Friday, March 29, 2013

First RLRF/Whole30 long run

I'm getting concerned that maybe I'm falling down the rabbit hole of the whole30 cult. I told my sister that I didn't understand her comment of "is this title a joke?" on my post asking readers to weigh in on if I was eating weirdo food or not. Her response was something like "uh, you can't eat any dairy, grains, or sugar, you can't have a single Pioneer Woman recipe, why would you even have to ask if you are eating like a weirdo?".

Point taken. I was just trying to say that we are eating some meals that aren't any different than we would normally eat. Sure, they would probably be accompanied by bread and followed up by ice cream, but....the main substance is the same. Sort of. But I would like to note that we have now made it to day 12, which is longer than either Eric or I nor anyone who knows our McFlurry loving ways anticipated. The first two weeks are kind of supposed to suck, and then it's supposed to get good, and we are so close. And if it doesn't get good, and I end the 30 days thinking it was stupid - well, then we didn't eat sugar for 30 days. No big loss.

So to celebrate day 1 of spring break, I did something wild. Something I haven't done in a LONG time.

Ran outside. First time since the marathon on March 10. Yes, I know I'm pathetic.

To follow that line of reasoning, I have a confession. I normally run in cotton socks, like the kind that come in a ten pack. Runners everywhere are recoiling in horror. So, I decided to use my employee discount to treat myself to some new fancy socks.

Look at these fancy bitches! Also try not to be too jealous of
our amazing gorgeous apartment dweller bathroom tile.
When you are "treating yourself" to socks, and then blogging about them, you know you have really succeeded in life.

Since Espresso Love Gu was out, I had to get a little more creative with my fueling. 
Dried apricots and salted almonds.
The plan called for 15 miles at a 9:13 pace. I banged out 15 miles at an average 9:05 pace (yeah, too fast, whatever, it's hard to get it exact, and I was too slow last time anyway), and felt fantastic. That was huge for me, because pretty much every run since the marathon has felt like a death march, and paces that should feel relatively easy feel like sprints. I have high hopes that I am finally returning to normal.

For posterity, I will record here that I ate 2 apricots and 4 almonds at mile 5, and then ate a banana when I stopped home for a bathroom break at mile 10.

After my run, I had about 20 minutes before my friend Kristin picked me up for The Host (which was amazing), and I devoured like half a pound of deli turkey and plantain chips in the movie theater like a total non-weirdo.

Even though I'm about to leave for work, I'll still give spring break 5 stars so far.

Anyone else have any shocking confessions to get off their chest?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heart rate training

It's SPRING BREAK! Doesn't that just make you feel warm and evoke images like this?

I got mine started out right with some hot tea, a fuzzy blanket, and a fluffy robe.

Both wild and seasonally appropriate. You win, Mother Nature. At recess I was freezing three shirts, a winter coat, gloves, and my hood (and again I was drinking hot tea). But no matter how terrible the weather is, the important thing is that I don't need to set my alarm clock tomorrow. Well I do, to run, but still, you get the idea.

So now I've done two RLRF workouts. Yesterday was supposed to be a ten mile tempo run, but I have a ten mile race a week from Sunday, so I switched some stuff around. The workout I did instead was supposed to be 1 mile warmup at 9:35 followed by 5 miles at 8:15. 

I still don't really seem to be up to snuff, so I decided to try some heart rate training. I've never done it or looked it up, but I'd heard of it, and that's good enough. My interpretation was get as close as I can to the goal paces and then when my heart rate monitor tells me my heart is about to explode and I'm inches from death, back off the pace a little bit. 

So I ended up doing the 5 miles at about an 8:27 average pace, and it still felt insanely hard. My heart rate never got below 183 (and for a normal run, it gets to about 160, maybe 170 if I'm doing something extra speedy) and when it crept up next to 190 I dropped back a tad. Of course I was on the treadmill, because it was March 27 and my neighborhood was covered in black ice, and also I'm addicted and wanted to find out what happened on Buffy.

