Thursday, June 28, 2012


 I'm sure you are sick of me telling you how beautiful my niece is. But she is. And now she's got a bubbly, sweet as sugar personality to match. 

Point is, these don't do her justice. It's taken me a long, long time to be "done" with editing them (my apologies to my sister) mostly because I wanted them to be perfect. As perfect as she is. 

 I finally realized that is impossible.

So, here they are. 

You may laugh, but you may not judge.

Yesterday, I left you as a cool person who was extremely excited about running.

Today, I am a non-cool person who wrecked on a bike.

We'll get to that later.

First, I would like to present you with this- a picture of me, riding a bike. Because I do know how to ride a bike.

I was even taking the picture WHILE I was riding.

So, I do know how to multi-task while riding a bike. Save this information for later, when you are judging me.
TRUTH: I almost wrecked like 3 times this day, too. I'm a klutz, and I'm smart enough to wear a helmet. So laugh and judge all you want. :)

About today- I woke up this morning with another rest day on the schedule. Luckily it was not a complete rest day, and I was very excited to have some time with my bike and my new Lululemon cycling shorts.

I was riding along, thinking, "I'm practically a real cyclist. I have cycling shorts. And a bike. Plus a helmet!"

Then boom!

Ok, I guess "boom" isn't the correct way to describe it, since I didn't run into anything. And nothing ran into me....

I was trying to speed up becasue I was about to climb this really long, really steep hill and I figured a little momentum wouldn't hurt. I realized I was thirsty- so as I was speeding up, I started to take a drink of water with one hand, leaving the other on the bike.

About 20 yards away, this truck starts backing out of a driveway. I think "I need to slow down, but I have plenty of time to put my water bottle back down, place both hands on the bike, and slow down properly". The hand that remained on the bike obviously disagreed and thought it was urgent, because I slammed on my front brake.

Then I proceeded to topple over the front of my bike.

In the middle of the street, trying to get up and pretend this never happned, "This is soooo not something that would happen to a real cyclist. They only have wrecks when there is actual imminent danger. A truck 20 yards away is not that dangerous when neither of us are going fast."

I tried get home as quickly as possible so none of my neighborhood running friends see the blood all over my chin. "I kind of want to wipe my chin with my shirt so it's not so obvious I just busted my face, but that will ruin the shirt and it's my favorite yellow short-sleeved running shirt. Maybe if I had a real cycling shirt this would have never happened." I ended up just acting like I had to scratch my face when I passed someone and tried to cover up my chin. And tried to not wreck again, obviously.

I only had a few scrapes, and I figured I would eventually get a few bruises. This was the third time I've worn my RoadID, which I finally just got around to purchasing. "I wonder if I can be on their website. There will be a picture of my face, all bloody and fugly, and I'll be so glad I was wearing my RoadID." (Un)Fortunately, they probably won't think this was that serious.

When I got home, Brandon cleaned up all of my scrapes for me, which made me feel much better.

Then he texted all of his friends and family, "This was what happened when Allison tried to cut my allowance".

I'm at work now, trying to act like a serious pharmacist with a Band-Aid on my chin.

In conclusion, the bike is fine, my shirt is fine, and I'm fine except for the fact that my face is jacked up and everyone is staring.


They are not really staring but I feel like being dramatic.

At least one good thing will come of this- Brandon is really good at taking care of me when I am sick or injured. And I am really really good at milking it for all it's worth.

He's already brought me lunch today and offered to ice my knee for me while I sit on the couch tonight and watch whatever I want.

I'll probably even a get ginormous serving of fro-yo, and not feel guilty at all. Because everyone needs ice cream when they (almost-but-not-really) get injured.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some Running Firsts

Good Morning!

Today is a fun day for me- as I transition from a casual runner to a semi-serious runner that is actually training for a half-marthon, I've had the opportunity to experience a few things for the first time.

I had Gu for the first time.

I've tasted a tiny amount of Gu before- enough to know I didn't care for the texture. Today I actually ate some for the first time- and it wasn't so bad. I didn't actually need Gu for my run today, but since I will need to take one on my LR this weekend to practice for my half-marathon, I decided to take one today to practice for my LR. Makes sense, right?

I really didn't want the first time I actually ate it to be in the middle of a hot, sweaty, long run since I knew I might throw up. I don't need anything jinxing my long runs- I've had enough bad experiences and anxiety attempting those in the past. Luckily, after my practice round this morning, I think I will survive taking one on my run this weekend.

