Category Archives: distractions

MCM Week: Race Prep, Gear & OMG

We’re down to four days, one easy run, one race expo plus a lot of meals, sleeping hours and obsessive-weather-checks to go! It is most definitely goal-race-week, as my stomach instantly feels butterflies at the mere mention of the marathon. I know that’s a good sign; I’m ready, but humble. I’ve done this before, but that doesn’t make it easy.

The Marine Corps Marathon {Official} Facebook page is keeping us posted with updates, motivational thoughts and the signs we’ll see as each mile ticks by…

MCMMCM Mile markers

Physical Prep: I was shocked pleasantly surprised by how well last year’s race went, so I thought why not look back and see what that race-week prep looked like (how is it that we can forget these things we’ve done so.many.times??):  3.1 miles, Yoga, 5 miles, Rest, 5 miles, Rest, RACE.

So far this week: 6 miles, 4 miles (with the lululemon Run Club), Rest…Yoga (Thursday), 5 miles (Friday), Rest, RACE.

Not quite the same, but not radically different. Stick with what works! Done.


Gear Prep: The weather looks like…well…um, can we not go there yet? I have a few different options in mind. I have the literal marathon crops from lululemon, I have orange gear to match their Mile 23 Cheer Club and I have the rain gear that I’m not yet fully accepting that I’ll have to wear (which means it won’t rain – RIGHT?).

Run A marathon crops lululemonIMG_3331


Either way, I know the staples that will be with me rain or shine: Nike Pegasus 28s, my Camelbak, a luluemon 50-Rep sports bra and comfy socks (plus an extra pair on D just in case. See: rain).


O.M.G.: There’s a tropical storm coming. I don’t know if it will make it all the way up to DC, but the words tropical STORM are being repeated over and over by these crazy weather people! That’s all.

To distract myself, D & I are watching a lot of Hulu,  I’m spending time with friends (see: walk-date, yoga-date, Friday happy-hour date…) and I’m reading a lot of posts from last Fall that tell me why I’m doing this. There were quite a few points along this training cycle that led me to question whether or not the right motivation was behind this; rereading my own words has always been the most solid reminder that I’m in the right place.

I remembered the original goal I set, and the gusto behind the words I wrote. I remembered a lesson learned from Kate, and was reminded of a manifesto that never fails – DO IT NOW.

MCM postrace bundleMCM 2011 PR

The original goal this time around – 3:30.

The gusto:

That leaves a lot of work to be done between now and October 28, 2012….

Challenge, accepted!

Dear Challenge, I hope you’re ready for me & these legs.

We’re ready for you!


Filed under DC, distractions, Goals, Lululemon, marathon, MCM, motivation, Races, running, running gear

Diagnosed: GIAG Syndrome

Before I say anything, I should note this is 1) a self-diagnosis and 2) not a real “disease”. However, at times, it can be an all-consuming, seemingly incurable, inescapable mindset.

We know we love one thing, place, job, and/or lifestyle; we work hard to achieve a balance and revel in the normality of day to day life. But , we want this life to count, to know that we took advantage of every open door.

There are so many options! So many things to see!
So many other places to be…

GIAG: Grass is always Greener {on the other side}
{aka FOMO:Fear of Missing Out}

Lost Lake Nederland

While walking home from the Tuesday night lululemon run a few weeks ago, I realized how routine it felt (ignoring the fact that we recently switched the day of the run). “This is normal, and normal feels pretty good.”

Each week I go to work from Monday-Friday, a luxury I haven’t had consistently for the past two years (by choice, sure). I grocery shop  with D, read the Express just so I can skip to the puzzles, make plans with friends, go to the lululemon group run and see familiar faces, join Kate at our usual running spot, hopefully fit in a yoga class at my favorite studios and come home to the same apartment (another luxury that once wasn’t).

Life is calm, no Jack has popped out of the box lately and everything feels consistent. On one hand, we revel in this, taking genuine notice of it all the time. We’re thankful, relaxed, and going through the motions.

broadstreet10groupyoga mat strap
D cyclingsummer washington monumentD&H Dinner

On the other hand, I see travel specials to Paris and resist every urge to click “Purchase NOW!”. I see pictures of a sunny day in Seattle, a hike in the Rockies, or a beach day on the California coast and think “What if….”. I read everything that shouts a message of seizing opportunities, expressing priorities and making the most out of this one life that we’re graciously given.

What if these years aren’t enough to see and do everything we want? What if one city, one adventure, one sport, one decision is “better” than the alternative? How will we ever know and do all of the things our minds want to grasp, experience and share?

you only live once

These thoughts run through my head quickly, repetitively and to a point where an anxiety decides to set up camp because man, we’ve got decisions to make, like, yesterday!

GIAG syndrome overwhelmingly takes over and tells me there’s too much to {try to} experience in one lifetime to stay put! It tells me to keep moving, keep seeing, keep testing and keep hoping. It doesn’t tell me that things, as they are, can be just fine.

Luckily, I read this little gem the other day, courtesy of the brilliant Tiny Buddha – a collection of writers frequently post and rarely disappoint. I usually skim Google Reader for titles that jump out at the flavor-feeling of the moment, and this past week? I needed to hear this:

You see, the problem with having choices is that we become restless. We can’t settle on what we already have or be satisfied with what we’ve got because we’ll always be wondering about the next big thing.

…..Mindfulness helps you to appreciate life as it happens. It stops us from agonizing over what might’ve been or what could be. It just brings us back to the present.

Because happiness isn’t about where you live or the things you do. It isn’t about being on an impossible mission to do everything, see everywhere, and accomplish everything you ever dreamed.

Happiness is a state of mind.

Happiness is: knowing I have a job that fulfills, challenges and encourages me every day; I’m in a relationship with my best friend, someone I know would take any adventure with me at any time; I have the means to travel, see my family, fill my fridge and buy that cute dress when I just can’t resist.

Happiness is not only embracing my GIAG & FOMO, because they push me to do something different, exciting and new whenever the door is slightly ajar, but also knowing when to rein them in because this routine is a good one.

yoga studio spaceOpen city daterun lulu run

What’s your happiness right now?

Any fellow GIAG & FOMO embracers? Welcome to the club, we meet in the web space regularly, searching for adventure, pinning, writing, wishing and planning.


Filed under about me, distractions, learning, motivation, things that make you go Hmmmm, travel

“Action Expresses Priority”: Casey Neistat’s Make it Count

What we choose to do with our time reflects the things that we prioritize – we are what we repeatedly do. If you looked back at your agenda over the weekend, or even yesterday – what did you do? What was prioritized? Was it worth it?

Look at your calendar for this week and next. Look one month out, then one year out. What do you have planned? What challenge are you tackling? What’s unique about the life you’re choosing, for yourself?

Action Expresses Priorities Make mistakes

Think about it.


If this is the last online video you ever watch, then Casey Neistat will have made his point (in turn, possibly stalling his career…). It would mean you’re out living an adventure, not watching someone show you how it’s done. It would mean that you get it – there is a better way to spend our time than constantly being on a computer, at a desk, sweating the small stuff, ignoring what’s out there yet to be seen, touched or experienced.

Life is a Sport, #makeitcount

That said,  the next 4 minutes may be the best you spend all day. For this, it’s worth it to stay at your desk, on your computer. Watch:

Make it Count video 

“Life is either daring adventure, or nothing at all.”

What would you do with 10 days?


Filed under distractions, Goals, inspiration, random, things that make me Happy

Will Work for Burpees

The muscles and I got tested this morning with the Ryders; will you quit for Burpees? Or work for them?

Less than fifteen minutes into class, we were told to take the seats off (of the bikes), and get ready for the next half hour to burn. A fun little game to throw into that mix? If you let your free weight (we each had one) touch the bar, 15 burpees. If you aren’t doing the exercises correctly, 15 more burpees. If you know you’re slacking and need to “rest” (we don’t do that here)….yup, more burpees!

Through a lot of lactic acid burn, a stubborn attitude and probably a little bit of luck, I managed to work it for that half hour and make into the last 3 people who had yet to do burpees. Finally we all threw one in for the team and paid our burpee-dues.

How many times can I type “burpee” before spellcheck ignores it?

DC.NationalHalf 1081.25 025DenverRnRwkend 078

My muscles were a little sore from an arm-heavy double-dose yesterday (Ryders, then Yoga), and even without that this was one of the more challenging classes we’ve done (all relative here, whew).  Since my back and arms  (and eventually legs) are already telling me how they felt about this morning’s adventure, I know a limit or two was pushed.

But, let’s be honest, burpees aren’t really a “rest” from anything.
And I’m no fan of them.

On the other hand, my mind can go to every situation where I’ve hurt much more than “this”, whatever this is at the time. I think of mile 26, of the last 10 seconds in a 1-minute hand-stand wall-hold, of the very first time I went to Ryders and 50 squats left me sore for way too many days.

When my mind goes there, my muscles get distracted and remember that they can work. And they can get a little bit stronger.

Remind me tomorrow that I didn’t want more than those 15 burpees at the end; because I know some soreness will make me think otherwise.


What’s your go-to thought/situation when you need the muscles to push farther than you mind?

I immediately think of how badly I wanted to be done with my first marathon, after mile 18. I remember willing myself to push through it, even though my “goal” time was gone and it was not the experience I had dreamt up in my head. Crossing the Finish line, and then signing up for #2 (which went much more smoothly!) was worth it.


Filed under about me, distance, distractions, Goals, strength train too!, training

Tuesday Trials: Clipless Shoes + Pedals!

As we browsed REI on Saturday to pass some time, D led me over to the Girls’ Shoe Wall (which didn’t require much convincing). Instead of seeing Nike, New Balance, Brooks, Mizuno, etc …. my eyes landed on Pearl Izumi, Shimano, & Specialized.

I tried on two pairs and did the usual – walk around, wiggle your toes, tighten/loosen the straps, picture yourself clipping in and zooming down the road…ya know, eventually.  One pair had “3 rip -and-stick closure straps“, while one had “2 rip-and-stick  straps” plus a “racketing microadjustable buckle strap“. Repeat that five times, fast.

As that language is entirely foreign to me, I left the decision making to the comfort of my feet. Maybe they would understand the fancy straps that are “angled at 15*” for “anatomical curves” and the “fiberglass reinforced nylon soles”.  Say, what? Shimano, it is!  

I’m sort of in love with them.

The REI-lady asked if we now needed to look at pedals, D quickly said “No”….? I just go with the flow. He also proceeded to purchase these, and inform me that “my” pedals were coming in the mail. What?!

Happy {early} Birthday to me, Round 2! :) It’s official, I now have all “the gear”.


Yesterday, the pedals arrived!

D and his bici-mechanical skills, which I lack entirely, attached them right away. My bike marveled in her new look, and we propped her up on the trainer so I could practice. Clip in, balance, pedal, attempt to clip out, repeat!

D adjusted whatever it is that you can adjust so that it’s easier to clip in/out and so that my knees aren’t angled inward/outward, my legs are comfortable, the seat height is appropriate, etc. Yes, I get custom bike fittings in the comfort of my apartment.

He also gave me these tips:

  • Momentum is your friend! Clip one foot in, pedal to gain speed, and Then clip the second foot in.
  • As you approach a Stop, unclip one foot so you’re ready to balance!
  • Rotate your hip to unclip, it uses more force.
  • Find the lip of the cleat (front) as you go to clip In, and then press Down.


This morning was the Real test – could I survive on the roads? Or, would I quickly meet the Sidewalk?

We were awake by 5 a.m. and ready to head downtown to do some loops around Haines Point. I did fine getting in and starting off, panicked a little bit at our first Stoplight, but did get unclipped without toppling over – success! As we turned down Connecticut, we were met by a Police blockade and a smoking street.

Only in DC, at 5:15 a.m.

Between this unexpected detour (which would lead us down a hill and onto Rockcreek Parkway (i.e. no bike lane or sidewalk), I let visions of cruising around the Mall dissipate for the time being. There’s no need to traumatize myself on Day 1 !

After turning around and heading home, I did do 45 minutes on the trainer and am already convinced this duo will make my cycling life that much better. I love them.


I know some of you are well into this realm of cycling – tips?
List them off!


Filed under about me, bike rides, cross training, DC, distractions, learning, new things!