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.



It’s Really Happening

July 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls for: Rest 🙂

Miles Run So Far: 46 miles

Days Left: 98

I’m headin’ to bed tonight feeling pretty accomplished.  Even though I had to work this morning, I squeezed all my work day stuff into a half day and was happily headed home by 9am.  Yay!  It’s hard to feel like you’ve even really been to work when you’re heading home to a hubby who just got out of bed.  It’s like I was never gone.  There might be one more reason I’m feeling accomplished…but you’ll have to hang on to find out.

But let’s back up a little.

My Fourth of July was pretty quiet.  I enjoyed an hour long bike ride with Kelly.  We chitted, we chatted, we had a good time.  My legs and knees were pretty sore from the hill training on Saturday and the bike ride really took it out of me.  I was surprised at the amount of stress I was feeling in my quads and knees.  When I dragged my sweaty body into the house, I dove mouth first into the one thing I knew would cool me down:

GREEN MONSTER.  Ah, it never gets old.  Well, maybe for you, but not for me ;).  I knew Sam and I were slated to do a little holiday pigging out, grill-style, so I counted the monstah as part of lunch.  They are incredibly filling.

If it’s a national holiday in the spring or summer, you know you have to fire up the grill or you just aren’t American (said: Amurican).  So, with our patriotism and national pride on the line, Sam grilled up some darn good turkey bratwurst.  Earlier in the day we had mixed up a batch of Killer Beans (a baked bean concoction from my mom — meant killer = awesome, not killer = homicidal to your intestines), black bean salsa with blue corn chips, strawberries and can’t-elope.

It turns out it’s kind of hard to find an all-natural hot dog bun (and you know I’m not down with the fakey-phoney foods), so we subbed Earth Grains sandwich thins.  Sliced up the brat and boom!  Perfection.

Dessert was a mint-line no bake pie recipe we found on the Kraft foods website.  I highly recommend their website.  Obviously, they endorse all Kraft products in their recipes, but you can get sneaky and sub in the generic.  You know this penny-pincher almost always does.  😉  I like their Healthy Living section and have also found more than one crowd pleaser in the Entertaining section.  Just passing it along.

Delicious.  A little like Key Lime pie, but with less effort.  With this bad Johnny, I tried to make it as natural as possible and with the exception of the lime gelatin, we succeeded.

Whoosh!  Fast forward to this morning, at work, when I was stuffing my face with the following ingredients:

Cottage Cheese Oats + Empty PB jar + Banana = Amazing.  I think I’m in love.

Lovely Leftovers for Lunch:

Crunchy Carrots during Calculus Statistics ;).

A little “Banana Soft Serve” to soothe a sweet tooth:

And some highly-addictive homemade mac’n’cheese (my mother-in-law’s recipe) for dinner.  Brussels sprouts and strawberries added for good measure.

Don’t be so cheesy ;).  My, my, what a dairy-heavy day!

In between all that eatin’, I cleaned, cleaned, cleaned.  Homework was done, laundry piles were conquered, bathrooms sparkled (well….maybe) and tidying commenced.  Feelin’ pretty accomplished for all of that…oh.  And for this:


It may seem silly, but registering was a big step.  Filling in each little line, submitting my half marathon time for corral assignment and forking over my credit card means I am really actually doing this.  It’s actually happening.  I’m in week 4 of the training, so you’d think this would have sunk in by now, but really, the registration is what made me feel like it was real.

I’m going to run a marathon.  I’m going to be a marathoner.  I’m going to turn a “someday” in to a real day.

I’m going to do all of that…but not if I don’t get some sleep ;).  I’ll be dreaming of mile markers and water stations, I’m sure. 🙂

Question time: Registering kind of scared me…what’s one thing you’ve done lately that kind of scared you, but you knew you had to do it?

Recipe Resurgence

May 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Woot woot, peeps!

How’s your day going?  I hope you’ve experienced some fabulosity so far.  If not, go find it!  Sometimes you have to search a little harder for the good parts of you day — but they’re there. 🙂

Let’s rewind a little bit, shall we?

I bopped home from work and immediately satisfied my growling belly with an Earth Grains thin smeared with creamy Trader Joe’s PB.  A little glass of skim milk helped the PB from sticking to the roof of my mouth.

Yum.  I needed a little somethin’ in my system because I had serious work to do.

Real women ride tractors.  Period.  End of story.

Okay, it’s not really a tractor — it’s a riding lawn mower.  When I’m astride my red Troy Built Pony (in fact, its real model name) I feel very country in a Gretchen Wilson yee-haw kind of way.  Empowering!  Of course, the best part of yard work is the beer you’ve earned afterward.

Dinner was a recipe taken from the Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 cookbook.  This little gem has been scoring big points in the casa lately.   I made the Crazy-Good Coconut Chicken Taco recipe on Sunday…

Which resulted in a ton of “mmm” and “yummm” and one “you have to make this again!”.  I returned to the lovely Hungry chica for last night’s dinner: E-Z Tomato Basil Chicken.  The recipe called for crushed tomatoes with basil, but since we have a basil plant growing the goods right in the backyard, I opted for fresh leaves over canned.

I love the smell of basil.  It’s so easy to grow and adds great flavor to simple dishes.  Apartment dwellers, you can grow herbs too!  Planter boxes and pots will do…no need for a back 40.  Back to dinner:

This recipe called for a lot of sliced onions and all I could find was one sad looking one, so I subbed in spinach for a little more veggie oomph.  It turned out to be a delicious dish.  In all, 5 ingredients and 30 minutes in the oven.  Sold!  Best part: the ingredients were all natural and flavor was amazing.  A few slices of multigrain baguette rounded out the meal nicely.

The moral of this post: when you’re stuck in a recipe rut, turn to a cookbook for a recipe resurgence!

I woke up this morning with a 5 miler on my mind.  I had to get that baby out of the way and off my brain.  First things first, a little fuel in the form of a slice of Nature’s Pride whole wheat bread (all natural) and some Trader Joe’s Chunky PB.

That piece of bread looks a little like the Go Red for Women dress logo, no?  Some people see shapes in the clouds, I see them in carbs.  Whatev.


I pounded out those five miles like it was nothing.  I ran on a new (to me) stretch of the bike path.  It was cool (65 degrees) and a little foggy.  It felt like nature’s air conditioning.  I’m so glad I got the five out when I did — it’s supposed to be 90 here today.  Yowzas.  I’m getting more and more excited about the 10K with former roommate Rachel.  I think this little mini-training was just what I needed to keep my focus until it’s time to start training for the big dog.

Post-run breakfast: a super helping of protein.

And another Red Dress slice of bread.  I’m trying to get better about my protein intake after exercise.  I think my energy levels might be suffering a little and sometimes I feel it takes my muscles longer to recover after a hard workout than I’d like them to.  A little protein should help that.

Back to the grind for me…

But Ruby says, “come back later to find out why something Sam said made Bethany re-think the marathon training.”


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