Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Road to..

Hell a marathon is paved in good intentions.  I started off last week really well.  I ran every day.  Thursday, I could feel the back of my throat getting scratchy and my head started to pound, but I was able to pound out 4 miles.

Friday, I woke up, and Holy Heck, was I getting sick.  Vice squeezing my brain, sore throat.  Its my sure fire sign that something bad was coming.  I was super disappointed.  I was supposed to go out with friends to celebrate a birthday and I was going to see Katye (both of us would be in normal street clothes too!). Somehow, I managed to pull through the day, take a quick nap and had an enjoyable evening with some old friends and new one as well.  If you are from the Baltimore area, check out Alewife.  The menu, while small, is full of tasty items and the selection of beer is impressive. I have been there twice, and nothing I had was bad (though I LOVE their duck fat fries and buffalo chicken soup!).  We also saw Mr. Greengenes, a great cover band that plays the area a lot (and any time I have seen them has been free!).  It was nice to see Katye in a non running setting, and we had a great time, great laughs, and a few sangrias.

Perhaps that was the problem though.  We stayed out until about midnight, and I wasn't in bed until almost 2.  I woke up and felt like death warmed over.  I was too dizzy to try and run, so I ran a few errands, ran home and tucked myself into bed. Sunday, I woke up and worse than the day before!  Come on!!

Tuesday, I finally felt human enough to try to go for a run, and had a pretty successful 4 miles on the treadmill.  Wednesday, I tried to brave the 95% humidity at 9PM for a run, but it was short.  Tonight, I will attempt another 3 miles after the sun sets (yeah, we are having that nasty heat out here too).

I am excited because I have a new running buddy who has decided we should be accountability buddies too. I sure use this blog as a forum for my own accountability, but I am looking forward to having a friend out there that I won't be slowing down.  We are going to attempt 5 miles on Saturday at 7, and I have started to prepare my will now!

How is everyone's running going?  How are you dealing with this unbearable heat?    Do you have a favorite band you like to see?

Oh, and don't forget to enter my popchips giveaway.  You have until Wednesday!

Happy Running!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Popchips for a Month??

I have a new snack obsession lately-Popchips.  I first tried this treats at the National Marathon when they were handing out bags during the race.  Instantly, a new love was found.

Seriously, have you ever tried them?  These tasty little chips are not fried (gross) and not baked (again, gross), but potatoes cooked under pressure with some heat that pop.  They are crispy like chips and full of flavor and have made a happy home in my pantry (when I kind find them, that is).  You can read more about them here and here.

So, here is the good stuff about pop chips:
  • They are delicious
  • They are a healthy alternative to other potato snacks out there
    • No preservatives
    • No artificial flavors of colors
    • No Cholesterol
    • No Gluten ingredients
    • No more than 120 calories per serving
  • They have a variety of flavors
    • Original
    • Barbeque
    • Sour Cream & Onion
    • Cheddar Potato (My absolute favorite)
    • Sea Salt & Vinegar
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Parmesan Garlic
  • They are very filling.
  • Did I mention they are delicious?
The Bad:
  • I could eat the whole bag--like a jumbo sized bag
  • They can be hard to find, especially in certain flavors.
Luckily, for you guys, I have your solution!  Lauren at Popchips has offered up a months supply of these tasty snacks to one lucky reader!!!

In order to enter, you need to:
  • "Like" Popchips on Facebook (tell them I sent you) and post here to let me know
  • Follow @Popchips on Twitter  and post here to let me know.
  • Spread the word.  One extra entry for posting this giveaway on your blog and letting me know you did so.
The last day to enter will be July 25th at midnight.  The winner will be announced by Noon EST on the 26th and you will be on your way to obsessing over a tasty new snack!

So, what are you waiting for?  Pop over to Facebook and Twitter and post this on your blog.  Good luck to all!

Last night

I planned to blog last night, I really did.

I left work and went for a nice, easy 4 miles.  All was well until about 15 minutes into the run.  My gym was EMPTY (out of 30 treadmills, 3 were in use).  When the gym is that empty, I make every effort to put a buffer between everyone else working out.  I am sorry, but my personal space bubble is slightly larger than others.  I like my space.

I have seen this girl before and have run on the treadmill next to her before when the gym was packed and there weren't any others available.  With a TON of empty treadmills, you have to imagine my surpise when she picked the one right next to me.  RIGHT NEXT TO ME.  LIKETHISCLOSE.  Really?  REALLY?

Listen, I am a sweaty beast when I work out, even when its an easy workout.  Why on earth would you want to get next to this red faced, sweaty girl when you have plenty of options available down the line?  Every time I sped up, she did.  Every time I increased my incline, she did as well.  For 10 minutes, then she was done.  Guess she couldn't hang with this awesomeness!

Am I the only one that picks what machine is most isolated and uses that?  Its not the first time this has happened, and its surely not the last time, so while annoyed, I was not too worked up about it.  She didnt reek of perfume or smoke, wasn't singing (though she runs very heavy--clomp clomp clomp) so its not like its that big of a deal (thought she didn't wipe down the machine) but I am just curious.  Do you just jump on a machine at the gym?  Do you evaluate where there are less people and select based on that?  Do you have any rules you would like to put on an unofficial list of treadmill (or other equipment)?

