Saturday Morning Training Runs

I don’t know about you, but my sleep schedule has been messed up for the last week due to the Olympics. I absolutely love watching the Summer Olympics. I like Winter too, but being a former swimmer and now a runner and swim coach, there’s just something about the Summer ones that gets me every time. So as a result, my body is screaming at me for even attempting to get up at 5am to go workout.

But this past Friday night, I stayed up to watch the swimming events at night and with the heat that was taking place the next morning combined with the humidity, I just was NOT looking forward to a long run on Saturday Morning. It was the last thing I wanted to do. My running buddy on my Saturday mornings, texted and asked if we were running. Again I desperately wanted to so NO, I’m running inside. But I didn’t. I said sure and we set up a time to meet and get rolling.

Saturday morning came, and my alarm went off at 4:57am. I KNOW! It’s earlier than my weekday alarm, but I was up and ready to go in no time. I was excited to get out there with my new shoes and planned my outfit around the Olympics. I know what you’re thinking, who plans a training run outfit? Well this girl does, especially for long runs because why not?

Durning my Saturday run, my friend and I were talking about how easy it is for us to get up on a Saturday earlier than we should have to but have such a hard time during the week to get up. As we continued talking about it, we went on to say how we both enjoyed the early morning time to get our run in and to enjoy each other’s company all while talking about what happened during the week. It’s funny how the conversation goes from one topic to another and it lets the miles fly by. I’m so grateful for that.

And how perfect is this?!?! Another awesome friend of mine just texted this to me.IMG_2482

Marathon Training – Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

I’m the first to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with running. I use to cry when I would have to run for swimming. It was the DEATH of me. Somewhere I started to hate running a little less and starting to find the beauty of it. I don’t know when that changed but it did.

3 Years ago when a coworker asked if I would consider signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon, I didn’t hesitate. I said “Yes” right away. It was only after that I signed up that I began to think “Oh biscuits, what did I get myself into?”.  The reality set in that I was going to run a marathon. Who was I? Who was this person that hated running and yet she signed up for a marathon?

There were lots of trials that went with that training. The wrong shoes were a big part of it. I was dealing with a lot of knee pain and didn’t know if I wanted to go through with what I had said “YES” to. I can, still to this day, remember my longest training run of 2013. 20 miles. 6.9 miles more than I had ever gone in a race. I had diligently mapped out my route and knew where these 20 miles were going to take me. I had chosen to run alone in 2013 because I was “slow” and because who else wants to spend 4-5 hours running on a Saturday morning. I walked in from that 20 miles, and my poor mother got the brunt of my tears and frustration. I walked the last 8 miles home. I still got those 20 miles, but in the process got blisters on my feet. I was maybe 3 weeks away from my race and I didn’t know how I was going to conquer these 26.2 miles. Luckily, the people that came out to spectate and my coworker helped get me through the first 10 miles. The last 16 were on my own since I started walking more. I would cry every time I saw my Mom and Sister along the course. I ended up walking the last 6 miles and still finished. I got that coveted medal.

Fast forward 3 years to 2016 and yet again I find myself training for a marathon (or 2). I am now looking for people who will run with me to help keep me accountable. I have my mainstays and definitely look forward to running with them. I’m slower than I was before, but you know what I’m still running. I’ve been laid up this past week with a hurt foot but hope to get back out there soon. I have races to run. I have my moments where I’m ok with my runs and other times, I’m thinking to myself, why am I doing this yet again. 13.1 or less is just fine. HAHA. I got new shoes, so I’m hoping that that was the issue that caused my foot to hurt and cause me to not walk all of Saturday after I came home from my 8 miles. And yes, I did everything you hear not to do and run injured. I totally knew my foot was acting different and ran anyways. OOPS!

So I’m planning to get back on track this weekend after a few days off. I know I’ve been struggling with staying up late watching the Olympics and then shutting off my alarms to get up early to sleep a bit more. Anyone else having that issue? Once swimming is over, I’ll try to be better about going to bed around my normal time so I can get up to go run.

