Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"It's a New Life for Me, and I'm Feelin' Good"

Ladies and gentlemen, this happened:

Our wedding, much like every race I have ever ran, was completely worth all the stress, all the work, all the sleepless nights, all the everything. It was worth it because it was amazing. I could talk about the week leading up to it--the parties, the lack of sleep, the over-caffeination due to said lack of sleep, the panic when we found out we might have to wait until the following Monday for a marriage license (and the sweet relief when we were able to get it), but then I would be here for days. I will just say these things:
~I have an amazing family. I really do. They worked their asses off for a year and a half to pull this off, and I will forever be in their debt for that.
~I have truly great friends, who I could never live without, and being able to celebrate with them just made the whole event sweeter.
~Trail running, I feel, adequately prepared me for tearing 1/4 mile through the woods to where we hid our car while wearing a wedding dress and sparkly ballet flats. Mercifully, I didn't fall for once. 
~I am FINALLY Brandon's wife. I have only been wanting to be able to say that for the better part of 3 years, and I am still beside myself happy that I wasn't dreaming this time and we actually are married. 

Unfortunately, while I was in TC gearing up for our wedding, this happened:

Massive, catastrophic flooding here in Duluth. Damage in the millions of dollars, tens of millions. Parks, roads, homes, businesses destroyed. It was killing me being back in MI in the sunshine and seeing this on the news, knowing that this time while I was watching coverage of a disaster, it wasn't unknown locations and anonymous faces I was seeing. I could point out every place I saw. I knew the things I was seeing. My new home was in trouble, and I wasn't there to help. Furthermore, my groom was still there. Thankfully, my friends and co-workers were OK, Brandon made it out (though he did have to caulk the wagons and ford a few rivers to do so), and both my homes in Duluth (the apartment and DRC) are OK. The trails are going to need some help, though, and I have my name on a list to do so. Life in Duluth goes on, and it will all be OK.
(Also, if you're in Duluth--there will be a benefit concert next weekend for flood victims as part of the Twin Ports Bridge Festival. $35 daily pass/$60 weekend, and all proceeds on Sunday go to a long term flood relief fund. Good music for a good cause = very much yes.)

Lastly--this is officially underway:
Hello, marathon training plan! Thanks, little sister!

In short--despite the chaos of a week ago, life is about as good as it gets right now. I'm married. I'm in marathon training. I'm back to my pretty awesome full time job. I have everything I desperately wanted 2 years ago. Life is so good.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"What If It All Goes Right?"

My last race as Lindsey Goss is in the books.

1:48:48. My first half in which I did not PR, but 7 seconds away from doing so? I'm more than OK with this, especially when you factor in the week that has been.
Before the race itself, tied in with packet pick up, is the Essentia Health Fitness and Health Expo. For us at the store, it's been weeks of getting ready, 3 days of pricing, sorting, and packing, and then 2 days of shoe slinging chaos. I worked somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 hours in the 2 days leading up to the run, and was at nearly 50 including the rest of the week before.
Yeah, I was tired.

Race morning wasn't too hectic. I had the forethought to get my packet right away Thursday and pack everything that night, including a drop bag to leave at DRC so I could clean up and change there rather than fight my way back from my apartment. Wake up call came at 4:00am, but I was already awake at 3:45 and just fighting it. I had some coffee, and toast with this stuff (which might be one of the best discoveries I have ever made):

