What’s Next for 2013

2012 was a great year for me and now I’m looking forward to what’s next in 2013. I’m kind of a planner. I like to have trips planned out ahead of time. I may not book every aspect of a trip but I like to have an idea of dates and such. Before I ran my first half marathon I had this thought (because I’m crazy like this already planning ahead) that I might try to run a half marathon every month in 2013. After the half I threw that thought clear out of the window. My body is just not ready for that kind of stress. I definitely have big plans for 2013, they just don’t include a half marathon every month.

So what’s up first in 2013? Well that’s been planned for months, I’m running the Zooma Amelia Island Half Marathon on January 19 with my mom. I’m pretty excited for this race, it’s located at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, which is my favorite Ritz (I worked for Ritz for 5 years and have been to quite a few of them). The resort is beautiful and I can’t wait to spend the weekend with my parents (my dad will be watching from the sidelines). This race is geared towards women that like to go on weekend running trips with their girlfriends. They serve wine after the race and have complimentary massages afterwards. My mom and I also booked a treatment for after the half marathon that day. Some of my favorite bloggers will be there too so I’m looking forward to meeting them in person.

In February I’m looking at a 5k up in Kennesaw. My running buddy Carmen is doing the half marathon so I figure I’ll run the 5k and cheer her on. It’s an inexpensive race, around $25 or so for the 5k. I was contemplating the Publix Georgia Half marathon in March but it’s too late in the month to do with my April race plans. I may do the 5k with that one or look for another St. Patty’s day themed 5k or 10k.

I’m very VERY excited for my April race, the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in Washington DC. I haven’t been to DC since I was 10 years old so I’m pretty pumped to check out all the sights. To make this race even better my BFF, Katie, will be flying in to do this with me and we’ll be meeting up with another one of our best friends from college, Megan, who will also be running with us. The course starts at the National Mall by the Washington Monument. I’m just hoping the weather won’t be too hot so I can get a good time at this one. There is so much I want to see in DC and would love any suggestions for things to do and eat!

May brings another really fun run, My mom and I are heading back to Disney for Expedition Everest the 5k obstacle course then scavenger hunt at night through Animal Kingdom. We did this in 2012 and it was such a blast, this was the third race I ever did so I’m looking forward to how much quicker I can do this one. We also signed up earlier so we can be in an earlier starting wave to not be stuck behind a lot of walkers like we were last year. In 2013 my cousin Emily and her husband, Dan, are going to join us. Here’s a pic of my mom and I finishing last year:

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As of right now I don’t have any races for June and it will probably stay that way unless I find a fun little trail run nearby. I’ll be in half marathon training mode though because I have a couple half marathons on the books for the later part of the year. I haven’t fully decided yet but I may be doing the Chicago Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in July. I have a good friend who works with a partnership marketing firm and his account is one of the sponsors for this event. This could potentially lead to free entry into this race for me. If this happens then I will definitely be running this race. Free entry into a Rock N Roll race is always winning to me! I had fun in Chicago when I was there a couple years ago and I would love to go back and explore more.

The next for sure race is the Philadelphia Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in September. When Rock N Roll did the 12-12-12 $20 off a race deal I couldn’t resist signing up for this race. It was only $65 (and if I do Chicago I’ll get a special medal for two races in one year with Rock N Roll) which is a great deal for one of their races. My good friend from high school, Trudy, lives in Philly and I can’t wait to see her!! It’s been a while since I’ve seen her since she’s all busy being a doctor but she’s one of those great people you meet in life and will always be friends with.

The rest of the year is up in the air but other races I’m thinking about are the Peachtree Road Race in July, Big Sur Half Marathon in November or Vegas or Savannah Rock N Roll if Big Sur doesn’t happen. I’m really excited for what I have planned and can’t wait to see how my running progresses in 2013. I would love to hear what races you’re doing or would suggest for me, especially fun ones in the Atlanta area!

Other than running my goals are to continue to cross train with strength training and work on my eating habits, but the focus is really on keeping up with the running and getting faster.

I did it!

