Tag Archives: swimming

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.

image (1)

 

 

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…

image

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Tri-ing it out and other upcoming races

Hey, Hello, Hi out there!

My head all week:

“ROBYN, write a blog post! You like blogging, just write something! ANYTHING! Post one picture and gif, SOMETHING!”

My reactions:

…no.

Yada, yada, yada…lots of work, lots of life, and lots of “I’d rather watch reruns of Grey’s than look at a computer screen for another second.” It happens.

But wouldn’t you know it, I do have some news to share. Exciting news! News which has slightly dented my previously mentioned lack of direction in the running/racing world.

In just one week, I have gone from being registered for zero races to being registered for three. Three! Exciting stuff. And the best part is that two out of those three are within the next month or so.

So with that said, let’s take a look at what’s coming up:

Dilettante Women’s Sprint Triathlon

You guys, I did it.

Finally.

After over a year of circling around the triathlon pool lake, I finally decided to get over my fears and jump in head first.

And I mean that quite seriously. I’ve done very little specific training, I know close to nothing about transitions, and don’t even get me start on the clip-in pedals (Read: biggest fear OF ALL.)

Essentially, if you consider how much I mentally and physically prepare for running races (a lot) and take the opposite of that…that’s basically how I’m approaching this first sprint tri.

And I kind of love it! It’s a short enough race that I can kind of get away with this method, and it totally takes any pressure off. I honestly have NO idea as to what a “good” sprint tri time is, and this whole endeavor is more to get a taste of the sport in general. I’m excited.

The best part is that some local friends are doing it too, and they had the brilliant idea to do some open water swimming and biking on the course beforehand. (And they’re letting me tag along 🙂 ) So this Sunday, exactly one week from race day, I’ll be starting my triathlon training.

So smart.

But in all seriousness, I’ve been in the pool and on the bike recently enough to where I’m sure that short of complete catastrophe, I should be fine.

And I actually have a feeling I’m going to enjoy it more than my wallet is prepared for…

See Jane Run Half-Marathon

You guys! I won something! RoseRunner hosted an awesome giveaway on her blog a few weeks ago: she gave away three spots in the See Jane Run race series. I was psyched to see something that I actually wanted in a giveaway, and somehow I ended up snagging one of the spots!

Side note: If you don’t already, check out her blog. Girl is stupid fast, smart, and isn’t afraid to call out the bullshit in the “healthy living” blogging world. One of my favorites in my reader.

This race is in mid-July, so it will potentially be warm, but otherwise I’m looking forward to it. I’ve flirted with the idea of making it a goal half race, but currently it’s scary to do one mile at my would-be goal half marathon pace, let alone run 13.1 miles at it. We’ll see.

Seattle Half-Marathon

Okay, so this race is eons away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to have on the calendar! I absolutely loved this race when I did it for the first time last year, and at that time I promised myself to run it again. And with a coupon code in hand and a lingering price increase deadline, I decided to go for it.

There is also potential that should I not get into Boston for 2014, I may decide to do the full instead. Essentially, I’d like to keep the option of a fall full open for now…and this one is late enough that I could still do some solid training after knowing for sure about Boston.

But in the meantime, I’m still hoping for/planning on being in Bean town next April, in which case this will just be another fun, cold, post-Thanksgiving coma half-marathon.

Hooray races! Sorry paycheck, you were fun while you lasted.

I am really psyched to have some things on the calendar in additional to the crazy ultra-relay extravaganza I’ve gotten myself into.

Lots more to share, but for now I’m interested in what races YOU have planned for the upcoming couple of months. It seems like people either go crazy with racing during the summer or avoid it altogether.

So…what races are you signed up for?

Also, how do you “do” a sprint triathlon? 🙂

Eugene Marathon Training Week #11 and #11.5

Stuff is winding down around here. I haven’t really done a “workout” so-to-speak in nearly two weeks, and my legs are more than ready for a little freedom.

I thought I’d report on both this past week and this current week, seeing as after Eugene, the likelihood of “recapping” my final taper week is close to zero. I’ll more than likely have too many chocolate chips to focus on at that point. Actually, I’m already distracted by chocolate chips. I don’t even buy bags with the intention of baking cookies anymore.

But I digress.

I am rather methodical about my final week taper schedule though, so I figured I’d do a little detailing.

