Disney Princess Half Marathon

This past weekend I did the disney princess half marathon with two of my friends. For one of them, it was their first half marathon and this was a monumental milestone. We had decided that we would complete this as a team. This was definitely an experience for all three of us.

For the past week I didn't train a single day. I had achieved my half marathon goal and thought to myself that I deserved a week off. So I ate junk food, and enjoyed my afternoons workout-free. I'm not going to lie, not working out for a week was fun. However, I could feel my body getting out of shape by the junk I was putting in it.

So Saturday morning we packed up the car and drove to Orlando. The car trip was really fun and like the typical girls we are, we picked up some junk food and talked about everything. We got to the expo and picked up our gear. After the expo we had some lunch and headed back to the hotel. We did some shopping and i ended up scoring some running shorts for $3. We tried to make it an early night since we had to wake up before the early crack of dawn, but we stayed up talking and didn't fall asleep until later on.

Two thirty came way too fast and we woke up tired but ready to go. We quickly got dressed and headed out to the race. Getting to our corral was chaotic but once we got in, all my nerves were screaming. The biggest thing for this race was making sure we didn't get picked up by the bus. The bus is set out to pick up all racers who could not maintain a 16 min/mile. I had read this pace was based off of the last racer it but I'm not sure if that is true or not. We knew we could do it, but the possibility of getting picked up by the bus added a little bit more stress in our lives.

The first couple of miles we started off really well! We maintained a 17 min/ mile pace, took pictures as we walked, and had overcast weather to our advantage. At mile 8, we had seen the buses butthey didn't   seem to be moving so we figured we were fine. However, mile 10 came and my first time half marathoner friend hit the proverbial wall. At this point, we were extremely nervous about the buses. There were other people around us who were freaking out and even started running. The stress level was through the roof.

At one point we looked down and saw no one down at the bottom; they had been swept. We kept chugging along thou and crossed the finish line as a team. It was pretty Awesome to be a part of her accomplishment. It definitely gave me a new perspective on running. Overall, great experience.

Bwahaha I Did It!!!

So, today was the A1A Fort Lauderdale half marathon and as you could probably could tell from the title of my post, I conquered this race. Now, my goal for this race was to do it under 2 hours. I had trained hard to make it happen, but with all of the things going on this week, I didn't think I would make it, but I did it!!!!!

This past week was hell for me. I worked really hard at work and still wasn't able to meet the deadline I wanted. However, regardless of all the roadblocks in my way, it worked out. The bad news is that this week will also be stressful at work. My biggest problem, however, is that I bring this stress home. Usually, I just become really quiet and go to bed early. My husband sensing this, sent me surprise flowers for valentines day with the sweetest message.  Check it out:

I was absolutely stunned. He's pretty awesome :)

On top of everything, there was a problem with the house we put an offer on. The inspection turned out pretty poorly, and we're most likely going to withdraw our offer. We tried to talk things over with the sellers and other realtor, but they pretty much suck so we'll be moving on. It's just disappointing, but I know we will find something else sooner or later. I just don't want to settle. I want to find something that we love that doesn't have a buttload of problems (and who will accept our offer).

So all of this happened this past week and we all know how all these stresses = having a not so stellar race. So, I decided not to care. Saturday I went to the expo and picked up my goody bag which was pretty awesome: two Kashi cereal bowls, two beef jerky samples, trail mix, and a breakfast to go bar. The shirt was pretty awesome too. However, what was not awesome was the ridiculous traffic to get into the expo. It was held at the Broward Convention Center which is also right next to the port. By being next to the port, the security is strict and makes getting there kind of a pain.

After picking up my packet and looking over the event info I realized the race was at 6 a.m. I swore it was at 7, but I was obviously totally wrong. (Again, this shows you how out of sync I was with everything.) However, it wasn't a big deal and I just figured I needed to go to bed early. So I did my pre-race routine of charging my Garmin and Ipod to ensure they wouldn't die on me out there. We went to sushi for dinner with friends at night and called it a night.

I woke up at 4:10 a.m. to get ready for the race. I knew parking was going to suck and I wanted to give myself more than enough time. I grabbed my Garmin, Ipod, sport jelly beans, glide and walked out the door. What I wasn't prepared for was the ridiculous cold weather outside. It was bone chilling!!!! I had my tights on that my husband bought for me for Christmas and a long sleeve tech shirt. However, I knew if I put on much more cold weather gear I would die when the sun came out. When I got to the race I ran into some traffic but found a secluded parking lot and it worked out perfectly. I raced over to the start line just so I could keep warm. I looked for my friend T who was doing the race but he was no where to be found. I set my Ipod right before the gun went off, and waited.

