Sunday, June 10, 2012

running, tears, realization and goals

I miss my blog.  I miss running.  I miss working out.  I miss training.  I miss my long runs on Saturday and I very much miss the pride and sense of accomplishment of logging these runs.  I miss it all, and I knew it missed it all but it became very clear to me when I started a run today...and was overcome with emotion.  Tears.  It's even hard to talk about it or just to even type it.  But I ask, "how does a person even begin to miss running?"  Let me explain.

About a week before my first half marathon, I was hired at a pharmaceutical corporation in Omaha.  I was high on life, I was in full training mode AND I finally found full time work.  I strongly felt that being somewhat 'fit' had helped my confidence level and helped me to find a decent job.  I then completed my first half on April 14, and started fresh and eager at my new job on April 30 at 8:00 am.  I even ran three miles that night.  I was determined to not be *that* person who said they couldn't work AND work out.

I ran again, two weeks later...three miles.  I really was becoming *that* person of excuses, reasons to not run, not put my health first, not put my love of running before my new-found love of working.  I ran again two weeks later.  My eating habits were also slipping, however, I always stayed 'on-track' with my food, especially during work hours.  I never went out to eat one time.  I guess I thought if I didn't eat out for lunch, that was a victory of some sorts.  I think I was trying to pat myself on the back, somewhere.

I also desperately needed new running shoes.  Yet, another excuse.

What was happening to me?

Yes, I've re-gained some weight.  Seven pounds.  <now entering.... accountability >

Twenty four hours in a day...and I couldn't spare 45-60 minutes for a run or work out?  It was time to set some goals (which I need), buckle up and get back on that horse.

I got new running shoes.

I saved my half-marathon running plan on my phone and desktop.

I went here get my butt in gear and stop being lame and full of excuses and utter laziness - found my half and will register this week.

I did a short run today to get a feel for my new Mizuno's ....I started running, then cried.  I think running missed me as much as I've missed running.  I kept running....however it was just short of two miles.  And hot.  So hot.

I realized that running is a part of me being me.  I love the structure of a training plan.  I need goals to keep me going and striving for more.  I love being proud of myself.  I love feeling great.  I love feeling fit.

I love to run.  I'm back and determined to be better than ever.

p.s.  I really love my job.  So far.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

my first half marathon {race recap}

I figure it's time for a race recap, I've had a few days to digest the event, stare at my hard earned medal and recover.  I really don't know where to start...but here's my attempt.

It's finally race day, it's my first half marathon and my alarm goes off around 5:30 am.  I wasn't too happy with the wake up call seeing how I slept horribly the night before.  Somehow we had booked the loudest hotel in Kansas City and we had the loudest 'neighbors'.  I heard every conversation in the hall and every door slam shut all night long.  I managed to sleep inbetween the noise, so I had that going for me.  I had a banana, granola bar, some Starbucks and water.  I was SO ready to get out there and to get this done.  I know if I start the race, I will finish it.  Even if I have to crawl across that finish line, I'm going to finish this race.

The weather gods were good to us, storms were forecasted for most of the morning, and although it was humid, there was a cool breeze and overcast skies.  When I finally got to my 'corral', I knew a potty break would be nice, but there were FAR more people than porta-potty's, so I started my race without a pre-race pee.  Really NOT a big deal, but I had hoped to get that done.

Mile 4 and I see a line for the 'restrooms', and I decide to stop.  I waited in line and then I enter the dirty stall, close the door behind me and stumble.  I have my phone in one hand and I'm keeping that from a fall into the pit of waste, but as I regain my steadiness, I find that I caught my balance by sliding my hand into a wet urinal.  Wait, a wet urinal coated with fresh....vomit.  YAY.  So, I sanitized my hand, stepped outside, found a puddle, washed in puddle, went back into the porta-potty, santized my hand again, stepped back outside to the puddle, lather, rinse, repeat.  It was so gross but more than was time consuming.  Very time consuming.  I'm trying to recall if I thought any of this was funny at the time, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't laughing.

Miles 5,6,7 were fine, nothing fast but still running.  Mile 8 I notice that my GPS is saying I'm longer into my run than I am. least a mile longer.  So, in my mind, I've just tacked a mile onto an already long run, I know this isn't what actually happened but it really got into my head.  I still don't understand why this happened, but it affected me a lot.  Now I see a Garmin in my future.

I started to slow down.  I began walking through some water stops, and then the sun came out which is beautiful but hot and more humid.  I never stopped, but I did slow down.  I know I walked mile 9, picked it back up here and there and ran mile 12 to finish.  When I saw the finish line I wasn't all re-energized or excited...I was like "FINALLY".  I was spent.  Drained.  I don't think I could have gone any longer.  I was done and no matter what my official finishing time is (3:10:00) - I AM A HALF MARATHONER.  

I hope I don't sound like 'Debbie Downer'.  I loved this race, I loved the weekend, I love having this huge achievement under my belt.  I love knowing I have a 12 mile race in about 40 days.  I love LOVE all of my support from SO MANY PEOPLE that took time to send me messages and emails, tweets and facebook posts.  There were all beyond awesome and I truly wish I could thank you and tell you all personally what that meant to me.

My goal this race, my first half marathon, was to finish.  I finished, I learned and I will use what I've learned to teach me to be a better and stronger runner.   I know using what I've learned for my next race will be invaluable.  I won't become much faster in just a month, but I can get stronger.  I'll work more on my stride, my pacing, focus more on actually running than the music or podcast during my run.  I've realized that I need to 'get to know' my run, we need to meet, we need to know what to expect from each other....I've realized that I need to learn to respect my run.  I work too hard not to.

Friday, April 13, 2012

ready to 'rock' the Parkway

It's here.  Well, almost.  As I sit here sniffling and ignoring a tickle in my throat, I find my mind going to back to reminisce this first part of 2012.  How could four months fly by so fast?  How could this winter be so perfect (relatively non-existent) to support my first ever half marathon training?  How can I finally be *ready* to run 13.1 miles?

As I reflect on my previous months of training, it's only natural to look at numbers.  Roughly 240 miles ran so far in 2012.  I kind-of want to say "that's it?" but these miles are almost half of the total miles I ran in 2011, so I feel somewhat accomplished.  These miles were hard, with purpose and intent.  The competitive part of me would love to run 12 miles at least one more time, 'to really make sure I'm ready', but the sensible part of me says "You ARE ready."

My support has been more than amazing.  So many people on Facebook, Twitter and Dailymile have been SO supportive ...ALL THE TIME.  I know I wouldn't be where I am without them....the accountability is huge and their support is priceless.  But, this past week, I've been panicking and have turned to my sister, Amy.  She's listened (endured) my rants and worries all week, one day, I called her 4 or 5 times!  Amy is a former-runner-especial and I know to listen to her tips and advice, I also know one day we will run together again, and I can't wait.  Erin and Barb on Twitter have been beyond-words-amazing.  Again, two more people I'd love to have the pleasure to meet and run alongside (one day).   Logan, you better be reading this.  YOU were the first person to go 'all-in', when I proclaimed on Run Chat that I had decided to do my first half.  I believe you said "I'm going to follow you now, I love watching people tackle new goals" (or something kinda/sorta like that).  Then, there's my parents, my Mom always asking "are you still running" and my Dad reinforcing my running by telling me how great I look...that is so much more inspirational than you can imagine.  Now, I turn to Bob.  He's been my virtual running coach forever now.  (we actually attending the same HS and almost the same time!)  I really don't know if I would have done any of this without his guidance, his continual super-support and advice.  I'd love to run a mile at the speed he can run a mile...I laugh because we're both in Nebraska and I'm planning on running the Omaha Half Marathon and he is, too.  It's going to be hysterical because by the time I'm done, he will have showered and changed and grown a beard.   He's fast, I'm not, but as long as I have his 'support' I'm not worried about speed.  That's the best thing about running a new distance for the first time, a guaranteed PR :)

This sounds like I'm either going to die tomorrow or I'm going to win, I know both aren't going to happen but what I do I'm running my first half marathon and I am ready.   I'm ready to Rock the Parkway in Kansas City!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

running thoughts

It seems crazy to me that I haven't ran since Saturday.  I actually haven't done anything at all, that might be longest 'break' from running and working out I've had since being sick in July (except for traveling).  It seems even crazier to me that I'm running my first half marathon race in 9 days.  NINE.  I'm super excited for next weekend, all parts of it.  I even have a list!
1.  A medal
2.  A medal
3.  A medal (I reeeeally want a medal)
4.  Going to KC and seeing my brother and his wife (she's running with me!)
5.  Weekend away with hubby
6.  Drinking margaritas the size of my head after my race

Anyway, I don't feel that I'm off track or worried about my lack of running for the past 4 days.  I just....needed a break.  The timing, I don't understand.  My body just said 'stop', so...I did.  It was like I hit an 'off' button.  I don't even feel guilty.  I also realized my running shoes are WAY beyond their mileage.  You know how you drive on that worn tire for too long?  Those are my shoes.  I stepped on a rock and said 'ow'...I even have a cute hole in the top, which I thought was kinda cool until I stepped on that rock and had a closer look at my shoe.  I know it's too close to the race for new shoes and in all honesty, my shins aren't hurting and I'm not experiencing any real discomfort...unless of course I step on a rock.

So, I haven't ran or worked out, I need new shoes and I have my first half marathon next weekend.  I'm ambivalent about the end of my first half marathon training.  I feel accomplished and I love the structure, the schedule ...all of it.  Do I just continue my last weeks of training forever?  Will lack of this schedule derail me?  Will I ever run more than 13 miles?  Do I even want to ever run more than 13 miles?  How do I continue to challenge myself?

These are the questions/concerns rattling around in my head, but there is one thing constantly at the forefront, and that is finishing my first race and being damn proud of myself for doing just that.

Oh, and check out this sweet bling which will be mine next Saturday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

whose legs are these and "my sport, is your sport's punishment"

My legs want to run.  This is the strangest phenomenon to me.  MY legs are being quite bossy and telling me to do more than my wimpy mind tells me to do, this is good, right?  I'm sitting here right now and when I think of running, I feel a sort of energy run through my legs.  Whose legs are these and where did mine go?

I'm having all sorts of crazy things happen and additionally, some crazy thoughts, lately.  I'll share some, ok?

I'm thinking of running 13 miles on Saturday.  On those hills.  THOSE hills, you know which ones I'm talking about.  The thing is, my half training says to run eight, but I feel like I need to do another 12+ run before my half marathon.  This will give me more confidence and it can't hurt.   (I'm going to name this run "Hills to Lincoln")  bestnameever.

I ran 8 miles in the rain twice this week.  Legit rain.  You know the rain that has you running with a newspaper-over-your-hair as you run from your car to get inside?  THAT rain.  "Oh, hi, it's raining....I'm going for a run."  It was pretty awesome, I won't lie.  I also won't lie and say that I prefer a non-rain run.

I discovered a fantastic, I love you Dailymile people.  Dailymile is like Facebook for runners/workout people...athletes?  I mean, they're athletes for sure.  The podcast is Phedippidations ...I'm telling you, I'm addicted.  (Thank you, Jan!!)  The guy makes me laugh and learn and forget that I'm running....kind of.  Thankfully, he has over 300 podcasts that I haven't heard, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he has and that also means, I have a lot of running in my future, and that's pretty cool.

I have to tell you what I heard on my run yesterday via this super cool podcast.  It blew my mind to pieces, made me smile and think...THIS IS SO TRUE.