Well I’m officially a half-marathoner, it was a crazy 11 months of blood, sweat, tears and blisters. I definitely needed time to fully digest my thoughts after the race. Let’s just say the race didn’t go as planned, at all. For the 3 days after the race I was definitely throwing a pity party for 1 and really wouldn’t listen otherwise to what anyone said. But let’s go back to the beginning…

My first half marathon was the Rock N Roll Vegas Strip at Night. The race was on Sunday night and I decided to head to Vegas Thursday morning to get adjusted to the time zone and have quality time with some of my favorite people. Vegas really has a special place in my heart and was the perfect location for a racecation for me. I was able to get the employee rate at The Palazzo and had an unbelievable suite (which is just their regular room and I’m a hotel snob after working 5 years with Ritz-Carlton). I had a great trip and here are some of the non race pics…

Bestiesraceexpo

Katie and I in our race shirts after the Expo

Donation

The last $88 I needed to exceed my fundraising goal of $2,700!!

MeBrandon

Hanging out at Bally’s with Brandon and crew

MeMadeline

Spent Saturday with this lil cutie, Madeline.

Okay I guess I will finally tell you about the race. I’ve really been putting this off. I actually would barely talk about the race the first couple days, mainly because I just wanted to cry at the thought of reliving it and I was just so disappointed.

Race started out with a breakfast I knew would work for me…

racebreakfast

a waffle and almond butter, just like I had for my 12 miler. I couldn’t sit still in my hotel room and the race wasn’t until 4:30 pm. I decided to head to one of the outlet malls to go to a couple stores and just get out of my room before I went stir crazy. After an hour at the outlet mall I grabbed a sub at subway (another pre-tested meal) and headed back to my hotel room. I had just the right amount of time to eat, get ready and not be stressed out. I laid out my race outfit when I got to Vegas so everything was ready to go. I got dressed and snapped a self pic…

selfpicbeforeraceA gear post will be coming soon!

Then I headed to meet up with Carmen and the rest of my Team Challenge teammates. We took a pic…

MeCarmenCarmen and I before the race. I couldn’t have made it through this without her!

Then headed off to the start line. Team Challenge arranged transportation for us to the start and luckily my teammate Rachel has run a few halves before was giving me tips and helping ease my nerves as we headed to the start. The busing was so helpful and we were dropped off right at the start. We headed to the Team Challenge area to check our bags, Carmen and I hit the porta potty one last time, and it was time to warm up. Our coaches Joe and Max lead us in a bunch of exercises and then it was off to the corrals. Luckily 4 of my teammates were in my corral and best of all my BFF, Katie was waiting for me there since my cell service wasn’t working with 20,000 people in one place.

BeforeraceBefore the race

bestiesbeforerace

Katie and I before the race. I miss her so much already, but don’t worry we’re already planning our next race together!

And then she was off to one of the earlier corrals since she’s quite a bit faster than me. As the race started, they were doing around 1.5 minute wave start between the corrals. So I didn’t start for a while, during this time the wind really started picking up and I had lost all the energy I had earlier in the day. Night races are just so different. It was finally time for my corral to go, I started my playlist (which was in shuffle mode) and Clique (Jay Z/Kanye rap song) came on. It was exactly what I needed to get my energy back up, then we were off.

The first mile was into the wind and I had to weave to get through people, I probably did the first mile in 11 min miles (my goal was to do 11:27 miles). Since this part was going south on the strip away from the hotels there weren’t buildings to block the wind and it was whipping. I never thought I would get to the Welcome to Vegas sign so we could turn around and have the wind at our back. It was probably only that first mile but it felt like 10. The wind was blowing pretty hard and gusting a lot at my back and literally pushing me forward. At one point it picked up one of my legs and slammed it into the other. I was going fast for me at this point and ran the next two or three miles at 10:30 pace. This is where I made the mistake of going too fast too early. I felt good at the time, but by the time I was at mile 7 I was not feeling great. My calves were tight and my left ankle just hurt. It was my left ankle that hit my right leg so I think that may have been part of it. I slowed down a little bit at this point, I even cheered for a friend that was finishing under 1:30 that I saw go by the other way (by cheer I mean yelled his name as I kept running). It was pretty cool to be on the strip. I think I was so focused on surviving that I didn’t look up and enjoy the sites as much as I would have liked.

palazzo

Feeling good the first half of the race

smiling

Still feeling good

Happy

Even posed for a pic while running

Beginning

And this is where it all goes downhill

Once we got into the ugly area of Vegas between the strip and old Vegas I was over it all. I wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to be able to run or if I was even going to finish the race. Miles 8-10 were going through old Vegas and random neighborhoods that were not in a nice area of town. At mile 10 I was over it and in so much pain. I finally gave into walking around mile 10, at this point I was mentally just DONE. I started texting my mom telling her I wasn’t going to finish and that I was dying. My poor mother was 3 hours ahead and staying up to see how I did. She sent me encouraging texts to help keep me going. Around this time I got a text that Katie was finished. I started texting her that I didn’t know if I’d make it to the finish and that I might have to go to the medical tent. I was fully in drama queen mode. Although for a while I really thought I was going to end up in the medical tent. I ended up doing a little running and walking as much as I could. At mile 11.5 I decided I wanted to run the rest of the way. I made it half a mile before I had the most debilitating cramps I’ve ever had right above my knee. I’ve never had a pain there before and it was extremely painful. I kept walking, but I must have looked really pathetic because two people running came over and asked if I was okay. I thanked them and told them to keep running their race, that I would be okay. At mile 12.5 I was determined to run the rest of the race without stopping. I put my head down and just kept going. My legs started cramping but I pushed through it and made it across the finish line.

walking

Walking and crying, yes there were tears and no they were not happy ones

barelymoving

I think hot is the only word that comes to mind when I see this pic. Also my legs could barely move.

eyesclosedfinish

And how do I not share this gem? Eyes closed and totally EXHAUSTED

My time was 2:45:19. I was severely disappointed. And it’s not about the time, it’s about the walking. If I had run the whole race I would have been ecstatic and proud, but the walking really just bothered me. It took me three days of just being bummed before I could even be happy about the race. But after some prodding by the most important people in my life I realized that I’m not being fair to everyone who supported me in this race, donated to my fundraiser, and listened to me talk about running for months. I needed to be proud of my accomplishment and learn from it. So I am, I’m a proud half-marathoner who raised $2,700.37 for a great cause, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Never in my life would I think I would be able to raise that much money for something.  And that’s something to be proud of. I’m looking forward to the my next race and applying what I learned from the first one. When I started this blog I wasn’t even working out, a year ago I hadn’t started running. Now I’m a half-marathoner with my next race less than 6 weeks away. So much changes in a year.

My next race is going to be a fun one with my mom. I can’t wait to run my 2nd half marathon while my mom runs her 4th, while my Dad cheers us on. Running has given me something else to share with my mom and I couldn’t be happier about that! So after a week and a half of minimal running it’s time to get back on my running game. I even have a running date with my Team Challenge buddy Carmen on Saturday!

Thanks for the race photos marathonfoto.com! If only you had reasonable prices so I could purchase them instead of $40 for one pic or $70 for all of them.

Peak Weeks

So I’ve been slacking on the blog writing the past few weeks. I’ve been busy with work, training and socializing and honestly just not felt like putting all my thoughts into words on the screen. I have a really awesome post with some fun gear I received but it’s just not ready yet, hopefully tomorrow night I’ll get that one up.

After running the monster dash I definitely wasn’t feeling great but it was time to get back out there and start running 20+ miles in a week. My long run was set for 12 miles. I knew this was going to be the big one for me. It was the also the last training session with Team Challenge that I was going to be able to make before the race. The group was meeting at Stone Mountain to run the 5 miles around the base. Honestly that run SUCKS, it’s super hilly and I just wasn’t ready to face hills for 12 miles. Luckily there is a flat trail that starts at Stone Mountain heading east back to Atlanta. My trusty running partner Carmen was all about running on a flat trail so she agreed to go that route with me. She was only doing 8 miles, so we ran 4 miles out and then back. Carmen and I run a similar pace and usually fall into a groove while running. Our coach Max went along with us on his bike, keeping us company and cheering us on. The 8 miles with Carmen went well, when we said bye at mile 8 and I turned around for two out and two back I knew this is when it was going to get tough. Around mile 10 I hit a wall, pretty hard. I was running low on fluids, it had gotten pretty hot. I stripped off the arm warmers I was wearing and instantly started to feel better. I put my head down and just kept pushing through. The worst part about the trail I was running on was I had to stop a couple times for red lights to cross streets. I’m fine if I can keep running but the whole stopping thing really throws me off. I was toast by the time I hit 12 miles, it took me around 2:35 with the stopping at the red lights.

