Monthly Archives: March 2012

Wonderful Weekend + Running Fast

I know it’s already Thursday, but I still have to talk about this weekend, mostly because when I think about it a huge smile plasters itself onto my face. Nothing super special happened, except that one of my favorite country girls made her way down for a visit.

Meghan is one of my closest friends and was my college roommate for three years. We met freshman year at orientation and ended up living right next door to one another. Soon after, a beautiful friendship was born (Cue movie music). We moved in together in different dorm rooms for sophomore and junior year, then got a house with another friend, Kayleigh, our senior year. Many, many memories between this girl and I. Many are not appropriate to share on the Internet either, so we’ll just skip ahead.

So Meghan is hard-core country girl. While I’m from the country and absolutely love my country roots, Meghan is a whole other story. She loves it all — contact sports (especially hockey), hunting, camo clothing, fishing, four wheeling, etc. That’s what makes her unique and one of the many reasons why I love her.

But she had never really been to the city. Sure, she came down for a Yankees game, but it was straight to the stadium and back. I was excited to show her my new home. We didn’t do a lot of the tourist-y stuff because she tore her MCL recently (ouch!) and I didn’t want her walking too much in the humongous brace she’s sporting these days. So instead we did things like…

Eat a big brunch and drink yummy, unlimited beverages with Libby and Dustin at MexiQ:

Get manicures (it was Meg’s first time, but look how unknowingly trendy she is! She’s on the right):

Celebrate International Wafel Day:

Play a lot of pool with Dustin and friends:

Get NYC-style pizza at John’s Pizzeria in Times Square (She also discovered the M&M factory). Of course I didn’t take a picture of the pizza, but I did get a shot of their pretty ceiling:

And unintentionally wear matching shirts from our jobs at the college fitness centers:

What? They make excellent pajamas.

So that’s the short version of my fabulous weekend. I was so happy she came by for a visit and only wish we had more time to hang out. Luckily, I’ll see her again in a few weeks! No more of this waiting 8 months in between visits anymore.

I also did some running and spinning. More specifically, I cruised through 8 miles on Saturday and a Broadway-themed ride at SoulCycle followed up with 16 Handles (duh)  with some wonderful blogging ladies. It’s pretty safe to say I had a great weekend.

So great, that I’ve decided it’s why I ran super fast last night (just go with the connection…). I had 6 miles of negative splits on the schedule. 1 mile warm-up, then 5 miles negative splitting :10 with each mile.

Here’s how it went down:

  • Mile 1 – 9:19
  • Mile 2 – 9:20 <– I’m blaming the uphill and absurd headwind that came out of nowhere
  • Mile 3 – 9:03
  • Mile 4 – 8:32
  • Mile 5 – 8:27
  • Mile 6 – 8:12
  • Quarter-mile cool-down and stretch

It’s not exactly what I was supposed to do, but I’m still pretty dang proud of that run. My legs felt light and I gave it all I had. And I ended up going faster than what the plan called for, so I still deem it a success. It has to be the wonderfulness from the weekend, right? Right?

If not, I’m blaming the socks.

Mismatched = speed. Science, right there.

And now you’re all caught up! Your turn: tell me what you’ve been up to lately and what fun plans you have coming up.

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After the Race

Once I crossed the finish line, I was all about refueling. Feeeeeeed meeeeeeee.

Dustin and I trekked back to the hotel, I showered, he watched the SU game and we checked out by 1pm. Our first stop of the afternoon: Pizzeria Paradisio, recommended by Emily.

Holy mother effing yum. Everything I had at this place was fan-freaking-tastic. My mouth is still watering just thinking about it. From the Dale’s Pale Ale that I started with:

To the bruschetta Dustin and I split as an appetizer:

And ending with the delicious individual-sized pizza (or at least individual-sized for an athlete) that I gobbled down in a hot minute.

It was all delicious and so, so good. The bruschetta had perfectly-ripe tomatoes and super fresh mozzarella, and the olive oil coating was so amazing. The pizza had a ton of delicious Parmesan cheese, the crust was the perfect amount of thin and fluffy (I opted for the whole wheat variety) and of course there was more olive oil to soak up. Seriously, just as Emily warned, it was love at first bite. I’m salivating right now.

You’d think after eating all that, I’d be done. But you’d be wrong. Because you can’t go to a new city without testing out their fro-yo. And since I’m a huge supporter of self-serve so I can pile on as many toppings as my heart desires, we walked around Dupont Circle until we arrived at FroZenYo.

While it was good, 16 Handles still holds the #1 spot in my fro-yo obsessed heart. The variety of toppings didn’t compare and the flavors were a little too sweet for my liking. Dustin, on the other hand, loved the flavors. He doesn’t like the options 16 Handles often has (because he’s crazy) and FroZenYo had all of his faves.

Did I finish mine anyway? You betcha.

We had some time to kill afterward and since we were sufficiently stuffed, we figured walking a bit would be good. Unfortunately, we had to carry all of our bags while we trekked across the city.

Yes, I always look this sexy while playing tourist, thankyouverymuch.

Dustin had never been to D.C. before, so we visited the White House so he could kill two birds with one stone and see the Washington Monument behind it. And since we didn’t feel like walking any more with our bags, we copped a squat in the little park by the gates and hung out for an hour or so. Which was perfectly fine by me since it was such a gorgeous day out. And ya know, my legs kind of wanted to relax.

Later we went to Rosslyn for a quick blogger meetup before catching our bus back to New York City. It was so fun to meet up with so many people, even though it was only for a few minutes, and match some awesome faces to their equally bomb-tastic blogs.

So yeah, it was a whirlwind 25 hours in D.C.! But I had a blast, grabbed a PR and had some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted. Weekend win!

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half-Marathon Race Recap

Well, that was unexpected.

As you know, I didn’t go into this race with many expectations. I just wanted to have fun, enjoy the course and run pain-free. I did all three, and managed to nab a new PR in the process. I’ll take it!

But let’s rewind a bit. I traveled into D.C. alone because Dustin couldn’t get out of work early, and after grabbing my bib and checking into my hotel, I met up with Ashley, Theodora, Beth, Laura and Caitlin for dinner at Sette Osteria. Dustin got in shortly after I got back to the Phoenix Park Hotel, which is basically the cutest, most quaint little hotel I’ve ever stayed in. We were right above a super popular bar, which ended up getting quite rowdy for St. Patrick’s Day. People were getting ready to drink when I was heading to the race at 6:30am!

After a quick blog post to fill you all in on my race goals, Dustin and I grabbed a cab to the start line. It wasn’t too cold out, so we opted to stay outdoors, close to the port-o-potties in case I needed to take care of um…business. In our down time, he decided to take my camera for a test drive.

A lot of people wore full-blown St. Patty’s Day outfits, which I loved. I decided to don green and gold to celebrate the holiday and represent my alma mater — Oswego State! — the Lakers were in the NCAA Division III National Championship game Saturday night and this was my way to cheer ’em on! Unfortunately they fell to St. Norbert, but I’m still proud to be a Laker 🙂

My outfit included:

I was pretty close to the front, in corral 10 out of more than 20, so I got to the start fairly quickly. I like the wave-start a lot and since I was at the front of the corral, I managed to toe the line before we were released. That’s always a lot of fun. Or maybe I’m just a nerd and it’s only fun to me. Who knows.

My first three miles were relatively quick, but my legs felt tight. I concentrated on not pushing too much from the adrenaline because I heard the hills in the second half of the race sucked and I didn’t want to be exhausted by then. Before I knew it, I cruised a downhill, turned a corner and saw Dustin for the first time!

This was the first time Dustin’s ever seen me race and it was so awesome seeing him throughout the course. I love having people I know in the crowds cheering!

And I love that he managed to snap the Capitol building in the background as I ran by. He says he did not do this on purpose. Luck of the Irish!

