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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!