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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Heat is On

I'm hot.

No, not in the beauty sense (but thanks if that's what you were thinking), in the freaking summer sense.  Did spring skip North Carolina this year?  I believe so.

I suhhhpose it could be my fault that running feels ooober hard these days.  I do run at 3 or 4pm when the sun slams you in the face.  I mean, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but dang, sistah needs some reprieve!

So, I realize it's been a while since my last blog post.  Lots has happened since then, so to give a quick summary before I start blabbing, here it goes:

(1)  I've become a hypochondriac.
(2)  We went to Asheville for a kick-a$$ vacation.
(3)  Logan started talking - like, real words.
(4)  Marathon training has begun again - YAY!

Mmk, let's start with my neurosis.   It all started with two swollen lymph nodes.  No, not me, and, no, not mini-Mike; this time, it was big Mike.  After a trail run during Memorial Day weekend, big Mike came home extremely fatigued and with two lumps on his neck.  He did not have any other symptoms at the time, and of course, when you consult Dr. Google on this (or a hang nail for that matter), you can ultimately guess the diagnosis (I don't even like saying the word).  So, fearing the worst, I accompanied him to his doctor appointments for two weeks and played the slowest game of wait and freak.  When we finally found out he had mono, I cheered.  Yes, I CHEERED that my husband has MONO.  Worst.  Wife.  Ever.

I then obviously decided I needed a physical to make sure I was healthy.  It turns out that I thankfully am, except for one low level on my CBC that is consistent with GI issues.  Uh, you think?!  Apparently, this low level can be caused by (1) too much alcohol (me?  noooooo) or (2) possible gluten sensitivity (aww, heyyyullll no.  I'll keep the risk of shi**ing myself over eliminating carbs, thank you very much).   The other interesting discovery was that I've already had mono and didn't know it.  There is actually a *chance* it was in the fall when I was going through all that "why-aren't-antibiotics-getting-rid-of-my-3x-strep-throat" mess.  So, with that said, I've never been one to toot my own horn, but if I actually ran a 2:58 marathon while having mono........  <--toot toot TOOT!  Jus' saying.  Who knows though.

Whether justified in my hypochondriac ways or not, I'll say this:  when faced with something that can potentially be a true life game changer like that, you really gain some perspective on life.  Suddenly, insignificant sh*t that you stress about simply does not matter.  What matters most are family and friends that love you and that you love.  Therefore, after all of this, we were fortunate to spend an entire week in Asheville with two great friends and their two little girls.  We had a FABULOUS time relaxing, eating, running, eating, hiking, eating, and adding to my low CBC level.  Mike was an extreme trouper, as he could not run, bike, or have any beer from Asheville's 18 breweries.  <---torture.

Logan REALLY started loving Daddy while in Asheville.  I, apparently, became the biggest pile of doo-doo.  Perhaps he felt bad that Daddy had mono (at least that's what I told myself to make, um, myself feel better).  Anywho, Logan's vocabulary really picked up while there too.  So, without further ado, her is our son's current vocab:

1) Daddy  (he definitely knows who this is and what it means)
2) Mamamama (pretty sure he has no clue who the hell I am)
3) Bubbles (why is this, like, all kids' first word?)
4) No (we promote positivity)
5) Uh-oh (we promote positivity A LOT)
4) Cheese (how I know he is my son)
5) Shoes (how I know he is my son again <-- I assume he is referring to running shoes)

So, let's get back to that hot running thing.  While it doesn't feel super awesome, I'm running pretty strong considering.  I'm officially back in base phase towards the fall and hoping for a healthy ride through to marathon number seven.  I have a little chat every night with my stomach hole to make sure she's happy in our relationship.  <--- Dang that bi*ch is high maintenance!  I already have a training plan laid out, and I'm excited to bring my mileage to higher volumes than I've ever done before.  I plan to add a half-marathon, 5K, and 10K into the speed work mix and see if I can nab some new PRs along the way too.  So, here we go!  I'm pumped and ready.