Marathon Training – Week 8

I can’t believe we are are already in week 8 of training. I know I picked a 30 week plan so I have 22 more weeks of running before my first marathon. You know, just saying that makes it seem like it’ll be here in no time.

My training has been spotty due to work and injuries. But that is no excuse, well maybe the injury part. Just a little bit….ok. Next week I plan to get my act back in gear with the help of Jen from PinkCupcakeGirl.

We’re going streaking!!!! During June, I’m planning on running at least 1 mile EVERY DAY! 1 mile! That’s it. You can walk it, jog it, run it, skip, hop or jump it. Just 1 mile. If you run more…great! But the key is to keep going from June 1 all the way to June 30. Think you can do it with me?

Make sure you follow myself (runnerchick29 on IG) and Jen (pinkcupcakegirl on IG) and anyone else that you want to follow during this challenge. We’ll encourage each other and make sure that we get this streak completed and rocked!

Who else is is going streaking?!

Things Happen For a Reason

I’ve had quite the last few interesting months. At one point I was working 3 jobs a day, planning a weekend for my sister and her friends to celebrate her upcoming wedding, and not to mention trying to find the time to run or even just workout.

Coaching ended so I got some of my nights back, but I was still getting up early to work at the fitness studio 3 days a week so I could have my Sunday back. That was amazing. To have one of my weekend days back, YES! I could attempt to get things done after Church. But then I did the crazy (and some may even say stupid) thing of signing up for 2 marathons that are 14 days apart. Um, say what? Yes, I signed up for 2 marathons that are 14 days apart. You can read about that craziness here. So I knew that I had to really reign in my training knowing that I didn’t want to slack and have the possibility of getting injured so that I then couldn’t participate in the second marathon. I want my Marathon Maniac status!

So I did the only sensible thing, and turned in my resignation to the fitness studio. It was a sad day, I didn’t want to do it but knew that it had to be done. But I gave them a month to find someone to take my shifts. Lucky me, they found someone sooner and so I’ve been able to start running again in the mornings. It’s been a wonderful thing.

I also think that me signing up for these 2 marathons were telling me to stop and to slow down a little. I was packing my days so full that I didn’t have time to breathe. With me now training properly, I am able to sleep, eat, talk to friends and relax when I need to.

Everything happens for a reason, even those difficult decisions to take a leap of faith and know that everything will be fine on the other side.

Insta Friends to Real Life Friends

So I started this blog over a year ago and last year the post went a lot better than this year. I don’t know, I just feel I’m not as interesting. I promise to change that as the year goes on. 🙂

We all have those friends that we know by their user name and come to look for interaction with. I have met some really awesome and wonderful friends, who I have not met yet because we met on social media but I hope that changes sooner rather than later.

I don’t know exactly when we became friends, friends, but I do know this past January I was IG stalking one of my most come to be known awesome friends as she was getting ready to run the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. Stlrunnergirl! I feel like that’s a superhero name! Anyways, I direct messaged her for her last name asking for her last name so I could track her during her races. I know, stalker right? But by this point I had followed her training and told her that she had this, and all of this too! She kindly obliged and I tracked all of her races. Not to mention, she did phenomenal! And I’m totally jealous that she has done Dopey! It’s on my bucket list. Not to mention we found out that we have the SAME first name spelled exactly the same way!!! That NEVER happens!

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A few weeks later here in Virginia, we got SLAMMED with snow. I was dog sitting so I had to clear the driveway and sidewalks so the family didn’t get hit with some fines. Mind you we got 36ish inches of snow. And yes, you read that right, 36ish. While I was over at this house we were talking constantly through the direct message from IG. We quickly learned that neither one of us were harmful and I shared my number with her. I shared lots of pictures of the snow, and boy there was lots of it to share. It literally took weeks to melt and took several days for some roads to see plows. But I still talked to my friend @stlrunnergirl.

It’s been a few months and since then and we continue to text daily! And by daily I mean that we are talking throughout the day. From sun up to past sun down. I know right. I even somehow convinced her to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon Lottery. Which we both got in, and that will be the first time that we actually meet in person! I’m so excited for that. Kristin has been an amazing encourager and supporter for all of my events throughout the year so far. I mean she event told me that she was going to run 10 miles virtually while I ran my 10 mile race without training!!!! Who does that?