Today was an unintentional rest day, because I worked until 10pm last night and went to bed at midnight and there was just no way in hell working out was happening this morning. I need to start building up my sleep endurance because that's my main plan during spring break.

Ever tried heart rate training? I've always wondered what "maximum heart rate" actually means and what will happen if you exceed it....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weirdo food or not: you decide

This is an exciting time in my life. 2 more school days until spring break begins, 3 days until The Host is out, and 5 days until Game of Thrones, season 3. I don't even know how I'm handling all this. 

According the oh so wise internet, the first week of Whole30 is supposed to be spectacularly awful. I thought I had some sort of get out of jail free card, since I thought it went really well. It turns out that maybe instead of being a super special snowflake who got to skip all that, I may just be extra delayed. The "hangover" that's supposed to hit hard on day 2 attacked me today.  I think the only reason I avoided it yesterday was my 13 hours of sleep and avoiding people at all costs. In fact, I really need to finish half assing this post so I can get to bed immediately if I want to survive tomorrow.

I really didn't feel like exercising, or working, or moving at all today, but I dug deep and made it to Bikram. Even though the room was 115 degrees and I was laying on the floor, I kept falling asleep during savasana (resting pose where you just lay there....aka my favorite part). 

To prove that I'm not eating like a total weirdo (or maybe as the final nail in the coffin to convince readers that I am), I'll share some of my meals. I know I usually really don't give a crap about people's freaky fad diet food, so I won't be offended if you skip this whole part. Please note, I'm horrible at food "photography".

Most days, breakfast has been two hardboiled eggs and a banana with cinnamon and almond butter.
On the weekend I got wild and actually ate my eggs hot, with some veggies. Good enough to instagram.
Red Thai Curry Sausage Stronganoff - Eric approved
I've been meaning to make my mom's marinara sauce for forever now,
and it was amazing with spaghetti squash.
Plantain chips - also tested and approved by a normal person.
You're not really supposed to have dessert, but I got desperate Saturday night and made yonanas with vegan whipped cream and it really hit the spot, although it in no way replaced or was anywhere close to an actual sundae. I hate when people try to convince me healthy stuff is dessert. 

Living on the wild side here.

I actually feel like I can fit in more with this than as a vegetarian, although I haven't actually gone anywhere, so time will tell. Other notable changes: I'm also pretty sick of water, so I'm drinking a crap ton of herbal tea. You can't have breath mints (yeah, this thing is no joke) so I use mouthwash after my coffee every morning while 24 kids stare at me. I've eaten a ridiculous amount of meat. And so many eggs that I'm really starting to wonder if this whole thing was a scam cooked up by chicken farmers.

So let's weigh in - weirdo food or did you see anything you would eat?

Monday, March 25, 2013

RLRF - it's on like donkey kong

I'm super surprised and impressed that most of the comments on my Whole30 post were positive, and very little mocking occurred! In that case, I'll share my thoughts and recipes with all you lovely supporters. I went back and forth over whether or not to share it on the blog, but in the end, it came down to the fact that my life is not that interesting, and it was either that or a post about how we caught up on our DVR Saturday night.

Today is day one of using the Run Less, Run Faster (RLRF) training plan. I haven't actually had time to read the book yet, I've been busy trying to read the whole30 book, plus crap for grad school. I can only take in so much nonfiction at a time.

Ideally, I would have read this before beginning,
but I'm impatient.
The plan only has 3 runs a week, and it was supposed to start tomorrow, but then something amazing happened.

SNOW DAY. Three days before spring break. That's right. 

We even got actual snow! #proof
Let me tell you why snow days are amazing. You know that weird paradox where you can never get comfortable when you go to bed, but then when your alarm goes off your bed suddenly transformed into a magical cloud from Heaven and you never want to leave but you have to? Just me? Doubt it. A snow day allows you to capitalize on that glorious feeling that is usually just a fleeting moment.

And capitalize I did, reading and/or sleeping until about 9am, when I finally emerged in a mood so cheerful it's usually reserved for those on psychedelic drugs. Eric: "your minimum amount of sleep must be like, 15 hours".

