18 August 2012


I'm pondering deferring my registration for Raleigh to next year. Thought process? Thought process:

1. I'm still taking Accutane (one month away from being done). It is a fabulous, wonderful, amazeballs medication that has completely transformed my skin but it is also a serious drug that has common but serious side effects, including increased sensitivity to sun, super dry lips and eyes and, most importantly, joint and muscle pain. I have been running consistently and increasing my mileage slowly and my fitness and endurance levels have been handling it fine. My body, on the other hand, feels like someone smacked it repeatedly with a tire iron. My hips hurt. My shins hurt. The backs of my heels hurt. As I type this I haven't run in six days and my muscles, mostly around my hips and butt, are still sore. My doctor is aware of all of this and said it's fine for me to keep running. I'm not injured or running myself toward an injury; this is just how the drug works. But popping ibuprofen three times a day for the next six weeks seems...not smart, and forcing my body to do something that makes it hurt fairly consistently seems similarly unwise.

2. I'm not really where I need to be to run this race for real, which I want to do. I have zero doubt that I could continue training and finish the marathon, but it will hurt and my time probably won't be very good and that doesn't sound like fun.

3. It's free to defer. I thought about dropping down to the half, but they charge a $20 change fee for that and I'm just...meh. Marathon I already paid for and want to do >>> more expensive half marathon that I'm not all that interested in.

4. Frankly, the thought of taking the time to build a rock-solid base and just running in the mornings four times a week because it makes me happy and because I want to do it makes me kind of giddy.

5. There are a couple of really, really great marathon options in my area early next year. The Charleston Marathon is the second weekend in January, and there's a marathon literally eight miles from my front door in March. Maybe I will do both! Maybe I will do neither! But they're both great possibilities, in completely realistic timeframes.

Right now, while my face looks great and my body feels like it's 86, I want to take some time to be in love with running and with spending time on my feet in my town and with seeing the seasons change firsthand outside (as much as the seasons ever change down here). I'm kind of sad because I want to do another marathon, but I'm not that sad because I will do another marathon, and when I do, I will do it correctly, with adequate time and without a training plan slapped together at the last minute. All in all, happy. Good things are in store. A lot of them.

Completely gratuitous cat photo:

I hope you all are well and that none of your running hurts your hips. I almost can't remember what that feels like. One more month!

27 April 2012


So this happened:

Rude. The whole marathon lottery day was kind of a disaster. NYRR sent multiple emails encouraging everyone to watch via livestream the opening day ceremonies, where they promised to scroll a list of names of the people who were accepted into the race. Excited by this concept, Dan, the sports editor, and I sat at his desk for 30 minutes watching the worst opening day video ever. There were professional athletes who the hosts forced to play ping-pong. There was Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, who as far as I can tell had pretty much nothing to do with anything except it was a race photo that catapulted him to internet meme fame.

There were a bunch of bib giveaways for the people who had attended in person the opening day festivities (they all lived in New York, obviously; one guy kept his headphones in while accepting his prize). There was NOT, however, a list of names.

We were pissed. A lot of other people were pissed, too, especially as the day dragged on and the lottery results weren't released, and the NYRR website kept crashing, and the only way to know if you'd been accepted was to refresh your bank account and wait for the magical $255 deduction. Needless to say I got pretty much nothing done on Wednesday, then woke up yesterday to my official rejection letter.

I was pretty bummed. I hadn't realized until I spent eight hours stalking the Chase Bank website how much I really wanted to run New York. I gave myself about 20 minutes to mope and then I headed to active.com and officially registered for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.

I'm excited. It's going to be a totally different game than Chicago. There, I ran with 35,000 other people; Raleigh caps its marathon field at 1,000. Chicago was entirely flat (except, rudely, for the last .2 miles); in the past, the Raleigh course was terrifyingly hilly, but they altered the layout this year so it's much less severe. Still, here's a snippet of the elevation chart:

Yowza. And in Chicago, there were 2 million spectators lining the route for the entire 26.2 miles. In Raleigh, I imagine there will be large stretches of the course with no spectators at all.

