So about that plan

After I ran the Orlando Half, I mentioned that I was formulating a plan for the next race but didn’t really talk about it. Mostly because I can talk all I want but when it comes to doing – eh, I don’t have that much drive to actually succeed.

I don’t know if it was the plan or luck, but I ran the Celebration race 20 minutes faster than the Orlando half and I felt great the whole time. Since the plan maybe sort of worked, I thought I’d talk about it. Basically, I wanted to focus on three things before the race:

  • Lose 10 lbs. (I lost 3 lbs. Over two months. <— LOL)
  • Run outside more and on the treadmill less. (Check)
  • Fix my attitude. (Ehhh…nope)

So I stuck to some of the plan and that’s more than I usually do. I did significantly more running outside, which makes me work harder because I don’t have a treadmill to propel me forward. It also made my weekday runs a mile or two longer because I wasn’t going to drive out to the park for just 2 or 3 miles.

Besides my second marathon, the 3M half is the only race where I felt good the entire time. So I had a brilliant pre-race plan as well. Do exactly what I did before 3M. I know. Amazing. Somehow, that didn’t cross my mind before.

That plan was:

  • Limit my workouts the week before. (Check)

I went to Crossfit on Monday, ran 2.25 miles on Thursday, and sat and stared at walls the rest of the week.

  • Drink the Friday night before the race. (Work with me here.)

I used to always think drinking the week before a race was a horrible idea, but every time I do it, I have amazing races. I mentioned this to hubs and he thinks it has something to do with water retention the next day. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’m going with it. Because beer.

  • Eat a burger and fries for lunch the day before. (Check)
  • Eat a PB&J for breakfast the morning of the race. (Check)

I think that’s the the formula that works for me. I’ll be trying it out again for my next race on March 1. The race is on a Saturday so I guess that means I’ll have to drink on Thursday. The sacrifices I make…

Oh, and for those with morbid curiosity at what it looks like to catch a sidewalk with your face.

It looks worse than it feels and only hurts when I accidentally bump it. It’s low enough on my chin that most people think I’m either an abuse victim or ask if I have ink on my face. So yeah, it could have been in a cooler spot.

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Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon

This weekend came and went so fast. I guess that means I had fun, but damn, slow down time. I picked up my Washington DC sugar mama, Melissa, from the airport on Friday night and immediately took her to a bar.

I like to take all house guests on scenic boozing tours of Orlando. Speaking of which, that was my first drink since New Year’s Eve. That’s 24 days for you non-drinkers who are wondering why that’s so hard. My liver has been desperately looking for something to filter. By the way, alcohol has not lost its deliciousness in those 24 days. Just had to make sure though. Drinks also effectively put us to sleep for the night.

Saturday, we met up with my chauffer for lunch at the Relax Grill at Lake Eola. There’s a lot of new artwork around Lake Eola and Melissa knows a photo op when she sees one.

After lunch, Melissa and I picked up our race packets and stopped at a few stores. Next time we looked at a clock, it was dinner time and we wondered where the day went. I was an amazing host and took her to a vegan restaurant (her fave) and supported her mostly vegan ways by eating unpronounceable things with her.

A tempeh and quinoa salad. I kinda liked it. (Don’t tell the meat of the world.)

After dinner, Melissa watched me go in full freak-out mode over what to wear for the race. She loved that. Like, a lot. Then we went to bed and I slept like total shit. There is nothing like knowing I have to be up at a specific time that makes me wake up every hour and look at the clock.

Sunday morning, Melissa and I got up at 4:45am. Melissa did not want to be up and it was obvious. And kinda funny. #grouch We got ready, picked up Michelle, and headed to Celebration which is about 45 minutes away. We were running a little late (or maybe that was just me) and parked a mile from the start, so we ended up running the mile to make it to the start on time. Now, some people would call that a warm-up mile. I call it an unnecessary extra mile I had to run.

Once we got to the start, we split up quickly. Melissa and Michelle went to their pacer areas and I went to the port-o-potty. By the time I got out, the race already started and I was back with the five hour marathoners. It was pretty humid for being in the 50s so I was already hot from the mile run. Then I spent the first four miles cursing the heat and dodging slower runners who like to stop and walk in the middle of a packed course without looking behind them.

