Trotting on Little Sleep

This year I had a less than “traditional” Thanksgiving due to being many miles from family (we will celebrate 2x as hard during our Tropical Christmas!) and having a little obligation called “work” to worry about on Turkey Day. Nonetheless, it was still a good holiday as I got to spend time with some great friends (on both Thanksgiving-Eve and Turkey Day itself), Skyped with my family in Indy, and actually had 3 back to back enjoyable, productive, and fulfilling days at work starting the night of Turkey Day! I took care of some really sick babies and got to learn and do some pretty cool stuff! Those shifts really helped remind me why I love being a nurse…most days. 🙂

So maybe I didn’t get to stuff myself silly with turkey, eat half my body weight in stuffing (my fave! I am gladly accepting left over stuffing!), or eat one too many pieces of pie…but this holiday still left me feeling happy, loved, and thankful.

Sometimes its the little things…

Saw this sunrise over the gulf on my way out of work after Thanksgiving. It was even prettier in person! Seriously…who WOULDN’T live by the water?! You people are craaaazy! 🙂

So as the title of this post implies, I did get to Turkey Trot this year for the first time ever! It was quite the experience…for several interesting reasons. I had signed up to run the 10K Turkey Trot at 8:45am in Clearwater, FL, but a few friends of mine had signed up to run the 5K “Wingding Run” at 7am. Me being the overly ambitious runner I am these days said, “Hey friends. Why don’t I just do both?” I might have been out at a bar celebrating Thanksgiving Eve when I agreed to this… No I was not a few beers deep (I was DD), but I was high on holiday cheer and running bliss. So the idea sounded fantastic until I found myself going to bed at 2 am and setting an alarm to be up at 5:12am (yes…on the dot!). My friends and I had seen a hypnotist at a comedy club in Ybor City before bar hopping and when my alarm went off at 5:12 am on Thanksgiving morning, my first thought was that I had somehow been hypnotized and mind-gamed into waking up at such an ungodly hour… But then I did remember that whole “Hey friends. Why don’t I just do both?” conversation perfectly and I forced myself out of bed with the promise of “free” goodies (and my friends!) waiting for me at the race venue.

I had already picked up my T-shirt the day before the race, so really I could have just stayed in bed…

Thanks Rose and Kris for running with me. Knowing I had people at the race who I couldn’t disappoint by no-showing was the driving force for getting me up and moving that morning. (Yes northerners…the ear warmers and overly zipped up jacket were definitely necessary! Must’ve been 50-something degrees on race morning!!!)

This was Rose and Kris’s first big race. With this race experience, I think they learned (the hard way) about the absolute cluster that are race mornings. Parking is hard to come by, traffic patterns are all jacked up, and there are people everywhere!

Eager trotters filled the streets of Clearwater on Turkey Day morning! We had a pretty significant hike to the start line, which I wasn’t quite expecting…

Rose and Kris got a little bit of a late start (Can’t imagine why! Would 3 hours of sleep have anything to do with that?!) and had a tricky time with parking…so our plan to run the “competitive” 5K turned into a plan to run the “fun run” 30 minutes later. No worries though because at a Turkey Trot this big…every run is a “fun run” if you ask me. The race was not chip timed and there were people galore! It’s a fun, but informal race…as evidenced by some of the baller costumes that people ran in:

“…and the dish ran away with the spoon!” or in this Thanksgiving Turkey Trot version of that Mother Goose nursery rhyme “…and the fork turkey trotted away with the knife!” Think these girls were PR-ing with those contraptions on their heads? Highly unlikely. See…these girls know how to “fun run”!

Little did Kris, Rose, and I know that we would have the pleasure of trotting with
some real turkeys on Thanksgiving! Lucky for these turkeys…they look a little
too big to fit in ANYONE’s deep fryer or oven.

And lastly, we ran into an indian who had no pilgrim counterpart to trot or dine with. So if you are looking for a unique costume idea for next year’s trot, I will go ahead and suggest a pilgrim costume. You will be the hit of the trot!

So I can now say I have turkey trotted! I would love to make it an annual tradition…and would really love to be able to do it with my family on some occasions in the future! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Someone ate some stuffing for me, right?!

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Women’s Half Marathon Part 2: Skirt on the Run!

