No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

1) I gave Archie a phone book this morning and it was the equivalent as if someone were to surprise me with a Louis Vuitton Neverfull in Damier Azure. No joke.

2) I've been drinking wine since 11am and it's now 2. I don't drink often but I have a lot of girl issues and I've found that a glass or two of wine is much more effective than the 15-20 (no exaggeration) 200mg ibuprophen I usually take so wine it is. My liver is a lot happier about it too. I just wanted to throw that out there in case this post is even more disjointed than normal :)

3) I have a weird pain that is shooting from my ankle to my toes and I don't know what it is but I don't like it.

4) I changed my own windshield wiper blades today which is a very proud achievement. My dad was a mechanic for almost all of his life so he taught me a lot of things when I was small but I like to block them out so that I can be a girl and make someone else do it. However I needed new wiper blades and the oil change place and dealer never have the brand I want so I did it myself. YAY!

Today was the second of the Mountain Goat Training runs which is what I consider The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I pretty much live for the Mountain Goat training runs because they are what moved me from being a 5k runner to a distance runner two years ago and I get SO excited about them every year.

The Mountain Goat is a 10 mile race in Syracuse held on the first weekend of May.  And when I say 10 miles I mean it's almost 10 miles of ALL hills. I have no idea who came up with the course but I swear that almost all of it is uphill and Syracuse had some pretty hardcore hills. I wasn't able to run the race last year due to being in the Bahamas (although I did train for it, it was the last running I did until this February) but I ran it two years ago and it was a really fun race.

However even better than the race are the training runs. Starting 6 or 7 weeks before the race there are training runs put on every Saturday morning at 8am in downtown Syracuse. It starts at 6 miles the first week and progresses up to 9 miles and then drops back down. These training runs have become somewhat of a cult classic around here because it draws more attendance than some races do. Last week I believe there were 700 people for the first session which is a lot.

When I first trained for this race 2 years ago the longest I had ever run was 4 miles. However given that I was training for my half marathon too I figured it would be a good way to get in my long run for the week. It was a great way for me to build up my base miles and even though I was training for my (new at that time) job and was flying home from all over the country at 11 or 12 on Friday night I really started looking to meeting up with my new running friends on Saturday morning. I had so much fun talking and running with other people in a relaxed way that it even made me change my mind about running with other people (up until that time I only wanted to run alone).

Since I started running again in February I had been counting the days until the training runs started last week and for good reason. I was nervous to go since it was only a week after my half marathon but it was AWESOME. I saw some girls I hadn't seen in a while and I had a great time even just running behind them (because I am S. L. O. W. right now). I was really slow and hurt pretty bad last week but this week was 6 miles and I felt so much better.  I walked a little bit on some of the hills but overall am really happy with what I was able to do and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can push myself to do next week.

I am really lucky that I live in a city that has such a strong running community and I do my best to take as much advantage of it as possible. After the Mountain Goats runs it will be just a few weeks until the Hot Feet runs put on by Fleet Feet will start at 7:30 on Sunday mornings. The Mountain Goat training runs get me up to my base mileage and then I use the Hot Feet runs to work on my speed. Right now I am running pretty sad 12 minute miles but I am hoping that by June I will be down to my normal 8-9 minute miles (my fastest is 7:30 minute miles but that's only on really good days). 8-9mm really isn't that fast either but I'm not in it to win it, I'm in it to finish it. And if I can talk to some friends and have a good time along the way then even better.

If you've finished up running your first 5k or are progressing into longer mileage I really recommend doing some research and finding some running groups in your area. I am a member of the Syracuse Track Club and often run with the Lake Effect Run Club. There are runs almost every day of the week from somewhere in Syracuse and I'd be willing to bet that a lot of cities have something similar. I know that there are some awesome developmental runs in Utica for the Boilermaker and I am hoping to finally make it out there this year for a run or two since I haven't been able to yet. Racing is a way to push yourself harder than you thought you could and training runs/running groups are a great way to get that feeling without the stress of race day. It really is pretty amazing how much harder you will push yourself when you're in a group. It's also a great way to start weaning yourself off that ipod ;)

The start of last week's first training run outside the MOST in Armory Square. I'm standing on the far right but you can't see me because I'm a ninja ;) Photo courtesy of the Mountain Goat Facebook page.


Free food and booze!!!

Four times of the year something magical at work happens: the End of the Quarter. It's a special time filled with crazy amounts of travel and minuscule amounts of sleep but through the stress of it all I kind of like it because it's always a challenge to see how much I can juggle in a small amount of time. And I do so love a challenge.

My end of the quarter started two weeks ago the day after I got home from running my half marathon in Virginia Beach and it hasn't slowed down since. In honor of getting through this I thought I would offer up a contest to YOU! Because really, nothing makes me happier than making someone else happy and I need a little pay-it-forward this week.

The contest is this: whoever can guess the closest to how many miles I drove in the last two weeks will win a $10 Applebees gift card (this is not endorsed by Applebees at all). Why Applebees? Because they have some solid appetizers and drinks and the best thing to do after a stressful week or two at work is to go out with some friends, have a few adult beverages and eat some unacceptable food to unwind. How do you enter? Just leave a comment below with your guess as to my mileage for the past couple of weeks. It's ok if you go over, it's whoever is closest to the actual number (and because I always hated that jerk on the Price is Right who wussed out and chose $1. Lamesauce).

It would be rather cruel of me to leave you with almost no information of where I have been the last two weeks so here are a few jumping off points for you:

*I rented a brand new Dodge Charger with 2 miles on it on Friday, March 16 and will be returning it tomorrow on Friday, March 30.

*I live in Syracuse, NY.

*My half marathon in Virginia Beach was on Sunday, March 18.

*The cities/towns I went to last week (in absolutely NO order):
-Chittenango, NY
-Buffalo, NY
-Amherst, NY
-Cheektowaga, NY
-Depew, NY
-Owego, NY
-North Tonowanda, NY
-Rochester, NY
-Geneva, NY

*The cities/towns I went to this week:
-Holland Patent, NY
-Germantown, NY
-Stone Ridge, NY
-Canandaigua, NY
-Getzville, NY
-New Paltz, NY
-Rochester, NY
-Skaneateles, NY

I will close this baby down at 7pm on Monday night and will announce the winner at that time. Remember to post your guess below (with your name so I know who you are) and good luck!

