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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kiawah Island Marathon

'Tis the season to be... ... ... merry-thoning in warm weather and drinking wine on the beach in flip flops.  fa la la la la la la la la.

Well, I made it.  Two (ginormous) tonsils still intact and all.  After a bad tonsilitis flare up in August, I decided to forgo a tonsillectomy to continue training.  What were the chances it would come back before the Savannah Marathon on November 7th, and what were the chances it would come back the actual week of the race?  Eh, no way.

Well, shitters, Santa.  Right around Halloween, while already feeling like a loser dressed as a, um, banana, I felt the all too familiar pinch in the back of my throat, and it got worse from there.  Perhaps I asked for it dressing like a banana because, well, I totally ROTTED.

rotten rednecks

Okay, suck it up, fruitcake.  After a 10-day short pity party, I decided to get healthy and push the marathon out five weeks to Kiawah Island.  The risk here was upping the miles again and trying to hold peak.  However, my body seemed to handle it well.  I actually made more progress, bopping (bopping?  did I just make up a word?) through two-mile intervals at 5:56 pace and an eight-mile tempo at 6:10 pace in the middle of a 16-miler.   Plus, after the nasty humidity that cursed Savannah, I started believing it was a blessing in disguise.  While my original goal was sub-2:55, I was confident now to target 2:50 in Kiawah (6:30 pace).

Race week.  Are you f'ing kidding me, weather dude?  What the hell is El Nin~o (<-- um, I can't figure out how to get that tilde thing on top of the letter) anyway?  Whatever it is, it can kiss my bubble ass.  Race day temps were predicted to be 55-60 at the start, 70-75 three hours later, 80-85% humidity, no breeze, sunny.  Ewww k, new plan.  I'd start closer to 6:40 pace and hope for the best in the second half as the temps rose.  I typically like to negative split marathons, but I knew it would be hard here.  Suck.

Race expo.  When I picked up my bib, I was informed that they created a new 200-runner "high performance" corral at the front of the start line.  Anyone with an "A" on their bib was invited, but mine was "A"-less.  Men were seeded by time, and women were chosen by lottery.  Wait, what?!   When I asked how I could get into this corral, I was told not to worry, that I'd only start 10-15 seconds behind the leaders.  I'm pretty sure my face immediately went into stink eye mode as I said "not happening", grabbed a sharpie, drew an "A" on my bib, and left.  I'm such a bitch.

Miles 1-9.  I felt pretty flat off the start line.  Mile one was 6:50.  Oops, too slow.  Mile two was 6:28.  Oops, too fast.  My legs finally synced with the rest of my body around mile three.  This is also where I met Paul, who was targeting a 2:50.  We ran together for a bunch of these early miles and discovered that we lived only one town over from each other.  It was nice to have a new friend along the way, especially while still feeling so comfortable.  ...cuz when I get uncomfortable, I get kinda mean.  Jus' saying.   Miles three to nine were all between 6:27 and 6:38; perhaps a little fast, but it felt easy.  I saw Mike for the first time around mile nine, and he let me know that I was about 2:00 off the leader.  No problem.  I got this.

Miles 10-16.  At mile 11, I had a fantabulous cheering section consisting of Logan, my mother in-law, father in-law, and lotsa STREAKERS.  Then shit got lonely, as I was by myself, and there were no spectators.  I still felt comfortable at halfway (1:26:01), but mile 14 is when I started to feel the sun and temps rising.  I realized I had a new running buddy at this time too, but he was pulling some "Night at the Roxbury" (<-- seriously, watch that.  hilarious) shit on me.   When he said, "Sorry, I'm not good at giving personal space," I barked, "You think?!  Seriously, dude!" and put on a surge to get away from him.  Totally mean.  Anywho, these miles were all between 6:28 and 6:34.

