Thankful Thursday

Tags

,

I definitely need to write this post today. It’s not that I’m in a bad mood- today I’ve just felt pretty “meh”. The friend I spent the most time with the last 4 years moved to a different state on Sunday, and that’s been sad for me. It’s another little loss in a string of little losses for me over these past months, and while nothing has been huge or catastrophic, it’s been sad for me. Today is also the birthday of a friend who died 8 years ago, so that brings a bit of sadness with it as well. So, I definitely need my practice of gratitude more than anything right now! Here’s what I’m thankful for at the moment:

I’m thankful for a fun weekend with friends. Last weekend I ran the 5k foam fest, and then headed out to a fun weekend with friends. Spent Saturday day/evening/Sunday morning with a friend from grad school (going out to eat, seeing the Fault In Our Stars in the theater–i sobbed and thought it was a fantastic movie, watching Orange Is The New Black, and just catching up), and spent Sunday afternoon with Melissa and Meg at the pool. It was really wonderful and I definitely needed that. It was awesome. (Those bright orange sunglasses are from the Color Me Rad race I ran last September)

photo

I’m thankful for good books. I’ve been reading SO much lately, and I’ve been enjoying it so much. Last week was “Fault In Our Stars” (go read it AT ONCE!), and this week I’m reading “Gone Girl”.

Im thankful for my porch. I’ve been spending a few hours most days of the week sitting out on my porch writing, reading, and enjoying the sunshine and flowers. Most of the time (unless my very loud neighbors who love to scream are outside) it’s such a peaceful place to be, and I’m glad that I have it.

I’m thankful for the World Cup. I love huge sporting events that bring groups of people together, and I love the excitement of international competition. I filled out my bracket for it last week, so now I’m officially invested.

I’m thankful for fresh, cold water. It’s been in the 90s and HUMID this week, which means that I’m drinking far more water. I fill a few water bottles with water and keep them in the refrigerator so I consistently have really cold water to drink, and it’s so refreshing.

Now it’s your turn to share! What are you thankful for today? When you’re feeling a bit down, what’s one thing that helps you turn your day around?

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

 

Advertisements

Inspirational Books and Movies About Running

Tags

,

Last Sunday at runchat, they featured questions submitted previously by participants, and they chose mine! I asked people to choose a favorite book or movie about running, and the participants had a lot of great responses. Of course the two favorites were “Born To Run” and “Spirit of the Marathon”, and I wasn’t surprised by that at all. Someone in the chat mentioned that he wished that someone would compile a list of all the suggestions people had, and since it was my question, I said I would do it. Below are the suggestions given by the participants of Runchat (copied from twitter).

Books and Movies about Running

Books About Running:

  • Born to Run
  • Hal Higdons Marathon Book
  • Anatomy For Runners
  • Natural Running
  • What Do I Talk About When I talk About Running (Haruki Murakami)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Alan Sillitoe)
  • Hanson’s Marathon Method
  • The Hobbit (participant said “Watching Bilbo go from a fearful and afraid guy into a brave man really, really inspires me)
  • Me Only Faster (Greg McMillan)
  • Running With The Kenyans (Adharanand Finn)
  • Flanagan’s Run
  • Onward! The Absolute, No B.S., Raw, Ridiculous Soul-Stirring Truth About Training For Your First Marathon (Brook Kreder)
  • Running For Women (Kara Goucher)
  • Run Gently Out There (John Morelock)
  • Never Wipe Your Ass With a Squirrel (Jason Robillard)
  • 4:09:43 (Hal Higdon)
  • Running For My Life (Lopez Lomong)
  • My Life On The Run (Bart Yasso)
  • Chi Running
  • One More Step- the 638 best quotes for the runner (Randy Thurman)
  • Jogger on Riverside Drive (poem)
  • To An Athlete Dying Young (poem)
  • Spartan Up!
  • The Long Run (about firefighter Matt Long)
  • Mind Gym
  • Running & Being (Dr. George Sheehan)
  • Running On Empty (Marshall Ulrich)
  • Once A Runner (John Parker)
  • Marathon Man (Bill Rodgers & Matthew Shepatin)
  • Running Like a Girl: notes on learning to run (Alexandra Heminsley)
  • The Perfect Mile (Neal Bascomb)

Movies About Running:

  • Spirit of the Marathon
  • The Marathon (a movie about a boy with autism who ran a marathon)
  • Forrest Gump
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Without Limits
  • Running the Sahara
  • Run For Your Life
  • Unbreakable (the Western States 100 documentary)
  • Prefontaine

I’ve read and watched a few of these, so I can’t vouch for some of these things on the list. All I know is that I have a long list of books to read now the rest of the summer!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’re your thoughts on any of these books or movies? Anything else you want to add to the list?

