Wednesday, November 20, 2013

two items of note

1.  Today I registered for my first ultramarathon.  I will be running the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50k on March 8.  I am very excited.  It is just 20 minutes from my house and should be beautiful.

2.  My pathophysiology class is comprised of about 45 second degree nursing students, 45 traditional undergrad nursing students, and 45 human science students.  Today, our professor conducted an informal survey to see who was in class.  The results?

40 second degree students
10 human science students
3 traditional nursing students

Sunday, November 17, 2013

OBX marathon recap

After this race, the marathon has officially become my favorite distance.  It used to be the 10 miler or half marathon, but this race has converted me.  I may never go back. 

Emily dropped me off at the race start and I stayed warm wrapped up in a yard of fleece fabric that I had bought at Wal-Mart the night before.  It was totally worth the $3 I spent on it.

Miles 1-5 (7:44, 7:42, 7:45, 7:46, 7:50)
I had planned on starting a little slower than this, but I get excited about racing and forget to go slow.   Emily met up with me and ran along side me while she refilled my water bottle and took my arm warmers from me.  All the other runners were totally jealous that I have better friends than they do.

Miles 6-10: (7:50, 7:50, 7:53, 7:50, 7:49)
Totally uneventful.  We ran around the Wright Brother's memorial where Emily refilled my water bottle yet again.  She is invited to all of my marathons from now on.

Miles 11-15: (8:15, 8:09, 8:49, 7:54, 7:53)
Miles 10-13 were through the woods on a dirt road/trail.  This portion was significantly more hilly than I had expected.  Right when we entered the woods, I caught up to the guy running in front of me.  He saw me and immediately sped up.  I don't think he wanted to be passed by a girl.  I let him go ahead, since I had plenty of time to catch him again.  (Don't worry, I did.  I whizzed right past him when we left the wooded section and never saw him again. And I might be using the term "whizzed" loosely.)  Usually I love trail running, but I have never been so happy to get out of the woods and see solid ground. That part was tough. 

Miles 15-20: (7:55, 7:46, 7:54, 7:51, 8:02)
At this point, I started to get really excited that I my pace had hardly slowed at all.  I was sure I would hit the wall and be crawling at the end, but I kept finding people in front of me that I wanted to pass, so that kept me going.  (In the last half of the race, I passed more than 15 men and 10 women and was passed by exactly 1.  This guy here:)

Miles 21-26.2: (8:04, 8:19, 8:38, 8:39, 8:54, 8:48, 8:36)
At mile 21, we turned and headed west right into a nice strong headwind.  Then at mile 23 we ran over a bridge that I totally underestimated.  It was steep and long and totally destroyed me.  Luckily Emily was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill and ran the last 2.5 miles with me.  Don't worry, that's not cheating.  She signed up to run the Southern Six, which is the last 6 miles of the race.  She didn't feel like running all six, so she started at the bottom of the bridge instead.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Clarendon days 5k/10k pictures

Remember how one of my favorite things about running in Pacer's races is the free pictures? They just posted the pics from my race a few weeks ago and since I know you all love seeing running pictures, I am going to be so nice and share them with you. I know, I know. Your day just got so exciting.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


So I know you have all been on the edge of your seats wondering if I got a perfect score on my pathophysiology exam. I did not. I missed two stupid questions. And I mean it when I said they were stupid questions. I had the answers to both written on sheet but I didn't read carefully and got a little cocky and forgot to double-check. Dang.

Last week I taught my health promotion class and it kind of made me miss teaching. My topic was screening and prevention of chlamydia. Pretty exciting stuff. I taught them all about expedited partner therapy and STD testing programs in DC public schools. (Did you know that students can get tested at school, free of charge? They just pop over during home room.) Unfortunately, I spilled my water bottle on my laptop the day before my presentation so I had to use an iPad. I know that all the cool kids love the iPad, but I have never really been that cool, so it shouldn't be too surprising that I do not love the iPad. So if anyone is looking to buy an iPad mini, I'm your girl.

