Saturday, December 17, 2011


Here is a list of some of the things our 2-year-old is afraid of after 9pm:

~the roar a dinosaur makes
~the teeth of sharks
~a moose biting a shark
~shopping carts in the ocean
~the man who may come if you press the red button in an elevator
~big flies

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Overheard: From a Supportive Family Member

S.F.M.: What are you up to today?

Me: I'm about to head out for a run.

S.F.M.: Oh. You still do that??

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Little Review

Since it's midnight... and what else does a mom of a 2-year-old do at midnight but re-read a year of her blog? I read through all of the Marathon preparation just now. Wow. I was insane. And what a let down!! I forgot how depressing that particular event was for me.

But then I kept reading and also remembered how the I.T. (illiotibial band) injury had me sidelined. And then... I think I was just being wimpy toward August there. So much drama! So much NOT running!! And poof! Just like that I ran a 1/2 marathon. Crazy, no? Where's the whining? The injury that changed my view on life and running forever? I put in 13.1 and just said, yea for me! (?!)


The second the weather cooled off a transformation occurred in my lungs. Anything less than 65 degrees is like breathing pure oxygen for me. Go figure. Where I used to get dizzy and weak trying to finish 4 miles, now I can easily put 6 or 7 behind me and continue on with my day. So there's something about temperature, and possibly pollen count, that had me down and out over the summer.

I'm back on the running bandwagon. I pulled out all my cold weather gear from last year and have put in a few really good runs this week. Am I really ready to go through the emotional ride that is marathon training? Or marathon running? Or marathon ranning (I made up that word as a past tense for running)?

One thing I've wanted to do for a while is raise money on a race. I've always looked to the American Cancer Society as a great place to dump money. Their resources and website were pivotal in helping me feel like I could handle life 4 years ago (4 years?! Already?!?!) and I'd like to help them help more people.

Of course, life looks a lot different now than it did last year. A 2-year-old is a different creature than a 1-year-old. My life revolves around the 60-90-120 minute nap he may or may not take. Stephan is in school now to become a Nurse Practitioner, so there went his free time. I can always collect medals for 13.1's. Those are fun and (apparently!!!!) easy....

Man, what a difference a year makes!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Must.... Keep...... Running.....

This time last year I was building up to 20 mile weeks. For those who are counting, that's an extra 2,000+ calories per week. It's how I was truly able to enjoy the holidays completely guilt free. Imagine that!

"Why, yes, I would LOVE a second serving of cake!"

"Of course I'll have a refill of this tasty chocolate liquor drink!!"

"Pasta for Christmas? Bring. It. On."

The 4 miles I've run this week just aren't going to cut it. It's time to find another marathon to train for!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Go Runner Go!

The 1/2 marathon was AMAZING!! Ok, I mean, I was awesome IN the 1/2 marathon. It was 45 degrees and raining. I mean, RAINING. I was crazy- roller-coaster-ride- nervous about it. Even just standing in the corral. Ok, there wasn't really a corral. We were all just standing in a parking lot in a big group. The people who wanted to stand in front stood in front. I tried to stand as far back as I could. I saw a 2:20 pacer [a person with a sign on a stick who was trained to run the race in exactly 2 hours and 20 minutes). I estimated I would finish in about 2 hours and 45 minutes, so I tried to stand approximately that much further behind the pacer.

I started very slowly. VERY slowly. I hadn't trained, so I wanted to conserve my energy.
1 mile: Doing ok. Cold.
2 mile: Still ok.
3 mile: Starting to rain!
4 mile: Some chick passed me. She was walking.
5 mile: Ok. Only 8 more to go. One foot at a time.
6 mile: Hey, look, Elk! Seriously. I bet they make heat.
7 mile: Huh. Ok. 6 to go. More than half way!
8 mile: Dude! Only 5 to go!!! I can't feel my hands.
9 mile: We need to pick up this pace! This is fun!
10 mile: Look! Stephan!! It's pouring rain! He says, "I'm cold. Finish faster!"
11 mile: Smiling. Waving at people. This is awesome.
12 mile: One more! Running as fast as I have all day!!
13 mile: Look! Stephan!! Finish line!! Hi dad!
13.1 mile: 2 hours 44 minutes.

Rock. The. Eff. On.

Friday, November 25, 2011

1 day breathing

Nervous. Very under-trained. Am I going to get hurt? It's going to rain. I've never run in serious rain. For 13 miles. With a new coat and different pants on. By myself.

Ok, pro's:

1. It's going to be cold and I ROCK in cold weather.
2. It's Thanksgiving, so I've definitely carb-loaded appropriately.
3. I'm in better shape than this time last year.
4. .... I'm sure there's more.

We'll find out this time tomorrow what happens when Anna runs a 13.1 without proper training!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

5 days stupid

I have not trained enough for this half marathon.

Score one for me: I'm at a point in my life where I am about to attempt to run 13 miles without adequate training and I'm only vaguely nervous about it.

Score one for stupid: I am about to attempt to run 13 miles without adequate training and I'm only vaguely nervous about it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 days redemption

I'm running a half marathon next Saturday. I paid the money, so I'm going to do it. I haven't trained as well as I know I need to. I haven't really put a lot of time or effort into it. But I'm going to do it. Partly just to get it over with - to run another race- to get another medal- to just get back out there on my feet again.

I'll let you know how it goes!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lookin' Good!

But WAY more intense.

It's fall. I don't do well in the fall. It's also been raining for the last 5 days. I was in an understandably bad mood while I was driving to work yesterday. Also, I was listening to a mix tape in Stephan's truck that sounded like a depressed, angry, gay Mexican cowgirl made it. At a stoplight I looked over and saw a large-ish young-ish man grooving out to music. Seriously grooving. He was working it like he MEANT it! He was pumping the break, causing the entire car to shake.

It was hilarious. So I busted out laughing. He looked over and smiled. I had to admit to myself, it was a pretty cool moment. He drove next to me for a few miles, just being himself, grooving. I finally took a deep breath, made eye-contact and mouthed, "Thank you!"