Five miles into the race, things were getting much better. I was feeling good, the crowd was thinning, and the temperature was dropping. I felt like I was running in Miami Vice – basically down a long road with lines of extremely tall palm trees on either side. After the Miami Vice road, we ran several miles on a wooded boardwalk which was amazing. It was so peaceful and quiet and I felt super fast. We also ran sidewalks around several lakes and by white picket fence homes I’ll never be able to afford, even with my part-time dancer job. All in all, it was a really pretty course and really well run for an inaugural race.

I ate a few peanut butter pretzels every couple of miles but around mile 7, I could tell if I ate any more I’d have to stop at a port-o-potty. So I didn’t eat the rest of the race which sucked because I needed it, especially around mile 10. My legs felt good, but my energy was dwindling. That’s when mile 12 happened.

I took a giant nose-dive into the sidewalk.

A really nice guy helped me up and another kept asking if I was ok. They were really concerned so I know it didn’t look good. I appreciated them stopping but was worried about them losing time on their race which made sense to me, all sprawled out on the sidewalk, at the time. But seriously, I heart runners. They are the best.

Alright, so I had a mile to go and I was hurting (mostly my chin, which hit the sidewalk pretty hard, and my scraped-up hands from catching my fall. Oh, and my forehead that I just noticed this morning.) So I turned off my music to get rid of distraction and finished that last mile as quickly as my body was allowing. It felt fast, but apparently wasn’t because it was my slowest mile.

Celebration half

Official time: 2:09:13. Not what I wanted but I felt good (finally!) and it’s a big improvement on my half in November (2:21:54) and my half in December (2:28:11).

I met up with all my girls after the race, including Katy and Victoria.

Hat triplets! (Not planned though it should have been.)

Melissa and I left pretty quickly since we had to shower, eat, and get to the airport on time. It was just as well, because after that fall, I was achey. Not life and death or anything, but I wanted to leave. Despite the fall, I loved the race and will definitely do it again next year.

Oh, and a big congrats to Michelle who ran a PR and Melissa who felt miserable during the race but still won second in her age group. Love you ladies!

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Clif Bar Giveaway Winners

People really love Clif Bars. Dang. Give away free food and ya’ll comeout of the woodwork.

Here are the big winners:

  • Rebecca G.
  • Jeffrey L.
  • Kate
  • Stacy S.
  • Stephanie

Please email me your address at eatwatchrun@gmail.com and I’ll hook you up. :-)

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Here We Go Again

If you read my running lovah’s blog, you know there’s been some marathon talk lately. Ok, a lot of marathon talk. Especially now that my year and a half wait is over for her ass to get pregnant, have said baby, recover, and get back into running.

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I guess he was worth it. 😉  Also, it took me five minutes to decide if I was going to use “ho’s” or “hoes.” I need to find a better way to spend my time.

Anyway, I could have trained and ran a marathon on my own, but where’s the fun in that? I feel like my whole running career has included Michelle and I don’t want to change that. Enter marathon #3.

If you follow races, you know the Chicago Marathon is based on a lottery system this year (of course it is). You only have guaranteed entry if you’re fast enough (I’m not) or if you ran the race for the past five years (I didn’t). You can bypass the lottery if you run for charity (ding, ding, ding). Running for charity is a great idea in general so that’s the way I’m leaning. I already have one in mind but I’m still doing some research.

I’m also searching for marathon #4. I’m not sure which one it will be, but I know I’m not going to train for a full and only run one. That seems like a waste of training to me. my chauffer already has a few other races in mind so I’ll either pick my own (maybe in CA so I can see my family at the same time) or be “coerced” into one she picks. Like this one, cuz I’m a sucker for travel to new places.

I know this is a little premature, but I’m fairly certain marathon #3 and #4 will be my last marathons. Ever. Training is hard, time consuming, and I don’t always enjoy it, especially in the Florida humidity. But it will be worth it for Chicago. Not only is it my hometown, but I get to take hubs with me and make a mini-vacation out of it. I’ll also get to see my (non-San Diego) brother who I haven’t seen in so long it’s embarrassing. Oh, and the pizza. THE PIZZA. I’m gonna make Lou Malnati’s my bitch.

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So that’s the plan. What does this mean for you? It means a good five months of weekly bitching about long, humid runs, how my shoes suck, and how I pooped in a stranger’s yard. So basically nothing is changing.

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A Clif Bar Giveaway cuz They’re Delicious

So I just learned something new.

Did you know that the Monday of the last full week in January is called Blue Monday and is considered the most depressing day of the year? That’s this Monday – January 20 for those that are wondering when exactly you need to be depressed.

Depression

The reason for Blue Monday?