Miles 17-20.  One of my superfab Streakers was out with a spray bottle, and Mike rented a bike so he could give me extra water as the temps rose, which helped a ton.  We were doing more out-and-backs on peninsulas here (five total u-turns along the course, ick).  The good thing about this was that you could see your competition going in the other direction.  The bad thing about this was that you could see your competition going in the other direction.  I knew the leader was getting farther in front of me at this point, so I just started focusing on, ya know, not dying.  At mile 18, I cramped in an, um, unfortunate part of the body.  Seriously, who the F cramps THERE?  I did my best though to keep moving forward as straight as possible as to not jerk any more, um, muscles?  These miles were all between 6:41 and 6:44.  <-- ruh roh, starting to slow...

Final 10K.  Even though I was slowing, I still passed seven men in these final miles.  Any confidence boost helps when you feel like you want to kill yourself.  Most of this portion was run on a greenway.  Poopers.  Speaking of poopers, I had no GI issues the entire time!  Yay!  Aren't you glad you know that?!  I digress.  Anywho, while the greenway sucked boring monkey butt, I was VERY appreciative for the shade.  At mile 25, we merged back with the half-marathoners, who were crossing their 12-mile mark.  Having to weave in-and-out of runners on a narrow path also sucked monkey butt.  Luckily, a lead biker appeared out of, um, I actually have no idea where they appeared out of, and cleared a path for me until we made it back to the road.  Once I crossed the 26-mile mark, I kicked to a 2:54:58, second place overall female, and 12th place male/female finish.  These miles were all between 6:37 (dreaming of wine and burgers) and 7:07 (mental vomit).

Once done, I started crying.  Seriously, since becoming a mom, I cry ALL THE TIME.  I cried when Curious George's kite flew away the other day.  Right.  Anywho, I was happy to be done, happy with the PR in these conditions, happy to hear there was unlimited cider beer in the finish tent, and happy to see this face:

The hardest part of extending my training for Kiawah was leaving this face on Saturday mornings for more long runs.  Logan started associating my running with "bye-bye".  He'd watch me leave and wave out the front door window, and I'd then cry a little before taking my first step.  This is why it meant so much to me on this day when he rang a cowbell and said "Go Mommy!"  It gives me hope that maybe, just a little, he understands what this all means.

Since the race, I've been on a strict diet of wine and cow and a fierce regimen of no running or showering (<-- cuz there's obviously no point if you don't sweat).  I'll give myself a week to reboot, be fat, and figure out my next goals.  

Overall, it was a great weekend.  I'm proud of myself for toughing it out in the second half and thankful for the entire Kiawah experience, as it is an amazingly beautiful place.  I'm even more thankful for extremely supportive family and friends and for the wonderful and unique bond that the Streaker family shares.  

Congrats to all Kiawah finishers!
Happy Running, and Merry Christmas!

Kiawah Streakers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon

This past Sunday, I ran the Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon (um, half-marathon).  The goal was to run a hard effort on semi-tired legs (I had just run a 22-miler a week prior) and then start tapering afterwards for my marathon, which is in three weeks.  Mission accomplished.  

Mike, mini-Mike, and I drove out to dirty Myrtle on Saturday.  Logan did well in the car for about two hours and then wanted to get the heyull out, so I had some beautiful "pump-up music" for the remaining hour and a half.  Upon arrival, we grabbed my number at the expo, checked into our hotel, made some spaghetti, threw it all over the floor, and then headed to the beach to watch the sunset before bed.

We REALLY love spaghetti.  ...and yes, we were "hydrating".

Goodnight, moon.

Mm k, so after getting mini-Mike to bed, big-Mike and I watched a pretty good movie ("The Road Within") before learning why dirty Myrtle is in fact called dirty Myrtle.  Around midnight, a group of, hmm, rambunctious (?) females outside our door REALLY wanted to teach Logan how to pronounce the letter "F" ...over and over and over again.  Then, around 2am, a group of, hmm, aggressive (?) gentlemen outside our door REALLY wanted to share in Logan's joy and proclaim their love for, um, suckers (but maybe add another four letter word in front of that) over and over and over again.  At this tired point, I proclaimed what a big mistake this trip was, felt hugely selfish for putting Mike through, and throwing Logan off schedule for, this crap, and decided that I suck at life and shouldn't run.  Yay negative-self-trash-talk!  Ugh.

