Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bestie Weekend

Hello all you beautiful people out there.

How’s it going?

I feel like most everyone is really ready to get this whole February show on the road and say “Adios!” to winter. Wait, winter’s still here for almost two more months? Dang. Well, hooray for global warming? Inappropriate?

I digress, let’s talk about running.

This past weekend, as I told you about on Friday, I went to Spokane to see my best friend Anna. We had a totally stellar time, and to paraphrase our weekend I’ll give you some buzz words:

Zumba, Nordy’s Rack, sushi, tequila, drag queens, tequila, Beauty and the Beast

If that right there doesn’t sound like a good time, then I don’t know what does. Allow me to fill you in on some details:

Saturday morning, I forced out 6.5 miles as a means of slightly remedying the fact that I would miss my long run on Sunday. Afterwards, we went to ZUMBA at Anna’s gym—and although I was slightly horrified that I would look like a flailing octopus(think about it…), it turned out to be super fun and not all that difficult. There were well over 100 people there, and as a first timer I felt like I was able to mostly keep up. Also, it was a breather! I was pretty winded fairly quickly, and it was a great workout for your shoulders and quads. The best part? Loud music + ample people watching= very fast class. The hour went by in a flash.

Highly recommended.

That night, Anna was performing with other law students in a drag show as dancers. Obviously, a good time was inevitable. And, as I stated earlier, although I’m marathon training and my weekends are normally devoted to hours of running—some priorities took over in this scenario. When your best friend is a booty shaking back-up dancer for some lovely drag queens in a gay bar, there is no question where your devotions lie. And hence…tequila. It was an awesome night, and I have a new found respect for the Spokane drag pros as well as the Gonzaga Law females. These ladies could be your attorney some day people…I, for one, look forward to it.

There's a lot of sparkles and cleavage up on that stage.

besties

Obviously, when you drink a lot of tequila, the best idea the next morning is to go watch dancing teapots and candle sticks sparkle on stage. Beauty and the Beast on Broadway it was!

Anna, who is mega awesome and knows my childhood fantasies oh-so-well, bought us tickets as an early birthday present for me. Just to fill you in, Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney movie, and I would probably trade an arm to be a Broadway star. Therefore, BandtheB ON STAGE epitomizes entertainment.

And it did not disappoint; the show was positively fabulous—Belle was exquisite, the set was spectacular, and I can guarantee every single 23-year-old little girl in the room was more than pleased.

I might have bought a souvenir.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend, and I wish it could have lasted longer. I left feeling very thankful to have such incredible people, like Anna, in my life and generally filled with a serene sense of being content.

 

Yesterday morning, I awoke to the sound of silence—aka no rain! Also, this:

January 30th baby!

I love when I can wear shorts without question, and temperature isn’t an issue. It was also fun to be running on a Monday; because I almost always do long runs on Sundays, Mondays are typically an off-day…and I really liked starting off the week with some dark, quiet running time. I finished 11.6 miles in 93 minutes, about 8 minute miles on the dot. Very happy about this, and I’m definitely feeling more confident in my speed.

Speaking of, I gave in and will be starting speed work…like, on a track…next week. It’s funny that this feels like a new concept for me, since I spent oh 6 years as a track runner, however something about having the marathon as the end goal as opposed of 300 meters of hurdles feels more intense.

 

‘Tis all for today! And because I really love all you readers out there…

Tell me one thing your excited for. It can be a Spring Break trip or merely the delicious lunch you packed…anything!

2012 Miles and Friday Favorites

Happy Friday all 🙂

Today is spectacular is Seattle, WA—blue skies, sunshine, and a nice-end-of-January crispness of 40 degrees. If you’ve never experienced the phenomenon of seeing Seattle residents break out of their cocoons when the sun comes out—I highly recommend it. Watching a bunch of people used to rain and clouds react to the sunshine is hysterical, and results in a lot of smiles, shirtless sun bathing despite the temperature, increased beach occupancy (again, despite temperatures), and wayyy too many, “How about the weather???”

I fall for it too, though, and you really realize how awesome sunny days are when you’ve been layered in clouds for three months.

