Category Archives: Random

Updates!

Once upon a time, I used to write on this little blog more often.

Hey folks! I’m not quite sure where the time has gone, but somehow when I kicked up my feet after running Boston, blogging got kicked aside too. In its place came a lot of sleep, a lot of work, and a lot of food. I played the marathon recovery game oh-so-well, if I do say so myself. It was wonderful and it was necessary, and I’m really starting to appreciate the vegging-out period that comes with big races.

One last stolen photo. Running and smiling knowing that rest, sleep, and cake are on the other side.

One last stolen photo. Running and smiling knowing that rest, sleep, and food are on the other side.

Luckily, all that cake and sleep did a lot of good for my recovery, and I’m happy to say I’m back on the roads and feeling better than I have in a long time.

I thought it best, since my life has basically been a whirlwind of change recently, to provide some updates on just what’s going on in my life currently. Some might be super uninteresting, so feel free to skim, but this is what I’ve been up to lately (and why my blogging has been non-existent).

Work Update

Did I tell you all I got a new job? Like, three days after moving? It happened ridiculously fast and threw me for a bit of a loop, although I’m not going to complain about receiving quick employment.

See? I'm official!

See? I’m official!

Since I’ve settled in and no longer feel horrified every day of asking where everything is, I’m happy to say things are going really well in my work life. I’m super busy most of the time, but I really enjoy that. My days fly by, and I like feeling like I’m actually getting into a groove with my workload as opposed to merely dog-paddling through it.

I work exactly 7 minutes from where we live, which is also super convenient. Run-commuting perhaps in my future? I’m generally just really thankful to have found a job, that I really like, so soon and to not be relying on Adam for all my running-related purchasing (…and food and living and stuff, too).

Health Update

I’ve had some people ask me, so I thought I’d give the skinny on the current state of my intestines. And let’s get real, you all have been along for the Crohn’s ride for a while now— you’re used to it. 🙂

After Boston, my focus became to get my stomach and general health back in order. I had a bit of a set-back after we moved given the change in routine and general stress of it all (I’m guessing?), so it was time to get back to the doc.I found a GI in Denver that I liked enough, and once I gave her all the nitty-gritty about my shitty stomach’s history (puns and rhymes forever!), she came up with a course of action.

So, despite me telling her that previously steroids did nothing for my flare ups, she prescribed a small, tapering dose of Prednisone which she hopes will kick my regular medications back into gear. They were working before, so apparently there’s no reason they should have fallen off the wagon. I was hesitant, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Luckily, too, my charts all looked normal with the exception of higher inflammation levels – indicative of my current symptoms.

I’ve been on the ‘roids now for a week and despite some altered sleeping patterns, puffy cheeks, and emotional rollercoasters— I think they’re working. My stomach seems to be improving, and I’ve had two stop-free runs for the first time in months. Winner winner. I just hope that I’m able to seamlessly taper off the steroids and enter into a forward-moving health progression.

As always with these issues, we’ll see, but I have high hopes and fully believe that a positive outlook is directly related to increased healing power.

Running Update

Ah, running. You’ve been a fickle beast over the past 6 months.

I don’t need to recap all the complaining I’ve been doing since last November for you, but the short and long of it is that running had just been so hard. Honestly, since I was hurt and then sick, I could count on ONE hand the number of “good” runs I’d had…and it was getting to be so defeating. This thing that I loved so much and was so dedicated to had become such a chore and so frustrating. Running had never been as hard as it was for me, and between the constant emergency bathroom stops, the lingering IT band issues, and overall fatigue, I was wondered how I’d ever been (relatively) good at this sport.

Then something happened. I don’t know how or why, but within these past two weeks, my gears started to click again. My stride felt familiar, my legs felt strong, and running felt…good. Good! Like, really good. Certainly part of this has to do with the steroids and their impact on my stomach, but generally I think I’ve actually started to regain some of the fitness I once I had. My breathing no longer feels strained by the air, and I’ve found myself enjoying hills again rather than avoiding them.

I hadn’t been wearing a watch since I started running again after being sick, which I think was the only way I didn’t completely melt into sadness. But after being gifted with this beauty for my birthday (thanks fiancee!), I’ve started using the pace-awareness to keep myself a little more honest.

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And it’s been great! I’m not keeping track every run, but I’ve found that with the numbers flashing at me, I’m held more accountable to not sink into my current easy pace and try pushing it a little.

Now, “pushing it” currently is equivalent to my former easy paces, but you have to start somewhere. And I’m thrilled to even be making a little bit of progress.

More than anything, I’m thrilled that—for at least the time being— running is starting to feel fun again.

Training and Racing Update

While I don’t have anything in the near future when it comes to big race plans, I certainly have a long-term outline of what my year will (ideally) look like.

I’m running Ragnar Northwest Passage again this year in July as an ultra team, so there will definitely need to be a step-up in terms of volume. I’m so excited to do this again! My base last year for this race was so much better than it currently is, so I’ll need to step it up in order to survive the 35+ miles of running in 24 hours.

Otherwise, I have very little on my calendar. Which I’m currently very comfortable with— because other than getting my numbers up for Ragnar, I want to make a very serious transition into reclaiming my former speed…and then some. I’ll write about this in another post, but after Boston (as in, a few hours after) a fire was lit…and it’s currently blazing. I love the feeling, I’m scared of the feeling, but I’m ready to get serious about the long-term running goals I’d like to achieve.

That said…I do have one more race on my calendar.

I’m registered for the Philadelphia Marathon in November, and after a summer of heat and speed training, I’m absurdly excited to take on an aggressive marathon training plan. I love fall marathons with all my heart, and my plan right now is to go all-in on this one.

But, that’s a long ways out. But, for the sake of this being a running blog, I figured I’d share.

And the best part….

Adam’s running it too!

Denver Update

We moved! Remember? I can’t believe that it’s been over two months since we left Seattle in our massive Uhaul.

Getting acquainted with his new home wonderfully. These windowsills are heaven for a curious kitten.

Getting acquainted with his new home wonderfully. These windowsills are heaven for a curious kitten.

Life in Colorado is generally going very well. It’s been great to see our families and old friends so often, and I’ve loved meeting new friends as well. Despite having lived in Colorado for most of my life, Denver still feels like a very new city and with that comes all the fun surprises and a general sense of novelty. The sun, the people, the atmosphere…it’s all very good.

Car picture, but look! Sunrise!

Car picture, but look! Sunrise!

I do have to admit, though, that I miss Seattle more than I expected. I suppose I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how severing my Pacific Northwest ties would feel, but on the other side of it all…I have to say my heart is a little broken. I know this is perfectly reasonable given that Seattle was home for me for so long, but that doesn’t really make it any less sad to think about. I miss the water, I miss the people, I miss my favorite spots, and dear lord do I miss West Seattle.

We’re visiting in June and I’m euphoric with excitement.

That’s about all I’ve got in terms of updates! I’m hoping to write soon about my plan of action for getting my butt back in gear. I’m feeling good about it.

Happy Wednesday!

Closing the Thigh Gap

Just to be clear, I absolutely hate the term “thigh gap.”

If you’ve never heard of this term, consider yourself lucky. But essentially, it’s exactly what it sounds like: the elusive distance between your thighs.

From what I’ve gathered, the gist of the thigh gap “ideal” is this: the more light that can shine through the space between your legs, the better. Makes sense, right? I mean, if skin-and-bones is the goal for our waists, arms, and faces…why not throw in the most naturally muscular part of a woman’s body? Who cares about strength and fitness when you can have light shine through your crotch!

The thigh gap is the latest love child of the fitness industry, and while it may be a term of aspiration for some, it kind of makes my blood boil. That term, along with the vast majority of the “ideals” put out by the industry, represents so many of the falsities currently being spoon fed to women, in my humble opinion.

Nonetheless, as a woman who is inevitably barraged by all the latest and greatest body “must-haves,” I’ve been somewhat forced to question my own thigh gap.

My initial reaction?

I’ve never had a thigh gap.

And while this whole notion is absurd to me now, when I look back on all my tumultuous years of puberty, I realize I didn’t always feel this way. There were definitely periods of time where I wondered why my legs weren’t straight and thin like some of my friends’ were. And this was back when I was young; as in, my body hadn’t even begun to morph into that of a lady. Eventually, through years of basketball, softball, track, and all the weight-lifting that came with high school sports, I began to accept that my body was going to look a certain way if I was intent on being an athlete.

When I transitioned from a recreational to a {relatively} competitive runner in my early 20s, that cordial acceptance of my bulky legs started to turn into appreciation. The fact that I could motor myself through 10 miles before most people were out of bed became a source of pride, and I realized that I would much rather be a strong athlete than a lithe twig. Not everyone would make the same choice, and I understand that, but for me—running fast would and will always trump looking a certain way.

Which brings me to present day.

As you may or may not have heard me mention, back in December in the midst of my terrible Crohn’s Disease flare up, I lost a decent amount of weight. I don’t ordinarily weigh myself, so I don’t know exactly where I started off, but I know that at my sickest point I was probably hovering around my early high-school weight. Needless to say, it wasn’t natural nor healthy for my 25-year-old body.

Once I started getting better, I stopped weighing in (I was only doing so beforehand per doctor’s instructions), but I figured eventually things would level out and I’d get back to normal.

What I didn’t realize, however, was just how much of that lost weight had been muscle. Sure, my pants fell in a way that I knew was due to decreased glute and quad size, but I suppose I didn’t calculate just how much of a physical impact it would make.

Case in point: when I started to exercise again, nothing felt the same. I was sore in spots I’d never been before, certain muscles had to work harder to compensate for the loss, and my speed was slower than it’s been in years. Part of this was due to loss of fitness, certainly, but I’ve been out of shape before…and this was nothing like previous experiences. I knew my muscle loss was the culprit.

I may have had a thigh gap for the first time in my life, but I was also without all the things that make me, me.

I’m not going to pretend like I don’t have narcissistic, body-conscious thoughts. Of course I do, probably on a daily basis. And yes, I’ve pondered about how “nice” it would be to be smaller in certain places. I’m human, and unfortunately there’s not many ways around these types of thoughts.

But when my body did whittle down to what, at some point, may have been my “ideal” size, I never felt less like the person I wanted to be. Of course, part of that may have been because it was an effect of a very bad period of time (the flare up). But I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t have had the same adverse reaction should the circumstances have been different.

What I’m trying to say is this: the literal thigh gap that came from this weight loss created a bigger figurative gap between the person I saw in the mirror and the person I wanted to be. Despite achieving a look that, by society’s standards, is optimal and coveted— I never felt more disappointed in my body.

It was a telling experience, to say the least.

Today, my clothes are nearly all fitting the way they were pre-flare up, and consequentially my health has been steadily increasing every day. These two things aren’t unrelated, and it’s given me a whole new appreciation for what my health really means.

Something else that isn’t unrelated: as my short-lived thigh gap has been closing, the pace of my runs has been dropping. And while society may define success as keeping that gap wide, I define it as the ability to feel fast, strong, and capable. It’s ironic, in the best kind of way, and it’s helped remind me that success is determined by my own guidelines and never someone else’s.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve upon your physical appearance. As I said, it’s an internal conversation I have with myself all the time. But I suppose the takeaway I’ve had from this whole experience is that it should matter so much more to us, as women, to focus on what our bodies can do and not what we are lacking. Because in the latter mindset, there’s inevitably always going to be something that we feel we’re missing. This mentality ensures a life constantly in the negative. 

Changing our “I wish I had…” language into “I’m proud of my…” language has transformative effects, and not only can it help us to love ourselves a little more, but it can be the catalyst for society’s ideals to change.

Because…fuck society’s ideals.

My thighs are reclaiming their territory, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The Time I Was Almost Attacked By An Owl

Among the things that unnerve me when I’m out in the dark on a run, wild animals are marginally high on the list. Not so much in the sense that I think I might be attacked by one, but more so that I hate the idea of something popping out at me.

Raccoons, rats, and squirrels…all of them have made me jump at one time or another while on the run. However, it’s more the shock of the scurrying creature* that scares me, not so much that I’m scared of them.

*Bunnies are an exception. I love them all.

However…perhaps I should think twice from now on. A few weeks ago, I came dangerously close to an animal attack, and it was from an animal I had not only never seen in the area…but one that I didn’t even know was interested in threatening humans.

An OWL.

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Yes… that beautiful, wise, cooing bird that represents many an ancient symbol and omen gave me the biggest scare on a run I’ve ever had.

Let’s back up. A lot of my runs start off by going down a well-lit, steep, 1/2-mile long hill. It’s always a pleasant way to begin and tricks me every time into thinking the whole run will be easy.

One particular morning, as I started heading down said hill, I glanced up at a light post and saw an OWL perched on top. Cool! A real life, wild owl! I stopped and stared, watched him(her?) gracefully flap over to the light post behind me, and for the briefest of seconds, we made eye contact. How peaceful, right?

I then carried on, probably reveling in the mysticism of my owl sighting, when I saw a shadow coming up behind me. In the moment, I don’t think I realized what it was, but a second later I could see an enormous wingspan out of my peripheral version. I snapped my head up and saw the owl barely 6 inches above me!!! In all one move, I came to a dead stop, yelped, and ducked, which therein caused the owl to retreat and fly up and out of sight.

WTF

My run immediately turned into speed work as I bounded away as fast as possible. Cartoon-like visions of the owl grabbing me in his talons and carrying me into the trees for breakfast were flashing before me, along with other completely rational potential news headlines:

“Runner Loses Eyes in Owl Attack”

“Girl Threatens Pacific Northwest Wildlife, Pays the Price”

“West Seattle Local  Disappears, Police Investigate Regional Nests”

In all seriousness, it was horrifying. I’m pretty certain that had I not realized what was happening and screamed a little, the owl would have taken a good peck at my head. I’d never, ever heard of this kind of instance before, but then THIS news story came out (in Seattle mind you), and I felt a little more justified.

So be warned, people. Sometimes it’s not just the street-level threats to worry about in the darker hours, but what’s above too. Also, making eye contact with a predatory bird is probably not the best safety measure. 

PSA for the day: Not all owls are like the Winnie the Pooh Owl.

Stay safe and protect your noggins!

Playing Catch-Up: Running, pets, and Boston

Hello! Long time no talk. How is everyone?

It’s so exciting that fall racing season is in full swing—it’s been fun to hear about everyone’s super long runs, tapering, and race results! I’ll admit I’m a tad jealous that I’m not doing a fall marathon (ahem, Chicago), however it’s made scheduling more relaxed and gets me even more excited for whatever’s next.

For now I thought I’d just give some updates—on running and otherwise.

Lately, I’ve been running between 40-50 miles a week, and recently it’s been closer to 50. It’s been fun, and feels surprisingly manageable. A year ago this would have been really high mileage for me, but it’s starting to feel a little more “normal” I guess you could say. I feel like I’m developing a really good base, and by alternating between speed, long runs, cut back weeks, and easy runs, I’m hoping that my base will be really strong by the time I gear up for my next marathon.

This is what a typical week has looked like lately:

M: rest, always

T: ~10 miles, no watch

W: ~8 miles, some kind of speed work, mostly tempos, and Maximum Sculpt class

T: ~8 miles easy

F: 6 miles slow and Maximum Sculpt class

S: 14-18 mile long run. I did do one random 20 miler last weekend, but otherwise I’m normally around 16

S: cross-training, normally swimming

My Wednesdays are Fridays almost always look the same, but otherwise things float around a lot. I’m starting to switch my long run days to Sunday for the fall/winter because the only thing better than finishing a long run is finishing a long run and laying on the couch watching football for the rest of the day.

Football season=Sunday long runs

So, despite the “not training” higher mileage, I do have some method to my madness—in the form of fall half marathons where allegedly, I’ll be testing my fitness.

Full disclosure/honesty: I’m 99% sure I’m not ready to run The Big Goal Time at the Bellingham Bay Half, which is two weeks from now. I could ramble away on a variety of excuses, but instead I’ll just take ownership and admit that I haven’t put in the amount of work necessary. Yes, I’ve been running and I’ve been diligent about workouts and miles, but I never feel like I jacked things up to the level I need to be at. It might have been fear, laziness, burnout, etc—but whatever the reason, the result is that I’m not feeling prepared to attempt a 1:35 half marathon in two weeks.

However, I do feel like the work I have done could be worth something, and I think I’ll use Bellingham as a fitness test and benchmark race as opposed to an A race. There is the chance of a PR (my current is 1:38:25), although I won’t be all that disappointed if I don’t break that either.

