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Marathon Training: Week 1 #bemonumental

This past week, I started training for my 12th marathon! For the past three years, I have done the Chicago Marathon in the fall but this year, I opted for a more familiar course: The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I have done this race twice before and both were great runs for me. The course is flat, it’s a great time of year and I love that I can see friends and family members throughout the course.

I have two training plans I am operating from and can’t figure out which one to fully commit to. One is a hybrid of a bunch of old training programs that involves 4 days of running per week, including Crossfit endurance (speed training). The other is the FAST program which is 3 days of running and is pretty aggressive. As for now, I am kind of doing both! As long as I stick to an overall mileage target, a long run target and do some sort of speed training each week, I will be happy.

Monday kicked off with Crossfit.

Tuesday morning, I woke up ready to run and then saw the Crossfit WOD and was torn. I love long chippers and this one was right up my alley. So I ran from my house to crossfit, did the WOD and then ran home for a total of 3 miles. That night, I went to Crossfit Endurance which was a ladder: 1 min on, 1 min off, 2 on, 1 off, 3 on, 4 on, 3, 2, 1. A total of 2.3 miles of sprinting and a 600m warm up. Total mileage for the day: 5.7.

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: I got up early to do the speed training work out FAST recommends. Based on a predicted marathon time, I was to do 1 mile warm up, then three mile repeats at 8:18/mile, then 1 mile cool down. I started from my house and ran to the canal for a total of 1.5 miles at a 9 min/mile pace. Then, I took off. My first mile was 7:54.

week1I took a 2 minute break and then knocked out the second one at 8:01.

2 down

2 down

Then finished my last mile repeat at 8:09…happily under my 8:18 target and feeling exhausted, yet strong.

I jogged home for a total of 5.5 miles. (Also, check my amazing peacock tights!)

week3

Friday: I woke up and did an easy run to shake out the legs…. 3.3 miles.

week6

Saturday: Long run day! The goal was 13 miles and I met Adam, Jess and Dana at the Monon at 7:30am. We didn’t have much of a plan other than to hover in the 9:30-9:45/mile range and to break infrequently. We ran north of the Monon and I loved being back on the red line. I have been doing so much downtown running that I have missed the familiar feeling of the Monon Trail. I saw plenty of people I knew and have so many good memories out there. Saturday was just like old times! We didn’t break until 5.5 miles and it was a longer rest. We fueled, stretched and went to the bathroom. At 6.5, we turned around and headed back to the cars. Because we were up by 106th, there were plenty of trees and Dana’s GPS wasn’t registering real-time pace very well. We kept speeding up and at one point I asked “Why are we sprinting right now?!” Dana’s watch read 9:55/mile so she kept speeding up. Finally when it caught up with her, we were doing closer to an 8:50 which is a little aggressive for a long run! But we kept powering through and kept running fast for the next 2 miles. We knew we’d have a natural break at 86th to cross the street so we sprinted there. And when we got to the other side, we slowed down to a 9:20 pace which felt amazing in comparison to the previous miles. Maybe this is a new running tactic: run fast in the middle of your long run and when you slow down it will feel easy!

From there we coasted into Broadripple and took our 2nd break at mile 11.5. Only 1.5 miles to go but we needed water and Gatorade. Adam, who hadn’t run more than 5 miles total in the past 2-3 weeks was feeling it a little and he caught up to us at our break. The four of us took off and finished around 2:04 for the ladies and 2:06 for Adam. Overall pace: 9:30! It felt awesome and I was really happy with our finish.

photo

week4Sunday: JD and I went to Crossfit together. I made him run there with me as I needed 2.4 miles to get to 30 overall miles for the week. We then did 2 crossfit workouts and walk/ran home.

Week one complete!!! Thirty miles, 9 total workouts and a great start to training. Only 15 more weeks to go!!

#bemonumental

#dozenmarathons

 

 

Firecracker 6 – 2014

Running on the 4th of July has been a Dials Family tradition for the past few years. We used to always do the Carmel Freedom Run, but last year, we changed it up and ran the Firecracker 6 for the first time. Located downtown, it’s an awesome course with great energy, and much closer to home.

I have been putting in quite a few miles lately and though I haven’t done anything over 7-10 miles since the Mini Marathon, I have been steadily running 4-5 miles often. I know I am getting faster, but I wasn’t sure how fast I could go if I pushed myself for all 6 miles of this race. My goal, however, was to race it. I talked with my friend Lilly and we planned to go side-by-side throughout the race, headphones in – no talking, just running. But the day before, she got hit by a car!!! Luckily it was just minor bruising but understandably, she didn’t race come Friday morning.

I told JD that my game plan was to finish at 54 minutes or better. My last 7 miler was at an 8:52 pace so I figured I could maintain something similar for this race. All decked out in my flag tights and trusty old American flag hat, I was ready. (Sidenote: This hat was purchased for $1 in Chicago when watching the World Cup 2010….and has been with me for every 4th of July Run since!)

photo 1

JD and I rode our bikes down to the start and visited with other friends and runners we found. The race kicked off at 8am and so JD made his way up to the front of the start while I hung back somewhere along the middle edge of the corral. I ran into a couple of friends from Crossfit and we chatted before the official gun start. With Pandora’s “pop and hip hop hits” playing in my ears, my GPS watch on one arm and my MapMyRun app in the other, I was off.

official patriotic race photo

official patriotic race photo

The first couple of miles wind through downtown and though I occasionally checked my GPS watch to determine pace, I never quite trusted it among the tall buildings and what I assumed to be poor satellite reception. But low and behold, when that first mile hit, I was right at an 8 min/mile pace. My legs felt good, my breathing was steady and yet I had clocked a very fast mile for my typical speed. I told myself to slow down as there was no way to maintain that for 6 miles. But in the back of my mind, then and throughout the entire race, was the goal of RACING this course. That meant feeling more uncomfortable than normal, pushing myself harder, breathing more rapidly. It wasn’t supposed to be easy peasy.

