Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ocean Shores 1/2 Marathon

On July 10th, I finished my 6th 1/2 marathon in 6 consecutive months.  It graduated me up to two moon status on the Half Fanatics...which everyone dreads because it landed me on Uranus LOL!  This was the last race that my sister-in-law, Andrea, needed to qualify for the Half Fanatics and also my stepson's first 1/2 marathon in over 6 months. 

We chose to go to Ocean Shores the day before and enjoy the beach.  The weather was perfect all weekend so all the kids came down with me and even my father-in-law came down for the day.  I have never been to Ocean Shores on such a warm day. 

The downfall to bringing everyone was that we had to share beds and a room.  It was tight quarters which causes me to get VERY little sleep.  Bryce (my 3 year old) didn't do to well going to bed.  He was up until midnight and finally fell asleep on the floor with my pillow.  I shared my bed with my 12 year old, Ashley, but she moves around a lot in her sleep.  Bryce had several nightmares all night and kept screaming out.  Needless to say, VERY little sleep for me.  I had to be up at 5:30am.

Morning came way to quick!  I arose in the morning and tiptoed around Bryce.  He was laying right in front of the only bathroom door.  I grabbed my clothes and changed in the bathroom as quietly as possible.  I snuck into the living room area and woke up Andrea and Devin.  They also snuck around Bryce and we got out of the room as quickly as possible before waking anyone else up.

We hit the Tully's for water then went to the park to wait for the race to begin.  I ran into a few other Half Fanatics including #10 Bullseye Bob Martin.  Thank goodness we got there early because they actually started the race about 15 minutes early.  The first 1.5 miles of the race were spent weaving through town towards the ocean.  Very flat and nice, open spaces to run in...just the way I like it.  I was hoping for a PR today if all went well.  As soon as we saw the beach ahead I prepared for the worst. 

The beach entrance was loose sand that filled my shoes early.  Big divets made it hard to maneuver through and I spent a lot of the time just trying to bunny hop into the holes that other runners already created.  Once we got to the hard packed sand, running was easier.  Felt almost like a trail run (which reminds me, I need to train with the Dirty Girls more!).  The best sight on the beach was about a mile into it...there was a baby seal sunbathing. 

So, the total distance on the beach was 1.5 miles then back on to the soft, sinking sand until we hit the pavement again.  Too bad for me my stomach was starting to act up so I hit the honeybucket.  I felt my PR slipping away. :(  Back on the pavement, Andrea and I kept running along.  Devin passed us and as far as we could tell, he was in 12th place!  Bullseye Bob high-fived us too.  At the halfway mark, we turned around and started back.  Andrea told me to go ahead. 

The next 1.5 miles were pretty uneventful until... I almost got trampled to death by two young deer!  I am not even exaggerating!  They went hopping across the road like a game of tag only feet from me.  My heart was beating so fast and I couldn't stop shaking.  Oh no, stomach started to act up again.  Must have been the terrible dinner from the night before.  I hit the same honeybucket as before.  When I was waiting in line, Andrea wished me luck and went ahead.

Several minutes later, I was finally back bunny hopping over the sand dunes to get to the ocean.  I wish I lived closer to the beach.  It was very peaceful to see and hear the waves as I ran by.  The seal was still sunbathing on the beach too.  Brought a smile to my face.  It wasn't until I came up to the soft sand again that I finally started walking. 

I was suffering from my usual leg "tingling" so I couldn't feel my right foot/leg.  My stomach was killing me and my mind was starting to give in to it all.  I forced myself to run again and was able to run the for a while.  As I hit the bridge on the home stretch, I finally had to stop and stretch my foot out.  The arch of my right foot was cramping so bad I was almost in tears.  The sand had taken up any spare room in my shoe and it was suffering.  No PR for me :(

I crossed the finish line at 2:15:12.  Not my best, not my worst.  I wish I could take off the time for the honeybuckets.  That would have dropped me down to the 2:10 range, but oh well.  Devin ended up finishing with a PR and 17th place overall!  Andrea got a new PR as well.  I was just happy to finish.  I highly recommend this course to others but be prepared for the sand!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vancouver USA 1/2 Marathon

Okay, okay...I know I said I would write more often...but I have a good excuse...the sun has finally decided to arrive in Washington and I have been taking full advantage of it!  I have been avoiding my computer and my only connection to the internet is through my phone since I am outside most of the time.  Okay, excuses over.  Here is my recap of the inaugural Vancouver USA Marathon.

Erik and I took the 3+ hour drive down to Vancouver on Friday evening for packet pick-up and to enjoy the expo.  I am so happy we did because we got to meet Bart Yasso who was MCing the race.  He was such an amazing runner to chat with!  A great inspiration :) 
We walked around the expo for a little while and I bought a new hand held water bottle and a magnet for the back of my car that says "13.1 Miles because I'm only HALF crazy".  Yep, that pretty much sums me up :)  We walked around the expo until it closed then went to the park across the street to let Bryce play.  This is also where the start and finish line would be for Sunday.  A little while later, we made the 3+ hour trek home.

Erik had to work so we couldn't head out of town as early as we would have liked.  Once he was finally off work we took off for Lacey to stay at Andrea's house (my sister-in-law).  This is her 2nd race towards becoming a Half Fanatic!  We stopped for dinner at the Adriatic Grill.  If you haven't eaten there, you should!  DEE-LISH!

Another early race day for us.  Up at 4:45am to be out the door by 5:30am.  Even from Lacey it was still a 2 hour ride to Vancouver.  Erik, Andrea, and I hit the usual Starbucks stop for our black coffees and a bite to eat on the ride down.  Once in Vancouver, we found close parking and went into the Hilton for a much needed potty break.  We started chatting with other excited runners about the race, our past favorite and least favorite races, and just general chit chat.  It turns out that one of the girls I was talking to you is running the Ragnar Relay team that I am an alternate for (Hi Lizzie!).

Race start:
It was a pretty warm morning out before the race had even began.  We inched our way into the starting corral and wished each other luck.  As Bart sounded the beginning of the race we all started towards the start line.  Warning:  What I am about to write may offend some people!  Let me preface by saying I have no problem with walkers doing these events, however, there is a certain etiquette that if you plan to walk from the beginning...PLEASE line up in the back of the pack!  My only pet peeve with this race was that there was a large group of walkers (I'm talking 50-100 people) lined up at the front line of the race and when the gun sounded many runners had to wiggle and weave around them to get into the open.  The first 2 miles of the race were in the heart of town and having the obstacles of dodging walkers on top of it added to even greater congestion at the start of the race.

Okay, back to my recap.  1 mile into the race, Andrea and I were already sweating.  It was pretty humid out and even though I was in a skirt I was still feeling the heat.  We had also agreed to try and run together as long as possible today but not hold one another back.  If one of us needed to back off then the other runner was free to go.  We maintained a nice speed over the next few miles.  I was attempting to go for a sub-2 half marathon yet again.  Stay tuned to see what happens :)

At around mile 3 I got a "I'm #3" from Tony Phillippi as he went flying by me.  I know I say it all the time but I love being a Half Fanatic!  It's such a great group of runners who always take time to chat with one another even during a race.  Andrea was saying she didn't think she could keep my pace but I convinced her to try to go to at least mile 5 before we walked.  She agreed to hang in there. 

