Thursday, March 31, 2011

I shoot guns

I was going to wash my hair this morning, but I went for a run in the rain, so I figured that was basically the same thing. Right?

Yesterday (Wednesday) I was still incredibly sore from Body Pump on Monday, so I figured that meant it was working and went again. Moving has become difficult as a result, which leads me to believe I have a LOT of weak muscles. I really want to start going more regularly. Kari commented that she used to go three times a week and was jacked, and I'm in the same boat. I used to pile on the weight, although I'm happy to say I still used a decent amount. I'm not sure about the squats and lunges with training for the 50K though, I might have to keep those lighter. Darn. 

My tutoring session got canceled last night and I was really tempted to spend the entire two hours blissfully reading and commenting on blogs. Instead, I did the absolute minimum amount of cleaning necessary to give us a fighting chance of not being shut down by the health department. Now that I'm going out of town this weekend, I was forced to finally unpack from Virginia Beach so I had room to repack. This weekend is going to be epic though. It involves a bridal shower and bachlorette party for my BFF Nicole so I can't reveal too much, but I did start planning the day after she got engaged.

This morning I did four miles of rainy hills, average pace 9:27. As I was leaving I was barely awake and thought "I better keep the pace up or I'll make myself a liar on my blog!". Normal. I wish you could all come to my house and run these hills with me so you know I'm not lying when I say they are insane. That probably wouldn't work though since some people like RoseRunner who are super fast would be done with the run before I was done lacing up my sneakers. Seriously check out her blog for her amazing PR at the Oakland Half Marathon. And BTW, I looked all over it for her first name and couldn't find it - maybe it's a secret?

Speaking of Rose, she likes to include random pictures when she doesn't have any to post, so here's one to remind everyone that I can be scary when I want to be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How "easy" is easy?

Body Pump is great and all, but the right way to start a morning is with a run! I started off today with 6 miles at 9:08 average pace. I actually went to grab my ipod and thought "nah, not feeling it today", which is EXACTLY my goal! I'm pretty excited that I didn't feel like music was absolutely necessary to get through (although that's quite the opposite of how I felt during the marathon). It was a beautiful (cold) morning and I actually got to hear birds. Although, the temperature was 28, not exactly how I pictured my springtime runs. Also I am ready to leave the pepper spray at home and run in daylight!

So I felt that during my training for Shamrock, my "easy" runs got a little too easy, if you know what I mean. There's really no reason for me to run at a conversational pace when I am by myself, and just because it's not a speedwork day doesn't mean I shouldn't be a little out of breath. I felt good about this run, I went at a pace that didn't feel "easy" but also didn't feel like I was pushing it too much (except for the last mile, then keeping the pace turned into a tempo run, but I'll blame Body Pump for that). I might take easy runs a little slower when I am doing it before or after a speedwork day, though. If I want to keep up with Kara on the trails, I better get that pace up, because she keeps her miles fast even while pushing her stroller!

I went to yoga last night and it's on the agenda again today - I don't know how I ever lived without it, now I am so addicted. Tonight is also our marathon training group's celebration happy hour, and you better believe we will all be celebrating.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How can I become a full time blog reader?

 
We had a record low this weekend of only 8 hours spent in the car.

This is a significant reduction from the approximately 14 last weekend and this coming weekend. All these hours in the car mean I am spending the following week playing catch up, which is a serious problem because it's really limited my blog stalking time. I have barely read or commented on any blog recently, and it's only going to get worse. :(. Someday I'll have time and then you'll see a series of comments from me on every post dating back at least 3 months. If I had a smartphone or something this could probably be avoided but I'm not cool like that.

In addition to driving to DC for the National Marathon, yesterday we headed to PA to visit my Gram (grandma) in the rehab center/nursing home. I hung out with Gram while my devoted husband headed to her apartment and brought everything from the attic to the front porch to be put into storage until she's out. I said that earned him three get-out-of-jail free cards for the next three stupid things he did. He said he was going to save them all up and do one really really stupid thing. I said he couldn't combine them. We still haven't reached a consensus. What do you think?

In the name of marathon recovery, I forced myself to take a week off as directed. It's finally done and I can get my exercise fix again! I started out this week with Body Pump, plus 20 minutes on the elliptical. I love how Body Pump forces me to work my rapidly atrophying muscles (ex. arms) that I am waaaay too lazy to work myself. I was pretty impressed I made it since we didn't get back until 9pm last night and Body Pump starts at 5:45 am. It felt so good to start the day with a workout again. 

On a side note, why is it March 28th and I still have to dress up like an eskimo to walk across the street to the gym?? 

Another side note - I put protein powder on my cereal after reading an article in Runner's World this morning, and I'm not sure how that's going to go down.

