Monday, August 31, 2015

20 Miles = Ready

It’s been a couple days.  Too many honestly and if I go any longer than I really am not going to want to update this page and then I get so far behind it seems impossible.  So I am just going to go with the highlights for right now so I feel caught up and let the rest of it go by the wayside.  Saturday I ran a half marathon and then I proceeded to cross the finish line and turn around and run the 10k course and then a little extra to run an entire 20 miles.  Yup, my first 20 miles ever.

The thing of it is, this is EXACTLY what I needed and wanted.  This is the way I thought I would feel after I ran my 16 miles last week and instead felt like shit.  I felt pretty defeated honestly from that 16 mile run. It was so much harder than I thought it would be and I wanted to cry.  I could barely squeak out 16 miles and I was terrified of running another 10 on top of that.  I just felt BAD.  And mentally it was hard on me and therefore I was off and it was just yucky.

Fast forward a week. The weather forecast called for rains and winds on Saturday.  I was signed up for a half. I knew I would run the half in the rain if I had to, but I was reserving judgement of running more until I knew what the weather would do.  I was supposed to run 18.5 miles. That was the maximum top out distance on my marathon plan.  But honestly I’ve said it before that I feared my plan was not hard enough. I intentionally chose an easy plan because that is what I needed when I started to be comfortable with the idea of training.  Turns out I should have done a more complicated one.  Either way, 18.5 was what was on the agenda.  I was terrified given the nature of my 16 mile run.  But somehow I also knew that I had run many 13.1 races and felt great afterwards and like I could keep  going.  And yet last weekend at mile 8 I was done.  So I was hoping that it was just a fluke week and somehow running beyond 13.1 wouldn’t be as brutal. I didn’t really talk too much about my impending long run because I wanted to give myself an out if it was just miserable outside.  I don’t think I could have forced myself to run another 5.5-7 miles post running a half marathon if it was raining and miserable and I was cold and wet.  So  I just didn’t really talk about it.  I would have adapted and figured out something else.

We set our alarm Saturday morning for 5:00 AM.  The half started at 7.  But I was awoken at 4 AM to the most awful sounds of torrential downpours followed by thunder and lightning outside.  I was like, son of a bitch.  It kept going and going and I was not happy.  I really couldn’t get back to sleep either.  So at 5 I arose.  The thunder storm had subsided thankfully but it was still raining.  I tried to not get to bent out of shape about it because things change on a dime.  Plus I do have seriously some of the best runner weather luck known to man.  The universe is very good about supplying me clear skies just as I must run.  It rained during the entire drive to the race.  We parked.  I wasn’t thrilled.  It stopped raining. No joke.  It literally stopped raining as soon as we stepped out of the car.  The skies parted and we looked good to go.  Thankfully!!!  It was just windy. It wasn’t cold so I was good.  I could handle a little wind.

Tentatively I set the plan with Chris that we would run the half and then meet back at the finish and go out and run the 10k course.  It was the last part of the half course and I was hoping to squeak in with the half marathon walkers.  (We did catch them FYI).  It honestly could not have gone better than it did.

I started out and was trying to keep my cool.  Not go out to fast.  Try to pick a nice even pace to run at.  I honestly didn’t push myself too much and before I knew it had settled into around a 9:45 minute mile pace.  I had a moment where I was kind of beating myself up because the first couple miles I can run at like a 9:10-9:20 minute pace but then I had to remind myself that honestly, I needed to slow this bad boy down and pick a place where I was comfortable and could live with for a long while.  Part of my mess up last weekend was because I went out WAY to fast.  I burned out.  I wasn’t pushing myself crazy and honestly it felt pretty good.  The first couple miles ticked by and I felt fine.  But I kept reminding myself this was a very long race and I had a long ways to go yet. Just keep it at a nice comfortable, not going to fry myself out pace. 

