Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running @ Work

I have been doing this for a while, but lately I have been thinking how lucky I am to have this luxury.

Luckily, my boss is super-flexible with my schedule and I have some great co-workers who are also runners.

The number one question I am always asked is "do you shower after?" And simply the answer is NO. I am the first to admit that I am a SWEATY girl, but I am not a STINKY me I've done a small poll.

Running at work is not as hard or as gross as you think.

Here are my tips for running at work:

1) Just in case, always tell work your boss and/or co-workers your planned route. Safety first people! Running with someone else is always a good choice too!

2) Use one of those great websites like Map My Run to plan out your route in advance, taking notices of your distance, but also picking less congested streets to run on. I work in Downtown LA people, trust me it can be done!

3) Vary your routine. Have an afternoon meeting? Run in the morning ( its probably cooler anyways). Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Run at noon to re-energize the rest of your day.

4) Since you are using your break time to exercise, plan to pack your lunch and prepare to eat at your desk. This has an added benefit. You can't go grab greasy takeout with co-workers. Saves money and calories. And you are more likely to plan your meals ahead of time which may lead to some healthier food choices and its cheaper!

5) If hitting the streets is not an option for you, you can run at a local gym and log some treadmill time. This saves you from three potential challenges: safety (you are in doors) , access to showers (if you are super concerned about your stank!) and weather!

6) If you don’t have access to showering facilities at work, like me, ( and who does really?!?!) I created myself a little "desk kit" of products to "freshen up" for the rest of the day:

-Deodorant...self explanatory...

-Face wash (who wants to sit for 8 hours with sweaty face, that is a welcome invitation for pimples! no thanks!)

-Baby Wipes or Sports Wipes to wipe away sweat and salty post-run residue from head-to-toe. I have used the Nathan Shower Wipes, and I like them, but they are pricey. ( My runner friend just uses plain old Huggies diaper wipes ( cucumber-melon scent) and she says they work just at good...and its an economical choice. Mental note, add that to the Target list...

-Brush and/or Hairdryer (in case you really need to look polished). Otherwise I got with the trusty sleek, low bun. Looks stylish and professional and its easy!

-Extra bobby pins, hair bands, etc...what girl doesn't already have a small collection with her anyways?

Anyone who is avid exerciser or runner knows its all about fitting it in and if that means running at work than so be it. Hey, its one less thing to do after work...and I like that!

Happy Running!

PS: Now if I could only convince my boss to get me one of these...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A week without a microwave...

A week without a microwave will really make you re-evaluate your nutrition...

In the hulla-ba-loo of moving we were without a microwave for about a week. Sadly, you don't really realize how much you depend on a microwave until you don't have one.

At first I was frustrated at not having one...then I was just disturbed by how much I felt I needed one.

On most week nights I moonlight as a single gal, while my guy is at work. "Cooking" for one usually consists of heating up some yummy frozen concoction from Trader Joe's, coupled with some salad greens...healthy enough...but requires the microwave.

Deep inside of me there is this girl who wants to beak free of ALL processed food and live this life full of fresh, raw, not chemically mutilated food....but dang, it is hard to do.

(A side note: My "processed" food from Trader Joe's I know is much healthier than say processed food from my old pals Ronald and the Hamburgler or say my college days of Hot Pockets....but it still has added "stuff" that I could probably use less of in my sodium, sugar, preservatives, food dyes....)

Back to my argument...

Processed food is cheap. Processed food is fast.

The 21st century lifestyle is a lifestyle of convenience....gadgets and gizmo's promising to make our lives easier, but really I feel like they are making us sicker...aka: less healthy....

Enter the microwave.

Now, I will not be throwing away my brand new microwave...don't worry I have not gone all "crazy hippy" on you... but it made me want to re-evaluate the food I put in my mouth and the stuff we call food we put in our bodies. Its nice to take some time and reflect on this, from time to time.

I am striving to eat more fresh foods, more REAL ingredients (minimally processed)...and actually cook ( not "nuke") more...and perhaps share a few delicious recipes along the way...

Happy running...and cooking!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

blogcation is over and more general updates

Moving is NO vacation people! I have been REALLY MIA lately...

The past two weeks have brought on some exciting changes in life : new job, new house, new hair-do... :)

Hence the reasons I have been un-able to fully dedicate to the wonderful-ness that is my blog....but, alas, I am back!