So I think that running the Women’s Half Marathon this past weekend turned the “psycho runner” switch back on inside my brain…and I don’t hate it!! With this race (and the weekend full of pre-race prepping and celebrating), I have officially fallen back in love with running. While I absolutely adored every second of my first full marathon experience in Nashville, TN at the end of April, I found myself in a bit of a running funk post-race. The post-marathon high that I felt faded quickly thanks to maybe a few of the following things…

  1. I spent January-April of 2012 putting in a lot of miles. Many of those miles were at the butt crack of dawn on a Saturday (before I had even had a sip of coffee!). And many of those miles involved dreary gray clouds, snow/ice/slush combos, below-freezing temps, never-before-covered-distances (ran my first ever 20 mile training run on a day when my legs were done well before 15 miles!), and many, many, many layers of warm weather running gear–ear warmer, gloves, sports bra, at least 2 shirts, a jacket, leggings, shorts, at least one pair of socks, and my running shoes. Let’s just say I did a lot of laundry this past winter! Training was QUITE the commitment!
  2. I moved to Florida in May, just when the heat and humidity were starting to rear their ugly heads again. I bow down to those native Floridians who seem to have some sort of heat and humidity immunity. I turn into a limp noodle pretty quickly trying to run during the heat of a Floridian summer. And I don’t think I will EVER be enough of a “morning person” to get up in time to run with the serious runners…who are (no joke!) up and running in the 5 o’clock hour over the summer to beat the heat. As a vampire night shifter…I Just. Can’t. Do. It! That’s why I am so thankful fall is here. I can run during the hours of the day when I am usually at my best…any time after NOON!
  3. I got a tad distracted by a little thing called CrossFit. While I still really enjoy CrossFitting, I will admit it is something I have to work a lot harder at than running! I like that running is an activity that comes fairly naturally to me, but that still provides me with a challenge that I can handle somewhat gracefully. CrossFit just absolutely tears me to pieces. (Which is sometimes exactly what I want and need in a workout…)

So now that I have professed my love for running…let me share with all of you the running love I felt this past weekend! I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to get to Tori’s house by 5:45 am to carpool with her and Caitlyn. Yes…5:45 am! So early for this night owl! I have never loved or been very good at getting up super early for races, but being on a night shifter schedule has made this task 4x as disgusting and downright freaking miserable challenging. Even typing that time makes me want to vomit! Anywho…it was a chilly morning, which was a nice surprise. Tori had warned me that this race usually has a weird way of falling on the “last warm day of the year.”
However, this year it was nice and cool in the low 60’s, which is perfect weather for running, but not-so-perfect weather for standing/waiting. Those of you who know me well, know I am a BIG whimp when it comes to being cold…so I had my “throw away” long sleeve shirt on until the start of the race to keep myself from turning into an ice cube.

Oh hey…this pic looks familiar. Hello delicious waffle! Hello long sleeve “throw away shirt”! And I may have ruined the surprise by putting this pic in my last post…but I DID run the race in a skirt! I know you were DYING to know! It’s something I have always thought looked fun and had wanted to do! So I figured that running a WOMEN’S race gave me the perfect excuse to rock a skirt while running! (Photo Credit: Caitlyn)

Thanks to Caitlyn for letting me sweat in her skirt borrow it…and for wearing a tutu with me! (Photo Credit: Caitlyn)

Before the race Caitlyn, Tori, and I met up with a fellow blogger, Meghan (yep there’s another runner Meghan with a “crazy H”!) to of COURSE take some pictures! As the “newbie Floridian,” I insisted that we get a picture by the water!!!

Caitlyn, Me, Tori, and Meghan

(Photo Credit: Caitlyn)

Shortly after some picture taking, we headed to the start. This would have been the point in time where I started pep talking myself and going over my race strategy in my head…but I didn’t have much of a plan or goal beyond my usual “don’t pass out or die!” (I secretly wanted to finish the race in under 2:00, but wasn’t sure what to reasonably expect from myself on race day!) I ran the first mile-ish with Meghan and Tori, but I quickly lost them in the absolute madness that is pretty characteristic of the first mile or so of a big race. It was at that point in time where I told myself to just go for it! And soon my little leggies were taking me on this adventure…

I really enjoyed the course! We got to run along the bay for a decent part of the race, ran up and back on the Pier, circled around Mirror Lake for a brief time, and even got to run around the perimeter of Tropicana Field’s astroturf! (Photo Credit belongs to Kat. I couldn’t find a course map in a reasonable size/format…so thanks Kat!)