At the next stop light he rolled down his window and yelled, "Have a really good day!!!" and then I turned into the parking lot and went to work. But even work was a bummer that day. 5 hours later I was relieved to be walking out the door, and what did I see? Two white roses on the hood of the truck. With a note handwritten in a ziplock baggie (raining, remember?). The note had his phone number, and a short few sentences making it clear that this was just an invitation if I was looking for a friend, nothing weird. And if I wasn't, then just to enjoy the flowers, and smile.

Well, geeze. Halfway between most-awesome-thing-ever and wtf-creepy I drove away. This morning I wanted Trevor to know just how awesome I think it is that people go out of their way for other people. Looking Good Lady didn't have to cup her hands around her mouth and yell. But she did. And it's one of the things that keeps my feet pounding one in front of the other when I just don't feel like I can keep going.

On my run this morning I started thinking of all the things I would tell Trevor (who is 20 years old, yeah me!) about what the next 10-12 years of his life might be like. I want to tell him to keep dancing in the car. Keep putting yourself out there. Never be embarrassed to go for it- to take risks- to, literally, dance like no one is watching... because maybe someone IS watching, and maybe it's going to be a pivotal moment in their day... or week... or life.

I ran a short 2 miles today and sang out loud to every song I heard. Because it felt good. Because I wanted to. And because maybe the old man and woman who sit in their garage every afternoon smiled when they heard me belting out "She's a Hottie" as I ran past.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just Tell me to DO it!


Half marathon. There's one a few miles from my house the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Someone, please, just tell me to SHUT UP AND PUT YOUR SHOES ON!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Email subject: Geeeeeeze

Another succinct summing up of my night, as emailed to Stephan tonight:

Such a good day. Such a good evening......

Then I went to change the laundry. And smelled poop. Two gigantic sick dog poops on the carpet downstairs. So then I had to grab each dog and drag them downstairs to yell at them. Sawyer was freaked out- and I took Red first- when I got upstairs for Besa, Sawyer had a fist full of Besa's head trying to drag her out of the bedroom. And he said, "helping?". Ugh. I got Besa downstairs to yell, and Sawyer walked in right behind her. Eh? Kid goes down the stairs? So then everyone was in trouble. And I still had dog poop to pick up. 

So then we watched Aladdin. And now he's asleep. Whew! Cleaning the kitchen, then watching tv to numb my brain. It needs numbing. 

Hope your night involves less poop!!!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oh, we're doing this again??


Me: Is this your coffee?

Him: What?

Me: I found this coffee on the counter. It's cold. Do you want it?

Him: Let me see it.

Me: See it?

Him: I had coffee in a mug like that this afternoon at my mom's house. I put her coffee in it and drank it on the way home. I thought that you were giving me that coffee, but you're not, since that's a different cup and anyway I drank that first coffee on the way home.

Me: Uh huh. So....?

Him: Well, I put cream and sugar in that coffee, so if you were giving me that first coffee you shouldn't put cream and sugar in it.

Me: And...?

Him: Yeah, I'll drink that coffee. Just please put some sugar in it.

Me: Two more years of school for you... yippie for me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Every night that Stephan works I write him an email before I go to bed telling him a little about how the night went. As I re-read tonight's letter I thought I'd share it, since I think it really shows the tone of our life lately...

Another amazing night. We took a walk after you left. We collected more stuff, and then we found a quarter. He ran all the way back home. For dinner he ate the rest of the blueberries (sorry!!), about 1/2 a chicken breast (seriously, I don't know where he was putting it!) and then... about 1/2 cup of frozen corn. Still frozen. He wanted to eat frozen corn. And I let him. 

Then... well... then I tried to feed him one of the chewy vitamins... but it was too chewy and he choked on it. Like, honestly choking. Like, I slammed him so hard on the back it scared him into crying. But it came out so I guess I win... but still... no more chewy vitamins. I will make sure we have the liquid in stock. Until he's 15. 

We did 'mommy yoga' for about 30 minutes. The level of difficulty of the poses increases dramatically when the 2-year-old is climbing up your legs and hanging on for dear life. He rolled up the yoga mat when he wanted me to stop. I let him eat a popcicle since he was being so fun. 

Elmo bubble bath was awesome. I made it a lot warmer than normal and he LOVED it. He's wearing "Nala" pajamas (his word, not mine) that are from Ian and have a lion on them. I wrapped him in the Moose blanket to read books. Then we did songs and he told me everything he did today. On the 2nd to last song he asked to be put in the bed. He asked for the moose blanket, but I convinced him to go with the Simba blanket. I tucked him in all snuggly warm and he fell right to sleep. 

He's such an amazing kid. We are so lucky. 

But my head is filling with goo- the advil and sinus medicine isn't helping, I'm headed to bed. He didn't go down until 9:15, and it's 10pm now. Hopefully I'll get a good night sleep and kick this thing. 

Love you!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Check it out!!

I'm addicted to a new website. FlyLady has set up a great life-plan focused on house cleaning. One day at a time. Slow and steady, put together new routines that foster cleanliness. So far so good.

At least my sink is clean!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What is it about running anyway??

Running is this thing I just can't let go of. I have a subscription to Runner's World Magazine thanks to my mom. They keep writing articles about how 9/11 relates to running and how runners dealt with 9/11 and how people started running in response to the events of that day. So I've been trying to pin down what exactly about running is so emotionally relevant to people. And, actually, why is it such a cathartic activity for me?

Running seems to be the body's natural response to so many stimuli- kids run when they're excited or happy, people take off running often when they are upset or angry, and mobs of people take to the streets and run toward whatever they are mobilized about.

