Dear 13.1

Dear 13.1,

I think I’m addicted to you. I’ve been thinking about you ever since we met last. On Sunday, August 14. Around 10:15 or so in the morning. To be exact.

I just might be infatuated.

Can we meet up again?

Perhaps on Sunday, October 23 around noon-ish? In Newburyport, maybe?

I’d really love to see your face again.

…and maybe even sooner than last time.

Love,
Me

Hello dear,

I’ve missed you, too. I’d LOVE to meet you on October 23. My calendar is free and I’ve just blocked the entire morning for you.

I’m free right at noon, so please try not to be late, ok?

I’m dreaming of a gorgeous fall day. A crisp chill in the air.

And you, “meeting” me, your favorite 13.1, at the “Finish” – our favorite meeting spot.

With a huge smile on your face.

Right at noon.

It’s a date.

Love,
13.1

<Editor’s note: if you couldn’t read between the lines – tee hee – my husband and I are officially signed up for the Green Stride Half Marathon on October 23!! And this week marks the official “restart” of half marathon training. So, so, so excited. And yes, I realize I’m a gigantic dork for writing this post. Carry on. ;-) >

Yes, I’m ridiculous

Sooooo…
….I *think* I’ve found another half marathon to train for.

Yes, I’m ridiculous.

It hasn’t even been a week since the YuKanRun Half Marathon and I’m now itching for another.

Who am I??

This is SO not the “me” after last year’s Wicked Half - I wanted NOTHING to do with 13.1 after that race. But this time is different.

This time I am honestly excited to give 13.1 another run for it’s money. The race this past Sunday gave me confidence in my abilities as a runner and it made me proud.

And hell, if I can simply continue to maintain my mileage this fall and into another half marathon, why not, right? Sort of like one training cycle for the price of two, yeah?

Ridiculous? Yes/No?

So the race I’m looking at? It’s on October 23 in Newburyport which is about 30 minutes from where I live and is beautiful. And after reading this overview of the Green Stride Newburyport Half Marathon - how can you*not* want to sign up for it?

Will This Race Be Awesome?

The race director and his wife have been active in the racing community for years at both the top levels….and the mid pack levels.  This ensures you that they have worked diligiently to make sure that this race is full of awesomeness for all levels of runners.  So, really it should be named “The Awesome Newburyport Half Marathon”, but we’ll let you decide.  In fact it is so awesome, we are totally expecting the dictionary to change the definition of “Awesome” to “the newburyport half marathon” in their next edition.   So, ya.  This is an awesome race.  You should enter it.

Um yeah, an awesome race? An awesome race that also happens to be deemed a “flat and fast” course??

Sign. Me. Up.

Signed,
Ridiculous Runner (like whoa)

Two days later, ruminations…

Two days, post-PR and my brain is whirring away over here. 

…did I really PR that half marathon, to the tune of 13 minutes faster than the last half?? Holy sh*t I did.

…ouch. Perhaps back-to-back barre n9ne classes last night wasn’t my best idea yet, but it *did* honest-to-God loosen my legs up last night (a certain Heather would laugh but know exactly what I’m talking about here…). Today? Two days later – I hurt everywhere. I’ve always been a two-day-later DOMS kinda girl, so I don’t know why I’m surprised by today’s extra big ouchies. Thank god for rest days (and staycations that involve a mani/pedi date with my sis later today!).

…what’s next, what’s next, what’s next? Just two days later and I’m already wondering what my next challenge can/should be.

…there is one challenge coming up that my sister is concocting (more details on her blog soon!) that I’m especially excited about. But after that? I’m itching for more. Yes, I’m Type-A, thanks for asking.

…but what else lies ahead for me? More barre n9ne epiphanies and learnings while watching and mentoring the 60-day challengers conquer their own 60 days? Yup, you betcha. More runner’s highs and maybe more running milestones? I think so, too. But what else? Hmm…

…two days later, mind whirs on (and dreams on, and on, and on)

(and I really hope I’m not alone in this “what’s next” vibe after completing a challenge or reaching a goal…or am I??)

13.1 in pictures

Wow. To say that I’m feeling the love from all of you after my half marathon would be an understatement. The outpouring of support for me and for my sis has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you. So much. You have no idea how much this means to me (and her).

And wow. I hurt. Everywhere. But it’s a hurt-so-good-kind of hurt – because it means that I worked for all 13.1 of those miles yesterday and man, is my body talking to me today for it!!

And now, for some pictures to showcase the day leading into the race and the race itself…but be prepared for picture OVERLOAD – my mom got some great shots, I had a hard time just picking  a few to share here (she makes a great race day photographer, I must say!).

