Friday, December 14, 2012

Race Recap times THREE.

It has been so long since I've written in this blog. Months, actually. It's almost embarrassing. I guess life got in the way. There has been a lot of personal life drama going on since the end of October and I have just abandoned the blog. Oops. :-(

Anyhow, I haven't been running a lot in the past couple of weeks due to school and work... mostly school. I've been really focused on getting through the semester so that I can move forward with life after May. Whew. Anyways.. now back to running. Haven't done it much since Chicago. I've had really good weeks and really awful weeks... but I've been lacking in consistency, unfortunately. Ugh.

Anyways... so THREE race recaps since the end of October. No joke.

Race one: Wine & Dine Half Marathon, November 10

As this race was the first one after my really rough Halloween Halfathon experience, I wasn't too excited about it, frankly. I felt burnt out on Disney races for the year (I did way too many...) and felt like I should just stop running for a while. I was also exhausted from work and school, as I have been all semester, so I just wasn't excited. My friend Megan  came to run with a bunch of her friends (yay new runner friends!), so of course I was looking forward to the weekend. Just not the race part.

I worked the morning of the race, then took the bus over to Megan and Heather's hotel so that we could all ride over together. (ugh. most awful bus ride ever. Disney transportation is usually reliable, but it was so frustrating and I was in a time crunch.) When I finally got there, I had time to get changed, go to the bathroom, and leave. It was crazy! We went over to the All Star resorts to meet up with more of the group and then headed to the race!

We hung out at Wide World of Sports for a few hours before it was time to get into the corrals. Before we knew it, it was time to start running! Super crazy. I was a little concerned about how my body would react, because I had been up since early that morning and hadn't had a chance to nap at all. Somehow, I was able to gain a second wind, because I ended up feeling okay the entire race. We all initially split up to run at our own pace, which was fine. The plan was to meet up at mile 5 or 8. So there we went.

I felt pretty strong right off of the bat. I passed a lot of people, which is sort of the norm for RunDisney. Big corrals and crowding at the beginning. No surprise there. I felt really good. We ran to Animal Kingdom and through the park. I stopped at the bathroom in the park just to be safe and then kept going. I found Megan and Heather right after mile 5 and we ran together for the rest of the race. It was fun. Being Heather's first race, we ran at her pace to ensure that she would finish strong.. and she did!

We ran through all of the parks besides the Magic Kingdom, which was fun. I enjoyed the course, like I typically do. I just love running through the parks, because there is always so much to look at. They had the Osborne Spectacle of Lights on which was really awesome.

Megan and I stopped to hang with some friends!

The race was really fun. We stayed for the after party, but we were all pretty tired, so we didn't do a ton. We hit some rides and then ate. I slept like a baby that night, though. Exhausting day.

Race two. Subaru Distance Classic Half Marathon, Jacksonville. November 22, Thanksgiving

This is an Alicia and Katherine tradition since we moved to Florida. I hope that I can always find a Thanksgiving Day race that I want to participate in, regardless of where I live.

This race is really neat because it has a small-town feel, even though it is in a fairly large city. Katherine and I both had PRs from last year and were both hoping to get new ones this year. I didn't sleep well the night before, which made me nervous about the race when I woke up in the morning. I wasn't super excited about it. However, I got up and we went out to run.

Kath started the race with me, but I told her to go run her race pretty quickly and she told me that it would be okay if I took short walk breaks, then ran ahead. I felt fantastic for the entire race and was way under PR pace until mile 8, when I had to use the bathroom so much that I could not physically run anymore. I had skipped every port-a-potty that I had come by, because I didn't want to wait in any lines and screw up my PR hopes. Bad idea. I slowly walked for an entire mile before I could stop. I lost more time in that mile than it could have possibly taken for me to wait in line. At that point, I had slowed my pace down by at least an entire minute. I knew I would not PR unless something crazy happened (not likely).

At that point, I knew that all I could do was push myself to do the best that I could. So I did. I cut my pace down about 30 seconds per minute (which I was pleased with, considering how late it was during the race). I finished in 2:56... about 6 minutes slower than my PR... but definitely one of my faster races. I was a little disappointed, but pleased that I had done well considering my stubbornness.

Kath got her PR though! Yay!

Race three. Santa Hustle Half Marathon, Daytona Beach. December 9.

Let's just say... have you ever run a half marathon in sand? It is no joke. At all. Somehow, I missed the memo that the race was actually ON the beach.. until we went to packet pick up. I had hoped to finally get that PR that I almost got a few weeks ago, but I sort of figured that I wouldn't be able to do it.. I was hopeful, though. 

The race didn't start until 9 am. (My thoughts: Yay and nay! It was nice to be able to get ready slowly, BUT it was quite warm outside.) We went to the start for the pre-race party. We had some donuts and walked around and took some pictures. It was really fun. We got to the start... and I felt sort of excited, but nervous about the race. 

The race literally started with an uphill run, then went around a corner and... onto the beach. As soon as we hit the sand, I got frustrated. I felt all of my hopes of a PR and a fantastic race just fly out of the window. I was disappointed and frustrated and overheated... already. It took me a little bit of time to get over it and just try to have a good time. When I finally started to feel a little better, the race got to be a lot more fun. It was really rough on my muscles. Parts of my body that have never ached before were extremely sore... but Katherine stayed with me the entire time and we had some fun talking and trying to push it as hard as we (well I) could. 

Overall, the race was really fun. I wish that I didn't have the high expectations that I did, because the letdown was pretty tough. Once I got out of my head, I really had a fun and challenging race. Our finishing time was 3:11. It was definitely NOT my worst time. I'm impressed with that. My body was more sore after that race than I have been after a race in quite a while. I'm super glad that Kath stayed with me and we were able to run together for the whole race. I definitely took some of my frustrations out on her when I was feeling frustrated and annoyed. (Sorry Kath!!!!!!!) 

Glad I did it.. I don't know if I will do it again next year. We'll see.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 770.35 miles/347 days
To go: 229.65 miles/19 days

(yep.. not going to happen.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Halfathon Race Recap

Yesterday, I ran the Halloween Halfathon in St. Petersburg. I went into the race hoping for a PR, but not being too excited about it. Actually, I've  been a little jaded lately and not too excited about very much of anything. Anyways, my friend Alyssa suggested that I go run with her and her cousin, so I decided to drag Katherine with me.

We decided to dress up for the race. Kath made tutus for both of us, which was really fun. I was Cruella (scariest villan ever) and she went as a "dark fairy/butterfly". Alyssa was Tinkerbell and her cousin, Bria, ran as Ariel. Though I had a lot of trouble getting really excited for the race, I was excited about the costumes.

Yesterday, we arrived at the race JUST in time for it to start. No joke. I put my chip on my shoe and then we started. It was intense. I felt sluggish from the start. I don't know if it was my lack of sleep (but I never sleep well before a race), not eating the same way as I normally do pre-race, or just my overall exhaustion lately. I was REALLY worried that I wasn't going to PR. I pushed it pretty hard for the first three miles, knowing that I ran at least 6 miles of ToT AND Chicago before a walk break. I really slowed down and walked at three... but still walk/ran and was under the pace that I needed to smash my PR. I was hanging in there.

At about mile 4.5, I thought I saw Katherine walking toward me. I was super confused. She's never come back to me before and was gunning for a PR this race, too. I was glad to see her, because I was really struggling.. a lot. She said that she had been lonely and knew she wouldn't get her PR, so she turned around. Even though I was in a terrible mood, I'm grateful that she did turn around.

