Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I wrote up a little something about my marathon story. It's supposed to be under 300 words. This is 309. Any suggestions for editing, adding, taking out, changing, etc.
Thanks for any help!
I grew up watching my dad run. I rang cow bells on Summit, held ďGo! Dad! Go!Ē signs for many fathers to smile at, and tried on all his medals in the basement when no one was watching.
I gave running a few halfhearted tries in my teens and twenties. It wasnít until after my second child that running changed my life. I needed something more effective than hours in the gym to get that baby weight off. My husband helped me fall in love with running. He pushed the double jogger AND coached me. We planned runs around naptime and gradually increased distance as we explored our city. That runnerís high finally clicked in. I was hooked.
A year ago we celebrated Fatherís Day with the Lake Como 5K. My siblings, their partners, two joggers, 4 toddlers, and of course my dad. That was my first race. Now I was really hooked.
My dad has run so many marathons that he claims to have lost count. I wonder how thatís possible. He swears that Grandmaís is his favorite. He knew I had the racing bug so he reserved a place in Two Harbors way back in August. Since then Iíve run 4 half marathons, been a good MN girl training outdoors through this mild winter, and learned about fartleks, GUs, compression socks and foam rollers.
On June 16 I will be running my first marathon with my husband and my dad. My sister will run her first half marathon. My sister-in-law would have liked to join us but she is due with baby #3 on race day. This is sure to be a great day for my whole family.
I love racing: the energy rush, the community of people doing something healthy together. All of that is more important than any amount of baby weight that I lost.
Monday, May 14, 2012
This is the title of my personal pity party I've been having too often lately. Now, I'm not fishing for compliments. Or needing anyone to tell me that I don't need to lose any weight. I am pretty confidant with how I look and feel and have for about a year now. I feel even better with what I can do. I am an athlete and I love it.
But... why I am stuck at 148? I know that I'm a different 148 today than I was last July. Clothing and measurements prove that. And I really don't want to lose a lot more. 5 pounds. 2 pounds even! I just want to wear that pair of size 4 jeans that are hiding in my closet. I just want to look a little better. There are some pinchable areas that I don't like.
Here's the deal: I know why I'm not losing any weight. I don't want it bad enough. I am in training mode, not weight loss mode. I indulge in the extra piece of chocolate or cookie or homemade bread. I don't binge or overdo it, but I'm not creating that deficit. And I am fully aware of it. For the most part, I can predict my weigh-ins. I know when it's an up week or down week. It's been almost a year of bouncing around this weight so I'm familiar with the numbers. I know what it takes to see 147.4 and I know how very easy it is to jump up to 149.8. This maintenance business isn't easy!
And here's when I get snotty. And judgmental and whiny. While yes I certainly have had more sweets in the past few months or the extra helping at dinner, I eat incredibly healthy. Super foods, lean proteins, whole grains, good fats. And I am crazy active. I ran 18 miles on Sunday morning and it felt great. I teach HIIT classes, which forces me to regularly get in ST. (finally!) I swim once a week, I go to Zumba or Bodystep once a week for fun. I bike with my family at least twice a week. I have a job where I am on my feet and moving for most of the day. I have 2 toddlers. I get home and am chasing them around the backyard. I'm gettin those fitness minutes!!
We rarely get fast food or even eat out for that matter since DH is a chef and cooks incredible healthy and delicious meals at home. This weekend I didn't want to clean the kitchen so I biked to Jimmy John (sub shop) I got us turkey on wheat bread, mustard instead of mayo. Hold the cheese, and add avocado. A pickle instead of chips. No pop. I know this is not how most Americans order their fast food. And for whatever reason it irritated me last week. I don't want to judge what other people order. I don't want to be that annoying person peeking in your grocery cart. But sometimes I am. And that's when I start to wonder; why am I not skinnier? I mean, for the amount of things I say no to, shouldn't I be thinner?
I know this is awful, but I can't help it. At my workshop last week, my team went out to lunch and got hot dogs and onion rings. I stayed behind, went on a walk and ate my packed lunch. And I'm glad I did. That food would make my stomach hurt and I would regret it the next day. But I was still annoyed. Annoyed that other people can eat whatever they want when I am so very careful every single day.
