Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Contemplating Maniac Status

So even though I know it's not THAT big of a deal, I've always kind of wanted to qualify for Marathon Maniac status. I think maybe it's because I know that there's no way I'm going to qualify for Boston anytime soon (mostly because I don't have the time and motivation to even attempt it right now), and qualifying for Maniacs feels like a way to say I accomplished something.

As if running a marathon doesn't stand as an accomplishment in and of itself. It totally does.

I'm registered for the Flying Monkey Marathon in November. (Also known as the marathon run through the hilliest park in Nashville... and when I mention hills, I mean mountains.)

I'm registered for the Disney Marathon in January. (Oh, and the half marathon the day before.)

What I'm contemplating is the Huntsville Marathon in December. I've done it twice, so I'm certain of what I'd be getting myself into. It's a great little race with good swag, and it's not too far of a drive.

I'm just not sure if the Maniac status is worth the risk. I'm not totally positive how my body would like 3 marathons in 3 months, but I guess maybe that's the point.

I can wait and decide once I'm further into my training. I could probably even wait until I run the Monkey and see how I feel then. My issue is that if I sign up now, it's $50. Later? Not $50. And we all know I don't like to pay more than bottom dollar for a race.

We shall see.... but it's definitely on my mind.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Loving This City

I've officially lived in Nashville proper for two months now. As I ran out this afternoon to complete a few errands, I found myself thinking about how much I love living here.

It's certainly been one of the best decisions I've made lately.

Honestly, things haven't been quite what I expected for some reasons... but at the same time it's been things I expected and then so much more.

I love it.

After picking up a coffee table I bought through craigslist on Friday night, I enjoyed a quiet evening at home. I woke up early on Saturday morning and drove all of 2 miles to meet up with some friends for a long run. We found ourselves running all over downtown Nashville well before the hustle and bustle of Saturday and the activities it brings to the city began. Even though our 10-mile run felt uphill the entire way (that pedestrian bridge is NOT fun to run over), I found myself thinking about how awesome it is that I get to run around this city so much more often now.

I took advantage of the pool, took a nap and then headed out for a fun evening on the town with Amy. Neither of us were sure that we'd want to be out too late, but next thing I know we had closed down the city. After logging many long runs together, we had never logged a night out on the town. I think it's safe to say we had a blast talking and catching up... and maybe flirting a little bit with some boys. :) One was British. Those accents...

I spent today taking it easy and catching up on some chores (and watching the Emmy's), but I can't help but smile over having such a nice weekend. I know that this is why I moved into the city. These people that I'm getting to spend more time with were a huge driving factor behind the decision, and it brings a sense of warm fuzzies to be able to be young and not married and doing that whole "young professional" thing with them.

There are things I'm not happy about right now, but as far as living in the city? I couldn't be happier.

Will I live in the city forever? Hard to say. I can see wanting to live back in the suburbs later on. But for now? This is perfect. Truly.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Late Night Thursday

I may have stayed out too late last night, especially since it was a Thursday... and I had to be at work at 8am. But hey, you're only young once, right?

My friends and I got to see Anjelah Johnson here in Nashville. If you've never heard of her, you HAVE to watch this video and then go find more of her stuff on youtube. You won't be sorry.




The show let out around 9, and we all wanted to get into a little more fun. A friend was out at a local pub having a birthday party, so we decided to just go there.

We managed to score some prime real estate in a table and then realized that apparently this was the place where all the good looking men our age hang out on Thursday nights. We will be going back there again.

We laughed. We talked. We flirted with some boys. I found my friend to wish him a happy birthday. And we are pretty sure we saw someone strung out on cocaine for the first time ever. That was different. Our waiter eventually walked us to the back so that the bouncer could kick him out (he'd been hanging out around us all evening). When we went to leave, he was standing outside and started to follow us, but the bouncer kind of went after him telling him to leave us alone. It was a little nuts.

We rounded the evening out with a 2am McDonald's drive-thru run for some french fries before crashing.

Yeah, it was tough to get up this morning.... but we had a terrific time. One of our friends is moving away soon, and we all agreed that this was the kind of crazy and fun night that we'll all remember well from these last few weeks we all have together.

