Out and about

Yesterday I did my easy run early and changed because we had the bright idea of me bringing some of my work with me to a restaurant and getting me out of the house a little.  We are trying to do this at least once a week where we try somewhere new and just chill there with some books and taking our time over some yummy food and a beer.  It’s an excellent way to spend the day, let me tell you.

 

And you know I’ll like the place when there are bookshelves over your head on every wall.

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And a big, sloppy burger doesn’t hurt things either.  They had pulled pork and onion rings on their burger, and since those are some of my favorite ingredients and it sounds an awful lot like one of my favorite pizzas, I had to go for it.

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And you know you needed a closeup.

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We took a little detour afterward at the museum.  The Egyptian exhibit was probably my favorite.

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And on the way home, we picked up 2 slices of cake each to take home for later. 

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Joe told me that it’s not a real blog of my day if I don’t also tell you about my failed spider killing attempt first thing when I woke up this morning… So, I come downstairs and on the wall above the fireplace is a GIGANTIC spider.  Like 3-4 inches across.  Obviously, I screamed for Joe to come deal with it.  He said no (he normally tries to rescue them and put them outside and I want them dead so they can’t come back to get me in my sleep) so I took the biggest thing I could find (Joe’s shoe) and swatted him hard.  Stupid thing is invincible and just falls to the floor and scurries into the fireplace.  We looked for him and cannot find him.  So now, there is a big spider on the house in my house with a vendetta against me because I tried to kill him. 

 

 

Do you have strong feelings on bugs/spiders/snakes?  I could tell you a terrifying spider story but let’s just say I was bitten by one and leave it at that.  Now they all must die.

Have you ever taken a book or notebook out so you can get out of the house and still get work done?

What are some of the ingredients that if you see them on a menu dish you know you’ll be instantly tempted to get that dish?

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How I learned to run easy

Back when I started running 7 years ago, there were countless things I was doing “wrong.”  The thing is, I didn’t think anything was “wrong,” I mean, how hard is running?  You put one foot in front of the other and get out and do it as many days each week as you can handle.  My first ever run was with a friend and we ran 5 miles at 10:00/mi pace (she had a GPS).  Knowing what I know now, this was a steady state effort for me that day but that day, I just ran and gave it no thought.  And for months afterward, it was the same.  Every single effort was a steady effort, and my times got faster and faster as they do when one gets fitter, but I always ran at that same level of effort and always 5-6 miles. 

 

After 7ish months, I had become incredibly efficient at running 6 miles.  My steady state efforts were at around 6:50 pace and I began to get curious about whether or not I could race.  I don’t know how it took me this long to start reading about running, maybe because I was enjoying so much just going out and having no plan, but this is when I first started doing some research.  I was pretty thrilled by the idea that I would supposedly be able to race faster than my normal pace on race day, though the idea kind of baffled me.  I started looking up races and I saw a half marathon that sounded interesting but the farthest I had ever gone was 6 so I researched some more and learned about the mythic long run.  I read about how these are run slower and decided to go out for my first double digit run (yep, no build up, just 10 right of the gate…told you I knew nothing back then). 

 

I decided to go out at 8:00/mi and see how that went.  It was hard for the first mile or two because I had never run such a controlled effort before and it was really difficult to keep myself from speeding up but I eventually got it under control and something miraculous happened…it felt easy.  My daily runs had never felt truly hard before, because I had never pushed the pace, but neither had they ever felt this kind of effortless ease.  I went on my normal 5 mile loop and when I was halfway through the second one, I knew I was going to make it.  My stride felt so light and energetic, I couldn’t believe it.  I finished 10 thinking I could definitely go longer and feeling amazing.  I signed up for the half that day…and my first marathon. 

