Five goals for 1st marathon

Saturday, I will embark on my very first 26.2 trek! I’m nervous, giddy, and beyond excited to finish the greatest endurance event that I have committed to.

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I’ve known since November of 2011 that I would be running the Illinois Marathon come April 2012. My initial training program started then, only to be sidelined a few short days later by mono. Boy, was I bummed. Therefore, my ‘early training plan’ was cut short, and thus begun January 1st.  During the first two weeks, my running was on track and my long runs were already around 8 to 10 miles. I was ecstatic that I was off to such a great start!

And then came the horrendous shin splits. Oh, did those blow.

I was again sidelined for a few days during the week just to ice and massage my shins so I could run a few miles on the weekend. It was a never ending battle. I soon lost a lot of interest in running because it was so painful.  My training was going down hill.

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I  love KT Tape.

Soon it was mid-March. New attitude and a new pair of shoes. I had approximately 5 weeks of GREAT training ahead. My longest run was about a week ago: 19 miles. That run went better than I expected it to go and thus provided me with the confidence I hold now-just two days before the greatest race of my running career.

With that being said, I’ve thought of a few goals that I want out of the race. In no particular order, except for my number one goal… which is number one, here they are:

5. Finish under 4.5 hours.

     Besides just having finishing as a goal, I would like it to be some what respectable. I believe that it will be more than doable to finish around a 950 mile pace.  I want to go slow and steady!

4. Do not poop myself

    Seriously, but joking. Mostly serious though, kinda. I have a slight fear that this will happen. You don’t hear about it too often but I am educated enough to know that losing bowel control is a possibility. Please pray this doesn’t happen. (Half joking, Half serious.)

3. Remember to smile! and have fun!

   I want to look back on my experience and remember how much fun I had when I was at the start line joking around with everyone, when I split from the half marathoners and felt the joy that there was no turning back, and at every add station and stretching spot. I want to remember enjoying myself and all the support around me.

2. Stay mentally strong

   This has been a concern during training. I’ve recently discovered that it is very important for me to repeat mantra’s in my head and believe in myself. One foot in front of the other!

1. FINISH

    This is by far the most important goal of the day. I just want to finish. Whether it be on my hands and knees, respectfully log rolling to the 50 yard line, or miraculously jumping for joy as I cross, I just want to get there. I will be the happiest human being once that occurs!!

So that is that. Until then it is staying hydrated, sleeping soundly, and carb loading.

Wish me luck!!

I DID IT!

Sometimes in life we are overwhelmed by the feeling of accomplishments.

At the end of July, I completed my first half marathon!!! I started training for this race in the beginning of July.  I had a local 10k that I was training for leading up to July and because of inclement weather where the race was being held (three hours to my north), I could not participate in the 10k.  Instead of sitting around waiting for another race, I put on my running shoes and ran 7 miles that night. I needed to prove something to myself. That I was capable of running that distance since prior to that day I only had reached 5 miles (without walking) in my training for the summer. That night, after a few days of thinking about registering for a half soon (I have been talking about running a half for about a year), I signed up for a half. It was two weeks away!

I don’t know what overcame me to make me sign up for it. Maybe it was an outside influence or the fact that I kept thinking, ‘just do it’.  I am so glad that I did!! I trained hard for the next two weeks. My mileage for those weeks increased 10fold and I was running hills and doing speed workouts like it was my job.  I was on a mission.

I remained calm and never let myself get too nervous or anxious.  Deep down, I knew I could run the distance even though I only trained to run 9 miles. After a certain point, running is mental.

I have never, ever experienced a wave of emotion like I had experienced during the last quarter mile.  The race was all hills and I somehow kept a positive attitude.  I knew I was about to finish the greatest challenge I have ever put myself in.  The last straight away, I put my hand over my mouth to keep in the emotions that were trying to bust out.  I picked up my pace and ended up sprinting.  Right before the finish line was a tunnel that all the runners had to run under. The tunnel was filled with parents, friends, husbands/wives, brothers/sisters, and other race enthusiasts.  It is amazing what a crowd can do for a runner.  I finally crossed that finish line with a time of 2:12 and was handed the most cherished medal I have ever earned. -Actually, I think it is the only medal I have ever earned.

