Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It all started with a 5K! I started this weight loss journey on SparkPeople officially right after New Year’s 2008. I was reading posts about others who had run in their first 5K. That totally inspired me and I thought, why don’t I give it a try! I found a 5K in my area and then completed the Couch 2 5K program found here on SparkPeople. I remember running that first half mile and nearly dying!!! And also thinking….how am I going to possibly run for 3.1 miles!!! Fast forward to April 5th…I completed my first 5K. While walking from the finish line I made the following comment to my family, “Well that wasn’t too bad. I can do a half marathon….it’s only 10 more miles!!”
So that’s where this hair brained idea all started. Once I think about doing something….look out. I set my mind and go after it! So I started running more races. Then I met some other ladies in my local town who were training for the Philadelphia Distance Run, a half marathon, and I told them that I would really like to run that race also! At the time I was suffering from Plantar fasciitis so I hadn’t registered yet. Then I finally just decided to suck it up and register for the race….if I had to walk the entire thing I was still going to do it!!!
So this past Sunday, September 21, 2008 I ran my first half marathon! It was truly an amazing experience that I will never forget and one that I can check off of my “bucket list.” I started the experience on Saturday afternoon. Allen, Collin and I headed to Philadelphia around 1:30pm. We had Michele, John and Alyssa following us to our hotel. After driving through stop-n-go traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway we finally got to our hotel around 3:30pm. We checked in and immediately headed down to the Expo to pick up our race packets. After that we enjoyed a great dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Then we headed back to our hotel room. With two children and two couples in one room, I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. I was wide awake at 2am and then pretty much tossed and turned until about 5am when I got up to take some Excedrin for the massive headache I had. Michele and I got ourselves prepped, ate some “breakfast” (a banana and piece of bread with some peanut butter) and then made the 2 mile walk to the starting corrals. We were in different corrals so we hugged and went our separate ways. I decided to wait in the never-ending port-a-potty line and luckily managed to use it just before we headed out. Fortunately, Cheryl, one of my Tastefully Simple team members, spotted me just before we “started” the race. So I managed to work my way into the crowd to her. And then we were OFF!! It took us 15 minutes to actually cross the starting line. For the first 3.5 miles I ran with Cheryl. We talked and chatted a bit and really took in the sights and the bands along the way. Cheryl was so excited because this was her first time in Philadelphia!!! I remember seeing an old gentleman with the following sayings on the back of his shirt, “At 76 I still have some kicks and at 75 I still had jive!” I made it a point to run up alongside him and pat him on the back and said, “Way to go sir!” He thanked me and told me that “He was older than John McCain!”
I continued running until mile 5 and then I took my first walking break and ate some of my peanut butter pretzels that I had pinned to my hydration belt. I remember thinking to myself, Okay Amy…now just run to mile 7 and then you can take another break. Which is exactly what I did. After that mile, I pretty much took walking breaks every mile or at every water station. We crossed Falls Bridge just before mile 9 which was another unforgettable moment for me! I gave a hi-five to an Eagles fan with a large green, foam hand out. And then crossing the bridge was such a beautiful view of the Schuylkill River and the trees! I thought, how cool is this to be running over this bridge. There was also a man playing the bag pipes at the end of the bridge. Somewhere around mile 10 my right leg just above my knee was starting to cramp up. I stopped to stretch as much as I could. Luckily it got better with each stretch. I also remember around this point in the race seeing two women, each on a separate emergency buggies, with oxygen masks and IV’s of fluids being hooked up to them. That was a bit scary!! I made sure to grab extra waters and the remaining stations!! Mile 12 seemed to last forever and I walked quite a bit of it. Once the crowd of spectators started growing I knew that I must be getting close to the finish. I figured I needed to look like a runner so I better start running!! So I ran until the finish line. I remember seeing the 13 mile marker and getting very emotional!!! I was so relieved, proud, and excited to see that number! I couldn’t cry for some unknown reason…maybe because I had sweat so much by that point. So I started to almost hyperventilate! Then I also spotted my husband Allen and my son Collin in the crowd which made my emotions rumble once again!! I ran as fast as I could to the finish line and put my arms way up in the air as I crossed the line!! The best part of this whole experience was that I had hoped to finish this race in two and a half hours…..and my final chip time: 2:30:23!!!!! WOWZA!!! I couldn’t believe it…I had met my goal!!! What a fabulous feeling!!
I never would have thought that I would be a half-marathon runner! But I can proudly say that I completed my first half-marathon with flying colors for my short running experience of only eight months. I hope that I can continue running for the rest of my life so that I can experience this great feeling once again!!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Back in March I booked our family vacation to Neptune, NJ. This was the closest "participating" hotel to the beach that I could find. I earned a 3-night getaway through my Tastefully Simple business...so that's how this vacation came about. So anyway...Neptune was the closest town to the beach....and the closest beach was Belmar.
Now fast forward to the end of June as I am surfing the net to find info. about Belmar. Up pops a RACE the weekend we are there!! Of course I immediately read all of the race information and wanted to register right NOW!! BUT...then I remembered that this was going to be our "family vacation." So I thought about it for a week or so and then the week of our trip I brought it up to my wonderful husband. Of course he thought I was totally insane. I think he said something like this, "Why would you want to run a race on vacation?!?! That's like me wanting to mow someone elses yard while we are on vacation." Okay I have no idea where he was going with that one but he was nice enough, with some bribery, to let me run the race!!!
So Friday night we get to Neptune to our hotel and check-in and unload all of our stuff. I ask the front desk directions to Belmar and off we go!! We got there and there were people EVERYWHERE!!! They had all kinds of festivities going on for the race participants! I registered and then we found a place to eat and then we headed back to the beach so my son could have his first experience on the beach!! HE LOVED IT!! We watched the end of a kid's movie on the beach and finished the night with fireworks!! What a great experience all around!!
I set the alarm for 5:50 am so that I would be up by 6ish at the latest. I started drinking lots of water right away so that I would be hydrated and thank goodness I did that!! We had breakfast, complimentary, at the hotel at 7am. I wasn't quite sure what to eat...so I opted for a bagel with peanut butter on one half and jelly on the other. Fillled up my hydration belt bottles with half gatorade and half water. Then we were off!!
Finding a parking space in the little beach town of Belmar was CRAZY!!! We ended up parking on 15th Avenue about 4 blocks from the beach. However the starting line was between 2nd & 3rd Avenues!! Start time was 8:30am and it was now 8:05am and I was 12 blocks away!!! So I did a very brisk warm-up run to the starting area. Off course when I reached it....I HAD TO PEE!! The lines were LONG but I waited and stretched at the same time. Got out of the john and had 2 mins to spare so I headed directly to the starting line!!!
One word for the starting line: PEOPLE!!!! This was my biggest race so far and it ended up with 2,354 participants that finished the race!! I went all the way to the back of the pack. The wheel chair racers went first and then we were off!!! I had a really tough time getting started because of the amount of people....but I eventually got into a groove. Unfortunately I forgot my heart rate monitor watch to see my time....but they did have clocks at every mile so that helped.
The first two miles were good. We ran up Ocean Avenue and then took a big loop around Lake Como. Then we headed back down Ocean Avenue and took another really big loop around Silver Lake. The last mile was the toughest for me because it was so HOT and HUMID!!! At each water station I took two cups....one to drink and one to dump on my head to cool off!! Luckily some of the residents were also out with hoses to cool us off too!! This was probably the hottest weather that I have ever run in....and man, my body was feeling it!!!
I did walk/run the last half of the race because of the heat. Since I didn't have my watch I didn't know how long I was running or walking but I just let my body tell me when would be a good time to walk again. My goal was to finish in 50 minutes figuring on a 10 minute mile pace. Well, I didn't factor in the heat and humidity so my finish time wasn't where I wanted it....but that's okay!! I finished the 5 miles!!! Got my long run in while on vacation and helped support the Belmar Fire Company.
So here are the final stats for my race:
AGE DIVISION: 97/127
They are posting pictures of the race tomorrow....so I will add one if I find one of ME!!! And the best part of the race...my foot felt great!! I got inserts for my shoes (Superfeet) and they have really helped my plantar fasciitis!! So hopefully I can continue to be a running fool!!!
Friday, February 01, 2008
I don't really overeat but I do eat and snack when emotions are tested and triggered...especially stress, anger and procrastination. I will eat instead of working.
This is a BIG one for me! I would reward myself with sweets for getting through the day, doing well with my business, working out, etc. .... you name it, I found a reason to reward myself with food!
3. SEEKING ACCEPTANCE
This really isn't an issue for me.
4. EXTERNAL CUES (eating after seeing commercials of food)
Not a problem for me.
5. MINDLESSNESS (totally not paying attention to what you are eating)
I used to eat whatever I wanted and not even think about what it was doing to my body.
Sometime I will do this but now too often. I would eat instead of working....so the procrastination comes into effect once again.
Hope this helps someone else too. If you know what your triggers are, you can develop ways to get through them WITHOUT FOOD!!
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