Monday, October 31, 2011

LLRB 365: 2012 Week 42

Monday
10-24-11
Bought some fabric for my Halloween costume.

Tuesday
10-25-11
My first post-marathon run. Not too shabby.

Wednesday
10-26-12
Dinner & a movie

Thursday
10-27-11
Added a charm to my necklace!

Friday
10-28-11
Winter arrived, at least for the morning

Saturday
10-29-11
A nice 5 mile run with a stop to visit Nessie

Sunday
10-30-11
A beautiful day in downtown GR. I love the peacefulness of the Fish Ladder.



It felt amazing to get back to running this week.  I still need to "make a plan" and figure out what kind of training I'm going to do for the next few months, but the 8 miles I ran this week are at least a start.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Buds, Brews, & Booze

This week I've been enjoying the occasional adult beverage after work. (It's been a long, stressful week my friends.) I even got to enjoy a brew with a good friend after a nice walk to the brewpub on Saturday.




I am most thankful for my buds, but the brews & booze have been appreciated this week too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

True Confession Tuesday-Post Marathon Blues

So, the past week and 2 days have been really *weird* for me.  You see, I ran this little marathon on 10/16/10 and since then I've felt totally lost.  I've only worked out twice (both times using Nike Training Club and doing strength work) and each workout literally kicked my ass.  I felt so incredibly out of shape that it was sad.  Granted, I really slacked on the strength work near the end of training anyway, so I totally got what I deserved in that respect.  I also did a 4 mile walk on Saturday that left my shins more sore than the marathon - go figure.  Clearly I need to stick to running?  I feel like I have no direction because I don't have any workouts mapped out on my calendar.  My next big race, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, is in 96 days.  I have plenty of time to train and since I don't plan on running this race for *time* per se, the pressure is off a bit maybe too much.  Also, as Kirsten pointed out, my longest training run for this will be a piece of cake after marathon training.  I'm hoping to do an 8k in November (depending on where we are for Thanksgiving) and a 5k in December (likely in TONS of snow - also NOT a PR type of race).  I haven't run since the marathon, and frankly, I'm a little scared that it won't go well or something.  It sounds completely stupid when I type it out, but there you go.

My eating has been shit and I said I wouldn't step on the scale for at least a couple weeks after the marathon.  Well, I stepped on the scale on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised to see a number a couple pounds less than my "danger zone" weight.  Now, with all the shit I ate and drank over the weekend, I'm probably back up over the danger zone, but whatever.  The main thing is needing to get my eating and this marathon gluttony in check. 

My emotions are also all over the place.  I'm better this week, but still feel like I could burst into tears at any moment.  Work was VERY hard last week, with some extremely challenging students and stressful parent meetings, and I even cried in front of another teacher.  Now he keeps asking me if everything is okay.  F*CK.  I so did not want to go there.  KWIM?

I'm sure a lot of what I'm feeling is post-marathon blues.  You train and train and have a goal for 4 months and then *poof* in less than 5 1/2 hours, it's over.  I know I just need to snap out of it, but it's hard.  At least it is for me. 

Have you ever experienced post-race blues?  What did you do to get over it?

Monday, October 24, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 42

This week has been a bit of a let-down after finishing the Grand Rapids Marathon last Sunday.  (You can read my race report and see video here.  If you want to see my official race photos, you can check them out here.)  I've been trying to lay low and make sure I'm fully recovered before I jump back into training.  Anyhoo....here's a peek at my week.
Monday
10-17-11
Loving my Grand Rapids Marathon bling!

Tuesday
10-18-11
The van got some new bling, too!

Wednesday
10-19-11
A much needed trip to the chiropractor.

Thursday
10-20-11
First post-marathon workout with my Chocolate Milk Refuel swag.  This just in - marathons hurt your abs too, even if you don't realize it at first.

Friday
10-21-11
SQUEEEE

Saturday
10-22-11
Today was the "Run the Hood" virtual 5k and 10k hosted by The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  I didn't sign up (not knowing what condition I'd be in this week) but decided to walk it as a "bandit" with Mel. We had a great time and finished our walk at Bell's Brewery.  Win-Win!

