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

10.23.2013

A Run for Thier Life recap

I've been struggling with writing about this race for well over a week now but I decided I owe it to the people who donated to it and supported me to recap it. Be prepared for a lot of pictures because pictures are my thing, in case you don't follow my pictorial stream of consciousness on Instagram and already know that (don't ask me how many I have on my phone since I upgraded to the 32g iPhone 5 in June...let's just say that the next upgrade will be to the 64g).

Oh and this is probably going to be long. I'll try to edit myself but...we'll see how that goes. I broke it into paragraphs, maybe that will make it easier.

Why I did the race
A Run for Thier Life is a 5 walk/run and a 15k run in Syracuse that was started by the Carol Baldwin Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research in Central New York. I had never run it before because 1) I had never before been personally affected by breast cancer so I never really felt a draw to it  and 2) I am usually deep in the midst of half marathon training at this time of year (last year I did two in three weeks at this time but I have already run 4 this year so I ran a lot of smaller races this fall that I have never done before). I also had NO idea that Carol Baldwin is the mother of THE Baldwins and that she lives in Syracuse. Cue me spending even more time than I already do in Camillus hoping that I see one or four of them walking around (Ok, I am really only there for two reasons: my gym that I belong to only for running on the treadmills at 9pm is there and their Wegmans has the best chicken for salads on their salad bar of any other Wegmans in the area...which I shouldn't tell you because now you will go there and eat all the chicken and I will have none).

I decided to do the race this year because two people I know had been diagnosed in the past year. One, a very good friend of mine (Libby) and the other, a wonderful woman who is the friend of someone I know well (Kelly). I hadn't fund raised for anything since I sold candy bars in high school to go on vocal ensemble trips (and truth be told I just sent the box to the bowling alley with my mom and it would empty right out) and had no idea how I would do but I wanted to try my best to raise money to donate in the names of these two amazing ladies (Kelly because I knew the money would benefit her personally as she lives in CNY and Libby...for a lot of reasons)  so I signed up for the race on a whim at the State Fair and forgot about it for a few weeks.


(This is not my best angle and my running partner is never allowed to take pictures of me again)

Fundraising
Then I thought maybe I should get going with fundraising so I set my goal at $200, crossed my fingers that I could get half that and posted about it here and on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when I hit that number in a half hour! I was shocked so I started campaigning more and watched the number rise and rise until I hit $500 two days before the race! I cried when that happened, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for my amazing friends. I thought I would stop there but by the Saturday before the race (on Sunday) I ran with one of my running clubs and when I left to run I was at $525. When I got back to the car I was at $600! Cue more crying. I ended up blowing my original $200 goal out of the water and ran the race with $625 donated in Libby and Kelly's names so thank you to everyone who donated! I just can not express how much your support meant to me, I am still in shock over it.



The morning of the race
I was really nervous the night before/morning of the race which my friend I went to dinner with the night before can probably attest to (Sorry, buddy. We learned a lot about salmon fishing though!). I have kept my base mileage at around 10-15 miles for the last year or so (so that I can run a half marathon whenever I want to) but I haven't been running hills a lot and I had heard the course was very similar to the Mountain Goat course which is 10 miles of hills (a 15k is 9.3 miles, for the record). I wasn't nervous about the difficulty per say, I was nervous because I was running this race in honor of other people and I wanted to do the best I could. I was so worried that I would tank somewhere and have to walk and that would upset me so much. Still, I got out all my pink gear and glitter and showed up to the race ready to go. There was a lot of energy there and that was really fun to see, they even had zumba going when we got there. My running partner and I did a one mile warm up and the weather was perfect: about 55 degrees and overcast, I couldn't have asked for anything better. And I am pretty sure that he loved that I put on my glitter tattoos in his van so it looked like a strip club exploded (in my head there is a lot of glitter in strip clubs but that's a hypothetical thought since I have yet to go to one so don't ruin it for me if it's not true).


The shirt is one that was created to fundraise for Libby to donate money last year to a cancer charity close to her (she is in St Louis). It says "Honeybadger, she'll beat cancer if she wants to" and "Nipplegate 2012" (which is what I named her treatment because I refused to call it cancer).


This glitter tattoo kit I got the night before the race and it not only stayed on the whole race, it stayed on for DAYS after. Which I'm not complaining about because hey, I love glitter.

The race
We started out running pretty easy and I saw quite a few people that I knew running the course. The 15k people started on the road and the 5kers on the driveway and we met up and combined at the end which was good because it was a way for us to bypass all the walkers. At around mile 2 of running we hit Thorden Park which has one of the most evil hills in all of Syracuse (in my opinion and I have run many). It's short but it's steep and it's one of the last hills in the Mountain Goat so I'm usually pretty drained by the time I hit it. This time I was fresh though since it was at the beginning of the race so I nailed it with no problems and then went sailing down the other side. Right before mile 3 the 5k people split from us (we had been running the same course until then) and then it was time to so some real work. Of the 2000 or so people who did the race (I believe) only around 200 did the 15k so it was a much smaller crowd. At around mile 3 is also the time my little toe on my left foot started bothering me but I tried to ignore it (it ended up being an epic blood blister and I will spare you the pictures).

I am going to boil the rest of the race down to this: the hills were brutal. I was a semi familiar course because it was part Moountain Goat, part of Syracuse University which I have also run a lot but it took us through a lot of roads I had never run before and just when I would think the hills were done I would hit another one. I tried to stay strong through them all and every time I wanted to walk up something that I felt I was running parallel to I thought of Libby or Kelly or someone else even closer to me who was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and how they don't have the option to give up and I ran them all. I went into this race saying that it wasn't about me, it wasn't about how fast I ran it or how well I did or if I broke any personal records. This race was out of gratitude of being able to be a part of the people's lives who I hold so dear to me and I thought of every single person who I love during those 9.3 miles and every single person who has ever supported me in anything I've done, especially this race.

I wasn't sure when I was going to start crying and for a while I thought I was going to make it through without it. But in the last mile when I hit the final stretch and could see the turn back into the Fieldhouse parking lot to the finish I started bawling so hard that I almost had to stop running. The thing I have learned about someone you love having cancer is this: it becomes a team effort. Everything you do helps add to the team strength and I know they have to go through it alone but I feel like I have fought through it with all of them, even if it's silently. I don't want to get into the details of anyone's story because it's not mine to tell but I can tell you that being able to do nothing to help hits you so hard when all you can do is watch someone you love go through something like this. In my way this is how I finally could help.

I came up to the finish line crying and ready to walk because emotionally I was done but when I was about 200ft away I just got it in me to start sprinting. My running partner yelled, "It's about damn time!" and took off with me and we crossed the finish line with our hands in the air. I have never done that in any of the 100+ races I have run in the last 4 years, I've never felt the need to. But it just happened and I felt so amazing crossing the finish line for all the reasons I ran this race for. And then I heard my best friend yelling at me from the sidelines and she hugged me and I just cried into her shoulder until she pushed me off her and told me to knock it off because I was getting snot on her coat (we've been best friends since we were 17, these things happen). And then she told me that I still run with my shoulders up to my ears because apparently she's a running coach now? ;)


She and her fiance took me to lunch after the race which made up for her heckling except for when he was being obnoxious about my blister (you can see me standing on the side of my foot in that picture, my feet hurt SO bad, I really need new shoes). But they let me order a mega brownie so all was forgiven (this is why I love Beth so much, btw. We often get told we are the funniest people they have waited on and it's pretty much true).



