My favorite running pic!

My favorite running pic!
The Buffalo Creek Half

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tomorrow's the day!

I can't believe it's here!  Tomorrow at this time, I will be getting lined up to run my half marathon.  All the months of training, exhaustion, and hard work come down to this.  I am so excited, but SO nervous!

I was on dailymile this morning and asked if anyone had any last minute advice for me.  Someone said something which will stick with me.  He said "let the race come to you".  I never thought of it that way, but what a good way of looking at it.  We often get so wrapped up in the "race" that really if we just do what we had been doing all along, the race will just be there.  We would be running the race instead of the race running us.  What a concept!  I am going to try to think about that tomorrow.

I think that I have said it before.  I know that I have trained well.  I have never changed my training or missed training.  I stuck it out no matter what the weather or how I felt.  I really, really want to do well tomorrow.  But first and foremost, I want to finish.  I am going to start out running with my friend Beth.  She has done this several times before and I think if I stick with her, I won't give into the adrenaline and go out too fast.  I know that is the key!  With 13 miles to go, I cannot go out too fast.   If I can keep a consistent pace the first half, I am hoping to increase my speed a little in the second half and hopefully have a good bit for the last mile.  That's my plan.  But I know that plans often get changed.  Whatever it is, it is.  I just want to finish.

I know I will be emotional.  I've cried several times just thinking about it.  I told my friends that the other day and they agreed.  They've all been there.  They've had that overwhelming feeling of finishing something you've worked so hard for.  I'll be there.  In just over 24 hours.  Oh my! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's coming!

The half marathon that is!  I can't believe it's on Saturday.  Oh my!  I am so excited right now.  Much more excited than nervous, but I know come Friday night/Saturday morning, I will be much more nervous than excited.

On Saturday, we ran a short (haha) 8.25 miles.  In the rain.  Sometimes the pouring rain.  And guess what?  I liked it!  I really did enjoy myself on that run.  I started with a light jacket on over a running tank, but ended up taking it off about mile 2 1/2.  I did buy a hat at the running store before we left on our run and I was so glad I did!  It kept the rain out of my face.  My friend, Beth, forgot her hat and she was complaining that her eyes were burning from the sweat mixed with the rain dripping in her eyes.  I'm sure that hat will come in handy for me many times.

I have decided to run each of my miles for someone during the half marathon.  I asked some of my family/friends to choose a mile.  I read this in a book (although they were doing the full marathon) and thought it was a great idea.  I figured if anything, it would keep my mind focused on who I am running for that mile, even for just a little bit.  Of course, the last .1 I am running for me!

So, it's taper week.  Not much running going on this week.  It actually feels kind of strange.  I only ran 2 miles yesterday and did an hour of yoga last night.  I'll run again tomorrow and then that will be it until Saturday.  I am going to ride the bike today and possibly for a bit on Thursday.  Hopefully, my legs will be fresh, rested and ready to go on Saturday!  I really can't believe it's almost here!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

9 days and counting

Oh my!  I can't believe my first 1/2 marathon is in 9 days!  9 DAYS!  That is just crazy!

I know that day I am going to be super nervous.  There is no way to get around it.  Luckily, though, I have offered to pick my friends up so we can go together.  First, I will be driving, so I will have to focus on the road rather than the race.  Second, my friends have run a 1/2 before and they are so stinkin' funny, they will make me laugh the whole way down.

I know that I can make it.  Last week, when we ran the 12 miles, I could've added another 1.1 no problem.  I know I could have!  Not that I wasn't tired, not that I wasn't hurting, but I could've done it.  I'm going to try to remember that when I am on the way to the race. 

I am not going to be running for any certain goal time.  I have heard that is not a smart thing to do in any first race.  Do I have a time in my head of where I think I will be?  YES.  Will I be upset if I don't hit that time?  NO.  I will be estatic just to finish.  I know I will cry.  I'll cry out of happiness, out of exhaustion and out of realizing I accomplished something in my life I never thought I would.  I can't believe I am running in a half marathon.  I just can't believe it.

I have trained so hard.  I never waivered in my training.  I stuck to it when it was snowing, windy, didn't matter.  When I had to run, I ran.  I have added biking for cross-training and have added miles and miles as well as muscle by riding.  I can't wait!  I can't wait to complete the race.  9 days can't come soon enough!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My 12 mile success!