And so the race went…8:20s for the next two miles and then 8:38 for mile 4. By this point, we were fully in Fountain Square and going up a gradual, yet very long, uphill. I kept doing the math in my head about how much time I had banked to reach my goal, yet never allowing myself to coast in. It was also around this time that I realized I had the potential to run my fastest run on the books. I know that I have run an 8:35/mile pace for the Drumstick Dash at some point in the past, but never anything under 8:30. If I kept myself focused and moving, I could do it.

Around mile 5 it dawned on me that JD was probably well done with this race and just lounging around waiting for me. That man is a beast. And true to form, he killed it. Beating his last year’s time, he came in 28th overall pace!

jd

 

The last mile was pretty rough….my legs and lungs were feeling it and my GPS watch was definitely not working in real-time once back among the buildings. I felt like I was booking, but yet my watch told me I was running a 9:48 pace. At about .4 miles to go, I spotted JD. He had come back to run the last bit with me! I had been mentally tough this entire race – never letting a single negative thought in my head or listening to any of the voices that told me to walk through even a water stop. I hadn’t stopped once and yet when I saw JD, I could feel my will power turn a little soft. I told him I couldn’t talk and so he did all the talking. He told me I was coming up on the finish and he would meet me at the end.

With that encouragement, I cranked my legs up as much as possible and crossed the line at 50:19….which is an 8:23/mile pace. I beat my goal by almost 4 minutes and was 11 minutes faster than last year’s time! (Now I realize I am not running Kenyan speeds here…so all of this is in perspective to my pace, not in comparison to all you fasties out there) :)

meg

 

 

My friend Jason snapped this pic at the end.

My friend Jason snapped this pic at the end.

JD and I watched a couple friends cross the finish line before making our journey home, stopping by Crossfit for a few minutes to roll out our legs. I had clocked my fastest time ever and was on cloud 9. Who knew that a 6-mile race would give me such a sense of accomplishment, but indeed it did.

I think back to April when I stood at the Boston Marathon finish line and was inspired to start running more seriously. I started the 24 day/100 mile challenge, and then kept running. I know that in crossfit, if you want to get stronger, you lift heavier, so during most runs, my rally cry was “if you want to get faster, you must run faster.” I pushed myself each time I laced up my trainers and though I could feel myself getting better, it wasn’t until this race that I actually believed it. When I look back at my MapMyRun stats, almost all of them are averaging sub-9, and it’s crazy to me to think that it was just 2+ months of work that got me back to a solid running pace.

Last fall and winter, all I wanted to do was crossfit. This spring, I started shifting back to running and right now, though I am doing crossift 3x/week, it’s running that has my heart. I have no doubt that as the seasons turn, so will my passion, so this isn’t a major declaration about which one I prefer or which is better for me. I just hope that when I do swing the pendulum back after taking a break from one or the other, and consequently feel like I am out of peak crossfit or running shape, I remember that with some intense dedication over a short period of time, I can get it back  fast. It didn’t take 6 months or even a marathon to do it. It was just focused energy in one direction consistently.

I have long thought that a marathon PR wasn’t in my world anymore. How was I supposed to beat a 4:15:01 marathon (a 9:44 pace) when running just a few miles at that pace felt taxing? But now, with marathon training for the Monumental starting next week and with a little speed behind me, I’ve got hope that maybe this is the year I’ll do it!

Drive to run.

photo 5

Last month, I ran 100 miles in 24 days.

And on mile 101….I kept running.

Last week, I totaled 30.5 miles!

Last week, I totaled 30.5 miles!

I am not training for any race, yet seem to be more dedicated to running than I have in a long time.

For the first time in months (years?), I have run every day for the past 9 days.

photo 3

After getting caught in a massive downpour

 Maybe it’s the long hiatus I took from running that has me feeling refreshed.

Maybe that 24-day challenge keyed into my old, yet trusty passion for running.

Maybe it’s that I am getting faster.

8:34/mile!

8:34/mile!

Maybe it’s that I love that post-run feeling.

photo 4

So humid!

Maybe it’s because the stress of this new job melts away when I am hitting feet to pavement.

Maybe it’s because I can fit into a dress that I couldn’t last summer (Can I get a hell yeah?!)

my favorite trail these days...

my favorite trail these days…

I feel incredible, and in those moments when I am not running, I want to be. I’m not sure the reason for this surprising yet tenacious drive to run….

….but I hope it stays with me.

6

100 miles, 24 days.

 

On April 23rd, I started the 24-day challenge. The idea came to me while flying back from Boston and witnessing such an incredible spectacle of athleticism. I always feel inspired when at a race and after watching JD and his friends run the Boston Marathon, I knew I wanted to do something that motivated me to run more than I had been. So thus, the 24 Day, 100 Mile Challenge began.

If you break down the numbers, I needed to average about 4.1 miles a day for 24 days to reach my goal. That really doesn’t sound terrible, but as I got started, I realized how easy it was to get myself in the hole. In the beginning, even by just running 3 miles a day instead of 4, I’d find myself worried about how to catch up. I relied on a longer run on the weekend to get back on track but then I’d take a rest day and be right back in the red.