My marathon is in exactly 4 weeks! Two weeks ago I ran 19 miles (the last nine were the Clarendon days 5k and 10k). It was the fastest 19 miles I have ever run, so that made me feel pretty good. Yesterday, however, I had 16 miles scheduled. I got really hungry at mile 12 and just happened to be passing a Five Guys, so I stopped for a bacon burger and coke. It was simultaneously the best and worst decision ever. A bacon burger has never tasted so good, but running those last 4 miles with it sloshing around in my stomach was less than pleasant. I am going to call that one a major fail.

Don't worry, though. Next week I am running the Somerset Elementary 8k. I am planning a 10 mile warmup, then the race (about 5 miles) then jogging the 5 miles home. That will be my last tough long run before my marathon. I may also do the Marine Corps 10k, assuming the race still happens with the government being shut down and all. Luckily active military are still working, so hopefully the race will go on. (Can we talk about that for just a minute? The government just shut down? Is that even allowed?)

After November 10th I am very excited to start aerobic threshold training. It basically means that on all of my runs for 3 months I am not allowed to let my heart rate rise above 150 beats/minute. Which likely means that I will be running really slow. And will probably have to walk up hills. But supposedly, over time, the pace at which I can run without elevating my HR will get faster and faster, and make me a faster runner overall. Yay! And I get to have an excuse to be slow. Woot woot!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

what a day

The most amazing things happened yesterday

1.  I ran in the Clarendon Days 5k and 10k, and received my favorite race shirt I've ever gotten.
2.  Joe showed up after the races with Dr. Pepper AND Gatorade!  My two favorite post-race drinks.
3.  I ate the most delicious brunch buffet.  I usually am not a fan of buffets, but they had biscuits and gravy, so I went for it.  They are a very close second to Loveless Cafe's biscuits and gravy.  Definitely the best I've had in DC so far.
4.  I found out that I have $150 of credit at the bike store from my last bike purchase!  Yessss!!!
5.  I got a perfect score on my latest pathophysiology practice test.  Hopefully the same thing will happen on the real test tomorrow.

Friday, September 20, 2013

diva women's half marathon race review

Well, this was without a doubt the worst race ever.  I am still annoyed by it, and it's been a whole week.

On Saturday morning, we left Erica's house at 5:45 so that we could make the hour-long drive out to Leesburg.  We were told that we had to be in the parking lot by 7:15, so we should have been there in plenty of time.  Unfortunately, the race coordinators failed to notice that there was only one road to the winery where the race started, and that road was exactly one lane.  The last 7 miles of our drive took an hour and a half, and we didn't park until 8:30.  (The race was supposed to start at 7:30.  Needless to say, it did not start on time.)  Nevertheless, we smiled and posed because everybody knows that whether or not it's going to be a good race, the least you can do is look good in pictures. (Can you tell that this is my favorite running tank?)

The half marathon finally started at 9:00.  I was still in line for the porta-potties, so I didn't start until 9:10.  The race was on a small, gravel country road, which was gorgeous, but also meant that if two people wanted to run next to each other, there wasn't enough room to pass.  I spent the first 4 miles of the race weaving around people or walking behind large groups trying to find an opening.  Kind of annoying.  At mile 5, I finally passed the 10-minute-mile pacer.

After about the halfway point, we finally got onto wider roads and I got into more of a groove.  This was, without a doubt, the hilliest race I have ever run.  The scenery was gorgeous, and one of the neighborhoods threw a big block party and all came out and cheered for us, which totally made my day.  

Finish time:  1:48.  I am pretty happy with this time, considering the hilliness of the course and my inability to actually run for the first few miles.  As soon as I crossed the finish line, I grabbed a handful of cookies (I was STARVING) and headed over to meet up with Erica and wait for Bethany to finish.