It was definitely the kind of evening I needed right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Entertaining Myself

I have managed to watch the first season of Alias in the past 2 weeks.

I'm officially hooked. Not Lost hooked, but hooked enough that I've tabled the seasons of Dexter I've been wanting to watch until I finish this show.

I don't care if you judge me. Curling up on the couch and getting sucked in to all the action and the disguises and Michael Vartan and Bradley Cooper has been the kind of thing I need in my life right now.

I just can't believe it took me this long to finally watch this.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Long Run

Ok, so it's not like yesterday was truly a first long run. I ran 14 miles. It's not really where you start. But then I think about how it's the longest I've run since the marathon 4 weeks before... so maybe the 26.2 was like my last long run, and now I'm starting over. Or something.

I hadn't managed to get myself out there the past 2 weekends for numerous reasons, and I will admit that I had to push myself out of bed when the alarm went off a little after 5am.

The Striders were holding one of their fall training runs, and I knew I'd need to take advantage of it if I expected to get a respectable long run done this weekend.

It was warm. It wasn't as hot as it has been lately, but the humidity was crazy high. I think every inch of clothing I had on was soaked by mile 3. I was certainly thankful that it was cloudy or else it could have been a more miserable experience.

As it went, it wasn't half bad. I never really felt terrible, but I was always glad to get some Gatorade at the water stops. At the same time, I was glad when we got back to the start and had logged our 14 miles. Some runners were adding an extra out and back to do 18, but since my next full is a ways away I knew that'd be excessive for me.

Nonetheless, the fact that I went out and ran 14 is pretty awesome. I hit my normal base for the week and feel like I'm on track as I get started on this new training cycle that includes two halfs, a full and then culminates with the Goofy Challenge.

I spent the rest of the day spending some time with my family before taking it easy on the couch for the evening. I've been watching season one of Alias, and it. is. awesome. Needless to say, I crashed pretty early.

I did some abs work today, and I hope to start fitting in some spin classes. I really want to start gradually increasing my cross training as I get further into this training program. I know it'd be a huge help come time to run 39.3 miles in one weekend.

So here we go... first long run on the books. I've got a lot more to log between now and that weekend in January.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Race Report: Howl at the Moon 5K

Anyone who has read much of my blog knows that I'm not really a 5K kind of girl. I usually only run one or two a year, and I'm always glad to get them behind me. I feel like the 5K is a dead sprint for 3.1 miles, and God didn't bless me with many sprinting skills.

Nonetheless, I've run in the Howl at the Moon 5K the past two years. I also won my age group both times, mostly due to the small ground. Of course, it's still an accomplishment that pleases me, and I like running at night... so it was easy to decide to run again.

I got to the park early and got checked in. It turns out I was the very first person to register, so I was assigned #1!

My little sister decided to run and brought along some of her other friends. As we were waiting around, we noticed the robin from Red Robin and had to take a picture.

It wasn't long before it got dark, so we snapped a group photo before heading to the start line. My friend Matt decided to come out as well... I like how our group photo has all the little short shorts and then Matt's manlier shorts.

We lined up, the gun fired and we were off!

I knew that I wasn't anywhere near in as good of shape as I was last year at this time when I ran this race and got a PR by over a minute. I really wanted to try to PR again this year, but I knew ahead of time that it was unlikely. I've been running, but not enough to really shoot for that. I also knew that my sister does better than me at short distances, so it wasn't long before I had to let her pull ahead of me.

When I got to mile 1, I saw 7:12 on my watch. My philosophy had been to just run as hard as I could, try to hang on and hope for the best. I was definitely feeling it, and the smells of all the fast food places we were running by in town were turning my stomach a bit. I hate smells when I'm running.

We made it to the turnaround, and I walked for a few seconds while I got a few sips of water. Heading back to the park involved a steady incline. Between that and me not being in 5K shape, I slowed down and saw 15:40 at mile 2. Of course, an 8:30 mile isn't half bad.

I kept pushing and managed to pass a couple of people in the last mile or so. The only people who passed me the whole time were men, and I don't mind that as much as when women do, haha.

