Happy 2018!

It is a single digit out. I live in North Carolina. I’m freezing. This is unreal.

The first week of the New Year came, and is about to be gone, and I’m feeling a few things. I can’t believe 2018 is here. I can’t believe I have a 16-month-old. I can’t believe I’m someone’s parent.  I haven’t made any New Years resolutions. Just plans for the new year. Here’s what we’ve got on deck so far for 2018.

  • Disney. We are going to Disney at the end of this month! I am fully aware that Liam probably won’t remember any of it, but my 4-year-old nephew will be into it, and to be perfectly honest, I will probably be into it. The parks are totally different, but while were down there, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t try to arrange a trip to Harry Potter World. I very honestly believe in the magic, and I have yet to receive my letter to Hogwarts, so I have to visit the registrar down there.
  • Rock n’ Roll DC. I ran my first postpartum half marathon in November, which I will recap shortly. (Spoiler, it was really fantastic.) I signed up for RnR in DC with a friend, and am now training(ish) for that race on March 10th. I say -ish because…
  • I’m running a 50k in April. I have had my eye on this particular race for a number of years, and after I got pregnant with my little nugget, I took a break from racing, and I definitely took a break from the thought of ultras. I got up the courage after doing some research with some trail running friends, and signed up for the North Face Endurance race in DC (technically in Virginia). We will see how it goes!  I’m doing a modified marathon training plan, and planning to put in some extra trail miles instead of just road miles.

And that’s kind of all I have so far. We’re playing with the idea of Crater Lake this year, I’m loving my job still, but exploring within the organization, and just just like….learning stuff, as a wise Jenner once said.

Not strictly resolution-based…what are your plans in 2018? 

3 Things I did this weekend.


I hope you had a good weekend!  I can’t stop eating, which I’ll explain later.  (I am not pregnant).

Three Things I Did This Weekend.

1.  Started, then finished the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.  

Kimmy SchmidtBefore you get all judgey, and comment about how I need to get a life, I will say in my defense, that I did not go to work on Friday, and that I had some time on Friday, which allowed me to finish like half the season.  I really liked it because I connected well with the humor.  It was culturally pertinent, and really smart.  Plus “Kimmy,” (Ellie) is hysterical, and plays her role perfectly,  Definitely recommend it!

2.  Worked at Fleet Feet.  

Clothing TagsI’ve been doing this a good bit.  There are a few weeks in the spring where there is a LOT of racing, and because the weather gets so nice, people rush to get their new shoes, socks, and apparel.  I love the job, and it doesn’t hurt to get a surprise paycheck sometimes in the middle of the week, right?  I had a good, busy day there, but managed to chuck a container full of clothing tags on the ground.  I never really got around to cleaning them up, so I feel bad.  A preemptive apology to whomever it was that will have to refile those 😦

3.  I paced an Ultra Marathon.  

I did this a few years ago.  This time, I went in armed with a little more knowledge.  My runner, Genno, was extremely prepared and organized.  We spoke on the phone in the weeks leading up to her race.  She expressed that she’d wanted to get in under 24 hours, and we chatted about when I should meet her.  On Saturday evening, I hopped in the shower about two hours before I estimated that she’d hit the first aid station once again.  Big shoutout to Austin to doing math for me.  I hit the park about 20 minutes before I ran into Genno, and off we went!

Now, keep in mind that I had never met Genno before, and only run in the same circles as her.  But we did not stop talking for virtually the whole run, which spanned just over 12 miles in chilly weather.  We talked about her husband, my husband.  Her marriage, her daughter.  Her time at the church.  And she honestly had some great insight on having kids as an active woman.  It was really fun!

Umstead Ultra

When I finally got out of the park and to the house, it was after 3 am, and I hopped into my married boudoir without taking a shower.  I’m sorry sweetie, I know that’s disgusting.  I woke up 4 or 5 hours later feeling okay, but like the pollen and dust in the park had aggravated my allergies.  I felt a little sore, but a lot swollen.  Also, I’m SO hungry after running all night.

I can’t say if a 100-miler is in my figure,  but I will say that I will pace again, and would love to meet someone like Genno.

What did you do this weekend?