Besides the brownie I let them get away with a lot because I am going to be the maid of honor in their wedding in May which means I get to give a speech on whatever I want (quite possibly why Michelangelo was the best teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and how I saw them on Chip's underwear when I used to babysit him (yes, I babysat her fiance)) AND she isn't making me wear a hideous dress. Proof:


(We needed a happy non-running picture in this post, am I right or am I right?).

The verdict
The only other 15k I have ever run is the Boilermaker and I ended up PRing (Personal Record) this race by almost 5 minutes despite the fact that this course was much more difficult than the Boilermaker (although running conditions were much more favorable). And 5 minutes may not seem like a lot but I got that time back in 2010 when I used to able to throw down 7:30-8 minute miles in 5k's without much issue, the likes of which I may never see again. How about that?

Epilogue
There is so much I wish I could tell you about how this race was different than any other one I have ever done. I wish I could tell you why it meant so much to me but I just don't think I have the words to explain it. Cancer has affected my life in so many ways over the years, the last 12 months being the very worst. I have lost count how many times I was on my knees praying to take some of the pain on so that the people I love the most wouldn't have to go through it alone. But despite all of that, despite the fear and the helplessness and the questioning why, I know that I never gave up hope for them and I never will.

For Libby, for Kelly, for the person who holds my heart more than anyone else on this earth, for anyone affected by cancer whether it be you or someone you love: I ran this race for you.

I hope I did you proud.



10.07.2013

Crossfit Week 9: The first workout I didn't finish

Pandering section:

Did you know that I am running a 15k in just 6 days and raising money to benefit two awesome ladies I know who have been affected by breast cancer? I started out with a goal of raising $200 and I am currently at $460 and would love to reach $500 to donate in their names. If you donate you will be entered to win one of two $10 Starbucks gift cards I am supplying so it's a win/win situation for you (you get to help a good cause AND you could win free coffee)! Here's the link, help a sister out, would you? I would really appreciate it, even $5 counts!




Ok, now that that's done, crossfit today...I wussed out for the first time ever. Lame.

I got there a bit late because I was sitting in my car sending emails (shocker) so warm up was already going on when I walked in. It was 21, 15, 9 of burpees and jumping squats. I was soaked because we were having torrential downpours at the time I ran from my car to the door and I kept sliding all over the mat which wasn't helpful. Also by the fifth burpee in I had a terrible pain in my lower right abdomen. I'm not sure if I pulled a muscle on Friday from the 100 burpees we did but it wasn't feeling great. I scaled back on the burpees a bit and did 20, 13 and 9 and forgot about it.

Workout was a partner workout. We did 45 seconds each and then switched places to rest for 45 seconds for 5 rounds and then changed machines. The stations were the rower (my Love <3), the bike and the ski machine. I did great on the rower, ok on the bike and died on the ski machine. I'm not sure why, my arms were just really hurting and I felt really fatigued despite the fact that I took a rest day yesterday and only ran 4 miles Saturday (I'm tapering for my 15k on Sunday). I got through it though and then we did 5 minutes of jump ropes. After that we were supposed to do 25 burpees but for every 25 double unders we did (meaning the jump rope goes under your feet twice before they hit the ground) you could take off 5 burpees. I am decent at jump roping and was trying the double unders but it just wasn't happening so I needed to do the full 25 burpees. I did my first one and the pain in my abdomen was really sharp and it took my breath away so I tried a few more and then gave up and went home. I felt like a total jerk because of it but I don't really like pushing myself when something is that painful and who knows what it is. It could just be a random pain but I'd rather let it rest and walking away from 20 burpees won't kill me. I feel pretty strongly about training smart and if something hurts I know when to stop (unless I'm running, that's a whole different ball game).

I'm also having this weird thing where after the last 3 crossfit classes I have attended I get a migraine immediately when I leave. Today it started in the middle of the workout so I usually get in my car, drive to McDonald's and get a small Coke (I can't have caffeine because it will give me a migraine but it will also help take it away if I can get it soon after the onset). It's a strange thing and I'm not loving it because, hello, pain. And who likes that?

In non-whiny news...eh, I don't really have any. Sorry, kids. I'll be even more whiny soon because I am really going to try to go Paleo for a few weeks and see if it makes my head (and stomach, I've been having a lot of issues with that, too) feel better. It's probably all stress related but if I can improve it with diet and exercise then I'll be happy but I will really miss cheese. And the 7 sweet potatoes a week that I eat (I'm going to try to cut them back, wish me luck).

I need some good things to end this with:
-I have awesome friends who have donated far more to my race than I ever thought I would get
-I convinced someone at crossfit last week to start running with me (only took me 8 weeks to pull someone over to the dark side but whatever)
-I met my friend's neighbors last night who are runners and it was fun to talk to them
-There was a guy at crossfit today who looked like Captain America and it made me far too happy to look at him
-I can do a LOT more burpees than I could 8 weeks ago and that's saying something
-My arms look like this now because of it (and all that picking heavy stuff up and putting it back down):
-My girls sat next to each other for almost five minutes the other day with no hissing, spitting or swatting. How flipping cute are they?

10.04.2013

Crossfit week 8: There is no such thing as "can't".

I have a confession.

I missed a full week of crossfit.

But I have a reason!



I probably should have warned you there would be a bloody picture but I think you can handle it.

Here's the timeline:

Last Monday: Went to crossfit at 5am which is not my normal class. Got some help from an awesome lady I know from running and the morning coach (she is 500 times more awesome than my usual coaches, it took her all of five minutes to ask my name and help me with form and if she wasn't leaving soon I would go to that class daily just to have her coach me).

Wednesday: Missed crossfit due to not feeling well. Felt better by the evening so I went running with some friends. 15 feet into the run I hit an exposed anchor screw in the concrete and faceplanted/skidded 3 feet across the concrete earning me my first injury from a running related fall. Ran 5 miles on it anyway, thus the beautiful display of artwork on my calf (see picture).

Thursday: Planned to go to crossfit but my knee was in bad shape and I end up on them there a lot. Pouted about it but accepted it. I think I might have run 4 miles though? Pretty sure I did.

Friday: Pouted more. I am an accomplished pouter.

Saturday: Ran a 5k. I hate 5k's (you probably know this) but it was a friend's race for the food pantry at his church so I did it anyway and had a lot of fun because it was really small and I knew a lot of the people there. I crossed the finish line with everyone yelling my name, it was pretty awesome. I even got to heckle the cops which is always fun.

Sunday: Ran 10 miles. Boom.

Monday: Knee still hurt but I went to crossfit anyway. Tried to keep my massive bandage on it but it came right off. Workout and warmup had me on my knees more than any other one in 8 weeks, of course. Almost cried at one point but told myself to stop being a weenie and got through it. But it sucked, in case you were wondering. Suuuuuucked.

Tuesday: Ran 4 miles with my two favorite running guys and they pushed me HARD. Ok, I pushed them but the harder I run the harder they run and then I run even harder and then they run even harder and it just keeps going. AKA one of the best runs I have had in a long time, they're the best.

Wednesday: Knee felt much better, kicked some butt at crossfit (there was rowing involved which is the love of my life). Then I tried to run that night but I was really drained from not eating enough all day and only made it 2.5 miles before coming home and face planting on my couch.

