Posts Tagged With: 5k

The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

The road to the 2017 Boston Marathon has been covered with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. In 8 short weeks, my family will be heading north to Beantown. This marathon training cycle has been cut short, but because I was a patient patient, I feel good about where I am. I should get a Patient Patient medal, because this is the first time in a string of injuries that I didn’t sabotage myself along the way, and actually let myself heal. I should probably re-gift that medal to my husband for putting up with me in the process. That poor man.

Let me take you back to November. I had just come off the  NC Ironman 70.3 and had signed up for a few local 5k’s. On one of the first cold mornings on November 12th, I ran a 22:15ish 5k, and even got 2nd in the Old Lady division. I mean Masters Female. I felt great about where my training was and where I was planning to take it. Basically, I was going to pulverize speed in November and December, then add endurance in January, making the perfect storm of speed, strength, and endurance in April. My goal was to PR the race and return in 2018. Yeah….right (said like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space). I should have known there was a different path for me. Later that day, I felt my plantar return, and it was bad.

The 5k that shouldn’t have been.


I reacted very calmly  I freaked out. I was so upset. I kept trying to run, just a little, and it made my foot hurt so bad. Evidently, reading about it on the internets doesn’t make it go away, but I sure deserved a medal for that, too, and BONUS, I learned how to pronounce “metatarsalgia”. I tried to do bike intervals, only to realize it made my foot feel just as bad as running. All I could do was to bike easy and go to Orange Theory (using the GLIDER, of all things *shutter*, because dammit! I’m a runner, not a glider.). All right, I tried swimming, but after one day, my chlorine allergy made it almost impossible. I might have used that as more of an excuse than I really should have, but I hate swimming and I hate my reaction to chlorine (skin rash, yay me!). I don’t know why it was so bad when I swam in the same pool all summer, but it was bad. So I “couldn’t” swim, I couldn’t bike hard, and I couldn’t run. I was a peach to live with. I was like Cinderella, singing to all her animals. Yes, that’s what it was like to live with me during that time. (This is when my husband should’ve gotten the Medal of Patience.)

People, it was cold out, and I couldn’t run. I was missing it and I was missing out. The rest of November. And December. Then I decided, probably due to everyone and their “Countdown to Boston” posts, I needed to start running because I was going to run that damn marathon no matter what. I started with a few miles on Christmas Day, something I have never done before. It was my gift to myself, and wow, I felt God that gorgeous morning.

Merry Christmas

Then I came up with a plan to SAFELY build endurance through January. I was running again. My foot was ok. I alternated run days, I took it easy at Orange Theory. No speed. Then in the last week of January, I decided I needed to return to my coach and start speed again. I felt like I was second guessing all my workouts, I wasn’t pushing myself and didn’t know if I could or should, so coaching would benefit me the most. Coach Kristen has done really well for me, so I was so excited to once again, see those Training Peaks emails come through in the morning.

I don’t know how, but within the first week, I was meeting the pace challenges set before me. I was Maria, singing on the mountaintop.  I was back at track practice, my favorite thing in the freaking world when it comes to training. My foot was behaving.

Then. Then the shin splints started. Ugh. I started speed work too fast. It’s derailed my plans twice in the past. What do I do? Well, I knew my race wasn’t going anywhere and I knew ignoring them wasn’t going to work, so I gave myself a day off speed, gave myself some active release therapy, took a day off, and I was careful. Boom. Shin splints are minimal now. Key point: catch them and do something about it IMMEDIATELY and prevent them from occuring in the first place, i.e. STRETCH (and that damn yoga).

Just this week, I ran a 48:18 in a 10k race, again placing 2nd in the Old Lady division. Then Tuesday, I had 3 x 15 minutes at barf pace, and I seriously questioned if I could do it, mostly because I’d had a long run and an Orange Theory workout between that day and my 10k. I borrowed some of the faith my coach had in me, and I pulled it out. When I was done, I felt like a rock star, like I deserved a participation trophy of sorts, for believing I could do it enough to just try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.


I don’t feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I know there’s any number of injuries lurking around the corner. This morning, after another great track workout, several of my running buddies asked how I was doing, and I was almost afraid of jinxing myself by saying, “GREAT!”. But you know, when you’re out there getting it done, watching the sun rise, it really was GREAT. I told my coach to put “Do your damn yoga” in my plan after track, so I’ve been good about that. It’s funny that I’m responsible for a hundred thousand other things, but if “yoga” isn’t specifically in my plan, the chances of me actually doing it, even though I know I need to, dwindle down to close to zero. Pretty sad, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

So my goal for Boston is a BQ. A 3:44:59. That time won’t get me in for 2018, but that’s ok. At this point, anything is possible (thanks for that, Ironman), and it could be warm, it could be cold, it could be raining, it could be snowing. All I know is that I will do my absolute best with whatever the day gives me. If if one thing is certain, I know I’ll be there, and I’ll be happy.

Advertisements
Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Medication: Friend or Foe?

Another week slipped by since I’ve written and it seems like just a few days. I’ve been pretty busy (I hate using that because really, who isn’t busy?) trying to get a bunch of stuff done before the kids are out of school (and dealing with the events of last week- details below), and getting my workouts in of course.

Ahh, the events of last week. Last week was “interesting”. Due to a mysterious allergic reaction to something the week before, I had to go on Prednisone, and then the dose started decreasing last week. I thought all was good and that I was lucky enough to not have the side effects of the medication, since I heard they could be…um, well, not so fun. THEN last week happened. And I got all the side effects. No sleeping. Hunger. Moodiness. Aggression. All of them. And I was training hard and trying to start a business. It was hard. It was weird. I didn’t like it. It made me feel crazy. I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way after the dosage went down, but after talking to other people who have been on it, it’s pretty normal to feel “slightly off”. Yeah, I’ll just say I felt slightly off. If off feels like this:

 

Thursday.

