I was pretty nervous going into my second half marathon this Sunday. Compared to the MONTHS of training I put into my marathon, I did absolutely nothing to prepare for Knoxville. I couldn’t even remember the last time I did a double digit run, and I wasn’t sure how my legs would handle some monstrous hills.
It was challenging. But in a really good way. I loved the feeling of pushing through fatigue and overcoming a challenging course. I know that my finishing time and my mile splits are not impressive. But they look a lot prettier than what I was expecting.
My fitness has absolutely improved since I ran Chicago. I can’t help but wonder what my body is capable of if I am more diligent with my training. I’m excited to find out!
Four months ago I registered for the Knoxville Marathon. Since then I have completed minimal training, and have not even mentioned it on the blog. Up until even last week I was considering not showing up.
I’m not really certain what clicked and made me want to race, but here I am in Tennessee. I decided that rather than torture myself attempting to make it through 26.2 miles, I would just do the half-marathon. I do not have high expectations. I plan on walking some, and running when I feel like it. I have no idea how I am going to handle the hills on the course.
This will be my first long (ish) race in a long long loooooong time. And I am actually pretty freaking excited. I know that I should have done more to prepare, but I feel like between the group fitness classes I teach and the casual fun-runs I have done recently, 13.1 miles should not be a problem. If my 5K times are any indication, I am actually in better shape than I was before Chicago.
My packet has been picked up, my clothes are laid out, my hair is braided. I think I’m ready.
On Thursday I was driving to class when my car started beeping. I looked down and saw that the temperature gauge needle was pointing all the way to hot. I pulled over, turned it off, and called the mechanic. Once I was at the mechanic’s shop (or would you call it a garage?), I waited, and waited, and waited to have an update on what was wrong with my car. But I knew in the pit of my stomach that it was not going to be leaving with me. It would cost more to have the car fixed than it is worth. I called my stepdad, and my mom. She called my grandpa. This huge game of phone tag ensued where everyone tried to formulate a game plan.
It was a tad stressful. I found myself CRAVING pizza. Here I was in the middle of a crisis (I didn’t even know how I was going to get home), and I was thinking about FOOD. The next few days have been pretty similar. I look and feel relatively calm (considering my emotional nature), but I CANNOT stop eating. I am an intelligent human being. I KNOW that I am not really hungry, but that does not stop me from FEELING like I am starving.
Here is how I have been attempting to curb my appetite:
- Drinking tons and tons of water. It makes me feel full, and I know I’m not overeating due to dehydration.
- Having plenty of healthy snacks on hand. Grapes can only get me into so much trouble.
- Hitting the gym HARD. I know that I am taking in extra calories, so I want to offset that as much as possible. Also, when I am at the gym, I am not in the kitchen.
- Trying to relax. For me, the most relaxing place in the world is a bubble bath. It’s difficult to freak out surrounded by warm water and nice smelling soap. When I start to feel panicky it is my favorite place to be.
- Relying on social support. I’m sure that Kim and my mom are both annoyed by the number of phone calls they have received. It helps me to talk things out, and it does not hurt to have someone tell me it’s going to be okay.
I’m sure you think I am overreacting. I probably am. But I chose and paid off that car myself. It was EXACTLY what I wanted and I’ve had it for six years. Purchasing a new car feels like a big deal to me (and apparently my stomach agrees).
I feel like I just finished a marathon. These last few weeks have been physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically draining. It was one looming deadline and stressful exam after another. I was scrambling to accomplish anything, turning in assignments, taking tests and holding my breath that I had done enough. I was in survival mode. I was scraping things together, and praying I was adequate.
On Friday, it ended. Just when I felt like I was fried and could not handle another setback, all my deadlines were met, all necessary work was completed, all the exams have been taken. I had ten beautiful glorious days where I could choose to do whatever I pleased… anything.
I crashed. I slept, and slept, and slept- for hours. I played with my dog. I did two weeks worth of laundry. I cleaned my apartment. And then, I made a list of my upcoming school projects and I got to work. I printed off a humongous stack of research articles and I sat on my porch barefooted and read leisurely. I read in the bath tub. I read in my bed.
Grad school is hard. God. It. Is. So. Hard. Occasionally, I get on Facebook and I look at pictures of my friends’ adorable babies, and handsome husbands, and I briefly wonder if I should have taken a different path. But I don’t want a baby. I don’t want to be planning a wedding. I want a thesis. I want to be Dr. Layton Reesor, PhD. I want to publish research and present at conferences. I want to go out for Sangrias with my grad school friends, drink too much and talk about our work.
And that is exactly what I do. Now that I have a bit of a reprieve I feel satisfied, proud, accomplished. I feel as committed as ever to this life I have created.
Apparently, The Cupid’s Crawl has become MY race. I have participated in it the past three years (that’s how long it’s been around). This year, the race turned into more of an EVENT. One of the best things about having fitness-minded friends is that lots of people were on board with running!
Friday night, I hosted a pasta dinner. I bought waaaaay too much food.
I spent the afternoon vaccuuming and shoving things into my closet. Then I managed to fit ten people into my mini-sized apartment. I thought that it was a really good time. Sure, things were a little cozy, but we’re all pretty close and no one seemed to mind.
The race was great! All of my friends are super fast. Everyone (except for me) finished in the top five for their age group. Although I am not as speedy as my friends, I’m still satisfied with how I did yesterday. My official finishing time was 30:59, which is a full minute and forty five seconds faster than last year, and a pretty sweet ten second PR. I could get used to getting faster every time I race.
And now that I have drank the Garmin Kool-aid I have some cool data for ya!
My Garmin splits look a little funny because I forgot to stop my watch once I crossed the finish line. Also, I saw some of my sorority sisters volunteering on the course and you know I could not pass up a few hugs. Looking at those times gets me totally excited about running. I can’t believe how much I have improved without a whole lot of effort. We’ve already started planning our next race!
This weekend, I am going to be running in the Cupid’s Crawl 5K for the third year in a row. Several of my friends are all also going to be participating, so I ended up hosting an impromptu t-shirt decorating party at my new apartment.
Friends + Arts&Crafts + Wine = One great Friday night!
My friend Hotaka agreed to run the race with me, annnnnnnnd he said that he would wear whatever I picked out. Talk about a brave guy!
I can’t post a picture of our actual shirts because I want for him to be surprised (and I’m a little scared that he will back out). So get excited because they are coming soon!
In my last post, I basically emotionally vomited all over the blog. If you read it, then it should not come as a surprise that I decided to move out. Luckily, I have the best friends in the whole world, and we were able to get all of my major belongings relocated in under an hour. I’ve been gradually unpacking and then going back to my house for things that I left. Hopefully, the move will be complete by the end of the week, but here is what I’ve got so far.
Props to Tinkerbell for her modeling talents.
It’s still in progress, but I think it has potential. I am loving having my own space. Take a look at the picture of my refrigerator. It was sooooooo nice to be able to grocery shop, and buy whatever I wanted, and not have to worry about making it fit into my tiny corner of the fridge.
I wasn’t “allowed” to have plants before (my roommate said they would bring bugs into the house), so I may have gone a little overboard in the botany department. I’m especially fond of my tree. Hopefully I can keep him alive.