Running On Average

Miles and Burgers

Last Saturday, I ran 1.74 miles, got really, um, sick, walked a 1/4 mile home and cried to Dave for about an hour. He was going to go run errands, but said instead he would stay home and keep his cell phone with him so that if I got sick or needed to run to the bathroom I could call him and he’d pick me up and drive me home…and even drop me back off again if I wanted. He. Is. Amazing.
So I sucked it up and headed back out for 18 more miles, heading against some good wind, riding hills, and visiting a lot of porta-johns on the run. Hey, when you’ve got colitis, you gotta do what you gotta do. Even if it’s precautionary measures.
I’ve been rocking nuun in Strawberry Lemonade and Swedish Fish as my fuel for runs. The Swedish fish are hard to chew while running, but I’m working on it.


Also, I got a whole bunch of nuun samples from work. Excitement!

Love me some nuun samples

Love me some nuun samples

After my run, I showered and Dave and I went to Saturday night mass, then decided to walk and try a bar called Sauce for dinner (burger lovin). Every time I go to mass, I think about getting engaged. It’s kind of awesome. 🙂

Snazzing up for mass and a dinner date

Snazzing up for mass and a dinner date

There was even a burger called the Messy Jesse! Which Dave got and it was tasty. I got Guiness black and it was AMAZING. Also. The waitress said that I eat really really slowly. Yes. Yes, I know.

This past weekend Dave and I went home to look for wedding venues. We looked at 4 and the first 3 were all nice, but not suited for us. Luckily, number 4 was the jackpot! We also met with the priest and I got to show Dave my home church, where the wedding will be. So we now have a church, priest, reception venue, date and time. CRAZY!

We dropped my little sister off for set construction on Saturday and Dave and I, reminiscing our high school years, decided to see if the door to the roof was still open. Success.

From the roof of the high school auditorium

From the roof of the high school auditorium

Those were my adventures the past week, did you have any good ones?


Running and Ulcerative Colitis

Last time I blogged, I wrote about having ulcerative colitis and it screwing up my runs. I was originally diagnosed with colitis when I was 17, during my senior year of high school. At that stage in my life I was not a runner- at all- which I suppose is good because it may have completely turned me off from running. It was took until sophomore or junior year of college until I really got my colitis back under control, but even then it was something I struggled with during every rugby and track practice, match, and meet.


My Rugby Days


My Sprinting Days

Before my first 5K, my stomach was in knots. I wanted to run the whole race, with my longest race prior being a 200 meter sprint. But I also wanted to make it without stopping for a bathroom issue. And finish the race in under 30 minutes. I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I did all those things. Ran without walking or stopping and finished in 29 minutes and change.
That gave me more confidence and I began running longer. A month and a half later I ran my first 10K, no bathroom stops. 6 months after my first 5K, I ran my first half marathon then 6 months after that my first marathon. They were all huge accomplishments and stepping stones for me, and I felt like after each race, I was kicking colitis in the butt. It felt great! It wasn’t easy and there were runs that still made me feel awful and a few times I’d come home and cry to my mom that How could I ever run a marathon if I can’t run XX miles without an issue? But I always pushed through.
Since I’ve moved to Pittsburgh, my stomach has been taking a life of its own. Some days it’s fine, others it feels like my colitis is out of remission. Worse, sometimes I will start a run feeling great and fantastic, only to be suddenly searching for a bathroom a few miles in. It makes me worry before every run and wears on my mind. It makes some runs worse than others.
Two weekends ago, I ran the 14 miles I had planned after failing to do it the weekend before. WOOT! And it was glorious! I did the first 8 on my own, circled back to pick up Dave and out we went again for the last 6 miles. Afterward I was ecstatic.

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The top of one of the Big Hills. It’s steeper than it looks.

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Last Wednesday, while on my 6 mile interval run my ankle started killing me 1/2 mile in. I finished the run, but found my ankle started to swell/grew a lump under my ankle bone, so I skipped the Thursday easy run and moved Friday’s lifting to Thursday.

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Ice ice, baby!

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Post run snack. The world’s smallest apple.

Friday Dave and I drove back to Reading for his cousin’s baptism on Sunday. He’s the godfather. He’ll be a good one!

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I got to see my love, Murphy!

That Saturday, I had an early 16 miles on the schedule.

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Sunrise in PA Dutch country

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Love Under Armour Coldgear!

Less than 2 miles in my stomach started giving me issues. Moreover, the sidewalks were icy from all the snow that got dumped the week before, some of the sidewalks weren’t even shoveled. Then it started snowing and laying. A lot. So after I made my 3rd stop in 4 miles, frustration got the better of me and I decided to head home. I stopped at mile 6 1/2 and said hello to my grandmom and had a nice chat with her, then finished the last half mile and called it a day at a mere 7 miles. But not without large loads of guilt and making my little sister, dad and Dave convince me that it was okay.

