Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pushing the boundaries of a mother's love too far

I'm short on time (too busy eating candy), so here's a list post.

1. The Stone Mill 50 miler is officially on. 2.5 weeks and counting. So far this week, I did 10 miles Monday, and 8 miles Tuesday. Wednesday was my planned rest day so I could get wild Tuesday night. More on that later. I'm sure you can hardly wait.

2. I was actually excited that it was raining today. I got this super cute umbrella at Target and I hadn't had a chance to use it yet. I feel like that could be some sort of inspirational thing on Pinterest about making rainbows or lemonade or focusing on the positive or something, but I hate that stuff.

I can never resist an opportunity to include my Harrison calendar in a picture.
3. Broomball started again last week. For those not in the know, it's a social sport, similar to hockey, except you use sneakers, a broom, and a ball instead of skates, a hockey stick, and a puck (this post has a video at the bottom - and also some adorable pictures newborn Cordelia!). There's a lot of falling. Eric and I are now playing for the fourth consecutive year. It's hilarious and awesome. We lost, but I'm not competitive enough to care. We also stayed out getting to know our teammates until 11pm (the game didn't even begin until 8:30!). I know, it's like I had a social life for a hot second or something.

4. I don't exactly know when Halloween turned into Valentines Day, but I like it. 

First of all, all week my students have been bringing me Halloween candy, because they're the best. I also don't know when Halloween turned into a week long event. When I was a kid, it was one day. You dressed up on October 31, then realized it was snowing because it was upstate NY, put on a winter coat over your costume, and collected candy until your parents made you stop. Now, there's "trunk or treat", mall events, church events, all sorts of candy collecting occasions. I'm benefiting, so I'm not mad.

Then, a friend at work brought me a bag of Ghirardellis in my favorite flavor - salted caramel. YES.

I have grad class on Wednesdays, and a few weeks ago I discovered that a nearby Walgreens had these. 

They were ten times better than I imagined. 
Now I'm conditioned like those Pavlovian dogs (Reference - my boyfriend in college explained that concept to me during freshmen year while we were visiting a frat house and that's all I know.) that every time I have to attend class, I get a red velvet pumpkin. 

I nearly had a breakdown this week when they were all out. I just stood there sadly for a few minutes then left.

I got home, pumpkin-less - or so I thought. But I was wrong.

Have I mentioned enough times that my mom and stepfather are amazing? My mom has been stalking Target for weeks now looking for the elusive pumpkin spice M&Ms (a Target exclusive - check your local store right now. They're all out. I guarantee it.) 

I was excited enough to open this up and see all this candy. Then I found that she had gotten her hands on one and only one package of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms - and sent them to me without even opening them to try a single M&M! I told her that was pushing the boundaries of a mother's love too far. 

Review - they're delicious, because they're chocolate, but the pumpkin flavor is pretty faint. I feel confident in my assessment, due to the fact that I had a Pumpkin Spice latte and pumpkin spice english muffin earlier today.

Shockingly enough, that box is far from gone (although, full disclosure, probably more of it is than it should be). The Reese's pumpkins are for Eric, and my mom was even smart enough to include a bunch of mini Reese's for me so that Eric would actually get his candy. It's almost like she knew I bought him a Reese's pumpkin the other day then ate it myself and never told him about it. When they say mothers have eyes in the back of their heads - seriously, I think it's true.

Tell me one of those crazy inspirational gems about how you turned your frown upside down this week. Or your favorite Halloween candy. Not the most rigorous, thought provoking question, but I like to know these things. 

Also, please estimate how long that box of candy would last you. I would like to note I have also only eaten two salted caramel chocolates, and it was totally not because I left the bag at work by mistake.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I can't lie

I spent last weekend with my favorite person in the world, so I was a tad concerned that this weekend would pale in comparison.

He loves to read. Clearly a genius.
Nothing can equal seeing that gorgeous little guy in person, but this weekend turned out to be pretty fantastic. 

I had serious anxiety going into it, because Friday night was the big surprise party for my BFF Carolyn. I've been on the planning committee with her husband and our third partner in crime, Casi, since summertime. We ran through about a million different scenarios to throw the party at their house. We finally settled on a long, complicated one that ended up with me getting her out of the house and distracting her while the party was set up.

I felt I had the hardest job, and I was the least suited to it. I get horribly, horribly awkward when I'm anxious. Additionally, I'm a terrible liar, and I don't "think on my feet". Eric would have been much better in this role. Our respective positions on lying are perfectly demonstrated in this scene from How I Met Your Mother. Imagine Eric as Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), and me as Marshall.

Barney teaching Marshall how to lie.

Despite all that, I managed to successfully complete my job, and Carolyn was completely shocked. Mission accomplished.

She thought she was going to a Halloween party, so she wore
her costume for awhile anyway. Huge bonus points if you
recognize it.
I gave her the greatest gift ever.

As I've mentioned, I was feeling a little stressed, so Eric and I decided to spend the night at their house to maximize our party enjoyment. 

In the Prime of my Dinosaur, playing our favorite new party game.
Saturday morning, I somehow managed to get up early to meet Lily for a run before my shift at work. We both forgot our Garmins, but we think it was somewhere around 7-ish miles (I did an easy 4 Friday morning too). 

After work, I met Eric and our team for our last football game of the season. Our last game, and our first win! We technically won the first game because the other team was forced to forfeit, but this was the first win we achieved through actual playing!

Much more importantly, after the game, I had a Jack Daniels burger. That would be a burger marinated in Jack Daniels. I couldn't stop talking about how good it was for at least 2 hours. It also came with an optional side of a Jack Daniels shot for only $1! I couldn't partake, because I had to drive, but is that a good deal or what?

On Sunday, I was up early to meet Kara at Rosaryville for our final long trail run before the Stone Mill 50 miler.

Obligatory blogger selfie

As if that wasn't exciting enough, I finally replaced my trail shoes on Saturday. I've known I needed to for awhile now. If I wanted to break them in, it was now or never.

I only upgraded from the Brooks Cascadia 7s to the 8s, but it was a world of difference. I couldn't get over how much I loved the 8s. I liked the 7s, but they always slipped in the heel for me, so I was considering getting another trail shoe. But the 8s had supposedly fixed that problem, so I went for it. I was so glad I did. One of the main reasons I love the Cascadias is that even though they're trail shoes, they have enough support to handle a few road miles. I don't feel the pounding of the pavement on my feet like I did in my old trail shoes. After more than 5 1/2 hours of running, my feet still felt great (no heel slipping either!), and I even wore them to Wegmans and the rest of the day. 

Alright, shoe nerd paragraph over, that truly just read like a commercial, which is sad because Brooks isn't sponsoring me or compensating me in any way. I don't even know why I linked to them. I guess because I want all of you to experience heaven on your feet like I did.

This run was absolute perfection. The weather was a crisp 40 degrees when we started at 7am, and just slightly warm (maybe 55?) when we finished around 1pm. The trail is usually crowded, but it was nearly empty today! We had to jump out of the way for mountain bikers just a fraction of the normal amount. The creepy pot/pan/doll display was even decorated for Halloween!

I think finally being a lazy ass paid off, because this run felt fantastic and seemed to fly by. Our snack break at mile 15 was seriously there before I even knew it.

The usual healthy trail running fare. Generously provided by Kara.
I felt even better after some Cheez-Its and Mega Stuf oreos. I highly recommend trying these. Like, now. Stop reading this blog post and get to the grocery store. They have so much more cream than double stuff.

I didn't get that super tired feeling until around mile 24, and even then it wasn't bad. I was wearing my Aspaeris capris, and between those and my new shoes I basically had zero pain. We did 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 39 minutes - tons of time on our feet to prepare for Stone Mill! This run was such a huge confidence boost - the last time I actually completed a long run was my 3am 18 milean entire month ago - September 27! And even then I strongly considered calling Eric to pick me up.

Kara was nice enough to send me home with some extra snacks.

Full disclosure - the Cheez-Its didn't make it out of the park. And I gave the oreos to Eric.
He hid them from me to ensure he actually gets to eat them. He's learned the hard way before.
After the run, I stopped in at my favorite place on Earth. Wegmans. They don't pay me either. Yet.

This was technically a peak week in my Stone Mill training, and I ran 65 miles. I wish it were higher, especially after hearing that Kara ran 85 miles this week (incredible, right?), but what's done is done.

Are you more like Barney or Marshall when it comes to lying?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's 95% on

I've been a little temperamental on running lately, but I feel I can now say with confidence that next month's Stone Mill 50 miler is like 95% on. I've had a solid week of running. 

Mon: 7 miles (no watch)
Tue: 6 miles (9:24 pace)
Wed: 7 miles (no watch)
Thu: 8 miles (9:22 pace)

Ok, not speedy, or particularly impressive mileage, but in terms of how I felt, trust me, it's a world of difference.

Tuesday and Thursday, I did fail at waking up and pushed snooze for approximately an hour and a half, true. But then I actually looked forward to my post-work run all day, which is rare. It's especially rare on cold days, like today. I know 49 degrees isn't cold by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a big drop from how it's been, and I felt cold, and that's all that matters. 

The fact that I'm obsessed with finishing the audio version of Insurgent on my runs so I can read the final book in the trilogy has played no small part in this. I think it's safe to say that without young adult literature, I would probably never have completed an ultra marathon. I saw the last two Twilight movies on opening night mere hours before beginning a 50 mile race. Not only that, but in my first 50 miler, I detailed the plots of every Twilight book to Lily. It killed quite a few miles.

Sounds like an excuse to stare at Four a little more.

Throw knives at me? As long as your throwing hand doesn't obscure your face, sure.
I thought I was finally back to the level it was before the crushing blow of being informed that I look pregnant this summer. I mean, I can handle the daily annoyance of being told my hair looks crazy or that I look tired (ok, not going to lie, that one still infuriates me). But now I have to be subjected to insults in my inbox? And from PayPal? 

Dear PayPal,
I don't appreciate you calling me fat. And by the way, your mother's a whore.

I really need my "I love running!" streak to continue because I have epic plans this weekend. I'm meeting Logan and Kara at Great Falls Park for my last long trail run before Stone Mill!

I can't think of a good question. Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Things that make me happier than they probably should

In my last post, I was a bit of a Debbie Downer. If you didn't get that vibe, don't worry, those who know me in real life did. So I'd like to take tonight as an opportunity to celebrate the little things in life. It's awfully hard for me not to make posts like this all about food, since that really is the best thing in life, but I'll try.

1. I'm sucking less at running!

I ran 7 miles yesterday and 6 tonight. For those of you keeping track at home, that means it's only Tuesday and I've already done more than half of my entire mileage from last week (13 vs. 24). That sentence came out really math-y. I don't even teach math this year, so I don't know what happened. My apologies.

2. It's October 22. Today is freaking huge. For one, Katy Perry's new album comes out.


 Second, Allegiant comes out. For a second I was going to put up a google image of the book cover, but why don't we just enjoy some more eye candy and stare at Four.

Divergent Theo James as Four
 I tried to think of a good catch phrase but there's no "May the odds be ever in your favor" in this case. Faction before blood!

Ok, granted I haven't enjoyed either yet. I am downloading Katy's new album now. I was going to preview it, but then I just told myself "get real". Like there is any chance I wasn't going to buy it and love it.

I just finished listening to Divergent, and began Insurgent on yesterday's run. I read them both before, but they are so action packed I flew through them and apparently barely comprehended them at all because there's a lot of a surprising information the second time around. Now I am freaking dying to know what happens so I need to finish Insurgent and for some reason tonight I ran with no headphones to decompress after work or something and that was a tremendous mistake.

