A little piece of work advice for myself

This article (column?) just came up in my twitter feed and I feel like I need to link to it here so I don't forget about it in the future. I am constantly worried about speaking up at work, sounding and feeling more confident, and being assertive. I'm in a job now where I really don't know what the hell I'm doing and it's incredibly important for me to ask questions and speak up if I plan on learning anything and getting better, but it is something that I have always struggled with. It usually takes me a while to feel confident in what I'm doing, I feel the need to know a subject inside and out, be able to anticipate any questions or possible conflicts, before speaking about it. The problem with that is I have to learn about it completely on my own and in silence. Uh, not very efficient or reliable.

The part I recently discovered about myself that was mentioned in the article was that we learn this behavior from how we see it modeled in our lives from others. I learned a lot growing up about how women should sound and act, and not a lot of it was really helpful for actually becoming better at my job. Some of it was (be kind, try not to cause unnecessary issues that waste time, write thank-you notes), but some of it, that I'm realizing more of lately, was not. Like being quiet means you are smarter and not making a fool of yourself, being loud means you're trying to make up for something else lacking in your life, and you should know everything about everything before even thinking about bringing it up with someone else. See? Not helpful and not true. If I want to get better at my job, and as a human, I need to speak up and not worry so much with what other people are going to think about it.

I'm not trying to totally shit on all the examples I had growing up because I have some pretty powerful and better examples now that I'm surrounded with professionally and personally. Now I just have to start absorbing these examples and start acting on them, speaking up, and learn faster. Life is short, I don't have time to sit back and wait for all the answers to come to me while I'm sitting quietly being nice. 

 

Empties!

The satisfaction of finishing even sample sized products never gets old. I'm trying to have a one-in, one-out system with my bathroom stash but it's getting harder the longer I work in beauty. Not only are the samples coming in on their own, I'm having a hard time stopping myself from "researching" and buying other products not directly in my department to make sure I know what's up. Here are a couple items that I finally finished in the last few weeks.

1: Tiny ANR Sample bottle. This little guy has been refilled from my 1.7oz a few times this summer because it's perfect for weekend trips and overnight excursions where I don't want to risk spilling my entire bottle from home. I've starting adding a few drops in the AM as well as the night-time recommended usage and I think it's made a difference in my moisturizer and makeup application. I'm kind of now in the market for a day serum the doesn't have the word "night" in the name. 

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2: Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent. I only ever use makeup remover in sample size and have never intentionally bought it because part of me thinks it's a scam, but then I end up using and loving the remover I get as a sample. This leads me to believe I should probably purchase one of my own not that this one is empty. One downfall is that the consistency is very watery and I spilled quite a bit of it just sloshing it around on to a cotton ball, and also I'm clumsy. I think I'd prefer an oilier solvent so I don't end up just dumping all of it down the drain. 

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3: Clarins Instant Light Lip Oil - Honey. Not a lipgloss girl so I don't know if this is actually worth reviewing. It's better than the MAC clear lip glass I used about 10 years ago, that I can tell you. The smell is not offensive, the consistency is glossy, slightly sticky, and makes you look like you are wearing gloss. One nice thing is that it actually felt pretty hydrating so if you are a lip gloss person, that is a point in its favor. I think I will always prefer a lipstick to a gloss though, or just straight up Vaseline. 

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In other beauty product news I'm really looking forward to trying this in Black Cassis and this in Blue Tansy someday. 

 

 

A Running Update!

Can you believe it? I have been running even though it hasn't shown up here or in a Garmin satellite database (obviously don't know how that technology works) but trust me, I have still moved my legs faster than walking for brief periods of time, and often daily! I've started re-watching parks and rec and that stupid show alone is enough to make want to spend hours running mindlessly in my basement staring at my iPad. I've also loaned out both of my Garmins, so my motivation to hit the roads and gather some sweet data has pretty much been obliterated. I do miss seeing my maps of where I ran in town though, so I may switch back eventually. 

I have my first "race" that I'll be running watch free today and I think first race since October. It's an excuse to run with my BFFs so I'm not worried about anything other than showing up and running 3.1 miles and then sweaty hugging my girls. It's one of the best joys in life. I am even planning on breaking rule # 1 of racing and running in new gear that I've never worn before! I finally broke down and bought some new running capris and I'm super excited to wear them. All of my running clothes, with the exception of 2 tops that are super lightweight, smell like a deadly combo of BO, sweat, mildew, and possibly pee, and my 60% of my bottoms have some sort of inappropriate hole making them risky for public presentation. 

So far this week I've run all my miles on the treadmill and in the morning before work, I'm hoping the roads aren't too terrible of a shock for my delicate (lol) legs. Wish me luck!

June Beauty Empties

I'm trying work my way through some beauty items and I think I'm actually making progress! I opened up my bag of extras to a voiding visiting from out of town, we tried a GlamGlow mask that needs a few more attempts before I roll out a true review, but she helped thin out some of my reserves. Eventually I'll be able to get back to a well curated and very edited cosmetics kit. Here are my June empties so far.

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e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer: purchased a few months back when it felt like my makeup was sliding all over and eventually off my face during the day. This is actually the second bottle and while cheap and mostly effective, I won't be repurchasing. The bottle only actually holds about 1/3 the amount it looks like it does and the last 10 days using it are a frustrating mess of scraping out dregs with a q tip at 5:30am. No thanks. Plus there are some other brands I'd like to try, and right now my makeup seems to be holding okay, maybe in part to my new Beauty Blender.

 

NARS Radiant Cream Concealer in Custard: This is probably the 4th one I've purchased and actually the longest lasting tube as it broke in a spot on the neck that actually let me get at all the product that gets abandoned in the bottom of this one. The whole black section on top cracked some how and while dangerous considering it could pop open and unwanted times (run commute backpack + open concealer), it was nice to feel like I was getting all that I paid for. This stuff is the only thing that stays underneath my eyes for a whole workday, as long as I don't eff with it during the day. Had a new one in reserve I love it so much!

I also tried a couple of these samples quickly over the last few weeks:

Kiehls Super Multi-Corrective Cream - Went to purchase the full size the morning after I used this it was so good! I couldn't remember the name of it and the sample package was a different color than the jar in the store so my wallet was saved, for the day at least. I checked online the next day and decided this is definitely going in next month's budget or when I run out of moisturizers. It was so smooth and glowy IMMEDIATELY I was completely won over. It felt clean and rich but not too thick all at the same time. 

Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate - Just found one of these tucked away in a bag and gave it a shot overnight a few days ago. It was a little thick for my taste, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect gel under eye cream. This was in a pinch because my skin felt a little dry, but wasn't anything special. 

Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask - If you follow my Insta stories you know this already - best smelling mask ever. Rose seems to be in everything lately and I'll admit I was annoyed and skeptical at first but this mask and this perfume (and this one!) have been making a rose woman out of me. 

And that ladies and gentlemen is my very late beauty recap for the month. Fingers crossed I can get my July thoughts down and coherent before September. 

Beauty Empties

I'm always incredibly jealous of the beauty bloggers out there who document their empties. There is something so gratifying about finishing a product completely, scraping out the dregs of the good moisturizer and then preparing to replace it with a fresh one or move on to something completely different. I've been trying a bunch of new stuff that is finally coming to that glorious end and am detailing it for my own record so I know what was good or bad, and why.  

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Clinique Repairwear Uplifting firming cream:  

I received this as a sample while I was using a drugstore moisturizer with SPF 30 as my daily that I wasn't in love with because it was only lightly moisturizing and left a white sheen as some sunscreens tend to do. This was a nice change since it seemed to absorb quickly, had SPF 15 at least, and left and iridescent glow instead of caste like the sunscreen. It didn't do much in the way of repairing or firming anything, but was good as a daily moisturizer overall. Who knows, maybe now that I'm done my face will droop to the floor because it really has been firming this whole time.

SeaExtend Aquage silkening oil treatment:  

This, ladies and gentlemen, deserves a post of its very own. I have never finished a hair product. I believe this is because I don't actually know how to use any of them, but this one made it simple enough to do so I did just that. I put a pump in my palm (lol), rubbed my hands together, and worked this in to my ends. It was easy to put too much in, and one day I ended up with a very sleeeeeek ponytail, but when I used the correct amount it defrizzed and hydrated my crusty blonde hay hair. It smelled great too, like a good hair serum should, so while I may not repurchase because there are just too many products to try in the world, it was definitely a win.

Le Labo bergamote 22 & rose 31: 

I love perfume and I love Le labo. I thought I would never want to stray from my Santal 33, but then I went and got some samples and my worldview has changed slightly. Bergamote is lighter and fresher for summer, and this rose smelled just like the tres chic women I walked behind in Paris along the Seine and stood next to on the metro, not like stuffy old people's attics like I was worried all rose perfumes would. Thinking really hard about purchasing one (or both?!) of these, or somehow finding a never ending source of samples because this shit is not cheap, especially in the mass quantities I would like to be using it in.

Lancome Tonique Confort:

I had been toying with using witch hazel as a toner when this happened into my routine and I'm glad it did. It's a little less drying than the WH and does the toning job, helping my pores look a little less like deep pits of yuck, pretty well. Skin felt prepped and ready for serum after using this. The packaging is a little granny and the smell is nothing to write home about, but I may actually repurchase if I don't research any other toners marketed as less drying. It is a little thicker than the WH which I didn't like at first, but got used to and now appreciate.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster: 

Love. This booster, in addition to the dry powder cleanser you can pair it with as well, were the reason I didn't wear any makeup on vacation. I would cleanse with the powder packets, add this to my repairwear moisturizer, slap on some mascara and a little rouge, and head out for my adventures. It evens skin tone, leaves a glowy shine, and I swear made me look a little more tan without the sun damage. Now that my repairwear is dunzo, I've been mixing with La Roche Posay spf 50 for my face and it's been working even better I think. The booster is kind of fun the way you break open the fresh vitamin c inside and keep for a week, but I've managed to make mine last (unintentionally) longer than the week. Potency is supposed to go down after 7 days but I haven't really noticed that too much this go round. My only downside is the price since this is just an add to my routine, not replacement, but since this removed my need for makeup/foundation, I guess you can justify the budget swap. I'm going to let my current one run out and see what happens, if all hell breaks loose I'll probably try to get my hands on some more.

Olay Age Defying Anti-wrinkle Night Cream: 

I bought this trying to find a more budget friendly replacement for my Philosophy night cream. Since it doesn't have retinol it wasn't as "miracle working" overnight, but it did the job through the dryer winter months. This in combination with my Advanced Night Repair has meant happy skin at night, so I'm not complaining. If I stumble upon a night cream in the next week I'll probably try something new, but if not this is a worthy item. Some very beautiful, very hydrated older women use Olay so I can't discount that. Only a slight granny smell, but light enough to not bother anyone in my sleeping chambers.  

 

And with that we have my first round of empties! I've been reading and ingesting a lot of beauty/skincare and makeup blogs lately, so send any recommendations if you have them. Yay beauty! Also, I started using my Snapchat more for new products, so check that out if you are interested. I think my info is somewhere here on the blog.... 

 

Heart Rate Update

If you ever wonder if the Healthy Choice fudgsicles at Grocery Outlet are worth it, the answer is yes. It was 80 some degrees this weekend so spouse and I went to the grocery store and bought about 70 different frozen treats to hold us over. It worked and was wonderful.  

Other than buying truckloads of freezer filler, we also ran a new route from Capital Hill link station through Interlaken to Montlake play field. When we run together, partner man usually plans a route that is mostly downhill and mostly new, and I love it. We found some good views, saw some ducks, and were grateful for outside time. 

Sunday I gave myself an open ended run downhill and toward the lake with my orca card in my pocket in case I got too hot. Saturday I did the same and actually ended up taking the train back from Columbia City when it was time for the run to be over. I only really freaked out one guy on the train who stared a LOT as I was standing up because he realized I was red faced and completely covered in sweat, and relatively calm. I guess that can be a little upsetting if you're not expecting it. Friday morning I ran a few miles outside before work. It was light and nice. 

All of my times have been 1-2 mins per mile slower than I'm used to seeing, but I'm focusing on my heart rate more lately as an experiment for myself. Running is really enjoyable for me but I tend to get really caught up in routes and times and paces and mileage and garbage that takes away from the fun parts, so I'm trying to keep myself more relaxed during the run. I think this helps me with mental and physical fatigue. It's also refreshing to have a new kind of goal. I've had pace and distance goals in the past, this is a different way for me to approach it and one that forces me to slow down and enjoy the run. Way less stressful than the others. 

Indid a treadmill run tonight, first one since being back from vacation. It was a little rocky at first, felt  off balance a bit, but this song came on and I found my feet. 

I just finished reading a book where the main character was a blogger and it made me remember, oh shit I have a blog too! It's also reminded me to start reading more blogs again. I go through phases, the last being the most severe, of despising most blog content and only being able to ingest news on the internet sparingly and absolutely zero recreational or lifestyle commentary. Reading about avocado toast and mileage recaps just sucks after a while. Also, when my running and nutrition aren't top priority for myself personally it's hard to want to spend time reading about how other people are doing or relate. I've adopted the idea that social media should be viewed as the highlight reel of others lives. The prettiest or funniest things that happen to a person are captured and edited for sharing. I'm absolutely guilty of this - I blogged my marathon training and uh not the last 9 months I've spent running on a treadmill watching Netflix, I instagram storied the shit out of my trip to Paris but not me doing yardwork, getting sunburned, and cleaning my toilet yesterday. Not something I felt like the world should see and also no hands were free with all the weed whacking and clipping and dog poop scooping I was doing. Reading other content and not remembering that what is being posted is so acutely curated and edited to reflect a tiny moment in time or an aspirational lifestyle is a recipe for falling into an internet black hole of comparison and dissatisfaction. Sometimes I think I just need a break from that kind of thing. Also, it's important to me to try to take in information that is actually useful to my personal goals and there is so much info out there it's hard to discern the useful from the filler. I'm hoping writing some things down can help me stay organized about what's on my mind. I honestly don't know what the point of this paragraph is or why sparked me to start yammering on about how I know so much about the internet. 

Maybe the point is I think I would like to start blogging regularly again as a way to document summer running and just what's going on in general. I journaled my whole vacation, documenting everyday's adventures to make sure I would remember in the future, and it reminded me of how much writing is a practice that needs to be kept up to get better, just like anything else. Including the physical part of it - my arm got tired and my fingers cramped up embarrassingly so the first few entries. Having this app on my phone should make it easier and quicker for me to get thoughts down, so here's to that one new goal.  

 

Athena. Just thought it looked cool.

Athena. Just thought it looked cool.

The book I read was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It wasn't really about the main character being a blogger, and thats not the only thing I took away from the book don't worry, but it reminded me of the feeling I get writing something down that helps me process new or old ideas and makes my brain wrap around subjects in a new way. My girlfriends and I sometimes write emails to each other and they feel like life lessons when re-reading them. I can hear each of us processing and understanding what we are writing down a little better or differently as the chain grows. I am not a trained writer in any sense, but I love that it's something I can do anyway and especially with the way the internet has kind of ruined grammar it feels like an open way for anyone to share and participate. 

So here's to trying to get back into the practice and hopefully learn something more for myself about whatever the heck I choose to write about.  

 

 

Alive!

Dear 2 Readers who are most likely robots, I am not dead! I'm still running even, but I have been terrible at updating the blog regularly. Maybe more to come, maybe more about work than running, or maybe more about nothing? Who knows. For now, here's a picture of my dog wearing a hat. Lol. 

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Mid-Month Update

Running! Still a lot on the treadmill, but I got outside for 2 good runs in the last few weeks. Last weekend I got in 8 miles at my old favorite waterfront route and today 4.5 with my husband (!!) as we ran to get burgers and bus it back home. I think a lot of my lack of outside motivation, including the darkness and weather, has been boredom with my location. I'm really into the idea of running to a destination, run commuting, or trail running. I think my desire for hitting a certain pace is the furthest thing from my mind when running in those kinds of situations and that makes me happy. 

I need some recommendations for a good running backpack and a good running rain jacket and hat or hood combo. I think if I could envision a warm and more dry run than I am lately I'd be more like to get out when the weather sucks. Also, I should probably keep my eyes peeled for my next pair of running shoes. I've got about 300+ on both pairs I'm rotating right now, the end is near. 

Today is a pretty shitty day but tomorrow I am expecting it to turn around a bit. I hope you are marching and I hope you are taking care of yourself and people around you. I hope we are all paying more attention to what is going on in the world. Be kind. Be patient. Be active. According to my stats, I have had 0 visits so I really think this is an effective way to get my message out. I guess I like knowing that I am hopefully one less troll out there. 

 

December Review

**I just wrote an entire post about how I feel about treadmill running and how sometimes I feel it's not real running and I have no motivation to race but I also love running a lot right now so all these emotions are making me feel emotions about running. Then Chrome crashed so eff it**

Total Miles: 166.5

Total Runs: 26

Longest Run: 10.1 mi

Shortest Run: 2.3 mi

The majority of these were on my treadmill and I felt bad about it for a hot second but now I don't. Now I'm going to eat my gingerbread house I made from scratch and watch football. Here's a picture of me at a donut shop that I love that went out of business but was just bought by another family so maybe not all hope is lost. And I will eat donuts again but hopefully somebody will clean the bathroom before they re-open and I will stop wearing these old running shoes that have holes in them and suck in the rain but are so effin comfortable. 

 

November Review

Just a little behind schedule, but here's the monthly recap for November Miles. 

Total Miles: 146.5 mi

Longest Run: 10.1 mi

Shortest Run: 3 mi

Total Runs: 22

The strategy for this month was the same as October, keep running 5-6 days a week, don't feel guilty about the treadmill and run a pace that feels good. It's been cold and wet here, and we've entered the time of year when the sun rises at close to 8am and sets closer to 4pm than I like. I leave and return home from work in the dark. I took a few extra aerial review classes in preparation for our student showcase this last weekend and I think that usually helps my running feel more centered and balanced. I only ever do core work or strengthening if it's related aerial. 

I realized today I really have zero goals for running other than keeping it up. It still makes me happy, helps me de-stress after work (today, woof), warm-up for circus, get outside on the weekends in the winter, so I'll keep trying to do it. I'll also keep ignoring my pace as much as I can, I'm still enjoying that after a Summer of having my eyeballs glued to my Garmin. 

Tonight I updated my Netflix app and downloaded some episodes for my run and let me tell you, this is such a wonderful thing. The wi-fi sucks balls in my basement which just happens to be where I do most of my weekday running so I've been listening to top 40 jams of shame. However, now I can watch old episodes of Parks and Rec, The Office, Mad Men, who knows what the hell else! I'm thrilled. So thrilled I'm running tomorrow morning and have already downloaded something to watch. My life is so very exciting. 

 

Running + Thanksgiving

Running Update: so boring when I say it out loud, but so necessary for my sanity and health right now. I've been running almost the same as I updated last post - 5-6 days a week averaging about 30 miles/week. Maybe it's because it's an easy non-training level for me to hit and the math is quick. I run a minimum of 6 if it's the evening, 5 if it's the morning and I have to rush before work, and 7 if it's the weekend and I have some extra time. I rotate between my Mizuno WR 19s and my Saucony Rides. I run almost exclusively on the treadmill thanks to weather, daylight, and timing. 

I have no races on the horizon, I just know I need to keep this up so I can keep working on my aerial stamina (4 minutes on the silk is like 4 hours on the roads) and so I don't fall into the worlds deepest depression. I am still in a funk about the election which is fine because I don't want this to be normal. How many times do we have to read "alt-right" instead of neo-nazi? I feel very fortunate to live where I do, it still feels a little like a bubble of safety but that's mostly because I'm white and pretty sheltered. I read this last week and was reminded of how my privilege includes being able to continue to be passive, even when we have a nazi coming into the white house. A man who surrounds himself with people who are extremely vocal and active in their hate for others is going to lead our country (maybe) and I can still choose to sit back and do nothing because my personal safety is not in jeopardy. Yet. I'm encouraged by the outpouring I've seen on social media of donations to PP and other organizations, including Shaun White's twitter campaign to fill the Standing Rock Amazon Wishlist. But again, I filter my soc-med feeds to surround myself with like-minded people and can comfort myself in knowing that I won't be challenged in that arena. It's partly a way to continue to educate myself in what I believe in, but it's also a safety net. I've curated a place that is comfortable and safe for me while avoiding things that make me feel less safe, because I can. That's a huge  privilege I have that others don't.

My goal for myself is to push out of the comfort, be kind to those who need it and bold with those who need it. I don't want to shy away from conflict because some people don't have that choice and maybe that's contributed a little to how we got in this mess. Running continues to be my reset and focus time, my checkout from reality and listen to embarrassing pop music time, my way to train myself for the rebellion through self-care. I will continue doing this as well because I can't help if I'm a depressed blob on the couch. Although there is a time and place for that...

I'm not flush with cash these days, but if you have any money to toss around, Jezebel posted a list of organizations worthy of your donations. Check it out HERE. I still feel like that's one of the most actionable ways I can help lately so I figured I should share. I still have a sense of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, but that's slowly being moved more toward finding ways I can be of service and helpful. That's the goal at least. 

My plans for today include a run after I get my coffee levels up to normal and cooking my first attempt at Thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin pie last night and let me tell you, it is a miracle it lasted through the night it looks so good. I hope you are all having a wonderful day, whether it's a holiday for you or not. I'm feeling pretty thankful that I have the day off work, I am warm and well-fed, I can run and do aerial, I have really wonderful people in my life, and that my dogs chose me to be their earthly guardian. This list could go on for a while but I'll keep it brief just in case you actually read this whole post. 