"Running is not for everyone, but for you ballplayers of baskets, foot, bases and all, my sport, is your sport's punishment".   

Think about that.  Suicides for basketball?  I remember a nightmare drill we used to do in HS softball.  Starting at home, you run to first, then back to home, then over first to second, then back to get the idea.  What is the name of that drill??  I'll take "softball drills from hell" for $200, Alex.

I have more crazy doings but those include eating beefaroni, cap'n crunch and a peanut butter cup all in one day.  I won't bore you with those little details.  Ooops, and wine, too.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

rambling, rain & running

It's Tuesday, well now Tuesday evening, but Tuesday through Saturday..I workout or run.  Last week, I've merged them into one workout.  Saturdays are typically my longest run of the week, so I rest up on Sunday and then usually Monday too since I only have a 3 mile run scheduled on that day.

The local gym is about 1.66 miles from my house.  Last week, I ran there, biked, ran home...except a lot of the running on my non-scheduled training day was walking due to HEAT.  Isn't that insane?   Complaining about heat mid-March.  Well, I never really complained, I just dealt with it, but it's no secret that me and 'heat' do not get along well, although last week I handled it fine.


Last week (I remember now) I almost doubled my calories burned than I did during prior weeks.  This is a fine line for me because I am training for my first half marathon, but I am on a weight loss journey as well.  My 'off' running days no longer say 'circuit' training, so I was really  only running/working out 3-4 times a week.  (but there was a 10 and 12 mile run in those weeks *cough*)   I need to continue to lose weight.  I need to lose more weight to run faster.  I need to run more to lose more weight.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  However, I will not NOT NOT risk injury to do this.  I won't run many more than my sheduled miles, I won't do any new fitness thing that my body isn't used to.  I knew biking was safe and holy-ball-of-sweatball madness, I sweat more on that bike than running OR elliptical.


Today (back to the Tuesday reference in paragraph one), I ran IN THE RAIN.  Me.  I knew it was raining, geared up, and went out in it...on purpose.  It was awesome.  And not hot.

I got to the gym, took off my extra t-shirt, hopped on a stationary bike and did 16.4 miles in 60 minutes.  I love the intervals because they make me cry and you can't tell I'm crying because I'm sweating so much.  Then I got off the bike, wobbled around like a newborn foal, put on my wet t-shirt, walked out, and ran all the way home.  I'm amazed.  My quads were so fatigued when I hit the road again, but I pushed through it.  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?  The foal found her legs and galloped home, in the rain....proudly.  (I won't mention the overpass she had to get over, ok, maybe I will).

Oh, and I did a brick.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dam to Dam

Look out Des Moines, here I come. 
This time I'll be toting my running gear because I have registered for the Dam to Dam 20K

This will be my second race this year, my first one is IN 30 DAYS!  People, I'm going to have two race medals...pinch me!!  I'm hoping for two more medals this year.  I'm eyeballing the Omaha Half which is in October, and I need another one, something within 3 hours of Omaha is preferred, but Chicago is definitely an option because my family lives there.  I'd also consider Detroit if my niece and sister will run a 5K and there is a half option for me.  *hint hint*  

Here are some of the details on the race.
  • 20 Kilometer start will be in the middle of Saylorville Dam and travel over the Center Street Bridge, an awe inspiring view of downtown Des Moines.
  • Runner Technical shirts will be styled for each gender. Available in Passion Pink & Agave Blue for females and Navy & Gold for males. 
  • Special drawstring backpack for all 20K & 5K runners in Pink, Royal, Blue and Black. A great bag for race day and all year long.
  • Not to be forgotten 20K runners receive Nike socks, 20K finishers receive finisher medals, free poster for everyone and the award winning results booklet.
Just some of the swag this race is offering.  I'm hoping a few friends will do this race too, would love to do a meet-up or tweet-up later that night.  It's no secret that I can go from running shoes to heels in about 2.2 seconds!  

What and when is your next race?