The next week of training was supposed to be a recovery week, so the runs were a little bit shorter this time, my long run was only 8 miles. I had plans to head to South Carolina for homecoming weekend to watch a lil Gamecock football and hang out with my best friends. This meant the long run had to happen on Friday, I took the day off from work and just had to go in for a lunch so I did got up and headed to my favorite trail along the Chattahoochie river. Brought a new Gu to try out that had 2x the caffeine (I usually use the caffeine free Gu) since I was running in the morning and wanted to see if the caffeine would have any effect on my running. The first 4 miles went well, I took the Gu at my turnaround point and wow did I feel the caffeine. I just kind of took off. I ran around 11:20, 10:40, 10:20 and 10:04 for the last four miles. Now this is FAST for me, like really fast. I usually do long runs around 12 min miles sometimes 11:45 if I’m having a good day. I felt really great this entire time and pushed myself at the end. I know I’m not the fastest runner but times like that just make me so happy. I really like the 8 mile distance I think it’s actually my favorite. After this run was complete I was ready to enjoy my weekend and you can see the highlights below…

Brittaney, Austin and I at Flying Saucer

KT and I before the Gamecock vs. Arkansas game

My favorite place in the Fall – Williams Brice Stadium

The USC Smokestack – Head towards that to find the beautiful Horseshoe

After my fun weekend was over it was time to get back on the running grind. It was my peak week of training and 23 miles were on the schedule. My 6 mile tempo run went great I felt good and ran faster on the treadmill than I ever had before. My 5 mile easy run did not go so well. I decided it would be a good decision to eat a big piece of cake around 3 pm and then run around 6. Needless to say I almost vomited and had to take this run at a slow pace.

For my last long run of training for this half marathon I wanted to simulate race day as much as I could. Since my half marathon starts at 4:30 I wanted to see how I would feel with a set meal that I could have when I’m in Vegas. I stayed out a little late on Friday night but didn’t drink. I still woke up with a headache even after sleeping in til 8:30. I was just not feeling good most of this day, but I didn’t want to put off the run because if I have a headache on race day I won’t have a choice but to struggle through it. I picked a new trail for this run after hearing good things about the Silver Comet Trail that is over 30 miles that stretches from a Suburb of Atlanta to Alabama. I started a little after 4 and was planning on 6 miles out and 6 miles back. One thing I didn’t factor in was how effing dark it would get and that there were no lights on the trail. I made it 9.5 miles before it was pitch black. The run was going great, my legs felt awesome and the Gu’s I had taken were making a difference. The temperature was just right. Really no complaints, but as it got darker and darker, my fear of getting killed like an episode of Criminal Minds was becoming more and more real. I took my headphones out and decided I needed to be on the phone with someone the rest of the my run. No one knew where I was and I was alone in an area I didn’t know. I called my mom and made sure she knew exactly where I was and made her stay on the phone with me as I ran 2.5 miles to my car. This entire run I was going pretty fast. I kept every mile under 12 min, and I think was under 11:45 min miles most of the time. The last few miles I started flying. Fear is a great motivator and I pushed it. Fortunately my mom is a saint and kept me entertained as I ran the last few miles. I made it 12 miles in 2:19:26, cutting 15 min off my time 2 weeks prior. I’ll take it!

I know what you’re thinking, wow Amy you’re a total idiot for running in the dark, alone on a trail I didn’t know. Honestly I’m thinking that too. That was a terrible call on my part and I will never do that again. I just assumed there would be lights on the trail and I just went for it. Scary enough I was talking to a friend about it the next day and she told me she heard there has been a woman who was raped and killed on the trail a year or so ago so I’m glad I made it out safely and will stick to the trail in the day light hours only.

Overall the last 3 weeks of training have been great. There have been some ups and downs but I’m feeling ready for the half marathon. I’m also only $217.63 away from my fundraising goal for Team Challenge. If you would like to help me reach my goal please donate here.

The next two weeks leading up to the half will be like a recovery week. I’m turkey trotting with my mom on Thursday and I’m hoping to blow my 5k PR of 32:07 out of the water, at least by 2 minutes. Here’s to a great week with my family before I head out to Vegas to take down the Rock N Roll Half Marathon!