I’m so grateful that I’ve met Kristin. She’s been one in a million with encouraging me and helping me through my tough running times. I’m so grateful that she agreed to come out and run the Marine Corps Marathon with me. She’s a true friend and I can’t wait to meet her in person.

Do any of you all have a friend from social media that you can’t wait to meet?

 

Marathon #3 – Athens, Greece

I have super huge news! My sister, uncle and I had been discussing this for quite some time. And some time being around a year or so. We started last year talking about signing up for the Original Marathon. The one that started it all! Athens, Greece!!!!!!

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Serious discussions started when we were at my Grandmother’s funeral in August. I kept thinking that this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and how exciting that it would be. I’ve never run any races with my uncle. My sister and I have done a handful of half marathons, a decent amount of 5ks together and a handful of other races. But this will be the first time we are all running a marathon together. My uncle and my sister are going to blow me out of the water. They are amazing runners and I can’t wait to experience this with them. It’s going to be one pretty awesome experience.

If you don’t know the history behind the marathon here is a mini recap for you. The original marathon started after the Battle of Marathon when Pheidippides ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens, Greece to relay the victory to the citizens. Unfortunately he was only able to exclaim, “We were victorious!” before he collapsed and died. Now, I don’t want that to happen to us that are running that marathon. And it’s hard to believe that us runners still compete in the marathon event after such a horrible start.

Last night we booked our trip and I’m so glad that my Mom is going with us to experience this with us. She won’t be running but she’ll be there with open arms and our official photographer (She doesn’t know that yet). To say that I’m geeking out about where the finish line is would be an understatement. I’m super excited to be finishing (fingers crossed) in the 1896 Olympic Stadium. Any athlete’s dream, well at least mine!

2016 Goals

Have you ever stared off the new year with big goals? And I mean REALLY BIG GOALS?!

This year I have and the biggest one has been to train for my 3rd marathon which happens to be outside of the US and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s the original marathon, the one that started it all. The Athens, Greece Marathon! The one that ends in the 1896 Olympic stadium!

As a former swimmer and collegiate swimmer this is bigger than you realize! Just running in that stadium will be a fan-freaking-tastic memory but the fact that I will be there with my sister, cousin, and uncle will be an unmemorable memory!!

I can’t wait to make this happen and this will definitely be one of the highlights of 2016! I can’t wait to show you pictures and to make it happen! This is going be one fantastic year!

NYC Marathon Week!

I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m scared. I have moments where I think “I so have this” and then I definitely have those moments where I think, “Oh crap, what did I get myself into”.

2 years ago, I set out to run and finish the 28th Marine Corps Marathon. I never thought I would finish. I walked the last 6 gosh darn miles just to get to the finish line. I told myself never again. (Doesn’t everyone say never again, but then never say never) And here I am 2 years later gearing up for my second marathon. Whew. I never thought this weekend would get here and I always thought it was lightyears away. But there’s still 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and still time got away from me. Or at least so it seemed.

I haven’t made a dent in packing. I’m still working on that. I do have my list made! And I have definitely added to that. I’m like any other runner, carefully watching the weathering and adjusting my precious race day outfit. Do I wear long sleeves or a tank top. I still haven’t picked out which sparkle skirt to wear and then what visor goes with that.I’ve heard rumors that you should dress for 20° over what the weather will actually be. And if it stays true to what it’s saying now, I’m going to be HOT! But then how do I carry everything that I’d like to have with me. My phone (music and picture/selfie taking, hello!) and gels, and my license and credit cards. Oh and I can’t forget the chapstick. I’ll definitely be using that on race day. Where does this all go?!

When I first made my list, it was suppose to be cooler than what is on the 10 day map, that we are now down to 5 days…eeek! Luckily I start at around 10:40am, but I’ll still be sitting for awhile playing the waiting game. That’s ok, I’m sure this won’t be the last time that happens. I’ve been patiently trying to get my music squared away, still working on that piece. So much fun to go back through my playlist to see what I’ve bought over the years and what could surprise me on race day again. It might just be he 26 songs I currently have on my playlist to keep me entertained. That could get boring though, I’ll be out there for 5+ hours.

