ING Miami

I realize that I haven't posted in a while. Between work, trying to buy a house, and working out, I haven't found time for pretty much anything. However, the day had finally come for the race, and I knew I had to blog.  All of the training, preparation and energy I have spent getting ready for it was finally going to be used.

This weekend was pretty much all about the race. I had joined the American cancer society team determination to train with them and and had not had the best experience with them. This team was a charity based team and even though I'm typically not into the whole raising money thing, I had decided to do it for grandpa. As I'm sure I've said twenty million times, grandpa died from brain cancer. So, this team really meant something to me. However, the main issue I had with this group was the lack of camroderie. We had joined the team when there was a local contact based out of the area. After two months, they let him go and we had no real communication with each other besides the team practices. However, I tried to not let it bother me. I had my friend N that was with me throughout the process and we pretty much energized each other.

So since we had raised a higher amount, we got a "free" hotel night stay. I say "free" because we later found out that you have to share a room with another teammate. If you don't share, you pay an extra 119/night . I'm not going to lie that pissed me off. Why would we have to pay for a room if our fundraising coved it? So when Greg and I talked about it, we figured it would be nice to get away from the dogs and househunting and relax! So once we checked in we received a pasta dinner which was absolutely phenomenal (I know a crazy word to describe pasta). The pasta dinner was really nice and helped me to reenergize my attitude about the team and actually give them props.

After the dinner, I finally tried going to bed and was completely unsuccessful. I probably got like 5 hours or less of sleep. I woke up excited and scared as hell. I even googled thoughts for your first half marathon. To prepare for this specific race I had leggings, my jersey, compression socks and my new balance shoes. I had also brought jelly beans and sports legs for nutrition.

N and I had eaten breakfast with the team and then headed to the race. It was just as nuts as it was last year and I was glad I knew where to go this time around. The crowds were wild and so I guided N to our corral. She got nervous and claustrophobic at one point and I kept telling her we would be okay (I think that actually made me feel better). Once we got to the corral, we hung out for a while until it was time to go. While we were waiting I figured that I would try to maintain a 12 min/mile and with that I had a plan.

So off we went. It killed me to maintain a steady pace, but I did it. I took the scenery in and took pictures as I went. I made it all the way to mile 13 without a hitch and was right on pace with a 12 min/mile. I must admit it was really hard not to finish with the half marathon group. Once we passed the mark, the crowd thinned out ridiculously. I kept thinking .. Just one more mile... And so up came mile 15, 16, 17... And then I hit mile 22. I hadn't walked the entire team and my legs were on fire. I tricked myself into thinking that the walk break would help me. So I walked, and in a nano second my legs were cramped and the pain was unbearable. I tried to keep walking and couldn't so I pulled aside and stretched. Then I tried walking again and stretched. At one point a coach from another group asked me if I was okay and I told him I didn't know. I kept going. At mile 23 I decided to jog again. I made it to mile 24 jogging and took one more .25 mile walk break before finishing it up. I finished with a 5:12 time - an 11:50 min/mile pace lol.

During the marathon I was on the verge of breaking mentally. You question and doubt everything about yourself. You feel pain and stiffness and force yourself to push through it. I'm not going to lie it absolutely sucks lol. However, you also get moments of strength and encouragement and it can literally makes you run more miles.

Before the run I had asked for texts and posts of encouragement on Facebook and it honestly kept me going. At one point in my delirium all this support and encouragement brought tears to my eye. In the last mile I saw my in laws waving and cheering me in. It took every bit of strength I had to move my legs as fast as they could go towards the end. I swear I was flying. When I crossed the finish line I threw my fists in victory. It was over. I had tons of family and friends there: my wonderful husband, in laws, my parents, n and her mom, and k and g. I love them and am so amazed that they came to see me. I am just so ridiculously humbled.

This experience was completely different than anything else I've done before. Half iron mans are a different beast and not as demanding on my body as this marathon. Am I glad I did this? Sure. Will I ever do it again? Hell no lol. I'm starting to scale back my racing and will be focusing on total body workouts and speed work. My next race is a1a and I'm hoping to kill it. First, I'll take a couple of days off :) ill post pictures of the race throughout the week!!

Not my Day Today

Do you ever have one of those days where you think the world is plotting against you? I'm sure you have... Well today was definitely that day for me.

Let's start off with some replays from the week first.

Wednesday: I had to conduct testing at work and worked almost a 14 hour day. I wanted to get a workout in and so I did the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD - Level 3 (of course). It was rough - what a surprise. However, planning my workout earlier in the day even when my day is booked shows you how you can still get a workout in even when you're "too busy".

