Tag Archives: motivation

Half #2 in the books.

I haven’t blogged in 21 days.  To those of you who read this, I’m really sorry.

Truth is, I am really embarrassed about the (lack) of training that I did to prepare for this half marathon.  Here I have been, writing all these posts about how motivated I am and dedicated to fitness and continually striving to live a healthy life…. and I just didn’t follow through.

I admitted this in my last post, my training has been awful.  In fact, here is picture evidence of how terrible my training has been….

Sorry about the bad picture quality!
Sorry about the bad picture quality! Notice all the areas that have no writing? That’s because they weren’t completed.

Embarrassing, right?   

But heading into the race, I knew my training was terrible and I knew I was very unprepared.  So my goal went from running the race in under 2:15 to running the race to finish.

Man, did that make things so much easier.  In fact, my friend Lindsey and I actually had fun. Can you believe it? FUN….running a half marathon…. Never, ever, ever in my life did I think I would say that.  We talked wayyyyy more than we did our last half, we joked around, we sang “The Fox” song, we people watched….Additionally, we walked.  Much more than we did last time.  Mostly because there was an incredible amount of hills.

We ran the Brooksie Way Half Marathon in Rochester, Michigan.  When we signed up for the race, we heard it was pretty hilly, to which I thought “psh, I can handle hills”.  It wasn’t until about a week ago that I actually looked at the elevation page on the website.  Whoops.  Apparently “hill training Monday” (which as you can see above really didn’t happen…) wasn’t going to be enough for this race.  What’s that phrase? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Right? Ha.

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I felt the race was pretty good.  It did seem a little disorganized, parking was a little chaotic (I don’t know why people don’t just get there earlier), one of the dirt roads was very wavy and bumpy, and I wish there was a little bit more rah! rah! along the course… BUT I appreciated the change of scenery (from downtown to suburbia to trails), the change of running surface, and I did appreciate the hills, despite my lack of preparation.

I finished my 2nd half marathon in:

ResultsThis was 11 minutes worse than my last race…. but I am totally okay with that. Obviously there is a bit of disappointment that I wasn’t able to beat my last race time (human nature) but given my lack of preparation and especially my lack of preparation for the hills… I’d say 11 minutes ain’t so bad.

I learned a lot this race, isn’t that what is most important? I learned that:

  • Training is really important, but sometimes it’s okay to let life get in the way. PRs don’t always need to be obtained.
  • Hills aren’t something to be messed with.
  • The race was so much more enjoyable when my nervousness was gone and I was able to relax, enjoy, and appreciate my run.
  • I think races are incredibly inspiring.  If you run a race and aren’t inspired, you aren’t taking it all in.
  • Friends are important.  I wouldn’t have been able to finish when I did, with a smile on my face, if it wasn’t for my friend, Lindsey.
  • I can do this. I did do this.

There is so much about running that needs to be put in perspective. While September is over, it marks the year mark of my running journey.  That’s it – 1 year.  In 1 year, I have run three 5ks, a 4miler, and two half marathons. Seriously? That’s incredible.  When training for this half, I came home from a run and told M “The run sucked, I only got 5 miles in and I had planned for 6”.  And then I stopped and thought… “I just ran 5 miles.  A year ago, I never could have even imagined running 5 miles.”  Running truly is an amazing sport.

Now, with this 2nd marathon under my belt, I plan to take the next two weeks few days and recover (meaning I need to be able to move fully as I am so incredibly sore and suffering through a bit of a knee injury I haven’t blogged about).  I might take a little time off training for a big race and just focus more on exercising for the health of it.  We’ll see though, I can be talked into just about anything.  Because I know I can do it.

Thanks for listening to me – my journey is continuing and I can’t wait to see where all I go.  With school madness in session, I hope to be blogging a bit more and sharing my life.

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20 days is enough to train for a half, right?

Yes, for all you runners out there, you read that properly.

I’ve boasted before about how I have signed up (well, was forced to, due to a wedding present ;)) for my second half marathon.

When we signed up for the half, we were both incredibly excited and ready to get training.  I created a training plan from a few others that I have been researching – I needed it to fit our lives a little bit better.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit. The training for this half marathon has SUCKED. 