After my 4 miles were done, I headed to one of my best friends' house to check out her new babies. :)  Her twins (just released from the NICU 4 days ago) were two of the sweetest, tiniest little nuggets and i just was able to love on them all night.  Surely you can understand WHY my blog was neglected after that :)

So I know I promised you my outfit for the MCM. 

Here is the shirt:
At the suggestion of a friend who has run the MCM several times, I am putting my name on the front of my shirt.

And I always tell people I shuffle instead of running.  LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem has become a favorite of the summer, so I figured it was a nice marriage for the shirt (and a little inspiration from Jamie's Facebook helped).

Couple this shirt with a yello running skirts skirt, I think I have a cute, bright and appropriate outfit.  Any thoughts?  Suggestions? 

Happy Running everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And just like that

I am back on track.

Monday, I had a date with the dreadmill because of the unbearable heat in the DC area.  After 2.5 miles( in 27 minutes, thank you very much), I had to scoot (I had dinner plans and was running short on time).  Woke up this morning and felt pretty good.  Maybe a touch sore, but hey, those muscles haven't really been used.

Today, I was going to try and meet with Katye for a run (on the treadmill again, because it was HOTTTT!) but our schedules didn't mesh up, so she gave me instructions for my run today.  1 mile at an easy pace, 2 miles at tempo pace and 1 mile cooldown.

The first mile was nice and slow (she said easy!) at 12:45.

The second mile, I worked in my intervals of 10 min/mil for 2 minutes, walk for a min at 15min/mile. (all at a 1% incline)  I kept up the same for the third too.  By the time my fourth mile came around, I was feeling pretty good (aside from being BEET RED from it being so stinking hot in the gym) I decided I would do one more tempo mile.  That might have been the mile that almost killed me.  I pushed it out and felt great by the time I came to my last mile of cool down at a 12:45 pace.

I felt great when I left, but stiffened up in the car.  Am I getting old?  I had to come home and put some frozen corn on my knee because it was killing me.  I took a nice hot bath too (they kind of gross me out, but I have noticed they really help when I am all achy), so all in all, 2 days into training, I am feeling pretty good!

Would any bloggers out there be interested in a group run on Sundays on the National Mall in DC?  I am relatively close to the area and I spend a lot of time down in DC on the weekends.  I think it would be a lot of fun to get a group of bloggers together to get out and take on the Mall, so shoot me an email if you are interested!

Happy running!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Can Be Bribed

I know, I know.  You have seen me disappear into the abyss and then make my way back promising to blog more.  And I lied.  I never did.  And like blogging, my training has fallen by the wayside. 

I wish I could offer up a better excuse, but the only one I have is I made other parts of my life a priority instead of running and blogging.  What?!  I spent a lot of time working with my trainer, spinning in lieu of running, studying for the CPA exam and partying it up being social and making new friends.  Lame, right?

This time is different, I swear.   Really, I do!   For one, I have a marathon in 16 weeks.  16 WEEKS.  Holy Crap--how in the heck is already the middle of JULY!!!!?!?!?!?  Summer, where have you gone?!  Also, I have been persuaded into running the Disney Pricness Half in 2012--and some extra incentive was thrown in if I started blogging again (I am not above bribery--in fact I respond very well to it--Katye knows this and used it to get me back on the wagon).

Lets face it.  I know where my strengths and weaknesses are and I need to be held accountable.  I need to report on my training runs, long runs and other races, otherwise, they may not every happen.  Lets just say that I don't envision a SMOOTH Marine Corp Marathon without sufficient training (and, I want to hit 5:15 on the MCM---its going to be WORK and I need to make sure I am doing it so I can be successful.)  And wait until you see my outfit for the MCM.  Seriously, I have it all figured out.  Do you like the "Party Rock Anthem" from LMFAO?  Then you will LOVE my shirt--the whole outfit is REALLY cute!

As a little reward for sticking around, I am going to be hosting a giveaway in a few days. Just an easy peasy, lemon squeezy entry to thank you for occassionally checking this out to see if I have resurfaced or am still alive.  Let me work out the details, but you will be rewarded, my dear readers, for sticking it out with me. 

Additionally, if anyone needs a brand new pair of Brooks Trance 9, size 9 and never worn, please let me know.  I have a pair I am looking to sell (I need a wide size) so please, shoot me an email here and we can work out the details.

Happy running all :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maryland Half Marathon

Today, I made my second attempt at the Maryland Half Marathon.  You may remember, that last year, this was my first half, the hills were brutal, the weather was gross and I only got by because of Katye. I was promised this year when I registered that the course was flat and fast and it would be a good course to run.  Last week, in a run with my cousin's husband B, I learned that this course was not flat.  At all.  It was a hilly e'ffer.

Luckily, the race was all of 5 minutes from A and B's house, so I was able to stay there Saturday night and sleep in until 6:30.  For some reason, I was not able to sleep; it was rather restless and I was up about every hour, but I still felt well rested.  I put myself together, ate a protein bar and B and I headed out.
Cute right?  My nails are even painted bright red--how coordinated of me!