Thursday: Looked at my training log and realized I hadn't taken a rest day in a while so I made myself do that. I don't always love rest days and Thursday was one of them.

Today (Friday): Went to crossfit. Warm up was 3x 200m run, 5 cleans, 10 pushups, 15 sit ups. Workout was 30 clean and jerks, one mile run, 50 kettle ball swings, one mile run, 100 burpees.

One.

Hundred.

Burpees.

Everything from my chest up currently hurts. Everything. But it was worth it because...

I was able to fit into this dress this week.




This dress has a story. A story linked very closely to around the time I met that guy I was supposed to marry that one time (he really doesn't deserve a proper name anymore). So when we (he) broke up over a year and a half ago I promised myself I would fit into it again someday (I actually said 6 months but for the sake of this let's say someday).

(cue cheesy movie music)...

This week that day happened.

I wish I could explain to you what that means to me. It's not about the dress, really (because let's be honest, where am I planning on wearing this thing?). It's about never giving in. Never saying, "I can't". Never letting the past dictate your future. Never letting anyone else define you. Never giving yourself a timeline or beating yourself up for not accomplishing something faster.

Just keep pushing. The day will come.

I promise.













*I still really miss Doritos though. I hope they understand that like Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston once said, I will always love you.

9.20.2013

Crossfit week 6: It's all fun and games until they know your name.

For the last five weeks my coaches as crossfit could not remember my name. If you know me in person then you will probably find this weird since I'm not usually very forgettable but I don't say much when I'm there since I'm still so far out of my comfort zone. Therefore if you have ever been dreaming of the day when you are around me and I am not talking 24/7, crossfit is the place to follow me to.

However on Monday Ralph asked me what my name was (again) and I said, "Dude, I have told you 85 times!" so he and the other coach (who I will call Hobbes, he's way too young for me to be calling hot. Pretty sure I have socks older than him) spent the entire time repeating my name and correcting every last thing that I did. Every. Last. Thing. Oh, and when I wanted to just curl in the corner wrapped around my Nalgene bottle and forget crossfit even existed? They were all over me to push harder, life my knees up higher, get in 5 more reps until the clock was out, etc.

Today was the exact same way. There I was on the far side of the gym, minding my own business and getting my reps in, when Hobbes had to get on me about how I was doing my pushups. He said I was never going to get better at them if I kept doing them the way I was and I grumbled about it but agreed. He didn't correct any of the other girls on anything and neither did Ralph so I was annoyed but then I realized it's because I am so much more awesome. Do you love my reasoning and logic? Because I do.

Honestly though, it's annoying when I'm in it but I appreciate it afterwards because they are right, I won't progress if I keep doing things wrong and I appreciate them correcting me. It goes against my personal laws, aka I am never ever wrong, but I'm learning how to take it. Sort of. Only in regards to crossfit. Until I know more than them. And then it will stop.

I also met a new girl I've never talked to and was <thisclose> to convincing her to come to run club. Every single person I talk to at crossfit mentions how much they hate running and it's my personal goal to convince one or more to run with me. Because I like converts, they just need to be shown the way.

Warmup today was a 1 mile run. I took it easy, as always. I was the third to last person in but made up for time during workout so it's all good. I thought about running a mile after we were done as a cool down but I don't want everyone to know what a crazy runner I am. Yet. My constant race shirts might give it away though.

Workout today was circuits. 4 rounds of 500m rowing, 40 squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups. I am telling you, I need to get a rowing machine. It is seriously the love of my life and I like trying to beat the people next to me. Everything is an opportunity for a competition in my world. Until I'm losing, that is.

Sadly, I got some pretty awful rug burn that was bleeding by the end of class today. My poor hands and knees, they just hate that weird rug stuff. And have I told you about the bruises I am constantly rocking?



Hot, right? That second one is my back from the clasp on my sports bra after doing a metric ton of sit ups. Learned that lesson the hard way, it's a running only bra now.

Oh! And can I tell you about my new obsession? Sweet potatoes. I cut them up into fries, toss with 1tsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and bake them for 10 minutes at 475, flip and then another 8-10 minutes. I can't eat enough of them and Trixie is always trying to get at them too.


One of these days I'll stop eat them with ketchup. One of these days. But not today.

Have a great weekend!

9.17.2013

Crossfit week 6: Don't take a week off. Trust me on this.

This is what a post bunny rager looks like:



Phone book pages everywhere, carrots in her pellets, glazed glassy eyes, no remorse. My rabbit needs an intervention.

(Side note: sorry for the lack of bun pics since I restarted the blog. I'll work on throwing some in sometimes since I know she is far more popular than I will ever be.)


Sunday I ran the race I signed up for last week. I've never run it before but it was fun, 4 miles of just enough hills to make it tough but not bad. It was part of the evil 10 mile all hills race course that I run in May so I was familiar with the area. There were a lot more downhills than I expected which was nice since I made some bad decisions the night before. Remind me not to go on my own rager the night before a race no matter how short the distance and how free the shots, ok? Thanks in advance. But it was the perfect day for a race, sunny and about 60 degrees which is my ideal running weather. I'm really glad I signed up for it last minute even if my time sucked because I am not convinced I was 100% sober yet.



After the race there was cold water and Gatorade and half moon cookies and free homemade ice cream from a local ice cream place called Gannon's. Post race food is my reason for living so I get pretty annoyed when all they have are bananas (I loathe bananas to the core of my being) and orange slices. I've been meaning to go to Gannon's all summer since I've never been but I didn't got the chance so even better, it came to me! I could have gotten vanilla or cookies and cream but as soon as I saw the Milky Way flavor with tons of caramel and chocolate pieces I knew it was THE ONE. It took me two days to eat it (they had them in individual cups) since my sugar tolerance is pretty low these days* but it was worth every bit.

*I'm going to have to go into sugar training to get ready for Easter and all the Cadbury Eggs it entails.


Today I made my (not so) triumphant return to crossfit. I didn't go Friday or yesterday so I found out the hard way that when you take a week off it's almost like starting all over again. We did a lot of shoulder work and arm work today and I am going to be crying tomorrow but no pain is no....pain? Ha! That would be nice.

Warm up was 1 pushup, 1 situp, 1 squat, then 2 of each, then 3, all the way up to 7 and finish with a 400m run. The workout was circuits of pistol squats (they make me feel like I have no leg strength whatsoever), L sits, box push ups, weighted lunges and then some barbell weight lifting thing (someday I'll learn all the terms but I swear I learn a new exercise in every single class). We did those for 1 minute at each station, then a 40 second transition where we had to do 5 body builders. We did 4 rounds of that and ran 200m in between each one. Oh yeah, and we did a bunch of ab work after round 3 (6 minutes of V ups and Russian twists with a medicine ball). It was the first class ever that I was counting the minutes until it was done because I felt weak and was made at myself for it but like always I felt awesome when it was over and like I was superwoman so I'll take it.

Check out my hands though, which I noticed the other day:


That's from the flooring that's in the section we work out in the most, it's this weird plastic carpet stuff that makes me think of the loop side of velcro. Turns out my princess hands just can't handle it.

9.11.2013

I need your help...and you could get free Starbucks for it!

Crossfit posting will be back on Friday but here's what we did today:
Warmup was 100 jumping jacks with 5 push ups after every 20
WOD was the Hotshot 19 in honor of 9/11. It was created for the 19 firemen who lost their lives in Arizona in June.

6 rounds of:
30 squats
19 power cleans
7 pull ups
400m run

Did I mention that it's 90 degrees today? So I almost didn't go. But I was clearly rewarded for my determination because I was the only girl in a class of 8 guys plus 3 coaches. Remember when I said the tick pen day was the best day ever? I was wrong.



I mentioned last week that I am going to start training for a very special race and I need YOUR help with it.

On October 13 I am going to run A Run for Their Life, a 15K race that benefits a breast cancer research foundation here in central New York. It's a race that I have never done although I hear the course is kind of killer (aka my favorite kind).

Almost one year ago exactly one of the greatest women I have ever met was diagnosed with breast cancer. I, of course, freaked out because I can't handle anyone I know having cancer in any capacity but she took it like the amazing person she is, with strength and grace. If you were reading my blog back then you may remember that I was doing Curltember, where I was curling my hair every day in honor of her because she has amazing curly hair and had to shave it off. I never mentioned why I was doing it exactly but it was in solidarity of her, my awesome friend Libby.


She is now in remission and came out of it like a rockstar. To honor her journey and strength I am doing something I have never done before: I am fundraising for this race to make a donation in her name.

This race is not only important for me to fund raise in honor of her, it's also in honor of an amazing woman who is a friend of a friend who was recently rediagnosed with breast cancer. The money I can raise will directly impact her as she lives in Central NY (Libs is in St. Louis) but the research will benefit ALL women.

As I said I have never fund raised for a race before but I have donated to many others' endeavors and I am hopeful that you will help me reach my goal by October 14. Even if you can only donate $1 it's a dollar that they didn't have before.

I also have some incentive for this...

I am offering up two $10 gift cards to Starbucks in a drawing to anyone who donates. If you want to donate anonymously you can, just email me and let me know you did. After the race I will put everyone's name in a hat and draw out two winners and mail off your gift cards so you can enjoy a Pumpkin Spiced Latte or whatever else your heart desires (I've never had one since I can't have caffeine but my facebook and twitter are blowing up with proclamations of love about them so they must be good?).

So how do you donate and enter the drawing, you ask??

Just go to this link and donate on my donation page.

If the link does not take you to my page (you will see a picture of Libby and I and an awesome story about her if you're in the right place) then just search my name in the side bar where it says "sponsor participant". If you just donate to the general site it won't show up under my name or count towards my goal.

If you're on a smart phone and the link doesn't take you to my page make sure you click "non-mobile version" to get to the right webpage to search me (I found that out on my phone).

If you want to donate and don't know my last name to search me and my link doesn't work, thank you, I appreciate it! Just email me and I'll let you know what it is.


Thank you all so much in advance. I know how tight money can be and asking for donations is difficult but I really appreciate it and I know Libby and Kelly will, too!



9.09.2013

Crossfit week 5: I have a date tomorrow.

I got the greatest present of all time in the mail today from one of my ridiculously awesome friends:



I am sure you are asking yourself, "Is that TICKS in her pen?!".

Yes. Yes they are. Not real ones (that would be way too awesome) but still. In theory I'm sure they're meant to be modeled after deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis, the most common transmitter of Lyme disease in the Northeast) but the head seems to round.

Anyway.... It was too awesome not to show off. Best. Day. Ever.

Yeah yeah, my nerd is showing. Let me put the cap back on that...



Crossfit wasn't too killer today. Warm up was five rounds of running (a little less than 200m), 5 push ups, 10 squats, 15 full body sit ups. Workout was another AMRAP, 30 minutes, of 7 sit ups, 5 wall balls, 3 handstand push ups (I scaled that, there's no upper arm strength for that yet, so I put my feet up on a 24 inch box and lower my arms until my head touches the floor and back up) and one burpee. The goal was to do 30 rounds in 30 minutes.

At first I was wondering why everyone else was going so fast and then I realized that I was doing more reps with each move than required. Oops. The good news is I figured that out within my third round so I was good. But here's the annoying thing...there were two girls next to me who were going at about the same speed I was. I'm no good with directions but when it comes to speed my running years kick in and I'm pretty good at pace. At one point coach Karate Kid came around and asked where we were at. I said 19 and they said 26. 26?! I'm all for not doing the whole thing if you can't but don't be a liar. It gets you nowhere.

Lying is my number one pet peeve, in case you couldn't tell. I don't tolerate it in any capacity (particularly lying by omission but that's a whole other issue). But seriously, who are you hurting when lying in a case like this? Just yourself. So annoying.

Guess I won't be befriending those girls. I bet they're the type to steal your boyfriend and then pretend they didn't starting dating until after you broke up.

No, I don't think I'm overreacting at all. Why do you ask?

YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!


There's my rant of the week. I'm done now.

At the end of class we did sprints which I hate. I am not good at sprints and it's unlikely I ever will be. I can run full out, as hard as my body will go, and still be the slowest one every stinking time and barely be out of breath when I get past the stop line. It makes no sense. It frustrates me because I am really competitive and I hate losing (at anything, ever), especially when I am always with the other slow girls and I am often wearing some sort of random race shirt which then makes me look like a poser. So I asked my friend who goes to the same box and is a really amazing runner (as in I will never, ever run with him ever because it would be far too embarrassing for me) and here's what he told me:


I have no idea what he is talking about but now I have something to google.

After class I drove over to visit this hill I've been eyeing for the last few weeks. It's fairly close to my house and I've seen it a hundred times but since I've been spending more time over that way and passing it a lot more I keep thinking about how badly I want to run it. It's starting to consume all my running thoughts (don't judge, all it takes is one post to figure out my insanity with running) so I drove around it and mapped the mileage (about 1.2 miles from the route I figured out per my car) so tomorrow morning at 8am I have a date with myself to go run around this baby. If it goes well I may start doing my hill work over there because it's a lot closer than the lake I usually go to and a lot steeper...I think. I'll see what the elevation says on my Garmin and of course tell you all.

For some reason this picture does not show the proper steepness. And I kind of want to just run up the grass.


Anyway, sorry about the ticks at the beginning. Here's a gorgeous picture of the sky that I took when I was coming home from visiting the hill to make up for it.



9.08.2013

Sunday Runday: Another race I didn't expect to do but am now

Let me tell you about the truest words ever spoken:


Let me show you proof from my run this morning:

Those are my beloved skull shorts and they're almost too big for me, sad face.

Yeah, that's me in a long sleeved tshirt to run in, hallelujah!! It was 62 degrees when I ran this morning and seeing as my ideal temperature to run is is between 50-60 I was ecstatic.

I planned to run yesterday but when the time came around I had to bail on my running friends because my legs just hurt too much from crossfit and I didn't want an injury. Then we made plans to run at 11:30 today (MUCH later than I like to run, btw. I'm a total early morning runner) but I forgot I had to be somewhere at 2 so I went on my own. I would have run at 7:30am but somehow I slept until 9:30am which is unheard of from me, I always wake up really early. It's ok though, I haven't slept that good in two months (and I'm not sure I'll ever sleep as good as I used to then) and that's just an important as a run, I guess. At least that's what I keep reading.

My plan initially was to run 6-7 miles with my friends today but I did an easy 3 on my own since I didn't have a lot of time. And I do mean an EASY 3 miles, until I saw a snake on the path that is and jumped straight in the air, screamed and flew down the path until I could inhale again.

I hate snakes.

