Ready to Run

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Let's discuss all the stuff it takes to go for a run.

Here is what a short weekly training run looks like...

It's pretty easy and not so much stuff...
  1. Lululemon No Limits tank (my fav, no longer in production)
  2. Lululemon Run Times shorts
  3. Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 shoes (new-ish and not quite broken in)
  4. Feetures socks. Good running socks, but the very basic version.
  5. Cheap sunglasses and sunscreen
  6. Earbuds, iPhone (with Map My Run), arm band
  7. Normal 16-ounce size bottle of water (you know what it looks like, right?)
I do three or four shorter runs each week, usually on the treadmill. This normally occurs from approximately 5:07 to 6:23 a.m. each day. I HATE the treadmill, but sometimes it's the best option when it's super hot and/or dark outside. And we're just talking three to five miles, so nothing too difficult. My goal is 10-12 miles weekly, in addition to a long run.

Now, here is a glimpse of my gear for tomorrow's super long, 18-mile training run...

It's a whole different ballgame, people... 
  1. Lululemon What the Sport Singlet
  2. Lululemon Energy Bra
  3. CW-X Stabilyx 3/4 Compression Tights
  4. Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 shoes (with about 150 miles on them)
  5. Feetures ultra cushioned anatomically correct socks (seriously, $17 socks?)
  6. Flip Belt (to hold all my energy gear)
  7. Cheap sunglasses and sunscreen
  8. Earbuds, iPhone (with Map My Run), arm band
  9. One to two 50-ounce bottles of water
  10. One to two bottles of lemon lime gatorade (served every mile along the NYC marathon course)
  11. Clif Shot Bloks energy chews, mountain berry flavor
  12. Powergel energy gels, double latte and berry blast flavors (served at mile 18 on the NYC marathon course)
  13. Banana and granola bar (again... you know what those look like, right?)
It is so so so much stuff. Running may be somewhat low-tech and easy, but it is definitely not cheap. My goal is to try out all my options before the New York City Marathon, so that race day is as perfect as possible. Last week's half marathon was my first experiment with compression gear (like the tall nerdy socks), so this week I'm testing the compression 3/4 pants. Apparently they help your muscles work better. I'm hoping that means that 18 miles feels like three miles. If that's the case, I will purchase every pair of pants they offer. Also my first attempt at energy gels, rather than chews. I hear they're disgusting, but then again, so is running 18 miles.

Obviously, colder weather will bring longer pants, jackets, hats, and gloves. But I love love love cold weather running, so that's when it gets good. Also obviously, I buy gear to make me feel better about the insanity that is marathon running.

Stay tuned for details about tomorrow's 18-miler and next weekend's 20-miler. My max distance so far is 15 miles, so it's a big leap. In the meantime, please feel free to drive around Kansas with bananas and gatorade and some sort of witty encouraging sign. I'm going to need it.

Please Come to Boston (the details)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Previously on {the ivy project}...

Katie is not athletic. Katie starts running. Against all odds, Katie gains entry to the 2016 Boston Marathon.

So now you're all caught up.

The truth is, I did not qualify for Boston. The qualifying standard for my age and gender is a previous marathon time of three hours and 35 minutes. Registration for qualifiers closed yesterday, but initial reports are that it wasn't enough to simply qualify this year. Runners needed to beat that standard by several minutes. And given that last weekend I ran a two hour and 39 minute half marathon, I wasn't so much close. It's elite for a reason, you know?

But here are two things you should know about me:
  1. I love a good challenge, particularly if it's quite prestigious and uncommon.
  2. I care deeply about communities impacted by tragedy. Scan back through {the ivy project} to learn more (hint: start with the April posts). I wrote a 75,000 word dissertation on learning from tragedy. I grew up in Oklahoma City. I am a New Yorker. I know amazing people in Boston. It matters.
Once I realized I could actually run New York, all I could think about was Boston. I know, I know. But you kind of already expected that, right? Knowing I would never be one of the 24,000 qualifiers, I sought ways to make one of the remaining 8,000 entries mine. 

Enter the 2016 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team.

Charity entries are common in the world's top marathons. They guarantee accessibility for non-elite runners and support the marathon's community in meaningful ways. Each marathon designates a minimum fundraising amount for charity team runners. Runners pay a higher entry fee (which provides a few perks on race day... cool gear and heated tent in the start village, anyone?) and fundraise for their organization. It's still a fairly competitive, application-only process.

