2015 Chicago Marathon Recap

2015 Chicago Marathon Recap

You guys, I am a marathoner!

Oh my gosh I don’t even know where to start.

I wanted to wait to get this post up because I didn’t want to be completely clouded by “I just ran a marathon and I’m on cloud 9 syndrome”. Although that is still going on pretty strong ; )

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous for the race! It was around 55 degrees when we started and perfectly sunny. Although it was hot when we finished (70-75 degree range), for most of the race, one half of the street would be shaded and the other half would be sunny. So it was nice to take advantage of the shade when I could.

Miles 1-4: We crossed the start line a little after 8:30 which was frustrating, because they told us it would be at 8:10. We were so antsy and anxious in the corral! I totally understand though, there were a shit ton of runners! Waiting that long in the corrals though only heightened my nerves. Once we finally got started, my dad and stepmom were at like mile .5 and after running past them, I was teary eyed immediately. Starting the race and seeing loved ones was just emotional overload for me I guess : ) Luckily, the tears didn’t last long, because hello I was running a marathon! I don’t think that I stopped smiling for the first couple of miles, because holy shit I was actually running a marathon. I was doing it!

5-12: Lol I was still cheesing because I still couldn’t believe I was actually running a marathon. Around mile 9 or 10, we ran past a retirement home, and all of the seniors were sitting by the windows waving and smiling at us as we ran by! They even had a banner up that read, “We couldn’t run this year, but maybe we will next year!” It was seriously the cutest thing and made me so happy.

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Miles 13-16: I put my headphones in at the half marathon point, and turned on my trusty One Direction. Once I hit 13.1 I was mentally boosted, because every step from there on out was towards the finish line, not away from it if that makes sense. After crossing 16 though, my mental game really started to suffer. Like hard.

Miles 17-21: Absolutely the most mentally tough miles I have ever run. I felt so close because I was in single digits of miles left, but I still felt so far away. Getting through 17 & 18, and knowing that I would get to look for my family at 19 was huge and the only thing mentally keeping me in the game. When I saw them waiting for me at mile 19, I dropped “f-this” 3 times. I was going to try and pull my brother into the race with me, because I needed some “you got this kid” motivation, but he was too far back for me to get him. It seriously took everything in me to keep going.

I just kept telling myself that I would be so much more disappointed in myself if I walked rather than continuing running. Walking was not what I wanted to remember from the race. I saw a sign that said, “Will you remember quitting or finishing more?” and that was the kick in the ass I needed. I would have remembered quitting so much more because I would have been so disappointed in myself for not pushing through.

Miles 22-25: Once I got through 21 and hit the 22 mile marker, things just started to lift up mentally. Physically it was a different story haha, but nothing completely unbearable. I was cramping right above my right knee, my feet were hurting pretty bad with new blisters and callouses, and a random part of my arm was chafing a bit. But after hitting 22, I kept telling myself that it was just a 5K, because getting to 25 was basically like I was finished (it’s those mental tricks that keep me going when I race).

Mile 25.2: There was sign that said “1 mile left!” Running past that sign, it really hit home that I was going to do it. I was going to finish a marathon. I really started to tear up here and had to reign them in, so I could try and breathe normally!

Miles 26 – 26.2: Ok so like running a marathon isn’t hard enough, the last .20 miles of the race are on an uphill!! Well just .10 of a mile is the uphill, but still! It is a .10 mile run up the hill, a left, and then a .10 mile run to the finish. And there were so many people walking up the hill, but there was no way in hell I was walking when I was so freaking close to the finish. Making that final left turn and seeing the finish line is a feeling I don’t think I will ever forget. The sense of excitement, pride, accomplishment, and joy is something I have never experienced before, at least not like that.

I feel so fortunate that I never really “hit the wall” physically. I never felt like my legs were really heavy or like they wouldn’t be able to take another step. Besides the cramping from 22-25, my legs felt great! I credit that a lot to the fact that I walked through every water station. I would run up until the person from whom I took water from, drink my water or Gatorade cup(s), and then continue running. I also was running such a controlled and slower pace that I think it really helped save my legs.

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Yes, I could have run faster, but for my first marathon, I really wanted to focus on having fun and enjoying the whole process. I figured there were going to be a lot of more marathons in my future so why make myself miserable for the first one?! And I had no idea the mental hurdle I was going to face from 17-21, and I am so glad that I wasn’t physically hurting, too.

