Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 15

Monday I went to a new massage therapist and it was like night and day from last week's experience, thank god. He said that he didn't ever want me to be in pain that I couldn't tolerate for 10 seconds. There were a few times that I was uncomfortable for a 10 count but nothing like the week before when I wished we had established a safe word. 

He actually thinks my issues are stemming from my feet and worked my arch as well as a muscle that runs from the bottom of your foot to the inside of your calf and attaches at the inside of your knee, then starts up again and wraps around to the hip. My right leg was also considerably shorter than the left leg, so when he was done working things, that was back to normal. Apparently my right leg is my strong leg.

I left the massage feeling loose and optimistic about Bemidji.

Tuesday I had a book club with some friends and mexican and margaritas is not good pre-run fuel so I had another rest day.

Wednesday I set out for an easy 3 miles. I had some tightness in my left calf, but no pain. I'll likely just be doing easy 3-6 mile runs during the week and my taper-length long runs on the weekend up until race day.

I had planned to do my long run on Friday (I worked Saturday at the library this week), but I was really nervous that it was going to hurt. So I just enjoyed a lazy day with the pug. I wrote a ton of blog posts, read a book, and did some core work. So it was equal parts lazy and productive I guess.

Saturday I worked and then went out to one of Kyle's fishing buddy's housewarming party. While at the party I started having some stabbing lower back pain on my right side. My heart rate was crazy high and I started to feel nauseous. Neat. We ended up leaving around 10pm.

When I woke up on Sunday I was still feeling short of breath, and I thought it had to do with my allergies. They've been a pain the behind for the last few weeks. I did my usual hip/glute exercises and while I was waiting for my garmin to find a signal, I realized I was panting like a pug. That's when I realized I probably had a rib out that was effecting my breathing.

Luckily for me I had 12 pain free miles. They weren't anything speedy, but it was nice to run instead of hobbling like last weekend. My breathing was really off, and my heart rate was really high, but I'm hoping things will sort themselves during my massage tomorrow.

Most importantly: Bemidji is a go!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lessons Learned from Marathon Training Cycle Seven

I've had quite a bit of time to reflect on my training cycle since I'm not spending a lot of time running. Harumph. I wanted to put my reflections in writing for my future marathon training planning.

  • Marathon training cycle length:
I've had failures with the Pfitz 18/55 plan, but I thought it had to do more with the number of tough workouts during a week and not enough time to recover in between them. I decided to keep the length and do a plan from runners world with a speed workout/week and a long run/week. Attention: 17-18 weeks is way.too.long. to train for a marathon. In the future I'll stick to 10-14 and plan to be in solid shape before starting. I think I was in great half marathon shape starting the training cycle, and I feel like I was at my peak at the beginning of August. Oops.

I also struggled with motivation in mid to late August, and I think that's why my body broke down.
  • Injury prevention instead of maintenance:
I totally remember this every time an injury comes around and then when running is all fine and dandy I forget. I need to make regular massage appointments, and I need to be better about cross training with cycling and yoga.

  • Less frequent racing:
Because my training cycle was so long, I threw in quite a few races throughout to keep myself motivated. I think 10k should be my max distance. I raced my half PR during a marathon cycle so I keep thinking I need to do it again, but I need to remember that I sacrificed my first legit shot at sub-4 for that half PR. Tune up races--good. Goal races within a goal race training cycle--not so good.

Friday, September 26, 2014

15 Day Forecast

Today marks 15 days out from the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon and that means one thing: 15 day forecast!!

But I have to admit, I've been cheating, thanks to Danielle, who's been sending me weather updates for the last couple of weeks. #obsessed

Looks like race day perfection to me. Let's hope my body gets the memo!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 14

I already briefly mentioned in a previous post how week 14 of training went, but for the purposes of looking back on this for future planning/training ponderings, I'd like to do my regular weekly post. Apologies if I'm a bore.

Monday I received the massage from hell.

And I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday recovering from it. I was honestly more sore after the massage than I am after marathons. Brutal.

I would've liked to extend my long run to the weekend, but I worked Saturday and I had a friend's bachelorette party Saturday night, so I knew I'd be in no condition to run long on Sunday. Had I known that the evening wasn't going to be quite so crazy, and that the temps were 30 degrees cooler on Sunday, I surely would've waited.

As it was, I set out for my long run Friday morning around 8. I felt great until around mile 9 when my hip started to tighten. And then things quickly went downhill after mile 12. I finally threw in the towel at 16.25 and walked the last 1.75 home. Womp.