Did someone say food?



I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:30am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep all because my phones weren't charged. I have no less than 5 iphone chargers at my house but do you think I brought any of them with me? Of course not. The good news is that appears to be the only thing I forgot this trip so I'll take it since I have my car charger and someone on my sales team is bringing her iphone charger when she meets me this morning.

However, the fact that my phones weren't charged had a negative impact on my day since I have a weird internal clock so even though I sleep like the dead I typically wake up before my alarm. If I seem to think my alarm may not work (in the case of my phones both being dead and despite the fact that I set the hotel alarm) then I will be up at an ungodly hour so that I don't oversleep. Today is going to be a killer too and I anticipate it being around 14-15 hours long so things aren't looking good already.

I also woke up pretty sad which is understandable, it's kind of a sad week in my life. It's also a busy week and I should have used the time I was awake to go to the fitness center and run but here's the thing: I'm a chicken. My chicken status is a new development and something I am trying to work on so let me tell you about it.

When I started my job two years ago I was at my lowest weight and a size 4/6. I started training for my half marathon the day that I stepped off the plane in Maine and trained for it the entire 3 months of my work training that took place all over the country. Because of that I got VERY used to hotel treadmills. It's safe to say that I have seen the fitness center of almost every Hilton property in NY.

Since I stopped running last year and gained weight I lost a lot of my confidence. And with that confidence went my ability to disregard thinking about what OTHER people think of me. I never used to care and to be honest, I still don't when I am running on the open road. But when it comes to hotel fitness, it's not often that you see the average person working out at 5:30am. Usually they are already fit people who are working hard to stay that way. Add that to the fact that there are usually only 2 or 3 treadmills and they are within 2 feet of each other and surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors and it's enough to make a chubby gal hyperventilate. Add THAT to the fact that I am currently sitting in a king sized bed on the top executive floor of the Embassy Suites in downtown Buffalo, NY and there's no way I am going into that fitness center with the guaranteed eye candy that is bound to be there.

All of this is ridiculous of course. And I am completely aware of it. But self doubt is a difficult thing to beat down and quiet once it's made itself (loudly) known. I'm frustrated with myself because a run is exactly what I needed this morning and I let my inner demons talk myself out of it. The good news is I am an ever-changing work in progress so I think that in another month or two I am going to be able to shut those inner voices up and just go to the darn gym because things aren't going to get better until I make them better.

On that note, and in an effort to get the sad away, here are some funny videos to start your day. Happy Wednesday :)


The anti-bucket list.

I've never really thought about having a bucket list or a list of goals that I hope to achieve before I die. Usually if I want to do something I just do it. Lose 120lb? Done. Run a half marathon? Done, several times over. Convince my rabbit that that Apple products are not for consumption unless they are the actual fruit? Work in progress.

If I did have a bucket list it would be pretty short:
1) Go to Hawaii (Waterfalls!! Volcanoes!!)
2) Go to Iceland (Waterfalls!! Volcanoes!! GLACIERS!!!!!)
3) Go to Pompeii (Volcanoes that killed people so fast we were able to create plaster molds of their bodies that were encased in ash like human fossils!!!!)
4) Live in an apartment with a bathtub and a washer and dryer.

See, kids? My dreams aren't that big. And hopefully I might be able to accomplish one of them this year (not Iceland though because I would implode at the thought, it's been my dream since high school and requires a lot more planning).

I am an optimist by nature however I am more apt to have an anti-bucket list. As in, a Crap-I-Ain't-Ever-Doin' list. I thought I might share a few of these unadventures:

Own a house on my own.
Not happening. The second a shingle fell off the roof I would have a mental breakdown and move into the nearest hotel because I wouldn't know what to do, I've had a landlord for 10 years now. I can hang a picture and fix my toilet from ever-flushing but that's about it. Ok, that's not true, I can figure out a lot but I don't want to thankyouverymuch. Plus I'm not ready to be rooted to one place just yet.

Swim with sharks...again.
Last year I went to the Atlantis in the Bahamas. It was the most amazing trip I have ever been on in my life  and part of involved snorkeling near an incredible coral reef...which was awesome until we came across two 6 foot long lemon sharks. Our guide wasn't worried but I swear I have never moved so fast in my life to get out of that water. As soon as I got back to the land of the internet (aka the airport) I googled them and found out that they have an affinity to red haired girls (swear on my bunny) and that was that. I'll snorkel again but not without a big stick...and a tazer.

That super pale chick with the white tshirt is can almost see the sun poisoning I got in progress here. Waterproof SPF 75 my (crispy) bum.

Jump out of an airplane.
I have no idea why so many people want to do this. I have no fear of heights, as a matter of fact I have swung upside down from a bar hung between two 50 foot trees, but I'm not interested in flirting with the chance that I could become human scrambled eggs. Thanks but no thanks.

Tell my mom where my tattoo is.
She knows it's there she just has no idea what it is of or where the exact coordinates of it are and if I were to tell her she would cut it off my body with a spoon if that's all she could find (her exact words).

Read a bunch of classic books for the sake of saying I did it.
Just because they are a classic doesn't mean that they are good. Exhibit A: anything that misogynistic jerk Hemingway ever wrote. Don't even get me started on that man. I will read almost anything once however not because someone tells me it's good but because I am a book addict. Exhibit B: I went on a few dates with a really hot guy a few years ago who was a total science nerd (aka kryptonite) and he convinced me to read Guns, Germs and Steel and I will NEVER get those 5 days of my life back.

Go to Las Vegas.
My eyes are extremely light sensitive and even one flash of a strobe light can throw me into an immediate migraine. Add that to the fact that I don't like being around girls that are 10 million times hotter than me and I'll pass. However the fact that I could wear ridiculous 6 inch heels everywhere is appealing though so this one may be negotiable.

Run a marathon.
I don't want to ever hate running and training for a full marathon is a job. Don't let anyone tell you any different. I love running, I love racing even more and if I had to start pulling 20 mile four hour long runs on one of the only two days a week I am actually in my own city I would be miserable. There is no shame in being a half marathoner and it doesn't make me any less of a runner. It makes me a smart runner because it means I'm choosing the distance that I love. However, if you want to do one rock on. I just have two words for you: body glide.

