Remembering Boston.

This time last year, I sat on my couch in the living room with tears in my eyes and pain rattling through my heart. I sat frozen, watching as news report after news report flooded every media outlet available.

To this day, I am still speechless.

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But today, one year later – there are many stories of continued healing and strength.

This afternoon my training plan called for 3.50 miles. I have to be honest and say I was not looking forward to the run at all. I’ve had problems with my asthma for a few weeks now, and it feels as though I’m breathing through a straw. My legs are still sore from Saturdays Dipsea test drive. I’m totally exhausted…

But all of that doesn’t matter today. Because today I ran for those who couldn’t. It may have been slow, painful, and pretty much miserable – but I am thankful for each and every step I was able to take. I ran at my park, and cursed the hills – and then thanked God for allowing me to climb them – no matter how long it took.

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I spent the last 2 miles of the run in silent prayer. I prayed for many things – but I made sure to include all those affected by the events at the Boston Marathon a year ago today.

Boston Strong. 

How 6 turns into 10.5

This weekend I was scheduled to do 30 minutes of Cross Training on Saturday and a 4 mile run on Sunday. Except we planned to take a peak at the Dipsea trail.

Just driving to Stinson Beach was the first clue to what I have gotten myself into. It was a windy road that made me nauseous even though I was driving! Once we arrived we parked and headed to the trail.

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I thought our original plan was to do 3 miles and turn around. So when the trail started out like this…

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I was already looking forward to the turn around.
The trail is beautiful and I kept thinking I was in the rainforest or something.

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The trail was tough, with an elevation gain of over 2500 ft and trail names such as Cardiac…and I honestly don’t know if I feel better or worse about the upcoming race. We ended up doing 10.5 miles, and after that I was ready to be done. For the most part, I hiked most of the trail, because running it this early in my training plan was damn near impossible. The worst part is, I didn’t even get to the infamous Dipsea stairs! (yes there are way more than the ones I did find.)  There were positives – like the fact that I even made it that far without dying!
On Sunday I was sore and exhausted. I pretty much slept the entire day. But I figured since I did more than double the distance I was supposed too, and stairs are considered cross training – it all counts. So Sunday was an unofficial rest day.

Today I was able to make it through Yoga, which helped my aching muscles. I was feeling super ansty so I went to my favorite park and walked 1 mile and ran 1 mile back. It wasn’t on the training plan, so I didn’t want to over do it. But I really enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine.

Here’s to week two of training for the craziest thing I’ve ever done.

Dipsea training…

I’m in the 4th official day of my half marathon training (4 because I’m counting Sundays 4+ mile run, since it happened to be on the plan anyways.) I’m pretty sure this is the longest consecutive amount of time that I’ve stuck to an “official training plan.”

Go me!

Now I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m actually shocked happy that I’m feeling this sudden spark of motivation. It could be because I’m totally scared of the Double Dispsea trail, and the only plan of attack I have – is Hal Higdons words of wisdom. (In the form of a novice half Marathon training plan.)

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Tuesdays are usually super busy for me. This Tuesday was exceptionally busy, with work, taking care of some things for my mom and going to my weekly class. I wasn’t even free until 8pm! Usually by that time, I’m hungry and tired and end up heading home instead of turning into the gym parking lot on my way back from class. Last night I told myself it was only 3 miles, I could handle that. So that’s what I did, got to the gym, and started with a slow jog, I worked my way up the “speed” ladder until I made it to my goal. Slightly over 3 miles and 37 minutes later I was sweaty, red faced, and headed home!

Today I worked overtime, and by the time my day was done, I was mentally drained and not wanting to do anything. But the Dipsea trail photos are still floating around in my head… 

According to the plan, today was a cross training day. After sitting so much, my hips and back hurt – so I opted to do some yoga again.

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Toes to the edge of the mat they said...

After that, I threw in some push ups (hate), planks, wall sits (also hate), tricep dips, and sit ups.

Now. I’m actually feeling much better and ready to tackle the planned 3.5 miles and strength tomorrow.

While I was doing my yoga (or wobbling all over the mat…damn balance!) UPS came and brought me my newest present!

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Nathan Race Vest!

I can’t wait to try this baby out this weekend!

Well, I hope your week is going well! It’s already halfway done! Woo hoo!

The Crazy Sh*t I do…

Monday is probably my least favorite day of the week! It takes me all day to focus, and my numbers at work are usually the lowest on Mondays. Mondays are like – residual hangovers caused by the weekend – but without the fun of alcohol. Anyway, I was trudging along, trying to make it through another manic Monday, when I happened to scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. Brazen Racing my all time favorite race company announced that race registration opened for the Walt Stack Double Dipsea race today.

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The difference with this race as opposed to all the other Brazen Races is that they partnered with the company that has been running the race all the previous years, so there is only one distance offered.

That distance is the Half Marathon….

Not only is it a half marathon, but it’s pretty intense! Trails among the redwood trees, and stairs…stairs for days.

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Image from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=isZkeOK00CXdLM&tbnid=NI7nxzhmjcVn6M:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ADipsea_Trail_Stairs_Mill_Valley.jpg&ei=5nBDU_aNFKHg2gWZr4CACg&bvm=bv.64367178,d.b2I&psig=AFQjCNGxjV_8nYoe5f30NFOM3LXCPvj4zA&ust=1397014921654838

I really want to keep my streak going, so I emailed the race director to ask about options. There’s the option to possibly volunteer although the other company has control over the volunteer positions. They are also working on having a very early hikers start…this may be my only option. Because this race sales out rather quickly, my sister and I chose to sign up.

Am I excited?

Sure.

Am I scared.

HELL YES I AM.

I mean look at this elevation map….

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Anyways, I am worried about making the cut offs and such. But I think if I train – I may have a chance. I quickly searched the web for a training plan that I could fit (more like smash) into the next 11 weeks. I looked at a few, and felt that Hal Higdons plan would work the best.
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So I printed it out, and made the changes I needed too. Changes that included switching long run days with upcoming race days, and stuff like that. It actually works out perfectly, because on the weekend I am supposed to run a 5k race – I am! And on the weekend I am supposed to run a 10k race, I was already registered for a 5k, but was able to upgrade to the 10k no problem! It all works out!

I am slightly worried about how my ankle will do, but the good thing is that the plan has cross training too, so there is time for my ankle to build strength and stuff. Plus on the run days, if I have to walk/run…that’s what I will do. I know I will be walking a lot of the Dipsea, but the goal is just to make the cutoffs, and not be in pain.

I am already a week behind on the plan, but the great thing is, yesterday would have been a scheduled 4 miles – and guess what?! I totally already ran 4.48 yesterday! So, essentially, I started my half training plan yesterday and didn’t even know it! Today was strength and stretching, so I decided to do some Yoga.

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They wanted to do some yoga too.

I haven’t done yoga in a long time. I have an older DVD, but it worked well – its based on Ashtanga yoga, and allows for a bit of sweat and shakey muscles. Plus, It really helped open up my super tight hips! Which will definitely help my running.
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This impromtu-crazy-ass-half is going to take a lot of commitment…which we all know I kind of shy away from. But, I think I can actually do this! Another benefit is – if I do stick with the plan, it ends just as bikini season is kicking off. So it’s a double benefit, right?! Things I need to work on during this training, (besides the obvious of actually training) is cleaning up my eating – and hydrating. I suck at drinking the proper amounts of water, so I am going to try my best to get a good handle on hydration.

The last thing I was thinking about…is trying to “date” while training for a half, probably won’t work too well… so this might be awkward.
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Wish me luck!

 

Sleepy Sunday

Good day fellow bloggers! I hope this Sunday finds you well and maybe recovering from a great run?!

This weekend has been pretty fun for me!

Friday I worked more OT, so when it was time to get off work – I was super excited/relieved. I didn’t get to the gym, but I did have friends and family over for my monthly Book Club. We enjoyed a yummy baked potato bar, great conversation, and many laughs. After most everyone left my cousins, my friend, and I talked about what its like to get older. Let me tell you – this is a blog post in the making. We were laughing so much that tears filled our eyes and our stomachs and faces ached. It was wonderful!

On Saturday I worked more overtime. Not my favorite thing to do on the weekends, but I am going to need extra money for Jacques care…even though I still haven’t decided what that will be. I headed out after work with the intention of doing lots of things, like a manicure/pedicure, haircut, and shopping. I went to one store, and ended up coming home – I was just so tired! I ended up taking a nap until it was time to get ready for Girls Night!

We were celebrating my friends birthday, so us girls got together and went to dinner at Red Robin.

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Me and the Birthday Girl!

 

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a bacon cheeseburger on a gluten Free bun!

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cheers to good friends and birthdays!

They have gluten free items, and it tastes yummy! I indulged and got a white peach sangria – I think its my new favorite!

So Delish!

So good!

So good!

After dinner, we headed over to the theater to see Divergent. No, I have not read the book, it’s actually not the typical genre I would typically go for. But it was the birthday girls choice, so I happily went along.

I AM SO GLAD I SAW THIS MOVIE!

1.) it’s actually a good movie!

2.) Theo James.

That. Is. All.

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This is almost unfair.

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Pretty much, the highlight of my night…

I have actually ordered the book, and plan to read it as soon as it arrives. (I went with the paperback version because it was cheaper than the Ebook!)

We shared so many laughs last night, that again made my stomach and face hurt. It’s so worth it though. Because I have been struggling with my asthma, I was laughing so much that I needed my inhaler. Talk about feeling old! Ha.

This morning I woke up with a major headache, but after everything I ate yesterday I felt like I had to put my shoes on and do something. I went to the gym and managed 3.50 miles on the bike, and 4.48 on the treadmill.
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I felt pretty good! And, I am so excited because I had negative splits throughout the run! I thought it was funny, because as I was running and sweating up a storm – a man actually smiled at me. He must have felt bad for me…because I looked close to death I am sure. Ha ha!
Side note : the more I wear my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9′s – the more I like them. I came home, again with the plans of getting things done and instead I took a shower put on my comfy pants and slept for 4 hours.

He took a nap too.

He took a nap too.

I am pretty sure at this point I am fighting off some sort of cold or something. I just feel exhausted. It has been really nice just being able to relax though, so It’s okay.

I am going to work on my training schedule for this week now, because I really need to get back on track. I was doing planks today and could only manage 30 seconds, when normally I can do 1 minute. My fitness levels are going down – no bueno!

Have a good week everyone.

 

PS I logged into Nike+ today and saw this
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Per Nike, it was a 6 year anniversary. I remember my ex husband got me my first Nike+ sensor, which I ultimately lost… But my sister got me a new one which I still use! It wasn’t until 2010 that I started running consistently. But still – kinda cool that all these years later I’m still going.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Oooh Thursday…its been a long day. It’s the first day I’ve worked overtime in 2 weeks. Boy, did the extra hours drag on!

Yesterday I had to take Jacques back to the vet to have his stitches removed and to check up on his current allergy issue. We also had to discuss what to do next as far as Jacques’ cancer goes.  That means I got to see his veterinarian…ya, the one I’ve dubbed “Dr. Hottie.”  It is incredibly hard to face the reality that amputation is most likely the “best” option for him. But it was slightly easier to take when Dr. Hottie is answering all my questions and telling me all about it. He still smells amazing and his voice is so calm, yet manly all at the same time. It was so calm…Jacques actually fell asleep on the table and started snoring. This never happens at the vets office. I think Jacques approves.

Swoooon.

To be honest I still haven’t made a final decision as far as what to do, but hopefully I can figure it out soon.

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So here’s the Good – after the vets office I dropped Jacques off and headed to the gym to get my sweat on! Fueled by anxiety and worry I did 3.5 miles on the bicycle and 3.41 on the treadmill. I tried to up my pace just a smidge, and was happy to see that by the last mile, I was in the 9 min range!!!

