The Marine Corps Marathon

Oh, hi blogging world! It’s been awhile. I would explain my hiatus, but who cares? I’m back.

I did something pretty awesome this weekend. I outran a hurricane. No joke!

The forecasters were going back and forth about hurricane Sandy all week leading up to the big race on Sunday. Some stations were calling for DC to get pounded on Sunday and others were saying the weather would hold off until Monday. I was crossing my fingers, toes, hair, eyes (ANYTHING) that we would be dry for race day.

I was REALLY anxious for this race. Even though this was my third marathon, I had a lot of [self-imposed] pressure to do well. I trained harder for this marathon than for my last two and had high hopes for a PR. My family and some friends were coming out since it was a local race, so I didn’t want to make a fool of myself (not that anyone would judge me for running a bit slower- 26.2 is quite an accomplishment no matter how fast you run it). Still, I wanted to beat my previous PR of 4:49:34. At the expo, I also heard that Oprah ran the race back in 1994 and knocked it out of the park with a 4:29 finish. I just HAD to beat Oprah. I was hopeful, but anxious.

Race morning started at 5:00 am when my alarm blared. I was actually able to catch some sleep despite my anxiety so I was feeling refreshed and energized…yes, even at 5 am. Unfortunately, my friend Brook (who was supposed to run as well) caught a cold a few days before the race, so she couldn’t make it. Luckily, I have an awesome boyfriend who was willing to sacrifice some zzzz’s, and whom I forced volunteered to accompany me to the starting line.

The metro (which is within walking distance to my apartment) opened early for runners and was extremely convenient for getting us to the starting line on time. Once we got off the train at Pentagon, it was a longer walk than I expected (probably about a mile) to the start. We got there with plenty of time for a porta-potty break and bag check, and then proceeded to the corrals.

Still dark, so early!

Jim was able to stay with me until literally 5 minutes before the race, which was great because otherwise I would have been a nervous wreck (although, if you ask him, I already was…) I started in the 4:30 – 5:00 corral which was probably a mistake. I underestimated how crowded the course was going to be and wished I had started with a faster group. When the gun sounded, it took about 10 minutes to reach the actual starting line. There were masses and masses of runners. However, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole race. I high-fived no less than 10 Marines who all wished me luck as I thanked them for their service, it was awesome and touching!

Prior to the race, I had glanced at the course map once or twice so I knew the first few miles were hilly. I trained on hills, so I was confident. I felt really strong going uphill, but going down was causing some side-cramps, which I assumed was due to my poor carbo-loading the day before. My stomach was doing some weird things during the first 5 miles and I was nervous that I was going to have to stop and walk. Around mile 4 I felt my first blister forming. <– I know, mile 4….REALLY?! I ran the first 10k in 1:02:09, exactly a 10:00/mile pace.

I knew this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I pushed on. Miles 6-15 were all a blur. The race was so crowded that I was weaving in and out of runners, which I never enjoy but I started to feel strong and wanted to go faster. We ran through Georgetown and around the Lincoln Memorial. I looked for Jim and my parents around mile 11 but didn’t see them. It kind of bummed me out, but I pushed on in hopes that I would see them around mile 16. We ran around a peninsula where we hit the half-way point and the crowds began to thin out a bit. I still wanted to go faster, but decided I should save some juice for the last half of the race. My pace for 20k was 9:48, I was trucking along!

I was to thankful to get off that peninsula and back into the city. I saw Jim and my parents near mile 17 and almost tackled them I was so excited. I was still feeling great at this point and only stopped long enough to give them all hugs and continued on my way. A few yards later I saw my co-worker, Amy, who cheered me on. I get so pumped up when I see people I know, there is no greater feeling than having friends there to support you.

Miles 17-19 were awesome because we ran along the National Mall. This was where my legs started to feel heavy, so I was thankful for the touristy distraction. By the 30k mark I was running at a 9:42 pace, hello negative splits!

Miles 20-24 were rough. Like, really, really rough. I wanted it to be over. All I could think about was drinking a beer and eating a bacon cheeseburger. I tried to tell myself, “The rest is cake, you run further than that EVERYDAY.” But, my mind-games weren’t working, I kept countering myself with, “Yeah, but you also don’t run 20 miles before it.” I tried to zone out and listen to music, I’m sure everyone loved hearing me sing along to BBMak (remember them?!). Running makes you do strange things.

