Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monster Dash Half Marathon Recap

Saturday, October 26th, will easily be a day I remember for a long time. It was a day that I completed a huge goal, reached a dream, proved something to myself ... I ran my first half marathon. That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but for someone who went from 0.0 to 13.1 in five months, it's a big deal.

My excitement began the day before during packet pickup. Lisa, one of my best friends, was running the 5k race so we went together to get our race packets. 

I checked my chip for accuracy, checked out the booths and we stood in line to exchange our hoodie for the super cute zip ups they were offering that day - love the swag (see the pictures below)! After, it was back home to try and rest the remainder of the day, eat some food, pack up my stuff, and visit with my parents who came in that night as my amazing support system.

On race day, my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. Early, yes, but honestly I was awake before it went off. I slept okay that night, but woke up often with thoughts about the race/ what could wrong, including right before the alarm went off. I easily got out of bed, ready for coffee and to start getting ready for the big day. As I tiptoed around my parents, I knew they would wake up the moment I started the coffee maker. Or when Mercedes came down and jumped on them! But I knew I needed my pre-race routine - I get up early enough to have some coffee, make breakfast, get dressed and just let my body wake up and do it's thing prior to leaving the house.

I checked the weather as normal - temp was hovering around 32 degrees with winds around 15 to 25 mph. Not ideal, but at least no snow or rain. I would survive the cold. Or at least I was hopeful I would!

The drive to St. Paul was pretty uneventful, thank goodness. I was quiet, thinking of what I was about to do. Trying to remain confident that I could do it; thinking back on all the training I've done, the miles I've logged. We arrived in plenty of time, waited to get in the parking ramp, and made the long walk to the race start - the Cathedral in St. Paul. Lisa took off to her race start and I waited in line for the bathroom talking with some other racers including another racer about ready to do her very first half marathon. We both felt the same way - nervous, excited and cold!!

My parents and I made our way to the start corrals. It was at this time that the cold and wind overtook me. I could not stop shivering. No matter what, I could not feel warm. We took some pictures and my dad was sweet enough to wrap his jacket around me, but still, I kept shivering. Dang Minnesota weather! 

As they announced to start getting into the start corrals, I lined up right in front of the 9:30 pacer - my goal was to try and keep a 9:20 average pace. I was sad to give my dad his jacket back, but I hoped the huge crowd of over 5,800 racers would help me feel warm. Not so much. It also didn't help that they delayed the start about 15 minutes or so due to backed up traffic. Every part of me was just getting colder! Finally, they announced it was race time! I felt the excitement hit. As we started moving toward the start line, I just kept thinking "you got this, you're going to make yourself and your parents proud." We hit the start line, and off we went!

The first few miles went well. It took until about mile three for my toes to thaw out! Around mile five my hands were warm enough to throw my gloves off. The wind was still chilly and I was thankful my shirt had thumbholes so I could wrap my hands up when running into the wind. 

My biggest issue other than the cold? The other racers. I have never raced in such a big race before and mentally I needed to shift my focus. I found myself being so caught up in passing others, or worrying about being passed. I needed to figure out how to shut my thoughts up about the other racers and only focus on me, my racing, my breathing, my stride. Honestly, I struggled quite a bit until I figured this out; trying not to let others pass me. But in the end, I wasn't doing this to beat them, I was doing this for me, to prove to myself that I can. To overcome that voice inside my head that was telling me to quit.

My toughest miles were miles 7 through 10. I'm not sure why, exactly. I think part of it was taking a slight turn and starting to run directly into that cold, hard wind. My lungs felt like they were on fire. I walked through the water stop at mile 8.5 just as I had planned to take my GU fuel and have some water. At the other water stops, I had taken small sips as I kept going. But I needed this short walk; I needed the fuel.

