Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Reunions...

I just got back from a CRAZY weekend in Princeton. Princeton has an annual reunion weekend, where graduating classes come back and basically party all weekend. Every fifth class hosts a tent and the "off" years are hosted by the year surrounding it. The tents have a lunch/dinner, as well as a band at night and LOTS OF BEER. Seriously, it is the largest single purchase of alcohol in the United States...they bring in semi-trucks full of kegs. I'm not even sure how to describe what happens at these reunions because it is unlike anything I've heard of. I've never seen so much orange in my life! Each class as their "jacket" which they get at their 25th reunions, and it's usually some version of orange/black/a tiger. And rather ugly, but they love them. There's a P-rade, which is a parade in which all alumni walk, starting with the oldest returning guy. The current graduating class is at the end, waiting for all the alumni to pass by, so they just party until they get there. At night, everyone wanders from tent to tent to enjoy the bands and free beer.

I have not consumed that much beer in a REALLY long time. My poor liver!

As a side note, I don't go to Princeton! The Rocket Scientist (boyfriend of glory, for those new-ish readers) is a grad student there, so they get to participate in all the school stuff. Which works out because Princeton treats its students quite well.

So that was pretty much my weekend. I will not be having another one like that for a long time!

RS and I headed out for a run today in an attempt to make up for the massive liquid caloric intake. We also did a fair amount of dancing, so that helped to balance out the beer. It was warm today, and we were probably dehydrated and tired from the festivities, so four miles seemed looooong. Naturally my garmin's battery wasn't charged since I forgot to plug it in all weekend, so we were out of luck on keeping track, which is probably for the better!

Sunday, May 31
4-4.5-ish miles in 35:something. Pace not really known!

Can you believe that tomorrow is June?!?!? This year has been going by so fast and so slow all at the same time. So excited for summer!!
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gearing up for the weekend!

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday! I'm a fan of four day work weeks! When I was hired, my original schedule was for 72 hours per pay period, working five days one week and four the next. However, due to whatever mix up/the powers that be, I'm magically going to be working 80 hours per pay period. I'm not sure where this miscommunication occurred, as my manager told me during the interview I would most likely be hired for 72 hours, and my offer letter says 72 hours. I could say that I'll only take 72 hours since that's what we agreed on, but it essentially means more money (this girl's got some loans to pay off!), and if I feel like volunteering to go home early on a slow day, I'll feel less guilty about it. That doesn't mean I'm a little sad about not getting to take all those three day weekend trips I was planning on!

Life in the "real world," I suppose.

Speaking of the real world, I gave my first enema today! (Please don't stop reading my blog, I promise not to mention any details!)

Moving on, I had a nice little run today. More hills!! I don't necessarily mind the hills as much, but I can't ever figure out if my pace varies from mile to mile because:

1) I'm running uphill/downhill.
2) I'm just going slower/faster.
3) Combo of 1 and 2.

At least when my runs were 95% flat (back in the Prairie State), I could tell since it was purely based on #2. I figure as long as I don't slow down like thirty seconds per mile, then the change in pace is most likely due to elevation changes. Right? Any good tips on how to gauge on effort when running on hills? I kind of rely on my garmin to let me know how fast I'm going, but obviously running up hill at the same pace requires more effort than on flat land.

Thursday, May 28
4.03 miles in 31:55, avg pace of 7:55

Last mile in 7:37 because I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. Such a good motivator. Then I came home and did Week 1, Day 2 of the One Hundred Push Ups program, where I maxed out at 17! Sounds good to me. I also did a variety of ab exercises and then my made up weight lifting routine. When I actually research what the moves are called, I'll try to post what they are so I can get some feedback since I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing. :)

Looking ahead...

Such a fun weekend coming up! Today was the first night of Princeton's Reunions, which will last until Sunday. I didn't attend last year, but apparently it's like the HUGEST lawn party you'll ever attend. Every fifth year (so 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, etc.) hosts a tent with a different theme and lots of beer. I suppose there are actually some scholarly/family-friendly events, but of course the grad students don't attend lectures on Shakespeare and instead opt for the parties. I got some interesting phone calls from the Rocket Scientist last year during the events, so it should be a good time.

Good luck to everyone running races this weekend! Heather at Hangry Pants is running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, and on the other side of the country, a gazillion (literally!) people are running the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon. Including, but not limited to: Aron at Runner's Rambles, Danica at the Chic Runner, Maritza at Marathon Maritza, Tara, and Julianne. Have awesome races everyone! I can't wait to hear about them!

Because we could all use a little makeover...

ZestyCook is giving away a BLOG MAKEOVER, which we all could use a little bit of help with, including my blog which features a header put together with Microsoft Paint. A fine, fine editing program, we all know. Go check it out...but I hope I win! ;)
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First stick!

Today was my last day of "classroom" orientation, where they taught me phlebotomy. In nursing school, we had a short hour long workshop on how to start IVs, but of course we used fake model arms that are nothing like the real thing. Today we had the same fake arm. The good thing about the fake arms is that they let you get the feel of handling the equipment, but obviously doesn't help you in deciding what is a "good" vein or if you actually stuck the needle in the vein. After I went through the motions a few times, my instructor asked if I felt like I was ready. I told her that all I really needed to do was try it on a person, and she volunteered her arm! I ended up doing three sticks on two different people, and I was successful two of the times. My first stick was AWESOME! She said she hardly felt it and the blood pumped right out. Woohoo!

Now to try it on a patient without shaking. Maybe tomorrow?

Fun run today! I decided to try going the other way on the trail that I've been running on, and I decided that I like the first way better. This one had more stops for crossing roads and such, which can be annoying sometimes. It's also a little less flat and less shaded! However, it will be nice for mixing it up a bit. I also think that this trail ends up connecting to another one, which will be good when long runs come around again!

The nice part about the trail is that there are lots of runners and bikers on it, otherwise I'd be paranoid about being kidnapped or something. However, one runner was running with her two dogs and was listening to her ipod, so she didn't hear me coming at all and I was scared that her dogs might attack me as I tried to pass. They were taking up the ENTIRE trail, which made it a little more difficult. On the other hand, I was totally inspired by a woman pushing her running stroller along the trail. She was really moving!

Wednesday, May 27
7.07 miles in 55:55, avg pace of 7:54

Woo! This run had some long, gentle inclines as well as the hill leading up to my house, so I think I did well! I can feel the burn on the steeper hills, but I keep telling myself to power through them. So far, so good!