Do I want to be in shape to gut out 7:15 miles at Bellingham? Absolutely. Do I feel guilty for not being there yet? Not really. And here’s why:

I spent the summer having an incredible time running spur-of-the-moment races, spending hours in a van and on the road in two ultra relays, and generally living a life that didn’t revolve around A-race training. And it was fantastic! I don’t regret it for a minute. It was so good for my hyper-competitive self to take a break from the grind and live life a little less strictly. However, my summer didn’t come without some hard work—and in fact it left me more exhausted than I anticipated.

So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that while I don’t feel ready for a 1:35 just yet, I do feel like with a little more time I’ll get there. I have a few more half-marathon plans up my sleeve this fall, and in no way have I discounted those as opportunities for fast races. I’m also secretly hoping that as the temperatures drop, all my hot weather training will have miraculously made me faster without changing anything else. 🙂 Point blank, my goal to get faster and to be a better runner hasn’t changed one bit, it’s just taking a little more time in the short-term than I originally hoped for.

In other news…

In case you haven’t seen on my social media posting spree:

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We got a kitten!!!

His name is Jasper, he’s 11 weeks and 5 days old, and he’s perfect.

He’s completely stolen our hearts, and every day I love him even more. I’m also a paranoid kitten owner, and I’m chronically afraid that something’s going to choke him, electrocute him, or that he’s ill with some rare kitty cancer. This definitely bodes well for how I’ll be with a baby.

Nevertheless, he’s a happy, healthy, curious little kitty and makes my day brighter.

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He is also very helpful at drawer organization.

He is also very helpful at drawer organization.

And lastly…

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Stay tuned folks! Boston registration is still open for all us “barely there” qualifiers, and this morning at exactly 7:08 AM, my registration was sent in. I’m guessing we won’t hear until the end of the week, but I do know that if space does fill up…every second counts. Let’s hope that my -2:54 minutes helps me!

I do have my hopes up, admittedly, but even if I don’t get in, it felt so incredible to even have the chance to register. Two years after I ran my first marathon, I never imagined I could be on the Boston Athletic Association website hitting “submit” to my very own application. It was awesome, and I can only imagine what it will be like to actually run the race, whenever that may be.

That’s all for now! I think it’s safe to assume most people are as excited as I am about the upcoming crunchy leaves and cooler weather. And as much as I scoff at all the “scarves!” and “boots!” and “OMG PSL!!!” yammer, I have to admit that fall is seriously my jam, and I plan on soaking it up to the fullest.

Happy Monday!

Fast Finishes, Scavenger Hunting, and Mayhem

Life, as I know it, has gone a little haywire. In a good way—but the days of lazing my days/nights away seem to have disappeared completely, along with the rain and gloom. Essentially, summer has become playtime x 1,000. Not that I’m complaining, it’s all fun stuff, but man—being social is tiring.

Unrelated photo from the 4th of July. But I did make this for a party and was ridiculously proud of it.

Unrelated photo from the 4th of July. But I did make this for a party and was ridiculously proud of it.

This past weekend was the essence of how busy life has been, and I feel like getting to Monday was more of a relief than how I normally feel on Friday afternoons. But that’s how it should be sometimes, right? It makes the time go by quickly, but that was going to happen anyway—right? Might as well fill ‘er up.

As I wrote on Friday, Mr. BF joined the big and bad 25 club, and we had a small celebration just the two of us that evening. No pictures were taken, but pizza was had and presents were opened. You can imagine it, it was lovely.

But the celebrating didn’t stop there. We had a whole banaza planned for Saturday, involving lots of beer and lots of raw fish.

But first, I had to get a long run in. I wasn’t too concerned about mileage for this weekend, considering I had already logged 38 miles by Friday, but I still wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day. My plan was for 14 miles, and to start slow and finish fast. I wanted to negative split the whole run and also practice this whole “fast finish” idea with my last two miles being the fastest.

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This picture doesn’t demonstrate much (and I’m sure you’ve never seen one exactly like it before), but overall the run was a success. The second half was 3 minutes faster than the first, and my last two miles clocked in at 7:24 and 7:26. And let me tell you…fast finish is no joke. Fatigued legs + rising heat + increased speed= a nice kick in the bum right at the end of a run. Trust me, if you want to really feel the effects of a long run, try it out. I liked it though…great practice for race conditions.