I kicked it in the best I could.

I ended up finishing around 24:50 (results haven't been posted yet), which is only 10 seconds slower than last year. I was a little annoyed at first because I got really close to a new PR, but I also know I gave it my all. I'll just have to go after it in October when I run the Run for Mercy 5K. It will be flat, and hopefully the weather will be MUCH cooler.

We all enjoyed some refreshments, and my sister won a Road ID gift certificate as a door prize. We both ended up winning 2nd place in our respective age groups. I may not have defended my title, but I was still pretty excited to get an age group award. That so rarely happens for me.

After the festivities, we all went to Sonic for some ice cream. It was the perfect way to end a fun night running a night race!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fun

I've had a lot on my mind lately.

Much of it is stuff I'm not going to post publicly here. (But don't worry... it's not a lot of bad stuff or anything. Just private.)

Some of it is fun and worth sharing.

I finally worked out my training plan for the next few months as I run some half marathons, a full and then the Goofy Challenge. I think I'll still probably have to make some tweaks here and there (for example, a 20-miler falls on Halloween weekend when it's not likely to actually happen), but I've decided to just kind of take them as they come instead of trying to think about things that are weeks away.

I'm actually getting really excited about the Disney trip in January. It'll be like my 7th time to go, but I LOVE Disney World. I do remember thinking the last time I went in 2006 that I didn't need to go again until I have kids, but then I got into marathons. I'm excited about running in the parks that I've loved and that I hope to someday take my children to see.

We're going to stay at one of the Disney resorts this time, mostly because it'll be easier to get to the races that way, and I'm excited because we haven't done that since I was 13. Last time we went we stayed off-property at a Hampton Inn. It'll be nice to be emersed in all thing Disney this time.

But that's still 5 months away, and life keeps happening in the meantime.

I'm hoping to get up to Chicago for a weekend sometime this fall and visit my best friend. She may not know this yet, but I'm hoping she'll want me to come at some point. :) I love that city, and I love that it's easy and cheap to get up there for a quick visit. I'm so proud of her and the life that she lives up there, but I miss her.

In the meantime, I've been spending as much time as I can with my friends. Summer is the best time to get out and about and find fun things to do. If nothing else, I'm enjoying the chance to hang out and explore new restaurants and other local spots around Nashville. Moving into town was probably one of the smartest decisions I've made this year.

I feel like I'm on the cusp of something right now. I haven't really figured out what exactly, but I think that my life isn't as settled as I keep thinking it may be. I'm definitely settled in my new home and with living in Nashville - that was easy. But I feel settled in other ways. Some I know what I mean, but others I'm still figuring out.

I think maybe it's just part of living the unmarried life and being 27 and still sorting out what I want to do with my life. It seems like a lot of the people I know who are in these same shoes have said similar things. It's kind of fun and exciting, but it's also kind of nuts. Hard to explain. :)

Time will tell where my life is leading I suppose.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yearbook Notes

My best friend and I have started the process of locating our high school classmates for our 10-year reunion that we will be planning for next year. (Don't get me started on how this makes me feel old and how my life has not turned out the way I would have expected it to by this point. That's a whole different blog post.)

Surprisingly, I've only found around 100 out of the 285 on Facebook. I suppose I thought we'd find almost everyone there. Here's to happy hunting, yes?

Anyways, one of the ways I've gone about making sure I know who I need to find has been to reference my senior yearbook. I've always been pretty proud of that sucker since I served as the editor that year (ah, memories). What I hadn't thought much about were the notes that people wrote in them. They bring back a ton of warm memories, and I thought I'd share a few of the most interesting, the funniest and the sweetest for your entertainment.

"I am glad that you brought your mom to cross country meets. Just playing. (Well, I mean I like her.)" - he was a good friend, so this wasn't totally ridiculous

"Thanks for everything you've done for the school. (I do notice.) You have made it a better place." - football player that maybe ever said 2 words to me... his note meant a lot

"I can't believe it's over already. It only seems like yesterday I was over here at the lockers. If you haven't figured it out by now, it was you that I liked. :)" - yeah, I had figured it out by then. :)

"Call me when we are old and single and we'll get married, ok?" - always good to have a back-up plan

"Thank you for forgiving my past trespassings against you." - someone who was sweeter to me in high school than in middle school, but that happens... I still consider him a good friend now

"I'm sure one day when I'm a successful attorney I will run across something you have written in a magazine (maybe your own magazine) or a book (that maybe you wrote) and I'll remember the good ole days." - hmm, maybe I should get on this one

"I know I've given you a hard time about the 8th grade band award. But between you and me, you deserved it." - someone who did bring up that he hated that I beat him out for the award for the whole 4 years we were in high school

"Always remember the online chats, Waffle House, church, and that one stolen messed up kiss (what an awkward moment!)" - indeed, but I was glad we could laugh about it

"Call me if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or a ball to kick. Wait - I have 2! Even better." - hahahaha

"I'm glad you have big, beautiful blue eyes that make people stop in their tracks because then they notice me, too!" - :)

"Thank you for 12 years of smiles and and a wonderful and strong friendship. You are a true 'shoulder-companion.'" - someone I'd known since kindergarden

"PS - you will always know that we have kissed!" - guy I had to kiss in the musical we did our senior year

I think there are some real gems in my other yearbooks... in fact, I know some of my favorites are actually in my junior yearbook.

I kind of like pulling them out every now and then and reminiscing a bit. I don't wish to go back in time and relive those days, but at the same time there are way more happy memories than unhappy ones. I spent a lot of time with amazing people. I'm still close to my best friends from those days, and it's the nature of life that you lose touch with a lot of the others. But all of those people will always mean something to me.

And I suppose that's why we have reunions... to get together and remember those days when we spent all day 5 days a week together. To laugh over all the stuff we thought mattered then that we realize now really didn't. To celebrate that we had a season of life together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Perspective

I needed to do a long run this morning, but that didn't happen.

I settled for 6 miles on the treadmill while watching a cheesy movie, which surprisingly helped the hour to go by more quickly.

I felt a little defeated afterwards, but I have to keep things in perspective. I DID just ran a marathon 3 weeks ago, so it's not like it's hurting me to not being hitting high mileage right now.

Oh, and the heat index is ridiculous. My car said 106 when I got out of the gym. I had thought about going to the pool when I got back, but it is so hot I couldn't even stand the thought of being outside in the sun, even if I were in the pool.

So I watched another cheesy movie in my air conditioned apartment instead. I hope some relief from this heat is in sight.

In the meantime, I splurged and bought a ridiculously expensive race photo from the San Francisco marathon for my scrapbook (that SOMEDAY I will catch up on again!). It's one of the better race photos I've seen of myself, and I couldn't resist. It reminded me today that just because it's hot right now and I'm not nailing runs the way I'd like, I AM capable.

I've got a training plan to start knocking out, and I'm excited about getting myself back into the swing of things soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Naked Run

Ok, so not really... but that ought to raise my stats a bit in Google, yes?

Last night, I did what I refer to as a naked run. I ran without the watch... or my headband that keeps my wispies out of my face... or my little Power Balance bracelet I wear on all runs now (I think it works!) Ok, so I also went without underwear. When it's incredibly muggy and hot and 15 degrees hotter than usual with indexes in triple digits, the last thing I needed was an extra layer under my shorts.

The Nashville Striders host a little all-comer's cross country series each August. I've never been, but I thought it'd be fun to go run a "just for fun" 5K with them. There's a start and finish line, and they set up a clock.. but that's the extent of it. There are no chips. No results. No awards. You run for fun!

I huge storm rolled through Nashville just a few hours before the event, so I left home in my old shoes that I didn't care about getting muddy. What I didn't know was that almost every stoplight between my place and the park were out. I started to think I wasn't going to make it on time since traffic was so bad, but I pulled up and snagged a parking spot close to the start (yay for having a tiny car!) just in time to sign in and line up.

The gun went off, and I headed out. The rain had cooled things down a bit, but it was still incredibly muggy. I also realized quickly that running in the mud was going to be taxing.

