Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm Alive, I Swear!

I survived the bar! And I'm moving! Well, my blog is moving! Working on making the move to WordPress. Hold tight, folks, big things are happening!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just Call Me Cinderella

Only one week left in the challenge and I am loving it! I think I may end up extending it at least through the bar. Who knows, maybe I'll become one of those streak runner!

After my run on Monday my right knee started bothering me. It didn't hurt exactly but it definitely felt weird and it was eerily similar to the feeling I had right before my IT Band flared up last fall [why yes, I do have a way with descriptions. Ask me about "that sick feeling in the back of my throat" some time]. There were a lot of things that contributed to that injury, including upping my mileage way too quickly but one factor was definitely my shoes. I'd been wearing them for about 2 years because I kept telling myself that I wasn't active enough to actually wear through a pair of sneakers. Well, turns out, I was. When I actually looked at my shoes, I realized that not only were the soles almost completely worn through but there was a hole in the toe of one shoe! How I didn't notice that one is beyond me. After some trials and tribulations, I discovered that the Saucony Progrid Guide 3 were the shoe for me.

My first loves
Then, a couple of months ago, I had a Groupon to the running store my sister goes to in NJ (the name of which completely escapes me). I was looking for a lighter shoe - not necessarily "minimalist," but something that could potentially lead there in the future. The guy who worked there suggested these Mizunos.

I really liked them not only because they were bright yellow but also because the felt incredibly light on my feet. I tended to use them for my shorter runs. However, they were the shoes I wore for The Half Which Shall Not Be Named and now they have a really attractive blood stain which for the life of me I can't wash out.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted the Sauconys on sale on Gilt Groupe and snatched them up, figuring as I got into Long Beach training I'd need to retire my old pair. Well, that day came Monday. When my knee started acting up, I took a look at my shoes and realized the sole of the right shoe was worn down way more than the left one. Crossing my fingers and hoping my running shoe hoarding would pay off, I threw on the new pair and headed out.
I kind of want to make out with these shoes.
Running in new shoes was like running on clouds. I was shocked at how much cushion they had (and how good that cushion felt!). No knee pain during the run and no knee pain after the run. Glorious! My love of buying shoes on sale totally paid off! I definitely felt like a very sweaty, tired, slightly smelly Cinderella. Now if only magic shoes would cure my I-can't-focus-on-studying issues ...

I'm a big sentimental mush, so there's a solid chance I'm going to keep the old pair as my "These Shoes Got Me Through A Very Painful 1/2 Marathon" shoes but I think their running days are over. Once upon a time I used to be a big flashy heels girl but since I rarely put on real clothes these days, sneakers are definitely my footwear of choice.

What shoes are you loving lately?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I had a whole post written yesterday about how I have no self control and then I magically lost it. At least it wasn't my bar outlines? Still, sadface. Hopefully I will be able to resurrect it this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy a super awesome bulletpoint list of my very exciting life [please note the sarcasm].

  • I hate bar studying. Seriously. Hate it. You'd think someone who loves color-coding and flashcards as much as I do would jump at a summer to do nothing but that. You'd be wrong
  • My running has been a little hit or miss lately. I'm getting my miles in, but I'm definitely struggling through some of them. I read somewhere that running performance can tend to decrease the week before your Aunt Flo comes to town. I'm going to chalk it up to that? Yeah, that sounds good.
  • I've run more miles this month than any other month since I've started logging my miles. Awesome sauce.
  • My diet sucks lately. Not as in "I'm gaining weight," but more in the "I'm not eating enough and the things I am eating are crappy." I know this, I just can't seem to fix it. It's not necessarily that I don't have time to go grocery shopping, it's that I don't have the inclination. By the time I get home from studying for 10 hours a day, it's just so much easier to order in or eat a random hodgepodge from my fridge. 
  • I'm casually thinking of joining a running club of some sort. I really like the idea of running with other people and I really like the idea of making friends who are runners but I'm not social enough to just meet random people on a running path and trying to be friends with them. So, if you live in LA and you want to run slowly, I'm your girl.
  • I'm in Week 3 of my training for Long Beach Marathon training. I'm super excited. I would love to try to get a half marathon in at some point this summer [after the bar]. Currently taking suggestions for cheap halves in either SoCal or NYC in August/September.
  • I'm getting sick. Or getting over being sick. I haven't quite figured it out. Tuesday night I went to bed with sweaty eyes [aka a fever] and a sick feeling in the back of my throat which makes no sense to anyone but myself. Wednesday I woke up with a baby fever and a sore throat. I spent all day yesterday chugging OJ and Theraflu [nectar of the gods] and soup. By last night, my fever was gone so I hopped on the treadmill for 4 easy miles that felt amazing. No fever today, but a little bit of a sore throat still, so I'm becoming best friends with Vitamin C and "doing work" in bed. And by that I clearly mean "watching 4325 episodes of Hoarders."
What are your favorite sick day activities? Any suggestions for a late summer/early fall half?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Last week was my first week of training for the Long Beach Marathon. I was originally nervous about trying to follow my marathon training plan while trying to finish up the challenge. I had planned on just adding the long runs and not worrying about any speed or hill work until after the challenge. But since I was feeling so good, I decided I'd throw in a speed workout once a week. Once that felt good, I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd throw in a hill workout.

Now. Contrary to what one might think from my general snarky/judge-y attitude, I don't hate a lot of things [or people, for that matter]. Coconut, rain and Angelina Jolie [don't ask] is pretty much the extent of the list. But I HATE hills. Hate them. They are my archnemesis [which, ps, spell check tells me isn't a word. lies.]. If hills didn't cause my IT Band problem, they certainly exacerbated it. They make me feel like I'm running backwards underwater wearing a clown suit [read: they're hard]. I hate them. Hate.

But I know they're good for me. I know that they will help make me strong and even though Long Beach is relatively flat, I know they're essential to my marathon training. So, last week, I hopped on the treadmill and did some hill sprints [you didn't think I was actually going to run hills outside, did you? where people can see? pssh.]. Were they awesome? No. Did I like them? Heck no. BUT - Did they eat me? No. The next day, I ran my easy 3 with no problems. Moral of the story: I still hate hills, but I may downgrade them from archnemesis to mortal enemy. Coconut, though ... that's a different story.

What's your least favorite part of training?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I'm on Day 12 of Danica's 40 day challenge and I'm really loving it! I'm prone to overuse injuries, so I was a little nervous about hurting myself [my IT bands and I are just barely on speaking terms again], but so far, so good!

That does not, unfortunately, mean that I'm not injured. Ish. Maybe. Yesterday I did speed intervals for the first time in a long time. It felt awesome, but I figured I'd feel it today. My hips/hamstring/awkward under-butt muscles have been really tight lately, so I made sure to ice them after my workout. I went to bed feeling ok and thinking maybe, just maybe, I'd be fine.

Fast forward to this morning [when I woke up way late, but that's a different story]. As I scrambled to get out the door I realized that my legs felt totally fine. A little heavy, but not sore at all. Then it happened. I reached up to grab something in my closet and I felt a weird pain in my lower back. A couple of years ago, I was hit by a car [long story, not fun] and I had some lower back issues for a while after that, but I haven't had any real back pain in a long time. This pain didn't feel quite the same, but it's located in about the same spot. It feels a little bit like a pulled muscle. It only hurts when I stretch or move in certain directions. I don't think it's because of my running - it didn't bother me at all last night. If I had to guess, I'd say I twisted funny in my sleep.

