Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Found Dory!

I mean you're probably already aware, but if not.... Just. Keep. Swimming.

That's all.

-Stay caffeinated my friends

Monday, November 9, 2015

Girl Power, Sisters before Misters

Last week was a very odd combination of lots of good things and lots of really annoying things that just would not go away, I felt like I was trying to play Whack-a-Mole at times. By the time Friday came around I was just over the unnecessary worrying and tired of trying to control things that were in fact outside of my control. Which is when I came home to this.

Now, I worship at the church of Lauren Fleshman. Period. Not only is she an amazing athlete, creator of one of my favorite snacks (holla at ya Picky Bar), Oiselle elite, and an all around bad-ass. I swear she is also psychic. Whatever stupid crap happens to be going on in my life, running related or otherwise, Lauren Fleshman will appear in some form with the most insanely ridiculously appropriate advice and I'm just like YES.
For example:
When I basically broke the left side of my body and was having a complete meltdown about being injured, she posted this story about her Achilles - Ask Lauren Fleshman

When I was terrified of attempting to run the Marine Corps Marathon after said injury, this popped up as Runner's World QOTD

I'm down to my last Picky Bar and have a Oiselle Wishlist out the Oisoo (hahahahah) she's like here, let me give you a discount on all your favorite things.

...and I have just come to the realization that LF is actually my Fairy Godmother...so add that to her list of accomplishments.

The girl crushing continued on Saturday when I got to spend some much needed quality time with my Mom and Sister getting ready for my Cousin's "Engagement Party." Aka it wasn't a real engagement party, we just all happened to be getting together and will use any excuse necessary to buy large quantities of Champagne and make multiple trips to Michael's. The McCrystal girls far outnumber the men in both quantity and volume, so it was obviously all about us Saturday night.

 And the Happy Couple, of course.

We're going to politely gloss over the majority of Sunday morning, as said Champagne and cookies took quite the toll on my poor sad body. But sometimes you really just need an excuse to load up the DVR with Quantico and crush on Priyanka Chopra and that chick from UnREAL who was also on Greek and you just kind of hate to love. I could have quite literally spent all day moping on the couch. But this chick decided to win the Big Sur Half Marathon, and I was like ok Kara would want me to get up and be productive.
So in her honor, I pulled on my KG Tights, Oiselle trials hoodie, and managed to do semi-productive (normal people things) like laundry, errands and a quick 3-mile recovery run + conditioning. This is why you should always ask yourself WWKGD because chances are it's a lot better than whatever you're currently doing. [unless you are watching Quantico, because it's just a really good show and I'm sure Kara would agree].

Life is a whole lot better when you're surrounded (physically and digitally?) by people who inspire you. I was reminded this weekend that I am a lucky did, let's see how long the warm and fuzzies last when faced with weekdays!

-Stay caffeinated my friends

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Faves

For someone who is extremely anal about when/where Holidays can be celebrated I feel like the majority of the things that I’m loving this week are Holiday related. Perhaps I am getting lax in my old age.

My Favorite Things, from Oprah’s Favorite Things
Believe it or not, I was not really aware of Oprah’s Favorite Things Episode until I got to college. A suitemate had it on her room when I walked by her room and needless to say I never made it to my class that day. Pretty much the entire suite ended up piled onto the two twin beds, hysterically crying, because Oprah

Ever since I’ve been addicted to Oprah’s Annual Christmas list because, the chick has pretty awesome taste, and it always reminds me of happy college days. While I sure as hell can't afford the majority of the things on Ms. Winfrey's Wish List, there were a few things that stood out and might just make their way on to mine! 

The IKEA Commercial that gives you ALL THE FEELS!
A rando posted this on Facebook, and I was legitimately bawling my eyes out at work, no shame.
[Deep thought of the day: Holy reminder that I tend to try and fill a lot of “holes” with “stuff.” I really do have everything that I need and all the extra is just gravy. Yum.]

JT at the CMA's yaaaaassss
I do not like Country
I used to hate JT
but damn

I have a very strict “No Christmas before Thanksgiving Rule.” But even I will concede for a special occasion. Home Alone is one of the most treasured movies in our Christmas collection and a family favorite around the Holidays. No way in hell I was missing out on seeing in theaters for the first time (it came out when I was 4).

Hope everyone out there in blogland is enjoying Friday and their own favorites!

- Stay caffeinated my friends
and keep the change ya filthy animal

Talk amongst yourselves:
Oprah’s Favorite Things - yay or nay?
Two thumbs up from this girl!

Fan of Country music (try going to college in North Carolina before you answer that particular question)
Um, no. 

What’s your policy on the start of the Christmas season? Chose your answer wisely because I may hunt you down…
The Christmas Season officially begins at 12pmET Thanksgiving Day when Santa Claus makes his first appearance at The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Favorite Home Alone line? Character? 

Character: Uncle Frank, obviously.
Line: You supposedly can't pick a favorite child, I imagine this is a similar situation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Don't Call it a Comeback

Why is it that regardless of the training plan, coach, whatever I'm using - Tuesdays always equal  speed work? Let's just also say that Tuesdays and I don't really get along in general. Monday I can handle because you're all "it's a new week, anything is possible, I'm going to change the world!" then you wake up Tuesday morning and it's all nope, still the same, of and you still have four more days until the weekend! But I digress...

Today was my first real day back to "training" which means my life once again has some semblance of order, at least before 9am. I'm using Jason Fitzgerald's Injury Prevention for Runners plan, and am looking forward to cutting back my mileage a bit and putting more focus on improving my running from the bottom up. Let's just call it getting back to basics.
Who's not amused it's Tuesday!

Today's workout called for a quick warmup, 6 miles with 8x1' Fartleks at 10k pace, followed by some core work.
Here's how that goes:
(day before)
Psht, 6 miles that's not too bad
(night before - cut to me trying to do the math on how long the Fartleks and corresponding jogging rest will take)
hmmmm this is adding up, I'm going to go to bed at 9:30pm and get up at 4:30am and conquer life!
(9:30pm the night before)
alright alright I'm up
(5:30 am)
Finally out the door - OMG this is perfect running weather, I feel great, this is awesome, best day ever!
(runs the 3 miles to get to the track)
Alright let's freaking do this
If you're must do Fartleks, do them with a killer view!

(Round 1)
I'm so fast
(Round 2)
starts sweating
(Round 3)
how many of these are there
(Round 4)
(Round 5)
speed work is the devil
(Round 6)
you are so going to be late for work
(Round 7)
Tuesdays suck
(Round 8)
now go run 3 miles home

Not only did I go home and do my core work (all like 10 minutes of it) I freaking showered, ate breakfast, put on makeup, and generally acted like a normal human being - which is impressive for me.

I then spent the rest of the day feeling entitled to a nap/being cranky, because hello I did speed work this morning, so no I do not feel like being productive, thank you.

Takeaway: Training again, complaining about training again, life is back to normal.

-stay caffeinated my friends

Monday, November 2, 2015

Let's Hear it for New York

Marathon Monday just isn't as fun when you didn't actually run a Marathon and have to go to work.

Running + Coffee = lifelong happiness
That being said, I took in as much of the NYC Marathon action that I could and am as equally tired today as I was post-Marine Corps last weekend. That's actually pretty sad. Anyways, I hit up the Expo at the Javits Center during lunch last week and was insanely jealous of all the crazy awesome 2015 gear (there was SO SO much), 2014 I am disappointed in you. I had some serious separation anxiety from this coffee mug and was really proud of myself for only trying one free sample. Who is this person, and where did the restraint come from?

Saturday morning, I actually dragged my non-Marathon running butt into Manhattan for a run with the Oiselle girls. They were shaking out their legs and race day jitters, I was shaking off the cobwebs from a week of "recovery" (my attempts at recovery are extremely feeble) and was just hoping that my feet would stay connected to my body. Mission accomplished. Central Park TURNED IT OUT and the weather was on its best behavior for the pre-race festivities.
When a shakeout run turns into a Oiselle Fall15 Fashion show!
I very rarely do group runs, so this was a really nice treat. It was so great to meet the girls who were running the race before hand so I knew who to look out for on Sunday. Of course, the park was practically electric with pre-marathon energy and while I was very glad NOT to be running, I was more than happy to join in all the excitement I feel like I missed out on last year since I was so flipping nervous about race day. Being a total nerd, I wore my 2014 Marathon shirt and therefore, spent half the day saying "thank you" to the nice people wishing me good luck. [I got tired of explaining that, no I wasn't running this year, but ran last year, and ran Marine Corps last weekend - because I desperately needed to validate my lack of participation to complete strangers - I ran last weekend I swear!] I made myself feel better by saying that I was dressed up as a 2015 Marathon runner for Halloween....

Halloween night was spent in a Sushi/Red Wine coma while I attempted to make signs for the Marathon, while really just trolling through Facebook looking at pictures of everyone's hilarious costumes and the most adorable children trick or treating - seriously good job this year guys, I was thoroughly entertained.
[Sidebar: do not make Running on Veggie's Homemade KIND Bars while drinking, you will eat half the tray and you will feel extremely ill the next day. You should totally make them sober though because they are AMAZING]

HAPPY MARATHON DAY - I was up bright and early finishing my signs and finally watching Quantico [how much do I want Priyanka Chopra's hair] and then it was off to get my spectator on, in head to toe matchy matchy 2014 Marathon gear [toolbag]. The Oiselle cowbell corner was stationed at 100th and 1st right around Mile 18.
Oiselle Cowbell Corner courtesy of  @ModelAyshaMirza
Not only did I get to hang with my fellow Volee ladies but, my cousin, fellow 2014 Marathoner, and love of my life was there to help cheer everyone on.
Yes, she was Chewbacca for Halloween.
And yes, I think I've convinced her to run Chicago with me in 2016.
McCrystals <3 NYC
We were able to see the Elite Women and Men bust through (looking like they were out for a stroll in the gd park) the majority of the Oiselle runners and stayed long enough to watch the masses pour up 1st Ave like a multicolored stampede. Let me just say, I have always declared my undying love for spectators because every single person makes a difference to me when I'm running. But after yesterday I have new found respect for them. My nose was running, my throat was sore, I have bloody knuckles from cowbelling and by the time I made it back to my parents house I was thoroughly spent, so EXTRA kudos to you race day spectators, that shit is no joke.

I've just been up to my ears in Marathon highs these past two weeks and am so damn happy and proud to be a runner. This year has been nasty in terms of the goals I was hoping to reach, and the whole having to take a month off of training/still not being 100%) but I am in such a better place mentally, that I'll take it and roll with it. While I still have my fair share of NYMarathon ptsd, it really never fails to inspire, and maybe one day I'll be back to run it in style. Until then I have to figure out which organs of mine can be sold on the black market so I can buy ALL the Oiselle and register for ALL of the races.

-Stay caffeinated my friends

I leave you with this moving tribute to my 2014 New York City Marathon...