So This is Goodbye

For once I’m at a loss for words.  How do you write an intro paragraph to the demise of something you’ve enjoyed doing the past year? I guess you don’t, you just jump into it.

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for sharing this journey with me.  13 months ago I started Noshing on Asphalt as a way for me to keep family and friends up to date on training for one of the biggest challenges I had accepted – running my first marathon.  While every ‘first’ marathon is absolutely special the one that I chose to be my first had extra meaning.  I would be running the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my brother who was killed in Iraq.

Roger

On October 28th, as Hurricane Sandy started showing her ugly face, I laced up my tennis shoes and set out on a 26.2 mile journey.  They say you discover who you really are during a marathon.  Your mental and physical strengths pushed to the limits.   What I discovered during that race was that it wasn’t the race itself that showed me who I was; instead it was the months of preparation that went into it.  During those months of training highs and lows, I realized that I had finally come to some peace about my brother’s death.

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So that’s how Noshing on Asphalt got it’s roots.  But something happened during those few shorts months of training and blogging about my experiences, I discovered you, my readers.  We forged a bond through your sweet comments, advice and encouragement.  I had friends who weren’t active asking me how they could start living a healthier lifestyle.  Even though I’m nothing special, I realized that people were motivated and intrigued about my lifestyle and that excited me.

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So I kept blogging.  I kept sharing my ramblings.  Bits and pieces of my quirkiness.  My love for all things bright, colorful and obnoxiously neon.

My love for running.  Without running, I don’t know where I would be.  It is my bliss.

109141-111-018fI shared my passion for healthy eating and expanded my knowledge of what it really means to me.  I discovered that I feel better when I follow a more Paleo diet instead of the beloved clean eating which was one of the cornerstones of my blog.

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Ah spaghetti squash, how I love thee.

Ah spaghetti squash, how I love thee.

I discovered some truly fantastic bloggers that have helped me grow in my fitness and healthy living life.  Make sure to check out my Good Reads tab if you’re looking for some good blog recommendations.

Ready to rock-n-roll.  Bring on the brains!

Zombie Run with several of my fun blogger friends.

During the past 13 months I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing companies and found several products that I seriously can’t live without.

Nothing but thumbs up for Handana after a very sweaty run!

Nothing but thumbs up for Handana after a very sweaty run!

To say the least, I’ve really enjoyed breaking out of my comfort zone and sharing my adventures.  I’m not quite ready to shut everything down but life is funny with how it happens so I now need to devote my time to other matters.  I don’t know if this is my absolute last post or if I’ll pick it up down the road when things calm down a bit.  However, for now at least, this is goodbye.

Thank you again for sticking with me and enjoying this fun roller coaster journey I’ve been on.  I will miss you all very much but I know you’ll continue to do exciting things.  Keep pushing yourself; don’t stop striving for healthier lifestyles.  Remember, you’re a role model for others – even if you don’t realize it.

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It’s Marathon Time?

Happy Friday y’all! You’ve made it through another work week and now have the entire weekend to do something epic.  Spring is completely on its way so hopefully your something epic will involve lots of sunshine.

In less then 48 hours, my something epic for this weekend is running my 2nd marathon; Rock-n-Roll New Orleans.

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I managed to catch the crud that my hubby had so the past few days I’ve been in ‘get this crap out of my system mode’ so I’m acutally less than thrilled about this weekend.  Although, to be perfectly honest, I was less then thrilled about this weekend before I ended up sick. For some reason I just can’t wrap my head around this race.  I wish I could blame it on nerves but I don’t even have those right now.  I have total 100% apathy towards this event.

I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact that my first marathon was so emotionally charged with running it in memory of my brother.  The Marine Corps Marathon was just so special that really nothing will ever be able to top it.

Jody and I

Me and the best hubby ever….AKA the culprit who got me sick.

