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Long Beach Half [yes, half] Marathon Goals

8 Oct

I’ve had a super hectic few days – I left NYC on Thursday, spent the day running around LA doing a million errands and started my new job on Friday. All day Friday I kept saying to myself (and my 4 Twitter followers), “I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend, I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend.” Well … that’s because I’m not.

Let’s back up. While in NY, I ran a couple of races with my 11 year old cousin (more on that later). The first race we ran together was a 5 miler and everyone in the family was really excited and proud of him! My family lined up at various points along the course to cheer us on. After the race, while enjoying a delicious post-run Bloody Mary, I commented to my Dad that this was the first race I’d ever run where people came to watch me. Before my first half marathon, I got into a huge fight with my then boyfriend because he wouldn’t come watch me and my second half marathon was so last minute there wasn’t really time to tell anyone. I didn’t (and don’t) anticipate anyone coming to Long Beach and the more I thought about it, the more I was kind of bummed that no one was going to be there to celebrate my very first marathon.

That’s when my Dad mentioned that I should run the NY Marathon. Sure, love to. But NYM certainly isn’t easy to get into & I certainly couldn’t do it this year … Or could I? Long story short, my Dad’s got connections.

Ok, not really.

BUT he knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy and … I’m running the NY Marathon this year. The whole thing has been completely bizarre and confusing. I didn’t find out until this morning (yes, the day before what was supposed to be my first marathon) that I’d be running it. I do feel a little guilty that so many people wanted to run this race and I sort of snuck in, but I promise I didn’t do anything illegal [or did I?].

So what does that mean for Long Beach? Well, it means I’m downgrading to the half. I want to run NY strong and I know that I won’t be able to do that if it’s my second marathon in a month. Also, call me cheesy, but I really want my family to be at my FIRST marathon. I’d been seriously thinking of knocking down to the half anyway – it’s going to be super hot tomorrow and while it’s probably all in my head, I wasn’t feeling ready to run a full.

But now? Now everything is awesome =)

And without further adieu – My Long Beach Goals

  • Goal A -2:20 – This is super ambitious for me. I’m definitely nervous about the weather and if it’s hot, I’m going to end up throwing this goal out the window.
  • Goal B – 2:30 – I’m pretty sure this goal is doable. Ish. Hopefully.
  • Goal C – 2:45 – I know this is doable. I’ll be disappointed if I let it get this far, but I know this week’s been hectic with travel and if it’s hot, this not be unrealistic.
  • Goal Always – Have fun! During my first half marathon, I was in a tremendous amount of pain. During my second half marathon, I threw up. I want to run a smart, fun race tomorrow. I want to remind myself why I like running and feel great going into the next couple of weeks before NY!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

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40 Day Challenge!

27 May
Have you heard about the 40 day challenge? Danica over at Chic Runner has started a 40 day challenge – run at least 3 miles a day, every day, for 40 days. I think it’s awesome! It’s like a weird, Lent-y kind of thing but more awesome.

I feel like this is exactly what I need right now:
– Structure – I’m in this weird base building not quite training phase so my runs have been pretty aimless, and as such, sporadic.

– Stress Relief – Running always makes me feel better, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of running. With all my crazy bar stress and general life stress [I don’t even want to talk about the last time I managed to get laundry done]

– Something to keep me motivated and accountable!

And I think if I can do this, I’ll be pretty proud of myself! Gidget’s Rule #6: You can do anything for a little while (in this case, 40 days).

Up for the challenge? Join me!

Also awesome sauce: I ordered a new pair of running shoes that should come tomorrow! Yes, that’s my third pair; no, none of them are worn out; yes, I might have a problem.

Second Place Is First Loser

9 May
Anyone’s who has ever read this blog or met me in real life knows that I am not the best runner. Let’s not kid ourselves, 9/10 I’m the worst runner. I’m never going to win a race or even my age division (until I’m in the 70+ category – then watch out!). Despite what my lack of hardcore training may suggest, I don’t like this about my running. When I was growing up, “winning” was everything. If you weren’t the best at something or you couldn’t be the best at something in the future, there was no point in doing it. “Second place is just first loser.”

I think because of this, I’ve always been a pretty competitive person and [not to toot my own horn but] I’ve been pretty successful in everything I’ve done. Until now. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the Boston Marathon. Let’s face it, I’m never going to BQ. For most “casual” runners [i.e. those who do not get paid to run], Boston is the holy grail. That’s what people work for and train for. It’s the great accomplishment of running. And I’m never going to get there. So why run? Why put my body through 1/2 marathons that I have to slog through and come out demoralized? Yes, I like running. Yes, I like what running has done for my weight. But is it time to give up competitive running?

