“Bridge Man”

Well, here we are. Another Thanksgiving holiday has gone by.

I was trying really hard not to post today, because what would I say? How thankful I am for everything that I have? So cliché.

But- then I found myself taking a long, hot bath and reaching my journal and pen. The urge to write is so strong, so I’m just going to go with- cliché, or no cliché!

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Grumpy to the full extent. It was like all of a sudden I just thought this holiday to be so superficial. Like, why, on this day, do we try to spend time with family and eat good food? And why, on this day, do we reflect on the things we are thankful for? I mean, shouldn’t people do this more often than on holidays and special occasions?!

It just had me miffed.

My family and I aren’t really the type to get together for Thanksgiving. We used to be, but not so much anymore. No one, other than me, in my family tries to plan anything. And I’m okay with that because I see them throughout the year. And I’m usually enjoying my time with them then.

My grandmother is in a nursing home, and I think about her all the time. When I don’t have time to go see her, I write to her. I see my mom almost every other weekend. And my uncles maybe every couple of months. And I’m always thankful for them. Always.

But this isn’t about me. You know who I thought of while I was eating cranberry sauce and talking recipes with Jason’s aunt?

I thought about the homeless guy that has a little spot underneath an interstate bridge on my way to work. Everyday I pass that spot and glance up that way to see if he is at “home” or not. Sometimes he is. He’ll be lying under the one sleeping bag he has. Other times he isn’t, and I’ll wonder what he’s doing. Sometimes I want to stop and leave him things, but I haven’t enough guts to do it yet. Yet being the key word.

I worry about that man.

And the other men, women and children that don’t even have a place to stay, let alone a “Thanksgiving meal” they can eat or go back for seconds for.

My world view has really changed this past year. Drastically. You know how I know this? Because when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I found myself saying “You don’t have to get me anything…I have so much already.”

And I do. We do.

Sure, it would be nice to have a few new books to read…or maybe a new blender, but that’s stuff I can get for myself. What about the people out there that just can’t seem to make ends meet? What about the folks out there that don’t even know where their next meal is coming from?

You see guys, I’m not just for helping animals. My heart breaks when I see homeless people. Or people that have to “put a few things back” at the grocery store.

When I was nine years old, I was riding the school bus home in a busy part of Charlotte. We stopped at a red light, and looking out of the window, I noticed an old woman holding a sign that said “Help me please. Hungry.” And, of course, in my nine-year old brain, I didn’t really think, I just reacted.

I put my window down, took my neon blue and yellow lunch box that had leftover Cheetos in it, and threw it out the window to her. (Truth be told- it hit her right in the face-!!-which is definitely not what I intended, and you could tell she was shocked and embarrassed, as was I). But, she picked it up and looped it through her arm for safe-keeping.

What’s the point of all this? Is this just me writing a post about what a saint I think I am?

No, I assure you it isn’t…though it probably is sounding that way-again, not what I intend.

I guess what I’m trying to say (?) is…open your eyes. It’s so easy for us to get bogged down with our own problems and forget that people live far harder lives than we do. It’s easy to take a hot meal for granted, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the materialness of the season…it’s even easy to wish for something more for yourself.

I think I’ve just discovered that I don’t really want more for myself (material-wise). I have enough as it is. Hell, I could probably get rid of half of what I own and still be okay.

So, the moral of the post is…when you are writing out your Christmas list this year, or sitting down to an immense amount of food that you will live off of for the next week, please don’t forget about the less fortunate. Please have them in your heart as well.

You know,  I bet “bridge man” has/had a family he used to see on Thanksgiving. Maybe one day, if I ever get the courage to take him a few things, I’ll find out.

 

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Well, now that THAT’s over…

Ever have one of those weeks where bad things just keep happening? The kind where you find yourself crying over a glass bottle of white wine in a dark closet at 4 in the afternoon?

 

No, you don’t? That’s just me? Oh well.

 

I’ve sobbed in dark closets and now I’m okay Smile (And yes, that’s meant to be plural -“closets”. There were more than one, people! Don’t judge, it was a rough week.)

