Honor Half Marathon Y’all 11/15/2014

It’s been a long 5 weeks in my world.

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I changed jobs, and had a huge emotional shift regarding that upheaval. Great news is that I love, love, love my new job.

I have kept up with running and yoga classes and on Saturday morning I started the day with my traditional breakfast of chocolate milk and zingers (I know super healthy right?) Sitting in the car freezing, I only turned the heat up enough to defrost, not wanting to warm myself too much. Yahoo weather was kind enough to tell me that it was 16 degrees – I don’t care where you live that’s freaking cold. I told my parents and husband to stay home, had I not paid for this I would have still be at home in bed. However anyone who knows me knows that the word “quit” does not exist in my vocabulary.

The beginning of the event was under the water tower at the Florence Mall, the sun just barely making its presence known. The principal of Cooper High School sang the National Anthem and the mayor of Florence shared a few words of thanks and encouragement. All 1,100 participants lined up, “Survivor” from the Rocky movie was their choice for a starting song, ironically it was the same song I had selected, after that it was up to the ipod shuffle gods. Mile one looped around the mall, it was strange to run so many miles in an area that I have called home all my life. The third song “Here Comes The Sun” once again started just as the sun came up 7:21 I was .75 miles in, ironic? Kismet? It was from that point on that I knew I was going to run a good event. The course was much harder than the Queen Bee, that event the hills were out-of-the-way in the first 4 miles, this event the hills were constants.  It was a steady challenge and this time I made it 8 miles before I took a little walk break, I didn’t drop my first 13+ mile until mile 10 and the second one was mile 11 but I really had to make a pit stop. Mile 12 was tough and mostly uphill before a slight slope down and circling back to where we started. I finished less than one minute slower than previously, all things considered I was really pleased.

At the finish line I wrapped up and walked to get a drink, water wasn’t appealing on the course so my intake was very little, however I was parched once I stopped. Pulling my phone from my pocket I had wishes of luck from my parents, my sister, my husband and children, I smiled and then read the text from my mom that she along with my niece and nephew were at the finish! Finding them made the day complete. Hugs and support, nothing better when one has met a goal.

What’s up next?

Well I am not a cold weather fan, I have the Thanksgiving Day 10K next week and that’s it for formal events, my wallet and shoes are worn out. I have an appointment to have my right foot finally taken care of and after 4-6 weeks of recovery I will begin training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May, and maybe just maybe we will talk Columbus full for my 39th birthday instead of my 40th. I will continue to run up until surgery day and as soon as I am medically cleared I will slowly get back up to speed, in the mean time I am absolutely in love with hot yoga and there is a new cycling bar in town that I am eager to give a try.

On the agenda for 2015:

May: Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati Reds 10K, Run & Slug 8 miler

July: Fourth of July 5K

August: Friendship City 5K (I am going to win my age division)

September: Hudy 14K

October: Columbus Marathon or Queen Bee Half Marathon

November: Honor Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 10K

 

 

 

BIB No. 707: Queen Bee Half Marathon

After months and months of talking about it, training for it, being annoying as heck to everyone I know about it,  the day to put up or shut up finally arrived.

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My Mom and Myself

I went to the Expo yesterday and got my packet, as I pulled my bib from the packet I got emotional I had forgotten the personalization I had put on it, “I LOVE ME” then to see the number 707 I knew that it was going to be a great run for me. My dad was the first person I called, I knew he would love the number. I sent the tracking app to the people who have been incredibly supportive along my journey to this test. I watched the weather all week, at the beginning it was going to be cold and wet, but thankfully weather prediction isn’t an exact science and at the beginning of the race it was in the upper 40’s and windy, it was cool but no rain. My friend Kris and I stood there waiting for the event to begin when I got a text from my mom, I expected a good luck but instead I got a “Where are you, you know I wouldn’t miss this.” I started crying right away, my mom has been to almost all of my timed events. She hugged me and told me how proud she was of me, I was so happy to see her. We were a crying mess. I crossed the start line at the very back of the pack and avoided all the congestion, all the pressure to keep a pace that would drain me too soon.

