Friday, September 30, 2011

Every teardrop is a waterfall during 18 miles

Ok, let's just say it: I RAN 18 MILES!!! A distance PR!

And now, for the recap of a very difficult run...

I started out alone, running from Queens to Central Park. I continued to go around The Loop in Central Park until I ran into my former running buddy which the Upper West Side stole from me, Sara:
When I saw Sara, I knew I could finish the run! We finally had a day to do a long run together that matched! In case you don't remember, Sara is doing her first half marathon next weekend (!) and needed to complete a 12 mile run today. This was ALSO a personal distance PR for her! I've been getting antsy and bored as the miles get longer, and I'm SO thankful that my buddy was able to run her heart out with me!

The hills were alive with the sound of music. The music was Sara. Around my 12 mile mark I started to get really REALLY tired. Central Park's hills were getting the best of me. Like really bad getting the best of me. Like I started walking for a few seconds bad! Sara, being her PEPPY self, began chanting "You can do it yes you can" and other army-like chants. This rockin lady started cheering us on because Sara was cheering ME on! Go NYC spirit of community! I finally made it past the point of no return, and enter the worst of it: Mile 15.

Here is where the whimpering occurred. Serious whimpering. Ok crying and whimpering. More hills. Bad route but real life running; I can't alter my marathon route to avoid hills! I had to put on some music to keep me pushing forward. Up until then, Sara and I had been keeping up conversation (We had so much to catch up on, we hadn't seen each other in a MONTH!). At that point, I told her to go ahead because I was definitely holding her back. She stayed in my line of vision but was rocking out her last three miles. I, on the other hand, tried to hold it together because I would expend more energy sobbing in self pity. So insert some music to pump me up. Here are some songs and samples of lyrics:

1. Rise by Hillsong: All our hearts cry out / For the glory of Your Name / Our God You will never fail
2. With Us by Hillsong: There's no end to Your love / There's no end to Your love / You're with us / You're with us
3. Alive in Us by Hillsong: Death has been defeated by love / You overcome / You overcome
4. Dog Days by Florence and the Machines: Run fast for your mother / and fast for your father / run for your children for your sisters and brothers
5. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall: And all the kids they dance/ all the kids all night/ until Monday Morning feels another life / I turn the music up / I'm on a roll this time / And Heaven is in sight

These songs got me to my 18 mile mark. When we finished, we literally sat down (probably not good training etiquette) and semi-stretched as we caught our breath. Then, we ventured to Starbucks for a recovery chai. I felt a little icky, just really tired, and I think the walking to cool down helps me before I get on the train. After a long run once, I had gotten sick on the train and almost lost my lunch/fainted, so that's a big fear and I need to be certain that I'm feeling good enough to hop on board the subway express! I made it home just fine.

Recovering and reflections. HA! I sound like my portfolio! Mind you, when reading my previous post again, I realized it was insanely organized, the aftermath of portfolio purgatory. I took my Hammer Recoverite and an ICE COLD BATH for 10-15 minutes (No need to add the ice!) I tried to nap with Lambeau Puppy while icing my knees, which turned into an hour of dozing and 30 minutes of light sleep. I ordered chicken slouvaki MMMMMM and french fries MMMMMM because I really wasn't hungry until about 3pm. Are you hungry right after a run? I usually am, but the longer they are the longer I have to wait for my body to tell me it's hungry (It was almost 4 hours after the run, I had drank a grande skim chai and a Recoverite blended drink, aka powder mixed with water). 18 miles was hard. I'm scared of 20 miles in two weeks. SCARED. I need to finish it! I will finish it!

On a side note, not one bathroom stop today. My stomach was ok, partially because I took pepto bismal before I ran. I'll try this on my long runs until the race to see if it can hold me off from using a portapotty!