If you’re wondering what happened to Sophie, I’ll give you a little timeline on that:

Sophie gets out—> Sophie goes missing for 3 days (having a ball in CatLand? chasing mice? getting hit by cars?..BINGO)—>Sophie comes back with a limp (I scream ‘Hallelujah, my baby’s back!!’ at the top of my lungs upon seeing her)—>Took her to vet for limp—>Vet declares she was hit by car, all paws in back left paw crushed—>I pay $794 for vet visit (Trixie was seen too, but that’s another story)—> I go home and mourn the loss of my college savings for a week straight. The end.

PS. We now call Sophie, “kickstand” because she uses her leg as a prop, and it’s always sticking out like the kickstand you would see on a bike. It’s hilarious.

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And our other cat has earned the name of “Dumptruck” because he got out, rolled in something, and came back smelling like straight-up garbage. We don’t allow him on the furniture, at least not until the stink passes.

 

Don’t get me wrong: I am very thankful for my pets health and will do anything to keep them that way, but now I only have $300 for school next semester, and that’s about the cost of one book these days.

 

So wah wah wah Crying face That’s over and it’s a new day/week. And things will be better Open-mouthed smile <—see? better.

In order to recoup from my meltdown, I ignored Facebook for three whole days (3 days, ya’ll! What, what!) and got myself back into nature before the temperature drops for good.

Jason and I took Trixie to the mountain for a two mile hike. She only made it one, but I still think she enjoyed herself (new smells to smell!). It. was. glorious. to be surrounded by nature. I’ve said before that being in nature and with animals has somewhat of a spiritual effect on me…and it never ceases to amaze me how peaceful and calm I feel when walking through the woods, or shoving my face in my cats fur, for that matter. Cat face Meow.

I also decided to BAKE. Because when I can’t be in nature, baking soothes my soul Smile

OMG- what if I could bake in the woods…that would equal awesomeness. I’d be set on the feeling of ‘peace’ for the rest of my life!!

Backtoreality- I started skimming through the various vegan cookbooks I have, when I stumbled upon Cocoa Banana Muffins  in Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

My reaction: “Um, you can have cocoa  in muffins??????? Why am I just now finding this out?

And so I baked Smile And the end product was mighty tasty if you ask me (and Jason). And you do. You do ask Jason and I.

So here is the recipe for these little chocolately loaves of goodness.

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Cocoa Banana Muffins

(this recipe can make 6 or 12 depending on how many muffins you want)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups + 2 Tbsp. plain non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbsp. flax meal
  • 1 cup barley flour (I substituted all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl- combine milk and flax meal. Stir, set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine flours, sugar, salt, spices, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder. Stir until combined. In milk/flax mixture, add banana, syrup, vanilla, and oil. Stir until combined. Add wet mixture to dry, folding gently until all ingredients combined. Line muffin pan with liners (spray them with cooking spray!). Spoon mixture into liners, bake for 23-26 minutes.

Viola!DSCN4812

In other news, it looks like Jason found the dry erase markers I’ve been hiding. I always write the menu for our week on the dry erase board that is stuck on our fridge. And this morning I woke up to this:

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The booger pudding should be delicious, can’t wait to share that recipe! Open-mouthed smile Not to mention the Alpo sandwiches, Trixie will be jealous for sure. But she’s 13, so she’s at the age where she can finally start making her own damn sandwiches.

trixie

“But I don’t want to make my own sandwiches.”

No worries, I’m just kidding Smile I will forever be making her sandwiches.

I’m off to go take my neighbor to the store, she’s out of SunDrop and peanut butter. And there’s no way I’m gonna share my pb with her again! Get cho’ own.

See ya!

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It’s Not a Good Day…

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….for any of us…..*sigh*

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Fighting for Downer Rights

Hi everyone!

It’s a dreary, rainy Wednesday here Storm cloud Makes me want to snuggle back into my bed and read all day Smile But grown-up life awaits!