FullSizeRender The course started out with almost 3 miles all up hill, I knew that once I made it past that point there would be another steep hill around mile five and then it would be mostly down hill and flat. My first half pace was 11:25, which I was really happy with. I ran the first ten miles pretty steadily and the I hit my breaking point, I started to walk a touch here and there and dropped a 13+ min mile, the last three were all more than 13 mins but I was really struggling, this was only the second time I had run this distance. When I saw the 13 mile marker I gave everything I got. There was a woman who I had been following and passing, then falling behind, she said, “We’ve been together for a while now, ready t o finish this up?” I nodded and we pushed the last quarter-mile.

 

Crossing the finish line in 2:41:34, my goal was to finish in 2:45 or less, so goal met.

I don’t know that I have ever been more proud of myself. Without any formal training, group of runners to train with, only a plan I downloaded from a website with how much to run as the weeks went on, I did it.  I have no doubt that I will be able to reach my long-term goal of the Columbus Marathon in 2016.

I have to give thanks to all the people who supported me, my husband and kids who never once complained that I had to run 5 days a week, often leaving as soon as we got home from work, my parents for words of encouragement, my sister Robin for her tips on training, my friend Kris who ran today as well besting her previous half time by 15 minutes, some of the running momma friends I have on Facebook who posted continuously their runs and successes, and the other people in my life who took time to ask how my training was progressing.

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. ~Heb 12:1

Some other photos from today:

 

 

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Kris and Myself

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A not terrible action shot

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Night before ritual photo

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14 Sleeps Till Go Time

This past Saturday I set out on my last long run before the trifecta I have my self set up for. It was an emotional morning as I did not want to get out of bed, I did not want to run. I have been extremely tired and in general not feeling well. Most days it’s all I can do to pull myself together. But, mind over matter I got dressed and headed to my newly custom designed 13 mile course. The goal for the day was to complete the distance with as little walking as possible, I allow myself to walk through my water stops but that’s it.  I recall thinking on a right turn down Main Street in Florence only 4.5 miles to go, and I digested that thought. There was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, let alone fathom 13, and in this moment I was encouraged by having so little left ahead of me. The final incline proved to be the killer, driving up it I never realized it was so steep. But 2:40 after I started I was done, 13 miles in the log. Admittedly I was exhausted, I cried, I celebrated…alone.

This next two weeks is comprised of 4 short runs (4-5 miles each) and one 8 miler on Saturday, two yoga classes and a cycle class “if” I don’t have an interview (I hope I have an interview). The on the night of my 14th sleep I will pick up my race packet and I will accomplish one task I set out to, early last year. It’s been a long journey, one filled with many lessons:

shoes and socks are more than shoes and socks

regardless if I finish first or last, I am miles ahead of those who dare not take a step at all

sometimes I cry the whole route, and when I finish I am spent and revived

music (for me) makes all the difference in the world

I will never be the best or worst

injury can affect a person in many ways, but the choices available are: give in or let it make you stronger – faciaitis, runners knee, shin splints, aching knumb toes, several hamstring & groin pulls – stronger I am

and most importantly never saying never. Because I was the fat, ugly, slow kid who had a philosophy of hit the ball long and hard, so I didn’t have to run fast and slide. I am still not fast, but I have endurance and a heart that never gives up.

 

 

 

 

Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run

The Hudepohl 14K is the third leg in the Brew Hog series promoted by the Flying Pig marathon group here in Cincinnati. The 8.8 miles takes the runner past the historic sites of the breweries that once filled our city. Starting near the Ohio River behind the Christian Moreline Lager House and wrapping up behind Great American Ballpark.

I was blessed with a very mild morning, in Cincinnati, roughly 65 degrees at start time on the river. I had decided that this event I would try something new, I was going to start at the back of the pack instead of the middle. I find the enthusiasm and motivation of the middle of the pack intoxicating but to my own detriment as I try to keep up with that group, burn up the first mile or two and end up exhausted before I reach the end. By placing myself at the rear of the field I gave myself the chance to come out at a slower pace, one that I can maintain saving my energy for the last mile; to my credit this worked beautifully. At each mile marker I glanced at my watch to see that I was where I wanted to be, not knowing the elevation of course ahead of time I only had one mile that was over my desired pace and it was pretty much all uphill, but I didn’t stop I pushed myself and was ever so thankful when I reached the top. As the playlist, thoughts of my daughters, and my self-love pushed me to the finish, I stopped my watch as I crossed the finish mat as I usually do with tears in my eyes, 1:45:16. My goal was to run the distance and for my pace to be under 12/mile. Done and done.

Three weeks until the Queen Bee, this next Saturday will be my final long run as I being to taper after that. My body feels good, aside from needing a shower, breakfast and a nap Saturday I didn’t have any pain or discomfort. I have prepared for this all summer and I CANNOT WAIT!!!IMG_2822

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Pizza

I love pizza. Every gooey, cheesy, thick crusted bite of fatty deliciousness, really – who doesn’t? It’s one of our goto dinners, especially with our commute and not getting home most evenings until 6 or later, it makes meal prep the last thing I want to do. Plus, everyone will eat pizza without any fuss. Now pizza and weight loss rarely go in hand – every food plan will say indulge occasionally with a slice of pizza. Who eats one slice? Let’s be realistic it’s more like 3-4, I honestly just like cheese but as a compromise we usually get some kind of meat and a veggie. I know I can add a salad and make it healthier, but it’s pizza. So in an effort to make pizza healthier I looked for some alternatives and last night I made this: Zucchini Crust pizza. The prep was super easy – I shredded 4 small zucchini in my food processor in the morning and let it drain in strainer bowl (Pampered Chef nested colander and bowl set FTW). The mixed it with one large egg, 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese and 1 cup grated mozzarella. The sauce is just a tomato sauce.  I decided to keep it simple this first time (in case it wasn’t so great we didn’t waste a bunch of toppings).  The crust I baked for about 30 minutes until it was golden at the edges, then we added the toppings.

The proof was in the taste test, it was very good and with some toppings it would be a very satisfying dinner, I am thinking chicken, basil and mushrooms. 50% of my children asked me to make it again and the other 50% asked for skeby-o’s with meatballs. I call it a win.

 

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Zucchini Crust pizza

 

12 miles and Sliding into Om

Saturday 4 am, pull self from warm cozy bed.

12 miles planned, a daunting thought to me. I have done 10 several times this year, but 12 seems like so much more. I decided on this early run time because the humidity has been so thick, I can handle the heat, I love to feel “hot” but hot and damp is just brutal. It was cool as I deposited water at my two-mile markers and started out the first lap of 3. The first 4 miles I felt really slow but when I made it back to the beginning I was very pleased with just a touch over 44 minutes, as much as I’d like it to be closer to 40 I know if I push it too hard I will injure myself or leave nothing for the last few miles; I felt good. The second 4 miles I did two out and two back just to make it a little different and add in more hills, a pit stop at the Speedway and I hit a wall. 8 miles in and I wanted to be done. I knew at that point I had two choices, run the opposite direction of my car forcing myself to finish or toward my car and potentially giving up when I got to it in lieu of going one more lap. Opposite it was. I headed down HWY 18 following what I know will be part of the Honor half marathon in November, taking a couple of loops around the mall and then heading back, my watch died so I had to use Runkeeper on my phone for the last bit but I know I was within .1 of the 12 miles. Feeling accomplished and proud that I didn’t give up, my reward was heading down to Great American Ballpark where I participated in their “Sliding into Om” promotional event.

It’s no secret that I love baseball, it’s a very special part of my life and my relationship with my father so when I learned photo 1of this oppophoto 2rtunity I had to do it! Admittedly it was a little emotional, I have been on the field before but only the warning track and in the dugout. The view from the field is almost as amazing as from the stands. I unrolled my mat and slipped off my shoes, my feet so tired. Clenching the grass with my toes I could feel the dampness that still clung to the thick, sturdy blades and the  clean smell I associate with grass. People trailed in up until the last moment and then we spread out and the class began.  A new instructor brings a new perspective on my practice. There was music in the background and I felt the benefit of this post-run. My hamstring tenderness was eased as did the tension I have been having in my right shoulder. I got a glimpse of myself on the big screen; before I knew it the hour was up. Next year I will take the girls with me, there were several littles in attendance and I think they would have really enjoyed it.

