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


Frozen yogurt is my favorite! Tied with running, of course.

I love Ikea. Love with a capitol L O V E. Sadly, the closest one in any direction of where I live is 4 hours. I have no idea why Ikea and Chick Fil A hate upstate NY so much but they should stop and come closer to me.

The good news is that there is an Ikea about an hour from the very edge of my downstate territory so sometimes I suck it up to drive through NJ just to wander around the amazingness that is cheap Swedish design. Sadly, they no longer make the nightstand that matches the one I have (nor do they have one tall enough for my bed since it appears that the Swedes prefer to sleep with their mattresses directly on the floor whereas I am a princess and require my bed as close to the ceiling as possible) which was the whole reaosn for my visit so I left empty handed and confused about what to do with the left side of my bed. Although I didn't really leave empty handed because I was able to make the one hour drive worth it with one of my favorite things on the planet...

Frozen yogurt! One dollar. One hundred calories. One happy Mary.

Soft serve frozen yogurt also hates upstate NY. Maybe it's time to move?

To add to my frozen yogurt happiness I'm happy to report that I hit the goal weight I had set for myself for the end of May today! That means 8lb lost in May and 25lb lost since February. Go me! I'm not willing to tell you what the exact numbers are right now but maybe someday :) When I lost weight the first time I rarely talked about it and never talked about numbers and that's the way I am now. I always read that you need to create a support system and confide in people to be successful but that's not how I work in life and it's not how I work with weightloss. But at the end of it all I will probably share. I am not sure what the goal I will set for myself for June but hopefully it will be the same or better than May's because I don't have a week's worth of eating Chick Fil A and sitting on my bum to counteract.

This morning I did a three or four mile run (I'm not sure because part of the lake was blocked off so they could work on the trail so I had to turn around and back track). I did wear my Ravennas today and they felt a lot better than the Mizunos (do you like my lack of continuity where I call one pair by the shoe name and one by the brand name?) although I did get a blister. I'm not counting it though because it didn't hurt which means it didn't exist. My logic = awesome. My shoe saga continues though since I'm not sure what to do just yet. Maybe run in my hiking boots? Because THOSE never give me blisters.

Oh! But guess what! About 2 miles in I totally hit my sweet spot! The spot where my brain turns off, my stride lengthens and I just run. It's what I've been waiting for and I'm not sure when it will be back but for a mile or so it was there so I know that it's on the horizon! Hooray!

I'm taking tomorrow off from running to let my feet heel a little bit and because my knee hurt a lot today. I think it was because it was a lot cooler today, it's been in the 80's at 7:30am and today it was 65 and glorious. I run on a torn meniscus in my left knee that I opted not to have surgery on so sometimes the arthritis in it acts up and I need to give it a day or two to stop aching.

Saturday though, I'm back at it. Anything more than one rest day now and I get antsy. And that, my friends, means the magic is coming back :)


What do goats have to do with running? Girl gone crazy.

Did you know that goats have horizontal pupils to increase their peripheral vision? So do deer, horses and cows but they aren't as noticeable because their irises are dark vs goats who have lighter caramel colored irises. The fact that goats have such visible horizontal pupils freaks me out to no end however the babies are tiny and cute and I used to love feeding them bottles in tech school (maybe because milk replacer smells exactly like vanilla cake mix).

I enjoy random facts and even more so I love forcing them upon other people. I read a lot of books full of random information in the off chance that I could one day run out of things to say and be forced to pull from my reservoir of infinite knowledge to keep a conversation alive. You. Are. Welcome.

Another random fact: did you know that when you are named Mary people constantly ask you about your sheep or how your garden grows as if it is terribly clever? It's not. Also, I don't recommend calling me Mare. It won't end well for you.

A third random fact: I can NOT spell recommend without spellcheck. Or restaurant. Or conscientiously, despite all the spelling awards I won in elementary school. Some words are just elusive little devils.

massive tangents aside, the goats I saw at the zoo last weekend got me thinking about the Mountain Goat race which got me thinking about the Boilermaker in a few weeks which got me thinking that I am petrified of having the same outcome as the MG. I hope not though, that would be really freakin embarrassing with the amount of people I know there. My MOM goes to this race and she has never nor will ever attend any major events of mine so it's a big deal. I'm trying to do my training though, two weeks in and I'm already doing better than I was all of MG training. Note to self: you can not take a year off from running, become a chubby muffin and then think that one long run a week with prep you for one of the hardest races in the area.

I've put a few miles on my shoes now (almost 20 to be exact) and I'm not gonna lie, we aren't really friends. I'm getting blisters under my calluses every day and they HURT. It's like a deep pain that won't go away even when I pop them. Yes, I pop my blisters. No, I do not believe that I will die from it. 75% of the time they feel better after and I've had a layer of blister under a layer of blister under a callus before and let me tell you what...I'd rather have my wisdom teeth removed again then have that happen a second time. And my wisdom tooth removal wasn't a good one.

