2012 Goal Check

After a crazy last couple of weeks, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the goals that I set five months ago–has it really been that long?! This year really is flying by which makes me sad but I also love it, because this year has been cramazing (crazy + amazing) so far!

1. Run 4 marathons in 4 different states

The original plan was to do Little Rock in Arkansas (check), Omaha in September, Chicago in October, and Dallas White Rock in December. But since when do any of my original plans work? Right, never. What I thought was going to be conflicting my ability to run Omaha in September is no longer a conflict, so that race could still happen, even though it’s two weeks before Chicago. I am already registered and definitely running the Chicago Marathon in October, but I hadn’t planned on winning a free entry to the Med City Marathon next month! Where there’s a will there’s a way, and my way to run a marathon in Minnesota was made out for me, so naturally my will is following. Does that make sense? I also haven’t shared but I was given a free entry to run the Waddell and Reed Kansas City Marathon this year! This race is in October, two weeks after Chicago. I hadn’t originally planned to run this one either, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free marathon entry. I know this marathon will be special to me for a few reasons–it’s just a couple of days after my birthday, it will be the 3rd anniversary of my first half marathon which was on this course! Thank you Kansas City Sports Commission! As for Dallas, it’s like that race will still happen, but time will tell. My baseline goal for this year was 4 marathons in 4 states and I know that’s going to happen, anything above that will be extra special!

2. Run a 50k or other ultramarathon
This is still on track to happen in November! The North Face Endurance Challenge will return once again this year, and I’m planning on making this my first 50k! 50k…that’s far. Let’s not think about it right now. Moving along…
3. Become a certified personal trainer 
This isn’t happening this year, and I’m okay with that because something better has happened! Two months ago I got my acceptance letter from the Community Health program at the University of Kansas and proceeded to happy dance for hours! Graduating college is something that I have always wanted for myself but wasn’t always sure how it would happen (financial reasons mostly, and me not wanting to get neck-deep into debt), so it was a goal I kind of pushed aside. I think that’s what happens to a lot of us– something seems too big and not possible, so we kind of brush it under the rug. Thankfully, God pushed my dreams right back in front of me and is making my way to get to them as I type this. I’ll be the first person in my family to graduate college, it is something I have had to work very hard for, and I’ll keep working until I walk down the hill with a diploma in hand.
4. Run a marathon to raise money for a great cause
 I had the bright idea to raise money for the organization I actually volunteer for…DUH!!!! Ha! I can’t believe it took such a long thought process, but I am running the Chicago Marathon as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run! Be on the lookout for my fundraising which I’ll start to publicize VERY soon!
5. Be more financially responsible
 Surprisingly, I have been doing quite well with this. I’ve learned tips from people and mentors who are very financially savvy, and with proper monthly budgeting, keeping all receipts, tracking my spending, and reconciling at the end of each month…it has been a worthwhile process.
This year has also included things I didn’t expect; surgery, a 44-mile relay, many half marathons, my best friend (will be) moving to Texas, getting a lovely visit from a sweet friend next month, skydiving (next month!)…and who knows what else will happen! I can’t wait to find out!

Let’s Go!

Man am I glad it’s Friday! My week wasn’t absolutely terrible, but parts of it stunk majorly. I am SO happy that today is Friday, because in my mind, Friday = start of the weekend! Except for one thing. I woke up about an hour ago with a sore throat which is not okay. Let’s just say I’ll be drinking gallons of water and taking it relatively easy today, plus I think that a little retail therapy will help this afternoon (I need new shoes for a wedding…definitely important stuff here).

This weekend marks the start of the half marathon madness. Tomorrow, Rock the Parkway is the first of four half marathons that I will be running over the course of the next month. I ran this race last year, and this is the course that I set my current half marathon PR on.

A reader emailed me and asked if I ever got the jitters or nerves before races, and I haven’t lately, but I started getting anxious earlier this week about RTP. I realized this because I haven’t put pressure on myself or had a challenging goal for a race in a long time. The last two half marathons I ran were both in training for my first marathon, and I couldn’t put serious goals on the Little Rock Marathon because it was so close after my surgery, I was just happy to have a properly functioning body.

Fast forward to today. I’ve spent the past month investing in quality long runs, tempo work that left me wanting to puke, and dabbling in 8:34-9:20 minute miles, which for me…is painful in the best way. Then there’s the thing I love about racing longer distances; I have no clue what is in store for tomorrow. I know I’m ready, am praying for no rain tomorrow, and also hoping my sore throat magically goes away.

