13 in 2013, Apollo 17 40th and December is here.

my husband is gonna haaaaaaate me! I signed up to do 13 races in 2013. My justification — I already have 7 that I am either registered for, waiting on registration to open, or anticipating lottery results to get in. I am more than halfway there and with the starters saying they are going to host 4 virtual races, that brings my total to 11 (to me, virtual races, while still races, can be done on training runs). So I need 2 more and I intend to pick up Ragnar Relay DC or run geek run in sept and jingle all the way in dec again next year so I think I can handle this (assuming my body doesn’t start to hate me). But nothing and I mean NOTHING will stop me from my end ultimate goal of Marine Corps Marathon 2013 in October.

I want to run a marathon. Not sure why in the hell I would wanna do this, but I am gonna do it and I am gonna do it well! And I have my sights set on the Marine Corps Marathon. I ran the MCM 10k this past October and it was great! I figure if I am going to be running a little more than half of the distance in training, I might as well go balls to the wall and handle business. Plus, how many people can claim the title “Marathoner”? And over the past year, I have fallen more in love with running than I ever thought I would. I mean sure, in high school I ran to stay in shape for soccer and in college, I ran to get rid of the freshman 15 (good lord it happens to everyone). And I started running 4 years ago to help change my outlook on life, and relieve stress. This past year alone, with a fair amount of help from Michelle, Leah, Sheena and a couple of others, I started really enjoying  running. And hell, I even started to enjoy racing! WHO KNEW?! Mr. Mensh would never have been able to predict that with all of the excuses I gave in high school!

SO I have 6 races prior to MCM 2013 as of right now, my first ever half included and I am really excited! So yea, game plan, injury free and running my first marathon along with 12 other races.

A couple of other administrative things (that I am REALLY proud of!): Apollo 17 has it’s 40th anniversary today and I created the flash feature for it on NASA’s homepage!!! This is really exciting because I have been working really hard on these features and this being one of them, I am just so freakin proud, I have no words.

December is here. Where in the heck did December come from? I feel like at the end of October, time just started to fly by. Thanksgiving came and went and now into December, holiday parties, etc. Channukah starts Sunday, Christmas is soon after and I have a final and my first ever book club meeting in between!

December is going to be busy, but fun! I am really looking forward to my husband’s face when he opens his holiday gift! My mom picked hers out but I know she will appreciate the little surprise she is going to get also. and I still need to get my dad and brother something! I am SO behind!

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Marine Corps Marathon 10K and Giveaway!

So I ran on Sunday morn. In my mind, I did pretty well. I will go through the list of why I think I did well:

1) I finished

2) I didn’t stab ANYONE

3) I averaged 10:48 a mile, pretty good for me especially with the amount of people crowded in there gettin their run on.

4) finished 6.3 miles in 1 hr and 8 minutes!

Unofficial results, viewed above.

My buddy Adam did pretty well too! He finished a full 1000 people before me with a time of 1:01 and waited for me at the finish to get our medals! The whole experience was pretty awesome!

me, waiting for my husband to wake up before the expo!

It was my first big race expo! I waited until Saturday morning when the husband could go with me to pick up the race packets (mine and my buddy’s, who was running with me) and go to the expo to see all of the neat stuff!
Outside of the expo, my husband and I got on line and began to wait to get in.

When we were almost up to the door, my husband realized he had a pocket knife and was unwilling to part with it (my dad gave it to him), so he went and walked around a little and then hung out near the car while I went into the DC Armory to mill about the expo.

The expo was great! There were so many awesome vendors there.

RunDisney was there and I got information about staying at the resorts and going through the parks at a discounted rate for runners — I am running the Disney Princess Half in February. They had all of the medals there for the upcoming races! It was very exciting and informational and the woman there was excellent with answering questions and very knowledgeable.

Brooks was there with MCM and MCM 10K gear. Pacers made a showing (I got gu and gu blocks). Clif bar was there (not all of their stuff has nuts!!!), there were some safety at night people. I bought a couple of pink running lights since I run so early and got a rolling bar for my dad and me for our knotted muscles. It was a great expo!  After the expo my husband and I saw my folks and did a couple of errands.

A group of my friends had a party the night before and we left early so that we could come home and get enough sleep for the race. We got up bright and early at 5:14am and got prepped and ready for our 7:55am start on the National Mall. They opened the metro up early at 5am for the MCM and there were many a-runner on the train with us. Some, who were running the full marathon, got off at the Pentagon. We were running the 10K and went on to L’Enfant Plza. We had a nice walk from Maryland and 7th to the start line. We arrived a ridiculous amount of time early and so we walked around to stay warm until the start. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE! and no one lined up according to finish time, so I was running past people maintaining slower times for at least 2 miles. It took 5 minutes to get across the start line because there were so many people but we got to listen to gangnam style while we were waiting where I showed the wonderful women behind me how to do part of the dance. Then I tried to Tebow while gangnam stlying (fail). After that, we were off.