Look at how happy we were to be done!!!  
Now I am really excited for next week's back-to-back 5k/10k (after a 10 mile warmup).  Hopefully those races will run a little smoother than this one!

Friday, September 13, 2013

things I have learned in three weeks of nursing school

First and most importantly, I now know how to properly don and doff personal protective equipment.  (Doff means to take off...  Good thing I am getting such a good education and now know all these fancy new terms.)   I also know how to set up a sterile field.  This is pretty big stuff, I know.

In my abnormal psychology class, I sit behind a girl who has perfected the art of the messy bun.  When I wear my hair in a messy bun, it generally just looks like I have bad hygiene and haven't washed my hair in a week.  (Which maybe I haven't, but I don't want other people to know that...)  So I spent my last class staring at the back of her head and I realized that her secret is making TWO MESSY BUNS and intertwining them.  Don't worry, I was still taking notes and paying attention (the class is actually supremely interesting) but whenever there was a break, I definitely studied her hair just as thoroughly as I will study my notes.  Maybe one day I will do a tutorial so that other people can also have perfect messy buns.  Probably not, though, so don't get your hopes up.

It's a good thing I paid such close attention in abnormal psychology because I failed my first nursing school test before school even started.  I didn't cry, though, because it wasn't a real test, just a TB mask fitting test.  Hospitals make you get fitted for TB masks before you can start working, just in case you have a patient with TB.  They make you stick your head in a plastic bag and spray a bitter-tasting solution into it until you start to taste the bitterness.  I stuck my head in the bag, and they sprayed thirty squirts of the solution in, and I tasted nothing.  I was even breathing as hard as I could with my tongue sticking out, and still nothing.  Apparently this has never happened before because the lab techs had no idea what to do and just told me that I failed.  All that means is that if I happen to have a patient with TB (which is unlikely), I will have to wear a big fancy ET-type mask, which I think will be pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First day of school

The first thing that I learned in nursing school is that water fountains are clearly too low-class for us, so we obviously had to upgrade to Brita Hydration Stations.  Thank heavens for that.

As a former teacher, I totally judged all of my professors on their teaching skills.  Luckily my pathophysiology professor is amazing.  I am pretty sure everyone else in the class is terrified (he comes on pretty strong) but the second he started talking I knew I was going to love this class.  I also sort of judged my abnormal psychology professor when he stumbled into class and then broke three pieces of chalk trying to write his name on the board, but then he started talking and is actually really funny so I forgave him for his inability to properly use chalk.  It can be tricky, I know.

Riding my bike to school wears me out a little bit more than I thought it would.  As it turns out, biking with a heavy backpack is significantly harder than biking with nothing.  I am still pretty excited about it, though.  Plus, the dean of the nursing school stopped me to tell me how great he thought it was that I biked to school, and bragged about how since he has his own office he can ride his fancy expensive bike without worrying about it getting stolen.  He didn't offer to let me park my bike in his office, though.  Bummer.

Lucky for me, the Friday clinical was cancelled so instead I have class all day Mondays and Wednesdays and clinical all day Tuesdays.  Which means no class Thursday or Friday!  It will be great to have a 4 day weekend to use to catch up on sleep study really hard.

After my first day, I am not regretting my decision to go back to nursing school, so I think that is a very godo sign.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer is ending

It's okay, though, because I have checked everything off of my to-do list for nursing school.  Plus, it was kind of reaching the point in the summer where I felt like my brain was turning to mush from not using it.  I am pretty sure that shopping for the perfect backpack does not constitute brain use.

Don't worry, though, I have been filling my days with lots of running, lots of eating, and lots of hanging out with Sammy.  He thinks it's pretty fun.

I am also trying this new thing where I only wash my hair twice a week.  My hairdresser said it would be good for my hair, so I decided to give it a try since I had nowhere important to go.  So far, it has been a smashing success.  My hair is much less frizzy than it normally is (which is pretty impressive considering the DC humidity), holds curl for longer, and is generally in much better shape than usual.  I think I might stick with this plan long-term. 

