I haven’t forgotten about this blog – but I’ve been so busy living life that I didn’t have time to write about it.

I ran the Wineglass Marathon on Oct.3 and it was a dream experience. The race was everything that I wanted and needed it to be, and when I crossed the finish line I cried tears of joy for the first time in a while. I wish I could bottle the feeling!

DBF took this picture of me finishing the race:

The rest of October and November and most of December were tough for me. My mental health was crap and it affected every aspect of my life, but I got through it and things feel brighter now.

And then there’s the whole reason I started blogging.

The Disney marathon.

I don’t know what to say about it – it wasn’t the race I expected it to be when I signed up because it wasn’t my debut, so I didn’t go into it with the idea that it might not hurt =P. It did hurt, just like Wineglass, but it was worth it. I ran Disney somewhat undertrained and a full 20 minutes slower than Wineglass, but I loved every moment of it and had a couple breakthroughs on the course (I blame the Disney magic). I already want to sign up for Goofy!

Looking forward, I have two races coming up: The Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 27, and the Unite Half Marathon on April 17. I’m planning on adding a March half in between but I haven’t figured out what.

When I began blogging, I had a secret goal – to change my life in a year and make myself a marathoner, and I did it.

But the experience changed me in ways I never thought it would.

I learned to push through the pain without actually hurting myself

I learned to honor my body for what it does, not what it looks like.

I learned that there are more important things in life than running.

Running a marathon didn’t cure me of my running obsession  – in fact it probably made it worse – but in the week that I took off after Disney (my first full week off exercise in 4 years) let me see that I have got to balance my life out better. So that’s my this year goal. I’m going to run at least one marathon this year and Goofy 2012, but I’m going to do it in the most balanced manner I can.

To be continued…and not in 6 months!

By a while, I mean more than a month and a whole lot of changes happened.

1) I scrapped my June streak on the 26th after something more interesting came along…

2) The Wineglass Marathon on October 3! DBF and I are making a little weekend out of it – drink some wine, eat some good food, and beat the tar out of my body. Sounds like a nice couples getaway, right? All joking aside, I am SO excited, Fall is my favorite season and waiting for Disney just wasn’t doing it for me. I needed the distraction from this cruddy economy and some tough home stuff. What better than a marathon?

3) I learned (the hard way) about the importance of hydration, refueling, and proper rest. DBF had to have a medical procedure done in mid July, and since the hospital is close to my house he slept over the night before. Being the ball of nerves that I am, I was the one that couldn’t sleep and went out for a hot, humid, way-faster-then-I-should-have-paced-it 5 mile run. Everything was fine until DBF and I were in the pre-surgery/recovery area and everything went BLACK for me.

I passed out almost directly on top of DBF and earned myself a 5 hour stay in the ER. *facepalm*

4) I landed a job with a great family in mid July – I now nanny 4-5 days a week and bring in at least a little money. The kids are twin one year old girls and they crack me up as well as keep me on my toes.

5) School starts up in early September – I’m in that awkward second semester junior area because of my missed semester a couple years back. Right now it looks like I’m on track for December 2011 graduation!

I wanted to throw out a couple of questions for anyone reading who might be inclined to answer:

What was your major in college and what was your first job out of college?

How long did it take you to complete undergrad? I know there are some untraditional students out there!

If you have a masters or other professional degree, did you go into grad school right after college?

That’s right – it’s June 11 and since I haven’t run yet today, that gives me 10 runs for the month of June a.k.a. one third of the way to my June streak goal. Woo hoo!

June 1-June 6: 19 miles. I also ran 3 miles on Monday, May 31 so my weekly total was technically 22 miles.

June 7 – June 13: probably 25 miles. I’m at 14.75 and plan to run 7-8 today, and 2-3 on both Saturday and Sunday.

I haven’t been doing a lot of exercise other than running, LOTS of stretching and some occasional weights  – and surprise surprise, running is getting easier and I’m getting my spring back! I ran 9:30 min/miles on the treadmill last night and it felt slooow and easy. Today’s run will definitely be more of a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.

