I can’t believe it’s almost the end of September. Why do the best months of the year (fall) fly by while the suckiest months (summer) seem to last forever? It isn’t fair!

This is my favorite time of the year to be outdoors and be active. While I love winter more for running due to the reduced risk of death by over-sweating, fall is a time when I can run and bike outside. I’ve been getting really into cycling lately, which is a good thing because I don’t have the option of running too much anymore. Actually, I’ve been getting really into everything lately. If it’s active, I want to be doing it! Not a week goes by that I’m not emailing Amanda, Chuck, or both with website links to “fun” events I want to do in the coming months, like metric century bike rides and half ironman triathlons. They are good friends because they humor me and don’t immediately delete the emails.

I’ve found that it is important to be friends with people as crazy as you are.

My workout schedule has never been more diverse than it is right now, and I’m proud of that. I recently started the Bikini Body Workout Program and it’s going well, although the workouts are pretty killer. I decided to start the program because I really needed some guidance in the area of strength training. I am not the type of person that feels confident just walking into a gym and making up my own routine, and I wanted to maximize my results. Of course, it’s also no secret that I’m pretty uncomfortable in my own skin right now, to put it lightly. None of my efforts to lose weight, no matter how little or much I eat or how little or much I exercise, are working. I’m really disturbed by it, and I’m working with my doctors to try and figure out what’s going on. In the mean time, I’m focusing on eating a healthy diet (and not counting calories anymore, because it damn near drove me insane) and getting stronger and leaner where possible. At the end of the day, all I can do is try to take care of myself as well as possible and not lose my mind in the process – easier said than done.

In addition to hard core strength workouts 3 times a week, I’m also cycling and running, of course. Amanda and I did an organized 50 mile bike ride this past Saturday in Little Mountain, SC, where we obviously took no pictures because I suck at being a blogger. However, this weekend, Amanda, Chuck and I are doing a metric century (62 miles) and I will make more of an effort to record that for posterity. I got a new carbon road bike that is lighter and better at climbing hills, so it is easier on my back, and I’m noticing a big difference in how I feel on the bike.

On the running front, I’ve started slowly adding speed work and hill repeats back in. Since I’m only running 3 days a week, I’m doing one easy run, one day of either speed or hills, and one long run. I alternate hills and speed every other week. While I’m certainly not the fastest I’ve ever been, I am noticing steady improvement in my running. My last two long runs (which admittedly are not the 20 milers I should be doing for marathon training) have been right at 10 minute pace, including walk breaks, so I can’t argue too much with that.

AJ to me on a daily basis

Ahh, marathon training. Remember that time I had a marathon coming up in less than 3 weeks? Me too. What a nightmare. I have done nowhere near enough training for this race. I have thought (and thought and thought and thought) about dropping down to the half, but this would be the second plane ticket I bought for Kansas that would go to waste, which would mean there would be a third. I also thought about trying to cram a ton of training into the last few weeks, but that’s stupid and I honestly don’t have time anyway. So, I’m going to do the best I can and just be prepared for the fact that it’s probably going to really suck. At least I’ll be running with Patty the whole way, so we’re sure to have a great time.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and keeping up with my blog posts for Women’s Running, you’ll know that I’ve been feeling a little stressed and a lot of pressure about marathon training. I rushed myself into training because I didn’t want to miss out on what everyone else is doing, and I was neither physically nor mentally prepared. With that in mind, I don’t have a marathon planned after Prairie Fire. My next focus will be the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon in December. Amanda, Kate, and Patty will all be running the full, but since I already have the state of Delaware, I’ll be doing the half and trying my best to race it. I don’t know if I’ll be in PR shape by then, but I am definitely planning on running it hard, and my training in the coming months will reflect that.

Speed work? Meh

Aside from working out all the time, I’m also writing all the time, whether it’s assignments for grad school (last semester, holla!), freelance work, Women’s Running, Ramblen, or something else, I have at least one or two things to write each day, which is part of why my blog posts are suffering. I’m also trying to plan a wedding somewhere in there, but I suck at it.

So for now, I leave you with a picture from our engagement party this weekend and a promise to try and write more and an assurance that it probably won’t happen. Oh, and one more thing. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for another set of Team T-Rex shirts. Would you be interested in ordering one? If so, leave a comment so I can get a feel for how many we’re looking at – it determines the price!

AJ, me, T-Rex Mom and T-Rex Dad at our engagement party!

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