Lots of mental prep has gone into getting ready for tomorrow. I have somewhat been psyching myself out (ie “It’s only 13.1 miles! Run balls to the wall then you can be done! Pain is only temporary!”) Ha. ha. ha. My nerdiness amuses me so much. But also I’ve been working setting some realistic goals. Last year, I was soclose to breaking 2:20 at this race, but came up a handful of seconds short. In 2011, I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon course nearly 7 minutes faster than I did the first time I ran it (2010), and that is a challenging course. So I figure, if I can shave that chunk of time off of a race I was running for training purposes, then surely I can reach my goals tomorrow. My baseline goal is to break 2:20; I want a half marathon in the 2:teens or lower. My, “I would be floating on cloud nine and the happiest little runner ever” goal is to break 2:15. Tomorrow I will be lining up with the 2:15 pacers and am going to run this race harder than any race I’ve ever ran before. What happens after that…is a mystery to me and I can’t wait to find out how it goes!

All I know is that I’m going to give it my all, every drop of energy and runability that I have. With that, I will be happy.

What are you going to be giving your all to this weekend?

I’ll be reporting back (potentially tomorrow afternoon) with a race recap! The rest of the day I’ll be getting up close and personal with this:

One last thing. Because it’s Friday, here’s a picture of my dog loving life, which we humans need to get better at!

Believe In Yourself

This is something that I feel is said a lot, but often times people who say it don’t actually get it, if you know what I mean.

Growing up, kids are told that they can do anything they set their mind to. Parents, grandparents, teachers, any adult will tell a kid they can do anything they want, but what happens when that kid grows up and experiences some of life and it’s realities, is it still possible to do anything their heart desires?

Of course it is. But how? You have to convince yourself first.

Today I went on a 10-mile run with a friend, who was running his first double-digit distance ever, and four miles farther than his previous personal distance record of 6 miles. He’s training for his first half marathon next month and we made the plans to do this run together because I knew that it would be a challenge.

For me, it was an experience because I had to mentally prepare on his behalf, thinking back to the days where anything more than four miles was scary, and put myself in his shoes so I could keep his spirits up during this seemingly daunting task. He reminded me of how badly we can get into our own heads and how our mentalities can tear us down because we let them do so too easily. It took a constant flow of motivation and reminding him that he COULD complete this run and that he was strong and capable enough to do work on that run.

This got me to thinking of why people don’t chase after their dreams with all they have, and how much fear is able to hold people back from accomplishing anything they desire. It is way too easy and excusable to welcome defeat with open arms and settle. Just settle. Settle down, get comfortable, and brush those ambitions under the rug because they weren’t easy to attain.

I for one, know that our minds are the most powerful things in the world and we can be our own worst enemy or our own biggest fans simply by what thoughts we allow to flood our minds. My friend here that I was running with, would mention how hard the run is, when it was still early on. I had to cut him off right there–I knew that just by him speaking out that this run would be difficult, it would be difficult because he was telling himself it was. We can convince ourselves up and down of anything we want, be it positive or negative. This really motivated me to keep the positive words flowing because I knew that if he was mentally convinced he could run ten miles, then he’d be able to.

He just had to believe.

It’s taken a lot of work on my part to make the choice to think positively, not only with running but in a vast majority of life situations. I have had so many runs where I would develop a poor attitude, thoughts, and feelings about myself and would have to snap myself out of it because when you’re feeling that pathetic, it doesn’t help you at all when you’ve gotta be with your own bad attitude for miles on end.

If I didn’t learn to make the choice to think positively, there is no way on God’s green earth that I would have been able to run a couple of marathons, and handfuls of half marathons. There’s no way I would be dreaming of running a marathon in every state, wanting to raise money for charities, and get my story out for other to hear so that just maybe, just maybe, I could impact a few lives.

It’s all in our heads, and all you have to do is believe in yourself. Convince yourself of your success, and very soon, your success will be staring you right in the face and taking you places you never dreamed possible.

Jump Around!

Guess who can jump pain-free?? Yup, this girl!