I got to about mile 8 or 9, the place where I fell apart the last week and I still felt great.  Okay, it was a fluke I thought.  So I ran on.  I kept a really consistent pace for pretty much every single mile.  9:50, 9:56, 9:56, 9:55, 9:51, 9:47, 10:01, 9:55, 9:41, 9:38.  It was all right in there.  I felt great. I stopped and drank at most water stations.  I listened to my music. I never felt like I was truly taxing myself beyond the point of no return.  Typically around mile 10 or so I start to hit my tired wall.  It never came.  Maybe part of that is psyching yourself out knowing you are still going to run a lot more miles.  But I felt really good and I ended up cruzing into the finish line feeling awesome.  2:09:11 was my official half time.  Perfectly acceptable, considering how comfortable I felt.  This still beats my PR time from last year.  Funny right?  So I crossed the finish line.  Found Chris immediately. Did NOT sit down. Grabbed a bottle of water. Drank it. We walked to the car, tossed our medals in the car.  Took a few moments to regroup, drink water, and off we went towards the 10k course.  I still felt great.

So we started out and my legs easily found their pace once again.  I felt so good I couldn’t even believe it.  Chris was tired.  He was having more difficulty.  And I just wanted to run. I had to taper slowing down enough to encourage Chris with my desire to just run.  The first couple miles were rough for Chris so I had to slow down quite a bit to mentally push him on but after about 2 miles he found his groove again too.  So we ran on.  And my mile 17 was a 9:54 mile, mile 18 was 10:13, mile 19 was 10:08 and finally mile 20 was  9:49. VERY consistent.   I am not going to lie, I felt amazing.  Just slowing down my pace in this range was exactly what was needed.  I finished 20 miles in 3 hours 18 minutes, 11 seconds for a 9:54 minute mile average.  My one goal was to try and finish under a 10 minute mile pace, and I totally did it.  I was beyond shocked that I really literally RAN the entire 20 miles and I still felt great. I didn’t hit my wall.

At the end of 20 miles I was certain I could have run another 6.2 if I needed to.  Sure, eventually I might have hit a wall but I was close enough at that point.  When I started marathon training my only real goal was to finish and I expected to have to walk.  I never considered I could actually run the entire 26.2 miles but now, now I think I can.  I ran 20 miles and felt amazing.  Maybe it was a fluke of a day to?  But this is exactly what I was expecting to feel honestly.  Mind over matter.  I felt so good it wasn’t even funny.  And this is EXACTLY where I needed to head into Maui with.  This is what I needed to feel. Good, confident, like I could do it.  This was the overall best case scenario possible.  I ran 20 miles straight and felt great.  My confidence is thru the roof and honestly I think that is the only way you stand any chance of surviving a full on marathon.  Funny how 1 week difference can change everything so freaking much.  Black and white difference between the two weeks.

I just needed that one.  Every part of me needed that one.  And now I can breathe a sigh of relief because I did it.  I ran 20 miles and I feel ready.  Now today, is officially the start of taper. Yup, I get to taper now. Less miles for me as we approach my marathon. It’s less than 20 days away now.  The actual marathon.  Less than 18 days until I arrive on Maui.  Holy cow!  OMG.  But I am ready.  After this weekend I am ready.  And that is the most amazing feeling in the world.  I am going to run a marathon. I am really honestly going to run a whole marathon.  I am so ready to do this. And so glad I am now onto the taper.

So after the run I ate way too much. Not shocked about that. I mean, I did run 20 miles after all.  I just ate and ate all day. I tried to make it healthier foods. It wasn’t all awful.  It could have been worse. I didn’t track or measure or account for anything. I gave myself the one day to indulge.  Then yesterday the goal was really to rein it back in and do better.  I can handle 1 day of indulgence its two where I start to feel bad mentally.  I didn’t want to do anything yesterday but I got up and made myself get dressed in workout clothes and that really helped. 