Around 40k my pace slowed down a bit to a 9:52 min/mile, this was okay with me. I quickly realized that I was not only going to beat my PR, I was going to absolutely crush it. My super secret goal (really, I think I only told one person) was to break 4:30. That would require knocking 20 minutes off my previous PR time. Once I hit mile 25, I knew I had it in the bag and thought I might even have a chance to break 4:20. I went for it!

That last mile was EXCRUCIATING. I just kept saying, “Less than a mile, you can do it. Less than a mile.” But my legs barely believed me. I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, because that’s all my body could handle. My friend Meredith spotted me at 25.5 and cheered as loud as she could. I was sooooo excited to see her and my adrenaline kicked in hard, seeing her meant I was almost done.

My friend Colin snapped this picture of me approaching the finish line. Look at the sheer PAIN on my face.

As I rounded the last corner, I saw my mom and up a few yards were my dad and Jim cheering me on. I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful to see them. From my experience running the 10k race a few years back, I knew the course ended on a painful uphill. Those jerks! I gave it my last bit of energy, encouraged the people around me, and sprinted (or what I felt was sprinting) through the finish line with a 4:19:52 finish!!

Not only did I beat my previous PR, but I beat it by 30 whole minutes. ANNND I beat Oprah! The best part about it all? Absolutely perfect racing conditions and not even one drop of rain. Someone was looking out for us!

After the race I found my walking, talking marathon support kit and he gave me my cell phone and Ibuprofen (sooo necessary):

Meredith also found us after the race, I thanked her probably no less than 1,000 times for coming out!

And my amazing family whom, I swear, didn’t even plan to all wear the same shirt but did anyway!!

Post-race, we ended up walking about a mile (uphill) to the Courthouse metro station, since the line for Rossyln literally wrapped around the block. Once we finally caught a train, we headed into Chinatown for an early dinner at Clyde’s where I finally got a bacon cheeseburger and a beer. Yum!

I seriously can’t thank everyone who supported me in this race enough- from being there in person, to text and facebook messages, your words of encouragement were felt. Having friends and family out there cheering for you is the greatest feeling for a runner. Each of you helped me get through at least one mile of this course. So, seriously, thank you!

Another epic 26.2 in the books!

Happy 1 Year!

…to my blog!

Yesterday, September 23rd, was the one year anniversary of the very first blog post on Cait Strides. I had the idea to start this blog as a way to keep me accountable for marathon training and [as a picky eater] trying new foods. It has turned into so much more than that and has truly been a pleasure to write nearly everyday. It’s been a pretty crazy year with so many up’s and down’s. Of course, it’s impossible for me to share every aspect of my life on this blog, but I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share a few highlights from the past year:

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The First Post - chronicling a bit about my life and how I became such a picky eater/my desire for change (Sept 2011)

Life of a runner - explaining my love-to-hate relationship with running (Sept 2011)

Hawaii Trip!! - when I went to visit a good friend who is living in Hawaii (Oct 2011)

Graduating from the kiddie menu - my first Chipotle experience (Oct 2011)

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse - Run For Your Lives post race report (Oct 2011)

Experimenting in the kitchen - first time making pizza dough (Nov 2011)

On Life, and Death - serious contemplation on life and what it means to fully live (Nov 2011)

Ran Philadelphia - marathon #2 in the books! (Nov 2011)

Truly becoming a Maryland-er - making the most delicious crab pizza (Dec 2011)

Discovering my inner hipster - I’m even too cool for this post (Dec 2011)

New Years Eve in NYC - easily one of the craziest nights of my life and one I won’t forget any time soon (Dec 2011/Jan 2012)

Weight - announcing my struggles with weight and committing to lose weight (Jan 2012) – for the record, I’m 15 lbs lighter! WOO!

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies - sometimes life is hard (Feb 2012)

Things I love - a different kind of Valentine’s Day (Feb 2012)

Shamrockin’ the races - Post race Shamrock Half and PR report (March 2012)

Monument Ave 10k - another race recap (March 2012)

Kristina’s visit! - my BFF from Washington came to visit for a weekend in DC, we had a blast (April 2012)

It’s a BOY!! - my sister and bro-in-law find out they’re having a boy! (April 2012)

Livin’ the Sweet Life - hanging out at the Sweet Life Festival (April 2012)

Memorial Day Weekend - Instagramming my entire life away (May 2012)

USA vs. Brazil Soccer game/vacation #1 to Myrtle Beach - kicking off summer the right way (June 2012)

Lindsey’s Bachelorette Party - girls just want to have fun (June 2012)

Erin’s baby shower - spending the weekend with my family celebrating my sister (July 2012)

4th of July - a low key 4th of July celebration at my parent’s house (July 2012)

Myrtle Beach Vacation #2 – Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 my family is crazy and I love them (July 2012)

Debating chicken and teal pants - in the same post, impressive! (August 2012)

Mumford & Sons and Kyle is born! - best weekend of summer, easily (August 2012)

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in VA Beach - Rock ‘n Roll VA Beach sweeeeaty post-race recap (Sept 2012)

Remembering 9/11 - never forget (Sept 2012)

Thank you so much to everyone who has continued to read and support Cait Strides. I have appreciated each and every one of your messages, comments, and feedback! Writing this blog has truly been a pleasure; I hope you enjoy reading my ridiculous quips as much as I enjoy writing them.

I’m looking forward to blogging another crazy year of my life: more races, running, cooking, new foods, and general fun with my favorite people. Get ready.

Thank you!

Rainy Days on the Beltway

Funny story but people in the DC area can’t drive in the rain. Really, every time the wet stuff comes falling from the sky people around here get driving amnesia and completely forget what they’re doing. It’s the strangest thing.

It was torrential downpouring yesterday after work (just in time for rush hour) so, of course, traffic was crawling. This is how I feel about that:

I know I complain about traffic a lot on this here blog, but that’s because I waste so much of my time in it. Did you know that DC has the second worst traffic in the USA? Second only to LA. No joke! I truly have to plan my life around when traffic will be the worst: forget about going anywhere Friday between 3:30pm and 6pm. Just forget it!

Here are some crazy facts about traffic:

  • The individual cost of congestion exceeded $900 per driver in 1997, resulting in more than $72 billion in lost wages and wasted fuel. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation)
  • Drivers in one-third of U.S. cities spend more than 40 hours a year (an entire work week) in traffic that is not moving. (Source: Center for Transportation Excellence)
  • Congestion results in 5.7 billion person-hours of delay annually in the United States. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation)
  • If one in 10 Americans regularly used mass transit, U.S. reliance on foreign oil could decline by more than 40 percent, or nearly the amount of oil imported from Saudi Arabia each year. (Source: Center for Transportation Excellence)
  • A regular rush-hour driver wastes an average of 99 gallons of gasoline a year due to traffic. The average cost of the time lost in rush hour traffic is $1,160 per person. (Source: Center for Transportation Excellence)

Dang.

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At least I have my Kelly Clarkson CD in there to pass the time when I’m not yelling at other drivers. I’m a really awesome singer, for the record.

What ways do you pass the time in a traffic jam?

Why Runners are Misunderstood

We runners are a breed of our own. We enjoy crazy things like taking an ice bath after an 18-mile long run. It’s great to be surrounded by a community who understands those tendencies; however, 90% of my friends are non-runners. If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a strange look while I was talking about running habits, I’d be at LEAST a thousand-aire by now!

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Here are some helpful tips for our non-marathon-running friends to better understand us:

When I talk about the various races I’ve done in the past, I’m not bragging.

Runners love to talk about races. LOVE IT! Put a couple of runners in the same room, and we could go on for hours and hours because it’s something we can connect with on all levels. So many of us have run the same ones, so it’s fun to talk about things like “can you believe how crowded the course was, I was weaving in and out the whole time!”, “I can’t believe they charged $60 for entry and didn’t even give a medal!”, and “Really, who decided it was a good idea to have the bag check 6 blocks away from the starting line?!” I’m telling you, I could talk about races for hours, but I’m not trying to brag. I don’t even pretend to be a seriously hardcore speedy racer, because I’m not.

The same holds true when I mention I’m training for a marathon.

No, really. I’m not bragging. I’m actually giving you an excuse for why I am always tired and limping. But, bragging, I am not.

I might tell you that I need to go to bed at 9pm on a Saturday night.

And it’s totally true, I do. Especially during the hot summer months, when I need to get up super early to run way too many miles before it reaches 105 degrees. Knowing that I’m not a morning person (and that I need at least 8 hours of sleep), an early bedtime is my only hope for actually getting out of bed. It’s not an excuse to get out of hanging out! Seriously, you try getting up at 6am to run 18 miles after staying up past midnight and drinking. Yeah, get back to me on that.

I plan my life around my training schedule.

I don’t plan my training schedule around my life. It sucks, but sometimes I can’t do certain things or go certain places because I know I have to fit in those miles. Don’t take it personally, I’d much rather be hanging out with you!

I can’t go out for tapas the night before a race, sorry!

Gonna need something more substantial, like pasta.

I’m going to talk your ear off about all things training and racing, NOT sorry!

Running is my hobby. It takes a lot of time, sacrifice, and dedication. So I’m going to talk about it, I want to talk about it, and I want you to want to hear about it. I love it all from the blisters turned callous to the runny-nose snot rockets. It’s part of my favorite sport, so don’t be surprised if I go on for 15 minutes about my mid-race emergency porta-potty break. Don’t worry, you can get me back by talking my ear off for a few hours about sewing or video games, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

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In which ways is your favorite hobby misunderstood?

Remembering 9/11

Eleven years ago today a tragedy occurred. The unimaginable happened when the Twin Towers collapsed that morning, changing the New York skyline forever. For our nation, this marked the end of our naïveté thinking we were invincible. For me, it marked the end of any childhood innocence I had inside of me.

Everyone remembers where they were the morning of September 11th, 2001. I still vividly recall details like they happened yesterday. My family was living on the west coast in a suburb outside of Seattle at the time, I was a freshman in high school. Every morning, my mom rode her exercise bike while watching the morning news. My typical routine was to wake up, come downstairs, eat breakfast, then go and chat with my mom for a few minutes. This particular morning, my mom called me into the room as soon as I came downstairs slightly after 6am.

All she did was point to the TV. All I could do was stare. I remembering seeing the images of a plane inside the world trade center with smoke billowing out the gaping hole it left. I was so confused.

As we sat watching, suddenly we saw the second plane crash. My mom and I audibly gasped, our only words repeating “oh my god!” I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. I remember thinking, WHY is this happening? Who would want to do this to so many innocent people? I had so many questions.

It was hard to pull myself away from the TV that morning. I didn’t want to go to school, and I was terrified that another attack was going to happen. The bus was eerily quiet except for a few choice kids whom I assumed hadn’t heard the news yet. As word spread like wildfire around the school, it’s all anyone could talk about. Half of my classes had lessons for about 15 minutes until we could no longer focus and had to see what was going on in New York.

I remember coming home that night and watching coverage until the wee hours of the morning. I felt so many emotions: sad, confused, worried, angry, scared.

In the days that followed, our nation pulled together for the victims of 9/11. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so patriotic in my life. Every house in our neighborhood hung their American flag, people made signs in support as more and more stories began to be told nationwide. It didn’t matter if you were black, white, Asian, Republican, Democrat, WHATEVER- the point was, we were all American. It’s hard to believe that was all so long ago. I will never, ever forget. America will never forget.

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Where were you on September 11th, 2001?

5 Things Friday

1) I totally fainted at the doctor’s office yesterday. I went in for a routine check up when, suddenly, they decided to draw blood. I ran early in the morning and didn’t eat much before the appointment, mistakes #1 and #2. I’d never had my blood drawn before, so I was surprised when they did it this time. Needless to say, I was dismissed by the nurse and headed into the lobby when I started to feel super dizzy. It was almost like I was riiiiiidiculously drunk and couldn’t get my bearings. I walked over to the water fountain to fill up a cup and sat down next to some dude on an ottoman. The next thing I knew I woke up in a sweat, not able to feel my arms or legs, with four doctors huddled around me.

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I’m not sure how long I was out for, but I was totally confused when I woke up. Apparently, I turned ghostly white and passed out onto the lap of the dude next to me. Embarrasssssssing. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened, and a nurse was already on her way with some apple juice to get my blood sugar levels up. I immediately felt better after that, but they made me stick around for another 30 minutes and checked my vitals twice before letting me go. I had never fainted before, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t want to do it again…holy crap.

2) Wednesday night was the official start of FOOTBALL SEASON. Which, in my opinion, is the second best season of the year only slightly nudged out by that whole holiday season thing. It pretty much means that every Saturday and Sunday I will be attending or glued to my couch watching games all day. This year, I’ve joined not one, but TWO fantasy football leagues. I’m hoping to avenge my abysmal 2-11 record from last year.

