- 17th April
- 12th April
- 10th April
It’s been a while since I threw down some splits and a sweaty selfie, so…
YOU GUYS. I’m two-and-a-half weeks into Eugene Marathon training, and it’s been kind of blah so far. Not bad, but not great. Sometimes a pace that should be easy leaves me breathing a little too hard.
But tonight I had one of those magical runs where my legs were coursing with energy and running was easy and I was a gazelle, a mothereffing gazelle! This is the fastest I’ve ever run, outside of a few of my Hood to Coast legs, and the best part is that it didn’t even feel like that hard of an effort.
(This is a very rare occurrence, so shhh, I know it’s obnoxious, but let me enjoy it.)
Sometimes you just need a run like this to reinvigorate that love for the sport after it’s been buried under too many crappy runs. I just want to remember this feeling and use it as momentum for the next, uhhhh, 15.5 weeks of training.
HOLY CRAP, SO LONG.
Things are changing big-time around here. It’s been a bit stressful for a few months, but it’s all about to pay off. May will be ah-mazing. Can’t wait to share!!
I’ll try to jump on here more and post about life and training. Since this is marathon #4 and I’m not feeling super ambitious to run a PR — I’m a little distracted by the wedding and keep forgetting about the race, to be honest — I’m not feeling eager to blog every last detail. But maybe when I get into my longer runs, I’ll get the urge to
brag report about them.
OK, brag. Let’s be real.
- 16th March
I’m still a bit bummed about this race, which is probably why I’ve waited a week and a day to write the recap.
1. I didn’t run as fast as I know I could have.
2. The course was about a quarter-mile short, so I don’t count my PR as a PR.
Aaron and I arrived at Marymoor Park wayyy early — 6:15, even though the race started at 7:30 — because traffic was such a cluster last year. We had no trouble this year, and even caught an incredible sunrise as I picked up my packet.
No filter. It really was that beautiful!
We had a ton of time to kill, so we sat in the car to stay warm until 7:25-ish. I didn’t stretch or warm up at all. I probably should have.
My dad found us right before the race started, so we snapped a pic. Most loyal race spectator ever! :)
Aaaaand it was cold. Should have warmed up.
My goal was to start out slow and steady (8:45 pace or so), and then start picking it up after the first six miles.
I had trouble getting into a good rhythm, but I felt confident that I was going slowly enough, and I was. I ran the first mile in 8:54.
The problem was that I hit the one-mile marker when my watch only read 0.90 mile. Hmmm. Maybe this discrepancy would even itself out over the rest of the course?
But no. Each mile, I consistently passed the mile marker when my watch read only 1.90 miles, 2.90 miles, etc. Very odd.
My slow-and-steady plan was going well, though. I ate my first gel at mile 4.5.
And then every runner’s worst nightmare hit me: the dreaded SIDE STITCH. Nooooo!!!
I very, very rarely get side stitches on training runs, and when I do, I try to run through them as if I’m in a race and can’t stop. Often I can really focus on deep breathing and run through them. Other times — including this time — I can’t get rid of it and have to walk.
I pulled off to the side of the course and walked for 40-45 seconds. I was SO MAD. I’m ashamed to admit I had a horrible attitude about it and just wanted to quit right there. I was NOT enjoying the race and I probably wasn’t going to PR, so why bother running the rest of it?
I had just started running again when I saw my dad along the course, cheering and taking pictures. I couldn’t even muster up a smile; I just yelled out that I had a really bad cramp and was hurting.
It would have been so easy to stop running and get into my dad’s car. For a quarter-mile after I passed him, I considered turning around and doing just that. But the side stitch faded away bit by bit, and I resolved to finish the race just to prove to myself that I could.
I wanted to pick up my pace after mile six to make up for the walking and to negative-split the race, but (a) I was afraid I would get another side stitch, and (b) my legs were just not feeling it.
So frustrating. I ate another gel at mile nine.
Around the beginning of mile 10, the course went from gravel path to paved trail, and then to concrete sidewalk. I can always run faster on hard surfaces, so I gritted my teeth and tried to fly.
The course was still measuring short compared to my Garmin, but at this point I was actually HAPPY about that since it meant I would finish sooner! Somewhere in the last mile of the race, the course lost even more mileage, and I crossed the finish line having run only 12.86 miles.
But I was still VERY HAPPY to have finished! (That little blond tot holding the yellow sign just kills me. So cute.)
My official time was 1:52:03, but I won’t count it as a PR since the course was nearly a quarter-mile short. It wasn’t just me…
So that’s kind of a bummer. My Garmin says I ran 12.86 miles at 8:43 pace, and if I had run a full 13.1 at that pace, I would have finished in about 1:54:11 — still a PR, since I ran 1:55:22 at this race last year.
