Monday, April 30, 2012

The race i didn't race.

Saturday morning i woke up at 4:45am, noticed it was pouring rain, and then ate a clif bar while pondering the fact the i have obviously made some terrible choices in my life.  I had won an entry to the CARA lakefront 10, but because of my training schedule, i needed to run 20 miles.  So i had decided to run 10 in advance of the race.  I was super lucky, because people actually agreed to come meet me at 6am to run in the rain.  I am a special girl.  Luckily the worst of the rain was only for the first couple miles, and then it slowly began to taper off.  By the time the race started, it had completely stopped.  I was still soaking wet though.  

I ran about 8.25 miles with my pace leader david, and Brittany who has her marathon next week!  We ran at an even 10:00 pace, which i am super thankful for, because i might not have been able to stick to that on my own (in the rain) and would have for sure gone out too fast.  After our 8 miles were done, i changed out of my shirt (to feel less wet), ate two gatorade chew things, and ran down to the race.  I had to run pretty fast, because apparently changing my shirt took way to long.  I made it into the starting area as the national anthem was playing, so i only had to stand for about a minute, which was nice.

The race started right at 8, and for me, this was the hardest part.  Because this was a training run, and it was 20 miles, i had to keep myself to a 9:30/9:45 pace so that i didn't burn out in 5 miles.  It made me miserable.  I think 8,000 people passed me in the first mile, which is very confusing in a race of 1,500 people.  Everyone i knew sprinted ahead in hopes of a great time, and i just chugged along like a little wet honey badger.  My plan was to find people running at my pace to talk to, but i was really grouchy the first few miles at the thought of "not pushing myself."

The first 5 miles kind of blew by.  I was a little nervous when we ran along the lakefront because it was very windy, and they had put up the "yellow flag" which i think means "be moderately concerned about the wind blowing you into the lake."  After leaving the danger zone, we went over cricket hill, which i found strangely easy going up, but almost fell going down because of the slippery grass.

Around mile 4-5, i decided it was time to take my gel, and the whole time, all i could think was "everyone is staring at me, and wondering why i am taking a gel 4 miles into this race." I am so vain that i wanted to scream at everyone "it's mile 14!!!"  I have problems.

At about mile 7 (17) I put on my head phones, because i was just feeling kind of lonely.  Most people were running in pairs, and i became a sad lone wolf.  However, listening to guns n roses made it all better, and my last three miles were very speed (relatively)  That last mile sucked in my opinion, mostly because the entire time you can hear the end.  This made it seem really, REALLY long to me.  The last mile seemed more like 4.  When i finally did see the finish line, i went into a maniac sprint, and passed about 6 or 7 people to redeem myself for everyone passing me at first.  I ended up with a respectable 1:33:48, which was right on par with where i should have been.  

The race:
The medal
Very nice.
The t-shirt

Nothing special, but i was glad i got it after the race, i used it to keep warm!
The spectators
It think most people stayed home on account of the weather. (i dont blame them)
The course
- I liked it - it was familiar, but they mixed it up a little so it wasn't boring.  I just hated the last mile wrap-around.  The water placement was excellent, and everything flowed nicely, except where mud/mini-lakes had formed because of the rain

The volunteers
-AMAZING.  especially with that weather.  You guys deserve medals more than we do.

After party
-I feel bad, because this would actually have been a fun party to hang out at if it wasn't cold, rainy, and windy.  I was shivering so bad i was spilling my beer, and that's a crime.

Would i run this again?  Totally.  Is this a PR race? In my opinion, no.  Its a race to have fun at and thats ok with me!
Now its time for "May Madness" To begin, starting next week with the Flying Pig half marathon!!

***Also, if anyone follows me on twitter, my account was hacked.  I'm sorry.  I have a poor understanding of technology at best.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Some fun facts!

Today's fun facts are about one of the most famous races EVER! - The Tortoise and the Hare!
1. No one ACTUALLY knows what the moral of this story is, because Aesop was mysterious like that.  The best guesses are "haste makes waste" and "slow and steady win the race" and "brain's over brawn"

2. However, there is an entire French sub culture that claims that what really happens is that the rabbit realized how pointless such a competition was, while the stupid tortoise didn't know any better and continued on.  There was eventually a life threatening forest fire endangering all the animals, and so they sent an urgent plea for help via the tortoise "the race winner", but apparently the story ends there.
*spoiler - everyone burned to death 
The French would think that....

3.  Common rabbits have been known to clock speeds of nearly 35 mph when fleeing from prey, but the brown hare has been clocked at a super speedy 45 mph!
4. The fastest speed the tortoise has ever been documented at was going 15 ft in 43 seconds toward an attractive female tortoise.
5. The elusive ginger foxxx, which has nothing to do with the race, has been clocked at a 7.3mph, but is rarely able to achieve this pace unless lured with icy cold adult beverages.
6.  If this race were in water (which it was never specifically mentioned that it wasn't...) Both the brown hare and the ginger foxxx can't swim.  Hare's have been documented to cross small streams, but only when absolutely necessary.  The pacific leatherback has been clocked swimming at a speedy 22mph when frightened!
7. In a triathalon, both myself and the hare would die in the first leg of the race.  Even if it takes the tortoise 20 years to learn how to ride a bike, he's got this.

8.  If you factor in time, the average hare lives about 10 years.  The average tortoise lives about 125 years, and the average US woman lives 80 years.  If we were to run at our maximum speed for our entire life span, and the race was total distance covered, i would beat BOTH those suckers!
G-foxxx: 5,101,824 miles
Hare: 3,931,200 miles
Tortoise: 251,160 miles
9. Again, if any portion of this were water, the stupid tortoise would beat everyone, unless we rode on his back as a life raft, MacGyver style.

10. The reason the Hare loses the race is that he lays down to take a nap half way through.  Because the distance of this race is never stated, i maintain that this whole thing could be a huge misunderstanding.  Who among us has not wanted to lay down after 18 miles and take a nap? What?  Just me and the Hare?  So be it.  Better to lose the damn race than to die.  I think the tortoise and the hare are both smart cookies!

Hope you enjoyed these absolutely useless facts!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh, is it Wednesday?

1. My marathon is in 25 days.  I am so scared i could cry.

2.  Kara Gouchers 1 year old son has a blog chronicling her road to the Olympics in London.  Not only is a baby much funnier and more interesting that i am, it turns out that despite being just a baby, he is also faster than me.  And cuter than me.  Damn you, Goucher family, why are you so awesome!!  I tried to see if waffles would write a blog post for me, since she is technically my baby, but this is all i got-

kafgh,kl,k  h 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000hflx xk. ,ggggggjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj .s dfghsdfgl dflgk sdflgh

She is an intense puppy.

Then i asked if Matt would be my Adam Goucher and blog on my behalf.  To which he said "your blog is lame."  I get no love here.  No love.


3.  Everyone has warned me about "taper madness."  It makes sense, that when you prepare for something for months, that you tend to freak out a little in the few weeks before the big day.  Its the same thing with pregnancy jitters and bridezillas, and senioritis.  However, nobody ever warned me about "pre-taper madness" in which i am fully infected (My taper doesn't even start until next week!)  All i can think about is the race.  And because there are still 15 days before i can obsessively check the 10-day weather report, i have taken to obsessively checking the farmers almanac, and historic weather facts.  The weird thing is that information never changes.  I just keep looking at it.  Did you know that on May 20, 1983 it was 66 degrees? and on May 20, 1994 it was 84 degrees?  Now you do.  Somebody stop me.

4.  I have been really sad lately that despite being a working professional with a masters degrees, I am living paycheck to paycheck.  I have a relatively low amount of student loans, especially compared to the national average, but it still sucks up all my extra money.  This just seems so wrong, that everyone finishes school, and then spends 15 years eating ramen and scrambling to pay rent.  WTF, America?  its been a main topic at a lot of Obama's recent speeches.  Did you know that him and Michele only paid off their student loans in the past seven years?? What does that mean for me???
i do not.

5. Just gonna throw this out there - 
NOT A CAR!!!!  Do not go cruising down the street at 15mph thinking you are a going at a comparable speed to my automobile!  You are not Lance Armstrong!!! Also, you are not going too fast to stop at a stop sign.  SO STOP AT IT.


6.  I have two pairs of the exact same shoe.  

The only difference is color.  For some reason, the silver pair hurts my ankle.  The pink pair never does.  WTF? I hate to complain, but there is an 8 year old in Malaysia that is obviously slacking right now.  Think of it like a video game kid - a fun video game where you make my shoes properly!  It'll all be alright. 
FIRST WORLD PROBLEM (although, really - this problem is totally the third worlds fault.)

7.  I heard on the news today that the amount of illegal immigrants from Mexico is actually decreasing.  That means people who came here are leaving, because the think it sucks here.  All i can think about is the South Park episode where butters ends up illegally immigrating to Mexico, and becomes a god.
The times, they are a changin.
Also, i obviously have a very poor understanding of current events.


