Sunday, December 30, 2012

Short & Sweet Holiday Sunday

Happy Week!

Happy Sunday!

Happy New Years Eve Eve!

Some of today's joys included but were not limited to :

managed to avoid *that* particular pile. Stepped in many others, I'm sure
A sunrise, 7+ mile, trail run. I haven't attempted one of these for months, after embarassing myself by getting lost so frequently. Happy to report this didn't happen, this morning!! Save your congratulatory responses, though. This is only because I faithfully stuck to a more experienced trail runner who led and paced us brilliantly.
38 degrees! Time to bust out the capris & tall socks.
hot cocoas in the sunshine
What's making you happy, today? 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Adventrageously Done

This post will be brief to allow all of us ample time to celebrate the culmination of 25 consecutive posts, from me...and whatever holiday you may be observing.

Today's topic: surprise! 

Jk. Anyone who didn't think my sweet husband wouldn't pick up on my incessant hints is just silly

Today's share: Quite possibly the best website on the internets : Enjoy
Note: I have an arsenal of excellent blog-reading material in my list of favorites. If I didn't share your site, it was definitely just an oversight.

Tell me about any of your Holiday surprises!

Have a link you'd like to share?

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Runner's Christmas Eve

Twas the day before Christmas, in this runner's place
Morning run out of the way. I tried hard not to race!
Driving home, I saw folks neatly dressed up in red
I'm in shorts and all sweaty, jaunty antlers on head
What to do first? Wrap more gifts? Do some baking?
Nah. The Foam Roller's Calling and my tendons are aching!
Stretching's all done, I should don my red hat
But, first, I'm starving! Need to re-fuel, stat!
A shower's not happening. This is now sadly clear
This year, for Christmas, folks get stinky cheer
I'll just break out the wet wipes and dry shampoo
Don't judge. I know some of you have been there, too
Still on Mom duty, it's breakfast for the boys
Dressed with teeth brushed, playing loudly with toys
Time to get moving. Need to make cookie dough
First, let me just get those miles logged, though
Ok. I'll check out this last running site...
Losing track of time, getting closer to night
I'd like that coffee, while it's still warm
Just need to mail this race registration form
Time to tackle that laundry, presents and food
Got my mind off running and in Holiday mood
Tape and scissors in hand, all those gifts in big piles
I know! I should go out for a few more miles!
So the boys on their bikes and I in my Brooks
Completely ignore the neighbors' strange looks
We get nice and sweaty and have tons of fun
Merry Christmas to all and to all a happy run!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 23 For You and Me

In retrospect, I may've been keeping that whole "end of the world" thing in my back pocket when I came up with this Adventrageous plan. You know...I think I thought there was a decent chance I may not have to actually have to come up with any more posts after 12-21.

Moving on...

Today's Topic: Runners are crazy. As a runner or even person who knows a runner, I'm pretty sure this statement has come up before. This isn't a groundbreaking discovery. I'm not the first person to ackowledge this, nor will I be the last.

The whole "please let me pay someone to let me run 26.2 miles all at once" issue, aside, sometimes runners think things like this are a good idea. If you don't feel like clicking on the link, here's how my latest running adventure went down :

There was a scheduled Running Group meetup that started at 11:30 pm. It was just over 30 degrees F, which, in Florida terms, is equivalent to sub-zero. My dad, sister, friend and I bundled up and ran from my house to the meetup. (because simply running 3 miles, with the group, would not have been enough weirdness?)

The runners who showed up were grumbling about how cold and late it was, but had obviously not been forced/threatened to be there. This means, deep down, we were all pretty darned giddy about the prospect.

As with most other run, we set off, in small groups, with no fanfare. It was a clear night so the moon, stars and neighborhood Christmas lights were highly visible and beautiful to see. The quiet stillness of the time of day (night?) allowed me to hear snippets of panting conversations from the 30 or so other running friends circling the route.

My own chatter was endless.

In August of 2011, my dad took me as his guest to my very first run with this group. It was a 5 am run, on the same route, so the scene looked very similar. So much time has passed since I've been able to run, with my dad, in the dark that I couldn't seem to shut up. My dad's still re-building his cardio so he wasn't quite as chatty as me. Rest assured I babbled on and on enough to cover both of us.

(sorry, dad)

We finished the route and I was feeling so energized and happy, that I made a snap decision to zip back out for a self-timed, speedy mile while everyone else finished up. At midnight. People-dodging and aching lungs (have I mentioned it was cold?!) forced me to cut it off at a 1/2 mile, but it felt so good to run fast.

We chatted, in the cold, for a little longer and then the four of us headed back to my house, as there were people waiting on their crazy runners.
some runners wisely rewarded themselves with beers
Fun, happy, crazy times. Just think...if I weren't a runner, I'd have no reason to be outside, in the cold, wheezing and sweating at midnight!
Today's share: Gracie is one of those naturally talented, extremely fast runners who you're not allowed to be jealous of because she's also incredibly humble. Sucks, huh? I get inspired by her writing and am in awe of her artistic talent and fashion sense. I'm pretty sure people aren't allowed to be so multi-talented, actually.
I hope you'll visit her blog. She's currently on a bit of a running hiatus (other than the possibly ill-timed 10 miler, recently) and can probably use some new readers/encouragement. 
What sort of crazy have you recently involved yourself in? 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Times for Day 22

Now that I've recapped That Thing Which Must Not Be Named (hereby shortened to "That Thing", or the like), and have gotten annoyed all over again, I'm moving on to happier posts. If for no other reason than, It's Christmas.