My second half is at the end of August! I am nervous, excited, and completely obsessed with everything about half marathons! I wonder if I will feel a more intense feeling of accomplishment during and after? I surely hope so.

Unannounced Leave of Absence

Oh, summertime,

Why must you bombard me with 11 credit hours and clinicals, along with tying up loose ends on the honorary I lead?  I thought Summer was supposed to be a time for relaxing and long nights out with friends laughing until the wee hours of the morning. I thought I was supposed to be laying outside working on my tan before I head into work for the day. Did I miss a memo?? I sure hope not.

Summer can we be friends again!? xo,

an extreme summer fanatic who would like to enjoy the days more

 

My life has been pretty boring  and I don’t dare bore you with my daily activities (wake up, make coffee, run, shower, care plans, study, write a paper, eat, class 3-7/clincials3-10, finish paper, bed. repeat.) I have only a couple more weeks of my class and about a month left of summer. I have goals to set and things to accomplish for myself in the upcoming month!

I’ll update next time with my ’30 day goals’ list! Hope everyone is enjoying their Friday!

My beautiful running trail through a state park. Ahhh bliss.

Hello, Chicago

My friend just moved to Chicago about a month ago so I just HAD to visit her the second I came back home for the summer.  She got an amazing job just out of college that is located right off of Wacker Drive. The view is amazing!

The pictures were taken off of my phone.. I couldn’t imagine what they would look like with a decent camera!

The adventure first began by getting lost coming out of the train station. Who would have thought it would be so time-consuming trying to find Washington, the right way to go on Washington, and then an alternative route when the side-walk was closed due to construction.  I am very jealous of all you smart phone users out there. After I eventually found my way, to Wacker, I was too busy trying to locate my friends building that I didn’t first realize the views.  Thank goodness my friend had to come down from the 32nd floor, I had just enough time to take in the surroundings. Oh, were they beautiful!

After she gave me a tour of her place, we quickly hopped on the L. Nothing like a blistering hot day and crowded public transportation! We finally arrived at the stop, unbeknownst to me, it was also the stop that I recognized from making trips to the Cubs game. My friend forgot to tell me that she was five minutes away from Wrigley Field! She is living the life, I tell ya!

We stopped off at another new establishment for me, Whole Foods! The one we visited is located in Boys Town and I am so glad that this was the location I got to have my very first Whole Foods experience at. I am so addicted to both the store and neighborhood!

Yes, I just had to take a picture.

So, the beautiful night ended with watching the Bulls beat the Hawks at a local bar and consuming some wine and beer ($12 pitchers apparently are deals in the city, yikes!). I absolutely fell in love with the city all over again.  Seriously, I have become obsessed. I am determined to move to the city after I graduate (or for my internship?!)… in less than a year!! I can’t pass up such a beautiful and happy location!

Now, time to start making goals and progress that only complement this move!

  • Save up money (I should probably get a decent job)
  • Work as a CNA my last semester/during my internship (decent pay for a college student)
  • Land an amazing internship (it is all about networking!)
  • Find an extremely rich, handsome man to provide me with penthouses and Jimmy Choos I joke. Self-reliant is the way to be! (Aren’t you proud, mother!?)
  • Save money
  • Work my butt off in the internship- Hello, letters of recommendation!!
  • Land a sweet job or go to graduate school… in the city, of course
  • Convince my best friend to make the move with me

That’s all for now! Hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday!

Goooo Bulls!

xoxo Kaitlin!

Motivation, is that you?!

There comes the time when there are days you just don’t want to tackle. AT ALL. You’d rather pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep to dream.  You begin your work day and you find yourself impatiently waiting until the clock hits five so you can go home to nap, put your feet up, and veg.  Or simply, you are too lazy to find motivation to even do the days easiest tasks.

Lately, that last scenario describes me. I am not sure if it is the weather or the sudden stress that has slapped me in the face, but I can not kick this state of being unproductive.  So, I’ve decided that I need to sit down and reason with myself about this current, unbelievably annoying state of negative thinking and lack of drive.

