Friday, February 27, 2015

Holy Shit guys.  I'm writing a blog post.   Don't expect this to become a regular thing just wont be.   I'm enjoying the time off from blogging and I plan to keep it that way right now.   I'm just here to check in and update and make you hit the back button to exit this post as quickly as possible.

So I'm fully in the midst of nursing school and to say it is intense is an understatement.   Every week we have someone drop out or fail out and find myself feeling very fortunate that I am able to take NCLEX style questions and answer the majority of them correctly.   Some people simply have a hard time processing them and it seems no matter what, they just are not able to figure out exactly what information the questions are asking for.   If you have no idea what the NCLEX is, it's the test that you have to take after you are done with your school to put the Licensed or Registered before Nurse in your title.   It's essential.    Instructors do a good job of preparing you for this exam and the 5,000,000 tests we take have a large amount of NCLEX style questions on them.

Tests.   We are tested constantly.   Since this semester started 6 weeks ago, I've taken 11 tests and 4 quizzes along with all the other assignments and presentations we've given.   To remain in the course you have to have at least a 78 percent on all your tests/quizzes combined.   There was also a conversions math test that you had to score a 90% on to remain in the program.   No pressure.  We have spring break in 2 weeks and I already am dreaming about sweat pants, sleeping, no studying and lots and lots of alcohol.  My kids do not have spring break the same week as me.   This is problematic but almost sort of awesome.  I can literally become a sloth that week and it will be perfectly okay, if not expected from my fellow nursing students.

So I have done one race so far this year with many on the springs schedule.   The one that I've done is one that I really enjoyed last year and it run inside on a track that runs just over a quarter mile for each lap.  This year it wasn't nearly as fun as my arms and hands went completely numb for the majority of the race.   I kept trying to shake them to get circulation to them but nothing would help.   It really messed with my brain the whole time so I just didn't feel well.  
Rachel, Lish, Matt, Me geeking out 
It's great to be able to see your friends at different point throughout the race though so that's a big benefit to this race, unless you're the slow one that keeps getting passed because your body refuses to function properly. Then it turns into "Not you AGAIN!  How slow am I going?!"  

Some of my favorite people ever!
So my body is against me and things just never really function correctly.   This because even more obvious when you are in nursing school and we regularly take vitals and tests on each other and mine are always in the abnormally low range.  I can't tell you how many times my instructor has said "That's pretty low......."  What became obvious as of late is just how extremely tired I was.   I knew this meant I was insanely anemic again so I had to go in to get IV iron yet again.   Hopefully I will be able to function better now.   

Now I don't know what else to say and I always find it hard to put a closing on blog posts.   Some do the questions so....

What's the longest you have taken off from Blogging?

Does your body ever completely fail you in life? 

Monday, January 5, 2015


It's been a long time since I've blogged and to be completely honest, I'm okay with that.   There is a lot going on in my life and I want to actually enjoy it and not worry about taking a million pictures just to prove that it actually has happened.    While I love looking back at the blog to remember races and the fun things that have happened, I wasn't sad that I took so much time off.   To be honest, I'm not sure if writing will get any better from here on out, at least for the foreseeable future.

So here's my quick update :)

I'm still in school.   I actually am on break until the 19th and my girls just went back to school today.   I love spending time with them but to be completely honest, I was really sick of hearing "Are we going to do anything today?" come out of their mouths every single day.   I should graduate at the end of December as long as all goes well.

I'm still working two jobs on top of school.   Both are based on my availability so I'm not working too much with school and all.   I'm okay with that.

I'm still running.   My speed has not been there ever since my injury this summer and I'm pretty sick of it.   I have a half at the end of the month and that will be a good indicator of where I am at currently.   After that, I'm going to actually train and do speed work to get some of the speed back.   I miss it so much...but at the same time I'm able to go the distance.

I'm still lifting.   Kind of.   I stopped after Christmas and didn't start back at the gym until today.   With the kids home, the thought of getting them ready to go to the gym for me to lift for less than an hour sounds horrible.   I just quit instead.  Doing single arm dumbbell rows with a 20 lbs weight felt nearly impossible today.   Pathetic.

So really, not much has changed since the last time I posted.   The race schedule this year is going to be very similar as well.   I'm thinking Oshkosh Half Marathon, Cellcom Half Marathon or Relay, Point Bock, Fox Cities, Fall 50 (hopefully),  plus throw some 5k's in there as well.

Sooo to end this...maybe I'll blog.   Maybe I wont.  I just don't want the pressure of feeling like I must blog frequently.   I'm still around and still reading other blogs.   I am still on Instagram too if you'd like to follow here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall 50

This weekend may have been one of my favorite weekends in racing history.   It was new experience for me to be part of a relay and now I can officially understand why people love them so much.   Fall 50 is held in Door County, WI and is a 50 mile race that can be done by solo's, pairs, or teams.   It's a very hilly course for the first half and then after that it settles down a bit.   The weather that we were given was nearly ideal.   When we were near the open lake, the wind would pick up, but it wasn't felt for most of the race.  