Regardless, this was the perfect challenge for me. When I had a long day at work and just wanted to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine, I’d at least put in a few miles. On the days I got to crossfit early, instead of just gossiping with friends before class, I’d run a mile instead. I found ways to get in miles every chance I could – whether that be on my lunch hour, before work, after crossfit, on the way to crossfit. Every meter counted and trust me, I counted every meter.

I know a lot of you use fancy apps and websites to track your miles, but me? I stick with my tried and true method of marking my calendar at work. The “x” represents the days I did crossfit and the numbers are miles. Through this challenge, I also used the notes section of my phone to tally the miles on the weekends so I wouldn’t miss any.


calendar 2

 

calendar 1

 

I also relied heavily on the MapMyRun app on my phone. Though JD and I have two GPS watches, I don’t always remember to pack them in my gym bag, so this app helped track distance and speed. I don’t know if any of you readers use MapMyRun, but it doesn’t seem quite accurate. I have run a couple of times with both it and my GPS watch and it seems to be a little liberal on the distance, which then also makes my splits faster. Though the difference is pretty negligible on the length of run, it can make a difference of about 10-15 seconds/mile on pace. For this challenge, it didn’t bother me, but I am such a stickler on exact reporting that I like to know how fast I really went and precisely how far.

6

 

The run above is a good example. Though I know I was going pretty fast in the 3rd and 4th mile, I do question if I was going *that* fast. I would guess it was about 10 seconds off. Regardless, those numbers are still pretty speedy for me and I have to credit these past 24 days for getting me there. This challenge had quite a few benefits but the two main ones are: 1) It got me back into the habit of running and 2) speed.

Habit - Malcolm Gladwell says you have to spend 10,000 hours on something to become an expert. So I am certainly no expert in running. But 100 miles in 24 days definitely made running habitual again for me. Whereas, prior to this challenge, I hadn’t gotten out of bed early enough to run before work in months, I have made it more of a regularity. And when I would come home from crossfit hungry and ready to relax, I would often change out my shirt and go run a couple of miles. Each day, I’d look at my calendar and schedule time to run. It’s what I had to do to hit my goal. But now, a few days later, it’s what I want to do. I love that I am not following a strict schedule with distance and paces and intervals. I love the flexibility this challenge provided me where I could run 2 miles or 7 miles, and every one of them counted. And I love that after taking just one day off post goal, I have put in another 11 miles in the last 3 days. It’s because I don’t dread running anymore….I actually crave it.

Speed - Before I started this challenge, all of my runs – both short and longer – ranged in the 9:45/mile to 10/mile pace. But after 100 miles in a short period, I am getting faster! Now when I head out for a run, it’s rare that I go above 9:30 and have been pushing myself to get even faster. Monday morning, I used my GPS watch to ensure accuracy and ran the following:

Mile 1: 9:29

Mile 2: 8:49

Mile 3: 8:18

Mile 4: 8:23

BOOM! Though running faster is a heckuva lot harder than a leisurely stroll, there is nothing better than “finishing strong.” My legs, lungs and body just feel awesome when I push myself. I also have been to Crossfit Endurance the past 2 weeks and hope to keep that up so I am actually working interval training into my weeks. It’s a little discouraging to run alongside girls that are so fast, but I have to just keep telling myself that to run faster, you have to run fast.

3

This past Sunday, two days post-challenge, I told myself I needed another challenge to keep this string of workouts going. I have ran each day (4, 4, and 3 respectively) but need to determine what the challenge will be. I have considered 100 miles in 30 days  (to make it a little easier on myself). But what do you think? What should my next goal be to keep me running over the next month+. I am all ears!

While you all noodle on that….here are some pics from the challenge.

Bri and I running the Mini Marathon together!

Bri and I running the Mini Marathon together!

The mini helped me get back on track after the first couple of weeks of missing my daily target!

The mini helped me get back on track after the first couple of weeks of missing my daily target!

photo 2 photo 3

I realize I haven't recapped the Mini yet, but here are some cute pics of us girls that morning. It was a fabulous day!

I realize I haven’t recapped the Mini yet, but here are some cute pics of us girls that morning. It was a fabulous day!

One of my favorite views of the city - from the downtown Canal path

One of my favorite views of the city – from the downtown Canal path

JD and I on a Saturday morning jog around downtown #teamorange

JD and I on a Saturday morning jog around downtown #teamorange

 

sporting my Crossfit Naptown tank the day our team qualified for the Crossfit Games!

sporting my Crossfit Naptown tank the day our team qualified for the Crossfit Games!

The exact moment I hit 100 miles!

The exact moment I hit 100 miles!

 

 

 

 

24 day challenge and GLOC

Last week, after returning from watching my husband run the Boston Marathon (and yes, I realize I owe a Boston recap!), I decided to embark on a running 24-day challenge. Starting last Wednesday, I challenged myself to run 100 miles in 24 days. If you do the math, that’s a little over 4 miles/day. I figured with a few longer runs mixed in and amping up my mileage each week, I would be able to accomplish this. Currently, I am on day 5 and am 17 miles in!

On Wednesday, I ran 4 miles. On Thursday, I ran 3. On Friday, I ran a very rough 3 miles. And on Sunday, I ran 7 miles. This weekend is the Mini Marathon which will definitely help make up for some of the shorter runs. The idea behind this was to give me a reason to lace up those sneakers when I don’t want to. Each day I tell myself that I need to run – whether it be 2 miles or more…every mile counts. And so far, it’s been pretty fun! There is no pace to keep nor route to run. Just miles. And you know I have miles to go before I sleep…. :)

Yesterday, I tossed on my favorite running skirt and did a little #runsploration around my neighborhood. I ran 3 miles, picked up my friend Meghan for another 3 miles, and then ran home for a total of 7. There is a Fall Creek Path that I have driven by tons of times, but have never once ran on and I have to say, it’s awesome! It’s quiet and smaller than the Monon. The scenery is a busy street to one side and the river to the other. For some reason, the combination of the the windy trail, the bright blue line, the juxtaposition of nature and city just works. Meghan and I both fell in love with it!

bum ruffle (and an incredibly skinny angle. Can I start walking around sideways?)

bum ruffle (and a misleading skinny angle. Can I start walking around sideways?)