Today was my first tempo run! Sure, I've read about them, I even know people who have done them... but I've never successfully completed one until today.

Last week, I kind of did one, but my pacing was erratic and there was a 15 second break when an old lady thought it would be a good idea to tell me how old all 5 of her dogs were while I was in the middle of a run. I felt like I cheated since I stopped to listen to her, and I wasn't happy with my pacing in the first place.

But today.... Today I did a lot better. It feels good to run fast (at least fast for me, anyways) and not die afterwards. Also, running fast during a 4 mile run? That has never happened to me before. In my past running life, running fast = 1 or 2 miles tops.

I'm grinning from ear-to-ear with endorphin induced happiness.

Today is the first time I've almost murdered someone over coffee.

I've seen coffee-less frenzies and rants on Twitter, but I experienced first-hand what it felt like today. I just started drinking coffee about a month or two ago, and I haven't graduated to grown-up coffee yet. I must have a good helping of soy milk in mine.

Yesterday, I woke up to no soy milk in the house. This means no coffee for Allison. (It also means no granola for breakfast GRRRR) I settled for a Diet Coke and went on with my day.

Today, there is STILL no soy milk! My husband is lucky to have survived the morning.

Lucky for him, I'm all happy and proud of myself after my run, I got ready early and had time to stop and get some coffee on my way to work.

(He was still rushing out the door to the grocery because he knows I can not go 2 days without cereal or granola.)

Yay! Coffee for Allison!

Somehow I also ended up leaving Starbucks with this.....

This is why I don't let myself go places!

I walk in for an already overpriced cup of iced coffee and get distracted by this red, white and blue (Olympics!) bracelet.

Oh, well. I guess it's for a good cause and I feel the need to express to everyone I see how much I love the Olympics, so we'll just go with it.

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.

Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and Olympic gold medal winner

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rest Days

I'm usually working at least a 10 hour shift or am incredibly busy on my "rest" days, but yesterday I found myself with only an 8 hour shift at work and a complete rest day on the calendar. Being strong-willed and stubborn, I of course woke up wanting to sweat.

Since I'm following Coach Adam's training plan these days, I decided to use the extra time in the morning to make myself presentable.

I needed some yellow in my life.

I'm not used to getting off of work so early, which made the fact that it was a rest day even more torturous. I was a bit restless and cranky, but some Fruit Punch fat-free dairy-free sorbet and an episode of Law & Order later, I was a happy girl.

Having extra play time with my Phoebekins wasn't so bad, either.

That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.

Kara Goucher

Running allows me to have time to relax, time to think, a chance to get out any frustrations. Running first thing in the morning makes me happy for the rest of the day, and makes me realize how much I love my life.

And Adam is denying me of this happiness.

Sort of.

Thank goodness for my other "rest" days this week, Adam is allowing me to ride my bike. I need to be outside in this gorgeous (but hot) weather, I need to sweat, I need to use up some energy, and I need to try out my new Lululemon cycling shorts.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Maybe It Was Magic

I had the best run that I can remember for a long, long time this morning. I felt amazing, like I could go on forever without being tired or out of breath. I ran 6 this week at a faster pace than I ran 4 last week- and it felt so easy.

I must document everything that could have played a part so that this magic can happen more often.

Maybe it was the preparation. 

I had some good ole fashioned carb loading for dinner last night (ahem, left over pasta, a breadstick, and a small bowl of cereal for dessert...), and stayed hydrated all day long. I set out everything I would need to get ready this morning. This really helps me feel in control instead of scrambling around in the dark to grab all of my things. 

I set out for 5 miles, but Adam gave me the go ahead to run 6 if I felt really good. 

Maybe it was the music. 

I listen to audiobooks 95% of the time when I run. For some reason today just felt like a music day. I love to listen to Eminem when I'm running as much as the next person, but sometimes a happy song like this is just what you need when you feel like you are flying. O.A.R.'s Hey Girl came up right as I hit 4, and at that moment I knew I could do 6 easily. 

You should probably just go ahead and hit play so you can listen to it while you read. And add it to your iPod so you can experience the magic. 

Maybe it was in my head.

I went out with a very calm mindset. I've had some anxiety in the past when my long runs got up to 7 or 8 miles and it felt overwhelming. I knew I could definitely do 5, and a 6th mile was just a bonus. 

