Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Fun

Don't you just love a weekend that feels fully appreciated? Coming off FCAT, I was in need of a good one, but because I'm still on that pesky Cipro, I couldn't unwind with a long run.

The first thing on my list for this weekend was to sleep in, which I did. Naturally awake by 9am, I forced myself to snooze until 10, then read in bed until close to noon.

After a late brunch, Matt and I went paddling. It's been so long since I've gone, and I really needed to do something active. Being unable to do anything "rigorous" has been pretty frustrating, but getting outside and on the water was very healing.
Matt making his way through the mangroves.
Sunday we headed up to see Brittany's little one (I can't believe just a year ago she was such a teeny little thing!) Like most babies, she was tentative and dainty about the cake at first, but by the end she understood what the big deal's all about. And she mauled that cake for all it was worth.
Her face at the end is simply awesome. That expression!
Afterward, because Britt lives near to the beach where all those shark teeth always turn up, we made our way over and spent about an hour or so with the "Florida snow shovel". We came away with a small handful of sharks' teeth, some quite big. I think we've found a new hobby!
Black sand and rocky...not your usual Florida beach.
But what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for in cool souvenirs!
Maybe someday we'll actually manage to fill this jam jar haha.
Matt digging around the rocks for a good scoop of shells/teeth.
Proof I actually got in the water! (Usually I just sit in my chair and nap/read.)
All things told, it was an excellent weekend. Too bad I woke up Monday with a throat full of glass and lungs full of cotton. I'm hoping to stave off the worst of what's been going around lately. I'm counting down to when I can get out and go for an easy run, and I'd hate to have to wait longer because of some silly summer cold!

How was your weekend?
Do you relax at the beach, or play in the water and collect shells?
It's already 90 here. The gloating from you northerners can start now.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Liebster Awards

First, I want to thank you all for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. I don't often look back at that time period of my life, but sometimes we need to share those things...especially if it could mean helping others.

Now onto some fun things! I always like when these awards come around. It gives me a chance to hit pause on blogging solely about training. And hopefully you all don't mind getting to know the girl behind the blog!

This time around, I've been nominated by Heather at Run Like A G!, and Kristina, at Kristinia's Blog About Running and Life. Both of these bloggers are honest, funny, spirited, and determined. I love reading their blogs, and if you aren't following them yet, you really should!
This award is given to bloggers we appreciate and enjoy following. It's a great way to spread the love! The blogger who nominates you asks a set of questions for you to answer, and you then nominate 11 more bloggers and ask them more questions!

Here are my questions from Kristina:

1. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and who would you bring with you? I would go to Hawaii, and I'd bring Matt, my running stuff, and our paddling stuff!

2. What was the name of your first pet, and how did you come up with it? Our first family dogs were Bowie and Bugle (Bowie for David Bowie, and Bugle because she was a beagle and sounded like a bugle horn). But the first dog I got a say in naming was JT. His name was a compromise between my siblings - James (because we liked it) and Thomas (for my grandpa). We called him Jake, too, for short. The first pet I ever got to name was my dog, Toby, whose name just came to me.
Here's JT. He was seriously the sweetest dog that ever lived.

Toby Hugo was my first "just mine" pet...and yes, she's a girl, despite her name.
Toby was my "bribe" for moving to Florida. She got me through some of my hardest years. She was totally a mischief-maker, but a really sweet, loving, and loyal dog at heart. (Notice that they're on the same rugs in these pictures, but they were taken years apart...JT's photo was taken in our first house, in Ohio! He moved to Florida with us.)

3. If you could run with any one person at your next race, who would it be and why? Actually, I'd LOVE to race with some of my virtual friends - the other bloggers and online running club members who have meant so much to me! Can we make this happen?

4. If the fire alarm in your house goes off, which three things do you take with you as you run out of the house? Archie, my phone, and my computer. (I'm assuming Matt can save himself!)
Who could leave this little fluffer behind?!
5. Where did you go on your honeymoon (or where did you go on your favorite vacation)? We took a road trip to North Carolina. We live near the beach, so it was nice to have a change of scenery and a different kind of honeymoon than the usual.
Atop Grandfather Mountain. I look happy, but I was truly terrified the entire time.
6. What is your favorite beverage? Alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Coffee and water. I can't live without them!