I'm still trying to give them time to see if I settle into them since 20 miles isn't really that much. I think I might run in my Ravennas tomorrow and see how that goes. I'm at a total loss here about what to do because I really don't think I need that much stability but it's obvious I need more than I thought. And yes, to my cousin Todd I am aware of the fact that you're yelling at me through the computer right now to start running barefoot...not happening, buddy.

Mileage so far this week:
Sunday: 5 miles
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: 2 miles

My week isn't going too great, with my feet and with life. I'm pretty sure it's because I tried to give the bun a frozen grape last night and she was NOT happy about it. I was equal parts sad for her and laughing hysterically which is really cruel but if you had been here you'd have laughed too. I gave her an entire strawberry afterwards but I think the karma gods are after me now. I may have to buy her some parsley tomorrow or something to right this cosmic wrong.


Closets need love too.

No, really, who else is crying over Deadliest Catch right now?

Seriously, no one? You're all heartless.

I say that with love.

It's too much for Archie to bear.

I started painting my bedroom yesterday. It made sense since I spent all of last year's Memorial Day painting my kitchen and it was the last time I painted anything. My kitchen has a sloped ceiling that is 10-12 feet on one side and it took me 2 coats of primer and 4 coats of paint to cover the previous color and I'm still emotionally scarred. This year I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself (seeing as it IS a holiday and normal people are hanging out at lakes eating hot dogs) and decided that if I could get the trim done this weekend I would be happy.

That being said I had this epiphany on my way home from the paint store yesterday (my apologies to them that I showed up right after my 5 mile run in air so humid it felt and looked like I was running in bath water...but didn't smell like it, I'm sure) that I should paint my closet too. I moved into my apartment 6 years ago and I painted the whole thing over the course of a month before I moved in but I never did the closet since I was in a time crunch. It had a quick paint job on it from my landlords but nothing that looked great and it really needed a refreshing.

Yesterday I managed to get one window painted (I wanted it done asap so that I could get my AC in), the closet doors painted, the inside of the closet painted, my bedroom door painted and the trim along the closet wall. I also went through my closet and cleared out some clothes and shoes that I don't use so it all took a lot longer than I expected. I had plans to do more today but I found the Deadliest Catch marathon and I need to leave for work in a few hours so I figured I could do it next weekend. After last year's kitchen fiasco I figured what's the rush?

I tried to take pictures but on my iphone the colors look exactly the same. Trust me though that the new shiny white is SO much better than the old dingy 6 year old off white.

I finally chose a wall color too and it's Stonington Grey by Benjamin Moore. It's a permanent color but I found it in the Pottery Barn Winter 2010 color selection swatches (since I never throw them away). Every room but my living room is now a Pottery Barn color which makes sense because if I could set up camp in the middle of that store and never leave I would be the happiest girl ever.

Here's what it looks like in a few bedroom pictures I found online:



I seriously can't wait until it's done, I am BEYOND excited! The light pink in the first room is making me rethink the hot pink sheets I have though...typical.

Training schedule: Week One

Can I just tell you how high my level of excitement was when I came home, crashed on the couch in a sweaty puddle of my former self and turned on the tv to discover a Deadliest Catch marathon? Seriously, my little heart went pitter pat and all thoughts of accomplishing anything today went right out the window. Please tell me I'm not the only one that tears up when they show flashbacks of Phil Harris? And owns almost every season on DVD? I am? Oh. Awkward...

Have I ever mentioned that my running clothes never match? Ever? And if they do it was a total coincidence, like how yesterday I noticed that my hot pink shorts matched my new shoes which got me pretty excited until I realized that my bright green shirt with a big running shamrock on it threw the whole thing off and I oddly felt better about it. I will never be that girl who's running clothes match perfectly which is odd given how I dress the rest of the time but I take comfort in that chaos. It's almost like proof that my brain is capable of acting like a normal person's on occasion.

It's ok you're jealous. It happens.
And you can't really tell but my shoes are covered in a lovely layer of dust now, breaking them in is going well and I really like them. I keep getting blisters though so maybe I'm not as neutral of a runner as I thought?

I think I have been doing pretty well with my goal to get myself back into being a running lover and to get ready for the Boilermaker. Last week's mileage was:
Sunday: 2 miles
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 2 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday & Friday: Nada. I used them as rest days/I'magirlanditsucks days
Saturday: Nada. I thought I was going hiking with my friend but it didn't happen

The good news is I did a pretty solid 5 mile run yesterday which made me feel on cloud nine. Today I mentally wanted to do 5 again, physically wanted to do 2 (I started painting my bedroom yesterday so I was stiff today and am brewing a migraine) so I compromised at 3 and am happy with that especially since a storm was coming and the humidity was awful, I hate sweating that much. Grosses me out.