When I crossed the finish line, honestly I was so damn happy just be finished running. It wasn’t until probably an hour or so later that I was like “f@$! I just ran a f@$!ing marathon!!” To say that I am proud, accomplished, proud, excited, and so f-ing proud would really sum it all up nicely. Knowing that I worked so hard towards something and for something long, and then have all of that hard work pay off, is so amazing. Even if you would have asked me last year about running a marathon, I don’t think I would have said yes or thought I could do it. It has made me realize that I am tough, dedicated, and hard-working.

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Chicago Marathon, thank you for a great race, great volunteers, great spectators, and a fucking great first marathon. This will not be the last time we meet.

Official time: 4:52:04 ~ 11:09 pace

Friday Favorites 10/9/15

Friday Favorites 10/9/15

Happy Friday to you! I am freaking pumped, because as you read this, I am currently on the way/in Chicago for the CHICAGO MARATHON! So without further hesitation, because I am literally so excited for this weekend, here are my favorites from the week!

THE CHICAGO MARATHON: Duh! The race is on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean that I am waiting until then to be freakishly excited for it! Actually, I’ve had a countdown going for the past 4 weeks because I am so pumped. Well and also really terrified… But mostly excited!

Starbucks Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup:

Let’s get one thing straight. I know that there is Splenda in this magic and that it has artificial crap in it. Alas, this is one of the battles that I am choosing not to fight, because it is amazing. I have been using it to make the best lattes instead of my usual coffee in the mornings. Oh and it’s great in my iced coffees, too. When I first got it last week, I was on a 3 a day coffee or iced coffee habit, but am now down to *only* two or one a day. I’m counting that as progress! I’m hoping that the more it sits around the less and less I will want to use it, and I’ll be back to my one cup a day habit. I’m not holding my breath though haha.

Cooler weather: 

I have finally admitted to myself that I would rather run in cold weather versus hot weather, which is something I thought I would never say out loud. Finally having some cooler 40 and 50 degree mornings and evenings for runs and walks has been refreshing. This doesn’t mean that I am excited for fall or winter, because I am a spring and summer girl through and through. Is there a city that is 40-50’s in the morning and then like 70-80 during the day, but still experiences a mild change in the seasons? I’m open to ideas and suggestions.

Drag Me Down & Infinity: I have no shame in admitting that I am a total One Direction fan girl. Here’s my rationale: I was 17 when they came out with their first single. Since that is a perfectly acceptable age to love them, it is still perfectly acceptable for me to love them now. They have released two singles off of their new album, Made in the AM (which comes out November 13!!) and have been obsessively listening to them on repeat. No shame : )

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Think of me on Sunday WHEN I’M RUNNING IN MY FIRST MARATHON!

Ok, thanks. Have a great weekend  : )

Day in Ellen’s life III

Day in Ellen’s life III

Good morning, good morning! Here’s a peak into what my day looked like yesterday. Pretty low key and uneventful!

6:55 am – alarm goes off but I lay around in bed and catch up on social media and missed notifications

7:10 am – get changed and head out the door for my run

7:55 am – get back home from running, do some ab work, and then take a shower

8:37 am – make a blueberry banana smoothie and a coffee while catching up on other blog posts

9:06 am – head back upstairs to get changed for class

9:33 am – put together some food to take with me to class

9:42 am – start my drive downtown

10:24 am – get parked and make my way to the library

10:31 – sit down at a computer and work on some Chicago Marathon stuff and some homework

12:00 pm – stats class begins (yuck)

1:30 pm – make my way back to the library for more Chicago Marathon. I’m trying to simplify the public transportation system for my family, but I know nothing about it!

1:33 pm – eat my lunch which consisted of a peanut butter sandwich and a homemade banana, oat, peanut butter, & chocolate granola bar

3:00 pm – back to class… This time it’s a career developmental class

4:30 pm – yay head home! Except traffic sucked trying to leave campus, there was a stalled vehicle in the middle of the interstate which was backing everything up!

5:09 pm – finally meet my mom at the car service place and pick her up and drive us home

5:33 pm – arrive home, get the mail, let my dog out, and make me a decaf vanilla latte

5:54 pm – start dinner! We had turkey sausage and mashed potatoes with gravy

6:51 pm – dinnertime! I actually had leftover chicken tortilla soup and sweet potato fries.