As I mentioned, every morning this past week I have been giving myself the ‘jump test’: if I could jump up and down without feeling any pain, that would be the sign that I would let myself run that day. Yesterday I had high hopes for passing the test as soon as my feet hit the floor, but that’s not exactly how it went. I waited and hung around a while after waking up, then later in the morning (after hearing about many of my friends’ awesome runs), I decided to jump again. The only pain I really felt was from my incisions which have been bugging me all week, so I gave myself permission to try and run. The deal was, that if I felt ANY bit of pain at all related to my intestines/gallbladder removal/kidneys (yes…I can feel this kind of stuff!) that I would turn around and go home.

First, it was so awesome suiting up in my running clothes again…to actually run in. I felt like I was back at home in my sports bra, running skirt, workout top, arm sleeves and ear warmers. I was also taken back to what it felt like when I first started running–WEIRD! My legs didn’t quite remember what they were supposed to do!

I started the run in a slow shuffle, nearly tripping due to my great shuffling skills. My hips were like, ‘Whattttt?’ Yes, I felt discomfort, but because I hadn’t run in 11 days. It was also chilly and I forgot how to breathe and I wish I was kidding. The first three miles were spent alternating between not breathing, gasping for air, and trying a breathing technique that made me sound like I was with child in labor. Note: when running, breathe in your nose and out your mouth, in a slow, controlled fashion. Just make sure you actually remember to breathe, unlike some people.

Eventually, my body remembered how to run, yet I felt like the entire time it was yelling at me, “Whyyyyyyyy?!?!?! OH the agony!!!!” Ha. I am half kidding and would be a liar if I said completing those five miles was easy peasy. BUT despite the discomfort, it was so worth it. Afterwards I felt amazing, sore, happy, and like myself again. I have mentioned it before, but I feel most like myself when I run; it’s hard to explain but sometimes the best things in life are things you can’t explain with words.

On Thursday I saw one of my doctors regarding my kidney infection (which my body is still fighting, according to my white blood cell count) and though she knows me all too well, slightly scolded me for going on a walk and bike ride. After explaining that I was near going insane from lack of activity and fresh air, she forgave me. We chatted more, she looked at my incisions, chatted some more (she’s a fellow runner), then came the moment of truth. I asked, “Well………………..what about Little Rock?”

I am not stupid and if my doctor told me I could risk serious complications from running a marathon 18 days after surgery and 15 days after getting a kidney infection, I probably wouldn’t run it. I would rather run 100 marathons later in life than run 1 marathon right now and get myself in deep health trouble for who knows how long.

The verdict is in……and I’m cleared! There are conditions to this agreement from my doctor though and these are the rules:

  • take this week VERY easy
  • finish my antibiotic for the kidney infection
  • stay well hydrated all week, basically just drink water from dusk til dawn
  • take lots of potty breaks on the way down to Little Rock
  • stop at every water station along the course to hydrate (I do this anyways)
  • HAVE A GREAT RACE!

After finding this all out, I honestly think I am happier and more excited to be running this marathon than I was my first one. It probably has something to do with that ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ kind of things. Not being able to run made me love it even more, is that possible??

I am not expecting to be able to pull out a PR next Sunday or anything like that, but I am totally dedicating this race to being thankful. Thankful to be alive, healthy, running, and loving life. That is all this race is going to be about and I am going to love every minute of it.

This week is going to be great– I’m SO looking forward to getting back in the groove of things. Monday I’ll be doing an easy-paced 45 minute run with a pal training for his first half marathon (!!!!), Tuesday will be ZUMBA, Wednesday I hope to do 3-4 miles, and Friday will be an easy 2-3. Heeding my doctor’s advice though, if I have any pain/discomfort/problems I solemnly swear to lay off. Thursday is a rest day and includes another doctor’s visit, and Saturday will be a rest day because we’ll be driving to Little Rock!

Have a great afternoon, friends! See ya later!

PS. I can’t wait to be in this atmosphere again next week!!!

 

Future-Thinking

Okay, well I left you all on Friday when I was having quite the time recovering from my gallbladder surgery. As I mentioned in that post, I was throwing up early Friday morning with pain that I never wish upon anyone. Me, wanting to get up and move around and heeding my nurse’s advice that walking would help the pain, I set out on a slow, painful, walk around my block. The entire walk I was thinking of how often I take running for granted and never realized it. I typically consider a 4-7 mile run a ‘jaunt around the neighborhood,’ and on Friday it took me over thirty minutes to walk less than half of a mile.