Today is going to be a short post, mainly because I wanted to get on here and announce the winner of my giveaway, and also because I wanted to ask you guys to please take a minute of your day to sign the petition

I’ve created regarding the use of downed animals in our meat supply.

 

downed-calf

I first talked about this here, but here is the gist of what’s going on with this right now:

The National Meat Association is trying to overturn a California state law that says downer meat is not to be put into the U.S. food supply. They, instead, are supposed to remove the downed animal from the slaughter line, euthanize it, and safely dispose of the carcass.

What does this have to do with you?

California is one of the largest beef producers in our country. Their meat is sent to grocery stores, restaurants, and even the National School Lunch Program across the nation.

Downed animals usually have more health problems than those of ‘healthy cattle’. They have increased risk of E.Coli, Salmonella, and BSE (Mad Cow Disease).  These animals are sick.

The NMA wants to overturn this state law because federal law states that  “meat companies can sometimes use/sell meat from downed animals.”

They just want to make more money. Period.

But at what costs to consumers?

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea: I am not advocating the way these animals are treated, I am simply trying to keep the current law into play. I do not condone any factory farm, or it’s practices, and as you guys know I care deeply about these animals.

My concern: If this state law is overturned, other state laws – more than likely ones involving animal rights/cruelty law, are going to come to light and people will begin to say “Well, if federal law says I should be able to do this, then I should be able to do it.”

Anti-cruelty laws are usually made by the state.  We can’t let the NMA win this one!!!! We need to keep tainted beef off of the table. Please, please, please take a minute to sign my petition. Thank you so much for your support.

http://www.change.org/petitions/help-stop-use-of-downed-meat-in-our-meat-supply

And the winner of the giveaway isssss…..

random

Ashley! Congrats Ashley. Please send me your address to raderana@yahoo.com and we’ll get the necklace of your choice right to ya!

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Marathon recap is coming soon (in the next week), I promise! Haven’t forgotten about it-just want to get a speech and an exam out of the way first Winking smile

With that said, allow me to share with you some of my random thoughts from the weekend:

Random thought #1 – I wish I was cool enough to pull off skinny jeans.

Random thought #2 – This weekend I learned that my boyfriend uses bad grammar around strangers on purpose because he thinks it’s funny. And this whole time (umm, the 3+ years we’ve been dating!) I thought he was just grammatically-challenged. Example of this:

Person to Jason “You and your grandpa run a fine appliance business.”

Jason to person “Yep, a lot of peoples seem to likes our appliances.”

 Usually, I’d be on the sidelines shaking my head in pity, until today…when I found out that he does it on purpose. Now I think it’s hilarious.

brunch

Random thought #3 – I find it funny that my mom still asks me what meat I’d like at Thanksgiving. Haven’t touched meat in going on 4 years, mom! Get a clue! Smile Haha. Last Thanksgiving, she swore to me that her stuffing would be “vegetarian” because she was making it with cream of chicken soup. “It’s cream of chicken, Stacey. That’s not real chicken.” And this year it’s: “Well, I know you don’t eat ham, so what if I buy a turkey?”. Tsk, tsk.

Random thought #4 – Must lay off of the ‘Walking Dead’. Nightmares about zombies eating my flesh = scurry stuff.

Random thought #5 – Store bought vegan parmesan is disgusting.

Random thought #6 – This weekend my neighbor came to my house just to give me one those humungoid icing-covered honey buns. You know, the one’s you can buy at a gas station for $.50? She then asked me for a slice of cheese and Tylenol. WEIRD.

Random thought #7 – I . LOVE. THIS. BOOK.

reason for hope

Random thought #8 – Went to the Panther game today. We played so terribly, it hurt my eyes just to watch. As we were leaving the stadium, a little boy (with ice cream all over his face) came running up to his sister and said: “Well, that game was AWESOME!!!” and she replied “No it wasn’t, stupid! We LOST. It was freaking terrible, you IDIOT!” Ahhh, teenage sisters are the best, aren’t they? Open-mouthed smile

Also- we saw another little boy that had collected a lot of programs that he had found on the ground. He probably had about 20 in his hands, and yes…he was trying to sale them to people leaving the game…hahahahahahaha Open-mouthed smile 

Random thought #9 – Made a pot of pinto beans this weekend. My first time ever cooking dry beans (except for lentils)!! I was really excited about how they turned out. So excited that I made up a ‘bean dance’ while I wait for them to cool in the kitchen. (PS. 3 bean-meals later, and I don’t care if I ever see another bean in my life! Too. many. beannnnsssss.)