Hike the Appalachian Trail.
I love hiking. I was born in the mountains of the Adirondacks in upstate NY and I swear that there is granite and big chunks of garnet running through my veins. It's a huge reason why I fell in love with geology very young in life and hiking affords me a ton of access to lots of rocks that I can lug home. However, my attention span is that of a gnat so I usually prefer hiking to waterfalls or in streams so I can dig around for fossils and rearrange little rocks to make dams in the water and get extremely wet and muddy. I'm sure the AT has lots of opporunity for wetness and mud but it just seems so...boring to me.

Learn sign language.
I am a born and raised New Yorker, I know all the sign language I could ever need ;)

Overall I just have no desire to do something just to say that I did it. If I could define my bucket list it would be live my life to the fullest while staying healthy, always challenging myself, maintaining my happiness with my work and making sure that my friends and family know how much I love and appreciate them.

And to be honest, I achieved my one true dream last year that I have had since I was very, very small:

His name is Eli and we are in lurve <3

Race report: Yuengling Half Marathon

I would like to start out this post with the key takeway points that you should glean from this if you reach the end:

1) I have the most amazing friends and family in the world.
2) I am insane.
3) Biofreeze is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
4) I am insane.

Now that the cliff notes version has been provided here is the pre-story synopsis:

Last year I signed up for the Yuengling Half Marathon in Virginia Beach with the intention of running it in 2 hours or less to beat my previous race time of 2:20ish. Then I started having heart problems and ended up paying an extra $35 to have my registration deferred to this year. I have been determined to run this race since I forked over that extra $35 (in addition to the $100+ for registration) but had become even more determined the last 2 months. However, I had not been able to get the appropriate training in and have only been able to run about 2 miles 1-3 times a week since the middle of January.

Fast forward to last week...
I was still up in the air about whether or not I could run this race even though mentally I knew I needed to do it. At first I needed to do it because I wanted to prove subconsciously to someone else that I could but then it became about me and I needed to prove to MYSELF that I could do it. I'd lost my running mojo and I needed it back fast. My awesome best friend since high school stepped up to the plate and said that she would go with me as I'd lost my previous cheerleader but I was wavering back and forth for the last month over whether to do it or not. Last weekend became critical mass when someone tried to talk me out of doing it lest I hurt myself and a switch flipped in my head and it was game on. Nothing will make me want to do something more than when someone tells me not to or that I can't (except to eat broccoli...or do my dishes immediately within a few days of dirtying them). I emailed my aunt and uncle on Wednesday and asked if I could stay with them and of course, because they are super awesome, they said I could despite the last minute warning and this race became a reality.

Fast forward to Saturday...
I spent Friday getting ready to go (obsessively packing, prepping my ipod, painting my race shirt, pacing for no reason, sharing strawberries with the bun, etc) and we left very early Saturday morning in a brand new Dodge Charger with only 2 miles on it that National car rental let me have after I whined that there was no way I was driving an Altima or a Jetta to VA Beach (I'm an Executive Elite member due to work so if I whine enough they usually cave ;). The drive was about 8 hours and Beth spent the majority of it sleeping with a short break to listen to the SU NCAA game (we won!). We arrived in VA Beach with 45 minutes to go before the Expo closed where I needed to get my bib and goodie bag. As soon as I got my stuff and walked through the expo I started having a panic attack, went back to the car and cried like a loser with my face smashed on the steering wheel of a brand new car that I was scared out of my mind that I wasn't going to be able to do it. It's tough admit my breakdown in a major public forum but there you go: I'm not perfect, I'm not always strong and I am my own worst enemy. But Beth, being amazing and having known me since the bad hair/no makeup/Chic jeans days, knew how to calm me down and we eventually went to my Aunt and Uncle's so I could try to sleep after driving the course (I never drive the course before the race but I really wanted to this time...of course it turns out I drove the marathon course but whatever, it calmed my nerves so it worked).

Stuff I got at the expo: a bag, a technical shirt and my race bib (note the Corral 2...HA!)

Sunday, the day of the race:
I woke up before my alarm and made Beth drive me to the race lest I crash into a telephone pole. True to my normal form I was extremely touchy and anxious before the race but it happens every time so at least I'm consistent. We found parking and started making our way to the start line in some pretty mild weather with light wind. We came across a McDonald's and I decided I needed to go to the bathroom even though I never do before a race. While I was waiting there was another woman in front of me. We made small talk and she told me that the weather was much more mild than the year before. I responded that my friends who ran it last year said it was awful and that I was supposed to run it last year too but had to drop out due to my heart problems. I told her, a complete stranger, that I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to get through it due to my lack of training. That's when she told me that she understood, she had run the marathon the year before and had done great but had suffered two miscarriages in the last 4 months so she hadn't had much time to train and she was just going to do the best she could. I told her that I was sorry and she said that she was ok with the miscarriages and as far as the race was just going to take things slow. We joked that we would see each other walking and would touch base again then (I never did see her again, what with 13,000 people running plus spectators).

It amazes me sometimes how wrapped up in our own misery and uncertainty we can be and forget about the world around us. When things seem really bad I have always tried to focus on the fact that someone else has it so much worse and I am so blessed even if it doesn't seem that way. Here I was, standing in the middle of a McDonald's bathroom, meeting a kindred spirit who gave me my resolve back in a 2 minute conversation. We had both spent the last few months suffering from a broken heart but hers seemed so much bigger than mine. I have always said that everyone has a story that can make you cry and the woman I met gave me the courage and calmness to go into the race. I have no idea who she was but she changed everything for me in those few minutes and I owe my success in part to her.

After I left McDonald's we started walking and walking and walking. It turns out that we were MUCH father away from the start line than we had realized. After about a mile and a half with the start time inching closer and closer I started to panic because I couldn't see the start line and could hear them counting down the race. I left my coat with Beth and hurried to the line with almost no time to spare. Because when I signed up I was planning on running the race in less than 2 hours I had been placed in Corral 2 but decided to stick in Corral 7, aka the last corral, when I finally got to the start line. They were letting the corrals go one at a time in waves so luckily the countdowns I was hearing was for the first two corrals. I only waited 10 minutes or so before the gun went off and it was time to run!

