Saturday, February 23, 2013

the graduate.

so its been just over a month since i finished school and for some reason i havent been able to write about it all yet. i have tried a few times, mostly ending with me staring at a blank page. its almost a little unreal to be done. and to say that i have a masters degree. plus i will have no more homework ever again! it was kind of awesome getiing ready for surf city and not having to worry about what was due or finishing up things before i left. the other free days during the week are friggin sweet as well:)

the crazy thing is it was right about 2 years ago, almost exactly that i made the decision to go back to school. (read all about it here!) there were definitely some naysayers, actually quite a few that told me there would a lot of things i would have to give up. for example, i probably wouldnt run as much. i most likely wouldnt travel very often. i really wouldnt have much of a life at all with working full time. even with all those scary thoughts i embarked anyway!
the life of a runner and a grad student.
it was hard, i cant even lie. and there were many a days i thought it wasnt ever going to end or that i could just stop. but then as the classes started to tick off and the months started flying by i realized how fast this was really going to go. so i bucked up, figured out a schedule that finally worked, and became determined to finish! i pushed out the people that told me it was too much work or that it was a silly thing to even be doing. i focused and relied on the people that were crazy supportive instead, luckily there were a lot more of those than the other:)

as my last class finally came to a close it all started getting real, really real. and after staying up until 2am on a saturday night to finish my nightmareishly long 30 page paper because i just couldnt look at it anymore, i was done. all i had to do was read over it and turn it in. i had really finished! i told my mom that once the paper was done all i wanted was a cupcake from the cupcakery to celebrate. so as i came bouncing downstairs that sunday-at about 2 in the afternoon-i was finally able to tell her it was time for cupcakes! it was the first of many celebrations:)
that monday i turned in my monster paper-that wasnt actually due till wednesday, yay me-and waited for my final grade. i had about 30 points to play with and still keep my a in the class. and i waited. and waited. and waited some more. and waited. then, on friday morning that week when i was off and we were leaving that afternoon for my grandpas birthday i got my official grade on the paper...and 88%!! which added up meant i got a 95% in the class! which really meant i had completed my masters program with a 4.0!!

to continue the celebration i did when any normal runner does, i ran a 1/2 marathon with my favorite running buddy jen:) i know, totally normal! the original plan was to have a graduation party in vegas that weekend but when your grandpa turns 80 and has a party, he pretty much wins haha. so i decided on having the next weekend instead!

after some serious searching for the right place i found bjs cocktail lounge. it had a great atmosphere, friendly, and had a pool table so people had some things to do. the people there were great and let me bring in all kinds of decorations. jessica flew out from denver to join in the festivities, and i had family come from all over! there was cake of course-whats a party without cake-that was delicious. we had a blast and had soo many different people came to have a drink or 2!

jessica stayed for a few extra days and in true style we decided to make the most of our time. which in our case meant a trip to some place special...

it only took 1 quick question from jessica for us to end up here!
i LOVE her:)
i had been saying for months that when i graduated i wanted to go buy something from tiffanys for myself as a reward for finishing. well after some looking i realized that may not be the most feasible thing ever and there wasnt anything that super caught my attention. so instead i set out to buy myself a watch! i havent had one since i worked at old navy almost 3 years ago because i was everyones time keeper for everything. soon it just became associated with work and i took it off the moment i was off. but i began thinking how much i really wanted now. so after some hunting i picked out a perfect one from fossil that i love! it was the perfect gift:)
i couldnt get a good picture, so i had to borrow!source
now that ive been done for that month ive been doing some adjusting. its weird to not have worry about homework on wednesday nights. or wonder when was the last time i logged into post something for attendance. when i went out of town the last 2 times i didnt have to even think about homework. i did think i would have so much more time then i actually do. kind of makes me wonder how i even made it all fit for that long! i did start to think about the naysayers the other day and all the things they told me i couldnt do. when i actually thought about it, i realized how many things i really did do, and there were quite a few!

*trained for and completed 6 1/2 marathons-cut back on running my ass
*traveled to england for one of my best friends weddings
*held my full time job successfully
*trained for and completed an olympic triathlon
*became single and even more independent
*finally got to participate in ragnar
*lost 25 pounds

oh and yes, i will participate in a graduation ceremony in the early summer. where and when is still being worked out with my advisor. who knows where this will take me next. i have some big picture ideas im working on now. i was finally able to sit down and write this when it all became very real upon coming home one night to a package on my front doorstep. my diploma was inside:) its really real now! 
master of arts in education
higher & postsecondary education

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the surf city half marathon report.

