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Monthly Archives: September 2014

“The Race is Long and, In The End, It’s Only With Yourself”

I thought about giving up the minute I started.  I saw the turn for the 5K racers and I almost took it.  I was convinced at the second mile marker there was no way I was going to make it to 13.1.  By mile 2.5 I was in the back of the pack and already feeling like I had nothing left, my legs were already screaming, my lower back was already aching, my lungs were already about to explode and I was wondering what in the world I was thinking when I decided to run a half marathon.  The mind is a powerful thing, and for the fist 4 miles, mine was in control of my run.

At mile 4 I knew I had single digit miles left to run, I was nearing the halfway point, and my pace, while I felt awful, was fairly spot on for where it usually is.  I just kept telling myself to keep moving and kept saying out loud to myself, the only one you’re racing is yourself.  You just have to finish.

My husband, my kids, my mother in law and my sister in law were parked right around the 1 mile/12 mile marker (it was an out and back race).  At mile 4.5-5 I was praying I could see there faces to encourage me to keep moving.  That was when runners who had already made it to the turn around started passing me.  While generally during a race I get discouraged to be passed by returning runners so early on, it was amazing.  It was the encouragement I needed.  There were some runners who smiled, some who offered a wave, others words of encouragement, some high fives; whenever I passed another person, I ran a little faster.  While the turning point was still over a mile away, this was the turning point for me.  I fought back tears with each person that passed, not because I was in last place, but because I knew then I was going to finish.

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The volunteers working this event were amazing as well offering applause and encouragement.  I didn’t feel like they were put out by me slowly bringing up the rear.  Even as they passed me to go from station to station to pack up (they’d pack up after I passed), they would applaud out the window.

half

From mile 10 on I was struggling.  I had trained to 10 miles.  I planned to train further but then I had sick kids followed by a sinus infection and it just didn’t happen for me.  It was obvious looking at my splits I hadn’t gotten past 10 in training.  I was fairly consistent with times until that point.  I dropped off 1 minute from 10-11 another from 11-12, and another from 12-13.  I wanted to walk, I wanted to cry, I wanted to be done.  Every inch of my body hurt.  And then across the way I saw my boys.  There were 2 minute long stretches I walked and when I saw them I pushed through tears and the pain so they would not see me walk or see me cry.  I yelled to my husband to come with me for a few minutes and he did.  He walked next to me while I ran (that’s how slow I was moving at this point).  I knew I was only a mile away, but that mile seemed impossible.

boyssignsWhen he left me to go back to the car so he could drive ahead to the finish line, I cried again, knowing I was going to make it.  No matter what, I had come 12 miles and I was going to get to 13.1.  I smiled at them as they drove past me yelling encouragement out the window.

After they drove off is when I met my angel in a kilt.  He had passed me on his way back probably somewhere around the 5 mile marker.  This man with paint on his face and a feather in his beard ran towards me and asked if he could accompany me to the finish.  I told him that was fine and spent the last half mile chatting a little and moving faster than I had in the last 3 miles.  He distracted me from the pain I was feeling and I might have even smiled a little.

kip

My angel, Kip!

When we rounded the corner and saw the finish, Kip assured me I was going to make it in under 3 hours and that’s when I gave it the last bit of gas I had in me and I finished strong.  medal

I was so glad to be done and at the same time, in aw of the fact that I had finished.  I cried, I laughed, I cramped… It was amazing.

I posted on the half marathon group Facebook page about my experience and thanked everyone for their support and this was my favorite response: “Congratulations!!! As has been said already, you did not finish last. You finished ahead of everyone who didn’t put the effort in to accomplishing what you just accomplished. I actually mentioned you to my friend on the ride home. I said, “When I passed the woman at the back of the pack she looked so happy and she gave me an encouraging smile.” It was honestly the highlight of my run. Good for you and thank you!”

Later that night when I checked the official race results expecting to see my name listed last (which was OK with me as I was racing with myself) I teared up with I saw Kip, my angel in a kilt listed last.  He finished 4 seconds behind me.  He could have been done long before that but he waited at it meant so much to me.

I am more than proud of what I accomplished and more than a little amazed at what my body has done over these last 2 years.  2 years ago I was that person who didn’t put in the effort.  I was sad, morbidly obese and I couldn’t walk around the grocery store let alone run a half marathon.  I did this!  All on my own.  I had to push myself far outside of my comfort level, push through the pain and the mental and physical exhaustion and get it done and I did.

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My ultimate goal of a marathon is still out there and I will get there, maybe next year or even the year after but for now it’s time for some much needed rest and a break and some time to be proud of what I have accomplished.  I look forward to my next half marathon and finishing in less than the 2:55 it took me yesterday.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Ready or Not!