After some reading, coffee-ing, and sunscreening, it was off to the International Beer Festival where we met up with several friends. As if I wasn’t dehydrated and sweaty enough that day already…

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I had so much sunscreen in my hair and was being SUCH a diva about it. I don’t know what got into me. I can deal with unwashed, sweaty hair multiple times during the week—but heaven forbid my just-blow dried hair gets a little grease in it? I don’t understand.

Anyway, it was awesome. Tons of sun, tons of tipsy/happy Seattleites, and tons of delicious international brews. I’m trying to hold off on drinking for the most part these days thanks to my super pissy intestines, but I made an exception this day and scouted out how I could get the most bang (>8%) for my bucks (10 tickets total). It was successful.

We ended the night with pounds of sushi at Umi in Belltown. Again, no photos unfortunately. But we got to sit on the floor and ended the night playing credit card roulette (BF and I didn’t lose!)

Despite knowing everything that was going down on Saturday, I had it in my head that I would get up Sunday morning and go for a long bike ride. I knew that wasn’t happening on Saturday night (mostly due to fatigue…not beers), so I decided to go to spin instead. Also wrong…I woke up Sunday morning and it took all of 1.5 seconds to decide I needed more sleep. I blame 4th of July for all of this lingering tiredness. And Belgium dark hefs.

Eventually, after watching Andy Murray reinstate British reign at Wimbledon, I got myself to the pool for a nice long swim. I swear, sometimes swimming does the same—if not more—for me as yoga. It can be super meditative when I’m in the mood, which apparently I was yesterday, and I finished with a little over 2 miles total. My legs loved me afterward.

But not for long. Around 1 it was time to head to an Urban Scavenger Hunt birthday party for one of my oldest friends. Seriously, how fun does that sound? It was such a good way to get out in the city and enjoy the day. Three teams of four people broke out with our lists of things and people to find, and we spent 4 hours traversing all over the city hunting down our clues.

"Ride a duck boat"

“Ride a duck boat”

 

"Reenact a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You"

“Reenact a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You”

It was all ridiculously fun. We had no trouble filling the four hours with exploration and list-checking, and it ended up being a race to the finish line. After all the excitement, I couldn’t inhale a plate of fries or drink enough cold water fast enough. Finishing an adventurous day at a delicious restaurant is brilliant.

Happy birthday Hannah!

Happy birthday Hannah!

And to cap of what was a magnificently tiring and fun weekend, Seattle decided to pull this out last night:

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This picture doesn’t even do justice, but I did drive out of my way (and prolonged going to bed) in order to try and capture the glory. All the people standing around should be a good indication of how freaking beautiful the setting was.

 

So now it’s Monday and I am a little bit happy to be sitting in my desk for 9 hours. That feeling is bound to pass by tomorrow, but for now I’ll be regaining my strength for all the other festivities that are coming up in the next few weeks. Spoiler…one of them involves running 35 miles in a little over 24 hours. Fun stuff folks, and despite my ever-present fatigue, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And somehow, amidst all the mayhem, I managed to run 52 miles last week…easily the most since before Eugene. Slowly, those ultra relays are starting to get a (little) less scary.

 

Now, tell me about your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

“What’s Next?”

That’s the question I can’t quite get out of my head lately. Since finishing Eugene, I’ve had a hard time coming up with exactly where I want to focus my goal-setting energy. There have been lots of potential ideas out there, but none of which have really stuck. The only thing I do know for sure is that I’m someone who needs a goal, even if it’s in the distant future. And right now, considering I’m goal-less, I’m going a little stir crazy.

And the relays don’t count…those are really just for fun/I’ll be happy if I simply survive.

There are lots of factors to consider, some of which are out of my control, but here’s my attempt at conveying the big, jumbled picture. Be warned, it’s somewhat all over the place and almost doesn’t even make sense to me.

Since even before I ran Eugene, I was not planning on running a fall marathon. Assuming I got into Boston, I wanted a break for a little while from the 26.2 distance and to save my legs for Marathon Monday in 2014. Had I not qualified, obviously this would have been a whole different story 🙂

There was one exception to this plan though: if I got into the NYC Marathon.

I entered the lottery, just like everyone else, and honestly didn’t expect to get in. That didn’t stop me on Wednesday though (the day of the marathon drawing) from refreshing my bank transactions and NYRR status way too many times. Spoiler: I didn’t get in. As expected.

