Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ready for an Anaheim Adventure

Man oh man, where has the time gone?! I can't believe that it has been over a month since the NYC Marathon. Thank goodness for my lazy nature- it has allowed my knee to heal. Of course, I haven't run any long distances (or really done any running), so I have no idea if my knee problem will flare up again once I do.

I won't bore you with all that I have been up to that has prevented me from running (mainly horse shows and work). But it is time to get back on track because STAR WARS HALF MARATHON is coming up soon! I'm pretty freaking excited for that.

I stole this from somewhere. Don't tell on me.


Somehow, I have to get through the holidays and then I'm going to Disneyland!! Why am I so excited about this when I seem to go to a Disney resort once or twice a year? Well, Anaheim weather is gorgeous in January. Even if it happens to rain, there's very little chance of having a heat wave like one can experience at WDW. Also, I'm going with a couple of friends and making a vacation out of it so that we're not rushing around, trying to do everything in a small window of time. They're doing the 10K and I'm doing the half.

Enchanted 10K at WDW


I'm a wee bit torn that I chose not to do the challenge, because medals and 3 long sleeved women's cut shirts! But I keep reminding myself that I have not enjoyed a single race challenge I have done, which includes Goofy Challenge, Dumbo Double Dare and Glass Slipper Challenge. I had a miserable second race during all of those challenges. It's not like I can't do it, it just has not been fun.

Star Wars Half replaced the Tinkerbell Half, and I loved that race. The course was great and the weather was awesome. I'm really curious about what course they will use.

I need to decide on a costume. Unfortunately, I will most likely go as some some of villainous character because I refuse to wear all white and run as Princess Leia. White just does not look flattering on this body. That also rules out a storm trooper costume.

Darth Vedar? Hmmmmm. Maybe I will just go with some sort of Galaxy/space theme. If anyone has some ideas, please feel free to share.


In other news, my current Netflix obsession is The Walking Dead. Good God. That is a gruesome show, but I just can't stop watching! I always want to know how they are going to survive. The first four seasons are on Netflix and I'm in the middle of season two. Who else is obsessed with this show right now? I swear, Netflix has replaced any and all need for me to attend social functions.

That's all for now. I'll be sure to blog any actual running I decide to do.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

So, You Want To Run New York City?

I've had some time to digest my NYCM experience and there's a lot of things I can laugh that it's over and done. But there's some things you should know if you ever want to run in the New York City Marathon. Also, I needed an excuse to post more pictures.

1. The Verrazano Bridge is approximately 47 miles long. 46 of those miles are uphill.

2. The locals are very friendly. And they are very open to foreigners.

3. Trust me when I say not to stop moving while on the Verrazano Bridge. Keep jogging until you get off. I moved over to the side to adjust my earbuds and iPod and the entire bridge was bouncing. It's unnerving.

4. The entire city is uphill. NYC is not flat, people. It is uphill in every direction.

5. The Wall of Sound so many people talk about midway through the Queensboro Bridge is a myth. At least for any slow runners. Don't get your heart set on experiencing it like I did. But the view is amazing.

6. Take selfies.

7. Law enforcement in NYC are handsome.


8. Mile 22 is actually 7 miles long.

9. If you are in the last wave, chances are good you will finish in the dark. 

10. No matter what kind of race you have, once you cross that finish line, you are a NEW YORK CITY MARATHON FINISHER!! Go straight to the nearest pub and have a glass of wine...or beer....or 17 shots of tequila. I'm not here to judge.


Monday, November 10, 2014

The New York City Marathon Recap

Oof. I have no idea where to begin with this recap. I truly thought that the NYC Marathon would be the most amazing experience of my life. But it wasn't. Not even close.

The first cool thing I did was go to the Asics tweet up with my friend, Ari, at the NY Public Library. It was rainy and kind of gross outside, but I got to meet some cool people I follow on Instagram and we got free Asics gear, which was a score all around.

After the tweet up, we headed to the expo. I won't go into crazy detail about that because once you've been to one major race expo, you've been to them all. Sadly, I didn't find anything I couldn't live without and I had purchased the NYCM back pack the week before, which I am in love with. I want to snuggle with it at night, I love it so much.