Thursday.

And then I was hungry. All. The. Freaking. Time.

Everything I could pile into my mouth, I pretty much did.

Everything I could pile into my mouth, I pretty much did.

The good thing that came from this was a 5k race on Thursday night.  I didn’t want to run it, had had a VERY disturbing day (as for how I felt, otherwise it was normal), but if you combine eating and aggression, running a race really isn’t a bad thing. I had a crappy attitude coming into it, fueled on Diet Coke and chips only 3 hours before it started (because eff it, WHO CAAARRREEESSSS??!!! See above picture.) It was hot. I swam that morning and it felt like my arms were filled with concrete. Blech. So when the horn went off in the Wilma Dash, a unique women’s only race, I went. I ran. I ran hard. I ran until my lungs hurt. My legs were tired. My mouth was dry. I was sweaty. I just wanted a sub-24:00. Ok, a sub-23:00. And I came in at 22:21, enough to win 15th overall and 3rd masters. I felt a little bit released. Well, let’s just say I felt better.

Look at me on the left all scared like. Maybe it's because he took a hundred pictures and I was just tired of standing and wanted to get my beer back in my hand.

Look at me on the left there all like, “Let me go so I can get my damn beer back before she drinks it.”

Bonus on the night is that the team I’m on, Without Limits Sole Sistas, won largest team and a party at the famous Front Street Brewery. It’ll be like one free beer per teammate, but hey, better than nothing!!!

On Friday, we headed to my husband’s alma mater, Clemson, for my youngest son’s football camp.

Takin' it down.

Takin’ it down.

The Dabo Swinney Football Camp was top notch. My youngest was among the best players and coaches in the nation, filling them with life lessons and football skills.  I’ve never really felt a lot of love for any team on my own, and I was very happy to adopt Clemson as “my” team back when I met my husband. Same for the Red Sox. I’m not a die hard, but I’m right there, wearing my orange and purple and white, cheering them on in good seasons and bad.  My sons have a sparkle in their eyes when they talk about it, which to me, means a TON of money will eventually be heading the tiger way (which brings on the same kind of hulk feeling when thinking about how much money college costs), but for now, we really enjoy our time there. It hasn’t been often we have time to wander campus and check out the sites in his old stomping ground and spend way too much at the apparel store. While there, I got in eleven miles of hills and even more exploration.  Good times, minus the six hour drive and getting home at 11 pm the night before the kids start their end-of-year testing. Hopefully we can get back this fall for the game against Notre Dame, which just so happens to be on my birthday and one month before Ironman Florida. Yes, we really are trying to do it ALL this year!

Death Valley

Death Valley

As for training, I’ve been doing what I can when I can, pushing myself to be ready to start training. Yesterday marked the first day with my coach, Sami, from Without Limits. She’s a 12-time IM finisher and Kona qualifier, and she recently qualified for worlds in the 70.3. I know I’m in good and experienced hands! I’m not a very OCD person (if you saw my house right now, you’d get it – it’s just a mess but I’m sitting here blogging), but I have to admit that all was right and good in the world when I got my Training Peaks email and next two weeks training uploaded. Ahhhh, structure!

I learned a few lessons listening to the coaches at the football clinic and will find so many ways to use them in my training and for coaching. I’m motivated (even without the prednisone), am happy about my choice to push the register button that day in November, and am so looking forward to the journey. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but what journey worth taking IS?

Oh, oh, oh!!!!!!!!!!!!! The word is out, the number is in, and I wanted to let you all know that the UNCW running teams have MET THEIR FUNDRAISING GOAL and can continue on for another year!!!! They were able to raise $255,781.59 IN THREE MONTHS! Thank you for listening to me talk about my local issue and a very special thanks to those who contributed to the teams. They are so appreciative of our support and are already working hard to secure large donations to be able to update/renovate/rebuild the old track and field facility that so many in our community use and probably take for granted. I love running!!!

So all in all, it’s been a good week, I’m “officially” IM training now, and I have a love/hate relationship with prednisone. I’m glad it quickly helped my allergy, but man, it certainly made me feel funky.

Have you ever had “interesting” side effects of a medication? Do you have a love affair with any particular school?

 

 

Categories: coaching, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

And Then It Was Summer

Monday, when I went into Walmart to get all those things you get in Walmart, it was nice outside. When I came back out less than an hour later, it was summer. I don’t know how that happened and how I missed the weather report that it was going to be scorching that day. But it’s summer, complete with disgusting humidity. As much as I was looking forward to running this week, I am dreading it now. Blech. Here’s a little recap of whaz been goin’ on here in the ILM  lately. I been BIZZY. PLEASE, if anything, make sure you read my huge news at the bottom regarding the fundraiser for the UNCW running teams.