3. Alright, two solid non - food things, so let's talk about food. I absolutely love Panera. I've eaten there twice in the past 4 days and I have no regrets. It's weird because I am usually one of those annoying "I don't want to eat at a chain!" people, but I could eat Panera every night and never want to stop. I had dinner with my friend there tonight, and got a Pumpkin Spice Latte for dessert. It was so sweet my teeth hurt. Just how I like it.

4. Clearly, no dessert is complete without chocolate. My parents introduced me to this unbelievably good homemade chocolate shop this weekend, and they had some unusual flavor combinations.

It's clearly the kind of thing that either makes you salivate, or throw up in your mouth. I'm the former, and I have a good friend that I knew would agree, so I had to buy us each one. We tried them tonight, and it was life-changingly delicious.

Just the perfect amount of balsamic, and goat cheese.

5. I treated myself to the fancy sleep mask at Target. My old one was all stretched out and letting all sorts of light in. Truly, I suffer. This one has a soft little rest for your eyes at the bottom and when I tried it on at the store, it was a complete black out.

I was so excited about it I wanted to take two pictures to show the front and the back,
but I felt that crossed into the true weirdo category.

6. This happened. And I really didn't see any reason to retype for the blog when a screen shot of my Facebook status would suffice.

If you ever want to feel old, tell a child how phones
used to be connected to a cord, and if you needed to get something
in another room, you had to tell the person to "hold on".

It really is the little things in life.
What little things are rocking your world right now?
What do you eat that causes other people to dry heave?
Edited to add: I'm listening to Katy's new album now, and loving it so far.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Anything is better than nothing

This was one of those weeks I couldn’t blog. I usually “write” my posts in my head while I’m running or in the shower. It didn’t work out, and not just because I only had 24 miles of running time to work with. Every post I began to “write” just declined into disgustingly obnoxious whining. So I did what any self respecting blogger would do – saved the internet and subjected all my friends and family to endless complaining and self-pitying rants. What would I do without them?

Usually, running is my stress relief. But this particular week, sleep just seemed like a more appealing option in that 4am hour I had available. And when I did have time in the evenings, sitting on the couch eating Halloween candy was just irresistible.

I did run a tiny bit. 5 miles Tuesday morning, 4 miles Thursday morning, and then another 5 miles Thursday evening. Really the only reason I did the extra 5 was for Buffy. If you use a treadmill, I highly recommend “saving” a show exclusively for running. I wanted to start season 3, so I had to run more. Delusional, yes, but trust me, you don’t make it through 50 mile races without the ability to delude yourself.

Friday morning I did a 10 mile run, and that was it for the week. I guess this was a stepback week. Or something. I’m still not convinced that I should maintain running as my hobby. Knitting is still pretty tempting. And you know what isn’t terribly tempting at the moment? Running 50 miles next month.

So far this post is a downer. So let’s move on, because I have good news (well, for past me anyway). My weekend was filled with my absolute favorite person on the planet.
He was excited on the inside, I just know it.

Did you know the new iPhone takes slow motion videos?  I wasn’t sure what the target use was when I got the phone. Now I know.

While I could easily stare at this kid all day every day for the rest of my life, he does go to sleep at times, and there were some other activities I needed to attend to on my weekend at home.

Friday night, my sister organized a huge girls game night and I was so busy having fun I forgot to take pictures. The important things were that our friend Melissa made brownie dip, and we are all officially on the fast track to hell for the things we laughed at during Cards Against Humanity.
I was terrified all the young whippersnappers I was playing with wouldn't know what this meant.
After everyone left, I stayed up talking to my sister and Melissa until 3am. I didn’t even know that was possible for me, but it was totally worth the sleep deprivation. My poor sister had to get up with Harrison at 7am, but she kindly let me sleep in until 8:30. Being an aunt is just fabulous.

We all needed more sleep.