I’m also a bit disgruntled with the event organization.  I went to register for runner tracking so my hubby could keep up with me only to find out that they are charging people to track runners.  I guess they don’t get enough money with the already high registration fees.  So I did what any 21st century person does and vented on social media.  Apparently a LOT of folks are disgruntled with the Rock-n-Roll series.

meI will give RnR credit though, they responded right away to the cascading flood of negativity my one {very mild} tweet caused.

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Also, I found out that they DO offer free runner tracking on race day (of course it was after a family member had already paid to track me).

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However, when you click their track a runner link it automatically takes you to the pay site.  So basically they’re directing people to pay to track runners without telling them about the free option.  That doesn’t sit well with me.

I could go on about this topic but I’ll save my ranting.  *You’re welcome* I’m already registered for one more RnR marathon in November and unless something changes, it will be my last one.

So tomorrow I will head to the expo with my running girls and I’m hoping to catch the excitement bug there.  Maybe it will bring back fond memories of last year’s race which I adored.  Rock-n-Roll New Orleans 2012 was my very first ½ marathon so I kind of feel like I’ve gone full circle, toeing up to the line as a marathoner.

I’m also really looking forward to the fact that Kara Goucher & Shalane Flanagan are going to be running.  Talk about star struck.  These two women are absolutely inspiring and I hope to at least catch a glimpse of them sometime this weekend.

Question: Have you ever been apathetic towards an event? What did you do to pull yourself out of it?

Weekly Workout Recap & It’s Marathon Week!

In case the title didn’t give it away, I’ve officially made it to marathon week.  In 6 days I’ll be running my second 26.2 in New Orleans.

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It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around this fact and I’m pretty sure I’m in some sort of denial.  I have zero nerves right now (they’ll probably kick in Saturday) and I haven’t even given much thought to race weekend logistics (which includes not having a clue what I’m wearing).

I have a pretty laissez faire attitude towards this race which is the exact opposite of how I was during my first marathon four months ago.  I pulled up my recap from the last week of my Marine Corps Marathon training and was amused to see such a difference in attitudes.  My nerves were pretty darn apparent in the week leading up to the MCM.

This weekend my running girls and I got together for our last long(ish) run.  I say ‘ish’ since it was only 10 miles.  Despite being cold and windy, we had a great run.  I’m so proud of us for making it to the end of training and I’m especially excited for my friend Lorena who will be rocking her first marathon – EEK!!

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Stretching post 10 mile run.
Next long run will be the 26.2. Say whaaaaat!?!?

I’m linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints to bring you my weekly workout roundup.

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Monday: 3 mile run, weights (biceps, triceps, deltoids), and I attempted a 15-1 WOD of jumping squats, pushups, leg raises; however, I only made it down to 10 in 12:12 which is 75 total reps each. #OUCH
Tuesday: Cycling 15.91 miles in one hour, 86 pushups
Wednesday: 7 miles tempo run, kettlebell workout
Thursday: 100 pushups, jump roped for the first time since I was a kid – hello calf pain
Friday: 4.08 miles, 120 pushups
Saturday: 10 mile run, yoga
Sunday: 130 pushups

Whew.  Even though I had reduced running miles, I actually feel pretty proud of my workouts last week.  I tried a few new things (WODs and jump roping) that I’m excited to work into my regular routine.  I’m also pretty darn pleased on the pushup front.  I did a total of 511 pushups last week!!

It’s been really nice to have support from the ladies behind the #nogirlypushup challenge. I made it to week 6 day 1 of the 100 Pushup program – the final week.  If you remember from the 100 pushup fail post this was the furthest day I got to before quitting.  I’m feeling really good so far and am looking forward to completing the program.

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As far as my workouts go this week, I’m really going to take it easy.  I’m going to finish out the pushup challenge but I’m not going to do any weights workouts or anything else that would tax my muscles.  I want to make sure to be as fresh as possible for next Sunday.  So here’s hoping I stick with that plan.

Question:  Do you do anything special during race week?

