Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Now what?

Its always so weird after a race is done, isn't it?

I mean, you invest so much time in training. 

I have on my calendar exactly what the training was for that day. 
I have canceled appointments or rescheduled them when my long runs hit on the weekend.
Life revolves around training.

& then the race happens... & BAM, its over & its like, "What now?"


Its just like when you plan for a wedding.  All that time on the details & when the wedding is over, you wake up the next day & say, "You mean I don't have to call the florist to change the flower order again?"

Life just feels like something is missing...

I will say, after this last half marathon, I woke up on Sunday feeling fantastic - only my blister hurting & my legs just a slight bit of tightness.  Nothing that felt like I was miserable. 

I told Ricky I could even go running on Monday...

But I've decided not to.

I'm taking the running down for a bit. 

Oh, I'll still do it.  No doubt.  It was a beautiful day yesterday & I was itching at the bit to run....

But I started on Monday my next 90 days - I'm going through the whole T25 program.

I'm going to see if I can get some of this weight off & get my body toner & tighter...
I want to become a better runner & I think this is a good way to get it started.

I actually took my measurements to see what the difference will be in 90 days...
there BETTER be a difference!


I found out that the right side of me is a half inch bigger too... fun fact...

Yes, I'll still sneak in some 5k's...
I love some Jost Running medals so I know I'll be doing a 5k at least every month...

#medalsrule

I'm excited to get my body in better shape...

& I can't wait to start looking ahead at my future races.

I already have the next Kentucky Derby miniMarathon marked on my calendar for 2015... have a Fall half marathon in mind. 

But these next 90 days?  I'm going to turn into a fitness BEAST!



YEAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kentucky Derby Half Marathon Recap ....

I woke up early & refreshed.  Something that never happens on race day.  Usually butterflies swirling in my belly keeps me up all night long, afraid I'll over sleep through an alarm.

I woke up right when my alarm went off, my eyes bright & my tail bushy (that doesn't sound right... bright eyed & bushy tailed is what I'm going for)....

& it was the craziest thing.  Literally, the first thing that went through my mind when I woke up was the song,

I will not fear... His promises is true... my God will come through... always!  Always!





I had the most amazing sense of peace come over me right then & there...

I hopped right out of bed & headed into the kitchen.  The dogs were all sleeping in, & Ricky was still snoozing, so I made my race breakfast (an egg sandwich with hot sauce) & sat in the kitchen just reflecting on how the day was going to go.  I made up my mind to not freak out ... to enjoy the day... to be IN the moment... & know God was with me, was going to get me through the day...

I had everything laid out the night before so I got done with breakfast & started getting dressed.  Its always exciting because the news stations are already covering the start line & it gets me fired up, ready to get down to the crowds.

They had said that the temp was in the low 50's & it was going to be a perfect sunny, beautiful day.  I went out the door with just a short sleeve shirt & figured it would warm up as I got to moving.  I didn't expect to walk out the door & have such a cool breeze hit me.  I was freezing.

We got down to the race & Ricky parked & walked with me to the start line.  Getting in the crowds, hearing the music, seeing the corrals, my nerves really kicked in.  It didn't help that I was still cold, so I was just shaking with the big ball of emotion. 
Race
Me Shivering before the race. 
Look how tight my hands are.
Nerves were kicking in


Ricky went with me even in the corral to keep me company & he kept his arms around me to keep me warm.  Is my husband awesome or what?

Before I knew it, we were moving forward. I didn't hear the horn go off, but I knew we had started.... Ricky walked with me all the way to the start line & veered off right as I got ready to hit my watch to begin this adventure.  I told him he was lucky they didn't tackle him coming off the course :)  The things you do for love.

Mile 1 - Of course, felt great.  The first mile is just full of cheerleaders & spectators ... I think I just look at all the faces looking for their loved ones & it is just full of joy & expectation in mile one.


I was determined to keep my pace of walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes - but the first mile, I ran the first 5 minutes & then started my pace....


Mile 2 - There was a church called Liberty Temple - they were amazing!  They had to get there early & they had bought full bottles of water on their own & handing them out.  Plus, they had the Rocky theme going & honestly, they were the BEST CROWD OF PEOPLE!  They were on chairs, on tables, screaming, hitting everyone's hands... they deserve an award for "BEST CHEERLEADERS"


Mile 3 - About this time, I'm getting sick of winding up streets, back down streets, to wind back UP the street... get me out of these small roads...
It was also about this time that my new hand held phone gadget that I bought turned out not to be the best gadget I thought it was.  It was cutting into my thumb... so bad, I almost couldn't even FEEL my thumb.  Hmmm... let's get this thing off of my hand before my thumb turns blue.