Right before mile 10, the 10 mile racers diverged off to their finish line and us hard core half marathoners kept going for the final 3.1 miles. I was warned that this would be the toughest part of the race. You would want to give up, and some hills were on the way. I somehow kept pushing through even though I felt at times I was going to be sick. The 9:30 pacer passed me on the hill, and I thought I was going to cry. At that moment, I felt like I was failing. I knew at that point I wasn't going to hit the 2 hour goal I dreamed of; I was a disappointment. Tears sprung into my eyes and my pace slowed down even more. At some point, I pulled my phone off my arm and switched my music to the Christian contemporary station on Pandora. I tried talking with God, asking Him to get me through this; I needed Him to help me run with my heart. By mile 11.5, I felt much calmer and just ran at what I could.

As we got closer to the finish line, I could hear the crowd cheering and yelling. There were so many people. I just kept pushing forward on my tired legs; legs that wanted to give out, an ankle that wanted to quit. But through the pain, I pushed on. I heard my name and saw my friend Lisa right before the finish line. Right at that point, I felt awful, but seeing her gave me that extra wind I needed - so thanks Lisa; I'm not sure if you know that, but seeing you right at that moment helped me so much! 

Crossing that finish line was so amazing. Somehow it all comes together and you no longer feel sick or hurt, you just feel elated and euphoric. I heard my parents cheering and ran to give my mom a hug. I thought I was going to cry as the gravity of what I had just accomplished hit me. I was a half marathon finisher. I did it. 

After collecting my medal and food, I found my amazing support team and just felt happy. More than happy - accomplished, proud and relaxed. Of course, I also felt cold again as my body heat started to regulate and the shivering began again! We didn't stick around the race area much; just took some pictures and headed toward the car. I'm pretty sure the big smile never left my face.

Lisa and me - Lisa ran the 5k in costume!

My medal

The rest of my day was spent trying to warm up from the frigid cold and resting my sore muscles. We ordered a pizza for lunch before my parents left to go back home and I have to say pizza never tasted so delicious! I sat in my compression socks, foam rolled a bit and took Mercedes for a walk before I collapsed on the couch for the night. I was in bed a little after 9 p.m.! Big partier, aren't I?!

The swag - this zip up will get LOTS of use; it's great!

Here are my final thoughts on my first half marathon.... It definitely wasn't easy, but it was 100% worth it. I finally felt like I had found a place where I belonged. That runner high? Yes, it definitely hit me after the race. I finally felt as if I was born a runner; it just took me awhile to figure it out. I am meant to do this .... to be a runner, to run races. This is my passion; something I am meant to do. I can't wait until the next half marathon (and all the other races I need to find)!

I'm sure some of you are interested in my stats so here they are. I had three goals - Goal A was two hours, Goal B was 2:10 and Goal C was 2:20. I finished in 2:07 although the clock did say 2:04 when I crossed. I'm not arguing though and I am perfectly happy with finishing in 2:07! 

Until next time~

Monday, October 28, 2013

MIMM: My First Half Marathon

I've started to notice many blogs I follow post a "Marvelous in my Monday" blog and I thought it seemed like a fun link up to join!

So what's so marvelous in my life right now? Well, of course it's finishing my first half marathon this past Saturday! I ran the Monster Dash in St. Paul ....

My mom is totally photo-bombing! Love it!!

It was super cold and windy, and waiting for the race to start I could not stop shivering. Luckily the best supporters in the world (my parents!) were there and my dad wrapped his coat around me to keep me (kind of) warm. As I got in the start corral, the nerves got to me. Luckily when the gun went off and we walked up to the start line I got past them! The super cold feeling finally went away around mile three when I could feel my toes again! 

I plan on writing a full recap later this week after I process it all, but here's what I have to say about it now. As I was running, it took me a long time to acknowledge that I wasn't racing the other runners, I was doing it just for myself; I'm only in competition with me. Once I realized that, I had a great run.