For your viewing pleasure, a picture of one of my favorite running roads in the area:

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Image credit: citydata.com

This road begins at 1.5 miles into a run – after about a quarter mile of steep uphill on a busy street. It’s got wide pedestrian/bike lanes on both sides, lots of trees for shade, and some gorgeous houses to look at. It’s also very long – my normal ten mile run sends me out and back on this road, plus the milage to get to/from it. Oh, and it ends in a park on one end- good for another few miles of running, and there’s a rose garden and a puppy playground! Nothing says happy after 10 miles like watching some adorable pups play.

Monthly milage total in May: 63

Monthly milage total in April: 60

…not exactly the 100 miles I was hoping for, but a little improvement. At least I was consistent.

One of my running ladies was tossing the idea around of a running streak, so I figured I’d give one a try. I’ll take it week by week – I’d like to accumulate at least 20 days straight, with my ultimate goal being at least a mile a day for the entire month of June. Maybe I could even hit my 100 miles!

Another of my running ladies posted a 30 day challenge that seems pretty worthwhile. I’m already doing some of the things that it suggests as challenges (take vitamins and sleep 7-9 hours per night, for example) so I’ve put a strikethrough on the ones that I already do.

1. Detox your diet. Eliminate all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine (I know this may be no simple task for some of you, so go slowly, plan ahead, and be compassionate with yourself). If you can manage, go vegan, mostly raw for two weeks. If you can, do a 5 day green juice fast. If not, stick to steamed veggies and salads for 2 weeks.

I have to take this one moderately – I don’t smoke cigarettes or drink much alcohol or coffee/caffeinated beverages, but going vegan/raw/fasting is too much to ask from my body and would not be a kind thing to do. Lean protein, less sugar/Splenda and more cooking/less eating out are my modified goals.

2. Take your vitamins, superfoods, & supplements every day.

Done – I need to group my medications next to my vitamins so I get both in one shot (yes, I’ve made sure that the two don’t interact).

3. Make a practice of daily writing. Just for yourself. Keep a Joy Journal. Or do morning pages, as suggested by Julia Cameron, author of the The Artist’s Way. Send your inner critic to time out and just WRITE.

I want to blog more often, and I plan to keep up writing in my journal.

4. Sleep 7-9 hours/night. No buts. Just do it.

I LOVE sleep.

5. Detox your friendships. If someone isn’t good for you, take a 30 day break from them. This is YOUR 30 days to nurture you. All toxic relationships are off limits.

Strongly suggest this one. I cleaned out some toxic friendships a while back – it’s not easy but it’s much healthier.

6. Move your body no less than 5 days/week, ideally, every day. Walk. Do yoga. Go to the gym. Whatever. Honor your body by letting it move.

Taken care of thanks to the June running streak and my normal propensity to not sit still.

7. Meditate.  If you can’t handle the silence, buy guided meditations on CD or Itunes.  You don’t have to spend an hour. But take 10 minutes to close your eyes and get quiet. No excuses.

I meditate before bed, but I could and should do it a little more often. Besides, using meditation techniques to trick myself asleep probably isn’t what is intended.

8. If you have a bath tub, take baths instead of showers. Use your yummiest bath gels, salts, and scrubs. Read an inspiring book while bathing. Finish it off by consciously loving each body part while rubbing on body lotion, coconut oil, or olive oil.

This will be a hard one for me- I tend to rush through a shower after working out and can’t tell you the last time I took a bath. I don’t even remember if  I like baths!

9. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Drink herbal tea, water, green juice. Get those cells hydrated. If you’re peeing often and it’s clear, you’re doing it right.

If I were any more hydrated, I’d float away.

10. Have orgasms no less than 5 times/week. If you don’t have a partner, pull out that pink Rabbit vibrator!

11. Practice forgiveness every day. Forgive yourself. Forgive that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Be extra specially kind to yourself and others for 30 whole days in a row. Banish toxic thoughts altogether, if you can.

Kindness is one thing, but forgiveness is quite another – reaction formation is as damaging as not dealing with the problem at all. Definitely something to think about.

12. Skip the news and read inspirational books instead.

I’m re-reading A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson for the hundredth time. I can’t suggest this book enough. Fun fact: I have a phrase from this book tattooed on my right hip.

13. Pray. Reach out the Universe. Make your desires know. Set intentions. Give thanks. Feel the divine energy that runs within you.

