Monday, June 06, 2011
I needed a break from "training" so for the past couple of years, I have just been running for fun and not really training for anything. This was good for my soul and just what I needed.
I registered for this race before I had decided to run Ragnar but I felt that if I could run 25 miles in 24 hours, this half would be a piece of cake. It was nice never actually training for a race but sort of stressful as well because you kind of count on running those 12 milers to give you the confidence that you need.
On top of that, I hurt my peroneal tendon running with my dog 2 days after the Ragnar and took a full week off from running to help it heal. This was key, when you injure yourself, REST. That's all there is to it. I then ran a 4 miler and a 6 miler on the treadmill to test it out before the half and had no problems, so I decided to go ahead and move forward with the half. (I had decided if the foot still hurt I would drop to the 5k) luckily that didn't happen.
The day of the race we had perfect sunny weather and it was a cool 50 degrees for the 7:45 start. Perfect, I was cold waiting but knew I would feel good out there. I wore my Ragnar race shirt and my fuel belt (which I hadn't worn in a year). I had my Ipod and sport beans in the pouch and 2 canteens of NUUN sport drink. My fuel worked out perfectly.
Waiting in the corral for the race to start, I met a couple people who had also run ragnar began to chat me up (wearing this shirt would prove to be the best decision of the day). I wound up starting way too close to the start and I had people streaming by me for the first half mile. I knew I would pass most of them back later but it was still a bit disheartening to get passed up like this. I felt like I couldn't get my stride right and my head was not in the game. At mile 1 my Ipod fell out of my pocket and I had to stop and go back to get it (as a girl stepped on it, AWE MAN) but thankfully it didn't break and I was able to get it together.
After losing my Ipod I was really starting to think this race wasn't going to go well, I decided to change my own mind and not allow it to wander down this path. I started thinking "what a lucky girl I am to be able to do this, I am so lucky to be here" and I started feeling better.
I ran the next few miles conservatively, I was worried about my foot and about my "lack of training" which I think was silly for me but whatever. At mile 5 I took my sport beans for the first time with no issues. Mile 6 was my "low point". I felt like I was moving slow and felt tired and thinking "I wish I signed up for the 10K" haha, then I again redirected my thoughts and told myself how lucky I am and how happy I should be. I am so glad I did this because the rest of the race I felt good.
At mile 8 yoiu loop by the finish line and there were 2 different groupls of girls wearing Ragnar shirts and they both yelled "GO RAGNAR" at me as I passed, it felt so great to have a little cheering squad even though I didn't know them. It was at this point 2 years ago that I started feeling like crap, so these girls REALLY gave me the boost I needed to get over that mental hurdle.
At mile 10 I started remembering how at this point of the course I was walking alot right now 2 years ago. I was so thrilled to feel good and not miserable like I was the first time, I almost stared crying because I felt so good. lol
At mile 11 I decided to amp it up a bit since there were only 2 miles left and I was smiling and feeling strong. After we hit mile 13, two girls tried to burst and went flying by me, but I knew this course runs a bit long so I saved it... they both fizzled before we even got close to the end and I dropped the hammer and flew by them about .5 from the finish, I have never done that before but it felt great! lol
I wound up finishing with a 25+ minute course PR and an overall PR of 1:51:04
Monday, May 23, 2011
Those of you who read my last blog know I jumped into this thing 4 days before we were to head out on our 200 miles in about 24 hours. I was handed the opportunity to be part of a team of people I had never met, but I jumped at it anyways!
I met Valerie for the first time when she came to pick me up so we could ride down to Hammonassett beach to meet "Van 2" of our team. Van 1 was starting out at Yale in New Haven CT but it would take them about 5 hours to make their way up to us. So, down we drive to meet the other 3 members of our half of the team... BTW 1 person dropped out 2 days before so I took his slot plus kept the first and last legs of my slot.
Val and I were sort of annoyed driving down, we were down a man, people had been dropping out left and right (that's how I joined so last moment). Neither one of us had ever met them but held all of this against them anyways. lol. We get there, and see our teamates. immediately I think "oh no"... they were in jeans and shirts, every ones else was in running gear... on top of that, they inform us that our DRIVER is dropping out too and that they planned to drive us to all the excchanges... so they are running, driving and NONE of us are sleeping. I was ready to drop out... but I didn't.
As we are walking over to get our gear check and safety training I said out loud " we look like the bad news bears walking over here". The name stuck. So 3 guys, 2 girls and one soon to be leaving driver have now connected to create our van 2 team.
Our driver stayed with us for the first leg, she was absolutely miserable, I still don't know what was going on but she was so unhappy it put a damper on everything, No one felt comfortable, on top of the fact that we didnt know each other. Well, the three guys sort of knew each other and Val and I had gotten acquainted on the way down but that was it.