Over the next 1 1/2 miles, we would joke around that every time our bodies wanted to tell us to walk, it always looked like there was a nice downhill grade ahead and we should just run through it.  Andrea was a real trooper! 

At around mile 4.5 Andrea finally had to back off of the pace I was going.  I wished her luck and told her I would see her later.  I told myself that I could take a mini walk break at the 10k marker.  Lucky for me the 10k marker was up the only hill of the course!  As always, a fellow runner cheered me up the hill.  She saud the magic words, "You are almost there!" as I took my little walk break which made me want to run up the hill!  I only walked twice here for the 2 plateaus but ran up the actual hill, YEAH ME!

At the very top of the hill was a much needed water stop.  I grabbed my water, played hopscotch over the train tracks and ran as fast as I could down the longest hill of the whole course.  I felt like I was flying!  The next couple of miles were beautiful.  The course took us out along the river and cool breeze felt wonderful on the humid morning.  My next goal was to run until I hit mile 10.  I was still pacing a sub-2!

At mile 10.5, I did take that walk break.  It was very brief but just what I needed to regain my legs.  I forgot to mention that my right leg from my knee down had been numb/asleep.  This little walk break allowed me to rotate my ankle around and get a little feeling back in my foot.  It stung every time I took a step while it had that numb feeling.  I finally fell off my pace.  At this point I was set to finish around 2:02-2:03, which is still a PR.

What is it about those last 2 miles lately?  They seem to just murder me!  At mile 11.5-11.7 my mind look over and convinced my legs that they had had enough.  I had to alternate run/walk breaks for a while and gather my mojo.  At mile 12 the worst thing happened.  As I was turning a corner a volunteer yelled, "Only one more hill to go!"  My mind yelled back, "WHAT?!?!"  I was pretty sure that with the numb feeling in my leg and the humidity rising rapidly that there was no way I could finish at the pace I was going.  I gave in and had to do the run/walk alternating pattern for the next mile.  I would rather finish healthy then to hurt myself for a PR.

As I ran in town towards the finish line, my Nike+GPS told me I had hit the 13.1 mile marker.  I looked around and couldn't find it anywhere!  Oh man, either my calibration was off or their's was.  I'm going to say it was theirs because my GPS matched all the other mile markers and Erik's Garmin and Nike +GPS also finished with the same mileage as mine :(  As I approached the real finish line, I could see and hear Bart congratulating runners.  I gave the camera my best double peace sign and willed my legs to carry me to the end. 

Who would have guessed what happened next?  By looking at the picture above you wouldn't be able to guess I was totally exhausted and fatigued, right?  Well, I crossed the finish line and grabbed my water.  As I started going towards the girl handing out medals my stomach started to act up.  The poor girl kept trying to put the medal around my neck but I finally took it from her hand and walked as fast as I could towards the side of the road.  That's when the humidity took it's toll...I began vomiting all over.  Ughhh!  How embarrassing.  A guy runner came over to me and asked if I need the aid car.  I said no.  Then he asked if he could help.  I said, "Can you open my water please?"  I washed myself off with the water, thanked him and headed towards the crowd to find Erik. 

Andrea finished about 9 minutes after me for a new PR!  Erik (in his first 1/2 since injury) didn't get a PR but finished with an amazing 2:02:01.  As for me, here are my stats: 

Chip Time: 2:08:32
Age Place: 37/142
Overall Place: 516/1418
Sex Place Overall: 201/912
So that means according to the chip time I missed my PR by 32 seconds. On the plus side: mine and my husband's GPS's showed that the mileage was off by .16 miles...I guess I will secretly count it as a PR =D

Here are my splits per mile as well:

1        9:44               9'44"/mi

The best part after a half marathon, the beer garden!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I've been slacking!

On my writing...but definitely NOT on my running!  I haven't had a lot to write about lately.  Most of my recent runs over the last month have been short and sweet due to being sick.  Dr. Rice diagnosed me with Chronic Cryptic Tonsillitis.  Having a swollen throat/neck/tonsils made any long runs nearly impossible so I focused on speed work.

I stuck to a plan of treadmill running throughout most of this time.  I did speed intervals that focused on .75 miles of jogging at 6.0-6.4mph then running .25 miles at 7.0-8.2mph.  Another workout I did repeatedly was short (2 mile) runs at quick speeds.  Usually maintaining around 7.0mph. 

On my outside running excursions, I ran with a neighbor, Gianna.  We are signed up together for the Race for a Soldier 1/2 Marathon.  She has never ran that far and asked me to join her so she could start upping her mileage.  Of course, I am happy to help!

Today, the hubby and I got out and ran our furthest outside run in a while.  For me, it was my longest run since the Capital City 1/2.  For him, it has been since his injury in February.  We busted out a great paced 10.7 mile run all around our neighboring areas.  Our average pace was 9'13"/mile!  Looks like that speed work may be paying off!!!

Next up, Vancouver USA 1/2 Marathon next Sunday.  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Run It Forward, Bridge 2 Bridge

Despite still being sick and being on antibiotics, I was signed up for yet another race.  Erik and I ran the Run It Forward Bridge 2 Bridge run in Bremerton on May 28th (which also happened to be Erik's birthday). 

Erik had went out the day before and bought us matching tech shirts...aww cute.  The only downfall to the cute shirts were that they were both tank tops, not the best thing on a chilly Saturday morning in the Pacific Northwest.  I still chose to wear the tank along with my running skirt.  I knew that I would get warm once the race started so I threw on a lightweight jacket and hoped for the best.

We got to packet pickup really early and went over to Starbucks to enjoy some coffee and heat before the race.  We had a lot of fun chatting with the barista and another runner at the bar.  I recognized the shirt the runner was wearing as a You Go Girl shirt from last year's race.  We talked about our plans for this year's races. 

At race start we were all herded like sheep to the meeting spot under the ferry terminal.  Good thing we followed, I would have never looked under there for the start of the race.  The Bremerton High School football coach and the Bremerton mayor said some nice opening comments then they sounded the whistle.  We began the run by going through the new tunnel.  It's very beautiful in there...but the GPS doesn't work AT ALL!    As we came out of the tunnel, we made a sharp 90 degree turn onto Burwell. 

On Washington, the runners started to spread out.  Thank goodness!  The sidewalks here were all in disarray.  I was averaging a good pace for the first mile but knew I wouldn't be able to keep it the whole way through.  My throat was starting to swell up.  We crossed over the Manette Bridge and made the turn towards the first big hill.  Average pace: 9'05"/mile

At the Bremerton YMCA, I had to finally stop and take my jacket off.  I also pulled a cough drop out of my pocket and enjoyed some relief on my throat.  Erik was kind enough to walk with me through this pit stop.  I told him to keep going but he insisted on waiting for me.  Up, up, up the long steady hill...slow and steady.  I kept telling myself, "This is what you train for!  This is where others stop and you can gain on them!"  It was true.  I passed others that had slowed to a walk.  I may not have been going very fast but it was faster than walking.  Average pace: 9'25"/mile

I finally convinced Erik to keep running his pace because I knew I was struggling.  He kept going and looked great!  This was his first race in months and he felt good.  As I approached the Warren Avenue Bridge, I knew there was one last hill to conquer.  My throat was so swollen at this point despite the cough drop and I was really struggling to breathe.  I took the hill in intervals.  I would run light post to light post, then walk light post to light post.  This was the last time I saw Erik until the end of the race.  Average pace: 9'50"/mile

Once I got onto Warren Bridge...I ran!  It was a wonderful downhill grade with a nice breeze.  The cough drop was finally doing it's job and I had an airway.  I cruised along and headed towards the home stretch.  As I made the turn towards Evergreen State Park, I passed a father and daughter.  The daughter was only 9 years old and she looked so upset that she was walking.  I encouraged her as I ran by and she started to pick up the pace. 