Can someone explain twitter to me? I don't "get it," and I know some of you use it! Is it just like facebook status updates? Enlighten me!
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The beach that was not

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend!! I had a great time at the beach with my friends from college. I'd never been to Ocean City, Maryland before, despite always saying that we needed to go when I was in college. Minus the weather that didn't necessarily cooperate, it was so fun! Since all three girls had cameras, I gave up on trying to take the same pictures as everyone else (how annoying does that get??), so I'll post some pictures when I can nab them from my friends.

We arrived on Saturday evening, and we cooked some dinner at the condo we were staying at to save some cash. After a little drinking later that evening (also to save some cash!), we headed out since it was going to be our one friend's birthday at midnight! Since I was never a huge bar person in college, nor am I currently a big bar person, I kind of forgot what it was like, especially in what I would think is a spring break-y situation. Random guys bought all three of us drinks because it was our friend's birthday, and OF COURSE my roommate knew a gazillion people at the bar because that's what she does. Wherever she goes. I kid you not. (I usually sit there and say...Ummmm I'm from Chicago, so you probably don't know the name of my high school.)

Side note #1: I had to pause when someone asks me where I'm from. The first time, I stuttered, "Umm, uh, Pennsylvania?" Which TOTALLY didn't sound right. But I'm not currently from Chicago. I'm from Chicago but live in PA? This is confusing.

Side note #2: Apparently the thing to do if you're a guy trying to pick up girls is to hand out your business card. Does this strike anyone else as really odd? I do not understand it. Moving on.

The beach would have been much more fantastic if it, you know, was actually sunny! On Sunday we bailed early on the beach and headed to this bar in the afternoon that is basically a bar on the beach. As in, you can sit on inflatable rafts in the bay and they will bring you drinks. It really is quite fun! I never went on "spring break," so I would imagine this is what it would be like. However, I am not a huge drinker so I don't think I could have carried on for an entire week.

Monday was another failed beach attempt since it POURED on and off all day. We tried to wait it out, but it was hopeless. We wandered down to the boardwalk, which is also much less exciting in the rain. Finally we headed home, which took an hour longer than on the way there due to rain and the mass exodus (my favorite word!) of everyone from the little town of Ocean City.

Now, if I was a good little runner, I would have brought my shoes, etc, but I did not. I decided to take off Sunday and Monday and enjoy the holiday slash I thought we would be laying on the beach all weekend. Oops?

Back to work! I could NOT fall asleep/stay asleep last night, which was miserable since I knew I would be tired all day. Luckily nursing week two is going okay so far, but I was a busy, busy bee after work! Life on your own is definitely eventful, as it's not someone else's turn to do laundry, or someone else isn't there to make sure that the stove doesn't burn the house down while you shower and simultaneously cook rice. Live and learn. I think I'll make it.

ANYWAY. I ran today! Yay! I decided to embrace the hills, and I did quite well with them. Even in the cold rain that hit my area of Pennsylvania. I was soaked by the end of the run, but overall it felt good and I think I did well on the hills.

Tuesday, May 26
5.08 miles in 39:34, avg pace of 7:48

The downhills help to make up a little for the uphills, which is a nice combination. After drying off a little when I got home, I did some crunches, push ups, and a little weight lifting routine that I made up. I'm thinking that strength training + hills will be a nice addition to my running routine, and will hopefully be beneficial for upcoming marathons. (Hills for Boston?? Yes.) Also, abs of steel are a nice goal as well.

I hope everyone is enjoying the end of will be June so soon! This year is flying.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

S^2 heads to the beach!!

I was EXHAUSTED yesterday! I definitely needed a rest day, and that's just what I did! The Rocket Scientist came over and we made some dinner (attempted buffalo chicken sandwiches...not the greatest, but they were okay) and we watched part of The Holiday before he headed home for the night. He and his family headed up to West Point this morning (by morning, I mean they left at 3:30 am!!) for his cousin's graduation. I, however, am not going because I'm going to the beach!! One of my friends from college has an aunt who has a condo in Ocean City, Maryland, and she's letting us stay there this weekend. So my friend with the aunt (Karilee), her sister (Kaytlyn), and my three year roommate from college (Sara) will be meeting there tonight. This is extremely exciting because I haven't seen my roommate since my birthday last year!! I think how we met is a fun story, so I shall share it with you.

Sara and I are actually total opposites in many fashions, but we also have certain key things in common, which is probably why we get along so well. During my freshman year of college, I decided to go through sorority recruitment because my mom was in a sorority in college and liked it, and since most of my friends were found through the marching band (where I played trombone!), I didn't have many female friends. I am NOT a "sorority girl" by any means so it was an interesting (and terrible!!) experience. However, I ended up in a sorority (Alpha Delta Pi, if there are any out there), so that was that.

During the first week of pledging, there was a huge combined bachelor/bachelorette party for one of the senior girls at a bar...we took buses to Baltimore and everything. We all met at the sorority house, dressed to head out for the night. I arrived to find that my fashion is so great, someone else had copied it:

We were wearing the EXACT same shirt! It was fate. (Please pardon the atrocious picture...Sara might kill me if she knew I put it up here!) Later in the semester, Sara started calling us "S^2" and we moved in together sophomore year and lived together throughout the rest of college. We made a video to "Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith with our own lyrics. Even though I left the sorority after sophomore year, we were still roomies and still call her other "roomie" to this day. It gets really confusing when I talking to people about my "roommate" and they don't realize that we don't live together anymore! Here we are five years later at the wine tasting party she hosted for my birthday last year:

Yay!! It's going to be so fun to have an S^2 REUNION this weekend! Especially at the beach since my Chicago-dweller self doesn't really go to the beach very often. Time to tan!


I did get a run in this was hot hot hot! That's what I get for leaving at 11, I suppose. Eight miles, trying to keep it relaxed. I ran on the trail that I found earlier this week, which was nice and shaded for the most part. Tons of bikers were out on the trail, but not a ton of runners...maybe the runners got out earlier since it was hot? Either way it was still fun to see lots of people out there!

Saturday, May 23
8.04 miles in 1:04:12, avg pace of 7:59

My pace coming up the long hill to my house was only 8:08, which I thought was great for running up the hill! It was hard, let me tell you! I'm going to adjust to these hills...some day!

Time to pack and head off to the BEACH!! Have an awesome weekend everyone!
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

100th Post!!

I opened blogger to post today, and I saw that I had 99 posts...which makes this my 100th post!! I entered the blog world about five months ago, and it's so fun! I feel like I "know" so many of you, but I've never met or talked to you. Here's to 100 more posts!

Today was my second day on the job...I took two patients more or less on my own. I say "more or less" because I don't know the system yet, so I have to ask how to do certain things, where I put what, where things are, etc. I felt much better today even though my manager told me I looked scared to death! I promise I'm not, I just think I look nervous often...I don't hide emotions like that well. Another nurse asked how old I am (24, soon to be 25!), and she told me that I look 15. I've always looked young, but when you throw my hair up and put me in essentially a pair of pajamas, you knock another few years off. Excellent.

I'm still a fan of computer charting. And knowing the history of your patient. For some reason they don't pass this along in report, so I got really confused when my patient was on eight meds for his admitting diagnosis of nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. Apparently he had quite a few other things going on!

Anyway! Running! It got up to 80 today...yikes! My legs are tiiiiired, most likely a result of the marathon 2.5 weeks ago (you can still feel the effects this much later right?) + moving craziness + new job stress + now I'm on my feet much more. I did a short, try-to-keep-it-slow run today, and I even did good on the hills! My goal is to keep telling myself to continue to run up the hills, even if I'm going much slower. That's the only way to learn! I'm so used to even/negative splits that it's mentally difficult to see my pace be so over the place.

Thursday, May 21
3.05 miles in 24:33, avg pace of 8:03

I also lifted and did some crunches when I got back. I always start lifting, am good for about two weeks, and then I stop! I'm going to try to keep it up because: 1) Who doesn't want toned arms? 2) Strong arms will help me power up hills ! "Run with your arms!" is what was yelled at me when my legs got tired in high school. I'm not sure if it's true or not, but we'll try it. 3) I want to say that I lift. Is that bad?

The Rocket Scientist is coming over tonight! He's driving back from his brother's graduation this morning, so he should be here any time now. He has yet to see my room with assembled furniture, so it should be good. I may be a jealous runner, but at least I can brag that I have a speedy rocket scientist for a boyfriend. Here he is finishing the Delaware Marathon on Sunday:

Woohoo! More pictures are on facebook (or will be shortly!) if you like checking out marathon pictures! Read More......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First day as a NURSE!

Today marked my first official day as a nurse! At least, in title. I didn't feel like a nurse at all because I have no clue what I'm doing! The small community hospital where I work is TOTALLY different than Rush, which was a big city teaching hospital. I wanted to work at a hospital like Rush (such as a hospital in Philly), but I had no such luck getting a job in the city. The patient population is so different at a community hospital. At Rush, everyone is sick, whereas here the patients tended to have one thing wrong with them, not eight million things going on. Patients only had two or three meds (if that), the call lights only went off once during my shift, and everything is just...slower. During my "role transition" in December, I was often running around giving meds, charting, getting patients ready for procedures, etc etc etc. Lunch was quick, and I was tired when I was done! Today we just walked around from room to room, sat around and charted for awhile, and took a half an hour lunch where we are required to leave the floor. Totally different! I really liked Rush and the computer system and knowing lots about my patients and being able to walk around the corner and find a doc to pester with my questions. (To any docs that read this: I'm "that" nurse. I was taught it's better to ask than make a mistake! And I like to learn, yay.)

But of course, this was only day one, so we'll see how day two goes tomorrow.

I went running when I got home today, and it was toasty one! It reached the high 70's, and I was feeling it. Also, the hills around here are killing me! I don't know if it was the heat, the hills, or a combination of the two, but I had to stop and walk a few times throughout the run. When training for the Wisconsin Marathon, I didn't stop at all during my runs except to cross busy streets or to get watch/fuel during my long runs. It was something I really wanted to work on because before I would randomly stop, but that's not so good for race day since the clock keeps going when you're walking. Hopefully I just need to adjust to the heat/hills...I'm trying! If anyone has any advice on hill running (not necessarily a hill workout, but more like hills on your every day runs!), please let me know!

Wednesday, May 20
5.11 miles in 39:45, avg pace of 7:46

Note: I stopped my watch when I walked....I wasn't going that fast!
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

What a fun few days it has been! Moving and living on your own is a lot of work! I really had it easy at home since my parents did the grocery shopping, we split the laundry, and just random things were taken care of. Plus, cooking for one is really hard! I wish the Rocket Scientist was closer so we could do little things together (grocery store, cooking, other errands not necessarily related to food!) and of course so I could see him more. There's about 75-90 minutes between us, and it's hard to go round trip in one night. We shall see.

In other news, I kind of started my job yesterday! I had a day of hospital orientation (with everyone else who is starting the hospital, regardless of their job) and a day of nurse orientation (where it was just one other new nurse and me). Both were super condensed versions since so few people were starting, which was good because we didn't have to sit through eight million lectures, but I also feel like I kind of got gypped because I might have missed a lot of information. We were given powerpoints of the lectures, but we all know that powerpoints are only supposed to guide lectures instead of acting as "note cards" to be read off of. However, they gave me a coffee mug (which I needed anyway since I realized I didn't bring any with me!), so I guess I'll survive. I have my first day on the unit tomorrow, which I'm a little bit nervous about since I haven't seen a patient since December and haven't thought much about nursing since I passed the NCLEX in February. Yikes! I hope it comes back quick.

In other fun news, I'm now a resident of the state of Pennsylvania! I got my Pennsylvania driver's license, so yay! That was step one. Step two was registering my almost two-week-old car. I don't have any license plates or anything since it seemed silly to register it in Illinois and then turn around and transfer it to Pennsylvania. (And PA taxes are MUCH cheaper than Illinois. Just a little perk.) Anyway, I got to the auto tag place, and they said I couldn't register my car for the following reasons:

1. I don't have car insurance in the state of Pennsylvania. I have Illinois insurance. I'm not sure why this matters, but it's state law.

2. The car dealer where I bought the car didn't put any odometer information on the title. I have a slip of paper that talks all about the fact that there were only nine miles on the car when I bought it, signed both by the dealer and me, but since it's not on the title, I had to overnight it back to the dealer. That cost me $24.

3. My mom had to cosign the car loan with me since I don't have any credit. In the backwards system that is America, you don't have good credit even if you pay off your credit cards in full every month. Therefore, my mom's name is on the title and she has to be present when I register my car. I could get power of attorney and all that jazz, but really, that's a pain.

So I'm waiting until June when she comes to visit to register my car. Hopefully it will go smoothly.

Since this is a running blog (or at least, I try to make it one. Life has been busy!), I actually went running yesterday and today! I found a state park to run through, so I tried to find it yesterday, but I ran past the road I was supposed to turn on to get into it, and then there was a narrow bridge where I almost got hit by three cars. Then I found the park and paranoia kicked in and I was convinced I was going to end up dead on the side of the road because there was NO ONE around. I'm from suburbia and that's how 24 year old women end up missing. So I turned around and subsequently got lost trying to retrace one of my runs from last week. Annnnd I forgot to hit start on my garmin at some point.

Monday, May 18
A little more than 4 miles, in a little more than 32:55, avg pace of somewhere around 8:08

I asked my roommate where she runs (she just started running and is doing a half in September!) and she recommended a trail in the opposite direction. A guy on RWOL online went to college around here and recommended the same trail, so I went to check it out. I *definitely* needed a run today after the stress that was everything listed above. The trail is AWESOME. It runs for 19 miles, and it is close to a road/houses, which is great for paranoid people such as myself. It's pretty flat, too! You can see the road changing in elevation, but the trail remains rather exciting because there are some crazy hills around here! Running is looking up here, and it's a good thing because nothing seems to be falling into place recently.

Tuesday, May 19
6.04 miles in 47:00, avg pace of 7:47

Oh, and I totally smoked a guy on the trail. Always makes you feel good. Thanks for all the supportive comments about my last post! I know that one of the greatest things about running is that your biggest competition is yourself, but it's hard to not compare yourself to other runners, especially those you know in person. (Although I am quite jealous of some of you bloggers out there!) It just gives me something to work towards so I can be super speedy one day.

Now time to rest up before my first day as a nurse tomorrow! If I don't spend all night freaking out...
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Running Jealousy?

Yesterday was the Delaware Marathon, which the Rocket Scientist and two of his friends ran. This was a small, small marathon (500 marathoners?) combined with a half marathon and a four person marathon relay. The course was around Wilmington, Delaware, and let me be the first to tell you there is NOTHING in Wilmington. I was alone in my spectating, so I figured I'd go find a Starbucks while I was waiting for them to do some out and backs. The closest Starbucks was nearly five miles away, and nothing was open at all around the downtown area! No coffee for this little spectator, which made me sad because I wanted to be on the side of the road with coffee in hand while people went running by. No such luck.

The weather ended up being alright, especially since I had been worried that it could be really hot in the middle of May...and I bet it would have been if I decided to run it! haha. It started to rain a little as the gun (actually, they used a cannon) went off, but that didn't last too long and the runners didn't seem to get all that wet. The course was two loops, which allowed me to see the three runners at mile 0 (woo!), 2, 12-ish, 17-ish, and the finish. Not too bad since I didn't walk too much around town. (It was kind of vacant and people who drove by yelled the "n word" at the police officers...not the greatest city to wander alone. Or I'm just paranoid.)

Everyone finished well. The Rocket Scientist ran 3:13, and his friends ran 3:08 (BQ) and 3:14 (BQ as well, but she had qualified last fall anyway). Yay!

What follows may seem dumb/self-centered/I'm not sure what the word is, but here we go anyway. I'm not sure what I was feeling after they ran those times. I had been so excited to run 3:33 and qualify for Boston two weeks ago, but I feel like such a slowpoke after yesterday. I will be the first to congratulate someone who BQs/breaks 4:00/sets a new PR/accomplishes whatever goal they had for themselves, but I still felt kind of...inadequate. I'm not sure how to explain it. Maybe because the RS kept telling me he was going to run 3:30 (even though he ran 3:23 last year) and that he didn't care about his time because we were going to run it together...which says to me that he'd be slowing down for me. I think he kept telling me a time that he thought I could be comfortable running. Which is fine (I guess?), but it just makes me feel bad because compared to most people, I am a good runner! And I know that. Could I run those times too? If I trained hard, I think I could. It's hard for me to listen to people who can do it easily because I know how hard people work to run that fast and how it's not easy for most people. People spend years trying to qualify for Boston (or accomplish whatever goal they have for themselves)!

Does this sound familiar to anyone, or am I just crazy? I can't tell if it's just jealously or if I'm weird. The combination of moving/having tons to do/starting my job is doing funny things to my head.

Time to go see if the state of Pennsylvania will let me become a resident.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

I live in Pennsylvania now

I made it!! What a week it has been...Here's a mini-recap for you.

Friday night I went out for pie with my friends, and we all got to compare our Honda Civics. I have two really good friends from high school, and we all drive silver Honda Civics! They're all a little different, but it's funny that we all bought the same car! My dad and I semi-loaded my little car on Friday night, and then we packed up the rest on Saturday morning. I actually did quite well emotionally...I bawled like mad on Friday night before I went to bed, and then I was good Saturday morning until about fifteen minutes before we left. My mom had to come get me to close the door to my bedroom, and then we took a walk around the block before we left. After that I was good to go! We drove to my aunt and uncle's house in western PA, and we got 39 miles per gallon! Now that's why I bought a Civic! :)

On Sunday we drove across the state of Pennsylvania...again getting 39 miles per gallon, even in the mountains! We stayed with the Rocket Scientist's parents while I looked for a place to live. I checked out three places on Sunday night after we arrived in eastern Pennsylvania. All of them would have worked out fine, but I wanted to look at a couple more places on Monday night. During the day on Monday I had to get some stuff done at the hospital (filling out paperwork, etc...which was a pain because they wanted my address on every form, but I didn't have one yet so I'm going to have to redo all of them anyway). At night we checked out a house with four girls living in it...It was cheap, but I wasn't sure I wanted to live with three other girls. I like my private time!

In the end, I went for a room in a townhouse with a girl who is my age. She owns the townhouse, and it's about 15-20 minutes from the hospital. We checked each other out on facebook, so we both knew we were fairly normal. I got to talk to her a lot last night, and she seems really easy-going (like won't freak out if I eat some food or something), and we have some similar interests (we both like Matt Wertz and she's going to train for a half marathon!!). She had just started looking for a roommate last week and I was the first person she contacted on Craigslist, so the timing worked out great! It's a nice townhouse and there's a pool in the community, so guess where I'm spending my mornings/afternoons before working this summer?!??!

Moving on. On Tuesday, I set up a local bank account and then we went on the great furniture hunt. We went to IKEA, which was pretty painless, and then we tried to find a mattress. That was such a pain! I'm not super picky, but they had me lay on like fifteen beds. I finally picked one after going to about four stores (we were trying to get a better price), but then they had to locate one at another store. We drove there to pick it up since we had the Rocket Scientist's grandfather's pick-up truck to drive the big stuff around. It was getting late, so we headed over to the townhouse so I could sign the lease, get the keys, and carry all the stuff upstairs to my room. We didn't put anything together because it was late, but it felt good to have furniture!

On Wednesday we moved all of my "stuff" into my room and my dad and I put everything together! I thought the bed would be a tight squeeze since I got a queen size, but it all fits really well! We set up my wireless internet (yay!) and I put up some pictures to make it seem more like "home". I had to take my dad to the airport, which took nearly an hour and a half (in Chicago I lived fifteen minutes from O' convenient!!). There are TONS of farms around's definitely going to be different than the suburbia I know and love. I spent last night in Princeton because I didn't want to be alone on my first night here sans my dad.

Yesterday I got fingerprinted (woo!) and then found Walmart. I got a bunch of random stuff (shampoo, extra towel, SHEETS, ANIMAL CRACKERS, TEDDY GRAHAMS, toliet paper, cleaning stuff, etc)...but my credit card was denied at the check out! Ugh. Since I've been making big purchases (car, furniture), Visa put a hold on my credit card so I couldn't use it. Luckily I still have a card tied to my parents' account (for when my mom had me run errands for her!), so I didn't look like a total idiot in the Walmart line. I then found the grocery store and got some good eats for dinner. Woo.

I woke up today and went running!! I did like three miles on Tuesday with the Rocket Scientist and his friend from high school, but today I did four miles on my own. I didn't want to go too far because I don't know my way around at all yet! I ended up missing a turn (I took directions with me!), but it ended up okay and I made it back without a problem.

Friday, May 15
4.12 miles in 33:54, avg pace of 8:14

There are HILLS here! I'm so not used to this. And it was hot. Running is definitely going to be interesting around here.

I think I'm just babbling at this point. This has been such an EMOTIONAL week. I really don't cry very often, but I've burst out into tears multiple times a day for the last two weeks. My dad and I would be sitting at Subway eating lunch and I would start crying. I almost lost it in the grocery store yesterday because I didn't know what to get, and running felt so strange today and I almost started crying then too. I'm going to cry just writing about all this! I don't deal with change too well, and this is a lot all at once. I don't know ANYONE around here, and I'm super nervous about being a nurse. I know it will all be okay, but I still have a lot of adjusting to do, which will take time.

I'm heading to Princeton tonight because we're going to Delaware tomorrow so the Rocket Scientist, his friend from school, and her boyfriend can run the Delaware Marathon on Sunday! I'm so excited that I'm not running...That would be WAY too much right now! Time to pack and head out!

I'm trying to catch up on all your blogs...I've been away for a week! Sorry if I'm not commenting much right much to do!
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Big Firsts...and a Last

I had a HUGE first today, which I'll get to later, but we'll get my little first out of the way.

Little FIRST

My first post-marathon run! I thought about running yesterday, but then I just didn't feel like I didn't! I headed out this morning for five miles. I'm not sure how post-marathon running is supposed to go, but it seemed like a good distance so I went for it. My legs actually felt pretty good...a little stiff/tight, but I didn't try to push the pace at all so it was fine. Just getting out there! It was hot and humid here this morning (almost 80?), so I was drenched when I got home. At least the water fountains were turned on...not that that will matter in two days...

Thursday, May 7
5.01 miles in 40:37, avg pace of 8:06


My LAST day at Egg Harbor!! I don't think I ever mentioned the name of it before, but I worked as a server at Egg Harbor Cafe, a breakfast and lunch place. When I graduated from college in 2007, I was looking for a job to hold me over while I figured out my life, and I always thought that it would be fun to be a server. However, many places don't really want to hire you unless you have experience (sound familiar???). I walked into Egg Harbor and they told me they didn't care if I had experience because they would train me to be how they wanted me to be. I still have no clue how I got the job because I'm a really quiet person and I'm kind of scared of talking to new people all the time...not exactly the best personality for a server! But they hired me and I LOVED it. Best job I've ever had. The money was pretty good, and it was super flexible, especially when I went back to nursing school.

I learned a lot by working as a server. All my life I've grown up around people who are destined for college, who go to grad school, etc. I was in all accelerated/advanced classes starting in the second grade, so most of my classmates were on the same path as I was, and I didn't know any different. All of my friends went to college right after high school, and many are now in med school/law school/grad school. Working with people who (gasp!!) didn't go to college, who may live paycheck to paycheck, who have kids even though they're not married, opened my eyes to real life. I tell my college-educated friends about some of the stuff that my co-workers were going through, and I'm not sure they get that for many, many people, that is the normal life, not the "my parents paid for my college, I'll get married when I'm 25 and have kids two years later" life. I feel lucky to have what I have in life, but I know that not everyone is as fortunate. Not everyone is a doctor/lawyer and that's okay. We all live our lives differently, and I like to think that no one is better than anyone else because of their job title or how much money they have, etc. My favorite quote from a customer was someone who said, "You know, you really should go to school." Oh don't you worry, I have two fantastic pieces of paper, and I'm STILL serving you pancakes! Thanks.

I worked with AMAZING people, and I was so sad to leave them today. I kept stalling, and I shed a few tears as I said goodbye. My manager got me a journal with the quote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the live you've imagined." on the front. Fitting, right?? She also got me a cute bracelet that says "courage" on it, which is DEFINITELY what I'll need in the coming weeks/months. I'm going to miss everyone (and the food!), but I'll be back to visit, and I'm hoping to keep in touch.


I BOUGHT A CAR. It hasn't even hit me yet...maybe when I notice my bank account shrink it will, but in the meantime, I own a shiny new Honda Civic EX! It's silver and has a sunroof! I was soooo nervous buying it because I've never bought anything so expensive before, but I needed a car to pack up and drive to Pennsylvania! I might take pictures in the coming week(s), but for now, it's a pretty generic car. I have to put my University of Maryland sticker on it to make it official! (Oh, and get Pennsylvania plates...but I'll do that when I get there!)

MIA in the Near Future

I'm not sure how much I'm going to be posting in the coming week. I've got lots of loose ends to wrap up tomorrow, along with finishing packing, saying bye to my friends, and hanging out with my parents for one last night. My dad and I are heading off to PA on Saturday, and we'll get to the eastern side on Sunday. I've got some places set up to look at on Sunday/Monday, and then I hope to move in right away. I'm going to be really busy, which I hope will keep my mind off of moving out and saying bye to my parents. I really can't deal with that right now.

Running-related fun will return soon, I promise! Thanks for listening to my rambling, all your support on my last post really means a lot to me.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm going to Pennsylvania!!

Okay, so this post isn't going to be nearly as exciting as my last two, but as I stated in my last post, I got a job as a nurse!! WOOHOO! After looking for a job for nearly seven months (five month post-graduation) and applying to 125 jobs, I was finally offered a job at the hospital I interviewed at back in March. Trust me...the nursing shortage isn't what people think it is, and it is REALLY hard to find a job as a new grad. However, I don't have to worry about that anymore because I don't have to fill out anymore annoying online applications. (I made a really nice resume that I'm sure no one even bothered to look at because they looked at my "fill in the blanks" resume builder on their websites.)

But let's put all that behind us!

I found out on Friday evening, but I was running my marathon on Saturday so it's not like I could make any huge plans over the weekend. I had talked with my parents about what would happen if I got the job, and we had figured that I would need to leave this coming Saturday in order to find an apartment and get moved in before I start working. Sooooo my dad and I are packing up the car with the essentials and driving to eastern Pennsylvania starting on Saturday. We'll stay overnight with some relatives in western PA on Saturday night and arrive on the east coast on Sunday. I've already got a couple places set up to look at Sunday night, so maybe I'll find a place right away??

In the meantime, I have A LOT to do. I have to try to find a place to live, pack my life, and get ready for a new job. It's all going SO FAST. I don't even know what to do, and I break down at least five times per day. I really don't cry very often, but the thought of leaving home and my parents is SO hard for me. I like being "safe" and doing things that are comfortable for me, but the real hard part is leaving my parents. I know some people have tough relationships with their parents, but mine are so awesome and I am unbelievably lucky to have them. It's great that I'm so upset about leaving them because it means it's been good. My mom couldn't wait to leave home when she was younger because she didn't really have much there. I'm leaving so much behind! I'm excited to turn the page and start a new chapter in my life, but it's definitely really scary.

I'm moving to a place where I don't really know anyone (the Rocket Scientist will be about an hour away...although his parents will be about twenty minutes away...). I'm going to be starting a job as a nurse where I feel totally unprepared. I haven't thought about "real nursing" since December when I finished school...just when I was finally putting it all together! I know it will come back to me...I'll have an eight week orientation and the hospital seems like a great place for learning. I'm going to be on a medical/surgical floor, which is just about as general as you can get. The nurses do EVERYTHING, so I'll get to see and do a lot, but it's scary because I never started an IV or drew blood in nursing school, which I'll have to do! Those are just skills and I know they'll come with time, but I'm worried about hurting patients...there's just so much to consider! Confidence will come with time...

For the rest of the week, I'm finishing up work at the restaurant and saying bye to them. I had my last serving shift today, and my last day is on Thursday when I expedite. I went to the local pie joint with one of my friends last night, and we both had to hold back the tears. We're going out to dinner again tomorrow night. My mom and I are going scrub shopping (woohoo!) tomorrow, and we'll spend the day packing and figuring out what I need to take with me. I keep putting off packing because it makes me so sad to back, so I need my mom to literally be like "Okay, let's go see what you have in your closet."

Oh, and I might have to buy a car in the next couple days. Yet to be determined.

I haven't run since the marathon, but I might try tomorrow. Or I might not. I'm freaking out in general. Sorry if I'm behind on blogs...

Also, if you live in eastern PA and want to give me a heads up on good places to run, fun things to do, etc...please let me know! I'll take what I can get...
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Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 Wisconsin Marathon Race Report

Here it is, the moment you've all been waiting race report for the 2009 Wisconsin Marathon! Woohoo!! If you want the short version, I ran 3:33:58, qualifying my 24 year old female self for Boston! Yay! If you want the long version, read on...if you dare...

Pre-Race Stuff - Friday-ish

I posted my game plan about a week ago, which I was still pretty set for on Saturday. My main and ultimate goal was to qualify for Boston, and anything beyond that would be icing on the cake. (If you know me, I LOVE icing.) I got a cold starting on Tuesday/Wednesday that I had hoped would disappear by race day, but that didn't work out either. When I ran on Friday, my nose cleared up and I actually felt pretty good, so I thought I was all set for race day. The Rocket Scientist was all set to land at 3:30, so I was going to pick him and then head up to Kenosha for the night. However, his plane was delayed (of course), so he didn't land until 5pm. This detail isn't important except for the fact that I got a phone call at 4pm from the hospital I interviewed at in March. About what, you ask? Well....

I HAVE A JOB!!!! I'm going to be a REAL nurse! WOOHOO!!!

Okay, okay, so what does that have to do with my race report? Wellllll, I may seem like I have it all together, but after about five minutes of being really excited, I started bawling my eyes out. As much as I want to move, it's going to be really hard to leave my parents and everything around me that is "safe." It just makes me nervous. So therefore, I spent the rest of the night alternating between crying and forcing myself to not think about it.

We headed up to Kenosha and went out to an Italian place for dinner, where I ordered a calzone with cheese, green peppers, and black olives. It was soooo good! Definitely recommend it for pre-race food, especially since I had pasta at lunch and didn't really feel like having any more. We then headed back to the hotel and hung out with parents before going to sleep. I didn't end up getting too much sleep because at first I couldn't fall asleep because I kept crying, so I finally had to turn the TV on and pay attention to that. Then I woke up every hour until 5 am, when the people above us woke up and I heard them getting ready. I finally got out of bed at 5:30 to start getting ready!

Race Day - Pre-Race

I had brought all the stuff I needed for race day, including my breakfast, which of course consisted of peanut butter toast and a banana. (I even brought my own toaster.) I was feeling kinda crappy in the morning, mainly as a result of the cold that wouldn't go away, crying all night, and actually being rather apathetic about the whole marathon thing. I was worried about being dehydrated because I had HUGE bags under my eyes, but I didn't want to drink tons of water causing me to have to go to the bathroom all the time. We finally packed up and drove over to the race, which took about twenty minutes. Once we got there, we walked over and I immediately got in line for the port-o-potties, with about 25 minutes to go. The line was kind of long, but it went fast, yay! From there, I retied my shoes (they have to be PERFECT) and headed over to line up. I'm used to the giant corrals like in Chicago/Marine Corps, so it was funny to just have a bunch of people standing around. I lined up around the mass of people that composed the 8:00-ish mile group and waited for the start.