Team Hill Billy

Our group started at 8 am and I was leading the group off with Leg 1.   While everyone else in our group was excited, I was nervous about how the day would go.   None of us had planned breakfast so we all ate an RxBar on the drive to the start and called it a day.   BTW these things are amazing.   Everyone sort of loved them and they are Paleo approved and all real ingredients.  

After peeing, and sitting in the car until a few minutes before the start, we all headed out toward the start line where the wind was insane and it was freezing cold.

Lined up and waiting for the race to start.   Wanting to puke. 

Before I had a chance to puke, the race started.   I hold pride in the fact that I was #1 female in the race for the first quarter mile.   I kept thinking...where is everyone?   There was only one male ahead of me and he was way ahead of me so I started to worry I wouldn't know where I was going.   Unfortunately, shortly after, all the speedy people that started off smartly and conservatively started to pass me.  

I quickly realized just how hilly this course was on the very first leg.   It was constantly up and down and rolling hills.   Next year I will know better and plan accordingly.

After the first leg, it felt like the day went by so quickly.   As soon as we would get to an exchange point, another team member would be off and we would be quickly driving off to get to the next exchange.   It seemed we had just enough time in between for the last runner to grab some food and for the next runner to pee.

Handing off for my last leg of the day.  Leg 9 of 10
Because we had a team of 4, the legs weren't exactly evenly split but I am completely happy with how it all worked out.   I ended up with 3 legs and about 13 miles total for the day.  

After it was all done, of course we drink beer.   It's just what we do.   They had unlimited beer at the finish along with pizza so we had a couple there and then headed back to our hotels and got ready to go out to a bar after.  

Big Ass Beers
I already know I am going to have to do this race again next year.   It was so much fun and such a change of pace from a non-relay race.   It also helps that I felt like I knew half of the people there.   Every exchange had people we knew at it.   I kept seeing more and more people that I knew and am really surprised by how many people I have met through running.  

Do you run with running groups?  If you don't, you need to!

So what's in the outfit?

Headbands - Bolder Bands headbands.   These were really really nice.   Better quality then I've seen in comparable headbands

Shorts - Ink N Burn Shorts.  These were the denim look running shorts.   We had endless compliments on these.   People kept asking if they were really running shorts and commenting on how they loved our shorts.  

Sock - ProCompression.   Need to keep it tight with all those hills.  Calves feet great.   Quads are a different story.

Shirts - Goodwill.   They were easy to alter throughout the day.  Started as a long sleeve and quickly moved to a tank top to really stick with that hill billy theme!

In the handheld - Cocogo.   I will forever use this stuff.   So much better than Gatorade.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1.   I ran a 5k this weekend and did...not so well!   It was actually pretty disappointing for me.  It was right around 27 minutes and not even close to a PR.   The real struggle I had was that it was just a bad race.  I felt terrible during it.   I have found that if conditions are too cool and I run hard, my throat will hurt like hell and my esophagus burns like crazy.   What can you even do about that when you live in Wisconsin?

2.  In a week I will be doing my first relay.   It's the Fall 50 and it is pretty hilly.  

We have a team of 4 and I am really looking forward to the entire experience.   I'll update a lot on that race after it is done.  

3.  I am Stiiiilll lifting.   I can't believe I've kept it up this long.   Normally if I am seeing little results I give up but here I still am.   This week I feel like I haven't gained or have maybe lost muscle but maybe it's all in my head.   I am lifting regularly and if I am not gaining, it's my own fault with not enough calories.   To gain muscle you have to have a surplus of calories and that is just so hard for me to do.   I feel like I am eating all of the time.

I feel like with being 5 feet 9 inches it's going to take me years to get to where I would like to be.  

Do you gain muscle easily?  

Some people barely have to lift to gain muscle.   I'm jealous.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fox Cities Half Marathon and Coming Back from and Injury

As I've previously mentioned on this blog, I had an injury this summer that sidelined me for about a month and a half.   During that time off, I sort of sat in my sadness and did nothing cardio.   I continued to lift weights, and that in its own is beneficial, but it doesn't help much when you attempt to get back to running again.   The first few weeks were frustrating to say the least.   The first day back to running, I was able to go one mile before having to take a walk break.   Thankfully I have an understanding running partner and he dealt with me bitching and complaining even more then I normally do, which is a lot.  

Slowly I started to gain some progress.  It was painfully slow though.   We had both originally registered for the full marathon but after my injury and him getting burnt out,  we both decided to change our registration to the half marathon.   Even with the long run miles cut in half, I found it very hard to get through the training runs.   Prior to the injury my easy pace was in the 9's and now I found 10's to be hard to keep up with.   That is so very hard to accept.

