28

Happy Monday! I hope you had a GREAT weekend! I'll have a full race recap and breakdown of the weekend coming up this week, but I finished my 6th marathon on Saturday and got a new PR of 3:52. I felt absolutely fantastic the entire race and was still smiling (and passing A LOT of runners) at mile 25! I didn't quite negative split, but this was by-far my best feeling marathon ever. I finished 9th in my age group and 31st female overall. This was a pretty hilly course and I felt great the day after. Barely sore and actually fit in a slow recovery run of 5 miles (~11 min pace) and 5 mile walk too! 

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Today is my birthday! I can hardly believe that I'm 28. I honestly wished to be in my 'late twenties' ever since I hit 21 and it's gone by so quickly. It's funny how for so long you always think that a certain age is considered 'old' and then as you age, that number just keeps increasing as you do ;) I'm such a type-A planner and it's crazy to think how my younger self depicted my life would be like when I was 28. I envisioned a completely different life (married, in a great career that I loved, living in a house that I own, potentially thinking about starting a family, living somewhere in New England, etc.) for myself and now, I honestly wouldn't change a thing. 

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Sure, I've grown up a bunch, but it's amazing to me how I continue to grow and continue to not 'sweat the small stuff'. I still struggle at times, but comparing where I am to where others my age are is much less important to me now. I remember when my first friend got engaged, married, amazing career opportunity, bought a house, etc. and how jealous and put-down I felt (no one was putting me down, expect I was doing that to myself). I'm not sure if its because these big life moments just seem ordinary or I'm in a different place now (maybe a bit of both), but I'm getting better with just 'brushing them off' and focusing on me.

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So, enough rambling. Here's 28 things I've learned thus far in my life:

  1. I really love cookingI love to bake/ create new recipes/ meal-plan and have a delicious meal that I made from scratch. 
  2. My perfect Saturday night is staying home, cudding with Alex, Stella, and our kittens, with a meal that we cooked together and watching a movie (or catching up on House of Cards... we're on Season 4!!) I could care less about going out to dinner/ going to a bar/ eating take out. Not for me. 
  3. I really love Pilates and Barre. I love how strong I feel after a hard class and the positive environment that they are!
  4. I love spending time outdoors. Whether it's having a window open when it's only 50* out, walking the dog, or just sitting outside on the deck I just can never get enough fresh air. 
  5. I have little patience for fake personalities. I'm such a positive polly and LOVE to be happy and positive all the time, but this is just something I have zero patience for. Authenticity all the way!
  6. I am uber patient. Not sure what career is great for super patient people, but I'd probably be really great at it. Give me a skating class of whiny 3 year olds and I can rock it. 
  7. I'm getting better at voicing my opinion. If I disagree, I'm more apt to be more vocal about it. Thanks to Alex for helping me find my inner voice (that's definitely something I've always admired about him- he stands up for what he believes in)
  8. I LOVE our kittens to death. I haven't had a kitten in a long time and forgot how much pure JOY they bring you. I feel like my heart is going to explode every time they're snuggled up against me. 
  9. I love to run and set goals and train really hard for something. My favorite thing about training hard and keeping a running log is looking back over all those hard workouts and difficult runs that you accomplished (one reason why I started blogging in the first place)!
  10. Gilmore Girls is life. Always has been, always will be. It's my go-to when I'm ready to nap/ wanting to zone out/ cleaning/ running on the treadmill. It NEVER gets old.
  11. I relate most to Monica from Friends mixed with Pam from the Office. I'm not exactly super OCD about everything (Monica..), but I am as nerdy as Pam is. 
  12. I really love visiting our National Parks. Whether it's driving there/ hiking at the park/ camping. I love the history and the pure beauty that they bring. 
  13. I no longer want to shove my feet into uncomfortable (but cute) shoes. Zero space in my life for things like that! Why can't they just make comfortably cute shoes?!?
  14. I don't put on make-up everyday and I'm cool with it. Gone is the day where I need to look 100% put together. Life is too short. I still like getting dressed up and doing my make-up/ hair, but it rarely happens (at least all together)...
  15. I've become much more adventurous. If you would've asked me to go sky-diving or hike up a 14,000' mountain ten years ago, I would've said hell no. But now- I'm up for so many things and truly want to experience it all. Life is much too short. 
  16. If I want ice cream or some skittles, I'm going to. Gone are the days where I say no to sweets or never get dessert. I absolutely still watch what I eat and keep everything in moderation, but it's kinda crazy to go to Italy and not get a cannoli. Live it up!
  17. Pizza and pasta are life. Not sure if this will ever change as I get older?
  18. Kayaking is no longer evil and is actually pretty fun. Who would've thought that what I once feared-for-my-life is actually not scary at all? 
  19. Mixed drinks just aren't for me. I had my fair-share in college and I think I'm good. I'll still enjoy a nice glass of wine or beer once in a while (i.e. ~3-4 times A YEAR), but it's not really something I'm "into"
  20. Transferring your car lease to a loan is really time-intensive, but you feel super adult about it afterwards. 
  21. Student loans suck. They are what they are. Maybe someday I'll know what it feels like to not have them anymore? 
  22. Goods friends are really hard to find. If you find them, hang on to them for dear life.
  23. OK or flaky friends are just not worth my time or energy. 
  24. Less jewelry= better. Gone are the days where I would completely accessorize an outfit. Just a few solid, nice pieces are all I really need. 
  25. Nice furniture is expensive, but worth it. That Casper mattress is worth every penny. 
  26. Sunscreen is SO important. Not sure why I thought it was *cool* to bathe in the sun without it when I was 14, but I was very very wrong. 
  27. Milestones are worth celebrating. Cat birthdays, Stella's half-birthday, the first time we moved in together, the day where I drove across the country to live in CO- all are important and remind us how far we've come. 
  28. My people are my world. Supportive family/friends/animals are worth a lot and their advice/encouragement/ words of wisdom really are worth taking. 
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 Dessert last night...so good..no regrets!

Dessert last night...so good..no regrets!

 Loving life.

Loving life.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Favorite birthday? --> I had a Wild Thornberries party at the ice rink one year and that was amazing. My love of adventures & the ice blended...

I'll be celebrating the day with a cupcake/ yoga on the porch/ watching gilmore girls/ planting some marigolds! Alex is out of town and today's a rest day from running so doing the little things that I enjoy!

Friday Feature: My Plan For The Salt Lake City Marathon!

Happy Friday! I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend and if you're racing, GOOD LUCK! I'm on route to SLC as of noon today, but wanted to quickly share with you some of my goals for the marathon tomorrow morning. I've had a solid training cycle, but remaining healthy and recovering smart after the race are my biggest goals. I've put a big goal of trying to break 3:40 in the marathon this year and like to use small stepping stones to get me to bigger goals (like qualifying for the Boston Marathon). So, I'm hoping this race will just be a stepping stone to getting me to that qualifying time one day. 

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Here's my goals for race day TOMORROW:

A. Have fun and enjoy every mile!

B. Negative-split

C. PR. This would be breaking anything under 3:55:33

Here are my pace-goals for the race tomorrow:

-Miles 1-10: relax and hold-back my pace. Keep form in-check and take fuel every 5 miles. Keep my pace between 8:45-8:50.

-Miles 10-15: settle into an 8:35 pace and stay strong through the hilly sections

-Miles 15-20: hold onto an 8:35/8:30 pace and keep taking gels every 5 miles

-Miles 20-23: hit goal-pace of 8:20

-Miles 23-finish: If I'm feeling strong, try to go below 8:20. If I'm struggling, hold on to 8:20 pace and finish with a smile.

Have a great Friday and weekend everyone!

One thing you're looking forward to this weekend? --> definitely an Inn and Out burger after the race!

5 Non-Running-Related Photos From Our Weekend!

You may think that I only run and eat and sleep (and you'd mainly be right), but I do also do other things as well ; ) So here's 5 photos that are NOT running related from our relaxing weekend at home. Also last two photos are an AH-MAZING onion soup recipe from The Runner's World Meals on The Run Cookbook (you can find it here). I cannot speak highly enough about this cookbook. Every single recipe we've had from it has been exceptional and so easy. I don't think there has been a recipe that's taken us longer than 30 minutes to cook! 

 Hiding or scheming....Brady would be really great at Poker

Hiding or scheming....Brady would be really great at Poker

 Strength Training in comfy socks. Check!

Strength Training in comfy socks. Check!

 Found them like this after my run on Sunday...I'm not really sure if they could get any cuter?!

Found them like this after my run on Sunday...I'm not really sure if they could get any cuter?!

 SO GOOD. SO EASY. YOU MUST MAKE THIS!

SO GOOD. SO EASY. YOU MUST MAKE THIS!

 Added another piece of bread after the photo was taken....Alex may have had 4 pieces of bread in his soup?!? Boys are crazy. 

Added another piece of bread after the photo was taken....Alex may have had 4 pieces of bread in his soup?!? Boys are crazy. 

What's your favorite flavor of homemade soup? --> I really love chicken noodle or a good sausage minestrone

Strength training at home yay or nay? --> I used LOVE doing strength training at the gym and never at home, but honestly I've been doing it more at home later in the day after work (or after a run on the weekends) and it's been pretty great to have a show going and get my strength in then. Gilmore Girls is a great working out buddy ; )

Shows you're loving right? --> We just started back up on House of Cards (we're in the midst of Season 3) and always love the Office / Gilmore Girls/ Friends/ Greys Anatomy. 