At this point, the sky was gray, the day was kind of dreary and the temperature was nice.  The air was humid and heavy.  ICK.  The nice part about this race is now small it is.  Only 2000 runners, so all the logistics of a bigger race are not really factor.  We parked, walked to the start (I even managed to sneak into an unofficial stink box and avoided the nasty porta pot lines) and were ready to go in no time.  After some lovely chats and pep talks from the race organizer (who I may have called a liar under my breath) and sponsors we were off.

I started up with B, which was my first mistake.  I started way too fast for me. But I pulled back, started with my intervals and felt ok.  And then the hills started.  And kept going.  And my calf (remember how it bugged me really bad on Monday) started acting up.  I kept my intervals, cursing hills and thanking people (because honestly, how cute was I?) and kept going.  I decided at the first medic tent I would see if there was anything I could put on it and keep going.  But you know what, I never saw a medic tent (there were supposed to be 2 on the course).  I was a bit frustrated, but kept going.

And as I kept going, the hills kept going.  And remember how I said it was overcast and dreary?  Yeah, then the sun came out and I had left my sunglasses at home.  The sun was bright (I got sunburned!!) but I just kept going.

Honestly, I wish I had kept track of what was going on when, but I was kind of in my own head, thinking about things, listening to my tunes and focusing on not wanting to die.  To say I was unprepared for this race is an understatement.     Going into it, I didn't have an expectation of of where I wanted to finish, but more that I wanted to finish and have a good time, which I was able to do.

I finally saw the finish line as I rounded a corner and tried to sprint, but couldn't; my legs were spent.  I just kept my eyes ahead (and totally missed A yelling for me) and finish.  I even managed to PR by two minutes, even with as unprepared as I felt going into it.    How cool is that?

So, now I have two nice pieces of hardware.  If only I ran the inaugural year and had the first medal!

Happy running all!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Making it rain

So, I bought a groupon a while ago for this great gym that Katye goes to that offers the amazing treading classes.  And I totally got suckered into a membership.  I got free enrollment and 10 free ½ hour sessions with a personal trainer.  Luckily, I still have my handy student ID (shhhhhhh) and got a discounted rate because of that.

I am super excited because this gym is AWESOME.  Great equipment, lots of great classes and lots of perks.  I am excited to work with my trainer too (I specifically asked for a mean one) and developing a training plan outside of running that will really help me meet my various goals for my upcoming races.

Last night was my first night of my membership, so I decided to test out the calf and give treading a try.  It was great.  There was a far less annoying instructor (there is one girl who talks ALL THE TIME) who likes to kick you butt with some serious incline intervals.  I took my speed down a bit so I would not be pushing my calf speed wise, but I turned up the incline (hello, 12%) and had a killer workout.  Seriously, at one point, I kept feeling water splash me.  Oh, that was sweat flying off my crazy pony tail.  YUP.  I was drenched.  Thank you, treading class J

It’s hard to believe that my half marathon is almost here.  Seriously, how in the heck did that happen?  Here is a few things that I am not thrilled about with the race.

First, this week has been amazing here in Baltimore. Clear, sunny and overall perfect.  So, it would make sense that on race day, the forecast looks something like this.

Jealous of my mad paint skills, aren’t you?

Just for giggles, here is the course map and the corresponding elevation chart.  Lets hope I don’t drop dead. 

I am pondering my outfit.  I ran this race last year (it was my first half marathon) so I was thinking about busting out last year’s shirt (that doesn’t break any race day protocol right) and my red and white mini dot skirt and my black CEP socks.  Sounds cute right? 

I am excited because I am going to have an on course cheering section.  My awesome (and preggo—sorry A—totally stole your thunder in the blog-o-sphere) is going to come out and cheer for her husband and me J  Have I told you how much you rock??  Because you totally do.

OK folks, I am off.  Gonna get myself all prepped for Sunday!  Happy running!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hello Hills

Thursday, my cousin's husband sent me a facebook message about going for a run around where the Maryland Half Marathon will be this upcoming weekend and I happily agreed.

Remember the Maryland Half Marathon?  How the hills made me want to die and quit and how Katye managed to get me across the finish line?  Yeah, I signed up for that race again because the promoters moved the course and promised that the course would be flat.  And you know what?  Those f'ers lied, if our run on Saturday was any indication.  The 6.5 miles I got in was hilly as s.

It was a beautiful day in Baltimore, and aside from being a bit rushed from getting a late start, I was happy to be able to get out, check out the course and have a running buddy (even if B was so freaking far ahead of me and would loop back, a la Katye).  We started out and I knew I was in trouble-I was trying to run too fast with B. Eventually, we split apart, and just in time for the hills to start! Since I had never run the route before, B would loop back, run with me for a bit and then I would let him go ahead.  He would explain what hills, curves or other important information (a few of the roads had NO shoulders and you needed to pay attention for cars coming around or over the hill) and then carry on his way.  I tried to power up the hills the best I could and tried to make the best of the run.

