In Her Shoes

Tackling my bucket list, one half marathon at a time.


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Negative One Year

Look at me…posting again already! Maybe my blog itch has returned? I couldn’t help but blog because I have so many important things to share.

First of all, I bought a bike! I am so stoked. I took it out for my first ride last night and I’m in love. I am most excited to do something active other than running and this is a hobby that Bennet and I can do together (he runs too fast for me). I got the bike at the Trek store and let me just say, the guys there are saints. They know everything there is to know about bikes, which is exactly what I needed as I know nothing.

My Trek beauty

Second important thing: I’m running my 2nd half of 2014 tomorrow and I’m not a bit mentally prepared. It haven’t even thought about the fact that I’m running a race tomorrow but maybe that’s a good thing. I’m running the Madison Mini, which is ranked the #14 best half marathon by Runner’s World. In terms of time, I have zero expectations for this race. I have quite a few friends running it so I just want to go out and have a good time.

Now for the most important thing: Today is Bennet and I’s Negative One Year Anniversary! What is that, you ask? We have just one year until our wedding day! I say “just” loosely. 365 days is 365 too many because I am so incredibly excited to marry this guy.

I won’t be gushy, but I have one thing to share. Yesterday I saw this link on my Facebook feed: 21 Uncommon Romantic Gestures That Would Make Any Girl Melt.

As I started to read the article I thought, “I’m totally going to send this to Bennet as a hint.” But as I continued on I thought, “Well, at least he does that one…oh, he does that one too….Yep, there’s another.”

I finished the list and I realized how lucky I am. He’s actually amazing. Sometimes I forget all the little (and not so little) things Bennet does for me. Lately I have been stressed with wedding planning and let’s just say I can give him some ‘tude. I need to remember that the planning should be fun and in the grand scheme of things they won’t even matter. Because at the end of the day, I get to marry my best friend in the world and most definitely my better half.

365 days to go

Of course, as I’m typing this blog post, flowers are delivered to my office.


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Must.Blog.

I’m a disgrace. I haven’t blogged since May. But in my defense, my last post was the greatest post ever and I wanted that to be the most recent post forever and ever. If you didn’t read it, go back and please do so.

I will not bore you with excuses of why I haven’t written. I’ll just leave it at this:

Lake living

 

Besides lake living, I’ve been (attempting to) plan a wedding! I know we still have a year until the Big Day, but I get anxious when I think of all there is to be done. Because I like lists and they make me feel more accomplished, here we go:

Finished

  • Date (8/15/15)
  • Venue (Pleasant View Golf Course)
  • Photographer
  • Day-of Planner
  • Wedding dress!
  • Wedding party
  • Honeymoon (St. Lucia!!!!)

Big To-Dos

  • Videographer
  • DJ
  • Hotels for guests
  • Shuttles
  • Food!

Let me just say, if you live in the Madison area, I really, really welcome your suggestions for anything on the to-dos list. Especially a videographer.

I won’t bore you with wedding details so I’ll move onto another thing keeping me occupied: running.

I have my 2nd half of 2014 next weekend: the Madison Mini. I feel like a wimp compared to last year (6 half marathons, 1 full marathon). I hate that my priorities have changed, but I just didn’t find the time to travel for halves this year. I’d like to say maybe 2015?? However, 2015 will be the Year of Weddings amongst my friends and I. Oh well, I’m still getting the miles in, just not in official races.

*Break from writing*

I just started thinking, “I am rambling on about things people probably don’t care about. What did I used to post about?”

Well, running. So I went back and looked at my post about my marathon last November. After reading it, I have a minor inkling to sign up for the Madison Marathon in November. I said minor, people. Minor. We’ll see how I feel after the half next Saturday. And if I’m really crazy enough to sign up.

What a random blog post. See you again in another 3 months.

 


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2013 In a Nutshell

If I were to sum up 2013 with 3 descriptions, it would be the year of Mila (my niece), weddings and running. In honor of the last day in 2013, let’s recap.

