That one time I became a MARATHONER.

Ya’ll remember that one time last spring that I was training my heart out for a marathon? And for months after I alluded to a recap I was going to write? Well HERE IT IS. In honor of my almost 26.2 runiversary… maybe this will light a fire under my ass to love the {long} run again. (brace yourself: this is lengthy!)
If you had asked me five years ago if I even envisioned myself being a runner I would have laughed. If you had asked me if I would ever run 26.2 miles for FUN and willingly.. I would have said you’re are absolutely crazy. Once I quit swimming after nationals my junior year of high school I just did gym routines and workouts at my leisure.
Then after a good friend of mine got into half marathons, something clicked for me. Two half marathons later that I ran I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my debut (& possibly only..) FULL MARATHON. (& convinced said friend to run it with me & help me train up!)

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The marathon I would be running was the Country Music RnR on April 28, 2012. For all you Wisconsinities and midwestern folk, you know that training for a spring marathon can be tricky because of the weather. Well winter 2012 was really perfect for it… not too much snow nor BITTER cold.
I picked (and slightly modified) an 18 week training plan. I missed a couple mid-distance runs because of schoolwork and Army training, and one (maybe two?) long runs but I was actually incredibly prepared for this race.
I had put around 400 miles into the training, over 45 hours of running alone, 1 pair of Brooks, 1 pair of Asics, and many spaghetti dinners into this marathon. I loved about 95% of the long runs. I would almost always have company either with Sam or Tyler on these. I loved the training and the dedication… I finally believed I was a runner.

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Sadly, runners all can relate with me here: no matter how perfectly prepared and ready you are for a big race… things can and do go awray.

The drive from WI to Nashville wasn’t too bad.. the expo was so much fun. I even got to meet Ryan Hall and stocked up on some new compression sleeves that matched my shirt I had picked out for race day.

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ImageDespite some nerves I slept real well. Woke up more than ready to run and went through my morning run ritual: pb/banana sandwich, water/gatorade/BATHROOMx4/stretching. We had a cab lined up and met some amazing people at our hotel waiting for cabs too. The race hadn’t even started and I was having a blast.

ImageWhen the gun went off my legs were feeling real fresh, the weather was in the 60s, and I had such a smile on my face. My mom was somewhere at the halfway mark (around 12-13.5 miles) & until then I felt so great. I could keep Gu and gatorade/water down no problem. I was on track for my 4:30-4:45 marathon which helped push me even harder on the {beginning of the} second half.
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Well suddenly the 60 degree temperatures had crawled into the mid 70s. I was taking water cups at the water stops and pouring them over my head (which attributed to a blood blister the size of a half dollar on the bottom of my foot). I figured I would get over it. For a Wisconsin girl who just spent a WINTER training-the 70s is hot. Oh and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, nor any shade cover. As if the hot sun wasn’t enough, the course was hilly. This is where things got bad… ugly… painful & hideous.
Around mile 15 I couldn’t keep any foods down (spectators were handing out oranges/pretzels because of the heat). Then mile 16 came and I started dry heaving. I couldn’t even keep water or gatorade down anymore-the staples for my running fuel. I was a complete mess. The medics repeatedly told me that I could rest a couple minutes or take the DNF.
Luckily Sam was the most understanding training partner and stuck with me. I told her to go ahead but she knew without her I never would have crossed that finish line. Bless her soul, I still owe her. (I know you’re reading–THANK YOU LOVE!)
Miles 16-25.5 were the longest 9 miles of my life. Despite my amazing training, a lot of this was spent walking/crying/dry heaving. But you bet your ass I was going to finish this after the dedication I put into it (my last semester of college mind you).
Fast forward to mile 25.5-I saw my mom waiting under the bridge right before the finish line and I was somehow able to kick it into the finish when just a mile earlier I was bent over wrenching up nothing.
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I was overcome with emotion (happiness, anger, defeat, joy, frustration-you name it I felt it) when I finally crossed that finish line. Sure, I ran about 90-120 minutes slower than I trained for and DESERVED… but damn it, I was a marathoner.
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Tears flowed like crazy that night. It was the post-marathon blues and the disappointment in how the race went but no one could take the 26.2 mile run away from me. On April 28th, 2012 I became a MARATHONER. Time is irrelevant.

Not only did I get a kickass medal, but I also got the worst sunburn of my life as a great memory… errr…

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 This post was emotional for me to get out. Ever since this race my drive and passion for the LONG run has been gone. I don’t want this to be my only marathon experience and end on a sour note. I must get out there again…. time will tell which race (if any) will be my second crack at 26.2
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Fitness Friday 1

Since I spend a lot of my free-time at the gym (not because I feel like I need to but because I am truly passionate about fitness and ENJOY it) I decided why not start doing this series. It helps keep a good record of my workouts and might inspire some of you to give them a whirl 🙂

Monday

a day without rain so laced up and went on a GREAT run on the trails: 3.57 miles in 32 minutes. (9:01 pace to include a huge hill!)

5 RFT
15 reps barbell bicep curl 

20 assisted pull-ups
12 reps/arm hammer curl (15#)
12 reps underhand lat pull down (72#)
7 reps reverse pushups (KILL ME)
12 reps seated db bicep curl (15#)

Tuesday

30min AMRAP:
10 burpees
10 box jumps
20 pushups
30 air squats
20 dips
15 seated rows (72#)
{{completed 5 rounds… I think}}

Wednesday

crappy 2.5 mile treadmill

upper body weights with Tyler.. can’t remember exaclty but am SO SORE today.

Thursday

Brooke’s Beach Body TM & abs workouts! And the following leg weights:

4×15 leg press (140, 140, 150, 150#)
3x (15 bosu ball squats, 60s wall sit, 15 calf raises @ 50#)

Today {Friday}

45min AMRAP:

sprint 1 lap on track
10 lunges/leg
sprint 1 lap on track
60s jump rope
sprint 1 lap on track
15 squat reach jumps
I have some good workouts in mind for this weekend–HOPEFULLY the weather cooperates and I get in a ‘long’ run before that half in May.

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All you professional & blog savvy people–how can I make pretty images for my workouts to make it not appear so boring? The black and white of this post is unappealing to even my eyes. 

A Weekend For the Books

Last week I was so ridiculously busy (more on that to come soon!) that no matter how hard I tried I could not get the time to blog. I have so many fun things to share I don’t even know where to start.

The work week went so slowly last week because I had an amazing weekend with the boyfriend planned.

Friday started with a big job interview (spoiler alert!) then the last slooowwwww day at work. Then I was off to Milwaukee to recreate Tyler and my first date in December of 2011.

The night before we left for the Rose Bowl last year he took me to Water Street Brewery downtown on Water Street. So that’s where we were off to Friday night. I made sure to eat healthy all week so I could indulge this weekend (although I still felt somewhat guilty).

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{sadly I have no pictures of him and I cause my mom has my memory card.}

After a fabulous meal it was off to an outdoor ice rink. While this year felt so different as we now are in a serious relationship with a year under our belt, it was amazing to go on this romantic date again.

In 2011 this was the first time he held my hand. & I’ve never looked back since. ❤

The next morning we went for a KILLER workout at the Princeton Club where he put my upper body through the ringer. I can’t even tell you how sore I was on Sunday… but if I tell you I didn’t shower Sunday I think you’ll understand why 😉

My mom got Ty & I a Groupon to go to an Arte & Wine studio… Tyler and I are the most unartistic individuals out there but we really were looking forward to this. It was so much fun to do something out of the box rather than just dinner, movies, etc.

I threw on a cute outfit and we were off:

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Tyler painted a picture of the Rose Bowl stadium and I threw a bunch of random things together to commemorate our 2012 together. Image

We laughed because there were Picasso’s in this studio and that was our end result. But it’s the memory that matters.

All the hard work made us want FROYO. I have been craving but practicing self-restraint for weeks.

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Red Velvet + Cake Batter swirl, Oreo bits, white choc chips, and cookie dough bites. Inner fat girl.

The rest of the night we ate dinner (pizza, like I said.. it was a bad diet weekend) and watched our beloved Packers lose. (For the record, now that all 3 of my teams have lost football is dead to me).

Sunday we were going to go on a run in the morning but the roads were pure ice. And it was a good excuse to stay snuggled up next to him watching Nip Tuck (I am addicted regardless of how smutty that show is!)

Spent the rest of the day with his entire family and just relaxing. It was such an amazing weekend and reminded me of everything I love about him.

Reality hit this morning back at work. Luckily I got some good news this morning (that I will share with you this week sometime!) and got in a KILLER workout tonight.

Started off with an intense 35min HIIT run:

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Then hopped on the stair stepper for 25min after (flinging sweat, legs shaking..)
& finished with LEG day…my favorite!

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Yeah, that’s right. 866 calories burned in 1hr 35min. And I feel GREAT.

Tell me: What was the best part of your weekend? Anything exciting this week?

Coming up: 2013 goals (FINALLY), Rose Bowl recap, Running Thoughts, and some BIG NEWS 🙂

A Perfect Weekend

Hey Ya’ll!

It has been a perfect weekend for me… full of family, friends, fun, an amazing church service & FINALLY figuring out what I’m going to do career-wise. Woo-hoo!

Saturday morning I went for a 5 mile run with my friend. We went sans-Garmin and really enjoyed ourselves. It’s nice to get out there & enjoy the real reason I like running…for the way it makes me feel. I get so caught up in speed and whether I’m burning enough calories that I forget about the beauty that surrounds me. Plus I have some kick-ass company with me 🙂

Then I hit up the grocery store with my momma to get some goodies for a cookout and took this guy for a walk around the lake.

look at that black beauty

Isn’t he precious!? I wish I could say he was mine….unfortunately he’s my brothers but when I go home to my parents house I spend lots of time with him. He’s my favv.

The grandparents joined us last night for a Memorial Day dinner… complete with hamburglars, corn on zee cob, ballpark hotdogs, and cole slaw! So delish.

my burgers winking atchya

After being in a food coma, we sat down to some coffee and Little Fockers. It was a great time all around.

Woke up this morning and had a delicious breakfast before heading to church: angel food cake, strawbs, coffee creamer, and a little rediwhippp!

perfect brekkie

Put on a cute outfit and went to the best church service ever with my friend and her family.

WOW! Please forgive my nearly closed eyes. Apparently when I smile my cheeks like to take over my entire face… must work on that!

Jesus time! The message was about finding joy in suffering. It was such a powerful sermon… had me in tears by the end. We are worthy of suffering. People often complain and dread hardships and trials we are handed. Yet as Paul explains in Philippians, in dealing with suffering and living through it we are establishing a closer, stronger, beautiful relationship with the Lord. & if we don’t make it through… we simply can go live eternal life in Heaven with Him & the angels… win-win! So my pastor’s fabulous question… what is there to fear?!

My challenge to you (and myself) is to start to embrace and welcome suffering with open arms. He closed on a powerful note: Joy is sweetest when the Christian cross is it’s heaviest. We closed in a song of worship and images from the Passion of the Christ…by the end I was tearing up. We are worthy of suffering, and we do it all together.

[I apologize if you’re reading this and are not entirely religious.. it was just another beautiful part of my life I wanted to share!]

Back to trying to figure out fall classes…. I am looking to get into judicial reporting as a career so I’m applying to a tech college and taking some tests in addition to finishing my last year of college to get my BS in Legal Studies. So excited, I FINALLY know what I’m doing. I may also be watching a Criminal Minds marathon because I am in love with the show Shemar Moore.

Happy Sunday!