So fast forward a few days, and I'm officially on Run DFMC 2016, with 100% of my funds raised supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It's Harvard's cancer research institute, and y'all know how I love a good Ivy League connection. But more than that, I love that their goal is to eradicate cancer, AIDs, related diseases, and the fear that comes with them. I have friends who lost children to cancer or who are currently battling cancer. My grandmother lost her battle with lung cancer when I was in high school, and my uncle passed away from the same disease less than a year ago. Fundraising for this marathon is a huge commitment, but it also seems like the right thing to do. Because what if there was a world without cancer?

From now until April 18, you can find out more (or, you know, donate) at, or just click "Boston Marathon" at the top of the page. If you want to give me a holiday/birthday/Tuesday/just because gift, maybe do this instead please. And yes, 100% of donations are totally tax deductible. Yes, I'm paying all the overhead costs, so all donations go directly to cancer research. No, I will not become super annoying and beg you for money. Yes, I will annoy you with super cute pictures of Little on his first trip to Boston.

So that's the plan, and it's going to be spectacular. 

Please Come to Boston

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'm back.

I know, right?

To make a really long, totally MIA story short, I just had nothing to say. Not too much exciting happened, except for becoming a doctor and an aunt. It's basically the same life everyone else lives, except for this one little thing...

I have become a runner. A serious one.

Now, let's take a moment to review my history of doing anything athletic or healthy:

  • Ages 0-26: Absolutely no exercise whatsoever. Occasional pretending to diet or do Weight Watchers without attending meetings or going inside Baylor's gym to see what was happening in there.
  • Ages 26-27: Discovered indoor cycling. Started to make friends with the idea of exercising. Attended a month-long, miserable exercise boot camp (during which I participated in all activities except for the daily running).
  • Ages 28-29: Moved to New York. Could no longer afford the gym. Proceeded to do weeks one and two of the Couch to 5K app for two years. Despised running longer than approximately 60 seconds. Worked up to maximum distance of a whopping two blocks.
  • Age 29: My super-runner boss told me to run slower. Decided she was insane but listened anyway. Registered for the National September 11 Memorial inaugural 5K. Ran the entire 5K without stopping and immediately swore that I was done with running.
  • Age 30: Moved to Kansas and became a little (a lot?) restless. Registered for the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon. Trained hard and finished in 2:48. Immediately swore I had no interested in anything longer than the half marathon. 
  • Age 31: Signed up for the OKC half again. Underestimated the final dissertation semester madness and fell in love with this little person. Proceeded to run a half marathon with absolutely no training in 3:05. 

Obviously, somewhere after that first half marathon last year, I started to wonder about something more. Now, for those of you who know me well, daydreaming about something bigger is kind of a pattern. It's how I got myself into the summer in Italy and New York and the Ivy League and all of the good stories of my life. And you also know that once I've started to daydream about something, I find (strategic/unrealistic/hard to justify/awesome) ways to make it real.

So I entered the New York City Marathon lottery, just to see what would happen. I am a super slow runner. No way I would ever qualify. People apply for lottery entry for years without gaining entry. I, however, am awesome at lotteries. Naturally, I got in on my first try. I've never been so thrilled to see a $266 charge on my credit card. Later that day, we discovered that this little person wanted to be in our family. Here is what Little thought of his first half marathon spectator experience:

26.2 miles is ridiculous. Insane. I can't even handle it. Except... somewhere in the last 10 weeks of training, I realized that I could. I'm running about 23 miles a week and adding a half marathon nearly every weekend. Last weekend, I ran my fastest half time yet (2:39) on the most awful, total uphill, downtown Kansas City course. For the first time, I ran 13.1 miles straight (with no walking). For the overweight, not in shape, struggled to fit in through high school and college girl inside of me, this is epic. I love race medals and free race photography...

In a very strange turn of events, I actually have no doubt about my ability to run 26.2 through the five boroughs of New York in five weeks. But if you really know me really well, you know that the "what's next?" daydreams show up like clockwork. (It's like an "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" type situation). Two weeks ago, when I started seeing information about another opportunity, I was hooked. The Chief (a.k.a. Mom, if you're new here) and I agreed that I wouldn't apply next year. It wasn't the right time. Too much going on in 2016.

Obviously, I applied anyways.

I am quite good at applications. I look great on paper. 

Wait five weeks, they said. But 24 hours later, I got a response.

Please Come to Boston.

So this, my friends, is the story of how a girl who couldn't run two blocks got herself into the Boston Marathon. In a five-month span, I'm going to run two of the six World Marathon Majors (leaving only Chicago, Tokyo, London, and Berlin to go). I cannot believe that I am doing this... that I'm this person. We're just under six weeks from New York City and 30 weeks from Boston. 

November 1 and April 18. 

Because I'm a little bit stubborn and a little bit fearless and a little bit determined to do the things I think I can't. I'll do my best to keep writing. Apologies in advance for the annoying social media posts. Thanks a bunch for all the love.