Honestly, I don’t know the last time I wrote. I think was half way (it totally wasn’t half way, it was whole) freaking out about the triathlon or something and I’m just too lazy to go back and look at my last post. I tried and tried to come up with a way to get out of that race. I really did. Beach erosion from Tropical Storm Ana? Cancel it. Too dangerous. Not enough participants? Cancel the thing. Big dark scary cloud? No way, don’t mess with storms. Increased chance for rip currents. No way, Jose.  But there was nothing LEGITIMATE about my fears (except for the sharky ones), and there was no reason to cancel that race. But I sure get an A for Effort 🙂

But I’ll get to the tri here in a minute. Let me back up. Friday morning, a friend of mine and her training buddy asked me to join them on a practice ocean swim and bike ride in prep for the tri. I figured it was the best thing I could do, so went for it. We rode our bikes first and then headed to the beach. The waves were not small. They weren’t “Hawaii 5-0” waves or anything, but it took some effort to get past the breakers. It seemed the end of the breakers never came. I struggled a little, swallowed a good amount of sea water, but it was a very good indicator of what Sunday could be like – not easy, but doable. The confidence came as soon as I got out of the water, but when I was swimming, all I could think was, “No way, there’s no freaking way, this is bull$shit.” But I made it through.

Saturday morning was a proud day. It was my Stride boys’ 5k. We got up bright and early and headed to the start to meet our team. They all arrived on time, and we joked, got our numbers on, and then warmed up. I got attached to those kids, and I will miss them! We posed for pictures and did our warm ups. I reminded them about pacing, taking it easy in the beginning, then charging at the end. It got pretty warm that morning. I had originally wanted to do somewhere close to 22:00, but I just didn’t think I could pull that off. I figured I’d just do the best I could and not worry about it. For the first time in a while, I did not care.

When our race started, I was very mindful of seeing my team out on the course. I passed many of them, complimented them, and then half way scolded one of the competitive ones for cutting in front of me multiple times. In all the race prep I gave them, one thing I totally forgot to do was teach them about race courtesy. Oops. My bad. I finished in just over 23:00, which I was happy with. I realized that I hadn’t looked at my pace more than one time, which is refreshing when you are just running to run. No pressure, and I knew I had a pretty big day ahead on Sunday. I got some water and parked by the finish line so I could cheer on my boys. They all finished strong, and I was so proud of them. I think they were proud of themselves too. They were sweaty, tired, but they smiled. (Only one threw up.) It was a very good ending to a very good season.  I ended up winning 3rd overall Masters division with my time, so I won a gift card. Score.

My son and his dad as the running buddy. We started two minutes after the clock did, so pulling down a 27:00 5k when you're 9 is pretty darned awesome.

My son and his dad as the running buddy. We started two minutes after the clock did, so pulling down a 27:00 5k when you’re 9 is pretty darned awesome.

We left the race, washed up, and took off for my son’s last soccer game. He rocked it. It was his first season playing soccer at all, ended up playing goalie 98% of the time, but he did very well.

My little man defending his goal.

My little man defending his goal.

After that, we went to the beach a few hours to waste time before my packet pickup was open.  It was an absolutely delightful day, and I enjoyed those few hours totally unplugged. When it was time to get my triathlon stuff, we scoped out the course and realized how easy it was going to be to navigate. Then we headed home. My soccer son had a birthday party, so we got ready for that, picked up his friends and took them all together. Then we took our youngest to eat and had a few drinks. We headed back to pick up the rowdy boys from the party, took them home, and then my friend picked all the kids to spend the night at her house so my husband could Sherpa for me the next morning without getting the kids up at o’dark thirty.  I checked over my triathlon supplies and went to bed. What a day.

Sunday. Triathlon day. My first sprint race. I woke at 4:00 am. I had a lot of my things ready already. It was a swim, run, bike, run, swim format, so transitions would be very simple. The transition from swim to run was in the sand, so I put my running stuff in a bucket so it didn’t get covered with sand as other racers came through. I was signed up as a novice master, so all the novices started last. I was determined to place in my division, the new/old division (novice master female). The fact that I was the only one in it had nothing to do with it. Haha!!

Just beautiful.

Just beautiful.

The sunrise was gorgeous, and I patiently waited, with very little anxiety, for my start. Maybe not feeling nervous is a good sign. That’s how I felt before my half iron, and that race went well, so I figured that having too many nerves could waste much needed energy, so as much as I was dreading the double swim, I knew I just had to take one stroke at a time. The waves look smaller than how they felt, that’s for sure.

I won’t get into the details of the race, but when I started, I just went. I channeled all my energy and focused on each stroke, each breath, getting to the first turn, second turn, and then transition. I did the entire tri without a Garmin, so I had no idea how long it was taking me, my pace, distance (except on my bike, I knew my mph and time), and it was a really nice way to race. Just focus and go. The run was 1.5 miles, and the transition to the bike was fast. The bike course was a closed road, and it was smooth and very fast too. I pushed, but I didn’t want to wear my legs out for the remaining run and swim. I ended up going just over 19 mph. My second run was a tad faster than the first, and when I got to the beach to head out for the final leg of the double sprint, I smiled. I was almost done. We had to run down the beach to the start, and when I entered the water, it felt delicious. I don’t really know what happened, but I wish I was wearing a Garmin just to see how different the swims were.  The first trip was probably a rectangle, as it should be. The second was probably more of an amoeba. I ended up going way around the first turn buouy, and it seemed to take me a long time to get to the sight bouy. But I was doing it and making progress. Then all of a sudden I was turning back towards the finish and was washed up onto the beach. I ran to the finish line and crossed with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Running to the finish.

Running to the finish.

I did it. My first sprint tri, a double sprint with two ocean swims, DONE. And I had three spectators, just for me. Who wouldn’t love that? Thanks for being there, Andy, Stacey, and sis, Randee!  And just as I planned, I won first in my division, bringing home a really nice set of grill utensils. Two prizes in two days, gotta love being a Master!!!

First on the podium. I sure creamed everyone else in my division!!

First on the podium. First of ONE. I sure creamed everyone else in my division!!

Two hours after I finished my tri, I headed back out to take pictures for my new venture. One word: coaching. Here, look at the picture of me being all coachy.

What was I thinking? "I just want to go home and sit down" was all I was thinking.

What was I thinking? “I just want to go home and sit down” was all I was thinking.

I had a date with the couch for the rest of the weekend. I was tired. I dozed for a while and truly enjoyed opening my Miller Lite later on that evening. Bedtime was early, but I had even more going on the first few days of the week.

Monday was our Stride pizza party. I printed pictures for all the kids and had them come up so I could say something about them individually. At the party, I was given a check to pass along to the UNCW running teams. In case you missed it, the university decided to cut the track and field teams unless the community could raise $250,000 by the end of May. People, my little Title I school, the school that gets ignored and doesn’t even have room for the Kindergartners to attend in the building (they’re bussed to a different site), the one who has the happiest staff I’ve ever been around, the kids and the teachers and the staff and the parents came together and raised $7800 to help save the teams. That is a HUGE amount of money. I’d already planned to have my brother-in-law make a big check for a photo op, so the kids could see picture proof of what they did, but one of the Stride parents put another idea in my head, and of course, the staff made it happen. On Tuesday morning at 8:30, three UNCW coaches came to the school, were then walked back behind the school to find the entire student body around the little track, just so they could see for themselves what their fundraising did. I was able to keep my wits about me and give a little speech about how a little idea could come together to make something big happen. It was one of my proudest moments and I knew how lucky I was to be a part of this school and community.

Presenting the $7800 check to the UNCW running coaches. They were floored.

Presenting the $7800 check to the UNCW running coaches. They were floored.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

 

As of Wednesday, the teams have only $10,000 left to raise to meet their goal within 10%, which we all heard was enough to keep the team for another year. If you can, please donate to their cause.

And for the holiday weekend? I’m heading to Raleigh for the Dave Matthews Band concert Friday night, then I really have no idea what I’m doing besides my long bike ride. Sounds perfect to me!

What about you? Swam in the ocean before? Scared of sharks? Ever been overwhelmed by the generosity of people? Running this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: coaching, follow your dreams, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.

EPIC:

Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.

EPIC BUT NOT AS EPIC AS BOSTON BECAUSE BOSTON IS PRETTY DAMN EPIC ON ITS OWN:

I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.

Post-Challenge

Post-Challenge

Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.

FAILURES:

I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.

761540_1257_0011

Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.

WRAPPING IT UP

You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

And The Birds Were Mocking Me

It’s been a nutty week. Just crazy busy with me training for the half iron tri, my husband training for his first marathon, one son in football, one son in a parkour class the one day my other son doesn’t have football practice, a messy foster dog to vet, care for, and take to adoption events, and at the end of the day, we are beat. Worn out. Tired. Fatigued. But you know what, isn’t that what life is about? Living it? I believe so, and at the end of October, when my husband will be in taper mode, I’ll be done with my tri and on to “just” marathon training (I’m giddy even thinking about marathon training), my son will be done with football, and we won’t have our foster dog anymore, we are going to look at each other and say, “What are we going to do with all the extra time?”.  And I’m sure we will find something fun to fill it up with, whether it’s playing board and card games with our boys, doing yard work (goodness we really need to do some yard work), some house projects, or whatever. It’s kind of the way our lives go. The ebb and flow of busy.

One new venture that my family, including my sister who lives right down the road, has taken up is coaching the Stride running program at my older son’s middle school two days a week for ten weeks.  If you’re familiar with the Girls on the Run program, it’s the same thing but for boys.  Over the ten weeks, we will learn lessons about character and train for a 5k to be run in December. I feel there’s a HUGE gap in running programs for kids, and many middle schools do not have a track program.  So I brought this program to the school. Tuesday was our first practice, and I realized that it’s going to be tough to reel in some of these sixth graders. Many of them didn’t want to be there. Many of them didn’t listen AT ALL, many of them think they know everything. Typical, right? But the one thing I want them to learn is that they CAN do it, they CAN accomplish it, and whether or not they really want to be there, they are, so they might as well look on the positive side. They might surprise themselves.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I'm not the tallest one.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I’m not the tallest one.

While we were running, one of the kids told me that he had been having migranes, and he was on the edge of a headache. I told him that he can certainly walk if he needed to, but he kept going. He said, and I quote, “I need to push myself.” I found that very mature, and I replied to him that it WAS just the first day and there were many later times he could push himself. Then he said, “If I don’t start pushing myself now, then when?” Hmmmm, profound statement for anyone, especially a sixth grader, right?

I translate this over to my own life and training, and it speaks loud and clear.  If I don’t start pushing myself NOW, then when? I’ve been putting in a lot of training this past week, and really, triathlon training ain’t no joke! The time it takes to get everything in is a lot more than what I thought, but it’s good. I don’t mind it at all, and have found it to be a good challenge for me, as I’m facing a pretty big fear of mine. Failure. So I AM pushing myself. I AM doing things I never thought I would do. I am NOT doubting whether or not I can do it. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have room for that in my head. Yes, I’m scared, but I’m confident at the same time. Trust in your training is what I tell other people who question whether or not they’re ready to run a full marathon.  Well, if they’ve been following their training plan, then they need to trust in it.

