Friday, May 31, 2013

The LONG Post Where I Ramble About Running (again)

If you recall, I started my journey with running just over 2 years ago.  I signed up for a 5K and started running.  As soon as I completed that first race I decided I wanted to do a half marathon. So I transitioned from training for a 5K to training for a half.

Half training generally takes 12 weeks.  I trained for 8 MONTHS.  It was hard.  Running is hard.  But I enjoyed it.  I saw improvements every day. I remember when I could first run 4 miles.  I remember my first long run outside (8 miles).  I remember the feeling of accomplishment seeing my improvements with each week.  "I ran to the top of that hill today, without stopping!  I couldn't do that last week!"  It was a great feeling.  

  After my first half, as challenging as it was, and believe me, it was brutal for about 80% of it, I knew I wanted to do another.  So I kept my base up, worked on my pace, and 7.5 months later I ran another half.  I shaved 11 minutes off my time (and also during that time I shaved 5 minutes off my 5K) and once again felt so proud and accomplished.  After all, only a year and a half before that I thought anyone who could run one mile was the equivalent of a superhero.

But after that it got sticky.

Running became less enjoyable for me.  It became more of a job.  "You need to run so you can beat your last PR."  "You need to be faster than so and so."  "You have done this before, now do it again, but do it BETTER." etc.  

I tried changing my training plans from running 5-6 days a week to running 3.  I tried breaking up my runs into hill runs, long runs, speed work outs.  I tried taking breaks for a few days.  

But every run was something I started to dread.  Instead of getting easier, it got harder.  By this past winter (and spring) I couldn't run a three mile loop without having to stop and catch my breath or rest my legs.  And hills?  Forget about hills.  I couldn't run up HALF of a small hill that a year ago I could run up without a problem.

And the half I did early this spring?  It was a disaster (though I finished!).

I think what happened was I was putting too much pressure on myself.  At the same time I was subconsciously telling myself "you have already done this, and you shaved off a lot of time.  You have nothing to prove any more."  That is a bad combination for any runner, or anyone for that matter.

 So after talking about my feelings with some other runners, one of them essentially told me, "Shauni, get your shit together.  Not all runs will be a PR.  You cannot run each race and each run as if you are going to beat your old record.  Change your attitude and make it your goal to enjoy the run rather than to race."   

Which is exactly what I did.  I started running with no goal in mind.  For the last month or so I have enjoyed every single long run on the weekends.  I tell myself "this is going to be hard, but you can do this.  Enjoy it.  Just be happy to be outside for the next couple of hours, you have nothing else to do but this."  And it really helped.  I also tried to keep up with the mentality of a new runner--"you can do this, it is just one more step!" Which also helped.  Suddenly I found myself running up hills again.  Or not stopping to rest after 2 miles.  Last week I ran 12 miles without stopping to walk once.  That has literally never happened since I began running longer distances.

I am certainly noticing my pace is not super like it was last spring.  And I am frustrated that I likely will not beat my race time from the last time I ran this half.  And it stings to know that all of my friends will run a faster half than I do this Sunday.  It will be really hard not to push myself at each mile marker when I see the time on the clocks.  But I really just want to enjoy myself this Sunday when I run my fourth half marathon.  I want to forget about the clocks and the other runners.  If I have to walk a little, I have to walk.  If I slow down from last year, so be it.  I want to be outside, running, and happy.  I want to finish the half with a smile on my face, and not just sheer exhaustion.  I want to focus on the fact that in 2010 I said I could never run a 5K and that people who run half marathons are crazy.  

I want to be proud of the fact that I will have run four half marathons (I am already proud of myself for running three).  I have accomplished something that I never thought I could do, regardless of how long it takes me. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Side by Side Comparison

Have y'all heard of the tumbler Rich Kids of Instagram? I found this little gem last week and was mesmerized by the spawn of the 1 percenters.  I spend more time than I would like to admit perusing the website and feeling both jealous and disgusted.

For your entertainment purposes, I thought I would create a side by side comparison of Rich Kids of Instagram versus Poor People in their Late Twenties.  Enjoy!

Here we have the home theater of Rich Kids of Instagram.  Below is the expansive home theater of Poor People in their Late Twenties.  Almost the same, right?
#watching movies on a Friday night.  #athome.  #likethechordsthatareNOTtuckedaway?   

Next up we compare the luggage of the RKOI to the luggage of PPITLT:


The jewels and bling of the RKOI are so similar to my (PPOTLT) jewels and accessories that it is eerie.
I think the #hairtie compliments my #rings without #distracting from the #bling, dont you?

Next up we see that both the RKOI and the PPITLT have pride in their vehicles:


 Here you might see a bit of a difference.  Rich Kids of Instagram have some nice digs, but us Poor People in our Late Twenties have really cute ranches.


 The RKOI travel in style.  You want to see how this PPIOLT individual gets to the beach??

#riding in style in Sam the Silverado

And the vacation locations are pretty different as well.  Yacht week?  Try free upgrade at the Best Western, bitches. #Idemandexcellence.

#freeupgrade #classybetch

And lastly, I think we can all agree that both the RKOI and the PPOTLT know how to party.  Us peasants just party a little differently--in barns, with moonshine and banjos.
#barnparty #moonshine #whiskey #banjo #countryfolyfe

So you see, us Poor People in our Late Twenties really don't have it that bad compared to the Rich Kids of Instagram.  We are not so different after all.

still poor and proud

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Long Little Weekend

Mountain Man and I headed out of town before you could say "Three Day Weekend." We were on the road and headed to the beach, despite the freezing temps and nasty rain.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

We cruised the coast, ate lots of seafood, drank lots of cocktails, slept, read, rested, goofed off, walked the beach, people watched, and all in all enjoyed ourselves.  

But don't take my word for it (Reading Rainbow for the win).


We had a great little weekend away, and as usual, coming home was also wonderful.  The weather made a turn for the better and we were able to enjoy the afternoon and evening on Goodwin Beach.

Hope y'all had a nice of a long weekend as the Goodwins did.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sons of Bitches

Mountain Man and I were so looking forward to this long weekend.  And we were itching to get out of town and do something different.  So back at the end of April, when it was 75 and sunny every day, we booked a few days at the coast for Memorial Day.

We could not wait to walk along the beach, get ice cream, sit outdoors and sip cocktails and people watch.

And the weather just continued to be beautiful, so we knew it would be a great weekend away.

Until of course, I saw this:

Seriously, dude?
Fifties and raining all weekend?
Well slap me silly and call me Sally.  

I think there will be a lot of cocktails on this trip.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

That Perfect Feeling

There are a few things in life that give you that "life is perfect" feeling.  Everyone has different experiences that make us feel the ultimate sense of joy and content mixed with calm and ethereal, but for me, here are my top five.

The smells and sounds of a good rain storm (thunder an added bonus).
Peeling a clementine in one connected piece.
Seeing the first robin of spring.
Eating the most delicious piece of fruit.
Enjoying the beauty of the sky.

Keeping it short and sweet today and trying to focus on the positive while I send my heart to Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That

I think there is a special ring in hell reserved for people who drive slowly.

I wish horrible and in-unutterable things about the drivers who go 5, 10, and yes, commonly 15 miles per hour UNDER the posted speed limit during my 18 mile, single road, no passing zones, drive to get to the interstate.

It fills me with rage.

When you see multiple cars stacked up behind you, pull the fuck over, you goddamn son of a bitch douche-canoe.  Or know that yes, I suck for tailgating you a bit, but the only reason I am doing that (along with flashing my lights at you) is because you are going 35 in a 50, which there is literally no excuse for unless your car is broken, in which case, pull the fuck over.

Sorry to bitch at you, internet, but I am sick of it taking me 35 minutes to go 18 miles.  Which is 5 minutes faster than it took yesterday, so yay?
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 6, 2013

World's Best Weekend

What a great weekend. 

It is always hard to come back into work Monday morning, but it is especially hard when your weekend at home felt like a weekend away at a cabin on a lake.

Which is what our house feels like most weekends.

Winner winner chicken dinner.

Saturday morning my Mountain Man took me to brunch.  Which is a big deal because he doesn't like going out to brunch.  It was lovely.

Then we did some errands which were proceeded by laying in the sun for copious amounts of hours.

Made a yummy dinner and watched a great movie, Django.

And talked Mountain Man into an ICE CREAM DATE.   


Perfect Saturday.

Sunday I was up and at 'em bright and early to knock out an 11 mile run.  And it was fantastic.  Just what I needed.  BOOM.

Followed by more naps in the sun.

Followed up by a Cinco de Drinko feast for just the two of us, complete with grilled steak fajitas and a pitcher of fresh made margs.

Of which two were strong enough to knock us both on our asses.

So be kind to me today, my head hurts a bit.

Hope you all had as fantastic a weekend as we did at Goodwin Ranch.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why It Sucks To Be Me

Get ready to break out the world's smallest violin.  I am about to tell you the number one reason it sucks to be this gal right here.

And it is especially awful this time of the year.

Mountain Man REFUSES to go with me to get ice cream after dinner at any of the various ice cream places that New England is known for.

Get in my belleh
The man hates ice cream and refuses to make the 10 minute drive to the closest ice cream shack, which means I have to go by myself (lame) or suffer at home without any soft serve (also lame).

Feel sorry for me.

Happy Friday, folks!  Hope you are ready to get your cinco de drinko on!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'll Have Another

Last year at this time I was getting ready to head down to Louisville for the Kentucky Derbs with the greatest girls you can imagine.

And since this beautiful spring weather has me all chipper and because it is Throw Back Thursday (#tbt for the win) (#jk #ihatetbt) I wanted to just remind myself and the rest of the world how much fun I had last year doing up the Derby right.

We looked good at Churchill Downs, did we not?

Happy almost Friday, muffins.  Hope you are able to enjoy this spring weather as much as I am!

(Thank Heaven's to Betsy for this 5 day forecast.)