So good. I also had a small pouch of that which I ate on its own about 45 minutes before the run started. 
I will say this: I have never prepped nor ran a "bigger" race without my family there, and I really, really wished at least one of them was with me yesterday. I was a jittery, sleep-deprived, emotional basketcase. I lose 2 points in the "being an adult" category, but it's the truth.
I made it out on one of the first busses from the DECC to the starting line. True confession time: I cry before every race over 10K. It's odd, I have no explanation for WHY it happens, but it does. So I was the crazy lady with her headphones on, sitting in the 1 person seat in the back of the bus, quietly crying like a 3 year old for the entire ride. 
I was not a fan of the starting area, to be quite honest. I understand why they have to set up the way they do, and I will not cut them down for it, but I wasn't a fan. Sweatbags had to be dropped by 6:00am, so in the name of not literally chilling in just my race singlet and shorts for the next 45 minutes, I sacrificed one of my old cotton race shirts in the name of warmth. Also, they wanted us to be in the starting area by 6:15, and I wasn't sure where and how to go about warming up so a warm up was non-existent. Also, being that I was standing near the edge of the chute, I was constantly being pelted by people flinging shirts, bottles, and empty gel packets. (Pigs.)
This was nice: when they said the race started at 6:45, they weren't joking. 6:44:52, things kicked off. True to form, I had no idea anything started--the crowd started cheering and moving forward, so I went with them. I was about 1:40 back from the line. I was slightly bummed in that my Garmin seems to be punking out and wasn't holding a satellite connection until .1 out, so my splits weren't going to be right. That may have worked in my favor--I just glanced to see what my pace was from time to time and trusted the course mile markers. PS--balloons? Genius idea. You could see the markers quite a distance away. I was a fan.
I felt pretty decent up until mile 9. Gelled it at 6, alternated water and Powerade until 10. Between 8 and 10 I kept running in to my old boss from back in Marquette, and we agreed that we'd be good training partners for each other if only we were still in the same town. She finished about 2 minutes ahead of me clock time, but all things shaking out with gun vs chip time we finished with the exact same time. 
Anyway, I hit my usual wheels off at mile 9. I could tell I was slowing down significantly and I was not feeling good anymore. Though, I must have been hiding it well, because this picture does not show a woman who feels bad:
(This is coming by DRC and high-fiving all my co-workers. 2.6 to go.)
The last bit reminded me a lot of the Cherry Festival races, in that you're going through downtown and there are people everywhere cheering for you. Brandon waited for me at DRC, then biked down to catch me at the finish line, where even though I was rolling 8:40's by then I eked out a decent finish.

I should note here that as I came around on to Railroad St, a certain Journey song that I have adopted as my power anthem came on my iPod. I finished my last race as Lindsey Goss with "Don't Stop Believing" playing. It was perfect. 

The clock said just over 1:50 and my Garmin said just over 1:47, so I knew I was in the high 1:48-low 1:49 range. Brandon was tracking me on his phone and had my official time ready for me after I crossed. 
I was very, very happy to be that close to my PR. Training this spring was not the best, so to be able to match last year's times at this level of fitness is a good sign that something had been going right in there somewhere. 
Overall conclusion: I would definitely run this race again, with this stipulation: I will not run it again as long as I'm working at DRC. It's too much with the expo and race weekend store traffic to throw that all in. I'd like another crack at it when I'm rested and had good training under my belt. Also, going to work right after a race like that is just plain no fun. It was a good thing I was in the back just checking stuff back in to inventory, because I was one grouchy, nasty little lady.
So, with that--the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and my last race as Lindsey Goss is in the record books:
Marathon training starts Tuesday, and life as Lindsey Goss-Maurisak starts on Saturday. Bring on the next adventure!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"My Kind of Crazy"

Highlights from this week:

~Marathon training plan is officially in the works, courtesy of my sister, and will be kicking off post-marital shindig.

~NMTC Finale:
   In which it was uphill both ways, I ran a somewhat decent race (if not just had a fantastic prowl through the woods with a co-worker's wife/new friend), and left with a full pizza, a rather large tub of hummus, a bottle of tea, and this little bad-boy courtesy of the series finale prizes:
Heck yes, little Brooks flask!!

~I had a man who was an ordained minister of the church of Dudeism offer to marry a coworker and me, and then proceeded to flip his shit when he found out of my impending shindig and offer to officiate. Dude. Where were you a  year ago?? (Kidding. KIDDING! Pastor Carolyn is the best, there's no one else I'd rather have running that show. It would just be hilarious, that's all.)

~More new kicks!
   Brooks PureGrit before Taisha and I went and played in Hartley:

   Brooks PureGrit after Taisha and I went and played in Hartley:
Hooray, mud!!

So, here I am, on a quiet Sunday morning. I'm sipping my coffee before heading out for a 7 mile run, staring down the barrel of two crazy weeks. At the halfway point of the madness is a finish line. At the end is the beginning of the rest of my life. (OK, ew, that last one was cheesy. Sorry about that.) Along the way, there will be a 55 hour work week, a 3 hour bus ride and 3 hour flight, 2 smaller parties, and not a  lot of sleep. Either way, it's going to be madness. It's going to be fun. I'm ready to get this started. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"You've Gotta Get A Little Mud On The Tires..."

One of the definite perks of my job is that day when a vendor or company rep asks for my size and hands me a piece of gear. The best of the best are the times when that happens and it's a pair of shoes.

Case in point, yesterday. Our Saucony guy was kind enough to give me a pair of Kinvara 3's. And they were pretty.

Despite all of my initial reservations about using a neutral shoe when I am a serial over-pronator (I mean, I'm a past user of motion control beauties like the Saucony Stabil and the Asics Foundation), I decided to take them out for a little spin that night.

Did I mention that little spin was the NMTC race in Superior? Did I mention that course had mudpits mid-calf deep.

My pretty shoes did not say clean long. However, I think a little mud adds a certain "je ne sais quoi" to them.

Coming up, I'll tell you the story of how a serial over-pronator ran a 3 mile race in a pair of neutral shoes and walked away to tell the tale.

Off to breakfast with a co-worker! Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Don't Stop..."

One month to go.


I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are almost there. So, I'm going to stifle any of the complaints that I had, hold in the thoughts--good and bad-- that I have been having, and just hold on to that. We are almost there.
It's like we've hit mile 10 of a 13.1, and we just have that last 5K to go. I know I can get through that 5K, as hard as it can be, as harrowing as it can be, even with my brain and my body just going crazy. I can get through that last bit, I can get through this last bit. All I have to do is do that same thing I've done after mile 10 of 13.1.
Keep your head up.
Stay positive.
Be strong.
Soak it all in.
Hang in there, it will be worth it in the end.

And this:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"I'm Chillin' on a Dirt Road"...

I think I've officially fallen in love with trail running. I know I've said that before, but I truly think it's for real this time.
Over the last 2 weeks, I have only run on the Lakewalk once. It has been SUCH a refreshing change of pace for me. Moreover, it's reminded me so much of being a silly high school kid, "bushwacking" through the back part of the school property with my best friend, just having a ball. It's helped me tap in to that deep, inner part of why I love this sport.
I tend to get too caught up in the numbers. Mileage logged. Pace during the run. I am definitely starting to loose sight of why I do this sport in the first place. Running on those trails, it comes back to me. I am definitely going to have to keep these trail runs up, despite the ever present danger of falling and scraping something (because heaven forbid I have some kind of visible scar in my wedding pictures. We wouldn't want me to, you know, actually look like myself or anything... that's another rant.)

I have also been doing the NMTC Spring Trail Series runs this year. That has been a really fun and awesome experience so far. Last night's was especially crazy--4 miles and change back in Jay Cooke State Park with lots of rolling hills and one massive one that made me bring out every profane word in my arsenal. Even some of the crazy shirtless boys at the front had to walk this monster. All that aside, the spirit of fun, camaraderie, and joy is present at these events, and I am really, really glad to have the chance to go out and run them this year.

In other exciting news, and in the immortal words of McLovin, "Oh my god, it's IN!".
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially turned in my registration form for my first marathon. In a double whammy of "holy crap", it also was submitted using my married name. Yes, she legally doesn't exist yet, but Lindsey Goss-Maurisak is registered for the Walker North Country Marathon on September 15.  To add to the excitement, and to make awesome use of the second entry that I had won, my co-worker will be running her first half-marathon there as well.  It's going to be awesome and I cannot wait!

That's what's new and good around here. Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Frustrated, Incorporated"

For 2 1/2 brilliant weeks, I was starting to feel OK about Grandma's training. I was starting to feel OK about going in to marathon training. I was thinking maybe I was actually being someone of worth at my place of employment. Maybe, maybe, this was all going to work.
Then, cue plague, pt 2.
It started hitting on Friday. My 12 mile run was marked with disgusting coughing spasms and stops for the all-classy "snot rocket". I made it, but in no good time, and not feeling the best afterward.
Saturday arrives. I'm coughing like I'm a stage 4 emphysema patient. Probably not fit to be in public, but there I was behind the counter at DRC, battling Tent Sale crowds. Despite my co-worker's pleas, I stick out the entire shift.
Sunday--same. This time, I call in, hoping ANOTHER day of laying around on the couch, once again leaving my coworkers hanging.
Monday--same! Not feeling bad, aside from the incessant hacking, I go to work and about my business, but was sent home.
So, I broke down, and for the first time in years I went to the doctor. Despite my deep, complete fear of doctors and the entire healthcare industry, the woman I saw was fantastic. She narrowed it down to 2 possibilities--either an atypical bronchitis or RSV. We're throwing a Z-pack at it, and one more day of being a lazy, worthless, co-worker letting down, hacking pile of useless, and hopefully this will do the damn trick this time.
Is my frustration showing at all in that last sentence? Because that was my intent. I'm beyond frustrated at myself and the situation. I feel like I should just tough through it, keep training, be at work, do all the housework, be the supergirl. I feel that is the expectation, and I'm letting others and myself down by not hitting it. It's leaving me incredibly, incredibly frustrated and angry.
So, body: listen up. This whoe non-functioning thing is no longer an option. It's time to get your act together. We have stuff to do. We have a job to do, we have a race to train for. It's time to knock off the sickness routine and get back to it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Hello again, hello"

I know. I disappeared again.

I've started about four or five different posts, only to close the page, delete the contents, or completely forget where I was going with the post. I also got tangled up in trying to do my first more-or-less "sponsored" blog post, which has been harder to tackle than I thought. I promise that one is coming by the end of the week.
So, forget content. Forget flow. I'm just going to verbally explode on the screen and hit post. Sound OK? It better.

So, I have completely abandoned the training plan from the Grandma's site. It just wasn't working for me. Maybe it's just my horrible time management, or any other of a million excuses, but I didn't like it. I'm now back on the "completely winging it" plan, which has always been more enjoyable for me.
I did have a few setbacks toward the end of March. First, after trying to squeeze 6 days of training in to 4, my calf decided to give me a giant middle finger. I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but it felt like a giant knot that was getting pulled tighter and tighter with every step I took, even just walking. I took a few days off to let that work itself out (with lots of help from my BFF's the foam roller and heating pad).
Just as that resolved, I got KO'ed by a bug. Again, not quite sure what it was, but it felt a lot like the flu I got last year. That took another 5 days to shake itself out, and my lungs are just now starting to not feel full of gunk.
My first week back on the run was also back on my home turf--good ol' TC, MI. I went home for a week to hack through the rest of the big shindig details. It was 5 days of super-productivity. And, it always amazes me how easy getting a run in is when I'm with my family. It is truly a home that revolves around it. So, in the midst of traveling, planning, visiting, a shower, and everything else that came with that week, I put down a (decent for me) 26 mile week. Behind from this point last year, but all things considered, I'll take it.
This past week, coming back home, I was determined to keep on this roll. I got in a 25 mile week, which again is decent if not behind from this point last year. I finally got in a double-digit run on Saturday before work, which was good for me mentally if nothing else. I'm also thinking that it might not be bad for me to practice the feeling of running long like that and immediately hightailing it to DRC, seeing as that's what will happen at Grandma's. (Oh, the joys of working run specialty. It's not all fun shoes and chatting up other runners.)
So, I'm feeling good about how the Grandma's training is to this point. I do need to start thinking ahead to Walker pretty soon here, though. Right now, I'm 20 weeks out, which is the standard starting point for most marathon training plans. However, with a half-marathon in 8 weeks, a wedding in 9, and a honeymoon soon after, I have a lot to work around.

In other fun news, the first round of marriage-shindig presents have arrived via bridal shower and caravan from Michigan to Wisconsin to Minnesota. Among these, from my fantastic soon-to-be-in-laws, a blender. I have been wanting one since I lost mine in the Great Breakup Apocalypse of '08, so I'm beyond excited it's here. Buy stock in produce, friends. It has been SmoothiePalooza here since Sunday and I don't see it stopping any time soon.

OK, time to be off to work. Have fun!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"We Made It Through Another Week"

Week 2 of GBHM training in the books. And, ladies and gentlemen: I hit the target mileage.

27 miles in the books. It's still pretty low, I feel, but I'm on to something.
I did make a few tweaks to the plan this week, though: I took the 5 and the second 3 on the plan and combined them in to an 8, thus giving me 2 days off. This week felt very manageable, even if the 3-6-8-6 right at the end felt... rough.

Other notable points from this week:
~First run in shorts (Tuesday)
~First noticeable tan lines from running (a band on my legs from where my capris end and my socks start)
~TMI Warning: First use of the "Stow-N-Go" feature on my new North Face bra. Conclusion: handy, but not for the shy or modest woman. You are reaching down your shirt. A lot. In public. And it is awkward as heck. But, it held: my cell phone, my ID, my debit card, and varying amounts of cash as the evening progressed. And, it all stayed and felt secure, even if I did have a strange looking 3rd bump on my chest.
~SO much time at the store. Between the fun run we put on Sunday night, the sports bra clinic we had on Wednesday, all the UMD kids being gone for break, I was there a lot. 

So, on to week 3:
Already, I'm plotting how to make this work. We're most likely going to the Cities on Saturday and Sunday, and as I have learned with hockey trips, it's just better to have those as off days. (Last years disastrous ending to the evening after I ran a 10 mile race in the morning and then spent the day tailgating and hanging with hockey fans taught me a lesson: don't do that.) I have a few ideas on how to make it work, we shall see what plays out. I do know this: I will hit 32 on the week. I need to do some serious catching up on my mileage (I'm still only at 186 on the year), and I know that if I play my cards right and manage my time properly, I can and will make it happen. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"It's been one week..."

One week of Grandma's training in the books.
I had decided to use one of the training plans offered on the website. They're 15 week plans, so it fit perfectly.
Or so I thought.
Week 1 was a straight 7 days of training. Uhhh... right. I went in to it with the best of intentions, to see what my body would do with 7 straight days of running. What I soon learned was not that my body could not handle it, but rather the life I lead right now does not allow for 7 days a week of running. I have learned that I have times set aside for running on some days, and on other days that time has to be set aside for other responsibilities.
I battle a lot with the idea that I'm not a real runner, or that I'm a bad example of a runner. However, if it comes down to having clean dishes or clothes or food in the fridge or hitting a mileage goal, at this point in my life I have to choose that first option.
Week 2 looks a bit more realistic:
Very realistic. I am much more hopeful for week 2.
Here goes nothing... again.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"So, Here Goes..."

Sunday night, I could not sleep. I tried every trick in my book, but it was just not happening. I had spent the day working on things for this June Shindig we're having, and my mind was just racing and not going to quit.

Around 12:30 or so, I decided to just get up and mess around on the computer a bit more. When I checked my e-mail, I noticed a billing receipt.
I had forgotten that February 27 was the day the Garry Bjorklund Lottery results were announced. Apparently, when they said February 27, they meant "the second that clock hits 12:00:00 immediately following the date of February 26." When I recognized the amount I was charged, I realized what had happened. I had a spot in the half.
8 pretty much sleepless hours later, this little gem showed up in my mailbox--

Aw, thanks, guys!

So, one more thing in the middle of June.

Here's where I am with it: I am going to properly train for this race. I was lucky enough to be given the spot, which means someone else didn't get one. It would be unfair to myself, that person, and the race itself for me to not do this right. I will make sure I am in good shape and fully prepared come race day.

However, while I plan on training properly and not wasting the race, I am not going to all-out race it. This run will be about:
1. Experiencing what it is like to participate in a Grandma's Marathon weekend race.
2. Making sure I still get a run in during the madness that is Grandma's Marathon weekend.
3. Having as much freaking fun as humanly possible.

If I had to say a time, I will say that I'd like to be in around 1:50. It's still respectable for a recreational runner like myself.

The bride outfit is in the works. I have been given a blinking light ring to wear, and my co-workers and I are researching apparel and an option for a veil.

So... here comes the bride.

PS--what does the groom have to say about this? "Cool," was about all I got out of him, along with, "don't get injured."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"So We Planned it All Out For the Middle of June"

4 months to go...

OK, not really, but it does feel like time is speeding up the closer that we get to June 23. I also keep having moments of, "Holy crap, this is actually going to happen. There is actually someone who is willing to do this, to legally bind themself to this hot mess for better or worse." Wow.

I will also know by Monday if I am in the Garry Bjorklund or not. If I am, maybe I should play up the bride thing just a bit, just to keep the race-related pressure off. Brandon re-earthed this picture:

It has come up a few times, but I keep saying no because:
1. It's $1756.00. My ACTUAL wedding dress was $100. No.
2. Custom fitting and consultations in Seattle. I don't plan on being in Seattle until after this race and the shindig are well over. No.
3. With all due respect to those who like them, but I just can't do a running skirt. I can't. I've tried them on in the store, and I just don't like the look. (Though my co-workers thought I looked adorable in this skirt-capri thing we got in a few weeks ago.) So, no. 
Not that it's not a cute idea, or not that it's something that is totally ridiculous (I know of a couple that got married mid-Rock-n-Roll Las Vegas--that would be a perfect time for this dress). In my situation, though, probably not the best call. 
If I do decide to do this, maybe I'll just find a dollar store headband veil thing. That way, if I decide I'm being too ridiculous or show-boaty, or if it annoys me, I can rip it out and chuck it in the garbage at an aid station and not be out too much. This is, of course, if I even get in the darn race. To be honest, I'm not expecting an entry. Then again, I never expected to actually make it to the planning and execution of a wedding ceremony, or find someone willing to spend the rest of their life with me for that matter, so nothing is impossible I suppose. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"And if My Day Keeps Goin' This Way I Just Might Break Somethin' Tonight..."

The past week and a half, since I've been back from Marquette really, have felt a lot like this:

Or like this

Yes, there has been a lot of frustration, coming from all angles of life. So today, even though it was one of the better days in this stretch, I took my frustration out on some innocent pavement. It didn't start that way, but the more I thought about it, the harder I seemed to go.
The result--this:

Not that those numbers are anything spectacular, but they are significantly faster than what I have been doing of late (the glaring exception being I-Falls). It does give me hope that I do have a bit of foot speed in me. In February, with pretty weak mileage since last summer, I will take those splits. Now is the time to get back to it. 
Why, you ask?

Yup. I threw my name in the hat for the half. I told myself (and my mother) that I'm not going to really race it and that I'm more doing it for the experience of running a Grandma's weekend race... but I'm not going to go out there and slack, either. If I can get out there and make a decent showing, I'll be content. 
Racing plans aside... I do feel better. I tried a long run to alleviate stress, but I think I needed to tell myself I was going hard to really just let it out.
Hopefully this lasts. Otherwise...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"I just want to celebrate!"

The Team/Staff party was this afternoon. It was a great chance to hang out and chat with fellow team members and co-workers. I am so happy that I have this awesome group of people with whom I can live, work, run, and race. Seriously, these people are incredible.

Plus, our gift this year was sweet, despite what the non-running hosers have to say about redundancy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Every Mile a Memory..."

For the better part of seven years, this was the town I called home.

Marquette, Michigan. The Queen City. 
It was my college town. It was the town where I stayed after graduation while I figured out the next step. It was where I did almost as much, or maybe even more growing up than in the eighteen years prior to coming there. It is where I made some enemies, but made far more friends. It was where I trained for and completed my first half-marathon, firmly landing me back in to the running game.
It was where I made more memories than I can count. And I know this, because they all came crashing down on me in the two days I was there last weekend. 
I never noticed it as much when I lived there, nor when I was back for past visits, but that town is down right haunted for me. Around every corner, down every street, anywhere I go, there's a ghost of Lindsey past waiting for me. 

As I drove in to town, I thought of the countless trips made in and out--as I was coming from the West, I thought of rolling in from St. Germain, Wisconsin and Houghton, Michigan, coming back from trips to see significant others, the pangs of separation filling me with loneliness and sadness. I thought of one particular trip back from Wisconsin in the wee hours of the morning, knowing deep in a breaking heart that it would be the last time, and it was a break I would have to make even though everything in me was screaming not to. But, because of the decision made one teary, cold July morning, I have the memories of returning from Houghton and being with "the Techie", something I would not trade for anything. 
As I caught a glimpse of the bike path, I thought of the day I made the resolution to run a half marathon by the end of 2010. I remembered the old blog I started to recount my journey, and the battle to learn new habits and work this sport I remembered back in to my life. I remembered the joy as I completed runs of higher and higher mileage--6, 7, 8, 11, and that last 12 miler done on my own on a steamy August morning just hours before I would move away. And, I remembered the day I ran the inaugural Marquette Half-Marathon. 2:02:55 and a dream come true. 
As I drove out to Gwinn, I thought of all the drives I made while subbing and student teaching--gas gauge solidly in the danger zone, praying the beastly teal tank would make it back to town; of all of the times I tried to get the screaming and crying out of my system before I had to be calm and student teach (for the record, most of those efforts were in vain. I was nothing but a pure mess during that semester.) 22 miles of stories, the young teacher-candidate questioning her choice and wondering what the next steps would be either way she chose.

As I went from place to place in Marquette, a ghost appeared behind every corner. I saw myself in the pep band at a hockey game, walking along on campus, dancing at the Upfront and Company, navigating the streets in a truck you could hear coming miles away. I remembered friends with whom I've lost touch. I remembered boyfriends. I, as much as I didn't want to, remembered the one from Wisconsin, and I know that no matter how many other memories I have to replace them, that town will always hold the ghosts of those three disastrous years. 
And then I saw how things have changed--the college kids I knew then are now the adults they were trying to become, with jobs, houses, and kids. Businesses have changed. Roads have changed. Campus has changed. I have changed. 
Sunday afternoon, rolling westward on US-2, I thought hard about my life, and how far things have come just in the last 18 months. 18 months since I loaded that tank of a truck in the middle of the night and left while the rest of the town lay sleeping. I came back and ran that same race nearly 15 minutes faster. I got the courage to admit I didn't want to teach. I was given a blessing beyond my vocabulary to find the job at the running store, and have it become what it has. I, despite screaming tantrums to the contrary, have grown to love the hillside city on the far western end of the lake. 

I moved to be with that "Techie". I saw with him a future I wasn't going to find with anyone else, a future that wasn't going to be found in that Queen City, no matter how much I loved it. That future brought me to the Zenith City instead, where I began that "real life" I had been trying so hard to find.
I pulled up, passing the old teal tank with the for-sale sign, to the apartment I now call home. I had been back in Marquette to work on things for our wedding, but I was happy to be back home and with the person who is the reason this event will be happening in the first place. 
Sometimes, it's fun to go back and remember your past. But, when your present is this good, it's even better to come back to it. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"I Get Knocked Down..."

So, I ran Tuesday and I was all like this:

I felt great, and it was my best pace on a non-racing run for quite some time. 
Though, I noticed the nagging soreness in my throat getting worse and worse. 
I woke up Wednesday morning and I was all like this:

Ever since the Great Mono Experience of 2005, I have been impressed with the extent my body will go to in order to get me to stop and take care of it. With the exception of the 4 hours in which I haunted the store as the near mute waste of space I was, I was curled up in a ball on the couch coming in and out of fitful naps. Whatever I had, it was not nice, and it was angry at me for being so ballsy as to run Tuesday. I  probably should have called and not even tried, but I had duties to tend to, so in I went. Thankfully, my co-workers covered for me and let me out much, much earlier than originally scheduled. Props to them, seriously. It's a far cry from the experience I had back in May, when I had no choice but to go in with raging food poisoning. 
So, after spending Wednesday mainlining juice and tea and drifting in and out of wakefulness, I am feeling much, much better today. However--lesson freaking learned. I will give my body one more day to really kick this, and THEN I will run again. Because, I have learned my lesson--listen to your body, or it will shut you up and make you listen, Lindsey Ann. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"You Choose, You Learn."

OK, so bringing it back down after yesterday's temper tantrum...

So, in my dual quest to both cut back on caffeine and to maintain a better level of hydration, I have become quite the drinker of herbal tea. I try to make sure I have a decent variety, and also try new flavors, because drinking the same thing over and over again just gets boring.
One particularly stressful afternoon, while perusing the tea aisle of SuperOne, I found this:

Since it goes without saying that I have a tendency to get rather wound up, I thought this might be a good one to try.
While making my first cup back at the store, I looked over the ingredients:

Uh, catnip? What? Why is there catnip in my tea? 
Curious as to why the people at Celestial Seasonings would put an herb that generally makes felines act as if they've taken up use of illegal stimulants, I performed what will probably reign supreme as the strangest thing I have ever Googled at work: "Effects of catnip on humans". Lo and behold, I learned from this site that catnip is used for the following: 
   -relief of anxiety attacks
   -relief of insomia
   -reduction of respiratory problems
   -toothache remedy
   -relief of stomach aches
   -healing of wounds
   -improvement of IBS symptoms

It is also extremely dangerous for pregnant women to use, as it can induce uterine contractions.

All that aside, the tea is pretty good, and it actually is quite effective in its purpose. Perhaps, I should have had some of that last night. Live and learn, right? 
(PS--I did run today, and despite the lingering throat soreness, I felt awesome. Rest day theory, FTW!)

Monday, January 30, 2012

"I'm Gonna Let It Go"

Let me preface this post by saying this: welcome to my inner monologue. I am not implying that anyone said or thought the following about me. I am simply letting you inside my head.

Today, despite the sore, scratchy throat, the headache, and the slight body ache that I woke up to, I took my running clothes to work. I had planned on going out for a short 4 after work, but as the day went on I wavered on the idea. In the end, I opted to rework my week and spend the evening resting on the couch, hoping to nip the ick in the bud.
I swear to a divine being, every time I decide to skip a run, this darn Facebook group posts this freaking status:

This mentality of "push through anything" or "run every day" or "only slackers spend the evening on the couch" that I get from that just kills me. It's not just that particular status--it's a lot of the things that get posted or extolled on that site. It just drives me bonkers.
So, why did I let a stupid Facebook post get to me? Maybe it's the pressure of being "the girl from the running store". Maybe it's the myriad of healthy living related things I follow on social media. Maybe it's the mileage logging sites I am on. Either way, no matter what decisions I make regarding myself and this sport, I never feel like it's enough. Little things that shouldn't matter wedge their way under my skin. So, even with the ick feeling, I still did planks, sit-ups, tri-dips, and pushup, so I can try to reassure myself that the day wasn't wasted. It wasn't a wash.
OK, I <3 to Run. Put me in that "didn't" category. I did not run today. I did not run today, because I just didn't want to. That does not make me a bad runner. It does not make me a "not real" runner, whatever the heck that means. It means that I did not feel well, and I opted to take a day and let my body regroup. It means I will come back stronger because of it. I am not in active race training, I am just maintaining. Moreover, I am learning perspective. Part of that is that if I want to keep running as part of my lifestyle, I have to stop comparing myself to others. It means I have to be OK with my decisions and not make them based on what I perceive others reactions to be. There is a difference between something being inspring and something just driving me to a point of anger. And, if something as freaking petty as a Facebook status can make me jump to my blog screaming, then I know what a good step to take right now will be.


Friday, January 27, 2012

"And The best Game You Can Name, is the Good Old Hockey Game!"

I'm heading to the Michigan Tech @ Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey game tonight. I don't have a dog in this fight, so I hopped on the "I'm Indifferent" train.

I'm setting the Over/Under on the "Vermont? WTF?" comments at the game at 5. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"So I’m Just Sayin’ What I Think"

As part of the management team of the running store, I take care of some of the fill-in orders for products. With training season approaching, it was time to start filling in the race nutrition, among these being GU products. As always, I peruse the website to check on flavor options and the correct names for placing the order.
And there it was.
Peanut. Butter. Gu.

Now, let me tell you, I am a girl who loves her peanut butter. It is a daily staple in my diet. There are few peanut butter related products I will not happily shove in my face.
This, however, was a case that might have been the exception to that rule.
I called over to my co-workers, informing them of my discovery, and was immediately regaled with a chorus of requests to order it. So, that is exactly what I did.

Yesterday, I arrive for my closing shift to find the awaited order had finally arrived. I had to try this, no doubt. My co-workers had beaten me to the punch and generally had positive things to say.
Spoonful of GU, away we go.
My thoughts: You know those peanut butter candies you find around Halloween?
You know, those ones?

This tasted almost exactly like those. More sweet than salty, truly. Not bad, though. Knowing my own personal tastes and preferences, this might be a good one to use before a run, especially since I usually have toast and peanut butter for breakfast before long runs and races. However, I would not want this during a long run. I tend to prefer lighter, fruity flavors mid-run, and think this would be too heavy. 

So, yeah. Peanut Butter Gu. Interesting, that's for sure. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Dirty Laundry"

No, that title is not a metaphor for anything. I'm literally talking about dirty laundry.
I spent the greater majority of this morning lamenting the inevitable trip to the laundromat I would have to make today. There are fewer places in this world that I dislike more than the laundromat. A complete first world problem, I know, but it is the truth. My internal monologue was a steady stream of complaints, accusations, and entitled whining because I don't have a washer and dryer of my own, and how we've put it off past the point of what we could do in our building's single coin-op facility. Oh, the first world horror.
Oh no! Not the Laundromat!!

However, the trip itself was not so bad. Perhaps it was a divine force's way of reminding me to see the bright side of things, or perhaps just a series of happy coincidences. Either way, my dreaded trip was made quite tolerable by these little bright spots:
-Upon exiting my apartment building and upon arrival at the laundromat, I had doors held open for me by complete strangers who saw a small woman wrangling 3 large storage bins. One case, the person wasn't even heading in to the building. She simply saw a person in need and helped. Simple gesture, simply heartwarming.
-The laundromat has washers named after characters from "The Office", and dryers named after characters from "Seinfeld". I chuckled when I saw the one named after Michael Scott was labeled "not working". Definitely amusing.

I want people to be afraid of how clean I make their clothes.

-Wednesday morning is apparently not a peak time to do laundry. Free run of the place. No battles for the washer, no stalking down dryers... That is the part I hate the most about these places, and it was a non-issue!
No, Kitty! That's my dryer! Maaaaaaaaaaaammmm!

 One thing I still feel justified in complaining over is the sheer volume of clothing needing to be washed. Between the running clothes, the hockey practice clothes, the coaching clothes, the playing hockey clothes, the work clothes, and the day-off clothes... there is a metric crapton of laundry to be done at any given point. I don't even know how Brandon and I would handle it if we ever thought to add kids to the mix... We would literally be swamped in dirty clothes.
I've seen the future. You might need more dryer sheets. And a bigger hamper.
I might think twice again before recommending the three layer system to people when they ask about how to dress for winter running. Or, at the very least, throw them a warning--"Yes, you will be warm, but you may have to up the number of times a week you wash things. Or, start being very, very nice to the partner/parent/housekeeper that will be handling all this for you."
Well, all joking aside--neither of us will walk around for the next few days smelling like a biohazard. You're welcome, Duluth.

(A shout out is owed to the great men and women over at for the inspiration behind the formatting of today's entry.)
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