I found my groove shortly after mile 5 and just enjoyed the scenery around me. I loved running past the Washington Monument the most. I have a tendency to black out the actual course when I’m running, so I wanted to try to remember as much as I could. D.C. can be pretty, especially with all of the cherry blossoms. It’s going to be even better in a few weeks, I’m sure.

The hills started in the second half of the race, particularly at mile seven — that one was a little biatch and my legs didn’t enjoy it. Did I walk a bit? You betcha. I told myself it was OK to walk, especially because I wasn’t going for a PR. My knee still wasn’t experiencing any pain and even though it was St. Patty’s Day, I didn’t want to push my luck too far. I walked less than 1/10th of a mile, but the little break felt nice before I picked it back up to get to the top.

Luckily, I spotted Dustin one more time around 8.5 miles, right by Howard University. I had just gone up a beastly hill and was shaking my legs out on the downhill, not paying attention at all. I saw a guy holding up a little sign out of the corner of my eye, then realized it was Dustin! Apparently he made a little sign at work to surprise me, but didn’t whip it out the first time he saw me because he wasn’t expecting me. I was so happy to see him, I ran off course for a quick kiss before moving on.

The camera died right before he saw me, so he shot that video on his phone instead. Win for multimedia!

The rest of the race course was kind of boring and my mind started to check out. It also got really warm — it was around 50 degrees when we started and I could tell it was much warmer by then. When I checked the weather right after I finished, it was 75…I’m glad I was extra careful about hydration heading into the race. I ended up taking my shot blocks one at a time, but I took them early and often (miles 4, 7, 10) to keep my energy high and took at least one cup of water, sometimes two, at every station.

Mile 10 was when I realized I could actually PR at this race. I glanced down at my watch and was hitting around 1:38, so if I was 10 minutes or under for the remaining miles, I could pull it out (my last PR was 2:10.03). I had been ranging between 9:20 and 9:45-minute miles, so I was confident and decided to push it. The next two miles were fine, but by the 13th I just wanted it to be over. You hit 13 miles and don’t even see the finish line because there’s a big hill you have to climb! Whoever decided that was the best way to end this course is not cool. Not cool at all.

Unfortunately, Dustin didn’t see me finish because well, I beat him there. Ha! But I happily crossed the finish line, accepted my medal and new PR, then immediately downed a banana and chocolate milk. It was the best-tasting milk I’d had in a long time.

Overall, I think this was a fun but tough race. The hills were worse than I was expecting them to be, but there were also some nice downhills and flat roads with pretty scenery. Unfortunately, a lot of D.C. is under construction right now, so that detracted from the ambiance a bit, but what are ya gonna do. This was the first year Rock ‘n’ Roll/Competitor Group took over this race, and although I’ve heard horror stories about their races, I think they did a decent job for those of us running the half. There was plenty of water/Gatorade at each station, the bands were cool throughout the course, and we got out of the finisher’s chute fairly quickly.

My one complaint? The lack of port-o-potties throughout the course. I was nervous about needing to stop and kept an eye peeled just in case, but the options were few and far between. And the ones I did see always had long lines because there was only one or two. If anyone was trying to PR and ended up needing to stop for a quick bathroom break, I think their hopes would be dashed. Hopefully RnR will be able to improve on this soon.

Now I’m even more stoked to go after that 2:00 or sub-2:00 in Nashville! I’ve got some more work to do (umm, hi hills), but I think I can get there!

Did you race this weekend? Send me your recaps! Or did you spectate? Tell me about your favorite signs. My favorite one on this course read, “Run like Phoebe! Just have fun!” I’m a sucker for anything FRIENDS.

National Half Race Goals

Happy race day! It’s bright and early Saturday morning and I’m about to head out for the corrals. Yes, I’m crazy and posting nice and early before the race because I was way too tired to do so last night and I said you guys would get some goals. But first, let’s rewind a bit and talk about my trip down here.

