More Happiness


I’d just like to let the world know that I am in better shape than I ever have been before.

True, I can’t run 13.1 miles. Or 12 miles. Or 10. Or even 7 although I suppose I could do that it would just be sloow.

But I’m getting way faster.

Today I ran 4 miles in total.

One mile with my little brothers who were inspired yesterday!! They are so cute. Peter makes me laugh so hard. He said, “I’m bored!” So I told him that I would tell him a story as we ran. I’m not a very good author though… I have no idea what the climax of the story was going to be but I didn’t need to worry because he cut in every two seconds with a “lovely” addition to the story.

After that I dropped them off back at home and ran three miles by myself. Three beautiful miles. Three fast miles. Three easy miles.

I could easily have run faster. But today was a break day. So I ran 7:53- minute miles. Yes. That was my break. And I wasn’t really even pushing myself. I was just running. My average heart rate didn’t even hit 180. I got home and I was SO impressed by the results!

I am getting better. I feel it. I see it. I love it.

I’m nowhere near as fast as some runners I know but I am way faster than I ever expected to be when I started.

I have been reading through my old diaries and I was reading from two years ago when I had just started running and I wrote:

Today Tess and I ran TWO MILES!

I have improved so much from that! Now, I’m more like:

Today I ran 5 miles in 38 MINUTES!

OR:

Today I ran a 7:53 pace for 3 miles as a REST DAY!!! :O

I just love finally being good at something! 🙂

I have discovered that cross-training actually works! Who would have thought that what all those pro-runners were saying was actually TRUE!!! 😉

Anyways, my next goal is to run 10 miles. I think there is a half-marathon in the future, but I don’t really feel like “officially training” for it. So I’m just going to slowly work my mileage up and if when I can run 13.1 there is a half marathon available, then I’ll run it…otherwise…nah! I really wanna concentrate more on speed than on distance. It’s kinda like… Half marathon? Been there, done that. Now how about PRs or maybe even….dare I say it…placing?? :O That would be awesome.

The lady that I babysit for is an amazing runner and hopefully she and I will be able to go for a couple of runs soon. A seven-miler and then a ten-miler later! 🙂 Yay!

This past race has done some great things for my running.

First and foremost, it gave me confidence! I set a goal and I achieved it. I’m always scared to set goals for my races because I never know what the conditions will be like but now that I have set and achieved a goal I think I am going to push myself to set more goals! 🙂

Secondly, it helped me remember why I kept on running. Because I loved it. The race was fun. It was hard and, at times, death. But through that all, I had a blast. I could not believe how many people were there, cheering for (non-specifically) ME! All these people who WANTED me to finish and do WELL! The sun was shining. The weather was PERFECT. I could not have asked for better weather. And the route was amazing!

It would be impossible for me to HATE running as I run down State St. and then Michigan Ave. with the sun in my eyes, the breeze gently blowing, the people cheering for me, and a PR at my fingertips. Impossible to NOT love that! 🙂

Can you tell I’m still kind of awe-struck by how perfectly everything went at that race? I’m still kind of recovering by the sheer awesomeness of it all. Just amazed at how God set the weather perfectly, gave me all the training I needed, set those cheerleaders there at the hardest parts. It’s just amazing.

And if things couldn’t be perfect already, I had another fantastic run today. Blessed, just blessed.

And one more thing. The jeggings I got two years ago, that I haven’t been able to wear for a year? I fit into them again! I mean, they are JEGGINGS so they’re tight. But they fit amazingly! These are like my favorite jeans by the way! 🙂

Can you tell I’m happy?

Can you tell I’m in love with life?

Well, I am. 🙂

 

Why I Sometimes Hate Myself


No.

This isn’t a self-pity, “I stink” post. I hate those! When I say ‘myself’ I actually mean like, Agh! how do I say this?

Like if I were to be split into two people, And one was the bossy boss and the other was me. Does that make sense?

I doubt it.

Okay, I guess I mean my conscience. yes! That’s it! Okay start over!!