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I’m feeling a bit under the weather and my asthma is flaring a lot today, so I chose to rest instead of heading out again. In fact, I may be in bed by 8 tonight. Yay me!

The Bad
If you’re yearning to know how my online dating adventures are going…have no fear! I’m about to tell you.

It’s…blah.

I am still perplexed as to how they determine these men to be my matches. I’m finding that there are certain types of men that seem to be plentiful online, unfortunately that type is soOoOoOo far from the type I’m attracted too, or am interested in dating. I have surpassed the cancellation window though, with the hopes that something good will come out of the experience.  Even if its just a smile or two. I just keep telling myself I have to stay positive and open to possibility. I’ve responded to a few requests, so who knows what will come from that.

Eesh.

The Ugly…

The one guy I was totally interested in, and worked up the courage to message, apparently didn’t feel the need to respond to my request before closing it. It totally bummed me out, because I felt like he didn’t even give me a chance! How rude…

Unfortunately when you go through an affair and a divorce your self esteem takes a huge blow. And so things like this allow my “inner critic” to go crazy! But this is all a part of this experience…learning to take the hit and still keep going. Right?!

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So I’ve told myself that him closing the request is completely fine. It just wasn’t meant to be. No matter how cute he was…

Oh well.

So that’s what’s going this week. I hope your week is going well!

Decisions made after wine.

Yesterday I made myself a yummy dinner complete with garlic chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes. I decided to have some wine with my dinner because it was Sunday, so…why not?! After all the yummyliciousness, I got online and started researching online dating sites at the urging of a few friends.
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Of course decisions made with wine in my system are always on the “stupid brave side.” I logged into an old account that I had from a very long time ago. It was funny to see the pics I had posted, and the answers to my questions. The site offered a deal that was MUCH cheaper than anything else being offered.,,

So, of course I whipped out my ATM card and paid for it. It was a sale for goodness sakes! Today…I’m totally having buyers remorse and thinking I should cancel before my time limit is up! I can chalk this up to a (probably) dumb idea.
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There’s a few things that bother me. 1.) is that there are a few duplicate profiles, 2.) is that they show profiles of men who are no longer active. 3.) almost all the men listed as my “scientifically selected matches” – I would never even think to date in a million years. I’m sorry but you don’t need science to tell you what you do and don’t like!

There are 1 or 2 that I would consider, but 1 of them hasn’t been active for over a month. So, it makes me wonder if it would be a waste of time to contact him., I think it would just be better if they removed profiles like that all together! I bet if they actually cleaned up their site and removed profiles that were not active, my number of matches would go way down!

Also, I find myself completely nervous and lacking what it takes to send even a smile, or wink or whatever the hell they call it.
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Online dating seems kind of fake too…its just pictures on a screen right now, besides horrid profile pics – what is there to be afraid of? I’m on the fence. Do I keep the profile active and try to brave through all the anxieties and fears that it has created?

Or do I cancel it, get a refund, and Run…

From it all?

hmmmm.

PS I think its funny that this time around Im actually noticing how many men use their race pics in their profiles….Yay for that!

The socks that scare me.

This morning I woke up without any plan. I thought about running, but once I started sorting through my gazillion race shirts, my (unplanned) plans shifted a bit. I started going through old clothes, sandals, and other items to clean things out. I have so many cotton race shirts that I never wear, and a bunch of other clothes that sit untouched. Lets face it…I live in UA tanks and Nike Dri Fits pants. As I was going through closets and drawers I pulled out clothes that brought back certain memories. This is why getting rid of stuff can sometimes be difficult. I’m already having anxiety over tossing all those cotton race shirts! (I’m not actually “tossing” anything, they are in bags to donate.) Going through my sock drawer, I got rid of all the old cotton socks I have, since my feet haven’t seen cotton for the last last three years. But there was one pair of socks that caught me off guard…seeing them actually caused an anxiety attack, and  flashbacks.

Sounds insane doesn’t it?

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The offending socks...

These soft velvety blue toe socks where given to me by my ex husband. They were a gift, and to be honest I cannot recall exactly what for, but I want to say Valentines day. It was one of those where I purchased a gift for him, that I had put a lot of thought and money into, and wasn’t given anything in return. It didn’t bother me at the time, but now it does…only because that is so symbolic of our entire relationship. A few days later he took me to Target and “picked out” some items, paid for them and called it a gift. I guess it counts as a gift, but what was lacking was genuine thought. (This may sound bitchy. I don’t know.)

Anyways, I’ve had these socks tucked away since then. I think I only wore them once. I’m not sure why I held onto them for so long. Everytime they popped up in my drawer, I’d hide them again and try to forget everything they caused me to remember.

Well today…

I’m tossing these stupid blue socks. I don’t need them, or their stupid memory!

And it feels pretty damn good.

I ran naked in the rain.

Today was Brazen Racings Lagoon Valley Trail run, located in Vacaville. I ran the 5k – or maybe I swam it…so. much. rain!
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I ran this course last year for the first time, and enjoyed it. I remember feeling so out of shape at the time. I struggled to run the flat 2 mile loop around the lake. I was wearing new shoes and I had shin pain. I also remember getting to mile 2 and seeing a hill that seemingly touched the sky! The uphill was intense, steep, and literally took my breath away. The downhill was fast, and so fun!

Today as soon as I stepped outside to head over to my sisters house I felt a sprinkle of rain hit my nose. The entire drive was rainy and wet and it didn’t stop when we got to the park. We stayed in the car for as long as possible and then headed over to the start.
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I realized as we left the car that I didn’t have my Nike+ foot pod. Due to the rain, I chose not to use my phone so the Nike+ app was out of the question. Right before the start, my Garmin found the signal, but stayed frozen on that screen. I tried restarting it and the same thing happened. The race started before I could get it to work…so about a quarter mile in and still no working Garmin – I just shut it off.

I ran naked…in the rain.

I wanted to check my pace/distance a few times, and was perturbed that I couldn’t! By mile 2, I accepted my timeless fate and didn’t worry about it anymore. Mile 2.2 is where that dastardly hill begins. Because it was still raining cats and dogs, I chose to walk the hill. The trail is muddy, but its a clay like mud. So it was very slippery! I tried to run along the edge of the trail in the grassy area because it was less slippery there. However that wasn’t the case the entire time, and on the way down the ginournous hill, I slipped and landed on my arse! I didn’t get hurt, and I laughed on the way down. Everyone was asking if I was okay and many tried to help me up. That’s why I love Brazen and the runners that participate! So nice! After seeing photos of my muddy bum, it dawned on me that it looked similar to race photos I’ve seen where people had pooped on themselves…

I started to wonder if people realized I had fallen, or if maybe they thought differently?! I promise I fell in mud! Also, so many others where covered in mud, so its not like I’m the only one! Thank Goodness.

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That looks disgusting...

After making it to the finish line, I collected my medal and tried to get the mud off my hands. It was kinda nasty.
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I reflected on last years race, and I have to say, although I chose to walk the hill due to the rain and my ankle – I wasn’t gaspinf for air this time. Also I was able to run the whole course minus that darn hill, which really kind of feels like a mountain.
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Because it was still pouring rain my sister and I decided not to stick around like we normally do. Instead we tried to get to the car as fast as possible to change clothes and to head out for lunch.

The lot we had parked in was a large grassy/dirt area. That was now filling with water…

Many of the cars around us were stuck in the mud. Because I do not have a 4WD or AWD vehicle, we decided to get out of the mud pit before it got worse! After a few slips, slides, and a few close calls with some trees (and stress!) We made it over to a paved parking area where we could change.

Changing out of soaked, muddy clothing in a small car is not easy! But once I got it done, boy did I feel better. We braved the rain and traffic for another 20 minutes so we could hit up Woodstocks Pizza in Davis! They even had the coke machine that mixes flavors for you, which was totally fun. I totally enjoyed the GF veggie pizza and salad I had for lunch.
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Race results were posted, and I did manage a course PR, which is great considering I walked part of it, and fell too. Ha!

The Brazen Streak continues! Yahoo!

When good things happen…

Alright. So The last few weeks have been trying to say the least. With everything that’s been happening with Jacques my mind has just been filled with a lot of thoughts and stressors. There’s a lot more going on inside at the moment, but I won’t get into that. One of the bigger things on my plate was trying to study for an upcoming test in the midst of everything else. This test has a big impact on my future, so I felt a lot of pressure. I didn’t really want to take it, but I was told by management that it was important that I did. Because things are changing in the industry I work in soon, I figured it would best to try and take the test before the changes occurred. However once I started to study, I realized how far removed I am from certain aspects of my profession. I struggle with studying anyways (thank you very much ADD/ADHD) and trying to read endless pages of stuff I am not using in my daily work just caused more frustration and stress. If I could listen to all of it, it would have been so much easier for me to understand! Anyway, most of my study sessions ended with a major headache and tears. I just felt that this test wasn’t going to go well, and I did not feel ready for it. AT ALL.

Although I wrestled with thoughts of “should I?/shouldn’t I?”, I ended up calling just to see if it was at all possible to back out of the test. I was even willing to pay penalty fees. Unfortunately, if I had called two weeks ago I could have – but with the test being just a few days away I was no longer in the cancellation window. I accepted that I would just have tocl continue studying all weekend and give it my all on Tuesday. No matter what.

At about 230 I got an email from my coworker asking if I had heard about the suspension of the exams…

Excuse me? The what?!? 

I scoured my email, and found something in my junk box with the title of “Cancellation” I opened it, and low and behold – the exam I was scheduled to take on Tuesday April 1st has been indefinitely suspended due to some sort of security breach. All tests across the nation have been cancelled, and I will be receiving a full refund because they do not know when they will be able to offer the test again.

HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS!!!! HALLELUJAH AND AMEN!!!! 

It literally felt like a 50 pound weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was slightly upset that I had put time, effort, and tears into the last few weeks, but at the same time – I feel like I have been given a do-over.

A second chance.

A “let’s wait till things smooth out a bit” type thing.

The downside is that I was thinking if I took it and passed, then I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. So now, have no choice but to wait longer, but it’s Okay. As for rescheduling my test, I am not sure when the test I need to take will be available. Things are just suspended pending some sort of investigation without further notice. The good thing is that because things were set to change this year anyway, my work was already putting us through education hours to ensure a smooth transition. I am thinking I will take advantage of the educational tools being offered at work and take the test closer to October when the changes officially occur. At first I thought this would be harder, but as I go along I feel that it may actually be easier, because it is giving me the exposure to the other aspects that I need.

So as soon as I logged off, I changed my clothes and headed out the door!!! I haven’t run, or been active all week because I’ve been staying inside and studying as soon as I get off work. I raced out the door so quickly that I left without taping my ankle, or having my ankle brace. Due to my lack of activity and horrid food choices all week (read that as jalepeno kettle chips, multiple bags of gummies, and Snickers Peanut butter squares) this run was super slow and insanely sluggish. My legs felt like they weighed 200lbs each! After 1.25 miles I walked a 1/2 mile before even trying to run again.
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My ankle was sore and I just didn’t want to push anything, considering I do have a race tomorrow with Brazen. But I took some photos, and I inhaled huge breaths of fresh air! I totally enjoyed every minute of my walk/jog/somewhat-of-a-run!
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It’s supposed to start raining again this evening, and I could totally smell it in the air as I was running. The smell of rain is one of my favorite smells – combine that with the smell of dirt, pine trees, and nature and it’s like heaven on earth!

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Running selfie!

After my impromptu 5k I came home and ate dinner – that didn’t include anything in the gummy form! I also got my clothes ready for tomorrow race. It’s another trail run, and I have a feeling its going to be muddy, so I may take it easy and just go out and have fun on the trails instead of looking for some crazy PR. Either way, I am very much looking forward to it now that I don’t have to race home to study!

Happy Friday Everyone!