Dancing while proud Grandpa looks on!
Still, there was no way I was running. I only had baby time until we needed to go bridesmaid dress shopping a few hours later, and there was no way I was wasting a second of it. I could barely tear myself away to shower. When you live 400 miles away, you need to soak in every precious moment.


Saturday was jam packed – bridesmaid dress shopping (my sister is getting married on our nation’s birthday!), seeing my good friend/best boss ever Stacy (she hired me as a waitress when I was 16), and then a hot dog/ice cream date with my original black life partner. The ice cream was salted caramel and homemade at a place called Hedonist Chocolate, which is clearly right up my alley.

Sunday, my alarm went off at 6:30. I had laid out everything the night before for a 16 mile run. I pushed snooze. Repeatedly. Until about 8:00. Which is basically the worst choice ever, because then you haven’t run, and you also haven’t enjoyed the benefits of that extra sleep. But seriously, is that moment you push snooze and then roll back over not the best thing ever?

My running theme this week was “anything is better than nothing” (aka 4 miler Thursday) so 16 miles turned into 12, which became 10, and then 8….and so on. Obviously my cutoff was being done by the time Darcy arrived with Harrison. Finally, I got up and started getting dressed. Then I checked the weather. The feels like temperature was 34. The coldest I’ve ran in since like, March is like 50, and I hadn’t packed for that at all.

Apparently some slight vestiges of the former, motivated, no excuses Alyssa still existed, because I went downstairs and started rooting through my parents’ coat closet for some gloves. But then I caught a glimpse of the pumpkin spice coffee beans I’d bought at my absolute favorite coffee shop the night before. And then my run turned into this.

As soon as I climbed in, I knew it was the right decision.

Besides, I needed to help my mom prepare an amazing, pumpkin themed brunch for the family. Here’s the menu, so you can drool and be jealous.

Now I’m acting like the cool kids and blogging from like 20,000 feet in the air! Or however high planes fly, I really have no idea! Of course, by blogging I mean typing in Microsoft Word. Does anyone actually buy plane wifi for personal use? IMHO, if you can't live a few hours without Facebook, you need to reevaluate your life choices.

Speaking of life choices - next week is going to be a determining factor for me in deciding about Stone Mill. I had a fantastic weekend where my diet was about 90% sugar and wine. I got pampered by my parents, girl time with my sister, and I got to creep on my gorgeous nephew more than is probably socially acceptable. Not to mention, my husband cleaned the house while I was gone (he wasn't interested in girls night or bridesmaid dress shopping). So  feel like my head is in a better place, PLUS I found a stress ball in the closet. Game on, training. Maybe.

On a scale of 1-10, how relaxing do you find a visit to your family? (1 is like a root canal, 10 is like a spa vacation.) I would call it like a 500.

Anyone ever been in a running/life funk? Please share advice for busting out of it!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Baltimore Marathon Recap: Never thought I'd be relieved to run a sub-5

This weekend I ran the Baltimore Marathon. It's always had a special place in my heart as my favorite race. It was my first half in 2009, my first marathon in 2010, and my first sub 4 marathon in 2011. This weekend, I thought it would be my first DNF, and then my first 5 hour + marathon. It wasn't, but it came pretty close.

Believe it or not, I was actually focused on like, real life stuff last week, and hadn't given a thought to my post marathon dessert. But then I went to Target after work Friday to get a gift for a friend, and saw bags of candy corn mixed with peanuts, and suddenly recalled seeing this recipe, and it was on. Thank goodness for smartphones.

FYI - I used my obsession, white chocolate candy corn M&Ms instead of marshmallows, mixed chocolate and peanut butter chips instead of just peanut butter, and added some crushed pretzel pieces for that extra bit of salt.

Friday night was spent in typical pre-marathon fashion. "Baking" a delicious dessert, getting my outfit ready, compression, hydration, TV, and pizza.

 I had 3 pieces, don't worry, just didn't take a picture until after I wolfed down two already.
Obviously, we had to taste test the dessert. You can't serve people something you haven't vetted, it's the law.

