Monday, November 15, 2010
Let's start this at the beginninng which is not at 6:17 a.m. when my alarm sounded today. No this story really starts earlier in the week when I started to get sick. I fought it off as long as I could but even with my positive energy and the well wishes put into the universe from my SP peeps I did get sick. My throat was thrashed, runny nose, chills, a cough and conjestion - by Friday afternoon I was miserable and left the office early.
Friday night Mr and I went to the Usher concert - it was Fabulous! What wasn't fabulous was the three and half hours of concert fun at venue that had recycled air and smoke machines. My throat was raw when we left and my chest felt like I had a 20 pound bag of wet sand sitting on top of it. My sleep was deep that night.
Saturday I woke up early to feed the fur balls and then promptly took a 4 hour "nap." When I woke up again I immediately started to drink hot tea to loosen up the chest congestion and sooth the rawness in the throat. It felt like I was drinking shards of glass again! By 2:00 I was feeling better and was anxious to go into The City to find the race location and pick up my race packet. Mr and I found the location with no problems. I picked up my race packet and chatted with the race cordinator about iPod usuage. I found out that ipods are discouraged due to the course being a tight one and open to the public (it was important we could hear what was going on around us for our own safety) but use of them do not disqualify you from the race. YES! I ended up buying a new running outfit - pants and shirt that I abosuletly love - plus, I got a discount due to being in the race. I was thrilled that I could buy off the rack clothes at this store but had to try things on to prove to myself that the XL running shirt would actually fit - it looked really, really small. And those pants, I just looked at the sales lady with the eye of "yeah right, those will fit?" and amazingly they did. (Sometimes in my minds eye I'm still quit large.) I was exhausted by the time we got back home and ended up going to bed early. The cough came back, my throat dry, the weight on my chest now felt like a 50 lbs bag of wet sand and my nose just didn't stop running, I was a hot mess. I woke up in the middle of night in a pool of sweat - yup, a Fever had taken hold! WTH!?!
That brings us to today ... Race Day! The alarm went off at at 6:17 a.m. - it was still dark. My body ached and my chest felt heavy until I took the hottest shower my body could stand. I was out the door by 6:55 a.m. with my turkey bacon and hot tea in hand. I was told to arrive early to find parking, they were expecting it to be dicey, so I didn't want to be late. Traffic was a breeze and I made it to the race site in 25 minutes and scored a parking spot directly across the street from the start line. I had to admit my morning was going well so far! I sat for a minute gathering my thoughts and nerves ... there were a lot of people out already - biking, walking, running and playing with their dogs. Then I heard the whisper - "They are ALL going to see you run today!" I blocked it out as I strapped on my ipod and set out for a warm-up walk.
Getting ready to warm-up
I met some amazing women before the race - the positive energy was at an all time high. I heard the whisper again, "You're the only big girl here and everyone will see you run today!" I glanced around and took in that most of the racers were slimmer and trim, I stood my ground and I raised my chin a little higher. I'm a runner, I will run today!
Before the race
At 8:37 a.m. the line began to form behind the starting line. My pulse quickened. At 8:45 we all started to move ... here we go! I had set my ipod to my 5K play list and when my feet started moving I hit play. When I was free of the pack I kept telling myself to run my race, run my pace, don't get caught up in the moment. When I was free of the pack my lungs tightened. When I was free of the pack I wondered what I was doing here today. LOL.
Most the race was run on a dirt beach path which felt amazing, by far my favorite surface to run on, and a small portion on blacktop.
I got to the first turn and kept pushing forward, kept trying to breath. I ran. The track was open to the public so we were weaving in and out of non-race runners, walkers, dogs, strollers and even a few cars - that kept us on our toes. When I reached the two mile marker I glanced at the time - right on pace. Keep running! Keep running! The water tables seemed too far away. My mouth was dry. My lungs were on fire. Sweat was pouring off me. It was hot. Too hot for SF in November. Finally water! No, wait ... what did I just drink? YUCK, that was NOT water. Keep moving. Keep running. At this point I felt like I was running a 5K race while breathing through a straw. Then I heard Tim McGraw ask, "how bad do you want it ..." Oh yeah, I want this Tim and bad enough that I'm going to keep on running. Thanks! When I made the second turn it suddenly felt like someone shoved a hot poker in my lung ... I almost went down. I almost hit my knees. I almost vomitted. I pulled up to a slow trott and tried to take a deep breath. Nope, that made it worse. CRAP! Do NOT walk - keep running! Tears welled in my eyes as the pain increased and took my breath away. I stretched my upper body as I ran and prayed. The pain subsided a little. I reached the second water table that actually had water ... that took some of the fire that was burning in my throat and chest. One young volunteer, a boy of 13 or 14, looked at me and smiled and simply said - "you can do this, just keep running." I almost cried. It was so hot! By this point I was drinched. Crap, there's the camera guy - smile! LOL. The crowd was amazing ... they cheered us on and made each one of us feel special. I made the final turn and tried to sprint it out but at this point it felt like I was running the race while breathing through a tiny little straw - the kind you mix-in cream or sugar into your tea or coffee. Then I heard my name over the loud speaker ... Congratulations KT! I finished. I ran the 5K! Against the odds today, I ran the race. I ran my race.
