M.I.A. + Snapshots from Life

I have been absolutely M.I.A. for a while now, due to work, training, and travel (oh my the travel), plus the holidays – how in the world can I forget those? Lots of travel coupled with busy, busy weekends meant no time for me…and to be honest I was kinda questioning whether blogging was “for me” or not. But here I am, back again with a renewed mission after realizing that I do miss blogging and building relationships in the blogosphere when I’m not active.

So let’s recap in a brief view then details shall follow later:

October: the Fresh Expo; ABD event; Nick visiting his mom in Cary {weirdly quiet looking at this, but I knew November would be INSANE}2013-10-13 09.53.19

November: Ski Patrol refreshers; Liz + Wade’s Wedding; the Eagles concert; Thunder Road Half Marathon <- New PR; Brenden, Mere + Anna spent the weekend in the QC; Panthers-Patriots game; John Oliver show; and a quiet Thanksgiving filled with shopping! 2013-11-18 20.58.13

December: New York City; busy bee at work; then Christmas in Florida filled with lots of baking!2013-12-24 18.47.48

January: Minneapolis, MN [in the middle of the #polarvortex]; Florida for ZOOMA Half; Seal Beach, Santa Monica, and LA [much more my speed!]; started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge; and marathon training.2014-01-22 11.37.26

February: long, long training runs; delayed MSP trip <- of course, the weather would have actually been decent this time;)

Well, that about brings you up to speed on my last few months. I hope to complete some serious recaps on Thunder Road, NYC, and ZOOMA. Who knows – you might see some more if I have nothing else to talk about 🙂

Now, let’s talk marathon training. As I never told you, it’s time to bring you up to speed: I bailed on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh full marathon since some place to sleep was going to be of concern <- hotel rooms + dogs aren’t always the best, plus the course map didn’t look so fun to me [I train on hills – I don’t want to race on them, but I do anyways]. In a twist of events, I signed up the 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville, FL on February 23 as an alternative race.

I started this post a few weeks ago, but never published. Now, I’m sitting here looking at a marathon in 6 short days: I’m excited, nervous, and just ready to get it over with. I’ll detail some of my long runs and my goals for this race tomorrow! Check back in to see just how far I’ve run since I left you guys hanging months ago.

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Would You Rather #2: Role Models & Odd Moments

Yes, I may be a bit eccentric when it comes to surveys, but I love reading and completing them! This may be OliveToRun’s 6th WWRRS survey, but I’m just jumping on the train a bit late so this is only my 2nd time linking up. Now, sit back and relax <- or laugh at my awesomeness. Either way, take your pick!

wyrrunning

Would you rather…  run with one of your ancestors or your role models?

Role model – so we can chat away about life lessons and how to get what you want since they have accomplished some of my current goals, but I’d have to bring along my favorite running buddy!

2013-09-19 07.04.26

Would you rather… run a race that is a few hour drive but in a beautiful location or in your city with a short drive?

This is a challenge because I live in a place with lots of rolling hills that provide a solid challenge, but the thrill of running along a beach has always appealed to me. Hence, why my first half [and third] are occurring in Amelia Island. 2013-01-19 08.31.42

Would you rather… take an ice bath for a half hour or foam roll for a half hour?

Foam roll. No way will you see me in an ice bath for any longer than necessary; plus I’m more of a fan of chilled baths for 10 minutes and skipping the whole ice cube touching my body thing. [Source]

Would you rather… have a black toe nail pulled off or have your entire back chaffed from running and be forced to shower for a hour straight?

Given the number of times I have pulled a black toenail off [both accidentally and on purpose], I’d have to go that route again. Funny story…it’s happening again!

[Source]

Would you rather… spend an extra $100 a month given to you on running/fitness or save it?

On one hand, I could argue to spend it, but my common sense side says I really should save it. Can I split it 50/50?

[Source]

Would you rather… be known for running the fastest marathon or running the longest distance at one time?

I may never be the fastest runner on the course [I am not known for my speed], rather I strive to conquer new distances all the time.

[Source]

Would you rather… have your medal handed to you by Kara Goucher or Shalane Flanagan?

Kara Goucher, hands down.

[Source]

Would you rather… lick someone else’s armpit after a marathon, or lick their foot after a marathon?

If I’m like everyone else, I know my feet are nasty after a run <- honesty counts, right? So, I’d go for the armpit, hands down.
Hair > popped blisters <- am I right?

[Source]

Treat Yourself Tuesday #1: Nails + Vino

Although I’ve had every intention to actually document my treats over the last few weeks and join the link up with Becky of Olives ‘n’ Wine, it just hasn’t happened [and doesn’t help when my treats occur Tuesday night and I’m just too tired to blog about them]. So for the first time…here we go!

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

Saturday has been long deemed ‘long-run Saturday’ for me since, well, August. My second half marathon is just over 5 weeks away and the dates are looming closer, but my goals seem farther out of reach.

Anita DeFrantz quote

So, after a dismal run [I couldn’t didn’t want to complete the last 0.8 miles of my planned run <- yes, it was that bad], I decided to treat myself to a mani/pedi afternoon at my favorite salon. They provide complementary wine and great service, so what’s not to love!?! It was time to say farewell to the summer colors and actually embrace fall [sad, but true] for my toes. I went with clear on my nails after a month of gel, so they are back to plain jane for the time being.

2013-10-08 08.55.11

Afterwards, Nick and Sizzle headed my way and all three of us wandered over to one of the wine bars of uptown, Threes. Choices are amazing!! I loved the option to create my own flight, but let’s face it…sometimes I want someone else to chose for me. Our waiter had a great recommendation consisting of an un-oaked and oaked chardonnay, followed by a sauvignon blanc.

2013-10-05 19.41.58 The flavors were distinct and light, which I loved on the warm, Indian Summer night. It was the perfect way to wine down after a not-so-great run!

Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday and do something to Treat Yourself – you deserve it!

PWDs and the Confirmation Ring

This weekend was quite important [maybe half-brained] for Sizzle and myself. It was the day we enter the Confirmation Ring for the first time.

IMG_0624{Sizzle + Tessa}

Now, first let me back up. Friday was spent trying to get these pups in gear for their first appearance. Sizzle and Tessa, Sizzle’s pup for her last and final litter who is now owned by my mom, Robin, competed this weekend in the same arena. Luckily, they won’t compete in the same event!

Sizzle and Tessa spent all day Friday being primped and fluffed for their appearance, which they both promptly flattened once they hit the sack for the night! But at least it was the non-judges side <- how’s that for some trade talk? On Saturday, I learned how to properly exhibit my pup’s fine characteristics [15 minutes before we hit the ring], such as body, coat, and gait <- wait, who AM I!?!

IMG_0607{We actually look like we know what we are doing!}

IMG_0615{A step ahead, but Sizz caught up fast}

We came away with a 2nd place win in the Veteran’s class, which is somewhat of a disappointment, but at least we did beat 1 other female in Sizz’s age group!

IMG_0686{With my girl, Sizzle}

Tessa took away the loot from Saturday! She won 3 normal ribbons, plus a fancy Best of Opposite Sex ribbon, as well!

IMG_0670 {Tessa + my mom in action}

IMG_0706{Robin + Tessa}

We spent Sunday back at the field, where Tessa competed under Sizz’s watchful eye. She took home 1st in her age group, before it was time for us all to head home and recover from our nonstop 3 day adventure into the world of confirmation trials!

2013-09-29 13.24.20 {Sleepy girl!}

Does Massage Therapy Really Help?

Last night month [sorry, I’ve been a tad busy], I treated Nick to an hour long massage since I had a few extra months prepaid on my membership. As I was lying on the table with a woman releasing all the knots in my shoulders and stretching my hips, flexors, and quads, I started thinking about the benefits of massage therapy as a runner and athlete. There must be something good for you, other than the complete relaxation at the end, right? So, this leads me to these facts:

  • There are 640 muscles in the human body.
  • There are 5 million touch receptors on your skin alone.
  • A 60 minute massage is similar to 7-8 hours of sleep [so I guess I’m needing more sleep when I come out feeling exhausted, but ready to go when I’m fully rested].
  • At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, massage therapy was offered as a core medical service for the first time [Athletes need it too!].
  • Massage stimulates the production of endorphins [Bring them ON!].


[Sorry, I can never get this scene out of my head when anyone mentions endorphins.]

Sources & more facts: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Now, no massage beats the many I enjoyed in Thailand last year. On the beach, waves crashing on the shore, a warm breeze = complete bliss.

However, I am now back to receiving massages regularly and am starting to see a difference in my recovery times after a long run. I am now not completely dead after running 10+ miles, but can easily jump in the car and drive for 6-7 hours with no problem <- post stretch and shower, of course! I’m ready for my foam roller at the end of it all, but I’ve improved my stamina dramatically and with the aid of massage therapy, I’m back up and moving again in no time [normally, the next day I’m lifting weights or running].

I know everyone’s experience and idea is different in the realm of massage therapy, but for me – it works. Massage + yoga = a happier me [and a happier life]!