The time has flown by and now I’m less than 3 days away from running my first half marathon.  The nerves are starting to set in but I know at this point I’m either ready or I’m not.  I have trained as hard as I could.  I encountered several challenges along the way but I feel like I’m as ready as I’m going to be.  I’ve had runs where I’m confident that I’ve got this, then others where I don’t know how I’ll even make it to the halfway mark, then runs that are a lot of both.

strength

No matter what happens on Sunday, failure is not an option.  Of course I want to finish but my goal is to do the best I can and as long as I do that it will be a success.  I will not let my mind win over my body, I will push as far as I possibly can and then push a little harder.

I got my playlist ready to go.  It’s a mix of pretty much everything and I thought I’d share it because I know how much of a struggle it was for me to put this together.  The ones towards the end, I’m really hoping I won’t get to but I don’t want to run out of music before I run out of miles.  Thanks to all my Facebook friends for the suggestions!

1. Girl on Fire (Alicia Keys)

2. Bang Bang (Ariana Grande)

3. Shake it Off (Taylor Swift)

4. Footloose (Kenny Loggins)

5. Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas)

6. You Shook Me All Night Long (ACDC)

7. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Fallout Boy)

8. Problem (Ariana Grande)

9. All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor)

10. Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore)

11. Some Nights (Fun)

12. Love Runs Out (One Republic)

13. Somethin’ Bad (Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood)

14. Locked Out Of Heaven (Bruno Mars)

15. Fighter (Christina Aguilera)

16. Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)

17. Lose Yourself (Eminem)

18. Drop it Low (Ester Dean)

19. Like a G6 (Far East Movement)

20. Royals (Lorde)

21. All the Small Things (Blink 182)

22. Fastest Girl in Town (Miranda Lambert)

23. Blow Me (Pink)

24. Can’t Remember to Forget You (Shakira)

25. Work Bitch (Brittany Spears)

26. Dark Horse (Katy Perry)

27. Dog Days are Over (Florence and the Machine)

28. Harder to Breath (Maroon 5)

29. Happy (Pharrell)

30. The Mona Lisa (Brad Paisley)

31. Overcomer (Mandisa)

32. We are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift)

33. I’m a Freak (Enrique Iglesias)

34. Let it Go (Demi Lovato)

36. Talk Dirty (Jason Derulo)

37. Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)

38. Thrift Shop (Macklemore)

39. Thunderstruck (ACDC)

40. Womanizer (Brittany Spears)

41. TKO (Justin Timberlake)

42. Roar (Katy Perry)

43. Done (The Band Perry)

44. Red Solo Cup (Toby Keith)

45. Bubble Butt (Major Lazer)

46. Waka Waka (Shakira)

47. Cruise (Florida Georgia Line)

48. Cups (Anna Kendrick)

49. Platinum (Miranda Lambert)

50. Telescope (Hayden Panettiere)

51. Priscilla (Miranda Lambert)

Total time: 3 hours 14 minutes

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Just What I Needed

I was finally able to get out and run my 10 miles on Sunday.  I was really dreading it but I was trying to keep any and all negativity out of my mind.  With less than 3 weeks to my half marathon and a lot of set backs over the past couple of weeks, I really needed a running victory.  I was starting to doubt myself and I needed to prove to the voices in my own head that I was capable if I just give it everything I have.  The problem is, that voice in my head saying everything I have wouldn’t be enough was getting a little too loud and I needed to shut it down.

With a stuffy nose still hanging from my end of summer cold, I left my house aiming for 10 but thinking I would be OK if I got 10.  I got just what I needed in those 10 miles yesterday, I got my confidence back.  The first 1:15 I felt good. I felt strong.  I’m not sure when the shift happened but at some point 6 miles (while it’s not ‘easy’) has become a lot less of a struggle.  I wasn’t in extreme amounts of pain, I wasn’t melting, I wasn’t comfortable, but I didn’t feel like I was dying.  At my half marathon (as I’ve mentioned before because it is haunting me) I have 1:15 to make it to the halfway point.  Yesterday, I was at 6.39 miles in 1:15.  I still have some shaving to do, but I was pretty pleased with that, especially with this cold still hanging out.  Race day adrenaline will also help with that I’m sure. 

The last 3.61 were slow (like 12-14 minutes slow) but I didn’t walk one step of it.  When I stopped at 10 miles, I was ready to be done, but I could have pushed further if I needed to.  I was so proud I didn’t walk at all since during my 9 mile run a couple weeks back, I walked from about 7.5 miles on.  Afterwards, my calves were cramping pretty good but otherwise, I wasn’t sore or exhausted like I expected.  I guess this means I have trained well and in the right way.