Sunday
10-23-11
Today was the first concert of the 2011-2012 season for the concert band M performs with. They put on a great show today.

I had some rough emotions last week, coming off the marathon and coupled with a very stressful work week. Do you ever have the blues after finishing a major race?  How do you cope?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Support

For the past 4 months or so, I've been preparing to tackle my toughest run to date: the Grand Rapids Marathon.  I completed that goal this past Sunday and could not be more proud of myself.  You can read my race report here (lots of pictures & even some video!).  I even feel pretty much back to "normal" physically (mentally is a subject for another post).

I've talked a lot about how my online community of friends (along with my friends and family here) have been so incredibly supportive of me in this journey.  During the race, I had my phone with me but had turned off the notifications for Twitter and Facebook.  I figured a few people would be encouraging me as I ran and I didn't want it to distract me from the task at hand, which was "left foot, right foot, lather, rinse, repeat".  I tweeted a couple times late in the race and saw lots of mentions but I didn't read them at the time.  When I finished the race and sent a tweet that I was finished and officially a marathoner, I was shocked to see how many mentions I had. 
146 mentions during the course of the race.  That, my friends, is support.  I don't have a clue what the total number was by the end of the day or how many comments I had through Facebook, but it was huge.  This is what having an online community of friends is all about.  Support.  Love.  Encouragement.  For this, I thank you.  MWAH

Monday, October 17, 2011

Grand Rapids Marathon - A Race Report

Oh my goodness, where do I even begin to describe/recap my first full marathon?!?!  This is something I've been training for since June, but really, all the running I've done in the past 5 years or so (when I said I'd NEVER run a marathon) have led up to this moment.

The day started out like most race mornings.  The alarm going off WAY too freaking early and me trying to down some food and fluids.  I got all dolled up in my My Race Ragz custom t-shirt and purple Team Sparkle skirt.  I may not feel great running this marathon, but you better believe I'll be adorable doing it!
We left the house a little after 6 with the goal to be downtown around 6:30 so I could find Pete and Megan (never did find Keith or Steve), use the bathrooms 465 times, and relax a bit.  The weather driving downtown was abysmal.
My hubby, Mike, and dad came down to see me off.  Dad gave me a kiss and then ended up waiting in the car because the weather was still a bit rainy, but Mike was there and video'd my start. Thankfully, the real rain had stopped and we just had some sprinkles for the start of the race.  
Miles 1-4 take us through a loop around the downtown Grand Rapids area.  At the beginning of the race, I started chatting with a girl named Jessica who was also doing her first marathon.  She wanted to try and maintain a 12 m/m pace and that's what I was hoping to start out with.  We chatted and kept trying to reign each other in.  Around mile 2, I saw my friends Angie (who BQ'd at the Chicago Marathon last weekend - ROCKSTAR!!!) and Joe with a sign that said, "If it was easy, everyone would do it". So totally awesome!.  We made it through town and headed south toward the outer reaches of the course. Thankfully, the rain had stopped and we had cloudy skies with just a little bit of wind. (Splits: 11:36, 11:37, 11:47, 11:41)
Miles 5-10 head us out into the reaches of the Grand Rapids park system.  We ran through Butterworth Park (known to some as the Serengeti) and I took a potty break at about mile 6.5.  I rounded the corner at mile 7 and was shocked to see Mike, Joe and Angie here!  It was a great boost (Angie's sign said "You know you want me" with a picture of the marathon medal - um YEP, I did!) and I gave everyone quick hugs and kept on my way.  There's a pretty steady climb from miles 5 to 7 and again from 8 to 9 and my legs were starting to feel the pain.  At mile 10, we headed into Millennium Park. (Splits: 11:36, 11:41, 12:19 (potty break!), 11:05 (extra energy from seeing friends & fam?), 11:39, 11:25)
Miles 11-13 are run around the lake in Millennium Park and then along the north side of the Grand River.  At this point I was starting to walk some and my legs were feeling really tired.  I was pretty much abandoning my original time goal (which in all honesty, was too ambitious to begin with).  I've never run the trails here and it was absolutely beautiful.  I go to that beach in the summer, but had never seen it from the other side before!