Listed below is all of the ridiculous thoughts I have had/should have had/need to have:

  •  “oh, I’ve done this once already so I should be able to do it again”
  • “I can definitely do this after taking 1.5 months off of running and getting married i.e. eating, drinking, and being merry”
  • “Sure, it’s okay to gain 12 pounds after the last half – your knees can definitely handle it”
  • “You will definitely run every day while on your 2.5 week long honeymoon and for sure follow your training plan”
  • “You have 10 chapters and 4 journal articles to read for class? No problem, you can run tomorrow. 3 rest days in a row is good”
  • “Go ahead, catch up on all of your tv shows, have your coffee and your breakfast and plan to run at 3pm when it’s 90 degrees out”

Yes, I know, completely irrational. But so so so so so what is happening in my life right now. 

Reality: I have 20 days until the half marathon. 

My Goal: FINISH. 

I think FINISHING is the moral of the story.  It’s so incredibly easy to get down when I don’t run as long or as well as I would like to.  I think it’s so normal for you to want your body (and your mind) to be able to accomplish something and then being disappointed when it doesn’t happen.  I am absolutely there. 

I really need to remind myself of the following things:

  • It’s been one year since I have really been running for “fun”. That’s it.
  • I’ve already completed one half marathon – the second one is just for the challenge.
  • My mind is my biggest challenge when I am running.  If I could just shut off the little devil, I would have no problem.
  • I know I run an average of a 9:30-11:30 minute mile. I don’t care – I AM DOING IT.
  • I CAN DO IT.  Whether I run, walk, or crawl to the finish line. I will finish.
  • There are so many who can’t run.  Why should I complain about a voluntary sign up for a race?
  • It’s not about the can’t. It’s about the can.

I should take a picture of my training plan to let you all see how atrocious it is.  But the reality is that I have been getting out there. I have been thinking about it, I have been planning for it.  I can do this. I just need to head and my legs to follow my inspirational words. 

Easier said than done, right? 

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Related links:

Motivational Quotes by Carrots n Cake

Clean Eating and Motivation by Half Virgin

How to Train for your First Half Marathon by All in Stride

BLISS.

Bliss: perfect happiness; great joy.  Something providing such happiness. 

Last night, Mike and I were going through some Mad Libs that we had out for our guests to fill out… some where hilarious others were incredibly heartwarming.  Two words kept being repeated…infinity and bliss. 

I really thought long and hard about this word. Isn’t it awesome? I need to use it in my life more often, isn’t life blissful?

Have a fantastic day – find some bliss. 

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Sunday workout

I got up this morning thinking, “man, I really need to get my workout in”.

Instead I started the day out with homework (and Monsters, Inc.) and swiftly lost motivation to work out.  So, I decided I’d take the dogs for a walk.  It’s a beautiful day, mid-70’s, and we haven’t been on a walk in a while.

Admittedly, we have not been all that great about teaching our 7 month old Stella how to go on walks.  I’ve tried, and failed many times.  So, we just don’t do it.  I usually resort to taking them to the dog park to run around… completely opposite of what I want her to do on the leash, but still so good for the both of them.

So today, I started with taking Stella (the aussie) out for a few laps around the block to get her a little tired before I brought out Tinsley (the chug).  We got some water, harnessed up Tins and off we went! I tried to keep it pretty close to our house as I know Stella’s inability to walk on a leash.  We live pretty close to a city building and voila! I found a set of stairs that would be great for a workout!

The pups and I did 10 runs up and down the stairs, stopping for water halfway (for them, not me). I definitely worked up a sweat!

Then we moved over to the park right by our house… there’s an awesome bridge that goes over a pretty wide river that I frequently use to end my workouts as an added challenge.  Well, I decided that we rocked the stairs so well, we might as well do 10 runs up the bridge!

Lesson of the day: It’s always important to wear a really good sports bra when you’re taking your dogs for a walk – you never know what kind of workout can be inspired. 🙂 

2013-06-16 11.50.01Me and my running buddies… best picture I could get of us post-run…all they wanted was water.

Half Marathon Recap

Cinco de Mayo 2013 marked an awesome day…. I completed my first half marathon.