I might not have finished in my Goal A time (2 hours was that goal), but I did finish under my Goal B time (2:10). Read about those goals hereRight now, my official time is 2:07. I'm not sure if that's correct. My Runtastic app says I did 13.48 miles in 2:07 and I swear the clock said 2:04 when I crossed. I did receive an email that said there were some errors with the timing chips so we'll see if my official time changes at all. No matter what, I'm happy and proud of my time!

How could my first half marathon not be marvelous???
Crossing that finishing line was a marvelous feeling....
Hugging my mom and dad after and feeling so proud was marvelous.... 
Putting on a medal for finishing a half marathon was definitely a marvelous feeling!!

I can't wait until I can run my next one!

Until next time~ 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Things - Running Edition

Running has taken over my life and also this blog as of late. After my big, first half marathon tomorrow, I will write about other things, but for this Friday Things post I decided to devote it to my favorite running items as of late; things I'm coveting. I figure with my birthday and Christmas right around the corner, this list might help some people out (hint, hint Mom and Dad!). 

Runner's World magazine. I've purchased this magazine for the past two months and read it cover-to-cover. I enjoy it so much and find it so helpful. I really think the most logical next step would be a subscription. This might just be a gift to myself soon so I don't need to keep checking Target to see if they get the new one in all the time! The articles are so helpful and inspirational. 

Runner's World cookbook. I am a cookbook collector, but many of them sadly sit unused since most of my collection is baking and sweets related. From the recipes I've seen online and in the magazine, this would be right up my alley. Hopefully it would help me figure out how to properly fuel my body to become the best runner I can. 

Pro Compression socks. I have one pair of compression socks and LOVE them. They are amazing for after a long or tough run to help recover quickly. I definitely want another pair. My current ones aren't Pro Compression, but this brand has amazing reviews from other bloggers and I want to give them a try.

You can buy these cuties here

New running shoes. My hot pink Nike's are going to have to be retired after this half marathon. They've made it past their prime, past the mile mark and are showing wear. My dream is to actually go to the Running Room or another running speciality store to get properly fitted for a running shoe. I want to know what brands, types, etc. I should be wearing based on my feet. I have horrible feet, and any kind of help for a proper fitting shoe would be great!

Garmin GPS watch. I'm still reading through reviews, but so far this one is my favorite. I want something that I can easily keep track of my pace and mileage on; my phone is just too bulky and complicated to do that, especially when it's in the armband. I'm really trying to improve my pace, and I think a watch like this would be so helpful. Any recommendations in case I decide to get one??

Found at Amazon

Those are just a few of my favorite running related things right now. I have a big list so I'll keep adding as we get closer to the holidays! Please send me good luck vibes as I run my first half marathon tomorrow! I'll post an update on how it goes early next week. Have a great weekend!

Make sure to check out my other posts for the week:
Half Marathon Training: Week Five
Race Day Goals

Thanks Lauren for hosting the High Five for Friday link up!

Until next time~

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Race Day Goals

I have to admit, I'm kind of scared to put any race day goals out there. I'm afraid of disappointing people, most of all myself. Not that I haven't thought of these goals over and over again, but putting them out there makes them feel so much more real. Other people will know of them and might judge me if I don't reach them. I've also read that first time runners shouldn't set goals because they don't know what to expect, which I completely get. However, I am a goal setter and having these helps me feel a little prepared!

Goal One:
To have fun. Yes, this is my main goal. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't enjoy running so my main goal is to relax, enjoy every moment and have fun. I don't need to stress about hitting a PR because it's my first half marathon, and no matter what I finish in, it's a PR! 

Goal Two:
To rely on my training. I've done everything I can to prepare for this race. I've gone out on long runs, short runs, fast runs and push myself through painful/ exhausted feeling runs. I need to get rid of those thoughts that say I can't do this; 13.1 miles is too far and replace it with the knowledge that I can do this. I'll look back at my calendar and focus on how many miles I've already ran. My body is ready; I am ready.