Just before mile 12, at the top of the steepest hill on the course, was my friend Mel, with a sign that read "Run Hooker Run" (inside joke).  She made me run up that hill to give her a hug!
I came out of Millennium Park and headed toward Veteran's Memorial Parkway (which is part road/part trail system).  As I came upon the aide station just past mile 12 I heard "Mrs. F!!!!!"  It was two of my students who happened to be working the station!  OMG these two girls absolutely made my day when they screamed my name and ran up to give me a hug.  One of their moms was there too and I got a giant hug and a "get moving" from her.  This was one of the biggest highlights of my race.  When I hit the 1/2 way point and saw my time was around 2:35, I knew, feeling as tired as I was, that I was not going to finish in under 5 hours.  Seeing the girls just before this and remembering Kirsten's advice to "enjoy the miles" helped me relax and not stress about the time anymore.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I'd finish the race.  (Splits: 13:14, 11:32, 11:32)
Miles 14-20 are essentially an out and back portion run on the Kent Trails system.  Just before mile 14 you cross the river and begin running along the south bank.  I'm familiar with the roads from doing so many training runs (plus the River Bank Run uses this too) so I was looking forward to this part of the course.  Also, because it's an out and back, I was able to see many of the speedy runners and saw my friend Pete for a few seconds.  Right around mile 15, I also saw Angie, Joe, and Mike again (oh, and Murphy the dog was with them too!).  I grabbed some pickle juice, got hugs and kisses, and kept on my way.  To date, my longest race was the RBR 25k (15.5 miles).  This section was very tough mentally.  I was still running quite a bit, but my legs were really starting to hurt.  All the runners coming the other direction motivated me to keep moving, and that's what I did.  At about 17.5 you loop around and head back the way you came.  I was tired and walking a lot.  I came back to the pickle juice station and there was Angie.  I started to cry and she told me to STOP and keep moving and ran with me.  She said you don't get to mile 18 in a marathon and give up.  At this point, run-walk-crawl-finish.  She was headed to her son's basketball game but would talk to me later.  I kept plugging along, definitely walking a lot more than I wanted to (my legs were starting to cramp up, but the pickle juice seemed to be helping).  I hit the mile 20 sign and realized I was headed into uncharted territory but I really didn't feel that bad. I tweeted: "20 mile warm up complete. Time to run (using that term loosely) a 10k.  I've done tons of those. Right? Also, can't wait to read your tweets."  When I tweeted at miles 15, 18 and 20, I saw how many mentions I had from my friends all around the country (world even) supporting me and it lifted me in ways you guys will never know.  (Splits: 12:03, 12:28, 13:11, 12:39, 12:37, 14:39, 12:58).
Miles 21-23 were very tough for me mentally and physically.    I hit the mat at 21 and then looped back around and back across the river onto Veteran's.  There weren't many people out here and it was pretty lonely.  I worked to run at least a 1/4 mile at a time, but even this was getting tough.  I kept looking at the wristbands I was wearing, with so many of my supporters/friends names written on them.  I could do this.  At mile 23 I tweeted "23 done. Just over a 5k to go.  And the sun is out!"  I called my daughter to let her know where I was. Just past mile 23 I saw Angie.  Here I thought she had gone to her son's game, but no.  She was going to get me to that finish line no matter what. (Splits: 13:28, 12:42, 13:09)
Miles 24-26.2 Angie and I headed back into the Serengeti and this time it was up hill.  Angie encouraged me to run by pointing out targets: an aide station - where I saw my friend Mark from church & got a hug, an American flag, a runner to pass.  You get the idea.  We snapped some photos.
24.5 photo courtesy of Mark
The sun had come out and it was getting warm.  But I only had a mile to go! The wind was also picking up, but thank goodness it wasn't like Saturday's 30 mph winds!  Angie ran with me until we could see the finish line about 1/2 a mile in the distance.  She told me she'd see me on the other side and was gone.  In the last 1/2 mile, I saw Mel again.  She ran out and gave me a big hug.  Then, with less than a 1/4 mile to go, my kids joined me.  They gave me high-fives and said they wanted to run with me to the end.  

