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

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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