August 31, 2014

Rainy Thirteen

Same old same old, I meant to wake up early and run but I didn't, blahblahblah. I swear I'm a broken record sometimes!

I ended up getting out of the house a little after 9 and getting on the trail about 40 minutes later. I had a banana, some prunes in a bit of Fage yogurt (my favorite snack nowadays), and finally bought some Gatorade Prime Energy Chews to eat during my run.

I think having actual chews makes all the difference in my training runs. For the last two long runs, I had been putting peanut butter between two prunes (a la Fannetastic Food) but it just hasn't been working. So I caved and bought these chews. (I guess I was trying to go the ~natural route? But fake sugary stuff always triumphs in the end...)

Of course, it hadn't been raining at 7am when I had intended to be outside and running instead of asleep in my warm bed.... but alas, it rained the entire run.

I admit, not as fast as I had hoped. I think I started out too fast. Looking back at my blog (or, "blog investigating), when I run 12+ miles, I have greater success in a  faster overall pace when my first mile is around 10'30" and above.

I felt really strong in the beginning - almost negative splits in the first half - and I had turned off the voice feedback so I had no idea how fast I was going. But then, around the 8th mile or so, my left hip started hurting. What is going on?? Usually it's my right hip, but I haven't been feeling any pain for the past few runs. I did some more blog investigating, and curiously, almost a year ago to the day of this run, I did a 12 mile run where my left hip acted up. I wonder if it's something to do with this specific trail or distance?

"Blog investigating" is a tricky thing. Comparing myself to myself is hard. I was definitely faster last year (especially at the end of my runs), and I'm not really sure why. I was so busy last year - I was in a musical, teaching a summer camp, and planning a wedding. This year all I'm dealing with is moving into a new house and trying to figure out renovations. I guess I'm also doing yoga, but shouldn't that count as cross-training and be enhancing my runs, not hurting them?

Maybe it's my nutrition that's slowing me down? I haven't been carrying chews or eating any protein bars before my runs, save for this run. I admit JW and I haven't done the best job with eating lately- I guess we're both in a lazy funk. He usually works best while he's on a strength program from, but he hasn't decided what his next goal is. Plus all of our free time has been mostly devoted to thinking about the house and money matters... But really I'm just making excuses.

soaked ground and soaked shoes
Of course, I successfully avoided all the puddles on the trail - until I finished my run, wasn't paying attention while I was looking at my mile times, and stepped into a big ol' puddle right before I got into my car. Brilliant.

Le sigh! I try not to be so hard on myself and try to pat myself on the back for running 13 miles after not running double digits for 3 weeks, but it's hard to look back and see how successful you used to be, especially when your life was seemingly more complicated than it is at the present moment. Blah!

August 29, 2014

Running with Stitches, and New Shoes!

My running this week got off to a shaky start. I wasn't sure how I would fare with stitches in my thumb and a slightly sore arm from the tetanus shot, and wondered if the area around the cut was going to start throbbing when I was running. I decided to take the whole weekend off and start anew on Monday, with what was scheduled as a 5 mile run.

Well, I was feeling bad for all the eating I was doing, so I turned off the voice notifications for how many miles I had gone, set it to "Basic Run" (meaning it had no halfway point), and just ran around the neighborhoods that branched off from the main road. I ended up running 9 miles!

I ended up really paying for this later, because my legs were killing me! This was a nice and relaxed run.. I tried not to push the pace too much (because I couldn't), and there were some unexpected hills that I tackled, but overall I'm really happy with how this went.

I went to a yoga class that night, and realized I couldn't really do yoga without being able to put weight into my thumb. Stupid thumb.

The 9 Miler was my last run in my pink Mizuno Wave Rider 17s that I got at Christmas! I ordered some new ones and they arrived on Tuesday.

I love the color!!
After I got my shoes on, I attempted a speed run. I decided to do a 1.5 mile warm up and cool down, and speeding up every .5 miles with a .5 mile cool-down, until I got to 5.5 miles. My dismal attempt:

There's a better look at my paces for the speed run - as you can see, I did well with the first .5 "speedy" run, but then after that one, it all just kind of looks the same. This wasn't the best run. Plus I was sore!

The shoes felt great - like new shoes should! I never had a problem with my Mizuno's, which is why I ordered the exact same model as my last three shoes have been :). I love the color change, though!

I took a day off on Wednesday, and on Wednesday night repeated to myself out loud, "I WILL wake up early to run tomorrow. I will do it."

So Thursday was kind of awesome because of how much I accomplished!

Only 5 miles, but the weather was PERFECT (64 degrees!!) and the fact that I actually got up in the morning really makes me happy. I went to a Restore Yoga class, went to Nordstrom Rack for a return, then drove to my voice lesson, afterwards going to the post office and going grocery shopping. Phew! Then I made Yeah...Immaeatthat's Spinach & Tomato Lasagna for dinner and JW really liked it! I thought it needed some spices- it seemed a little bland to me. So, if you make it, beef (hah) it up with spices!