2 weeks ago i got to toe the line of my 12th 1/2 marathon with some really great friends! it was a new experience having so many people i knew running the same race, even if we all started in different corrals. i had heard great things about this race for a long time and it was definitely on my bucket list. so when megan said i should come down, it didnt take much to convince me! heres the backstory/my weekend recap, and megans full recap here. now on to the morning of.

the alarm went off at 4am sunday to get us down to huntington beach on time for megan and kasey to start the full at 634am. once we had my forgotten sports bra crisis averted (thank godness megan brought extra), we were out the door by 430a and at the donut shop down the street not long after. ive never had donuts before the race, but the little donut holes we had were delicious. see megan and kasey took off at 634a, i didnt take off till 754a and we were up at 4am, fueling was going to be interesting to say the least.

traffic was a breeze and we were at tinas hotel just a few minutes after we said we would at 545a. the full girls were starting to get nervous but were luckily easily distracted with stories. we parked right on the beach, scored free parking, and were right on time. quickly hopped on the shuttle toward the start line and reality set in for all of us. it dropped us off right behind the host hotel, after a quick time check i took kaseys stuff to gear check while the other girls made the mandatory bathroom stop. very quickly after megan found her friend from grad school she was meeting and we hurried them to the start line! right on time the national anthem was sung and they were off!
now we had about an hour and a 1/2 till i started and a little bit longer before heather and tina did as well. so we mosied back to the portapotties for another bathroom break as the sun started coming up and getting warmer. we dropped my stuff off at gear check and people watched for a bit before bidding each other goodbye and getting in our corrals.

we found ways to pass the time;)
just as i was getting in mine i spotted my physical therapist ron! i finally got to meet his wife, which who was so nice, and we chatted away the time till our corral crossed the start line. i knew they were doing the race but never thought i would actually see them in a sea of 20,000 runners! with the success of my last sub-2 hour with jen a few weeks earlier i used her method of starting out slow in the back of the corral for the first 3ish miles. it was wayyy harder without someone to tell me to slow down, so i had to check my watch a lot.

down pacific coast highway we went happily listening to the beach boys from the course music! i never even thought to add that to my playlist:) at mile 4 i was hoping to see megans family as we trudged up the only real hill on the course into a surrounding neighborhood and my allowed time to finally pick up the pace. right on the corner i thought there they were cheering! always good to see a familiar place. i had long since lost ron and as we rounded the loop to come back to pch i tried to keep an eye out for heather and tina in the corrals behind me.

i was feeling really good as we got back on pch and began scoping out the other side for megan and kasey. it was getting quite warm, there wasnt even a cloud in the sky! beautiful day for running. finally i spotted megan and her friend michael looking good just before my mile 6 then kasey right before mile 7. we made the turn around for the home stretch where i actually caught up with kasey who had just passed the 1/2 way point! she looked good so i wished her luck to head forward. in between mile 8 and 9 i absolutely had to pull over to flush out my eye. between the sweat from it being so warm and the sunscreen i had put on that morning it was now all burning my eye and i couldnt take it anymore. i knew i was on track to come in under 2 hours, but would never make it if i didnt try to fix my eye.

luckily that didnt take very long and i was off again to finish the last 4 miles! the crowds started getting thicker and thicker as we got closer to the finish. i knew i would have to pick up my pace a bit if i wanted to get under 2, but not by much. at mile 12 i knew i had to go for it so i picked someone ahead of me and trailed them for the last mile .1 to the end. now that last .1 always seems long, always. but this one, i swear to you was much longer than .1! as i crossed the finish line with my hands in the air i glanced at my garmin to still see a 1 at the beginning of my time! i finished literally just under my goal, 1:59:03!!! i moved through the finish chute, grabbing water, and randomly running into a few more vegas runner friends!
once i hobbled down to the gear check to grab my things and get out of my shoes i called megans boyfriend, doug to see where they were. the next part of the plan was to meet them to cheer in the other 2 1/2 girls and the 2 full ones. he was so nice and even came down to meet me half way so i wouldnt miss them:) we found megan soon after no problem coming down toward the finish line to her sub 5-hour finish! then gathered up the finishers to cheer on kasey to her finish!
1/2 finishers!
full finishers!
lumberjacks forever:)
this was a really great course! plenty of support, super organized, and all around nice people everywhere we went. it was so cool to watch the full girls finish their 1st and have just about everyone set a pr that day. definitley recommend this course to everyone!
kb 1:58:03
tina: 2:43:46
heather: 3:11:52
megan: 4:58:42
kasey: 6:25:43

our olympic medal pose:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

the surf city half marathon weekend.

