Wednesday, March 28, 2012

13.1 NYC 1/2 Marathon Race Recap & Review

13.1 NYC was a great race! The main reason I love this race is because all the profits go to World Vision, whom you know I have an affinity for. Good news: I EXCEEDED MY FUNDRAISING GOAL! Thank you to all who donated. Truly generous people donated to a great cause. I was honored to be part of Team World Vision, and to run in the 13.1 NYC!

We arrived to the race around 7:45am. The start time was at 9:00am; thankfully the race organizers realized that the past two year's start at 9:13am was just too uneven for OCD runners. This left time for one, read ONE bathroom trip. Thankfully it was enough! This photo was just post bathroom, pre corral:
Mrs. Gray and I were SO excited to run! We got into the corral for 10:00/miles and got ready to rock and roll. Then some girl sang the national anthem, it was a DEAD RINGER for the Whitney one.

Miles 1-5: We were very conscious not to go out too fast. I wanted Mrs. Gray's first half marathon to be great, energized, and not a huge struggle at the end. We chatted and enjoyed these miles. I got sick of a tired/dead crowd of spectators, so I decided to talk to them! Quips such as "Thanks for coming out!" or "That's a great sign!" Got a few "woohoo's" here and there!

Miles 6-10: They were filled with shenanigans. We were having FUN! (See previous post) It's a race, but it's FUN! I saw my coach from the ING NYC Marathon, Juampa, and was glad for the support. At about this point I realized I had forgotten my long run/race pepto bismal pill....uh oh. I struggled for a bit but fought through it and came out on top...not in line for a bathroom break. Mrs. Gray was going strong. If I had a dollar for every time I said "How are you feeling? Do we need to slow down? Speed up? Do you need a shot blok? Drink water." I would be a mega millions winner :-D It was about this time that Mrs. Gray needed some musical inspiration. I kept my ipod off because a) music pumps me up to run faster (True story) and b) I needed to hear if she needed something.

Miles 10-12: Things got serious. I told Mrs. Gray, "At 8 miles, we've broken through the wall. After that it's smooth sailing." Then I followed that with, "A half marathon is a 10 mile run to a 5k race." So, the 5k race had begun. Mrs. Gray was a CHAMP. She was tired. She was ready to finish. We ran it out.

Miles 12-13: We saw the light at the end of the tunnel. There was a finish line! There was a "Just go around the water and we'll be done!" discussion. There was a photographer to photograph our desperate run to a happy ending!
Miles 13-13.1: The finish. We saw our supporters, and then hauled it to the finish line. Per a text discussion the week before, we opted to hold hands at the finish. We start together, we finish together, no runner left behind. It was a joyous finish and we were thrilled to find our family and friends shortly thereafter with fabulous signs and sweaty hugs.

13.1 NYC Props: THERE WAS A NEW WATER STATION! Last year I had not worn my fuel belt; bad move. The longest part of the race without spectators is this loop around a lake, and no water for almost two miles. I was pretty sure I got dehydrated. Thankfully there was a water station out there this year. Although I had a fuel belt, it was nice to know that other runners would receive water during the least shaded part of the course. Also, the bands and local high school cheerleaders and marching bands were FANTASTIC! GO TEENS GO!

13.1 needs improvement: the course? Not sure how they would change it, but there is a lot of turning around. However, spectators get to see runners repeatedly because the course circulates well so you can see a runner at mile 4, then turn around and see them at mile 6!  Also, the egg rolls at the finish line were WEIRD. No thanks. A bagel and a banana and I was OUT.

Congratulations to Mrs. Gray for a fabulous finish! You worked through excitement, endurance, exhaustion, and elation to complete your first half marathon. I am honored that you allowed me to walk through it with you. Let's do this again VERY soon!

Congrats to all my friends who completed their first half marathon, their "more than one" half marathon, PR'd, and ran in this awesome race benefiting World Vision!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What happens when your race photog is funny

Ever have a personal race photog? I think that is what I'll refer to Mr. and Mrs. Anders as. They came as well prepared spectators with signs and a fancy picture taking device. Mr. Anders loves to put it on the mode that takes tons of pictures in quick succession. What you're about to see is how much fun we were having in our half marathon by way of photos! (Can't wait to see the official race photos, we actually posed for them!!!)