Yesterday, I met my friends Joanne and Beth for our 12 mile training run.  I have to admit, I was nervous!  I had never run 12 miles before and it was a bit warmer than I am used to.  It was about 52 degrees when we started.  I know...that's not warm.  But when it was 21 degrees last week, it really is.  But it's so nice to run with friends.  They make me smile and laugh even when we are all in misery.

So, the route we take (as you know from previous posts) is quite hilly.  I had added 4 miles onto our 8 mile run from last week using mapmyrun.  I did drive it a few days ago, but made a wrong turn so didn't see the entire route, although I did know there would be a pretty decent hill.  You know, to add to all of the other ones we run!  But the road that I missed the turn on that we had to run...holy hills!  I'm not talking a mild grade, short hill.  I mean steep, long hill.  Maybe I should say hills.  Because there were several and I think the girls might have wanted to kill me!

But you know what?  We did it!  We made it up the hills, we made it though the run, we ran 12 miles!  How exciting is that?  12 miles in 2:26!  I was so happy!  I am really proud of myself for never giving up and for being so disciplined about this run.  Oh my!

My knees and hips were a little sore, so I did a bunch of stretching and iced my knees twice yesterday.  Then I added some 800mg of ibuprofen and guess what?  Today, I am good to go!  I am actually thinking of running a couple today and that way, I can rest tomorrow and just bike.  I truly can't believe that I feel this good. 

I would never have come this far without these girls.  They inspired me from the beginning as they were training for their races last year.  They continue to inspire me.  I know now that I will make the entire 1/2 marathon.  I could've run another 1.1 yesterday.  Even with all of the hills!  That is the best feeling ever!  What a success!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My big upcoming training run

OK...I am getting very close now.   A little over 2 weeks until my first half marathon!  I can't believe it.  No, really, I can't!  I hope I can make it.  I keep telling myself to keep up with the training and I will be fine.  Speaking of training...

Saturday is our long run.  12 miles.  Yep!  That's what's on the schedule.  Holy cow Batman!  I actually was a little bit proactive in preparing for this run by going on and planning out our run.  I used our 8+ mile run last weekend and just added to it.  And then, I drove it yesterday.  Boy, am I glad I did that!  I missed a turn and that would've made us run over 13 miles.  Besides that, it is a good route.  It's just incredibly hilly.  But that will make us stronger, right?

My running buddy, Joanne, texted me about the run this morning.  She said she's looking forward to it.  I replied that I am 1/2 looking forward to it and 1/2 dreading it.  (Please note that Joanne has run 2 half marathons already, I have not!)  She then replied "Do not dread!  We will just settle our minds and bodies in for a long relaxing run!"  Is she kidding?  Relaxing should not be used to describe a long run...EVER!  It will be grueling!  That's definitely a better word.  A long, grueling run!  That sounds much more realistic.

I love Joanne!  She's funny, kind and great company.  She always encourages me.  Always!  And she talks the entire run.  She gets my mind off of the thousands (JK!) of miles we have to run.   It's amazing what we talk about.  And, I am getting better at talking through the run and the hills!  That means I'm getting stronger, right?

Anyway, I will be nervous on Saturday.  I just will be afraid I won't make it.  If I do, I might just cry.  12 miles is a long run.  At least to me.  But if I can get through this 12 miles, then I WILL be able to run the half in 2 weeks.  I'll update after the long, grueling (not relaxing) run!  Until then...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sometimes it just feels good...

Friday night, I was exhausted from working at our church fish fry.  We were very crowded and I was on my feet and running around for several hours.  I was a little worried how my long run would fare come morning.  We had an 8 mile run planned.

I had learned from the last 3 weeks of fish fries to not eat fish the night before my long run.  I found that my stomach was all upset the next morning during my run.  Not to mention I felt very sluggish.  So this week, I tried something different.  When I got back from working, I just had a bowl of raisin bran.  I knew I had to eat something, but it was about 8 pm and didn't want too much.

Next morning, I woke up and had my usual Nugo bar and cup of coffee and then got ready to head out the door to meet my running buddies.  I could tell the difference in my stomach from the moment I got up.  I had made the right decision avoiding eating fish that late and before my long run.  Started on our 8 mile run and felt awesome!  This was the best I had felt in weeks.  I felt great the entire run.  Of course, it didn't hurt that the weather cooperated.  It was sunny and in the low 20s.  Cold but hardly any wind and sunny, so I can't complain.

