Billy and I both graduated this past Saturday! Our families collaborated for a cookout/graduation party.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Billy and I both graduated this past Saturday! Our families collaborated for a cookout/graduation party.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The race was...great! Hard. Rewarding. I finished in 2:09, 8 minutes faster than the Shamrock. Here are some stats I got emailed to me afterwards:
Your time 2:09:22.99 gave you a 9:53 pace per mile.
Your 3M time was 29:09.62 for a pace of 9:43 per mile.
Your 6M time was 58:44.30 for a pace of 9:51 per mile.
Your 10M time was 1:38:13.99 for a pace of 9:52 per mile.
I was excited to realize I ran the whole distance under 10 minutes per mile! I can run a lot faster for shorter distances, but tend to hit 10 minute miles tops for long runs. It's interesting to see how my pace slowed slightly as I neared the end.
My day started with a 4:30 am wakeup call. Yikes! I had breakfast, got ready, and woke up Billy (he stayed at my parents) to drive me out to the Dismal Swamp. People, I never go to the Dismal Swamp. What a name! It took us about a half hour to get there (would have taken much longer if it hadn't been so horribly early on a Saturday morning).
We met up with my friend Brittany and one of her friends, and spotted some friends from church as well. I was getting pretty nervous before the start because I didn't know how my stomach would react to the long run...especially since my training had been going pretty rough. I am thankful to say that my stomach cooperated! I did, however, get a random side stitch that threatened to explode the whole run, but I did my best to ignore it.
Brittany and I ran at the same pace--I wanted to slow down at a couple of points, and even stopped to walk for a second when my side stitch burst open and hurt so bad at--get this--mile 12! One stupid mile from the end. She was a great motivator and wouldn't let me stop, which I was not too happy with at the time but am grateful for now that I look back!
I will say that I make it a point to pray during my runs. In this case, I really wanted to throw in the towel the last 3 miles. I told God that He can move mountains, and to please give me some of His strength, that I couldn't do it alone but could only finish with His help. This may sound dramatic to some, but it's really mentally and physically exhausting to know that you have no choice but to finish what you started, and you better find some way to figure out how to do it. It made me feel a heck of a lot better and stronger to know that I didn't have to do it on my own.
Other race mishaps include me grabbing a pack of carbohydrate gel around mile 10. I struggled to get the thing open and managed to get it to explode all over my hands. I ran the remaining 3.1 miles with sticky hands!
The course itself was really boring--it was a straight out-and-back course. Literally. We got 6 and a half miles out, turned around, and went back. Thrilling! Our scenery? Trees and dry field, with the occasional run-down barn shack. Nice. The "beware of bears--frequent sightings" signs definitely kept me on my toes!
Billy was waiting for me at the finish line, as was Tropical Smoothie. That sweet, sugary smoothie was the absolute best way to refuel! Yum.
Right before we took off:
Yeah...he beat us:
Taking off! Note: this is how the start of a race looks (and this was a very small race--under 900 compared to 20,000 at the Shamrock). You basically dodge other runners until you fall into your pace and they fall into theirs. It thins out after the first mile or so.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sign up for a race as soon as you feel up to it.
Find a committed running partner. It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you.
It gets easier.
Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one; some of them will hurt.
- Last Monday: 6.25 miles on the TM (some hills, some speed). This was my last decent run and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
- Last Thursday: 5.5 miles outside. This was just plain hard. I was recovering from a sinus infection...enough said.
- Saturday I ran 10 miles outside at the oceanfront. Positives: it was beautiful out and Billy rode a bike alongside me, acting as my traveling aid station equipped with water, tissues, and Clif Shot Blocks. Negatives: it was just plain hard. I was slow and struggled with cramps (which I never get!). This run left me wondering what the heck I'm thinking with another half next week.
Aside from running, I've been doing well with incorporating crosstraining. Last week, I ran 3 days, crosstrained (weights & some alternative cardio) 3 days, and took 1 rest day. Hopefully I can continue this trend because it felt very well balanced. I honestly don't know how I'm going to perform this Saturday in the Dismal Swamp Stomp. I definitely don't think I'll PR; in fact I'll be surprised if I can run the whole thing without taking a couple of walk breaks. I'm hoping this weak streak will pass before then.
April 4th was my bridal shower! I had an amazing time. My mom's good friend Amy hosted the shower, and my MOH Chelsea organized and ran it. I was so overly impressed with both of them and the work they put into it. The food was incredible, the games were fun, and the gifts were generous, to say the least. Most importantly, the company was wonderful.
My cousin Rachael (who is a bridesmaid) flew in from GA. She plays volleyball on scholarship for Kennesaw!
I love these girls.
I'll be back with a race re-cap (if I survive)!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It's good to be back on the blog. Thanks for all the congrats on here and on facebook regarding the Shamrock. It feels like so long ago now!
I definitely took the day off from exercise after the race. I planned on 3 days off, but after the first day I was getting so antsy! I opted for some easy elliptical and upper body strength, as well as lots of stretching. Good stuff. I took 2 runs last week: a 5 miler on the indoor track at ODU (as well as a Body Pump class with Chels), and a 6.4 miler outside to take advantage of the beautiful Saturday weather. That 6.4 miler was totally unscheduled and impromptu. I literally ran out my front door and kept going, deciding I would turn around once I hit the end of Little Neck Road. I always plan out running routes and distances, so this was so freeing and made me feel super spontaneous.
This week, I've completed 3 runs so far, all outside: a 4 miler from ODU to North Shore Road, another 6.4 Little Neck route (same as last week's), and a 3 miler Larchmont loop. Sounds simple enough, but these past 2 runs have flat out sucked. I didn't give myself enough time to digest after an apple with PB before the 6.4 miler, which equaled that apple with PB nearly coming up to say hello the entire time. Then today, I thought 3 miles would be a piece of cake, but I huffed and puffed my way through it. Oh well, better luck next time! I'm shooting for a 10 miler this Sunday. I want to get in one long run before I start my taper for the Dismal Swamp Stomp on April 18th!
In non-running news:
Graduation is in a month! Insert dance here. As much as I can't wait to say sayanara to my undergraduate career, I really will miss seeing the faces of all the friends I've made. I have really enjoyed college and learned so much in all apects of life.
My wedding shower is this Saturday! I am beyond stoked. I get to hang out with all (or most) of the ladies in my life! I'll definitely post pictures.
Yesterday (April Fool's) marked Billy's and my one year engageaversary! Yep, we got engaged exactly one year ago yesterday. Man, that went fast.
Did you play any April Food's jokes this year? I didn't...I'm boring, I know. I actually had a fairly decent one planned out (I was going to call my mom and tell her I spilled coffee all over all the wedding invitations) but I never got around to it.
I'll also post later with some very exciting, although bittersweet, news in my life regarding my work. God has once again shown me how silly it is to worry and be anxious about things, when His plan is so much greater. I pray I find joy, contentment, and fulfillment in Him through the hard, trying times and not just the new, exciting times.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The party started yesterday, when I forced bottle after bottle of water down Billy's and my throats. I was so full of water I hardly had room to eat the spaghetti dinner we had at our friends David and Rachael's house along with our Pastor Kevin, who was also a first time runner. We attended a "carbo load" party, complete with spaghetti, garlic bread, and my own maple sweet potatoes. I told Billy it was pretty funny that people are always talking about cutting out carbs and going on low-carb diets, and there we were headed to a carb fest!
After dinner, I got in bed by 10:15 but wasn't able to fall asleep until close to 10:45 due to nerves and excitement. My alarm went off at an hour that should never be seen by anyone on a clock: 4:20. I anticipated hitting the snooze button a million times, but rather shot out of bed and made a breakfast of a small bagel with PB and a banana on top, as well as a cup of coffee. Around 5 I woke Billy up (he stayed in our guest room due to the early morning), and we were out the door before 6. It took us a good half hour before we parked--traffic was already piling up and roads were closing. The race was due to start at 7, so we lined up by the bathrooms to go one last time along with everyone else in the world. As I was opening the door of my port-a-potty to come out, I see a girl, about my age, run full speed smack into my opened door. She had been running (either to warm up or just to get to the start of the race) right in front of the line of port-a-potties, and my door happened to open just as she happened to be sprinting by. I was in absolute shock as I watched her fall to the ground off the curb. I just stood there with my hands over my mouth, feeling so confused and so horrible. The girl started sobbing crying, which made me feel better because at least she wasn't knocked out, and her mom or whoever was with her rushed her off to the medics. I tried to talk to the girl or her mom, trying to apologize or be of some help, but they completely ignored me (not that I blamed them; the girl's head was a little more important here) and walked off. I should mention that as they were walking off, they still walked in front of the line of port-a-potties and the girl almost walked into another opening door and had to dodge out of the way. Had she been running, she would have for sure hit it again. Lesson learned: be mindful of any opening doors, whether it be a port-a-potty, a car, or what have you. Billy came out to find me crying and really upset, but honestly there was nothing we could do. I can't feel guilty because it wasn't my fault; it's unfortunate that she got hurt and I pray to God she's okay.
After that rocky start, we finally started our run. Man was it crowded! It took us a good 10 minutes almost to get across the start line, and then from there to weave around people until we found a good pace. The pace we held was comfortably hard. Miles 1 through 7 flew by and I have no recollection of any of my thoughts, other than I can't believe we're doing this and I can't believe it actually feels pretty darn easy! Unfortunately, around miles 7 to 9, Billy was plagued with a horrible cramp that wouldn't subside. I know he was really frustrated and did not want to stop, but he was in pain and I made us pull off to the side for a while to walk and for him to stretch it out. We really slowed our pace for those 2 miles, and they were not very fun. I couldn't enjoy the run knowing that he was hurting. He started feeling a little better around mile 9, so we picked it up to a moderate pace for miles 9 through 12, stopping at a few Gatorade stops (God bless em, the Gatorade was like cups of heaven). It was so great to have the entire run lined with people cheering us on. Around mile 9 to the end I spotted my dear friend and ex-boss Jennifer on her bike; she's a runner but decided to not run this year in order to cheer on her friends! She cheered like crazy and took tons of pics; hopefully she'll send them to me and I can post them here. Towards the end of the race, around mile 12, I told Billy I was going to just take off and see what happened. I sprinted so hard that I swear I've never put so much physical or mental effort into anything till I hit the end. My body felt numb; my lungs were burning; I was grunting and huffing and puffing and crying out of happiness, pain, and sheer overwhelment (is that even a word?). Nothing felt better than crossing the finish line! I quickly turned around and scanned the crowds for my friends and Billy, who crossed the line a mere 2 minutes after me, cramp and everything. After reuniting, we tried to get into the crowds to look for our friends, but were shuffled off to the massive heated tent on the beach, where we got a quick snack and then had to walk a few blocks down the beach till we were allowed to exit onto the boardwalk. We searched up and down, but couldn't find any of our friends! After a while we decided to give up and head home; I found out later that all our friends were in the same spots we had been, looking for us. I'm so super bummed we missed each other, but want to thank all of my lovely friends for taking the time out and waking up early on a weekend to come cheer us on. It means more than I can say!
My official end time was 2:17:46, and Billy's was 2:19:47. Currently, it hurts to move at all. I definitely strained a little something in my right achilles tendon, and my left anterior tib feels wrongly sore. Yikes! We immediately hopped in the hot tub, then I napped for a good long while. Oh, and been slowly eating throughout the day to make up for the over 1,300 calorie deficit.
I plan on resting until my body feels back to normal. I hope to get back into yoga like I was a few weeks ago; I could use a good stretch. Then, it's back to training for my next half on April 18th! I can hardly wait:)
Thank you to everyone for your support, prayers, and encouragement. We love you!