Running · Upstate life

The Susie Q Memorial Half Marathon

We came, we ran, we died.

It’s pretty cool having a race named after you. It’s even cooler to have a race name after you in antemortem anticipation. I’m not sure on the right phrasing. But rest assured we had a lot of theories on when and how this race would earn it’s “memorial” title.

You see, when I started my new job back in August, I realized I was going to have a lot more free time to fit in running. Since October I’ve been following a beginner training plan for a half marathon. My initial plan was to complete the training plan as best I could (with room for exceptions like travel and being sick), and then basically keep going and/or start over until I could run a race in the spring. Best laid plans, and all that, you know how that goes…

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One of my Christmas presents from Jeremy was a half marathon race in my honor. And how can you not love that?! Jeremy decided we should celebrate the first time I reached that 13.1 milestone with a semi-certified race. We all had bibs and everything! It was very (semi) official.

Crazy mofos
Crazy mofos

While we considered the snow and the potential cold (IT WAS REALLY COLD), we didn’t really consider just how much of the Mohawk Hudson bike path would not be plowed. And how none of us had really trained for snow. I’d say somewhere around 10 of the miles we ran were in snow.

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It turned into a trail race kind of adventure instead of a PR/race time event. Jeremy is great at cheering me on with Rocky quotes, no matter how much I beg him to stop. (I’ll admit I secretly enjoy it.) We all basically froze almost to death, with no one being able to feel their fingers at the end. I was probably the most hobbled, but we all made it back together. We managed to revive enough back at my apartment to celebrate with some Flying Chicken. And best of all, I won the race! Winner winner, chicken dinner. …I’ll excuse myself now.

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Overall it was a challenging experience but I’m glad we did it. Plus now I can say I’ve run a half marathon distance. Now on to pick a race for the spring…

Running · Travel · Upstate life

OMG It’s Like Totally 2015!

Well. Where the hell have I been? It has been a very busy couple of months. Busy in the sense of weddings, parties, trips on the weekends, and busy in the sense of doing so much at the office during the day that I don’t dare approach my computer when I get home. Busy in the sense of lazy, wherein my desktop computer bit the dust (in a fixable way, but you lug that giant 27″ iMac to the Apple store at the mall during holiday season!!), so I just made it work with the devices I had. Anyway. I’m currently writing from my wonderful, but holy-crap-I-just-spent-a-ton-of-money new macbook pro. It’s so pretty and fast and compact and I love it. Eventually I’ll get a monitor too for big screen TV and movie viewing. (The iMac will be fixed then sold for parts once I get around to taking care of it. My only 2015 resolution! ha) But for now it’s nice to have a normal working computer.

Anyway. Lets look at pictures. I’m not fully ready to blog again but here I am. So where was I?

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I was wine tasting in my best plaid before Jeremy’s wine glass marathon.

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I was cheering Corey on during his first ever marathon.

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I was getting hassled by an opossum while trying to get into my apartment.

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I was goofing about on Halloween with some lovely fun people.

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I was doing some serious leaf-peeping with my not-so-serious selfie skills. 

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I was turning 28 and celebrated with Bill Murray and another handsome talented man who made me a one-of-a-kind necklace.

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I was in Vegas for a work conference (and met Adam Savage!!)

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I was at the beach in California goofing with the boyfriend over Christmas.

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I was destroying French presses (ridiculous story) while goofing with my bestie and her puppy in Troy for NYE.

Lots of goofing you might say. It’s felt like a crazy time, but I’ll admit I’m enjoying it. Sometimes I wish I had more time to relax at night and do nothing, but I’m spending time with my favorite people and tackling some new goals. You may not have heard, but the First Annual Q Memorial Half Marathon is happening next weekend. Only the cool people are running it. (Also I’m terrified.) I’m working on fighting off a cold so hopefully I can still get some tapering runs in before the big day. Ahh!!

Ramblings · Upstate life

Laborious Labor Day Weekend

I think we may have done Labor Day both wrong and right.

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Saturday: We climbed a tall mountain (what up Algonquin!)

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While considered one of the harder peaks we did it in about 5 hours.

So cold at the top!

IMG_2671Champion scramblers!! We wouldn’t feel the true pain until the next day.

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What up Lake Placid Beer! Delicious hiking reward.

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Sunday: We discovered mystical forest creatures. Herro friend!

Monday: And we ran long run kinds of miles in 8000% humidity, followed by chicken nuggets followed by moaning and hobbling. (not pictured)

Pretty successful weekend! Other life news has involved lots of exciting new challenges at work (really liking it!), being very busy with all this energy I have not commuting, and being silly all over the place. My handsome gentleman is off gallivanting in Europe now though so I’ll be tackling some books, new TV shows, personal writing projects and new running feats.

Ramblings

New Hobby

While I’m currently awaiting more funds becoming available to create my sewing corner — I currently have a chair, that’s one piece! — I’m finding other ways to channel my creative energy. A few months back I got inspired by a silly concept J was talking about one night, and thus the Eggplant Stripper was born. I love coming up with silly and absurd ideas, and now I’m able to take them one step further than just riffing on a conversation. I’ll never be a gifted artist, but I’m working on mastering my comic styling. If only I could figure out where my colored pencils are hiding.

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Plus, my running has been put on hold since I ramped up too quickly. I will be cheering in Shelburne this weekend, and will still consuming all the Heady Topper and crepes I can find anyway. I’m bummed but working on healing right now.

