First of all – Happy Valentine’s Day to all the bloggies… whether you have a romantic Valentine, a friend Valentine, or an adorable little bundle of joy Valentine, enjoy it!

I’m not a particular fan of the holiday for personal reasons, but I do want to give a yell of love to the Boy (he reads sometimes). Thank you, Boy, for coming down to school and making me take a nap while you shoveled out my car and did my laundry. And woke me up from said nap with a backrub.

Back off ladies, he’s all mine.

About the shoveling- [college’s name] half-assedly plowed our resident parking lot without giving us any notice – so the 1.5 feet of snow turned into a good 3-4 feet blocking in everyone’s cars. The majority of people used trash cans and recycling bins to dig themselves out – except for the few people the Boy lent his shovel to. It was madness… and the roads were just as bad – pure ice in spots, and just UGH. So I didn’t get to run or workout much this week, and I came home for long run…and here it is!

Today’s LR – 9.1 miles in 1:31:49. I think I’m finally getting into the groove of this Galloway thing!

For the past few weeks I’ve been having trouble keeping my pace even – I usually go out too fast and then conk out in the later miles. Not today! It may have helped that my capri leggings have a tie waist and tend to loosen and fall down, thus making me pull them back up. But I’ll take the risk of flashing traffic if it means an evenly paced run. Besides, I wear panties. It wouldn’t be a full flash. =D

But enough about my underpants. The run was good – everything equalled out to about 10:10 miles, which is fine for a long run. I’ve been having ankle twinges and I’m not sure what’s up with that, but I’m keeping a close eye on it.

This past week’s events:
Monday- 5.6 miles
Tuesday – 4 miles on the TM
Wednesday- Snowpocalypse – went out with dormmates around 10 and walked around/played in the snow for an hour or so.
Thursday- 25 minutes stair stepper, 25 minutes elliptical
Friday- Er, nothing. I hung out with friends and The Boy, drank chardonnay, and ate pasta. It was fabulous.
Saturday- Nothing x2. Hung out with the upstairs roomie and her little sister.
Sunday (today)- 9.1 miles, 1 mile walk to cool down, and 2ish mile walk with my dad to stretch my legs out.

My goal for this week is to make a plan and follow it – I’ll grade myself after my long run on Saturday. Here’s the preliminary:
Monday- 3 miles on the TM, 30 minutes elliptical, weights. Class at 5.
Tuesday- Class from 10-2 and 4-5, XT afterwards.
Wedneday- 4-5 miles, yoga at 1, class at 5.
Thursday- 4-5 miles, class at 4, Pilates at 6, maybe dancing with my girlfriends in the evening?
Friday- XT or rest day, class from 10-2
Saturday- 9-10 miles
Sunday – XT or rest day, maybe a special appointment?

Wish me luck – I need to improve over my 4 little workouts from this week!

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”- Someone wise (no clue who said it)

This is not going to be just a running post – but since it’s a running blog, I’ll start with the run.

7.5 miles in 1:18, done Galloway style (9:1, for what it’s worth).

It was good – my hip acted out on my 5 mile run on Tuesday, so I didn’t do anything on Wednesday or Thursday to nip it in the bud. Last night I cross trained – so my total miles for the week are around… 12.5 *annoyed face*. Unless I run on the TM tomorrow at the gym – which I might. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure how much of a difference 3 miles will make. If they will/do, can someone please let me know? Kthx.

Now on to the part that’s been rattling around in my head for a while.

Truth.

I am a master at lying to myself, and it’s been one of my goals to stop telling the lies that I try to use to make myself ok. These were some of the older lies:

“If I weigh ###, my life will be better and I will be happy.”
“If I do xx, that person will be nicer to me.”
“[That food] will make me fat. Even just a bite.”
“It was my fault.”
“I’m ok with being treated like crap”
& so on & so forth.

But  none of it was ok. This may sound like  psychological bulls**t, but I’m a psych major so you’ll have to deal with it. The truth is, it was not ok and running was one of the things I had set up to numb the problems and the pain. I was, in a very real way, running away from the problems in my life. Eventually, I learned that I had to stop running away – I had to deal with my problems or nothing would get better or change. So I did face a lot of the problems and things got better. I thought I was ‘fixed’.

Aha, not so fast.

My hip gave out on a run on Tuesday, and my world – my self image, my sanity – it all slowly crumbled inside me in a ridiculous fashion. In my logical mind, I knew that I just had to be kind to myself and rest and it would be ok. But my illogical mind wanted to run away and throw itself into running, not thinking – and it couldn’t, so it decided to throw a damn fit.

So here’s the truth:

I’m dealing with a lot right now and I am pissed about it. But that’s not getting me anywhere.
I sometimes hate my body with such rage that it scares even me. That’s not getting me anywhere either.
Running away will not fix anything – running can help me handle it, but not facing my problems will just give me more problems.

