Happiness and Smiley Faces and Sparkles and Glitter

I’m still here. And today, for the first time in what seems like forever, I do not have school and I am not working. I’m spending the day in sweat pants, with messy-bun hair, drinking coffee in excess…oh wait, this sounds like everyday. At least today I’m doing this at home. {Side note: at work I heard one of the doctors tell someone that for every cup of coffee you drink, you should drink two cups of water…if I’ve done my calculations correct, I’m about 1,392,473,945,745,980,287 cups of water in debt for the year.}

Gloriousness.

With my lack of free time, it takes something pretty big to ignite my motivation to actually write something these days…and that happened on Monday. I {filled up my jumbo size to-go coffee cup, put my hair in a messy-bun, and donned sweat pants...} went to class to listen to a lecture on anxiety. Fitting. We spent two and half hours talking about causes of anxiety, levels of anxiety, how to treat patients having anxiety, parasympathetic and sympathetic symptoms of anxiety…all very important things in nursing…blah, blah, blah.

Blah.

But then…we talked about dealing with our own anxiety as nurses…as students…as normal human beings. And our teacher…our highly, highly educated, specialized-in-mental-health-nursing teacher told us the importance of turning our negative thoughts into positive thoughts. She emphasized the “fake it ’til you make it” method of positive reinforcement.

I thought to myself, um, that’s what I’ve been saying all along! {Duh, have you read my blog?!} ūüôā

And then, the next most glorious thing happened. The teacher had us all write an affirmation on a notecard and share them with the entire class.

Affirmation

{Another side note: writing the affirmation was actually homework to be completed before class. In true overwhelmed-and-overworked nursing student fashion, most of us forgot. Sooo, another student had some old, used notecards with nursing notes written on them…in which we all erased to write our affirmation. Again, very fitting.}

If you know me at all, you know that affirmations are pretty much my favorite things ever. As everyone read their card aloud, my heart was bursting with happiness and smiley faces and sparkles and glitter and all things wonderful.

Definitely a lecture well loved.

ang

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2013 Wish List

2013 Wish List

  • Run for fun.
  • But also PR in¬† shorter distances.
  • Not let my husband beat me in a 5K. (One of his goals was to beat me…)
  • Do an unassisted pull-up…for real this year.
  • Eat more natural, less processed foods.
  • Try to learn to cook better…and with more variety. (Key word here is try…)
  • Do more¬†yoga, even if it’s just in my living room. Try hot yoga…try zumba.
  • Make a better effort to write more. Revamp this little blog.
  • Read a few books for pleasure, not for school.
  • Rock my last year of nursing school and graduate with honors!
  • Make a difference…somewhere, somehow.
  • Stress way less (maybe this will solve the gray hair problem). Laugh way more.
  • Last, but most definitely not least, start expanding this little family.

ang

All I Want To Do

All I want to do is run. After completing a long training plan and running a full fast-for-me marathon I thought I’d be itching for a break from it all. My life has been all live-by-my-planner-and-training-plan for the past four months I thought I’d like the idea of relaxing, letting loose, and going with the flow for awhile. Yeah…that’s not so much the case. Since setting my new PR on April 21st, my mind has been stuck on one thing.

Running.

Running faster.

(Side note: Running a marathon is definitely worth a free beer. But notice that my Garmin says I that ran 26.49 miles. Point. Four. Nine. Not 26.2, but 26.49. Don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously pleased with my 3 hours 54 minutes and 1 second finish…but when my ticker had me clocking 26.2 miles in 3 hours 51 minutes…that extra .29 seemed excruciating, teasing, and downright mean. But I guess it was worth 2 free beers.)

Unfortunately, this urge to run has been halted by a little thing called finals week. And studying for finals week (which I should actually be doing right now for this phantom final that is in two and a half hours that no one truly knows what it’s about). And work.

(Insert dramatic sigh here)

But only two finals stand between me and summertime. Beautiful summertime…warm weather, bright sunshine, no tests, new training plans, speedwork, pavement to be covered. With this new amount of free time back in my schedule, the wheels in my head have been rolling with possibilities. I still feel like superwoman after my marathon, and reading other pretty bloggers recent marathon recaps, my motivation level is flying freaking high. With Chicago in my sights, I feel like the possibilities are endless if I put the work into it.

