Join me as I travel around the country to fulfill my goal of running a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The World is Not Ending

I think I might be a legit runner now because after 3 days without running, I'm going through withdrawals. It has sent my anxiety level through the roof so today I'm taking time to tell myself that the world is not ending.

Saturday was my half marathon and Sunday was a rest day. See pic below for a good laugh. I have no idea why or how my face got like that; I'm just proud both my feet are off the ground. haha.

Then came the week from hell. Once a year my colleagues and I put on a conference for one of our clients. It is a crazy and hectic time, but it's also fun and exciting. On Monday and Tuesday I worked 13 hour days (and today will be close to that). I was too tired and simply out of time to run this week.

Irrational thoughts started to invade my mind. I almost had myself convinced that 3 days without exercise could undo the past 4 months of training. Enough. Someone slap me already. Yes I need to run, but I also need to relax. It's okay that I went 3 days without running. Its okay that I only got 2 miles in this morning before work. And it's okay that I might not do as well as I hoped for this weekend on my longest run before the race. It's okay. The world is not ending. Now I have to go do my taxes because we all know that if any group has the power to end the world it's the IRS :)

1. If you can't work-out how do you keep your stress level down? (Please don't tempt me with the answer of food b/c we all know how much I love it)
2. Judging by my lack of miles this week do you think I should adjust my long run this weekend? (its supposed to be 22 miles)
3. We were teased in DC with a hint of spring. This week has been back to winter. It's 39 degrees right now. What's the temp where you are?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Race #5: Suntrust National 1/2 Marathon - Washington DC, March 26, 2011 - Finish Time 2:07:19

That time is unofficial, but no matter what the official one is, I still killed my PR. By 16 minutes. Heck yes. I am so happy today. Not only do I have a new PR, but I'm also confident that I won't actually die when I attempt my first full marathon in a month.
*Disclaimer: This post is really long so feel free to just skip to all the pictures :)

Race recap - Got ready at 5:30 am:

I ordered a cab last night to be at my apartment at 6:00 am this morning.

A slight coronary occured at this time.
At 6:05 I frantically started walking the streets of DC to try and find a cab because I was convinced mine wasn't coming. He finally showed up at 6:12 and said for some reason they were extremely busy (umm sir there are 15,000 runners and their families trying to get to the same place - yes, I'm sure you are very busy). Five minutes later I spotted a couple with bib numbers, on the corner, looking as panicked as I was and invited them into my cab. They were so grateful to me, that they paid for the cab - runners are so nice. The traffic was really bad and the cops started closing streets so we got out of the cab and walked the final 15 blocks. I'm not kidding when I say we were moving faster on foot than the traffic. When I got there I quickly dropped off my bag and headed to my corral at 6:50 am (7 am start for this race).
Runners and Sunrises make me happy :)
I couldn't find my pace group anywhere (I was really looking forward to it because they were all being paced by guys in the Navy..woo!) so I had to pace myself the whole race, which I'm terrible at. I crossed the start line at about 7:20 am and despite the temp being around 34 degrees it was actually a beautiful day with sunshine...perfect running weather.
Mile 2 was a turn right by the U.S. Capitol
Sorry I didn't take more pictures of the course, like the White House and everything, but I quickly found out that I'm not coordinated enough to take pictures and run at the same time. I tried my best to conserve my energy for miles 1-5 because I knew miles 6 and 7 were full of brutal hills. Once we got to mile 8 we headed downhill and onto a flat course and I knew it was time to pick up my speed a little but I didn't want to run out of energy before the end or risk injury before my full so I kept about a 9:20 pace. I was feeling good, not breathing too hard or feeling like my legs were heavy which made me so confident that I can actually complete the Nashville race.

At mile 12 I was ready to be done, but I just kept saying to myself over and over "do not walk. do not walk. do not walk." When I had about a half mile left in the race, my Nike app on my ipod said to me "Congratulations! You have completed a half marathon!" I told it to F*$# off. When I came around the corner just before RFK stadium I could see the finish line. All I had to do was tackle a little hill at mile 13 and then kick it for the .1 part. Seriously, what a$$hole put a hill at mile 13?? I think I grunted a couple times and then I sprinted my little heart out. I might have had a half-smile on my face at the finish line which is new b/c it's usually the most hideous face that says "I am in extreme pain. Someone help." Today's race was unlike all the rest because I was actually prepared. 2:07:19. Boo ya.

