Marathon Recap (video)

October 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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I realize this may come across as somewhat odd to a reader who is used to reading…you know, words.  A video?  More over, a video where it’s just me talking?!

Oh, yes.  When Sam and I decided to record our memories of the marathon (just for our own mementos), I realized I was saying everything I would sit down to write to you.  Even though I may not know you from a ham sandwich (or a PB&J for you vegetarians ;)), sometimes, hearing the recap firsthand is more powerful than reading it.

Besides, don’t you ever wonder what my voice sounds like ? 😉

So, without further ado….oh, wait.  Just kidding.  A little bit of background: Sam’s dad and sister (Katie) were running the Columbus Half Marathon while we ran the full, so when I say I saw them…I mean on the course, running.  Also, we recorded this while eating dinner, so please excuse the occasional odd swallow.  And finally, emotions were still high when we taped this.  I will not apologize for being a mush, but I will warn you.  Okay.  GO!

Part 1:

Part 2:

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I made it!

October 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Oh my.

That was NOT what I expected.

Don’t fret my pet, a recap is coming…but it’s a little different than previous recaps.

It’s a video.  How very Real World confessional of me 😉.  Sam and I decided to record our thoughts post-marathon (just for our own memento), but as I was talking to the camera, I realized I was saying everything I would write anyway.  So while that’s in the edit process, here are some photos to tide you over. 🙂

But that’s not even CLOSE to the whole story.

Stay tuned…:)

A Thank You Note

October 17, 2010 at 5:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Dear Reader,

While you’re reading this, I’m either running my first marathon or recovering from it (With family and friends? In the hospital? We’ll see!). I wanted to take a quiet moment to say thank you.

Yes, thank you.

Yes, you!

I started this blog as a means of remaining accountable to a goal I had set for myself. It was a goal I couldn’t believe I had the courage to utter aloud:

“Some day, I want to run a marathon.”

In the time you’ve been reading this blog, you may have fallen under the impression that I’m this super goal-oriented person who rarely fails to see something through – that once I commit to an idea, I persevere until I accomplish it.

That is SO not true.

I’m like every other person on this planet who has used the words, “some day” as a way of delaying the need for the dedication, motivation and hard work it takes to realize a goal. I’m no life slacker, but I certainly don’t go around saying things like, “I’d like to run a marathon” all the time.

This was a one time utterance.

But one time was the only time it took for Sam to look at me and say:

“So do it.”

Here was my husband, looking plainly at me, believing that all I had to do was do it.

So do it.

So I am doing it. I stopped putting off things until “some day” and started working toward a goal I wanted. I realized that there wasn’t going to be a “some day” if I didn’t start believing in myself and moving in the direction of a life where I took good care of myself, valued my abilities and believed (as easily as Sam) that I could do it.

That’s where you come in.

Whether I know you, if we’re related or if we’re friends, or our only connection is through an Ethernet cable, I owe you a sincere and heartfelt thank you. If you’ve commented, clicked or emailed – thank you.

Not a post would go by where I did not close my laptop astounded by the fact that there were people stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere because they too thought I was capable of making it to the starting line; people who supported my ambition.

It doesn’t matter how this marathon goes. It isn’t important to me to finish in a certain time or make a specific place. It doesn’t even matter if I have to crawl to the end.

What matters, deep down, is that it stopped being something I was putting off for “some day”. “Some day” will not come to you – you have to go after it. Whatever it is that you have been delaying until “some day”, I challenge you to start working toward it. The gift of recognizing and being surprised at your own capabilities is too amazing to never experience.

So I’m going to run my little rear off – I’m going to count on 18 weeks of training to carry me through. I’m probably going to cry and I’m definitely going to sweat. I’m going to be thrilled when I see my family and friends cheering me on and even more excited when I can hug Sam after it’s all over and tell him , “So, I did it”. And you can be sure when my foot hits that finish line, I will yell loud and clear:

TODAY is my SOME DAY.”

