Sunday, October 12, 2014

The race butterflies have arrived!

Hey everyone! Today, I spent much of the morning thinking and sending positivity and cheers-from-afar to all my friends running both the Chicago and Hudson/Mohawk Marathons today!  It was so exciting to see Facebook statuses, get text message updates, and follow along with the Chicago Marathon app to see how my friends were all doing.  Everyone killed it with many personal bests across the board and some incredible finishes.  I got butterflies all day and am inspired by what my friends have accomplished today. Congratulations Jess, Megan, Katie, Jeremy, David, Ryan, and all other marathon finishers!! 

And with that-- it is only 6 more days until my own race day.  Ahhhh!!!!!!  Craziness, right? I think so.

As I mentioned briefly, last week I was in West Palm Beach for work for a few days.  It was a greata trip and I was able to put my toes in the water for a little bit and enjoy some gorgeous scenery.

It was great for some sand-in-my-toes time, but I struggled to gather the motivation to run in the hot and humid weather there, so I pushed my Friday run.  Instead of doing 4 miles on Friday, I decided to do the run on Saturday at a 5K that I had signed up for called the "Neon Dash" -- but more on that in a minute.

I flew back on Friday night, and the gorgeous scenery from Florida lasted through the final moments as the sky was filled with the perfect rainbow of colors as I flew back.

This weekend was my first weekend in Atlanta since I have moved here and I wish that I had something exciting to report, but unfortunately it was a pretty tame weekend.  Friday I stayed in, and on Saturday morning my biggest goal for the day was to hang curtains and get settled a bit more in my apartment -- which I happily accomplished!  Woohoo!

I was supposed to run a 5K in the evening which looked like a total blast according to their website.  It was one of those night runs with black lights and loud music and apparently neon paint.  I was pretty excited for this girl to be me, because she looks like she is having a blast.  It seemed like it would be a combination of the Color Me Rad and Electric Runs I have done!

However, after driving out to where the race was supposed to be in Atlanta (which is an hour from my apartment, mind you!) I got there to find a completely empty venue with 4 other people dressed in running clothes trying to also figure out where the event was.  After some confusion and a few helpful employees, we learned that the race had been cancelled 3 weeks prior!  Three weeks!  I hadn't even signed up for the race three weeks prior!!

I was pretty disappointed as the only activity I had planned for my first weekend in Atlanta and what was supposed to be my kick off to the Atlanta race scene was a bust.  I ended up just turning around and driving back home and at that point it was dark, so it was a lonely head lamp run in my hilly neighborhood on a Saturday night for me.  Ya jealous?!

I proceeded my evening 3 miles with getting up early to do my final weekend run of 8 miles.  I drove a bit from my apartment to a running trail I had looked up online.  Like the other ones I have found in Atlanta, they are all pretty short, only officially being about 2 miles.  I ran on the streets a bit as well and did some back and forth to stretch it out to 8 miles, but I got it done.  And in the rain nonetheless!

It was just spitting out when I started the run and it got heavier as it went on.  As I come up on marathon #2, running in the rain this morning had me feeling nostalgic of the first half marathon I did last year in Nashville and how it was the first time ever in my life that I ran outside through the rain.  And not just through the rain, but through downpours.  It was one of the rainiest days I've ever experienced, yet, also one of the greatest feelings of my life.  I'm looking forward to challenging myself yet again with the Kansas City race on Saturday!

The butterflies I got this morning (virtually) watching my friends accomplish their marathon running goals, I got motivated to kick my butt into gear getting ready for the weekend in the non-running aspects.  I need to start hydrating, eating clean, getting sleep, and getting together outfits and clothes and running fuel and all of that jazz.

One of the things I am worried about is the fact that just in the past couple of weeks my Garmin has decided to totally start messing up and being a total jerk.  It works sometimes but other times it just randomly shuts off while I am running saying that the battery drained, even if it is freshly charged.  At first, I thought that there was some sort of nuclear reactor or weird magnetic forcefield causing it to mess up because it happened twice in the exact same spot during a run.  However, I think it is actually the watch -- as much as I love a good conspiracy theory!  I've got to try and figure out what I want to do about that this week.  Obviously I don't NEED a Garmin to run, but it is really helpful in gauging how to maintain pace, how much I've run, etc.  It's a mental crutch but I am scared to have my Garmin stop working the week before marathon.

Today for dinner I made a quinoa salad with edamame and dried cranberries.  I saw something similar in the grocery store and decided to just wing it and make up my own recipe and it was quite delicious.  I think some sort of nut would be good in here too but I didn't have any on hand.  Pine nuts? Pistachios?  Hm, maybe next time!

I also hard boiled a bunch of eggs just to be sure that I've got all the protein and goodness that I need in this week leading up to the race.

I've been waiting for the nerves to set in and I think it is safe to say that they have officially arrived.  I like the nerves though.  That feeling of being scared/excited/anxious/nervous is one of the best in the world.  It makes me feel alive and it makes me feel like what I am doing is worth doing.  When you challenge yourself and take on new things that excite you but also scare you a little -- you grow as a person.  I can't say enough how much I have learned and grown as I have begun running and I continue to acquire new lessons all the time.

I apparently like to throw some last minute wrenches in my marathon training plans to keep things even more challenging than just running 26.2 miles.  For the race in April, that consisted of traveling for 5 weeks straight leading up to the race -- spending 4 of those weeks hopping throughout Europe.  And for this race, it has been moving.  I'm still running in heat and humidity in Atlanta, where in Upstate NY, this is the best time of year to run with cool temperatures.  I'm tackling new terrain with a "home" route that consists of way more hills than I am used to.  I also have eaten few meals that I've cooked myself and haven't done laundry in weeks, which is another obstacle in my running game right now.

However, the past few weeks have also been incredibly happy with some positive changes in my day-to-day life these past few weeks.  And in just 6 days it will all come together!  Can't wait to share it all with you!

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