7: 22 pm – MORE CHICAGO TRANSIT WORK. Literally my head hurts.

7:46 pm – I decided I needed a treat after all of that hard work, so I ate a rice cake with peanut butter and chocolate chips

7:48 pm – starting watching a DVR’d college volleyball match

9:23 pm – head upstairs to get ready for bed

10:01 pm – get sucked into reality television

10:36 pm – lights out. Goodnight!

Hope you guys are having a great Wednesday! Hahaha wait sidebar… I just spelled Wednesday wrong, and one of the spelling suggestions for me was Doomsday! Seriously, auto correct kills me.

Dear People with Certain Expectations for Me

Dear People with Certain Expectations for Me

Dear People With Certain Expectations for Me,

I hate your expectations of me.

I hate that you expect me to take a certain path, act a certain way, or say certain things. Because some of those things, just. aren’t. me. And they’re never going to be. So please stop expecting those things from me.

I hate the expectations that you are placing on me. I hate the “mold” that you put me into, because it’s too limiting and it’s your mold, not mine.

Sorry I’m not sorry that I’m not doing what is best for you but doing what is best for me.

I read this great quote, “Stop doing shit that you don’t want to do.”

YES. YES. YES. Can I get an amen?!

Doing shit that I don’t want to do, is going to mean that sometimes, I’m going to do shit that you doesn’t fit into your expectations. So please stop sticking me in this box and expecting me to act or do something a certain way.

And please for the love of God, stop expecting me to do things that follow a certain path. I am different than you are, so I am not going to do the same things that you did.

Thanks for listening and getting off my back. I know you care about me, but please stop expecting certain things from me that just aren’t going to happen.

Please throw your expectations out of the window, because frankly, I’m over that shit.

Sincerely,

Ellen

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Finding inspiration when motivation is low

I have had a great summer, and now that Labor Day is past, it feels like summer is officially “over”.

This summer is the first summer since my 8th grade summer where I didn’t have anything going on. For four years in high school I had volleyball summer conditioning. After that, it was two summers of working and taking a summer class. However, I took this past summer as a total vacation. I didn’t work and I didn’t take a summer class.

And damn it I had a glorious ass summer. I faced no commitments and some days I could lay by the pool all day or watch Netflix if I wanted to.

Many looked at me and questioned, “Don’t you get bored? What do you do all day?” I was never bored though and I never struggled with what to do. I am a person who is very at peace with doing nothing and don’t feel the need to go, go, go. This was the best summer I have had probably all my life.

Alas though, with every up there is a down. Which is currently where I am now. Down.

Since my summer was filled with no motivation for really anything, I am now struggling to find motivation to be productive again in my life, knowing that I can’t keep this lackadaisical attitude with me.

So what’s a girl to do to get inspired again?

1. I got a job. I just started working at Starbucks, and I am pumped to start having an income again. I had enough money saved up so money isn’t really an issue, but it’s nice to know that I can start saving money again.

2. I started writing more. Whenever I have a lot on my mind, I like to channel it by journaling. I have tried to journal before, but realized I don’t like writing, because I had so many thoughts and hated how long it took for me to write them down. Now that I have discovered the magic of password protected Word documents, I have been typing my feelings like a mad woman. And it’s weirdly therapeutic to type fast haha.

3. I am planning for after my marathon. My goal after Chicago is to really focus on strength training, and I found a program that I want to do. Just thinking about strength and not cardio is really helping me mentally push through these last few weeks of marathon training.

4. Actually addressing my feelings. I may or may not be guilty of not addressing how I feel and pushing my emotions under the rug. I finally addressed how I’m feeling about school, work, exercise, everything. Anxious, stressed, excited, nervous, unsure, unsettled. For someone who likes to not talk or think about emotions, this has been beneficial to grasp that I am having these emotions which is helping me come to terms with things.

5. Dancing. Seriously I know this is cheesy, but it has made me happy in many circumstances. Just putting on music and twirling, spinning, and dancing makes me smile and feel less stressed.

Well I guess that’s all I have currently in my head. And by “that’s all” I basically mean a novel so thanks for listening. Hopefully this helps with anyone else who is lacking motivation or inspiration, and we start this week off on a positive note!

What do you do when you’re looking for inspiration or lacking motivation?