The training plan I'm loosely following calls for my long run to happen on Saturdays but I like them on Sundays instead because it's what I'm used to. Last week I was supposed to do two three milers and one 5 miler and this week is the same. Like all other training plans I'm supposed to cross train on the off days but that just means more running to me. I already have today's three miles done so I technically just need one more this week, probably on Wednesday.

The awesome news is the two and three mile days are getting easier. It's all a mental game now and I know that because I end every run feeling like I could have gone longer. I'm taking it slow though so I don't push too hard too fast and end up where I was mentally at the end of the Mountain Goat. The only person I'm racing is myself and so far I'm doing pretty well.


Jury still out on my new shoes.

I had a lot of really witty and awesome things I wanted to start this post with when I composed it in my head during my run this morning but then I started thinking about how the sooner I get this written the sooner I can get in the shower and then the sooner I can go eat a ton of grapes and all was lost.

Speaking of grapes the bun was in rare form last night running and jumping and doing happy bunny flips. This is probably because I was sitting on the floor with her (which she loves) combined with the fact that I was sitting on the floor while eating grapes which she loves even more than I do (although only slightly). While I was sitting there she ran up, grabbed a grape out of my hand and then ran off to hide and eat her stolen goods in her Crockpot box fort (no, the irony of her favorite spot does not escape me).

Caught in the act!

Running has been going well this week, I did 2 miles on Sunday, 3 Monday, 2 yesterday and 2 today. I was supposed to do three today but I really just wanted to come home. Yesterday was a long one and I ended up talking for 6 hours straight (which you would think I'd love but it wears me out) so I was overtired and didn't sleep great last night. The good news is my runs are getting better which is awesome! I will probably try to run 3 miles tomorrow and then take Friday off and run 5 on Saturday. Also I've woken up on my own at 5:30 the last two days to go running which is good, it's my normal time to get up and I've been in the rut of sleeping until 7am for months (maybe even a year). It might just be the excitement of my new shoes though ;)

The jury is still out on my new shoes but I only have 4 miles on them which is nothing. I am having my normal hot spots on the sides of my feet in my normal blister areas that aren't blisters per say and I have had some weird tingling/numbness on my left heel when running in them. I think that's a combination of them not having as much cushioning in the heel (which is fine, I want to work away from such heavy shoe anyways) and that since I'm not running with my normal stride yet I seem to be doing more heel striking than normal. I do like how much lighter they are though and the toebox is so much more flexible. Who knows, maybe someday I will work my way towards REAL running shoes :)

I've had this weird thing since I was little that I like to wear my new shoes around the house for a few days and stare at them being clean and lovely because really, how long do sneakers stay that clean and smell that good? Not very especially with my goal to get them as muddy as possibly as quickly as possible. But breaking them in meant wearing them while I was laying on the couch watching various Youtube videos the other night and reading blogs. Totally normal, right?


Tell me I'm not the only one who loves the smell of new sneakers...

Remember when I said that I had a total life break down in Dick's Sporting goods a few weeks ago if I didn't get these new shoes as soon as possible?

Well I went to Fleet Feet today because it was across the street from a place I was working and these happened instead:

The Mizuno Inspire 8. Aren't they beautiful? They're so shiny in person (you can't tell in the picture but the blue and purple parts on the shoe are shiny!) and I MIGHT be in love at first step.

I know, I know, I'm such a fickle woman but there's a reason this happened.

I walked into Fleet Feet today in a dress (as I was working but on my lunch) with the intention of getting a new pair of Brooks Ravennas 3 only to find out they were no longer carrying them. You can imagine what happened next...

Shock! Horror! PANIC!!! TEARS! How could Fleet Feet do this to me? I trusted them and was loyal and this is how I was being repaid??!?

But Chris, the awesome lady who was assisting me, let me blather on about how heartbroken I was and she let me know that they were willing to order them for me. However then I told her that I had been thinking of trying new shoes anyway because I wasn't sure that the Ravennas were exactly what I need anymore and maybe this was a sign. I've been wearing them for over 2 years and I was a different runner then compared to what I am now. Plus I keep getting blisters on the end of my second toe after almost every run over 5 miles and blisters on the inside of my foot under my big toe.

Chris thought that my shoes were too small and that's what was causing my blisters but she measured me and my left foot was an 8 and the right was an 8.25 which meant that my running shoe size of 9 was accurate (I always go up have a size to allow for movement and swelling). She asked me if I was open to another pair of Sauconys (I hated my ProGrid Guide 2's) and I figured why not so she brought a pair out (I have no clue what the model was). I immediately didn't like them, they were more of a stability shoe and they were just too heavy and too much.