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Freshly fallen snow on the run

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Winter running

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Not my best run!

Yesterday I FINALLY got my (hilly) 16 miler in! The weather was unusually gorgeous. After weeks being in the negatives, single digits or teens, a 50 degree and sunny day made me feel like Superman. I started off accidentally at an 8:33 pace, then averaged a 9:15-9:20 pace for the first 10-12 miles. Then I got so hungry and my legs started getting tired and my pace started falling. BUT, I finished my run with under a 10-minute mile pace so all’s well that ends well.

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16 mile success!

Week Review

The last time I ran a marathon I was lazy and did little to no weight training. I’m pretty certain that had a lot to do with my butt hurting SO BAD and my back basically feeling like all the vertebrae collapsed onto each other around mile 21.


Yelling “This sucks SO BAD!” at mile 20. Not pretty at all.

So this time around I’m incorporating 3 days a week of weight training in the hopes that it will prevent those issues and improve my overall experience. Here’s what my week looked like.

Ran 3.1 miles at 9:35 pace on the treadmill. Easy-peasy.

Leg Day!
3×10 squats
3×10 calf press
3×10 leg extension
3×10 leg curls (not too sure if that’s the legit name)
3×10 of this spiffy little exercise: Prop yourself on your right elbow. With your legs straight, rest your left leg on a weight bench. Then lift your lower leg up to the bottom of the bench and lower it back down to the ground. Switch sides. It’s a great workout! I’ll try to provide pictures later.

Chest and Tris
3×10 bench press
3×10 tricep extension
3×10 tri raises
3×10 pec dec
5 mile speed interval treadmill workout (averaged a 9:20 pace…workout to come!)

3 miles easy treamill at 9:32 pace

Back and Bis
3×10 lateral pulldowns
3×10 rows
3×10 shoulder raises
3×10 e-z bar curls
3×10 inverted back extension (with weight)
3×10 (each side) obliques on the same machine used as back extension (with weight)

The weights schedule is staying basically the same for now, but the runs will obviously be getting longer. I’m never sure why marathon and half marathon training plans always start out running SO LITTLE, even when you say how many weekly miles you already do. But I’m not expert yet so I’m sticking with it (for now!). We’ll see how it works.

In other fun news, I learned yesterday why Starbucks cups say “do not microwave” on them. The burn. Like, legitimately burn.

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I can’t blame Starbucks because it definitely warned me, I’m just glad it didn’t get out of hand or set off the fire alarm at work. New girl setting off the fire alarm? Probably not a good start. It kind of smelled like burnt sugar, which I thought was weird until it was pointed out to me that my drink did in fact contain sugar. DUH.

Pittsburgh’s Hills

On March 30th I will be running my second marathon! Yea! It’s the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I looked at the 2013 course before I registered and I knew it would be a hilly course, but stupid is something I do well. Or determined. So hills be damned, I decided to run one hilly-ass marathon.

Knoxville Marathon 2013

Knoxville Marathon 2013


Luckily, I live outside of Pittsburgh and my home is surrounded by hills. Saturday I had a 12-miler in wind and cold with slushy and icy roads. I did the first 7 3/4 miles on my own in my Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s, then I came home, changed into my spankin’ new Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s, picked up Dave and we ran the last 4 1/2 miles together. I was dying the last few miles and whining like a baby, but we finished it. Came home again and propped my feet up on the wall for a few minutes. It drains the blood out of your legs and feels fantastic.

Old Riders, New Inspires, Happy Feet

Old Riders, New Inspires, Happy Feet

I had some almonds, a tangerine, and some nice HOT COFFEE for a snack while Dave cut up and added some bell peppers to a frozen pizza and put it in the oven for lunch. We were both really hungry, so I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, and only got the last, lone slice.

Yummm snack

Yummm snack



We decided to have a date night on Saturday night and went to see Wolf of Wall Street, which we both agreed was a horrible movie. It was out of control, and I guess it was based on a true story, but it was too much for me to handle and became uncomfortable to watch. Afterward, we decided to try Bubba’s Burghers for dinner. I got a buffalo chicken burger and fried pickles. And a Black & Brew beer. I’m a sucker for a good stout. It’s such a fun and spunky sports bar and the food was all AMAZING. But not at all healthy. Life is all about balance. Run 12 miles. Eat like King Henry…on occasion!

My goal for my second marathon was a 4:03, but with the hilly course I’m not so sure I’ll be able to achieve that. I’m going to try, but my back up is basically to PR and get under a 4:30.

How do you handle hilly runs? Cold runs?
Do you change your goal time depending on course difficulty?
What are your thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street?