So I was the second runner and the last runner for our van (position 8 and 12). Chris, #7 was geared up to run from Hammonasset to the next exchange. As the time for van 1 to appear got closer, it was good to see the guys change into their running clothes. lol
The other van came, we took a group picture and Chris ran off and we jumped in our van to meet him at the next exchange so I could run. I was so excited to start! ( I am trying to give you guys all the details but I also want a record of it because it was so amazing). I think I saw the people in van 1 twice, maybe 3x... not sure. But we didn't get to know them at all and had no team vibe with them, which is sorta unfortunate.
We get to the next exchange, I hit the porta potty and wait for Chris to arrive, I was sorta nervous but super excited. He came through, slapped the slap bracelet on my wrist (that's the baton) and I was off at about 3:00 pm. I felt fantastic, I started cruising at a 7:45 pace and finally slowed myself down about 1/3 of a mile in because I still had 4 more legs after this 6 miler! lol. I ran through a small town of CT and finished up with an 8:22 pace for my first run. I was pretty happy and my team was really happy with that result (my van).
Now I had about a 2-3 hour break until I run in position 12. So I change my shirt and bra and make the fatal error of forgetting to change my socks. Stupid, rookie mistake that resulted in 2 blisters on my right foot. We cycle through the rest of our runners, and then I am up again. This time for a 5 miler. It's about 7 pm now and I am wearing a reflective vest over my running gear. I thought my legs might feel stiff or tired for this leg but NOPE, I felt great again! I ran this leg at an 8:23 pace, staying right on track, I was thrilled.
We now lost our driver, her mom picked her up at this exchange between me and runner 1. So the guys are now driving us. I have to say though, the mood in the van lighted up immensly now that she had gone and we started having actual FUN with each other. YAY! Now we had some comraderie and serious laughs going on.
Our team had 3 hotel rooms to use while we were between legs1 and 2 so we ate a sub at subway then headed to our rooms around 9:00 pm. we all showered, Val napped ( I couldn't, unfortunately) but at least it was a place to stretch out and lay down. At about 11:30 we got the call that it was time to drive to the next exhcange (an hour away) to meet the other van for our legs. Chris was up to run at about 1:00 am. He came in, ran right by me because you really couldn't tell who was who, I called him back to me and I headed out at 2:00 am for my third leg of about 5.6 miles. This was the coolest run for sure, a little scary but super fun. The first 3 miles were on sort of a main road, so there were some headlights and taillights along the way, that helped, especially to see the hills. There was one point where I thought I had hit the wall then saw the tail lights of a car going up, up and up some more. Once I realized I was on a hill I felt much better and sucked it up. The last 2.6 miles were on windy back country roads, I could see about 2 feet in front of me, I was so scared I was going to fall! lol I didn't though and finished this leg at an 8:59 pace (YAY still sub 9) lol. I was so out of it, I couldn't remember words and I couldn't stop yelling, I had no volume control whatsoever!
Val ran this leg of position 12, she was position 11 so she just tacked the 2.4 miles on to her 3.5 miler and did a 6 mile leg. I am SO glad I didn't have to run again at 5am. I slept in the van as much as I could but every exchange brought slamming doors and loud voices. We were lucky enough to be done by about 5:30 which meant we had more time in the hotel room! YAY. This time I think I got about 1.5-2 hours of solid sleep.
We had to head back out at about 9 am. grrr, I was tired.. I actually, at the next exchange met some girls and I was talking to them about how I was running 2 positions, there for had 2 more runs this day and they tried to talk me into giving at least one of them up, I will be honest, I considered it. But I knew, I would regret giving them up more than I would regret feeling like crap. So I decided to keep them. The weather was amazing and other than being tired my body felt fantastic. Chris ran, and I was up again at noon. I started out feeling really good, my vanmates passed me at mile 1.5 and I yelled "feeling pretty great so far". It hit me around mile 4.5 but I knew I had only a mile and a half to go so I powered through and actully felt good again by mile 5 or so. I finished this leg at an 8:40 pace, slowed down a bit but I was so elated at the end, so glad I ran!
The final leg I ran was the FINAL LEG of the relay started around 3:00 pm. I actually got to run into Harvards track and cross the finish line. I was definitely tired for this leg but it was so short (like 2.2 miles) that I knew I could do it no matter what. I ran through the streets of Boston, it was super flat (thank goodness) and felt pretty good, I got to the final track lap and my team wasn't there... crap... so I kept running through the finish line without them so we could at least get our time recorded and went off looking for them. About 10 min later, I saw them waiting for me at the entrance to the track... I had to break it to them that I had finished early... lol we all headed to the finish line to get our pic taken together and medals etc. This leg I ran at an 8:07 pace.
Overall, this was one of the most exhilerating experiences of my life, I personally ran 25 miles in 24 hours... Ragnar Relay, best 2 days in 1 ever! Actually my van of 5 strangers is hoping to run this next year as an ultra (we need to add one more, Bekka?) We wound up being friends to the end... lol
ETA my goal, rather than having any time goals were not to let anyone pass me during my legs of the relay. So I learned at the time that anyone you passed were called "kills" and anyone who passed you were called "deaths"... it was a good way to take your mind off of the mileage and turned it into a game, ! so i wanted to add my Kills and Deaths tally.