Monster Dash Recap

This week of running was supposed to be a recovery week, instead it was a rude awakening of how not every race is going to be a good one. My first run of the week went really well, it was a 6 mile pace run. I did it on the treadmill and felt great. Maybe I should have taken it easy to rest up, but that was Tuesday and my race was on Saturday. Plus I’ve been upping the mileage and felt okay in my long runs so I wasn’t too concerned.

Wednesday night I headed to the gym to meet with my personal trainer. I told him I wanted to try some crossfit type workouts with heavier lifting. I don’t know if you have seen girls who are legit at crossfit, but their bodies are amazing and I want to be them. To me it’s not a bulky look, but a i can totally kick your ass and  you can wash your clothes on my abs look (i would totally have to change my diet to get abs like that).  So my trainer, being the big muscley (yes i made that word up) dude that he is was all for it. And he totally made me pay for asking for this. We did clean squats, which took me a while to figure out, with the bar (45lbs). I’m such a little wimp but I’m working on it. Then we did tricep dips and pull ups and repeated everything with less reps each time (but added weight, except the cleans, each set).  After finishing that I thought I might die, so then we did rows, dead lifts and pushups. Ouch, ouch, ouchhhhhh. Let’s just say I was walking funny for a few days.

I skipped my typical Thursday run to have fresh legs for the race on Saturday. I kind of wish I just did a shorter distance to shake my legs out and help the recovery process from the weight training the day before.

The Monster Dash was at 8 am at the Georgia World Congress Center, right near the Georgia Dome. It’s not the easiest place to get to by car and the parking is at least $10. To make the process easier I met with Carmen and Jen from my Team Challenge group at the nearest MARTA station (Atlanta’s version of a subway) bright and early on Saturday morning. I was actually on time for the first time in my life (okay maybe not the first time, but it’s rare). We made it down to the race area and I made Carmen take a pre-race photo for me…

Check out that Team Sparkle Skirt and ProCompression Socks!

I wanted to test out my Team Sparkle skirt to see if I liked it and could wear it for the half marathon. It definitely rode up but I think if I can pin it to whatever I wear underneath I’ll be all set for the race.

The race itself so did not go as planned. I was shooting for a time of 1:06 since that’s how quickly I’ve done 6 miles before. I guess I didn’t realize how bad the hills were going to be. So that time was actually a goal time I had said out loud to other people, in reality I wanted to be under an hour. I decided I was going to start out fast and try to reach that goal. Well starting out fast totally messed me up. I went out with 9 min mile pace for the first 1.5 miles, then the hills started and let’s just say that pace started to quickly decline and decline and decline. I struggled to the 3 mile mark and was mentally battling with myself to not walk, I wanted to just stay slow and steady, but I turned a corner, the wind picked up and was blowing in my face and there was a nice hill. I just cursed loudly and started walking. I tried to keep the walking to short time spans but once I start walking it just gets worse and worse. I continued this run walk thing until mile 5, around this time Carmen caught up to me. Seeing her gave me a burst of energy and I decided to keep running with her for the rest of the race. We hit the 6 mile mark and Carmen wanted to stop, but I pointed at the finish line and yelled 0.2, you totally have this! I think it was more for me then her but it kept her going and we made our way to the finish.

Carmen and I after the race

I really really really was disappointed in myself, but I didn’t want that to show to other people and put a damper on their accomplishments. I finished in 1:13:46. Not what I wanted but I finished it. I didn’t really want to admit my time to people afterwards, but sometimes you just have to realize that you have to take pride in what you do. Maybe it wasn’t the time I wanted, but I ran my first 10k and while I did walk some, at least I finished strong. And I know I can improve on that time and be smarter in how I start races. Let’s call it a learning experience and move on to the next.

After the race, I survived!

Since I skipped my Thursday run to have fresh legs for the race, I still had 5 miles to get done on Sunday. I hopped on the treadmill, put on some TV and set the treadmill at an easy pace. It very quickly was clear that my legs were tired and this was going to be a mental struggle. I decided to use this as mental training for the race. I knew this is how I’m going to feel during the half marathon and I need to be prepared. So I just made myself keep going, no stopping. THIS REALLY SUCKED, like REALLY REALLY SUCKED. I’m glad I pushed through the mental struggle and got it done.

