Quicky Update

Hello hello!

Happy Hump Day! This week has been feeling so long for some reason. I’m counting down our days until our getaway to the Sierras in a few weeks, so I have a feeling everything is going to feel slow until we’re in the car on our way!

This week I’ve gotten back on the running/training train and it feels great. I had my first tempo workout in a looooong time on Monday and it felt so, so good to let the legs fly. It was tough and I remembered why I hate speedwork so much, but man, there’s nothing like seeing a 7:41 average at the end of your 5 mile run to get your juices flowing! I think I inadvertently gave myself a little rest break in between tapering for the half, and then taking the week after super easy. I feel really pumped and excited to start stepping up my training! I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next few months.

The wisdom teeth extraction went swimmingly–thanks for the good wishes! I was in and out of the chair in about 15 min and remember exclaiming “There’s four of everything!” on the way home (Thanks blurred vision). I spent Friday sleeping, watching “How I Met Your Mother” and eating milkshakes, applesauce and mashed potatoes.

Saturday I woke up feeling really good and it was a beautiful day! I couldn’t bear to stay cooped up inside! I ended up taking Rudy for an easy 2 mile walk (I didn’t try to run at all!) and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the back yard in the hammock reading.

hammock

It was downright lovely.

Sunday, I ventured out for an easy 2.5 mile run and then spent the day doing my typical Sunday chores: laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. I’m surprised by how quickly I bounced back and I’m super grateful for it!

I’m still on the mushy food diet, which is just so boring. It consists of oatmeal, soup, scrambled eggs, applesauce and jello. I’m not much of a hamburger person, but man what I wouldn’t do for a giant hamburger with some french fries. I miss bread like you wouldn’t believe. Yesterday, I found myself scrolling through the breakfast section of pinterest staring hungrily at all the glorious carby foods.

I’m kind of in shock that it’s October tomorrow. I have a feeling the next six months are going to fly past us! So many things to look forward to.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for you this morning! Have a happy Wednesday!

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Some Boston Talk + This Half Marathon Thing This Weekend

It’s Boston registration week and I feel the need to talk about it a little bit.

For those of you who don’t know how Boston Registration works, let me lay it out for you real quick:

Registration opened this past Monday the 14th for people who qualified by 20+ min. Wednesday, registration opens for those that have qualified by 10+ min. Friday registration opens for those that have qualified by 5+ min and next Monday are for those of us that qualified by less than 5 min.

For those of us that would be keeping all our fingers and toes crossed for a spot on during week two, they add this little disclaimer

“If space remains after the first week of registration (Monday, September 14 through Saturday, September 19), then registration will re-open for all qualifiers from Monday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Wednesday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m. ET.As during the first week of registration, entry during this period (Sept. 21-23) will not be first-come, first-served and the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group among these submissions will be granted entry as space allows.”
BAA Website

I made the decision not to register a while ago, and I’ve been okay with that decision. In fact, things have worked out pretty dang well. Rather than training for a marathon during a semester of school where I’m taking 2 (maybe 3) classes and working full time, I’ll be training this fall/winter while I’m only taking one class. My marathon is February 14th, which means I’ll be tapering by the end of January–typically around when school work will begin to pick up.

I also have the amazing opportunity to go to Peru this April instead. And that trip will be incredible. Jeff was in Peru almost 5 years ago when he met the couple that told him about Flagstaff. After returning, he applied to the job he has now, moved six months later, and we met for the first time just a few months after that. Peru means a lot to him, and I’m excited to be able to experience that with him.

In spite of that, however, I’m feeling sad this week when I see other people on social media declaring their registration success. I know that qualifying again this February with that 3:30 time, guaranteeing my entry in 2017 (note my confidence) will end up being a more enjoyable experience. I’ll be done with my pre-requisites by the time training for 2017 Boston will come around and I won’t have to worry about juggling school, work and marathon training. I’ll be able to enjoy it, and most of all, enjoy the hell out of my Boston experience.

