Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving In Pictures

By the time this posts, I'll be in the first couple miles of my first full marathon. Holy crap. I am so thankful for all the support I've been getting as I undertook this journey. I can't believe marathon day is here! I can't believe I got through training!

I know it will take me awhile to recap everything from this weekend; in the meantime, here's a look at how I spent the days leading up to race day.This post contains entirely too many pictures and not enough substance. You've been warned!

Mom had GF cupcakes if Thanksgiving didn't promise enough sugary desserts!
I woke up to a surprise from Kristina on my Kindle! Thank you so much for the hilarious distraction!
Last run pre-marathon along Lido Key...
...Followed by a leisurely walk through the trails while Matt finished his paddle.
Then, it was off to Thanksgiving Meal 1:
Just a little nibble to save room for later...
Followed soon after by Thanksgiving Meal 2:
Mom makes gluten free everything, including this homemade French silk pie.
Then, it was time for games and quality family time.
Steph, Gordon, and Zach...Gordon's looking sneaky and Zach seems to really be concentrating on the question.
Dad's facial response to my directive: "Pretend you like her."
Sister selfie.
Cards Against Humanity after mom & dad had retired for the night.
Archie was loving the chance to hang out with different people!
Thanksgiving dinner at Matt's mom's means roast beef and more games!
The race was weighing heavily on my mind...I was sure to hydrate well all day.
Archie loves playing games with us.
Tiny, perfect dessert.
Phew! Our trip home was exhausting but full of really good "fuel". I think I carb-loaded pretty much perfectly this week!
How was your Thanksgiving?


Friday, November 28, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

The Space Coast Marathon is right around the corner! Truth be told, I'm feeling pretty good. Despite having to take almost a full week off due to illness and not running a long run in about two weeks, I feel a sense of quiet certainty that I will cross that finish line. My goals (which I've kept private) have changed a bit due to my sickness and the weather, but I absolutely know I'll be a marathoner come Sunday.
This Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for the amazing, unconditional support of my family and friends as I tackled training. They have had to sacrifice right along with me, and they did it without grumbling or whining. (I think I backed out of plans approximately 100 times during this training cycle and everyone was incredibly understanding.)
Social life? What social life? If you don't run, I probably didn't spend much time free with you over the last few months.
 I'm grateful for the roof over my head and the pillow beneath it. I'm grateful for my job, my students, and my colleagues. I'm grateful for my health; I'm particularly grateful that this damned cold is finally gone.

I'm grateful for my legs.

You all have probably seen this amazing video making its rounds on the internet this week. If not, take the time to watch it. It's worth it.
(Full story here.)
Things like this remind me that I ought to work on my gratitude. I'm not a natural runner, and I do have things working against me, but I'm not overcoming anything as debilitating as MS. Not even close.

I love when ESPN focuses on uplifting, motivating, beating-the-odds videos for any sport, but especially running. Today, I'm asking that if you have a favorite motivating video that comes to mind, you drop a link in the comments.

I'm looking forward to watching them Saturday evening!
What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Mustache You A Question

Kristina tagged me in the mustache linkup...It's too cute (and too much of a needed distraction this week!) to ignore!
Four names people call me, other than my real name:
 1. Moo - in middle school, my trio of friends called each other Moo, Meow, and Eek. Oh, '90s, you were good to us.
2. Awi - my childhood friends
3. Owlie - my mom used to call me this when I was really little
4. AliAster - pretty much all my college friends
#4 is technically my "real" name (or was); it was also my most-frequent nickname. It's just really fun to say altogether like that!

Four jobs I've had:
1. Hostess at Chili's
2 Administration assistant at a surrogacy consultation firm - I learned so much about egg donation and surrogacy. This was just a fascinating job!
3. Barnes & Noble - So many books. So happy.
4. Waitress at a retirement home restaurant

Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. Closer
2. The Princess Bride
3. Pretty Woman
4. You've Got Mail
I mean, how can I resist?! Even though I own this movie, if it's on TV I'll always stop and watch it, commercials and all.
Obviously there are tons of movies I've watched over and over, but these are the first to come to mind. They're kind of a strange mix!

Four books I'd recommend:
1. The Postmortal by Drew Magary - This novel is about a world where they've found a cure to aging and the consequences thereof.
Funny and thought-provoking.
2. The World According to Garp by John Irving - I really love all John Irving novels. I especially love Garp and Owen Meany for their slow build and strong conclusions.
3. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb - This was the first Wally Lamb novel I read and it's still one of my favorites.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - The mix of historical fiction and romance in this series makes it a favorite.

I purposely left Harry Potter and all my top Stephen King books off this list. See, I do branch out sometimes!

Four places I've lived:
1. Beachwood, Ohio
Stephie and I on our back porch back in the old days.
The house we grew up in.
2. Sarasota, Florida
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
4. DeLand, Florida

Four places I'd rather be right now:
This is really hard. I'm perfectly happy where I am right now!

