Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday - Seen While Running (and Hiking)

I'm currently training for the Goofy Challenge!! Having completed only two marathons in my life, I feel like this might be a suicide mission. I'm especially nervous because my training over the last 2-3 months has been a little inconsistent. The past two years I've been living in Knoxville, Tennessee during the school year and Chicago during the summers. Some of my happiest running memories are in those cities. However, in August, I left my beloved Windy City and moved to Sin City to work for two years (then I will happily return to Chicago).
Running in Las Vegas has brought its own challenges. Given that I moved here in August, the first challenge was the scorching, oppressive heat. This is only compounded by the fact there, in general, there is no shade in sight!! Now that the heat has [mostly] subsided, I am LOVING running and working out in Vegas!! It has been a busy, busy week at work. I did my best to fit my runs in, but I missed one 3 mile run this week. Still got 4 miles in yesterday and 8 miles today.
We ran 8 miles this morning on Las Vegas Blvd

After running and a delicious brunch at Firefly, we went on an awesome hike in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  Although the plant life here looks nothing like the plant life in the midwest or in Tennessee, it is starting to grow on me.

The view from the top was incredible!! 
(yes, that's the strip - it's about 30 miles away)

And of course, there is always time for a silly photo shoot in a cute little cave (seriously, it was big enough for only two people) 

Basically, it was a phenomenal weekend - and I have some awesome pictures of this area that I now call home. More importantly, I'm finally getting my Las Vegas running legs.

♥ Wishing You Merry Miles ♥

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Slow Running Can Be Happy Running

Just over a week ago, at the 2012 Chicago Marathon, I completed my second marathon.  Now, when I finished I was overwhelmed with excitement because I improved my time from the 2011 Chicago Marathon!  Now, I didn't just improve my time, I cut 62 minutes!  Hopefully, you can understand my excitement.

Me (left) and my good friend after Chicago Marathon 2012

Unfortunately, that joy faded as countless people asked my time, or asked my pace, or even asked how close I was to qualifying for Boston!!  So, as I had to with all these people, I want to be clear from the beginning on this blog:


Now, this is something that I have personally been aware of since I started running again in January 2011.  However, I swam and ran competitively through high school and swam all four years in college (I ran cross country only one year in college), so admitting to the world how far my fitness fell in the four years after college has been really tough.  In fact, it was not until I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers (Chicago Runner Girl), that I realized how much this "marathon chatter," as she called it, was getting me down.  **Check out the post here.

Well, it is time to admit it to the world.  I ran a 5:08 marathon last week - and I was excited!  And, yes, that means that in 2011, I ran a 6:10 marathon.  In January 2011, I don't think that I was capable of running a full mile without stopping and in less than 10 months, I completed a marathon.  That is the accomplishment I was most proud of in October 2011.

Going in to the 2012 marathon, I wanted to cut 30 minutes - I blew that out of the water.  I was amped - and I'm not going to justify it to anymore people that look down on my 5 hour + marathon time.  Maybe the next one will be sub-5, maybe not.  But I know one thing, I'm going to have tons of fun training for it and even more fun running it!!

♥ Wishing You Merry Miles ♥

The Beginning of Many Merry Miles

So, now that I've completed two marathons and at least five half marathons, I've decided that I'm officially a marathoner!

And now that I am a self-proclaimed marathoner, I've decided to chronicle my journey as I navigate the roads and attempt to get closer to the pace and size of my 18 year old self.  Now, I know that I won't ever get back to the 5:45/miles of my youth.  I simply want to run a sub-2 hour half marathon and a sub-4:30 marathon.  I have a long ways to go, but I have passion, dedication, and confidence!! Stay tuned!!
Disneyland Half Marathon 2012 - 1 Mile to Go!!

♥ Wishing You Merry Miles ♥