I am a Runner

I am not fast. I am not lean. I don’t run every day. Some runs are good, more are bad. It’s hard. It’s hard on my body. It’s hard on my mind. But I am a runner and I will keep going.

I was feeling pretty down going into the Best Damn Race 10k. I was only running once a week, partly because of my shin, mostly because my motivation waned. I got as far as 4.5 miles and that was close enough. I slowed down. I lost the little strength I had. But I was going to do it, and I did.

It was a cool, misty morning in Orlando and despite choosing not to wear my compression sleeve (not the best decision) it went OK. I finished 11 seconds faster than my last 10k. But it wasn’t about my time in the end, there is something about that race that made me remember why I’m doing this, and that I want to keep doing it. Maybe it’s just that it was my first half and will always hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the course, or the people, whatever it is, I left motivated.

And so I keep going. I will start running regularly again. I will start slow and I will focus on being better, being stronger, and hopefully getting faster with time. I signed up for a local 5k to give me a goal.

I am a runner and I am human. There will be good days runs and bad days runs, it’s what you do about it that matters.

wpid-img_4779.jpg

Happy New Year!

What have I been up to since the St. Augustine Half? Well, there was a great Thanksgiving, then a cruise with the family. There were Christmas parties and my husband’s birthday. Then Christmas and New Year’s. There was eating, and drinking, and being merry. There was shopping. There was NO running.

I thought about it a lot. It was always on my mind, but there just didn’t seem to be any time, and I thought “Hey, I’ve got plenty of time before the Best Damn Race! I just ran a half marathon (albeit, slower than a turtle), I’ll be fine.”

Christmas came and I got some awesome running gifts to get things started again.

Brian got me a gps watch! I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and figured it was probably time. After a lot of research we decided on the Garmin 210. It had the basic time/pace/distance display I was looking for and it does intervals. There are so many options out there, it was really overwhelming trying to decide.

My sister got me this awesome custom wine tumbler with my blog on it. I cried. It was so thoughtful and really inspired me to get back to not only writing regularly but running regularly.

wpid-img_20141225_202635.jpgMy aunt got me a running hat, and my mom some new socks. The Saturday after Christmas I was ready to get back out there!

wpid-img_20141227_081754.jpgI did a whopping 2 miles. I blamed it on the sun, the heat. Really I’m just out of shape. I’ve gained weight and lost all my muscle. I did 2 more right before New Year’s and forced out 4 on Sunday. In that span of 2 weeks and 8 miles I have developed a colossal shin splint. I had shin splints when I first started and recovered, this is worse. I’ve taken this week off of running and have been icing and using my compression sleeve. It’s starting to get better but still a little sore.

I have 7 weeks to get to the Best Damn Race. I’m really cutting it close. I had big dreams of PRing that race. I have 5 miles on the books for this weekend and I’m going to do it slow while this shin splint heals. I’m also eating right and cross-training, lifting weights. If I get lighter and stronger it may still be possible.

One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Holy Humidity

Well, it didn’t go as planned. I knew the humidity would throw me off but I didn’t know that I would freak myself out to the point that I didn’t know if I could do it all.

We got to Key West Thursday afternoon and enjoyed a day of drinks in the sun with the dog. Despite every effort to hydrate between cocktails I woke up Friday with a killer headache and cramped calves from walking around in flip flops all day. It was bad: blurred vision, nausea, the works. I forced down some breakfast, some ibuprofen and a nap and woke up felling 100% better. But as the day went on I started to panic. I was still dehydrated. My heart was racing, a combo of nerves, which were getting worse, dehydration, and heat. It was supposed to be in the mid to high 80s but the “feels like” temp was 95-100. We were sweating. And the humidity was at least 90%.  I spent the rest of the day guzzling water and hydration drinks. Thank you Nuun for pulling me through! I was ready. We went to dinner, had a glass of sangria and called it an early night.

I went to bed feeling calm, relaxed, and ready to take on this race. I then proceeded to wake up every 2 hours until 5 a.m., heart racing, sweating, stomach cramps and a dream that we were so late to the race and were running so hard to get there that we ended up crawling to the start line. I remember thinking, how am I even going to run the race if I’m crawling to get there?! I woke up out of breath and nearly sick to my stomach.

I forced down some coffee, water, and half a Clif bar and walked to the race. I nearly cried leaving Brian and Boo behind to get in line. For the first mile I wasn’t sure if I would cry, throw up or both. By 1.5 my right calf was in knots going over a “hill” (more like a mound but felt like a hill!) and I thought about walking it or just calling it quits.

Mile 3, I passed the Southernmost Point. People were stopping to take pictures and I wish I did. It was the first time there wasn’t a line. It was the symbol for the race but I just wasn’t having fun and that makes me sad.

Mile 4 and I was more than halfway there. Walking a bit more than my scheduled intervals but it was just so hot, so much sweating. My calf cramps were finally gone but now the sun was coming up. Shit.

I got to mile 6 and sprinted the last .2, of course stuck behind two guys who stopped when they hit the finish line and I thought I was going to barrel into them. I made it. A few minutes slower than I had hoped. I definitely could have pushed myself a little harder at the end I regret that. I was so negative this race and it messed me up. Lessons for the next one. 4 weeks till the St. Augustine Half. Ugh.

10609700_10205279732661391_3756196355593957720_nThings to change for St. Augustine:

  • I need a new breakfast. The Clif bar that worked for the first half isn’t working now. It was like peanut butter lead and I couldn’t get it down. I think I’ll bring a peanut butter sandwich with me.
  • Be positive! This is sooooo important. I am my own worst critic and it nearly killed me.
  • Get hydration bottles. I need to have my own to keep me going. I found some clip on bottles to fit my new belt.
  • Caffeine. I need to find the Clif bloks with caffeine and get the nuun with caffeine. Every little boost helps.

 

Coming Soon….Key West with Boo

 

Lessons of the Day…

or week, or month because I’m a slacker.

  • Don’t get plastic surgery in Mexico because it’s cheap! I was watching Never Been Kissed on E! last week and when it ended the train wreck that is Botched came on. My sister has mentioned this show several times, but I said “no.” Because it is exactly as it sounds, botched plastic surgeries. But as with any train wreck, you can’t turn away. Wow! I’ll leave it at that. If you’re interested you’ll find it, but my husband had to leave the room and insisted he wouldn’t be able to eat dinner.
  • Crock pots are amazing. I’ve only made one real meal so far but I’m obsessed! I was off last Wednesday and decided to give slow cooker beef stroganoff a try. Stew meat, mushrooms, beef broth, garlic and herbs all thrown in the pot and that was it, I went about my day. My whole house smelled like stew within an hour and by the time Brian got home for dinner the meat was falling apart. Add a little sour cream and serve over egg noodles. Amazing. And super helpful for those evenings when I do my long runs after work (which should start this week). And so I hit pinterest for recipes and decided that this week we will try cashew chicken. But my simple (and free) crock pot only has two settings which both would lead to over cooked chicken. In a panic I took to Amazon and thanks to Prime, our new crock pot will be here tomorrow, just enough time for Cashew Chicken Thursday and a 7 mile run. Which leads to my last lesson…
  • Running is all mental. At least for me. It takes me a good 40-45 minutes for me to think, wow, I can do this. Before that I can stop that treadmill at any minute. Because, yes, I am training on the treadmill. It’s still well into the 90s in the Sunshine State, with heat index in the 100s and humidity downing us all. I just can’t do it. I’ve been trying to get on the treadmill 3 times a week, two 3-milers and one longer run. It’s been tough. I’m struggling to maintain double digits for the week, mostly because of a muscle knot in my left thigh that is going on 4+ months. Despite all the contraptions I’ve bought, I can’t get it out. On the plus side, I am getting my longer runs done, so far. I’ve done two 6-milers so far, and have a 7-miler on the books for Cashew Chicken Thursday. I am gaining speed and feeling good about my progress so far. I fully intend to be prepared this time for my half in November (officially 12 weeks out now). I’d like to be able to walk the next day. 🙂

Feed Me!

The thing about dieting as a foodie, is, well, it sucks. Plain and simple. I think about food constantly.

I love it, all of it. Bread, butter, cheese. I want mayo on my sandwich and I don’t care who knows. I want wine with my dinner and maybe after and I don’t want to have to think about it, worry about it, or care about it. I almost ripped into a bag of Smartfood in the grocery store checkout line just because I wasn’t supposed to eat it.

It is a struggle. I’ve been working on moderation. I made giant caprese paninis Thursday night. My compromise? I only put mayo on one side of the bread and I ended up only eating half. See! Progress!

I’m still trying to count my points most of the time, and I’ve been running. I managed to get three good runs in last week, which is pretty impressive for me, especially since I couldn’t move for two days after Tuesday’s 4 miler. I’m working through, slowly. 10 miles total, which is almost a record for me for the week. I’ve set up my training schedule for the next year with the hopes of being better prepared for my half’s, as well as making sure I don’t push it and get injured. One day at a time, right?

Just Move

I’ve take a bit of a hiatus and I apologize. We went on a mini vacation to the Keys last month (post to come as soon as I upload my pics), and well, I’ve had a hard time getting back on a schedule. But here we are, June already, and not much to show for it, except….my $1 registration for the Best Damn Race in Orlando 2015!! If you’re not familiar with Best Damn Race, when registration opens the first 10 people get in for a $1, 10-20 are $5, etc. I was eagerly waiting at my computer yesterday hitting refresh until the registration opened hoping to get $35 or less. Low and behold, I was number 4 to register, $1. I did a little happy dance on the couch, so excited. It was such a fun race, the staff is awesome, and it will always hold a special place in my heart as my first half marathon.

In addition to the Best Damn Race, which is February 28, 2015, I have also signed up for the Southern Most Marathon’s 10k in October (any excuse to go to Key West), and the St. Augustine Half Marathon in November, another beautiful city that I just adore. There are large bridges in St. Augustine so I’m not expecting a miraculous time, but I just want to get back out there and feel that rush again. I can’t wait.

Running/Motivation has been a struggle this past month. It’s hot, so the treadmill is my only option and some days (most days) it’s just too hard to make myself go. I need to get over that. Before mini-vaca I ran two of my fastest treadmill 5k’s ever, since we got back, not so much. I just need to learn to do it, and not every run is going to be fast, or record breaking. Doing it is what counts, moving and burning those calories. And also cherish the fact that I’m not in pain, I have no shin splints or sore feet, and just move.  I think that will be my motto for June, just move.   😉

 

I ran a half marathon!

I’ve been walk/running on and off for a couple years, nothing serious, nothing fun, just a means to burn calories. I don’t remember why but about a year ago I decided to push myself a little more. It was a struggle. I’m not designed to run. I had muscle cramps and shin splints, a bout with tendonitis. I had all kinds of equipment that made getting ready to run quite the ordeal; compression sleeves, heart rate monitor, belts, bike lights for night runs. It took forever to get out there.

In November I made a commitment to do something more. I could run 5 miles, there was no reason I couldn’t run a half in the spring. I found The Best Damn Race Orlando on google and it was cheap, probably the only reason I signed up. Four months should have been plenty of time to train. It wasn’t, not for me at least. I’m lazy and by the time Christmas hit my training ceased to exist. Christmas cookies and glasses of wine become much more enjoyable then running. My longest run was 8 miles, and that was in January, almost a full two months before the race.

A week and a half before the race I set out to do 10 miles, the last long one. I hit 7 and crashed. I was tired, bored, my feet went numb. I sat in my driveway and cried. I wasn’t ready and it was my own fault. I told Brian (my husband) I was going to cancel, I didn’t want to get hurt. But he talked me down from my emotional ledge and convinced me to go, do my best and walk as much as I had to. The only person I was competing with was myself and I could finish. And so I did.

I spent that last week hydrating, trying to eat right and mentally preparing. We headed to Orlando Friday night for packet pick up, a quick dinner and an early night.

image

Meet my bib number, complete coincidence, but that’s my birthday, 05/12. Made me smile. 🙂

The morning of was a whirlwind of nerves. I nearly missed that start because I somehow missed all the signs and went the wrong way to line up. I got in the back and was just going to do my own thing. The whistle blew and I went, and went and went. It was a beautiful, cool morning in the 50s and I remember every mile. I hit mile 8 and couldn’t believe how good I felt, how happy, how proud. I had never gone that far in my life. I didn’t hurt until mile 10….11….12…it got tough, I slowed but I didn’t care, I was going to finish. And I did! And I did it that time I was hoping for! 2:45:07.

image

That’s me in the pink!

I was so excited I nearly missed getting my medal because I wanted to tell Brian all about. It was the most amazing feeling. I thought I would cry, I even brought tissues but I was just too happy! I stretched, drank more water, and then we went out for tacos and tequila. (For those of you who don’t know me yet, I LOVE TACOS!) It was the perfect day, until about 4:00 when all of the muscles in my legs started cramping and I had a headache for two days after. But I would do it all over again, and plan too, but with more preparation, more training. Now I have a time to beat. 😉