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A 32 Minute Marathon PR!

Where can I possibly start with this post? I feel like I could write a novella recapping the experience. However, since most of you have jobs and would probably mop your floors than read a 20+ page recap of my marathon, I'll try to keep it short.  Try, of course, being the operative word there. On Saturday I ran the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. It was my second marathon and my second time running the course. And yes, I beat my time from last year - by 32 minutes.

The event started out with a bang - literally. A cannon shoots off at the start of the race, and Tim got an amazing photo:


Although I'm a solo runner roughly 99% of the time, this race was completely atypical for me. I started the race running with lovely fellow blogger Twila. It was wonderful to meet her! I would say we ran together for about 25 minutes before I realized I was going just a little too fast. I waved her on ahead and settled into my perfect pace, just under 9 minute mile…

Oakley Sunglasses Giveaway!

Saturday was my last "long" run until the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon on November 10th. I treated it like a dress rehearsal - starting at roughly the same time as the marathon will, choosing a similar terrain (paved and hilly), running at goal marathon pace for the duration and even wearing what I planned to wear for race day.

I'm typically pretty boring when it comes to running gear. Until a few months ago, I pretty much just wore anything - obviously cotton is not my friend in the summer or for long runs, but that's pretty much it. Lately, however, I've been picking up more and more items that seem to make running just that little bit more enjoyable. The most recent find is these Oakley Radar Edge sunglasses, which were sent to me by Sunglasses Shop. Currently, my non-running sunglasses are from Old Navy and cost $3.71 exactly, and I love them. So I had no idea which sunglasses to choose from from Sunglasses Shop. In the end, I just ended up getting the ex…

When Should I Quit Blogging?

When I first started blogging (about 18 months ago) I figured it would be a fun way to pass the time and learn a little more about running. I had just moved to America, I wasn't working and, truth be told, I was bored. I can't express just how grateful I was to find this incredible community and meet (virtually and in person) some fantastic people.



So when does it end? I'm sure you've noticed that I have been blogging a lot less lately. And if you haven't, PAY MORE ATTENTION TO MEEEEEE! In all seriousness, it just hasn't been something I have the desire to do lately. I still read most of my favorite bloggers, comment on far less that I'm happy about, and write periodically. So why is the passion gone?

It's not because nothing is going on in my life. I had an excellent 20 mile run a couple of weeks ago, just ran a 50k race and am ready for a serious PR at Chicakamauga Battlefield Marathon in less than 2 weeks.



Conversely, it's not because I'm TOO…

My New 5k PR!

Saturday was spontaneous race day. Truly, those are the best races. Little to no preparation, no freaking out beforehand and if the weather sucks - hey, I just don't go! Plus, this 5k was less than 15 minutes from home at the Chatsworth Black Bear Festival. There was a one mile option (I think it was a fun run) and a timed 5k. I haven't actually run a 5k distance race since....May of 2011. My PR from that race was 27:10, but I knew that my running had improved quite a bit since then.

The other awesome thing about this race? It started at 1:30 in the afternoon. Hallelujah. When was the last time you woke up on a Saturday for a race without an alarm? Fantastic. Unfortunately, that also meant it was a little warm and the sun was out in full force, but I don't think it ever got above 65 degrees so not much to complain about there.

Tim ran this one with me, which was really great. He hasn't been running much lately, but the opportunity to run a small town race where almost …

Should We Sue Chobani?

I love me some Greek Yogurt. If this is news to you, you probably haven't been reading all that long. And after trying Chobani for the first time, I was sold. I don't eat Chobani because it's the healthiest food around (although it's higher in protein than traditional yogurt), but because I like the taste.

Now, full disclaimer here. Chobani has been good to me. They have sent me yogurt to review in the past, and I even went to the Chomobile when it was at a race expo in Atlanta. Lest I am labeled as a "Chobani-ho" (do you guys think that will catch on?), I wanted to share an interesting article that Tim forwarded to me earlier today.




Read it if you're so inclined, but the premise is that an attorney who once focused on bringing down the tobacco industry is now focusing on unhealthy foods. The stock photo at the top of the article was a bowl of potato chips - pretty much standard "junk food", in my opinion. But as I read on, I realized one of the…

Reversing the Taper

I'm sure most people reading this blog are familiar with the idea of a taper before a race. If not, it's essentially a reduction in workout/running mileage before a big race. In the week before my 50k, it looked like this:

Monday: REST
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: 4 mile run (moderate pace)
Friday: REST
Saturday: 50k race
Sunday: 45 minute EASY walk

I know there are conflicting thoughts on this kind of taper, and I think that everyone is different, but I wanted to share my opinion. I was worried I would feel stiff, but in actuality my legs felt very fresh, especially after a few miles of running. Of course I got antsy and was eager to be running prior to the race, but I think I would have had race anxiety no matter what. Overall? Success, for me. I'll probably stick to a really conservative mileage week like this before marathon distances (or longer) in the future.