I was may have said a few choice words towards B and called him an inappropriate name a few times, but I think he enjoyed having a running buddy as much as I did.  I stupidly left my camera at home, which was a shame, because we were running through some very pretty rural areas.  

And since I know you all are dying to hear about my social life, the run Saturday was followed by movies with friends, then later for dinner and drinks in DC. 

Cuba Libre in DC.  That deliciousness is a grilled pineapple mojito that I LOVED.  Shout out to Vance, our bartender for the stop who concocted this and a couple of shots for us too:)  We had planned on a bar crawl in Chinatown to various ethnic restaurants and trying a signature drink at each place.  We made it to two places before we went dancing.  WOOPS!

Today, I went for a shorter run after work and felt this terrible pull in my left calf and had to hobble off the treadmill to the stationary bike.  Seriously?!?!!  6 days before the half marathon?!?!?!  Stairs are a struggle and I am just so stinking frustrated.  I am hoping that the next few days of rest (or at least the bike and elliptical) will help whatever it is heal, but really, don't I just have the luck!?

Where is your favorite place to spend time with your friends?  Do you have a favorite drink or do you like trying new things at every new place you go to?

Happy Running!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Remember me?

*cough cough hack hack*  Whew, did you see all that dust fly up?  Seriously, it has been a while since I posted.  Someone, who will remain nameless (*coughcough*Katye*coughcough*) told me that studying to the CPA exam, training, having an active social life and new job are not good excuses to neglect this blog, and for that I apologize.  Did you miss me though?

So, how have I been?  Obviously, very busy.  I started my new job and I LOVE it.  It’s a bit different than what I was expecting, but still a great opportunity.  I am still learning the ropes a bit, but work with very friendly and kind of people.  The CPA exam is killing me. I am devoting a ton of time to studying and still feel woefully unprepared.  I think I just need to get the tests over with and see what happens.

The social life is active.  I am spending time with friends, making new friends and really finding who I am as a person, what sort of things I like and I dislike.  I am certainly enjoying this phase in my life as I move forward, kind of uncertain where things will go, but optimistic about how they will go.

The training---well, lets just say its getting neglected.  I had my first long run in a while (8 miles) on Sunday, followed up ½ mile repeats on Monday and I am still hurting. 

First, the long run was solo, on a chilly Sunday morning.  I hauled myself out of bed to take a three hour study break and headed to the trail.  I was prepared and looking cute, if I say so myself.  I took off on the trail and enjoyed my pace (10:15 for the first mile—gooooo me) and really felt great.  After the first mile, I decided to go to my 6:1 intervals (which ended up being 3:1 because of my poor training lately) and the miles just flew by.  I thought about going for another 2 miles, but had a twinge in my knee and was worried about pushing it too hard, too soon.  I was happy I hauled myself up and got out there. 

The next day, I had the great idea that I would try ½ mile repeats.  I had legs that were dead, feet that ached, and apparently a brain that was out of whack.  Someone suggested  I start with 4, but I figured I could handle 6.  I handled 6, barely.  The first two flew by and I felt great (I really like that delicious pain when you are all sore and trying to push your body through it) and then the third was a bit of a struggle (I never just go out and try and run this fast),the fourth I managed to finish and feel ok and fifth and sixth about killed me.  I finished them though, and was pleased with the overall outcome, but decided that even though I will be keeping this in my training plan, they are a cruel form of punshiment.  It was torteous, but in the end, a good workout as my sweaty self was evidence of.

I love my new Trance, but I was custom fitted for insoles, so ever since then, my arches are bothering me-to the point where it would be painful to walk.  I am going to try pulling them out of my shoes on Saturday for my  long run and see if that remedies the situation and my feet aren’t killing me by the end of the race.

So, there you have it; my last six weeks in a nutshell.  Its amazing that I have been able to condense it so nicely right?

Happy Running all :)


Thursday, March 10, 2011

3 Things

1.  Remember my treading experience?  You know, that super awesome, treadmill interval class at Katye's gym?  Groupon had a one month membership to that gym (seriously, its beautiful--the one I will go to is right on the water in Baltimore) for $25.  You bet your rear end I bought it.  I am looking forward to all the treading (and other classes since my gym does not offer class--for $10, you get what you pay for) I can do for the next month!!!  Thank you Groupon:)

2. I just realized I only have 9 weeks until my next half marathon.  Which means there is even less time until the Pike's Peek 10K and the Broad Street Run.  EEEKKKK!  Time to get myself in gear, which is going to be difficult with all the free time I have between studying for the CPA exam, working and trying to have a social life (speaking of having a social life--dating is a lot harder than I remember.  Any words of wisdom?)

3.  I had a couple people ask for the Cajun Seafood Pasta Recipe.  Here you go.
  • 20 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Roast the olive oil and garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seafood seasoning (I realy like Tony Chachere)
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed or 2 cans clams
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded – if desired
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 1 3/4 cups diced seeded plum tomatoes (about 8 large)
  • 18 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 18 ounces halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 cup chopped green onions for garnish
You could add andouille sausage if you would like and just cook with mushrooms.