Mila Moo

My beautiful niece was born on June 13th, 2013. Moo, as I call her, is the cutest little peanut on the planet. And I’m not being biased. To spare you, I’ll only post two recent photos. Our entire family is obsessed with her. She’s the constant center of attention, which she should be. It has been so fun to watch her grow over the last 6 months. I cannot wait until she’s old enough to run around and chat with.Stocking stuffer Mila Moo's first Christmas

 Weddings Galore

Earlier this year, it seemed as if I had a wedding every weekend. And I know this is only going to continue for a few more years. But I’m so grateful to be able to witness some of my favorite people get married.

Wedding Party

My best friend Gretchen’s wedding party, May 2013

Running

In the past 12 months, I’ve run 6 half marathons and one full marathon:

  • Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: January 20th
  • Iowa City Half Marathon: May 5th
  • Madison Half Marathon: May 26th
  • Rock ‘n’ Sole Half Marathon (Milwaukee): June 15th
  • Brewers Half Marathon: September 28th
  • Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: October 20th
  • Madison Marathon: November 10th

I’d say that’s a pretty good year of running! But still not enough. I didn’t hit 1,000 miles in 2013 like I wanted. But maybe that’s what 2014 is for?

So which race was my favorite? Hands down, no doubt about it…Iowa City. Why? 2 reasons. I finally broke two hours and because I did this race with a few of my best friends…none of which had ever run a half marathon. I was so proud of these girls, not only for running the half, but enduring the training and my annoying encouragement. Now, let’s see if I can get them to do another in 2014?!

start of race

Half marathon finishers

This year was dominated by running and I loved it. Yes, there were times I hated it, but I didn’t get burned out. Even after marathon training for half of 2013, I still love going out for a quick run after work. However, I will admit…it’s nice not to have a strict schedule to follow.

I have yet to sign up for a race in 2014, but I plan on kicking out another handful of halves. I’d really like to cross Minnesota and Illinois off my “Half in Every State” bucket list item. And let’s be honest…I’ll do another marathon, even though I always say, “I’m never doing this crap again.”

So there is 2013 in a nutshell. The years come and go too quickly. Thank you to all my followers for reading over the past year. See you on the flip side.


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Love Wins in this Love/Hate Relationship

This past weekend was the Madison Half Marathon. It was full of gloriousness and lots of…not gloriousness.

The running fun started on Friday at the race expo, where Krista (and the Rock ‘n’ Sole people) convinced me to sign up for yet ANOTHER half in 3 weeks in Milwaukee. I mean…why not, right?Rock 'n' Sole lured us in

The fun continued Saturday night when a chunk of our Saturday morning running group got together for a pre-race meal at Mel and Tim’s house. We ate delicious food, listened to funny stories from Mel’s English “mum”, Irene, and talked about our goals for the following morning.

Left to right: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Pre-race group shot: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Mel, Tim, Krista and I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to meet near the start line. The four of us started together, but Krista and Tim quickly pulled away. Mel is my running twin. We always (freakishly) have similar races and we mesh so well on our training runs. We’ve both been dying to run sub-2 hour halves for as long as we can remember. I finally did it a few weeks ago in Iowa City and this was Mel’s race to do it. We stayed together for the first 6.5 miles until I started dragging. I just wasn’t feeling it so I told her to go ahead without me. I’m so glad she did…she ran a 1:58:07!! I’m still so happy for her.

As for me, it wasn’t my best race…it wasn’t my worst. I finished at 2:05:03. As awesome as it was to run another race in my hometown, it wasn’t awesome that we had to run the largest hills in Madison. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure I had a strand of strep throat, but there was no way I was throwing my medal and $75 registration fee in the trash. I was running that race no matter what. I was hoping to break 2 hours again, which is where my frustration comes from.

When I take a step back and think about this race, I am so torn. I absolutely hate running. It’s stupid. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. I hate paying for races (they can get so freaking expensive). I hate stressing out over the weather the days leading up to the race.  I hate waking up at the crack of dawn to go for a run. And I absolutely hate the feeling at miles 11 and 12 where I just want to break down, give up and walk the rest of the way.

