Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hot to Trot - a race recap

Thanksgiving morning started bright and early for the hubby and myself...and my fave running pals, Kate and Terri. The hubby and I met Terri a little after 6am to travel over to a local Thanksgiving Day race hosted by Fleet Feet. There was a 5k and 10k to get people started on the right track for their Thanksgiving gobbling. ;)

The hubby was all set to run the 5k while Terri, Kate and myself were all signed up for the 10k.

I laid all my running gear out the night before... just like so!
[caption id="attachment_840" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The race gear.. minus pants...which I did wear. ;) "][/caption]

The morning of started out great. I had my usual peanutbutter toast with a little water and we were out the door early to meet Terri. The drive over I felt know I only say this because of my usual pre race "issues" and all. ;) Anyway, I was prepared early by taking one Imodium before eating my toast and then again in the car on the drive over. I knew I would be ok.

We got to the race just as the sun was coming up. I snapped these awesome pics of the hubby and myself.

[caption id="attachment_841" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Pre-race self photo. I was freezing, by the way!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_842" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The hubby lookin' all cool as the sun comes up! "][/caption]

The race course was on the road of a busy shopping center or shopping centers. It started in the road in front of Fleet Feet. I am not sure how many people registered for the both the 5k and 10k but will say that the course was congested for the first couple of miles. I was (and so was my running crew) mildly annoyed by the walkers that lined up in the middle of the pack. I love some walkers but seriously they should know the back of the pack is their place. We lined up near the 10:30 pace group so clearly there should not really have been in walkers there. It took a good minute plus to cross the start and I started my Garmin as soon as my foot hit the pad. We bobbed and weaved through the walkers a while. Once I got warmed up I had to shed the fleece pullover I started out wearing. Luckily it was there after the race when I went back for it, though I wouldn't have cared if it was not. It was one of those Black Friday deals last year and I'm sure I only gave $5 for it. I had already gotten my money's worth. I digress...

We were maintaining a sub 10 pace (more like 9:30) and I felt really good. I didn't run this race with music at all. Seems that is my new race thing. lol Anyway, the hubby ran on ahead of me at some point just after the turn back and both of my friends were ahead of me at that point. I was thinking I was going to have to stop by the portapotties on the way back to the start/5k split but my body decided to cooperate with me and I caught back up with my friends. Or maybe my friend, Terri, had taken a little break and waited on me. She has been dealing with a horrible cough the last few weeks. Either way I was grateful to have met back up with her. I don't recall what time was on the clock when we made the split and the 5k runners were done but I knew it was under 30 minutes which meant I was on track for my race goal.

The course was an out and back but the 10k looped twice. Not bad at all. It wasn't really hilly but wasn't exactly totally flat. My kind of course really. Easy on the body as far as running goes but flat enough to have a bit of difficulty so that I would push myself at a faster pace. Makes total sense, yes?!

I don't really have an exciting race story. I felt strong. The urge to use the bathroom did hit me hard around mile 5 but I begged my bowels/butt to hang on for one more mile...then .20. Please, booty, I said, YOU GOT THIS! ;) You know I'm just keepin' it real. I had a goal pre race of under an hour but told my friend I would be happy with 1:03. At the pace I was going I knew I would be under 1:03. I wasn't there to win an award or anything, just to burn off my turkey before I ate it.

The hubby finished his 5k in 29:20. His goal was to break 30. He kicked butt. He told me he was going to run his race then find me and cheer me in. I told him when I got out of the car that I would have the camera waiting on him. Here's what he got...

[caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=""thumbs up" because I am almost there!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_847" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Finishing... same determined look on my face as always! ha"][/caption]

I finished in 1:00:14. I am pleased with that time. I do wish I had pushed myself just a little harder a few times or skipped the one water break at mile 5. But overall it was a great race and I am happy with my overall 9:40 pace!!

We took a few post race pics, after I hit up the porta potties of course and were on our way home.
[caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Terri, Kate, and me"][/caption]

It was a great day for a race.. perfect weather, great course and of course all my favorite people by my side. The day started off and lead to a very Happy Thanksgiving for me and my little family. I look forward to doing this race again next year!
[caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="me and the hubby post race"][/caption]

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspire Me - Inspire YOU!

My good bloggy friend, Marissa, has started posting an Inspire me series every Monday over on her blog. Today she featured your's truly. I am honored that she thinks enough about me to 1. ask me to participate and 2. finds my story inpiring. My goal through my entire journey has not only been to become healthy for myself and my family but to be an inspiration to just even one person. If I can do that this whole journey is worth it and so much more.

I don't come here to brag on myself. I have a lot farther to go in my journey and even when I reach the goal my journey won't be complete. I have a lifetime of fitness and health ahead of me. I like take each day as another beginning to something great.

Please, head on over to Marissa's blog and check out my post as well as so many other motivational and inspirational stories.
Inspire Me - Week 2 Just click the link and head directly to today's post!
Thanks for letting me share. Be well!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Runner Hugs!!

Today is Hug a Runner Day!

And to all of my favorite runner friends....

Maintain Don't Gain

Last year I joined a challege at my gym called "Maintain Don't Gain." It ran through the holiday season as a way for people to stay healthy and not go overboard with holiday eating or to get lax with gym time.  I was very successful during the challenge last year. I was in the gym 4 days a week and managed to acutally lose 10 lbs and win the little competition they had going on.

This year my goals are much the same. I plan to be in the gym a minimum of 4 days a week (my secret goal is 6 days though) and would like to lose at least 5 lbs this time around. I set my goal of 4 days to visit the gym because I figured I should factor in the holiday hours as well as any traveling my family will do and the fact that I have a race or two planned and most of my log runs will be done outside, away from the gym. My weight loss has slowed a bit so I didn't want to set a goal of losing 10lbs and only manage to maintain. While maintaining is the goal, I am still in weight loss mode so that is my personal goal. 5lbs between now and the first week of January seems doable.

This challenge actually started a week ago.  My first weigh in was last week on Monday.

  • start weight (gym scale) 168

  • start weight (home scale) 166

  • Week one weigh in"

  • (gs) 164

  • (hs) 162

I will probably be updating with both scales weight because I weigh at home unclothed and of course at the gym they don't just let such awesomely buff folks like myself (ahem, go with it people!!!) hop on their scales in their birthday suits. So I usually always have workout apparel on when I weigh at the gym. They don't take off anything for that so my guess is that my home scale is more accurate but either way I will still update with both.

The challenge runs through January 7th and though it is through MY gym I encourage and challenge all of you to hop on board and do something similar to make it through the holidays without gaining weight or losing fitness! Good luck and know that I have faith in you!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

I felt so fast.

It's been way too long since I posted here but this week was crazy busy for me as I planned to make a trip out of town to see my dad. If you have read here long enough you know that it's been about 2 years since I saw my dad and during that time he was diagnosed with cancer. Also during that time I have lost almost 70 lbs.

I was so happy to travel to GA to my sister's house to visit with her family, my dad and my uncle. And of course they were surprised to see I had done so well in my weight loss efforts. I had sent pictures to my dad all along so he knew I what I was getting done but to actually see in person felt great... for me. But anyway...

to the reason of this post!!
I had debated taking running gear with me or not. I of course decided that since Friday was a rest day and I knew Sunday would be a travel day and that hubby would be in football meetings/practice that Saturday was my only chance to burn calories for the weekend. I was up a bit late Friday night due to being sandwiched in bed between my two little hot bodied children and of course didn't sleep well. I laid in bed Saturday morning trying to talk myself out of running but knew that I would feel super guilty if I didn't just go. So I dressed and went to a local park with a concrete walkway to run.

I had not eaten anything since the night before and only drank a little water on the drive there. The weather was perfect. Sunny and a nice 43 degrees. The trail was near the water so it was a bit cooler on one side of the trail. It was not crowded at all but enough people around to make me feel comfortable. I set my music, hit start on Mr. G and ran.

A mile passed and I had hit it under 10 minutes. I kept running. 2 miles, 3 miles and then at 5k I debated on whether I should stop or keep going. At that point I still felt fantastic and was stoked that my pace was still in the 9 minute range so I kept going and decided a 4 miler was where it was at for the day.

I have never felt so great running. My breathing was spot on, my legs felt strong and my mind was free. I had found my happy for the day. Usually when I run on the treadmill I can hold a decent 9:45-10:30 pace for a while but usually talk myself out of staying in the 9s at all for one reason or another. Why was this feeling so good on this run?
Was it excitement of the day? Was it adrenaline of running in a new place? I have no idea but I know it felt good. It felt good to be outside and free to let my thoughts go and just run.

Here are my mile splits.
Mile 1 - 9:33
Mile 2 - 9:21
Mile 3 - 9:16
Mile 4 - 9:01

And there was no walk break, no stopping to stretch or get water... just great solid running.
I have a 10k coming up on Thanksgiving Day. I don't want to jinx myself since I have never ran the course BUT I would love to be able to run that in as close to (or under) an hour as I can. I've only ran one 10k race since I have been running/racing and my finish time (with 60k people on course) was 1:09. So, an hour should doable!?!?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Long run Sunday

I decided yesterday, after being relatively lazy and not having time in my day to fit in the gym, that I needed to make time for a long run today. So, I sent an FB message to my fave local running buddy and we made arrangements to run with a local group that meets on Sunday mornings.

With the time change, I was all messed up. I fell asleep on the loveseat watching some SEC football game you also may have watched. But I digress.

I set my alarm on my cell phone but was worried that it would not automatically change the time and I coudln't figure out how in the world to change it. Darn these phones being smarter than us people! So, I was already concerned that I would wake up late and miss my friends. Around 5am I woke up, toss turn toss turn and tried to go back to sleep but my body wasn't having it. When hubby's alarm went off at 6:30, I got up. I dressed and was waited on my friend to come pick me up.

My goal yesterday when I contacted her was to just run 8 miles. I did run a half marathon last weekend and she ran the MCM. But 10 miles was on tap for today. I could do it. For whatever reason I am not intimidated at all right now by miles. I think this may be a good sign!?

We met our group at 8am. All different distances and pace goals. The 3 of us decided to stay together. It was chilly out and we were all well dressed. We were rocking and rolling on a new course (for me). I love running new courses.

Here are our splits from today.

mile 1- 9:34
mile 2 - 10:27
mile 3 - 10:18
mile 4 - 10:03
mile 5 - 11:43 (we stopped to stretch at the turnaround point and we also refueled)
mile 6 - 10:10
mile 7 - 10:21
mile 8 - 10:57 (we didn't realize we had been climbing a bit of a hill)
mile 9 - 10:32
mile 10 - 10:59

total time - 1:45:07

This was a really great run.
I was happy. Last year I met these ladies and we ran our first run together. I mentioned this today because last year the first run I ran with them was a 5-6 miler where we really took it slow (btwn 11-12 min/miles) AND took walk breaks every 1/2-1 mile! And it wasn't all that easy for me. Today's run was considerably easier and was done at a much faster pace as well as double the distance.

I'm amazed (still) how far I have come. And I don't say that to brag or to have anyone comment on how far I have come. I say that to anyone out there that is attempting to run too. You can do it. Keep running. Practice makes perfect. I am living proof (though I do NOT feel I am perfect by any means). Hard work pays off. If you have a goal, go after it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


1. We are almost a week into November and I have yet to sit down and blog my November (holiday too) goals. I will begin now by saying I am once again participating in my gym's "Maintain Don't Gain" holiday challenge. Encouraged mostly by one of the trainers who said, "You can't do it!" Uh, watch me. :) The first weigh in and workout (they give a small group training session free this year!) is next week! I will keep you posted on how that goes and what my weekly weigh ins are like.

2. Every time I've ran a 13.1 race ( so many times ya know.... 3..haha) I find myself randomly (like in the shower, on a run, at work, in the car) thinking about going farther. You know, running longer distances. Actually...26.2 to be exact. Hubby and I have discussed training for and running a full marathon possibly in 2014 in Disney. But man that seems so far off. I thought maybe I would play around with training for longer distances than 13.1 now though because it can't hurt can it? So, do you have a beginner marathon training plan you love? If so, please share it by leaving me a comment or shooting me an email. Thanks.

3. I haven't been feeling so great lately. It started a week or so ago with migraines and now on top of random headaches I have this ear/sinus gunk thing going on. I called my dr a week ago, he was on vaca. Then again on Monday and left a message for his nurse then. She called back telling me he wanted to see me "right away" about my migraines. Haha Friday at 2:15 is the only thing they had. Right away enough, huh. I should be real 'good' and sick by then. And I swear I am not complaining. Just said all that to say that I have been to the gym this week and am doing pretty well with food choices given the crummy feeling so that's a plus.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WW - she runs, she smiles.

[caption id="attachment_810" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Haunted Half Marathon 2011"][/caption]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The splits.

I was so excited to plug in my Garmin when I got home from my race Saturday night. Sure it was 10pm and I was beyond tired from running plus travel but any time I run the first thing I do when I walk in the door is plug my Garmin in...Saturday was no different. As it loaded I was more and more excited. Check em out....

Mile 1 - 9:50
Mile 2 - 9:45
Mile 3 - 9:41
5K (29:56)
Mile 4 - 10:41
We scaled back and slowed a bit at mile 4 because the hubby 1. had the bum ankle issue and 2. due to asthma and the crazy air in the area felt like he was "breathing through a straw."

Mile 5 - 12:41
This was when my iPod decided to crap out. Nice. I slowed down to try and fix the problem but eventually ended up just walking while I unhooked it and tucked it away. I was not happy. I like running with my music but this was just another test with running and the mental game. My last 13.1 I was able to run without any music at all so this should be just as easy.

Mile 6 - 10:31
Mile 7 - 11:11
We took another walk break here. I ate a few Honey Stinger chews and my honey had a Gu. We grabbed some water and were on our way.

Mile 8 - 11:23
I was ahead of hubby at this point and had stopped on the curb to wait for him. I felt bad for having taken off ahead of him with his bum foot but at the same time I had just been running the whole race based on how I felt. When he caught up to me he told me to just go on and run that he couldn't keep up with me. So I went....

Mile 9 - 10:33
Mile 10 - 10:36
Mile 11 - 10:57
I walked through a water station here and took 2 cups. I debated walking much longer but decided I was too close and my time was too good. So I kept on running...

Mile 12 - 10:06
Mile 13 - 10:08
.23 - 2:21

Overall, I am very pleased with my pace. Even the slower miles were good miles for me. My official overall time was 2:19:43. A distance PR that I am happy to own! Thank you everyone for your support through training! I haven't decided what's next as far as running but I am SO close to my 1000 mile goal for the year so I just plan to keep on running between now and the new year so that I reach that goal!