Monday, July 13, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


Summer running...... I had envisioned battling heat, humidity and debilitating dehydration but so far that has only been a small part of my summer training. The most interesting part of my summer marathon training is learning to run long distances in the rain. Apparently mother nature has decided to bestow us with a multitude of  H2O this summer and I've had to learn to love it. 




This is where it began. It was supposed to be a "fun" 5k with the kids but OH NO! No, no, no, no, no....   It was miserable.  So miserable that they cut the race down from 3.1 miles to more like 2.5!  I was shocked when I crossed the finish line in under 30 minutes  while pushing a double stroller but when I looked at my watch I saw the distance was no where near 3.1. Ah well.  The quicker that run was over with the better. The kids were miserable and wet and so were we!


This is where it continued.  We went to WV for the 4th of July and for my oldest son's 9th birthday party. We had a 12 mile training run scheduled for this weekend. Let me preface by saying I was not looking forward to this run in the first place, simply because it was in WV. There happens to be a lot of hills in WV!   We woke up early that Saturday to get our run over with early but mother nature said "Nay! Nay! My friends!" It was an absolute down pour. My husband and I drove around trying to wait it out, hoping that it would slow down enough for us to run without water boarding ourselves but we ended up giving up and going back home.  


Even the ducks were trying to escape from the rain.  That or Barry..... 

 We waited around until 10 am and finally the rain decided to let up......for 30 minutes. We were not even a mile in to our run when it started pouring the rain down on us again.  We were soaked within minutes and we looked at each other and decided to just go with it. We were wet, we needed to run so lets just get this over with.  My shoes were squishing by mile 2  and I had 10-11 more miles to go. There was one other crazy out in this madness  besides ourselves and I thought he was stark raving mad! He put his hands in the air and said to me "this feels amazing!!!!"  and all I could think is "NO! You know what would feel amazing!??!?  Dry Shoes!"  

After accepting my fate and deciding that this was just going to be a nasty, rainy run, I actually started to enjoy it. The sound of the rain was relaxing and it's kind of hard to get really hot when you have mother nature giving you a cold shower. In the end I ran 13.1 miles in the park that day. That was my longest run since the Capital City Half in May and I finished about 10 minutes faster, which I find hilarious. (That tells you what kind of day I was having that lovely day in May)

Above is a picture at mile 12. I was done here but I managed to get a second wind and sprint in after this. It helped that it was also down hill :-)  I almost wanted to cry. I never imaged I would run that far in that park. Back in the winter it killed me to do 5 miles there and now I have ran 13!

The following weekend, this past weekend, was also another wet one! I woke up to a deluge of water running down the windows yet again.  I managed to run 9 miles though, on another hilly course and did so with a fairly good pace. I am starting to believe that I may be training for a marathon in the rain forest. I'm slowly conditioning my feet to resist succumbing to trench foot. I'll take a rainy run over 80 degrees and humid any day!
The rest of the week looks like a good chance of rain as well so I might as well suck it up, learn to run without my phone and learn to love the feeling of wet pants.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Life's A Beach...


Ahhhh vacation. Breaker of diets and exercise routines. In the past I have let vacation break me EVERY YEAR. I may be doing good on whatever fitness or diet regimen I was doing at the time but when vacation came around I would consume more junk food in a week than one could think humanly possible.  I was determined for that not to happen this year.
When we were looking for hotels to stay in on our trip down, I wanted to make sure they had a treadmill so I could get my long run in before we hit the road again for another 5 hours. I woke up early Saturday morning and was the first one down to the fitness center so I snagged the treadmill for 6 very long and painful treadmill miles. (Treadmill miles are far more difficult than road miles in my opinion.)  I was lucky enough to get to spend time with my oldest while I got through that painful run. We watched Spongebob Square Pants on the TV while I ran and he tried out the stationary bike and elliptical.
Day 1 was a success!  



The next morning I woke up at 5:30 AM to get out and try my first run in the sand. I started off strong with a 10 min pace but I quickly discovered that running in the sand is not quite the same as running on the pavement.  I managed to squeeze out 4 painful miles before I decided to call it a day. Slipping my feet into the cool ocean water after that run was an amazing feeling. 

+



 The next day I decided to explore the other direction of the island. I ran to the very end and circled around to the sound side of the beach. It was a peaceful 6 mile run and I decided to set down and enjoy the view before heading back to a house full of sweet, darling, little cherub faced angels waiting for me when I got back ;-) It was vacation after all!