 

So close and a hard good-bye.

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So close…..

This past weekend I did the 10th annual Friendship City 5K  in Erlanger, KY. It’s near where I grew up and has a very low registration fee, it was a nice run last year and I was so encouraged when I finished third that I had a little hope that I could actually improve enough to possibly win this year.

I came close, I placed 2nd in my age division and was the 11th female overall.

August 24,  2014:  Screenshot - 8_25_2014 , 9_08_53 AM

Compared to 8/25/2013:   Screenshot - 8_25_2014 , 9_12_26 AM

 

The field was small,  but I still went out there,  with a very painful pulled right hamstring, and had a personal best for a 5K  (Garmin time was 33:08). I have learned a few things about how I run in the last year that really helped me make progress and maybe, just maybe next year I will place first.

My girls participated in the kids fun run, in a skirt and dress respectively, again and enjoyed themselves. Each received a participation medal and asked why I didn’t get one, I was stumped; last year they recognized two places in each division, admittedly I was a little disappointed that this year they only did the first place, and the pessimist in me to quote Ricky Bobby “2nd place is the first loser”. I don’t feel like a loser, running for me is never about “winning” it’s about meeting my personal expectation and I did, I finished better than last year and better than the 4th of July 5K just 6 weeks ago.

… and a hard good-bye.

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Comfort items are difficult to part with. My youngest daughter has her bee-bee (blanket) she is my Linus, there is nothing bee-bee can’t fix. These jeans are that to me. I have had them since June 2009, I know who remembers when they got a pair of jeans? I think because this was the first  pair after I had my oldest daughter. My body changed a lot, and I was carrying 40#’s of baby weight, (roughly 240#’s)I was depressed. I found them in the men’s section of a GAP outlet, who knows what size they really were. They fit and looked ok, that was all I cared about. In the five years since their acquisition I have had a second baby, I have lost and gained 40# to lose the 40# again (for good this time). Yesterday after my shower I grabbed them as I often do on the weekend (I can’t wear them out of the house anymore they are so worn and holy), right from the dryer. They sat for a moment on my hips and then crept below them. I pulled them up. Halfway down the hall they fell again. I pulled them up. I bent over to pick up socks and well I could have been a plumber for a minute. I sighed and realized it was time. My comfort jeans, my fat girl pants, had to go.

I hung them up to take one last photo and tonight I will cut them up for ties for my tomato plants and pitch what it left.

This isn’t the first item I have had to toss and happily it won’t be the last, but they are probably the only item that I feel sadness about,it’s a burial to my fatter body. It’s progression forward and weight loss is marketed to be a physical change, but the change is far more emotional than anything.

Good-bye fat pants, good-bye fatter body, good-bye fat thinking mentality.

 

 

Rocky Mountain High

Last week I went to Colorado. It was an amazing trip! Upon landing I was awestruck by the landscape, it was raining but the mountains were breathtaking. My sister picked my up from the airport and as we talked and headed to her home, we witnessed not one but two double rainbows!

photoFriday morning we took a hike up Mt. Cuttler,  I’ve never been hiking before and everyone warned me about the altitude; the one mile trek up was challenging but I really enjoyed it. When we caphoto 1me to the summit all I could think of was a yoga class being held there, so why not have a few poses! The trail run down was also an entirely new experience, but was something I want to look into back home.

 

Saturday morning we decided to attend a local yoga studio where I took my first hot fusion class. An hour-long sweat fest. I impressed myself by being able to keep up with the fast paced instructor and proudly landed my first crow.  At class end I was saturated to say the least and eager to attend a similar class again!

In thephoto (1) evening we ran the Color Fest 5K. We were all sorts of color crazy! This was a more family focused event, so it was a struggle to actually run, and the course was short, all-in-all it was a fun time!

 

The last day of my mommy get-a-way I took a 4 mile run solo. I just took off and went until Garmin told me 2 miles had passed. I was able to take in parts of Colorado Springs, see the people on the streets in the early morning, breath in the dry air. It felt good to get out and go.

It was the first time in forever I can remember not toeing a scale for 3 days in a row, and I wasn’t upset with a 3# gain – I did indulge in some seriously amazing food.

Now that I am back home I am focused ahead to the events that I have signed up for:

8/24:Friendship City 5K (10th annual)     2013: 36:31

10/11: Queen Bee Half Marathon (1st ever)

11/15: Honor Half Marathon (1st ever)

11/27: Thanksgiving Day 10K (105th annual) 2013:1:13:37

After that I will focus on maintenance through the winter, cross training, yoga, and healthy eating habits.

 

 

 

 

The Daily Triple enters a new Century

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This past weekend I reached a huge milestone! I am in the one hundreds (by just a little for now) again after 6 years.   I amped up my running schedule and logged 87.5 miles in July, my first 9 and 10 miler of the season, I am well in to the 1/2 training plan I created for myself. I have to say some of the loss is attributed to the heat, I can’t eat when it’s hot out and I have no desire to eat after I run, I am getting plenty of water as I have finally figured out how to hydrate myself with ease when out.

I only have 29# more to go to reach my goal, coincidentally this milestone was reached on my 38th birthday – what a gift I gave myself!

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After a 4 mile run at my parents house – holy hilly difference!

July Progress

January 2013

It’s been awhile since I did a progress report so here goes:

Bust   44″ now 40.5″   -3.5″
Rear 47″ now 42″         -5″
Waist  42″ now 35.75″    -6.25″
Arms  17″ now 14.75″       -2.25″
Thigh   29.5″ now 24.25″    -5.25″
Calves  20″ now 18.75″     -1.25″
BMI  37   now 31.5
Total Measurable Losss   23.5″ and 35#’s
Total miles for July: 87.5
Miles ran: 247 /700 for 2014
WEIGHT photoLOSS: While the progress has been incredibly slow at the beginning of July I was at 212#’s and I am now sitting at 201#, I will be breaking through into Onderland before the week ends. I gave it some thought and it’s been 6 years since my daily triple didn’t begin with a 2. I feel very confident that this time I am making weight loss for life a lifestyle, not just another temporary visit to a smaller size. I know this last month dropping 11 pounds is not typical, but it’s a good kick start to more steady loss over the coming months.
RUNNING:  Facebook had this challenge group to run 100 miles for the month, I joined mostly to be motivated on days where I wanted to rest. I pushed the last two weeks of the month, down to the last few days and woke up on Wednesday the 30th with 12 miles to go and two hamstring cramps. I knew right then and there I wasn’t going to make 100 miles. I let my body rest, 3 days before heading back out. I was exhausted. Yesterday I did my second 10 miler ever and improved my time by 9 minutes. It was tough but I feel in control of it and my preparation for two half marathons in the fall is right on schedule.
OTHER PEOPLE IN MY LIFE: The husband is has now lost a total of 74#’s. He looks like a totally new man. We have had to replace all of his shorts and  we have been able to switch to regular 2XL shirts, probably XLT if I could find them, he stands 6’5″  the tall is important. My sister and her son have taken up the C25K program and they both seem to be enjoying themselves. My sister-in-law told me last night that she wants to start running again and has a lofty goal of completing a Tough Mudder – I may be ready for that next year myself.
MENTAL HEALTH: I have put the counseling to the side, like my previous attempts at talking to a therapist all they confirm is the things I already know. I have come to the conclusion that the only answer is to tell myself to stop when I start over-thinking and over analyzing, distracting myself with something else seems to help.  I allow myself a few minutes a day to think about those topics that seem to be my constant worry and then put it to the side as best I can.
In the month of August I have 2 -5K events, one in Colorado on the 16th and the other here in KY on the 24th. I am hoping to set a PR for the event on the 24th. I will celebrate one more trip around the sun, thankful for each and everyday that I have been given, trying to get the most out of each of those days, loving life with my family, friends, and running shoes.

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