Monday, September 20, 2010

13.1 miles (part deux!)

I recently completely my second half-marathon. This time, I hoped to improve upon my finish from last year.

I went into the race with three goals:

1. Walk through the aid stations and actually drink some Gatorade and water. Success! I remembered that I tried to run through the first few aid stations last year and I wasn't very successful at actually downing any fluids. So, this year I specifically told myself to walk through the aid stations. Sure, I hated slowing to a walk, but it was rather refreshing to pass people after each stop :)

2. Finish strong. Success! I wasn't running this particular race as a true race. Instead, I wanted to run at a strong, but comfortable pace. In an ideal world I wanted to finish the race and feel two things: I could have run faster and continued running. When I came through the final stretch and out kicked a guy, I felt really good. I got a shout-out from the race director at the finish line, which has never happened before because people are too intimidated to try saying my last name aloud (silly hubs!). But after I crossed the finish line I found my bestie B and grinned, "I could have kept running!" This was a drastic improvement upon last year's race when B practically had to pull me across the finish line.

3. Finish in under two hours. Success! I'm even more impressed that I finished with running sub 9minute miles because I did walk through every aid station and I kept telling myself to slow down during the race. I was running really well despite the low temperatures, rain, and mud during the race.

Overall, I'm really happy with the race. My goals were all met, which is fantastic. I wanted to run a decent time, but also know that I could have continued on for 16-18 miles at the same pace (or somewhere close to the same pace). The objective wasn't to run the fastest time I could, rather keep in mind that the bigger picture, aka the full marathon is just over a month away.

I'm also proud of my running because I ran by myself. When I convinced B to run a marathon with me she remarked, "I know I ran your first half with you, but if I'm going to commit to training for a full marathon I'm going to run it for time." Her time goal was to run in the 1:45 area during the half, which is a time way beyond what I could have run. So, I borrowed her boyfriend's Nike watch because my cheap Target watch broke on me! At some point I'll upgrade and get a Garmin, but for now I'm happy just knowing I'm running distances rather than times.

Unfortunately, I don't have a single picture from the race. Well, that's kind of a lie because there are pro pictures online and I do actually look somewhat decent in some of them (that never happens, I think the rain helped). B and I ran this race on our own and treked back to her place on the DC Metro. Note to self: taking the Metro after running for nearly 2 hours in the rain sucks. You're wet, cold, muddy and did I mention cold? B and I decided that a half was a little ol' thing and told the boys they didn't need to come.

Dear Significant Others: when your ladies tell you don't need to come, that means you should still get up and be there at the finish (preferably with a warm towel or sweatshirt).

It's fine, I'm not bitter at all. After the race we had a girl time and went and got pedicures. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We moved!

(that would be a past out hubs tired from moving all of our furniture in 90-plus degree heat)

That's really the reason I haven't posted practically all summer. The hubs and I moved over the summer and it's been quite a long process between finding a new place, packing, moving, and unpacking.

Moving away from Towson was bittersweet. We both loved the area, but my commute was just too miserable and I was an uber bitch most nights. Not exactly good for the home life. Leaving for work at 6:30am and not getting home until 12 to 13 hours later wasn't making me all giddy and sunshiny happy. Certainly, carpooling with the hubs 90% of the time was nice (he did most of the driving!), but I can't say that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic could be construed as "quality time."

So, we left Towson. It's really sad because I really liked living within 3 miles of everything. Seriously, Trader Joe's, Safeway, Michael's, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Louis Vuitton (like I shopped there!), PetSmart, Target, Joann's Fabric, Sports Authority, Chipotle, Green Turtle, and possibly every other store you could think of was right around the corner! I'm going to miss Trader Joe's, Chipotle and Sushi Hanna the most. Every Friday the hubs and I either stopped off at Sushi Hanna or Belvedere Square for dinner.

But, that killer commute was figuratively driving me crazy.

With that being said we had to find a place that was within our budget, close to a train station, had a fenced in yard, central air, and would take two Boston Terriers. Oh yeah, we're renters... so much fun! The most annoying thing about renting is that you're almost forced to wait until the very last minute to find a place. Nothing showing is available in two to three months. Everything is available NOW or in two weeks.

I'm actually proud that I was able to convince the hubs to take a serious look at living in Baltimore. We went to quite a few places in Federal Hill, but in the end the lure of a larger yard pulled us to a townhouse development just south of Baltimore. That and I'm now a whopping .8 miles from the train station! It's absolutely magical leaving the house 9 minutes before the train arrives and having plenty of time to park and make the walk down the train station parking lot. It's even better to not have to listen for the traffic report in the morning because my "commute" doesn't involve a single highway.

So, we're slowly starting to decorate. Okay, that's a bold faced lie. I'm slowly starting to decorate. The hubs could live in a card board box and be happy as long as it had a big screen tv and a PS3 hooked up!

Hopefully, in the coming weeks I'll be able to pull my head out of a closet and start posting more often.

Because really, moving absolutely sucks!!!