All good though, when the alarm went off at 4:30am, I thanked those f'ing c-suckers because I was pissed and ready to run!  I proceeded to eat a small breakfast of two pop tarts, a clif bar, a banana, a bag of pretzels, and a cup and a half of coffee.  Okay, perhaps not small, but what can I say, partying all night results in the freaking MUNCHIES!  

The race went off in the dark at 7am.  My plan was to run marathon pace for the first mile, which I reached in 6:36.  We headed into a pretty strong wind for the first six or seven miles, so I tucked behind a dude for the next two miles, which passed at 6:22 pace.  I then looked up and saw two girls a little ways ahead of me and decided it was in my best interest to start, um, stalking them?  So, I did.  I was in third female position now and had something to chase (or so I thought) ... 

Aaaaand we're off!

The next three miles passed in 6:24, 6:18, and 6:16.  These miles snaked around a little, so I practiced running the tangents really well since there are 55 TURNS on the Savannah Marathon course.  What?!  Yeah, no, seriously, it looks like someone handed Logan a crayon and said, "Ready, Set, Draw a course map!"  Mm k, anywho, I closed the gap pretty well on the two girlies but realized I wasn't making up ground as fast as I'd hoped.  So, at mile seven and with the wind now at our backs, I made like Logan with a toolbox and dropped the hammer.  At mile nine, I passed one of the girls and was now in second, YAY (or so I thought)!  The other girl wasn't really getting any closer, so at this point, I just focused on maintaining pace and staying controlled and strong.  Miles seven through 11 were all between 6:11 and 6:15. 

Somewhere around this point, a spectator yelled "fourth female"!  I was like, dude, you like, soooooo can't count.  I guess it lit a fire under my a$$ though because mile 12 passed in 6:08.  Then, shortly thereafter, I saw Mike and mini-Mike!  A huge smile (and perhaps a grunt of "is this over yet?!") erupted on my face until Mike yelled, "You're in fourth; you can get her!"  Well, shit balls; I'm pretty sure Mike knows how to count.  With 1.1 mile to go and full-well knowing I wasn't going to catch her, I think I sub-consciously slowed down a little.  Ahh well.  I snaked my way back into the wind and up the boardwalk to finish as fourth female, nine seconds off third, and ninth overall male/female in 1:22:42.  Needless to say, I was ECSTATIC with the effort.  I was not expecting to run this fast, and if it weren't for those girls, I most likely would not have.

I'm appreciative to have felt so strong both physically and mentally in this run, as it gives me a lot of confidence going into Savannah.  I'm appreciative to Elite Performance Chiropractic for helping get my tight a$$ under control to run pain-free.  I'm appreciative for a husband and son that support me and my neurotic ways to enable crazy weekends like this to happen.  I'm appreciative for good friends to come home to that ate massive burgers, ice cream, and wine with me in celebration.  I'm appreciative for the inspiration my Dad gave me the day before in winning his age group in the SONO 5K in Connecticut.  Life is so good.

Now with that said, let the obsessive hand washing and hourly weather refreshing begin!

Happy Running!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy Fall!

"Excuse me, ma'am.  Do you need a buggy?"  I apparently looked overwhelmed while happily perusing the Total Wine and More aisles with three bottles of wine in tow.  However, rather than actually considering the prospects that (1) I was buying too much wine, and (2) perhaps I really did need a buggy, all I could think about was how this dude didn't think I could handle it.   So, what did I do?  I (1) gave him the stink eye, and (2) added another bottle to my load...without a buggy of course (<-- totally normal, stubborn, runner behavior, right?!).

We've had lots going on over the past month, most of it pretty awesome.  So, just like my experience in Total Wine and More, perhaps I'm carrying around more than I should right now, but no way in hell is it more than I can swallow.  Cheers, bitches!    