Thursday: I was tired from the day before so I took a rest day. I typically take a rest day Friday, but I switched my scheduled run from Thursday to Friday.

Friday: My husband and I had a date night so I wanted to get my workout in before work. The schedule said to run 4 miles and so I did. I tried to do it at a decent pace, and so I tried to keep an 8:30 min/mile pace. I  ended doing the run in about 34 minutes... AND my date night was perfect. What a double-win :)

Saturday:  I had to run 12 miles. You're probably thinking - "That's not too bad of a run after running 20 miles" - and you're right. However. I'm clearly not a sane person and take off flying like a bat out of hell. At about mile four I started hurting and some of my body was in complete pain. The path I was running had four bridges. One of the bridges are steep as **** and by the time I passed it a second time I felt like my legs were on fire. That was at about mile 7.5. I still had 4.5 miles to go. I slowed down my pace and stopped to get a drink of water. I kept thinking to myself that I was almost there. I also kept looking at my Garmin, counting down the distance every couple of steps. You do what you have to do in order to make it through those brutal runs lol. I finally finished and took a seat on the pavement, stretching my legs and torso. During my stretch I could feel a dull pain in my shins. Not good. I stretched them out as much as I could throughout the day.

Sunday: The world is plotting against me day. I started my day by watching my coach race. It was a cool race which had you running for 6 hours in a park full of hills. The trail loop was 1.25 miles and  I watched her for a little bit but had to leave since I had a 5K in the morning an hour later. I zipped back home and put on my race bib, then ran to the race site. It was pretty close to home and so I figured I would run there. I finally got to the race site but couldn't find the exact location so I ran around the place but couldn't find a start line to save my life. I did find mile 2, so I tried to back track back to the start. I couldn't find it and so I got to a place that was a good enough spot to search for two of my friends and quickly found them. They were walking, so I jumped in and walked the course (well not the whole thing probably like 1.75 miles).

Afterwards, I had to go to work. It was pretty sucky and I couldn't find any of the things I needed easily. I finally finished everything at work and went home. While I was at work, I got a phone call from our realtor. We had gone to look at a couple of houses and none of them worked out. It was just discouraging, and it made me kinda of frustrated. I know I still have a couple of more months to find another place, but I'm a planner and I want to know where we are going. Overall it was a poopy day. Not to mention I caught every red light possible (ok - I'm exaggerating) but a whole lot of red lights on my way home and going to the grocery store. The rest of the day was blah, but I was so far gone in my bad mood that I couldn't shake it. Well, like they always say: Tomorrow is another day....

My coach is in the background!! It was so dark and cold!!

Biggest Loser Returns!!!

Talk about motivation. I love watching this show. Not just because this show is about working out, but because it inspires people to change their lives.

This season Biggest Loser did something a little bit differently. They have three kids as part of the show to help raise awareness for childhood obesity. Not being a parent, I can't imagine how hard it is to see your child lose control over their weight. You don't want to be extreme about weight loss, but you also don't want to ignore the issue. However, this show is teaching parents (and adults in general) ways to make your children healthy. Not a bad idea. Especially when I want to become a parent one day.

On a side not, they had a Biggest Loser 5K in Fort Lauderdale yesterday to kick-start the Biggest Loser season. I had two friends who ran the race (K and K). I went and cheered them on. It was weird not being part of a race, but a spectator. It was actually pretty awesome.

Workout of the Day: Jillian Michael's DVD No More Trouble Zones


Today was my longest mileage attempt to date and I was scared. However, I tried not to think about it. Because every time I think about whatever long distance I'm doing I hit some sort of invisible wall during my run. I psych myself out so bad that I flake out 5-6 miles into my 16-20 mile run. I never have problems doing 5-6 miles but for some reason during those long runs I feel out of breath and completely fatigued. It's been pretty sucky.

Then today I changed my thinking. I figured this was my last shot to fix whatever crap was in my head before the marathon AND it worked!!! First off, I had to tell myself that I wasn't going to fail. I could really do this thing and have faced some pretty ridiculously hard events that I have overcome (those ridiculous 16-18 mph winds during the half ironman a couple of months ago). The trick was I need to go nice and easy and just slow down - thanks guys :) However in all honesty, I could give two hoots about time. I know - you think: "Really? You care about time." Yes and no. I care about time because to me, I like to test my limits without breaking down. I want to see how much faster I can go, but sometimes I just want to clear my head and go for a nice long jog. So, that's what I did today and I was successful. I think another factor to my success today was repeating my mantra: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Sounds crazy, but it works - trust me.

So once I clocked my 20 miles (3:47), I lifted my hands in sheer victory. Yup, in public AND I totally didn't care. The people outside in my neighborhood had no idea why I was cheering, but I did and it was fantastic. The crazy thing about this run was that some of my past runs were faster (not by much) but I felt like complete CRAP! Complete crap. To the point where on my long run last week I threw a tantrum and stopped my Garmin in protest. You might think I'm a baby, but I like to explain that tantrum as being punched in the face by that invisible wall. However, either way I have dreaded all my long runs and felt completely defeated after every single one of them recently. The best part after my run is when I tell my husband how I want to quit running. He literally smiles and rolls his eyes and says "ok", because he knows two days later my butt will be out on the road again. I love him for dealing with my crap :)

So let's summarize what I did differently:

  • I took something called SportsLegs this morning. It's a pill that you take to prevent lactic acid from building up in your legs. I've actually had it for a while and have never taken it. I'm not sure if it worked or not, but I felt great the first couple of miles and will DEFINITELY take it the day of the Marathon. 
  • I told myself in the beginning of my run I wasn't going to fail. 
  • I started my first 5-6 miles at a 12:30-13:00 min/mile pace.
  • I sporadically drank water from my CamelPak as opposed to limiting my water intake. The mix inside my CamelPak today was a Nuun tablet and water. 
  • I mostly listened to upbeat music. My absolute favorite songs today we're: Destiny's Child Survivor and Eminem's Not Afraid.
  • I would continually repeat my mantra: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Especially when I wanted to give up.
  • I'd set mini goals for myself. My first goal was to 5 miles. My next goal was 5 miles, and then another 5 miles. For my last 5 miles, my goal was every .5 miles.

As cheesy as this sounds, I'm glad things went the way they did. Suffering through those training runs made me truly appreciate this one. I felt like I accomplished something great and didn't feel like I was going to die on the side of the road. Pretty awesome.

A Day of Reflection

I was so busy getting things accomplished yesterday that I haven't really had a chance to reflect on this past year. However, in order to move forward I need to look back at 2012. Here's a short list of some of the main things that happened in 2012:

  • January: My husband and I moved to South Florida. He actually moved two months after I did which sucked pretty bad. 
  • From January to May I attended 5 weddings - we had a ton of invitations but could only go to 5 weddings. 
  • June: Grandpa was diagnosed with brain cancer and only expected to live three months. 
  • August: True to the doctor's words, grandpa passed away in a degenerated state three months later. Watching him deteriorate was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. 
  • December: The husband and I celebrated our three year anniversary on a cruise. 
Overall, this year was full of changes; it was hard, but we made it. I'm hoping this next year is better; scratch that - it will be better. The husband and I will be buying a house and trying to get our lives in order. 

Moving into 2013, I will be doing my first marathon. I'm not going to lie, I'm scared as hell. However, I'll get through it, because I'm not a quitter - stubborn as a mule. I have two half marathons in the next two months and hopefully a triathlon in May. I'll sign up for races as the year progresses, but nothing too major after February. I'm pretty excited to see what life has in store....

Today's Workout: In the morning I did Level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. In the afternoon, I did an easy (no gear) stationary bike ride for 30 minutes while listening to Carly Rae Jepsen's CD Kiss. It was surprisingly good! Pretty happy about my workout :)

New Years Day

Today is New Years Day and it's already started off better than I anticipated...

Last night I fell asleep before midnight. Yup :) If you know me at all, you know this is typically how I roll: going to bed early and waking up early to workout or whatever else I need to do. So last night was no different. At 10:30 p.m. I fell asleep and was woken up at 12:07 a.m. by my husband to watch some of the crazy fireworks and wish me a happy new year. I quickly fell back asleep.

I woke up this morning to a clear warm day and thought what perfect weather to run 6 miles. Usually I take 6 miles easy, but hey - it's a new year. I wanted to push my limits. Last time I ran 6 miles I had pulled a little over 52 minutes, so I wanted to beat that. I barely beat it and pulled a 51:47. Not too shabby :)

I felt good but tired. Yesterday I had played a Jillian Michaels DVD - No More Trouble Zones... and no matter how many times I think I'm in shape, I realize I'm not. I think my soreness is due to my lack in weight training. I would like to focus more on weight training than cardio this year and am hoping to follow through with this plan.

This year is going to be busy and I can't wait for all the things that are coming up. I'm hoping to make this year a good one: race-wise and in my personal life. I'm also hoping to be a better blogger :)

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