But then again…running is the best. I love the feeling of standing in the race corral, listening to the countdown. I love the extra boost of energy you get when you see friends along the course cheering you on.

**Pause for a hot minute: I had the best cheering section ever for the Madison Half: Lauren, Jeremy, Emily & Bennet. I saw them 4 times on the course and each time they were screaming bloody murder at me. I’m a lucky girl.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Resume…

I love when you’re struggling and a stranger pats you on the back as they pass you. Or vice versa. No words need to be exchanged…you know what that pat meant. I love crossing the finish line–regardless of time. And I love the medals. But the best part? Running friends. There is nothing better than waking up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning for a training run…and realizing you don’t have to do it alone. And then you spend the next 2 hours chatting the miles away to the point that you don’t even realize you’ve cruised through 10 miles.

I have been fortunate to meet the best people in the Madison running community. These strangers became running mates who have become friends. The pros of this sport definitely outweigh the cons.

Post race group shot


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Nothing But Goodness Comes Out of Iowa

I’m going to tell you a little story. Last weekend I went to Iowa City to hang out with friends. The weather wasn’t great, but we Hawkeyes make the most with what we’re given. We don’t let rain ruin our cookouts.This is what we do when it rains in Iowa

I normally only go back to Iowa City during football season, so it was nice to have more time to peruse around town this time.

Iowa City

The main reason we were in Iowa City? I convinced 4 of my best friends from college to do a half marathon with me! And how did we prepare for this little jog?Half Marathon Preperation

After 3 months of grueling training runs…Sunday finally came!start of race

And I’ll tell you what…this route was ridiculously hilly. I absolutely hate hills.

Hills are my enemy

But on the bright side, this beautiful structure came into sight at mile 12.

Beauty called Kinnick

And then this at mile 12.5…which gave me a huge kick at the end.

Iowa Football, nothin better

So I finished another half marathon and crossed my 5th state off my half marathon list. Iowa–check.

Shortly after, the girls all finished!

Half marathon finishers

Left to right: Jamie, Nicole, Torri, Kristin

So proud of these ladies on finishing their first half marathon!

We did it

hugs

Oh…and I finally completed one major running goal: Run a sub 2-hour half marathon. And I did it by ONE second might I add.

Sub 2

The end.


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I’ve Developed an Addiction

I’ve neglected my blog. That can only mean one thing…summer is (almost) here. I promised an update on the Iowa runners weeks ago, so I think it’s time I lived up to that.

Our Iowa City half marathon is this Sunday! The girls have been training hard and I am so, so proud of them. Here are individual updates:

Gretchen: is out, unfortunately. She developed a wicked little thing called Peroneal Tendinitis, which I experienced last October. Injury plus the fact that she’s getting married in 2 weeks really took a toll on her training. But she’s still coming to Iowa City to hang out with us!

Nicole: this girl ran 11 miles last week! She got a late start to training but has really kicked it in gear the last few weeks. She’s learning the joys of running: chaffing, shin splints and inconvenient potty breaks. But nonetheless, she stuck with it and is ready for Sunday!

Torri: she’s been rocking it throughout the whole training program. She’s followed the program pretty religiously and even went out for a run with me when we were in Florida a few weeks ago! She had to cut it short because she got new shoes, which were killing her toes. She did most of her training on the treadmill so running outside also hit her hard. I believe she’s spent the last few weeks outside??

Kristin: ohhh Kristin. This girl did the 2010 Chicago Marathon with minimal training. She went out for her first run…eh maybe 2 weeks ago? She called me Sunday in a panic that she’s unprepared. But anyone that knows Kristin knows that she doesn’t give up. The girl will do this half, no matter how long it takes her and she’ll still have a smile on her face when she’s done. The first words out of her mouth at the finish? Give me a beer.

Jamie: she’s one person I’ve never worried about through this process. Jamie has been a runner for a couple years (but low mileage) and has done 10-mile runs in the past. Yes, she’s struggled a bit through training, but who doesn’t?

