I usually don’t blog unless I feel like writing and well today I feel like writing. Instead of setting new year’s resolutions I set a theme for the year, 2012 was the year for running and 2013 was the year for half marathons. I ran 4 half marathons in 2013 (ran might be stretch for describing a few of them) and I really lacked in my preparation for them. 2012 I was focused and dedicated to my running for the most part. Yes I slacked here and there but I usually got most of my workouts in and if I skipped something it was a strength workout, not a run. I was pretty much the total opposite of that in 2013.
Let’s back up a little bit, in 2012 I worked out with Tina, who gave me monthly training plans and I felt like she held me accountable for completing those workouts. This motivated me immensely and in 2013 when I was unable to work with Tina anymore (she stopped doing individual personal training to focus on things going on in her personal life) I had to go on my own. I picked up Crossfit and did it for 9 months. I really had a love/hate relationship with Crossfit. I enjoyed pushing myself and trying new workout techniques, but I hated 3 of the 5 trainers at the gym I went to and it was starting to get ridiculously expensive (I started with a groupon). Then I realized my clothes didn’t fit anymore (as in too tight) and I had gained a decent amount of weight. No one seemed to notice that I gained as much weight as I did, but I could see (or my friends are just too nice to say anything, love you all). I know it wasn’t just crossfit as my eating habits are pretty terrible. I had an unhealthy relationship with cookie cake (and just plain cookies and cake) and French fries (I haven’t been able to break this yet). The combination of crossfit, the decrease in my running mileage (from training) and the bad eating habits I’ve had my whole life are finally beginning to show. I always talked about crossfit via twitter and hinted at it on my blog but never wrote about it because it just never worked for me the way it has for so many people. It bothered me that I didn’t have that love for it and I’ve come to the realization that you can’t just do it because it works for other people; you have to do it because it works for you. And no knock to anyone that loves crossfit (I have close family members who it works great for) it’s just not the right workout for me.
I have found some things I loved in crossfit that I look forward to continuing to have in my workout regimen, rowing being the main thing. I absolutely loved rowing. It’s hard as hell but I felt like it gave me a great workout and was really helping me gain flexibility in my hips. I received a rowing machine for Christmas and will be using that for cross training in my upcoming race training plans (more on that eventually).
You’ve heard about most of my races in 2013, but I’ve yet to recap Savannah so let’s just do that now. Rock N Roll Savannah was my favorite race of the year. I had a lot of emotions going into that race, my mom was supposed to run with me but was sidelined with a torn ligament in her ankle, and you may recall this post, which was a huge motivator for me.
The morning of the race I woke up bright and early, had my typical picky bar breakfast. My parents drove me downtown to drop me off. Luckily a local Panera bread was open and I used their restroom instead of a port a potty. The temps were in the 40s so I had on a tank top, arm warmers, shorts and procompression socks. I also had some throwaway gloves. I met up with my little cousin who was running the race with a friend (it was her first half) to say hi and then jumped back into my corral. This was race different than most others from 2013, because other than my first race, I did the other two completely solo. Had no one cheering, was staying in a hotel by myself, you know doing the alone Amy thing. But this race I would actually have crowd support and I never realized how much that helps me. My parents decided that they could get from miles 4, 8 and the finish fairly easily so they planned on cheering for me there. This helped break the race up for me and after looking at my times at the 5k, 10k and 10 miles you could really see how it helped my mental state and speed. The Savannah course starts in the historic area and immediately takes you into a not so nice area of town, surprisingly, I really enjoyed this part. The people who lived in this area sat on their porches watching in awe and picking up the throw away clothes that runners had left. Little kids were giving high fives and cheering. By mile 4 we were winding back towards the historic area and I enjoyed laughing at the men that were peeing at the edge of wooded areas instead of waiting in line for the portapotties. I found my parents right after seeing my favorite set of signs: “Go harder” with a guy 10 feet past that point with “That’s what she said”. I tossed my arm warmers to them and said wow I’m going fast maybe I’ll PR and kept moving. I actually didn’t even stop to walk at this point. Side note: my goal for this race was to finish and my strategy was to run as fast as I could for as long as I could.
Couldn’t stop running but Dad wanted a pic, so I ran backwards
This part of the race (miles 5-8) had a lot of crowd support, went through pretty parts of Savannah and I was just speeding along. I couldn’t believe how well it was going. Also I teared up at least once by then thinking about Katie and her battle with cancer and how if she can do that I can keep running. By mile 10 I started to slow down and hit the wall. I saw my parents at mile 8 (they almost missed me because I ran pretty quickly for me) and yelled maybe I’ll PR! I kept trucking through some nice neighborhoods. I hit the wall at mile 10 but kept running. It wasn’t until I hit the split off between the half and the full along with the section of rolling hills, that I realized that yes I went out to fast but wow I just ran over 12 miles without even stopping to walk. I’d never done this before and was so proud. But my legs were cursing me and I started walking the uphills. I looked down at my phone and saw texts from Katie, obviously I teared up again, but tried to fight through the pain in my legs. This off and on worked but that last mile was a BITCH. I got dizzy at one point and then caught my breath and started running again. I took on the last uphill, turned the corner and headed down the finisher shoot. I sprinted by a couple people at that point, had some pretty bad calf cramps and crossed the finish line in 2:46 and change. A little over a minute over my PR but 20 minutes faster than my previous half in Philly and 45 min faster than Chicago.
Me and Mom after the race. So thankful for my cheer squad!
I really really really ENJOYED this race! And even beat my little cousin 🙂 The course was great, the weather was perfect and I just had fun. Taking the time stress off of myself did wonders for my mental state. And maybe doing races alone isn’t the best idea for me.
Family after the race.
So now that I’ve written a book I’ll tell you what my theme is for 2014: The Marathon! I only have one planned (I think that’s enough for now) but I’ve got to work on my training consistency to get there. More on this later!