 

Running + Nov 8 2016

I don't have much in the running world to update - I've been sticking with my usual 5-6 days and ran a 10k last weekend, maybe I'll recap eventually. I've been running lately to keep me focused, to give my brain some time to chill. Since Tuesday night when I ran 7 anxiety filled miles for HRC, then Wednesday night when I ran 5 miles to try and stop crying for a bit, to Thursday night when I ran 7 angry mile as things started to sink in a bit, to last night when I ate bread pudding and candy that will probably make my run a little uncomfortable today, I've just been running for mental health. It's like upping my meds. But Thursday night I caught myself, almost didn't run, because I just thought, what's the use? The platform he used to win this election was one of not giving a fuck about women't health so why should I? 

My brain and heart have been churning since 11/8. If you are also feeling discouraged, go here and donate to an organization (or a few) that you care about. It helps a tiny bit to know you can directly impact people who are going to be most affected by this change. Yesterday I was reading Keiko Lynn's post where she simply asked people to care more, and I am hopping on that and encouraging you to do that as well. She said it better than I can right now, but the request is clear - take care of people around you. Learn about people who are different from you. Have compassion. I realized that my blog title is Girl Sam. For the first time I was really happy it had nothing to do with running, but instead is my tiny platform that I can do anything with and post anything under. I realized that as a citizen of this country I have an obligation to learn much more about what is going on in DC and in local politics, and I have a responsibility to share any info I can about how to spread love and save the fucking planet to people around me. I am required to take more action. Oh, and guess what? I have about 5 readers (on a good day) so I'm not too worried about losing followers. I write about running because I love it and I enjoy the online community that supports it but I also enjoy breathing air, drinking clean water, being able to get to work without the threat of violence to myself or others because of our gender or religious beliefs. There are some bigger things going on in the world and they might need a little more of my attention than I am used to giving them. If only it didn't feel like it was too little, too late. I'm hoping from here on out to be less afraid of what I think people are going to think of me and worry more about the safety of those around me. 

Running has been my sanity through crazy times before and I don't think it will become any less important to me in the future. It's helped me think through big decisions, to focus me, relieve stress, give me some sort of structure in times when I felt like there was nothing for me to hold on to, but right now it is helping me play the part of rebel. I will keep running and taking care of myself because I am a woman and it feels a bit like this country doesn't really give a shit about me other than telling me what I can or can't do with my reproductive organs. I will keep going because I need to have a clear head when digesting some of the evils being uncovered in this country and when learning how to best take care of others around me. I need to have the energy to stay the course, keep fighting, and use the endorphins to try and stay positive. I will not let this motherfucker steal my joy. 

Here we go. 

October Review

Like everyone else on the internet, I can't believe it's November already. The end to this election season is finally almost here, thank god, but other than that everything else seems to be flying by. I've been running mostly indoors lately since the sun is setting early and rising late. When I do get outside, the outfits are a little bit neon and a little bit weird.  

I have since cleaned my room. 

I have since cleaned my room. 

On Sunday 10/23, we loaded up Mira for her first 5k. We ran (eh...kind of) the Dawg Dash surrounded by tons of other runners, walkers, and puppies! It was awesome. She was motivated the whole time, and ran her best mile (including up a tiny hill!), plus she got along great with all the other dogs and runners. Being the same breed as the mascot of the U Dubb doesn't hurt either.

Her race etiquette was near perfect with the exception of one unsolicited face lick of a child standing near us and a few nose up-the-butts. She pooped before the start line, stopped at all the water bowl stops, and greeted her adoring fans at the finish line but unfortunately started greeting them before actually crossing the finish line. She's not too good for her fans, and definitely not too good to add a few minutes to her finish time to spend some time with them. 

Since the race she's been recovering and I've been sticking to the treadmill with the outfits have been consisting of my Oiselle Distance shorts and Zella tops. I don't know why I've been into taking running outfit photos, but it's been happening so you're getting to see them. I think I've just been really comfortable in this outfit lately which is weird. Also, I kept taking photos and my face looked weird so now this is my new selfie pose. 

Running has felt good lately and has been a great mental reset more than training for anything specific. Moving back to running in the evenings makes it a great time for me to completely zone out, listen to jamz, and recap the day or plan for the next. Lately it's been 5-6 days a week about 6 miles for weekdays and a 10 miler on the weekend. I'm trying to maintain the fitness gained during marathon training this summer without destroying my body, so far it's going pretty well I think (knock on wood). Here's to a great month on the books!

Mileage for the Month: 140.2 Miles

Running Happiness Level: Pretty Good

 

Bits + Bangs

A quick running update: I've still been doing it, it just hasn't been interesting in any way. Due to weather and darkness I've been relegated to the treadmill which is making me happier than I care to admit. I think this is the beginning of a weird genetic mutation, but I am perfectly content and sometimes even happier to run on a machine. I don't run with music when I run outside, so I think that has something to do with it, and I don't have any good wet weather running gear, which is insane considering where I live. Also, I'm not training for anything in particular right now so I don't feel bad taking the dryer path most days. It's been about 5-6 days a week 3-10 miles each time, and closer to the the 3 than the 10 most days. 

Speaking of not training, I in fact should be training for a 2 upcoming races. Sunday I have a 5k, but the goal there is to get my out-of-shape dog across the finish line. I'm hoping 3.1 miles at a relaxed and sometimes walking pace isn't going to kill me. A few weeks after that I have a 10k with friends. I'm looking forward to this no matter how many times I forget I'm actually running it, but I've got to get at least a few dedicated training runs in if I hope to run it with my speedy friend. I'm hoping we can pace each other but then I remember I haven't given a shit about pace in a few weeks (1 month today OMG) so that may be a brutal wake up call. In addition to these two that I am legit signed up for, there is another 10k in December that could happen and is on a course that holds my most recent 10k PR (I think). That's just downright terrifying but the time I ran it was 10 degrees F and crispy and sunny and I loved it so if that is anything like what will happen this year I am in. I love running cold, dry, slightly ice crystal coated races, as long as I don't slip. 