I don't know if it was the food that made me feel so good during that run or all of the training or the wonderful company that I had that day.  All I know is that I felt great and sometimes it just feels good...I love those days!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Training really works!

Yes, it does!  Training works!  Do you believe that?

After my lyme disease, I basically had to start all over with running.  I wasn't feeling so good because I had missed 3 months of training and several races that I REALLY wanted to run in.  But I knew I wanted to get back to it and would put in any and all of the work required.  I changed my training plan and started focusing on distance rather than speed so much.  I needed to build back up my endurance.

I began training again in mid-September.  I started feeling pretty good.  Brady and I signed up to run the Y Turkey Trot in the beginning of November.  Turns out it was the day after the cub scout sleepover at the Y.  Not really a sleepover, an up-all-nighter.  I was tired, so didn't put any expectations on myself.  I was planning on walking a good portion.  But about mile 1 1/2 or so, I started feeling pretty good.  I finished at 33:39.  My worst time, but considering I was up all night playing volleyball, climbing rock walls and listening to excited kids (plus not eating well), I was pretty happy.  I was more happy that I just got to complete the race.  That lyme disease kicked me in the butt and I really didn't know if I was ever going to have the energy again.

The weekend after that, I ran my first 10K.  It was a last minute decision.  I was there alone, but found someone I knew there who is a great runner.  I was talking to her about it.  She was running the 5K.  Her name is Jinny.  It was a beautiful run.  On the trail, by a river, almost the entire time.  It was chilly, but sunny.  I just tried to keep my pace the entire run.  Every time I looked at my watch, I was at the same pace.  I couldn't believe it.  I told Kip I anticipated 1:15-1:30 finish time.  I came in at 1:04:36!  Holy cow!  I was so happy!  Jinny was there at the finish line cheering me in.  I thought it was so nice of her.  I felt great.  From that moment on, I knew I liked distance races and set in my mind to run a 1/2.

On Thanksgiving Day, Kip, Brady and I ran in a turkey trot (Brady begged us to do this one!).  Brady took off very fast and I stayed at my pace and made Kip go and slow him down.  He was mad, but I know he would not have the endurance at that pace to make the entire 5K.  I was right and he knew it!  I coached him the whole way and we had our best 5K times yet.  Brady - 31:29, Me - 31:33, Kip 31:44.  It was a great day!

Shortly after I signed up for a 1/2.  I've been training for it since.  I run about 4 days a week. 3 of those days I run  2-4 miles on those days, with some speed and hills thrown in and 1 of those days is my long run I run with Joanne.  I am VERY disciplined about getting my runs in, plus I crosstrain with the bike or step class another 2 days.  But it's working!

I'll give you 2 examples.  First, on the second long run Joanne and I ran together, we ran 6.2 miles.  It was a nice day, but our typically hilly route.  We ran it in 1:11.  It turned out to be an 11:27 pace.  Fine for a long run. I wasn't disappointed.  Last week, we ran 10.1 miles.  It was a horrible windy day.  Wind advisories were out.  40-50 mph wind gusts.  And it was our hilly route (VERY hilly).  We ran it in 1:54.  The pace:  11:17!  We took off 10 seconds per mile and the conditions were FAR worse!  That is one example that training works.  Second, yesterday I ran 3 miles.  I came in at 30:09.  I ran negative splits:  10:22, 10:15, 9:32.  Had I gone .1 more to make a 5K, I would've beat my best 5K time by over 30 seconds! 

I will continue to train the way I have for the past few months.  I know it works.  I have 3 weeks until my first half.  Am I nervous?  Yes!  Excited?  Yes!  But I will complete it because I've trained for it and I know, training really works!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Too much or just right?

I have struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life.  When I was in elementary school, I was definitely "chubby".  My father would tell you I was fat, although he didn't do anything to help me not be fat.  I'd lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, know the deal, the yo-yo dieter.  That started at a very young age.

I am pretty happy with my body.  Note the word "pretty".  I have been at the weight I am at now for about 9 months or so.  It's been constant, fluctuating just like any weight does because of excess water weight and stuff like that.  I really wish I could be about 5 pounds lighter, but not sure that is in the cards.  Currently, I am 5'5 and weigh around 133-135.  That's where it is almost EVERY day.  I was hoping to be 130 or so. 

I workout faithfully about 6 times a week.  I said to Kip the other day, "I can't believe I haven't lost any more weight.  I workout more than I ever would think it would be flying off me."  Really...I think I should have lost a little bit.  I know,  however, I am in the best physical condition of my life.  That number just gets me.  I should throw out the scale I think.  Granted, I don't eat perfect.  I certainly have a cookie or two but believe me, I don't overdo it.  And I think for the amount of work I do, I should be allowed to eat a little junk.  There might be the problem. 

Kip has a different take on it.  He seems to think it's because I am not eating often enough.  He says I might not be getting enough calories and I should eat smaller meals.  That's hard to do.  I find it to be tough when I am running around all of the time.

I have also mentioned to Kip that I would like to join a gym when Nicholas goes to kindergarten in the fall.  I LOVE to exercise, but I am very limited on what I can do here at the house.  Maybe I need to shock my body with some different exercises.  Who knows?  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. 

Maybe my weight shouldn't be a concern.  My BMI is good after all.  In the end, maybe I don't weigh too much...maybe I'm just right. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The brutal run

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...right?  I sure hope so!  Yesterday's 10.1 mile run was brutal to say the least.  Really, really tough.  By far, the toughest run I have ever encountered.

I knew it was going to be windy.  And I knew I had 10 miles to run.  What I didn't know was that it would take everything I had NOT to quit.   Got to Up-N-Running at 7:50, as did Joanne, and we were off at 8 am.  I could tell I was tired right off the bat (hours of working fish fry the night before certainly made me extra tired!)...I could tell as we made our way up that first hill.  Let me also make note that this is a VERY hilly route. 

We got about 3 miles in and we started up a decent hill.  As soon as we started, a wind gust was right at our face, pushing us down the hill practically.  Wind gusts were between 40 and 50 mph.  It was crazy!  I felt out of breath, a little nauseous and just plain bad!  I stopped to walk for a few steps.  I just couldn't handle to wind while I was trying to make it up this hill.  I just wanted to tell Joanne I was done and would walk back.  But I didn't.  I stayed the course.

About mile 5, I started to feel much better.  My breathing was good.  My legs were ok.  I thought...ok, I'm halfway there.  Joanne said she was feeling better too.  About mile 7 or so, we had a double hill.  Pretty steep too!  Ughh!  It was tough.  But we did it!  Mile 9, I hit a wall.  Oh my!  I was so tired.  My legs hurt.  I just kept thinking how am I going to make 13.1?  But it was a tough day with the wind and the hills and my exhaustion.  Our time was 1:54 for 10.1.  I thought it would have been much, much worse.  It actually was a respectable time.  It broke down to about an 11:17 mile.  Really not bad considering the circumstances.

So glad I got it done!  So glad I had Joanne!  On to next week...less than 4 weeks until my half!  Woo-hoo!  Hopefully, it won't be so brutal!  And the run didn't kill me...I do feel a little bit stronger!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This not so fast momma is getting faster!

I've had a great week of training.  I really have!  On Sunday, as already blogged, I ran 9.33 miles in 1:41!  That I was so proud of.  To go that distance with a pace of under 11 min/mile...I was proud!  Then I ran 3 miles on Tues(?) in 30:15.  That breaks out to a 10:05 min/mile.  Fantastic!  On the bike yesterday, I couldn't believe how good I felt even at mile 9. I could feel myself getting stronger and I loved it!  But the icing on the cake?  That came today.  I decided that since I was reading of a lot of people doing 800m repeats, I thought I should give it a try.  I did 4 x 800s and I did fantastic!  My times ranged from 4:19 to 4:25. 

To someone who is really a fast runner, this might not seem like such a big deal.  But to was a HUGE deal!  I'm exercising 5-6 days a week now.  About 4 days running, and then I generally get in 3 days biking (some overlap with the running) as well as a day of yoga or step class.  I think everything is helping me to get stronger.  And because I am getting stronger, I am getting faster.  Because I am getting faster, I am growing my confidence.  Do you see the cycle?

Maybe, just maybe someday I'll be fast.  I still look at those runners who make it look effortless and wish I could do that.  I know I'll never be there.  But maybe one day, I'll break a 30 min 5K!  That would be something.  For now, I'll bask in the glory of knowing that I am getting faster.  Even if ever so slightly, it's happening!  And I love it!