I then preceded to lay on this foam roller for the next hour or so until my stomach NEEDED Qdoba.

I spent the rest of Friday and Saturday freaking out about the race and if I'd be able to do it or not.

Sunday I searched all the yoga studios in town for a restorative or gentle flow class, and I found one at a new studio about a mile from my place. And your first class is free. See you there! It was magical. The room was still really warm from the previous class and I was there super early to fill out paperwork, so I spent a good 15 minutes stretching on my own before class started. We held various poses for 5-7 minutes at a time, and there were moments I felt like I was actually melting in to my yoga mat. Ahhhhhh so amazing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Weekly Reads: Rooms

I requested an e-ARC of Rooms without even reading what the book was about. I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, and Before I Fall, so I  just assumed I'd be in to this book as well. Imagine my surprise to learn it was an adult book about ghosts instead of a teen dystopian novel. It took me a little bit to get in to the book because there were so many characters to keep straight, both living and dead. Once I got sucked in to the book, I didn't want to put it down. The story was so well told and the stories of each of the characters were interwoven in excellent ways. And there were several shocking plot twists to keep your jaw on the floor.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways 

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. 

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. 

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

The month of September has not been ideal for me, running wise. I started off the month running an 11 mile mid-week mid-LR and felt like I was flyyyyyying. By the time I showered from the run and headed off to work, my back was killing me. I took the rest of the week off in hopes that I could just complete my 10th consecutive Sioux Falls half marathon. I maxed out in icy hot back patches and daily ibuprofen dosage.

I made it through the race and felt great! I was my normal amount of sore after the race, got a massage immediately after the race, and spent some significant time foam rolling so I could jump back into peak marathon training. My IT bands gave me trouble longer than I had hoped, and I had a random ouchy in my left ankle. So I gave myself an extra day of rest.

And then I set out for my 2nd to last major long run two Sundays ago, and I didn't make it a full minute of running. Knee pain. NBD. I assumed I had some residual tightness in my IT bands pulling my knee out of whack. I'd get a massage Monday and be back on track.

Well last Monday I had a massage, and you know how that went. And I was out of commission the whole week. I attempted my long run Friday. I set out hoping to get in 3 hours/18 miles/20 miles depending on how the legs felt and what my pace was. Once upon a time I heard that runs over 3 hours do more harm then good for slower runners/injury prone folk, so being on the cusp of the 'I' word, I didn't want to overdo it.

My quads felt trashed from the get go. Which is bizarre because they were one of the areas not really worked during the massage. They felt like that tightness you get after attacking downhills (improperly in my case) or that tightness that sets in around mile 20 of the marathon. Not mile zero. Ugh. My pace was slow, but I didn't have any pain, so I was thankful.

I hit 9 miles right around 1:39 and decided 18 would be my mileage for the day. But then my hips started getting increasingly tighter. I stopped to stretch them pretty frequently. My left one was being a huge bear. And then my knee started feeling wonky. And then my stomach started getting pissy (I think I was drinking too much water when I was stopping to stretch). I told myself to just walk/run to get it done. Finally at 16.25 miles and just over 3 hours, I realized I was doing my harm then good because my form was so off. So I walked it in.

Two miles.

Ugh. New walk of shame.

I had a LONG time to think about what I'm going to do for Bemidji, and it's safe to say I had every thought from "this is NBD, I'll still destroy 26.2 miles!" to "I should just eat the $70 entry fee and focus on healing up and being ready for Houston in January."

I emailed the race director on Saturday to check the race transfer policy. I can transfer up until the 30th, but the half is full, so I'd have to do the 26k or the 10k. So I'm glad I have some time to figure it out.

I have another massage (insert the emoji with the teeth in a grimace here) scheduled for Monday morning, and I'm hoping he'll be able to give me some stretching suggestions and be able to tell what's realistic for Bemidji. I know a PR race is out of the question, but I would like to still go and complete the marathon, but only if I can do it mostly painfree. A marathon is painful enough without your joints giving you problems!

So TBD on the race I've spent 14 weeks training for. Ugh. Feel free to send me all your healthy vibes and any stretching/rehab exercises you've done for weak hips/tight hip flexors/tight adductors (my current personal diagnosis...we'll see if I'm right I guess!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Massage = Torture

Monday morning I woke up with one thing on my mind: massage.

I scoured the web for every massage therapist that specialized in sports massage, and as soon as the clock struck 8am, I started calling everyone to try to get in ASAP. Of course everywhere was booked out except for the most expensive option in town. Uff. But I've already invested time, money, and so much energy into my upcoming 26.2 that getting healthy takes precedence over having $$$.