Add everything, including garlic and olive oil – do not add the shrimp and fish yet

Cover and cook until clams and mussels have opened. 
Fish out all of the clams and mussels add the fish and shrimp cook until done
Put the mussels and clams back in pot. 
Season to taste
Meanwhile cook linguine
Drain and transfer to large bowl.  Pour seafood sauce over pasta. 

Happy Running everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Year of Erin

Apparently, when I do something, I do it big.

I have had a lot of change in my life, as I have shared with you.  So what's one more thing?

After 6 1/2 years with the same company (where I really grew up both personally and professionally) I went to an interview because it sounded interesting.  I didn't think anything would come from it.  Within 8 days, I had an extremely generous job offer with a fantastic company with the potential for a lot of growth.  And, after a lot of thought and worry, I took it.  I had to resign from a company I love, that has been so generous and kind to me over the last 6 1/2 years.  I had to leave one of the few places in my life that was comfortable and stable.

Seriously, I can't stress to you all how afraid of change I have been up until December.  Now, I feel like I have turned my whole life upside down and could not be more excited about what the future has in store for me over the upcoming months. 

My cousin (hi Amanda!!!!) dubbed 2011 The Year Of Erin.  I am putting myself first, instead of others, worrying about what is best for me and then acting on it.  I have to say, I am really looking forward to finding out what the rest of my year has to offer. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

ABC's of E

(A) Age: Turned 28 in November (but was asked this weekend--more than once--if I were 21--Sweet!!!)

(B) Bed Size: Queen.   All to myself.  ahhhhhh

(C) Chore You Hate: Cleaning toilets. Seriously, shudder.

(D) Dogs? *sigh* no.  Love them, just not a good time in my life for a pet.
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item:  Coffee.  Extra Bold, really hot.  Don't talk to me until I have had it.

(F) Favourite Color: Green, Pink, Purple.

(G) Gold or Silver? White Gold. 

(H) Height: 5ft 6in. Yup, Tall for my people (excluding my 6'5" brother)
(I) Instruments You Play: I used to play the Trombone--but haven't in ages.
(J) Job Title: Accountant

(K) Kids: Nada

(L) Live: Hanover, MD

(M) Mom's Name: Sue

(N) Nicknames: E, Birdie, E-Dog

(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? Nope. 

(P) Pet Peeve: Being late, people driving too slow, people being rude or inconsiderate. 
(Q) Quote from a Movie: "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore"
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right.

(S) Siblings: One much older (11 years older) brother, one younger sister.

(T) Time You Wake Up? My alarm goes off at 6:20, but I am typically awake (and not pleased about it) by 5:45 and just chilling in bed.

(U) Underwear: Cotton bikini brief.  Thank you Victoria's Secret Pink for making cute cotton undies.
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: None.  I grew up with vegetarian parents; I had to eat them all.

(W) What Makes You Run Late: Usually, other people.  I am guilty of being absent minded too--but that is a rarity.

(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: Dental, hips, knee, ankle (broke it), neck (car accident)

(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Cajun Seafood Pasta, Blackened Salmon, Upside down apple pecan pie

(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Probably Panda Bears--even if you can never see them because of the people hogging the viewing space.  I really love the elephants too, even if they stink.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  For some reason, when its time to get a new shoe, I think I should try something other than my trusty Brooks Trance.  I tried the Asics Kayano with mixed results (very cushy, not the stability I need).  I went back to my Trance.  When those were on their last leg, I decided to try the Mizuno Alchemy.  I took them for a 10 miler on Sunday and boy, my ankle was bugging me.  Weird.  I took the shoes back to the store, went through a custom insole and shoe fitting, and guess what.  I was back in my Trances.  Those shoes in a wide + a custom fit insole = happy feet on Erin.  I ran in them yesterday in my treading class and had zero ankle pain.  Lesson learned, Brooks.  Lesson learned indeed.
Dear Trance, I promise to never doubt our compatability again.  With Love, Erin

2.  The Marine Corps Marathon is 90% sold out.  In the first hour, over 12K people registered--no one I had so much trouble getting registered (I was stuck in a meeting until 12:30---boooo).  How awesome is that?  I am super excited for this race.  Not only are some really awesome bloggers running it, the president of my company is signed up, plus an old friend from HS that I reconnected with on Facebook (seriously, is there anything better than facebook) is signed up too.  If all that weren't enough, my parents are coming from Iowa to watch me.  Have I mentioned how much my parents rock?  Because they totally do.  I am excited to run through DC and VA and be a part of the people's marathon.

3.  My sister just got the iPhone on Verizon and we have been able to Facetime a couple of times.  Her 2 1/2 year old Audrey is super cute.  She gets up close and says "Auntie E, how did you get stuck in the phone?" and will give me kisses, hugs, high fives and knuckles through the phone.  I love how technology has really made it easy to be close to my family, even if they are 1400 miles away.  Its nice to know that I am able to be visible to my niece even if I can't see her all the time.   

Happy Thursday and Happy Running everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I know, four posts in two days?  Is the world ending?  I might be a super blogger yet!!!