I do, Actually, LOVE this movie

Since, That Thing, I have had some of my happiest runs, ever. I carved out at least a week of recovery time, and figured I'd be flexible and add even more time, if necessary. However, due to the nature of the way I ran The Thing, and some very solid, wasted training, I ended up feeling 100% recovered just a couple days after TT.

This was good news for several reasons:
  • I was anxious to get back to running...not training. It wasn't an obsessive desire out of habit. I just needed to make sure I still loved it.
  • I wanted to do something to get my mind off That Thing. Walking gives you waaaayyy too much time to think, dwell and get angry.
  • My oft-injured dad has been (knock on wood) feeling good enough to pick up his running, again.
  • He, my sissy and I all had time in our schedule to be at the same group run. At the same time.
post-run. We're not generally that shiny
That was an awesome run, with even more awesome people. In completely unplanned (hooray for no more training runs!) fashion, I started out nice and conservatively and effortlessly negative splitted the heck out of the rest of the few miles.
It turns out I do, actually, still love running. I love, actually, my family even more and Christmas is pretty cool, as well. So, getcher waffles ready. The next few days are going to be dripping with sweet, syrup-y love-talk. I can't plan these things, but I can surely spread the good cheer when I'm enveloped in it.

Was that subliminal enough? Even if you've already watched "Love Actually", this year, go ahead and watch it again. You have my blessing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 21, The Final Chapter

Only 3 more days of Adventrageous. My gift to all of you will be No More Daily Posting.
You're welcome.

Chapter Four: The Aftermath
I drank some cold water and got quick recaps on how the half and full had gone for my peeps who'd already finished.
If you're reading this and know the people who were there, you already know everyone's results. If you're a reader who doesn't know those people, you probably don't care. Thus, we'll move on with wrapping up my story.
I felt awful for finishing in such a crappy, lethargic mood. The Husband, my sister and her in-laws had all been waiting to cheer me on. I did my best to smile and not look like a total jerk. It's unlikely that I was successful with that, but I did make an effort.
my attempt at "chipper"
The Husband walked with me over to the medical tent to get some bandaids. They had me stand very still while they sprayed the biggest scrapes with some antiseptic junk. One medic asked if I wanted a banana and a few seconds later I had one, in hand. While they were trying to clean dirt and road bits out of me I was apologizing over and over for how disgusting I was and thanking them repeatedly.
Suddenly I couldn't figure out if my eyes were open or closed. As I was trying to decipher this new development, I managed to wheeze "dizzzzzy"...or something like that. I was plopped in a chair and ice bags were strategically placed. Turns out it's not healthy to run for hours then stand, completely still, in the sunshine.
So, that was pretty cool, too.
My sister wheeled her stroller, complete with my lovely niece, into the public restroom with me when I was all bandaged and could stand again. She was unlucky enough to get to hear me ramble on, completely without filter, about the race. Here's how the restroom scene broke down :
Good news: I'd packed an entire change of clothes and one of these magical delights! I can still vividly recall the relief I felt after peeling off my dirty stuff and replacing it all with clean, dry, non-matching items.
Bad news: I experienced another, new (to me) marathon treat! My foot cramped and deformed itself, so badly, that I almost screamed and couldn't figure out how to fix it. Holding onto bathroom stall walls, staring at your newly redesigned, throbbing, foot is every bit as fun as it sounds.
Good news: My sissy reached under the door to save the day. She massaged that dirty old thing 'til it looked human, again, and I could manage to get a sock on it. (thank you, again, sissy!)
We re-joined our group, in the middle of the field, to cheer on the other finishers. Everyone got to share their tales while we stretched and wished it wasn't getting so darned hot. Then, right after the 5-hour mark, the guy with the microphone announced that they'd run out of medals.
This racing company has a good and long-standing reputation, and I hope it stays that way. For real, though. How do you run out of medals? Their excuse was that they'd thought more people would drop out, due to the heat...
This meant the poor people who'd been running the longest AND in the most heat, were going to be sent home bling-less. Realizing we had three first-timers in our group, the decision was made to meet them at the finish line and give them our medals. Only after I'd happily passed mine on to my running friend, did I realize it was pretty blood-splattered. (sorry, Mike!)
When everyone was done, we went out to try to refuel, together. I had zero appetite, but enjoyed the company immensely.
beers and waters, all around
managed a few loaded fries
Went home.
Hobbled around the next day.
blah, blah, blah.
I'm still not in a real "zen" place regarding this race, so I'll keep my current thoughts to myself, for now.
Thank you, anyone who was there to support me, that day.
Thank you to anyone else who thought of me, that day, and/or read this whole saga. I am grateful for an outlet to recap all that mess and especially thankful that anyone took the time to re-live it, with me.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 20, Chapter 3

If you're not caught up on this saga, feel free to read chapter 1 and chapter 2.  Otherwise, lets all move on to :

Chapter Three: In Which I Bypass The Wall (and Hit the Sidewalk, Instead)
Cautiously optimistic about the reprieve I seem to be experiencing from my "internal issues", I took a peek at my Garmin after passing the 19th mile marker. I'd stopped checking, many miles ago, when the numbers were too disheartening and I was totally wrapped up in damage control.
What I saw gave me a glimmer of new hope.
While the 3:40 goal was a distant memory, I really could still pull out a PR. It took an inordinately long time to do the math, but I finally calculated that it would actually be possible to run only slightly faster than my current pace, for the remaining miles, and finish faster than I had in my first marathon. I was still pretty grumpy about the whole experience, but decided to pull it together, turn that (literal and mental) corner and finish this thing strong(ish).
Only there was a moving SUV in my way. (ha! You totally thought this was the sidewalk part, didn't you?!) 

I'm still not sure if the driver had accidentally gotten into the runners' lane and couldn't get out, if they thought they were pacing us or if he/she was simply a moron. (I guess that option would cover all the others, too) Regardless, it was ridiculous. The vehicle kept changing speeds and was taking up the entire lane. The only way around it would've been to run into oncoming traffic and I simply wasn't that smart desperate, yet.

At one point, after almost running into the bumper when the car came to a sudden stop, I sidestepped and received a disgusted yell and nasty face from another runner.

Really, lady? You thought, out of courtesy, I ought to throw myself into a Sports Utility Vehicle so as not to break your spectacular stride?

Wow. I thought I'd be over that little moment, by now. Apparently not.

Eventually the Surprise Car Obstacle was gone but my already sad pace had suffered, further. The heat was rising, the humidity was at about 100% (for real) and I was finding myself unable to take a deep breath.

Good times.

When I saw the 20th mile marker, I almost cried.

Here's the part I could never understand, until I'd been through a rough marathon. You will, potentially, lose control of your body and brain. I'd read other recaps and heard other stories about "I couldn't imagine how I was going to run that last 5k", etc., but never understood how someone could get to that point.

When I saw that I had a mere 10k left, of this Race O' Death, I nearly had a breakdown. The distance that would, sometimes, be a warmup for me, seemed utterly daunting.

How. the &*$^@ was I ever going to run for nearly an hour more?

Prior to this marathon, that thought just seems silly.
After the marathon, that thought just seems silly.
During the marathon...that thought made perfect, bone-chilling, mind-numbing sense.

It was then that I took my first walk break. Yes, you're reading that right. Other than the bathroom stops, I hadn't yet stopped running. At all. The smart person outside of my body was freaking screaming at me to keep running and squeeze out a PR. The mushy brain inside my skull, though, would just not allow it.

I couldn't remember a single mantra...couldn't really even remember why I was putting myself through this mess and had exactly zero happy thoughts, at that time.
even the thought of this little celebratory treat failed to improve my mood

Just after the 21st mile, or so, I saw a friend from the running group. He was walking. He and I had similar goals and training so the sight of him was simultaneously sobering and encouraging. I was extremely sad that he was in the same boat, but felt a bit better knowing I wasn't alone in my misery.

We talked a little. He asked if I had anything to eat. When I offered him the gel I had left he looked like he was going to barf. I quickly shoved it back in the pouch and tried to get him to run with me.

That lasted for about ten seconds. Somehow his deathmarch gave me strength, though, so I picked up the pace when he dropped back to continue his walk.

A PR was still within reach and I had my 14th wind! We turned off a side street and onto a pretty busy road. A duo in front of me came to a complete stop, so I hopped onto the sidewalk to go around.

When I fell, I didn't even really feel myself tripping or going down. I simply noticed I was suddenly skidding on the sidewalk, hitting both hands and both knees. I remember actually making an "OOF" sound as the little breath I had left was forcibly slammed out of me.

Without bothering to survey the damage, I shakily stood up and started running again. Just about the time I looked down and saw blood dripping down my legs, fingers and arms, I realized I still hadn't really caught my breath. That's when I learned Hard Fall + Extreme Fatigue = Projectile Vomit.

Blessedly, as I didn't have much left in my digestive system, it was very brief.

Show of hands : Who, at this point of the story, is dying to run a marathon with me ? For any of you with hands raised, let me give you the full picture all the horrified spectators got to see for the rest of the race :

I took one blood-soaked hand, smeared it across my sweat, snot and vomit-splattered face to "clean up". That attractive look, paired with the blood and dirt-caked knees, and clothes decorated with every other bodily fluid known to man brought on some pretty comical reactions. The cheery smiles and pumping fists slowly gave way to frozen hands and horrified gasps.

"GO...ohhhh.!" "Oh my. "
"You can DO...oooh. maybe not..."
"Only two more miles to....holy *%$#!"

My weirdly-wired RunnerBrain didn't know any better than to just keep shuffling towards that finish line. The knees that had taken the brunt of my klutziness, though, had other ideas. I almost fell, again, when they locked up, completely. I was unable to even walk. Scooting over to the side, I stopped to massage them until I could move, again. That happened about five times.

I finally just laughed. I'm sure that was the icing on the CrazyCake the onlookers were witnessing, but it felt good to just stop caring. After that, I really don't remember feeling anything else. Physically and mentally I was completely numb.

When I crossed the finish line, four hours and five minutes after I'd started running, I felt no emotion. I wasn't happy to be done.
I wasn't sad about my finishing time.
I wasn't even registering the exhaustion.

I half-heartedly grabbed my medal and hobbled over to meet my ever-patient husband, and spectating sister.

You didn't really think there wasn't more drama to come, did you?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Adventrageous 19, Chapter Two

When we left off the drawn-out Jacksonville Bank Marathon story, we were cruising past the halfway point of the race...

Chapter Two: My Guts Revolt

This portion of the race, for me, is pretty much an ugly blur. Unfortunately, for you, that's about the way you'll feel about his Chapter, as well.