For swimming, I went to the channel on Monday with my friend, and we planned a nice long swim at slack/no current, which is what I call “at real distance”. Well, we were late, had to pay the meters, and as we swam, we started swimming against a pretty fast current. Instead of stopping right away or getting angry, we kept going. Sure, we did get out before we got to our destination, but we swam long enough to get in a very good, hard workout. Then this morning, we tried out our wetsuits and did a short swim first, then a long swim. My arms were screaming and I was just tired, but I kept going. The waves got us for a bit in there and it was sort of like the light washing machine cycle. So annoying!!! But I kept going. I knew the conditions on race day would probably be similar, so I knew I was just building confidence.  As I passed the many many many boat piers on the edge of the channel, I saw many sea gulls sitting up on the top of the pier logs. As I was sighting, I would see them, and I think I saw one point his wing at us and laugh as if to say, “Suckas!” One was even paddling around as we came to shore, showing off on how fast he could swim.  He was mocking me.  A LAUGHING GULL was MOCKING me. Sigh.

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

I biked 60 miles on Sunday. I started out on the trainer, realized how TERRIBLE of an idea it was (can you say sweat fest???!), so left and went to finish my 48 miles on the roads in Carolina Beach. I had a tail wind going down the island and a head wind coming up the island. It was annoying as hell. But I knew it would probably be like that on race day. And I pushed myself. I felt fabulous (and hungry) when I was done.

I GOT TO RUN ON TUESDAY!!!! I was soooooo happy to lace up my shoes and go for a 45 minute “easy” run, which turned in to a hop, skip, and happy jump to a pace of 8:06, and I sort of pushed myself. It felt great. I missed running so much, so I got caught up in it all. I’m running a 5k on Saturday, and have a total mileage of 10ish that day. I’m working the 5k in for tempo work, but I don’t know how hard to push myself for this thing. I was hoping to be at a point I could come close to my PR, but without running the past few weeks, I just don’t think I should.  But I’m going to try my best and follow how I feel.

Total September Miles:

71 miles run, 6.54 miles swam, and 294.65 biked.

And as I face my first swim race next weekend I realize that I need keep pushing myself every day.  Keep going, no matter what. If not now, then when?

How far do you push yourself? How close to the limit do you get? Do you even know where your limit is?

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sixty Miles of Bailando

Today is the last day of real summer break for my kids and me. I’m bittersweet about that. I think we’re all ready for a little more structure though, and really, we are sort of beached out. We tried to absorb as much summer as we could last week, spending over ten hours on or near the beach, playing with friends, reading, getting school supplies, swimming in the pool, and just being together. Every afternoon, it gets a little nutty with me trying to get dinner figured out and served by 4 so my youngest can go to football practice without fear of throwing up said dinner or getting hungry during practice.  I’m really going to miss having my boys around.

Summer

Summer

Since I’ve been off the grid for quite a while, I’ll recap what’s been going on. Last Saturday, I rode 40 miles pretty hard with my friend, Gary. I don’t think we were planning to go at the pace we did, but conditions were good (i.e. it wasn’t windy) and we both felt pretty strong. I made some adjustments to my bike seat which made a world of difference in how I felt. Wish I had done that before! We finished with an average pace of almost 18 mph!!!

The next day, I decided to get some miles in with a new running group that my husband started running with. When we got up that morning, we were met with 77 degrees and 94% humidity. I was naïve enough to think that the conditions wouldn’t matter since I wasn’t going for pace; however, I did want to step it up a little the last two miles. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The girls I followed then joined, simply because I didn’t know the route we were to run and definitely not because they were welcoming, took us on a wild path all over. It wasn’t a good route, the groups got separated from each other, and my husband ended up running two extra miles since he sort of got lost. I was disappointed in how I felt, but really, it was so humid and had to be one of the top five most horribly warm/disgusting runs I’ve had in the past few years. My shoes were sloshing the last two or three miles, which made me just want to stop, not pick up the pace. I wasn’t wearing my music either, since I didn’t want to be rude in a new group, but it sure would’ve come in handy since I was by myself most of the time, and when I was with the other girls, I felt unwelcome in their group.  Maybe they didn’t mean to be that way, but sheesh, they certainly didn’t go out of their way to tell me when they were turning around and just left me on my own route. Whatever.  The point of the day was to get ten miles run, and it was accomplished. I did meet some other very nice runners though, so it was well worth it.

I have missed several of my open water swims the past few weeks, mostly due to the weather and that pesky “bacteria warning”, so I finally made it last week. It was windy, which wind + water = waves. Right in our faces. As soon as we started, I was getting pelted with water in my face, stroke after stroke was met with a smack in the face with a wave. I immediately thought that I now knew what it was like to be in a washing machine. It was horrible. I started to cry because I honestly didn’t know how I could complete the swim in those conditions. I was looking forward to practicing my stroke, and I was just in survival mode at that point. Just get there! I sucked up the tears, put my face back in the water, and continued. A little while later, it seemed to get worse. I had gagged several times since waves were catching me in the mouth while trying to breathe, and I honestly felt like I was getting a continual enema to my face. The waterway was my neti pot.  I started to cry again, mostly out of anger, and my swimmer friend asked if I was ok, to which I answered, “NO!”. There was a really good get-out point right there, but I am NOT A QUITTER, and I knew that conditions could be just like that on race day. I needed to finish. I said the f-word about a hundred more times during my temper tantrum, but again, sucked it up and kept going. Thank goodness there was a strong current. 35 minutes after I started, I was done. Horrible, but I did it.  I was so pissed and planned to run anyway, so put my shoes on and took off. 3.5 fast miles later, I was hot, sweaty, tired, and happy. I love running.

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

The rest of the week included an hour of biking with intervals, more running, swimming sleeping in, and then I took Friday off in preparation for my second BIG bike ride of the month…. 60 miles. I rode with Gary again, and a new group with one of my friends, Renee, who is training for IMFL. A little ways into the ride, we happened upon this poor little crawdad (actually, he was pretty big) in the middle of our lane, holding his pinchers up like, “It’s MY lane, get OUT of it!!!!”. I wish I would’ve stopped for a picture and put him on the side of the road so he wouldn’t turn into a crawdad pancake.  Then I noticed that the song, “Bailando” was in my head. I couldn’t understand the words in my head, probably because they’re in Spanish and I don’t speak Spanish. A little while later, while we were riding in the middle of nowhere and still to the tune of “Bailando”, waaaaay in the “Bailando” countryside, a guy was just standing in the middle of the “Bailando” highway lane on the opposite side, sort of like the crawdad, but without the pinchers. Instead, he was smokin’ some weed, pot, gonja, dooby, Mary Jane. Hmmm. Maybe he was waiting on the next shipment? Then we all happened upon what I wanted to call the “Alice in Tulle Wonderland” house.

summer8

Maybe it’s “creative” but I don’t understand.

I still don’t really understand it, but I slowed enough to get my phone out and snap a picture. “Bailando” The lions in the front are cleverly adorned in tulle. And so is almost everything else in the “colorful” yard. After 30 miles, Gary and I split off and went out on our own to finish. The ride went well despite the constant barrage of “Bailando” in my head, and I was happy with how I felt – not depleted. Sixty freaking miles of “Bailando”. Oy. That day was the first time I felt confident I could complete the half iron and still be in decent form. It’s a good feeling! I was super hungry and had a strange and first ever craving for Chick-fil-A. On my way home, I grabbed a sandwich and the most delicious Diet Coke ever poured.  Finally, after 60 miles, “Bailando” was out of my head. I couldn’t even think of how it went just a few hours of arriving back home. Weird.

Yesterday, I started a new running challenge (from those who brought me the 10×10) by running a 5k in 24 minutes. Every day, I’m going to run a 5k with one day running a 10k. I’ll post my proof on their Facebook page and be entered to win a pair of shoes. Hello….shoes!!!! Plus it’s fun to have a challenge. And hopefully win shoes! You only have to do one to enter, but each day you do a 5k, you get one more entry, and you get THREE entries with the 10k. Why not do it?!

Today is supposed to be my open water swim, but guess what?! It’s WINDY again. I think I’m going to be the ex-girlfriend and drive by the waterway to see how choppy it is, all stalker-like. It’s set up to be a replay of last week, and I don’t think it will get me anywhere. If I DON’T go, I have already vowed to swim twice in the pool and work on drills. Or find another day for the open water swim.

On September 1st, I’ll be starting back with my coach and training plan.  There will be no more “Oh, I’ll just take today off”. There’s a lot of work to be done, not only for the half iron, but for my marathon that is quickly approaching. This pesky half iron race is seriously cramping my running, but I know for a fact that the biking has strengthened my legs (picture of my Quadzillas ® coming soon), which will only help me get faster.

I’ve been reading so many blogs, but just haven’t taken the time to comment or interact. Same with my Facebook page – hey, I’m on that almost every day, so check it out and “like” my page!!! (See the link in the column to the right.) As much as I’m looking forward to a little cooler air to run in, I’m also dreading the end of summer. I love college football, but it also marks the end of summer, the beginning of cooler weather, then GASP! the holidays.

 

My son, compliments of his parkour class.

Are YOU looking forward to fall? Football season? Cooler weather?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The WILMA Dash 5k

It’s starting to get a little swampy here in the hood. Humidity levels are rising, as to be expected, and from how I’ve been running lately, I’ve acclimated to the increase in temps and swamp levels pretty well. Surprise for me since I loathe running in warm, sweaty weather. Give me some 40-degree running and I feel like I can go all day. Not the situation anymore, unfortunately. Case in point was last night’s WILMA Sweatfest Dash 5k.

I had a busy afternoon yesterday. I had to pick the kids up from school early so my oldest could get his eyes check and we could find out how much more blind he was getting. It’s still not terrible, but I hate seeing him have to wear glasses to see. I’m extremely lucky and have 20/20 at 40 years old. My husband is virtually blind as a bat.  I didn’t appreciate my good vision as much until he told me that he would just love to open his eyes and be able to see. That would totally suck. Boy, I’m rambling a lot today already.  ANYWAY, the appointment took forever and then my son had to pick out new frames for his new, more powerful glasses, so we didn’t get home until 4:00.  I wanted to leave the house at 4:30 to get to the 5k early, which was to start at 6.  I didn’t leave the house until 4:50, but it turned out fine. I got there in plenty of time, and I was happy that my sister was able to join in and go with me.

Oh, now I remember why I brought up that I got home late…. I wanted to eat something close to 4:00 so I didn’t run with a bowling ball in my stomach, but I didn’t eat until 4:30, and I chose a banana with peanut butter. Come to find out, it was way too much peanut butter as it felt like a bowling ball anyway, which is what I really wanted to avoid. It wasn’t too hot, I think upper 70’s, very humid, but cloudy.  I was at the start about 15 minutes early and the race started on time.