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WHY I SOMETIMES HATE MY CONSCIENCE

Okay, I’m tough on myself. I have incredibly high standards.

1) SCHOOL. If I’m behind in even one subject by one day, I freak out. I have to be caught up. I have to be on schedule. I can’t understand the people who don’t do their work.

2) SPORTS. I set goals and must reach them. For example, if I go on an excruciating four-mile run after not running for two weeks, I still have to finish it completely. If I stop at three-and-a-half miles cause I can barely breather, once I catch my breath, I’ll be belittling myself. In my opinion, “Pain is temporary!” So, I gotta deal with the aching abs until my Garmin reads 4.00. Then, and ONLY then, can I stop. cause once I’ve recovered and taken my shower, I am super upset with myself if I didn’t complete the run.

3) I EXAGGERATE AND OVER-DRAMATIZE MY LIFE. What I mean by this is that if I have a paper due in two weeks, I freak out if I haven’t started yet. I get to thinking about my life: It can’t possibly get all done! Wrong. Every morning I think this and every night I go to bed with it all accomplished. Truthfully, I don’t have that much work.

4)IF IT’S NOT PERFECT, I GET FRUSTRATED. In this aspect, I’m a perfectionist. If I get a B on my test, it’s bad. if I only win two debate rounds, I rebuke myself for not trying harder. If I run my half-marathon in 2:11, I scold myself for not running faster to get a sub-2:10 time.

Really, Claire? You’ll never be perfect! It’s actually super stressful! I always have to do the best. Always have to win. Cause if I’m not first, I’ve failed. Not that I care about winning. Truly. Winning is FUN and I AM competitive but I don’t expect to beat everyone else…I just expect to beat myself. I am constantly competing with myself, pushing myself to the limit, pushing past the limit. Go, go go!

It’s like I have those super competitive parents who push their kids way too hard, except those parents are in my mind and I can’t run away from them when I go off to college!! They’ll still be there.

Always pushing me to be better. Never giving me a break.

 

That Feeling You Get After You’ve Done Something That You Haven’t Done In Awhile


Oh Joy of Joys.

Don’t you just love when you do something that you haven’t done in awhile and you aren’t as bad as you expected you would be? It’s so encouraging!

Today I went running. I know! You are surprised. Now, you may have thought that the word running would never again grace the webpage of my blog…BUT you thought wrong. I am now “fully recovered” from my pneumonia and am back to running!

Now, I will admit that I had hoped I would just go back to being a fantastic runner (har har har). I had hoped I would just be able to shoot off 5 miles at an 8-minute pace…BUT: 3 miles for my first day back is pretty good. I may have taken two breaks during the run but only because I had to use the bathroom and cause at the two- and- a- half mile mark, I picked up my LRF and my BFF. Lol.

We ran down to the library where we sat at a table (inside) and talked. I was severely impressed by their loyalty to me and their exercise. It was freezing and the wind was SO strong. LRF, with her leggings in the wash, ran in shorts, wimpily enough, Tess and I were the coldest ones. We are lame-o…kinda…except for the fact that we were running in the freezing cold. 🙂

As a birthday present, Tess bought me Starbuck’s! Yum. I got a skinny (skinny, always skinny! How many calories can Starbuck’s pack into a coffee cup? A LOT) caramel mocha.

We walked back to their house. They offered to walk me home but I told them that since it was so slippy I would inevitably slip and spill coffee all over myself and I didn’t really want anyone witnessing that.

True to my word, I slipped and spilled coffee. On my glove. And my UnderArmor. And my Garmin. IT wasn’t as embarrasing as it potentially could have been, BUT slipping isn’t really the most graceful thing.

Regardless of whether or not I am graceful, I did run 3 miles today and I am proud. 🙂 I am on the track to another half-marathon. Sloowly, but surely. And I am running a 4.95- mile Shamrock Shuffle with my good friend in March and then I might be running a 10-miler in April(?) I think it’s in April, with the same girl. So! Races are on the horizon and that gets me excited and pumped to train.

I am sore, warm, and happy.