Saturday morning, Eric and I were up bright and early. He was running the half, which didn't start until 9:45 (the marathon began at 8), so I felt bad dragging him along with me. But with over 20,000 runners, it really didn't make sense to take two cars.

Eric mocked me but I thought our city looked pretty in the sunrise!
I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to small races, but I felt totally out of my element. It took us like 20 minutes waiting in a line of cars to park, and then I was nervous because we arrived at security (what?) at 7am, and I was afraid I wouldn't have time for a bathroom trip before the 8am start. Luckily we scored big and found a band of secret porto-porties (add this sentence to "you know you're a runner when....).

The kind of happiness only secret porto-potties can bring

To commit to my "just a training run" mentality, I set my Garmin to only show distance and planned to run by feel, which is usually a successful method for me.

The race began, and I felt great for the first six miles. I did have to take a pee break early on (mile 3), despite our diamond in the rough porto-pottie find, but it was quick. I just knew this would be a great race.

The start line - courtesy of Eric!

Then, at mile 6, I've did the exact same thing in that I've done in 11 other marathons - took an espresso love Gu. My race immediately went as downhill. This is the elevation chart, but it represents how I felt perfectly.

I should have known there was a problem. Some runners hate Gu and have to choke it down. That's not me - I've always looked forward to my Gu "breaks" (I keep running but it's how I mentally chunk the marathon) and love the taste. But this time, the sight of the Gu sort of turned my stomach. Still, what was I going to do? Throw my tried and true strategy out the window at a moment's notice?
I should have. But I took the Gu anyway and almost instantly felt sick as hell. I felt the same way as I did on my run last Sunday, where I ended up turning a 15 mile run into a 7 mile run followed by 2 miles of walk/running to my car.
By mile 8, I was 100% positive I was going to DNF (drop out) at either mile 9 or 13. Those miles are right by the finish, and I was hoping to make it to 13. However, the more I thought about dropping out, the more I realized it had its own problems.
Eric had the car keys. He would begin racing at 9:45, and usually runs about a 2:45-3:00 half. So that meant even if I made it to mile 13, I would be waiting for him for nearly 3 hours. The weather was perfect for running - 60s, cloudy, on and off light drizzle (which made my stomach issues even more irritating). Obviously, those are pretty terrible conditions for standing around in sweaty clothes.
Luckily, running gives you nothing but time, so I came up with an alternate plan. I would drop out, get my bag (which had my phone and a change of clothes) and walk or run to my friend Mandy's house, about 3 miles from the finish area (ok, full disclosure, I planned to call her and beg her to pick me up, walking was a last resort). I'd wait there for Eric. The DNF was on.
I saw Eric at mile 9 and I decided to push myself to complete at least a half marathon. Somewhere in the next few miles I remembered Mandy had plans with her family, and wouldn't be home all day. I couldn't think of anyone else who lived within walking distance and wasn't racing that day, so it seemed I would have to finish. I spent a mile or two slowly mentally committing to crossing the finish line, by any means necessary, even if it meant walking and a time so shameful I couldn't even think about it.
I also committed to not taking any more Gu, because the thought was repulsive (I usually take 4 in a marathon). At the time, that seemed like no big deal, since there were aid stations with bananas and Gatorade every two miles, and tons of spectators offering candy.
Past the halfway point, I was feeling a bit better. My new plan was to run as long as I could, and then resort to a walk/run combo like I did last week. I really wanted to make it until mile 16, when the full and half marathons merge. If I slowed down too much before then, I'd be stuck with the half marathon walkers and in my experience, they like to move 6 abreast. If only I knew.
At mile 15 I started feeling really sick again, and walked a bit. At mile 16, we merged with 10,000 half marathoners and a miracle happened. I looked over while filling my water bottle and saw Eric. On the off chance that the girl I nearly took out on my rush over to catch him is a blog reader, I apologize.
We ran together for a little bit, and he was upset that his phone wasn't playing his music. He was also planning to do a walk/run interval, but at that point his run was slower than mine, although my run intervals were getting slower and shorter pretty quickly because running was just feeling worse and worse.
I said goodbye, turned on my music, and ran off. At that point, my headphones decided to die. I've ran marathons, and ultras, with no music. Running with no music is one thing - walking and slow jogging ten miles is another. We'd both worked hard on creating the perfect playlist the night before, so that was a clear sign from the universe that we were meant to "race" together for the first time ever (still an exciting Baltimore Marathon first!).
We started out running with some walk breaks and by the end it was more like walking with some run breaks, because I kept crying uncle and stopping when I tried to run. The downhills really hurt, so we mainly ran the hills.
It was weird, because it was clear as soon as I started walking that I wasn't going to be the least bit pleased with my time. Still, it was impossible to let go and every walk break pissed me off because it meant an even slower time. Even more annoying, my legs and breathing felt great, it was just that stabbing pain and nausea that prevented me from running. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but I just couldn't get on board with torturing myself for a non-goal race. Furthermore, we had things to do after the race that I needed to be in good shape for, and I couldn't afford to push myself to the point where I needed to spend the rest of the day crying in the fetal position.
My emotional state wavered from "focus on the positive! It's not raining! I'm hanging out with my husband! I'm always complaining that we don't get enough time together - it's so great that we found each other!" to warding off hysterical sobs over my pathetic performance. I'm sure it was fun for Eric too. It was really nothing new for him - we may never have raced together, but we've been married 5 years and that gamut of emotions happens like 17 times on a daily basis. He continued to come through and cheer me up, and even offered to give me a piggyback ride to the finish. For all you who thought I only married him for his good looks - NO. There's more.
This about sums it all up.
There was also a period where I swore off running all together and said I was beginning a new hobby. Eric suggested we become Crossfit cult people. I told him I didn't say new exercise routine, I said new hobby. Like knitting. I've always wanted to learn. I could sleep in every Saturday, wake up, have some coffee, and knit. Doesn't that sound great? What's the exercise recommendation for a healthy lifestyle - like 30 minutes, 5 times a week? I'll do that and that alone.
The race finishes through the Orioles stadium and ends right outside. Eric started telling me at mile 24 that we should run through the stadium to the finish and I didn't even feel I could handle that. In the end, I managed. When we approached the chute, the clock was at 4:59:37 and I was like "OH HELL NO" and somehow managed to sprint in under 5 hours on pure adrenaline. We even got the coveted husband/wife holding hands finish line experience!
 I paid for that little "sprint" though. You know how usually when you stop running, at least some of the pain stops and it's a relief? Well, not this time. Eric and I had pretty opposite post - race experiences.