All of this isn’t helping my panic about graduation. I worked my rear end off for 3 years and as hard as I tried, I’m not going to graduate at the top of my class. I’m not going to graduate with a fancy big law job and a 6 figure salary. I’m going to graduate in the middle of my class, from a middle tier law school, with no job and 6 figures worth of student loans. I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, was it worth it? I’m not sure.

I’m not going to give up competitive running just yet, just like I’m not going to give up practicing law (I totally couldn’t afford to NOT be a lawyer right now). I’m focusing instead on what I AM the best at. I’m the best at straightening my hair. Seriously. I’ve got super thick, super curly hair down to the middle of my back and I can straighten it in 15 minutes with no mirror. I’m a pro. I am the best at random trivia – for example, today is not only Mother’s Day, but also Harry Truman’s Birthday and V-E Day. Your fun fact of the day. You’re welcome. I was once the best at flip cup, although I am woefully out of practice. Apparently it’s not acceptable to binge drink and play psuedo-drinking games as an adult. Who knew.

What are you the best at? 

>Confessions and New Directions (not the Glee kind)

3 Apr

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Ok, so I owe you, my loyal readers (yes, all 7 of you), an explanation. I’ve fallen off the blogging and running wagon, largely because the wagon fell on top of me.

So, let’s talk about what’s going on:
1) There is no more Moondoggie. Ok, there is still a Moondoggie, but he’s not my Moondoggie anymore. He’s someone else’s now. D and I were together for almost 6 years. About a month ago he started to question our relationship and about a week ago he told me he wanted to be with someone else. A specific someone else. A skinnier, more successful, faster runner someone else. Apparently I’m too sad and stressed out all the time. Yes, yes I am. I’m in law school. Obviously it’s all much more complicated than that. But it basically boils down to me being alone. I’m trying to have a positive attitude about it, but I’m 6 weeks away from entering the most stressful 2 months of my life (bar studying) and I’ve lost my best friend. I’m not doing super well. Which isn’t helped by …

2) I haven’t been running. Pretty much at all. I feel awful, so I do nothing but lay around and feel sorry for myself. Then I feel bad that I didn’t go running and it just gets worse. I get that it’s a vicious cycle. I totally get that. Also, my leg isn’t loving me. I hurts after 5 miles every damn time. Because of #1, I’ve felt absolutely no desire to go to the PT about it, so I just dig myself a little deeper.

3) I hate my job. HATE. IT. Viscerally. It makes me question whether or not I want to be a lawyer. Too late now. I really want to be a prosecutor. Unfortunately, because of stupid dumb budget issues, no one is hiring. I had an interview for a perfect prime dream job and didn’t get it because I didn’t have any connections. Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So, $200,000 in student loans, 3 years and 1 failed relationship later, I’m 3,000 miles away from home with no job, no boyfriend and not a ton of friends (see #4).

4) I have no friends. Well, that’s not true. I have a handful of friends. I moved to LA 3 years ago from NY to be with D. I knew it would be hard and I knew I’d have to make new friends. Unfortunately, all of those friends were D’s friends. And he won them in the breakup (they were his friends first). So I’m pretty much all alone out here. Not great.

5) There is no more Roommate. Well, at least not after May 15th. It’s a bit of a mess. So, come May 15th I’ll be homeless. And alone. Great.

I know this sounds very Debbie Downer and I know it’s the wrong attitude to have. I’m working on it. Right now, all I want to do is cry. But I can’t keep doing that forever. So here are some of the things I’m working on:
1) Time to find a new apartment. This is obviously priority #1 as I would prefer to not be homeless, if at all possible. Rumor has it it is hard to be homeless and study for the bar. A friend of mine may be leaving LA after graduation and said I can sublet her apartment. This would be good, except (a) I don’t want to lose my friend (see #4) and (b) it’s 4 blocks away from D. Don’t really need to see him and the new girlfriend walking around the neighborhood (or worse, her running faster than me).

2) Pass the bar. I was 100% committed to staying in LA 2 weeks ago. Right now I’m at about 80%. Unfortunately, I have to take the bar somewhere and wherever I take the bar is where I have to practice. Right now I’m registered for the CA bar and that’s what I’ll be taking in July. They offer the bar exam twice a year – July and February. So I’m giving myself until the February bar to figure things out. If, come the winter, I’m still miserable in LA and I still don’t have a job, then I’ll reconsider my options. For a whole slew of reasons, I don’t want to move back to NY. But we’ll see. That leads me to #3 …

3) Find a job. Any job. If I can’t do what I really want, I need to find something that will hold me over until something opens up. Even if I hate it. I can’t afford to not have a job once I graduate. Even if I hate it, it’ll be experience.