Random thought #10 – Jason and I practiced our M.C. Hammer crab-walk today. I think we are getting quite good at it Smile <—video worthy, but didn’t have it around…

Random thought #11—Found out that my shampoo and conditioner are cruelty-free = awesomeness. Now, if I could just find a sunscreen, darn it!

Random thought #12 – Polished my grandmothers locket this weekend. I found it in her old jewelry box a while back. It was hidden behind the music box, and was such a treasure to find. I can’t wait to find a chain for it!

locket

Speaking of jewelry…

It’s giveaway time!

The lovely folks over at Shabby Apple are giving away a necklace to one lucky reader this week! In order to be entered into this giveaway, you will need to comment on this post, and head over to Shabby Apple’s Facebook page, click ‘Like’, and BOOM! You’re entered! (U.S. Residents only, please)

The winner will get to choose one necklace from the following list:

Key to My Heart – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-688-key-to-my-heart.aspx
Key To Wonderland – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-690-key-to-wonderland.aspx
Light as a Feather – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-684-light-as-a-feather.aspx
Lost in Wonderland – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-693-lost-in-wonderland.aspx
The Duchess – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-694-the-duchess.aspx
The Queen’s Rose – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-685-the-queens-rose.aspx
White Rabbit’s Time Keeper – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-686-the-white-rabbits-time-keeper.aspx
Through the Looking Glass – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-689-through-the-looking-glass.aspx
Unlock the Queen’s Castle – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-687-unlock-the-queens-castle.aspx
Dark Secrets of Wonderland – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-766-dark-secrets-of-wonderland.aspx
Poker Face Alice – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-768-poker-face-alice.aspx
You’re All Mad – http://www.shabbyapple.com/p-775-youre-all-mad.aspx

(I personally like the ‘Key to Wonderland’ Smile)

The winner will be chosen Wednesday morning, so you have until about 9 a.m. that morning to enter! Good luck! Feel free to check out Shabby Apple on Twitter  as well!

That’s it for now, peeps. I’m supposed to be working on a presentation, but I just don’t have it in me (that’s what she said?).

Going to join the boyfriend on the couch! See you Wednesday!

PS. Be sure to check out The Home-Cooked Vegan on FB! Open-mouthed smile

 

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Calling All Kindle Fans! Calling All Kindle Fans!

Race recap is coming soon, very soon Smile I just want to have enough time to write a detailed recap so I can tell you guys everything about the race. Here is a sneak peek!

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Clue: I finished! (You now know that much) Open-mouthed smile

But the race isn’t what I want to talk about today. Today I want to discuss the Kindle (a Kindle?)

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I consider myself to be a bit old-fashioned, in that I don’t like relying on technology to do things for me. Especially things I could do myself.

I don’t have the internet on my phone, by choice. As long as I can call someone if I need them, and text, then I’m good. No other features are needed.

I have no idea how to “Skype”, whatever that is! And I have no interest in ever getting an I-Phone, I-Pad, or an I-Ball. (Okay, I made that last one up Smile)

As you guys know, I love to read. I read about one book a week, usually they’re books that I’ll check out from the library. Or on the rare occasion that I can’t find one that I really want to read, I’ll order it used through Amazon or Half.com.

When the Kindle came into the world- I resisted it. Called it “ridiculous”. “Who would want to read a book on a screen? When they could easily hold the book and turn a page? Isn’t that the joy of reading?” <—was my argument to Jason the day the kindle came out.