SURPRISE! Mr. Anders jumps out from behind a tree and surprises/SCARES us! He also decided to run with us for more photos!
It's just so funny to be running right now!
Keeled over, not good form. The guy in the background loved the spectacle.
Clapping because I'm laughing and trying to balance???
Got it together, like a good coach. (That is NOT a heel strike...)
Got my stride back. But wait, he's still there! MAKING JOKES!
Mrs. Gray, my little protege, keeps fine form. Me? Well...
Don't know how I stayed upright here. Consider Mrs. Gray and I opposites.
Wait! The baby! Watch out for the baby! THE BABY!
Ah, baby was safe and sound.
This was about 60 seconds of photos. They are so much fun to look back on!!!

Do you have any funtastic race photos that make you laugh? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I coached my first 13.1!

When I say "coach", I use that term loosely! When I say coach I mean, I talked Mrs. Gray into running this half marathon, picked out a training plan and tweaked it as needed, monitored her progress, gave her advice and encouragement, and promised mimosas and brunch. Coach-like, right? So, here is our 1/2 marathon journey through iPhone photos:

Pre-race jitters: We were so excited! There may or may not have been tears during the national anthem....
We saw our "entourage", there were PLENTY of race giggles.
Every race needs some jazz hands and fist pumps!
And then, things got tough. Mrs. Gray and I battled through some tough miles, and she was truly a champ. No photos of the tough times. Those are being emailed to me by the fabulous Mrs. Anders, featured below, who was our official "race photog" and AMAZING sign designer!

Then, I coachingly said, "We must go to brunch!" Hello open faced egg mcmuffin!
Said photog Mrs. Anders and the half marathon finishers:
Perhaps I played upon racing fever? Why yes, I did convince my friend to sign up for her first ever 10k right then and there at the brunch table. Looks like I have another coaching job!
Congrats to all my fellow 13.1NYC runners who did it for the first time, PR'd, and FINISHED!!!

How was your weekend?! Did you race?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Race report coming SOON! (Trust me, the photos are going to be PRICELESS.)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

1/2 marathon, you better be sunny, and goals.

Weather can rear its ugly head and "rain on your parade" at any time. I have a good relationship with weather. God listens. I prayed for six months straight that it would snow for our wedding; we got a huge snowstorm (Pastor said I should've prayed a little less!) My friend followed the trend and got married in Central Park in April and asked me to pray. Rain was forecasted 100% for the entire day. It rained as we left the reception. God, you're cool. So, when I saw the forecast change back to rain, I got bummed. It's a lot of people's first half marathon! Dear God, please let the rain hold off until, say, 11am! New forecast: PM showers. I'll take it.

Goals: There is only one goal. My goal is to get this girl across the finish line:
Details on said goal: We have grand plans for negative splits. We're going to start the first 1-2 miles in the 11's (GASP! We're average runners, no judgments). We're going to work our way into and try to stay in the 10's until mile 10-11. Then we'll see how Mrs. Gray feels. It is up to her. I want to her to cross the finish line tired, but injury free with a good feeling towards distance running. So, if she feels good, we kick it up a notch. If she's struggling, we pop in the iPod and run this race out. TBD. I like this coaching thing.

Clothing choice wasn't too tough. I'm recycling my marathon outfit since I'm running with World Vision again. The hat and gray long sleeve are weather TBD. I've never raced in a hat, but if it's raining, I should. I chose my clothing after rereading a great post about running in the rain. So, if it looks decently sunny and the rain will hold off, tshirt and shorts it is!
Carb loading rocks my socks off. I got this yummy number from a great restaurant. Whole wheat linguine and veggies. What we forgot to photograph was the fried feta cheese sesame blocks. Yum doesn't begin to describe them!
Oh wait, the Groupon includes dessert!? Yes. Not one, but TWO. Ugh. Ok, I guess we'll go for it. Not pictured because it was devoured so quickly was the frozen chocolate covered cheesecake with walnuts (It was even on a Popsicle stick). For realsies, it was out of control. Then there's the Devil's PB&B, pictures below. Peanut butter frosting, bananas and chocolate cake coated with amaretto. This is in my fridge. Will it last until tomorrow night? Nope.
Tomorrow is packet pick up/meet up. I have to rush into Manhattan after work to pick up my racing materials. I also get to possibly meet some wicked awesome runners/bloggers/girls. Women? Eh, I don't think girls is a derogatory statement. It's a term of "endearment".

Have you raced in the rain? Are you racing this weekend? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

2 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
44 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1/2 Marathon Taper!