The next pair she had me try (did I mention that by "try" I mean run on the track in the store in my dress? Which is proof that I wasn't planning on changing shoes and also that I have no shame) were the beauties above, the Mizuno Inspire 8. Even just running a few feet in them they felt like the greatest shoes I've ever run it. There is a ton of flexibility in the toe and they're so light! They're completely different than what I'm used to running in but in a good way. They're the exact same heel to toe drop as my Ravennas but still feel like less shoe somehow (maybe it's the ounce less that they weight?). I'm not sure what it is but I am equally excited and scared to try them tomorrow because I'm hoping that they will be as awesome on the trail but worried that I just fell in love too fast and didn't put enough thought into them. The good news is that if they aren't Fleet Feet will take them back.

In other news I ran 3 miles this morning and it was awesome! I think my love of running might just be creeping back and not a moment too soon because my Boilermaker training started today. Pray for me ;)

Also, DiorSkin Forever Flawless Foundation is my new reason for getting up in the morning. Well, that and that it's strawberry season which is mine AND the bun's reason for getting up in the morning.

Also, if you want to read the specs on my new shoes you can check them out here.


Running playlist

I'm sorry I've been gone for so long! I spent last week in DC/Arlington/MD for work which meant absolutely no running (or doing anything else outside of working and hunting down every Madewell store I could). It wasn't my intention not to run at all but I was covering a territory that has been open for the last year so I had so much work to do (and so much TRAFFIC to weed through) that I was up at 6am every day working and didn't stop until 9 or so at night. In addition to that I ate at Chick Fil A every single day. Why? BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING!!! And we don't have them in NY so every time I am near one I have to go as often as possible which isn't conducive to running when your stomach isn't use to fried anything. My chicken spree did yield two results: a raging stomach ache as soon as I got home Friday night that didn't stop until last night and a 3lb weight gain (allegedly). Which isn't possible because it takes 3000 unused calories to make a pound of fat and there is NO way I ate 9000 extra calories but it was a good reality check (ETA: I weighed myself this morning and it was more like a .5lb weight gain. That I will believe).

I will say that if I did gain 3lb it would have been completely in cookies and cream milkshakes. So good. Too good. Oy.

ILU <3

So I think if you've read anything on my blog in the past you know how I feel about running with music in general and that is that I'm not a fan. However I do understand than when you're just getting started it really helps with motivation. Today I ran a route I haven't run in well over a year but that was my normal route when I first started exercising and when I was just switching from walking to running in little bits I would time myself by forcing myself to run up until certain parts of a song, then through a whole song and eventually I worked up to running by quarter mile increments which are clearly labeled at this trail.

I was running when I took this. I gots mad skillz, yo.

I stopped running here for quite a few reasons (too flat, too straight out and back, too humid because of being by one of the most polluted lakes in the world, the tom meniscus in my left knee that I ignore most days hates that much running on concrete, etc). However given the amount of crazy hot runner guys out without their shirts on today I may need to rethink it, even if just for one or two runs a week ;) And the reason I ran here today is because there was a race going on at my normal lake which angered me as it was not a race I wanted to run yet interfered with my running, thus forcing me to the swampy air geese filled pit of blazing sun inferno that is this lake.

The trail on the left by the benches and the lake is the walking trail and the one with the dashed lines is the running/biking/rollerblading trail. I usually run down the walking trail a mile or two and then run back on the running trail).

Today's run brought back a lot of memories but it really made me think about how I need to start weaning myself off running with music. Because I was on such a flat out and back trail I really noticed how much I would match my pace and my stride to the tempo of the song which I want to avoid.

I took this while running and listening to music and watching hot guys and NOT paying attention to my Front Foot strike or breathing. Oh well.
HOWEVER, after 16 paragraphs that is not what this post is about. A friend asked me to post what songs are on my running playlist so I felt like I needed to write the aforementioned bit in order to retain a small amount of my dignity (there isn't much so I hang out to it as hard as I can). Also, I get really excited when someone says that actually read this blog so I'll pretty most post about anything you ask me to (clothes posts coming soon for the same reason. Sorry, Uncle Jim). And let's be honest, what I am about to list isn't going to make anyone think very highly of me as a person. In fact this list might make most people weep in the same way that I weep every time I see ANOTHER damn post about "OMGIT'SSOGOODYOUHAVETOREAD50SHADESOFGREY!!!111!1!" on my FB feed. And I do mean weep.