4) Make more friends/be more social/get over D. This is all kind of wrapped into one big messy “I don’t want to do this”package. I am not, by nature, a super social person. I like to have a small group of really great friends. Obviously, though, you make said small group of friends by meeting lots of people and weeding through them. I’m basically pretending that I just moved to LA and need to make new friends. It’s hard and it sucks and I don’t like it, but I’m doing it. I’m also on-line dating. It makes me feel pretty pathetic and awful but I don’t know where else you meet people – I don’t have friends to set me up and I don’t have time to go to a bar and meet someone. I have some dates lined up next week. I’m definitely not excited about it, but it is what it is.

5) Run. Jury’s still out on the pre-graduation celebration 1/2 marathon. I think I could run it, but I’m afraid it will hurt and after my first 1/2 when I was hurt and miserable and wanted to quit, I don’t want to run another race if I’m not completely confident in my abilities. So we’ll see. BUT. I did sign up for my very first full marathon! I had planned on running the Vegas R’n’R in December, but with the new time limits (and the emotional D baggage that goes along with being in Vegas) I decided it wasn’t a great idea. I questioned my darling Twitter friends and the beautiful Sarah suggested Long Beach in October. Close? Cheap? Flat? Sold.

So that’s where I am right now. The tone of this blog might change a little. It’s going to be a little more about finding myself, in running and in life. If that’s not your bag of donuts, no big deal. Thanks for stopping by. If it is, then stick around. Who knows what’s going to happen next?

Gidget’s Rule #2 – Don’t stop believing (See what I did there? With the Glee reference? Going back to the title? Yeah, stick around for more of that kind of wit).

>If I Distract You With My Blogging Fail, You Won’t Notice My Running Fail …

11 Mar

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Ok, so I’m officially the worst blogger ever. Real life has eaten me a little bit. There have been some amazingly stressful things going on and this isn’t really the right place for them. Needless to say, my life’s been turned a bit upside down and I’m still trying to catch my footing. I promise to be a better blogger from now on.

In fairness, I was also a pretty poor runner in my blogging absence. I did sneak home to NYC for a long weekend this past weekend, which definitely helped heal my soul a little. It did not, however, help my running one bit. I had grand plans of running in NY with my sister, who’s training for her first ½ marathon in May. Things I did not counting on:
       It was VERY cold. Much colder than I anticipated
       I left my running shoes in LA (because I’m a GENIUS)
       I didn’t have a lot of time and a lot of things to do and people to see (and Mardi Gras’ to celebrate…)
So I managed to get 1 lousy, stinking 5 miler in. I also missed a training run because I landed in LA much too hungover to function Wednesday afternoon. I did manage to buy new running shoes, though! I had a gift certificate for a running store near my sister (thanks, Groupon!) and am going to need a new pair between now and my potential quasi-graduation celebration ½ marathon, so I figured I’d pick them up with my gift certificate. I also grabbed some Gus because the only flavor I have left is strawberry banana and that stuff’s just gross.
I promise to be a better blogger. Stay tuned for my review of some awesome products sent to me by the awesome Sarah from Once Upon A (L)ime and my big marathon conundrum.
You know you love my cliff-hangers.

>2-a-Day

28 Feb

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Workout:
Morning: 2 mi. run outside 19:47
Evening: 7 mi. treadmill .5 incline 68:47

Um, hi. Let’s talk about this for a second. I ran TWICE today. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty impressed with myself. Now, it should be noted that I absolutely did NOT intend to break my workout this way. I had 7 miles on the schedule for this weekend. I may or may not have been too hungover yesterday to manage (sometimes martinis are too delicious to pass up) so I knew I was going to have to get it in today before I had to be at a training session at 10 am. I carbo loaded with some delicious pasta (the first time I’ve had pasta in a really long time) and a little red wine (not the first time I’ve had red wine in a really long time) and was tucked into bed by 1030 pm. Excellent …

Except. I meant to set my alarm for 645, be out the door by 7 and by home by 830 or so – plenty of time to shower and get ready. Well. You can, therefore, imagine my surprise when my alarm went of at 745, not 645. Crap. That would definitely NOT be enough time to run 7 miles. Knowing that I was technically still “injured,” even if I felt awesome, I didn’t want to push too hard and hurt myself. I decided to run 3 or 4 miles and finish the rest when I finished training. Well. As soon as I started running I knew that wasn’t going to happen. My legs felt heavy, my chest was burning and I just did. not. want. At 2 miles I passed my house and bailed. I was hoping to get 5 miles in when I got home but I wasn’t optimistic.

By the time I got home from training it was after 5 (yes, it was absolutely the longest day ever. ugh.). I didn’t particularly relish the idea of running outside and ending my run in the dark, but I didn’t want to run 5 miles on the treadmill. By the time I carefully weighed my options (aka stalked facebook for a while) it was already dark out. Since I’m a magnet for cars in the dark (I have the scars to prove it!), my only real option was the gym. I reluctantly headed out, figuring at least it would be empty while the Oscars were going on. I hopped on the treadmill, figuring I’d run my 5 as fast as I could and be out of there. But while I was running I got to thinking. I was supposed to run 7 consecutive miles today. If I was really serious about running a half in May (and I’m 90% certain I am) I wasn’t going to be able to run half of it in the morning, take an 8 hour break, and then run the second half in the afternoon. So I decided to just stay on for the whole 7 miles. This was definitely easier said than done. The time limit on the treadmill was 60 minutes (are there treadmills in this world that go longer? There must be, right?) and I knew it would take me longer than that to run 7 miles. I thought about splitting it up 3 and 4 or 5 and 2 but I kind of wanted to see that 7 on the display. I figured if I could average a 10 min. mile I could finish in under 70 minutes (the 60 minute limit + the 10 minute cooldown). I did a 1 mile warmup at 5.5 and then just took off. Everything about the run felt amazing. At the start of the last mile “One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)” came on my iPod and I knew I’d finish. The cooldown period was less than awesome because I had to keep fiddling with the speed, but I finished it and it was amazing. This was the run I wish I had had last weekend (and absolutely no leg pain at all! I may or may not want to marry my physical therapist).

It looked a little something like this (for those of you keeping score at home).

I really couldn’t be more pleased with my run tonight. It makes me feel so strong and accomplished and awesome, which is what I really needed after a bit of a demoralizing, confidence-busting sort of week (I may or may not have had an existential crisis about what I’m doing with my life). The decision to do the full 7 miles was the best one I’ve made in a long time. Now I’m enjoying some left over pasta, some red wine, a very much needed foam roll and the dvr-ed Oscars.

Have you ever done 2 runs in one day? How do you feel about breaking up long runs?

>Don’t Rain On My Parade

17 Feb

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Workout:
2 mi. 19:12
I woke up this morning to the pitter patter of little raindrops on my window. In Los Angeles. Ew. This is not why I moved to southern California. Hear that weather gods? Not ok. I was casually aware that it might rain this morning and I had sort of laid out my running clothes accordingly. I thought maybe, just maybe, I’ll be hardcore and go running outside in the rain. My sister is training for her first ½ marathon in New Jersey and has been fighting the cold and snow all winter, so I totally understand that I am very spoiled living in SoCal. If she can run in snow and ice, I can run in rain … right?
Well. When I woke up, the rain was pounding my window. Now, admittedly, there’s a very large tree right outside my window that tends to make the weather seem more severe than it is. The leaves and branches rattle against the window and kind of freak me out. My bed was warm and cuddly, Moondoggie was over and my body just wasn’t having it. I snuggled back in bed and decided I would head to the gym in between classes. It was great – I got to sleep in extra late because all I had to do to get ready for school was throw on gym clothes. Score!
Fast forward 3 hours and 2 cups of coffee later [Hi, I’m Gidget and I’m a coffee addict]. As I was driving to the gym(and literally passing the exit to my house on the freeway), the clouds parted, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Sign that I should get off and run outside? Absolutely! I raced home to take advantage of the break in the weather. I already had my running clothes on, so it should have been as simple as grabbing Henry and heading out the door … except that I’m the world’s greatest procrastinator. I mean, I had to do my stretches. And tweet about my fabulous luck. And maybe read a blog or 2 for motivation. So, 30 minutes later, my beautiful weather window was fading fast. I had been hoping to run this at about a 10:30 pace, but as I stepped outside and same the ominous black clouds closing in fast, I made the determination that maybe I should just run as fast as possible. I was feeling pretty good for a while, but then it started to rain. Not awesome. And get windy. We’re talking really windy. I was having a really hard time catching my breath, but I hadn’t dressed for the rain (because not only am I a procrastinator, I’m an idiot). I didn’t want to be out any longer than I had to. So I just kept running – and running fast. Henry says my first mile was 9:48 and my second mile was 9:11. I’m unbelievably shocked at how fast I ran this. AND my knees didn’t hurt at all! My calves are kind of sore, not in a shin splint-y sort of way, but in a holy crap, I pushed myself! sort of way. This is actually the first time in a long time that my muscles have hurt from running, so I’m pretty pleased with it. I kind of love that I’m going so far out of my comfort zone!
It’s supposed to rain for the rest of the week [Again, weather gods take note, not ok] but there seems to be another small window of sunshine tomorrow morning, so I’m hoping to get in 2 miles in the morning. If not, it’s going to be another late night treadmill run [gross].
Has the weather ever motivated you to run faster? How do you push yourself out of your comfort zone?