Ten-Year Anniversary
Mike and I celebrated the big 1-0 a couple of weeks ago.  Celebrating to us consists of (1) eating a buttload, and (2) drinking a buttload.  On the actual day, we had dinner at our fave-anniversary-tradition, Table 16, but the highlight of the week was our childless quickie (<-- if the sentence ended right there, that would've been okay too) trip to Wilmington.  Within 30 minutes of arriving, we'd tasted nine different wines, and while we thought we wouldn't remember what it was like to not have a child around?, yeah, no, we remembered.

Keeping it classy with a plastic wine glassy

Logan hasn't even turned two yet, but he has certainly entered the "terrible twos".  So, yeah, I was THAT mom in Whole Foods last week...ya know, the crying one with mac and cheese in her hair that can't control her screaming-on-the-ground kid?  Needless to say, this month has been challenging, but I'm learning to appreciate all of our moments together, both the good and not-so-good (<-- I don't inhale, but I can blow some good smoke, eh?).  Seriously though, when not tantrum-ing or throwing food in my face, Logan and I have had some really awesome times together.  For example, yesterday, he sat still in my lap for 3.2 seconds, and last night, as I was standing in the bathroom mirror with my arms raised and index fingers pointed out as if I had just won a major marathon, I caught a glimpse of him standing behind me mimicking my exact stance.  ...or maybe he was just making fun of me because it probably isn't normal to stand in the bathroom mirror with your arms raised and index fingers pointed out as if you had just won a major marathon.  Damn it.

Now, challenging moments aside, my favorite part of every day is picking Logan up from school.  He watches for me through the window, as if he knows exactly what time it is.  When he sees my face, he drunkenly sprints towards me and gives me the best hug ever.  You know when moms post on Facebook about how full their heart feels while feeding their child at 3am?  Yeah, I totally want to call their bluff and smack them in the face, but at this moment every day, I'm totally there.           

Logan and Wit and awesome times together 

When it won't stop raining, DANCE! 

Since ya know, this is my running blog, I should probably write about that, huh?  Training has been kicking ass, but it hasn't come without a hiccup.  After my first 20-miler a couple of weeks ago, my gluts massively tightened.  No biggie; I went for a sports massage the following week and then attempted a speed workout the next day (<-- yep, I'm a tight-ass and a dumb-ass).  I got through 3/4 of it before listening to my body and calling it quits.  I took a few days off, cross-trained, and started A.R.T. therapy with Elite Performance Chiropractic.  My tight-ass ways are now mostly under control (right, Mike?), and I'm hitting the roads again.  I opted to forgo a half-marathon this weekend to instead get in the long run that I missed last weekend.  Furthermore, I'll probably stay off the track and supplement with more tempos until the marathon (five weeks to go!).  My best/favorite workout to date has been 16x1000 at alternating 6:18/6:52 paces with no rest.  That is a 6:34 average for 40 laps (10 miles) around the track.  ...and I wonder why my ass hurts.  Whatever though; I feel fit!

 The stationary bike, as always, really brings out my inner and outer beauty

Logan joined me for a "swim" after pool running, which is basically like watching paint dry.  In light of my boredom, I secretly raced an 86-year old man swimming laps in the lane next to me; I lost.

Fall & Coaching
Fall is a runner's best friend, and while it's my busiest time of year, it's also my favorite.  Many of my athletes are within a few weeks of their goal race, and while their minds are slightly clouded with nerves and uncertainty, I love being able to look at them, full-well knowing that they are about to CRUSH their race.  The most rewarding part of coaching is that "ah-ha" moment when a runner meets or exceeds their goal, and the limits they used to impose upon themselves are forever broken.  It actually gives me chills, just like those of a crisp, fall day.  Maybe that's why it's my favorite.

Okay, it's also my favorite because I'm allowed to make pumpkin scones the size of my head again (and, no, I'm not pregnant): 

I'm lucky to have awesome ones.  I'm even luckier to have had one of my best high school friends fly in from Boston this past weekend for some much-needed, silly girl time.     

 Pretty and sober

 No longer pretty and sober

Who's gonna make us grilled cheese?!

At the end of the day, I'm trying to be more patient with myself and everyone else around me.  This isn't always easy, so in my weaker moments, I've turned to this to prevent me from biting everyone's head off:

 I even practiced on Logan - it totally works! 

