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