I have a half marathon in 3 days. Just saying.
I know I know, a lot of people don't believe in the half marathon taper. I, on the other hand, needed it as an allergy ridden individual. I am feeling better today, which I attribute to the unexpected rain this morning. Let's hope it washed away everything until Saturday!!!

I ran 2 miles today. I was going to go for 3, but I had a frozen yogurt date with a friend and her cutie pie little due Little C. Sadly, I forgot to take extra photos :-(

Strawberry, cookies and cream, strawberries and granola. YUM.

I'm thinking of my pre-race meal. I generally eat at home, so I'm thinking chicken with rice and beans. Maybe not beans. Maybe salad? Oh I don't know. Maybe I'll have spaghetti?! I feel very blazay about it. Mrs. Miller: RESPECT THE DISTANCE! I will. I promise.

I'm excited talking race strategy with Mrs. Gray!!! We're both super stoked to go on this 13.1 mile journey together. Her first time running it. My first time coaching it. Too good to be true! Yea! (Clap clap clap)...this is what we do when we make a decision. So sad but so true. Goals coming tomorrow.

What do you eat to fuel for a race?! Give me some ideas! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

3 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
45 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Glad Game Monday VIII

I haven't been glad in a while!!! I think I missed a few Monday's...oops! I'm SURE I was glad those days too. So, here we go...don't forget to tell me about what you're BURSTING AT THE SEAMS glad about!

I'm glad for unparalleled amazing March weather! Lambeau's tongue says it how it was ridiculously warm today, aka 73 degrees:
I am glad that my husband and I currently have similar work schedules. Mr. Miller was always coming home later than me, even with my after school hours. Now, he's home by 4:30. It is so great that we get to spend more than an hour or two a night together, especially when I'm a goner by 9pm!
I'm glad that our off season clothes don't go into far off storage. As much as I dislike overflowing dresser drawers (We have 2 and a half size one...), plus under bed storage and over the closet storage, having my warm weather clothing easily accessible has been a gigantic PLUS this year! By the way, I love shorts. (Note: Lambeau's tongue is still going CAH-RAZY)
I'm glad that we have a balcony. This is the best part of the apartment! Balcony breakfasts coming soon...May....anyway, it's the best for spring. We grilled on our mini grill and ate a delicious dinner of buffalo chicken sausages, sauteed peppers and onions, annie's mac and cheese, and a refreshing PBR al fresco. Mmmm. Dinner of 1/2 marathon champions!
I'm glad I tried a new salad. I was almost, ALMOST getting tired of my Boar's Head lunch meat Chicken breast salad...almost. (I can eat the same thing forever. and ever. and ever. if I like it. Remember: I don't like change.) So, I had this wild and crazy idea on Sunday after I made a yummy frittata recipe (I added red peppers and omitted the butter), I thought maybe my daily lunch salad needed a make over. So, I decided to go cobb style! 4 strips of turkey bacon (30 calories each), 1 egg (70 calories), diced carrots, red peppers and celery (50 calories max) with a little shredded cheddar cheese (70 calories), topped with some DELICIOUS lowfat Ken's honey mustard dressing. (Tomorrow I'll spice things up with half an avocado, just because I can.) Maybe it was the egg, but I was WAY more full than normal today. Yes. Exciting. This will be placed on repeat. all. week.
I am glad that I am 51% of the way toward my fundraising goal! Thank you to all who have donated!!! If anyone is interested in honoring World Water Day (3/22/12) by donating toward providing clean drinking water for impoverished villages in Africa, by all means, CLICK THE LINK! You won't be sorry. Tax deductible. Enough said.

I am glad it's RACE WEEK! I hear rumors I might meet some virtual friends, aka bloggers and tweeters I've become acquainted with. Also, I'm glad the extended day forecast, which called for rain, was changed because God answers prayer. Not 80 degrees like this coming Thursday. Partly cloudy and 59 as the high. Perfect. Not too hot, not cold, just RIGHT.

What are YOU glad about today? Are you bursting at the seams!? Are you still wallowing in the Monday "where has the weekend gone?!" woes?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

5 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
47 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Running With Allergies Tips

Do you suffer from allergies? I was never an allergy sufferer. However, around age 22, I started getting allergies. Imagine, I grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut surrounded by trees and woods, and I move to NYC and get allergies! This allergy season seems to have come early; I normally struggle with them at the end of April to the middle of May. Well, here I am in March with 60+ degree weather. every. day. I think I'll take the early allergies to continue enjoying an abnormally mild winter.

