Tag Archives: Ohio

Bah Humbug… ish

27 Dec

Well…  I’m still injured and still not running.  Harumpf!

I did jack sh*t physically while I was home in Ohio.  Unless you count hoisting beers and cookies and pancakes (oh my!) into my mouth.  If you do, then I was quite active!  (I am swimming in a pool of self-loathing today.  This is also not actually a physical activity.)

So, last Tuesday, I promised myself I would get an elliptical workout in at my work gym before heading off to the homeland.  And sure enough, after work, I changed into my gym clothes and met my work BFF, Kim, at the gym.  Since she was already on the elliptical, I decided to do a (slow!) treadmill run.  I did about 6 miles in an hour-ish on the TM (I told you I was slow!) and I felt as though I had taken drugs (not that I’ve ever done drugs!) afterward.  I felt AWE. SOME.  However, my foot didn’t feel so awesome.  I don’t know why I thought running slowly would make a difference, but I do think that running on a TM is slightly better on my stupid foot than running on pavement.  Anyhow, I’m discouraged because this PF BS insists on lingering.  But here’s a couple shots of what I get to look at while I’m using my work gym.  Not too bad!

Then, Wednesday morning I boarded a flight to DC.  Though I pretty much always fly direct to Dayton, (hate dealing with travel nonsense!) the flights for Christmas were prohibitively expensive, so I allowed a “quick” stopover in DC this time around, thinking “DC is an OK layover.  It’s not like I’m going clear out of the way to Atlanta or something.”  This would have been all well and good had USAir not canceled my flight from DC to Dayton and not been able to book me on anything until 6 hours later.  RAWR.

So, I did what any normal person would do and checked my bag (USAir kindly waived the fee– it was the least they could do!) and figured out how to navigate the complicated DC metro system (you have to swipe your card to get OUT, too!  WTH, dude?) and found my way to the closest mall– at Pentagon City– and entertained myself there.  I got my nails done, did a lot of shopping, and treated myself to a burger and a beer.  Then, I headed back to the airport for my 6 PM flight…. except it turned into more of an 8:30 PM flight, thanks to further delays.  Ah, the holidays!

My time in Ohio was pleasant but rushed, as always.  I had a lovely breakfast with some of my HS besties at the famed Golden Nugget, where I engaged in some of the aforementioned pancake-hoisting.

Jen and Jill, who is expecting a li'l bebe in 2012!

with Jess and baby Vi

We did some reminiscing about how our entire gang spent the night at Jen’s the night before our final day of high school, then we went to the Golden Nugget, and us girls wore the forbidden spaghetti strap shirts to school.  “Do you have a picture of that?” you ask.  You bet your a$$ I do.

Lookin' fine in '99

Anyway.

I also spent some QT with my awesome fam and we did the whole obligatory present stuff and overeating.

3 generations of awesome!

My nephew is adorable and perfect in every way, including being a bad-a$$ colorer.

My niece rocks. (HAHA, GET IT??)

A small portion of the spread at my mom's. Wish I could say I ate mostly the stuff in the middle, but let's face it-- the cheese is always where it's at.

My sis-in-law MADE these hot cocoas on a stick. SHE EVEN MADE THE MARSHMALLOWS. Amazing!

Goose Island Mild Winter Ale was the bev of choice for the day. My bro and I gave it 2 thumbs up.

And on that note… my bro got me this special edition Dogfish Head beer for Christmas!

I love DFH and who DOESN'T love Pearl Jam??!! Can't WAIT to try it!

My mom MADE this for me and I LOVE it!!!  Sooo awesome and thoughtful.  This is for my medals!

Can't wait to hang my medals up! Here's hoping I get a few more in 2012....

This is where my medals currently reside– all hanging from one flimsy nail stuck into the corner of my bookshelf.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t knock them down whenever I am reaching for certain articles of clothing.

My Christmas rounded out with a visit to this little lady.  And speaking of ROUND– she is adorably (and infuriatingly) still in tip-top shape and just has a little round baby bump.  I was seriously floored when I saw her hot pregnant a$$.  This is my dear, dear friend Jennifer, with whom I ran the Flying Pig marathon twice and the NYC marathon once.

She is lucky she is pregnant, 'cause otherwise I would have slapped her when she said she is still running regularly. *insert angelic face here.*

So, now I’m back in NYC and supposed to be packing, as I am moving on New Years Eve!  YIKES.  I suck at packing and I hate moving, but need to keep my eye on the prize.  (“The prize” being living in sin with my bomb-a$$ bf.)

And speaking of keeping my eye on the prize, I WANT THE PRIZE.  (This time “THE PRIZE” refers to running.  I know I’m all over the place right now.  Deal with it.)  Oh man, do I want it.  I told myself I would put in a good hour at the gym this morning before work.  However, as per usual, I could not motivate to get out of bed to go to the stinky gym, so I wound up doing a measly 25 minutes on the stepper.  And let me tell you, 25 minutes on that thing is pretty torturous in many ways.  (Boring being the main one.)  I would rather run for 2 hours.  I also continue to picture myself winding up on Tosh.0 since I am clumsy as hell.

My foot still hurts.  Which makes me very sad.  I would give anything to go running pain-free right now.  I know I’m a drama queen, but it’s true!  I also miss these beloved guys:

Shoes, pretty shoes... I want you back in my life.

I know I'm a f**king cliche, but DAMN I LOVE SHOES.

It’s a good thing it’s a very chill week at work, ’cause I can get away with this hotness.

Oh yeah, rolled up jeans + white Brooks Adrenalines. It's all the rage!

My foot better RECOGNIZE that I am making all kinds of sacrifices and get better STAT!

Annnnd… I’m starting to sound like a crazy lady, so I’m out for now!  Hope everyone had very happy holidays!

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Things I’m Thankful For and The End of Sloth

28 Nov

So as usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short on this stuff.  (Will blogging EVER come naturally to me?)  But I’ve read a few blog posts about things people are thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving, and I want to jump in on it.  I think it’s very important to recognize and appreciate the things that are awesome in one’s life, rather than dwell on what may not be so awesome, but I’m always a bit averse to doing it in excess because I don’t want it to sound like I’m gloating.  (“Listen to how sweet MY life is!”)

That said …  I’mma go ahead and say I’m grateful for my job — though I don’t plan to go into any detail about it online ever.  I WILL say that my co-workers are some of my dear friends and that in this tough market, I’m super super grateful to have a job that allows me to live a comfortable life.

I’m grateful for my family, because they are the bomb.

Amazing and supportive parents

My brother and his sweet fam are so awesome

I’m grateful to have the best boyfriend in the entire world.  I know, gag gag, barf, etc.  I try and keep this kind of talk to a minimum, so give me a little credit.  I could say a LOT more, but I won’t. 🙂

Here we are at my best friend's wedding reception. Yes, there were lambs.

I’m grateful I have the most amazing friends a girl could ask for.  I am not going to include a pic here because I can’t choose who I want to represent. 🙂  They’re all fantastic.

I’m grateful I live in a city that I love (sometimes hate, as well, but always love.)

I took this pic as I ran around the reservoir the morning before the NYC marathon. Nice, right?

And I am grateful for my health, and the fact that I am physically capable of doing something I love so very much.

'bout to PR in Columbus

There are so many more things I’m thankful for, but those are the biggies.

My Thanksgiving was fantastic.  T and I drove to Cleveland and stayed with his (seriously awesome) family.  Another thing I am GRATEFUL for is that we truly enjoy one another’s company, making the drive there and back not too bad!  We spent a glorious 3 days trolling about Cleveland and seeing (and for me, meeting!) some of his friends, drinking beers, eating amazing food, and sleeping.  I managed to get a run in on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, AND T joined me on Saturday.  This was a very special event, as he generally refuses to run with me.

For any Cleveland haters, check out this pic I snapped on one of my runs. Beautiful, is it not?