That concrete sure looks comfortable. Especially if I add a space blanket.
I rallied for this beautiful picture.
Thought my eyes were closed but I was just in my prime.

Many, many hours later I was able to stomach something other than water and sprite.
The other half is waiting for me after I finish this post.

Eric tried a new beer and duck fat fries and was in absolute heaven.

We were prepared to light the way if the restaurant lost power.

Thank goodness I was able to partake in the dessert buffet later that night.


It's been at least a month since I had a weekend morning (or any morning) where I didn't have to set an alarm, so I can't even describe my excitement over Sunday morning. I slept for like 11 hours.
So far, Sunday has been this.
I will never get sick of SATC.

Sadly, my shirt didn't help the game.

I planned to do a 4 mile recovery run but I was exhausted from our half mile walk to get bagels and I want to go to bed at like 6pm. Apparently, I can't handle a 60 mile week.

And that's the story of the Baltimore Marathon. I'll be honest, I expected to wake up today and be motivated to get redemption and laugh at my knitting plan, but that hasn't been the case. It's only been a day, but I'm really over running right now.

My sister just published a great post that is guaranteed to put your problems into perspective (it absolutely did for me). It's a really inspirational story about her soon to be father in law, and as always, it includes pictures of the world's most precious, perfect child (baby? I still want to say baby!). Did I mention I'm seeing him in 5 short days?