I've Been Slacking & My Foam Rolling Buddy

I'm not sure if it's because I now have more time that I've let my schedule get too flexible or if I'm recuperating from my hectic week last week, but I've seriously been slacking on justtt about everything. Paid my bills the day they were due (normally I'm a day or two early), I've taken two showers this week after my runs where I've only given myself 5 minutes to shower/ dress/ get to work (i.e. definitely not enough time), I haven't scheduled my blog posts like I normally do, and social media posts are just all over the place this week. Oh well, I'm just really looking forward to getting my *ish together this weekend. 

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I really really wish that having a desk bed at work was a thing like it was on Seinfeld for George because I could really use one today. I did 10.15 trail miles last night at an easy recovery pace (first trail run of the season & also had to post-hole through the snow at one point completely losing the trail for a bit) and did 13 miles this morning with 10 miles at goal marathon pace => 23.15 miles within 12 hours and I'm exhausted! I was already so sore from pilates yesterday, so knew that this mornings run would be painful no matter what, so I just went out and did it. Ironically, it honestly felt like those last few miles of marathon where everything hurts A LOT and your legs are dead. So, on the bright side I guess it was good practice. 

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Also had the cutest and most cuddly foam rolling buddy this morning at 5am before I left for my run. Brady looks cute here, but in actuality- he was scheming to attack my arm just a few seconds later...so naughty (but we still love them oh so much). 

How's your week going? 

What are you looking forward to most this weekend? --> sleeping in two days in a row. *thank goodness!!*

MS Run The US Week 15 Training Rundown

Humpday! We're less than 50 days away from the start of my MS Run The US Relay Start line! AND less than 15 days away from the start of the Salt Lake City Marathon! Also I cannot believe that I failed to mention that we've officially entered into my Birthday month (it's on the 23rd). Although it will probably be gray/cloudy/rainy on my birthday, it's still one of my favorite days (I love holidays and birthdays) to celebrate another year of health, happiness, and achieving/setting goals. I also cannot believe I'm officially getting into my late 20's. Gosh. I feel old. As if logging into Facebook now and seeing names that I no longer know (because so many are married/ legally changed their last names) and so many baby photos didn't remind me! 

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Anyways, I got completely off subject and now let's recap my last peak week before the SLC Marathon! I ran a total of 63 miles and got up exceptionally early (4am) every morning last week to fit my runs in and worked over 55 hours!! I'm honestly shocked that I made it through every workout and while I didn't *nail* my tempo run, I've learned that doing marathon-paced runs right at the beginning of the week isn't the best idea and will try mine this morning instead of bright and early on Mondays. I also managed to fit in a 20 mile long run (15 miles and then 5 miles later on) AND negative-split it. So that was really exciting for me! The runners high from that workout is still going strong 5+ days later.... ; )

 Foam rolling with kittens before 5am...that was FUN..at least they're super cute...

Foam rolling with kittens before 5am...that was FUN..at least they're super cute...

Monday: 1.5 mi warm-up; 10 miles @ goal marathon pace 8:20-8:35 (actual: 8:31); 1.5 mi cool-down -> 13 miles total

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Tuesday: 8 miles easy @ 10:05 478' elevation gain + 15 minutes of strength

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Wednesday: 1.6 mi warm-up; 3 x 2 mi repeats @ 8:00-8:10 (800m (0.5 mi) recovery between sets)--> splits: 8:07; 8:03; 8:10; 1.9 mile cool-down --> 11 miles total

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Thursday: 8 miles easy @ 10:00 + 10 min strength

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Friday: 15 miles long-slow pace (9:03-9:18 goal) + 5 miles long-slow pace (9:03-9:18 goal) later on at lunchtime. Splits looked like this: first 5 miles @ 9:45; next 5 miles @ 9:20ish; next 5 miles @ 9:00ish; last 5 miles @ 8:50ish --> first 15 miles avg @ 9:21; last 5 miles avg @ 8:51. Foam rolled/iced afterwards and really didn't feel sore at all.

Saturday: 30 minutes of strength/foam rolling & 3 miles easy @ 10:21

Sunday: Rest Day --> lots of foam rolling & legs up the wall! & tart cherry juice extract

Positive Splits:

  • Negative-split my long run (yes, negative splits here is a good thing!)
  • Still fit in 3 strength training sessions
  • Hit my splits on my speedwork session!
  • Fit in my mileage and focused on nutrition

Negative Splits:

  • Tempo run could've been better
  • Didn't fit in as *much* recovery items as I would have liked (epsom salt baths/ legs up the wall/ recovery yoga)

How's your training going?

One thing you splurged on last week? <-- finished the last 5 miles of my long run and got a chocolate shake from DQ. It was amazing. Also got in a nap in the afternoon before the ice show that night. Perfect afternoon ; )