 

The funny thing is, I’m still always tempted to do my training runs too fast.  I don’t want to do my intervals at 5k or 10k pace, I want to do them at close to max effort.  I blur the lines between steady state runs and tempo runs.  But the easy days, those are special.  I can remember so accurately the feeling of that first long run and I try my best to replicate it on all my easy runs, to remember what it feels like to truly run easy and to feel like you could do it forever and like there’s nothing you’d rather do than just keep running.  You’ve probably read the little axiom “run the hard days hard and keep your easy days truly easy.”  It’s the closest thing I have to a training philosophy these days and whenever I’m tempted to go out too hard, I remind myself that the hard days are what make gains in your fitness and the easy days are for adaptation and recovery.  If that doesn’t work, I remind myself that easy days are what restore my faith in running 😉

 

 

Did you make any big training errors when you started running?

Do you remember your first long run?

What convinced you to sign up for your first race?

Today I’m powered by pizza

Last night, I had pizza as promised.  It was everything I hoped for.  SO GOOD.

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Pulled pork, red jalapenos, cilantro, and lime zest.  I thought that after not having any for 2 months, I wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing.  I was wrong.  Definitely missed having my pup to feed the extra bits of crust to though.

 

I think all this research is making me stir crazy, I always look forward to runs but I seriously NEED them right now.  I really cannot overstate the importance of clearing my mind for a bit every day and the sweaty factor just makes it even better, I tend to get all up in my own head when I’m this deep in my work but I’m actually incapable of thinking about it while I run, my brain only goes to fun and/or totally random things.  It’s such a relief and really makes me feel better about life so I stay motivated.

 

Usually another thing that helps is taking a 5 minute break to play with the pups.  You really cannot help but smile and be in a good mood when dogs are around.  They were with Joe’s parents over the weekend and Joe’s mom sent me these for Mother’s Day and they totally made me smile:

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So cute.  I don’t know how she got such fidgety dogs to sit so nicely.  Stevie looks a bit terrified of her sign though.

 

For the reasons stated above I’m actually looking forward to my interval workout today (note this date on your calendar, it’s unlikely to happen again for another year).  Mile repeats are going to hurt so good.

 

What is your favorite form of stress relief?

I always wonder…what do you think about while running?  My mind goes off on all kinds of crazy tangents but at least 40% of the time I’m daydreaming about something super random like winning front row tickets to see my favorite band and they invite me up on stage (true story from a run last week)

Moms…how was your Mother’s Day?

Whoops, my bad

Obviously, I’ve been missing since forever.  Sadly, it’s been for nothing fun or exciting but for an absurd amount of work that I needed to get done.  I have two chapters of my dissertation that I’ve been simultaneously researching and writing and I have 7 more weeks of intense research but a huge chunk of hard work is out of the way so I can be back to consistent blogging again (and running, for that matter!).  If you want to see an example of what I’ve been up to, these are the latest books I’ve grabbed at the library…as in, this is my “to read” pile for this week and next week these go back and I get new ones.  There are actually a few more next to my bed but we’ll pretend this is the full picture.

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I was still running 6 days/week for the first few weeks I was home visiting and trying to balance home and all this work, but I’ve moved to 4 days/week partly because of the work and partly because I’ve had my posterior tibial tendon acting a bit fussy.  I’ve been religiously doing strengthening work though 5-6 days each week and my last 2 weeks of running have had zero pain so I think I’m clear there (as long as I continue the rehab!) and I’m moving back to 6 days now.  And obviously, I’m still refueling like a champ:

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Home was great, and I’m sorry I shared so little (though you totally saw one of the best parts…my date with Cori!).  I definitely fell very far off the healthy eating wagon but I enjoyed every second of my Cafe Rio nights.  You really cannot go wrong with a salad that weighs more than your arm:

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And I got highlights…which is completely irrelevant to everything but makes me feel summery:

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Side note…I hate when people try to flatten the crap out of my hair when I get it styled. Also, it’s really hard to capture long hair in a photo when you are short and have correspondingly short arms.

 

Oh, and I doubt you’ll notice it on the blog, but Joe is sure getting an earful of it every five minutes…I miss my puppies.  My parents (and Joe’s parents for a few weeks!) are watching them for us while we do the whole moving process and get things finished up with all the logistics that come with moving nearly everything you own.  It’s so weird not having them around and we miss them a ton, though it’s a lot easier to sleep in when the little one doesn’t lick your face and jump all over you as soon as the sun comes out.

