Sunday, December 04, 2011
Promise this will be short and sweet!
Prior to this year I had done 2 Half Marathons, first on 11/09, second one 11/10. But this year, did one in Feb., and one in March, then so far 5 Half's in the past 6 weeks with one more next Sunday to finish out my Half Marathon year.
I have been pacing some races, and racing a couple, and today was going to be a race for me. I knew the pace I needed, I went for it, and I hit a goal! I beat my previous best time by almost a minute (that's a lot)! My previous best was from the Half I did 11/10, so I am so happy to finish the year with a personal best and took 3rd in my Age Group! Yay!
And it was great that hubby ran this race too and he also did really well! Looking forward to next week's race!
Monday, November 28, 2011
So prior this year I had run two Half, my first one in 11/2009 and my second one in 11/2010. This year, partly due to my Facebook Group I created called Running Friends From Around the World (with now over 400 fun and crazy people), I have really come to enjoy the Half Marathon distance! There are people in this group that run these what seems like every day and they just enjoy it! Most are not the super competitive runners but love it for the love of it!
Just think, barely two years ago I was scared to death thinking "Can I really finish 13.1 miles???" And now I think "It's ONLY 13.1 miles!" Wow, how things have changed!
I'm a very competitive person and could never see myself not running a race to get a new Personal Record, but things have changed. I ran a 5k in February with a friend to pace her through it and I really enjoyed doing that. The next day I ran a Half Marathon and did pretty well after coming off of an injury. Then, I ran another one 4 weeks later and did great!
Fast forward over the summer where it is just too hot for me to run races so I'm a gym rat during this time, and once running season started, without any major training, I started racing!
Oct. 1st - 10k
Oct. 8th - 5k
Oct. 15th - 15k
Oct. 29th - Half Marathon
Nov. 5th - Half Marathon
Nov. 20th - Half Marathon
Nov, 27th - Half Marathon
For me, that is an amazing schedule! But the most amazing part is that 3 of those Half Marathons were not run to "race". I am now pacing races, and am really enjoying it! Since my body is well trained for the 13.1 distance, I really can race every weekend and pick and choose the races I want to truly "race" so it doesn't take too much out of me.
This is SO much fun, I have another Half this Sunday and another one the following Sunday and I'll decide which one I'll "race" at and which one I'll just enjoy. Never thought I'd be doing this, but I just love the races and the Running Friends I get to see at them! I love the camaraderie at these events! These are pics of some people from the Running Friends Group, most of whom I got to meet for the first time in person at these races! They've inspired me to just have fun! Oh, I'm still competitive, but I can do both now lol!
And to all my Half Fanantics out there, shout out from HF #1518!!!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I think a lot of us on Sparkpeople probably dread this day as much as we look forward to it. All the temptations, what to do, should I or shouldn't I, the guilt afterward, why didn't I work out, gotta work out again, and on and on and on. Most of us have been there and done that.
This year was definitely different for me. We were invited to a family friend's home for a Jamaican Thanksgiving Dinner, and let me tell you, this is MY kind of food!!! I had been looking forward to it ALL WEEK!
I stayed on my regular workout and eating schedule all week, and ran a Half Marathon last Sunday and will run another one this Sunday. So I'm entitled to a little indulgence, right?
Did 45 minutes of strength training and 35 minutes of High Intensity Interval Cardio this morning, stuck with my normal eating schedule and water intake, put my "eating clothes" on (comfy ones right?) and went over for dinner.
Here's what was on the menu:
Escovitch Fish (red snapper seasoned with vinegar and scotch bonnet peppers to give an idea)
Macaroni & Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Rice and Peas
Rum Banana Pudding
Chocolate Cream Cake
Apple Berry Pie
Lots of Liquor
Probably sounds a bit like the dinner you had or went to with some differences, right?
Here's what I had:
2 oz curried goat
2 oz turkey
2 oz Fish
2 cups mustard greens
1/2 cup green beans
1 Tblsp Broccoli Casserole
1 Tsp Banana Pudding
24 oz water
Yes, I went a little overboard in my protein intake, but for the most part I did really good. I wanted to taste the Broccoli Casserole and Banana Pudding, but that's it. Everyone there couldn't believe I was "done" after I finished. You know how customary it is to get seconds, thirds, etc. and then everyone's lying around in a food coma. Not this year, not for me.
Did I deprive myself? NOT AT ALL. For this particular meal in the day (Meal #4), I normally don't have starchy carbs with it, so it was nothing out of the ordinary. Three years ago, my body was used to eating a lot of everything all the time. Now three years later, my body is trained to want certain things at certain times. Is it always perfect, do I never have cravings anymore for things I shouldn't have? I wish! But I've learned to make more of the better decisions and my body is happy for it.