I'll keep it brief and painless, though, which is the exact opposite of the description of miles 13-21 of that marathon.

Not seeing the people I was expecting to see, at mile 13 (14, 15, 16 or 17) was more of a letdown than I thought it would be. I hadn't realized how dependent I'd become on having someone else to run with, until it became clear that wasn't going to happen. I had my music to keep my spirits up and plenty of GUs and fluids to keep me fueled. While maintaining my goal pace was becoming more and more of a challenge, there wasn't anything physically holding me back, I realized.

Right around the time that I was mentally rallying myself back into a decent mood, my body decided to attack me.

I live with four males. While totally loveable, they are pretty darned gross, most of the time, and I've had to learn to just roll with it. That having been said, I still do my best to maintain my "ladylike" status. This means you'll have to let your imagination take over, in lieu of me actually describing what happened to me during those miles. Hint : Whatever you're thinking...bump it up a couple notches on the  "Oh. my. gosh." scale.

There was seemingly nothing I could do to remedy what was happening. It was so hideous, so miserable and there seemed to be no end in sight. Naturally, my pace suffered. The real nails in the BQ coffin, though, were the two, looonnng, port-a-potty stops. I have never needed to stop for a bathroom break, in any race. I'm sure there's a skill to it that I simply don't posess. Even opening and closing the door, sweaty and shaking, took forever!

For days leading up to the race, one of my goals had been to not let the 3:45 pace group pass me, at any point. My strategy, then, turned into : Hope the bathroom stop is timed right so that they pass while I'm in there and I don't have to witness it.

Instead, they jauntily flew by me right after I hobbled back out onto the course. I said an extremely inappropriate word (s?) and knew I had zero chance of catching, much less passing, those perky jerks.

When I finally saw The Husband, at mile 18, I couldn't even manage a wave or smile. I was so glad to see him, but didn't know how else to convey how very wrong everything had gone since the last time he'd seen me.

I had many, vivid fantasies of dropping out of that stupid race, during those horrific miles. I felt utterly alone, embarassed, defeated, disgusting and overwhelmingly exhausted. I couldn't even manage to keep more than a sip of water in me, at a time. The worst part, though, was that the rest of my body, felt fine. My legs were still strong. My feet still longed to race.

these poor shoes did their best to carry me
Upon reflection, I'm still not really sure why I didn't just DNF. I had already mentally sworn off  running in Florida, marathons and/or racing any distances over one mile, by that point.

Maybe I was subconsciously waiting for the excitement still yet to come...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 18, Chapter One

Yes, it's okay to mix Adventrageous with Marathon Recaps. Also, in an effort to make this story more reader-friendly, it'll need to be broken down into a couple of parts. Short parts! Don't worry!

Chapter One : Fog, Smiles and Happy Feet
not from Marathon Morning, but you get the gist
A group of running friends, with The Husband as our fearless driver, met at our house at 4:00 am. We loaded up a 15-passenger van and drove to Jacksonville for the race. It was fun to have lots of other running stories and nervous goals to focus on, other than my own.
The time passed quickly. I ate the breakfast I'd brought, two hours prior to the start time, drank my water and coffee and enjoyed everyone's company. We made one group-necessary pitstop and parked with only some minor issues.
From there, it got a little hectic. I make it a habit to have everything done and be lined up nice and early on race days. I love and need to have those moments to calm down, reflect and ease into the day. Instead, I ended up jogging to the start right as they shot the cannon. There was an enormous cluster of people where I needed to be and I barely squeezed in to get over the starting mat. Yuck, but I shook it off.
At this point, I have to get some the Runner Geek talk out of my system. Feel free to skim if this doesn't interest you.

I was pacing myself for a 3:36 marathon. This gave me a nice, big cushion to get in under my actual goal of 3:40. When you look at my other marathon result, that goal just seems silly. However, based on my more recent half marathon time, every pace calculator assures me I can run a 3:30 marathon. While the 3:40 goal is ambitious, it's within my capabilities.

(I still believe that!)

I gave myself a conservative start, building slowly to some faster, early miles and then allowed some wiggle-room for the inevitable (for me) positive splits in the second half of the race. With this plan in mind, the first twelve miles went by like magical clockwork.

It was foggy and about 60 degrees at the start. I was nervous about the later heat being a factor, but the morning weather was pretty nice. The humidity was above 80%, the entire time, but I live in Florida. I can deal.

My entire body felt insanely perfect. No aches, no nagging injuries, no nerves. There was nothing but happy feet and smiles surrounding me. I was hitting every mile at exactly the pace I wanted. It wasn't difficult to maintain, nor did I even really have to think about it.

Everything was simply falling into place exactly as I had trained for.

I waved at the festive spectators. I saw The Husband and gave him a big smile so he knew I was right on target. I chatted with a lady with a similar pace goal and we took turns pacing each other. I faithfully sipped my GU Brew-filled, water. I completely deviated from my original fueling plan starting at mile 3...(oops. foreshadowing)

Between miles 12 and 13, my pace started to slip a teeny bit. My new pacing friend's did not, so I just kept her in sight and turned my ipod on. I wasn't too worried, though. I knew I'd see some running friends at the halfway point. One guy was even going to try to jump in and run with his girlfriend (and me, if I could time it right).  If I could just hang on a bit longer, things would continue to fall into place. The miles would undoubtedly be tough, but I was still feeling great.

Anything below a 1:50:00 half was necessary for a 3:40 finish. My 13.1 (halfway point) split was 1:48:55.

Absolutely no reason to panic.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adventrageously Aching

Just a brief note, for Day 17.

The first half of my second marathon, yesterday, was perfectly and constistently paced.

The second half involved every. single. race nightmare you can imagine. (minus actual death, of course)

Right now, if you're thinking "but, surely that didn't happen, right?"

It did.

"but, wait...what about that? Did that happen, too?!"

It did.

Thank you for all of your cheering  and support, cyber or otherwise. Marathon Days are amazing, regardless of the outcome. I'm glad I have such a cool community to share these experiences with.

I'll leave you with a couple photos (don't look if you're bothered by blood). I'd love to leave you with a photo of my medal (Spoiler :  I did finish that thing!) but I don't have one. That story will be in the recap, too.
kinda fuzzy. My hand's covered in blood and cuts.

and my knees...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day Sixteen, Marathon Two

Those numbers and events are unrelated. When I type them together, though, it looks totally legit, doesn't it?
I was already several paragraphs into a reflective, touchy-feely post about the Second Marathon I'm about to run.
In lieu of all that chatter, I'll simply say this :
 I'm going to run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes or less.
There are people, in my life, who doubt the likelihood of this. Sadly, on some days, I'm one of them.
Today's not that day.
What sort of epic (for you) things do you have planned for your Sunday?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Let's Do This (again)

This is a bit of a cheat. I actually drafted this post before my first marathon, back in October. I set it to publish Sunday morning, the day of the race, but it never did.
I still like it, though, and found it fitting as I'll be running my SECOND marathon, tomorrow.


By the time you read this, I will either be pounding out 26.2 miles (consecutively, apparently?!) or will be finished doing so and whining things like " why did I EVER think that would be a good idea?!" (clean version of what I'll actually be saying)

While I could type, endlessly, about my feelings about this upcoming race. I'll spare you and keep this short, honest and only mildly dorky.

You're welcome.

GOALS : in reverse order, 'cause no one can stop me.

C : Finish with a smile on my face and a strong desire to race this distance, again. Yes, yes, I have read and been told that "finish" should be my one and only goal for the first marathon. Turns out I'm way too stupid over-acheiving for that nonsense. Really, though, I'm not taking it lightly. I respect the distance and have felt the pain of long-distance racing.

B. Sub 4:00. Without the whole stress fracture business messing with my fragile brain, I'd think this would be totally do-able. The facts remain, though. I was forced to sit and not run for seemingly endless weeks during this training cycle. This goal may turn out to be extremely difficult to reach.

A. 3:45 I have struggled, for months, to come up with realistic, fearful-smile-inducing goals. Earlier this week, though, I had a total moment of peace and clarity. 3:45 it would be. The icing on the CrazyGoal Cake? Afterward my a-ha moment, I plugged my most recent 10k time into Mr. McMillan's calculator. He predicts, based on that stat alone, that my marathon finishing time could be 3:45:12.

The nerves and stress are astronomical. Not only am I venturing into completely unknown territory, but I'm also taking my entire family with me.

Imagine packing your suitcase for your very first marathon.
Now imagine it's also out of the Country.
And you have to pack everything your family of five will need for several days.


The Middlest, demonstrating Freakout Mode
It'll all come together. It won't be easy,  it will absolutely be life-changing, and I am so excited I can hardly wait.
Please stop back by for a marathon of a recap. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Adventrageously Fourteen

Late Edit : I posted today's entry before the news of the Connecticut tragedy broke. I'm not a shallow, heartless blogger. However, I can't say or think about it, too much, just yet, though. It just takes me some time to try to process something that absolutely senseless.

Now that we've coined "Adventrageous" as an actual word, we can start using it in its various forms.

Today's Topic: Really boring occurrences which I have captured, in photos, to make them seem more exciting.

Now you may be thinking : "Wait a minute, there, lady!" "Isn't that what all your posts are about?"

No, my friends. The difference is, this post is only about that. Others actually offer of a pretense of containing interesting content, with some boring photos on the side.

really bad picture. really good cookies.
Thanks to this sweet blogger, I figured out what cookies I wanted to make for our Book Club's Christmas Extravaganza. When you visit her site, take note of how much better her photos are, too.
I've already eaten two, today. Why? They're delicious and they contain carbs.
Also, this happened:
I was trying to think of something lucky about all those sixes. No luck.
Please note this Odometer Excitment occurred in a different vehicle than the one from this post. No, you're not losing your mind. I really did share two different photos of two different odometers on the same blog.
Did you ever imagine you'd be fortunate enough to stumble upon reading material this compelling?
Today's Share: Haha! I snuck in a twoferone! The topic actually contains the blogshare. Go forth and visit Jade. Be entertained by her funny and bubbly stories. Make those cookies. Encourage her as she gets back into running after being out of comission.
Have you considered running a marathon after fueling solely on cookies? Me neither. (lie)


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lucky 13

Is it a little weird/sad that when I typed "13", above, it didn't feel right. I had to fight the urge to add a ".1" after it. What's happened to my brain?

Today's Topic : A peek inside my world . My tiny, corner, desk/workstation, as it looked today :

Organization? I lack.

