athletics and alcohol

Emails from my grandma:

"Win or lose this weekend, we are still proud of you."

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I will not be winning the Boston Marathon. I am just hoping to finish in a respectable time.

On that note, anyone have any music recommendations? I need to finalize my playlist today. And you should see the pile of clothes I am packing. I believe there are more articles of clothing coming with me than are in my closet.

I started yesterday in such a good mood, the effects of this weekend still lingering. It slowly deteriorated as the day went on. Sometimes I struggle with biting my tongue. I just want to interject BUT you told me that! BUT I asked you that! BUT BUT BUT. Not saying I don’t ever make mistakes, because that is far from the truth. BUT sometimes it’s hard to swallow scolding when you know you’re in the right. It doesn’t help that I take everything personally and have a tough time letting go. I am such a dweller.

Anyway, a quick estimate shows me that by the time I reach the starting line on Monday, I will have logged nearly 650 miles since January 1, the beginning of this training cycle. That’s crazy. I am still so scared- SO scared. But little things are making me smile. My one boss hung up a Boston Strong shirt near my desk with “GO KELLY!” written in post-it’s on it. She also bought me a new pair of nice running socks, a splurge I rarely make.

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When I got home, I had the nicest good luck card from my friend Sloane’s mom. It was so kind and really made me smile.

As did some wise words from my coach.  ” Believe in yourself and have fun. You have done a lot of really good quality work. Go to Boston, have fun, have a great run and hit your goals.”

I keep alternating between being really excited and really nervous, and I am sorry, but this is all I can think or talk or write about for the next week. I hope I can get my nutrition figured out. I don’t know what I ate on Sunday, but something really destroyed my stomach, and it still hurt all day Monday. I am planning to limit gluten and dairy Saturday and Sunday, and totally cutting out vegetables and nuts over the weekend. Alcohol will be nonexistent on Sunday, and limited Friday and Saturday. These are risks that aren’t worth taking. I wish I had someone to hold my hand through all of this, I am incredibly nervous about catching buses and being in the right place at the right time. But as Tim said, “Just follow the herd. You’ll get to where you’re going.”

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Sheep. You are all sheep.

Seriously, this weather makes me feel like a new person. I am so much happier with sunshine and flip flops and running in shorts and the grocery store has WATERMELON. I just want to soak it all in. It was such a great weekend too.

On Friday, Sloane, Cass, Nadya and I met at Home 231 for some fancy cocktails.

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Sadly, it was pouring, so we couldn’t sit outside, but we still had a great time hanging out at the bar. I stuck with strawberry mojitos. They were so good, I could have drank 105 probably. Just a rough estimate.

The rest of Friday was uneventful, Tim refused to watch Dirty Dancing, so we put on Bridesmaids. Lame, Tim. Nobody puts baby in a corner.

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On Saturday, I ran some miles, and I didn’t cry and my legs worked, so I was one happy camper. I guess now is the time to worry that I bombed all my tempos, didn’t run enough hills and didn’t run any 20-milers. Just kidding, I have been worried about that for the past four months.

After my run, I met Nadya and Liz for yoga detox and retox. I really enjoyed it, but my one complaint is that it went on for nearly two hours. That’s a little too much yoga for me.  Regardless, I feel much more stretched out now! After we finished, we enjoyed some drinks and food outside with Sloane. There are not many things I love more than outside day drinking with friends.

Tim and I made a sweet potato crust pizza for dinner, and went for a walk to have a drink outside and I couldn’t stop gushing about how happy this weather makes me.

Sunday consisted of another great run, I couldn’t stop smiling and finally allowed myself to get a little more excited about Boston. Please let my legs feel like that next week!

Then, Tim and I ran a million errands. I finally got a new phone, but it took TWO HOURS, so that killed our Sunday.  I was disappointed because I wanted to go to the baseball game with everyone, but such is life. We also bought three plants for the house and I love them.

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I hope we don’t kill them. I clearly picked out the base. We slept with the windows open and the house just feels so much better with fresh air.

It was just a good weekend, I spent so much time running, hanging out with friends and being outside. I feel so happy right now.

ONE WEEK! AH.

Some kind of miracle happened yesterday. I went for a run over lunch and nothing hurt. I didn’t cry, I didn’t stop and stretch a million times. My legs just felt good and I enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air and I swear there was a smile the size of a small city on my face the whole time.

I miss that. I am so grateful when it happens. I couldn’t stop grinning all day. Tim and I finished it off with two very windy miles post-work. I was still smiling. It was like I had a totally different set of legs from Tuesday. I just felt good all day. I even stayed up until 8:30 (I KNOW) reading while Tim watched the Flyers.

Anyway, today is finally Friday! Tonight, Tim and I may go to the movies or a baseball game (probably not because of the weather) or happy hour or just sit on the porch. The opportunities and possibilities are endless. Tomorrow, I get to log some miles, before heading to Yoga Detox and Retox with the girls in the afternoon. I had a lot of fun last time, and I am hoping to get nice and stretched out. I need it, my hips are so tight.