Later Friday afternoon, vomiting ensued and I called my doctor, who told me to visit the ER to get checked out. After a long night of IVs, waiting, me wanting to go home, an injection of Stadol (possibly the worst medical related experience of my life, I’m talking adverse reactions of hallucinations caused by the dang stuff), and more waiting, we were told that I had developed a kidney infection likely from the catheter used during surgery. The ER people were so nice and gave me an antibiotic for the infection and anti-nausea medicine and we were able to go home.

What a difference a few days can make! Despite still being very sore, I’m thinking from both the surgery and kidney infection, my spirits have greatly lifted because I can feel that my body is healing. Though I don’t like taking medication, I know that it is needed right now. I’m also doing the best that I can and giving my body things that I know it needs that will help the healing process–lots of water, my daily dose of chia seeds, wholesome food, vegetables (that I can palate), and rest, which has been the hardest.

Also, instead of focusing on what I can’t do right now, I have averted my attention to things that I am very much looking forward to! I have two min-goals for the week:

  1. Be able to walk for thirty minutes pain-free– I’m not setting a timeline for this goal because I have to listen to my body, but I have faith that it will happen by the end of the week
  2. Be able to run pain free by the weekend– this one may be a stretch, and again, I will be listening to my body BIG time, but these goals are keeping me optimistic

Since I had been so busy in the weeks before surgery, I now have time to share things that I’ve been wanting to share for too long now!

1. I found a new favorite flavor of energy gel! Through this training cycle, I only used gels on my 22 miler, and a chia seed/water mixture for all my other long runs. This one is AMAZING and tastes like a cordial cherry, I would consider running 22 milers more often if it meant I got to eat these!

Plus I noticed that the caffeine gave me a little extra ‘boost’ while I was running!

2. On Sunday I definitely got the froyo fix that I had been longing for, it was perfect. This time I had a 3:1 toppings to froyo ratio which was a-okay. Yogurtini has a banana’s foster topping that you MUST try because it is the best topping I have ever tasted.

That was enough sugar to tide me over for, say, the next three months.

3. This is the medal for the Little Rock Marathon which is now 13 days away!!!! Motivating factor for signing up for this race? Definitely not.

4. I got my new running skirts in the mail and LOVE the Nike one but am sending the K-Swiss one back. It wasn’t the Kelly Green I was hoping for, more like an ugly pine tree green. So the search for more cute running skirts has continued!

5. I also ordered new running shoes in the mail a few weeks back because my old ones were nearing the 450-mile mark which meant my body was yelling at me to get new shoes. I am now on my fifth pair of the same model of Asics, I love them and though I’ve tried to branch out to other shoes, I simply can’t. I love these and they love me. However, I have always gotten the ones with white as the main color because that’s what my local running store had in stock. BUT I found my shoes online and they had my size in other colors, so I did break my norm. I feel like a total nerd wearing these shoes (maybe it’s the neon green?) but they fit my foot like a dream.

6. Which brings me to my next point…I need to figure out what to wear for the marathon in Little Rock, which means I need opinions/help!!! I have always gone for my Adidas short or skirt on bottom, and that pink She Runs LA tank top for major races, but it’s time to change it up.

Haha! I’m a creature of habit, what can I say??

I know that I’ll be wearing the neon green laced running shoes for sure, so I was considering going with the new Nike skirt (after I give it a test run, of course), a new black Under Armour dry fit t-shirt that I just got and totally love, and investing in a pair of these neon green Zensah compression sleeves, obnoxious much?

Or should I totally scrap this idea and go with something else? I can say that a deal breaker is that if it is sunny on race day, there is no way on EARTH that you will find me in a black shirt. I could do grey or another sweat showing color but definitely not black. Basically, give me your opinions please. Since I cannot currently run, I am naturally thinking about all things running, and this is a great time to plan my marathon outfit. Yes, some girl runners think of these things. Only for races though, because there are cameras, you know.

7. I had to turn my attitude around. Yes, I could use this time to be mopey, sad, and upset about my current situation but I CHOSE to turn my attitude around. Am I frustrated? You betcha. You name it and I’ve probably felt it, but today I decided that I’m only going to be focusing on the positives of this extended rest period that I am getting. Here’s to being extra rested for my next go at 26.2!

Finally, a big huge THANK YOU to my awesome mom for taking care of me. She’s the best, whether it be cheering me on to finish at a race, hanging with me at the ER for 6 hours on a Friday night or scolding me for trying to, um, ‘speed up’ my recovery. Love you little, love you big, love you like a little pig. Love you Mom!