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She looks like she’s just soaking up the rays.

 

Today’s plan is 6 at easy pace followed by approximately six million pages of reading and then rewarding myself with my favorite pizza tonight!! I haven’t had pizza in AGES because there’s nothing good near where our parents live in Virginia and Joe has been dying to get one ever since we got back.

 

 

SO…

Any PRs in the last month I need to know about?  I’ve been living in a 1790s cave so spill!

Anyone injured? (please say no!)

Give me three things you are most looking forward to this summer!

Busy blogger bee

HAPPY MARATHON MONDAY!! I’m watching Boston this morning while sending happy vibes to Heather, Lauren, Kristina, Nicole, and everyone else running Boston today (and Shalane and Desi!!).  This was one of the busiest weekends I’ve had in a while with my dad’s birthday, Easter with both families, running, and a blogger date all happening. 

 

Friday I met up with Cori for a blogger date that we’ve been talking about for ages.  We had beer and yummy food and chatted seriously forever.  We could probably pass tests on each other now.  Super much fun and she’s seriously my new best friend (whether she likes it or not haha).  And really cool and pretty in person 🙂  We are terrible bloggers because we completely forgot to take a single picture until we had already finished eating and drinking and saved them for midnight in an empty mall after a decent amount of beer, which results in pictures like this:

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But we did try to get one or two decent ones! 

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Saturday morning my run was less than thrilling (maybe garlic fries and beer aren’t the best pre-run food? I refuse to believe that) but I cranked out a tempo 6 and did some very exciting schoolwork until dinner.  Joe and I are lucky because our parents only live 5 minutes from each other so for Thanksgiving, Easter, etc we usually do dinner with both families in the same day so we don’t miss out on celebrating with anyone.  This year, my parents wanted to do Easter dinner Saturday night instead because they had to pick up our traditional Easter seafood Saturday afternoon and it would be better fresh.  It was super delicious.

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And we had peanut butter cake for my dad’s birthday.  Joe and my mom made it while I was out with Cori on Friday. 

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Seafood must be way better as running fuel because my 12 mile run Sunday went swimmingly 🙂  I’ve been seriously slacking on upper body the last 2 weeks though so even though today is my rest day, I’ll be doing an hour long upper back and arms workout.  I’d love to have some guns to show off in my tank tops this summer haha. 

 

 

For those that celebrate, what do you usually have to eat for Easter?

Ever met anyone you met from blogging?

So many questions!

I had three very sweet blogger friends nominate me for Liebster Awards last week so a big thank you to Lauren, the Half Mad Runner, and Kristina for thinking of me!  So, lucky you, you get to read THREE sets of answers and learn way more about me than you thought you would today.  You all probably already know the drill by now, I answer the questions put forth by these ladies, and then nominate a few blogs of my own and give them a different set of questions to answer!

Lauren’s Questions:

1. What is your favorite sport to watch on tv/in person: Ouch.  This is a tie.  I’m a HUGE football fan and remain glued to the tv all day every Saturday in the fall (yes, Saturday, NCAA>NFL).  But I grew up playing and watching soccer and I don’t know that even football ranks above it.

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2. Pancakes, waffles, or french toast?  Waffles!  I make good pancakes though 🙂

3. Do you have any interesting nicknames? I don’t think any that would qualify as “interesting” but my nickname in high school was “Duchess,” often abbreviated to “Dutch.”  One of my best friends started it when she met me at age 14, but it was picked up by my soccer and basketball teams and boyfriends too.  Bonus points if you can guess why Katie started calling me that.

4. What is your biggest running-related goal?  Hmm.  Well, I have a secret one that I’m not sharing but I’d really really really like to win a race.  And not just win because there are 20 people and I ran a slow time but not the slowest (though I’ll take it for now! haha) but win a decent sized race because I put up a great time and beat some serious runners (not Kenyans though, duh…I’m not that fast).