Amen.

14. Choose a mantra for your 30 day program and make this your affirmation. Write it by the toilet, post it on your computer, repeat it during your meditations.

To be honest, I hate affirmations. They remind me way too much of the notecards that my therapist used to give me as encouragements to beat eating disordered behaviors. However, since I had the strongest negative reaction to this one it’s probably the one I need to focus the most on.

Since this is a blog about marathoning…and makeovering,…I figured I should update about both!

I ran my half on Sunday April 18 – and had a PR of 2:13:xx! About a minute better than my best time and much better than my time from a year ago! I’d like to think that my training was part of it, but I think that maybe taking Immodium before the race was a help too (heh, thanks belly). I took about 10 days off of running and just cross trained, and now I’m getting back into base building before I start training for Disney in mid July.

Makeover-wise, I have begun to Sparkpeople! Sparkpeople.com is a diet and lifestyle site with a focus towards calorie and calories-burned counting. I approached sparkpeople very carefully because I have a history with  undereating  and also with undereating while using Sparkpeople.

But that was my issue. Just like you can’t blame a calculator for giving you a failing grade on a math test, I can’t blame Sparkpeople for my undereating. That was all me, and it’s not me anymore.

I do have a goal weight in mind, as well as some goal measurements – but eating healthfully and fueling my running is now and will alway be my main goal.

Lastly, I want to send some positive press out there for the Unite Half Marathon put on by CGI Racing. This was by far the best organized race I have ever participated in (and I”ve done a good few) – water stops were plentiful, port a potties were also plentiful, and the other course support was spot on. The police officers, paramedics, volunteers, course marshals, and on course entertainers were wonderful and I am so appreciative to them for making this race great.

The Unite Half is definitely going to be my first half after Disney next year!

Be well, run strong and live happy.

It’s been about a month since I’ve written (for shame!) but I have a good post in me – promise.

1) Lucky for me, my hip and knee are feeling better. It’s taken a lot of rest and some less than fun XT and strength work, but they’re both coming along and should be fine for the half marathon.

2) Lucky for me, I thought to bring some Luna Moons with me in my fuel belt along with water. I got very lightheaded going into mile 2 and ended up sucking on them for the rest of the run for energy.

3) Lucky for me, a nice guy who saw me swearing at the out of order water fountain told me where a working one was nearby. He saved my thirsty self, and saved the water fountain from my abuse.

4) Lucky for me, Easter is going to be a pretty casual affair. I’ve got a fab sunburn from forgetting to put on sunscreen before my run (d’oh!) and I don’t think it’ll like makeup. For what it’s worth, I do usually use sunscreen – Olay’s basic on my face. I’m up for new body sunscreen suggestions – help please?

5) Lucky for me, tomorrow is Easter – my self imposed sugar ban is over!

But not really.

Taking myself off of sugar/processed stuff has opened my eyes to what my body needs and how I can do better for it. I’ve been struggling with my weight and body image for a long time, and when I eat ‘clean’, I feel better and I also think I look better. Sure, there are days when I don’t eat as cleanly as I could – tonight for example, I had penne in a light pesto cream sauce with chicken, portabello mushrooms, artichokes and sundried tomatoes. It was delicious and fabulous after a long run and a long day of cleaning – and I had some M&Ms earlier in the day, too (they were equally fabulous).

But I don’t NEED dessert anymore. A cup of tea after dinner is enough, or a banana/apple. I had been using frozen yogurt as a calorie crutch in the dining hall to skip the less appetizing options instead of either eating my own food or scavenging for something edible…but not anymore. All the sugar isn’t good for me, and now I understand how it was affecting my moods. Not cute.

My half marathon is April 18th, and I’m honestly excited to be done with this phase of training as well as to be almost done with school. I’m giving myself 2 weeks to do whatever I’d like in the gym/outside, and then I’m going to begin base building for my marathon (ooh scary!).