Next Up: 12 miles (and I’m totally posting this two weeks late).

I forgot how it felt

I’ve been having trouble sleeping, I’m not sure if it’s just that I can’t shut my mind off or I’ve been running too much at night. Monday night/Tuesday morning I woke up at 4 am. I tried to fall back asleep but by 6 am I just knew it wasn’t happening. Since I had a run planned for that night, I decided to get it done in the morning. I seriously haven’t been able to do that since I moved to Atlanta four months ago (seriously it’s been four months alreasy!). I’m so not a morning person, but getting the runs done before work are so worth it. I’m trying to make myself become a morning person again and to get all my runs done in the morning now. It just frees up more time to sit on my couch and watch tv in the evenings now 🙂

That early morning run went well and helped me stay awake at work after getting five hours of sleep. I wish it helped me sleep better and maybe it did a little bit but not much. I decided my Thursday run was also going to be a morning run. I got up and got it done. It felt so good to be free that night and not have anything to do after work but sit in my la z boy recliner and watch TV. I know you were all starting to worry about my lazy girl status with all this running, but don’t you worry, I’m still sitting on my butt when I’m not running or lifting weights.

My long run this week was 11 miles. My running group was doing 9 miles at my favorite trail. They meet on the other side of the trail that is 1.5 miles away, so I parked on the side I normally parked on and ran to the other side. I met up with them and did another 9.5 miles. It was FREEZING (okay in the high 40s) at the start of the run. When I met up with them I was literally steaming, like had a circle of steam surrounding me. I really didn’t plan out my outfit for the weather. I wore shorts, knee high compression socks, a t shirt and arm warmers. I really needed gloves for the first couple miles, I legit was shaking my hands and rubbing them together because they were going numb. But after the first few miles I was good to go and had just the right amount of clothing on.

Those 11 miles were tough. I started having some aches, cramps and pains, but I just pushed through them to finish it. I knew my legs weren’t going to quit, it’s just keeping my head in the game. Afterwards I looked really cute…

Yep I’m hot, just admit it

Austin = Training + Traveling Success

Last week I headed to Austin for a business trip and a little bit of fun. As it gets closer to the half marathon date my weekly mileage is creeping upwards and the long runs are of course getting longer. I was gone Thursday to Sunday and I usually do two runs and one weight lifting session during those days. After my last trip I knew I needed to be smarter with my planning and make sure I get the workouts in.

I left for Austin in the morning and arrived mid day. This was waiting for me…

Totally felt like a baller. My own DRIVER! It’s like I’m a real grown up with a big girl job (I guess it’s time to admit I’m 27 and not 21 anymore).  I made one mistake on the flight. I really should have eaten a snack or lunch. By the time we got to the hotel and put our stuff away I was HANGRY (aka as hungry angry). Whenever I don’t eat quick enough a migraine starts to form. I definitely didn’t feel great. After lunch I did a little bit of work and then went down to the hotel gym to get in a run. My head was pounding at this point but I wanted to get a run in. I had 5 miles planned and ended up doing 3. I’m glad I just did something, it didn’t fix my migraine of course but I got it done.

We had an awesome dinner that night at La Condesa. It was high end tex mex. I really should have taken pictures but that just wasn’t happening. I also started to feel better about midway through the cocktail reception. I met some cool people on this trip. It was nice to get to know more people on the client side of the industry. It wasn’t like other conferences where you’re getting sales pitches the whole time.

The conference started the next morning at 8:15 am, luckily we were an hour behind Atlanta time so it was just like going to work 🙂 The conference was great and only went until 2:30 pm. After that we got our wristbands for Austin City Limits. After doing a little work on my laptop, I went back down to the hotel gym to get in a strength workout. Then it was time to shower and get ready for Austin City Limits. The line up that night included Florence + the machine, which was the main act I wanted to see. Florence was AMAZING. ACL was crazyyyyy. So many people just all over the place. The food was awesome. I was able to try Stubb’s BBQ and good pops (OMG watermelon and agave Popsicle).

 

Me in front of a sea of people

Hi Florence!

Since we spent the evening on our feet, I decided to do my long run on Sunday. On Saturday we spent the day sightseeing in Austin. We checked out the UT campus and the art museum. Then did a little shopping. I may have some real Texas cowboy boots now.  Saturday night we hung out at the Roaring Fork in our hotel to watch the Carolina game. Unfortunately the Gamecocks just couldn’t beat LSU. Needless to say I was a little depressed. I went off to bed as soon as the game was over.

