Monday, May 31, 2010


Today I began to ponder two things: first, why I find it painfully difficult to graciously accept a complement, and second, why I am so insecure about body image.

Why is it so hard to trust people and to trust myself?

Will I ever be able to say thank you in earnest when someone compliments me? Will I ever be happy about the way I look?

I wish I knew the first place to start towards making progress on either of these issues. I want to learn how to celebrate myself.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Marathon Training Recap: Month 2

The second month of marathon training has come to a close. Although my total mileage for the month is lower than the first month of training (I am a slacker, I know), some important milestones have been met, continuing to make marathon training a success. Today was the half marathon distance milestone, with a time that was less than 5 minutes from my personal best. 52.65 miles this month, for a total of 149.15 miles since I started training. That is roughly the distance from Davis, CA to Reno, NV. I wonder how long it will take me to run across the country :) So, looking back on my training, here are some revelations I have picked up along the way:

  • A running partner is crucial, even when you think you run best as a lone wolf. You need a wolf pack, even if it is just a wolfpack of two. That person makes the time go by faster and pushes you to acheive new personal bests. And it is safer.
  • Refueling is critical. I haven't figured out the perfect balance, but nothing is worse than feeling like crap for days after a long run. Gels every 45 minutes, light carbs and water before, and plenty of protein and carbs after for recovery. Each run I am getting closer to finding the perfect balance. Maybe next month I will!
  • Don't leave out the cross-training! I am finally starting to get back into cross training, strengthening my legs and core, as well as working on speed intervals. My sprints are pitiful, but with practice, I think they will help my improve my time.
My goal for the month was to cut my 6 mile time down to 1 hour, which was not realistic, seeing as I am running 11 minute miles at best. I did run 10:30 miles on a 5 mile run, and ran a better pace of 11:30 during my long run, so it hopeful that I will eventually get my 6 mile time below an hour. I was also going to eat less sugars. I did, kinda. No more hot fudge sundaes! I have lost between 1 and 2 pounds this month, and it is about time. 

Next month's goals: long runs of 15 miles by the end of June, 6 mile runs with 10:30 miles. More miles as well: 4 times a week, with at least 25 miles a week. At least one week with 30 miles. I'll leave you now with images of baby turkeys. I saw like a hundred of this this morning on my run!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good Things!

Among the good things I have got going for me this week, I am going to count my near finish with my teaching credential. Only two more class meetings, one paper and two PowerPoints to freedom. It is going to be sweet.

My research project/intervention in the classroom had been a great thing. The kids are GREAT, I finish the last stage of the intervention this morning, and I am going to treat them to in-n-out burger for lunch. I don't know if I have loved anything as much as I love being a teacher. True story.

The good thing I will end this week on is how sore my body is from strength and speed training for the marathon. It hurts so good. I think my abs might be coming out of hibernation so, but more on that when we do the 2 month training reflection (my abs have been so shy their whole life, never coming out of hiding, I don't want to scare them away).

25 has be been the year of reflection and growing. Sometimes I feel like I am going through adolescence part II, which is less than thrilling. I believe that with every birthday, you should be able to look back and know your have become better with age. 25 has not been my favorite year by far, but I will say I think I am aging OK. 24 was such a great year, it has been a rough act to follow.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week 7 (head hung in shame)

Only 12.5 miles this week. BIG BOO! But, at least I ran twice, better than none. Grand total: 120 miles.

Next week should be promising...I am thinking of running in the AM. I feel like it will be a good week and I am going to really try to stay on top of my training. In June, the real training must begin. I MUST run 4 days a week to maintain fitness.

To make it up, I am going to do some core training tonight. With school coming to a close, I should be able to step it up. I need to take control and make this a priority!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Back to Basics

Some people believe in fate and destiny, others believe life has no true patterns, only the connections you choose to see. I am going to make a pattern out of coincidence? Perhaps, but maybe this weekend was meant to be.

Sometimes in life people will make you doubt the decisions of your past. You simply can't let them do this. The past is behind you, and that is where it needs to stay. So much in life is knowing the people who propel you forward and the type of people who hold you back. This distinction is not easily made, and you might spend your whole life learning to tell the difference between the two. When you do something you know is right, and other people try to make you second guess, watch for the person who can see the truth as you see it and help you stay true to your path. You must be your biggest advocate. If you don't advocate for yourself, then who will?

This doesn't mean be narrow-minded, seeking out only people who agree with you. It means be a truth seeker, and surround yourself with good honest people who can help you see what is best for yourself. To do this, you first must know yourself.

Last night I got some needed closure. It wasn't the little thing I thought it would be; I feel lighter and better balanced today than I have felt in a long time. Realizing how off-center I have allowed myself to become, I feel a renewed commitment to getting down to the core of me. Who is Stephanie? What does she stand for? I am NOT the anxious, socially withdrawn person I have allowed myself to be last handful of months.


This summer, I am going to re-center and get back to who I have always been. There is no reason to let anyone or anything keep me down.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good Things: Early Edition

Since it is almost Friday, and since Friday will probably pass me by in whirlwind, I think it is best to throw out some good things I have got going for me. Today is one of those day where I really need to list good things to keep me on track.

It is such a good thing to have good friends. Especially friends that help you get back into training. It was so good today to have the Bestie tell me I needed to get out and run instead of have a meltdown. She is so wise. She is such a good motivator, she should be trainer. Seriously. She has a magic connection. I wish she was running the marathon with me.

It is also good to have friends who don't mind meltdowns, check in on you after you have had one, talk you through one, and try to get you to realize that you are not the only one having them. Without some of the ladies in my cohort, I would be an utter mess. I am so glad one of them will be there with me when we both complete our first marathon. Friends are fabulous.

The final good thing is that I passed my PACT with remarkable scores. I am so proud of the work I did and it feels so good to be recognized with high marks. That, my long walk through downtown, and carbfest at the hot foods bar at the coop got me through the afternoon (the mac and cheese is heavenly).

Now to celebrate the good things other people have going for them: Master's degree graduation!

Monday, May 17, 2010


I slept 9 hours last night. I am in soooo much pain. I can't even imagine what it is going to feel like when I run 26.2 miles on marathon day.

Even my arms hurt. Along with every other part of my body. On the bright side, I do think icing my right knee was a good call. It only hurts as much as everything else does at this point.

I am planning on doing this two more times this week. Ugh.

(OK, I am done whining)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 6 of Training

Week 6 of training has come to a close, and I climbed back into the saddle just in time. No, my big plans for the week didn't work out quite as how I expected, but I did log 17 miles this week, including an 11 mile run, which is a new training milestone. I broke the 100 mile training landmark as well!

This week, I did the gels much better on the long run, having a strawberry honey stinger (yum!) and a jet blackberry gu, as well as strawberry gu chomps (chews). All seemed to work out quite nicely! My pace was a little slower than usual, but that is to be expected after a 12 day hiatus. Today's run was great, with deer, wild turkeys, bunnies and geese. I am so happy to have such great places to run.

So, the total training mileage to date is 113.5 miles. Thats the distance between Truckee and Davis! This week, I plan of doing some speed intervals and weight training, as well as run 35 miles. Now that I have more time, I hope to increase my mileage and start building a longer midweek run.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good Things: Saturday Edition

This week may have been crazy, but it was not void of good things. I am so happy to see my BF more often. I hadn't realized how much I missed him until I had him back in my arms :)

I am also lucky to have the most wonderful Bestie in the world. I am pretty sure that she makes me a better person. She also rocks at retail therapy, which I decided today is much better than having to go to a therapist. I am pretty sure that I am saving money by self medicating with throw pillows and cheap summer dresses. I hear shrink bills can be through the roof!

My final good thing is only having 27 days left until my graduation ceremony for my credential. I still have 9 months left for my Master's degree, but it feels good to be so near a milestone. I can't wait until my family comes up to celebrate with me!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 5 of training?

Not quite sure if we can call it week five considering I did not run AT ALL this week. Shame on me!

After a week full of bad decisions, tummy aches, and travel, running just did not fit in and I am ASHAMED!!!! I am supposed to be a hardcore runner, what is going on here????

Next week we are going to step it up and resume the training schedule. Run 6 miles Monday, Tuesday, crosstrain Wednesday, rest Thursday and Friday (Field Trip), Run 5 Saturday and 11 Sunday. Thats 28 miles better than this week. Then it will be time to start running half marathons on the weekends. Oh joy!

I did get my case of Jet Blackberry Gu and my 4 bottle hydration belt from REI this weekend, so there is not reason not to step it up a notch. Marathon vacation days have come to an end!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

This week was full of good things. First, I still have my laptop, even though I definitely should have lost it, along with other valuables. Thank you electronics gods for looking out for me. I only had to sacrifice an old cell phone to project the super valuable stuff ;).

Impromptu Cinco de Mayo celebrations when night classes are cancelled an hour before they begin are also VERY good things, even if the next day is not very good at all. When you need to let loose, you need to let loose! The best thing was coming home and having a darling gentleman to take care of me. Love love love.

Finally, being with family on Dia de las Madres. It is nice when the best gift you can give is yourself, and that isn't just you being cheap (gas is seriously creeping up there, and Temecula is NOT close!).

Life is full of good things. I am so glad the bestie has inspired me to blog about them weekly. I think is helps to keep a person grounded when she remind herself how rich the soil truly is.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First month of training a success!

96.5 miles later, and not one pound lighter, I have completed my first month of marathon training! Here is what hitting pavement has taught me:

  • The hardest part of training is motivating myself to run. There are a million excuses, good ones, not to get up and go. It i much harder to lift myself off the couch or out of a cozy warm bed than it is to haul my butt around town for 2 hours. Go figure.
  • Like any athlete, wearing your running uniform makes magic happen. New running clothes that fit well help with the motivation. When I know it is going to be tough to get outside for a run, I put on my running shorts and fancy sweat wicking shirt. Then my roommate asks me if I went for a run or if I am going for a run. Then I have to go.
  • When all else fails, have a lucky charm. Mine is my Boston Marathon windbreaker. It is never really cold enough for it, but I feel super cool wearing an official jacket that says Boston Marathon 2008 ( the grey one in the photo above). I tell myself that people think I ran a marathon and that I must be super cool. People can't think that unless I go outside with it on. And the jacket has magic powers. That make me run faster. And farther. Like a Kenyan.
  • You only wear cotton socks on the long run once. Then you realize why people spend so much money on fancy socks at the running store. Who's the sucker? I was.
I know I have caught the marathon virus because I look forward to running, and use it as a way to procrastinate from doing other things (research, grading papers, etc). Am I sick or what? In my state of mental illness, I have developed some goals for the next month of training (everyone needs goals!). First, I am going to build the long run up to 14 miles by the end of May. I will be running half marathons on a regular basis soon! Second, I need to start to cut the sweets out of my diet. No more hot fudge sunday rewards for a good run. Only fro-yo, a few times a week. Sugars, sadly, have got to go. And the final goals for the month is to get my 6 mile loop down to 1 hour flat. That will hopefully translate into a marathon finish time under 5 hours.

Last but not least, here is the report for the gel fuel field tests:

Jelly Belly Extreme Sportbeans, cherry: Eat them if you never liked jelly beans in the first place. Don't eat them if you want to ruin the taste of jelly belly forever. They just taste like salty little Jelly Belly. Like if buttered popcorn and cherry made high sodium Jelly Belly babies. Gross. At least they were free.
To make it up, the running gods finally delivered a fuel source that has NO gag factor. Hard to believe, right? Honey Stingers gold gel tastes like honey. No other yuckies. So if you like the task of honey, and don't mind taking down 36 grams of it at a time, your gel savior has come. Now, I just need to find a case of it on sale...