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I swear, I’m not a boy. I just like sports.

3) I don’t drink coffee all that often, and when I do I usually get a caffeine rush that gets my heart beating faster than the time I went skydiving. But I saw Wednesday’s Livingsocial deal for Starbucks and I couldn’t pass it up. Apparently pumpkin spice lattes are back for fall along with…salted caramel mochas? To my dear co-workers, I’m sorry in advance for I cannot be controlled with caffeine in my system.

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4) I’ve realized recently that I’m so apathetic when it comes to politics. Like, I will inform myself enough to make an intelligent, educated voting decision come November, but all this extra bullshit? Not interested. My politically charged friends get so riled up about [it seems like] everything and I sort of wish that I could block anything on facebook that has to deal with politics from now until election day. Maybe it’s just me, but I seriously don’t care about your opinion on everything from birth control to which flavor of gum is best.

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Why can’t we all just get along?

5) It was a short week and I loved it. On Tuesday I tweeted something about it being Monday. I promptly deleted it 3 hours later when I realized it was not actually Monday. Now, it feels like Thursday, but is actually Friday. Does it get better than that? I guess it does since I’m going back to my alma matar tomorrow for a football game. Bring on the weekend!!

Have you ever fainted? Do you like football? Do you care about politics?

Race Recap: Rock ‘n Roll VA Beach

Looks like race season, feels like race season, it must be race season!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice, long weekend if you were fortunate enough to have the day off work! Labor Day always sort of depresses me because it marks the near-end of summer. No more pool? No more tan? Boo. BUT, it marks the beginning of football, pumpkin beer, and cooler temps which I certainly agree with. It also means the beginning of race season, which typically runs from September to January. I kicked off this season with the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n Roll half marathon on Sunday.

I headed down to the beach on Saturday afternoon. I was trying to avoid the insane crowds that this expo is known for, so I showed up about an hour before it closed. GENIUS. Worked like a charm. I didn’t have to wait in any lines and even capitalized on some sweet freebees that vendors were basically throwing at me. All was fine and dandy until my race buddy Brook (who was supposed to meet me at the expo) called  to tell me that they closed down one of the tunnels into VA beach and she was stuck. I ended up walking around the expo by myself (a new experience), and exploring nearly every booth to pass the time.

Why is everyone so obsessed with zombies these days? I blame the Walking Dead.

After a stressful hour in traffic, Brook made it to the expo with four whole minutes to spare. Phew! Most of the  vendors were already packing up their booths, when they say the expo closes at 5pm, they mean it.

The rest of the weekend went much, much smoother. We spent the night at my brother’s place who (conveniently) lives in Norfolk. He took us in for the night and fed us a full feast of chicken and pasta. Meanwhile, Brook and I chugged about 8 gallons of Gatorade and enjoyed some fitness wisdom via P.F. Changs fortune cookie:

Thanks P.F. Changs, so reassuring…

The next morning, we woke up bright and EARLY and headed back to the beach for the race. In previous years, I’ve had issues getting to the starting line on time. This year, by some miracle, we were at the starting line with 30 minutes to spare. It was perfect, we were able to grab some water and make a last minute porta-potty break. So clutch!

I started in Corral 3 and Brook was in 15, so we said goodbye at the start line. Corral 3 was crowded, but I knew I was in good company since these people were pacing at 1:45. I knew that was out of my wheelhouse, but I’d much prefer to be with runners going faster than to be weaving in and out of people. Check out how crowded this race gets:

Brook snapped this photo at the starting line.

I think I’ve figured out the reason I only run this race every other year. It’s HUMID AS HELL. Apparently I run the race, sweat all the water out of my body, vow to never EVER run it ever again, then promptly forget that pledge every two years. What a vicious cycle.

This year was the worst in terms of heat. It was 80 degrees by 7am and already about 1000% humidity. I started sweating before the race even started and didn’t stop until 2 hours post-race. I sweat through 2 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Impressive, no? Who knew the human body could even hold so much water!

Not a dry spot on my body

Typically, I can make it to at least mile 4 without stopping for water. Not this time. I grabbed something at every. single. station. Sometimes I would chug a Gatorade, chase it with water, and then grab another one to pour over my head. It was that hot. People were so drenched with sweat that I could feel them dripping on me as I tried to pass by. One lady’s clothes were a little too baggy and so weighed down with sweat that she kept losing her pants every time she’d pick up speed. Hilarious, but unfortunate.