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And hey, it’s Halloween week, and I can’t wait to bust out the big group Archer costume my friends and I have planned!

Ramblings · Running

The Hair Abuse Chronicles

Well, here we are. It’s been months since my first unfortunate foray into permanent hair lightening. As you may remember, I attempted to lighten my hair at home. Mistake number one. Then I attempted to try again. Mistake number two. Then I tried to fix it, which took several tries to appear decent. You see where this is going. I think I’ve dyed my hair about 5 times since, most recently being mid-June. Yeah, cringe with me on that. I chose a permanent black and it was harsh at first, but it’s evened out nicely now, and my roots growing out won’t look so drastically different. It’s safe to say that my hair is not a happy camper. My roots have grown out about half an inch, and I’ve made a super sexy discovery – gray hairs! I’m not sure why I’m going partially gray at 24, but I’m just going to have to assume it’s sexy. I won’t know the extent of how it will look once it all grows out, but feast your eyes on this awesomeness.

Emo MySpace shot alert: feel my sadness about gray hairs in front of this book shelf

The rest of my over dyed hair is definitely feeling more like straw some days. I’ve been researching options for hair repair conditioners or intensive treatments. I used one from John Freida and it was pretty good. This time I’ve ordered Morrocanoil, which I’ve heard good things about via my Facebook feed. See, acquaintances/random people you don’t remember but still have on Facebook can be useful!

In other news, I’m still running. I had some drop-off time when it was between 90 and 100 degrees but I’m back on track now. I think reading many running blogs has both inspired me and frustrated me. I like to be good at everything immediately and realizing that my speed and distance will only increase over time gives me the sads. But those other girls are so fast, waaahh. I’m hovering around a 9:30 minute mile, and I occasionally take short 30 second walks when I need them as long as I can make it an extra mile. Oh right, and by that I mean so I can make it to 3 miles instead of 2. I’M SO AWESOME. I’m currently blaming the sun and humidity for my lack of improvement (wah wah cries the Californian), so we’ll see what I can blame come fall. I do feel pretty good with the running business, and after a quiet day at the office (cube life is so quiet! ah!) I really need that run to let out tension and feel alive.

[Insert picture here. I don’t usually take pictures of myself before/after/during runs. Maybe I should start.]

Over the weekend Collin and I went on a 6.5 mile hike. I have yet to acquire proper hiking shoes, which can sometimes make me a grump on these. Plus, I kind of hate nature sometimes. Sorry, Oregonian friends. But it was still fun! We picnicked among a fleet of dragon flies, which was cool and creepy at the same time. Hooray!

Ramblings · Running

Running Power!

This headline comes from a subject line I emailed to Collin a few days ago. See, I’ve really committed to getting back into running, and I’ve become totally nerdily excited about it. I was never a fitness-focused girl growing up, even though I did spread my interests sporadically among running, dance and tennis. I’m bad at sport commitment, I guess. When I got to college I met people who liked to run and work out and sort of started to get into it. One of the reasons my friendship blossomed with my friend Maren was because we started having gym dates when I was going through a rough patch. She became one of my best friends after that period. And she showed me that I could lift weights! I learned pretty quickly the power of getting yourself out the door when you feel crappy – afterward, you almost always feel better.

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When I first moved to NYC I started running again. Given that I was a casual runner who mostly ran in the easy climates of Oregon and California, I had no idea the real challenges of running in the heat and humidity of the East Coast. It wasn’t a problem for long, though, because I quickly injured myself. This is an honest-to-goodness true sober story: I was walking home from seeing In The Heights for the first time with Kim, I was wearing sandals with almost no traction, and in my excitement I slipped in a curb cut and twisted my knee. I’m stupid, so I continued to run and hurt myself more. I had just started my new job and sort of let fitness disappear in favor of my long hours and happy hours and friendships.

Holiday party with a wrapped knee. So cool.

A few months into dating Collin, his running enthusiasm got to me. I went to physical therapy briefly – it was awkward, one of the workers made fun of how my leg shook during the strength exercises, WTF – and managed to heal my knee somewhat. Over the winter Collin encouraged me to run in Prospect Park with him. It went pretty well, but I only went with him maybe once a month. Plus, it snowed. I’m not running in that! That spring I went for a run and stopped short, almost dying and gasping for air. I even wrote about my confusion with what the heck was wrong with me. I basically gave up on running, but my many doctor visits left clues in my head to figure this out.

I prefer to do this in the winter.

The best, and somewhat lame, reasoning I have is related to allergies and breathing. I’m not a seasoned runner, but I’ve always been competitive. I wanted to run as fast as I could because that’s what I thought I should do. When I stopped I was gasping in pain, not realizing that I pushed too hard and wasn’t breathing properly. Add in allergies I didn’t know I had, and it’s no wonder I though I couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t realize that going slower and building up mileage and speed would make a difference. I gave up running again in favor of fitness videos and general laziness.

Once we got to Troy, I decided to try again. I bought new running shoes, since my old ones were from 2006 or something, and figured out my allergy situation. I saw my doctor and accepted that I did in fact have seasonal allergies, and just needed to find the right pill. Most importantly, I went slow. As I wrote earlier, my first run was sad and pathetic. I barely made it a mile. Since then I’ve set up a 2-mile route. I had to walk at times at first, but now I’m running solidly the two miles, pushing through that voice in my head that says it’s too hard and I should stop. Plus, Collin and I are taking little day trips and hiking, and I’m definitely feeling good.