And that is definitely what I plan to do…only after I tackle this multiple-choice-but-all-the-answers-seem-right final. Running a sub-3 hour marathon seems more possible than this!

ang

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Race Recap

In true fashion of this training cycle I debated with myself today…write my race recap or study for my finals next week? Typically school would beat out training, although I’d usually still find time after schoolwork to lace up my running shoes. However,¬†the endorphins have been slowly declining since last Saturday, and in an attempt to keep them alive I’m forcing myself to sit down and recap the day I ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz…the day I ran my second marathon…the day a ran a¬†sub-4 hour¬†marathon…the day I kind of got this feeling that I can do anything…and the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

I arrived at Garmin International where the race started and finished with enough time to make my final decisions on what to wear, pick up my packet, pin on my race bib, and dance in my car to a few songs.

I headed to the port-a-potties where I came upon a familiar scene. One year ago this is where I ran my first half marathon ever. And, one year ago I pretty much started my race from the port-a-potty. Luckily, I left myself with plenty of time to actually start this race from the start line.

Soon enough the race began and I was running. I didn’t have a detailed plan of how I wanted to run this race, I just knew that I needed to go out nice and easy, not too fast, and that I wanted to be under two hours at the halfway point. Before I knew it my ticker notified me that one mile had already passed…and at 9 minutes and 2 seconds. I had held back a little bit, but I was definitely worried that I hadn’t held back enough. However, I felt good, and plan or no plan, I just like to run how I feel.

The second mile…8:41. The third…8:38. Fourth…8:46. Fifth…8:37.¬†Angela, you are running too fast. You are going to get too tired.¬†I ate my first mocha Clif Shot at mile five, and I clocked in mile six at 8:37, and then mile seven at 8:27.

8:27…Angela you are seriously running too fast.

I was worried. I never trained to run this fast for this long. But my legs felt great and it was a gorgeous morning, so I just kept running. Mile eight…8:35, mile nine…8:30. Mile ten came in at 8:42 and I ate some delicious Clif bites. Around this time I was running near these two men who were very entertaining. I just listening to them cheer on each other and every runner that they came across. They seemed so full of energy I just thought to myself if I can stay near them then I’d be doing well. Mile eleven…8:38, mile twelve…..8:31.

Mile thirteen…8:26. Goodness gracious…that’s fast for me…especially at mile thirteen…especially since I had thirteen more to go. I reached the halfway point around 1 hour and 52 minutes. I just may have PRed my half marathon time, too.

As I was running too fast, but feeling amazing at the same time I was literally smiling the entire time. I even heard one spectator say around mile 20, “Why is that girl still smiling?” I knew a sub-4 hour marathon was definitely within reach which motivated me to keep going.

The second half of the marathon was an out-and-back on a paved trail. The trail was beautiful, and it was so lovely to be able to run for so long through the pretty trees and scenery. However, I knew that my family would be trying to find during the second half of the race, and running this trail was not going to be conducive to them finding me. My family was such a big motivator for me during¬†my first marathon, I tried to prepare myself not to see them until the finish line this time around. Mile fourteen came in at 8:30 (you’re still going too fast), mile fifteen at 8:40 (downed another mocha Clif Shot and thought you are still going too fast), sixteen and seventeen both at 8:43, and eighteen at 8:50.

I reached the turnaround point and I knew I was on the final stretch. I was still feeling ridiculously amazing, but I knew the last part would be difficult. I kept running along, and as I passed a water station I heard the best sound ever. “ANGELA! It’s Angela! There she is!!!” my sister screeched as I ran past her. Somehow her and my dad managed to find me along the trail. I’d given my dad a map and my potential splits to help him navigate, but after being on the trail for so long I just didn’t expect to see anyone. Later they told me they had been close to leaving that spot because according to the splits I’d provided them I should have been coming from the other way. Little did they know that I was running like crazy that morning.

I saw them once again…I can’t explain the excitement I felt as I heard both of their voices. Later I saw that my sister had posted this…

Mile nineteen…8:48, mile twenty (and more Clif bites)…8:53.

About this time I had another very welcome surprise. I saw the most gorgeous six foot eight inches walking toward the trail as it passed along a main road. My beautiful husband also managed to track me down and give me some encouragement…he also added in there, “You are way ahead of your splits!”

