Destination Run – Elon Univeristy!

So yesterday, I went to see my friend in the bustling metropolis of Burlington, NC to see him in The Music Man.  Great show.  Great music.  Good-looking cast.  Absolutely bizarre ending.  You know what I mean if you’ve ever seen it.

Music Man

So I decided to do a “destination run” thing to change my long run Sundays up. That always seems to put a little extra pep in your step, and I finished 10 miles a little faster than the last few weeks have allowed me too. I found myself at my old gorgeous alma mater, Elon University, and something about being back in my old place gave me a little extra runner’s magic.

Marathon Hair

First, I had to decide on my hair. You guys know, my hair that keeps growing and getting heavier by the minute, had caused me a little stress during this marathon prep. So I called on my good friend Kerri Walsh to inspire a hair style, and as always, she came through.  My stuff’s too thick for a braid, but I enlisted the help of a highly specialized device created by Scunci to help me maintain the overall look.


Thanks, Doll! You’re the greatest!


This is Elon.  The photo, that I took as I did my first loop through campus, simply doesn’t do the University, or the spirit of the University, any justice.  Elon is literally a botanical garden, and the facilities are to die for.  The blue of the sky?  We always have it.  On orientation weekends, it’s said that Jesus smiles, so birds sing, the swans come out, and the food in the dining halls is actually good.  I remember days where it had just snowed, and the sky looking like that less than a day after.  I almost went to University of Pittsburgh, and after laying eyes on Elon, I decided that that was where I was going to end up.  I don’t think I’d be half the person I was without what I was taught here.

Elon House

I ran past this little house I lived in after my senior year with Emily Main, still to this day one of the sickest roommates ever.  Right behind  this house was the house belonging to my acapella group where I spent most of my junior and senior year Saturday nights.

I also discovered (as you do when you run a place instead of rushing around everywhere in your car) that Elon also houses a forest?!  How in the heck did I miss that one?

Anyhoo, try this if you’re feeling a little bored with your running routine.  If you’re going out of town, like to the beach or to do laundry at your parents’ house (guilty!) map a run in an area you’re pretty sure is safe, but new to you!

Marathon training is turning me into an nutjob.

Don’t get me wrong, marathon training certainly has its perks.  It’s forcing me to eat a little healthier, go to bed earlier, and to be more regimented and disciplined, which is spilling over into my real life.  Plus, people seem to be, overall, pretty positive about the adventure I’m taking with this marathon, and have been wishing me luck both left and right.  I’ve been far better about budgeting, cleaning, and crosstraining, but its also served to take my inner nutjob and magnify it by 1000.  I’ve never run a marathon, but is this normal?  It can’t be, right?  The following are examples of how training for this marathon is turning me into a nut.

1.  I’m constantly hungry.  In my regular life, Cheri + hungry is a terrible combination.  When my blood sugar plummets, so does everyone’s fun, and all I can do is fantasize about slapping or saying really mean things to those around me.  Because of this, I’ve adopted the concept of second lunch.  I split my lunch in half, and eat second lunch around 3 or 4.  That way, my blood sugar is never too low, and no ones life is in danger when I become too hungry to be around.

2. Toward the end of my long runs, I’ve literally started talking myself through the final like tenth of a mile or so.  I’ve been “WOOING” as well.  Additionally, I actually did a victory dance after yesterday’s seventeen. I stopped when I realized it could be viewed as insane by passers-by.  As I entered my apartment, I kept dancing until I felt that it was time to stretch.

3.  I’m a little more anxious than usual.  And that’s not cool at all.  What am I anxious about?  Oh snap, time for another indentation, this one gets its own sublist.

  • My hair is looking a little jankier than usual.  Which is cool, I wear it natural.  But I’m running SO much, I haven’t had as much free time to twist it.  What if people think I look awful and unkempt?
  • I fainted in class two Saturdays ago due to a nasty cold I caught.  Now I am frightened that I will faint again (possibly during the marathon) and it is scaring the heck out of me.  Also, I don’t want to be fainting girl.  I just do not want to be known as sickly girl who faints all over the place!
  •  That my family/coworkers are sick and tired of hearing about this marathon.  Am I talking about it too much?
  • That I will lose a finger when my fingers get all Raynaudsey and I will be down a digit or two.
  • That I won’t be able to finish the marathon, and I will be thrown into the marathon paddy wagon and bring shame to my family.
  • And finally, that I’m doing my training all wrong.