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

BioSkin Ambassador and A Discount!

I have something exciting for you all today!! As you know, since April of 2012 I have been obsessed with my BioSkin calf sleeves, and have worn them for almost every race since the sports med doctor gave them to me. Within the last few weeks, I accepted BioSkin’s offer to be an ambassador for them! I’m excited to represent something that I believe in, and something that I used long before I connected with them via social media!

BioSkin

From the 16th to the 22nd of this month, you can get 10% off your purchase using the code “Epic14”. They have all sorts of bracing and support items, and I’ve continuously heard great things from those who use the products. I myself swear by their compression sleeves (here’s a post I wrote about it that will give you more information), and these sleeves helped me get through my 6th half marathon a week ago!

Indy Women's Half MarathonSee those sleeves? They’re amazing.

Go check their products out and take advantage of the discount!

Peanut Butter Cup No-Bake Energy Balls

Tags

,

I’ve recently been a bit unhappy about my sugar intake, knowing that it’s in my best interested to decrease it a bit (please note that I’m not trying to cut out sugar completely AT ALL, but just get down to what the recommended daily serving is). I’ve been eating far too many homemade peanut butter cups, and while they’re delicious, I don’t need 5 or 6 a week! To satisfy my peanut butter and chocolate craving, I decided to make some delicious energy balls. I searched around online, and then I modified this recipe I found on smashed peas and carrots. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey (minus about 2-3 tablespoons- just eyeball it!)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (which I chopped up further)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • approximately 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1.5 or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

I started with sliced almonds, put them on a cutting board, and then diced them up into much smaller pieces. Then I tossed everything else into the bowl too. I put it in the refrigerator for awhile to let it set, and then rolled the dough to make the individual balls. This made 16 balls I believe, and I tried to make them all as even as possible!

Peanut Butter Cup No Bake Energy Balls

The result was absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be making them again, as they are really fast, and a much healthier (but still delicious) snack option.

Peanut Butter Cup No Bake Energy Balls I popped them in a container and put them in my refrigerator… but had to go back a few times to get a ball throughout the afternoon!

Peanut Butter Cup No Bake Energy Balls

This was my first time making no bake energy balls, and I can’t wait to try out other flavors and variations! The day after I made these I ended up spending 14 hours helping a friend pack and move to a new apartment (I carried 59 loads of boxes and furniture up stairs- each time up was 17 stairs), so needless to say I needed a lot of energy! I brought some of these balls with me, and they worked wonderfully! This was a great way to put them to the test:)

So seriously- make these as soon as you possible can! They’re worth it! For more recipes, click here.

Looking for more ways to connect?

Thankful Thursday

Tags

, ,

Happy Thursday! This week has felt a little strange and off to me this week, I think mostly due to recovery (and a random out of state trip on Tuesday to help one of my friends move). Here’s what I’m thankful for at the moment:

I’m thankful I’ve had the convenience of a friend living a two minute and thirty second walk away from me.  Seriously, how convenient is that? We walk together on occasion, and watch TV or movies together almost every week. We went to grad school together back in the day, and it’s been really nice (and convenient) to have a friend so close. She’s moving three and a half hours away now for a new job, and I’m definitely feeling sad about that!

I’m thankful for another half marathonFor some reason it almost seems like that half didn’t happen last weekend- I wonder why? I’m thankful for the chance to get out and run again in a race setting- so fun (even when it’s tough)!

I’m thankful for fun with new friends! I have friends that are moving away, but I also have new friends too! I spent Saturday hanging out at the pool with these girls, and had a great time!

I’m thankful for fresh air. What a simple and beautiful thing, right? I love it!

I’m thankful for the rain that is watering my flowers. They are growing so quickly and they are beautiful and vibrant!! I love looking at them.

Now it’s your turn to share! What are you feeling thankful for today?