When we turned the first corner, I looked back and realized I was totally at the back of the line. A lot of the middle school and high school cross country teams had come out to run, and there were very few of us older folks in the mix. I tried to keep a steady pace the best I could with the grass and the mud and the hills, and I started picking off kids right and left. It appeared that many of them started out too fast, and by the last mile I passed a ton of them walking.

It actually brought back a lot of memories. As we passed by spectators, I realized that most of them were parents and coaches cheering on their teams. My parents still come to my races, so it made me smile to remember those days almost ten years ago when I started this whole racing thing and they were there.

I can't say my time was great. I finished in about 28:00 which is way slower than I'd like, but I'm cutting myself some slack since it was hard to breathe in the humid air and hard to run in the thick mud. My shoes and legs were a muddy mess, but I didn't care... it was awesome to just race for fun. I loved not being able to look at a watch and know where I'm at and have the opportunity to analyze every second.

There were popsicles at the end (smart!) and Gatorade, so I enjoyed the refreshments and scanned the crowd for a familiar face. With teens and parents everywhere and no one I know in sight, I decided to head out. I'm still glad I went and ran it, even if I didn't know anyone there. It was a nice change of pace from the treadmill I've been sticking to in order to avoid our ridiculous August heat.

PS - Happy Friday the 13th! Having been born on one, I love when they roll around!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unusual

I live in a fairly nice part of Nashville.

One of the parts that when you tell people your zip code, it's not unlikely for someone to be all like, "ahh, good zip code."

So I was a little surprised at what I saw last night.

I had come home from the gym (I had a great 8x400 speed workout!) and decided it was due time to take my trash out. This isn't exactly a difficult thing to do, but when there's a heat advisory going on you don't exactly have the extra energy to walk the trash to where the Dumpset is a few buildings away.

As I got closer to the Dumpster, I could hear a lot of noise. As I rounded the corner, I found that there was a man standing in one of them tossing things out. I tried not to stare, but I couldn't help it. As I walked closer and tossed my bag into one of the other Dumpsters, it became quite clear that he was going through everything and tossing out stuff that he apparently wanted. One of the items I saw on the ground appeared to be a couple of old door knobs.

His pick-up truck nearby? The bed was packed to overflowing with tons of stuff. I guess this guy goes around collecting stuff, and I couldn't help but wonder what he does with it all.

It was certainly the first time I had seen that since moving to the neighborhood. I probably wouldn't have been surprised to see such a thing when I lived in LaVergne, but it definitely seemed out of the ordinary for this part of Nashville. Then again, who am I to say?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mapping out the Training

I could use some aid from my fellow runner bloggers.

I'm not uncomfortable with mapping out training plans. I've run 7 marathons and 12 half marathons, so I've created a few training plans in my time.

However, as I sat down today to start working on my plan for the rest of the year, I got a little exasperated.

Here's the deal: in September, I'm running a half just for fun. In October, I'm running a half that I'd like to PR at since it's flat. In November, I'm running an incredibly hilly marathon just for fun (and when I say fun, I mean that I don't care about my time). In January, I'm doing the Disney Goofy Challeneg where I'll run the half and the full marathon. This is the ultimate goal, and I need my training plan to take me from today, through the other races, and through those two.

So here's the thing... I feel like I can't just use a standard marathon plan. Has anyone out there ever trained for the Goofy and want to share with me what you did?

In addition, how do I train for that even that will culminate at the end of the next 5 months of training while also training for the other marathon and half marathons that happen leading up to it? I want to make my goals of a half PR and surviving the other just for fun races and it's essential I'm prepared, but I don't want to get hurt.

Help?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunshiney Weekend

There have been some things in my world that have been less than sunshiney lately, so it was rather lovely to have enjoyed a weekend that I feel like I can fully classify as "sunshiney."

For starters, there was a lot of sunshine. As in, there was not a cloud in the sky.

We've been having some crazy TN summer heat lately, straight up with heat advisories and heat indexes close to 110 degrees. It's been miserable. On Friday morning, I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain... and I couldn't have been happier. With the rain came slightly cooler temps and less humidity. By Friday afternoon, the sun was shining.