That being said, I think I would have absolutely crushed this race had it not been so freaking hot.

Marathon training is really starting to show improvements in my running. I was well under two hours and my body felt great. Besides sweating a ton, I didn’t feel fatigued at all and probably could have run all day! That’s weird, I know. I wasn’t even sore after, wtf (in a good way). I was pretty stoked with my time and how well my body performed considering the conditions. It makes me very hopeful for a good result come October!

Post-race, I had time to spare while I waited for Brook to finish up, so I soaked my feet in the ocean and hung around the finisher’s party.

Bling blingin’

Once Brook finished up, we hung out for a bit and indulged in one of these:

The plan was to come back for the post-race concert with Train. But the show didn’t start until 9pm and a shower, nap, and food sounded far more appealing so we bailed.

Overall, I’d give the race this rating:

Meh.

Too hot, but nothing you can do about that. The local bands are fun, and the atmosphere is super laid back and cool. It’s well organized, but too big. My one qualm about the race course? The finish. You enter the boardwalk able to SEE the finish line, but you don’t actually reach it for another mile or so. It’s like you’re running, running, running but it’s not getting any closer. Agonizing!

Will I run it again? Probably in two years.

Did you run any races this weekend? How did it go?

You Sneaky Half-Marathon!

The title of this post is a play on this Jimmy Kimmel video:

Observe the kids at 2:45, sassiest children EVER!

Anyway, I looked at the calendar today and was shocked that there are only two days left in August. September, you snuck up on me! With all my MCM Marathon training, it totally slipped my mind that I signed up for a Labor Day half marathon. Oops!

It’s a good thing they sent me this confirmation e-mail because it definitely had slid under my radar. I haven’t been in much of a running mood this week. I blew off yesterday’s morning run because it was raining, but I made up for it today. I’m hoping that Thursday and Friday’s runs will launch me into race mode. It really is a mindset, huh?

With that said, I have to admit that I’m not all that worried about this race. I’m probably in better shape now than I was for my last half where I PRed. However, I’m not trying to break any records this time around. My goal is to run the whole thing at my marathon race pace (between 8-9 min/miles), we’ll see how that goes. Rock ‘n Roll races are notorious for being super overcrowded, and I can tell you from experience: that’s true. This year will be my third time running this particular race:

2008 – my first half marathon (1:58:17)

2010 - 2:00:12

2012 (I guess I only run this race on even numbered years, weird?)

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Errr…there’s no photo for 2012 yet, so I put up a picture of the first thing that came to mind.

SPEAKING OF *NSYNC, my middle-school BFF (who was equally as obsessed as I was) had a dream come true when she met Joseph A. Fatone last week. Don’t know who that is? You need to brush up on your 90′s boy band trivia, brah. It’s Joey from *NSYNC. Like a true friend, she texted me minute-by-minute live updates.

My inner 13 year old wept tears of elation when I saw this picture of them. Oh, and that CD in her hand? Euro *NSYNC circa 1997. No one is as hardcore as we are. No one.

But in all seriousness, if she meets JT next, I’m demanding that she hold him hostage until I can hop a plane to Seattle. Then we can meet, he can fall in love with me (obvs), divorce that gross Jessica Biel, and we can have copious blue-eye, brown-haired babies.

…WHAT? It could happen.

Have you ever met a celebrity? Who?

‘Cause You Had a Bad Day…

Because you had a bad day, you’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around

Does anyone else get that Daniel Powter song stuck in their head when they’re having a bad day? I swear, I actually hear it on constant loop.

 

I didn’t just have a bad day, but rather an entire bad week which rolled with me right into the weekend.

I swear, I couldn’t catch a break! Everything that could possibly go awry, did. No joke. In the span of two days I got into a tiff with a friend, slept through my alarm, was late to work, electrocuted myself with a computer chord, felt sick and had a fever, broke the charging unit on my Kindle, hit massive amounts of traffic at inconvenient times, and busted a headlight in my car. Needless to say, I threw myself a mini-pity party and ended up crying on three separate occasions. Very rare for me, but sometimes it feels good to just let it out.

Today. Today, my friends, feels like a fresh start. New week, new attitude. Positivity is contagious. I’m going to try and focus on things that make me happy.