Seriously, we need input on the get-out-of-jail free stupidity cards. Would you ever make a deal like this with your significant other, or are we completely abnormal?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This is why I'm banned from Web MD....

Apparently this was a weekend of firsts. This morning was my first trail run, at least in terms of "training" for my upcoming 50K. I did one years ago but I am not counting it because I spent more energy praying not to get lost in the woods and eaten by rabid beavers.

I got an email from a meetup group I am in that there would be a trail run this morning about 1.5 miles from our apartment. Um, yes please. Perfect timing. The description said twice "you will not get left behind". It's like they read my mind. 

I got there and was a little nervous that there were only men, but the leader said based on my marathon time, I was faster than him so we could run together. Um, sure, maybe I was faster than him on the roads of pancake flat Virginia Beach, but on these trails we were pretty evenly paced. 

This was my first run since the marathon and it was MUCH less painful than my first run after Baltimore. My quad above my left knee felt ... weirdly tight or something, as it did during the marathon, but not painful, so hopefully that will clear up as I recover fully. We did about 45 minutes of running - I forgot my Garmin, which may have been for the best, so I could just focus on following the guy and not tripping over a rock and falling on my face. 


Trail running is HARD. There were super tough hills, plus some things I am not accustomed too during road running. I am going to apologize in advance for saying this, but it's the only way I could think of to describe what I did. I have never had to dry hump a rock to get over a stream in a road run. We didn't talk much, and I didn't bring my ipod, and I couldn't enjoy the scenery because I couldn't take my eyes off my feet, so I just enjoyed the sounds of nature. For real, don't read that in my sarcastic voice.

Before I did a trail run, I had some misconceptions, and I think most people do. Several people have told me to just train on the NCR trail. I love the NCR, I'm doing a half marathon on it next month, but it's a rails to trails paved path through the woods. Here's a picture (of one of my two bike rides in the past 7 years....um remember how I'm doing a triathlon in 5 months?).
Lovely, right? However, "trail running" is more like what would happen if Little Red Riding Hood got her head out of her ass, dropped the basket, and took off sprinting to Grandma's house. To further illustrate, I got some pics from last year's Northface Endurance Challenge to show you.


 
Bad idea. Too much information is a problem. I can't blog anymore, I'm going to go cry from fear.

Edited 5 minutes later to add: I did not take my own advice and started reading the race recap. Apparently I also have to worry about being bitten by a snake and I forgot it's going to be super hot. Terrified just got upgraded to petrified.

The next best thing



Volunteering was so much fun, probably as close as you can get without actually running, so if that doesn't appeal to you I recommend this route. It's actually pretty odd, because on paper, it sounds like it sucks.

Volunteering for a race process - (yes this will be a numbered list inside a numbered list)
1. Wake up at 4:30 am
2. Drive to race, sit in traffic, find parking
3. Stand for hours without access to bathrooms (if you are REALLY lucky you might get a portopottie), food, or drink, further made awesome in this particular race by the fact that the temperatures were in the 20s
4. Scream your head off
5. Try to find the two people you came to see in a sea of 15,000 runners as many times as you can

Sounds awful, right? NOT the case. It was so much fun, I loved cheering on all the runners and got some crazy energy from them so I wasn't even hungry or anything. We were "course marshalls" at about mile 12.5, which meant our job was to direct the runners and cheer. With the exception of maybe two elites, everyone just followed the other 14,999 runners so our job was basically to cheer, which we came to do anyway, but now we got free t-shirts and pretzels for it.

I saw Jill at the start 
 
and Jackie at mile 12.5, and both of them looking fantastic at mile 14.something. On the other side of the street the marathoners came back between mile 14 and 15. The half marathoners were done by this time, so instead of the streets being filled there would be one person or one small group at a time running, and there were NO spectators other than me. This was exactly what I was hoping for so I screamed my ass off to try to help the marathoners get through that boring stretch. I really upped the words of wisdom from things like "great job!" to entire dialogues that started when they were way down the street. Such as "You guys trained so hard, you set the alarm early every Saturday, skipped happy hour on Fridays, it was all for this, you guys are going to finish a marathon today, and you are AWESOME!!". Sometimes I even went on longer. Marathoners are the best though because while I barely got a nod from the half people on the other side of the street (not that I expect it, I understand they are trying to finish a race!) I got smiles, thank yous, comments, and tons of appreciation from the marathoners. One girl ran over to tell me I was being so inspirational. I hope I helped at least one person get through a rough patch.

My sign was a big hit too.

So was Eric's. 
  
Here's the picture I took of him when I just said "Give me the camera".
 And here's the picture I took when I ordered him to look normal.

Two people took pictures of me, and way more took pictures of him. I want to find us on the internet. 

