It’s Never Going to be the Right Time

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers, the adorable Amy from Fitness Meets Frosting (the world’s best blog name) posted about her taper for her first marathon. As Amy said,

“My friend Michelle had contacted me and wanted to give me a race entry because she’s awesome like that (she is pacing the marathon!). Prior to this, I always said that I wasn’t sure I was ready for a full marathon.But for some reason, I impulsively said yes.”

You can read her whole post here

It got me thinking about one of the most common questions I get from runners and non-runners alike,

 

“Have You Run a Marathon?”

I feel like the marathon is kind of like getting a dog, going back to school, or starting your own company, if it’s something you want to do at some point in your life, there is never a good time, you just have to do it! There will never be “The Right Time.” Life isn’t perfect, therefore, the illusion of a perfect time to run a marathon, or start a company will never exist!

Wait Source

Here is the wrench in the equation for me, that part  where you really want to run a marathon at some point…. I am not sure I have that. I just don’t have an overwhelming desire to tackle the 26.2.

There are rare occasions where I think,

“Eh, ya know, it would be fun to run a marathon, I could meet up with a friend I never get to see in a fabulous city and see what happens. I bet I could go sub-4, maybe I should just go ahead and commit.”

The next morning I wake up with a hangover. Just kidding, sort of ;)

Thing is, I am ok with my love of the half marathon. Notice I didn’t say, I am ok with not wanting to run a marathon. That has a negative connotation to me. Like there is something wrong with being a runner who enjoys distance but does not want to run a marathon.

Right now I could write a love letter to the half, waxing poetic about it’s wonderful attributes, but honestly, I don’t feel the need to justify the half, to attempt to give credence to why it is a great distance.

The US has marathon fever right now. I. Think. It’s. AWESOME! How cool is it that thousands and thousands of people who never would have otherwise considered themselves runners (women especially) have picked up this sport and discovered it’s beauty! All thanks to marathon fever.

For the first time, non-runners aka, normal people, know what a marathon is…. a really, really, long race that requires a feat of human endurance to accomplish. A few even know that the marathon is 26.2 miles. When a non-runner learns that you run, in an attempt to relate, the first question out of their mouth is often, “Have you run a marathon.” thinking this is the epitome of a true runner, simply because that is what they know… that and that they hate having to run themselves and that all runners are crazy :)

Clearly, to be a runner has nothing to do with running a marathon.

Running has to with, well, running.

I may love the half marathon, but you know who really impresses me? Not Kara Goucher, but the miler! Have you ever tried to race the mile? It’s hard! I’d take a marathon over that any day!

At the end of the day, why does that occasional thought to perhaps run a marathon, “for fun” pop into my head? Because I am constantly asked if I have run one? No. It is because running a marathon would be a new challenge, one I am confident I could accomplish, but that would test me, push me, make me hate it, love it, reward me, and make me work damn hard. And that is why we run at the end of the day.

So to answer all of those people’s question, no I have not run a marathon. Why? Because I have not wanted to. I may never want to. But if I do, one thing is certain, it will never be the, “right” time, I will just have to say….. “screw it, I’ll do it!”

Have you run a marathon?

Why did you or why haven’t you?

What do people always ask you when they discover you are a runner?

Posted in Running | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Epitome of What Makes Me Happy

Good Morning! How was your weekend? Active, restful, adventuresome?

The weather here was Perfect with a capital P, not the kind of weekend to be spent indoors which was just fine by me. The city of Raleigh had plenty to offer up this Fall weekend, and thankfully my poor Gators had a by-week, so we were suffered the anxiety of football for the week.

I am pretty sure this weekend was the epitome of what makes me happy, running, good weather, great food, and baking!

Friday night the week before Halloween equals one thing… Halloweentown! The evening was spent munching on Pistachio froyo and watching the classic.

Saturday meant one last long run before the Southern Fried Half Marathon in two weeks. 45 degrees and sunny, bring it on!

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The route I choose had three miles straight uphill with no break from around miles 4-7. This killed me in the best way possible. Neither my legs nor lungs felt the burn, my glucose levels however did. While I often have tough uphills in the middle of shorter runs, I rarely have extended uphills in the middle of longer runs so I was glad to switch it up and get that experience.

Over all I felt strong and please with the run… oh, and because I ran out-and-back, the three miles of downhill were Aaaamazing!