Positive things to do when the day lacks some motivation:

1. Take a walk. Being out doors always inspires me to get things accomplished.

2. Make commitments. Write it down or tell a friend. Having people count on me doing something or being somewhere keeps me responsible.  Even telling people my goals keeps me responsible and sets up a level of commitment. Holding true to my word is something I have always taken seriously.

3. Find the good in what you are supposed to be doing.  Say it is ‘do laundry’. If I wash my clothes, my room will look nicer.  My outfits can improve dramatically since the everyday wear won’t be just a tshirt and sport pants.

4. Set time limits.  My room needs to be cleaned. I should set a timer for 10 minutes and clean/pick up as much as I can in those 10 minutes.

5. Cross off the task.  Long to-do lists are daunting.  It seems like the longer my to do list is the more I find myself pushing things off… I need to remember to cross off a task before I write another one down. Then there is that whole self satisfaction of crossing something off a list to bring motivation.

6. Just do it. Simply, the slogan is genius.

7. Pump up the jams.  Music makes me liven up and gets me excited.  Positive feelings motivates me

8. Remember your goals. Staying focused on what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish things can help motivate me.  Remembering that I am so close to getting a 4.0 keeps me on task.

9. Call a supportive friend/family member. Sometimes turning to someone who is known to be positive and simply make you feel good is all it takes to find the motivation to get off your butt.

10. When you have it, go with it… with everything you have. Motivation is not a constant thing.  Some days there will be more drive and when those days occur, don’t stop until you feel satisfied.  The more you get done on those days the more a sense of accomplishment you have which could ultimately bring positive action to the next few days to come.

What do you do to stay motivated when stress levels are high?

My life as of lately (in pictures!)

Yup. I am officially the President of ISU’s Eta Sigma Gamma chapter for next year.  This is totally random of me to run for an executive position, let alone president, but I am totally going to rock at this. I’m so excited for the responsibility and new opportunities!!!!

No, I’m not a robot or a high fashion runway model (that is what you were thinking, wasn’t it?!).  This was a picture from this weekend. I actually had friends visit and we went out and had such a great time! This weekend was actually ‘Fools Fest’ at ISU.  The whole town of Bloomington normal freaked out for two weeks prior.  The President of ISU sent notes home to parents, the mayor told the liquor stores that he was going to shut them down for the hours leading up until friday and for that weekend. Cops were out the Monday before patrolling students like crazy.  It was insane how much the school itself hyped up the day that it actually never turned out too crazy.  It was just a typical weekend, just like the students were all telling everyone to begin with.  They just put a name on it.

I play bags a different way. I like to throw them at my future roomie while he is down. The weather on Saturday was so beautiful!

It is hard to find too many words for this picture above. Yes, it is a penis cookie. A chocolate chip penis cookie.  I didn’t make them but I found it super hysterical. Immature, maybe? Delicious, yes it was!

I spilt yogurt everywhere.  I lost the picture of my gym shoe, which was where the container initially fell.  

After the yogurt incident… I continued making my smoothie.  The result?  A poop colored  looking smoothie.  Apparently I used too much spinach.  It wasn’t very appealing to look at as I ate it but the taste was still awesome. I’ll call that a win still.

Got a little dressed up for initiation. Wooo, Eta Sigma Gamma

Ready to go on a run. Those shorts are my favorite. They helped me run 5.5 miles the other day.  I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon for the beginning of may… but I think I am going to have to push the race day to another day.  My training is lacking.  I need to figure out how to make it a priority!

At the ISU Women’s basketball game.  They made it to the final four and it was my first time ever watching my school’s basketball team.  That might make me a horrible Redbird, but at least I went to one before I graduate. It was so much fun!!

Random picture of a night out in Naperville.  Also, a first time out to those bars.  Also, so much fun!

I have a lot of new going on in my life and I can not express how liberating and exciting it feels! I’m living a life more open-minded and am trying to explore new hobbies and options for my future. I used to sit back and expect things to just happen.  Now, I am being proactive and creating a life that I am proud of! I think everyone needs to embrace the changes that may suddenly occur in their life and try to look at them in a positive way.  It is so important to make the best out of situations and keep an optimistic attitude.  Life is to be lived, so live!