So over the past two weeks I have resumed my normal running schedule of 3-4 days a week. I have even squeezed in a few spin classes and some REAL weight lifting (which makes me super happy!). I am still trying to find that happy balance of ALL the activities I like and how to schedule them appropriately.

In typical Lauren-fashion...I jumped back in FULL FORCE...

Blogcation Week 1: During my first week back to the regular running schedule, my legs had that heavy..."not so fresh" feeling. My pace was good (fast almost) but they felt stiff and heavy. I added in a few more rest days based on all the feedback from my other running peeps.

Blogcation Week 2: Last week...I was off work ( interim in between jobs and moving) so I was free to run whenever I wanted and hit the gym at those not so busy hours in the middle of the day (love love love!!!). Despite all the craziness of moving I got in 3 runs and 2 gym days! Woo hoo! I was looking at my gym training journal (a little notebook I carry around at the gym to log all my workouts, which exercise, how many sets, etc.)....and last day I did a REAL weight training workout was in Feb! Holy smokes!

While marathon training I mostly did free weights (upper body) and ball exercises in the comfort of my living room, since the demands of marathon training don't allow for much free time and LORD knows I did not want to be super sore the morning of an 18-miler. My legs were in quite a shock after a REAL leg workout! Hello sleepy hamstrings! :)

So, as I mentioned before, moving forward into my half-marathon training I am looking to find a balance between gym time and running time. Here is my tentative plan for the rest of July...I will see how I do, if I can stick to it, how my body feels, etc... I am hoping some extra cross training and strength training will help strengthen my legs to improve my running.

Mon: Run

Tues: Cross Training@ Gym: Spin Class and Weights

Wed: Run (Short-3 miles/30 min) and core-ball work @ home

Thurs: Run- ARC Run Group


Sat: Griffith Park Training Group: LONG Run

Sun (depending on how I feel and Sat mileage): REST DAY or Light Cross Train/Weights

Wish me luck! :)

Holla Back: What are your summer fitness goals? How do you keep your training schedule fresh and interesting?

Happy Running!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Recovery and What's Next

There seems to be no real recipe for RECOVERY....some say run the day after ( to flush your lactic acid) some say take one day off for every mile ran ( 26 days off? Seriously???)

I have not run since last Sunday's BIG RACE....that is one full week of recovery.

In the days after the race I was experiencing some "strange" (yet totally normal) physiological issues.....from Sunday to Wednesday I was still feeling "sore muscles" ( albeit less and less as the days went by), at times I was starving and other times felt nauseous and didn't want to eat, I was tired, bloated with a capital "B" ( holy weight fluctuations!), super emotional....super happy and then was an interesting week to say the least.

I think this weekend I reached some sort of post race homeostasis and I am refreshed and ready to get back out there. All week I have been walking for at least 30 minutes each day, which yes, is a HUGE decrease in activity, but I think has really helped me heal my body.

So what's next? What is the game plan?

Well here is my post-marathon plan:

1) Keep Running....Duh!
I have not decided on my next marathon race, but I have already signed up to run a 1/2 marathon---the inaugural Rock and Roll LA 1/2 marathon in October. A half marathon seems like a more manageable distance and will allow me some more flexibility in incorporating other forms of exercise back into my schedule. I am also looking to maybe pick-up my speed a bit and work on my general pace and form to improve my running.

2) Get back into the gym!
Yes, there was room in my old training schedule for cross-training. But I was really preserving my body for the running, so that each of my runs, was the best they could be. Prior to my marathon training I had lost my way in terms of my exercise dedication. I had gone from 5 + days in the gym--with spinning and weight training---to maybe making it to the gym 2-3 days a week. I am excited and ready to get back into the gym and do some real weight lifting and more intense cross training cardio and mix that with my running schedule.

3) Stay Involved!
I am keeping my ties to all the great groups who helped me to train and prepare for my marathon. I am an official pace leader for my Thursday Run Club ( GO ARC!) I also signed on to be a mentor to new members of the American Heart Association Start Training program. As a mentor I will be able to share my experiences with the marathon newbies, be their cheerleader and support them in accomplishing this amazing goal! I am so excited! By staying involved and committed to these groups, it will also help me stay on track for my 1/2 marathon as well.

4) Other random ambitions not yet determined..

-Become a a personal trainer or spin instructor?