Chicago marathon 2011 outfit

Chicago marathon 2011 outfit

Bridge from Meridian to Central by the White River

Bridge from Meridian to Central by the White River

Who knew this little gem was just a mile+ from my house?

Who knew this little gem was just a mile+ from my house?

The Fall Creek Path!

The Fall Creek Path!

Gorgeous day for running

Gorgeous day for running

 

It was awesome running with Meghan again. She has gotten super serious (and good!) at crossfit so isn’t running as much. We used to put so many miles together that it was great to catch up on the little stories of life. Both of us were pretty sore, however, because the day before (Saturday), was Project GLOC! This is an annual crossfit competition for just females (Gorgeous Ladies of Crossfit is the full title of the event). It was my first official individual competition and I was definitely not looking forward to it.

They announced the WODS earlier in the week and had you asked me what my worst movements are, I would have responded with: Wall Balls, Rowing, Snatch and Box Jumps. Guess what was in this competition? ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

After almost dropping out in a preemptive strike to not feel like a failure, I convinced myself that doing it and not doing well was still better than quitting. So come Saturday morning, I picked up my fierce friends, Caitlin and Meghan, and up to Carmel we went.

WOD 1: FOR TIME

75 wall balls, 14# at 9 foot line

2000 meter row

600 meter run carrying a 60# sandbag

600 meter run

I was in the second heat and so was my good friend Jaime. I joked with her earlier that if she was a good friend, she wouldn’t get off the rower before me. :) KIDDING! So off I go on the wall balls and just am horrid. I am not kidding – I literally got no-repped maybe 10 times because I threw them straight up and down, never touching the wall. I know I am short and these aren’t easy for shorties, but there is no excuse for my wretched technique. FINALLY I got through the 75 and jumped on the rower. Shockingly enough, I did pretty well on the 2000m. My overall time was 9:05 and that was a good 55 seconds faster than the 2000m I rowed earlier in the week. Right as I got off the rower, so did Jaime. We looked at each other and agreed we would do the rest of this workout side by side. We hitched that 60# sandbag over our shoulders and walked the first 600 (running wasn’t happening) and then ran the last 600m together. It was amazing to have her next to me. Both of us could have taken our intensity up a notch but doing it together was way more fun.

me on the erg

me on the erg

Kelly with the sandbag

Kelly with the sandbag

Caitlin on the rower

Caitlin on the rower

WOD 2: They just used your rowing score for this

WOD 3: 8 MINUTE TIME CAP

Find one rep max in strict press

Find one rep max in deadlift

Strict press is one of those limiting movements so it took a very quick 90 seconds for me to hit my max, 75#. I then moved on to deadlift. I picked a judge who would help me with the math and JD was there helping as well. My previous one rep max was 210# and no lie, when I hit that the last time, I was sure I had internal bleeding. It was so unbelievably hard I wasn’t sure I’d get that again. But with a lot of encouragement and wearing Meghan’s amazing magical lifting belt, I knocked out 235! That’s a 25# PR!!!!

235# deadlift!

235# deadlift!

WOD 4:  6 MINUTE TIME CAP

3 box jumps at 24″, 3 kettlebell snatches at 35#

6, 6

9,9 etc…

Let me tell you how much I love 24 inch box jumps? The last one I did was when I gashed my leg and I haven’t done one since. So here I am, with all the crowd watching, doing 24″ box jumps. Every single one of them was calculated and slow. I got confidence as I went but definitely wasn’t speeding through them. My overall score in this WOD was 69 reps and I was happy. Not because of my score – trust me, that wasn’t a great finish. But because I didn’t miss a box jump!

My overall place was 70th out of 84 people. So you know, obviously world domination. Our friend and fellow Naptown athlete, Margaret, got 2nd overall! Meghan got 17th and Caitlin got 3rd in the Modified division.

It was an awesome day – great weather, lots of friends and tons of people cheering for the athletes. I am so glad I didn’t quit. :)

 

 

7

 

Next up? The Mini Marathon and 83 more miles to run in 19 days!

 

 

 

 

 

Run or crossfit today? Hmm….

I have been in London for the past 5 days. Before that, I was in team meetings for 3 days. As a result, I haven’t been able to go to crossfit much. (And by much, I mean I have gone 2x since March 31st.) That’s pretty rare for me and since that place is like a second home, I miss it.

When I woke up and saw that today’s workout was snatches and rowing, I groaned. (I hate snatches! I hate rowing!) The crossfit community tells you to “work on your suck list” and “embrace the pain.” So all day I planned to go to CF at 6pm and do those things and get back into the gym I missed.

But then this afternoon I went for a 3 mile run during my lunch break. It was glorious– sunny and warm and perfect. In fact, too perfect for snatching and rowing.

So today, I am going to run more, because though I haven’t been doing much CF, I have been at least keeping active since March 31st.

