Monday, May 7, 2012


Just 5 days after my blogoversary (is that a real word?) I finally accomplished my goal (oops...only 5 months late...). I AM A MARATHONER!!! Yesterday I completed the Potomac River Run Marathon in a short 5:16:09...they didn't have chips so I'm using my GPS watch time and ignoring the "official time" they report. I came up with my tiered goals ahead of time and advertised them to my sister but I was deathly afraid of not meeting any of them so I didn't want to put them online. Here they are:

Goal A: finish under 5 hours
Goal B: finish under 6 hours/get a finisher's medal
Goal C: beat Al Roker's marathon time
Goal D: just finish the darn thing

I accomplished goals B-D...woot! Being the super awesome planner that I am I did almost no research about this race. I saw that it was "the easiest marathon in America" and I was good. What I did not see was that it was an out an back 2x basically four 10.5k legs...which turned out to be not as bad as I expected. It helped because once I hit the midpoint turn around, I knew what to expect for the second half...exactly what I had experienced with the first half! And once I got to the 31.5k mark I knew the fastest way back to the car was to just finish the darn race. 

What I also didn't fully comprehend about this race was that it was run on pebbles. It said it was on a tow path and my brain interpreted that as "well worn dirt path." NOT SO. IT WAS GRAVEL!!! When I took my shoes off after the race I felt like I had just walked over hot coals.

Soo...on to the gory race recap.

The race started at 6:30AM (I voluntary took the early start as it was recommended for anyone who might need more than 5 hours). I somehow managed to fall asleep the night before so I woke up at 5AM rather refreshed (maybe for the first time ever before a big race?). I ate my breakfast, got ready, and my brother in law drove me to the race about 15 minutes from their house. We got there early and my brother in law graciously offered to let me sit in the car until 15 minutes before the race since it was drizzling and coldish. There were a whopping 100 or so people who took the early start so there was really no need to line up early.

I decided to wear a camelbak since I had worn one during my longest practice run and loved having water available to me whenever I wanted it. I also wanted someplace to store my chews and my iphone so my sissy could track me and know where I was. Did I mention this race was super high tech? Yeah...not so much. The race did not provide online updates on my location. But I did on Facebook! I did quick check ins at every turn around and my sister was trying to track me through the Find My Friends app on the iphone. Unfortunately the app wasn't too accurate. According to my sister I spent a lot of time running in the Potomac river.

I ran the first half of the marathon pretty much running on the heels of a few girls who I found that were keeping a good 11 min/mile pace.

When I say I was on their heels, I mean can see my blue shirt and little head in the back of that pack.  I had to consciously back off of them a few times because I was afraid if I tripped I'd take them out with me and that was no way thank a couple of girls who paced me for 13 miles.

After turn around 2 (the half way point) I took a few walking breaks and lost my pacers. I slowed down to 12ish min/miles. There was a woman taking photos at the farthest water stop from the start. After turn around 3 I gave up on my camelbak and texted my sister to see if she could meet me at a bridge to pick it up. Just before the bridge I passed by the water stop photographer...Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you...

Mile 20 of a Marathon

Pretty horrible, huh? To my defense it was right before a water stop so walking is allowable at that point...right? This was just before I found sissy to ditch the camelbak.

Thanks to the fabulous tracking on the Find My Friends app, she thought she had about 10 minutes before I made it to the bridge. I crossed under it just as she got to the far side of the bridge. My poor pregnant sister sprinted across the bridge while I started running towards her. The second she got close enough I pretty much threw my backpack at her and took off back towards the race. Sissy, if you're reading this, thank you for being super fabulous. I felt horrible throwing my stuff at you and not even saying thank you but I was afraid to slow down!

After I ditched the bag I got a new burst of energy to keep going. Although the last 3 miles were torture. I picked a song on my ipod and put it on repeat and just ran through certain parts of the song until I got to the end. By the end I was averaging 13ish min/miles. It was brutal. Walking and running were about the same speed at that point. I finally made it within sight of the finish line and spotted sissy (thanks to the red shirt she was wearing!) and my brother in law. There was this annoying girl running in front of me so they couldn't really get a good photo of me, but here's me turning into the chute to the finish was about 15 feet after this point.


Overall, I'm glad I did the race. I can say I'm a marathoner now! I'm pretty happy with my time considering the several weeks of training I missed but I kind of wish it had been under 5 hours. I'm sure at some point I'll forget the pain and want to run another one but for now, this might be my only there you have first marathon. Finally!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Check Out Those Legs!!

So I've been going to Bootcamp as consistently as I can for the past 3 months I've gained about 5 pounds since I started going...probably fat because I haven't really perfected the eating part...BUT I have been seeing progress in some giggly areas. It would appear that ALL of my fat has gone to the area around my belly button but I can deal with that as long as the other 90% of my body appears better than before...

There is a wall of mirrors in the Bootcamp gym. Every day when I walk in I stare at myself for the 5 or so minutes before class starts...I also stare at myself as I work out. Sometimes I review areas of my body with a friend before class starts.