I planned to run down to the “lake” (which is really a river and totally confusing if you don’t ask people) and run around there for 10 miles. I woke up to lightening and thunder so I decided to head down to the treadmill. Thank goodness for TV. I watched two episodes of say yes to the dress and the first hour of Shawshank Redemption. The treadmill is so boring but the TV makes it bearable. I felt pretty ridiculous taking GU’s on the treadmill but I needed them and felt great during my 10 miles. But I didn’t look so great after…

I was glad it when it was over! After two hours on the treadmill I had to pack up my stuff and shower. My Uncle and Aunt were picking me to show me around Austin. We had a great authentic tex mex lunch at Guero’s and then they showed me the highlights of Austin that I didn’t see yet.

 

After a fun day, they dropped me at the airport, where I found out my flight was delayed for over an hour. Guess that just meant I had time for one last Texas BBQ meal, so I headed to Salt Lick in the airport and had my last pulled pork sandwich of the trip.

I had a great time in Austin and got in all my workouts. I didn’t let migraines or weather get in the way and I got it all done. It’s just crazy how much working out and running has become my lifestyle. I really just had to learn to make it a priority instead of something I could do or not.

Running and Learning

The past two weeks I’ve had 6 good runs. I’ve pushed myself and been loving every minute of it. I didn’t hit my mileage for my long run this week but I added miles to my 3rd run to get my mileage for the week done. I’ve been really busy with work but I’ve really made working out a priority. My social life may suffer a little bit because of that, but I feel like I’ve still been able to hang out with friends.

Tina and I were exchanging emails the other day about my schedule and fitting in workouts. She noticed how I really put in the effort to fit in my workouts now, when I didn’t do that in the past. A couple months ago if I missed a workout I didn’t really care that much. It wasn’t so important to me. In the last month or two I’ve really put a lot of focus on fitting in my workouts. I’ve really enjoyed pushing myself to be better with running. I want to finish this half marathon strong and I want to get faster. I just love love love the challenge running gives me. It’s not about anyone but myself and no one but ME can decide whether I succeed. While I’ve always been a loner, I love my alone time and really need it to be in a good place (ask my former roommates how true this is), I’ve also always played team sports up until I started running. I loved being a part of a team and even if I wasn’t a star player I loved the role I played. Most of the people I still talk to from high school are my former teammates. But I really didn’t have an effect on my teams, but with running I am the star, it’s about me and what I can do!

Now don’t get it twisted here, I’m not a star runner, I’m far from fast, but I am what I put into it. You better believe I’m putting everything into running. I’ve set goals and I’m doing everything I can to succeed. I really am so proud of the lifestyle change I’ve made in my life. Fitness and my health are a priority. And over time my running will continue to get better and I’ll be faster than I every thought I could be. That’s probably years away but every run puts me closer to that point.

This week should be interesting for me as I’m traveling for business Thursday-Sunday. I’m actually really excited to head to Austin, TX! I’ve never been and I’ve heard great things about the city. Let’s just hope the weather cools down a little bit for my 10 mile run on Sunday.

I’m also signing up for my first 10k soon, which would be in 2.5 weeks. It’s a hilly course so I’m not expecting a crazy amazing time but I’m shooting for an 11 min mile pace (which is pretty good for me at that distance). I just want to see how I do and be in a race setting. It’s been since May and I want to feel that rush of adrenaline one more time before the race in December.

This week has also been an eye opener for my experience with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. While I knew many people suffered from the diseases, it wasn’t one that hit close to home until after I signed up for Team Challenge. I’ve mentioned that my aunt has crohn’s and even had part of her colon removed. This week I learned that a co-worker (and friend)’s wife has colitis and is currently in the hospital with a flare up. This pushes me to work harder in my fundraising to help raise awareness and some day find a cure to these diseases that are so debilitating that you end up in the hospital undergoing tests and different drug treatments to figure out what will make you feel better for a short amount of time. If you would like to help me make a difference please donate HERE.

Man I love honey boo boo!