On an unrelated note, I have been making homemade frozen strawberry lemonade all summer, and it is delicious.  Sammy gets really jealous when I don't share.


Last weekend I went down to Luray, VA with a friend who was competing in a triathlon.  I was a teensy bit jealous that I wasn't racing.  But then I remembered that I have lots of races coming up so I really have nothing to be jealous of. I also remembered that I am poor and cannot afford to pay for another race right now.  It was really fun to watch and cheer her on and made me excited to do some more triathlons next year. 
After I got home I did my long run for the week (15 miles).  My watch and ipod both died which made it less fun than normal.  The first 13 miles were at an average pace of 8:09, which made me pretty happy, especially considering the second half of the run is all uphill. 
Only 4 weeks left until my first race of the season!  I have to say that I am getting kind of bored with just training and not doing any races.  

Thursday, August 01, 2013

upcoming races

Because I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what race I am going to run next!!

Up until last week, I was only signed up for the Diva Women's Half Marathon in September and the OBX marathon in November.  That is clearly not enough races (running is fun, but racing is at least 180x more fun than just running.)  So here is my race calendar for the next couple of months:

Clarendon days 5k AND 10k:  This is a Pacer's event, which are always very well-run.  I am planning on using it as one of my "speedwork long runs".  My plan is to wake up early, run 10 miles from my house to Georgetown, then hitch a ride to the race start and race the 5k and 10k back-to-back.  I am pretty sure I will feel like dying by the end, but that's kind of the point.

Somerset Elementary 8k:  Just a nice little local race to raise money for the elementary school.  The entry fee was really inexpensive and I feel pretty good about supporting local education.  Plus, I really love small races.  Win-win!

Diva Women's Half Marathon:  Nothing too special about this race, but I needed a half-marathon to run, and this one was on a Saturday (which I prefer) and was close to home.  And small-ish.

OBX marathon:  Nice and flat, hopefully not too windy, and hopefully I can PR again.

Marine Corps Turkey Trot:  I usually don't LOVE 10k's (I prefer longer races) but I ran this last year and it was one of my favorite races ever.  So I am signing up again.

There is also a possibility that I will run the Baltimore Half Marathon or the Baltimore Marathon Relay.  That's not set in stone, though.

AND I am trying to convince Bexie that it would be really fun to run in a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning.  She is concerned about getting dinner finished on time.  (Priorities, I know...)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

just in case you were wondering

Bacon-wrapped jalepeno poppers are an excellent pre-run snack.  I had two of them right before my run today, and felt awesome.

Also, homemade jalepeno poppers are way better than frozen ones.

Two things

I recently made a Texas sheet cake for a barbecue I went to.  While it was a huge hit, everyone kept complimenting me on how good my "brownies" were. 

Yesterday at the gym, all of the treadmills in front of the mirror were taken, so I couldn't stare at myself and admire how fantastic my hair looks after going 3 days without washing it.  Instead I was forced to stare at the trainers.  Bummer.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

diamond in the rough triathlon race recap

I completed my second ever triathlon on Saturday up in Perryville, MD (North of Baltimore right on the Chesapeake).  They had an international distance and sprint distance - since I only signed up 2 weeks ago and hadn't been in a swimming pool in over a year, I decided to go for the sprint. 

I snapped the stinking valve off of my bike tube while I was pumping up my tires the night before the race, so I got to spend the evening changing my very first flat tire.  It was harder than I thought it would be, but now that I've done it once, I feel much more comfortable going out on my bike knowing that I can handle it if I ever get a flat tire.

The morning of the race, I woke up extra early to make sure I got up to the race on time.  When I was halfway there, I realized I had forgotten my bike helmet, so made an emergency stop at Wal-Mart to pick one up.  (It's hot pink.  I kind of love it.)