8. My hands still smell like shallots from Sunday's cooking class!  HOW???

9.  What do i even say about this 40lb cat.  How does a cat even get to be 40lbs???  And why does everyone always go after the owner?  Obviously the cat was overfed, but if he doesn't have the self control to stop eating the food when he is full, then that is a personal problem. Lets stop pointing fingers.  Get it together, Meow!  Only you can change this. 
And for that matter, if you chose to be this way, thats fine.  Don't conform to the pressures of society to be thin.  You do whatever you want.  Because you're a cat.  And your name is Meow.  And because you are now more famous than any of us will ever be.

10.  Am i the only one who finds this offensive??
You can't just add bell peppers to corn and call it "Mexicorn"  that is so politically incorrect!  I don't know how companies sneak this stuff into our cabinets.  Its like if you put bamboo shoots in with the corn, you could call it "China-corn."  I don't know why i was offended by this.  Maybe its just the idea of canned corn in general that offends me.  Frozen is so much better.  I'm just gonna stop now.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For the love of my shoes

I suppose all good things must eventually come to an end...
These have been my shoes for the past year.  I am actually on my third pair - i love them that much.  I first got them last summer after my nike frees were giving me problems on my longer runs.  I tend to overpronate on my longer runs.  Like a boss.

These are the Nike Structure Triax 14's, which sadly they have replaced with the 15's.  I do not like the 15's.  I can't explain it, but they are just wrong.  And aside from being wrong, they are ugly.  I get that the color of your shoes doesn't matter, but to me, it totally matters.  When i am 18 miles into a long run and want to die, looking at my beautiful pink shoes helps me carry on.  I like bright colors.  

The last pair of pink Nikes i found on Ebay, but they are becoming increasingly hard to find.  Whats a girl to do??  I emailed Nike (because i am crazy) and they recommended the Nike Lunarglide 3.  However i am terrified of hurting myself with a shoe that won't give me enough support. On the plus side, they are a bit lighter than the incredibly bulky structures - so maybe i won't be so slow?

I found these little cuties on sale, but they are still pricey, and want to make sure they won't kill me during a long run.  That's why i am bringing this dilemma to the tribunal- Do you over-pronate like me?  Has your favorite shoe disappeared??  What are you wearing right now, and can i copy you?  DO YOU HAVE A HOARD OF THE PINK STRUCTURE 14's?????

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do as the French do.

Since i used last week to lay around the house sick and not run at all, it seemed to be the perfect timing to take advantage of my Christmas present from Matt.  (That and, you know, it's almost May...)  So we decided to take a french cooking class at Cook au Vin!

Saturday was my last training run with the CARA winter marathon training group, and despite still feeling crappy, i was super happy to have one last run with the crew.  I think waking up before dawn and running in freezing temps every saturday really brings people together.
One of our first runs together!
I ended up losing my voice as a result of running, so i spent saturday night curled up and napping, and it was glorious.

Our cooking class was from 10am to 2pm, so we were up bright and early on Sunday morning and ready to drink red wine!
Breakfast of champions!
It was a three course meal, consisting of a scallop in a bechamel(?) sauce and wrapped in puff pastry
A rustic french countryside chicken stew
And my favorite, plum pudding!
All of this of course accompanied by 8,000 baguettes.
I have never really done any french cooking before, so i learned how to chop properly, and a lot about sauces, and french techniques.
The shallots were brutal, i was crying so hard from the smell that the chef thought i had cut a finger off.  
The one thing that amazed me about french cooking was the amount of butter.  Holy crap do the french eat a lot of butter.  After leaving the class all i could do was nap!  I don't think i normally consume that  much butter in a month.  It was delicious though.

I hope your weekend was also quite tasty, and that you felt better than i did and hopefully got more miles in!  (although i am feeling much better thanks to all that butter and sleep.  The french know what they are doing!!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

I just want to thank everyone for the encouragement this week.  I went home last night and wrapped myself in compression gear and had an evening with my foam roller.  I've also made emergen-C my new BFF.  I had planned on taking today off of work anyway, but man, it feels really nice right now to get some extra r&r in!!  I hope to be right back on track next week....just in time to taper.  And then go really crazy :)

Todays fun facts are about HOT MARATHONS!! I know we were all biting out nails for our comrades when the temperature soared to 88 degrees.  And i know i was secretly fearing a similar fate for my own marathon next month!  So, just to see how often these hot marathons occur, i did some research

If you want to experience what it was like to be on the front lines of Boston, my favorite account is Bill's. I think non-elites sometimes get the short end of the stick, because we are out there the longest!  We start after everyone else!  Bill ran through the whole thing in that brutal heat, and is STILL smiling in every picture!

