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!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Marshmallow Legs and Whole Foods Nation

I thought that since my legs carried me 26.2 miles they might have an ounce or two of muscular strength. nope. Spin class last night proved me wrong. If you're wondering...yes, there was a small pond of sweat underneath my bike at the end of class. I think someone replaced my quads with marshmallows. They could have at least made them burnt marshmallows...I've gotta get into a bathing suit this weekend and I could use a tan. Anyways, the work-out was brutal and I loved every minute of it - my legs are totally going to get strong in that class. Think more like outer shell of a moon pie rather than the inner marshmallow.
Word to the wise: don't wear mascara to spin class. Raccoon Eyes are not hot on anyone. And yes, taking self-portraits in the locker room bathroom is completely appropriate.

Moving on to Whole Foods Nation. Everyone in my neighborhood is healthy, active, and skinny. Seriously. And everyone shops at Whole Foods. The store was packed at 9 pm on a Wednesday: 
Line wrapping around the registers.

Tons of bikes in this city.
Either everyone in my 'hood shops at other grocery stores and just goes to Whole Foods for the experience, or they are all anorexic. Have you even seen anyone with a full cart in that store? No way Jose. Everyone comes out with free range eggs, organic yogurt, and 2 avocados. Don't judge me, I just came to get my mini cannoli and fruit tart. K Thanks.

And no, cannolis do not contribute to marshmallow legs - don't even think that. I refuse to believe you. 

1. Do you have a favorite grocery store you use all the time or do you shop around for the best prices? I wish I had the patience to shop around and do the whole coupon thing, but I don't.
2. Do you sweat like crazy during workouts? I do. But my brother doesn't sweat much. His face just gets super red.

Happy Running (and spinning!), 

Monday, June 27, 2011

If you don't use it you LOSE it.

I've been doing the Run Less Run Faster program for 3 weeks now. I skipped the long runs the first 2 weeks because it's hot, I'm lazy, and I've been eating way too much ice cream lately. I could not go a 3rd week with no long run, because if you don't use it you lose it. I LOST IT. 

I had 9.5 miles planned yesterday. When I'm having a tough run I can usually count on my mom to respond to a text message with something inspirational and/or motivating. Yesterday I was really struggling at mile 5. I sent her the following picture: 

She responded with "Huh? How did you get a picture of your brother?" She was serious. I'll be wearing earrings on my next run. 
I don't know about this whole training through the summer thing.

I'm 4 miles from my house. I think my shoes are melting it's so hot outside. Send help.
Home, sweet home. Cold tile - you are my best friend.
My mom didn't sent anything inspirational so I had to rely on Rihanna. I must have pressed that "power song" button on my iphone at least 5 times this run. Rihanna and Nicki Minaj's Raining Men is really the best running song. Pink's Raise Your Glass is a close second. The beats are just too good to not move your body.

I had to stop for a couple stop lights so I guess this isn't too bad for me considering the heat: 
Then I took my beast of a bike (seriously it weighs like half an elephant - yes, that is a type of measurement) to the pool to try out my new Nike swimwear. I was rolling slow, and just thought my legs were really tired from the 9 miles, but I looked down to find two flat tires. Dang it. I walked my bike the rest of the way to the pool. People stared.
Walk yourself home, stupid.
Here is a picture of the pool. You aren't getting a picture of me at the pool because Nike does not design suits like Victoria Secret. That swim suit is all business. Seriously, that thing is tight. It makes the things you want to hide, bulge out. The things you want to bulge out get flattened. No bueno for getting your tan on, but it was good for swimming a few laps!
Do you still run the same mileage during the dog days of summer? I'm not doing so well.
How much water do you carry? I have a 2 bottle Nathan belt that is barely enough for the hot, long run days, but still a significant amount of added weight. A guy and his wife were also sweating it out yesterday. When they ran by looking like they had been in the desert for 2 weeks he pointed at my belt and was like "oh, we need to get that!" haha. Yes, sir. You do.

Happy (hot) Running, 

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Cushion for the Pushin'

Get your mind outta the gutter! I'm talking about custom insoles for running shoes, jeesh!

I'm obsessed with Living Social/Groupon deals so when I saw one come up for free custom insoles with the purchase of running shoes I couldn't really pass it up. I figured that Brooks cost about the same at all stores, so I might as well get something free out of buying a new pair. 
I def stole this photo idea from someone. I think it was Pam?
I questioned this thought process when I borrowed my cousin's car, drove out the Fit3 store in the suburbs and was greeted by a 14 year old sales clerk who would be creating my insoles. Apparently he is also the employee trainer. If he was 14, then his little apprentice had to be 12. I made the 12 year old take pictures of me during the custom insole process. Please don't call the child labor authorities on me. 
I have no idea if the kid has a future in athletic shoe sales, but I'm willing to hire him as my wedding photographer some day. 