Goal Three:
To run the whole race. I know I can run the whole 13.1 miles without walking and I will do it on Saturday. I, of course, will walk through water stations when I need water and fuel, but otherwise my goal is to keep pushing on, running the whole race. 

Goal Four:
To finish the race in ....
Okay, this is where I struggle. I do have a goal time I want to finish in, but I don't know how realistic it is and I don't want to put too much pressure on myself with people thinking I'm going to finish in that time. I don't want to disappoint anyone. I want people (and myself) to focus on the fact that no matter what my time is, it's awesome. I'm doing something that I never imagined myself being able to do. Something I never though I'd even want  to do. Just finishing should be amazing enough. Right?? 
I have my Goal A time that I'm going to keep secret. Runner's World pace schedule puts me finishing around 2:10 so that's my Goal B time. I originally thought I would finish in 2:20 so that's my Goal C time. Any of those times will make me happy!

Those are my four main goals - have fun, settle my nerves by relying on my training, run the whole race and finish under 2:20. I think those are pretty good goals! And after I finish this half marathon, I look forward to setting my next goals. Maybe a 14 mile Polar Dash race? Yup, that sounds cold! Not sure if I'm Minnesotan enough to handle that being such a freeze baby and all!! But let's just get through this race first!

Did you set goals for your half marathon - first or any? 

Any advice on setting a goal time or I am doing okay in what I hope?

Until next time~ 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Half Marathon Training: Week Five

In less than a week, I'll be fulfilling one of my goals and will be running my first half marathon - so exciting!! I can't believe that I actually feel ready for it; that my training is on track and is making me feel prepared. Last week, I complained a little bit about burn out and feeling tired all the time. This week has been much better!

Here's a quick recap of my workouts this week:
Sunday: 11.5 mile run
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5.1 miles + weights, planks and squats + Pilates
Wednesday: 5 miles + ab work and planks
Thursday: 4.3 miles elliptical + weights, planks and squats + Pilates
Friday: 4 miles + ab work and planks
Saturday: 5.1 miles + planks

Total Miles: 30.7 running + 4.3 elliptical = 35 miles!

Sunday's run was a little difficult since I was feeling so burnt out leading up to that run. I'm so proud that I pushed myself through it. I was having stomach issues that day and for the first time actually had to find a gas station along the route. Not fun, but at least I knew where one was! Still, I pushed myself through and didn't do too bad on time.

After resting on Monday, I felt so much better for the remaining runs. Tuesday I had to run on the treadmill thanks to a lovely downpour of rain, but I actually enjoyed it because it allowed me to push myself to run faster. The rest of my runs were outside and my favorite run was on Saturday. Everything just came together for a great run and I ran what I hope will be my race pace the whole time. I'll share my goals later this week! 

Today I start my sixth week of training. I've been "loosely" following a training plan I found online. Okay, honestly, I looked at many plans and somewhat am following them. Or maybe not really at all. Most plans say two days of rest and I only take one, and I upped my mileage more than recommended on those plans. Okay, fine .... I haven't followed a training plan at all. I'll admit it! However, for these last two weeks, I am trying to follow a plan. I stuck to five and four miles instead of the six I wanted to be running last week. Although, looking back, I did still log quite a few miles! But for this last week, I 100% will be following the plan I found. So here is what I'm doing for my final week ...

Sunday: 8 miles
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: HALF MARATHON!! 

I think that looks like a good plan to keep my legs loose, but not tire them out too much. I want to be ready and have fresh legs for Saturday! Tapering is hard for me; I just love to run and it's hard to hold back. However, I need to remember that the goal is to rock the marathon on Saturday and taking it easy is necessary to do that! 

So that's where I am with training. I'm feeling great and ready for this upcoming race. Do I have fears and nerves? Absolutely. (Ahem, only a high of 44 degrees with snow/ rain showers expected!) But I also know that I've done everything in my power to prepare myself for it. I have the strength, the endurance and I will rock it

Until next time~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Things

Happy Friday! At first this week seemed to moving incredibly slow, then I woke up this morning and thought "it's already Friday?". Well apparently it is so let's make it a good Friday! I'm meeting a friend for a run this morning and am starting the day off perfectly!

Here are some of my favorite things from the week ....

After feeling burnt out last week, this week's workouts/ runs have gone extremely well. Sunday's long run was difficult, but after a day of rest on Monday I was ready to get out and run again. I've cut back my miles a bit this week to start tapering for the half marathon which is one week from tomorrow!!! Eek!!

Last Friday I ended up having to bring Mercedes into the vet due to an extremely swollen paw. She was sent home with lots of medicine and a cone. She has never had to wear a cone before! I put it on her for the first couple of days when I went out for a run or errands, but otherwise left it off her thinking since I could see her, I would stop her from licking. Now she isn't wearing it at all. Sorry vet, but I'm not listening to you! She's not bothering her paw; I think it hurts her too much to lick. But she is doing better - she's eating and even playing a little again!

This week has been chilly and I see snow (hopefully just flurries!) is in the forecast already. To warm up, I tried a new soup recipe for dinner and it turned out pretty good. I made this Buffalo Chicken Chowder with a few changes - no potatoes or onions (or bread on the side!), cut the heavy cream in half, added more hot sauce and increased the amount of veggies. Perfect to warm me up on these chilly evenings!

I desperately want to go get my hair done. I haven't had it touched since January or something crazy like that! Of course that requires extra money - grrrr. This is the color I'm currently loving ....

Also currently loving this outfit. Which also requires extra money. Double grrr. 

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Thank you, Lauren, for hosting the High Five for Friday linkup!

Check out my other posts from this week:
Half Marathon Training: Week Four
Half Marathon Fears

Until next time~

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Half Marathon Fears

For the most part, I am intensely excited for my half marathon that's coming up in a week and a half. However, I do have some fears. I mean, who wouldn't prior to running their first (or even every!) half marathon? I think fears are normal, and I also think they're helping me prepare for my upcoming race. I'm reading so many articles and blogs on what to expect, pack, bring, etc.! I also figure it I discuss my fears, it might help me get over them. Release them somehow by putting them out there.

My biggest fear is one I can't control - the weather. I love running in the sunshine and the cooler fall temps are great. I haven't ran much in rain other than misty days or rain showers when I've been out. When it rains, I typically stick to the treadmill or cross training. But if it rains on race day, I just have to suck it up and run. Or what if it snows?? This is Minnesota after all and I did hear the s word on the weather forecast today. I'm a freeze baby and am worried about being cold!! Plus, since I just started running in May, I have zero experience running in cold and snow.

One of my other bigger fears is having stomach issues/ cramps. This has become more of a concern lately as I've been dealing with stomach issues. This weekend's long run was the first time I had to find a restroom while on a run. I'm doing what I can to control them - I'm watching my gluten intake, cutting dairy down to minimal, not much alcohol - but I feel like I've been doing those things and am still having issues right now. I just want a calm stomach on race day!

Although I know I can run 13.1 miles, I still worry about making it through the race and being fueled enough for all those miles. Not having to walk. Did I train enough? Did I rest enough for the few days prior? I'm planning on eating my usual long run breakfast. Which I guess is a weird choice? I eat two eggs and a banana with some peanut butter. I don't get hungry with this breakfast when eaten about an hour prior to running. I haven't had issues with it either. I guess most people eat toast, oatmeal or something similar along with a banana and peanut butter, but I'm mostly grain free so my body is used to eggs and I find them proper fuel. Oatmeal honestly feels like lead in my stomach! I'm also packing some GUs with and sticking them in my pocket. Glad I found something that works for me!

I also have worries about making it to the race in time, finding the location and parking. Obviously I'm downloading directions prior and will be going with my friend Lisa and my parents so I'm hoping I won't have to drive to help with those worries! St. Paul isn't one of my normal routes and I'm not familiar with it at all. I will be going the day prior to pick up my packet and I'm hoping that will help alleviate a little of that fear.

