a new challenge of sorts

so my mom sent me an article from yahoo today where a woman is 10 months along in her abstinence of clothes shopping, no purchases on anything! no undies! no shoes! no tights! NOTHING!!!  my mom asked if we thought we could do it for a year and it got me to thinking – could i do this?  would there be any conditions regarding doing this? what if my weight changed (realistically gained…)? what if i got invited to something and i didnt have something wear?

here’s what i came up with –

  1. sounds like a terrific new years resolution
  2. gifts are excluded (cough cough friends who are reading this :))
  3. unplanned vacations or events that require specific items (skiing, theme parties, etc) are excluded
  4. everything except accessories, undies, socks, and tights are included (minus running shoes – a necessity based on wear)
  5. i need to develop a strong to buy list before this starts, including some new bootcut jeans
  6. if i get as many holes to where i need to do laundry more than once a week, then this whole plan needs to be re-evaluated.  with out of unit laundry, that just aint gonna happen – nosiree
  7. if significant weight change happens to where clothes no longer fit, joining a gym or signing up for a marathon is the only option – pending stretchy waistband pants haha

i think that’s it, so the plan is to revisit this list mid-december and see if it’s truly do-able.  i mean, i am addicted to online shopping websites.  it is my ultimate timekiller behind pinterest – guess i could read books? do more crafts?  sign up for classes? we’ll see!


a weekend at home

this past weekend the bf and i made the trip back to nc to visit the parents and gparents.  it was a beautiful weekend at home and the perfect nc fall weather – makes me miss home terribly.  while home, i quickly realized how much its a food tour of the south, those must have places that i need to eat including – smith’s spicy sausage (to die for), chick fil a breakfast, cracker barrel (only the 2nd time for the bf), coconut pies (mom’s recipe and the best!), bojangles, westridge chicken salad, and the list could keep going forever…

we were able to see both of my gparents over the weekend, which was the primary reason i went home.  the gpa is getting super frail and sick these days, so it was great to be able to spend some time with him.  he actually seems better than the last time i saw him.  then we took my gma to cracker barrel for lunch 🙂  i gave her a homemade 80th bday present inspired by pinterest.  it’s hard to tell from the pic, but its in a matted picture frame and has the scrabble style tiles with her name and all my aunts and uncles.

then my dad took the bf on a tour of what modern day farming is like in the fall.  it was the perfect time – they were right in the middle of picking cotton and peanuts.  it was great to see how interested the bf was and how delighted my dad was to share.  however, after all this running around, i ended up coming down with a bad cold that only got worse throughout the weekend.  i can’t believe i got sick on top of all the meds i’m taking for the potential shingles run in.  regardless, it was great to be home and i can’t wait to see everyone again over thanksgiving and christmas.

after a late arrival home, still fighting a wretched cold, i decided to take a pto day to recover from this cold before kickstarting a busy week.  while home today, i have been researching lots of diy stuff for christmas – more to come on the blog – researching recipes, reading a great new book by ken follett called the winter of the world, and cuddling up with the pup on the couch

maybe i didn’t get away pain free from the marathon?

at this point who knows, but here is what i do know happened –

  • immediately after the marathon i felt like i had a bad cold (chalked it up to being outside for 5 hours running and just the usual post-running stuffies)
  • since the marathon, i have had shoulder pain that felt deep in the joint and/or muscle related.  at times, i had limited range of motion due to pain and struggled picking things up.  it got worse when i slept on that side.
  • yesterday, i woke up with a circular spot of redness that was tender to the touch and warm just above my armpit (ick armpits are gross!)
  • late yesterday afternoon, the redness was spreading around my arm and not getting better
  • sat in the ER and ultimately left with a diagnosis of shingles on my shoulder.  everyone seemed pretty okay about it, so i didn’t stress too much.  picked up my meds, started to take them and just relieved i knew what was going on
  • today, the redness was almost completely gone but instead i had a weird burning sensation in my face (think windburn, but i just woke up so odd…), a noticeable tightness, slight swelling and redness to my face
  • alarmed that something may have spread, i went to a primary care doc and he seems to think i have nothing to be worried about and highly unlikely to have shingles.  he encouraged me to stop taking the medicine and that’s about it.
  • here’s where we stand now – i am still taking the meds.  no way am i risking that it truly is shingles and it flares back up.  two – my face still burns, swollen and just weird… so im clueless as to whats going on.  fingers crossed it is all settled!

maybe it’s my sign that marathons are a once in lifetime kinda thing 🙂

what is the world coming to?

i mean don’t get me wrong… i love honey boo boo but for her entertainment value, not her opinions on the upcoming election…

honey boo boo backs obama

savoring the sunshine

with winter not too far away, it seems only fitting to try to get outside as much as possible when its sunny and semi-warm/not freezing yet, especially after a rainy weekend.  so, the pup and i headed out on our first long run since the marathon and let’s just say, i realized that i am absolutely still recovering from that 26 miler.  started out pretty solid, but after awhile, the distance, the wind, and the soreness started to take its toll and i had to slow down quite a bit.  overall, had a goal of 8 miles, but did 7.5 with a little bit of walking.  with a race coming up in a few weeks, there’s no reason to overdo it right now and hurt myself.  i think it’s official the pup is in better shape though!  he kept pulling me right on through the run wanting to go faster.

i feel a little clueless about where to go with my runs and how far, etc. but i’m sure i’ll get a post-marathon training groove on soon.  in the meantime, it’s been nice to have a lazy work from home day with the bf.

what to do without long runs on the weekends???

great question!  i’m still figuring that out myself.  in the meantime, we used one of the groupons i have stockpiled to try a new restaurant, lokal.  the food was good, but the service was absolutely terrible!  we had a bartender covering our table, and it was clear waiting tables just wasnt his thing.  next time just stick to making the drinks please.  while there, the bf and i realized i probably hadnt had a steak since i stopped traveling – crazy huh?  so of course, i got a steak for dinner 🙂

we called it a lazy night and came home to watch snow white and the huntsman, which we had always vowed to watch in theaters (like so many other movies)…. i fell asleep, so we had to pause halfway through.  after a lazy saturday of house things, we hit the town for a friends charity event at an oktoberfest party where the main event was a polka band and then this beast….

afterwards, we headed out with the bf’s friends to celebrate a 30th bday.  we hit some pretty random bars, including one filled with arcade games, as well as one that looked like it was set-up for a competitive ping pong tournament.  after getting home late, we slept in pretty late which was only increased by the depressing weather outside.

today was another lazy day inspired by the dreary weather, but we did manage to make a yummy crock pot chicken enchilada soup.  it was the first time i had tried this recipe and it was delish! and super easy to make!  its a repeat for sure.  it’s actually the second recipe i have made from her site, and both were hits!  i think based on how many recipes i love, i’m going to add a recipe page with links to all the yummy things we have put on the repeat list.  if anything, a place for me that has my tried and true recipes versus the pinterest wish list of recipes to try.


and the pup was enjoying his lazy sunday too – nothing like a toy cuddled up on the couch with control over the remote

i did it!

sorry it’s been so long – i’ve been enjoying the lull of post-marathoning haha.  so let me try to begin to recap the whole experience.  needless to say in the 48 hours leading up to the marathon, i was getting beyond anzy – i was just ready for it to be over!!  all this talk, all this training, let’s just get this show on the road!

i was able to hit the expo early on friday to pick up my number, tshirt (which i got before they ran out!), and stock up on marathon paraphenalia in case this is the last one i ever do (gotta get the goods).  the expo was huuuuge!  it put disney and savannah to shame, and the organization was amazing.

after that it was a pretty uneventful weekend of drinking water, laying around, sleeping alot and eating a lot of carbs.  oh, and being worried that something mysterious would make me sick – like not cooking the pancakes well enough and ending up with tummy woes…  my charity sponsored a dinner in the south loop, but after fighting traffic because of the miami/notre dame game and not finding a parking spot, we trekked it back home and ate at our favorite neighborhood italian restaurant.  then…. it was the big day!

so it was cold (at least to my nc roots) the morning of… i was nervous about switching up my clothes, i mean… i hadn’t trained in pants and long sleeves – what if something rubbed the wrong way???? regardless, i woke up at 5:30ish and the bf was sweet enough to get up and drive me to the start line.  arriving around 6:15 with no gear to check, i just kinda wandered in the chilly dark.  as i headed towards the start corral, i heard a voice i recognized.  somehow, in the midst of >45k people, i bumped into someone i went to wake with!  spent the next 20 mins catching up, meeting his adorable wife, and feeling a little better about my choice to run 26.2 miles in less than an hour.

off to the corrals i went, and i started to look for my pace group.  i was looking forward to running with a larger group to keep me on track with my times and to hopefully avoid ‘the wall’ everyone talked about.  unfortunately, i was completely thrown that the charity corral i started with was actually ahead of my pace group.  i’d have to run on my own.  and then we were off –

i have to admit – i somewhat loved where i started, towards the back of the first wave.  yes, people flew past me, but it made things a lot less crowded.  now, on to the course…. my friend had warned me of this ‘pee tunnel’ that was within minutes of starting the race.  i just laughed, but it’s true.  i guess people couldnt hit the porta potty in time and just haaaaaaaaaad to go.  men were lined up against the wall relieving themselves.  glad i wasnt in the second wave!  to not fall victim to the pee tunnel, i actually stopped around mile 3 at the designated porta potties.  they didnt have a line, so it was a pretty quick pit stop.

it was definitely chilly at the start, and with starting in downtown, my gps was all kinds of messed up.  it had me running 9 minute miles, which absolutely terrified me knowing how far i had to go.  so, i had to stop relying on my gps and rely on the mile markers and back into my pace.  it actually worked – when i looked at my splits, i was pretty consistent across the race.  i started stopping for water and gatorades pretty early on – just in fear of the cramping, etc that was predicted to happen late in the race.

i have to say, the course was much less crowded than i thought it would be and the water stops were great.  the crowds were everywhere!  now onto some of the highlights of the race –

  • the signs… need i say more?? there have been plenty of photo albums compiling these, but some include – worst parade ever, i support crop dusting, smile if you peed a little, its okay to poop yourself, you get the jist
  • charity block – running through this excited and passionate group of volunteers was great
  • the neighborhoods – i saw parts of chicago i had never seen before, and probably some i wont go back to (no offense….).  the highlight had to be boystown with its male cheerleaders and oldtown with the elvis impersonator
  • fellow runners – there were a few costumes including a banana, wonderwoman, capt america and a police officer

to be honest, the race felt like it went by a lot quicker than i could have ever imagined.  before i knew it, i met up with my friend to run the last 6 together.  it was great!  i think running with her absolutely helped me to not hit the wall.  i never had that point where i wanted to stop, cry, scream or any of that – i just kept on chugging along – not quite sure how though…. 

when i made the last 2 turns coming into the finish, i actually still had enough left in me to up the pace and run a little harder to the finish.  after i finished i felt pretty good considering.  i was still walking, no blisters, no burns, and all my toenails – just a little hungry haha.  once that medal was around my neck, a banana and gatorade in hand, and running shoes replaced by uggs – it all just seemed surreal.  had i really just done that?  is it really over?  i did finish under my goal of 5 hours (i ran ~11 min pace) and finished at 4 hrs 40 mins.  my recovery method of choice – champagne, papa johns and ice packs.  i somehow managed to stay up til 10pm that night, and woke up to little soreness.

now to the bf – words couldnt begin to thank him enough for his support throughout this all – from biking over 30 miles to see me at multiple spots throughout the marathon, dropping me off at 6am for the start, suffering through the lame nights before or post long runs, picking me up on lakeshore when i was in tears after a long run gone bad, the training mood swings of good runs and bad runs, laundering my smelly clothes – i could have never done this without your support through the past 4 mths and i am entirely disappointed that we didnt get a picture together on marathon day. 

and now what?? well, im still trying to figure out what to do with this free time… i’ve cleaned, finished up that painting, baked and cooked lots, finished a book (more about that later), gotten busier with work, and trying to figure out the right amount of running to get back into.  i did sign up for a 10 miler in a month – the perfect 10 that will keep me motivated.  i read that most marathoners suffer the post-marathon blues and i absolutely understand that.  after giving up 4 months to train for this goal, accomplishing it, and no goals after – its like you feel a little lost, but im sure that wont last long!

here’s some pics from the day – enjoy!

past couple days in pictures

things have been crazy over here, so to sum things up – here it goes in pictures!

we slept a lot….

started a little painting with inspiration from pinterest

step 2 of the painting

and finished painting! (all done while the bf was at a boys sleepover)

made time for some sweets!  brownies with peppermint patties cooked into them – another pinterest inspiration!

some separation anxiety before i head to work – dont mess with his pink bunny!

the start of my typical runs

part of the 3 mile loop


another part of the 3 mile loop coming by the lake

one of the harbors

a taste of home while tapering and carbo loading 🙂

somehow got him to sit even though there were squirrels around

blue steele

2 nights of dispatch!  finally after waiting foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr to see them

and to sum it up – here’s what im doing this weekend….

dmk burger bar

its like a present from burger heaven, that just happens to be right across the block from my office for one project.  needless to say, after a 7am meeting this morning, all i could think of was dmk.  the burgers are reasonably priced, but extravagantly delish.  i havent met a burger or fry combination there that i dont love (so i love it all!)  if you live close by – you absoluately should hit this place up.  the only bummer in the winter is that they don’t take reservations, and it gets pretty packed for dinners.  i highly recommend the patty melt and either the cheddar/scallion fries of the blue cheese/bacon fries.  youre welcome.

feeling brave

i signed up for my first race post-marathon!  a 10 miler about a month after the marathon that starts at navy pier.  one of my biggest fears is that after the big race, i will stop running and not adjust to burning so many calories every week, and that my puppy will go nuts without the exercise.  so what better way is there than signing up for a 10 miler?  to be honest, at that point, the only thing i’m really worried about is the weather, but i guess i better get used to that living in chicago.