Without it, Eric would be majorly screwed.

So obviously I had to start the plan a day early, because any time you can do speed work well rested, caffeinated  and fueled, instead of 10 minutes after your alarm goes off at 5:30 am, you DO IT. Just 12 cups of coffee later, I was ready.

I decided it was important for me to do this run wearing ALL THE COLORS, and did you know I can also run with my eyes closed?

This special day called for new shoes. I got the Mizuno Wave Mushas months ago through the Mezamashii Project, and finally busted them out. For running shoe nerds, they are supposed to provide some stability while still being lightweight (only 6.8 oz and a 9mm heel drop). Super running shoe nerds make their husband sit in the corner and videotape their feet running in them in order to evaluate their stride, which is what I did. They passed the test, so I am feeling good about wearing them to my 10 mile race coming up.

They were awesome - lightweight yet supportive as promised! Quite comfortable too!
The workout was: 10-20 min warmup, 3 X (2 X 1200) (2 min RI) (4 min between sets) 10 min cooldown.

Confused? So was I. Basically I ran 2 miles easy, then did .75 mile intervals at a 7:30 pace, alternating 2 and 4 minute walking breaks in between, with a mile easy cooldown, 8.5 miles total (and then another half mile walking because I still wasn't cooled down). I had high hopes of jogging during the rest intervals, but this workout kicked my ass, and Eric had to put headphones in because I kept yelling obscenities, so that was out.

Cheat sheet necessary.
I couldn't watch Buffy, because it was too bright outside and my Kindle Fire doesn't do well with dark scenes and a light atmosphere. I watched Arrested Development instead. First World Pains to the max right here.

This training plan is going to be TOUGH. The first workout nearly destroyed me. So....we'll see how this goes!

What do you love the most: sleep, coffee, or chocolate? Or other?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Marathon PR plan: Do Whole30, try again

Well, I have nothing to share about running this weekend, because I didn't do any. I went to spin class Friday morning, and fully intended to knock out 10 miles Saturday morning, and then I just...didn't. My bed felt good, it was warm inside, I wanted to hang out with Eric (especially because he cooked me breakfast), so it didn't happen.

But we did have a football game Sunday morning, and despite that fact that the other team scored 40+ points and we's still 40 minutes of repeated sprints, so that must count for something.

Don't worry though, I still have something to talk about. It's a bit of a confession, really.

Eric and I started doing Whole30.  For those who aren't immersed in the blog world and didn't ask for a homework assignment, it's basically a very strict diet (although it claims not to be a diet) that you follow for 30 days. 

In a nutshell, you don't eat or drink:

  • Sugar (including honey, syrup, agave, etc) or fake sugar 
  • Dairy
  • Grains or legumes (like peanuts)
  • Alcohol
  • Anything processed (so no chemicals, artificial colors, flavors, etc)
If I've represented myself accurately through the art of the written word, this should surprise you. It meant that approximately 95% of my diet was out, and it makes my blog title a lie. I love to eat and openly mock restrictive HLB blogs (if you consider Twitter an open mocking platform). Furthermore, while I love to eat, I wouldn't say I love to eat meat (yet) and it's still new and somewhat foreign to me. On this diet, meat is one of the main components (there aren't many other options!). I believe it's also closely allied with the Crossfit community (based on the fact that I've heard Cross-fitters mention it more than once) and the only thing I can do with Crossfit is hysterically laugh like a 12 year old boy about people doing snatches and jerks at their box.

And yet I'm not only doing it, I've convinced my husband to do it, AND we're already 7 days in.

Here's what happened.

Victoria ran a 3:47 marathon. Sounds unrelated, but stay with me. Victoria also told me about Whole30 right after her marathon, and before mine, and it seemed like a lot of WholeCrap to me.

Then the marathon happened. I trained my ass off to PR and failed. I'm sure we've all gotten sick of that sob story. At about mile 23 of that marathon, it became apparent that a PR was out unless I suddenly managed to run the last 3 miles at a 7:00 pace (and I did fade in and out of delusions that I could do so). During one of my more lucid periods, when I was trying to come to terms with the fact that it wasn't happening, I yelled out "that's it, I'm doing Whole30!!". We all know that if you commit to something during the final miles of a marathon, you can't back out.