Major complaint: there were not enough water stops during this race. I am used to a water stop every 1.5 miles... in almost every race that I have ever participated in. Not this time. They were 3-4 miles apart. I was REALLY thirsty each time we got to a water stop and had to grab at least two cups each time. When I got to the stop at mile 9, they were completely out of both Gatorade and water. That was my breaking point. I walked for the next two miles and cried. I felt like I couldn't finish and I was upset. I've never had a meltdown during a race before. I was frustrated with myself for being too slow, for having an awful race. I've run SO many halfs before that I was confident that the distance wasn't too tough.. that I would easily surpass my PR. I felt more fit than I had a year ago when I raced my 2:50 that is my current personal record. I just couldn't do it.

I finished in 3:08. I still don't feel okay with it.

I don't know what happened. I don't know why I felt so terrible or why everything fell apart. I'm still frustrated and unhappy.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 707.31 miles/303 days
To go: 292.69 miles/63 days

**okay. I guess that I'm a little excited that I hit 700 miles. I didn't think I'd get there this month. It's been really tough. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three things Thursday

I've never done three things Thursday before, but there's a first for everything.

-I am SO exhausted. My muscles hurt. Yesterday was my first legs day with Mark the trainer and I'm in so much pain. I ran today anyways.. sort of. I walk-ran slowly. Ugh. I got my mileage in.
- I've started a new food plan. It makes me grumpy. I want to eat crap all of the time.. but I'm doing my best to stick with it.
- These are my new shoes:
same shoe, new color. They already have 11 miles on them!!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 694.12 miles/292 days
To go: 305.88 miles/74 days

Monday, October 15, 2012

First real run back.

Today Kath and I went for a run. It was really awesome to finally get back out there and get moving. My lungs still feel a little tight and congested, but that's life, I guess. 

My body remembered how to run and I felt like I was getting into a groove, but the rest of me was fighting it. I'm way too accustomed to not pushing it as much as I need to. I need to try to get some sort of speed training in.

Unfortunately, I found that my new running shoes aren't that great for me. They have been cutting into my ankles. I guess I could wear higher socks, because they're not terrible shoes, but I went to Track Shack and got some new Nike Lunarglides. These ones are different colors than my recently retired ones, so they seem like they're new! As much as I'd like to experiment with different types of shoes, I've gone through three (the new ones will be my fourth) pairs of Lunarglides and never had a problem. 

I think that I'm going to use the Saucony shoes that I bought in Chicago for gym shoes... which brings me to my next topic... I've gotten back into personal training. I started working out with Mark in April 2010. We worked out together until sometime in January of this year. Now he has started his own training business and I'm back at working out with him. It'll be good to have some guidance at weight training, because I'm terrible at it. He's also helping me to get my nutrition on point, which is a major thing that I need to focus on. Major. We worked on shoulders and arms today, so I may be feeling a little rough in the morning. I've lost so much of my progress that I made working out with him in the first place.

So yeah. Tomorrow I'm going to get up early(ish) and try to run 7 miles.. then I have lots of homework to work on and softball in the evening. I'm not too many days away from Goofy!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 682.29 miles/289 days
To go: 317.71 miles/77 days

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chicago Marathon Recap!!!!!

I guess it is about time that I write my Chicago Marathon race report. It's been a week since the race now and I've been home (sick!) and wishing that it wasn't over. Anyways...

Last Thursday was my 26th birthday. It started with breakfast with Katherine (and Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch!) at O'Hana's. Then, we hit Downtown Disney for a little bit of shopping before I had to come back and finish packing before my flight. (It's practically a birthday tradition to hit Downtown Disney!)

I flew up to Indiana to spend the rest of my birthday with family. I haven't spend my actual birthday in my hometown since 2006. My mom, sister, and I went out for dinner and drinks (only for my mom and I), then my brother and his fiancee went to get appetizers with us later that night. Yes, appetizers post dinner. That is, by the way, what began my terrible pre-race eating. Bad choices all around.

Friday, I had lots of appointments. I finally met my baby cousin, Wyatt, who is now five months old! That was fun. Then, we had a big birthday party for me. Super fun! I haven't had a big family gathering like that in a very long time. I got to see almost all of my favorite people in one place at one time. So yay for that! I got lots of well wishes for my race. 

Saturday morning, it was time to head to Chicago. My nerves were going insane the entire drive. I slept off and on and felt nervous for the rest of the time. I felt like the drive took no time at all and all of a sudden, we were at the expo. Major freak out. I was nervous and anxious and feeling unprepared for the race. I sucked it up and we went and expo-ed for a while. I'd have to say that Chicago is the coolest race expo that I have been to so far. I bought some new shoes and a t-shirt... and some energy gels (because I need them!). We walked around for a while and looked at things. It was truthfully very very fun.

When we finally decided that it was time to leave the expo, we went to my mom's friend/my godmother's house to spend the night. We sat up chatting for a little while, ate some more birthday cake (!), then got everything together for the race. I was so amazed that it was almost time to run Chicago. I couldn't believe it. I'd put so much into training for the race and it was here. I didn't sleep well at all. I've never been so nervous before a race in my life.

We got up in the morning and dressed in layers. (It wasn't even 40 degrees out yet! I live in Florida now!) Then we headed to downtown Chicago. We got there super early and went to a McDonald's to use the bathroom and my mom wanted to eat. I was still too nervous. Eventually, we made it to the starting corrals and ended up being some of the first people in the last corral. That was fun. We stood there shivering for a little while. I still was not excited about the race at all. I don't know what the problem was. I was just really nervous about the race and had been for months.

Finally, it was time to start and things really started moving. When we crossed the start line, I half expected that my mom and I would stay together for a little bit. I turned around after a few minutes and she wasn't there. That was okay though. I felt really strong for the first several miles of the race. I ran my first 5k split at at a 12:33 pace (That's almost a 5k PR for me). My 10k was 14: 02 pace (I stopped for the bathroom right before the 10k mark.) and my 15k was 13:23. I felt SO good for my first half of the race. I actually felt really good until about mile 17.

Then I ran out of gas. Hit the wall. Whatever.

I walked several miles after that and kept beating myself up about it. I was exhausted and sick (did I mention that yet? I've been sick for about two weeks now. Awful.), but I kept pushing forward. It eventually hit me that I wasn't going to run a 6 hour marathon. Then I slowed down more.

I finished in 6:31:45. I'm disappointed. I know that if I hadn't gone so fast out of the gate, I would not have run out of gas and I would have met my goal. Still, I ran a 16 minute PR, so I'm glad for that.

I did LOVE the race though. It was cold (I ran with my hat and gloves on the entire time), but the city was wonderful. There were SO many people cheering there. It was so fun to run between skyscrapers and to see things in the city that I've been to many times. I love Chicago and I'm glad that I got to have the memory of running in it. I pushed myself harder than I have before (for 17 miles haha.) and felt awesome.

A few of my favorite things:

  • giving children high 5s. I love when kids spectate. I gave MANY children high 5s.
  • The "Nike Owns Chicago" section of the race. I think it was at 21 or 22. I was drained and my ankle was hurting at that point. Really awesome though! (I half wish I brought a camera.)
  • Spectators!!!!
  • "You have stamina! Call me!" Best. Sign. Ever. (Besides "McKayla is not impressed" that I saw at Disneyland.)
  • Volunteers!! 
  • Best expo I've ever been to. Hands down.
  • Medical people giving out space blankets at mile 23/24. I needed it. 
  • I got to stand at the finish line and hug my mom when she finished!