I crossed the finish line with my children on each side of me (actually beating my track star daughter!).  My dad, Mike, Joe and Angie were yelling for me at the fence.  The announcer read my name.  At the finish line, I saw my friend Judi (who is on staff with the Grand Rapids Marathon).  

I held onto Judi and we cried.  Then I got a hug from race director Don Kern (he hugs EVERYBODY who crosses!). It was so awesome to have her there at the end because she was one of the first people who really encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone and sign up for this marathon.  She even got a medal from a volunteer and hung my medal around my neck.  I Am A Marathoner. Cue more tears. 

I wish I could remember what songs were playing through my earbuds at different points because so many times, the song that shuffled in was exactly what I needed at that moment.  I know I had "Firework" at the 5k mark and "Lose Yourself" as I entered Millennium Park.  "Don't Stop Believing" played 3 times during the race (3 different versions - 2 Glee plus the original).  I tried to remember what some of the random signs were along the course, but other than the ones my friends made, I really can't remember any.  What I remember most is the feeling on accomplishment when I crossed that finish line.  That, and knowing I had so many friends and family cheering me on, both IRL and through twitter and facebook.  I couldn't have done this without all of your love, support and encouragement.

(Final splits: 14:10, 12:46, 13:52, and a 9:57 *holy crap* for the last 1/4 mile or so - my Garmen ran a little long)


LLRB 365: 2011 Week 41

It's been a big week.
Monday
10-10-11
I love cooking in our antique Griswold cast iron skillets. Chili & corn bread - YUM

Tuesday
10-11-11
Watched D & K's marching band take a Division I (like an A) rating at Marching Band Festival.

Wednesday
10-12-11
Trying to eat healthy this week!

Thursday
10-13-11
OK, so maybe not THAT healthy.  I only had one three.

Friday
10-14-11
Carb loading - Friday Night Lights style

Saturday
10-15-11
All gear'd up for tomorrow!

Sunday
10-16-11
I'm a Marathoner!!!!!

Obviously, finishing my first marathon on Sunday was the highlight of my week (although those pretzel things were pretty darn good!).  Full race report will be coming this week - hopefully sooner rather than later.  If you want to check out the abridged version on DailyMile, you can go here.

I know there were a ton of people racing this weekend.  Did you race (or have a training run)?  Let me know and send me the link if you posted about it.  Pretty please?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fitness Friday: Motivation

As I head into Grand Rapids Marathon weekend, I'm looking for a little extra motivation.  I received some in my email this morning from race director Don Kern who wrote: 

"The Time Has Come!

The awesomeness meter is about to go off the scale!  And it's all YOUR FAULT!!  You're ready.  You've trained.  You're totally up for this!  

Looking forward to seeing all of you.  

Remember to have FUN out there!

See you at Finish Line.



and the adventure continues....
Don Kern
Race Director, Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon"

I'm also planning to wear some motivation:
Everyone who has committed to "running" a mile with me will have their names written on one of those bracelets sharing space with my RoadID.  Here's who is running with me so far:
Mile 1 - The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
Mile 2 - Elaine
Mile 3 - Meg (dancindeac) & Tirah
Mile 4 - Brooke
Mile 5 - Beki (running her 5th 1/2 marathon of the year) & Melissa
Mile 6 - Angie
Mile 7 - Jen B
Mile 8 - my kids and hubby
Mile 9 - Jaime & McLittle & Barb R
Mile 10 - Thea (who will be running her first 1/2 marathon on Sunday!)
Mile 11 - Lani (armytbonegirl)
Mile 12 - Mel (who will also physically BE at mile 12 cheering!!!)
Mile 13 - Erin
Mile 14 - Andrea and Mendie
Mile 15 - Kim
Mile 16 - Ashley
Mile 17 - Laura P
Mile 18 - Ann G
Mile 19 - JenIRL
Mile 20 - Lisa M & Colleen
Mile 21 - My Race Ragz
Mile 22 - Roo
Mile 23 - Ben
Mile 24 - Megan (who is running her first 1/2 marathon - at Grand Rapids too!)
Mile 25 - Kirsten
Mile 26.2 - All Mine

As you can see, there are a few miles left unclaimed.  Go ahead and take one!  If your favorite number is already taken - no problem.  The miles are long (especially all those after the 1/2 way point!) so if you want to share, I'm cool with that.  Just leave a comment and claim your spot :-)

Watch twitter Sunday morning - I've signed up for the on-course tweets of my progress.  Don't be surprised if I don't tweet back until I'm finished though.  The weather looks a bit dicey, so my phone will probably stay safely sealed in a ziplock until after the race.  Who know, though.  I might feel compelled to tweet a photo or two.  You know me.  I loves me some twitter!

Thank you again to everyone who has helped me get this far.  Next time I post, I'll be a Marathoner!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday: My Running Partners

I have been blessed to have so many friends supporting me as I run my first marathon in just 3 short days *gulp*!  I'm still missing a few miles - so let me know if you'd like to run with me on Sunday!  My thought is to write everyone's names/miles either on my arm (but my arms are pretty short and that's A LOT of names) or on a few rubber sport bracelets.  In any case, I know all of you will help me get across that finish line on Sunday.  Check out the course map and see where you'll be running with me!
Click here for the interactive course map. Image courtesy of the Grand Rapids Marathon.
Here are my awesome running partners/sponsors:
Mile 1 - The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
Mile 2 -
Mile 3 -
Mile 4 - Brooke
Mile 5 - Beki (running her 5th 1/2 marathon of the year) & Melissa
Mile 6 - Angie
Mile 7 - Jen B
Mile 8 - my kids and hubby
Mile 9 -
Mile 10 - Thea (who will be running her first 1/2 marathon on Sunday!)
Mile 11 -
Mile 12 - Mel (who will physically BE at mile 12 !!!)
Mile 13 - Erin
Mile 14 - Andrea and Mendie
Mile 15 -
Mile 16 - Ashley
Mile 17 -
Mile 18 - Ann G
Mile 19 - JenIRL
Mile 20 - Lisa
Mile 21 - My Race Ragz
Mile 22 - Roo
Mile 23 - Ben
Mile 24 - Megan (who is running her first 1/2 marathon - at Grand Rapids too!)
Mile 25 - Kirsten
Mile 26.2 - All Mine

As you can see, there are a few miles left unclaimed.  Seriously, writing them all out like this - wow, that's a lot of miles!  Feel free to claim an open mile by leaving me a comment of which one you'd like!

I am so very thankful for everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, yelled at me to get my runs in when I didn't want to go, told me to listen to my body when I was sick, etc, etc.  I really wouldn't be doing this without all of you.  MWAH!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Winner Winner! @MyRaceRagz Custom Tech Shirt

Super big puffy hearts love to everyone who entered my giveaway for a My Race Ragz custom tech shirt.  I absolutely love mine and can't wait to sport it crossing the finish line of the Grand Rapids Marathon on Sunday!!!  

I know I said I'd announce the winner tomorrow, but I just couldn't wait.  
So, without further ado, the winner of the My Race Ragz shirt is (drum roll please!)....


Ann G from She's Gonna Blow!!!!!

I love this woman so much - she is doing some pretty awesome things right now, namely training to walk the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure!  You really should go check out her blog and if your heart so moves you, consider donating to her walk.

So, Ann, I know how to get ahold of you on Twitter but if you could also send me your email that would be fantabulous!  Congratulations and I can't wait to see what kind of shirt you design!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Terrific True Confessions Tuesday: Last Day to Enter!

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a custom tech shirt from My Race Ragz.  You have until 9:00 PM EST, so click that link and ENTER! I'll be running in my shirt on Sunday - what will you wear for your next race?


Since this is True Confession day, I'm going to confess that I need to not step on the scale until after the marathon.  I'm thinking at least a week after the marathon.  Yesterday morning the bi*ch made me want to cry and I am so much more than a number on a piece of machinery!  I am a 41 year old woman who is going to be running her first marathon in 5 days, dammit!  I've been training my @$$ off since June (well, apparently not LITERALLY) and I should be thrilled with what my body has been capable of.  Gaining a couple pounds during training and taper shouldn't make me freak out.  Now...if they aren't gone within a month AFTER the marathon, then we've got a problem.

Also, I'd like to confess I wish it was Sunday around 1:30 pm so I could stop feeling like I might barf or cry at any given moment.  If you see me in Target this week sobbing, just ignore me.  Yesterday's edition of the Grand Rapids Marathon Newsletter contained some very good advice from marathon director Don Kern.

"EVERYBODY HERE LOVES YOU

So, I said all that to make this point:

RE-FREAKIN'-LAX
You're ready.  You've prepared.  You've trained.  And now, it's time for the fun.  Feel the energy from the people around you.  Find someone wearing a staff jacket and give them a hug.  It's your day now.  Enjoy everything about it. 

Don't stress about parking.  There's plenty.  Don't stress about aid stations.  They're well stocked, and they're ROCKIN'.  Don't stress about portajohns.  We have plenty.  (Some of them look like big blue plastic boxes and have white toilet paper.  Many others look like big plants with woody stems and have various colored toilet paper on them.)

Everybody here loves you.  We're all here to help.  And YOU?  You're gonna be awesome out there."

Yep - waterworks.  I'm trying, Don!  I'm trying to "re-freakin'-lax".

Monday, October 10, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 40

The end of this week marks 1 more week until the Grand Rapids Marathon!!!!
Monday
10-3-11
Most people keep a bowl of fresh fruit or candy on the counter.
I keep a bowl of Nuun, Sport Beans and Gu.

Tuesday
10-4-11
My wine from One Hope Wine came today! Thank you Klout!

Wednesday
10-5-11
I needed a little Team Sparkle to get thru my uber hot 8 mile run.
Next time I wear this skirt it will be on the Grand Rapids Marathon course!

Thursday
10-6-11
"He who has health has Hope. And he who has Hope has everything."

Friday
10-7-11
I'm just now realizing that I consumed a lot of booze this week. Must be Taper Madness.

Saturday
10-8-11
Beautiful fall morning for my last long training run - an easy 10 miler :)

Sunday
10-9-11
Walked around downtown for 3 or 4 hours to check out Art Prize!

What did you do this week?  Have you entered my giveaway for a tech shirt from My Race Ragz?  You have until Tuesday night at 9pm EST to enter!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fitness Friday: Taper Madness

We are now into the SINGLE DIGIT countdown to the Grand Rapids Marathon!!!!  9 days, baby!

A few random thoughts about "taper madness"

  • You become completely germ-obsessed: since I've been sick for the past almost 2 weeks now, apparently I wasn't germ-obsessed enough.
  • You become a self-proclaimed meteorologist: I seriously need to stay away from all sites weather-related. As a bonus, the long-term forecast for Sunday, October 16th is partly cloudy with a high of 58* and a low of 44*.  Winds at 11 mph and only a 20% chance of precipitation.  Now, understand this is Michigan and as they say, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change" so who freaking knows what it will REALLY be like race morning.
  • You feel every little twinge and sore spot on your body.  Today, it's my left ankle, right knee, both calves, and my the breathing issues are coming back (which makes me think the breathing crap is TOTALLY anxiety).
  • You make 52 trips to the running store in 24 hours: side bonus - you are supporting the local economy and this will also help you keep your Foursquare "mayor" status.  
  • You question every missed workout and every workout that didn't go as planned.  Then, you realize they were all learning experiences and you write a blog post about all the miles you've banked while training for this marathon.
  • You decide to cut out alcohol until after the race, but then you drink 1/2 a bottle of wine because you're stressed out and start chatting with your friends on twitter about entering Tough Mudder Indiana in 2012. (Don't worry, I came to my senses - it'll be too freaking COLD in March and I have no upper body strength to get thru the first obstacle.)
  • You check and re-check every piece of gear you own, setting out your race-day outfit a full week in advance.  Speaking of race-day outfits, have you entered my giveaway for a custom-designed tech shirt from My Race Ragz?
So, fellow victims of Taper Madness.  Did I miss anything?  What do you freak out about in the couple weeks leading up to a big race?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Miles Banked

Today marks the 10 day point.  10 days until the Grand Rapids Marathon: a race I officially started training for on June 11th, but that I've really been training for since I first laced up some running shoes back in the spring of 2006. Although at the time I would have said you were on crack if you'd suggested I'd be running a marathon 5 years later!

Since June, I have banked 353.11 miles of running.  I didn't add up biking or walking miles in there, but there were a few of those too.  Over the next 10 days, I'll do one more "long" run of 10 miles plus probably a 2 mile and a 3 mile run.  Add those last 15 miles in and you get 368.11 miles.  That's a lot of mileage deposited into "the bank".  I'll be withdrawing on those miles for many hours on October 16th.  When my legs feel like lead and I'm shaking and tired, I need to remember:

  • remember the days I got up at the crack of dawn (or before) to get in a run before the heat of summer hit, 
  • remember hitting the wall during my last 20 mile training run and recognize what that feels like so it DOESN'T happen again, 
  • remember what it was like to run with some of my best friends during the course this training and how they pushed me to go farther and faster than I ever dreamed possible.
In 10 short days, I will push my body to do something I never thought I would consider doing - run a marathon.  I wouldn't be here without those 360-some miles of training.  I certainly wouldn't be here without you all encouraging me.  

The miles are in the bank and it's almost time to start collecting.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

11 Days and Counting!

My first marathon is now just 11 days away. EEEKK!!! How am I feeling?
• The sleepless nights have already started - stupid dreams about forgetting stuff, things like that.
• I'm still sniffling, sneezing & coughing.
• I'm trying not to panic too much about missing last weekend's long run because I was sick.
• I have an 8 miler today & a 10 miler next weekend in which to bring back some confidence.
• I'm worried about running too fast, if you can believe that.
• The antibiotic I've been taking to ward off a massive sinus infection has turned my stomach (among other places) to poo. You're welcome.
• I'm really doing this. In less than 2 weeks I'm planning to run for 26.2 miles (well, mostly - there will be some walking for sure). I have some ideas about how long it might take me & I'm ok with the eternity I'll be on the road. The Grand Rapids Marathon FAQ's page says, "We’d really like it if you finish on some day ending in a “Y” Stay perpendicular and cross the FINISH LINE. We’ll save you a beer."  I'm looking forward to that beer!


Did you see?!? The Grand Rapids Marathon made this month's issue of Runner's World magazine for its pickle juice!!!  What's the weirdest food/drink you've ever encountered on a race course?

Also - Have you entered my giveaway for a custom-designed tech shirt from My Race Ragz?  Get to it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

@MyRaceRagz Shirt Giveaway!

If you know me & my running habits at all, you know I love me some tech gear. I won't run in anything else. Truth. If it says something funny or motivating, even better!

So when the lovely folks at My Race Ragz (who happen to be one of my awesome 26.2 sponsors) asked if I'd like to design a shirt to wear for my first marathon I said, "Duh! Hellz Ya!"

I finally had a chance to try out my shirt yesterday and I have to say ♥!

Pre-run! Don't I look cute?
After a hot (it was 72* while I was running!) 3.1 miles.
The pros:  light weight tech fabric, very soft, flat seams, longer length, lots of styles and fits, fast turnaround & shipping, the ability to say whatever you want!
The cons:  it's white and really sheer (you can totally see thru it, even when it's dry), I think they run a little small (I'm sporting the women's medium and it's snug), trying to come up with what you want your shirt to say (this was SO hard!).

Overall, I'm very happy with my shirt and I can't wait to wear it again when I run my first 26.2!

Ready for the best part?  My Race Ragz wants to give one of YOU a shirt as well!  What do you have to do to enter?
1.  Mandatory: Go visit My Race Ragz and come back here to leave a comment telling me your favorite shirt saying!
2.  Tweet about this giveaway.  Make sure to include @barif0815 and @MyRaceRagz in your tweet.  Leave a separate comment below.
3.  Share this giveaway on Facebook.  Yep, leave a separate comment!
4.  Like My Race Ragz on Facebook.  What do you think the next step is? - comment!
5.  Like LiveLaughRunBreathe on Facebook and let me know!

That's 5 chances to win one of these awesome tech shirts!  You have until Tuesday, 10-11-11 at 9 pm EST to enter.  I'll pick a winner (via the ultra-scientific name out of a hat) and announce it on Thursday, October 13th!

Good luck!

My Race Ragz sent me a shirt to review and sport at my marathon.  The opinions are all my own.

Is anybody out there?

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