Monday, May 18, 2009

Race Day

That's my dad and I getting ready for our big race.

In some ways, it went better than expected. In some ways it went worse.

There are lots of informational articles on about race strategy and what to do or not do to your best on a race. If I had to sum them up, their tips would be:

1) Don't overeat the night before. Eat a small breakfast about an hour before the race.

2) Get a good night's sleep the night before the race.

3) Whatever you do...DO NOT start off the race too fast. Make sure you pace yourself.

Out of those three tips, I pretty much accomplished....ZERO! I didn't eat any breakfast since I was too afraid of feeling nauseous. Thanks to the Sweet Adelines (think really loud ladies who like to sing and laugh and whoop all night long) I did not get any sleep. And, I don't know, maybe it was the energy jelly beans or the crowd or the cold or the good music, but when I finished the first mile in 10:53, even though my fastest ever mile before that was 12:00, I knew I was going to be in some trouble.

Somewhere between 1.5 miles and 2 miles I had to walk for a little bit. I was pretty disappointed about that. I caught my breath and kept on running. At 3 miles, I was at 36 minutes and some seconds. I remember thinking "Wow! I could actually do this in under 80 minutes". The fastest I had ever done 6.2 miles in training was 85 minutes. I was hoping to beat 85 minutes. Beating 80 minutes seemed like a total long shot. My plan was not to stop running again.

Only my groin started to hurt. And, my legs were running out of juice. I kept trying to dig deeper. I kept trying to look for some song on the music player of mine that would help me. Miles 4.5 to the end were tough. I'm not going to lie. I had to do more walking than I would have liked. It didn't help that the race ends going UPHILL. I'm not kidding. Who does that? Who ends a race going up hill??

Besides first laying eyes on my children, I am not sure I have ever seen a more beautiful sight than the finish line. My official time: 1:19:33. Under 80 minutes. So, although I had to walk more than I would've liked, I finished under the time I thought would be nearly impossible. I averaged 12:48 minute miles.

When I was done I didn't think that it was all that much fun. My dad told me that as time wore on it would seem like it was more fun. He's right. I'm already thinking it was pretty OK and am looking forward to planning my next race!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Less than 72 hours...

In less than 72 hours the race will be over. In less than 72 hours I will know the answer to the question "Can I really run a 10K?".

I am not sure how will I do. I hurt a muscle around my hips when I did that 6 mile run last week. And, then after that while trying to compensate for that plan, I pulled a groin muscle. Frankly, I didn't even know ladies had groin muscles. So, last week's training was weak at best and this week, I haven't done anything at all to try and give it a rest. My groin feels better. My confidence does not. I would've like to have gone into the race with at least one more 6 miler under my belt.

It's going to be perfect running weather. Sunny, breezy, and like 50 degrees. It's going to be perfect running conditions. I'll have great music and have the company of my wonderful dad and sister. Oh and my sister's boyfriend, who I am sure is a fine, upstanding young man. I don't base this on Kristin's past choices, of course, but on the fact that he likes the Steelers and George Bush. I have good shoes, good clothes, good socks, a good heartrate monitor and (hopefully) a good hip/groin. It should go well.

I wish I had been able to train more. I wish I had lost more weight. I wish I could know if all I have done has been enough. In less than 72 hours, I will.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

2 Weeks to Go

To be perfectly honest, a large part of me never thought I would make it this far.

I mean, really. I am not the "athletic" type. Just ask the kids in grade school who picked me last for dodgeball, kickball, or any other ball game. Or the softball coach that put me in right field. Or the ski team that left me in the dust. Athletic stuff...just not me. I tried to get into running once maybe about 9 years ago. I maybe got up to like 1/4 mile. Just not me.

It IS like me to start a new "healthy lifestyle" plan and get really excited about it and then hit a roadbump or a snag and then give up and give in. That is like me. And then, once I had given up or given in, it would add to my "further proof that I will always be fat" or "further proof that I am not athletic" mindset.

This is different though.

I've hit roadbumps. I've hit snags...and I've kept going.
I've heard that voice in my head that said I could never do it...and I've kept going.
I've looked at a busy schedule that made it nearly impossible to get runs in...and I've kept going.
I've had aches and pains...and I've kept going.
I've had nearly 1 million reasons/excuses to stop...and I've kept going.

Saturday I ran 6 miles. No one is more surprised than me!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


If you are on facebook and if you love flair, then I am sure you have seen the ones where someone messes something up and then written over the scene is the word "FAIL!". That's how yesterday was for me.

Saturdays are usually my long runs. I was slated to do 8 miles of walking/running. I went in the morning prior to eating anything since that is how it will be the morning of the race. It was the hottest day I have run in so far. I'm still trying to figure out the balance between hydrating properly and yet not being 4 miles out on the trail and having to pee. Somehow yesterday, I was both dehydrated AND had to pee. How is that even possible! The only good thing is that outside if I pee my pants a little, I can just walk n the grass and no one will know. Doesn't work so well on the treadmill. In the end, I did 6.2 miles in 86 minutes (again). I only ran 3 miles of it, and my longest run was only 1.5 miles. Not very good. Especially not when my race is 3 weeks away.

One of the hardest things for me since I started this little journey has been not getting upset when I hit a little roadbump. It's not easy. I always want to be making progress. Yesterday didn't feel like progress. It felt like failure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trusting the Process

Do you want to know something I have recently discovered? As it turns out, I don't know everything about everything. Strange, huh?

Last week in my running was what they call in the biz, a recovery week. That basically meant that I was not to try to run farther or faster than I had previously and none of my walking/running was longer than 4 miles. I wasn't so sure I liked the idea of a recovery week. I mean I only have so many weeks left until the race, and I am only half-way there, and I still have like a ton of weight to lose, and, well, probably Runners World doesn't know that I can't afford to take a recovery week. I know that they are the experts, but I was pretty sure I knew better. I mean I could literally feel the fat cells attaching themselves to my thighs as I recovered.

From Day 1, though, I told myself I wasn't going to give up. I wasn't going to trust my mind or the scale. I was going to trust the experts. I was going to trust the process. So, after a little bit of a battle, I took the recovery week. I ran 3 miles one day, 2 another and 3 on the third. (Well, actually, I ran 3.14 since I like to run a Pi in honor of Jonathan who is so intrigued by a number that could go on forever).

Today was the first day back in non-recovery mode and well....I ran 4 miles...straight! Hooray! I am actually getting there. I can hardly believe it.

As it turns out, I guess the good folks at Runners actually do know more about running that I do. Weird.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Breaking the Addiction

I love running on a treadmill.

It sounds so funny coming from me. I mean really. I love my kids...absolutely! I love betcha! I love Ben and Jerry's Cookie DOugh Dynamo, especially when it is allowed to sit at room temperature for just a few minutes so it is extra soft and creamy...uh, yeah! I love using ellipses...obviously! But...I love running on the treadmill...who knew?!?!?

I think I enjoy the treadmill because it caters to my inner control freak. I know at every moment how fast I am going, how far I have gone, how much longer I have to run, how much farther I have to run, how many calories I have burned, and my current heartrate. If I don't like the numbers I see, I can go faster or slower and watch the results change in an instant. Ohhhhhh I love control! Add to that the little fan that blows in my face and my water bottle at arm's reach, and the fact that if I get my favorite treadmill, I can listen to music AND watch Fox news at the same time, and well, it's a little slice of heaven.

The bad thing is, I checked, and the 10K is NOT run on treadmills. It's run on a road. So, as much as I don't want to and as much as I miss my treadmill, I have to run outside. Running outside isn't really for control freaks. It's more for free spirits. I mean what if I get three miles out and I have to go to the bathroom? What if I get thirsty? What if some strange person tries to talk to me? What if I collapse and it takes hours for someone to find me but by then squirrels have started to nibble away at my hands? Do you see what I mean people?!?! Plus there are hills, and road bends, and curves to contend with. I have found out something interesting about myself...I really enjoy running downhill more than uphill. Prety strange, huh?

Saturday was my first swipe at 6.2 miles. I ran off and on for about 4.5 miles of it. I did it in 86 minutes. Not a bad start point and I have 5 weeks to improve on that. I am hoping by that time I'll stop jonseing for that treadmill.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

10K - Halfway there

So, according to the Cleveland Marathon website as of a few seconds ago, I have 37days 23hours 9minutes and 40seconds until my 10K.

Last time I wrote I was excited because I could run 5 minutes. I've made it a bit farther since then. On Tuesday, I was trying for 3 miles. Just like that 1 mile mark, 3 miles has been a bit elusive. I think with one mile there was such a mental block for me. I went to run like 6 times, each time thinking this is the day I will run 1 mile straight and each time failing. Finally, I made it. I punched right past 2 miles. But, 3 miles has been another challenge. Before Tuesday,I had tried three times to run 3 miles and fell short each time. Part of me still says "I am waaaayyyyyy too fat to be able to run this distance."

I woke up Tuesday feeling like it would be the day. But then everything went wrong. I couldn't find my favorite mositure-wicking socks. My only pair of running pants that keep chafing at bay were dirty. And, the biggest problem of music was in Rob's car. I toyed with the idea of not even running at all that day. But, that was the old me. THe old me used any excuse whatsoever NOT to exercise. This is the new me. I am a runner (or at least a very slow jogger). THis is the new me. I am in training for a race. So, I put on cotton socks and febreezed my dirty pants and decided to try it without music. It looked like it was going to be another day of not hitting my 3 mile target.

But, something amazing happened when I started running. Well, actually, something amazing happened when I got past the first half-mile. I hate the first half-mile. I got into a rhythm. My breathing was good. My muscles felt good. I was in the zone. I felt like I could run forever. 1 mile down....2 miles down...2.5 mles down all at the same pace. I had to slow down for the last 1/2 mile or so, but I did it...3 miles straight! Then I ran .1 mile for good measure and just to say I could run a 5K.

So, I am half-way there. Me. Fat, lazy me...ran 3.1 miles straight. I didn't stay home because I couldn't find my socks. Me. It's a miracle. If I can do this, truly, anyone can.

I am feeling like I won't be able to run the whole 10K. I am feeling like I am running out of time. I really, really want to run the whole thing. I may have to re-evaluate that. But, if I have learned anything, it's to trust the process and that I am capable of much more than I think I am.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

From Couch to 10 K - 4 months to go

So, I know i haven't been blogging. I'm unmotivated.

4 months until the 10K. I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked. But, I am making progress. Today I had two good victories. One was that I went to the gym and I ran on a Saturday. Usually, I just do the elliptical on Saturdays because there are so many young, skinny people running on the treadmills, I was afraid I would feel silly. It's amazing to me how each day I can feel different. One day I can feel like I'm really losing weight and toning up and the next I feel like Dr. Phil and his cameras are going to be busting into my house to do a story on the world's fattest woman. But, I read in a book "Courage to Start" that you have to start with the body you have and so that is what I have done. And, today, I went on the treadmills with all of the young, skinny people and I ran, or rather jogged, or really wogged (walking/jogging).

Secondly, I ran for the longest time I have ever run....5 minutes. Which isn't all that great. BUt, I remember the very first time I tried to run, I couldn't wait for the one minute to be over because I thought I might die. And, after walking for 5 minutes, I ran another minute and my shins were screaming at me to stop. Today, 5 minutes running (jogging), 3 minutes walking 5 times. I'm making progress.

When I start on the treadmill, I always listen to Van Halen's Right Now for my pep-me-up, because right now I am turning this thing around. And by thing, I mean my life. I am tired of hating my body. I am tired of feeling like crap about the way I look. I am tired of being a bad example for my children of a healthy lifestyle. I'm tired of not wanting to be in any pictures with my family because of how I look. I need to turn this thing around. Right now. Not only have I let myself get unhealthy and bloated physically, I've let this happen spiritually too. This running thing is a spiritual experience for me as well.

Last night at small group we talked about the difference between trying and training. Someone can try something...that's no guarantee it can happen. BUt in training, you have a goal, you have baby steps to get you there and if you keep at the disciplines, you will get there. I hope so!