Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Updates, shmupdates

So, there is a a 50% chance that if I'm not blogging, it is because I'm not running. The other 50% of the time, I am too busy to even breathe, let alone blog. Yeah, I know, life is hard.

Example 1: I wrote 'eat lunch' on my to-do list. Seriously. Forgetting/not setting aside time to eat is something I've done the past couple weeks for pretty much the first time in my life. It's not like I don't get hungry, because I surely do, but I have been falling into the 'just one more thing and then I'll go eat lunch' trap far more frequently lately.

Example 2, a relative of example 1: I had popcorn, peas and cottage cheese for dinner 2 nights ago. I mixed the peas and the cottage cheese to minimize time between bowl and tummy. I'm a master of efficiency.

But really, this upcoming weekend is the 3rd out 4 back-to-back weekends that I won't be home at least one of the nights. 2 weekends ago was Emily's wedding (one night away in Annapolis), last weekend one night was spent in New Jersey, this weekend I've got 3 nights in upstate New York (another wedding!), and next weekend is 2 nights camping in Virginia. I'm also in week 3 of 7 of teaching my first college course and working some weird hours.

Phew. Here's some pictures to help you recover from the sympathy tiredness you should now be feeling towards me.

 The sunset last night. Cuh-razy. The actual colors were intensely contrasting, there were blues and pinks. Absolutely amazing. Never been so proud of my camera phone.


Taken AT THE SAME TIME as the other pic, by turning 180 degrees. I stood outside with Nick for a while in the drizzle just enjoying that we had a double rainbow plus a wicked sunset. Lucky us. (PS you can see my little house in the lower left corner. Not the Cape Cod in the background, the littler one in the foreground)

Moral of the story: I have been running, but not blogging. However, last week's long run was a big fat fail. I hopped on the treadmill, made it reasonably well through 5 miles then hit some weird wall. I truly do not know if it was nutrition or sleep or what, but I died. I walked and jogged through 3 more miles while my GI tract made its presence known... angrily. I felt miserable and stopped, then came back and tried some pep talks + water + granola. I walked back and forth between treadmill and bathroom at least 3 times trying to eke out one. more. mile. No dice. I could not finish and immediately started the negative self-talk. I'm in the home stretch of training and I can't do a long run? Not even half of one? I was SO proud of myself the week before and toughing it out on a treadmill long run then. So proud. I mean, if I can do almost 17 miles, I can do a 20 miler and then a marathon, right? I felt like I was finally on top of training and the marathon felt like a reality.

I let that long run hover over me for like a day before deciding, with some help from my dad, that it was not actually the end of the world. I ran a few more times in the past week and am feeling good... and all of a sudden, it's time for another long run! Yay!

What's that, it's raining in Maryland? Everyday? No kidding. That means more treadmill for me. I miss outside. I'm going to do 1X miles, where X >= 8. Yes, that means I'll be running all night (I run on the treadmill SUPER duper slowly). But now, I have Gu! Woo! I plan on popping those regularly and hoping they love my tummy. I had one before a 3-miler, just as a test, and it felt fine.

Promise I'll blog more. Sometime. 31 days until the marathon!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Countdowns

I am obsessed with countdowns. I countdown hours left in my day, days left in the week, days left in the month, days until big events. I also countdown miles left to go during longer runs. Here are the big 3 I have going right now:

8 hours until my 19 mile long run (what? I can countdown anything!)
20 days until my last long run (October 11. It's a Tuesday. Mark your calendars!)
38 days until the marathon (zomg)
74 days until my cruise with Nick to the Bahamas

So. That's all pretty soon. Yikes...

I swam last night and although I am 95% sure that I really completed 1800 meters + 100 cool down, I cannot guarantee it. Because I totally failed at counting. Irony.

And tonight.... 19 miles! On the treadmill! I'm not going to risk outside because 1) the weather is iffy and 2) my tummy was WAY too touchy for me to run very far away from my house. I had issues last time at mile 5 and again around miles 9, 11, 13, etc. It was pretty unpleasant. I sadly don't live in an area with big outdoor loops or anything where I would never be too far from a restroom or water source. I know outdoor training is important, but I'm sticking with what works for me.

In other (crazy person) news, I'm looking at triathlons for next year! I LOVE cross training, it has become my favorite part of this last little bit of training. I am just in the beginning stages of looking, I'll figure out what distance I want to do and where I want to do it after I finish the marathon so I have a new goal to work towards.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Run like the wind

I really need to get cuter with these titles...

Last night's run was RIDICULOUS. For me at least. I did 4 miles, and I felt pretty quick but I didn't notice until I was done with the first one that my first mile was 9:10! That's not normal for me. I kept running hard but steady, and my second mile was 9:18... still really fast for me. I freaked out on the 3rd one and slowed down a lot and had to do some traffic dodging, and clocked in at 9:44. I decided to gun it on the last one, and kind of figured even if I pushed it, I'd still be around 9:20something... and then I came in at 9:08! Woo!!! I averaged 9:20, which is pretty unusual for me. I am so proud of myself. This whole training cycle I have been kind of ginger with myself and forgot that running fast is fun. Being tired is fun. Long and slow has its time and place, but I can hoof it on a 4 miler and feel speedy and get a little confidence. Too bad I have to do that 6.5 times to get a full marathon.

Afterwards I felt good, mentally, but icky physically. I did some half-assed ab work and tried to eat. Why oh why is my stomach so funky? I had a tiny sandwich, an egg and a bowl of peas (I eat like a healthy bachelor, my meals are a series of random food that looks appealing) and tons of water. Still felt gross.

Today I'm going to search everywhere for hula hoops for a booth I'm staffing at our site health and safety fair. Apparently, hula hoops are not sold everywhere you think they would be! I am hoping to find some today because I need them Thursday. I'll also get in a swim (I did 1600 plus 100 cool down last week, I want to up that by 100 this week... pretty sure that's doable) and try to stay sane. Busy busy week!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Wedding of the century!

My good friend from high school, Emily, got married this weekend. You might think that since I'm 8 years out of high school, I would have drifted away from my friends from that time period, but somehow we're still crazy close. I was so excited to see Emily get married and see all of those folks.

So I celebrated by going out... the night before? I was supposed to run Saturday morning, and instead slept in a little and then headed up to the wedding. Oops, but I'm ok with it because otherwise I stuck to my plan pretty well.

Unfortunately, I got exactly one picture during the actual wedding, and one during the reception. I am silly. The wedding was gorgeous, held at the Naval Academy, and the reception was non-traditional and wonderful. Then shenanigans and way too much fun ensued with going out on the town in Annapolis. It was a great time and I am so thankful I got to see so many of my favorite people. Emily made a beautiful bride and it made me so happy to see her so in love with her Naval officer husband (husband!).


The chapel where the wedding took place.


Yeah, this guy is my boyfriend! I'm a lucky girl. 

One of the other wedding guests is also training for the MCM and she and I talked about running and confidence and training for a little while. She's running her first marathon, like me, and I think we're both on the same page as far as nerves... I am confident that my training is preparing me to finish this race, but I am still really worried. I know on race day there will be a lot of added factors helping me move forward (spectators, adrenaline). It's always amazing how different it feels to run a race versus training run. Makes me wish I had included races in my training program.. oh well, hindsight :)

As far as the eat better and sleep better goals? They were temporarily suspended Friday night through today. I had tons of fun and wouldn't trade all those good times for a longer night's sleep.

This week is a tiny bit less hectic because I don't have 2 doctor's appointments to run to right after work, but I do have other things going on all over the place, so how about a plan?

