Let’s Talk Goals While I’m Still In Denial

So hey, did you know I’ll be running a God-awful amount of miles on Sunday? For fun? It’s actually blowing my mind that Sunday is October 12th. Yes, I am in complete denial.

denial

When will it sink in? After?

After 15 weeks of training, where I maybe only skipped out on 3 runs (impressive for me!), I’m feeling as ready as possible. Maybe?

So let’s talk goals.

My A goal is a SERIOUS A goal — 4:15. Do I think I can hit this goal? Yes. Do I think I will actually hit this goal? Umm…sure? It’s so hard to say. My (slow) long run pace averaged between 10:00-10:40. Considering the miserable (MISERABLE) humidity, I consider that decent and within goal. The last 5 miles of my 22-miler a few weeks ago I was able to maintain a 9:30 pace — which might have been a fluke, but it makes me feel like 4:15 IS possible. I’m not counting myself out.

My B goal is less serious – but still legit — less than 4:30. I know that’s a 15 minute time gap, but if I can’t hit 4:15, I would truly be happy with a PR, especially under 4:30. 4:33:XX (<– I could look it up, but I’m lazy – which is kind of ironic) is my current PR, so let’s beat that – OK?

My C goal is to have fun. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but how can I NOT have fun?? I’m running for an amazing charity. 1.8 million people cheering. Quite possibly perfect race weather. Having my favorite people there cheering for me. The C goal is HAPPENING people.

Ack – I can’t believe I’m running a marathon in less than a week! I’ll be back (before Chicago) with one more post — all about my shoes… I’m getting my Sharpie out :)

How To Train For A Marathon {When You Have A Lot of Excuses}

Since I’m two weeks away from running my 2nd marathon, I thought I would offer up some advice on how to train for a marathon –when you have a lot of excuses.. aka three kids, a full-time job, live in a swamp, traveling for work…{insert your excuses here}. I mean, everyone wants advice from a one-time marathoner on these things right? That’s what I thought.

Here goes…

1. Run.

Duh.

2. Convince yourself that you should run TWO marathons back-to-back and not just one. Because…you are smart stupid.

adamscott

3. Take a lot of pictures of your Garmin.

Isn’t your Garmin the most beautiful part of your body once you’ve completed a long run (or any run)?

IMG_3401

IMG_3359

IMG_3317

There are more. A lot more. I’ll spare you.

4. Distract your family with a vacation.

As far as I can tell, my kids have no idea that I’ll even be running a marathon. Most of my runs start when they are a sleep and then I come home all sweaty. They do, however, know they are going to Chicago and get to go to the zoo and eat pizza. It’s all about the pizza.

hamsterpizza

5. District yourself with a vacation.

I’ve never been to Chicago (well, more than flying into the airport and out again) and I have to admit at this point the running is taking a backseat to visiting a new city. We are flying in on Thursday and we’re going to attempt to see as much of the city as we can in 5 days (I have a feeling I will see a lot more of the city than the rest of my crew).

Of course “vacation” might be stretching it. It is really a vacation when you’re not really relaxing or sleeping and you run 26.2 in one day? :)

6. Buy more running shoes than you need.

Everyone buys three pairs in three months, right?

IMG_3229

Just say yes.

7. Makes new friends, convince them to sign up for a marathon, and force them to run with you.

IMG_3380

Tyler is also running the Space Coast Marathon. It sounded like a good idea, at the time, to convince him to join us.

8. Run in pretty places. 

Sometimes they’re there and you just didn’t realize it. Sometimes you have to travel over a thousand miles to see them.