 

3/31 - 3.6 miles

First time wearing a tank in Indiana in 2014: March 31st – 3.6 miles

And when I was able to wear this long lost running skirt - 4/4 for 4.2 miles

Wearing this long lost running skirt:  April 4th- 4.2 miles

Regent's Park - 4/7 for 3 miles

My favorite place in the world, Regent’s Park: April 7th -3 miles

Hyde Park - 4/8 2 miles

Runsploring a new spot, Hyde Park: April 8th – 2 miles

Obviously, I haven’t put in long miles. But man do I love being back outside and moving. So if you’ll excuse me, I am headed to the IUPUI track for a short little happy run. Because this weather says so.

 

 

Weekend workout mania

This past weekend was one full of memories, friends and sweat. It all started on Friday with the Crossfit Open 14.3 workout. For those that aren’t familiar, the Crossfit Games start off with the Open which lasts for 5 weeks and is “open” to the entire crossfit community. Each week a workout is announced on Thursday night and athletes have until Monday night to complete it and submit their scores. From those scores, regional athletes are determined. At regionals, the top elite athletes from each territory compete and the winners attend the Games which takes place this summer. I am an average crossfitter so will not be going to regionals, but it’s still a blast to be part of such a massive crossfit community doing the same workout each week and to compare scores. The first workout (14.1) didn’t go as well as I had hoped. The second workout included chest-to-bar pullups and so I knew I wasn’t going to do great. BUT, much to my surprise, I did my very first chest-to-bar pullup that weekend and ended up getting 6 in the workout! Then came 14.3 which was box jumps and heavy deadlifts. On Thursday night, JD and I watched two Games athletes go head-to-head after just minutes before finding out what the WOD would be.

Watching the elites go head to head on Thursday night, completing 14.3

Watching the elites go head to head on Thursday night, completing 14.3

Then on Friday, I mapped out my weight strategy. I didn’t want to waste time messing with pulling off and putting on weights, so tried to find the most efficient strategy. set up cf All Friday I was pretty excited about this one because they are movements I can do. But knowing how I flopped 14.1 when I put so much pressure on myself, I decided I was going to make this one fun. So to keep it light-hearted, I showed up to crossfit that afternoon to do the workout in my Scottie Pippen jersey. JD, in solidarity, chose to wear his Pacers jersey. These heavy, awkward jerseys are definitely not the most conducive to workouts, but I hoped that the silliness of it would keep my head calm and to remember that I crossfit for a great workout and for the fun it provides. There was no need to have any additional pressure. And it worked! Cindy was my partner and she cheered me on and coached me through every rep (Even when I dropped the bar on the bottom of a rack, it popped up and hit my shin in the exact same spot where I missed a box jump a few weeks ago. So as I was cursing in pain and my bar was rolling away from me, weights falling off the side, Cindy said “Get back on the bar and get mad. Do this.” And I did. My score was 110 which means I got to the 185# of deadlifts and knocked out 20 of them! I was thrilled.

Though my box jump injury was almost healed, I managed to open it all back up in 14.3

Though my box jump injury was almost healed, I managed to open it all back up in 14.3

I texted my friends Kelly and Jaime right after. Though they work out in different gyms, they too are doing the open which allows us to chat about our successes and failures each week! Jaime called me right away to hear all about it and JD took a pic of us in our jerseys, whilst I was talking with her. :) jd and i jerseysAthletes have the opportunity to redo each workout as long as scores are in by Monday. I knew I was just going to hold tight to that score and let my back muscles rest. After all, I had a full weekend of working out ahead of me.

On Saturday, my friends and I came up with the brilliant idea that we would run both Shamrock races downtown. So we woke up, put our green on and headed to Monument Circle to meet Ted, Adam, Chris, and Rory. JD planned to run the first race at his pace, as did Rory and Chris. But Ted, Adam and I were sticking together all day. We joked that if one person had to stop to walk, we all walked. If one person vomited because of a hangover, we all waited. Luckily, we had to do neither in the first race. pre racesThe Shamrock Run was a 4-miler from downtown to Fountain Square and back. We planned to do 10 minute miles and ended up at an overall pace of 9:37/mile. That was just fine by me! Once we finished, we met up with a larger group of friends for outdoor fun, green beer, and Irish music. green beer josh and i at race(If you are wondering why I would run in my glasses, it’s because I have to. I am getting LASIK this week and have to wear my glasses 2.5 weeks prior!)

We checked out Georgia Street which wasn’t quite open yet so we decided to go to lunch at Harry and Izzys. Eight of us waltzed in there in spandex and green running shirts which seemed a little out of place. But after a long lunch and a lot of laughter, we went back out to Georgia Street for the festivities. We picked up our shirts and running packets, grabbed a beer and found our friends before lining up for the race. By this point, we had definitely drank a few beers and committed to running the 5K together as a 5some. I told Adam “I have a really bad idea. What if we turned this into a Navy Seal run and we have to carry one of us the entire time as a team.” He said “Nope.” So then I told the rest of the guys my idea and JD said “I am in as long as I am the one being carried.” Apparently these guys were not up for the challenge.

Yates and Ted pre-5K

Yates and Ted pre-5K

Waiting for the start with Adam and Ted!

Waiting for the start with Adam and Ted!

The dudes

The dudes

 

The race started and it was a blast. In fact, I doubt I have ever run a 5K that was this much fun. The running crowd was amazing – lots of walkers, some runners. Lots of people who were out there just to get the beer! (Upland sponsored this race so every 1K, we each got a shot glass full of beer.) And you better believe at least a couple of times, we tried the Navy Seal run.

The times w hen you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.

The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.

The course was an area of town I had never been before – south of the zoo and right along the river. It was actually a pretty awesome view of the city.