So, today on Facebook, Katye asked if anyone would be interested in taking a treading class at her gym.  Knowing that the gym was not that far from me (downtown Baltimore) I jumped at the chance.

Treading is a lot like spinning, but, you guessed it, on the treadmill.  You connect your headphones to the AV device on the treadmill, switch to a certain channel, and run intervals based on what the instructor tells you.  I am a fan of intervals, so I was excited to see what a guided class would feel like, rather than me just screwing around on the treadmill myself.

At first, there was a lot of confusion as to what channel to hook up to, what time the class started, and getting on a couple of good machines.  Once we got all squared away, the instructor guided us in the basic terminology and how the class would go.

It was challenging, it was tough, and it was so much fun!  Time just flew by.  We played with speeds, with intervals and it was nice to really get into a groove and let my legs go.  Before I know it, I had three miles (plus the .75 I got in before we actually started) in and the class was wrapping up.

Note to Self-iPhone+Treading pictures=poor quality.  Notice Katye's crazy ponytail, even in the blur!

Proof of a good work out.  I am a sweaty beast glistening goddess!

I really enjoyed the treading class.  I think it will be a nice addition to my training schedule for the Marine Corps Marathon (YAYYYYYYY!!!!), so thanks again to Katye for the guest pass and introducing me to this awesome class!!!

Happy Running!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Like I said

Like I said, the MCM registration is tomorrow.

I just checked out their website to confirm what time it starts tomorrow.  This is what their page looks like right now.

Clearly, they are expecting heavy volume (read early sell out) tomorrow. Don't say I didn't warn you!!!

When it rains

Yeah, I know.  Its been a while.  You know how they say, when it rains, it pours?  I kind of had a stressful last couple of weeks.  Issues resolved (mainly, my car and headlights that didn't work and figuring out alternate transportation) and life is back to a pretty normal routine.

Tomorrow is a big day.  Sure, its just an ordinary Wednesday to most, but to some, tomorrow is huge.  Registration for the Marine Corp Marathon opens at noon.  You know, this little race in DC that I hope to run with 30,000 of my closest friends.  My second marathon--seriously how cool is it that I can say that.  I have already run a marathon-I know what to expect, what to prepare for and a lot of the nerves should be gone!

Sunday, in an effort to bring running to the passenger seat (a follower sent me an email and use that quote--I liked it so much I had to steal it) I had plans to meet with Liz and Katye at noon for a little 10 miler--no biggie, right?  It was a nice 10 miles too, even if the bulk was spent walking and catching up.  (side note--I took my new Mizuno Alchemy's out for a spin and I am sad that they were a huge fail--I returned them and ended up in my trusty Brook Trance once again--so pretty).  We followed up our gab fest run with a tasty pretzel from Auntie Annes and decided we were still chatty hungry, and decided to get a late lunch instead.

As if that weren't enough, I ran Monday and then again today!!  Seriously, I must be ready to train.  I did some speed work on the treadmill and it felt great to just let my legs fly.  I felt like a lot of the stress, frustrations and pain I have been bottling up for the last several weeks just pour out of me (literally--I was a sweaty beast at the end).

So, back to this whole marathon thing.  I am really attempting to eat cleaner and more healthfully for my marathon, but I am totally clueless and so not savvy.  Any of you health nuts out there have any suggestions or tips for me?  What is the one thing you guys can't live without during training aside from cupcakes?  What do you try and avoid?

Ok, sorry for the really scattered post.  SOMEONE (aka Katye) has been dropping hints that I should start posting again!

Happy running everyone and remember, TOMORROW (Wednesday the 23rd) is registration for the Marine Corp Marathon.  Its going to sell out fast, so if you want plan to run it, sign up right away!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Race Schedule for the Year

First, thanks for all your wonderful, supportive comments on my last post.  The running/blogging community is incredibly kind, supportive and overall awesome.  You should totally pat yourself on the back!

After Disney, I realized I was only signed up for one race fo the year.  Seriously, what gives?  I decided to sit down and think about what I wanted to run for the year.

First, the race I was already signed up for was the MD Half, which was my first half marathon.  Last year, the course was SUPER hilly, the day was humid and rainy and it was HARD.  Seriously, wanted to cry and give up.  They moved this course year, and are tweaking it constantly to make it flat.  I HAD to sign up.  I have a shot of redemption, plus, my friend Mel signed up for it too, so it should be a lot of fun.

The Broad Street Run (10 Miles--at a slight decline the whole way) is another race I ran last year and decided to run again, and luckily registered early because it sold out in three days (last year, I registered about 5 weeks after it opened--what gives?!?).  A bunch of people that work for my company's office in Philly run it every year, so I was happy to become part of their tradition.  Hopefully it will not be in the 90's in early May again this year!  This was one of my favorite races from last year, so I am really looking forward to it again.

Last year, I ran the Zooma 10K in Annapolis and really enjoyed the race and the course (seriously, Annapolis is BEAUTIFUL) but struggled during the race because of really hot and humid weather (it was 87 at the 7AM start with about 98% humidity).  Instead of running for redemption, I decided to sign up for the Half Marathon that runs at the same time.  Super excited for this.  Seriously, its going to be an AMAZING RACE (and my friend Mel is running this one with me too).