I threw a Salonpas patch on it and it felt a little better, but it was still kind of twingey. I decided I'd test out running and if it hurt at all I would stop. 3 miles later and it didn't hurt at all, but I was very aware of the way I was twisting my torso. I tried to keep my upper body as straight forward as possible. So, really, my quasi-ish injury is totally helping my form. Score! I'm a little annoyed that I was trying so hard to NOT get a running injury that I ended up with a non-running injury. At least it doesn't seem to be hampering my running.

Have you ever had a non-running injury slow down your training? I don't even like it when colds get in the way!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some Random Thoughts on Week 1 of the 40 Day Challenge

1. I'm officially in love with this challenge.

2. I am nowhere near as sore as I thought [assumed] I'd be. In fact, I don't feel sore at all. Did I just jinx myself? Probably.

3. I need to get more running clothes or be a grown up and do laundry more often. So, buy more running clothes then.

4. I have found the PERFECT way to stretch my hips/hamstrings/whatever that weird thing that hurts on the side of my leg is called. Here's the problem: It involves awkwardly draping my leg over the side of the treadmill. I've definitely gotten my fair share of "what on earth are you doing" looks. Embarrassment I can deal with, the real issues is that I don't have anything that's the same height in my apartment. But don't worry, I haven't given up. Yes, I throw my legs over random surfaces in the apartment. Yes, my roommate thinks I'm out of my mind. It's cool.

5. Have I mentioned I love this challenge?

6. I have a really hard time just running - not playing with the speed on the treadmill or trying to make the next mile faster than the last. I don't want to push myself too hard too early because I know I still have 31 days left of running. But it's really hard not to try to go just a little faster. This might come back to bite me in whatever that awkward muscle is called.

7. I'm really lucky to have such a super flexible [read: completely self-imposed] schedule so I can squeeze my runs in whenever I want. I'm not sure I'd have the time or the energy if I were working a regular 9-5 job. Yay bar studying?

All in all, I think this has been a really positive experience so far. It's definitely helped to keep me on track with my training and motivates me to get moving every day. I think it would be very easy otherwise to get so caught up in studying that I never left my apartment. I'm already thinking about what comes after the 40 days and I'm so pumped for Long Beach training!* Starting next week, I'd like to try to add more weight training in, particularly working on my upper body.

Anyone else doing the challenge? Have any awesome arm exercise I just HAVE to do?

*NOTE: Ask me again in a week and I may have an entirely different opinion =)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Only Live Once, But If You Do It Right, Once Is Enough

I do not want to run today. I certainly do not want to study. I want to lay in bed and cry. My life's been pretty [read: really] not awesome lately. I've had a six month stretch of bad luck and bad things and bad people. It's not something I talk about often here, but it's been really, really hard. There are days when it takes everything I have to get out of bed and pretend to be a functioning adult.

I can't even pretend today. Yesterday, I found out from my Dad that my Aunt Chris was in the hospital, that she was unresponsive and they were moving her to a hospice. This afternoon, he called to let me know she passed away. I didn't know she was sick and I'm not sure how to react. My Aunt Chris wasn't really my aunt - I still question the elaborate story my grandmother tells about how she's related to us. My grandfather's cousin's wife is, I believe, what she finally settled on. But she we were all so close it didn't matter. She was a little younger than my grandmother, her son a little younger than my dad and her grandchildren both older and younger than my sister and I. Her family lived up near Albany and every summer we'd visit at least once.

Aunt Chris was a ridiculous person in the best possible sense of the word. She was Italian (the rest of us are Irish) and loud and an amazing cook. She had an internal compass that told her what was right and wrong, what was fair and what wasn't. She believed in hard work and she believed hard work should be rewarded. She loved having fun and laughing. Even when she was older, she would sit Indian-style on the floor for hours playing with children. She never stopped going - she was a hairdresser and was working until the beginning of last week. She drank Budweiser out of a can [never Bud Light - If you tried to give her a light beer she'd say "What is this crap?" in her great upstate New York accent. Even before I could read, I knew Aunt Chris got the red can, never the blue one]. When she would visit my grandparents at the beach, she would get up at 5 am, march down to the water and sleep in the sand for hours. No blanket, no chair, 9 times out of 10 no bathing suit. She'd come back to the house as the rest of us were waking up with more energy than a woman 20 years younger [certainly more energy than me]. I never saw her with a hangover. We would run the same 5 mile race every year - well, she would run, the rest of us would walk. She taught me how to play poker and left/right/center and bocce and how to bet on a horse.

But most importantly, she taught me not to care what other people thought. You work hard, you do the right thing. You love the people who love you. You value nice things, but you never let them own you. When we were younger, she'd give us orange juice in Waterford crystal tumblers with breakfast and my grandmother would hold her breath every time we picked up the glass. My cousin dropped one once and it shattered. I remember the whole room gasping and waiting for someone to yell. But Aunt Chris just said, "I've got more in the basement, watch your feet." That was it. Most importantly, you do what you want when you want. You want to lay on the sand with no towel? Lay on the sand with no towel. You want to drink beer and play poker? Drink beer and play poker. You want to run a 5 mile race the day after? Do that too. She lived such an amazing, rich, full life, it's almost hard to be sad it's over. Almost.

So starting today, I'm going to be more like my Aunt Chris. I'm going to work hard and do the things I have to do. I'm going to do the things I want to do. And most importantly, I'm not going to do the things I don't want to do anymore.

I'm going to do flashcards and my outlines and my multiple choice because I have to. I'm going to run my 3 miles because I want to. But on the way home from the library, I'll stop and grab a 6 pack of those red cans. And give a silent salute to a lady who did it right.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flying Electronics?

Day 2

Ran 4 miles - 45 min., little bit of hamstring/hip tightness

Now that I've decided to run for 40 days in a row [well, 38 now!], I'm hyper aware of the little things that bother me during my runs [like my socks]. Today, my socks were fine, but my entertainment was a bit of an issue. My super awesome fabulous sister got me an iPad for graduation and I'm a little bit obsessed with it. I love watching tv shows while I work out because it makes the time fly, but with my little iPod touch, it's hard on the treadmill. I end up squishing way too close to the display and my stride gets all funky, and it's no bueno. But the iPad is amazing [for other reasons too, but clearly for the keeping me distracted]!

Here's my issue. I'm petrified that I'm going to fling it off the treadmill. I've lost many an mp3 player that way. In fact, I usually buy really cheap non-iPod video players for exactly this reason [the touch was ANOTHER present from my super amazing sister]. I don't know if it's my height or if I move my arms funny or what, but invariably at least once a run, my hands get caught in the headphone cord. Most of the time, I can catch it before it comes tumbling to the ground, but certainly not always. Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my cord out of the way and my iPad in working condition?

Also, I had to go to bar class this morning. On a Saturday. During Memorial Day weekend. I should be on a beach somewhere fist pumping and drinking margaritas. Not cool. I came home from the gym and realized I had absolutely nothing to eat. My lunch literally consisted of 2 pickle spears, hummus and bagel chips and a Baby Bell cheese. I don't even have time to be a real person & go grocery shopping ... how I'm going to get my run on for the next 38 days is beyond me.

Double also, I ran in shorts today! This was the longest I've ever run in shorts [chub rub and I have a sordid history]. I was 100% concerned about how I was going to handle marathon training in SoCal in capris, so yay! Thanks, breakup diet!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 1!

