Tag Archives: beginning running

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

For The Newbie Runner…

The infamous shaving incident

I’m the one with the cotton ball-looking things around my neck. I have no idea what my mother was thinking.

I come from an era when everyone had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness Test twice a year in PE. Remember that?!  I hated and dreaded it!  I was always last in the run part of the test, and at those crucial times in a child’s life, it can be humiliating.  My last year of PE was when I was in the 11th grade and I signed up for the weight class because I hated everything else… volleyball, softball, basketball.  I am not a natural-born athlete.  But I discovered I could lift weights. And I could do aerobics and Jazzercise. One of my grades in weights was figuring out an aerobics routine and teaching it to the class (yes, this was in the middle of the aerobics boom).  I nailed it, and the coach even told me that I was good at it.  I was chuffed.  But I digress…

ps_2010_10_13___09_06_43

My sister Angela (left) and me; I was 15.

Even in weight class, we had to do that stupid physical fitness test, you know, the one with the running.  I couldn’t even make it around the track once without walking half of it.  I was tired of being humiliated, so I worked all year long on trying to get around that track without having to stop and walk, and I worked on trying to speed up.  I did this after school or whenever I could get to the track to practice.  By the end of the year when the test came, I made it around the track without walking.  I was still last, but I made it around that stupid track. I considered the run a success.

ps_2010_10_13___09_13_41

Fast forward to now.  I’m closer to 50 than 40, and I am a runner.  I’m also in my 2nd year of racing.  And I go out and give it my all.  And I am not fast… although I am faster than I was last year.  And that’s so very encouraging and positive.  I see progress.  And I’ve just begun.

I read other blogs of newbie runners, too.  A lot of newbies (including me) struggle with how slow they run.  Sometimes it even discourages them… “Why do this?  I’m not going to get any better.  It’s never going to get any easier.  I’m so slow.” I want to tell you that you will get better, it will get easier, and you will get faster.  You just have to have patience and put in the effort if you really want to become a faster runner. Sometimes it’s discouraging to be slow, I know, but keep at it.  Your pace will come down, and with it, you will become more fit, or vice-versa.  Running has brought me a sense of good will, good health, empowerment, control, a major sense of accomplishment.  And I think it’s all worth it.  You will too.

20151126_072748.jpg

Me just before Thursday’s Turkey Trot, my 13th race.

Weekly Wrap – Redmond Turkey Trot

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap!

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, Week 6

Not a good week for training.  Power outages, massive wind storms, rain, freezing weather… I pretty much just kept my legs loosened up for the 5K Turkey Trot on Saturday.  I think I’ll just get right to that…

Inaugural Redmond Turkey Trot 

Woke up on Saturday at a much earlier time than I do during the week (only for a race, right?!). Weather conditions were freezing and clear… and I do mean freezing.

wpid-screenshot_2015-11-21-07-21-47.png

The start of the race was in the middle of Redmond Town Center, Redmond, WA.

wpid-20151121_070332.jpg

wpid-20151121_075043.jpg

We picked up our race packets nice and early, took a couple of photos, then went back to the car to stay warm (especially as one of us was racing in shorts, of all things… hint: it wasn’t me).

wpid-20151121_070526.jpg

wpid-20151121_070544.jpg

Just wait until you take those track pants off, Jamesy.

wpid-20151121_070603.jpg

The fountain froze along the outside edge.

We managed to snag a couple of hand warmers from a booth, which didn’t actually help the freezing fingers any, but it was nice being warm somewhere even if it was just the palms of my hands.  They decided to start the race a couple of minutes early, which was fine with us as everyone was jumping around trying to keep the blood flowing.  And James was in shorts!

I’m not used to running in such extreme conditions, so it was kind of breathtaking.  Literally.  I thought my lungs were going to freeze up with every breath I took.  I didn’t regain feeling in my lips and face until after mile 1 somewhere.  Everything was uncomfortably numb.

I was aiming for a 40-minute time goal (it’s perfectly alright that I’m slower than most, I’m okay with that), so I didn’t stop to take any pictures of the course.  It was a nice running trail, mostly flat, next to a river or a stream (that I didn’t drink out of), and in places it was a little bit icy.  I tiptoed very carefully through the icy parts.

James finished his race quickly, then came back to pace me the last half-mile or so.  It was nice being able to trod along with him.  He talked the whole entire time, and I listened; and for those who aren’t runners, that means I was running just hard enough that I was not able to carry on a conversation.  James veered off just as I “entered the finish chute.”  (There wasn’t an actual chute, just a nice red brick path in which to “bring it on home.“)

Unfortunately, I didn’t make my 40 minutes, I finished in about 44.  BUT, the good news is that, according to my watch and Garmin Connect and Strava and Nike+, I had 6 personal records.  I’m very, very pleased with how the race went and with my time and with how much effort I put into it.  It’s proof positive that I’m getting better and faster as time goes on.  All it takes is practice (and a whole lot of patience… oh, and hard work, can’t forget the hard work).

wpid-screenshot_2015-11-21-09-24-27.png

James had a stellar performance.  He had never done a 5K before (a few marathons, but never a 5K, go figure), so his was a given PR.  He managed to place 2nd in his age group.  You can read his awesome race report here.  He finished in 23:16 and won a pie.  A freaking pie.  So awesome.  And so tasty.

wpid-20151121_085547.jpg

Shorts and pie!

Afterwards, we headed off for our celebratory breakfast.  We did have to change out of our race gear first. We were in the parking garage of the Redmond Town Center, and I crawled into the back of our Honda CRV with the hatchback and changed my clothes.  Have you ever changed your clothes in such a tiny confined space?!  Let me rephrase that… have you ever tried to get out of a sports bra in such a tiny confined space?!  James held up a towel to shield me from the peeping toms.

We had breakfast at The Commons, just outside of Woodinville.  They didn’t have my pancakes and bacon, so I went with biscuits and gravy… the next best thing.

wpid-20151121_101629.jpg

It was a fabulous day, tons of fun, a great race with great results, a great breakfast, and great company!  While this was not an official “race-cation,” this was a wonderful “race date.”  Next up for us is the Mukilteo Turkey Trot this Thursday.  James is doing the 10K, aiming for a PR, and I’m doing the 5K, still aiming for my 40 minutes.

And what makes this all worth it?  Why, it’s all about the bling, of course!  Happy Running!

wpid-20151121_161427.jpg

 

Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

I’m up for this challenge!!  Who else in the running, walking, wogging community is up for it?!

Automatticians, members of the WordPress community, and bloggers around the world come together for our annual run.

Source: Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

Week 7 done… 5 weeks to go! Lovely Jubbly!

wpid-20150823_165827_001.jpg

Got milk? My standard post-run recovery drink!

It’s not been too bad of a week for running, just coming off a race and all.  I only ran twice mid-week because, let’s face it, the hills from last Sunday… well, we’ll just say I needed a bit of recovery in there (ouchie!).  And then my most favorite of runs today, the dreaded LSR… today… 9 miles… today… ugh.

Actually, the run didn’t start off so bad.  I’ve gotten some great inspiration from other bloggers, so I was pumped and ready to tackle it head on.  I even chose the dreaded hill route for my first 5 miles because, dang it, I want to get strong for my upcoming half. I’m happy to say I nailed that beast!  I also switched my run/walk interval times as a way to improve my overall time (run more, walk less), and I nailed that as well!  And I also took the “mind over matter” approach… I completely ignored any type of typical running pain I felt and just ran through it.  Even that worked for me!

But then I hit mile 7.  It was as if my body said, “Oh screw you… if you’re not going to pay attention to how I feel, I’m going to stop cooperating.”  At which point I promptly felt every ache down to the core of my bones.  All of a sudden, I felt how bad my feet hurt, how bad every bone in my body hurt, the pain my joints, the fatigue in my legs.  My toenails even hurt!  My ponytail was all of a sudden too tight!  And I couldn’t freaking catch my breath.

wpid-20150823_074420_001.jpg

This is not a sunrise or sunset picture. The orange haze is from the fires that are burning up our state. Makes air quality very poor.

Now, to give you a little insight, Washington state is in the midst of a whole bunch of wildfire crises.  About 165 miles NE of where I live, the little town of Twisp has all but burnt to the ground.  Three firefighters lost their lives fighting this fire last Wednesday.  And the air quality is horrendous, all the way down to Seattle.  The air kept getting thicker and thicker the longer I ran.  As I wasn’t mentally prepared for this, my subconscious fought me really hard and actually broke me.  I couldn’t breathe properly, and once I “felt” I couldn’t breathe properly, the rest of me shut down.  I fought it for a long time, about a mile and a half, but it won in the end.  I ended up only doing 8.5 miles and was terribly sore afterwards.

I didn’t realize how much of a mental struggle that actually was until The Motivator and I analyzed it, because I was so strong in my run for so long.  But my mind found one little thing to focus on, my breathing, and took that opportunity to shut me down.  It’s kind of amazing how that works, isn’t it.  The mind is a powerful thing, don’t underestimate it.  When they say “running long distances is a mental game,” it truly is.  I gave in this time, but I won’t be fooled again.

Another clue as to how this was all mental on my part… James ran 17 miles today no problem, breathing in the thick smoky air way more than me, and he lived to tell about it.  He’s got the mental thing down pat… I still have a bit to learn.  I’ll get there.

I leave you with one last thought… when running long distances, please don’t forget the Body Glide or Vaseline!  But if you do, make sure no one is in the house to hear you scream when you take your shower!

Have a great week!  Next up… 10 miles!!  (Will she live to talk about it?!)

wpid-screenshot_2015-08-23-11-35-52.png

Hmmm, according to Garmin Connect, I actually did do 9.4 miles. I’ll take it!

Bridge of the Gods Run Video

wpid-20150816_193438.jpgwpid-2015-08-15-19.05.29.jpg.jpeg  wpid-20150816_075618.jpg

At the beginning of the race, there was a little drone high up in the sky to which we all waved.  Following is the video that the drone made.  If you want to see the beginning of the race and what it was like to cross that bridge, have a look.  The video is about 4 minutes long.  If Bridge of the Gods is something you will want to do in the future, or if you need a little inspiration to get pumped for your next race, this will help.  There’s something about watching a crowd of people leave the start line that gets my blood moving.  The drone narrows in on some people walking across the bridge… I can guarantee you I was not one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running, Weight Loss, and Taco Tuesday!

slow-progress-is-still-progressI did not want to get up this morning.  I did not want to run this morning.  But I did.  And I’m better off for it.  It added extra calories to My Fitness Pal for my overall consumption, to which I could then indulge tonight with… yes, you guessed it… tacos!!

However, back to the morning run… again I was filled with all sorts of negativity about my running and progress. How am I ever going to reach my goal pace by September?  I’m at a standstill and can’t seem to go any faster.  What am I going to do to get faster?  I never mentioned these nagging thoughts to my husband though.  When he came home from work tonight and we recapped our day’s events, he must have sensed I needed a little pick-me-up.  He said something that related to everything I was thinking this morning… “Don’t worry about your pace. You keep running like this, and it will eventually go down.  Even if it’s not until next year, it will go down.”  Ahhhh, good point.  Eventually it will go down.  While I wish I could run as fast as he can, I can’t, and to be honest, I don’t think I will ever be able to run that fast, but I do have hope that I will one day cross the finish line in the middle of the crowd, not in the back.  Thanks for the encouragement, hunny bunny… I needed that.

My very first half marathon, Rock and Roll Seattle, 2014

My very first half marathon, Rock and Roll Seattle, 2014

On another up note for today, I can officially say that I have beat that Stoopid Scale.  Since I began with the My Fitness Pal app back in May, as of this week, I have solidly lost 10 pounds. That’s 10 pounds in about 2-1/2 months.  Slow going, but it’s a solid loss and it ain’t coming back.  You can see how much I don’t sit on my posterior, and I take in a healthy 1300 to 1600 calories per day.  I eat rubbish like quinoa, wheatberries, flax seed, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta for my carb loads, and I eat a ton of protein.  While I won’t give into the low-carb fad, I do occasionally skip carbs in the evening and just have veggies and protein.  I usually always have some type of dessert, be it a pudding pack with whip cream, a Skinny Cow Ice Cream, or a slice of pound cake with whip cream (nothing more than 100 calories), and I always have a happy hour celebration on Friday night.  I don’t and won’t miss out on anything.  Been there, done that, ain’t doing it again.  Anyway… time to move forward and focus on the next 10 pounds!!

wpid-20150811_075228.jpg

Training plan for Boise… OMG. Half-way through it.

 

I have just begun my 6th week of training for Boise.  Will I progress enough to hit my original goal?  Or will I have to wait until the Maui Half in January to reap the benefits of my hard work? Time will tell… but for now… it’s Taco Time!!