October Recap

IMG_8354 October was a good month. I’m ending the month with 108.89 miles. This number is actually higher than I expected. The first 10 days of the month were spent tapering, my full marathon was October 10th, I had one week of recovery with hardly any running, and then I “trained” for the rest of the month.

Tapering is always hard. I was craving a long run in that first week of October. I even made my last “long run” 10 miles instead of the scheduled 8 because I just felt like running. I know tapering is important, but it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.

The Prairie State Trail Marathon was Saturday, October 10th and I set a new personal record! Shaved 20 minutes off my first marathon time – on trails! I’m unbelievably proud of this. I was really hurting towards the end of the race, but I still managed to finish with an 8:55 pace average. Official time of 3:53:33. And I was third in my age group so I got an extra medal! It was nothing like the Chicago Marathon and I desperately missed all the spectators, but overall I enjoyed the scenery and focused on letting my training show off. I was really proud. 
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The day after my marathon was the Chicago Marathon and I got to spend the day watching amazing runners. I LOVED this day. I was sad I wasn’t running, but it was actually fun to be a spectator. I even saw some of my favorite IGer’s on the course and got to meet them afterwards. This wouldn’t have happened if I had been running, so I’m thankful I wasn’t. I even ran for a little bit with Lex at mile 16. As if I had forgotten I’d run a marathon the day before… My legs were dying by the end of the race just from all the walking and standing, but I honestly think this helped speed up my recovery. I probably ran over a mile and walked about 3 over the course of the day and I’m glad I did. It was truly a great day and it reminded me of how much I love the Chicago Marathon. Definitely going to try to get in again next year!

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I didn’t run much at all the following week. A 1.5 mile run Monday and 2 mile run Thursday. My legs really weren’t that sore, but I didn’t want to push it. I knew I needed the recover time and I’m glad I took it easy. I wasn’t really sure what to do with the rest of the month as far as “training” went. I only had 3 weeks left before my next marathon. Should I just run a 12 and an 8 miler as my long runs? Should I run another 20? I’ve only run two marathons and I’d never really thought about running two so close together, but that first 20 miler runners high caused me to sign up for a November full. I am glad I did, but I felt pretty unsure about it most of this month. I decided to run 17 miles last Saturday (10/24). I went out terrified my body would quit on me, but I was amazed that I was able to do it. 17 miles at 8:37 pace two weeks after a marathon? This made me realize I am capable of incredible things. The important thing is to push yourself. You never know if you can do it until you try.
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The day after this 17 miler I decided to run an impromptu 10K with my boyfriend’s Mom and her friends. It was the Sycamore Pumpkin run, complete with Oktoberfest beer and the end (really why I signed up..lol). We had a perfect Fall day. It was chilly at the start, but perfect once we were running. My legs didn’t feel too bad, so I decided to push my pace. My first mile was 8:12 pace and the last five were all sub 8 minutes. I ended up finishing in 48:03 – 7:45 pace. This was a new 10K PR for me! I’d never really raced a 10K before and this made me want to. If I could pull off this pace the day after 17 miles, what could I do on fresh legs? I might be working a 10K into my Spring racing schedule. Really glad I decided to do this race!

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And the other really exciting thing that happened this month: I became an Ambassador for Momentum Jewelry! I’m so excited to represent such a motivating brand. I love their products and what they stand for. I really think it’s a perfect fit. Their wrap bracelets are my favorite! It’s great to have the reminder right on my wrist when I’m out on a long run. That little bracelet telling me to “make it happen” does motivate me.
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Overall, this was a great month. I learned a lot about myself. I can recover faster than I thought. I can push myself farther than I thought. I’m at a total of 1,077.52 miles for 2015. Crushing my total of 900 for 2014 and my goal of 1,007.5 that I set for 2015. And I still have two more months left to log some miles! I’m nervous for this extra Fall marathon in a week, but I know I can do it. It’s just another marathon, right? Bring on November.

“Step 10: Be Okay with Being Alone”

I just finished reading Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown. “How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps”. I absolutely loved the book because it was so realistic. I am her. Or I will be. So much of what she has to say is relevant for every 22 year old I know. The idea of having to be an adult all of a sudden is startling. Who let this happen? I don’t like it, but it’s nice to know many people my age feel the same way.