A couple disappointments:
  • They ran out of medals before I finished. Bummer. I should be getting mine in the mail soon. (tomorrow?)
  • Some of the people at the water stations stood waaay to far into the road and crowded it for the runners. 
  • Running out of gas/hitting the wall. Boo. 
  • Hill at mile 26. That hurt my feelings!
  • Mostly the medal thing.
  • I had gastrointestinal issues.

I've only run once since then. I'm trying to get healthier. I've been super sick. I do need to hop into Goofy training though. 
I learned some valuable lessons from this race. I plan to work a little harder at endurance and pacing myself. ..and not eating like crap.

I can't believe that it's over.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 678.06 miles/288 days
To go: 321.94 miles/78 days

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tower of Terror 10 Miler Recap

Finally! Life has been so crazy for the last week that I haven't really had the opportunity to sit down and write a recap of the race. So here I go, finally.

Tower of Terror was my first 10 mile distance race and my first night race. I was super excited to run it, because I was running with two very fun people: Alyssa and Seth. (who had never met before, yet went to the same college for a few months in 2003 and knew some of the same people. crazy. Anywayyys...)


The plan was that Kath and I would pick Alyssa up after work on Friday and do the expo. It didn't happen. The traffic was a little awful and we would not have made it to ESPN in time. So we went downtown and had dinner instead. It was lots of fun!

Alyssa and I met at the expo on Saturday morning instead. As we were walking in, I saw Seth, Andrea, and Andrea's sister, Beth walking out of the expo. It was definitely a case of weird timing. We chatted for about five minutes and then Alyssa and I went inside to get the packets. We walked the expo two or three times looking at stuff and talking. I alost always get an "I did it!" shirt, but I didn't this time, because they didn't have many sizes left. They said there would be more merchandise after the race, so I intended to do it then.

The rest of Saturday was Kath and I going to lunch and Barnes and Noble. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready to go to the race!


I met with everyone at Wide World of Sports. I was going to meet at Seth's and then ride over as a group, but stupid I-4 traffic was terrible and I just met them there. Naturally, I arrived ridiculously early and talked to my grandma on the phone for a while.

We all met up by the buses and rode over to Hollywood Studios. We checked bags and then went to our Corrals. Since Alyssa was in "C", I decided I'd move back from "B" to run with her. Seth decided to run with us, too. (It felt a little intimidating running with people faster than me, but I tried not to talk about it. Much. Out loud.) We sat in the middle of the corral and talked about our respective running experiences together and it was really fun. Before long, it was time to get moving toward the start.

I was really nervous before this race. I've only ever been this nervous for my two full marathons. I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into. I didn't know the course and I'd never run a night race. I was also a little anxious about running with people that I hadn't raced with before. Seth and I had run once before- an 8 miler and Alyssa and I ran next to each other on treadmills once, but that doesn't count. So.. lots of anxiety leading up to this one.

We started off running really well. We ran the first 7-8 miles only stopping for water breaks. I almost always stop and take walk breaks, so it was a lot for me to push it as hard as I did. We walked a lot towards the end, which I feel so-so about. I felt like I should take it a little easy, because I've been pushing so hard for Chicago constantly. It was horribly humid outside, too. Awful. We stopped for one picture with Stitch, because the line wasn't terrible and I planned to get more at the after party.

I started feeling weird when we got close to the finish line. Initially, I thought I was just hungry. I knew that there would be snacks at the finish and that I could eat then.

Finishing was awesome. It finished backstage at the Tower of Terror!

Unfortunately, my stomach started feeling worse and turned into a full body awful-ness. I had a massive migraine. I didn't get to enjoy any of the after party at all. I sat for an hour or so and then Alyssa and I left. I'm really disappointed.

I am glad that I didn't feel awful during the race though!!

Overall- great race. We ran though some woods, through ESPN (including the track and baseball field!), and all the way through Hollywood Studios. I absolutely love that it was a new course and that it was an inaugural race! So much fun!

I'm also glad that I got to run in a group. I've never really done that before. It was a lot of fun!

September Recap

I haven't updated in a ridiculously long time. Oops.
I plan to write a Tower of Terror 10 Miler recap soon. (maybe tomorrow...?!)
Until then:

September 2012 miles: 112.73
I think I swam once or twice (for fun. no laps.)
I used my spin bike 4 or 5 times for a short period of time.

I ran two races in one month for the first time in my life.

Disneyland Half Marathon:

The Tower of Terror 10  Miler:

Overall, I feel like my training was off for several weeks. I also crashed my car, school started getting a little crazy, and started looking for a full time job. Life has gotten really intense. 

For October, I'm hoping for more running miles, but also an incorporation of lots of cross training. I want to get some swimming and some biking in, too. I'm participating in a triathlon challenge at my gym. 

Here's to hoping for an awesome October!!
(race recap soon!)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 647.19 miles/276 days
To go: 352.81 miles/90 days

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finally getting my groove back

Today, I ran.
I feel like I should be proud of my accomplishment, considering what a hectic few weeks that I've had. So I am a little proud. At the same time, I'm somewhat disappointed that I have taken way too much time off of running lately.

There's no purpose to beating myself up about it, though.

Today, I did ten miles. My goal was somewhere between 9 and 15, but I had a late start, so I sorta knew that 15 was out of the picture. I really don't want to kill myself with running before two weeks of races, also. (Whose idea was that...?!)

My ten miles went really well. I did about 6.5 of them with Katherine and the rest by myself. She caught up with me after she got home from work and changed. My legs felt awesome until the last mile or so, then I started to get worn out. I'm a little concerned about that, considering Chicago is less than two weeks away. I just have to keep pushing it and thinking positive thoughts. Racing feels a lot different than training for some reason. Too often, training runs feel like they drag on endlessly.

I've also noticed that I've started getting really hungry. All of the time. It started at about the time that I started kicking up my training in late June and early July. I'm not sure if it is normal or not. I guess that it probably is a normal thing when training so many hours per week. I just need to start focusing on eating correctly rather than constantly consuming crappy food. I have weight I want to lose and I want my body to be at it's best. That's my goal. I'm tired of being stuck in the same weight range, when I know that I have another 20 pounds to lose.

I've signed up for this year's Triathlon Challenge. It's an October month long challenge through the UCF gym to try to complete an Ironman distance race within the month of October. I did it last year and the bike was REALLY tough. I'm toying with the idea of doing a triathlon in Indiana next summer, so I think this will help me get my head on straight. I also think I can do it a little bit more successfully than I did last year. 

Anyways. Ten miles today in the books. Lots of fun. Good run for once. Back at it tomorrow.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 621.01 miles/268 days
To go: 378.99 miles/98 days

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wipe out!

I've had the most intense week and a half.
I'm not even 100% where to start with this. It's been so crazy.

I think I wrote about it, but last Monday, I was in a car accident. I've had my car in the shop since last Saturday and it's been so frustrating to not have a car. I should have gotten a rental car, but I really thought I'd have my car back by now. I know that it's not really anybody's specific fault. It's just a frustrating situation. I should have my car back early next week. (fingers crossed!)
[I'm super thankful for having a really awesome best friend who has been willing to go out of her way to drive me around.]

That's her!

So anyways, I have been majorly slacking on my running lately. I've also been extremely stressed out about school and my car. I've been putting in a lot of time looking for a full time job. I'm two weeks away from being 26, which means that I come off of my mom's health insurance soon. (as a person with epilepsy, it is pretty important that I stay insured.) I've had a lot on my mind. I guess that running hasn't been working out so well for me. I do need to try to keep my focus though. It's really a prime example of how life can knock a person down... and then kick the same person at the same time. (a few times.) That's sort of what I feel like I've been dealing with lately.