I've been reading a lot on what to bring for race day. This has helped me quite a bit since I didn't really know what to bring! I'm hoping my mom will hold my bag for me and will pack a water bottle, a Quest bar, a jacket and extra clothes in case I need to change after or it's super cold. This is probably my favorite list so far from fellow blogger Deb Runs! I love not just this list, but the whole article!

I guess those are probably my biggest fears as of right now - the weather, stomach issues, proper fuel/ making it through the whole race, getting there and parking, and what to bring. I have other small things that creep into my mind like what to wear, dealing with the huge crowd of people and just overcoming the bad thoughts that might pop in my mind (like are you crazy, you can't run 13.1 miles? Look at that person, they're going faster than you. You're slow)

I might have just started running this past May, but I know I'm ready for this. I've been training and I have the endurance to last 13.1 miles. My only goals at this point are to rock it and have fun because in the end, I love running.

Until next time~

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Half Marathon Training: Week Four - Burn Out Week

I can't believe that in two weeks I'll be running my first half marathon!! I'm extremely anxious about it - looking forward to it and the feelings of crossing the finish line, but I also have many fears that I'll get into with a post later this week. This week of training didn't help alleviate any of those fears! Honestly, I am not proud of this week. 

Let's see how I did this week in my training ....
Sunday: 13 miles
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Rest Day :(
Wednesday: 6.5 miles + weights and planks
Thursday: 5.4 miles + ab work, planks and squats + Pilates
Friday: 3.3 miles + planks
Saturday: 4.5 miles elliptical + weights and planks

Total Miles: 28.2 miles running + 4.5 elliptical = 32.7 total miles

I am supremely disappointed in this week's training. Last week I did 35.9 total miles and I wasn't close to that this week. And I started off so well!

Monday's 13 mile run was amazing. I felt great during the whole run and kept a pace that surprised me. It was my first time using fuel during the run (GU Energy Gel in strawberry banana) and I think it really helped me push through those last few miles. But the whole run felt great. I didn't have any pain and never had to slow down to a walk. I spent the whole day after in compression socks and spent some time foam rolling so I wouldn't be sore the next day.

Monday was my scheduled rest day. Which was good since I had to travel for work Monday and Tuesday. Luckily, I wasn't sore, but I was definitely tired and hungry. My hunger doesn't hit me until the next day apparently! I wasn't planning on taking a rest day on Tuesday, but that's what happened, sadly.

Here's the thing. Work trips stress me out. I can NOT relax on these trips at all. I am a ball of stress. It's about being my best in front of my co-workers and especially in front of the client. I don't sleep at all in the hotel, the food isn't the greatest and my healthy choices are limited. I bring snacks with me, but my stomach just can't handle it between the stress and food options. To sum that up, although I didn't work out those days, they aren't "rest days"; I definitely wasn't resting! 

So, for the rest of the week, I dealt with an upset stomach and tiredness. I could not get myself back on track. I've felt tired and worn out all week. I think my body really missed an actual rest day!! Then, on Friday, I spent the morning at the vet with my dog dealing with an emergency situation; the time I would usually be running. Getting out for a three mile run was all I could do and I was okay with that because of the situation. 

My poor baby!! Couldn't leave her for long!

This is definitely the week of burn out for me. Running was just not agreeing with me (well, my stomach) and I did what I could. Does it make me happy? No. But I can't change it. It happened. According to my schedule, I'm supposed to start tapering my mileage. I think that's probably a good thing. Today's long run was less miles than last Sunday, and 10 times more difficult. Tomorrow's rest day is definitely needed. Burn out .... I don't like it!!