I am hoping to run the Army Ten Miler again (it was a great race--and I felt amazing while running it),  Registration opens in April, so fingers crossed I can get in before it sells out.

Where is my marathon, you ask?  I really, REALLY want to run the Marine Corp Marathon this October.  the MCM10K was my first real race, and it got me hooked on running.  Registration opens on the 23rd of this month.  I am noticing races selling out faster and faster, so luckily I will be off of work that day (recovering from LASIK surgery--woohoooo) and will be able to register as soon as it opens as well as a few of the other people I am roping into it.  I am not even gripped with fear thinking about it--but more excitement!  If for some reason I get shut out, I will probably run the Baltimore Marathon instead.

I am sure smaller races will pop up, plus I am think about the Baltimore Ten Miler, the Baltimore Women's Classic, the Run to Remember, Dreaded Druid Hills and a few others.  These are my notables.  And dangit, I want to improve on my redemption races.

So, I am sure in a few months, I will be wondering what the heck I am doing, but for now, this is my plan and I am super excited.  Now, to get a good training plan in the works.  TMB--I may be hitting you up soon!

Happy Running Everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lessons learned during a marathon and applied during a difficult time

Hello out there bloggers!

I know, it’s been a while since you have seen me. Post marathon, I was dealing with one pretty big life change that affected my whole life and I put running in the back seat.

My husband (ex, estranged, whatever) and I have decided to separate and file for divorce. It’s not an angry divorce; there is no ill will between the two of us. We simply became two different people who grew apart over the 8 years (5 of marriage) that we were together with too different end goals to make it work.

I have spent the majority of my adult life (we met when I was 20—I am 28 now) with this person, so even though I knew we were making the right decision, dealing with the decision was difficult at first. We had a house to deal with, we had bills to deal with and we had a life that we needed to separate into little compartments. I had to find a place to live and uproot my comfortable life.

I was dealing with this for a long time leading up to my marathon. It was a distraction from my preparation, to say the least. I didn’t have time to worry about finishing or injuries because the decision and actions of our separation had taken over my life. I was too focused on “what do I do now?” to focus on anything else.
 I ran my marathon and when I finished, I promptly burst into tears. I am sure some of it had to do with relief of finishing, but the majority of it was me realizing just how strong I really am, both mentally and physically. It was empowering to me that is/was not going to define me. Sure, I am getting a divorce, but hey, I am a lot of other things, a marathoner included.  If I can mentall get through 26.2 miles of being on my feet, I can surely handle anything.

So, even though running has taken a backseat in my life, it's still there, ever present and increasingly more important. It’s helping me define myself, discover myself and improve myself. The revelations I made while finishing my marathon went a long way to help me heal from the shock of the decision and fear I have regarding my future.

I kept telling myself during the marathon, just one foot in front of the other, take this step by step, especially through some difficult miles. This has become my mantra in life lately, although my steps are getting longer and faster and I am finally looking ahead of me instead of behind—and I am happy with where I am heading.

Last depressing post, I swear!!  I am back into training starting today, so less of my personal life, more of my running adventures to come!

Happy running everyone

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday--Post Marathon Edition

  1. In case you didn't remember or catch it, I completed my first marathon on Sunday.  Yes, I am still flying high from the experience!  I am also able to walk normally again.  I can even get up to a brisk walk with no trouble!  If it weren't for this pesky ankle/foot pain (I broke my ankle a little over 4 years ago and it seems like after really long distances the inflammation really irritates a nerve or two) I would be planning my next run.
  2. Check out this picture from my finish at the race.  Have you ever seen a happier person crossing the finish line.  Its funny though, because the next picture on ASI's website is me wiping my tears away.
  3. photo  from ASI
  4. I must be a glutton for punishment.  I am ready to sign up for my next marathon.  I am even going to try and persuade a few people to join me (Courtney, Katye, Wendy, TMB, Katie, Liz--you guys interested?  It will be fun and there are lots of cute Marines manning the water stations!)  Are you planning on the Marine Corp Marathon?? 
Happy Running (or resting) to you all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am a marathoner!

***Warning, this is a little long, and kind of disorganized.  Read at your own risk!!***

Friday, I was a bundle of nerves as my buddy (hi Kim) took me to the airport.  I was leaving for Orlando to run my first marathon.  Sure, I had plenty of time to prep, but honestly, the last nine weeks (especially the last two) have been full of unexpected.  I was traveling, I was sick, I was injured and I had a really major personal development that had taken control of my life.  Honestly, preparing myself mentally for this race was not a priority.

My mom was waiting for me at the airport and aside from being nervous and excited about running my marathon, I was excited to see my mom and get a big hug from her. We headed to the resort (my mom had been there for two days already) and met with my TNT group really quick before heading to the Captains Grille for dinner (Rosemary porkchops with a bacon polenta---soo good).