2012 in Review and Goals for 2013

I can’t believe today is the last day of 2012! I had so many great moments this year so I’m really sad to see it come to an end.  For those of you that are curious, I did manage to drag my sick butt out of bed Saturday and get a very cold and hilly 12 mile run in.  Although, I think I probably should have stayed in bed.

Here’s a bit of humor to start your day off with.  Saturday morning, I couldn’t see while I was driving to meet my running girls but I chalked it up to the fact that I got up ridiculously early (4:45); turns out I was wearing my husband’s contacts.  It was a 45 minute drive to where we were running and I was already 1/2 way there so I did what any reasonable person would do.  I ran 12 miles with basically beer goggles on.  Did I mention that his prescription is -5.25 (basically blind) and mine is only -1.25?? On the drive home I kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get pulled over.  I was pretty sure the “I’m not drunk, I’m just wearing my husband’s contacts” plea wouldn’t amuse a cop. Oy!! Ok, now that you laughed hysterically, let’s get back to your regularly scheduled New Year’s Eve post.

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I think what I’ll remember most about 2012 is that I feel like I finally rediscovered the person I was before my brother was killed.  It’s been so nice enjoying life and not carrying around unnecessary emotional baggage.

A lot of rediscovering myself had to do with rediscovering running this past year.   As of January 1, 2012, the furthest distance I had raced was a 10k.  I was just starting to get back into running and, with only one 8 mile ‘long’ (ha!)  run under my belt, I made the decision to run a marathon in memory of my brother.  10 short months and several races later I conquered the Marine Corps Marathon.  I didn’t start blogging until June so I thought it would be fun to recap some of my favorite fitness accomplishments from this year.

2012 – A Year of Fitness Firsts  

  • I ran my first 15k in February, the Double Bridge Run, in Pensacola, FL.  This race really is the one that flipped the switch in my head from someone who dabbled in running to ‘hey, I’m a runner.’
Taken at the Double Bridge Run 15k in Pensacola, Florida.  This was an amazing run! I was so happy to run it with Mary, my running inspiration - she's a beast on the road! (And also happens to be like a mom to me.)

The Double Bridge Run 15k in Pensacola, Florida. Luckily, I’ve learned how to take better race pictures since then.

  • I ran my first ½ marathon, Roll-n-Roll in New Orleans, LA.  I experienced quite a bit of marathon envy watching the marathoners split from the half-marathoners.  I wanted to call myself a marathoner so bad I could taste it at that point.

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This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

  • I ran my first ever beer run.  It was a 4k which added to the quirky fun.

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  • I set PRs in my 5k, 10k and ½ marathon.
  • I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON!! Need I say more?

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  • And finally, my legs logged 1,247 miles in 2012!!

The human body never ceases to amaze me with what it can do when you set a goal.  To go from very little fitness to running a marathon in 10 months is something that I’m very proud of.  Not just because of the physical aspect of it, but also because I conquered that annoying voice in my head always telling me “you won’t ever…” or “you can’t…”

2013 is going to be another great year that I get to tell that dumb voice to shut it.  Now that I have a solid year of running and my body is used to the abuse I give it, 2013 is going to be the year of focusing on speed.

2013 Goals

  • Run a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon.  Realistically, I’m only 4 minutes away from that happening so this is kind of a default goal.  My real goal is to run a 1:55 (or better) 1/2.
  • Run a sub 25 minute 5k.
  • Run a sub 50 minute 10k.
  • Run a 4:15 marathon. (Hopefully I’ll get this one in February.)
  • Improve my running form.
  • Weight train consistently.
  • 6 pack abs!!

Personal 2013 Goals

  • Continue to grow in my spirituality – super important to me!
  • Give back more; donate my time to various causes.
  • Focus less on me and more on others.
  • Continue to encourage others on their paths to healthier lifestyles.
  • Find a better balance between clean eating, running and life in general.

Super Ambitious Goals (AKA ones that probably won’t happen but I’m going to try anyways)

  • Compete in my first triathlon.  I really, really, really want this one to happen but, realistically, the cost associated with getting into the tri world is a bit prohibitive.  That and the swim scares the daylights out of me.
  • Run my first 50k.  I’ve been researching these this week and unfortunately most of the ones in the South are in the spring and registration has closed.

Question: What did you accomplish in 2012 that you are super proud of?  What are your goals for 2013?

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

In Wednesday’s post I recapped my weekend fun around DC and at the expo but I left you hanging for my race recap.  Sorry, that wasn’t very nice.  Forgive me?  Since this was my first marathon and because I ran it in memory of my brother I really wanted to put some serious thought into the recap; he deserves it.  So bear with me, this is going to be a long post and have lots of pictures (you’re welcome Mom & Dad).

In the interest of making the recap easier to read, I feel like I need to introduce you to the two names you’ll see the most.  1.) Mary – She’s like a mom to me.  2.) Stacey – My die hard training buddy and constant race partner.  Now that you know these girls I can just call them by their first names. 🙂  So here it is – the good, bad and the ugly from the MCM.  (Ok, there really wasn’t any ugly.  I just like being dramatic.)

Sunday morning started with an early wake-up call.  Mary’s alarm went off at 3:45a.m. (which is really 2:45 my time).  I had my alarm set for 4:12 but once I heard her alarm go off I was wide awake.

It was race day! The day that I had been prepping for for the last four months.

I got up, got dressed, ate some breakfast and of course snapped a few pictures.  Mary surprised me with her shirt which read on the front, “I’m with the birthday girl”.  I loved it!!

After we put our shoes on, we (Mary, myself and our hubbies) walked a few blocks to the race shuttle.  I chatted with a lady who was running the marathon and told her this was my first one.  Have you ever noticed that people always have input when they find out something is your first? She immediately likened running a marathon to giving birth.  It’s long and painful but 100% worth it at the end.  Sheesh lady! I didn’t need to hear that – I don’t have kids for a reason and labor is one of them.

After we made it to the starting area we were surprised to find that the military chaplain was just starting a prayer service.  This just made my day.  It was amazing fellowshipping with other believers right before the race.  Definitely helped get my mind right.

After the prayer service ended Mary and I said goodbye to our hubbies and then huddled together to try to warm up.

It was cold, humid, and I kept getting splattered with random drops of rain.  I said a quick prayer that Hurricane Sandy would hold off long enough for the race to be done with.  We hit the port-o-potties a few times and headed off to the official start line where we heard the National Anthem and watched the flyover.  It was incredibly moving.

Right after the flyover we met up with the girls I trained with.  It was so great seeing everyone’s smiling / nervous faces!

Just a few minutes to go.  The atmosphere was electrified; the excitement and tension almost palpable. Veteran marathoners encouraging the newbies, newbies nervously watching the actions of the veterans.  25,000 sets of feet with the same goal to accomplish.

I was too busy soaking in the atmosphere that I didn’t hear the howitzer blast which signifies the start of the race.  However, I felt the crowd start surging forward, pressing me towards the start line.  No times for nerves now.  This. Was. It.  I crossed the starting line and embarked on my journey through the 26.2 miles of the course.  (This is where I put my camera away so there aren’t many pictures until the finish.)

The first few miles of the course were gorgeous, winding through the outskirts of the city.  It was completely picturesque with vibrant golden, cardinal, and amber colored leaves floating around us as we ran.  It was very overcast but the temperature was perfect and there wasn’t any rain.  The only downfall was the fact that the course was so congested it was hard to get up to speed without literally running into someone.

At mile 5 I opted for a potty stop; I knew the lines would be shorter earlier in the race verses later.  It was around this point that I happened to look over into the woods and BAM hello naked booties.  Apparently some runners didn’t want to wait in the potty line.  My mom taught me better.  I tried to not look over into the woods again.

Everything was going  flawlessly until the water stop around mile 7.  This is where Mary and I got separated; thankfully Stacey and I were able to stay together.  I stopped a few times to look for Mary and I kept thinking I would be able to spot her and reconnect.  After about 2 miles I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I did something most runners would never do.  I pulled out my cell phone and started making calls in hopes of locating her.  I called my husband to tell him I what happened and kept my fingers crossed that he and Greg (Mary’s hubby) could help us reconnect.  I managed to keep my pace but I never imagined I’d be talking on the phone during my first 26.2.