so planning started for this little baby many, many months ago when megan decided she was going to run her 1st full marathon! now megan and i went to nau together a million years ago and hadnt seen each other in equally that long. we lost touch a bit after college, but when she started breaking into running awhile back we reconnected through blogs/twitter/facebook. when she asked me to be there for her 1st full i knew there was nowhere else i would rather be!
after lots of waiting and training it was finally time to hop in the car and go. megan was flying in from atlanta, her sorority sister heather was flying in from san francisco and another sister kasey from phoenix. we would all eventually make our way to megans house in chino in time for dinner friday night! i worked a 1/2 day that friday and was sooooo ready to get in my own car and have some time to myself that afternoon. the drive went super quick, even with a stop at the banana republic outelt in barstow. i got to her house super easy and the #surfcityantics began quickly.

we were taking megans parents to dinner and chose carbo-licious pf changs to be the perfect place. saturday was her moms birthday and we wanted to thank them big time for letting us crash! somehow we completely forgot to take pictures, total fail, as we chowed down while everyone got to each other. the conversation flowed no problem and we easily laughed the night away:) saturday morning the other girls were up early for a 4 mile walk/hike with megans mom, i elected to stay snuggled in bed for a little bit more sleep hehehe.

after returning from their walk/hike we tried to slow down the getting ready and heading to the expo process as much as possible. see megans bff tina (who also went to nau), was going to meet us at the expo as a huge surprise to megan. the rest of us knew she would be driving in from phoenix with her husband jon that morning but wouldnt be to the expo till about 1p. that meant dragging our heels as much as possible. so we decided to head to breakfast on the way since we were all starving. thanks to yelp we found an absolutely delicious place called the avocado house that was darn right amazing. super small and there was a line to place an order the entire time we ate breakfast. finally full we headed over to dicks to grab a few race day essentials.
while all of this was going on i was still trying to figure out my race day outfit! sooo not like me. i ordered my latest sparkle skirt a day or 2 late which meant it didnt get to my house till after i had left for california. unfortunately they were not going to be at the expo for me to pick up a replacement. fortunately though they were local to southern california and thanks to facebook i was able to place a last minute order and pick up saturday morning! this is important to the story because it added more time on to our journey to the expo. plus i just really wanted to sparkle:)
literally on our way out the door of dicks, as i was starting to get really antsy in getting to the expo (just ask megan), i got an email with directions to pick up my skirt! somehow it was actually on the way to where we needed to go so it was super easy to get. as we are literally pulling up to the house, meagn asks, are we sure this isnt a bomb? i looked at her and said god i hope not. heather in the meantime pops up from the backseat to let us know that all is ok, they have a ragnar sticker on the back of their car. apparently that means they are serial killers that are disguising bombs with sparkly things!! luckily for all of us it was not a bomb but the perfect colored skirt to match my super cute blue tank top the next day:)
mission accomplished!
we arrived to a very overcast beach in huntington abuzz with runners everywhere. it was quite late, almost 3p when we got there. tina was definitely there, we just needed to find her. so we headed to the big expo tent stopping to take a few pictures at the entrance when this happened.......
it was awesome! finally all together we headed to pick up our packets. megan and kasey were both doing the full while heather, tina, and i were signed up for the 1/2. for 3p it was still pretty packed as we wandered around ooogling all the running goodies. all weekend megan kept talking about wanting to get a jumping picture of all of us on the beach after the expo to make her facebook cover photo. i love that, that was the sole reason for the photo:) luckily jon is awesome photographer and has a great camera to help us out. he was so sweet taking as many as we all wanted until it was perfect.
at this point we really needed to head back up to chino so megan and her dad could strategize race day plans. we also needed to make a stop at dicks on the way to grab a new handle for heathers waterbottle. since her parents had dinner plans we dropped megan off while the other girls and i headed to pick up the waterbottle. once home we made a huge pasta dinner with great plans to watch spirit of the marathon for inspiration. well once the pasta tooke for-EVER to boil and the garlic bread burned we were all way too full to try and stay awake for it all. especially with a 4am wake up call the next morning, it was time for bed.

race morning came all too early sunday! it was an absolutely beautiful morning to run, couldnt have asked for a better day. but my full report you are going to have to wait till tomorrow:) it deserves a post all on its own!