I decided to skip today's 4 mile hill run since I don't want to over train (and ran 4 more miles than I was supposed to on Monday), and tomorrow it's my first long run since 12 miles three weeks ago - 13 miles! This'll be a good indicator of how I'll do at the Bellingham Bay Half - I'm definitely not convinced I can run it in under 2 hours, but I'm happy to be back at some higher mileage, anyways.

A little under a month until the Bellingham Bay Half!

August 24, 2014

A Trip to the ER

Well friends, I woke up Friday morning contemplating whether or not I should run 8 miles the day before a 10K, decided against it, and "slept in", planning on going to yoga at 9:30. I dozed off and accidentally woke up at 9:20, too late to get to yoga in time, so instead I laid in bed for about an hour reading up on blogs and answering e-mails.

Around 10:45, I finally got up and got ready for a lazy Friday - I went upstairs, started the Keurig, and grabbed a frozen English muffin from the freezer. I repeated what I had done for two days in a row- I needed to cut the muffin in half so I could put it in the toaster oven to make my egg sandwich. Well, instead of putting the muffin on its side on the counter and cutting it in half that way like I had been doing, I decided to hold it above the sink and cut around it...

With the title of this post, you can see where I'm going with this. As soon as I got the muffin cut all the way through, the knife went through the muffin and swiftly met my thumb. Well then! I felt a little silly going downstairs and waking up JW to tell him that I had cut my thumb trying to cut a muffin, but when I told him, he immediately jumped up and said, "OK, let's go," - so we immediately went to the emergency room.

Long story short, I was there for about two hours - two of the longest hours of my life, honestly (so much crying and pain!) - and I got six stitches in my left thumb, which was numb for the rest of the day, along with a tetanus shot. While the doctor was stitching me up, I mentioned that I was supposed to run a 10K the next day, and he said that I probably still could, but that I would be really sore if I went through with it. It wasn't looking good.

The day went on, and I ate an entire CPK pepperoni pizza, watched Harry Potter, took a nap for 2 hours, ate some tacos, and made a deep-dish cookie pie. (You could say I'm an emotional eater....) I went ahead and set my alarm for 6am for the next morning, but because of our mid-day nap, we didn't go to bed until 2am, so it wasn't looking good.

Sure enough, 6am came and I made the decision to skip the race in about 2 seconds as I went back to sleep.

It's the first time I've ever signed up for a race and skipped it, and it's a weird feeling - I feel like I wasted money, wasted a workout, and carbo-loaded for nothing. I'm really bummed about it. I feel like my whole half marathon training has been thrown off. I signed up for this race in mid-February, which is why I was registered in my maiden name, but this experience has definitely deterred me from ever signing up early for a race again.

For the rest of Saturday, I had to host a Dinner Detective show. I usually don't have the most nutritious things there: along with the chicken and mashed potato dinner, I had some chocolate cake and two glasses of wine. 
backstage at Dinner Detective
I wanted to run 13 miles on Sunday morning to redeem myself (and it was technically on my half marathon plan), but because of my thumb, I can't really get dressed by myself. Needing to wake up JW to help me get dressed so early in the morning for a workout that was basically guaranteed to bring me more pain equaled me just going back to sleep and not running. Just like half of last week's runs. Womp womp.

For Sunday brunch, JW and I met my cousin and aunt, who are visiting, for brunch at Portage Bay Cafe. It was DELICIOUS and had an amazing breakfast bar (pictured above), which I piled on top of my pancakes and JW piled on top of his french toast. This wasn't exactly the healthiest breakfast....

Portage Bay Cafe, picture taken by my cousin!
From all the eating and no running, I've gained about 4 pounds since Friday morning... which is inSANE. I'm trying to not think about how badly I've been eating and not working out, but it's hard to not notice when I just feel sluggish because of it. Plus, I'm in pain which doesn't help at all.

Last year around this time, I was in the thick of training for the Nike Women's Marathon as well as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels rehearsals. I was setting goals, making them, and barely skipping any training runs. I broke my marathon goal, my half marathon goal, and my 5K goal, all in the span of a month. I felt AWESOME.

This year, I'm not sure how the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon is going to go, considering how training is going now and how slow I am. There's no marathon to train for. We've also decided we're not going back to Dallas for Thanksgiving (my in-laws are coming up here instead), so we won't be running the Turkey Trot. So what goals do I have? What's next?

Now I'm contemplating whether I should sign up for the Seattle Marathon?? I wonder if it's just because I want the glory of running a difficult race. Would I even beat my time, though? It's 8 weeks after the Bellingham Bay Half - would I be in good training shape? I'm not sure. Everything's up in the air.

SIGH. Clearly these transition periods (getting married, moving into a new house, possibly getting a dog) are really weighing on my training and my mental state. My mind is constantly churning with ideas for things to get for the house and barely on my running fitness... but at the same time, I'm berating myself for not being as "good" as I was last year, fitness-wise (i.e. being fast and weighing less, etc). I recognize that I should probably stop doing that as it's doing nobody any good, but it's hard to not compare yourself to, well, yourself.

Here's to my thumb healing without a giant scar. I would give a thumbs up... but I can't. :)

August 22, 2014

Feeling Unmotivated

Well, this was inevitable - the motivation slump that comes with training for a race. I'm not sure what caused it... maybe the fact that I planned two races in a row? Maybe the fact that the Seattle Marathon 10K didn't actually fit well into my training plan, and I just kind of shoved it in there? Truthfully, I shouldn't even be running it, since I was supposed to have the Columbia Winery 10K on that Saturday, then run 13 miles the next Sunday, then run another 10K on a Saturday. Instead, I scheduled the 10K the day before I'm supposed to run 13 miles. I'm smart.

I did get new shoe inserts, though! Look at the difference!

I had the ones on the right for just about a year. Now these are shiny and new! Looks like Road Runner Sports got into the insert business, huh?

I completed my run a little reluctantly on Monday - only 6 miles, and it felt sluggish. 

At least it was beautiful weather?

Then, I was supposed to do an 8 mile tempo run on Wednesday, but COULD NOT get myself out of bed. Our bed is so comfortable and our bedroom is so dark that it's truly difficult to leave it in the mornings! I can't even imagine how it'll be once it starts getting cold - I'll never want to get up, ever! 

I pushed that run to Thursday, but what I had scheduled that day was just a 7 mile run, and I figured... well, I'm really not supposed to be doing any kind of interval runs or speed runs the week leading up to a race, right? So I just deleted the 8 tempo miles from my calendar and completed 7 miles in the afternoon.

Of course my right hip started acting up again during this run? But then I also got a notification that I need to get new shoes, so hopefully once I do that, it'll fix the problem. It's nice that the Wave Rider 17s lasted 8 months, I guess. 

The two days between these two runs, I wrestled with myself on how unmotivated I was feeling. On Tuesday, I welcomed the rest day. I felt like I was still exhausted from Saturday's race with Monday's 6 miles piled on top. So Wednesday came and I just could not find the energy. But, I was still eating like I was running 8 miles that day... ugh! 

Once I get into a training cycle of running, and fueling post-run and pre-run, I kind of stop counting calories as diligently as I usually do since I'm ultimately going to burn them off. But when I don't run, or take a little break, or taper, I turn into a crazy monster of eating ALL THE THINGS.

Hopefully that'll subside once things calm down, but who knows. I'm trying to just listen to my body and "honor my hunger", as they say. 

How do you honor your hunger? 

August 20, 2014

My Wedding Day: The Reception (First Dances and Cake Cutting)

All photography copyrighted by Kelly Garsee Photography.

Catching up? Check out Pre-Ceremony, The Ceremony, and The Formal Pictures.

We left the ceremony at 3:30, and arrived at the reception at 3:50.

Everyone had been in the pike of The Music Hall, pictured below:

Along with the gift table:

And our table decor, with a little box that contained a cake ball for our guests to take home:

(taken on Instagram by the lovely Sam!)
The guests moved into the main area to greet us once we arrived!

Everyone clapping :)
We sat down and Whitney and Rachel got us some food, while our guests got in line to get theirs from the buffet. There was a little mix up with the set up - the buffet was supposed to be double sided, but the food was only being served from one side, so that held up the line a little bit.

Taken by Whitney - a great view of the tables
At 4:15, we started our first dance! We danced to "Embraceable You", sung by Idina Menzel.

Then, it was time for the Mother/Son, Father/Daughter dance! We danced to "My Girl". :)

"My Girl" was still playing while we invited the wedding party to come out and dance with us!

My mom came up to my dad and I and we started dancing together! :)


Much dancing was to be had- seriously, like half my pictures are of people dancing! (Both a good and bad thing - Good: so many candid moments captured! Bad: if you weren't on the dance floor, your picture wasn't taken.)

Then, at 5:00, it was time to cut the cake!

Bridal Cake - taken by Whitney
Groom's cake - taken by Whitney
Funny story: the only thing we completely forgot to bring to the reception, or talk about at all, was the serving knife for the cake. We were planning on using the one Whitney used, which was very pretty and was special because she had used it for hers. Instead, we found ourselves somewhat panicking and wondering what we were going to use to cut the cake...! Whitney went running to the caterers, and they said the only thing they had was their big serrated knife... so we had to make do!

the slightly staged shot (notice the ribbon still intact!)
actually cutting into the cake - look at that knife haha!
A great view of the table - taken by Whitney
putting cake on the noses - we hadn't talked about it before, but we just simultaneously decided to do it.

trying to get it off his nose... silly
open wide...! 
i got it for him!
cutting the groom's cake 
trying to fit the entire piece in his mouth... 
taken from another angle (thanks, Sarah!)
he ate it ALL
my dainty bite
This post is already so long, so I'll continue in The Reception, Toasts and More Dancing!