this time a year ago…

Today is my birthday (Woo!)… My gift to myself was a day off work. It’s Friday, so let’s start the weekend off right 🙂

On birthdays, we tend to look back at the past year- at everything that has changed. This is the first time in years (six to be exact) that I’ve been in a relationship, so that is pretty major for me. Last year, I had just started to get to know Dan

Last year, I was tapering down for my first marathon. My goal had been (for a long time) to complete a marathon before I turned 30. I was 28, and in great shape, so it was perfect timing. I had just finished my first distance relay– Tuna200. I ended up staying home from work because I was super sick, and slept the entire day- until about 5pm (when I started getting ready to meet up with friends for low-key birthday drinks). Ironically enough, I’m meeting up with the exact same group tonight- just a different location 🙂

My brother had just gotten married, and my sister-in-law was pregnant with little Mason. Now, I am a proud Aunt of the most adorable nephew in the world. He plans to be Winnie the Pooh for Halloween, and I can’t wait to see the pictures. I can’t believe he is almost 9 months old… He’s such a big boy (as you can see below):

in a pumpkin

in a pumpkin

My dad is coming over this afternoon for some quality father-daughter time, and considering he’s one of my best friends, it will be good just to hang out with him some.

Although I am super happy, in general, with my life. My health has been less than stellar the last six months… But, it feels good to say I am getting better. I ran 4 miles last Friday (woo! The most I’ve ran since April), and at a 10-min pace, which isn’t too too bad. It felt like my standard long-slow-run day. I’ve gone to the gym twice this week- including what are called “thrusters” (I had no idea that’s what all those crossfitters are talking about when they complain about thrusters… I just thought it would be better than regular squats with a weight). My legs were super sore Monday, but my ab hasn’t hurt in over a week… I have officially started working on getting my strength and speed back, and plan to call my Saturdays my “long run” day (even if it starts out at a 4mi run). The struggle of the past six months doesn’t seem as important as the fact that I am getting better and stronger.

I still like beer. We also cook more often than we used to. We go to the farmers market often, and have only killed it a few times- an eggplant that we kept forgetting about, and a pepper that went bad within a week of getting. I eat more salads than I used to– dark leafy greens, a creamy cheese, nuts, dried fruit, apples… It’s delicious. And the apple cider sangria was a hit! Though, I’d suggest not to use sweet apples- they absorbed the alcohol, and tasted like pure ethanol after a few hours of soaking.

And girly things- I started getting birchbox this summer, and it opened me up to more makeup and playing around with girly things… However, I got a couple boxes where I only liked 1 or 2 items, so I cancelled it. I did find a few things I liked- Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner… but it was in a teal (not exactly an “everyday” eye liner color). I found an amazing face moisturizer- Benta Berry G1 but you have to join a wait list, and it took 3 months to even get to the top of the list… Ain’t nobody got time for that. Anyway, it seemed like there was always something… More recently, I signed up for Julep and love it! Use the code “FREEBOX” to get your first box for free 🙂

No tangents. This birthday will be good… Wishing you all a good weekend as well. Happy Friday!

Tapering Sniffles

So I am tapering down for the marathon.

Oh, my birthday was last Thursday. WIN! …Except that I was sick.

I went for a  run, and felt great so I stretched it to a 7.25. Yes, I was supposed to be tapering, but I pleaded with the running gods that it would be my last long weeknight run so I was allowed to do 7+ miles. I guess the running gods were not happy. Basically, the sickness began about 10 minutes after I got home from the run. A sore throat. So I drank OJ (I’d been oddly craving it Sunday after Tuna. Is that my body’s way of telling me I’m gonna get sick), and tons of water and hoped it’d get better with some sleep.

It didn’t.

I woke up Thursday with an even scratchier throat, and it was my birthday. I was supposed to go to work. But I had already been feeling iffy about going to work on my birthday. I mean, what am I, a grown up or something? 🙂 So I typed an email to my coworkers, and got breakfast. Then went back to sleep til 1.

I planned to meet friends with a few beers at Tyler’s in Raleigh. And it was a few friends from this group, a few friends from that group; basically, they were there for me. So I couldn’t cancel. But, I could take a nap, oversleep, get a phone call from my GBF (gay best friend), and head out, leaving my ID in my apartment, drive for 10 minutes before realizing, have to turn around, and be 20 minutes late. Whatevs. It’s my birthday, I do what I want. 😉

Thursday was fun. But I felt obligated to drink. I mean, I dragged my friends out on a weeknight. To a bar. Sarah was preparing for the Tough Mudder (look it up- it’s too crazy for me to do… Ever. <— remind me of this if I ever post about doing one). And Allison basically did the same thing as me- oversleep. And hey, it wasn’t her party. So she stayed in bed (bravo girl! I would have been there too!). And my friend, Carolyn had been working for 12 hours, and managed to walk over from work for a drink before going home to work for a few more hours (She works at a law firm and they were scheduled to go to court Monday). Megan and Dave were there. And Dan and Dave. I know! Two Daves! It gets confusing!

It was fun though. My drinks were covered by various people. And I had one of these: SKA Autumnal Mole Stout It’s spicy, with cocoa nibs, so spicy, but drinks really smooth. I thought the spice would clear me up, and the smoothness would coat my throat. Oh, and in bigger news- Dan and Dave brought me a present. In true Tuna teammate fashion, they got me a Dunkin Donuts gift card, and Cadbury Screme Eggs (and you thought they were only around at Easter… Not anymore! I seriously scour stores looking for these in April. I have spent 30 minutes in Target trying to find them. And had told Dave about my obsession). They’re the best. Really, just great guys. Any ladies interested, totally let me know. They’re cute. I should probably sell them as individuals, shouldn’t I? haha, ooooh well.

I slept most of the day Friday. And family dinner, where I was forced to eat birthday cake. Yes, I know how lame that sounds. I felt forced to eat it. I generally LOVE birthday cake, and buy it year-round. But, my cold stole my appetite. And then Saturday was a long run day. 16 miles. Ugh.

I woke up at 530, per usual. And just kept saying ‘If I vom, I’m going back to bed; Allie will understand’ But I felt okay- like 70%, so I was off to run the muddy hills of Umstead. I knew I wouldn’t make it 16 miles; maybe 12 miles of running? Maybe 10, maybe some walking. It was worse than I thought. After 5 miles at a decent pace (10:15s), I felt queasy, and slowed to a walk. And then started the hacking. Allison and Matthew ran ahead, and I swear they probably could hear me for miles, that’s how loud the coughing was. I decided it was best to turn around, and struggle to get 10 miles in. I ran/walked the rest of the way back to my car.

Then went home, showered, and slept some more. And finally, Sunday, I started feeling better.

So, tapering. Apparently a lot of people get sick. Especially if they do a no-sleep, run-in-the-cold approach. Like I did with Tuna200. So the goal isn’t to set any records, or even boost my confidence during this taper period. In the next ten days, my goal is to get better. And be 100% by race day.

Side note- I ran 4.6 miles at a 9:00 pace with Dave yesterday. And felt better this morning, so 3 miles today; then resting until Saturday’s long run (11 miles).

MARATHON in 11 FREAKING DAYS!