This week, I REALLY want to get back into a serious training program for Surf City.  Details to come!  Keep me accountable! 😉

3:38:52, or The Weekend That Was Just Totally Freaking Awesome (Part 2)

18 Oct

I’m back!  Sleep No More was good, but sadly I think you get out of it what you put in, and I was pretty tired.  Oh well.

Anyhow… so I met up with my brother, Michael, in the lobby of The Westin, where he was staying.  He informed me right off the bat that he was pretty sick with a fever and hadn’t slept at all.  I admitted I wasn’t feeling so hot either, thanks to my idiotic garlic intake the night before.  I peed in the Westin’s lobby bathroom and we were on our way.  My mouth was feeling dry, which made me slightly nervous, since I didn’t have any water on me.

We made our way to the start and I stopped again to pee at a port-o-potty on the way.  The Westin is a short distance from the start– only about a 5 minute walk.  Once at the start, we were able to get into the proper corral– the 2nd one!– much more easily than we had been in years past, and we remarked at how happy we were they had cleaned up the corrals situation.  I noticed the 3:35 pace group a bit in front of me and was delighted to see that a woman was leading them.  YEAH, GIRL!  Michael and I talked about how difficult it would be to run that pace AND carry the big sign with the balloons on it!  I was feeling a bit nervous, but mostly chill.  I felt bad for Michael, because he just couldn’t seem to get amped up.

Before long, they started the National Anthem and I quietly removed my long sleeved tee.  I was kind of bummed because it wasn’t one I had planned on ditching, but it was one from an NYRR race– and I have literally at least 20 of them– so it’s OK.  I hadn’t planned very well because the wait at the start for Columbus usually isn’t so long and I can normally tough it out in just a singlet, but it was pretty chilly.  (Which is always a GOOD thing for this sweaty girl!)

Then they set off fireworks, which was pretty neat:

And off we went!  My tentative plan was to try and keep it around an 8:23 steady pace and hope for a 3:40 and then take it back a bit if I needed to.  Everyone had been asking me all weekend what my goal time was and I said, “3:40 would be a dream, but I’m thinking more 3:45ish.”  But secretly, I REALLY wanted to sub-3:40.  Anyhow, the first thing that struck me was how NOT effortless this 8:23 pace felt.  I was slightly alarmed, but tried to keep it light and positive.  The other thing that struck me right away was the knowledge that I was gonna have to tinkle at least one more time in order to finish this race without pi$$ing myself.  No judgement here if you are a runner who pi$$es herself, but I am not that girl.  (I do plenty of other disgusting things, though.  Hit me up.  We’ll talk.)  Anyhow, around mile 3ish(?) I saw a line of port-o-potties that looked fairly deserted, so I found an empty one and took care of business.  Then I gunned it and caught up with Michael shortly up the course.  This, by the way, is EXACTLY what I did last year in Columbus, too.  Maybe even the same line of pots.

Typically, Michael and I will chat nonstop for the duration of a run, but neither one of us was feeling awesome, so there were some words exchanged between the 2 of us, but mostly gritted teeth.  But I was happy to be keeping it on pace without too much difficulty (but again, not effortless either!)

Oh, I should mention that since I’ve had so much trouble with my stupid Garmin giving me not-accurate paces, I printed out a pace band from runnersworld.com and taped it to the back of my cell phone (which I always take on marathons for texting purposes.)  I started my watch the second I crossed the start and matched up the time on the pace band with my running timer on my Garmin at the end of each mile marker.  It worked out really well, although I’m sure I looked like a lunatic, squinting at the back of my cell phone at the end of each mile, trying to make out what time I should be at!  I could tell I was running the tangents pretty poorly, since my watch was beeping for miles’ ends pretty far ahead of the mile markers.  I’m sure my li’l veer to the potty didn’t help, but just wait ’til you see what my Garmin gave me as my distance at the end of the race.  Spoiler– it was nearly an extra freakin’ mile!  (Not possible.)