Running seems to be the most natural use of extra energy, a physical restorative, a mental reset button, and an emotional vehicle. To paraphrase Dory, "What do we do? We run. Run. Run."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Aye aye aye

I was reading past posts and realized that this blog used to be a LOT more interesting (see, um, all of May, 2008 when I was not only diagnosed with cancer and travelled to New York City with my mom and cousin, but also planned to start a ranch and raised money to go on a medical mission trip to Honduras..... yeah- not quite "read a book and cleaned a closet" was it??) I talked to Stephan about this and wondered out loud if life is really more boring now, or if I'm just not seeing all the uniqueness in our daily lives. He said it was a little of both and promptly promised not to turn into a vagina (his words, sorry mom) for the next two years while he's back in school turning into a Nurse Practitioner. Noteworthy? Maybe. Crass? Definitely. There has to be a way to catch the small things in life while they're going on so I can immortalize them on the internet. Another example? Sawyer insisted on going outside this afternoon despite the 95+ degree heat. Once out there, he ran into the grass, squatted down, and pooped (in his diaper). He looked at me and said, "poop. red. poop." which I took to mean, "look mom! I won't poop in a toilet but I will put shoes on and walk down 3 stairs to stand in the yard and poop like the dog!!" Stephan wants more blogs about our Homo Sapien Canis. It's a biology joke.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Little Studly!

I have, in my life, travelled a lot. I've stayed in a lot of hotels and have been inside a lot of work-out rooms. At best I used to hop on an eliptical and pretend I routinely used the machine. I was just wasting time, not wanting to sit and watch tv or spend time alone at the hotel bar. I usually only made it 5-8 minutes before I sat down in a sweaty short-of-breath heap, gave up, and went back to watch tv or spend time at the hotel bar.

But yesterday we were in Indianapolis and saw a chocolate shop. I bought fudge. Then I went for a run. 35 minutes- 3.1 miles plus a cool-down.

Yeah. I did.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What to do...

We had our furnace replaced today. It was 94 degrees. And for several hours the installation team had the furnace turned up.

So I cleaned out the linen closet.
I'm counting sweating my buns off as exercising.
And I learned.... yeah. Today fell apart.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Can it count that I'm learning about Russian culture by watching Russian Dolls on Lifetime?

No? Hmmmm. I guess I should pick up a book.

There was no cleaning today. There was the opposite of cleaning... whatever that is.

And just because I knew I was trying to keep up this new program, I put in an hour of Power Yoga! Woot! Got it done!

Now I'm going to bed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

C.L.D. and... B?

It's like M.V.P.... D? (from Jersey Shore, bear with me)

B stands for Breathe. There are so many benefits to adding meditation to my day. And meditation doesn't just mean a few deep breaths before I fall asleep. The book even suggests not meditating before bed at all. I'm going to give LCD (CLD? at least I always end with D) a few more weeks before I try to add anything.

And I really should stop trying to blog after running. My brain just doesn't coordinate typing and thinking.

Cleaned the rest of the basement cabinet area.
Learned more French.
Did another 5k run in the hot hot sun!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does Throwing Up count as cleaning??

Just because when I went on the tilt-a-whirl with Sawyer this afternoon I seriously considered starting a detox program that didn't involve carney-folk. But I digress....

Learned more about detox programs.
Did a 2 mile calibration run on a treadmill.
Cleaned... well would LIKE to clean the rag pile in the basement before the end of the night.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Lazy

Cleaned out some of the garage
Learned about meditation and progressive relaxation
Did.... uh.... 5 hours of massage? Does that count? No. I don't think it does.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Run Damnit!

Have you ever seen those cute crafty yard signs that ladies put in their gardens that say, "Grow Damnit!" That's what the title of this post is supposed to be like.

Which is about as far as I got with a post concept. I just got back from a 6.2 run. I'm pretty fuzzy in the brain because I simply haven't had enough water lately. But I finished it. I didn't give myself a choice though- I ran 3.1 miles away and didn't bring a cell phone and flagging down a police man just seemed like a cowardly thing to do. I walked about 10 minutes at the end. But hey, it's done. Stephan and I are reviewing all of our half marathon options for the fall. I'm not convinced I'm going to get one in, but we'll see.

My Learn Clean Do plan fell through on the weekend. But that's what weekends are for, right? Back on the wagon!!

Learn more about Massage Envy today.
Clean out my email inbox
Do... well.... done!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Learn Something, Clean Something, DO Something


Learned more French via Rosetta Stone

Cleaned the kitchen junk drawer.

Did a 5k training run!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Obviously, it's something I'm seriously lacking lately. The Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in August is passing me by, and the Chicago Half in September is quickly looming as well. My hopes for running another distance race this summer are fading. But I ran yesterday and came across this interview that Nike+ did with Kara Goucher several years ago. She's a competitive runner who is married to another competitive runner AND she just had a baby. So she pretty much rocks. I've been following her for a few months now, and her personality seems pretty consistent with a real live human being.

Since I don't make money on this blog, I hope it's okay that I'm sharing some of her motivation with you guys....


Getting ready for an event you've never run before takes a lot of preparation. Mentally, you just have to accept the unknown. You might not know exactly how you're gonna feel. You just have to be mentally prepared that it could go great and it could go bad but you're just going to get out there and see what happens. Same with the physical side. You're not sure what's going to happen so you just kind of have to go for it. Plan as best you can and then just, you know, get a lot of feedback when you're done.


When you're racing there are physical and mental components every time you race. Physically, you're tired and your body is giving you signals that it wants to slow down or it wants to quit. Mentally you have to be able to tell your body, "No. You can keep doing this. You're strong enough. You're fit enough. So usually the mind is what helps you overcome the physical parts that are starting to tell you that it's getting long and tiring.


I think that life is very challenging for everybody. Whether it's dealing with an illness in the family, or an injury because you're an athlete, or a job that you didn't get... Life is constantly throwing you challenges. I feel like all the challenges I've faced, and will continue to face, it just makes me who I am. Everything that you go through in life makes you stronger. There's always something positive that comes out of all negative situations. I feel like challenges are there for a reason and they make you a better person.