I decided I was going to go to the gym and do an upper body workout. I have been missing the strength training and honestly am really looking forward to getting back into it after the marathon.  So I went to the gym and decided to warm up with a run.  My legs felt amazing yesterday. I was not sore in the least. Crazy right, considering I ran 20 miles.  But honestly felt better than I have in a long time.  So I ended up running 4 miles.  Felt great.  And then I tacked my upper body workout and that also felt so good.  I knew I would end up sore from it.  And sure enough I totally am sore today and it feels great too!

So then I came home, we went to the grocery store.  We came home, food prepped our chicken for dinner. Took the dogs for a walk. Made an excellent dinner, watched a movie and went to bed.  I woke up feeling great this morning because I was able to control myself yesterday.  I was able to actually eat healthy and not over indulge CRAZY and still workout and I feel really proud of what I was able to do.  Felt great this morning as a result.

And that happiness has carried me thru most of the day. The high from running 20 miles so successfully and then working out and feeling great and sore from yesterday and ready to finally get this all going.

And guess what else? Um, I booked my flight to Vegas for November.  I got an email about fall bonus rewards for air miles and I was able to use our air miles and score both Chris and I free flights to Vegas for the Rock N Roll run in November so that made me extra happy today.  Free flights!  So that’s a great thing as well.  Probably also contributing to my giddy happy today. 

But Alas, Amanda texted me and said her Grandpa died today and she was sad and crying and was going to leave work early and wanted to know if I could cover the class tonight at the gym.  I said of course. Basically it’s the same workout we did Thursday night which was great and brutal and it’s always the same people so I said sure, I would lead the class, get everything set up. It’s a circuit class so it’s go at your own pace. I don’t have to really do anything but explain and kind of keep people on track.  So tonight I am leading the class. What? But It’s cool.  So that’s going down tonight. Good times.  So here’s today’s adorable Fashion.

 And that is about all she wrote and I want to get this posted.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fashion Friday

Here is today's Fashion Friday post. Does anyone care?  probably not.  I don't even care. Ha Ha.  But I am a sucker for routine so I keep on doing this, week after week.  It happens. It's real.  And I post these for the hell of it.  mostly to amuse myself I suppose.  Clearly I love me some good fashion.  I hate it when an ensemble doesn't come together quite as well as you were expecting and then you feel less than motivated at the gym as a result.  Yup, that does happen.  This is why deep down I think fashion is important.  When I feel like I look good then I do work harder.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

2 days worth of nonsense

I didn’t post yesterday because life got cray busy and my boss was in the office all day. Boo. But whatever.  So quickly I’m going to just post all the collages from Tuesday night on.  Tuesday night I felt good and wanted to run some more so my workout was actually pretty good all things considered. 4 mile run and class.  I ran 10 total miles on Tuesday so that was cool.

Yesterday I just woke up feeling really off. I knew I was off.  I tried to keep it together most of the day and sometimes you are more successful at that than other days.

The afternoon DRAGGED. Probably because my boss was in the office. Oops.

I knew when I got to the gym that I was really feeling off and tired and didn’t want to do anything. All day yesterday was a mental struggle unfortunately. Some days are just like that.  But I still went to the gym.  I got there late because I didn’t get to leave work early because my boss was here and that made me just barely on time for class which meant no warm up.  Oh well.  Also my Garmin decided that it wasn’t charged yesterday. I could have sworn it was but maybe it got turned on in my gym bag all night and thus when I went to put it on, it was dead. Boo.  This on top of my already grouchy mood made me not a happy camper.

I took the 45 minute strength class which was good.  And then I had to run 3 miles. No part of me wanted to run last night.  This is one of those that was a total mental battle for me.  Funny how on Tuesday I was just feeling it and running was a total breeze.  Yesterday, it was pure torture. I seriously considered not actually running the 3 miles. Then I was like, but you need to and then I was like, I can lie and say I ran the 3 miles. Who would really know?  I could log it like I did it, and tell people I did. Would it really matter that much?  But of course we all know I can’t do that.  I suffered thru and ran the 3 miles. But not a single step more.  I was just done.  So I did exactly what I needed to do and I do feel better and a sense of relief for having done that.

