Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick Update

I'm in Maryland until January 5th, so I won't have much of a chance to post or read blogs, that just means that I'll have lots of reading to do when I get back! 
Anyway, Christmas was great! I hope you all have a Happy New Year and I'll catch up with you all the first week of January!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I know I haven't blogged lately....not too much to blog about! I've just been working, Christmas shopping and cleaning. You know how they say that when a woman is pregnant she "nests" and hustles about cleaning and organizing (NO i'm not prego)? Apparently the same thing happens to me when I face the fact that I'm going to be laid up for at least 6-8 weeks and not able to put weight on my foot! I want to get rid of as much junk as possible before the surgery, which will most likely be the first Thursday of February. 
I did manage to do some activities.... last weekend I got certified to teach Zumba! Great, so glad that I signed up for that over a month ago and now won't be able to teach it for the next 6-8 months!!! It was fun though and a kick ass workout (in total we "danced" for about 4 hours that day). Then this past Monday night my Mom was teaching Zumba at a new gym so I went for "moral support", and let me tell you....she did not need me there! My Mom is the freaking BOMB!!! Keep in mind, she has danced her WHOLE life, owns a dance studio, has been teaching Zumba for over a year, currently teaches Zumba 4 times per week plus teaches dance plus weight trains 2-3 times per week, and she is 62!!!! She had at least 25 people in the class and everyone was sweating and smiling the entire time, it was awesome! 
Well, here it is 5am on Christmas morning and just like when I was little I've been up since 4am! I'm sleeping at my parents house tonight, and I can see that "Santa" already came and put the presents under the tree and I'm counting down the minutes until it's an acceptable time to wake up my parents (seriously, I'm 32 years old???)!  I'm totally clueless as to what my gifts could be....leading up to Christmas I told my parents "I don't want any 'stuff', all I want is to be able to go to all of those 1/2 marathons in different states, so a note from you that says 'This is good for a roundtrip ticket to Seattle and San Jose' would be perfect!"....then my ankle decided that it didn't want to travel the country doing 1/2 marathons (lame ass ankle!LOL) so who knows what I'm in for....kind of exciting though! 
Well, I still have a good 2 hours to kill before I can make enough noise to accidentally wake them up....hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

100 Things....what have you done??

I took this off of one of my friends blogs....the things I've done are in BOLDED in purple!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford
to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53.Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanks Everyone

Just wanted to thank you all for your kind and supportive words on my previous post, you blogfriends really are something special.
I went to the Dr on Monday morning and saw the MRI, it was so interesting. There you could see everything so clearly, the tibia, the nice cartilage, then the the tear in it, and then the cyst that I think looked like it is above the tear (something about synovial fluid leaking out and forming the cyst). You could also see the tendinitis and the other general "funkiness" of my ankle. The good thing is that I am a very "visual" person, seeing it all helped me to understand (better, I still have questions, but I have a better grasp on it) what's going on in there, what needs to be repaired, and that it has to be repaired (it won't just go away).
I had the corisone injection (I think the reason for that is because I won't be having surgery until the beginning of February and that maybe it will help to "calm" it down and slow down the leak of synovial fluid so the cyst won't get bigger....I think). It hurt like a BE-YATCH!!!! Today it's still feeling pretty stiff and sore. I'm supposed to "take it easy" this week, and can do the elliptical next week.
The Dr felt that it was totally reasonable for me to think that I would be able to do my 1/2 marathon plan in 2010, so that's good. I just don't want to wish away 2009 before its even here! Overall most of today I have been feeling very thankful that I was able to do the Marine Corps Marathon, I didn't think it was possible that I could appreciate my experience with it more than I already did.....but I can tell you that as of today, I absolutely do.
Thanks again everyone, your words meant a lot to me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Ok, this is some sucky shit. A little history....I ran my first Marathon on October 26. During my training I had a few minor injury issues (mainly hip pain that was pretty much fixed through a lot of PT, and the random broken rib). During the marathon everything went pretty well until about mile 17-18 when my right ankle started to kill. When people asked how it went I told them everything felt pretty good until mile 17-18 when it felt like my someone "stole" my ankle joint, leaving me with "bone on bone" (my visual demonstration for this was making my hands into fists and hitting them together....bone on bone). In the days/weeks following the marathon my ankle still hurt, some days were worse than others. There were times that it would feel like it got "stuck" really deep in there and if i put weight on it, it would hurt bad, but then it would go away. Finally one day while I was out shopping the pain got pretty bad and I could barely walk on it, so I headed to Med Express for an x-ray (thinking it was a stress fracture). They didn't see anything but also said that it would probably need an MRI to see it and to call my ortho dr. So I did that, he couldn't see me for 2 weeks, so I waited, then had to cancel my appointment because of work drama and re-schedule the following week. During those 3 weeks it felt pretty much better, just sore on the outside. So when I went to see him he did a basic exam and said that I had tendinitis and gave me a prescription for PT. Cool. But them I went to cardio kickboxing that Saturday, and during the "jumping jack and shuffle" my ankle "went". It felt like someone opened up my ankle and put a "jack" (you know, the pointy thing that you play Jacks with) in it then I jumped up and landed on it. PAIN!!!!! I had felt this same thing after the marathon, but just kept trying to get passed it, and eventually it faded out, but it was BACK. I couldn't put any weight on it, then it went away, then came back, took 2 steps, it came back, finished the class barely putting any weight on it, walked out of the room to the weights, it happened again and had to sit down. Finally I managed to leave, and it was gone for the rest of the day except for a few steps. Over the next couple days it came back sort of on and off. In the meantime, it was Thanksgiving (I did the Turkey trot), everyone was busy, blah blah blah (I didn't make a Dr's appt right away).

Fast Forward to the Jingle Bell Run, everything went well, except that my knee hurt and my ankle didn't feel great. I was fully trying to ignore that there might be something wrong and I didn't want to go back to the "Above Dr". However on Monday of last week I decided that I needed to get everything checked out and made an appointment with a different Sport Medicine Ortho for Thursday. At the appointment she was super thorough with my knee and ankle, even addressed a weakness that I wasn't aware of in my quad and hip and gave me a scrip for PT, along with the tendinitis in my ankle. Then back to the ankle, she felt that there was "something else" going on deep in there, possibly a stress fracture or torn cartilage, and set me up for an MRI on Friday morning.

Friday afternoon I heard back from her...........upon initial review of the MRI it's apparent that there is cartilage damage in the ankle joint, comparable to a "pothole" in the cartialge (WTF? am I going to need asphalt dumped in my ankle???) that would most likely need to be addressed surgically, often they drill tiny holes into the bone to make it "bleed" and make new cartilage (**I'm sure I'm off on some of this....if you know more, feel free to chime in!). Hmm, tiny holes in my bone, YEAH!!! That sounds GREAT!!!!

"Luckily" for me, one of my best friends just happens to be engaged to the "THE" foot/ankle surgeon here (and the same one that this Dr would refer to me). So, I called him and he went and looked at the MRI yesterday. In addition to my "pothole" I also have a cyst on the tip of my tibia, which he told me "is a rather unusal place for this type of cyst" (cool, i'm so unique!). Most likely I will need the surgery to address the cyst, cleanup the cartilage, and repair the "pothole". My next question was "What's the recovery like?" Believe me, you don't want to know. 6 WEEKS non weight bearing on crutches (and I forgot to mention, it's my FLIPPING RIGHT FOOT, aka THE DRIVING FOOT, which means NO DRIVING), then 6 weeks "intense" physical therapy, and basically "you're looking at about 6 months until you are getting back to "normal". WTF???? That doesn't mean that in 6 months you'll be ready to run a 1/2 marathon, that means that in 6 months you might be able to do a 5K.

HOWEVER - Since I said that I would want to wait until after the Holidays to do the surgery he suggested that we at least try a cortisone injection first, just to see if somehow I can avoid the surgery and to also help in seeing if this is really the source of pain. So, he's fitting in me in at 7:45am Monday for the injection. After the injection I need to take it easy for 1 week, then return to normal activitiy (along with PT) and see what happens.