I developed really bad race anxiety because I had been away for so long. Then I had all this self-imposed pressure when I finally did race. [I thought] that this was my one chance to show everybody I should be doing this. I really had to work through that. I realized that it's ok. There are plenty of opportunities in life and in running. No one race was the defining moment for me. When I finally was able to realize that, that no one race was going to define me as an athlete for the rest of my career, it opened my eyes to enjoy what I'm doing more. And to enjoy the experience of racing more. That really helped to alleviate a lot of the anxiety.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

While I'm Still Sitting Here

I read Runner's World's website. It's usually not awesome. Today it was awesome.

An excerpt (which I just realized is an excerpt from a book I'm going to have to read now):

Running Rules of Thumb

1. If you see a porta potty with no line, use it. Even if you don't need to.
2. If you have to ask yourself, Does this driver see me? The answer is no.
3. If you have to ask yourself, Are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
4. 1 glazed doughnut = 2 miles
5. You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7. Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8. You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9. Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10. If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you're a runner.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Still Nothing New

Hi. How are you? Good? That's good. Me? I'm good. We've been on vacation, and now we're back, but we might go camping soon. How's the running? Eh. Still dealing with IT band issues. That's about it. I had really high hopes of running the Chicago 1/2 in August, but I can't get past a 2.0 mile mark where my leg seizes up completely. So there's that.

Stephan is working lots.

Sawyer is awesome. He's growing so fast and he's learning so many new things every day!! I think I'm learning more about myself than I expected too. For one thing, I learned that I say, "HEY!!" a lot because Sawyer has started saying it all the time. I'll try to get a video posted here in the next few weeks.

Until then- turn off your computer, get outside and take a walk!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey Runner!

Stephan and I participated in the Ragnar relay from Madison to Chicago this weekend. Stephan ran. I drove the van. We had 11 runners. We were supposed to have 12, but one had a family emergency. I brought my shoes. Surely they would need someone to just step in (ha ha) for a leg or two... right?

Wrong. Eventhough there was a perfect little 4 mile run that I could have slipped into, they didn't let me run.

In another lifetime I would have just typed, "They didn't make me run." But I wanted to. I wanted to run so badly. Record my start time, figure my pace, slap that relay band on my wrist... cross the finish line with my team after achieving something amazing.

Nope. I stood with the stroller as they crossed together at 2:45 at Montrose Harbor. I made sure to stand far enough away so no one saw the tears in my eyes. Just to prove something, I went for a run yesterday. But I couldn't even make it one full mile before my lungs gave out.

I had a dream last night that I saw a man with the finisher's medal from a 1/2 marathon that's taking place in Chicago in August. So I went for another run today... just now. And came to a realization:

Finishing a marathon didn't make me a runner. Getting up the next day and going for a run did. Crying at someone else's finish line did. Running without anything tracking my run does. I ran today and I have no idea what my pace or distance was. And it doesn't matter. I ran because it felt good. I ran because I can. I ran because I wanted to.

THAT makes me a runner.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worth a Look

I love finding motivation EVERYWHERE. I watch the Biggest Loser. I keep in touch with friends who run. I read websites and articles about fitness and healthy eating.

And I'm part of The 100 Challenge on Facebook. Anne from Portland is a personal trainer with two little kids. Once a month she posts a set of exercies that a bunch of people try to do 100 of in one day. I LOVE this. I love watching her videos with the kids stomping around. And I love that it's actually a pretty good challenge. Even if I only get 20 repititions done, it's fun and it's something.

I love it so much I started posting quick stretches after the exercises. It's a little uncomfortable for me to see myself on the internet, on a video, wearing SHORTS... but it's keeping me motivated. Check it out!

The 100 Challenge

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I gave a few talks in Montana about what yoga is and what it means. It included a short demonstration. I've taken a bunch of yoga classes, and watched a BILLION yoga videos. Yoga means "uniting". Uniting the body with the breath, the mind with the body, the person with the universe. Something you will hear from every yoga teacher in this country is to never compare your own yoga postures to anyone else's. Yoga is not a competitive sport.

I am starting to believe that running isn't a competitive sport either. This morning I had a fun discussion about what it means to PR. PR stands for Personal Record. Let's say you run a 5k in 45 minutes one day. The next time you run it in less than 45 minutes, you've just PR'd. Great job by the way!

It's all about the PR. How are YOU doing today? What was YOUR time? Stop looking at everyone else's time, speed, pace, cute pants. Wear your own cute pants.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

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Going Deeper

So it's now been 4 weeks since the marathon. When people say to me, 'Hey! Good job on running that marathon!' I still roll my eyes and shake my head. Yeah, I finished a marathon, but I can't say that I ran the marathon. Almost every day I think back to the run and feel let down. I did a lot of research about post-marathon depression. It's a real thing. When you spend 8 hours a week for 20 weeks planning for something there's a pretty big hole in your life when it's over.

Stephan has had a few serious talks with me about the self-esteem and pride issues that have come up for me now. How do you finish a 26.2 mile race and not be proud of yourself? Especially re-reading all of these blog posts where I'm super-proud of the progress I was making.

While I physically crossed that finish line, I still have yet to cross it emotionally.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Recovery Continues

That's about it. I saw another professional about my foot today. She was confident that things would heal in their own time. I think I'll be stopping by the local pool tomorrow to at least keep up with the fitness aspect of my life as I focus on healing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The First Mile

It took me 21 years to run a mile. I was 21 years old the first time I actually jogged 1.0 miles on my parents' treadmill in their basement. 11 years later I finished a marathon. Three weeks after that (today) I struggled through a two mile run.

One mile out, one mile back. It was the two miles I had to walk at the end of the marathon. I ran them today, but I was still in excruciating pain. It took more than 30 minutes to finish today's run.

So 26.2 miles later... I'm back at square 1. One mile today was just as hard as one mile 11 years ago. I am starting over. One step, another step, repeat. I'm still not sure exactly the nature of the injury to my right foot and leg. An x-ray showed nothing.

So.... here I am. Step. Step. Step.