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On Sunday, I have so many errands to run. Oh hey, going to Boston next week. First, I am planning to get a new phone. I have an iPhone 4, which doesn’t really bother me, but it’s on its last legs with the battery and I am nervous to take it out of town for a long weekend. Especially a town I am unfamiliar with. I also just need to get better prepared mentally. I should make a list, I like lists. I will definitely have two suitcases. There is something wrong with me.

I really can’t believe this time next week, I’ll be on my way to Boston.

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Now that I have quasi-accepted that I will actually be in Boston next UMMM weekend, I am starting to think about WHAT TO DO THERE??!
Neither Tim nor I have ever been to Boston before, so what to do? where to eat (that my stomach can handle!)? where to visit?
I stumbled upon my Harrisburg Marathon recap yesterday, and it gave me goose bumps. How excited I was, how shocked I was. So, let’s just try to make this go okay. I fluctuate from OMG Boston! to omg, wail, Boston. I am so fucked! (Sorry, Gary!)

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I’ve been laying off the booze lately. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. A good thing in that maybe I am coming out of this funk? Or a bad thing like, “I am so depressed, I don’t even want to drink anymore!” Not that I am an alcoholic, but I just like to drink sometimes casually sometimes erm not so casually. I’m not abstaining or anything, I am sure I will have a few drinks this weekend. But I stopped by happy hour last night and didn’t even really want to drink. It’s weird. I hope it means my health is coming back and I will feel like my old self who could easily run sub-8 minute miles in 11 days.

I’ll keep dreaming.

I cried for 75% of my run yesterday. Do you know how hard it is to run when your legs are so uncomfortably tight and your feet keep falling asleep and you’re crying? Unfortunately, all signs are pointing towards Iron Increase NOT WORKING. I took about 115 breaks, a lot of them involving me sitting on a curb and crying some more. Thank God I have those $12 Target sunglasses.

I don’t know how many different times or ways to say that I am still tired. I come home from work and I am like a zombie putting dinner together. On Monday, Tim and I were lying in bed reading, and I feel asleep. With all the lights on. Before 8 p.m. I have such little hope about anything anymore, but I am still grasping onto a glimmer that the latest blood work will give us something to work with. Something I can do or a pill to swallow to make me feel like myself again. It makes me wonder how long I have been “severely anemic.” Time just sort of blurs together sometimes. I know I’ve felt “off” for a while now.

I went to bar on Monday night and was irrationally proud of myself for not drinking. We watched Game of Thrones after, and while I am so glad its back, I thought the episode was kind of “eh”. Nothing really happened. However, I’m confident things will pick up again soon.


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I’m already ready for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to yoga detox and retox Saturday.

Happy Tuesday?

More bloodwork this morning. Here’s hoping they can figure out what’s wrong with me sooner rather than later so I can feel a little better about Boston. I feel a little sheepish because I feel like everyone is telling everyone I am running it. I try to not bring it up around other people. I know it’s a huge honor and I am incredibly flattered to be a part of it, but I am just so scared, I get knots in my stomach talking about it. What if my training wasn’t enough? What if my legs don’t work? What if I don’t have the energy to finish?

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And the list goes on and on and on. Last week was another high-mileage week, clocking in with 47 miles. That includes the beer mile. This week is lighter, as I am starting my taper. I have such a love-hate relationship with tapers. On one hand, my body is so excited for more rest after a pretty tough training cycle. On the other hand, I get so restless when I am not moving as much.

I was pretty sick to my stomach from Sunday night until Monday night. I think something about certain kinds of dairy sets my stomach off. That’s not the first time ice cream and/or frozen yogurt has set my stomach off, and I sometimes have issues with pizza as well. On the other hand, sometimes I can eat four slices of pizza or a giant grilled cheese and be fine. My stomach never ceases to confuse me.

While talking with an acquaintance this weekend about Boston qualifying times, she asked me if I thought the times for our age group (men- 3:05, women - 3:35) were fair. I said no. I think they should be different, as biologically, men are faster than women, but I think they should be closer together, I think the women’s time should be faster. She said it was interesting I thought that- and not that the men’s time should be slower.

When mulling it over later, i realized that I said that and think that because deep down, I feel like I don’t deserve to run Boston. I don’t know why. I worked my butt off to qualify and I have been working so hard this year to overcome everything. Yet I still don’t see myself as deserving. Yesterday, I read a quote I have read a thousand times, but need to imprint into my brain.

"Be gentle with yourself."

Maybe I should start doing yoga. Or something.

I had such a good weekend.

On Friday, I dragged myself out of bed to go to the beer mile.

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I had SO much fun, and ended up being second overall and first girl.

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After the mile (I finished around 9 minutes), we went to some shady bar for vodka shots.