Besides running, life has been pretty mellow. Work has been busy this last week or two and aerial has been super fun but still just once a week. I wish I could fit in more review sessions but my sleep and lack of planning seem to be getting in the way lately. Also, I got bangs and they are more work than I'm used to but whatever my face needed a change. Then I took a selfie and I feel weird about it because there really isn't anything in particular I'm looking at over my left shoulder it's just what I thought I was supposed to do. This was 2ish weeks ago and I already need a trim. Happy Hump Day!

Goldilocks and the Three Runs

Or alternately titled Some Annoying Things That Happened on my Run Yesterday.

I gave myself the luxury of sleeping in yesterday since I'm still enjoying this training plan free time, and planned my run for the evening. After a ridiculous commute home (bus route changes have lead to me be very annoyed and realizing how spoiled I was) I was pretty pissed by the time I got home and was ready to run. I had texted D to feed the dogs in advance so I could just grab one and run upon getting home. I picked Apollo at first thinking a steady run without having to drag a dog up hills and start/stop repeatedly would be nice. I quickly had forgotten how herky jerky he is on a leash and how very distracted he gets by other dogs. A dog with no brakes mixed with other dogs on the path and mossy, wet sidewalks forced us to turn around after almost a mile. 

I exchanged one dog for the other and tried again. Mira was in a mood. She was slow and not even really that tired, just not into going very far without stopping for a fake pee (sniffing, some circling, no pee. She's a great actress.) We made it about another mile before my shoulder was tired from helping her up the hill. 

I dropped her off and tried to set out again, made it once around the block and saw the black clouds coming my way and remembered the whole point of running with a dog was so I didn't have to run solo in the dark, so I turned around with 2.2 total miles on my Garmin. 

I was really irritated. I knew I had to keep running to get this mood out of my system. I started on the treadmill and had no plan, just to run until I felt better. At 1.5 miles my headphones started the bong of death as I like to call their warning sound for low battery. They died shortly thereafter. I ran with my tinny iPhone blasting for the remainder of the 40 minutes. It took about 2 miles on the machine to find a happyish pace and stride, sometimes I just can't get it right on the mill. I wonder if it's worth a tuneup or at least some lube underneath the belt. Either way, the run got done somehow. 

I don't like complaining about running because it makes me so happy and I am incredibly grateful to be able to do it, no matter the surface or the running partner. I felt like I needed to document this though mostly as a reminder to myself of that fact. I could have just not gone last night. I'm not (really) training for anything right now. No one is making me do this. I just know that it's the cure for most things that ail me lately and yeah it's annoying sometimes to make it happen, but it's worth it. 

Dear Self - Run. Just keep trying because it makes you happy. Sometimes things that are annoying and difficult make you happy in the end. Also, there are about a million parallels to life with that so you know, stick with it. Sincerely, Future Self.

Pretending to be innocent. 

Pretending to be innocent. 

Back at it

I made it about 9 days and then I started to really go insane. Wednesday after work I changed into some old Asics and took the wolf princess for a walk/jog to see where her running level was at. Let's just say it left much to be desired. We stopped about every 1-2 minutes for pee/sniff/fakeouts and walked quite a bit. Also, she wasn't even really running, but paw-dragging shuffling. I was worried a little bit after our adventure since just that morning I had registered us for our first mother/pupper 5k in a few weeks. We tried again Thursday evening and I swear she got better overnight. After our improved 15 minute walk/jog, I ventured out on my own for 3 easy miles. Friday we all rested, Saturday I ran 4 solo and about 1 cool-down with her again, and today I ran about 4.6 solo and cooled down with the other dog! 

poor mariners :(

poor mariners :(

After my run this morning I came home looking for my running partner and she was waaaay too comfortable on the couch (much like she still is now, several hours later). So I leashed up my alternate 3-legged friend and had very low expectations which he immediately blew away! Apollo has a really bad pulling problem on the leash that I'm trying to be better about, working with him on solo walks with treat incentives, but still he's pretty terrible sometimes and my shoulders get pretty irritated with the whole ordeal. As soon as we hit the pavement today though, he was at a perfectly moderate pace and only got slightly distracted and arm-killing when a squirrel ran up a tree and some old ladies were on our path. I think I found a pretty good substitute! I also realized that both humans in our house need to be running so we have enough energy to wear out these beasts.

The upcoming 5k I signed up for is definitely not for speed, I just want to finish a fun race with my dog. Since the marathon, I have absolutely ignored my Garmin while running. One of the many things I promised myself during the final miles of the race was that I could spend the rest of this fall/winter not giving a shit about how fast I run. I'm still really stoked that I met my goal for the race and successfully followed the training program, but the constant pace checking sucked some of the fun out of it. Going fast and feeling good is definitely fun, don't get me wrong, but I just want to chill and run through these next few months. Also, I want to do more trail running and uh, I'm pretty damn slow on some of those climbs and that's okay. 