-Get back in the triathlon game? ( to serve my exercise ADD and I really miss swimming)

-Totally switch it up and try a bike specific race --like a 1/2 century or century race?

Who knows! :)

Holla Back: Are your exercise goals exclusive to running? How do you keep things fresh and challenge yourself physically?

Happy Running!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Full Race's a long one folks...

Can I just start off with a W-O-W!!!! What a crazy experience!

Overall: This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life! I am so proud of myself! I can't believe I did it. I am so happy I never gave up and I kept running, even when it hurt like hell... Go me!

PHOTOS: Still trying to figure out how to make a photo slideshow on my blog....will post as soon as I figure it out...

Here is my long novel/recap of race day (with what I can remember... and all the gory details!)

3:00am: Alarm goes off.
yes, 3am!...yes, that's REALLY early.
After 5 solid hours of sleep...thank you sleeping gods!... I proceeded to get dressed in the bathroom (as not to wake my sleeping boyfriend), bodyglide-ed what seemed like my entire body ( just in case!), sunscreen-ed and ate part of my usual pre-run breakfast. I also readjusted my bib # like 6 times...nervous energy to burn

Random side note: I turned on the TV before I left...after I woke Kyle up by spilling an entire bottle of water on the hotel bed...and soaking him in his sleep....and what did I watch at 3:30am on a Sunday...Scream 3!!!! Random! ( Scream is one of my all time fav movies!)

4:00am: Take hotel shuttle to start line.
Thank you Hampton Inn...that worked out perfectly! Jessica, a friend from my Saturday training group--who I run with every single Saturday--was staying in the same hotel with me. So we traveled together to the start line together! Strength in numbers!

4:20-5:45am: Sit and wait....and porta potty lines
Arrived at Balboa Park....pitch dark. Jessica and I laid out our "trash bag beach blankets" to sit on the damp grass/cement and sat and waited....and sat waited. We slowly ate the rest of our breakfasts---we still had over 2 hrs until the start.

The morning allowed for some serious people watching (a fav hobby!) People dressed in costumes. People looking terrified. Girls wearing FULL faces of make-up to run a marathon (seriously?? you are lame, that's all I have to say!)

Some ladies had "marathon virgin" written on their calves--a la triathlon style--why didn't I think of that....darn!

I also really regretted not having a camera...but honestly I was already carrying some much fuel I felt like a pack mule...must re-strategize for the next race.

Now, lets talk porta potties....I have never seen so many porta potties in my life. Crazy! Luckily I had no issues in this department (as I and many racers often do on race morning....ok...maybe TMI...) But I must say, I do find it rather funny, because you can always spot the people who are really "not feeling well"....they are the porta potty line Nazi's who yell at you to keep your eyes on the opening doors....they need to relax....but I can sympathize....

5:45am: Enter Corral
yes, I said "corral".... yes, they herd you like wild animals....with ropes!

I was assigned to Corral many corrals did they actually have, you ask....39. So needless to say, I was starting towards the back of the pack...which I am totally okay with. Jessica was originally placed in corral 27 but she moved back to be with me (so grateful!)

Now getting into your Corral, its just fancy speak for standing and MORE waiting, packed up close and personal with a bunch of strangers. Strangers who are farting (remember what I said about pre-race nerves???) Strangers who are yelling. Why are you are 5.6 inches from your friend...I almost punched a lady in the face....seriously. It is a funny phenomenon, every anxiously wiggles around, almost like they are doing the I-have-to-pee dance.

6:10am National anthem and gun start

I have never heard 30,000 people be more quiet in my life than during that national anthem...crazy silence.

Gun start for Corral #1 started at 6:10...I will remind you, I am in Corral # 29....I had MORE waiting to do...

Approx 6:50am: Crossing the START line
I was ready to go. One foot in front of the other...took off after my foot hit the timing pad

Miles 1-6
These miles were good. Jessica and I kept a great pace. Unfortunately, my legs felt really shaky/wobbly, like the adrenaline was rushing through them, so I never got into "that groove" but it was ok since it was the start of the race and I was loving it. This part of the run was in downtown, Gaslamp area, near Petco Park. Early in the race I loved the fact that I was so intrigued by what was around the next corner, it seemed better than running the same paths at Griffith park week after week. The weather for the first hour or so was also perfect! Nice cloud cover, not too cold.

