Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.

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Long Beach Half Marathon 2012

Oh my, where do I begin?  While this was the same race I did last year as my first half marathon ever, it was definitely not my favorite.  To start with, I didn’t get enough sleep AT ALL.  We had Amanda and Conor over to make leaving in the morning easier, and while it certainly was easier, it made for getting to bed later than was ideal.

I wasn’t too worried about it – I wasn’t expecting a great night’s sleep.  But then, I couldn’t fall asleep.  And Mat, I love him to pieces but when he takes over the middle of the bed or rolls over and hits me with his arm while I’m already having trouble falling asleep and am getting myself all worked up over it because of the thought of wanting to PR in a half marathon in the morning, it’s annoying.

It’s ok though.  He cooks me good food and loves ME to pieces so I forgive him.  🙂

Once I woke up this morning, I felt ok.  I ate a tiny granola bar I got free at the expo on Friday, slathered on the sunscreen (I learned my lesson with oh so cute tank top lines in 2 out of 3 previous races), and we were off.

Traffic getting there was nonexistent because we left so early.  We had plenty of time to hit the portapotties once or twice before lining up at the start.

I was running alongside Mat for the first 1/4-1/2 mile or so and then he took off.  I knew he would (he was hoping to finish between 1:40 and 1:50).  I just wanted to try to keep the pace I was doing.  We both started in wave 1, even though I technically should have started in wave 2, and that helped because you didn’t have to weave around all the slow people and the people walking.  Wave 1 was for finishing between 1:16-1:50 and wave 2 was for finishing between 1:51-2:05.

Around mile 2-3 I was already feeling fatigued.  I pushed through anyway hoping I’d feel better by mile 5.  I sort of did, but for the most part I was constantly fighting fatigue in my legs.  When I passed the first clock somewhere between miles 6 and 7, it said 56ish minutes (gun time).  I figured that if I could keep the pace I was doing I MIGHT be able to break 2 hours.  Or at least come very close.  But, I also knew that I had the long stretch of beach ahead of me still that I had hated last year.  Even though I’d remembered my sunglasses this year (you run toward the sun for a good 2 or 2.5 miles) I was still worried.

Obviously, that worry was a bad thing.  It made it harder.  I just kept telling myself that I was hurting less today than I was last year because I was much more prepared (last year my max distance going into the race was 10 miles the weekend before).  When we finally reached the turn and could put the sun behind us for the last 3ish miles, I was very happy.  Still very fatigued, but I got my Clif Shot at mile 10 and tried to focus on the face that I was almost done.

We reahed the split at 10.8 and I was incredibly relieved to only be running the half.  Honestly, there were times during this race, including at the split, where I wondered if I’d be able to make it the whole way running.  But, I’m stubborn and only allow myself to walk through water stations, simply because it’s difficult to drink water out of cups without spilling it all over yourself.  (Now, when the sun is out I don’t mind spilling, but then I don’t get as much to drink which is bad).

I saw mile 11.  I pep talked myself that I only had 2 miles.  I’d done 11 on tired legs, what was 2 more?

I saw mile 12.  Only 1 more!

I saw the marathon mile 26 marker.  Only .2 to go.  There was the finish.  It’s a downhill finish.  Time for one last push of energy!

I flew down that downhill toward the finish.  I just wanted to be DONE!  Right before I crossed, the timer said 2:05.  I knew that I’d started about 30 seconds, maybe more, after the gun, so either way I had PRed.  My previous PR was 2:08:33.  I didn’t break 2 hours, but I wasn’t really expecting that.  Honestly, I was getting so worn down today that I just wanted to finish the damn thing without walking.

Needless to say, it was not the best race.  My body was arguing against me, it hadn’t had enough sleep, and my mind was against me too.  The fact that I still PRed despite all the negative thoughts in my head and my legs feeling like jello makes me pretty excited.  🙂  (At the time of posting, official race times were not available.  Mat did finish under 1:50 though).

However, soon after my poor system began to hate me.  You know those stomach cramps and nausea you sometimes get after pushing yourself through a long run?  Yeah that was me.  It lasted much longer than I’m used to and was much worse than I’ve ever experienced. UGH.

But, on a positive note, some pictures from after the race!

Mom and Amanda after finishing the 5k.  Amanda ran the whole thing even though she hasn’t really been running lately!



Mat and Daddy – they got their Beach Cities medals!



Mat and I:




Once my stomach issues were over, I was able to eat.  Thank God…I needed FOOD!  It was fitting that today’s Instagram photo challenge was “splurge:”


Overnight oats (peanut butter, oats, milk, chocolate protein powder, flax seed, and chocolate chips topped with granola and strawberries right before eating), banana, strawberries, chocolate chip banana bread with peanut butter (thank you Mommy!) and ice coffee with milk and Hershey’s.

Like I said, it was a splurge.

And now?  It’s all about the tv watching and total lounging.  We’re both pretty sore.  We’re also planning to go through some wedding pictures and start picking out what to put in the photo book our photographers are making.

As for running this week?  There won’t be much of it.  I need rest, that is very clear.


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A Good Run!

This morning my alarm went off at 5.  I was a bit groggy when I woke up (who wouldn’t be) but surprisingly not as tired as when I wake up at the same time on a workday.  Weird.  I got myself ready for my run and had a graham cracker with peanut butter on it before I headed out.


I did a slightly different beginning today.  I Mat suggested it because it would add about a mile to my nearly 12 mile run without it feeling like I was coming right back home and having to go past again like I mentioned last night.  It must have worked.  I started the run off kind of slow and easy so I wouldn’t risk tiring out.  I never really push it on long runs except to make sure I run the whole thing and finish it, but I also wanted to make sure this morning that I didn’t push it too fast at the beginning without realizing it.

I am SO PROUD of myself for getting through the full 13 miles without feeling fatigued.  Sure, I got tired, but in the usual way.  It’s a tiny personal victory to have a good run after a bad one last Saturday.

After my run, I showered and then got the dusting and vacuuming done.  It’s really nice to put my leftover running high energy into cleaning right away – that way it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it on Sunday and can rest instead.  I still need to clean the kitchen and Mat needs to clean the bathroom, but the rest is done.  The laundry is already started too.

Breakfast was a sliced banana with strawberries and overnight oats.



In this overnight oats:

  • 3/4 cup oats
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate chips
  • milk mixed with protein powder
  • granola (added right before eating)

I also had iced coffee with milk and Hershey’s:





The plan for the rest of the afternoon is to wrap my aunt’s birthday gift and hang around the house for a while.  We’re going to dinner for her birthday tonight and hopefully will have some time beforehand to wander around the mall a bit like we used to when we lived at home.  Oh, nostalgia.  🙂  It’s shaping up to be a very lovely Saturday!

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The Bad Run

Today’s run was bad.

I woke up at 5 am (yes, on a Saturday, I know, but I’d rather do that than suffer in the sun).  I was actually motivated this time to run 14 miles.  This hasn’t happened in a long time.  Usually when I wake up to run I have to force my butt out the door.  This lack of energy and motivation started sometime in the spring as my body and brain were getting more and more tired from planning the wedding and going through a very tough school year.  So, it’s pretty obvious that having excitement (and a little bit of nerves) was something I was going to welcome wholeheartedly and not put to waste.

So, off I went on my usual 14 mile route.  The first 3.5 miles are a loop around the complex and surrounding area and then I do an 11ish mile long run through Irvine.  Those first 3.5 miles were fine, a little tiring, but it often takes a while for my legs and body to get warmed up so I wasn’t too worried about it.  Then, about 4-4.5 miles into the whole thing, I noticed my legs were suddenly TIRED.  Like, way more tired than I’m used to experiencing.  Generally I’ll get tired but I’m able to push through it and in fact will force myself to push through because I HATE giving up.  But this was a different kind of tired.  This was that bad tired where your legs are essentially screaming at you to just STOP.

I paused and drank some water and shook out my legs, then started up again.  A bit later I was exhausted again.  Pause, drink water, shake it out, try again.  Finally I just decided that I needed to stop.  I had thought about stopping both times I’d paused earlier but wanted to try and see if I could work through it before giving up.  I always wonder if I really need to stop or if I’m just being “lazy.”  But something in my gut was telling me to stop.  Grudgingly, I listened to it and turned around.