Ran 3.05 miles in 34:45

1 day down, 39 to go! I can already tell what my main issue with the challenge is going to be - socks. Even though I'm super prone to blisters, I'm cheap and I'm poor so I only have a couple of pairs of awesome running, seamless socks. I usually save them for my longer runs and wear whatever cheap socks I can find at Le Targe for my shorter midweek runs. But if I'm going to be running every day, I'm going to need better socks. At around mile 2 I stopped to stretch my hamstring that felt a little tight [and figure out how to get to the next episode of the West Wing on my iPad] and somehow in the process I managed to work the seam of my sock right onto the little nub of a toe where my dearly departed toenail used to live. I kept trying to wiggle it better, I stopped and took off my shoe and tried to fix it. Nothing. Ouch.

And I know what you're thinking - why not just wash your socks more often. Because I'm lazy, that's why.

Anyone know where I can get some cheap but awesome socks? What are your favorite?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

40 Day Challenge!

Have you heard about the 40 day challenge? Danica over at Chic Runner has started a 40 day challenge - run at least 3 miles a day, every day, for 40 days. I think it's awesome! It's like a weird, Lent-y kind of thing but more awesome.

I feel like this is exactly what I need right now:
- Structure - I'm in this weird base building not quite training phase so my runs have been pretty aimless, and as such, sporadic.

- Stress Relief - Running always makes me feel better, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of running. With all my crazy bar stress and general life stress [I don't even want to talk about the last time I managed to get laundry done]

- Something to keep me motivated and accountable!

And I think if I can do this, I'll be pretty proud of myself! Gidget's Rule #6: You can do anything for a little while (in this case, 40 days).

Up for the challenge? Join me!

Also awesome sauce: I ordered a new pair of running shoes that should come tomorrow! Yes, that's my third pair; no, none of them are worn out; yes, I might have a problem.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hodge Podge and Hedge Hogs

Man, I thought law school was hectic, but apparently being a law school graduate is even worse! And so, in no particular order, here are the random things I've been thinking of/dealing with/worrying about lately:

- I am officially a law school graduate! Well, not quite officially. I'm still waiting on 3 grades, but they're not the 3 grades I was worried about. So, at the risk of tempting fate, I am officially Gidget, J.D.
- My hip hurts when I walk but NOT when I run. Fascinating? Sure. Frustrating? Absolutely.
- Between my emotional upheaval/finals/stress/accidentally buying a graduation dress that was too small, I've lost a ton of weight recently [I'm working on a separate post]. Awesome things? Being skinny. Not awesome things? Burning less calories than I used to. It used to be great to see a number on the treadmill display and think, "Now I can eat X." I now have to run more or eat less. Obnoxious.
- Bar studying sucks. Really, really sucks.
- I'm trying to get into a routine: Class in the morning, run, lunch and then the library till i die. The only problem is I HATE showering at the gym. Not just because it's slightly gross. The logistics are so unbelievably annoying. I always forget a towel or my flip flops or my shampoo. Then I have to worry about what to do with all of my wet clothes. Gross. But when I come home after the gym I never leave [case in point: I've been trying to get to the library for 3 hours now]. Have I mentioned bar studying sucks?
- I painted a fake toenail on my stump of a toe. It only looks moderately awkward.
- I still have no job and no apartment. I should probably get on that.
- I'm excited to start marathon training, but I'm also really nervous about trying to squeeze everything in.
- I'm spending a ton of time in the library and I need to start bringing more snacks. Twice last week I had to leave because by 8:30 I was too hungry to concentrate. I bought apples, hummus, blueberries, almonds and Cliff bars for kids [did you know they make them? They're smaller than regular cliff bars, which is great because I can never finish those and I feel like they're a little too calorie heavy for a mid-day snack].

Anyone have any other delicious, healthy snack options? How do you deal with the logistical nightmare of a midday workout?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Insanity Doesn't Run in My Family, It Practically Gallups

Just a quick update. I am alive. I am officially done with law school and, barring any unforeseen failures, I am about to become a JD. It's all very exciting.

My parents came in to town on Wednesday night, the same day I finished exams. I've been pretty much going non-stop ever since. My grandma, aunt, uncle and 3 small children are getting in today and my sister and her husband come in tomorrow morning. My apartment is a mess, my car hasn't been cleaned in months and my sanity is hanging on by a thread.

I was so excited when I went to bed on Wednesday night because I didn't have to set an alarm. I fell asleep around 1 am ... and woke up at 5:30. I could not for the life of me fall back to sleep. I laid in bed watching some super awesome early morning television (did you know that Boy Meets World is still on television?!?! Now you do. You're welcome). After a few hours of laying in bed feeling annoyed that I couldn't sleep, I decided to go for a run, since I knew my parents would be jetlagged and I'd have some time to kill. I figured I'd just do a quick 2 miles around my neighborhood. Bad plan. During my 2 shorter runs last week, I noticed a lot of stiffness in my right hamstring. On Saturday, I ran 4 measly miles on the treadmill. During my run I felt great, but about an hour later (as I met my friend at a dog park to chase puppies) my right hip was killing me. Like, limping ow it hurts don't make me walk the two blocks back to my car, killing me). I went home (well, I went to the library. Then I went home ...) iced, rolled, stretched and the pain was completely gone by Monday. I didn't have a chance to run again until yesterday. My run itself was fine, but after the run, my hip was killing me again! It didn't help that my dad decided he really wanted to see Venice Beach, so could we please walk from the Venice Pier to the Santa Monica Pier (6 miles round trip) and oh, we actually have to be somewhere this afternoon, so we have to walk really quickly on the way back and wait, you weren't wearing the right shoes for that? Also, in case anyone was wondering, it's kind of mortifying walking the Venice boardwalk with your parents.

I don't know if my whole family is going to make it through this weekend alive. Oh well. Gidget's Rule #5 - Roll with the punches.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You May Be Right ...

I may be crazy. In keeping with yesterday's "I am really good at random trivia" theme, today is Billy Joel's birthday. When I was younger, I loved Billy Joel. L.O.V.E.D. I stole all of his cds from my Mom and used to listen to them pretty exclusively from 6th to 8th grade [no one said I was cool]. I've seen him in concert twice and both times were amazing. I will raise a glass of wine in honor of Mr. Joel's birthday, just like I did for Mr. Truman's birthday last night [and whatever random famous person I can find tomorrow].

In other news, this weeks is the epitome of hectic. I somehow got suckered into working full time today ad tomorrow [for my unpaid dead end job, in case anyone was keeping score at home]. I have an exam on Wednesday night that I have studied approximately 45 minutes for. My parents on coming into town on Wednesday night. My grandma/aunt/uncle/small children are coming on Friday. My sister and her husband are coming on Saturday. Oh yeah, and I'm graduating from law school on Sunday. Somewhere between now and Wednesday I have to clean my apartment, study for my exam and do about 87 loads of laundry (because apparently you ca't wear tempo shorts to graduation. Who knew?). I'm also trying desperately not to have a nervous breakdown. I'm hoping to get some running time in, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Second Place Is First Loser

Anyone's who has ever read this blog or met me in real life knows that I am not the best runner. Let's not kid ourselves, 9/10 I'm the worst runner. I'm never going to win a race or even my age division (until I'm in the 70+ category - then watch out!). Despite what my lack of hardcore training may suggest, I don't like this about my running. When I was growing up, "winning" was everything. If you weren't the best at something or you couldn't be the best at something in the future, there was no point in doing it. "Second place is just first loser."