JD posing in front of the skyline

JD posing in front of the skyline – wearing 4 shirts

At one point, Ted and Adam jumped on the Handlebar and managed to chug a solo cup full of boxed wine. As you can imagine, that didn’t go so well. Pretty soon after, one of our comrades was off to the side, emptying his stomach. And true to our mission statement at the beginning of the day, we waited for him. When we finished the 3.1 miles, we got an awesome medal and a pint of beer. We had the most fun day together – gorgeous weather, 7.1 miles of running and a lot of memories. I think this will become a tradition.

post 5kBut the weekend of workouts wasn’t complete. Because on Sunday, I traveled to Cincinnati for a crossfit competition.

It was a 6-person, co-ed competition that happened to be outside at a High School football stadium. The concept was awesome – hard workouts outside that included running around the track, climbing bleacher stairs and doing wall balls on the field goal. But the problem was, it was 30 degrees with 20mph winds. In a word: freezing.

We caravaned up that morning and had enough clothes to outfit a track team. We had blankets and hand warmers, snacks and water. When we arrived, we set up camp at the far end of the track. We thought we had found cover by posting up against a high jump mat, but the wind seemed to suck all life and motivation out of us. We knew the workouts in advance and had prepped for them. We expected to do at least 4 WODs and if we advanced to the semi-finals, a 5th.  As we waited for the fun to begin, we cuddled together.

Wearing my yacht hat and being miserable

Wearing my yacht hat and being miserable

Cuddling with Sloane and using a high jump mat as a wind cover

Cuddling with Sloane and using a high jump mat as a wind cover

Cindy and Meghan hunkering down

Cindy and Meghan hunkering down

JD, Sloane and Tyler snuggled up

JD, Sloane and Tyler snuggled up

Of the team, I am probably the weakest. Meghan is the strongest in lifting. Cindy is the best at body-weight movements and I am decent at both. JD is our fasty, Tyler our ringer and Sloane is consistently good at everything. But what mattered most is that we supported each other 100%. We coached each other, advised each other and had fun together. It was an awesome team regardless of the shitty day.

The first WOD was pretty awesome. It was a relay: each person had to do 15 Overhead squats (girls at 65# and guys at 95#) and then run a 600m course. Essentially that was one lap around the track but halfway around, you ascended up and then descended down the bleachers twice. I went first and though I was the 2nd to finish the squats, I was the fourth of 6 to finish my lap. Then came Meghan, Cindy, Sloane, JD and Tyler. We finished the WOD with only 200m left in the course under the time limit. We were pretty darn happy with that. And immediately after, we packed on all of our clothes again and headed back to camp. The wind was howling and even though I had hand warmers in both my shoes and my mittens (I even did my OHS in mittens!), it was so so so cold. Finally, we made the decision to move our camp to a place with less wind. And that was a game changer for my attitude. It was still cold, but without the bitter wind, I felt rejuvenated.

Our second WOD was also a blast. The girls took turns pulling a rope with 90# at the end of it 50 feet. We did this by essentially pulling hand over hand until the weight got to us. Then, the guys followed by hoisting a 50# slosh tube (think a tube filled with water) overhead and doing 10 lunges. Then we repeated this alternating process until we had gone 150 yards. We felt really strong at this WOD. The girls pulled that thing fast and furious and the guys did a great job of balancing the tube and getting through the lunges quickly.

meg pulling rope josh slosh

Though we felt really strong, we were in 15th place after this WOD. This meant we were paired head to head against the 4th place team for the 3rd WOD. When we watched the first couple of heats go, it became glaringly obvious that the organizers did not trial this WOD with the timeline they gave. It was a 25 minute cap and we operated in pairs. The first F/M pair had to do 100 toes to bar (on a freezing cold rig), 100 Wall balls on the goal posts (girls 16#, guys 20#), 100 burpee box jump overs and 100 KB (1 and 1.5 pd). Then the second pair would go through the same, then the third. And finally, we’d all end at 100 pullups. Except that the first pair took anywhere from 16-20 minutes. Which only left the second team enough time to get through the toes-to-bar and maybe get some wall balls in. The third pair, did nothing and there was definitely no opportunity for pullups. I was in the third pair.

Tyler and Cindy went first because they are the best at toes to bar which was the hardest part of the WOD. Not only was the quantity high, but the rig was set so tall that girls had to climb up using a weight rack each time. And the bar was freezing so they wore gloves but had a hard time gripping the bar. Regardless, these two killed it. They busted their asses and got through the first round in less than 18 minutes.

cindy t2b tyler t2b cindy box tyler box jump tyler kbThen JD and Meghan went. They got through the T2B and got a few wall balls up before the time ran out. They had a great rhythm with toes to bar and managed somehow, now to rip their hands! They were awesome.

meg t2b josh t2bSloane and I were responsible for cheering and counting. Nailed it. :)

After the WOD we knew we weren’t going forward in the competition as the 4th place team beat us. We were fine with that. Being able to get out of the cold was well worth it. That being said, we were really frustrated. We spent $300 to attend this competition. We drove 3 total hours. We froze our asses off for 6 hours. And yet, Sloane and I got maybe 10 minutes of Crossfit in. The rest of the team didn’t get a whole lot more. We came to compete but whether it was lack of judges (They were short on those) or lack of planning, we didn’t get much of a workout. I sent a message to CINNCity crossfit via Facebook and have yet to hear a response. But it was very disappointing.

The positive is that we had an amazing time as a team. We had awesome cheerleaders (Cade and Jake). I got to compete with JD for the first time. We made a new great friend (Tyler) and we made some chilly memories.