So I checked out the website, gave it some thought, and it was on. There are a lot of other reasons we decided to do it (and also Victoria trained like a beast, I didn't think Whole30 was some magical fix or anything), which I may or may not write about, depending on whether I can make them sound interesting or not. But they can essentially be summed up here.

I was hesitant to blog about this because it's the kind of thing people have pretty strong opinions on and I was really trying to go into it with an open mind and wanted a chance to form my own opinions. Especially since I'm pretty easily swayed by peer pressure. I was also concerned that I'd barely be able to make it through one day, much less 30, and make a huge sweeping declaration about my intent and then have to come back the following day and be like "uh, never mind about that, I really wanted cheese".

I can definitively say I no longer think it's WholeCrap. It's been actually much easier than I thought and I've felt pretty good. Rest assured thought that I don't ever plan on becoming one of those annoying "GLUTEN IS THE DEVIL" types. 

Thoughts? Bring on the mocking, I can take it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Retribution and backup retribution

I need to retract an opinion I shared in my previous post. I was not aware that Josh Duhamel was married to Fergie, and he just shot up a notch in my eyes. Glad I got that off my chest.

As Kari posted, 26.2 retribution will hopefully be ours at the Delaware marathon on May 12. In order to prepare, we are trying out a modified (shortened) version of the Run Less, Run Faster plan. Because I'm a hipster dork, I just picked up the book from the library.

From here on out, it will be referred to as RLRF.

Even though I've always been all like "I love cross training! People who run too much are crazy!" (too much being a relative term), I got pretty comfortable with my 40-50 miles per week and the idea of running less, much less, to prepare for a marathon is scary. But you know, the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and expecting different results and all that.

The plan is also frightening because when you do run, you run really hard. But that doesn't start until Tuesday, so that's future Alyssa's problem. Current Alyssa has her own problems, which naturally we will delve into in this post.

First of all, let's discuss workouts this week. Kristy recommended really easing back into training in a sort of reverse taper method, and since she's an expert coach and Boston qualified runner AND has been successful on the RLRF plan, we listened. Last week I ran ten miles, did two yoga classes, and one short Jillian workout. 

This week included slightly more exercise, but not too much. 

Monday: Hip Hop Abs
Tuesday: 6 mile easy run (9:20 pace)
Wednesday: 30 Day Shred, Level 2, aka 25 minutes of intense pain
Thursday: AM - 5 mile "tempo" run with 3 miles at GMP (goal marathon pace, 8:49, overall pace 9:13), 
PM - Bikram yoga

So here are my problems.

1. The goal marathon pace miles this morning felt like an all out sprint and my heart rate was through the roof. That pace is less than 10 seconds per mile faster than the pace I ran the marathon last week. In laymen's terms, I could barely run 3 miles a tiny bit faster than I just ran 26 miles. I understand that even though I'm not sore, I'm still recovering from that effort, but, WTF, I want to be all better NOW. 

2. I'm addicted to my new treadmill. Imagine this scenario: you wake up early, it's dark outside, the temperature is the 20s, and there may or may not be wind, snow flurries, sleet, or ice on the ground. Here's the options you are faced with: put on a billion layers, knuckle lights, and pepper spray and run in all that crap, OR put on shorts and a tank top and run while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I'm completely addicted to, by the way. Which would you choose? Obviously, I've been choosing the latter recently. But I started pumping up the incline to 1% at all times!

I can't think of a smooth way to segue into this, so I'll just throw it out there. I signed up for a backup marathon two weeks after Delaware, a super small race in Pennsylvania (about an hour away) called Bob Potts. So if Delaware isn't going well, I can throw in the towel and try again, and if it does go well, I'll run Bob Potts easy for fun. It makes perfect sense, right?

Any suggestions for how I can get back to normal running extra fast?

What are your current problems?

