Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One 20 mile workout down, two to go!

Wednesday is my day off, so I took advantage of my free time (and avoided doing house chores!) and planned to do my first 20 mile workout before the marathon.

Here are a few things I learned: 

1) I like knowing the route.  

Last week, Aaron helped map out a 16 mile course for me, and I felt anxious not knowing where my next milestone would be.  I set up a 5 mile route that I already knew, and I ran there and back 2x.  Knowing the route helped me plan and set my pace. 

2) I like setting up my own aid stations. 

When Aaron helped me the week before, he set up my aid stations for me, and because I didn't know where exactly they'd be and how far they would be spread apart, I got really discouraged.  One aid station took about 7 miles to get to, and because it was so hot out, I ran out of water in my fuel belt.  Yep, feel free to laugh.  I sport one of these when I run outside : )  

3) I actually really like running outside. 

Over the summer, I ran indoors solely because it was so dang hot and humid out.  I enjoy taking in the surroundings, and the best part is that I get to look behind myself and see how far I've run!  I recently bought a watch to help me keep on pace.  The one thing I did NOT like was the fact that people will let their dogs run loose.  One dog did about half of my workout with me.  She is friendly dog, but she nearly was hit by a car numerous times.  During one pass by her house, I actually knocked on the door to return her, but nobody reponded.  

I feel like I did pretty well overall - I kept track on my watch, and most of the time, I was coming in under my goals.  However, on my last 5 miles, it started to rain pretty hard, and I had a fairly strong head wind that made me feel like I was running no faster than I could walk.  So, I started to walk with about 3 miles to go... and I couldn't get started again.

I am doing a walk/job combination for the race, but I never walk more than a few minutes at a time.  I walked through this strong wind for about 12-15 minutes, and my muscles just didn't want to go any more. I tried running several times, but my legs felt like lead weights.  The time for my last 5 miles was not so great, but I FINISHED!!!!   

Aaron met me at the 10 mile and the 15 mile marks, and it was SOOO good to see him.  

I am doing at least one more really long workout before the marathon on November 3rd - my plan is to do 23 miles and if I have time, I will do another 20 mile workout.  I am unsure if I will have the time to do it though; you are supposed to taper your running the last few weeks before the marathon, and I may run out of time to my last 20 mile workout.

Here are a few photos from my run today (they have been instagrammed):

My route took me through the cornfields of Johnson county.  The cornfields and the cooler weather make me think of fall.  
These beauties were across the street from where I parked.

These cows were so sweet and curious.  They were slow moving and seemed to look at me quizzically as if they wondered what the rush was all about.

Total side note, but they got me thinking... I don't think I could eat meat any more if I wanted to.  I decided to go vegetarian in 2009 because I hated factory farms; they are horrible for the environment, and the living conditions for the animals is terrible.   I don't necessary oppose meat consumption, but I DO oppose factory farming.  Even cutting down on your meat consumption helps.... side note over : )

I also saw some cute horses during my run as well.  Their two companions are not pictured.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fun weekend

I love Fall (so do lots of other people - just watch for Facebook and Twitter to explode with comments like: "Yay!  Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!" or "Yummy - pumpkin muffins" or "Hooray for fall!"), and incidentally, we had a free-ish weekend just as Fall officially started.  We decided to take advantage of the time and great weather to do some fun things.

After we did some serious yard work on Saturday morning/afternoon (BLECH!), we headed to Adrian Orchards to hit up their Cider bar and walk around the pumpkin patch.  We bought a jar of apple butter, got a gallon of cider for ourselves (and 1/2 gallons for our parents).

The only fun part of the yard work was planting these mums . And check out my summer petunias - they are still hanging on!!  

The orchard is walking distance from my elementary school.  I remember taking field trips there as a kid . 

In front of the apple trees and pumpkin patch. 

A freaking adorable building.  This is the store portion of the orchard.  
Later that evening, we made dinner and started a bonfire and enjoyed the cider.

Sunday, we went to church, I did some of my marathon training (I'm doing a 20 mile run this week - EEEKK!!!), and then we met my father in law at Town Run Trail park for some mountain biking.  YEAAHH!!!!

We saw some deer while we were riding - I had to zoom from forever away, so they're hard to see.  I made a pathetic attempt to circle them in red... Trust me, it was cool to see them.  

Sadly, this park runs right by I-465, so these deer are hanging out in a dangerous spot.  We quickly moved on so that we didn't spook them into traffic.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

2 Year Wedding Anniversary - Part 2: Sailing!

To conclude our anniversary celebration, we bought a LivingSocial deal to go sailing on Geist reservoir.  We went yesterday, and the weather was beautiful!

It was relaxing fun, and well, hear are some photos:

(Oh yeah, and there was no wind, so we didn't even get to use the sails).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2 Year Wedding Anniversary - Part 1: Chocolate Hieroglyphics

I pulled up to the stoplight and quickly checked the mirror to make sure I looked ok.  I was headed to meet Aaron for dinner to celebrate our two year anniversary, and I was running a little behind, so I had also taken a quick peek at my phone to check the time.

As I pulled up to the light and stopped, I noticed a man holding a cardboard sign asking for money.  I suddenly felt guilty about the iPhone I was holding and for worrying about if my hair was still in place.

Before I even got a chance to think about grabbing my wallet to hand him any spare change I had (I typically have less than a dollar in spare change to use for the vending machine at work), the light turned green, and my thoughts shifted to finding a parking spot.

Seeing people like this man always remind me of how lucky I am (I know, I know, some of them are total scammers and make more money than I do, but I am convinced that there may be legit needy people asking).

The feelings of gratitude spilled over into my thoughts at dinner.  Aaron and I have faced a few setbacks lately, and I had gotten into a bad habit of feeling a little sorry for myself and for us.  No, maybe we aren't accomplishing some of the goals we'd set out for ourselves as quickly as we'd like, but we've both experienced a lot of personal growth in the last year and certainly in the last two years since we first married.

I don't even know how to fully express the mixture of emotions I felt - a combination of happiness, nostalgia, guilt (for feeling an ounce of sorry for myself ever), hope, and other feelings that words couldn't describe.

It's all part of the journey I guess - we have a LOT of time ahead of us.  We might as well enjoy the ride, soak up the scenery, and have a few laughs.  Part of our discussion revolved around what's to come and how to look forward to the future without feeling discontent in the present - not an easy task.

To say the least, I am thrilled that our nearly 8 year long relationship has evolved into something truly fulfilling for us both.  The changes in us both are remarkable, and we are fortunate to have grown in the same direction while maintaining our own hobbies, activities, and friends.  We are still best friends, travel companions, work out partners, and confidants.

Stay tuned for Part 2!  We are taking sailing lessons to finish up celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary!

Ok, now on to a few pictures from this evening:

We got a special seat on the balcony in the restaurant we were married in - Euphoria.  This screenshot is from their website.  Recognize anyone?  

The sky was a bit cloudy, but who cares?!  It's our anniversary!

Our wedding cake was carrot cake (a vegan version!), so we ordered this (non-vegan) version from the menu.   IThe "Happy Anniversary" message melted in the heat into chocolate hieroglyphics.  

Who says Indianapolis isn't amazing?  This view is stunning!

These two chairs placed here may seem unimportant to most, but they hold significance to us.  We hung out in this spot right after our ceremony in disbelief over what we had just happened, waiting to go to our reception (we had our ceremony on the balcony of the restaurant and then ate inside the restaurant).

For whatever reason, this short, stolen moment alone together is forever etched in our memories

Happy 2 year anniversary sweetheart!