As for the race, well, let's just nothing I wanted to happen, happened. Except for the whole finishing every single mile of the course and then some, according to my Garmin. First of all, let's talk wind. The wind that day was so incredibly strong that it actually knocked some people over and the wheel chair start was moved off of the Verrazano bridge for the safety of the competitors. As I was running along the bridge, the wind actually ripped my ear buds out multiple times and caused my iPod to pause. But it was still one of the coolest parts of the course. 


I didn't have high expectations for a good finish time for this race because of the wind and the fact that I had been sidelined for a month due to my knee injury, but I also didn't expect the wind to make me feel so, so sick. My lungs burned for the entire race and it was not from exertion.


I won't bore you with a mile by mile recount of my experience, because over all, it pretty much sucked. I'm probably the only runner on the planet that has run the NYCM and thought it was miserable. One thing that really contributed to my misery was that I found myself at the very end of the course support for the race. The course has a 7 hour time limit and I have no idea if that time limit starts from the first wave or the last, but it seemed to happen way too early.

There are no sweepers and you can finish the race even after the 7 hour time limit, but let me tell you how demoralizing it is to see all of the emergency vehicles and listen to an endless loop on loudspeaker saying, "this is the end of the New York City Marathon" for an hour straight because they were moving at the same pace as me at that point. The longer I had to hear it, the more upset I became until I pretty much ran out of steam.

 I'm not sure how I got caught up in that procession, though, which just adds to my frustration. I was in corral A of the last wave, which started at 10:55. That processional came through when I was at or very close to mile 20. It was only 4:00, meaning I had only been on the course for 5 hours and was definitely set to finish under 7 hours. Now, my pace slowed exponentially at this point because I was so upset about a whole bunch of things, but I still finished under 7.

 I think I would have had a better outlook if I wasn't beating myself up for being at the end of the race. Never mind the fact that there were tons of runners behind me. Also, I was incapable of doing math at this point, so in my mind, I was going to finish an hour later than I actually did. 


And the Wall of Sound that everyone talks about on the Queensboro bridge in every recap I have ever read? Yeah, that shit is non existent for the later runners. I had imagined that experience for years and so I kept pulling out my ear buds over and over hoping to experience it for myself. Nope.  

Luckily, two very good friends, Abby and Debra, talked me off the ledge via text when I was losing my shit at about mile 17. So, a huge heartfelt thank you to both of them, because I was so upset and so miserable that I wished I had someone with me.

It was not the race I trained for nor hoped for, but I did it. Every last single mile of that course. And you know what, a week later, I'm feeling pretty impressed with myself. I was sick, injured and hadn't run in a month in an effort to save my knee for the race itself. A month ago, I could have pulled off a 5:45 time and it took me an extra hour to finish. But I finished. And it's going to be a really long time -if ever- that I do a full marathon again.

Also, the poncho is super warm and kitten approved.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Meltdown Currently Suspended

The last time I bothered to update my blog, I was having a knee situation.

Ice on the back and the front. Yes, I wear flip flops to work.

Now normally, I wouldn't worry too much about that. I might give myself a break from running until it felt better, which is just me not feeling bad about any sort of desire to plant my ass on my couch instead of running. Better lazy safe, than sorry, right? Then I'd proceed to take more time off of running than necessary and call it "resting my injury" which is just code for "I'm addicted to Netflix and I can't stop watching long enough to put on running clothes."

In all of my 4 years of racing, I've never been too freaked out about a tweaked joint or muscle, but my knee had me on a downward spiral that was starting to border lunacy. After all, the New York City Marathon is less than two weeks away.

Last Monday night, I ran 4 miles on my bad knee and I was okay, but definitely worried about how I would feel at mile 15, 18, or 22 of the marathon. I've trained for this marathon 3 years in a row - 2012 was cancelled, 2013 deferred and 2014 is my last shot. To say I was going into freak out mode is an understatement. I don't think I could have finished a half, let alone a full.

So after a fair amount of wailing, whining and crying, a friend of mine made me an appointment with a naturopathic joint specialist. He actually got on the phone and made the appointment, most likely in an effort to keep me from bothering him every 5 seconds.

Long story short- I had prolotherapy done on my knee, which is where they inject glucosamine, glucose, procaine, etc, into the joint and it promotes self healing without using steroids. Being a naturopathic clinic, they use hydrocortisone as a last resort. The doctor told me that if I was still having trouble, they'd do a steroid injection.