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

While Looking At The Parthenon

Tags

, ,

In 2006 I got the chance to study abroad in Greece, and it was truly one of the greatest times of my life. During the trip, I fell asleep almost every night to Josh Groban’s album Closer. I love assigning music to different experiences, as I can listen to the music later and be transported back to that awesome time of my life. In Athens, the place I stayed at looked straight out onto the Parthenon.

Parthenon at NightIt doesn’t get much better than this.

The Parthenon has light shining on it at night, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I’d leave the curtains open at night, and fall asleep looking at the Parthenon. Amazing, right? I wish I could be transported back to those nights just for a few days. I close my eyes, listen to the music, and am transported back to a truly wonderful time of my life. I didn’t know it then, but that trip was the foundation to a lot of growth in my life, and I’m thankful for that time.

Parthenon at SunsetParthenon at sunset.

As I’m sitting here in the middle of the night (just one of those nights where I’m sleepy but can’t actually sleep), I thought I’d spend a few minutes listening to the music and being consumed with those memories. I thought I’d share two of the songs that stand out to me from my time falling asleep looking at the Parthenon:

This song is “Si Volvieras A Mi”- I immediately feel like I’m looking at the Parthenon when I hear this song.

And I just love this song. I learned to play it on the piano back in high school, and every time I felt stressed or overwhelmed I’d play it- awesome stress reliever!

 Now it’s your turn to share! Do you have a song that reminds you of a great time of life? What song/experience is it?

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

Indy Women’s Half Marathon Race Weekend

Tags

, ,

The entire race weekend for the Indy Women’s Half was lots of fun, so I thought I’d share a little about that. If you haven’t read my race recap yet, make sure to check it out too!

I ended up getting to Melissa‘s place around 11 am on Friday morning, which meant the weekend started early! We immediately headed downtown to the expo. Walking back and forth to the car gave us about 15 minutes of walking each way, and we were both so happy to at least let our legs move a bit; the taper crazies were really getting to us. We walked around the expo for about 20ish minutes (it was pretty small and wasn’t too crowded since we were there at about noon), and then headed back to the car.

expo on race weekend

Melissa is such a creative gift-giver (seriously- I wish I was half as good at buying gifts as she is!), and this was sitting waiting for me when I got to her place:

photo 1

After eating lunch (she ate pasta, I ate this awesome quinoa dish— we really just both wanted fried food), we headed out to the pool for a few hours. We finished the day with dinner (I ate my pasta then, along with some of those delicious doritos!), and we watched the first season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which was really funny (especially how much they talked about how they only wanted to do things that were “tasteful” and “classy”- this has now become a joke of ours), and really relaxing as well. We headed to bed around 9:30, and I ended up sleeping about six and a half hours– a record for the night before a race!

After the race, we headed off to Mexican food, and Meg met us there! I felt a little badly for her, as Melissa and I were both still feeling a bit off from the race (or really, the heat during the race). I got a migraine as we were leaving the race, and took some medicine in the car on the way to the restaurant. I almost passed out as we were leaving too–I was in rough shape. We went back to Melissa’s place, changed, and headed off the pool for a few hours again. I was wondering if it would be good being outside because it was warm, but the pool was nice and cool, and that helped to revive me and cool down my body temperature.

photo 3

We spent a few hours there talking, which was great! I wish we all lived closer so we could hang out more (but we ARE running a race in tutus together in a few weeks!). Overall the Friday and Saturday of race weekend were the most fun I’ve ever had around a race, and I think I’d like to spend every day post-race at a pool with friends!

Now it’s your turn to share! Are you a good gift giver? What’s your favorite way to rest after a race?

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

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

Indy Women’s Half Marathon Training Week 8 Recap

Tags

, ,

Alright- this is it. Actually, I might do one more recap to show what my recovery looks like, but after doing training recaps almost every week of this year, I finally have about a 2 month break before I hit training again. I have great plans for the summer in terms of my running and physical fitness, and I’ll share that along the way. Here’s how my final week of training (and taper) looked:

  • Friday (5/30): 30 minutes barre (while teaching), 1 mile walk, 25 minutes strength training (arms)
  • Saturday: 3.1 mile walk (with a friend from high school who came to visit!)
  • Sunday: 2.15 mile run
  • Monday: 30 minutes barre (while teaching), 25 minutes strength training (arms)
  • Tuesday: 40 minutes gentle pilates, .75 mile slow walk
  • Wednesday: 20 minutes strength training, 20 minutes pilates (while teaching), 1.25 mile run (last run of training cycle)
  • Thursday: 1 mile slow walk
  • Friday: REST
  • Saturday: 13.1 mile half marathon race, 1.8 mile recovery walk

The time I spent working out the week leading up to the race was about 1/3 of the time I normally spend, and I could really feel it. My runs were gentle, my walks were at a slower pace, and pilates was gentle as well. I wanted to keep moving and keep my muscles loose, but wanted to let them fully recover too! Thanks for following along with my training!

