Tag Archives: half marathon

Faith, not fear.

7 Oct

 

Yesterday was a big day for me.  It was my birthday, my 30th birthday to be exact.  I celebrated another year of life and entered into a brand new DECADE!  I gotta be honest, the days and weeks leading up to my birthday were more overwhelming than the actual event.  My friends and family made sure to remind me that I was “getting old soon” and lovingly referred to me as Nana, Old Lady, and Grandma.  But swallowing the “30 Pill” was actually a pleasant event.  The same friends who poked fun at my old lady status were also the same friends who went out of their way to make my birthday an unforgettable event that I will cherish forever.  The amount of thought, time, and effort that went into executing an evening full of laughs did not go unappreciated or unnoticed.  Each gift, card, and treat was absolutely chosen with me in mind.  From the organic cupcakes, to the cards about kitties, exercise, and poop (yes i get a kick out of talking about poop),  the Shake Weight, and the Mexican Themed gift that completed my New Years resolution trifecta….it all was perfect.  I drove home and thought about how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.  I am truly a blessed person.

And I honestly feel GREAT about being 30.  With a half marathon freshly under my belt and plans for a triathlon and marathon in 2012, I have never felt more fit.  I am able to wake up every day, look in the mirror and truly feel happy about where I am in life.  As I reflect back on my 20’s, I see all the growth I did as a person.  It was a decade of discovery; I discovered who I was, who I valued and wanted around in my life, what I wanted as a career, and I solidified my beliefs and values.  I discovered parts of myself that had been dormant for the first two decades of my life.  I developed relationships with people who would prove to be the best friends of my life.  Discovery, however, also included disaster!  I made mistakes, made choices that hurt myself and those that I love, and lost significant people in my life.  The most profound and life changing lessons I learned happened through these mistakes.  It is only now, looking back on it all, that I realize the enormous value these experiences had on my life and development as an adult.

After all my reflecting and thinking about my life up until this point as well as my future from this day forward, I can boil it down to one phrase: Faith not fear.  I must never be afraid to act, I must never be afraid to make a mistake.  Fear is my worst enemy and will be the only thing that holds me back from achieving all the hopes and dreams I have for myself.  If I keep the phrase “Faith, not fear”  in mind as often as possible, I know that my next 30 years will be even more fruitful and rewarding than the first.  I will take chances, make decisions and do things that will take me far beyond my wildest dreams.  I know from experience that mistakes happen and they are some of life’s greatest lessons.  Instead of holding back for fear of making a mistake, I will act  and welcome the possibility of any outcome.   I look forward to each and every new experience of my 30’s.  BRING IT ON!!!

Half Marathon Training: final week & RACE DAY recap!

4 Oct

I DID IT! I successfully completed my half marathon, and boy am I thrilled!  Before I gush about how amazing the finish felt, I’ll back up and quickly recap my ninth (and final) week of training.

The final week of training messed with my head.  The physical requirements were minimal: I did my Monster Monday lift, ran 4 miles Tues, did 1hr of Spin on Wed, and ran a simple 2 miles on Thursday. And then that was it!! I felt so STRANGE doing nothing Fri/Sat, but there was only one word on my training sheet for those two days: Rest.  So I did!  I tried to rest my mind as well, which proved to be a lot more difficult than resting my body.  I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, and I was scared.  I tried my best to sleep on Saturday night, and ended up dreaming of the race. 

Sunday morning came around and the weather was RAINY and WINDY on Hampton Beach.  My umbrella turned inside out, and so did my belly.  I had not anticipated the possibility of inclement weather.  However, as the runners gathered at the start, the rain slowed to a mist and my fear turned into excitement.  With the sound of the gun we were off!  I had prepared a very carefully planned playlist that got me through.  I checked my watch at every mile, and at every mile it was the same- I averaged between 7:30 and 8 min pace.  I stopped to take an energy gel between miles 6-7 and took a few cups of Gatorade along the way as well. 

Miles 10, 11, and 12 were the toughest.  There were next to no supporters, as everyone wanted to be at the finish.  Thank goodness for the 2 little kids sticking their hands out for high fives- they saved me!!!  It was a true mental test for those last few miles.  I kept thinking about all my training: my early morning runs, my speed workouts, my lifting sessions, my determination to overcome injury, and my promise that I’d finish the race.  Before I knew it, the FINISH line was in sight.  I spotted my friends and family, cut over and gave some high five’s and crossed the finish line with pride and joy.  1:40:44!!!!

 

After reflecting and letting it all sink in for a day or so, I am able to realize the incredible accomplishment that I achieved.  It was no miracle, no feat of extraordinary measure.  No, it was all possible because of one thing: persistence.  I trained for 9 long weeks to get my body ready; I put one foot in front of the other [pun intended] and kept at it.  If I had attempted this race without training, or even with only 4 or 5 weeks training, I would’ve been setting myself up for failure.  By following through on a well thought out plan, I best prepared my body and mind to take on this challenge.  I realized that I will always be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  BUT, I must do it with 100% of what I have; persistence and consistency are the keys with which my dreams will turn into reality.  In the face of road blocks [like my ankle injury], I must always keep my eyes on my goal and persevere.

Completing this half marathon 4 days before my 30th birthday fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution and huge goal for me.  I am proud and excited to have it under my belt.  I look forward to training for and completing the FULL 26.2 next October!!!

Half Marathon PLAYLIST

3 Oct

A few people have asked me what was on my playlist for the half marathon I just ran, so I thought I’d share my tunes!  I am a HUGE believer that music amps up a workout, so I filled my playlist with a lot of upbeat, fast music.  There are a few songs in there that are “hard” rock types that get me going as well.  I made sure it was long enough for the run, and it ended up being longer than I needed!  Here it is:

1. Scream My Name- LMFAO

2. Crazy Train- Ozzy Osbourne

3. Not Myself Tonight- Christina Aguilera

4. X Gonna Give It To Ya- DMX

5. Dirty Dancer- Enrique Iglesias feat. Usher & Lil’ Wayne

6. Do  You Call My Name- Ra

7. Run The World (Girls)- Beyonce

8. All I Do Is Win- DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross)

9. Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO

10. Die Trying- Art of Dying

11. Judas- Lady Gaga

12. Got 2 Luv U- Sean Paul feat. Alexis Jordan

13. Wonderman- Tinie Tempah feat. Ellie Goulding

14. Poem- Taproot

15. Who Dat Girl- Flo Rida feat. Akon

16. On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

17. Born This Way- Lady Gaga

18. Lose Yourself- Eminem

19. Remember The Name- Fort Minor

20. More- Usher

21. The Edge Of Glory- Lady Gaga

22. Everybody Dance Now- C & C Music Factory

23. Moment Of Clarity- Jay-Z

24. Break Stuff- Limp Bizkit

25. ‘Til I Collapse- Eminem & Nate Dogg  ***this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE running song! just so happened to be the one playing for my last mile or so!!***

26. Jindi Mahi- Panjabi MC

27. The Fire- The Roots & John Legend

28. Until The End- Breaking Benjamin

29. The Final Countdown- Europe

30. I Made It (Cash Money Heroes)- Kevin Rudolf ***I listened to this song at the end of EVERY run during my training.  It felt AMAZING to hear it at the end of my half marathon!!***

 

 

Half Marathon Training: week 8 recap

26 Sep

This was my second-to-last week of half marathon training!  If you read last week’s post, you know that I hit quite the training “hiccup” with some pretty significant swelling in my ankle and left calf.  Wear heels for two nights and pay the price tenfold! At the end of last week, I was still unsure as to whether or not I’d be able to run the race; it was touch and go for a few days.  I prayed more during that week than I have in a long time.  Someone must be listening to me “Upstairs” because my ankle has been responding very well to massage on a frequent basis.  I have been thanking my lucky stars that I have a friend who is a fantastic massage therapist; she’s been a lifesaver throughout this process.  This week I was more vigilant with my pre/post workout stuff than ever.  I made absolutely certain to ice and elevate my ankle after EVERY run/cross training workout, as well as before going to sleep.  I took ibuprofen when needed and spent every waking moment in sneakers.  I cared not one bit when I was the only girl in sneakers at Ned Devine’s on Saturday night.  I took every single precaution I could to keep the “egg” of inflammation far, far away!

 

half marathon

My training schedule this week was amended to give my ankle some extra rest: subbed out one run for 1hr 45 mins of Spinning, and subbed out another for 1hr on the ARC trainer.  I did my last long run yesterday (Sunday) and it was a very tolerable 8 miles.  The nerves started kicking in once I realized that it would be the longest run I’d do until the race.  I know that I’ll be able to complete 13.1 miles but I want to do it to the BEST of my ability.   I am trying to balance out the desire to run like the wind with the reality that I have an injury that requires me to be wise about my pace.  I know that this upcoming week will be a taper week for my body but that I’ll ramp up the intensity of training my “mental muscle”.  I plan on taking time to make a motivating playlist and surround myself with positive thoughts/quotes/images.

Half Marathon Training: week 7 recap

19 Sep

Week 7…ohhhhh, week 7. What a test of mental strength this was.  Isn’t 7 supposed to be a LUCKY number?! What happened, you ask?  Well I had to face the thing which I dread the most; the word that causes me to hang my head, shudder, and cringe all at the same time.  Yes: injury.  As you may know from my previous posts I’ve been nursing tendonitis in my left ankle for the duration of my half marathon training.  It had been so far, so good until I made a less-than-wise decision to wear high heels for two nights in a row last weekend while at my friend’s wedding. I knew heels were bad for me, but I decided there wasn’t much else I could do- can’t wear Nike’s with a dress, right?!  So, I wore the shoes and cut a rug at the wedding (had SO much fun dancing) but certainly paid the price on Monday morning 😦

 

 

WEAR THESE…..

 


AND END UP WITH THIS…

 

Ok so that’s a bit of an exaggeration… I am definitely NOT in a cast…

I met with my friend/massage therapist/personal trainer/savior who was in shock and awe at how inflamed it was.  The look on her face said it all- this was bad, real bad.  She advised me NOT to run at all for the week except for my long run which was on Saturday.  I couldn’t believe it was that bad. I was heart-broken.  She suggested that I spin and do the ARC trainer for my cardio during the week, and thankfully I was also scheduled for massage on Thursday.  I followed her advice, and saw her Thurs for my treatment.  She is a miracle worker, and when I was done with the massage I got up, looked at my left ankle and exclaimed “I’M SKINNY AGAIN!”  The “egg” of inflammation in my leg was gone and I felt SO much better.  I shortened my long run from 11 miles to 8 miles on Saturday and ran it with a friend who kept me at a slower-than-usual, steady pace.  I was cautioned that I wasn’t totally out of the woods yet, and that it is still very touch and go.  I am making sure to ice, ice, ice and do everything I can to keep my ankle elevated.  This is easier said than done when your job requires you to be on your feet moving around 12+ hours per day.

Right now I am trying to get used to the idea that IF I am healthy enough to run this race, I’ll be doing it to finish instead of for time, as I originally planned.

I will admit, this got me pretty down but I am taking it one day at a time and trying to remember that everything happens for a reason… Have you ever had an injury that put a big wrench in your training plans?? What did you do to cope? I could use some suggestions!

Half Marathon Training: week 6 recap

12 Sep

Week 6 is under my belt!! My Half Marathon is getting closer by the day and I realized this week that I have become so attached to my training schedule, I truly will miss it when it’s over!  I have written previous posts about making alterations to my training program due to travel, work, and life but for the most part I have become quite accustomed to waking up each day and looking at that trusty piece of paper to find what my task is for the day.  When I’m done with the day’s training, I take a lot of joy in putting a HUGE check mark on the day.

  It gives me that extra sense of accomplishment to see those check marks add up over the days and weeks.  Looking at that sheet of paper has also given me a palpable reminder that I have been putting in the hard work necessary to complete a half marathon.  When I start to doubt my abilities and start questioning my skills, all I have to do is whip out my tattered sheet of paper and I see the proof there in black and white.  I have been putting in the work, I will reap the rewards.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other (both literally and figuratively) I will make it to the finish!

What doesn’t bend breaks

8 Sep

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about a small setback in my half marathon training and in it I used the words “bend, don’t break”.  Long after I finished writing the post, those three words stuck with me and kept arriving in the forefront of my mind with repetitive frequency.  After talking with clients, before running, while cooking and preparing meals for the week, after phone calls with friends and family; the three words kept coming back.  They repeated themselves over and over in my head as if to serve as a self-soothing, calming reminder not to get bent out of shape.  They reminded me of a song by one of my favorite folk singers- Ani Difranco called “Buildings and Bridges”.  In this song, Ani says “what doesn’t bend breaks”, and hence the title of this blog.  Listening to that song, and thinking about my previous blog post, I realized that “bend, don’t break” applies to much more than half marathon training; it is applicable to most (if not all) situations in life.

When people get to their “breaking point” with anything- a relationship, a job, a fitness routine, a diet, a task in general- they have likely been unhappy for quite some time.  Stress, dissatisfaction, resentment, aggravation and unhappiness build up over a period of time (could be days, months, or years) and finally at some point, something causes it all to come crashing down.  After trying to stay upright and rigid for too long, the stress becomes too much and the result is that it’s in pieces on the floor.

I truly believe that in most cases this detrimental “break” can be avoided by “bending” a bit, as I did with my half marathon training.  In that instance, I could’ve stubbornly stuck to my program (even though I had an injury flare up) and kept running, but I likely would’ve exacerbated my injury and may not have been able to run the race.  Instead, I bent a bit and allowed myself to skip one run to take an extra day of rest and the result was that my injury flare up went away AND I had an AMAZING long run!  The same applies for other instances and events in life; if we take a step back and look at the greater picture, we can allow ourselves the “bend” that may avoid the “break”.

How many times have you argued with a friend, co-worker, partner, family member and no matter how the argument unfolds, you REFUSE to waver in your stance (even though you might be incorrect)??? You do not want to lose the argument so you stick to your guns and keep pushing the same agenda regardless of what the other party says in return.  What happens in the end?  Well lots of things could happen (loss of relationship, further arguments, it gets physical) but the bottom line is: nothing good.

Have you ever been on a “diet” that omits a food/drink item, or entire food group?  At the start you are hellbent on sticking to the “diet” and obeying every last rule.  You deny yourself that particular food/drink and all of a sudden the temptation for this item grows tenfold.  After a certain period of time, you snap.  You can’t take it anymore, you HAVE to eat/drink ____!!!! (you fill in the blank).  What happens after you indulge?  Well aside from probably having a stomach ache, you feel guilty, defeated, weak, angry, sad, the list goes on and on.

My point is that with a small pause and consideration for the bigger picture, more things come into focus and ways in which you can “bend” may come to fruition.  Bending a little now could save the painful “break” later, and will ultimately keep you chugging along toward your goal.

Have you ever had to “bend” to avoid the “break”  ???