I was wearing my Shamrock marathon finishers hat and feeling pretty good about running a marathon last week until I saw THREE people who had run the Shamrock marathon and were running again, at least one doing the full marathon. Um, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical this week?

We got videos of both Jackie and Jill at the finish looking absolutely beautiful (how do people do this??). Right after Jill finished I saw her across the entire compound somehow so I got my first post marathon run in as sprinted to her screaming her name psychotically. Not long after we saw Jackie, and both of them were walking and talking SO much better than I ever have after a marathon, and they hadn't even had an ice bath yet.

Jackie's smart and had a restaurant picked out for weeks for her post - marathon meal, so we headed to an amazing Mexican restaurant with her and her husband. I hadn't run but I was starving from eating nothing but a banana and a granola bar since I'd woken up 10 hours prior so I took the opportunity to have my post marathon meal as well, instead of some crappy greek salad at the closest restaurant to the finish line. Note to self - stop worrying about hydration and Gus and focus on planning for the food after the race next time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Race motivation

It's the first weekend in more than 3 months that I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to run double digit miles! Guess what I'm doing to celebrate?

Waking up even earlier  to volunteer at the National Marathon!

I'm a virgin race volunteer, which I feel super guilty about, because I know how crucial wonderful volunteers are to a race and it's well past the time where I should start giving back what so many others do for me.

Plus I'm still on my ridiculous runner's high but on strict orders to rest and recover, so the next best thing is channeling all my excitement into cheering on other runners!

That's not the only reason though. Throughout my training for both marathons I've been obsessed with my running buddies and can't stop talking about how much better they make training. Two of them are running tomorrow.

It's Jackie's first marathon and I am SO excited for her.
  <------------Jackie
Jill ran Baltimore with me.
  <-------------Jill
I can't wait to motivate the crap out of both of them.
We are course marshalls, so we tell people where to go and cheer our asses off. We were made to be awesome at this job. Also we are near the halfway point so if anyone there DIDN'T intend to hear me singing Living on a Prayer 47 million times, they are in for a surprise.

In my experience, great spectators can completely change the course of a race (I don't know how I would have gotten through Baltimore without my family cheering me on, Shamrock without Nicole and Gram in spirit, or any race without Eric!) so I really want to help my friends and the other 14,998 strangers by doing anything I can to motivate them!


So how did I celebrate my first Friday night not in training in 3 months? Going to happy hour and getting wild? NOPE, not this girl. Since we'll be busy screaming and cheering all day tomorrow, and have an even busier day Sunday, I tried to pretend today was Sunday and worked on my Sunday to do list on things like putting away the laundry (see last night's quote), grocery shopping, oh wait that's it. Didn't get to the rest of the stuff. Living in filth is fine, right? Seriously I was getting stuff ready for tomorrow, making my sign, etc and a pretty sign for the marathoners is more important than a clean house.. We are waking up at about 4:30 am, leaving by 5, so I was planning to take a tylenol PM at 7:30. But when I was cooking dinner, I decided on a more natural version.



It'll do the trick! I need to get my rest for hours of SCREAMING tomorrow! Did I mention the forecast doesn't currently climb above freezing until 11am? At least it's not supposed to snow, like it is on Sunday!

What's the best motivational quote you can think of that I can yell to the runners? 
I need to step it up from "you look great!".

It's a real race!

I just got in my first cardio since the marathon. 30 whole minutes on the elliptical, reading Runner's World, fantasizing about doing every race in there. As with my recovery from the Baltimore Marathon, I felt like it was much harder and more tiring than it normally would have been. I didn't wear my heart rate monitor because I didn't want to obsess over getting my heart rate up and how many calories I burned, I just wanted to move my legs, sweat a little, and go by how I felt. I'd imagine my heart rate was up there though, and it was by no means a challenging workout. I was planning to go to spinning, but my alarm never went off, which seems to be for the best. I'll have plenty of tough workouts coming up, might as well take Marie's advice and rest this week!

I got really excited when I saw a full page ad for the Northface Endurance Challenge, the 50K I am running in 9 weeks. I guess I'd pictured it as some tiny race in the middle of the woods. I am psyched that its a real race, with a magazine ad and everything!

I officially have four long trail runs on my calendar. Two with Kara, which I won't get into any more detail until they are completed, sorry potential serial killers who might want to follow two hot young teachers into the woods and destroy them. And two with Mike, who is pretty tough but I am still scared to elaborate on details. Also I don't know any details because I don't even know where a single trail is (well, ok I know the one I once ran on), which makes signing up for this race make total sense.