Thank you so much, for everything. I’ll see you soon. 🙂

Last Minute Prep

October 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Training Calls For: Rest

Miles Run So Far: 272.2

Days Left: 1

Sometimes, it’s hard to put into words just how exciting and intimidating the lead up to a big event can be.  This is definitely the case with the past couple of days before tomorrow’s marathon, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking (with a little help ;)).

Last training run:

That’s my “four miles?  I’ve got this” face.

Heading up to the Expo:

It’s feeling more real!  This is actually going to happen.

Fuel up!

Time to hit the hay.  ZzZzZzZzZzZzZ.

Check in tomorrow morning…you know I won’t leave you without something to read while I’m off running my tush off!

Reaction Time

October 12, 2010 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 3 miles (check!)

Miles Run So Far: 267.2

Days Left: 5 (deep breaths…deep breaths…)

Confession time:

I had a panic attack yesterday thinking about the marathon.

I’m normally a very low-key, low-stress person (stop smirking, Sam) who does not get ruffled by future things.  I did not have a panic attack about any of these past majorly-life-changing events: graduating from college, moving several states away to take a job where I knew no one, getting married, telling my first boss I quit, starting a new career, going back to school, buying our first car, buying our first house.  Not a single panic attack in any of those segments of life.  But on a random Monday, less than a week away from 26.2 miles, my heart started to pound uncontrollably.

I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I was scoping out the marathon website to email information to my parents when everything started to overwhelm me.

That route on the map looks incredibly long….Wait, how many water stations are there?…Parking is going to be a nightmare….Quick, check the weather….What am I going to wear?

Pretty soon, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I actually had to go in my office, close the door and put my head down on my desk.

Breathe.  Deep breaths.  In and out.  In and out.  Stop.  Freaking.  Out.

I may have joked about hyperventilating into a paper bag in the past, but I kind of get how that little piece of grocery garb could be clutch in a situation like this.

When I told my sister about my little “episode”, she asked: “what exactly are you worrying about?”

Good question.  I have no idea.

And then it kind of struck me how silly the whole thing was.  If I don’t know what I’m specifically worrying about, then there’s nothing to worry about.  I have trained for more than four months for this one event and while it makes me nervous, there isn’t anything to worry about.

What if I can’t find my groove and I struggle?  Well, I know how that feels, I dealt with it during our 18 miler and I overcame it.  I showed it who’s boss.

What if I wear the wrong thing and overheat?  I’ve been testing outfits for two weeks and if I make a boo-boo, I’ll ditch the clothes.  They’re donated to the needy anyway.  No biggie.

What if I surprise myself and it feels effortless?  Um, keep running, goofball.  Just like you did when you ran half the 20 mile run without stopping.

It all comes down to reaction time.  Not reaction time as in the ever-inadequate “hey look out!” before a softball smacks you in the face, but reaction time as in you have to wait until the time to react.

I can’t run a marathon ahead of time just so I can feel prepared and less scared and know how I’m going to handle every little curveball or pitfall.  I’m going to have to react when the time comes.  It isn’t here yet, so no sense in getting my running shorts in a bunch over nothing.  My training has shown me that I can not only run the distance, but I have learned to react well to just about anything.

I’m always surprised by how much running mirrors life.  Maybe it’s because over the past year I’ve become a devout discipline of Saint Hal Higdon, maybe because running gives you an incredible amount of peaceful time for self-reflection.  Whatever the reason, you can’t tell me that this whole theory of reaction time isn’t applicable to life in general.

Wait until the time comes to react.  Don’t bother with the what ifs.  Otherwise, you’re wasting energy having a panic attack in your office with the lights off wondering who will explain to your husband that it was the mental preparation for the marathon that killed you, not the actual physical exertion.

Someone sent me an email recently and included in their signature line was the quote, “The miracle isn’t that you finished.  The miracle is that you had the courage to start.”

Amen to that.  The hard part is over.  If I have to crawl across that finish line, it doesn’t matter.  I had the courage to start.  I’ll just take whatever comes my way and rely on some well-prepared reaction time to deal with it.

🙂

Beans, beans…

October 11, 2010 at 9:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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…the magical fruit the more you eat the more you….

Okay, that’s enough of that. 😉

Training Calls for: Rest

Miles Run So Far: 264.2

Days Left: 6

Bonjour, blog babes!