Bottom line, I am hugely disappointed. I cried forever on Friday, I kept thinking about my "Rock Star Plans" for 2009 and how much I was looking forward to becoming a "better runner". I know that this is all still possible and maybe it won't be in 2009, maybe it will have to be in 2010, but I wanted it now. I was finally feeling like I found something that I enjoyed, that I could work on and get better at, I love all of the running friends that I have made and I was looking forward to getting to do so much more with everyone this year. If it all happens to work out and the injection "fixes" everything, I will have an even bigger appreciation for it all, but if the injection doesn't work.....that is just going to suck.

So, anyone have any experience with this? Anyone have a spare ankle? Sorry for such a shitty post, but it's where I am right now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jingle Bell Run - I WON -

......the Costume Contest! Here is a picture of the lovely plaque that I won!
It was such a great time! In addition to winning the "individual" costume contest, our group "The Team in Training Reindeer, Santa, and Snow Princess (me!)" got runner up in the best "Team" costume!

**I ended up being the "Snow Princess" as opposed to "Mrs.Claus" because our "Santa" is really married and I didn't want their to be any confusion....I was hoping to come across a potential "snow prince", but no luck!

The run was great, but it was FREEZING!!!! Seriously, it was only 19 degrees!!!!! There were a lot of people dressed up, and everyone had on Jingle Bells, it sounded so pretty while we were all running. I ended up with a finishing time of 31:40, not too bad considering it hurt to breathe!!!

My favorite other costume was a guy dressed up as Elf....

So funny!!! After the race our whole group headed to Eat N Park for breakfast, sooooo good! Some of my teammates had to park kind of far away from the race, so I loaded them into the back of my truck and gave them a ride....

They were such good sports with their antlers, it totally looked like I was kidnapping them!

Hope you all had a good weekend! We've got some snow here, just in time for the Steelers to whoop the Cowboys!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Goals

I can't believe that December is here already! I'm "borrowing" the goal idea from The Gazelle, so here we go!
1. Get into the gym 3 times per week. I can take a class, run on the tradmill for 30 minutes, lift, spin, anything!! Just get in there 3 times per week.
2. In addition to the gym time, run for 45 minutes (outside if weather allows, or as an additional workout at the gym).
3. Make more progress with getting rid of "stuff" at my house. Wait, that is too "broad". Each week I need to get rid of 1 large trash bag of clothes (donate) or general junk.
4. Would love to lose the 5 pounds I've been carrying around since the marathon, so that means START COOKING AGAIN!!!!!! Get in more veggies and drink more water!
5. For this one I'm just going to say - Do what needs to be done. I don't really care to elaborate on this right now, but I know what it means.

In other news I've got a Happy Hour planned with my TNT Girlfriends on Friday night, and then we are doing the Jingle Bell run on Saturday morning! There is a "Holiday Costume Contest" at the run, so I'm totally working on a cute "Mrs.Claus" type costume!!!

Hope you are all having a great week!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Re-cap

The Turkey Trot was a lot of fun, it was great to see so many of Team in Training teammates! The weather was great (still pretty cold, but at least it was clear and the sun was out in spots) so they had a really good turnout, so good that they ended up starting it 20 minutes late to accomodate all of the "day of" entries.
My friend (and teammate) Chrisie was there, it was so good to finally see her again! We started the "Trot" together, it didn't take too long though before I was struggling. I can't believe what 4 weeks off will do to you....big surprise, right?!? Chrisie was kind enough to hang with me, even when I was like "I can't believe this, I have to walk" (it's a friggin 5k!!!). Finally as we got close to the end I told her to take off, I finished shortly behind her with a time around 33 minutes. Not awful, pretty much what I expected. I just wanted to have fun, and I did!
After the race I headed home to finish getting ready for the Thanksgiving Feast! The turkey was smelling gooooood in the oven!!! Before I knew it my Brother, Sister-in-Law and niece arrived, then shortly after that my parents. Here is a picture of the table
I made the yummiest sweet potatoes!
And the Turkey came out really good!!!

The dinner went really well, my family loved everything! We had a lot of fun and played some games after dinner (Uno and this new game Pictureka!).

Friday I worked at the mall (I always work Black Friday) and did some shopping! Lots of good stuff!!! Saturday I got up and headed to the gym for Cardio Kickbox class, definitely a good workout! And then this morning I met up with the TNT Alumni group for a run! I only did 3 miles because I had a baby shower to get to, but I'm still glad that I went.

I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TTT (Turkey Trot Tomorrow)!

Ok, so I'm feeling a little "funny" about the Turkey Trot tomorrow.....I have hardly run in 1 month, and I have no idea what it will feel like tomorrow! I have no idea what my time will be, but I'm guessing that I'll go back on the "plus" side of 30 minutes. Oh well, I'll just have fun with it, afterall it is called a Turkey Trot!!!

I've spent most of the day getting things ready for Thanksgiving. My Niece (Eva, she is 6) keeps telling everyone "I'm going to Margo's for The Feast"! How freaking funny is that?!? She's totally serious about it, I imagine that in her head she see's a grand table setting, with a huge cornucopia (sp?), and big wine goblets.....straight out of a movie! Hope she's not disappointed with the 6ft folding table that I bought at Lowe's!

I'll check in at some point tomorrow with some pictures hopefully.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2 Posts in 1 day....Look out!!!

Ok, keeping with my theme from yesterday's post "Keep Moving" I'm trying to come up with something fun to do over the Holidays (specifically between Christmas and New Years). Not sure what or where, so I'm taking suggestions! My usual traveling "partner in crime" now has a boyfriend.....
Also, I think I remember reading something somewhere about a blogger meet up? Did I make this up? I'm hoping I didn't, because the whole idea of it sounds really fun!
I'm getting really excited to start planning out my travel adventures to becoming a "Rock Star" next year! I would love to start a list of anyone that is also doing any of the Rock N' Roll events that I'm planning on doing! It would be great to meet up with more bloggers along the way. Most likely I'll be traveling "solo" to most of the races, so I'll be up for Pasta Dinner Parties and Victory Parties! My plans are to do Nashville, Chicago, San Jose, Virginia Beach and Seattle.
So, let me know if you're planning on doing any of these!
So I took this post idea from JAHOWIE !
This is a challenge!Subject: SCATTERGORIESSCATTERGORIES. Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things.. nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

OCCUPATION: Muffin Maker
A COLOR: Midnight Blue
BEVERAGE: Mocha Latte
FOOD: Mango
A PLACE: Miami
REASON FOR BEING LATE: My cat took my keys!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Keep Moving!!!

Ok, so I'm finally starting to get out of the rut...just HAVE to keep moving forward!!! I tried desperately to find something fun to do Friday night, but everyone "had plans" or had dates...great! So I ended up buying paint at Home Depot and finally painted my powder room (it was a light lavender, I painted it a really pretty brown). This is something I've been wanting to do for about a year, so I'm glad I finally got it done, and just in time for Thanksgiving (which I'm hosting at my house this year)! I did one coat Friday night, then headed out early Saturday morning to get some shopping done (needed new decorations for the powder room). I didn't really find much...so I came home and then did my second coat Saturday night. It looked pretty good!
On Sunday morning I FINALLY went to the "New Gym" and did the "Body Works" class (which was basically weights with music), it was great! Keep in mind, I haven't lifted in FOREVER!! It was a great re-introduction to weights, my poor arms were killing me by the time we were done! I'm so glad I went and I'm looking forward to getting there a lot more often!

After that I went home and got ready (got to wear my new boots!) and headed out to meet my friend for Brunch at Bistro 19....OMG it was SOOOOOO GOOD! I got the Fliet and Egg Hash...seriously, to die for!!! That and 2 Bellini's to drink.....perfect Sunday morning! From there we headed to South Side for some shopping. I found some things for the powder room and then hit up Urban Outfitters (I LOVE that store)! I actually ended up putting in an application there for part time holiday work, I really hope I get called in. I need a "change of scenery"...my "real job" has NO social opportunities at all. I feel like even if I'm working on a Friday night, at least it will get me "out there", and I'll already be in South Side so it would be very easy to meet up with people afterwards to go out. So, keep your fingers crossed!