Adam started with me but quickly outpaced me! So I was left to my own devices. As I was running, I passed a lot of marines that were on the sidelines helping out. I also passed a lot of participants that had shirts with dedications on the back to lost loved ones — fallen soldiers. It was emotional, to say the least.

Miles 1-3 were relatively easy to get through. 4 and 5 got a little tougher, but 6 was terrible for me! at mile 5.5, I got the worst stitch I have ever gotten in my side. I started running a little hunched over (bad), then my back started aching so it was a constant alternation between standing up straight so my back wouldnt hurt and leaning over so my stitch would stop with the shooting pains. As I approached the finish, spectators picked up and I saw my mother and husband at the bottom of the short steep hill that led to the finish line (YES! a hill right at the finish line!).

And here is Adam, he finished before me.

This is Adam and I at the finish. He waited for me at the very end and we walked to get our medals from marines together.

And here is the view of the marine corps memorial (iwo jima memorial) from the finish

I was really proud to have finished my second post and to have made a new PR AND gotten some bad ass bling!

Hurricane Sandy rolled in that evening and my husband, pug and I snuggled up under blankets on the couch to hang out and catch up on missed tv

Now for the reason you all are really here!

As you all read when I made a Big Announcement a week or two back, I am a blogger repping the Falls Church store of Road Runner Sports! And I have a giveaway going on for a $25 gift card to Road Runner Sports! I am pretty sure, you have a Road Runner Sports near you! They have stores all across the country and a great online ordering system! They have a wide variety of apparel and equipment! So I guess now all that I need to know is who wants a $25 gift card that you can use at any of the stores or online?

HOW TO ENTER: (you can do any or all of these)

Leave me a comment saying what your favorite way to exercise is and some way to contact you.

For Bonus entries:

Follow me on twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did and your twitter handle.

Tweet about this Giveaway and leave me a comment telling me you did, with the link to the tweet!

_____________________________________________

And that’s it. The giveaway will close on Monday November 5th at 10am and I will pick a winner randomly through random.org!

Any entries AFTER the cutoff time will be ignored (this is assuming that I fail to cut off comments)

annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd GO! (lord I hope this works — it’s my first giveaway!)

About 6 days behind!

I am probably about 6 days behind in everything.
6 days ago, I was featured on a Daily Dose of fit —  another summary about my 8k race (the first one in 13 years!) –Thanks to a daily dose of fit for featuring me!

5 days ago, I was supposed to move forward on a couple of side projects. I made some progress and three days ago got stopped again because one plugin is interfering with another, but I am unsure as to which plugin is stopping progress since I didnt originally create the site! frustration sets in.
4 days ago, I drove to balitmore. It was not awesome, but I love my husband and so therefore it wasnt bad.

4 days ago, I was supposed to work on my side projects, instead I delivered some chairs and learned how to play apples to apples.

3 days ago, I was going to do my make up long run but couldnt cause I was goin to get my hair colored and cut and didnt want to wash it beforehand (you arent supposed to) nor did I want to show up with sweaty ass hair — nasty

3 days ago, I was supposed to go to a bday party after the dc united game. I did not. Instead  I went home and watched 5 hours of crap on my laptop until 330…. because im awesome!

2 days ago, I drove to baltimore to pick up my husband

2 days ago, I had every intention to go finish up shopping for costa rica and to go get some yoga in. — FAIL

1 day ago, I got my tempo run in during my soccer game! AH mazing!

0 days ago (aka today) I woke up and got to work at 615am for a Soyuz launch!

I have had some life fails. My code for one of my projects at work isnt working quite the way I want, but I am all over it! The code for one of my projects at home isnt working the way I want it to at all, being blocked by one of the other plugins — very frustrating! I WILL figure it out! I have to since it is for some very nice people!

I have been failing at my training. I have been running Wednesday and Thursday. Shorter runs — 4 miles. happy to be averaging 4 miles in about 44 minutes. but would like to get a couple of longer runs in… I need to get back on schedule so maybe this week and by maybe I mean DEFINITELY.  Also, game plan — rei will be hit some time this weekend to pick up rear bike rack and some kind of pannier so I can start biking to work after running. SWEEEEEEEEET! I will also need to pick up hiking boots for the costa rica trip and my husby still needs a few pairs of pants.