^^^Reward for getting up at 5 AM to run ^^^




Diet wise I did pretty good  until about half way through the week. There were chocolate chip cookies involved, that's all I can say.  They are my down fall and the bane of my existence. That and Nutella. Nutella is heaven as well.  Anyways, I'm getting distracted here!  The diet was decent until the cookies.   I did go run 4 miles to offset the damage I may have done but  things declined after that. There were s'mores and bacon involved. Aside from those momentary lapses in judgement, I did ok. I could have done better but I think I squeaked by with minimal damage to my waste line. I know that I won't be going back to eating that way because I don't like how I feel after eating things I shouldn't.


My last run for the week was on Friday. I woke up before 5 AM so I could fuel up for my long run. I was only going to do 7-8 miles that day but once I got out there, I felt so good so I kept going. I left the music off and it was just me running to the sounds of the ocean, my feet hitting the sand and my water bottle swishing away in my hand. That water bottle actually provided a nice little cadence for me to run to! I talk to myself a lot more when there's no music involved.  Mentally.. not out loud! That would be weird.  Running with no music can give you some nice time to think about anything that may be on your mind or time to meditate and relax. Let all your stresses go and just focus on your breathing and cadence of your feet hitting the ground.  I ended up running 10 miles on Friday and could have probably done more but I got hungry and decided to call it quits at 10.  I'm going to credit this awesome run to all the carby goodness that I had ingested over the 2 days prior.  I went slow but I enjoyed this run the most. It was peaceful and relaxing.



Overall I think the week was not a complete wash. I did manage to maintain most of my healthy eating with only a few cheats.  The running was a major success. I am proud that I didn't turn into a complete sloth during vacation.  I managed to log 26 miles in that weeks vacation.  I honestly just liked getting out and seeing the area around me. The views in the morning were amazing and I was one of the only people around to see it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Started.

 This is me and this is where I came from. I was over 205 lbs when I decided that I did  not want to look this way any more. I started running because after 3 kids I wanted to get my body back. My husband ran his first half marathon in May of 2014 and I was absolutely amazed that anyone could run that far! He was our hero and that's when I decided "I want to do that!"
The getting started was not easy. My husband bought me my first pair of running shoes  and all new workout gear for mothers day to help support me getting started on this journey I had decided to take. When I got home and tried on that running gear, I refused to come out of the bathroom. I was a fat girl in tight clothes and I wanted no one to see me in that stuff! I marched my butt upstairs and found a baggy pair of shorts and a baggy t-shirt and in tears went out for my first run. It was not easy because every pound of fat I could feel jarring through my legs and feet as they made contact with the pavement. I did not make it far as you could imagine. I would pick a point within my view and run to it. This continued on for a couple of months until I decided to sign up for my first 5k to really give myself an obtainable goal. I talked my friend, Jill, into signing up with me and this is when our training really started to kick into gear. I remember the first time I ran a full mile without stopping I felt like a super star! A whole mile! I continued to push further until that mile turned into 2 and finally 3.  I ran my first ever 5k in 42:08 with a pace of 13:01/mi.   I went out hard at the beginning and ended up having to walk some which infuriated me. I wanted to run the whole thing!

 This picture is me with my friend Jill at our first race.  We did it! We may have thought we were going to die at first but we got through and we finished it and immediately went home to sign up for more races. We kept pushing our distance further and further and gradually my weight started to drop off too. Below is a picture of our first 4 mile race.


After we had a few 5k's under our belt we decided to sign up for the Capital City Half Marathon in May of 2015. We thought about doing the 10k but after a little debate decided to go for broke.  This is the same race that my husband ran the year before that had inspired me to get started in the first place.  After I initially signed up I had that "holy crap!" moment where I thought "what have I just gotten myself into?!?" but that quickly subsided and my mind started to wonder onto even BIGGER things.  
I wouldn't let myself even think the whole thought out in my head for about a month but the thought was there none the less. Could I? Should I? Is it dumb for as little time as I have been running?  Can I run a marathon???  26.2 miles................... That's insane! Right?    But the thought wouldn't leave me. I kept thinking about it and finally I let myself say the words out loud.  It was just to myself because I didn't want anyone to laugh at me but I said "I am going to run the Columbus Marathon in 2015."   There!  It was out in the open now. I had said it.  Now... to recruit someone to go through the pain of training with me.  JILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I texted her a few days later and broke it to her gently that unfortunately, whether she wanted to or not, she would be running the marathon in the fall. She eventually caved and agreed to do it with me. At this point my husband decided to sign up as well. Yay! I had a support group now!
 After I made the commitment to myself I decided to look for some real training since I figure I'm gonna need some help getting to this goal. I looked around and found one of my local running stores had a free training program. WINNER!  I decided to go for the marathon training program just because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I showed up for my first group run at The Columbus Running Company in January and I put it down in writing what I was going to do this year. This pic below was my first CRC group run and it was -5 degrees out.  I did 5 miles that day and felt like a champ. 