Before I knew it, my pink skirt and I were crossing the finish line in 1:51:39! My Nike+ app told me I had even put in some bonus mileage…measuring my run at a total of 13.4 miles. All the other girls I ran the race with also concurred that their GPS’s were telling them the course measured out a bit long. Despite that, several of the girls I ran with managed to PR during the race! Congrats to them all! My half PR is a 1:44:01…which is going to be a TOUGH time to beat! Shout out to my (big) little brother, Chris, who pushed me through the Flying Pig Half Marathon in 2011 where I ran that PR!

(Photo Credit: Caitlyn)

Even without running a PR, I had a fantastic race experience! Thanks to all the wonderful people who made it special!

So you are probably dying to ask, “So, Psycho Runner…what’s next?!” No worries, I have my next race(s) lined up! It’s already looking like it’s going to be an eventful, run-filled 2013! However, next on the list is the Turkey Trot 10K in Clearwater, FL on Thanksgiving morning. Shout out to my family who will be doing the Drumstick Dash up in Indiana. Of course the first year they decide to do a race on Turkey Day is the year I happen to be a bazillion miles from home for the holiday. Count me in for next year’s race guys!!

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Women’s Half Marathon Part 1: Pre-Race Pump Up!

So the weekend of my run-a-half-marathon-on-a-whim adventure has already come and gone! I am so glad I had the encouragement and support of some awesome friends and runners who I was able to enjoy the weekend’s festivities with!

On Friday night, Tori and I carpooled to the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon expo at the Vinoy, a swanky hotel in downtown St. Pete.

Loved this banner! You Go Girl!

We picked up our race bibs, goodie bags, and t-shirts, then hit some of the vendor booths to drool over all the running gear for sale. We met up with Caitlyn, who is training for her first full marathon (the Space Coast marathon this coming weekend! Yay!!!) and who, much like me, was running this race on quite the last-minute whim. I am pretty sure I remember her saying she signed up largely because she really wanted the super sweet finisher’s medal. (Definitely a valid reason to sign up for a race! Remember how much I love “free” race goodies?!) It probably also helped that she knew several people who were already signed up for the race. It wasn’t ALL about the bling, right Caitlyn? 😉

Speaking of bling… We stumbled upon the RunDisney booth, where we snagged ourselves some free princess tiaras. We  are now basically running royalty, right?!

The Fit2Run store was also offering a free shuttle from the expo at the Vinoy to their new store in downtown St. Pete. They were offering door prizes to anyone who got on the shuttle and the mere mention of “prizes” was enough to lure us onto the shuttle.

Will Ride for Prizes!

I was very well behaved and managed to make only one small purchase of a few Stinger Waffles from Fit2Run, which I had seen around as one of the many new race fuel options available these days. I have done the Gu’s, Chomps, Sport Beans, Nuun, etc. but I had never had these waffles, which just sounded intriguing and pretty delicious! I was telling Tori that I am still trying to master the art of eating while running. How often should I do it? Is it REALLY necessary at all? For so long I thought of running as a way to get rid of calories, so why would I want to add some back by eating during the run? Having completing several longer distance races, I can now certainly understand the importance of re-fueling mid-race, I still just haven’t quite mastered the “how much” and “when” thing yet…

Slight race spoiler alert…Here’s a pic of me on race morning enjoying my strawberry waffle, which did NOT disappoint. Do these have to solely be race food because I could forsee these somehow making their way into my regular snack rotation…

Speaking of snacks…after the expo, we were all ready to start the race weekend off right with some fuel at Central Cafe & Organics, a little hole-in-the-wall place in downtown St. Pete that Tori had suggested we try out!

I got a Turkey Pesto wrap and a side “simple salad” with balsamic vinaigrette. I was definitely a member of the “Clean Plate Club” with this meal on Friday night! Delish!

Friday night’s activities definitely got me pumped up for Sunday’s race! It was great to spend some time with friends who were equally as excited for the “big day” on Sunday! Stay tuned to hear how the race went and to find out if I really did run the race in a pink skirt like I was hoping to… 🙂

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So Call Me Muddy!

I survived…and THOROUGHLY enjoyed…my 2nd mud run experience this past weekend. In my excitement, I wanted to share my pictures and stories with everyone right away. But a little thing called “night shift” got in the way the past few days. I now have a few days off and am getting life back on track (which started with me going on a bathroom cleaning rampage and now continues with me finally getting around to writing this blog post…). So without further ado, here’s the story of my muddy Saturday at the women’s only Pretty Muddy 5K!

Before…

(Note the 4 layers of clothes! It was frrrreeezing that morning! Must have been 45 degrees! I see all you northerners shaking your heads and rolling your eyes right now… Don’t judge me! I think there’s some scientific evidence out there that living in Florida thins your blood. Not sure how much it thins for every month you are down here…but there has to be some official data compiled somewhere. If not, they should certainly consider recruiting me as a research subject. I am willing to be compensated monetarily or in edible goods.)

After…

(The running combined with a layer of mud left me feeling nice and toasty post-run. And yes…showing off the guns and making a hardcore snarly face is always necessary when you’re covered in mud.)

One of my friends Tori (a fellow runner and blogger) and I decided to carpool to the event on Saturday because it was taking place at the Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL. My FL Geography skills are still sub-par, but I quickly learned that the drive to Dade City would take around an hour and a half…so I was glad to have Tori to keep me company along the way and to of course take lotsa pictures with as soon as we arrived at the race!

Tori and me…ready to get muddy!!!

Tori and I checked our bags before the race and quickly met up with a bunch of other women from the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers group, many of whom had gotten free race entries in exchange for their willingness to blog about the race. I have not yet reached that level of “legit blogger” status…so my entry was not free. It was however discounted thanks to a Living Social deal that I was encouraged to purchase by some fellow bloggers. Gotta love a deal! Many of you who know me well know that I love bargains…and love free things even more!! Heck, half the reason I run races is for the “free” goodies that come along with races! The Pretty Muddy race did give out a darn cute “free” t-shirt and I loved the saying they had on the back…

No comfort zone?! Darn straight! I live outside the comfort zone! It’s all in your head! Or something like that…

While the existence of a comfort zone may be up for debate, I will definitely say that this race had me doing some things I wouldn’t normally do!

Mud pit?! Hop on in!!!

Flying down an inflatable water slide into a giant mud pit…heck yeah!

Crawling on hands and knees through mud lined “tunnels.”

Giant ball pit for big kids!! Way too fun! Took me back to my Chuck E Cheese and Discovery Zone days!!

Practicing scaling walls/hopping fences. Never know when that skill might come in handy. Each obstacle along the course had a “girly” name and this obstacle was called “Sooooo Over It”…which made me chuckle!

Crawling military style under a net through a soupy mud pit. This was the obstacle that really made me think, “Oh there’s no way I am NOT getting muddy today!”

Quite the photo finish!!! Cheeeeeese!! Do I have mud in my teeth?!

The Pretty Muddy 5K was an awesome race. I am so glad I got to share the experience with a bunch of enthusiastic, energetic and fun-loving girls! I had such a good time with them that they somehow peer pressured me into convinced me to sign up for the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete this coming weekend. Several of them are running it and their enthusiasm and highly positive race reviews eventually led me to sign up for the race. So I am running a half marathon this weekend. No biggie. Someone may need to be there to scrape me (and the tutu I hope to run in if I can find one at Goodwill in the next few days!) off of the pavement at the finish…

**Thanks to Meghann Anderson for taking and sharing so many wonderful photos! She gets credit for lots of these photos!**

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Arctic Jet Skiing…Be Jealous!!!

It’s November…and I just went on a little jet skiing adventure. No. Big. Deal!!!! Northerners who are currently bracing for snow at any second…be jealous. Be very jealous. Or even better, just get out while you still can and visit me for a bit!! Have I mentioned I love fall in Florida? Have I mentioned I am always willing to host eager visitors? I am repeating myself again, aren’t I?!

Anywho…I had purchased a Groupon for an hour jet ski rental at Dunedin Watersports over the summer and I was a little preoccupied with wedding-ness and traveling to redeem it. My friend, Rose, had some vacation time this week and I figured it would be 100x more fun to jet ski with a buddy than all by myself, so invited her to join me for a jet skiing adventure today. Gotta have someone else to get giggly with when you zoom through a boat’s crazy wake, search for wildlife with, shout “weeeeeeee!!!” at the top of your lungs with, and get excited with when you hit 40 MPH on the speedometer. 40 MPH really did happen. I am kinda a jet skiing speed demon. Nevermind the fact that I drive my car like a TOTAL grandma…

So today’s adventure was quite enjoyable, but it was borderline freezing. We Floridians are seriously concerned for the well being of our fingers and toes these days. The threat of frostbite is very real right now people!! The humidity is gone and it was in the mid to low 60’s as a high Wednesday and Thursday! And it finally “warmed up” just in time for our jet skiing adventure today, thank goodness! It was around 75 degrees according to my car’s thermometer, but out on that jet ski with the wind whipping and the water splashing in our faces…it felt substantially chillier! No worries though. We former Ohioans arrived prepared…

ImageScrew jet skiing in a bikini when it’s 75 degrees. You have to be smart and practical! Layers, spandex, semi-water resistant clothes…necessary. Very necessary. Rose was smart to wear tennis shoes. At one point we managed to “run aground” on a shallow sandbar and I attempted to push off of the sand to get the jet ski back into deeper waters. Well, the “sand” was more like a seaweed/muck/quick sand combo which proceeded to EAT my sandal right off my foot when I pushed off. Rose and I shouted and waited for the sandal to eventually resurface…but after a few  moments it was pretty clear the sandal was a goner. And there was NO way either of us was going to hop into the chilly water to save the darn thing. RIP J. Crew flip flop. I loved you and you served me well over the years! That was the only casualty of the day, which is prety solid considering we probably should have lost a finger or toe to frostbite…

Image

I asked the guy who we rented the jet ski from to take our picture. Rose and I told him we had to have a picture to send to our friends and family at home to make them jealous that we got to jet ski in November. We also told him we would probably leave out the part of the story where it was “borderline freezing” and that we were borderline crazy for jet skiing on such a “brisk” day, because that doesn’t sound nearly as cool/enjoyable/jealousy-inducing. He reminded us our attire might give us away anyways. Darn him. So right. So Rose and I can now proudly say we are seasoned “Arctic Jet Skiiers”! We are kinda a big deal!

So this Artic Jet Skiing Adventure merely kicked off my weekend of hardcore adventure sporting. Tomorrow morning, I am running the Pretty Muddy 5K with a group of girls that I know (and several of whom inspired me to start blogging!). The Pretty Muddy is an all girls mud run, which should be quite interesting. I am just hoping to get TRULY muddy time time. The Sqwish Sqwash run left me a little too clean. I am ready to get muddy!!!

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Home Sweet Home!

Well I am back “up North” to spend some time in Indiana with my family and in St. Louis to celebrate the wedding of my friends, Reed and Alex! Thankfully it’s not the “great white north” up here just yet. Even without any snow, it’s cold enough!! I have been cuddled up in sweatpants and a hoodie (yes…with the hood UP for extra warmth!) and shuffling around the house shivering and complaining about “how freezing” it is in the midwest! My mom has already called me a “whimp” on several occasions, a title I sadly cannot deny. I don’t know HOW I survived so many chilly winters up here! I am about to lose a finger or toe to frostbite at any moment people! And the temps are only going to continue to drop. Thankfully I get to migrate South again tomorrow night! (Have I mentioned I LOVE fall in Florida? Sounds like a vaguely familiar topic of blog conversation, right?)

Earlier this week, I was brave enough to run outside. I knew it would be chilly up in Indy, so I planned accordingly and packed some cold weather running gear that was gathering dust in a storage container under my bed in Florida.

All bundled up and ready to run! And yes, I really do run with those ghetto-fab 80’s style headphones. I have tried bazillions of other versions and nothing wants to stay on or in my ears…so I am rockin’ out old skool style during my workouts. And I wonder why I never pick up hot guys at the gym… I thought it was my insane sweat problem. Maybe there are other factors to consider… ha ha.

Despite the cold (the thermometer on my parents’ porch said 45ish degrees!), I did have two wonderful runs. Please note the average pace for both of these runs. Almost 8:00/mile even? Who IS this girl? Where did she COME from? Is my GPS working right?! I guess when the terrain is flat, the humidity is in negative numbers (unofficial weather data! Just a guess…), and you aren’t trying to catch your breath in between chatting with a running buddy (which I LOVE! Please be my running buddy! I will trade a slower pace for some running company ANY day!), you can really fly!

It was interesting trying to get “used to” (if that’s ever possible) chilly runs again, when I just left the blazing heat of Floridian summer runs behind not too long ago.

I am glad I was able to sneak these two runs in before I officially found myself in full-on vacay mode for the weekend (AKA I am glad I pre-ran off some wedding cake!). On Friday I drove the 4ish hours from Indy to St. Louis to begin the last of this year’s wedding festivities! One of my best friends, Alex, who I have known since freshman year of college at Xavier and who I roomed with 3 out of 4 years during college, got married this weekend in her home city of St. Louis. I had the honor of writing and reading the petitions (prayers) for the wedding mass, so I got to be a part of both the rehearsal and the big day itself!

Got to catch up with some old friends/college roommates at the rehearsal

Me, Alex (the bride-to-be), and Maggie. I have missed these girls lots! Wish I could find a way to convince them (and their hubbies…) to ditch Ohio for a warmer climate! The rehearsal dinner was at Bristols, a delish seafood restaurant in St. Louis. I got a house salad, scallops, and a chocolate lava cake which were all fantastic!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Reed Crumley with the readers/wedding day helpers/program and bubble passer-outers

You better believe I took pictures of the food! I announced to the table before I took the picture that as a self-proclaimed “foodie” that I felt food pictures were necessary and that they could judge me if they wanted!! This was the salad, with an interesting goat cheese souffle type thing.

I got the chicken with a yummy pesto sauce on it!

They had two flavors of cake. I did in fact sample both of them, in case you were wondering! They also had Schlafly’s beer, which is a St. Louis specialty I had never heard about until I started hanging out with (and drinking beer with) Alex, a native St. Louian (is that what you people from St. Louis are called Alex?!)! I might’ve tried an Oktoberfest or two…

The “Gateway Arch” table with the bride and groom! Each of the tables were named after famous St. Louis landmarks. Our table got a pretty baller landmark, if I don’t say so myself!

After a wonderful night full of delicious food and tons of dancing, I was able to snag the bride and groom for a quick pic!

Well, the “Year of the Wedding” is over! You must wonder what in the world I am going to DO with all my free time, right?! No worries, I already have a few tentative plans for future trips in 2013. But first I have my family’s Christmas-time trip to Florida to look forward to! We are all hoping Mother Nature cooperates enough for us to be on the beach for Christmas! Who needs a White Christmas when you can have a Sandy Christmas?!

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What is HAPPENING?!?!

Something very weird is happening people. Last week I got this itch…and I just had to scratch it. It started with a mere, “Well, lifting heavy things today sounds fun and all…but why don’t I go swimming instead?” and ended in a 10 MILE RUN yesterday! That’s right people…I think I am falling back in love with cardio.

After my marathon in April, I found myself fighting to stay motivated with workouts (particularly of the running-variety). I was smack in the middle of a bad burnout. And cardio had kinda become the enemy that I had just conquered in a 26.2 mile battle. I was ready for something new! So CrossFit has been a good distraction for the past few months. It has allowed me to challenge myself in new ways and meet some new people. But with every CrossFit workout that involves running, I always hear a majority of the people in the class moaning and groaning and dreading anything over a 400 meter run. And when a WOD with some serious running shows up (while I do enjoy WOD’s without running because they throw me much further outside of my comfort zone), I might secretly be squealing for joy on the inside! So, am I quitting CrossFit tomorrow because I don’t loathe long distance running anymore?! Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here… I definitely plan to keep CrossFit in my regular workout rotation, I am just merely sharing my joy and excitement at rediscovering I can actually run over 5 miles without wanting to quit, go home and eat fro yo instead.

This past week I:

1. Went for a 30 minute swim at the gym. My little sister is still my hero! Every time I go swimming, I am in awe of her. She is a (mostly long distance freestyle swimmer) at Ball State in Indiana. I cannot fathom how she swims for multiple hours every day…many times at icky hours (like the butt-crack of dawn!). She can tell me all she wants how awesome I am for running the distances I do (or used to)…but she still wins in my book!

2. I actually stayed on a treadmill for 45 consecutive minutes. When was the last time I could say I did that?! In all seriousness…maybe almost a year. I found this cool treadmill interval out in blog land (I tweaked the MPH’s a little bit to fit my needs/abilities. So if the numbers look a little funky, that’s why). It really did help me bust through my usual treadmill boredom:

Warm Up: 3 minutes easy (4 MPH)

  • 3 minute Tempo Run (6.8)
  • 3 Minute Sprint Interval (7.8, 6.3, 7.8)
  • 3 minute Tempo Run (8)
  • Recover 3 minutes (5.5)
  • 5 minute Tempo Run (7)
  • 5 minute Sprint Interval (7.8, 6.3, 7.8, 6.3, 7.8)
  • 5 minute Tempo Run (7.3)
  • Recover 3 minutes (5.5)
  • 3 minute Tempo Run (7.3)
  • 3 minute Sprint Interval (8.3, 6.3, 8.3)
  • 3 minute Tempo Run (7.3)
  • Cool Down 3 minutes (5.5)

This treadmill workout totals 45 minutes and makes the time on the dreaded treadmill (AKA “dreadmill”) seem a little less like torture. I highly recommend it. (And this is coming from a girl who would rather run in 18 degree weather outside than have to do more than 3 miles on a treadmill!)

3. I LOOKED like I was sneaking in some serious cardio on Halloween. (Spandex = serious cardio time!) Sometimes all you gotta do is dress the part, right?! 🙂

“Alright, I have to ask…” says the gas station cashier to me. I smile, shake my head, and admit, “Halloween kinda snuck up on me this year. I was going for an 80’s workout girl.” He nods and re-examines my costume. “Like Jane Fonda?” “Sure!” I exclaimed, “Minus the big hair. My hair just doesn’t do that…” And Rose was clearly a vampire. So it was a good thing I had my running shoes on…just in case Vampire Rose decided MY blood was the blood she wanted to suck next. I don’t handle scary things very well… ha ha

4. I ran 10 miles yesterday! My original plan was to cover 8 miles. (It just seemed like a substantially large amount of miles to cover…considering my usual run maxes out at 5…MAYBE 6 miles these days). But once I got moving (despite the wind that Hurricane Sandy is kicking up), I felt great and then I upped my mileage goal to 10. From early on in the run, I promised myself I wouldn’t worry about the pace. Covering the distance was the only real requirement. And I surprised myself by finishing the 10 miles with an 8:50 pace, a TRUELY amazing feat considering this is the longest distance I have run since my marathon in APRIL and considering I fought a substantial headwind for a large portion of my run. Check this run out…

I don’t think I can truly put into words how happy and alive this run made me feel! After these 10 miles, my legs were sore, but my heart was beyond happy! For several years now, running has been “my thing” but admittedly, the past several months my running has been less than stellar or consistent. Yesterday’s run basically made me feel “right” again…if that makes any kind of sense.

At work last night, I told one of my co-workers I had gone on a 10 miler before my shift. I listened as she gasped and oohed and ahhhed at my ability to do something “so crazy” and then she said, “You know we call you Marathon Meghan, right?” I laughed and said, “Wait, wait. I thought I was ‘Runner Meghan.'” My co-worker responded, “I like Marathon Meghan. It has a better ring to it.” Fair enough. I now I am Marathon Meghan…with some big Mizuno running shoes to fill! 🙂

And on a quick kinda unrelated note. I guess it falls in the theme of things that make my heart happy…only one more 12 hour shift stands between me and a trip up north to spend time with my family in Indy before heading to St. Louis for the wedding of one of my bestest, bestest, BESTEST friends E.V.E.R., Miss. Alex! She is getting married in her hometown of St. Louis, which is a city I am overdue to visit and explore. I cannot wait to see her make a beautiful bride and to marry Reed, a man who you can so easily tell just adores Alex. He’s a great guy and I am so happy for the two of them! Now come on time, get to movin’!! Hope everyone is having a good week!

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