So. I have two runs that I haven't posted about. It's been a week since I've last posted and I've only run twice. That's a little bit sad. But oh well. It's all in having a positive attitude. I just have to keep picking myself up every day. 

Last Thursday, I went for a run after class. I went to the gym with a friend from class. It was fun. We ran on the treadmill, which I hate, but we talked a lot and it was fun. It didn't even feel like I spent an hour on the treadmill. I'm glad I did it! I almost didn't go to the gym, because I had opened at work. Then I had three hours of class. I just didn't want to deal with it. I did, though. I ended up with about four and a quarter miles in a little over an hour. Not terrible.

Today, I opened at work. I was super upset when I got home, because I thought that I'd get to pick up my car today. No such luck. Anyways, I decided that I wasn't going to run today. Then, Katherine got home. She convinced me to run with her. We actually had an awesome run! We aimed for 5 miles, but saw a thunderstorm coming, so we decided to just wing it. We did end up making it to 5 miles! However, I definitely tripped over something. (I'm still not sure what.) I fell hard onto the ground. I skinned two knees and both hands. I feel like I bruised my shoulder, too, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I haven't looked yet. 

It was a little funny, because, when I fell, I jumped right back up because I was worried about my Garmin and my pace. haha. That's a sign of a certain kind of runner. ;-) Anyways, we kept going (after slowing down a lot) and still finished the 5 miles. I'm definitely glad I went today!!

Battle wounds. haha.

Anyways, fun times. hopefully, I get my car back soon. 

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 611.8 miles/264 days
To go: 388.2 miles/102 days

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Huge milestone: 600 miles!

I feel like I have been so exhausted lately that I haven't had much to say in this blog. It's awful. I've been so busy managing school, work, and running and combining it with looking for a "real" job that I just haven't had time to think through my thoughts, let alone write them down. However, here I am, trying my hardest to put my thoughts into words.

I was in a car accident on the way to work on Monday. It was fairly minor, but it was my fault and I feel like an idiot. I wasn't paying attention for a second. That's all it takes. I'm an intelligent enough person to k now that I need to do better... and be better. I'm a little disgusted with myself. ..that's life though. I'll move on and things will get better.

Today, I opened at work, then worked 7-4:30. On my way home, I was exhausted. I didn't want to run, but I knew that I had to. I knew that I needed to stick to the training plan. Chicago is just a few weeks away and I want to do the best that I can.

So Kath and I did a 10 miler today. It got dark in the middle of it, which was good and bad. Unfortunately, the path we run on is not well lit, so we had to do a few laps around out apartment complex. (That is NOT my favorite thing to do, by the way.) I think I need a headlamp for night runs. For real. It was nice and cool out, though, which was fantastic! I'm very excited about the weather!!

I'm toying with the idea of going to the gym to get my 4 miler in after class. I will open at work again, then will go straight to class.. so I would be on campus anyways. I just really don't like treadmill running at all. It would be nice to get it done, though... I don't know. We'll see what I decide.

So that's it. Oh! I've hit 600 miles for the year! Yeaaaaaaaah!!! I'm getting closer and closer to my goal.
(I am in the 300s left toward my goal!)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 602.51 miles/256 days
To go: 397.49 miles/110 days

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

rough day.

I am so tired. And life is so crazy. I got in a minor car accident yesterday on my way to work and it took TWO hours to get the police there and everything taken care of, so I didn't make it to work. Awful. Then today, I was feeling very sorry for myself and didn't want to run at all. I still went, though, so at least there's that.

So yeah. Five miles down. While I was running, I definitely started to feel a little bit better about things. I know that life will work out. I just need to keep putting myself out there and not give up. It was good to run and think about my life. I'm glad I went, even though I REALLY REALLY did not want to go. At all. Not even a little.

I also had softball today. Our first game that didn't get rained out! Yeah fun!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 592.28 miles/255 days
To go: 407.72 miles/111 days

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trying to be the best I can be.

Seven miles has not been as tough as it was today for a long time. My legs felt like lead and my mind just was not into it. However, I powered through.

I could complain about how tired I was and how much I wanted to give up for... 6 of the 7 miles, but I won't. It would be too monotonous... and whiny. I'm pretty sure that it would even annoy me.

A few good things about today's run:

  • It is done! Seven more miles in the books. I can't believe how close I am to being at the Chicago Marathon right now. Insane..
  • It was supposed to storm all afternoon, which I was dreading. It didn't. I just heard thunder outside... six hours after my run.. It was nice to have a dry run for once.
  • I passed a few people on my run today. (That hardly happens. Unless the people are walking.) That was in the first few miles, though. I definitely slowed down after mile 4.

"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." -Priscilla Welch

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far:  587.27 miles/253 days
To go: 412.73 miles/113 days

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Long run day again. 15 miles.

This is (was) my first long run day in a couple of weeks! I was scheduled 15 miles, which didn't really feel awful when I thought about it.

Unfortunately, I didn't get off of work until late last night (or early this morning). Because of that, I overslept this morning.. and didn't get up until after 11. I hate that. I wake up frustrated and annoyed when I oversleep, especially when I'm supposed to have a long run. Katherine was off work today, so we planned to run together. We waited until a little after 2 to leave, knowing that some rain was coming in. We hoped that the rain would cool us off (and hopefully the weather too!).

The first two and a half miles were really warm, almost miserably so. It started raining when we were almost to mile 3. It came down pretty hard, so we ran to Walgreen's to hide out for a little bit. When it looked like it was slowing down, we continued forward. Then it started pouring again. That time we didn't have anywhere to hide out, so we just kept going.

After the rain finally stopped, the weather had cooled down quite a bit, too. That was nice. We ended up running the 15 miles in about 3:50, which is a slower pace than I would have liked, but wasn't terrible for a long slow run day. I won't say that I'm not a little disappointed, because I am. I know that I can run at a faster pace. I'm still trying to figure out why it's so tough to get myself faster during training runs. I guess it's just something that I need to work on.. push myself a little more or something.

I'm trying to take off a little bit more weight before Chicago. I want to be at a decent race weight. I know that I'm four weeks away from the race tomorrow, but I think that I can lose another 5-8 pounds in that time. I'm working on eating right. (except last night when I picked up fast food on the way home from work. ugh.) It's crazy hot Chicago is on my mind all of the time.

Anyyyyways... I guess that's all I have to say about today. haha.
(I'm so close to 600 miles!)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 580.1 miles/252 days
To go: 419.9 miles/114 days

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Time management: graduate school + running + work

It's definitely starting to get real.. training plus school plus work. I'm starting to feel a bit of a struggle in managing things, but I think that it's mostly just me being anxious about it. It's something that I can get over. I just have to work really hard at following a schedule.

For instance: today I had a lot of reading to do before class, a 7 mile run on the schedule, and a class from 6-9. I WAY overslept (until past 11. gross.), but got up and went out for the 7 miler at about 2. I wanted to wait a little longer in case it would cool off a little, but a storm was going to be rolling in, so I just sucked it up and went. At first, I was miserable. It was hot. I felt like I was going to melt. After a few miles and an energy gel, I started moving pretty well. I got into a groove and decided to turn the 7 mile run into an 8 mile run. (I was scheduled 8 miles tomorrow and I have less time in the day than I did today...)

When I got to 6.5, the storm that I was trying not to get caught by started rolling in. That should have been my sign to just go home. I kept going. I ended up in a torrential downpour. I don't think I've ever come home from a run dripping wet the way that I was. It was insane. I actually had a lot of fun though. The rain cooled things off a lot and I actually was able to speed up. ...or maybe that was because of the thunder. ha.