During the 3 mile walk back my legs were fine compared to running, but I could tell they were tired.  I soaked in the tub for a bit to relax my muscles and then took a warm shower.  I then decide to knock out some chores: I changed the sheets, started laundry, dusted, vacuumed, and ran to Costco.  (Side note: Costco at 10 am on a Saturday morning is WAY better than any other time of day).  I finally got around to eating when I got back.


Today’s breakfast was overnight oats with chocolate protein powder:


In the mix:

  • peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • generous handful chocolate chips
  • milk mixed with protein powder
  • granola added before I ate it

We recently bought this protein powder on Amazon.  It’s huge!


You can tell how big it is from the toaster oven, mixer, and crock pot in the background.

I mixed the protein powder into the milk before adding it to the oats so it would dissolve properly.  It definitely made the whole thing taste like chocolatey goodness, which I’m definitely not opposed to.  🙂

With the oats I also had a banana with a few strawberries,


iced coffee with milk and Hershey’s,


and chocolate coconut water to help my sore leg muscles.


I took a long time to eat because of switching out laundry, checking email, and chatting with my mom-in-law for a few minutes.  I’m also working on burning copies of our wedding pictures to give to our parents.  Then, this afternoon I’m going to my Kappa big sis’s bridal shower!

I sure hope next Saturday is more successful run-wise.  I’m so frustrated!


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Sticky and Sunny

I’ve never really shared my pre-long run snacks, and today I remembered to take a picture.  I try to keep these snacks easy and pretty small.  I also like a mix of some sort of carb/sugar and protein.  Peanut butter is usually used.  🙂

Today was no exception.  A graham cracker with peanut butter:


I love peanut butter.

If you saw my DailyMile post this morning, you’d see that I had a sticky and sunny run.  I got up at 6 (that’s going to get harder and harder as the school year gets going…hopefully the weather calms down soon so I can start getting up at 7 again) and of course, by the time I got out the door all sunscreened up and with a full bottle of water in tow, the sun was already coming out and the air felt thick.  This does not do good things for the psyche.

When I first started, I instantly thought, oh crap.  This might be painful.  I had that tired feeling that I’ve been having a lot lately and just can’t seem to shake.  It’s getting really frustrating.  But, I pushed through anyway because I’m the idiot who doesn’t want to keep going and gets really tired yet still doesn’t stop.  I only stop when I really and truly cannot physically keep going.  It’s both good and bad.  That’s not to say though, that I don’t get slower as I run.  🙂

It was hot this morning.  Have I said that already?

After my run, I showered and threw on some clothes and went to pick up a couple prescriptions from the pharmacy.  I’m glad I got that over with.  It was a pain waiting for my face wash to come it because they had to order a slightly different one.  I’m completely out of my old one and my skin has been flaring up again all of a sudden, so I’m very thankful to have it back.


I love breakfast.  Especially when it consists of this:


Overnight oats: peanut butter (told you I love it), 1/2 cup oats, chocolate chips and milk sat overnight in the fridge and this morning I added a few strawberries and granola.  I had a banana on the side and iced coffee with milk and Hershey’s.

Today I have little things like laundry to do, and I also want to get a few things done for school.  The school stuff may carry into tomorrow, but I don’t mind that because I have the entire morning until about 2 pm before we go to a going-away party.

I understand why school starts earlier than it used to, and believe me once November comes and I have a week off at Thanksgiving and then December comes and I have 3 weeks off for Christmas, it’s worth it.  But right now?  Right now it’s hot and gross and I’d rather be at the beach.  It’s just wrong to be back in school when it’s so hot.  Oh well.  I’m employed.  I’m happy and thankful for that.

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Second Day

I got up earlier than usual for a Friday so I could fit in a 3.5 mile walk rather then my usual 2 miles. It also helps that on staff development days I can get to work just before 8 instead of in the 7s. Less rushing=happy Melissa. 🙂

That also means I can eat breakfast before going and avoid the temptation of continental breakfast (i.e. bagels that always make me crash). I’m enjoying cottage cheese with strawberries and granola and iced coffee while catching up on the news and blogging.