Well, let me tell you: they inject a decent amount of fluid into the joint. So I left the clinic in much worse shape than when I walked in. I could barely walk. And now I was worried that I had made a huge mistake. When I walked in, I was still capable of running and barely capable of even walking on my way out.

Luckily, I was able to walk the next day and it's gotten better each day since the procedure. This morning was the first day since my injection on Thursday that my knee felt better than pre-injection.

Hallelujah. Now I can finally calm the fuck down. Just to show how seriously I've taken this, I haven't even ridden my horse (my trainer has ridden him, though) and that almost never happens. I just can't risk this marathon. I've worked too hard to get here.


I was supposed to run the Lake Powell Half on Saturday as my last long run, but I stayed home. I haven't run since last Monday, and I still think it would be prudent to give it another couple of days. I'm concerned about losing a bit of my endurance, but I guess being able to toe the line of the NYCM start is better than watching from the sidelines.

In short, I'm back to being excited for the NYC Marathon.

And speaking of Netflix, I'm now obsessed with Reign. I watched the first four episodes last night, which means I got four hours of sleep. So damn good! Is anyone else watching this show? Let's discuss, mmmm'kay?



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When is the right time to freak out?

So, some super cool stuff just happened in my little world. And then something not so cool. Yes, I have been running. Two weekends ago, I ran 18 miles. I contemplated doing a 20 miler this past weekend, but truly, there wasn't spot to fit it in because I had the awesome opportunity to ride in a clinic with an Olympic Medalist in dressage.

Just a little intimidating...

This is the second time I've ridden with him, but this time was such a huge improvement over when I rode with him in April. Riding with this caliber of trainer is always intimidating, but Louie also happens to be a quarter horse, which are not typically an ideal breed for dressage. I was a little apprehensive going into it.

Not the best angle, but he sure is cute!

Well, I needn't have worried because little Louie was a superstar. I rode harder than I've ridden in a long time and Conrad Schumacher told me that he liked him and that, "this horse wouldn't be as nice as he is if I wasn't such a good rider." He also told my trainer that he thought Louie could go up the levels, which is always questionable with a western bred horse. Eeeeeeeee!!! Awesome, right?

So I spent the rest of the weekend in a self congratulatory haze feeling all amazing and like the world was my oyster and nothing could ruin it for me.

Then on Sunday night, I felt a weird tightness in my right knee and the freaking out started. Then I really started freaking out last night when it still hurt. I ran 4 miles and I wasn't crippled, but 4 miles is somewhat shy of 26 and I'm starting to really lose my shit because I have a wee little marathon coming up in less 3 weeks.

Please work, please work, please work...

So this has been me all day at work: leg elevated and ice every half hour. I've also been less than pleasant to be around, according to my coworkers. But I don't believe them.

Someone please help me calm the fuck down because I'm pretty sure that my amazing weekend of riding is the cause of my knee issue. I refuse to call it an injury because I refused to be injured. Aaaaaaaahhhhh! Why now?!?! Why????!!!!

So feel free to just reassure me that everything is going to be fine. Even if you're lying because I'm planning on ignoring things I don't like right now. It's how I roll.








Friday, September 26, 2014

Disappointment and Sportsmanship

I planned on writing a very different accounting of this event when I wrote it in my head. And trust me, I've been writing it in my head for awhile now, planning out the best way to tell you all about my amazingness. (Humbly bragging, of course, because no one likes a cocky asshole.)

In case you had any doubt...

Now, most of you know I am not the most serious of runners. I can admit that. Running is something I do because I love racing and I have a hard time putting effort into things without a goal in mind. If I don't sign up for races, I have a very hard time just going out and running for the love of it or even for my health. I need goals, but I also don't freak out (usually) if I don't have a stellar performance. I basically run races for fun.

One thing I am absolutely dedicated to is riding. I ride 5 days a week, and we train hard. That doesn't include all of the care, prep work, etc., that also goes along with horse ownership. I've shown more in the last two years with Louie than I have since I was a teenager.

The competition year for the USDF, which in this case means United States Dressage Federation, runs from October 1st through Septempber 31st. There are national standings by level and by breed.

