Mother Nature’s Got PMS

Saturday -10.3 Miles
Sunday – 5.3 Miles
Cathartic Strides

Mother Nature has either got a major case of bipolar disorder, or she and I are on the same…errr…cycle if you know what I mean.  After the fall blast late this week, today we’re back in the 90’s with triple digits expected by mid-week.

Speaking of instability, I may or may not have been a mild basket case about lots of personal schtuff this weekend.  You’re welcome everyone in my life.  That was super fun, let’s do it again…um…never.

The events would probably explain the 21 miles I got in this weekend.  Hello stress release.

On Saturday morning I met up with 3 speedy ladies.  My friend Missy invited me to explore some new to me trails in the area and these ladies kicked it.  I got in 10.5 miles at a 7:40 overall pace and felt good.

Check out the speedsterettes.  Penny on the left was doing her last long run for NY Marathon.

A few hours (and multiple soccer games later) I arrived home still unshowered and my cousin surprised me by dropping by.  Lucky for me he has no shame and was willing to go hit up Panera with funky me.  I was waiting for people to drop money in my water glass on the table outside because I had the “You must not have access to a shower smell”.

Between soccer, playdates and general weekend shuffling around (church, Starbucks, etc.) we kept it nice and busy.  One of the non-running highlights- bowling with this little butthead and his best friend.

Victory Dance

Don’t worry, this is a snapshot of his victory dance.  I can assure you there will be a dancing vlog in the very near future :)

How was your weekend?  
Any races?  Good runs?
Do you ramp up the miles when life gets tough?

The Daycation

40 minutes on stairmaster
Sweaty Steppin’ Strides

Ever feel like the pace of life is spinning out of control faster than a bike at the gym?

Yeah, me either.

Gone for a day or week?

So by Sunday morning I knew it was time to reset life from race pace to a nice recovery tempo.  I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I threw a bunch of our favorite stuff into the car and started driving north.

We wound up in Santa Monica and beat the heat avoiding crowds and got ourselves a little 7ish mile bike/razor ride.  I, on the other hand, partied like it was 1994 and strapped on my roller blades to strengthen my whatever muscles runners don’t exercise very much.

The premise of the daycation was not a day at the beach – we do that often enough.  The idea was less about the activity and more about pulling the reigns back on our pace and slooowwwing down.

Check out the little babes behind me – see exercising with kids is possible!

Our day at the beach allowed us to focus on the small things we miss in our hasty race pace…like sand in our buttcracks, avoiding jellyfish stings and trying to undo the emotional damage Shark Week wreaked on 3 little boys.

Sand crabs- nature’s pet for a day.

We then drove up to my aunt’s house for a family dinner and playing corn hole (as they call it).  I’m sorry, but in the Midwest it’s called bags and you can play a lot better because the humidity slicks the boards up nicely.  While we had the heat on Sunday, the humidity was severely lacking.

Corn hole? Sounds naughty. Bags works for me.

My family is 2 legit in awesomeness in our birthday photo taking tradition.  Every birthday – same shot!

Like I said the other day, my injury is resurfacing because I was getting to pacey and forgot to look at the spacey around me.  This little daycation reminded me that it was time to do that in not only life, but my running as well.  Thanks injury, you’re swell.

We reset our clocks, and I’d like to say our attitudes, but as I type I hear 2 babes fighting over a pair of socks…because of all the things to fight over in the world, socks are most definitely on the top of the list.

How do you slow down?
Have you ever taken a daycation?

Misdemeanor, Miles, Meals & Merriment

The biggest news of the weekend:  I got myself some DD’s.

Yep.  It’s about time.

Since my craptastic injury I went from about 40 running miles a week to 0 back in May, and spent a better part of the month hanging out there in non-running land.  But if you haven’t noticed, things have been slowly changing and progressing…and this week….

I got myself some Double Digits baby!

Why yes that is 10 lbs of cheese on my plate(s). Don’t worry, I had a salad first. And gelato.

Not only did I get a 10+ mile run in (my first since May), but I also hit a 20 mile running week which makes me feel like I’m progressing along.  I also got to take care of a little unfinished business on the last 3 mile stretch from Surf City.

But this weekend was so much more than running.  My aunt came down to visit and we hit the Laguna Arts festival and ate far too much good food, including a trip to my fave Javier’s.

Then came Sunday which was a very special day.  My aunt and I continued your family bonding with committing several misdemeanors.

Yep that’s me. Law abiding citizen. And a special thanks to the shadowing that makes me look like I have man-hairy pits. Sweet.

Our family puts the fun in dysfunction :)

Yes that might just be me breaking into a 18×12 inch window 6 feet off the ground with a temporarily stolen chair.

Don’t worry the neighbors came by and did not ask to call the cops, but simply asked if we needed help.

FTR, this was my cousin’s house (so technically no laws were broken) where my aunt got locked out with the dog.  My tiny hiney got her (and the poor pup) safely back in the house.  And we have a story and laughs that will last a long time.

Anyone else partake in breaking and entering this weekend?

Oh and I got some other fun news this weekend….stay tuned :)

Beyond the Bra

Today we’re going to talk about a little thing called support.

And I’m not talking about squeezing into your sports bra before a good run or break.

I’m talking about good ol’ fashioned on and off the course support.

This whole trip for the Illinois Marathon was so memorable – not as much about the race, but because of the support I had for it.

Do we look tired? It had been a few long days!

Not only did my fabulous support team make the long and super boring trip down to Champaign with me…but they got up at the crack of dawn at 4:45 so I could have oatmeal and coffee and listen to my “pump me up music”.

Then they sat out in the rain at the start line to see me off.

UFO haven or warm bathroom building - you decide!

Assembly Hall - Champaign, IL

Please note, I was hiding in the warmth of this building.

Yes building, not spaceship.

Eventually when the rain eased up they called me so I would come out to say hi.

As I mentioned before, they were there at the start, miles 5, 8, 10, 15, 16, 21, 22, & the finish.  This took nearly half a tank of gas, mass coordination and apparently a ridiculous amount of patience and humor.

Have I mentioned how I apparently have a group of rock stars in my life?

But every time I needed them they were there – even if it meant they had to speed, back track and sprint to get there.  And lucky for them that with the exception of the last 1.2 my pace only swayed about 5 seconds on either side of 8:10.

In addition to being totally punctual and right there when I needed them, they all will admit they had a BLAST.

I also had a friend from college drive 1.5 hours EACH WAY to see my finish (thanks

My Grandma, her husband...and me after I haven't brushed my hair...yay!

Mandi!).  And my grandmother wins the award for driving 10 hours (each way!) from Atlanta to Champaign to see my little bootay cross the finish line.  Thanks Gram!

On the course, I tried something new….a pace group.  Honestly I knew I was pushing myself to get this done so I decided to give it a shot.  It was the best decision yet.  Since the 3:35 mark is the BQ for 18-34 women there were quite a few of us there hoping to ease in just under that and unsure if we were going to pull it off.

Stacy, me and Jamie running...

I immediately paired off with a girl named Jamie (whom I still can’t track down on Facebook to share the pictures naturally)…and we stuck it together from start to finish.  We even sped up for 1.5 miles to get ahead of the pace group to pee then took a good mile to catch back up slowly.   When she got tired, I encouraged her on.  When I wanted to quit and told her to go ahead, she reached for my wrist and wouldn’t let me slip back.

We were also joined by another woman around mile 14 (Stacy).

Towel on my head head...don't mind if I do?

Without the on and off the course support from everyone who played a role, there’s no way I would have been able to sport this rockin’ shirt I found at TJ Maxx a few days before the race.

(Yes I secretly bought it hoping I’d BQ just so I could wear it post-race.  If not, it was going straight back….)

So…how about you…

What is your critical race support? 
On the course? 
Of the course?
Do you have a good sideline support story?
You ever run with a pace group?