Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cowtown Marathon Recap

Happy Wednesday.

Sunday was a big day for me. A marathon day. A day I had hoped about and trained for for many, many months.   After the catastrophe that was the San Antonio Marathon, I had my hopes set for something much better this time around.

The alarm clock woke me up around 4:30, and after a quick bagel + banana, we were out the door.  This race is in Fort Worth, and it's a family affair.  My dad started his journey into marathoning 5 years ago with this race--and since then we've all joined in.  My brother, soon to-be sister in law, husband and I have all at some point run part of the Cowtown marathon.  We all hoped into the car, and it was off to sunrise service. Sunrise is a small worship service the home church I attended puts on every year for the runners. It's a 5:30 worship time before the race starts. For me, it's a time to calm and collect before the race. Just what I needed.

It was a perfect 40 degrees outside at the start of the race.  We had planned for Sam, Dad and I to stay together for as long as possible, or until the split.  The half splits from the full around mile 10, and I wanted to stay with Sam until then.  Early on we all felt good.  Just trying to relax and let the race come to us.  We all got separated really early on--by mile 3 I was alone and had no idea how I lost my people.  We reunited at mile 4, where my Dad was having some knee pain.  Sam and I decided to continue on. 

(Why I'm posting this horrible picture of myself, I don't know. It's one of the few pictures we have from when we saw our ppeople and said hi.)

We ran together all the way until the split.  These were fun and easy miles--we had some conversation, some laughter, and a lot of fun. It was Sam's first race and first half, and he was strong and ready all the way through.   At mile 10 we split, and with a quick kiss, he was gone.

I knew mentally this was the time where it was going to begin to be a test.  Almost immediately, the course becomes much less interesting, and the full marathon heads directly south. Into a wall of wind.  This is when all my mental preparation began to kick in.  I did everything I could to stay in the mile I was in and not let my mind wander to further miles or how many more I had to go.  

 I knew because of scheduling + family wanting to see Sam and my brother complete their halves, I wouldn't see any spectators miles 10-20.  20 was the earliest they could get the halfers + get back in the car and find me on the trail again.  These were my miles to myself to redeem the race I had in San Antonio.

For most of the race, I tried not to think.  When I did, I had pre-rehearsed lines of "Yes. Mile 16. Great"  NOT "OMG 10 more miles."  I also did a lot of "Trust your training. Your body knows how to do this."  And just a bit of "You can do this within your goal.  It's worth the pain to make the goal."  

By mile 19 I was ready to see a smiling face.  I was THRILLED to see family at mile 20.  I knew seeing them would push me the last bit.  When I saw them at 20 I said, "It's getting hard." 

The last 6 were hard.  I did a few calculations quickly and knew it was very well within reach to meet my goal time.  I let myself breathe a little and backed off, trying to force my mind anywhere but the pain. I had thought about, accepted, and moved past all the pain earlier in the week, and I'm sure glad I did.  It's impossible to run that far without pain.  It hurts.  You keep going.

Mile 23 was the hardest.  Close to the end but a lot of steps left.  At this point, knowing how proud I would be to finish within my goal kept me going.  I started making shorter and shorter visual goals for myself.  Next tree. Next water stop.  Anything to keep the legs moving.

When I saw mile 25 I knew it was happening. I knew the hard work was paying off and the goal was real.  At 26 I started crying.  Running for me is so emotional, and the tears were a constant flow until I crossed the finish line.  So much hard work, so much doubt from the last race.  I did it.  Mind, body, and soul are united for me in running.  All focused on a singular goal: and it happened.  I couldn't stop smiling and I couldn't have been happier.   Knowing my husband met his goal time as well--it didn't get better than that.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Shop Update

It's been awhile since I've created something new for the shop, and I'll be honest--I get pretty nervous when I try to launch something.  I wait and wait and wait to post it, because, you know, how will it be received? 

But you never get somewhere if you don't start, and so, very nonchalantely, I posted these felt garlands on Friday.

And now I'm exicted and ready to reveal them to you.

I've made each one a one of a kind piece, and I'm not sure if I'll repeat color combos or just make one of each.  They, like everything else in my shop are customizable, and you can request one to be made for whatever your occasion may be.

These three are ready to ship--just head over to the shop to check them out.   I'm offering 20% off with these new items (and the rest of the shop) with the code FRESH. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week-of Marathon Prep

We're less than 72 hours away from the start of the Cowtown marathon, and as you're reading this we're probably in the car on the way up to Fort Worth.  Many people have asked about what the week before a marathon looks like--and for others it probably looks different, but this is what it looks like for me.


My miles for the week get cut in half, and a lot of time is focused on rest.  Lots of foam rolling, massaging legs and feet, and letting my legs have some time to prepare.  Also, getting enough sleep is key.   Your best night of sleep should be two nights before the race. Most races are on Sunday, so this means Friday night.  The night before is plagued with excitement/nerves, so it's key to get that good night of rest on Friday. 


A lot of the week, I consider and think about the pain.  The body wrenching, I'm so tired I want to quit pain.  Why? Because I know it's coming, and because accepting it now and deciding that the marathon is worth it is how I get through those hard moments.  Yes, every part of my body will hurt. Yes, it's worth it. This also includes copious amounts of pinning inspirational things on pinterest.  Sorry about that.


The week before the race, diet is key.  You want to fuel your body with good food. My diet consists of lean meats, sweet potatoes, lots of greens, and some carbs.  It's not the carb-fest you might invision. That said, I am having spaghetti the night before the race.  Moderation is key. You don't want to overdo it with anything. Wanting dessert the week before?  Ok. Have a small bit of dark chocolate.  Your body will respond so much better on race day with the right nutrition.

The rest of the week is a mix of emotions. Excitement, nervousness, and thrill that it's here. Next time you hear from me, I'll be bearing the soreness and pride of the race.  I'm hoping to post a race-recap on here sometime next week. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

book list 2013

I thought I posted this in January. Last night searching the internet for this list on my own blog, I realized it was still in the drafts!  Ha! Now it's visible for all to see how bad at blogging at am.  But, if you're interested, here's my list.

I posted on goals oh forever a go, and reading wasn't one of them. It's sort of an unspoken goal that I'll read as much as possible in a  year. I'm a reader. I love reading and talking about books to friends. So, because time is valuable and limited, I've made a list of what I'd like to read in 2012. These aren't hard and fast books, but I want to be cognizant of what I'm reading.

 I'd like to read at least 30 books this year. But, like yesterday, there's grace. If I do all of this list, or half of it, there's grace. This is just my small plan of what I'd like some of my year to hold. 


1.       Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
2.       They Killed my Father by Loung Ung
3.       Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
4.       Quiet by Susan Cain
5.    Expecting Adam by Martha Beck


1.       Born to run by Christopher McDougall
2.       Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

Faith Based

1.       Radical by David Platt
2.       Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman
3.       Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
4.       Crazy Love by Francis Chan
5.       Forgotten God by Francis Chan


1.       The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
2.       Columbine by Dave Cullen
3.       Islands of the Damned by RV Burgin
4.       In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
5.       Morality by Christopher Hitchens


1.       Atlas Shrugged by Ann Rand
2.       To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


1.       The Tigers Wife by Tea Obreht
2.       Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3.       Bossypants by Tina Fey
4.       MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
5.       Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
6.       The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Do you have any plans to read? What's on your list? I'd love to know!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pre-Race Running (and lack thereof)

I hate tapering. Before every marathon, the 2 weeks before you are supposed to cut down you mileage and allow your muscles to re-build before the race.  For me, it always becomes a time of laziness. A couple weeks of "why go out if it's only 4 miles?"

Add into that my birthday (yesteryday), Valentines, and going out of town to visit friends, and all my modivation is gone. I'm happy with a snack in hand and running far from my mind. 

That is, until it catches up.  Two days ago I went out to run and my legs were concrete.  CONCRETE. I couldn't get them to move. They were stiff and after each step I wanted to stop. I couldn't get my  mind in the right place, and the fears of "Oh HOW am I going to do a marathon" keep creeping in.

And so, I went a got a massage.  I let the therapist know about my running and leg issues and hoped for the best.   After an hour of tortue, she worked out a lot of issues and demanded I start foam rolling more regularly.  I have a roller, but sort of do it not that often. At all.

But, mostly I'm sharing all this to say: I'm 10 days from the marathon, and despite all the training I can still get nervous.  I can still doubt if I'm going to make it (even though I've done this race before.) And when you eat like crap, your body feels like crap.

Friday, February 1, 2013

a little wishing

because, you know, my birthday is now in the countable days range.

9 Tiny brass arrow earrings

What's a birthday without a little wishing? But lets be honest, the boots are WAY WAY out of our price range, and I'm really just hoping for the bedding.

what's on your current wishlist?