Anyways. It's beyond sleeptime for me! I have studying, running, and work tomorrow. (Yeah me..!)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 565.04 miles/250 days
To go: 434.96 miles/116 days

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Still pushing through...

Being back in the swing of life is exhausting! Yesterday, I was a little busy getting some things accomplished before my softball game (that got rained out. we're three for three on rain outs... Go us!), but I was still able to get a 4 miler in. Today, all I had planned was homework, job searching, and my run, but it was rough! (tomorrow is another run and class.) It's been tough to manage my time since I got back from California. It doesn't help that my body had just gotten used to west coast time when it was time to come back to Florida.

Today was a 9 mile run. It was hot. Miserably so. I really didn't feel like being out there the entire time that I was there. It was a little awful. I wanted to quit the entire time. There's something inside of me that doesn't give up, though. I continued to push forward throughout the entire run and ended up with a just under 15 minute mile pace. Normally, I'd be disappointed, but today, I just wasn't interested in running, so it was okay.

Sometimes, what counts the most is getting out there and doing it. Today was one of those days. Tomorrow may be better... I hope.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 557.04 miles/249 days
To go: 442.96 miles/117 days

Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

I have been AWFUL. I didn't run for a little over a week... after all of this time living by my training plan, I just stopped. Ugh. I'm extremely frustrated with myself, but trying not to beat myself up about it too much. I know that I can just deal with it and move on.

SO. Disneyland Half Marathon race report!
I have officially added a third state to my "states that I've raced in" list. (Indiana, Florida, and California! ...and Illinois is next!)

My mom, sister, and Katherine came to California. We have dubbed ourselves "Team 3 Catholics and a Protestant." We've been planning the Disneyland Half Marathon trip since January, when we decided that we wanted to do the Coast to Coast Challenge. Basically, to participate, a person has to run in a RunDisney half or full marathon in both California and Florida. Back in January, Kath and Kailey (my baby sister) ran the "Donald" half marathon, while my mom and I participated in the "Goofy Challenge" (half & full in two days). (to be honest, I did the 5k, too, so I'm, unofficially, "Dopey". I also ran the Princess half in February.) So yes. That's when we decided to do the Coast to Coast.

We had so much fun! None of us had ever been to Disneyland, so it was fun experiencing the parks and the surrounding areas. We got to do so many fun things. But the most fun... was running.

We got up at 4:00 California time (7 my time) for the race on Sunday morning. We all whined and dragged ourselves out of bed to depart at 4:30.. or that was the goal. I don't think we left the hotel until closer to 4:45. Then my mom realized she forgot her parfait, which is her traditional race morning breakfast. Then she realized she forgot her Minnie ears, which she was looking forward to wearing. The last straw was when she realized that she did not have her ipod, either. That's when she went back to the room. The rest of us trudged onward without her. (my mom ended up catching a shuttle to the start while the other three of us walked! not even fair.)

We all started together in Corral D and planned to run together to the first character photo opportunity. Then the race started and we started running. Somehow, I got into a really nice groove and then realized that I was running without anybody on my "team". Oops. Then Kath caught up with me and we ran together to the first photo stop.

Green Army Men! A RunDisney picture tradition.

After that, Kath ran ahead and I stayed in my groove. I felt really good and didn't really have to take walk breaks at all, which really surprised me. It is really the first race that was like that for me. When we got into Disneyland Park, I saw Katherine in line for a picture and jumped in with her. 

How could I resist Tiana, Naveen, and Louis?!

We decided to run through the rest of the park together and stop for pictures when we could, knowing that the majority of the race did not take part on Disney property. So we did. We had to run through some pretty intense crowds, but overall, we did pretty well and passed a lot of people. (I feel like my pace has really improved and I didn't really know until Sunday.) 

The rest of the race was really fun! (I didn't get many pictures, but that's okay.) We ran through the Anaheim Angels' baseball stadium, which was awesome. It was really crowded, though, and on the way out, I twisted my right ankle trying to pass people. (Yep. The one that I've hurt countless times in the past.) I decided to walk the rest of the race and throw out all hope of getting an awesome finishing time. I knew I had to be careful, because I REALLY want to do well in Chicago. As much as I wanted to finish strong, I knew I shouldn't push it. So I walked. For three. Long. Miles.

The Team!

The race was fun though. I had a fantastic time! (the vacation part was great too!) I want to go back! 

I'm back to Chicago training though. Kath and I did four easy (EASY) miles today and it was fun. It's nice to be back in the swing of things. (sort of. I still want to go back.)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 547.8 miles/248 days
To go: 452.2 miles/118 days

Friday, August 24, 2012

Too many excuses, not enough work...

My mileage so far this week has been awful. So awful that I've come up with an excuse for it. Are you ready?

I probably should be tapering anyways so I don't kill all of my energy before Disneyland next weekend.

Good excuse or poor excuse, I'm not sure, but I'm embarrassed. There is no excuse for me not wanting to do my runs, but I just haven't wanted to. I haven't felt like it. Awful, right?

First, I'm dog sitting. This is Finn (and Katherine):

Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. Finn is one of the most laid back dogs that I have ever met. Yet, I find myself feeling bad for leaving him alone for periods of time, because I know he's already stressed out that his dad went on a cruise without him. He also wakes me up before I want to wake up because he needs to go outside. Generally, he's a great dog, though, so I'm lucky as far as that goes. I'm also staying at Finn's (Seth's) apartment right now. That means new running routes that I have to figure out on my own. Another excuse.

Along with that, I've been missing this face for the past week:

On Wednesday, my car wouldn't start. A new alternator and new battery later, I have Lola the car back, but not without a hefty bill. Just what I needed.

Yesterday, class started for me for the semester! Woo hoo! I'm so close to my Masters, I can almost feel it. I'm just exhausted and stressed out about it already. I have really high expectations for myself this semester. I know that I CAN do it. I just need to push myself hard enough to do it. I'm also REALLY stressed about finding a full time job in my field. I don't even know where to begin my search.

So. Much. Stress.
So that's why I've been slacking. Those are all of the excuses that I've been running through my head. I already know I won't be doing my 20 miler on Sunday. I'm planning to cut it to like... 9 or 10, because of time constraints and a semi-taper before California. Ugh.

I'm drained.

I did four miles on Tuesday after work and four miles today before work. I guess that's something.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 530.15 miles/237 days
To go: 469.85 miles/129 days

Monday, August 20, 2012

Crazy 18 mile training run

Let's talk about long run day. Again.

18 miles.
Did I mention that I've never followed a training plan before? For ANY of my races in the history of my running life (three years). Never ever. I've decided that I was going to do it and then just not followed through many times. (ten half marathons, two full marathons, one 10k, and several 5ks)

This time I'm following a plan. (minus when my toe was smashed and I was put out of commission for a few days) I almost didn't. I didn't want to do 18 miles today. I couldn't sleep last night and woke up after about 4-5 hours, thinking that 18 sounded horrible. I was tired before I started and that just sucked. A lot.

Kath and I ran together, thank goodness. I'm not 100% sure that I could have done it without her. Somehow, we did it though. Kath had never run further than 14 miles in her life and, like I said, outside of a race, I've never run that distance before. It was rough, to be honest. Beyond rough. I'm drained and exhausted and my legs still feel like they are on fire.

