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:

(source)

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!

20 Miles!

I’ve pretty much been the worst blogger ever this week. But I swear, I have a solid reason. I’ve actually been training for my marathon. And training is hard work!

On Saturday, I ran 20 miles. Yes, you read that correctly. 2-0.

I was a little bit hesitant to run this distance because a) I’ve taken the last 2-3 weeks really, really easy and b) I fell last week on a run and was embarrassed really busted my knee. It was swollen for a few days and is a lovely array of colors but, alas, I have two weeks until this race so desperate times call for desperate measures. I honestly couldn’t have picked a better day for this. 60 and sunny? Talk about a runner’s paradise! So off I went.

I’d been dreading this run. All week I was looking for ways to get out of it; thought about going out of town, making plans on Saturday afternoon, or just “accidentally” oversleeping. But by the time Saturday morning rolled around I was actually excited (and nervous) to test my limits and see what my body could do.

My long runs always start out something like this: bright eyed, ready to go, invincible:

But around mile 18 I start to look more like this:

It’s around this time when I ask myself why I sign myself up for these crazy races. My knees hurt, my legs are heavy, and I have been sweating for approximately 3 hours. Gross! But I just keep pushing through with the help of this gal:

Say hello to miCoach! She helps me stay on pace. I know that there are a ton of apps out there for running, but I’ve found that this one is one of the best. It will track your workouts, you can sync it with your laptop, and use playlists from your iPod. It keeps track of my total run time, total miles, my pace, and my heartrate. I approve. I’m not usually big on timing my runs, but when I’m going such a far distance I like to make sure I’m hitting my marks.

I was actually surprised at how well this run went. I plowed through the first 14 miles like they were nothing. There wasn’t even any pain in my legs until around mile 18 and even then they just felt tired and heavy but I knew I could keep going. I was surprised that my body felt so strong even after taking some time off. I guess it’s true that a little rest does a body good.

I was really sore and tired afterwards. So the rest of my night was spent doing this:

Now we’re talking.

If anything, this run has given me more confidence to run my marathon in 2 weeks. I’m feeling much better about it now as opposed to even last week. Bring it on Philly!