Pre-race carb-loading, Sutera pizza style. Um, yum.

Pizza dough rising and ready to be sauced and cheesed!

Freshly shredded cheese, nothing better

Farrm fresh salad thanks to Steph!

Rasberry lime "rickey" in a wine glass!

Ohhh the cheesy goodness!!

 Race day – ready to crush it! 

The gang - M, Jo, Me, Steph, Lisa (my sister-in-law who rocked her first half in 2:04) and Scott

Steph, me and Jo – in the porta potty line (ew)

4.5 miles in - waving at my mom, race photographer 'o the day

Jo and M, rockin' and rollin'

Mile 6(ish) laughing at my crazy in-laws cheering us on from the sidelines

Meeting Jo to run with her to the finish...almost there!

Done, done, done (whoa do I like tired here or what??)

Surprise cuddles at the finish with the cutest niece ever <3

13.1 (pr)oud-er than ever. 

 

 

13.1 (pr)oud

13.1 (pr)oud — this is the one, the only way to describe today’s half marathon.

Similar to my first-ever half marathon almost a year ago, this phrase is still very fitting for today:

Veni, Vidi, Vici – I came, I saw, I conquered. 

I went into today’s race with one goal: to finish what I started, to run a race to be proud of. But what I gained today – so, so much more than that…which is why I’m finding it hard to even write this race recap (so bear with me, please)

…for starters? I PR’d this race, WAY above any time goals that were quietly lurking in the back of my mind. As I’ve said from day one, this race was not about the number on the clock, but running a race to be proud of. Turns out, I accomplished both – a proud race, and a PR. When I saw that clock as we crossed the finish and it read 2:13:55, I thought I was delusional. That’s 13 minutes faster than our last half. Holy hell, and that’s with a sh*tton of hills throughout the course (more on that in a minute).  I never thought I’d see that time on the clock…I was quietly hoping for 2:18 or 2:20 so 2:13+? Feels kind of unreal. Ok, very unreal if I’m being honest.

…I ran proud – a proud “me” but a very proud “wifey” too. Today’s race was the best I’ve ever run, hands down. But my husband? He was walking on air.  If he didn’t stick by me the entire race? I’m sure he would’ve run a sub-2 hour race. But because he is absolutely the most incredible husband ever, he stuck by me, even though he could’ve run ahead and killed it today. Today reminds me that I have a husband who I love more than words can describe, and I treasure him more than ever. What today’s race also proved? I’m convinced that this round of half training has made us stronger together than we’ve ever been.  And for that, I’m very grateful and yes, proud. (sensing a theme here…)

…What has been hard about this particular race? Not just the course – which was jam-packed with a killer 3-4 miles of “rolling hills” at the start and the finish (um gee thanks race directors, new course next year, mmk?) - it was painful to watch my sister struggle today. I know some of you read her blog, and if you don’t, I urge you to send her a positive thought or word of encouragement today. She had one of those mentally tough “off” days, despite how physically tough and ABLE she is. And it killed me to know that she was struggling while I was having a good race day. I felt guilty. Wished that I could boost her up, help her break the mental block she faced. I knew I couldn’t. And that was tough to swallow. I am incredibly inspired by her every single day and I doubt she even realizes that. She’s come so far, in so many aspects of her life, and she’s always, always come out a stronger, better, more amazing person because of it. She defines “determined” in my book. So yes, I admit – I’m having a hard time celebrating success when I know she’s feeling like she failed. Even though she absolutely did not. She finished what she started, no matter how hard it was. And that is what makes her a runner, and the best sister I could ever ask for.

So this is why I’m proud today, holding my head higher than ever…

…13.1 miles done. Again. And faster than before. (yes!!)
…I ran a race that I’m proud of. I did not give up. I did not back down. I pushed it hard, harder than I’ve ever pushed. Gave 110% today, nothing less.
…my husband, my sister and M, my sister-in-law, and my buddy Steph, we did something that most people will never do. I think it’s easy to forget that in “this” world of healthy living…13.1 miles isn’t a “normal” thing to accomplish in a given day. Note to self
…I’m a proud wifey, sister, and friend. Today was what I hoped it could be: a day of learning, a day of accomplishments, a day of hard work, and a day filled with incredible encouragement from all of YOU on twitter, on the blog, on FB…totally blows me away. 

…13.1 (pr)oud.

Note to self: On the eve of your second half marathon

Note to self: On the eve of your second half marathon…

…this is it. What you’ve been so focused on these last three months. You got this. 

…run hard, run strong, run proud, but most of all: run for you. 