Monday we got home, were exhausted, and dropped our bags on the floor. This week has been crazy busy and everything is still where it is, plus that gave us permission not to put anything else away this week, since the house already looked like the one on The Middle. If you didn't watch this week, drop what you are doing and click the link, it's hilarious. We have another massively busy weekend coming up, and I haven't historically been successful attempting to do anything productive on Friday nights after work, but I intend to try.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's all going to be ok.....

.....because the 50K will be a Miller race. 

Since we are now BFFs for life, I friended Kara on Facebook and discovered we share the same maiden name. I revert back to it whenever I feel like it (usually when I'm with my sister) I am so excited about this and am now totally calm about the race and feel confident I can do it. For the Baltimore Ten Miler, we used sharpies to change our race bibs to say Baltimore Ten Miller and refused to refer to the race as anything else.

Yes, this is what I am basing my confidence on, not training plans or nutrition or hydration or anything like that. This is way more important.

Eric came home and I yelled "guess what?!??! the 50K is going to be fine because guess what Kara's maiden name was???"

Eric "K!!!" no "Trail!!" no "ultra!!!!" no "well I know it can't be 50...."

 

I have been excited to go to Bikram after the marathon for weeks now. I guess the reason I spaced out my 5 visits (purchased through livingsocial) so much is that if I put them close enough together to remember how tortuous it was, I wouldn't go back.

It was really weird today, being so excited to go to Bikram but knowing that once I got there it would suck and I'd be wondering why I was torturing myself. It was more tortuous than ever, and I was seeing spots and seriously thinking I might black out. I just kept thinking "did I give emergency contact info when I signed up for this crap?". It was all good though, I survived the class and felt great after, as per us.

In other exciting news, I can finally announce I am moving to third grade next year! It's been a fun four years in first grade but I'm ready for a change. Change scares me almost as much as dogs do, but I'll do my best.

Signs of a perfect marriage:
Eric "Sorry I didn't put away the laundry"
Alyssa "Sorry I sweated so much at Bikram that I considered it my shower"

And that concludes the most random blog post ever.


What do you do to torture yourself in the name of fitness? Right now I am trying to decide which is tougher, Bikram or an ice bath....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I practice what I preach....sort of

So the excitement/lack of sleep from this weekend finally caught up to me and I turned the alarm off and skipped the swimming. I haven't actually had a true, complete, day off since the marathon, so that's how I justified it. Monday I did yoga and walked about a mile and yesterday I did decently tough yoga. Tomorrow I am using my final Bikram class before my living social deal expires! I have been excited for this for weeks. Lily's getting a massage, but who needs that when you have Bikram?


Did I mention another big influence on my crazy decision last night was free massages at the end for all runners?

I don't think I've ever looked forward to working late but my school is having an evening event tonight that I am actually excited about. As a school, we've been working on a vision statement all year, and we are unveiling the student submission that won. It sounds lame but it's actually a huge deal and all sorts of cool stuff is happening, like a laser light show.

But here's the best part – I'm working the nutrition booth! I really want to help stop/prevent the childhood obesity epidemic, but sadly I'm the only teacher in my school (and that I know, period) who refuses to give out candy and has parties that involve dancing instead of cupcakes. Now, obviously, I am all about treats in moderation, so I don't think there is anything wrong with kids eating candy or cupcakes. The problem I have is, they eat donuts for breakfast, fried food, ice cream, and chocolate milk for lunch, and, from what they tell me, generally fast food or something similar for dinner. I've had first graders that can't buy jeans and need to have special desks because their legs are too big to fit under the normal ones. It's tragic because the kids have no say in what they eat, they have no idea about nutrition, and now because of choices their parents make they are being set up for a lifetime of health problems. I think a lot of people truly don't know how to implement good nutrition so I am really excited to share some good ideas with them.

My job is to show parents how to log their daily food intake into mypyramid.gov and it will break down all the nutritional info, and show a happy face or sad face if you've met your daily goals (for example, enough veggie servings). Actually, fourth or fifth graders could probably just do it themselves. It also has meal ideas and tons of good info about exercise and healthy living.

I generally practice what I preach but let's just keep stuff like this under wraps for tonight.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WHAT HAVE I DONE????

Remember the time like a half hour ago I posted that I was on a runner's high? Well Eric was too, and that lead to things getting crazy up here in the Lindsey house.

Eric just signed up for the Baltimore Ten Miler!! Every runner I know LOVES this race. I ran it last year with Casi and my sister on my birthday and we had an amazing time. Seriously every runner I know is signed up.


That's double his current distance record and I am SO excited he's running it! I am so proud of him - best birthday gift I could ever get, except chocolate.  BTW, remind me to update my emergency contact.

Between Eric running the race and Wicked, it's ALMOST like I don't even need frosting on my birthday.

Here's where things really get ridiculous. Kara posted that after her marathon her next big challenge is a 50K trail race I've been super secretly thinking of joining her. I emailed her about it and didn't tell anyone except Eric, and randomly, my friend Mike
(this one)

in a moment of bonding over pre-race nerves last week.

Running an ultramarathon is scary enough, but a trail race is an extra challenge and I've done exactly one in my life. For safety reasons, its best to run with someone, so I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to train enough because I'd have to rely on others to stay with me.

One time I didn't know what a trail run was until I was on one and then I thought I was going to die. Sometime last year I decided to do a run with a local running club so I met them for a trail run. I thought it meant a paved trail. I didn't know it meant jumping over tree branches, running through streams, and basically being in the middle of the woods where one wrong move means you turn into little red riding hood.

I mentioned it to Mike
(this one)

at around mile 2 of the marathon on Sunday. He's not really one to let ideas lay around, so naturally he called me today to tell me he'd already told our coach all about it (she's done several trail ultras) and she was making me a training plan. He also said she specifically told him that she wouldn't normally recommend it, but I was strong and she was confident I could do it, so she would allow it.

Meanwhile I'd been emailing back and forth with Kara and her enthusiasm was getting me super excited! She promised to do at least one long trail run with me and be my friend in real life, and now it's on the blog, so she is locked in before she has any idea how truly crazy I am. Our marathons were one week apart and our times were within two minutes of each other, so it's a match made in heaven! Plus I can probably get to see her unbelievably adorable baby in person! I am really really excited to have a real life blog friend, totally not sure if I would have signed up without that perk.

So I filled out all the info, put in my credit card, had a panic attack and made Eric click confirm, and now it's done - I'm officially signed up for an ultramarathon. Did I mention it's June 4th? Of this year?

Northface Endurance Challenge, here I come! Eric's in the shower now so can someone please come and take away the laptop and credit card before I do any more damage?

By the way, a 50K is 31 miles. Holy Crap for real, what have I done?

Convert

I am officially an ice bath and yoga convert, despite what the video might indicate. I can't believe how good I feel today. I noticed as soon as I woke up, because getting out bed didn't hurt! I made Eric stop getting ready for work so he could watch me walk around the living room and sit down and stand back up like a normal person. I got on the floor with the kids, no problem. 

Last night I went to yoga, and I went again today after work. Last night was a bit rough, getting up and down and into the poses hurt and I was totally out of breath from doing, um, basically moving. Today after work I went to a much more challenging class and I am happy to report I could do every pose with no pain! It's like a miracle! I feel more like I decided to throw a few unexpected free weight moves into my gym routine than like I ran a marathon two days ago. Ice baths are officially my new post long run routine. Hold me to that.

Obviously now I'm super hyped up on adrenaline and can't wait for my next race and want to sign up for every single race on the east coast, but I'm trying to restrain myself. I also want to go run a million miles right now but I'm holding off on that too. I'll try to satisfy my runner's high with a short swim tomorrow morning (got to prepare for that triathlon in August!).

I complain a lot so I wanted to counteract that by saying I had a great day at school today. TWO parents of former students happened to be in the building, and both gave me really sweet compliments and totally made my day (as if my head isn't big enough at this point....).

Do you get crazy runner's highs after races?

Monday, March 21, 2011

What went down in the hotel

video
According to this article in Runner's World, ice baths reduce swelling, help prevent injuries, and get rid of crap in your muscles (paraphrased). That doesn't mean they are fun though, or even that they are easier than actually running the marathon. I do feel better today though.

Shamrock Marathon Recap, Part 2

 I wrote the half the last post like this and the other half at 1:30 am completely exhausted. Maybe someday I'll edit it.
 After crossing the finish, I was on cloud 9. 

Granted, I could barely move, and I had the after marathon stupidity that I talked about after finishing the Baltimore Marathon, but I couldn't get over my time. I tried to figure out how many minutes I had cut from my previous time but after comtemplating 41-17 for about 4 seconds I realized it felt like doing calculus and figured I'd just get Eric to tell me when I found him. I got my random post – race food and picked up my bag and then had to walk down stairs and across the sand to get to Eric and Lily's roommate, Tricia. Um, who designed this crap? Walking across sand after a marathon felt like I might as well be driving a scooter cross country – I was going so slow I didn't see how I could ever get there. Cramming banana and granola bar down my throat helped me power through it. I finally got to them and Lily was with them! We celebrated, took pictures, and watched the finish line for Mike. Lily and I were freezing though so Lily and Tricia headed to the beer tent, and since I hate beer Eric and I decided to go get some lunch.



Of course I wanted to “have fun with that calorie deficit” like I saw a sign telling me during the race, but I wanted to get out of the wind, sit down and eat even more, which meant we beelined into the first restaurant we saw. Mike finished shortly after and came to meet us. I ordered a greek salad, which seemed sort of odd after a marathon, but it was what I was craving and it was delicious. After lunch we headed to Starbucks
 
(I was SO cold I was shivering uncontrollably and the hot coffee was amazing) and then to our third hotel of our three night trip. I realized as we pulled into the parking lot that it was a Double Tree and started hyperventilating about how excited I was to get a cookie. (Did you know Double Tree gives you free warm cookies when you check in??)



When we got to the hotel room things really got interesting, and I don't mean that in a dirty way. You'll have to wait to my next post to find out why though ;). Trust me, it's good.



Once I was showered and Lily and Tricia were back from the beer tent, we hung out in her hotel room drinking wine and reliving the race with our horror/glory stories and just generally feeling awesome. I had brought a cute outfit and was all ready to get a fancy dinner and go out and celebrate, but once again convenience was king. The hotel had a restaurant, which was coincidentally where we had ordered food from the night before and where Lily and Tricia had eaten the night before! It wasn't that great or anything, but it boasted being here, available, offered seating and didn't require research or driving to find it. Instead of my cute outfit I just stayed in my marathon shirt and changed my pj pants into jeans. We all wore our medals, because you really never get to wear them other than race day (well, actually I'm wearing mine right now) so you better believe we were getting as much use as we could out of them! Dinner was pretty good. More importantly, the restaurant had a sundae bar. Again, nothing life changing, but it hit the spot. The menu said you got a bath tub full of ice cream but we just got tiny soup cups with one scoop. I SHOCKINGLY did not go back for seconds even though it was unlimited, and I even took home half my pasta! My stomach was feeling a bit off, it wasn't willpower or crazy ideas like that.



Whipped cream is right up there for frosting with me. The whole walk to the sundae bar (yes, it was in the restaurant but required stairs and took a lot longer than you might think) I was telling Tricia how much I loved whipped cream and how I never ever bought it because I was addicted and how I couldn't wait to have some. The whipped cream at the sundae bar was EMPTY! Obviously the only solution was to go straight to the manager and demand a new one be brought out immediately. She brought one to our table instead of the sundae bar. Um, thanks lady, you might as well go back to the cooler and get another one for the other customers, don't think you're going to see this precious baby again.

A local bar that sponsored the race had a local band playing, that was also playing on the course during the race (according to Lily anyway, I have no memory of this). A bunch of runners were there with their shirts and medals so we fit right in.

If you ever want to see something really funny, find yourself a situation like this where after a marathon the marathoners are all “dancing” when they can barely even move.

 
 We made a new friend.

 
 
Man, those were some sweet moves.
We “danced” until 12:30 at the bar, which was a huge improvement from Eric carrying me to bed at 9pm after my last marathon! I didn't want the day I ran a 4:17 marathon to end and I was having so much fun celebrating it. After Baltimore, I spent most of the rest of the day laying on the couch, and I was kind of nervous about not being able to do that in Virginia Beach. I think being up and moving and keeping busy most of the day really helped though, so at Baltimore 2011 I need to get of my lazy ass after the race!



I didn't go to bed until almost 2 and I thought it would be a struggle to get out of bed in time to check out at 11. Laying down seemed to really stiffen up my legs though, and I was wide awake at 8:30. Just when I was putting on shoes to get coffee from the lobby to get coffee Lily texted me to say she couldn't sleep either. I have woken up hungry, and woken up sore, but I don't think the combination of those two things has ever woken me up before! We went to a diner and got fabulous diner breakfasts before heading back to Baltimore.



Clearly we all know how I feel about marathons (it should be required for everyone like joining the army in Israel) but I am going to show some pictures that don't sugar coat the aftermath. If you've signed up or are thinking of signing up for one, check this out. Just know its totally worth it.
 
Eric likes to take random pictures of me to annoy me. Here's what getting out of bed looks like the night after you run a marathon. Note I am still so cold I am wearing his coat.
Sometimes you can't walk so your friends have to pull you on the luggage cart.

And you may need to demonstrate foam rolling in the hotel hallway.

All in all, an amazing race weekend. Couldn't have done it without all the wonderful support from my blog friends :).

Shamrock Marathon Recap Part 1

I did it!! I crushed my time goal and set a new PR!! I am so happy right now I can't believe it. Get ready to read my monster recap. (PS - Eric got a text update right after the race saying my time was 4:17:25 but as you can see this says 4:17:25 - I know it's only a second but which was it???)