Coffee Date

Have you guys ever met my Jesus Shaves mug?

Jesus ShavesIt’s a mug that I purchased from this adorable shop in Cameron Village.  My mom hates it, but the way it works is that when you pour hot liquids in it, Jesus’ beard comes off and he becomes fresh-faced and clean-shaven.  People either think it’s hysterical, or they tell me I’m a heathen like my mom did.  But I honestly think that Jesus has a sense of humor and would quite enjoy a mug where he looks like he’s ready to take on any job interview that may come his way.

Let’s go on a coffee date, with my Jesus shaves mug in tow.

If I were on a coffee date, I would tell you: 

  • My pets are driving me up the wall.  I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I was asleep on the couch in the great room in the house, and when I woke up, I discovered that the entirety of one of the pet’s stomach linings had been emptied onto the couch.  I went into hysterics.  I called Austin, my voice rose about 2 octaves, and Austin had to purchase a little spot cleaner for me to fix the couch.  Verdict?  I think I’m going to have to replace that couch.  Hysterics.
  • I am doing well with some of the goals I’ve set for myself and outlined, as well as some of the goals I’ve started with myself last year.  One thing that has driven me nuts about myself is that sometimes, I put things off because I can always just “do it later”.  I’ve taken things more by the horns over the last few weeks, and it’s helped a lot with my productivity.  I like it.
  • I’m taking a break from drinking.  I drank a lot the week of my wedding back in August, the week of my sister’s wedding in December, and on New Year’s Eve.  I’m sort of over being hungover, with my GI issues, it’s not good for me.  I’m taking a break.  I’m not sure how long I’m gone for, but long enough to clean out my system is awesome.
  • I’m wondering about this winter.  I’m training for RnR, the full, in April, and I’m just wondering if the winter we have this year will be anything like last year’s.  Because ice storms may make things just a tad tricky.
  • I got these tights…

Sparkle TightsAfter I spotted the gold version on Amanda’s blog.  They’re on the clearance rack at Lululemon, so go run and grab them quick if you think you can handle them.  For me even, they’re pretty wild, but they’re interesting to look at, so I’m just gonna go with them.

  • I’m playing with the idea of an Ultra Marathon, or a 12-hour race around the time of my marathon in April.  I’m not even sure what this preoccupation with the challenge of the event is, other than I read a bunch of Dean Karnazes’ books last year, and the idea of an ultra seemed ridiculous…but almost ridiculous enough for me to do it.
  • I want to go to Greece for our honeymoon.  I got this idea in my head after I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for like 10-15 years now.  I’m checking on prices and rates for us to be able to head there in like August or September.

What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?  ❤

Weekend updates.

While you’re reading this, I’m actually sleeping in my little brother’s room at my parent’s party pad in downtown Charlotte.  I’m in town here only for a day or so, but that’s totally cool, because it gives me a new terrain to run on, and keeps things interesting.

So a few interesting points about this weekend.

  1. My Fitbit is turning me into a lunatic. I don’t think people really believe me when I tell them that my competitive nature has taken me to really really ugly places.  But to put things into perspective, my first summer working at Camp Pocono Trails, I was playing Gaga with the kids, and they would make fun of me for how into the game I would get.  At the top of my lungs, I’d scream that I would be the “LAST. WOMAN. STANDING,” as I picked kids off with the dodgeball, one by one.  They thought it was a game.  I knew better.  Well now that I can see how many steps I’ve taken, a friend of mine and three of her coworkers challenged me to a “Daily Showdown,” so I proceeded to walk to the bar, walk home from the bar, and continue walking well past 11pm.  I came in second, and I can’t really talk about my defeat, that’s how painful it was. Fitbit Competition
  2. We had a shed put in the backyard on Saturday.  So I wake up on Saturday to check out the shed, and it actually was pretty cute!  Then I look over at one of the guys installing it, and he’s wearing swim trunks and no shirt.  No judgement here, I’m just truly curious about his choice in attire.  Shed Install
  3. And finally?  I’m feeling really ready to sign up for something serious.  I got over my running hump, and running is starting to feel like a natural state of being for me again.  I’m playing with a few options – I ran Shamrock a few years ago for my first full, and I’d be interested to try it again to see if I’ve made any improvements.  I also have an entry for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh set up, but since they haven’t released the full course, I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit without knowing the course.  Raleigh is terribly hilly, and that race can either be really really awesome, or kinda miserable.  I also am playing with the idea of like a 50k or so, to delve into the world of Ultra Marathons, but don’t tell my husband.  We watched a documentary about Dean Karnazes, and for some reason, I still have the itch to see what I can do.  I have zero interest in being a regular 90+ mile a week girl, especially with all of the teaching I do, but once or twice?  I think it would be worth it!