All that being said, I'm still pumped. I really want to do another marathon and I really want to do it properly. I feel like I now have a better sense of what marathon training entails, from the mental toughness and the dedication to just getting it done. I really want to see what I can do.

I've been running consistently for the past couple of weeks, which for me is a major victory - consistency tends to be my big problem. I'm currently having oodles of shin pain, which is weird - I am frequently injured as a result of running, but shin pain isn't something I can ever remember contending with - so I ordered some new shoes this morning and am planning to spend a lot of quality time this weekend with ice packs and ibuprofen. Hopefully that'll resolve itself soon so I can continue getting back into shape, building my base and then transition into the meat of training. I sincerely hope to whine less this time, but it would obviously (OBVIOUSLY) be irresponsible to promise that now. Consider yourselves warned.

18 April 2012

I have gone running twice this week, BEHOLD MY GARMIN DATA:



Interestingly my last run (weeks ago, before the Cold of Death) was much slower than these. I have scientifically deduced that this means the germs ate up all of the slow in me. They did not, you understand, eat up the out-of-shape-ness, because I still have that; I just have a slightly faster version of it. This is science. I wore glasses while I figured it out.

After getting back tonight, foam-rolling (ow) and wolfing down dinner (Boca burger), I received this email from the New York Road Runners:

I didn't really read it at first and instead was all, how cute that they think I might forget that the drawing is in a week!, then went to Twitter to send the sports editor another reminder that I will be taking over his desk to watch the drawing. Then I calmed down and actually read it and then had a mini panic attack, because my debit card was stolen about a month ago and I hadn't updated my payment information and HOLY HELL, CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I GOT IN AND THEN GOT REJECTED BECAUSE OF THAT?

So I hightailed it to my lottery profile....only to discover that I had, in fact, updated the card number. Huh. Totally forgot to do that for the cable company, the pet insurance people and my gym membership, but apparently remembered to do it for the marathon people. Priorities, people. Priorities. Seven days to go!

14 April 2012

doesn't even count as an entry

I noticed that dailymile, ostensibly annoyed with my lack of running workouts, decided to just update my race schedule widget with the 2012 Chicago Marathon. Thanks, dailymile! I do love Chicago; I am not, in fact, running it this year. I appreciate your support, though.

Here are some cupcakes for your time:

Pentax K1000, I think expired Fuji film. Cupcake on the left is vanilla (mine), cupcake on the right is lemon raspberry (my friend Shannan's).

No joke, best cupcake I ever had.

13 April 2012

Planz with a Z so you know it's serious

After weeks (months?) of confused Googling and website stalking, I finally got this in my email yesterday:

Booyah. April 25. I had actually found it on the NYC Marathon website a few days before (seriously, I was stalking that mother at least three times a week), but I appreciate email confirmation because I am terrible at all things logistical. Also geographical, I am not quite sure how I survived before Google Maps.

Anyway, now that I have a firm date (which is excitingly less than two weeks away!), I can make a plan. This is extra thrilling for me because I love a good plan, and this is a very good plan. Behold!

Step one: get nothing done at work on April 25 while I sit around and watch the live-streaming of the lottery. I have no idea what this means or looks like, by the way. Do they show the name of everyone who gets in? Do I need to look for my confirmation number? I know that I get an email either way, so do I NEED to watch the lottery? That last question is moot, you understand, because I will watch it either way; the big question here is how to do that in the extremely not-private area that is my newsroom. The sports editor is also in the lottery, so maybe we can watch it at his desk, which is more in a corner than mine, and maybe I will bring popcorn and wear a sweatband or my Chicago medal for good luck. (I'm nothing if not covert.)

Step two, part one: get ridiculously, super excited that I got in, flail around, yell a little, blow my cover, continue to get no work done, get made fun by my editor for being that excited to run 26.2 miles again.


