Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tri Training

I started triathlon training this week. I'm not signed up yet, but I started my training for a ladies only triathlon that is held at the end of July. Yesterday was a swim day--first time actually swimming, since I was a kid. I did okay, considering... I'm a nose plugger. I never learned to swim underwater without plugging my nose, so I spent most of my energy staying above water in the pool yesterday. I've since invested in one of those silly nose plugs, so we'll see how that works later this week. I was able to do a total of 450 yards in the time I was there. The first stint was somewhere between 50 and 100 yards. Then I had to take a breather between each 50 yards. I've got my work cut out for me.

Today is a bike day. Getting ready to get on the trainer now. The tornado watches and severe rain today made it impossible to go outside. Hubby and I are going to ride side by side on the trainer while watching Hulu. Gotta love it.

I have to say, I'm anxious to run again tomorrow. I'm really liking it and missing it now that I'm on to other things. Ah well... we'll see what happens from here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have to say thank you to someone very important to me. This person was there for me during my training, encouraging me every step of the way. He had more confidence in my ability than I did. When I didn't want to run, he was there to gently push me out the door. When I had questions, he taught me the ways. He knew that running a 1/2 marathon was something I wanted to do. He never once forced me to do any of the training, but he encouraged me and helped me accomplish my goal. I don't know if I could have done it without him... Thanks, Hubby! I love you. Incidentally, this Thursday will be our 10th wedding anniversary and this journey that we've gone through together has been pretty amazing... not just the journey to the 1/2 marathon and full marathon, but the last 10 years. I love you!

Benefits of Running

After running this 1/2 marathon in Cleveland, I've been doing some reflecting... what are some of the good things about running? A certain someone, not to be named, has asked why would anyone want to run without being chased? Here's my answers:
1. I feel great. Running has given me my health back (not that it was bad to begin with)
2. I've been told I look great. I've lost all my baby weight and 10 more pounds, putting me 10lbs lighter than I was before I had kid #1. I haven't weighed this since high school, I think.
3. It gives me "me" time. I can go out, clear my mind and not think about anything or be bothered by anyone.
4. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. As I've reached my little (and big) milestones and goals, I feel like I can do anything.
5. The half marathon gave me a natural high.... it's like a drug. I couldn't wait to go out there and run again after it. I can't wait to sign up for my next one.
6. I'm inspiring others. I know of at least three-four other people who want to get started...and that's awesome to me.
7. The support from friends and family is amazing. When my mental game isn't on, my friends and family have more confidence in my than I do in myself. Strangers along the course provided the support DURING the race too... which was totally awesome.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Race Review Part 1

I don't even know where to start with the race review, so I'll start at the beginning.. Good idea, huh?

The day started with a wake-up call at 4:45am. As early as this sounds, I get up at that time everyday anyway so it wasn't a big deal to me. Breakfast consisted of a bottle of Gatorade/Powerade and a chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese. We slowly woke up and got dressed and ready for the 7am start.

As we walked from our hotel, it was foggy and cool. There was a slight mist from the fog and the lake. We dropped our bags off at the bag check in Cleveland Browns stadium and headed out to the start. I said goodbye and good luck to Hubby and our friend, and headed back towards my pace goal markers. I had figured I wanted to stay close to the 5-hour marathon runners since I wanted to do a 2:30 half. There were so many people that I couldn't even get into the coral until well after the start. I decided to wait until the pace groups passed in front of me instead of going backwards to them. I got impatient waiting for the right group, so when the 4:45 marathoners came up, I got onto the pavement and started heading towards the starting line. Seven minutes after the actual start of the race, I crossed the starting line.

I was amazed at how many people were running this race. I knew there were thousands registered, but to see the sea of people ahead of me and behind me was amazing. I had decided not to take my camera with me but I wish I did just to show people how amazing it was. I'm an emotional person, so I got choked up--choked up at the start, when I finally crossed the starting line, when I saw the mass number of people...

I was taking it all in... the people, all the fun and different things on the back of people's shirts, the signs. We got to the water stop at mile 2 and I couldn't believe the number of people that were stopping for potty breaks already. The port-a-potties were all full so the men took it upon themselves to find an open tree. Just something I found humorous... Because of all the things going on, I never once thought about my running. I was in a rhythm and never thought about being in pain or hurting at all. I'm used to running alone and noticing every step and minor pains. I was so distracted taking in my surroundings that I never had that problem.

I saw my father-in-law around mile 11.75. Knowing I was so close to the finish, I got a second wind and started to speed up a little. Unfortunately, the next mile was mostly uphill--over the Carnegie Bridge and up the hill to Tower City. I powered through that and kept the momentum going. The last half mile was downhill towards Cleveland Browns Stadium and I picked up the pace again into the finishing coral. Man.... that was awesome!!!! Finishing time--2:27:03! Words cannot describe how I felt, and still feel.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a Rush!

The race was a success! I met all three of my goals:

1. Finish
2. Run the whole thing
3. Finish in 2:30.

I ran the whole race, finishing in 2:27:03. I can't describe the amazing time I had at the race yesterday! Tomorrow I'll post a recap of the weekend, but I really wanted to say thanks to some people..

First and foremost--Hubby. He's been so supportive and motivating about this whole adventure. His first full marathon and my first half... pushing me out the door for some "me" time to train, helping me figure out a plan, but mostly having the faith and confidence in me that I can do this.

Second, my good friend, Beth, who got me started running. I would never know what I am capable if it weren't for her.

My parents. They watched the kids while Hubby and I ran but they've also given me so much support and confidence as well. During my whole life, they've always had confidence and pride in everything that I do and that's priceless.

My co-workers--they're awesome. Asking me for training updates, motivation, bought me flowers and chocolate cake pre-race to wish me luck.

Friends and family--for giving me tons of support and motivation. I honestly couldn't have done this without all the support.

I'll write more tomorrow but today I'm exhausted and ready for bed.
Love you all!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Race Day

We're up at 4:45 today...nothing says breakfast like chocolate chip bagel and gatorade! Relaxing a bit, digesting and getting ready.

Here we go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Race Weekend!

I'm sitting here in the hotel, wondering what's going to happen tomorrow. We've gone from a sunny day to torrential downpour to thunderstorms and now it's a light rain. Maybe it'll get all the rain out of the system now before tomorrow. I have not trained in heavy rain so I would not have fun...

That being said, we scoped out the start/finish lines, went to the expo, picked up our bibs and shirts, had dinner and now are relaxing before heading to bed. I have so many things going through my mind right now... and the rain isn't helping. I'm a ball of nerves right now!

Thursday's short 2 mile run scared me. It was 85 degrees and muggy. I really didn't feel good running, at all. I never fell into a groove and my legs hurt. That made me nervous. Today, I had a 10-12 minute run, which was a mile for me. I felt really good this morning... I took it pretty easy and I'm glad. I feel a little better about tomorrow's run now. Granted, it was only a mile.... :)

Okay folks, I'm off to bed in a little bit before an early start--4:30 or 5:00am. Uck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Goals for the Half...

1. Finish. This shouldn't be a problem, unless I injure myself.
2. Run the whole 13.1 miles. Fingers crossed, shouldn't be a huge problem.
3. Finish in 2 1/2 hours. I'm torn on this one. I took the 12 miles slower than usual and I'm going to have to do it slower on Sunday too. In order to make 2 1/2 hours, I'll have to have just under an 11:30/mile pace. For the 12 mile training run, my pace was 11:52. That's a big difference, but I'm thinking with the excitement of the race, it might be doable. I'm going to take it easy during the first part of it and see how I feel.

Other than these three goals, I don't have a lot of expectations. This is my first race longer than a 5k, so I don't really know what to expect. We'll see what happens.