I spent a bit of time having frozen yogurt with a good friend I don't see often enough. She and I were able to sit on a bench (in the shade) and have a little girl time without dripping too much sweat. I came home and had a late dinner before starting to make some evening plans... but it didn't take me long to realize I was exhausted and wanted to stay in. Sometimes a quiet night alone is best.

I apparently really needed some sleep because I slept 12 hours Friday night! I woke up and headed out to the pool, my dear friend Ben joining me. We couldn't get over how gorgeous of a day we were having. It was definitely sunny and warm, but it was surprisingly not that bad. Over the 3 hours we were out, I only felt the need to get in the pool once an hour. It was nice enjoying the sun and the breeze while catching up on some magazine reading.

My grandma recently had a birthday, so I spent Saturday night joining my family to take her to the Loveless Cafe for a yummy southern meal. I went here for the first time back in May for my birthday, and I was excited we were going again so soon! It's definitely a Nashville classic. We also decided to take her to do a little shopping since it was sales tax free weekend here in Tennessee.

I was most excited when we went to this amazing used bookstore here in town (McKay's on Charlotte for you locals). I always love going there when I need new books to read. I walked out of there with 6 novels for less than $5. Granted, you don't always find what you might want... but I can always find something to read. I don't mind buying books that I'm not sure if I'll like or not since they're so cheap. You can always sell them back when you're done!

I had planned on going to the Striders 16-mile training run this morning.... but I didn't end up making it. I felt kind of bad when I woke up later (much later than intended), but as I thought about it throughout the day I decided it was probably for the best. For starters, it's only been 2 weeks since the marathon... so 16 may have been a little much, especially in this heat. Plus, I think maybe I needed the sleep. I've been really drained lately, and I kind of feel rested and normal today for the first time in weeks.

I spent the afternoon at the pool again, this time with Ben and Erin. It was another cloudless day, but it was a bit warmer than yesterday... so I spent way more time in the water. I'm determined to make use of the pool more often while I still can. I know winter will roll along in time, and I don't want to regret not using it. Plus, the more tan I can get now, the longer I can make it into the winter before I look like a ghost again!

I headed over to the mall to check out the tax free shopping there, but I never found anything I couldn't live without... my wallet was glad, haha.

I rounded out the evening with dinner at Bosco's with a friend from high school before coming home to put on my pjs. I'm getting ready to curl up with one of my new books I started reading today.

I could be a lot happier right now. There's a lot on my mind and heart these days. But this weekend was something I needed I think. It was good to rest and relax and spend some time not doing much of anything.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Touched by a Song Today

This morning when I was driving to work, I heard "Jealous of the Moon" by Nickel Creek for the first time ever. I'm not sure how it is that I'd never heard it before (especially since it's like 5 years old), and I totally had to come home and download it tonight.

It's beautiful. I probably would have been moved to tears if I wasn't so bound and determined to not shed any. I found myself wanting to listen to it over and over again, but unfortunately the radio doesn't really work that way. Sometimes there are songs that just touch your core... and this one did for me to today.

I have to share the lyrics, and you need to listen to it on this youtube video. I just pulled the lyrics off the net.




Tryin' on a brand new dress
But you haven't worn the old one yet
You've come too far
To turn around now

You've given up the good fight
You're as strong as anyone
You're back where you started from
I see you're back where you started from

Starin' down the stars
Jealous of the moon
You wish you could fly
Just being where you are
There's nothin' you can do
If you're too scared to try

Drag your pretty head around
Swearin' you're gonna drown
With a beautiful sigh
And a river of lies

Starin' down the stars
Jealous of the moon
You wish you could fly
Just stayin' where you are
There's nothin' you can do
If you're too scared to try

Why don't you call me, I could save you
Together we'll find a God we can pray to
That'll take you by the hand

I hate to see a friend of mine
Laughing out loud
When she's crying inside
But you've got your pride

Starin' down the stars
Jealous of the moon
You wish you could fly
But you're stayin' where you are
There's nothin' you can do
If you're too scared to try

You're starin' down the stars
Stay where you are
You're jealous of the moon
But there's nothing you can do
If you're too scared to try

Monday, August 2, 2010

101 in 1001 Update

With July having come and gone (so quickly!), it's time for me to give another update on my progress with my 101 in 1001 list. Here's what I accomplished in July!

