Sail on silver girl...Sail on by...Your time has come to shine...All your dreams are on their way...See how they shine

Sunday, March 21, 2010

National 1/2 Marathon and No Accidents!

This weekend I went down to D.C. to run the National 1/2 marathon and visit my brother and his family. What a great weekend it was overall! The weather was great, the race was lots of fun, and hanging out with my niece and 2 nephews...priceless.
This was the longest race I have done in quite awhile. I really didn't go into it having any expectations. I had picked it as my "race of the month" and was just going out there to run it for fun. Over the last few months I have simply concentrated on getting back to running consistently, trying to run 3-4 times a week, with a longer run on the weekend. I have not been using any type of watch to time myself during these runs and have not done any type of speed work, so I really didn't have any idea of what to expect regarding pace. I decided to just go out there and run based on feel, and that is exactly what I did.
I was pleasantly surprised by my time. It wasn't a PR, but it was better then I had thought it would be for not really training for anything in particular. I am use to running 1/2 marathons during marathon training seasons, so I am usually in prime training mode at the time. One thing I am beginning to learn is that running based on feel tends to work better for me then focusing so much on what the clock says. Listening to my body and knowing when to speed up or slow down seems to work best.
Although the race went well, there was one BIG hitch! I had to deal with something I never had to before during a race- the need to go to the bathroom, badly!! I have heard so many stories, from so many people, so many times about bathroom dilemmas, and I have always been so grateful that I never had to deal with anything like that before...until now. I will not bore you (or embarrass myself) with all the details, but let's just say I shocked myself when I found myself actually contemplating whether or not I should actually go in my pants!!! What???!!!
I can't believe that idea even entered my mind... it wasn't like I was in contention for first place (or even 100th place for that matter) but for a few moments, as I realized I must be doing ~ 7 min/miles and was on target for a good race, I was actually thinking that it wouldn't be so bad if I just went in my pants instead of wasting the time to stop (not to mention putting myself out of GI misery). I even found myself figuring out the details in my head.. I had a change of clothes with me at bag check and there was a gym where I could shower not too far away from the finish line, etc, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. What???!!!
Luckily, sanity finally found me, and I am happy to report that I kept myself clean and dry for the entire race. I decided on another strategy - limit my water intake and definitely no GU or powerade (that would have really thrown me over the edge) if I wanted to cross the finish line without an accident! Stupid, I know!! I really don't know where my mind was during this race. However, all these crazy thoughts got me thinking, and it led me to realize why I am so drawn to this sport.
Running/racing brings out the competitive spirit in one's self towards.... one's self. The only person I thought about beating as I contemplated sacrificing dry pants (and ever being able to show my face in the DC running community again) for 2 minutes off my time was... myself. How awesome a sport is that?!! You get to be competitive without being mad/jealous of anyone else. (Maybe that is why runners are always so nice to each other)
This sport is so addicting, and so much fun... especially when you have a good race day.
A day like Saturday makes you want to go out there and do it all over again, even if it means maybe pooping in your pants!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

To go with the "I am Runner..hear me roar" attitude

Oops... I forgot to mention the amazing giveaway that is going on right now at Goals for the Week.

What would put me into an even more "I am woman/runner... hear me roar" type mood right now would be the awesome running outfit from Athleta that Anne Marie is giving away. Check it out here and get in on this amazing giveaway!

I am runner...hear me roar!

I was dreading my long run this weekend because of the horrid weekend weather forecast. Last week's weather was glorious- it finally felt like spring- and made running feel sooooo good. I felt like I had a huge smile on my face throughout the entire run. I just knew, given the predicted forecast for Saturday (35-45 MPH winds and torrential downpour), that I wouldn't be feeling that way again this weekend.
So, I planned ahead. Friday night I loaded up my Ipod with some fun songs to help me get through the dreaded run.
When I first got out there in the morning, it wasn't that bad. However, about halfway into it, the rain and the wind came full force! My reaction at that moment actually surprised me. As the rain came spitting down and the wind tried to knock me out, I smiled. Suddenly, I felt like this powerful warrior, and I heard myself saying "bring it on"! The scene in Forrest Gump, when Captain Dan climbs on the rigging during this incredible storm and angrily shouts, "you call this a storm!" flashed through my mind. The wind was literally trying to knock me down, and I was giving it all I had to stay linear on tired feet. At that moment that I felt like a "real runner" being out there doing my thing, despite the elements. I felt strong! I felt unstoppable! I felt like "I am woman..hear me roar"!!!
Something happened to me out there in that storm. Just like Captain Dan on that boat, I felt like I was confronting my inner demons, and came out of it feeling stronger then I have in a very long time!
I sure hope this feeling stays with me at least until after the National 1/2 next Saturday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring..Is that you?!?!

What a gorgeous morning! 45 degrees and sunny! It sure made it easier to get up this morning to go for a little run around the park. It also motivated me to come home and do a quick 30 minute physique 57 arm and ab booster video. After all, spring is just around the corner which means it is just about that time of yearto kick off "bikini blast-off" season! I chuckle when I write this, because every year I seem to get myself psyched to start "bikini blast-off ", only to find myself repeating every Sunday night, "ok.. this week REALLY starts bikini blast-off". This seems to continue all the way to the end of the summer. I seem to finally start getting myself in better shape right around fall, which lasts just to about the holiday eating frenzy!! My friend and I always use to remark how we always seem to be in better shape during the fall into winter rather then spring into summer when it would work better for us. After all, trying to get away without wearing shorts all summer is pretty difficult especially during the hot, humid days of August!
Anyway, maybe by starting a little bit earlier this year, and actually writing out a plan to help me get "bikini ready" will bring me better luck!
So, this weeks goals are:
1) 5 days of cardio ( 4 days running, 1 day cross-training )
2) 3 days arms/abs ( 2 physique 57 workouts, 1 boring routine at the gym)
3) Portion control!!!!

How many days til fall??

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

100 Miles!

Finally I was able to hit my 100 mile/month goal for February (102 miles to be exact!). It felt really good to finally be back running consistently for a month. It makes such a huge difference to me both mentally and physically when I can get out there before work and on weekends and go for a nice run. One whole month, without a nagging injury or other life commitments, where I was able to run, run, run.... priceless!

Unfortunately, NAM (National Abs Month) wasn't as consistent. The first two weeks I was very good with my ab work, but I kind of fell behind the last two weeks. To be honest, I kind of backed off a little with the ab work, because although it sounds a bit crazy, I felt as though all the ab work was actually making my stomach look bigger, not slimmer, and I wasn't too happy about that! (although, perhaps it just coincided with that time of month!)

So, for the month of March, it is all about the arms! and of course another 100 miles for the month. I also want to keep up with core (vs. abs) exercises, because I am a firm believer that the core is the key to preventing injury and providing for a more efficient running pattern (which translates into a faster pace).
Race of the Month: National Half Marathon on March 20, 2010.