Leg 1 - 1 kill, 0 deaths
Leg 2- 2 kills, 0 deaths
Leg 3 - 1 kill, 0 deaths
Leg 4 - 2 kills, 1 death - the boy passed me at mile 1.5, I passed him back at mile 5 and beat his butt to the exchange YEAH!
Leg 5- 3 kills, 0 deaths
Monday, May 16, 2011
Ok, I am silly and excited. Let me tell the story of how this came about, as it's less than a week away and I just joined a team TODAY! haha
Saturday night, my DH went up to our home town to watch the Bruins game at our friend Jon's and I took our DD to my friends house so we could both have a playdate, her dd is my dd's bff... got all that?
Sunday morning DH says "I met a girl last night"... lol, I asked "oh yeah? what's her name?" He replied "Valerie, I want you to call her" (we've been together forever and I trust him 100%, so I was totally intrigued at this point) Anyways, he continues on "she's a runner and she lives in Hartford, she is always looking for someone to run with". "Oh she is on a team for some relay and they need one more member" I asked "what relay, RAGNAR????" and he says "YES, I never would have remembered but that's it!" So even though I felt like a HUGE WIERDO I called some girl named Valerie for a blind run-date.
I have wanted to run a relay FOREVER but had no idea HOW to start!!! So, I contacted her, she contacted the team captain and I am now their 12th runner in this 194.1 mile relay from New Haven CT to Boston MA. HOLY CRAP! I am so excited. I am a little bummed because I have the easiest legs (12, 24, 36) , I really want some miles but, I was reading the rules and there are 2 legs where ANY RUNNER can fill in and if someone is injured (hopefully this wont happen) any runner can fill in, so there is some opportunity to get more mileage in.
BUt the really cool thing is, I get to run across the finish line as I am the final runner for our team!
Anyways, you guys know this is not like me AT ALL, to just jump into a race, especially since I have my first half marathon in 2 years just 2 weeks away... I figure it's now or never though, what a BLAST! I am more excited for this than I have been for anything in a long time!
PLUS my semester ends TODAY!!!! YEAHH!!!! Then 3 weeks off until summer semester begins! It was just the most perfect timing ever!
So team LIFEcycle, here I come!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wow, I haven't blogged in ages. I still remember my first blog here on Spark, I never in a million years would have guessed that I would have the success I have had on this site. While I did "the work" it was the tools, support and motivation that I received here that helped me on this journey. I want to say thank you to all of my friends and others who have supported me along the way. Especially thanks to this Site for bringing me together with some lifelong friends.
Although I knew nutrition was an important part of weight loss, it took a Sparkmember reading though my food logs and saying, "yeah, you are in calorie range but you may want to cut out the poptarts and other processed crap" that really opened my eyes and jumpstarted my first few pounds lost. (i still eat some processed crap but way less than I used to).
Even though I started running about a month or so before I found Spark, I never would have gotten through those first few injuries without the support of my Sparkfriends, I had to give up my first half marathon due to a stress fracture and I was devastated but my Sparkfriends never faltered, they carried me though and waited through all of my complaining and self pity until I was able to get back on my feet and complete three half marathons as well as several other distance races.
I never would have even considerd completing a triathlon if my Sparkfriends hadn't held my hand through the process. It was a Sparkfriend who called me the morning of my first tri to talk me off the ledge, I was never so scared in my life! But I got in the water and swam, then got on my bike and rode and finally hit the road and ran across the finish line.
I have tried Zumba, I have tried Making the Cut, I have tried New Rules of Lifting for Women all because of the inspiration I received here on Spark, New Rules of Lifting absolutely changed my body and my mindset. I am forever grateful for the information I have received here.
Spark has changed my life, my Sparkfriends have changed my life, I am a new and improved version of me thanks to all of you.
While others have motivated me along the way, I found something even more powerful, my inner strength and self motivation. I run because I love to, I run because I know if I don't, I am not as happy. I run because it brings me peace. I never would have gotten here without Sparkpeople and the best Sparkfriends ever.
Friday, April 01, 2011
Ok with my mileage challenge behind me, I am looking to ramp up strength training once again. I pretty much just ran through the winter with very little (1-2 st days a week about 30 minutes) muscle building activity. For the last month, because I was so involved in the mileage challenge, I didn't do much of anything besides core work. I suffer from low back pain so the core work is necessity to be able to run pain free. lol
SO now I am trying to get back into strength training, hardcore. I really need help though. I will ALWAYS choose running over strength training if I have limited time. Don't try to talk me out of it because it wont change a thing.
I am going to cut mileage back to about 90 this month, that's the best I can do. Now, to get a program in place to start strength training once again. Help me find the time and motivation!!
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