This piece of paper is still hanging on my fridge. It reminds me of how far I've come and where I still have to go.

I went through the CRC training program like a champ. I mean we have good days and bad days of course but over all I discovered that 1) I am a cold weather runner. 2) I fall a lot 3) Trying to chew sports beans in the winter is not ideal.  I ran up to 20 miles in my training program. That 20 mile run was glorious. I felt great. I took my time and I enjoyed exploring the area on my own 2 feet. 

The picture above is me running my 4th 5k. I had a finish time of 26 minutes! Bam! Talk about improvement! It's amazing what losing weight and persistence will do for you!


So lets talk about the Cap City half.  It sucked. I sucked....  I was probably a LITTLE bit cocky going into it knowing that I had ran this distance at least 5 times in training runs. I thought I had it in the bag but boy was I wrong.  The temps were probably in the 60's that day and it was humid and I felt like I was melting. I know... it's sad. 60 degrees and I feel like I'm going to have a heat stroke.  I felt good until I hit mile 6 and I started to get goose bumps and a feeling of all the energy being drained from my body. I lost my running partner, Jill and after I lost sight of her I had mentally given up. Thankfully about that time my running coach from CRC, Eric, saw me and ran with for 2 miles which got me through to mile 8. I had never been so happy to see a familiar face and I was so grateful for him to take the time to push me and coach me along my slump.  I wish I could say that the slump ended at mile 8 but it didn't.  Like I said, I had mentally given up a that point.  After quite a bit of walking and a last minute surge to the finish line I finished my first half marathon in 2:42 and I wanted to cry. I was so frustrated at myself for days after this event but I decided to learn from it and not to let it get me down. I learned that I needed to run more hills, train myself better mentally and to relax when running.   These are all things I'm still working on.  Below are two pictures. Me with my husband, Barry, with our finisher bling and then the second is of me crossing the finish line. That smile on my face is pure relief that that race was over with.  

That brings us to present.  I'm almost a month out from my first half marathon and I have begin with a new training schedule for my full marathon in October. I hope to share some of my journey here and maybe someone can learn from some of the stupid stuff that I am bound to do :-) I am still training with the Columbus Running Company but through their charity group now called Love2Reach. I love running with this group. Everyone is so supportive and they have so much advice and knowledge to share. If there is one thing I can say that I've found most helpful is finding a support system that can help you get through the tough times. Whether its a husband, friend or running group or all 3! Find someone you can go to with your questions or you can share your pain and joy with.
Well that is enough for now. I have written a novel but this is me and this is how it all started.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reflecting...

I think anyone who is a parent, grandparent, brother or sister is grieving  today over the tragedy that happened on December 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As a parent you automatically think that could have been my child. A life so full of energy and promise snuffed out too soon. 20 Children that will not go on to experience first loves, college or have kids of their own.
Last night I came home from an emotionally exhausting day and I got hug my children. I got to hold them tight and be thankful for everything they are.  The tantrums and petty things we normally would argue over seemed so unimportant in the wake of such events. Yesterday was a cruel reminder that everyday could be our last.We need to live it to the fullest, be thankful for the blessings we do have and pray to over come what we do not.




Say a prayer for those families who lost someone yesterday. May God ease their pain in some way during this difficult time in their lives. Take a moment to thank God for the ones that you do have in your life and make sure they know how much you love them. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

I wanted to do something really fun with this year with our family Christmas Card picture.  I had a couple of ideas I tossed around in my head but this one is the one that stuck. I was driving into work one day and thought, how awesome would it be if I could pull of A Christmas Story picture.  After the idea came to me I was on a mission to put together our "scene" so to speak.  I got most of the clothing either on Ebay or on Amazon for a decent price.  Gabe's bunny costume was probably the most expensive thing I purchased and then there is the official Red Rider BB gun as well.  I made the leg lamp for about $35 by using a mannequin leg I found on Amazon, a cheap pair of fishnets from Halloween, a $10 lamp shade I got at Walmart and glued some fringe to.  It may not light up but it works for what I needed. 
The kids really got into it and my 6 year old, always the ham, took very little coaxing to get into the pink bunny costume.  I may have had to promise a batch of cookies to get him to hold still long enough to get his picture though. 
Overall I'm happy with how they turned out and I'm sure we'll bring more than a few laughs to our friends and family this holiday season.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012