The sun started yesterday afternoon, and I purposefully moved my morning run to later in the day for this exact reason. I woke up to hard rain on my window, and knowing that the sun would be out later was reason enough to sleep a bit more.

I was antsy and restless without my morning dose of endorphins and sweat, however the wait was worth it—the run was spectacular. Shorts and a t-shirt, no iPod necessary, AND I finished the 12.25 miles averaging 7:49 splits. This, for me, is very quick—and I’m not sure if it was the restlessness, the extra fuel/hydration, or simply the sun, but this time amped me up.

Moving on, along with scheduling marathons, half-marathons, and various other endeavors that require carbohydrates and result in a medal, one of my goals for 2012 is to run 2012 miles. BF came up with this idea, and once I hear a number—I have a hard time not wanting desperately to reach it. This goal is very dependent on staying injury free, and even with marathon training it will definitely be a stretch to reach it. I’ll keep quarterly updates on how this goal is coming along, but as of right now…the year is 7.37% over and I have run 7.68% of my goal. A bit ahead, which is great, but stay tuned…

Now onto Friday Favorites!

For those of you who are new, I decided that recalling your Favorite Things are a great mood booster…therefore I have devoted my favorite day of the week to listing some of my all-time and current faves.

1) My Shower, specifically…My Shower after running.

mmmmm, cleanness

So BF and I scored when we moved in terms of our shower. We live in an older house, so the tub is one of those raised, claw foot tubs with a curtain that wraps around the inside. The shower head, however, is a rain shower head and therefore engulfs you beneath it.

Also, for whatever reason our water heater is up way too high and our shower can get HOT. I love being warm, and therefore I steadily increase my shower temperature throughout the duration of my bathing.

Showering after running, also, is almost better than a huge bowl of oatmeal after running—ALMOST. Specifically during this time of year, I feel like my body and muscles totally thaw out and relax in the shower after I run—and because running is refreshing on its own, adding a smelling good/clean factor to the cleansing runner’s high is magical.

2) Over-sized Food

14 inches of goat cheesy heaven

Okay, let me first say that I am the first person to criticize the American idea of portions. In my opinion, it’s the biggest reason for the obesity epidemic.

HOWEVER. Sometimes, I really really really love/need a massive piece of pizza, or a really big cookie. Lucky me—last night, both entered my belly, and they were very happy to be there. This slice of heaven came from Tallaricos, a restaurant in West Seattle BF and I had never been, and it was insanely large and insanely good.

3) Born to Run

I will admit….I started this book a longgg time ago, and put it down because it just wasn’t holding my interest. However, thanks to the persuasion of numerous friends and family members, I decided to give it a go once again. And I LOVE it. This book is all about those crazy runners out there—the types that do ultras every other weekend and enjoy running 100 miles up mountains.

These people absolutely fascinate me, and this book has me totally hooked!

4) Peanut Butter; or really any type of nut that has been turned into a creamy, delicious spread.

I honestly feel like I’m downplaying my love of peanut butter by putting it in my Friday Favorites, but seeing as this Tuesday was National Peanut Butter Day, it felt appropriate.

I actually feel that I should be writing an epic poem, an ode, or perhaps a love song about my affection for peanut butter. It’s deep, passionate, and above all—everlasting.

5) My iPhone

SO. This past weekend, I finally converted to being an iPod person. I’ve never had a smart phone before, and although I hate to admit it, this thing is…awesome. I don’t exactly know how to work it correctly yet, however it’s very shiny, simple, and allows for ample procrastination. All good things.

Also, it will make chronicling my experiences for my blog much easier, so that is quite nice.

 

In the words of Cartoon Network, “That’s all folks!”

I’ll be spending the weekend in Spokane with my dear friend Anna, so recap on that on Monday. Happy Friday!

Question: What are YOUR Friday Favorites?

I Try to Only Talk About Running…

…but then I get all existential and philosophical about life. I can’t help it, and I blame running. You see, running is a sport, indeed, but it’s also my therapy, my quiet space, and my drawing board. That’s why my posts seem to read like a self-help book sometimes, and I’m sorry about that.