This week I'm planning on getting to at least 2 more classes at the gym. Then on Thursday I'll be doing the Turkey Trot 5K! So, it finally looks like I'm getting close to being back on track!

Friday, November 21, 2008

4 Folder Copy Cat (taken from POM)

Wasn't sure what to post today....so I'm copying what POM did yesterday!

1. Pick the 4th folder on your computer

2. Pick the 4th Picture

3. Explain the picture

4. Tag 4 more people

Here's the picture....

RANDOM!!! This is me in the dressing room of Bebe! I was looking for a dress to wear in Vegas and was taking pics with my cell phone to send to my friend for their input!!!

So there you have it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Run the Lights Report!

The Hartwood Acres "Run the Lights" was great! Althought I did much more walking and talking than running, it was still a great time! It was COMPLETELY FREEZING outside, so we were layered up beyond belief!!! Here's a picture before the run, notice that we're sporting our TNT Pittsburgh Marathon T-shirts (coming this May 3rd)! I'm in the back with the reindeer antlers on!

Here are some of the pretty lights.....

Here's our group in the "tunnel" ....

The "course" was quite hilly, but like I said, I ended up talking and walking most of the time it didn't really matter! The lights were beautiful and it was great to catch up with my teammates!

Now I'm definitely in the Holiday Spirit!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm on my way back!

Hello Blogworld! As you may have noticed, I've been on a little "hiatus" from blogging....and running. Leading up to the marathon I was slacking big time at work, so when I got back there was a TON of work to catch up on, and on top of that we had our BIG convention coming up (which was this past weekend). So I had been staying late at work to get everything organized. It involved a fashion show with about 120 models (ages 3-18) wearing a total of 240 of our costumes. All of this had to be fit into 1hr45minutes (the approximate time it takes me to run 10 miles...I love that I think of things that way now).
Anyway, the show was great! I was completely wiped out afterwards, and ended up taking yesterday off of work (which was MUCH needed)!
So, today is the day that I return to running! I am meeting with my TNT Alumni group to run at an event called "Run the Lights" at Hartwood Acres. It's a big park that is all lit up for the holidays and normally it's open to cars to drive through and see the lights, but tonight they close it of to vehicles and open it up to runners! It should be really fun!
I'll post pictures tomorrow!
**Even though I havnen't been blogging, I've still enjoyed reading all of yours!!! Thanks for your continued inspiration and motivation!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Nike Mom and Teacherwoman for tagging me! Sorry it's taken so long for me to "get it done"!!!
So, here are the rules - list 6 things I value and 6 things I don't and then pass this award on to 6 people!
What I Value
Honesty and Integrity
Friends and Family
Physical Strength

What I Don't Value
People who are deceitful
Taking the easy way out
Too many Friday nights without plans
People that are Self Righteous
The current economy

Now to pass it on, if I tag you and you were already tagged...sorry!
Beginning Running

Hope you all had a good weekend! I'm off to Yoga....and then to shop!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Where have I been?

Answer - MIA! Seriously, I have been a total slacker. With the time change I have been going to bed WAY TOO EARLY, and doing nothing else. I'm giving myself a few more days to get straightened out.
I did go to Yoga last night, so that's good. Tonight I have a Happy Hour with my Team in Training group, and on Sunday I'm going SHOPPING!!! Somewhere in there I'll do something physical...not sure what.
I went to Physical Therapy yesterday for the knee and ankle, all good news. Just "over use" (ya think? 26.2 miles is over use? not for everyone, but for me it is!)! So I've got some stretches and strengthening exercises to do.
The issue previously known as "the relationship" has come back into play, and nothing has changed. Which makes an even stronger case for "the REAL end". I'm not going to waste anymore blog time on this than I already have, I'll just say this.....it still amazes me that I can let myself get pulled back into it all and be brought down by it, enough already.
Video of the Day - Carolina Liar "I'm Not Over"


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Post Marathon Life

Well, this week has consisted of resting, smiling, wearing my medal, and.....a lot of time thinking about "what next?"
Overall I feel pretty good except there is something definitely going on with my right ankle. It hurts, kinda bad. If I stand for more than an hour or walk more than block I start to limp....I think I need to get it checked. It's a little swollen, but nothing major and there's a tiny black and blue mark on it. I'm sure it's just strained and a little beat up, but I think I'll make an appointment for this week.
I'm joining a new gym today, so that should be good. It's one of those "mega gyms" (LA Fitness), has tons of cardio equipment, weights and classes, and it's 7 minutes from my house. When I started really running in May I totally gave up the gym, mostly because all I had ever done was gone to the gym and I was so happy for the change, and the fact that I ran outside 99% of the time was awesome. Now that winter is on it's way I figured it's a good time to change things up and incorporate some of the old stuff back in along with adding some new things.
I am planning on staying involved with Team in Training in their "Alumni Club" which should be a lot of fun. It will help me to stay connected to my new running friends and continue running. We will meet as a group before local races, get together for runs on the weekends, and so on all while sort of promoting TNT.
As for my "Official Running Plan", here we go! I loved doing the marathon, and I will definitley do another one (or 10!) at some point, just not sure when it will be. Since I really only started running in May and then did the Marathon in October I think I might take the next year to take more time to work on becoming a "better runner". With that being said, I LOVE 1/2 Marathons, seriously, I LOVE THEM!!!!! In addition to that, I LOVE BLING (fancy medals)!! So, I WANT THIS-

This is the medal you get from the Rock 'n Roll Marathon Series if you complete 5 of their 8 events, and all 5 can be 1/2 Marathons! Of course, there are a lot of things that have nothing to do with running that will have to fall into place for this to happen (my schedule, travel costs, and so on), but I am really going to buckle down and start planning!

My choices are Arizona, Seattle, Chicago, Virginia Beach, San Antonio, San Jose, and Nashville (there's also San Diego, but that is only a Full).

In addition to those I would also like to do the Baltimore 10 Miler again, that was a great race! And of course there will be random 5 and 10k's.

So, any thoughts??? Who else wants to be a Rock Star???? Anyone have hookups with hotels that they'd like to share???LOL!!!!

One more thing - Good Luck to Lam and NC RUNNER this weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Marine Corps Marathon Race Weekend Report

The Marine Corps Marathon Weekend was AWESOME! My parents and I headed down in Friday morning and checked into our hotel. We quickly got ready and headed over to the Expo to pick up my packet and Bib! I was so freaking excited! There was plenty “eye candy” (code for cute men in uniforms!!!)!
After picking up my bib we headed into the rest of the Expo and the shopping began! I got lots of cute MCM gear….I’m a serial shopper!

After that we headed back to the hotel for dinner. The restaurant at the hotel (Finn and Porter) was excellent! From there we headed up to our rooms and before I knew it was asleep! Next thing I knew I woke up around 7am…yipppeeee I actually slept through the night!!!
Saturday morning we headed off to Georgetown to some shopping! Back when I lived in Maryland I used to love going to Gtown on the weekends, it was so nice to be there again. I did some SERIOUS damage and this great store called “Cusp” (it’s a boutique-y store by Neiman Marcus), absolutely fabulous! Next door was Juicy where I picked up the cutest freaking boots….love them!
Keep in mind, all day it was POURING down rain….but the forecast kept calling for “clear sunny skies” on Sunday, thank GOD!
I headed back to the hotel to wait for the rest of my friends to arrive. Once everyone was there and settled in we got ready and headed to the Team in Training Pasta Party over at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Before we left I got a call from our TNT leader letting me know that she had special shirts for all my 7 “guests” (aka my Posse!) to wear. Once we arrived they all pulled on their white TNT T-shirts, and we got new Gray TNT shirts to wear, very cool!
We took the escalators up to the ballroom, we were then greeted with a crowd of TNT volunteers with cowbells, whistles and clapping! They formed a “tunnel” that we went through, it was so amazing, totally gave me chills, and of course got me all teary eyed!