I'm excited for the marathon. I'm excited every time I run over the Queensboro Bridge; I cry because I know that's where I'll see my family during the marathon, and it will mean a lot to have their support. I'm excited to feel a crowd that is known around the world as the best cheer section. I'm excited to slap my 26.2 sticker on my car when I get home. I'm excited that I only have FOUR MORE LONG RUNS! AH!

And now, I'm off to the FREE Black Eyed Peas concert in Central Park!

36 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mrs. Miller got her groove back

I'm BAAAAACK from the running dead! YIPPEE! I never thought it would end, but it did. I worked endlessly on graphs, charts, color coding, boxes, bullets...if I never see microsoft word or excel again, I am a-o-k with THAT! Here are the (limited) running recaps that I have not addressed:

  • 9/16 I ran 16 miles. Boy was that tough. I ran from my school to Central Park and did one round of the loop then a 1/2 loop. I had plans on Saturday so I had to do it Friday. Now, running a long run after work was new to me...and not recommended. I hated it. I had three bathroom stops. THREE. I got so tired. It was getting DARK when I was finishing. GAH! Morning runs forever. BUT I DID IT! 16 miles is my longest yet! After that, I had a running drought due to my portfolio. FAIL.

  • I ran 4.5 miles last Thursday. It felt good to stress relieve and listen to music other than classical (Can't concentrate otherwise!)

  • 12 mile long run Saturday. It was tough with humidity like a WALL! Felt really good afterwards but had to continue working immediately when I came home. No nap for me...ok maybe I did take an hour nap because I fell asleep sitting up with my computer in my lap.

  • MY ORANGE MANDARINS ARE IN! They have now transitioned into being my official running shoe. Get ready mandarins, you are marathon bound!
This was my life for a week. Changing everything I had already worked hard on into the finished product that it became. When I presented it today, I was so nervous I was sweating a bit...ok a lot...but the AC wasn't on and it was 80 degrees and 150% humidity. My presentation went better than I expected. I was so nervous that I had worked so hard and it wasn't going to be good enough...running analogy? I'd say so. THANK YOU GOD for the strength to get through this without any, ok barely any, (major life altering) breakdowns. THANK YOU to my amazing husband for losing his wife for a week. THANK YOU to my coworkers who never ceased to come through for me. PS, is everyone enjoying seeing my handwriting?! I don't think that has ever happened on this typed out blog. Things I did in the past two days that had previously been ignored:

  • Cleaned!

  • Did laundry!

  • Made dinner!

  • Washed the dishes!

  • Vaccuumed!

  • Grocery Shopped!

  • Talked to my family!

  • I RAN 6 miles today! It was supposed to be 9, but I need to shave a few miles to get me going back in tip top shape! Trying not to freak out about this but I don't want to get injured!
This weekend is going to be FAN-TAS-TIC, just like my Lambeau puppy! He is seriously cute stuff. I have off Thursday and Friday due to Rosh Hashanah!!! So, the agenda is as follows:

  • Thursday: Lazy day. 3 mile slow run, trip to Target, maybe visit Mr. Miller at work for lunch, an all around lounge day.

  • Friday: 18 mile run! EEK! Another personal distance record!!! Thank God I have the day off. Why can't I do it Saturday? Because I will be ROCKING OUT to the Black Eyed Peas in Central Park, that's why!!! Friday night concert with tired running legs? SCORE. :-D

  • Saturday: This will be a lazy day with a possible 3-4 mile recovery run or elliptical workout in anticipation for...The A Party. My friend Amanda's birthday party is A themed; costumes must begin with an A, food must begin with an A, and drinks must begin with an A. I will be bringing Absolut Vanilla and A&W Rootbeer. Mmmm. Costume to be revealed at a later juncture.

  • Sunday: FOOTBALL. GO PACK GO. Need I say more?