This post, furthermore, which was supposed to be all about my awesome start to marathon training, turned into a combination of thoughts on running and happiness. Which, at least to me, somehow always go hand-in-hand.

But I digress….moving on:

There’s something magical about good days.

Yesterday was a good day, and I loved it. Let me tell you why.

I’ll preface it with something I realized yesterday, as things were going swimmingly, and it’s something I need to recognize more in my own life.

It’s important for us to pay attention when things are going good. And I mean really, really pay attention. Whether our good moods are due to the events and people around us, or simply because our stars have aligned correctly, I’ve found that taking notes on why we’re feeling so good fills us with a feeling of gratitude.

And gratitude, in my opinion, influences everything for the better: It shines a light on all the good things going on in our lives, while simultaneously taking power away from the not-so-good things. When we’re appreciative of the things we have, the things we don’t have seem to become less important, and we can focus our energy instead on all the positives around us. And when you start looking, there are a lot of positives.

In other words, acknowledging just one good thing can be infectious…and I credit this practice to why yesterday was so darn good.

I started out the day clad in rain-ready running gear, which was a very good decision as it rained the entire run and continued to rain, oh, the whole day after. Love you Seattle, love you.

The rain didn’t matter on this run though, as it was as close to perfect of a run as I can hope for.

I felt strong, calm, and completely balanced in terms of my energy. I normally feel alright from miles 1-3, great from 4-8, and then meh from 9-10 on my normal Tuesday runs, however yesterday I felt fantastic the entire time. Also, I ran dead even 8-minute splits, which I was psyched about. I’m not going to say out loud that I might be secretly training to run 8:10 miles for 26.2 miles in the hope that a certain race in a certain town might accept me to run in 2013, but if I were—this run would make me feel more confident about such a goal.

Afterward, I lifted and foam rolled and basked in the quintessential essence of a runner’s high.

Moving on, I continued to let this great start to my day weave its way into my morning: I had a fantastic breakfast, I worked productively, I smiled at everyone, and all that other flowers and sunshiney stuff that happens when you’re in a great mood.

I practiced yoga at my lunch break with my favorite instructor, and to my elation was able to hold a hand stand for TEN SECONDS. This never happens. Normally I’m just kicking back and forth on my mat whenever handstand time comes around, however the magic of the day infused itself in my shoulders and I was able to hold it. I was PUMPED, and the instructor winked at me after I came down.

{giddy}

I rode the wave of gratitude for these small tokens of affirmation, and the rest of my day continued to be all-around wonderful.

When I got home, BF had made cookies again (twice in a week!), and we made dinner together and watched a riveting episode of Dexter. Please understand the joy of walking up to your front door and, without even opening it, smelling freshly baked cookies inside.

Yes, I picked the right guy.

Except I’m getting concerned his chocolate chip cookies might compete with mine….and therefore we might have an issue…

So there you have it. As I look back, nothing was spectacular about the day: Babies weren’t born (well, they were somewhere, but I did not see them therefore it doesn’t count), I didn’t win the lottery, and no one knocked on my door with a basket full of golden retriever puppies. In fact, my day was 100% normal: I ran, I worked, I yoga’ed, I hung out with BF, and I watched Dexter slice up people’s cheeks(it’s a good thing, trust me.) However, these are all the things that make me happy on a day-to-day basis, and yesterday I feel like I was able to fully appreciate what each of them brings to my life.

It’s the little things, truly, and I’m learning more every day that being present isn’t just for yoga class or meditation—it’s for every day. The beautiful thing about the present is that it’s always there, waiting for you the look up say hello to it.

 

 

 

Be Clean

Cleansing is a word we hear quite often nowadays. It has a variety of meanings, both literal and figurative, however to me, cleansing ultimately means a detoxification of our bodies and minds.

We can never be completely clean, and yet we are constantly in search of the things in life that will purify our systems and clean up the gunk that has accumulated. This longing has existed for thousands of years, all over the world, and can be interpreted in so many different ways.

In religions, cleansing is done through prayer, confession, meditation, and baptism.

Exercise and activity encourage our bodies to sweat out its impurities and heighten our senses through increased endorphin release.

In a dietary sense, there is an endless amount of information on foods that remove toxins, aid digestion, and eradicate gunk— all for the purpose of reaching a certain level of cleanness.

Thanks to the brilliant minds of programmers and techies, nearly all aspects of our Western lives have been regimented in a way that we have everything we could possibly need at our finger tips, within a moment’s notice. And it’s all in the name of keeping things clean, neat, and un-messy.

Now, I don’t need to ask why we are constantly in need of cleansing, because the answer is obvious and hasn’t changed for the thousands of years that humans have been around:

Dirt, in it’s figurative and real form, unsettles us; it distracts us from living our lives simply and without clutter. Dirt comes in all different guises: stress, angst, back aches, fast food, depression, addiction, bags under our eyes, laundry piles, smoking, laziness…and countless other things that we spend so much energy trying to rid ourselves of.

I have come to learn a few things about the dirt we accumulate, and I believe that despite all the measures we take to pray, eat, sweat, and sweep away all the impurities…we aren’t actually aware of why those impurities exist in the first place.

No one likes the dirt they constantly carry around, and although we are constantly presented with ways to get rid of it all, it seems that actually freeing ourselves is easier said than done. It’s not that we don’t know how to go about doing it, and it’s not that we’re short on resources to help us. I have found, however, that we are much too focused on the when as opposed to the how  in terms of cleansing our lives.

“When I do yoga regularly, I will be more stress-free.”

“When I organize my closet, I’ll donate things to Good Will.”

“When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll start dating.”

“When I make more money, have kids, pay off my debt, take up painting, and become a certified Pilates instructor, then I’ll be happy.”

Sound like anyone you know? Sound like you?

Personally, I am all-too-guilty of playing the “When this…then this” game with myself. It’s a slippery slope, and unfortunately it’s very easy to hide behind. When we get an idea of how our lives could be if we made these few, “simple” changes, we achieve a temporary comfort that —unfortunately—clouds the part of our brain that actually decides to act. Procrastination is an all too powerful being, and when we simply taste the thought of better things to come, we often settle. We have the option of making things better, therefore ultimately it will all be okay.

But what happens to the whole doing process? How often do we tell ourselves that we will do this, this, and this in order to clean up our lives—and then a year later we are still stuck in our piles of dirt?

I promise I have a point, and I’m getting to it.

There are two things I believe we, as humans, tend to miss when we imagine the clean lives we want to live.

1) What are we actually doing to achieve our cleansing goals?

2) Why is the dirt there in the first place?

These two questions, I promise, are a lot more difficult to answer then, “What do you want to change about your life?”

When we are able to face these two questions head on, we have the ability to make our goals—and the means in which to make them real—much more tangible. When we realize, “Okay, I’ve wanted to start reading more for years now, except I spend every night after work glued to the television until bedtime,” we recognize the problem, and therefore the solution becomes much more transparent.

The same is true, I believe, for much more complicated issues. I realize it sounds idealistic and easier-said-than-done, which it definitely is, but I encourage you to at least try it out. Next time you’re thinking of a way your life would be better and cleaner, ask yourself the two questions above. I think you’ll find that when you’re honest about yourself about why the impurity is there, a much more feasible solution will present itself to you. And if you already know why the dirt exists, admit to yourself exactly what you’re doing to clean it up.

Holding ourselves accountable is perhaps the most important step in leading the lives we want to live.

These thoughts were inspired by a run yesterday (where all my clearest thinking is done), and it was a run that exemplified cleansing both externally and internally. The entire run was done through a decently heavy rainfall, which cleansed both the snow from the sidewalks and all the sweat from my face. It was refreshing (once I got over being totally wet) and ignited the fantastic primal feeling of running.

The run was also cleansing psychologically. I started the run in a very bad mood, and although I obviously prefer to run with a clear and happy head, I knew that running would shake out the bad feelings. I realized, as my anger and distress washed away with the rain, that running didn’t necessarily get rid of our bad, dirty thoughts (no…not that kind of dirty thoughts), but actually quite the opposite.