I was so upset about loosing Mary that I didn’t notice a lot of what was going on around me between miles 8-11.  Around mile 12 a guy behind me decided to try to use me as a speed bump.  Not on purpose; the race was just so congested with runners that this was almost inevitable.  I felt what was about to happen as his shoe brushed mine and I was able to dodge him falling on me.  I turned around just in time to see him writhing on the ground clutching his elbow in pain.  I felt terrible but there was nothing I could do.  It was also around this point in the race I noticed someone had put large pictures of Marines that had been killed in action.  This was a much needed reminder as to why I was running this race in the first place.

The miles were flying by. 12…13….Half marathon….15…and before I knew it Stacey and I passed mile 16.  I looked over at her and said, “I hate to be the one that points out the obvious, but we only have 10 miles left!’  I was feeling great and our pace wasn’t too far off from what we trained for.  I passed Mary’s husband at mile 18 who told me I was about 10 minutes ahead of her.  I ran backwards for a little bit (I got some crazy looks from other runners) and then made the decision to stop and wait for her; it was much more important to finish together then worry about time.  (I looked at my splits and my time for mile 18 was just short of 21 minutes.) Stacey was sweet and hung back, too, and as soon as we saw Mary we took off.  I had never been so happy to see her face!

The miles kept ticking by and before I knew it, I was looking at mile marker 23.  We passed my hubby on the sideline and it gave me such a boost to see him cheering us on!

This is a really awkward shot of mile at mile 23. All smiles after seeing Jody.

By mile 24 my body was starting to fatigue.  I was having some fairly intense GI cramps (I broke the cardinal ‘don’t ingest anything new on race day’ rule) and I could feel my right IT band starting to get tight.  The wind picked up (thanks Hurricane Sandy) and I was starting to slow down.  It was right around this time that we were treated to Dunkin Donuts on the course.  They were stale but gave me the sugar kick I needed to finish. I need to mention that the crowd support was amazing during the entire marathon but especially encouraging during the last few miles.

The last part of the race ended with a killer incline leading up to the Iwo Jima Memorial.  This was a tough way to finish but I really wouldn’t expect anything less from the Marines.  Stacey, Mary and I crossed the finish line together and I just remember giving both of them a huge hug.  I had become marathoner!

*MARATHONER*

The sweet Marine that placed the medal around my neck.

I had anticipated bursting into tears as I crossed the finish line but I was surprised to realize that I didn’t shed a single tear.  As we stood in line to collect our medals, my calve muscles and IT band on fire, I couldn’t help but think about how excited I was to already be signed up for my next marathon.   I think I’m officially hooked.  Admittedly, one of my character flaws is that I’m always thinking about what’s next, instead of basking in what just happened.

We got disposable jackets instead of space blankets.

Me being silly showing off my medal and Semper Fi socks.

Hands-down, the best athletic supporter ever!

The official chip time was 4:55:47 (only one second different from my Garmin) and the actual distance was 26.75 miles (I guess that’s what happens when you run backwards for a bit).

This was such a huge accomplishment and even though I didn’t run it in the time I trained for, I have no doubt that I can run a 4:30 marathon.  It’s important to remember that some races aren’t about time but merely the journey itself.  Preparing for this race was very cathartic and really allowed me to work through some residual issues with my brother’s death.  I miss Roger terribly but I feel like I have more closure and I’m so blessed to have run this race in memory of him.

It was humbling running side-by-side with amputees, men in wheelchairs, and seeing all the pictures pinned to people’s shirt.  The race was not nearly as physically or mentally exhausting as I thought it would be and I think it’s because I kept thinking about everything that Roger, his brother’s-in-arms, and all of our deployed soldiers went/go through.  If they can fight to keep me free, I can run 26.2 miles in honor of them.

