Ready to Run

Earlier today I got to spend some time texting back and forth with my aunt Melissa about our upcoming Tough Mudder. I’ve got to say, it is infectiously exciting to talk about upcoming races.

This is the part of running I’ve missed. This is the part that has been coming back full force, which has caused some sort of crazy spurt of committing to races, of finding new things to read about running, of spending most of my time just talking about running. It’s awesome.

One year ago at about this time I was getting started on my final leg of Ragnar Chicago. Last night I got to go grab ice cream with my buddy Dan, the captain of that Ragnar team as he was on his way to Kansas for a half iron man. It reminded me how much I loved that atmosphere, how much I have MISSED that atmosphere.

So on Tuesday I’m signing up for the Glass Slipper Challenge, which happens during Disney Princess weekend in Orlando. 10k one day, half marathon the next. Kind of like a tamed down Goofy Challenge. I think I’m going to have to make a Disney race a yearly tradition, as running through the parks is pretty amazing. It will be a girls’ weekend with a bunch of fantastically awesome ladies. I really can’t wait.

It’s become incredibly evident lately how many friends have turned into running buddies, and how many people who started as running buddies have become great friends.

Even in the blog world this is true. My latest blog crush is Janae from Hungry Runner Girl. Can I just tell you how much I adore reading her stuff? She’s super adorable, her baby makes my ovaries explode with every picture, and her positivity and dedication are absolutely admirable. She’s also CRAZY fast, which is just fun to witness.


Now comes the hard part. Now comes the getting my body to cooperate with running.

Over the last few weeks, my runs with GCB have been cut short because of a very mean left knee. One quick search of Dr Google leads me to believe that the IT band issues I had post-marathon have worked their way south to bother my knee. If it’s not one joint, it’s the other. Boo.

But that’s that. Work hard, train hard, race hard. More than all of that? I want to have fun with all of this. I want to wear tutus and laugh through races and enjoy the times with some pretty amazing friends.

Oh man it’s going to be a good year.

We Don’t Care Anymore

So it’s really happening.

On Friday Steph emailed me confirmation for our hotel.

On Monday we both booked our flights.

Yesterday I reserved the rental car.

Welp. I guess I’m going to run a marathon.

I mean, yeah, I’ve known I was going to run a marathon for months now (eight of them, actually). I’ve been signed up since EARLY APRIL. I’ve been running and running all year.

All except the last little while. Why?

Honestly, because I can’t bring myself to care anymore. The burnout that hit me hard right before Ragnar never really left. I made it through Ragnar. I struggled my way through another half, then giggled my way through yet another since then.

And I don’t care.

Close to two weeks ago I went out on a sixteen mile run. I made it 12 (two fucking hours of running) before my hip stopped me. And I cried and walked limped the last four miles home. The very next day I went out and got brand new HOT FUCKING PINK running shoes.

They’re still sitting in the box.

Because I don’t care.

I want to care, but I don’t. I want to go out and give my new shoes a spin, but I’d rather go get drinks with my friends. I want to spend the next few Sundays building my mileage to a previously unheard of (to me) level, but at least this week I’d rather go to the Chicago Bears game with GCB.

I want to get to a point where I am READY, mentally and physically, to run 26.2 damn miles all at once, but I feel like with six weeks left, the physical part is going to be perhaps decent since I’m not starting at nothing and the mental part? Well, I’m going to finish the thing, but it will be slow.

And I don’t care.

Guys? Marathon training is HARD. I would totally recommend NOT signing up for one when you’re on a combined high of friend-in-town plus just-met-amazing-new-boy plus feeling-in-great-shape-four-days-prior-to-a-half-marathon.

Half marathons? Fun. Glorious. A great fucking time. I love half marathons. Seriously. No sarcasm font. This? Mileage this high? Not fun.


I’ll run when I can. I’ll lift when I can. I’ll go out on my long runs and pray that both my hip and the water I bring with me both hold out. I’ll try to maintain my current physical fitness level and hope that maybe the next six weeks will actually help me out.

And I’ll run it.

Then I’ll never consider running another full marathon ever again.