From there we got our food (which was amazing) and headed into the ballroom. The guest speakers were amazing, we even got to hear “The Penguin” speak, he was great!
After the dinner I headed up to my room and hoped to get some sleep….

Thankfully I drifted right off to sleep and the next thing I knew the alarm was going off at 4:50am!!!! I hopped up and started getting ready. My friend from Maryland, Charlene, stayed with me that night, so she helped with getting me ready (and keeping me calm)!!! Our team met in the lobby at 5:45 and headed for the metro station and off to the race!

It was all so exciting, there we all were, we each had raised at least $2,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, we had trained together almost every weekend over the course of the past 6 months, for many of us it was our first marathon, but for all of us we were on our way to an unforgettable experience. Walking from the metro to the race was very surreal….it was dark and cold, we were walking down a road that was blocked off, and there were so many people….it looked like a scene out of a movie. Once we were there we had time for the porta-johns and then made our way to the start!

I started out in shorts with sweats over them, my TNT tank, the Adidas socks on my arms, and a sweatshirt that a teammate gave to me (seriously, totally saved my ass from freezing!!!). I ended up ditching the sweatpants just before we got into our corrals. It was so exciting!!!!
The coaches went over our strategies with us the night before the race. I decided I was going to start in the 4:30 or 4:45 corral, hoping that would allow me to get started at a decent pace.
Once the gun went off it took me about 6 minutes to cross the start line, and from there I would say that it took about 2 miles before you could even get a chance to work on your pace.
I was really worried about starting out too fast, but that was never even an option! That was fine by me though, I really enjoyed taking in everything in!
Around mile 3 I ran into Coach Mike, we ran up the GW Parkway and crossed over the Key Bridge into DC.

We stayed together until about mile 8, from there I ran with Coach Chris all the way through Georgetown which was AMAZING!!!! Here I was running in the Marine Corps Marathon down the same streets that I was shopping on the day before! The crowds were awesome!!! We headed down M Street and then turned onto Wisconsin, then onto K Street. There were oranges right after Mile 9, they were great! Then right after we passed the 10 Mile Marker I saw my friends and family!!!

It was a great feeling to hear them all yelling my name!!! Coach Chris stayed with me until about mile 12 or so, then he headed off to meet up with 1 of our teammates that was hoping to qualify for Boston (and she did!!!!).
I was feeling great through 13, but somewhere between 13 and 15 I started to get major pain in my knee. This was pretty new to me, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. Up to this point my running 2 songs walking for 1 minute had been working great. I was able to make up for the slow start and stay on track for a sub 5 finish. Once the knee thing started I had to stretch and walk a little more. While I was stretching at one point I saw 2 of my teammates coming up behind me, I was so glad to see them! I picked up and started running with them, they asked if I was ok and I told them about the knee thing, thankfully they had Tylenol with them, so I chewed up a Milky Way and wedged the Tylenol in there and swallowed it down. YUMMY! I knew I would be seeing my “posse” around Mile 16, so I knew they were coming up soon. When I finally saw my parents on the left side of the road I was so happy!!!! I ran over and gave them a hug!! They told me the rest of the group was across the road, then I could hear them screaming!!!! As you’ll see in this video, they were AWESOME!!!! It was like a NASCAR pit crew!!! They hooked me up with Bio Freeze on the knee, Propel, Jelly Beans and a Milky Way stuffed in my top!Don't be scared by the "painful" face below...not sure why that's the still image for the video...can't get it to change!

Miles 17, 18, 19 were pretty much the same….run, walk, run, walk, stretch, walk, walk, walk, run, run, walk, stretch, drink powerade, eat anything that anyone was giving away, walk, run, stretch, run past my friends again and grab a handful of oranges out of the baggie! Obviously somewhere along these miles I realized that sub 5 wasn’t happening, and that was totally fine by me! In addition to it feeling like someone was trying to steal my knee cap off of my left leg, it now felt like someone else was trying to steal my right ankle! But then I saw someone with little Snickers bars….and I smiled!
During all of our training for the MCM you hear a lot about “Beating The Bridge”. “The Bridge” is shortly after mile 20 and you have to maintain a 14min mile and get across the bridge by a certain time, if you don’t….you’re out. They open the bridge up to traffic and your race is over. Don’t worry, that didn’t happen to me, just needed to throw that info in there because The Bridge was coming up next.
So, around mile 19 as I switched from running to walking this nice older man on the side of the road made eye contact with me, I’m sure he could tell I was struggling, he looked right at me and so convincingly said “In less than 3 miles YOU WILL BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE, JUST 3 MILES AND YOU’LL BE OVER IT”, I started to run again. I made it over part of the bridge and seriously felt like I no longer had an ankle, just a bone coming out of my knee that went straight into my foot, it was time to stretch….again. So I pulled over on the bridge and stretched and these 2 girls were there cheering everyone on, they were awesome. The one girl saw that I was struggling and poured me a cup of Gatorade, seriously, talk about crowd support! There was a lady holding a sign that said “This Bridge Sucks But You Rock”…it was classic!
Once I was over the bridge we made our way into Crystal City. I met up with Coach Chris again and ran with him for a little while. At about Mile 23 I told him that I was fine, and to head on out to round up some others. I was pretty confident that I knew what I needed to do (run, walk, walk, run, walk, walk, run)! There were great crowds in Crystal City, so that was pretty cool. 24-25 felt like they took forever, but I was getting so excited because I knew I was almost there and I knew that without a doubt pretty soon, I was going to finish my first marathon! Coach Mike ran with me for bit through there and told me that one of the mentors, Dave, was “catching us” at 26 and seeing us through to the finish line. As I got closer to the 26 mile marker I could hear the crowds, my heart started racing, I just wanted to be able to finish the race running. Then I saw Dave and we headed up “THE HILL” to the finish, it was the most amazing experience ever! Just as I was getting closer to the finish line I saw my parents and friends in the front row of the bleachers on the left, my eyes started to tear up and my smile was beyond huge! Before I knew it I was crossing the finish line, and I was a Marathoner!


Race Report Coming Tonight!!!

Sorry for the delay, I tried getting it up today but was having issues with the video and then lost part of the post...I will get it all working tonight!!!
Also, sorry I'm behind on everyone's blogs, I promise I'll get caught up soon, jsut trying to catch up on work!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I did it! I did it!!!!

Just a quick update to let you all know that I did it, I am officailly a Marathoner!!!! It was the most amazing, life changing experience of my life!
I finished in 5:16! That was my "good goal", I missed my "dream goal" (sub 5), guess that gives me something to work for!
Thank you to all of you for everything, you have made this even more of an amazing journey!
I will post a full report tomorrow evening with pictures and videos!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting Ready to Leave!

Well, I'll be leaving around 9am today and heading to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon! Thank you to EVERYONE for all of your Good Luck wishes, advice, support and encouragement! You have all been an amazing part of my journey, I feel very lucky to have found such a great group of bloggers!

Contest Update - Erin, Aron, and Jess - your prizes will go out next week, sorry for the delay!

Check this out - The girls over at Twenty Six Point Two have chosen me to be their "Weekly Pace Setter"! The post should be up on their site later today!

**IPOD SHUFFLE QUESTION - I usually use my Nano, so this shuffle thing is a little new to me. When you connect your Shuffle to your computer and pull up ITunes, should I be able to click on "shuffle" (under "devices") and see what songs I have on my Shuffle? If so, mine isn't letting me do that. Under Devices my Shuffle shows up, but then the screen to the right just says "Itunes Store" and is blank....any thoughts? I just want to see what songs I have on there. Any help would be appreciated!!!!

Well, I better finish getting my stuff together!!! I'll be updating from DC, so be sure to check back!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Days of the week - Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Marathonday!

It's getting closer!!!! I totally couldn't sleep last night, I went to bed around 10, was awake from 1am-3:30am and then slept until 6:15.
The weather is looking good for Sunday, high of 66 low of 50, 20% chance of precipitation. I think I'm sticking with wearing my shorts....any thoughts on this? Do you think my legs will be too cold? I'm figuring that the temp for most of my run will be between 50-58.