Good in theory
Bad for swollen thumbs

Mile 4  - Ahh - on Broadway - a big wide road where you feel like you can breath.  I'm still keeping my same pace & feeling really good actually.  I saw ahead of me people going to the side & grabbing something at the next water station.  I thought there may be oranges there.  No - there were about 20 dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts.  UGH!  I don't get how people eat junk when they run. One year, I saw people eating White Castle hamburgers.  I can puke thinking about it.
 


Mile 5 - this is where you take the turn to head down the road that leads you to Churchill Downs.  We pass a retirement home & I love that the front of it is always full of people cheering us on... people in wheelchairs, people who are elderly... they just clap & clap.  I want to just stop & hug them all.


Mile 6-7 - I hate this part of the race.  I was still keeping my normal pace, doing OK.  I just hate it because its so long at this point going down the road.  I just want to get to Churchill Downs & it feels like you're never going to reach those twin spirals. 
This part of the race really is my personal hell

I will say, my song "Press on" by Mandisa came on & I was kicking butt running through that whole song.
It was right after that that I could feel a blister coming up on the bottom of both my feet, on the balls of my feet.  The right foot was worse, but it was nothing to slow me down.

Mile 8 - The coolest part.  We got to run into Churchill Downs... I hadn't even taken my phone out during the whole time but had to document going into the track.  It was the first year we got to actually go in the front way.


Race
My favorite part of the race ended up turning into the worst for me....


Proof I was still smiling at mile 8

When I was coming out of the tunnel of the track & heading into mile 9, I had 2 issues hit me.  First, those blisters that were coming up earlier had been getting worse & the one on my right foot was becoming unbearable.  I've never had blisters on the bottom of my feet before so I didn't even know how to deal with them. 

They had me limping & walking funny, which in turn, had my legs tighten up...

I was in trouble.

It was about mile 9.5 where I broke my pace for the first time.  Every time I went to do my 2 minute run, the blisters felt like they were bleeding... I was getting ready to just cry...

Luckily, I saw a friend on the side lines with her new baby & she ran out & hugged me.  Its funny how the small things give you energy again.

Ricky called me at mile 10 & asked where I was at.  I told him where & he said he would meet me up the road.  I didn't tell him how bad I felt at this point because I knew he would freak out & not let me go any further...

But I got to mile 11 & here comes Ricky.  I see him & smile & wave & then he got up to me & I told him how miserable I was.  At this point my pace had dropped something CRAZY... I couldn't run at all anymore. 

I, at first was so disappointed because I started off with an actual goal... something I didn't think I would do.  And the thing is, I was going to make it!!! I really was!  I was like 3 minutes ahead of the game... all up to mile 9.5....

& then I had a small self pity party...


But actually, it was a very small one - especially compared to some of the other ones I've had in races.  I kept thinking, "I wasn't even sure I was going to make it.  & here I am.  Screw the time."

& at that point, Ricky & I stepped to the side of the road, he sat down & I stretched my tight legs & I eased off my foot some.


They say, "crawl if you have to" - I almost was at that point.  I got to the 12 mile mark & I looked at Ricky & said, "It would be crazy for me to not make it now..." & at that, I was basically a snail.  My 14 minute pace went up to a 22 minute pace.  I was just literally taking a step at a time.

& again?  I didn't even care.  People were passing me up & I didn't care.  Time was ticking faster then ever.... & I didn't care.


Ricky was walking with me & we just were laughing, talking about where we were going to eat, listening to a little girl on the side singing in a karaoke machine "Do you wanna build a snowman" from Frozen....
Enjoying the moment... being IN the moment... & that's what I cared about.

We made the turn to the finish line & Ricky said, "Do you want to run?"

I told him, "I'm not sure I can." - every step felt like someone putting a hot knife in the ball of my foot...

but the closer I got to the finish line, I said, 'Let's go!' & I ran the last bit...


Probably a good thing. I think I made my foot completely numb at that point....

It was the funniest thing though because as soon as I crossed the finish line, I didn't see the people handing out the medals & I just crossed the finish line & stopped dead in my tracks & said, "WHERE'S THE MEDALS?"... Ricky busted out laughing.  He said I looked like a child wanting my candy...

well, duh! :)

I limped down & got my medal & I looked at Ricky & said, "I know its an awful time, I know I'm hurting, but I actually feel proud that I did it again"....




