Surviving the Really Long Run

The mileage is in the upper teens – aka the time that I start questioning my sanity and swear I will never run another marathon.  Each time the alarm goes off all I can think is “if I were doing the half, I could sleep for another hour.”

My most recent 19 mile run took a little over 5 hours…a long time to spend with yourself!  I had a variety of podcasts lined up so I headed out into this georgous sunrise.


I saw this little guy.


And these berries are everywhere.


Along with the first signs of fall.

first signs of fall

Two podcasts in, I started getting grumpy.  I was sick of them, so I switched over to an audio book.  What better for a long run than Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.

I added a few trails to mix it up.

Trail Run

At this point my fingers were starting to swell.

fat fingers

And by mile 16, I wanted to quit.

ready to quit

But then I saw the an entire deer family.

Deer family

And by the time I finished, I was glad I did it!

Refuel with chocolate milk

Plus…you know…chocolate milk!

One more long run and then its taper time!

How do you get through your long run?



Observations from the long run


Marathon training is in full swing and my long runs are now officially above 15 miles…yikes!  When you are running that many miles, you (well at least I) are on the road for a long time, so today I thought I would share some observations from my latest training run.

You completely lose the ability to do math.
I’m not talking calculus here, not even algebra.  Any run over 12 miles renders me unable to do even the simplest arithmetic.  It usually goes something like this:  Ok, so I’m 12 miles in. I need to do fifteen total so if I run out 1.5 miles and back then I will be at 15…but wait, I’m not at the car so I really need to run out 1.3 miles and back and then I will be almost to the car….or is it 1.7 miles and back?  Wait a minute…where am I again?  Needless to say, I am always either over my planned mileage and irritated, or under my mileage and am forced to walk circles around the parking lot because lets face it….the Garmin must say 15.0!

Everything starts to seem hilarious
I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends help me out with my 15 miler this past week and 13 miles in, we were struggling.  We had passed a tree that had blue, pink, and purple berries on it.  I made a comment about how I thought the berries were pretty….apparently that was hilarious.  My friends started to laugh and soon I couldn’t stop laughing either….the delirium had set in.

Everyone starts to look miserable
At 6:00am, runners are happy, smiling, and waving at each other, but by 10:00am runners have a grimace on their face and a look of exhaustion.  You begin to think why do they look so miserable, only to realize that you look just like them…because you are all in the same boat.  4 hours of running is not kind to anyone…marathon training sucks!

Things I have seen recently while running in my neighborhood:

A lady putting on lipstick….seriously?!  It can’t wait until you get to the office?

A woman texting on the phone….its 6:00am….who do you have to talk to?

A man driving down the street while turned around dealing with his child.  I get that children need attention, but they are going to need even more attention when you crash the car because you just spent the last 45 seconds looking into the back seat….seriously, both of his hands were off the wheel.

A man steering with his elbow while plugging his phone into the charger….once again, its 6:00am.  Why didn’t you charge it overnight?

And then there is always this!

Run pic 2

The best thing about a long run though, is when your friend shows up at the finish with donuts!


Whats the strangest thing you have ever seen?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has trouble with math!

I conqured the Triathlon


Oh look!  I remembered I have a blog.  Life has a funny way of turning you upside down and shaking you by your ankles.  This summer, after much contemplation, I decided to leave higher education (for a variety of personal and professional reasons).  So I resigned from my position at the university and after thinking “now what?” for a few weeks, I decided to open my very own arts academy.  Unfortunately, that meant I had to abandon my own blog in order to write a business plan, find a location for the school, interview teachers, design and develop marketing materials, and learn how to build a website.  Well, after many hours of wanting to pull my hair out hard work, it is all finally coming together and I finally have time to sit down and tell you about the triathlon.  Oh, and if you want to check out my new business and the website I had to learn how to build feel free to check out Middle Tennesssee Arts Academy!

I went up the night before to drop my bike off and attend the beginner’s meeting for the Girls-tri-it-on triathlon.

tri bike

And I decided exactly how I was going to lay out my gear.

tri gear

The morning of the race I got up bright and early to head to the start line.

tri morning

I got in line to get my body markings…which took three days to get off by the way.

body marking

Waiting in line to get into the pool, I really felt like I might throw up.  What was I thinking when I signed up?

pool wait

Once in the water, my mantra became “get through the swim”


Several people passed me but then, it thinned out and I somehow managed to backstroke my way to the swim finish.

Then it was on to the bike.


I was on my mountain bike, on a rather hilly course, and many people on road bikes (that cost as much as my car) were passing me right and left, but I kept on going.  At one point I saw another girl get off her bike and walk it up one of the hills and I must admit, I almost joined her!

And finally the run.


The run is where I finally started passing people, instead of being the one passed.  The water stops used The Water Bag, which is really cool.  It is exactly what it sounds like, a bag of water.  You bite off the corner and drink it down.

I finished! 30 minutes faster than I thought I would.


Enjoyed some post race watermelon.


And it turns out I came in third in my division….my first ever podium!

tri podium

After all the worries, I had a blast and will definitely do another!

I ate my way through New York City

This past week I had the pleasure of going to New York to hear M’s mom sing in Carnegie Hall!  I basically spent five days eating my way through the city!

The first night, we had Ray’s pizza. Unfortunately, I was so hungry I didn’t remember to take a picture until I was half way through it.

ny pizza

We ran in Central Park (ignore the thumb in the bottom of the photo…so not a photo blogger)

central park

Where I also had a street food fail

street food fail

I geeked out at the Julliard Bookstore


My view from our Mexican food (no photo…I was too busy eating)

mexican food

5 pound chocolate bare = love at first sight


Running through the city


M and I had to have a Carnegie Hall Selfie


And finally we ate our hearts out at the post concert reception at the Manhattan Room


It was an awesome trip but completely exhausting.  I need a vacation from my vacation.

The triathlon is tomorrow…wish me luck!


Triathlon training: Tri-ing not to drown, crash, or trip!


Since I registered for the triathlon, I have come up with many reasons this was a bad idea.

1.  I can’t swim

2. I am afraid to take my hands off of the bike handle bars

3. Running – I got that…or so I thought.

 snoopy tri

Swimming:  I have trouble putting my face in the water when I swim.  I have spent lots of time working on this skill.  I can now officially do something that resembles swimming (with my face in the water) for about 25 meters.  The problem – I have to swim 200 meters.  I am going to keep practicing and hopefully get better, but in the mean time, my solution is:  freestyle as long as I can – then switch up the stroke (side stroke, breast stroke, back stroke, etc.)  I have successfully traversed the water for 200m several times so at least I know I can do it.

Biking:  I can bike six miles…slowly.  I have a mountain bike so the bike portion is going to be slow in general.  The issue is I am afraid to take my hands off the handle bars.  In the past, when I needed to take a drink, I pulled the bike over and got water but this is not really and option on race day.  I have been practicing using my water bottle while on the bike and am proud to report that I have successfully achieved this task three whole times (which is three times more than last week).

Running:  Its only a mile – I have run 20 half marathons and 2 full marathons – no problem right?  Well, I have found that running right after getting off the bike is not as easy as one would think.  My run is not going to be as fast as I would have hoped.


My goal for this triathlon: Tri not to drown, Tri not to crash, Tri not to trip!