After the race
When I walked in our front door the Mr asked, "Did you win?" I smiled and replied, "I did win! I won my race." It was left at that ... the truth is, I did win my race.
My stats: Placed 42 out of 57 in my age category. Overall I placed 265 out of 373. Finishing Time, 47:37. Pace, 15:22/M
Finishing time today, 47:37
My first 5K race (June 2010) my finishing time was, 49:34
I won my race today!
The first half of the course
The second half of the course
The finish area
They didn't give out finisher medals but rather finisher necklaces. They are very cute. I'm going to have the year engraved on the back of mine.
Even being sick, I logged a personal best today ... Imagine what I could have done had I not been sick!
I'll find out on St. Patrick's Day when I run my next race.
Friday, November 12, 2010
I just received the last e-mail update for the Mermaid Run in San Francisco. Tomorrow the Mr and I will drive into the city to 1) find the location 2) pick up my race packet and 3) find the parking lots available. I anticipate Sunday morning will be a bit crazy down there and parking is at least 15/20 minute walk from the start line. I'm okay with the walk, it'll be part of my warm-up, what I'm trying to avoid is race day panic in trying to find parking and the actual location.
Yesterday the boss decided to close down early, Yippie! I walked over to the gym. Arriving at the gym 3 hours earlier than normal was odd at best and I discovered new and interesting people there. I ran for 21 minutes at a faster pace than normal and it felt great. I also worked the elliptical for 35 minutes, it's still my favorite machine. The weather was great yesterday making my walk home enjoyable.
I took Mr to the doctor, he's been down and out since Monday. Ends up that he has the flu. (sigh) Not much to do but rest and recover. He got a flu shot, his first ever, and we headed home.
This morning our new ball of joy, Roadrunner, had me up at 6:00 and I knew from the start something wasn't right. In the fight of Me vs. Sick, Sick won. My head is foggy, throat scratchy, nose & eyes runny and a slight chill. The two fur balls ate breakfast while I took a snooze on the sofa. I woke up in time to make a little something for breakfast and get ready for work. I've been drinking hot green tea all morning trying to get that scratchy throat to calm down. The glands have returned to normal size so that's a plus and it doesn't feel like I'm drinking shards of glass anymore. I plan to leave the office a tiny bit early today to go home and nap. Stupid Cold!
My weight is up today but at this point I just see it for what it is, a number and it will change next week for the better. Too many factors are contributing to the rise and I can't do diddly to change what was but I can control how I react to it. Keeping working hard and be accountable.
We have a packed weekend and it's not the time to be sick! Tonight we are going to the Usher concert. Tomorrow into the city for a look around and I might work a little. Sunday morning is the race it starts at 8:45 a.m. (I'll be at the start line on Sunday regardless, I won't miss this race), and then in the afternoon a party at a friends house (our hairstylist comes and we all get our haircut). If needed I'll pass on work on Saturday to rest.
EDIT AFTER POST: I've been taking my Vit C & D this afternoon which has help A LOT with energy. The throat is better and the nose is tender from all the blowing - LOL. I'm on the road to recovery?! LOL
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Monday I felt off. The kind of off that affects your workday, your mood, your workout. I figured I was recovering from my fun filled weekend of out town and that my lungs were recovering from all the second hand smoke. After a discouraging run, cut way too short, I wrapped my brain around the fact that my lungs were really in pain from the smoke which made everything a bit harder.
I certainly was not sick!
Tuesday I felt a little better. I even ran a 5K, logged 20-minutes on the elliptical and a mile walk to and from the gym. After my workout my energy was off the charts. I did some house work and stayed up late playing with Roadrunner.
See, I'm not sick!
Wednesday I could have napped at my desk at work. The kind of nap where you lay your head down, drool on the desk and snore a bit because your that far gone. I didn't. My throat felt awful all tight and tender and when I drank water if felt like I was drinking shards of glass. After work I went to the grocery store. I felt guilty for a hot minute for skipping the gym until I went home put the groceries on the counter, sat down on the sofa and promptly fell asleep for an hour. I even went to bed earlier than usual, skipped reading and fell asleep with the cutest little kitty snuggled up beside me.
I CAN NOT be sick, I have a race on Sunday!
That cutest little kitty woke up at 5:55 this morning - he's always the first one up and loves a good pounce. We quickly exited the bedroom before he could pounce on Mr's head (it's happened before). When taking my pre-breakfast supplements my throat was on fire and glands felt like golf balls - well, that's not normal. (sigh) I whipped up a glass of hot salt water and started to gargle, that calmed the flames. Within the first hour of being awake I fed the two fur balls, they fought (still trying to adjust to each other), I ate a bit, and then I promptly fell asleep on the sofa.
I am NOT sick!