One last hill to get up then it was back onto the bad sidewalks of Washington and back to the ferry terminal.  I kept telling myself, "Finish strong!  You can rest when it's over!"  My body must have been listening because I ran with everything I had.  I could see the race clock and it was counting towards 40 minutes.  I wanted to finish in under 40 so I ran!  As I crossed the finish line, my average pace on my GPS said 7'33"/mile. 

The race clock said I had finished at 39'54".  I wonder what it will be like to run a race healthy again?  I know I have more in me and I hated having to walk in a 4.4 mile race.  On the plus side, That is just over 5 minutes more than my very first ever 5K so...  I can't complain too much.  To be able to run almost 1.5 miles more in almost the same time shows progress.  That is what really matters to me. 

Erik finished the race 4th in his age group and 33rd overall.  I finished 7th or 8th in my age group and 49th overall.  I'm sure if Erik wouldn't have stayed with me in the beginning he would have easily been in the top 3 in his age group but he is a great husband who is always thinking of others first.  Next year, I plan on being healthy and kicking this race's butt!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Capital City 1/2 Marathon

I just realized it's been a while since my last post...sorry.

Here is a recap on yesterday's race!

To start off with, my 3 year old has been tremendously sick over the last week.  He had double ear infections and 103.9 temperature.  He was also kind enough to share his nasty cold with his momma before this race.  Friday evening I felt the crud coming on so I knew I was pretty much doomed.

Saturday, my sister-in-law Andrea, came and picked me up and we went to the expo to pick up our racing bibs.  The tech shirts that they handed out are by far my favorite shirts I have received from a race yet.  Red, long sleeved with thumb holes, 1/4 zip tech shirts...AWESOME!  Also, the bag that they came in was a great reusable runners bag.  It's the race's 30th anniversary so they had nice giveaways.  At the expo, I also scored some wonderful new Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes for $20!  Another bonus :)

That evening, I started my new pre-race ritual...coconut water.  I kept hearing how wonderful it was, tried it last week and loved it.  So I drank a coconut water, carb loaded (like always), took some cold medicine, and went to bed early.  I didn't sleep well because I wasn't able to breathe well but oh well, I never sleep well before a race day.

The next morning I woke up at 5:30am.  The rain was already pouring down (quite the difference from the day before which was 65-70 degrees and sunny).  This was going to be my first race in the rain...and did I mention I was totally sick?!?  I changed my plans on my attire.  Originally, I was going to wear my Half Fanatics shirt and a running skirt.  Instead, I wore my Half Fanatics shirt, capris, a jacket and a hat (which thankfully Erik brought for me at last minute).  I had two pieces of toast, more coconut water and we were off to the race.

I knew going into this race that it was very doubtful that I was going to PR.  I decided early that since I was sick my only goal was to just finish.  I made a deal with Andrea that I would pace her and run with her through her second half marathon (she is also on her way to becoming a Half Fanatic).  I told her that I was there to support her and if she needed to stop, we would stop...if she wanted to run, we would run. 

The lines for the honey buckets before the race were actually wrapped around the street corner so I didn't get my pre-race potty break :(  We agreed that we would hit a honeybucket during the race.  Since I wasn't attempting to PR, I was fine with that agreement.

It was a crowded race start.  The totals showed 1200+ people ran the 1/2 marathon.  I know to most that isn't a lot but for this race the pack never seemed to separate.  Andrea and I started the race with a nice pace.  Nothing to hard.  We were also soaked within minutes from the rain and the other runners splashing water up from the puddles. Average pace: 10'20"/mile. 

Mile 2-3 was the first hill that we came across.  It was a steady, gradual, uphill climb that went on for almost 3 miles total.  We along with many of the runners were laughing about the fact that we were swimming upstream and that this race should really be called a triathlon.  We expected bikes to waiting at the finish line. :)  The one downfall to this whole race was this leg of it.  The portion of the road was open to traffic and people were driving like maniacs.  Not cool man.  Average pace: 10'02"/mile and 9'58"/mile

Mile 4-5 We finally stopped for the honeybucket.  Too bad many of the runners had the same idea!  That little detour took 3 minutes of our time.  Darn!  Still running well and breathing well.  My sinuses finally opened up and I could breath easier than I had the first 5 miles.  Average pace: 10'03"/mile and 14'07"/mile.

Mile 6  Lack of oxygen started setting in (or so Andrea likes to refer to it).  We really started laughing and having fun at this point.  I was running with my iPod on speaker so Andrea and I were rocking out to my "beer/drinking" songs.  We got passed by the 3 lead marathon runners.  Did I mention they were on mile 19 at this point and we were on mile 6.5?  There were lots of cowbells for the next 7 miles and every time we ran by someone with one, Andrea and I would yell out, "We need more cowbell!"  Average pace: 10'17"/mile

Miles 7-9 Still plugging along.  Laughing, puddle jumping, and almost no walking!  Bring on the cowbell!  I really enjoyed running with Andrea.  She is a lot like me in the fact that we enjoy the race.  We take time to thank the volunteers, spectators, and just enjoy the sights.  People were standing out in the rain cheering us on and we would always take the time to say thanks as we ran by.  Erik was amazing through the last half of the race as well.  He joined us at around mile 8.5 and paced us and encouraged us for the remaining miles.  Average paces: 10'38"/mile, 10'29"/mile, and 10'14"/mile.

Mile 10...Grrr...the final hill.  This one took it's toll on us.  We alternated between walking and running up it.  The rain was still coming down but the wind had picked up on this portion of the course and it was not a lot of fun.  Average pace: 10'47"/mile

Mile 11 Fatigue started to set in for us.  The support of the crowd and Erik were so helpful and it really helped push us through.  Average pace: 10'37"/mile

Mile 12 My stupid cold gave me the vomiting feeling.  Stupid post-nasal drip.  Had to walk for a moment but otherwise I was good to go.  Average pace: 10'17"/mile

Mile 13  I was so happy to finish still standing!  We were laughing at a couple of funny things going to the finish line.  There was a woman standing outside her house with her own "volunteer" table set up with a sign and dixie cups that said "Ice Cold Beer"...AWESOME!  As we approached the finish line there was an ambulance waiting with it's doors wide open, which I exclaimed, "Oh good, my ride is here!" Andrea started to slow down a little and I told her, "Come on girl, you got this!  Don't stop now!"  She sped up and finished side by side with me.  It was great!  Andrea had friends waiting at the end of the race with signs up and my father-in-law even showed up to cheer us on!  Average pace: 10'14"/mile

So there you have it.  Another race in the books.  That was #4 for the year.  Sick or not...I am still a smiling runner. =D

I love my amazing family!

