I Promised Amateur Photos and I Delivered

Life post-marathon has been pretty much the same as life pre-marathon, except I haven't worked out once since the race...I feel like I earned a small break though but I am starting to get antsy and feel the need to do some form of exercise again. I was an avid dancer for 11 years of my life and have been curious about the Pure Barre fad that has been going on the past few years. I looked up the scheduling and pricing for the studio nearest me and they have a deal for new students where you get 10 days for $20 which I plan on taking full advantage of and will post about my experience in the future.

My last post I forewarned whoever reading that I bought my new camera and would be spamming up my blog with my beginner photos so I just couldn't let you down and not show any ;) so enjoy! (or not)

Shirt: J.Crew | Pants : Forever 21 | Loafers: Me Too via TJ Maxx


Arts and Crafts

My work is having a contest on who can make the best sign and most creative for their department and the winning group gets a free lunch prepared by our CEO. Two things I've learned in the short time I've worked here: 1. Competitions are serious business 2. Competitions involving food are extremely serious business. Today our group reserved a conference room where for the next hour and a half we get feathers flying all over the place that I'm not sure the cleaning crew will ever be able to fully clean up.
My name monster and his girlfriend/cubby partner

 We all really got into the sign idea and decided to make our own mini signs to go with our department sign and to have a common and unified theme. Next Friday will be difficult to get through next week not having arts and crafts time (and all the desserts and tasty dishes from our potluck we had today!)

My daily morning coffee from the local coffee shop across the street (nail polish | Essie "Wicked")

Outfit: Shirt | Forever 21, Sweater | J.Crew, Pants | Ann Taylor, Bracelet | J.Crew, Watch | Fossil, Shoes (not shown) | BCBGeneration

Loving polka dots lately ( I want every item from Kate Spade's "Art of the Dot" collection!)

P.s. I bought my camera last night!!! :) I bought it last night and didn't have time to play with it and I practiced shooting macro photos with it after work today. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon and will have some blog-worthy pictures up shortly!!


Chicago Recap

It's been five days since I was running down Michigan Avenue with 40,000+ other people but it feels as if the race was months ago. The stiffness in my legs has finally left and I'm getting the itch to go for a run again! However, my appetite is still running strong and I've been hungrier than ever this entire week :)
Staying warm and trying to keep calm before the race (remember this hoodie: it will be not so important later!)

My sister and I stayed with our good friend the night before the race. We had a great time eating pizza, talking about how weird we were in high school, and practicing self-defense on each other. She told us that we could reserve a taxi online for the next morning which proved to be a very useful thing. Our taxi arrived promptly at 6:30 a.m. and we were dropped off right at the starting area by 6:45 a.m. The morning was quite cold in the the 30s/low 40s. While this made waiting for the race to begin seem even longer and painful, my sister and I both agreed that it was 100% better than running in 80/90 degrees like the race has been the past few years.

Our wave went off exactly at 8:00 and from there on out it was over 3 hours of constant passing people and weaving around the other runners on the course. I thought that this would be annoying before the marathon, but it turned out to be a great way to pass the time and focus on who to catch and move around instead of focusing on what hurt and "what do you mean I have 20 miles left to run?!" sort of thoughts.

The temperature remained cool and I was never too warm or hot at any point of the race. It was nice and comfortable and I was just so surprised by how good I felt. The 2 weeks leading up to the race I was transitioning into working full-time and during the day, taking away the mornings and afternoons when I normally would get in my runs. I took off way too many days in that time and it shook my confidence on how this race would turn out. But somehow, this race turned out much better than I had expected. The entire time I was passing people and felt like I was pushing the pace. There were points where I was concerned that I was using too much energy too early in the race and I would pay for it later, but everything was going so well I didn't want to hold back. I felt pretty awesome for most of the time and it wasn't until mile 23 that I started "breaking down", although I never bonked or had that terrible last 10k like all the marathon horror stories you hear. The last mile was extremely painful but the excitement over being so close to being done and completing my first marathon made it bearable.

When I crossed the finish line, I experienced so many emotions in such a small time frame. As I crossed I just felt awesome like I was on top of the world and could do accomplish anything! Then a man that finished near me began to cry tears of joy and happiness over what he had just done and it made me think about it and I started to well up too. That didn't last very long because about 20 seconds later was the pain of what I had put my body through hit my all at once and those tears turned from ones of joy to ones of pain. I clearly remember very melodramatically thinking that there was nothing I could do to rid me of the pain and I would never feel pain-free again. I almost started crying even more when I realized just how far I had to walk before I got to the exit of the finish shoot.

Reading all the nice texts people sent me about the race
 However, I managed to survive and get to my family's meeting point and live to tell the tale. We sat for a good half hour and at some recovery snacks before we hobbled walked over to Chipotle for lunch.
Very focused on eating, not much different than every day life
See that pink item on the left side of the pile? That was my throwaway hoodie! Still can't get over that I spotted it and it was sitting right on top of it all

Extremely excited to get some coffee to give me enough energy to move and warm me up
 After refueling and sitting some more, we had to make the long walk back to the car to head home. We had about a 6 hour drive back home since we had to make a pit-stop in Grand Rapids. The drive was uneventful and boring, so enjoy these pictures I took in the car to pass the time and forget about my soreness!

Boston qualified!

Proof that I actually ran the whole darn thing


Weekend Adventure: Running Around Chicago

The weekend is here again! I'm currently sitting at my sister's kitchen table typing this post, and I almost forgot I had a week of work in between being here again and visiting for Art Prize on Sunday. I arrived here late this evening and had dinner with my sisters and dad that was filled with yummy food, coffee, and laughter :) My dad traveled to the west side of The Mitten to watch my younger sister's cross country race, where she won and had a huge PR! Good job lil sis!! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get off work early enough to catch her race, but it was nice having some time with both my sisters again enjoying each others' company.

Shirt | Ann Taylor, Trench Coat | Banana Republic, Skirt | J.Crew, Tights | J.Crew, Loafers | Me Too via TJ Maxx, Purse | Dooney & Bourke

Why did I drive out here if I wasn't going to watch my sister's race you ask? The reason for my visit to Grand Rapids is because...*drum roll*

(image via photorun.net)
 The Chicago Marathon is on Sunday! My older sister and I will be participating in the race through the Windy City this weekend and are driving there tomorrow where we will stay with our good friend (who is also running!) at her apartment. Just thinking about the race right now causes little butterflies in my stomach to flit around...I haven't been this nervous yet excited for a race in years! Never running anything like this before, I honestly have no clue what to expect and just hope to finish in one piece :) You can definitely expect a post soon after the race about the entire experience and inevitable pain and if I'll ever considering running a marathon again! Until then, enjoy this Ellen video I found that has helped me take my mind off of the race (Atticus is too cute!)