But first, last week…

Week #11

M: 7 miles w/ 6 x 100 meter sprints

T: Rest

W: 5 miles easy + Maximum Sculpt

T: ~2 mile swim

F: 8 mile run, easy + easy lifting

S: 12 mile run, no watch- tried to finish strong

S: Rest

= 32 miles

Nothing exceptionally noteworthy last week. Saturday’s last long run felt good, and it was probably a good thing my Garmin died before I even started the run. I tend to be a bit time-obsessed with that thing on…even if the prescribed run is supposed to be “easy.”

I had the best intentions to go to yoga on Sunday. Like I actually got myself to the gym early and everything. Alas…class was cancelled. Oh well, can’t say I didn’t try. My foam roller and I got cozy instead.

And now for this week…both what’s happened and what’s planned:

Week #12

M: 6 miles easy

T: 1 hour swim

W: 7 miles “dress rehearsal” with 2 miles @ mgp

T (planned): 1 hour swim

F (planned): Rest

S (planned): 3-4 mile shake out

S: Well…you know 🙂

The swimming seemed to be a game-changer for me during my tapering for Chicago, so I’m plugging it in twice this week. Generally, it seems to really flush my legs and wiggle out all that lingering tightness…all good things for marathon prep.

This morning’s “dress rehearsal” went about as well as dress rehearsal runs are supposed to go…not awesome. If we’re being honest, marathon pace felt kinda fast, but I’m choosing to trust the training instead of let one less-than-perfect run freak me out. It’s par for the course during race week, right?

I’m also having race-day attire qualms, and today’s run didn’t help much. Tank top? Short sleeves? Arm warmers? I’m all over the place. In the end, I’m certain I’ll go with whatever feels most comfortable…and it will undoubtedly be less clothing than what most people are wearing. Cold weather runner FOREVER!

And speaking of, not that I’m hawking or anything, but race day temps are *for now* looking pretty stellar. High of 61 for the day, meaning a chilly start, just the way I like it. Low chance of rain and partial cloud cover…I couldn’t really ask for much better than that. Honestly, when it comes to weather for races, I try to ignore the predictions…because no matter what the skies decide, I’m going to be running either way. However, it does add a little comfort that (hopefully) wet clothing won’t be an issue.

I’m having a hard time believing there’s only three days between now and race day. Tomorrow night I’ll be packing everything up, and just 48 hours from now BF and I will begin our drive south.

Ah, it’s all happening soon. And since all this typing about the race is starting to send my tummy butterflies a-flutter, I’m signing off for now.

Happy Wednesday folks!

Eugene Marathon Training Week #4

Happy Monday folks, how’s your day off to so far?

Time for a little training update. My tail is between my legs a bit as I know my last post was last Monday…and it was also a training update, but it happens sometimes. Ironically, I have a drafted post about how I haven’t been posting/haven’t had time/haven’t had inspiration, but of course, it remains a draft.

No matter, I think you’d rather read about running than my boring musings about not posting anyways.

This week was good. Kind of weird, as in it felt both very easy and very hard, but overall it was pretty quintessential marathon training.

M: 6.6 miles easy PM

T: 10 miles with 5 @ HMGP

This was hard. One of those workouts where I questioned how the f I was able to run 7:30s for 13.1 miles not too long ago. But either way, it happened and here’s how it went down:

2.5 mile warm up

7:27, 7:25, 7:27, 7:26, 7:23

2.5 mile cool down

This kicked my butt, but it was one of those runs where I could almost feel how effective the fast miles were going to be. Good stuff. Learning to appreciate the pain…and appreciate when it’s done 🙂

W: 8 miles + Maximum Sculpt <— love love love this class

T: REST

F: 6.6 miles slow

S: 20 miles in ~2:42

S: 4000 yd swim (~2.2 miles) + yoga

Total= 51.2 miles

Lots of numbers up there to talk about. First of all, I had my first 20 miler on Saturday, and for better or for worse—it was a tough run. Based on the route I chose, I ended up with about 14 miles of headwind—which is perhaps my least desirable condition, especially on a long run. Give me snow storms and pouring rain, but please oh please spare me the wind. Thank goodness for no goal-pace miles. BUT, I firmly believe that it’s the really grinders, the mentally-challenging runs that make the marathoner. 26.2 miles hurts no matter what—so it’s better to train with a little pain sometimes as opposed to simply fairy-dusting our way through each long run. So, once I again, I embraced it. And despite the slug-fest feeling of it all, I finished in a pretty good time. My right leg was super tight/heavy, which I felt was holding me back, but apparently it was more of a brain thing.