Asheville Fun:

Happy and Hot Running!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Change of Pace

(Cue Katy Perry):  I raced a 5K, and I liked it...

Okay, so I didn't really like it, per se, but it was fun to change things up.  Running a 5K when you are used to marathon training is, um, well, it sucks.  After my whole IT Band debacle and forgoing a spring marathon, I decided to jump in the Wrightsville Beach 5K as my first speed workout back, and hey, it turned out better than expected.  Despite wanting to kill someone at the start of mile three ("Seriously, why the F did I sign up for this?!"  <-- inner monologue), I ended up winning the women's race in 18:46.  So, yeah.  Given that this was only my second 5K in, uh, seven years (that's what marathon training will do to ya), I may try some more now. Key word = may.  Mm hmm.

So, feeling pretty encouraged and even more so after my Streakers kicked a$$ the next day in the Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half-Marathon, I wrote myself a training schedule for, um, myself, and off I went.  My first target was to run a fast half-marathon at either the Sunset Beach Half or Marines Historic Half on May 16th weekend.  Shizz was going awesome; I took a down week after the 5K and then had a smashing fartlek (teehee) run and 14-miler with pace work the following week.  Then came the next week, when I crushed a 10-miler with the middle five at perceived half-marathon pace.  I didn't look at my watch until I finished, and low and behold, I ran the five at 6:08 pace.  Okay, now I was feeling REALLY encouraged...

...Until the next day.  While running six miles at la-di-da recovery pace, my calf basically "popped".  No, not pooped (I know I talk about poop a lot) ...POPPED.  Why?!?  F&$% YOU, CALF! (<-- not-so-inner monologue).  After having a little pity party on the sidewalk, I ventured inside a retirement home that was thankfully right there to use a phone.  Picture the scene:  About 100 55+'ers were having lunch in their big, open common area as I, teary-eyed and clad in soaked (it was raining) neon pink shorts, neon pink compression socks, and just a sports bra, walked inside.  Some had a look of horror (women), while some had a look of delight (men).  At that moment, I realized... yyyyyep, they may or may not think someone hired a stripper for this event.  Lawd, get me out of here!!  Luckily, my best buddy lives right up the road, and she saved me.

Anywho, I was convinced my calf was torn, but after an ultrasound scan, it luckily was not.  YAY!  After seven days off from running, I am back at it again, although scaled back until cleared for anything epic.  This means no half-marathon in May, but that is okay; this is just a small blip on the run-dar screen.  My fear though is what is causing all this mess.  It turns out I still have a post-pregnancy I-pushed-too-hard hole in my stomach where my faux-hernia resides.  While the hole has gotten smaller, it's still causing instability in my pelvis, which in turn is causing instability from my waist down.  So, here is my open letter to my stomach:

Dear Stomach Hole:
Close, bitch.
With Love,

So, yeah, I'll keep on all my strengthening exercises like a bada$$ mo-fo, but at the end of the day, until my stomach gets with the program, a lot of this is a waiting game and pure luck.  One thing is fo sho tho...I'm certainly NOT going to stop going after my goals.  You hear that, bitch?  I WILL win this!  k, thanks.

I hit the elliptikill-me-i'm-so-bored while unable to run for the week, and it apparently thinks I'm too slow.  Way to kick a gal when she's down, elliptikill-me-i'm-so-bored.

In order to combat the aforementioned boredom, I added a couple of new songs to my iPod:  Toto's Africa (channeling my inner Kenyan) and Matthew Wilder's Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride (well, except for my calf), and then I realized something.  HOLY SHIT; I'M OLD!  When did this happen?!  Did I seriously just choose oldies and forgo and judge Rihanna's Bitch Better Have My Money because the title alone is negatively influencing today's children (<-- inner monologue)?  I guess on Marathon Monday, I did turn 35 (I know, I know, you're so jealous that YOUR birthday wasn't on Marathon Monday), but yeah, I'm not so sure I like this change.  I'd rather race a 5K every day (<-- that is a lie).

Mm k, so as my newly old a$$ makes its gradual ascension back to epic-ness, here are my racing thoughts.  I'm still choosing between fall marathons.  I have an entry into the Chicago Marathon's American Development Program (sub-3:01 for women & sub-2:31 for men), but I'm also considering Savannah and Kiawah since I like both destinations and Charleston because I'm a pig and love the city's food.  I still plan to tackle a half-marathon at some point, and yeah, I'll probably do some 5Ks and 10Ks here and there.  I have goal times in my head for all these distances, but, uh, yeah, I'm not telling.  :) 

All else is great.  Mike's big change is his new job!  He joined a small software development company in Winston-Salem last month and is LOVING it.  Of course, once he was hired, I immediately stalked his new colleagues online to see if any of them run/race.  What?  Is that not normal?  Whatever, the answer is YES!  Many of them do.  Ahhh, it was so meant to be.  Logan's big change is his new molar.  Yep, more teeth to eat with.  He continues to be my fat 'n' happy Mini-Mike man!

Happy Running!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dear, ITBS: I win!

Good riddance, ITBS!  It took a lot of dedication and patience, but... I win!

ITBS, better known as: 
I'm Tired of this Bull, um, Shit
It Took Beaucoup Strengthening
It's Time; Buh-bye, Suckahhh!

Here is how I beat this poophead:

  • I took a full week of rest, meaning, I sat on my couch and ate doritos.  Yes, FULL REST.
  • In between doritos, I started an aggressive strengthening routine.  When the dorito bag was empty, I went to the gym and finished the routine.  Okay, seriously, here is what I did every day (and am still doing):
    • 2x 25 clam shells, raised clam shells, and leg lifts
    • 25 weightless lunges and weightless squats
    • 2x 20 lateral band walks on each side
    • ten minutes of foam rolling
  • Three or four times each week, I completed 3x 20 leg extensions (30lbs), leg presses (50lbs), hamstring curls (20 lbs), and glute extensions (40 lbs).  Coming to theatres soon, the return of QUADZILLA, mwuhahahaha.  
  • Once running again, I cut my mileage back to the threshold of pain.  Meaning, if the pain started at three ovaahhhh!  It took over two weeks to build back to a five or six mile run.  This took the most discipline (and the most cursing).
  • I dropped A LOT of F-Bombs.  A LOTTTT.  Very therapeutic.  Try it sometime.
So, there ya have it.  I'm back, b*tches.  It was 70+ degrees in Greensboro yesterday (yep, it's March 5th), and I ran nearly 11 miles painfree.  My fitness is working its way back, but I was able to average 7:00 and click off the final mile at 6:15 just for fun.  And yes, my fingers, toes, and shoe laces are all crossed right now, and I'm knocking on some serious wood (<-- that sounds dirty :-O).  

I'm not making any definite decisions on races yet, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to see what I can do in the half-marathon and then look towards a fall marathon.  I'm weighing between going for a fast time and awesome experience at one of the world majors (Chicago!) or choosing one in which I can be competitive and go for the win.  Unless I win Chicago.  Bahahahaha.  That's funny.

Outside of running, the past month has been great.  Logan is now walking, which I LOVE.  (Over-emotional Mom Alert -->) The excitement in his eyes with every step he takes is a great lesson in celebrating all our successes, whether big or small.  He is also now saying "Mama", to which I get weak in the knees and swishy in the tummy (unless that's all the dairy?!).  Mike and I have a great routine down now, and to all first-time moms in their first year that feel constantly out of control, I can say this:  it gets soooo much better and easier!  I promise.  Trust me.  I was a hot mess.  Momzilla.  Sobfest.  I'm good now though.  Right, Mike?! 

Onward and upward!

 Whoaaaa.  Doritos are buy one, get one free at Harris Teeter this week!

 Date night!  We aren't always sweaty...

 Best buds!

Eating healthy was not part of my strength routine.  Yes, all five glasses are mine.  Try to keep up...  

 Shameless strengthening leg press selfie.  Goober.

 The snow-covered Lehigh University cross-country course.  We ventured north for our former teammate's memorial service.  Rest in peace, Steve.  

Maintaining my strength work in the Hotel Bethlehem fitness center.  ...very cruel view out the window.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Whine

It's okay that I decided to forgo a spring marathon.  No, really, it is.  It's okay that I just emailed the Wrightsville Beach Marathon race director telling him I won't be on the start line.  Seriously, it's cool.  Ehhh, who am I kidding.  It f'ing sucks. 

My ITBS pain (not to be confused with IBS, which is funny, cuz ya know, that's kinda my M.O.) reached an all-time high, or perhaps I should say an all-time low, a couple of weeks ago.  When you continually try to run through something that clearly needs strength work, and you don't do it, well, whaddya expect.  <---This is purely a factual statement for your learning pleasure.  I, OF COURSE, did not partake in this!  Liar.  Anywho, after a constant stream of a few days off, run again, a few days off, run again, I am finally taking the rest and work I need to get this fixed.  

Whiner Alert --->  What sucks is that my fitness was on fire.  After Philly, I set some pretty nasty goals (nasty in the awesome sense, which really doesn't make sense, but whatever, work with me here).  I figured that if I can run a 2:58 only 11 months after expelling a mini-Mike out of my you-know-what, the sky's the limit.  I used to think I could only get so fast, but that mental block is now blocked.  I know I have a lot more in me, and it was showing over the past month.  So, could I still run Wrightsville?  Sure.  However, I don't just want to run.  I wanted to race.  I wanted to win.  So, my goals are on hold, but they aren't going anywhere.  In the meantime, I'll be here, waiting to hit the roads again, enjoying my full-of-lactose-and-dairy cheese alongside my whine.

It's probably for the best anyway.  The past two weeks in the Goff casa have gone like this:  Logan gets a cold, gives said cold to me, Logan gets the most epic of epic stomach viruses EVER, and finally (I'm hoping this is the end), I come down with a fever, ear infection, and a blown out ear drum (<--- how does that even happen?!).  If I was trying to train hard through all of this, lawwwwd, I'd be grumpcious (grumpy + vicious).    

So, while unable to train, Mike (who, mind you, has stayed healthy through all of this...what!) and I have been chatting about mini-Mike number two and when might be the best time to expand the brood.  At first I thought, well, I can't run, so now is as good a time as ever, but then I was scrolling through my phone and found this (TMV Alert --->):

Sweet jeezers, that &^$% is big!  ...and that's only 28 weeks!  Mmk, so maybe not yet.  Btw, TMV = too much visual.  ...although that probably would have helped you before the photo.  My bad.

So, that's the scoop.  Once my knee is aligned with my brain and heart, it will be all systems go on these goals.  Although, who knows, if one mini-Mike brought such success, I'm not so scared anymore of what will happen after a second.  With hard work, passion, unwillingness to settle, and a little sacrifice, anything is possible!

He may be a mini-Mike, but he is definitely my son too!  
nom nom

Happy Running!
...Oh, and Happy Groundhog's Day.  Jus' sayin'.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


What do female reindeer do on girl's night out?

Wait for it...wait for it...................they blow a few bucks.

BAHAHA.  No, I didn't make that up.  Yes, it was one of the cards for sale in Target's "naughty and nice" section.  No, that was not their raunchiest one.  Yes, I did buy three of them one.

It's kinda sad, but while Christmas shopping, I was tummy-hurts-cracking-up while reading these cards.  Perhaps my head has been stuck up my ass for too long now, but when did Target get so racy?!  Regardless, it helped me realize something:  In 2015, I want to have more fun, stress less, and c-to-the-h-to-the-ill out.  Mind you, I am not one for New Year's resolutions (I mean, why make changes in January?  What's wrong with June?  If you want to get in shape, June is warmer...jus' saying), but I guess this kind of is one?  Lawd help me.

We are 17 days into the New Year, and my early resolution report card gives me a B-.  To earn an A, I should have corrected myself as such in the following situation:

While out on a stroller run with Logan, a nasty sweet old lady honked her horn in Logan's face for what I thought was no reason, until she turned her car around and berated me for running on the wrong side of the road.  Nasty Sweet old lady obviously does not know the rules of running on the road, so instead of flipping her two birds, I should have simply educated her on them.  Or just flipped her one bird  ...a B+ ain't too shabby.

Okay, so where have I actually done well?  Let's start with work.  I made the decision to cut back about 20% of my responsibilities in favor of more time with Logan, Mike, and friends.  I'll still be working full-time but will focus primarily on coaching, which over the past few years has become my true passion.  It took me a long time to follow through on this decision; I was a little afraid of being perceived as a failure for admitting I couldn't handle everything.  However, what's liberating now is giving two shits, wait no, SIX shits, about what others think of me.  Did you know that 91% of peeps pick their nose on a daily basis?  Yep, ain't no one gots room to judge (and apparently 17% admit to doing it in their car.  Eww.  Where do they put their boogers!?  ...aaaand, we're off topic.).

Mm k, so, after the Philly Marathon, I took two weeks off before commencing with the "jackass" phase again.  ...ya know, that phase before base phase in which you run whatever the heyull you want, and hence, act like a total jackass.  Oh, you don't know?  Whatever, jackass.  Anywho, the problem now is, I'm having a slight knee, um, problem, which I'm about 87.2% sure is IT Band Syndrome.  This is undoubtedly a result of ignoring my tight hamstring while training for Philly, as my attention was primarily being given to please-don't-shit-yourself prevention.  Over the past few weeks, I was stubbornly running through the ITBS, but after a 9-mile run this past Tuesday, I knew it was time for some rest.  So, with that said, my name is Jen, and it's been four days since my last run...

Here's the thing though...I'm at peace with it.  Whoa now...this chill Jen bitch is scaring me!  With a little TLC, my knee will get better, and running will, as always, still be there.  If all goes well, you sure betcha I'll line up for another marathon this spring.  If not, no worries, the fall isn't too far away, and it looks like Chicago is my next calling.  I already have new marathon goals, in addition to some over shorter distances, and I'll attack them when healthy.  In the meantime though, on Wednesday, I rode the recliner bike (recliner bike...that's an oxymoron, right?) for 30 minutes on level wimpy seven while gossiping with a friend and checking Facebook.  HARD.  CORE.  ...but it was fun!

  As for my tummy issues, still no answer, but here's what I've determined...I'm about 79.4% sure I'm dairy intolerant as a result of pregnancy.  However, the daily pleasure I receive from drinking a 16-ounce filled-to-the-rim-with-milk white chocolate mocha outweighs the severe potential of shitting myself while running.  In fact, if that were to happen, I may even console myself by eating cheese.  On another good note, my strep throat has decided not to make its fourth appearance.  Although she's scary, that chill Jen bitch gets all the credit; it turns out that cutting yourself some slack works wonders for your immune system!

So, there ya have it.  While 2014 was amazing for so many reasons, I am looking forward to 2015, a new perspective, less stress, and more time with my two men, friends, friends' babies, and, well, me.

Christmas Eve morning with best buddy Wit

 Christmas Eve dinner with Aunt Alisha

Chillin' at home

On a final note, I returned to Target this morning.  The "naughty and nice" section has been replaced with the "sexy" lineup for Valentine's Day.  Low and behold:

 Does that really say bend over?!

Happy 2015!  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I did it!

And by "it", I mean I did not crap myself.  Obviously.  YAY!

