nwm 26.2 recap part 1

Race day FINALLY arrived!  As I lay there the night before, I kept trying to remind myself, “hey, you are RUNNING a full marathon tomorrow!”  Nope – it still didn’t sink into my skull!  Wake up was 4:30 am – well, I got up at 4:40 am and D and I quickly got ready to go.  I put on my capris and was content with my wardrobe choice, even though I wasn’t sure what it would be the night before.  About 10 mins before  we were going to leave, I changed into my skirt.  There is a seam behind one knee that would drive me bonkers.  I also body glided up… this is some foreshadowing, btw.  I wore my red compression socks, a brooks short sleeve T, my Tough Chik arm warmers and visor.  I was ready.

we are ready to go!!!

D and I walked the 8 blocks to the start line and picked up a random “friend” along the way.  It was so early when we passed the strip club as the dancers were just getting off work!  We made did the bag check deal (giant buses) and our way to our corral – this was Nike’s first year doing them and I thought it went well.  It also meant we started two blocks back from the start line, which was odd.  We ran into a hotel where a bunch of Team in Training runners were and used their bathroom so we completely avoided any porta-potties.  Freakin’ awesome.

In the corral, D and I chatted together and with a few fellow runners.  Finally, 7 am hit and we started walking toward the start line.  We crossed and started at 7:19/7:20 am.

*oh guess what? I crossed that… it was a bit lighter by the time I got there!

D told me the night before, “If you feel like you are starting out too fast then you are… slow down”.  I heeded this advice.  I indeed started out with the 4:40 pace group and was ahead of them for a little while.  My garmin was all crabby and wouldn’t stay linked for about 5 mins into the race.  The weather was great – cool with some misty business that was pretty refreshing.  We ran along the wharf and hit the first hill.  I ran up it and felt confident.  We got to hill #2 and I ran up that puppy too, although it was a bit more of a struggle!  Mile #3, where a bunch of others were walking, I ran it and wondered if I could keep this up.  I hit the water stops and drank some water and stopped while I did this.  At mile #5 ish they handed out shot blocks so I grabbed those and took off again.

*down along the wharf there was a gospel choir singing to us! how cool is that?!

I was about to meet my hill nemesis… mile #6 was completely up hill.  Oh my goodness.  It started about a half mile into mile 5 and it kept going.  And it was steep.  I did finally have to walk, which dampened my spirit a bit but I had planned for this in case it became a reality.  When we finally crested this beast it was a nice downhill for a little bit but then another freakin’ hill!  We just kept climbing!  There were orange slices on this hill and they were so refreshing!  I stuffed one in my face, breathed for a few minutes and plugged on.  I got to the top of this hill and think it was right into mile 8.  It dawned on me that my legs were trashed and I had a lot more running to do.  I really wasn’t sure how I was going to keep it up.

*this may have been the start of my hill nemesis – brutal

I had brought my handheld with Nuun in it and a GU and some blok’s stuffed in there as well.  I also brought an emergency pack of a glide product since I was wearing my skirt and didn’t want my thighs to catch fire.  Once I finally got over that last hill, we came to what would have been an amazing view of the ocean if the fog had lifted.  But at that moment, I didn’t care.  All I kept thinking about was “WOW!  I am running the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco!  I am so LUCKY!”  I simply embraced the moment.  My tired legs became a badge of honor, I ran down the hill loving the fact that I had the most beautiful view and loved that I was there.

Around mile 11, I looked around and saw only 1/2 marathon bibs.  Minor panic set in – had I missed the turn off somewhere?!  I also realized I was getting really tired so I paused, took a Chocolate Raspberry GU (really good btw!  I picked it up from a vendor table at the Ragnar Relay), took a drink and kept running.  I kept going and finally saw other full bibs.  At last, I saw the area where the half went one way and the full went the other.  Mile 13 was also up hill (wth?!) and I struggled a little and had to walk.  As soon as I passed 13 though, I got a renewed sense of energy!  I could make it!

Yes… this is an epic recap… but it was my first full and a lot happened… at least in my head!  I’ll finish the recap tomorrow!

twas the night before 26.2

So… here we go… in only a matter of hours I will be hitting up the starting line of my first marathon.  Not to be incredibly dramatic but this is a BIG deal, haha!  I’m so excited but on the other hand, it doesn’t even feel REAL!

