I Answered, Part 1

Last week I asked to see if anyone had any questions for me and I got some great ones!  In order to keep this post at a reasonable length, I broke the questions up over a couple posts.  This will be part 1!

2011 Boston Marathon 023

Xaarlin asked:
I am wondering what your goals are for the marathon. Do you plan to qualify and run Boston again? Take it easy and have fun in the races, or improve and not do Boston?

This year I definitely want to have fun and listen to my heart.  I have spent so much time in the past couple years listening to my head, and while that is great and helped me reach my goals, I want to listen to my heart more and run because I love it. 

I definitely would LOVE to see a marathon PR since mine is getting much too old, but we will see if that comes this year or not.  I do want to go back to Boston one year, but I know that won’t be for another few years because it’s expensive and I want to let that first one hang out there for a while before I go back again.  I definitely want to take on the BQ again though!  The one thing I said crossing that finish line is it was worth every second of hard work to get there and I know I will go back.

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Amy asked:
I want to know … why do you think you fell in love with running? You went from 0 to marathon pretty much right away. What was it about running that grabbed you?

Every time I tried to run before I really started running I would always itch and my feet would hurt.  I don’t really know many people with the "itching" problem except for Chris (hah I guess we were meant to be), but those first few times I would try to run my skin would itch so badly that I was completely miserable. 

I finally got over that after a few runs, and once I started to increase my miles (5+) is when I really started enjoying it.  I loved being outside, I loved being on a training plan and I loved feeling like an athlete again with a goal and a race I was "in training" for.  I loved being able to hang out with my friends while running, but also having that alone time during runs where I can get lost in my thoughts. 

I remember I had a couple of friends I used to work with who were training for a race with TNT and they were constantly talking about running.  At times I would be like OMG ENOUGH of the running talk, but another part of me was definitely jealous.  It sounded awesome and I loved challenges, so I think that’s what drew me in.  I wanted to do something that challenged me.  

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Jessica asked:
I plan to run my first half marathon in the fall. What are 3 things every newbie half marathoner should know?

  1. Get the right shoes.  Good running shoes will definitely make a huge difference.  
  2. Practice, practice, practice (fueling, race day breakfast, etc).  Treat your long runs as practice race day to get used to the routine.
  3. Listen to your body.  People will tell you things about how to train and everyone has their opinions, but no two people are the same.  Listen to your own body and find out what works best for YOU.

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Nelly asked:
One thing I always think about in terms of a question is: What is your greatest accomplishment?  Everyone is different, but personally I always waffle between doing a marathon, college graduation, or CPA.  And for you, marriage might be a possibility too, haha.

I don’t think I could pick ONE greatest accomplishment overall, but I could definitely pick one in each category: Professional, Physical and Personal. 

Professionally getting my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) license is definitely the highlight.  I spent SO much time studying for that test, taking it and retaking it, and studying some more, that it was such a huge relief to have done.  For those that don’t know, there are 4 parts to the CPA test and you have to get a 75% to pass.  I sat for a total of 9 times and never got below a 69%.  I was SO CLOSE every single time and got a 74% on the hardest one.  Ugh. 

Physically/athletically qualifying for the Boston Marathon is definitely my biggest accomplishment.  After a year of attempts and missing it and questioning myself, I somehow pulled it out and left every single ounce out there that day. 

Personally, I don’t think getting married is necessarily the accomplishment, but I think that Chris and I still have an extremely happy healthy marriage 6 years after the fact is a huge accomplishment.  We were pretty young when we got married, and we have both changed so much over the years, but we have changed together and supported each other through everything along the way.  He truly is my best friend and I look forward to seeing him every single day.  I think the fact that I can say that completely honestly is a huge accomplishment especially in this day and age.

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Ariana asked:
I found your blog recently and have been absolutely hooked to reading everything you post! I was wondering how many hours of sleep you get a night?

Ahhhh sleep!  If I could sleep as much as I want, I would probably sleep 9 hours a night.  I LOVE sleeping.  I really try to get 8 hours, but sometimes it’s about 7, it really just depends on what I have going on.  I get very cranky if I don’t get enough sleep though and always end up sick or just completely worn out, so I really try to focus on getting enough.

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Laura asked:
I have a question! How tall are are you? Do you think height plays a role in running ability? I’m just curious…

I am 5’6" tall!  I am not sure if it plays a role because I know much shorter runners and much taller runners both of which are very fast. 