Step two, part two: don't get in (statistically, this is the more realistic option; I think there is less than a 10 percent chance of making it this year), feel bummed for a few minutes, probably complain, and then get over it and register for this guy:

The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon
. It's on Nov. 4, the same day as New York. Obviously, it is not as exciting (thanks for reminding me Dad!) but Raleigh has its perks. It's way cheaper, it's driveable, I can stay with friends and I really love the idea of running my second marathon in my new home state, even though I am sure it will be approximately one hundred degrees that day because I am not sure if you KNEW, but it is 100 degrees basically all of the time in North Carolina except for a week in January.

If I could pick, I'd choose New York, but honestly not by that big of a margin. Really I just want to run another marathon and the specifics of it don't concern me too much. I am ready to start training again, I am ready to have a goal to look forward to, I am ready to kill my Chicago time and I am ready to be on the starting line again, staring 26.2 miles in the face. (I can't even type it without smiling!) I already emailed my fabulous running coach (the message was just FULL OF CAPSLOCK) and he agreed to deal with my crazy ass through another training cycle. So really all I have to do now is wait for it to be April 25, which is great because being patient is totally one of my strong points and I am not at all annoyed that it's still 12 days away NOT AT ALL.

I plan to cope by talking incessantly about it (check) and by running now that I am over the Cold Of Death and by stalking said running coach as he tries to break 2:30 (you read that right) at Boston. That goal is apparently in jeopardy a bit, as he sent me the following message a bit ago:

"The objective for Boston has quickly turned to, "just get to the finish line and don't die." Get a load of this article.


Yikes. Don't believe him though, he is basically incapable of taking it easy and will probably run a 2:25 and then be all, "What? I don't know. I guess it's kind of warm." And I will be all, "You should have just trained for it in North Carolina, where it is always tropical and I do not complain about it ever."

08 April 2012

Captain Obvious symbology 101

About two weeks ago I started taking Accutane, an oral medication with a host of terrifying potential side effects. I had discussed said side effects with my doctor - I believe my exact words were, "I AM PROBABLY GOING TO DIE, RIGHT?" - and she pointed out that if you actually read the side-effects panel on pretty much any medication you arrive at basically the same conclusion, which is that you are a goner because that ibuprofen is going to skyrocket your inter-cranial pressure and explode your liver. Oh well. At least your tight IT band will feel better!

For this particular medication, the side effect that most riles people is the potential for severe and scary birth defects. Because of this, the prescription is heavily regulated. I have to take a pregnancy test every month before I can get a refill, and I have to log on to a website and correctly answer a bunch of "trivia" questions regarding contraceptives before I can pick up each refill. It all feels weird and invasive to me, but overall the drug makes sense for me right now* and it's only for six months so I can deal with all of that.

What I cannot really deal with is the packaging. Behold:

The pills come in huge blister packs. Each 30-day refill comes in a 5x7 box with three of these monsters. This is the front. That lady is pregnant (she probably got all of her contraception trivia questions wrong) and the pharmaceutical company is ANGRY about it and has thus emblazoned her with a scarlet no-symbol of shame. NO BABIES.

Then you open the package to see the following:

You have to peel back a stomach-of-shame lady every day in order to take your pill. As if her unborn child's severe birth defects aren't enough, she now has to deal with me popping her head off every night just to get to my drugs. Note the bright red "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings, just in case you aren't fluent in symbology and so couldn't understand what the dozens of NO! BABIES! pregnant ladies were trying to tell you.

But really, the best part is the back.

JUST IN CASE the dozens of printed "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings weren't enough, on the OFF CHANCE that the hundreds of silhouetted pregnant women weren't clear, allow us to show you some mongoloid babies. Behold! Get knocked up while you're on this drug and you'll be giving birth to a conehead! Conehead baby looks sad, because his ears are drifting down toward his neck! Conehead baby is so sleepy, because holding that head up is hard work! Conehead baby looks an awful lot like Sweet Pea, Popeye's child!