And finally, here is a picture of the sign that my "Little Neighbor Girls" made for me....

How awesome is that?????

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Final Run!

Well, I can't take it anymore, I'm leaving work at 2:30 and heading to the gym. I've decided to do my last run on the treadmill, I'm still dealing with this cold and figure that it would probably be best to keep the "chill" off of me. After that I'll head home and really start packing!

It's Almost Time for The Marine Corps Marathon!!!

Wow, I so cannot wait! I don't have too much more to post, other than....yipppee!!!
Last night I got a massage, and worked on getting a few more things together. We are leaving on Friday, I just want to get there! I just want to be where all of the excitement will be. Sitting at work is getting harder and harder as the time gets closer....I have watched more MCM videos on You Tube than I can even count....thank god my last name is on the building here or else I would totally be getting fired!!! LOL!!!
That's it for now, I'm sure I'll post some more randomness later!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Taper!

So as many of you have said before, tapering feels weird! I'm feeling pretty good though, went our for 5 miles last night, just enjoyed the time on the trail. I had the overwhelming urge to tell EVERY person that I saw "Hey - I'm doing a Marathon on Sunday!!!!", however, I controlled myself!
My "Little Neighbor Girls" had me over their house on Sunday night and made me THE BEST sign! One of my friends that is going to the race will be in charge of holding it for the race. I will post a picture of it as soon as I download it from my camera, but it says -
"Hey Margo You ROCK!", how freaking awesome is that??????
I am driving to the marathon with my parents and my Mom got magnets for the truck that say "Good Luck Margo" and "On Our Way To The Marine Corps Marathon"! I'm hoping to get some "beeps" on the highway for our drive.

Now onto CONTEST NEWS.....we have 2 more winners!
1. Runners Rambles (Aron)
2. Run Girl Run (Jess)
Email me your full names and addresses and I'll get your prizes out to you! mcicci76@yahoo.com
Woooooooo hooooooooo!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

TGIF - My TNT Race Shirt!

I haven't kept up on the TGIF Photos, but I've got one for today! See NikeMom if you're interested! So, here is my Team in Training shirt that I will be wearing in 9 days at the Marine Corps Marathon!!!!!

We Have Our First WINNERS!!!!

Sorry I didn't get to post this last night, I totally fell asleep (thank GOD!)!!!
Today I have drawn 2 winners and they are.........

Woooooooohoooooooo!!!! To claim your prize you just need to email me your "REAL NAME" and address! You can email me at mcicci76@yahoo.com !
As for what you have won.....there are "Girl Prizes" and then "Boy/Girl Prizes", a have a couple of each one, I don't want to say what it is yet....but Erin is getting the Girl Prize and JAHOWIE is getting the other!
Congratulations winners!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Feelin' a bit better!!!

I'm definitely feeling better today! Still congested, sneezing, coughing, but overall MUCH better! I am also finally getting caught up on reading everyone's blogs!
I am still home from work, so I decided to do a "Dress Rehearsal" for the Marathon! It was VERY EXCITING!!!!! I went with JAHOWIE'S suggestion of wearing the knee socks on my arms like long gloves.....LOVE IT! Of course I had to buy a pair of black Adidas Soccer Socks so it would look cool, LOL!!!
Up next, I'm heading to the craft store to get some fabric paint....I need to put my name on my race shirt! SO EXCITING!!!
On the schedule today was also 5 miles....my plan is to go to the gym and do between 3-5 on the treadmill. It's rainy, damp and cool here, I'm thinking staying inside would be a good idea.
Now for what you have all been waiting for....CONTEST INFO!
For everytime you have commented on my blog since October 1st I will write your name on a piece of paper and enter it into the drawing. There will be a few different drawings for different things.....first drawing will be tonight!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Still Sick

Ok, I'm home sick again today. I was supposed to leave for Chicago (for work) on Friday and come back Monday, but luckily another co-worker is going instead. That is a huge relief, the last thing I neeed was to be on another airplane and running around all weekend. Now I've got more "down time" to just rest and get better.
Thank you to everyone for your advice, I'll keep pounding the fluids and getting rest.
Also, I'm working on the "contest details"....more to come soon...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm Sick!

Ok, I'm totally sick, and freaking out a little. I went to the Dr yesterday, they said I have an upper respiratory infection, no antibiotics, just nasonex, clartin d, mucinex dm. I feel way worse today then yesterday....come on!!!
I'm coughing so much, of course I'm worried that I'll irritate the rib, but this needs to end. At least it's taper time but I should be feeling strong! I was supposed to do 5 miles today and Thursday, needless to say I'm not running today, hoping to do something Thursday.
Any advice?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Report!

The Staten Island 1/2 Marathon was AWESOME! I said it before and I'll say it again, I FREAKING LOVE RACES!!!! This was the perfect race for me to do just 2 weeks before my Marathon. It gave me so much confidence for my race! My plan was to run it at "training pace", not "race pace", but I think I've mentioned this before - I don't really have 2 paces yet (I'm working on that!), so i just went with the flow, stuck to my "Run 2 songs walk 1 minute" plan.

My very first Half that I did in September was pretty much a flat course on a crushed limestone trail (2:13), so I was very interested to see how I would do on "real roads" since that's what my marathon will be. Wait, totally forgetting something -
*Most of you have an idea of the relationship struggle I've been dealing with on and off since the beginning of this blog, and with that whole thing falling apart and making me question everything in my life, I "found" running. Well, that relationship and it's issues came to a boiling point on Friday. Bottom line, I couldn't sleep Friday night (maybe 3 hours), and then was so stressed on Saturday by Saturday night I was getting sick. My throat was killing me, and once again coule barely sleep (probably about 3 hours total again). I almost didn't go to the race. Then I thought - "F THAT! This is FOR ME! I rented that friggin car (around $110) and was looking forward to this until "THAT" happened, get your ASS UP and go!"

I am SOOOOOOO glad I went! I was figuring my time would be around 2:30 (given that I had'nt slept, my throat was killing me, and the roads / hills), and guess what??? I ended up finishing it in 2:18!!!! I was soooooo happy! The course was great, there were some crowds along the route, and the water / Gatorade stops were super organized! And they had this "New York Road Runners Finisher" thing that you could get your picture in front of!

I met up with the NY Team in Training Group before the start of the race, they were awesome! Their coach, Steve, was great! When he would see me out on the course he would say "Go Pittsburgh!!!", totally pumped me up!

I felt awesome pretty much the whole time, I don't think I ever stopped smiling. I ran with my Gu in one pocket and Chloraseptic lozenges in the other other pocket, they worked great!

Now, it's less than 2 weeks until the Marine Corps Marathon (seriously, my eyes are filling up as I type this), I can only imagaine what it is going to feel like. I have loved every minute of getting ready for this. This truly proves that the saying "It's not the destination, it's the journey", although I do know htat this destination is going to be equally life changing and mind blowing as the journey.

Now I just need to get rid of this cold, and I will be all set! It's Taper Time for me!
Thank you all again for the Good Luck Wishes!
PS- Sorry I am totally behind on everyone's blogs!!!! I will catch up today/tonight!
****Stay tuned, I will be announcing a CONTEST soon!!!! Oooohhh, aaaahhhhh prizes and everything!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Teacherwoman and Run Girl Run both tagged me, thanks girlies!
So, here are my 6 random things......

1. I used to show horses competitively from the time I was about 9 up into college (rode on the University of Maryland Equestrian Team for 1 year until I decided that it was time for a break). I qualified for Nationals at the age of 15, which was pretty young. I did the hunters and jumpers, I would jump fences that were up to 4' tall and 3.5' wide.....now the idea of doing that scares the crap out of me!

2. I have broken quite a few bones and had random injuries (figure skating age 4 - broken leg, car accident 3rd grade - broken arm, horse flipped over on me age 13 - broken collar bone, horse smashed his face into mine 12th grade - broken nose, age 22 - stress fracture to sesamoid bone in left foot, that bone ended up pretty much "dead" and had to be removed age 27, trying to get sports bra off hurt shoulder age 29 - ended up tearing my shoulder "SLAP" lesion and needing surgery, and last but not least.....broke a rib running age 32).
3. I love all kinds of music, literally ALL KINDS!

4. I have ALWAYS been a "Dog Person", not that I didn't like cats, I always liked them, but I was just a "Dog Person". I got my English Mastiff, "Mister Man" while I was in college, he was "my boy". This past December I came across these 2 kittens at the ARL...they had just come to the shelter, they were both gray, one had long hair and a short tail and had thrown up all over himself, the other one had short hair and a normal tail. They kept looking at me. And looking at me. And looking at me. The next day I went back and got them, and they became best friends with my Mister Man, they learned how to act like a "cat-dog" from him. About 5 months later I lost my Mister Man at the age of 9 years and 9 months. I think those kittens were a gift from Mister, he knew there would never be another "like him", so now I have my 2 "cat-dogs" that greet me at the door, roll onto their back to get their tummy rubbed, and wait outside my bedroom door, just like Mister did. They have been amazing buddies through a rough year. I am now a "Cat-Dog Person"!

5. I believe that unfortunately some broken hearts never heal, and that sometimes all the time in the world won't fix it.

6. Once I believe in you....getting me to stop is nearly impossible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Staten Island 1/2, Here I Come!!!!

I'm so excited that our running coach agreed that the Staten Island 1/2 would be a good idea! He said to remember to not get caught up in the race, use it as a training run, use it as a test run for my Marathon strategey.....THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!! Wow, I can't believe this is all happening!!

My plan is to rent a car on Saturday, then drive to Staten Island on Sunday morning. According to the directions to the start it looks like parking is about 2.5 miles away from the start, so it says that you can take the "city bus" from the parking area to the starting point, that should be good.

I'm a little nervous about going "by myself" (meaning there won't be an extra person to hold something or deal with my nerves of figuring out where to go), but it will be a great adventure!!!

Here we go again with questions.....anyone ever done the Staten Island Half??? I'm hoping "The Laminator" will chime in here!!! Tell me what it's like, how's parking? The "city bus"? Looks like there are plenty of water stops, so maybe no need to use my fuel belt? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

As always, thanks in advance for your input!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

19 Days 'til Marine Corps Marathon!!!

I'm at the airport waiting for my plane back to "The Burgh"! Dallas was good, lots of good food (note: that does not help in the "get this fat off my a$$ before the marathon plan!!!)!
Thank you everyone for your comments on my 20 miler!!!
Blister Update - It's popped and drained for the most part, still sort of black/purple looking (gross), but feeling pretty good.
Rib Update - Feeling really good, I think I'm pretty much healed! AMEN!!! My obliques on that side are still sore, but I think that will just take some time. Overall it is 1,000,000 times better than it was last week!!!

Sorry that I haven't been able to get back to everyone that has posted lately, being "on the road" has really cut into my blogging time (damn that job)!!!!! I promise I will catch up soon!!!

Here's where I stand on the rest of my time until "The Big Day" (which I know for most girls my age usually means their wedding, this is my version of "The Big Day")!
My TNT Running Coach was really happy with how my 20 miler went! Originally there was another 20 scheduled for the weekend of the 12th. I am going to be in NY/NJ that weekend, so I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that there. He said that since the 20 went so well (yipee!) I don't have to worry about getting in another 20 (THANK GOD!)! So here's the proposed plan -
Thursday the 9th: do 12-15 Miles
Friday 10th: Leave for NY/NJ
Saturday or Sunday 12th: 8 Miles
Come Home Sunday night
Tuesday 14th: 10 Miles
Then continue with taper plan (pretty much standard plan).

However, I just saw that there is the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday....that is about 40 minutes away from where I'll be staying. I'm wondering if I could just do 8miles on Thursday, then Sunday do the Half, and then on Tuesday do 8-10 miles?
What do you guys think? I wouldn't do the Half at "Race Pace", I would use it as a regular run. My hesitation to doing the 8 miles on Sat or Sun is that I'm not sure where I'll run in New Jersey (Meadowlands area), and I don't know that it's worth getting all the way into Central Park on Saturday morning to run with the TNT group for 8 miles. I am supposed to be working on Saturday and Sunday in NJ, with Saturday being the most important day....if I had to skip out for a chunk of the day that would be ok, but better if I didn't have to. It just seems like doing the Half would be so much easier in a way.
And let me just be completely honest with you.....I just think it would be cool to do another Half, and in Staten Island on top of that, what other time would I ever do that?
As always, I'll take any and all input/advice/encouragement!!!!
Looks like it's almost time to get on the plane, can't wait to get home!

Friday, October 3, 2008

20 Miles...CHECK!!!!

Wooooooooo hooooooooo!!! We did it!!! Who is "We" you might ask...that would be me, my Dad, and all of you bloggers! I couldn't have done it without you guys and your support/suggestions, or without my Dad meeting me at various points on my run! Although I am totally in pain right now, I am still smiling, I can't believe that I did it! I'm not kidding you when I say that back in May the furthest I had ever run was about 4 miles, and that was monumental to me then!

So, here's how it went...I got in the truck to drive to the trail and noticed that the trail was 17.2 miles away....I was going to run FURTHER than I was driving?????? I must be crazy! When I got to the trail it was totally raining and my Dad was running late. So I hopped out of the truck and got in a mile and a half to figure out if I was going to need my jacket thingy (it was about 48 degrees), quickly realized I would be too hot, so stopped back at truck and dropped it off, called Dad, still not close. Decided to sit in truck and wait. Good thing I did, he had taken a wrong turn and got there about an hour late, which ended up being perfect because the rain stopped!!! From there I took off and knew I would be meeting my dad at this little ball field about 6 miles away. I decided to stick with my "Run 2 Songs Walk 1 Minute Plan" (very scientific!). My Dad was wearing a bright red Maryland sweatshirt (Go Terps!!! Love that my Dad was fully supporting me, rockin my college sweatshirt and all!), at about 5 miles(actually, I have no idea how far away I was from the tunnel, I suck at guessing that stuff) I could see the tunnel that I would run through and right in front of it I could see a tiny red dot...I wondered if that could be my Dad??? As I got closer I could see it was him, I was so excited that he was there!
He went through the tunnel with me and then we were at the ball filed (Mile 8). I stopped there to refill my Powerade and Water and eat a couple bites of a cliff bar and took off again. I ran up to 10, turned around and saw my Dad again at 12. Took a port-a-john break, and made plans with my Dad to meet at the next point where he could get to the trail (which ended up being Mile 14). At Mile 13 my time was 2:12, so I was 1 minute faster than my Half Marathon time from a couple weeks ago, yippee!

Here is a picture at Mile 14...

From there I headed on down the trail and knew I would see my Dad one more time around Mile 17, that was just a brief passing, we waved and I told him that I was getting considerably slower and not to worry if it took me a really long time to get back to our starting place!! From this point on my walking time increased to about 1.5 - 2 minutes, and my running decreased to about 1.5 songs.

When I got back to our starting point I still had about 2 miles to go (forgot about the extra miles I did in the beginning...duh!!). So I went past the start point, then turned around. When i got to my Dad's truck I was 19.3 Miles,uuugggghhhh!!! I could not run anymore, so my Dad hopped out of the truck and Powerwalked the last part with me until we heard the sweet sound of the Garmin beeping!!! 20 Miles, Holy Shit!!!!!!

Final Time - 3:37:11, I am BEYOND THRILLED!!!!

I did stop my Garmin a few times when "chatted" with my dad for a while, but I wouldn't say that it would any more than 7 minutes to my time.

So, now I'm home, icing the hell out of my knees, feet and left shin. I did get a nasty battlewound on my right big toe....

After the run we went to Bob Evans to eat, so freaking good!!! Now I'm ready for round 2 of food, and then off to bed! Oh yeah, I still need to pack for Dallas....oh well!

Thanks again for everything!!! I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Getting Ready!

Just wanted to post a quick update, I'm meeting my Dad at 9am for my 20 miler! Looks like I'll have to do at least some of my run in the rain....oh well, at least I'll be able to test out my new hat!
I'll post later on today when I get home!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seriously, you all are the best!!!

First off, thank you to everyone for their advice!!! I totally appreciate it! The trash bag idea makes sense, and I love JA Howie's idea about the knee socks (and what I love even more is that just from reading my blog, he knows that "cuteness" is still important)!!!
So, I've decided what I'm going to do for the 20 miler.......I'm doing it "by myself" on Friday. After much thought and talk with my TNT Mentor, she felt that the deal breaker for Saturday was that I'd have to be on a plane for about 4 hours afterward and that was not a good thing. So, luckily my Dad has totally stepped up and will be joining me at different points on the trail. He's even thinking about riding my bike for part of the time! Too bad you can't have horses on this trail, my Dad does Team Roping....maybe he could have ridden behind me and tried to lasso me!!! That would be freaking classic!!!!
I think what I'll do is start at 8am and have my Dad's first meeting time at 9:15-9:20, that should put me somewhere between 7-8 miles.
He can bike with me from 7-10 and then back for 10 -13 (I think he can handle 6 miles...it's pretty flat). Then he'll be back to where he parked the truck and can put the bike back in and drive down to 16, then hopefully finish the final 4 miles with me. From there we can throw the bike into my truck and drive back to his.
My Dad will be equipped with fluids and what not (knowing him he'll have some really great snacks too), so that should be pretty good.
Any thoughts on my plan?

Another Marathon Question: This question also relates to the weather. I haven't run much in the rain (been pretty lucky all summer), and when I have it's been "hot summer rain" so my gear needs didn't change. Any thoughts on the "cold fall rain" that we can get and what to wear? Obvious answer is some type of rain parka, I just imagine myself sweating to death. Or do you just run in it with nothing extra? Thanks in advance!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time to FOCUS!!!!

Ok, as of today I have 25 days until my Marathon.....
25 Days!!!!!
That's not a lot of time, and with my little rib set back and all of my traveling, the nerves are starting to kick in!!! I know that I have already overcome the hardest parts of the training, now I just need to stay on track and keep myself healthy. Las Vegas really knocked me out (I partied like a Seasoned Rock Star when honestly, I would barely qualify for Rock Star Pre-School)! I didn't make it out of the house for my run last night, then totally slept through my alarm this morning. I have my clothes with me and will be heading out for my run right after work.
Here is my question - I have to do a 20 miler this weekend (was going to do it Friday with a teammate, but now she can't get off of work). My Team is meeting Saturday morning at 8am, I have to be at the airport by 11:15 to go to Dallas. Should I -
a) Suck it up and do the 20 miler by myself (if I go by myself I'll "make" my Dad meet up with me at some point so I'm not totally alone). I've never run more than 10 miles by myself.
b) Go to the group run early (like 6am) and get in 2 hours by myself and finish up with the group by 10 am then clean up and head to the airport. Keep in mind the flight is about 4 hours.

Here are the other things I need to a grip on, ASAP!!!!!!
*Weight - I came back from Vegas 5 pounds heavier than I left, I'm down 2, so 3 more to go.
*Nutrition - MUST start eating better. I was doing great, but the past 2-3 weeks have been less than acceptable. Have to bring a better lunch to work and have a better dinner (more veggies, brown rice, chicken, and so on)
*Water - Seriously, I am not drinking NEARLY enough!!!! Starting today the minimum will be 90 ounces.
*Running - Wait, how did this end up at the bottom....MUST STAY ON SCHEDULE!!!!!!

Question: To those of you who have done a marathon before, when you started the race in the morning was it "cold" outside? If you answered "no" you can skip this question, if you answered "yes" then continue.

Did you start out with a long sleeve shirt on? Where did you pin your number? I just ordered this race belt that I can put my number on, plus it has 2 pockets that I can put my gu and stuff in. Any thoughts/experience with these?

I think that's everything, I just don't want the Marathon to get here and feel like I could have trained better at the end.
Feel free to add your thoughts / advice!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Seriously, I could never make it as one of those "socialite girls" that party every night!!! Let's put it this way, on Friday and Saturday night we were out so late that it made more sense to eat breakfast BEFORE we went to bed! Saturday night we went to Prive and I danced from 11:30pm until nearly 4am, which by the way I decided was equal to running 8 miles! As for running in Vegas, the only running I did was while shopping (as in "running in and out of stores!)!!!
My rib is feeling pretty darn good, major improvement over last week. So now it's time to buckle down and get back on schedule! My plan is to run Monday, Wednesday, and do my 20 mile long run on Friday.
Hope you all had a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back on the Run!

Cut to the chase.....I ran 4 miles, and I felt GREAT! My plan was "to do 3-4 and do them on the slower side". I did 4 and I finished in 39:24 (which is not my "slowest side", more on my "normal/feeling good side")!
Rewind to the beginning of today...I started off really early this morning and headed downtown to pick up stuff we needed for our conventions. On my way back I stopped off at my chiropractor (he's known me for YEARS) to run the whole "broken rib" thing by him. He was a little skepitcal of the whole thing, but once he had a chance to poke around the area, he said that definitely seemed to be the case (of course w/out the x-ray it wouls be hard for him to say). His thoughts were that most of my pain at this point was coming from the cartilage between the ribs being totally irritated and slightly torn. Then he did a bone density scan on me, and my bones are nice and dense! Wooo hoo!
Then I was off to work, totally busy all day, especially since I am LEAVING FOR VEGAS in the morning! Finally I got out of work and headed home.....the took a detour to the hair salon. See, I got my hair done on Friday and I didn't "love it". The color was very pretty, but too natural looking and plain (I like lots of chunky color and high lights!), so I stopped in and this new girl was able to squeeze me in (I was sooooooo nervous)!!! She did an AWESOME job, I left with tons of Blonde chunky highlights, totally love it now!
Then I made it home in just enough time to change and get to the trail to get my run in before my nail appointment (seriously, this makes me sound super high maintenance), and now I'm finally home. Oh yeah, I still have to pack, and it's 9:41pm and my flight is leaving at 9:40am....I better get off of here and get to packin!
I'll try to update from Vegas! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Miss You....

Dear Running-
I just want you to know that I miss you. I hope that you know the reason I haven't "been" with you for almost a week is not by choice. I haven't been off having all sorts of fun with Gym, Bike, Weights or any of the other guys that I knew before you. Without you my evenings feel so empty, my weekend without our usual LONG date felt insignificant, instead of my body aching because of you....it is now aching for you! I knew that you meant a lot to me, I just didn't know how much until now!
So my Dearest Running, I will be back before you know it! Just another day or 2 until we will meet again.
All my heart, sweat, blisters and broken rib-

Seriously, I miss running. To most of you that are reading this you are probably thinking, "of course you do, did you really think that you wouldn't?" Well, sure I knew I would sort of miss it, but I'm missing it on a whole lot of levels, and maybe it was a good thing for me to learn that now, so I can appreciate it more through the rest of my journey to the Marathon.
I am getting a little worried about getting back on track. With the Marathon being only 5 weeks away from this coming Sunday I am getting into the critical point of my plan with the "REALLY Long Runs" (this is another term that I have new respect for)! So, here's what I'm thinking....
I am hoping to run 3-4 miles on Wednesday, then leave for Vegas Thursday. I would like to do 5 miles on Friday, and then maybe another 5 on Sunday (if I didn't party too much on Saturday....). Scratch that, I AM going to party too much on Saturday, come home on Sunday night and then run on Monday. I'll go for 7 Monday, 5 Wednesday and then do my long run on Friday (so I don't have to jump right onto a plane after it on Saturday). My schedule called for a 20 miler this coming Saturday, but I missed the 18 miler this past Sunday. So, I will shoot for 18 miles on Friday.
Any thoughts, suggestions, words of wisdom??? Feel free to share! *keep in mind, I know that all of the above is based on it all "feeling good"...it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) if there is major pain in the rib area I'll stop and re-evaluate.

What Can I Say???

