The Unpopular Sport

Last night, three of my friends rallied to watch the 10:30pm showing of McFarland USA, the cross country Disney movie about the true story of McFarland High School’s 1987 cross country team.

As a high school cross country runner myself, how could I not see this movie. There aren’t very many movies themed around long-distance running! (For good reason, I suppose…) We had the whole theater to ourselves!

McFarland Movie Poster

Even I’ll admit, running is not an entertaining sport for mass audiences. You have to be a runner to really appreciate a movie dedicated to the sport. It’s not glamorous or commercial or suspenseful. Once, I raced a 10k at Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA, and my parents came to watch. There were EIGHT heats of the 10k and I was in heat #7. A 10k race = 25 laps around the quarter-mile track. About 40 minutes til the last person finishes. My parents sat through over four hours of laps so that they could watch me run for 37+ minutes. That is love! :)

Conference 10k 2013 (stronglikemycoffee.com)McFarland was inspirational as any Disney flick, though I have to say my favorite Disney sports-themed movie is The Rookie. We did all definitely leave the theater feeling motivated to go for a run. But it was after midnight so we went to sleep instead ;)

*Side Note: the best trailer we saw was for the newest Nicholas Sparks movie, The Longest Ride. Yes, it looks exactly like all his previous stories. Yes, it looks predictable and cheesy. Yes, I will be going to see it. Trailer –> here.*

Training for marathon #2 is underway. I have a weekly schedule of workouts with ideal mileage, pace, hill repeats, speed intervals and strength training.Yesterday was some hill repeats, 60 second bursts up a steep grade with 2 minutes jogging in between.

Nutrition is especially important to fuel my workouts so I stocked up on some more protein and planned out weekly “mostly-clean” dinners. However I am completely exploiting the fact that more mileage = more ice cream.

Clean recipes and winter training on stronglikemycoffee.comWe are in the middle of a couple winter storms. Snow = compromising on the treadmill. This weekend’s long run will test my mental abilities as I have 11 miles on the treadmill! Only some new music will get me through.

This song came on the other days as I pulled into my parking space. I’d never heard it before so I parked and sat in my car for 3 minutes, shazam’d it, and have been overplaying it ever since. :)

 

Expectation and Attitude Quotes and Inspiration (stronglikemycoffe.com)

Yesterday things did not go my way. First I woke up before the sun to get ready for class, it had snowed all night, and a thick sheet of glossy ice left the sidewalks and streets slippery. I slid once on the 50-foot walk to my car. My car slid on the ice and made a funky burning smell on my way to school. And that was all before 8am.

You all know that I have been on a ‘medical journey’ which is just a euphemism for a series of procedures that is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. Nearly three years ago it began, with minor procedures here and there when I could fit it in during summer and winter breaks from college. The cosmetic portions, which I have been the most eager to address, have been pushed back and pushed back because the doctors determine that something else is more important. My spring break was the last opportunity to fit in a cosmetic procedure before graduation.

The winter storm, cosmic forces or sheer dumb luck have made scheduling this surgery take longer than usual. Yesterday I found out that there is a conflict with the surgeons’ schedules and my spring break. Therefore I will not have the surgery next month. Because of school and graduation, that means no surgery for at least three months.

Quotes for inspiration (stronglikemycoffee.com)

If someone is trying to teach me patience, I get it already. If someone is trying to teach me to remain positive and optimistic, I feel like I’ve don’t that enough too. If someone is trying to teach me that I cannot schedule and plan my life, message received. I don’t think anything has ever met my expectations. Relationships, friendships, school, living on my own, finding a job. I understand that we cannot dwell on uncontrollable situations, but I can’t help but feel a little sad for a while.

I didn’t want to sugar-coat the situation and point out the positive opportunities this presents so I played the song below and drank coffee and got through classes and my internship and came home and got in my favorite comfy gray t-shirt and cried and woke up today and moved on and started to figure out something to do during my newly-free spring break.

I redirected my attention to something that does make me happy. Because I will not have a surgery next month, I no longer have a barrier to training for my next marathon. In fact, I’ve already found the perfect race. I only have 14 weeks, which is shorter than most marathon training plans but I feel like I’m in good enough shape to jump right into Week 3. I’m excited to build up the long runs again (more Garmin time!) and share my training with you. :)

Train for a marathon and change your life quote (stronglikemycoffee.com)Time to revisit the marathon board and recaps. :)

A reunion, an anniversary, and a mistake

Every day I read “The Hungry Runner Girl” blog. I love her enthusiasm for running (and eating) and the pictures of her adorable 2 year old. She is currently training for the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for last year. Reading about her workouts always fills me with inspiration to start training for my next marathon. She honestly makes it look like FUN.

I don’t know what state I will be living in in 16 weeks and I don’t know what my medical schedule looks like, so picking an actual race to register for seems risky. (Although the Suja Rock n’ Roll in San Diego looks pretty awesome.) However my Sunday “long runs” have fallen by the wayside in the past year, so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to get back into a more regimented running routine that would keep me in optimal shape when I can finally pick a race and start training.

Sunday morning I reunited with my GARMIN. Since I wasn’t focused on specific pace or mileage, I left the GPS watch at home for the past several months.

Long Run with the Garmin (stronglikemycoffee.com)

I’ve blogged many times about my love for long runs. They were my favorite component of cross country training. In the peak of my collegiate cross country career, a “Sunday long run” meant 12-16 miles. I haven’t gone on a double-digit outting since last summer because….well, I have no need to! I decided I would start with 9 miles this weekend, and try to add a mile each Sunday.

Immediately after walking outside, I regretted wearing a tshirt. It was 39 degrees with 27 mph winds, gusts of up to 40. The sun was hiding behind some clouds and there was not a single other runner or bicyclists on my route. But I didn’t charge that watch for nothin’! I ran out against the wind for 4.5 miles, turned around and ran back with the wind on my side. Average pace: 7:36 per mile (at 7,000ft altitude, just sayin’.) Good enough for me :)

This week is my one-year-anniversary since I decided to chop my hair off. Okay that’s not a legitimate anniversary, but I look for any reason to celebrate ;) I’m growing it out now, and I can’t wait until it’s out of this awkward-length stage!

In-between stage hair (stronglikemycoffee.com)It’s also been one week since my birthday weekend, which was a non-stop food and drink fest. Such a blast, but I also feel like it’s time to get some good-quality nutrition back in my routine so I’ve stocked up on so much produce and protein. Starting with this dinner inspired by Gina’s The Skinny Taste Cookbook.

Lean Clean Dinner with shrimp, sweet potato and greens (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Except I made one little mistake. Rarely ever will I cook meat (strictly for my aversion to touching slimy poultry, not a vegetarian). Sooo I don’t have much experience at the meat counter. I asked for half a pound of shrimp. You can imagine my horrified face when I discovered that I had to REMOVE THE LEGS AND DIGESTIVE TRACT OF THE SHRIMP MYSELF.

I was so excited for cooking a clean, balanced meal so I decided to suck it up, watch a Youtube tutorial and ‘devein’ the shrimp like a grown-up. If you have not done this, I highly recommend spending the extra few bucks for frozen, pre-cooked shrimp because the slimy strings that came out of that crustacean were unappetizing.

But it does look good on the plate.

The snowy conditions here are making me slightly less eager to dawn some spandex and pound the pavement but I am determined to start a more structured running routine. Treadmills, Spotify and Pinterest quotes are winter workout necessities.

 

Commitment Quote

I love that! Have a happy Tuesday :)

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