I was hoping to get 11 this coming Sunday, but a trainer I was talking to today said with only 3 weeks to race, I should be starting my taper and that running 11 miles the week before the race is not a good idea.  So I guess that’s it; my last big run before the big race.  I know everyone has different theories on how and when to taper but I’m going to trust her on this one because I feel stronger in the weeks I skip a long run (had to do it twice during training, missed last Sunday the 1st and another long run a couple weeks before that).  My focus for the next 2 weeks is going to be that first 1:15 minutes.  I know as long as I make it t the halfway point by then (if not I get bussed back to the finish line) I will have no problem finishing before the 3 hour race cap.

I wanted to get to the higher number of miles, but I don’t want my body to be so worn down by training I can’t make good at the event itself.  I’m told if I can run 6 miles, I can run 13.1 so I guess if I can run 10, I can make it that last 3.1 miles.  Here’s hoping and here’s to enjoying short runs for the next couple of weeks. 

This training has really put some things in perspective for me.  At this time last year, I hadn’t completed a 5K without stopping to walk, now I’m a 5K away from completing a half marathon.  As I was running so slowly that last 3 miles yesterday, I thought to myself, this is how you ran last year.  It was hard, it was painful and it was exhausting but I’m a different person now.  The old me gave up before she ever started.  Even more perspective, this time 2 years ago, I weighed over 262 pounds.  I’ve come a long way and have 13.1 miles to go (for this goal).  I got this!

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

My Name is Beth and I’m a Fast-Food-Aholic

So here is one of my many vices…fast food.  I would go as far as saying I am addicted.  I have heard people say that the longer they go without it, the worse it tastes to them and I so wish that was the case for me.  Before I started my weight loss journey my typical trip for fast food included a double cheeseburger, 4 piece chicken nugget and fries.  There were days that after eating that, I would go to another fast food restaurant (so I wouldn’t be embarrassed by going around the window twice) and order another double cheeseburger.  Oh, and don’t forget the diet Coke, because of course diet anything makes a difference when that is what you’re eating. 

While working to get to goal weight, I wouldn’t allow myself to do that.  Any fast food trip I made was salad with light or fat free dressing and the occasional order of fries.  To ease some of the craving I would allow myself one bite of whatever my husband was having (he now says it doesn’t taste the same unless I have taken a bite). 

So now I have been at goal for about 10 months.  I have slowly allowed myself to eat a little more of my favorite fast foods, but here’s the problem.  The more of it I eat, the more of it I want to eat.  The other day after scarfing a double cheese burger I was tempted to go around the window and get another one.  It terrified me.  I think it’s time to quit cold turkey.  No more just a little bite  here, just one burger there.  I know there are things about my former diet that will come back to haunt me now that my focus isn’t entirely on losing weight but on maintaining.  I’ve found that to be even harder the more I run and the further my distance it.  I convince myself I earned it, and I burned way more than that running.  While the numbers on the scale haven’t moved upward, I know those ‘rewards’ are not helping my runs, but in fact hurting them. 

So there it is, my confession for the day.  I will not hide it like I used to, I will own it and change it and that is what will make all the difference for me.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Set backs, set backs and more set backs

It has been a rough couple of weeks of half marathon training.  Last week, both of my kids were sick and miserable.  I managed to still get in 2 runs, but they were both short runs.  Sunday was supposed to be 10 miles, but it was also my sons 2nd birthday party.  I had a ton to do in the morning so decided I’d go in the evening, which never happened, since, like I knew I would, I started coming down with my kids cold on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday I managed a short run, but it was awful.  I didn’t think about how much my cold would effect my running since I didn’t feel all that awful Tuesday morning when I went running.  Since then, it has been all down hill and not in a good hitting a smooth stride kind of way. Yesterday I was completely and totally miserable and couldn’t get out of my own way.  Today I’m feeling a little better but I still can’t breath out of my nose.

On another note, I have my new running shoes, which I love.  I ran in a friends and they were like running on clouds so imagine my surprise when my non-broken-in shoes killed my feet.  My calves and my hips scream every time I run in them. 

I have 24 days to my half marathon and my doubt is growing.  I know I can do this, I know I’m capable, but the more time goes by without training and without being able to build on my progress the more I wonder if my brain will over power my body before I cross the finish line.  Here’s hoping that is not the case, and here is praying I can run tomorrow so I can get back on track. 

In the meantime I’m going to have to do some tweaking of my training schedule.  I was going to get to 2 miles just in time to taper the week before my race.  I’m thinking since I’m going to be 2 weeks out of a long run, Sunday will be a repeat of 9 miles, getting me up to 11 before I taper.  I know if I can get to 11 training on race day I can get to the 13.1.  Wish me luck and good health!  I really need it.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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