I have no running report for you today since there was no running for me this weekend. I did however manage to eat lots of salty picnic food on Sunday and wake up weighing 4 pounds more...lovely!
Note To Self: If you don't run 18 miles you can't eat like you ran 18 miles. Got it? Let's not make this mistake again!
On the bright side, I'm leaving for Vegas on Thursday and CAN NOT WAIT!!!!
Hope you all had a great weekend and ran a few miles for me!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been keeping a secret from you...

So, about 2 weeks ago on my 15 mile run I had a sharp pain in my side after a water stop. A REALLY SHARP PAIN. I thought Holy Mother of God, this is the Motherload of all "sidestitches"!!! I was running with my TNT buddy Chrisie (thank god that I have a witness!!!), and I said to her, OOOOH...I gotta walk a minute, you go ahead without me. Then I finished my 15 miles and went on with my day. The pain has not gone away, I figured it was a pulled oblique of some sort. I didn't want to blog about it because it seemed so "lame". Keep in mind, since then I have done a 1/2 Marathon, all my weekday runs, and another long run of 14 miles. Even ran 5.5 miles last night. The pain has still been there, particularly when I twist, sneeze, cough, laugh....hmmmmm, sounds like something else....can't be though...can it?
Finally after not being able to sleep last night I went to get it checked out and they did an X-ray, Drumroll please.................
Yep, I have a BROKEN RIB! NOT a fracture or a crack, BROKE in 2 pieces. Rib #9, that bitch!
So what does that mean for me....thankfully it's not a deal breaker. Just NO lifting, pushing, pulling of any sort for 10 days. Lay low on the running for 7 days, and then re-x-ray.
For real, who breaks their rib running? I guess I must run SO fast that they just break...LOL!!!
On the bright side, I am HARDCORE!!!!!
Song of the day - Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

QUICK Question

Anyone know of anybody else in Blogland that is doing Marine Corps Marathon???? If so, I'd love a link to their blog!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Next 6 Weeks of My Life

Wow, I can't believe that the Marathon is 6 weeks ago from yesterday. It's hard to believe that it was 6 months ago that I got this crazy idea in my head, and now it is fully happening....it is the best thing ever!
With all of that said, I am in for a little bit of a crazy time over the course of the next 6 weeks. I have A LOT of traveling coming up....here's the schedule-
9/20-21: In town, 18 miles on schedule for Sunday
Thurs 9/25-Sun 9/28: VEGAS!!! This will be a fun filled weekend, with minimal running on the schedule (only a 6 miler that weekend), lots of going out and living like a rock star!
Sat 10/4 - Run my FIRST 20 MILER in morning, then be on a plane by 12:55pm to Dallas for work....let's just say I'll be so freaking stiff by the time I get there that I'll be lucky if I don't need a wheelchair off of the plane!
Sun 10/5 - Work in Dallas
Mon 10/6 - Come home
Fri 10/10 - 10/12: In New York for work, meet up with the NY TNT for the Group Run 17-20 miles, work all day Saturday and Sunday
Fri 10/17- 10/19: In Chicago for work, Saturday run 6 miles work all day Saturday and Sunday.
Sun 10/26 - RUN 26.2 MILES in the MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!!!
Mon 10/27 - Try to remember how to walk again, and find a new purpose for the next 6 months of my life!!!!

One of the biggest challenges for me will be to NOT gain 8 pounds over the course of traveling every weekend out of the next 6 weeks! It will be hard enough to haul this ass all the way around the marathon course, let alone this ass with an additional 8 pounds on it!!!
My other challenge will be getting enough rest / sleep. I cannot F up on that part, it's way to critical!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Attention "Weather" - it's FALL and I don't live in the AMAZON!

Dear "Weather"-
Please take a look at YOUR calander, then look on the map and see where PENNSYLVANIA is...it's in NORTH AMERICA, not SOUTH AMERICA! Now that we have this cleared up, can we get the weather headed on the right track? You know, just nice mornings without 90% humidity, maybe even a breeze? If you could get this squared away by next weekend I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!!

As if you couldn't guess, my run this morning was a COMPLETE struggle! I met up with 3 of my TNT Teammates to head out for the planned 17 miles. I got out there a little early and dropped off water and Powerade Mountain Blast (it's the "official" drink for the Marine Coprs Marathon....so exciting!!) at the 2 mile mark and the end of the trail, which was at 5 miles. Our original plan was to run out to the 5, back in 2.5, back to the 5, then head back down the trail and double back for an additional mile up and down at another point to get to a total of 17.
Well, at about mile 1.5 I was like "WTF??? Why are my lungs filling up with water, are we swimming???" Yes, that's right, I was thinking that 1.5 miles into it.....we knew it was going to be a LONG run! Shortly after that we did decide to scale back in the heat and go for 14 instead, an excellent decision in my opinion...fluids ended up getting low and the sun was blazing!
We struggled through it, TG my teammates were there, I soooooo would have laid down on a bench! My girl Chrisie reminded me that this will be the run that I pull my strength from during the marathon at mile 23 and I am looking for a bench anywhere to lay down and die! THIS will be the run that I remember and say "F the bench bitches, I'm finishing this!!!!"
In retrospect, we might have been way better off starting a little later, the humidity was so intense for the earlier part of the run, it just sucked the life right out of me!
All in all, I am just glad that it's done, and that I had my Teammates with me!

UPDATE on the Cat - Well, he/she's not hanging around my house anymore, but I keep looking everyday. I'm hoping that means that they found their way home! Thanks for the good luck wishes with him/her!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Picture of the Day

It's Friday again, that means it's time for Picture of the Day (as started by NikeMom). Well, today's picture is of a little white cat that appeared at my house last night, and is acting like he lives here! I'm in the process of trying to find this little guys owner....
I've posted the picture on Craigslist and called the local vets, no luck yet. When I get home from work if it's still around I'll call the police and they will come to my house and scan it for a microchip...I hope it has one!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finally Done! (non-running related!)

Well, last night I finished my LAST suit for the season!!! While it is something that I love doing, the hours and stress that come with it can be enough to wipe you out!!! Every girl has to be measured and then the suit is made to fit, in her color choice, with her choice of rhinestone design. I convinced the girl that picked up her suit last night to let me take a picture of her in it (even though she is "not contest ready" and isn't all "tanned up"!). I promised that I wouldn't include her head! So, here it is!!!

Yesterday was also a big day at my "Regluar Job", our catalog finally returned from being on press and the bindery! It looks absloutley amazing!!!! I am beyond thrilled with it, it is such a relief to have it in our hands! Here is a quick picture of the cover -

My picture of it does it no justice....but believe me, it's beautiful!

That's it for now, just soooooooo happy to have these 2 things compeltely done!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Race Pictures!

Here are some more pictures from Saturday's Half Marathon!
Here I come....I'm in the pink behind the guy in burgundy...you can just see a little bit of me! I was so excited to see my Mom and Dad at the finish line, and couldn't believe how much "more" I could keep pushing across the finish line!

Here I am with my Mom! And here's Dad! On the left is my Marine Corps Marathon Teammate, Chrisie (in yellow), and on the right is another TNT Teammate that is doing the San Francisco Nike Marathon, Erin. This is some more of our Team in Training group, Nicole (doing San Fran I think) and Justin, he's one of the mentors.

And this is me after the race, apparently pointing to my truck...not sure what was going on here but I liked that you could see my number and the medal!!!
I'm still flying high today from the race! I can only imagine what it's going to be like after the Marathon!!!!
Thanks again to everyone for their good luck wishes! A special Shout Out to "NC RUNNER" for his comments/input on the whole run/walk thing!

Words of Wisdom

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing will disturb your peace of mind.
See the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
Think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best.
Forget about the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
Spend so much time on the improvement of yourself that there is no time to criticize others.
Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you."
~ Chistian Dior

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do."
- Dr. Spock

"Fall in love or fall in hate. Get inspired or be depressed. Ace the test or flunk the class. Make babies or make art. Speak the truth or lie and cheat. Dance on tables or sit in the corner. Life is divine chaos. Embrace it. Forgive yourslef. Breathe. And enjoy the ride. "
- Solbeam