So, how does a runner fair in an allergy stricken body?! I have been having a pretty rough time. I have developed quite the cough (I think I've got the black lung pop...anyone know that line?!), I've been waking up at 3-4 in the morning, having coughing fits, and struggling to go back to sleep. I took off Thursday, Friday and Saturday because I was having trouble walking and not coughing. I finally did some research today and found some advice for those of us wheezing, runny nosed, coughing, groggy allergy ridden runners!

Top advice I found: (Source)
1. Check your local pollen count. Here is a site I used. Of course NYC is second to highest!
2. Shower right after getting inside. What you're allergic to could be on your clothes and continue agitating you.
3. Exercise in the middle of the day. This one intrigued me. The pollen count is lower so it is less likely to irritate you.
4. Run after it rains. It didn't seem to make a difference for me, but it is something I'll try. Oh, wait, no rain all week! Beautiful weather! Rain for next Saturday. Half marathon day. Nope. Got to pray for a great day!
5. If all else fails, run inside. It makes sense, but when it's so beautiful out, this is incredibly hard to do!

I completed my last long run before next Saturday's 13.1NYC half marathon! Congratulations to all of you who completed the NYC Half Marathon and DC Half Marathon! YOU ALL GOT PR'S! That's just crazy. Good work girls, it motivated me for a long, slow, 8 miles. I was considering cutting it down to 6 miles, when I happened to see a friend running in the park! We met through a mutual friend, and always talk running at get togethers, but never have discussed running TOGETHER! So, we joined forces and knocked out 4 comfortable miles. I'm so excited that I may, just may, have a new Astoria running partner! I ran with a cough drop in my mouth at all times and did pretty well. I'll be going to the doctor tomorrow because this cough just won't stop.

Speaking of PR's and running partners...Mrs. Gray had a birthday! I forgot to post this picture last week, and I just loved it too much to let it pass! I'm so excited to run with this lady! She is simply fantastic. She is going to PR no matter what (It's her first 1/2 marathon, after all!), but it's going to be amazing. We're already planning finish line photo poses! ;-)
This weekend, Mr. Gray had his birthday party! We had fun celebrating in the Meatpacking District. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends, and we were so glad to celebrate them!!!
Do you run with allergies? Do you let it get you down, or do you fight back and go to cool parties?!

6 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
50 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Heat Running Tips

First tip: Don't eat these by the dozen:Dangerous is their REAL name!

Back to real running stuff.

I've had a case of allergies. Annoying allergies too! Just post nasal drip, meaning I'm drinking an obscene amount of liquids and coughing. Tea, water, water, water, wine, you name it, I've got it! Also, parent teacher conferences were Tuesday, and that always sets me off my rocker. It's such a long day (8:10-7:30...I know I know, some people work longer, but it's MAYHEM). Add in the time change, and Mr. Miller has sent me to bed after finding me passed out with my Nook reading Mockingjay....before 9pm :-( I WILL finish it tonight! 60 pages!

This week in running. I did 3 miles on Monday and it was HOT. I did 5 miles yesterday and it was HOT. Hence, I thought I would post on the do's and don't's of running in the heat. "Wait, it's not THAT hot, it's beautiful!" That's what I thought too...and then slowly but surely, I began to realize what I SHOULD be doing as I got warmer and warmer during some beautiful runs this week.

Mrs. Miller's Top Tips for Running in the Heat:

1. Drink more water. You'll be happy you did. Even a 10 degree increase can expedite dehydration.
2. Wear layers. I wore a short sleeve and an "I can be seen in public" tank top underneath. I lost the short sleeve within the first mile every time. This definitely helped my body adjust to the 20+ degree temperature swing we've been experiencing in NYC!
3. Run in the shade if you get really hot. I know you want all the Vitamin D you can get, but you need to know your body. If you're feeling hot and flushed, run in some shade and see if it subsides. I take it no one will have sprinklers going already, so that alternative isn't an option :-)
4. Don't worry about pace. This advice is take it or leave it. Some people run faster as the weather gets nicer. Me? I'm a winter runner. I overheat easily, get dehydrated easily, and need to slow it down and adjust as the temperature rises.