In the week leading up to the Philadelphia Marathon, I found myself getting more and more nervous.  The unknowns of how my body would respond made it feel like my first marathon again.  I knew I was in decent shape, but I did not know how much the recurrent strep and tummy crud would interfere.  Five days prior, I had a GI episode after a 6-mile easy run, which led me to give up all lactose, most dairy, wine, and caffeine as a last ditch effort to save my hide and pride.  This meant that for five days, I was a bitch had no Starbucks peppermint white mocha or zinfandel.  Whoa.

Mike, Logan, Zoe, and I made the ten hour filled-to-the-roof car trek to Philly on Thursday.  We had SO much fun (<-- sarcasm).  We stayed in the burbs with Mike's parents on Thursday and Friday night before heading into the city on Saturday.  Upon arrival at the hotel, my dad was awaiting us in the lobby bar.  Yay!  He was drinking wine.  Grr.  After neurotically laying out the next morning's race attire down to the hair twistie (with four extra in case someone stole the one off my head), it was off to dinner, where Logan recommended the whole wheat penne with marinara and chicken.  Good choice, Logan.

Race morning.  4:10am.  What sick bastard set an alarm for this hour?  Oh, yeah, me.  Okay, get up, lazy ass.  Ugh.  Did you seriously just walk into the dresser?  You dumbass.  I need a light.  Must pee.  Did you seriously just trip over the toilet?  You dumbass.  I need a light.  I bet Dad is still drinking wine in the bar.  Why is Mike still sleeping?  Doesn't he know I need a light?  I wouldn't have neurotically laid out all my stuff if I knew I'd have NO LIGHT.  I'm cold.  Where are my pop tarts?  Did another alarm seriously just go off?  Why am I so OCD?  Wait, did I seriously just wake up at 4:10am to run 26.2 miles in which the threat of shitting myself exists?  You dumbass...

Mm k, after turning on the lights and pulling myself together, Mike and I walked to the start area at 5:30am and found the elite tent.  Pretty cool stuff.  The best perk was that it was heated, but I had to laugh because...drumroll.........there was no light.  The tent was pretty packed; although not a marathon major, Philly attracts lotsa fasties.  About 20-30 minutes before the start, we stripped out of our warmups and started giving each other the I'm-sizing-you-up-while-trying-to-pretend-I'm-not-sizing-you-up stares.  I used the bathroom for the 872nd time, and then it was time to roll.  We were led to the front of the line, asked to do a run out, and this is when I let fear and doubt seep in...

The gun went off, and to my surprise, they held the entire field to give the elites and seeded runners a 15 or so second head start.  FREAK OUT!  I don't know what happened in my brain, but I felt it was necessary to, uh, wait for the rest of the field?  I mean, I started running, but I'm pretty sure I was in last place for the first 200 meters or so.  I was convincing myself that I didn't belong with the elites and kept looking back when, damn it, I should have been looking ahead.  ALWAYS LOOK AHEAD. When the first corral started catching up, I spotted a guy holding a 3:00 sign, and this was where I decided to stay.  So, I hovered.  When I look back at this race, I want to kick myself for being such a putty (<-- insert s's for the t's in this word...sorry, couldn't get myself to actually write it.  So gross!).  I always tell runners I coach that when they stop expecting failure and stop treating themselves like a second rate runner, this is when their potential will be reached.  So, yeah, I rocked that.  Go, Coach!

Mile 1.  Letting all the maroon bibs catch me.  Silly putty.