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I had so much fun and am so glad I went. I hung out with everyone for a while, before heading home. I’ve become somewhat of a hermit lately, so it was really good to be social and spend time with friends.

Saturday started with 12 miles, and then errands followed by date night. We started at Shady’s with Liz, then went to Home then to Ceoltas and got take out for dinner. It was a nice and low-key night for us.

Sunday consisted of ten windy miles, teaching swim lessons and Sunday Funday with the girls.

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I am so grateful for such a great group of girlfriends. The six of us had a wonderful afternoon sipping beers in the  sunshine, and talking about anything and everything.

It was a really great weekend (though the scale disagrees…. sheesh!). Tim and I even had ice cream for dinner Sunday. I cannot wait to watch Game of Thrones tonight! (Did you really think I could stay up until 10 p.m. on a Sunday?)

2 weeks. WHAAAAAAAAAT.

Well, I woke up yesterday morning thinking it was Friday, so I am relieved that Friday has actually decided to show up today.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. My run felt okay, well probably great compared to runs as of late, so that made me happy, but my stomach was pretty awful all day. I’ve begun cutting the iron pills in half to see if that will help my digestion of them. From what I’ve read, most people notice a change as soon as they introduce more iron in their diet, and I definitely haven’t. I’m already looking for my second wind and it’s not even 8 a.m., and I had another dizzy spell this morning.

Luckily, today is pretty easy-going (I hope!). Tonight, some friends are hosting a beer mile. For those unfamiliar, this is what a beer mile is:

“The most common format of the beer mile requires a single participant to drink a full-sized beer, run a quarter mile, then repeat the process three times. This results in the consumption of four beers and the running of four quarter miles (hence the beer mile). The entire process is timed. The total time is often used as a measuring stick of competency.”

The beer has to be at least 5 percent alcohol. Sound dumb? Oh yeah. I am not fully committed, I plan to play it by ear. If I don’t feel too tired, I plan to go and at least try it! As much as having this diagnose of anemia sucks, it is such a relief to know I am not crazy and that there is a reason it’s a struggle to do anything past 6 p.m. Also, I am happy to know why I get winded walking up stairs. Anyway, I digress.

Saturday and Sunday morning will hopefully be spent running, and then on Saturday evening, Tim and I are having date night. It’s been a while, and he offered to plan it and do everything, which was nice. I think he feels bad that things have been so shitty (pun intended? Maybe?) for me, so I am looking forward to that.

I’m really glad April is a calm month, May is so crazy, and summer is always filled with adventures. And I already got my brewfest ticket!

Getting ahead of myself, as usual. Have a good weekend.

AND THE SAGA CONTINUES.

My doctor’s office called me again yesterday. We’re getting to be real besties, me and Dr. P, as well as me and Dr. P’s staff. Anyway, they want to send me for MORE blood work ASAP because they are concerned about my “severe anemia.”

Hey, you and me both. Tuesday’s run was  god awful, and Wednesday’s was slightly better, but by “slightly better,” I mean I didn’t cry at all. So that’s a real confidence booster for someone who is attempting a marathon in 18 days. What is more attractive than a girl sluggish-y “jogging” down the street and crying because her legs are so heavy? I cant think of much!

Also, I talked to Amy yesterday, and yes, I talk to anyone who will listen about all my problems, and Amy’s opinions count more than mostly anyone mainly because she has been my best friend for nearly 14 years, and also because she is a real-live nurse. Anyway, Amy pointed out that due to my, erm, intense digestive issues, whatever deficiency I have is probably due to the fact that my body has trouble digesting mostly everything.

Meanwhile, in a text conversation with my mother yesterday, in an attempt to make me feel better during a minor freak out*, she said “What is the worst that can happen? You don’t run Boston? You can run it another year.” UH YEAH MOM. THAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN. SO THANKS.

*Basically I am very concerned that I am not going to make it to even the starting line of Boston. I am also concerned IF I make it to the starting line, I will not make it to the finish line. I don’t know which is worse.

Hey, remember that time I ran 26.2 miles at a 7:53 pace? Still trying to figure that out.Hey, remember that time I ran 26.2 miles at a 7:53 pace? Still trying to figure that out.

As much as I want to kill Tim sometimes (you should SEE the spare bedroom where he keeps his clothes. I break into hives if I am anywhere near it), he has been really helpful through all this. I won’t lie, I cry a lot at home. I am frustrated, I am worn out, and I feel totally helpless and powerless over my own body. It’s pretty scary and a pretty crummy situation. But he’s been researching alongside of me, and doesn’t get upset when I go to bed when the sun is still up. I am probably not the world’s best girlfriend or roommate right now, I am so focused on just trying to be better, it’s pretty selfish.

This morning though, I had a decent run, not fast, but no tears and no pain, so I’m hanging on to those 10 miles with a glimmer of hope.