Monday, March 18, 2013

I met Sean T (in my living room)

Ladies, please take my advice, and go see Safe Haven immediately. It's no The Notebook, but nothing is, and it's way better than the last several Nicholas Sparks movies I've seen. 

I'm not so into Josh Duhamel or whatever his name is, because so far, once you go black you never go back has in fact, been true for me, but it my heart was pounding during the movie (due to the plot) and there is a kid in there that was at Olsen twin level acting. I do NOT throw that compliment around lightly.

Let's talk about people I AM into. Tonight is the Biggest Loser finale, and Eric and I devoted all our spare time this weekend to catching up on the FIVE episodes we were behind on. We only actually had time for 3, so hard choices had to be made.

I could not allow us to miss the finale, because it's live, and Jillian is going to be live tweeting, and I need to text all my friends watching, and Jillian has already described her outfit in her podcast and it sounds hot as hell. 

So to recap - Josh whatever I can't say or spell your last name - eh. Jillian Michaels - YES. I'm still considering a plan to gain like 200 pounds and try out for the show.

In my last post I was whining all about not being able to wear my new shorts because spring forgot to arrive, but then I remembered I have a fun new indoor running toy and now I can run in shorts any time I want. 

New shorts and me looking SUPER excited to run.
In my lifelong quest to become more like Kara and Kari, I finally watched the first episode of Buffy while I ran an easy 5 miles. I liked Downton Abbey, but it didn't really seem to be suited for psyching me up for treadmill running. Buffy seemed to really do the trick. 

Last week was a recovery week, so I took it nice and easy, ran only 10 miles, and didn't exercise before work even one time. I returned to the world of 6am this morning (5am is yet to come) and did a little cross training with a brand new workout video.

Kara sent me this for Christmas. When it originally arrived from amazon, there was no indication that it was a gift, so I had no idea where it came from, and Eric and I were frantically checking our bank account and my amazon account and I was pretty convinced I had some sort of sleep disorder that involved ordering random workout DVDs. So it was a gift and a puzzle, all in one.

After Christmas, I was too busy wasting my time running 50+ miles a week in order to not PR to try it out. It was a pretty good workout, but I'm a little concerned that my lack of sober dancing skills hindered me.

8 minutes until the Biggest Loser Finale. Blog post over.

What's your favorite workout video? Seriously, I need ideas.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My wild weekend

Wild St. Patrick's Day weekend over here!

I worked Saturday night and then got Popeyes for Eric on the way home (he was pulling an all nighter doing grad school midterms). Have you ever had one of their biscuits? They are epic. Combined with some smoked Gouda and Prosecco, it was quite a delicious dinner. It looks small, but don't worry I went back for more cheese and had a huge dessert. 

I've had plenty of wild St. Patrick's Days in my early 20s but now, ain't nobody got time for that (hangover). 
2007 - a night that went down in history
Eric's response to seeing that picture "Why the f%$^ were you dating a bear?".

That's not to say I won't be celebrating. I'm going to see Safe Haven with my two BFFs this afternoon. It was supposed to be our annual Valentine's Day date, but I had to skip town unexpectedly for that holiday, so now it's a St. Patrick's Day date.

No clue what it's about, but it's based on a Nicholas Sparks book, so
I know all I need to.

This weekend did have some excitement. I was super psyched all day Friday because I didn't have a long run Saturday, so I could drink that night. I had like a glass and a half of Prosecco while we caught up on the Biggest Loser (we're still behind though). Amazing.

Then I came really close to achieving one of my major life goals, but I had to open my big mouth and talk about it, and now it's probably down the drain.

Words with Friends, for those who aren't in the know

Of course right after this she got like a 35 point word and now we are neck and neck and I am paralyzed by fear and can't play.

Saturday morning I tried Yogalates. The yoga part was SUPER yogini and the chick running it was a tiny older woman who kept talking about aligning your 7 chakras. All the stretching felt great though, and it was nice and easy, perfect for recovery.

Then came the Pilates part. The sweet little old lady turned into a drill sergeant. I swear I'm not exaggerating when I say I'd rather run another marathon then repeat that 30 minutes of core work. I've never done Pilates and my entire body was shaking and it hurt so bad.