Buuuuut whatever. I’ll PR a half marathon another day… maybe. I’m still not a huge fan of the distance. I love 15Ks and I love marathons, but there’s something about the half that I don’t enjoy that much.
Or maybe I’m just still grumpy about this one. :)
After the race, I ran into my college friend Moorea, who killed it in 1:48! She was just trying to break two hours so, short course or not, she nailed a huge PR!
My dad, Aaron, and I went to Panera for lunch afterward, and I enjoyed my standard post-race meal of tomato soup in a sourdough bread bowl and salad. Yum.
The next day, my legs weren’t sore in the slightest. Weird, but a sign that I didn’t push myself as hard as I could or should have?
Perhaps I did my long runs too fast and just ran out of juice for the race itself. I’ll be sure to return to slow long running for marathon training, which seemed to work really well for my sub-four finish in Chicago!
Speaking of marathon training, it starts on March 24! I’ve put together my 18-week plan for the Eugene Marathon and am excited to get started.
I was completely lazy this past week and did only a four-mile run on Tuesday. Aaron and I have started watching House of Cards, which is so awesome and addictive! I’ll get back to running tomorrow, and just do easy, fun runs for my last week of freedom until the end of July.
- 8th March
- 8th March
- 7th March
I figured I should do a quick catch-up post before tomorrow’s half marathon! I’m currently drinking tri-berry Nuun to hydrate (that is, eh-hem, rehydrate after the glass of red wine I just had at happy hour with Karen).
Let’s back up to last Saturday. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS!!! The bridal shop congratulated me with a cute card and everything. :)
After four months, 10 bridal shops, and quite possibly more than 100 dresses, I finally found the PERFECT one and I’m so glad I held out for it! Now I can picture exactly what our wedding day will look like, and I tear up every time.
OK, on to Sunday’s long run. I ran 12 rainy, windy, incredibly miserable miles along the half-marathon course. It was NOT FUN.
I’ve completely lost the ability to pace myself (THANKS, gym treadmill), so I started too fast and was pretty tired midway through this run. The headwind all the way back to my car was rough, too. Here’s hoping the weather cooperates tomorrow!
Goals for the race:
1. Don’t burn out in the first half.
2. Stay positive.
3. Finish strong.
I’m wary of really getting my hopes up for a PR (sub-1:55) since I crashed and burned so hard in my last half marathon, but I think my training went really well and I have it in me to PR if I pace myself well.
Which is precisely what I’ve been sucking at.
But… I’ll stay positive.
- 26th February
Holy crap! Y’all came through with book recommendations in a big way, and now I’m like a kid in a candy store trying to figure out which one to read first. I’ll share many of the recs below, but first let me tell you a smidge about my day.
I went to the gym this morning and covered 4.57 miles during a 40-minute tempo run. Apparently I was… really tired… because look what I typed into my phone about this run right after I finished:
Oh, honey, no. Not even close. How about “40 min tempo 4.57 mi”?
But somehow this morning my brain was like, “Yes, this is definitely what I want to type.” I blame two straight nights of The Bachelor. So mentally and emotionally taxing.
Then I got ready for work and, in a nod to the day’s forecast — sunny, low 50s — busted out a new striped short-sleeved tee. I can’t waaaait for spring to arrive!
Sorry for the weird/blurry pic. My selfie game is clearly off due to my lack of blogging.
Anyway, this tee is so comfortable and just a hair more stylish than your average tee (although hard to tell that on me). Here it is if you’d like join the stripey club.
On to the books!
Several of you mentioned Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I know the movie starring Reese Witherspoon is coming out this year, so I’ll try to read it before then!
Robin recommended several books, including Wild (dang, girl! so well-read):
- The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (sounds like a great contender for book club!)
- Hell on Two Wheels by Amy Snyder
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
- A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington
- Love Does by Bob Goff
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Lauren from apureadventure let me know that if I turn the Wi-Fi off on my Kindle, my checked-out book won’t go anywhere until I’m done with it. Oh, snap! Thanks, Lauren! She also recommended:
- State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich
- Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (just downloaded this one!)
sitcomofmylife recommended a trio of books by Alice Sebold:
- The Almost Moon (just downloaded this one!)
- The Lovely Bones (I have read this and seen the movie)
- Lucky (her memoir)
And there are many more recommendations in the comments of my last post, so check ‘em out! Thanks to everyone who contributed their picks!
Time for me to get ready for bed and finish my current book. I’ve got one last super-early gym morning tomorrow, and then Friday is my rest day! Woo-hoo!
- 25th February
I can’t remember why I woke up early one January day to go to the gym in the morning instead of after work, but I did and I LOVED it.