I have just ordered Cards Against Humanity and am stoked! It is a variation of the Apples to Apples Party Box – The Game of Hilarious Comparisons (Family Edition) — Pretty stoked! Super nerd awesome style! Lemme know if any of you wanna play the game with me! OK, back to work.

Pretty Awesome News Announcement

WOOOO WOOOOOOOO!!!!! Pretty awesome news announcement for me and this blog!!! I am now repping Road Runner Sports as a blogger for their Falls Church, VA store!

Road Runner Blog Pick

STOKED!!! I will be at the events at the Falls Church store and then coming back here and telling y’all all about it! I think my day could not get any better than it is right now and I have fun engineering class tonight, so that is saying something! This is very big news and more things to come!!! Stay tuned!

True Confessions, part 1

I call this Part 1, in case I feel the need to do more parts. I never know how my brain works now or in the future… so damn unpredictable yet it is MY BRAIN! So here goes nothing….

I have been running but when my running buddy moved out at the beginning of September, I found it easier to skip runs. It was staying darker longer and more pitch dark then just kinda dark like it was at 5am over the summer and I am terrified of the outside dark. I am not afraid of when it is dark in the bedroom. I need pitch dark to sleep at night. But when I am running, I would prefer the semi-lit sky that was existent at 5:30am over the summer. Without the semi-light, I am more and more hesitant about running on the trail (even with my light), mostly cause I don’t want to get raped… not that that is common or that I have heard about recent cases of that, but the first mile and a half is pitch dark hell, and when I run through Old town, where I reside, I find that I run slower (a lot slower) then when I am on the trail. This is a hindrance on my training. I can’t seem to break the mental barrier that comes with running in old town at faster paces and I can’t seem to stop jumping at the idiots who run in all black and the jerk bikers who never say on your left. Also, did you know it gets COLD in the fall/winter early mornings?! HOLY HELL!!!!

So anyway, I know, you are hearing a lot of excuses. I should get the running mace. I should just man up and deal with it. It doesn’t help that I have my mother and my husband telling me how worried they are about me…I get it. They are worried about the same things I am worried about.

I tried running at work last week and I didn’t get my whole workout in because I feared being short on time and there were a couple of dudes I wanted to deck for cat calling me. I am sweaty. I am working out. I am doing me. So go do you in a corner and dont yell or whistle at me. I am not afraid to get in your face and tell you how to treat a woman damnit! I tried working out after work and it doesnt really work out. I feel guilty leaving Aldy alone as he has been alone all day while I am at work. And when I get home from work, I just wanna sit on my bum and chillax. So anyway, with all of that being said, I am still eating the way I want to and was when I was running 3-4 days a week with playing soccer… point being I am playing soccer and running 2-3 times a week and before I wasn’t really losing any weight, but wasn’t gaining either… now I am just kinda gaining. UGH! anyway, gotta step it up. Either conquer my fear of the pitch freaking dark rapists out there in the first 1.65 miles of the mt vernon trail OR I need to find some kind of other solution.

GOTTA CHANGE SOMETHING whether is be mental or otherwise! Suggestions?

I jump at my own shadow as cars go by on GW, do you do things like that or are you afraid of something else while running?

Things I love about Running

The sound of my feet on the ground.

The way you forget everything but the run.

The sound of my breathing.

The beep of my watch as I hit a mile.

The look of the road after a rain storm.

The smell of the outdoors, summer… winter… it doesn’t matter.

The sweat that accompanies the run.

The way my dog looks at me when I get home from my run in the morning.

The silence.

I love how my mother and husband ask how my run went that morning.

I love everything about my runs. Peaceful, serene AND they give me time to think. Side note: Go check out sneakers and finger paints — I was featured over there on Monday!

Thanks for listenin. Have a good one!

Race of Awesomeness Recap

So race recap time. I was pretty nervous the night before and the morning of, but butterflies aside, I think everything went really well. I averaged less than 11 minutes a mile, which for my training times is a significant improvement as I was averaging about 12-12.30 a mile… First pic taken morning of… there were lots of thoughts going through my head… mostly the thoughts of dont make a fool of yourself, dont trip, dont bust your ass, dont make a fool of yourself. after I got that outta my system, it switched over to thoughts of run your race, run your race, run your race. Then on to thoughts of what is your race? AHHHHHHHHHH and freak out moments occurred.

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Pre race photo. Nervy but excited!

Because this was a Geek Run, I was excited to see some compatriots from NASA Goddard and HQ there. They were moving toward mile 4 as I was moving toward mile 3, but as we passed, we rose fists in the air and cheered for each other.