I think because of this, I've always been a pretty competitive person and [not to toot my own horn but] I've been pretty successful in everything I've done. Until now. I've been thinking a lot about this since the Boston Marathon. Let's face it, I'm never going to BQ. For most "casual" runners [i.e. those who do not get paid to run], Boston is the holy grail. That's what people work for and train for. It's the great accomplishment of running. And I'm never going to get there. So why run? Why put my body through 1/2 marathons that I have to slog through and come out demoralized? Yes, I like running. Yes, I like what running has done for my weight. But is it time to give up competitive running?

All of this isn't helping my panic about graduation. I worked my rear end off for 3 years and as hard as I tried, I'm not going to graduate at the top of my class. I'm not going to graduate with a fancy big law job and a 6 figure salary. I'm going to graduate in the middle of my class, from a middle tier law school, with no job and 6 figures worth of student loans. I've been asking myself a lot lately, was it worth it? I'm not sure.

I'm not going to give up competitive running just yet, just like I'm not going to give up practicing law (I totally couldn't afford to NOT be a lawyer right now). I'm focusing instead on what I AM the best at. I'm the best at straightening my hair. Seriously. I've got super thick, super curly hair down to the middle of my back and I can straighten it in 15 minutes with no mirror. I'm a pro. I am the best at random trivia - for example, today is not only Mother's Day, but also Harry Truman's Birthday and V-E Day. Your fun fact of the day. You're welcome. I was once the best at flip cup, although I am woefully out of practice. Apparently it's not acceptable to binge drink and play psuedo-drinking games as an adult. Who knew.

What are you the best at? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PCRF Half Marathon (Race?) Recap Part 2 [or How I Totally Took the Prize for Worst Race Fail Ever. In. Life.]

I had grand plans for Saturday night. I was going to eat pasta, drink tons of water and be in bed by 8. And clearly by that I meant eat Taco Bell, drink tons of wine and be in bed by midnight. Whoops. That should have been sign numero uno that this was not going to be my race.

I woke up on Sunday at 4:45, feeling not quite hungover but not quite right. I had casually pretended to be a real person the night before, so all of my gear was "laid" out [aka thrown in a small pile at the food of my bed]. Excellent. I got dressed, grabbed my water bottle from the fridge and headed out. The race started at 7 but I wanted to get there a little early, since I hadn't gotten my bib from Sarah yet. As I was driving down to Irvine, I had this weird nagging feeling that I had forgotten something (along with a growing hangover). Garmin? No, got that. Phone? Nope, right there. What was I missing?

I got to Irvine around 6:15 which was perfect. The race was right off the freeway, which was awesome, and there was free parking. Holla! [Something about living in Los Angeles makes a person covet free parking]. I grabbed my stuff (went back about 4 times because I kept forgetting my headband) and finally made it the start area around 6:30. The starting area of this race was great. There were no lines for the porta potties and everything was really relaxed. My first 1/2 was Rock & Roll Los Angeles in October which was huge. The starting area of PCRF was much more organized. I'm not sure if I was just more blase about this or if it was the atmosphere but I wasn't nervous or anxious at all. I met Sarah, grabbed my bib and headed to the start. Sarah was starting all the way in the front (because she's an amazing rockstar) and I headed towards the back of the pack. I lined up right behind the 2:45 group, not necessarily because that was my goal, but because it was a convenient way of keeping pace. I knew I hadn't trained, but I figured I'd run what I could, walk if I had to and sort of muddle my way through.

After a fun little warm up from Lululemon and the national anthem we were off. As I crossed the starting line (about a minute after the start - so much different than LA!), I realized what I had forgotten. Breakfast. I had forget to eat breakfast. Oh. Crap. All I had was an FRS on my way down (thanks Sarah!). This was not good. I thought about eating a Gu right away, but I only had 2 and I didn't know if there'd be any along the course. I knew immediately I was in trouble, but there was nothing to do about it now.

Miles 1-6 were awesome. I was running just in front of the pace group and I felt great. The pace was easy, it wasn't too hot, it wasn't too windy. Nothing hurt. I was jamming to my music (and by that I clearly mean singing out loud awkwardly). It was great. I had been taking water at every stop, because I knew I was dehydrated from the night before. Right around here I made mistake numero dos - I took some sort of sports drink instead of water. I didn't actually mean to take it, I thought I was just taking water. When I realized what it was, I figured I'd take it - it was calories and I needed calories. BUT. I don't train with sports drinks. I rarely drink them. In fact, I rarely drink anything that's not water (or alcohol, obvs). The sports drink was so sweet. Like, hurt my teeth sweet. It was not sitting well with my stomach and I had a ton of saliva in my mouth (note: this is the least gross part of this post. If it's too much, go ahead and close your window now. It's ok, I'll wait).

So anyway, the sports drink and I were not getting along. I kept telling myself to hold on until the next water stop, where I could grab some water and hopefully get the taste out of my mouth. At the next water stop, they were handing out water AND gels. Outstanding! I really can't say no to free things and I was pumped that I wouldn't have to use my own gels. This was mistake numero tres - trying something new in the middle of a race. I've only ever had vanilla and blackberry gus. They work for me, I don't think they're gross, and I'm a creature of habit. I'm one of those "buy the same shirt in 17 colors once you know you like it" kind of girls. This gel was neither gu, nor one of my preferred flavors. It was some sort of mocha something. I chugged as much water as I could to get the initial taste out of my mouth, then took half the gel. Bad plan. This gel was not delicious. It was not even tolerable. My stomach, which was a little annoyed at me to begin with, started an open rebellion. By the middle of mile 7, I watched the pace group pass me. Every step I ran made me feel a little more nauseous. Miles 7-9 [ish? it got a little hazy] went through some sort of nature trail with a lot of shrubbery. I started dry heaving and had to walk. Shockingly hard to run and throw up at the same time. I had nothing in my stomach besides water and gel, so I couldn't even throw up properly. To say it was miserable would be an understatement.

It was right around this time that I first started to notice how dehydrated I was getting. My fingers had been swelling a little bit in the earlier miles, but by now they were so swollen I couldn't make a fist. This was not good. I was actually starting to get a littler worried that the swelling and the throwing up were related. I stopped at the porta potty around mile 9 to try and get my act together. This was when I discovered that I had gotten my period. Seriously, body? Seriously? They don't give out tampons in half marathons. Fun fact. It was at this point I officially decided this was just going to be a comedy of errors and let it go. I'd just finish the race as slow as I needed to, I'd chug as much water as I could and I'd hope for the best.

For a couple of miles, I had noticed that I was developing a blister on my right foot. I've gotten really bad blisters since I started running, no matter how many times I get fitted for new shoes or wear fancy running socks. It's a thing. But this one was getting pretty bad. I started alternating walking and running. My hips hurt when I walked and my feet hurt when I ran. It was sort of a no win situation, but I was moving along, feeling as good as can be expected.

At mile 11, my mp3 player died. Apparently, when you plug things in to charge drunkenly, you don't always do it right. Outstanding. But I could see the mile 12 marker. I'd be fine. I took a step and felt something squish. At first, I thought I had stepped on someone's discarded gel. Then I looked down. No, no I had not. I had popped the blister that was developing on my right foot. My toes instantly felt better but my foot was now bloody. Apparently it was a blood blister. Lovely. I officially looked like the female version of 2004 Curt Schilling.