For more official advice, see the Runner's World Tips! Most shocking info from it that every 5 degrees rise above 60 degrees can slow your average pace down 20-30 seconds! EEK!

In case I don't post tomorrow: GOOD LUCK TO ALL RUNNERS THIS WEEKEND! Especially the NYC Half Marathoners Sunday! I have several friends running and I'm excited to hear their stories. First timers, old times, GO GO GO!

I am excited for my race next weekend. I will be joined by two friends who are first timers. Mrs. Gray you've seen, Ms. Bailey is too fast to catch! She has been doing fantastically during her training, and her pace has been getting faster and faster. It makes me so happy to see people trying something new and SUCCEEDING!

REMINDER! I'm running with Team World Vision!!! Check out my video, then support me as I raise money to provide clean drinking water to villages in Africa! Thank you to all my supporters, you're awesome!!!

9 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
55 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friends don't let friends Long Run/PDR alone!

Today was an monumental day! Today brought my first double digit run since the marathon! However, that was not the only reason today was monumental. It was also Mrs. Gray's first 10 mile run ever! Her current Personal Distance Record stood at 7 miles. Similar to myself, she has had a rough couple of weeks in training for the half marathon that's, oh, TWO WEEKS AWAY. So today had bigger implications: it was a huge mental boost for my little first time half marathoner!

We met and began running in my neighborhood. There were reasons we ran in my neighborhood, reasons that will be featured later in this post. Stay tuned. As we finished our first mile, sadly, we both needed to use the bathroom. We thought we could hold it, but we BOTH realized that was not happening. (Side note: I. can't. wait. for. park. bathrooms. to. OPEN! When is this happening? If you know, share the knowledge in a comment PUHLEASE!) Anyway, back to bathroom hunting. There weren't any. We finally resorted to running to my house and back to the park (It would add about 2.5 miles round trip, so who cares?! We had 10 miles to do!) Just as we had made that decision, we passed a gas station. SCORE! I forgot about this place! And it was a nice one! It turned out to be a gold mine: clean, in the "store" part of the gas station, and no embarrassing key to carry.
Back to running 10 miles. Mrs. Gray was a CHAMP! She ran the show. I was along for the ride to cheer lead! Our pace stayed fairly consistent, and I kept reminding my dear friend "This is not a race. This is a practice for the race. Take your time." By the way, her nickname is Pitbull...enough said. She fought through soreness and exhaustion, as I dangled the proverbial carrot of "mimosa's and brunch" in front of her....again, stay tuned. Brunch report is going to be great. Trust me.

We ran miles 7.5-9 on the track. It was a nice change of scenery and it is definitely softer on the 'ol knees. This is us right before leaving the park:
Smiles! Sparkles! Hope!

Mrs. Gray finished STRONG! I always forget that my road goes uphill, inevitably ending runs on an incline. It's tough when you're tired and want to be done, but we finished with flair. AKA, we walked right into the liquor store and bought champagne for mimosas...the brunch place is BYOB, adding to it's allure. We were VERY happy to be done and VERY hungry. I had actually ran a mile to meet my little runner that could, so I had done 11 miles and forgot to take my last Hammer Gel. AKA STARVING. Oh, you want the brunch report? Alrighty.
This is my breakfast burrito: Ingredients include eggs, chives, hash browns, cheese, and sausage that is so good I, a non sausage eater, love. The fuel of champions.This is R's fried chicken and waffles: Ingredients, fried chicken and waffles with syrup. The chicken was perfectly season with a little spicy kick that matched perfectly with the sweetness of the waffles and syrup.
This is Mr. Miller's breakfast: Ingredients,
sausage, fried egg, hash brown, safe aioli and a yummy bun. He didn't run 10 miles, but he cleaned the entire house. Breakfast well earned!

Isn't that brunch worth waiting/running for?! Yes, yes it is. We promised the awesome staff that we would return in two weeks with shiny medals.

I'm so pumped after our run today! Mrs. Gray was amazing, and I'm so excited to run beside her in the 13.1NYC half marathon in just two short weeks!!!

How was your weekend? Brunch? Run? Bike? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

14 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
56 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Ahead!!!

This week, NYC has COME ALIVE! Wowzers. go go gadget warm weather! It has been a beautiful week, and tomorrow will be no exception. I've been spending as much time in fresh air as possible. OOPS, I haven't blogged since MONDAY! I half blame the beautiful weather, and half blame Catching Fire. Thanks for all your comments, I L-O-V-E hearing from you. So, here's what you missed as we began to SPRING AHEAD this week!