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Geek trophies!

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Everyone gettin ready for the race

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the start and finish line.

This is where we started and finished. I was pretty jazzed when I saw the finish line. My friend that was running with me was a few feet in front of me and we just both busted ass over the line! it was an awe-inspiring moment for me.

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post race, no sunglasses! sweaty styley

This is me all squinty after the race. I was going to wear a hat but nothing new on race day and the fact that I have only worn it once and didnt like it then made me opt not to and I dont have running glasses. But I am all sweaty and ready to get a bagel here (above).

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me and Sheena, my buddy who ran the race with me.

So this (above) picture is prolly one of my favorites (aside from the action shots my husband got which I will post in the next week or so) because my friends Sheena and Aaron ( husband and wife) came out and ran the 5 miler with me. While Aaron took off and managed an 8 min a mile pace on average, Sheena ran the 5 miles with me. I know she prolly coulda picked it up and done it about 10-30 seconds faster a mile (or more), but she stayed with me and pushed me on my pace. And I forced her to maintain a pace. Once you set one for me, I can generally maintain it. I dragged a couple of steps behind her occasionally but was able to keep up fairly well. I normally run at about 12-13 minutes a mile in easy long runs and only completed one 5 mile run under an hour in all training… normally all runs of that length were about an hour. I set my goal conservatively and made it. My goal was a time under 55 minutes. We talked for the majority of the run down Ohio dr but when we hit mile 4 I could tell Sheena wanted to push harder and if I was going to pick it up for the last 0.2-0.4 miles, I couldnt move faster before then or I would run out of steam. I told her to go ahead and do what she needed to do and silently told myself I would not let her get more than ten steps in front of me. And I stuck to that! I maintained about 5-7 strides behind her. Her foot had been rubbing so when I was starting to speed up for strong finish, she was starting to slow a little and I wasn’t letting her go out like that. She didn’t leave me behind for a solid 4.5 miles, I was not going to leave her behind for the end. So I yelled at her. Told her ten seconds and to pick it up as I was sprinting to the finish. She did as well and I think we finished at the same time or within one second of each other. Either way, I am SO grateful for her companionship and encouragement on this race. Wouldn’t have made my goal without her!

My husband came out for my race (as did my mommy and my aunt who happened to be in town visiting). The three of them provided comic relief and helped me relax a little before the start. My husband took pictures of Aaron, Sheena and I running (I will post within the week). Action shots if you will. We looked at em Saturday afternoon, they looked good! I was so happy that he made the effort to get up and trek over there with me to support me. I think it might have inspired him to start exercising more. He was talking about getting more into cycling or running and I have been encouraging him to do it. My thoughts are that I may be slow, but I still finish and exercise makes me happier than any of the other activities I have the option to do. I want him to feel that happy with me so we decided that this coming weekend we are going to be taking a ride to Mt Vernon this weekend (either saturday or sunday morn). Side note: I also have my first swim lesson for my tri this weekend with my friend Cass. Considering I haven’t swam since I was 13 and I never swam competitively, my friends are all gearing up to help me move my ass in water!

Anywho, my husband saw how passionate I was about running on Saturday morn (I mean he knew I was but SAW it Saturday morn) and wanted to do something really nice for me and had been planning to surprise me with new running shoes, but instead took me and we went looking together after the race :-)!!!! He got me the best birthday gift ever of Mizuno Nirvanas! I am stoked to get out there and run in them! (I have soccer mondays, so I don’t run in the am)

<PLUG FOR PACERS RUNNING STORE IN ALEXANDRIA> No lie, the girl who helped me find shoes here was amazing! She took the time to make sure I had a shoe I wanted that would work for me! If you are in the DC metro area and need new running shoes, go to pacers! AH-MAZING! Super friendly, really knowledgeable and not going to brush you off. She musta pulled every stability shoe they had! (i have bad arches)</END PLUG>

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My birthday shoes! My husband got me new running shoes for my bday!

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My Aunt MaryAnne and Uncle Pat after dinner

My uncle, aunt, brother and brother’s gf (whom I adore) were at Sunday night dinner with my parents this week! We don’t always get together for dinner on sunday nights, but when we can, we do. This Sunday night was great! I laughed my ass off to the point of tears!

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My brother and his girlfriend after dinner

Anyway, family is important. Friends are important. And both my family and friends are top notch, can’t be beat awesome people! Even if they do rag on me occasionally… it is out of love!

Next race up is the MCM 10k! I am stoked! A little inspiration on my way out:

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