Happy Fall, and Happy Running!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Game ON!

So, it is full steam ahead for marathon training.  My ear, nose, throat specialist gave me the a-okay to resume training, full-well knowing that another infection could happen at anytime.  I vowed to do anything and everything in my power to raise my immunities, including, but not limited to, washing my hands 826 times/day, drinking less wine, drinking more water, going to bed earlier, eating more fruit, and trying to touch as little as possible inside Logan's daycare.  Effective immediately, I started by celebrating with a bottle of red wine to work on that fruit intake...

It took me a solid week plus to feel like myself again.  The mega dose of antibiotics kicked my ass and gave me some other, uh, not-so-unusual-to-me issues related to that part of my body.  <-- TMI.  I really need to get better at putting those TMI warnings BEFORE my sentences, eh?  You're welcome.

Mm k, so, last week I was still able to get in 57 miles, which included a steamy, negative split 16-miler (8@7:08 average; 8@6:42 average).  In the final two miles, I started daydreaming about frozen yogurt with heath bar, oreo cookies, and whipped cream, and when this happens, I know I'm ready to stop running.  So, yeah, 'twas a good run, especially given that I was still on the antibitches, err, antibiotics, but I certainly felt it.

The goal for these next two weeks is to be solidly in the sixties, and of course, stay infection-free.   I was excited to do my first track workout this morning since, ummm, errr... yeah, it's been that long.  The goal was 6 x one mile at 110% of the average between Philly marathon pace and goal marathon pace (or roughly 6:07) with quarter mile jog recoveries.  I was all nerded out in excitement, even skipping the temptation of banana-pudding-nilla-wafer cake at Maxie B's bakery last night, where I had the Streakers finish their run.  

So yeah, after waking up today, the morning continued like this:

There was just no making this kid happy.  Not even a waffle slathered in yummy peanut butter could do the trick.  Not even me singing and dancing excitedly like a buffoon along with Curious George (okay, maybe that made it worse).  Not even a pumpkin spiced latte flavored m&m (sorry, Mike, but yes, I went there...).  I mean, who doesn't like pumpkin spiced latte flavored ANYTHING?!  Ugh.

Once mom-of-the-year (that's obviously me) dropped her son off at school, I regrouped, chugged some water, and started warming up until I realized it was already 80 degrees with nearly 100% humidity, and I didn't F*ING NEED A WARMUP!  Yes, I was jacked up.  Chill, sistah, chill.  

     Alrighty, here we go.  ...I made it to the Day School track.  Awesome... No trees.  No shade.  No clouds.  Well, shit.  Strip down to my zebra spandex and neon yellow bra.  I look deranged.  Whatever.  Mile One: This is easy.  I got this.  No problem.  6:01.  Mile Two:  Shit... Here come the elementary school kids for gym class.  STOP SPRINTING BETWEEN LANES AND CUTTING ME OFF, YOU LITTLE YOU-KNOW-WHATS!  Ohhhh... you're trying to compete with me now?!  You want a piece of this??  LET'S GO!  5:59.  Did I seriously just race a six-year old?!  MOM OF THE YEAR.  Mile Three:  Great, I'm sweating so bad that my damn ear phones won't even stay in.  Today is September, right?  When I lived in Connecticut, I swear it would have been, like, 50 degrees by now.  WTF!  6:02.  Mile Four:  Okayyyyy, enough of this boring, hot, black-top track thing.  Time for the road.  Wait, why the hell did I choose to run in the UPHILL direction?  Mmm, pumpkin spiced latte m&ms.  6:21.  Oops.  Focus, you dumbass zebra.  Mile Five:  Yay, downhill finish!  And today is $2.99 meat day at Fresh Market, so game is onna for chicken parma tonight!  What kind of wine do I want?  6:13.  Oops.  Stop SUCKING!  Mile Six:  Whatever, this workout was like sooooo yesterday.  Plus, I think I just melted.  Back to the track.  6:11.  

Average:  6:07.  NAILED IT!!!  Right.

After "cooling" down and seeing the temperature read "feels like 87", I treated myself to this:

No, not a cool bath, and no, not pizza, but a cool bath WITH pizza.  Try it sometime.  I feel freaking FANTASTIC right now!

So, onward we go!  I'm excited to bump to some longer long runs and run through Wilmington on our anniversary weekend coming up soon, but for right now, ima need to go hammer some pumpkin spiced latte m&ms, so yeah, buh-bye...


Hey, ma, the track is that way ...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Decisions.  Yep, I have to make some.

Last week was a wonderful week.  I hit 60 miles for the first time ever in training (I probably would have hit this in college if my priorities were in check, but we don't need to go there...) and felt ON FIRE.  The week ended with a 16-miler with 3x 2-mile fartleks in the later stages of the run at ~6:20 pace (aimed for current, perceived half-marathon effort), followed by a bottle glass of wine that evening.  My mom came to visit for four days to help out with Logan while Mike was in California visiting a friend, and she had a blast bonding with Logan.  I have amazing friends that, as always, I had a fun time hanging out with.  Furthermore, I started coaching another Streaker session and have 110 runners on my roster, in addition to a bunch of other individual athletes, making this the largest number of athletes I've ever coached.  I'm so fortunate to love my job and to have so much awesome-sauce all around me.  Life is good!

Now, with that said, life is still good, but in the marathon course of life, there will always be uphills to climb, right?  We inevitably get over them, but it doesn't mean they don't piss you off when you didn't know they were going to be there.  Throughout last week, I developed yet another sore throat.  I knew it wasn't strep, but it kept getting worse, so I finally went to the doc, and it turns out I have another infection that is feared to turn into an abscess.   The doc gave me an aggressive antibiotic treatment, including a shot in my ass ("Drop your shorts, ma'am" ...Really?  The nurse was wayyyy nice, but I'm not gonna lie and say I didn't think about tooting in her face.  <--- okay, gross, sorry) and pills to start asap.  Hopefully the abscess will be prevented, but I'll know more on Friday when I go to a specialist.   The doc thinks I developed scarring from prior infections, and if I don't have my tonsils removed, it will keep happening every couple of months.  I can't live on antibiotics, so yeah, in the oh-so-adorable words of Logan...BUH-BYE tonsils...

So, here is where the decisions come into play.  The recovery from an adult tonsillectomy is apparently a bizznatch.  If I do it soon, there will be no November marathon (I mean, I probably could run it, but I'm not interested in just running...I want to RACE).  If I opt for the marathon before having surgery, I may be seeing more antibiotics, and the nurse may be seeing more of my ass, before then.  I could choose an earlier marathon, despite not having all the training in I want yet, or I could push the marathon out to early next year, but then that messes with other stuff Mike and I had planned.  ...and who knows, the specialist just might tell me, "Look, abnormal gross tonsil chick, you're doing this surgery now!", and I won't have any decisions to make.  So yeah, there's my uphill.  Can haz downhill now?  This certainly isn't the end of the world, as I realize I'm one helluva fortunate gal, but this is my blog, and I can haz pity party if I want to.  k, thanks. 

Mm k, enough.  Let's talk HAPPY shizz again!  My brother got married earlier this month, YAY!  I got drunk at his wedding and danced like a buffoon, YAY!  Mike and I get to take a weekend trip by ourselves next month to celebrate our ten year anniversary, YAY!  I have a blog to vent to when I cannot run, YAY!  I keep having a dream that I'm locked up in prison, YIKES!  <---seriously, what the f?!  No wonder my body is in distress.  No more Orange is the New Black for me...

All in all, I'll do whatever is necessary for my health, and in turn, the well-being and happiness of my son.  So, whether the marathon stays as is, gets pushed up or back, or gets pushed off to an even later date, I'll listen to the doc, and it will all be good.  ...I just might cry a little or spontaneously lash out at the grocery store clerk every now and then.



Logan and Grammy

Zoo fun


Happy almost ten years to us!

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.