Tuesday, I was stupid. I decided, since it was (ironically) deceivingly cold, to get a coffee at lunch. I went for a huge coffee. BAD. CHOICE. I got heartburn almost instantly...and then kept drinking. I have cut down to one cup in the morning. If I have an afternoon one, which is rare, I get a SMALL one and put milk in it (I prefer it black). No, Tuesday I was a ninny head and the result was no strength training and an upset tummy for the evening. Score. NOT.

Wednesday was a GRRRRREAT day! I knocked out 5 miles in the early morning. Ironically, I had to have a hat on because it was in the 30's still! (Go Huskies! Darn you 'Cuse!) I also got to take my new Nike running jacket on its inaugural tour. It was perfection in a garment! PLUS it has the thumb slits, win all around!
I had a meeting in the city, a perfect day to be in Manhattan! I was around 116th Street on the West Side, so after the meeting was done, I decided to walk to my friend's place on 87th Street. Why yes, that's about a thirty block walk...and I LOVED it! My love for NYC was renewed as any early spring day did its annual winter mood alteration. I ran into Tom's restaurant, AKA the Seinfeld restaurant, on the way. It's my dad's favorite show, yet I still haven't eaten there!
Today was no exception in the BEAUTIFUL WEATHER CATEGORY! I decided that I wanted to do a post-work run knowing the weather was going to be MORE than ideal. The logical option was to run home from work. I love all my coworkers who are in awe at this occurrence. Many of them gawked at my (geeky) fuel belt, with statements such as, "I can't believe you're running home!" or "It's just 4 miles away? Just?!" This was a nice motivator to get me on my way. I was reminded to be thankful for the ability and the discipline to run. I was reminded not to brush off the fact that, to many people, what is normal to me is hard to most.

I ran 5.5 miles in PRISTINE weather. I had 5 miles on the schedule, so I decided to meet Mr. Miller and Lambeau puppy at the park. (A certain canine is obsessed with all things park, which I believe is based on the variety of endless smelling opportunities!) Even though I felt a bit fatigued and got stuck at a bunch of stoplights, I ended up with a 10:29/mile pace, way better than I thought with all my stop and go's. When I got there, Mr. Miller and our friend were hitting a tennis ball onto a ginormous cement wall, with Lambeau puppy chasing it fruitlessly. This is a tired puppy:

I call this: "Fetch on an Ideal Concrete Jungle Day"

Did you enjoy some exemplary weather this week?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

16 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
58 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Glad Game Monday VII

If you're glad and you know it clap your hands (CLAP CLAP)! Yes, let's get glad with it and shout from the rooftops that it's Monday and we're glad we lived it!!! Why let the beginning of the work week, the end of a precious weekend gone by, ruin what could be a GREAT week?! So, say it loud, say it proud, say why you're glad!

I'm glad my New Balance ear warmer is still in my possession. My first three days of living in NYC, my car got broken into. What did they get? A brand new AC unit (FROM THE TRUNK, I'm not that stupid...) and my gym bag...full of my best gym/running stuff. USELESS to them. PRECIOUS to me. The one thing I didn't pack from my parent's house? My FAV ear warmer. I haven't managed to lose them yet! (They're about 7 years old and in PERFECT condition)
I'm glad Skype exists. My Grammy will always tell me, "My father said one day people were going to be able to see each other while they talked on the phone someday." Well, my great Grampy was right. My little E babies are now living in California, so I got to have a nice long chat with them and my sista. Miss you E babies! Miss you Waites!