I went in and let her know about my knee pain, I shared my usual tight spots: IT bands, piriformis, and QLs. I guessed that something in my back/butt/hips was the culprit with the recent lower back pain, and something in that same boat was likely pulling my knee out of whack as well. She told me she'd concentrate on those and then reminded me that this would be very uncomfortable.

Well, so is running 26.2 miles with knee and/or hip pain. Trust me.




I got destroyed.

She started with my back/QLs which were tight, but not nearly as painful as the last time they were worked. She then moved to my glutes. It was during this part of the massage that she told me to tap into my yoga practice and implement some deep meditative breaths to get through the pain. I was *that* knotted up. I was practically in tears and hoping that 60 minutes had already past.

She then went to my calves. Which never give me problems. And of course she found a huge knot in the top of my calve, likely pulling my knee off. More excruciating pain. Yay.

Next up was my hamstrings. Also, NBD, right? Wrong. Remember after my 3k XC race I had some hamstring tightness? Well I had forgotten. I was smart and rested extra and foam rolled it out until I couldn't feel it anywhere. Well apparently it was still there. Can you request an epidural during a massage? Because I'd pay extra for it at this moment. I had a giant knot in my right one, and my left was ok.

She did some hip opening leg swings before moving on to more torture.

She flipped me over on to my back and did some work on my shoulders/neck and finally told me that she's never seen someone so asymmetrical as me. One shoulder was way higher, my hips were off, and what would be super tight on the left would be not so bad on the right, and vice versa with all the muscles she worked.

Apparently she saved the worst for last because I told her I needed a second while she was working on my IT bands and she was shocked because she was only doing the "muscle warm up" portion before she actually worked them. Oh Em Gee.

She also wanted to work my adductors since those are usually tight with hip tightness, and again I couldn't hack the pain. I apologized for being a wuss with an apparently low pain tolerance, and she said that most people would've been crying with what she put me through. It made me feel better for having my eyes full of tears for 80% of it.

The Aftermath

I drank and drank and drank and drank for about 48 hours after the massage to help my body heal. And really I've tried to keep up that excessive drinking beyond that 48 hours because I could really stand to drink more water daily anyway. I felt incredibly nauseous most of Monday after the massage. At work. It was a treat. Tuesday I had worst DOMS than I've ever had from a race, marathon included. My whole body just felt wrecked.

Wednesday I still had quite a bit of soreness, but it's definitely subsiding. I had toyed with going for a run Wednesday after work, but instead decided to do some stretching and yoga to further help my muscles along.

My current plan:  an easy 2-3 miles Thursday morning with hopefully no knee pain. Friday, I'm going to try my hardest to knock out my last major long run before taper. I hope to run somewhere between 3 hours and 20 miles, legs dependent.

I also plan to get in weekly for more massage/torture up to race week. Based on the pain I wasn't even able to bear, there's still quite a bit of work to be done, apparently.

So please cross your fingers my body behaves and I can make it to the start line in Bemidji ready to tackle 26.2 miles. I'm not looking for another marathon hobblefest. I've had enough of those to last a lifetime!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekly Reads: Anatomy of a Misfit

I'd heard a bit of buzz about Andrea Portes' Anatomy of a Misfit. It's her third novel, and her first go at YA. It's also based on a true life experiences. The quip I read about the book was that it's Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Well ok, I'm interested.

The story was amazing. There were many laugh out loud moments. I received an advanced reader copy of the book to review and promote to library customers, and midway through reading it, I texted my co-worker and reading bestie that she "OMG HAD TO REQUEST AND READ THIS BOOK ASAP!" because it was so great.

And then the book took a dark twist. And it was even better. Seriously. This is one of the best YA books I've read so far this year. I wish I could go back 15 years and hand this to high school Jerbear and let it help her understand that it doesn't matter what people think of you. Great message, even better delivery.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite. Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 13

I spent the beginning of the week foam rolling my face off.

By Thursday I finally had all the ouchies out of my IT band. And by Saturday I decided to push my long run to Sunday.

Sunday I made it .1 of my 18 miles before calling it quits and walking back home. But not before stopping to stretch three times to see if that'd help. Nope. It's a different knee pain than what I've experienced in the past, and I attributed it to residual IT band soreness that I wasn't getting completely.

So instead of a 3 hour long run, I went for a 3 hour long ride. Not nearly as beneficial as the run, but it was still a great day to be out enjoying the outdoors.