If you caught my mention of it earlier yes, I did use my ipod for this race. Mentally I needed the crutch of my own personal dance party to get me through it since I had no idea if I was going to be walking 5 or 13 miles. My goal going in was to run a mile, walk a mile and do that for the entire race. I started out very slow in order to conserve my energy but I still somehow managed to miss the first mile marker. By the time I saw mile marker 2 I looked down at my watch and saw that I was managing 12 minute miles. Definitely not my fastest pace ever (actually my slowest by far) but I was happy that I was doing pretty well and staying consistent. I told myself I would get through mile 3 and then slow down to walk. I figured I would text Beth and my aunt to let them know where I was at that time however true to form when I got to mile 3 I still felt ok so I pushed it to 4, then 5, then before I knew it I saw mile 6...the almost halfway mark. I swear that I was on cloud 9 at that point, I had already pushed much harder than I thought I could and was still feeling pretty good. 2 of those 6 miles were all uphill on a steady gradient and I somehow made it all the way up! The weather was absolutely perfect, about 60 degrees with a light breeze and sunny but not too sunny. A beautiful day to run.

After mile 6 I decided to walk for 5 minutes and then run the rest of mile 7 to try and save some energy to get to the end. I've never run out of energy for a race but that's of course because I was trained for it and didn't want to run out at the end. I did this every mile up until mile 10 when out of nowhere I hit the wall. "The wall" in the running world is when mentally and physically you get to the point where you feel like you just can't go any farther. I have never actually hit it before but it was literally like I slammed into a huge brick wall and just wanted to lay down anywhere. This is the point when I start to lose a lot of time because I was walking so slowly and literally started staring at the side of the road in longing, thinking that maybe I could just sit for 5 or 10 minutes. My shoulders hurt so bad that I wanted to cry and I was just trying to find a position to keep moving without being in pain but I'm not going to sugar coat it, the last 3 miles were brutal. I kept trying to talk myself into running but I just couldn't physically do it, my feet were like lead and my knees were like rubber.

After what felt like an eternity I finally I hit mile 12 and the boardwalk to Virginia Beach. I was determined to run over the finish line no matter how slow I was going and I'm happy to say that I did! My overall time was pretty slow but that didn't matter to me. I went into this race just trying to get through it and do my best and I was happy just to cross the finish line. As soon as I was over the line they put my medal around my neck and then handed me my finishers hat, a bunch of food and my finishers sweatshirt. Beth was following along next to me since the finish line was all blocked off and it felt like it took me forever to get through the line and finally get to a point that I could lay down on the grass and try not to die. Everything in my body hurt but the day was beautiful and sunny, the ocean was amazing and I was beyond happy.

After I sat around for a few minutes recuperating (and announcing on Facebook that I finished, natch) we went onto the beach to look at the sand sculpture and go into the finisher's tent. They were giving out free Yuengling and Irish stew and had a band playing, it was like a huge sweaty party. I was exhausted though so we headed back to my aunt and uncle's house so I could shower and sit down. My shoulders hurt so bad at that point that I literally thought I was going to pass out so my aunt gave me some Biofreeze to put on them and let me tell you what...I have no idea where it's been all my life but holy baloney, it was amazing! I have really sensitive skin so it burned pretty bad but it was so much better than how much shoulders were feeling.

This is what I painted on the back of my shirt on Friday, SO many people tapped me on the shoulder during the race to tell me how much they liked it! (The front of my shirt was just a big green shamrock)

On my way back from the race I told Beth that I was determined to eat 5000 calories or else the race wasn't worth it so we went to Red Robin after I showered and I drank my weight in rootbeer floats and ate a bunch of mozzarella sticks. I don't think I came anywhere close to 5000 calories (nor did I want to) but it was definitely a well deserved meal. I did get a hot fudge parfait from Dairy Queen later that night though and enjoyed with with a side of Biofreeze since the torn meniscus in my knee was acting upby then.

The next day I drove the whole 10 hours home while Beth slept, stopping at Sonic for a gallon of Cherry Limeade and Chik Fil A for chicken tortilla soup along the way. I was in a massive amount of pain and could barely walk but that was only because I wasn't properly trained. After my last half marathon I was absolutely fine the next day so I am looking forward to my next one being much more comfortable and MUCH faster.

My next one, you say? Oh yes, you read that correctly. My running mojo is back in full force and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot of races coming up this summer (I started training for my next 10 miler yesterday) and I can't wait. CAN'T WAIT!!! (Well, now that I can walk again :P)

In conclusion: I am equal parts awesome and insane so look out, world!

That is my "exhausted" face. Please remember that this is a judge free zone (in regards to you judging me, I can judge whomever I want). Also, my medal has a bottle opener on the bottom and a detacheable charm, how awesome is that??


Where have you been, woman??

First of all, who decided that the Sarah McLaghlan animal commercial wasn't sadistic enough so they created ANOTHER one for the ASPCA? I can't handle them. I can't.

So, some of you know from Facebook that I ran the Yuengling Half Marathon last Sunday and if you didn't...guess what?? I RAN THE YUENGLING HALF MARATHON LAST SUNDAY!!! Despite minimal training I was able to run 10 out of 13 miles and despite the fact that it was only marginally faster than I imagine a dead snail in the middle of the Arctic Circle in January can run I still did it so don't judge. I am working on a big write up about it but I ran the race Sunday, drove 10 hours home Monday and went right into the awfulness known as the "End of the Quarter" at work complete with someone riding with me so I am exhausted. It's coming, I swear, I just have to work on it in pieces.

Some notable things in the meantime:

-I could really live without Trixie head butting me as I type and covering my hand in cat snot. Really.

-The day before I left Archie decided to chew on the duct tape on the inside of her cage (that I put down to protect the wood) and eat it. I was convinced I was coming home to a dead bun but judging by the amount of poo in her pan I think she is metabolizing just fine.

-Speaking of which people often ask me if she is litter trained and the answer is yes, completely. She hasn't gone outside of her pan since she was tiny which is why she is allowed free reign of the living room.

-People also ask me if she is big because her pictures look big and she really isn't, she's only about 3lb (the same size as a kitten).

-I was at a hospital today and someone brought in a box of seven one-week old kittens and I died right on the spot. The mewing! Be still my heart!