Despite this gorgeous sunrise my 14-miler (that turned into a 15-miler) this morning was brutal. #insertsomeinspirationalshithere #wooendorphins #chimarathon #teamrmhc

image

Yeah, I could get used to this view. #seeonmyrun #newport

image

9. Make your husband change careers.

So, this has been a lot time coming, but Chicago was a major impetus in Dan FINALLY finding a Monday-Friday job. Yes, it’s true. In August, Dan started a new job with weekends AND HOLIDAYS off.

everybodydance

How did this help marathon training? I wouldn’t have been able run with Tyler on Saturdays. I would have continued running on Sundays by myself, for sure – but it would NOT have been easy. In fact, the week before my schedule changed, I ran a 20-miler by myself and I wanted to quit at 18.5 miles. I did not feel this way AT ALL when I ran my 22-miler. Also, I love getting my long run over with — it gives me more time to spend with my favorite people (and sometimes I can even sleep in on Sundays!!).

10. Bore your family, friends, and coworkers with details about your training.

chandersleeping

Don’t forget to pretend like you don’t feel like a badass after completing a 45-mile week.

Bonus tip: Have fun. Enjoy your life and the people in it. Remember that training is important, but it’s not everything.

Ready to Taste the Nation!! #OrlTaste

Traveling this week. I'm going to miss these locos.

image

My bitches.

IMG_3234

Birthday lunch. Who says you have to grow up? #beergoggles

I hope Chicago is ready for us!!

So Effing Ready For Taper

I think I’ve lost track of what week of training I’m on, but I CAN tell you that I’m now less than a month away from running the Chicago Marathon. Ack! (so that puts me at week….12?)

Truthfully, I cannot figure out how I trained for 22 weeks for Savannah because 15 weeks feels ridiculously long. Haven’t I been training FOREVER??

not sure

In the past 12(ish?) weeks I’ve run two 16 milers, two 18 milers, one 20 miler, some other long runs that I can’t remember — and on Saturday I’ll finish out my peak week with a SUPER FUN 22-miler.  “I’m so excited! I just can’t hide it!”

Thank goodness for Tyler because he tolerates my whining and complaining at end of the run — and my rambling throughout. He is training for his first marathon and every long run is incredibly motivating for him. It’s so cute. Ahhh, youth.

Had a great run this morning! Probably my best in weeks --14 miles at a 9:59 pace. It's bizarre how our 12-miler last week felt so much harder!

For the most part, I’ve hit my training schedule every damn week. There have been a few shorter runs that I skipped, but I assure you, you would have skipped them too with sick kids, thunderstorms (I draw the line at lightening), and late nights spent working. Life happens and thankfully, my body understands that.

wineshop

I’ve reached the point of training where I begin to doubt myself and a little anxiety sets in. I think – did I do enough? Did I push myself hard enough? Thanks to my previous experience, I know that race day does not boil down to one singular training run, but the accumulation of the time spent on your feet (and I have DEFINITELY spent some time on my feet this go round), but I won’t pretend I’m not feeling nervous and jittery. My mind is full of questions — will I start out too fast? Will the adrenaline hurt me in the first part of the race — or maybe carry me through those last few miles? WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE? Should I wear my hydration vest?? Will I bonk at Mile 22? Obviously, these are questions I can ONLY answer on race day, but it doesn’t mean I’m not driving myself crazy.

dryheaves

Then I remember I’m running a second marathon at the end of November. What the hell was I thinking?

Yeah. I’m ready for taper. Can you tell?

Switching Shoes {A Continuation of the Mizuno Saucony Shoe Story Saga}

So, a while ago I bought and RAVED ABOUT Mizuno Wave Rider 17s.

SOAWESOME

I loved them. I PR’d in them. They were my jam. They made my feet happy!

1:54:14 (unofficial) #bestdamnpr @bestdamnrace

And then I started marathon training.

hot

ugh

tiredhurts

runningisimpossible

Not only was I running more, A LOT more, I was running more in higher temps. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that in Florida, in the middle of the summer, that shit gets HOT and it tends to destroy things.

This did not make my shoes happy.

Or my feet.

And, especially, my knees.

boob

My shoes seemed to start wearing early (with less than under 150 miles). I thought, “eh, I’m sure this is normal.”