Some highlights :
  • The blue foam roller peeking out, on the right. I am proud to say that I remember to use it 5-7 days/per week. It took me a while to remember to do it, regularly.
  • The coffee warmer, on the left. That poor thing has been dropped and spilled on numerous times and keeps on warmin'.
  • The library book, with the cover strategically hidden under my grocery list. Last month's Book Club host's selection...not mine.
  • A 2013 calender that I've had out for over a month, to remind me to start filling in important dates. In all likelihood, that task will actually take place in early March of 2013. Until then, I'll keep pulling out the 2012 one, currently stuffed in the basket on the lower left, and getting frustrated that it still doesn't show the right date.
  • My fancy, black Organizer I bought to keep track of Running-related stuff : upcoming race promotions, contacts, Running Club activities, etc. I dutifully filled in pertinent information for about four days. After that, I started stuffing receipts, scraps of paper, and lists in and out of every couple (sadly) blank pages. I still carry it around and will continue to use it. I feel it makes me look immensely cool and important.
  • A plastic nose
Pretty sure it's part of these glasses. If not, someone has some 'splaining to do
  • A teeny, tiny cow with a teeny tiny suction cup. I'm not sure how it ended up there, but I like it.
  • 1,415 other random items
You can't see the monitors but I can guarantee one of them would show the predicted weather for Sunday, December 16th, in Jacksonville Florida. must.stop.obsessing.

Other than random body parts or farm animals, what do you have on your desk?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I wish I had a clever post associated with the date. I may have, at some point, actually.

Last night's Christmas party has rendered me mostly useless, though, today. I was up way past my bedtime and indulged, just a bit too much.

That's the cool thing about being a lame-o and rarely going out, though. The few times a year we get out of our "comfies", get babysitters and hang out with other adults pretty much allows us to get a little crazy. People tend to forgive us more easily with the "They don't get out much..." mindset.

this pretty much captures the overall feel of the night
Since I forced invited all my friends and family to join the running group, we get to go to group functions, together. Last night the West Volusia Runners held their annual Christmas party. The founder/president/runner extraordinaire, Jennifer, makes sure everyone has a fun time.
There was plenty of food and drinks, personalized awards, runners in Regular Clothes (i.e. shocked and awkward conversations when people start to recognize each other) and a cutthroat gift exchange. Perfect ingredients for a memorable party.
The husband was awarded the very sweet and appropriate "Wind Beneath Her Wings" certificate. He was recognized for always supporting me, in every way, for every one of my crazy running goals.
I was honored to be named :
Best Looking in a Boot
Almost made me want to break it out and model for everyone!
I did manage to drag myself out for my last, short speedwork before the marathon, this morning.
1 Mile Warm Up (this isn't going to be nearly as bad as I thought it would!)
4x400s w/active recovery between each (oh-ho! This is actually worse than I thought it would be!)
1 Mile Cool Down (I think that happened. I don't really remember much past the wind-sucking, dry heaving, head-throbbing bits)
Before the fuzziness in my brain takes over, again, I'll end with :
Today's Share: I'm a fairly new reader of Fit Fun Mom, but I'm so glad I found her. Like me, she recently completed her first Full Marathon (just over 4 hours, too!!), after years of running and racing. Unlike me, though, she actually offers readers posts that are useful. While it may be unfair that she's extremely intelligent AND a talented runner, she's earned her claim to both.
Any fun holiday events on your schedule? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heavenly Eleven(ly)

I'm feeling a bit "off", during this taper week. Trying not to use it as an excuse, but my posts may be a bit "off", as well. I think it's a combo of limited running and trying to not be nervous about the upcoming marathon.

Today's Topic : Healthy Food Doesn't Have to be Disgusting : I like to promote a feeling of positivity on this blog. However, I also feel it's my duty to prevent the trauma that inflicted The Husband and I, on this past Sunday.

I bought a new kind of healthy snack/protein bar for my hungry man to try. The local Health Foods store had them on sale, so I grabbed a flavor I thought he'd like. He took a long, miserable bite...and then another. When he reported how god-awful it was, I thought he was just being overly picky.

Then I tasted it.

If you're wanting to know what it tastes like to have someone or something die and rot in your mouth, please try these treats!

Someone from their promotions department should be contacting me any minute, now!
just enough to wash the taste away
Including bars, there are a plethora of healthy food options for runners and non-runners, alike. Please don't ever sacrifice good taste when trying to make good food choices. If you're ever in doubt, send me an email and I can suggest a healthy option for whatever you're craving, at that time. I just won't be able to actually provide the product.
We imaginary internet friends do have limits.
Today's Share: Lisa is another blogger I felt instantly connected to. While I generally end up reading only the most recent posts of the blogs I follow, I actually went back and read quite a few of her archived entries. I liked her humor, stories and way with words that much. Someday, the stars will align and we'll pace each other in a race. (she just doesn't know it, yet)
not quite Elf Material, yet. Better luck next year, guys...
Have you recently tried anything that surprised you with its taste?
Do your loved ones do their best to look as ridiculous as possible when you try to photograph them?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Day Ten

