Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sending out a great big thank you to all of my spark friends! You guys are totally awesome, all of your comments, emails and goodies mean a lot to me! I look forward to Sparking as often as I can, and it always brightens my day to see what everyone is up to. Also, the motivation and inspiration from this group of folks keeps me going in my healthy lifestyle, never letting me give up! Thanks everyone!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I DID IT! I DID IT! I finished my first 1/2 marathon on Sunday. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my WHOLE life!
Starting Friday night, my excitement level started to rise. I slept poorly Friday night in anticipation of the fun friendship run on Saturday morning. Attending this event really made the event more meaningful for me, I got to meet a few people also participating in the run, one in particular running in the 10K. We saw each other at the event on Sunday morning, and even crossed paths during the race. I left the fun run with an even higher level of excitement and anticipation than I had arrived with!
My sleep Saturday night was tough once again, getting to sleep and staying there were a real challenge. Also, my digestive system was quite wonky on Saturday, spent a lot of time in the bathroom leaving me wondering how the run would go. I was up bright and early Sunday morning, waking my family up in time to get out the door by about 7:45. We arrived at the parking lot with tons of time to spare and started walking to the race site. It was quite a trek, with a huge down hill walk to the park where the run was starting. This hill would come back to haunt me later. I had left my Garmin in the van, so my absolutely incredibly wonderful husband returned to the vehicle to get it for me. I went to the chip booth and got my chip band, put it on my ankle. I was worried about how this worked, but it was totally easy, just a little velcro strap around the ankle. I got in line to use the bathroom and then wandered off to look for my husband. I met up with a lady I had run with the previous morning at the friendship run and met her husband, introduced my kidlets and Mom. Then, I found my husband, he had also brought some chairs with him for them to sit in while I was gone on the run. At this time it was getting close to the start time, so I said goodbye to my family and got in line to use the porta potty one more time before I got started.
I headed over to the "corral" for the starting line and found a spot on the right side so my family would see me and get some pics too. As we all waited for the start of the race, a lot of people were jumping up and down, the huge smiles on the faces around me were incredible, and I could almost touch the energy bursting from the crowd. It was an incredible sensation. The race started, and I started my Garmin as I crossed the start line. We were off! I waved to my family as I headed into the first loop of the race. There were a couple of hills in this first little loop out and back before heading into the big loop out and back main part of the course. I found it really hard to slow my pace down, I was running at a 10 minute mile pace, way too fast, but I could only manage to slow down to 11:30 pace, nowhere near the 13:00 mile pace I had planned to follow. This continued through most of the run, I ran all but three miles under 12 minutes, those three were only 15 seconds over 12 minutes. As I came back to my family to head into the main part of the course, I ran between my kids to hand one my second water belt and one my jacket, they were weighing me down, and I figured one bottle of water would suffice with the water stations taken into account. At this point, the main pack of the race was long gone ahead of me, and I wasn't sure which way the course went, up the hill or under the bridge. No volunteers stood at the fork in the path, so, I called back to a couple of women running behind me, "Do we go up to the top of the hill?" They said yes, so up the hill I went. Then, when they caught up to me, they called out, "Nope, it's this way!" I had to back track down the hill and go under the bridge, it cost me a couple of minutes on my time, but really, I was just glad to be back on track! Getting lost during a race is my biggest fear. The rest of the race out to the loop around went well. Once I was headed back, I was still going okay, but a couple of times on the way back, I wasn't sure I was going the right way again. Then, I would come upon some volunteers with tambourines and be reassured that I was indeed on the right route. During mile 11, I had a really emotional struggle with myself. What was I thinking! Why did I talk myself into this torture session! My right foot was killing me, my hips, especially the right one, were screaming for me to stop pounding on them, and I was totally exhausted. I started thinking about all of the things that had led me to this decision. The people who sponsored me, my family, my two incredible kidlets waiting for me at the finish line, and the challenge of completing such a huge task. I started to sob! I was just totally overwhelmed by emotion and found it almost impossible to push through and keep running. I thought about hugging my kids, and it kept me going, I made it through. I completed mile 11, and looked out for the KM markers and it really kept me going. I started to pass a few people, and encouraged them not to give up, they can do it! Most of them smiled and cheered me right back, but one of them said nothing and gave me a dirty look. I was hitting my second wind finally! I ate a Fruit to Go bar, and it settled my hunger down. It was strange how I went from feeling totally full, to all of a sudden, in a split second, being raging with hunger! Thank goodness I had trained before using Fruit to Go, remembered to packe some, and it gave me a boost of energy.