Anyhow… I have to be honest and say a lot of this race was a blur for me.  One foot in front of the other, still pretty much on-pace for a 3:40 mile after mile, much to my shock.  We made a lot of water stops.  Miles 1-6 went as follows (according to my wonky Garmin): 8:33, 8:15, 8:12, 8:40, 8:27, 8:04.  I think I lost Michael around the 6 mile water stop and texted him a bit down the road asking if he was OK.  “Fine.  Sick.  Run fast!” was his response.  I felt bad for him, but did as he said.

At this point, I started wondering if I should eat something.  I don’t eat before marathons– only gulp down my Starbucks Doubleshot– and I generally don’t feel hungry while running.  I very rarely have much more to eat than one gu per race.   But I knew I needed fuel.  I broke open one of these bad boys and nursed it over the course of about a half mile.  (I also can’t shoot ’em like you’re supposed to.  I am a wuss.)

Some dude ran up next to me and said, “How’s that gu tasting?” which gave me a bit of a chuckle and I started thinking about how funny it would be to do a blog post about pickup lines at a marathon/race, as opposed to a bar.  “You come here often?” = “you done this race before?”  “What are you drinking?”= “How’s that gu?”  BTW, T has informed that this is not as funny as I think it is….

Anyhow, T texted me at one point after my “snack” saying he and his parents were around mile 8.5, which gave me a boost and lifted my spirits after having lost my bro.  Just before I saw them, some dude running near me totally bit it and my heart went out to him.  His hand water bottle went flying.  He got up and seemed a bit shaken, but OK.  After having lost my poor sick bro and watching this poor guy bite it, I was a little dazed by the time I saw T and his mom and dad.  I tried to wipe as much sweat as possible from my sweaty sexy upper lip and brow as I approached them.  I gave him T big hug, waved to his parents, and was on my way!  I sent him a text saying I was sorry I was a bit dazed and that I wasn’t feeling awesome and he responded saying that they thought I looked great. 🙂

I got a text from my mom around this time saying she and my dad, sis-in-law, niece, and nephew were around mile 12, which gave me another boost.  One foot in front of the other, still miraculously on pace.  I was delighted to see the Westin and the 12 mile water stop approaching– just where mom said they were!  I was so excited to see everyone.  I’m not sure that’s conveyed in this picture… in fact, I’m not sure what the heck is going on in this picture… but this is a picture mom took at that point.

sneezing? coughing? your guess is as good as mine!

ta-da! I'm running a marathon!

This sight definitely gave me a huge boost, though.  Can we say CUTEST KIDS EVER?

"Hello, please forgive us for being the f-bomb cutest beings to ever exist."

Then T texted saying he and his parents were just down the road, which gave me another boost!  So many boosts! 🙂  I again attempted to look attractive and not like a disgusting disaster as I approached them.  I’m not sure I succeeded:

This time, he came out and ran a bit with me, which was a lot of fun. 🙂

I kind of couldn’t believe it when I hit the half mark.  The race had been mostly a blur thus far.  My half split was 1:49:56, which, by the way, was a PR for me.  Haha, I suck at halves and never actually race them.  I always kind of feel a surge of pride and power when I pass the half point of a marathon that has a half marathon option– because I’m going the DISTANCE!

The next few miles are a complete blur for me, as was obviously the case for the majority of this race.  I do remember mentally prepping myself by recalling that in years past, this back part of the marathon (miles 15-20ish) has always been tough for me.  Kind of a desolate area and a bit of a lull in the crowd support.  I should say that this marathon is, for the most part, AWESOME with crowd support and that there is live music at every single mile!  AMAZING!!! ❤

There had been a lot of sort of sloping downhills thus far in the course, and I had been really enjoying them, but also feeling a bit guilty and almost like I was cheating.  But the wind picked up and there were some significant uphills in these miles, and I thought, “this is only fair!  I can do this!  I school the hills in Central Park ALL THE TIME!”  I passed the point, around mile 17, where Michael and I split up last year and I thought of him and hoped he was doing OK.  I sent him a text and he responded saying he had finished in 1:56:55.  I responded that was an amazing time, especially for a sick fella!

I was now on pace for a slightly sub-3:40 finish and was feeling cautiously giddy– especially since I was feeling like the rest of this race was really going to be no problem– NOT easy by any means, but manageable.  As I passed mile 20, I thought to myself, “from here on out is the furthest you have gone since your last marathon– you have this; you can DO it!”  Whenever I started feeling tired, I repeated in my head, “3:40, 3:40, 3:40.  I CAN DO THIS.”

T and my mom started texting me about their positions for the finish and I was in amazement that I was almost done.  T said they were positioned to get a great picture of me as I finished and I responded– only half joking– that I hoped I wasn’t vom’ing in said picture.  Again, I’ve said I was feeling good, but this is all relative!  “Good” for miles 20-26 in a marathon can still equal “slightly queasy,” or “might burst into tears at any moment, due to over-exertion.”  I responded to everyone’s requests for my mental/physical state by saying variations of “feeling beat up, but holding steady.”  As I passed mile 22, I thought, “4 miles– this is NOTHING!  4 miles is a snooze!”  T texted me asking for me to let him know when I passed mile 25, but by that point I had ditched my pace band and was just trying to run fast without thinking about what that pace was, and I didn’t want to text any more either.  I wrote back, “just passed 22.  no more texts.  tired.”  Then I realized I had just passed mile 23 and followed up with a giddy, “wait!  i meant 23!”

I ran as hard as I could those last 3 miles.  I passed T and his mom.  I passed my family.  I felt awesome.  My mom snapped this pic, which I love.  I look like I’m flying!

25 yards to the finish! YESSSS!

I vaguely recall some dude coming up from behind me and gunning it and totally chicking him just before I passed the finish.  And they announced my name!  “All the way from New York City,” they said!

I had no idea what my chip time was, but I knew it was in the 3:38 range (thanks, btw, to the dude who came near me– maybe I would have been in the 3:39 range if it weren’t for him!)  And I saw my friend Mary Ellen!  She lives in Columbus and was out to cheer on another friend.  She heard them announce my name as she herself was getting to the finish.  So that was a pleasant surprise– I hadn’t seen her in something like 6 years!  We had a little chat on opposite sides of the fence separating the finish area from the civilians. 🙂  Then, I went and got my space blanket, my medal(!) and got my official finish photo snapped.  I’ve never done that after at a race, but I figured my tenth marathon merited a photo.  (I’ll post a few professional photos when they’re out– if they’re not totally heinous!)  I received a couple of nice, congratulatory texts from some awesome friends who had been tracking me online (holler, Boin and Lori!!!!) and then I had to sit down on the curb.  I was happy and lucky that T and his mom found me pretty easily!

my man is the best!

T's mom is awesome and forced her coat upon me when she saw my shivering body.

I love my folks so much!! They're the BEST!

I went back to T’s parents’ hotel room and showered and got ready and then we headed out to meet up with my parents and my girl Jen for lunch.  I ate half a turkey burger, some fries, and drank a Bells 2-Hearted Ale (yum!) before I was too full to eat any more.  I am strangely never hungry immediately following marathons.  Then we said goodbye to all and settled in at the Columbus airport in our usual fashion:

T gives Columbus Brewing Company IPAs thumbs up

The Columbus Brewing Company was serendipitously located directly across from our gate. 🙂

A few addendums.  Here is what my Garmin said after the race.  8:32 average pace, REALLY, Garmin?

26.9 miles? Riiiiight

And here is a screenshot of my results.  You can’t see the entire page, but the Columbus marathon has this really cool feature that tells you how many people you passed, and how many passed you, from the 20 mile mark to the end.  And– this is kind of awesome– apparently I passed a grand total of 215 runners(!!!) in that time and was only passed by 8!!!!  I’m not sure how that is possible, but that makes me feel like a freaking bada$$!!!

And… thus concludes my epic race report!  I am generally fairly averse to hubris, but somehow I’ve gotten a big ole kick out of writing this doozy.  Thanks for reading it! 😉

(Oh yeah, and one more thing– I should mention I’m doing this whole thing all over again in less than 3 weeks.  Haha)

3:38:52, or The Weekend That Was Just Totally Freaking Awesome (Part 1)

17 Oct

Let’s not bury the lead, shall we?