I crossed the finish line and just laughed. This was easily the most ridiculous run I have ever been on. I grabbed about 14 water bottles and an apple and headed back to my car.  My feet hurt and my hips hurt, but other than that I felt ok. I had started to develop a really bad headache, but I chalked it up to a combination of dehydration/allergies/residual hangover. When I was driving back up to LA, I started getting a little dizzy and I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. It was actually a really scary experience because I didn't know what was wrong with me. I pulled off and found a bagel store. I grabbed a bagel and another water and sat in my car eating it. I finally started to feel better, but I have officially learned my lesson. Gidget's Rule #4: Don't run a half marathon on an empty stomach.

When I got home, I showered and then headed right back out to the library. No post nap race for this girl. All in all, I was glad I ran it. I don't know that it accomplished what I had hoped, though. I was pretty disappointed in myself for not pushing through everything. I knew I wasn't physically in shape for this kind of distance, but I didn't realize that I wasn't mentally in shape either. That was absolutely a let down and something I'm going to need to ruminate on a little bit. One of these days I'm going to run a race that I have actually trained for without being injured. That will be awesome.

What's your worst race experience?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

PCRF Half Marathon (Race?) Recap Part 1 [or How I Decided This Was A Good Idea]

Let's get this out of the way now: This sucked. Not because of the race, not because of the organizers, not because of anything other than I sucked and was woefully unprepared. But I did it, and that was pretty amazing.

Ok, on to the deets (do people say deets anymore? did I just date myself?).

Yes, I have been MIA. No, I didn't secretly plan to run a half marathon and not tell you guys. This one just kind of ... happened. I'd been feeling pretty low about myself. As I mentioned, D's new girlfriend is in my profession and she's unbelievably successful, in a way I'll never be. I know I shouldn't compare myself and blah blah blah but honestly (and we're all about honesty here - Gidget's Rule #3: Always tell the truth), it's been a huge blow to my self esteem. I've been doing a lot of internal soul searching and I've been feeling pretty unaccomplished. Yes, I'm about to graduate law school, yes, I moved across the country all by myself but I couldn't convince myself those things were awesome.

I had 2 exams and a paper within 24 hours of each other on Thursday/Friday. I was drinking my 3436th latte of the morning when I got this magical tweet from the beautiful Sarah:
Well, no, no I wasn't. I had an exam on Monday and an exam on Tuesday. I was going to spend my entire weekend in the library, by myself, feeling alone and stupid and unaccomplished. But wait, why do you ask? Oh, you have an extra bib for a half marathon? On Saturday? No. No, I couldn't possibly ... Well ... Ok, I'll do it. 

Here's what was going through my head:
"I'm not trained."
"I couldn't possibly."
"Well, I was going to run 6-8 miles anyway."
"How bada$$ would I be if I ran a half marathon in the middle of finals?"
"I bet she never ran a half marathon in the middle of finals ..."

"Ok, I'll do it."

And just like that, I was running a half marathon. In 2 days. With no training. On 4 hours of sleep. OUTSTANDING.

Stay tuned for Part 2 [or How I Totally Took the Prize for Worst Race Fail Ever. In. Life.]

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Half Marathon?

So, I ran the PCRF half marathon today ... yeah. About that.

I finished and I didn't die. Let's just leave it at that for now.

Off to ice, bandage my feet (because there is definitely blood on my sneakers ... excellent) and head to the library. Because I'm in the middle of finals. Yeah. I don't know who thought this would be a good idea.

Race report to come!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

So, I'm thinking of getting a puppy. Well, not a real puppy, necessarily. Probably an older dog that is already house-trained. But regardless, a small furry animal with 4 legs capable of unconditional love.

1) I'm lonely and I think this will help cheer me up.
2) I've always loved dogs and have wanted one since my family dog passed away a couple of years ago
3) There are so many older dogs in shelters that need good homes.

1) It narrows my apartment search pretty significantly, since not all apartments allow animals.
2) Pets are expensive and I have no job.
3) Although I will have a ton of time this summer while studying to be home with a puppy, eventually I'm going to have a job and work 10-12 hours per day. That's a long time to leave a dog cooped up.

So, interesting conundrum I find myself in. My first thought was that I would just foster a shelter dog for the summer, but I think we all know that I wouldn't be able to give him/her back.

Does anyone else work long hours and have a pet? Is it doable?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confessions and New Directions (not the Glee kind)

Ok, so I owe you, my loyal readers (yes, all 7 of you), an explanation. I've fallen off the blogging and running wagon, largely because the wagon fell on top of me.

So, let's talk about what's going on:
1) There is no more Moondoggie. Ok, there is still a Moondoggie, but he's not my Moondoggie anymore. He's someone else's now. D and I were together for almost 6 years. About a month ago he started to question our relationship and about a week ago he told me he wanted to be with someone else. A specific someone else. A skinnier, more successful, faster runner someone else. Apparently I'm too sad and stressed out all the time. Yes, yes I am. I'm in law school. Obviously it's all much more complicated than that. But it basically boils down to me being alone. I'm trying to have a positive attitude about it, but I'm 6 weeks away from entering the most stressful 2 months of my life (bar studying) and I've lost my best friend. I'm not doing super well. Which isn't helped by ...

2) I haven't been running. Pretty much at all. I feel awful, so I do nothing but lay around and feel sorry for myself. Then I feel bad that I didn't go running and it just gets worse. I get that it's a vicious cycle. I totally get that. Also, my leg isn't loving me. I hurts after 5 miles every damn time. Because of #1, I've felt absolutely no desire to go to the PT about it, so I just dig myself a little deeper.

3) I hate my job. HATE. IT. Viscerally. It makes me question whether or not I want to be a lawyer. Too late now. I really want to be a prosecutor. Unfortunately, because of stupid dumb budget issues, no one is hiring. I had an interview for a perfect prime dream job and didn't get it because I didn't have any connections. Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So, $200,000 in student loans, 3 years and 1 failed relationship later, I'm 3,000 miles away from home with no job, no boyfriend and not a ton of friends (see #4).

4) I have no friends. Well, that's not true. I have a handful of friends. I moved to LA 3 years ago from NY to be with D. I knew it would be hard and I knew I'd have to make new friends. Unfortunately, all of those friends were D's friends. And he won them in the breakup (they were his friends first). So I'm pretty much all alone out here. Not great.

5) There is no more Roommate. Well, at least not after May 15th. It's a bit of a mess. So, come May 15th I'll be homeless. And alone. Great.

I know this sounds very Debbie Downer and I know it's the wrong attitude to have. I'm working on it. Right now, all I want to do is cry. But I can't keep doing that forever. So here are some of the things I'm working on:
1) Time to find a new apartment. This is obviously priority #1 as I would prefer to not be homeless, if at all possible. Rumor has it it is hard to be homeless and study for the bar. A friend of mine may be leaving LA after graduation and said I can sublet her apartment. This would be good, except (a) I don't want to lose my friend (see #4) and (b) it's 4 blocks away from D. Don't really need to see him and the new girlfriend walking around the neighborhood (or worse, her running faster than me).

2) Pass the bar. I was 100% committed to staying in LA 2 weeks ago. Right now I'm at about 80%. Unfortunately, I have to take the bar somewhere and wherever I take the bar is where I have to practice. Right now I'm registered for the CA bar and that's what I'll be taking in July. They offer the bar exam twice a year - July and February. So I'm giving myself until the February bar to figure things out. If, come the winter, I'm still miserable in LA and I still don't have a job, then I'll reconsider my options. For a whole slew of reasons, I don't want to move back to NY. But we'll see. That leads me to #3 ...

3) Find a job. Any job. If I can't do what I really want, I need to find something that will hold me over until something opens up. Even if I hate it. I can't afford to not have a job once I graduate. Even if I hate it, it'll be experience.

4) Make more friends/be more social/get over D. This is all kind of wrapped into one big messy "I don't want to do this"package. I am not, by nature, a super social person. I like to have a small group of really great friends. Obviously, though, you make said small group of friends by meeting lots of people and weeding through them. I'm basically pretending that I just moved to LA and need to make new friends. It's hard and it sucks and I don't like it, but I'm doing it. I'm also on-line dating. It makes me feel pretty pathetic and awful but I don't know where else you meet people - I don't have friends to set me up and I don't have time to go to a bar and meet someone. I have some dates lined up next week. I'm definitely not excited about it, but it is what it is.

5) Run. Jury's still out on the pre-graduation celebration 1/2 marathon. I think I could run it, but I'm afraid it will hurt and after my first 1/2 when I was hurt and miserable and wanted to quit, I don't want to run another race if I'm not completely confident in my abilities. So we'll see. BUT. I did sign up for my very first full marathon! I had planned on running the Vegas R'n'R in December, but with the new time limits (and the emotional D baggage that goes along with being in Vegas) I decided it wasn't a great idea. I questioned my darling Twitter friends and the beautiful Sarah suggested Long Beach in October. Close? Cheap? Flat? Sold.

So that's where I am right now. The tone of this blog might change a little. It's going to be a little more about finding myself, in running and in life. If that's not your bag of donuts, no big deal. Thanks for stopping by. If it is, then stick around. Who knows what's going to happen next?

Gidget's Rule #2 - Don't stop believing (See what I did there? With the Glee reference? Going back to the title? Yeah, stick around for more of that kind of wit).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If I Distract You With My Blogging Fail, You Won't Notice My Running Fail ...

Ok, so I’m officially the worst blogger ever. Real life has eaten me a little bit. There have been some amazingly stressful things going on and this isn’t really the right place for them. Needless to say, my life’s been turned a bit upside down and I’m still trying to catch my footing. I promise to be a better blogger from now on.

In fairness, I was also a pretty poor runner in my blogging absence. I did sneak home to NYC for a long weekend this past weekend, which definitely helped heal my soul a little. It did not, however, help my running one bit. I had grand plans of running in NY with my sister, who’s training for her first ½ marathon in May. Things I did not counting on:
-       It was VERY cold. Much colder than I anticipated
-       I left my running shoes in LA (because I’m a GENIUS)
-       I didn’t have a lot of time and a lot of things to do and people to see (and Mardi Gras’ to celebrate…)

So I managed to get 1 lousy, stinking 5 miler in. I also missed a training run because I landed in LA much too hungover to function Wednesday afternoon. I did manage to buy new running shoes, though! I had a gift certificate for a running store near my sister (thanks, Groupon!) and am going to need a new pair between now and my potential quasi-graduation celebration ½ marathon, so I figured I’d pick them up with my gift certificate. I also grabbed some Gus because the only flavor I have left is strawberry banana and that stuff’s just gross.

I promise to be a better blogger. Stay tuned for my review of some awesome products sent to me by the awesome Sarah from Once Upon A (L)ime and my big marathon conundrum.

You know you love my cliff-hangers.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Morning: 2 mi. run outside 19:47
Evening: 7 mi. treadmill .5 incline 68:47

Um, hi. Let's talk about this for a second. I ran TWICE today. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty impressed with myself. Now, it should be noted that I absolutely did NOT intend to break my workout this way. I had 7 miles on the schedule for this weekend. I may or may not have been too hungover yesterday to manage (sometimes martinis are too delicious to pass up) so I knew I was going to have to get it in today before I had to be at a training session at 10 am. I carbo loaded with some delicious pasta (the first time I've had pasta in a really long time) and a little red wine (not the first time I've had red wine in a really long time) and was tucked into bed by 1030 pm. Excellent ...

Except. I meant to set my alarm for 645, be out the door by 7 and by home by 830 or so - plenty of time to shower and get ready. Well. You can, therefore, imagine my surprise when my alarm went of at 745, not 645. Crap. That would definitely NOT be enough time to run 7 miles. Knowing that I was technically still "injured," even if I felt awesome, I didn't want to push too hard and hurt myself. I decided to run 3 or 4 miles and finish the rest when I finished training. Well. As soon as I started running I knew that wasn't going to happen. My legs felt heavy, my chest was burning and I just did. not. want. At 2 miles I passed my house and bailed. I was hoping to get 5 miles in when I got home but I wasn't optimistic.

By the time I got home from training it was after 5 (yes, it was absolutely the longest day ever. ugh.). I didn't particularly relish the idea of running outside and ending my run in the dark, but I didn't want to run 5 miles on the treadmill. By the time I carefully weighed my options (aka stalked facebook for a while) it was already dark out. Since I'm a magnet for cars in the dark (I have the scars to prove it!), my only real option was the gym. I reluctantly headed out, figuring at least it would be empty while the Oscars were going on. I hopped on the treadmill, figuring I'd run my 5 as fast as I could and be out of there. But while I was running I got to thinking. I was supposed to run 7 consecutive miles today. If I was really serious about running a half in May (and I'm 90% certain I am) I wasn't going to be able to run half of it in the morning, take an 8 hour break, and then run the second half in the afternoon. So I decided to just stay on for the whole 7 miles. This was definitely easier said than done. The time limit on the treadmill was 60 minutes (are there treadmills in this world that go longer? There must be, right?) and I knew it would take me longer than that to run 7 miles. I thought about splitting it up 3 and 4 or 5 and 2 but I kind of wanted to see that 7 on the display. I figured if I could average a 10 min. mile I could finish in under 70 minutes (the 60 minute limit + the 10 minute cooldown). I did a 1 mile warmup at 5.5 and then just took off. Everything about the run felt amazing. At the start of the last mile "One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)" came on my iPod and I knew I'd finish. The cooldown period was less than awesome because I had to keep fiddling with the speed, but I finished it and it was amazing. This was the run I wish I had had last weekend (and absolutely no leg pain at all! I may or may not want to marry my physical therapist).

It looked a little something like this (for those of you keeping score at home).

I really couldn't be more pleased with my run tonight. It makes me feel so strong and accomplished and awesome, which is what I really needed after a bit of a demoralizing, confidence-busting sort of week (I may or may not have had an existential crisis about what I'm doing with my life). The decision to do the full 7 miles was the best one I've made in a long time. Now I'm enjoying some left over pasta, some red wine, a very much needed foam roll and the dvr-ed Oscars.

Have you ever done 2 runs in one day? How do you feel about breaking up long runs?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Like Today Could Get Any Better!

I came home from a long (and obnoxious) night of class to find 2 glorious packages with MY name on them! There is nothing I like more than packages!

Inside package #1, I found:
My very first pair of Nike Tempo Shorts! I am a recent convert to the whole "running in shorts" thing and when I saw these on sale, I snapped them up. Can't wait to wear them on my run tomorrow morning!

And in package #2, we have the new love of my life:
My amazing sister bought me this fabulous Kate Spade purse as a "Keep your chin up, law school's almost over and have I mentioned you're definitely the prettier twin" present. Thanks sister!

(Also, yes, that is a smaller, black version of the same bag next to it. I may or may not be a Kate Spade addict. Thankfully, I have a very generous family that supports my addiction)

What was the best part of your day? How much do you love surprise packages?!

