In Her Shoes

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


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A Picture A Day

Way back on January 1st (I say this because it’s been awhile since I blogged…again), I decided to attempt taking a picture a day throughout 2014.

I love pictures. I love looking at pictures; I love taking pictures. So I figure this is a great “resolution”. I also figure this will give me an excuse to blog once a week to share the past 7 pictures.

So here we go! However, forgive the lengthiness of this post; it’s the 14th of January and I have yet to post about this.

1/1/14: My boyfriend and I attempted a 7 day cleanse. Before we got started, we took a trip to the grocery store and our cart was full of greens!

1/1/14: My boyfriend and I attempted a 7 day cleanse. Before getting started, we took a trip to the grocery store and our cart was full of greens!

IMG_6346

1/2/14: Day 1 of the cleanse (we quit after completing day 2). For dinner, all we got was a smoothie…with just fruit. Not too bad actually!

1/3/14: Finally picked up the Christmas gift from my apartment's leasing office that my sister sent 2 weeks prior. Gloves for snowboarding!

1/3/14: Finally picked up the Christmas gift from my apartment’s leasing office that my sister sent 2 weeks prior. Gloves for snowboarding!

1/4/14: Running date with my girls, Mel and Krista. Post run, we went to brunch then shopping. And all fell in love with these ridiculous hats.

1/4/14: Running date with my girls, Mel and Krista. Post run, we went to brunch then shopping. And all fell in love with these ridiculous hats.

1/5/14: Iowa/Wisconsin basketball game! Yes, this is the game Fran went nuts. And the game that almost gave me a heart attack.

1/5/14: Iowa/Wisconsin basketball game! Yes, this is the game Fran went nuts. And the game that almost gave me a heart attack.

1/6/14: Today was absolutely frigid. I think it got down to -15. Anyway, I got in my car and had to scrape the INSIDE windshield!

1/6/14: Today was absolutely frigid. I think it got down to -15. Anyway, I got in my car and had to scrape the INSIDE windshield!

1/7/14: I was laying in bed at about 11:30 this night and realized: I haven't taken a picture yet today! I looked around my room and this is the best I could find. A true, but cheesy, quote on a Lulu bag.

1/7/14: I was laying in bed at about 11:30 this night and realized: I haven’t taken a picture yet today! I looked around my room and this is the best I could find. A true, but cheesy, quote on a Lulu bag.

1/8/14: I was recently promoted at work to our Operations and Marketing Manger. My boss gave me 3 of these "stress balls" in case employees (or myself) need them to relax. I've used them quite a bit already.

1/8/14: I was recently promoted at work to our Operations and Marketing Manger. My boss gave me 3 of these “stress balls” in case employees (or myself) need them to relax. I’ve used them quite a bit already.

1/9/14: My lovely BFF Emily surprised me and sent gorgeous tulips to my office to congratulate me on my promotion.

1/9/14: My lovely BFF Emily surprised me and sent gorgeous tulips to my office to congratulate me on my promotion.

1/10/14: I actually forgot to take a picture today! However, I posted this one on our company Facebook page, so I figured it's almost the same thing, right?

1/10/14: I actually forgot to take a picture today! However, I posted this one on our company Facebook page, so I figured it’s almost the same thing, right?

1/11/14: I took a weekend trip up north with my boyfriend and his parents to their cabin. I took about 30 pictures while snowshoeing, but this is my favorite from today :)

1/11/14: I took a weekend trip up north with my boyfriend and his parents to their cabin. I took about 30 pictures while snowshoeing, but this is my favorite from today ūüôā

1/12/14: Got back from up north and hung out with Mila the Moo! Tayler, this one is for you. She's playing with the remote you bought her!

1/12/14: Got back from up north and hung out with Mila the Moo! Tayler, this one is for you. She’s playing with the remote you bought her!

1/13/14: Bennet and I made awesome Chicken Avacado Egg Rolls tonight and I took a screenshot of what I needed from the grocery store. Wish I had taken a picture of the final product!

1/13/14: Bennet and I made awesome Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls tonight and I took a screenshot of what I needed from the grocery store. Wish I had taken a picture of the final product!

1/14/14: Not going to lie, our regular coffee at work is pretty terrible. A coworker brought this deliciousness in and it upped my morning about 6 points.

1/14/14: Not going to lie, our regular coffee at work is pretty terrible. A coworker brought this deliciousness in and it upped my morning about 6 points.

So a lot of these pictures are quite boring, but I’ll get better at it! I need to remember to take pictures earlier in the day, it just gets hard with work. So there you have it. My first 14 pictures of 365! Hopefully.

I haven’t given you a beat to enjoy in a while, so I’ll give you a great one.


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Running at Sea Level is For Sissies

If I didn’t have fun plans over the next few weekends, I would be incredibly depressed. I got home from Denver yesterday and as always, I hated to leave.

Iowa boys

Some of my favorite Iowans

We didn’t do everything on the agenda due to weather, but it was still a blast. My trip was filled with friends, upon friends, upon friends. High school friends, college friends, old friends, new friends. I won’t bore you with weekend details but I will bore you with running details.

I had the day to myself on Thursday because apparently people work during the week. I met my friend Danielle for 5.5 miles around Wash Park (g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s). The run wasn’t the best as I was DEFINITELY feeling the altitude in my lungs. But I couldn’t have asked for better scenery or company.

We were supposed to hike the Manitou Incline on Friday in Colorado springs but we woke up to….SNOW. Erroneous.Snow yuck

So we ditched the hike and went shopping instead. I was disappointed we couldn’t do the incline because a) I was looking forward to the gorgeous scenery and b) I thought it’d help get me more acclimated to the altitude. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Saturday was spent cheering on the Hawkeyes, freaking out about the Hawkeyes and being depressed over the Hawkeyes. After the heartbreaking loss (however, we played great), it was time to prepare for our run on Sunday morning. Danielle, Erin, Tayler and I spent the night eating, drinking wine, drinking beer, eating, watching YouTube videos, singing, and eating some more. We know how to fuel our bodies for runs.

Preparing for the 20

Pre half marathon shotSunday morning we were up and at ’em early. At 6:45am, the four of us were out the door running the 2 miles to the start of the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. Dressed in Packer gear. We started the half together, not having goal times…just wanting to get through the full 20 miles. We hit mile 5 (after a biotch of a hill) and I felt great. We zig-zagged through City Park (where we saw Emily about 6 times…Best Spectator Ever Award), 17th Street, Cheesman Park and all over downtown. We hit mile 11 and I still felt great. Cheesman Park wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world, but luckily I had Erin and Danielle next to me singing, dancing and encouraging me. They are honestly the greatest. We hit about 12.5 and sprinted it in. Our Garmin’s clocked 13.4 miles….slightly annoying. Final time: 2:04:12.

10th Half Marathon!

10th Half Marathon!

I had so much fun during this half. Well, as much fun as you can have running 13 miles. I was really worried about the altitude hitting me, but it never did during the 20 miles. My favorite spectator sign on the course?

“Running at sea level is for sissies.”

I loved every second of running with D and Erin. They know how to motivate you when you’re struggling and they KNOW running. Erin kept telling me to relax my shoulders; D was telling me to move my arms with other runners and that my legs would follow; both were telling me to pick people off. Ugh, I wish I had them there for every race!

But the fun wasn’t over following the half. We still had 4.6 miles to run. D stayed back to wait for Tayler to finish and Erin and I headed out to complete my 20 mile training run. In the first .5 miles I thought I was going to die. We took it niiiice and slow. Not too many details about this run, except that it was brutal. But we finished our 20 mile run in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 17 seconds. That was a pretty big motivational boost.

Sunday afternoon was spent drinking beers over the Packer game with more lovely friends who live in Colorado. I’m ready to go back already.

Packer game crew


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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

One word is getting me through this week: Football.

Yes everyone, get excited. College football starts on Saturday (technically Thursday). If you know me, you know almost nothing gets me more giddy than college football. To me… it’s fireworks, the 4th of July, Christmas, chocolate and all wonderful things rolled up in one fantastic bundle. And right now, there is nothing to complain about. Iowa currently has a perfect season (that won’t last long), the weather isn’t frigid yet, and the leaves still have yet to fall. OMG I’m so happy.

I’m kicking off the season by going to the Badger football game on Saturday. No, it’s not an Iowa game, but I’ll settle. Camp Randall isn’t too shabby on a Saturday morning. But you can bet I’ll be repping black and gold somehow.

How else am I celebrating football season? By joining my first fantasy league this year! Yesterday was draft day and it was so much fun. Why have I never done this before?

Fantasy Football Draft

Apparently my team is very “injury prone”, but I don’t cuuuurrr because I have Aaron Rodgers! And Gronk! The only thing that broke my heart? The chick before me in league snagged Eric Decker. Playing dirty I see. My team name? Gronk If You Love the Packers.

Gronk if you love the Packers

This weekend was just full of good things. I FINALLY broke out of my running funk. I ran 14 miles with my friends Ryan and Krista Saturday morning and it felt oh, so good. I didn’t love the first 3 miles, but what else is new? I cruised through the rest of the miles with ease and I ended with optimistic thoughts and a mood that¬†skyrocketed. But that’s now in the past and I have a whole other dreadful week ahead of me. I have 15 on the schedule this Saturday…before the Badger game.

Of course, I can’t end a blog post without a picture of my adorable niece. Yesterday I took Mila’s 2-month pics and this little cutie just gets me every time. I’m obsessed!

Mila Moo at 2 Months


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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? ūüôā

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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Hold the Phone. Megan Gets Serious.

I mentioned last week that my favorite things to talk about are traveling, photography, cheesy quotes, sports, running and music. And I decided to blog about this every Friday. The name of this tradition is still to be determined. But here we go.

Travel: I’m off to Clearwater Beach in 6 days for Gretchen’s bachelorette party with a few of my best friends on the planet. I’ve been planning this shindig for months and I’m so excited that it’s finally here! I just hope Gretchen still loves me after this trip ūüėČ

Which brings me to photography. A lovely picture of Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach

Cheesy Quotes: I have an endless list of fabulous quotes so it’s is always difficult to pick just ONE.¬†Beautiful Things

So why did I choose this quote? I’ll get serious for a minute because Megan + Seriousness is rare.

I’ve had a difficult last few months. Not difficult in a sense that I have a drug addiction, lost a loved one or had a Kevin Ware injury. Just more difficult that usual. Let me start by saying I’m an incredibly happy and optimistic person. Anyone who knows me would agree. But the last few months I’ve been confused about life, what I’m doing with it and where I’m going. It just constantly seems like a piece of the puzzle is missing and I’m trying to fill it with temporary fun.

But apparently this is what growing up is. This is what your 20s is about. It’s the time of your life where you find out who you truly are. Or so I’ve been told. I thought that was what college was for? Ugh, those 4 years just didn’t prepare me for life at all.

Well this is what I’ve learned about your 20s: it doesn’t turn out the way you’ve always pictured it. You go to work, have what seems like 30 minutes to yourself, sleep, repeat. You’re not making millions and you get hangovers that last 3x as long as they did at age 21. BUT …

Were the mountains made of rainbow sherbet and the clouds cotton candy until you became an adult? Absolutely not. Life’s been posing questions forever, we just had parents, teachers, adults to give us the right answer or guidance, and now it’s your call.

I am beginning to agree with the above. I do believe I’m finding out who I am. Slowly but surely, the clouds are fading and every once in awhile I get sight of what’s really important. And I’m learning how to be my own person. I’ve always been easy-going and I go with the flow.¬†And more often than not, I put other’s thoughts, feelings, desires ahead of mine. I know that’s necessary from time to time but maybe not as often as I do. I’m happy to say that I’m finally “growing balls.” I’m learning to say “no” and speak my mind.¬†I am happy to say that I’ve changed in the last year and I like the person I’m becoming.

So back to my chosen quote. I’ve come to one more huge realization: I am an incredibly fortunate person. I have a great family, amazing friends, good health and have the opportunity to travel and see/do things others cannot. I encourage you to take a step back for a moment and think of how lucky YOU are. It’s quite refreshing.

–End Serious Tangent–

Sports:¬†During basketball season, I’m a diehard Badger. But the second the season is over, my heart and soul belong to the Hawkeyes. Well, that time of year has come. And it feels good to be back where I belong.¬†Back with the big boys

Running: I got new kicks! I’m pumped because I get to nix the purple shoes (I’m not a fan of purple). But like you’re supposed to, I went with comfort over style. Here are the schnazzy new thangs:

Please forgive the cheesy picture.

Please forgive the cheesy picture.

Random Question:¬†I found this website on Pinterest where you can (apparently) buy North Face at a crazy discount. I’m nervous to try it but I’m curious! Does anyone know if it’s legit?

Music: Do you remember The Boxer Rebellion? Man, I haven’t listened to their music in so long and came across them in a movie last weekend. Ah, what a wonderful, long-lost band. Enjoy. Happy weekend, friends.


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Adventures of Hiking My First 14er

I’m blogging about this 2 weeks late so, my apologies. Let me preface this post by saying I LOVE COLORADO.

My sister (Tayler) and my best friend (Emily) live in Denver so I am fortunate to visit the beautiful state quite often. In addition to those 2 lovely people, I have a big handful of friends from high school and college who live out there, too.

I flew out to Denver 2 weeks ago for a weekend with friends. Beforehand, I told Tayler and Emily the ONLY thing I wanted to do was hike a 14er because it’s on my bucket list. I flew in Thursday morning and the plan for Friday was to do this hike. We woke up at 5:30am, were out the door by 6am and hiking Mount Bierstadt by 7:30am.

It doesn’t look that far, but ohhh baby, it was. We started off and I thought it was easy as pie. About half-way up my lungs could definitely feel the thin air. Our resting trips became more frequent and my face started to feel like it was going to fall off because it was so cold.¬†

Cross it off the bucket list!!!!!

Emily’s husband has hiked over 30 14er’s and thought it would take us about 3.5 hours. We made it up in 2.5 hours, so I was pretty satisfied. It was absolutely FREEZING at the top. It was so windy I felt like I was going to blow over and fall down the mountain. We stayed for about 3 pictures and then booked it back down to warmth.

This could be my favorite shot of the hike. Absolutely gorgeous!

We got back to our car and this is what we saw on the drive back down the mountain:

We named this guy Pam the Ram

We celebrated our 14er with a quick nap followed by some brews with great friends.

Spent some quality time with some friends from college. Ahh, love being back with fellow Hawkeyes

3 of my favorite Middleton (where I’m from in WI) people live in Denver. Pictured: Emily, Sarah, Tayler, myself.

This trip to Denver = success. Now I just need to get the courage to move there!

Enjoy this Death Cab wonderfulness: