In Her Shoes

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


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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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An Overdue Walk In My Kicks

It has been 1 month exactly since I last blogged. I deeply apologize for inhibiting you all from reading about my incredibly interesting life. But to be honest, I think I’m doing you a solid. There’s not much new here, I just feel obligated to write since it’s been so long. And because Emily is harassing me about it.

But what IS new? Well…

I’m training again! Thank god. I’ve amped it up to Hal Higdon’s Intermediate training schedule, which means I’ve added a day of running and track workouts. The best part of this round of training? The BF is doing it too! Bennet is an oober athlete. I’m not kidding…he’s done Ironman twice. But he hasn’t always been overly fond of running. So after much convincing, he signed up for the Madison Half Marathon with me! Even though we’re not training together (let’s be real, he’s a lot faster than I am), it’s still fun to plan our runs around the same time and talk about our struggles/accomplishments.

My niece. She’s still cute as ever. Proof:

My SIL took Mila's 10 month pictures yesterday. I can't handle how awesome she is.

My SIL took Mila’s 10 month pictures yesterday. I can’t handle how awesome she is.

But seriously? How adorable.

But seriously? How adorable.

Guys, this is sad, but I can’t think of anything else. My world revolves around work, running, obsessively watching HGTV and Mindy Project, mini traveling vacations on the weekends and just trying to stay sane. Which can be hard to do.

will share a quote my mom sent me not too long ago. It resonated a bit more than other quotes do. And yes, I printed this out and posted in my office, in hopes that it would resonate with others as well. Cough, cough.

I leave you with a lovely beat by one of the greatest bands on the planet.


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She’s ALIVE

Yes, I’m alive and well. I know you were all so worried. I know, I know. Miss Social Media hasn’t blogged in over a month. And it would have been longer if Emily hadn’t reminded me. So this post is for you, Wank.

But why haven’t I been blogging? Because I haven’t been running…much. Yes, I finished my marathon. And yes, I forgot to post about it. So here I am, finally remembering that miserable but successful day. The Madison Marathon was a month ago yesterday, so I’ve forgotten details except for these:

  • It was freezing at the start…absolutely freezing!
  • I was terrified at the start. I had the worst attitude ever and wanted to get these miserable hours over with. My friend Jen and I huddled in Starbucks until minutes before the gun went off and I ran into my running friends Cindy and Mike who gave me a brief pep talk.
  • Once I got going, I started feeling great. Miles 1-10 were awesome. I remember seeing my family around 5 and I jumped and ran towards them, hugging them all. Hugs subsided after that point.
  • Jen ran with me up until mile 8. We said our goodbyes right by Camp Randall where she told me she’d meet me at mile 22 to finish the last 4 miles with me. She, unfortunately, had to drop out of the run due to a IT band injury.
  • I saw so many of my wonderful Neckerman coworkers at mile 10. There was a long stretch of them on University Ave, waiting to take my picture. I remember I stopped and gave my friend Mel (the one I do most of my half marathons and training runs with) a hug here.
  • The rolling hills on Gorham (miles 11 & 12) were NOT fun.
  • My knee started killing me at mile 13. I saw my family around this time and asked for Ibuprofen. A few minutes later, my awesome brother comes running up to me with a bottle of pills and asks how many I want. Those were clutch. Pain went away within minutes.
  • I started really feeling the pain at mile 17ish. This was through the Maple Bluff neighborhood. The wonderful people of the Madison Marathon decided to put the largest hill in Madison at mile 17.5. I forever hold a grudge against them for that.
  • I saw my friend Mike at mile 19ish and told him I hated life. And that I was never doing a marathon again.
  • Miles 19-22 were a challenge. I wanted the run to be over, I was bored and knew I wasn’t going to see family or friends for awhile. I was aching to find Jen at 22.
  • Jen joins me at mile 22. The first thing I said? “You can talk to me…but I’m not talking back. I hurt. I hate this. I want to cry.” Jen was such a trooper. SUCH a trooper. She encouraged me, pushed me, motivated me, put up with my bad attitude, put up with me snapping at her (“YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I HURT JEN!!!”) Good God I owe her. So seriously, J, I love you. I could not have finished the way I did without you there.
  • We see my family again at 22.5. I yell at Lauren to stop taking pictures of me while running. (“SERIOUSLY…STOP. YOU HAVE ENOUGH.”)
  • I see Mel right after my parents. I stop. “Mel…I hurt.” She wouldn’t let me stop…and pushed me onward.
  • 23-26 were agony. My quads were pulsating. Jen was amazing. The view was gorgeous on John Nolan Drive. I hated life. Everything in the world was terrible.
  • My friend Amanda joined Jen and I for about .3 miles around 24. She’s a gem.
  • As we are coming up West Wash at mile 25ish (another HILL), I tell Jen I need to walk. WHO walks with .7 left of a marathon?! Well, me. A stranger and spectator (his name was Kevin) comes up and starts motivating me. He gets me running again. What an encouraging guy he was. He left with .2 miles to go. I saw him again at the finish and thanked and hugged him.
  • I crossed the finish line in 4:32. 2 minutes after my goal. 12 minutes after my stretch goal. Did I care? No. Because I was done.
  • The most important thing I remember? My family. They were EVERYWHERE. I think I saw them 14 times on the course. They would drive by me cheering, park the car up ahead of me, jump out, cheer me on again until I passed them, and repeat. It was so amazing. Before the marathon, I was not looking forward to seeing people I knew on the course. Once I was running, I couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else. So to my mom, dad, Lauren, Jeremy and Bennet: you guys were amazing. You kept me going.
  • On the topic of amazing support, I was overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls, Facebook posts, tweets and verbal “good luck” wishes I received. Before, DURING, and after the marathon. I don’t know what else to say other than I am incredibly fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I could not reiterate that enough.

Woah, now that I think about it…I remembered a lot. Phew. That’s a lot to post in my first blog back. I’ll be back more often, I promise. For now, here are some pics from my marathon…

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

The start was FREEEZING.

The start was FREEEZING.

right wrist

Right wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Mile 10...I was so happy!

Mile 10…I was so happy!

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

My lovely boyfriend high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

My lovely boyfriend, Bennet, high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn't enjoy this time period.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn’t enjoy this time period.

Crossing the finish

Crossing the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

My amazing support group and family

My amazing support group and family


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Flashbacks for Motivation

Thank god I blog. Why? Because I can look back at previous posts to remind myself why I signed up for a marathon.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed this week and I need an attitude adjustment. Fast. Yesterday I hit that point where the marathon just…consumes me. I didn’t think that would set in until Friday. It’s all the stupid race emails I’m getting from the Madison Marathon. The last two I’ve received…I started tearing up at my desk at work. Pathetic, I know.

So I’m writing to build some mental strength.

Background info: I’m running the Madison Marathon on Sunday. This will be my 2nd marathon. My first marathon was June, 2012 in San Diego.

Why did I sign up for the Madison Marathon back in April? “Because I Can.” That’s what I titled my blog post. “Because I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to run.” I signed up after the Boston Bombings because I was pissed. Pissed that two people would do something so foolish, inhumane and so full of hate. And to the running community. So I need to remember that on Sunday. How? “Because I Can” will be written on one wrist.

How did I feel days before my first marathon last June? Did I have the same nerves? All I can remember is being so excited to fly out to California and see my sister and cousins. Welp, once again, thank god I blog. I was actually FREAKING out 5 days before the marathon. HEY, just like yesterday…5 days before the marathon.

How prepared am I compared to last year? I think I’m a stronger runner this year. I’m faster at the long distances and I know my body more. I know when to slow down and when I can push myself a little harder. But was I religious about sticking to the training plan as much as last year? Nope. I skimped out on some mid-week runs due to an incredibly busy fall. HOWEVER, I was religious about my long runs. AND last year, I only did a 16, 18 and 20 mile run. This year I did a 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 mile run. How I found time for that, I’ll never know {patting myself on that back for that one}.

Enjoy it. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. My response (to myself): How do you expect me to enjoy 26 miles of running? I barely drive that distance in a week. Once again, attitude adjustment. No, I might not enjoy the 26 miles. But I’ll enjoy everything about the experience afterward. After I completed my marathon in San Diego last year, I was the happiest person on the planet because it was over. And I did it. And I was so proud of myself for it. I can’t wait for that feeling again.

Lastly, whenever I’m in need of running motivation, I turn to Pinterest and search “marathon.” This is my favorite:

you're capable of so much more

Sayonara. See you on the flip side. Unless I need to vent through my blog one last time before Sunday, which may again, benefit me in the future.


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Take Me Down to the Paradise City

Add it to the Bucket List: Live in Denver

5 days until I jet off to the best city in the country. Denver, of course! It’s finally that time of year for my annual trip.

My sister (Tayler) and my best friend in the whole wide world (Emily) live in Denver so every year, I fly out for a weekend. We hike, shop, party, reunite with old friends and do all the fun things Denver has to offer. So what’s on the agenda?

Wednesday: land in Denver late.

Thursday: I’m flying solo because Tayler and Emily have to work. My plan? Run my 5-miler on the schedule, maybe do some shopping, maybe drive up to Boulder? Who knows. The world is my oyster.

Thursday night: party hardy. Over the past few years, I’ve become friends with all of Emily’s friends from college (University of Colorado-Boulder) and I absolutely love them. A few of them are out of town the weekend I’m there, so it’s the only chance we have to hang out. Plus, 3 of my great guy friends from college live there who I must see!

Friday: Emily took the day off, but I just found out Tayler has to work now. Tear. But Emily and I have a day full of plans. We’re driving up to Colorado Springs to knock 2 things off my bucket list:

  1. Pet a giraffe
  2. Climb the Manitou Incline

Giraffe part: there is a zoo in Colorado Springs that allows you to feed the giraffes! Score.

The Manitou Incline is a former incline railway and it inclines over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than a mile. Last year during my visit to Denver, I hiked my first 14er. So I have to do something equally as awesome.

Emily, myself and Tayler on Mount Bierstadt

Emily, myself and Tayler on Mount Bierstadt in 2012

Manitou Incline

Manitou Incline

Saturday: Watch the Iowa/Ohio State football game. Last year I met my college friends at a bar for the game and we didn’t have much luck. It was actually a pitiful performance. But what Iowa game wasn’t last year? There isn’t much on the schedule for Saturday because I need to rest up for….

Myself, Danielle, Tayler and Erin after the AZ Half

Myself, Danielle, Tayler and Erin after the AZ Half

Sunday: the Denver Rock N Roll Half Marathon! I’m running this with Tayler, a friend from high school and my friends Danielle and Erin who I did the Arizona half marathon with. I’m also going to attempt something crazy: get my 20-miler in on Sunday. My plan is to run a 2-mile warm up, run the half marathon, and then just tackle on a nice and easy 5-mile cool down after the half. Easy, right? Riiiight.

I’ve been going back and forth on this 20-miler, especially because I don’t know how my body will respond to the altitude change. Fortunately, I’m flying out to Denver a few days early so I’ll have time to adjust. I contemplated doing the 20-miler the following weekend, but then I won’t have as much taper time. And I really just want to get it over with. So we’ll see how it goes!

Our plan after the half is to go drink bottomless mimosas during the Packer game and enjoy my last night in Denver. And then I fly back to boring ‘ol Wisconsin on Monday. The trip to Denver always goes by way too fast. I end up wishing I lived there, promise all my friends that I’ll be moving out within the next year and then it never happens. Maybe someday…

Have a great weekend and enjoy the beat.


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Itching For Taper

5.5 weeks left of training. That’s nothing, right? Wrong. All my running friends (but one) are tapering right now. And I’ve never been more jealous of anything in my entire life.

All I have in my way are a few 8 & 5 mid-week runs. Oh…and a 19-miler tomorrow and a 20-miler in a few weeks. I’m trying to be positive about my training and I’ve actually felt really good lately. I haven’t been pushing myself speed-wise because, to be honest, all I want in this marathon is to feel good about it. Oh, and to PR, but I’m pretty sure I can do that. Hopefully I’m not being cocky.

But more than anything, I’m trying to make this experience fun. Last weekend I did the Brewers Half Marathon with a bunch of friends. I ran the entire thing with Mel and Jen and we put ZERO pressure on ourselves. We ran at a really comfortable pace and didn’t worry about breaking 2 hours. I didn’t feel the greatest…I guess I just never got in my groove. But we still had fun with it, of course.

Mel, myself, Jen before and after

Mel, myself and Jen before and after the half.

Jlo and I in Miller Valley

Mel snatched this of Jen and I during Miller Valley. Loved this part of the race.

Running through Miller Park

At mile 12.5ish we ran through Miller Park. This was my favorite thing I’ve done in a half to date. So cool!

Schultz's first half

This was my friend Schultz’s first half marathon! Love when people get into running.

Nater

This was also Naters first half…he ran it in 1:39. Stud.

Krista PRed

My girl Krista PR’ed with a 1:44. Holy mac.

Runing brings friends together

Old friends coming together through running. Love it.

Another medal to the pile!

Add another medal to the pile!

So onward I push. 19 miles after work tomorrow (yuck) but then I have 2 weeks till my 20 miler, which I’m doing in Denver. Yippee!

In other news: this is a must-read. Love, love, love. 

Enjoy the beat.


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Running 17 Miles Hurts But 18 Is a Cinch

A successful 18-mile run calls for a blog post. After all, that’s what I’m supposed to write about, isn’t it?

My 17-miler in Minneapolis last Friday (week and a half ago) didn’t go so well. I was in vacation mode and wasn’t in the mood to get up and run 17 miles. But then again, who ever has an itch to run 17 miles? Maybe Dean Karnazes, but that’s it. Don’t lie to me and tell me you do. Anyway, my route was gorgeous…ran around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes (Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles). But even with the gorgeous scenery, I hated almost every minute of it. I think it’s because I did it alone. In addition to running 17 miles, WHO in their right mind wants to do that alone? Definitely not me.

So this weekend, I finally had 2 days of peace and quiet in Madison. No plans. Zip. Zero. Zilch. This girl isn’t familiar with that concept lately. And I was able to reconnect with my running buds! We met bright and early Saturday morning: half of us with 18 miles on the schedule and half with 20 miles. I won’t bore you with details, but it went great. And even better…I had energy left at mile 18 and kicked out an 8:55 mile. Who am I?

Half-way into it, we ran into a fellow runner who is pacing the Chicago Marathon in a couple weeks. Her name is Kay. Kay has done…take a deep breath…101 marathons. And has done one in every state. How incredible is that? My mind was blown. Just thought you should know there are THAT ridiculous of people out there.

I’m heading into week 11 with confidence. I’m definitely nearing the burnt out stage of training, but I only have 8 weeks left. That seems like a lot of time, but it will be gone in the blink of an eye. This weekend is my first half marathon (Brewers Half Marathon) since June and I’m super excited. Quite a few of my friends are running it as well and we’re making a weekend out of it in Milwaukee. Plus, I absolutely love kick-back weeks.

Lastly…guess what! A friend of mine from college is on this season of The Voice! His name is Michael Lynch, so look out for him in auditions next week (if you watch the show). Here’s one of his videos from a couple years ago, but still SO good.

 

And in honor of the season premiere last night, here is my beat of the day. Caroline Pennell quickly became my favorite.