I climbed the last tough hill of the race, the guy at the top congratulated me on running up the whole thing! I crossed over the bridge and headed into the downhill run into the park. As I got close to the spot my family was waiting at, I saw that my kids were holding a HUGE sign between them that said in bright colourful hand drawn letters "GO MOM!" I was overcome with emotion again, and started to cry AGAIN! My throat started to close up with emotion and it was all I could do to get a breath! I was so close to the finish line, and just gave it everything I had left. As I got closer, one of the women I had encouraged passed me, and another was coming right up on me, I could hear someone behind me cheering on the woman who had given me a dirty look! We crossed the finish line at the exact same time, and honestly, I felt robbed of my own moment. I let myself get caught up in the whole competitive thing, I wasn't there for that, but I somehow got carried away and really didn't want her to beat me! I wish I had just let her go ahead of me, and taken the moment for myself. One of the volunteers removed my chip from my ankle, thank goodness, I wouldn't have been able to bend down to do it myself! I found a porta potty, and then joined my family. I hugged my husband who asked how it went? I said"It was hard! I am definitely not ready to start training for a full marathon yet!" I cried a little bit again, and honestly, I don't go around crying all the time, but I was just so drained!
I was hungry, and wanted something to eat, but I could not find the booth with food anywhere, so we found the prizes booth and asked where I should go to get my medal? They told me (which my youngest kidlet had already said people were talking about) that the medals were all gone! If I am in town, I can pick it up at the store later on in the week. OUT OF MEDALS! What the heck? At this point, I was very disappointed, I had gotten lost on the route, no food when I finished, and now, no medal until I could pick it up from the store! I wasn't even sure of my finish time, because with going off course, my Garmin had finished the workout before I even got to the finish line, and I got so distracted at the finish line that I hadn't looked at the time! We decided to start heading to the van. This is when that huge down hill trek came back to haunt me! Of course, I had to walk back up the hill to get to the van! What a hard climb it was, I was so sore! I made it up to the top, and my husband had gone ahead to move the van to the closest corner of the parking lot from where the race was. My gratitude was overwhelming, I just wanted to sit down and rest, have something to eat. We drove thru at McDonald's for lunch, and headed home. I had a quick shower and we headed out again to go to a bowling event for my oldest kidlet, and when we returned from that, I laid down on the couch for a good two hours to rest my weary body.
While I was resting, my darling husband found the race results on line. I had set myself up a series of goals. Bronze was to finish the race, Silver was to run the entire course and finish in 3 hours. Gold was to finish in 2:50. The online results showed that I finished in 2:38:06 chip time! The woman I had crossed the line with finished in 2:38:15 chip time, so I am thinking that she must have been ahead of me in the starting quieu(sp?). With this finish time I surpassed all of my goals!
I want to take a break from long distance running for a while, the long runs are really hampering my weight loss efforts. I will traing for another half marathon, and probably a full some day, but for now, I will stick to shorter events, and keep my cardio focused on weight loss. Thanksf or reading my super long blog today!
Friday, April 09, 2010
I couldn't be more excited! I have been nervous all week, found it hard to fit in all of my last week of training runs. I actually missed one entirely, but I am not stressing over it at all. I go tomorrow morning to pick up my race kit and participate in the pre-race fun run. It will give me a chance to familiarize myself with the race location as far as parking and such for the day of. I have raised over $400.00 to date, a few more people to collect from will push me over $500.00. I will blog tomorrow with an update!
Monday, March 29, 2010
I am getting really excited for my upcoming half marathon. I decided to fundraise for this event, and I have already got sponsors for over $300.00. Also, the support I am getting from friends and family is phenomenal. Not to mention the support I am see here at Sparkpeople. Thanks to all of you guys for your wonderful supportive comments on my status updates. It means a lot to see those positive words in my inbox, and keeps me coming back to refocus. No matter how many times I may stray, I always come back to my goals and I will never give up on my goal weight. I had my last big run before my 1/2. I ran 14 miles in 3 hours yesterday. The response I got from friends and family was so inspiring. A lot of them think I have lost my mind, but in a good way! I'm not sure that all of this long distance training is having a positive impact on my weight loss though. Anybody have advice in this regard?
Monday, March 22, 2010
My run today was inspirational for me. I really struggled after 12 days off to start off with such a huge distance for me. I felt phenomenal starting out, and tried to rein myself in a bit, but forgot after a while. I pushed really hard up a slope, and after that, I couldn't get my heart rate below Zone 5 for the longest time. My heart rate was really high for most of the rest of the run. When it started to rain, I was struggling with finishing, I felt like giving up and heading home. I gave myself a pep talk that these are the kind of runs that define me as a person and a runner, and that I just had to believe in myself and run to get it done. About 2 minutes later, one of my running buddies pulled up at the curb and offered me a ride to get out of the rain. At this point, it was just a very light spit, nothing major I figured. But, I was TEMPTED to get in that vehicle and just go home. Boy am I glad I didn't, because I finished my run, and gave myself something to be very proud of. I was totally drenched mind you at the end, because the spitting rain turned into driving rain that really stung my face. Another thing about this run that made it more difficult was the strong wind. I haven't run into a strong wind like that before, and it really sapped my energy. I am going to hope for nice weather tomorrow to fit in an outdoor bike ride, but if it is not weather permitting, I will take care of it inside on my stationary bike. Also going to get back to strength training this week. Lots to do!
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