After mile twenty ended my rein of sub-9 minute miles. Mile twenty-one…9:01, twenty-two…9:12 (I knew I had been running too fast), and mile twenty-three…9:20, I was slowing down quite a bit, but I knew without a doubt that I would be coming in under four hours. After mile twenty-three I felt really exhausted. To make matters worse, I had noticed that my Garmin had been ticking anywhere from a tenth of a mile to three tenths of a mile before¬†I passed the actual mile markers along the course. My Garmin would notify me that I’d completed another mile, then two minutes later I’d pass the course mile marker.

Mile twenty-four…9:33. Come on Angela, you are almost there…less than thirty minutes more of running. When you are running for so long, it’s definitely okay to talk out loud to yourself. Keep going!

Twenty-five…9:34. Hold on girl. Keep running! Twenty-six…9:37.

I saw the twenty-six mile marker. I could hear the crowd at the finish line. I rounded the corner…I heard them announce my name, “Angela Habermehl, twenty-six point two miles…!”

I saw the timer…I saw the “3”…

3:54:01.27. Sub-4 hours.

And that’s when I knew that anything is possible. It really, honest-to-goodness, is. This whole training cycle I questioned my ability…my ability to actually train for the marathon, my ability to get faster, my ability to sub-4 hours. But I did it. I did it all.

I know that I had so much more than just my two feet moving one in front of the other working for me leading up to and during the race. My husband, dad, and sister who all came out to support me…my family and friends all thinking about me from home…people sending up prayers for me…that little redbird I saw the day before…all kept me going. So much more…thank you.

much love, ang

Just Maybe if All the Stars Aligned

I’m not even sure where to start this recap, so I’ll just start with my time leading up to race day. My thoughts are so scattered and random and I still feel like I’m riding on an endorphin high.

…definitely a high I don’t want to end.

As you know, one of my wishes this year was to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I knew I wanted to run a spring marathon, but I didn’t have high hopes that it’d be my sub-4 hour goal marathon. I put a lot of effort and time into my training, but not as much effort and time that I have put into nursing school. I knew that at the very least I wanted to PR…and to PR I’d have to get faster…and to get faster I’d have to do some speedwork…and I maybe did speedwork once a month. (Although, I have to give some credit to my lovely W.O.W. running gals…you three pretties dragging me along all those mornings definitely helped my speed!)

But…three weeks ago I set out for a twenty-two mile run. It was going to be my longest long run of this marathon training, and the longest training run I’d ever done in my life. I was terrified to tackle this, but excited to slaughter yet another seemingly impossible task. I started the run nice and easy…and mile after mile passed by…and pretty soon I was seeing some “8:XX’s” on my little ticker. I finished that run with an average pace of 9:12.

…and then I got this little feeling that sub-4 hours was maybe-just maybe-if-all-the-stars-aligned-possible.

The week leading up to the race was perfect. I didn’t go taper-crazy, my little runs seemed effortless, I drank lots of water, ate lots of carbs (like that is something new), and I actually stretched. I finished all my homework early so that I could have a clear mind on Friday, rest as much as I wanted, and have plenty of time to prepare my gear. I wanted to do everything that I did last August on race-eve that I felt was beneficial. I leashed up my little princess Tia and went out for a short two-mile run/walk. As we were strolling along a pretty little redbird crossed my path.

That’s when I knew I’d have someone looking out for me on race day. It didn’t matter if I subbed-4 hours or even PRed. I knew I’d have an amazing time.

And that I did.

ang

Just Got the Butterflies

I’m running a marathon the day after tomorrow.

I feel like I have been so nonchalant about this whole training process. With nursing school consuming so much more of my life than I’ve ever been used to, I just never had time to sit and think about what it is I’m going to be doing.

But it has finally hit me. I am running twenty-six point two miles in less than forty eight hours.

I just got the butterflies!

ang

Made It Official

I’ve been running.

I haven’t been writing much about running, but I’ve been running. I’ve listened to my little garmin chirp as it tracked mile after mile. A delightful little sound.

One of my goals this year is to run two marathons. I signed up for the Chicago marathon that is in October, and I’ve been training for a spring marathon. However, I have been afraid to fully commit and actually register for this spring marathon because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in all my training miles with nursing school.

Until today. I finally made it official!