Yesterday I was all by myself in class so I had a lot of time focus on my body. That's when I realized how awesome my legs look. From the knee down my calves are tighter and defined. I EVEN HAVE ANKLES!! That's right, no cankles here ladies!

Sexy Leggies (not my own but mine look this hot now!)

I've also noticed lately that my quads are looking better. I have hated my quads for as long as I can remember. I can even remember sitting in my dad's old truck (with sticky vinyl seats) and asking him why my legs were so fat (specifically referencing my quads right above my knees)...for the record he got rid of this truck when I was maybe 10 so I've been well aware of my quads since before then! You know that quad stretch where you pull one back and balance on the other leg?

yeah...that one

Well I used to turn away from the group during PE in school to hide the bulge of what I can only assume was fat or maybe untoned muscle above my knee. Well I can happily report that bulge is shrinking! IT'S ALMOST GONE!!!

So despite the fact that I'm slowly gaining weight, I'm starting to see progress in my body and that makes me happy :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honey Stinger

So despite the fact that I've ignored the marathon training plan for the past 6 weeks I decided to pick it back up again today...with 3 weeks left until the marathon. I asked to be moved to the half marathon for the big day but I haven't heard back yet so I figure I'll be running the full. Today's run was a 20 mile long run, blargh. Quite a challenge considering that the longest distance I'd run until today was 13.1 miles...

When I was at EMS a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon Honey Stinger organic waffles and organic energy chews. I'm not a super organic person or fact I think the first time I realized they were organic was when I went to find the products online. I do, however, LOVE HONEY so I figured anything sweetened with honey couldn't be a bad thing!

First up, the energy chews

I love pink lemonade so I was super excited to see these babies! I also bought the Orange Blossom ones but I haven't tried them yet. And I think I'd like to try the Cherry Blossom ones too but I didn't see those in the store...just online. I tried them during my run today. I like them a lot more than other chews I've tried in the past. I normally just suck on the chews and let them dissolve in my mouth over the course of a few miles. Other chews I've tried have also been sticky which I don't like when I'm running because I hate sticky fingers and it's hard to wash your hands on a run! These ones dissolved quickly and only lasted a few minutes before I had to chew them up, but nothing stuck to my teeth, a big plus for me because I hate most gummy foods for that exact reason! 

I've been having a lot of tummy troubles the past few weeks that get worse when I run so I was worried I'd have issues today, especially since I'd need to eat something while I was out. I'm happy to report that I had no tummy pain the entire time I was running! These will be my go to chew from now on! Now I just need to try new flavors!

Next up, Honey Stinger waffle

This one had sooo much promise. How could you go wrong with waffle and honey!? I mean, seriously! Unfortunately, it was wrong. All kinds of wrong. The overall taste was ok but I couldn't get over the consistency. I opened it up and it was kind of soft and grainy. I took one bite and almost hurled. It felt like I had just put a wad of dirt and sand in my mouth. It wasn't just grainy and gross, the graininess was hard like sand! You know, when you get beach sand in your sandwich and you just can't get the gritty feeling out of your mouth once you've bitten down on the sand? That's what this was like, eating a sandy sandwich. I'm sorry to say but I just don't approve. Some of this goes back to my childhood where I was forced to eat sandy peanut butter sandwiches at the beach, you just couldn't avoid getting sand in those things...

So yeah, that's my Honey Stinger review. Chews good, waffle not good. And I'd like to mention that I stumbled on these things on my own and paid for my own samples. I was reimbursed in no way or even asked to provide a review of these products. It was all my idea :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 Leap List

Since I don't really have any big milestones within sight I'm going to make a list of things that I want to do soon...and place a time limit on it to push me to accomplish items on the list...

It started off as a summer 2012 thing but there might be a few things that will take a little longer to accomplish or are just scheduled for later in the year and there isn't anything I can do about that...

1. Run an entire race series...I'm currently paid up for a 10 week long series of 5k's. I tried to do something similar last summer and ended up injuring myself in week 7 :( This year I WILL WIN THE GOLD PLATED MEDAL!

2. Run a marathon...duh...I kind of have to make good on my promise...even if it is a year late.

3. Compete in a triathlon. I'd like to say I want to finish an Olympic Triathlon but I really don't like cycling enough to commit to that just yet. But maybe I just need a little kick in the butt like I did for running.

4. Hike Bondcliff. The pictures I've seen from the top just look amazing!

5. Run in a mountain road race. I won't be running Mt. Washington anytime soon but there are less steep mountains to race up...

6. COLOR RUN! Everything I own is colorful so how could I avoid the chance to get doused in color and run at the same time?!

7. Hike Mt. Katahdin. Should be doable as we are white water rafting in the area later in the summer.

8. Run in a night time race. There are a few I can sign up for. My dream would be the Wine and Dine half marathon at Disney. Hopefully it doesn't fill up early!