I promise a much better recap of all good things marathon and San Francisco very soon!  Thanks all for the support and just know, I have to be up in about 6 hours so I am headed to bed – even with this lame post/update.
See you on the other side of 26.2!

respect the distance

Happy October!  I’m thrilled to welcome this month!  Lots of fun stuff for this month and I am looking forward to embracing all that it has to offer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming marathon.  I’m super excited.  But I will admit, I haven’t been respecting the distance – what I am about to take on.  I read a lot of running blogs (I call them “my stories”) & I feel I’ve started to take the distance for granted a bit.  I mean, doesn’t it sometimes feel like everyone is running a marathon, so what’s the big deal?!  Haha, or maybe it’s just me and my ego over here :)

not sure if I’m petrified or thrilled!

I remember right before my first 1/2.  I was NERVOUS!  I was consuming anything and everything running related (including cheeseburgers but that’s a whole other story!).  I kept finding people downplaying the 1/2 marathon as not much of a distance.  It made me hopin’ mad!  Haha, and now I have found myself doing the same thing.  So, I’m stopping this insanity!  For all of you runners out there – be proud of whatever distance you are running!  It’s all an accomplishment!  If you are running 10 feet for the first time, a 10k or your first 26.2 – we should be so proud of ourselves!  Running is HARD!  Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your running accomplishments!

yep, that’s an “A” on her chest – I didn’t even plan that!

I’ve got some goals for these next two weeks as I finish out the prep…

1. eat healthfully

2. hydrate.  then hydrate some more

3. decide on a marathon outfit (yes, this really is THAT important!)

4. get some solid sleep (stop taking naps and then going to bed at midnight!)

5. hit my work outs and runs

6. save some money for souvenirs!!! :)

7. get rid of unrealistic expectations of my first marathon performance – I want to be proud I finished!

8. get even MORE EXCITED!

9. run a strong 5k this weekend

10. concentrate on not stressing out!  Haha, this might be the hardest one to achieve!

I love having a personal banana cheerleader that’s proud of me!

Nothing too complicated with these goals and they are all achievable.  I’m simply setting myself up for all kinds of success!  I also want to enjoy the whole experience!  Yay!  I’ll  leave you with this because a) it’s TRUE and b) it’s FUNNY!

can I get a volunteer?!

 

busy last couple of days

I’ve been working a lot the last couple of days so here is a recap of what I would have written had I had time…

Oh yeah, I got into this!

are you tired of seeing this picture yet? probably but I am NOT tired of posting it!!!

Yep, I am above and beyond excited to hit the streets RUNNING 26.2 miles in San Fran this October 14, 2012.  With my dear friend Danielle.  How could I NOT be excited?!  As I mentioned, this will be my first full and I am determined to train smart, run a solid race and become a marathoner.  I am also really looking forward to meeting up with other Sweat Pink Ambassadors and the women who made it possible at Fit Approach.

2.  This was a big week in my work world.  I got some good news, worked about 80 million hours, and feel like I got hit by a truck.  But it’s good – the academic year is over and I have about 12 hours of a summer break before my summer projects get up and running.  Do I mind?  Not really, at this point, I am thrilled to have the academic year done and over with and I am ready to have a good GREAT summer.

3.  MAJOR response to my give-away!  Wahoo!  Yay!  There is still time to enter!

4.  I’m running 13 miles today.  Ouch – I can feel it hurting already! ;)  But I’ve got this little 25k coming up and I need to make this happen!  I went for a run on Thursday.  I also decided one little egg sandwich wouldn’t hurt me… umm… HUGE mistake.  This equals horrifying results and a tough run.  I was able to salvage the run slightly by turning the last half into a tempo run but after 2.30 miles of running in the beginning I had to walk a half mile before being able to run home.

oh how you hurt me so lovely egg sandwich!

oh well… I guess my body has spoken, eh?

5.  I had myself a little arts ‘n crafts project.  I made presents for my staff and they turned out really well.  I was surprised  and quite pleased with myself!  I have two fairly useless talents – I am an excellent gift-giver and I make awesome foam for espresso drinks.  I’m sure both of these will get me very far in life.

I got the stripes for the men and the checked for the women
all done! I used fabric markers and stencils. they took some time but I love that they are practical and a fun gifty

6.  I’m going to get my books for the Reading and Running Long program today!  I love buying new books and am especially looking forward to buying books about running :)  I’m also going to buy the stick today.  My legs are TIGHT and have been for days.  Plus it will be nice to get out of the building.

ready to roll out these muscles

On Friday night, I was in bed and couldn’t sleep.  It was 4 am?  Later?  I had gotten to bed maybe an hour earlier (remember? I said it was a LONG work day!) and I started thinking about everything from this week/last few days.  Panic set in a bit, haha.  I had to do some major breathing exercises just to be able to fall asleep.  I’m hoping this panic will lead to energy/fuel to tackle all of the incredible experiences I have ahead of me!

happy thursday

I really have started to look forward to Happy Things Thursday.  In fact, I’ve started to pay more attention during the week to things that bring a smile to my face just so I can remember to write about them on Thursdays!  What a great side effect!  Actually being grateful!  ***Warning*** this is going to be a bit cheesy: I feel grateful for feeling grateful!  Yep, kind of lame BUT when I realize moments, people, things – whatever, I’ve missed along the way just because I wasn’t paying attention – shame on me!  Waking up to this has been an important part of my healing… so here is this week’s list!

1.  Umm… my pivot shorts/sweat pink laces give-away!  Haha, I love offering this gifty to folks!  Even better are all of the awesome comments and ways people use to motivate themselves.  It’s been fantastic.  One incredible bit of advice – be grateful for being healthy and “getting” to run everyday – I need to remember this!  Click here to leave your comment/entry to win!

1.5.  I.GOT.IN!  Seriously, I think I read the email 3 times this morning before I believed it was true.  There are also some other SPA’s (sweat pink ambassadors) running it so I will get to meet them IRL!  The cherry on top?  One of my best good buddies, Danielle, got in too so we are headed to San Fran together!  The city will never be the same… ;)

2.  Okay, so this is silly… but I can’t drink a bottle of wine on my own.  I probably should be happy this is the case but I hate dumping half bottles down the drain.  Then these caught my eye

mini bottles! so would it be wrong not to use a glass but just drink from the bottle?!

3.  Running and Reading Long – This is a fantastic program I am lucky enough to be a part of!  One of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors, Laura from Laura Lives Life, has created a program that involves reading running books and training.  What I really love about this concept is integrating the mind and body connection.  There are approximately 10 of us and we will read from the books Laura has selected and also do our long runs “together”.  All of the participants are at varying levels of running and goals – ranging from 5k’s to half marathons.  Since my confidence with long distance has been a bit faulty as of late, I am thrilled with this chance.  Not to mention, becoming a more educated runner?!  Yes please!  You can click on the button below or it will also be added to my sidebar.

the program starts May 7th! looking forward to buying my books :)

4.  Groups of women – okay, this may seem like an odd category to be grateful for but let me tell you three stories:

1.  I went to yoga a couple of weeks ago and we go around the room to introduce ourselves and talk a little bit about our day.  I had a date afterward and shared this with the class.  The class was all women this day of varying ages and they all broke out into some applause and “ooooo – fun!”  It was so great!

2.  There are a lot of Sweat Pink Ambassadors and it has been really neat meeting fellow ambassadors who are all on the path to living a more well lifestyle.  I love that I sent a tweet announcing my give-away and others retweeted to help promote it.  I love that I have “met” other women through blog comments/posts who are like me in some way, shape or form.  I love feeling like I have a community with me every time I turn on my computer or lace up my pink laces!

3.  My Ragnar Relay team, The Panty Raiders!  I have never met any of them but they have been super supportive!  Whether it was sending flowers and condolences when my mom passed, facebook messages or just their general enthusiasm for our team and soon-to-be-experience, I couldn’t have asked for better teammates!

Basically, I love being  part of groups of women who rally around each other to support and cheer each other on!  I used to believe I got along better with men but what I have realized is I didn’t fully appreciate what being part of a group of women means.  I am so lucky!

5.  This awesome cupcake? cake? pan!  Not only is it super cool BUT it was on sale – love it just a wee bit more!  I can’t wait to make these cupcakes, they are going to be HUGE!

yeah, these suckers are going to be a major mouthful!

Needless to say, it’s been a BIG Thursday for me!  I even had to take a mini- time out because I was just kind of overwhelmed with the awesome-ness of today.  I’m sure my 8 miler run tonight will be all kinds of  jaunty and hopefully it helps burn off some of this energy or I may NEVER sleep again!  Thanks for all of the support!

runner’s confidence

Yesterday I knocked out 9 miles.  I am still not quite sure how I did it.  On Friday 5.5 miles were tough!  I was trying to calculate how far I needed to run for my long in order to squeeze in some semblance of a “smart” training schedule and I decided on 9 for Saturday.  Now, let me just say, there have been a number of times where I calculated how far I needed to run the next day and then decided to shorten it as I was running.  Saturday I woke up and read tweets all day about SoCal Ragnar and suddenly I had this ridiculous amount of runner’s confidence

I wore my ragnar sweatshirt all weekend in support!

Then I took off!  I was kind of giddy with energy and anticipation simply because suddenly the races that used to seem so far away are getting close!  I’m not going to lie, those 9 miles were tough.  I did have to walk for a minute after 6 but I was still able to finish relatively strong.  It was not a fast long run but I was proud nonetheless.  After getting back I put on some compression socks and iced my knees – it definitely helped.

I used to underestimate the power of icing after a long run - no longer! I'm a believer!

At this point, I was STARVING!  Actually, it was the kind of hunger where you start to feel sick to your stomach.  For some reason, I thought spaghetti and chicken nuggets sounded like the perfect combo.  To be honest, it was GOOD.  I felt much better after eating and then realized I was exhausted! :)

hey, don't knock it until you try it!
this is how I spent my saturday night, soooo sleepy - you?

Two last things… today I looked at the calendar and realized I have 3 weeks before the 5/3 River Bank 25k!  Wahoo!  I just gained a whole week to train because I can’t read a calendar!!  Finally, next week is the lottery for the NWM!  I am nervous and excited.  For some reason, I just have this feeling I might get in so it will suck if I don’t, haha!  Ahh, yes, my world is such a wonderful place!

maybe if you all collectively cross your fingers and toes for me, I might have a chance! pretty please?!

bits and pieces

Mondays have become super busy days for me.  I seem to be constantly running from one place to another, and considering I LOATHE Mondays I tend to end up in a crabby mood.  However, the last few Mondays have been pretty good.  Busy, but good.

First yoga… yesterday the instructor said, “we are going to do strength building today”.  Okay, two weeks ago, she did NOT refer to the session as “strength building” and I almost had to call in back up to help me move my arms the next day!  I considered jumping up and running out!  But class was even smaller than usual and I decided to suck it up.  My instincts were correct though – OUCH!  It was an amazing class!  During the last part where we are relaxing/meditating the instructor came around and made some adjustments.  I don’t know if this is what it’s called but I really like it when she does this.  I know it may sound weird but I feel like she is sharing some of her energy with me and it makes me feel better.  Maybe there is something maternal about it too but it’s honestly one of my favorite parts.

The final aspect that seals the deal for my Monday nights is hanging out with a new group of friends.  They make me laugh so hard and I find it just as stress-relieving as yoga!  It also helps set me up for a much better week!

Guess what yesterday was?!

The lottery started for the NWM!  I am so excited and totally keeping my fingers crossed!  I REALLY want to do this marathon – it will be my first one and I think it would be a blast.  Yes, the firemen and “frosting” make it fairly appealing as well :)  I even wrote to Nike to see if they were looking for a first time marathoner to write about training in a blog for them.  And guess what?!  I was denied, haha.  Oh well, I will still chronicle what is going to be a THRILLING adventure I’m sure, right here!

I also think I’ve decided to join a gym.  There is one here that has really cheap monthly rates, is open 24/7, has a pool and I can pay month by month if I want to.  I have a 25k in one month and I would like to feel more prepared than I currently do.  Obviously, running will help but I would like to be a little more fit overall.  I would never have considered paying for a personal trainer before but since my motivation is up and down these days I am thinking it might be a wise decision.  I decided tomorrow is the day and I am going to join!  I feel intimidated.  I know, it’s dumb but I do.  The coolest thing about this gym?  From the outside it looks like a one room place but then there is all of this inside so I think of it as a “bat cave” of sorts – my own personal superhero training facility!

Okay, now are you ready for some really disturbing news?  I think I might be allergic to eggs – NOOOOOOOOO!

I LOVE EGGS!

On Saturday I was talking with my sister about how I wasn’t feeling good.  She asked what I ate and I explained an egg sandwich (this is one of my favorite meals) and she explained how for the last year and a half she has had to be really careful about eating eggs because they really upset her stomach.  They are fine in baked goods or whatever and sometimes if they are more fully cooked then I don’t feel as terrible (and neither does she).  But here is the deal, I eat eggs EVERY SINGLE DAY!    This whole time I thought I felt bad afterward because I was nervous or something!  So, I need to do a few experiments to test the allergy.  I do think my days of over easy eggs are over (a small tear or two!) but maybe hard scrambled won’t be as bad?  Orrrrr, maybe I just switch up to oatmeal…  I think the one of the worst parts for me is I really believe eggs helped me lose the weight in the first place!  Ah well…