Another number to discuss: 50! I broke that barrier this week, and while I could feel the mileage increase, I have to say I’m a little shocked at my recovery times and how much they’re decreasing. I was barely sore after Saturday’s run, and on Sunday my legs felt as if it hadn’t even happened. Really happy about this. It could be that it’s my 4th time doing a full training cycle, or a myriad of other cosmic possibilities I suppose, but at any rate I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m going.

Admittedly, the big 5-0 number is when I start to get hyper-aware of injury possibility. The higher mileage weeks have always been the common denominator for me in terms of when I get hurt, so honestly I have been experiencing a little injury-hypochondria. Better paranoid  safe than sorry though. Again, I’m going to just continue to do what I’m doing and listen to the little aches and such as they come and go.

Oh, and in case you’d like an update…PSJJ is still happening! We’re into the 60s now, and it’s rough. But not rough enough to quit yet. The push-ups are getting easier, which is nice, but the sit-ups are getting tougher. We’ll see.

One last thing I’d like to point to: Yoga! I haven’t been to yoga since probably last October or so, and while I always kind of dread going, I forget how happy I am when I’m done. It’s hard to psych myself up for a yoga class the same way I can psych myself up for a run, but, like running, I’m always thankful after the fact. And let me tell you, there are much worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than a long solo swim followed by an easy yoga class. So rejuvenating and cleansing.

Anyway, this week is cutback week—which feels like perfect timing. Not only will I be out of town (!!!HAWAII!!!), but it feels like the perfect point in time to draw in the reigns a bit.

That’s all for now, I hope at some point I can entertain you with more than just training-reflections and weekly updates 🙂 You can, however, count on an assortment of photos from our Maui trip after we return—as for when we’re there, well, I am hoping to forego all social media as much as possible, so until next week—aloha!

How was your weekend? 

Book Review: A Life Without Limits

Something that I do a lot of, but don’t talk enough about, is reading about endurance athletes. I spend a good amount of my reading energy (and my money) on absorbing as much written information I can from the memoirs, biographies, instruction manuals, and general musings of professional athletes. I find it incredibly motivating and ridiculously intriguing—especially those athletes that started out just like any of us: with a desk job and a keen interest in living their life to the fullest.

There are a lot of books I’ve read—primarily about running, but most recently I decided to check out the world of Ironman, via world champion Chrissie Wellington’s memoir, A Life Without Limits. Chrissie was a bright, athletic, and driven girl who didn’t even consider being a professional athlete until her mid-20s. A year later, she was being crowned Queen of Kona at the Ironman World Championships—a feat she admits she would never have imagined possible.

life-without-limits

If you’re curious, here’s my review of her book—both in the two-sentence variety and the extended version. Please note that informality is my speciality, and I tend to find enjoyment out of most everything I read. You can read more “professional” reviews on Amazon, or just use your friendly neighborhood Google.

Two-Sentence Review:

A Life Without Limits is a powerful exhibition on the capabilities of both the human body and the human spirit. For someone so decorated with accomplishment and praise, Chrissie is relatable,  hilarious, humble, and genuinely inspiring in her exploration of the limitless potential that comes with hard work and determination.

Extended Review:

This book is very much about Chrissie’s journey toward becoming a professional triathlete—not just her accomplishments themselves. She certainly spends a good amount of time detailing her training, racing, and career, however it’s not without a good description of her life pre-Ironman.

Not to downplay her early years, but in many ways, Chrissie was really just an average girl for the first part of her life. She went to school, felt like an outsider, struggled to find her passion, and went through a lot of the same trials we all go through. She spends a good amount of time talking about her experiences with bulimia and eating issues, and I thought it was refreshing to read about how even for the world’s greatest athletes—body image can still very much be an issue. It seemed that her issues started to go away once she found herself as a triathlete, but it just goes to show that none of us are immune to it—and I thought it was an important point for her to highlight.

Some of the early chapters detail Chrissie worldy adventures. She spent her first years post-grad as quite the world traveler and humanitarian. She spent a while working for the UK government—which fed her desire to aid in global development and to help others. She also spent time in Nepal, New Zealand, and South Africa.

I thought the additions of these details were important in showing Chrissie’s evolution as a person, and it also gave her a much more well-rounded presentation. I think it’s a little too easy to write off professional athletes as a little self-centered, as they focus so much of their energy on their own personal successes. Chrissie is quite the opposite, and I enjoyed reading about this whole other humanitarian side of her.