A couple months ago, I found myself sitting in 2nd place in the national standings for Louie's breed. You have to meet certain requirements, file breed declarations, show a certain number of times, etc.

Yes, that's Lou's real name.


Exciting, right? Now even though my horse trainer blasted this news on Facebook, I'm really superstitious about counting my chickens before they hatch. But even so, I maintained my reserve champion (2nd place) standing until last week. So, of course, I was blogging in my head about Louie's amazingness and was ready to write a very different post. I mean, the season is almost over.

I knew the girl behind me had little hope of catching me because it's all based on averages and she most likely wouldn't have enough time to bump up her average that much. What I didn't expect was for someone to come out of nowhere two weeks from the end and land in the champion spot, effectively knocking us all down a slot.

So, why is this such a big deal? I mean, he's still in the top 5. In the country.

Well, because there is a national awards gala event held every year that honors Champion and Reserve Champion winners. It's a black tie event. You receive a medal and recognition. Third place gets a certificate in the mail.

So, yeah. I'm pretty disappointed. In my mind, I had already sealed the deal. Even at this point, I could get knocked out of third, but it wouldn't be as big of a blow as getting knocked out of second. Or if all top 5 were recognized and received an award, it wouldn't sting as much. Just getting a certificate isn't quite as exciting.

My very first horse trainer absolutely wouldn't tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior, so I was never a kid that wanted to beat anyone in particular. I wanted to win, don't get me wrong, but growing up in the horse show world, you learn a lot about disappointment. I'm sure the top two riders didn't work any less hard than I did and I'm sure the girl in second feels pretty crappy, too, because she was in the lead for months and got knocked down a placing with only two weeks left in the show year.

There's always next year, right?



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Longer, Faster, More

Yesterday morning, Lara and I met at 5:00am for our long run. The plan was to do 14 miles. Now for the last month, all of our long runs have been in the double digits which is about the most consistent training I have done in years.

Good morning, Scottsdale!


Also, they've all ended rather miserably with my hips tightening up and my feet killing me. We had done some speed work on Thursday and I reported that it was the first run in forever where I actually felt good about running.

Hidden Mickey


Well, I'm happy to say that Thursday's run wasn't just a fluke. I actually felt pretty good for almost the entire run. Sure, I felt pretty beat when I sat down in my car, but I also felt like I could have continued for at least a little bit farther and that is always an amazing feeling. Granted, this time I was smart and took some Advil before our run. I know some people are against taking NSAIDs before running, but it really helps me. So I'm not advocating that others should do it... But it totally helped me not want to die at mile 10. Plus, I only took two.


Random bike and tent. Not sure that's happening here...


It has been really humid in Arizona this summer, but it wasn't quite as miserable as it has been so that was nice. Every 10 years or so we have what is called an El NiƱo year where we get a considerable amount of rain. Looks like we're having one this year, because we've had crazy storms and flooding. The desert looks like a meadow. Although we haven't been running in the desert because I'm so sick of seeing that same scenery over and over and over. We've been running along golf courses, which are pretty hilly. Even though the hills are small, there's a ton of them so we're getting in some hill work, too.


This is not supposed to be a pond.

Anyway, we ended up doing 14.5 miles and I didn't want to die. I consider that a win. We took way less walk breaks and the breaks were took were shorter. Our overall pace was faster (although that really applies more to me than Lara because she's capable of running faster than me any day).

Not really a problem...


So yeah, two runs in a row that I'm feeling good about. Months ago, I had a goal of running NYC Marathon in sub 5, but I don't think it's possible. I've been way more consistent about training but to pull that off, I should have trained harder this spring. C'est la vie. Plus, this way I can go into that race just soaking everything in. I definitely want pictures and I want to remember every second because I know it's the most amazing race there is.

I've run past this light for the last 5 weeks and I never noticed how cool it is.

Later, I went to Chipotle and ordered a gigantic lunch. While I was in line, I saw this teenaged girl wearing floaties on her arms. I saw the same thing at a restaurant last weekend. Is this a thing? It's so ridiculous, that I couldn't stop staring. Did my generation do things this weird and now I'm just old so I think it's dumb?

So weird.

Only 41 days until the New York City Marathon. Eeeeeee!!!

This blog post was brought to you today by the letter M. For Marathon, of course!