>Pre-marathon checklist

>I warned you about all the running or marathon-related posts.

This week has been relaxing. Here’s my personal pre-marathon jitters checklist.

  • Take it easy. I ran 3 miles at an easy pace today. Felt like I could go for, oh you know, 26.2 miles.
  • Take naps when you feel tired. I took a nap yesterday and Monday after work.
  • Drink like a fish! I’ve been trying to drink tons of water and G2.
  • Stay healthy. I’ve been drinking those Emergen-C packets twice a day.
  • Eat healthy. Ehh.. I’ve been trying to do this. I’ve been eating a lot of protein at least. Friday night I’m having pasta!
  • Pack your bag. I started doing this tonight. Running shorts, four different shirts (I like to have options!), shoes, socks, underwear (duh), PJ’s, gels, Camelbak, Gatorade packets, protein bars, foot wrap and Icy Hot just in case, iPod arm band, headphones (Skull Candy ones rock!), Garmin, Garmin charger, ponytails and bobby pins, deodorant…. etc.
  • Read up on the marathon and know where to meet your party. Done and done.
  • Find last-minute inspiration from quotes and running sites. Although I will say, if you’re not inspired by now, you’re gonna have issues!
  • Relax!
This is a pretty funny link making fun of marathoners.. it gave me a good laugh. The comments are even better.. some people take themselves way too seriously.

>MARATHON WEEK!!!

>I’m about to go crazy with excitement. With the final “long” run under our feet (eight miles tonight, GREAT pace), I am so geared up for this race. My hopes are to be able to relax this week and get lots of rest, even if it’s not sleeping. I want to eat well and avoid caffeine, alcohol and sweets as much as possible and drink drink drink!

This is where we get to finish!

I have a list of everything I need to bring with me. I’ll be rolling into town Friday afternoon in time to see Hannah run her first 5K! I am so excited and proud of her! I will have a working camera by then too, so I’m hoping to get some pics.

The next race after the marathon and Race for the Cure 5K is the Steamboat Classic 4M… I’m hoping to get a group of friends together to run this one. I considered the 15K (9.3M) but decided against it for a couple reasons being 1) you run through quite a hilly portion and 2) my bestie is running it and I want to be there to cheer her on at the finish.

I am totally in love with my Brooks. And with running. And with my husband. And with my life.

I know this is short; I’m trying to get some of my excitement out so I don’t go crazy this week! Please pray for health, strong lungs and legs and that all the logistics would work out!

>Marathon Training: Week 17: One week! and aspirations

>I’m updating from my mom’s computer at their permanent campsite in Galesburg. When we first started camping years and years ago, we had a tent. Then we had a small pop-up. Then we had a bigger pop-up. Then we got a trailer. Then we got a toy-box (to transport the motorcycle, and on our trip to California we used it as the girls’ room). Now they have a trailer with a pull-out, central heating, flat screen and shower big enough for me. I’m not complaining, that’s for sure.

Now. Onto business. This week was actually a good week. I ran three times, twice in Asics Gel-Frantic 5’s… awful for my overpronation. I took them back to Kohl’s and went to Running Central to get fitted yesterday. I had some birthday money to use. I got Brooks Adrenaline GTS:

They feel like heaven. I was fitted for a shoe that would correct the overpronation. In the other Asics, I had major issues with my ankles hurting, and had tightness below my calves. I ran a short three in these this morning and I had no issues at all. I also got a pair of high-quality socks to wear, too.

Monday: 4 miles at the gym
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5.12 miles on Prospect and Grandview.. lovely as usual.
Thursday and Friday: rest.. Friday was my birthday and it was a great day!
Saturday: 3.1 miles on Rt. 150 outside the campground. I went without my iPod and loved listening to the birds, wind, and my breathing. I love love love running on country roads. I will miss the fields of Illinois.
Sunday: Gabi and I are slated to do 8 miles

I feel like my mileage this week made up for the crappy mileage from the first week of the taper when I went to the ER for the second time. I’m feeling really good about the marathon, and even if it rains, I don’t care. It’s gonna be a good time. I almost signed up for the I-Challenge, in which you receive three medals: one for doing the 5K Friday night, one for the half or full marathon on Saturday, and one for doing both. However, I’m going to be taking it really easy this coming week and I didn’t want to compromise anything for the race on Saturday.

In just a week we will be marathoners!!!

Speaking of, I found my next marathon. El Paso holds a marathon every year in March, and I’m sure I’ll need almost an entire year to train at 4,000 ft. I think Aaron’s going to run it, too. There’s also a half marathon in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in December. Imagine running a race in comfortable weather in December!

Here’s a pic of Las Cruces:

Um, yes please!

>On the eve of a quarter of a century

>

April 22, 1986, is my birthday. Tonight at 2:34 AM (yes, I know the exact time; my mom has no problem rehashing my birth story over and over again, haha) I will turn 25 years old. And guess what? My attitude is: Bring. It. On. That was my attitude for last year too and it sure was an eventful year!
I am very content with passing this milestone. Not only because there’s the prospect of lower car insurance, but because of what I’ve accomplished in my life. My life rocks. Just sayin’. The only way it could be better is if my husband were here with me, or I with him. 
I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked in my life to get where I’m at now. And three years ago, Aaron and I joined each other on that journey. I worked my tail off in school and in college to be successful at something, and I am. I love saying, “I’m a teacher”. I’m proud of all the hours I spent in class, writing papers, and in practicum. I’m proud of the two years I taught high school; I’m not sure they could have been better. I like finding a part of my identity in education because I know it’s a profession I will always have to some capacity.
While I am not a mother yet, and honestly my whole life I thought I’d be one by now, I’m content with this decision we’ve made to wait a little while longer. I’m excited to finish out our twenties as just… us. (Unless, of course, God blesses with a child anyway).
I’m proud that I’ve made good decisions the last two years while Aaron’s been away. It could have been very easy for me to slip back into old habits of depression and pity parties. Instead, I grabbed life by the horns and made some positive changes that have resulted in a more mature, more patient, more compassionate, more understanding, and more relaxed Elizabeth. And I’m sure everyone is grateful for that. 😉
Tomorrow I have the day off. Easter is hardly ever this late, but I’m not complaining. It’s not every year I get to sleep in and then go out for an awesome steak dinner on my birthday! (Thanks Mom and Daddy!) [Yes, I did mean to say Daddy. :)]
So, tomorrow I’m looking forward to:
some of this:
dreaming about this:
seeing some of this:

having some of this for dinner:
some of this after dinner:

and the best part… talking with a certain someone:

>A little motivation goes a long way

>Anyone who knows me knows that I hate running on treadmills. The weather in Illinois this week is, for lack of a better word, just crappy. Rain, thunderstorms, and chilly! I wouldn’t mind the storms so much if it were at least 60*. But, no luck there.

The taper is a strange phenomenon.. I’m not really supposed to be running hard, and I’m supposed to cut back on mileage, although no more than 50% than normal (~30 miles). It feels strange to rest so much. I did not want to go to the gym to run tonight. I did pack my gym bag this morning and take it with me, so I had no excuse.

I feel like even after cutting an activity out of my schedule I’m still so busy. But one thing that’s kept me working out even when there’s a list of things to do is to remember that my workout time is time for me, when I improve my health and spend time with myself. I’m worth it, and so are you. Make time for your health!

Then I got on the dreadmill, er, treadmill. My lower legs ached a bit from my new shoes, but I kept truckin’ on. Then this skinny girl hopped on the treadmill next to me and I’d be darned if she outran me. So I outran her, and eventually pushed to an 8:00 mile for the last 200 meters. Felt good! My “comfortable” pace is now around 9:40, as opposed to 10:00-10:15 a few months ago.

I cannot believe the marathon is only ten days away! Our last “long” run of eight miles is this weekend.. I remember when Gabi and I first ran eight miles.. that seems like such a long time ago!

This next week, nutrition and hydration will be crucial. It’s also time to start figuring out the details for driving down to Cham-bana, parking, picking up packets, etc. I’m starting to get really excited, and I’m envisioning myself putting that 26.2 sticker on my car. Eat my dust.

>Have a Six Flags Day!

>We heard this from every newbie Six Flags worker all weekend. What is a Six Flags day, anyway?

The W’s took a little trip to St. Louis this past weekend. And by the W’s, I mean all of them. Well, minus one very important member of the family who just happens to be halfway around the world. We piled into a 15-passenger van and off we went early Saturday morning. Did I mention it was early?

It was a short but sweet trip to do something I love: riding roller coasters. I’m all about safe thrills… or somewhat safe. You know, flying over the Atlantic to go to Spain by myself at twenty years old, riding on a motorcycle to Florida and back, and screaming my face off on The Boss (Batman wasn’t nearly as scary this time).

I don’t do spinny rides.. no way, no how. The kids liked the little rides, which spin, so I watched instead of participated. Saturday we got our season passes (thanks to my in-laws!) and stuck together. I think we rode one big roller coaster. That evening we went swimming and hot tubbing at the hotel, and I took the girls for the night. We got to Skype with Uncle Aaron, and he snapped a picture of us.

Yep, that’s me and my adorable nieces (Lena, Rhianna, Zaia). Being an aunt is the best ever. I had the privilege of sleeping in the same bed as Lena, who’s 3, and she slept fine but squirmed all night, and at some points cuddled with me. Cutest. Thing. Ever. The cuddling, and her face. It’s pretty cool that I’ve been around these girls’ entire lives. Rhianna will be seven in May and I remember when I held her as a tiny baby.

Sunday morning we got to the park before it opened. Bruce, Keith and I went to ride rides.. we rode Batman, Ninja (twice!) and The Boss, which was my favorite. I’ve ridden it before, but I forgot how awesome it was. Bruce is, by far, the funniest person to ride a roller coaster with. It was fun hanging out with my “brothers”. They did tease me though, as all W’s do. When in line for Batman, Keith asked if he could break my leg so that we could get in the shorter line. Ha. The lady in front of us heard his comment and thought he was serious.

We, well, they were going to go on Superman, which is a straight drop, but there had been people stuck at the top. If Darrell hadn’t seen us and stopped us to buy us the Six Flags cups, we, I mean, they would have gone on that ride. (I might have gone had they talked me into it, and by might I mean probably.)

I plan on using my season pass and guest passes (yep, got some of those!) this summer. Unfortunately, there are no Six Flags parks closer to El Paso than San Antonio, which is ten hours away. Hopefully Aaron and I can go a couple times to Chicago or St. Louis before we move.

Speaking of which, two months-ish and counting…

>Marathon Training: Week 16.. success!

>I was in a great mood for pretty much the whole week. Having the doctor give me the all clear to basically train for whatever I want was a great way to start the week. 🙂

With my run tonight I hit 300 miles! Last year I ran 324 the whole year.. this is an accomplishment!

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 miles @ ~11:00 pace.. I worked for those miles. They were rough after racing my butt off on Sunday.
Wednesday: 5 miles @ 10:30 pace.. gorgeous weather! Took it easy.
Thursday: rest
Friday: 11.77.. we’ll call it 12 @ 10:40 pace.. my goal was to keep it above 11:00, and I did. Although, note to self: don’t run 12 miles the day after getting a new pair of running shoes! 😉 Asics have my heart.
Saturday: rest, but riding roller coasters at Six Flags with the whole fam-dam-ily! Should be a fun time.

I think not being so anxious about my heart has prevented possible arrhythmias. On Monday I had a total of three 10-second episodes and I’m sure at least one was triggered by anxiety over my appointment on Tuesday.

Marathon go-time is only two weeks away! I’m so looking forward to being in Champaign for the weekend and staying with my friend Hannah! Hopefully I’ll get to meet up with some fellow runners, too. Let’s pray for lovely weather!