…trust yourself — mentally, you are stronger than you’ve ever been. Harness that feeling, allow your body to go, go, go towards that finish line. 

…have a little fun along the way. It might be rainy (it might not be). Splash in the puddles. High five your fellow runners (your sis and M included). Make Scott keep up with you now and then (gotta keep him on his toes as much as he keeps you on yours — trust me on this, he’ll love it). 

…but most of all: just breathe. You are ready. Own it. Own all 13.1

…and remember, when all else fails: 

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. ” 
— Dean Karnazes

Thoughts, 13.1 of them

1. I ran this morning. All 3.1 miles worth. It felt glorious, especially charging up that last hill, envisioning the finish line on Sunday. I want to charge towards it. Must remember this on Sunday, note to self…

2. Oats in a jar is quite possibly the best invention ever. I tried them for the first time today (yes, the FIRST time, can you believe it?). In a word: epic jar of oats was devoured – complete with irish oats, chopped warm apples and cinnamon and the remnants of my organic Trader Joe’s peanut butter. Ridiculously good. 

3. I’m running a half marathon on Sunday!! My second one…which somehow makes me feel totally qualified to be a “runner.” Weird, I know.

4. I heart my friends - of the bloggy, IRL and sister friends variety. Amazing how much love and support is around me as I stare down 13.1 <3

5. My husband bought the most perfect bunch of bananas at the store today. Definitely on my race day breakfast menu – sliced atop a cinnamon bagel thin smeared with peanut butter (don’t worry, I have a spare jar on hand at all times). 

6. Carb-loading Sutera pizza style tomorrow – it’s ALL I can think about. You have no idea how good our pizza is – we’ve perfected the craft really. And no, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Pictures to come…maybe. ;-)

7. I swear, faith is coming in handy these days. The forecast is looking up for Sunday – weatherman says “the storm is taking longer to arrive at our doorstep than anticipated…showers should hold off until mid-to-late morning” <—can’t you just see God working his magic here or just me?? 

8. “Run the mile you’re in” might just be the best race day mantra around. Thanks to Jo’s blog friend for uttering such a true statement in one of her blog comments on my sister’s blog recently. It’s totally stuck with me ever since.  

9. I wonder how many bunnies I’ll see during the half on Sunday…hm. Personal goal? 5 bunnies! 

10. Faces I’m excited to see as I cross the finish line: My mom, my dad, my mother and father-in-law (best in-laws ever, hands down), and my sister-in-law (she’s also racing with us but um, is super fast, so I fully expect to see her at the finish line well before me!). This is what gets me through those tough moments during a race – smiling supportive loving faces, both there at the finish and cheering me on from the virtual sidelines (my sis JenHeather, Lindsay, and Melissa, to name just a few!)

11. Given the revised forecast, I *will* be rocking my Lululemon run shorts afterall…y’know, in case you were just dying to know. ;-) 

12. I seriously can’t get the thought of that 25k on labor day weekend off my mind. Please – someone tell me I’m crazy?! 

13.1. I’m ready. To run proud. My one, my only goal for this half marathon. To run proud. 

You know you’re a (crazy) runner when…

Borrowing a page from my fellow (crazy) runner friends! (like this girl!)

You know you’re a (crazy) runner when… 

… you routinely route and re-route your next few scheduled runs, playing them over in your head on repeat (works especially well when trying to drift off to sleep at night)

… you don’t immediately nix the idea of running outside this fall/early winter even though it’ll be dark out in the early morning. Anything to avoid the dreadmill.

… you also consider tactics for befriending your dreadmill, mentally putting it on your to-do list for after the clocks change.

…the thought of *not* having wine with dinner on a Saturday night doesn’t seem like such a bummer when a half marathon is on the schedule for the next day.

…you pride yourself on being one of the few runners that aren’t addicted to their Garmin 305 and redoing their iPod playlist about a thousand times a week (NOT that there’s anything wrong with that!!). Call me a low-maintenance runner, relatively speaking!

…you find a real need for special socks to wear while running (what, is that weird?) <–this one is courtesy of my sis!

…your love affair with oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas, and bagel thins hits an all-time high.

…you find yourself faced not with major butterflies everytime you think about the half marathon coming up, and instead have convinced yourself to think of it as *just* another long training run.

…you kinda like (ok, really like) the taste of Clif Shot Blox…sorta reminiscent of Starburst candies (strawberry flavor!)

…you can’t wait to reward yourself with a pair of brand spankin’ new sneaks after the race, from your favorite local running store that fits you to the right shoe every.single.time.