Training and Traveling

I first got the idea for this post on my flight out to California. I was going to write about how I kicked my training schedules’ butt while on a business trip. Well let’s just throw that thought out the window because I did not even come close to getting in all my workouts. Luckily life is all about doing what you can and learning from your experiences to do better the next time. Yes I did just get all philosophical (and used spell check to spell it).

I really had every intention of getting all my runs in, I even brought all my running stuff with me. Including my protein powder, sparkly head bands and water bottle that attaches to my hand so I don’t have to hold it. I did everything I could to set myself up for success, but work happened.

My business trip was to a conference in Santa Barbara. The resort we stayed at was beautiful! Right on the beach in just an amazing setting. My room was huge, I think I could have stayed there for weeks, or years even. My schedule was jam packed the entire time, I thought I might sneak a run in after we got to the hotel before the evening festivities began, but there wasn’t enough time for that. I also managed to hurt my foot somehow. I don’t know if it was the flip flops I was wearing all day or what but the arch of my foot was in so much pain and I was basically limping for the next 3 days. Tuesday we were out late and Wednesday was an early start day so I knew running was not going to happen. Not to mention the 3 hour time change totally messing with my body.

I set my alarm to get up early on Thursday to run. I even talked to the concierge about a running trail nearby. So as I’m getting up to run I get a text changing the time we’re meeting to an hour earlier. And with that text there went my time to run. Thursday was packed with events from 9 am to midnight. I even got my hair did and put on a cute dress…

So after the party with the cute dress, where I refrained from drinking to run the next morning, I set my alarm to get up early and run. And of course as soon as my alarm goes off and I’m getting out of bed I get a text saying we’re meeting an hour early. And there went my running time again. I thought about running in the afternoon but as soon as I got to my next hotel for my solo weekend in Cali I had a migraine and ended up in bed from 4 pm to 8 am and couldn’t even dinner I was so sick.

I got up on Saturday morning determined to run 7 miles even though I didn’t even have dinner the night before. I felt okay so I went for a nice run along this beautiful beach trail. I mean check out this view…

It was amazing! I saw seals and bunnies and ran all over Carpinteria, CA. I even found the cute downtown area and scoped out my lunch spot (that was actually called The Spot). The run itself was not so amazing. There were a lot of walking breaks but I made it 7 miles. I went back on Sunday for 4 miles, also sucked but I needed to get a run in before driving back to LA and heading back to Atlanta.

Team Challenge Week 2

Well I kind of survived another week of Team Challenge training. I started getting a sore throat Thursday that kept getting progressively worse as the days went by. On Saturday morning I woke up feeling pretty bad and I had to force myself out of bed to make it to training. I also had to run around packing stuff for my trip to Chattanooga since I was picking up my grandmother from the airport immediately after my run and heading straight to Chattanooga.

I was about 15 minutes late to training so I missed part of the form clinic, but I made it before everyone left for the run. I planned on just doing the 3 mile run with the group, then dashing across the street to change clothes and grab breakfast to go. The 3 miles were pretty awful, I just felt like crap and my legs were like lead. I ended up walking a little bit, but I also chatted up a couple other team members and my mentor, Deb, along the way. I’m working on my small talk skills, as my friend Katie said to me last night over our after dinner treat of dove chocolates, small talk leads to the deeper conversations. Without those you can’t get to that level. As simple as that sounds it really clicked with me and I can’t expect to just instantly click with these people, I have to work on the surface level to dig deeper.

After that awful 3 mile run, I stuck around for a few minutes to get to know a couple of the team members better. Then I realized I had to get moving so I could change and pick up my grandmother on time. I’m sorry to anyone that was in Chick Fil A in Decatur on Saturday morning.  I totally took over the bath room to change out of my gross running clothes, wipe down with baby wipes and put on fresh clothes. It totally worked out and I grabbed a chicken biscuit for the road. I was also very appreciative of the guy working at Chick Fil A who dealt with my picky self wanting a specific amount of water for my protein shake that I brought with me. A girls gotta do what she can to keep the migraines away!

I’ve made it to 10% of my fundraising goal! I’m up to $275, thanks to all those that donated this past week!! Here’s the link for those of you that would like to donate

I’m still sick, but it’s officially the first week of my half marathon plan with Tina! I’ m hoping to kick this cold so I don’t have to miss any runs this week, last week I missed my long run.