Hot tea and Tylenol has helped. It's a slow day at the office, thankfully, so I can go a bit slower myself. I'm determined to go to the gym tonight, if anything to workout on the elliptical.
I am NOT sick ... I can NOT be sick ... I have a race on Sunday! I will not miss the race. Come ran or shine, sickness or health I will be at the starting line and I will run.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Last night the dark side of life sucked me in and I still can't put my finger on the trigger! I was a hot mess of anger and bitterness as I worked out. Everything seemed harder and to take longer. I ran 1.1 miles and then finished up on the elliptical. I was discouraged by the run - it should have gone better and I should have been faster.
I keep picturing Meg Ryan's character in "You've Got Mail" as she flits around the back of her shop, fist pumping in the air, saying "fight, fight, fight!"
Monday, November 08, 2010
Wow, what a weekend! Mr and I picked up a rental car on Saturday morning so we could head out of town ... destination, Reno, Nevada. Originally we were to drive a Kia Senata but ended up with a Dodge Journey. I am soooo happy we ended up with the Dodge. I'd rent that vehicle again!
The drive to Reno takes just under 4-hours by freeway. It was a beautiful fall day. We packed snacks, drinks and music for the trip - all the comforts of home. At 9:30 a.m. we hit the road and never looked back. It was an easy drive and Mr took us all the way there.
Mr was excited to go - his first trip to Reno, his first trip to Nevada, we were meeting up with cousins he adored AND Reno is a casino town. We booked our hotel room in advance, staying at Circus Circus. My first choice was the Peppermill, a bit classier at the same price but it was already sold out. Circus Circus ended up working out just fine - clean rooms, multiple restaurants and two floors of Casino/Midway fun.
It felt so good to get out of the car and walk around after that long drive! Mr loves to explore so off we went for hours of walking and talking. The weather continued to be beautiful in Reno.
Cousins arrived late afternoon and we all got settled in our rooms and then took off for food and gambling. We had a great time catching up on all the latest and I asked lots of questions about their 2-week road trip that they just started. They live in Seattle so we don't get to see each other as much, in fact it's about once a year that we get together.
The food was good, not super great. I did my best to keep the portions in control and even found a sugar free dessert that was really good.
I'm usually the odd man out when it comes to gambling. It usually produces more anxiety than fun for me so I end up walking around watching the people. The slot machines didn't seem to be paying out very well for anyone, including the Mr. He had loads of fun anyway and always plays responsibly. By the nights end I played roulette and came out ahead. When the anxiety got caught in my throat I stopped. LOL!
The next morning we got up to a gray, raining, windy day. We ate a great breakfast, again I did my best to order reasonably. Oddly enough the cousins wanted to hit the road early so we said our good-byes. Seemed like a short visit for such a long way for both of us but they were on an adventure so I understood.
Check-out time wasn't until noon so Mr and I went exploring again. He ended up on a slot machine and I at a roulette table. He gave his donation to the casino and I walked away a winner again.
The casino's are still a smoking environment so my lungs and sinus were unhappy. Living a smoke free lifestyle in California makes it hard to enter places that allow it. I was happy for the fresh air when we walked to the truck.
We were about a mile outside Reno when we noticed that the road signs were saying that chains were required on Donner Pass. CRAP! So the snow had fallen on the pass over night! There was no place to rent chains so we had to stop and buy a pair - for the rental, which was not a 4x4. Chains are expensive and even more so when the station has you by the shorties. I checked the gas gauge, we had half a tank of gas - plenty to make it back home but not if we got stuck on The Pass. Growing up in rural Iowa we never let the gas tank fall below half on winter days - it was a recipe for disaster if we got stranded.
It was slow going over the pass, lots of bumper to bumper traffic and some drivers just going way too fast. I did great not to eat the snacks in the car due to my "hidden" anxiety! Mr was driving - his first real experience driving in rain, sleet and snow. He did Fantastic!!!!
After shelling out the expense for the chains we never had to use them. We both got a little cranky about it but in the end decided it was better to have them and not need them. I'll try to sell them on Craigslist soon or keep them if we think we might go to snow later in the ski season. We didn't need that extra bit of gas either - but again, better safe than sorry when dealing with the elements.
It was great to get back home. It's always hard for me to leave Sara, the 16-year old cat and it proved even harder to leave her and Roadrunner, the 9-week old kitty. Plus, Roadrunner is still in bedroom jail until his shots and Sara gives her approval. Sara gave us the cold shoulder when we got home but warmed up later. Roadrunner was over the top excited. He played and played and played. His excitement carried on for three hours!
I get caught up in the rat race, work issues, food issues, running issues, workout issues, all kinds of issues. Yeah, I wasn't perfect with my food intake this weekend and I drank some soda - life won't end and my healthy lifestyle and weight loss didn't stop because of it. Learning to balance it all is important. I've come along way in my journey and I know that keeping perspective and the ability to not judge myself so harshly are key components in this thing called life and wellness journey.
I don't regret a choice I made this weekend and I know I'll work hard this week to balance it out. Sunday is race day for me so I'm focused on what's in front of me, not behind me.
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