Race Day - It's race time!!

My parents took lots of pictures, so this will be a much more colorful part of the report!

Hanging around, waiting for the start!

It was a little chilly to begin with, so I started in shorts, a tank top, and a long sleeve shirts (which I planned on ditching at some point). It might have been in the high 40's at this point...I'm not really sure! The race started with a "parade loop," where we ran a quick, less than five minute loop around and back past the starting line so all the spectators could see us quickly! I glanced down at my garmin to see what my pace was after about a quarter mile (I'm so dependent on my garmin...), and some guy asked what pace we were running. 7:45! A little too fast for me...but that's how you get caught up in the race! I later learned that it was thecrow from RWOL who asked...I had no clue who he was! Oops! I figured out very fast that I wouldn't need my long sleeve shirt very long, so I took it off and tossed it to the Rocket Scientist as I passed them.

After the parade loop, we did a four-ish mile loop around downtown Kenosha, which was fun because there were lots of spectators out. I had read online from people on RWOL that the course would feel fast because of how much the scenery changes, which definitely was true for me. My spectators (Mom, Dad, Rocket Scientist) were somewhere in this downtown loop, and I knew to look for them because of my sign that is unmistakeably mine, and they could spot me because of my red shorts (and the fact that there weren't 40,000 people running too!). I found them around mile four, where I remember yelled, "This is so much fun!" to them, and people around me laughed...woo! My mom snapped some pictures!

I look like I'm speedy here! My arm looks funny after I wave while running, which my mom says I do a lot...haha.

Mile splits, miles 1-4: 16:06 (I missed the first mile marker), 8:01, 8:00

I felt good at the pace I was running, even though it wasn't quite according to my plan. I was running around a lot of people (it's all relative), but it felt like a lot of people were passing me! I figured as long as my pace stayed around here, I would be speeding up! Once we got out of the downtown loop, we headed north for an out-and-back up to mile 7.75-ish before turning around. There were a couple non-descript hills here, but they were more like inclines than actual hills, so they were comfortable. You could see the lake for most of the time, which was pretty, and the weather couldn't be beat. For fuel, I had a bag of about thirty Honey Stinger Energy Chews, which I am a HUGE advocate of (seriously...Honey Stinger, if you're reading, I LOVE YOU). The water/aid stations were about two miles apart, so I figured I'd have a Honey Stinger for every mile-ish, taking in two-three at every aid station. I skipped the first one and just took water, and I tried to take a couple after that. Sometimes the aid stations were much closer than two miles apart, so I kind of randomly decided how many to take. (I know, I know, I should plan better!) I ended up taking about twenty out of the thirty I brought...oh well.

Anyway! We continued up north, and the turnaround was around mile 7.75. It was so uplifting to get to the turnaround and then see all the people behind me! I don't mean that to be mean to anyone behind me, but it was awesome to see that I was doing well! After the turnaround, I tried to look for Kim and a girl from my high school. I must be terrible at finding people because they both yelled out my name before I saw them at all! It was definitely a boost to hear people yell my name, and it was fun to see them as well! We headed back on the same route we came in, and since I love running out-and-backs, this was fine by me since I kind of knew what I had ahead of me. My glorious spectators were at mile 10-ish, where my mom got some more action shots:

Someone yelled, "Susan!" right as I got to my parents, so I turned to look to see who it was since Susan isn't really a common name...I have no clue who it was, and they probably weren't actually yelling for me!

Mile splits, miles 5-12: 7:50, 7:54, 8:01, 7:51, 7:51, 8:01, 15:54 (missed the 11 mile marker!)

After the first couple water stations, I decided I would start to walk through them while drinking water. I ran through the first few, but I kept getting water up my nose, so I figured I wouldn't lose much time to walk while drinking water. Some guy actually yelled, "That's it! Get that hydration down!" when I walked through one of them, which I thought was funny.

A little after mile twelve, the half marathoners turned around to head back to the finish, which left me with just the other marathoners. I spent a few of the first twelve miles wondering who around me would stick around for the second half, and I quickly learned that not too many were in for the full ride. That must have been why they were going so reason to hold back! (Just kidding!) At the first water station after the half marathoners left, a volunteer yelled, "540! You're the ninth female!" At which point, I believe I said out loud that that was kind of ridiculous! It was definitely empowering. I got really excited when we hit the halfway point because I was feeling great! Some spectator yelled, "You guys look like you could run all day!" I actually felt like I could at that point, but I also really didn't want to run all day...26.2 was good enough for me.

Half marathon split: 1:43:33

Once the half marathoners broke off, we headed south for until around mile 19-ish. Around mile 14, I decided that I needed to stop and use a restroom (when you gotta go, you gotta go). I had tried waiting to see if the feeling would pass, but I realized I better stop. There was an aid station at mile 15, but when I got to it, someone had just come out and another person was going in, so I didn't feel like waiting in line, so I held off until mile 17. In the meantime, I kept telling myself how much further I had to go. When I hit mile 14, I told myself that twelve miles was just an easy run. At mile 16, ten miles is NOTHING. That's 80 minutes of running! I can do that any day. (I'm really good at thinking about running in terms of minutes, based on an 8:00 pace.) It's more comforting to me than saying "10 miles." At this point, I told myself I'd have a break at mile 17, when I hit the aid station. Luckily, someone came out just as I was getting there, so the timing was perfect! I lost almost two minutes, but it was well worth it! I got back on pace afterwards and life was good. Somewhere before the turnaround, my spectators were waiting with my sign:

My mom made this sign when I ran the Chicago Marathon. We figured that not too many people would have Testudo on their sign, so it would be easy for me to spot. The Rocket Scientist and my dad were in charge of the sign this year.

Right on the lake!

Told you I waved a lot this race!

Looking strong!

I felt really good for most of the race, and it was awesome to see the volunteers and spectators out. Since I was near the top ten of the women, people got excited to see a girl run by, and they would yell things like, "Yay! A girl!" or "Looking good, young lady!" or "You go girl! Awesome!" or "It's about time I saw another girl!" Those made me feel good. I'm not sure all the guys liked to hear sped up in front of me when someone yelled about a girl being around...not sure if it was related or not! The marathon crowd really thinned out, so we were pretty much on our own, especially at my pace. I could always see runners, but I wasn't necessarily with anyone. Since I do 99% of my runs on my own, this didn't really bother me, but it was a different experience than the mega-marathons.