Double Digits of Adventrageous! Woohoo! We are moving right along. If anyone says "you're almost there!", Misguided Race Spectator-style, they'll get punched in the ear.
Today's Topic : Ten Reasons I Run. I actually keep a running (harhar!) list, in my journal. These are just a handful, in no particular order.
  •  I run so I can eat ice cream. Every day, if I feel so inclined.
hello, yummy friend!
  • I run to make up for all the years I didn't.
Remedying this problem for our future generations by starting the boys out early
  •  I run so I can later drive down that same stretch of the road and think "I ran that". Weird? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
  • I run so I can feel like a real athlete. My lack of grace, skill, strength or natural talent in any other physical arena kinda limits me. It's cool, though, because I can run. I can even run for hours on end! Without passing out or vomiting!
  • I run to clear my thoughts. You have no idea what intricate problems I can solve during my runs. Or, more often, what mind-boggling thoughts I can completely tune out during the time I'm smacking my feet on the pavement. Either way, it provides great benefits.
  • I run to clear my sinuses. It's true! It's a great cure for a stuffy nose.
  • I run for friends and family who want to and can't.
we all know someone's who has been here...or worse
  • I run to stay in shape for racing. That may seem like double-dipping, but the two don't always go hand-in-hand. I love running. I love racing. I want to be able to do both for a very long time.
check out that blurry, heel-striking, happy lady!
  • I run to show my boys how cool it is to have a hobby or passion that is also good for your health and well-being. Video Gaming just doesn't stand up to running, in those areas.
  • I run to maintain my sanity. 
Today's share : Just in case I'm not the last person to stumble on this fun read, I thought I'd pass it on. I check it every now and then and get a little creeped out. It's like the contributors read my mind!
Tell me a reason you run :
Not a runner? Why the heck not?



Sunday, December 9, 2012

S&S Sunday aka Day Nine

This day of Adventrageous will be Short and a Fartlek. (for the middle-school-humored readers/family members)

Speaking of juvenile humor, did you hear the one about the string who walked into a bar?

Yeah. The string saunters up to the bartender, props up on the counter and orders a drink. The bartender looks at him, with annoyance, and informs him "We don't serve strings, pal".

The string dejectedly makes his way back outside. Then, inspired, he scuffs himself up...fluffs up his strands and twists around and around.

He walks back into same bar, up to the same counter and orders a drink from the same bartender.

"Say, aren't you that same string?" The bartender asks, suspiciously.

"Nope...I'm A Frayed Knot"

pause for maniacal laughter

If you recall, I never committed to quality posts, 25 days in a row. It could be worse. I could be showing you daily updates, with my awful camera phone photos, of what I eat :

not so sad about the joke anymore, are you?
ps : Amendment to yesterday's list . I no longer have reason to be happy about the weather forecast. Every time I check, the temperature rises. Number 6 should now read : I am happy that, while running the marathon, I will be unable to check and obsess about the weather. 
Have any good jokes to share? 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Adventrageous

Man! That has such a catchy ring to it, eh?
what? You think I used this pic of our advent calendar door because I ran out of cool shots?
The nerve!
Not only is this Day Eight of our Adventrageous Adventure, it is also Eight Days until my second marathon! In honor of that very special coincidence, I present you with the following:
Today's Topic: Eight Happy Things About My Upcoming Marathon!!
1. I love the course. I ran the half-marathon, there, last year and vowed to return. From their site :
The Jacksonville Marthon course is a USA Track and Field certified flat, fast and very scenic with 85% shade. There are no hills, bridges or overpasses.
There isn't a ton of crowd support, as it winds through a lot of quiet neighborhoods. The areas where spectators can get to, though, are fun and festive. It also finishes on a track, at a school. I love races that end that way!
2. I love the location. It's far enough away from home (about 1.5 hours) that it seems like a Destination Race, but close enough that we can drive up and back the same day. The drive up will be decidedly less painful than the drive back, I'm guessing. The Husband I and will be riding, in a van, with a  bunch of people from WVR . I'm so excited about the nervous, happy energy on the way there!! (The Husband's decidedly less excited about the moaning and whining he'll likely hear on the drive back)
3. The boys will be far away and well-cared for. While I love the races the whole family's able to attend, this one's just not the best for that sort of thing. It's such a relief to not have to worry about them for that day!
Thanks, Kim, for taking on all that action!
4. (knock on wood) I won't have a big, black eye for the Race Photos, this year! Long story...
5. In addition to the transportation situation (that's a cool phrase, huh?!) I'll get to run with people I know. My first marathon was, by choice, solo in a city far, far away. I'm SO happy about the prospect of lining up with running buddies and a couple cool people I've "met" through DailyMile. Now to just try to keep up with them...
6. The weather is shaping up to be perfect. Last year, it was high 30s-low 40s at the start. This year it's forecast to be low-mid 40s when we start. 71% humidity (for those in more dry climates, this is a good number for us!!) and the high is only supposed to be low 60s. Great conditions!
7. The post-race meal. I rarely have an appetite after any race. My digestive system wasn't feeling normal for about two days, after my last marathon. However, I'm good at forcing myself to eat. I'm looking forward to sitting down, with friends and family, and eating whatever the heck I want.
8. I'm going to go ahead and get a PR. I should also add that it'll be a big one...
Today's share: I was lucky enough to stumble upon Sheila's blog and bookmarked it, immediately. That's pretty rare, for me. She has a passion and talent for running, three boys and an awesome sense of humor. Still not quite sure how she manages to fit everything into her busy schedule AND blog about it, but I love reading her anecdotes and wisdom.
How's your Saturday?



Friday, December 7, 2012

Adventrageous, Round Seven

Yesterday's post was pretty long-winded, so I'll keep this one brief. The gifts from me, to you, just keep on comin'...
At least six days per week, my attire looks something like this :
no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. It doesn't even match.
I usually run right before or right after taking my kids to school, so this is pretty much my Morning Normal. Sweaty or pre-sweaty running clothes and shoes, a kid on each arm and a travel mug of coffee balanced precariously...somewhere.
This morning I had a 9:00 am meeting so I had to dig out "regular people" clothes. It wasn't easy.
pants that covered my entire leg. non-tech shirt.
not sneakers, even!
Sadly, not including my boys' comments, I received four remarks from parents and teachers regarding my outfit, within about 5 minutes.
"I almost didn't recognize you!"
"Did you get a job or something?"
"How are you going to run in that?!"
Soooo...apparently time to switch up the ol' daily look.
Today's share: Somewhat related to today's topic, even! Amira puts me to shame, in this category. She works out, like, every day AND manages to wear normal (even cute!) clothes the rest of the day. She's fairly new to blogging but already has a loyal following due to her openness, sense of humor and knowledge of fashion (among other qualities I'll never posess). 
Bonus: She's hoping to make her first, full marathon the same one I ran as my first!  We're kinda like twins...only she got the desire to shower and wash her hair, regularly and I am sweaty with old-lady hands.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Only Nineteen Left

As would be the case in a marathon, that phrase is far from encouraging. These posts aren't nearly as painful or sweaty, though. Ooh! Maybe I'll give myself a medal upon completion, too?!
a small part of my collection. Definitely needs a Blogging Streak addition.
Today's Topic : My Six Worst Running Experiences (in no particular order)
  •  The final run before my Stress Fracture diagnosis. Read all about it in this post. The worst part? Up until the point where I was fighting back embarassing tears of pain, it was one of the most successful Tempo Runs I'd had in months.
soooo not worth it
  • The attempted Tempo Run just prior to the aforementioned Disaster Jaunt. I have no post to bore you with, as it was prior to my blogging. In retrospect, the looming Stress Fracture might have had almost everything the teensiest bit to do with the failed workout. I warmed up for a mile and could not. complete. a single tempo mile. I was a physical and mental mess. We have all had failed workouts. This one was bad enough to stick in my mind as one of the most demoralizing training runs I've ever had. It was particularly bad because it followed...

  • The OTHER attempted Tempo Run just prior to the aforementioned Disaster Jaunt. Yes, it was Summer. Yes, it was disgustingly hot and humid. Yes, I had nagging pain which eventually turned into a full-blown injury. At that time, in my training, though, none of those factors were able to erase the defeat I felt when I was unable to complete this speedwork. They were workouts I'd done before. The pace was slower than my 5k pace, for goodness' sake! Those runs lead me to question everything about my running, for the first time, ever. I know how dramatic that sounds, but I had never before had to wonder "why am I even putting myself through this?" Up 'til that point, running had been fun. Even when it was competetive, it was still fun, for me. Now, with a goal of "Marathon", everything began to unravel. It was a very dark time, indeed.
"ooh, how artistic! See how she uses the photo to simulate the shadow falling on otherwise happy times!"
  • This 10k was so awful for so many reasons.
I was so excited about this race. It was the first in a set of races appropriately named Tour De Pain Extreme. The 10k was held in the morning, followed by a 5k the same evening and a half-marathon the following morning.
I realize that concept doesn't seem tempting to any most people.
I love 10ks, though, I love the idea of running fast after a morning race (the 5k) and would have a perfect excuse for why I sucked it up in the 1/2 the next morning. (uh...I just ran 2 races, yesterday...). In my usual form, I failed to peek at that above course map, prior to the race. Apparently, the "Extreme" portion of the title wasn't a fluke. There were four bridge crossings. In 6.2 miles. It was hot, hideous and such a disappointing start to the fun weekend I'd built up, in my mind. For the first time, ever, I didn't even look at the posted results, after the race. It was that bad.
  •  This 5k. Other than the quickie Genuine Mile race I'd done, it was my first post-injury race. I was so happy to be in racing shape, again, and had set my expectations way too high. I was simply not as ready as I'd hoped I was. It was so discouraging and, for the first time, made me question if I ever wanted to race a 5k, again. After some time, I was able to shake off the race, but it still haunts me, a bit, when I look at my upcoming race calendar.
somehow, the bands on the course had the oppostite effect of "motivating me"

  • And, finally, my first 18-miler. Again, pre-blogging days, so there's no link to an overly-dramatic and blurry photo-filled post. It was supposed to be a "long, slow day". My furthest distance, to date, had been 16 miles, so I thought it would be totally do-able. Five miles in, I had the first inklings of panic, about the heat and the way my body was feeling. When, at seven miles, I realized that I would have to finish out fourteen miles, just to get back to my car, the full-blown nausea and defeat set in. (it was an out & back, paved trail). I remember hating the lucky people on bikes. I shot desperate looks at anyone who passed, hoping they'd offer me some sort of solution to this situation I'd gotten myself into. 
  I stumbled to my car, at mile 14 and ripped off my sweat socked socks & shoes. I literally had to wring them out. A frustrated, whiny phone call to The Husband somehow provided the kick in the butt I needed. I shoved my blistered, wrinkled feet back into my shoes, and set back out to finish out those four miles.

Luckily, the experience provided me with a comprehensive list of "What Not to do on Long Run Days".

Bottom line :

To acheive runs that leave you feeling like this:
...sometimes you have to go through ones that make you look like this:
In lieu of Today's link sharing, you get the above picture.
You're welcome!