Saturday, May 12, 2012

My first half.

Half marathon finisher!
Time: 2:39:49
It's official. I did it! I can now call myself a half marathoner. The race was yesterday, May 12th in Brookings, South Dakota. The weather was wonderfully perfect. It started out a bit chilly, but really turned out sunny, not windy and just great. The small college town that the race was in was pretty, nice and the course wasn't difficult at all..minus one pretty steep hill. Overall, no complaints on the course.
I started off my morning by oversleeping by 40mins. So panic mode set in. Luckily, I got all of my stuff together the night before, but I didn't get to sleep until after that could be why I didn't get up in time. Although I'm quite meticulous when it comes to alarms and being on phone locking up in the middle of the night is the culprit and definitely threw me off.
My race buddy picked me up at 5:15am and surprised me with a really nice frame that had a cute display of the words: Note To Self: Today Will Be Amazing. It was so sweet. She gave it to me since this is my first race, so I'll always remember it. We had a nice hour drive to where the race was. We chit chatted about quite a few things; it made the time go by quicker than I realized and I didn't have time to get nervous about the race.
Once we got there everything went by pretty quickly. We pinned on our bibs (didn't pin them on beforehand because they're the ones with the timing chip built in, so you can't bend them.) and found someone to take our picture before we went to the starting area. There weren't as many people there as I thought there would be, but given the fact that they only let so many people register, I should have expected it. Brookings is a small town, so it only makes sense. So we stood in the port-a-potty lines for only a few mins--it was awesome compared to other race stories I've read and heard about! And just a PS--I've never used a port-a-potty in my  adult life so it was a new experience for me. (I think I used one when I was really little and it was at an old campground/park and it was a wooden hut with a can/hole in the ground--if my memory is correct!) So, my running buddy prepared me for what I was about to experience and it wasn't that bad! There was toilet paper and hand sanitizer so I was happy and it was a positive first time experience.
After that it was time for the race to start, so we got to our spots near the 10min/mile and waited for the horn to sound. It all went pretty quickly during that time..
The start of the race wasn't as congested as I anticipated it would be. I started out with my running buddy, of course, and we were able to stay together for the first few miles. My knee wasn't hurting much at all during the first few miles and I was at my usual pace too. I think it was around mile 5 when I noticed that my left knee was hurting..most likely due to overcompensating for the right knee where my injury actually is. Around mile 8 is where my left knee and adductor muscle were increasing in pain. I'm not going to lie..I did walk more than I anticipated and more than my mind originally wanted me to do. But my body had other plans.. At mile 10 the pain was pretty excruciating and the thought of 3.1 more miles sounded like torture. However, I managed to get to the finish line..hobbling/jogging mostly. Either way I FINISHED. And that was my ultimate goal. I didn't have a set time or pace in mind. I figured I'd stay at my usual pace, maybe just a touch slower..but with my knee injury my pace was slower than I thought it would be. I stopped at all of the water stations even though I had my amphipod water bottle. I'm glad I brought it and also glad that I stopped at all but one of the water stations. It was so great to see so many volunteers at the water stations and all along the race course. The entire course wasn't closed off to traffic since Brookings is such a small town, so it was really nice that they had volunteers directing traffic too. During the race I managed to meet some really great people. It was nice to be able to chat and get to know a few people along the way..hear their story, talk back and forth and encourage each other. That was another thing I noticed during the race--there were quite a few runners that expressed kind, motivational words as you passed them or as they passed you. That in itself was really surprising and definitely made the experience that much sweeter.
Overall, I had a great time. I really enjoyed myself and had fun..despite the pain I was in. My eyes welled up with tears when my finisher's medal was put around my neck and my friends and husband were waiting there to congratulate me.

It was definitely an experience I'll never forget. It was a great way to commemorate turning 30 years old. I'm glad I did it.  As for future races? I'm not sure. We'll see what the MRI shows and what my sports doctor has to say about it.

A few of my race pictures.

My running buddy, Marnie and I before the race.

We did it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Day to me!

Happy Birthday to me! I arranged a birthday present for myself: a wonderful 6 miles with my favorite running buddy today--my husband! However, it didn't start off as good as I would have hoped. We planned on going to our usual running path, but once we got there...we saw that it was "under construction" so it immediately pissed me off. We drove to another place and it was fine..but it was an unknown path for it confused us. And that pissed me off too. So....pissed off and trying to stay in a good mind frame for a 6 mile run was a bit difficult. The first 2 miles SUCKED ASS. There's no way to sugar coat really did. After got easier. It wasn't my best run, but it was a nice run. I'm thankful that it wasn't snowing..because almost every single year on my birthday it's either snowing, blizzarding or something of the like. It's just what happens. Today felt more like a nice October day instead of a day in March. I'm thankful that I was able to have my husband run with me today. It's something that is really rare these days and I really miss that. Overall, the run was good. The time/pace was good. The path we ran on was different, but pretty. It was a nice change of scenery. I'm really proud of my husband for running the entire 6 with me..not that he hasn't done it before, he's just hasn't been that hardcore into running these past few months so for him to keep up with me and not complain or bring my momentum down was awesome...and for that I'm really proud.

So that's my "Happy Day" report of the day. I "ran" into a new decade and did it with my all-time favorite running buddy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The best and the highest.

I can't say enough wonderful things about today. I got to shut off my alarm, sleep in a bit and not be rushed out of bed. The weather was pretty decent by the time I was ready to run this morning so I took advantage of that and ran outside for the first time since the end of September! Yes, I said it. I know that there have been a handful of opportunities to run outside due to the very odd winter season we've been having. But in my defense, I get up super early to run, light and temperature are two issues for me..temperature more than anything. But, I finally have some new gear, so hopefully the weather will stay relatively decent and I'll be outside more.

I'm not even sure there is a word or words to describe how my run was today. I'm still speechless.. It was freakin' phenomenal! I don't know if it was just being outside running for the first time in what has seemed like forever, my new shoes, the fact that I slept a little longer, or the fact that the sun was shining..whatever it was it was AWESOME. In the 2yrs that I have been running, I have never had as good of a run (GREAT, I should say) as I had today. There are just no words..I finally got that HIGH. The ever elusive runner's high that some people experience alot, sometimes and some not at all. I've been there once before when I completed 10k (not a race, but on my own) but I have never experienced something like this. It was the "I can't stop talking about how great my run was, can't stop smiling, spring in my step, feel like I can conquer the world, saying yes to everything type of feeling. HIGH. And all from a fantastic run.
Today's schedule had me doing 3 miles. Well, I ended up doing 3.75 miles, and could have kept running for a few more miles at least..but I stopped at 3.75. My time/pace was the best it's ever been. I was a bit nervous going out for the first time in so long. I didn't want to get discouraged with a bad outside run. Thankfully, luckily I was the exact opposite of discouraged! My average overall pace was a 9:32/mile which is pretty damn good for me. I haven't been running that fast on Millie that's for sure. But I will give her credit for all of the months I've been running on her, doing fast walking at steep inclines, running intervals,'s all paid off and definitely benefited me today. Even when running up a hill on my route that normally "gets" me..that totally didn't happen. I beasted that thing and made it my bitch! I owned this whole entire run. I didn't even feel like I was running as fast as I was, I didn't feel like I was "pushing myself" or having to push myself. I wasn't constantly looking at my watch or thinking to myself that I wished I'd have stayed inside. What I was thinking was that I was in complete awe of myself. Yes, it sounds like bragging, but screw it, I don't care. This run was THAT good. I was THAT good. Hell, I was great!
The only thing that would have made this run perfect was to have my running buddy with me. But, because I had such an awesome did inspire him to go and get some for himself!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Training--a few weeks in.

I'm starting on week #3 of my half marathon training and it's going just fine. I did end up missing on short 3 mile run the first week due to my prior commitments with an event that I wasn't able to schedule a run around. Otherwise, I've been on track and doing good. I finally treated myself to new running gear. Shirts, a jacket, pants, capris, socks, shoes--pretty much everything that I've needed for quite awhile. I tried out a different brand of shoes and love them so far! I'm really loving the "shape-wear" pants I found made by Danskin. When I have them on it looks almost as if I had some liposuction! Whoo! gear is always a plus.

As for the running, it's good. I'm not going to say it's stellar or great, but I'm a work in progress--as anyone should be. I'm following the Hal Higdon plan and liking it thus far. As the mileage increases on my weekend runs..I get a bit nervous..afraid I'm not going to be able to do it, but only time will tell.
I'm still using Netflix on my phone and classical music to help me stave off boredom on the 'Mill..but it seems to be getting much nicer outside (where's the winter this year?) so hopefully I can start taking advantage of that soon. It's hard to do that when my only chance to run is early in the morning when it's the darkest and coldest. Soon though.  Soon.

I ran my first "official" race this past Saturday (March 3rd) it was a virtual race via Twitter called #anywhere5k. It was pretty neat to register (it was free!) and run anywhere (hence the name) and then report back your time and have results posted. Check out the #Anywhere5k results here!

Well, that's my update for now. Be back in a few weeks to do another update. My 30th birthday less than a week away--my gift to myself? A 6 mile run! Hopefully outside too!

PS: My newest favorite quote: "Pain is temporary, internet results are forever."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Netflix and News.

Wow..I'm such a procrastinator blogger. I have so many things that I want to say and am thinking about that I get overwhelmed and then just put it off aka don't do it. It's frustrating and at the same time..I must be benefiting from it in some way? Maybe if I don't write down my thoughts, goals, or whatever...then maybe it's not true, or that way if I fail no one has to know? Probably. At any rate here's what's new with me.....