Four of my favorite foods:
2. Ice cream
3. Nuts (particularly almonds, walnuts, and cashews)
4. Cheese

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Bones
2. The Walking Dead
That's how you know he's hardcore.
3. Modern Family
4. Naked and Afraid

I am kind of a TV addict. There are tons more I could list. Maybe I should consider cutting down...
Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
I'm interpreting this to mean "within the next year", not "before 2014 ends in 5 weeks."
1. Finishing my first marathon (4 days! Funny how my mind goes to "finishing" it, not "running" it.)
2. Going to DC again with my students. I didn't go last year and I'm sorry I missed it!
At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Any wonder I'm scared of sea creatures?!
3. Continuing to decorate and renovate our house.
4. Our upcoming weekend getaway to Captiva Island.

Four things I'm always saying:
1. "Ladies and gentlemen, why are we talking?" - to my students
2. "Fun fact..." - when I'm channeling Hermione Granger and laying down some knowledge
3."Seriously?!" - when responding to gossip
4. "I'm tired." - pretty much all the time

Four people I tag:
1. Courtney
2. Janelle
3. Rachel
4. Heather

Well, that was a nice distraction! Now back to obsessively reviewing my to-do list before marathon day!

Join in, commenters! Tell me four things about you!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekend Update

 Ohh, how I miss the golden days of Weekend Update on SNL!

This cold I've been battling has had the weirdest progression. One day I feel fine, the next day my throat hurts, then my throat feels fine but my sinuses are a wreck, then my sinuses feel fine but my lungs are all tight...

I had a really fabulous run last Thursday with Kristin that reminded me that even though I'm really resting more than tapering now, I'm still capable of running. This was a good mental boost, because I cannot run with a cold in my chest. My asthma is too difficult to control. I'm gasping for breath just sitting around.
So mentally, yes, I'm a little freaked for the marathon. But I know my body can do this as long as I'm not sick by next weekend. Colds are only supposed to last 14 days, right?

Anyway, I took a nap Friday and then slept til noon at least I have the resting part of taper/sickness recovery covered. We saw Matt's dad Saturday and finally made a big house purchase we've been talking over...rugs!
Matt really likes shaggy rugs, so we got one for the bedroom. It's finally starting to feel comfy in there!
We went for a big, patterned rug in the living room.
We've been wanting rugs for awhile and I feel like these are kind of important purchases because they're brand new and decorative...I think we're finally figuring out what style we like for the house.

It was a good thing I got all that sleep Friday/Saturday because I woke up super early Sunday to go cheer for Kristin and Mari at a half marathon. I was originally thinking of running while I waited at the finish line for them, but my lungs weren't working well enough.
At the park pre-race!
And they're off!
I had spent Saturday night making a sign. The pink side said "KRISTIN & MARI EAT 13.1 FOR BREAKFAST!!!" and on the back I wrote "BEAST MODE: ON! YOU'VE GOT THIS!" I spun the sign so the majority of runners saw the general message but flipped it when Kristin and Mari passed.
Matt watched a terrible movie while I got my craft on.
I took up my post around mile 6. A few runners wanted pictures with the sign. It was awesome to hang out and offer support; I was sad I wasn't running, but happy to still be involved. After a few weeks of cool weather, today was surprisingly hot really early on; by the end of the race it was in the 80s and I heard there wasn't much water on the course. So in short, this was a hard race, but Mari and Kristin finished strong!
I'm so proud of both of them, and I'm reminded that spectating can be just as rewarding as running. I definitely teared up a few times as I watched runners dig deep and finish what must have been a truly brutal half.
True story...but we still went and had brunch afterward!
Now I'm looking at two more days of a work before break, and just six days until the marathon. I feel...resigned? Like, yes, I will do this and I know I'll finish it. But oooh boy do I wish my health and my confidence were where I want them to be right now!

Any words of comfort for my likelihood of kicking this cold in time for the race?
Any positive words of advice? (This is a strictly #nonegativethoughts zone right now because I need to pump myself up!)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Internet Free Zone

Comcast sponsored this week's unintentional break from the Internet. I'm totally behind on reading blogs as a result. I'm typing this on my iPad so please ignore the weird formatting!

 Here's a brief recap of my week in pictures. 

Interstellar in VIP seats...they reclined! I liked the movie but figured out the plot twist pretty early on. It wasn't as mind-blowing as I was led to believe, but the plot and effects were fun. I really enjoyed it!

New to us outdoor furniture for our lanai!

6.5 miles with Kristin this week after battling a cold. Emergen-C is a savior!
Winter in Florida: shorts and compression sleeves + a long sleeved shirt. I was overheated by the end. 


I don't feel as confident as I did after the 20-miler, but I feel determined. This race will get done. I'm not even really nervous yet...just kind of in denial! 

How has your week been?
How's the weather in your neck of the woods?
Am I the only one who always gets sick during taper?!