I guess Olive Oyl was hitting the 'tane pretty hard while she was pregnant. It also reminded me of the Family Circus children:

Lots of irresponsible mothers in comic-land, evidently.

Unrelated bonus bunny picture because it's Easter:

*Accutane is for acne and is usually the last-resort oral medication, recommended for people who haven't gotten results from other prescriptions. I don't have terrible acne, but I do have consistent breakouts which is not really a thing I want to be dealing with in my 30s. (It was not really a thing I wanted to be dealing with in my 20s, either, but Accutane scared me so I put it off for a long time.) I actually wrote this whole post without mentioning the drug by name, but then I decided that would annoy me if I read it on another blog, so here you go! Sharing inappropriate personal information with strangers on the Internet, I am totes a blogger now!

01 April 2012

Photos from life lately (all film):

I'm sort of playing the waiting game, but it's different than before because I'm different, but I'm also still me which means that I still need (and will always need) to talk about things. I can't change that and I don't want to because being able to talk about things saved me from so much when I was younger. So to that end, yes, I am still playing the waiting game. Jellyfish are washing up on shore and it's getting too warm for April and things are messy and imperfect and I walk and I run and I breathe and I laugh and I wait.

31 March 2012


I woke up Thursday with a sore throat that slowly but surely progressed into full-on sickness, bad enough that I texted my father this morning to ask if he thought I should go to the doctor. My dad works in healthcare but is in no way a medical professional so I'm not sure why I insist on plaguing him with my questions, particularly when his advice is always, "It's probably a virus." (Except for the one time about five years ago when it was strep and his response was, "You are 26, who gets strep when they're 26?!") I didn't have a fever and then I found DayQuil under my bathroom sink which pleased me to no end because it's basically like crack. Anyway the sickness sort of made me happy in a strange way because it's textbook for me. Every time I start running again, for real, when I am excited about it and have a training plan, I come down with an annoying and drawn-out sickness. I like to think it is my body's way of accepting the fact that it won't have a chance to be idle for awhile and thus getting all illness out of the way early on. In an odd way it's like the final seal of approval on what I've been feeling lately, which is just that I want to be out there running.

But instead I spent my days off coughing, napping, sneezing, popping gel tabs and making simultaneously good and bad decisions. And watching terrible DVR'd TV. And writing lists and making plans, some related to running (I still don't know when the damn NYC Marathon lottery is, beyond "some time after April 23") and some not (I am so definitely not eating any more pizza until this summer, thanks to a severely un-tasty Domino's experience this weekend). And some more vague, including this message written on my kitchen chalkboard:

Working on that too lately. Open heart, fingers crossed.

26 March 2012

Life has been more an exercise in ridiculous than in running for the past few months, but I finally went for a run yesterday and I finally feel excited to go again which for me is like 97 percent of the battle.

I'm going to start blogging again (I made this Very Important Decision on my run), but it is probably going to be less just-running and more life-and-running. There are several reasons for the shift:

1. Running bloggers are annoying. Sorry if you are a running blogger reading this, but when I was training for Chicago I was super obsessed with a handful of running blogs and by the end of my training cycle they all made my brain hurt. Except for Ali on the Run. Ali I always love. (Confession: I still read some of them just so I can complain about them. Probably I need to stop doing that but it's haaaaaaaard. Because they are crazy.)

2. I am not currently training for anything. This probably won't last too long because I feel like I want to do speedwork and progressive runs and track workouts and hill repeats and all that good stuff and it's sort of pointless to do that long-term without any race aspirations. But I am woefully out of shape at the moment so for right now, I am just running to run. Even typing that is thrilling. It's a very happy place to be for the time being.

3. I am in the lottery for the NYC Marathon so we'll see what happens there. I think it's next month. You can tell I'm way on top of things.

