Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grow up and act like a little girl

After running a few errands after work yesterday, I had a hard time deciding whether to hit the gym or skip it.  I convinced myself I needed to go, knowing I wouldn't regret it.  Two wonderful things happened when I got there.

1. It was an arm day, and the weight room was a ghost town.  I prefer free weights for arm work, but the weight room at the Y can get crowded.  I don't care so much who is there, but I admittedly hate sharing benches.  I like to have my own little slice of space, and I had space galore to work on my guns ;)
Thank you iphone for the high quality image

2. As I was walking into the Y, there was a young girl walking in with her mother.  This story is even sweeter if you know that she was about 5 years-old and wearing nothing but a swimsuit and flip-flops (crazy hot weather this week!).  As I walked past her she looked straight up at me and said with the most sincerity a child can muster "You're pretty!"  I stopped, squatted down, and told her thank you and that she was very pretty as well.

Sometimes it takes a child to remind us how easy it is to make another person smile.  Old, young, friend or stranger, it takes only seconds to share a compliment.  Perhaps we all need to start acting like 5 year-old little girls a little more often...

When was the last time a stranger surprised you with a compliment?  

Did you "pass on" the kindness to someone else?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gelato for dinner?

I love my kiddos, but I can't stop thinking about only having 12 work days before the school year is over.  That marks the start of my summer break and time for a huge 18 day vacation.  It would be (will be?) hard working in any other PT setting after enjoying the perks of a school-based position.

For now though, I'm just trying to enjoy the weekend.  The hubs is away for a few, so things are a little different around here.  Friday evening will definitely include watching the Penguins game, and it may also include any or all of the following...

  • Eating gelato and kettle corn for dinner
  • Staying on the couch for hours at a time
  • Online shopping for said vacation
  • Watching TLC wedding shows
  • Reading blogs
  • Doing absolutely nothing productive
  • Eating more gelato
Sounds like a perfect Friday night to me!

How are you spending your Friday night?

Your idea of a perfect Friday night?

PS. I don't really eat gelato for dinner.  Gelato was just my appetizer.  Dinner was this monster-sized seafood stuffed portabella.  Yum.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The hubs will be off to Vegas for a few days this week, and we'll be waking up in my dream vacation destination in less than a month!  That can only mean one thing... I was able to drag the hubs to the mall today.  This rarity usually happens about once a year, just before we go on vacation.  Sunglasses, boat shoes, and linen have me ready to start packing.

The last big thing to check off my list is a go-everywhere bag for 18 days of traveling and touristing (this is a word now).

I found this one at Macy's, and feel in instant love lust.
Fossil Explorer Tote (
Dear beautiful luscious bag, why must you cost $238?

I can spend $120 on running shoes that will last me a few months without blinking an eye, but even $100+ for a handbag that will last (pretty much) forever makes me want to...vomit.

I think a trip to the outlets may need to be in my plans soon.

What do you easily splurge your money on?
Running shoes and jeans for me

Where do pinch your pennies versus splurging for the "good stuff"?
Handbags and anything I wear to work

Friday, May 10, 2013

What 12 months do to a runner

The biggest thing that hit me while running the Pittsburgh Marathon, and afterwards, on Sunday was how different it was than last year.  The thoughts, the emotions, the physical feeling of running was such a striking change.

Then... I had only started running 4 months prior.
Now... running has been a part of my life for more than a year.

Then... I was able to remain relaxed with no expectations.
Now... my nerves were going crazy for the days leading up to the race.

Then... my only goal was to finish on my own two feet, not knowing if I could finish at all
Now... I had goals, and I was hell-bent on improving

Then... I had only a vague idea on how to pace or fuel over 26.2 miles; I just did whatever felt right
Now... I have room to improve but I had an actual plan this time!

Then... I hit the halfway point in 2:30 and I had no idea how I'd run 13.1 more miles.
Now... I hit the halfway point in 2:15, and I was excited for the second half.
*Side note: My first half-marathon, last October, was slower than 2:15!!!

Then... I ran much of the race with a sparse crowd of runners and spectators that were ready to pack it in for the day
Now... I had company the whole way (including a PT classmate!) and I was early enough for the gummi worms and for the beer, of which I only took the former

Then... I was convinced from mile 18 on that I was perhaps dying a slow, hot death and questioned repeatedly whether I could finish or not
Now... I was running mental calculations at mile 18 trying to figure out how hard I would have to push to hit my goal.  Only in the last .2 miles did I feel like I was going to not make it!

Then... 5:36:17
Now... 5:03:47.  Not my goal time but a huge 32:30 PR!

Then... I entered the finish chute hyperventilating and begging for water to be poured over my head
Now... I was all smiles and happy tears in the finish chute this year... even though there was no food.

Then... I hobbled back to the parking garage as if I had a stick up my bum; my legs felt broken
Now... I couldn't stop talking  about how I felt 100x better than the year before

Then... I lost 4 toenails total.
Now... Just ONE!

Then... I could barely move the next day, and I was overwhelmingly sore from head to toe for a few days
Now... I was certainly sore but all but my quads and hamstrings had recovered in 48 hours

Then... I was researching more races as soon as I was rested enough to keep my eyes open
Now... Ok, so I guess this is the point where things stopped changing.  Fall 26.2 maybe?

Then... mile 4.5 in 2012
Now... same mile mark 12 months later
Let's have a shout out for what running does for your legs...

What differences did you notice between your first race or marathon and any or all that came after that?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Runner of Steel

Marathon #2 is in the books.  I made myself a Runner of Steel in 5:03:47, for a 32:30' PR!
Hodnick Photography
And yes... already looking for Marathon #3.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Go Time... Goal Time

It's just about marathon "go" time!  Just need to double check my layout of gear for the morning and then I'll be trying to get 8ish hours of sleep before an early wake-up.

First though, it's goal.  Seeing as it's only my second marathon I'm still giving myself a nice comfy range this time.  Last year's goal was just to finish... alive.  I'm kicking it up a notch from that!

A Goal: 4:45
B Goal: sub 5:00
C Goal: PR
...and if I don't PR, something has gone terribly, horribly wrong!

I'm more than just a smidge excited to crush last year's time!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Marathon #2: The final countdown

1 day
11 hours
...some odd minutes

...and I'll be toeing the line for marathon #2 at the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon!  More specifically, I'll be toeing a random spot of pavement in the last corral, but that's neither here nor there.

I took a day off from work today to ensure I was well rested.  I love my kiddos, but my job can leave me physically, emotionally, and mentally drained by the weekend.  I figured an extra lazy day certainly wouldn't hurt!  This also meant I could hit the expo early and have that out of the way.  It was literally the only thing on my to-do list today, and I was home by noon.

Just like last year, I was able to walk right up to the bib, shirt, and bag tables without waiting in any lines at all.  I think the shirts are the same Asics long sleeve tech as last year, and I was glad I went with the Small.
The bag swag was pretty typical.  I didn't spend much time browsing or picking up samples; saving my legs and saving money!
Speaking of Boston, I was sure to swing by the Steel City Road Runners booth to buy my Boston wrist band.  It's a $1 donation to support OneFund, and an easy way to show support on Sunday or otherwise.
I'm hoping my Boston Strong chevron Bic Band shows up in the mail tomorrow too, just in time for race day!

Anyone else racing this weekend?  

Cheering for the Penguins tonight?  
You should be!