My mind was pretty made up two Fridays ago, though. I crammed my face with carbs the night before and set my alarm to go off way too early for a Friday morning. I knew I’d need extra motivation for my longest run of the training cycle (so far), so I did the only thing I thought truly appropriate…

…switched the bright pink laces, of course!

The marathon is only twenty-five (what?!) days away, and this weekend I am going to attempt my longest training run ever…22 miles.

Please send your positive running vibes to my pretty pink laces!

ang

The Week I Didn’t Run, Eat Healthy, Blog, or Even Study Very Much

People have commented and complimented me for keeping up with my running plan and eating well during nursing school. I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. However, if you ask me how I do it…run, study, eat, study, study, study…the truth is, I don’t.

An entire week without running is not something I have experienced since my marathon last August. Instead of finding me on the treadmill or hitting the pavement, last week you would have found me cuddled up on the couch with two blankets, little Tia on the lap, a kleenex stuffed up my nose, and a coffee cup of TheraFlu steaming from the tv tray in front of me.

An entire week without running makes me nervous. What if my endurance is gone? If I’m going to stick to my plan I am going to run my first marathon of 2012 in approximately sixty days. That means I’m going to start seeing 14, 16, 20 mile long runs pretty soon. Um, what?!

I’m going to stick to my plan though. I know if I kick it back into gear again then I will be ready come sixty days from now. Eating healthy on the other hand…that one’s always a little tricky for me.

My plan was the make one healthy change to my diet each week. I totally rocked January adding lots of fruits and veggies, minimizing my soda pop and drinking lots of water. Then I amped up the coffee…then I ran out of fruit…then I ran out of time…then I forgot to make one healthy change…then I got sick (correlation here?!)…then I stopped trying.

So I need some help here. Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to do is just decide what my one healthy change will be. Does anyone have any suggestions other than servings of fruit and veggies? When it comes to what I’m eating I can use all the help I can get! I think for the remainder of this week I’m going to try to get back to where I was at the end of January, and for next week my goal is to simply plan ahead.

Last but not least, this poor little blog…has been…oh so…so neglected. Every now and then I check in just to make sure it hasn’t somehow vanished from the internet. The funny thing is that I actually have thought up quite a few of blog posts that I’d love to write…I just never get to it. What’s even crazier is that this month is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month…and I haven’t posted one time about it. Sad face. I still have a few days left, though, and National Eating Disorders Awareness week is coming right up, which is the anniversary of my discovery of the blog world…so you will hear from me again soon…I promise!

Until next time, keep on keeping on people!

ang

 

 

Woah January

Don’t worry people, somehow I’m still alive. Barely.

Even though somehow my stack of textbooks managed to double in size.

To be completely honest, school is ridiculously overwhelming. I thought the first week was crazy and hard…and since then, each week as gotten even more difficult. And I love it. Even though I’m lacking on sleep, quadrupled my coffee intake, and already studied more than I did in my first time through college combined, I love it.

And somehow January is ending and it’s time to start a new month. That means only three and a half more months until my first semester of nursing school is over.

With the month coming to an end, I wanted to quickly (very quickly since I have a test in fifteen minutes!) go over how great January actually was, even though I’ve been running around like a crazy lady for the past couple weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually made a better eating goal each week. I shared my first, second, and third weekly goals on here (eat breakfast everyday, eat at least three servings of fruit a day, and eat at least three servings of vegetables a day), but I didn’t share my last two. Last week my goal was to incorporate protein in breakfast. Thank you greek yogurt…goal achieved. This week’s goal is to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. This goal, oddly enough, is a little harder to obtain…especially since my recent want and need for coffee. I’m trying here though.

Another New Year’s goal of mine was to cook a new dinner once a month. Once a month may not seem like anything to most everyone else in the world, but for a non-cooker like me with hardly any time, once a month is lofty. I did cook enchiladas a couple weeks ago, and while they weren’t as tasty as when my madre makes them, they were still delicious. And I was pretty darn proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to touch on this little subject of marathon training.

I knew it’d be hard to find the time to run, but aside from studying and spending time with my family, running has been number three on my priority list (sorry blog…right now you’re near the bottom of this list!) So far I’ve been keeping up with the majority of my runs, and I’ve gotten in each and every long run.

In my pile of assignments and to-do lists sits my training plan, all written in pencil since I still change it daily. The month of January I was able to run 114 miles…total success.

Woah January.

ang