Rationally, sure it all worked out for the best. But, emotionally, I’m sad that something I worked so hard for isn’t coming to fruition this week. I am so happy for those Internet friends that get to register and will be running this year–I mean, 30,000 people gotta do it, I’m bound to run into one or two of them on the internet 😉 — and I’ll continue reminding myself that this experience will  make running 2017 all the more special.

I’m ready to start working hard in order to make that Boston dream come true, which brings up to this half marathon thing this weekend.

Flagstaff Marathon

I’m at once terribly excited, and terribly frightened. This is the first time I’ve ever run a race that I hadn’t trained hard for, and didn’t have a some crazy “A” goal time. I’m running it to just run it.

So, here’s my plan for this Saturday.

The race starts at 9am and the weather forecast is for clear and sunny, high of 71. The race also starts at 8,000ft, so it’ll be a bit cooler. I am SO relieved for that, because, honestly, I was getting real nervous about the weather after my 80* run last weekend. It’s also nice that it’s a late start in my hometown. Sleeping in!

So, let’s talk goals.

  1. Come in under 2 hours. This may seem like a silly “A” goal, considering my Half PR stands at 1:42, but with an elevation profile that looks like this:
    Flag Half Elevation

    Sorry for the teeny picture–that’s the best I can do

    2 hours is just fine and dandy for me.
  2. Have fun and race my race. This may include walking, and I’m okay with that. Physically, I’m a lot stronger than I was a few months ago, but I’m also not in the best shape ever. I’ve tried to run UP a lot, and I think that has helped things, but I’m not under any impression that this race will be “easy”. 13 miles of climbs on dirt trails sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, but not something that will allow for a PR. So, instead, I want to just have fun and run how I feel. If that means walking at times, then I will walk. I just want to come out of this enjoying my hometown race and feeling good about where my fitness IS at.
  3. Finish. If everything else goes wrong, I just want to cross that finish line.

The purpose of this race is to just enjoy it. It’s a trail race, it’s my hometown race, and it’s a fun distance. It’s by no means an accurate gauge of my fitness at this point in time, and it isn’t meant to be. I’ve done absolutely zero speed work for this race and will be happy with however my body decides to handle the elevation and milage.

I’m going to go out conservatively on the uphills and then try to bomb down the downhills to make up sometime, but truly, we’ll just see how my body feels. There’s no pressure on this race, and I definitely don’t want to add any!

I hope everyone is having a spectacular week so far and that your Wednesday is as good as a Wednesday can be!

On Life Changes And Going After What You Want

Guys. This is long. Like, 2000 words long. But, I needed to write this all out for me. I understand if your eyes glaze over and you’d rather skip this and come back another time. Thanks for being patient while my blog went MIA and I worked on this novel.

I did the whole college thing by the book: I graduated high school, got accepted to several colleges, accepted a scholarship from my school of choice, and moved to a new state to start a new chapter of my life. I chose a major that I enjoyed–history–without giving much thought to what I would actually DO with that degree. I was originally going to go into teaching and then dropped that in favor of doing an extended History degree, complete with an honors thesis.

I graduated after four years, right on schedule, with honors from the History Department, as well as the University. I had broken up with my long-term boyfriend early in the school year, and suddenly faced with singledom and entering the “real world” –with a pretty useless degree (let’s be honest)– I took the next logical step: Grad school.

I accepted a spot and Teaching Assistant-ship at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and moved even FURTHER away from my family and friends. I had started another new chapter of my life, yet again, all alone. I had picked a school far away, not because it held a degree I wanted, or I was interested in moving to Charlotte, but because I needed to get as far away from things as possible. I had to assert my independence. I couldn’t move back home and just find a job. I needed a career. And in order to have a career doing something with history, I had to go to grad school.

Moving to Charlotte was the catalyst that really kickstarted my love affair with running. I had run consistently since my sophmore year in college, but while in grad school at UNCC, my running picked up steam, but not in a good way (at least at first). I started running at least 5 miles a day and lifting weights on my non-running days. I was digging myself deeper and deeper into a hole of really unhealthy habits. I limited what I ate (even though I was burning through those calories), and almost completely isolated myself by locking myself in either my office, the library, or my bedroom. If I wasn’t in class, I was either running, studying, or laying in bed watching TV.

I found myself having trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, and distinctly remember calling my mom and telling her I couldn’t do it. She gave me what I needed to hear at the time–That it was OKAY to not continue the path I was on. After I had made the decision to leave Charlotte and the graduate program, I felt a little bit of relief. I found health living and running blogs and realized what I was doing to myself. I stopped running obsessively, but ran to free myself from the other constraints and expectations I had placed on myself. I started eating well. I was grocery shopping with purpose–buying good food and good fuel for myself.

After finals in December, I packed up my room, picked my Dad up from the airport, and we started the lengthy drive back to California. I moved back in with my parents, found a full time job, and started thinking about my next step.

I kept up my running, but in a much healthier way. I ran in the mornings before work and enjoyed the moments of peace and silence before the beginning of yet another busy day. Running became a way for me to heal myself. I was still having trouble with the foods I was allowing myself to eat, but I was spending time with old friends, planning a European backpacking trip with my best friend, and was on my way to becoming happy again. I had abandoned a plan I didn’t feel was right for me and was slowly becoming me again.

I chose to come back to Flagstaff and NAU for another shot at my master’s. I had settled on the idea of pursuing a degree in Public History and working in a library, archive, or museum. During my first semester back in grad school, I started training for my first marathon. Running became my escape from the stress and frustration of grad school. It turns out, this second master’s wasn’t much better than the first. I was back in a place I was familiar with and had friends around to hang with, but I wasn’t enjoying what I was studying. It felt like a necessary step I had to take to pursue in order to do what I wanted to do. The kicker with that, however, was that I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. I figured that a career path in museums was something I could do.

I trained for my first marathon while I was in grad school. It felt like a real goal I could achieve and one that would make me proud. Which caused me then to wonder, Why didn’t I feel that way about grad school? I never saw obtaining my Master’s as a real accomplishment–it was just something I had to do.

My second to last semester at NAU, I began an internship with the library in it’s Special Collections and Archives. I enjoyed what I was doing, and thought “yeah. I can make a life of this.” I had decided that when I graduated in December of 2012, I’d move away from Flagstaff and start pursuing this career. Well… that went to the pits when I met Jeff in June. Just a few months after we started dating, I knew I’d be staying in Flag in order to see where this relationship could go.

Meanwhile, I continued onward with my graduate degree, all the while becoming more and more disillusioned and disgruntled. I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. The classes I was TAing for, as well as the classes I took, were uninteresting to me. I looked at my classmates and felt like I was missing something. Why wasn’t I as excited as they were? I figured it was because I wanted to be in the public domain, and they were largely pursuing academic careers.

I, again, turned to running. During the three semesters I was at NAU for my graduate degree, I trained for and ran 2 marathons. Those weeks of training, the long runs, and the success of crossing the finish line were the real accomplishments to me. To me, 2012 isn’t the year I graduated with my Master’s. It’s the I met Jeff, ran 2 marathons, climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney–all while finishing up school.

My accomplishments began to shift focus–I didn’t find it in my grades or how my teachers thought about me and my work. I began to see it on the pavement, the way my body changed and got stronger, and the way my paces faster than I imagined they ever would.

After graduating, and deciding to stay in Flagstaff, I found myself a job. It had nothing to do with the degrees I had worked to earn. It had no future. But, it paid the bills and allowed me to continue running, while learning about health, nutrition and how to fuel myself to improve my running.

For a while now, I’ve questioned whether I belonged in the history field. The jobs I wanted all required yet another master’s degree, and I wondered if that was really what I wanted to do. I talked to Jeff about getting a degree in nutrition, or maybe becoming a personal trainer. I rarely talked about finding a job in “my field”. I chalked a lot of that up to the fact that we live in a small town with limited options. But really, I think I had checked out. If I had really wanted it, I would have made it happen.

I’m not somebody that sits on their hands and waits for things to come to them. I worked hard at school and earned myself a full ride for grad school. I ran a marathon, and then another, and then another until I achieved a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. If I had wanted to be in the archival field, I’d have made that happen. I had opportunities, connections I could have utilized, but instead I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted–and that was run.

In January, I decided that enough was enough and I was going to take the next logical step in order to begin this elusive career…a second Master’s in Library Science. I applied, and was accepted, to the University of Arizona’s SIRLS program and was due to begin yesterday, August 24th.

Two weeks before the first day of school, I deferred my admission.

I can sit here and spew some more about the multitude of other reasons I came up with not to follow through with this degree, but the bottom line is this: I didn’t want to do it and that was good enough for me.

In May, I left my job at an art gallery and started working in a doctor’s office and it’s solidified it for me: I want to be in the medical field. When I deferred from my classes my first thought was going into nutrition to become an RD. I researched, picked my brother’s girlfriend’s mind (she’s an RD) and started looking at programs, schools, etc. Then I thought about nursing. I’ve had many people tell me many times I’d make a great nurse, but I always wrote it off because I was “squeamish”. Well, let’s  just say I’m putting that to the test.

I’m not sure of my path just yet. But, I am registered for a biology class this semester. I’m going to start taking prereq’s I’ll need for both career paths and figure it out as I go.

What does all that mean for my training and this little blogspace? I honestly have no idea. I love the community that I’ve found here–and would like to continue to be a part of it, but whether that’s through my own blog, I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’ll see what I have time for.

As for training….running will always be a part of my life. Always. I’m just not sure how training is going to translate into a new world of school + working full time. I’m planning on continuing forward with marathon training this fall and get that 3:30 in February, but if it proves to be too overwhelming and too much, I’ll reconsider.

I’m really excited about making this leap and pursuing something I’m really excited about. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through that! Yikes. Four gold stars for you.

Oops

Hey Guys!

I accidentally published a blog post today that wasn’t meant to be published! OOPS. SO, if you are subscribed and get the emails, I’m sorry for the super rough, not finished, really bad blog post that went out.

For those of you that don’t… Well, then disregard this message.

It’s been a hectic and crazy couple of weeks! I’m slowly starting to come down from it all, and I want to post all about it (an actual post!), but I need more time to organize all my thoughts from it.

So, I’ll be back soon.

Happy National Running Day!

Happy Wednesday friends! And, more importantly, HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY!

I celebrated the best way I could, 4 easy miles this am before work. While it was an easy run, it was easier. It was a beautiful morning–albeit a little cold (34*! WTF), and I loved being out and running again!

sinclairwash

Not from this morning…obviously….it’s from Saturday. I’m going to just pretend it was this nice out.

Anyways, in the spirit of the day, I’m linking up with Lisa, to talk all things running!

Right now I run because…I can!!! Having to take time off to heal from an injury has really made me realize how much I love this sport. I am so fortunate to be healthy enough to run, and so I do. 

I started running because…I wanted to stay in shape. I had done sports (soccer and track) all through high school and in college, I found myself pretty sedentary without the demand of organized sports. My mom was a runner when I was growing up (she ran a marathon for her 41st birthday…what a badass) and so I was inspired to start running myself. I figured it was the best way to keep myself trim and healthy with all the college food. 

When I don’t run, I…I think we all know this answer to this, but this post sums it up pretty nicely. 

One thing that running has taught me is…I am so much more capable then I give myself credit for. When I started running, I ran ten minute miles and three miles felt like an eternity. I never thought I would run a marathon, let alone FOUR, and I never thought qualifying for Boston would happen. And, well, we know how that story ends. Believe in yourself! Running shows me what I can do with a little hard work. 

  
My favorite kind of run is…when it all clicks. You know the ones! Everything feels good, the weather is gorgeous and you feel like you can go forever? Those are the money runs. 

Right now my biggest running-related goal is…to just get back to shape. I have some fall races I’d like to do well in, but really, I just want to feel good and have fun! I’ve been having so much fun exploring the magic that is trail running and I’m really looking forward to my first trail races! 

  
I hope you all have an awesome National Running Day! 

Memorial Day Recap

Hello hello! I hope everyone had an absolutely outstanding Memorial Day weekend! And if you had to work yesterday, I am deeply sorry. I have felt your pain for many a year! This weekend was a fun one. So, let’s recap!

Friday started with margaritas and chips and salsa with a friend! She has Fridays off and since I get out between 2 and 2:30 on Fridays, we met up for an early happy hour to kick start the weekend. When I got home, J and I met up with a friend to go see “Mad Max: Fury Road”

mad max

I’m not a real Mad Max fan (the old ones), but this was pretty good. Visually, it’s an awesome movie. So, if anything else, see it for the cool cars.

Saturday was uneventful. I did a bunch of cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping…all the fun adult things, while J got the Jeep ready for our wheeling adventure on Sunday.

Sunday morning we headed out bright and early to get to Payson by 9 am. We met up with some friends from Phoenix for a day of wheeling.

   
   

It was a beautiful day and such a fun trip! Towards the end of the trail, there’s an obstacle going up a waterfall. We were able to see one large buggy try the same line for about an hour before winching himself up and then another guy attempt and brake an axel. Quite the day. 

Yesterday, I went for a short, stormy run. 

  
My ankle is feeling awesome, but hoo boy! I am out of SHAPE! My endurance is shot. It’s an odd mixture of emotions these days. I am so happy to be running, and so frustrated for it to be so hard. I’m trying to quiet that little voice in my head-and let myself take the time to recover fully and gain my strength back. I have lots of thoughts on this, so get ready for that later this week! 

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with J, my dad and brother. I took no photos because I’m a bad blogger. One day I’ll get hat figured out. 

What fun things did you do this weekend? How did your running go? 

Running Favorites

Happy Friday!! 

I was trying to think of things to talk about to my Friday Thing post and all I could think about was last day of work! And oh it’s snowing again.

  
Not overly exciting. But then I saw that Lizzy had tagged me for a Running Favorites survey. So, that’s what we’re doing today! 

Favorite…

Running Place 

Flagstaff. 

  
Flag is where I started running seriously. It’s where I’ve trained for all four marathons. It’s where I started trail running. It’s been the home of my running journey from beginning to where I am now. From struggling to run 3, 10 min miles, to running a BQ. It’s challenged me with its terrain and weather. I love it. It’s home. 

Time of Day

I’m a morning runner. As much as getting up early pains me, I love the feeling of accomplishing my run before the rest of the world wakes up. Even if it’s freezing and snowing. 

  
Weather

High 60s, sunny and no wind. That’s my sweet spot. 

Fuel

I think it’s safe to say we all know it’s Picky Bars. 

Rewards

The thing about running is the rewards are usually intrinsic. Most of us aren’t winning big money pots. We’re enjoying the stress release, endorphin high, and pride of a PR. For me I think it’s the constant show that I can improve, and the knowledge that I am capable of SO MUCH. 3 years ago after running my first marathon, I never thought a BQ would be possible, but I did it. I’ve allowed myself to dream big, work hard and achieve those goals with my running. And I’ve begun to let that same idea trickle into my personal life and career goals. 

Also, ice cream and wine.

Have stellar weekend everyone! I’m going to greatly enjoy my first of many Saturday’s off again 🙂