Sunday, February 24, 2013

Training Posts: February!

I figured I would just lump the whole month into one post:) You're welcome!

**Also, for those that have asked, I do lift weights and work on my abs in addition to running/cardio. I alternate a 5 minute ab routine with a 5 minute arm routine every other day, mainly using my own body as resistance. Luckily, I have weight trained for 10+ years, so it is just about maintaining for me now. I typically do this in the morning as I am getting ready for work.

Feb 4th-10th (drop back week):
- Monday: 4.7 miles right at dusk- beautiful and perfect chilly temperature!
- Tuesday: 3.1 miles in my parent's neighborhood between work and working a basketball game. OUCH BLISTERS! I need to take away a run this week to let them heal and get those fancy $$$ band aids.
- Thursday: Cross training before work! Helllllllo 5:30 AM...gross.
- Friday: 6 miles in 60:40...BAD BLISTERS! I did not protect my skin enough for this long run.
- Saturday: 30 minute elliptical to save my feet...still ouch:(

Feb 11th-17th:
*The week of the blister healing...seriously, if you had told me I would be sidelined by BLISTERS and not actual ligament/tendon/muscle injury, I would have laughed at you. But these blisters were no joke- the inner arch on my right foot had about a 3 inch circle of open wounds. I learned about moleskin, double layer wright socks that are like $9 a pair (ridiculous), my severe over-pronation that causes my arch to rub from my foot hitting outer-inner when I run, and why running more than 6 miles is just dumb. But I digress...I tried to keep my cardio high and do exercises that didn't bother my blister healing. ANDDDDD, I forked over the money for new shoes:(

- Monday: 30 minute elliptical at 5:40 AM and 2.5 mile afternoon walk
- Tuesday: 30 minute elliptical at 5:40 AM and 2.5 mile afternoon walk
- Wednesday: 30 minute elliptical after work
- Thursday: 3.1 mile run as the sun rose! Beautiful, and my feet felt great!
- Friday: Spring-like 4.5 mile run in 42.50. Good time, and shoes are getting broken in!
- Saturday: 5.1 mile run- feeling back to normal:)

Feb 18th- 24th (longest run week!!):
- Monday: 8.3 miles in 1:23.13! Felt great and ran with my friend, Jess! Yay days off work!
- Tuesday: 30 minute elliptical and swimming. Super tired today.
- Wednesday: 4 mile run
- Thursday: 30 minute elliptical and swimming
- Saturday: 35 minute elliptical
- Sunday: 12 miles in 2:00.10! Tough run after mile 9 but longest until race day! Wooo!

**The next two weeks will be drop back weeks, with me going 8 miles this Saturday and 6 miles the Saturday before the race. I will keep doing shorter runs throughout the weeks, but I am going to still have to watch out for my blisters as the 12 mile run aggravated them again! Hopefully I will figure out a full-proof solution before race day. Wish me luck:)

Friday, February 22, 2013

I can save your life...again!

This week and next, I have been going through my lifeguard certification for my summer job as an Assistant Pool Manager at a nearby country club. I have already been certified twice from when I was in high school, but since it has been so long, I have to go through the WHOLE class again. So I have class on Tuesday/Thursday's from 4:30-9 for two weeks with the potential for a Saturday class on March 2nd if we do not get through everything. I am the oldest in my class by far, with most other participants being 15 and 16 years old. The class is very easy since I have been trained before and much of it is common sense, so I am pretty much the instructors favorite person who she has demonstrate most techniques (and she will be my boss, so this is good). However, educators truly are the worst students, because I am secretly judging her the whole time thinking I could teach the class much better.

The funny thing about being surrounded by high school students is that I genuinely like them and feel like we really are not much different. We often break into groups to do saving techniques and back boarding practice, and I joke around and chat with them. We talk about school, sports, and life in general (Did you see 'The Bachelor' this week?! OMG! I know!). Most of them play soccer, so I am also bonding with them over their soccer tryout experiences since I am coaching. I seriously want to be their friend. This leaves me feeling a). creepy, because I am ten years older than them and could be their counselor if I worked at their school and b). childish, because WHY do I have SO much in COMMON with 15/16 year olds?! It just reiterates the fact that I feel like I am 17. I am going to be that sketchy old person that always hangs with young people. Crap!

Yup, this is equivalent to the age difference. See? Creepy.

My least favorite part of the class, though, is having to get in the water. Don't get me wrong, I love swimming and the pool (it is also great cross training for my half marathon), but I am always cold. Thirty minutes in the water and my skin is a raisin and I am shaking uncontrollably. I wish I could demonstrate my skills and immediately get out instead of watching/practicing. Or that we were doing it all in a hot tub. *Sigh*

One week down and one to go! Hopefully I don't end up in the news next week with all my underage friends!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Soccer Round 2!

I have been suckered into it coaching!