Vent over. My guess is that other sparkers feel this way too. We're doing SO much and working SO hard. Why aren't the results bigger? I guess if it were easy, everyone would do it, right?
Ready for my positive spin? Yes, I'm still at 148, but I have not gained anything since marathon training began. From everything I have read, it is nearly impossible to lose weight while training for an endurance event. AT least I haven't gained the typical 5 racing pounds. Maybe all my "nos" are paying off. And I know I'll go up the week before the race with a serious carb load, but I also know I'll go back down again.
June 17: back to weight loss mode. For one week. Then it's triathlon training mode. Oh well! This whole racing lifestyle is way more fun than being a size 4 ever could be!!!
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
bummer, can't rotate here. It's not sideways on my iphone. oh well...
This is right before the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. I'm in the middle of my Irongirls!
Since I had such a crappy run at Get Lucky in March, I signed up for this so I would have one more racing experience before the marathon. wow, what a good call that was.
A bad run can really get to you mentally. I did my best to put a positive spin on it, but it rattled me. Sunday's run did the opposite. I think I am still on a high.
I started slow. Behind the 2:00 pacer and made myself stay there for more than 2 miles. There were so many hills. Short hills. But steep hills. And just when you finished 3 hills and thought it was over you turned and hit another set of hills.
The course was along a beautiful residential area for parts, lots of water, gorgeous houses, people sitting in their driveways with coffee cheering us on. Very cute. I don't know this area at all and I have always said that I like running familiar routes. It surprised me how much I liked running the unknown.
Anyway somewhere before mile 3 it was getting super crowded and I realized that it was because I was so close to the pacers. The 2 hour HM is a major milestone so it was a busy area. It was sooner than I told myself I would step it up, but I didn't like being so crowded. So I took off. And I am going to brag here: I flew! I just kept passing people. I felt great and all of a sudden we're at mile 5. I thought back to how dead I felt at mile 5 at Get Lucky. This time I felt great! So I had a Stinger waffle (you must try these!!! so much better than GUs for me) and then kept flying.
I'd set my sight on a girl with a cute outfit and run her down. And then another. And another. So many Lulu tops to choose from!! This is how I entertain myself. There were lots more hills. And then there were more hills and then we're suddenly at mile 10. Since I was feeling so great I thought I might catch the 1:55 pacer. We started in waves so I was 5 minutes behind that group's start time so I knew it was a stretch.
I took a GU, well part of a GU and kept kicking it. Yes, up and down more rolling hills. Then my shoe came untied and I gave myself to the count of 5 to fix it. I still felt great. I pushed a little too hard around mile 11 because I had to pull back. But the end was great and I was so happy and I immediately saw my Irongirls and they were screaming all crazy for me. Apparently the 1:55 pacer had just come in before me and they knew I wanted under 2. 1:54:08. I like to finish in the top half of my age group and that was top 25%. I'm sure I've already said it, but I am so so happy. With the time, the experience, the way I felt during the run, the finish line feeling and how I feel about it now. It was an awesome race day.
All the experts say start slow. Everyone on Spark says to start slow. I finally started slow. And it worked. go figure, right?!
This is why I run. This is why I race. The energy, the strength, the community, that runner's high. love it.
Monday, April 30, 2012
On my last blog a very good sparkfreind reminded me that a year ago at this time I was getting ready for my first 5K. And now I'm 6 weeks away from a marathon.
I was in pretty good shape when I started running last year. I wasn't doing couch to 5K. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that program. If anything, I am more impressed by people that do that than by what I did. I think I had an easier road than some because of how much I was already exercising. But like all runners know, running is different. Physically and mentally. I was so inspired by all the 5K blogs on Spark and I wanted to be a part of it. I am still in awe of all the people of all different sizes and backgrounds and abilities that run a 5K. I really believe that the beauty of Spark lies in the member blogs. If she can do that, so can I...
I have distinct memories of the first time I ran 3 miles without stopping. I'll never forget my first 6 mile run when I stopped and threw a fit and hit DH's back and started to cry. He told me to get over it. I did. And then I signed up for a 10 mile race. Again, in large part because of Spark blogs about HMs. They gave me the confidence that I could do it too. And I did. And then I signed up for a real HM. And then another. I am totally smitten by races.
The marathon was my dad's idea. I've mentioned him a lot in my blogs. I grew up watching his marathons. Every Saturday morning as I read the comics and ate cereal he would come in the back door and tell me about what his running group did that day. (They still meet every Saturday. 20 years!) So I know running was in my bones. I think this is another reason it's been easier for me. I grew up with it, I have the family support. I can only imagine how hard it would be without those pieces.
But the marathon is also another product of Spark. Your blogs gave me confidence, your comments on my blogs made me want to do more. It's like the more motivation I was finding here, the more I ended up putting out. Spark karma!
I have found an incredible support network on Spark. I've learned so so much. And I have come so so far. Thank you, Becky, for reminding me of that. Thank you to all of you that blog your ups and downs. Your 5Ks and your marathons. Thank you to all of you that leave a comment. Those silly emoticons matter.
I am so glad that Spark is a part of my journey. I'd never be training for a marathon if it weren't. It would have just stayed a silent dream. So write down your dream. It may come true!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Last week's long run was an incredible 16 miles. After the previous week's so-so run I needed this. I ran the first 4 with my sister, her friend, and my sister-in-law who is 33 weeks pregnant. We went slow and enjoyed some girl talk.
They turned right to a coffee shop and I turned left to run 12 more miles. Alone. I was actually looking forward to the alone time. And the whole thing went surprisingly well. I changed my route because I was so close to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and I wanted to check it out.
I love how Instagram makes me look like a good photographer.
I went down the steps and ran through the trails. It was peaceful and invigorating. So cool to be in the middle of a city and have such great nature.
After checking out the falls I ran to my brother's house and asked for a banana. I still had 7 miles to go and was hungry. They laughed and sent me on my way.
I use the mapmyrun app and I love the voice that announces mileage and average pace. I call her Siri's sister. My average pace kept dropping with each mile. I wasn't trying to go fast, I was just running what felt normal. I forget what the pace was by the end of the run. Maybe right around 9:30mm. The next day I was sore. And the next day and the day after that. I guess I pushed it a little too much and should have slowed down. I know it is the Long Slow Run and all, but I just went with what felt right.
So good to have a 16 mile run that felt great because after the 14 miler I was a little concerned with the distance and time commitment of training. It went so well that I was wasn't even nervous for 17 miles.
Yesterday morning a group of us met up again. We started the first 3.5 just like last week. All together, real slow and easy. Then my husband and I went out on our own. Just like last week, we kept getting the app announcement that our average pace was dropping with each mile. I said we needed to slow down and it felt like we did. I was talking the whole time and felt great.
We were about half way around our 2nd lake and it was mile 11 and I realized that we were probably further than 6 miles from home. I know, I know. How do I use a GPS app that maps everything and gives pace, but I didn't properly map out the run beforehand??! Well, I trusted my dad. That's a fair mistake! And I wasn't letting it get to me because when we hit 13.1 our time was 1:49. That is faster than my HM PR. And I felt great!! How is this happening?! Of course that negative voice jumps in and says: "Maybe this is your peak. maybe this is your best running and you'll get hurt before June." Shut up mean voice! I am a runner and loving it!
Long story, short: we ended up running 19. I fueled much better eating a Stinger honey waffle (holy yum!) around mile 9 and a mocha GU at 14. Still not a huge GU fan. At 16 I hit my "crabby wall" and sent my husband ahead of me. I was shocked by how good I felt throughout the run and even at the end once I got time to myself and back into that runner's zone. I was really shocked that my average pace was 8:49.
I think the biggest thing I've learned from this is START SLOW. I know that slow means different things for different people. All runners need to do what's best for their bodies. Starting slow makes sense. Warm up, right?! Well, I think I've always started too fast and then been zapped.
I am still shocked by how good I feel today. No soreness like last week. I feel ready for a marathon. I know I'll have another bad run before then and that's OK. It's good for mental toughness. Everyone that says training is a journey is absolutely right.
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