My new routine means I go to class MTuThF from 9-10 and then head on over to work at 11 (yes, I start my work day at 11 — be jealous 😉  I also don’t get out until 7, so in turn, I’ll be jealous of all you 9-5ers).  In the hour in between, I chill in the campus library, use their WiFi and write my posts.

Dear Library,

Get your act together.  Sketchy WiFi for two days straight was un-cool.

Dear Bethany,

Get YOUR act together.  Forgetting your camera was equally un-cool.

But I’m back now and I am ready to reveal just what I was cooking up in the cocina Tuesday night.  Ready for it?

Black beans?

Brownies?

Black Bean Brownies!!!

Yep.  After eating one of these babies at the 30-mile meal, I finally got the courage to try the recipe myself.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a dessert made from an ingredient I’m used to seeing in soups, salsas and nachos, but I am nothing if not willing.

It’s all in the name of a potentially good dessert. 😉

I found this recipe online and realized I had everything I needed to make it.  It was like the universe was telling me I needed to strap on my apron and get to work.

Here’s my other motivation for trying this recipe…

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease and has been restricted to a gluten-free lifestyle.  Another family member of mine is already eliminating gluten from her life for dietary and health reasons as well.  It kills me that 99.9999% of baked goodies and enjoyables include FLOUR.

What the heck?

So when I see a recipe that’s gluten-free, I think to myself, “I need to try that for them.”  Since I am NOT gluten intolerant and I know exactly what a treat with gluten tastes like, I figure I can be the discerning palate for these two and taste test these recipes until we find one that will revolutionize the G-free world.

Oh, yes.  I bear that cross proudly ;).

This might have been the easiest recipe I’ve made in a while.  Dump almost all ingredients in a food processor and whirl.

Add chocolate chips sprinkled on top (or you could use chopped walnuts).

Bake.

Enjoy.

So here’s my review of the flour-free freakishly good black bean brownies:  um, pretty close.  Most gluten-free products taste similiar (but not close enough) to the real thing.

These are a darn good imposter.  Sam declared he likes them BETTER than actual brownies.  The texture is kind of odd when you pull them straight out of the oven (really fluffy — think long-lost gluten-free cousin to the Pillsbury dough boy), but when they’ve cooled, they’re chewy and kind of fudgy like a good brownie should be.

The instant coffee the recipe calls for gives the brownies a hearty base flavor — though it isn’t overpowering.  It doesn’t taste like mocha, it tastes like chocolate.  I think the chocolate chips on the top are imperative because they give you a little nugget of chocolate amid an otherwise tastebud confusing treat.

I’m not sure how much healthier they are compared to regular brownies (since you still use sugar, oil and eggs), but they’re made from REAL ingredients, so I give them my stamp of approval!

In other news…

Did you notice we’re just 6 days away from the marathon?  OH. MY. GOSH.  I am a little bit freaking out and mostly just excited.  My 8-mile run on Saturday was so-so.  I think I was bored?  Strange, I know, but running these shorter distances (um, 8 miles is shorter? who am I??) is kind of like old hat.  I think 20 miles went so well because I was engaged in the challenge.

Let’s just hope I feel that same way on M-Day.  Pardon me while I go grab a paper back and start hyperventilating.

Sam, on the other hand, is battling a serious IT band injury.  It hurt him so badly I had to run ahead and get the car to pick him up.  I can’t believe this has happened to him with just a week to go, but I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude and grab my pom poms to be his cheerleader.  We’re in this together, no matter what.  Even if I drag him across the finish line.  Even if I drive all over God’s green earth to find another marathon for him to run.  Even if I put him on my shoulders and carry him the whole way.

Got that, Sam?  It can all turn back around just as quickly as it went south. 🙂

Leave Sam a little comment love and encouragement, okay?

Fantastic Four

October 5, 2010 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 4 miles

Miles Run So Far: 248.2

Days Left: 12

My hunch was right!  This morning’s 4 mile run was great!  Even though I smacked the snooze button once and sleepily agreed to wait until Sam’s alarm went off at 6 — once I was up and out of bed, I was alllll business.  I think I may have been the only one.  Both of the monsters had zero interest in leaving their cozy canine quarters.

Ruby gave me the (sleepy) stink eye once I turned on my bedside lamp (she sleeps on the floor next to my side of the bed).

Zora took a different approach and thought if she laid as flat as a pancake, I wouldn’t see her (she sleeps on the floor next to Sam’s side).

Adorable.  They could go back to sleep — I however, needed to suit up!

It was a chilly 46 degrees this morning.  The closer we get to race day, the more I wonder what I’m going to wear — and not in the 7th grade dance “OMG, whatareyougoingtowear?” way.  In the “I hope I don’t burn up or freeze while I try and do this because it’s going to be hard enough as it is” way.  The race starts at 7:30 — so daylight will have just broken and it’s bound to be cold.  It won’t be cold for the whole run, though…so do I layer and shed or just wait to warm up as I run?  I decided today’s run would be a good time to start taking note of how different clothing options feel in different temps.

Can you see me now?  Haha, I love that the reflector panels on my vest look nuclear in this pic :).  At least we know I was visible to traffic!  Visible…blinded them…meh.  Whatever.

I ran in shorts, a t-shirt and threw on an Under Armor hoodie over top.  I took some gloves with me, but ended up ditching them after about 5 minutes.  This combo was too warm.  It’s so hard to tell.

I feel like the running equivalent of Goldilocks.  Too warm, not warm enough, just right?

Sam and I ran together — a rare occurrence on a weekday (!) — and we covered those 4 miles in just under 40 minutes.  I know I’m always saying that pace is not important and numbers do not matter (and they don’t!), but these for these last runs before the marathon, I am going to be more conscious.  I want to get really in tune with how my natural pace feels so I can avoid the “pack mentality” on race day and not take off like a rocket from the starting line.  Too many people burn out in the first few miles from excitement — I need to know I can sloooooow it down and feel that my pace is right.

While I’d like to credit my fantastic four to my previous post on over-coming fatigue, I think more of it had to do with the hearty, healthy dinner Sam made last night.  Fuel is key!

This picture doesn’t do it justice because I camouflaged the delicious-ness with cheese.  Isn’t that always how it goes? 😉

Shepherd’s Pie means different combinations to different people, but in our house, it usually means browned ground turkey, seasoned with sauteed onion and garlic, with mashed potatoes (or cauliflower) spread on top.  In this case, Sam got creative and sliced a tomato on top, sprinkled black pepper over it and oven baked it for a little longer.

The results were so yummy — we had lean protein from the ground turkey and carbs from the potatoes and deliciousness from the seasonings and tomato.  Many people add some cheese in between the meat and potatoes, but he omitted.  I then added.  Compromise — keeping marriages happy for thousands of years ;).

Even though the picture is blah, the principle is fabulous:  this is a good example of a healthy swap.

Ground turkey subbed for ground beef.

(sometimes we sub) Cooked mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. *see below*

Spices and flavorful root veg (onion) subbed for butter, salt and grease.

If you’re starting a healthy journey or are looking to change things up a little, try and sub one thing at a time.  No one wants you to do a complete 180 on your dinner, but changing one thing may lead to more substitutions.  Taking it one step at a time, one ingredient at a time means you won’t go into shock trying new things.  Too often, people think they have to change everything, give up everything, sacrifice everything just to see a difference in their life.  It feels about as good as leaving the hot tub to jump in the pool.  What a shock!  That’s when frustration takes hold and quitting seems like the only option.

Not so.  One change at a time will add up to a big result soon enough.  Patience, grasshopper.

* Now, if you haven’t done the cauliflower/mashed potato swap before, here’s my advice:  try it.  No, really.  Cook the cauliflower (fresh or frozen) and then mash it either by hand or in a food processor.  It will get creamy and smooth like the mashed taters.  You can add some seasonings (garlic powder or Cajun seasoning) and a smidge of real butter and honestly, you don’t notice a big difference.