And just so you know, I'm not making excuses. I could have went for a run on the treadmill early on Tuesday despite a stomachache. I could have left my sick, hurt puppy for a longer period of time and ran for 6 miles on Friday. I could have, but I chose not to. My decisions and I have to live with how badly my training turned out for the week. Live with it, and get over it.

I'm hoping by the time I get out for my run on Tuesday, I'll feel ready and refreshed; that all I need is a real rest day. Allow my body to heal and get myself back on track. My half marathon is so close and I need to be ready for it!

How do you deal with burn out? Do you take it easy or give yourself an extra day of rest, or just push through it doing the miles scheduled? I need to figure out how to get past this bad week .... 

Until next time~

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Favorites

I haven't blogged all week other than my half marathon training recap Sunday night. Bad blogger! It's just been one of those weeks - traveling for work Monday and Tuesday, been feeling sick the last few days and so worn out, and this morning I have to bring Mercedes in for an emergency trip to the vet. So happy Friday it is! Let's see what good things I can find from this week for the weekly High Five for Friday link-up. There has to be some things!

Sunday I ran 13 miles!! I am so proud of myself for doing it. I now know, 100%, that I can complete my upcoming half marathon at the end of the month. If I did it on my own, race day will be no problem! I was so afraid I wasn't going to be able to do it. Honestly, I loved running on Sunday. The weather was chilly and misty, but everything else lined up - no pain or tightness in my legs, my stomach behaved and I even brought some gels/ fuel with me to help with energy. It was a great run!

This quote definitely describes Sunday's run ....

I'm obsessed with all things fall (aren't we all??) and want to make these glitter pumpkins. I probably wouldn't make them into candles since I use Scentsy and not candles, but they'd be cute as just regular pumpkins I think. A trip to the craft store might be in order this weekend!

Also in store for the weekend? A trip to the Running Room (or similar store). I was really hoping my hot pink Nike's would last through my half marathon, but the bottom treads are so worn and I'm starting to feel the difference in my feet and legs during runs. Time for new shoes! I'm kind of excited to go to a real running store and find the right shoes for me!

This face I love. I feel so bad that she's hurting right now, but hopefully the vet can easily take care of it this morning!

That's all I have for this week! I hope you had a good week.

Until next time~

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Half Marathon Training: Week Three

Running has definitely become an integral part of my life. I feel like that's all I do right now! I'm either running or reading something about running so I can be ready for my upcoming half marathon. I want to be the best I can be at this race! I'm so happy with where I am in my training and how it's going. I never thought I could do this, but I just had to have faith!

Here's a recap of my training last week:
Sunday: 12 miles
Monday: Rest Day!!
Tuesday: 5.2 miles, planks, weights
Wednesday: 3.8 miles, ab work and planks + Pilates
Thursday: 4.4 miles elliptical workout, weights, squats and planks
Friday: 6 miles, squats and planks + Pilates
Saturday: 4.5 miles, squats, planks and weights

Total Miles: 31.5 running + 4.4 elliptical = 35.9 miles :)

It was a pretty good week! The previous week I did just a little over 32 total miles so I bumped up my mileage by just about four this week. I think that was a good amount. I didn't feel too tired or worn out with my mileage this week. I mean, I'm still tired, but not any more tired than before. Does that sentence even make sense??

Wednesday's run was super difficult for me. My right ankle hurt so bad I almost cried while running. Plus, I had a big headache and whatever I ate wasn't agreeing with me. I had five miles scheduled, but I could only manage 3.8. I was disappointed in myself, but I have to do what's right for my body so I stay injury free and can run the half marathon!

The rest of the week went pretty well. After Sunday, I was so sore. I don't think I stretched enough after or something. I had to take Advil, use a heating pad and go buy Icy Hot on Monday! But I survived and Tuesday's run actually went pretty well. I did take my miles a little slower this week because of my ankle. I'm hoping that will get better soon. I knew it wasn't going to be easy training for this!

So that's where I am. The big race is only three Saturdays away. I'm so excited! I'm hoping my training is where it needs to be for me to rock that race. I'm still enjoying it and I have to say some of my favorite runs are those long runs. Who would have thought?? 

Anyone else training for a half marathon? Does it seem like I'm on track?

Until next time~

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Does it feel like fall in your part of the world? Here it's cloudy, windy, chilly and definitely fall-like out, and I'm incredibly grateful it's not snowing like it is in South Dakota! I love fall, and want it to stick around for awhile, not just jump to winter already. 

Here are a few of my favorite things of this week for the weekly link up with Lauren for High Five for Friday ....

The weather was beautiful on Sunday so after my long run, I took Mercedes to the park to play around for awhile. She enjoyed herself!

I was craving frozen yogurt so much on Sunday and decided to treat myself figuring I earned it after running 12 miles. It was delicious! I just stuck to the vanilla option and topped it with lots of different things (mostly chocolate). Lesson leaned, though, don't use Skittles; they get super hard and hurt your teeth!

I can't believe how long my hair is getting. This isn't a great picture by any means, but it shows what's necessary. For years, I've had chin length hair cut into a bob, but I decided to grow it out this past year and I'm loving it! I do need a hair cut and maybe some color soon.

This cooler weather is making me want to go shopping! Here are a few things I'm currently crushing on .... 

Not all worn together, obviously.
I think that my fall/ winter uniform might become leggings/ skinny jeans, a cute top and a scarf. Just sounds and looks so cozy!!

Isn't this wreath beautiful? I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I love DIY decor!! It's always wonderful to have something a little unique than what you see in the stores.

I hope you had a good week! This weekend I have my longest run yet on the schedule - 13 miles. Whew! I can do it, though; I'll make it! Then, I'll start cutting back a little bit in preparation for my first half marathon - it's coming up so soon!!

Check out my other posts from this week:
Half Marathon Training: Week Two
October and A Lifestyle Change
It's Definitely Not Easy

Until next time~

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's Definitely Not Easy

These are just a few of the thoughts running through my head lately as I train for my first half marathon:

Half marathon training is TOUGH. Physically, when I'm out running, everything is usually okay. Sometimes I have stomach aches, swishing in my stomach or twinges in my ankle. However, I survive. I push on and I make it through a run, typically loving it. After is a different story.

After Sunday's long run I could barely walk. My hamstrings and calves were so tight and sore. The stairs in my house just about crippled me. I sat on a heating pad pretty much all day Monday! Tuesday's run went well; my legs loosened up and after LOTS of foam rolling, the tightness and soreness disappeared. Then Wednesday came. This was definitely a bad run. My stomach hurt even though I ate the same thing for breakfast as usual. I had a headache. Worst of all, the back of my right ankle hurt so much I almost cried from the pain. Advil and ice were my best friends for the rest of the day!

Other than the aches and pains I expect in my legs, I also have a never ending headache. I just can NOT get rid of it. Luckily it's not a bad headache, just an annoying one. That, along with feeling tired/ low energy, constantly being hungry (and craving sugar!) is wearing on me. I had to go and buy a new belt today for my already size 00 pants. I have nothing to say that. This training is TOUGH on my body and me. 

BUT ... (you had to know there was a but coming!)

The feeling I get, the pride of doing this training and running the way I am, is worth it. 100% worth it. Does that make me crazy?

I'm cutting back on other things to help my body recover. I'm not lifting weights for as long right now, Pilates has been cut back to a couple times a week and I'm going to bed earlier. I'm surviving, still loving it and am dedicated, committed to this. 

I figure at some point this gets easier, right? My body will catch up and things will flow better? I'll figure out how to properly fuel my body so I'm not craving this?? I'm drooling; I want it so bad!

I'm still at the point where I love running, no worries. I know I'm doing the right thing and am making myself proud. Most days I can't wait to get out and run. I can't wait until the feelings I'll get when running my first half marathon and crossing that finish line! 

Until next time~