Friday, May 13, 2011

26.2 + one

Copied from an email I sent last week... because unfortunately it still holds true.

"It's been 2 weeks since I finished this thing, and I feel like I owe a lot of people a description of the run- SO many people have called or emailed to find out how it went, but I just tell them I can't talk about it yet.

"Because I feel like it sucked. The first 11 miles were amazing- there was so much cheering, so much support, shade, and so many crowds of people. The miles ticked by SO fast. I thought, if this is what racing is, I love it! I want more!! But then the 1/2 marathoners turned to the right (turns out there were 25,000 of them, and only 4,000 of us) and the music stopped. There were barely any people cheering us on- we stopped running on shady side-streets and started running on abandoned highways and through rough-looking neighborhoods. My brain did the math- they only had 2 more miles to go. We had 15.

And thud- there was the Wall. I knew it was coming, so I just kept going and waited for it to pass. But every hill drained a little more determination from me. Every time I saw the clock it seemed like we were going slower. My head started pounding and Stephan and I had to slow down so I could drink 3-4 cups of water at each mile. My stomach cramped up and I visited the bathroom at least 4 times, none of which eased the pain.

When I saw that there was no way we would finish in 5:30, it took more out of me. Then 6:00 [hours] passed us up. After mile 24 I began sobbing and couldn't keep running. I slowed down to walk and just broke down. I never stopped moving, but I was a mess. The pain in my feet, legs and lower back was excruciating. It was the first time in 6 months that I didn't want to finish.

Didn't want to. Didn't care. The whole thing was stupid.

So Stephan held my hand, told me that unless I passed out unconscious we were going to finish, and we walked the rest of the way. He pointed out that we were probably walking faster than we had been running lately anyway. Dozens of people passed us, fat people, old people, people who had walked the whole way... Lots of people stopped to tell me I could do it. The few spectators left on the last mile stood up or turned around and cheered me on so loudly, but none of it broke through my brain. I failed as soon as I started walking. As soon as I didn't care. Those people didn't know I failed. Stephan had to tell me about most of the last mile later- I wasn't really there. I'd checked out.

I couldn't even run across the finish line. I walked. The guy who took our picture looked so confused. I was sobbing, I could barely lift my eyes to the camera. We stumbled past the medal-people and I layed down under a tree. Stephan got us water and snacks. There wasn't really anyone left there. The tents were being taken down. The music people were long gone. It was a ghost town with just a skeleton crew making sure people weren't dead. We took some pictures and walked to the car.

There was a lot of pain, exhaustion (I was pale as a sheet when we got back to the hotel, despite a sunburn), a finisher's medal... but no pride. I feel like I failed. Because I had to walk and I didn't care about finishing.

I know there wasn't anything else I could have done. The training, my prep was all perfect. If the course had been flat- if it was Chicago- I'm positive I'd have finished with no problem. Smiling even.


I'm rereading this laying in bed with my right foot elevated and on ice. I tried to run this afternoon but only got about 4 blocks away from the house before I was in excruciating pain: from the bottom of my foot, then into my knee, and finally up into my hip. It won't take any pressure. I'm not sure what's going on.

I had it x-rayed earlier in the week but nothing showed up on the film. And the doctor who told me a few weeks ago, "What did you think would happen?" told me to "walk it off, what did you think would happen?" So I'm trying to suck it up, but not being able to do something I've come to not only love, but rely on as a mood-stabliizer, stress-reliever, and thing-I-do-for-myself sucks.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Photos First

Note who "won".

That's us in back! Stephan is wearing a white shirt and mine is red.

This is what 29,000 runners looks like. This photo is from the website.

The sign behind "Duh Winning" is Stephan's favorite sign. More photos and stories to come.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

As Sawyer Says....



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not Freaking Out

As I typed the title to this post, it came to my attention that there is another post with this exact same title floating around this blog. I'll have to find it so I can remember what else I've NOT freaked out about.

Because, right now... I'm totally freaking out. I'm trying to pack but I keep stalling out, staring at the list and thinking that there HAS to be more to this whole thing than just running shoes, underware, shorts and a t-shirt. But that's it. As Stephan says repeatingly, "Shut up and put your shoes on."

Part of the challenge is that the race organizers are proving SO much of what we are used to packing, carrying, stashing, or wishing we brought with us. It's such a different run. Hopefully this means that thoe whole thing will be simple!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On the list of things I shouldn't have done

About #4 is: watching this video of a car driving the entire 26 mile course... NOT for people who get carsick, or people who DON'T want to know how far 26.2 miles is...

It's REAL!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

5 days

Last night I started really planning the road-trip part of this run. I got chills and an adrenalin rush just thinking about it. There's a rental car involved... snacks... possibly a cab at 6am... Clothes to pack... baby stuff to pack... but oddly enough, very little running going on this week. If you've ever planned for something really big and life changing you know that the 'work' part of things usually ramps up to a hysterical pace right before it's over.

This resting is making me crazy. I keep thinking I need to prep more right now. Shouldn't I be running an 18 or a 20 this week? Nope. A 10? Nope.

The weather in Nashville is going to be another player over the weekend. It was 80+ degrees last weekend but I've purposely stayed away from weather reports lately. It really doesn't matter what the weather is. We still need to drink lots of water, dress to ward off the sun and keep the chill off, and of course, wear shoes and hats.

Stephan read this post over my shoulder and wants me to type, "It's a good thing I'm not obsessing." But I think I'm just being a good journalist. As with the move to Baker, I know I'll look back on this post one day an smile or laugh at how intense my brain got about the entire process.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Days. This time next week Stephan and I will be sitting in a hotel room in Nashville, bellies full of carbs, legs well rested and toned and ready for the Big Race. This week is a really short running week. 3, 5, 3, 5. I'm skipping the 3 mile run for today because I did a bunch of squats yesterday accidently while taking a walk with Sawyer.

This is scary. For weeks and weeks we kept increasing the mileage. After the 20 I KNEW that the 26 was totally possible. But it's been two weeks since I've put in a distance run and I'm getting scared that I'll forget how to run a distance race. I already feel out of practice.

