So It Begins

Today was the OFFICIAL first day of training for my fall marathon. It’s sixteen weeks (112 days) until go-time. September feels like it’s a long ways away, but in reality I only have fifteen long runs to get prepared.

I’m actually feeling pretty confident. I’ve been playing with the training runs and cross-training workouts the past couple of weeks, and while they are no doubt challenging, I think that I will be able to complete them (fingers crossed).

Running Another Marathon- No Joke!

My last blog post (three weeks ago if anyone is counting) was about recuperating after a stressful finals period. Now that I have had some down time it’s official, I’m bored. Sure there is plenty of crap that I could/ should be doing- writing my thesis for example. However, with large blocks of unstructured time, I feel like I am floundering; ticking off my summer days without accomplishing anything significant. I’ve been whining for a break and now that I have one I’m unhappy. Typical.

Point being, I have too much free time right now, and because I am a psychopath I need to find something to fill it up- immediately. I’ve been trying to come up with what I would like to accomplish this summer more than anything else in the whole entire world (soul searching if you will), and one thought keeps nagging at me.

I want to run another marathon.

I know what you are thinking, “Layne, you were supposed to run a marathon a month ago, but couldn’t get your act together.” You would be correct, but IT’S THE SUMMER TIME. I have so much more freedom. I am confident that I can make it work because two summers ago I was able to successfully prepare for a fall marathon. I KNOW that I can train for another one, as long as I have the motivation to WANT to do it, and right now I really really really want to train for one.

After spending hours perusing race websites (told you I have too much free time), I came across the PERFECT fall race, The Asheville Citizens Times City Race. It is spitting distance away from my hometown, and if I know Asheville the race will be beautiful and a blast. The race is the last weekend in September, meaning I will have to do minimal training once the school year gets back into swing.

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Everything just feels right. I feel like running this race is the perfect decision for me. With 125 days until the gun goes off, it is time to get to work!

Asheville Marathon(Pictures hijacked from the event website) 🙂

April 15th 2013

Like many of you, the tragedy at Boston has been imbedded in my thoughts constantly. I learned about what had happened on twitter within minutes of the occurrence. I felt numb as I repeatedly pressed refresh until I was able to turn on the news at home.

The emotions that I have been experiencing are powerful. This hits so close to home. It feels personal. Less than two weeks ago I was approaching a finish line and my favorite people in the whole world were there waiting for me. I feel like the attack on the Boston Marathon was an attack on me and those who I love.

I know the gamut of emotions that surge through your body and mind as you approach the finish line. Elation, exhaustion, relief, pride. The bombs did not only harm the people present. They damaged the symbolism of the finish line. I know in the future when I approach the end of other races, I will never feel the same. I will never be able to participate in a race without reflecting on April 15th.

I know many of you feel the same way. Runners understand each other. We are shocked, angry, fearful, disgusted. We began supporting each other immediately after the explosions happened, and I know our camaraderie will continue in the coming weeks and months.

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathon runners are the wrong group to target.” David & Kelvin Bright

Knoxville Half Marathon

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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.

Knox Half Collage

 

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!

Thanks Mrs. Obama

Michelle Obama visited my school today! I am actually a huge fan of the first lady. She has done some great things in an effort to tackle childhood obesity (a topic I am passionate about), and is an awesome role model. Unfortunately, when I tried to get a ticket to see her speak there was a line that wrapped around the building. No offense to the first lady, but I did not have an hour to spend waiting in line (I had an exam to cram for and take). I have a sneaky suspicion that she wasn’t coming to talk about childhood obesity anyways.

Although I did not get to see her, she still positively impacted my day. My morning class was cancelled! I thoroughly enjoyed a nice leisurely morning. I drank a cup of coffee (or two) on my porch, and took in the fall weather. I decided that it was too perfect not to go for a run outside.

My shirt was longer than my shorts, and I did not match at all. I felt like I looked really foolish, but then I thought to myself, “Who the heck cares???”

I took Tinkerbell out for three easy miles, and we have both been in a great mood all day long!

 

Wonderful Weekend

When searching for the perfect adjective to describe this weekend, all that I could come up with was “decadent”. For the first time in I don’t know how long I had 2.5 days of zero obligations: no work, no school, no appointments. Just sixty hours of freedom.

I got caught up on sleep, lounged around with my favorite pooch, actually cleaned out my car and room, went to two group fitness classes and spent a ton of time on the phone with my BFF (who is now a million miles away). It was nice to be lazy, and get some things done that I’ve been putting off. But I’m actually excited for Monday! Isn’t that silly? I can get a little whiney about being too busy, but all that it took was one weekend for me to snap out of that funk.

I have my first grad school exam tomorrow. I am feeling uncharacteristically relaxed about it. I’ve been to every class, I’ve actively participated, and I have reviewed the study guide. I ought to be able to rock this thing (hopefully I’m not jinxing myself).

I spent a little time “race shopping” this weekend. I haven’t run in a race since the beginning of April and I am starting to get that itch. Now that I have my weekends off it should not be a problem finding time to train. I would really enjoy a Halloween event where people dress up, but I feel like I would need a running buddy to do it with me (and my number one sidekick is unavailable). I’ll keep ya posted.

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Don’t Let the Haters Stop You

So the last two posts have been all “rah-rah my life is bomb.com”, and that’s great and everything, but I need to be honest. While work and school and research are going super great, my living situation sucks eggs. My roommate and I just aren’t meshing and it’s becoming more and more clear that things are not going to be smooth and easy this year.

In all fairness, I don’t think that I would be happy living with anyone other than Kim right now. She was my best friend, personal shopping assistant, number one hang out buddy, and my emotional support for two years. She is my favorite person to commiserate with, and often times my voice of reason. That is a lot to compete with. I should have known that it wouldn’t be easy to adjust to living with someone new. I should have gotten my own place.

Point being, things have been rocky. There is a lot of tension, door slamming, and bad vibes. Honestly, I don’t see a resolution in the near future either.

I read a quote somewhere (which I now cannot find for the life of me) that said something similar to, “Any problem which cannot be solved on a long run does not have a solution.” I ran five miles tonight. In comparison to the runs I was doing this time last year, that’s nothing. But right now it’s long for me. Don’t judge.

What I came up with is these words of wisdom from Mean Girls’ Kevin G…

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I can’t solve the issues that are going on around me, but I can do my best to not let things get to me. I have so many incredible opportunities right now it would be idiotic of me to be unhappy and not make the most of them. I need to focus on the relationships that bring positivity into my life (and probably buy a plane ticket to Connecticut.)

Cupid’s Crawl 5k 2012

I ran a 5k this morning! Not just any old 5k, for FOUR of my friends it was their very first race ever, which made the whole event really exciting!

Lindsey, Megan, Rebekah, and Katie

I knew that this was not going to be a great race for me for a variety of reasons excuses that are totally irrelevant, so I made a different list of goals today:

  • No matter what just keep running- DO NOT WALK!
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Thank every volunteer.
  • Be as encouraging as possible to my friends!
  • (Hopefully beat my time last year.)
All of us stood together as we waited to cross the start line, but as soon as the race began we broke up into groups. Katie and Sarah were power walking divas, Michelle took off like a shot, Rebekah and Megan disappeared (sneaky AND fast). I ran the first half of the race with Lindsey.

I may have briefly mentioned the massive hills in this race when I ran it before (that’s a joke. I was a total baby about the hills), and the course did not get any flatter over the last 365 days. My legs were burning (in an AWESOME way)!

I ended up seeing those power walkers at the turn around and I gave a big two arm cheer for them! That may have been my favorite part of the whole race. The people around me thought I was nuts, but the goal was positivity! (Is that not a real word? I definitely think it is, but the red squiggle line disagrees).

After I finished I walked back and ran in the four of my girls who ended up behind me. Katie called me her personal cheerleader, which was sweet.

Then, like the sorority girls we are we had to partake in a photo session!

I don't know how Sarah got cut out of the second pic, but she finished people I promise!

From left to right in the first picture: Michelle, Me, Lindsey, Sarah, Katie, Rebekah, Megan.

My form is so stellar! I don't know why I don't have faster times???

Anyways, it made for a fun Saturday morning. I feel satisfied that I accomplished all of my goals, except for beating my time last year, and honestly that one was the least important.

 

Wet T-Shirts and Astro-Glide

Now that the rooms and I are OFFICIALLY in half marathon training mode, we went out for a nice little 4 mile run today. After a couple of weeks of mainly focusing on group fitness classes it was nice to stretch out my legs and do what I love most.

It started raining half way through our run. I suggested cutting it short and finishing at the gym, but my BA roommate insisted that we stick with our original plan. It was fun to run in the rain! I was happy that we kept running outside, I was happier that I wasn’t wearing a white shirt!

This is an old picture, but I looked the same today.

We ran a 5K loop, then a nice little “dessert run” along the river. My legs felt heavy and less than optimal. I’m not too worried though because I think it can be attributed to a long shift at work and a tough workout the day before.

We’re doing hills tomorrow. That’ll teach my legs to keep quiet and behave.

I did run into another tiny difficulty. I thought that with such a small run planned I would be fine to wear my shorty shorts. WRONG. So wrong. Totally wrong. I had some major chaffing going on. Then I said that I needed Astro-Glide. F.Y.I. Astro-glide is not anti chaffing cream (Oops).

Sometimes my life is so glamorous.