What could be better than running a marathon? How about getting wicked cool stuff after running the marathon? Like, hey, guess what? TIFFANY'S MAKES ING NYC MARATHON NECKLACES! Er hmm uh Mr. Miller, heads up. This is on every wish list I could have. Or how about a shirt that brags for you? Yup. I want that too. Marathons are expensive because you need to buy all sorts of ways to show that you ran one!!! Speaking of marathons...

38 days until the ING NYC Marathon.

We're in the 30's. Holy Shnikies.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where oh where has Mrs. Miller gone?!

This is going to be short and sweet because I literally have no leisure time afforded to me. This week began the process of getting my teaching tenure portfolio reviewed. I presented it, and I was promptly told to change, well, EVERYTHING about it. So, running, for the first time in my training, has taken a back seat. This is currently my life:Excel graphs + 3 years of data = a headache ridden Mrs. Miller.

NYC has adopted a new criteria for tenure; you are no longer nominated and approved based on your observations by a principal that knows you. You have to prove with data, graphs, student work, and reflection how you've helped students grow. Then I have to combine it into a beautiful binder and ship it off to a superintendent who has never met me, and probably never will. I hope she likes it. Since this is the first year of this new method, I obviously didn't know I should keep 3-4 years of student work in a stock pile. Oops.

Insert stress here.

So, here is a list of things I haven't done this week:
  • I haven't looked at a marathon countdown. I will do that in two minutes at the conclusion of this blog entry and then promptly freak out.
  • I haven't run all my training runs; I've literally done one 4.5 mile run this week. I did 16 miles last Friday. A personal distance record. Am I proud? Well, the run sucked. But I finished.
  • I haven't cooked in 4 days.
  • I haven't done the dishes in 4 days.
  • I haven't blogged in
  • I haven't talked to my family in a week.
  • I haven't thought about the vacation I've been planning for February break in a week.
  • I haven't read any runner's blog except Ali's because she is running the Hampton's Marathon this weekend! HER FIRST! Go Ali. She's an inspiration.
  • I haven't been a good wife with house work.
  • I haven't been a good friend with "Hey what's up" text and phone calls.
  • I haven't gotten more than 6 hours of sleep in the past week. A no-no in Mrs. Miller's world of 8 solid hours every. night.
  • I haven't been able to sleep well past 4am. I wake up intermittently with anxiety.
  • I haven't read my Bible. A friend posted a Bible verse on Facebook just as I was calling it a night last night (1am) and it was my FAVORITE verse of all time. Needed that. Thanks.
  • I haven't worked less than a 12 hour day this week.
Oh. My. Gosh.

43 days until the ING NYC Marathon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

We are the champions

Did I mention I love the Green Bay Packers? I told you I'd brighten up your work week with some fabulous football fiesta fotos! (Had to keep the f theme alive...) Our awesome friends Shaun and Amanda threw a fiesta to rememba, including an authentic Mexican Packers poncho (Not pictured, darn it!), tacos, tacquitos, gauc, crack dip (buffalo chicken dip), no bake cookies, brownies...mmmm it was good eating. SO, in honor of the SUPERBOWL CHAMPION GREEN BAY PACKERS, I will act like a marathon champion...

I ate like a champion. (The remnants of the excellente comida is in the background)
I celebrated like a champion. (I'm taking the picture darn it!) Those would be blackberry brandy shots, taken with each touchdown. I abstained. Champion like, right?!
I dress my dog like a champion. (That is his bff Benji. They may be more than friends. The jury is still out. I have some incriminating video of them though...)
The Millers wear champion belts...maybe I'll wear this after the marathon??? (Lambeau wears this every day.)

I train like a champion: 3 miles this morning. 8 tomorrow. Training works.

I sleep like a champion: 7-8 hours every night.

I eat like a champion: high protein, veggie infused and carbs need met.

I will be a marathon champion.