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

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap

Tags

, , , , , , ,

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”- Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon Co-founder

On Saturday afternoon, Melissa and I were at the pool, and she (I think it was her anyways and not me- haha) mentioned that she had no idea how to really recap this race, and I immediately agreed. This was by far the most strange half marathon I’ve ever run, and it seriously can’t be compared to any other half marathon that I’ve run so far (this was half marathon #6). This was a totally different game, and one that I said on Wednesday last week might be totally different due to weather.

My alarm went off at 5, and I checked the weather (humidity at 94%-ugh), and ate my traditional pre-race meal: 12 ounces orange juice, 1 luna bar, and 1 medium sized banana. I got ready quickly and warmed up. Melissa accidently turned her alarm off, so I finally woke her up at 5:45 (we were planning to leave right around 6). She had gotten sick in the middle of the night- a great sign of the day to come. We hit the road and got to the corrals about 15 minutes before the start. We warmed up quickly and jumped in the corrals ready to go. Race start temperature was about 60 degrees with 92% humidity, but we knew the temperature was going to shoot up quickly. I took a salt packet about 30 minutes before the race, hoping that would help any cramping issues.

I need to mention again here that, because I have POTS, exercising in the heat is pretty difficult. I can’t cool myself appropriately, so anything over about 50-55 degrees is really warm for me. Going in I knew this was going to be the case, and Melissa and I decided that it was better to be safe than to put ourselves in a dangerous situation (she also doesn’t do well in the heat). Safety was the name of our game.

Indy Women's Half Marathon Race RecapAt the starting line

The first 5 miles flew by pretty quickly, and the temperature felt ok for us too. We started off doing a 2:1 run:walk ratio, and we decided to keep our pace equivalent to training runs until we felt like it wasn’t safe anymore. The first 5 miles we hit in the 11-11:25 range, and that felt awesome. At that point the sun had really come out strong and the temperature was rising. Melissa wasn’t feeling great, and somewhere in the 5-6 mile range my heart rate got out of control fast. We both walked for a good chunk of that mile- remember our motto? Safety first.

We hit the half way point and I was hurting from walking so quickly. When we walked, we were keeping about a 14:40 pace, which is far faster pace than I normally walk at. My right arch was hurting and my left piriformis was unhappy. I remember taking inventory of myself, looking at Melissa, and wondering how we were going to make it through the rest of the race. Running felt better than walking at this point, even though running wasn’t good for me.

At mile 7 we hit a water station and there was no line at the port-a-potty. SCORE! I hopped in and went quickly- a first for me at any race. It was worth it though (one thing I will say is that I feel like I was hydrating well throughout the race. I drank water and powerade at every station the first half, and also carried gatorade in my handheld water bottle). Melissa told me to run ahead and she’d catch up, so I grabbed the powerade at the station and walked along, eating my race fuel (cran-razz shot bloks. I also had margarita shot bloks at mile 3.8 and 10ish). I also took half a salt packet at mile 7, not because I was cramping, but because I was sweating and losing so much salt, and didn’t want to cramp at the end.

Right after mile 7 was a huge hill, and I definitely walked up it. Melissa caught up at the top, and told me that she threw up again. I felt so bad for her, and even though she told me to run ahead, I refused. We signed up together, and we were going to run it together! And honestly, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the 2nd half without her next to me anyways.

Honestly, those last miles went by in a blur, and I felt like they went by pretty quickly too. We walked a lot, and ran as we could. Neither of us felt fantastic. The second half of the course I only took powerade at the stations because the water was too warm to be refreshing at all, and I couldn’t stomach the thought of it. Right around mile 9 I looked as far ahead of me and behind me as I could, and every single person I saw was walking. That’s when I realized how tough this weather really was.

