* Disclaimer: This is a pretty long post and, I'm not going to lie, full of a lot of boring stuff. Proceed reading at your own risk. *
The other day, Justin kindly noted how long it's been since I've written in here, so I thought I would update. You know, just for him. Well, and me, because if my purpose with this thing is to better document life then I should probably actually post a little more consistently.
So, life as of late...
Finals came and passed quicker than I realized [ and for which I am very grateful ]. Micro? I must have done a swell job of preparing because somehow I managed to scrape together a decent enough grade on the final to get the overall grade I did - and let's just say I was mighty pleased with that grade indeed. Also, the coming to pass of that final signaled the end of learning about microbiology, therefore meaning no more petri dishes with nasty E. coli samples, no more smelly drawers full of bacteria-infested plates, no more going into lab for no reason other than to LOOK at a plate, and most importantly, no more worst-professor-of-the-century-and-in-the-whole-dang-universe
[ for realsies, I had never experienced such a disrespectful, unprofessional, ineffective educator in my life until I met this woman ].
As for chemistry, again, I must have been on something [ and something good ] when taking that final because I have absolutely no idea how I managed to end up with the semester grade that I did. What I'm looking forward to most about saying goodbye to that class is the lab - talk about feeling inadequate...not to mention stupid, with those sweet awesome goggles they require. Good thing I'm already married and wasn't on the quest to impress with those babies.
Then this past Saturday, I laced up to run the 34th annual Fifth Third River Bank Run's 25K for the second year in a row. Last year, I ran to finish. This year, I ran to beat last year's time. A few highlights include pushing myself to go a tad too fast in the beginning, accepting GU even though I hadn't trained with it, feeling incredibly nauseated starting at mile 9 most likely due to GU acceptance [ and shocking my digestive system...this lasted until at least a half hour after I crossed the finish line ], and yet somehow finishing in 2:09:21 with an 8:21min/mile pace, more than 9 minutes faster than last year's time.
It was a whole huge massively different story this time around. While I was better prepared physically to tackle this 15.5 mile challenge, I'm not convinced that I was mentally as well. I was so set on keeping under a 8:30 pace, beating the 2:10 finish time, that I kept convincing myself that I could go faster and let my adrenaline just carry me the whole way. This resulted in my keeping a sub-8 minute pace for the first five miles, then dropping back to a close 8:35 for a while once I felt nauseated. In the end, I was able to finish strong and sprint the finish [ passing at least five guys over a foot taller than me, at that! Booyah grandpas! ], but I made the mistakes that I think a lot of novice distance runners like myself fall victim to - not sticking to a realistic pace in the beginning, not ignoring the instinct to let adrenaline take over, not focusing on the big picture of the whole race.
Last year, upon returning home after the RBR, Justin and I immediately signed ourselves up for the GR Half Marathon. This year, the day after, I decided to take the plunge and signed my name up for the full GR Marathon that's taking place this fall. I'm a mixture of emotions: terrified, excited, determined, pee-my-pants nervous, you name it. 26.2 miles is a distance that people drive - and I'm going to [ attempt with all my heart and soul to ] run it. Like my first Riverbank, the goal will be to finish - though I am shooting for a 9min/mile pace, which I think it fairly reasonable given my most recent RBR time.
So now it's summer and I have all the time in the world to run far and long, right? Partially. Call me nutso, but nearly within the first hour of absolute freedom from school, I made a summer to-do list. If you know me even the slightest, you know I love my lists. Now, to be fair, this one really isn't all that bad; I just wrote down all the things I had been wanting to get done the entire semester but couldn't because school demanded the vast majority of my energy and basically diminished any semblance of free time. Sewing kitchen and bedroom curtains, crafting my own earring and necklace holders, organizing our junk-strewn basement, reading Water for Elephants and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress [ check! I'd highly recommend it, by the way ] and Blogging for Dummies [ okay not really, but something along the lines of learning how to do all this HTML junk and unique-ifying this thing ] , learning our Nikon D90 better, making and going to an eye doctor appointment, figuring out which immunizations I need for nursing clinicals, actually getting the immunzations and turning in the form on time... Okay, those last few aren't so great, but life's not all fun and games. Factor in soaking up all the time I can with Justin at the beach, taking bike rides to the farmer's market, reading in the park and sleeping in late and you've got yourself a very jam-packed summer.
I'm going to try my hardest to train for the marathon. I'm considering changing up my diet a little bit to try to fuel myself in the best way possible [ a.k.a. pasta, bagels and bananas are getting a little old and I need some more excitement and energy-inducing foods ] and perhaps logging further runs but less often and practicing some sort of meditation running for focus. If anyone out there has tips for first time marathon runners, PLEASE SEND THEM MY WAY. I'm not kidding. I could use all the help I can get.
Alright, that was a whole bunch o' ramble. Hope you weren't too bored along the way. I promise my next post will be short and sweet.
Oh! I'll also try to get photos up of the RBR - though if I forget and / or don't [ which is likely ], you can always check them out on Justin's blog. He's much better at updating, uploading pictures, posting consistently, and pretty much everything else!