I was all good on my plan to do LESS this spring, and then I got guilt-tripped into co-coaching soccer with another teacher at school. We were given the option to coach last minute because no one else applied for the job, so we were able to make pretty strict rules about what we could commit to with the Athletic Director. I think it will actually be less time than when I was an assistant coach two years ago, and I have more control/power (ha!). I babysit every Wednesday, so I automatically cannot stay after those days, and me and the other coach both agreed no Friday practices. We also are tightening up the rules and practice times. Players cannot be late, unprepared, miss practice or have rides show up late and still be on the team. We will practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday immediately after school from 2:30- 3:30 and Wednesdays from 3:00- 4:00. When I coached two years ago practice was from 2:30- 4:30, so these hours are MUCH better. Games start in mid-March and will be on Tuesday and Thursdays. There is also only a Varsity team, so our time at games is quick since we do not have to play a JV game. I am excited to get to know a new group of girls, because I genuinely liked my previous soccer girls, and it will be nice to have the chance to reshape and lead a program with a friend (who has coaching experience)! Tryouts are this Wednesday and Thursday, and I will miss both days due to previously scheduled engagements...

The hardest part is doing all this while still half-marathon training AND training for my summer job. I am going have to start exercising permanently in the mornings (which I have been doing more of and am actually growing to like...most days... (5:30 AM is just a gross hour to see)...), since I won't have time, and until the half-marathon, I will have to include a lot of running in the practices:) Luckily, endurance is important in soccer!

Come to some games if you live in the area! We usually play at 5 when we're home:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Full of LOVE

I feel so full of love today. Love for life, my friends and family; full of optimism and believing in the good of people. It is perfect that this all has been accentuated by the fact that it is Valentine's Day! Days like today are always amusing in a high school, because students carry around balloons, candy and teddy bears like prized possessions (surely to the dismay of their single peers). Many coworkers of mine also got delivered flowers and chocolates, and Valentine's were put in mailboxes with special cupcakes for sale (thank you to my Secret Buddy for my Valentine basket)! It was a very festive day.

The ironic, yet funny, part of my day was that my coworker had to leave work before her boyfriend's flowers arrived. Since I live closest to her, I offered to take them home, and they spent the day on my desk! I felt very special and found it very ironic/funny having these flowers in my office and when taking them out to my car, which confused many friends who wondered who they were from (someone even excitedly walked into my office saying, "OMG who are those from??!!")! So thanks to my coworkers boyfriend, Shane, for my 5 minutes of feeling special:)! Obviously not what he intended.

On another wrote, I wrote about my true loves on Valentine's Day two years ago, and the statement still captures exactly how I feel about my amazing, loving friends:

My friends are magnificent people who touch the lives of many, including me. The good that they do for the world is immeasurable. I am lucky to know each and everyone of them. Because I think that true love, true soul mates, are those that grow up with you and stick by you. They are your partners in crime even when all the complexities and distances of life get in the way. They challenge you and their spirit stays with you. They are who you know at seven and seventy-seven; some for only a short while and some for your whole life; some to help you through one part and others to stand by you through it all. You may not live with them or know them forever, and you may not gaze into each other's eyes and share romantic moments and feelings (though that could be argued), but the love you have for your friends can often be the most intimate kind, because it is truly non-binding and without expectations: one done out of pure choice and love.

Friends are my constant, true Valentines! Much LOVE to you all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Boobs are Trying to Kill Me

I recently found out that a younger sorority sister of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of last year at the age of 25. It is just mind-blowing that a perfectly healthy, young person would get such an aggressive form of cancer that requires a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation and reconstruction. She is choosing humor and honesty as a way to cope with the next 6 months and has begun her own blog to document her journey. I now have it linked on the right side of the page, but I highly encourgae you to read it. She is so open, honest and funny, and a GREAT writer. Keep her in your thoughts, and I also encourage you to visit the blog of another friend's organization, Still Easier Than Chemo, as well.

I went for a long walk today, and even tried a light jog. It was slow, it was embarrassing, I looked like a fool because I wasn’t wearing any of the right equipment, but I DON’T CARE. I am constantly amazed at the mood-lifting power of a little exercise and a little sunshine. Thank you, Lord, for giving Southern California 330 days of beautiful weather a year. And also for inventing iced tea. Amen.

The body is an amazing thing, and I think even more so in the wake of a cancer diagnosis. Here’s this earthly vessel, this flesh and blood that I only get one of, this little 5’2″, 100 pound sack of meat and offal, that one moment tried to kill me and the next spent four weeks miraculously healing me from a traumatic surgical wound.

Of their own volition, my cells saw the holes in my sides where the drains had been, the pokes in my hand and arm where the IVs went, and patched them up, little by little rebuilding what had been destroyed.

One month before my diagnosis, this body carried me to a 1 hour, 51 minute finish in my first ever half-marathon, a time that shattered my goal of two hours and exceeded my wildest expectations of what I was capable of achieving. From August to December, I had the incredible privilege to be a member of Richmond’s X-Team, a group of incredible individuals who wake up each morning at 6am to dedicate an hour of their day to working out in the grass and dew. I was diagnosed on a Friday; the Wednesday before, I ran 17 miles, prepping for my first full marathon. All that time, all those hours I was building muscle, eating kale, doing push-ups, running laps, my body was simultaneously improving and dismantling itself on a cellular level. What a paradox this life can be.

It’s such a cliche to say that having a brush with death will change your outlook, but I’ve found that it’s a cliche for a good reason. I’m not saying I treasure every single second of life, because sometimes, I’m still pissed off about the DVR not recording this week’s episode of Girls or opening the fridge and being out of Greek yogurt. But overall, being alive rules. It just rules, you guys. 

Basically, my post-cancer plan is this:
Step 1: Live.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Never die.

I’ve been staring at this post for a while, feeling like it’s not quite up to snuff. I was staring at my computer and my notepad for a while this morning, trying to come up with something awesome to say, and failing over and over again. (I think I did okay in the end, though, right guys? Guys?) Frustrated, I went back to just Googling medicines that I have to take, which is something I do with alarming frequency. I’m on something called Tamoxifen, which is part of my fertility drug regimen and will also be a part of my post-chemotherapy five-year hormone therapy. I’m not joking, one of Tamoxifen’s side effects is “reduced cognitive function.”

Are you kidding? “Reduced cognitive function” is like a get-out-of-jail-free card. Assuming my cognitive function doesn’t become so reduced that I endanger myself by, say, injecting myself with vodka seltzer instead of my fertility drug cocktail, no one can get mad at me for being an idiot for the next five years!

So if you thought this post sucked, blame the drugs, because they’re literally making me dumber.

It's stories and people like this that make you think twice about what you are complaining or stressed about and choose to live and fight for those who can't.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Save the Date(s)!

It's gonna be a busy wedding season! Check out my fridge:

Yup, that's 8 weddings this spring/summer as of February! As I have said, I have some pretty loveable friends.

But, as I have also said, weddings bring me a mixed bag of emotions. My great friend, Meredith, who is getting married in July, suggested I read this blog she follows for wedding tips, because it also has great posts on what weddings are like for people who aren't married. The original post is here, but I cut and pasted my favorite parts below, because it puts into words my feelings towards my friends' weddings.

...At thirty years old, I’m single and I’ve never been married. (Engaged once, and that was a huge mistake. The relationship was terrible and I rushed it because of wanting the wedding.)

For years now I have listened to the messages of society about how a woman’s worth is directly tied up in her marital status. I try not to believe it, but it’s hard not to. It’s everywhere I turn. From the Huffington Post publishing an article claiming that if you’re not married by thirty the reason is you must be a bitch, to my mom’s friends gossiping about why someone is still single. “She cared about her career too much.” “She shouldn’t have wasted time with that man who wasn’t going to commit.” 

Everyone has an opinion about what a girl has done wrong to end up thirty and unmarried. All that pressure and emotion is extremely present when going to friends’ weddings. I adore my friends, I’m delighted for them when they get engaged and married. That doesn’t make it easy for me, though. 

When my closest friend from home called me to tell me she was engaged, I felt two things at once. Very happy for her and devastated that her new husband was “stealing” her from me. I mourned the loss of being the closest person in her life. I felt like her wedding was a ceremony to replace me. In a lot of ways, it was.

I know weddings are about the bride and groom and their love, but at the same time I’m battling my own inner war. I can’t make that go away. As much as I love weddings, they are always going to remind me of what I’m missing, of what I wanted for myself that I’ve not been able to get (when everything else I want is something I work toward and achieve). They fill me with jealousy, love, well wishes, remorse, frustration, appreciation, and disappointment.

Another related post, check out Not Behind, Just Different

I am actually currently very ok my relationship status (I need a dating break) and the weddings coming up (perhaps it has to do with the "Epiphanies" I posted about and an overall feeling of peace I am currently in the midst of (please stay!)), but I also know me and know that I will get down in the dumps between now and when I watch my last friend walk down the aisle this year. My goal is to try to have more joy and ENJOY the weddings, rather than feel sorry for myself or like I am missing out. Heck, maybe I will even bring a date to a wedding this year! Small steps, right?