Running, for me at least, brings my negative thoughts to the surface of my brain and forces me to pick them apart. I become confrontational with them, as opposed to submissive.

We are hard-wired to push bad thoughts into the back of our brain, where they eat away at our subconscious until they completely exhaust us. By facing these thoughts head-on, as I do when I run, they lose their power and we can see them for what they simply are—dirt.

I do not always feel 100% better about the not-so-good things in my life after a run; honestly, nothing has the ability to completely wipe our palates clean. However, because I am able to analyze why the dirt is there, I can be more honest about the things I can do to clear it away. Honesty is something we are constantly told to give to others, but we must also remember the importance of internalizing it for ourselves.

The first step to cleansing—in any sense of the word—is to allow ourselves to confront the truth, no matter how grimy and unpleasant it might be. After we inspect the mess that’s been made, we can begin to understand the tools and steps necessary to clean it up.

Question of the Day: How do you picture a Clean life? What kind of mess are you are trying to get rid of?

Friday Favorites

No banter today…let’s get straight to the favorites!

1) Baseball hats

(awkward self-taken photo)

Oh baseball hats, how multidimensional you are. You provide relief from rain and snow on winter runs, you provide shade and coolness during summer runs, and you provide an instant fix to a no-shower or bad hair day.

I admit I have gotten in a bad habit of putting off washing my hair and simply wearing a hat all day. I wash my body every day….mostly…however it seems that these past 3 or so months I’ve adapted to the every-other-day routine in terms of shampooing.

I’ve heard this is good for your hair, and as someone who has abdicated haircuts until further notice, I need all the “health” my hair can get. Sure, sometimes it lasts longer than 24 hours…or 36…but that’s what hats are for, and I love them.

{I really am a clean person, honestly}

2) Little Rae’s sugar cookies

Git in mah bellehh!

So, I have this an undying love for the huge sugar cookies from our specialty grocers, the Metropolitan Market. These cookies change shape with every season and holiday, and I think that they are actually intended for children, but they are a staple in my dessert repertoire. These beautiful V-Day hearts made their debut this week, and BF promptly brought one home for me after spotting them.

True love, people.

3) Bird of Paradise pose

This is not me. In case you were wondering.

(Source)

I really like this particular yoga pose for two reasons:

1. The name, duh. Whenever my instructor suggests going into this pose she says, “Let’s rise birdies.” Obviously I know she is really talking to me.

2. This is one of the only advanced yoga poses that I can actually do without drawing too much attention to myself. I normally go to beginner classes, meaning that each pose has the option of the easiest to the hardest degree of difficulty. I’m normally somewhere in the middle, which is just fine, however I do like being able to do this one with confidence.

4) Google

It’s just really, really helpful.

I’m nervous it knows me better than I know myself, but for now…I accept it.

Okay, clearly I’m running out stand-out favorite things for this week. But that’s okay, because I’m generally just thankful for all the great things in my life right now—and sometimes it’s best to just be content in the present moment.

Rain is washing away our snow right now, and despite the mass amounts of water draining all over Seattle—I’m hoping we are on our way back to some normalcy.

Questions: What are your plans for this weekend? Do you have any particular favorite thing that stands out today?

State of Emergency

In case you don’t live in Seattle, or you haven’t read anything on Yahoo, Weather.com, or any other news source, the PNW is facing some insane weather conditions. Schools have been closed for two days (looking like it will be three), ice and snow have been falling from the sky—yes I said ice—, and power outages are happening all over. So far, so good here. Still have power, no car calamities, and BF has been working from home for the past two days. Having a WFH buddy has been fun.

To those of you new to this blog…BF is the secret identity name of my boyfriend.

BF, I know you've been around me for 48 hours straight, but hopefully you still like me.

Yesterday, as we awoke and the roads had been laden with ice and snow, I decided that it was a great excuse to take a day off from exercise. I haven’t taken a day off in a while, and so it was the perfect set up to laze around inside. And laze we did. Apart from a short walk at the end of the day and two trips to Starbucks, we stayed in our little home all day. Mac and cheese included.

By the time we were up this morning, I was getting a bit restless. I hadn’t run outside since Saturday…and normally when I take a day off I am up and ready to go the next day ASAP. That doesn’t work so well when ice has coated the snow. Gym was not open, clearly. Literally, there was a layer of ice ON TOP of the several inches of snow, and you needed to break through it in order to clear any of it away. Cleaning our cars off was neat. Driving was even neater.

The best part? Frozen rain fell all morning; little pelts of freezing misery, which made the whole melting thing really difficult.

We are in a State of Emergency, as declared by the state, and the National Guard has been called.

So, what did I decide to do this afternoon?

A run is the best idea during an ice storm.

So, some of you may think I’m a fool and crazy. And that means you’re very smart, I am.

No one should feel the need the run on top of snow and ice, with a headwind, with mini icicles blowing in their face. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, then I applaud you for being sane.

I am not sane, and I was in my own State of Emergency. This run, however, was awesome.

I didn’t realize how bad my cabin fever had been until I started putting on my running clothes. I hadn’t run outside since Saturday, and so I was really antsy to feel that wind in my face and get some miles behind me. Also, as I officially declared that marathon training had commenced on Tuesday, it was a bit paralyzing to have my wonderful running path stolen from me by Mother Nature.

Screw you, Mother Nature, I say.

(Not really, I’m sure she’s an  awesome lady and snow is actually really pretty when it doesn’t inhibit my ability to run.)

But seriously, I decided to act on my habitual, compulsive defiance of obvious variables and go for it. I bundled in an ear warmer, billed hat (most key element), half-zip, long socks, tights, and gloves (second most key element) and I went on my somewhat-apprehensive-but-kind-of-excited merry way.

2 forms of head gear are better than one

And truly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The snow was compacted enough (thanks fellow West Seattle snow strollers!) that I didn’t really sink into it, and there was enough ice pellets/snow on top of the compacted snow to add some traction. I had to watch my step pretty carefully, and there were points where I had to keep my head down completely so as to avoid getting ice bullets in my eyes, but overall it worked out perfectly fine.

The end of my run was a trek up the hill by our house, which if you haven’t heard, is a  monster of a climb. At this point, it was snowing pretty significantly—and let me tell you about how much fun it is to run up a mega steep incline with non-compacted snow to slosh through.

Hint: it’s not.

So despite the slowww going at the end, I finished 12.75 miles (a bit more than I normally intend to do on Thursdays), and I was thoroughly infused with a sparkly feeling of adventure and accomplishment.

post-run giddiness/shivering

It’s really quite liberating to defy all the norms of inhibiting weather and go out and face it head on. I loved this run, not just because it was necessary and made me feel better about beginning marathon training, but because it helped me remember that running is so accessible—no matter the conditions. Sure, I was slower than normal and had frozen sweat/snot on my face the whole time (hot, yes), but I felt incredibly free—of both my cabin fever and the restraints that we so often let get us down.

 

Currently, BF is planning on working from home again tomorrow, and he made the impulsive decision to bake us some cookies.

APPROVE

Wait, you thought I dated him for his looks, humor, and charm?

Nah.

…kidding

…am I?

 

Hope everyone in Seattle is safe and warm, and everyone who’s not here…enjoy your ice-free sky. Bad weather really makes you not take things for granted, such has a windshield that doesn’t take HALF AN HOUR to chip/scrap/defrost.

Question: What’s your favorite snow day activity?

 

Olympic Trials and Eugene Registration

Hello! Welcome to Tuesday, friends. Hopefully most of you had the day off yesterday and spent your time sleeping in and doing fun-day-off types of activities. For those of you in Seattle (or anywhere in the PNW for that matter), I hope you are staying safe and warm—snow has engulfed us!

It’s funny to see the snow juxtaposed with the ocean. Although I’ve lived in the area for over 5 years now, I still associate the coast with yearlong greenery and a general sense of Summer. The snow is reserved for winters in Colorado and the ski slopes.

Needless to say, when the two clash, I get somewhat thrown off.

West Seattle on Sunday at noon. Doesn't exactly look like a seaside neighborhood, eh?

(source)

Moving on. This weekend was full of running-related fun things. Saturday morning, BF and I tag-teamed a 10k race (each of us ran a 5k and our times were added together). The race was unbelievably cold, rainy, and windy—however we were both glad we did it and we’re planning on doing more in the future. For a full race recap, click here.

After the race, we visited Super Jock ‘n’ Jill, a running store near Greenlake in Seattle, where I officially registed for the Eugene Marathon!

I’m super excited, as this has been the race I’ve been hankering to do for my Spring Marathon. The course is supposed to be fantastic, the weather will be ideal, my grandparents will be able to come, Prefontaine’s legacy will be in the air…it will all around be an awesome experience.

After registering, BF bought a stellar new running top on sale, and we made our way back home where we watched the Olympic marathon trials. I watched both the men and the women from mile 16 or so to the end, and I was engrossed the whole time. I don’t know what’s so enthralling about watching people run, but I loved it.

Not a great picture, but this is BF in his hot new running top.

{Spoiler Alert}

I was really excited for all three of the females who qualified for the Olympics. I love Kara Goucher, and I was really happy for her to make the team after being injured and that whole having a baby thing. Also, Desi Davila is such a hard worker and after reading all about her in Runner’s World Mag this month, I was gunning for her to get a spot. The first place finisher, Shalane Flanagan, ran a 2:25:38 and—get this—it was her SECOND marathon. SECOND. As in, she qualified for the Olympic Trials in her first marathon, and then WON the Olympic trials in her second. Seriously ridiculous. Chick’s got some guts.

I have this Olympic athlete envy problem, big time. Honestly, if I could choose I would probably be a 7 ft. tall pro bball player, however I have always had a big admiration and affection for Olympic athletes. My dad worked for the Olympic Training Center for several years, and so I’m sure this is where it comes from. My biggest/loftiest/far featched dream is to be an Olympic runner, gymnast, or beach volleyball player. Or all three?

Seeing as I am neither a 5 foot, 19-year-old or a 6-foot-tall gazelle of a woman, I would say I have the best shot of the running dream. Okay, maybe I’ll just focus on going for a run later today instead. But I can dream people, ok?

Late in the day on Saturday, after finishing the trials and restlessly lazing around on the couch, I decided to go for a leisurely run. The sun had come out, the wind had marginally died down, and after watching some bad ass chicks knock out 5 minute miles like it was cake—a little neighborhood run seemed quite doable.

I covered 8.5 miles, rounding out my day for a total of 11.6. I loved the run—I felt energized, relaxed, and generally grateful to have a capable and working body. The sun set over Puget Sound as I passed by, and it was nothing short of glorious.

This was my first time doing two-a-day runs, and I was pretty pleased with how I felt overall. Because my first run (the 5k race) was done much quicker than my normal pace, I felt no pressure to do the second run especially fast or aggressive. I understand why more elite athletes and runners use the two-a-day runs as a way to cover a lot of mileage in one week. While I do enjoy showering and being done working out before 9am, I’m not opposed to using this strategy during this training season.

Which brings me to my most forefront thought of the day: marathon training.

I HAVE TO START NOW.

I am wavering between being excited for completing 18, 20, and 22 milers every weekend and being completely freaked out and overwhelmed at all the dedication I am going to have to put forth. I am blessed to be wired, psychologically, to handle the strict nature of marathon training, however that’s more on a day-to-day basis. When I look at the schedule I’m slowly creating in its entirety, I get panicked about all the time and sacrifices necessary to get through it all.

One day at a time though. And it starts, oh, say tomorrow. I actually haven’t determined an official start date because I have a week or so of wiggle room until I officially need to acknowledge that “I’m training for a marathon.”

These are the things I do know, going into training season…

My mileage is higher now than when I started training before.

I need to do speedwork.

I will probably train above 26 miles.

I will do everything I possibly can to not get hurt.

Based on those 4 truths, I will have a bonafied, set-in-stone training schedule hopefully by tomorrow or Thursday. It will probably be a conglomeration of the last program I followed, the programs of fellow marathoner bloggers, and my own crazy ambitions. Stay tuned peeps.

Question: Are you thinking about a Spring race? How are you deciding which type of training schedule to follow?