Here is evidence that I zone out when I run. I'm usally ridiculously aware of my surroundings. Today during the chaos of the cab/running to the start line/quick bag drop, I thought I lost my bondi band that says "Operation Shrink a Bootie." Turns out it was around my neck THE ENTIRE RACE! hahaha. I didn't notice until after the race when I asked a stranger to take this pic of me and the head band was in the picture!
After that I went to grab my bag and found out I had to cross the race course of the marathoners. I don't know a more cruel way to torture marathoners than making them run through the area where 1/2 marathoners are stuffing their faces with bagels, bananas, and pretzels. Not only did they have to witness this but they were almost trampled by 1/2 marathoners and spectators trying to either get to the finish line or get to the bag drop. See example below:
After I got my bag (and phone) I got calls from my Grandparents and my friend Amy. Apparently I had spectators at the finish line! :) They didn't see me cross the line, but I was still SO happy they came. It meant so much to me that they were willing to stand out in the cold at 9 am on a Saturday.

Verda Jo and Samantha Jo :)
Amy even made a sign...with glitter. I love her to pieces.
Then we headed to a delicious brunch in Eastern Market at The Chesapeake Room.
Holy Cow. This is why I run. That fried ball is potatoes. Nom Nom Nom.
Aren't my grandparents cute??
I know my parents wanted to be here, but my mom sent me this super cute text message when I told her my finish time. I know she was cheering all the way from Florida :)
How is everyone's weekend going so far?
Did you have a race today?
Does your mom say really cool things like "bomdiggity"? ;)

Hope your Saturday is awesome! I'm headed to bed so I can take a nap before TWO birthday parties tonight. I might sleep all of Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Outfits, Carbo-loading, and Expos, Oh My!

Tomorrow I'm running the National 1/2 Marathon! Woo Hoo! I should be asleep right now b/c start time is 7 am, but of course I have to write a quick blog.

My outfit is set. Unless the weather outlook changes at all I think this is what I'm goin with:

Temp is supposed to be 34 degrees at the start, so I'm sticking with my cold weather gear.

The expo ran smoothly. I like that they had a wall to sign for our troops:
I even got a free pasta dinner from Safeway (grocery store). Talk about a perfect pre-race dinner.

By "family size" they mean "runner size"

For this race you can put your nickname on your bib and I completely forgot that I entered mine when I registered. Ha. I really hope some random person yells "Go, Sammie Jo!"
Okay I'm off to bed. I just have to tell you this story real quick: When I came home today I noticed my rug that is usually by my sink was moved and was peeking out the front door of my apartment. I called my landlord and asked her if she had been in there today and she said no and that she has no idea how someone would have got in there. Usually I'm not easily scared, but I'm not gonna lie I'm a little freaked out right now. Rugs don't just move 3 feet on their own. I mean nothing was taken or anything, but why would someone be in here and move a rug?? Some serious Law & Order SVU episodes are flashing through my head. I'm gonna try to kick those out and dream about an awesome race time. Goodnight all!

p.s. If you are racing tomorrow (lots are) good luck to you! Gimme a shout-out if you see me on the course :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Race #4: Metro PCS Dallas White Rock 1/2 Marathon - December 5, 2010 - Finish Time: 2:23:28

If you read my post on Tuesday about the Baltimore 1/2 you'll probably recognize that finish time. Yes, in Dallas, I missed my PR by 2 SECONDS. Talk about frustration. If I hadn't been training so hard I wouldn't have been so angry, but the thing was, I was training. My legs were ready. My lungs were ready. So, what wasn't ready? The stupid skin on my foot apparently.

A blister the size of a quarter debilitated me at mile 10. I was doing so well...on track for a 2:15 finish. I stuck with the pace group (god, I love those) until the break-off from the full marathoners at mile 8. That's when it happened. I have no idea what went wrong. I was wearing the same shoes as Baltimore and they had never given me trouble. I literally sat down on the side of the road, took a bandaid off the back of my heel (tiny cut from earlier in the week) and put it on the arch of my foot where the blister was. It didn't help at all. The pain was intense.

It affected me mentally too. I stopped to use a port-a-potty, which I had never done before. I walked. I think I texted my mom something along the lines of "huge blister. fml." I almost cried. I was an inch away from punching something when I found out what my finish time was, but I convinced myself that I was clearly improving as a runner if after all that had happened, I still had the same finish time as my 3 past races. Hopefully after this Saturday I'll have proof that I've improved with a kick a$$ time.

Regardless of my finish time, I had a wonderful long weekend in Texas. First off, I got to visit one of my best friends, Lindsey, in San Antonio. I'm all about combining vacay with races.

Yes, we went online to register at the exact same time so that we could have consecutive bib numbers. We're cool.
Dallas was Lindsey's second half marathon ever and she got a new PR of 2:03:23. Isn't she awesome?!? I was so happy for her. We treated ourselves to Steak 'N Shake after the race. Burgers+chili cheese fries+vanilla milkshake=most amazing recovery meal ever.

I realize I haven't really said anything about the actual race yet, so here goes:
1. Course: Pretty nice and not too many hills. Ran through some hoity toity neighborhood with mansions.
2. Weather: Colder than Texas should ever be. Felt like I was back in DC.
3. Swag: At first I was pissed b/c when we got to the expo they told us that they didn't have any mediums left b/c all the people who had registered for larges switched to mediums. I'd like to know which genius allowed them to do that. I got over it though b/c at the finish line they gave us a nice tech shirt (in the size we actually paid for) and sent us our long sleeve cotton shirts in the mail 2 weeks later.
4. Post-race grub/activities: Idk. I think I blacked out from the pain of my blister. All I wanted was to get to the car and take off my stupid shoe.

So have you guys ever had something out of your control slow you down in a race? How did you deal?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I have a date tonight (a rare event in my life). I hope he doesn't think I'm an alien when I don't order a dessert (we are going to the cheesecake factory...pure torture).

I've learned a lot from giving up sweets til my marathon. Mostly that my body works a lot better when it's not full of junk. I definitely miss dessert though. After April 30th I'm going to eat all of this, in moderation of course ;)

Have you ever given up something for lent or a race that was SUPER difficult?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Race #3: Under Armour Baltimore 1/2 Marathon - October 16, 2010 - Finish Time: 2:23:27

I need to finish re-capping my past races so that I'm caught up and ready to review my half marathon this weekend! So here goes...

Baltimore was my third half marathon. It was the second with my Uncle Steve and Cousin Christina.

1) Running with fam.
2) Race was only a 1.5 hour drive from my house.
3) Pretty good course. Not too many massive hills. Decent crowd support.
4) Great weather.
5) Really nice shirt.
6) Awesome old school diner food for our celebratory meal.

1) I remembered my Nathan belt, but forgot to pack my waterbottles. This was so unlike me...I usually have a list and am really anal about triple-checking my bag. There was plenty of water along the course, but it just threw me off. I ended up wearing the belt anyways without the bottles so I felt comfortable and could have my phone for the finish line to find my fam. Maybe I'll start a new trend??
2) The expo was a little weird. You had to walk all the way down this long hallway full of vendors to get your bib number. Then you had to walk all the way back down the hallway to the other side to get your bag and shirt. Obviously an attempt to try and get you to buy stuff from the vendors, but it was honestly just kind of annoying.
3) The finish line was downright hazardous. There was so much of a back-up that you had to stop immediately. My legs locked up and I could hardly breathe there were so many people around me. I almost peed myself (extremely close to a disaster there).
4) Prob the biggest let-down: free beer that I couldn't get to, even though I wore my Bondi Band that said "will run for beer." The lines were like an hour long. Boo :(

Gotta love hideous race pictures.

I had to post this pic so you know for sure that I didn't actually die after that other picture was taken.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today was brutal. I went to bed way too late last night (as usual), so I was physically tired. I was also mentally tired from a hectic, stressful and long work day. So at 7:15 pm, after returning my library books that were about to be overdue (obviously I like to wait for the last minute for everything), I was lacing up my brooks to run.

I didn't want to. My legs felt heavy and tired from my 10 miler yesterday. Then after a warm-up mile something wonderful happened: endorphins. I was a happy lil runner girl again...not caring about work and just enjoying the wonderful weather. I decided to turn it up a notch. The route I was on eventually broke away from dumb traffic lights and allowed me to push my pace to 8:55 for 2 of my 6 miles.

I can feel myself getting faster, lighter, and stronger and it. is. awesome.

No pics tonight unfortunately other than this is where I get to run: be jealous. (But not too jealous, b/c our cost of living here is through the roof).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dang It.

Why does life have provide me with so many fun things to do on the same day?? I mean, doesn't it know how indicisive I am?

Also, I am really bad about seeing something and needing to sign-up/buy it at that very instant instead of waiting to think about it and/or checking my schedule. So now I've put myself in the following predicament: I didn't realize the 8k race I signed up for is a night race. It sounds awesome because I've never done a night race before. Afterwards all the runners go to happy hour together at a bar that gives good specials to everyone with a bib number. Sounds cool, right?! Too bad I also bought tickets to the first country music concert of the summer that takes place at the exact same time. It is going to be a kick-a$$ concert featuring Jason Aldean, Eric Church, JaneDear Girls, Steel Magnolia, Sunny Sweeney, and Eden's Edge. If you don't know any of those people you can leave my blog now (just kidding! don't go! stay! bring your friends!)

I love Eric Church so much that last year I snuck past 2 security guards just to get this pic of him:
So I'm obviously torn between two of my favorite things in life: running races and outdoor country music concerts. The only thing that could be worse is if someone figured out how to throw food in the if I was also signed up for a cheesecake taste test or something.

Clearly this is a hard decision for me & I'm extremely worried about missing out on the fun:
P.S. - Can't you tell? I'm not hung over at all from that St. Patty's day party last night (nose rapidly growing)  :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day, Start of March Madness, a Group Run, and Awesome Dinner.

Best. Day. Ever.

Did you watch any of the basketball games today?!? Even if you only watched one, chances are you saw an awesome buzzer beater/upset. The games today were out of control. I love March Madness. Here's my bracket:

I was doing pretty well until Vandy had to go and lose to Richmond! Ughh.
At work today we had a St. Patrick's Day party complete with corned beef and cabbage sandwiches and beer. The firm even hires bagpipe, huh?!?

After work I headed over to Pacers running store for a group run. The guy leading the run was totally awesome and talked to me almost the entire 5 mile run...he is a seasoned marathon runner and actually an ultra marathon runner! He was giving me tips for my first marathon and seemed so supportive and excited for me. He is terrific and I will definitely be doing more of those runs. The other few women on the run were super nice and it just goes to show how wonderful the running community is.

I sported my green head band for my run today :)
When I got home, I made an awesome dinner. I usually don't cook very often, but I was feeling inspired for something healthy, yet filling. This did the trick:
spinach penne, tomato sauce, red pepper, shrimp, broccoli, and tomato
I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a pic of the final product...sorry! That's all for tonight. Hope everyone had an awesome St. Patty's day and didn't get pinched ;)

Wait, you mean I'm not a tortoise anymore?!?

IS THAT AN 8?? Seriously, does my ipod say 8:32 min/mile?

Okay, okay, I know it was only 1.5 miles, but that's because it was just a warm-up before I did my strength training workout. 8:32 might seem like a slow pace to some of you, but it's a BIG accomplishment for me.

For the past 3 years I was running just to stay in shape. Consider that I'm 5'8" and 150 lbs... I'm not some petite lil girl flyin' around a track, that's fo' sho'. Staying in shape meant running at a comfortable pace for a few miles...most times that was about a 9:45 pace.

Recently I've dedicated myself to becoming a runner, not just someone who runs - so I thought about a few things that I should probably do:

1. Completely change my eating habits (I'm all over it)

Veggies and hard boiled egg (protein) for dinner! Alright, there might have been a brown rice sushi california roll too...
 2. Join a running club (Went on my first run Monday with the DC Capital Striders...met some great new people!)

3. Start paying attention to my speed (and try to improve it)

I'm so happy that I'm staying on track with these things! I'm starting to think that I might just actually be close to prepared for this marathon on April 30th...for a while there it just wasn't a reality for me.

P.S. - Random fact - I'm probably the most clumsy person ever. Evidence: I think I banged my shin on the bottom of the shopping cart at the grocerty store approximately 7 times during one shopping trip this evening. On the way home I kicked my ankle with my other heel about 9 times. Does this happen to anyone else?!

In addition to my speedyness I also had another couple firsts tonight: liquid glucosamine and soy milk.

The glucosamine is for my hips and ankles...hopefully it helps (pretty please). I have no idea what possesed me to buy soy milk...maybe the entire aisle dedicated to it in Whole Foods? Anyways I combined all the stuff below and it wasn't too bad! Kinda like strawberry milk.
Strawberry Whey protein, vanilla soy milk, blueberries, and berry flavored glucosamine.
Lastly I just want to say that I completely under-estimated the hard-core-ness of an "Elle Glam Fitness" dvd. The cover is completely deceitful. That woman might look like Barbie, but don't be fooled. She is an evil drill sargeant and she kicked my butt...and abs, and triceps, and quads.
I'm gonna be hurtin' tomorrow

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I don't think I ever SAT down on SATurday

Yesterday was a go-go-go kind of day. First I got up, made breakfast, and went to meet my friend Laura at the Lululemon in Georgetown. On Saturdays the DC Capitol Striders puts on a free running seminar there. This weekend they were teaching 'self defense for runners'. It was a great group of people, and I think we all learned a lot. Most importantly to listen to your instict when it's telling you something doesn't feel quite right.

After that I headed out for my longest training run yet - 20 miles! :/ I was super nervous about it, but I remembered to keep a comfortable pace from the very beginning. I was doing well until mile 15. My left hip was hurting so bad. Ankles weren't too comfortable either. I tried to stop and stretch but it didn't seem to help at all. I had to walk...a lot. I also ran out of water and searched everywhere in Fort Dupont Park in Anacostia for a water fountain, but couldn't find one. Who builds a massive park with no water fountains?!? I actually stopped on mile 18 at McDonalds to buy a bottle of water. It was a really tough/frustrating run. I tried my hardest to stay positive, but couldn't help but thinking "if 20 is extremely difficult, how am I ever going to 26.2?" All in all though, I was happy with myself for completing the run. Also, I had to remind myself that my goal for Nashville is to cross the finish line, not a certain if my finish time turns out to be 6 hours, so be it!

I was planning on walking the 1.5 miles home as a cool down, but was in too much pain so I got a cab and came home to find myself lookin' a hot mess:
It's cool to have tons of salt on your face and snot on your shirt, right??
foam roller = god-send.

I did some stretching and foam rolling and then walked a few bocks to my fav healthy fast food place, SweetGreen where I ordered the most glorious salad:
mixed greens, red and green peppers, white beans, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, tomato, and chicken w/ balsamic dressing :)
Then I treated myself to the most healthy/delicious dessert ever. Organic tart frozen yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, and granola (there are lots of toppings to pick from)
Eventually I got home, showered and cleaned up a bit to go line-dancing for a friend's birthday. In hindsight it might not have been the best decision b/c I'm having trouble walking today (I'm SO sore), but it sure was fun!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My friend Caitlin recently asked for some motivation with her training. She is running her first half-marathon at the Nashville Rock N Roll race when Erin and I are running our first full, so big props to her! I gave her the usual motivation (self-accomplish, cool swag, drinking lots of beer after the race, etc).

This got me thinking about what my motivation was. What caused me, an average athlete and never a natural runner, to want to run 26.2 miles?!? I don't think there was ever a specific moment, it was probably more of a series of several events, but one day does stick out in my memory: Halloween 2010.

I should give you a side note here that explains I've pretty much always had thunder thighs and probably always will - it's just one of those things I should accept about my body, but that doesn't mean I won't try to get rid of them. (I'm convinced it's genetics. Just ask the women in my family...we are undefeated at leg-wrestling)

So, back to the story: Halloween was tons of fun - went out that night with a bunch of friends. I was dressed as Katy Perry in an Elmo T-shirt, short black shorts, and black boots (remember her sesame street debacle?) I was headed home and probably only 50 yards from my front door when I passed by a group of guys on the sidewalk. One of the guys reached out like he was going to touch me and yelled "oh look, it's Tickle Me Elmo!" Uhh, buddy didn't your parents teach you about personal space? You don't just tickle strangers! So of course, being the smart a$$ that I am, I jump back and say to him "I don't think so. I'm Katy Perry, not Elmo, so get it right." His little wolfpack gets quiet as he looks me up and down and in a very serious tone says "You don't have the legs to pull off Katy Perry."

Who says that to a stranger?!? I remember turning to go into my house and flipping him the bird as if I didn't care what he thought...but once in my room I immediately googled "marathon training plans." Haha! That rude guy has no idea how much he motivated me :)

Katy Perry and Pocahontas

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dependency and Accomplishments

I've recently realized just how dependent upon outside factors I am when it comes to having a good run. In my mind I need my $100 Brooks sneakers, my Nike cold weather pants,  my ipod telling me my pace and how many miles I have left, family and friends at the finish line cheering my name, my compression socks, comments on my blog, and various other things to allow me to have a good race. Last summer I took a vacation to Ethiopia and while I was riding a bus to a rural town I passed by a group of runners heading down the side of the dirt road. Most of them had no shoes. None of them had an ipod. Their pace was crazy-fast. I remember thinking now, those are runners. I am now at a point where I can appreciate those types of athletes, realize that they are light-years ahead of me in terms of physical fitness, and then put on my Brooks, ipod, and nike pants and go for a run. There's no shame in using the things I need to run farther and faster. Running is all about challenging yourself. Most of us will never win be elite runners, never win a race, and won't be sponsored by a running company...and it doesn't matter one stinkin' bit. Every time I go for my longest run or clock a new PR is a win in my book, and whatever gets me there is fine with me.
Throwback pic from Ethiopia. We were hiking in the Simien Mountains.
Speaking of wins...the past few days have thrown me a couple awesome personal accomplishments. On Saturday I completed my longest run to date...17 miles! I walked the hills, but it was a still a good run. REALLY sore hips the next day which is something I haven't experience before. Then, today I went out for a 5k and when I was finished my ipod told me that my average pace was under 9:00 minutes...heck yes! I did a fist pump in the air and some tourists looked at me funny :)

Update on my chocolate ban: I'm doing really well...haven't caved yet. It actually turned into a "no desserts at all" challenge. My place of employment is making it incredibly hard though. It seems like every other day there are extra cookies or brownies after a lunch meeting somewhere in the firm. We also have a monthly birthday party that includes 3 cake choices, and about 6 ice cream choices. I had a diet coke. No lie. And today I walked into the office kitchen to find this flyer posted:

A freakin' bake sale! Talk about temptation.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Race Fuel

I haven't tried too many of the different race fuel options that exist, but since I'm training for my first marathon I figured that grabbing some random bar/Gu/chew at a mile 20 pit stop might not be the best idea. Soooo...I bought an assortment and tried some out. On a 14-miler last weekend I squeezed some strawberry flavored Gu into my mouth and almost barfed.  I can't even fathom why so many runners are in love with that stuff. The texture is seriously gross. My friend Lindsey is a big fan of sport beans, which from what I can tell are Jelly Beans in a new package, so I think I'll try those out.
What do you prefer to eat during long runs?
In other food news, I ran and did a short weight-lifting session this morning before work, plus it's Friday so I figured I could treat myself to pizza for dinner. Somehow my dillusional mind convinced me that if I load up my pizza with a ton of veggies it will just negate the negative aspects of the dough and cheese. This is correct, no? Well, regardless it was delicious and I ate every bite of it in one sitting.

Feta Cheese, Olive, Spinach, Yellow Squash, and Green Pepper Pizza. Yummm!
 P.S. - Today is my mom's big shout out to her :) I think I'll do a 17 mile training run in her honor. I hope she's sitting by the pool sipping margaritas and thinkin' of me while I'm out there (don't worry - she lives in Florida). Love ya Ma!

Mama Webb

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Me vs. The Cupcake

On Sunday, a hint of spring had me out the door and on a long run. I felt so crappy about skipping a week of running. I really felt the whole training plan slipping out of my hands so I just knew that I had to go on my longest run yet: 14 miles. It was slow and painful, but definitely rewarding. Mile 9 put me on a trail at the top of a really big hill in Rock Creek Park and I had to walk for 25 minutes. By mile 12 my calves, ankles, and left hip were yelling at me...on the verge of screaming. Some foam-rolling, stretching, and icing helped, but I was still really sore for the next 24 hours. At least I know I worked hard, right?

So if you read my post yesterday you know that I have a hard decision to make. Beer or chocolate? What's gettin' the ax? Well, this is the conclusion I've made: although I can honestly say I'm more in love with chocolate than beer, I'm going to have to cut chocolate out of my diet completely (I've tried doesn't work for me). Beer gets to stay, but only one night of the week, and no more than 4 drinks. This is soley for the purpose of not becoming a hermit crab and so that I can actually continue to socialize with my friends (which usually occurs at bars).

Giving up chocolate is going to be HARD. I'm talking like just as hard as running 26.2 miles. My boss literally laughed at me when I told her I wasn't eating chocolate for 2 months (she has witnessed me take candy from her desk every 3 hours for about a year now, so who can blame her?) Yesterday was the first day of my challenge and don't ya know...devil came a knockin' in the form of a free, home-made chocolate cupcake with chocolate hazelnut icing (an attorney in my office has a wife who likes to bake a lot, so he brings them in to share). What did I do? I'm not gonna lie...for a second my mind wandered to "well, maybe I'll start the challenge tomorrow," but then I went to the kitchen, walked right past the cupcakes and grabbed my carrot slices from the fridge. YES, I SAID CARROTS. Let it be know that I, Samantha Webb, addict of all things sweet and sugary, passed up a free cupcake and replaced it with carrots. Sam: 1 Cravings: 0. Boo-ya.