I kept running. I kept increasing my mileage.

A few weeks ago I reached a weird breaking point and I started wondering why the runs after my 20-miler felt hard. At first, I chalked it up to training just feeling tough because I was adding more mileage and feeling tired. Except, I actually took a cut week, so that didn’t make sense. Then my knees started hurting. And my feet — oh my poor feet were KILLING me. I would just wake up in the middle of the night with them aching.

Then I remembered to check out the outer soles of my shoes.

image

A-ha! Parts of my heel and toe were missing – and there was a lot of mid-section wear as well.

I was sad.

dean crying

Then I calculated my mileage (I started wearing my shoes at the end of May — I had JUST hit the 2-month mark and maybe 250, if that). W.T.F???

Maybe I’m spoiled, but I’ve never burned through shoes THAT fast before. I felt like I had been cheated, especially because I really LIKED the shoes. The kicker — I didn’t even RACE in those shoes.

So, I did what every person would do when they are angry at a brand for reducing the quality of their product… I found another one.

disappointed

Meet my new shoes — Saucony Ride 7s.

image

I did a lot of research on these things. I needed shoes that could carry me through the next 100+ miles of training and 26.2 miles on October 12th (OMG, THE MARATHON IS IN 6 WEEKS).

My verdict, so far, is that they run a little shorter than the Wave Riders – so I have to half-size up. BUT, I don’t feel like an old lady after I run. In fact I had one of my best long runs in MONTHS last weekend.

14-miler

They are the weirdest shoes in the best way possible – if that makes any sense. They are cushy, but not too cushy. They are light (around 8.5-9oz), but feel substantial. The outer sole is solid and from all of the 90878291 reviews I read – really hold up. I wear custom orthotics, so I can’t talk about the inner sole – but the one time I ran in them without my inserts, they were comfy and didn’t bother my ankle.

I’m hopeful. Which is a good thing since I just ordered another pair that will (if all goes well) be my Chicago Marathon Shoes, next month.

sauconyride7_berry

Imagine these shoes with a TON of names written on them. Can’t wait!

TL;DR version… the running shoe love story saga continues because companies keep changing designs and quality. Or they just like to piss me off and keep things interesting (verdict is still out).

Will I switch back to Mizunos when I’m running half marathons?? Will I try Brooks again? Will Saucony become MY SHOE? Only time will tell.

Shoe love/hate… Which brand has disappointed you the most?? Which brand did you not expect to love/wear?

Things Lately

Hey, remember me? Is this thing on?

*crickets*

As you can probably tell, things have been…busy lately. Maybe busy isn’t the right word, because I swear I’m always busy. Hectic? Beyond busy? Chaotic? Yeah, that’s it. Needless to say, my life has been blowing up in front of my face — and for some reason I feel compelled to document it.

1. Rhode Island is GLORIOUS in the summer.

image

image

image

Today we got a little lost and ended climbing over rocks (cue anxiety!) before hitting the Cliff Walk. Still ended up chasing the sunrise with this amazing view. #seeonmyrun #newport #wooendorphins #sunrise

image

image

image

I could probably post 25 more images that look vaguely similar, but different than this. I was in Newport last week for work and while it sucked being away from my family – the rest of it really did not suck. Although, I think I said “I wish I was on vacation…” about 100 times a day.

While I was in Newport, I squeezed in some awesome runs with my coworker.

 

 

image

What’s funny is that this was taken at 5:30am — those are some EARLY sunrises!

I love that I work with people crazy enough to meet me at 5am for a good run! Both times we managed to hit the Cliff Walk at sunrise and both times is freaking amazing. The second day, however, we got a little lost and I ended up climbing over rocks with a very apparent look of terror on my face.

image

I’m a wuss. 

The last night we were there we took a group trip to the Cliff Walk and it turns out that Woody Allen was shooting a movie.

image

All of that lighting was for the movie.