As for how I felt physically after the marathon, I was {pleasantly} surprised at how little I hurt.  I was pretty stiff Monday but was back in the gym Tuesday for some easy cycling and upper body strength training.  And since my next marathon is in 3 months I’ll be getting up early tomorrow for a 10 mile run.  If you have ever considered running a marathon, I urge you to do it. Don’t let fear, hesitation or self-doubt get to you.  It takes grit and determination but if you can commit the time, you can accomplish it!

Question:  What’s your proudest accomplishment in life? A PR? An award? Children? College Degree? Tell me, I love hearing about your achievements!

MCM Weekend Fun

Happy Halloween y’all!! I hope you have something spooktacular planned for tonight! Me? I’m just going to take it easy at home.  I know, I’m such an old lady…

I did it!! I’m officially a ‘marathoner’!!  It was the most amazing experience and I seriously can’t wait to do it again!  But before I recap the race, I want to recap the weekend first.  It would be sensory overload for me to try to mash everything into one post.

*MARATHONER*

The weekend festivities officially started Friday with Jody and I flying to DC. I was so excited to board the plane with him because up until late Thursday afternoon we were thinking that he wasn’t going to be able to go thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  Thankfully he was able to get his flight worked out to where he left right after the race.  Me = happy!

We had a layover in Atlanta where we grabbed a highly overpriced turkey panini before boarding the plane to DC.  After a very uneventful flight –just the way I like it– we arrived.  I’m a sucker for American flags so it was nice being greeted by the red, white, and blue.

We hopped the shuttle to our hotel and enjoyed a splendid sunset from our room before heading out to grab some grub.

Jody and I decided to claim Friday night for ourselves since the rest of the weekend would be spent doing marathon stuff.  We ended up at Kora where I ordered a hand-tossed pizza (carbs, right?) and a super tasty pineapple-lime mojito.  Then we went back to the hotel and waited for Mary (she’s like a mom to me) and her husband Greg to arrive.  Mary’s been training in San Antonio to run this race with me.

The next day we headed to the expo to pick up our bibs, t-shirts and free stuff.  It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to me to pick up my bib.  I’m always afraid that something’s going to go wrong.  Like me forgetting my e-card, or me getting lost in their system.  But, like normal, everything went fine.

After picking up my shirt and bib we headed across the street to the expo.  I have to admit that I was fairly disappointed in the expo.  I don’t know if it was because we hit it the last day or what but it just had a wonky feel to it.  I wasn’t crazy about the vendors and there wasn’t very many freebies.  C’mon, we all know freebies are the best part of the expo.

One really fun thing at the expo was they had a Marine Corps band playing some swing songs.  This made my former band nerd self incredibly happy.  It was really cute because there was an elderly guy (obviously retired military) that plucked a young girl out of the crowd and started twirling her around to the music.  You could tell that he was having a great time!

This was a really cool tribute bike in memory of fallen Marines.

Wall of motivational blurbs for the runners.

After the expo we met up with my hubby for lunch.  (Jody had to stay at the hotel to work on a presentation that he was giving Monday – boooo.) Mary and I opted to carb-up for the marathon during lunch instead of having a heavy supper to make sure everything digested well.  I ordered some sort of chicken farfalle pasta in a spicy vodka cream sauce.  Maybe not the safest pre-marathon meal but I like to live on the edge a bit.  Also, I knew I’d have at least 16 hours if my system decided not to like it.  And it. was. tasty!

After lunch, Mary and I took the Metro back to the hotel to relax while the guys went and did some sight-seeing.  We stopped and picked up some celebratory wine for after the marathon.  I also had a mini birthday celebration at the hotel thanks to my dad and my cousin Bridget but I’m saving that for my birthday post.

Finally, it was time to head to bed.  I laid out all of my gear that way I wouldn’t have to search for stuff the next morning.

With Hurricane Sandy I didn’t know what type of gear to wear I needed. So I had cold weather and warm weather laid out. I opted for warm weather.

This is when it started to hit me that I was running a marathon in just a few hours.  I don’t know why but I didn’t experience any pre-race jitters.  I was incredibly excited but I didn’t have any of the doubts or second guessing like I expected.  I think after spending so much time preparing for the race I was just ready to run it; there’s only so many emotions you can go through before you’re just ready to be done.

Then it was beddy-by time for Gina.  I needed to get some beauty rest before the 3:45 alarm went off.  It was definitely a great weekend and a great kickoff to the run.  The only bummer was my training girls stayed at a different hotel so we didn’t get to do a lot  together. I did get to meet up with them at the race. 🙂

Stay tuned….The race recap is next!

Question:  Do you typically get pre-race jitters or are you just ready to get it over with?

MCM Bound!

Yep. I think the picture says it all. By the time you read this, I will either be 30,000 feet above you or have my feet firmly planted in DC soil. That is, if I made it through security at the airport; for some reason I always get flagged for a pat down… I think hubby’s hoping that they’ll confiscate his marathon sign. Sorry babe, no dice. You’re going to be stuck holding this and I’m going to love seeing you with it!

I  got my t-shirt yesterday for the MCM.  It turned out better than expected and I can wait to run in it!! It’s kind of hard to see, but the list of men underneath my brother’s name are the guys that were killed with him.  So many lives and they were all so young.  It’s going to be a nice reminder having those names one me when the miles get tough.

I also want to thank everyone for all of the well wishes and words of encouragement from Wednesday’s post. Y’all sure know how to make a girl feel special! I was totally bummed about the cemetery situation but I have my big girl panties on and am super excited/nervous/anxious – you get the point – about Sunday’s marathon.  Although now I have a new fear – Hurricane Sandy!

Apparently there will be 30,000 of us runners trying to achieve marathon glory in less than stellar weather…  There is little doubt that we will be running in heavy wind and rain.  This also means that we had to change travel plans for my hubby.  He has a huge presentation to give Monday in his MBA class and we can’t risk getting stuck in DC so he’ll be flying back after the marathon.

Wednesday night my training girls and I got together for a ‘farewell training, I will not miss you’ celebration. It only seemed appropriate since we had a MCM training kickoff back in July. I was going to get a drink but I opted to consume my calories in solid food.  So instead, I got this masterpiece.

Grilled chicken topped with wilted spinach, goat cheese and artichoke hearts along with a side of asparagus and cinnamon carrots.

I also came bearing gifts for my training girls. I’m a total memento type person so I took advantage of my stepmom’s sewing genius while she visited me this summer and had her make these pillows for my lovely girls. Aren’t they cute? My stepmom’s a highschool math teacher but I think she should go into business for herself!

Last night was my last run before the marathon. Just a three mile, easy-peesy pace run. I think I’m in some sort of denial that the next run I complete will be 26.2 miles. SHEESH!! So in preparation for running that distance, I had to make a significant change with my hair. As in chopping almost 7″ off significant. I’m going to miss my long hair but I knew it was time to go when it bordered on becoming a deadly weapon to those running around me.

Incase your super curious, here’s the rundown of my weekend. Friday night: Super romantic pre-birthday dinner date with my awesome hubby! Saturday: Expo, expo, expo! Bring on the free stuff. Sunday: Err, do I really need to say? Hello MARATHON-glory-running-in-memory-of-my-brother!! Then later that day/evening I will be having the best birthday celebration with no holds barred on food and drink. 🙂 (If you haven’t figured out, my birthday is actually the same day as the MCM – happy birthday to me!)

And if my schedule’s not enough for you, you can always follow me for updates through my various social media outlets:

I have my race splits scheduled to post via Twitter so y’all can follow me in real time if you want.  And finally…. Thank you, thank you, thank you ALL for your wonderful words of encouragement.  You helped me survive training and get me to this point.  Now it’s my job to run the distance.  Please know that I will be taking a piece of each of you with me Sunday!

Isaiah 40:31:  But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.