Longest solo ride. Second longest ride ever. While maintaining my fastest long-long ride pace. Wahoo!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Book Excitement

There are a ton of stellar books that are coming out this fall. I usually wait and review them right after they've been published, but I thought I'd give those of you that use the library a jumpstart on putting them on hold. You're welcome. :) If you're not a library person (I won't judge, but seriously... get yourself a library card! It's National Library Card Sign Up month after all!), and prefer to buy books, if you use the links in this post I'll get a few pennies to use toward future races.

Or pug rescuing.


Afterworlds is the newest book by author Scott Westerfeld of popular Uglies series fame. I have an e-arc of this one, but at 610 pages, I don't know that I'm going to get through in the next week I have it available to me. However, the buzz around it is huge. It's actually a book within a book (thus the 600+ page count I guess). Even if I don't get to this before it's published, I'll definitely pick it up from my library.

Summary from goodreads:

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

If you need a book to fill the Pretty Little Liars tv hiatus sized hole in your heart, you might want to check out the newest by PLL author, Sara Shepard, The Perfectionists. As of right now, this isn't showing as the first in a series, which might mean that we just feel satisfied when we reach the final pages, unlike the PLL series, amiright??

Summary from goodreads:

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them. 

I'm so excited to get into The Young Elites. Marie Lu's Legend series was huge, and I'm sure this one will be just as awesome. I hope at least.

Summary from goodreads:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

The Ship of Brides is by my beloved Jojo Moyes. This isn't actually a new book, it was released in 2005, but from my understanding it is being re-released because of her recent success. If it's anything like her other books, it'll be a must read.

Summary from goodreads:

The year is 1946, and all over the world, young women are crossing the seas in the thousands en route to the men they married in wartime - and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England, aboard the HMS Victoria, which also carries not just arms and aircraft but 1,000 naval officers and men. Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.


Summary from goodreads:

David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together--and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.

Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.

The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.

Narrated from Douglas's endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who's always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls's gifted hands, Douglas's odyssey brings Europe--from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafes of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona--to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?


Summary from goodreads:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Let's Get Lost 

Summary from goodreads:

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. 

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

  Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" is sure to be LOL funny.

Summary from goodreads:

"There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told," writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to "an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw." Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

Yes Please ...speaking of LOL funny.

Summary from goodreads:

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography Ok this fall will officially have all the books with all of the funny and lolz.

Summary from goodreads:

Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Training Recap Week 12

Monday I took a rest and recovery day from a weekend of awesomeness. Sleeping in. Napping. Hydrating like a champ. Pug snuggles. You know, typical.

Tuesday I worked late, so I dug out a new pair of running shoes to hit the road for 11 miles. I wanted to run SO BAD when I was in KC, we passed so many cool running paths, so I was excited to get in a monster mileage week. Only 3 left until taper!

The run felt awesome, but my lower back was really tight toward the end. I was focusing on good running form, so I'm not sure if that was adding additional stress to my back or what. The last two miles  is on sidewalks instead of the trail, so I get stopped at traffic and I had to stretch my back each time.

Tuesday at work, I was in so much pain, I was actually crying out when I'd have to sit down or stand back up. I swear I've had every running injury in the history of the world except for back. WTF.

My back continued to hurt the rest of the week. I ibuprofened, and developed a new love affair with Icy Hot patches. OMG, life savers. The pain went away after Wednesday but I still had a lot of tightness and soreness all the way through Saturday when I went to pick up my race packet.

Since Sunday's half was my 10th consecutive at this race, I did NOT want to have to DNF it, but I was seriously concerned that was my fate. I talked to my co-worker and she said if I had to walk it, she'd walk the rest of the way with me. That's a friend. Hah.

I laid around all Saturday with an Icy Hot patch (FYI the knock off brand is not as effective, nor is it as sticky, spend the extra $ for the better quality, lesson learned) on my back, hydrated, and freaked out via text to any friend that'd listen. Thanks friends.

Sunday I woke up with a teeny bit of soreness, but nothing like I'd had all week. YAY! I still didn't know if running caused it, or if running just made it worse, but I was hopeful about the half!

My garmin died at 3.3 miles, and I still managed to stick close to my race plan of 6ish miles of long run pace, followed by 7 miles of picking it up. I didn't pick it up as much as I thought I did, but I was still really happy with my effort level.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Race Report: Sioux Falls Half Marathon

After being concerned about serious back pain all week long, I was ecstatic to wake up Sunday morning painfree. My excitement for the day wained when I went to put on my Garmin and learned that my battery had drained it instead of charging it. Deep breaths, be thankful you're not racing, be thankful this isn't the marathon. I put it back on the charger and it started doing the reverse charging thing that the Garmin 610 is known to do, so when we finally HAD to leave I wasn't sure what percentage of charge I actually had.

We got to the race start in time to see some marathoning friends depart! Go Emil! Go Ed! And for the first time in the history of all running time, my stomach wasn't angry. Yay! I ran in to my friend Julia, and we set out to do a warm up lap. Within a 100 meters, I had a completely new pain stabbing in to my knee. GAH! I stopped to stretch and it came back. Cue internal freak out. I stopped to do my hip and glute stretches, hoping that my knee would just pop. Soon it was time to start!

We were off, and the random knee pain was gone, thankfully. I started off a little faster than my planned long run pace, but it felt nice and easy. I also knew there were some decent hills coming up that would surely slow that pace down. My watch started to tell me the battery was low at mile 2. Womp. And then my mom surprised me by being around mile 3! She has very specific spectating spots so I wasn't even looking for her. I was enjoying the day so much that I didn't bother listening to my music.

I took my first GU at mile 3.5.

1.  10:06
2.  10:13
3.  10:27 (first hill)
.66  10:26 pace

I looked down at my watch during the downhill portion of Phillips Ave. when I realized it was dead. Oh well. I guess Jenn will get her wish for me to run a race without a watch. ;) I looked for Kyle on the downtown stretch and didn't see him. And I ran into my new running friend from Fargo, Janna! We really need to be running besties as frequently as we run the same pace in races. 

Then it was down to the falls. Usually my mom is at the falls, but I didn't see her at all. Instead I took in the view of the Falls. So pretty. Coming out of the falls is a decent hill. I was mentally preparing myself for mile six to come and to start picking up the pace. I was also checking in with my legs to see how they feel. I re-read my last 4-5 race reports Saturday night and every one of them I talked about my quads being destroyed at mile 6 and not being able to pick up the pace at all.

Shortly after I finally saw Kyle.

He likes to get his finger in the shot, I guess. :)

After this we headed back toward the bike trails. I took another GU around mile six and also realized that I'd forgotten to take a salt pill, so I downed that too. I knew there'd be clock around the halfway/10k point, so I was hoping to get an idea of what my time/pace was. Well, there was a mat, but no clock. And the spectators were saying "halfway done!"

Except not much further away was mile 7, soooooooo ??

According to the results I hit 6.9 miles in 1:11:57 for a pace of 10:25.

I asked a couple at mile 7 what time their watch said hoping I could estimate a pace and finishing time, and they told me they were on pace for a 2:20 half. Which... didn't help at all. Hah. Still nice of them to tell me! I was enjoying picking up the pace and gaining energy on passing people. That probably sounds rude, but it does re-energize you (just as it de-energizes you when you're on the opposite side of it, trust, I've been there plenty).

I heard a couple of gals saying they were on 9:30 pace, so YAY! I was doing even better than I expected. Shortly after mile 8 we had a MONSTER downhill that I tippy toed down so my legs didn't die. I knew I'd be seeing Kyle, Emily, AND my mom. Yayzies.

I saw Kyle at Lincoln High School, and was bummed that I didn't see Emily anywhere. Waaaah.

A few minutes later I saw my mom screaming in her usual spot. YAY! I was actually somewhat concerned when she wasn't at the Falls. I'd hoped there was just traffic issues, and not anything serious. Worrywart: party of 1.

And then, out of nowhere, I saw Emily waiting to cheer for me! YAY! I took my last GU shortly after I saw her at mile 10, and finally cranked the tunes up.

I picked up the pace in mile 10, but it might have been too much. I had to pull back a little bit during mile 11, and then kicked it back in with 1.5 miles to go. I would've guessed I was close to my 8:30 goal pace during this part. But I would've been wrong. Hah.

I saw a guy at mile 12 a ways ahead of me, and set my sights on catching him. The chase is on! Spoiler alert: I didn't catch him. When I finally got close enough to the finish line to see the clock I was shocked to see it at 2:10! I would've guessed I was in the 2:05-2:06 range. Drat!

I finished and immediately saw my mama, and then Emily.

And then I learned that I can't follow directions when it took me years to find Megan. She finished her 2nd post baby 5k and killed it. Obvs.

And then everyone left me and I jumped into the line for a massage. I looooove that this race gives free post-race massages. Wahoo!!

I stuck around after the massage to watch some marathoners finish, until I realized that it was making me cry which is embarassing, and that it was FREAKING.ME.OUT. Seeing marathoners pain faces reminds me of how painful running 26.2 miles is! EEPS!