But what surprised me was just how bummed out I was about it. It made me think that if my one fall marathon prospect gave me such high hopes, maybe I want to/should do a fall race after all?

Who knows.  I do really like the idea of a fall marathon. I absolutely love fall races (way, way, WAY more than spring), and undoubtedly I will be seething with jealousy if I don’t get in on the action.

However, this desire is not at the expense of Boston. I really do like the notion of bottling that 26.2 energy and focus up until next April…and if I was guaranteed an entry, this decision would be a no-brainer.

But that’s the thing. I’m not guaranteed an entry. And with every article and headline that comes out about 2014 being the “Biggest Boston Ever!” I get more and more skeptical of the likelihood of getting in. That would suck, frankly, but it’s a fact that everyone who qualified will have to face. Except probably Shalane…homegirl doesn’t need to worry,

Essentially, then, I don’t want to sacrifice a fall marathon and then not be accepted into Boston. We don’t find out about Boston until the end of September, leaving little to no room to “salvage” a fall/winter marathon.

Then there’s the other options: the ones that completely eliminate any thoughts of a fall marathon in favor of other sports.

There was a point in time when I declared 2013 “the year of the triathlon,” and in case you were curious on how that plan is going…it isn’t.

But! There is that option. Which both excites me and further confuses me. It would be a huge change in gears and a complete overhaul in the training I’m used to. And while I absolutely love the idea of competing in triathlons, I’m not quite sure if I’m up for it right now. Maybe that’s just fear of the unknown talking (or laziness) but something just doesn’t feel quite right about it yet.

So that leaves me with the next choice (the third choice? I lost count): getting away from distance and working on speed.

This is the decision I find myself leaning toward, as I feel like it’s something that I’ve wanted for a while but haven’t really had the chance to really take on.

I constantly feel like there’s an untapped reservoir of improvement that I have yet to really dig into. At the risk of sounding like a total d-bag, I’ve relied a lot on natural ability ever since I started running and racing. Yes, I put in work, but more often than not, I shy away from anything that sounds too “hard.” Essentially, I stay in a comfort zone. And while it seems silly to call the still relatively high number of miles I run a “comfort zone,” it is what I’ve been used to over the past few years.

I really hope that last paragraph didn’t sound too jerky, because that’s not at all what I intended. In fact, my intention was to state that in a lot of ways, I don’t try as hard as I think I could be. And I’m becoming more and more anxious to get over my fears of the unknown and bust a gut for a little while.

I recently realized that I’ve either been training for a marathon or injured for the past three years. Neither of which is very conducive to really working on speed. And it’s kind of funny, since sprinting and speedwork were the only types of running I did when I ran track so many years ago.

The times when I have done a little speed work here and there within marathon training—I actually loved it. There’s something so rewarding about a hard interval workout that feels so different from a long, single-speed run, and despite my self-proclaimed love for the long run…I think I’m ready to shake it up.

…..

I suppose my little narration about the confusion that is my running brain actually turned into a little bit more clarity than I expected. Isn’t writing nice that way? 🙂 Essentially, I think what I’ll do is a combination of all ideas, in smaller proportions. There are some races out there that I’ve all but pulled the trigger on, and I think once I do that, the rest of the specifics will fall into place.

15 Things Friday

You heard that right…FIFTEEN!

Why? Well, it sounded fun and exciting, and I also feel like there’s a lot of randomness going on that I haven’t posted about. It’s all going to be stale before too much longer, so now you get it in a photo/information dump of a post.

Also, I’m feeling chatty and the internet is hilarious today—so deal with it.

1) About three weeks ago, BF and I took a little weekend trip to Canada. And I never wrote about it. So here are some photos for your viewing pleasure, and because we all know that nothing actually happened unless you post it on the tubes. #proof

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It was awesome. I highly recommend Vancouver.

2) Glee did an ‘Nsync and BSB Mashup.

Again, this was weeks ago. But I’m probably the only person left in my age group that still watches Glee, and holy shiz this is like all my pre-teen fantasies come true. When I saw this I felt all the former boy band worshipping tendencies of my 11-year-old self come flooding back.

3) I got crazy and bought different shoes.

No one has ever taken a photo like this ever.

No one has ever taken this picture.

I’m still loyal to my Pure Connects, but I started listening to the masses and thought that maybe I should try and alternate between shoes. So I went up a step and bought the Pure Flows 2. Is this whole theory a myth? Did I just fall victim to a marketing ploy of the shoe industry? Whatever.

Anyway the verdict is still out. I actually think these might be the wrong size…fail…either that, or my feet are just too used to the Connects. I like them, but not in a “will wear regularly” kind of way. They just feel a little heavy.

4) Peter Sagal tweeted to me. And it was about running.

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So basically life is awesome now and we’re getting married.

5) This sports bra might make me reconsider my goal to never ever run without a shirt.

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I felt weird taking this, and posting it, and it’s cropped. Oh well, you understand. Brightness is brighter in real life. I blame the summer for eliciting this fondness for color. I don’t know who I am anymore.

6) Read Allie’s blog post.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

This was shared many times yesterday, but I felt it worthy of promoting myself. It’s not happy-go-lucky Friday reading material by any means, but it’s beautiful. Her narrative is incredible, and her story is worth reading.

7) Breaking Bad, WTF.

imagesRemember how I’m constantly behind the times on everything? Yea, this is no different. BF and I are currently Netflixing galore on seasons of this show. It’s definitely all it’s cracked up to be and really intense. I also feel like I understand the complications/interworkings/consequences of the drug industry now, so that’s…good?

8) Starbucks is getting crazy.

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Actually, maybe I should say that Starbucks is exactly following suit with healthy food trends. I saw these “new” salads today, and I have to say…I’m impressed. They aren’t cheap, but if you want a good salad on the go that’s not filled with iceberg lettuce and sour cherry tomatoes, this is a pretty sweet option.

RELATED: A coworker also reported today that her fritter from good ‘ole Bux was much smaller than normal…as were the other pastries.

I see your evil plan, Starbucks.

9) Running!

Isn’t that what this blog is about?

lol

lol

I’ve recovered really well from Eugene, and running’s feeling great. Still going slow and Garmin-less, but I’m past the stages of sore–>less sore–>not sore, but tired–> not tired, but slow. I guess I’ve entered back into regular territory. Still, I’m not pushing it, because…who wants to do that? Kidding, kind of, but I am pleased that my bounce back has been more bouncy than not, or something like that.

10) I guess I have to start biking now.

In retrospect, this is more a picture of me than the shoes. Awkward. I guess I should have titled this "A selfie with half a shoe in it." I just wanted to capture my excitement.

In retrospect, this is more a picture of me than the shoes. Awkward. I guess I should have titled this, “A selfie with half a shoe in it.” I just wanted to capture my excitement.

BF got me clip-in shoes for my birthday!!! Oh yea, and my birthday was last week. I’m a horrible self-centered blogger.

I’ve wanted clip-ins for spinning purposes for SO LONG but never felt like spending the money. Now that I have my beautiful new bike, there was even more incentive to buy some…which I never followed through with.

Enter turning 25 years young, and voila, pretty white shoes! I’m so happy but so sad because now this means I have no excuse to not start the “triathlon training” I’ve yammered on about for years.

11) 30 Undeniable Facts That Everyone Knows Are True

14. This is the only way to get upstairs safely after turning off a light:

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God Buzzfeed is so funny.

12) We re-planted our garden.

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Yes I know that picture is terrifying.

We planted a vegetable garden last year and had the highest of hopes for abundant home-grown produce.

Then we watered it all of two times and it died. Except the chard, that shit was a champion. But regardless, we’re trying again…and this time we’re doing it right. I probably should have taken a picture of all the adorable planted seedlings, but I’ll save that shot for when we have bushels of healthy vegetation blooming. That should be in a week, right?

13) All of my photos from Eugene suck, except kind of this one:

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I actually look a little excited in this picture. The rest I look like the grumpy cat. Note to race directors: the photographers should be scattered throughout the course and not ONLY between miles 22-26.

14) I got crazy and bought myself a BQ/birthday present:

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I feel so fancy for doing this, and admittedly it helped that I had a few giftcards, but no matter…I LOVE it. Cross-body bags all the way for me; so much easier than hauling a 10-pound sack of crap around (which I’ve also done). This is only the second time I’ve done the post-marathon reward system, but I kind of liked it.

15) This is my life after work, everyday.

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Happy Friday!