Anyone have any other hobby suggestions for me? Kari has already offered to teach me to knit, so I'm good there.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Instead of getting ready for a marathon, I shopped for chocolate

I am completely unprepared for Saturday's marathon. Sure, training-wise, I'm ready to complete it, although not fast. But in terms of logistics - I've done nothing except click on the ten day forecast a few times (it doesn't look good).

I think I've gotten spoiled by small races and now can't handle the thought of dealing with figuring out getting to the expo, parking, bag check, finding people after, what to wear (technically this would still be a concern in a small race), etc. 

Eric had the course maps up the other night so I figured I'd take a look. I checked for a split second and was pretty much like "yeah looks the same". I've ran this marathon twice before, so I get the general idea. Here's the only important information that EVERYONE needs to have.

This will never happen.
The main reason I can't find the time or motivation to care can be summed up in this ecard.

I was confused about why they only included such a short list, but I guess filling the entire ecard with
tiny text isn't as visually appealing.
Like, it took me over 24 hours to check out this buzzfeed about trail running my mom tweeted me (Buzzfeed is her addiction). I still have emails with funny links that I haven't even clicked yet - I truly suffer for the sake of the children. But I did get to go on a field trip and lay on a bed of nails.

Eric's class was canceled tonight, so he was my knight in shining armor and went out in the rain (which is supposed to continue until Sunday) to get our packets. 

Despite all that, I'm still excited. The Baltimore Marathon is my favorite race. Telling people that usually elicits the same reaction as when I tell them I hate dogs. It has a bad rap for being super hilly, but I don't think it's as bad as it's reputation, plus it's just so much fun.

I originally said I was going to run this race as a training run, but secretly planned to run it hard and try for a PR. But now that I've missed a week + with being sick, I can't afford to lose another week of training due to recovery. So I need to actually run it as a training run for Stone Mill. Not the biggest loss, since I can't even remember the last time I did speed work.

I may have been far too busy to dealing with my race, but I wasn't too busy (and never will be) to go to two different stores to find my beloved M&Ms. That's when you know you've reached an unhealthy level of obsession, by the way.

I found a Rite Aid on my way to grad class, and they didn't have them. So I bought two other kinds of Halloween candy to console myself. 

Then as I was leaving class, a magical Walgreens appeared out of nowhere, and they had the goods, plus an extra treat.

I was instagramming before I even bought them.
Side note - there was a gorgeous sunset.
Here was my dessert that night, and my life was complete. No, one bag of M&Ms isn't enough for dessert in my world.

Dessert + snuggie = perfection
I had some questions about the inside of the M&Ms, so I bit one open and took a picture. You're welcome.

White chocolate, mainly.
I tried the red velvet pumpkin tonight, along with the second bag of M&Ms, and it was just as good as you may imagine. And that, my friends, is a little look into what life is like when you put chocolate as your absolute number one priority, above all else. I'll admit there have been times where I've wished I had originally chosen a different blog name. But in times like these, I'm so glad I chose one that gives me license to spend three consecutive posts obsessing about seasonal candy.

I almost just published this without mentioning the ostensible topic of this blog - running. I ran 8 miles yesterday morning. I meant to run 7 this morning, but it didn't happen. I had to put my alarm on silent during the field trip, so it would vibrate when a student needed medication in the Planetarium. I never turned the sound back on, and woke up like 45 minutes late, so the run was bagged. I made it up after work on the treadmill, and got to finally watch the season 2 finale of Buffy Mind. Blown. 

I'm going into the race with 30 weekly miles so far. If I can manage to finish and complete a 4 mile recovery run the next day, I'll finally be at 60 for the week!

Do you find yourself "not having time" for certain things, but always able to fit in others? Like, clean laundry will sit in the basket for an entire week, but I'll somehow manage to fit in 50 miles of running and an entire season of The Office.