Monday, October 17, 2011
SOOOOOOOOOO, I am just now getting around to this race report. I know it's late, but I have SO MUCH going on!!
For starters, even though this was a marathon by distance (42.2 km), it was an ULTRA if you ask me. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was not looking for a PR here. I knew this was simply for my own accomplishment of conquering that mountain. Just for the record, I live in VERY VERY FLAT northern Germany, and only run outside. I do not train on any hills to speak of.
Here's a profile of the elevation I would be covering:
I ran the much-easier half marathon at this event a couple of years ago, and LOVED it. But I knew the half marathon did not climb nearly as high. But I was determined to take on that marathon.
My mom flew in the day before the race, and we drove to where we would be staying the evening after picking her up. The next morning, I got up with my husband in enough time to get to the race a bit early (he would drop me off and come back later), while my mom stayed with the kids.
At the race, it was cold. And rainy. Rain on the forecast. Uuughhh. I was hoping for a clear day so when I got to the top of the mountain, I would get the pleasure of a beautiful view. That was just not the case. But I wasn't about to back out now! After my husband kissed me goodbye (about 20 minutes before the start, he had to get back), I realized that he had taken my time chip with him in my start packet! So, I quickly ran to the registration booth, and got a new number and time chip. There was NO WAY I was going to run this one without the satisfaction of official time!!!
Me before the race:
Doing my muscle pose... LOL:
"HOOAH I will beat you, Brocken Marathon!"
So, after I got settled with the right number (which ended up being 4715 instead of 4070), I stood nervously with the other runners in the starting corral. Granted, there weren't many of us. See, I am one of those small-race junkies - I always pick these odd, small races. So, there might have been 200 runners? I am not sure. I didn't even look it up afterward.
Here is the Start line:
At 9 am sharp, we were off.
Pictures during the first 10 km of the race. Beautiful scenery!!
After 10 km, we started a sharper climb. By kilometer 13, it was a solid climb up, with no relief. I had to walk it. Even walking was hard!! But I didn't feel bad, because every runner around me was doing the same.
As we neared the top, the wind got stronger and colder, it got more rainy and even snowy!! Yes, that is right, I saw SNOW!!
AND THEN, I CAME TO THE CREST!!!! YEAH!!!
Reaching the crest of the mountain around km-19 was totally worth it! So exhilarating!! I started getting very teary-eyed as I passed all the bystanders who had come to the top of the mountain to cheer us on. I knew I had finished the hardest part, but I also knew I had a LONG way to go, and my goal was to get down that mountain uninjured... I knew running all that way downhill could be dangerous.
As I passed 30 km, I was still feeling good, but I thought I had passed most all of the upward climbs. I was wrong. They weren't so big, mind you, but they seemed MOUNTAINOUS at that point!! Anything going upward was just a killer! My upward-climbing muscles were just spent. I did have to walk a couple of times, but determined to keep going. Once I had only 5 km left, I resorted to just giving myself a pep-talk... yes, out loud. Hardly anyone was around at that point. I just kept telling myself, "You can do this, just keep going, just keep running, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.... Just do your best!" Sounds a bit funny, but that is what helped keep me running those last 5 km. Did I want to give up? YES! Did I wish I could just walk it at that point? OH YEAH!!!! But I kept going.
As I turned the last corner and saw the finish line, I picked it up a bit. Then I saw my hubby with one of our daughters on his shoulders! And my oldest son stood there cheering me on. I was very emotional upon finishing that race. I couldn't believe it was over. And although I am pretty sure I remember SWEARING to myself that I would NEVER take on another mountain marathong like that, I am already thinking about doing it again!!! LOL
The only good picture the hubby got of me coming into the finish, unfortunately. But he had a daughter on his shoulders who had INSISTED on being up there so she could see Mommy, so I won't complain!!
After the race, we all had some good ol' Bratwurst, and I got a locally-brewed beer. German-style, you know. I had to finish it German-style!
It was a wonderfully exhilarating feat. I am glad to say I finished still standing, still running in fact, still smiling, still injury-free! My quads and hamstrings suffered muscle soreness like I have NEVER EVER had before, but I was not injured in any way. My official time was 4 hours 58 minutes and change - 40 minutes SLOWER than my marathon in February, if that tells you anything. I am not sure where I placed, but it wasn't near the front, I think. I don't know. But it was an experience worth remembering.
That's all for now, Spark Friends!! Will update more soon!!
