Crazy? No. Awesome.

Since joining Team Fight, I’ve met a lot of cool people. But there are a few who really impress me. At first I thought they were crazy. Now I think they’re crazy dedicated.

Who are they? People who can’t swim who sign up for triathlons.

I know, right? The first part of a tri, the most dangerous part, the scariest part (in my opinion) and they have no idea what they’re doing. I admit, I teased Kim when she told me she couldn’t swim after we signed up for two triathlons, but I’ve seen the girl in the pool. She can swim. Maybe she’s not super experienced at it, but she probably won’t drown anytime soon.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who can’t swim whatsoever. People who get in the pool and can maybe make it five feet before clinging to the wall.

I think these people are AWESOME.

And maybe a little crazy, but good things can come from crazy decisions. I talk about not knowing if I can complete the triathlon, but I know how to swim and I know how to bike. I’m not great at either of those things, but I know how. I can’t imagine having the courage to sign up for a race where I didn’t think I could do part of it.

Of course, there is plenty of training time left, and these teammates of mine are going to do amazingly. I give them all the credit in the world for taking the leap. And I can’t wait to share the finish with them!

A Day In the Life

I have been thinking for a while about doing an “A Day In The Life” post. But my life is boring. Oh well. Additionally, people have asked me how I fit everything in, so here’s one example.

Wednesday, March 13

4:30 am – Alarm goes off for a brick workout. My body says no. I stayed up too late last night reading the latest Kathy Reichs novel. Thankfully, I will have time tonight to get the workout in.

5:30 am – Really? Already? Up and out of bed, shower.

6:00 am – Make breakfast. Protein shake and coffee. The breakfast of champions. I have a chocolate protein shake. I wonder what it would taste like blended with the coffee. Two birds, one stone.

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6:55 am – Leave for work. Slightly late, but I should still make it on time.

7:35 am – Arrive at work. Couple of minutes late. But hey! The boss isn’t here yet!

7:36 am – My phone rings and the workday starts. Unfortunately, this part is very boring. But it pays the bills.

10:30 am – Can hold out no longer. Morning snack time! Today, it’s a Chobani Flip yogurt. Should have paid attention to the nutrition info when I bought it, because it’s higher calorie than I thought. But man, is it delicious.

10:55 am – ZOMG! A Veronica Mars Movie? I am now completely distracted from work.

12:10 pm – Listen to coworkers coughing and consider the merits of coating my whole body in hand sanitizer.

12:30 pm – Lunch time! I plan to eat and then run some errands, but work gets in the way. It’s one of those weeks.

2:00 pm – Why is it not 5:00 yet?

2:10 pm – New Pope!

2:20 pm – Teatime. Again.

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3:15 pm – New Pope is from Argentina! Pretty awesome.

3:45 pm – Quote of the day: “Is it still only Wednesday? This week just hurts.”

4:20 pm – Eating an apple and pondering tonight’s workout. I have a 40/10 brick workout scheduled, but according to my ActiveLink, I am nowhere near my activity goal for the day. May have to stretch that to a 45 minute bike ride and a 1-2 mile run.

5:00 pm – Quitting time, baby! Oh wait, I was five minutes late.

5:05 pm – Quitting time, baby! Hope traffic isn’t too bad tonight.

5:50 pm – Home! Not too bad of a commute tonight.  Time to unpack the work bag, wash some dishes, and change for my workout.

6:28 pm – Hopping on the bike for the first part of tonight’s workout. Hope to be able to take the bike outside soon!

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6:45 pm – This workout is unexpectedly hard.

7:15 pm – On to the treadmill.

7:27 pm – Workout done!

7:50 pm – After logging my workout and doing some super awesome dancing around the kitchen (which I’m pretty sure the neighbors could see), it’s dinnertime.

7:51 pm – After I feed the cat, that is. I wonder where the other cat has run off to.

7:52 pm – Oh there he is. I should have known food would call him.

8:15 pm – Quick shower followed by another dance party.

8:30 pm – Sort a bit of laundry and pack swimming bag for tomorrow evening.

8:55 pm – Check the Veronica Mars Kickstarter. 2 Million Dollars! Amazing!

9:00 pm – Crawl into bed and grab a book. Immediately covered in cats. Well, cat. The other one does not like to be touched while sleeping.

9:30 pm – Lights out.

You know, rereading this, it’s obvious why my house is a disaster. Less dancing, more cleaning.

Happy Birthday Caitlin!

