Sunday, October 09, 2011
This is going on my bathroom mirror.....
I think that about says it all!!!
Monday, October 03, 2011
Okay, this is it. I had planed for months to write some Sparktacular blog about my first Half-Marathon experince. You know the ones, where we struggle through and triumoh over and exceed our own expectations and all that. Well, if that's what you are waiting for or expecting, go ahead and tune out now. My first hlf-marathon was on Sept 11th (see previous blog). It was definately an experience I will never forget, and, yes, when I did finally cross that finish line, there were tears....and both of relief and of joy. It was not, however, how I had hoped for it to turn out. My fault though. For all the encouraging words I may spew at others about just enjoying there first, not starting out too fast yada yada yada....you thought I would have known better.
My best running buddy (17 years my junior) and I made this OUR first half and decided that since we did most all of our long runs togethe, we would stick it out through thte race together. MISTAKE NUMBER ONE - Good idea in theory, but in reality.....we should BOTH have just run our own races. Since we had done long runs at 10:30ish pace overall, that's the pace we started at, when I do much better starting off slower and warming up into the race pace....by the end, I was spent and was dragging her down with me. MISTAKE NUMBER TWO - KNOW THE COURSE, don't expect to run it like training if you train on trails and asphalt and the course in entirely on several foot thick CONCRETE! MSTAKE NUMBER THREE - if you are running your first half on the warmest day in two to three weeks, with NO breeze AND NO SHADE ANYWHERE.....DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FROZEN WATER BOTTLES FOR YOUR FUEL BELT IN YOUR CAR TWO+ MILES FROM THE START!!! I could go on, but I think you get the clue. Not that I regret the race, I learned alot of valuable lessons. And, even though my time was no where near what I had hoped for, it is a PR none the less and the next race should be easier to break that "PR" - though I hear my next half (in less than three weeks) is "hilly"....which could just be another word for "hellish".
It has taken me a good two to three weeks to work out and process my disappointmnt in myself - finally coming to the realization that this is not about how many people or what time I did or did not beat. The point is that I pt myself out there to do something that I would NEVER have believed a year and half ago that I would want to much less be able to do. I spent a few days wallowing in my pity (and pain) - ouch CONCRETE! I tried to eat my disappintment away, which only lead to worse frustration with myself. But, gradually, from the inspiration and examples set my many, many of you dear Sparkfriends, I have climbed back on the nutrition wagon and am getting my nutrition in balance and getting in some safe, yet hopefully productive miles and some extra stretching to prepre for my next adventure.
In the end, although there were 75% of my age/gender group ahead of my on the course that day, there were probably closer to 98-99% of my age and gender behind me with their behinds on their couches for MUCH LONGER than I was on that course. For that reason, I can be proud.....and I earned THIS
THIS IS FOR YOU ROBERT - (ONTOVICTORY)!!!
So, there's the Bling...you've read the bad....and, the bounceback??? Well, last Sunday, I ran the Morton Arboretm 5K (that I ran last year in 33:25) in 30:13 !!! I had hoped for a sub 30 for the first official time, but it was not to be that day...but that's okay. Still a good comeback and a giant improvement over last year. Now, here's praying that streak continues through the half in St Louis on the 23rd! Each of the 7 races in my running "career" to date have been PR's.....trying to keep that streak alive for just one more!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
I'm still adjusting to the new work schedule. It is harder than one might think to figure out how to add in an average of 5-6 more work hours a week and still keep all the rest of life in balance. Cooking has gotten a little more hurried, and sad to say, fitness has decreased, so, I'm going to have to work on getting more organized and making better use of every minute of the day.
Today, however, was the perfect day. I do love Sundays, but this one put most others to shame. Even though I got in a 7.5 miler on Thurs night, I still eeded another long run. I would've loved to sleep n, but with the cooler morning temps, my running budy and I decided to do a very early (5:30AM) run since we were shooting for at least 10 miles. We got to our meeting point and I was surprised to see several other runners meeting up. I soon realized, though, that there would be a marathon being run on the same paths that we would be running. We headed out at about 5:45 and it was almost a bit chilly, but we determined that we would try to maintain an 11 min mile pace. The first mile it was still pretty dark and we were warming up, so, we endedup at 11:25, Miles 2-4 were all pretty consistent between 11 and 11:15 and miles 5-7 were we well warmed up and averaged 10:15. Miles 8-11 we averaged 11:11 and then on the last half mile, I really kicked it and we did the last half mile in just under 5 minutes. Overall, for the 11.5 miles we did a 10:58 pace, so I was pretty pleased. Neither of us felt wiped out at the end and th entire thing I used 20 oz of 1/2 and 1/2 G-2 and water mix to drink and one cliff shot block for fueling. Breakfast before hand ws a banana in a bowl of oatmeal w/skim milk. I think I'm feeling pretty confident about the pre and during race fueling for the half in two weeks. The will be five water gatorade stations on that course, so I am seriously thinking about not wearing he fuel belt at all. I'd love to have the cardio trainer to get my race spits, but, I don't think I want the extra weight on me. I may just look for something smaller that I an put a couple shot blocks and a key in. Heather an I are planning on hitting a running store this week to pick up a couple of matching singlets for the race, so maybe I'll see something I like.
