Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life lately [brain + photo dump]

Hello loves!

I keep telling myself I'll keep up with blogging better once my comprehensive exam is done, once classes are done, once I graduate... but the fact is, life is BUSY. I finished my comprehensive exam over FOUR weeks ago, and classes ended Monday...

So, I hope you'll just be happy to see me when I'm here and not miss me too much when I'm gone. Like your favorite flaky friend who is oh-so-hard to make plans with but whom you love dearly. :)

Here's a glimpse at my life lately. (that is, the part of my life that wasn't work + papers + presentations + job applications...)

I attempted for a while to walk or run a mile a day in May. That fell apart pretty quickly (#postmarathonslump), but I did manage to convince Pat to take a walk with me on campus one evening!

He took this sneaky picture of me while I was taking the first picture. (#bloggerproblems)
I celebrated my last Capstone class on a patio with my lovely friend Ashley.
 I ran a 5k that was 19 seconds away from my best time ever. (I'll take it!)
My wonderful friend Sam visited, and we went disc golfing! (aka the boys golfed and I walked around and talked at them :)

 This is what a disc-golf walk ends up looking like:

And finally, I had my last college class this Monday. These lovely ladies and I started together and now we're finishing together. (also, you can see in this picture that I chopped my hair off :)

Upcoming in my life: Me and Pat are both graduating this weekend!! Which means -- The Meeting Of The Families. My little sister, Anna, has met Pat's dad and aunt, but they're the only ones who have met. So my parents will be meeting his dad and aunt and everyone will be meeting Pat's sister. It should be exciting!

We also each have three ceremonies!! Luckily, two of them overlap for both of us. Pat and I will each miss one of the others' ceremonies (does that make sense? his business ceremony is at the same time as my hooding ceremony. booo).

And we're also having a graduation party Saturday! SO MANY THINGS.

And then next week, we're taking offffff on a trip to Oregon and Washington. I'm SO excited. We're going to hike Mt. St. Helens, meet Shauna and Tim and see my friend Jacque and do lots of cool things.

I am not sure when I'll be posting again. :( If you want to keep up with me, I'll be on Twitter and Instagram -- find me there!!!

Lots of love,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book review: Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I think I am way behind everyone else in the world to read this book. And that's mostly because I didn't want to read this book. But I ended up really, really liking it and definitely recommend it!

I think what threw me off before was the fact that Cinder, the main character, is a cyborg. I didn't know what that meant for her characterization and wasn't interested in reading in robot-thoughts.

It's kind of funny that those were my thoughts, as negative impressions of cyborgs are a huge element in the book! In reality, Cinder thinks and feels just like a "normal" person -- she just has some extra features, like an internal system that tells her when her adrenaline is high and  light only she can see that flashes when someone is lying. She also has some bionic body parts.

People in Cinders world don't treat cyborgs as humans, though, so my initial prejudice fit right in with the plot!

I really enjoyed the plot and characters in Cinder. Although I guessed some of the "twists" way before I think I was supposed to (and you probably will too) it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book! It was definitely one I thought all the time when I wasn't reading it! It also helped me get through the first half of my marathon. :)

Cinder turned out to be a really fun re-imagining of Cinderella, and I've put the next book on hold already!

Have any of you read Cinder? What did you think?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Past or Present: Where do you live?

Hello, friends!

How's your Wednesday going? I did a big thing yesterday and cut my hair off! It's super super short now. No non-awkward selfie pictures yet, but as soon as I get a good pic, I will be sure to share!

I fell off the bandwagon a bit recently, but I'm back today to real talk with my blogging bff Tamara, who is hosting a thought provoking link up for the next forever -- 30 topics in 30 weeks, inspired by these two articles about things to do for yourself and things to stop doing to yourself.

Lehmann Laughter

Today's Topic:

Past or present: where do you live?

This one doesn't quite speak to me. Except for when I've just gone through a big change -- graduation, a break up, a death, etc -- I'm pretty good at not living in the past. Or if I do something stupid, I typically dwell on it a bit. The real question for me right now...

Present or Future

I am about to graduate. (again.) I don't have a job yet and don't know in what city or state I will get a job. I don't know how long I'll keep working where I'm working -- technically I have till the beginning of August, but I may leave before then if I get a job. So I'm spending a lot of time applying to jobs, worrying thinking about the future, and planning all of my tomorrows.

Also, I have an awesome trip coming up, and one of my bffffffs is getting married in November and I get to be her Maid of Honor. So I'm also really looking forward to both of those things and spending a lot of mental/thinking time there, too.

I know that when I move to the next thing, whatever that may be, it will be hard. Even if I love it, it will be a challenge. (Or at least, it better be. How else am I supposed to learn?) And I know that I'll look back at this position and remember how confident I was in my abilities. Remember how much I love living in this house with Pat. Remember my classmates and the security of being one of a cohort all learning together. So I should enjoy it while I'm here.

The real battle is to stay here.

In my last capstone class, with all of my cohort meeting for the last time before we graduate, our professors asked us each to give our classmates some advice for going forward. One of my classmates said,

"Be where you are, when you are, where you are."

So I'm going to try to do just that.

Where do you "live" -- Past, Present or Future?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Recap: Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz (my first marathon!!!)

Otherwise titled, "The big, long marathon post." Feel free to skim. I know not everyone cares as much about my first marathon as I do. :)

I officially started training for this race on November 11th and ran it on April 26th. That's five and a half months of training for a five and a half hour race. I can't believe it's over.

That being said, I ran/walked/moved my body for five and a half hours and I have no idea where to start. So I guess I'll just start.

One of the main reasons I picked this race is so that my family could be there. Olathe is just 30-40 minutes from where I live, 20 from where big sister lives, and about three hours from where my parents and little sister live. So, while I know people who do their first marathon in exotic or fun locations, I wanted to be close to home and have my loved ones here. Also, after my 20 mile training run, I was STARVING, so I hoped to have someone to hand me some food along the route at some point.

In the week(s) leading up to the race, though, I thought that might not happen. The route went into a nature trail thing at about 15 miles and didn't come out again until 21 miles, which would make it difficult to see me more than once or just at the finish line. My family had to day trip, which meant they were spending 6-7 hours in the car just to see me run by and be sweaty a couple of times. I told my mom it probably wasn't worth it.

She didn't take it well.

The night before the race, Pat and I drove over to my sister's apartment to be closer to the start line. Emily couldn't be there for the race, but she took care of us the night before. She made some kind of yummy meaty thing for her and her bf and Pat to eat and I ate my traditional pre-race mac and cheese and we played games and I pretended I wasn't about to run a marathon the next day.

In the morning, I woke up before 5 am, ate, and took a shower. Pat drove me over to Garmin Headquarters, where the race started, and I cussed a lot because the parking situation was really scary and I wasn't sure I would make it on time.

I kept telling Pat, "It's just a run."

We parked and made our way to the start line. I took a selfie of us, then walked up to someone I thought was random to take our picture, but it ended up being a girl who lived in my residence hall freshman year. What are the odds?

I told Pat again, "It's just a run."

I cried a little.

And then we started.

I started out at the very beginning with the 5:30 pacer. If you are a competitive person, I'm sure you will not believe this, but I totally didn't have a time goal. Really, I swear. But I had estimated, based on training times, that I could feasibly finish around 5:30. So I started with the group of pro-runners who said they would finish at 5:30.

But they started out so dang slow. I couldn't handle it. So then I made it my goal to stay between 5:15 and 5:30. I could easily keep up with the 5:15 at the beginning, but I knew I would slow down eventually in the later miles. So I decided to try to stay between them.

The first miles FLEW by. Seriously. There were bands of supporters here and there through the whole course, which was great. I was listening to Cinder on audio, which was awesome. It went really fast. A mile or two in, the half marathoners split off from those of us doing the full, and it got waaay less crowded. That's maybe when I realized I was actually running a marathon.

Around mile three, I started noticing some awfully dark clouds behind me. The forecast had been a 30% chance of rain for several of the hours I'd be running, but I hadn't worried too much, because that was a 70% chance of NOT storms.

But the clouds were pretty scary. And then, I started seeing lightning. And then, it started raining. I was wearing long sleeves, so I tucked my iPhone armband under my sleeve and I kept going. Obviously.

The only thing I was thinking was "I hope they don't cancel the race." Over and over, that's all I thought. I started thinking about what other marathon was soon, how far I would drive to run somewhere else, how much the registration would cost to register a week before the race...

A runner dressed as the Tin Man was near me at this point, and she kept pointing out all the houses with tornado shelters. I finally asked her if she was from the area, and she said no. I told her if she was from Kansas she would have been chasing the tornados, not hiding from them. (there was no real threat of tornadoes, btw. She was clearly not from the midwest or she would have known.)

I think it rained from about mile three through mile 11. I was running with the 5:15 pacer pretty much that whole time, which was nice, because my headphones kept slipping from my ears. Eventually, I stopped my book and just ran for a while with my headphones tucked in my shirt. I never run without listening to something, so I was really lucky that I was with the 5:15 pacer at that point, because we chatted and it kept going by really fast.