We didn’t see him (nor did we really care to), but we did see Emma Stone. Truthfully, it was more exciting to hang out in the beautiful weather, with my coworkers. You can tell we were having a horrible time. The weather was just terrible.

image

image

image

Oh, I ate a eat gigantic lobster along with some mussels and clams. Give me alllll of the New England food, please.

image

Newport, why must you be so fantastic? *sigh*

2. Girl’s Night Out happened. Again.

image

For the 3rd year in a row, a bunch of us got together, got silly, and drank waaaay too much.

This year we went to a super secret speakeasy (which, I loved – maybe I’m a hipster?), a rooftop bar where I managed to tweak my knee dancing (don’t ask), a bar where one of my friends almost won a twerking content (technically she did win because we got free shots), and a club/tattoo parlor (?) with stripper poles.

image

image

image

image

image

I don’t even recall taking half of these pictures. For more fun check out Paula’s post...

3. The Girls’ Night Out plague is REAL.

The first year we went out, I ended up with an ear infection and a horrible summer cold. Last year,was just NOT a good year for a bunch of us. I was in a postpartum/baby haze, so I don’t really remember details. This year was GREAT, until we got home. One person has pink eye, another ended up with a stomach virus. While I didn’t get sick – B came home with stomach issues and E ended up with Coxsackie virus (OMG THIS VIRUS IS SO HORRIBLE).

What sucks? Coxsackie virus What doesn't suck? Hanging out with this guy. Just wish it was for a happier reason.

Poor baby.

image

It does not keep him from being adorable though.

This week was exhausting. But it was worth it. Well, the hanging out with my ladies was worth it. The kids being sick though? Totally sucks.

Oh and one side effect of this whole ordeal is that E refuses to nurse (can’t blame him) — so we might be done. I’m still pumping (barely any milk) in the morning and at night – just in case this is a strike (he still loves the milk), but it’s not looking good. I never thought I’d wean this early (it’s early for me!) and without any kind of warning. My Dr. wasn’t kidding when he said “third kids tend to be a bit of a wild card.” The saddest/possibly most ironic part is that it’s during World Breastfeeding Week. Sigh. Bad timing.

4. I found myself a long-run running buddy!

Cut back week! 10 miles with Tyler. Running buddies are the best.

It’s funny because even though Tyler and have raced together — I never thought to harass him to come run with me. Although I think we are very similar in that we don’t necessarily NEED to run with anyone, but the company is always nice. He’s also training for Space Coast (you know that OTHER marathon I am running this year?).

5. I MET MY FUNDRAISING GOAL!!

FundraisingRMHC

I actually had to change this writing my post because I received a donation from my aunt that tipped me over. Wooooo-hoo! One less thing to worry about. Now I just have to worry about running that race. #cuepanic

But in all seriousness — THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of you who have donated! I can’t wait to share my Chicago Marathon experience with all of you.

6. I finally FINALLY cut my damn hair.

Suddenly, I feel 5 yrs younger and 10lbs lighter. I also feel kinda like a douche taking a selfie in these sunglasses.

I’ve been procrastinating – but the last time I had my hair done was in JANUARY. I love it though and I love my stylist. She is seriously the best.

I’ve gotten a little wiser and scheduled my next appointment already. It’s 2 days before I leave for Chicago. I might have to go a little crazy… hmmmm.

7. If you need a good dystopian book to read, I’m currently reading/rereading the MaddAddam trilogy. I’m pretty sure I read Oryx and Crake years ago — but I have book amnesia.

maddaddam

Apparently, it’s going to be a series on HBO, so you should read it now and throw in your friends faces when they get addicted to the series and want to know what happens. Not that I would do that.

And with that… it’s 9pm and time for bed. I have 14 miles in the morning, Taste of the Nation Orlando tomorrow night, and a whole bunch of other stuff in between.

What’s the last book you read? Where’s your favorite place to vacation?