Sunday, November 30, 2014

No Blog November

Somehow, this entire month passed by me and I only posted three times.  I have absolutely no idea how this happened, but apparently this has been No Blog November for me.  I actually do know how this happened.  My muse left.  I have been incredibly busy with working, running, hanging out with friends, and just living life.  This makes just THINKING about blogging exhausting.  Then, when I realize how much I have missed out on telling you about, I get even more tired and then I just go to bed.  So, I will give you the highlights of November.

The 8-Mile Race

This race is put on by the fantastic running club that I belong to.  I had this race on my calendar since I joined the club and had planned on running the 8-miler (there's also a 3-miler).  Well, the night before turned out to be a bit of a wild experience.  I went out to the local bars with a friend and ended up dancing until 1am.  Then, I was about to get home and another friend texted me asking if we could chat.  We really needed to have this conversation, so I ended up going over to that person's house and talking.  Until 4:30am.  I woke up at 8:00 and quickly tried to convince myself that racing would be worth it.  I got to the start of the race AT 9, when the race was about to start.  I'm a terrible member of the running community.  Luckily for me, the race started late and I was able to start with everyone.

Despite running (literally) on 3.5 hours of sleep, I actually felt okay.  This race is practically pancake flat (except for mile 6 that was on a slight incline, completely straight, and felt like it lasted FOREVER) and my legs felt pretty good.  I looked down at my first mile and it clocked in at sub-7 minutes.  I knew I had to slow down or else I would never make it to the finish line alive.  My next few miles were in the low 7's.  

I cross the finish line in 57:54.  I was really happy to come in under an hour.  I've decided that the best way to prepare for a race is to just not sleep, get there late, and do no warm up.  Everyone should really take my advice.

Girl's Trip To Ashland

The week before Thanksgiving Break seemed to DRAG on.  My dad's birthday was Tuesday the 18th, so we went out to celebrate.  Then, I ended up hanging out with a friend until 1 in the morning.  This threw my week off.  It felt like a Thursday, so the rest of the week I had three Fridays.  It didn't help that my lady friends and I had planned a quick getaway to Ashland, Oregon.  Ashland is about a 4 hour drive and is super cute.  We had a spa day on the schedule and we were ready to just relax and be in a place where we knew no one.  

Sunday finally rolled around and we took off.  I had looked at the weather and it was supposed to be in the upper-50s to low-60s, exactly the kind of weather I am used to at home.  Well, the moment we stepped out of the car in the little mountain town, I realized I was an idiot and packed entirely incorrectly.  I overreacted to the 34-degree weather and bought myself a down jacket, a hat, a hot coffee, and sought out the nearest heater.

The ladies gave me a hard time because I didn't take that jacket off the entire three days we were visiting.  Except when I got my massage and got all dolled up in this little number.

My friends and I are perfect travel companions.  We are all so laid back, we just go with the flow.  On Monday, after our spa appointment, we decided we were too tired to do anything and brought dinner to our hotel.  We apparently have never stayed in a hotel before and we are also apparently 12-year-olds.  

Yes, we spent a lot of time screwing around in the hotel room.  I haven't laughed that hard in many, many months.  It was such a soul-cleansing experience.  We are already planning our next trip together.  To Thailand.

The Turkey Trot

I am usually out of town for Thanksgiving, so I have never been able to participate in our local Turkey Trot.  I am usually out on the road for my own.  This year, however, I was staying in town and my brother was returning home.  So, I forced him to come run the 5k with me (although he had to ask me how far a 5k is...).

Once again, I was out too late the night before.  A friend and I were hanging out watching Parks and Rec.  I didn't get home until 2am and the Trot started at 9am.  When 7:30 rolled around, I seriously debated running.  I don't like the 5k distance.  It's hard.  It hurts.  And I was SO tired.  But, I wanted to kick my brother's ass.  That is honestly what got me out of bed and into my running attire.

I didn't have a goal for this race except to beat my little brother who doesn't run ever.  A friend was trying to PR, so I told her that I'd pace with her and see how I felt.  I arrived at the start well before and was able to warm up for a mile (sans brother), before lining up in front to avoid running over small children.

I stayed with my friend for the first quarter mile and then realized my legs actually felt great.  So, I sped up.  Eventually, I caught up to my other friend who is normally really fast, but he obviously wasn't racing this race.  So, I told him I was going to stay with him.  And I did.