Chicago and Other Stuff

A few months ago, after running my first marathon, a common emotion to have is along the lines of, “Now what? What’s next?” Of course I was asked these questions by countless different people. I had already signed up for my upcoming marathon which is now less than four weeks away, so I just told people I would keep running. Easy enough.

I had a few conversations that went exactly like this :

Them: “Well what about Chicago, why don’t you run the Chicago Marathon?” *goes on to explain how amazing Chicago is*
Me: “HA! HA! I don’t think I would ever like to do a big race like that. It seems overrated. Plus the people and congestion…no thanks. Running Chicago isn’t something I’ve ever really wanted to do. I’d love to visit, but forget the marathon.”

Actually, I believe I had this conversation with someone about a month ago. I have always wanted to go and spend time and visit Chicago, but not run 26.2 miles with 45,000 other people through the streets of the city! Marathon mornings can be stressful enough as is, let alone being in a new, huge city, relying on public transportation to get you to the start of the race on time, and who knows what else could happen.

Blah blah blah.

Says the girl who is registered to run the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Source

A month ago I made a resolution for this year to run four marathons in four states, but did NOT plan on one of those being Chicago. I was going for smaller, more familiar states such as Arkansas, Nebraska, and Texas. Texas is reallllllly comfortable (90% of my family lives there).

Turns out that God surprised me again and had dreams for me that were bigger than the ones I had for myself. You think that I would eventually get used to this by now, but no. It’s like an upgrade at a concert; I’m in the nosebleeds happy to be in the same room as the concert and God is all like, “No here, why don’t I just move you to the front row and give you VIP treatment and back stage passes and you can just go on the rest of the tour with the band and marry the lead singer, ok?” Or something along those lines.

You get my point, right? So I’m just taking what He’s giving me and running with it. Literally. Ha. Ha. No that wasn’t funny, I know.

So yes, last week I registered to run the Chicago Marathon which is exactly eight months away.

Another goal that I set for myself this year was to run a marathon to raise money for a charity. Two weeks ago on a recovery run I was racking my brain for which charity I wanted to raise money for, I mean come on, there are THOUSANDS!!! I asked myself a questions, “Which one am I most passionate about?” Because without passion behind what I do, it would be nothing. Suddenly, a light clicked on. How about the organization I volunteer for, Girls on the Run? That makes sense…raise money for an amazing organization that I love volunteering for, you think I would have imagined that sooner!

Upon registering I was also VERY happy to find that Girls on the Run is one of the main 2012 charity partners for the Chicago Marathon which means it will be even more impacted. Be on the lookout in the next few months for links to my fundraising page, and I’ll also have posts solely dedicated to talking more about Girls on the Run, why it means so much to me, how it has impacted my life as well as the lives of so many young women.

Needless to say, 2012 is already blowing my mind. I had dreams for this year, but my world has already been rocked by the awesome stuff that is going on and what is to come in the future months!

Now for the other stuff from my title.

1. I have a 22 mile long run looming over my head for Thursday. I was talking with a good friend at lunch on Sunday and we were discussing how even though you can be passionate about something and love it until no end, doesn’t mean that sometimes it doesn’t make you want to cuss. I love running. I love racing. But the idea of running for 22 miles (not in a race) is not something I exactly look forward to. Notice the use of ‘looming’? Pretty negative connotation there if I do say so myself.

2. With the coming of this super long run though means one thing–it’s almost time to taper! Yessss. I can taper. I am a master taper-er. After this Thursday I’ll be cutting down my mileage until it’s time to race in Little Rock. This training program I made for myself this time around is only 8 weeks long versus my first training plan that was 16 weeks (puke!) and it has flown by! I have found myself actually looking forward to most of my runs and enjoying them way more than I ever did on the last cycle, because I think I haven’t been a slave to training this time.

3. I will really be practicing my taper skills next week because I’m celebrating Valentine’s day by permanently getting my gallbladder detached from my insides and will have to recover, however long that takes. Loooong story short, about two years ago I would get insane cramps on my right side that would literally leave me in a whining mess on the floor because they hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand. I went through six weeks of tests only to be put on a probiotic by some doctor who was a complete idiot. A rude, old, fart.

