water at the water stop. Roads are uneven and there is no crowd support
Mile 21: Sun is beating down and there is no shade. I feel totally isolated
Mile 22: Just realized my digestive system has been at work....enter digestive panic mode
Mile 23: I push hard up a long, steep hill and I succumb to the need to walk. I hate myself instantly
              Switch to 5 to 1 run:walk ratio. Try not to overheat.
              Suddenly I feel it happen: A blister on the ball of my big toe pops. I feel like I've been shot
Mile 24: Shock of blister subsides, pushing beyond 5:1 and just trying to stay with it
Mile 25: We're back downtown. It's hot and smells like livestock. I try to pick it up
MIle 26: Want to get through the last mile without walking - no such luck. Walk a little in hopes of
              looking strong at the finish

After those (7?) horrible miles the last 0.2 were a dream. I started to see the turn to the finish and I took of my glasses and pulled out my earphones. I heard my dad shout at me from the left and I felt a wave of relief hit me like an ice bath. A few more yards and I hear Josh, then see him behind the fence. Then my mom, sitting up on what looked like a building waiving wildly and shouting after me. Then I'm in the finish chute, and it's almost over. What crowd remains is enthusiastic, they're joyful. I hear over the PA, "And here's Jenn S from right here in Louisville Kentucky" and I lose it. I yelled and waived and went bonkers.

And then I finished.

It was so hard to hold back the tears as I went over the pad that I damn near choked. This wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting the elation, the pride, the pure unadulterated joy that I felt when I finished the Flying Pig. Instead I felt simple relief that the 2 hours of awful were finally over. The volunteer reluctantly placed the medal around my neck as I choked and heaved and attempted not to lose my hormonal, angry, crazy guts all over her.

After some quality time in a finish-line bathroom (they had toilet paper, miracle of god!) I found my family. All I wanted was to hug my mom and tell her how disappointed I was. Their excitement helped push away the bad and I couldn't help but share in their pride. I was the only one who knew how awful the second half had been, and it didn't matter to anyone else. So maybe it didn't have to matter to me either.
Marathoner (Squared)
So that was it! In total, not my favorite experience. I think I trashed my legs trying to catch up early in the race, but there's no way to tell. To call the whole race a failure because of 6ish bad miles would be to throw the baby out with the bath water, so I'm going to keep that in mind. I don't think that will be the last of my 26.2  - I definitely want to do at least one more. That being said, racing this distance really got me excited to do my next Mini and I think this training cycle was a real winner.

The Kentucky Derby Festival gets a D on crowd support and water stops this year, though. What the hell? Definitely not as good as the past 3 times I've run some part of the event. Also, no food when I finished. Jerks!

Overall, I guess it made for a good story though!

Up next -  So did the last 4 months work or what?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

KDF Race Report - the Beginning & Middle

First off - THANK YOU! - thank you for all of your wonderful comments and congratulations on Monday's post. Blogging and being a part of this 'community' has really enhanced my 'running life' and regardless of how the race went, I'm just blown away by your positive vibes. So thanks :)

Speaking of how the race went....

The race began just about as great as any race you can ever run.

Friday night our plans to see the Great Balloon glow has been botched by horrible winds and left my foot achey after a trek through the fairgrounds. As I was setting out all my gear I was numb: I was nervous, and angry about the knee and the foot developments (and about the balloon glow!), and just didn't know what the morning would bring. Josh, being the best coach out there, pressed me to think positive and ignore all the doubt. If he knew I could do it, then I knew I could do it.

Saturday morning I woke up around 5:30 and had toast with butter spread. Since my digestive system has been so wonky these last few years - and months - I was determined to mirror my pre-20 miler routine as best I could. I hydrated, I ate my toast, I got dressed. To my surprise, Josh offered to walk me down to the start line. While normally I would've enjoyed a bit of alone time before a race -after all, I'm almost always alone when I start - I was happy to have the company. We walked down to the start line and promptly started looking for Julia. Thanks to cell phones and a relatively spaced-out crowd (at the time) we managed to meet up with her!
Stolen from Julia's facebook (Sorry Jules!) :D
If you think Julia is inspiring just from reading her blog, well, she is the real deal. She is every ounce as genuine and strong and wonderful as she is on the blog, so you should check out her BLOG!

Unfortunately, I had to make a bee-line for the bathroom so I couldn't meet up with the other 100 people I'd hoped to see that morning. By my estimate, my fueling plan was working perfectly: I'd hit the bathroom right before the start and be good for the duration! My handsome trooper Josh stayed with me up until the minute I came zooming out of the port-o-potty headed to the start line.
Coach Josh stayed with me up to the start!
I left Josh and headed to the start, which was packed in. What had been an empty start-chute had completely filled! I quickly found my pace group, the 5:00 folks. I owe my perfect finish in the Flying Pig to Pacer Judy (from Pacer Jim's team) and I knew I wanted to run with a group this time too. My pacers were Greg & Dwight and they were absolutely FABULOUS! They were so calm and friendly and did exactly what I'd hoped pacers would do: hold a steady pace, keep everybody's spirits up, and be a cheerleader for the group. Can't say enough good things about these two from the ASICS pace team.

Before too long the gun sounded and we were off! Despite how far back we were I crossed the start only 10 minutes after the gun, which was pretty good. The only thing I really remember about the first four miles is how fast they flew by. We were winding through downtown Louisville from west to east. The early miles were packed, but not so much that it was super uncomfortable. Dwight & Greg exchanged funny stories about previous races and at each mile we all had to cheer as we went past the marker and Greg would tell a bad pirate joke.

The only downer in those early miles was a little bit of rain late in mile four. Luckily it was short-lived and didn't do any serious soaking to my shoes.

We turned onto fourth street and I felt like i was home. So many of my long runs went through the area known as Old Louisville up fourth and third streets. It felt so normal and the beautiful trees created this canopy that only held the excitement in for us. This was probably the most crowd-packed portion of the course that I can remember. Everything felt great: my pacing was dead on (thanks to G&D), my hips and glutes both felt great and my feet were just clopping right along.

The only complaint I had at this point was, well, I had to pee. Bad. My old coach Leslie used to tell us, "don't worry, it'll reabsorb" but wow, this wasn't going anywhere. I was weighing the pros & cons in my head: find somewhere to pee and feel infinitely better in general and love life again BUT lose my pace team OR don't pee and be miserable for another 4 hours but finish with my pace team. I decided to try not to think about either and just keep moving.

As we came into mile 7 the sun was starting to come out. I was a little bummed that the water-stop didn't have any water for us and really hoped that wasn't a sign of things to come. Up next was the part that is wholly unique to the KDF Mini & Marathon: running through Churchill Downs. One of these times I'm going to stop and take a photo, but not this race. The race goes through the stands and into the infield, then out the back. It's really a neat experience to see the horses out galloping around and going through workouts. The only negative? You have to go down through a tunnel (and then back UP and out) to enter and exit the infield - it's a steep, steep concrete incline that's not very fun (at all!).

We popped out on the backside and prepared to part ways with the mini-runners. This poor girl in front of me almost didn't realize the split (despite the signs and the guys with bullhorns....) and had to dart deer-across-interstate-style to get back. So there we split, mini runners headed back to the river and the Finish line and the Marathon runners drumming along out towards Iroquois park and it's three miles of glorious hills....

Next up: the middle & the end

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marathoner x 2

Well, the DerbyFestival Marathon is over and done with. I am a two time marathoner.

First and foremost I am so happy that I finished, and that I finished healthy and strong. Was it the day that I was hoping for? No, it honestly wasn't. I'm still a little bit bummed about the experience and my finish, but I'm trying to look past that. I crossed the finish line in one piece, got a great medal, and had my two biggest cheerleaders (mom and dad) and the best coach in the world (Josh) there to see me through. At the end of the day, that's what matters most.

I'm working on a detailed race report so stay tuned! For now, my finish stats:

I hope the rest of you racers had a great weekend! For anyone who just got to go out and run, I hope you enjoyed every minute that you got to put one foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finish Lines & Starting Corrals

First off, the Finish Line

I finished law school!

Well, assuming that I passed all my classes (and Tax is really the only one I'm worried about) I am officially done with three years of higher education. In most states that means I get to add "esquire" to the end of my name, but in Kentucky we do it a bit differently: instead of Jennifer Siewertsen, esquire:
But just in case lets keep those fingers/toes/whatever crossed about the Tax final. I won't find out for sure whether or not I'm doomed to summer school until the 8th so for the next two weeks I'll bask in the blissful solitude of optimism and believe I'M DONE!

Perhaps sensing my blissful mood at the end of all formal education, the Bar Prep company delivered a most amazing package to me today

The enormity of the event hasn't really hit me yet. Unlike a race, law school is something you spend three years training for and wait. When I left the exam there wasn't a finish line or a medal to wear, just some greasy a@$ wings and beer at Hooters (yes...Hooters). Maybe once I actually get to wear the floppy hat and hood (which I must return promptly after commencement is over) I'll realize that I'm in fact a Juris Doctor now. Wish there was a medal though.

Next up, the Starting Corrals

We're officially 2 days away from the start of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon. There is just about one word that defines how I feel about this fact: panic.

Saturday's 8 miler was wonderful. It was a little rainy and cool, but a great last-minute confidence booster. Monday morning I went out for a really nice run around the block - as per the training plan - to just keep the legs loose. I'd been feeling a twinge in my right hip/glute which I chalked up to my hilly 8 miles Saturday & then sand vball Sunday. Monday's run seemed to help, so I wasn't too worried.

Monday night, though, the illusive and deadly grapefruit knee was back. Yesterday it was at it's prime. I couldn't really bend my knee past 90 degrees and squatting or kneeling was damn near impossible. Needless to say I skipped my last scheduled "workout" for ice and tennis ball treatment. Today it's better - not quite as swollen, more mobility - but I've developed a really tender bruised spot where the pain is from all the tennis ball rubbing and foam rolling. I'm pushing the Motrin and water and spending some quality time with the ice pack in hopes of getting back to 100% by race morning.

The worst part is that this feels like an excuse to be petrified. I've run hard during training, I won't deny that. I've put in my miles and done it mostly alone. Before the Flying Pig I was nervous that I couldn't finish just because it was new and hey,  I had no idea. Now that I know I can do it, it feels like anything less than a stellar finish is a failure. Obviously I know that's not true; every race is different, every road to the start line is a new one. The knee problem is just an excuse to embrace the fear, and to give myself an excuse to fail.

So courage it is then.

There are a couple things I'm wishing for this week:

  • An awesome marathon experience! (duh)
  • Catching up on all of YOUR awesome blogs! I love sharing in your journey and I'm so behind. Prepare for mass commenting by yours truly
  • I'm really hoping for a blogger meet-up with the lovely Julia from over at Pain Pride & Perseverance. Did you know we went to College together? True story! 
In the meantime, I'm testing out some "healthy rice-krispes treats" (don't be skeptical!) while Josh is out running on his own in "our" park. I'm so proud I could burst! And then i'm super annoyed that I'm stuck inside with a swollen knee. Now I know how Ali Mc felt with her newly running hubby. Gotta take the good with the bad :)

Happy Running!!

Anybody ever had an "injury" or a flare up before a race? How did you handle it?
Anybody racing this weekend?? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Final Countdown

Today is my last day of school - forever!

As excited as I am by this proposition (and i'm very excited) there's just too much to do right now. I'm going to be MIA until after my Federal Tax final (Monday) and then the big ramp up to the Derby Festival Marathon.  9 Days! All of these deadlines really got into my head last night on my run.  Nothing but negative thoughts for 45 straight minutes: My shorts are rubbing, my feet hurt, what's in my shoe? My shorts are really tight, did I gain weight? I feel so blobby, I'm hungry, I'm not going to want to eat when I get home @ 10..... and on and on and on. Not even thoughts of a cute, squirmy, loving pound puppy could turn it around. My legs and lungs were just fine, my heart and head failed the test.
This week's wish was an easy one: stop taking this time for granted. Now that we're down to the wire, I should be enjoying my accomplishments and savoring the journey. I've always believed that the hardest part about a race is making it to the starting line. No matter what, I'll be at the starting line next Saturday and I'll have overcome an ambitious training plan and busy spring to get there. It's time to stop worrying about all the details, all the extras, and all the numbers and start loving these moments.

This morning I'm going to head out to my favorite park and run just to run. No pace, no time, just run. Can't think of a better way to wash yesterday's blues out of my mind.

Well, after I finish a chapter of tax.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good, Good and Great

The ladder part of last week was conspicuously absent of exercise. I can't even remember anymore why we skipped Wednesday's walk - weather maybe? - or why I cheated myself out of Thursday's run - no time, probably. Obviously nothing memorable, just the little excuses that crop up and come between me and a run.
Dailymile really knows how to make '0' days look depressing
Friday was an off day for a whole different reason. Remember back in March when I confided that I have a totally messed up digestive system? Well my super exciting endoscopy was bright and early Friday morning. I'm happy to report that this time was worlds different than last time - great staff, excellent drugs and the doctor was top notch. Turns out my stomach is super lazy and doesn't bother to flex and squeeze when I eat. Jerk! The good news is that it doesn't seem bad enough that I'll have to seriously alter my diet (this is awesome seeing as though the gastroparesis diet usually excludes fiber, whole wheat, raw veggies/fruits, peanut butter, fat and caffeine). Two new medications for six months and I should be good to go!

We got home from the procedure around 8:30 a.m. on Friday and I did just about nothing for the rest of the day. When I woke up Saturday I wasn't really sure whether my planned 20 miler would happen or not. I was actually a little worried about it, to be honest. As I geared up Coach Josh gave me all of the pep I needed to get out the door. I planned it so my route was based on the Derby Festival Marathon Route.

And then, I just did it. I ran 20 miles!
Not only that, but I ran them pretty fast too! Here's Saturday's 20 miler vs. my 17 miler 2 weeks before

I'm pretty excited, to say the least. On top of that, I've managed to stay on track with my healthy - and lazy stomach friendly - eating habits despite easter.
Fresh fruit & pizza w/ veggie cheese & turkey pepperoni - YUM!
Another busy week at hand and only 17 days until the Derby Festival Marathon. Well, 13 days until my Tax final so I guess I should start training for that? Nah, running's more fun so we'll do that instead. 

Happy Running!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Wish List: Get it DONE!

Alright, so my 20 miler Sunday didn't happen. I know, I'm bummed too. What did happen is that Saturday was my big event for school and I knocked it out of the park. Then I slept for 3 hours, then watched Louisville lose in the Final Four and sleep some more. Sunday morning I woke up early and started laying out my running gear. I knew before I opened the blinds that I wasn't going to make it. Rain. Lots of rain. I waited 45 minutes, hoping that I could just wait it out. Then the lightning and thunder came. While I was prepared to do just about anything to get this run in, I just don't run in thunderstorms.

Determined to get something comparable in, I headed to the Y. I hadn't made it to Yoga in awhile and was really happy that I went. The class was challenging, fun, and of all things playful. I even managed my first inversion!

After Yoga I had almost 2 hours to kill until my first sand vball game of the season so I hit up the Elliptical & the treadmill. Overall, nothing hardcore but I was moving or working from 12 - 4:30, which is just about as long as my 20 miles.

So far this week has been about maintaining. Now that I'm officially in 'taper' (despite my little 20 mile blunder) I'm trying to reap the benefits: lots of water, lots of rest, lots of stretching, good miles.
There is only one thing on my wish list this week: 20 miles on Saturday! My hamstrings are still sore from Sunday's yoga, which totally surprises me, so I'm trying to take it easy a little bit. Getting my 20 in is a must for my confidence for the race. 

I looked at my training log for the 2009 Flying Pig and was surprised by a few things: one month before the race, i was only averaging 18.8 miles/week with a total of 224. This time I'm averaging closer to 21 miles/week with a total of 277. Prior to the flying pig, my log says my longest run was 14.5 miles. Already I've done 17.5. Knowing that I won't be as fast this time around, feeling confident in my training is going to be a big help come race day. 

I couldn't be happier with March. 

I feel horrible about not mentioning this, but I think I was worried about jinxing it: I won a sweet giveaway a month or two ago! I won the new C9 by Champion for Target line from Ashley @ HappyHealthierBear.  If you don't already read her blog, check it out. Her thoughts on moderation and her truly interesting approach to running make for a really great read. So after some haggling and some size exchanging I'm outfitted in the newest line of C9 clothing!
The lighting is horrible - the clothes are fantastic!
Is there anything better than new (free!) running stuff? 

Tonight Josh and I are going for a walk in our new neighborhood! We solved our housing problem and found the best rental house ever in a perfect neighborhood. Pictures to come :) 

Happy Running!