I told myself from early on, "If Amy Hastings can finish her 10k in that much pain and kick that much butt, you can too."
Maybe it was confidence.

I can't really explain it, but something about having a plan that I know will work, makes sense, and isn't called "Allison makes this crap up and changes it to fit her fancy" makes me feel good about what I am doing. 

I have a plan. And I'm following it. (That last part is really important for training. Plans don't do you any good if you don't follow them, FYI.)

Maybe Adam actually knows what he's talking about.

Speaking of my plan, something made me trust this guy to come up with it. 

The Boring Runner

I think that was a good decision. He's smart. He lets me rest, and I don't even feel guilty about it! Which may have been a key part in today's magic. My legs felt like they could have kept going and going.

 I felt so strong. 

Maybe hard work pays off. 

I've been really trying to take care of my body lately. I've been sleeping well, paying attention to what I put into my body, hydrating, resting, and running exactly what Adam tells me to. 

 I know not every run will be this great, but today gives me hope that I can survive San Francisco, and possibly even make the little kiddies at St. Jude proud. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tomorrow's Potential

Sometimes it's easy to get frustrated with running. You can't go as long or as fast as you'd like, or it feels more difficult and hurts more than you think it should. But that is today.

What about tomorrow, or the next day, the next month, the next year- after you have put in the work? So much can change with hard work.

I've been reading The Lola Papers (which I highly recommend BTW), and the following passage really stood out to me:

I don't know about you, but I've definitely used that excuse before.

"It doesn't come easy for me."

"There is no way I could ever run that fast"

Who does it comes easy for? Shalane Flanagan? Kara Goucher?
Sure, they have some amount of natural talent, but they still work at it. They work very hard.
They've put in the time, and the miles.

It's exciting to think about. Today, it's hard for me to imagine being able to run a half-marathon as fast as I'd like. It's hard for me to imagine running a marathon at all.

But I haven't put in the time, or the miles.

Who knows, with a few months, and eventually years of hard work- after putting in my time and my miles- what I can do?

Only time will tell. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My 5 Gold Stars

As I mentioned in my previous post, "training" is a new thing to me as a runner. Sure, I made a training schedule for each of my half-marathons. They were based off of Hal Higdon's training plan, but modified by me to fit into my work/life schedule. And then I proceeded to procrastinate on getting started. And then I skipped a few runs... or cut them short. I officially named the plan "Allison makes this crap up and then changes it to fit her fancy". Needless to say, that whole plan didn't work very well for me.
St. Jude Hero! Yay!
Last Sunday when Adam e-mailed me my training plan, I was pumped and ready to go. I've always been a bit of a goody-two-shoes when it comes to teachers, coaches, and authority. You know, the little brat who still had all 5 of her gold stars at the end of the week for "good behavior"? Yeah, that was me. A suck-up in the presence of authority, but when the teacher turned her back I was launching erasers across the room with the contraption I had made from my supply box and pencils.

Me at the peak of brattiness. You want me to smile? Well I'll do it, but I might not be happy about it. 
When Adam sent me the plan, I was absolutely determined to do exactly what he said.
 I had no intentions of loosing my 5 gold star status in the first week.

For example, Monday, he told me to run 2 easy miles. If I couldn't say "Why did I hire stupid Adam as my coach?" in between breaths, I was going too fast. I headed out the door, checking myself at least every two minutes to make sure I was running at the right pace.

As I was trotting along, I noticed a huge black cloud that looked like it would be over my head at any minute. Then suddenly, the wind picked up majorly and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. Before I knew it, some hipster stopped his car right beside me and yelled, "You better run home, there is a (*flipping*) tornado on Poplar!"

This was the storm above me as I was running. 
I was about 0.5 miles from home, but had looped around the neighborhood and was at exactly 1 mile. Since I'm not stupid, I turned around and headed back towards my house. However, since I am a goody-two-shoes and refused to tell Adam I had wimped out of a lousy 2 mile run because of the weather (how lame would that excuse sound?), I didn't go home.

I ran up and down my street, back and forth, until my Garmin vibrated that I had hit 2 miles. Sure, I looked over my shoulder every 15 seconds to see if the tornado was approaching, and when a tree branch fell and hit a truck right behind me I think my heart rate jumped to about 500, but I finished out those 2 miles, dang-it.

See? Branches in the street = danger. 
Turns out, I think the hipster was being a tiny bit dramatic. There was no tornado.

The rest of the week, I continued to surprise myself with how much better I was running when I went out with a plan. The thought of having to report that I went slower than expected for no reason other than I just didn't feel like it made me actually TRY. (As opposed to just giving up when I get bored or when it gets even slightly difficult. )

There wasn't an option to cut a run short unless my femur cutting through broken skin or something. There was no way I was going to get anything less than an A+ on my weekly report card, so I pushed myself.  I give myself 5 gold stars.

If you haven't heard, neon shoes + training makes you faster and stronger. 
I'm thinking I could get used to this thing you guys call "training". I did a smart thing, hiring Adam as my coach. I absolutely need to push myself more physically, but what has prevented me from doing so in the past is what goes on in my head.

The fact that he knows what he's doing and wouldn't tell me to do something I can't gives me the confidence to get out there and just do it. At some point I'm sure I will honestly mean it when I mutter under my breath, "Why did I hire stupid Adam as my coach?", and possibly even launch virtual erasers at the back of his head. But for now, he gets an apple for being a good coach and teacher. 

For My Dad

I've always been a Daddy's Girl. How could I not be? I honestly think my Dad might be the sweetest man in the whole entire world. 

Especially when it comes to me. :)

He has always done anything and everything he can for me. Spending hours working with me to practice softball, taking off work early to come to my volleyball games, and sitting through way too many 3 hour dance recitals to count. 

He is such a hard worker, but still likes to have fun every chance he can get. 

He has a strong faith in God and loyalty to his family that I have always admired in him. 

I try (and fail, most of the time) to be even-tempered, good natured, and just "go with the flow" like he does. 

I like to think that I inherited some small amount of his craftiness, creativity, and common sense. 

I always wanted to marry a man that treated me just like my Dad- which is basically spoiling me, letting me do whatever I want while encouraging me to always do my best,  being there to support me, and only putting his foot down when it really really matters. I think I came pretty close, except that Brandon doesn't wake me up himself every morning (he actually makes me use an alarm clock!) with homemade waffles (which is probably a good thing). 

I love you, Daddy, and I hope someday I will grow up and be just like you (In addition to looking just like you).

Friday, June 15, 2012

I think this is completely logical and normal. Or it might be hoarding.

You know those products that you can't live without? The ones that you are always afraid of running out of, or fear that they will be discontinued and you will never find anything like it, so you stock up on it to decrease that anxiety?

No? You don't do that? That's just me? Ok.

Well, these are the things that I'm stocking up on right now.

Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. I eat this EVERY day with my apples. Stockpiling commence- I signed up for a subscription for this on Amazon and got 15% off for it.

This isn't really news- and I think it's completely normal. When I find running gear I like, I stick to it. And I stock up on it in every color I can. Also, I need enough duplicates to get me through a few days without having to do laundry

I love these Nike tanks, because they are loose fitting and long enough to cover my bum. Plus, they are made of dri-fit (essential) and they come in pretty neon colors. Neon is a must for me when I run, because everyone knows neon makes you fast.

These Lululemon shorts are my first big purchase from there via their website, and I'm pretty sure I could live in them. Lululemon has now been added to the stores that I am obsessed with, and will forever stalk their website and stores for new products and sales.

Nike Frees are my one and only love when it comes to running shoes. If I can catch a pair on sale, they are mine! I am too embarrassed to admit how many pair I own at the moment. In my defense, many are retired from running and now only serve as work shoes.

After a eye-opening visit to Urban Outfitters this week, I've finally faced the fact that I'm preppy. I've actually known this for a while but I'm just now admitting it to myself. J. Crew sales have been outrageous lately, and I've scored several AMAZING deals. I never pass up a classic Jackie cardigan on sale, and picked up this one in a powder blue, and another in retro lemon.

This may or may not be hoarding, but at least it's hoarding electronics and not cat figurines. I posted this proof of my love for electronics last night to Twitter. They come in fun colors, tell you all kinds of cool information, and let you over-share lots of information to strangers on the internet. I need most of them close to me at all times or I feel naked, but some are just for funzies- for example....

This is completely ridiculous and unnecessary. But I had a gift card that I was ready to get rid of, and it sure does get some good laughs. Also, it's perfect for when I do coaching sessions over the phone and need something way cooler than a bluetooth headset.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...