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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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I can, no I can’t, yes I can, no I can’t….

With my half marathon just under 5 weeks away, I’ve been pushing my training to try to increase my speed and my distance.  I want to be confident in my ability before race day.  I know I can get to the halfway point in the 1 hour 15 minute time cap with the adrenaline of a race, but I don’t want race day to be the first time I accomplish it.  I want to stand at the start line knowing I won’t be riding back in a bus after only 6.5-6.6 miles. 

So Sunday was the day of my long run and I learned a very important lesson… do not try to increase speed and distance on the same day in the form of running hills.  Yesterday I started my run on a 2 mile uphill (if the hill appears huge when you’re driving it, running it is a beast).  I turned down a road that allowed for some downhill and some flat, then turned around to head back.  The problem was, the downhill I had run at the 2 mile-ish marker, became the uphill I had to run from the 6-7 mile range.  After 3-4 miles uphill (added all together) and 7 miles total, that 2 mile downhill (the beast from the beginning of my run) no longer seemed that big.  Have you ever noticed that?  A hill that seems so humungous when you’re running up it, is barely a decline on the downhill…

This was a rough run for me.  It seems everyday I have a long run it’s gorgeous outside, usually a good thing, but sunny and 80 is not enjoyable running conditions.  My Nike 3’s which are so not long distance running shoes have served me well to this point, but I can now clock my mileage on when my body starts to scream because of them.  Right around mile 3.5 my back aches, my hip hurts, I can feel blisters on the insides of my arches, it’s just excruciating. 

There were parts of this run where I felt so strong and parts where I felt so weak.  I’m sure that’s not unusual in a long race to feel that way.  On the way back around mile 7-8 I actually considered calling my husband and asking him to come pick me up, but I didn’t and I made it. 

Along the way I must have told myself ‘You got this’ and ‘I  can’t go one more step’ at least a million times.  Some miles one voice won, others, the other voice did.  I just have to keep pushing, and I just have to get actual running shoes!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Conversation I never Thought I’d Have

So I had a conversation yesterday I never imagined I would be involved it.  I was talking to someone getting half marathon training advice and she actually suggested I might be over-exercising.  Me?!  I hated to exercise and now I might be doing it too much?  IT is a crazy idea to me, but then, she could be right.

My schedule right now consists of toning zumba on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, TRX Tuesdays and Thursdays, short runs (4-6 miles) on Tuesdays and Fridays and long runs (I’m up to 9 miles this week) on Sundays.  That leaves 1 rest day.  While I’m accustomed to the workouts and I’m never sore, but that doesn’t mean my body doesn’t need time to rest. 

Giving up any of these workouts temporarily while I train for my half marathon is almost as scary to me as the half itself.  I have found workouts that work for me, that I see the results and I feel good doing, so for someone who has had a major focus on weight loss, it’s terrifying.  What if I cut out one or the other and I start to gain?  What if I then can’t get that gain back off?  What if I lose some of the muscle tones I’ve built?  I could go on and on. 

I’m having the same struggle with diet.  I know there are things that can help fuel my running, a big one being carbs.  Weight Watchers focuses on foods higher in protein and fiber, lower in fat and carbs.  This is a diet that has worked for me.  I’m super nervous about bringing more of those into my diet.  On the bright side, some of those foods (wheat breads, pastas, cereals) I eat anyway but can really help fuel my runs.

On the flip side of that, since I started my training I have gained about 5 pounds.  Not what you’d expect when burning that many calories.  I tell my Weight Watchers members on occasion they may not be eating enough, and I think I myself have fallen into that category, but because of my fear of gaining more, I’m terrified to eat more.  Ahh! All about simple science… I don’t think so.

On a different but similar note, I am now not just running half marathon distance, I am now running a half marathon.  My race is on September 28th and while my focus for my training has been on distance not time, I’m having to switch that focus because there are time limits for the race and the half-way point.  Here’s hoping I can get those times down since I have NEVER been a fast runner, but then again I NEVER thought I’d be involved in a conversation about over exercising either.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Finish Line Reward

I’m looking for some opinions.  One of my Weight Watchers members and I were talking about my half marathon goal and how I don’t plan to participate in a race, but rather run the distance on my own with friends.  She mentioned something I hadn’t even thought of.  She asked what my reward for myself was going to be after a finished.  She continued with, “It has to be something, you need to do something for yourself you wouldn’t usually do.  Like get a pedicure, or a pair of shoes or something.  Something to reward yourself.” 

I think she has a pretty great point.  Our budget is always fairly limited, but I’m hoping you can all give me some help with coming up with a finish line reward.  It doesn’t have to be big, but I’m open to any and all suggestions. 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized