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I’m only running for the pancakes.

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Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.

Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year.  This used to be my attitude towards running:

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And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.

This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still utterly shit a far cry from healthy.

I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.

But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July,  a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.

Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.

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My only goal. Finish.

Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.

I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.

As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:

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But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.


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Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s!  Pancakes make me sooooo happy.

Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass,  running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor.  That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. 🙂 But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.

As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green!  Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.

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no pinching allowed!

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polka dots and shamrocks

That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.

But can y’all help a girl out?!

What say you,  fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?)  Am I crazy? 

…don’t answer that last one.

Flexible only applies to me in yoga.

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At Camp Mighty, Maggie told the story of her Life List item to see the sun rise over the Aegean. Once there in Greece, fearlessly about to reach success, she realized that the sun only SET over the Aegean. Her attitude could have been Shitty McGrumpypants, but she chose instead to go with it. It may not have been *exactly* what she wanted, but a slight discrepancy in semantics wasn’t going to derail her enthusiasm. To her, this choice of perspective stood out in her mind as a huge life lesson.

Be rigid only if you want to break.

I am a planner by nature. I have lists for my lists. So when we were told to narrow down our Life List to just five items for 2013, I was all over that shit. I carry them with me everywhere.

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Yet only a mere 49 days into 2013, and I’m already finding that my top five goals for 2013 may need some tweaking. Not for any huge, earth-shattering reasons… simply for the reason that situations change. Circumstances shift.

One of the main goals I’m speaking of is the purchase of my first house. Some outside influences have swept into my life and are postponing the house hunt until my footing is steady again. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen for me this year. It just means my projected timeline of early Spring is pretty much out the window unless some miracles of miracles happen.

I can choose to kick and scream about it or I can go with it.

Duh. I know what I have to do, because you know what? The curveballs? They’re good for me. They’re making me grow.

The same way all the curveballs of 2011 brought me to Atlanta and into beginning this journey in the first place, these new plot twists are getting me out of my own comfort zone and testing the mindset of the “new me”.

A shift of plans does not equal failure. It doesn’t mean that I won’t reach my goals. It only means that I’ll get them completed a little differently than anticipated.  I know everything will work out for the best, however curvy my path may become.  And I also feel in my heart that these changes are what is best for me in the long run.

Good things are ahead. 🙂

Hell On Wheels

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Yes, this entry is definitely categorized under Hot Mess.

There is a REASON we only roller skate as children. Or, it could just be me.  I suck at skating.  I also suck at rollerblading, ice skating, water skiing, skateboarding, snowboarding and snow skiing. So, pretty much anything that involves strapping my feet  –> which are attached to my stoopidlong legs –> which make up 75% of my stoopidtall body –> into some device that involves inertia-meets-gravity? Yeah, not having it.

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A little while ago my gym threw a social at a skating rink. Do me a favor and picture 20 grown men and women who do CrossFit. Now picture them on rollerskates.  Yep.  The same men who routinely kill it in the workouts that destroy me were now windmilling their arms and winding up on their asses. I tried and managed about 5 wobbly laps around the rink, but it was ugly.  I had to seriously focus on not being flattened by the little kids zipping around me, not staring too much at the teens who were humping the wall to the tune of the [explicit hip hop song] playing, and keeping an eye out for people suicidal enough to fall in my path. Did they not understand that STOPPING is not in my skillset?  Maybe I should have tried using one of the granny walkers (seen below). Safer, yes. Cool points? Maybe. I could make it sexy if I really tried.

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But, I will say that aside from the ‘I’m either gonna break my neck or kill a kid’ moments, it was a LOT of fun.

And then this was said:

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For the record, I did not say this.  I just wanted to be IN REAL SHOES and would have performed sexual favors to be rescued from this booty-rap death trap. What I did not count on was the way that the night would turn out.

I vaguely remember the following:

  • Sam Adams Winter Ale(s) – I lost count.
  • Learning a new dance called The Wobble.  Oh, you crazy twenty-somethings…
  • Flirting and being flirted with.
  • Playing board games at a different bar, while still drinking beer.
  • Telling my trainer friend that he really should shave his beard because he has such a good looking face. About 10 times.
  • Eating scrambled eggs, grits and a biscuit at 4am. #FAILEO
  • Falling asleep when the sun was coming up.

Oh man.  Most of the next day was spent on my couch recovering, thinking how much I’m too old for this shit. But even days later, I’m still smiling at how much fun it was.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta be a kid.