I started off my day an hour earlier than usual so that I could get some work done at the office before heading out. Gotta meet those deadlines, baby! I had a delicious smoothie to power me through.

I didn’t get it from Starbucks, but I like my new tumbler. There’s raspberries, strawberries, a banana, scoop of whey chocolate protein powder, milk and a cup of Chobani passion fruit Greek yogurt in that little concoction. I had never tried the yogurt in there before and it was a nice twist. I liked the very tropical flavor to my smoothie, but it made me wish I was somewhere on a beach rather than in dreary New York.

After working for a few hours, I hightailed it to Port Authority and caught the Megabus down to D.C. We left on time, but unfortunately got stuck in traffic and got in an hour later than normal. Luckily, snagging a cab wasn’t too difficult and I ended up sharing a ride with Katelyn over to the expo. We had never met in real life before and chatted the whole way before realizing who the other was! Oops.

I nabbed my bib, checked in at my cute little Irish hotel (I’m in love with how quaint it is), and headed out to dinner with some more lovely bloggers. We had a fabulous time carb-loading. I had a big pasta dish with egg cheese sauce and a blue moon. Yum.

Now, let’s get to those race goals, shall we? As you all know now, I have tendinitis in my left knee, along with some scar tissue, and I recently decided to drop out of my marathon and race the half-marathon instead. While I would love to attempt to PR today, this was supposed to just be a training run for me. I think I’ll try to run a little faster than I would on a training run, but I have no super high expectations for this race.

Instead, I’m donning a super fun, super sparkly outfit and just enjoying myself. I haven’t been in D.C. in five years, so I’m excited to just run through the city and enjoy it on foot. Other than that, my only goal is to run as much as I can pain-free. If I start to feel pain, I’ll take it down a notch to see if it eases up. If not, then I’m going t suck it up and drop out. Maybe. That’s what my coach tells me to do. I’m going to do my best to listen to her.

And that’s all she wrote! Told you it was nice and simple. I’ll see ya from the finish line!

Feel-Good Friday: Colors are Fun

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m standing here outside your door…

Juuuuust kidding about the hangin’ outside your door part. I’m not that creepy. Swear.

But my bags really are packed and I’m ready to go. In fact, I’m already on my way to D.C., courtesy of the big ole’ Megabus. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that everything operates smoothly and we arrive in Union Station on time — I have a small window to get my butt to the expo and pick up my bib!

But instead of stressing about things that might go wrong, let’s focus on happy things. Because it’s Feel-Good Friday and you know it’s the best part of the week. Usually I like to list a bunch of things that have been making me feel fabulous, but I noticed a trend this week: color! It’s such a wonderful thing and when it’s paired with gorgeous weather, it really doesn’t get much better. So invite some color in your own life, alright? You can put it in lots o’ places, like…

Your food.

I discovered Wafels and Dinges‘ waffelini in Central Park this week. Holy. Yum.

Your clothes.

What pose am I making? Please excuse the temporary insanity.

Your nails.

I am festive and ready to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

And on your roommates.

Ok, so I didn’t actually dress Libby, but I really like her cardigan. And for the record, I was wearing my orange jeans that day.

Now you tell me: where are you finding color these days? 

Surviving the Hunger Games

This pretty much sums up my philosophy about working out these days:

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Oh, and this too:

 Source

I may or may not have that set as my actual alarm…minus the picture. My phone isn’t that fancy.

So when Theodora invited me to a Hunger Games-themed workout at Daily Burn, I was all over it. It was extra fabulous when I found out I was hangin’ with these ladies:

Laura, Ashley, Erica, Theodora, Some Sweaty Girl and Cat.

(Photo courtesy of Theodora)

Daily Burn is a customizable workout program that you can access on your computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. Not only does it personalize your workouts on a daily basis, but it helps you form a nutrition plan and connects you with other users, which obviously helps with encouragement and motivation. It’s still in its baby stages, so there are only about 33 different workout videos, but they all vary in time and purpose. So whether you want a simple quickie (TWSS) or a long, hard, sweaty beast (calm your dirty minds), you’re likely to find it here. And it suggests what type of workout you do the next day based on what you’ve been doing all week. So if you’re doing some strength work on say, Wednesday, it automatically knows to mix things up for you. If you decide you’re not feeling that video though, you can reject it and it’ll offer you a new one. Rinse and repeat until you find one you like.

Obviously they’re looking into expansion too, so more videos will be coming our way soon. Hopefully they’ll get enough user feedback so they can make the programs even more individualized, so you could plug in that you’re specifically training for a full or half-marathon, for example, and the program will take that into account too. Fingers crossed!

(Photo courtesy of Theodora)

We went through the “Animal Core” workout, led by the hilarious trainer Eitan Kramer. We’re doing the crab walk in the picture above. Who else remembers doing these in, like, second grade? No matter how many times I do them, I still feel like a little kid. We did some other hardcore moves, many involving plyometric movements, and this morning I was feeling quite tight. Makes me wonder how Rue blissfully pounced from tree to tree all the time! Anyway, it’s a good thing I had physical therapy so my trainer could streeeeetch me right out.

But if Eitan isn’t quite for you (which would mean you don’t like to laugh during your workouts, and that’s just silly itself), there are five other trainers you can choose from. Animal Core is rated on the intermediate level for intensity and lasted about 40 minutes. But again, you can choose which you like and discard others. Me? I would definitely let my pterodactyl come out to play again. Who knows, she might be able to take out a tribute or two for me.

My favorite part of the program? Most of the videos are equipment-free. And if they say you need equipment, usually a body-weight modification is available. Makes it a great tool for those constantly traveling, or those who have trouble accessing a gym (or just don’t want to). If you’re the kind who brings your iPad to the gym, it would work well for that, too. I’m way too scared to bring that puppy out, though. With my general clumsiness, that’s just asking for a broken piece of technology.

(Photo courtesy of Theodora)

We popped some bubbly afterward (something I think should happen all the time) and snacked on fruit and veggies while chit-chatting some more. It was a great night and I was stoked to meet some more NYC bloggers, most of whom I already stalked online.

I know I said I’d have D.C. plans for you, but clearly some more fun events have popped up unexpectedly that I’d rather talk about. But you will learn these plans of mine, I promise (or maybe I should stop promising things?). For now, I’m off to rest before my fun day of travel down to D.C. (that’s sarcasm). As much as I wish I was as badass as Katniss, I realize that I am not — which means I need to do everything I can so that the odds are ever in my favor.

(Photo courtesy of Theodora)

Point in case: I don’t think Katniss would ever make that face I’m sportin’. I’m not even sure Haymitch would. *shakemyhead*

Good night!

What new workouts have you tried recently? Loved it or hated it? 

Confession Time, Part II

Hi everyone! For those of you who actually came back yesterday looking for another update, I thank you. And I apologize. I got distracted by the train wreck that was The Bachelor finale…and the subsequent After the Final Rose episode. Meaning, I wasted three hours in front of the TV, but it was a great reminder that my life isn’t nearly as crazy as it could be.

See, that show serves a purpose, Mom!

And for all you other Bachelor lovers who also love HIMYM, here’s a beautiful thing found via Pinterest (where else would I find it?)

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Second, I want to thank all of you who left comments and sent words of encouragement after my last post. It really, truly means a lot to me.

Now, let’s pick things up where we left off on Sunday.

I headed to Central Park for a long run after taking many days off. And when I say days off, I mean complete rest. Only walking to and from work. The rest of the time, I was simply stretching, icing, compressing and taking naproxen. I thought I was going batty from a lack of sweat.

It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to CP from my apartment on the weekend, and as I rode the train, I thought a lot about this run. No matter how much I tried to envision myself cranking out 15 miles with ease, I just couldn’t do it. For some reason, I knew that it just wasn’t going to happen. Chalk it up to a big dose of reality setting in? I have no idea. But, as cheesy as it sounds, I knew I had to try. Otherwise I’d drive myself bonkers wondering if I would’ve been able to do it.

Once again, the first few miles were fine. I went at an easy pace, and strapped my watch on so that it was difficult to check my pace. I just wanted to run. Shortly after two miles, I realized I had made a rookie mistake: I overdressed. I knew it was going to be shorts and a tank weather, or shorts and a long-sleeved shirt at the most, but I let Dustin psych me out when he went out for bagels in the morning and said it was pretty chilly. Nervous about being too cold, I put on crops and a long-sleeved shirt. After two miles, the sleeves were rolled and I was cursing Dustin justalittlebit (NOTE: Do not listen to your non-runner boyfriend when he tells you about the weather. His views are very different from yours).

I pushed on, moving with the rolling hills and thinking about Nashville again. And then out of nowhere, my knee gave out. No slow, building pain that comes and goes like normal, it just plain gave out. I looked at my watch, saw seven miles and decided to stop. I walked for a bit and the pain only came back a little, but I still decided to stop. Call me crazy, but I made the conscious decision to have a good day.

And I’m so proud of myself for that moment.

I realized something. I’m so tired of having crappy weekends because of all the bad long runs I’ve been having. It’s one thing to have a bad run here or there. But to have one on every single weekend for at least a month? That’s not right. Heck, it’s probably a sign from the running gods trying to tell me that this is not my race. So finally, my stubborn head decided to listen. I was (am?) ready to agree: this is not my race to conquer 26.2.

As much as I want it to be, it just isn’t. Like I said in part I, I don’t want to finish my first marathon limping, in pain and hating every single moment. I want to conquer each and every one of those miles, feeling strong, confident, powerful. I want to feel like I’m a badass, not like I got my ass kicked fifteen times over.

But most of all, I don’t want my first 26.2 to be my last. I’m only 22 and I just started running a little over a year ago. I have a lot of miles left in me. Sure, I have a torn meniscus, a reconstructed ACL and a blood disorder that slightly complicates things, but who doesn’t have problems? Everyone has hurdles to jump over; these are mine. There’s no reason to add another one.

If I ran the full 26.2, I’m scared that I would end my running  career prematurely.I remember what it’s like to not be able to run for over three months. It’s NOT FUN. It’s mentally demoralizing and if I can avoid it, I’m sure as hell going to do everything in my power to do so. I suppose I’ll finally start believing what others have been telling me: there are other marathons waiting for me.

So am I done with Nashville? Not quite. My family is still there, my dad still hasn’t seen me race, and I’ve already coughed up the money, so I’m still headin’ South come April 27. I’m just going to run the half-marathon. My new plan is still in development, but in general, I’m going to throw myself into physical therapy, focus on strength training and speed work, and aim to PR the sh*t out of that half.

My plans for this weekend’s St. Paddy’s Day National Half? Come back tomorrow!

Confession Time

Guys, it’s time to talk.

….

Wow, that sounded serious, didn’t it? Whenever someone says some variation of “we need to talk,” it’s never going to be good. While this isn’t an exception, it isn’t as bad as it could be. Basically, it’s time to lay it all out there. And this post isn’t going to have pictures, so if you make it through, I applaud you.

Remember all of the problems I had been having with my knee? They were so bad that I was really nervous about not being able to run the marathon in April? But then I got great news because I saw a bunch of doctors and was told that I hadn’t torn anything. In fact, I found out that I have a case of tendonitis with built up scar tissue in my left knee, which happens to be the knee that has a repaired ACL and MCL, and still-torn meniscus. Doc told me I could continue training for the marathon and that I shouldn’t have to do much other than take an anti-inflammatory, ice and elevate after I run. I was ecstatic.

After every workout for the past month, I dutifully wrapped my knee in an ice brace, elevated and took naproxen. Sometimes I’d alternate ice and heat. Then I got compression socks to help with my varicose vein and I started wearing my knee brace during runs again, which helped with tendonitis back when I was originally coming back from my reconstruction surgery.

But it didn’t help.

My body felt great after my weekday workouts. Spinning: great. Yoga: great. Speed work: great. Lifting: great. I’d get so amped up for my long runs on the weekend, convinced that I was going to have a glorious run. I’d imagine myself running happily, kind of like Marshall does on HIMYM. The miles would tick by and I’d be that much closer to reaching the 26.2 distance. Sure, I was prepared for some tough times, but overall I was ready for some stellar doses of weekend sweat.

Yeah, that never happened.

Every single week, my knee would end up hurting like hell. So much that my knee would simply give out. Sometimes it would happen after I reached the assigned mileage, sometimes it was way before. But each time, I wouldn’t be able to walk for the rest of the day. My afternoons would be spent in bed watching TV because walking up and down the stairs to my third-floor apartment hurt like hell. The only time I did leave was when my family was in town and I wanted to show them around. Otherwise, my butt was firmly planted to the bed.

Last week, I was a wreck. Coach Abby assigned 15 miles and I was really excited because it was going to be my new PDR. Once again, my workouts all week were phenomenal. I set myself up for a great run. Killer playlist, perfect outfit, nice weather, favorite fuel, fresh running route, full water bottle, etc. Miles 1-5 were a little tight, but then I found my groove and it was amazing. Miles 5-10 ticked by and I finally thought this was going to be it. I hit mile 10 and thought, “Only 5 more miles? Psshh, I got this.”

And then the universe decided that I was being a bit too cocky. Around 10.5 miles, my knee decided to say, “Eff you, Sam. You’re done.”

I tried to fight it, I really did. I kept running, hoping it would fade like it’s done before. No dice. So I slowed my pace slightly. Still no change. I walked a little. Much better….until I tried to run again. That’s when my knee started giving out completely. I couldn’t run more than a few steps — and by that, I mean about 5 or 6 — before I had to walk again. I looked at my watch and saw just over 13 miles and knew it was time to call it quits.

I cried right there in Central Park.

I was so angry because I knew that I could do this. 15 miles was this small number, just slightly above 13.1, but I couldn’t reach it. My whole body felt great and it wanted to keep going, but my knee simply wouldn’t let me. So what did I do? What any logical person would do…I went home and drowned my sorrows in food. Duh.

The next day, I met up with Coach Abby and cried some more out of sheer frustration. She told me that was a good thing; it shows I care. That made me feel less like a chump. After a lot of talking me off a ledge, she convinced me to take this week off from exercise, to help reduce the inflammation in my knee. I thought I was going to go crazy a few times and had to email Abby for support, but it gave me a lot of time to think.

I started thinking about why I was so determined to run this marathon in the first place. Yes, I wanted to do it in Nashville because I wanted my dad to see it. But that was really my only reason. Sure, I signed up for the race last June, so the anticipation was definitely built high as the date kept inching closer. But is that a real reason? Not so much.

Then I started thinking about everything that I’ve gone through in the past few months. All of the doctors appointments (and expensive co-pays), non-musculature pain, frustration, anger, tears, doubt, shame, fear. I had been on such a downward spiral and was so stubborn to let my dream of running 26.2 go. Even though it was extremely painful and completely destroying any confidence I had in my running, I wanted to keep going. I thought that if I didn’t do this specific marathon, then I was a failure.

I started visualizing April 28, playing out the entire race. Not once did I see myself having a glorious race where I triumphantly crossed the finish line with my hands in the air. No, I saw myself limping, hours after I had planned on finishing, crying and begging for the race to be over. I saw my dad on the sidelines, his face creased with worry, asking me to stop doing this to myself. I saw Dustin trying his best to encourage me because he knew I wasn’t going to give up, but his eyes showed nothing but fear. And then a voice finally crept inside my head. Is it worth it? 

In a word: no.