My Nike time showed 2:18:51 (I never stopped the clock BTW)

The race results showed: 2:20:43
Overall place: 821/1212
Age place: 88/143
Female place: 427/741

P.S....I went to the doctor today.  Yep it's a sinus infection and possible tonsillitis/strep throat.  10 worth of antibiotics for me :)  It was worth it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tacoma City Marathon

What a great last minute decision!  I got invited to run on a relay team with the Dirty Girls (a local group who does trail running).  The race was divided between 5 legs that varied between 3.9 and 6 miles.  My leg was leg 2 and it was 4.8 miles long. 

I got up at 4:30am to get ready and go meet my team in Gig Harbor.  I drove to Starbucks for my usual pre-race tradition...bad news, they weren't open!!!  Ugh.  I tried Cutter's go.  I even tried Fred Meyer...same thing.  Apparently, nothing opens by 5:30am in Gig Harbor on a Sunday morning.  I guess I was running the race  with no food or coffee.  Thank goodness my leg was less than 5 miles.

Oh yeah, this was our ride for the race:

We got to the art museum and met up with the rest of the other Dirty Girls Relay Team #1 for a photo shoot.  Alexa Martin wrote a book called "Girl Wonder" and Gateway was taking photos for it. :)  It was a lot of fun to be a part of this wonderful group.  Especially since I really didn't know anyone leading up to today.  They were very kind and greeted me like I had known them forever!

Jina Benson took leg 1.  It was 5.7 miles long.  We stood at the start line and cheered her on as she took off.  As soon as she was out of our sight, we headed to our leg 2 hand off destination.  It was here that we decided to add some warrior paint to ourselves.  Why not?  Let's make this race fun!  As we were standing at the hand off spot, I saw a few people I know come running by and was able to cheer them on.  I saw my online friend Claudia, 4:15 pacer Ginger, several people from the Route 16 crew, and of course tons of Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics!  Then around the corner we saw Jina!  We yelled for her and she finished so strong.  She did awesome!  We tagged off and I took off!

My leg was flat and pretty!  I ran along the water on Ruston Way for several miles.  It's funny running in a relay, you have fresh legs so you are able to pass people when they are tired.  It's a good and a bad feeling.  Good because you feel even stronger and you push harder...bad because you know you haven't been running nearly as long as them :)  I was able to pound up the first hill rather quickly passing several men along the way.  The funniest sight here was the police man with the speed gun faced at me!  Also, as I ran along Ruston I had several people calling out, "go Sexy Girl!" becuase of my war paint on my face :)

I was pacing in the high 8 minute miles for the first 4 miles.  Then as I passed through the tunnel something bad happened.  I'm not sure if it was the fumes, the sounds, the motion of the speeding car flying by me, or the fact I hadn't eaten but I got out of the tunnel and started gagging!  Uncontrollably!!!  Ugh, I hate my stomach sometimes.  I continued to walk but it definitely slowed my pace for about 30 seconds to a minute.  Once I was finally able to catch my breath, I started running again.  The final hill was a doozy.  I passed people who were walking up it and turned the corner.  There were my Dirty Girls cheering me on!  I willed my legs to sprint and finished as strong as I could and tagged Gwen so she could take on the 5 mile drive leg though Pt. Defiance. 

I stopped running and tried to catch my breath.  I then realized I had forgotten to stop my watch.  So my GPS said I finished in 44:10.  I think with the gagging and forgetting it really was about a minute less than that.  We didn't have far to drive for the next hand off.  I was able to stretch in the van and enjoy some Gatorade.  At the next hand off we decided to goof-off a little and take some pics.

When Gwen came out of the park she tagged Kjerstin.  We all hopped in the Dirty Van and took off to Cheney Stadium.  It's amazing how much territory we covered!  At Cheney, Nichole was able to get out and stretch.  She did all the driving leading up to this point so she really wanted to focus here.  We were watching the volunteer at the water station struggle to get the cups filled.  There were only 2 volunteers at this stop.  One for the Gatorade and one for the water.  Gwen and I stepped in and helped him fill cups.  Another guy from a relay team also jumped in to help.  Between the 3 of us, we were able to help him get the 3 bottles emptied and fill an entire table with cups of water.

At the final leg, Kjerstin tagged Nichole and we hopped in the Dirty Van to head back into downtown.  Our plan was to finish as a group.  The only rule was that Nichole had to cross the finish line before any of us or else it would register a false time.  We didn't have a lot of time because this leg was only 3.9 miles but we made it in time.  We saw Nichole running hard!  I gave Alexa my jacket and we all finished as a team. :)  It was so much fun!!!

Our Dirty Girls #2 Team finished in a time of 4:02:14 with a pace of 9:15! We came in 4th place of 8 teams!  We also came in 14th of 26 teams. The Dirty Girls #1 Team took home 1st place with a time of 3:33:33!!! Nice job ladies!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A new PR!

Today with the help of my amazing hubby, I set a new PR for the 5K!  25:34!!!  Before today, my fastest time was 27:04 so it was great to take almost a minute and a half off of my previous time.  Erik is recovering from an injury so he is rebuilding his mileage right now.  He wanted to go for a 4 mile run and wanted a running partner.  I gladly accepted that task.  I am so happy I did!  Thanks for pushing me to go faster than ever before.  It's nice to have a running partner who is faster than you. =D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Berry Lake

Today was my first long run since the Bainbridge 1/2....and it was AWESOME!  I threw my back out on Saturday and have been nursing it back to health since.  Thanks to a great massage at Massage Envy on Monday, I was able to run today! 

Bainbridge did something to me.  It really kicked my ass both mentally and physically.  Those hills/mountains really did a number on me.  I was determined today to get my heart, body and soul back on course.  It was a typical Washington state day so after dropping Bryce off at school, I set off on my course with the mantra "Rain or shine, your feet don't mind" from my friend Gina (@sheTRISall3). 

Almost 1 mile into my run, I came to my first crossroads...right into the Quadrant Homes to add an extra mile into my already planned long run or just turn left into McCormick Woods?  The rain began to fall...I turned left!  I wanted to go 10 miles today but with the back injury and the weather I was prepared to settle for anything over 7 today. 

The first couple of miles my legs felt so heavy.  I'm getting kinda tired of this feeling, I'm not gonna lie.  I just want a nice long run where my legs don't feel like lead.  My Nike+GPS kept telling my pace every .5 miles and so far I was pacing under 9:20/miles :)  At about mile 2.5, I stopped to greet a couple of friends I have seen on my last 2 runs...
One kept walking closer and closer to me.  She actually came close enough that I could have pet her but I know better :)
My little photo shoot was the perfect break to end the "heavy leg syndrome" issue I was having.  I took off and headed for the route I've been wanting to try for months.  The next couple of miles were very quiet.  The backside of McCormick is pretty deserted.  It's peaceful but also a little stressful.  Being a lone, female runner in a deserted area and seeing large trucks that had zoomed past me parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere is a little scary. Regardless, I loved the route.  Down to the fire station, I turned left and headed for civilization.

Glenwood has some crazy drivers!  Why must people swerve towards the female runner on the shoulder of the road? (Yes, I am talking to you Mr. Tow Truck Driver!)  I saw the local businesses ahead and stopped in at Burger use the restroom :)  Sidney was also pretty busy this morning.  I had an ambulance scream by me followed by a police car a few minutes later.

The part I have been waiting for...Berry Lake!  As I turned from Sidney to Berry Lake I could see the monster hill in the far distance.  I just kept telling myself, "You can do this, you've got this, you are NOT going to walk!"  At the base of the hill I felt the weight of my legs quadruple!  I just kept chanting in my head and started swinging my arms harder.  I was bound and determined not to walk!  I'm sure to the cars passing by, I only looked like a speed walker but I know I was running!  3/4 of the way up the hill, my legs were begging to stop but my heart and soul had won this battle...I kept going.  I made it to the top and thought I was going to pass out because I was gasping for air so bad but I had done it!  I conquered Berry Lake!! 

My last mile home was the slowest one of my entire run but I never stopped running :) 

Today was a great day!

8.3 miles in 1:18:16 for a pace of 9'25"/mile

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bainbridge Island 1/2 Marathon

Easily the HARDEST run of my little running career.  People kept warning me about the hills on Bainbridge Island but I had no idea.  Toe Jam Hill...OUCH!

I did my usual morning pre-race routine: get dressed, eat a banana, get Starbucks coffee...and took off to Bainbridge, alone.  Erik had to work and it was my daughter's birthday that day so I didn't have my support crew. :(  I got to packet pickup way too early and sat in my Jeep waiting for the race to begin.  Twitter and Facebook kept me least I had the support of my friends and family online!  :)

About 20 minutes to race time, I got out of my Jeep and went by the community center.  I met several other Half Fanatics who either introduced themselves to me or waved at me.  I forgot to mention, this was my first race as a Half Fanatic!  I was sporting my new tech shirt...yeah me!

Race time:
Mile 1: Not bad, I made sure I didn't start off too fast or too slow.  9'27"/mile average pace.  The road was slightly uneven but nothing too bothersome. 
Mile 2: The beginning of my first hill.  I was able to maintain pace up the steady uphill climb.  Other runners were already beginning to walk this portion and I just went steady and kept climbing a little slower than mile 1.  10'15"/mile
Mile 3: Still uphill then a big downhill grade.  This was the beginning of my IT band pain.  The downhill portion was torture on my knees.  My tremor started to act up at this point too.  Quads started shaking.  I didn't want to go all out on the downhill but I think I would have done even more damage by letting my legs run!  10'38"/mile
Mile 4: Perfect song on the perfect road.  It was a beautiful road (very uneven though) with lots of greenery and James Blunt "Stay the Night" was playing.  A really great tempo for this road.  I was able to pick up the pace.  9'48"/mile
Mile 5:  Fort Ward Park.  Along the waterfront, very beautiful, very flat, very deceiving for what was to come in the next mile!  9'57"/mile
Mile 6-7:  Toe Jam Hill!  OMG!!!  I turned the corner at mile 6.5 and there was the biggest hill I have ever had to run before.  My legs just stopped.  There was nothing my mind or heart could do to get my legs to move any faster then walking pace.  It was just horrible.  Nobody within my eyesight was running, everyone was walking and not just walking...holding their quads bent over struggling to make it up this large hill.  9'58"/mile and 12'07"/mile.
Mile 8:  Relief!  Some energy came back to me.  Able to run again.  9'01"/mile
Mile 9:  Another huge hill.  Seriously, enough already!  I dropped my water belt at the water stop here.  The little extra weight that I was carrying with that was too much at this point.  More walking.  12'03"/mile
Mile 10:  I noticed I was still on pace to PR if I could just will myself to run a little faster.  Some smaller hills that I did walking/running intervals through.  My tremor and IT bands were really starting to freak out now.  11'12"/mile
Mile 11:  "Please can do it.  Finish strong.  You can still PR. "  I pulled every ounce of energy out of myself and RAN!  Best mile of the race.  8'43"/mile
Mile 12:  My knees were killing me.  I moved my IT knee band over to my left knee.  I looked at my watch and decided my health was more important than a PR.  I walked.  11'11"/mile
Mile 13:  I finished running, as fast as I could.   10'58"/mile

Final time according to my GPS: 2:16:50
Time chip time: 2:17:01
Overall Place: 98 of 142
Overall Womens Place: 37 of 71
Age Division Place: 18 of 27

I had hoped for a better race but I know I did the best I could do.  Leading up to the race I had only run 2 miles all week because of my IT band issues.  It wasn't my worst race and it wasn't my best.  I am still a smiling runner through it all. =D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Playlist

Here is the playlist for tomorrow's 1/2:

Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack
Loser Like Me - Glee
For the First Time - The Script
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Alright - Darius Rucker
Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band
She's On Fire - Train
The Cave - Mumford & Sons
Violet Hill - Coldplay
Bad Influence - P!nk
Stay the Night - James Blunt
Toes - Zac Brown Band
Wonderwall - Oasis
Sing - My Chemical Romance
Breakeven - The Script
Sober - P!nk
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
Forever - Chris Brown
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Beautiful Day - U2
All I Hear - Train
My Body - Young The Giant
I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At the Disco
Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
Let's See How Far We've Come -Matchbox20
Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine
Funhouse - P!nk
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez / Pitbull
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Coming Home - Train
Let It Roll - Train
It's A Great Day To Be Alive - Travis Tritt
Free - Zac Brown Band

2.2 hours of music for my listening entertainment.  I hope to not need that much music =D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

90 Laps

90 laps + New Shoes = 10 miles of pleasure and pain. :)

That was my view for 90 laps.  Walk. Jog. Run.

That was me yesterday.  I recently bought some new shoes (Nike Air Alaris+ 3) that I decided to break in at the YMCA.  The first 3 miles felt great!  Like pillows on my feet but the next 7 miles torturous.  I had several miles where my feet were so numb and I couldn't feel a thing.  Why I didn't bring my old shoes with me...I'm not sure.   

The plus side to today's run, actually there are two plus sides. 
1.)  I PR'd in my 10K time for this year! 57:01!! 
2.)  I have officially run more miles this year then I did last year :) 

Also, remember that girl I told you about a few weeks ago...the one who told me I was an inspiration to her?  Well she was on the track yesterday and when I had 1.5 miles left to go in my run I convinced her to run with me.  I found out that Kasey is training to be in the Air Force and she was my inspiration yesterday.  Her conversation kept me going the last 1.5 miles which helped me to forget the numbness in my feet that I was experiencing. 

Power Song: Funhouse - P!nk

Saturday, April 2, 2011

8 miles's not the Eminem movie, it's what I ran on this beautiful Pacific Northwest morning.  It must have been one of those "calm after the storm" days because the sun was out and shining away this morning!  I woke up at 7:30am and decided I wanted to do an early run today.

I had planned on doing a 7 mile run originally but I had challenged my friend Rory Pitts to add a mile to his distance today so I knew I had to do the same.  I dressed up in my odd Washington wear: long sleeved tech shirt, capris, sunglasses and gloves and hit the road! 