2. Run at least five marathons - I decided to run the San Francisco about 2 months before race day, but I'm so glad that I did it. It was awesome to run across the Golden Gate Bridge!

6. Run in at least eight races I’ve never run in before - I had already finished this one, but San Francisco was another new race for me. I definitely underestimated on this goal... It's fun to keep trying new events!

8. Get a massage (or other special reward!) after every completed marathon - Since I ran a marathon in July, I also needed to reward myself. The trip to CA definitely hit my wallet, so I had already decided a massage was out of the question. Plus, I didn't really train all that well for this race, so I felt like it wasn't fair to give myself that nice of a massage. I was still feeling cheap though, so I bought myself some cheap flowers from Trader Joe's and called it a reward. The next day, the Groupon was for a mani/pedi for $20 at a local nail salon. Since that's such a great deal, I decided to buy it and treat myself to some TLC for my feet and hands. I never get manicures, so I was thrilled to get both for less than what a pedicure alone usually costs me. It was lovely.

44. Give five “just because” gifts - I did this once this month. I don't think I even realized when I did it that it was something I had on this list. I don't want to share details, but I can count this as one this month.

53. See Stephanie and Amanda at least once a year - We finally had a Wrecking Crew reunion in San Francisco!

55. Meet at least one blog friend per year in person - I met Aron when I was in San Francisco. I also briefly met Danica, but I forgot to get a picture!

76. Take pictures inside a photo booth - This one ended up being a surprise! When J and I were at the San Francisco marathon expo, they had a free photo booth. We totally enjoyed taking some pictures! I have never taken pictures in one of these, so it was kind of cool to do it at a race.

80. Go water skiing again - I'm stretching this one a bit, but I went wake boarding when I went to the lake with friends this month. It's not really the same, but it's close.

92. Buy myself flowers three times - I referenced this earlier, but I bought myself some flowers from Trader Joe's. It's nice to have some extra color around the apartment!

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - I didn't watch as many this month (it's been busy!), but I did watch It's Complicated while at the lake earlier this month.

96. Read one book per month, minimum - I was a total girl and read Nicholas Sparks' The Last Song. I also got caught up on a ton of magazines, so that felt good.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Apparently I'm Crazy

I set my alarm to get up at 7:55am this morning for one reason and one reason only...


This marathon is here in Nashville, and it takes place entirely in Percy Warner/Edwin Warner parks... pretty much the hilliest parks in Nashville.

I train there often, and I think that's why I didn't feel all that phased by the hills of San Francisco last week. Or maybe the fact that San Francisco didn't kill me last week, I feel like I can handle 26.2 miles in these parks. Either way, I knew that I wanted to run this race in my own city at some point, and this is going to be the year.

Registration opened at 8am, and with only 200 spots available I wanted to be sure I got one. It's a good thing - it sold out in 32 minutes!

The race isn't until November 21, but it'll be my next full marathon. I won't have a time goal since it'll be the toughest course I've ever run in a full. Plus, I'm using it as training for the Goofy Challenge that I'm doing in Disney World in January. I figure it's wise to run a marathon before trying to go run a half and full in the same weekend, and since my goal for Disney isn't time-related, it feels perfect to run a tough marathon where the challenge is to complete it more so than to run a certain time.

It's not flat. It's not fast. It's not even certified. It's just a "back to the basics" kind of race. No chip timing - just a clock and some mile markers. And some aid stations. And you get a t-shirt and really cool medal. So it's kind of like a normal race, but not really.

I'm pretty excited. I'm crazy for wanting to run this (and maybe for paying $70 to do it when I could go run the course for free on any weekend)... but I think that it's going to be one of those things that I'll always be glad I did. It'll be a challenge. I KNOW those hills, and some of them suck. The beauty is I can train on them beforehand!

So last Sunday I ran one tough marathon, and this Sunday I registered for another.

I suppose it's time to start creating my training plan. I want to focus on my half marathon in October and try to PR at it at the same time I'm training for this marathon in November and the Goofy in January. It's going to be an interesting fall I think!