It's like we've spent all this time and sweat climbing up a gigantic mountain and now it's time to enjoy parachuting off the top of it. There's such a difference between the hard work of the climb, and the complete trust of the jump. I didn't expect this letting go to be so hard for me. I really thought I would feel relief.

Always something new!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Are we There Yet?

One week, two days. So... 9 days until the marathon. Today I ran 5 miles. When I put my shoes on I didn't even really think too hard about it. I stopped for the sunblock and the hat, but that was it. It wasn't epic. It wasn't challenging. It was "just" a five mile run.

In a lot of ways, I'm right where I want to be. I'm in a place where I can lace up and go out for a five mile run, walk in the door, take off my shoes and drink a glass of water while I make dinner. That's insane.

Crazy. But Awesome.

And while I typed this, a video played in the background that seemed, once again, to dwarf what I'm doing in a wonderfully inspiring way...

Check it out, but maybe have some Kleenex nearby.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The 20

I've been on a little bit of a haitus since last week's 20-mile run. It was mostly awesome. We were well-carbed, well-hydrated, the weather was nice (although a little warm for us), and we had our path all set up.

We ran the DuPage County Prairie Path again. It was about 70F, and sunny. We put sunblock on, but it sweat off in the first hour. The run was a simple 10 miles out, 10 miles back. Stephan packed Snickers bars, GU gels, and two bottles of water in a fanny pack.

I packed..... myself.
(Cute, no?)

We got to the 10 mile turn around and stopped at a 7-11. Stephan ran in to restock our liquids and I paced outside and ate my Snicker bar. Back on the trail I got heartburn really badly at mile 13. Really bad. I think it was because I had been drinking mostly sports drinks, and no water. Plus the Snicker bar. But I refuse to blame the chocolate.

So, mile 13 was where the wheels fell off. Way off. I stopped running. Stephan said it was ok to hurt, but we HAD to keep moving. I started crying. I didn't want to move. He didn't understand. Moving was a no-no. I didn't understand. We HAD to keep moving.

I didn't speak to him for the next 4 miles. But I moved my body those 4 miles. When we stopped at the bar for more whisky and water I perked up and started to feel amazing. We ended the 4 hour run at a fast(ish) 11:30 pace, with smiles on our faces.

So all this begs the question (and a poll! How long has it been since I've put a poll up here?)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Winner Winner!!

You guys know that I run with the Nike+ sensor in my shoe. It links with a receiver in my iPod which uploads to the Nike website and keeps track of all my stats. There is a whole Nike+ community that hangs out and does little competitions and stuff. I've entered into a few of them (never won) just to participate and have a little extra motivation.

Once in a while the Nike company sponsers a competition and offers prizes. I've done a bunch of these, but the one for March was actually a real challenge: 50 miles in 3 weeks. Luckily, we're training for this-here marathon and Stephan and I actually did run 50 miles in 3 weeks. Almost 2,000 people qualified for the drawing.

And then I got this in my email.

"Hi Nike+ Runner

Congratulations! You’re a Winner in the Nike+ ‘In Like a Lion’ Challenge on!

As a result of your hard work, you’ve won a pair of Nike Lunar Haze running shoes that are compatible with Nike+!"

Once I replied to the email the following was posted the the Nike Running website:

I'm so excited!! I won something!! Not only that, but the shoes should be here a few weeks after the race, so it's an amazing reward for me!! La la la! Exciting!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Stretch

On Saturday, Stephan and I ran 18 miles. In a row. Outside. Together. 18 miles was pretty amazing. The day was beautiful, sunny, cool, some clouds... We ran on the DuPage County Prairie Path. We left from Elmhurst and ran West 3 miles, then turned around. We stopped to pee at a bar. We got back to the car and fueled up with some water and energy gel. We ran back out West 3 more miles, then stopped at a Quick Mart for water.

Here's the thing... we didn't have cash on us- just Stephan's credit card. And it turns out the guy had a $10.00 minimum on credit card purchases. So we picked up two Snicker bars... and... we couldn't eat or drink any more... we couldn't carry anything with us...

So we bought two air-plane bottles of Jim Beam and drank them in the store. Woot!!

We ran the next 3 miles out to I355 and turned around to head back the final 6 miles. With only 3 left to go, we passed the bar again, and Stephan had to pee again. So... this time we felt bad and wanted to buy something... so... another 2 shots of Jack Daniels!! We got a round of applause from the patrons at the bar, and finished the 18 very strong.

(Ok, maybe not really all that strong, I did quite a bit of whining during that last mile. My legs hurt, my arms were numb, I was getting cold, my feet hurt, etc. etc. etc. Stephan told me to consider staying quiet about all that. I replied that I would NOT suffer in silence.)

This week we're running 5, 10, 4, and twenty. The 20 is the longest run we're doing before the big party. After that, we have 2 weeks of "easier" runs, and then one little week before the 26.2. Wow. Woot!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"What did you think was going to happen?"


Why I'm still running.


Overheard: In the Doctor's Office

Dr: So what brings you in today?

Me: Well I'm training for a marathon... and this week I'm having really bad pain down my legs, low back pain, my heart is palpating a lot, and I'm really tired all the time.

25 minutes later

Dr: So you're training for a marathon?

Me: Yep.

Dr. Well, what did you think was going to happen? Your body hurts, your heart is working harder, and you're burning a ton of calories. Your labs look great, your heart is perfect. Go home. Good luck in April.

Later that day I ran 5 miles. The next day I ran 6.2. And through both of them I just kept thinking, "I don't want to do this anymore." I've run 14 miles. In a row. I can run. I'm a runner. Why do I need to push and finish the whole 26?? Why hurt my body like this? Why? Why? Why?

After a few days thinking about it, I talked to Stephan about it. He turned to look at me and pretty much told me I don't have an option. I dragged him into this- he's stuck with it- he didn't give up last week- so I don't get to give up this week.

