Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Runniversary...

This Saturday was my 1 year runniversary with my friend Jill. Last year we ran our first 5k together (and thought we were dying in the process.) This year we ran the half marathon that was part of the same race. It fell in with our taper so it worked out good for us.  As you can tell from the above picture, we've changed a lot in a year.

It was a rather chilly morning to start. I may look a tad under dressed here but let me tell you, I did not regret this wardrobe decision once I started running. The temp was in the low 40's, it was rainy and windy. FANTASTIC weather for a run...... NOT! 

I put my game face on though (yes, that's my game face) and we celebrated this runniversary properly with a PR!   Let me start by saying that we did not go out to PR.  We were going to run a nice easy pace and throw in some faster miles to spice it up a bit but once we started running, we started out pretty fast and we stayed pretty fast. We had about a 10:12 average pace and we stayed pretty consistent the entire time. This was a hilly course and we powered through those hills like champs. We ran fast up the hills and took it easy on the down side.  When I looked down at my watch at mile 11 and saw that we were at 1:51 I knew we were on target to finish under 2:15.  THIS was highly motivating to keep going those last couple miles and to really push it coming in to the home stretch. When we were about a quarter mile away I started to cry. We were doing it!  We saw the clock and we sprinted for the finish line.  Jill and I ran into the finish hand in hand, even though there were no photographers there to catch it.  We finished together for the first time ever. My official time was 2:13:45, her's 2:13:44 (her winning streak continues) Side note to Jill....... You're going down some day.  Down I tell you!  
Anyways, I cried at the finish line, in between dry heaves, I sobbed. I PR'd by 8 minutes!  I'm fairly certain this record will stand for a while. 

 I ran this race for my brand new IRun4 running buddy, Emma!  I wore a yellow ribbon with her name on it to remind me of her while I was running. Emma has spina bifida so since she can not run, I will be her legs and I will run those miles for her! She kept me going strong when I felt like I wanted to quit.   October is Spina Bifida awareness month so stop over by to learn more about spina bifida and what you can do to help prevent it.

 After we were done with the race we stopped by one of my favorite burger joints, The Pint Room, to grab a celebratory drink and meal. It was a good day. Thanks for everyone's support through this journey. The BIG day is just 2 weeks away. I'm getting excited and nervous about the full marathon but I'm looking forward to the challenge!

P.S.   I am told that I need to make amends as my friend Jill feels she has been portrayed as a horrible person in my first blog post. Jill is a a wonderful, amazing, supportive, up for anything kind of friend.  She may kick my but about 90% of the time but she's there when it counts lol.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Bump In The Road...

This past week was a hard week. My middle child, Jackson come down with a stomach bug last Sunday and he couldn't shake it.  He ended up in the hospital on IV's and them doing tons of testing on him trying to figure out what was wrong.  There were some other things we need to still follow up on but I am hopeful that those will all work out in the end. We still don't know what it was he had but I can tell you that was the scariest thing I've ever been through as a parent. I always knew Jackson would be the one to do me in. 

 Jackson spend 4 days in the hospital trying to recover from this virus that he had. Needless to say we got little sleep. On Saturday I decided to go ahead and do my long run for the week. Since I am tapering now, it was only 14 miles. I didn't plan on doing the whole 14 since I was dehydrated, exhausted and hadn't eaten well in days. I figured the run would help clear my head and make me feel normal for a little bit. It did. I felt weightless for the first 10 miles. I felt blissful and peaceful until the week started to catch up to me.
 By mile 11 I was dragging and had to stop and walk some. I pushed through it though and ended up feeling more positive about things after that. I thought about my poor sick kid  laying in the hospital and with every step I was wishing him healthier. I know he didn't care that I was running for him but it helped push me further than I felt that I could go.
Running therapy is a wonderful thing. You may not always feel like running but once you start, you'll never regret going out for a run.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Miles and Miles and Miles....

 Soooooooooooooooooooooo....... It's been a while since I've wrote.  Let me explain.  I'M TRAINING FOR A FLIPPING MARATHON!!!!  My life has been insanely busy lately with all the running, fund raising, kids and school and did I mention running? It's been crazy. So let me play catch up.

I ran my  second official half marathon this August. I was so nervous before this as I had visions of reliving Cap City all over again. The whole week before I couldn't sleep and I was having nightmares over this race. It's in August, it's hot and it's 13.1 miles!
I had trouble deciding if I was just going to run a slow training pace or really push myself and try to PR. Thankfully it was a cool morning so I decided to go for it. I paced myself behind a couple for about 8 miles and  after they left me I was left to my own devices to finish. I felt AMAZING until mile 11 and then I got the goose bumps of doom and started to feel the energy drain happen.  I was able to maintain though and did not stop to walk. I crossed the finish line at 2 hours 22 minutes and 28 seconds. I blew my Cap City time out of the water!  I cried when I saw my official finish time and I road the high from that race for days.  It was so good to see all the hard work I've put in this summer come into fruition.

Fundraising has kept me quite busy lately. I offered up photo sessions for charity and that helped raise money pretty quickly but it also gave me a lot of extra work to do! It's worth it though. We also got a chance to go work on the house that we are raising money for! I can safely say that I should not count manual labor as one of my talents nor is looking good in a hard hat. I looked like Steve Erkel.
If you are interested in donating to me via an online donation you can click the link below.

So lets talk about the all the running. Below is a picture from my second ever 20 mile run. It was rough. It was so hot and at about mile 14 I started to fade fast. By mile 16 I was over it and I had taken to a run/walk just to finish.


The following week we did 18 miles and we mixed it up a little with some faster miles thrown in between the slow ones. It was nice to break up the monotony of  the long run and it made me feel pretty good knowing I could pull out a 10 minute pace after 15-16 miles. This run was a good one and I'd like to credit the large amount of cookies I ate the night before at a wedding for the awesome time. 

So that brings us to today. Today I ran the furthest distance to date. Let me start by saying I ate enough carbs to kill a person before this run but I have to say.... it worked. I did not hit a wall at any point. I felt strong and I ran faster than I had set out to, especially since it was a warmer day.  I had some good running buddies to get me through the miles and some awesome signs posted along the way from my running group to put a smile on my face.  Today made me feel like I can do this now. I felt like I could have ran it today. I only hope I feel this good on the actual day.

So we are all caught up. I will try to do better about posting. I have my 1  year runniversary coming up on October 3rd.  I am running a half marathon that day and last year it was my first 5k.  Here's to progress!
 P.S.  Please go donate to my charity!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Like Big Socks and I Can Not Lie!

Socks! Socks! Socks! Socks! Socks!  Everybody!

Ok, ok..... But Seriously.  As some may know, I'm an ambassador for a company called Crazy Compression. As an ambassador I get to do awesome things like GIVE AWAY A FREE PAIR OF AWESOME CRAZY COMPRESSION SOCKS!  Yep! Fun stuff.  So I thought it was high time I had my first giveaway.  The winner will get to pick a pair of Crazy Compression  compression socks or sleeves from their website. !

 Here's what you need to do:

1. Subscribe to my blog! Easy

2. Go to Crazy Compression's Facebook page and like them!

3. Comment that you have subscribed to aforementioned blog on this post.

***Extra credit for anyone who shares this blog on Facebook!***

I will be picking a winner next Tuesday the 18th around 9:00 PM.

Be Crazy... Be Cool!

Sunday, August 2, 2015


So recently I was reading a post on about famous people who have completed the 26.2 mile run and lived to tell about it.  As I was reading the article I saw that "Subway Jared" had ran a marthon in 5 hours 13 minutes 28 seconds.  Upon seeing this one thing became clear to me........ I MUST BEAT JARED!  So, there you have it.  My marathon goal is essentially 5:13:27  :-)

My new saying is now #BeatJared. I will use that to push me to my end goal. I will write it on my arm. I will say KEEP FRESH in my head over and over until I cross the finish line.... well, ok, probably not that but the point is, I have a goal to aim for. I have something ELSE to push me to keep going. I even wrote my new mantra on my wrist during my training run this weekend. (DON'T JUDGE ME!)

 In all honesty, I'll be happy just to finish the marathon in under the cut off time of 6 hours but, in the unlikely even that I do finish in under my goal time, you will see me straight up ugly cry. I feel like I have been training forever for this race, even though it's only been a matter of months. I keep picturing the finish line in my mind when I start to struggle on a run. I pretend I'm running in with energy left and I feel emotional and proud of what I've done.  In reality, it may not play out this way but I will try to keep positive, happy thoughts about the big day.

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.