Around mile 2, some random dude starting chatting with me.  Our convo went like this:
Random Dude:  Hey, what's your goal?
Me:  I dunno.  Maybe 3 hours.
Random Dude:  Oh, me too.  Cool.  Maybe we can run together.
Me:  **silence**
Random Dude:  So, what's your name?
Me:  Jen.  Yours?
Random Dude:  Slow Mo.
Me:  Excuse me?  **choking on phlegm**
Random Dude:  Slow Mo.
Me:  Your actual name is Slow Mo?
Random Dude:  Yeah.  It's stuck since I was a kid.
Me:  Have a great run, Slow Mo.  **picks up pace**

Talk about a bad omen!  However, random dude was just the kick in the ass I needed.  Time to man up, woman!  I shed my arm warmers, stopped looking back, and promised myself no more running in slow mo.  I settled into a nice 6:50's pace groove for the next 10 miles or so, feeling extremely easy.  It felt so easy that I never even noticed the hills people warned me about around Drexel, Penn, and the zoo.  I crossed the halfway in 1:29:52, high fived Mike, Dad, and sis-in-law Lindsey, and decided it was time to GO.

Chillin' at mile 13

Miles 14-18 passed in 6:45, 6:44, 6:41, 6:38, 6:38.  I was rolling.  Weightless.  I started passing back some of the elite and seeded runners.  Hellz yeah.  See, you belong there, Jen.  You're a total badass.  You've SO got this.  Oh shit.  What the hell is that disgusting smell?  OHMIGOD IT'S HAPPENING!  Did I just shit myself without knowing it?!  No, no, no, no, please God, no.  Oh phew, it's the dude in front of me.  That sucks.  Like, REALLY sucks.  I cannot believe he is still running!  I want to give him a hug.  Because that really sucks.  But giving him a hug would be really gross.  Because he has shit all over himself...

FOCUS!  Around mile 19, we started a gradual climb into Manayunk, and it started getting a little tougher, but I was still maintaining around 6:40 pace.  It wasn't until mile 23 that my pace dropped back to 6:50's.  Luckily, I made the decision pre-race to pack an extra gel in my boobs, which helped a ton (If I look rather busty when I run, you now know my secret.  Oh, I don't look busty?  Well, I didn't ask you.  So, whatever.).  When I crossed the 26-mile mark, I could feel the emotion start to seep in.  I knew I had just crushed the 3-hour barrier, but after a year full of pregnancy, surgery, and other body crud, I was in minor shock.  In the final .2, I did not bother to kick.  After the halfway mark, I passed so many runners, but not one, single runner passed me.  However, in that final .2, I didn't care who came screaming past.  Without sounding overly cheesy, this was my one minute and 20-some seconds to relish in my accomplishment, be thankful for everything in my awesome life, and not care who the hell saw me cry.  My second half passed in 1:28:39, and I crossed the finish line in 2:58:31.

Total Emotional Vom

In the week after the race, I did not run one step except for to the fridge.  I allowed myself all the dairy and wine I wanted, gained a couple of post-marathon gluttony pounds (Seriously, running a marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving?  ...Best.  Decision.  Ever.), caught up on work, and relaxed.  I discovered that when I am not running, I sometimes forget to shower (<-- unneccessary statement).  Unfortunately, my strep throat came back three days after the race, making this the third occurrence in seven weeks.  Therefore, I plan to take it easy this week too and already have appointments set up with an ear, nose, throat specialist (fingers crossed for no tonsillectomy!) and a post-pregnancy abdomen specialist.  Time to figure out all this mess so that I can look towards my next goal, whatever that may be.

Thanks, Philly, for an unforgettable day, and congrats to everyone that raced.  Onward and upward!

Friday, November 14, 2014

One Week Until Philly

Good riddance to last week and all the election crap!  Being the ever-enthusiastic-political-extraordinaire that I am, here were my voting strategies:  

* Kay Hagan vs. Thom Tillis.  According to tv ads, you are both mean and, um, suck?  Hey there, Sean Haugh.  I don't know what you look like or how to pronounce your last name, but mm k, VOTE!

* Someone vs. someone vs. 847 other people that I don't know for NC Court of Appeals Judge. Hey, look!  Chuck Winfree!  That dude hosted the Love Connection!  Wait, no, that was Chuck Woolery.  Whatever.  Loved that show!  VOTE!

