Friday, November 23, 2012

Raleigh City Of Oaks/Rex Healthcare Half Marathon - November 2012

I have completed my first half marathon! 

It is also now 58 days until my next one: the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland in California.  I am also registered for the Princess Half in February.  So, in short, I need to get off my ass and start seriously committing to some mid-week runs.  It all started two weeks before the COO when I had to travel.  I teach balloon decor and travel usually once to twice a month, depending on the month.  No complaints - I love what I do... it's just hard to maintain a running schedule when traveling.  I'm also on Weight Watchers and I don't have to tell you how hard it is to maintain points while eating at restaurants 3 nights out of 7.  Anyway, on to the COO!

I was nervous and excited as the big day approached.  I knew I could do the distance, as my Galloway training had prepared me for this.  I just worried about the pace.  I wanted to finish a sub-three-hour time and so I thought I would start with the 2:30 pace group and then I had some wiggle room.  HA!  This is hilarious in retrospect.
Here's the starting line - you can see the arches waaaay in the distance.  I started pretty far back because I was not the fastest gal on the track.  I ran into Danielle, another Galloway runner, and we were excited to have found a friend to run with.  This lasted until the end of mile 2.  She was just too fast for me.  I think I ran a 12 minute & 13 minute mile those first two.  I just couldn't keep that up for 13 miles.  And I was cursing myself for the rest of the race for not doing my mid-week runs and not pushing myself harder during training.  I ran with the 13 mm pace group, but we always run at 15mm or slower and I never pushed myself harder than that.

After I sent Danielle ahead with all my well-wishes, and got passed by the 3 hr pace group (::cries::), I just decided to finish and do what I could with what I had.  We ran past the capitol building and I stopped to get a pic:
Notice how few runners were in front of me.  There were actually quite a few behind me, so I didn't feel too badly.  So, after the capitol, it got hilly through some residential areas.  As you know, hills are NOT my friends and I was getting tired and discouraged.  The only thing keeping me moving forward was knowing I was going to see my family at mile 6.2.  I had never been so tired and unhappy by mile 4 since I started running!  But I kept going - through the awful hills - and kept moving towards my kids waiting at Cameron Village.
Here's me hugging my daughter.  I have never been so happy to see these people EVER.  I had been struggling for about 4 miles all alone and up in my head, and seeing my kids, mom, and my ex-husband (yes! He was there to support me too! Yay!) was the best, most emotional thing I have felt in a long time.  It, more than finishing or getting a medal, was the highlight of the race for me.

My son took this photo of me as a ran away from the hugs, and I am posting it because I have lost 25 pounds through running and WW and I hope it serves as inspiration to lose more:

Ok, I was half way through and my next goal was to get to my friend Emma, who was volunteering at the race.  A few words about Emma - She is amazing!  So outgoing and friendly in this super easy way to talk to.  She befriends everyone and is just someone you want to be around.  She is also so encouraging and I knew she would fill up my motivational reserves when I made it to her.  It was about three more miles before I got to her and then I got to see her twice since she was at the juncture of an out-and-back road.  I kept thinking I was ALMOST DONE because I was close to Hillsborough Street where the finish line was, but NOOOOOOOOO, I was still about 4 miles out.  It's kinda cruel actually, because just when you reach Hillsborough, you have to do three out-and-backs before you can run down Hillborough to the finish line.  The first two were not bad, but the last one was all the way to Western Boulevard before turning back.  I was way ahead of the street sweepers and there were still lots of people behind me, so I knew I was doing ok.  I did start walking quite a bit more and usually just running on the downhills.  This is something else I want to improve before the next half - I have got to keep my intervals going!  About mile 10, my leg starting hurting - can't remember if it as my knee or my calf now, but I was crampy and slowed down a bit.  I ran past my Galloway friends Sue and Margaret and that helped me keep going.  Only about 1.5 miles left!

As I got close to the finish line, I saw my family again and I wanted to stop but I was so close and they actually ran along side me (behind the fences) to the finish line!  They were so proud and that was a nice feeling.  I was glad it was over and HUNGRY. LOL

Here's me with my medal:

So - yay!  I didn't feel as life-changed as I thought I would, but now, weeks later, I can say it was a pretty great thing.  I don't plan and work towards a goal as a general rule and this was something I really followed through with. 

I am going to try to blog more - only because I think it helps keep me accountable.  My next races should be fun with lots of photos.  I do plan to dress up for both the Tink & the Princess (and truth be told, that the whole reason I wanted to start running - LOL).  Oh!  My official time for the COO was 3:14:27 with a pace of 14:50 mm.  My Garmin had it a little different:

And I also got a new charm for my bracelet:
Many lessons learned!  Now I just need to apply them...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's been a while since I posted - mostly because I haven't been running. However, last month I joined Raleigh Galloway and have been running with them for 5 weeks now. Today I did 8.5 miles! I have registered for two half-marathons - First, is the City of Oaks Half here in Raleigh held in November. The other one is the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland in California. That one is in January. As soon as the Princess Half opens registration next month, I will sign up for that one too. By doing a half at Disneyland AND Disney World in one calendar year, I get a special Coast To Coast medal. I am super excited!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back in the saddle again...

I didn't want to be one of those people that quit C25K in Week 5, but that is exactly what I turned out to be. After a few weeks of Week 5, I finally just got angry. WHY as I not able to push past this? I see people running everyday - like RUNNING the whole time. And I can't run 6 minutes after weeks and weeks of training. I also got frustrated with my weight loss. I was barely losing anything and I was restricting my calories to 1250 a day. That didn't make sense either. In my anger and frustration, I took a week off and ate whatever I wanted. I didn't gain a thing. Then I entered week 2 of lazy-days and gained a pound. Whatever - better than dieting.

So after about 8 weeks of not running and not eating well, I've only gained 2 lbs, but lost all conditioning. I restarted Day 1, Week 1 yesterday and did Day 2 today. It was not as easy as I wanted it to be. I struggled on the minute runs, but hit most of them (which was better than when I did it the first time). Yay!

My son and daughter are running with me this time. I hope we all can keep on track together. Both have expressed interested in running since I first started and both have been out enough times to know what it takes.

I guess this is starting over then.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I did my long run of 6.2 miles (or 10k) yesterday. I have been on Week 5, Day 1 of C25K for to weeks and I haven't really been pushing to bust through it. I have been more working on speed. I don't know if it's a mental block keeping me from running the distance or what. I've seen people on TV shows who start running and are able to do it - and they seem heavier and in worse shape than I am... so it must be mental. In any event, I am loosely following C25K for the first 30 minutes of the run and then walking faster for the rest. I have been doing 3 miles on Mondays and Fridays, and 5 miles Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with a long run on Sunday. Next Sunday, I will do 7 miles.

My pace is getting faster, which is good because I want to be fast enough not to get swept at the Princess Half. I am considering a Half Marathon in May for my first Half - the Run Like A Diva race in Myrtle Beach. I just have to get my brain on board.

I also have been strictly treadmill, but I hope to start going outside more in the coming weeks. The weather has been nice, but I don't want to go by myself, so I think I will see if Zaine will run with my after school. Since she gets out at 4pm and it starts getting dark at 5ish, we have a tough time if we don't start right when we get home. And do you know how hard it is to make a 9 year old child HURRY? We are going to try it today and hope for the best!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I haven't written in a while. I guess as running becomes a habit, it doesn't seem as important to come here and gush about it. I am still on Week 5 Day 1 of C25K. I just have a mental block on the run amount, I think. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself because I've been trying to walk longer and faster after my run time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weigh day & long run

My last few weigh days (let's just be honest and say the last SIX) have been somewhat disappointing. I would lose a bit, then gain a bit and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I still have no idea! (Although the fact that it was the HOLIDAYS might have something to do with it!) For some reason, this week it all caught up. I lost 3.6 lbs doing pretty much the same thing I have been doing. Well, minus a holiday cookie or two. I didn't deny myself anything, but I did track every bit of food on my Lose It app and kept under the calories it set for the day. That plus 4 days of running seemed to kick start my plateau. So hooray! It's about time.

I did my long run today - 4 miles at 16:35/mi average. My fastest yet. I start Week 5 of C25K on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6 miles DOWN! Charm day!

Was it my lucky socks? I don't know, but I conquered the 6 minute run today! I did Week 4 C25K exactly as scheduled for the first time, with 4/6/4. I am so happy! After my first 4 minute run, I felt like... "hmmmmmm, I could go longer" instead of "oh dear God, I am counting down the seconds until I can walk". This is a change, for sure! So I thought, hey maybe I CAN do 6 minutes today. Then about 2 minutes into the 6 minute run, I started to falter. I was thinking I should just do 2 and 2 like I had been doing. But then I pushed myself and said - "at least do 3 minutes". Then at 3, I said "might as well do 4 so I can say I did 4/4/4 today". But I kept going and the last minute was hard, but I pushed through. At that point, there was no way I was quitting when I was so close! So, I DID IT! Now I just need to rinse, repeat for the rest of the week so I can move to Week 5 on Monday.

Because I broke through the 6 minute barrier, I get a charm today! I picked the boy charm that matches my girl charm, since I have a son and a daughter. Zaine got me a dangling heart charm for Christmas so I have the girl on one side of the heart and the boy on the other. Now, let me tell you about my boy... There is no person on this earth more like ME than my son. His father calls him "Little Lisa" because he acts, reacts, and generally IS so much like me. This can be a blessing and a curse, because I see in him the mistakes I have made in life. Of course, at 13, he's not really interested in me telling him how to change those things, but I do try! I love the child he was and the young man he's becoming. For those reasons, I will now look down at my bracelet and have yet another reason to push myself to be the best me I can be!

For the last two days, I have done a 5k in about 52 minutes at a pace of about 17/mi. Yesterday was faster (16:56) and today was 17:20/mi. Since my treadmill lies, I think this is in the 16/mi neighborhood. I am thinking of running a 5k on the road when it warms up later this week to see what my road pace actually is. Until then, I just keep trying to improve on the treadmill and hopefully, I will make progress even though it is a filthy fib-teller.

YAY for today! Week 5 looks doable and I look forward to it. Now I just need to replicate my success from today for the rest of the week!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! 4 miles today!

My mother says what you do on New Year's Day is what you'll be doing all year long and I am the superstitious type so you know I had to get in a run today. Hal Higdon 1/2 Marathon training calls for a long run on Sunday so I decided to go for his Week 1 suggestion - 4 miles.

I basically did Week 4, Day 1 of C25K TWICE (minus the 6 minutes - it still eludes me) and it took me 1 hr and 10 minutes at a pace of 17:42/mi. My plan right now is to follow Hal for distance and on/off days and follow C25K for intervals (repeating until I get the times down). This way I don't get too stuck in a C25K week (which has definitely been happening!)

I didn't get too bored being on the treadmill for more than an hour, but I was ready to get off of it when it rolled around to the 4 miles mark. I can see how running for longer distances would be better suited for outdoors. Still, I hung in there for more than an hour so this was a WINNING day for me! Definitely a great way to start the New Year!