Miles 6-9ish
These miles were good, better than 1-6. My legs finally hit "that groove." Saw Kyle at mile 7...smiling and cheering me on!

Still great weather.We traveled from downtown out east. Don't remember much else from this part.

Miles 9ish-13.5ish: I will call these miles the "asphalt desert"
These miles were not so good AT ALL....quite bad in fact.

The asphalt dessert was the closed-down 163 freeway that we ran. A freeway that is slanted (ankles also hated this part!).

Upon entering the asphalt dessert, the weather also shifted....for the worse. Who knew SD could be so hot!!

I started to really over-heat being in the direct sun and probably from the reflection from the freeway's menacing black tar. ( Did I mention I am also as pale, as pale, can be...and us pale folk, DO NOT do well in sun!). Once I was over-heating, I started freaking out about my electrolytes and how much I was sweating and inadvertently started to OVER-hydrate. I didn't realize this until it was too late...about mile 13 I was pretty sure I was about to puke...water and Cytomax (a sad Gatorade wanna-be that I had been over-ingesting). That gross empty feeling of liquid jostling around in your belly in the heat, no bueno.

Side note: Highlight of slanted, asphalt desert...very cool tribal drummers. They were my fave race entertainment for sure!

On the 163 was were I also witnessed the marathon-only phenomenon of "Vaseline disbursement." Poor volunteers handing out plastic spoons and tongue-depressors covered in Vaseline to chaffing runners...gross and funny. People rubbing Vaseline on their armpits, inner thighs, men...their nipples....good times.

At the 1/2 marathon mark, Kyle greeted me at the top on a long hill. I told him I was going to puke. He encouraged me to keep going. After I passed him, I felt a wave of tears flood to my eyes....My first doubts entered my brain....Can I really do this? I feel sick! This sucks! It's so EFFING hot...I am only half way there!

I told Jessica I didn't feel good...and like any good friend and running partner, she slapped me back to reality and told me its all mental. She told me: You can do this! Don't think about it! We are half way there! And she instructed me to start dumping water on my head to cool off....duh?!?!

Why didn't I think of that? It's funny how you can get so consumed in what's going wrong, you forget your common sense. Running kind of makes you delirious.

( After mile 13, I dumped at least one cup of water on my head at every stop until the very end! Did I mention it was hot???)

My last observation for this section: After mile 10 there were A LOT more people walking than running. I was SO surprised. When I was feeling icky (and wanted to walk) I was almost jealous of these people, but I knew I had to keep on, keepin' on...and so the journey continued...

Miles 14-19
Don't remember much during this section either....maybe I blacked out from the heat.... :)

Of what I do remember, I got a new rush of positive thinking after taking my second Gu...and kept on pushing. Discarding my negative thoughts.

Saw my first race causality....girl laying on the ground with paramedics giving her oxygen....scary

I also remembering getting an delicious orange smiley at one of the water orange never tasted so good....yum! I ate it like a savage beast in one bite....probably scared the poor little girl who gave it to me...

Mile 19-20: Bathroom break
Okay at this point, I started getting these weird pains in my "sides/obliques"....took me a while to figure was my bladder screaming at me.

You see, during the Great Hydration freak out on the 163...I overloaded on the liquids big time. I have never had to pee while training. Never. I sweat so much and lose so much salt this is never an issue for me.

Suddenly, I realized I gotta go! So I pulled over into a park restroom ( better than a porta potty!). How I got back up after sitting on the toilet, I will never know. My legs were not happy from the stop.

From this point on, everything below my sports joke...cramped up. I felt like I might fold into a Popple at any moment. (Don't remember what a Popple was? It was a stuffed animal that rolled into a ball) My lats connecting down to my glutes, connecting to my hamstrings, wrapping around to my quads, down to my calves....even to the bottom of my feet....and I still have almost 7 miles to go....more than an hour....oh dear....

After mile 19, Jessica and I employed a "walk through the water stations" strategy. This gave our legs a quick break every mile for the remaining 7. Good plan!

Miles 20-20.5: Fiesta Island
Not a fiesta at all my friends! Not a fiesta indeed!

Flash back to three months ago when I first reviewed the course....I was happy to see Mission Bay Park and Fiesta Island since I was familiar with this area from the triathlons I have done here before. I knew it was flat and I knew the layout.

Back to marathon day....I am a cramped, hot mess. Fiesta Island seemed liked FOREVER.