* Oooh!  Someone named Cheri!  I have a Streaker named Cherie.  Kinda similar.  Wait, what is Cheri running for?  Cherie is running the Richmond Marathon in a couple of weeks!  Yay!  VOTE!

So, maybe politics aren't my strong suit.  That's okay though; I've got another race to think about now...

T-Minus one week until Philly!  Gulp...

Right after my previous post, I was diagnosed again with strep throat.  When I came home from urgent care, I may or may not have thrown our bucket of Halloween candy across the room.  CON:  Feeling like a loser while having to clean it up by myself.  PRO:  STILL finding mini packets of candy that I missed...SCORE!  

At what should have been the height of my training, I struggled to get the runs done, even calling it quits on my 22-miler at mile 13.  Even though I finished my second round of antibiotics five days prior, my fever still lingered above 100, and I set out for the run the pouring rain...cuz I'm reelly intelijent.  Luckily, Mike knew I was struggling, and just when I needed a pick me up, he and Logan drove by ringing a cowbell out the car window.  Little did Mike know that his pick me up ended up being just that - he picked me up, and we drove straight to Starbucks.  Peppermint white mochas in red holiday cups are known to have a healing, calming effect (<-- I made that up).  And no, I did not throw it.  I'm not that stupid.   That shit is good.

Since then, my runs have been up and down.  Some are like DUDE!'re in great shape!  Some are like DUDE! ...find a new hobby!  I'm tired and all over the place.  Plus, while the fever has subsided, all the antibiotics have ripped my tummy to shreds.  My neighbors must think I am the fastest woman alive as I sprint back to the toilet house on about 77% of my runs.  Oh, and if anyone wants to challenge me to a farting contest, you better bring your A-GAME cuz it is ON!  (<-- TMI alert.  ...I bet you wish I put this at the beginning of the sentence, eh?). 

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to get all this tummy and strep mess checked out, and after impatiently waiting for close to two hours to actually see the doc (I may or may not have gotten huffy with the front desk lady out of boredom), here were her diagnoses:  1)  I need to cut out lactose, 2)  I need to cut out gluten, and 3) I have a small, umbilical hernia in my tummy.  Here were my responses:  1)  Nope.  Peppermint white mochas have lactose,  2)  Heyull nope.  Jen runs on gluten as much as America runs on Dunkin,  and 3)  What!  WHAT!?  Do you really want to go there with me right now?  Let me guess!  You want to perform surgery!  Yeahhhh, give me that laparoscope, and I'll shove it up *%$  *^%&.  Okay, okay, I did not say that, but you damn betcha I was thinking it!          

Mm k, no matter what, when I get to Philly, I am there to RACE!  I have been given a seeded bib number, which means I get to start in front behind the pros/elites.  And I think we get special bathrooms?  Yeah, they should probably give me my own bathroom.  Like, at every mile marker.  K, thanks.  I am excited, with a side of nutty, but like I tell the runners I do the best you can do on any given day.  Three weeks ago, while at my worst, I contemplated dropping out of the race.  Then I told myself to suck it up; you are healthy and able, and you will finish what you started.  ...unless you shit yourself.  Then stop. Seriously, just stop running. 

I have learned a lot over these past few months.  I know now that when we have another baby, I will not train for a race in the first year.  Too many unknowns and unforeseen setbacks, which if you are Type-A like me (Wait, me?  Type A?  Nooooo.) can drive ya to drink (Wait, me?  Drink?  Nooooo.).  Seriously though, I am continually trying to better myself at living in the "gray" instead of the "black and white".  I'm an awesome planner, but when plans get derailed, I don't always handle it so well.  Okay, okay, so I suck at it.  Regardless, I do know one thing...I cannot wait to see Logan's face when I cross the finish line next Sunday and to plant a big, sweaty smooch on those chubby cheeks.  No matter what the race brings, that face is guaranteed to make me smile!

Happy running and racing to everyone in Philly! 

   Spectators need to carbo-load too!
(this is kinda how I feel about gels, buddy...)