But we did it! We got stuck in a crazy storm for a while and we had to stop at Publix and wait it out. There was no way that I was going to risk crazy lightning. It was good though. Sort of like cheating, but not really. You have to do what you have to do in times like that. I felt AWESOME between miles 4-15. When I got to 15.5-16, I started to feel miserable. It's sort of like the emotional stuff that I've gone through during the marathons that I've run. I get these really intense highs and lows, but I think that's normal(ish). It's at least normal during a race. I'm not sure that I like it though.

I am sort of elated that I finished my run today. Next week's long run is 20 miles. I do NOT have my mind wrapped around that at this time. Wow.........................

(plus, I've joined the work softball time plus my class starts this week.)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 522.01 miles/233 days
To go: 477.99 miles/133 days

Friday, August 17, 2012

short & sweet 3 miler

Where does all of the time go in this life? I feel like this day just started, but in an hour, I'll be clocking in at work. That's insane to me. I don't understand how it all happens.

I don't really have time to write about today's run. It was rainy, but not scary stormy. I ran semi-quickly. A little over 12 minute miles, which is good for me, especially considering how awfully slow that I have been lately. Every day, I am getting better, regardless of how freaked out I am about Chicago. I have many MANY races to worry about before Chicago happens.

Anyways, just over three miles at just over a 12 minute pace. I'll take it.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 504 miles/230 days
To go: 496 miles/136 days

(p.s. oh wow! I didn't realize that I evened out my numbers today!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

celebrating 500 miles in 2012! (so far!)

So this is crazy! I'm officially past 500 miles for the year. I'm SO excited about it. So. SO. excited. I know that I'm late for the year and I'm past the  month mark, but I really feel like I can get to the mileage that I want to get to. (that being 1000 miles in one year. which lots of people have done for many years.)

Yesterday, I ran with Seth for the first time in the history of ever. We didn't take any pictures while running to post to the blog (oops), but it was fun! I was really nervous, because I haven't run with anybody besides my mom and Katherine. I am always pretty self conscious about my pace, especially when I'm running with someone that I know is faster than me. We worked really well together and I had a lot of fun! I'm really excited about it and next time, I won't have to be nervous about running with Seth! haha. (but I will definitely continue to be nervous about running with other people. beyond him. and Kath.)

We ran 8 miles, so we both felt pretty much like beasts afterwards. That's because we are beasts. But ya know.

Today, I was thinking about pushing my run off until tomorrow, because I didn't get much sleep and was beyond tired. However, my computer was acting up, so I went. I did 9 miles in a 14:50-ish pace, which I'm really proud of, because it was terribly hot outside. So yeah. That is really fun news! My legs are a little tired, but I mostly feel awesome right now.

I'm still terrified about Chicago, but I'm also feeling really awesome about how my training is going. My pace is a little awful all of the time, but I think that part of the problem is that I have been worn out and the heat in Central Florida is really tough to run in. What worries me the most is that I'm starting toward the end of Chicago so there is potential that it could be REALLY warm outside. That freaks me out, honestly. I know the midwest and I know that early October in the midwest could be nice or awful. We'll find out.

I'm SO excited to be at 500 miles. Yeeeah me!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 500.78 miles/229 days
To go: 499.22 miles/137 days

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

running in the rain.

I feel like time is going by so quickly and slowly at the same time. I'm so confused about what day of the week it is. All. Of. The. Time. So today was back to running after yesterday's rest day. I was slated for 4 miles-easy.

I decided that I was going to try to do my 4 miles at a 2/1 interval pace. I've never done intervals before and I'm running with Seth for the first time tomorrow and we're doing 2/1 intervals. I wanted to make sure that I can do it. It was going really well until the clouds started rolling in. I saw them and thought that I should continue running, because I wanted to get the mileage in. Then the thunder started. That's when I thought it was probably time to turn around. At the same time, if I went a quarter of a mile further, I knew I'd be able to get the four miles in. So I kept going.

By the time I finally turned around, there was zero reason for me to keep trying to do intervals. I killed it running home. I sprinted, took short walk breaks, and sprinted more. Serious speedwork, except it was mostly because I didn't want to get killed by lightning. At one point, there was lightning striking in front of me, behind me, and beside me.

Did I mention that my two biggest fears in the world are storms and seagulls? When I was in third grade, a tornado touched down nearby my school. I remember the power going out to the school and all of the students freaking out. We all prayed together (Catholic School), including our principal, Sr. Alice Marie. I have never been the same since. No joke. I hate storms. They make me nervous and afraid and I turn into a 9 year old again. Every time.

So I was running in the midst of (one of) my biggest fear(s). I prayed. And sprinted. I made it home in one piece, too. I was drenched in rain and felt gross and terrified. I completed my four miles, though. My pace was 12:20 minute miles. I'm amazed with myself. I was stuck in a 14-15 minute mile pace funk and now I'm out. I can do really awesome things.

I just have to face my fears.
Wow, that was cheesy!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 483.34 miles/227 days
To go: 516.66 miles/139 days

Sunday, August 12, 2012

...something to say about motivation.

I don't really have time to write. I have to leave for work in five minutes or so. Blah. (Did I tell you that I don't like working at night? Because I don't. It annoys me.)

Today Kath and I ran together. We did a little over eight and a half miles. It was really tough. For the first time outside of a race, I thought I was going to throw up. I've never felt sick during a training run before. I didn't even push myself too hard. I'm not sure what the problem was with my body. My breakfast was healthy and pretty light (a bagel with peanut butter and a slice of turkey ham). Ijust felt miserable. The. Whole. Time.

There's something to say for motivation though. I pulled it out in the end. I cut my average pace from 16 to 15:30 in the last three miles. (I'm really unhappy with that pace.) I'm glad I found the motivation to push past my barriers and move forward. I think that's pretty awesome.

I just wish I didn't have to dig so deep sometimes.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 479.34 miles/225 days
To go: 520.66 miles/141 days

Saturday, August 11, 2012

positives and negatives on long run day.

Long run day recap. Again.

Let's start with the positive things that happened during my run today... First, I ran the distance that I needed to. Though my toe is still swollen, it doesn't hurt at all when I'm running and only hurts some when I'm walking around. (I think that it mostly depends on what shoes that I am wearing. My work shoes are awful at squishing my toes. Ugh.) I'm ecstatic that I'm running again. I'm pleased that I only had to take a week off before I could run again. I'm glad that I did fourteen miles today. It takes a lot of mental strength to push it that hard and for that long. Yay for me.

I just wish that it was easier. I struggled a LOT today. My legs felt heavy and slow from the very beginning. I'm not sure how I ended up getting all of the miles in. I guess that I pushed it pretty hard, but my pace was way slower than I would have wanted it to be. ...frustrating. I KNOW that I can run faster and better than I ran today. I just don't know why I didn't do it today. I know that I should be pleased that I got the mileage that I needed, but I feel like my pace is pretty important, too.

I'm less than two months away from Chicago. I'm about three weeks from Disneyland. Then Tower of Terror 10 miler, then Chicago, then Wine & Dine, then the Jacksonville Distance Classic, then the Orlando Half, then Goofy (Dopey)! This is crazy. I just really want to make sure that my body is ready for all of this. I'm not sure that it is, because of tough runs like I had today. Frustrating...

I know that I can run the distance. I just want to get my pace to where I need it to be. I'm just feeling a little stuck right now, I guess. I don't know what the answer is... the magical motivation that I've been looking for.

I'm at a completely different sport than where I was last year at this time. My body is different and my training is so muh better. Frankly, I have no idea what my race pace might be. It has to be something better. I feel like I'm looking PRs in the face, I just don't know what they would be.