Let’s hope there is another competition on the horizon as we’d love another shot. And the idea of an outdoor competition would be awesome, if only 30 degrees warmer!

yacht club post

So that wraps up the weekend of working out. Next up: a week of normal crossfitting and running, 14.4, and an 8 mile long run!

 

 

 

Oh hey!

Why hello old friends. And new friends. Soon to be friends. And strangers.

Today, I logged in to blog for the first time in over a month and my topic was going to be about how figure skating is a sport. I was all ready to challenge those haters who love to ride the “sports who rely on judges aren’t really sports” bandwagon. But after a large Diet Coke from McDonalds, an appointment with my therapist, a bottle of gin delivered to my desk (no, I didn’t drink it!) and an amazing package sent to me by my company, I am no longer as feisty. We’ll save that humdinger for another day.

Instead, I’ll provide a teensy little update on my running status.

Back in November, running and I decided to take a break, Ross and Rachel style. We went cold turkey for 40 days and saw other people (I went on plenty of dates with crossfit). Though we both attempted to move on, on day 41, we reunited…and it felt so good. Since then, we have been seeing each other on and off and we have definitely been taking it slow. But the love is still there, and that’s all that matters.

In January, I ran a measly 28 miles and almost all of it was on a treadmill. Lucky for me, my company has a fitness center in my building so I have been packing my gym clothes almost daily with an attempt to find 30 minutes to run. And though I don’t love the treadmill, it’s becoming a habit. Some days it’s 3 miles straight with no breaks. Sometimes I run 4. Once, I ran 5. Other days, I can’t find the time.

This week, I have started training for the Mini Marathon and so actually have a plan to go by. Hopefully that means more consistency in both running and in blogging. Until then, here are some pictures of my reunion with running in the past two months.

The first treadmill run of 2014.

The first treadmill run of 2014.

photo 5  2

Trying to run in 7+ inches of snow and 15 degrees. Ick!

Trying to run in 7+ inches of snow and 15 degrees. Ick!

The time I ran home in my snow boots after 3 glasses of wine. BRRR!

The time I ran home in my snow boots after 3 glasses of wine. BRRR!

Before today's 3 miler with a few intervals mixed in.

Before today’s 3 miler with a few intervals mixed in.

 

 

 

 

You made your bed….

Maybe it’s the impending New Year, the stress of the holidays or the fact that for only the 2nd time in 18 quarters, I will not be hitting 100% of my quota. But whatever it is, I am snarky, resentful and disenchanted. And as one of my favorites says, I am ’bout to go the hell off.

I spent 6 hours watching “Time of Death” yesterday. It’s a documentary series on Showtime about death. The series follows one family throughout 6 episodes and then also profiles another family/death each episode. It’s as depressing and sad as you think. I watched a 19 year old girl die of skin cancer while laying in her zebra print bed. I watched a man take his last breaths when dying of ALS (and subsequently irrationally cried to my husband “Just not that. Please don’t let me get that disease. I can handle all others, I just don’t want that one.”) I cried every single episode and yet couldn’t pull myself away. The way each person dealt with their terminal diagnosis was fascinating. It was incredible to watch how families helped their loved ones despite their own feelings of loss and abandonment. And the most beautiful part of the entire series was when Mel was describing his wife’s last minutes (She didn’t want the cameras in there). He was holding her close to him in bed and she turned to him and said “It was terrific.” He responded “It was terrific.” She looked at him one last time and repeated it. She died in the arms of the man she had loved for 53 years and thinking that her life was terrific. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

Anyway, after a day of crying and going through every thought process I have regarding my own death and those that I love, I am feeling pretty lucky.

But social media is just pissing me off. It feels like the self-righteousness of individuals is getting out of control. These aren’t people who are screaming about social injustice to the poor and needy, or inequality among minorities. They are screaming about why things are hard and unfair for themselves.

More often than not, we choose the life we live. If you choose to have kids, you are going to be more tired and have to balance your life differently than those who don’t. If you choose to be in sales, you may work on New Years Eve to close those last-minute deals. If you choose to follow your passion in the workplace, you may have more emotional investment than others in their jobs. If you are training for a marathon, your body is going to hurt. These are all choices. Choices we make and aren’t we so very lucky that we can make them?

Because the 7 people I watched die yesterday, didn’t choose to get cancer or ALS. They didn’t choose to die before their parents. And those who didn’t grow up as privileged as the people I follow, didn’t choose to have a harder upbringing than their classmates.

So let’s get a little effing perspective? Can we stop seeking attention for how hard our lives are when “hardship” is often a choice we make? All of those things I mentioned above – kids, jobs, exercise – aren’t actually hardships. They are the things that will someday cause you to look back and say “It was terrific.”

You made your bed. Now lie in it… or remake it.

Advice, laughing, niceness and shooting a gun.

I have been pretty delinquent on my Think Kit posts. I read each prompt in the morning with the intention of writing, but then work gets in the way. That’s what happens when you are a quarterly based sales person and we are rapidly approaching the end of both the quarter and the year. The pressure is on!

So as I sit here at Thirsty Scholar on this very rainy, chilly day, I intend to do a little catch-up. I used to be so good about finding time each weekend to write and I can’t tell you the last time I grabbed my laptop, headed to a coffee house and put my fingers on the keys. It feels like home.

