Things I Could Have Done…

…Instead of running 20 miles…

During my long 20 mile run this past weekend, I spent a little bit of time just giving myself a big old pat on the back. I mean, really, I spent several hours just running. There are so many things I could have been doing OTHER than running! You know how crazy it is to just run for hours on end? It’s outrageous + awesome + dedicated + motivated + crazy + strong + empowering.

My point is, running takes up so much of my time and I never really think about how much time I give to it ever since I picked it up as a hobby of mine. I could have spent those few hours doing so many other things, but I choose to spend that time running. I choose to challenge myself, pace myself and race myself. I don’t always feel amazing after all my runs and I’m not shy about admitting sometimes runs just downright SUCK. But this run – these 20 miles, they were anything but sucky.

To get ready for this past weekend’s LONG 20 mile run, I ate a hefty amount of food on Friday!

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Pho & Jason’s Deli salad bar!

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I packed up a ton of fuel and my CamelBak. I can’t begin to explain how crucial fueling properly has become. I never really understood the importance of it until this marathon training. The last time I ran one, I really didn’t focus on it and I can 893743984932% say now that fueling is IMPERATIVE to a successful run, both mentally and physically.

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After Sara had such success with the Shot BLOKS, I gave them a try! I am definitely a fan! And I also really appreciate some real, solid food during long runs and these waffles satisfy that craving! I never would have even known about them had it not been for LESLEE’S awesome giveaway! 🙂 They always do the trick for me.

And my run? Well it was DAMN AMAZING. I couldn’t believe how well it went and how amazing I felt afterward. I wasn’t defeated, exhausted, tired, discouraged or in pain. I just felt damn proud. I would like to note, though, that I had a rough beginning with this run. I won’t detail why, but this run did not start off with sparkles and flowers and rainbows like it sounds. 🙂 It only ended that way!

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And I was enveloped totally in nature. I was so happy with this run – there is no better feeling than a GREAT long run before a marathon. I felt on top of the world. It’s hard to start off slowly and remember to pace myself, but I did a phenomenal job at it this time. I knew I had to do 20 miles to run and I knew I needed to take it easy. I ended up at about a 10 minute pace and that is more than perfect for me!

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Seattle Marathon, I’m coming for you! WATCH OUT!

In other news, I celebrated the rest of the day on Saturday with beer via a tailgating party and after that, a birthday party!

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You don’t have to judge. 🙂

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And got my nails did, because, of course.

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Sometimes I wish I could stop picking at my nails… (I got the grey polish). Oh well, I could have worse habits. 🙂 Have a fantastic Monday all you lovely people!!

What did you guys do this weekend?

Have you ever traveled for a race?

What kind of thoughts do you have when you’re working out? It varies for me – I really am all over the place depending on my workout. If I’m in a class at the gym, I’m totally focused on my form and if I’m doing something correctly. If I’m running, I get to think about TONS of things!

-Meghan

Running is Fun.

Happy Tuesday you guys! Sorry I didn’t check in yesterday with a recap of my fabulous half; I was so tired! Friday and Saturday were spent hanging out and eating – see below! 🙂

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A beautiful day with the pup and my man and his friends after a morning swim! I bought a kickboard and a pull buoy and wow, my shoulders were absolutely feeling that upper body work out! I can’t believe I used to swim like this all the time! I used to be super strong, apparently.

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Commence – non traditional carb loading! Not all of this was ours, but the sushi chef saw me taking pictures and invited me to capture all of his sushi artwork! 🙂

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He also gave us a ton of free sushi! I can’t believe that one year ago I HATED sushi and now, it’s like, a super craving.

Sunday morning was a bright and early wake up call at 5 am and my sweet boyfriend was up with me! I briefly warmed up with some jumping jacks.

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I was hoping for a PR in this race but I didn’t achieve that, by about a minute! I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t beat my previous time but in comparison, this course had a 1,500 foot elevation gain and the race where I PR’ed had like, 400. I’m okay with a one minute gain in time!

And you know what else? Aside from the sprint at the very end (because DUH) knocking the wind out of me, I felt phenomenal. It wasn’t super easy, of course, but I felt strong. I finally feel like running isn’t as challenging as it used to be. Exactly one year ago I ran my first ever half and I had to walk almost the entire second half. This year, I did indeed walk a few times, but I have improved significantly. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll get a sub 2, like the beautiful Sara did! WOO HOO! She PR’ed AND did the highly sought after sub 2 time! I was so happy for her!

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The rolling hills were actually kind of fun, and I wish I was better prepared for them! Next time, Allstate, next time! I ended up at 2:07:50 which is an average of 9:45. Also, my Garmin somehow got paused during the race which was a bummer because I kinda love looking through my splits. 😦

To all of you fabulous people who left sweet comments on my IG, thank you! I was all smiles after looking at all the support.

