Monthly Archives: August 2013

26×26//20

20. Run a sub 6:30 mile (my high school best!)

Last Wednesday, I hit the track. Not only have I not run “the mile” since high school, I also rarely time my runs—I find the watch itself distracting and get frustrated knowing exactly how long things are taking me and how much more road is ahead of me. But I needed to find a benchmark so I strapped on my husband’s Garmin (he loves data) and biked over to a nearby high school to see where I stood.

7minmile

After a quick warm up lap, I was off. I’m not going to lie, I was reaaaaally hoping that I could just whip this guy out and check it off my list… but I ran as hard as I could and finished in 7:20. Which is pretty good considering I haven’t done any speedwork since high school lacrosse practice over 7 years ago (oh my God I am so old). I only have to cut a minute off of my time (Experienced runners/sprinters are totally shaking their heads right now. A minute is kind of a long time… but I’m hoping by ignoring this fact I can just attack it and get it down. I have almost an entire year to make it happen!). Knowledge is power, and now I know. Time to get it done!

26×26 is a list of goals that I am hoping to accomplish before my 26th birthday in August 2014. For the full list, click here.

I’m Working On//Wings Over VT

In April, my company had the pleasure of hosting the National Poster Retrospecticus—a one night only show celebrating the art of screenprinted posters. There were posters from many of the greats—Two Arms Inc, DraplinAesthetic Apparatus, etc. The creative department was allowed to contribute to the show, as long as our poster featured a local event. I teamed up with the amazing Katelyn Peissig to make this piece in anticipation of the Burlington Air Show.

wingsVT_process

wingsVT_detail

wingsVT_final

Some cool things to note:

The ink for the map background was a huge gamble/experiment. We wanted something unique that gave the map a little something extra and our ink master totally nailed it. We ended up with a really cool dimensional texture on that layer.

A local artist (who I am a big fan of) instagrammed our poster, praising us on the type. I think that I almost fainted from excitement.

The show itself was incredible, posters on every surface. Plus, most were for sale (and fairly affordable!) so people were snatching up unique pieces left and right. The event felt super down-to-earth and fun—posters = art for everyone. Even my engineer husband couldn’t leave without choosing one to bring home… and art shows definitely aren’t his thing.

It was a pleasure to work on this piece.. hopefully it’s only the beginning of many collaborations between myself and other designers (up for another project, Katelyn?!!).

 

*Photos by the multi-talented Katelyn. 

 

On Marathon Training//Challenges

What a beast. Marathon training was so much more than I ever imagined. I mean that in the best way possible. It took more, it gave more, it surprised me more. It’s taken me awhile to process it all, actually. My race was in late May and I am just now feeling like I am recovered and can dissect it. I’m not sure if it makes much sense, but it’s kind of like any other big life event that you plan for—there is a ton of build up and preparation and thought, and then all of a sudden, the day is here, it’s happening, and before you know it, it’s over. Just like that. Although it’s taken me some time to kind of remove myself from all of that and really see it for what it was, I wanted to share my thoughts on training for and running a full marathon. I’ve broken down my top takeaways into three categories—here is the first.

adamant 20 miler - finish

 

Challenges.

The obvious first, shall we? Everyone knows that training for and running a marathon isn’t easy. Even though I enjoy running (gasp!) and have run a handful of half marathons, I never really identified myself as a runner (just want to be clear that anyone can do this. I still do not really feel like a “real” runner, whatever that is). However, the desire to run a full marathon has always sort of lingered under the surface, and this year, before I turned 25, I decided to go for it. I was as prepared as I could have possibly been for the mental struggle—it’s hard enough to wrap your head around how far 20+ miles actually is, let alone run it. I knew that part was going to be difficult and took a couple of steps to alleviate/distract myself from the distance.

  1. I saved my headphones/music for my weekly long runs only.
  2. I constantly mixed up my routes to keep things fresh.
  3. I ran a 20 mile race with some friends a couple of weeks before the actual marathon, which really helped me solidify my race day plan and eating habits.

Honestly I expected much more physical anguish during training than there was. Sure, I was tired, like, my whole body was absolutely exhausted, but I wasn’t super sore, which was a huge relief. I think there may have been a few hilly long runs that did my legs in a bit, but for the most part, with post-run stretching and intermittent (not consistent at all) yoga sessions, my body was okay. Post-marathon, however, I was absolutely beat. My legs were like stiff dead weights for days. I’m not sure why or how those extra 6 miles destroyed me, but they totally did. I think next time (oh man, I think there’s going to be a next time!) I will spend some more time post-race with the foam roller.

But despite the mental and physical fatigue, my biggest challenge throughout my training was eating. Eating while running, eating enough food, eating the right foods that wouldn’t be rejected mid-run. I have a feeling that this is one of those areas where everyone is extremely different, but here is my basic eating strategy while training.

  1. Track calories to ensure I was getting enough (I used an app called “LoseIt”). At the beginning, I really struggled with this—I was super fatigued during all of my runs (even the short ones) and couldn’t figure out why. Turns out, even though I wasn’t particularly hungry, I wasn’t getting nearly enough calories for the amount I was burning. I bumped up my intake of calorie rich foods like avocados and drank a protein smoothie every morning for breakfast and a protein shake after each long run.
  2. Consistency. I ate a lot of the same things over and over again because I knew that they worked. Protein smoothies for breakfast (Stronger Faster Healthier Vanilla Protein, kale, banana, almond milk and a handful of frozen blueberries), sandwiches and cut raw veggies for lunch, simple dinners. On my long run day I always ate peanut butter banana pancakes and drank half a cup of coffee. It helped so much to know that my body was properly fueled and prevented any stomach issues from surprising me mid-run. Post-run I would mix up a protein shake (My favorite was Zico Chocolate Coconut Water mixed with Stronger Faster Healthier Chocolate Recovery protein).
  3. Mid-run fuel. This took me a looong time to figure out, but after experimenting with many things—peanut butter packets (too sticky), trail mix (too much chewing), Gu (gross.. I could never choke that goopy stuff down)—I finally figured out a strategy that worked. Every 2 miles I would drink a bit of water (not too much! Just a sip) and every 4 miles I would eat half a Clif Shot Blok. A whole block was too sticky/chewy for me to handle, but a half was manageable and plenty to keep me going. Towards the end of the race I think I may have eaten more often, but I’m not sure if I actually needed the energy or just the distraction of chewing/swallowing.

Lastly, marathon training takes up a lot of your free time. Knowing this going into it and being mentally prepared to spend most of my “me” time outside of work pounding pavement definitely helped me to be successful. It was something that had to be scheduled… I spent the better part of most Sundays preparing for a run, running, and recovering from a long run. Having a support group makes a huge difference—my husband would meet me halfway through my long runs with water, snacks and extra socks, some coworkers joined me on my shorter runs, and a group of friends cheered me on during the race.

In spite of all of this, finishing was totally worth it. More on the happy parts of training to come.

 

 

*Photo from the finish line at the Adamant 20 miler in April, taken by my husband, Casey. 

26 x 26

26x26

Last week I turned 25. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it, except that it seems kind of old. I’m sure that my 30 year old (or 40 year old or 50 year old) self will look back at this and laugh, but for now, it seems like life has sort of tricked me and all of sudden I went from being a carefree teenager to an anxious adult in no time at all.

They aren’t kidding when they say that time flies.

In an effort to be more purposeful about how I spend my time, and because I love lists, I came up with a (non-exhaustive) list of things that I would like to accomplish before I turn 26 (and basically kiss whatever is left of my youth goodbye).

  1. Sign up for an art class (or two!)
    Pottery Class
  2. Organize and back up all files
  3. Read 26 books
    1. Perfect by Judith McNaught
    2.—8. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    9. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
    10.—12. Fifty Shades series by E L James
    13. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    15. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    16. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
    17. The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
    18. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
    19. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
    20. The Art Forger by BA Shapiro
    21. The Witness by Nora Roberts
    22. Paradise by Judith McNaught
    23. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
    24.—30. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
    31. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    32. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
    33. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
    34.—36. Divergent/Insurgent/Allegiant by Veronica Roth
    37.—39. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    40. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling
    41. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    42. Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor
    43. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    44. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane
    45.—47. Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts
    48. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    49. The Collector by Nora Roberts
    50.—55. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
    56.—59. Heroes of Olympus (1-4) by Rick Riordan
    60. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
    61. The Magician King by Lev Grossman
    62. Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
    63. Inferno by Dan Brown
    64. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    65. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  4. Go to Italy
  5. Complete 26 personal, “just for fun” projects
  6. Take a piano lesson (I have always wanted to learn to play)
  7. Blog (at least) once a week
  8. Refresh my website and update my portfolio. Related: jazz up this space too!
  9. Complete 75% of things on our seasonal lists
  10. Have a conversation in Italian
  11. Research and start Italian citizenship process
  12. Start a daily journal
  13. Shake up my fitness routine (Learn a new sport. Do a real pull up. Run more races. Take a yoga class. Find something new & get out of the post-marathon slump)
  14. Buy a new couch
  15. Floss
  16. Find a hairdresser and get a cut that I love
  17. Be brave and lay on the floor of the Sistene Chapel (I wanted so badly to do this when I studied abroad, but was scared out of my mind to actually do it! This time, it’s happening.)
  18. Visit/host friends who don’t live in town
  19. Host a girls/craft night
  20. Run a sub 6:30 mile (my high school best!)
    Progress: 1
  21. (Finally) See a shooting star
  22. Visit a National Park
  23. Surprise someone (in a big–but good!–way)
  24. Quit my weekly (twice a week if I’m being honest) Starbucks habit
  25. Organize/file paperwork and create an emergency kit
  26. Do something spontaneous (I am terrible at this. I like to have a plan!)

 

*Photo from a hike at Jay Peak last month…not quite the summit, but close.