I’ve talked about the race many, many times and as I sit here and write this, 15 days later, I still can’t believe I did it!!! I was incredibly nervous (but ready) and I knew that I worked really hard to follow my training plan.

My friend Lindsey and I have been planning to run this race since September 2012; however, neither one of us could remember why we actually decided to do it.

Here’s a little photo montage of our weekend in Kalamazoo — I am now officially a half-marathoner. 🙂

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After exploring around the check-in venue, trying to find where to get our bibs, and (of course) purchasing our 13.1 car magnets, we stopped to snag a picture to show we were actually there! 🙂

Our “pre-game” meal didn’t turn out as planned as we wanted to go to a specific restaurant, not factoring in the other 3,000 people there for the race as well as proms and typical Saturday traffic.  So we ended up at Monaco Bay, a piano bar.  We got decent food (no pasta), had a pre-race celebratory beer, and prepared to be the DDs for our trusty fans.

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We went to the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange next – where Matt and Stange enjoyed “playing the market” and drinking fantastic beers. Lindsey and I decided to get in our carb load with this delicious bread pudding. I mean, why not? We’ve been training for way too long…

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And yes, we are broke and paid the waitress with those quarters. Don’t judge.

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I mean, this didn’t make us crap our pants or anything – I thought it was a good idea to have a countdown app on my phone, until 24 hours before the race and it just kept reminding me non-stop…. ummm helllloooo of course I know there’s a race coming!!!

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Besides for watching Stange and Matt get really excited at the prices of beers, this young gem was our other form of (sober) entertainment.  Who brings their young kid to the bar to play his handheld video game while hogging the pool table??? People these days…. 😉

Okay, but seriously, I’ll start talking about the actual race now. 

hotel 630am

Ahhhhh…. nice early morning shot. We didn’t sleep so hot the night before – probably because we jammed 4 people into a 2 person room.

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Saturday night, Lindsey was saying that the final .1 was going to be the killer and that she was just gonna stop at the 13 mile mark. Lucky for us, we parked right by the 13 sign and of course, she just decided to sit and refuse to move further.

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Ahhhh walking up to the start/finish line. How cool!

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Couldn’t wait to get the rest of the day done and over with so I could come back and see this side of the sign.

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Straight cheesing.

I wore Remedy (white), size large, calf compression running socks.  These made a WORLD of difference.  I didn’t do much training with them because I made kind of a last minute decision to buy them.  I am so incredibly happy I did.  I get chronic calf pain and shin splints from an old fracture of my tibia.  I also wore a heel cup in my right shoe as I know I have a leg length discrepancy because of the fracture.

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Yes, we were nervous.

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Let’s just say our 2.5 hour block of people was a littttttle far away from the start/finish line.

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Thumbs up?

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Double thumbs up? I’m pretty sure my knees were shaking non-stop at this point. At least I was representing my SoleMate shirt. Was so happy to be running for Girls on the Run.
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Of we go! This is the only picture I took out on the course.  If you look towards the middle/left side of the picture, you can see a white tent on top of a building…. that is where we are getting married!!! We ran right by it. I won’t lie, I cried. I especially cried because my iPod decided to play Bruno Mars “Marry You” as I was running up to it. I wish I had planned that. haha

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So, here’s the thing.  I thought that Linds was going to fly past me and that I was going to be running the race on my own, which I was totally cool with.  However, we decided in the beginning that we were going to run together.  We got each other through the race. The first half of the race was tough for me. The second half of the race was tough for her.  We pushed each other straight through.  I couldn’t have done it without her.

As we were running past that final 13 mile mark, I told Linds we were going to stick together til the end. If you can’t tell by the picture above, I didn’t hold true to my thought.  I got too caught up in the moment and pushed myself. In all honesty, I turned the corner and saw 2:46 on the sign and I was SO PISSED at myself for not even being close to the 2:30 that I wanted to be under… so I booked it. ((I was looking at the marathon time, not the half time – they left 20 minutes before us, I found that out after the fact))

Sowa and I

Immediately after.  Yes, I took advantage of the chocolate milk, water, Gatorade, banana, orange slice… And yes, I cried when I hit the finish line.  I had it all planned out that I was going to throw both arms up in the air like Rocky… instead, all I could do was one.  There is a really good professional picture of it, but I didn’t wanna post the picture.

One of the coolest things about crossing the finish lines here is that the announcer said each one of our names as we crossed the finish line. It was a really nice, personal touch and it made me feel really special.  I’ve always done smaller races, so I don’t know if this is typical of big races, but it was awesome!

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I wish I could fully express how awesome I felt at this point in time.  I called Mike right away (he had to work so couldn’t come, but was tracking me as I went) and called my mom.  Then stretched, a tiny bit. Not enough.
Stange Sowa Sims

Los Tres Amigos…. Stange came out to watch us race.  The coolest thing about the iPhone is group texting. The three of us have been group texting since September and she has been involved in many, many, many texts, complaints, and rants about our training.

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Apparently my calf sleeves made my legs look like transformers…. And you’ll see the blisters on the back of my heel. That’s all I had! I felt pretty good about that. But definitely need to retire the shoes I wore after this race.

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Post-race celebration at Applebees.  I got delicious fajitas and a Bud Light in honor of my dad. resultsFINAL RESULTS! Came in under 2:30, which is exactly what I wanted!!! Couldn’t believe it!

Lessons Learned:

  1. Showing up early really does make a difference – I have a tendency to show up right before the other races I have done and then I am always waiting in line for the disgusting portapotties 3 minutes before the race starts.
  2. Water, water, water, water….. especially when it ended up being 73 degrees on race day and I had been training in controlled environments at the gym or in the snow.
  3. I found it important that the night before we didn’t just sit in the hotel room – we were out and about keeping busy and not thinking about the race. This was huge for my mental game.
  4. I need to become mentally stronger … I don’t have any idea why the beginning of the race was so tough for me, but it was.
  5. WALKING IS OKAY! I knew that I was going to need to stop and walk some, and we did, and it was totally fine. I did not feel like we failed – I was honest with myself and planned it into my mind.
  6. EMBRACE THE COURSE. The people along the course were phenomenal.  I made a point to thank people, slap hands, laugh at the signs, cry when I was inspired, say hi to the little kids…. isn’t that what it’s about? The community support was amazing and I was incredibly inspired through the whole thing.
  7. I tried to keep cheering on the people around me, and they were there when I stopped towards the end and I needed it too… we all did it together.
  8. Energy along the course is essential.  I brought 2 Gu packs with me (Vanilla and Strawberry), I used both, and probably one more that was given to me from some volunteers along the course. I needed it and it took a while to kick in and help boost, but it really did make a difference.
  9. Outfit.  I did a lot of thinking about my outfit.  Because I was a Girls on the Run SoleMate, I had a shirt to wear to represent.  But, I knew it was going to be hot out, so I wore a tank top under.  I took the shirt off at about mile 4 and threw it back on at mile 12 so I could finish the race representing.  I wore shorts that I have run in a ton of times – they had pockets so it was easy for me to store my Gu and chapstick.
  10. I need to find a better place to store my iPod.  I HATE the arm sleeve holders so I didn’t wear mine.  I shoved it into my sports bra (which I usually do when I’m running) and the pictures look REDIC. So, I probably need to work on that. Any ideas?
  11. Motivation. I needed all the motivation I could get. I thought about my family. I dedicated the last few miles to a different person in my family. I ran for Girls on the Run – I thought about them often. I ran for ME.
  12. I am an inspiration.  I did something that many have done but many more have not.  I tried to do everything in my power to celebrate my accomplishment.  I have always hated running. Hated it.  I have grown to enjoy the pain, enjoy the time to myself, and celebrate my little successes.  It truly is an incredibly feeling.
  13. I wish I could fully express how sore I was. For 4 days I could barely move, sit to pee, sleep, get in and out of the car… I wish I would have stretched more, refueled better…. But, I will (hopefully) learn for next time!

Also – we drank the Kool-Aid… We are signing up for another race in Metro-Detroit for the fall. More information to come soon 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this, for all the love and support, and for those who said a few prayers.  I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this goal and I cant’ wait to see what happens next. 

I am a proud half-marathoner.