It’s back to the grind this week! I have a long run scheduled on Friday morning and then I’m off to VEGAS BABY on Saturday morning!! Good thing I’m not a gambler… 🙂

Also, life long goal will be achieved: RUN ALONG THE STRIP! YES! And also, all weekend, think about NATALIE running her first marathon!

How was your weekend?

Did you race or go for a great run or workout?

How much did you hate/enjoy my sushi pictures? Haha! Don’t hate me, Chelsea!

-Meghan

Eat and Run!

Well that about sums up my weekend – so no need to elaborate!

All I did was eat like crazy and run like crazy! But for you guys, I think I just might elaborate. 🙂

Friday began with a HOT, HOT, HOT run. Like, ouch. It was definitely not one of my favorite runs but I was happy to knock it out nonetheless.

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Even the pup had some choice feelings for that run…

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Ain’t nobody got time for that is the attitude I received from him.

Later that night, we celebrated a friend’s birthday over some amazing Chinese food. No one was shy about ordering – there were leftovers for days!

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Saturday began with a 5K with the boyfriend and his family. When I sign up for 5K’s, I acknowledge that they are going toward a cause, but this 5K in particular was a cause that I was happy to contribute to. 🙂 It’s definitely a 5K that means the most to my boyfriend. The course was super hilly but it was a great way to start the day (before the monsoons came through Atlanta – what the heck?!).

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I was planning on doing my long run afterward, but it was just too rainy. I can handle some light rain, but starting my run in a storm is definitely not something I’ll ever do. Instead, surprise, I ATE! 🙂

I made some yummy Paleo pancakes and I didn’t follow a recipe but I used very ripe bananas, coconut flour, eggs and cinnamon. They turned out tasting like banana bread and I will certainly make them again in the future!

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Oh yes, PS, they aren’t very pretty. Next time I’ll work on that. Nope, wait, no, I won’t. It’s a miracle the house is still intact after I cooked so we’ll leave it at that.

And yesterday I set out to knock out my long run per my loose training plan. It was a gorgeous day and I’m so glad I didn’t try to do it in the nasty rain. Yesterday’s weather was running perfection.

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I don’t normally take my talents into Mother Nature, but I thought with the weather as beautiful as it was – it’d be a shame otherwise. 🙂

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Though my Garmin was being feisty at first, everything ended up just fine and we made it a full 15 miles together. I stupidly chose a hilly route for 6 of the 15 miles and paid severely for that choice at the end of my run but otherwise, I felt great! I’m looking forward to this mileage thing increasing as training picks up. I was surprised at my pace because of said hills and was super proud of what I finished with!

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I followed that run with a trip to Sweet Tomatoes, a buffet restaurant (which was not wise) and ate my weight in salad and bread! It was amazing in the worst way possible! 🙂 #YOLOOOOO!!!

What a great weekend! 🙂

What’d you do this weekend?

Do you like Chinese food as much as my friends and I do? I love noodles and veggies (of any cuisine) so Chinese food is right up my alley. 🙂

Have you run a race because of what the cause was? This was my first time! It was definitely more than inspiring.

-Meghan

Knoxville and the Not so Long Run

Well hello you party people!

Per my training, I had a long run to accomplish this past weekend. I was really excited because a woman from my office building invited me to join her in a gorgeous state park. So, at 5:15 am, I woke up and moseyed on over to kick off my weekend on a high note.

My body, however, had other things in mind. My stomach was turning and I just didn’t feel mentally there. Once I hit 5 miles, I quit. Over the past couple of years of running, I have learned, slowly and painfully, that not finishing every run I set out to do is NOT the end of the world. Rather than dwell on it and beat myself up, I proceeded to enjoy the rest of the weekend – which included getting my nails done with one of my dearest friends and a fun road trip with my co blogger to visit Erin!

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Yay for fun colors!

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We spent the night sushi-ing, dancing, and chatting (and as she mentioned, almost stealing her adorable pupppppppy!!).

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Wouldn’t you want to steal that face too?

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I love it when people love sushi as much as I do! It’s a safe addiction, I think! 🙂

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The following morning, Rebekah and I drove home but made a pit stop to pick up some brunch! I devoured these blueberry pancakes. YUM.

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And upon return home (it’s a short 3 hour drive), we hit up the gym where I chose to swim. I rolled my ankle on that stellar (NOT) run on Saturday morning and running is on hold until it feels normal again. Super duper. In case you’re curious, here’s what I do almost every time I swim – with a bit of variation here and there. I love it – but my favorite is getting in to the hot tub afterward!!

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And that makes me one happy lady.

You know what makes me even happier?

I GET TO SEE MUMFORD AND SONS TONIGHT!!!!!

What’s your favorite kind of food to enjoy with groups? Sushi, though it’s not always agreed upon by everyone…. 🙂

Do you take road trips on a whim?

What happens when your long runs don’t go as planned? What’s your attitude about it?

-Meghan