 
So I could not sleep at all last night. I think I got about 4 hours total. After I put up my blog post, I did my usual dress/eat/etc pre-race ritual, and we left for the race about 6:20. I really wanted to see Mike start the half marathon at 7, but parking was ridiculous and I didn't make it. I was really nervous this morning, more than I have been for a race in a looooong time, so much so that I left my pre-race banana and my hair bow in my checked bag. We found Nicole and Emma after the start of the half, followed by a porto-pottie with TWO PEOPLE in line for it! Not 5 minutes later there were at least 15, and it kept growing. If you've been to a big race (around 6,000 marathoners) you know what a big deal this is.



It was freezing, as I posted last night, at the race start, and massively windy, which was nerve wracking. Once I checked my sweatshirt I was shivering uncontrollably, and then they announced the start would be delayed 15 minutes for no apparent reason! As nervous as I was I was dying to run just to warm up! We found Mike and looked obsessively for Lily, but never found her. I knew she was running with her aunt though, so we gave up after the national anthem and Mike and I headed to our corral.
 
The only thing that kept me from collapsing of nerves was the thought that running would make me warm!

They counted down each corral, got to us (#3) and we were off - I was finally running my second marathon!

Miles 1-2
I was totally not feeling it. My toes were frozen, my body was stiff, we passed a waffle house and Mike joked we should stop for waffles. I thought "why the hell are we doing this, we could be sitting in there eating waffles" and I was only half kidding.

Miles 3-7
Feeling a little better about running a marathon. At mile 6 I took my first Gu and thought "only 20 to go!". We chatted with a girl from Kentucky wearing a Skinny Runner shirt - my first in person sighting! As usual, meeting a new friend makes the time go by faster. The wind was at our backs and we went up the only elevation in the course - a forty foot bridge.  The scenery was totally lame and there was next to no crowd support. I slowed myself down a few times to stay closer to 9:50.

Mile 8
We went through a navy base, and tons of seaman? and seawomen? were standing in a huge row and I ran down giving everyone high fives. The high point of the race so far.

Mile 9-10
A porto - potty with no line! I was in and out in under a minute and couldn't believe my good luck. At mile 10 we turned onto the boardwalk and looked out over the ocean. It was so gorgeous it completely changed my mood and then I felt euphoric. I told Mike I couldn't believe we had already run 10 miles and just stared at the beautiful waves crashing under the bright blue sky and loved running. My average pace was about 10:00 minute miles, and with 10 miles under my belt I was feeling good and knew it was time to pick it up to meet my goal pace. I told Mike goodbye and headed out to finish the last 16 miles on my own.

I turned on my ipod to try to get a picture of the ocean. It didn't turn on right away and I panicked and my mood took a nosedive. I focused on seeing Eric at mile 12.

Mile 11-12
All I could think about was how happy I'd be to see Eric. Crowd support picked up a bit here but it was still sparse. I took a chocolate outrage Gu, which I thought I had tried before but apparently I hadn't and it made my stomach hurt :(. That's the last of that. At mile 12 I actually surprised him, gave him a hug and kiss and handed off my water bottle and gloves. It was so cold I still had my cotton throwaway long sleeve shirt on. Once I ran away from him, I all of the sudden felt so exhausted and frightened. The disposable water bottle he'd given me was freezing and heavy, I was cold again, and I couldn't believe I had 14 more miles to go completely on my own. The way the course was designed Eric would have basically had to just run the marathon with me to see me again. My pace was still about 10:00 miles and it felt so hard, I didn't think I could keep it up and thought to myself I could never reach my time goal, and I was overwhelmed just at what it would take to finish.

Mile 12.something
Someone was screaming my name hysterically and running into the street. It was Nicole (who I thought had left as soon as Mike finished the half over an hour prior)!!! I was so excited and ran over screaming "I'm going to give you a sweaty hug!" She told me I was awesome and I kept going. That was completely the boost I needed. I kept repeating that I was awesome and focused on getting to the halfway point.

Mile 13
They were playing "Living on a Prayer" which is my JAM. Some lady yelled "You said you were going to do this, and you're doing it!" That stuck with me and I kept repeating it to myself, thinking, "ya, that's right I'm doing it! So I should enjoy it!". I put in my music and got PUMPED to finish a great race! Thoughts "How did people run marathons before Ke$ha was invented?".

Miles 14-16
Rocked out, felt good. It was an out and back and I got totally jealous of the elites who were at miles 24 and 25, but I thought about how good it would feel to see those mile markers coming the other way. Some crowd support here, not too bad. Looked forward to my Gu at 16.Thoughts: "Thank you God, for creating this perfect weather for my race. Thank you NBC producers, for creating Glee".