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After one of my favorite new breakfasts, eggs over easy in tomato sauce with tortillas chips, it was off to the happiest place on earth, no not Disney World, Costco!

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Now, long time CCR readers might be familiar with my giant, 6 foot teddy bear purchased at Costco a few years ago for a mere $40. Prices have quadrupled friends, the size of the bear has! I kid you not, these babies must be 12 feet tall, and YES I must have one!

I many have already been once, but how in the world can one resist the call of the fair when great food awaits!

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Oh, and candy apples of course!

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Saturday evening, the east as much incredible food as you can possibly shove into you body, theme continued, first at Wine Authorities, a wine store and enomatic, where patrons can load a card and select from a variety or rotating wines.

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Basically froyo-style wine, or as I like to call it, perfection.

Know what else is perfect, the magnificently prepared N.C. Trout Crudo, grilled romaine with white anchovies, raw oysters, and cheese platter at The Stanbury.

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Ya’ll if you find yourself in this lovely city, you must make every effort to find yourself seated in this local restaurant!

After my traditional five mile shake out run Sunday Morning, I enjoyed my true favorite past time…. bread baking! There is nothing, and I mean nothing better on. this. planet. than the smell if yeast bread rising on a Sunday morning! This wasn’t any ole loaf bread I was preparing either, but a bucket list item of mine…. soft pretzels!

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Oh. My. Word! I seriously cannot explain how fun it was to knock these babies off of my bucket list! I followed this recipe. It took rolling the first 5 pretzels to really get the hang of it. One of my biggest pretzel/bagel baking fears was the process of boiling the dough. The concepts intimidated me. I can now say without doubt, that handmade bagels will be a regular in this household.

The perfect accompaniment to our annual Sunday Oktoberfest!

Have a great week!

Have you ever made soft pretzels or bagels?

Did you got to a fair this Fall?

Favorite fair food?

Giant pickles. Definitely giant pickles.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday! Can you believe that Halloween is only ONE WEEK away!?! Oh my goodness gracious, I feel like I still have so much pre-Halloween festivities to relish and only 7 days to do it! Some people binge on Orange is the New Black, I am thinking I should spend my weekend binging on Halloweentown and cookies. Thoughts?

Let’s jump into some Five Things Friday!

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First, Pretty Much I’m an Elite Runner

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Source

Ha! If only! Every once in a while, in life, circumstances make us plain ole lucky. That is the situation I find myself in for the Southern Fried Outer Banks Half Marathon. You might be familiar with this race’s sister Spring race, the Flying Pirate. A family member is one of the race directors for the race, and has been sweet enough to invite me and host me for the weekend, allowing me to tag along to the elite events planned!

You can bet your bottom dollar that I am gratefully accepting my family’s offer, am all signed up, and and checking off each day until the race on my calendar!

Second, The Best Time of the Year

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How many times have I said that this year so far? But seriously, when the North Carolina State Fair, Krispy Kreme burgers (yes, the donuts are the bun) in all of their glory, giant pumpkins, pickles, pig races, and animals roll into town, life is good. I swear the entire vibe of the state transforms this time of year!

My favorite part? Sure the shows, rides, and fried Twinkies are great, but for me, it’s alllll about the giant pickles and caramel covered apples!

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I scarfed down my pickles too quickly to snap a picture, but you really can’t beat my fair night dinner, country ham from the Cary Methodist Church, one giant Dill pickle and three sweet pickles, and a M&M covered caramel covered apple…. heaven!

 

Third, Halloween!

The 13 Nights of Halloween is just another reason this might be the best time of the year. It was time for a DVR cleansing to make room for soaking up all of the Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown (ok, not ABC Family but still) and Coraline!

Halloween Why yes, my brother is dressed as a crab…. Shout out to my phenomenal grandmother who made us the most incredible costumes every year!

As far as the actual Holiday itself, I’ll be spending the first half of the evening handing out candy at a friends (the bestest part I only wish I could be one of the Trick-or-Treaters) and then heading out to a SPCA fundraiser as my idol… Elsa from Frozen!

Fourth, Links I loved

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

I have been dying to make stewed okra and tomatoes for ages now, and for one reason or another have yet to. I asked my okra loving friend who is a fabulous cook to send me her favorite recipe, and ya’ll oh my goodness! I subbed frozen okra and canned tomatoes for the farmer’s market fresh version, and My, Oh, My! was it good to munch on all week!