Yep.  3:38:52.  So much to say about the past 4 days.  So much to say.  But the bottom line is that I did it.  I freaking broke 3:40.  I never thought I could accomplish this.  Do I find it ironic that I qualified for Boston just in time for them to make the qualifying times stricter?  Yes.  Do I wish I had just gotten 3:38:00 flat because :52 is such an awkward punctuation to that awesome time?  Yes.  Do I need to stop with this asking questions and then answering them thing I’ve found myself doing lately?  Yes.

OK, I’ll try Cliffs Notes starting on Weds night, but no promises this won’t be excruciatingly lengthy.  Sorry.  I know at least one of my readers will stay with me, anyway.  (Hi, mom!  You’re awesome!)

Weds night I packed and went over to T’s.  We went to the grocery store near him where I picked out 10 different pumpkin ales to take to my brother in Ohio!  My bro is basically one of my favorite people EVER and he loves himself some good pumpkin ales.  One of T’s neighborhood grocery stores has this glorious display, so I had to hit it up for a little treat for brother dear:

Love. It.

I also got myself one of each, as well.  How could I not? 😉

I had a few while T and I sat on the couch and watched TV:

Pls note the alcohol content. I may or may not have been rambling to T about the "Pumpkin King" and all his "subjects holding court." I'm an idiot.

Thurs morning we flew to Dayton, where my mom picked us up.  We visited with 2 of my besties and their babies, then went back to my mom’s and chilled until my dad came over.  The 4 of us had a scrumptious dinner that my mom cooked.  Pork, cheesy mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, and home made apple pie+ ice cream, to boot!  MY MOM IS THE BEST.

Fri morning I slept in (which was heavenly) and then went for a 5 miler in my mom’s neighborhood.  I am kicking myself for not taking pics, because it was breathtakingly beautiful.  Just a perfect fall day.  After this, T and I went to visit my grandparents.  My grandparents are the sh*t.

Then we picked up a few Marion’s pizzas (best pizza EVER) and some beers, and went to my mom’s.  Shortly thereafter, a ton of my hometown buddies + some of their babies + my brother came over and we all enjoyed said pizza and beer.

Sat morning, I slept in again, went for a quick 4 miler, and had some lunch.  My mom found this in the grocery store.  I could NOT believe it.  She is magical:

I had this for my Saturday before marathon lunch.  I took a picture, ’cause I thought it was so pretty (and tasty!):

I washed this healthy lunch down with a few of these bad boys, thanks to my bestie who got me this whole box.  YUM, YUM, and YUM:

Get inside of me, unhealthy, sugary, pumpkin-y carbs!

Then, T and I took off for Columbus!  Once there, I hit up the Expo and grabbed my number, then we jetted on over to my girl Jen’s home in Dublin, Ohio.  T, Jen, her husband Adam and I all went to Brazenhead, where I allowed myself ONE Sierra Nevada and a burger and some chips.  All the food was perfectly serviceable, except for the fact that the delicious dip that came with the chips had garlic in it.  My stomach HATES garlic and I NEVER, EVER allow myself to eat it.  So why did I eat it the night before a marathon?  Ugh, I am a glutton for punishment….

I prepped my race stuff:

Then I went to bed around 11:30– not as early as I would have liked– and tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 5:30 AM.  I woke up to the taste of garlic in my mouth (though I had brushed my teeth vigorously– damn you, garlic!  DAMN YOU!)  I got ready and T and I drove to the Westin, where I was meeting my brother (who was running the half)…

… to be continued!  (Haha, sorry, I was busy today and I want to wait ’til I have pics for the full race report!) 🙂

Now, it’s off to see Sleep No More with my buddies Fatima, Ken, Cookie, and Chad.  Really wish I had had the foresight to NOT make plans tonight, ’cause all I really wanna do is sleep, (and yes, I do see the thick irony in the title of the play I’m seeing) but oh well– it should be fun!

Less Stress, Yes?

12 Oct

I know, poetic.  You’re impressed.

So… as I’ve mentioned a few times, my 10th marathon is in a mere 4 days.  But in a way, it feels like my first marathon.  I’ve never really trained intelligently for one or put much thought into my pace or goal time.  This year is different.  I have a goal finish time in mind, and while I’m not going to say it explicitly, let’s just say that I was disappointed yesterday when I noticed that the Columbus Marathon has a 3:35 pace group and a 3:45 pace group… nothing in between.

Anyhoo, is this causing me a tiny bit of stress?  Mmmm, yes.  It’s a weird feeling.  I can think back on weeks before marathons where I nearly forgot I was running one, or I kind of had it at the back of my mind as “this long run I’m doing this weekend.”  This time’s different.

So, there’s that little race.  Then there’s the fact that a certain someone is coming home to Ohio with me for the first time.  Is he awesome?  Hell, yes.  Is Ohio awesome?  Hell, yes.  Are my family and friends there awesome?  Say it with me now… hell yes.  But do I want EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DETAIL TO GO PERFECTLY so that he has a great visit?  One final time… hell yes.

I don't own this shirt. In fact, I didn't even know it existed 'til I Googled "I love Dayton." But the sentiment is true.

THEN there’s the fact that there is SO MUCH TO DO while we’re there for less than 4 days.  We fly into Dayton tomorrow morning.  While there, I want and need to see quite a few of my girlfriends who still live there — 3 of whom have just had babies that I want to meet.  One of those girls’ husbands is running the Indy marathon on Saturday, so they will only be in town for a limited time (just to complicate matters!)

I ❤ these girls.

I also need to visit my beloved grandparents and spend time with my mom, (who we are staying with in Dayton, thank goodness) my brother and his wife and my niece and nephew — the loves of my life (who will also all be at the race, thank goodness– my bro is running the half!) and my father (who would have been at the race, but had a nasty fall and may not be able to make it now. :()

My folks are the bomb

So are my bro, his wife, and THE BABIES OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO SQUEEZE THE BABIES I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then Friday evening or Saturday morning, (still not sure, ahhhhhhhh!!!) we are driving to Columbus where I will hit up the Expo.  At some point on Saturday, I need to run 4 miles, ’cause Pfitz is a b*tch tough dude.  And we are staying with my bestie Jen, so I hope to get to spend at least some QT with her and not just use her as a hotel.

Jen and I have a lengthy, storied, and occasionally shameful history of acting the fool... Check out those fantastic "formal" dresses, too. Yowza.

Then there’s the fact that T’s parents are coming to Columbus at some point on Saturday.  This is going to sound vaguely familiar, but are they awesome?  Hell, yes.  But do I want them to think of me as The Perfect Girlfriend for their son?  Hell… motha… effing… YES.  So being around them is always very pleasant, but just a touch stressful.  Also, I gotta get my sh*tty nails done before I see them.  They’re disgusting.

So, in conclusion, I have a DISGUSTING ZIT li’l breakout on my forehead, thanks to all this stess.  (Well, OK… the multiple Crumbs cupcakes I’ve eaten this week and the multiple times I’ve been too sleepy lately to wash my makeup off before bed lately have probably not helped.)

Now that I’ve gotten all of THAT out of the way… let’s talk more running, shall we?

I had class last night.  We were doing loops of the Harlem Hill.  I did 2 loops with the slowest pace group and while I promised myself I would take it easy, the psycho competitive runner in me took over and I couldn’t bear to not be in front.  Thus, I only did 2 loops and then bowed out for the third so that I could jog at a leisurely pace home.  This morning, I met up with my buddy Cheryl at 6 at the Engineer’s Gate, and we cranked out a 6-mile loop of the park.  It was great catching up with her (I hadn’t seen her since June) and she was even game to run 2 of the miles at my marathon pace (thanks, Pfitz.)  This is the most cockamamie taper I have ever experienced.  I still have to run 5 miles with 6 x 100 m strides on Fri, and a recovery 4 miler on Saturday.

But tomorrow, I will sleep in (a tad) and then get on a plane with my beloved to my beloved home state.  I’m happy.  Stressed… but happy.