I decided to go for a hilly route today.  I left my Quadrant neighborhood for the other Quadrant neighborhood down the street.  Usually when I do these two neighborhoods together it's exactly a 5k.  As I was coming up the long hill in the other neighborhood, I saw two fellow runners getting ready to hit the road.  I tried to pick up my pace...because I'm competitive like that ;)

McCormick Woods was just lovely today!  A slight breeze, the sun to my left corner of my sunglasses, the birds were chirping away, and several squirrels were out playing too.  A couple of miles into my route I finally met some other people on the road.  There were several walkers out this morning!  Finally at the end of the Woods, I saw two other women out running and chatting away.  Grrr...I really need a running partner!

When I got to Dunraven, I stopped for a minute and stretched in the sunshine.  Please Mother Nature, if you are reading this, I really loved the sunshine today...I'd love to have as much of it as possible!  Pretty please with sugar on top!!!  On my way back out of the Woods, I chose to go the hilly route.   A little less distance but with bigger rolling hills.  As I came back out onto the main McCormick Drive, I heard the familiar chattering of the two women runners again.  I have to admit, they pushed me to pick up my pace!

Heading towards home I also saw the first set of runners and waved hello again as I charged up the final hill.  Into Quadrant, I felt quite a pull in my right knee.  Unfortunately, it's my bad knee and it's been stiff all week.  I pushed through the final 1/2 mile of my run but the pain was getting worse with each step. 

I made it home and was able to stretch.  I haven't had any pain since my run so hopefully it was just a one time event!  I managed to keep a 9'30"/mile pace for the 8 miles.  I think I could have shaved off a few more seconds if it had not been for the sore knee in the end.  Overall, another successful run!

On a side note, my friend Rory matched my 8 miles this morning for his longest run ever!  I am very proud of how far he has come.  Way to go my friend!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I ran naked!

Yep, I did it tonight...ran naked.  Get your minds out of the gutter...I ran without music, sheesh...who do you think I am?  It was just a short run around the YMCA, 25 laps in fact.  Running without music wasn't bad.  Most of the time my volume is so low's kind of like running without music.  I'm not sure I would want to do a 1/2 marathon without my music yet but it's a start. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I'm about 100 miles behind my goal right now.  Not exactly the words I'd like to be typing.  As you may know, I want to run 1000 miles this year.  I know I only ran 150 miles last year (since August) so anything more than that is an improvement...but I'm kind of an overachiever. what do I do now?  Change my goal?  Push harder?  I know it's still early in the year but the year is 1/4 of the way done too. 

I seem to be having a problem finding the time to get out on the road.  Between the kids, work, rain, life...time is hot commodity.  I guess I will just keep pushing myself forward.  I think I am going to focus on smaller achievements right now.  Like setting goals per month instead of the overall year goal.  Stepping stones seem to help me.  I know I have more in me! 

So I am sending out a shout out for help!!!  Help me set a goal for April! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Half Fanatic!

I did it!  I hit one of my goals this year!!! 

I am officially Half Fanatic #905 :) 

Erik also qualified a month ago but waited to sign up with me so our numbers were aligned.  He is officially #906!  I qualified with 3 Half Marathons in 85 days.  Erik qualified with 3 races in 78 days. 

If you want more information on the Half Fanatics or want to know how to qualify, here is their link!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dizzy Daze 1/2 Marathon - Seattle, WA

This was a beautiful course around Green Lake in Seattle!  It was a wonderful, low key event that I will definitely run again.  The scenery was lovely, the other runners (even those not running the race) were very encouraging, the staff who put the race on were very organized and friendly, and it was overall just a wonderful event!

My alarm went off at 4:45am.  Ugh...have I mentioned I'm not the greatest of morning people?  Well...I hit snooze.  5am rolled around and my second alarm went off.  I guess it was time to get up.  Luckily, I have an awesome husband who gathered up most of my racing stuff for me the night before so I didn't have much to do this morning.  I got out of bed, got dressed in my cute new long sleeved tech shirt for today's race (because I knew it was supposed to be colder with possible rain) and favorite Nike Dri-fit capris, did my hair and went downstairs.  Erik had already gathered up my armband for my GPS, my headphones, my electrolytes, a banana, and my aleve. 

Once Erik was ready we took off for Seattle.  As always, we made a pit stop at Starbucks for my usual pre-race tall drip coffee with 1 splenda and cream.  We had stopped in Federal Way so I was able to eat my banana and sip my coffee on the way to Seattle from there.  We found the starting point without any problems.  I checked in and got my goody bag.  I was #167 this race.  I was told if I wanted to start early I could or I could wait until 8am.   I decided to hit the restroom and go for the early start. 

To complete the 1/2 marathon I had to do 4 laps of the lake on the outer course.  The first mile of each loop of the lake was always the hardest for me.  There were the most obstacles on the course there.  Lots of tree roots coming out of the ground, curbs to go up and down, and pipes sticking out of the ground.  Once I got past that though, it was easy sailing!  Erik was hiding out waiting to take pictures of me as I ran is one:

While I was out on the course I realized...I want to join a running group...BAD!  I passed several groups out running together talking, running, having fun...I want that.  I also loved running around the lake because the other runners were so supportive of the racers.  I passed another woman who was going the opposite direction as me at least 3 of the loops and she was cheering me on every time we passed each other.  It was so nice!

Once I arrived back to the starting point of Lap 1, the organizers of the race told me I had won a prize!  I have never won a prize for racing other than the consolation medals and things.  I was so excited that I think I picked up my pace for Lap 2!  3/4 of the way through Lap 2, I saw Erik standing there with a water bottle. husband and water!  He's been injured for the last month but he decided to try and run a mile with me.  It was great to finally have some company :)  I had one minor interruption when a giant lab thought I was his mom and he decided to lunge at me.  That threw me off a bit but I kept going. 

Lap 3 was the hardest physically for me.  I stopped at the check-in tent to empty my shoes of all the gravel they had collected from the trail I had been running on.  That ate up about 1 minute of the clock but it was so worth it to not be stepping on rocks anymore.  The rain they had predicted had also started at the beginning of Lap 3 which made me very cold.  My hands had turned so purple and they hurt to bend them through most of this lap.  Oh yeah, I almost totally bit it on one of those tree roots too!  That's a problem with me when I don't wear my glasses to run...can't see too far ahead of me :)

During Lap 3, I also really wanted to stop off at the restrooms again but I knew from the tent that I was on pace to PR again.  I didn't want to take anymore time off the clock then I had to so...I kept on running.  The worst problem though...I realized that the band aid I had but under my bra line (like I always do) had come loose.  I knew there was something wrong but didn't want to stop to look.  What I came to find out at the end of the race was that my bra had rubbed me so raw I had bled through my bra and even through my new tech shirt!  Ugh!!! 

Final Lap!  What glorious words!!!  I still hadn't stopped except to empty my shoes so I thought, what the heck...I'm going to try and run the whole thing!  Mile 10 was fine.  I think I was still pacing to finish around 2:05.  Mile 11, I felt myself starting to slow.  My breathing was still great.  Actually, it was the best it's ever been in a race.  I was never once gasping for air.  It was a nice, constant rhythm but I felt my body starting to tell me that it had never run this far without stopping.  Oh oh!  I found myself talking to myself..."Come on Sharon!  You are strong!  You've got this! Just pass this guy!"  What ever it took just to will by legs to continue.  I came up to the only crosswalk in the whole race and my legs started to walk.  I thought, "What the heck are you doing?  Keep going!"  So, I forced them to run some more.  I also kept looking around hoping that maybe Erik was waiting along the course to finish the last mile with me.  Like the great husband he is, he was waiting at the finish line with a camera in hand :)

As I approached the finish line the group of organizers started clapping and yelling for me :)  What a great feeling!  I made the final loop around the parking lot and finished in a time of 2:08:27!  A new PR for me :)  It's amazing what torture we can put our bodies through and yet feel so good afterwards.  By the way, my prize was an Asics Hat!  I was stoked because I have been wanting a new running hat. 

p.s.  This race also allowed me to complete my miles for the #cupcakemarathon!  That would be my first marathon ever :)  Who cares if it was over a few days time?!?  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Playlist!

Finally updated my playlist just in time for tomorrow's race!  Not in any particular order because I will hit shuffle anyway.  It's random as always!  Here it is:

Bad Influence - P!nk
Violet Hill - Coldplay
American Girl - Tom Petty
Gotta Be Somebody - NickelbackUse Somebody - Kings of Leon
Sing - My Chemical Romance
Wonderwall - Oasis
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack
All I Hear - Train
I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At the Disco
Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine
Sober - P!nk
If I Had You - Adam Lambert
Loser Like Me - Glee
The Best Thing About Me is You - Ricky Martin/Joss Stone
Please Forgive Me - David Gray
Breakeven - The Script
Beautiful Day - U2
She's On Fire - Train
Liquor Store Blues - Bruno Mars
Alright - Darius Rucker
Rockstar - Nickelback
Toes - Zac Brown Band
Let It Roll - Train
Waka Waka - Shakira
Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
Forever - Chris Brown
Funhouse - P!nk
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Coming Home - Train
Message to Myself - Melissa Etheridge
UBerlin - REM
Free - Zac Brown Band
It's A Great Day To Be Alive - Travis Tritt

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not the best running day

Something was just off today.  I woke up early enough to go for at least a 3-5 mile run this morning.  I hopped onto my new treadmill (new to me, but used) and began my run.  That's when everything bad began.  The treadmill's belt seems to be too loose.  I decided to still give it a try though since it was dark out when I began my run.

Within the first .50 miles of my run though, the GPS kept shutting off.  Not once, not twice, but four different times!  VERY IRRITATING!!!  I know I could run without my GPS but I am really trying to log my miles right now and I prefer to use that tool to help me out.  I decided it was time to give up for the morning and try again after work.

Once I was off work, I decided to give the treadmill another shot.  Bad news, same thing kept happening.  I hung in there for 1.15 miles but the loose track and bad GPS was so frustrating that I took myself outside and went for a quick lap around the neighborhood. 

I'm glad I did!  I paced my fastest mile of the year to date 7'55"/mile.  WOOHOO!  I think all that anger was helpful in today's run.  I only accomplished 1 more mile though because it was starting to rain.  Like I said, today just was not the best running day for me.  I hope it went better for everyone else!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Taking a little break.

I decided I need to take a break  Okay maybe not a break...just choose a new start date for my P90X program.  I don't know why I decided to start it a 1 1/2 weeks before a half marathon!  What was I thinking?!?  Plus, I already had to take a 3 day break from it for ophthalmology conferences in Seattle. 

I was really enjoying the program...even if it was just a little sample of it.  I can't wait to get the resistance bands to improve my workouts and also the pull-up bar.  I can already tell this is going to be a kick-ass program!  So with that being said...I will put it off until after my half marathon on Saturday.  After that...I will take it on full force!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A quick run

The weather has been so bi-polar lately and today I wasn't taking any chances.  Looking out the windows of the house, to one the other side....clouds.  My choice, gym!  Off to the YMCA I went.

I was hoping to get in a long run because I need to log some miles before my upcoming half marathon but unfortunately my run got cut short.  The YMCA track was pretty busy this morning.  The first three miles of my run started off fine.  People were following the lanes properly but at about mile 3.5 is when my "runner's rage" kicked in (here's to you @Runnergirltrain).  People started wandering into my lane and taking up the whole track as they decided to have social hour.  UGH!

I passed the culprits about 10 more times before I had to actually yell at them.  As I was approaching the 5, yes 5, people taking up the WHOLE track while chatting away...I kindly yelled out "runner" about 20 feet before I got to them.  They didn't budge.  10 feet to them I yelled "RUNNER" louder...nothing!  They didn't move at all.  So here came the runner's rage.  I had to physically turn sideways and bust through the opening in the wall of people with my hands in the air as I kindly said "runner" again!  I may have *brushed* them too.  Oh well, they shouldn't have taken up the whole track.  Did I mention that the lap before that I had to go out on to the carpet (off the track to avoid the same people)?

Needless-to-say, a could of laps after that and I was done.  I was not going to risk injury to get extra miles in.  I hate letting others determine my workout time but I wasn't going to let them ruin it for me.  The plus side is that I averaged a 8'57/mile average.  :)

Power Song of the Day: Jesus Walks - Kanye West

892.54 miles to 1000 miles for the year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

P90X - Day 2

Well, I managed to get my butt up and out of bed at 5:10am today!  That is hard for me to do but if I want to work out in peace then that's what I have to do.  Today's workout Plyometrics.  This is the disc that I've heard is the one to watch out for.  Everyone always told me how hard it is.  I have to really wasn't that bad.

Maybe it's because most of my workouts are so cardio based anyways.  I didn't have any trouble keeping up with Tony and the crew through all the lunges, squats and jumps.  I had to modify a couple of them for fear of waking up the family so early in the morning.  Instead of doing the Rock Star jumps, I did more squats and instead of the Mary Katherine jumps I still did the May Katherines' without jumping (more of just lunging). 

It was a good way to start my day.  Also, I am happy to report...not very sore from yesterday :)  A little sore in the shoulders but that's it. 

I wanted to go for a run tonight but my 3 year old wasn't having it.  That is one of the downfalls to being a full time working parent.  My son has to go to daycare all day and doesn't want to go to the gym daycare once I get home.  After I am home, it's full-on "Mommy-Brycie" time.  He's worth giving up the time for :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

P90X - Day 1

I decided since I hit my goal weight a while ago, it is time to hit my fitness goal....TO TONE UP!  After much consideration, I chose the P90X program.  I know people who have completed it, who haven't completed it, who liked it, who got great results, who got their butts kicked...sounds like my kind of workout.

I am going to go with the Classic program.  I will see how it goes.  My heart tells me to choose the Lean program because it is cardio based but that is the reason I am not going that route.  It would be too close to what I am currently doing and I need to push myself a little harder. 

I did the Chest and Back disc today.  I don't currently have the pull-up bar so I did have to modify the program a bit.  Everytime they did something on the pull-up bar, I just did overhead weights in the same fashion as the pull-up.  I also modified some of the push ups. 