There’s no problem that this little guy’s face can’t cure:

Kyle had his first outing to my parent’s house last night for dinner. He was so well-behaved. He slept pretty much the entire time I was there, but my mom said that he was super alert and awake earlier in the day. He let everyone hold him and play with him without even fussing. Check him out with his Great Grammy! She said that she could just sit there and watch his face all day. He makes the funniest faces when he sleeps, kind of makes you wonder what he’s dreaming about. A big bottle in the sky?  Reminiscing about the good old days back in my sister’s belly? I don’t know, but I’m curious!

Other things that make me happy? Check out this deal on livingsocial:

You know I had to buy it. I sure do love my school, and I sure do love football! The game is their first of the season and is being played at FedEx Field, which is essentially in my backyard. Sign me up! I actually realized when I went to buy the tickets that I have not missed a season opening game since my graduation year.

2009 at UMD:

We almost won this game, but lost in overtime. :(

2010 at Virginia Tech:

If you are a JMU Football fan, this game will go down as the biggest in history. It was cold, wet, raining, and we had absolutely no chance of beating Virginia Tech. Then, suddenly, by some kind of miracle, the rain stopped and our game started. We came from behind to beat Tech 21-16 in the final few minutes. It was beautiful, magical even. And I didn’t have a voice for a week.

2011 at UNC:

We got crushed. Also, after the lone touchdown we did score, our cheerleaders came out waving school flags and instead of spelling out JMU, they spelled out JUM. Embarrassing. But, visiting UNC and tailgating with my JMU friends was fun!

Can’t wait for this year.

Whoa, tangent. Back on track. Something else I am totally diggin’ right now:

(Source)

This book. It was recommended to me by my boss at work, and I know a lot of people have been reading it lately. Holy guacamole! It has captivated my attention and I seriously cannot stop reading. I was up until after 2am the other night because I couldn’t put it down! There are so many plot twists, I feel like the author is playing mind games with me. I’m about 75% done and will likely finish the rest tonight. If you’re into mystery novels, I’d highly recommend this one.

I think that’s all for now. Here’s to hoping that this week is better than the last.

How do you turn around a bad day?

Abusing the Taper

Wanna know how I know I’m not a “real” runner? Because my legs aren’t aching to run 18 miles a day during taper weeks. In fact, my legs are perfectly content laying in bed while my eyes read a book. Perfectly content.

My Marine Corps Marathon training program has me building up miles and tapering back down a few times for the next couple of months. This week was a taper week, so all I had on the schedule were two 5-milers on Tuesday and Thursday. I totally abused the privilege and used this taper week as an “easy” week. In reality, I should have been gearing up for a 20-miler this weekend, but I have absolutely zero intentions of actually completing that. Instead, I used my taper week to goof off. I ditched my 6-miler (because “missing a 6-mile run isn’t going to set me back” <- WRONG!) last weekend and, instead, made up for it in the number of beers I drank. I was too tired lazy to do my 5-miler on Tuesday and instead made up for it on Wednesday.

With all of these factors, I ended up taking 5 whole days off from running and my body hates me for it. My legs felt heavy and were dragging during both of my short 5 mile runs this week. It’s amazing how quickly I lost leg strength and it’s no one’s fault but my own. Instead of totally disregarding my 20-miles this weekend (like I want to), I plan to split it up over two days – running 10 miles on Friday, and 10 on Monday. I’m worried about getting hurt if I try to do 20 all at once without rest because I know my body isn’t strong enough. Remember my plantar fasciitis? It’s back and it’s giving me some pain. I don’t want to overdo it too early and risk injury. But at the same time, I need to get my butt in gear. No more slacking.

In summary, I took too much time off; my legs want to fall off; I’m an idiot.

Glad that’s out of the way. Instead of running, I used this week to catch up on my social life! I got dinner with a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile (and ate a pound of queso), I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, I got to meet the adorable Kyle,

Gratuitous picture for your viewing pleasure

I was finally victorious in my battle against my fingernails,

Check out that paint job. First try, BITCHES!

and the biggest factor taking up 90% of my time this week?

(Source)

As fun as Shark Week sounds, when you actually work for Discovery it takes on a whole new meaning. That meaning = logical nightmares, last second schedule changes, fibers to air, you know the drill. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, enjoy your Shark Week because a lot of people worked REALLY hard to make it happen!

What’s your favorite part about SHARK WEEK?

Mine is Chompy, the massive shark that they hang on Discovery HQ.

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