Megan: this is the best I’ve felt about training in a long time. The last few halves I’ve done, I   didn’t commit much time to my long runs because of busy schedules and winter weather. I went for a Lake Monona Loop (12 miles) last Saturday with my sister and friend Krista. It hurt, but I felt good about it overall. My goal this half marathon: have fun with my friends and no walking!! We run by Kinnick Stadium at mile 12.5 so I think that will give me a great push where I normally struggle.

Beautiful, isn't it??

Beautiful, isn’t it??

In other news, I’ve become obsessed with running signing up for races. Here is my calendar:

  • May 5th: Iowa City Half Marathon
  • May 26th: Madison Half Marathon
  • July 21st: possibly the Chicago Half Marathon??
  • August 11: Milwaukee Color Run
  • September 8th: volunteer for Ironman Wisconsin
  • September 28th: Brewers Half Marathon in Milwaukee
  • October 20th: Denver Half Marathon
  • November 10th: Madison Full Marathon

Help…do I have an addiction to medals? 🙂

And lastly, on a whim last night I bought tickets to Ed Sheeran in Milwaukee next Friday. I’m so excited! I’ve recently developed an obsession with his music. Which brings me to today’s beat:


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Snowboarding Rules, Paleo Drools

Paleo Update

Turns out Paleo is really, really hard. You have to plan your meals ahead of time and I’m not a planner. I like to decide what I’m going to eat for dinner based on what I’m craving at that moment. But with Paleo, you should plan your meals weekly so you don’t have to make trips to the grocery store every day. Well that’s not happening. Last week I went to the grocery store four days in a row. I should just get a job there.

Long day at work = can't turn down beerMy other struggle? I have a lot of lunch business meetings. Or birthdays to celebrate. Or happy hours to attend (business and pleasure). And let me tell you–restaurants are not Paleo friendly. It’s so hard to find something on a menu that follows all the rules. And when it comes to drinking…after a long day if someone offers me a beer, it’s pretty much a sin to turn down.

SO. I’m changing the rules. I’m not going full-fledged Paleo during the week. It’s nearly impossible for me. I’m just going to make a conscious effort to follow the rules as much as possible. I’ll have Paleo meals for lunch and dinner when my schedule allows it.

But I’m on 2 weeks of drinking black coffee (still horrible) and I HAVE made some pretty rad meals:

Paleo Bang Bang Shrimp

Running Update

Not much to report here. I started running again last week. I last blogged about how I convinced 5 friends to do a Half in Iowa City with me in May. My next blog post will have updates from all runners…stay tuned.

My New Hobby

I’m not sure if I’ve ever introduced you to my brother, which is odd considering how close we are. He’s literally the greatest male on the planet besides my father. My bro and I are buds. He’s 33 and I’m (almost) 26 but I rarely feel the age gap. Meet Jeremy:My Big Bro Jerms

Anyway,  Jeremy is a golf pro in the summer and a snowboarding/ski instructor in the winter. He lives the life. So a group of our friends went out to Tyrol Basin on Tuesday night to snowboard.

Tyrol Snowboarding

Jeremy taught me how to snowboard a few years ago, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been out. I forgot how much fun it is! Despite the falls and sore bottoms, we had a blast. This sounds weird but I realized what an escape boarding is. I am a thinker, an over-analyzer, and sometimes a worrier. My brain is constantly racing. But for 5 hours on Tuesday, I didn’t think about one thing other than what my legs and toes were doing. And how much my knees hurt from falling forward because I’m a rookie when it comes to toeside. Do you know how amazing that is!? Pretty darn amazing. I think I’m going back out next week.

Miscellaneous

  1. My sister started blogging (copy cat :)) so you should follow her here!
  2. Read this. Just read it. And pay attention to #5, #14, #22, #40, #48, #50. Yes, I’m a huge sap.
  3. I’m off to Chicago for a fun-filled weekend with my girls from college. I turn 26 on Saturday (woofta) so I’m closing 25 with a boom. We’re going to see Passion Pit tomorrow night, so in honor…enjoy the beat: