Tag Archives: healthy-living

Nashville Half-Marathon Re-Cap

1 May

I can’t even tell you how much fun this weekend was. At times it was invigorating, challenging, miserable, a blessing and pure joy. Jamie and I arrived in Nashville around lunch time and we went straight to the expo to pick up our race packets. The storm clouds were already setting in and we were walking in the rain from the moment we arrived. Once we picked up our race bibs and bags we decided to invest in a bit of rain gear for the next day. The forecast was at a 70% for rain at that point and didn’t look like things were going to clear up. We both purchased visors which proved to be invaluable and we each got an armband that could carry our phones and protect them from the rain. Once we left the expo our next stop was our hotel. We got checked in and unpacked and then headed out to an early dinner at the cheesecake factory.

We call this carb-loading…or a good excuse for a delicious meal.2013-04-26 19.04.48

Don’t worry, we didn’t leave without cheesecake. We both ordered a piece to go to snack on a bit later. The rest of the night was pretty low-key and we managed to get in bed by 10pm.

We had our alarms set for a little after 5 but I woke up around 4am with butterflies in my belly. I went to the window to check out the weather conditions…it was pouring rain. At that point I realized I have absolutely no control over the situation and we were just going to have to make the best of it. I managed to lay back down for another hour until the alarm went off. Jamie and I were both full of nerves and had a hard time wanting to eating. I choked down a banana and half a piece of banana bread and topped it off with some water.

2013-04-27 07.17.04We left the hotel around 6:15 and the hotel shuttle drove us to Centennial Park. We were the only ones on the bus. Apparently, we were pushing it with time and had barely made it before they closed all the roads off…whoops. As we were riding the shuttle the rain stopped and things were looking up. I was convinced the rain was going to hold off for a few hours. I was wrong. As we headed to gear check it started to pour the rain again. We decided we would just run in our long shirts instead of checking them. I’m so glad we did because it was pretty chilly mixed in with all the rain.

Standing in the corrals, waiting for the race to start was one of the more miserable moments. It seemed like we were there for a really long time. However, then they had a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon and I felt thankful just to be there and be healthy enough to run. Shortly after 7am the race started. They started us in staggered groups in order to spread the crown out a bit. Jamie and I ended up starting about 2 minutes after the race clock initially began. Once we started running the rain was kinda invigorating. I almost didn’t even notice it after about the first mile. Like I said, the visor came in super handy. It kept all the rain out of my eyes and face and just let me focus on running. I think the first 5 miles were the hardest for me mentally because I knew there lots of hills in those miles and for some reason I just couldn’t get into the run. But, once I got to that that sixth mile I was feeling good and my pace felt great. Around mile 10 my legs were getting pretty tired and I could tell I was starting to fade. However, when I saw the clock I knew I was going to be close to my personal best time of 1:48. I decided if I could keep my pace up that I may be able to beat my time. Those last three miles were a fight. I had to keep reminding myself I only had a 5k left….I ONLY have 2 miles left. When I made it to mile marker 12 I knew I was gonna be able to keep going. At mile marker 13 I knew I wasn’t going to get my best time but I took off in a sprint anyhow because I was so excited to be done! My chip time came in at 1:49:59! I was beyond thrilled since my goal was to break 2 hours. Jamie had finished about a minute ahead of me and we reunited were so happy to be done.

This is where the real miserable times start. As soon as we stopped running the rain became a factor. Our body temperatures started to cool off and we were freezing. Our hotel was supposed to supply a shuttle for us to get back to the hotel so we were being directed to that area which ended up being about a mile away. Once we got to the shuttle area they informed us it cost $15 to get on. At that point, we didn’t care, we just wanted to be warm and dry. Once we got to the shuttles they told us that the shuttles weren’t running to our hotel. We didn’t know what to do or how we were going to find the shuttle for our hotel. I managed to call and get through to our hotel and they informed us that there was a shuttle running but they couldn’t get to us until 11am…at his point it was only about 9:15am. The security at the marathon was top notch and tightly secured since the events at Boston. I was really thankful for that but it made it impossible to leave. We were freezing and miserable so we decided to jump on one of the shuttles even though they weren’t going to our hotel. It would at least provide a little bit of warmth until we had to make our next decision. At this point we planned to go to any hotel and try to call a cab from there. But, when they let us off the shuttle we were right across from the bus station so we thought we would give it a shot. We asked one of the employees if the bus was traveling on the route of our hotel and they assured us it was. We were so excited, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once we boarded the bus I asked the bus driver to let us know when our stop was for our hotel because we weren’t familiar with the area. She turned quickly in her seat and told us the bus wasn’t running that route because of the detours due to the race. We really wanted to cry. We asked her to get us as close as she could and we would figure it out from there. When she let us off the bus our GPS told us we were still 1.3 miles away. We sucked it up and ran or jogged rather…. Seeing our hotel was almost as good as seeing the finish line at the race. It took us 2 miserable hours to get back to the hotel….but we made it.

2013-04-27 12.05.46I took one of the best showers of my life, followed by a 3 hour nap:)

Once Jamie and I woke up we got ready to go out for the night. We spent the rest of the evening on Music Row celebrating our day!

2013-04-27 21.31.57I am so glad we did this race. Not only was the weekend great but getting to train with my best buddy was awesome too. This really made me love running again and the race made me extremely thankful that I was able run. One other thing I should mention was how awesome the volunteers and spectators were. I felt like there may not be that many people out cheering since the weather was so nasty but they didn’t let the rain hold them back. It really makes a difference when you have people cheering you on and pushing you along the way. I appreciate all those people:)

We plan to continue our workouts and hopefully we will be planning another race for the near future.

3 Weeks to Go!

5 Apr

So tomorrow will be exactly 3 weeks until the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon. If you had asked me 2 weeks ago if I was ready I would have said “no way.” Around that time I had a horrible week of running. My long run that week was terrible and I had to stop multiple times because I just felt plain exhausted. Many times my head gets in the way during a long run and I can be defeated before I even begin. I was so discouraged and couldn’t understand why I was running so badly after several really good runs. I started scouring the internet for motivation. I came across a quote that said something like….run the mile you are in, not the one ahead of you. That really resonated with me. So many times I can be running and I can be on mile 4 and get discouraged thinking there are 5 or 6 more miles ahead of me. I think, if I’m tired now how am I ever gonna make it at mile 9 and then the thoughts just go from there.

I found this poster and it gave me a little pick me up.

This Sunday will be my longest run I have done or will do before the half. We are at 11 miles and I think I have given myself the pep talk to get through it. It also helps that it looks like it is going to be sunny and 7o all weekend. That has to do good things for the spirits.

Obviously my first goal is to finish the half but beyond that I would like to do it in less than 2 hours. My running buddy, Jamie tells me I am crazy and can definitely reach that goal but on most days I’m not so sure. In my first half, which was about 7 years ago I did it in 1:48. My second was 2:11 and my third which was last year was 2:28. However, I do feel like I am in a better place physically than I was last year.

We are on the countdown:)

New Year, New Aspirations

8 Jan

We celebrated the New Year at home, low-key with some really good friends. We talked, cooked, ate, played board games and just enjoyed being together. The last several New Years have been quite different than years past. We weren’t out on the town til the wee hours of the morning, hopping from one place to the next. But that’s ok with me. We got to play with Lila up until her bedtime and celebrate with people we love while she was only one room away. I could sneak in and catch a peek of her resting peacefully and run my fingers through her curly hair. It’s a new year and it is going to be a good one.

I usually make resolutions each year. I like the idea of starting fresh and putting my ideas on paper to help re-enforce my motivation. So, here is my list to make this year the best it can be.

1.) Exercise. I know, this is every other person’s resolution too. But, I really do love to exercise. It makes me feel better, gives me more energy and puts me in a better mind-frame. Since having Lila it has been hard to carve out the time I use to dedicate to the gym. It’s not easy and it takes some planning but it is worth it.  Jamie and I have started meeting up to run together 4 days a week. We have worked out a schedule that is reasonable and is good for both of us. I have never cared to go work out by myself but I have found lately if I don’t have someone to hold me accountable I can talk myself out of going. Now, Jamie and I make a plan and stick to it. It’s actually fun and I get in some good friend time as well. We are looking towards running a pretty big race in April!

2.) Eat better. Cook more. I know these sound so cliche so far but these are my goals. Josh and I have both been talking about eating better and cooking more over the past year but that’s about all we did was talk about it. We took some steps to make those talks a reality. Josh bought me an awesome new cookware set, along with some great cookbooks and an awesome new shelf for storage. This weekend I made my first ever menu plan for the week. I listed all the ingredients I would need and off the store I went. I felt so grown-up as I marked each item off my list. The week has started off a success and we have had some great meals. A great bonus is that we always have leftovers so I don’t have to think about my lunch for the next day. I love to know when I get home that there is a plan for dinner and that I have all the ingredients. It has started to take the stress out of dinnertime.

3.) Create More. I want this year to be filled with lots of crafting and writing. I get on spurts where I will create a lot of stuff at one time and then end up taking a longer break than intended. I find I am at my happiest when my hands are creating something new. Whether it be an actual craft or sitting down to write a paragraph, I just want to do it more.

4.) Be Kind. I had written about Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness a few weeks ago and it has really inspired me. I have added several acts to my list over the past few weeks and it has made me feel so good. I want to remember to be kind all the time. It doesn’t have to cost money or take a lot of time. Sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most to those receiving them. What would a kinder world look like in a year?

5.) Scoop the litter box daily. Yes. This is really a goal. My poor cats rank low on the needs list at our house. They don’t require much upkeep and sometimes they don’t get the attention they deserve. Josh and I both hate cleaning the litter box but I think they deserve it. Every time I have to use a dirty porta-potty (which isn’t often), I am reminded of how nice it is to have clean facilities…haha. Then I am immediately reminded that I need to go scoop the litter box. If no one else appreciates this…I know my cats will.

6.) Pay More Attention. This one is kinda vague and hard to be measured but important all the same. We all have our schedules and daily routines and sometimes it is easy to overlook or not listen as closely as we should. I just want to be more present.

I am sure I have other small goals that I have forgotten about for the moment but these are in the forefront of my mind. I hope to come back to these often to check-in and get a boost of motivation when needed.

I hope your new year is off to a great beginning. If it’s not, change it today:)

All The Half-Marathon Details You Didn’t Ask For

3 Apr

My alarm was set for 6am on Sunday morning, however I was up at 5am with nerves in my belly. I have always gotten nervous before any sporting event, ever. I didn’t have any reason to be nervous because it wasn’t a race…it was just me wanting to complete a goal I had set for myself. Nevertheless, the nerves were there. Since, I had a little time to kill I watched an episode of Full House, don’t judge, there is nothing else on at 5:30 in the morning. It took me back to maternity leave when I would be up nursing Lila, I would always watch Full House and Family Matters. I stretched, had a peanut butter sandwich and got my things together. I heard Lila stirring in the nursery but decided I needed to go before she woke up and saw me.

As I walked outside it was chilly and dark, which wasn’t helping with the motivation I needed. I drove the 5 minutes to downtown and all of a sudden the streets were flooded with the cars. Where I had planned on parking was blocked off so I had to resort to plan B. I was driving up and down the streets trying to find a legal place to park. As I was sitting in traffic and weaving around cars I was growing more and more anxious. I finally found a deserted parking lot with a police officer sitting guard. I asked him I was aloud to park there and he told me I could at my own risk, I could possibly get towed. At that point I was running out of time and I didn’t really have any other options. I decided to risk it. I locked everything securely in my car and started to jog to the starting point. Everywhere I turned there were runners, they were stretching, jogging and twitching with anticipation. I weaved my way through the mass of people at the start and settled into the middle of a large crowd. I kept looking around for familiar faces, trying to locate friends who were running but it was too congested. About two minutes before the race began, I heard someone yelling my name. Success! It was my friend Kate, so I made my way over to her. It seems we were only talking for a moment and then we were off to the races.

This year there were a record number or runners and it definitely felt that way the entire time. Usually after getting a few miles in the crowd begins to thin out and separate but that never happened. I felt great in the beginning, I had a lot of energy, the weather was great and I had people I knew to run with. However, around mile 6 I began to feel my legs tightening up and that worried me right away, I wasn’t even halfway. A man passed me at that point and yelled out, “only 20 more miles!” He was obviously running the whole marathon. At that point I couldn’t imagine still having 2o miles to go, the 7 I had left was beginning to seem daunting. I was dreading mile 7 because there was a HUGE hill that we all new was coming. I knew if I could make it through the hill my mom would be waiting at mile 8, that kept me going. I saw my mom and she was cheering just as hard as she could and yelled I only had one third left. After I saw her I started to get discouraged because now my back was aching terribly too. I wasn’t sure why I was in so much pain because I had run 10 miles the weekend prior and hadn’t experienced any of those problems. I kept telling myself if I could make it to mile 1o I would be home free. Yeah, not so much. At one point I was making comparisons to myself about the pain of labor and the pain I was experiencing. I was having to tell myself if I could go through labor, I could make myself run for another 30-40 minutes. Finally, at mile 11 I had to stop and walk, I couldn’t take it anymore. The funny thing is, when I stopped to walk the pain was even more severe. I went back and forth between walking and jogging for the last 2 miles. Then, I could see Neyland Stadium and I knew it was almost over. There was one more hill to conquer and I would be done! I made it up the hill and then forced myself to jog through the dome and into the Stadium. As I crossed the finish line they called out my name and the clock read 2:28.11. About 5 seconds after I finished I heard the announcer say, “and here comes the winner of the marathon!” Yes, this guy ran the entire marathon in the time it took me to do half of it, but I did finish in front of him…haha. My time was about 17 minutes slower than it was 2 years ago but at that point I was just glad to have finished. I had a pretty, new medal and I felt proud of myself for reaching my goal.

I hobbled out of the stadium to find my mom waiting on me and she gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was. My mom is the best. Once I started telling her about the radiating pain I was having she said I was most likely dehydrated. DING! DING! DING! I don’t know why I didn’t think to drink more water than usual the day before but somehow it had escaped me and I paid for it dearly and am still paying for it. I managed to rehydrate and reenergize with a bottle of water, two bottles of powerade and a plate of fruits and bagels. I am still incredibly sore and expect I will remain this way for several days.

When I got home, Josh and Lila were waiting on me and Lila rewarded me with a big hug. That made it all worth it:)

Will I do another one? I would definitely like to improve on my time but I don’t know if another one will happen anytime soon. I would possibly like to experiment with a flatter course and better hydration methods next time.

But, I reached my goal and I feel proud (and sore).