Week by week we ran through the miles. Week by week I was let down by my ability to feel good during a run.   Week by week I felt helpless.

I never did have a good training run this cycle.   Not once.   They all felt very hard.  

And then race day arrived.  

I had put the miles in, although not pretty.   I decided to go into this and just see how I was doing.   To see how much I had lost.   I didn't feel very nervous on race day.   I really seem to have this "Don't take it serious" mentality down.   Almost all of our running friends were running as well and oddly enough, we were all in a similar mind set.  

As soon as the race started, I stuck with what I know.   When you run with the same people all of the time, you really do get comfortable with that.   The first few miles felt a bit hard.   We were trying to all stick together and when the first mile went by, I was happy to hear that it was a sub 9 pace.   The same for the next few miles.   That's when our faster friend took off ahead of us and we got into our pace.  I was really surprised at how good I felt.   I felt comfortable.   I had not felt this good during a run since June.   It was amazing.  


We were still early in the race though and I figured it would catch up to me.   It just never did.   At points of the race that I remembered being a mental struggle previously, I felt great still.   I let Matt set the pace and when he needed to walk or eat, I'd walk or eat.   It just worked.  

Busted eating and walking.  Chews really get stuck in those teeth.

I never did get overly tired.  By the end, I knew that I was going to be happy with our time.   We were on track to be right in the range of my "typical" half marathon time and with the way that training had gone, this was awesome for me.

We finished in 2:08 and while it isn't my fastest half, it's not my worst either.   I now feel like my sub 2 is still completely reachable next spring.  

Afterwards we got in warm clothes (brr it was cold when not running), got massages, and hung out watching the full marathoners finish (Yay Rachel!).   Then we went down to the bar for the free tacos and beers that the PaceSetters members get and watch the Packer game.   Perfect ending.  

But wait!   I need to brag just a little bit here.   See this cutie?

The girl, not the guy.   That's Katelyn doing the 5k the day prior.   She set a new PR for herself and ran so strong to get herself a time of 26:39.   That's almost a full minute faster than her previous PR.  The girl doesn't train.  She just goes out there and runs.  

She also placed for her age group!  

She is amazing.  

More amazing than me :)  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday

1.   Back to this.

  It's only the first week and I actually just said out loud to myself "Go away book!" and threw it on the ottoman after reading only 15 pages into it.

2.  I took this before my lifting workout this morning.   I'm pretty sure I could have been considered under the influence of drugs.   This shit is for real and we'll see how it works out for me.   I'm slightly scared of being in public after drinking it.

3.  Drunk pictures.   Went to the bar.  Drank too much.   And then you find random pictures on your phone the next day.  

I don't know this guy but apparently he was worthy of a picture.   He looks lonely.  

Creepy Sarah!


5.  This bathroom at my gym takes the best muscle pictures!   And I guess I'm finally getting some to take pictures of!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Last Weekend of Summer

As I sit here on the last weekend before school starts up again, I can't help but reflect on the summer as a whole.   It has been a good summer.   While my kids are now ready to get back to school (and lets be honest, I'm ready for them to get back) I feel a pit in my stomach because I am so nervous for school to start back up again for me.   I have a pretty full schedule and as I flipped the calendar page to September this morning I can't help but notice how much is on there.   I am still working at the hospital/clinic, although my availability is less and then to top it off, the comedy club has won me back and I'll be picking up a few shifts a month there as well.

   Katelyn is on a traveling soccer team now and we will have many days of soccer ahead of us.   Kenzie is starting back at gymnastics and will be going to a new place this fall because I failed to sign her up at 6am on the day of registration and all classes were filled by the time I remembered it was registration day.   It will probably benefit her but my checking account is gonna be pissed as the price is four times more expensive then the previous location.   Live and learn.  

Fall is also racing season again.   I am no where near the place I was prior to my foot issues.   I'm slow as fuck and every run feels terrible.    Last weekend I did a 5k in the must humid weather I may have ever experienced.   I finished in 27:41 which is no where near a PR for me but also not as bad as I had expected myself to do so there is always that.   Katelyn also ran it and they got some pretty good pictures of her and one of me sleeping.  She got second in her age group and won some cheese and a nice mug for my coffee.

I have sort of given up on speed for the fall.   I am just going to struggle through it and then come winter/spring I'm going to start back up with speed work and I'm determined to get my pace back.   I am going to train for a spring half marathon for the first time in a long time.   I was always marathon training and not able to focus on speed for a half because of it.  That will all change this spring and I'm finally going to force a sub 2:00 half.   I can't believe I don't have one yet.  

There are still a few more races on the schedule for this fall.   September is Fox Cities Half Marathon.   October is Fall 50 and St. Joes 5k, November is Turkey Trot (5 miles), and December is Race for the light 5k.   We will see if I can get any others in there or not.  

As for now, I'm going to miss summer.   It was full of ups and downs and wonderful memorable moments.