And now the facts.
The 2012 Boston Marathon hit 88 degrees.  GROSS.  But was it the hottest ever?  Not even. in 1905 it reached 100 degrees.  That's insane.

In 1984, for the NYC marathon reached 79, which isn't terrible, until you add in the 96% humidity.  Ouch.  That was the first year with fatality on the course.  :(

And some of you might have even ran the 2007 Chicago Marathon that ended up being black-flagged.  10,000 people opted not to run, and almost 11,000 didn't finish.  Hundreds were hospitalized.  WTF, october in Chicago?

They actually have a half marathon in Dallas in August called "the hottest half"  WHY?  I mean, seriously, WHY? As i recall last summer, there was a solid month where temperatures didn't go beneath 95 degrees, even at night.

They have a documentary on netflix called running the sahara.  Spoiler: Three guys run across the sahara, and its brutal.  The documentary was mediocre in my opinion, but its a crazy thought just the same.  You can see a trailer and some facts here.  Waffles, (whose breed is from Africa) is completely unimpressed with the music of her native country that plays during the trailer.  The best part of the documentary is Matt Damon's beautiful, beautiful voice.

Have you ever heard of the Badwater ultramarathon?  It's just a little 135 miler.  Through DEATH FREAKING VALLEY.  Daily highs often reach 120 degrees.  To train for it, only the most badass athletes are allowed, and they specifically train by dragging treadmills into saunas to run.
That about sums it up.

Just a few fun facts to get you through friday!  Now i am off to enjoy my friday!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I do not know what is wrong with me this week.  I do not want to run.  And even when i start running, rather than just accept its fate, my body has been fighting me.  I feel overly tired and groggy, and no amount of coffee helps at this point.  I'm not sure if i am sick (no one around me is sick?)  Not recovered from the 20-miler (i feel significantly worse now, sitting here, than i did at mile 18...) or if i am just burnt out (30 days until race day...)  Either way, my body totally and utterly failed me last night.  At mile 4.  MILE 4?  I was literally hobbling the last half mile.  Nothing is injured, but my entire body just hurts as of late.  This is really not the time for my entire body to fail.  On the plus side, this week was a scheduled cut back week anyway, so now its just a mega cut back week.  Everyone always says that you can easily miss a week of training and still be fine on race day, but that is a scary, scary thought.  

When i was licking my wounds from such an awful run last night, Matt made me a nice and healthy dinner
He made the salmon and kale, and i made the fried green tomatoes.  Granted, fried green tomatoes aren't particularly healthy, but we had to use the tomato, and i apologize for nothing.  

While i am mostly just exhausted (and partially sick too - i just had a sneezing fit all over my keyboard) I am starting to panic that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  What if i get sick??  What if i pull a muscle, or roll my ankle?  What if my knee acts up?  What if i put on 20 lbs of candy weight before race day?? What if a develop a freak allergy to kale???

When any of these things happen, they call it murphy's law.  Although years ago, it was unofficially changed to "Rockwell's Law" because as a general rule for me and my family, if it can happen, it will happen.  So, as an attempt to not let my whininess overcome my unwavering sense of humor at my own expense, here are a few of murphy's laws for us running folk.
Watch your back, Murphy - I'm coming for you.  Like a honey badger.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Finally, it's Wednesday, and i can let my bitchiness shine.

1.  When the first world enters the third world, we get PROBLEMS.  I understand that the secret service hiring a bunch Colombian hookers probably isn't presenting our government in the best light, but lets be real - the were in Cartegena, Colombia.  If they get out of there with only a hooker scandal, i think they did ok.  Its Colombia.  I watched a documentary where people in Cartegena cheat on their wives with donkeys.  Or maybe it was a comedy sketch.  I really don't care enough to cross check my facts.

2.  I have been trying my hardest to be little miss sunshine this week, but it is just not working out for me.  I am in a pissy mood, despite having what would be considered a pretty blessed and fortunate life. I was trying to find some witty image about the glass being half empty vs half full, and i found this, and it perfectly describes my mood this week.  Also, i hate juice.  Just looking at it is making me angry.

3. I have made a pact with myself to eat healthy for the next 30 days leading up to my first marathon.  I have been eating pretty crappy lately, and am starting to feel the negative effects.  I say down tonight to try and come up with an eating plan, and i realized that i have nothing.  I plan to eat some oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow, but beyond that, i'm drawing a complete blank. What do people eat when they are not eating candy??  #Failsathealthylivinggirl

4.  While i was writing this blog post, i burned the GOD DAMN OATMEAL.
I'm back to hating you slow cook  steel cut oats.  Who is able to focus on something for 30 minutes??  Not me, thats for sure.  If any one asks, i am going to say all the black spots are chia seeds.....