The difference in the nutritional profile of cauliflower vs. white potato, though — well, that’s something to smile about. 🙂

It’s off to work I go (it’s pledge drive time in my public radio job — wheeee!), but tonight, I have a feeling I’mma get crazy in the kitchen.

Stay tuned, my little soufflé!

Spread the love…Share a healthy swap you make from time to time!

The Great Infestation

October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Training Calls For: Rest 🙂

Miles Run So Far: 244.2

Days Left: 13

So I left you hanging with a picture of a disgusting bed bug and the promise of telling you what has recently infested my house.  Well, here’s a real picture clue.  Ready for it?

Fatigue.  We now basically always feel as good as we look in these pics (circa 15 mile run — August??).

Like a pest that creeps into your house at night and you suddenly wake up surrounded — fatigue is everywhere.  Lately it seems like Sam and I are both dragging all the time.  We’re balancing a lot, which isn’t anything new to us, but on top of everything (work, school, running, caring for the monsters, tending to our house, living life) — I think we’re both ready for marathon training to be over.

That’s right — we’ve reached that point.

Let’s do tha dang thang.

It’s not hard to understand why we’re fatigued from training when you consider we’ve been training continuously for the past 16 weeks and really, since January when we started half marathon training.  That’s more than 10 months of following one piece of paper or another printed off Hal Higdon’s website.

That’s an awful lot of mornings when you wake up and say, “how many miles do I have to run today?”

This is where it gets honest (for me — I can’t speak for Sam): I’m kind of tired of running.

There.  I said it.

Does that make me a bad person for admitting I could definitely go for more than just a random rest day here or there but an actual string of days without a 5 or 6 mile jog?  Or that I could really use a day where I’m the one who determines how far I’ll run and whether I’ll worry about my pace?

No.  It makes me human.

With any long term goal or project, you’re bound to run into the point where you either want it to be over already or you want to quit.  I don’t want to quit — I’m too close (13 days?!?!?!) to do that.  But I am itching to get to the starting line so I can get to that finish line.  Make sense?

The best way to combat fatigue is to listen to yourself and focus on other things which give you joy and pleasure until you can restore that sense of happiness in the task that is causing you fatigue. Don’t let it drag you down.

Example 1:

A lovely dinner out to celebrate our anniversary.  On Saturday, I made a conscious effort not to dwell on the 12 miles we were running that day.  I didn’t want to mentally fatigue myself over it.  Instead, I made the star of the show that day our fancy dinner out and some quality time together.  That’s what I was looking forward to all day. The 12 mile run was just something on my to-do list — it wasn’t my entire to-do list.  P.S. It was a great run, probably because I didn’t assign it so much importance.

Example 2:

A fun breakfast.  On mornings when I’m running more than 4 miles (read = preparing to burn more than 400 calories during a run), I make sure I fuel up with a carb-y breakfast with some healthy fat and staying power.  It’s almost always an English muffin with PB and maybe a banana (depending on the length of the run).  I am tired of English muffins (no offense to the British ;)).  I am tired of pulling out the toaster first thing in the morning.  I am dangerously close to being sick of PB — this is an emergency, people!  I need a break.

My standard breakfast is easy and takes 2 minutes, but in a way, it’s causing me fatigue, so I chose to go with something more fun.  Something I could really enjoy.

“Hey That Tastes Like Pumpkin Pie”  Oatmeal

🙂 1/3 cup each of: Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats, Light Vanilla Soymilk, Water and Canned Libby’s Pumpkin

🙂 1/2 tsp ground All Spice

🙂 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

🙂 Brown sugar and chopped walnuts for sprinkling

Combine, heat, sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped walnuts.  Close eyes.  Imagine Thanksgiving.  Pass the turkey leg.  Yuuuuum.

A little extra time this morning and I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the same breakfast rut that relates to the same fatiguing running rut.

I can already feel the tides turning.  I think tomorrow’s 4 miler will be fabulous, re-affirming in fact!  All because I took a little time to stop focusing on fatigue and give myself a little boost with other happy activities.

Remember: fatigue is an infestation, but joy is contagious.  One can chase away the other — just make sure it’s the right one. 🙂

How do you handle fatigue?

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