I need to take a minute to talk about the rain, though. YOU GUYS. It started out as the lightest sprinkle of rain you can imagine, with the sun still out. Then it turned into real rain. Then, it was raining sideways at us and my entire body was soaked, including my feet and my shoes and my socks. I could hear the puddles in my shoes with each step. Then we turned and ran into the rain uphill. It was pretty rough.

Around mile 11 (I think), though, we saw some blue sky through the clouds, and the rain started to let up.

Around that same point, I slowed down a bit. I let the 5:15 guys get ahead of me and decided to take it a little easier.

The next thing I really remember is hearing a lady say, "That poor thing is soaked through." Well, yes ma'am. I sure was.

At 13 miles I saw Pat. PAT!!!! I was so happy to see him. He offered me water and snacks and I stopped for a minute to walk with him, then kept going.

Up to this point, almost all of the course had been city roads. Olathe did an AMAZING job making this race safe for us! Most of the time, there was a full lane sectioned off for the runners, and there were volunteers EVERYWHERE.

At mile 15, I went into the woods. I had already stopped for a bathroom break at this point (sorry, non-runners, if that's TMI. there might be runners who care, though). (Here's some more TMI: When you're running, you feel like you'll explode and you have to stop. And then you do. And then your body has NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. So you're sitting in a porta potty and nothing is happening, and then you're like, well, I guess I might as well keep running. Annoying.) (or maybe that's just me.)

The woods were good? I don't remember too much. There was an awesome aid station where people were dressed up as the full cast of the Wizard of Oz and you could take pictures with them, but it is super difficult to get my phone in and out of my armband, so I just kept going.

It was pretty muddy through the trail part of the course. Most people had mud kicked up all over the back of their legs. I don't remember that happening, but I know I did have mud. I mostly tried not to fall.

I cried again in the woods part twice. First, when I saw a sign that said "Trust your training." (Oh god, I might cry again now...) And then again when I saw the mile 20 sign.

I started walking now and then through the woods, but I stayed ahead of the 5:30 pacer until I took my second bathroom break and got passed while my body was trying to decide what to do with itself.

When I was coming around a corner around mile 21, I saw my dad. And I started crying again.
My whole family was mega paparazzi. My mom tried to hand me a banana but I didn't take it. (Spoiler alert: I probably should have.) Anna had an awesome sign, which you'll see below, and they told me runners had been stopping to take pictures with it. And Pat also tried to feed and water me. I stopped for a minute, then kept going.

Look how happy I am! I'm running a marathon! This is fun! Weeeeeeeeeeee!
And then Pat tells me I still have five miles left and I'm not so sure...

The rest of the race was pretty rough. I walked a lot, and the people around me walked a lot. I was so sore already. There's probably a few reasons I was walking so much:

  1. I hadn't eaten enough. I was distracted by the rain, which also made all my food packaging really slippery and difficult to manage <--- Most likely culprit, as fueling was the huge difference between an awful training run (18 miles of hell) and a fun training run (20 miles of not-quite-bliss-but-at-least-pleasant).
  2. I went out too fast with the 5:15 pacers <--- Probably what pro runners would tell me, but this was the pace I ran for my 20 mile run. So probably a factor, but I think the fueling made the biggest difference.
  3. The rain really took all my energy. <-- Another likely culprit.
Anyway. I walked a lot. Also, my phone died about a mile away from the finish.

Still, finish I did. I wish I'd been with it enough to raise my arms and get a good picture, but really, ALL I WANTED IN THE WORLD was to cross that finish line and find somewhere to lay down.

My family was lined up at the finish because, real talk, there weren't that many people still running at this point so they had a pretty clear path. The announcer guy called out my name and said my mom and some other people waiting for me and they had flowers and I must be a really nice person.

After I crossed the finish, I walked until I found some grass, laid down, and cried.

So, if you've failed to keep track:

  1. I cried at the start
  2. I cried at a sign that said "Trust your training."
  3. I cried at mile 20
  4. I cried when I saw my family
  5. I cried when I finished
  6. And I might cry before I finish writing this post.
We took lots of pictures after I finished, in some of which I look embarrassingly happy. I took my shoes off. Pat was super sweet and bought me a shirt that I don't have a picture of but I'm sure you'll see it eventually. My lovely friend Jenna came to see me cross the finish line, and she brought me beautiful flowers and hugged my gross sweaty self. 

I finished in 5:39:56.85.

And then I went home and tried to move as little as possible.

EDITED BECAUSE I FORGOT AN IMPORTANT THING: After the race, Pat told me he'd seen race organizers rounding up buses to pick us all up. Meaning they were thisclose to cancelling the race. But they didn't!!!

For those of you who made it this far in the post, please enjoy a picture of me looking embarrassing levels of happy.

Thank you all so much for all your support through my training and my race! Love you all. (For real.)


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