Saturday, October 01, 2011
I have been MIA from SP lately, I know. My enthusiasm about exercising has waned too, I must say. I have this marathon coming up next weekend, and I am TOTALLY distracted and focused on other things. Good thing I am tapering, is all I have to say.
So here is the deal:
In the past couple of months, I have discovered a skill/talent that I have, something I really love doing, and I have decided to pursue it as a means of making a little money. I don't really want to say what it is just yet, because I still feel like I am crazy, like "who would want what I have to offer????" But I feel the intense need to try.
So, this past week, I have invested in some things to get me started. I have no idea where this all is going to lead. It is kind of scary.
With that being said, I will keep the exact details of what I am doing under wraps for now, but I will blog about it & fill all you lovely Spark Friends in at some point....
I am looking forward to my marathon next week. It is going to be TOUGH!! But I have wanted to do this one ever since I ran that HM at the same event in 2009. I am not looking for any time goal here, just to finish standing up on my own 2 feet and hopefully smiling!
Here is the profile of the run. As you can see, I will be climbing a mountain, and coming down the other side.
I know, I am crazy. But I think it is going to be a really awesome experience!! And if the weather is anything like what we have been having in the past 2 weeks, it's going to be AWESOME!!
Here's to giving it my best shot!! Happy running to all!
I'm off to run my last tapered long run of 10 miles... heading out the door now....
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Hubby's last day @ work was today!! They let him come home early, so he is... as of now.... D.O.N.E!!!!
There is rejoicing in this house, let me tell ya!!!
Here's a funny little event that happened today though:
DH calls and tells me that his aunt is going to have him sign an agreement saying that he will not work at any "premium" car dealerships within such-n-such a radius for so-n-so long. Basically, taking away his right to get a job at a "premium" car dealership or business if he so chose.
When he told me, I thought, that doesn't sound right. This is a free country... how can she tell him where he is not allowed to work?? So, I questioned him about it, and said he shouldn't feel obligated to sign that.
So, he decided to check out his legal rights online before the meeting with his witch of an aunt (she is the most horrible employer I have EVER, EVER, EVER come into contact with - dishonest, greedy, unscrupulous, back-stabbing, unfair... just HORRIBLE).....
And guess what he found?????
Not only is he NOT obligated to sign that, but in order for it to be legally binding, his aunt would have to pay us....
... grab your seat....
a WHOPPING Ä40,000!!!! hahahahaha!!!
This is just awesome.
He told her it was illegal, and told her he wouldn't sign. He even showed her the legal information he found. She was NOT happy, and said that his training that the business paid for would go toward the Ä40,000, but even THAT is NOT LEGAL!!! Trying to make him pay for the training they had him do.....
Anyway, we probably won't get Ä40,000 out of her, but we certainly won't back down and sign it either! MUHAHAHAHAHA!!! That totally made my day!
After working for that horrible person for almost 5 years now, it felt great to have the upper hand.
A NEW DAY IS HERE!! There is a pep in my step, and a smile plastered all over my face! My hubby starts his new job with those wonderful people tomorrow. What a huge blessing. We are so blessed!!!!
Monday, September 12, 2011
I don't like the marathon distance, I have decided.
After a lot of on-going soul-searching in the past couple of months, I've concluded that this coming up marathon will probably be that last one I do for at least a good while.
It's not that I'm facing some huge injury or physical problems. It's not that I can't do it. It is just that I simply don't want to. I've always said that I love running, but my family comes first. I get up early in the morning so that I don't take time away from my kids and hubby. But lately, I have been noticing some negative effects, and I don't like it at all. This is simply about balance.
My training lately has just felt forced, and I hate feeling forced to run a certain distance. I actually don't like trying to get in a 3-4 hour training run, ESPECIALLY when I have a TON of other things in my life going on. For example, this past weekend when my cousin was here (that is just ONE example), I was TOTALLY unmotivated to go out for my long run. Yeah, I got up and did it. I ran 21.3 miles on Saturday morning, but from the moment my alarm went off that morning, it was a TOTAL, ALL-OUT MENTAL BATTLE!! Uggghhh.
I'm sorry, but running shouldn't be that way.
Also, there have been other side-effects that I am pretty sure are stemming from the hefty running - fatigue, lack of energy and motivation to do other important things, increased appetite (we're talking, like, out of control!), irritability.... those are the most obvious to me.
I got so down about my wacky appetite and lack of energy, that I started being REALLY concerned it was something serious, so I went to the doctor last week to have my thyroid and iron levels checked (my mom has underactive thyroid problems). But lo and behold, everything was perfectly fine. I am perfectly healthy.
I am simply pushing myself too hard. And my kids and hubby are having to live with an energy-less, drained, fatigued, irritable mommy/wife. Not cool. They deserve better than sloppy seconds.
DH also made a great point to me the other day as I discussed this with him - "Really, it comes to a point in running, that it doesn't matter if you run 5, 10, or 20 miles, you are NOT getting any additional health benefit from it."
I have to agree. Too much of a good thing is not always good. I think the longer distances are simply for self-gratification. I totally admire and respect anyone who can pull off longer distance runs, like marathons and ultras and such. But time-wise, and concerning my family, I think I just need to take a big step back.
So, yes, I will continue to run. I will continue to strive to stay healthy. In fact, I love the half marathon distance, and would like to keep running at a level where I can easily be ready for the half marathon distance. But I really don't see a benefit in doing more. In fact, every time I crank up my miles, my eating goes haywire and I end up gaining weight.... hmmm. Makes you think, doesn't it?? Maybe it's taking away from my healthy lifestyle, not helping.
Those are just my thoughts. That is where I stand. Time to re-prioritize. Time to change things up a bit. Time to balance things out a bit.
BTW, it was totally great to have my cousin here with her 4 kids last week. I totally thought it was going to be hectic and crazy here, but actually, the kids played so well together, we all had such a lovely time!! And being with family is just good for the soul, if you ask me. =)
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
OMGosh, this is a long-overdue blog, but I just do not have time to write these days!!! I shouldn't even be sitting here writing this....
But I will! hehe.
The UGLY: my weight. I have no excuse. I know what to do, what not to do, what works for me, but the truth is, due to stress, boredom, or whatever other reason, I have continued to eat WAAAAAY more than I should, and delve into unhealthy eating choices all too often....
..... resulting in a very UGLY number staring me back in the face as I step on the scale. I am at an all-time high, since I reached my goal weight back in Oct. 2009.
But I will NOT let that totally keep me down. This week, I have been working on "starting over" once again.... I know I have said it before, but I am really working on it.
The GOOD, or the GREAT, really!!: hubby's new job!!!! He starts officially on Sept. 16th!! He put in a tad bit longer of a notice (longer than the LOOOOOOOOONG 30 days that was required) just to be respectful, but the DEED HAS BEEN DONE!!
It was so extremely stressful at first, when he told his aunt and uncle, just as was expected. The family, including his parents, put so much pressure on him NOT to quit. All of this was while I was gone on vacay in the UK. He was here at home with the kids, and was so sick and stressed, he said he could barely sleep or eat!! MY POOR BABY!!
But once I came back, and was here to help and support him during this time, he officially put his notice in, in a very tactful but firm way, and that was it. They have left him alone now. It was SOOOOOO relieving!
The GOOD/BAD: Bad, well, I didn't get back into my routine with P90X after returning from vacay in the UK. I just wasn't on my ballgame, so I returned to doing BodyPump 2 Xs a week. I'll have to start back up with P90X at another time... one thing at a time.
Running is going great. I have decided NOT to do the crazy underground marathon in December. While it would be an amazing experience, I think, I just don't want to put that pressure on myself right now, not knowing how I am going to feel after I run the mountain/trail marathon here in 5 weeks. Yes, that is right - MARATHON #2 is coming up in just 5 and a half weeks!!!! I will be running Half Marathon #5 on Sunday with friends just for fun. Not shooting for a PR here, but I think it will be super fun, and a great "training" run for my marathon.
I'm still working at the cafe on Sunday afternoons here and there. It is so much fun, although I have a hard time staying away from the Torte. I am getting better at saying no. I really think this is going to be a lasting job, and may turn into something more, just as I had thought when I started in March or whenever that was. I am going to start learning how to make the Torte myself, and when I get good enough, they are going to sell them in the cafe. I may have other ideas of what we can sell, things we can offer too, that the owner might be interested in, so I will be working toward being more involved as time goes on..... =) WHO KNOWS?? Maybe me having my own cafe someday is NOT SO FAR OFF?!?!?!
Ok, that is all I have time for today... I miss you all, now that I haven't been as active lately... but life calls. What can I say? Ta-ta for now, Sparkers!!
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