My Best Friends Are Fictional

Ever notice how Friday comes a lot sooner when you have two days off at the beginning of the week?  Since we had Monday and Tuesday off because of the snowy weather, Friday is upon me just like that, and I don’t hate it.  We’re heading home for the weekend so Dad, Justin, and I can run the Cowtown Half on Sunday.  I also get to see Mom and Joel plus possibly my favorite aunt, and I haven’t seen any of them in months so I’m very pumped!

The pups enjoyed the snow!

The pups enjoyed the snow!

Quick update on the feet situation:  I had an appointment with an ortho doctor on Wednesday, and the good news is that I don’t have any stress fractures which was worst case scenario, but good to know for sure.  Basically he told me what I already knew-by running up on my toes I am putting a ton of stress on that part of my feet, and my best bet is to try to change my foot strike.  He was also amazed at how tight a muscle in the back of my calf is (sorry-I don’t remember the scientific name is!), and said I need to stretch like it’s my full-time job to loosen it up.  He was hopeful that could take some of the pressure off.  So, there you go!  I’m going to keep working on my strike, and this weekend will be a true test!

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Ok, so it has been a good while since I did an installment of the 10 Day You Challenge.  Technically it’s time for Five Foods, but food posts bore me to tears so I’m skipping right on to Four Books.  As I tell my students often, I’m mad with power.

I’ve been a life-long reader, and the feeling you get when you find a really good story is almost incomparable so narrowing down the list to just four is a bit of a struggle.  I did manage, however, to come up with those few books that have meant a great deal to me at certain points in my life and are still ones I love to read over and over again.

1.  The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 

I have no idea why this epic historical novel had such an effect on me, but it is unfailingly the answer I give when someone asks what my favorite book is.  This novel can only be described as romantic.  Not in the love story sense (although there is certainly plenty of that), but in the way in completely romanticize the Australian Outback.  I read this when I was pretty young, and I believe it was the first book I had read that truly made me understand what it was like to be transported to a completely different part of the world than the one you inhabit.  It’s beautiful and breathtaking, and I highly recommend it.

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2.  Anne of Green Gables

Oh, Anne (with an e, of course).  I have loved her since the first page, and it is a kindred spirit relationship that has lasted ever since.  Between the lovable characters and the setting of Prince Edward Island, which I still would desperately love to visit, this entire series is one that never loses its appeal for me.  I reread all eight books every couple of years, and I love it when I’m able to convince one of my students to give her a try.  They’re never disappointed!

3.  Harry Potter

Yes, I’m one of those people.  I didn’t discover Harry Potter until I was in early adulthood, but it didn’t stop me from falling in love with the boy wizard.  These stories are magical is every way you can use that term, and I’m in awe of the incredible writing J.K. Rowling did to give them to us.  Even now I listen to the audiobooks pretty regularly.  If you love Harry Potter like I do, definitely give the audio a listen.  Jim Dale is masterful.

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4.  Wild

You knew it was coming, right?  It’s no secret that I have a deep level of respect for this book and it’s author.  Of course, it speaks to me as a backpacker, and it is largely what I credit for planting the idea of a thru-hike in my head, a goal that I hope to accomplish at some point in the future.  More than that, though, I’m always struck my her bravery and her desperation to pick up the pieces.  Sometimes having the courage to save yourself is the most heroic action you can take.

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So everyone should read a great book this weekend, and now you have suggestions!  Have a great one!

What are your favorite books?

Playing Catch Up

Hello, friends!  I didn’t mean to go dark for over a week!  Last week was a little extra busy, I spent some of my down time reading instead of blogging, and, to be perfectly honest, I just wasn’t  very inspired to write.  It happens!  So today how about we play a little catch up?

We’re actually out for a snow day today, and I love it.  I’ve lamented our lack of winter for months, but it appears that it is not done with us yet.  It snowed really hard for a few hours yesterday, and it’s currently coming down again.  With temperatures not getting above freezing all day today, I’m assuming I’ll be housebound for a little while longer.  I am not complaining!