27 Pieces Of Advice For Your 27th Birthday

10 Things You Never Knew About Candy Corn, The Candy You Love To Hate

Finally, The Week In Fitness

Friday: 6 miles easy @8:19, abs

Thursday: am: 5 miles pm: 3 miles

Wednesday: Off!

Tuesday: Skipped

I woke up exhausted and pretty much knew mile repeats were not going to happen. After approximately  a quarter mile, I gave up and walked for about 45 minutes and fit in some arm work, and walked and walked and walked at the fair!

Monday: 5 miles easy @ 8:19, abs

Sunday: 12 miles easy pace @ 8:12 average pace

Saturday: 6 miles @ 8:07 average pace

Candy Corn. Yes or No?

Please say no so I can eat all of yours :)

Favorite Halloween special?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Weekend Musings and Running Socks

Good Morning friends! How was your weekend? I always love seeing what other people spend their weekends doing, whether mundane or completely out of the ordinary, it is always interesting to see what people like to spend their down time doing. I might just be nosy, I like to think of it as being the only person at the office who actually cares, “How was your weekend?” ;)

Friday Night kicked off just the way a Friday night should…..with my parents.

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Just kidding, sort of. Friday evening, I convinced my parents who are in town to try out, Tazza Kitchen a semi-new restaurant in Raleigh I have being meaning to try for weeks now! I ordered the Wood Oven Chicken and it was wonderful, the real treat though was the zingy carrot slaw. Tazza, I shall be back!

After an easy 6  miles shake out run Saturday Morning, my Dad and I did the one and only thing you should ever do on a crisp Fall Saturday morning…

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Went to the second best (in my humble opinion) Farmer’s Market in the US, the North Carolina State Farmers Market, located here in Raleigh. We walked away with huge haul that included everything from winter squash to pepper, bok choy, and can you believe it, three medium pumpkins and four gourds for $9!

Next on the list was the Cary Dwali Festival. The Triangle (composed of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) has a thriving Indian population, and rumor had it that this festival was supposed to be wonderful. We decided to jump at the chance to relish some truly incredible Indian cuisine!

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IMG_0039[1] I could eat Indian all day every day

I capped off the afternoon by cheering on the runners at the Oktoberfest Run Greek 5k.

IMG_0052[1] The winner came in a speedy 27:29

Sunday Morning’s 12 mile run was 80%, “Running is the greatest thing on the planet, I love each and every thing about it.” 20%, “ouch, ouch, ouch, this sucks, I don’t think I can make it.”

Luckily thought the vast majority was wonderful! Random side note of the day, I saw a bunch of ROTC kids running along the greenway, and had a revelation, I think the rest of the world would hate running 50% less id they all discovered the glory of (Expensive, I know,) running socks. Seriously, those babies make all the difference in the world!

After church, I joined my family for lunch at a spot I confess I have been dying to try out since before moving to Raleigh.

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Lunch at the Carolina Country Club. Here is what I now know, it is a good thing I do not have their leather club chairs in my house, because I would never, ever, ever stand up again!

After chores, chores, chores, it was time for dinner.

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The picture may not induce mouthwatering but our Bok Choy and Asian marinated, pork chops were oh so yumm!

I have a feeling that things may be a little quiet at CCR this week due to a hectic and TBD schedule, but I hope to get at least one post up.

Now, let’s all go out there and have absolutely fabulous, weeks!

What was your favorite thing you did this weekend?

Do you wear running socks?

What was the last new restaurant you tried? Did you like it?

Posted in Life | Tagged | 7 Comments

Back on the Train

Good Friday Morning to you!

I took a step back from blogging this week because, well, I felt like it, and that seemed like a pretty good reason to me :)

In lieu of the typical, Five Things Friday post, I thought I would post a follow-up to Monday’s post, My Number One Running Fear and How To Overcome It. In case you missed it, I discussed consistency in running, my fear of losing my running consistency, and a plan to whip my consistency back into shape this week!

In highly non-typical Anne fashion, I published my weekly goals to keep me on track, here is how it went!

Saturday: 6 Miles @ 7:50

Donezo

Sunday: 12 miles The inspiration for the post

Monday: 10 miles @ 9:07

Yup

Tuesday: 7 Miles, 3 minute repeats (Possibly 3 after work w/ run club)

7 miles 2 @ 8:19, 6 sets of 3 minutes @ 7:18, 2 minutes @ 8:19, finish @ 8:19, Hip strengthening

Tuesday evening was a rainy, windy night… I opted for pasta in instead of running :)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 7 miles

7 miles @ 7:41 average pace

Friday: 6 miles

6 miles @ 8:19, arms I finally warmed up to this run… at mile 5

Thoughts on the Week

Ya’ll, I am so grateful that I opened up, and published Monday’s post on  my struggles with consistency lately. When that is your problem, it’s simple to know how to fix it, the proof is in the pudding… or the running…then you can eat the pudding. The rest of the week, I felt strong, and committed. Even if the run was difficult, even when I didn’t want to get out of bed, not running was not an option.

In other words, I felt like my old self. Nothing could feel better than that!

I have a 12 miler planned for the weekend, and luckily the temperatures (oh my goodness, the 40s!) and sunshine are on my side so excuses are out the window.

Have a great weekend!

How were your workouts this week?

What goals are you focusing on right now?

Posted in Life, Running | Tagged , | 3 Comments

My Number One Running Fear and How To Overcome It

Does anyone else feel 1000 times more lethargic after a full 8 hours of sleep?

I know that too much sleep is not a good thing, but 8 hours is hardly too much. Personally, I think the lethargy comes from my unwillingness to get my booty out of bed when an alarm clock is not blaring and I don’t have a strict deadline to be at work. The result, sometimes I skip weekend runs after a full night’s sleep.

My number one running fear (injury aside) is not the pressure of a race PR, intimidating distance, or even GI issues (the boat has long sailed on that one), but inconsistency.

When it comes to running, consistency is my strength. When that strength falters, it scares me and makes me feel bad. Bad means a lot of things. Bad means lazy, vulnerable, lethargic, and plain ole blah. That’s hard to admit.

Combine a tired morning, and overcast skies, and this Florida native (we are the Sunshine State after all) wants to so just about anything aside from run…or elliptical, the alternative.

This leaves me feeling vulnerable to my biggest fear, my fear of inconsistency. My fear that one missed long run will turn into two, three, or more.

Like all runners, I know perfectly well that that “blah” feeling will disappear post run, replaced my those lovely, lovely addictive and soul filling endorphins. Caffeine ain’t got nothing on post-run endorphins, lethargy be damned! I also appreciate that it is crucially important to give ourselves and bodies a break every now and again, and I adore this!

Don’t you dare try and mess with my Wednesday morning walks ohhhhh heck no!

We are flirting with my favorite time of the running year, the temperatures are dropping and the races are popping up like the sweet Summer blackberries that are so omni-present in my current North Carolina home. I want want to embrace it, to live it, to share it with others,  to savor the treasured endorphins. Sometimes however, my actions don’t align with my wants and goals. They are inconsistent.

Recognizing this does not solve the problem though does it.

Consistency is something I believe every. single. runner. deals with every single day. Don’t agree, good for you, you rock! To help you understand though, go on Pinterest and search “running quotes,” you’ll get the message.

Run  Source

So what does help over come the fear of inconsistency? Being consistent that’s how! I am a very practice person, can you tell ;). Much of my personal joy of running comes from not following a training plan. That being said, much of my joy of running also comes from knowing I can trust my self to go for long runs without a goal race so that when I decide to race one random weekend (I love this low-pressure approach!) I will be ready. If I am skimping on that though, I have long that privilege and need to earn back the trust.

See Dad, you really did teach me about commitment and honesty :)

From one consistent runner to another, here are 4 tips for getting your consistency back in check:

1. Establish your objective (I am sick of the word goal)

  • Run 6 per week, 40 miles, one day of the 6 being optional for cross-training

2. Plan for the short-term how you will work towards your objective (Do it even if you hate to plan. You have to re-earn your trust)

Saturday: 6 Miles @ 7:50

Sunday: 12 miles The inspiration for this post

Monday: 10 miles @ 9:07

Tuesday: 7 Miles, 3 minute repeats (Possibly 3 after work w/ run club)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 7 miles

Friday: 6 miles

3. Expand your habits where you are consistent throughout the week to the days where you aren’t consistent.

  • Set an alarm on the weekend.

4. And of course my favorite, and by the far the most important, from the wonderful Kristin Armstrong,

Run Source

 

What’s your number one running fear?

How do you handle consistency?

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments