Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#runchat 2013

Run for Ray (J-5k, E-15k)
Tobacco Road Half Marathon (E)
Oak Island Lighthouse Run (J-5k, E-10k)
Dirty Myrtle Mud Run (5k)
Freedom Run (5k)
Oktoberfest 15k (E)
Color Me RAD (5k)
Richmond Marathon (E)
Turkey Trot (5k)

twenty thirteen

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? i ran a MARATHON!!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? i kept several resolutions throughout the year - i did not know all of them at the start of the year, however.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? my cousin liz welcomed "v"

4. Did anyone close to you die? grandma cross

5. What countries did you visit? none

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? a true vacation. or two.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? october 18th. the three of us know why.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? i think it's a tie between completing the 100 days of burpees challenge and completing the rva marathon.

9. What was your biggest failure? gaining weight

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? i trained for the tobacco road half marathon with an injured calf/knee

11. What was the best thing you bought? a blue and silver dress for the gala

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? jack, forever my MVP!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? anyone and everyone who reposted or shared an article on facebook or twitter without reading it and commenting on it

14. Where did most of your money go? race fees and bills

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? coming home to peace and quiet

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? get lucky, daft punk

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? happier, fatter, poorer (but in finances only)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? trained/exercised/run with other people

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? stuffed food in my mouth

20. Did you fall in love in 2013? no

21. What was your favorite TV program? The Black List

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? no hate

23. What was the best book you read? i didn't read any books!

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? could have been daft punk

25. What did you want and get? a running watch

26. What did you want and not get? i'm not sure, but it's out of reach, as of yet

27. What was your favorite film of this year? frozen

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? i worked as i turned 44

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? i would have liked to keep my momentum from the earliest months vis-a-vis creating my new career

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? everything old is new again.  seriously - i repurposed and reused many pieces that have been sitting stagnant in my closet.

31. What kept you sane? running

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


So there.  Challenge completed.

(If you don't know what a burpee is, please take a moment to google it.  There are 101 different videos that will show you thirteen different versions of "the burpee." I chose the "squat thrust with jump up" version myself.  There's your visual.)

I stumbled onto this fitness challenge as I stumble upon most of them, scrolling through Twitter one day.  I was in the middle of training for my 2nd half marathon, and hating every minute of it.  In January, I had completed a plank-a-day challenge, and was feeling pretty confident about *that.* So the #100daysof burpees challenge seemed like a good next option, and something that would keep me from feeling like such a failure at my race training.

The gist of it was very simple: on day 1, i did 1 burpee.  On day 2, i did 2 burpees.  And so forth.

Some days, the burpees were the entirety of my workout. Although, I quickly found that if you're going to wrestle into a sports bra for the burpees, you might as well get in another workout.  I mean, why go through that effort for nothing?

Some days, the burpees were part of another workout.

On day 17, I ran a half marathon, and then did 17 burpees back in my hotel room.

On day 60, I did  30 burpees as part of my TRX class, and then did 30 more back at home.

On day 86, I did 10 burpees in the middle of a mud run race, and 76 more when I got home.  (I might add, those were the UGLIEST burpees you ever did see!)

Sometimes Jack did burpees with me.  Sometimes I managed to get them done before work. Most of the times, I watched old episodes of The Office on Netflix to distract me.

Sometimes, I cried. Once, I almost threw up.

I never missed a day, never missed a burpee.  On Saturday, June 8th, I did 100 burpees.  and on Sunday, June 9th, I spent one entire blissed out day sans sports bra. 

After the half marathon, in March, I purposefully took myself  "off the road" for 90 days.  That's right, no running (except for a few races I already had lined up.) The burpees challenge proved to be a fantastic gateway to some other serious cross training during this time. (And, in fact, the burpees challenge took 18 days longer to complete than my official training program for my first half marathon last year!)

In summary:
5,050 burpees completed
18 lbs lost
11.5 inches toned away
16.50 dropped on the BMI chart
2+ minute PR in the Lighthouse 10K
1 mental roadblock against running CLEARED

Somewhere in there (day 27? day 74? who knows?) i started to look forward to running again.  I officially transferred my November half marathon registration to a full marathon. I've been caught checking out my biceps a time or two. I even added 25 burpees to my workout today, because i *gasp* missed doing them!!

I'm actively searching for my next challenge (as if training for a marathon over the summer isn't enough.) Maybe you've got one for me? Maybe you'll join me?

Friday, June 07, 2013

something about

something about this picture (taken last night as we awaited the arrival of Tropical Storm Andrea) made me think about old times (how many games have i played with jack on tropical storm eve over the years?)

something about this picture made me think about all the photos i've taken, and made me cringe a little when i ran through the list of devices and apps where all of these photos are strewn about.

something about this picture made me miss blogging.

Monday, March 18, 2013

tobacco road half marathon recap (part 1 of 1)

hi.  pull up a seat.  sorry i didn't tidy up before i sent out my impromptu invitation... feel free to sit anywhere, and please don't mind the clutter.  or the lack of snacks.  i think i can manage to brew a pot of coffee for us. i'm just glad you were available on short notice.

i ran a half marathon yesterday.  it's hard to believe that i've now completed TWO! four months ago, i could barely contain my excitement over crossing that first finish line.  those three little hours generated enough for three different blog posts! i wasn't even sure that i would write a blog post about this second one. i thought maybe a few 140 character tweets would be enough to sum it all up. i might have underestimated.

i've completed it.  i registered for this race in the afterglow of my first half marathon, back in November.  back then, i just knew i would stay conditioned, develop my core strength, and shave minutes off of my time. it's safe to say, i did none of those things.  race afterglow gave way to holidays, which gave way to sickness, which gave way to - let's be real - a good bit of apathy. at first, my plan was to just keep running.  then, it was to jump back on board with the couch to 13.1 program i did last fall.  then, it was simply to run when i was inspired, and rely on a lot of muscle memory.

i ran 3-20 miles per week, with no consistency.  my diet was ridicuolous. i went to the gym half-heartedly. i strained a muscle in the back of my knee, which became "the thing to blame" whenever running or working out didn't happen. i got heavier and slower and with a few weeks until race date, i began to look at this half as something i just needed to get through so that i could begin getting back in shape.

i could get a medal in ridiculous thinking.

the tobacco road half marathon was a GREAT event, and gave me the opporunity to run with a new-ish local friend, a few new #runchat friends and even a long-ago member of my summer camp family.  it fell on lucky St. Patrick's Day, and we  ordered sparkly green things for the fun of it. perhaps it was the moment i ordered sparkly arm sleeves that this race became, in my mind, something i didn't need to take so seriously.  i don't know. (for the record, i got A LOT of compliments on my sparkly outfit, so no regrets.)

the race course is a combination of road and rail trail - the trail is a lovely, wide stretch of a disused railroad trail, converted into a multi-use path,which is then used for walking, cycling and  horse riding. the trail itself is relatively flat (trains don't really like hills). the streets at the beginning, and again at the end of the race were... not. please keep in mind, these might have been moderate elevations for someone accustomed to running in the Piedmont, but for this coastal girl, they were hills.  and plenty of them.

the 7 am start, which included shuttle bus riding that began at 5:00 for me, was fine. there was coffee and water and bag check and lighting and plenty of porta potties, so the 2 hours we had to wait at the start was minimally uncomfortable.  there were 5,000 participants, between the full and the half, and we all started together. there were pace groups, but no waves, so i wasn't entirely sure where i wanted to start among that throng.  i do know that we ended up smack dab in the middle with ten minutes to go, and not enough time for one last porta pottie break.

i don't know about you, but for me, even the tiniest inkling that i have to go to the bathroom becomes an ALL CONSUMING MIND F*CK when i can't get to one.  so much so, that the race began, and all i could think about was that the course relief stations wouldn't appear until almost mile 3.  as luck would have it, the start of this race ran us through a recreational park, and the standard park restrooms were open.  i actually jumped off the race course within the first quarter mile to make a break for the bathroom (and i promise you, i was not the only one.)

of course this meant that i would spend the first several miles of the race playing "catch up" - and on the hills, to boot.  i am not a fast racer, so playing "catch up" can feel like a terribly daunting task.  i just set my sights on reeling in one runner at a time, and soon was far enough from dead last that settled in to a good groove. i usually find my groove somewhere between mile 2 and 3, and coincidentally, this is just about where the race moved from pavement to trail.  *phew*

i hit my 5K and 10K splits exactly where i wanted to be.  something happened at the turnaround, though.  it was a close turnaround on the trail - literally "run around this sign and go back." i don't know why, but the next two miles for me were dreadfully slow.  i lost some steam.  my legs felt dead.  i hydrated and fueled and tried not to glance at the minutes ticking away. i also tried not to think about those hills that were waiting for me in the last 2 1/2 miles.

i was a little over a minute behind at my 15K split.  it didn't get any better. but something about falling behind gave me "permission" to just enjoy the rest of the race.  i made my peace with the fact that it wouldn't be anywhere near a PR for me.  i shouted "Happy St. Patrick's Day" to all the spectators and gave high fives with abandon. i even managed to reel in a few more runners who had been steps ahead of me the whole way. some of them still got away from me. the hills came, and they were not fun. i was acutely aware of nagging pain in the back of my right knee. i was thankful for a few raindrops.

and then, the final push.  my fabulous friends (who'd been waiting for almost an hour since they finished) were waving signs and cheering me on. the finish was literally right around the corner.  well, right around the corner and UPHILL! my name was announced, i had a foil blanket and a medal and more pizza than i could eat.

half marathon #2 was completed, no longer looming on the horizon.  gone were the feelings of guilt that i hadn't trained properly.  i finished a full fifteen minutes slower than my first half marathon.  i like to say that i ran the race exactly as i trained for it. i could have been faster, for sure.  i could have put in more hours training. but i ran - and finished strong - and i'm proud of that. thank you, half marathon #2. i'm so glad to have known you.

and now it is monday.  the day after my second half marathon. what now? i'm registered for half #3 in november, but for now, my races will be 10K or less, and i will be in the gym more. i will sort out this issue with my popliteus muscle. i will recommit to "salad mondays" and green smoothies and i will properly keep track of my calorie intake. 

and, hey, if you see me wearing my green sparkly skirt in the gym, please give me a high five!