However, the reason I picked up the book was to read about swimming, biking, and running. Which there is plenty of. In fact, admittedly I found myself wishing there were a little less about her pre-Ironman life.

Chrissie’s transformation from a sporty, “average” chick into a world-class athlete seems to happen a bit overnight. She goes from performing well in a few pick-up triathlons, to turning pro and living at training camp fairly quickly. I loved the depictions she gives of her first coach, Brett, who made seemingly the biggest impression on her out of anyone else coaching wise.

You get a really good sense of not just the physical training she went through (a LOT) but also the mental training. Chrissie struggled with a lot of self-doubt in the beginning, and once again I really liked reading about this much more human side of someone who is seemingly so superhuman.

My favorite parts of this book  were each of her Ironman race descriptions, particularly her world championship wins (Kona) and her unofficial world record ironman at Roth in Germany. I think the most intriguing part of this mother-of-all-races for us mortals are the specifics of each discipline. I always wonder, “What is it really like to swim with hundreds of other people around you?” and, “What is running a marathon after 112 miles of biking really like?” 

Chrissie does a great job at addressing these types of inquiries. Her accounts of each race are remarkably detailed, and it’s clear that she’s been able to take lessons from each of them. She performs multiple times with lingering injuries or illness, and it’s incredible to read about how she not only triumphs over her competitors—but also over her own personal predicaments.

Chrissie’s athleticism is undeniable, which I found was most obvious in just how easy she makes an Ironman sound. Sure, she describes the tough parts and how much of a mental game it is, but with each win and each new PR, it becomes obvious that some—like Chrissie—are built for the sport.

She trains incredibly hard, some would argue too hard (how about biking the same day you break your arm?), but my impression is that Chrissie has a lot of natural talent to back her up. There are people who can do an Ironman, an incredible accomplishment in and of itself, and then there are people that win these monster races. Chrissie’s expedited road to the top shows that when untapped potential meets a concentrated discipline, incredible things can happen.

However, while Chrissie may be exceptional and “made for triathlon,” this doesn’t mean her book is any less inspiring or that she didn’t work hard for her accomplishments. Heck, by the end of the book I was Googling Kona-qualifying Ironman races and plotting my own triumphant entrance into the tri-world. Do you think I should start by finally buying that road bike?

The point is—Chrissie allowed me to dream, to think beyond the limits I’ve set for myself, and I think this is the goal of her book. When a reader can transcend into the mind and lifestyle of a world champion athlete, there becomes a moment when we recognize our own potential—and maybe, just maybe, we decide to dig a little deeper. This is why I love books about the best of the best—and this is why I loved Chrissie’s book.

One final thought: my most favorite thing about A Life Without Limits was Chrissie’s endless search for “the perfect race;” a race that in preparation, execution, and finale goes exactly as planned. This is something I can absolutely relate to—as I’m constantly choreographing the details of my own “perfect race.” This made her so relateable to me—and I loved that as an amateur recreational runner, I was able to make a direct comparison to a world champion. Because that’s the thing about sports—no matter our level or title, we’re all after the same end goal: to do the very best that we are capable of. Chrissie is constantly on a mission, both athletically and in her life, to reach these capabilities—and in doing so, she manages to break through the glass ceiling of limitations over and over.

….

I recommend this book to anyone interested in endurance sports, running, triathlon, Ironman, or general athletic accomplishment. Chrissie’s combination of self-deprecation and detailed narrative really draws you in, and I’m willing to bet you’ll be waving your “Team Chrissie” flag before you’re halfway through. I could hear her voice throughout this whole book—charming British accent and all—and that level of authorial intrigue speaks highly of her passion and likeability.

Have you read A Life Without Limits? What did you think? 

*Disclaimer: I’m a terrible English major and read most of my books on my e-reader. Therefore, my sharing ability is very limited, so when you ask to borrow something and I say no—well, you know why.

Mulan music, weekend things, and GOTR love

Why have I not used “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as my pump up song for every race I’ve ever done EVER???

This is such a no brainer, and when it came on my Pandora station mid-shower yesterday, I decided that it will now be my pre-race anthem forever.

Sure, the title/lyrics of the song are a bit sexist—and by a bit I mean a lot—but in the end, Mulan proves that being a WOMAN is not only good enough—it’s better. So take that.

{Glee Cast radio was the station, in case you’re wondering how you too can hear such an epic song}

Ready for the most random post of your life?

