Thursday, December 20, 2012

Liebster Award

What IS a Liebster Award?
Here's what I have learned about the word liebster. Liebster is the German word meaning, "beloved" or "dearest." How nice that Lilwelly over at Operation Determination nominated me for this award; I feel honored! Thank you.


There are some rules to this award. Rules are the hard part for me and I'm not sure I'll be able to follow them all BUT I am going to share them nonetheless.

1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions by the person who nominated you.
3. Create 11 new questions.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.
5. Thank the person that nominated you and tell the people you've nominated.

11 facts about me?

What are your hobbies other than running/fitness?
Sweet or salty?
What is your dream vacation?
What is your favorite movie?
Who is your biggest supporter/motivator?
What is your favorite ice cream topping?
What is the best motivational quote that you have seen?
What is your favorite brand of running shoes or workout clothes?
What is your "go-to" meal on a busy night?
What is your favorite drink before/during/after a workout?
What is your dream race or event to participate in?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WW- ho ho ho

We received Santa hats and beards in our race packets for the Santa Hustle Half Marathon. It was too warm to wear them running but I made sure to snap at least one pic for your viewing pleasure, lol.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa Hustle Half Marathon - recap

This weekend I ran my 7th half marathon. It was theSanta Hustle Half Marathon. This was my first time running this event. I had heard great things about it and since I found a discount code online thought I'd add it to my winter running schedule.
We had to pick up our race packets on Saturday since there was no day of race packet pick up. I generally prefer to pick up ahead of time because I like to lay everything out the night before.


Having never ran this race before I wasn't entirely sure what to expect about the start or the course. I knew we needed to be at the start early due to road closure and parking but also because I would need to get in a short warmup. We were up by 4:30 and out of the house by 5:45. I had a couple of dry waffles for breakfast and lots of water. I felt really well and ready to run. We met our friends in the parking lot and got ourselves ready to head to the start line where we hit up the porta potties before getting in our 1 mile warmup. And of course we snapped some pre-race pics!

It was a really warm day so we "pimped" our Santa shirts for this race! And of course no Santa Hustle Half Marathon can be ran without fun socks!

My race plan was:
Miles 1-6- 9:20 pace
Miles 7-10- 9:10 pace
Miles 11-13- all out. I was aiming for 8:50 pace.

I studied this and a pace calculator that would let me know exactly what my splits and finish time would be if I stuck to the plan. I knew I was capable even if it meant faster at some points, slower at others. We lined up not too far from the front but not necessarily in the middle. It didn't take long for us to cross the mat and really before I knew it my Garmin chimed and I was done with the first mile. I knew it was a bit fast so I needed to scale back and settle in to a slower pace so that I would be able to go all out at the end. Things the first 6 miles went great. I felt fine, took my first gel at around 3.5 miles and took water at the water stop. The course wasn't totally flat but it wasn't rolling hills like we run on most of the time. Instead it was more like flat into gradual climbs. I didn't really notice them as being overly hard but they were kind of long. After the last gradual climb going out I knew the turn around was coming soon. I began seeing some of my friends and was happy with the pace I was holding.

The first six mile splits look like this-
Mile 1- 8:52
Mile 2- 9:24
Mile 3- 9:30
Mile 4- 9:35
Mile 5- 9:14
Mile 6- 9:38

I hit mile 6 and knew I should be around 56 minutes. Actual time at that point was 56:15. Still on pace. I wanted to wait just a bit to take my second gel so I took some water at the next stop and waited until 6.5 miles to gel up again. Once I did that I was pretty good to go. I chose to not put my earbuds in for this race or to listen to my own music. It was nice talking to those around me, cheering as I saw friends and the volunteers were extra cheerful so that helped keep me focused and moving right along. Around mile 8 my calf acted as though it might tighten up on me but I managed to push through as best I could with pace through mile 10. The road was a bit uneven so that bothered me a little and since it was an out and back some parts felt a little tight to me. That may have been because of the pace I was hitting and the fact that lots of other runners were at the same pace. I seemed to leap frog most of the same people those 5 miles. Here are what the splits for 7-10 look like-

Mile 7- 9:22
Mile 8- 9:27
Mile 9- 9:22
Mile 10- 9:50 (I decided midway thru mile 10 that I would take my final gel and actually slowed a little to do so).

I hit the 10 mile mark knowing that I needed to be there around 1:33 but since my watched showed 1:34:17 I needed to pick it up a little for the finish I wanted. I was very ready to go with ramping up my pace to 8:50 and going all out to the finish. I knew going into mile 11 that I needed to be there by 1:41. It was at that point that my calf began to really tighten up. Just around mile 11+ I looked at my watch to see 1:43:41. I was just over a minute or so where I needed to be and if I could just get my calf to loosen up a little I would have to push it to 8:20 pace to make up for any lost time.

I tried and I tried hard. I begged and pleaded with my calf to just loosen up and let me do this thing. Every single step was a jolt of pain. I stopped on the curb a few times to stretch and massage it and would try to run again. I ended up finishing mile 11 in 9:23 but by the time my watch chimed to tell me I was going into mile 12 I was positive the goal was out of reach. At that point I was walking and sobbing. One girl I had been leap frogging and gotten pretty far ahead of came up beside me and said, "You're almost there." I told her I knew that but was afraid it was going to just have to take longer than planned. She said, "You've been kicking my a$$ this whole race, don't let me kick yours now." It was a good laugh. I told her as much as I wanted to push myself to finish that I knew I was hurt and just didn't have it in me and I told her to go on.

My head wasn't ready to stop. My heart wasn't ready to stop. My calf was a different story.

I tried a few more times to stretch and massage my calf. I tried to tell myself if I had to do an A Skip or B Skip (drills we do in practice) just to get to the next mile I would. I was thinking of anything that would get e at a faster pace than the walking I was doing. I tried one more time to go fast and it just didn't happen. I stopped again to stretch and cry. I cried harder this time and the nicest man came along beside me. He asked if I was ok. At that point I am pretty sure that I told him no and that I had blown my calf and how this was going to be a huge PR race for me and how close I had worked my way to almost making it a sub 2 race. He asked my name and then told me how he was the brother in law of another runner that I know. It was nice to have a friendly face there that last mile. He encouraged me and told me I was doing great.

I felt like during that last mile with all the other people that had passed and said, "You're almost there, don't stop," that it was nice to have someone who understood that I was capable of doing this. It wasn't that I had pushed too hard or that I was out of breath or under trained and couldn't get to the finish line. It was that crap happens sometimes not just in training but in the middle of a race. That nice man stayed right there, walking with me during HIS race. I apologized and thanked him, and even told him that it wasn't right for me to hold him back. I wanted him to leave not because he was bothering me but because I felt guilty that I might be screwing up his race too! But he stayed right there. I told him how I had NEVER EVER even at my first race (5k in 49 minutes!) walked across a finish line and how I wasn't planning it this time, if I could help it. And when we rounded the turn back towards the finish line I had started running again.

I knew most of my friends had already finished and started crying again because I was almost embarrassed knowing they'd been sitting there a while probably wondering where I was already. When I saw them they cheered for me so loudly and as I passed all I could do was mutter, "I'm hurt and think I blew my calf." I'm sure they could tell by the shuffle I was doing headed towards the finish line. I grabbed a water, my medal and a candy cane before posting for a picture. The only other thing I wanted was a med tent. I needed a massage and ice pack more than anything else.

I checked my watch to see that my last splits were-
Mile 11-9:23
Mile 12-11:13
Mile 13-13:50
.31- 3:02 (yes this race was .21 too long!)

Finish time - 2:11:50

I found a volunteer and asked about a med tent. There wasn't one but we found an ambulance where I got a busted ice pack and a loose ace bandage. I was thankful because it was better than nothing. I located my friends and sat with them as we watched my husband and our other friends finish.

We posed for a few more pictures and then went to have a big pile o'pancakes!
hot hustle
hustle girl

Overall it was a wonderful day and I really did enjoy this race. While I may not have finished in my goal time or even PR'ed, I feel totally accomplished and honestly I am even more proud of myself for kicking butt and pushing through to finish when it would have been easy to just sit and wait for someone to pick me up. I'll have plenty of chances to reach my running goals. I'm thankful for a great coach who has shown me that patience will get me where I want to be. a husband who will get up at 4:30 am to go run 13.1 miles with me on a Sunday morning in December, and for the most amazing running friends I could ever have in my life.

It wasn't my day to PR but a race isn't always about the PR.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday motivation

This is mostly a reminder for me and I'm not sure it even classifies as motivation but I'm using it as such as I get over a minor bump in my little running road.


I'll be back tomorrow to give you a full recap of my 7th half marathon from yesterday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December - goals and such

So, can you believe December is already here!? Time flies. I feel like this entire year has just flown by so fast. Here we are already a week into December and I have yet to discuss goals or plans or anything. Heck, my blogging is like it seems to have been much of the year...lacking! I'm hoping to really change that in 2013.

But for the remainder of 2012 I have goals and I'd like to share those.

First of all, I have a race coming up this weekend. Half marathon #7. It's sure to be a fun event! Santa Hustle.. a race I have not ran before. Apparently we get Santa shirts and beards! How fun! Some friends and I have plans to kind of dress up for the event. I'm looking forward to a good day. I haven't received race notes from my coach yet but look forward to those. Not sure if I will all out race or run for fun. I never want to get myself all worked up and nervous over a race. I do have a goal, always but so long as I cross that finish line standing up I will be thrilled! A finish is a finish.

December Goals-
Basically I want to keep plugging away at reaching my goals with running. I've made huge progress (in my opinion) since I started my new running adventure in October. I want to keep running forward with that and seeing what else I can accomplish.

I also want to make it through the remainder of the holiday season without outgrowing my pants. So far that's been accomplished but I won't lie. The scale isn't where I want it to be. I have more to post on this later. I wont' say that I plan to lose any through the holidays but if I can continue to maintain I will be happy. This means focusing on healthy choices and not letting all the holiday treats get the best of me.

I am also going to make it a point to get back to BodyFlow class on my rest day (or Weds when I am not resting) because I went this week and it was so so good for my body. I've neglected some of the regular stuff I did at the gym before because "my schedule was so tough" and I felt like I couldn't make it work. However, I am going to make it a point to make it work. I've never been one for scheduling excuses and I'm not going to start now.

Did you make any goals for December or do you hope to just survive the holidays?