5.  I skipped my tuesday night run because i just couldn't deal with it, physically or mentally.  Instead i came home and snuggled with this french baguette
cross training?
Yeah, my race day performance is looking pretty good.  pretty good indeed.

6. Tuesday morning Matt and i woke up to a weird rattling sound.  It seemed to be coming from the furnace room.  We started to panic, because we have had mice problems before.  This sounded much bigger and much stupider than a mouse though.  I saw a sliver of black poke through one of the slots on the door at about eye level, but Matt didn't believe me.  I guessed it to be either a human sized rat, a bird, or a bat.  He called the landlord, and they discussed how it was impossible for something to actually be in the apartment, and it must just be trapped in the furnace (i'm sorry, does that make me feel better??) The main point was that i was a paranoid wimpy girl.  Matt opened the door and was looking at the furnace while talking to the landlord, when BAM - bird flies out.  A fucking bird.  The poor landlord - all he heard was  "Yeah, i don't think the front panel to this furnace actually comes off, so we might have to OH MY GOD AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" end call.  I was screaming hysterically because i HATE birds.  I grabbed the dog and threw her in our bedroom (why?  no idea.)  We eventually got it out a window, but the dog was traumatized and wouldn't come out from under the bed for like an hour, and i have a renewed hatred of birds.

7. Since Matt has been playing house husband, he decided to make my tortilla soup for dinner.  Which entailed calling me.  Every five minutes.  To go over basic cooking techniques.  We hit a huge snag when it turned out he didn't know how to use a can opener.  Seriously.  How do does one verbally instruct someone to open a can via phone?  It's impossible - you try it.  He decided to go rogue and stab at the damn thing with an oyster shucker.
I assure you, i couldn't make this up if i tried.

8.  Kim @ Runner Nurse found this image that basically sums up my existence-
I really wish i was mysterious, or complex, or even intriguing, but seriously, this postcard sums me up entirely.  I am what i am.


9.  Traffic has been so bad this week that i have on multiple occasions thought about flipping out and just ramming my car into everyone around me like a giant game of bumper cars.  So you should probably avoid me on the road unless you want a 

10. I have been going around reading peoples recaps of their first marathons, and to be honest, i am terrified.  I have an aversion to pain, throwing up, pooping my pants, and open thigh sores.  I don't like these things.  It seems that running 26.2 miles is just not something that the human body is meant to do.  Unless you live in the third world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I am finally somebody!

This weekend, i got my welcome kit from Alyse and Jamie, making my status as a Sweat Pink Ambassador official!  I got this sweet tank top, and a bunch of shoe laces to distribute to all my running buddies!  They even have a bio for me on their website, as well as all the other Sweat Pink ladies!  If you were ever curios about the inner workings of my mind, click Here.
I totally wore the tank all day on sunday while i went to potbellys and then proceeded to nap on the couch all afternoon did healthy things.  It was a bit chilly out, so i wore a cardigan over it, and Matt pointed out that when you wear a sweater over the tank, it crops the text just so:
Eat Pi.  Now there is a slogan i can stand behind!
My favorite part by far was a hand written note from Jamie and Alyse welcoming me as an ambassador, and apparently accusing me of having a sense of humor!  Wha????  ME??? I am shocked, baffled, stunned, and flattered.  I actually do put a fair amount of time into the blog, so its nice to think that someone was entertained by it, if only for a second.
It was a huge boost, because i have been feeling very unappreciated lately both at home and at work, so this just made me feel good,  so i will stop my whining and keep being my fabulous self (although why anyone would consider me a role model is beyond me.  Don't get drunk and sign up for marathons kids.  Just don't.)
Aside from this note, i also got a little acknowledgement from home on how hard i work.  Since Matt has been out of work, I yelled at him to do more around the house so i could have a break.  I won't go into details (because most of them are being saved for FWP tomorrow, but he realized that working all day, running, blogging, doing all the laundry, cooking, etc is a LOT harder than it looks.)

So, as a sweat pink ambassador, it's my job to encourage you to get moving, look awesome, and just do the best that YOU can.  I would say lead by example as well, but seriously, i just ate jelly beans for as i say, not as i do.

And, if anyone want's some awesome hot pink shoe laces, all you have to do is run with me :) (and maybe tell me i am awesome....)