So I can say that at 7pm, I don't feel like laying on the couch all night, I got satisfied but not stuffed and am very proud of myself.
I just had to share! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you did go overboard, maybe do 100 jumping jacks or knee lifts before you go to bed. That way you won't go to bed with the lingering guilt because you did something good AFTER the meal.
Hubby and I after dinner:
And me with the Thanksgiving Chef, good friend Cislyn:
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
After almost 3 years of setting personal fitness goals, and maintaining my goal size for over 2 years, I've realized a few things:
1) I'm a super competitive person. I never played any sports or anything in school. The most I ever did competitively was compete in the school Spelling Bee in the 6th and 7th grade (I won for the school), but that's it. I enjoy competing though really just with myself to get better. That's why running is so great for me, I'm not running "against" someone, but just wanting to do better than the last race.
2) I always need a challenge. People ask what keeps me motivated, and while I am self motivated to a large extent, I need to be challenged. There are so many things out there to do and try, but right now, I just enjoy running. I tried CrossFit and think it's great, but the bug hasn't bit me yet to go for it in that area (though when I was watching the ESPN CrossFit Games, hubby said he could totally see me doing that competition), and while another progression of running is Triathlons, that bug hasn't bit me yet either. I haven't been on a non-stationary bike since I was 12 and would need to learn to swim. While I don't doubt I could do these things, it just doesn't grab me right now. So I'll stick with running as I still have a a couple goals to meet there: Qualify for the Boston Marathon and Qualify for the New York Marathon (you can get guaranteed entry into NY with a qualifying Half or Full Marathon, so I'm going for the Half).
3) I absolutely love cheering other people on and encouraging them just as much or more than I enjoy receiving it!!!
I learned this this past weekend at the Savannah Rock n Roll Half Marathon where I was a Pacer for the first time. A Pacer is someone who runs with a goal finish time through the race (see pic of me holding the sign) so anyone who wants to finish the race in that time can use the Pacer as a guide and run with them. The goal is to run evenly throughout the race. My best Half time is 1:52 and I was pacing the 2:30 group. Initially I hadn't realized the large time difference in my normal pace and this one, but a 1:52 Half is approx an 8:35 minute mile and a 2:30 Half is an 11:27 minute mile. So I needed to slow my pace by almost 3 minutes per mile. Not as easy as it may sound.
The week before I did a local Half Marathon to "practice" my pace. It was a small one, with less than 100 participants. I had my headphones and music. It was a pretty "lonely" course and I was by myself most of the time, so the time went really slow and I was SO bored. I wondered how I would ever get through the Savannah Race. And I finished 7 minutes FASTER than I should have so knew I still needed to slow the pace. And my Garmin watch to track my pace wasn't working properly, so needless to say I was quite anxious about my performance in Savannah.
So at Savannah, instead of 86 participants, there were 23,000 and that made SUCH a difference! The Full and Half Marathoners stayed together until mile 11.6 so there was NO dead space. The Rock n Roll Event was so awesome, live music at every mile, cheerleaders all along the course, a bunch of people around me wanting to be paced (had over 50 sign up to be paced at the Expo), so the time FLEW! I found most people around me were doing their first Half Marathon, so because the pace was very easy for me, I was able to cheer them on and encourage them all through the race. It was so incredible. At Mile 12 with just 1.1 mile to go I got really emotional knowing I played a small part in helping so many people reach a goal. I never got that emotional after any of my own races! So crossing the finish line at 2:29:43 was a perfect time for my Pace and I was so happy that many of those who started with me did finish with me! They thanked and hugged me. I felt like a proud parent!
So I loved doing the Pacing and plan to do it again. I figure I'll pick the races I want to "race" at, and then pick ones I'd like to Pace at. So I just had to share how wonderful it was to put my goals to the side and help others reach theirs. So true as the scripture says at Acts 20:35 "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Master Yahshua, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Thanks for reading! - Tia
Pic of me and a woman who ran me me in her first Half Marathon:
Pic of me and CAROLYN1213, who is one of my biggest inspirations. Carolyn has lost over 100 pounds and we've been Sparkfriends for a while now, so it was so saw awesome to meet her!
Also, had a dinner the night before the race where I got see and meet other Sparkers as well!
And a meetup before the race where we had a few Sparkers there as well!
Pic of me and friend Natisha who completed her first Half Marathon:
And finally, a pic of me and my Mom who drove up to Savannah with me and who will be doing the upcoming Inaugural St. Pete Rock n Roll Half Marathon on 2-12-12 as her first Half at age 71 (Go Mom!):
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