Looking at the race comments, I see a lot of people agreed. One girl even called it "Shutter Island" after that recent movie- thriller with Leo DiCaprio ( good movie, go see it!)

Anyways, it was plain awful. Since it was an island, there were no spectators. Still bands, but no cheer-ers. This is also the last leg of the race and more people are walking now than ever before. The race path is narrow ( I usually ride it on a bike in the triathlon, so I never noticed before)....but once you have to zig-zag in and out of packs of walkers, you get annoyed. You waste so much energy and they are just plain in your way. I get it, they hurt, but move over to the side or walk single file. I may not be running very fast at this point, but I am still running and you are in the way!

At this time, since I was psychotically checking my Garmin watch about every 2 min, I discovered after 5 hours, that my mileage was about .25 ahead of the every time my watch chimed that I completed another mile....I still hadn't reached the official mile ultimately my Garmin tells me I ran near 26.5 miles that day....take that.... ha ha :)

Coming off the island, there is a tan, little man with a megaphone yelling " only .75 miles left, congratulations you are a marathoner, bring it home, finish strong." And while I was happy to hear this .75 never looked so far away...

Miles 21.5-26
Off the island. I see what "appears" to be the final white tent....oh sweet, sweet finish line....wrong....that is the mile 26 tent....remember I said you get delirious....

OH HELL NO! Is what I said inside my my best Real Housewives of Atlanta voice...

I looked over at Jessica....where did she go? She took off sprinting...

Ok, I guess we are sprinting to the goes nothing, come on body....let's do this....

Mile 26 to Mile 26.2
My sore, cramping, hot, achy body took off...I honestly could not feel my legs....I passed people left and right, saw Kyle right before I crossed the finish line....cheering me on those last few seconds....and then I crossed that timing pad....I was done...I was a marathon finisher....

Post Race Corral: the "Secure Zone"
After I crossed the line, I felt woozy for sure....but suddenly so happy! Forgetting that my body was trying to collapse and fold up like a poolside lounge-chair....I had to keep moving.

First was the medal...yes!

Next...My hands were shaking so bad when they handing me my water bottle....which I think I drank in two gulps...

Next, the race people were passing out wet towels, dipped in ice water....wonderful!

Then the post-race medal photo. ( It turned out good! Promise to upload soon!)

Next, they whisked you past medical. There was a person asking: do you need medical attention? I wanted to reply: is the Pope Catholic? But I thought too much energy to speak, just shake head and keep walking to the food.

I grabbed a banana and some snacks and then finally met up Kyle ( outside of the "secure zone") and got a post race kiss and hug....happy ending indeed! He also became my human crutch...I could barely walk...


Happy Running... well, in my case...happy resting and recovery! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The time has come...

Packing up the car and heading down to SD...

Saturday's agenda:
-Expo...sipping my gatorade
-Hotel Check-in
-Carb-filled dinner
-TRY to sleep

Sunday's agenda:
-Up at 3am
-Eat, Drink, Etc
-4:30 shuttle to start
-5:45: Enter Corral
-6:15 First Wave Start ( I am in Corral I will cross the start line around 7, I think)

Kyle is bringing his bike and will be meeting me at several spots along the course...What a trooper, love that guy!

AND.....FINISH!!! :)

Full race report when I get back in town!

Happy Running!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dedications Wrap-Up

Okay, so if you can remember back to when I started this journey....I had planned to dedicate each mile of the race...

I had heard that the thinking behind this is... when you are in the marathon, struggling (because, inevitably, there will be struggling) you can mentally call on all of the special people in your life, who support you and those you are thankful for and use that to push you forward.

So back in February I started out strong with my dedications....and then lost track of them along the way. Not to say that there aren't TONS of great people who support me and inspire me everyday, because there are.

My race is Sunday (GULP!) And as I take a break from packing, re-packing, and checking my lists a thousand times, I want to take the time to thank everyone properly...

So here is my condensed dedication list....

1) Bema: For my grandma, who I am training in honor of. She passed away after having a stroke a few years ago. I love her and miss her. She would think I am crazy for doing this...she wasn't much for being sweaty... :)

2) Mom and Dad: Geeze do you sum that one, thanks for are amazing parents and I love you.

3) Tara: My lil' I said before "having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of." I am so proud of you and love you.

4) Kyle Walter: ( That's MY man!) You are the greatest guy on earth! Thanks for always believing in me, for always making me smile and for making me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world!I love you so much!

5) Jennifer Tauro ...okay... AND that guy you married, oh yeah, what's his name? Ryan Tauro? You have been my BESTEST friend since the wee little age of 9....I love you to death! Thanks for all the laughs, our long chats and for all your words of encouragement. I want you by my side at the next finish line! Ryan: you're ok too. Just kidding! I love the brother I never had :)

6) Cynthia Visage: The best friend and training partner a girl could ask for...although she had to sit this one out, she's pregnant you know :)

7) Chris Visage: To a great friend, who I bet would run this thing with me if he could (you see he is recovering from a bad hip injury)....wait maybe he wouldn't? :) He thinks I am crazy!

8) My "original" Simi Girls (Ryanne, Molly, Katie, Mindy and Sandy): Thanks for all your support. I love you guys...and for those of you far away, who I get to see less, I miss you bunches!

9) My "new" Simi Girls (Terra, Tatiana, Lindsey and Cindy--ok, ok she lives in Ventura, but let's not be picky) I am so happy I have gotten the chance to get to know all of see I was adopted by these girls back in 2005 when I moved back to Simi to go to girls are a blast! I love you all!

10) Alex Smith: she is really an "honorary" member of the "new Simi girls" group who I love dearly...but she gets her own shout-out for inspiring me to FINALLY start my own blog (Ryanne helped too!)... she is a great writer and friend!

11) My UC DAVIS Girls: Miss Megan and Miss Amber. Love you girls! Although we don't get to see each other that often...when we out! Thanks for all the support! Meg: I can't wait to see you after the race....I love you more than my luggage!!!!!

12) The rest of my family--on both my mom and my dad's sides. Thanks for all the well wishes, support and reading my blog! You mean so much to me!

13) This one is for ME #1 ....this is where I will be at the half-marathon point....half way there! Go Lauren, Go!!!!

14) To all my other friends who I love dearly....I am so lucky to have such great friends! There are too many to name..but you know who you are! :)

15) To the creators of beverage-love for you is unparalleled!

16)My running group at work- Cindy and Louisa. You gals are amazing! Nothing beats a "blah" day at work like pounding the streets with you guys. You guys are so fit and so inspiring! Thanks for pushing me!

17) To the rest of the amazing people I work guys are SO supportive! Thank you!

18) My marathon training group girls: Jessica, Megan and Cindy. I am so happy to have met you guys through this crazy process. We are so strong and so awesome. Can't wait to see you all at the finish line! I couldn't have made it through those runs without you guys...

19) ARC Run Club: I am so glad I decided to give it a shot...and I never stopped coming. What a great group of people! I am so happy to be a part of your fun running family! :)

20) To the makers of the Champion Sports Bra...your "support" has been pun...ok, pun intended. Although, on second thought, about mile 20 is when you will start eating away at the skin on my rib-cage...BAD sports bra!

21) To all my blog guys are amazing! Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy yourselves...please stick around...I don't plan to stop... :)

22) This one is for ME #2 ...I have never run more than 22-miles, my longest training run. I will enjoy this moment and know that everything beyond this point will be a new accomplishment for me to be proud of. I will remind myself how far I have come, how strong I am, how dedicated I have been and I will tell myself...YOU CAN FINISH THIS!

23) Jillian Michaels...for being an inspiration. What a bad-ass chick?!?! Seriously.... When I want to give up I will just pretend like I am on the Biggest Loser and she is screaming in my face...and I won't give up and I will keep on running...

24) To all the people who donated money to support the American Heart Association on my behalf. This is a very important cause. Thank you so much!

25) To anyone who ever doubted me or underestimated me (that might have been my own self on a few occasions) ...well...BOO-YAH...I am almost done running a marathon...

26 and the .2) This is all for ME AGAIN! I am going to be so excited to finish (I am sure of that!), but I am going to be so proud of myself. I push myself really hard in life (on and off the running path) and I need to take a minute and enjoy it. Give myself a pat on the back. Nothing makes me feel better than doing something I have never done before or thought I could never do. I will have done something that not many OTHER people in this world can say they have done. This will be a proud 1.2!

Then....grab medal...locate food and beverage....and proceed to collapse in a giant heap... :)

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE! I am one lucky girl to know all of you and I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me!

Happy Running!