I'm glad my new shoes arrived! Oh the power of Twitter. A new Mommy to a cutie pie posted on Twitter that Nike had a 20% off code for clearance on their website. What's a girl to do? Look for the Lunarglide 2's on sale, because the Lunarglide 3's just came out! (Don't worry, I checked the reviews and they all said there was minimal to no difference in the newbies. Stick with what's good AND on sale in my opinion!) I ended up getting TWO pairs for $50 each! HALF PRICE! Winning.
Speaking of winning...I'm glad Twitter exists! Another Mommy of a cutie pie posted on Twitter that Power Bar was giving away four entries to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. So, I entered. Then I remembered the last time I was in Pittsburgh. Packers Game. December. Our 1st wedding anniversary. 15 degrees. We lost in the last 40 seconds. In overtime...
I'm glad I WON AN ENTRY INTO THE PITTSBURGH 1/2 MARATHON! Yahoo Power Bar, you ROCK! I am so excited! This is a big thing to win. Mr. Miller is excited because we will be attending a Pirates game the day before, knocking another baseball stadium off his bucket list item: "To visit every baseball stadium in the US". This is also my first non New York half marathon. Branching out here people!
I'm glad for a "no payment due" on a half marathon registration! Such a wonderful, yet foreign feeling!
I'm glad that my upcoming race is helping make a difference. Thank you, Danielle, for making a donation to World Vision on my behalf! Thank you to my coworker, Ms. Kiernan, who also made a donation! Watch this video to find out more about my work with Team World Vision. Wait, you also want to make a donation?! Well, why didn't you say so! Support me as I raise money to dig a deep water well in a village in Africa to provide CLEAN DRINKING WATER. No amount is too small...or too big ;-) See this post for more details.

What are you GLAD about today? TELL ME ABOUT IT! I'd love to hear it.

19 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!
61 Days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take away from me

So, I wrote about being an average runner. I was having one of "those weeks", not feeling well (fluish), stomach issues, girl issues, post vacation issues, you name it, I felt B-L-A-H BLAH. As Kanye said, "My attitude is tatooed/that means it's permanent so I guess we should address it huh?" So, let's address the Running Blues, or as I like to call it, "Runner's Depression".

It was not the typical "post race" runner's depression. I literally could not wake up early to run, nor could I lace up after work. I felt like crap. With a myriad of symptoms, I knew my body was crying for rest.

Today, I broke free and ran 8 miles. After listening to Katy Perry's song Part of Me on the way home from work Friday, tired runless me got pumped up by this song on the radio. Really pumped. So I came home, what is traditionally my rest day because I get really tired on Fridays, and ran 3 miles. Finally, today was long run day. 8 miles was on the agenda, and I completed it. I never felt tired, and my mile average is still 1:35 faster than my marathon pace. Sweet. Needless to say, I was happy about finishing strong:
I got to thinking, how do you get out of Runner's Depression when it's not post race induced? As I contemplated the meaning of my running life, Katy Perry's song "Firework" came on. So, we will discuss how to get out of a run funk through song.

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/drifting through the wind wanting to start again? Winds are going to come. It's part of life. Being sick is going to happen. It's part of life. What you do when things calm down is what matters.

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin/like a house of cards, one blow from caving in? It's easy to think that one more "uh oh", or one more "I didn't run" day, is going to erase all your training and hard work. Truth be told: It won't.
Do you ever feel, already buried deep/6 feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing?
Like when you complain that you haven't run, and people tell you "Don't worry you run all the time." or "Missing a couple of workouts won't matter." On the contrary, to runners, it matters. A LOT. The mental "OMG" while not running can be torturous. You have to examine: will I get better with rest, or better with a run? And be HONEST. I had to be. So I rested.

Do you know that there's still a chance for you/'Cause there's a spark in you? You have to remember past successes. Past training cycles. NONE of them were perfect I'm sure. (If you have training cycles that were perfect, every run completed at the right distance, wow. You should get a medal simply from training.) Let this create a spark in you:
You just gotta ignite the light/and let it shine/Just own the night like the fourth of July!
DO YOU! Do what makes YOU happy! Run your favorite route! Listen to your favorite songs! Wear your favorite outfit! Plan your favorite recovery meal for afterwards! Use a wine glass for your orange juice! Anything to ignite the passion of running. Or, you could be like me, and dance in public at at a Black Eyed Peas Concert without a care in the world! JUST OWN THE NIGHT....OWN THE RUN!
'Cause baby you're a firework/come on show 'em what you're worth! As I created my fundraising video, I had all these marathon memories that I forgot about. They pumped me up for my 8 miles today! I remembered thinking I would never make it out of Brooklyn, and continually singing I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers to make it through. Or seeing my teammates at Mile 23 and offering to run with them as they walked/ran through injuries. Where is that runner?!
She's right here.
So. I officially "fireworked" myself out of my runner's depression.

Dear Runner's Depression,
This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take away from me, no.
Throw your sticks and stones,
Throw your bombs and your blows,
But you're not gonna break my soul.
This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take away from me.
Mrs. Miller

20 Days until the 13.1NYC Half Marathon!!!