But what about AFTER the race? Usually I take a day or two off from running and then ease in…

So What's Next?

Over the past couple of months a lot of my time and effort has gone into training for the StumpJump 50k race. Now that it's over, I feel a little....eh.

I get like that a lot after a big event. Birthdays, Christmas, races, etc. I wish it wasn't true, but I feel a big letdown that all the excitement is over.  The same rule applies to Sunday nights. How ridiculous is it that I get grumpy and pick fights on a Sunday night? (Especially since I work from home. Seriously.) But it's because I dread the weekend ending and Monday morning beginning.


I have figured out that aside from getting over myself and appreciating the great times AND the regular, average, everyday times, I need to plan ahead. I always like to have something on the horizon to plan for and look forward to, even if it's a year away.  So here are some things I'm excited about in the future....

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon: Yeah, all my whining and I have a huge freaking race to look forward to on Novembe…

StumpJump 50k Race Report!

Although I think I may be legally obligated to say that my wedding day was the best day of my life (don't worry baby, it was!), I think I can safely say that yesterday was the second best day ever. I raced the StumpJump 50k in Signal Mountain, Chattanooga.

Honestly, I had an amazing time. Was it hard? Of course. Did I get hurt? Sure. But it was still the most fun I've had with my clothes on. So how do you go about recapping something so enormous? Here's my attempt at summarizing the 50k (31.1 miles), which took 7 hours, 29 minutes and 16 seconds. (And I thought recapping a four and a half hour marathon was tough. )

Pre-Race: The whole past week I was basically "getting ready" for this race. I only did a one-week taper, but it was a grand total of 7.5 miles, (3 miles Tuesday, 4.5 miles Wednesday) so I was eager to start running on Saturday morning. I slept a pretty solid 6 hours on Friday night, had carbo-loaded the day before and had everything packed. And then …

I Saw My Race Flash Before My Eyes

I am a self-proclaimed klutz. When I was younger, I could fall over for no reason at all. Just because my legs would decide to stop working. I no longer wear a watch, because I would bang and eventually break the watch face every single time I walked through a door frame, just due to a complete lack of physical self awareness.

So it should really not come as a surprise that last night while standing in front of the thermostat (not changing it, just....looking?) I did some weird stretch thing with my leg and then fell to the ground. I know I can be a little overly dramatic at times, but I swear - my butt broke. There was little pull and then - there it was.

You know how people say that when they get in a serious accident their life flashes before their eyes? Well, for me something else flashed before my eyes. The 50k race. I swear to you, that is the first and only thing that crossed my mind.  For the record, today it's sore but not bad at all - I ran 4 miles on it and there's…

It's Running, Not Heroin

It's taper week at my house. Alternative titles for the phrase "taper week" can include:
-Eat everything you can see week
-Bitch and complain week
-Freak out about running 50k week
-Restless Leg Syndrome Week

I totally understand the point of tapering, especially leading up to a longer race like a 50k. It's good for your muscles, you store up some extra glycogen, you stay hydrated, etc. But damn it, I'm antsy and I just want to get out there and run this already:
What causes anxiety for me? Big races. What relieves anxiety? Running. What can't I do before a big race? (Do you see where I'm going with this?)

I searched online for some variation of "how to taper without being a bitch" and discovered way more responses for methadone than I did for running. Oh. Maybe I should reevaluate my "problems," huh?

It got me thinking, though. Am I addicted to running? Can someone even BE addicted to running?



I could go a day without running, but I d…

Wine, Dr. Seuss Style

Usually when someone offers you wine, the selection is typically between red and white. Next time you are offered green wine, don't assume it's some weird St. Patrick's Day cocktail or some Dr. Seuss invention. Vinho Verde, or green wine, is a typical drink in Portugal. Unfortunately, it's pretty difficult to find outside of Portugal, Brazil or Macau. I haven't had any in years, but I recently found some at Trader Joe's, of all places.



Believe it or not, this was $4.50. Per bottle. It's seriously amazing. I'm only disappointed that I found it in September, because it is the perfect summer drink. Although the name does literally translate to green wine, it's not really green. The name refers to the age of the wine, meaning it's very young. (AKA - don't hide this in your pantry and think the value will increase. It will most certainly not.) It's really refreshing, a little bit sparkling, very light, has a slightly apply taste and has a low…

Give Your Sole and Win Free Race Entries

Raise your hand if you have a bunch of old running shoes stored in some closet in your house. Me too. It's kind of ridiculous. (Also, you can put your hand down now. You look a little silly.) So when I was contacted by the people on behalf of Allstate Life Insurance andGive Your Sole, I knew this was a great opportunity to do some good with my old shoes. Give Your Sole has partnered with Allstate® Life Insurance to collect moderately used (read: not falling apart) running shoes at a number of races around the country.