Monday: leave work a little early to teach class, run ~4 miles when I get home. Maybe through some sprints in there.
Tuesday: bike ride and errands
Wednesday: long run- 18+ miles. hopefully not on treadmill. we'll see.
Thursday: bike or swim for recovery
Friday: shorter run
Saturday: run (maybe) or rest- then travel to NJ for a little overnight trip
Sunday: run or rest depending on how NJ trip goes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hungry Hungry Laurel

Last night's run was a success- mostly. I did 16.5 miles and felt ok, but I did get incredibly bored toward the end. My muscles felt good! I had to take some bathroom breaks, which was annoying, but it gave me a chance to rest. I ate 2 granola bars and drank so much water. I also took some walking breaks once I passed the halfway point, but I'm ok with that.

And then... all hell broke loose. I have always had GI issues associated with long runs, and I'm never really hungry right after a run, but usually I am able to choke something down. I drank a ton of water on the ride home, and then got down to the business of refueling, but my body wouldn't let me. I made a little cheese sandwich with all my favorite condiments, and ate about 3 bites... then upchucked all 3 of those bites. It wasn't because I drank too much water, it was just straight tummy rejection. I waited a while, showered and stretched and then tried to eat again. I got some cottage cheese down successfully, and an egg. Then I realized I had not had any carbs or veggies, so I had some V8. That was the only really yummy part of my evening. Sleep was awful because my stomach was still getting rowdy and my restless legs were in full force. Ugh.

So, in summary, I am not feeling rejuvenated today. I feel alright, as far as muscles, some weird soreness in my inner thighs but I am TIRED and sort of hungry but I'm afraid to eat too much. I'm eating one thing at a time in hopes that if something is going to be puked up, maybe it will at least be isolated? Banana. Wait an hour. Egg. Wait an hour. Cheerios. Wait. Cheese. Wait. On the plus side, I get to eat all day! Sort of awesome! :)

This afternoon I'll be going out for a hopefully long, slow bike ride, running 800 errands, and getting ready for Emily's wedding tomorrow! Cannot wait to see her and all of my old high school friends. Yay!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mid Week check in

It's the middle of the week, let's check in and see how I've done with things thus far. I know it is totally pointless to check in on long-ish term goals 3 days after setting them, but I'm obsessive like that.

Goal 1- Eat better:
Umm.. yes? Except yesterday I was doing stuff all day and ended up eating a TON, including so. many. processed. carbs. Cheesy pizza. Donuts. Nom. My tummy hates me a little today, hopefully it will settle by this afternoon.

Goal 2- sleep better:
Uh. Sorta? This is a bit of a longer term, bigger picture goal. I have gotten some good sleep the last few days, so I'll say I'm on track.

Goal 3- Run better:

Monday: leave work a little early for class- either run (~5 miles) or bike when I get home
    Ran 1 mile warmup and 6 hill repeats for about 35 minutes total running time. It was dark or else I would have done more repeats.
Tuesday: leave work a little early for doctor's appointment- run/bike when I get home (depending on whether today is a run or a bike)
     Ran 5 sorta painful, hilly miles. Foot was feeling funky.
Wednesday: United Way Day of Caring- work all day outside- count this as cross training!
     Day of Caring was not super intense, but it was 6 or so hours of 'activity.' Then I went and swam a mile, which was most excellent. Bonus: the pool manager asked me if I was over 18 (when I went in the heated pool). Thanks, pool manager, for asking me how old I am.
Thursday: Long run on treadmill at work-16 miles (power should be back by then, fingers crossed!!!)
Friday: leave work earlyish for doctor's appointment, haircut, cross train (probably some video workout) when I get home
Saturday: run ~5 miles early, then Annapolis for a wedding!
Sunday: recover

Still on track! I'm actually pretty excited about my long run, I wanna zone on the treadmill and watch some CNN and run 16 miles. I really do.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I can't do math, and welcome!

Hi everyone! It seems that getting a blurb from SkinnyRunner (I feel like a celebrity) means I got some new readers. So hi, new people! I asked to be mentioned on her site, because in addition to all my eating/sleeping/training worries, I also need to satisfy my fundrasising goals to support Back on My Feet. I went into it knowing I might not get all the donations I wanted, but I wanted to reach out a little extra and see if I could get some new donors- and I did! Thank you to those donors, I am so thankful and Back on my Feet really deserves your support. You can check out my donation page here.

Why did I choose to raise money for a cause instead of just running the race? Well, full disclosure, the first reason is that I missed window for signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon. The race fills up quickly, and I didn't register in time. But then I made the choice to find a way to run. I researched the many wonderful charities that give an entry into the MCM- and chose Back on my Feet. This organization feels the same way I do about running- it is a way to set and accomplish goals, build confidence, and feel capable of doing whatever it is you put your mind to. They provide running programs and services for disadvantaged individuals in metropolitan areas throughout the Northeast. Connecting someone to running, whether they are homeless or not, is a big step in improving self-esteem. I honestly feel like I can accomplish so much after I run... even if all I actually accomplish is laying on the floor and eating a big dinner :)

So welcome again, everyone, here's me:
That's before and after my first triathlon. I hope you can support me in my first marathon either through reading this blog or donating to Back on my Feet! Thank you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little runner that could

Or, you know, medium sized runner that could.

Can I summarize the past few weeks? I know everyone else has already done this, and I have too, but since my life hasn't returned to normal yet, I still need to dwell a little.
-earthquake- resulting in weird work hours
-hurricane- resulting in ultra weird work hours, plus power out at my house for 5 days (no shower, no bathroom, no joy in my life), so I was displaced to parents' house
-Humongous rain storms- resulted in my car being wet and smelly
-life happening- resulting in weird work hours
-Start teaching a college class- resulting in weird work hours
-power outage at work- of course, weird work hours

So in summary: ridiculous discombobulation. If you sensed some excuses coming, you would be totally correct. I haven't done a run longer than 12.5 miles in this training cycle. I meant to do one on Friday, but the treadmill I usually use is at work.. and we don't have power there (this is as a result of the hurricane plus some other events). I instead did a painful, slow, wearing Camelbak run outside. I did around 6.5 miles and hated every step, I don't know why it was so bad.

Action plan #756: eat better, run more. Easy, right? But really, since it is only 47 days until the marathon, I need to seriously evaluate things. Steps to the action plan- NON-negotiable. For real.

1. No booze except for 2 special occasions- I have 2 weddings to attend in the next 7 weeks. I will drink at both of those, but otherwise I need to cut out my 1 or 2 beers 2 or 3 times/week habit. Ugh. My liver deserves better and so does my running.

2. Eat like I'm training for a marathon. My body needs lots of fuel to keep up, but I need to make a concerted effort to make it quality fuel. After my longish run last week, I managed to eat a small salad, some cheerios, and an orange. Then I went to a bar and had fries and a beer. I had no appetite for healthy food at home and all the appetite for junk. Stop that.

3. Sleep like I'm training for a marathon. I need to lay down the law with the boyfriend and really enforce some healthy bedtimes. He might not need 8 hours, but I do.

4. Run. I do not doubt I can put in these miles... on the treadmill. I've talked before about how easy treadmill running is for me, mentally, and how I think it is the way to go for me. So I'm gonna do some long runs on the treadmill ASAP. Here is what my week looks like:

Monday: leave work a little early for class- either run (~5 miles) or bike when I get home
Tuesday: leave work a little early for doctor's appointment- run/bike when I get home (depending on whether today is a run or a bike)
Wednesday: United Way Day of Caring- work all day outside- count this as cross training!
Thursday: Long run on treadmill at work-16 miles (power should be back by then, fingers crossed!!!)
Friday: leave work earlyish for doctor's appointment, haircut, cross train (probably some video workout) when I get home
Saturday: run ~5 miles early, then Annapolis for a wedding!
Sunday: recover

Next week I will do 18 miles on treadmill (on Tuesday), and 20 the week after (probably Tuesday again).  If I can get in either 20 again, or 22, I will be really happy. Just do it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Long(er) run

I decided to treadmill it up yesterday, since I was feeling a little lazy and I'm still not sure how passable my roads are due to downed trees and such. It was delightful. I did almost 8 miles, and I really only stopped out of boredom and thirst (water cooler was out of water, and at work I'm technically not supposed to lift the water jug because I am a girl... silly, I know). I then did some upper body lifting, and I think I pulled whatever muscle is associated with my collar bone...kind of pectoral? All I know is it is uber painful today. I'm proud of myself because I didn't really plan on getting in a run of any length today, and I did! Yay me!

This weekend is going to be hopefully uneventful. I need to get settled back in my house because I! Have! Power!!! I did 2 loads of laundry last night and have at least 2 more before my clothes pile is manageable. I also want to make Nick a special treat (it was his birthday Wednesday and I kind of failed because I was still a refugee at that point.. lame) and clean the house a bunch. I want to vacuum my car. My to-do list is all over the place, hopefully I can cross a bunch of stuff off it during this long 3 day weekend. We're also going to go see the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sunday! Neat! I'm not really into cars or racing, but this event is unusual and it'll be a nice excursion that's fairly close to home. Yet another to do: get a new dress for Emily's wedding (and another wedding I'm going to in October). I do love shopping for fancy dresses, so that'll be fun.

Happy Labor day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Turmoil

Internet world, I don't know if you've heard, but a lot of stuff has happened here in Maryland lately. Last week we had a little earthquake (no damage here, unless you count box that fell off a shelf.. and that was probably already on the ground anyways). Then, last weekend, we got acquainted with lovely Hurricane Irene... and life lost all semblance of normalcy.

So, earthquake was Wednesday? I think? I don't even know days anymore. Then I left on Friday afternoon to head to Harrisburg, PA to see Emily and go to her bachelorette party (see more from Kim's blog here). It was a really great time! I came home as Irene was beginning to hit and hunkered down in my house with Nick, some board games, and lots of bottled water. It was a fun day, we were having fun until power was lost around 8pm... sigh. In my neck of the woods, lost power means lost everything- no water, can't flush toilets, etc. I had filled my bathtub, but found out pretty quickly that my tub doesn't really hold water... um, is that not what a tub is supposed to do? I guess the plug let some water leak by, so it drained fairly quickly, only holding water for 3 hours or so. We had water for drinking, but realized pretty quickly there wouldn't be any functional toilet action... oops.

That turned out to be the least of my problems. We noticed the carpet at one side of my house was damp in the early evening hours, and investigated. It didn't seem like the walls were really damp, and the area was fairly isolated... until it started spreading down the hallway, and I had several feet of wet carpet... yikes. Further inspection in the morning revealed part of my shingles and the underpinnings of my roof had come off on one side of my house, and I had a straight path from the outside world into my attic. I am SO happy I am a renter, because it was a nasty mess. My landlady kindly got it fixed, but it turned out there was quite a bit of damage inside the walls and some pipes needed to be replaced. Those issues were fixed by Wednesday. Sunday afternoon was Emily's bridal shower (Kim and her mom put together a fun get-together even though many of the guests were affected by the storm and could not come).

AND then power came back! Oh wait, no it didn't. Here I am, on Thursday, and still don't have power at my house. 5 days later. My area is pretty rural and there was a lot of damage, so it is not surprising that my house is not powered yet, but it is still discouraging. I have been staying with my parents. They also don't have power, but they have a generator so they have hot, running water and a refrigerator. And a microwave! I am very thankful I am able to stay with them, but I do wish they had air conditioning. Hopefully power is back at my house soon. I miss my house, and I really want to restock my fridge and resume normalcy somehow. I also have an insane pile of dirty laundry that really needs to be dealt with.

Add to that, my workplace was seriously effected by the hurricane and I have worked some really weird hours this week... coming in at 5am and leaving at 3pm. 10 hour days mean I will just barely have to work on Friday though! I am being thankful for small things.

In running news, I've been running.. just not very far. I did around 3.5 miles on Monday, and 4.5 Tuesday. I'm writing off my long run this week, and I'm ok with that... life has been too weird. Return to normal life hopefully will happen very soon.