i will however tell you about getting to watch these 2 amazing girls cross the finish line for their 1st full marathons. while they started out together we knew they would break apart quickly and had estimated finish times for them both, thank you megan. after each of our 1/2 finishes we were to meet up with megans family so we could see them cross in all their glory and that plan worked perfectly. i found megans boyfriend doug, who took me to where her parents were, in a great spot right near the finish line. almost right on time to the minute we say megan and her friend from grad school michael come down the finish chute!!!! she looked fantastic and i started crying for her as soon as i saw her:) all of the runners actually looked strong with huge smiles on their faces toward the finish line.
we made our way down to the finish line to collect megan before kasey came across. she was in the medical tent getting stretched out and somehow tina and heather had crossed the 1/2 almost at the same time! so glad she had friends in there:) they said she was doing great and had both set a pr with their finish times! finally megan came hobbling out with a huge smile plastered across her face. after a quick bathroom break she laid on the ground for some more stretching when we found out her official finish time, 4:58:42!! her goal was under 5 and standing, both accomplished! (check out her full recap here!)

all now hobbling we headed back to just before the finish line to see kasey. heather had gotten a text saying she was getting very close and we were sure every runner that got close to us was here haha. there was a small group of other spectators there waiting for their runner as well so everyone cheered for everyone. it was soo cool to see the sense of accomplishments on their faces as they got to that finish. then, right on time we saw her face with her sister running right next to her come down the finisher chute!!! it was amazing and i think we all cried watching her cross that line:) 
we bombared her and very stinky, very excited hugs all the way around. after a few pictures we all decided it was time to get the heck out of there to eat. i was straving and was having serious ragnar flashbacks, it had been about 4 hours since i finished and i was in definite need of real food asap. luckily we decided to eat near the beach and doug was able to drive so none of had too lol. he even went across the parking lot to get the car as we waited where the shuttle dropped us off and the dropped us at the door of bjs while he parked only a few spots away, sooo sweet.
there was a lot of eating, and again not a lot of pictures taken, serious blogger fail. we headed back to megans house with full bellies to shower and throw our things in the car to head to a superbowl party! i was drivin back to vegas after and heather had a plane to catch that night back up to oakland. the party was a blast with megan and dougs friends, they invited us in and fed us no problem! everyone we met all weeekend was so incredibly nice:) i headed back up the hill after the game was over and made it safely about midnight. thankfully i was off monday so i fully took advantage of a recovery day on the couch!

as i hung out during the day at home i couldnt help think what an awesome weekend it was. being surrounded by nau friends always makes everything better:) plus to see megan and doug so cute together, it takes serious dedication to spectate a marathon and he never complained once. and i got to meet tina and jon, he even biked around the entire course to get action running shots of her, so sweetness. and i got to meet heather and kasey who adopted me into their jokes and inside fun without any questions. it was one of those weekends you really feel like you belong somewhere:) thank you all so much for making 1/2 marathon #12 soo awesome!! with a musical treat to forever remember the weekend...

Friday, February 1, 2013

the january 2013 running recap.

total run mileage: 78.35 miles
highest weekly run mileage: 22.75 miles
# runs: 12
# rest days: 15
# xtraining workouts: 9 <-finally.
favorite run: the kaiser permanate ½ marathon with jen!! it was a last minute add, literally and it was a blast! i cant believe i literally signed up for a ½ marathon a week before it happened. i think that means im a real runner now:)

ps we finished in 1:56:03!!!
most hardcore run: the 10 miler i did the week after. i really could have kept this one shorter, i mean i did do a ½ the weekend before. 8 would have been plenty. thank goodness jen was with me to help me finish and i was sorely reminded to respect the distance!
current reads: girls in white dresses. i found this list of books all girls in their 20s should read. its just ok, im still workin on it.
current shame-inducing guilty pleasure:
current obsession: my new tattoo:) oh i didnt tell you i got one? dont worry, that story is coming!

i love her.
current drink: water and more water. finally back to the good things!
current song: i cant even lie how much i like this song! haha:).
current wish-list:
·         im keeping this one on there…get my 2013 race calendar together. after surf city i don’t really have a lot of plans. its kinda freaking me out, i wont lie. time to get it together!
·         more clothes that fit! i scored an amazingly great deal at new york and company a few weeks ago for new dress pants. now its time to find the tops to go with those and the extra cash to fund it all;)
current need: new running shoes. no really. my current ones have quite a bit of miles on them, ive been in them since about julyish. that is a big time period! on to the hunt
current triumph: being DONE WITH SCHOOL!!! i finished earlier this month and with a 4.0, thank you very much:)
current bane of my existence: this magical amount of time people told me i would have when i was done with school that seems to be hiding. i mean seriously, what happened to it?
current goal: to find that magical amount of time free time. i know its out there, just gotta work on finding it.
current indulgence: i found some christmas fudge hanging out in the back of the fridge and i cant seem to leave it alone. its just so darn good!
current excitement: my return to this…
indoor soccer baby!

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