The run was GORGEOUS - almost ZEN like, especially for the first 2/3 of it before the race started and the bikers were out on th path. Another reminder of why I love to run. I couldn't imagine a better start to the day. Once we finshed, we got in a nice cool down and stretch and then Heather followed me home and we downed a couple green machine smoothies and some blueberries while we showered and dressed and then hit Colonial Cafe for my second breakfast. (You can do that when you've burned 1100+ calories before 8AM! LOL!) They make an awesome tri-eggathon omlette (3 egg white omelette stuffed with veggies and salsa and topped with a little low fat mozarella) served with fresh fruit and usually toast. Tha's my usual, but with the fall approaching, they have brought back their pumpkin pancakes, which they graciously allowed me to substitute for the toast (for a charge). They are soooo good.....no syrup and only the tiniest bit of whipped butter needed. I finished the fruit, 2/3 of the omelette and 2/3 of the pancakes and I was stuffed, so I'll have a nice left over breakfast tomorrow. After breakfast, Heather joined me at my church for the late service. She attended there years ago, before she married and moved away. So, with Jeff (her DH) out of town on business, it was the perfect chance for her to come back for a visit and see some old friends that she hadn't seen in a while.
She dropped me off after church and went home to nap and I had plans of stuff to get done for the week ahead, but, in the course of deciding what all needed to be done, I realized that a nap was probably of more importance....so, I laid down and slept for a couple hours and then got up and cleaned the kitchen and cooked dinner for sis and I and caught up on some e-mail and sparking and stuff for the fitness challenge at work and figured that I should catch up on my blogging here too, since I haven't really had time in a while.
All in all, got to call it a pretty perfect day. Now to do about 15 -20 more miutes of fitness challenge catch up and hit the sack fo another (surprise) busy week. KEEP SPARKING STRONG EVERYBODY - and have a SPARKTACULAR WEEK!!!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
This week has been exceptionally emotional around the house. Immediately after the baby shower that we all (especially my sister who spent WAY more mone than I thought was necessary) worked so hard on.....my niece and her husbanc packed up their belongings and left....to go visit other friends and family for the duration of their trip. Now, normally that wouldn' sound like a bad thing, except that the very day after the shower was my sister's 65th birthday! Her own daughter, who she had just spent all this time and effort and money to throw a shower for, did not even recognize her own mother's birthday! I realize how greatly this hurt my sister, but she is not one to show emotion, at least not directly or towards where it is intended, so, for most of this week, I have gotten to play the eggshell dance since I am the closest one for her to lash out at. Thankfully Go has blessed me with alot of patience and peace and the wisdom to just pretty much stay out of her way until my little sister could make it over and we spent the majority of this weekend teaming up to make sure that she had a birthday celebration and the tension around the house would ease up. I was a little over nutritionally on Monday, but immediatly realized that it was a stress or emotional eating situation, so I have been extra diligent about not allowing myself to get too hungry or emotionally drained and have done much better for the rest of the week. Yesterday, I splurged a bit on a burger and fries and then today, I had ice cream, but nothing TOO over the top and I am back on track tomorrow and have lots of miles to log overthe next two weeks before I start my taper for the half.
Havebeen experimenting with some other fueling options....still liking raisins (cheap and easily accesible), but stinger gels and shot blocks are close behind, in a pinch, even jelly bellys, but I do like to be able to get in the extra electrolytes when possible. I have also been looking at what kind of shoes I will be getting next. I had thought about trying Sauconys. Everyone I know who has them loves them, and although I still like my Asics Kayanos, Iwould like to try something a little lighter. I tried on a pair of Newton Motions at the running store. VERY comforatble bur they are built up under the mid to fore foot to make you less of a heel striker. I ha read very mixed reviews though, and at $175.00, I'm going to have to think long and hard before I shell out that much for shoes that I may or may not end up loving. They are very comfortable on the foot, but I can see that they would take alot of getting used to. I'll have to post on a couple of the running teams and see if anyone out there has any first had experience with these.
Still weighing all the information re: benefit packages and their relative cost at work. Getting signed up with those is this week's project. Have a long run on my day off Tuesday (moved from Saturday so that I could spend time with sis). Mid distance run this next Sat and then my final long run the Sat after before I start to taper for the half. WOW! It's coming up fast. I am so grateful that my buddy decided to join me. Praying for good weather.
Hope everyone lse is having a great end of summer and getting some relief from the heat! KEEP SPARKING STRONG!!!
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