Thursday, October 27, 2011
I had a bad run because...
- I hadn't run in a week.
- It was warmer out than I thought and my clothing choice was inaccurate.
- Maybe I shouldn't have eaten that pre-run mini snickers bar.
- I did not have enough water.
- I simply was not in the mood to run, tried to get it over with quickly and ended up failing miserably going from running fast to walking.
My entire run, these were the things that were running through my mind. Negative, no good excuses! It's no wonder I had a bad run. I set out to run 3 miles, I quit at 2.39 miles.
I'm planning to run the local Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day. A feat that I confidently told myself I could do with my eyes shut, with no training at all and heck, maybe I'll even sprint the thing and set a PR. Oh, how very naive and amusing. You know that saying "if you don't use it, you lose it"? I think that directly applies here. No more excuses. Excuses are just weakness and something that is going to prevent me from achieving my goals and being the runner that I desire to be. Today I felt like I could hardly call myself a "walker" let alone a "runner". I hope that I can use this as a lesson and a motivator.
Readers: Are excuses keeping you from achieving your goals? What do you do to stay motivated?
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I was fourteen, the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I was in California spending the summer with my grandfather. I had spent every summer with my grandfather, Papa, since I was two and my parents divorced.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
- What is your favorite speed workout?
- How often do you do a speed workout?
- Have you noticed a difference in your running with a speed workout mixed in?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
|You get extra points if you send a picture, so I had to!|
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I grabbed my finisher's
***I shaved over five minutes off my 2010 Eugene Half***
Monday, October 17, 2011
The 3 nights prior to the race, I did not sleep well. I know I was nervous and that definitely contributed to the insomnia, however, the night before the race was the worst. We had traveled to Portland and were staying at my sisters house. She has a guest room which is handy but it means that we then share a room with our 18 month old. She was recovering from a cold so hadn't been sleeping that great and was waking herself up coughing often, that combined with the fact that she could see me from her crib (and constantly yelled out "mommy! mommy!") plus my husband being hopped up on night time cold meds so he wasn't even aware that anything was happening made for a pretty miserable night. All that to say, I was strongly relying on adrenaline to get me through the race and my furthest running distance ever.
On the morning of the race, I woke up late so didn't have time for coffee (which helps with my running if I have it early enough), so had to quickly eat some breakfast and get dressed before Jess was picking me up. Luckily we had planned to go early and ended up having plenty of time. We were able to walk around, scope out the place and see hundreds upon hundreds of women ready to get their race on. The lines to the porta-potties were insanely long (of course!) and it was fun to check out what everyone had chosen to wear for game day. Lots of unique breast cancer shirts and even some women in aprons and pearls. Jess and I decided to keep it simple in our matching light purple Nike shirts and black pants.
Now, on to the race details. It was a chilly morning in Vancouver, WA. About 50 degrees and overcast with a decent breeze keeping us very cool before the 9am start time. I was wearing a jacket and decided I would toss it to my husband at the starting line (a good call). After a fun warm-up, we finally lined up and the race began. It was a slow start as 3200 women funneled through to cross the start line, and we were off!
Jess and I ended up running together the entire way, which was not expected. We had both given each other the freedom to take off or slow down if needed but I think we both got comfortable having each other there, maybe because we had been training and planning this together for so long or maybe we were truly relying on each other to make it to the end, either way it just felt right to start and finish the race together.
Passing the Mile 7 marker and knowing we were more than half way done was a great relief. At Mile 9 Jess and I decided to take a quick walk to catch our breath as one of us said "only 4 more miles!" I wished it was only 2. Two seemed doable, four seemed long. After about a 60 second break, we were off again. We did this a total of three times, at mile 6, mile 9 and mile 11 (also a quick one at mile 12). These little rests made all the difference to me. They were short enough to not mess up our pace or to convince my body that I was done but they were long enough to give me the relief I needed to continue on. I knew before I even started that I was going to need these breaks, so I had already given myself permission to take them when needed which helped me to not feel like I was weak or failing.
I had been having hamstring issues over the past several weeks so I was honestly nervous about how it would feel after pounding the pavement for so many miles. Luckily my hamstring, though sore, didn't really bother me too much. My knees, however, were aching bad for probably the second half of the run. It hurt to turn corners or to quickly hop up or down a curb, it was brutal! It didn't stop me and didn't mess with my pace but I was certainly hurting.
As I saw the Mile 12 marker, I knew we could do it and that the end was so close. It was a looong mile but as we got closer and closer to the end, the crowds got bigger, the cheering got louder and the encouragement was coming from every direction. I don't care if those people weren't cheering for me, I took everything I could get and it motivated me to the finish line. As we rounded our second to last corner, our husbands and kids were there to cheer us on; snapping pictures and shouting our names. I was so happy and excited and even felt a little teary, I had done it! One last turn and a final push to the finish line and we were DONE! We both threw our hands in the air and finished with smiles on our faces. What a rush, what a relief, what an accomplishment!
I'm not sure what our official time was yet but the clock at the finish line said 02:19:55 which probably means it was a little faster than that since we didn't cross the start line until a couple minutes after the clock started.
|The final push to the finish line|
|I did it!|
|Relieved and proud (and tired!)|
|My daughter (her shirt says "Run Mommy Run")|
- Eat a larger breakfast before such a long run (and coffee if time allows)
- Strengthen legs between now and next race (and continuously)
- Carry shot blocks, starburst or gummy bears because those gels are nasty
- Don't carry water, what a pain (I didn't but lots of people did and it seemed awkward)
- Give myself more time to stretch and recover before sitting in a car for 3 straight hours
- Always run with your best friend (together, even if not side-by-side)
- Have fun and be proud!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Now, 3 months later, amidst my fear and doubt I am actually excited for this upcoming race. Up until a few days ago, I didn't think I would ever be ready, let alone excited! Sure, I have said I was excited before but in my heart of hearts I wasn't sure I meant it...until now. I am truthfully looking forward to the experience, the challenge and to the sense of accomplishment that I expect to feel at the end. Plus, running in an all girls half marathon with your best friend, what could be better?!
Tomorrow afternoon, the husband and I are packing up the kid and heading to Portland to spend some time with friends and family before the race in Vancouver on Sunday morning. Jess and I plan to go get our race packets on Saturday and our little families get to spend some time together during the day. It's rare that we can all get together so it will be a nice treat this weekend and a great way to pre-celebrate the big day!
I have really enjoyed having this half marathon to train for. It has given me a sense of purpose and new sense of motivation (once I signed up and paid my dues, I had no choice but to be motivated!). Though my daughter is so wonderful and so fulfilling, it's been nice to have something that is all my own and something I can do for me. Once this half is over, I want to keep running races, as much as possible (I just need to figure out how to get sponsored so I don't have to keep paying all these race fees out of my own pocket!). Jess and I have discussed that we would both like to focus a little more on building our strength and endurance after this race. It's easy to get caught up in the mileage and spend most of the workout hours running, but we both realize that we have some work to be done when it comes to the strength department of our bodies. I know we will continue to motivate and encourage one another as we prepare for whatever comes next. I really want to come up with ways to work on my strength in the comfort of my own home. A gym membership isn't really an option for me right now so I'll need to get creative (suggestions/tips welcome!).
3 days until the 2011 Girlfriends Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This last weekend I was at a women's retreat for Young Life (the non-profit my husband works for) wives and staff women. I announced I was going running and another wife volunteered to go with me. Normally I would have gone out alone, not wanting to try and run with people way out of my running league, but I have been training for a half marathon, so I guess I was thinking I was hot stuff. The other wife and I headed out. It is important to note that I am decked OUT! I have on my nike spandex running capris, my Eugene marathon finisher technical tee (even though I only finished the half) and a CamelBak (I was testing it out at a option for hydration). To make a loooong running story short, she schooled me. This sweet lady, who hasn't been out for a run "in months" totally schooled me. And the icing on this humble pie, was the tale end of our run she coached me through a sprint. Encouraging me over my wailing and gasping breath to pump my arms,focus and for goodness sake...BREATHE.