Last Week of Training

Wow....this is my 15th week of serious training for this half-marathon. To see how far I've come is amazing, not only in these last 15 weeks, but in the last two years. I started running for the first time in July of 2009. I remember not being able to run more than a quarter of a mile. In August 2009, I developed tendonitis in both of my knees and had to take 6 weeks off of running. October was when I completed my first 5k and I barely made it. If I had not had a friend to run with, I would have quit about mile 2. In five days, I will be attempting my first half-marathon. I cannot believe how far I've come. I never imagined I would enjoy running. I never thought I could do more than that first quarter of a mile. Even when I said I wanted to run a half-marathon, I didn't think I could do it. When I saw the training plan and the fact that my long runs increased each weekend by a mile, I thought that was impossible. Now here I am, already accomplished 12 miles and ready to complete my goal. I am so ready for this.

I say I'm ready for this and that I know I can do this, but in the back of my mind, I wonder if I really can. I know how I felt physically when I finished those 12 miles... I just have to get past the mental block of it all, and let the adrenaline of the weekend take me through it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Which One Will Show?

I'm not a consistent runner. Some days I'll go out and just kill it (fast, for me) and run under an 11:00/mile pace. Some days, lately, I'll go out and run a pace of over 12:00. I'm so inconsistent and I'm never sure which "runner" will show up until I'm out there running.

There are days that I feel really good running. Any discomfort can be worked through quickly. Other days I have to stop to stretch out a muscle. I don't know what causes this inconsistency. I stretch before I run (I have to, ever since the plantar fasciitis decided to make its way to my foot).

Which "runner" will show up next weekend? I don't know. I want to be able to finish and not kill myself, so it's okay if the slower me shows up. However, I wouldn't mind being faster.

Later this week I'll try to post my goals for the half-marathon on Sunday. I can't believe it's almost here!

Taper Week

This week I get to step back and taper my running in preparation for the big race next week. Tuesday and Thursday's runs were 4 miles each. I swear... I know I've said it again, but running is all mental. I ran 12 miles last week, right? I know I can do that. Except both of these 4 miles runs, I kept thinking that I couldn't do it. I couldn't do one more step beyond that 4 miles. It's crazy.

I went out today and ran my last "long" run--6 miles. It was 70 degrees out, sunny the first half and overcast the second half, but REALLY windy the whole time. I felt pretty good, after the first 1.5 miles. I must have gone out too fast because my shins really bothered me the first 1.5 miles. I actually stopped to stretch them out and then kept going. In today's run, I didn't feel like I couldn't do anymore than 6. I actually felt pretty good by the end and probably could have done more, but wasn't going to overdo it.

On the website for the marathon, they posted a video of someone driving the marathon course. After watching it, I feel so much better. It looks a lot flatter than I was expecting. I have trained by running over overpasses but it doesn't look like we'll even be changing elevation that much.

I also got my bib number. It's 6523! I like it. I'm not sure why, but I like it. You can follow my progress during the race via text or email, but I'm not sure what that link is yet. I'll post it when I find it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

12 Miles, Baby!

So, last week, when I was really upset with my 11 mile run? Revenge today! I had 12 miles on the schedule today and I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I changed a bunch of things from last week. I ran in the evening today (mostly based on schedule), I took water with me this time, and I started out with a slower pace. It turns out I was much slower this time, but I'm okay with that.

The great thing about living in the country is the different places to run. During my 12 mile run, which took me 2:22:26 (I know, it's reeeally slow) I can probably count on one hand, the number of cars that passed me while I was running. There were times where all I could hear was my breathing and the sound of my water bottles sloshing. It was so serene and beautiful.

When I was coming up on 7.75 miles, the point where I stopped for a long time last week, I started to get really nervous but kept talking myself through it and knowing I was going to take another gel at 8.5 miles, I knew it would be help.

I kept thinking about why I was doing this and how good is it going to feel in two weeks when I cross that finish line and I realized that I've never in my life pushed myself to do something like this before. I've never pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to go further or to do more than I ever thought I could. No matter what happens in two weeks, I'm extremely proud of myself.