So now I’m holding myself accountable – to learn to run but not run away

I was given a gift yesterday – a run that should have sucked turned out to be amazing!

I didn’t eat enough beforehand, it was balls to the wall cold out  – 18 with a ‘feels like’ temp of 6 – and I had only run 7.75 miles the entire week (although I did do some kick-ass ellipticalling the other two days).

So, I was being conservative and hoping for a decent 7 miles – and instead had an AMAZING 8.2. I played with my walk breaks and used an 9 min run/ 45 seconds walk ratio – that seems to be close to what I need. Near the end, I was debating pushing to 10 miles, but even I don’t want to tempt the gods of injury that much.

Since I don’t know how to upload the charts from my Garmin onto here, here’s a little recap -tech-fail style.

Mile 1: 9:31 – didn’t hear the Garmin chirp the walk break, so this was an all run mile.

Mile 2: 10:15 – uphills kill me. I don’t think I took a walk break during this mile either, until the end.

Mile 3: 10:20 – ok, I definitely took a walk break here. This wouldn’t be a bad overall pace for the marathon…

Mile 4: 9:59 – used a red light as a walk break. People in cars gave me funny looks – I gave funny looks back.

Mile 5: 10:26- Hit the turnaround point, cold wind came at my face instead of my back. My ass is definitely more cold resistant than my nose – BRRR!

Mile 6: 10:52 – Two sucky uphills, no downhills. The perils of an out and back – but I was still feeling good.

Mile 7: 11:02 – big downhill in the dark – took it slow and easy and it HURT. My quads are good for many things, but brakes aren’t one of them. I distinctly remember going “ow ow ow” while running.

Mile 8: 10:19 – thought of my many wonderful running girls, and threw a big last mile party!

8-8.22: 2:17 – jogging it in, dreaming of a very hot shower!

I feel good today – a little sore, but it’s a good workout kind of sore, not a “hey crazy woman, WTF?!” kind of sore.

Time for breakfast (yes it’s 1 p.m., I’m a lazy college student) and then some good XT at the gym. Monday I do it all over again – I hit 15.55 miles this week after 17.xx last week, so I’ll shoot for and hopefully hit 20 or 21 with another 8-9 mile LR this week!

On a personal note – if you read and are of the praying or good vibing type, please send your prayers/good vibes to my grandma. She just had surgery – she’s 89 and tough as nails but we still worry…and my mom is playing nurse, so pray for her too. Grandma is a tough cookie!

Today  was my second long run for the half – 6 miles, with a 45 second walk break after every mile as the fine Mr. Galloway suggested.  Maybe I was underfed or thirsty or something, but this run wasn’t as easy as I had expected it to be. But I finished it and I feel good now.

So my week looks like this:

Monday – 3 miles
Wednesday-4 miles
Thursday – 4 miles
and now…
Saturday – 6.2 miles
which gives me 17.2 miles. I’m debating doing another 2.8 tomorrow on the TM to get me to 20, but I don’t want to increase milage too much after my cutback and mess my legs up!

And for fun, here is one of the parks that I run through – I started distance running here, and it still has a special spot in my heart.

Image credit to : activerain.com/ TheNJRealEstateGuys

Now to my rant.

Dear parents who do not take care of your children – I HATE YOU!

Our across the street neighbor will never be mom of the year – she has three boys, twins around 10 and a younger one around 7, and she lets them wander the neighborhood at times when no child should be out, let alone by themselves. When I was setting out for my run this afternoon, I noticed the boys playing near the end of our street on their scooters – and was still in earshot when I heard a crash, thud and “Owwwwwieee” followed by the kind of cry that I’ve come to learn is the signature noise of a child that’s been hurt. I turned off my Garmin, and beat feet back to where the boys were – and saw one of them laying on the ground crying with blood coming from his head. I checked him out for visible bones showing or anything requiring 911 and then waited for his brother to get back (from getting their mom, I assumed).

His brother did come back- but without the mom. Instead, he told his brother to get up and go back to the house because mom didn’t want to come out.

I had to pick my jaw up off the ground before I went about helping the non-injured twin get the injured one to his feet – and then try to CARRY him because injured twin probably had a sprained ankle (he was limping like he did).

It took every piece of restraint I have to not go over there and read that woman the riot act, and I am also now all the more convinced that parenting should be like driving a car – you have to take lessons and a test and have a license to do it.

Apart from the cheeky “why not?” answer, why do I run? It’s not something I normally think about – but at quarter to 4 on a Tuesday morning when sleep won’t come and I have to be up in 4 hours to go back to college…maybe I can explore.

#1 – I run to remember. I have gone on thousands of runs, most of them in the same 50 mile area. My life has happened on the run. I’ve run after heartbreak and devastation, after dreams came true. I can point to that trail or that road or that corner and tell a dozen stories that come like movies behind my eyes.

#2- I run to forget. It’s the antithesis of number one. When the heartbreak and real life get to be just a little too much, away I go.

#3- I run to dream. Silly little daydreams, big future dreams. It’s my time to be frivolous.

#4- I run for my sanity. I’m in college – it’s either run or drink, because the stress will get to you one way or another.

#5 – I run for my vanity. My not so dirty little secret – putting in the miles gets you a nice booty and legs in return. I like heels, I like short skirts, I like not looking like a fool in either.

#6- I run because it’s a part of who I am. My legs know how to do it, my lungs are used to it’s demands – my body needs running just like it needs air or water. There’s no two ways about that.

#7- I run because it makes me better. A calmer driver, a more patient nanny, a more focused student, a happier girlfriend and friend, a better cook.

#8- I run because I like to cook. And even sometimes eat. Cooking, like running, gives me joy. But it’s a different joy, similar to calming a baby or doing something productive. When I run, I get focused. And hungry. The two together make me a somewhat decent cook.

#9- I run because I truly enjoy the crazy looks that people give me when I’m running in the rain/snow/heat/cold/early morning. One of these days, I will photograph one of these looks and post it on the blog – and then laugh my butt off for days.

#10- I run for my friends. For all the beautiful, strong, dedicated women I know who put in their miles and cheer me on in mine.

#11- I run for the bling. Race medals are awesome! When I used to run track in HS, the winners got the medals and the slower people got…nada. When I realized that in long distance races, all you had to do was finish and you got a nifty piece of neckwear, I was even more hooked.

#12 – I run for sleep. Sleep has been a challenge for most of my college life – when I really tire out my body, my mind usually follows.

And last, but certainly not least…

#13 – I run because of the JOY. Even the worst run is better than a day without a run. Running doesn’t put constraints or expectations on you – just go. The expectations and demands are your own creation.

Yes, it rhymes :-D.

I’ve been reading through different training plans all weekend, and I’ve decided that at least for my April half I’ll be a Galloway girl. I’ve done the RunnersWorld.com Smart Coach plans, and they aren’t bad – except that I never do the speedwork. So instead of blowing off what could be a very important component of the plan, I’m going to go with a plan without any speed work.

Smart, right?

I also have to admit that after two half marathons where my times only have gotten worse, I need to try something else. And pray for a half marathon where it doesn’t pour the entire time. Fcking rain…

My workouts for the past week have looked something like this…

Sunday (tonight): 20 minutes on the elliptical doing intervals, and 20 minutes of  Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. This DVD kicks my tush, and I love it.

Saturday- 5.6 mile long-ish run, Galloway style – 8 minutes running, 1 minute walking. There were also parts where I turned around and walked back where I had come from because DBF and I were on the phone. Skill #2 to improve on long runs – long run talking on the phone while running. Makes it SO much more fun, especially since DBF would sooner tweeze out his eyelashes one by one than do a long run with me.

Friday- 45 minutes on the elliptical.

Thursday- 3.1 miles in sunny, gorgeous, WARM Florida. I was dehydrated though, so it was a bit of a run/walk/pant.

Wednesday- Nada.

Tuesday- 4.2 miles – glorious, but my calves hurt like whoa from not running since the previous Monday.

Lastly – a photo of the appropriate way to run in the dark without getting hit by a car.

Dorkiness optional.

The dorkiness is optional, the reflective straps are not. Runner + car = full-on suck.

362 days. That’s 11 months and 28 days.

Or approximately 8688 hours.

521,280 minutes (somewhat like the song from Rent).

…until I run my very first marathon.

I’ve been running pretty casually for about 6 years now. I ran on the cross country and track teams in high school, completed a marathon relay and a few half marathons, and done my share of local 5 and 10ks. A marathon never appealed to me for longer than a few days.

Until now, that is.

The boyfriend, who I’ll call The Boy, and I were visiting family of his that live just outside of Orlando, FL on Sunday. All day long, all I could think of were the friends that I had running the Disney Marathon. The next day we went shopping at an outlet mall near Disney World and all I could see were marathoners, with their slight hobble and proud smiles. That was IT. I had procrastinated and thoughts about it long enough – when we got back to my grandmom’s house (where we stay when we’re in FL) I got out my debit card and signed myself up for the 2011 Disney marathon. I had debated trying to get into the NY Marathon, or to run the NJ marathon near where The Boy and I both live… but Disney was enough of a draw that I knew I just couldn’t say no.

So here I go!

I’ve got a few big half marathons that lead up to Disney – I know I’ll need the pressure to get and keep a marathon-worthy base early, and the halves will do it. They are:

The Unite Half Marathon on April 18th.

The Long Branch Half Marathon on May 2nd (this one is tenative, as I have exams around the same time).

The Newport Half Marathon on September 26th.

The Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 21st (also tenative depending on school).