Once the race started, I took off. I really didn't look at my watch until mile 2 but I knew I had passed the 2:00 hour half marathon pace group. When I got to mile 2 I saw I had pulled a 17:30. Not bad I thought to myself. I just chugged away feeling pretty awesome in the cool weather. The route was pretty awesome and my favorite part had to be going through Birch park. It was just peaceful and beautiful. Once I got to mile 8, I knew I was making pretty good time. I thought I could really pull off my goal. During the race another male runner around my pace started running beside me. I think we paced off each other for a couple of miles, not talking or making eye contact, just literally running next to each other. I felt fantastic until mile 11. My quad completely cramped up and it hurt when I pushed down. I was doing so well but I knew I had to back off my pace. I could still make my time, so I paced the next two miles. As I got to mile 12, I knew I pretty much did it. I didn't care if I had to hobble to the finish I was going to make my freaking goal lol. I semi-sprinted it in and came in with a clock time of 1:55. I saw my friends N, G, and K all waiting for me. I seriously love them. It's amazing to have a group of people like that who fully support you and are excited for you to reach your goals. We tried to wait around for my official time but it took too long. However, my official time was a 1:52:53. This is how I pretty much felt afterwards:

On top of the world!!

So Sleeepppyyy

This week is another challenging week. I've got a lot going on at work and not enough time in the day. This should be my last crazy stint before I calm down again, and I honestly can't wait. I'm not complaining, just really tired. 

When I'm tired, it's hard for me to work out. This past weekend though I kicked butt. Friday after my McDonalds binge, I ran sprints (8x200) around 40-46 seconds each. The times aren't super good but they're not horrible either. I want to focus a little more on speedwork since I've been training my slow twitch fibers for the marathon. I need to regain those explosive muscle movements that I can get when running sprints. 

Saturday we had a training run at Runner's Depot which is right next to my house. IT's extremely convenient to wake up and drive a half mile to run with a training group. The plan was to do 8 miles less than 9:00 min/mile.One of my friends T ended up joining me, which made it much more enjoyable to run the 8 miles. We nailed the 8 miles and came out with a total of 1:10 - even! Our average mile pace was an 8:45 which is right on schedule. I'm hoping that the race conditions this Sunday will help me to PR in my half marathon time. Fingers crossed.

On Sunday there was a 5K. I was pretty excited to run it and my friends G and K were coming as well. I was sore from the previous two days,  but didn't really think about it. As we lined up for the start, I stayed towards the back until the gun went off. Like my typical self, I sprinted towards the front and kept pace with a front pack (not the front pack - just one of the ones closer to the middle of the pack). My first mile was under an 8 min and I felt good. Once we started hitting mile 2, I felt sick. My stomach was pissed and I didn't know if I could keep up the pace I was holding. I kept pushing it, looking at my watch for motivation. As I rounded up the corner after mile 3 I remember seeing the clock count towards 24:00 mins. I crossed in at 23:54. I was stoked. I beat 24 again (my second time)!!!!! However, when I looked at my official time, I almost peed myself. 23:17. HOLY CANNOLI!! I haven't hit those times in years. My fire for running definitely came back right then and there. 

So after a positive week, I am back on my A-game to get faster. Tomorrow I continue with my sprints :)

Side Note: A house we out an offer on was accepted. Let's cross our fingers that we can get it without any hiccups. 

Utterly Frustrated

Buying a house really sucks. It started out fun, but a housing shortage plus cash investors is making the housing market frustrating and disappointing. Four offer later, we're almost at a stalemate. 

Today the house we put an offer on fell through, again. You would thinks we were negotiating or asking for something from the sellers, but we're not.. At all!! We are offering to pay them exactly what they want and it's still not good enough. I hate it. I raise my hopes up just to let the, shatter.

So I did what I typically do in these situations and cry my eyes out.. Are throwing a full blown tantrum, I decided to drown myself with a lot of McDonald's. I must admit, it made me feel instantaneously better and I have absolutely no regrets. I haven't felt motivated to really run, and part of me wonders if it is because I'm over running right now. Hopefully I'm not, but just I'm case I'm running sprints tomorrow.

Post Marathon Reflections

It's been almost a week since the marathon and my body is finally returning to normal :)

The day of the marathon I pretty much laid in bed all day and every couple of minutes I would kick my legs around to get some blood flowing. It hurt getting down the stairs of our townhouse, and trying to completely bend my legs was out of the question. I had taken the following day off and was completely grateful for it. Walking around was a little painful and I was overall exhausted. I ended up going to the optometrist that day and it took about two minutes just to sit down in the chair lol. Overall, it's a comical experience trying to move anywhere.

Thinking back on the day of the race, it was hard to believe I did it. I had never run that much in my entire life, and will probably never attempt that distance ever again. However, I figured if I was going to run with the American Cancer Society in grandpa's memory, I might as well have gone all out. I wore my ribbons that day in his honor, and every time things got tough, I would just hold the ribbon in my hand. The experience in itself was unbelievable, but challenging.

I figured I would post some additional pictures :) Sorry some of them are blurry!!

Only the 5 K mark lol...
Passing the Ft Lauderdale Montys! No worries the course also had us pass the one in Miami lol!!!

Pretty boats :) We had one boat come up to the bridge and cheer us all on.

You can't see the sign, but this was the 15K mark..

Running through the streets of South Beach!!

One of the other American Cancer Society members. She had marked For Mom on her calves..

I felt like Mario Cart during this part. I was trying not to slip on an orange peel!

Starting to break off for the Marathon.... Sucked seeing the half marathoners finishing up.

Some of the street entertainment!

Can't you tell how the Marathon crowd thinned out? 

I'm glad this is experience is over. I've resumed normal running, but haven't gotten into my groove. Tomorrow, 12 miles.

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