54 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Run to Remember

A hard day in the city that I love. During the Packers game Thursday night (Which we WON! YEA! Pictures to come this week to brighten your day...), Mayor Bloomberg announced that we had credible terrorist threats, and advised we don't use the subways etc, aka Hurricane Irene Part II. Thankfully, thus far, this day has gone on as it should; without any major attacks or events. I will never forgot that morning 10 years ago. I don't think the sky has ever been bluer. And I will never forget the September 11's in the past 5 years that I have lived in NYC, watching the people call out the names of the victims at Ground Zero and ending with "And my brother....." or "And my father....". I'm brought to tears every year. I will never forget the feeling of the city on this specific day. There is a palpable feeling of sadness, calm, and quiet. I pray for every person who was affected by this tragedy for strength, joy, and resilience.

A rough road to 15 miles. Saturday I had 15 miles on the agenda, my longest distance to date. My running had STUNK this week, work was stressful, and I was SO nervous about this distance. I had never run "more than half a marathon". I knew it would be a complete mental boost; or a complete mental killer. I was so tired Friday night, I didn't lay out my clothes, I didn't get my water situated, I just went to sleep...then I proceeded to wake up 5 times throughout the night. Ugh. When my alarm went off at 6:45am, I tried to find everything quietly so Mr. Miller wouldn't be disturbed. My favorite shorts? Grew legs and hid themselves SO WELL that I never found them. My lucky shamrock headband? No clue where it ran off to. So I was going with second rate gear. Then, my stomach started to hurt. Ugh. I went to the "bathroom" and felt better. I thought, "Maybe I won't have stomach aches while I run!?" I finally got myself ready and out the door by 7:30am. 1.5 miles in my feet were killing me in my Nike Limies; just like on my 4 mile run in my marathon Nike Mandarins Thursday. They felt tingly and sore. ?!? Finally the thought came to me; or, God gave me the thought: loosen your laces. I remembered that I had tied my laces SUPER TIGHT in light of my double blisters, thinking this would reduce the friction. It made my feet numb instead. So I sat down on a sidewalk, with gawkers eyeing this peculiar girl, and loosened the Nike Limies. Perfect. They felt like clouds. We were off. Again.

Central Park was like a race! It was like every team was running! When I got to the park, I couldn't believe the Saturday morning crowd! GO RUNNERS! It was awesome. It took me a while to loosen up, but my best miles were from mile 6-15! I was still getting a handle on my stomach, and once I get to the park, I feel like my competitive edge took over. (It's about 5 miles from my house, over a bridge, through the streets of Manhattan, until I reach Central Park.) I recognized several people who were doing more than one loop, and I know many were out in marathon training style. I felt so much better knowing that others were suffering with me! I got a little bored, so thank you to my sister Kate for talking to me on the phone during mile 7 and thank you to my friend Rebecca for talking to me during miles 11-12. I was a bit bored not talking to anyone, and these quick chats helped IMMENSELY! However, my worst fear came true.

