Wednesday, August 24, 2011

13.1 Miles Behind Me

We went to Chicago for some sight-seeing and the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon a little over a week ago. Saturday morning, we took a leisurely stroll down to the race expo to pick up our race packets. They included a super nice dry-fit race T-shirt, and free samples and coupons for all kind of runner's goodies from bluetooth headphones to Gu Chews. The countdown had begun!

 While trying not to get too anxious over the challenge ahead of me, we had to make sure we were eating plenty of carbs, staying properly hydrated, and not wearing our legs out too much. There is a science to all of this, which I have studied quite thoroughly, and let's just say the goal is urine that is perfectly "straw" colored. Fortunately, Brandon and I are completely comfortable discussing these matters of science and human physiology in depth. (That IS a good thing, right? :) I think so.)

Saturday night we ate at a swanky little vegan restaurant and then watched Rocky on my iPad (because WHAT ELSE would you watch before your big event to get pumped up?!?), and tried to get to sleep early.

On Race Day, we woke up at 4am, ate a hearty breakfast, drank more water, stretched, and headed down to the starting line in Grant Park. The anticipation and the excitement in the air was so inspiring!

Before- excited and anxious!

I went into the race with my longest run being 7 miles. (I had several longer runs planned, but several things got in the way- including a tiny little panic attack during my 10-miler, which was two days before the president of Kroger visited my pharmacy and a week before the race, but we are just pretending that never happened.) So, my goal was to simply finish.

The first 7-8 miles were glorious. I felt amazing, my pace was better than expected, the crowd was so much fun, and the city and weather were absolutely gorgeous. Then, all the sudden it wasn't amazing. My achilles tendon was screaming at me, every single muscle in my legs ached like I had never felt before, and the wind was blowing rain directly into my face. My will to continue faded fast. I walked on and off for the rest of the race.

Nevertheless, when I crossed that finish line, I was so proud of myself. For the last hour of the race, I wanted to call those men in the golf carts and pay them to drive me to the sidewalk of our hotel so badly!  I kept going, somehow, which I wouldn't have been able to do without Brandon by my side telling me to be tough.

After- soaking wet with sweat and rain and tired, but proud!

I feel like this race was about proving to myself that I could do it. Now that I know that, I have so much more confidence going forward with my training for the St. Jude half. I'm excited to train in the fall weather, to support St. Jude, and to (hopefully) improve my time significantly.

At the risk of sounding cliche- Many hours were consumed during my training. There was a lot of sweat, several blisters, a little insomnia, some anxiety and even a few tears (during that non-existent panic attack), but every bit of it was so worth it! I know the St. Jude half will be even more fun and more rewarding, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Favorite Things About My iPad

I'm so freaking excited about these things, I just couldn't wait..

First up is the calendar. In the past, I was a paper calendar fanatic. With the use of MobileMe, I've become addicted to my iCal. I can add something on my computer, and it instantly syncs to my iPhone, and now, my iPad. I put my work schedule, my running schedule, bills due, and to-do list on there, and then live by it. Now, I can do that easier when I'm on the go with my iPad.

Next... books and magazines in color! The screen displays a gorgeous picture. I love this- everything in one place, plus it doesn't waste paper!

Zite is an app that lets you input your interests, then it creates an online magazine personalized just for you! I can read about Twilight, Harry Potter, running, vegan and vegetarian recipes and products, DIY projects- anything I like all in one place!

A similar app called Flipboard lets you skim headlines and pictures from the top news of the day on whatever subjects you choose, from whichever outlets you choose. I can browse Time Magazine, Fox News, Runner's World, The Satorialist, Google Reader and People Magazine within a minute or two. If I don't have time to read everything right then, I can save my articles to view offline later, or e-mail them to my Evernote to save permanently.

My Flipboard Home Screen
The top news from Time Magazine
Which brings me to the best part... Evernote! If you aren't a total OCD organizing freak like me, then you may not appreciate this. For years, I've clipped magazine articles, web pics, recipes, and ideas I want to save for later without a good way to organize them. Hence, I have a few decorating pics on my computer, a bazillion bookmarks on my internet browser, a recipe book I never look at, and a stash of papers torn out from magazines that gives me anxiety to think about. 

With Evernote, I can save online articles, pictures, and ideas into notes. I can tag those notes, and put them into notebooks organized by category to keep track of them all. Since I'll be buying my magazines on my iPad from now on, I can simply save a good inspirational running article under the notebook "Fitness" with a tag of "inspiration" and "running". Every time I find a pic on a blog of a decorated room that I like, I'll save it in my "Home Decor" notebook and refer back to it next time I re-decorate my house. 

All of my "all over the place" ideas and "I want to remember this for later" articles and pictures can be in one place and easily found when needed. 

Sigh. I'm gonna sleep better tonight knowing that. 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

It's Been A Crazy Couple of Months...

Lots of big things have been happening in my life...

First, I GRADUATED!! Finally! It's been a long, hard, and financially difficult road, but the hard work will soon pay off.

Graduation festivities with my pharmacy school besties

Next, I passed my boards! Yay me! I've never had much test anxiety, but boy, did I have test anxiety that day. Actually- that whole week. I've never experienced such a weight being lifted off my shoulders as I did after walking out of that test, feeling like I had passed that sucker with flying colors. And I did.

Soon after, I got an official license as a pharmacist! I've been working my for-real-adult, grown-up job for almost two weeks now, and.... it's different. I love the feeling of being "off work" when I'm not at work. As a student, you never really feel like you have time off. There is always something to be studied.

On the other side, it's very odd not having a huge goal to work towards. Sure, I'm working on saving for a house. I have a goal to run a half-marathon in a few weeks. But, I feel like I should be learning something with some of my time off.  So, I'm considering taking classes in spanish, or becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. Maybe both. We'll see.

I got an IPAD!!!! Yippee! I've been glued to the thing every moment that I've been home since I got it. I haven't been so productive in real life, but in my internet-browsing life, I'm way ahead of the game.

Brandon and I are going to Chicago in less than two weeks to run my first half-marathon! So, I've been attempting to train for that...

Saving the best for last- I'm going to be an aunt! Anniston Ruth is due on October 18th, and Kelly and I have been spending a large amount of our days shopping for the essentials, planning baby showers, and making sure that she gets to sleep in the cutest nursery ever!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...