5. Do you run before or after work? Because of grad school, it changes.  I’ll run before I have to hit the library but after early meetings, it all depends.  And if it’s a day that I’m just home writing or researching, I love just going whenever I’m feeling the most pumped to run.

6. What was your high school mascot?  I have two, special me.  Panthers and Bruins!

7. Have you ever lived in another country? Indeed I have!  France just for a summer for study abroad but England for a total of 3 years.  Living in another country for at least a year as an adult was on my bucket list so I’m really happy to say I’ve done this.

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8. How many alarms do you set in the morning?  Most days, zero.  I just wake up early.  But one is enough if I need to be up for something specific, I’m a very light sleeper.

9. What are your top three pet peeves?  This is hard to think about off the top of my head.  One is definitely misspellings.  I can’t think of others but I know there are many haha.  Lots of things I hate aren’t really pet peeves, it’s more frustration with people who can’t follow basic rules of human decency.  When I think of pet peeves I think of people who say “quote unquote” or “intensive purposes” and just make me want to crawl in a hole and hide from them.

10. How do you feel about the new “Girl Meets World” show? I have no feelings on it really, I watched BMW a bit when I was younger but I was never that big of a fan and it’s unlikely I’ll ever see an episode of this new one.

 

Half Mad Runner’s Questions:

1.  If I was coming to your city and could race only one race, what would you recommend?  Haha if you’re talking about where I live specifically, you are out of luck, we have no races.  The closest race to me is a 50 mile trail race so I hope you’re an ultra fan!  It’s beautiful here though, I love the forests and trails 🙂   If you’re looking for the closest big city, I’d give the win to the Marine Corps Marathon and recommend it to anyone.

2.  Almond Butter or Peanut Butter?  Almond butter.

3.  Your favorite running shoe company has just offered to sponsor you to run 50 halves in 50 states.  It’s all expense paid, plus you get to bring a friend.  Who (dead or alive, famous or not) do you want to run with?   Ok, this just sounds awesome in general.  I’d actually just want to run with Joe but Brooks better have some magical powers that can turn him into a runner first!  I just prefer to travel with him, I have more in common with him than with my friends so we tend to agree all the time on what to see/do.

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At a soccer game in Italy 2006

 

4.  What is your must have, can’t  live without running gadget?  Garmin.  I hate not knowing how far/fast my runs are and I’m such a dork about analyzing my stats and making sure I’m staying right where I need to in my training.

5.  Dream race-station location?  Race-station?  Like an aid station?  Or just dream race location?  Okay since I don’t know which one (and the first one makes no sense to me haha) I’ll say middle of nowhere Iceland.  I know Reykjavik has one (and I’d still like to do it!) but I really want to run out in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful countryside rather than amongst the city buildings.

6.  Runderwear or no?  I wouldn’t rule it out, but I prefer the tiny spandex shorts.  I just think it looks better on me (and most people).

7.  Are you as annoyed as I am by the signs & shirts that say, “Run like Ryan Gosling is waiting for you at the finish line?”  I don’t want him to see me all sweaty and gross.   Haha well, I’m not attracted to him so it doesn’t motivate me in the slightest.  I don’t like the idea of those signs in general though, that kind of thing would never motivate me.  But I firmly believe you should do whatever motivates you to push harder at the hard parts in races so if you need someone to hold up a sign like that for you at mile 22, by all means GO FOR IT.   I’m a competitive freak so one of my favorite signs was one that had race times of a bunch of famous people on it and I loved feeling like I was ticking off targets as I ran.

8.  How many running related stickers do you have on your car?  Just one!  26.2.

9.  What’s the most annoying thing you’ve had to deal with on a race course?  Clearly the idiot who knocked me over and tore my knee ligaments.

10.  Pen and paper or technology?  Pen and paper.  I still write all my notes out in longhand for my research and only type them up right before I submit.