In a later post, I’ll wrap up and see if I lived up to all my Lenten goals, but for now I’d like to set some new goals for  April and May

1) Complete the half marathon on April 18
2) Deal with whatever is going on with my hip, if anything – this means stretching, faithfully yogaing, doing abs every other day and going to the chiropractor if need be.
3) Keep my eating clean, and above all, sane.
4) Vanity goal – make my pants looser and my belly flatter. It may not involve losing actual pounds, but I do want to tone up and slim down a bit.
5) Make a workout plan and follow it. Something to the tune of 4 days of running, 3 days of XT or walking, 3 strength sessions per week.
6) Cook at home more
7)Kick ass in my final month of school, and at my first month at my new (secretish) job.

9.85 miles done in 1:39:45.

I feel pretty good – not too sore, although I do have a mild case of post LR belly. I got thirsty halfway through, so I may have gotten a little dehydrated and then overcompensated with a lot of water/Gatorade.

At least my stomach waited until after the LR (and therapy, for that matter) to rebel!

I was a bad bloggie and did not blog my last long run – but no worries, it was nothing spectacular. I was fighting off some knee pain and some other issues, and so I did 8.25 and called it good for the weekend.

Monday afternoon, instead of a run or a workout I sat in a chair for an hour and a half and came out with THIS:

I’ve always had the ankle – the tattoo is a new addition.

It’s my fourth, and has some very important personal meaning (which I may or may not talk about in the future). But for now, it’s enough that I’m pleased as punch with it!

My running, however, has not been pleased as punch with it.

The ankle is a pretty sensitive area and mine has expressed it’s displeasure by burning like a SOB every so often. That was ok – I figured I could skip the week of training runs, XT hard to keep fitness and then come back with a good strong short run on Saturday and a 10 mile long run on Sunday.

My body, however, was of the “oh no she didn’t” mindset. I set out for 3-5 miles today, and got through just ONE before I was in huge pain. Quad, gluteus, hamstring – nothing in my right thigh was pleased with me. I also kicked myself in the tattoo with my left heel *doh*.

All together now … “Dangit!

I’ve been stressed – in fact, I’ve been really stressed. Stressed to the point that I can barely eat sometimes and I know that stress also manifests itself in my hips – my back tightens and locks up and my right hip rises out of alignment and then I’m screwed. Going to yoga and Pilates will help my back – but I have to fix my stress, which I usually do by running, which I can’t do because I hurt because I’m stressed. Actually, running won’t fix my stress – but I can’t go into why I’m stressed right now and I certainly can’t fix THAT stress.

Rawr and rawr again, peoples.

I’m going to stretch, roll, and then go to bed and PRAY that I can run tomorrow.

On Saturday, I ran 9 miles – same route as last Saturday right down to each mile marker. It was a little slower, but I ran the first mile like a woman possessed (had some extra steam to blow off) so I had a feeling I was going to wear out my legs after a while. They protested around mile 7, but got over it by mile 8.

By the numbers:
Miles run – 9.03
Overall time- 1:33:17
Overall pace – 10:21
Run/walk ratio- 9 min/45 seconds
Phone calls taken- 2 (thank God for speaker phone)

And my one Lenten stat-
Sweetness indulged in today (mini-Easter)- 2 – a frozen mocha and some Reese’s Pieces. Dark chocolate is the one thing I haven’t given up in the sweets category because the idea of getting rid of ALL sweets is just a little too restrictive for what’s healthy for me, mentally. But I am being more aware of what I’m eating and when – so I’d call this Lent thing an overall win.

I haven’t found a home church yet, but that’s going to be in the cards. There’s a contemporary church (my favorite kind!) in a nearby town with services at 7 p.m. on Saturday as well as 9 & 11:15 a.m. on Sundays – I think I’m going to try out the Saturday service next week.

I’ve been watching this video all weekend – I love the song and the dancers are amazing, so give it a peek!

Anyway, it’s bed for this girl – g’nite bloggers and blogettes!

The title was probably a big give away for this one – it’s Mardi Gras, which means Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. It also means that it’s time for me to decide my Lenten resolutions/what I’ll give up. I don’t do New Years resolutions, but I’m all about Lent.

So far, this is what I’ve got

1) Take vitamins after a meal every day and be religious (pun intended) with taking my medications. I need to do this anyway, Lent or not. It’ll just give me an extra reminder.

2) Find a home church in my campus area and go to services.

3) Give up desserts/sweet treats with the exception of dark chocolate.

4) Blog (or journal) and get active about things that are important to me.