Mountain Out of A Molehill

Workout: 3 miles – 31:00

I’m not dying! I can keep running! Yes, I 100% now fully admit that I overreacted. Hi, my name is Gidget and I’m a worrywart. I went into my physical therapist appointment expecting him to tell me that there was something structurally wrong with my legs and I’d never be able to run again. Neither of these things are true (yay!). My pain is also not cause by my IT Band. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Whatchu talkin’ bout, Gidget? (said in Gary Coleman voice). My pain is apparently due to my sciatica. Yes, I am a 97 year old Jewish woman who lives in Queens and complains about her sciatica. Apparently I did it by sitting on the edge of hard chairs toon often (aka I have to sit on the edge of my chair at work because I’m too short to reach the keyboard otherwise. I know, I’m midget). The PT did some massaging and used a laser to reduce my inflammation and that was that. He told me to only sit on soft surface for 2 weeks. This will make me be the super cool girl at work sitting on a cushion. Excellent. He also suggested steering clear of hills for a few weeks. Not a problem, doc, I don’t like ‘em anyway Other than that, I am good to go.

So of course, off I went. I just had to test it, because that’s the kind of girl I am. I ran for 3 miles (well, really 2 miles with a .5 warm up and a .5 cool down) and it felt great. Not even a faint hint or twinge of pain. Considering how lingering and obnoxious my old IT Band issues were, I absolutely can’t complain! Spring ½ Marathon back on!

All in all, I was super pleased with my first experience with a physical therapist. I’m usually very wary of doctors. I was completely freaking out last night (see post below) and Moondoggie definitely had to talk me out of canceling my appointment this morning.  Now, there’s definitely the possibility that I’ll head out for my long run on Saturday and die, but for now, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic.

Have you ever been to a physical therapist? What has your experience been? If you need a great one in LA, I’ll hook you up!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am not ...

I am not afraid of the physical therapist ... I am not afraid of the physical therapist ... I am not afraid of the physical therapist.

I am secretly TERRIFIED of the physical therapist. Eep.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gimpy McGimperson

Workout: 3.1 miles – 36:03 – treadmill, no incline

I was desperate to test my knee out today but nervous that if I went running outside and it started to hurt I’d still have to make my way back home. I decided I’d head to the gym and hop on the treadmill. If my knee hurt, I’d just stop and switch to something else. I ran my 3 miles very slowly but with no pain. I stopped twice to stretch when it felt like my IT Band was starting to get stiff. It didn’t hurt, exactly, but there was definitely a feeling of almost hurting. It felt good to be running but I was just so frustrated at how hobbled I felt that I ended up leaving the gym disappointed.

Good news, though! I made a PT appointment for Wednesday. The therapist came highly recommended and when I called to make my appointment, he said “Oh, bring your shorts and shoes and we’ll take a look at your stride.” That’s super encouraging (right? It’s totally encouraging). I have a great dislike of doctors in general, so I’m not looking forward to the appointment, but hopefully he can get me back on track.

In an effort to not gain unbelievable amounts of weight while I’m sidelined, I went to the grocery store tonight to get tons of yummy salad ingredients. I also got 3 bottles of wine and a very large can of icing. So close and yet, so far.

Anybody have any experience with PTs? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Also, true story, I call my Grandma Gimpy. She's has 2 bad knees and a bad arm that never set right after a break and I joke with her about it. It sounds awful and cruel, but it's meant with all of the love in the world. As I've mentioned, she's kind of hardcore.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Debbie Downer Diets

Finally got the alliteration down, thank you very much. I know you're all impressed.

There was no workout today, hence no workout recap. I spent the morning being truly lazy, convincing Moondoggie to rub my knees and icing. I spent the afternoon learning about determinate sentencing schemes (don't be jealous about how exciting my life is). I've been trying not to be too down about my knee - I've left a message with my doctor to get a referral for a PT and I've been doing an unbelievable amount of research on the internetz re: stretching/rolling/icing/generally fixing my IT Band. Hopefully I can get this taken care of sooner rather than later and be quasi-back on my (running shoe clad) feet. Until then, I'm looking at lots of short slow runs in my future.

One good thing to come out of this weekend was a pretty lovely (and surprising) weight loss. I'm down about 4 pounds since this post. I had suspected said weight loss for a while now, but wanted to see the lower number a few days in a row before making it "official." I've only got about 5-10 pounds to go now, so that's something. Hopefully my decreased mileage won't adversely affect my weight loss. Time for more weights/elliptical/dance classes. It'll be fun to switch things up a little bit, but I'm not convinced anything is quite as effective as running.

Another thing that may or may not have affected my weight loss was my deliciously glorious apple walnut french toast that I inhaled ate at brunch. I'm ok with that, though. Gidget's #1 Rule: Never skimp on brunch.

How do you deal with injuries? Anyone have any awesome weight loss secrets?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bad Run But Good Brunch

So I couldn't think of another adjective that began with B besides "Badass" and I thought that might be inappropriate. Sorry in advance for the lack of alliteration.

6.63 mi - 1:20:20

There's really not much to say about this run, or at least not much that I'm willing to think about right now. It was really disappointing. After banging out some awesome runs these last few weeks, I was anticipating this run being AWESOME. It was decidedly less so. I was scheduled to meet the super stellar Skinny Runner and some other speedy blogging ladies down in Newport at 9am for my very first group run! However, after getting off to a late start and realizing I'd have to stop for gas, I figured I'd never make it in time. I sent off an email letting the ladies know I'd be a little late and to start without me. I made it down to Newport in record time (especially considering the gross traffic Moondoggie and I sat in to get there last weekend). I got a little lost and ended up in the middle of the loop (I think). I had planned 2 outfits - one for rain and one for no rain - and brought both down with me. The sun appeared to be shining so I made the executive decision to wear the non-rain gear. That was, in hindsight, a mistake. After a quick stretch, I headed to the path. I ended up parking pretty much in the middle of the path (again, I think. There was definitely some confusion as to where the path started/ended/went at all). I decided I'd just go right, run a nice easy 1/4 mile warmup, run for 3 miles, then turn around. I wasn't sure if I'd pass SR and the other ladies, but I figured maybe it was for the best - they're all in such better running condition and I really didn't want to slow anyone down! The path looked gorgeous and I was really excited to get out there and run.

My non-rain decision turned out to be misguided. Within the first 1/4 mile, the rain started again. Now I had a tough decision to make: I was still close enough to the car to go back, grab my windbreaker and a hat and be none worse for wear. As the rain came down harder, I decided I'd turn around. Bad choice #1. By the time I got back to my car, the heavy rain had stopped, so I decided not to stop and just keep running, but this time heading for the path to the left. Bad choice #2. The path to the right seemed nice and flat. The path to the left was full of rolling hills that my knees just did. not. love. The rain continued on and off and I definitely regretted not getting my windbreaker. My first 2 miles were perfectly lovely. Then my left IT Band decided to read its ugly head. Yes, you read that right. The LEFT IT band. As in, not the one that made me cry during the half. As in my good leg. As in kill me now. I stopped at the turn around and sent some pretty pathetic text messages to Moondoggie about how I was hours from home (not really) and 3 miles away from my car (almost true) and maybe crying (definitely true). As I hobbled painfully and slowly back to my car, I passed the adorable SR, Megan and Pam. They were running so effortlessly I didn't have the heart to stop them and tell them that this pathetic bundle of IT Bands was the person they were supposed to meet.

So I finished up my miles, tearing up the whole time, stopping every once in a while to stretch, got to my car and seriously debated finding the nearest grocery store and drowning my sorrows in as large a vat of icing as they were willing to sell me. However, I realized that that was just going to make me fat AND sad, so I head to the blogger brunch over at Mother's Market. I'm so glad I did! All of the ladies were so inspiring and fun and gorgeous. Not gonna lie, kind of jealous and their awesome running abilities! I may or may not have been tempted to trip them on the way out in an attempt to level the playing field :) Thanks for a great day Sarah, Monica, Nicole, Megan, Pam and Bri!

Shamelessly stolen because I'm obviously not fancy enough to take pictures for my blog yet.

Today's run really got me thinking. I was so disappointed and frustrated to see this injury pop up again. It was really disheartening, especially considering how well my runs have been going lately. I had these beautiful visions of running a half before bar studying really got under way, then putting in some serious training for a fall/winter first full marathon. Now I just don't know if that's going to happen. Maybe my body just isn't cut out for long distance running. That's a really sad thought for me. I love distance running but my knees may not. For now, I think I'll try to scale back my mileage and little and see what happens. My knee began feeling worse and worse as the day went on. I convinced Moondoggie to massage it a little, I did a ridiculous amount of foam rolling and now I'm just trying not to aggravate it (I may or may not be blogging in bed and drinking wine with ice packs on my knees. May or may not.). I really don't want this to snowball into another 3 month forced hiatus, so I'm going to be extra careful. I'd rather lose some milage now, maybe have to forgo the spring 1/2  and be able to keep running.

Have you ever been sidelined with an injury? How do you deal with the mental pain?

Friday, February 18, 2011

And You Wonder Where I Get It From

Text I just received from my Dad:

You should be running your warmups at 9:30 with your runs at 830/845 - 930 for the long runs.

Bad influence much?

Identity Crisis

2.5 miles - 23:24 [aka super fast awesome all star]

How do you know you’re a runner? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately. Yes, I’ve completed a ½ marathon (slowly and with an unbelievable amount of IT Band pain, but I finished). Still, even crossing the finish line, I don’t know that I’d have called myself a “runner.” I’ve never been athletic. I fall down. Like, a lot. I never really played sports or was particularly active. When I first started running almost 4 years ago, a friend of mine suggested we run a 5k together to lose some of our post-college chub. I ran the 5k in a whopping 39:45. But I was hooked. I started training for the Brooklyn ½ Marathon but then got sidelined by bronchitis halfway through my training and never recovered.  After that, I kept running my short runs, but didn’t really increase my distance in any measurable way. Then I started law school which, in case anyone was wondering, completely takes over your life. I pretty much stopped running altogether for about 2 years.

After a bad breakup last year, I was looking for something to keep me occupied. A friend of mine was training for a fall ½ marathon and suggested I run it too. I remembered how awesome running had once upon a time made me feel and gave it a shot. But I definitely cheated my way through my training. I focused almost exclusively on long runs and completely skipped my weekday runs. As a result, I really aggravated my IT Band. It first started flaring up about 2 weeks before the race, but I was determined to run anyway. So, I carried my right knee through the last 8 miles, finished in just over 3 hours and was sidelined for almost 3 months. Gross.

Now I’m back to running 4 days a week, feeling great, getting faster – but I still wouldn’t call myself a “runner.” Runners are tall and skinny and fast. I’m short with some junk in my trunk and SLOOOOW. Runners feel confident running their short weekday runs, I get nervous I won’t finish my 2 miles EVERY. TIME. I have all the running gear – Henry the Garmin, my amazing compression socks/leg warmers – but I feel like a sham every time I open a Gu packet. Real runners need Gus. I’m not working hard enough to require that kind of fuel. I cried crossing the finish line of my 1/2 marathon – partly out of pain, but mostly out of disappointment. This wasn't the triumphant feeling of "Finally, I'm a real runner!" I had expected. Maybe I'll feel it after my next 1/2 marathon (Oh, I didn't tell you about that? Yeah, more later). Maybe I'll feel it after my potential-possibly-to-be-run full marathon. Maybe I'll never feel it. Maybe that's ok.

I think part of it definitely has to do with how many running blogs I read. It's definitely amazing to see all of your achievements and I'm completely in awe of each and every one of you! But every time I read about your super speedy, super long, super easy runs, it definitely makes my "fast" or "long" runs seem pretty insignificant. I just have to keep remember that it's TOTALLY awesome that I ran an 8:48 mile tonight and it's TOTALLY awesome that I'm going to run 6 whole miles this weekend. And it's TOTALLY awesome that my Bic Bands came, so I'll look adorable doing it :)

Also, let's talk about how I'm going on my long run on Saturday with a GROUP of beautiful fabulous ladies I met on the internetz who can run circles around me. Um, eep much? Yeah, let's not think about that right now.

Are you a runner? How do you know?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I may have just convinced myself to run a 1/2 marathon the day before my law school graduation ... crazy or awesome?


Don't Rain On My Parade

2 mi. 19:12

I woke up this morning to the pitter patter of little raindrops on my window. In Los Angeles. Ew. This is not why I moved to southern California. Hear that weather gods? Not ok. I was casually aware that it might rain this morning and I had sort of laid out my running clothes accordingly. I thought maybe, just maybe, I’ll be hardcore and go running outside in the rain. My sister is training for her first ½ marathon in New Jersey and has been fighting the cold and snow all winter, so I totally understand that I am very spoiled living in SoCal. If she can run in snow and ice, I can run in rain … right?

Well. When I woke up, the rain was pounding my window. Now, admittedly, there’s a very large tree right outside my window that tends to make the weather seem more severe than it is. The leaves and branches rattle against the window and kind of freak me out. My bed was warm and cuddly, Moondoggie was over and my body just wasn’t having it. I snuggled back in bed and decided I would head to the gym in between classes. It was great – I got to sleep in extra late because all I had to do to get ready for school was throw on gym clothes. Score!

Fast forward 3 hours and 2 cups of coffee later [Hi, I’m Gidget and I’m a coffee addict]. As I was driving to the gym(and literally passing the exit to my house on the freeway), the clouds parted, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Sign that I should get off and run outside? Absolutely! I raced home to take advantage of the break in the weather. I already had my running clothes on, so it should have been as simple as grabbing Henry and heading out the door … except that I’m the world’s greatest procrastinator. I mean, I had to do my stretches. And tweet about my fabulous luck. And maybe read a blog or 2 for motivation. So, 30 minutes later, my beautiful weather window was fading fast. I had been hoping to run this at about a 10:30 pace, but as I stepped outside and same the ominous black clouds closing in fast, I made the determination that maybe I should just run as fast as possible. I was feeling pretty good for a while, but then it started to rain. Not awesome. And get windy. We’re talking really windy. I was having a really hard time catching my breath, but I hadn’t dressed for the rain (because not only am I a procrastinator, I’m an idiot). I didn’t want to be out any longer than I had to. So I just kept running – and running fast. Henry says my first mile was 9:48 and my second mile was 9:11. I’m unbelievably shocked at how fast I ran this. AND my knees didn’t hurt at all! My calves are kind of sore, not in a shin splint-y sort of way, but in a holy crap, I pushed myself! sort of way. This is actually the first time in a long time that my muscles have hurt from running, so I’m pretty pleased with it. I kind of love that I’m going so far out of my comfort zone!

It’s supposed to rain for the rest of the week [Again, weather gods take note, not ok] but there seems to be another small window of sunshine tomorrow morning, so I’m hoping to get in 2 miles in the morning. If not, it’s going to be another late night treadmill run [gross].

Has the weather ever motivated you to run faster? How do you push yourself out of your comfort zone?