I'm also planning on adding personal training back into my regimen. I need it desperately. I can't find the motivation to strength train on my own. Another frustration...

Kath & I at 13 miles. Today was her furthest run in the history of her life!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 470.74 miles/224 days
To go: 529.26 miles/142 days

Thursday, August 9, 2012

3 cheers for being back to running.

I ran! (two days in a row!) I'm really excited about it.

I thought I was going to have to modify my distance in order to help work through the pain in my toe, but my toe really doesn't hurt at all when I run. I actually decided not to tape my toes today, because it seems like my foot is strained and I limp much more when I tape my toes together. The smushed toe is still swollen, but most of the bruising is gone now. I feel so much better. It's crazy how sad I was about my toe being injured. I thought I was going to have to lose a lot of my training in the next several days. Instead, I lost 3-4 days of training.  Yeah me!

So yesterday, I did four miles. It was the first run I'd done in a week and I felt great. It was awesome. I ran slowly, but I did what needed to be done. That's what really matters.

Today, I was scheduled 8 miles and I knew that I could do it. I did two miles, then Katherine came home from work and we finished out together. We had lots of good talks along the way. One fun thing about Katherine and I running together is that our pace has improved exponentially in the past few months. It used to be that we were pretty slow together and walked a lot. Now we can run much more quickly than we could before, so I'm excited about that. Lots of fun teamwork.

I'm exhausted, so that's all I have to say this time. ha. I'm just glad to be back!!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 456.66 miles/222 days
To go: 543.34 miles/144 days

Sunday, August 5, 2012

i have toe woes...

I guess I should write about... why I haven't been running.

On Thursday, at work, I was pushing drink carts out.. and one thing led to another and my toes got run over.. by a 300-400 pound cart full of drinks and ice.

Yup. My pinkie toe was smushed and is now purple-ish (actually the bruises aren't so bad now). I'm pretty sure it was broken in the incident, but knowing that there's nothing that can medically be done for a broken toe, I've buddy taped it to my ring-finger-toe (is that even a real thing?!) and refrained from running. Since Thursday.

I've been crabby, irritable, mean, and in bad spirits since. I'm worried about my marathon training and about all of my races coming up. I'm trying to pray my toe better. I've been lazy and stayed off it. It has been miserable. I've gone from running 5 times a week to laying around. ALL THE TIME. No joke.

So yes. Chicago training has stopped. For now. I'm going to start using my spin bike as much as I can and lifting weights. I've also looked into buying a good bike that I can use. (I can't afford that.) I've also thought very seriously about swimming. The only problem is that... swimming uses feet. Feet have toes. My toes hurt. So... I don't know about that.

...we'll see. I'm hoping that I'm exponentially better by.. tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

motivation means improvement

I had a really fantastic run today. I think that the new shoes really helped. A lot. They're super light and my feet felt light and like they weren't really doing anything. It was fantastic. I ran at about a 13:30 pace for the majority of my run (like... all but one mile), which is my racing pace, so I was (and am!) really excited about it.

I was supposed to do 8 miles today. I ended up doing nine. I felt good enough to do an extra lap around my apartment complex when I got home, so I did. I walked it so that it was more of a cool down, which is where my pace really slowed down a lot. That pushed me to almost nine miles. I figured that I might as well finish out the nine, since I was already almost there. So I did.

I ended up with just over nine miles and at a 14 minute pace. I know that, under many standards, that is extremely slow, but I'm pleased. Sometimes I don't feel like going running, I don't always feel like pushing myself, but I still do it. I do feel like that is an accomplishment. I pushed it out there today. I know that I could be faster and I know that my racing speed is at least a minute quicker than my training pace. I think that if I continue to hold onto it like this, continue to push through, I'm going to improve exponentially into a runner that I want to be. I've been really focused on improving that I haven't noticed the improvements that I've made. A few months ago, an eight mile run would have made me cry and I would have run it at a 15-something pace, just because I would have taken it easy.

I'm proud of who I am becoming. I do feel like running is shaping me.
(and I kinda like it.)

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 444.6 miles/214 days
To go: 555.4 miles/152 days

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New shoes, July recap, and week 7 of training (already?!)

This is going to be an exciting post! Lots to talk about, including a July recap!

Katherine and I went to Track Shack today to do some shoe shopping. My old shoes were just not working out for me anymore. As much as I love(d) them, my feet have started to ache after I run for the past few weeks, so I knew that it was time for new shoes. I also wanted to get them broken in before I start all of the (lots of!) races that I'll be doing in the next few months.

I decided to stick with the Nike Lunarglide. Since I'm in the middle of training for Chicago and I have so many big races coming up, I don't want to confuse my feet. I'd like to try different shoes, because I'm still fairly new to running and I'd like to really get a feel for different types of running shoes in order to find out what I really like and don't like. I think that this was a good decision for right now though.

Katherine decided to get new shoes too, because her feet have been bothering her. (and who doesn't love new running shoes? Let's be honest here!) I do like the bright green-ness of the Lunarglides though. They're really fun.  

After we left with our new shoes, socks, and box of energy gels, we headed to go on a run! Today called for an "easy" four miles. It was more like a "my legs hurt like hell from my long run on Sunday, but I'm going to tough it out and do the best that I can" four mile run. We went downtown to run around Lake Eola, which we have never done before. We've been talking about running there for... a long time. By "a long time", I  mean almost for the entire two years since we moved here. So exciting!  

(i kind of love that katherine's eyes are closed. haha.)

As much as it was really tough and my legs were still a little sore and achy, I had a fun time out there today. We did four laps around the lake. It was a gorgeous course and I'm glad that I changed it up. I've been spending way too much time running the same routes lately. How lame is that? It's fun to do something new every so often.

Yay! Okay, now for the most important thing...
July Recap!!!!!

I FINALLY had another 100 mile month! This is my first 100 mile-plus month since January. I feel more like a legitimate runner now.

By 100 mile month, I mean that in July, I ran......

145.66 miles...!!! Whaaaat?! Is this real life?

In August, I really want to add in weight training. I did a little yesterday, but it's time to do more and get strength added into my routine. I'm so excited about all of the work that I've put into this. I also plan to really get my nutrition on point. Eating is one of the most important parts of the journey... but it's something that I struggle with a LOT.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 435.58 miles/213 days
To go: 564.42 miles/153 days

Monday, July 30, 2012

Long Run Day and Retiring My Shoes (ending week six)

Today was long run day! My favorite day of the week (or not so much). The plan was to get up early so that I wouldn't have to run alone, but I ended up at work three hours late last night and didn't get home until after two in the morning. I knew I wouldn't be able to get up early for a run. Disappointing. So I had to run when it was already pretty hot out. ..On top of that, I ended up running alone.

I felt really awesome for the first mile. When I knew I was at the first mile marker, I was actually surprised with how little struggle I was going through. I felt like I could definitely finish out the last thirteen miles. haha. I actually didn't really struggle too much until I got about halfway through. I still had a really awesome pace until the tenth mile. After that, I really started to slow down. I actually almost slowed down one minute per mile. It was a little bit frustrating, but that's whatever.

At about mile ten, I started to feel like I was hitting the wall. I had run completely out of energy gels at that point and was just ready to give up. Actually, I REALLY wanted to give up. That only lasted for a mile or so and I was back on track. I felt really good ending the run, too.

I've never actually run 14 miles outside of a race before. Crazy.
It was good though.

In other news, today was the official last day of running with my current shoes. I'm getting some new ones on Tuesday before my four miler. I'm excited, but sad. These shoes have given me lots and lots of miles and many races in the past few months. It is also beyond time to get new shoes. My feet are a little achy.

So the shoes are going into retirement. I wish I knew what to do with old running shoes. I could donate them, but I feel kind of attached to them after all of this time. It's tough to let go. Haha. I sound ridiculous.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 431.41 miles/211 days
To go: 568.59 miles/155 days

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Training Week Six Day Four!

Today was a four miler. I took Katherine with me and we ended up doing almost four and a half miles.

I was feeling extremely tired the entire time, but I'm really glad that I got it done. It was hot and my body was just annoyed that I kept going when I just wanted to be lazy. I definitely haven't gotten that obese girl out of me yet. I still have MANY days when I feel like I'm still the girl who just wants to sit around all of the time. The difference is that I am able to push past it now and keep going. There's a sense of courage or something in me that can go further than I expect some days.

Tomorrow is a LONG run day and I'm a little nervous. Fourteen miles...

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 417.38 miles/210 days
To go: 582.62 miles/156 days

Friday, July 27, 2012

major mental breakthrough.

I don't really have time to write much today. I have to work tonight, but I'm a little excited about my run today.

It wasn't fast. It wasn't impressive. It wasn't anything even noteworthy, but I ran. I intended to run 4 miles today, as I wasn't feeling the six that I was supposed to do and planned to switch today's run and tomorrow's run. (Yeah yeah, I know. I feel like, as long as I still get the miles that I'm supposed to...) Anyways, at three miles, I was still feeling fantastic and I knew that I could do all six. So I did.

It's the small things that make me feel like I'm pushing it and that I'm doing really well in my running. My body can do more than I thought that it could a few years ago. This is a huge deal for me. I feel like I  might actually do as well as I want to do in Chicago.

I feel like today has been a major breakthrough and it is something that I will continue to look back on and think that I can push past the boundaries that I have set for myself. I may not be an extraordinary person, but I can do small things to get myself to be someone I want to be.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 412.91 miles/209 days
To go: 587.09 miles/157 days

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I hit 400 miles for the year! (finally) & starting Chicago Marathon training week 6

Yesterday was a crazy day, so I didn't do my normal Tuesday blog. I know, I know, sad right?! That's okay, though. I'll give everyone (all of my three faithful readers!) a quick update on my existence since long run day.

Yesterday was a 4 miler. I ran about two miles of it and walked and chatted with  my grandma on the phone for the other two miles. That's kind of like cheating, I guess. I just wasn't really feeling like being out there yesterday, so I'm glad that I went and did semi-okay. I killed it on the little over two miles that I did run, so that makes me feel a little bit better about it. It ended up being 4.25 miles at the end, so that was okay. I'm glad that I went.

(After I ran/walked, I had an appointment at school, then went to Seth and Andrea's birthday get together. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it felt like a busy day for a day off to me!)

Today was much less busy. I got up and didn't do a whole lot for the majority of the day. I went for a run after Katherine got off of work. We did seven miles today and it was ROUGH. I'm not really sure why it's been about two weeks since I have had a really good run, but it has gotten really frustrating. Maybe it's other things going on that is dampening my running. Even when I feel like I've had a decent pace and done well, I still have been frustrated with something about the run. I guess that's something that I really need to think about.

Anyways, the run today was really tough. We had to stop a few times to stretch out and it seemed like Katherine was struggling too. I felt like I could have cut a lot of time off and done a better job, but I didn't do it. I'm not sure what I need to change in order to have another really good training run. We ended up at a 14:50-ish pace, which, quite frankly, is really good for the both of us together. I do tend to walk and talk more when I'm with Katherine rather than run at a decent pace. I still feel like I could do a lot better. I'm just in a funk.

I do know that I need to start adding in some cross training and some serious weight training. I'm thinking about hitting the gym once or twice next week on my days off. I miss weight training and I'm tired of complaining about it and not making any changes. haha.

BUT in exciting news, I've finally hit 400 for the year! I do feel like my goal is reachable this year. Yay for me!

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 406.73 miles/207 days
To go: 593.27 miles/159 days

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Long Run Day! 13 miles + ending week 5!

Long run day is here again!
I worked a long shift yesterday (11ish hours) and then came home and crashed, knowing that I had 13(!!) miles to run today. I woke up early with an awful Charley Horse in my right leg, and stretched it out, hoping that I'd be able to run all of my mileage. I slept off and on after that for a few more hours and then finally got up to get the run done.

Let's preface this by announcing that today was the very first time that I ran 13 miles outside of a race. I've never done that kind of mileage before. Today was a breakthrough, in a sense, because I didn't know that I really could do it. There are still many MANY times when I question whether I really am a runner. I still feel like the obese girl who drank a case of 24 Mountain Dew cans in less than a week (more like a few days...). I worked at two different ice cream shops in college and ate fast food like nobody's business. That is who I still feel like I am most days. It's really not who I am now though. Yes, I still drink Mountain Dew (...freaking addictions). I still have fast food too often. My diet is a hot mess.

Anyways, back to the run.
I had two frozen waffles, an energy gel, and shared a banana with Katherine. Then we headed out the door. The plan was that we'd head out and go around the same route we did last week, then go back home to get more water before finishing the run. It actually worked really well for us. We ran really well for how hot it was in the beginning, then we ended up running in a thunderstorm toward the end.

The last four miles were intense though! I wasn't terribly exhausted, but we definitely got rained on like crazy. Thankfully, when we were home filling our water bottles, I changed into a long sleeve tech shirt, because I could tell that it was going to storm. It definitely did rain. Sideways. Like crazy. We got drenched. It was fun though. I really like that I've been able to do all of my long runs with Kath. It's nice that it doesn't have to be lonely during those long runs.

I've been thinking more and more about getting back into personal training after school starts again. It's an expense that can add up, but I feel like I need to get back into it. I miss it a LOT. My body definitely needs it a lot.

It's so crazy that I've finished week five of training for this race. I legitimately feel like I'm going to be in Chicago like... tomorrow. That terrifies me. 

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 395.36 miles/204 days
To go: 604.64 miles/162 days

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Training Day 24! (light day)

Today, my leg was feeling so much better! Exciting, right? I went running. haha.

Today was six miles. I did walk a lot more than I wanted to, BUT, I did it understanding that I needed to take it semi-easy on myself because of my hip pain yesterday.

I stretched last night before bed, this morning when I got up, and then before I went for my run. I really feel like that helped out a lot. I've also been taking ibuprofen in order to reduce any possible inflammation. (thanks to Katherine, whose dad is a pharmacist)

I ended up with a 14:40-something pace, which isn't awful. Granted, it isn't my best time and it isn't any sort of race goal pace, but it isn't an absolutely terrible pace, either. It was also really hot out. I'd say that I did okay, considering. My major fear was that I was going to be out of commission for a while, but that didn't really happen.

Tomorrow, I'm taking a rest day. Yay for me. I have a short 6 hour shift at work & then going to see Seth's Encore! performance. It's going to be fun times for sure.

(in other news, this morning I registered for the Wine & Dine half marathon in November. This year, I will have participated in all but TWO of Disney's races.. well race weekends. How intense am I?!)

I'm also thinking about my nutrition more now. I feel like I need to fuel my body properly and stop eating like a complete moron all of the time. It's something I'm going to start to research. I still have some pounds to lose, but that isn't the goal. I want my body to respond the way that it needs to respond to running. I've seen a lot of improvement in myself in the past year and I know that I want to continue along that path.

Goal: 1000 miles/366 days
So far: 382.24 miles/201 days
To go: 617.76 miles/165 days