Monday, February 4, 2013

My six month upward spiral

The love of my life, my nephew Harrison (if I ever refer to my husband like that on the internet just stop reading my blog and defriend me) had his sixth month birthday yesterday! I know that I have done a complete 180 in exactly six months because his birth is what sent me into an upward spiral of baby adoration and great choices all around. Alyssa from six months ago would not have even recognized the person laying on the couch in a robe typing this post right now, and this past weekend proved it once again.

The weekend started out with some pretty standard stuff. My BFF Carolyn hosted game night, and I baked peanut butter cake using a recipe recommended by my sister.

Even though she sung its praises, I had to add chocolate chips. It was filled with the good stuff, butter, sugar, white flour, etc, it wasn't some protein powder pumpkin #fitfluential crap or anything, but I have a strict rule that if it doesn't contain chocolate, it's not dessert. 

Eric got me Dirty Minds for Christmas, and this was our first time playing it. It has clues that sound dirty (you spread your legs under me, I always blow to get your privates at attention) that refer to innocent things (folding chair, bugle horn). For someone that lives to find That's What She Said jokes in every possible situation, this was pretty challenging.

Intense focus from the blue team
If you look really closely you can see a Powerade next to me - that's right, electrolytes over booze on a Friday night. That's how focused I am on this training plan. 

Saturday was perfect by the numbers because I needed to run 18 (10 at race pace) miles and it was 18 degrees out. I met my friends Lily and Jen and we started cranking out the race pace miles right away. I was feeling good until I realized that it was mile 2 and my hydration pack hose was completely frozen. The other girls managed to unclog the ice from their packs but mine was frozen solid. We were on a paved trail through  the woods so I couldn't even beg for water at Starbucks or pretend I was a guest at a hotel to get some of that fancy water with fruit cut up in it. 

The trail has a heated bathroom at mile 7 so we stopped there to see what we could do. After about ten minutes, we ended up with Lily holding the pack above my head, pumping it, Jen working on twisting the hose to break up the clumps, and me beneath frantically trying to drink while they yelled "suck, suck!" like some sort of deranged beer bong for runners. And it worked.

We finished the run at a 9:05 average pace. I didn't look at my watch so only six miles were at race pace, but the run was still about a minute per mile faster than most of my long runs and the trail was icy so I'll take it.

After the run was the first sign that I was not the person I used to be. Jen's husband brought her baby to meet us at the end. 6 months ago, I would have tried to be polite while secretly being super annoyed that I had to freeze my ass off after I was exhausted after a long run trying to pretend I cared about some boring baby that couldn't even talk or do anything remotely interesting. 

Now? I had to force myself instead to be polite to Jen's husband for a half second before ignoring both of them to stare and coo at their baby until they got my subtle hints and let me hold him, and I was in baby cuteness heaven. 

I have serious problems with the cold, and my fingers turn colors and get really numb and throb, so I suffered after but it was worth it.

It's hard to tell, but the bottom of my fingers are what a normal human hand
should look like.
Sunday I was supposed to finish out my week with an easy ten miles. I found out there was an $6 eight mile trail race two miles from our apartment, and it seemed perfect.

It wasn't.

First of all the address on the website wasn't exactly where the race began, so I got totally confused and ended up running four miles and sprinting to the race start as the race began (and I still had to register!). 

Second of all, apparently I block things out of my memory. Like the fact that these trails have crazy hills. And the fact that snow + trail running isn't exactly a recipe for "recovery". 

There was a sign at the top of this that said "halfway there", and the
hill just kept going.
Carolyn and I stopped to take this picture when a volunteer told us we were in last place, but don't worry we picked it up and only ended up finishing like 4th last out of the 30 or 40 runners.

Carolyn was kind enough to give me a lift home, and we spent the day preparing for the moment we (I) had been waiting for: SUPERBOWL!

I totally made a photoboth. So crafty!
All weekend I'd been looking forward to fried turkey and football, which created this weird twilight zone situation. Me looking forward to those things was strange for me to believe, yet, it was taking place inside my own head, so I knew it was true. 

I didn't even talk to these girls during the game!
To really give you some context, before the wonderful invention of smart phones, I've actually brought books to SuperBowl parties, and only stopped reading for the commercials and halftime show. 

Even if you don't enjoy football, SuperBowl food is worth showing up to a party with a book. Our little party had: veggies with artichoke asiago dip, chips with homemade salsa and guacamole, buffalo chicken dip, pizza dip, crab dip, bacon wrapped Ritz crackers, fried turkey, leftover peanut butter cake, red velvet cupcakes, and salted caramel brownie cookies. Please, be jealous.

Not all of it is pictured, but all of it WAS incredibly delicious.

Obviously, the game was incredible, the Ravens won, and the city of Baltimore went insane and people rioted in the streets until like 3am. I did my version of that which was finally drinking some wine, now that my runs for the weekend were done, cleaning up from the party, and watching post game coverage until midnight. The Ravens have made the playoffs for the past five years, and I haven't cared. This year, I started caring, and they won the SuperBowl. I'm not trying to brag, but I'm just pointing out that obviously it was my support that made the difference. It's just a mathematical certainly, that's all.

Last week's mileage total: 60! I have one more high week coming up and then I can taper for the marathon.

SuperBowl: Did you watch? Thoughts? Favorite Super Bowl foods (this applies whether or not you watched)?


  1. I need that Dirty Minds game. Like, now.

    Way to stay dedicated to training. You're getting really fast, I predict a super-duper marathon PR.

  2. This post is exactly why I adore you!!! Great read :)

  3. I watched, but with baby interruptions so I had to rely on social media to keep me in the loop. I had lamb instead of cheesy dip. It was pretty wounderful.

    Those trail hills look insane. After that kind of hill training you are going to PR the shit out of the flat marathon in March.

  4. The only thing missing from your transformational pursuit of cuteness was the Puppy Bowl. Change comes in small steps.

  5. I think ever post comment of mine should be " I am greatly jealous of your running abilities." My body would give up on me. It also doesn't like to run fast.

    I am a Packer Fan but I think everyone here wanted the Ravens to win. So glad they did!

  6. Wow, that is quite the hill! It sounded like a great plan! I'm not a football fan but probably watched more of the Superbowl than any other game so I guess that's something!

  7. I am definitely adding chocolate chips to the peanut butter cake next time! I think the salted caramel brownie cookies need to be added to the menu for your visit! I hope you painted those nails purple before the game! It was for sure your new devotion to the Ravens that led them to the win.

  8. Meh, I watched the game but I was more interested in the halftime show and when the lights went out :) I had a friend there and he kept texting me pictures, so that was entertaining!

  9. Beat me by 2 miles. Dammit! I love how our Saturday run was basically the same. If only I had friends to yell "suck suck!" at me. Karlee really needs to up her game.

  10. Bacon wrapped Ritz? Mmmm, sounds like the invention of the devil.

    Jodie's and my hands turn white like that too, must be one of those weird things that runs in the family.

  11. We don't have cable and the weather was too bad to go watch somewhere else. I was also raised near Pittsburgh, so we are mortal enemies when it comes to football. Anyways, I'm starving after reading this. Upward spiral indeed.

  12. If I comment, I'll just be deleted. PA girl here. Guess who I cheer for? Yeah, sorry. I would have pretended to cheer for the Ravens (cough, not!) just to get some of that food.

    Stop making me jealous with your running opportunities!!! $6 trail race?? I need one of those.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.