If I didn’t get to your question in this post, don’t worry I will, a couple might even get a post of their own!  If anyone has any additional questions feel free to leave a comment or email me anytime.

And one more thing… the winner of the “Running on Empty” book giveaway is:

Patricia D.!  She said:

i would love to climb mt. everest! i read john krakauer’s “into thin air” and even though it recounts a tragic event on the mountain, the way he described the experience just made me want to experience it for myself!

Congrats!!  Email me and we will get your book out to you! 

I am loving all the entries on my 700th post – keep them coming!

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19 Responses to I Answered, Part 1

  1. Kristen May 25, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I am so glad I’ve never had to take a professional exam…they sound terrible!

  2. Jennifer May 25, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    I am a new runner and have signed up for my first half marathon. It is nice to read your experiences and accomplishments. I find it helpful and inspirational. I agree that running and training is a very individual thing, but I have no idea how to tackle the nutrition component on a long run? My long runs at the moment are not very long, but any tips for future runs?

  3. Toni May 25, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    I usually get itchy too whenever I take a break from running and come back to it. It usually passes, but those first few days are uncomfortable. I don’t know if its from the wind. I always thought I was just weird like that. LOL.

  4. marlene May 25, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Itchy? That’s to funny, especially since Chris had/has that too!

    And YES I think having a happy and healthy marriage after 6 years is definitely an accomplishment. Mark and I are amazed at how much we have changed since we got married in 2005.

  5. Carlee May 25, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    I love the comments about your accomplishments. You sum up marriage the way people should be told about it when they are thinking about it. It isn’t hard work in the way some people try to scare you. However, it’s something you’ll always be working at. If that makes any sense.

    I also agree with you about running with a plan in mind makes you feel like an athlete. When I graduated college and no longer had swim practice and meets, it felt like something was missing. Spinning and weight training or even swimming on my own did not replace this. Once I was running with specific goals in mind, I started to feel like myself again.

  6. Emily May 25, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    oh girl, you SO have a PR waiting for you. As soon as you run a marathon on a good course on a good day it is going to click!

  7. PJ May 25, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    I just had to comment on the photo of you and your big “baby” on the couch-it is precious.

  8. Karyn May 25, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    i need that much sleep too! i rarely get it (often 5-6 hours a night) and then when i can sleep longer i either feel wayyyyyyyyyy too tired or can’t sleep in! annoying.

  9. Amy May 25, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks for answering my question – I am just starting out (my longest run has been 8 miles) but I have felt a lot of the same things you described. And, my BFF had the itching problem too! She’s now training for her first marathon.

  10. Nelly May 25, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Thanks for answering my question! Great answer!

  11. Corey @ the runners cookie May 25, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Loved reading this! Your first answer about running more for fun/for YOU this year is something that really hits home for me right now. I just realized that I’ve been focusing way too much on time and miles, and not at all enough on enjoyment. I’m working on a plan right now that’s going to help me find that joy again, because I really miss it, and running for any other reason just isn’t going to cut it. Thanks for your honesty in all of these! I definitely look up to your attitude as a runner!

  12. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair May 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    OMIGOSH – the itchy during running thing. I TOTALLY had that too before I really started running. I’d actually COMPLETELY forgotten about it until I read this post. What is up with that I wonder? Is it from the sweat maybe? Anyways, it would make running REALLY uncomfortable for me but at some point my body has just got over it!

  13. stoppingfordaisies May 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Interesting answers, thanks for sharing! And I think that long of a marriage is definitely an accomplishment, congrats!

  14. Jessica May 26, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    My state’s teacher test for music is a joke. I was in a room with others taking tests in different subjects & definitely was the first one to finish. There were definitely some dirty looks shot in my direction as I walked out the door!

    Thanks for answering my question about half marathons! I know I’ll have more for you when I start training!

  15. Christina May 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    I have that itchy problem too. It happens to the front of my thighs.
    Do you know what causes that and what do you do to prevent that?
    I’m thinking it is fat burning cos’ it always happens when I don’t run for more than 2 weeks.

  16. RoadBunner May 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I have the itching thing, too!!! I notice it only really happens after I take an extended break from running. This leads me to believe it has something to do with not being well conditioned though I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe something about blood flow to the skin??

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