Friday, February 8, 2013


I have been experiencing a lot of clarity about certain areas of my life recently (I hope this is not a bad omen…like clarity in the times before something horrible happens…), but since you never know how long clarity will last or if you will even remember WHAT THE HECK made so much sense all of the sudden, I thought I would write it down!
  1. I can’t eat or drink crap anymore. Now, I learned pretty much in college that drinking was never my strong suite, but I was able to do and enjoy it without much issue during my 4 years as a Wahoo. However, I literally cannot drink anymore. One or two drinks is about all I can do without negative side effects, and even then, I would rather have Sweet Frog. Sorryimnotsorry. Sad fact, though, is that now I can’t even EAT like crap and feel fine the next day (so long to 2am pizza deliciousness). I now get headaches, feel bloated, and am tired & cranky the day after a food free for all. I guess these effects would go away if I did it more, but I can’t understand how people can get significantly overweight and feel ok. I just feel awful and don’t like doing it. I am all for going out for a big meal and treating myself to desserts, but I simply don’t love gorging myself on crap like I used to.
  2. I would rather just sleep. You want to go out to a bar at 10 PM? I would rather just sleep. My window for doing anything in the evening needs to happen before 8 (earlier on weeknights) or else I won’t do it. When it’s dark, and I am on my couch watching TV or reading a good book, chances are that’s where I am staying. And you know what? I am finally ok with it. I used to feel so guilty when I would say I wanted to/would do something and then change my mind, but now I often just say “maybe” and leave it to depend on how I feel day/night of. And it is glorious. I can’t sleep in anymore anyways, so I really would rather be home on the weekends no later than midnight.
  3. Sometimes having no plans is the best plan. I am a planner to a “P!” I love having things to do and staying busy, but I have found in the New Year that my weekends with no plans in advance actually are very nice. I can do what I want when I want and on my own time. I also am open to more spontaneity, which I enjoy. I think it is part of me trying to live in the moment, and I like it.
  4. I don’t like being rushed to get ready. I can get ready in 25 minutes flat (as I have blogged about before) before work, but the thing is, I don’t like to be rushed anymore. I NEED time to wake up and get my mind ready for the day or for whatever activity I am doing next during the day if it involves showering/changing. Unfortunately, this means me waking up now around 5:45 AM instead of 6:20 AM, but I actually feel better during the day with that extra time. And I have absolutely no problem falling asleep when my head hits the pillow before 10 PM:) Oh how I wish for a slightly later work schedule....say 8-4?!

Have you had any epiphanies lately? Sound out below! And have a GREAT weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This is SO true

I particularly agree with 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 22, 25, and 27! You?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Training Posts #3, #4 & #5

I wanted to take a break from posting about my training EVERY week, because I know ya'll don't wanna hear about it all the time. I am very proud of myself for doing this half-marathon, but I also know that it is just part of who I am right now, so it shouldn't encompass all I have to say! And if you know me, you know I have a lot to say all the time:)

The week of January 13-19th, I only got one run in during the week due to the rain (literally a week with no sun and rain every day), but it was a fabulous run, and I was able to cross train on the other days I would have run. I went ahead with my long run on Saturday and did another week of an increase to tackle 9 miles! It went pretty well. I was definitely more fatigued in my muscles due to not training as much during the week, but I felt pretty good up until mile 7, when my legs proceeded to feel like jello! I walked for about a minute to regain some strength before finishing up the run and completed the 9 miles in 1:31.03. My 10 minute mile pace is pretty consistent whether I go 4 or 8 miles, so I feel good about that. No sore muscles this time because I had a nice meal within an hour after the run with good protien and carbs. I do think I need to strategically place Gatorade or some type of gel pack along my route once I go more than 6 miles, because I think that will help my muscle energy after running for over an hour (and it is recommended). I will do a loop on my next long run so I can place those things somewhere.

January 20-27th was a drop back week after three weeks of mileage increases. I tried to up my weekly total miles as opposed to my long run mileage but hit hiccups in that due to a busy schedule and weather issues (hello winter!). I ran 4 miles on Monday and 3 miles on Wednesday and, with some snow on the ground, did 4.25 on Saturday and 6.15 on Sunday. I averaged less than 10 minute miles on all of my runs that week, so that is good news. Hopefully my speed with stay consistent on longer runs.

This past week was the beginning of double digit long runs! I cross trained on Monday, did a little over 4 miles on Tuesday and ran 3 in the dark on Wednesday (it was very warm and breezy Tuesday and Wednesday this week- in the 70's!). I took off Thursday and Friday to gear up for Saturday and did some good carb loading Friday night:)! I got to run with my friend Jessica and, it was VERY cold (20-25 degrees...actually felt great once we got going), but I did 10.15 miles in 1:43.03! I felt GREAT and contribute part of that to a better, slower pace from my friend and a strategic Gatorade stop at about mile 8 (we looped back to my place where we left out drinks), which helped my last few miles. I am feeling very good about the half now because we both agreed that we could have kept going for another 3 miles, even though we were glad we didn't have to:)

I am looking forward to a "rest" week before I tackle 10 miles again in 2 weeks and the 12-miler run in 3 weeks!