I listened to the running playlist I made a few weeks ago finally and it'll be pretty good with some tweaking. I made it for someone who has just started running so I doubt it would affect his pace but it definitely was mine because I know the songs too well. When I get mad I run a lot faster and I had The Best of You by the Foo Fighters on repeat for a while and ran my last mile at a sub 9 (which is not my current easy pace at all). But that's why I don't like listening to music when I run anyway, I get way too caught up in it.

My legs felt really....different though. It's hard to explain. They were a little tired and tight and I had some pain behind my right knee in the first half mile but that wasn't it. They felt like they were heavier (in a good way) and had more power. Like I mentioned on Friday, I didn't run all week outside of crossfit which isn't at my normal pace or concentration to my body so it was really interesting to feel the difference. I hope that mean the 500 squats I do a day are finally helping.

In the last quarter mile I ran (literally, ha!) into the friends I was going to run with. One of them convinced me to run a race next week and by convinced he said, "I'm doing the Strathmore run next Sunday" so I said, "Oh, I'll sign up for it then". I can't help myself, FALL TIME IS RACE TIME!!! You can all keep your pumpkin spice lattes, I'm going to run as much as I can and not be a sweat drenched mess by mile 2, hooray! And I have a very special (to me) race to get ready for in October so I want to start focusing more on running and racing (I'll post about that on its own).

So I guess I'll have another race shirt to add to the stack I never wear (yes Newman, I know you want it :P) but it's a race I've never run so that will be fun. And I heard there are some killer hills, I'm getting a little hot and bothered just thinking about it.

Back to the crossfit grind tomorrow! Maybe it will finally be the day I run there and back. Maybe.

9.06.2013

Crossfit week 4: The day my arms almost fell off and another progress picture

I'm writing this from my phone for the first time so bear with me if it doesn't go well.

I almost went to Crossfit yesterday to make up for not going Monday but a friend of mine asked me to go to lunch with him so who is going to pass up free lunch? Not this girl.

I did go today though and when I got there my coach had far too gleeful of a look on his face. I shortly found out why...

Warm up was 3 or 4 excercises for a minute each and then a 400m run. Buy in for the WOD (when there is a buy in/buy out you have to do that before you start/finish the WOD) was to carry weights around the block. Easy, right? I sure thought so. Ha! We had to carry at least 25lb in each hand and I went for 35lb dumbells and wanted to hide them under a bush within 200m. Ouch.

We had a 30 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) for the actual WOD and our lap around the block counted towards that. WOD was 20 box jumps and 20 thrusters until time was up. I got through 7 reps and by the time I was done my arms were shaking so bad I wasn't sure I could put my keys in my car to even drive home. I was so happy when that 30 minutes was done and was so proud of myself....until they told us there was a buy out and I almost had a temper tantrum on the floor because really? Hadn't I suffered enough? And the buy out? Carry the same amount of weight around the block again.

Do I really pay for this torture?

But for all my whining it was a good workout as always although my arms are still really weak hours later and I'm having a hard time even holding my phone up. No, I'm not a wuss (yes I am). But the best part of really hard workouts is commiserating with my fellow prisoners...I mean gym people. It was the hardest workout I've done by far in regards to strength training, I rarely feel the after effects so soon after class so I can't wait to see how I feel tomorrow *sob*

My arms are starting to look killer though so I'll keep going, I guess. Actually, after 4 weeks I'm seeing a lot of changes. Here's another progress pic I took on Wednesday before I went to class (I'm not sure I'll ever get sick of looking at progress pictures, mine or anyone else's so I hope you don't mind them. And if you do...what are you doing here? Go look up the orange peanut video on YouTube instead.


I didn't run at all outside of Crossfit this week which is making me pretty sad so I'll have to make sure to run more next week. I did this mostly to improve my running so it will defeat the purpose if I lose my base (and I'll be really mad at myself). 

Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend. I plan on going to Irish Fest to celebrate my heritage the way it's meant to be celebrated and then getting some good runs in. But this is going on on my lap right now. Viscous teething beast!


9.04.2013

Crossfit Week 4: Can I get you tickets to my gun show?

Note to self: when you are told that the WOD is the closest it has made someone come to vomiting since they started then you should probably heed that advice and hide under a rock instead of going to class.

***************************************************************************************************

I would like to tell you I made it to crossfit on Monday. Or on Tuesday. Or this morning at 5am like I told my friend I would. But none of these happened, sad to say. My stomach is on a collision course to kill me and I actually went over there yesterday AND this morning only to turn around and come right back home and set up camp in my bathroom for a few hours. The good news is my bathroom floor has never been cleaner since I'm basically living on it and my house permanently smells like bleach. Can someone please send me a Mahogony Teakwood candle from Bath and Body Works so I can get this place smelling like a 17 year old male Abercrombie employee again? It's an emergency. Thanks.

The good news is I was able to make it to a later class today because I had to miss my normal class time. And can I tell you how much more amazing the eye candy is in this class? I may not be going to run club on Wednesdays for a while so I might have to hit up this later class more often because apparently I like dripping sweat off my nose in front of really hot guys (Yeah, that happened).

Warm up today was a run, less than a mile, more than a quarter mile, not sure exactly how far. WOD was poker. Each suit had an exercise (hearts were dumbell thrusters, spades were full body sit ups, clubs were prison jump squats, diamonds were push ups) and each number was the reps you had to do. Drawing a 2 meant you had to double the reps of the next card you pulled, Ace was 10 burpees, Joker was a one mile run and we went through the whole deck.

Sweat dripping off my nose, rug burn on my elbows and knees like I put them through a cheese grater, almost threw up at least three times (which would be consistent with my morning), thought for sure death was right around the corner.

In other words an awesome work out, I so needed it. It shut my brain right off and I might not be able to overthink anything for at least 12 hours.


Sometimes when I run if I am really careful and pin my hair up just right I can let it down when I'm done and it will still look decent. Sad to say this will NEVER happen with crossfit.

Case in point, here I am right before I changed to go to class:

CHEESE!

And here's what I looked like directly after walking our the front door:


Maybe I will stick to my normal class with the usual guys who know me and see me turn into a hot mess three times a week and are used to it.

Oh, and can we talk about my baby biceps for a second?

I could have put up a different picture but this one is too funny.

That's my flexing face and it's why I get charged more than anyone else to attend crossfit.

But really, I've never had muscles in my arms before! And yeah, they're basically non existent still but work with me here, I'm pretty excited about it.

8.30.2013

Crossfit week 3: Jello arms and a progress picture

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. One of my top 5 worst, to be quite honest.

The good news is I have many amazing friends. Friends who let me hang out in their kitchen for hours and cry into a bottle of wine while holding their adorable brand new boxer puppy.



You can't be sad for long with a sleepy, cuddly, farting puppy on your lap. Well you can but then they lick you in the nostril and you can't help but laugh.



I don't have a ton I want to say today but I didn't want to not post on a crossfit day. The workout was hard and my arms are jello which was good and I forgot about life outside the box for an hour and a half. Hot Coach saw I was down and kept telling me lame jokes which was sweet of him until I nailed him with the classic, "What do you call cheese that isn't yours?".

The answer? 


Nacho cheese.


Boom.


Gets them every time.

Warm up was a 200m run, 10 push ups, 10 kettle ball swings, 10 weighted walking lunges x3. Workout was 5 clean and jerks then 3 jumping pull ups and 3 knee to chests then 5 clean and jerks and 6 pull up and knee to chests then 5 clean and jerks and 9 pull ups and 9 knee to chests and so on for 20 minutes. I got through 7 rounds because I was just killing it today. I killed my hands too despite using enough chalk to be on the Olympic Gymnastics team.


End of class was a series of planks, V ups, medicine ball V ups and all sorts of other things I have blocked out. Oh yeah, and 12 rounds of burpees, 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest.

If I can brush my hair tomorrow it will be a miracle.

I made this comparison picture the other day to show my progress. Maybe you don't see it (I'm looking at you, Justin) but I do and I'm pretty happy so far with how I'm progressing. That dress never used to have wiggle room so now that it fits more loosely I can definitely see the difference. How funny is it that I stand the exact same way without even thinking about it?


I hope you all have a wonderful labor day weekend. I've heard that Labor Day's workout (there's only one class all day) is killer and involves a 10 mile run so I'm counting the minutes until then.

And don't let this post worry you, I'll be fine, everything happens for a reason.





8.29.2013

Crossfit week 3: The day I almost killed myself. But not intentionally.

What to say about yesterday.

Oh, yesterday.

Let me start at Tuesday night. I got a text around 5 asking if I wanted to go for an easy 4 miles at 8pm and I said no. I said no, people. I thought it would be a good thing to take an entire rest day since I ran the half marathon on Sunday, went to Crossfit Monday, yesterday was the dreaded/beloved Wednesday and in the middle of all of that I had been spending a lot of hours scraping wallpaper glue off my friend's dining room walls and painting them. Should you need proof here is what I discovered when I got home on Tuesday night:



What paint on my arm? What toilet in the background in an otherwise legit selfie? I am a classy gal.

So yeah, full rest day. I took one. And I was ready for Wednesday! But then I got a text asking if I wanted to go running yesterday morning and of course I said yes because saying no twice in two days is against my religion. We did almost 4 miles and it was an ok 4, not my best. My legs were/are tired and it was crazy hot (for me, I've been all about the 65 degree days so 84 wasn't my happy place) but I did get to run a trail I really love (and get lost on it) with someone I don't get to run with often so it was worth it. I walked some of it, not gonna lie, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it since I ran 13 miles on Sunday (aka I'm totally mad at myself for it).

As soon as we got done running I had to rush right over to crossfit where the warm up was...to run a mile. Really, guys? To be fair my friend called to tell me the WOD but I was running and missed it but it wouldn't have changed anything anyway. I was already stretched out and warmed up which was good so the mile was going much better than the 4 I had just finished but at the half mile turn around I saw a girl really struggling. I asked her if she was ok and she said it hurt to breathe so I taught her some breathing techniques and then stayed with her while she ran/walked back. We were the last in by a long shot and Ralph (the coach who looks like the Karate Kid so that's going to be his name here now) yelled, "Oh, there they are!" when we got back. Thanks dude, I'm sure that made her feel better.

The actual workout was to row 500m for time which we did in groups of 5. I talked to the new guy some that started last week and he said he was scared of the rowing machine, ha! But I noticed he ran a lot better today than he did Monday so he's already doing better and he killed the 500m. It's funny how crossfit can worry you when you first see the workout but once you're in the middle of it you just go for it.

After the rowing we broke into partners and had to do four excercises at 21 reps each and then 15 reps and then 9 reps. We had to get on our knees and push a barbell with weights on it as far out as we could go and then pull it back in, throw wall balls over the pull up bar to our partner, do push ups with one person doing them regular and the other person putting their feet on their partner's back and doing the pushup that way (which hurt, a lot) and then do waves on the battle rope. My partner is a personal trainer and she is beyond ripped so we got done pretty fast and she helped me work on my form a lot which was awesome. She also teaches a spin class on Wednesdays and invited me to come try it so I probably will because I'm crazy and don't work out enough, right? But really, it was super nice of her to invite me to her class and I've always wanted to try it so I'm excited about that.

Then last night was run club, as I've mentioned/whined about before and I warned the people I was running with that I was probably going to end up on the side of the road somewhere and to just send someone for my body. The whole way to the bar I was praying that we weren't running Tipp Hill (I have no idea why, all of our other routes are just as hilly but I really didn't want to do Tipp Hill) but of course that's what we ended up doing. I got two miles in and had lost my people because I was running easy so I decided to stop at the top of a hill near Coleman's and sit on some church stairs until I saw them again. I waited 15 minutes and started to see the fast runners who usually do 8 miles come back through (Will even asked if I needed help, embarrassing) before I realized they probably went another way. So I ran back to the bar and there they were, already slugging water and eating all the flatbread. Jerks ;) It wasn't a bad run though, I just clearly did too much in one day. If you're keeping track (because I was) I ran 9 miles and went to crossfit yesterday. My shoulders are on fire this morning and I would pay someone a significant amount of money to rub them out although as soon as they touched me I would probably punch them in the face because they're that sore. My feet are pretty shredded too, I got some blisters at my race and the 9 miles I did yesterday did nothing good for that situation (I'll spare you the details, it's not pretty).

Never. Again.*

On a side note, if you read my blog last year you may remember my unholy love of Nalgene bottles. I probably haven't been seen without one since 1999 when I declared my major as geoscience the second I was able to in college and the head of the department gave me one and since then I always have one with me and usually 3-4 in my fridge at any given moment. Well look at the coolest one of all time:

That's the bar I run at, BTW.

It GLOWS in the DARK. And I need one. Because that's not mine, I have bought two for other people and don't own one of my own yet but it was pretty awesome at the bar once it got dark.

So if you're looking to buy me a present EMS carries these....just saying.



*Who am I kidding? We all know it will probably happen again.

8.27.2013

Crossfit week 3: You should run with me. No, really.

If you let Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream melt to the consistency of a protein smoothie it's basically the same thing, right? Asking for a friend....

If you want me to sum up crossfit today (but I'm posting this tomorrow, Tuesday, so stay with me) it would go like this:



Yeah, I called it easy. What has become of me?

I was a little worried about going today because my body was tired. Really tired. Crossfit has been wearing me out (in a good way) and running a half marathon isn't a small feat (even though I keep my base mileage around that range so it's not going to kill me) so I wasn't sure how much I could do. Right up until the second I walked through the door I didn't want to go but I'm glad I made myself.

Warm up was a half mile run and then we did what they called Partner Gauntlet. We each had a partner and we moved through different stations. The first person had to do the exercise for 30 seconds, then we had 15 seconds to switch and the next person tried to beat their time. Then we moved on to the next station and the person who finished the station before was the first person to go at the next station. The stations were the ski machine, biking, rowing, box jumps and burpees. After we went through an entire round we had to run a half mile and then we did it again but this time for 40 seconds. After that round we ran a half mile then did it for 50 seconds. When we were done with that we finished the class with 3 minutes of Up Downs or as I like to call them, Mary Face Plants. It was fun to see my entire body outlined in sweat on the black floor mats like some sort of crossfit crime scene especially since it was my first time doing them and a minute and a half in I was convinced I was dead anyway and was ready to contact the police to report a homicide. Although if I am paying for it would it be suicide? Hmmm.

Anyway, if you followed all that then you will see that it was all cardio, aka my bread and butter. Hallelujah because I had tight legs to work out and I wasn't interested in lifting anything heavier than my Nalgene bottle to my mouth. My partner was a girl I met my first week, she is one of the slower girls at cardio but she is a power house with weight lifting. She also has a dinosaur skeleton tattoo on her back which is why I geeked out the first week and decided we should talk (turns out she went to school to be a geologist/paleontologist too but she likes vertebrates... I am trying not to hold that against her though).

I did really well with the workout which surprised me. I was definitely tired but not lifeless after and nothing really hurt. I am starting to get good enough at box jumps that I'm almost ready to try it full out (I step up on the box, I don't jump on it with both feet but it's getting too easy so I'm almost ready). Burpees still killed me but they are getting easier too somehow, who ever thought that would happen? I salivate when I see the rowing machine, we're now in a committed relationship and I don't want to look at any other piece of equipment because I love it that much. And biking...eh. I could take it or leave it but it's a fun change. The ski machine is the same, it doesn't seem that hard but I may not be doing it with the correct form (I used to think squats were easy before I started crossfit and learned proper form and now I can only do 30 before I want to die). So I did work out hard and I loved it but it wasn't one of the workouts that had me in a fetal postion on my bedroom floor the second I got home.

Despite feeling really good during the workout I got a splitting migraine the second I got in my car.  Like it felt like someone had an ax and was trying to break through my skull from the inside out. I drove right to McDonald's and got a Coke and that took care of it, I think because I was on top of it so fast (I can't have caffeine because it will give me migraines but if I have one it will sometimes take it away if I can get a soda ASAP). I guess it defeats the purpose to work your butt off to go and drink a half gallon of soda but it doesn't happen often so I'll deal with it.

The running was really easy because I'm never interested in pushing myself really hard with it at crossfit, why would I? I've got nothing to prove there with running. I do feel bad though whenever we run in class and there are people who are clearly not runners struggling. My mothering/helper instincts kick in and I always try to run at the back of the pack and help encourage people. They don't always like it but I don't care ;) The first half mile I ran really easy and at my warm up pace. The second I ran a quarter mile easy and then pushed myself in at the end (I was probably at about an 8mm pace) but my partner was the last one so I went back out to get her as soon as I hit the door. She told me it wasn't necessary because she is always the last one in but I told her that's not how runners are, we stay with our partner. My coach (I have three that rotate and today was the really hot one) said he really liked that I did that so I stuttered something unintelligible at him as per usual because I was gross and sweaty and he was...hot and not. Plus I didn't even really think about it, she wasn't back yet and I was so I went back out to run her in, we do it all the time in my run clubs. The third time she and a guy that is newer than me (I think he started last week) were last so I sprinted to the turn around point just to stretch my legs and then stayed with them on the way back and convinced them to sprint in at the very end. They may have done it just to shut me up (and they complained about it a lot) but I'll take it.

Moral of the story: don't run with me if you don't want me to push you. Even if I say I won't I will, you just won't always know it at the time. I'm tricky like that.

Actually, you SHOULD run with me for two reasons:
1) I want everyone to run because running makes me happy and I think it will make you happy, too
2) I am awesome and you will get to spend time with me and listen to me sing Will Smith or Rob Zombie or Bon Jovi on repeat and who doesn't want that?

Honestly.

8.26.2013

Turning Stone Half Marathon review

The best and worst shower you will ever take is one directly following a double digit run. The best because getting all the dried salt off is amazing (especially if you're like me and forget that it's on your face and then go through the sprinklers at the finish line and scream silently inside when your eyes feel like they're melting out of your head) and the worst because you figure out every spot you should have put Body Glide on but forgot to. Thankfully for me it wasn't many yesterday.

So yes, race! It happened! And it was great!


It was at the Turning Stone Casino so how cool is the medal that's supposed to be three cards? The same image is on the tech shirt I got but I'll never wear it so I will probably give it to a friend of mine who I force all of my race shirts on.

Ironically I forgot my Body Glide yesterday. I got home pretty late on Saturday night but I laid out (what I thought was) all of my stuff for the next morning since I was getting picked up at 6:30am but I forgot my running sunglasses, my Body Glide and to load my new running play list on my phone. Sunglasses and playlist I can live without, Body Glide I can not. Luckily there was a vendor at the race that was selling it so I forked over $10 for a stick and lived a happier life (Body Glide is an anti chafing substance, it looks just like deodorant but doesn't really feel like anything on your skin but it protects all that needs protecting. It's a gift from God and I use it for everything including when I am breaking in new high heels).

I was pretty excited about running when I got up yesterday and told my friend that was running with me (and who gave me the bib) that it was just a mental health run. I realized on the way there that I hadn't run more than 9 mile since the Mountain Goat in May because of my asthma issues I was having for a few weeks and I really just wanted a nice easy run to clear my head out. I took my phone and headphones with me but didn't use them (which I didn't think I would). It seemed like a pretty small race, the half marathon started at 8am and the 10k at 8:30am and I am really bad at number estimates but it wasn't large by any means. Which is nice, I hate jostling for a good comfortable spot (I'm looking at you, Boilermaker and you, Nike Women's Half).



The course was beautiful, it was near where I grew up and was all rural running so no cars to compete with. It was also pretty easy, all rolling hills and the "serious" hills were gradual so it didn't really feel like I was putting in a ton of effort to get up them. The first 10 miles I felt great, I kept a really easy pace (about 10:30-11 minute miles) and just enjoyed running and talking to people. Oh, and singing. I like to sing when I run easy and I am 100% sure everyone around me appreciated it. There were a good amount of water stops every two miles or so and every one had water and Gatorade as options.


At mile 10 things got a little hairy for me, I told my friend (he stayed with me until that point) that I felt like I hit a wall. Not "the" wall, just a wall. He asked me if I needed a Gu and I said no, I literally felt like I was running against a wall and not going anywhere. So he left me. Typical (I would have done it to him).

I got through mile 10 and mile 11 was a little rough mentally (which is exactly what I have been using crossfit to try and work through). At one point I remember thinking, "I either need a downhill, some shade or some water...or a gun". The gun part was just me trying to be funny in my own head, it was nowhere near the hardest mile I have ever run. That, in case you are wondering, is tied for first place. Hardest physical mile was during the Yuengling half marathon in VA Beach in 2012 when I wasn't trained for it at all and did it anyway and hit the literal running wall so hard at mile 9 that I was shuffling along looking for a place to lay down on the side of the road and never get up. Hardest mental mile was the Mountain Goat this year when at mile 9.25 of 10 it finally hit me that that was the day I was supposed to get married (but obviously wasn't) and I had a total meltdown on the side of the road about it for 15 minutes straight in the middle of downtown Syracuse .75 miles from the finish. Not one of my best moments for sure but I lived.

Anyway, THIS mile 11 was just mental and I thought to myself, "Can I keep going?" and the answer was, "Yes but I don't want to" which was  fair assesment seeing as I was running it for fun. So I walked for a little bit, encouraged some people who were running a half for the first time and enjoyed the scenery. At mile 12 I got back on it and ran it in and only finished 5 minutes after my friend. Up until mile 11 I was set to PR (personal record) it but I decided I didn't want to anyway because I was running under someone else's name. Right before I crossed the finish line I saw my mom which made me happy that she came, she's a hit or miss on such things so I crossed, got my medal and Gatorade and then went to see her. I got a lecture about life for about 15 minutes (she can't help herself) and then I went inside to drink my weight in (free!!) chocolate milk (My love for chocolate milk knows no bounds and I rarely share it, FYI. So don't be asking).

Overall it was a really fun race and I'm glad I did it. I was pretty tired yesterday afternoon because I spent the entire day before at the state fair so my legs were shot but I feel ok today and am still going to go to crossfit. I'm not sure yet if that's a good idea or a bad one so I'll let you know tomorrow if I live through it today.


8.23.2013

Crossfit Week 2: Guess what I'm doing on Sunday?

Today I yet again give thanks to Urban Decay's 24/7 liquid eyeliner that somehow made it through my entire workout without budging. This stuff is miraculous, I tell you. But don't ask me why I was even wearing it to crossfit, I know not what I do (ok fine, I was too tired to wash my face when I went to bed last night).



And that face I'm making...lord have mercy.


Today I learned what squat cleans are. And then I learned what a thruster is. And then I learned what a squat clean thruster is. And then I tweeted my chiropractor as soon as class was done and asked him if it's normal for my hands to be tingly or numb after I lift weights (I only recommend using social media to contact your doctors unless you graduated high school with them...and possibly if you dressed up as them for Halloween in the 10th grade...although that's just heresay). If you want to see what move I'm talking about I found it for you here...



Our warm up today was to run a half mile outside and at every corner we turned on to do 5 squats. There were about 5 corners and the way there so I did around 50 squats I think. The work out for today (WOD) was 1 squat clean thruster and then run 200m, 2 squat clean thrusters and then run 200m, 3 squat clean thrusters and then run 200m all the way up to 10. We had 35 minutes to complete it and I did it in about 26 minutes which I was happy with. My legs were SOLID today, they haven't felt that good running in a long time which made me insanely happy. I even finished the 10th round of running much faster than the first and was pushing hard which is so good for me. I'm really trying to focus on my endurance and not killing myself at the beginning so that I have more to give at the end of a race. I left not feeling like a shell of myself which is good and bad, bad because I really love pushing myself and good because...

I didn't mention this but as soon as I got to run club the other night a friend of mine said, "Do you want to run a half on Sunday?" and I said, "Uhhh......sure" to which he said, "Wow, you must still be sick because you actually hesitated" and he's partially right. My hesitation was because I'm still not eating great (I usually carb load 4 days or so before a half) and I have been focusing more on Crossfit the last two weeks and haven't logged a double digit run in a few weeks but eh, I'll give it a go since he has an extra bib and because I rarely, if ever, turn down a run invite. Plus I managed to eat pretty well yesterday and my legs are feeling awesome today so I'm starting to look forward to it now. So it looks like I'm running a half marathon on Sunday which will be my third of the year. I think I will probably end up running with music since I am not really doing it for time, I'm doing it just to do it and I just made a friend of mine an awesome running playlist that I haven't actually tried out yet. Or I'll just listen to this on repeat which is much more likely...


I'll let you know how it goes on Monday, have a great weekend!


8.22.2013

Crossfit week 2: It's hump day!

I'd like to start this post off with a moment of silence for one of my surround sound speakers and my third Wii sensor in a year and a half.

I'd also like to extend that moment of silence to the bun who will be in a pot as soon as I google a delicious recipe.

She will be missed.

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The other day I cut four inches off my hair. 20% of this was powered by it being too long and heavy that it was pulling the curl out whenever I curled it (which is 5 days out of 7) and 80% of it was because I was tired of it being so long that it was whacking me in the face like a big sweaty tail whenever I was doing burpees and planks. Crossfit is already taking over my life.


My hair grows crazy fast though so it will be back in two months, never fear.

I am really starting to dread Wednesdays. Other than that awesome hump day commercial I have no use for them and that's because I go to crossfit and I have run club on the same day. Yesterday was sliiiightly less painful than last Wednesday but my legs were still really fatigued and my thighs were again not having it. We ran the SU Hill which is not *a* hill but more of a series of many hills and I only did 4 miles and then retreated back downtown to lay on the bar surrounded by glasses of water and a bunch of unsuspecting parents and freshman who were moving in and had no idea that their dinner would be interrupted by a bunch of sweaty runners who get excited over ice and mini cupcakes (shout out to Will for those...and for his amazing Irish accent that sounds like talking to an angel).

If you're wondering to yourself, "If you hate working out twice on Wednesdays then why are you doing it??" then you are asking yourself the same thing I asked through all 4 miles yesterday. But there is one main reason I am doing it: to condition my body more to pushing through fatigue. During the last three miles of any half marathon I run my body tends to get really tired from pushing so hard. Regular training runs aren't a problem, I could go forever, but I instinctively push it more in a race so it's hard to break through that wall sometimes. I am really trying to get used to mentally and physically pushing past that so that I can get closer to my goal. I usually run about a 2:20-2:30 half marathon (told you I was slow) but I want a sub 2 by next summer. I was hoping for it by this summer and was on course to do that but then we got a really nasty heat wave for a few weeks and my heat induced asthma that I haven't heard from in years kicked in and I couldn't run for a while. I had gotten myself back down to 9 minute miles (before I stopped running for a year due to my heart issues I ran 7:30-8 minute miles) and now I am hanging out in the 10-11 minute mile range. So one of the things I am working on is pushing through it so I can keep my pace up and keep pushing towards my goal.

The other reason I ran yesterday was because my anxiety level was at a mach 5 on a scale of 1-10. I can (and do) take in a lot of stress and take it and take it (sometimes for months) and then one day I just crack and hang out in a massive ball of anxiety for weeks. I'm in the middle of that right now and running really helps me focus but I haven't been running as much because of crossfit. Which is fine for me physically but mental it's killing me. Therefore I'm trying to get back into it as much as my legs (and back) will let me because I really miss not thinking...and for the most part I don't think at all when I run.

Cliff notes version:
Blah blah blah Mary runs too much blah blah she cut her hair blah blah talk more about the cupcakes.

As for crossfit yesterday it was another tough day but still awesome. Warm up was 15 minutes of running drills, workout was 5 stations of exercises (kettle ball, ring dips, sandbag squats, mountain climber type things but you had to bring your feet up next to your hands and box jumps) in rounds. First it was 35 seconds straight then 10 seconds to transition to the next station, then round two was 45 seconds with 8 seconds transition, round three was 55 seconds with 6 second transition, round four was 60 seconds with no transition. In between each round we did planks and I now have rug burn on top of rug burn which feels amazing (ha!). We ended the workout by playing cards which sounds fun but is not. Each of the four suits was a different exercise (V ups, full body sit ups, leg lifts and toe touches) and each card had a value. Jokers were 15 burpees. We tried to go through as many cards as possible (I think we got through 25?) and did that for 15 minutes and I am pretty sure I have never stared at a clock so much in my life. And the ring dips? I have to do them with the help of resistance bands (you loop the bangs through the rings and then put one knee in it and that helps you dip up and down when you have the upper body strength of  gnat) and I kept losing my balance to begin with so I was swinging all over the place like Tarzan except far less attractive and slightly less hair. It was fun though and I really liked it by the fourth round when I finally got my balance.

I hurt FAR less this week than I did last week and that's saying a lot so I am proud of my progress so far. My shoulder still hurts though which is a little concering but I'm pretty excited my abs hurt today. Why? Because I didn't know I had any, I thought the area between my chest and my thighs was just a Doritos reservoir. Crossfit is teaching me new things all the time.

On that note I will leave you with what I came home to yesterday...