Marathons? We are never getting back together.

The Good Stuff

I have been overly dramatic and worrying you lovely people unnecessarily. My apologies.

Good things from the past little while:

-Beers in a redneck pool with incredible friends.

-Being able to talk to all three of my sisters for over an hour apiece over the past few days.

-Three engagement announcements for some friends incredibly deserving of that happiness.

-Asking GCB for Gatorade and having him come back with four different flavors because he “knew [I] liked the purpley-blue one, but couldn’t remember which, so [he] just got all of them.”

-Hugs. From my cousins. My aunts. My grandparents. Some of those hugs came after the stampede ignited from my ringing the doorbell….from five cousins at once.

-Realizing that mine, Ali’s, and Alison’s middle names are all Marie. On top of that? All three boyfriends’ middle names are Michael.

-Beginning my countdown to my trip to Arizona. Smiling because GCB gets to go with me.

-Chocolate cake for dinner with my dad, which of course sparked the “Dad is great! He gives us the chocolate cake!!!” comments.

-The comments and emails from you guys. They honestly mean more than you know.

Super Freak

Do you want to see Ann’s freaked out brain? This is Ann’s freaked out brain. Aka, this is totally how I feel right now:

Four days. Four days.

It’s like the fucking clash of the titans all up in my dome piece. One minute I’m totally fine, the next I’m completely psyching myself out.

This weekend I got slammed face-first with a wall of overall panic. Panic over the race I don’t feel fully prepared for. Panic over the budget I have completely annihilated lately. Panic over work stuff and how I’ve felt entirely on edge dealing with certain people lately. Panic over my monstrous to do list that doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

GCB got to witness first-hand the “hey, let’s put on a tough face, but honestly I’m in a glass case of emotion” type freak out on Sunday. It was not pretty.

I am freaked out and stressed and completely and totally overwhelmed right now. There is wave after wave of anxiety crashing over me. It’s making me nauseous and fidgety, and I don’t even know how the hell I’m going to make it through three solid days at work.

It bloody sucks.

These types of pre-race jitters are unlike anything I’ve experienced thus far. I’m always a bit nervous before a big race, but holy shit. This is unreal.

I know it’ll be ok. I know that.

I just want it to be ok right now.

Panic Prone

I am fuh-REAK-ing the fuck out.

Ragnar is five weeks from today. Five weeks. Thirty-five days. I….holy shit.

I pulled up my training schedule today to adjust for the last week of being sick and out of town, switched over to the May calendar, and got a whopping dose of HOLYFUCKINGSHITI’MRUNNINGEIGHTEENMILESINFIVEWEEKS.

Holy fucking shit, I’m running 18 miles in five weeks.

I’m not ready.

Getting sick two weeks after the half marathon has meant that my workout regiment since the half has been, well, more a passing interest than a regiment. This was not my intention at all.

Logically I KNOW that I will be fine. I know that I am in good enough shape to get through.

But I don’t want to be just good enough. I want to have splits that I can be proud of. I want to make our team faster. I want to get through this race and be sore in the best way possible.

I want to absolutely crush my training for the next month.

When I looked at my just barely filled out May running schedule and realized I was supposed to run 10 miles in a few days, I had another freak out moment.

I’m meeting GCB’s parents on Sunday. There is Sunday Night Dinner on Sunday. There is not time for a 10 mile run. Maybe four, but not ten.

So, let’s sum up.

I am freaking out about the biggest race of my life thus far, even though logically I know I’ll be ok, but I know I have to kick ass this month.

I am freaking out about the meeting the parents of the perfect boyfriend because I have not “met the parents” in a DECADE. Even then, the high school boyfriend was a friend first, so I technically already knew his parents. Though I suppose there was the one guy with whom my first date was a trip to the Fox Theater WITH his parents, but I don’t count that so much. I am told, “he likes you, they’ll like you.”


I need a nap.

This post was brought to you by a severe lack of sleep, a minor instance of lack of self-confidence, and probably not enough (possibly too much) caffeine.

It’s Your Decision

The biggest challenge right now is convincing myself that is ISN’T going to hurt when I go out there.

This week wasn’t the greatest. I ended up taking Thursday AND Friday off from all workouts. Way to go self, take a mental health break from your mental health break. Neat.

Physical pain and mental pain have both run rampant (heh) when it comes to my workouts. The only way that mental block is going to go away is going to be getting rid of the physical barriers. That’s why I bought new running shoes on Friday.

I’m hoping that they will be fully broken in by the time the half marathon rolls around.

Some days this running business is really difficult.

This is all nonsensical babbling, I know. *sigh*

Work It Out

My friend Miranda sent this to me yesterday.

She could not have sent this to me at a more perfect time as all of my workout attempts this week so far have been so awfully abysmal that all I could do Tuesday when I got home from running was break down sobbing.

It is incredibly frustrating to head out for an eight mile run and get all of two and a half miles before the various painful body parts start screaming so loudly that the only physical option is to turn around and walk home, trying your damndest to not start crying before you get into the safety of your own apartment.

Mental note: Get new running shoes ASAP.

However, now it’s time to make it work. No matter what.

Five weeks, three days.

In an unrelated sidenote, it’s been two years since Kelly died. I still feel like I catch glimpses of her at work nearly daily. I miss her. So, so much.

Give Me Novocaine

Last week, I hit my limit. Well, slammed face first into the brick wall of my limit is more accurate. Done doesn’t even begin to cover just how I felt about many, many things.

The resulting breakdown Saturday night as I drove home at three in the morning was just one aspect of the aftermath of a combination of exhaustion, cynicism, pain, resentment, anger, frustration, and a sincere inability to give a single fuck about anything but not feeling that way anymore.

Over the past two days, I’ve been forcing myself to let go. I’ve had no other option. I recognize that it is not healthy to hold those emotions in. It’s not helpful whatsoever to just shove everything down further and further until it comes bursting out of my eyeballs, and let’s be real. Sobbing while driving down the highway is neither safe nor productive.

My long run this weekend was supposed to be eight miles. I’ve skipped it so far. Physical exertion only gets me so far when it comes to ridding myself of all of that negativity.

So Sunday I went to see The Lorax with my awesome friend Alison and her most adorable three-year-old daughter (who spent the movie bouncing back and forth between her mom’s lap and my own. My goodness, I love that kid). Just being able to giggle at an adorable movie and laugh at the giggles of the kid, as well as make silly references to the real people some of the characters looked like with Alison was refreshing and much needed. Simple. Happy.

Then, joy of all joys, one of my best friends in the entire world, Nic, who I haven’t actually seen since August…..of 2010… here. I actually cooked a legitimately kick ass dinner (roast and garlic mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetables and oh my god I’m drooling again), we had wine, we had the world’s best catch-up session, and then we got to see American Idiot at the Peabody. The show was actually really fun and entertaining.

You know how you can have the best of intentions and sometimes all of that gets blown out the window? That was today. I took today off and had planned to get up and run my eight miles before doing anything else. Nope. It started with passing out on my couch last night and then subsequently sleeping until nearly ten this morning. Apparently last week wore me out. Those eight miles get to wait now. Instead of running, Nic and I went and got a pitcher of margaritas followed by nearly $40 worth of gourmet cupcakes. No, we did not eat them all at once.

This, all of this, was so precisely what I needed. No stress about how well my training is going. No work. No guilt over the stupid amount of calories I’ve forced into my body today. These past two days have been my Novocaine.

The thing about Novocaine is that it wears off.

The result is not the same feeling as before, but similar, deadened. This is the difficult part. The things that bothered me last week are still there, still sitting and patiently waiting to see if I’ll go ahead and succumb to that which would leave me stupidly depressed and incapable of any sort of positive thought. I can see them, but still being cupcake drunk (twisted pink velvet….oh yes), I can’t feel them.

I don’t want to feel them.

And so comes the active fight against that sinking. So come the days of faking it if I have to, of finding those things that will distract me to the point where things that bug me, that hurt, don’t anymore. Now is the time of consciously deciding to just, quite simply, let things go. Sometimes anger honestly isn’t worth it.