I like holding books. I like being surrounded by them. I like turning from page to page and being able to bookmark my spot. I like the fact that I use the library instead of buying new, less tree usage, maybe???

 

But then my friend, Whitney, began gushing over the kindle she bought her mom one night while we were on our way to yoga. “Oh, it’s so great! You can download entire books on that thing. And it’s so easy to carry with you.”

Me: “But doesn’t the screen hurt your eyes? Is there a glare?”

Her: “No, it’s just like reading a book.

And then fearing that I might start to go over to the dark-side, I stopped asking questions. I don’t want to like the kindle!

Then, last week when I was having coffee with my friend and her baby, she mentioned that she had asked for a kindle for Christmas.

FYI- This is a friend that shared in my ‘the-kindle-is-stupid’ way of thinking when it first came out. I sucked in my breath in disbelief and yelled “TRAITOR!” at the top of my lungs.

“How could you?! Why do you want it?!!!! I thought you hated them with me, uhhh…I mean, just like I did…”

Her: *completely guilty/shameful face* “I know! It’s terrible! I saw my mother-in-law using one, she let me borrow it, and now I want one so bad. And they help save trees, Stacey!” <—do you see this tactic she’s using! Tsk, tsk.

I pretended to be shocked and let down, but in all seriousness, the fact that my book-loving friends were converting made me more curious about them.

So now I ask you, my readers, if you have a kindle, what do you love and hate about it? What kind do you have? Do you like it better than reading an actual book? Where you against them in the beginning?

*I need to know because I’m thinking of asking for one for Christmas.* Dark side, here I come.

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The Next Time…

You hear from me, I will have completed 26.2 miles!! And I should have an awesome recap to tell you Open-mouthed smile I just need to make it through Chem tomorrow and then we’re on the road. No turning back now! I cant. wait. So excited!

Have a great weekend!

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This Song…

 

 

will never get old Open-mouthed smile

 

I listen to it every day of the week…but you probably already knew that Winking smile

 

About to go on a date night with the boyfriend! Hope your Saturday is awesome!

date

 

P.S. 7 more days until my marathon….aye carumba. (!!!!)

 

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When I Was Little…

I learned the value of life.

Anything’s life..not just a humans, but an animals as well (if you see things my way-humans are animals).

When I was eleven, my mom came home to find two dying baby mice on her kitchen counter with bandages wrapped around their stomachs.

My cat had left them at our doorstep and they weren’t quite dead yet (I hated it when they weren’t already dead.), and so I tried to save them.

Their little beady eyes blinking slowly, life fading in and out as I tried my best to cover their puncture wounds.

My mom grounded me for a week for bringing “germs” into the house. “Do you know the diseases they carry?!”.

Death was constantly at my doorstep. Literally.

My cat was always hunting and killing things. Leaving them right at our feet as a “present”. I often woke up to baby rabbits, dead birds, rat heads (because he ate the rest), baby mice…anything he could catch in the field in front of our house.

I would pat him on the head, but silently agonize over what was in front of me.

One day when I was 13, I was laying on my bed thumbing through a magazine. I happened to glance out of the window at the exact moment that a bird was headed, full-speed, towards my window.

It smashed into it and fell to the ground.

I ran outside as quickly as possible to see if there was anything I could do. The bird lay there, it’s neck broken. In a few seconds, it was dead.

I cried.

Why I would want to run out and watch something die is beyond me. I just felt like being there with it, and recognizing it’s little life gone might help the bird (?)…To me, it felt like someone should realize what just happened.

When I was 14, I was walking through neighborhood roads to my friends house, when I came across a calico cat. He was purring and rubbing against my feet.

Always wanting to put my face in an animals fur, I picked him up and snuggled him. A car was coming up the road, so I moved out of the way with the cat in my hands to let the car go by.

I stood with the cat on the side of the road, waiting for the car to pass. Right when the car gets to us, the cat freaks out and jumps down, only to be run over.

I stood there sobbing, watching as the cat flopped around on the road, dying.

The lady got out of the car and asked me why I let him down? “Why did you do that? I’m sorry I ran over your cat!”

Without saying anything, I ran to my friends house and told her the story. She started laughing and told her mom that I was “in here crying over a cat”. I immediately stopped crying, I didn’t want my friends to think I was a baby or anything, but my heart felt heavy for the rest of the day.

Last year, on my way home from Girls on the Run, there were kids crowding around in the street. Little kids, maybe ages 5-8? Feeling like something was wrong, I parked my car and went over to the kids.

They were standing around a cat that had just been hit.

My heart went to my feet. I told them to back up and asked them how long ago the cat had been hit. They said it just happened.

The poor cat couldn’t lift it’s hind legs, it was using all the strength it had to use it’s front two paws to stand up. But it would just collapse again. I knew it was going to die.

I sat there with the kids, crying. Silently saying a prayer and telling it “I’m sorry” through my thoughts. The cat exhaled one last time, spit blood and died.

 

I guess you could say I have a problem with death.

I cringe and apologize whenever a bug hits my windshield.

I get a sinking feeling in my chest when I see road kill.

I go extra slow down the country road that leads to my house, so that I don’t hit “night critters”.

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve ever had.

I spilled coffee all over my crotch right before going into Chem. class, I found out that I made an “F” on my mid-term, and the kids were driving me bonkers at work.

I drive home, already feeling defeated and beat-down. I turn onto our country road, click my bright headlights on, and slow my speed.

I come around a curb, and out of all the animals I could’ve hit, a bat flies right into my windshield.

“But it’s just a bat.”

It’s a life! And bats are amazing creatures!

I gasp, stop the car, and get out to see if I can see it on the road. It’s on the side of the road, lying on it’s back.

I let out an angry scream. Angry at myself for taking a life, angry because I try so hard not to hit anything.

I get in my car and drive towards home.

My driveway is blocked with a huge truck.

A man steps out, comes to my car and says: “We’ll be outta your way in a minute. We’re just finishing up here. Which trailer do you live in?”

Me: “The third one back.” His co-worker comes over at this point. “We’ll move in just a minute and you can go home.”

“Okay.”

“Mrs., are you crying?”

“Yeah, I hit an animal on the way home.”

“Is your car okay? What’d you hit?”

“I hit a bat. It flew into my windshield.”

“You’re crying over a bat? That’s nothing! I hit a opossum the other night going about 70. WHAM!” *Insert loud laughter here*

AND THAT’S SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT?! YOU’RE PROUD OR SOMETHING?!

Ignoramus. Stupid redneck hillbillies.

Life is life. No matter what species you are…I don’t want to be responsible for ending another living beings life here on Earth.

I hate that I hit that bat, I hate it. But what I hate more is someone’s indifference to taking a life. The fact that they can joke and carry on about running over an opossum enraged me.

I realize I might be “too sensitive” about this stuff, but if you ask me, we need people like me in the world. There are people that are sensitive to topics like abortion, or the death sentence. Those people stand strong in their beliefs, and crying over a dead animal might seem “silly” but someone should be that way.

If no one cared, then it would go unnoticed…and that would further promote our indifferent attitudes towards animals.

Sometimes I think it would help if I knew more people like me. I feel so alone in this stand sometimes. Like, it doesn’t matter to other people, so why even try? What difference am I really going to make?

 

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20 Mile Reality Check

Hi Smile

Well, my 20 mile run (the last long run of my training!) is complete. But not without a getting a huge reality check along the way.

Allow me to explain-

Friday night my friend texted me and said that he had a friend that had a free pass for a half-marathon that was to take place the next morning (are you still with me?).  So, of course, I jumped on that opportunity. Running a half-marathon and then adding 7 miles at the end would be a lot better than running the flat greenway back and forth 5 times!

I got in touch with his friend (who is now my friend too <—don’t you love how that happens?) and we agreed to meet the next morning before the race.

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We met bright and early the next morning, registered for the race, and talked a bit before it was time to run.

The first part of the race seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, I was reaching mile 9.

 

But oh-my-GAH, the hills.

Mistake in training #1 – Didn’t do one single run on a hilly course. I’ve been training on a flat surface because I was told that the Savannah, GA marathon has a relatively flat course.

I still should have completed short runs on hills. It increases speed and endurance on long runs.

Oh well!

This race was so hilly! Like a freaking roller coaster.

hillyrace

My legs were getting really tight and tired by the time I reached mile 9. One thing I can be proud of is that I ran the entire race. No stopping! I took baby steps on the hills and I eventually finished in 2:14.

That’s about 5 minutes slower than my first half-marathon, but that’s ok. I’m training for a much bigger goal!

The hills really slowed me down. In the beginning, I was doing about a 9:30 pace, but looking back my average was about a 10:16 pace.

One thing I didn’t like about this race was that every 3 miles, they had a timer up showing you what your time is at that particular moment.

I don’t think about my timing unless a clock is put in front of my face! I didn’t want to know!

Hehe Smile

All in all, it was a good race. Beautiful weather for it!

Afterward, I stretched and then got in my car to drive to the greenway. I wanted to get those last 7 miles done before I lost motivation!

My last 7 miles of training

Mile 14-18 were okay. My legs were in a lot of pain from all of the hills, specifically my calves. I just felt tight all over…like a stretched rubber band. My knees began bothering me a lot around mile 18.

Mile 18-20: Pure. Hell. Hell, I tell you!

Oh my Lord, why didn’t someone warn me about the pain?!!

Okay, so mile 18 I stop and stretch out my knees and begin walking after every half mile.  My strides have become baby steps.  A light jog.

Mile 19: My entire body feels so heavy and it takes all of the effort I have just to put one foot in front of the other.  I “run”, walk, stretch. And repeat.

Mile 20: My knees are hurting, my joints feel inflamed. I can feel all of the muscles in my legs. My right leg keeps wanting to give out on me (not sure what  that’s about…??). I finally finish.

 

Maybe it was because I had just ran 13 miles of back to back hills, or maybe it’s because I just ran 20 miles…but goodness gracious. After this run, I thought about my marathon goals and made some serious revisions!

  • WALK. I hadn’t planned on walking any during my marathon, but pshhh, yeah right! Now I plan to walk after 10 miles. 6 miles. 4 miles. And then every 2 until I finish.
  • Eat more. All I ate the entire 20 miles was a pack of Cliff blocks and two pieces of bread. I have trouble eating when I’m doing long runs because I don’t feel hungry. During my marathon, I plan to eat every time I stop to walk.
  • Don’t focus on time. Finish in under 4 hours, yeah right!  It would be awesome if I did, but I just want to finish. Without injury.
  • Take in the experience. Do not focus on how many other people are flying past you and how “slow you are”, your in a city you’ve never been before! Take it in!

After all is said and done-

I don’t think I’m going to do another marathon after this one.

I felt really bad for putting my body through all of the pain I did on Saturday. (I found myself apologizing to my body: “Come on, please. I’m sorry I’m doing this to you! Just get me through these last two miles..). It’s such wear and tear! I want to have strong bones and healthy joints, but it’s starting to feel like running 26.2 miles is too much to put on a body (in my opinion). I like the half-marathon distance because right when it starts to hurt- you’re done! Smile

I may be eating my words come next year, but who knows?

Only 11 more days until the race! Ahhhhhhhh!!!! Open-mouthed smile

In other news-

Jason and I took updated “family portraits” this weekend! Now that we have Sophie, we thought it only fitting to redo our old family photo so that we could include her.

Here are the the trial shots:

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(Biting me- I love the look on my other cats face Open-mouthed smile)

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(Picture a cat falling out on the floor in a temper tantrum, this is what it would look like. “But I don’t want to take a family photo!” <—said in whiniest voice possible)

The end product:

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She’s growling in this pic, but at least she’s looking at the camera!

Time to get ready for school! See ya later this week with a recipe! Smile

How did your first 20-miler go? Are you a one-time marathoner, or is it addicting like everyone says? Do you take family photos with your fur children? (Please say you do)

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