It's about time for more splits, miles 13-20: 7:55, 7:43, 8:02, 7:57, 9:57 (bathroom!), 7:56, 8:07, 8:21

I was doing really well up until mile 19-ish, and my pace dropped off from how consistent it had been. Like I said, I think in terms of minutes, and around mile 18.5-ish would be one hour to go if I kept pace. One hour! That's it! No problem. I knew the fun would begin after mile 20, so I kept trying to stay positive. Once I hit mile 20, I kept calculating in my head what average pace I needed to keep to qualify for Boston. I was still running, no walking except through water stations, so I was confident in myself, but I liked to have that in the back of my head. I think I saw my spectators just before mile 20, where I don't look near as enthused as I did before:

The approach!

And the "I'm getting tired so I'm going to half-heartedly wave but not actually look at the camera."

The marathon crowd reallllllllly thinned out after mile 20. I saw a guy on the side of the road who was obviously cramping up, and a fair amount of people were walking as I passed them. There was one guy who stopped to take pictures with the disposable camera he was carrying, but most people were getting tired or hitting the wall. I could tell that my legs were getting heavy because my effort felt the same, but I was going slower. However, I am very happy to report that I never hit the wall. Around mile 22, I kept thinking about going to a run/walk cycle, but I kept telling myself to just make it to the next water station where I could walk for ten seconds to get water, then get going again. This definitely worked because I kept pushing through, and despite my slowing pace, I was still able to hold strong. I didn't end up walking at all except for the water stations, which is a first for me. At mile 24, I KNEW I had it, and I was just ready to be at the finish! My spectators had some time to kill waiting for me to show up, so my mom took some pictures of the scenery:

Kenosha banner!

Boats waiting for summer!

Who loves mile splits? Me! Miles 21-25: 8:13, 8:08, 8:38, 7:55 (short), 8:51

Mile 26 of this marathon was AMAZING. It was just a matter of getting to the finish line, unlike my other marathons where I had to convince myself to keep running (never happened). I never believe people early in the race when they say, "You're almost there!" but after 25 miles, you ARE almost there! So good! I was so excited because I knew the BQ was going to happen! I saw my dad and the Rocket Scientist as I came around the corner, and my mom was all set up for the photo finish:

I'm going to BOSTON!!!

3:33:58!! According to my watch! My mom snapped the picture, and then Kim was also waiting for me. I think she yelled something like, "Go Susan! You did it!" It was so awesome of her to be there at the finish, waiting around after her awesome half marathon! Thecrow from RWOL was also there, but I was a bit dazed so I was really confused when he said hi! I got my cheese medal, space blanket, some water, and a banana, then I walked around trying to save my legs. My legs felt really stiff after I finished, but they never felt bad during the race.

Walk it out...

I love space blankets!

After walking around a little, I was brave enough to sit on a bench, and then we got some brats to eat! This is Wisconsin, after all. It was good to eat, unlike the vomit fest that was the Marine Corps Marathon...I didn't try to stomach any beer, but plenty of people did! Post-race hang out pictures...I apologize in advance for how I look...I just ran a marathon!

With my dad and the Rocket Scientist...and the sign, of course!

I promise we're more photogenic than this...haha.

We hung around for a little bit and ate our brats, then we headed home. Luckily the boy is good enough with direction that I got to semi-nap on the way home, and then we had a relaxing day of watching the Cubs, the Phillies, and the Bulls. I think my family was more tired than me! I kept checking online for the official results, but it took a little while to show up. They were a little off to begin with, but I just now checked and they're fixed, so my official results are:

Finishing time: 3:33:56
Overall Place: 69/520-ish
Females: 11th
Age Group: 4th

Not too shabby! Did I meet my goal of qualifying for Boston? Yes! Did I run 3:30 or faster like I hoped/thought would happen? Nope! Am I okay with that? Totally! There will be other marathons, and I'm just happy that I BQ'd and that I ran the whole thing! (Minus the water stops.) I felt very strong and in control throughout the race, and I think that I trained really well and it paid off. This was the inaugural Wisconsin Marathon, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looker for a smaller marathon, as the course was 99% flat, the volunteers were awesome, and the weather couldn't be beat!

I want to thank everyone who has followed my training since my entrance into the blog world. It is so awesome to know that people are supporting and pulling for me, even though I don't really even know you! I definitely thought about you guys during the marathon, thinking about what I would have to tell you when I wrote my report. When I was thinking about walking, it was motivating to me to think about how I could report that I stayed strong and pushed through even when it got a little tough. I'm looking forward to meet so many of you in Boston next year!!
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Saturday, May 2, 2009


I just got back from the Wisconsin Marathon, and I'm SO HAPPY to report an unofficial finishing time of...



And I got to see (okay, she saw me) Kim during the first half of the race...and she yelled for me at the finish! So awesome!

Race report to follow in the next couple days, along with other VERY exciting news!! Good luck to everyone racing tomorrow, and thanks to everyone for your support along the way!

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Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Go Time

Still feeling a bit blah-ish. I didn't feel good at all when I woke up this morning, but after some water and breakfast I felt a little better. Kind of foggy in the head, along with some major nasal drainage. (My tissue box is attached to my hip.) I decided to do a short test run to see if running would be miserable, and it turned out alright.

Friday, May 1
2.08 miles in 16:55, avg pace of 8:08

My nose actually cleared up after about half a mile, so that was a good sign. I didn't feel awesome by any means, but I didn't feel like death either. My only symptoms really are the foggy head and extreme amount of snot (yum!), but I feel okay otherwise. Not that that is an awesome way to run 26.2 miles, but I guess we'll deal with it now. I'm continuing to rest up and drink tons and tons of water, hoping that this magically disappears overnight.

Other than this minor setback, I've got all my stuff ready to go. My toaster is packed...I'm not taking any chances! The weather looks like it will hold up, with a start in the low 40's and working it's way up to the low 50's. I've got shorts and a tank top ready to go, but I'll probably start with a long sleeve shirt (or tube socks??) until I warm up. I should have more of a game plan for this, but I don't really since most of my training has been in colder weather.

The Rocket Scientist is flying in this afternoon (his flight is, so we'll pick him up on the way to Kenosha tonight. We'll be back tomorrow afternoon, when I will hopefully have good news to share!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! It's a huge weekend for marathons. New Jersey Marathon, Eugene Marathon, North Carolina Marathon...not to mention all the other marathons/races where I don't even know anyone running! Good luck to all of you, and I can't wait to hear all about them! Run strong...I'll be thinking about you!
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