My favorite step of the 468 might have been the tenth. “Be Okay with Being Alone.” Easier said than done. It is so easy to feel awkward sitting at a restaurant by yourself or sitting at a party by yourself. The thoughts run rampant when these situations occur, but really no one is noticing you. That is Kelly’s main point. If you find yourself sitting alone, do not think that everyone in the room is staring at you. Most people are too wrapped up in their own conversations to even notice.

The other side of being alone is just learning to enjoy your own company. I love alone time, but lately I’ve been having a little too much of it. I used to crave some time alone last month. Living with three other roommates can be hard and some days I just wanted to be alone. I have only been home for a couple weeks and I am already going crazy. I have hung out with my friends plenty, but that’s all I’m doing. I need a purpose again. I do like hanging out alone, but waking up each day and having to think of ways to occupy my time is already getting old. I am not cut out for this.

So this is post-grad life.

Officially back at home after four years of college and a backpacking trip through Europe. I’ve never felt more unsure about the future than I do right now. I thought I would be really excited, but to be honest not knowing about the future freaks me out. I have always known what was next. It was always school and a new year. At the end of the summer I would quit my country club job and run back to Champaign ready for recruitment and shenanigans with my friends. I got home from my trip thinking that it was about to be another normal summer, but I was wrong. Most of my friends are going to grad school, law school, chiropractic school, etc. in the fall. So they have a relaxing summer, but they know what is next. The rest of my friends seem to have jobs set up that start within the next month or so. I did not want to rush into a full time job, but now I am wishing I had. I want a job. I want to start commuting to the city, waking up early, and having a set schedule. I do not do well with down time and I know it is going to get really old fairly quickly. I am applying for a lot of different jobs now, so hopefully something comes of it within the next couple weeks. I guess I am as ready for the next stage as I will ever be.

I have a lot to say about my backpacking trip, so there will be many posts about that to follow!

Time to Travel

I have officially purchased my plane tickets to go Europe after graduation. I do not have a lot of money, but I have enough to do this trip and I feel like the time is now. If I wait to go I know it will be a long time before I actually make the trip.

I’ll be gone for 10 days. We leave the day after graduation. If there was anything that could ease the pain of graduation, this is it. We fly into Dublin, Ireland and will fly out of Amsterdam. 10 days of back-packing with three of my favorite people. What could be better?

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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Tonight we ran for Boston. 7 miles total. I was in a sad/frustrated mood all day today thinking about the anniversary and was in desperate need of a speed workout with Lex. We did a 2 mile warm up, 400m’s followed by 200m recovery ten times, and a mile cool down. We had the outdoor track to ourselves and took full advantage of it. We ran for those who can’t. We ran for those impacted by that day. We ran for Boston because we are all #BostonStrong and running is a gift that we should never take for granted. 

Almost a Winner

I ran the Kappa Delta 5K last Sunday and was the first female finisher. This race was one of my first races my freshman year of college and I was the third place girl, so I wanted to try and get higher than third. I ended up being first! I was only behind five guys too. I really felt like I was flying. I had a long run the day before and I was not exactly prepared for a race, but I gave it all I had. 7:08 pace is pretty okay with me. I held the lead the entire time and kept looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was catching up, but no one was ever close enough. Crossing that finish line was really exciting, but then the awards happened. I asked if they were doing anything prize wise this year and was told yes, so I stuck around. After a 35 minute waiting period they read one name of the first place male and gave him a $50 gift card. That was it. Not only did they not give anything to anyone else, but they didn’t even read the names of the other winners. I was shocked. I get that I did not run for a prize. I ran for pride. Yet, I was disappointed. I have never heard of a race awarding the top male finisher a prize and not giving anything to the first female finisher. And the best part is, it was International Women’s Day. A sorority event, on a women’s holiday, and they did not acknowledge a single female that ran the race. I was pretty angry. I felt like it was a dig at all women and I do not understand why they did it like that. I would have felt the same way even if I had not placed. My freshman year I got a dinky, cheap medal and I was happy. That would have sufficed! It was upsetting, but I am still proud of my time and being right behind the guys. Racing feels good and I can’t wait for my half marathon this weekend!