We have 3 more weeks of hard-core training. That's 8 more tough runs. 16, 18, 20 are my last long runs. So... now I'm in this for Stephan. He won't let me quit. Which is what I needed right now.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What happens when you STOP?

I'm sidelined again today. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. It would have been an awesome day to run. I have to wait for a doctor's appointment in the morning to see what I get to do now. At the moment I'm battling something that feels like low blood pressure symptoms. I'm sure it's no big deal, but it'll be good to get checked out.


It's like I'm itchy. My muscles are twitching to go for a long run, to get out of the house and breath for 2 hours. How weird is this? Who on Earth craves two hours of exercise? Huh.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blah blech blah

Stupid. Ok. Two weeks ago I had a glitch in my Nike+ and accidently ran 10 miles instead of 12. But I'm a smart girl and I should have noticed that something was wrong when I finished in 2 hours instead of 2 hours and 30 minutes. But whatever.

So today I veered from the schedule on the advice of my trainer and did a 3 mile "fit test" instead of a 4 mile easy run. The plan was to warm up for a mile, sprint a mile, and cool down for a mile. Great. Awesome. Except for the sprint part. With only .09 left in the sprint mile I lost my breath and had to stop.

GRRRRRR!!!! Now I feel like I tanked a scheduled run AND didn't even get the cool accomplishment of finishing my fastest mile ever. I have no idea how fast I ran that mile.

So blah. Sometimes, it's just blah. And that's ok. None of this is about just one run. None of it is about just one day. Even April 30th isn't the biggest deal. The biggest deal is the sum of all the parts.

No, I can't even find much inspirational right now. Today was blah and that's it. Blah is ok. Maybe that's the inspiration. Should I print this out and post it on the wall?

"blah is ok"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Me,

Just who do you think you are???


We're still doing this? Yeah, we're still doing this.

We were in Montana last week. So... that happened. Lots of people said we looked good. Lots of people commented on the running. Lots of people were excited for us to run the marathon. There were also a few pictures, lots of crying, and very little sleep.

Now there are 50 days before the marathon. Do I have 50 more days of philosphical babbling about accomplishing goals in me? Sure I do.

And here is today's: Who do you think you are? I think about this a LOT while I'm running. I told the lady at the running store three times, "I'm not a runner." Which seems insane since I've logged over 800 miles in the last 3 years. I used to run on a treadmill at the Plevna community center staring at myself in the reflection of a TV chanting, "I am Molly's mom" (which anyway, Molly turned out to be Sawyer so that's what happened there). That chant has turned into, "I am Sawyer's mom" whenever I see my shadow stretched out in front of me.

I never thought I'd be the type of person who could run 12 miles. Or 14. Or 18, or 26.2. But I am. You're reading this- you know who I've been over the last 32 years. I've been a daughter, a friend, a co-worker, a student, a sister, a biology major, a theater major, a wife, a grad student (briefly), etc. etc. etc. I'm changing the way I define myself. I. Am. A. Runner.

Ok, I totally don't believe that. Not even a little. I just re-read it again, and I still don't believe it. But there are people who see me on the street and think, "There goes a runner." I'm not like my husband because I do think about how people see me. I wonder all the time what people think of me. While I run I've been trying to decide what I think of me.

See? I told you I still have plenty to write about.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Can you Hear me Now?

Today's run was 8 miles. I didn't get to rest yesterday, so I ran today on a semi-injured leg and foot. It was cold today. I didn't drink enough water. Sawyer fought taking a nap for 90 minutes. 2 miles into the run I had a choice- I could either turn left and make two, 4 mile loops. Or I could stay straight and run further from home, not giving myself an option of stopping early.

I kept going. Almost exactly halfway along the run, 4 miles from home, I had almost had it. I didn't really have a choice. I couldn't just stop, I couldn't walk that far.

A little old lady stepped out onto her porch, cupped her hands around her mouth and screamed into my ear as I ran by, "LOOKING GOOD!!!" I smiled like an idiot for 2 miles straight after that. Random old lady thinks I was looking good!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

12 Miles Down!!

The 12 wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. The weather sucked the worst. So here's my course map so far... compare it with the one from a few posts below:

My fears were mostly unfounded. Other than getting totally lost, I put on a book-on-tape on the iPod and just cruised around for 2 hours and 20 minutes. I stopped once to shed a layer of clothes and drink a little water, but other than that it was a slow jog to just get the miles done. Like Stephan said in an email last night: Step, Step, repeat.

I'm celebrating with a sleeve of Thin Mints and a Bacardi on the rocks. It's nice to burn 1,400 calories in a day and not worry about splurging at night.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Not Freaking Out

Ok, yes I am.

There are 64 days until the marathon. I have less than 12 hours until I have to run a 12 mile run. I have to run it by myself. I ate a plate full of pasta, about 1/2 gallon of water, and I'm snacking on crackers and bananas tonight. There are some serious butterflies going on right now. But it's time for bed. So... here goes nothing!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling like a puppy every day...

So... you just really need to check this out. It kinda makes what I'm doing seem just like another day.

Seriously, click on this.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Sayin'

This is a picture of the course map:

This is the first 9 miles - or - this is how far my longest run to date would get me (the scale of the two maps is not quite equal)...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Overheard: Getting ready to run

Him: So... there are two songs on the radio that use the word F@#$, and I don't like it.

Me: Eh?

Him: Not in an old-person way, but I thought music was supposed to be creative?

Me: Uh huh.

Him: Like saying it without saying it, you know?

Me: Uh huh.

Him: I'm going to end up snotting all over myself during this run. I can just tell.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dear me,

What have you done for me lately?

Training Week 6

today's temp = 40F
today's run = 7 miles
last week's miles = 13
this week's miles = 18.1
next week's miles = 22

This week's thought: Pride

Not in the biblical, 7-Deadly-Sins, way. But in the, if someone asked me when was the last thing I did that I was proud of I'd answer, "I ran 9 miles last Saturday" or "I ran a 5k in 31 minutes yesterday" way. I think I posted to Facebook a few weeks ago that I continually surprise myself with my own strength. I love that. I'm so happy that I'm the type of person who sees something I want to change- either about myself or the world- and I go out and make it happen.