-Trixie is doing well other than spending the night before we left for VA dry heaving at the foot of my bed for the entire 5 hour stretch that I had to sleep all because Beth was in my living room and she refused to go eat while Beth was within 10 feet of her dish so she chose to voice her displeasure in the only way she knew how. I hated her that night.

-Since the race I feel like every bone in my body was broken and then super glued back together but after 4 days I am finally starting to walk normally again. My feet, however, are continuing to swell so I wore sneakers to work twice this week. I'm a class act. However my hospital on Tuesday was pretty impressed that I was able to match my pants to my shoes so I consider that a solid win.

-I am thinking about going on the Paleo diet if for no other reason than I like the name as it goes along with what I first went to college for (and my favorite song):

-I am exhausted. Did I mention that? EXHAUSTED. So exhausted that I ran out of hairspray 3 days ago and haven't had the energy to go to Ulta to get more yet. So exhausted that I've worn liquid eyeliner alone all week in hopes that it looks put together enough that no one notices I'm a hot mess (it doesn't). So exhausted that I haven't even taken my running clothes out of my suitcase let alone put them on let alone work out. So exhausted that I missed the end of Tabatha's Salon Takeover Tuesday night because I fell asleep with the tv on and my phone on my face. So exhausted that I fell asleep on the floor last night when I was playing with the bun so she consumed 25% of my copy of Weird New York. Tomorrow night I plan on sleeping forever. Legit. Or until 7:30am Saturday morning when I need to get up and go running. Lord have mercy.

It is now officially 8pm which equals night which equals bedtime. I wish I could stay awake to watch the finale of Project Runway All Stars but I'm torn about who I want to win anyway so I'll watch it in reruns. I'm also missing the Syracuse game but the truth is, I'm not sure why anyone watches sport when you can just wait until the end to see what the score is.

Anyway, until I return with a race report I leave you with a bunny photobomb for your viewing pleasure:


Everything you ever wanted to know about breathing (and my cat's manipulative barfing)

This morning I got up, put my clothes on and went running. It's the first day I've done that in a long time where I didn't lay in bed for an hour reading or immediately start working or grab my phone to see who said what on Facebook and who is engaged now and whether or not I like their ring (I'm picky. So sue me. Take a minerology class sometime and see if you aren't). Granted it was spurred by my cat Trixie who, in protest to the fact that she finished her food 8 hours beforehand and I had none left to give her, woke me up at 1am dry heaving at the foot of my bed to prove that she was suffering and neglected. Please don't think for a second that cats don't have the ability to plan and manipulate because THEY DO. As soon as I shut her outside of my bedroom she stopped but I still felt guilty so right after I woke up I went running and picked up food on my way home. Which, of course, she proceeded to inhale and then hork all over my living room rug. Really, these moments are the fabric of my life.

Anyway, my run was good although not nearly as glorious as yesterday's run in 60 degree weather. Yes, 60. In upstate NY. In March. Amazing. But it was still a good run and I am glad that I went. I was looking forward to tomorrow's to do some speed work but when I checked into my hotel I was told that the fitness room was closed for renovations. Cue the "womp womp". Then when I got to my room the tv would turn on but not change stations so it is stuck on the Oprah channel which was all about reinacting Whitney Houston's death scene. I have angered some gods somewhere for sure. So instead of running tonight (like I wanted) I ate the creme filling out of the complimentary Oreos that were left for me (because the calories are in the cookie and not the creme, everyone knows that) and whined to everyone with my BBM pin who would listen. Because that's how I roll.

During my run today though I was thinking about breathing and how important it is to being a good runner. If you don't breathe properly you aren't getting enough oxygen in which negatively impacts your endurance. Hemoglobin is a component of a red blood cell that carries oxygen. If you aren't bringing in much oxygen in the poor little hemoglobin can't carry the super awesome oxygen around through your body to help with the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is how your body makes energy. More simply, the more oxygen your body has the more energy it can produce. This is why some runners (who are cheaters) will take a drug called Erythropoetin (or EPO). EPO is a hormone that produces red blood cells.The more red blood cells you have, the more hemoglobin there is and the more oxygen your body can pick up so the more energy it can make which can make you run farther and longer and faster.


I'm sorry, sometimes I can't stop the science nerd freight train from rolling through and next thing you know BAM! I've lost my crowd.

So, yes, breathing is good. Without breathing properly your body simply can't make enough energy to sustain itself through a long run. A lot of times people who are new to running will quit early on because they say they just don't have enough energy to go any farther or they get short of breath. The truth is that yes, some of it is building your base mileage but a lot of it is how you breath. Most people breathe with just the upper part of their lungs. Every few breaths your body will instinctively take a deep breath which will fill both lobes all the way down to your alveoli, the little guys around your lungs that bring the oxygen to your blood (and then to your hemoglobin and yadda yadda...ya got me?). Things are different when you excercise though because if you breathe at a shallow rate your body is getting oxygen to the blood but not as quickly as if you took deep breaths to get to your alveoli every time. Therefore you are using up your energy much faster than your body can make it so you tire faster.

How do you fix this? First work on your breathing when you aren't running. In my formidable years I was somewhat of a music nerd. By somewhat I mean that I could sing more songs in Latin and Italian than I could in English and knew every word to the entire score of every major Broadway show. I know, you're thinking about how amazing my 16 year old self had to be and I'll tell're right. Anyway, one thing that my voice instructor used to do during my lessons would be to stand behind me, lock her arms around my chest and suppress my diapragm and make me sing an entire song. Yes, it sucks every bit as much as you think it did. But what it did was teach me how to breath from beneath my diaphragm which is key and I have never had an issue with breathing since I became a runner because it's something I was already used to.

To do it without Attilla the Hun assualting you just try taking a deep breath and paying attention to where the air goes. You can even try holding onto your diaphragm to push the air down (it's in the middle of your chest). When you inhale you will see that it doesn't feel like the air is in your chest, it almost feels like it's expanding your stomach. It's a weird feeling and will make you light headed at first when you aren't used to it so practice a bit before you try it on a run. Also, this is a bit of an exaggerated practice, you won't be spending your time running taking super deep breaths. It's just to give you and idea of where you should focus your breathing.

When you're on your run try concentrating on how your breathing feels. If you are panting you are going too fast because your body isn't getting enough oxygen. If you can feel the air expanding your torso then that's good. Focus on breathing slow and steady. You can try the 2/2 rule of breathing of inhaling for two steps and exhaling for 2 steps but that is way too much thought for me. Also make sure that your posture is good. Relax every part of your body and keep your shoulders down which will help your chest rise and fall more efficiently.

Also, here is another point for me to tell you to stop running with music. By running with music your body will naturally match the beat and pace of the music which will just screw you up overall. Just say no to music! (say the former music nerd)

And for the record I never went to band camp because it didn't exist for us. Although I'm not sure I would want to after watching American Pie...


How do they KNOW me so well??

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Thank you, Pintrest for helping describe me so well. I fear (and anticipate) that this is only installment #1.

Why I run naked (and you should too).

I know why you opened this post up, ya pre-vert. You think I am really going to talk about running naked. Well, kids, you are wrong and I'm sorry to be misleading (except I'm not..not at all).

I refer to "running naked" as running without any sort of gadgets or gizmos or technology on you. Just you and your feet and the open road. No ipod, no iphone, no Garmin, no heart rate monitor, nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Generally speaking I am a gadget lover especially if they are Apple related. This week I increased my collection to add another iphone as I am finally burying my work Blackberry. That brings my count to 2 iphones, 3 ipods, a Macbook pro, a Dell laptop, a 42 inch LED tv, a Wii, a BluRay player and who knows what else. I'm also planning on getting an iPad at the end of the month. Seriously, I have a need for anything that has pixels and an on/off button, it's like an abnormal compulsion.

However I think that running with gadgets, in particular an ipod or iphone, can negatively impact your running. I know that there are people trying to track their heart rate and calories burned for optimal performance and I get that. But for the average person I just don't think they are necessary. The most that I usually run with is a watch and that's because I usually track how long it takes me to run one mile and then judge how far I've run by checking the time or I run 45 minutes out, turn around and run 45 minutes back.

I can see why you would want to track your mileage accurately and I guess I can see why you'd want to know your calories burned (although in general one mile run is 100 calories burned, give or take). I just think that people can get too caught up in focusing on what their wrist says than how they feel and how their run was but that's just my opinion as I've never used one.

What I really hate is seeing people run with earbuds in particularly during a race or a group run. Here are some of the reasons I hate it:

1) During a race you are focusing more on your music than the people around you. The other runners trying to tell you they are passing you, the cars on the road that are trying to pick their way around the runners, the people trying to hand you water, the awesome spectators who came out to cheer you on that you can't even HEAR. I love when I see races have refused to allow any earphones on the course. LOVE IT. Enjoy your race, appreciate the people who are there to cheer you on and help you out and pay attention to your surroundings!

2) I think that if you are using music to get you through a run you are doing it wrong. If you hate running that much, find something else to do. The exception to this is when you are just getting started or you are running on a treadmill. I know that when you aren't used to it those miles can be hard and I can't say I've ever done a run on treadmill without my ipod because I would be miserable. I have actually been using my iphone a lot recently because of the couch to 5k app and because I am still using it to block out my inner voice that keeps wanting me to quit. As soon as I get a good base though I know I will stop because I hate using it as a crutch.

3) If you are listening to music you aren't listening to your body. How do you feel? How is your body? How is the run going? Can you do more than you think you can? If you run until your playlist is up how do you know you could run longer?

4) The music you listen to changes the pace that you run. I actually tracked my splits for a few days (splits are the time it takes you to run each mile in a multi-mile run and mine are almost always dead on, I run like a metronome) with and without my ipod. I noticed that my time would actually slow down during slower songs and go way too fast during faster ones. Some songs that I thought were pumping me up actually had a pretty slow beat and would kill my time. Without it I was my normal self and was able to keep a consistent 7:30min/mile pace without anything affecting it (that was my pace at the time I was tracking my splits).

Of course, this is all my opinion and feel free to completely ignore it. I know a lot of people wouldn't even dream about not running with music but if nothing else please just give a race a try without it. Enjoy your run, appreciate your ability to do it and stop drowning everything else out with your music. It will be worth it, I promise :)

My mom and I after my first half marathon in Lake Placid, NY that I ran WITHOUT music! (And excuse the fact that I look wretched, at this point I couldn't figure out why my foot hurt so darn bad thanks to a stress fracture I found out about almost 2 weeks later).


Failure...and perspective.

Today was the Tipp Hill run in Syracuse which is a decent sized run (3000 people this year) that happens the weekend before St. Patrick's day around the Tipperary Hill neighborhood. It is historically an Irish community and is the only place in the United States that has a stop light with the red light on the bottom instead of the top (you can read why here.) It's a 4 mile race and highly known in Syracuse as being the first race in the running season because it means winter is almost over!

I was nervous for this race because I am not sure I could run 4 miles but was excited to try anyway. It's a fun race and I loved it when I ran it two years ago. I woke up early, got dressed up in my finest Irish running wear and set out to run. It was freezing today but I did a good job of ignoring it while waiting for the race to start (and by "ignoring" it I mean "complain as much as I could to everyone around me as often as possible"). My running friends are much faster than me right now and against my judgement I let them drag me to the front in a MUCH faster pace than I could handle at this point which had me convinced that I was going to get trampled in the first mile. The good news is that I was pretty sure I would look just as cute flat as I did 4D.

Finally the race started and I took off running, being passed by MANY people (several wearing kilts). Then, less than a mile in disaster started to happen. I knew that my pants were too big but they were the warmest I had so I took a chance. I took a chance....and failed. An EPIC fail. Despite the fact that the drawstring was tied as tight as it would possibly go my pants decided to fall down repeatedly until the last time when they almost dropped to my knees (Thank goodness I caught them! Also, thank goodness that my underpants that stated "Will charm the pants off you" on the bum were not available for viewing as the most ironic misfortune of all time). I was really upset and frustrated about it but decided that there was NO way I could make it 4 miles  since I barely had made it through a half. I would have had to hold my pants up the entire time which would have been disastrous for my shoulder (I injured it running a couple years ago and has been really unhappy lately and it would have really thrown my stride off).

Needless to say I was (and am) really upset. I don't give up on anything ever. Failure isn't a feeling like I like or even know how to handle because I usually just regroup and go right into Plan B for which there was none this time. After I walked back to the start/finish line I stood in the freezing cold in my running gear (aka not warm enough for just standing still) to wait for my friends to finish. I stuck around for a while but instead of going to Colemans, the Irish bar in Tipp Hill, I just decided to go home. I called my mom as soon as I got to the car and started crying like a fool because I was so upset with myself and the amount of failures that have seemed to be snowballing since Christmas.

Thankfully my mom was able to put some good perspective on things for me. I am not perfect but I often push myself to be and for some reason have since birth. I have nothing to prove in life to anyone but myself and what happened today wasn't my fault even though I was blaming myself. I am doing really well with getting myself back on track health-wise and running wise and even though I want to be right back to where I was a year ago I need to be easier on myself. Right now I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was a few months ago and that is an achievement even though I don't see it in comparison to where I WANT to be. Other areas in my life that I have spent the last few weeks pushing myself over, work and trying to force my heart to heal faster and life decisions I am trying to force myself to make now now now, are things that I need to step back on and let them sort themselves out otherwise I am going to make the wrong decisions out of pressure and desperation.

In other words failure is all about perspective and mine has been severely warped the last couple of months. I'd love to beat myself up about today but I really can't because my willingness to get out there to begin with is a huge improvement. I'm trying to push too hard on things that I'm not ready for which is only going to push myself into unhappiness. Therefore I am going to take the same approach to all these things as I have to my scale: putting all that pressure and self imposed decisions into an imaginary closet and waiting until I'm ready to take them out. I am always a girl with a plan and my unplan IS my plan which is kind of scary but I'm going to go for it. I'm pretty confident that I will come out better for it in the end....I think...maybe?

I get a lot of people who tell me they could never do what I did when they found out how much weight I lost or how I became a runner or how I took a massive leap out of my comfort zone to get into the job I have now. The thing I always say is to take it one step at a time, make small changes and over time they will add up into something bigger. I say that there is no reason to push yourself, no reason to compare yourself to anyone else and no reason to try to adhere to what the masses are doing. There is nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it and as long as you are exceeding your own expectations then what you are doing it working. Life isn't on a timeline so be easy on yourself because every little bit counts.

It's advice that I am finally going to try taking myself.

Also, I might need to find a beach to sit on in the next month or two to just sit on and do nothing but read and play games on my phone and not think about anything but sand getting in my awesome JCrew beach bag.

And I might need to give up facebook for a while to avoid the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality that is easy to fall into at my age when everyone I know is getting married and having cute little babies. Facebook is such a blessing and a damn curse, I swear.


Bunday birthday!

In case you were wondering (and I know you are) no, my migraine isn't gone yet. It was gone until about noon today and then came back. The good news is that it isn't as strong as yesterday so I'm focusing on that. Maybe tomorrow it will be down to 50% strength because today it was at 75%. I knew it would be there today though because I didn't sleep well last night at all and anything that effects my sleep throws me off (I usually sleep like the dead).

Anyway, today is Archie's one year birthday! It's happy and sad day because it reminds me of where I was a year ago and who gave her to me but I'm focusing on it being a happy day. And it is! She is such a joy. If you had told me a year ago that I would be so attached to a little 3lb rabbit I would have told you you were insane but here we are and she is pretty awesome. I get that people think that I'm crazy that I love my pets so much but I think it's part of my charm, right? RIGHT?! Really it's just because I'm the opposite of the Grinch, my heart is far too big for my body and it's always spilled over into my pets, even when I was small. Don't judge...and it's an awesome banner.

This was the result of trying to do something besides laying on the couch willing myself to die. And because it's SO CUTE!!!
Coincidentally her new hutch finally arrived today too so it was a big day in her life. I took a few hours off from work because I couldn't look at my computer anymore without vomiting and I couldn't lay down anymore without vomiting so I put her hutch together. It's pretty fancy and I like it a lot. The only issue is she thinks that it is meant for consumption and I am not really excited about that. The pieces should have come presoaked in bitter apple.

After I finally got it put together (you can see her ghetto cage in the corner, I am SO glad it's gone) I put the mat under it to let her explore. I haven't shut her in it yet but she's been in and out of it all day. I was worried she wasn't going to go up and down the ramp but after coaxing her down with yogurt drops once she doesn't seem to mind it. She hasn't been in the litter pan yet which is a bit concerning due to some issues we had when she was younger but I think she'll figure it out.

I will say this about that cute mat I put under it: the stinker already figured out that the paw prints are removable (to switch the colors around) and she has already ripped one apart. SO awesome. She's too smart for her own good and I'm not happy about it.

Overall I'm pretty please with the hutch though, it looks much better in my living room and is going to give her a lot more space to run around in and cause trouble when I'm gone.

Oh! I also offered her a piece of banana for the first time ever. I think that they are beyond disgusting and not meant for human consumption but I figured she deserved a treat for her birthday. However, because she is MY rabbit she refused to eat it! I gave her an apple after I threw the banana away and she housed it, I've definitely trained her well :)

Link to a video of Archie's first banana!

So happy birthday, Archie! I was able to keep you alive for a whole year! You're the best little bun I could ask for, even when you're being super naughty!

And with that I am going to bed in hopes that I will sleep really well and when I wake up tomorrow my head will be 100% better. If not....I don't know, I guess I'll cross that bridge if and when I get to it. But in all honesty I am really exhausted from pretending I'm functional when I'm not. And I really want to start running again :'(


Does this hole in my forehead make me look hot?

Day 4 of my migraine has been less that enjoyable. I woke up feeling better but stayed in bed for a while just in case it was just pretending it was gone. When I thought I was safe I got up and started unpacking my suitcase from Friday and within a half hour felt like I was going to die again. After laying on the couch for a few hours trying to figure out the quickest and most efficient way to get to my exacto knife without bending over to search for it so that I could use it to cut a hole in my face to release the pressure I remembered that I needed to go to the pharmacy to refill a prescription TODAY. Crap. I made it to Rite Aid without dying because I shouldn't be driving, then made it through Target without dying and then made it through Wegmans without killing anyone ( store...*shudder*...). I thought that maybe being outside in the fresh air would help me feel better so I went to TJMAxx and was ok until I looked at a striped shirt and almost threw up (no exaggeration). I came home and have been laying on the couch watching random stuff on tv that's killing my brain cells ever since (MTV...yeah...). If this isn't gone by tomorrow I'm going to my doctor because I can't handle it anymore. I've dealt with migraines off and on for years but this one is worse than I've had in a long time, maybe since college. I wish there was something I could do to make it go away faster but no medications come anywhere near touching them so I usually just have to deal with them until they magically go away. Sadly, the magic ain't happening here.

The point of all of this was just to whine. Thanks for reading.

Ok, really the other point is that I haven't been able to run for days because of my head being this way and there is no way I am ready for the 4 mile race I have on Saturday let alone the half marathon I have the week after that I am determined to get through if someone needs to drag me in a red wagon. Oh, you didn't know I have a half marathon in 2 weeks? Well let me tell you about it...I'm a stubborn ass. It's true, I can't sugar coat it. And last year I signed up for the Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach but deferred my registration to this year due to my heart issues. This year I refused to defer it and even though there is NO WAY I can run anywhere close to half of it let alone the entire thing but I am going to do it anyway to prove to myself that I can. I am scared. Trust me when I say that. I have a lot of anxiety about it and have had some nightmares about it but I am doing it. You hear that, wussy self?? YOU'RE DOING IT.

If I die will they still give me a medal? Really, I just want the medal. Medals are awesome and then I can lie to everyone and pretend it didn't take me 4 hours to finish it, right? Because the only person who will know will be my best friend who is going will me to bring my broken body home for burial. She's a good friend. But Omg, I am nuts. Pray for me.


Today I am breaking up with my scale...for a month.

First, some shout outs going to:

-My best friend since high school who recently got engaged! I'm over the moon for her, she found the perfect guy for her and the best part is I used to babysit him back in the day so I saw him in his underwear first! Muahahahaha!

-My makeup discoveries for the last few weeks: Benefit They're Real! Mascara, Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Power (in the shade "Super translucent white red haired girl", aka fair which is KICKING my normal Bare Minerals' hiney), Nars lipgloss in Chihuahua and Essie nailpolish in "A Crewed Interest'. I'm not sure which I love the most, honestly. Probably the lipgloss, it's ridiculously expensive but actually beats my favorite lipgloss of all time, a shade by Philisophy that they don't even make anymore. (womp womp). Yes, I have a makeup obsession and no, I am not interested in apologizing for it.

-Chick Fil A. Omg, Chick Fil A! They have them in Northern Virginia, ya know. Where I was staying Tuesday and Wednesday. And therefore where I ate Tuesday and Wednesday and did not feel bad about it. Oh, and then I found out there is one in a mall in New Jersey so I went there last night before I drove home. I didn't get back until 11pm because of it but it was SO worth it. Thank God we don't have them in NY, that's all I'm gonna say.

Anti shout-outs to:

- My head for giving me a solid migraine for the last 3 days. It started on Thursday at 6am when I got to Dulles airport to fly home from DC and hasn't quit since. In it's wake it has given me the inability to have any patience whatsoever for two full days of work because all I wanted to do was lay in a dark room and die or at the very least try to dig a hole through my forehead in the hopes of relieving the pressure, neither of which I could do in public. It also ruined my ability to go on a hiking/snowshoeing trip to Vermont with friends today that I have been counting the days until for MONTHS because I can't drive. I hate migraines. And I hate that crying makes them worse. And I'm crying because I didn't want to miss this trip. And because I am a crier.

-A BIG thumbs down to Amazon who hasn't shipped the bun's new mansion yet. Usually there are on top of shipments but it's been a WEEK. And she needs her new house!

-The bun for realizing within 30 seconds of being released from her cage today that I am not at 100% capacity and therefore using it to her advantage to play in Trixie's litter box for at least 10 minutes before I realized I had left the closet door open. Although it was pretty genius of her so I guess she gets props for that. However she is now back in her house frantically taking an extendo-bath because hello! Kitty boxes are stinky. Goober.

Now she is in the corner of her cage with her little head on her paws because she knows she was bad. That makes me even more sad which means she will receive a yogurt drop as soon as I am done with this and yes, I realize that that is rewarding her for bad behavior but she's a BUNNY and YOU try punishing her for more than 10 seconds. Impossible.

Also I can't leave this out, last night she received a fruit cup that I drove 3.5hours home from New Jersey with and she KILLED it the same way I would kill a Sprinkles cupcake. Kinda made me proud.


I'm not Catholic but I am giving something up for Lent anyway. And by Lent I mean March. Because I'm not Catholic so it doesn't need to be accurate, right?

So what am I giving up for a month? My scale. And my tape measure. For close to 3 years I have weighed myself every single day that I am home. It helped a LOT with my weight loss because it really helped keep me in check because even if I knew that there was no way that I could gain 3lb in a day, if I saw that it would keep me in line for the day. I know that "they" say that you shouldn't weigh yourself daily but "they" also say that the odds of losing weight on your own are against you, that it's nearly impossible to lose 120lb in a year without starving yourself, that chances of gaining back all the weight you lost within the first 2 years are high, that running will permanently injure you. But I like to prove "them" wrong all the time.

Recently though I have found myself really frustrated that the scale isn't moving much. I am pretty recently back on the wagon so I'm nowhere near perfect and my body isn't going to respond the same way this time around. I need to get my metabolism back in order first and I know that logically but mentally it's hard. I am feeling better and my running is getting there (even though I am taking it really slow which is frustrating in its own right) and I need to focus on those things, not what the numbers on a scale say. Numbers are just that: they're numbers. I've never worried about my age so why am I beating myself up over what my scale says? Why does the fact that the needle stays on the same number every morning have the ability to put a dark cloud over my day that hasn't even started? These are illogical things that aren't helping me.

I am aware of the fact that once I am back to running 30-40 miles a week again my weight will have nowhere to go but down. I know that as I get myself more used to eating 6-7 times a day again my metabolism will flourish in the way it has in the past. I know that the more I get used to eating the things that help my body perform the way I ask it to the less I will crave the things that do nothing to help it. What I need to do is stop beating myself up over a number and focus on how I feel.

For the next month I am not weighing myself or taking any measurements of myself. I'm instead going to focus on the two races I have this month and eating to get my body ready for them. And I'm going to actively stop being so hard on myself. It's really easy to beat myself up over everything that I see as a negative but I'm getting rid of that for the month too.

In summary:
no scale
no tape measure
no self loathing
for all of March....and maybe even longer.

And maybe I'll stay out of Sephora, too.