Unfortunately, I have what is called an "essential tremor."  Think of Katherine Hepburn.  I have an uncontrollable tremor that acts up when I am overexerted, nervous, too cold, and eventually just with age.  It's not common with people my age but none-the-less, I have it.  When I do certain strength based exercises (like push ups and one legged activities) my tremor goes into overdrive!  It's not your normal shake that comes with exercise either. :)

Anyway...I had to modify some of the push ups, like the decline push ups, because my tremor was interfering.  I substituted with planks instead.  Still a good workout but with a stable base! :)  The diamond push ups were also a struggle so I just did those at an incline against the back of my couch. 

I finished my workout with the Ab Ripper X DVD.  WOW!  That made me sweat!!!  15 minutes of core, abs, and stability.  I know I will see results with that one in no time.  Again, some modifying because of my tremor.  Holding my tremor filled legs straight up is quite difficult but I pushed through.  I can't wait to see the results in the next 90 days. 

Next on the to-do a tape measure.  I have to measure myself so I have before and after results.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I love Sundays!

I really do!!!  It's the day that I get the time to do a full workout in.  Today was another butt-kicking session with Amy at the YMCA.  It was an intense 45 minute spin class today!  Half way through we did a 13 minute hard hill climb that I was fully sweating through.  As she finally let us sprint down the hill the class began to cheer.  Amy couldn't figure out why...until we all noticed the the overhead fans weren't on!  The wind from the fans made me feel like I was pedaling even that much faster!

After class I went for a nice jog around the track.  I have been sick for a majority of the week and today was the first day that I could breathe through my nose...I planned to take full advantage of it.  About a mile into my run, I noticed my neighbor, Rob, was on the track.  We usually run about the same pace so I joined him and had company for the remainder of my run.  At mile 2, there was a girl who I met on Wednesday who was also running.  She and I keep a similar pace and she had given me some nice encouragement the other day.  So as Rob and I ran by her, I tapped her on the arm and she joined in. 

It really was so nice to have a group to run with today!  It is rare for me since I am so used to running by myself.  I didn't get the name of the girl who I ran with since we were focused but we agreed to meet up again on Wednesday.  I may have finally found a running buddy!!!

1         9:30           9'30"
Power Song of the Day: Waka Waka - Shakira
897.19 miles to 1000 miles for the year!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dick & Rick Hoyt

This is such an amazing father and son. What a true inspiration!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

81 Laps

That's how many laps it takes to run 9 miles at the YMCA I go to...and I ran it today.  I actually ran a little further but my GPS was off.  I am now .18 miles away from 100 miles for the year!  It's funny when you run around the see all sorts of crazy things. 

Here are a few I saw today:
  1. A woman dressed in full hiking gear, along with giant backpack, walking the track. 
  2. A man doing tae-kwon-do as he did laps around the track
  3. A elderly man do physical therapy rehabilitation (the wrong way on the track) with the assistance of 2 helpers. 
  4. A lady who did her whole workout on the elliptical one handed because she was holding a book the entire time in her other hand.
  5. A man who wore a tuxedo t-shirt for his workout and another man in a pharmacy/lab coat looking t-shirt.
  6. Another lady who talked on her cell phone through her whole elliptical workout.
It's easy for me not to think about much while I am running but some of the people I came across today made go hmmm.....

Power Song of the day:  Let's See How Far We've Come - Matchbox20

900.18 miles to 1000 for the year. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

This journey

It's funny, I've had a lot of people comment to me lately about how "tiny" I look.  I'm not sure if it's a compliment or more of a statement?!?  The thing that makes me sad is that my current size is actually the size I have been for a majority of my life...I just lost control of it for a while.  I'm happy to say I won't be going back to the way I was when I lost my direction!

Let me show you why...

This is me at my heaviest:
Like I said...I lost control.  I got married to my wonderful husband in April 2005 and put on some "happy weight".  I had our last child in July 2007 and he was my "excuse" for not losing the weight.  I lost my mom to lung and brain cancer in April 2007 then I lost my dad to the same thing in June 2009.  Again, very sad...but more excuses. 

In September 2009, my husband and I went on vacation and I can honestly say that when I saw our vacation pictures I was disappointed in myself.  It was at that moment that I had my "A-HA" moment!  I picked my husband up after a Seahawks game and drove straight to the local YMCA and signed up our whole family! 

After a year of butt-kicking spin classes, becoming a smiling runner :), and learning how to actually eat a true portion size of food...

The rest is history.

So here we are March 2011, almost 45 lbs lighter, I am back down to my healthy, normal self.  The self that I am familiar with, the self that people who have known me in the last few years will grow to recognize as my normal self and not my "tiny" self,  and the people who may just be getting to know me will always know as just Sharon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

10 miles to go

Actually a little less then that to reach my first 100 miles for the year.  I'm not going to lie - I am happy and sad about this both at the same time.  I am happy because I can't believe I have run almost 100 miles this year but I am sad because I thought I would have already accomplished this by now.  Since my goal is to run about 80 miles a month on average - I should have been there and done that.  Regardless... overcoming a stress fractured foot to start the year and training for my 3rd half marathon in 90 days...I am still a happy runner!

Which brings me to my accomplishments this week.  I have already run a total of 23.57 miles this week!  Phew...I am tired.  I think that is the furthest I have ran in a week combined.  Not bad for someone who just began running in August of last year.  I must say, I have MUCH respect for marathon runners.  I can't believe they can make their legs run that far in a single race :)

Anyways, I am proud of myself this week.  I found my mojo again (even if it meant running at the gym) and I was able to run 5 times this week, 4 days were in a row!  Half Fanatics here I come!!!!

Power Songs this week included:  The Finish Line - Train 
                                                    Born This Way - Lady Gaga
                                                    Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire Sndtrk

909.22 miles to 1000 miles for the year!

p.s.  Thanks Rory for making me check out Twitter.  I know I was reluctant to do so but I have met some amazing runners there and it's a great forum to expand my running family!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lunch break run

The weather had been bi-polar all morning but the sun was shining bright during my lunch break so I decided to hit the pavement.  It seemed like a good idea at the time :) 

As I headed down the road I was going at a pretty quick pace for me.  I was averaging in the 8 minute/mile range.  Holding steady for the first mile too.  Then I as I got to the Manette Bridge all hell broke loose!  A massive hail storm decided to open up on me and I was being pelted in the face.  It was horrible!  It was too late to turn back now because I was nearly at the halfway point any direction that I was going to go.

As I began crossing the bridge, I slowed to a walk and decided to hide next to a tarp (they are repairing the bridge right now).  Thankfully a bridge worker came up to me and offered to block the hail for me so I could continue across.  I walked alongside him for a little bit then thanked him and told him I was ready to brave the weather again.  I guess chivalry isn't dead :)

Up 11th street I went.  I managed to hit every red light.  Typical!  Turned at headed towards the Warren Avenue Bridge.  My left ribs have been sore lately and recently my chiropractor told me I popped my rib out of place...  Well, as I was crossing the bridge, I felt like maybe my rib slipped out of place again.  I had to walk for a good portion of that bridge too. 

I made it back to work in one piece!  I still managed to finish the 3.1 miles in 29:31 minutes.  Not bad despite the weather and pain in my ribcage.  Hopefully the next run will be less eventful :)

Power Song of the Day: Viva La Vida - Coldplay

926.7 miles to 1000 miles for the year.