On Sunday I got the newest Kid Cudi album. The two before this have come out at incredibly poignant times in my life and have surprisingly enough gotten me through some really rough patches.

I wonder what Cudi has to say this time around.

I’ve Got to Keep on Moving

It has been a rough motherfucking week. This week’s not even over. Yikes.

You’d think that a week started with such a glorious Sunday, wherein I skipped all chore-like activities and went over to Ali’s to drink on the patio instead, would lead to an even gloriouser week. I think it was the awful run that snuck the bad shit in.

Fucking bad run.

You see, since Sunday I have been trying really hard and failing miserably at not letting things get me down. I am still beyond devastated that I am not going to Boozefest this year, but it was made official when I had to message two fantastic friends and tell them I wouldn’t be there.

I struggled mightily with not doing any sort of physical activity on Monday, even though I knew my knee would be better off for it.

I’ve been taking things the wrong way and have been overly sensitive to how coworkers talk to me, and that has made it incredibly difficult to keep a positive attitude when I’m there.

Weeks like this make me wish I still had my roommate Sarah, because I’d be able to come home and get a hug, and then we’d sit around eating chips and watching awful TV, and I would feel better. I could still do the chips and bad TV thing, but really, as is oh so usual, I just want the fucking hug. Sarah gives the best hugs.

This afternoon I have tried to pull myself away from this less than stellar feeling I’ve got going on and focus on the positives. It’s kind of working. Slowly.

Positive: I got my tickets purchased for the Cardinals home opener. I’ve been in STL five years. This will be the fifth consecutive home opener I’ve been to. Tradition, thy name is baseball.

Positive: My run today was pretty sweet. I felt good, no knee twinges, and I was able to run really hard. My time doesn’t so much reflect how hard I did run because stop watches cannot measure twenty-fucking-five mile per hour head winds. Up a hill. That was fucking DIFFICULT. However, the fact that my time today was identical to the time I got on this same course a couple weeks ago when I WASN’T battling monstrous winds is such a good thing. I’ll say one thing about how windy it’s been here lately. I’m going to be really fucking ready for running alongside Lake Michigan during that Ragnar.

Positive: Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Positive: This upcoming weekend. I’ll be spending Saturday driving to and from CollegeTown because one of my very good friends from college is getting married, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for him. He is genuinely one of the best people I’ve met. After that, and even more exciting, one of my bestest friends Nic will be here. Here. To see me. I haven’t seen her in I can’t even remember how long, which I hate, but she will be HERE. We are going to see American Idiot at the Peabody, and I really cannot wait. Having Monday off totally helps that excitement.

Positive: Because Ali is such a rock star, she has offered to help ease the pangs of my not going to Boozefest. During the Boozefest weekend, I’ll instead be spending time at her house day-drinking with my STL crew, people I have come to wholeheartedly and unabashedly love. Our Sunday night dinners have come to mean so much to me. My weeks just don’t feel right if I haven’t played beer pong on Sundays.

Positive: Officially signing up for the Rock and Roll half in October.

Positive: And related. My marathon/Ragnar training buddies across the country. They hold me accountable. I am inspired by them.

Positive: Looking forward to St Patrick’s Day in Chicago. I’ve already been promised that I WILL see that green river. St Pat’s has always interfered with Boozefest. Lose one, gain the other. And I just really, really fucking love Chicago. It has been FAR too long since I’ve been up there, and I know that once I’m there I won’t want to leave. As per usual.

Positive: Running motivation pictures from Pinterest. I am not a member of Pinterest, but that does not stop me from going on there every once in a while and finding new things that keep me going, that push me harder, that make me want to get better, get faster, get stronger. I am helped in this endeavor by my dear friend Miranda who has emailed me these motivators at least three times over the last week. This morning’s post was one, and today’s addition is another.

Positive: That niece/nephew that’s on the way. I’m still beyond giddy. I can’t wait to snuggle the crap out of that little one. And then turn her/him into a Cardinals fan, because that’s the way it’s done in my family.

Positive: Writing. It might seem like gibberish to you, but it’s therapy to me.