Okay, good.

I just have too many things I want to talk about, but none of them are really worthy of a singular post. Is anything I write really worthy of publication though? Whatever, you’re here…right?

Cool. So, to start out, I want to give some snapshots of last weekend, as it was spent in my most favorite place on Earth with some of my most favorite people on Earth. And I say “some of” because Kate Winslet, Kara Goucher, and T. Swift all couldn’t make it. Next time, girls.

[An aside…I’m obsessed with Kara Goucher. I love Shalane and Desi too, but there’s something about Kara that I just adore. It’s probably the fact that her son Colt is the cutest thing in the world (and he’s probably already faster than me), and Kara’s a runner who isn’t afraid to show her vulnerability. You go KG. And on that note… Runner’s World, why the f didn’t you send me the cover with Kara on it this month? I didn’t want semi-creepy-looking-though-still-fast-as-shit Ryan Hall, which you decided to send me instead.]

Where were we? Oh yes…my weekend.

My brother Scott, my cousin Lily, BF, and myself

In a nutshell, I jammed as much as I could into the 36 hours I spent with my family at our summer house. Some highlights include:

A trail run with BF. We tackled 6.5 miles and some serious rolling hills of a gorgeous forest trail. It’s my favorite trail run in the world, mind you, which admittedly isn’t saying much—because I think I’ve run about 3 different trails in my life. Still, it’s spectacular and it’s actually the trail that inspired me to run outside more years ago. And I’m still tallying…but the mosquito bite count for this run alone is at about 2,500 right now.

No, you’re right, this is not a picture applicable to trail running.

Swimming with my Granddad. If there was a lifetime fitness award, it would go to my Granddad. He has been a consistent exerciser his entire life, and even now at the age of 79—he still manages to get out there. Since the only swimming he can do at our summer house is on the lake (aka, open water) I joined him to both try out my own open water abilities and play lifeguard.

Waving from the raft!

I also remembered that I’m terrified of swimming in open water and should probably practice that.

Beach sunset followed by ice cream. Do I really need to explain this one? Here are some photos to prove myself:

Oregon coast love ❤

16 mile long run followed by blueberry pancakes. Emphasis here on the blueberry pancakes…I credit them with my willingness to get the run over with. I’m convinced if you imagine delicious post-run food awaiting you the second you’re done, you’ll actually run faster.

This would, however, not work with imagining a Whey 1000 Maxx Green Soy TurboCharged 50mg protein smoothie. At least…not for me. No. Long run refueling needs to be solid, real food…and while I personally kind of suck at making pancakes, my Uncle Dave is a pro and it was his promise of hot cakes that got me through the hills on Sunday morning. And sorry, there is no photo available as I was too focused on expediting consumption instead of developing my food blogger resume.

This is how close people will get to you for post run photos. It’s okay Uncle Dave, your pancakes make up for it.

Oh yea, back to the whole long run highlight.

I tend to go on food digressions, in case that’s news to you.

Anyway, I ran long, which I was happy about, and it wasn’t too tedious, although the terrain was never really flat the entire time.

Talk about a hilly course. There really wasn’t an alternative though, and in the grand scheme of things—testing my flatlander legs out on some real elevation changes will benefit me in the long run…long run meaning Chicago, which is all flat. I can actually draw their elevation chart for you:

start_______________________________________________________finish

-Wakeboarding. On Friday I said that I needed to redeem myself for my massive face injury that occurred the last time I wakeboarded. And although I was a bit nervous at first, I eventually got into my groove and claimed my redemption over that little board.

Look ma, I still have both my cheeks!

Impressed with how much I was able to accomplish in 36 short hours? Yes me too…BUT when I need to capitalize on time, I make it happen. And the good news is I’ll be heading back this weekend for more lake fun, family fun, and pancake fun.

Although round two of a 6 hour car ride there and back isn’t exactly awesome…

Good thing I capture the on-goings of these road trips:

This is me, in the car. No I will not photograph my ice cream, but I will document the most boring moments of my life for you to see.

To finish up this random post, let me show you what was waiting for me when I returned home Sunday night.

I was giddy with excitement and totally unsuspecting that GOTR would send such wonderful goodies!! I’m actually not sure if the top they sent is supposed to be worn for the actual race, so that’s yet to be determined, but you can bet your britches that I’ll be using every last thing they sent.

What are britches? Are they pants? Underwear? Can someone tell me why I use outdated expressions that I don’t even understand?

A big THANK YOU to GOTR for showing me, and all other Solemates, so much love. It makes me feel even better about raising money for them.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, what a wonderful transition for me to probe you to donate!!!

If you want to learn about my fundraising efforts for Girls on the Run while training for the Chicago Marathon, check out my page here.

If you feel inspired to donate, I will love you forever, as will thousands of excited little girls all around the country.

So, if this were a school essay and it had come time to write a conclusion, I would now realize that this post was about 10,000 different things, and I was probably going to get a D on my essay.

But this isn’t school, it’s blogging—my blog to be exact—and in this world, I think the more haphazard, the better.

I also don’t know why I am continually justifying my lack of continuity today. I don’t care, you don’t care, I’m done.

Oh, and as for the CIM decision…not telling, YET.

Do you have a pre-race pump up song?

What’s your favorite post long run breakfast?

I love a huge bowl of oatmeal 

Is there an age that’s too old to have Glee and Disney music on your iPod?

If your answer is anything but, “NO! NEVER!” kindly get off my blog.

Embracing the Lazy

G’Day ya’ll.

Wow, two lingos I never use all in one greeting.

Call it an off day, I don’t know. Except it’s not an off day—today’s very on! Complete with a 10 mile (!!!) run, oatmeal, and too much coffee. It doesn’t take much to make this bird a happy camper.

I’d like to talk today about being lazy. Interesting, I know, with this being a running blog and all…but stick with me. You see, I am someone who really has a hard time being lazy. I don’t like rest days, I like bulking my schedule up with things to do, and I generally get hard on myself when I’m somewhat less than productive.

Call it Type A, call it crazy, whatever—I actually think many runners are the same way.

However, I’m starting to realize that there is a big difference between the runner definition of laziness and actual laziness. You see, as runners—we tend to get down on ourselves for every day off and every workout that feels lackluster. It’s in our nature, because for better or for worse, we expect ourselves to perform with a certain caliber. This is part of the reason runners end up burned out and injured (yours truly included).  And all for the sake of not feeling lazy or less-than-perfect or whatever other super logical reason we come up with to feel at the top of our game.

Recently, I’ve been learning to embrace my off days—and in fact, I’ve been looking forward to them. I know to some of you, this might sound really ridiculous, because duh—who doesn’t like a day off from exercise? But honestly, it took me a while to get to this point…but slowly but surely, I’m accepting that rest is equally as important in a training regimen as the actual training itself.

So, as someone who’s just now getting used to the off days and the designated rest—how do I differentiate between runner laziness and actual laziness? Because despite my preference for hard workouts and miles—goodness knows I can rock the couch and seasons of shows on Netflix like it’s my job. Which can definitely be a good thing, but it can also be just regular ole sloth like behavior.

Take yesterday. I was planning on swimming after the work day—but as the end of the day drew nearer, I was feeling less and less inclined to go. Ordinarily, I would decide that this meant it was time for a rest day (because that’s normally what it means), but I had one last Friday. No, after some scrutiny, I realized that my distaste for going was due more so to my aversion to getting wet and the call of the unopened, neglected jar of PB sitting in my fridge.

The reason I didn’t want to go was just good old fashioned laziness, and I kind of loved it. I liked the feeling of just not wanting to workout, it felt normal, and I thought it was a good indication of my ability to embrace how necessary rest really is for athletes.

That might sound twisted, and it might not completely make sense, but it really made me glad to feel my reigns loosening a bit. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned from how strict I’ve been in the past, and events such as the Tacoma Marathon, it’s that taking this whole running thing so seriously is the surest way to take the fun out of it.

I’m realizing that being lazy doesn’t make me, or anyone, less of a runner—and it’s runners who should probably learn to embrace laziness more than anyone else. Sure, you should probably not derail too heavily from your marathon training program during peak weeks, but if you miss a speed workout because you’d rather watch Friends reruns and spoon feed yourself Nutella, then it’s okay.

I know, I know…easier said than done. And I’m still figuring it all out myself, but I think I’m finally coming to a happy place in my approach to running. I’m going to embrace that lazy is acceptable, even encouraged, from time to time—and in that regard, taking running less seriously may just be the best way to get the absolute most out of it.

Can you embrace laziness? Have you had to differentiate between regular laziness and “runner laziness”? Can you watch 5 episodes of Gossip Girl in a row as joyfully as I can? I’ll answer that last one—no one can.