A Day at School


I am gonna be a teacher.

Like my aunt.

I got to visit her classroom today.

It was SO fun!

I have been begging for YEARS for her to let me come visit her class for the day and finally she agreed!!

I spent last night at her house and then got up early this morning (well, early for me: 6:15). We stopped at Mcdonald’s on the way for a sweet tea for her and a peppermint mocha for me (it wasn’t really that great).

We got to the school at 7 and set up a bunch of different things before the kids arrived. I met some of my aunt’s fellow-teachers who were all really friendly and said I looked “just like your mother” and that the last time they had seen me I was “this tall” (which is very short).

At 8:30, the kids come. My aunt teaches first grade and the kids are SO cute!

They are really good for the most part! 🙂

It was Bring Your Stuffed Animal Day so they all had stuffed animals. We wrote paragraphs about our stuffed animals and then read them to the class.

They took spelling tests.

They had gym and art. I went EVERYWHERE with them, including gym, art, recess, and lunch! 😉

It was fun and tiring!

But now I know for sure that I’m gonna be a teacher when I grow up! 🙂

Kids are so cute and fun to be with!

My aunt is an AMAZING teacher. I know this because I have seen it and been told it by many of the other teachers there. It’s true. She is no-nonsense, but very fun and creative. She’s been teaching for a LOOOONG time and she’s got everything figured out! 🙂

I got to talk to one of the employees at the school who ran the Chicago marathon this year. She wanted to know how my half marathon had gone! So, I talked to her for about half an hour. She gave me lots of advice about shoes (always buy half-size larger) and my knee (:P ). And she told me about a really cool website that has free training programs! I am SO using that! 🙂

I hope that I can go back to the school soon to help out again soon!!!!!

 

I didn’t get to run by a skeleton (how about a shower curtain??)


This girl just ran her first half-marathon!

Where do I even begin???

I can’t believe I actually ran it!!!! After all my training. I am finally a half-marathon finisher!!!! It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my WHOLE ENTIRE life.

I loved it!!!!!!

I ran it in 2 hours and 11 minutes which is GREAT!!! I had an average pace of about 10- minute miles. I had to stop every mile to drink and walk. So, I think next year I will be faster cause I (hopefully) won’t have to stop as much!!! But, I am SUPER thrilled with my time!!!

I love race atmosphere. It’s so friendly and fun. Since, this was a Halloween race a bunch of people were dressed up. That was cool too!! I saw some people dressed up as bride, groom, father of the bride, etc. And they are actually having a wedding in November. So that’s awesome!!! That’s so me in 12 years!!!!

Mom bought the awesome "monster" hat for me cause I was so darn FREEZING

Yep! My dear friend T came after all!!!! I was so glad to have her there! As well, as Abby, my mom, my Nana, and my aunt. They are great cheerleaders!

Little Miss Nothin-Gonna-Take-Me-Down

Yeah, I like making weird faces. That is before my race and I was SO SO SO excited!!! I had 10 million dreams the night before about my race and in all of them it went really great!! So, I was feeling pretty can’t-touch-me. Of course, as soon as the actual race started I realized I had some issues.

1. My knee hurt– and I mean like SEARING pain. For the first four miles, I just gritted my teeth through it.  When I did gymnastics, I got Osgood Schlater (did I say this already??) and i still feel the effects of it sometimes.. 😛

2. My belt was very bouncy– so I had to hold it down with one hand and then the other. It was annoying. Eventually, I drank enough water and it didn’t bounce anymore so I could pump both my arms.

3. I hadn’t run for 5 days– meaning I was a little out of shape. Whatever though, I had handled that before.

can't catch my breath but so very proud!!

stretching out hurts with sore legs and a bad knee

Anyway! I am going to do better next year. Here are my reasons why:

1) I (hopefully) won’t be sick…or recovering from a sickness next time!

2) I will continue to train and train and train…and train all year long!!! And get faster!

3) All runners continue to improve with every run.