My gym is very crowded right after work, so it’s often tough to find a parking space and a free treadmill. Plus there’s traffic on the way there, tons of nekkid bodies in the locker room, etc.
In the wee hours of the morning, there are no cars on the road. There are plenty of parking spaces. I have my pick of treadmills. Plus, I get to relax in the evenings!
So I’ve taken to waking up at 4:30/4:45-ish to hit the gym and pay my sweaty dues before work. It’s not quite as nice as when I used to wake up around the same hour to do sunrise runs at Green Lake in the summer, but it’s a vast improvement over gym rush hour!
Actual Green Lake sunrise last August. Can’t wait for more of this!
In other news, I’ve committed to reading more this year. I love checking out e-books from the library on my Kindle and reading on the bus to and from work.
I’m kind of obsessed with memoirs and biographies, but I’m mixing in some fiction, too. Here’s what I’ve read so far this year:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling (very funny)
The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant - Dan Savage (interesting look at the early years of gay adoption)
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (gripping! couldn’t put it down!)
Oprah: A Biography - Kitty Kelly (juicy!!)
Bossypants - Tina Fey (interesting, but not as funny as Mindy’s book)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford (interesting novel about the evacuation of Japanese from Seattle following the bombing of Pearl Harbor)
I got a ton of reading done in January because I spent several hours on planes and a whole week on vacation, but I was much slower with my reading this month — just one book that I’m rushing to finish before my e-book checkout expires in three days! I’ll try harder next month. :)
Some friends and I are starting a book club (aka: wine club where we talk about books a little bit), so I need some book suggestions to bring to our first meeting in mid-March.
Give me your best fiction picks, Tumblr!
- 24th February
Aaron and I have been making steady progress with planning our wedding, which is now only a little over seven months away!
Wow. That seems like it’s coming up really quickly!
SAVE THE DATES
We wanted one of our wonderful engagement photos to be the star of our save the dates. I found a few designs that I liked online, and Aaron used them as inspiration to create this lovely announcement!
This is an iPhone pic of an actual printed save the date, so the quality and colors are not as good as in real life — but you get the idea. I love how it turned out!
We originally planned to save money by just creating an iPod playlist for the wedding, but then we couldn’t figure out who would man the iPod. We also realized we wanted a pro to be in charge of the party and act as emcee, managing the flow of activities (first dance, toasts, tossing things, etc.).
After scouring reviews and finding nothing but good things about this guy, we hired DJ Marc Sense of Integral DJs. He is totally organized, responsive, and down to play whatever we want to hear and nothing we don’t.
I’m busy curating a highly sophisticated mix of 80s music, current hits, and songs featuring Pitbull.
Next, we tackled the most fun and exciting bit of wedding planning by far… CUPCAKE TASTING!
This was my tasting plate. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Aaron and I love New York Cupcakes like nothing else, so it was a no-brainer to do wedding cupcakes rather than a traditional wedding cake. We wound up choosing SEVEN amazing flavors.
Shut. It. Down.
If you’re vegan or gluten-free or sugar-free, sorry — try a different wedding. We’re going full-on at this wedding and nobody can stop us.
Aaron and I will have two of our very favorite Cookie Dough Delight cupcakes waiting for us at the top of the cupcake tower. The half-baked cookie dough inside of the cupcake looks like this (photo from 2012):
I rest my case.
I still have not chosen a wedding dress (I know, I know), so choosing bridesmaid dresses was not really hi-pri in my mind… until last week, when I saw that J. Crew was offering 25% off all bridesmaid dresses!
I worked at J. Crew for three years in college, so I’ve seen tons of their bridesmaid dresses and always secretly hoped to have J. Crew dresses in my wedding. But they are on the steeper side of price ($250-ish), and I was very conscious of (a) not wanting to ask my bridesmaids to spend too much, and (b) wanting to choose something my bridesmaids would like (or at least not totally resent).
So, we jumped on the sale! I chose the color and fabric, and left the style up to each bridesmaid to choose for herself. Some girls ordered a few different styles and will choose which one they like best once they try them on, so I don’t know what the final choices will look like yet, but here’s a sampling of what they chose:
I love the deep purple color online, so I hope it’s just as beautiful in person! We shall see.
I will decide either this Saturday, March 1, or next Saturday, March 8. (I will decide. I will decide. I will decide.) I’m going to hit up two stores that I’ve already visited and re-try my fave dresses, plus try a few new dresses that I really like online and have finally arrived in-store. I’m excited to choose something once and for all and check this off my list!
That’s all for now. We still have details like flowers, decor, and a few other things to tackle, but we’re feeling really good about how much we have done.
It’s feeling real now. And I can’t wait!