Monday, June 25, 2012

1/2 Marathon Recap- Part 2

I decided to do my 1/2 marathon recap in three parts. You can read Part 1 on yesterday's blog
Truth be told- I'm feeling a little bit lost today. The race is over. I've accomplished my goal. There are no more squares on my calendar to fill in. I anticipated feeling this way, but that doesn't make the emptiness any easier. I have this huge training/goal oriented/running hole that I don't know how to fill. On to my recap....

The Race

We finally got up to the starting line. The announcers sounded the buzzer and we were off. The start of the race was a really gradual descent down a hill and around the corner to another up hill that was an easy, steady climb. I kept my sweatshirt on until I had finished the first mile and then ditched it on the side of the road. They have the Salvation Army come through and collect tossed aside clothing. It was tough to let go of my sweatshirt, but it was time for it to go. 

The first 3 miles were easy, peasy. My pace was around a 10:20 mile and I was booking. People had already started walking, but I was going strong. I got an awesome text from a friend telling me that she was going to meet me at the 3 mile mark, but that they missed me because I was so fast. Not only did that make me smile, but it also kept me going when things started to get hard.

I stopped around mile 4 or 5 to use the porta potty. That would be my only stop along the course. At mile 6 (I think...) we were coming up to this huge hill and I knew that my training was going to come in handy! I was able to get about 3/4 of the way up the hill before I had to walk. I got a little cocky because I was able to pass so many people. The downhill of that hill was crazy steep. I had to walk the whole thing for fear that I'd land flat on my face. After we got to the bottom of the hill, there were more water stations (I swear there were 8-10 of these things on the 1/2 marathon course). 

It get a little blurry from here. I love the point in a long run where it all starts to run together. I am no longer counting each quarter mile. I don't have to push for just one more mile. I am just there and I am just running. I refueled around mile 7 (Snickers bar to the rescue! I should have eaten more. Everything was happening so fast that I forgot to eat again.) We ran past a lake and were able to see the full marathoners coming up on their 18th mile. I watch in awe as they ran right past me. We ran up a huge hill where they had people holding giant American flags and there were pictures along the roadside of soldiers that were killed in action. We ran though  the I-90 tunnel. THROUGH A TUNNEL! That was crazy. I walked quite a bit of the tunnel. The air was so heavy and I struggled to stay focused with the noise from above. 

At some point my pace started to slow dramatically. I'm not sure where the time went, but around mile 10 my pace was up to nearly a 12 minute mile. I knew at that point I was not going to meet my time goal of 2 and a half hours. This 1/2 marathon was never about a time goal (of course I had one!) or even beating someone else; this was about me completing a 1/2 marathon. At mile 11, I realized that I was only 2 miles away from finishing. There was a part of me that didn't want to finish. I know that sound crazy, but it's how I felt. I didn't want it to be over so fast. All of my training. All of the runs. All of the "figuring out" of my running issues. It was all going to be over in less than half an hour.

I started to take everything the the sign...enjoy the moment. I ran a bit during the last 2 miles. I walked a lot. I *could* have ran more, but taking everything in was a greater priority to me than posting a great time. I ran past a marathoner who was on the side of the road with an IV in his arm. He was only 2 miles away from finishing and his body gave out. I gave thanks for my body and how far it has brought me. I gave thanks for my amazing family and friends that have supported me through this journey. I gave thanks that the rain held out. 

Before I knew it, I was at mile 13. Mile 13! The last .1 was down a hill and around the corner. As I rounded the corner and started up a tiny hill to the finish line, I was overtaken by emotion. Yep, I was that girl bawling her eyes out and she crossed the finish line. I couldn't stop crying. I had done it. I had run a 1/2 marathon in 2 hours and 49 minutes. See that? I ran faster than 3700 people! :) I was even faster than 400 other people my age! According to my Nike+ app I actually ran 13.67 miles with a pace of 12:22. I like those numbers better. 

Participant Detail
Finished In:

Tacoma, WA
Age: 36 | Gender: F
  • Overall: 10570 out of 14240
  • Division: 1218 out of 1634
  • Gender: 6567 out of 9568
  • 5 Km
  • 10 Km
  • 10 Mi
  • 36:24
  • 1:15:55
  • 2:05:55
  • Pace
  • Chip Time
  • Clock Time
  • 12:56
  • 02:49:25
  • 03:45:37

The race was over. I had crossed the finish line. 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

1/2 Marathon Recap: Part 1

How do your "recap" a race that was 12 weeks 3 years in the making? On June 19, 2009 at 356 pounds, I started losing weight. On June 23, 2012, I ran a half marathon. I, the girl that had to walk the mile run in high school, ran a half marathon. 

I've been staring at this blank screen and flashing cursor for a while. I start to tear up when I think about what I've accomplished. During the race, I watched the marathoners pass by and while I was very proud of them, I was completely content and proud of what I was about to accomplish. There are people that are born to run. Their bodies just seem to know what to do. They go fast. They move with ease. I am not that person. One of my favorite signs during the race read:

"Today you are all Kenyans"

Nope, not from Kenya, but I did give it my all. There is so much that I want to talk about: the people on the course, the signs I saw, the highs of the course, my amazing friend Julia who ran the full marathon and inspired me in more ways than she will ever know, not meeting my time goal and being totally OK with that, after the race, and what in the world am I suppose to do now....

Before the race

Julia and I had agreed to meet at her house at 4:30 AM to head up to Seattle. I HATE driving in Seattle and thankfully she was willing to drive. My alarm went off at 3:45. When my alarm went off, I check Facebook ( of course!) and saw lots of encouraging messages from the night before and even one from someone the East coast who had started C25K a few weeks ago. Those messages meant the world to me. I ate some oatmeal and a banana. The race wasn't starting until 7 and my corral wouldn't start until 7:50, so I knew that I had to eat something in preparation. We made good time up to Seattle, found parking in a very empty parking garage, and hopped on the Monorail. Seattle Center was a quick 5 minute trip away and then we were there. As soon as I stepped off the Monorail, I knew that this is where I was meant to be. I was suppose to run that race. It was all exciting and terrifying at the same time. 

It wasn't even 6 o'clock yet. We sat for a while and sized up the competition. Everyone was so tiny. I don't mean tiny like skinny, but tiny like small and toothpick looking. The doubts started to sneak in. Is this what "real" runners look like? Where are all of the "bigger" runners? Julia helped me put the tracker on my shoe. I didn't want to mess it up and thankfully she knew what she was doing. Next we headed to the gear check. (That sounds so official!). After dropping off my bag, we decided to look for the starting line. We found the starting line and the row of Port-a-Pottys. Next we decided to look at the 1st corral and the elite runners. We only got as far as the 3rd corral and then turned around. Holy smokes! All I saw were men and they were definitely men that were born to run. 

We started the long walk back to our corrals. Julia was in 30 and I was in 33. We got to 30, found a spot to sit and waited for another 20 minutes. There wasn't a lot of conversation. I think that we were both too busy taking it all in to visit much. When the first gun sounded, we hugged and headed to our areas. Looking back, I wish that I would have just stayed with Julia because it would be another 49 minutes before my corral would be released. I didn't know a soul in my corral and felt like the only person there that wasn't running *with* someone (besides the other 25,999 people that were running!). The next 49 minutes was spent people watching. The guy and his wife that were arguing about everything you can imagine. The girl wearing her veil that was getting married the next day. The rather large gentleman that was running with no shirt, belly hanging over his belt and a giant orange wig (he beat me to the finish line!!!). The man two groups ahead that was juggling 4 balls and continued to juggle them throughout the 1/2. The people late for the race and trying to run to catch up with their group. There was so much to see. 

Finally, the start line is in front of me. I had no doubts that I could do this. I had trained. I was ready. The race began....


Friday, June 22, 2012

192 miles

In the past 3 months I have run 192 miles to prepare to run 13 miles tomorrow and have spent 36 hours and 47 minutes running to run for about 2 and a half hours. 