I got a really cute new pair of running shorts, that I absolutely needed, because they were on huge clearance at work. I checked the weather to see if maybe I could wear them today.

I thought winter is supposed to be pretty much over now? This is unacceptable.

Oh, and I signed up for two marathons this weekend. Because I have problems. More on that later!

How'd you celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend? We are totally wearing green to the movies!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My rage isn't new

By popular request, I'm going to reveal something I'd really rather keep a secret. 

My beautiful "seeing the time clock face" isn't unique to this race.

First of all, it's been seen before, especially in this post

But that's not what I'm talking about. I've been making that face for like 20 years.

#rage #proof 
I didn't really want that picture to be on the internet. There are already more than enough horrible pictures of me on the interwebz to provide people who hated me in high school with plenty of fodder for amusement. HA! Just kidding, that wouldn't happen, I obviously wasn't popular in high school, as evidenced by the fact that I'm a blogger.

But Kara and my mom really pushed for the release of that picture. Kara provided me with excellent hospitality last weekend, letting me hold her baby and stuffing me full of carbs, so I sort of owed her. And my mom, well, she gave me life. For starters. 

So I was really in a pickle, but ultimately, I caved, so I hope you enjoy that picture as much as they have. It seems to be a constant face I make in candid pictures, I've even seen it in my wedding pictures, from the happiest day of my life. 

I really didn't want people to force me to eat any more. PS my shirt said bride.
Now I feel the need to post this. So the takeaway from this post isn't "damn that girl's ugly and I was right, she was a dork in high school!".

On this topic, this meme really summed up my life this week.
Does a yourecard count as a meme?
I've always been in the pro-sleep anti-look good camp, but this week I feel I've really taken it to an extreme. Like Kari said, I haven't been sore or extra hungry since the marathon, but don't worry, I haven't let it stop me from eating more and resting and "recovering" excessively. But I have been ridiculously tired, where no amount of sleep can satisfy me. So headbands, jeans, and fleece it is. Sorry coworkers.

I miraculously found energy to complete a 25 minute workout tonight - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 2. At least it was an intense 25 minutes. 

Sleep or appearance?

Anyone out there a blogger who was popular in high school and cares to dispute my theory? So far the only exception I've come across is my sister.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 things

Pictures from LPM are in. I had high hopes that even if the race was a bust, the pictures would be good, since my current blog header is from the race last year.

Not the case.

These pictures prove three things.

1. I wasn't half assing it during the race
2. I didn't see the cameras
3. I don't have a future in running modeling


My turn to share a story, apparently.

Fast forward to the finish - I still had delusional hopes at this point.
I "sprinted ahead" of Kari thinking I could PR - as you can see that got me pretty far.
Seeing the clock about this point....

As an apology for assaulting your eyes with my misery, here's a picture of our view during the first mile.
To continue the theme of lists of three, here are three positive things about today.

1. I'm really not sore at all from the race
2. I returned to Bikram (super hot intense yoga) after a LONG absence, and to make it even better, it was with a groupon for a new studio only a mile away from our apartment. I was dreading the workout all day and then it turned out to be glorious.
3. My BFF Casi started an awesome blog, and you should read it, because she gave me this epic coffee, and if you are her friend maybe she'll give you fabulous gifts too (I didn't run that last part by her, but fingers crossed).

I made it into Pioneer Woman iced coffee - WOW.

As a further apology for forcing you to look at those hideous pictures as proof I didn't phone it in, here are three things that were emailed to me recently that made me laugh out loud, so maybe they will make you laugh out loud too.

1. My stepfather sent this to me, and it pretty much sums up every morning in my life.

2. Kara shared this gem, and I challenge everyone to find me a woman who doesn't love it. 

3. My BFF Nicole sent me this, which should help Games of Thrones fans make it through the next 19 days until season 3 begins!

Extra bonus - check out Kari's recap of our race - she actually PR'd so hers is way more upbeat and better all around!