What did you do this weekend?

Don’t get pets.

So today, it was a little cooler in North Carolina so I met up with some friends to go running on the trails in Umstead.

I like trail running because it’s a lot cooler, and that’s really important.  I spent enough time on the treadmill all over this past heinous winter, so I have yet to torture myself in that manner.  Plus no good shows are really on telly right now so I have no interest in staring at the creepy trainer in the gym who wears a sport coat over his windbreaker pants.  (Not kidding).

photo (8)Even though I’m getting really close to the wedding (2 months exactly as I write this), I’m really starting to get the itch to race again, and I’m really really dead set on making sure I don’t lose any fitness even though it’s gonna be hot as hell this summer if last week is any indication.  I feel like the little incident with the Greensboro Marathon could have been avoided had I done better with training in the heat of the summer.  As of right now, all I have planned is Ragnar in Vegas with the Bondi Band girls, and I’m starting to really warm to the idea of a trail race or to an ultra either in the late fall, or in the spring.  I’ve sort of had my eye on this Badwater Race in Cape Fear in March.  I think I want to do something like this because when I prove to myself that I can do crazy physical things, I can do amazing things mentally and in my work life.  Maybe I’m just crazy.

Don’t get pets.

So, as of this marriage, I am a stepmother to a large cat named Chester, and mom to Martin, the orange cat, and Coco, the grey poodle.  I love my pets so much, they make my life happy.  But my honest advice to you is if you like your house clean, do not get pets.

I am constantly vacuuming, cleaning up someone’s barf, or worse, steaming the carpet of Coco’s pee (the worst ever).  So I’d steamed just the other day, and I look over tonight and Martin, the orange cat, is literally sloshing like 89 gallons of water onto the carpet that I’ve just cleaned.

I can’t even dignify this orange cat’s actions with anything, so I will advise you.

Unless you want to clean all day and night.

Don’t get pets.

Any pets?

Have you ever done an Ultra?  Thought about it?

Have you voted yet? Please???!

I got a visitor at work today…

First off.  This kinda lifestyle/health/fitnessy blog thing is evolving into something so cool for me.  I’ve always tooled around with the idea of doing something like this, and now that I’ve been doing it, and have kept up with it rather well for a few months, I feel sort of legit.  Like I’m really doing this, huh?  I also am loving some of the feedback some of you guys are giving me.  Kind of the same way that Tinkerbell lives off of applause, I get life from the feedback yous have been giving me.  I love it.

Okay, so I was at work today, and guess who walked in?  None other than our ultra-marathoner friend, Sean Flannery!

Sean slowly padded into the running shop with his signature smile.  You could tell he was still in some pain.  I burst into a huge smile.


He reached out to give me a huge hug.  I stepped back to look at his face.  He was triumphant, quite obviously, but so, so, so very tired, and despite his huge grin, his eyes still betrayed the fact that he could use a few more good days of sleep.

“I just wanted to thank you so much.  And anything, anything you need?  I want to help you out with it.”

Flash back to the ultra from a few nights ago?  When I met up with Sean at the turnaround, he was hobbling, and continued to apologize for how slow we were moving.  A blister had developed on one of his feet (which we later got taped from the awesome folks at the aid station), and was slowing him down.  He showed me what it looked like today.  Suffice it to say that I’m sparing you a world of heartache by not showing you picture evidence of that poor toe.  He’s not going to keep that toenail.

Back to the visit.  So Sean came into my job to thank me for pacing him.  Came into my job.  This guy just ran 100 miles, and is coming in to thank me?  He’s like a rock star!