I don’t want to finish my first marathon like that. And I don’t want to ruin the rest of my running career because I’m being stupid and stubborn. I have more to talk about, and I need to explain how today’s run went, but I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s post because this one has gotten quite long. If you’ve read this whole thing, thanks so much for sticking around. Fingers crossed you’re coming back tomorrow. Until then…

Feel-Good Friday: Colors and Cashews

Why, hello there. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Man, I’m a doofus for disappearing like that.

Sorry for the unexplained absence, but things have been a bit chaotic these days. And to be honest, I’ve been bumming pretty hard lately and didn’t want to get into it on the blog until I knew more information. Which I still don’t have, so I probably shouldn’t even have said that much. Someone get me a censor!

Source

Anywho, enough of the talk about stuff that makes me sad. I’ll get into it more next week, when people who are smarter than me lay down the law and tell me what’s going on with my life for the next few months. And when I say my life, I really mean my running. Because that’s what life is all about, right? Right?

Ok, maybe not. But still.

So instead of focusing on the debbie-downers in life, let’s chat about the uppie-uppers (I couldn’t think of a female name that would go with uppers…). Here are some things that have been making me feel fabulous over the last week and a half. Maybe they’ll coax a smile out of you, too. 🙂

Conversation hearts. Yes, Valentine’s Day is waaaay over and St. Patrick’s Day is looming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have these sugar-y treats hanging around. I told you, I like to read them. Not a huge fan of actually eating them. I don’t think the company cares, they still got my money.

I love that one of them says, “Tweet Me.” Oh, social media.

Compression socks. I got a hot pink pair from CEP about two weeks ago and hot damn I think it was love at first sight. I love the bright color (I’m extremely into bold colors right now) and they’ve helped my varicose vein tremendously. I put them on when my legs are all swollen and usually just fall asleep wearing them. They’re not too tight, so I don’t notice. Which is weird because I never used to be able to sleep with socks on. If I ever tried, I’d wake up with them kicked off. Maybe it’s because they’re too tight to kick off?

Anyway, when I wake up, my legs look normal again! They’ve also helped a lot with my recovery after long runs. No major muscle soreness? I can deal with that.

Manicure Mondays. So I didn’t do it this week, but one of these Mondays Libby, my friend Nina and I treated ourselves to mani/pedis at a salon near my apartment. We hadn’t gotten our hands done in forever, and it had been even longer since our feet got the tender treatment, so it was time to indulge.

I’m so glad I did! My manicure lasted over a week! That never happens. I’m one of those girls who has chipped nails less than 24 hours after a manicure, so it was like magic on my hands whenever I realized my fingers were still chip-free.

Actually, I was really sad when I discovered the first flaw. The magic was over. 😦

Cashews and lots o’ veggies. I know I’ve professed my love before, but I have been a veggie machine lately. All I’ve been craving is vegetables and some fruits here and there. Keep the meat away from me and the carbs. Ok, don’t really keep the carbs away. I’ve been eating all of the fuel I need for running, but my palate has only wanted the veggies. I’ve indulged in the work salad bar many times over the last two weeks and I just can’t get myself to think it’s a bad thing. My favorite add-on though? Cashews. Something about that nut gets me every time.

YUM.

Sparkles. I’ve been planning my outfit for the National Half on St. Patrick’s Day (D.C., here I come!), and let me tell you, it’s full of sparkly goodness. And green, obviously. I might don some gold too, so Dustin can recognize me and so I’m representing Oswego! Whaddup, Lakers!

No, I won’t wear that scarf. But isn’t it pretty? I got it about a month ago and have worn it here and there. My affection for it kicked up a notch last week and I look at it every morning wondering if and how I can incorporate it into my wardrobe. Le sigh.

And there ya have it! Some feel-good fantastic-ness for you on this Friday. Who else is happy it’s Friday? I feel like it took forever to get here. I’m so excited about it, I might even dance to the Glee version of that awful “Friday” song by what’s her name. Now that’s saying something.

You know it’s your turn. Tell me about what’s been making you feel good this week!