But I am happy with how everything worked out!!

water, food, and a medal!!! I am set

And I am sorry that all my pictures are sideways but I cannot for the life of me remember how I flip them.

It’s really gonna bug me!!

More lovely pictures of me running to come as soon as they post them on the website!!!!!

I think I actually gained weight through this whole ordeal. 😛

I have eaten SO much good food!!!! Tonight for dinner I had blue cheese stuffed burgers, pesto fries, gluten-free brownies (so much better than they sound…they had orange extract in them!!!! mm…)… and yesterday after my race we went out to eat at Honey which was my choice and they have THE BEST mini burgers in the WORLD!!!!! I burned a thousand calories on my run…I think I have eaten a million!!!

I so love food.

I so love running.

I am so killing myself again for another half-marathon.

The Day Before: How to prepare for your very first half


FUN THINGS TO DO THE DAY BEFORE YOUR FIRST HALF-MARATHON:

1. Get sick.

2. Read 10 gajillion books.

3. Sleep.

4. Feel a little better.

5. Miss a party. 😦

6. Get excited about running the half-marathon.

Yeah, I got that list from www.claires-life.com which exists nowhere but inside of my head.

Last night, I got a sore throat. So typical for me, to always get sick for the main events. (It’s a christmas miracle when I’m not sick for christmas) I wenty to bed at 9 and got somewhere around 11 hours of sleep. Wake up, take a shower, barf. All in a pre-race day for Claire. 😛

So, what did I do today?

No, I did not got on my 1.5 pre-race run.

No, I did not go to Walgreen’s to buy marker eyeliner and a bday gift for my friend.

No, I did not got to a costume party.

I read The Help and a bunch of other books. I slept. I fretted about my race. I talked to my BESTY who totally knows how to cheer me up. I read somemore. I fretted some more. I thought about hwo depressing it would be if I didn’t get to run my long-awaited race.

I went on the laptop…. a special thing I only get to do when I’m sick!! And looked through emails!! I got 2 from the half-marathon and if I was iffy about running it before then I was completely confirmed now!

Yes, I’m sick

Yes, I’m running that half-marathon.

I will be high on endorphins and truly runner atmosphere is the best atmosphere!!

I doubt I will finish in 2 hours. 😦 Oh well, there’s always next time!

Mostly, Iam super duper excited!!!

I will have TONS of pictures!!

Ready to rock this thing!!!!!

Yes, I am in my bed and have been all day. Don’t let that trick you!!!! I am tough!!! 🙂 Oh yeah!!! 😉

( This is me pumping myself up for tomorrow!!!)

It’s fun being me

Countdown almost over!


Wow! The countdown’s almost over!

3 days.

You know, I have noticed that many people don’t get too excited about their races. Even if I run a million, I will never be one of those people. I love to run and I love to race. I will always be excited.

Another thing I know is that this will change my life forever. Now, this may seem a) shallow, b)dumb, or c) a little overreactive. But, it’s not…well, okay maybe it’s a little overreactive, but that’s me so get used to it. The thing is, this is going to an accomplishment that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It’s going to be high up on my list of accomplishments. And I will SO do it again!

A couple things:

1) My knee… when I was younger, I did gymnastics and kidna busted up my knee. At the doctor, they said I had Osgood Schlatter symptom. But, I don’t think I have that, anymore. I think I have too-much-running knee. I got it last November too and had to stop running for the year. it’s jsut starting but I REALLY don’t know what to do. SHould i ice it? I vow to stretch before and after each run I ever do from this point forward!

2) Sorry that I haven’t posted on here for a couple of days. 😦 I have been too busy writing the world’s most magnificent paper ever. Well, not quite…but I am really proud of it! I will put it on here Sunday. ( It’s due Saturday and I don’t want any plagiarism!!!! :O )

3) Guess what my wonderful brother (and Dad) bought for me? A running belt!! I love it! I took it with me for the first time yesterday when I went running early with my Loyal Running Friend! I brought my camera.

What a beautiful morning! I love running at sunrise!