But what I have in literary snobbery I make up for in my ridiculous taste in music. If you've met me then chances are good you're aware that I bow down to the queen of pop, Ms Britney Spears and will continue to do so until the end of time. No, you will never change my mind. Yes, if you go on a road trip with me then you will be forced to listen to her along with me singing along. You're welcome in advance.

I also like Nickelback. Those dudes just right the same song over and over which helps for some consistent running, so sue me.

Anyhoots, here is my list. I'm ok with you judging, I can take it. Just don't tell me about it ;)

My running playlist:
Living on the Edge, Aerosmith
Undo It, Carrie Underwood
Smooth Criminal, Alien Ant Farm
Boys (Coed Remix), Britney Spears
Til the World Ends (Femme Fatale remix with Nicki Minage and Kesha), Britney Spears
Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi
Remedy, Seether
Gasoline Remix, Pitbull and Lil John
Bad Girlfriend, Theory of a Deadman
Livin on a Prayer, Bon Jovi
Harder to Breathe, Maroon 5
Hey Baby (Drop it to the Floor), Pitbull
Crazy, Aerosmith
Yeah, Usher (I use this as a warm up, reminds me of college)
Hold It Against Me, Britney Spears
Cryin, Aerosmith (I was a big fan of Aerosmith back in the day, it stuck with me)
So Fine, Sean Paul
Stronger, Kelly Clarkson (MY JAM)
Break the Ice, Britney Spears
Feel It, Three 6 Mafia
Best of You, Foo Fighters
If I Had You, Adam Lambert
Get Busy remix, Sean Paul ft Fat Man Scoop
Paralyzer, Finger Eleven
Baby Boy, Beyonce and Sean Paul
Walk This Way, Aerosmith and Run DMC
Beat It, Fall Out Boy and John Mayer version (it's good, I swear)
Headsprung Remix, LL Cool J feat Justin Timberlake
Something in Your Mouth, Nickelback
Carry Out, Timbaland feat Justin Timberlake
Bottoms Up, Nickelback
Porn Start Dancing, My Darkest Days
I Know You Want Me, Pitbull
Shout at the Devil, Motley Crue
Burn It to the Ground, Nickelback
Living in a Dream, Finger Eleven
A Warriors Call, Volbeat (my current power song)
Fighter, Christina Aguilera (I finished my first 5k to this song)
Inside of You, Hoobastank
OMG, Usher
Never Again, Kelly Clarkson
Dirry, Christina Aguilera
Bad, The Cab
Pour Some Sugar on me, Def Leppard
Low Remix, Flo Ride ft Travis Barker
Poison, Bel Biv Devoe
Holding Out for a Hero, Bonnie Tyler
Make Me Wanna Die, The Pretty Reckless
Sweeter, Gavin DeGraw
Titanium, David Guetta ft Sia

And my current favorite jam which is on heavy roration in my life, not just running, I probably listen to it 5 times a day:

So yeah, that list was pretty embarrassing. I'm going to go run around outside in my underpants now because that's the only thing that will top it.



I eat too much fruit. And by too much I mean not enough, it's never enough. I've been averaging 2lb a grapes a day and you'd think reading that that they're probably spread out over the course of the day but no, I eat most of them at once. I've been gone for work all week and when I finally came home last night the first thing I did was go to Wegmans and there were NO green grapes! I almost had a temper tantrum right on the spot but I reigned it in and got strawberries instead. They weren't nearly as good but as it's almost strawberry season I'm hoping to switch to them soon of which I also average 2lb a day when they're in season. I'm going to crack and go to Wegman's shortly though, I just can't go two days without them.

And now you know about my crazy fruit addiction.

Oh, and FYI I ate grapes from Target three times this week. Twice they were ok but once they were AMAZING. Target really is a magical place.


I haven't run since the Mountain Goat. At first it was because I could barely move but then it was out of sheer laziness. I wanted to run every day but then...just didn't. And here's the awful truth of things:

I don't love running right now. And Sunday proved it.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the idea of it. I'm just frustrated because I'm not at a point yet where I can just run and be happy about it. I still get tired and walk a lot during long runs and I just can't find my groove (meaning when I completely forget about everything else except that I'm running and how awesome it is). It's a hard place to be mentally. I KNOW that I need to run. I know that I want to run. I know that the only way through this is to just force myself through it. But I was a little disheartened Sunday at being one of the last finishers in a race that I usually love. Want to know what sucks? When you're still running and trying to push hard and give it everything you can and they are breaking down the water stations. Or the people who were watching and cheering are packing up and leaving. Or the police drive by and tell you that you need to get off the road because they are reopening it and run on the sidewalk, through the bands that are no longer playing but are instead dismantling and getting annoyed that you almost knock over their high hat. Or when you're at mile 8.5 of 10 and one of the race officials rides by on his bike and announces to the volunteers "Only a few more left coming!" (to which I yelled, "That wasn't very nice to announce!!" and he turned around and apologized to me and asked how I was doing so I forgive him). Or that you literally watch the last finisher go across the finish line a mere 10-15 minutes after you.

It sucks.

But newsflash to myself: life isn't all rainbows and butterflies. It's not all cute bunnies who never poop and Cadbury Eggs that have no calories.  The truth of the matter is that I was one of the last people but it was at a very hard a race. A race a lot of people try to run but drop out of. A race that if I continued my pace and added on another three miles I would have beat my half marathon time in March by over a half hour and that's even with all the hills that I ran (of which the half I did in March had none) which is amazing progress. A race that 6 months ago I couldn't even have done.

It is so easy to fall into a negative mindset and I sure did this week. I was sad for no reason and spent every day just wanting to be at home with my fluffy girls and watch a lot of Deadliest Catch reruns (on DVD since I own every season) but instead I sat in my various hotel rooms eating grapes from Target and watching The Real Housewives of Anywhere reruns.

But I can't stay in this mindset. It does nothing good for me. Feeling sorry for yourself accomplishes nothing.

I don't love running right now. To be honest I am dreading it. But today I am going to buy a brand new shiny running journal and create a mileage plan. And tomorrow I am going to start it. And some days will be easy and some will be hard but I am hoping that in a month or two this feeling will be gone and I will be back to loving the one thing I love more than cake.

Did I just really say that? Because cake is pretty amazing.

But not as amazing as how I used to feel after running 10 miles of hills.

That right there is a happy face. And it's BEFORE they gave me my first Chobani Pomegranate yogurt ever, a yogurt I used to buy by the case at Whole Foods in Maine and drive home with on ice before they carried it around me. MMM.


New shoes and a new commitment

I think I need new running shoes. (FYI did you know that I'm not allowed to say "I think" in work situations? Literally? And it turns out I say it a lot, who knew?) Yesterday during the Mountain Goat my shoes just didn't feel....right. And given that I can't really remember when I bought them or how many miles I've put on them I think it's best if I go and buy new ones so I can keep track and not go over 400 or so miles. This idea probably also spurred by the fact that when I went with my friend to get shoes for her at Dick's Sporting Goods I saw these:

Brooks Ravenna 3

Of course I died instantly because they look awesome! I'd be so fast in those! Like Speedy Gonzales! Clearly the entire reason I've been so slow is because my shoes have no life or vibrancy! I've been running in these for the last two years (not the same exact pair, obviously...which is another word I can't say at work, ha!):

Brooks Ravenna 2
And they're kind of mega boring in comparison. Although the new ones wouldn't show dirt as much and I like when my dirt shows ;)

I have no idea what the difference is between the 2 and 3 other than the fact that the yellow and black ones look cooler. And since I never pay attention to what my shoes look like this is a weird thing for me but I like them so I want them! Although I am toying with the idea of getting refitted since I haven't been fitted since I started running and sometimes I feel like I'd like a little less shoe. So many choices though, sigh.

Also, for the record I could buy the exact same shoes I have on the Brooks website for $35 less than the $100 they normally are (I'm guessing they will be discontinuing the Ravenna 2's) but I'm not a cheater! Fleet Feet does so much more than just sell shoes for the running community here and I like keeping my money local when I can.

(I just went to check my shoes and saw that the treads are worn down at the forefront as I'm typically a toe striker and that's where I was feeling like I was lacking the cushion and support I wanted. I'm willing to bet the insole is worn out in that area as well. New shoes it is!).

I did a lot of thinking during the race yesterday and I really feel like I need to be more committed to my running. The last thing I want is to run the Boilermaker with the same exact results because I would be devastated. I have a few weeks before the Fleet Feet runs start at the lake on Sunday mornings so I need to make it a point to run 3-4 miles a day at least 3 days a week with a long run on Saturday or Sunday that I will increase by a mile or so every week. I've been pretty wishy washy about my training which worked two years ago when I was running more often but isn't working right now. I can't expect results without the work so I just need to buckle down and do it!

When I can walk again, that is. Yikes.


Mountain Goat 2012: A Tale from the Back of the Pack

If you had told me 2 years ago before I started running that I am competitive I would have told you were were crazy. Besides a few years on the tennis team in high school I didn't participate in organized sports and as far as my grades, I could care less. As long as I got A's without putting too much effort into it (aka not studying because I learned early on I'm allergic to it) I could care less what anyone else got in comparison to me.

But running has brought out my inner competitive nature. I am always in the solid middle of the pack, nowhere near the front or the back, but I was always faster than most of the people I ran with. And I never really thought too much of it until someone got to close to me and then it became my mission to beat them.

That being said, it's been really hard mentally to be in the back of the pack. And by the back I mean the BACK. As in finishing with the last of the group. It sucks but I'm trying to find the good in it (because the police coming by to tell you that you need to start running on the sidewalks and weaving your way through spectators is NOT good. At all. It kind of makes you want to cry).

Today's race was really slow and I think it was because it was pretty hot compared to what I've been running in and due to being sick the last two weeks I haven't run at all. I really couldn't afford to miss two long runs but I had to so I'm not sure I was fully preapred. But hey, I finished it, right?

I'm preferring to focus on the good things of being in the back of the pack during my 10 mile hilly traipse through Syracuse today, also known as the Mountain Goat:

1) More people cheer for you when you're at the end and they cheer for you by name or number (depending on what's on your bib). This was AWESOME because I thanked every single group that cheered for me, something I can't do when I'm going faster because I'm more focused and in a bigger pack so they wouldn't hear me anyway. And I got to give a lot more high fives to a lot more little kids. That's kind of my favorite part of a whole race :) I appreciate spectators so much because they give me so much energy and inspiration to push my hardest.

2) I always end up at my own pace in a race which means I'm not running with anyone I know so I talk to other runners and cheer them on around me but that happened a lot more today (and at my half marathon in March) than it has in the past. I actually met a woman who ran the Boilermaker last year for the first time and said she hated it! Blasphemy! That race is awesome! But maybe it's because I grew up near there so seeing my family and high school friends and even my babysitter (aka second mom) from when I was little cheering me on is why I love it so much?

3) I was able to notice a lot more of the course today than I did when I ran it two years ago. There is so much preparation and community that goes into this race and it's great to notice that. A doctor who I used to do surgery with a few years ago when I was still a vet tech lives on the course and he always has a big party so I got to wave to him (two years ago I got a wretched stitch in my shoulder by his house so I was trying not to die when I passed it). At mile 4 or 5 someone strings a bunch of Mountain Goat shirts from past races hanging above the road so I was able to look at a lot more of them than I was before. At mile 5 or 6 when going through Onondaga Park there is a company who works with children (I forgot in what regard) that puts almost a quarter mile of bright blue and silver pinwheels in the ground on both side of the course that spin in the wind. I had forgotten about that part but it's one of my favorites. Going up the notoriously hardest hill of the race, Colvin (which is really a looooong road that just keeps climbing and I cursed it fully) people write motivational things in chalk to get you focused on that instead of the climb (my favorite was "It's Tiger Blood Time!". No joke it was). And then right before Thorden, the last hill of the race, there was a long line of Celtic Dancers dancing and the hill itself is COVERED in a huge rainbow explosion of motivational things. They draw on it to a lesser degree for the training runs and I always get a little teary because they say things like, "I run because..." and then a huge list of reasons why going up the hill. All of these things add up to why, without a doubt, this is my favorite race of the entire year.

4) No one was blocking my way out of the finish chute. The 10 car pile up of people when you cross the finish line is the worst when all you want to do is get some water asap and sit down for a minute and I was able to get out pretty quickly.

So there are the positives that I am writing down to negate the fact that if I didn't feel so awful I would be kicking and stamping my feet like a 4 year old because it took me longer to run ten miles than it did to run my first half marathon. And why am I feeling lousy? I have no idea but I suspect dehydration. Again. I felt ok during the race although I was kind of thirsty going into it despite drinking 16oz of water beforehard (and quite a bit yesterday) but after I finished and walked a half mile back to my car (parking was awful this year) I started to feel really nauseous. I'll spare you the details but by the time I got home things weren't pretty and I was breaking out in cold sweats. I took a nap and ate a sandwich and am feeling better but the rest of the day I'm spending in bed drinking a lot of water. And also resting/icing my knee because the right one started hurting around mile 6 which slowed me down significantly.

When I ran this race two years ago I finished it in about an hour and 45 minutes. Today it took me 2 and a half hours which suuuuuuuuucks. But next year? Next year I am going for less than an hour and a half because there is a medal involved if I can do it. And I can. I forget sometimes how far I've come since I had to stop running last year in only a very few short months (three to be exact). And I forget how much harder it is to run with 40 extra pounds and I get down on myself sometimes about it. But I'm slowly working it off so next year I'm coming for you, Mountain Goat! We have a hot date and it's going to last than an hour and a half, none of this two and a half hour funny business!

I didn't get any good pictures at the race but here's this year's race shirt which I LOOOOVE! It was gender specific this year and the women's is bright, obnoxious pink (which is kind of my jam right now):

And Trixie trying to steal my super amazing chocolate mousse cake that I got last night from my favorite Italian bakery so that I had something to look forward to after my race today (I've wanted a piece of this cake for months and was not sharing!):

In conclusion: I didn't run the race I had hoped for but I finished it and am now a two time Goat. And I'll be ready next year, Look out MG!


My thoughts on food.

I woke up to a bun on the lam this morning. A crash woke me up earlier but then I went back to sleep convinced it was something falling over in my shower (that happens) and came out into the living room after I really woke up to find the bun come flying out of the closet she's not allowed in (because Trixie's litter box is in there). Turns out she went all Hulk and somehow forced the doors of her cage open. She came right to me and is now sitting in her cage looking really guilty but I haven't actually found anything she destroyed which is a damn Christmas miracle in May. Time will tell though because I have no idea how long she was out.


I am FINALLY getting over this Illness of Doom well over a week later but am still really tired and haven't been able to run in almost two weeks. Seeing as I have the Mountain Goat this Sunday, the 10 mile race I've been training for for 6 weeks, this should be interesting. And by interesting I mean terrifying because I might die at this one. I know I say that a lot but this time I mean it. I'm still excited though, oddly enough. There's going to be a few hills I walk for sure and I will be nowhere near my time from two years ago but NEXT year I'm looking to do it in under an hour and a half. And I will.

I was just reading Self magazine and I saw a quote from Bethanny Frankel (who I don't particularly love but only because she's borderline insane) who said something that really rings true to me: "Any diet that says to limit eating watermelon but processed protein bars are good means we've become stupid" and I completely agree. The issue that I have with diets like the Paleo Diet (which you may remember I was researching a few weeks ago) are that they teach you that some foods are "bad". In my opinion if it's fresh then it's good for you, even breads. Yes, I am limiting my carbs right now but that's because it's my own science experiment. I don't think carbohydrates are bad for you and if I did I wouldn't be planning on spending the next 4 days eating as much as possible to be ready for my race on Sunday. Your body needs certain things for fuel and to be honest, the whole "eating like a caveman" thing frustrates me to no end because they weren't healthy and they didn't live very long. You can even fast forward many years to find sailors dying from scurvy from lack of vitamin C or people with an iodine deficiency which is why it's in iodized table salt now. I was worried that I was eating too many grapes but then I realized it's fruit, for goodness sake! And it's better than eating a bag of donuts so whatever, if I'm going to eat 2lb of grapes a day then so be it. I'll be past that phase soon enough since it's just one of my random food obsessions.

To add onto that some I was talking to a friend about losing weight yesterday and I told her one of my mantras and that's that there is no such thing as good and bad food. Food is fuel and it's not something to reward yourself with or something that you deserve because you had a bad day. It's something that your body needs to run properly and the better fuel you give it, the better it will run. That being said eating a piece of chocolate cake (or heck, even half the cake) doesn't have to ruin your whole eating plan for the day nor will it take 4 years from your life or force you into a gluten allergy. The idea of eating clean and limiting refined sugar and watching your carb intake is a good one and one that I try to stick to but sometimes cake just has to happen. And to be honest, I spend more time worrying about the rate at which we're burning through fossil fuel (that we get from countries that don't have unions or regulations on collecting it to keep their workers safe), the rate at which we are overpopulating the planet, the decrease in farming because it's no longer a high profit making business, the melting of the polar ice caps and whether or not my cat is hyperthyroid and how the hell I am going to medicate her daily if she is than I do about what I should and shouldn't eat because it will cut 45.6 hours off of my life.

In short, there are a lot of things in life to worry about so what you eat shouldn't take up too much of your time. Eat mostly healthy foods. Stay away from fast food places but if you need to eat some chicken nuggets once in a while then go for it (for the record the Happy Meals at McDonalds have some awesome apple sticks that are highly chemical filled and highly delicious). Don't beat yourself up if you eat a Kit Kat..or two. Or a Panera smoothie. Just get off the couch and exercise if you do! And for pete's sake be easy on yourself if you're trying to lose weight. My mom, who has been a size 6 my whole life and who is 5'7", tries to tell me all the time that her trying to quit smoking is much harder than me losing over 100lb. Ha I say to that. HA! She has no idea. No one makes a sugar patch to slap on when you're craving a Chik Fil A Milkshake or a fake cheeseburger to eat that tastes just like the real thing but with none of the side effects. And people who are trying to quit smoking are commended and congratulated while people who are trying to lose weight are expected to do so. It's not the same thing. At all. (This is not to say that quitting smoking is easy by any means and I am well aware that it's not).

Anyway, a book I really like is In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and the first page says this:
Eat food.
Not too much.
Mostly plants.

Sadly, he forgot cake. From Wegman's. The Ultimate Chocolate Cake. But otherwise that's a solid motto. Stick to that and you'll be in a good place.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and it's how I choose to live. If something else works for you, rock on! And tell me about it, there aren't a lot of things I don't like to research the snot out of :)