I had to use the bathroom. Thankfully there are plenty of bathrooms in Central Park, and decently clean at that. However, I was hoping I would survive a marathon without a portapotty visit. Doesn't seem to be the case thus far. Now, thankfully, it wasn't "painful I'm going to die I have to go NOW", it was "It's just time to go". Therefore, I wasn't dehydrated thankfully. So, if this happens during the marathon, I'll loose a lot of time, which is a bummer. Oh well, at least I'll complete the marathon!!!
15 miles complete!* Just like that, I was done! I could have kept going for sure! I felt super strong. In fact, my best mile was MILE 15! I was definitely excited to have run a new distance. I stopped at Starbucks and grabbed a venti skim chai, figuring that milk would help start the recovery process. I took the subway home and walked to my apartment without any soreness. COOL! Showered, took my Recoverite, and off to brunch I went with Mr. Miller.
*Fuel used: Smart water for my first round of waters in my fuel belt, Hammer Gel during the run, and Recoverite afterwards. I will be experimenting with eating during the run actual food next week!
Breakfast Burrito. Need I say more? Ok I will. This is the best thing I've ever had. The eggs are SUPER moist, the sausage is so good (I don't eat sausage), the hash browns inside are a perfect compliment, and the cheese is melted to perfection. My body had other ideas. After we enjoyed an "appetizer" of a caramel bacon biscuit (SO GOOD, can you tell it's a comfort food place?!), I got my main course favorite breakfast burrito. I got nauseous. I tried to eat more thinking I was hungry, and I got more nauseous. I ended up taking a walk outside, eating what I could when I got back, and calling it a day. I came home and was perfectly fine the rest of the day. I think I tried to eat too many things too soon, so we will see if I can change that feeling this weekend for my 16 miles!
Recovering is sweet. Last night I went to a friend's house to watch some football, and we ate pizza, some french fries, hummus and veggies, queso dip...I finally found my appetite. Today Mr. Miller came to cross train at the gym (He refused a picture), and I was rewarded with my first pumpkin spice latte of the season!!! It was so good. I don't like sweet coffee (I take my coffee with a little skim milk no sugar), so I opted for a tall two pump nonfat no whip pumpkin spice latte. DE-LIC-OUS. I took a nap (Very tired today, because I could not nap yesterday!), and made brunch; tater tots, eggs, cheese and hot sauce...SO HEALTHY!

Injuries: These are hilarious. I did wrap my feet to avoid blisters, and I think it pretty much worked. The skin that was already blistered was a little irriated but doesn't hurt, and I don't think there was any new "liquid"...sorry tmi. Other injuries? Oh ha ha I got chaffing on my BACK from my fuel belt! WHAT?! This has never happened! Maybe I wore it too loose??? Either way, it hurt a lot when I got into the shower and had instant stinging on my back for reasons unknown to me. Because of my favorite shorts disappearing act, I wore shorter shorts which led to some leg chaffing. I'm not one of those girls who wears the swishy running short shorts...spandex is my best friend. Worst injury? A BLOODY NIPPLE ON A MAN IN CENTRAL PARK! Now, blood and I don't get along. At all. Ever. I gagged and almost projectile vomited on him and his bloody white shirt. Dude, do something about that. I can't handle it again.

Countdowns: I have 7 more long runs, then the its the marathon. I have four long runs, and then it's the big 20 miler. I will be a marathon finisher 8 weeks from today. Two months from today. Tomorrow is 1 month and 29 days (Or something like that). Whoa.

55 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Blue Day

So this is the second time I writing this post; it got deleted the first time. Further confirming the title: The Blue Day.

Back to school to prove to dad that I'm to a fool. Today was the first day back to school, which is always filled with excitement, anticipation, and change. I don't like change. In fact, we're sworn enemies. We've tried to call a truce once or twice, but every time we do...something changes. Change can't be trusted ;-) I had some changes in my schedule today and I was stressed. I got heart burn. I had 7 miles to run. ON THE TREADY. It was pouring rain and there was no chance for an outdoor run, or going to the US Open, which Mr. Miller and I had tickets for. The Blue Day continued.
Rain rain go away. This is me soaking wet. I had a 7 mile run on the agenda, and being a 1/4 of a mile from the gym, I opted to get soaked and run there versus hiding under an umbrella, ella ella eh eh. Hey, round trip it's a 1/2 mile I don't have to be in Planet Fitness = yes please. When I got there, so many things continued The Blue Day:
- I had to wear my plan b headphones; Mr. Miller grabbed mine this morning. Change. What's up.
- I couldn't read my People Magazine because my treadmill was shaking too much.
- My foot cramped so I had to retie my shoes. I paused the tready, which decided to completely reset. Nice. 2 miles in.
- A nice gentlemen decided that, out of the 25 treadies available, the one right next to me seemed the best. SPACE. INVADER. Staring, unnatural arm pumping. Oh, and hey, there's his friend on the other side of me, and they're talking over me. I felt like I was on a hidden camera.
- Someone decided to wear some GREAT shoes to run on the treadmill, because they were squeaking nonstop. I mean, I had my iPod on full blast and all I could hear was "Squeak squeak squeak". Nails on a chalk board. Chills up my spine. I wanted to scream. Or cry.
- After another two miles, I decided to switch treadies because my gait was way off. I felt super uncomfortable. I know I haven't used a tready in a month, but come on feet. Get it together (They don't like change either, even if they've done it before).
- The stress from work should have affected my run in a good way; alas, it affected it in a negative way.

The Blue Day Book. Have you read it? I love it. I could not find an acceptable picture, but I'll write what these pages say:
"Maybe work is a pain in the butt. You're under Major pressure to fill someone else's shoes."

Moving on. The Blue Day can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Today, it happened to me. I'm choosing to move on. The contradictions to The Blue Day are as follows:

- I ran 7 miles.
- I read The Blue Day Book.
- I love the people I work with.
- I love my husband and family.
- God is good no matter what. I'm healthy, happy, and blessed.
- My countdown to the NYC Marathon is approaching the 50's.

60 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Country Strong...

This is the face I woke up to at 5:45am. He looks like he got visited by the HAIR FAIRY! Getting out the door in the AM has been becoming a longer and longer process! During my 3 mile mornings with my former running buddy, stolen from me by the alluring upper west side, I used to get up at 5am, and be out the door between 5:11 or 5:15 at the LATEST. Now it seems I have a 20 minute prep period! Ugh! I had pretty much everything laid out and ready to go, but when I'm in Connecticut, I must let Lambeau Puppy out to use the facilities before I leave. When in NYC I let him out after I get home, but here he's extra antsy and more likely to have an accident. So I have to get myself ready, get my dog emptied, and then be on my way. I've learned to turn on my Garmin right when I wake up so it has PLENTY of time to find satellite! I was FINALLY on my way at 6:05am. 10 miles of country running. This is one of my favorite houses. They sell firewood year round, honor system style. See that weird shadow cutout in the corner? It's SO New England. I cross through three towns on my 10 mile run (5 miles out and back). This town, Glastonbury, is one of my favorites. It has a lot of old houses, old stone walls on the back roads, and is overall very picturesque. I also got married in Glastonbury, so my heart really does belong in it! 10 miles went well, but I still felt a little tired. I have gotten a few blisters, and then on this run, I got a painful blister under an already existing blister. OUCH. I know I should wrap my feet with gauze and tape, but I just haven't; and I've paid for it. I've gotten shoe fittings, anti blister socks, moisture wicking socks, you name it I've done it. I always get blisters at one point or another! I'm hoping this is it, they'll heal and we can move on. I'll have to keep them taped up well. We'll see :-D I'm excited to get through a regular training week, with cross training to break up the strain of running, and attempt my longest run to date: 15 miles. I spoke with my neighbor/childhood friend today, ALSO running NYC this year (!!! 3 of us from our neighborhood are doing it, how crazy is that!?) and she said 15 miles was "not hard, and a huge mental boost." SWEET. That's exactly what I need, especially with starting school this coming week.

My recovery meal ROCKED. Unfortunately, the iPhone stayed in the car, I was all over the place trying to get to the annual "Nana's Back to School Breakfast". I literally got home from my run at 8:00am, showered, grabbed my make up, recoverite drink, and an ice pack and was in the car by 8:11am to go to breakfast! My mommy brings out all the grandchildren with their moms to this place called Hotcakes, a country diner that specializes in the creative pancakes. I got the idea for apple pancakes from this place, and make them all the time!!! I ended up getting the pumpkin spice pancakes, while helping myself to some home fries and a veggie omelet from Coach Jen. I wouldn't have had time to use the iPhone with 4 nieces, 8 nephews, 3 sisters, 1 sister in law and a mother to entertain me! I was cutting food, passing water, stopping boys from the under the table kicking was fantastic. We got several comments from other diners about how well the kids behaved, claiming we must have drugged them to make them so good. Nah. It was just a special day with a lot of yummy food ;-)