Me and my LRF

That’s her by the way! I run with two little fingers. 🙂

4) Halloween decor at 7 in the morning is WEIRD!! One house actually scared me. Another house had legs sticking out of the ground and as we ran past I was like, “Why is someone doing a handstand in their front lawn at 7 in the morning?”

5) I’m excited about Christmas! Yesterday, I walked around my house singing and dancing, “Need a Little Christmas” for… a long time. Then I realized it was probably kinda annoying! I ♥ to sing though!

PLEASE PRAY THAT EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT FOR MY RACE AND THAT MY KNEE WILL HEAL!!!!!!!

The countdown has begun


I tried and tried to find a widget I could post on here to countdown to my half-marathon but I couldn’t find one.

Oh well.

For the record, there are 5 days left!!

I am super excited and I am ready!!!

But my knee hurts.

Which is bad because this hasn’t happened in a long time.

Since last november when I hurt my knee running.

I am praying!

Hopefully, it will get better. Although it’s not to that horrible point where I can’t run it’s just kind of a pain…

Regardless!

I came up with my after-half-marathon running plan!

I don’t want to run super far anymore cause I don’t really have time for it so here’s my weekly plan:

Tuesday: 3-mile, fast

Thursday: 6-mile, ( I’ll work up to fast)

Friday or Saturday: 3 miles, easy

That way, I can keep the abs and all those other wonderful muscles I’ve got!!!! And I can get FAST!!!! I am hoping to get my 5k time down to 21 minutes and get my 6 mile pace down to 8:00 miles. That’s my plan for what I’m doing through the winter.

I’ve kinda been forming it in my head for awhile but today, I woke up at 6:30 and I was so excited about my running plan!!!!!

I ♥ to run. have I ever told you?

Once upon a time…


Part 1.

There was a girl. She was playing a board game with her little brothers outside on the front porch. She won.

THE END.

Part 2.

“Look! There’s a big package in the mail!” shouted J. “I wonder who it’s for!”

“Prolly a present for me!” teased the girl. She took the package from J’s hands and looked at it. It was for her!

“Cool! i never get stuff in the mail!”

Who was it from?

Team Ortho? TEAM ORTHO!!!!

She ripped it open.

THE END.

Part 3.

It’s her half-marathon package!

THE END.

Lol. I’m so clever! Just kidding. But wasn’t that FUN!! I was thinking of making you wait for each part of the story …but that just seemed CRUEL! And I would have posted them all today anyway.. 🙂

Tomorrow I am running 12 miles!! EEk! But, I am feeling confident. WAY more confident than I felt last week at this time! 😉

Indian Summer!


I have been so cold for the past couple of weeks.

Today  I was sitting in a van and I realized I was SWEATING!

I’m actually hot! So, right now I am wearing shorts!

I actually thought I was going to have to put away my shorts for they year but now I don’t have to…yet!

Indian Summers are such a blessing!!

Actually, today is just a good day overall!! I think it might be because I got 8 hours of sleep last night. Did you know that each sleep cycle is 90 minutes? So, what you are supposed to do is set your alarms so you will wake up at the end of a sleep cycle and feel very refreshed, instead of waking up in the middle of one and feeling groggy… I kinda did that. I woke up at 6:40 which I am thinking was the end of a sleep cycle because I felt very alive. But it was only 6:40 so I went back to bed for 40 minutes and woke up…kinda groggy.

I am so glad I went on my run yesterday afternoon. Even though it was hot and I went slower than I have gone in a loong time I didn’t mind cause then I could sleep in today! 🙂 Sleep is important! Especially now when I MUST stay well! You know, just yesterday I actually realized what I am getting myself into. A half-marathon. Like, this is a legitimate thing. I’m not gonna be running on a trail with Mom behind me. i’m gonna have a runner’s belt with my own water, my own food, I am gonna be by myself lost in a sea of faces.

I think my heart might have stopped for a minute when I thought of that! 🙂 I realized that it would be kinda nice to have a friend running it with me.  Maybe I will find a nice person to run next to the whole time.

Hm. Wouldn’t that be nice! 🙂