Lucky for me, I work with a boatload of folks who have done this already, and my dear buddy Jerry directed me to this website which sort of eased my mind.

mcmillan running

You guys heard of this?  McMillan Running Calculator dohickey?

pace calculator

As I was thisclose to having a full-blown marathon-related meltdown at work, Jerry directed me to this site.  You put your 1/2 Marathon time in, and it calculates from that a reasonable estimate of where your pace should be, and where you should be as for as your miles times and such.  Jerry and Co. looked it over and remarked that I was right where I should be!  ::sigh:: Okay.

I recognize that my marathon-related fears are unreasonable and relatively non-issue-like.  And it certainly doesn’t help that I probably haven’t slept a full night since I graduated in 2011 (that’s another story for another day, lemme tell you what).  Taking that into consideration, I am going to do like they used to tell us in the early mornings during Residence Life training and choose my attitude.  Tomorrow, I’m going to choose to view this stuff as insane and unreasonable as it is, and not allow these ridiculous thoughts to creep in and sabatoge my marathon.  I certainly didn’t invest all this time, money, and effort, to let my fear that I haven’t packed enough for lunch, for example, ruin the great weekend we’re gonna have in Virginia Beach in a little over a month!

Guest Blogger! Vinny Marchionni!

I am so pleased to introduce to you our third guest blogger!  You guys remember yoga Kerri?  Well Vinny is yoga Kerri’s husband.  We usually see him around the store about once a week or so, and he’s a pleasure to have around.  They win the favorite couple award!  Anyhoo, enough intros – here’s Vinny!


“I consider myself a runner.  Since the Nike Pegasus made its debut in the 80’s, I’ve been logging miles three to five times a week.  I am currently training for a marathon and my runs are getting longer.  I’ve been thinking about long runs and I have a theory that I’d like to share.  The key to enjoying long runs is extending the portion of the run that you feel the best, for me this is the middle.

The middle is the sweet spot during your run where you feel the best.  Your breathing is settled, calm and smooth.  You feel nothing in your feet and legs.  Your mind slips comfortably from thought to thought, conscious of the world around you while working in the background on a subject that you enjoy.  I tend to plan meals, deconstructing fine dining and working on recipes.  Other runners I’ve spoken to work on complex math problems, plan yoga classes, or map their next vacation.  The bottom line is if you can extend this portion of your long run you will be able to add distance and have a better time doing it.  So I am always looking for ways to extend the middle.  One way to extend the middle is to shorten the beginning.

For me, the beginning is the hardest part of any long run. This is the two to three miles at the outset that test my dedication and resolve.  During these first miles I’m reintroduced to all my past pains and injuries.  Like a roll call of old enemies, Tendinitis, Fasciitis, and I.T. Band syndrome stand to be recognized.  Things hurt, breathing is labored and I’m wondering why I’m doing this.  I’ve learned that a proper warm up can help.  Double tying your running shoes or stomping around waiting for your Garmin to locate satellites does not constitute a warm up.  A local running coach suggested I try Dynamic Stretching.   I’ll save you the Google search.  Dynamic Stretching is the series of exercises you’ve seen fast guys doing before a competitive 5 or 10K.  With names like ankle pops, high knees, but kicks and glute walk they are probably best left to the shirtless front of the pack guys.  I’ve been doing some basic squats and lunges to warm up the big muscles and it helps.  I can get into the middle sooner and feel fresher during the run.

At the other end of the middle there’s a point in your long runs when your body starts telling you it’s had enough.  Hopefully you are close to your goal distance when you reach this point, but I often find myself a couple miles short when I get into the end of the run. During the last few miles the repetitive pounding takes its toll on my legs and hips.  The result is an ache that is punctuated with every step.  There isn’t much you can do physically to get through the end of your run.  I try to save a few ounces of water and an emergency gel in case I really hit the wall, but for me the end is a mental exercise.  To extend the middle I try to delay the start of the end.  I use all the usual tricks, crank up the power songs and break the last few miles into smaller segments.  I promise to stop at the next quarter mile mark and repeatedly break the promise.  When I’m really hurting I go deep, remembering why I run and how lucky I am.   In the last few hundred yards I try to visualize the finish of my next race and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with reaching a goal.  I guess the very end of the end is actually pretty good.”

Dang!  Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Snaps for Vinny!  Do your next long run, and tell me this mantra doesn’t run through your head!

I forgot my watch!


I normally log my pace, distance, and total time with my pride and joy, my Garmin 610. But today, I rushed off to work in a cloud of perfume, and totally forgot it. I picked up one of the employee testers, and had a go. It’s not my watch, but it certainly did the job!