Let's all be touchy feely and self-helpy - can you name three awesome things about your day? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lower Potomac River Marathon Recap

Alternate title: the pathetic post I didn't want to write

The short version: I trained my ass off to PR in the marathon for 2 1/2 months, and failed.

Even our beautiful twinsie outfits couldn't save me

Spoiler alert: nothing went wrong in the race. I've thought long and hard about why I couldn't pull it off, and my friend Mike pretty much spelled it out - I ran too slow. Womp womp.

Friday night Kari took the train to Baltimore to visit me and run the race. We lived it up Friday night with crabcakes, Dance Central, and Eric's old yearbooks. We were in bed by 9:30, did a two mile shakeout run in the morning, and headed to southern MD to hang out with Kara for the night.

I meet my BFFs on the internet, you got a problem with that?
I'm not trying to be rude, but someone in her household had certainly put on some weight.

Kara gets full credit for the graphic design here.
We spent the night carb loading like crazy and I was also nearly paralyzed from cuteness overload, thank goodness I don't find dogs cute or I may not have been able to run the race at all (darn). If anyone out there is concerned that Faith is grumpy 100% of the time based on pictures posted on Kara's blog (like my mom), rest assured, she's basically the most adorable happy child on earth.

Sunday morning, we moaned the loss of our hour like every other whiny American and headed to the race. Kari and I had been pretty consumed with anxiety over our goal all weekend, so we were ready to just get running already.

This race is not like most marathons, in the best ways possible. There are less than 200 runners, no chips, and no tech shirts. You park mere feet from the start/finish line (aka traffic cones), hang out and get your bib in the comfortable, heated School of Seamanship, which not only has an awesome name, but tons of empty clean bathrooms. We headed into the cold (the start was 35 degrees) at about 7:11am for a 7:15 start. The course has mile markers, gorgeous views, and that's about it, except this year it featured a banjo player and a guy hitting a gong.

In short, everything went right. If I could have talked to God and put in my request for the weather, it could not have been better. First I was super rested from my snow day on Wednesday, and then the race varied from about 35-55 degrees and sunny with just a slight wind. No stomach problems, I didn't have to pee, nothing. Just too damn slow.

All my best races have happened when I haven't looked at my watch, even once, so I set my Garmin to only show distance and ignored it. It didn't work this time.

Post race sad faces

All of our splits for the first half were 8:45-8:55 with an exception of 8:36 at mile 3. So...perfectly on our goal pace. After that, we hit the hills. The hills weren't big at all, but we logged a few miles over 9 minutes. I guess we slowed down too much because my overall pace according to my Garmin was 8:53 and the last few miles felt like death. I thought we were pushing it, but they were all 8:50-9:00 (although my last .4 was at a 7:55 pace!).

Pushing it in at the end - until I saw the clock
My official time was 3:54:44, which makes this my THIRD 3:54 marathon. I took two bathroom breaks during Wineglass and got 3:54:35, so....yeah. Lame. 

I managed to put on a happy face because I was done!
So I crossed the finish line, dropped a few F-bombs, but then managed to get over myself because I was pretty honored that Kara had brought two small children to the finish line just to cheer us on, and that actually sounded harder than running a marathon to me. Plus, PR or no, it was time to celebrate. 

Well, after the tortuous two hour drive home.

Popping the cork on some fancy Prosecco 
We made this beauty as soon as we showered.

My food photography sucks, so here's a picture to show off the deliciousness.

Across the street from us is an amazing Mexican restaurant. We hadn't eaten anything but one of Kara's unbelievably good dairy free chocolate chip cookies since the race, which made the food taste like a 19 on a scale of 1-10. Then we came home and started the true partying.

Pajamas NOT optional
Somehow Kari had never seen or heard of Catfish, so I introduced her to my man.

He's just not that into you.
So that's the story. Consolation comments not necessary, I swear, Nev and wine cheered me right up last night and let's face it - this isn't exactly the tragedy of the century. But I will happily take suggestions more constructive than "you ran too slow" or ideas for redemption races within driving distance (bonus points if I can stay with you!).