…you see registration reminders for a 25k just weeks after your half marathon and you think “hmm…that’s only a *few* more miles longer than a half…what if?” (for which I totally blame my sister, yes, my SISTER for seeding this thought process in particular…)

But don’t take my word for it – what makes you a (crazy) runner??

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (?)

So yeah, when the meteorologist called it a “washout” for the upcoming forecast on Sunday (i.e. RACE DAY), this is the first image that came to mind.

Anyone else LOVE this book growing up??

Throughout training for the half marathon, I never once really considered that it could be a rainy, wet day on race day. I had been bracing myself for the possibility of super humidity and heat but not rain.

I guess I should have known better – especially considering how many times I’ve been caught in the rain this summer during training!

But rather than worry about something that is totally out of my control (as my husband so smartly pointed out last night after my sis texted me about the forecast), I figured I’d make a pros and cons list, y’know just in case the weather guys are right and we are faced with lots of rain on Sunday.

The Pros:

…it’ll feel like I’m running through sprinklers constantly

…it will NOT feel like I’m running through soup (I hope not anyway…gazpacho maybe?)

…I definitely will not overheat <sigh of relief>

…it’ll be a nice distraction as those miles start to add up

…it’ll make for a quasi-peaceful race (don’t ask but running in the rain always feels so cleansing to me, oddly enough)

…since I have run in the rain quite a few times this training cycle, perhaps I’ll have the upper hand on other runners who avoid the rain like the plague.

…it’ll make for some pretty badass post-race pictures.

The Cons:

…um. It’ll feel like I’m running through sprinklers constantly (2 hours in might start to feel a wee bit chilly)

…I *might* not to be able to rock my Lululemon Run shorts (which I wore today and LOVED in case you were wondering)

…the wind *might* slow me down (hopefully the winds are light…trying not to read into the forecast all that much yet)

So after tallying up the pros and cons, the pros *still* outweigh the cons, surprisingly enough. I suppose if I can rock 13.1 in the rain, I can rock any race, am I right? <–this is me giving myself a “who cares if it’s going to rain” pep talk

So yes, I’m still ready to crush this thing, rain or shine – I’m just hoping not to run into any meatballs along the way… (will be testing out the “rain” theory during tomorrow’s short run since we’re supposed to get rain tomorrow too…).

It’s taper time

It’s taper time here at EatDrinkBreatheSweat!

(side note – when you hear the word “taper” does it automatically remind you of tapered jeans and pegged pants circa 1990? Just me?)

I gotta admit, I’m facing this week with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m honest-to-God excited that the half marathon is almost here. I feel strong and ready to take on all 13.1

On the other hand, I can’t help but be slightly wistful that this week includes far fewer miles than the last few weeks have (kind of proud that I topped out at 30 or so miles last week!) – because it signals the “end” of something I’ve grown to love. Yes, I admit – I actually *do* love half marathon training. I love working towards a goal, I love the feeling of accomplishment every time I hit another training milestone, or just the sheer joy of a really good run, regardless of miles, just a good, runners-high-worthy run.

This week, though, also reminds me to enjoy running outside as long as I possibly can. I gotta tell ya – I am dreading this winter. Not just the freezing cold temps, but those early mornings of pitch blackness until 7am which equates to lots of early morning treadmill jaunts (we are not BFFs). I have grown to love, love, love those early, cool, crisp morning runs – and even those mornings that were far too muggy for my liking, I still enjoyed them because it was my time to get my head on straight for the day, just me and my thoughts, feet hitting the pavement, fresh air, and great company (the hubs!).

So – slightly tangential way of saying: this half marathon training cycle has reminded me that running (especially outdoors) is always at the top of my “To Enjoy” list. And if that means learning to love the treadmill this winter, gosh darn it, I’m going to find a way to befriend her, even if we aren’t quite on speaking terms right now. It has also reminded me and shown me, especially in the last few weeks of double-digit running, that I have grown by leaps and bounds as a runner this summer. I love how strong and solid my running feels lately. I feel confident and at ease when I run. And I dig it. So much.

So this week? Yeah, it’s a taper week and a taper week I’ll enjoy, regardless of the miles. I’ll embrace it, using it as a final boost of confidence leading into next weekend’s race.

And if you’re wondering, here’s how this week’s taper looks…
Sunday – rest
Monday – barre n9ne method
Tuesday – 6.5 miler; barre n9ne lean & tone
Wednesday – 4.5 miler
Thursday – barre n9ne legs and barre n9ne fusion
Friday – 5k
Saturday – rest (and carb-loading Sutera pizza style!)
Sunday – RACE DAY!!