Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marathon Training in Progress

Well, with the Heels and Hills race behind me, I started my marathon training plan (Thanks to Sherry) earlier this month. Over the past 11 weeks my body has become accustom to running several miles a week - I'm not talking 5-8 miles a week, I'm talking 12-18 miles a week! That even sounds crazy to me!! But, I know I've said it before, so here I go again - It's worth it. Endurance running has shown me just how amazing the human body really is. It totally amazes me that you can train your body to run a comfortable pace for several miles AND keep up a conversation. With that said, I have also learned how to protect my body more then I ever knew before. There is nothing like a bad run that will teach you how to store energy naturally and hydrate regularly.

I have to say, I'm horrible at hydrating! I'm not a "drinker" by nature, I really only drink when I eat, which leaves me in a constant stay of near dehydration. So I have had to make a conscious effort to fuel my body with liquids without over doing it. On top of that I have had to learn how to do that in the right amount of time that wont leave me looking for a bathroom around mile 4. Which for me means I have to stop drinking about 3 hours prior to a long run. Who knew running required so much preparation?!

Today a few friends and I are running in a new location! I'm so excited because lately it's either been the track or the treadmill - both are BORING! This should be interesting though, we are still eyeballing hydration belts and so we will need to hide our water in the bushes LOL! Hopefully we can find it once it's hidden :)

Happy Running!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Heels and Hills RACE!

It happened! I actually ran my first 10k race on Sunday, May 1st, 2011. After 7 weeks of training, both running and cross training I can say - the work pays off! I have run 6 miles a few times before the race, but never in the time I ran it on Sunday. In fact my friends and I (Holly and Jennifer - their first 10K also) ran this race 5 mins faster then our original goal (1:15) which to me was a heft goal considering the quickest I had ran 6 miles was 1:16. Holly, Jennifer and I had been training with each other for this race and our average pace was approximately 12:30-13:00. Holly is a bit taller then Jenn and I so we had figured she could pick up the pace and would probably finish a good 2-3 mins before us. This is what we were prepared for.. Run 2 miles max and walk off and on until the last mile when we had figured we would just run it in as quickly as possible to pick up our time at the end. Little did we know we would blow our times out of the water and completely surprise our selfs!

All weekend long we were texting each other back and forth about the weather. I have to say I was a nervous wreck worried about having to run in the rain or cold again! I hate having to worry about that. I kept questioning myself on what I wil wear (when we had already picked out our matching outfits) will I be warm enough, will it be see through -ahhh! Do I need to bring a jacket, although I ended up bringing 3 trash bags after reading a comment on the H&H facebook page from another runner who recommended it due to the impending rain. Even though the weather change (and I say change because the day before it was nearly 90 - and went from that to rain/storms and 50-60) it's still such a disappointment to see that the race could be canceled or the weather could mess with your time and all the practice you put into this point.

Since no decisions on whether or not the race would be cancelled until the last minute, we proceeded as normal. I got up at 4:30am, ate my breakfast and filled my cup with my normal pre-run drink (half water/half Gatorade). Jenn and Holly showed up at 5am and we headed out. About halfway there we saw the weather coming in.. Rain/Thunder/Lightening!! UGH! We were totally annoyed by something so out of our control. Meanwhile I am the driver and Jenn and Holly were watching the weather and facebook site for H&H for any updates.. Hoping the weather would clear out and we could get a brief brake for about an hour to run. I mean, Irving is only an hour away. It would after all be super annoying to drive all the way out there at 5AM only to have to drive all the way back home. However, I will admit we had a back up plan to go eat breakfast if it were to be cancelled :)

So we were about 10 mins away when all of the sudden we realized we were lost! Oh and let me tell you that was so frustrating! I have to say I"m so sorry to Holly and Jenn for this LOL! I admit, I can get lost in a paper bag. Needless to say, we were lost for a good 3o mins! I officially hate Irving! It all worked out, finally we found our exit and Holly and Jenn jumped out of the car while I found a spot to park. We met up with Sherry and ran to the port-a-potty's. Which had the LONGEST line ever!! Sherry barely made it in and out before she had to run to the starting line to pace her runners. I finally get in and out just in time to put on a trash bag and head to the starting line, but not before taking a photo of how ridiculous we looked lol!

It seemed to all go so fast, before we knew it we were off! We ended up starting off with 2 of the girls Sherry coaches at run on. It was nice to start off with them since they had a garmin and neither Holly's phone or mine would find where we were so we could keep up with our pace. That was part of our plan also, to be able to make sure we weren't going too fast or too slow. I'm pretty sure one of us will have a garmin by our next race because of this hehe!

We ran to mile 2, felt good! Continued to run, around mile 3 we ditched the trash bags. We figured, who cares if our clothes end up being see through. It was primarily women there and they all had the same problem lol! Plus, the bags were making us really hot! We finally stopped for a break at mile 4. Ran another mile and stopped around mile 5 for a few seconds (I would say we only stopped in total less then a minute). After our second stop we were geared up to run it in fast. At that point we knew were doing great on time and just wanted to push our selfs! That last mile was tough. We had a slight hill to run up and we hadn't taken many breaks in the past 5 miles. So at that point, your running faster then normal, up hill, in the wind and rain and your "slightly" exhausted from being up since 4am! Adrenaline kicks in and all you think about is "less then a mile, less then a mile - JUST FINISH".

Holly finished seconds before Jenn and I! And then I saw the time - 1:16! NOO that can't be right? About 4 mins after we finished the girls we started off with crossed the finish line with us cheering them on! They finished in 1:14 according to their garmin. Then it dawned on us, the half marathoners started 5 mines before we did! We were jumping up and down high fiving each other, doing the math! We knew we exceed our expectations! We figured our time was around 1:11 at least!

Finally we left the finish line to go take a group picture. There we ran into two ladies we were trailing, then we passed at the last minute. They congratulated us on our quick run. Since they came in about a minute after us we asked what their garmin said they finished in. They told us 1:11. That meant surely our time was 1:10! Nearly 5 mins faster then our goal and 1 min faster then Lesley's goal for Holly! But, we contained our selfs until we saw them post our time on the truck. There it was 1:10:50 - that's an 11:29 min per mile run!!!! Yes, there was lot's of screaming and jumping and high fives going on!! We were stoked! No words can explain that feeling of accomplishment. You absolutely have to feel it! When you know that you trained nearly ever other day for weeks to get here and your endurance in a race even surprised you, WOW - no words can explain. That feeling you get, it's addicting. Now we want to do more and we want a medal for it!

We waited on Sherry and Lesley, they had gotten stopped by the police due to impending hail. Turns out the storm took a turn to the north and just barely missed us - Thank God! After meeting up with them we took a quick group photo and headed to the Olive Garden. YUMMM.. Yeah we were stinky and surrounded by several "older" church couples who I know sure were wondering why we were dressed in skimpy shorts in cold/rainy weather - until they figured out we were runners. Love it RUNNERS!!

And - yes again we got lost on the way home.. Some how we ended up inside DFW! But, whatever, we didn't care! We were so excited nothing could pull us down! Luckily, we had enough gas LOL!!

All in all, despite the weather and getting lost, we had a great time. At least we can say we did it AND we did it in the rain/cold and WIND!

Congrats to my running partners in crime Jennifer and Holly!! Here's to many more runs in our future and soon our first Half Marathon - along with lots of BLING!

And to Sherry and Lesley - Thanks for your continued support! Without your positive energy and words we wouldn't have made it this far. We are becoming great because of you! Thank YOU!