So what are you thinking about this Fall so far? The weather here has been pretty great for running in - below 65 and dry long enough to get in a few miles at a time. The handful of trail races I did last fall were so much fun, I can't wait to get 1 or 2 more on the schedule and spend some time traipsing merrily through the woods dressed in various neon and spandex items with my trusty yellow hat. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

Marathon Recovery

So recovery felt pretty good the first 2 days. I was walking down the halls at work and would want to sprint to my next meeting or back to my desk. My legs felt great. Waking up in the morning felt great. After the race I took an Epsom salt bath (which I will not stop talking about) and haven't had any soreness. I have a toenail that I think got a blister underneath it during the run and is now threatening to make a break for it but other than that, recovery has physically been going pretty well. However, since about Wednesday waking up has been more difficult, I haven't been drinking enough water, and I've been fighting a tiny cold/sore throat. I can't really tell when I'm hungry or not but don't worry, I've been eating just about the same amount of food as I did while training. I feel like my body is starting to recalibrate a little bit and is not too happy with the lack of miles but also just doesn't know what is up. I really want to run again, but also really like sleeping too. I think I should wait at least 10 days before trying even though the plan was a full two weeks. I'm feeling okay cutting it a few days short since I wasn't really sore, and my plan is a walk/run strategy with my dog. We'll see. It's all up in the air. Does anyone else get this weird limbo feeling after a big race? I know I will miss this time of rest once I get started again, but it just makes me feel weird. Like tired but not, hungry but not, stressed but not. My body and mind aren't on the same page. 

I have however, finally been able to see past Sept 18 on the calendar and am getting excited for other people's races (LB!!!), think about Halloween costumes, and enjoy sleeping in (way too much). Also, spending time relaxing with my family and friends has been really nice the last few days. I've also started thinking about the running plan a tiny bit. Maybe a relaxed puppy 5k and a cold winter half marathon (flat???), maybe some trail races? I do love getting out into the woods on the weekend, seeing my breath and running with other strangers who enjoy the same. I'm still not committed to anything just yet, but I'm keeping my calendar open and trying not to go completely nuts. 

Okay, back to my recovery. I just finished my coffee and will be taking my dogs on a walk only. Then hanging out with more family and watching football. Sounds like an okay Sunday. 

Beat the Blerch 2016 Full Marathon Recap

Okay, so here it is, what I can remember of my marathon mostly copy and pasted from an email to my BFFs earlier this week when my brain was a little more fresh. I wanted to get it all down before my brain starts erasing things. Enjoy! 

5am ready to party! 

5am ready to party! 

I woke up at 5am to dress, drink coffee, and eat a bagel with PB and 1/2 a fig bar. I ate pretty well the day before (lots of carbs about every 3 hours) so eating was not as fun as it usually is but I knew I would need those calories later. At 6:30 after a few bathroom meditations, we hit the road and drove out to the park where the race was held with about 40 minutes to kill after. We wandered around the park, tied and retied my laces, and checked out the river. 

 They had a donut eating contest and swag stations already setup, but the sweet treats every where just kind of made me feel a little sick. Then it seemed really quickly it was starting line time. There weren't a ton of people running the marathon and our start time was before all the other races so we gathered, counted down, and were off. The path was a little cramped at first but then thinned out once we hit the actual trail part. Here's what I can recollect mile by mile-ish. 

Miles 1-6 were on a flat out and back through pretty farm and vegetable fields. My goal pace (8:50-9:05) was pretty good feeling but I was worried that I was going too fast too soon. I was hitting 8:55 easily and knew that wasn't sustainable if any incline showed up and from my google searches of past elevation of this race, there was supposed to be a hill. I took a gu at 4ish miles. I started following this guy with a pirate hat and inflatable sword. He was super annoying so I stayed far back and used him to pace myself. 

Miles 6-10 were on a weird other out and back with just a random sign that said 'turnaround' and no volunteer manning the spot. Kind of worried me, because people were pretty spread apart at that point so I don't know when other people were turning around. I just kind of pivoted around the sign and kept going. I felt pretty good still, hitting the paces and trying to remain chill. but I was starting to get a little bored, like the mental part was getting tough knowing I still had 16 miles to go. I tried to break up the race into a few parts - The First Half, 16 miles, 20, and 22 kind of an a whim. I passed the 22 back side of the 22 mile marker sign on the way out and thought "okay self, you will be really happy when you see that on the way back." I took Gus at 7 and 11 miles I think and walked through the aid stations to get at least a cup of water each time.

10-13 - I made my goal and hit it under 2 hours. I can't remember now how the course was split out, but I think I started the final out and back at mile 12? Pirate Guy was getting increasingly more annoying and I was creeping up on them, so I just hit it and passed them to get away. I had to get out of there. I think this was around mile 14, and was probably the reason that the last few miles of my race felt so terrible but this guy was just so irritating. Plus he was running really nonchalantly and lightly and making it look easy while carrying on this inane conversation with the people around him. No thanks. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 

 

13-16 - This course is out on a lovely trail and at one point a beautiful snowy owl swooped in front of me and perched in a tree. The woods opened up into this amazing fairy tale magical scene. the trail got that good packed feeling that was nice to run on. I was following a guy wearing sandals with a ponytail who I had seen pounding some cake before the race started. (he eventually pulled off into a porta-potty) and even though I was going up hill I think I was smiling because this was my jam. Good trail, amazing views, randomly some gun shots in the distance to keep up on our toes. I really liked this part of the race. I was mentally relying too heavily on the downhill that I knew was coming once we turned around. 

15.5ish 16 was the turnaround, we ran through a weird short creepy tunnel and I think my Garmin lost its signal for a hot second. I took some more water and Gu and did a self check to straighten up, check my stomach sloshiness, take some deep breaths, refocus for the last 10. Anyone that passed anyone on the out and back was super nice and encouraging so I loved this part. I was seeing faces after a few miles of not seeing anyone or anything but calves and butts. 