Monday, October 10, 2011
When I stepped out my front door I could not have asked for better running weather: blue skies, sunny, mid-50 degrees and a slight breeze. Off I went...until I had pee. Only about 1.5 miles in and I had to pee! Are you kidding me?! With 8.5 miles left I knew there was no way I could hold it, so I looped back and ran home to use the facilities which I am glad I did because I felt much better afterward and ready to really hit the ground running now. I ran and I ran. I use my iPhone straped to my arm and a running app (RunKeeper) to track my progress so it's a bit difficult to keep a constant check on my mileage, for me this is a good thing as I would probably check it every 30 seconds if I could. I ended up stopping to walk about 2 or 3 times to pop a quick Shot Blok, check my mileage and change what I was listening to (or turn it off all together to run in silence), I maybe stopped for about 30 seconds before I was off again.
Overall, I felt really good. I've always known that running is just as much a mental sport as a physical sport but I think I truly grasped it on this run. Because I was in a mental space to run 10 miles, I knew I could do it. I wasn't going to try and run 10 miles, I was going to run 10 miles. I had nothing that I needed to rush home for, the weather wasn't making me too hot or too cold, and I could just fully enjoy the run at my own pace and accomplish my goal. However, as mile 8 hit I started to feel like I was almost done and in the home stretch and my body started shutting down, I was breathing heavier and uneven, my feet were beginning to drag and my mind was convinced that I was almost done when in reality I still had 2 miles to go. Instead of heading in the direction of home, I turned around and picked myself up to get through the final miles.
At about mile 9, I was thinking how lucky I was to be looking at the beautiful mountains while running on this gorgeous, clear day and that I should quickly take photo to post on the blog. The RunKeeper app has a camera button built into it but I had never used it before, how difficult could it be? I stopped, pressed the button, snapped a photo, saved it and began to strap the phone back onto my arm when I noticed that my mileage and pace had gone BLANK! The stopwatch part was still moving but everything else was 0:00. I had no idea what to do or how to get it back. I tried a couple buttons but nothing worked or brought it back. In my anger I sprinted towards home and just hoped and prayed that when I officially stopped the run it would all magically reappear and I will have accomplished 10 miles. So when I made it home and pushed the button to complete my run everything reappeared! I was so relieved except for the fact that I had only run 9.47 miles. I tried to restart the run but I don't think that's an option or at least I couldn't figure it out. I was disappointed and relieved all at the same time and just decided to be done with my run regardless. So I didn't quite make my 10 mile run but I am calling it "close enough" due to technical difficulties.
|Here is the crooked and not-so-great photo that ruined my run!|
Less than a week until the Girlfriend's Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA. After this 9.47 mile run I can honestly say that I feel much more prepared and excited for 13.1! Bring it on!
Saturday, October 8, 2011
In a little more than one week I will be running my very first half marathon. I can't believe it. I am nervous and excited and very afraid that I am not at all prepared. A recent hamstring injury set me back a little bit but I have stretched, iced and strengthened it as best I could and I think it should be fine for the half. The only problem is...I am only up to about 8 miles. I am determined to run 10 miles today even if it kills me. My husband is on toddler duty and I will be back when 10 miles is complete! As for 13.1 in a weeks time? I am just praying that adrenaline, determination and my running buddy, Jess, will help get me to that finish line.
The Girlfriends Half Marathon is taking place in Vancouver, WA on October 16th. Since I am used to running in Central Oregon at a higher elevation, I know that running at sea level will help my lungs get the oxygen they need. I just really hope my body follows suit and my legs can carry me all the way. Having my husband and daughter cheering me on will certainly help, too. I am excited for my daughter to sport her new "Run Mommy Run" shirt that I got her recently. The only thing I wonder is if this race will give me a sense of accomplishment and a new motivation to continue running half marathons (and maybe even a marathon one day!) or if it will knock me down a peg or two, make me feel defeated and confirm my suspicion that I am only a 10k runner. I guess we'll see!