Basically what they do is take these cute pink insoles, put them in a little oven thing for 5 minutes and then have you stand on them and roll your foot back and forth. The insole conforms to your foot, thus it is "custom." Then they put them in your new shoes. I went with the same pair of Brooks Adrenaline, but a different color this time and yesterday was my first run in them. They feel good, but I can't really tell if it's just a fresh pair of shoes, or the custom insoles that are making a difference. I don't know if they would be worth the ungodly amount that they are (It was somethin' straight up crazy, like $80).
So fresh and so clean, clean.
1. Have you ever had custom insoles made? Worth it?
2. What shoe are you currently running in and do you keep getting the same pair or switch it up? Currently my philosophy is if it aint broke, don't fix it, but in the past I've had Mizunos and New Balance.

Happy Running, 

P.S. - My legs were sooo heavy/tired yesterday on my 5 miler. Spin class really did wear me out!

P.P.S. - Thank you all for your wonderful/amazing/inspiring comments on my 12 things post. It means a lot to me :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My First Spin Class and a Belated Father's Day

Watch this e-card video I sent to my dad on father's day. You will die laughing. Especially if you know that my dad is a 55 year old, caucasian, new-home salesman and his favorite song is "Air Force Ones" by Nelly. hahaha.

I've been trying to take full advantage of my latest living social deal (one month gym membership) so I've been doing all the classes they offer. Abs class and body pump are brutal/awesome. Most days my work-out goal is just to go hard enough to get my boobs to stick out farther than my gut, but sometimes I go all out. Like today. I did a mile warm-up, then a short abs class, then a hard core spin class where I unfortunately picked the bike next to Lance Armstrong and I was sweating so much I thought the janitor was going to have to bring in a mop, then hit the weights for an upper body workout (bench press, bicep curls, tricep ____ (Idk, just tricep things). In my mind all these things justify Ben & Jerry's.

In other random news from the week: 

I made a massive amount of Mexican food and so I've been eating it for 3 days straight. Send Pepto Bismol ASAP.
Chipotle aint got nuthin on me.

I went to a Sara Evans and Rascal Flatts concert on Saturday: 
Turquoise microphone. Could Sara Evans be any cuter?

In an effort to diversify my cross-training I found a local public pool and bought all the gear to become a swimmer. I might drown after half a lap, but at least I'll look legit doin' it :)
Bring it Michael Phelps.
1. What is your favorite form of cross-training?
2. Have you done a spin class? Is it normal for your toosh to hurt bad by the end?

Happy Running, 

Monday, June 20, 2011

12 Things in the past 12 Months

A few disclaimers before you read this post: To my few male followers, this is a hormone-full, women-empowering post. I'll be back to my normal self next week, I promise. To all my married blogger friends, in no way am I dissing you. In fact, I'm super happy y'all found your soul mate, but you can still relate to this post in some ways, b/c hey, you were all single at some point, right?

Here goes: I like being single. I really do. It doesn't bother me. When I can't find friends to hang out with I have no problem going to restaurants, movies, concerts, etc by myself. I've always been a pretty independent person. However, even the most independent people get lonely once in a blue moon. Had one of those nights recently (too many stupid lifetime movies) and when I started to get upset I had to stop myself. "Why the eff are you crying, Sam?!" It only lasted a minute before I was reminding myself that I love my life just the way it is. I'm not sure why, but I started writing down a bunch of things that I was proud of. I absolutely recommend this, not just for single people, but married people too. It's important to reflect on ourselves and our own accomplishments as individuals, as well as plan for the future - and putting it on paper (or your blog) makes it so much more real. 

So here are 12 things that have happened (without a man) in the past 12 months :)
1) I turned 22 and threw myself an awesome cook-out/party.
2) I got a raise. 
3) I moved into my own apartment.
4) I opened a Roth IRA.
5) I traveled to Africa by myself to hang out with some wonderful friends in Ethiopia.
6) I donated 10 inches of my hair to a cancer patient.
7) I went hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains.
8) I video-taped my beautiful cousin Dani's wedding. (read her wedding dress story here)
9) I tutored an 11 year old girl every week in reading.
10) I snowboarded a blue run in Vail. (second time snowboarding ever!!)
11) I started a blog.
12) I ran 3 5k's, 1 10 miler, 4 half marathons, and my first full marathon.

I'm so grateful to have running and all my running friends in my life. I know that without running I would be way more lonely. Endorphins rock.  Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox also rock.

What is one thing you've done in the past year that you are proud of?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Run Less Run Faster

Recently I purchased these little gems: 

In an effort to improve my half marathon time, and hopefully get that sub 2:00 I want so bad, I bought the Run Less Run Faster book. I've heard good things. It has a lot of info on running, a lot of testimonials, and training plans for lots of different paces for a bunch of different distances. I'm following the half marathon training plan for my September race in Ohio. The basis of the plan is that you do 3 runs (one track speed run, one tempo run, and one long run) and 2 days of cross-training per week. As for the other books. That damn Amazon got me with the "other readers have also purchased..." section. 

Racing Weight? Ha. As if I'm going to stop eating frozen yogurt for dinner 4 times a week.
Athlete's Palate? Ha. As if I'm actually going to learn how to use an appliance other than a microwave anytime soon.

Anyways, I did one of the speed track work-outs from the book the other day. I did it on a treadmill at the gym because there is no way I know how to run around a track 3 times and finish in exactly 6:42. For reals? People can do that?

Do you think they put on Man vs. Food on the t.v.'s at the gym on purpose? It's like they are saying "Hey, fatty! Did you eat any of this stuff today? Well you best get your a$$ movin' on that treadmill. You've got about 16 more miles to go until you burn off all those calories." I almost fell off the treadmill when I saw them making a doughnut that was 14 inches in diameter. No joke. I took a pic so you guys would believe me. Indisputable evidence:
Good thing drool resembles sweat so I could get away with drooling over that massive doughnut.
I started lifting weights because my lack of upper body strength is pretty impressive. I did this beast of a machine (a.k.a. bench press) and could only lift the bar (40 pounds) and 15 pounds of weight on each side. That's less than half my body weight. Pitiful. Don't you worry your little hearts, I'm going to take the text message advice of my dad: "Running good Sammy, but become a gym rat." haha. Say what? Is that even English, dad?

My parents live in Florida. My dad also texted me a picture of him drinking beer at a restaurant on the water with the beautiful sunset and palm trees in the background. I texted him back this picture and told him to get off his lazy butt :)

1. Have you followed the Run Less Run Faster plan or something similar? Thoughts on how good it is? 

2. How much can you bench press? If you can do pull-ups too, get out. I tried to do one and almost gave myself a hernia.

3. Do you text while treadmilling? It will probably be against the law soon.

Happy Running, 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Watch TLC tonight at 10:30 Eastern!!!

I might have two seconds of fame tonight y'all! Have you ever seen the show The Little Couple? It's a cute TLC show that happens to have a wonderful woman named Dr. Jennifer Arnold on it. She (and her camera crews) came to one of our client's conference in March and tonight the episode airs. If you watch, I'll be the one with the short brown hair - I know it will be hard for you blog readers to notice me when I'm not drenched in sweat and wearing work-out clothes.

This is almost as exciting as that time when I was on CSPAN2 on a Friday night asking Newt Gingrich a question about the conflict in Darfur. Not sure if you're aware, but CSPAN2 on Friday nights draws a rather large crowd of 3 people - me and my grandparents.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Flexible (not like a gymnast)

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. That's what happened at this weekend's race. I was supposed to finish off the spring racing season with the Lawyers Have Heart 10k on Saturday. It's a good thing the other people in my firm check their e-mail at 5:45 am because I certainly don't. When Amy and I got to the race our co-workers told us that due to extreme temperatures and humidity the race was cut in half - yup, we were going to run a 5k, not a 10k. 

I wasn't planning on going all-out on the 10k, just a leisurely 6.2 miles. The fact that it was now a 5k changed my thinking completely. If you remember last weekend's blog post I ran two 5ks, neither of which were really a "race" for me in the sense that I was going for a PR. So this was my chance to make it happen.

I didn't go to bed super early the night before, probably didn't drink enough water the week leading up to the race, and certainly didn't warm up appropriately for a 5k, so I wasn't really in a "PR" kind of mind-set, but there I was at the start line, so I just went for it.

I'll admit that when I heard the race had been adjusted to deal with the heat for a 7:30 start time I kind of scoffed. "It's only 6 miles, not a marathon - what the heck? - people can choose whether to drop out if they feel sick - It's not that hot out - etc." Then I started running and felt bad for thinking those things. My apologies race director. It was hot and humid and I almost puked all over the finish line - but - I got a PR of 27:23!!

I've decided not to count that 5k PR time I got earlier this spring because there is simply no way I ran a 26:00. I'm pretty sure the course couldn't have been official. It went through a trail and was a very low-budget race, so maybe the measurements weren't exact. Regardless, I want to be true to myself and I know this is the fastest 3.1 miles I've ever ran - and conditions weren't exactly "ideal" so I'm really happy! Out of 197 females ages 20-24, I was 87th...woo hoo for being in the front half! :)
The last race of the season is bitter sweet. No more races makes me sad, but sleeping in past 7 am on Saturdays makes me happy.

What kind of last minute changes have you had to deal with at a race? (course re-route, forgot some gear, Garmin died, etc?)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

We need nutrition classes in my neighborhood:
Apple Danish and King Cobra Malt Liquor. I think I'll follow that woman to the parrr-tay!

I'm so glad I got an Iphone. Makes it easier to creep pictures of people in front of me at the grocery store. 

P.S. - TheAlmostRunner asked for a picture tour of my apartment yesterday. Lucky for her I post every mundane detail of my life on this blog so she (and you) can see my 200 square foot apartment here. (I know it says 130 sq. ft on the other post, but that was an exaggeration - I actually measured the walls and it is a total of 200 sq ft - spacious, don't ya think?)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toning Tuesday - Week 4

Today is the start of week 4 of my Jillian Michaels Ab challenge and we have progress, people!

Okay, Okay, I might be sucking in a little.

There would probably be more progress if I actually did the DVD the 5 times a week it is recommended, but in all honesty, just getting my apartment set-up to do the workout is a workout in itself so sometime I lack the motivation. 

I have to plug my CD/DVD drive in to my little netbook. Then I have to plug the t.v. cord into the netbook. Then the speakers into the netbook. Then move the little table and chairs over by the front door, basically blockading myself in my studio apartment. After all that, I still only have 3 square feet of room to do the ab exercises, and I hit my elbow on my dresser at least 5 times during the 30 minute work-out. 

Damn city living. Maybe I should just take my lap top to the park and have everyone in Logan Circle look at me really weird as I grunt my way through burpees. If anyone tries to sneak a peek at my screen and join in with the exercises, their ass better pay up some $green$.

Monday, June 6, 2011

When Races are More Than Just Running

I'm usually sarcastic and prefer dry humor over sappy posts, but this weekend demanded some serious happy tears, so here goes: Sometimes racing is more than getting a PR, or burning a couple hundred calories, or even passing that skinny chick just before the finish line (don't take it personally skinny chicks, you're just good motivation). Sometimes racing is bigger than you or I. This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in two 5k races, each for wonderful causes, the Susan G. Komen 5k on Saturday and the Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday.

My boss' wife was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago, and I'm happy to say that this weekend she was running a 5k with her friends and family as a survivor. When she was about to go through chemo she explained to her 5 year old daughter that some "funny medicine" she had to take was going to make her hair fall out. Her daughter's response would end up on the back of our team t-shirts:
Kids say the darndest things!

Just one of many amazing women who are battling breast cancer
 Her team was dubbed "Laura's Earring Warriors" and we were all required to wear large, fun earrings - yes, even my boss (you better believe I'm holding that picture as blackmail for a day I'm late to work! :) It is absolutely inspirational to see 40,000 people come together in the nation's capital for a single cause. Umm yeah, 40,000 - so take that, cancer! As much as I enjoyed running along side so many incredibly strong women and their families, I hope that one day there is absolutely no need for such a race. I pray that my small contribution helps to find a cure.

On Sunday I had the privilege of volunteering as a "Running Buddy" at a 5k put on by Girls on the Run. If you haven't heard about it, GOTR is a program that "encourages girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running." It is so important to me that we are teaching our children, especially our girls, about positive body image and encouraging healthy eating habits while they are young. 

If you go to this website and scroll down to the last picture you will see one of my most memorable moments ever caught on camera. I cannot explain to you how personally rewarding yesterday was. The little girl I helped during the run was so unbelievably excited, that it would have been impossible not to smile along with her. Although she did ask about 12 times during the 3.1 miles, "so, are we done now?" she worked really hard and I was so proud of her. She never gave up and even sprinted to the finish line holding my hand. Running never ceases to amaze me with all that it has to offer. The race and all the GOTR coaches gave that little girl a sense of accomplishment I'm sure she won't forget for a long, long time.

What is the most memorable race you have ever done?  
Proud to be a running buddy!

At the start line

There was even a place where girls could get their hair spray-painted before the race. How fun :)

Is this not the most precious thing?

She did it! Yayy :)
I even made a new running friend - turns out we're from the same city in Florida!
The school that I ran with.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Y'all are in trouble. I'm un-impressed with your blog police skills. Not one person called me out for:
a) Not posting my Toning Tuesday Week 3 pictures; or
b) Not posting a winner to my low-key, poorly-advertised give-away.

Here are the reasons I've been a bad blogger
a) I only did the DVD once out of 7 days last week. I know, I'm ashamed. I also drank beer and ate bad food because it was a long weekend. (How are you gonna get your beach body ready with those kinds of habits, Sam?!) If I had posted a picture it would have looked like this: 
Yes, I had a food baby last week. Jillian Michaels would be so disappointed in me! :(

b) That mini give-away was so poorly advertised that even I forgot about it. My bad. The winner (picked randomly) is: Julie from Adventure Is Out There

Congrats! Send me an e-mail with your address.

Oh, and don't worry - I'm not slacking anymore - blogging wise or fitness wise. The heat/extreme humidity finally got the best of me and I broke down and got a gym membership yesterday. I did my first speed treadmill workout and I almost died. The workout I did was just something random I found after googling "how to train to run a half marathon in under 2 hours". It went like this: 
  • Run a quarter mile at treadmill speed 8.2 (dangerously close to flying off the 'mill)
  • Speed walk a quarter mile at treadmill speed 4.4
  • Sweat like a man
  • Repeat 6 times (or until your legs feel like Jello)
1) Does anyone have any other good treadmill workouts so that I don't get bored and rip my eyes out after 1.5 miles? I am a big fan of watching Netflix on my new iphone - It distracts me from looking at the distance on the treadmill screen every 30 seconds. 
2) What have you been slacking on lately and why? (running, eating healthy, taking your vitamins, doing the dishes?) No, I did not pull those examples from my own life, how dare you! :)

Happy Running,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Signin' up for races like crazy.

First off, Happy National Running Day! I was so happy that Rock N Roll is giving discounts on their races in honor of National Running Day, until I read the fine print. $13 off a half marathon registration EXCEPT for Vegas, Seattle, or San Diego. Boooo! Don't worry, I registered anyways.

I'm like 6 days into my billing cycle with Bank of America and more than half way to my credit limit. Hahaha. Good lord. Maybe buying 2 plane tickets and registering for 3 races within a week wasn't my best idea. Seemed good at the time. 

Here's what I've bought:
  • Flight to Portland, Oregon to visit my awesome cousin Molly and run a trail race with her
  • Registration for the Haulin Aspen 1/2 Marathon in Bend, Oregon
  • Flight to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual 4th of July lake weekend with all my college buddies
  • Registration for the State to State 1/2 Marathon that will allow me to check off Ohio AND Indiana while running with one of my most amazing friends, Lindsey. TWO STATES with one race, how cool, right?!?

  • Rock N Roll Vegas 1/2 Marathon! It's down the strip and it's a night race. I'm so pumped for this, you don't even know. I convinced my dad (didn't even have to twist his arm) that our family should get together in Vegas for vacation in December instead of getting together for Christmas. Since my youngest brother is obsessed with online poker it wasn't hard to get him on my side either, since he'll obviously enjoy a trip to the Mecca of poker. It's fine to be jealous of my fam. I would be too. Extra perk: there are going to be a ton of running bloggers there. You should really come so we can be real life friends :) Check out the details here.
    Here's what I want to buy in the next couple of months if I can afford it all:
    • Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Registration

    • Outer Banks 1/2 Marathon Registration

    • Flight to Las Vegas, Nevada (this is kinda mandatory - I am NOT wasting that $130 I just spent on the hurts me to type that number)

    I really need to find myself a pilot to marry. Either that or a race director. This crap is gettin pricey. If you know of any eligible bachelors help a girl out.

    Have you registered for any races recently? My race schedule is filling up quickly. Check out my upcoming races tab at the top.

    Where are you going for summer vacation? I can't wait to sport my super-classy American Flag bathing suit (which I totally got from Target) at Lake Lanier (near hot-lanta) this 4th of July. 

    P.S. - If you want some new beautiful, simple, and unique jewelry go check out Scene, Not Herd. I won this necklace off Team Lando's blog and I got in the mail this morning...obviously put it on immediately for work today. It's so me. Love it. 

    She can personalize them for you!

    Pretty necklaces and running make cubicle life better :)
    Now go lace up those shoes for national running day...even if it is just 20 minutes...get those endorphins goin! :)

    Happy Running,