So let’s begin! In no particular order (obviously), here are my responses to a few of the prompts.

adviceMy boss actually gave me great advice. When talking to him about career options, he told me “There will always be small, entrepreneurial software companies out there who want the type of experience you have here at ExactTarget. Make sure the time is right to make that move.” Ok so maybe he told me this advice in 2012 when I was actually entertaining a small, entrepreneurial software company’s offer. But it stuck with me. Especially this year as my company was acquired by Salesforce and it feels like the future is very unknown. When I heard the news that Salesforce purchased us, I cried. I don’t exactly know why but when you love your company as much as I do and believe so much in the culture, the worry of change made me emotional. So I reached out to my brother who at times is like a father figure to me and always gives good advice. He said “Think of change like a glass of soda. When you stir up the ice, the bubbles rise to the top. Be a bubble during this change.” Since that moment, I have only viewed this change for our company as a positive one. I trust my leaders and am confident that this move is not only a great one for our employees and our industry, but also for me personally. I have watched some of my colleagues jump ship and each time, I think about what Tom told me: “Make sure the time is right to make that move.” For me, now is not the time. I love my company. I love what I do. I am good at it. The foggy crystal ball is what excites me about my days – I never know what could be coming next. Will I retire from ET? Who knows? But if they’ll have me, I think I have quite a few years left here.

LOLI laugh a lot and think there is no better feeling that to so hard it makes me cry. I wish that happened every day! Here is a picture of me laughing out loud while singing Christmas carols at Chatterbox with my friends. It’s an annual tradition. (The caroling, not the laughing, but they are pretty much one in the same)

abc

Also, a little fun fact about me: I never write “LOL.” Ever.

I type “haha” as a substitute and if I actually laugh out loud, I will write “I just laughed out loud.” I am not mad when people type LOL to me. I just can’t do it.

niceDid you see how I got sussied this week?! If you want to read the story, check out my blog post about it here. I was absolutely floored and thrilled. I have no doubt that this prompt from Think Kit and Smallbox had something to do with it. So thank you!

sussy 50

something new

On Thursday – the same day I realized our packages were stolen and I got sussied, I did something new. I shot a gun.

I have always hated guns. I didn’t grow up around them and instead grew up in a very liberal, pro-gun-control family. We aren’t hunters, and though my dad was in the army, I am pretty sure he hasn’t touched a gun since. When I met JD, I found out early on that he was shot accident by his dad when he was 12. That story and his GSW scar only strengthened my stance on hating guns and believing our society doesn’t need them. I don’t know the answer to gun control now that so many people in our society have them. But if we lived in a society of just single-shot guns used for hunting, I think we’d be better off.

I have friends who own guns and I am certain that each one of them has gotten a lecture from me about gun control. But despite our differences, I respect their opinions and we agree to disagree. About a week ago, in a discussion with my friend Dan, I somehow agreed to go to the gun range with he and his cousin Marcus. Both are gun owners and Marcus is quite the expert. Dan assured me that Marcus would be a great teacher and we would go to a very safe range. I asked all sorts of questions:

“Does the range background check everyone that comes in?”

“Are all the guns that come into the range legal?”

“Could someone straight up shoot me in the range?”

“Do you use real bullets?”

I wanted an SLA, NDA and MSA all signed sealed and delivered before I showed up. Then a date was put on the calendar: we were going to the range on Thursday.  I agreed and said yes like I do most new adventures but when Thursday rolled around, I was incredibly anxious and nervous. I told JD that I didn’t want to go. I told him that not only was I really nervous, I also think that me showing up to a gun range and firing a gun makes me a hypocrite. I am pro-gun control – I am not supposed to be shooting guns! He assured me that shooting a gun isn’t the same as owning and I am fine. I was inches away from cancelling but decided I’d at least show up and check out the scene. After all, I didn’t have to shoot if I didn’t want to.

When we arrived, Marcus was amazing. He had eyewear and an ear set to protect my hearing. He pulled out his guns and showed each one of them to me. He explained the differences but with all the shooting around us and my earphones, I could barely hear him. Guns are so loud! He had me hold one and I was shocked by how heavy it was! Having only ever held a toy gun before, I didn’t know what to expect. He started me with a 9mm and explained how to hold my hands around the gun and was very good about safety. He answered every silly question and whereas I was convinced I’d be scared in the presence of so many guns, I really wasn’t. The range was incredibly nice, clean and felt safe. Then the loaded gun was in my hand and I stood exactly how Marcus told me to. He coached me on how to aim and told me not to put my finger on the trigger until I was ready to fire. I fired. The kick was more than I expected and fire came out the nozzle! What the eff was that??! Why was there fire!!!! I set the gun down and backed away. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all.

I wasn’t exhilarated. I instead felt dangerous and I didn’t like that feeling. Marcus and Dan assumed that I would keep shooting the 9mm and then would graduate into some of the other guns. But I just stood back among all the empty shell casings and watched as each of them shot. The feeling of firing something so powerful and knowing the damage it could cause was overwhelming. But while I hung back wand watched, I was quite fascinated. There was so much to learn and so much I didn’t know. Marcus explained the different ammunition and the various guns. Though I know he and I disagree politically about guns, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his guns. He took every precaution and was really sensitive to my anxiety. He said “It’s ok to be scared of guns. Guns can do really bad things. I get it.” He didn’t make me feel silly at all for being such a fraidy cat.

abc2

Marcus’ other cousin was shooting a 22 and it didn’t seem as aggressive. The ammo was smaller, there was no kick and I didn’t see any fire from the nozzle. So after a long break from my first shot, I decided to try that one. He did exactly what Marcus did – taught me the grip and the safety. And when I was ready, I pulled the trigger. MUCH better this time. It was so much less aggressive and I wasn’t nearly as shaken as with the 9mm. Granted, I didn’t do any more shooting after that, but I was happy I at least tried. I faced a big fear of mine that day and feel more educated than a week ago. I am not sure if I will go back to the range in the future.  I do know that I am grateful of my friends who helped me conquer this fear.