The past few weeks, I've discovered that I enjoy watching Netflix while I run. I didn't think I would because of what I mentioned in my prior post about needing the silence while I run or the soothing sounds of classical music combined with crashing waves and ocean..but it turns out I do enjoy it. I've been watching various shows here and there, something pretty mindless so I can run, still focus on my breathing and not completely have to think about or pay full attention to what I'm watching...if that makes sense at all. Ha! Ha!

So far it's been working to my advantage and "Millie" and I are getting along quite well. :)

As for the "news" part of this blog I have something excited to report! I have OFFICIALLY registered for the Brookings Half Marathon! I put off registering for awhile now and I did that because I was terrified. I know that if I registered and PAID to run in this race that I'd have no choice but to do it. I'd have to start a training plan (which I have no problems with since I've been keeping a run schedule since last year) and I'd have to make sure that I'm mentally able to run 13.1 miles. Above any and all reasons to be scared the biggest one meant that I couldn't quit. Not that I'm a quitter...but we're talking about a half marathon. Something I've never done before. Heck, I've never run in a race before! Not a mile race, not a 5k, not a 10k..nothing. So, yes..a little bit scared is warranted here. But, I decided to do something memorable this year since I'm going into a new decade soon: 30! And what better way to remember turning 30yrs old than to run my very first half marathon? Yep--happy birthday to me! I'm really excited because a few friends of mine are running it with me too.
Also..I signed up for another race..sooner than the half marathon in May. It's a St Patty's Day 5 mile run. I didn't really know about it, even though it's right here in the same city where I live. But a friend suggested it and said she was running it, so I figured "why not?" So, I registered too! A 5 mile run isn't what is on the schedule for that particular day of that week, but it's all about being flexible, right? I think I'm suppose to run 7 miles on that day of my schedule, so I'll either be short that day or run a few before or after. Who knows..either way it doesn't matter much, it's just one day...and it's going to be a super fun run too!

My only wish in all of this coming up ahead is that my husband was going to be running with me. He's my most favorite running buddy..besides myself, of course! Ha! But with his odd work hours/sleep just doesn't leave much room for training for a race. He'll be at both to cheer me on though.

So yeah...that's where I'm at with my running right now.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2011 in review: late update!

whoops! i just realized that i haven't gotten around to blogging my end of the year's the total:

463.12 miles! 

i didn't make a mileage goal for 2011 and i'm not sure if i will make a mileage goal for this year either. i'm not sure if it's a good thing or not so good thing for me to do. i'll put that on the back burner of my brain for now. but in 2011 i kept five 10wk run schedules. yes, there were missed runs/workouts (life happens...), yes there were days when i just didn't feel like it. but the best thing about 2011 and the run schedules? i got to run OUTSIDE for the first time..AND with my most favorite running buddy EVER! my husband returned from Afghanistan in May and we were finally able to run together for the first time since i started running. we're good partners because he keeps me going when i feel like i can't and vice versa. he's complimented me and commented on how far i've come since the first time i ran outside with him and how much i've improved. that's really nice to hear and much needed since the first time i ran outside i seriously wanted to give up running. it totally sucked. i didn't like it at all. it just wasn't something i was used to and it made me feel like i was the slowest runner ever. it made me feel like a failure. but nonetheless...i powered through (thanks to my husband) and didn't give up. now i love being outside...such a change from all the way back in May.
and this summer i also ran my first 10k--against myself, of course. but i did it! actually, i did it multiple times. and it was great! i found a nice bike path that quickly became one of my favorite places to run.

so..yeah. those are the highlights of my 2011 running. overall, i'm pretty proud of myself.

and now on to this year. we'll see what's in store for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The key?

A few days ago when I was on a "date" with Millie, doing just fine, trucking along on my run until another person comes into the gym and completely disrupts me. What I mean by that is, I zone out on my most people tend to do. I have come to love running without my mp3 player. Just me, Millie and my thoughts. Until another person enters the gym, turns on the tv and rips me from my zen-like state. Now I know I may sound spoiled to you, but the gym is in my apartment building and at the hour I use it there is usually no one in I suppose I've become a bit spoiled by having it all to myself.
Back to the point here...I always bring my music with me "just in case." And on that particular day I was quite thankful I did....because I think I may have found the key to being bff's with 'ol Millie.

Classical Relaxation Beethoven with Ocean Sounds.

Yes, you read that correctly. Soothing classical music. It was perfect. Long ago I made a relaxation playlist, normally used for helping me fall asleep on occasion. But in this instance it seemed perfect. And it was! I couldn't believe how as soon as I turned that on it took me back to my zen place. It was like I wasn't even running. It was surreal to be completely honest. I loved every single second of it and have since then used it. I think I finally found something that works for me!

It's really exciting for me since I've been searching for something to keep me sane during the winter season. I'm not sure how long it will last, but for right now, I'm basking in my newfound "key!"