9. Learn how to cook more healthy food options.

10. Attempt new baking recipes (you really didn't think that eating better meant avoiding baking did you?)

A mud run or other adventure race would be fun too but those things are just so darn expensive and only fun if you do then with friends...ohh and I want to do one of those 200 mile 48 hour relay race thingies too!

As an added bonus, I need to find 3 people to compete in this race with me...anyone interested???

What's on your leap list for the year?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baking on a Tuesday

If you didn't know by now, I like to bake. And I bake when I'm stressed or bored. So baking on a Tuesday means bad things are going didn't help that two ginormous muffin tins magically appeared on my desk today at work.


So here's what came from tonight's day of baking. Individual monkey breads...


4 can of Pillsbury Grands Homestyle biscuits
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cups butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1. Cut the biscuits into sixths

2. Mix white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in big bag

3. Add biscuits (you might have to do several smaller batches) and mix!

All sugary and delicious!!

4. Melt butter and brown sugar in pan on stove

5. Add 8 pieces of sugar coated biscuit into bottom of each muffin tin

 6. Pour half of mixture over biscuits

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

 It makes 12 big muffins or 24 regular cupcake pan size muffins

You can also add pecans or raisins. My mom always made this shizz with pecans (and in a bundt pan like normal people) but I always viewed them as a vehicle for the sugary goodness and I'd just suck the sugar off and toss the nuts. Now that I'm more mature I actually eat the nuts but I was blinded by the carbs at the grocery store and ended up walking out of the store with nothing but biscuits, pizza dough, and prefrozen mango margarita...guess we all know where my priorities are...

I've been good and haven't touched these babies (minus scraping all of the sugar/butter mixture off of the edge of the pans). They'll be super delish tomorrow at work and I'll be super popular and feel special for about 5 minutes until they're all gone...because I only have 12.

Oh and I wanted to spin while these things were in the oven but that didn't happen...oopsies!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Won All the Prizes!!

I have a friend at work who coaches triathletes. This winter he joined forces with a few other coaches to start a winter, indoor triathlon race series. The first one was too far away for me to want to drive to it but then there was on on my home turf, even at MY YMCA! It was today....

In case you can't see, that is a GOLD medal! Yup, I placed first in my age group and was the second place overall women's finisher! Woot!!

Since it was indoor, they choose to measure distance over a set time...but since it's almost April they did the run here's what we did:

15 minutes in the pool
30 minutes on a spin bike and they measured cadence to determine distance
5k run as fast as you can!

It was a points system. So if you went the farthest distance or ran the fastest you got 100 points and everyone lower got a percentage of 100 points. I got 97.06 points for the swimming, I only missed first place by a lap! I didn't do as well in biking and running but still good! The biking was difficult, because, naturally, the easiest way to get the fly wheel to turn the most was to set the resistance to zero but then you start going to fast that your feet flop out or you can't slow down. So I had to hold back a little since I didn't have shoes that would clip in and I lost my footing twice. :( The running was also a little slower than I wanted but, I kind of expected that. My lungs still haven't recovered from my cold. It was brutal!

But, overall it was super fun. And I placed! They also gave out whoopie pies (delicious!) but I gave up chocolate for lent and couldn't indulge :'( Only 2 weeks left until Easter! Woot!!

Alaska is Cold (and my return to blogging)


So last time I posted, I was on my way to Alaska. That was like a month ago. Here's what I saw...

 SANTA CLAUS!!!! We went to his house!

And there were reindeer at Santa's House!! That's Dasher and Dancer

 Of course, we had to scope out the local ice cream hot spot...sadly I gave up chocolate for Lent so I couldn't try any of the really cool flavors :'(

 That's a Muskox. Their hair is super soft and yarn spun from it costs like a bajillion dollars because you can only collect it when it falls off, they don't shave them or anything!

 Here moosey moose!! We saw 2 in the wild while we were there!

Anyone watch Ice Road Truckers? If you do then you'll recognize someone in this picture. If not (like me), this just looks like a bunch of random people. Luckily I have good detective skills and figured out that the guy putting on a microphone MUST be the famous guy. Oh, and if you do watch the show keep an eye out for me in a future episode! Being the fame whore that I am, I strategically placed myself in EVERY shot they took while I was there...

The ice carving championship took place while we were there. This is one of a bunch of sculptures!

This puppy guided me trough the wilderness on a sled! Super fun, but like everything else, IT WAS COLD!!!

Tee hee hee...all of the cars had little power cable tails to keep the engines warm at night!

 Oh yeah...and we saw some lights :) Here's my favorite shot I took....unedited

Here's another one that daddy edited...preeeetty!

I ran a little while I was there, but as expected, I didn't keep up with the plan. And then I got a serious cold and had to drop out of the half marathon I had planned to run in Atlanta a week after I got back :'(

I've also decided that, due to the vaca, and the cold, there is no way I'd be able to train for a full marathon at the beginning of May so I've requested to be moved to the half marathon race. Hopefully they'll let me switch! Both races are sold out so I'm not sure they'll allow people to move around.