I had a whole new race experience... the one where time didn't even matter to me... where I felt self doubt fade away...

it made it a pretty awesome race....

My new addition to the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon collection
Not my worst, not my best, but a new experience

I will say, I really didn't know what to expect in this race...
Didn't expect to start out so well...
REALLY didn't expect to have the pain of a blister (that was new)...
& Really REALLYYY didn't expect to throw the cares away of the 'comparison' away like I did. 

I honestly didn't even see what my time was until I checked my email 2 days later.  Seriously.  That's how little I cared.  I just knew I finished....

& that was my goal.

I like doing races like that.... I need to make that the habit.

(Side Note:  I took a picture of my blister on my foot, but decided to spare everyone that... you're welcome)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kentucky Derby Mini/Marathon Race Expo....

So before we say anything, let's just put out there, I did it & I finished.

Yahooo!!!!

It has a story of its own & I'll do the recap tomorrow, but today, we'll start with the day before - the race expo...

Friday I ran down to the Louisville Convention Center to get my race packet.

I will say, this is the one thing I HATE about this race.  It's not convenient to get into the convention center during work hours.  Parking is a night mare.

Last year, I ended up driving so far DOWN in a garage, the ceilings were so low & it was like dirt paths, I literally had a panic attack & felt like all the walls were closing in. I seriously FREAKED OUT & had to call Ricky to talk to me until I got out of there... so I refused to park in a parking garage this time. 

I drove around for 10 minutes until I said "screw it" & went further out & found an empty meter.  It only took me 15 minutes to walk to the convention center... geez...

Good pre-day race workout - right?

Expo

Got in the expo & immediately had a camera crew following me to get my stuff.  OK then... they never asked me my name, never said they were going to follow me, but stuck right with me.  I figured they would just use it as snippets since they didn't need my name.  But I tell you what, it made me walk a lot straighter & smile a lot more then usual.

Expo
A lot of Vincent's in the race

Found my name on the list & got my race number & I headed to get my packet...

To a guy who could NOT get my number right.  16,700... Seven Zero Zero... I saw him kept thumbing through the bibs, going the wrong way so I repeated it again... he still was going the wrong direction.  I don't know if the camera's being on us were making him nervous or what... so he asked me AGAIN what my number was & then  he just stood there.

At this point, I'm feeling like the camera's are just a part of Candid Camera (did I just age myself) or Punked (is that even still on too?) ... & then the lady next to him just reached in & got the packet myself...

Thanks Mr. Man... you probably ruined my chances of being a star.  The camera people were probably like, "let's find someone else to follow"... because they left at this point...

I walked around & decided to take time to look at more booths this time instead of zooming in & out like I normally do...

Glad I did... I found a booth that would tape you up.  Now, I believe 120% in KT Tape - but this was different.  It was called Spider Tech...

& it's precut & they apply it on you for the race.  Only $10?  Sign me up...

Expo

there were 2 ladies in front of me getting their shins & feet taped up so I had to wait...  OK - time for more shopping. 

Literally, the booth right next to them held these HB Tunes hand held things I've been wanting... I seriously was going to the expo looking for this & it was right in my face.  The lady was like, "Let me know you how it works"... I told her, I don't care, just sell me one.  I've been wanting one for so long...


She took my phone, found out which one fit best & BAM - another product in my bag...

Still waiting for the 2 ladies to finish getting taped up.  They were taking pictures & enjoying themselves - I don't blame 'em - that's what these things are for - enjoyment, so I went shopping some more...

Found another product I'm anxious to try... Primal Sports Mud.  I heard the guy say it works for tendonitis & I was sold.  My bicep tendonitis is ridiculous & I'll try anything ANYTHING to ease it up...

Expo

Apparently its some sort of mud you put on, put heat on it & it does some sort of magical thing & eases it up... we'll see... I have read up on it since I got home that night & I did read a lot of good things about it.  Fingers crossed.

MAGIC!!!
This is how awesome I hope it works
Unicorn on a pink shirt kinda awesome!

I headed back & it was my time to get taped up... good thing I came back.  There was a line of other people to get taped up.

I had to lift up the back of my shirt & lean over & the lady slapped that baby on me in 5 minutes... I was nervous it would come off because when I try to apply KT Tape to my back, the curve of my low back makes it slide right off.  That's why I was happy to have someone else apply it. 


Side note - its Monday morning & after the race, Easter, showers, a LOT of moving, its STILL on... & you'll see in my recap, my back didn't cause me one bit of issues. 

I need this lady & this Spider Tech tape in my life every week... please...

I was ready to leave & head back to my car, happily swinging my bag full of goodies...

the only bad thing?  They had no Honey Stinger products... what? 

I hate gels.  They give me diarrhea for days after (TMI?) so I try to avoid anything that isn't natural based. 

So after I got off work, I headed to our local running store & loaded up on my favorite products...

T race

The rest of the night, I just tried to relax...

I made some yummy spinach ravioli & incredible bread & carb'ed up... the best part of a race...



I tried to get my mind where it needed to be.  I think I was more afraid of this race then any I've ever done. Which I'm not sure why.  But I just was trying to switch on the mind to be positive... visualize myself finishing...


I normally can't sleep well on race night, but luckily, I've ran so much during the week doing everything in life, I was exhausted...

& I hit the bed early & slept right through the night...

so tomorrow - race recap & how it all went down....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Confessions.... the day before the half marathon




Time to do some confessions... & I may have to focus on my race tomorrow & confess some of my thoughts about it today... let my blog be my therapist today...

~ I'm scared to death.  I don't normally get scared about a race, but I'm scared. & I hate that I'm scared.
no no no no no... this kind of thinking has to stop
 

~ I think I'm having flashbacks to the race last year where I woke up & my back pain was so severe that I couldn't do the race... so now, I'm nervous that my back is going to pull a sit-in-protest again on me.  I've trained all these weeks with back pain... what's one more day - right?

~ I hate saying "race"... To me, it will NEVER be a race.  I'm not that good or fast. 

~ I keep doubting myself... but have to remember I did train (except the last 2 weeks) & I did get up to 10 miles.. I should be prepared... right?

I really need to snap out of it!!!

~My upper lip has been twitching like crazy since yesterday.  I refuse to look it up on WebMD so I don't feel like I've gone some sort of horrible disease.  But I think its my nerves kicking in.  I know anxiety causes a LOT of 'twitches'

~ I will say, I'm excited about the race expo today. I'm on the hunt for some Honey Stinger products, & a contraption that holds my cell phone while I run - preferably a hand held one.  I've only seen one in the back of running magazines to order.  Even Amazon doesn't have the one I'm wanting. 

~ Also hoping they have KT Tape people at the expo ... I may get in line to have them tap my back.  I am good at taping my knee, but my back?  It always pops off when its on the low back.  I need to know their trick.

~ I have the worst sore throat now & am freaking out thinking I'm getting sick on top of EVERYTHING ELSE... really?



~ I think you all can tell how honestly crazy this half marathon is making me... I've NEVER been like this before...

~ I saw a preview of the medal online ( just a small glimpse)... what is it about a medal that makes me willing to put my body in extreme pain just to hang it on my wall?

~ I have to do a practice for a skit only 3 hours after the race... where I have to toss a young lady across the stage & jump & move dramatically... last time we practiced, I was so sore in my obliques from all the moving sideways over & over... doing this practice for 3 hours after a half marathon?  I may be checking myself in the hospital after the skit is performed (twice) on Easter...

I'll say this to everyone during practice on Saturday :)

~ I'm taking money for a massage after the race

~ The one good thing about being slow & near the back, hopefully the massage table lines will be short.

~ I want to not focus on time... I want to just focus on surviving (I make it sound like I'm being chased by a lion or something), making it to the end, as pain free as possible... however, whatever that looks like



~ I need to remind myself to "stick with the plan" - I have a tendency to have a pace planned & then get all caught up in the atmosphere & take out too quick & am dead by mile 10... I can't do that this time.

~ I usually like to start in the middle of the pack.  I think I'm going to start near the back - that way, I'm not being passed so much at the beginning, draining my emotional side of "I'm such a loser"... & just get used to being at the back of the pack. 

~ I need to remember that no matter what happens, its not life or death... its just another day, its just another run... it doesn't define me...


Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kid Snippets: Runners

Have you ever seen the videos on You Tube called "Kid Snippets"?

They take kids & give them a topic or a situation & just let their imagination run wild...

then they get adults to act out what they say...

they are adorable - & hilarious...

But I found this one on Running & had to share...

here's a smile for your day...

Just think of Jesus :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spotlight: Kentucky Derby Festival marathon

So I always get excited when my favorite magazine, Women's Running, comes in the mail.  The one this past month, as I was flipping through, I saw our local race... the one I'm a part of (hopefully) this weekend...

 
 
It's always fun to read up on the local area & see it through other's eyes...
 
& while I think they did a great job of naming incredible places, I think it focused on some of the top notch areas to eat at & stay at & check out...
 
I thought, why not do this from a local's point of view?
 
So here we go...
 
SHOP
They suggest you shop at Blue Mile for a running store & Why Louisville for a local check out the area store...
 

.... my thoughts?  Check out Pacers & Racers for a local running store. & yes, its in Southern Indiana, but all the area is connected to me.  Plus, you can check out the Fleet Feet in Louisvile - another nice running store.
& if you're REALLY cheap like me, just head over to Old Navy or TJ Maxx to find some running clothing that ain't going to break a bank.

For the local quirky side, I say check out Louisville Stoneware to find some of the most beautiful pottery around. I think they just opened up a new showroom!

And if you're visiting from out of town, another neat place to visit is Louisville Glass Works where you can be a part of making your own souvenir.  It's Easter too & I think they have a special on making your own Easter Egg.

RUN
They mentioned how the course runs through Irquois Park (which is for the marathon only - the half marathon doesn't go that direction.

...my thoughts?  the best part of the run is going through Churchill Downs - Obviously!  The race is part of the magic of Derby week(s) around here & to run around the inside of the track & see horses galloping around you & to see the Twin Spires?  It takes the idea of pain away when you hit it around mile 7


Eat

They suggested the fancy-schmancy place of 610 Magnolia, which IS pretty cool because Edward Lee from "Top Chef" owns & heads up the kitchen there.  I've never been there... because again, I'm not rich...but it would be neat to eat there & catch a glimpse of Edward Lee

...but my suggestion?  I'm going the totally opposite way - but if you're in the area, I think you should try WW Cousins .  It's a local burger place... & yes, I'm a vegetarian recommending a burger place.  But they have the BEST salad bar.  It's tiny, but its so yummy!  And they also have soup you can get (though only on select days is the soup vegetarian)  If you do eat meat, they have a 40 free toppings bar to put whatever you want on your burger.  And the best part of the trip?  They have a counter to get homemade cookies & pies & Blue Bell ice Cream...



This place won't break your wallet.

Sleep

They suggest 21C Museum Hotel & The Brown Hotel... which I'll be honest are GORGEOUS hotels, but I'm sure are a little costly.

... my thoughts?  Well, obviously since I live around here, I don't have to stay in a hotel so I don't have much on opinions here, but I will say, I've done photography in The Galt House & its beautiful there.  And the best part, its right on the river.  Get a room where you can look out & see the bridge & the beauty of the river at night time... Not to mention, the race starts literally on the same street & you can walk back after the race.

It's an exciting time around here... 18,000 runners gathering up... I love when I see people from different areas of the country coming for this big race...

Welcome to our home town... where horses & bourbon rule for 2 weeks :)
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Remembering Boston



Today is one of those "do you remember where you were" days...

& I don't think it's just for runners.  Though it really hits runners especially hard.

I love in the 60 minutes interview they just did with Shalane Flanagan where she said, "it just really pissed me off"...

That's how I felt too.

I'm fairly new to the running world.  I mean, I didn't run in my life until I was 37 years old & didn't know the first thing about runners, shoes, marathons, fartleks, pace, gels - all the things runners live & breath.  So when I finally understand running & all that it is, of course, Boston is something I love to watch.

Before 2008, I could care less about Boston....

Now, I think the whole world cares about Boston....

It's always on a Monday & I'm grateful I have a computer where I can pull up the links & watch it from my desk in my office.  I watched every minute of it & even the end, when the link was showing everyone crossing the finish line for about 15 minutes after the winners had finished, I took a picture & even put on Instagram how I wished they'd leave the link up all day...

I never ever tire of watching people finish a race....

But it went off... & the afternoon went on as normal...

Until I saw the tweets popping up over & over...

words like explosions, devastation, injuries...

Again, thankful for a computer I can link up too, I went onto CNN & saw the chaos that was happening.

& I was just like Shalane... I was ticked off...

I thought of everyone who trained so hard to complete this 'dream race' ... the pinnacle of races in the US... & how everything was called to a halt.

I thought of everyone injured.  The blood stains in the road & the stories of limps being left behind as the owner of that body part was rushed to a hospital. 

I thought of all the people who had just ran 24-26 miles & turned & ran further to become an aide or assistant to someone who needed help.  How tired they must be, but how they were probably searching for their own family members who were cheering them on at the finish....praying the injured weren't one of their own.

I'm excited to see Boston again this year because I think the whole world will be watching now.  Cheering on runners like never before.  Seeing how runners press on. 
I'll think of new words this year, like determination, triumph, STRONG....


People try to ruin events, try to ruin others....

they forget that people recover & become stronger....







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