  • The holidays are over.
  • Credit card bills have arrived.
  • We’re back to 5-day work weeks.
  • New Year’s resolutions have failed.

So basically, we are all doomed this week.

Luckily I love Clif Bars. And even more luckily, they contacted me and want to give FIVE readers Clif Bar packs with their “Banish Blue Monday Woes with Clif Bar” promotion.

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Clif recommends taking your workout outdoors for new motivation because it helps concentration, productivity, and releases endorphins to boost your mood. Or if you’re in a blizzard, get on the treadmill and I’ll post some Orlando pictures for you to look at longingly. That should help.

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See? You’re feeling better already.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. You get an extra entry for tweeting about it. (Remember to enter with the Rafflecopter after you do.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday.

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In with the New

Nothing like chopping your hair on one of the coldest days of the year. (It was 39ºF coming into work this morning, which might as well be -10ºF by Orlando standards.)

My hair has been driving me crazy lately. Just drying and styling it is like an all-day event that requires bathroom breaks and catered sandwiches for when you get hungry. So it was time for a change. I got a natural ombré to darken my hair a bit (which my friend matched to my roots) and a long inverted bob (that I’ll get more inverted next week now that I know I like it).

Here’s what I look like today (in poor lighting).

I’m not really great at styling it yet. I need a couple days to figure out how to do it. But, it’s so nice (and scary) to get rid of all that hair.

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By the Numbers

Alright, let’s start out with the important stuff first.

1. If you’re a fan, you already know the Veronica Mars movie has a release date: March 14. Or what I have now dubbed it, New Christmas.

That’s the official poster. I posted it on Facebook last week and two of my friends thought Kristen Bell was me at first. Obviously, they have been promoted to best friend and all other friends have been demoted. To say I’m excited about New Christmas would be an understatement. I haven’t been this excited about a movie since Terminator 2 (I’m serious, work with me here). I was 15 when T2 came out and I wanted to see it so badly that I remember thinking, “I hope I don’t die before this comes out.”

I know, not normal. But just in case, I’m going to be looking both ways when I cross the street so I make it safely to New Christmas.

P.S. All three seasons of the show are on Amazon Prime video. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.

2. Speaking of Amazon Prime (my newest obsession), I’m currently watching Season 2 of Justified, which I’m loving.

Does anyone else watch this? I feel like I never hear anyone talk about it.

3. I got a new nightlight for my bathroom.

I have no idea why I’m showing you that. Probably because hubs is not impressed with it like I am.

4. We did a little Pants snuggling the other day. Look at those feets!

She’s hating that by the way. Her eyes are wide, her ear is slicked back, and she’s breathing heavy. But if she’s not trying to get away, we try to soak up the lovin’ while we can.

5. I’ve never met an animal so small that smells so badly.

He’s also camera shy. But, seriously, his cage stinks. He’s cute, so I’ll keep him. For now.

6. I have a half coming up next weekend.

I’ve been trying to work on my speed but I’m not so sure I’m getting speedier. My runs average around a 9:30 mile, which is faster than my last two races but might not mean anything since I always choke on race day. Either way, I’m looking forward to it because my DC lovah, Melissa, will be coming into town to stay the weekend and run it with Michelle and I.

I’ve been obsessively checking the weather since last week and so far it’s looking like it might not be 100% horrible. So all you Northerners, keep sending those cold fronts down here, mmmkay?

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Winter is Going

So, Winter came to Orlando.

That picture is Winter. The untrained eye might not be able to see that it’s 40°F but if you look real closely, you can tell.

Winter lasted two days and they weren’t consecutive, but I will take whatever I can get. So both days, I made sure to enjoy an outside run while everyone else stayed in and bitched about the weather on Facebook. So please let me take this moment to model my winter weather running gear that I get to use once a year.

So yeah, that’s about it. Two hats. The important part is that it was cool enough to need to keep my ears warm and my nail beds were purple at the end of one of the runs. Normally one would see that as a bad sign, but not me. I don’t take frostbite for granted. I’ll purple up these extemities when I can. #coldweatherlover (And if you’re interested, one run was 11.25 miles and one was five miles, both around a 9:30 pace.)

All of my runs have been in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. So far, so good with those. In fact, my little online shopping addiction is still in full swing. Sooo…this happened.

I hope the WR17s don’t end up sucking (like every other shoe I’ve worn) because now I have two pairs. They’re just so light! I love it.