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Every once in a while I find a book that I absolutely can’t put down to the detriment of every other item on my to-do list.  That happened last week which is partially to blame for my lack of blogging.  It was The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes, and it was fantastic.  It tells a dual story of a woman living in a small German-occupied French village during WWI and a modern-day widow living in London trying to put the pieces of her life back together after her husband’s unexpected death.  There’s an intriguing piece of art that ties the two stories together, and it was a gorgeous story.  This is the second one I’ve read by Moyes, and I’m now a serious fan.  On a mission to get every other book she’s written!

I have been eating a ton of Flapjacked.  Every morning for breakfast, and at least once for dinner last week.  Pancakes are definitely a top five favorite food, and it’s really nice to eat a healthy version of them.  On a side note:  I sometimes feel like when people mention products that they’re affiliated with, it comes off as a bit inauthentic.  So I really, really want you guys to know that, yes, I am a Flapjacked ambassador, but I am not joking when I tell you it is one of my favorite products.  To illustrate:  I have been through three family size bags in one month.  By myself!

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I got my Hokas in the mail last week, and I did one run in them.  Afterwards (and for the rest of the week) my feet hurt worse than ever.  They even hurt when I wasn’t running which has never happened before!  I think part of the problem is that I need a bigger size, but even if that is fixed, I’m not sure they’re going to work.  And if a shoe like that doesn’t work, what the heck am I going to do??  Well, I think it’s time to start changing my foot strike.  In fact, I ran eight miles on Saturday, and I focused on landing more mid-foot during the entire run.  I had very minimal foot pain so maybe I’ve landed on something.  I actually have an appointment with an ortho doctor on Wednesday so we’ll see what he says, but a change of strike might be the answer!

Speaking of running, our next half is on Sunday.  Dad and I (and Justin this time!!!) are running the Cowtown in Ft. Worth.  I’m actually not nervous at all.  I know there’s a real possibility that my feet will give me problems, but I feel like if I can get through the Ft. Smith race then I can get through Cowtown.  Let’s hope I’m not overly optimistic!

Last year after Cowtown!

Last year after Cowtown!

Let’s end with something adorable.

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I love these two so much.  As usual, Max is not digging the snow at all, and Gus is loving life with it all over the ground.  Yesterday, he was running around barking and trying to bite it as it fell.  So goofy!

Alright, friends, I’m heading out for now.  Enjoy your day and stay warm!

Isn’t It Romantic?

First of all, thank you thank you thank you for all the kind words regarding last weekend’s race.  It was super tough, but you guys made me feel infinitely better about the whole situation.  I will tell you that last night I finally bit the bullet and ordered this pair of Hoka’s.  Yes, they are the ugliest running shoes known to man, but if they fix the problems with my feet, I’ll wear them proudly!  Stay tuned!

So word on the street is tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  This is perhaps the most volatile holiday there is.  It seems like people either love it or hate it, but I’m one of those people who fall somewhere in the middle.  Yes, I recognize that it’s largely commercial, and it does create a lot of pressure on relationships.  However, commercial or not, I kind of like the idea of day where people universally slow down and take the time to tell the people they love how important they are.  Should we need a special day once a year to do that?  Of course not, but, unfortunately, people often let it slide.

Anyway, I didn’t really mean to go off on a tangent!  Instead I wanted to take the special occasion to share some of my favorite romantic movies to honor the official day of love.  I saw a similar post on The Pioneer Woman last week, and I thought it would be fun to give you a run down of my list.

Now, to be fair, John and I might be the most unromantic people on the planet.  I guess we’re lucky that we found each other!  That being said, I just can’t abide the truly sappy, and you’ll find the majority of my favorite romantic movies will fall more on the rom-com end of the spectrum.  I actually really love that genre, and it was little hard narrowing it down!

When Harry Met Sally

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Of course, this is at the top of the list.  Not only is it a great Valentine’s Day movie, it’s my favorite movie ever.  It’s funny and sweet and about two best friends falling in love which is exactly my own love story.  My dream in life is to be one of the 85-year-old couples sitting on the couch.

Dirty Dancing

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“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  Enough said.

You’ve Got Mail

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Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, NYC, Nora Ephron……how can this combination fail?

Sleepless in Seattle

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Sub in Seattle for NYC, and see above formula.

Crazy, Stupid Love

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Ok, it’s no secret that I (along with just about every other straight woman in America) have a seriously thing for Ryan Gosling, and he’s shirtless in this movie.  That right there makes in worth seeing.  However, this movie has so much more to offer.  Watching Steve Carell and Julianne Moore navigate the challenges of a marriage that has stalled is not only hilarious, but truly touching.  Plus, the first time I saw the fight scene in the backyard I had literal tears streaming from laughing so hard.

 The Holiday

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I rediscovered this movie recently, and fell in love with it all over again.  No, I wouldn’t dub it true classic material, but it’s sweet and fun and it’s set at Christmas time.  With English accents.  I’m sold.

 Legends of the Fall

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This is the only drama on the list, but there’s no way I could leave it out.  This movie is heartbreakingly beautiful, and one of the greatest films of my lifetime.  The scenery is gorgeous, the acting is phenomenal, and the story is something that stays with you long after the final credits.  If you haven’t watched this movie, do it pronto.  You won’t regret it.

Every movie on this list is one I could watch over and over again.  In fact, I think binge watching them is a perfect way to spend the most romantic day of the year.  Are you listening, John Ford? ;)  Have a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

What’s your favorite romantic movie?

It Was Ugly

It was ugly.  I just have to get that out of the way right from the get go.  Nothing about this race went well other than the fact that I finished.  And, let me tell you, when my feet started hurting before I had even hit the .5 mile mark, I wasn’t entirely sure I would.

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I definitely had an inkling of how the day was going to go when I woke up at 3:45 that morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.  This severely irritated me for a lot of reasons, but not the least of which was the fact that the race was a 9 AM start!  I could have slept until 7:15, and it just didn’t happen.

After watching three episodes of Parenthood on my Kindle, I got up to get ready around seven, and Dad and I headed out to the race around 7:30.  By that point, a rock the size of my fist had taken up residence in my stomach.  Honestly, I think I was more nervous about this race that I’ve been about any of the others.  Apparently, my brain knew what was coming.

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The gun sounded a little after nine, and we were off.  There were about a thousand runners for the marathon/half-marathon which I think is a great turn out for a first year race.  We made our way up the historic downtown district, and Dad and I saw John, Caite, and Justin less than a mile up the course.  Those three did a great job of following us all day, and it was a much needed pick me up.

As always, I started off way too fast.  I have a really bad habit of thinking “Hey, I feel great!  Let’s go!”, and I start sucking wind before I even hit a mile.  Luckily, Dad knows how to do this a little better than me, and he slowed me down pretty quickly.

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However, despite getting my pace under control, my feet weren’t in the mood.  Here’s a little history:  I am most definitely a forefoot striker.  I’ve been made fun of all my life for running up on my toes, but it’s just the way that feels most natural to me.  That means, unfortunately, that I cannot find a shoe that adequately cushions that part of my foot, and I have hurt in every single race I’ve done.   Seriously, my feet look like something out of a horror movie.

This race was definitely the worst foot pain I’ve had to date.  I was stopping for walking breaks before we even hit the two-mile mark because I just couldn’t stand the pain of staying up on my toes.

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About halfway through, I  consciously switched my stride so that I was striking more on my midfoot which helped quite a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make up for all the time we lost at the beginning and I still wasn’t moving that fast anyway.

So what changed this race?  Last weekend I bought some inserts in effort to ease the pain, and I think they did the exact opposite.  I was wearing the same shoes in the Baton Rouge race minus the inserts, and I didn’t hurt nearly this bad.  Which you better believe means those inserts are coming out before Cowtown in a few weeks.  Bottom line-I desperately need to find the right shoes, and I would welcome any advice you guys can give!

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I ended up crossing the finish line at 2:18:43 which is 43 seconds slower than my slowest time.  A part of me is definitely disappointed, but another part of me is thrilled because (time-wise) it could have been so much worse.  I have some work to do before my next half and a few things to figure out, but Louisiana and Arkansas can be checked off the 12 Races 12 States 12 Months list.  Bring on Texas!

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Seriously, experienced runners:  what is the solution for my little problem?

 

The Return Of Scout & Atticus

Let’s Think Out Loud today!

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1.  I have a race this weekend.  The February slot in our 12 Races 12 States 12 Months challenge goes to an Arkansas race close to home.