7. What is your absolute favorite TV show of all time? This is hard...Back when I had favorite TV shows, I was pretty obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but while I like TV, I don't think I really have a favorite. I do love some good 90s classics, like Friends, Seinfeld, and of course Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell.
That hair, that shirt, that dreamy and cool, am I right?
8. What is your favorite cross training activity? T25 has been my go-to lately, and I love it! But I've really been missing paddling.

9. Are you hoping to PR at any distances this year? Which ones? I'm planning to run my first full marathon - automatic PR!

10. If you had to give up one of your senses (hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling) which would it be and why? Taste, for sure. It would be so much easier to be healthy if I couldn't taste deliciously bad-for-you foods!

My questions from Heather:

{1} What state do you live in? Sunny Florida...we're totally messed up politically and socially, but I know you're jealous of our weather!

{2} You won a free entry for ANY marathon in the world, which would you choose? Hands down, the Loch Ness Marathon.
I got to see Loch Ness in 2007. The picture doesn't do it justice.
{3} Will you run a marathon? If everything goes as planned, yes! On November 30 this year.

{4} What does training look like for you, when you are in training for a race? I run about 3-4 days a week, including a long run on weekends. I try to cross-train consistently, too.

{5} What is your favorite course to run? I love running around my parents' neighborhood; it's gorgeous and I always see some deer!
The best motivation to run early when I visit them is that I always get to see these guys! (My sister and I called them "Tobies" because they look like Toby (pictured above, of course).
{6} How many hours of sleep do you get? Ugh. Not enough. I need about 9 to function but I squeak by with 7 most nights.

{7} What is your favorite spring/summer activity? Relaxing and reading outside.

{8} What is something on your bucket list? To sky dive!

{9} What is your favorite food? Sushi. No question about it!

{10}What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I love all ice cream. This is like asking a mother who her favorite child is! lol
But as long as we're rating ice creams, these Core flavors from Ben & Jerry's earn an 11/10.
{11} What is your favorite quote? "The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." 
I should really get a picture of it all healed up for you guys.
I'm nominating everyone! Answer any/all of the questions in the comments below!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

When I Had a Thigh Gap

Today, I overheard a group of my female students discussing diets and lamenting over the fact that they don't have a thigh gap. I thought this trend was on the way out, but apparently I'm just not frequenting the seedy parts of the internet these days.

I told them their discussion depressed me; they're too smart to care about something so trivial, especially because their bodies will be changing drastically in the next few years, and because at least one of these girls is a runner. I assured them that thigh gaps have more to do with bone structure anyway.

But this all got me thinking about those days when I was too-too thin and my thighs didn't touch.

When I had a thigh gap, I had...

Really low self-esteem. No number was low enough. I hated myself everyday.

Hair loss due to malnutrition.

Brittle nails because...well, see above.

Mood swings and a short temper. I was constantly hungry, which meant I was constantly angry and upset.

Memory and focus problems. Days went by in a fog most of the time.

Terrible skin. Drastic dieting led to dry, thin skin.

Trouble socializing. I was too focused on how I looked and whether I would have to eat in front of people to even bother making an effort.

A relapse into clinical depression. I think this one doesn't need much explaining.

My thighs touch these days. They are strong, muscular, and powerful. They push me through long runs, up hills, across finish lines...They make me feel confident. They make me feel like a woman. They make me feel proud of my body.
These thighs helped me PR my last half marathon, and I'm damn proud of them.
The thigh gap seems to be, to this generation, what the magical number on the scale was to me back then. But of course, when I hit that number, I never felt satisfied. If anything, the less I weighed, the more I hated myself, because I still didn't look how I wanted to look. (Body dysmorphia will do that to you.) Obtaining a thigh gap might seem like it will be the moment of victory to these girls, but I know - as do so many others who have been there - that it's just the lid off the first can of worms.

I will never have a thigh gap again, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Can you relate?
Share: why is life better when you're not obsessing over your body?
What would you say to young girls struggling with their bodies?


Monday, April 21, 2014

Girl Talk

I wish I were about to write an entry about this wonderfully ridiculous game. But no, unfortunately not.

Remember how I ran that 10k with a UTI two weeks ago? Well, it's not gone yet. I've now had this UTI for two weeks.

Two Tuesdays back, I woke up with really bad UTI symptoms; but, as I already had a doctor appointment set up for Friday, I decided to self-medicate and drink tons of water. By Thursday, I felt pretty good (as far as all that goes, anyway). I saw my doctor, got a course of antibiotics, the usual.

I took my antibiotics through the weekend, and when the course was up, I felt better...but not perfect. I ignored my instincts and assumed I was UTI-free...but this morning I woke up with the symptoms raging.

I made it through the workday and went to the urgent care to get my usual round of antibiotics, only to learn that the doctor was concerned by the amount of protein and blood in my urinalysis. Because of that, and the pain I'd had in my back earlier today, she's worried the infection could be getting up into my kidneys. Plus, she thinks I may have developed a resistance to my usual antibiotics, Bactrim.

The solution? A 20 pill (10 day) dose of Cipro, a different antibiotic with much scarier side-effects.
"No vigorous exercise" basically means no running or anything that could stress my tendons.
So now I'm off running while I'm on the medication, and then some extra days to make sure it's truly out of my system and my tendons are safe from rupture. Urgh.

And just when I had my workout schedule for my "off" season all worked out. Well, you know what they say about plans...

Someone cheer me up. Right now I want to drown my sorrows in ice cream and gallons of cranberry juice.


Thursday, April 17, 2014


I don't usually do the whole "throwback Thursday" thing...not because I don't like it. I definitely get a kick out of seeing everyone's old pictures! No, it's more that I'm not much of a planner when it comes to HtGR. I kind of just...write what comes to mind.

But after seeing Kristina's hilarious and nostalgic post about the early days of Facebook, I took myself on a little tour of old photos. And then I was overwhelmed with memories and warm feelings, and I just had to share. I'm looking at two ends of the spectrum today...childhood and college!

First, let's start with the early days.
My sister and I all set for Halloween! My mom sewed our costumes for us pretty much every year.
Seriously, how perfect is that clock costume? Steph looks fabulous. She and I had an interesting relationship as kids. We loved to play together and were best friends, but once in awhile things took an ugly turn. She once sat on me and ripped out a chunk of my hair. And yes, she's the younger one.
Randomly taking a nap together in the foyer of our house.
Of course, it wouldn't be the 90s without some awesome hair cuts and questionable outfits. I couldn't bring myself to embarrass my siblings that much on the internet, so I kept it tame:

For real, still one of my favorite pictures ever.
Stephie and I with dad.
I can still close my eyes and walk through that house. I remember each door, the wallpaper, the carpet in each room... It's burned into my memory.

Of course, you can't stay young forever. As I was looking at old pictures from college, I was amazed by how many photos show the friends we've seen at the last couple weddings we've attended. It's crazy to think how long we've all been friends now, and how much they've shaped my life. We've truly been through some formative years together!

A much younger Matt with Mark and Oden. Recognize them?
Cayla and me taking bathroom pictures at formal, in the days when everyone still used real cameras.
This was around when Matt and I first began dating.
We used to try to see as much of each other as we could over the summer. We went boating at Mark's house, went to Jeff's for parties...and basically spent summers driving all over the state to stay in touch.
Matt, Mark, Cayla, and Jeff on "disappearing island" one night.
Back when I first met Matt...yep, take a long look. That's him under all that hair. This was freshman year, when I was actually dating Jeff and only knew Matt as "Kearney".
 I was known to get a little silly when I drank, as captured below.
I was trying to be sneaky and get pictures of people without their noticing.
But eventually, college had to end. And when it did, I was surrounded by friends, but ready to move on to the next stage of life. (Which really just ended up being more school. Maybe next week I'll regale you with tales of grad school.)
With my sorority sisters after graduation. Guess which one is me! (We were the brunette sorority haha.)
Notice that there are NO running or workout pictures? I hated exercise until I went to grad school. But then, it was the thing that helped me get through it, in the end. Funny how things work out!

When did you join Facebook?
Are there any super old, embarrassing photos of you from college floating around the internet?