I am prepared.

My amazing friend Julia and I went to the Rock and Roll Expo last night to pick up our race bibs. It was so cool to see all the vendors, taste all the yummy samples, and be around so much running energy. One thing that really stuck out to me was how skinny, fit, young, and skinny all the other runners looked. More than once the thought raced through my mind that I was too big to be doing this, but then I remembered that

I am prepared.

One of the booths that we went to was for the pace runners. Before yesterday I had no idea what a pace runner was. There are people who actively choose to run a consistent pace during the race to help you finish in your goal time. Someone is going to be out there who will be running just right to meet my goal of 2 hours and 30 minutes. If everything works together, I should be able to meet this goal. I'll just squeak in, but I can do it. To be honest, I haven't thought about my pace a lot during training. For me, it has really been about finishing. There were a few runs where I was starting to get faster, but then I irritated my tendon and that dropped away. I'm going to keep my eye on that pace runner, but not worry about trying to match her exactly.  I know what I need to do to meet my 2:30 goal. 

I am prepared.

Running this 1/2 marathon has become so much more about the mental toughness and commitment to get out there day after day, follow my training program, and trust my body to perform as I think it should. I am excited, anxious, terrified, and ready to run. I've done the work and now it's time to reap my reward.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mommy, can you fix my tummy?

The alarm just went off for my last mid-week training run and my daughter comes in the bedroom, "Mommy, can you fix my tummy?". Ugh! My mind races....
~ Bug was sent home earlier in the week for puking.
~ This is going to mess up her perfect attendance.
~ What about the retirement party tonight.
~ I need to go run 3 miles.
~ Puke is gross.

I gave her some Sprite and put her back in bed. Before I could get on my running shoes and try out my new MEDIUM size pants, the puking started. It's not a lot, but in this teacher's world, any puking means no school. I hold her hair while she pukes. She starts to cry because....
~ This will mess up her perfect attendance.
~ She'll never know how the Boxcar Children: Case of the Missing Painting ends cause they are suppose to finish it today.
~ There is a talent show meeting that she hassss to go to.
~ Puking is gross.

I get on the computer and e-mail the talent show teacher to say that she still wants to be in the show but will miss the meeting, check and am relieved to see that our local library has the book she wants to hear the ending of (I'll pick it up after school), and come up with the idea to print her an amazing *Almost* perfect attendance award. 

ALL of this before my first cup of coffee. Life is busy. Sometimes things don't go as planned. I will fit in my run by flexing my "lunch" to the end of the day and running before I come home and hubby has to go to work. I'll miss the party. Life goes on. There will be so many people, I doubt that I'd be noticed. What, what if, I get sick on the day of my 1/2? Can't think about that right now. The good news is that Bug's only lasted a day, so hopefully Babycakes will be back at school tomorrow (it is Field Day after all). 

I'm so thankful that I get to be a mom and take care of my babies. I am also thankful that I am in a place with my weight loss/maintenance where I no longer feel like the day is "ruined" just because I can't run as planned. Life happens. I exercise and eat healthy so that life can continue to happen. :)

Gotta go clean out the puke bucket. 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training- Week 10 recap

Week 10. Week 10?!?!! I can't believe that I am only 2 weeks away from my first 1/2 marathon. 

Tues, Wed, Thur: 3-5-3. My Thur run was in the pouring-down-cats-and-dogs-so-wet-you-can't-see-a-thing rain. I got home and my thighs were numb. I was SO WET and SO proud of myself. Who goes out in the pouring down rain just to get in a 3 mile run? This girl does! A runner does! Training for this 1/2 marathon has been so much more about the commitment and mental toughness required to get in my training runs, then it has about the actual miles I log. 

Sat: 11 miles! My pace was spot on (11:24) and I felt pretty solid the entire run. The last 1/2 a mile was tough and I am going to need some additional fuel for my 12 miler next weekend. Today I have been experiencing some numbness in my big toe on the foot that I have been wearing the brace on. I'm not really sure what to make of it being numb. Maybe my brace was too tight? Maybe my laces were too snug? Hmmm.... I did get some super comfy "sport" socks at Target. They say that they have wicking, additional heel support, and reinforced everything. They were super comfy and I look forward to wearing them again. :)
My other ankle is starting to feel like the one with the brace. Hopefully I won't have to get another brace. At the rate I am going this old body of mine will be help together with bubble gum when I approach the starting line.

Sun: An easy 30 minutes on the cardio machines at the gym, followed by a soak in the hot tub. 

I can't believe that this is my last full week of training. 3-5-3-12-cross is my plan for the week and then I taper the following week 3-2-2 rest days-13.1. I'm gonna make it. I can see my finish line!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Let me tell you about my amazing little girl.....

Last year she was in Kindergarten and came home from school declaring that in 1st grade she was going to be in the Talent Show as a jump roper. She had never, never, never jumped rope before. I wish that I could tell you that I encouraged her and supported her right away, but that's not quite what happened. She was focused on a goal and I was focused on not letting her feel failure. 

Over the past year, she has jumped roped nearly every single day and would remind me, "In 1st grade I am going to jump rope in the talent show". I'd respond with..."Honey, you have to be really good to be in the show" or "Sugar Plum, not everyone gets picked" or "Baby cakes, jumping rope is really hard". 

Talent show tryouts were this week. She has been jumping A LOT lately and over the past few months has gotten pretty good. She can jump fast, on one foot, backwards, and even do this thing that looks like a rodeo clown trick. We allowed her to try out, but I cautioned her that she might not make it, but that I was proud of her for trying out. (Another bad mommy move) She tried out and she made it! She was so brave to get up there and jump rope in front of the judges (her teachers) and she will be in the talent show next week as a 1st grade jump roper. 

Why didn't I encourage her early on? I think it's because I didn't want her to fail. I didn't want her to be embarrassed in front of her friends. I didn't want her to be disappointed. I want her to feel amazing, secure, supported; life doesn't always work that way. There are times (like my 5 miles today) where things are hard, but you still have to do them. There will be math problems that she doesn't understand. She needs to fail to learn how amazing success feels. 

I could not be prouder of her. She's got what it takes to be amazing in life! She sets goals and follows through. I've been thinking about her on my runs this week. My runs don't always go as planned, but I have a goal in sight and I am going to practice, practice, and practice until I meet my goal. She has determination. Learning to jump rope wasn't easy, but she did it! Congratulations, Baby girl!


Monday, June 4, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training- Week 9 Recap

This week I......wait for it....ran. Yep, that's what I do. I run. And I run. When that gets boring, I run some more. It was a recovery week, so I "only" ran 6 miles on my long run. It's pretty amazing to think that 6 weeks ago that was my long run.

Searching for when I first did 6 miles, I discovered this post from November 2010. I had decided to do a 1/2 marathon over the course of a week. I was still on the treadmill. I was excited because I had just broken a 12 minute mile! I remember how hard that week was. Seeing that my pace is only a minute faster than it was almost a year and a half ago is a bit discouraging. I have to wonder what pace I could keep on a treadmill today. Surely your pace slows when you are outside, combating weather conditions and cracks in the street. Plus there is the whole rotating wheel factor. The ground doesn't move when I am running on the sidewalk.

I have 2 more long runs (miles 11 and 12) and then the big race. It is approaching quickly and I am terrified! I know that I can do it, but I want to do it well. When I first signed up for the race, I gave an estimated completion time of 2.5 hours. According to this time calculator my current pace (between 11 and 12, so I picked 11:30), I will complete the race in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 29 seconds. Hopefully race day excitement will kick in and I can gain a little wiggle room.

Had a great cross training day with the kids in tow yesterday. I want to tell you all about it, but I gotta jet to work. Maybe tomorrow??? Let's just say that it involved jumping jacks in the middle of the road and retracing our route to find the keys........


About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.