Miles 17-20
My coach Marie ran this race and warned me there wasn't much crowd support at this point. UM try absolutely none, zero, zilch, not one person who wasn't running. Runners and trees as far as the eye could see. I was feeling good and excited that I was keeping a good pace, however the scenery was pretty but boring as hell. They did have random signs/St. Patty's day puns up along the road, and thank goodness, because that was the only thing distracting me. I finally wanted to take off my long sleeved cotton shirt, but my garmin and ipod were around my arm, and my bib and belt were around my waist. I literally spent an entire mile (16) planning the exact events that would occur to remove the shirt (pull wrist out of garmin, unstrap ipod, drop through shirt, etc etc) and a good chunk of mile 17 actually removing it. Oh the little things you do to get through.
From mile 18 on I started passing people like crazy. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I passed at least 100 people. I loved it, especially passing the guys. Thoughts "I can't believe I'm going this fast! I feel great! It doesn't even feel that hard or like I'm pushing it too much!"

Mile 20 - 22
I was excited to hit 20, as usual, and a little scared of hitting the wall because my pace was quicker than I had expected it to be at this point. It kept getting closer and closer to 9:50 and I finally hit it and prayed (literally) that I could keep the pace. I wanted to yell out to runners "can you believe we are at mile 20?", but thought I'd already creeped out enough people by running up to not one, but two girls and telling them they had great legs. Hey, these are the things you notice running behind people for extended periods of time. I took my last Gu at mile 21 and even though it was espresso love, my favorite all time flavor, I was dreading the sweetness and really only wanted water, but I knew I needed to take it. I tried to motivate myself by thinking of the amazing food I would eat later, but food didn't sound appealing, only that medal around my neck did! At mile 21 I decided to try the "I'm just heading out for a five mile run around my neighborhood" tactic again (didn't work at the last marathon), but as soon as I said it to myself, I thought "F no, I'm not running 5 miles around my neighborhood, I'm finishing a marathon and that's way better!". At mile 22, my boy JT came on my Ipod with 4 minutes so I changed it to "I only got 4 miles" and sang to myself.

Mile 23
Oh my god running was getting so hard! I was keeping the pace and feeling pretty strong but it was such a mental battle to keep going! I was constantly checking my Garmin and kept seeing the average pace drop further and further below 9:50, and every second that dropped off was a little victory. I saw the 10 mile mark for the half and knew there was only a 5K left but that seemed so far now. There was a little more crowd support here but still not too much. I just focused on getting to the next mile marker, and keeping up the pace! My Garmin was ahead of the mile markers again and I was so proud of myself for turning off the beeping at each mile. Turns out unless I figured out how to turn off everyone else's, that was pointless. I was hearing the beeping anyway.

Mile 24 - 25
I was completely obsessed with my time and pace now. Kara told me last week to beat her AMAZING first marathon time of 4:19, and I laughed out loud to myself when I read her comment thinking "um, ya right, that's not happening". Her average pace was 9:55 so I knew I was on pace to run under 4:20 and I just kept thinking what if something happens? What if I have to walk? Can I still make it? HOLD THE PACE!!!!!!!!!! I just kept picturing how excited I'd be to have my time in the four teens, if that makes any sense.

Mile 25 turns onto the boardwalk, and you run by the ocean and can see the finish line. I'd been warned it was still nearly a mile away and not to start sprinting (ha, like I could have anyway). I forced myself to just listen to the music and keep the pace steady. I did that and looked down, then looked up a few minutes later and the damn finish line hadn't gotten any closer! And where the hell was the 26 mile marker??? Was this some sort of sick joke?

Mile 26
As I got close to the mile marker, the crowd support finally happened and everyone was screaming my name. I was still passing people like crazy and running strong, and grinning like an idiot. I was SO HAPPY that I hadn't slowed down! That last .2 went on forever and was a killer, but I finally got close to the finish line and for the first time ever at a race finish heard them call my name!

I ran through the finish and looked at my Garmin - 4:17! I nearly collapsed after I rushed through and started crying from my amazement at crushing my time goal, I never thought I had 4:17 in me. I saw Eric on the sidelines right past the finish and yelled "4:17!" at him.

 
One of the medics came rushing over and thought I was dying or something so he walked me to the water and Eric saw and got all freaked out, but I was fine, just emotional, as usual. Getting my medal was just incredible, as it was last time. I've run lots of races, but crossing the finish at a marathon is just unparalleled happiness. The only other time I can remember feeling that sort of pure emotional joy is when I took my wedding vows.

After all that searching Lily finished in 4:16 and we never found each other until the end!

I am so tired! I have way more to share, and a blog post that is guaranteed to make you laugh your ass off. But I ran longer today than I slept last night, and therefore I am not even sure if any of this makes any sense! Part 2 coming tomorrow (hopefully).

Could not have done it without this handsome guy supporting me the whole way! Thanks so much for standing outside for hours and hours to give me a hug and a kiss for 2 seconds as I ran by!
Everyone LOVED this sign!
Thank you SO MUCH for all the comments and support!!!