“Wait so is your middle name Dale?”

Living life with the name of Dale is always interesting. Out of every 10 people I meet I would say at least three of them ask what my real name is or if my middle name is Dale. It honestly does not phase me, but I think it is kind of funny. Most people respond with “Wow, I love that name!”, but a lot of people do think it’s strange. I personally love it. Whether I get a positive reaction or a negative one, I get a reaction when I first meet someone. And I believe I am easier to remember because my name is so different. My parents were actually down to Sarah and Dale when choosing a name for me. I cannot picture myself as a Sarah. I probably know at least 25 Sarah’s and I only know one other Dale and he is a boy. I like that my name stands out. I think I live up to the name of Dale pretty well. But I will always laugh when people say, “Wait so is your middle name Dale?”. And if I had a dollar for every time this has happened I would be about $300 richer.

The Sick Life

I am a worthless member of society when I am sick. Had to skip my last class yesterday, “slept” for 10 hours last night, ate some breakfast, took some medicine, and slept for another two hours. It drives me nuts to stay inside all day. I hate not being productive. Or being able to hold my head up. I’m really hoping this sickness goes away quickly. Too many things to do!

Post-poning my long run to Sunday instead of tomorrow. I figure I need the time to recover. Otherwise, I got in all of my runs/workouts for Week 4 of half marathon training!

If there was a day to be sick and lay in bed today would be the day though because House of Cards Season Three was just released. I love that the whole season gets released at once because it is a Netflix show. If that doesn’t encourage binge-watching I don’t know what does. Already on episode 5 and I’m not ashamed. This show is too good. Now back to world of politics….

“You are not entitled to anything.” – Frank Underwood 

The Social “Competition”

It seems like every single day my news feed is filled with job offers, engagements, travel news, and pregnancy announcements. When did this happen? I still feel too young to be applying for full time jobs, let alone getting married or having a baby. Yet every day I see these announcements from my peers. I feel happy for most people, but there is always that twinge of jealousy. Okay I am not jealous of the pregnancy announcements, but I still feel like everyone has their life figured out and I’m sitting here wondering what I will even make for dinner. I am trying to figure it out. I have a picture in my head of what my future will look like, but it still seems to be just that: the future. I want to enjoy my last semester of college without constantly worrying about where I will be in six months or five years. Unfortunately, social media has made this impossible.

The pressure to grow up and be prepared is growing every day. I feel as though everyone is racing to be the one to post about the job or the engagement. It is as if life has become a giant competition. Ready, set, have the best life!! I do not know why this happened. I get that people like to celebrate their accomplishments. Trust me, I posted about running a marathon on every single one of my forms of social media, but I did that because I was proud of myself. I am sure that is why people post about their job offers. You are proud. You worked hard and received a job offer. Some things seem to be working out easier for some people. I have plenty of friends who are working so hard at finding a job and have not had success yet. Seeing the “social brag” of another person’s success does not make you feel better. We know this. And yet many people who know this will post about their job offer 15 minutes after receiving it anyways. Why? Is it only real if you share it on social media? I think you should call your Grandma and tell her before you make a status. Call your siblings. Call your cousins. They will be genuinely happy for you. If after that you still want to post a status, go for it. I do not think it is necessary. Be proud. You earned it and should celebrate your accomplishment, but does it really need to be on social media? I hate that life has turned into this competitive race. We all want success, love, and happiness, so why does that have to be a competition? Stop bragging. Stop comparing yourself to others. If you compare your life to every single one of your Facebook friends lives you will drive yourself crazy.

Life should not be a competition.  Strive to be your best. Strive to be happy. Strive to improve. But you do not have to strive to out-do your Facebook friends. Do not strive to make others feel bad about themselves. We want the same things, so lets leave a little mystery for those high school reunions. We should be able to catch up with an old friend over coffee without their response to everything being, “Oh yeah I saw that on Facebook.”

I love social media. I love staying connected with friends in different places, but I could do without the “social brag”. Life is not a race.