“Also, I’m really sorry we had to move so slow.  I wish you’d been there at the end.  I actually was able to run some more.” the whole time, he’s still flashing that grin.  And apologizing for moving slowly?  We chatted for a little while longer, and as he was leaving, I reached out to shake his hand.  He pulled me into a hug.

Sean came into my job to thank me for pacing him.  But I really think he failed to realize that more than anything, I feel like I owe him a huge thanks.  My post from the other day?  Doesn’t do my experience at the Ultra justice.  I am blown away by the fact that human beings can train for something like this, spend over 24 hours in a park running, and still are kind, humble, sweet, and thankful.  And I think being around all of that makes me want to be a little more thankful and humble in my own life.

The most profound moment of the race, the one that nearly brought me to tears, the one that made me want to be just a tad more grateful in my daily life, came toward the end of our lap.  Sean was starting to run out of juice, and we passed an aid station.  I grabbed his water bottle from him, and he continued to trudge on.  I filled it, and found a Vanilla Bean Gu, the flavor he’d told me was his favorite.  I caught up with him, ripped the tab off the Gu, and handed it to him.  After he choked it down?  He trudged a few more steps, and said a simple, “Thank you so much.  Seriously.”  In that moment, if he’d snapped at me and bit my head off, I would have totally understood, but he went the extra step to say thanks.

I guess, what I trying to say, is that, all you crazy marathoners were thanking us volunteers and stuff, but I’m really more thankful to you all for turning a couple of chilly hours on a Sunday morning into this like, profound series of human moments.  For a few hours it was just us, the stars, and some seriously good vibrations carrying us through.  I’m totally striving to keep up these good moments and these good feelings going for as long as I can.  I don’t want to forget how good Sunday morning felt.

I paced an Ultra Marathon.

So I was struggling this week, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do to continue my momentum after this marathon.  It’s tempting to just sit on the couch and eat Cinnabon but I have a half in two weekends.  And I’d rather not die at this half.

So Sean Flannery is a friend of our shop.  Was running the Umstead 100-miler, and impulsively, as I do with races, I decided to pace him for his seventh lap of the 100-miler.

100. Miles. Y’all.  This man was running 100 miles.  So I took a little snooze yesterday evening, and woke up to pace him.  And experienced one of the most incredible races and  running communities I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

Ultra 6

I rolled out of bed after a full dinner after 11:00 pm to pace our friend. Can I do it?

Ultra 2

Do I wear a trail shoe? Nah, decided at the last minute to go with the Brooks Ravenna. (Was later a good decision. The trails were packed. My only regret? No gators. So I ended up with shoes full of little pebbles).

Ultra 3

Bondi band for the little dreads in the front that wouldn’t stay down…

Ultra 5

Knuckle lights – the park was dark as heck!

Ultra 4

And a hydration pack…between what we ran from the parking lot, to the end of the 12.5 mile loop, we did closer to 14 or 15 miles. Water was beyond essential.

Ultra 1


Okay, so I paced the race, which means, that I ran a 12.5 mile loop with Sean, and two co-workers.  I will say, I will probably never run an 100-miler, however, everyone should pace one of these.  Firstly, the participants are phenom.  Despite the fact that at the point where I entered, that some of the participants are trudging along, every time we passed folks?  We heard the echos of “Good Job!”  “Keep it up!”.  Ultra Marathoners  are so supportive of each other, it makes no sense.  I’ve never experienced that before,

Second, the volunteers are killer.  We came upon the Aid tent, where there were sandwiches, volunteer pacers ready to take our places, heat lamps to thaw our hands, cots to nap, candy to raise our blood sugars, and last but not least, Rubbermaids full of additional clothing to keep us warm.  Around 3:30 am, when the temperature began to significantly drop, a volunteer noticed me shivering and offered me a jacket that kept me warm for the remainder of our lap.  I will never forget that.

Third?  The drive of the ultra-marathoners?  Beyond what I can comprehend.  And makes we want to work harder.  Sean shuffled along, despite some significant pain, and continued on in his quest to get that belt buckle.

Between the support, the volunteers, and the drive, everyone should, at least, volunteer to pace one of these guys.  As I jogged away from Sean to head to bed at 5:30, I prayed for him, his children, and his finish.

Pace one of these, and be inspired, guys.