I realized a minute ago that today is an actual full day back to work. I need to readjust my blogging schedule again. Please bear with me as I do this!

On another note, I’m trying to figure out how to get a short dance choreographed, taught, and rehearsed for the dance production girls. There’s an assembly on September 14th that I’m fairly certain they are performing in. I’m thinking of going to YouTube for inspiration. Thoughts?

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First Day Back

The first day back to work was a pretty easy one.  We had various staff development presentations from 8-11:30 and were done for the day.  It was nice to ease back into work like that.  We have more staff development tomorrow and Monday and then have all day Tuesday to work in our rooms.

One of the first things I did when I got there was check my teaching assignment.  As I hoped, I have periods 1-4 of Algebra 2, 5th period prep, and 6th period Dance Production.  This excites me GREATLY.  I’ve taught Algebra 2 every year since I began teaching which means I’m very comfortable with it and won’t have to do a whole lot of prep work besides tweaking things to make them better.  I’ve taught Geometry a lot before, including both previous years at Century, and while it’s interesting, it’s not my favorite area of math to teach.  I’m pretty excited to not have that subject and to just have one math class to worry about.  Dance Production is already going to be challenging as I figure out what I’m doing!

However, I’m excited about teaching dance.  I’ll feel better once I get some questions answered on Monday when the other dance teacher is back, but overall I’m excited.  It will be so nice to teach something that’s been a passion since I was little.


I ate breakfast before work (I usually bring it with me) because I didn’t need to get there early to work in my room and prep for the day.  I finished the last of the Greek yogurt and topped it with strawberries, cereal, and honey.  Naturally, I had iced coffee with it (and took more iced coffee with me).


After work I went to Costco because we were out of or running low on a bunch of basics.  I was STARVING when I got home (that’s what happens when you eat at 7 am and don’t get home until 1 pm).  I had bought almond butter at Costco and was totally craving it, so I made some oatmeal, chilled it, and added milk, almond butter, a few chocolate chips, and a banana.


This afternoon is chock full of school things, blog things, and going to ballet.  I have lots to do to get ready for the new school year and lots of things buzzing around my head for the blog.  Thankfully, the new school year is bringing new motivation.  It also helps a LOT to know what I’m teaching and to know that it’s something totally manageable.  I think *fingers crossed* I’m really going to like this year’s schedule.  🙂

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Strange Dream

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This morning I woke up at 6 after a more restless night of sleep than I’d like to have. I woke up in the middle if a weird dream where I was back to work and was with kids but there were bad kids with knives and scary things and we were trying to hide. That’s basically all I remember. Weird, right? *shudder* I hate those dreams where you wake up and have to shake it off.

Fortunately, a dream like that makes you wake up much faster because you’re anxious to get your mind off of it and get back to reality. I was able to pul l myself out of bed fairly quickly and got dressed and sunscreened up for my 10 mile run. The sun was already beginning to show itself when I woke up, so needless to say I wasn’t too thrilled. At least there’s more shady spots on the route when the sun isn’t all the way up yet.

The air was coolish when I first went outside, but that must have had something to do with the shade of our apartment complex because it soon became muggy and humid. It could have been worse I suppose, but running into the sun at various points didn’t help either. I had sunglasses and water, but it was still quite warm the whole time. I even purposely ran through some sprinklers toward the end just to get some relief.

Part of what got me through the run was telling myself that I had overnight oats waiting for me for breakfast and that I could jump in the pool (yes, with my clothes on). I was sad when I hit back and discovered that, even though the pool is supposed to open at 8 am, the gates were still locked. Grrrr.

I gave up and went to take a shower. And enjoy my overnight oats. And iced coffee with milk and hersheys. Mmmm…


In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • peanut butter
  • generous handful chocolate chips
  • milk
  • strawberries (added this morning)

    It was delicious, as always.

    Now it’s time to get my hair cut, colored, and smoothed a la Brazilian blowout. Woohoo!