11.  How far out do you start your training schedule?  16 weeks for a marathon, usually 12 for a half.

 

 

Kristina’s Questions:

1.  Where do you draw inspiration from?  For just about anything, from someone who is successful at whatever it may be.  For my professional work, from people who were in my position and are now established in the field and from my supervisors.  In running, from elites and sub-elites, but particularly those who started later in life like me or who have achieved a lot despite continuing to not be professional and/or still work full-time (people like Michael Wardian, masters runners, sub-elites who win races but aren’t sponsored, etc).

2. Stolen from Leigh Anne- you favorite vacation spot?  This is hard because I don’t like to go back to the same place.  Not that I wouldn’t, so many places I’ve loved so much and would love to go back, but I make the choice not to because there is so much of the world left to see and a second trip to Australia, for instance, means I might never see Cambodia.  So I don’t have a recurring favorite vacation spot, but my favorite places I’ve been are South Africa, New Zealand, Rome, and Croatia.

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I must really like taking photos at sunset.

 

3. Food you will never, ever try?  EASY.  Balut. Or anything currently alive as I eat it.

4. Food that you haven’t tried, but are totally desperate to try?  Hmm.  Not one kind of food per se, although I’m sure there is something I can’t think of at this moment, but I’m so desperate to eat sushi in Japan.  I’m a massive sushi fan and Joe and I really want to go to Japan one day and eating at one of the Michelin-starred sushi restaurants is a must for us.

5. Most memorable “foodie” moment/ most memorable meal?  THANK YOU FOR THE BEST QUESTION EVER.  I am a massive foodie, not that you could tell from my pizza and cake issues.  I’ve eaten at several Michelin-starred restaurants and had some great meals, including two Michelin meals on our last trip to Paris but my favorite meal was at a little place in Paris with no stars and simple decor that serves only duck.  Well, all but one or two things on their menu anyway.  Both Joe and I think it was the best meal we’ve ever had and the service was great, too.  It was the best, most romantic night in the most casual setting.  There was a toaster on every table!  We had duck appetizers, duck main courses, and creme brulee for dessert.  I’d go back in a heartbeat and it’s on our must-do list for every time we are back in Paris.

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6. Have you climbed/hiked a mountain?  Where? I have!  I climbed Mount Washington with a good friend when I was 18.  It holds many of the records for awful weather (wind, cold, fog) in the U.S. and was really interesting to climb as two rather petite girls.

7. What accomplishment are you most proud of?  I think graduating at the top of my class with my M.A. degree, I worked my butt off for that and I was so proud of the work I did throughout the program.

8.  A goal of yours that makes you shake in your boots, just a little?  Publishing a book someday.

9.  Place you would move to if given the ideal opportunity?  There are so many places that could be my ideal but Park City, Nashville area, or somewhere in Texas.

10. Celebrity that makes you cringe?  Lindsay Lohan.

 

 

For my nominees, I’d like to pick some of the people I’ve discovered more recently (in the last month or two) so I’m sorry if you’ve done this six million times!

Brianna

Salt

Cat

Karen

Andrea

Nicole

 

I know it’s not 10 but almost everyone I know has already been nominated recently!  I guess that’s why this exists, so we can find new blogs and runner friends 🙂

 

Your questions:

 

1. You have unlimited space and resources, how many pets do you have and what kind?

2. What sports/activities did you do as a young child (prior to age 12-ish)?

3. What is the first thing you do when you visit your hometown? (other than seeing family/friends)

4. You get an all expense paid vacation anywhere you want but only for a week (no around the world trips!), where do you go?

5. Favorite American city to visit and why?

6. What’s the craziest thing on your bucket list?

7. What novel has been the most influential at any stage in your life?

8. You can choose: be able to run for life but never get faster than a 9:00/mi or you get the next year to be amazing and win marathons but then you can never run again.  Which do you choose?  (aka the Achilles question)

9. Do you have the same favorite color as when you were a child? What is it now/then?

10. Favorite article of clothing?

 

Everyone else: answer one or all in the comments!

 

 

Gotta love spring

It may be dropping in temps again (only 55 today and dropping to high 40s tomorrow!) but we had one heck of a week with great weather and it was the perfect time for my brother-in-law and his family to be visiting.  And for the first time in FOREVER I did all of my runs outside and have the tiniest beginnings of a Garmin tan 🙂

 

Waking up to the flowers coming out is amazing.

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I waited a little too long to hit the trails I guess, it was over 70 degrees by the time 8am rolled around.  But it was fantastic!  My runs were SO MUCH BETTER the last few times out, the rest day after the truly awful one did a world of good.  I’ve been feeling strong and easy.

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It peaked at about 85 degrees, perfect for a cookout before the family had to leave.  Side note: I brought home no shorts other than running shorts so I’ve been in jeans in this heat the last few days.  Not my favorite!  I also left my hair dryer and makeup at our house.  These have not been my most attractive days haha.  Lucky for me, my older niece decided to help out and get creative playing with my hair:

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And we took goofy photos while we were waiting for Joe to cook us some delicious steak:

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Yep, she’s bigger than me.  11 years old and at least 4 inches taller than me.

 

The steak was perfect.  Yay for our first cookout in ~8 months!

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I have no pictures of the three boys, who ran around like absolute freaking banshees all night.  I have a few of my youngest niece, which she took as selfies with my phone.  They are as blurry as you’d expect a 5 year old’s photos to be 😉

 

What else do you do to celebrate spring?  Paint your nails festively of course.  This color just felt spring-like to me.

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And maybe everyone doesn’t do this, but I sure as heck go out for ice cream the first time we have an 80+ degree day.  We went to Dairy Queen and while I know most people would get sundaes or blizzards, I’m a 4 year old at heart and get vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles every single time.

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Fun fact: My dog tried to knock me over and steal this from me.  They both love ice cream (but Slider is the only one big enough to knock me over).  So we put them in the car (Slider’s #1 favorite thing in the world) and drove them to McDonald’s and bought them dollar cones.  Slider ate his sloppily and quickly and Stevie was a little princess as usual.  We have a video (which entertained my 5 year old niece on repeat at the dinner table) but I can’t get it to upload here 😦  You’ll just have to take my word for it that they’re just as big of fans of ice cream as I am 🙂

 

 

Did you do anything to get out and enjoy the nice weather? (besides running!)

What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

Girls, do you paint your nails according to the seasons/weather?  I sort of do, I love breaking out the neons in the summer but I’ll wear dark colors anytime too.

Giveaway Winner and other random things

This pretty much encapsulates my feelings this morning:

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Mostly because my run was HORRIBLE yesterday.  I woke up with legs so sore they felt like lead but it was 65 and sunny and perfect and today it’s supposed to thunderstorm so obviously, I decided my rest day could wait.  My legs hurt the entire way and I know I was going crazy slow.  I finish the 5 mile loop and look at my garmin and it says I’ve run 3.67 miles.  Right.  So I run the same 5 mile loop a lot and it always measures the same, it measured the same THE DAY BEFORE but I guess I lost satellite coverage somehow in the perfect cloudless sunshine?  Well, thanks to that, Mr. Garmin thinks I was running like 11:40 min/mile.  Obviously, I can calculate my real pace so no big deal, but I was just so cranky and wanted to go home and foam roll until I cried.  Today is a MUCH needed rest day so I can enjoy the glorious 80 degree weekend.

 

It sure was gorgeous though.  Despite the pain, I’m always happy to get out the door on a beautiful day and I know I would have regretted it if I would have skipped it.  A little muscle soreness never killed anyone 😉

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Oh, and I totally forgot to let everyone know that obviously a winner was selected in the Pro Compression giveaway.  Don’t worry, I didn’t space completely, she has been informed and her contact info passed along to the company, I just completely forgot that in the mix-up with my scheduled posts not going up last week, y’all didn’t see who actually won.

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Oh, and I was super proud of this for like 5 minutes yesterday:

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I felt like a badass.  Until Joe told me that velociraptors are basically glorified chickens.  They weighed like 30 pounds and had feathers and were maybe knee height.  I maintain I am a badass because the quiz specifies that I am the Jurassic Park form of velociraptor, not the actual historical species.  Just go along with it…

 

 

If you were a dinosaur, what would you be and why?