I have a few too many of my own pairs of running shoes at home. And, sadly, after I took this picture I realized I have more. To put this in perspective: 18 months ago I had just ONE pair of running shoes. So for all of you runners who have been running for 5, 10 or 20 years -how many more must you all have?

Most runners will replace their shoes every 350 to 400 miles. For a lot of runners, this means burning through a few pairs a year. When runners stop wearing shoe…

What's Up With Women Only Races?

Last weekend I ran the Nashville Women's Half Marathon. It was a pretty standard race, but it was all women. Okay, not just women. There were a few men involved. Honestly, that was a little weird. There are only two acceptable ways for a man to run a women's race. They are:

1) Wearing a tutu and running alongside their girlfriend/wife as support

2) Clearly running in support of a women's charity

There were a handful of men who were just....running. Alone. In typical running gear. Odd. Obviously I wouldn't go so far as to say that men aren't ALLOWED to run a women's race (pretty sure that's illegal) but wouldn't you feel uncomfortable running a men's race as a woman? Just strange to me. Oh, and random fact: there are a handful of men's races too. My favorite? Keep Your Eye On The Ball - a race to raise awareness about, well....you can probably guess.

Anyway, I did notice a couple of things about a women's race - so here's a cheat sheet.

-…

Half Marathon PR and Blogger Meetup!

The last time I blogged about trying to PR at the half marathon distance and come in under 2 hours,  I puked, got a personal worst (2:18), cried and then hid with a bag of jelly beans for 48 hours. So you can understand why this time around I was a little more shy about the whole ordeal. Thankfully, things went much, much better.

I ran the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville, TN this weekend with three wonderful bloggers: Suz, Beth and Jenny. I also got to meet up briefly with Kelsey at the expo. The only downside was that I kind of didn't take many pictures. No, let me rephrase. I took one picture of someone's headband as an inside joke. In poor lighting. Without proper focus. It's a real winner, but I'll spare you all from it. Thankfully, at least one person in our group was thinking ahead and took a photo. I've completely stolen it from Beth, but here's one pre-race shot. By the way, head over to her blog for a much better recap with TWO (count 'em) p…

26.2 Miles on the Trails - Alone!

Part of my 50k training involves running for 26 miles one day. So, news flash, I've only done that one other time before any it involved a lot of crowd support and a nice medal at the end to encourage me along. To say I was scared to tackle that distance on my own was an understatement.

On Sunday, the conditions were phenomenal. The low most days has been about 70 degrees over the past few months, but on Sunday it was a glorious 50.  I took Saturday off from exercie completely, my legs felt great and I was really inspired. Plus, I bought a new hydration pack and needed an excuse to test it out. So at 7:30 sharp, I was at the trailhead of Almadhy Trail at Carter's Lake and ready to go.

I could not have asked for a better run. Perfect temperatures, incredible scenery and an empty trail meant that I had the time of my life. After five hours, I was around 25.8 miles and thought about calling it quits. But no. I was that girl running a tiny little out and back to ensure that I had …

EASY Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconuts are one of my favorite things ever. When I lived in Hawaii as a kid, I would find them on the beach and spend hours peeling them, poking a hole in the top for the juice and then cracking them open to eat the meat. I'll eat dried coconut by the handful, and coconut water to me is magic unicorn juice.

But those things are all sweet. I like sweet, and branching out beyond that is tough for me. A few weeks ago I decided to make a savory coconut curry, and it's my new favorite dish. It's a coconut-spinach-ginger curry, which sounds like it would be complicated. It's not.



A recipe is almost too much, honestly. It's easy.

What You'll Need:
One can of coconut milk
6-8 diced raw chicken breasts
One bag of frozen spinach, defrosted
Two tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
One tablespoon of fresh diced ginger
4-5 cloves of diced garlic
Red pepper flakes, black pepper and honey to taste*

*How much does it piss you off when recipes say "to taste"? Damn it,…

DIY Treadmill Desk

Working from home has its perks. Sure, my social interaction skills are deteriorating rapidly and casual dress Fridays now include those old ratty boxers and that one race shirt with the hole, but I also get to enjoy things like eating lunch at 10:30 because I feel like it and deciding where I want to work. Like on the treadmill.



Between working at my desk all day, using my computer for fun and then sitting on the couch watching television most nights for an hour or two, it's safe to say I sit on my ass a lot. And yep, that's not so great for you. Even though I work out 6 days a week, I hate that I spend easily 75% of my waking hours sitting.

On a whim, I asked Tim if he could build me a treadmill desk. I've seen these massive contraptions to make treadmill desks, but they basically transform it into a full-time desk, and I still want to use my treadmill for running (sans desk) as well. Magic carpenter man took a few measurements and brought me in a prototype by lunchtime.…