4. I like writing about my life and haven't had an internet place to do that in awhile.

5. I also like to post my photos and I haven't really had an internet place to share those in awhile either.

The end for now! Welcome to my new cheese-and-vodka-life-is-ridiculous-and-sometimes-I-go-running blog. Here, have a picture of my bunny:

taken on Christmas Eve. you can tell the holiday spirit really moved him.

06 January 2012


I went for my second run of the year this morning. Here it is, Garmin-style. (You will have to click to make it bigger if you want to look at it, because I am new to the Garmin and have no idea why it is so small.)

Looks easy! Not strenuous! Note the super-positive splits!

And then I got home and vomited on the sidewalk.


(Sorry. I know that's gross. But it is also accurate. Except that I was by myself.)

I've been running for more than half of my life and have NEVER thrown up after a run or a workout or a race. Needless to say I was surprised that it happened to me for the first time after a 9:30-pace, 2.5-mile run. Wtf, body. No idea.

I did a little Dr. Google after I showered and ate and I think the barfing was probably due to my total lack of hydrating before I went. I just had coffee. That coffee is gone now. It is on the sidewalk. This run felt gross. I bet you are surprised to hear that.

Oh well. On to the next!

someecards.com - Let's decide which champagne we're going to barf

Haha, if only.

02 January 2012


I am resurrecting the blog! Everyone get excited!

I made a bunch of running resolutions for 2012. Interestingly none of them specifically involved blogging, but it is something I am going to make more of an effort to do regularly. It will probably not be quite so running-centric, mostly because I am not currently training for anything specific. I'm just running to run, to be in shape, to push myself and see where I can go. I do want to start racing again, but for now I am content letting that be about smaller, cheaper, local races - 5Ks, 10Ks, relays, that sort of thing. Although I did today enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon.

To that end, I went for my first 2012 run today and also my first run since Thanksgiving. My dad gave me a Garmin for Christmas so I took it outside today for the first time and it's fairly awesome. I liked having a sense of exactly how fast I was running (though even today, in my first run in a month, it stressed me out when I started to slow down), but more than anything I loved having the freedom to just go wherever I wanted and knowing that I didn't have to try to remember street names or where I turned in order to map it out later to know how far I went. IT WAS KIND OF AMAZING. This also means that when I get lost on future runs I will never have to worry about knowing how many miles I did, so I can focus 100 percent of my mental energy on finding my way back home. So basically one run in, I am super in love with the Garmin. I know. Remember when I was all superior about my super low-tech running? Baha.

The only downer about the Garmin was that it took a while for it to locate satellites. By "a while" I mean "idk maybe a minute or two," because I am an impatient person and also because I spent that minute or two standing in front of my house just kind of staring aimlessly down the street waiting for the watch to be ready. That was awkward. Also, it is ginormous, but that didn't bother me as much as I was worried it would. Yay for high-tech running! (Although I did run in a cotton T-shirt so obviously I am still the same person.)

I will leave you with my (many) running goals for 2012!

1. Run my second marathon. There is a lot more to this goal (train the right way, have a really solid base before I start thinking about it, maybe try to break four hours) but for now, that's all it is. Just run a second marathon.

2. Run 1,000 miles. For some reference, last year I did 453 miles and took about six months off entirely (three for a tailbone injury, three for "marathon recovery" because in case you didn't know, marathon recovery takes three entire months).

3. PR across the board. 5K. 10K. Half-marathon. Marathon. Booyah. It sounds like a super-scary goal, but it's not, because I have only raced most of these distances a handful of times. I've done one 10K, two half-marathons and one marathon. I'm honestly not sure how many 5Ks I've done, and I am also not sure what my PR for the distance is. I have a vague memory of running a 22:10 once when I was in high school, so maybe I'll just try to match that time. My most recent 5K PR is, I think, around 25:09. I think training to PR in multiple distances will be a really good way to keep running interesting and motivating.

The end! It should be a good year. I hope it is a good year. I hope all of you have good years, too. 2012 > 2011, I think it just has to be a fact.