Get cancer? Reduce my risk in every way possible.
Depressed? See a counsellor and work my butt off to get better.
Bad relationship? Try to fix it, fail, then end it.
Want to change the world? The trip to Honduras was a start.
Need to lose weight? 25lbs down and still losing.
Healthy family? Out of debt? Better job? Check. Check. Check.

The one thing I know I can't do is change anyone else. I can be a good example, but I can't convince anyone else to jump on the 'get better' bandwagon with me. If you're reading this and feel somehow inspired and just can't seem to find the motivation to change that one thing you've always wanted to change... just know that I'm going to run today. And if I'm not running today, then I ran yesterday and I'm going to run tomorrow. You won't be alone- I'm doing it too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hey... this isn't a sprint!

This isn't even a marathon.

This is marathon TRAINING!

This week's lesson: it's a lot harder when it gets harder.

wtf? Last week I was a stud and ran four miles outside when it was less than 10 degrees outside. About 3 miles into the run I took off my scarf because I felt like I couldn't breathe well enough. Afterwards I realized that was a bad idea. My lungs burned and I couldn't catch my breath. But, I pushed on, and ran 7 miles the next day. That was a bad idea too. My runs this week have been crappy, and this morning I tried running the 6 mile run but ended up walking most of it. Anyway, it all made me really angry.

And both trainers told me that I needed to slow down, calm down, ease up, and get better. So what happens when you've dedicated 90 more days to running and you just can't? Marathon training isn't about just one awesome glorified day where you're tired but it's all worth it. It's having 3 more months to go, and worrying that it's all falling apart. It's looking at the previous 3 months, and not wanting to waste all that effort. It's getting a picture in the mail:

and realizing how far I've come, and how far I still have to go. Marathon training is seeing the forest AND the trees at the same time. It's not easy. It's falling short of completing a 6 mile run, but still believing/hoping/knowing that the 26.2 is possible.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Monday!!

It's not all spandex and sweat around here. We're still making time for Cute.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Parents Read this Blog

Training Week 2

yesterday's temp = 3F
today's run = 7.0 miles
last week's miles = 20
this week's miles = 20.5
next week's miles = 18

This week's thought: if marathon training isn't sexy, what IS sexy??

This is Kate O'Neill. She is an Olympic marathon runner. She finished third in the Chicago Marathon in 2007.

This is Gisele Bundchen. She is a Victoria's Secret model. A famous one.

I think I respect Kate more than Gisele. I think I'd rather have Kate's list of accomplishments instead of Gisele's money and fame. I think Kate is cooler. Is cooler sexier? Hmmm. I'd rather be Kate than Gisele. So maybe I'd rather be cooler than sexier. I can never be a Vic Secret model. I can be a marathon runner.

The ads have started pressuring people to get ready for 'bikini season'. The Resolutionists have begun to lose steam at the gym. I have run 60 miles in the last 3 weeks, and actually gained 3 pounds. I can't be in this to lose weight. I am just too darn hungry, and spend too much time planning the runs to worry about calories. So... sigh... I'm just running to run. Finish the 26.2.

There are 98 until April 30th.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Training Week 1

today's temp = 30F
today's run = 5.6 miles
last week's miles = 20
this week's miles = 19.6
next week's miles = 20.6

This week's thought: my trainers are insane.

I have trainers?? Sure. I have two "trainers". If you know me, you know who they are. If you don't, then let me introduce you to them: Trainer A (for Anal) has trained for 5 marathons and has finished 3 of them. He's currently trying to qualify to run the Boston Marathon, one of the country's most prestegious races. He has been known to say things like, "what angle to you hold your wrists at when you run?" and "if you don't do exactly everything I tell you to do, you are going to end up getting surgery on both feet by the end of the race."

Trainer B (for Balance) has run one marathon, and did so while drunk. He frequently says, "just put your shoes on and start running. The rest will sort itself out." Even if you don't know me, you probably can guess who Trainer B is.

Parts of me can relate to both trainers. I see the value of doing the research, tracking the miles per hour, adding up the calories and balancing out the healthy meals with the calories burned. Another part wants to be spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment, and I want to be the person who can step "out for a jog" and run 3+ miles without a real plan. I'm lucky that I have these two people in my life who can inspire me in the two ways I know I need to be inspired. I'm incredibly grateful to both.

Back to my original thought ("my trainers are insane")... now that I've typed all of that I realize that it's not they who are insane. I think it really might be me. Almost every day before I run I ask myself, "whose idea was this?!" and the answer always comes back in the mirror.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gearing Up


Eso Si Que Es

Pre-training Week 5

today's temp = 22F
today's run = 6 miles
last week's miles = 19
this week's miles = 20
next week's miles = variable

Thought for the week: while wearing 3 layers of old ratty clothes does keep me warm, having the right gear on sure helps me feel like this is serious business. First of all, socks. Yes. Socks. Nike Dri-fit running socks. They're amazing. It's like someone is holding onto the arches of my feet every step I take. It's like wearing ace-bandages that are super comfy for the entire run. I leave them on for about an hour after the run to help reduce the swelling in my feet. Since they don't get sweaty, I don't ever mind. 

Secondly, my amazing brother, Jimmy, gave me Under Armour baselayer clothes. Electric blue shirt and black bottoms. I wore them for the first time today (you know, under the sweatpants t-shirts and sweat shirt). Uh-maze-ing. I'm not sure I really felt warmer, but I totally felt like a real runner. Whenever I got tired I'd look at the flash of blue sleeve and remember that I have real running clothes on and woot!! here I am! 

We have 15.5 weeks until the marathon. Sometimes that seems like a really long time. Sometimes it feels like there's no way I'm going to be able to run 20+ miles. Like, ever.