I debated waking up early to go and see the half marathoners finish, but I decided to take advantage of some time to sleep in.  Mom and I walked to the main part of hotel on a beautiful day, got some breakfast, met with Katye and then headed to the expo.

The expo was huge, but we didn't spend much time there.  I wanted to pick up some sports shield (I forgot mine when I packed my bag--had to settle for body glide--never again) and some mint chocolate gus and new belt for the race.  Mom and I had tickets for Animal Kingdom, so we parted ways with Katye so we could enjoy the park.

We headed to Macaroni Grill for diner where I thought I was meeting up with Courtney until we realized we were are two different Macaroni Grills!  We decided to meet up the next morning before the race and mom and I ate out meal, then headed back to the room where, with the help of Unisom, we were both asleep by 8:15.

My 2:00 wake up call came quickly, but I felt well rested.  I quickly got dressed, ate a Clif Bar, drank some water and snapped a picture of my outfit.

I met with my team, rode the bus and then hung out in the family meet up area, where we sat in the cold for awhile.  
Katye in her sheet.  Seriously, best idea ever.
Katye, Me, Courtney.  It was so nice to meet Courtney--she is SUPER sweet!  I think I almost tackled her when I hugged her.  Sorry!!!  (stole the pic from her too)

Heading to the start (20 minute walk in the cold) with my 17,000 closest friends.

 My running buddy D and I made our way to our starting corral (after a little confusion as to where each corral started) and waited.  Eventually, each wave (and fireworks went off)!
Before I knew it, we started.  I felt great.  D and I kept with our intervals and were doing really well!  The first two miles flew by.  Before I knew it, we hit epcot.
 My belt was causing my skirt to creep up for a generous thigh display.  Sorry folks.

It was pretty cool running through Epcot in the dark.  I forgot to snap a picture of a big Christmas Tree all decorated up :(

Around mile four, my thighs (which are best friends and never shall part) felt like a fire was starting.  Darn you body glide.  Luckily, we hit a medic station where they had some sort of lubrication goop for runners (on Popsicle sticks) and liberally applied (while flashing people....woops!!)

Before I knew it, we hit the magic kingdom.  I wanted to go through this area slower to take it all in.  I wanted to find Ariel too!  

 At the Magic Kingdom
I did not find Ariel, but I did find these lovely peple!
 LOVED meeting the Stepsisters and stepmother.

After the Magic Kingdom, D and I split up.  I could feel my left knee and hip start to bother me and I was going to change my intervals to 1:1.  

13-20 were a blur.  I felt great.  I never had felt so great in any of my previous races as I felt at 15 or 18.  Seriously, how weird is that.

My awesome cousin's husband had warned me that the real halfway point was mile 20. I scoffed at this, because I felt great.  Then, around 20.5, I felt like a truck ran me over.  My hip and knee were screaming.  I was almost in tears, worried that I would not be able to finish (seriously, the pain was that bad).  Fortunately, my TNT coach was right at this point, got me talking and took my mind off the pain.  I can not thank her enough for that!

Miles 21-24 felt like they took FOREVER.  There was lots to see and lots of people, but I was still in so much pain and was trying to power through that that I didn't get to take it in as much as I would have liked.

Around 24.5, I started to get really emotional.  I think at this point, I realized I was going to finish and what I had accomplished.  I took a nice older woman in her motorized scooter with a sign that read "Dear Stranger, I know we don't know each other, but I am so PROUD of you" to get me teary eyed and realize what I was going to accomplish.

We entered Epcot, went around the world and I realized I was almost done. My TNT coach couldn't finish with me, so I ended up running the last .2 miles by myself.  I saw (and heard) my mom yelling for me, and I started to cry.  I kept going (after waving) and heard Katye screaming for me as I crossed the finish line and started to cry a bit harder. Then I got my medal and a few more tears came out (in case you couldn't tell, I am a crier).  I found my mom and Katye pretty quickly and yes, I cried some more.

We walked around a bit, then headed to the hotel, where I decided to take my first real ice bath.  I think that might have been the most painful part of my whole marathon experience.  I could hear my mom laughing at me as I shrieked when I first got in.

After that, we met with Katye, got some food and then I was off to the airport (I had to get back to work for Monday morning) with this bad boy around my neck.

My time wasn't great (6:55), but I finished, which is really what is important.  I think that I learned a lot from my experience and I know how to proceed for the next time!  A guy had an awesome shirt that said "Finished Dead Last is better than Did Not Finish" and I totally agreed.  THe best thing was, though, was that I got to slap that 26.2 mile sticker on my car.

This was such a great experience.  I learned that I am way stronger, both emotionally and physically, than I ever thought I was and it couldn't have come at a better time.  As I finished and was limping around, my mom asked if I would ever do it again, and without hesitating, I said yes.  I would do it over and over again.

So, who is up for the Marine Corp Marathon in October (registration is 2/23/11)?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I did it!

Just a quick post from my phone while I sit at the airport.

It's official--I am a marathoner!! I finished the Disney marathon today--slowly, painfully and completely overjoyed. I have so many thoughts running through my head right now, so look for a full post in the next couple of days.

Marine Corp Marathon--I'll see you in October!