Today is my sister Caitlin’s birthday!  Happy birthday, Caitlin!  (I know you’re reading this because you stalk me on the internet.)

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But the fun of that is that I now get to embarrass her!

Okay, okay.  I won’t do that.  That would be mean.

Back in 2010, when I was getting ready to run my first half marathon, Caitlin told my friend Mary Kate that she thought running was crazy and she would never run.

In 2011, she powerwalked the Disney Princess Half with our mom.  By that fall, she was definitely hooked, and we started running races together.

By 2012, she was registering for races all over St. Louis, and then in 2013, she went Goofy.  I’m not sure she thinks that was the world’s best idea, but I’m impressed either way.

I think we’re at five races together, four Disney races and one that I roped her into running here in Maryland last year.  Amusingly, people are always surprised that we’re sisters, because we don’t exactly look alike.  But mom swears we’re related, so we just have to trust her.

Hope you’re having an awesome birthday, Cait!

Race Report – Rock ‘n’ Roll USA

Saturday was Rock ‘n’ Roll USA here in DC. It was my first DC half, and my 20th half overall.

The day was a huge mess of highs and lows. Friday night, I got a phone call that my Aunt Cathy had taken a turn for the worse and her battle with terminal breast cancer was coming to an end. It’s not a surprise, but that doesn’t make it any easier. She’s not in pain, but isn’t feeling all that well due to the pain meds, so she doesn’t want to see anyone. So I’m not flying out to see her. Instead, I’m just sending good thoughts from home.

That news had me awake most of the night tossing and turning. But I was glad that the morning would bring my first race with Team Fight. Team Fight is about the fight against cancer and the strength and memories of those we know and love who are fighting or have fought cancer. So if anyone would understand, they would. It was great to have everyone in the dedication circle that morning.

Laura and I were both in corral 33, but once the race started, the corrals kind of fell apart. I’m not sure where we ultimately started. Maybe somewhere around 29? We just kept moving forward with the crowd. And then we were off. Laura and I didn’t plan to run together, so I lost her pretty early, but I think she could see me for a large chunk of the race.

I set off running 1:1s and also making a point to run down the hills. Might as well make gravity work for me. As always, it was tough in the beginning because of the crowds, but as things thinned out, it got much easier.

Some of my favorite sights on the course:

The guy at mile 0.25 yelling “You’re almost there! You can do this.” We all laughed. He gets runners.

The guy dressed in full Incredibles costume dancing near an overpass.

The sign with a giant raptor telling us that we were being chased. That was a new one for me.

The tiny child handing out beer, while the parents said “It’s not a setup, promise!” I did not take beer.

The still drunk college students out cheering. I wish I had been able to spectate a race while in college. I might have become a runner much earlier.

Laura saw some signs referencing sequestration. “Due to sequestration, the course is 10% shorter this year.” Only in DC.

Suffice it to say, the crowds were awesome, and this is why I love big city races. Also, I have to admit, as annoying as RNR’s corrals can be (we didn’t start for 45 minutes after the gun), they really do help with the overcrowding at the start. I very much enjoyed running this entire course.

But it wasn’t a perfect race. They had clearly struggled to get volunteers. The water stops were mostly undermanned (save for the Team in Training stop, and I hear some of the stops on the second half of the course were also good). Pickup at bag check was also ridiculous – I waited over half an hour to get my bag. I had only checked it because of the threat of rain, but thankfully, it wasn’t needed after all.

Personally, I had a pretty good race. I started out strong, maybe too strong. I had great mile times save for mile 6, where there was a giant, painful hill that I walked up and still had to slow down because my HR monitor was yelling at me. (Thanks to all the spectators at the top of the hill congratulating us on making it up.) Around mile 10 or so, I felt the wheels starting to come off. My hip flexors were just getting tired, which isn’t unusual for me, but something I haven’t experienced in a while. I’m going to have to research strengthening or something.

Admittedly, I’m wondering if some of the problems had to do with the shoes I was wearing. With my short stride, I can rarely eek out 300 miles on a pair of shoes, and the shoes I wore had were over 250 and had been relegated to short run status. I wore them only because of the threat of rain – I didn’t want to ruin my new shoes. But I can’t place all the blame there.

I kept pushing though, and even though I slowed down, I was still setting a decent (for me) pace. I kept thinking about my family and what my aunt and uncle and cousins were going through and I knew that this struggle was nothing. I could do this.

Final time? 2:56:41. Not a PR, but given that my training has been focused on triathlons, my main goal was to run a sub 3. Got it.

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