I love New England. This farm is 1/2 a mile from my house, and a lot of childhood memories belong to it. This was the place I would beg to "ride my bike to and pick up corn" or something like that. I love it. It opens July 4 weekend, sells produce and plants all summer, pumpkins, mums and gourds in the fall, and Christmas trees and wreaths in December. I picked up some peppers tonight, and it felt like the end of a New England summer. A sun setting that was trying to be strong, overcast yet blue skies with a beautiful breeze. No one beeping, no loud music coming from a car, and no children milling around on the sidewalk. Now, don't get me wrong, I love New York, but New England is my first love. We get together once a month, bond, and then agree to meet again soon. This trip is a nice end to the summer, a good fair well to a summer well spent. I wouldn't change anything about it...except maybe going to the beach more! ;-)

63 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Serenity Now

Doesn't this picture just calm you right down? I look at and it's like "woosah" or "Ohm" or whatever people do to find their serenity! (I personally pray to God; he works wonders. Try it.) This is my little Ella. I call her Ella Bella. She's my youngest niece and was obsessed with the ocean. She didn't want to be scared, she wanted to crawl after the waves and chase them down until she had every crevice filled with sand! I want to approach life like Ella. I want to approach running like Ella. Not afraid, not stressed, just enjoying each new moment with a care in the world. Easier said than done; school is starting in t-minus 3 days. I've had a nagging fear all this week that my training is going to be stinky once I start school. Now, I've taken solace in the fact that I taught summer school for six weeks and trained well...but that was less miles, less working hours, less stress. I will have to start praying for less stress and continued focus! Basically, be like Ella.
This is Ella's big brother Evan! Evan is such a funny kid. He loves dogs, Elmo, reading books, he's the best. Evan is also fearless. I had a nice pre 10 mile run carb loading pizza dinner with them tonight, and it was DELICIOUS! These kids are the best, they always bright my day.

What brightens your day?

64 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

100 miles of fueling

100 is a big number. In the kindergarten/first grade world, where I reside September-June, there is a big countdown to the 100th Day of School! There's always some sort of chorus performance which includes, my favorite, the song "One Zero Zero". It goes like this:

"...One zero zero, One zero zero, One zero zero 100 days of school/
One hundred days of learning/
One hundred days of knowing/
One hundred days of trying/
One hundred days of growing...."

Well, if you don't get how this song will stay with me forever, watch a class perform it; life changing I tell you, life changing. Anyway, all this talk about 100 leads to kind of a big deal that happened yesterday...


Failure? I think not. I had done a 7 mile run yesterday morning, August 31, and when I entered my mileage into my log, I was semi-sad. Shoot. 97.8 miles for the month of August. A nice round 100 would have been nice. Later on that day, while at school helping my work wife and birthday girl set up her room, I got to talking about my high mileage with some coworkers. My friends husband Richie said, "Why not run the extra 2 miles for 100?" I replied, while setting up bulletin board after bulletin board, "I was tired after 7 miles, and I didn't have time to crawl out the extra two." His response? "Excuses are the nails in the house of failure." UH, ok, 2 miles need to happen NOW. The second I got home, I walked the puppy pirate and then set out on my merry way. A slow and relaxed 2.3 mile run (Just in case I missed a tenth somewhere...), and I reached 100 miles!!! I never thought I would be able to run this much! I am humbled. I am excited. I am FUELED!

100 miles means a lot of fuel. This is the truest statement ever. Above is a picture of all things fuel in my life. I will briefly go through and tell you what I've got up my sleeve. I'm still experimenting with some things, and let it be known that I really want to try Nuun. I've been reading a lot of blogs whose authors ran the Hood to Coast Relay on Team After-Nuun Delight (Like this one, and this one, and this one!) and I can't wait to get my hands on some Nuun and give it a go!!! Also, check out this amazing giveaway, from another Nuun relay runner. I really don't want you to ruin my chances, but it's too fabulous to keep a secret. Ok, back to fueling. (Describing Left to Right, in orderly fashion of course!)

Hammer Gel: I use this stuff like water. I really like it. I may be biased, but I think it's a bit smoother than Gu. I have a sensitive stomach, and Gu and Gatorade mess me up something awful; Hammer Gel passes the test. My stomach can handle it. I may feel a little upset for a minute or two after taking a gel, but it always passes. Darn stomach. Get it together, will ya! I prefer the Apple Cinnamon or Espresso. I received a few samples with my order, including Mountain Berry and Strawberry, which I'm saving for a special day when I need an extra push to lace up and get on the pavement! Also, the little squirt bottles hold FIVE GELS! A great thing for long distances, because my sweaty inept hands CAN NOT open those DARN PLASTIC PACKETS! So, if you go bulk, you'll receive the squirt bottle. I have some of the plastic packets for runs where I only need one or two. I can open them then. I think.

Recoverite: My dad went to the store to pick one up for my sister as a favor, and the cool bike guy said, "This stuff is like crack. Once you start you can't stop." Now my dad, a non runner/biker/exerciser, has not stopped joking about it ever since. However, it's TRUE! I started using this two weeks ago and it truly helps. I feel more energized, less likely to need a 4 hour nap after a long run, and my soreness is down significantly. The first time you have it, the taste is a little powdery, but now that I know what it does for me, I live for that stuff!!! Check it out. You won't regret it.

Endurolytes: Like I mentioned before, I hate Gatorade. Really, I do. The sugary mess makes my stomach turn while running. In fact, I once took some in a race because I was hot and sweaty, and because I hadn't trained with it, my run/stomach went downhill from there. These are GREAT. You take 2-3 pills for every hour you're running. They are easy to swallow, and work like a charm. I used them on two long runs (12 miles and 13 miles) and two midweek semi-long runs (6 miles and 7 miles), and felt confident and hydrated the whole time.

Women's Ultra Mega Active Multi Vitamin: I needed a multi vitamin, so a friend who worked for GNC recommended this one. Now, I'm not saying it was just because I took the multi vitamin, but I get sick ALL.THE.TIME. Like teacher-kids-sneezing-and-coughing-on-me sick. Since become a teacher almost four years ago, I have gotten 5 infections of some sort; bronchial, sinus; you name it, I got it. I started taking this CONSISTENTLY last school year, and I had ONE COLD the whole year. Coincidence? I don't know. I will say this gives me an extra (natural) boost in the morning, and I'm down to one cup of coffee a day. It also has helped with my stomach and digestion, which I greatly appreciated!

be-HOT GNC Exercise Enhancing Turbo Pak: DISCLAIMER: This does NOT help you lose weight. This is not a fat burner. This is simply a bunch of all natural stuff for people living a healthy lifestyle. I started using this last year and love it. The main goal of this Pak is to support a person leading an active healthy life with natural supplements you may already take all in one Pak, such as fish oil, cranberry extract, green tea extract etc. I love this thing. I take it in the afternoon, and get a boost from the natural vitamins in it. I've stopped getting a mid afternoon coffee. The only problem is I have gotten heartburn from taking 5 big pills, and it's not fun despite chugging lots of water. However, the benefits outweigh the downfalls. Read up on GNC's website to see all the aspects of this vitamin Pak.

So, there you have it. Fuel for life! Let me know what you do, any helpful suggestions etc. I'm going to try a suggestion I read on a blog and make a pb&j and cut it into fourths. Essentially it has the same nutrients as a gel, I figure 10 miles this weekend would be a good test run for it!

Runners World, you mind reader. RW actually sent out an email today all about fueling, oddly enough! Here are two links on fueling:

65 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

...and I know it's preseason still, but GO PACK GO!