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This is the inaugural year for the Ft. Smith Marathon so it’ll be on the smaller side which can definitely be a good thing.  Unlike my Baton Rouge race, I’m feeling a little bit of nervousness, but (Confession—->>) my overwhelming feeling is dread.  My rational self knows that this can be chocked up to two reasons:  1.  This race is continually described as “challenging” which scares the bejeezus out of me and 2.  Since my last race, I’ve had the flu which zapped my energy and kept me off my feet for a whole week.  My runs have been feeling a whole lot better in the last week and a half, but I’m still worried about my stamina for this one.  Right now I’m just trying to get in a better head space because I know that’s half the battle.  As Dad said the other day, our goal is to do twelve.  Not twelve fast.

2.  Dad, Caite, and Justin are coming up for the weekend which is the great part about the weekend!  Caite and Justin haven’t seen the land we recently bought so I’m really excited to show them.

3.  So John and I became obsessed with Game of Thrones a few months ago, and now I’ve finally picked up the first book at the library.  So many of students have read it (which I think is slightly questionable!), and they are dying to talk to me about it.  I’ve promised one senior to have all of them finished by graduation so I’ve got to get busy!

4.  Are you guys morning people?  I AM NOT.  My week day alarm goes off about 5:40 every morning, and it is a serious struggle to get out of bed.  I am being completely honest when I tell you that what finally gets me up is the idea of food.  Breakfast is my favorite meal, and I’m always starving.

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Lately, of course, I’ve been having Flapjacked first thing in the AM which is a serious improvement over oatmeal.

5.  I’m a huge fan of podcasts, but it seems like I always just stumble on ones that become my favorite.  I suck at finding them for myself so you guys help me out-what are your favorites?

6.  So I know I was complaining about the weather a few weeks ago, but I do have one positive thing to say about our less than wintery weather.  Yesterday I was walking across campus, and I realized that the almost 60 degree day felt exactly like a summer morning in the backcountry.  It instantly inspired one of those “isn’t life wonderful?” feelings.  Maybe I should channel that at the race this weekend!

7.  Did you hear that Harper Lee is publishing a new book this year?!  Fifty years after one of the most influential novels of all time was written, the author is giving us another glimpse into the world of Scout & Atticus.  My book loving heart is happy.

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8.  Ok, I’m going to end on #8 today because, as I write this on Wednesday night, I’m anxiously waiting for the second part of the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD two-parter.  Priorities people!

Race day advice?  Hit me up with a list of your favorite podcasts!

Daily Beauty

Hey there!  How was everyone’s weekend?  I know many of you partied it up at Super Bowl gatherings.  I, on the other hand, could not have cared less about it, but I did catch the last 4 1/2 minutes which was pretty exciting.  You know-for a football game ;)

Anyway, today I’m finally going to a post I’ve wanted to for awhile.  There are so many forms of social media these days, but Instagram is far and away my favorite.  I follow a ton of people from blogger friends to infamous Bachelor celebrities (don’t judge me), and I love scrolling through my feed to see what’s up with the great wide world.  Far and away, though, my favorite Instagram accounts are the outdoor photographers who bring a little bit of my mountains to me while I’m stuck in this flatlander world.

I thought I’d highlight some of favorites, and, hopefully, turn you guys on to a few new ones.  These people have some serious skills, and I’m more than happy to help spread the word about them!

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There is never a photo posted by @coloradoinfocus that fails to take my breath away.  Each one is so gorgeous that’s it’s almost hard to believe is an actual photograph.

@dilloncolorado

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This is actually the account for the town of Dillon, Colorado.  Dillon is a great little town on I-70, and their account really highlights the beautiful scenery they have going on.

@glaciernps

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John and I backpacked in Glacier National Park a few years ago, and it is truly one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever seen.  While nothing quite beats being there, the pictures that they provide everyday is close second!

@pctassociation

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It’s no secret that one of my dreams is to hike the PCT, and the PCT Association really makes me want to hit the trail every single time they post.

@run2themountains

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Amy’s account may be  my favorite.  Her photos from around Colorado are always spectacular, and I’m constantly hit my two thoughts when I look at them:  1.  I’m totally inspired to become a landscape photographer.  2.  Who am I kidding?  No way I could ever be that good!

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Durango is my favorite mountain town so these this account is both bliss and torture.  Beautiful pictures, but a daily reminder of what I’m missing!

These are just a few of my favorite Instagram accounts, but each of the photographers are truly, truly talented.  I hope you guys will check them out.  Who doesn’t need a daily dose of the mountains?  And, hey, while you’re there, give me a follow as well!  Have a great day!

What are your favorite Instagram accounts?

Currently: January

She lives!  After about a week of the flu, I’m finally feeling about 99%, and I am so glad to put that behind me.  In theory, laying on the couch reading and watching TV sounds great, but talk to me after doing it for six days.  It loses its appeal fast!

Anyway, today I thought I’d hit you with a Currently post to catch you up on the inner workings since I’ve been out of commission.  Pay particular attention to the new book-and then go get a copy!

Currently: January

Current books:  Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

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Technically, I finished this last week while I was permanently glued to the couch, but I wanted a chance to tell you how much I loved it.  I’ve seen numerous bloggers talk about JoJo Moyes books for about a year now, and I finally jumped on the bandwagon.  There’s a reason she’s so popular.  This was a heartbreaking read, but so, so good.  I’m on the hunt for more of her novels so you can bet that’s what I’ll be reading next.

Current music:   Pitch Perfect Soundtrack

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It’s amazing how many to-do’s you can cross off your list while being couch-ridden with the flu.  One of mine was to watch Pitch Perfect, and I can’t believe it took me so long.  I LOVED this movie, and I downloaded the soundtrack within 1.23 seconds of finishing the film.

Current guilty pleasure:   I say it every season, but, yes, I’m watching The Bachelor.  Here’s where I give you my disclaimer that I’m actually a very smart person and everyone has their vices.

Current nail color:  Oh, you guys, it’s so bad.  After my last half, my feet look like something out of a horror movie, and the color of my toenails are the least of my worries.

Current drink:   Water.  The flu seriously dehydrated me, and I still don’t feel like I’m completely back up to snuff on that score.

Current food:   Flapjacked!  I have FINALLY gotten my appetite back, and I’ve been eating a ton of pancakes.  They’re easily my favorite food anyway so I’m really loving them now that they taste good again!

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Current shows:   We’re back on The West Wing.  We stopped watching a few months ago after finishing season six because, at least for me, I wasn’t ready for the whole thing to be over.  However, after spending five days on the couch, I ran out of things to watch so I popped in the DVD on season seven, and I’m completely sucked back in.  We have three episodes left, and I’m really going to be sad when it’s over.

Current needs:   Snow!  Yes, I know that I should be happy that it’s 70 degrees, but I’m not one of those people.  It’s almost February, and I just want one snowfall before we have to endure five months of hellish temperatures. 

Current bane of my existence:  My running shoes.  I lost a week, and I have a race in a week and a half.  That math doesn’t work well.

Current celebrity crush:   I’m going to throw you a new one today.

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I’ve always thought Chris Pine was cute, but, after seeing him in Into The Woods last month, I have a full-blown thing.

Current indulgence:  When I was in college and again when I was first living on my own, I ate dry cereal like it was going out of style.  Obviously, I gave that up some time ago, but lately it has sounded really good so I picked up a box at the grocery store the other day.  It probably won’t become a regular thing, but, man, is it good!

Current blessing:  My job.  I work with and for some really great people, and I’m so thankful that everyone was accommodating and understanding last week.  I recognize that some people don’t have the option of staying home when they’re sick, and I’m so grateful that I’m not one of them.

Current outfit:   Dress and boots.  I know the end of boot wearing season is imminent so I’m trying to wear them as much as possible.

Current excitement:   The weekend!  We don’t have anything special planned, but I’m not sick so I can actually enjoy it.

Current mood:   Euphoric :)

Current link:   I’m a little behind, but I love this Taylor Swift mashup.  One of my students showed it to me yesterday, and it is so beautiful.

What’s going one with you?  I feel out of the loop!

 

 

A Race Recap, A Confession, & The Flu

Hello, friends!  I’m a little later with this recap that I had intended, but Sunday night, just as we were pulling in from our weekend in Baton Rouge, I was suddenly hit with an intense case of the chills.  That was followed by waking up at 3:30 in the morning feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck and not being able to go back to sleep.  That’s right-the flu came to visit.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  The flu is striking down people right and left in our area right now, and our school has not been spared.  Last week we had a huge number of kids and teachers out with it, and it was probably just a matter of time for me.  The real miracle is that this is the first time I’ve had it in about seven years!

The good news is I’ve finally turned the corner today, and I’m feeling better.  I’ve still got a few symptoms and moving too far from the couch is probably not going to happen, but things are looking up.  So much so that I finally feel coherent enough to give you guys the rundown on the race!

This half marathon was the first in the 12 Races 12 States 12 Months adventure that Dad and I are on, and it turned out to be a perfect way to start the year.

Early Saturday morning, John and I left town to head to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Marathon.  We met up with Dad in Shreveport, and the three of us arrived at the Expo just before closing to pick up our packets.

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After packet pick-up, we spent some time strolling by the river before deciding that food and an early bed time was definitely in order.

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The race was scheduled for 7 Sunday morning, and it took off right across the street from the capital building in downtown Baton Rouge.  The morning was perfect.  The temps were somewhere in the mid-40s, and the skies were clear.

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Dad and I took off in the second wave of runners, and the first mile took us down the river front.  One of the reasons that running races in different cities appeals to me is all the new sights to keep you entertained why you run.

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This course did not disappoint.  It wound through Baton Rouge neighborhoods with cool architecture, a running path around a beautiful lake, and through the LSU campus.  That may have been the reason why the miles flew by, but I was a little bit in shock at how fast we seemed to be getting through the course.

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When we hit mile 9, I felt myself fatiguing a little bit, and, as was the case in each of my last two half marathons, my feet felt like they were on fire.  Unfortunately, that meant the next four miles had a few more walking breaks than I really would’ve liked.

Here’s where I need to make a couple of confessions.

Confession #1:  I told you guys last week that I wasn’t expecting anything out of this race.  I was going to use this race as a baseline, and just see how it would shake out.  However, if I’m being completely honest, I secretly expected to PR.

Confession #2:  I fully intended to never admit that had it not happened.

From mile 10 on, I knew I had an opportunity to make it under 2:10, and I was checking my watch frequently in those last three miles.  With three-quarters of mile to go, Dad said we were going to have to push to make it so I put on the gas.  That may have been the hardest stretch I’ve ever ran.  Luckily, Dad was there to give me the encouragement I needed.  As the finish line came into view with about half a mile to go, I focused in on it and just listened to Dad push me on.

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And it worked!  We crossed at 2:09:39 which shaved 3:01 off my PR.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get after giving something everything you’ve got, and that was the feeling of euphoria I rode for the rest of the day.  You know-until I got home and started riding the flu wave.

Despite the fact that the race was a wee bit overshadowed by the flu bug, I have to recommend the Louisiana Marathon.  It was such a great course, they had aid stations and mile markers at every mile (<—something I truly appreciate), and Baton Rouge is a really cool city.

Next up is the Fort Smith half in two weeks.  That course will be somewhat more challenging, and I can’t pretend I’m not concerned about how having the flu will affect me.  On the plus side, however, it’s in one of my favorite towns, and it’s local so we’ll have lots of family and friends there.

Alright, I’m off to watch more TV and finish my 900th box of tissue, and, hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to rejoin the land of the living.  Have a great night!

What’s the best race you’ve ever done?

So I Have Some News

I’ve noticed through the course of this blog that I really, really enjoy writing lists.  It seems like every post I do is organized into neat little bullet points.  Blame it on my OCD, but I really love it so, in celebration of that, how about a few Thursday Thoughts organized into tidy numbered segments?

Thinking-Out-Loud

1.  It’s almost race weekend!  As the week has progressed, I’ve found myself getting less nervous, and just genuinely looking forward to the weekend.  I’m sure the nerves will hit Saturday night, but, for now, I’m going to enjoy not freaking out about a race for a change.

2.  My friend Whitney and I were talking about race nerves a few weeks ago, and we came up with a theory.  I truly think that I’m nervous before every single race (even 5Ks!) because every run is so different.  One day you can go out for ten miles and feel perfect; the next day running ten steps feels like an impossible feat.  Unfortunately, you never know what kind of day it’s going to be, and, thus, the nerves.

3.  This semester is already flying by.  Sometimes I’m truly alarmed at how fast time is going.  Summer will be here shortly, and, though I’m not looking forward to the heat, I can’t wait to have those three glorious months off stretching out in front of me.

4.  Speaking of summer, can we talk weather for a minute?  I’m a little annoyed with ours at the moment.  It’s suppose to be 60 here on Friday.  60!  In January!  We haven’t had even a hint of snow all winter long, and I’m starting to get worried.  Everyday I tell myself that we still have all of February to go so not all is lost.  A girl can hope…..

5.  Now that all the holiday craziness is over, John and I are turning our attention back to home repairs.  Last weekend, he spent some time working in the laundry room, and we still need to get the kitchen cabinet doors painted.  We’re both more motivated that we’ve ever been because the sooner this house gets finish the faster we can start building our new one!

6.  What’s everyone reading lately?  I think I have three books going right now, but I particularly excited about this find at the library the other day.

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As an avowed Anglophile and Downton Abbey fanatic, I really enjoyed reading the first book by the Countess of Carnarvon last year, and so I was really excited to discover that she’s written another one detailing the history of some of the real people who lived their lives at Highclere Castle (setting for the fictional Downton Abbey).  It’s highly entertaining so far, and I love getting a glimpse of a world so unfamiliar to an American like me.

7.  John and I are always looking towards the next vacation, and, now that the ski trip is behind us, we’re looking forward to our annual summer backpacking trip.  This year we’re going to explore some new territory in the form of Idaho’s Sawtooth mountain range.  I was reading some information last week, and I saw it described as all the mountain you could want with none of the crowds.  That sounds as close to heaven as you get for me.

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8.  I’m sure I’ve been living under a rock, and you guys know this already but every single one of you should go read this blog right now (well, after you finish mine!).  I recently discovered Colleen’s blog, and I absolutely adore her.  She writes in a voice that I feel like I’m striving to create her on this little blog ‘o mine, and I feel like I would love to be friends with her in real life.  Seriously, she’s awesome!

 

9.  I always like to save the best for last, and today I’ve save some exciting news.

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I was named a Flapjacked Ambassador!  For those of you don’t know, Flapjacked is a company that develops clean, protein pancake mixes.  It was started by a couple with five young children who were trying to model and encourage a healthy lifestyle in their kids without sacrificing treats like weekend pancakes.  I’ve been a fan of Flapjacked for a while now, and I can personally verify that all three of the mixes (Buttermilk, Apple Cinnamon, Banana Hazelnut) are delicious.  However, my favorite one is probably the good ‘ol Buttermilk mix.  You’ll be hearing me talk a lot about Flapjacked in the future, and I really encourage you to check out their story.  I’m so grateful to partner with a company like this, and I’m really excited about the future opportunities!

9.  And that’s all for today!  I’ll see you guys back here on Monday (oh, who am I kidding?  Probably Tuesday) for a recap of my race!  Have a great weekend!

And So It Begins

Hello, friends!  It’s January so that means that the time as come to start the 12 Races, 12 States, 12 Months journey.

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Our first race is happening this weekend, and, to be truthful, I’m a wee bit nervous.  It’s been almost a year since I last ran this distance, and, although I’ve put the miles in, the last few weeks have been tough.

December is incredibly busy so long runs just didn’t happen.  I still ran three or four days a week, but nothing over four or five miles.  Then, of course, we went skiing for a week so I didn’t run at all, and, instead, relied on the fact that was still doing something pretty active.  Apparently, my legs didn’t get the message because every run since I’ve been back has been a little difficult.

I did manage a ten miler on Saturday, and I plan to get about ten total for this week so we’ll just have to see how it goes.  I know I can get through it.  It just might not be pretty.

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So as we head for Baton Rouge (Louisiana-check!), what are my expectations for the race?  The simple answer is I’m doing my best to not have any.  I intended to use this race as a benchmark so I can get a true feel of where I’m at, and build from there when I get home.  Obviously, if I’m going to do twelve races this year, I’ll have more than enough time to make some time goals.  For now, I’m just going get a base!

Of course, one of the main purposes of this race is to have some fun and make some great memories.  I’ve actually never been to Baton Rouge, and I’m looking forward to exploring a little more Louisiana culture.  It should be a fun weekend!

But, first, we must get through the work week.  I hope you all are off to a great start!

What expectations do you usually have going into a race?

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