The pain would only come back randomly, and me being as stubborn as I am just passed it off and figured it was something I would live with. Almost two months ago I was having symptoms that were getting on my nerves so I finally went to the doctor, got an abdominal ultrasound and they found that I have gallstones. Honestly, I was so relieved. I know that gallstones are something they can take care of and be done with. I don’t exactly fit the stereotype for people who develop gallstones, despite my healthy diet and active lifestyle, I still got those suckers. My biggest concern was obviously if it would affect training and potentially the marathon. The surgeon said that he is putting all restrictions on my activity for the first week, but after that I will be responsible for going based on how I feel and listening to my body.

Listening to my body was something I thought that I had mastered, but alas will be put to the test next week. I am really just looking forward to getting this thing over with because it has been a pain in my side. Literally.

4. Friday I am taking a pole dancing class with some girlfriends for my best friend’s very belated birthday celebration. There will be pictures. Aleeza you didn’t read that last part.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all!

Marathon Training Un-plan

As I promised (like you care), it’s time to serve an update of my life on marathon training.

I am almost positive that I was bit pretty hard by the marathon bug before I even ran my first one back in November. This being said, I had been eyeing other races in September and October for this upcoming year, and came across an advertisement for the Little Rock Marathon in March. My friend Drew ran it last year and he always has good things to say about the races he does, so I figured, “Why not?” Of course, the purple and silver disco themed promo material didn’t hurt in peaking my interest…show me glitter and pretty colors and I’m in.

I mean, how could you say no to these people trying to get you to sign up for a race??

I knew that the Little Rock Marathon was having a booth at the Route 66 expo and sure enough (for a discounted rate), I signed up for my second marathon before I ever ran my first. After Route 66 came and went, I knew that I needed a break from a training plan. I had invested over four months and more than 450 miles (running) into the my first marathon and for my body, sanity, and life…I needed a break.

December was deemed a ‘maintenance’ month–which meant that I didn’t live at the local fro-yo shop and let myself become lazy, though it sounded so appealing. December was spent doing workouts that I fully enjoyed, be it Zumba (yes please!) three times a week, cross training, and pumping some iron to attempt to get buff. There were also a few runs sprinkled in every week because I found that I actually missed running! Yet no run exceeded 8 miles, because that’s what I wanted.

I also worked on my insides in my ‘maintenance’ month. With a couple of small exceptions (ahem, Christmas) I cleaned up my diet, completely cut out caffeine and focused on getting my body back where I wanted it. I weighed more at the race in Tulsa than I was happy with and knew that by losing weight it would only help me…mission accomplished! I’m back to a weight where I am comfortable and my jeans are no longer too snug.

Now it’s January…and I am nearly done with week two of training. This training is pretty un-planned and these are the reasons why:

  • I am only spending 8 weeks on training this time around, a far cry (hallelujah) from the 16 weeks I put in for my first marathon
  • The only weekly distances I actually have planned out are my long runs–I know how much I need to run and I know what my weekly mileage needs to be at, it is just my responsibility to make it happen

So that’s basically it. An accelerated training plan and I feel like I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this one which I am perfectly happy with. I still have my ‘run less run faster’ idea of training as I did last time because I know it works for me. I run on Monday, Thursday and Saturdays and ensure one long run, one tempo run, and one recovery run.

I also have to be flexible with this training, winter finally showed up yesterday and brought some snow, 40mph wind gusts and wind chills dipping below zero. It was long run Thursday and I was not going to subject myself to that torture, so I saddled up on the dreadmill and turned in 14 miles while watching Warrior (on my iPhone).

Mmmm…please keep me company on a long run any time

 Also, if I fall running when the conditions are absolutely perfect, I was pretty sure I would greatly increase my chances of taking a mad fall on the snice (snow and ice combo) and wasn’t going to risk it. Which I’m sure Tom Hardy would find absolutely adorable.

So that’s how it’s going so far. It’s not something I really think about, I just do it. These past weeks have been nuts and I always feel so mentally cleared and relieved after my runs lately–which has made me realize how much I love and dare I say…need running? I’m a happier person because of running, I’m healthier, and better to be around for everyone in my life. It’s about six weeks out from the race and I don’t even know if this one will hit me until I’m actually running it, much like Tulsa. I was having people pinch me even at the expo the day BEFORE the race because I couldn’t really believe it.

Running marathons is still incredibly surreal. I guess this means my dreams really are coming true, because they’re too good to believe. Maybe I’ll believe it when I get this awesome medal around my neck on March 4th…ohhh yeah!

I feel like I’m going to need a glitter outfit for this one.