In my Brooks Glycerine 10s, I felt like I couldn’t lift my legs after about 7 miles. It was frustrating and made my runs so hard even when I was feeling good. I checked recently, and the Brooks weigh 10.1 oz compared to the WR17’s 7.8 oz. I’ve been running for years so you think I would pay more attention to stuff like that, but nope.

I also think I solved my headphone situation. I hate ear buds. They never stay in my ears. But I found these at Best Buy for $16 (they’re cheaper in store) and thought I’d try them out because I like to buy things, hate them, and never use them again.

Turns out, I like them! They don’t budge because they go around my whole ear lobe, they don’t make me look like a giant tool, and I think they display my Hobbit ears nicely.

So basically, running is going OK right now and I’m trying not to get too stressed about my race in two weeks. I have a thing for having good training runs and shitty races and I want to change that. So we’ll see how this next one goes.

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My Favoritest Holiday of them All

New Year’s Eve turned out better than I thought it would. Hubs and I had no plans and didn’t know what we wanted to do. So, we decided on the 30th to invite a bunch of people over and see if there were other plan-less losers like us.

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There were!

More people showed up than we expected and I only knew 50% of them (friends of friends and whatnot), but it was a good time that included a lot of Fireball (on my part), champagne at midnight, a broken martini glass, a few spilled drinks, fireworks, and Duck Dynasty confetti all over my kitchen floor. (Whoever brought that is off the invite list!)

I also got to hang out all night with my friend (and extremely sporadic blogger), Klainie, who I haven’t seen in awhile, which makes no sense because we work together.

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The house across from us was having a party as well and I think we were in an unspoken fireworks-off, which I’m sure is a thing.

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What they won in height, we made up for in originality when our friend sprinted through the neighborhood with a lit firework.

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Don’t try that at home, kids.

Hubs and I ended up going to bed around 3am. Our friend, Jamie, didn’t make it that long. She has a knack for falling asleep when the mood strikes and she did not disappoint.

I realized this year that New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. It’s the first day where the stress of the holidays is gone and you can just enjoy yourself and be absurdly lazy. Plus, the first day of the new year always feels fresh to me. I love it. I never feel that way any other day.

So, on my favorite day of the year, I ate pizza for breakfast, took a surprisingly long nap, and watched hours and hours of the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy. I look forward to that marathon every year. It is totally my favorite thing about New Year’s Day. (And no, watching it on Netflix is not the same.) Those old episodes are so good and they remind me how much I love the ride at Hollywood Studios. I even managed to run three decent miles in the evening, so that Fireball tried and failed to keep me down.

Paula: 1, Fireball: 0

It’s already a good year.

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Catching Up

So that Christmas thing came and went, huh? It’s been a weird holiday season. When the temperature barely dips below 80, it’s hard for me to get my holiday spirit pantaloons on. It doesn’t feel like the holidays, it feels like summer with more potlucks.

Anyway, besides being bitter that I’m still wearing spaghetti straps and flip flops, here’s what’s been going on:

1. I miss TV.

Whoever decided it was cool to put shows on hiatus in December and January is just a horrible person that doesn’t consider my feelings. How else am I supposed to avoid family and social interaction?

I’ve watched more movies in the past couple days than I have all year. (The Heat, The World’s End, Insidious 2, White Christmas, and about 10 random movies on TV (with commercials) that I already own but am too lazy to get from the next room. TV, please come back to me.)

2. House of Lies and Being Human start next month!

I’ve been waiting so long for you both.

3. My favorite Austin cutie patootie stopped by for a visit.

She drove to Orlando during her holiday with family just to see meeeee! To thank her for making the trip, I took her to five bars and made her walk all over downtown after she flew in from New Jersey and drove four hours from West Palm. But most importantly, I thanked her by looking twice her size in that picture. (You’re welcome, Melissa.)

We also hit up a local place for brunch the following day and her boyfriend, Brad, was kind enough to take a picture of us.

4. I don’t have much to share about Christmas. Hubs and I spent the holiday together, vegging out on the couch, and doing a lot of nothing except shopping online (that might have been just me). It was a nice and low-key holiday.

Is there a 12-step program for shopping online? Because I need it. Especially if the first 11 steps involve buying something. I did 90% of my Christmas shopping online (glorious!) and I just got Amazon Prime which, as it turns out, is a shopping enabler. Now I need to buy everything, but only if it’s delivered to my house in two days.

Alrighty, I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year. Be smart. Take a cab if you need to. Or go to bed at 11pm. Or end sentences in prepositions. Whatever you’re into. Just make it happy.

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