The race was pretty awesome.  We swam in the Chesapeake, and the water was incredibly choppy so after about 30 seconds I was already pretty pooped.  Don't worry, after I got warmed up I felt much better.   I also realized that I am not a huge fan of the wave start since throughout the whole swim I would take about 3 strokes and then plow into somebody.  But it kept me from getting off course like I did last year! 

I learned from last year and actually ran to the transition zones instead of taking my time and walking.  Apparently that's what you're supposed to do when you're racing.

I decided on Thursday that it would be a really good idea to do a boot camp at my gym so that I get my money's worth out of my gym membership.  Too bad my quads felt like they were on fire after the class.  By Saturday morning, they were still burning so the bike portion of the race felt way harder than it should have.  It was a nice pretty course with rolling hills, but man, those hills killed me.  That's what I get for thinking that doing 100 squats would be no big deal.
The run was my favorite part because I passed a lot of people (don't worry, I don't have a competitive bone in my body.  ha.)  My legs felt like lead and I was 100% convinced I was running 11-minute miles, but they were actually 8-minute miles, so that was a pleasant surprise!  My favorite part of the race was that the race photos were FREE!  I have signed up for races based solely on the free race photos, so that was a huge plus for me!

I think this was the most fun I have ever had in a race.  I decided that I am going to do a half ironman next spring.  I think there is one in The Woodlands that happens to be the same week as my break from school! If I can find one out here, though, that would be even better.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

marathon training and other things

So this is week 1 of official marathon training.  It turns out that after taking a month off from any speedwork, I am not as fast as I was a month ago.  But don't worry, I still have 17 week left.  Half of me thinks it's really fun and exciting to be training again and half of me wants to die. 

I just bought these new running shorts, because they are really cute and they were on sale ($7!!!) and we all know that 1) I can't pass up a sale and 2) I always think I need more running clothes.  Too bad they  make me look like I peed my pants. (I didn't.  It was just humid.  Good thing I'm not easily embarrassed.)  I guess I'll have to just wear these to the gym and as a swimsuit cover-up.  No biggie.


On another note, I recently made this macaroni and cheese, and it is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever eaten.  Step aside, Kraft.  (Oh, wait.  Kraft was never my favorite.  Never mind.)  So make it, and love it, and you can thank me later.  I also added lots of chopped vegetables to add a little bit of healthiness to it.

Also, is anybody else's mind not at all blown by this little mathematical tidbit? 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

what i've been up to

Since school ended, I have been trying my best to enjoy my very last ever summer off.  (Sad.  But not that sad.)  I have made sure to fill up my days with lots of fun.  So here's what I've been up to:

1.  Lots of reading.  I headed to the library last week and checked out a few book, and am heading back again this week.  My favorite so far has been The Running Dream.  It is one of the best books I have read in a very long time.  I also read Cutting for Stone (excellent, after a slow start), Playing for Pizza (just okay), Mindless Eating (fascinating), and The Last Time They Met (I didn't like it until the last page, but then I changed my mind).  I am currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  If anybody has other recommendations, let me know!

2.  Practicing French braiding my hair.  Trust me, I need practice.

3.  Signed up for a triathlon next weekend!  It is a really short one so I haven't trained much besides my regular biking/running that I always do, plus I have been swimming laps at my friend's pool.  I am pretty excited about it and might be ready for a re-match against Ryan next year.   Maybe a half ironman?  Now that I am in better shape I think I might be able to beat him...    This is also why I want to learn how to French braid.  French braids are the best triathlon hairdo ever.

4.  Practicing my new commute to school!   It is 45 minutes door-to-door, which might sound long, but the metro would take an hour and 15 minutes (assuming all of the trains/busses came on time.  Which, let's be honest, will never happen.)  Plus, the metro puts me in a bad mood.  Biking does not.  This will be for the best.

5.  Buying a lot of crap that I will need for the fall.  (A bike lock, a waterproof backpack, scrubs, a lunch box, etc.)  Going back to school is expensive.

6.  This week marks week 1 of official Outer Banks Marathon training!!  I put together a nice training plan and am very excited to see how this race goes.  My goal time is 3:25.  I think I can do it.  I snuck in a tempo run last week even though I was technically still "recovering" from my last marathon.  It gave me an excuse to run on the treadmill instead of outside in the blazing heat we've been having.  I might die.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Utah Valley Marathon race recap

This was absolutely my favorite marathon I've run so far.  Partly because I finished 21 minutes faster than my last marathon (3:34:12) and qualified for the Boston marathon, but the course itself was absolutely gorgeous.  When I lived in Utah, I don't think I ever realized how beautiful the mountains are! 
This was the first marathon that I followed an actual training plan for, and it made a huge difference.  My time was way better, but the race itself was also much more enjoyable.  I never really reached a point where I wanted to cry.  (That came on Monday when we decided it would be a good idea to hike Mt Oympus on a day when I found it difficult just to walk up a flight of stairs.)

We got to our hotel in Provo at 11:00 Friday night, took pictures of our race outfits, and went to sleep for a few hours.  Woke up at 3:00 am to eat a PB sandwich, get dressed, and get on the bus to the start line.  One of my favorite parts of a point-to-point race is watching how long it takes to ride the bus to the start line and realizing that I am about to RUN that entire distance.
I brought along a new running treat this time: Huma chia energy gels!  They are the first fuel I have tried during a marathon that did not make me want to vomit.  In fact, they are really delicious!  They taste like strawberries (mostly because they are made from strawberries).  I will definitely be buying more for my next race!
Here I am around mile 10(ish?) staying hydrated and enjoying my strawberry goodness.  If it weren't for that dude totally getting in my way, these would be my favorite race pictures (mostly because I don't look like I'm about to keel over.  I have very high standards.)

 Crossing the finish line!!  I'm not really sure what is going on in this picture.  I look like I'm terrified of something:

As most of you know, I base my love of races on the post-race treats.  This race did not disappoint.  Although the water and Powerade were warm, they had Creamies popsicles, orange slices, Jamba Juice, and chocolate milk.  It was HOT, so I went for anything frozen.  Now I am excited to take a couple of weeks off from serious training before I start getting ready for the OBX marathon in November!

Friday, June 07, 2013

recipe recommendation: one pot wonder tomato basil pasta

If you haven't already tried one-pot pasta, you really need to.  It involves cooking pasta in broth, along with tomatoes, veggies, and other spices.  You only use one pot in the entire cooking process, and don't need to strain the pasta.  The starch transfers to the water and creates a nice flavorful sauce.  For some reason, I find straining pasta to be unreasonably burdensome, so I was very excited to try this recipe.

I followed it almost exactly, with just a little less garlic and added in a can of diced green chiles.  It was absolutely heavenly.  Give it a shot.  You won't regret it.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

happy national running day!

I am running my fourth marathon on Saturday!  And, for the first time, I signed up for McMillan Pro (at a whopping $1.99/month) and started following a real training program.

For those who are not familiar with McMillan Running, it is a website run by Greg McMillan who is both a running coach and exercise physiologist.  He provides explanations, both from a coach's standpoint and a physiological standpoint, justifying all of the workouts he recommends.  So, as a sucker for anything backed by scientific evidence, I totally bought into his program.

After signing up, I had a little chat with Greg (well, technically, I read a blog post he wrote, but it felt like we were talking) during which he said that most runners have PR's slower than what they are capable because they only set goals that they know they are capable of accomplishing.  So he recommended setting a goal that I may or may not be able to achieve.  So I decided I was going to try to run a sub-3:30 marathon.  Maybe a little extreme, considering my current PR is 3:55, so I will have to run this race almost a full minute-per-mile faster than my last marathon (which was only 12 weeks ago), but I am going to give it my best shot.  I figure the worst that can happen is that I don't finish in under 3:30.  And having a real goal made my training so much more fun.  (Actually now that I think about it, actually training for real made training so much more fun.)

Some of the highlights from my training:

  • After only 2 months, my tempo pace (the pace at which you can race for 1 hour) dropped from 7:45/mile to 7:15/mile.  Tempo runs are probably my favorite workout of all time.
  • I finally understand why people wipe down the treadmill after their workout, since I do actual workouts on the treadmill now.
  • I have learned to LOVE treadmill running.  Not for every day, and definitely not for long runs, but speed workouts are awesome.
  • I ran Yasso 800's a couple of weeks ago.  (Yasso 800 is a workout developed by Bart Yasso, editor of Runner's World.  According to him, a workout of 10 x 800 m with a 400m jog between sets can predict the marathon time you are capable of.  If you can do all 10 800's at 4:00-minutes each, you are physically ready for a marathon at a 4:00-hour pace.  If you can do them all at 3:30-minutes each, you are ready for a 3:30-hour marathon.)  I finished all ten at just under 3:30-minutes.  

the bomb-dot-com

My teaching career officially ended last Friday (unless you count proctoring and giving exams, which I do not).  I have to say, I was sad to see it end.  The group of kids I taught this year was my favorite group since my first year teaching.  Mostly because they thought that I was the "bomb-dot-com" (their words, not mine) and I pretty much felt like a celebrity every time I walked into the room.

My fifth period class (right before lunch) recently discovered that I keep snacks hidden in my bag, and now happily help me consume them every day.  Which I am thrilled to do, partly because it makes them love me even more (which, let's face it, is really good for my ego) and because I am happy that the girls are not afraid of eating real food.  A lot of our girls are "just really into being healthy" which translates into "just really into being skinny".  

On the last day of school, the girls in my last class insisted on getting pictures with me, and, despite the fact that lunch was starting, the boys all hovered by the door zipping and unzipping their bags (so I would think they were looking for something and not waiting for me) so that they could tell me "it's been real".  It totally warmed my heart, especially considering Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! was on the lunch menu, and they are 14-year-old boys.  

(This is the note my kids left me on the last day...  For those of you not fluent in text-talk, ILY means I Love You.  I am going to miss this job.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Items of note

1.  I have almost finished training for the Utah Valley Marathon June 8.  My taper starts this week.  This is the first time I have actually followed a training schedule, and it has done wonders for improving my running.  I am hopeful that I can finish this race without dying.  All of my long runs have incorporated some sort of speed work, and, while I am exhausted and perpetually hungry, I am very excited about this marathon  (PS - anybody who wants to come cheer me on for the race will be handsomely rewarded with lunch or ice cream. And my love and gratitude.  Whichever is more important to you....)

2.  Georgetown sent me my official transcript evaluation, in which they told me what prerequisite courses they have approved and which ones I still need to take.  To my surprise, they accepted my Book of Mormon and New Testament classes to count for both of my theology credits.  (I sent them an email letting them know just how excited this made me.)  This means that I do not have to take ANY classes this summer!!!  I can now fully dedicate myself to eating shaved ice and sitting by the pool.  I will probably do some running in there as well.  

3.  The parents' association provided a faculty appreciation lunch today of barbecue pork, brisket, ribs, cornbread, and mac and cheese.  The ribs were heavenly, the brisket had a delightfully smoky flavor, and the mac and cheese was some of the best I've ever had.  It was a great way to celebrate the fact that I only have seven teaching days left in my entire teaching career.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race Recap

So, last week's Parkway Classic was one of my favorite races ever.  One that I will definitely be running again (probably annually).  The Nike Half Marathon, however, is a race that, while I enjoyed it, it was probably a one-time deal for me.  I got the necklace, I am happy.

Things I liked about the race:

The fact that it was a women's race, and the fact that most people were running just to get a Tiffany's finisher necklace meant that it was not a very competitive field (to say the least).  I finished 311 out of 15,000 runners.  It was definitely fun to start way up at the front of the crowd and to only have a few runners in front of me.  It made me feel very elite (which I most definitely am not).

The tshirt and necklace are awesome.  The shirt looks nice and fits great (unlike most race shirts).  

The course was beautiful, and Hanes Point (which is usually unbearably windy) was surprisingly mild yesterday.  That is always a plus.  Also, there were all kinds of motivational signs on that part of the course (it's a long 3-ish mile peninsula which has lots of wind and almost no spectators).

Shalane Flanagan was at the finish giving everyone a high five!!  I was insanely excited about this.  (And she is much shorter than I had pictured her.)  In case you didn't know, she is an Olympic marathoner.  

Besides that, the race felt like one enormous Nike advertisement (which, I suppose, is exactly what it is).  There were no race photographers (besides those taking Nike promotional photos), the Expo was a temporary Nike store, and the "Finisher's Village" was a tent selling more Nike products (instead of the normal family meetup areas, spaces for people to sit, etc.)  In fact, you had to pass by the Nike "boutique" to even get to the medical tent.  The finish line was a red carpet, which is a really nice idea, but when you are wandering around looking for a trash can so that you don't lose your lunch all over the red carpet (which I may have done), it kind of loses its appeal.  Pacer's was technically running the event (the same people who organized last week's 10-miler), but the Pacer's rep that my coworker talked to said that Nike refused to take any of their suggestions for how to run a successful race.  

Overall though, it was a really fun race, again with perfect weather (sunny and 50's) and I ran an 11-minute PR, so I am pretty happy with how the day went!!  Plus, did I mention that I got a necklace for finishing?  Definitely worth it.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Parkway Classic 10 miler

Last week, Erica and I ran the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 miler.  The weather was perfect (sunny and 40's) and the race was beautiful.  We started in Mount Vernon and ran up the GW Parkway to Alexandria.  I am pretty sure this race will become a yearly tradition for me - it was one of my favorite races ever.  Gorgeous course, just the perfect amount of rolling hills, very well organized, and a different course from most DC races.  And as an extra perk, all of the race photos are free!!! (Courtesy of Pacer's Running store, who organize and run the event.)

Monday, April 01, 2013


For your viewing pleasure, a graph of my mileage (running) for the past six months.  I think it's pretty obvious when my marathons were.

Also, this is (hopefully) the week that I start hearing back from Nursing schools.  I am really hoping for good news.  

I have a scholarship interview with Georgetown this Saturday.  The part that is stressing me out the most is figuring out what on earth I am going to wear.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

birthday do-over

This is a public service announcement to let everybody know that Bexie is getting a birthday do-over.  All she ever wanted was to be able to make herself a fancy birthday cake  (seriously... this is all she wanted?)  but due to a biking injury, no cake was to be had.  Therefore, her birthday for the year of 2013 will be on April 19.  And it will most certainly involve fancy cake. (Which she made for herself...)

But until next month, I hope Bexie had the best cake-free birthday that could have possibly been had!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

marathon race report

Sorry, guys.  No video of me crossing the finish line this time.  So sorry to disappoint.

My favorite part of a race is the post-race loot that is given out. I have to say that this race totally let me down.  They ran out of chocolate milk AND Jamba Juice smoothies before I even finished!  I want my money back.  But despite the lack of post-race goodies, I finished with my best time so far (3:55) and my race outfit was my favorite of all of my marathons so far.  So overall, I would call this a successful race!

And, for your viewing pleasure:

Hanging out (and being cold) before the race.  Dad had his eyes open double wide, so maybe that makes up for mom's eyes being closed?

Requisite post-race finisher photo.  I was pleasantly surprised at how not horrendous I looked after the race:

Finishing strong.  Supposedly this shirt I am wearing is supposed to be stink-proof, even if you sweat a lot.  I definitely sweat a lot, but the shirt doesn't exactly smell like roses.  It was, however, the most comfortable race shirt I have ever worn.