My splits were 6:36, 6:37, and 6:47 (I don't know the .1 simply because I cooled down afterward).  Yes, the last mile was brutal.  My friend looked at me at one point and said, "Are you falling apart?" I said, "YES!  Absolutely!"  The course was long by a tenth of a mile according to everyone's watches, so my official time is 21:13, but my watch said 20:41, so I technically broke 21 minutes!  And I was able to create the world's best finish line photo.  I cried I was laughing so hard when I saw this.  I always take gems of a finish photo.

Then, I wandered back to find my brother.  He was also falling apart, so I jumped back in to run him to the finish.  He came in at 24:54!  Under 25 minutes, which is amazing for a kid who doesn't run.

I cooled down for two more miles, and hung around and chatted with friends.  It was such a nice way to spend Thanksgiving morning.  Over 1,000 people ran this race, which I find totally amazing!

The rest of my Thanksgiving was spent like this.

And like this.

So there you have it.  Some highlights from November.  Hopefully, I will post more than 4 times in December.

What was a highlight of your November?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Running With Others

For the majority of the years that I've been running, I've done it completely solo. It's been my time to calm down from the day. To clear my head. To disappear from the world for awhile. Of course, I have had some wonderful running partners over the years. One in particular who will always have my heart and got me into running long distances in the first place.

Since I joined the running club, I've been running more and more miles with other people. And I'm becoming addicted to it.

I enjoy the conversations that happen. I enjoy the places that they take me. I enjoy sharing something that I love so much with someone who enjoys it just as much. I enjoy knowing that other people feel the same way I do. That they have similar experiences. I love the closeness you feel after completing a difficult run together.

Last week, I had my highest mileage week ever. This might be a contributing factor as to why I've been MIA for over a week. I ran the majority of those miles with other people. On Monday, I ran 7 with a friend through the redwoods. On Thursday, I ran 8 in the rain, along the beach while watching a beautiful sunset. On Friday, I ran 5 easy miles around the park. And on Saturday, I did mile repeats with two amazing running friends. 

I didn't get pictures of any of these runs, mostly because I refuse to take my phone while running with people. I don't need to stop and take pictures. I need to enjoy the run and enjoy my company.  I need to take in the beauty of where I live through my own eyes and not through the lens of a camera.

Today, I did a solo run. I simply ran from work around town. As much as I loved running alone and clearing my head, I missed having someone next to me. Someone to push me when I wanted to stop. Someone to laugh with when I almost got run over by a bicyclist (on the sidewalk). Someone to tell me to slow down when I got a terrible side stitch. I think it's safe to say that I prefer running with other people now that I've had a taste of it.

I love the running community and I am so glad that I've become more involved in my local one.

Do you prefer running alone or with others?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Been A Week

I cannot believe it's been a week since I last posted. My weeks are super boring and I have nothing quite worthy of posting. I go to work, work out, eat, and go to bed. Then, suddenly it's Sunday again and I haven't posted anything on my blog! So here's some random stuff that happened this week.

I ran quite a bit outside, even though the weather has finally decided to dump water on us! Somehow, the weather gods loved me this week and there was always a break in the storm when I decided to run. Monday was a 6.5 mile run and Tuesday was an 11 miler with a friend. Running goes by so much faster when you're with a friend who runs so much faster than you.

Halloween happened! I am the worst when it comes to costumes. I always wait until the very last second. This year was no different. I ended up going as the Tin Man, since that's my nickname at work.

My mom helped me with the heart and the buttons. Is 26 too old to have your mom help with a Halloween costume? I don't think so. We also made some delicious treats in my classroom.

The evening was quite fun. I went to dinner and a haunted house with a friend. Then I met up with another friend and my sister and brother-in-law at a bar where we spent several hours dancing the night away. 

Today, I woke up and ate breakfast while watching the NYC marathon. I decided that I like eating while watching other people run a lot. It's so much more pleasant. ;-)

Then I got my own run on. It was sunny and beautiful and the run felt fantastic.

The sun was exactly what I needed.

I took Milo for a much slower mile run to cool down. He's a terrible runner and that mile wore him out.

The evening ended with me digging through my best friend's closet. I got a bunch of new-to-me clothes, and that always makes for a good day. Hopefully a week doesn't go by until my next post!

Happy November!!