I leave Friday morning for NYC and can’t wait. So many new opportunities and adventures. I’m thrilled to be running NYC Marathon and there may be a few tears as well, that’s ok. I’ll be overwhelmed sure, but I’ll be so happy to accomplish another 26.2 miles. It’s all about finding joy in the journey and believing in yourself enough to get this done!

Now, where’s my list to keep working on it?

20 Days and Counting…

…until I attempt my second marathon. Since my training has been completely lackluster and sporadic at best it’s going to be a very slow run. This past weekend, I was able to get in 17.2 miles in about 3 hours and 30 minutes. I split up my mileage since my mental toughness just isn’t there. So I was shooting for 15-20 miles with 20 miles being what I was suppose to do. Thinking that if I got anywhere within those 15-20 miles, I would be a happy camper.

So, after much contemplation, I started out on my 7.75 mile run to a local OrangeTheory Fitness. (If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend them). The entire time I was running to this class, I was cursing my plan. It felt like forever to run those 7.75 miles. I ran on a local trail and the entire way down there, then hopped off to go enjoy an Orange class that totally kicked my butt. Yesterday afternoon, I was starting to feel the delayed onset muscles soreness. Oh geez, I look like an old lady trying to stand up and walk again.

After class, where I ran 1.7ish miles on an incline (killed my legs), I headed back to the trail to run home. I was so sore, and felt like I was going to struggle the entire way home. About 1-2 miles into my run, more like 2, I stopped at a bridge and just sat down. Doubt really started to creep in and I really started to wonder what I got myself into. I sat there for a minute and had a GU (Salted Watermelon, YUM) and a kind biker came by and asked if I was ok. I didn’t think I looked that bad, but I’m sure glad that he asked. So after a few minutes, I continued on my way and made it a few more miles down the road before I stopped again. I sat on this bench that’s along the trail. I only had a few miles left to go, but mentally needed a break. I was walking more on the way back than what I wanted but the miles still needed to be done and miles are still miles. 🙂 So I ate my last Salted Watermelon GU, sat on the bench and responded to some texts that had come in while I was running. And after another few minutes, I started on my way again. My legs were feeling tired but good and I was able to keep myself going. I made it up a huge hill, and then sat down again (I know, I know, I won’t be able to stop during the marathon).

But I made it home…it only took me 13 more minutes on the trip home (stops don’t count). So in all, it totally worked and I did get those 17 miles in. I accomplished my goal of trying to get 15-20 miles. It was slow, but I got those darn miles. I feel like I’m more confident in getting those miles completed on 1 November in NYC. I may attempt another long run this weekend to shoot for 20 miles total. But that has yet to be seen.

I can’t believe that I’m this close to running my second marathon. EEK!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Let’s Talk Music

Do you use your music to workout? To fill silence? To just jam out to?

I use music to fill the silent void when the silence is about to drive you crazy. I also use it to workout all the time. I must have music for my workouts. It’s just something that I’ve come to NEED. It’s just mindless beats that help keep me going.

I’ve ventured from people like The Piano Guys (classical, awesome group!) to Pitbull and FloRida (rap-ish). I love to have a variation but I also like music that will keep me upbeat and moving. (Get the moving theme here?) Besides it helps tick the minutes away as I’m working out. Nothing is worse than counting down the  minutes until you’re done with a workout. It’s the same reason that if I”m running on a treadmill, I cover how far I’ve gone so I’m not playing mind games with myself and saying “Oh MMMMM GEEE, I just went .05 miles…this is going to take forever.” HAHA I think we’ve all played that game at some point.

My NYC Marathon playlist that I started...and still looking for more songs!

My NYC Marathon playlist that I started…and still looking for more songs!

So with my upcoming marathon, I have started a playlist of music that I want to listen to while I am running for 5+ hours looking for the finish line. So far I have about 15 songs (not many for 5 hours) and in search of more. I’d love to hear what your favorite songs to work out to and add them to my playlist.

Cheers!