16-18 - more pretty trail and terrain. I passed people coming toward the turnaround and my legs felt okay. I knew that I was supposed to have saved my energy until mile 18 and I hadn't really, but I still felt like I could finish. Every once in a while I would pass someone which felt good but mostly scary. I wasn't sure if I could keep this up for 8 more miles and it made me nervous for a big crash. I made sure to take a Gu at some point with this exact fear in mind. 

18-20 - same. more of the same, getting kind of thirsty. 

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

20-22 - As predicted I was very happy to see the sign I had thought about going out. At this point I was doing tons of mental math to see if I would hit sub 4. This is when I knew I was getting a bit fried and that the last bit might be a struggle. My brain just wasn't working. I wanted to hit 20 miles at 3 hours so I could just do a solid 6.2 miles in the final hour. I didn't hit it right on, so I pushed it a little bit. My inability to do math and my goal were at the forefront of my mind so there was a lot of watch checking. Also, did I mention I was thirsty?

22-23 - Hard. Unhappy. Thirsty. We had rejoined with the half marathoners and 10krs at this point so there was a lot more traffic on the trail and a lot more noise. I was listening to people at the back of their pack struggling to keep going and the same stuff was going on in my head silently. It felt like I was passing a lot of people and I really wanted to ask them for their water. I would eyeball water bottles and think about how I could do it while also avoiding a 10 minute conversation that would take me out of my goal time game. I couldn't get to the aid station soon enough. I felt like I should have taken the electrolyte drinks earlier in the game. My tongue felt thick. Thankfully though my legs seemed to be okay-ish considering how salty my mouth felt. 

23-24 - Still so thirsty. The sun had come out and I didn't notice how warm I was until this point. I just kept passing the walkers/joggers and trying to keep it together and remember if there was supposed to be another aid station before the end.

24-25 - I actually said out loud "You can do this!" which was weird and scared me because I didn't think I was actually talking. There was a lot of grunting and heavy sighing through this mile. I knew I was going to make sub 4, and actually my paces were still near 8:55 which was weird  because it felt so much harder than before but I couldn't slow down. Like my brain would not let me not hit this goal. It was weird. It felt harder at this point than any other race I have run before, but I also never have pace goals in other races. Some people were on the nice part of the path and I just shouted "on your left!!!" because the idea of shifting any direction and being agile was out of the question. I was very much in a monkey brain mode and could only think of running to the finish.

25 Finally hit an aid station and double-fisted fluid, but I had to keep moving. The paved part was coming and that was a huge mental marker to me that the finish line was near. Also, I thought maybe I'd see the husband. 

25.5 - I could hear the finish line and was on the pavement. I eventually saw Dev and he snapped that picture while I was shouting "I feel like a pile of garbage!!" laughed maniacally, and kept on running. I actually did have the tiniest of kicks (probably not, I just felt like it) when I saw the finish line. I could only imagine water, gatorade, and being done. 

26- I think the course was short? I found a fence post and just stretched for about 5 minutes after getting my medal. It took my brain a few minutes to process not running anymore. Found the husband and drank my water bottle while warning him I might get hyponatremia because all I wanted to do was drink gallon after gallon of water. He assured me I probably wouldn't get it and so we made our way to more water and snacks. 

Under the tree afterward I ate some goopy Clif brand soupy banana packet thing and drank some pink drink. My invisalign are a huge pain at moments like this because I always worry about getting them back in soon enough and that means brushing/rinsing and only clear fluids after that. I'm not running another marathon until I'm done with braces. 

3:54:40 - 5th Female / 13th Overall (small races FTW) 

The race itself was great. It's on a beautiful course with a super fun theme and lots of treats. I want to do a separate recap of my training since that feels like another monster all by itself, but as far as the race goes, I'm pleased with the results. I definitely felt like I learned on this course more than I have in my previous 2 marathons, but I think that's because I was trying to finish within a certain time frame instead of just running to run and finish like I do all my other races. I will have a million more thoughts on this whole thing, so expect more random mini-recaps. 

 

Week 18

9/15 Thurs 6 miles neighborhood

9/16 Fri 5 miles easy treadmill

9/17 Sat 3 miles easy at the Park

9/18 RACE DAY

It's done! I really want to do a recap so I don't forget all of the feelings and thoughts I had about this race and the training. I'm up now drinking coffee and making my way leisurely into the office this morning, but I honestly feel pretty good. An epsom salt bath yesterday has seemed to help relieve most of the soreness I was feeling in my calves from mile 16 until going to bed last night. Things I want to make sure I don't forget to talk about when recapping later: pacing, nutrition, hydration, and body glide.

Today officially starts my 2 week recovery with zero running so I'm going to try and put together my recap for Iron Horse too, (3 weeks late, whoops) and not fall completely off the blog band wagon. Next goal: Getting my dog to run a 5k AND make her comfortable on mass transit so we don't have to park at the race. I may be in over my head. 

I'm glad my muscles (as of right now) don't feel completely trashed because I have my second Aerial 2/3 class tonight. I include the 3 like it could apply to me, but no, I'm definitely the 2 in that split. Maybe even the 1.5. Either way, class was fun last week and I have  new coach/teacher for the first time in almost 2 years so that's exciting! She's been with Cirque de Soleil and a bunch of other phenomenal sounding groups so I'm really looking forward to learning a bunch from her. Also, she kept saying she's into the boring technical stuff in Aerial which I absolutely need more time and work on, so I think it will be challenging but very much worth it class. 

Happy Monday All, now I have to run and catch a bus. LOL JK I'm not running anywhere because I literally cannot, because the rules.  

Run a marathon? Hmmm... 

Run a marathon? Hmmm...