Somewhere around mile 9 we set a goal for ourselves- we would come in before my slowest half marathon time (set at my first half marathon at the Indy mini), and that pushed us to run just a bit more. Right about mile 12 I suddenly started to shiver a bit, and said “Oh my gosh Melissa, I’m getting goose bumps.” At this point it was still high humidity about almost 77 degrees, and I shouldn’t have been shivering at all, so this was clearly a sign that my body wasn’t doing well. Honestly, if I had more than a mile left I would’ve been pretty concerned, but I felt ok continuing on, knowing that it would all be over in about 10 minutes.

Right around mile 12.5 we ran past some of Melissa’s co-workers who brought out ice cold water bottles for us. I handed off my hand held, and it felt absolutely amazing to hold something that was so cold. Once we saw the finish line Melissa told me to run ahead so I could make sure that I was under my slowest time. I ended up crossing the finish line about 20 seconds before her, but both of us ended with a time of 2:55. It’s certainly a far cry from my half marathon PR, but as I said, this race can’t even be compared to my other races.

I felt more emotional crossing that finish line than in any finish except for first half marathon- I guess because my body felt pretty off at that point. Men who were in the military were passing out the medals, and we also got roses (along with the standard banana, nuts, water, etc…).

Racing half marathon

Melissa and I took a few pictures, and then headed back to stretch.

photo 2 Indy Women's Half Marathon

Honestly- I wasn’t at all disappointed in our time. This race was really tough for both of us, and in many ways I had to push myself much more than in other races. I ran a relatively safe race with POTS (minus when my body started to hit heat exhaustion), and was able to finish strong in that last mile. I had fun for a good portion of the race, and this race was another example of proving that I am stronger than I thought I was, and my diagnosis doesn’t have to hold me back completely. I think that long distance summer races are just something that I can’t really do because of POTS, and that’s ok. Honestly, looking at the big picture, the time doesn’t matter to me. Me pushing myself, being safe, growing, learning, and just being able to run is what’s most important. I’m so thankful that I can run, even in the tough, hot, and disgusting races. I’m thankful for this race, safety in running, and for the lessons learned through it.

Overall the race was organized well. The course was fine- nothing special. There were plenty of aid stations with water and powerade. I wish the water had been kept cooler, as it was just gross and not refreshing the 2nd half of the race. The volunteers were really encouraging, but there was minimal spectators cheering on the side of the road.

I’m interested to see how I view this race in a few months, but right now I’m not disappointed at all. Despite having to drop our pace, we didn’t quit, and that was huge for us. More on the expo and post race fun later this week!

Check out Melissa’s recap of the race too!

For more information on POTS, click here. For other race recaps, click here. To see how this race compares to the Monumental Half Marathon, the Indianapolis Mini Marathon, and the Carmel Half Marathon, click here. For more information on my Bioskin calf sleeves, click here

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

Looking for more ways to connect?

 

 

Friday Facts

Tags

Happy Friday!! Today is the day before race day, and I’m so excited!! It’s nice and warm and humid out, so we’ll see how it goes. Today Melissa and I are spending the day together, watching TV and going crazy from taper and sitting out at the pool! It’s a great distraction for how antsy I’m currently feeling. How about some random facts for you?

I really enjoy using TV Catchphrases in my every day life. I still have to try hard sometimes when I’m talking to clients to not say “that’s what she said” after things they say. I figure it’s not so professional. If you love TV catchphrases, check out this youtube video:

I sometimes wish that I could get clients to understand some of what goes on in my head when I sit across from them. This article on 5 things Counselors Want You to Know was a great read for me.

I deleted a bunch of photos (maybe close to 40) in preparation for race day. Here’s a collage that came out of the photo dump.

desserts and other fun thingsClockwise from top left: Melissa and Me, Oikos came out with frozen yogurt (that I can eat even though I’m lactose intolerant because of the active bacteria cultures!!), I’m obsessed with the honey mustard wheat thins, conquering the bench press, and trying to get the 2048 tile.

I’ve finally conquered the bench press. BOOM. I’m actually pretty scared of it, but I’m bound and determined to continue to bench even though my brother can’t lift with me anymore. I benched last week and I felt solid!

I’m obsessed with the new line of wheat thins. I eat the honey mustard and/or zesty salsa crackers almost every day. YUMMM. Have you tried them yet?

Alright- I’m off to relax, sit by the pool, and hit up the expo. Tomorrow is race day!!!