Is your weather getting hot where you live? We’re going to be in the 80s this weekend!

I’m turning into a hypochondriac

It was so gorgeous yesterday and I just couldn’t help myself, I waited until the middle of the day and ran in the bright sunshine.  It was a little toasty after the first couple miles but it just felt so good to be running in the sun and warmer temps.

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But this is not something you want to see 4.97 miles into a 7 mile run:

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Dead Garmin.  It’s now all charged up and ready for today but I pretty much guessed and ran around aimlessly for the end of my run yesterday since I was on a different loop than I usually run.

 

I’ve decided that running is trying to turn me into a hypochondriac.  Once you’ve had a pretty nasty injury (for me the plantar fasciia tear and the two torn knee ligaments), every pain becomes a potential future injury in your head.  Rationally, I know that having sore shins from needing to run 3 consecutive days on concrete is normal and just a reaction to the fact that I normally run on dirt, but in my head I’m like “ahhh maybe it’s going to be a stress fracture if I run on it tomorrow…but I think maybe not tomorrow so I’ll run on it tomorrow but then definitely not the next day.”  Then by the next day, it’s better anyway.  But I have a mini internal freak out when I first notice any new niggle.

 

We have a little experiment coming today…I’m going to try to take my sister-in-law’s dog for a run.  My own dogs don’t like to run with me (they’re sprinters, not distance runners) so I’ve never run with a dog and they don’t run with him either like on full-on distance runs but he’s very active and runs constantly and the breed is supposedly built for running.  I’m going to do the first few miles alone then loop back and grab him and try to make it around 2 with him and get him some exercise.  If it goes well, I forsee me trying to convince Stevie that running 6 miles is her new favorite activity, to replace chasing squirrels in circles in the backyard.

 

 

Do you run with a dog?

Do you freak out about all the random pains that come with running?

 

Oops I did it again…

HI!!!! Okay, sorry for the excitement but I missed everyone.  I knew I was going to be busy all last week so I scheduled posts to go up and then…they didn’t.  I still don’t know what happened.  So I have to catch you up on some things.

There has been a LOT of reading.  Nothing you want to hear about (unless you get your rocks off learning about revolutionary literature in the 1790s…doubt it) so we’re moving on.  There has definitely been running:

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Especially enjoying the heck out of running on these beautiful sunny days.

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And food…obviously.  I just discovered the wonder that is the salads from Cafe Rio and I’ve eaten there three times this week.  They should sponsor me, apparently black beans are my fuel of choice because I’ve been feeling great on my runs all week.

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Good ol’ Virginia beer.

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You just need to reward yourself with a beer now and again.  Or far too many times this week…but it’s just so right on a gorgeous night.

 

And we have our niece and nephew in town and my super talented 11 year old niece drew a picture of me:

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Ignore the date, she meant 4 but wrote 3.

 

I love it.  She pretty much nailed the lips I think 🙂  Love the braid too, my hair is in a side braid like 85% of the time.  I’m just amazed in general because my drawings stopped advancing in technique when I was about 5 and she’s all super skilled.

 

We have them in town for the whole week so we’ll be doing a bunch with the kids all week.  Last night we had all 13 of us for dinner for the first time in about 5 years.  If you’re wondering the 13: Joe’s parents, Joe&I, his sister&brother-in-law, his brother&sister-in-law, our 5 nieces and nephews.  It’s crazy to go from not seeing anyone at all while we were so far away for a couple years to back with EVERYONE.

 

Can’t wait to catch up on what all of you have been up to!

 

Do you have any nieces/nephews?  How many and how old are they?  I have 5: 2 nieces ages 11 and 5, 3 nephews ages 10, 8, and 8.

What was your best run last week?  I went for an easy 6 that felt AMAZING in the sunshine, light and easy, only to find out I was running 20 sec/mi faster than my usual easy pace with no additional effort.  It was one of those magical days where everything came together for no good reason.