The WILMA Dash 5k is an all female race that is all about getting active and healthy. It is for runners and walkers of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels. Almost 800 women and girls finished the race this year, it’s 6th year. I’ve never done an all female race before, so it was really cool to see people decked out in cool costumes and just banding together to have fun.

wilma dash2

I wasn’t feeling the best before the start and I wasn’t sure if it was the peanut butter or nerves. There’s something about races that always makes me a little nervous. I knew a PR wasn’t going to happen, and I was ok with that, but I did want to run a good race. I told my sister that I was expecting between a 22 and 23 minute finish. The air horn sounded right on time and I took off. The course took you right up a short steep hill and the rest of it was more of slight inclines and declines. My pace stayed fast and steady between 6:30 and 7:00 pace, and it crossed my mind a few times that “hey, I could possibly get a PR in this thing after all”. That quickly subsided at mile 1, when I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold the 6:50 pace for two more miles.  Thankfully the bowling ball feeling went away, but then I got the sweats.  The course had a lot of turns in it too, which I don’t particularly enjoy, but really, it was a nice course as long as you really paid attention to your steps due to sections of cobblestone streets and the boardwalk at the end.

I felt myself breathing really hard somewhere in mile two, but really, it was probably 90% humidity and upper 70’s, so what would I expect, especially at that pace. For a bit in there somewhere, I thought I might hyperventilate, but thankfully, that feeling stopped. I knew I was running well, and was happy that the three miles ticked by relatively quickly. Don’t you hate it when a 5k feels like a half marathon?

I tried to go a little faster the last quarter mile, but there were several more tiny turns, so I wasn’t able to gun it or anything. I saw my personal cheerleader, who happens to also be my sister, at the corner right before the last turn, right before the finish, so it was nice to see her there cheering for me. I turned and crossed the finish in 22:09.  I was really happy with that!

Then the sweat deluge started. Holy cow it probably took me 20-30 minutes of walking around to stop pouring sweat! Yuck. I haven’t race in conditions like that in a long time, and thankfully it was only a 5k.

We meandered to the Wilma Nights Health Fest where we got a drink and some food. I wasn’t a big fan of the food, but it sure looked good! The Front Street Brewery Kolsch was worth the sweating though. My son’s baseball game was to start soon, but I saw I was going to win an award, so I wasn’t sure whether to stay for my award or leave and get to his game…. My husband and sister said I needed to get my award since I hadn’t missed any of my son’s games all season, so we hung out what seemed like forever for the awards to start. During that time, I met a girl who complimented me on my Boston tattoo and said her dogs’ names are Fenway and Tessie. I liked her immediately.

Finally, the awards started and I got to collect my medal and prize for 2nd place Masters and even 10th overall. I wasn’t too far behind 1st place and it was within my PR time, so of course I had to think the “what ifs” but slapped myself and was happy to finish where I did. And I’m not on a scheduled plan either, just doing my own training. Not too shabby if I do say so myself, especially on tired legs.

2nd Place Masters

2nd Place Masters

My sister and I quickly left as I was delusional enough to think we could make the tail end of my son’s game. On our way, my husband texted that the game was over, so I dropped my sis off and headed home to get some warm water for my shower before the boys stole all of it.

So after doing this “girl race”, I think it would be a lot of fun to run one with a group of friends, complete with tiaras and boas (although those might get a little annoying), and possibly even wine glasses on our hats like the “Run Now, Wine Later” team had.

I’m not sure what I’m doing today, if anything, with regards to running, but I know I’m off tomorrow and doing lots of yard work. On Sunday, I’m planning to run with my friend who’s near the end of her marathon training, and has a “vomit” long run. You know those, right? Run some easy miles, run more really super fast miles, run easy, fast, vomit, that sort of thing. It has been a lot of fun to run with other people, just going with the flow, and getting in some good tempo workouts along the way.

Monday is my .9 mile open water swim, the last with a wetsuit, so I’m actually looking forward to that, assuming the conditions are good.

Have a great weekend!

My newest medal and gift certificate

My newest medal and gift certificate

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, boston red sox, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Value of Racing

On Tuesday evenings, I go run with my group.  I’m not a huge fan of running at night, primarily because my stomach is easily upset only when running at night, which is strange because I can normally eat whatever the hell I want and then run with no negative side effects.  Thankfully I’ve almost figured out when I can eat my last meal so I’m not hungry during the run or feel like someone along side me is stabbing me with a paring knife.  That doesn’t feel good.  I’m always happy when I get home since I love good tempo runs, especially when they’re with other people and we have no idea what we will be doing until we get there…. you know, that element of surprise.  Anyway, I’m making my family dinner for tonight and tomorrow, as a good domestic goddess does, and while I sneak bits of Velveeta that I’m making into cheese sauce eat carrots, I can’t help but think about some conversations I’ve had over the last few weeks.  One was with my husband and I had to tell him I REALLY wish I had a gas stove because I detest electric stoves after using gas for two years. I SWEAR that by the time my big pan of water is going to actually boil, all of the water will have steamed itself out of the pan because it is taking FOR-FREAKING-EVER.  But I digress.

Another conversation was with a friend of mine who is adamant that faster runners judge slower runners.  Maybe that is true or maybe it isn’t (although it is not true for me), but the point turned to how you feel about your own running.  My point to the friend was this: DO NOT determine your own value by the time that reads when you cross the finish line. Find it in the fact that you set a goal, worked toward the goal, and then finished it.

I know I’m not the slowest runner and I’m not the fastest (this does not ring true for swimming as I’d be willing to make a fairly large bet that I would, in fact, be the slowest swimmer – the difference is that I DO NOT CARE).  There will always be people who run slower than me and there will always be people who run faster.  Again, I don’t give two hoots about that most of the time, as I am competing against myself and my own clock and my own goals.  If I started to put my own value as a runner on how fast I finish, I would never be fast enough.  I would never be good enough.  That’s a lot of pressure, isn’t it?

Isn’t it contradictory to tell people to STOP worrying about their time when you’re discussing a sport where there’s a clock running to measure how you measure up?  Isn’t the point to measure the fact that if you run faster, than you’re better?  Well, yes and no.  Faster doesn’t necessarily mean better.  I look at the big picture.  Races are typically their own organism.  There’s days and weeks and months before them that can affect the outcome.  Instead of finding reasons why we aren’t as good as others though, I truly believe we need to celebrate our finishes, no matter the time that reads when the finish line is crossed, no matter if it’s a 100 meter dash or an ultra marathon, whether you’re first or last. If you’re doing the work and finishing the race, that’s the real point of it.  At least it should be.

The beauty of running is that so many people can share in the experience of a race and every finisher is celebrated.    So I tell my friend that he needs to stop putting pressure on himself to be a certain speed.  He is a runner, and that’s what really matters.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas!

 

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!  It’s a great time of year for my family, lots going on, lots of sleeping in training included, which has made it difficult to fit blogging in. I have lots of ideas, plans, goals, and everything to share.  Thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed. There’s only more and better to continue the rest of 2013 and in 2014.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Be sure that you get your workouts in this holiday season, normally filled with fun, food, family, friends, and parties.

Be sure you don't stop working out!

Be sure you don’t stop working out!

 

Categories: marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jingle Bell 5k and 18 weeks ’til Boston!

The last few weeks have been filled with powerful workouts followed by crappy workouts followed by good ones.  Thankfully, I felt back to normal by mid-week last week and I mentally geared myself up for the Jingle Bell 5k at Wrightsville Beach on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, we attended my sister’s annual Christmas party, filled with mimosas, my brother-in-law’s awesome home brew, wine, and lots of socialization.  Late into the evening, we started playing the game “Cards Against Humanity”, a game that should only be played by non-judgy people. We laughed so much, our abs and cheeks were sore.  Hilarious.  It had been a while since I’ve had so much fun, so I didn’t mind staying up until probably 1:30 am!  I guess that wouldn’t have been a terrible thing had my alarm not been set for 6 am to prepare for the 5k.  Oy, I certainly cannot do that as easily as I used to!

One of the funniest games I've played. Cards Against Humanity.

Being goofy while playing one of the funniest games ever.  Cards Against Humanity.

After snoozing a few times, I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 to eat a banana and some oatmeal, figure out what I was going to wear, and stretch. I picked up my sister at 7:30 and we headed to Wrightsville for packet pickup and a pre-race jog.  Many of my running group members were there and I was happy to do my warm-up with one of them.  It’s always nice to run with other people!

My plan for the race was to run as fast as I could, or at least get under 23 minutes.  Secretly, I wanted a PR, but I knew it would be tough to do. I wasn’t feeling the best due to the activities the night before, but I was feeling good enough and ready to run.  The horn blew and I took off.  My Garmin showed that I was going around 7:05 pace, which is exactly what I wanted. THEN, between mile 1 and 2, I felt my breakfast slowly creeping up where it shouldn’t go, so I slowed to what my watch read was a 7:30-ish pace.  Ok, I was good with that. It saves time to just slow down rather than stop and puke, right?  When we rounded the last corner around mile 2-2.5, I saw the building where the race finished and knew I needed to kick it a little bit.  As I got closer, I heard the coaches yelling “good job” and I felt like I finished strong.  My clocked time was 22:00.  Argh! ONE SECOND and I could have had a sub-22!  While I was thrilled to do that well, I often think what I could have done had I not slowed down (or stayed up waaaay too late).  Honestly, I was happy with my run, especially considering  how late I was up!!

A little side note here.  For 5k races, I depend on my watch for paces.  I’m unfamiliar with a 7 minute mile “feeling” since I normally run my tempo runs at 7:30 – 8 minute miles or somewhere near that.  This is the second time this watch hasn’t shown the correct race distance as I crossed the finish line, so now I realize that my pace was showing incorrectly as well.  Which is probably why I felt like my breakfast was going to come back up.  I’m ok with this for shorter races, but it really is a testament to knowing your pace and being able to run the pace you want and know it, rather than depending on a watch.

I’m about ten seconds off my PR, so I’m now determined that I’m going to pick out a 5k to run and take it down.  PR, here I come!!  So close two times in a row!!!

After the race.

After the race.

I was happy to find out that I won the female masters division, and finished 27th overall of 550+ runners.  They read someone else’s name when it was first announced, and come to find out, she was in her 30’s.  I was talking to my husband, who was buying Red Sox/Yankees tickets four our trip to Boston at the time, so I totally missed that they corrected and then re-announced my first place finish.  I headed to the podium (an actual podium!) and stood up there, hoping to not make a fool of myself because I really didn’t understand what was going on.  Dur!!  PAY ATTENTION NEXT TIME!!! I won a nice bell, plus an entry into another race.  I’m currently trying to figure out which 5k to run, the one that shall be mine (rubbing hands with a maniacal laugh).

My prize for winning the Female Masters division.

My prize for winning the Female Masters division.

I realized today that the Boston Marathon is now 18 weeks away.  It’s hard to believe it’s getting so close.  I have SO much work to do, but I know I have a good base to grow from.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Sadly, the 5k Saturday was my last race of 2013, and I look to 2014 with so much hope, excitement, and just, well, happiness.  I’m lucky in life and know that I can dream beyond anything I’ve ever imagined before. No Fear.

Categories: Boston Marathon, boston red sox, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.