I was just in a funky head place yesterday all around.  When I got home I did get a package from the Gap. Last week there was a crazy sale with some coupons and I ended up getting 7 shirts for like $25.00. Great deal.  So they came in and I tried them on. And this adorable little shirt made me happy.  It’s not exactly a crop top but it does go up a bit and show my stomach on some occasions if I move the right way.  Combined with short shorts, this is very daring for me but I actually felt pretty comfortable so that was a huge relief! Woo hoo. I think this looks like a cute Maui outfit, right?

Funny that it’s now getting close enough I can start thinking about actually packing clothes. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks until I leave. What??? Yup, 3 weeks.  Crazy.  Insane.

If I am being honest I think I have been off this whole week and I’m kind of wondering if it’s the week before I get my period making me all funky. But either way I also ate like shit and then ate too much and then mentally was just worried about the scale.  So much so that I considered NOT weighing myself this morning.  I hate it when I get in that mental game.  I broke some of my own rules and I did weigh myself a couple times this week and the numbers were not very pretty which is probably what helped to contribute to my terrible shit attitude all week.  I knew it was mostly all fake weight gain.  It was retention and bloat and despite not eating great there was simply no way I gained that much weight in a couple days.  I know this. I’m not a dummy.  I’ve been around this weight loss block a few times.

This morning I woke up and decided to just bite the bullet and do it.  That no matter what the scale said that I knew that next week would be better. That there was just some issues.  And I could love myself no matter what it said, if there was a gain or not. 


Yup, 135.9 which is technically up a tenth of a pound from last week. But a tenth… who the hell cares. That’s pretty much as close to a maintain as you are going to get and I will beyond take that! It’s technically possible I suppose I gained a tenth of a pound this week. Still not likely but this number is SOOO much better than any number I was seeing earlier in the week.  So there really is validity in waiting a full week to the same exact time and place and circumstances to weigh yourself.  You just can’t compare otherwise. 

I did feel better this morning. Probably because I can breathe a sigh of relief that I didn’t fuck everything up.  Seriously, I feel like my history tells me I have a tendency pre vacations to work really hard and then somehow the last couple weeks, especially the last 2 weeks I fizzle out.  It happens EVERY time.  I was having weird flashbacks of just going in a downward spiral for the next 3 weeks.  A maintain I will take.  That’s a TOTAL victory.

The plan for this week is to do better. The goal is to not eat everything and anything crappy this weekend.  After I run I want to eat, yes. I need to eat. Probably more than normal, but it needs to be good healthy stuff.  Stuff my body will actually benefit from.  I will feel good about everything and my weekend if I can say I at least put quality foods into my body.  That’s the goal.  No starvation.  No depravation.  Just good stuff.    This Thursday I feel like I dodged a bullet and now have a fresh start at a new opportunity this week to do better. My goal now is to finish these last 3 weeks out strong and not give up like I have tended to do so much in the past pre vacation.  I will NOT give up and throw in the towel and say fuck it early.  Stay strong and focused and dedicated.  I’m so close.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Plan Adjustment

Today’s update is really late because well life happens and it was a pretty busy day for me.  So this will be short and sweet and pretty much directly to the point.  Yesterday I hit the gym and wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. Well, I felt crappy going in because I felt like a total slob and detoxing and all.  But I got on the treadmill and ran.  I warmed up with a run and just took it easy for a few minutes, before well, starting to fly honestly.  I felt great. What?  Yup, I really felt good.  I knocked out 2 miles and then headed into class.  Class was another fun one. 7 rounds of 7 each of 7 different exercises.  Sweat session for sure.  Then afterwards I needed to run more.  I got on the treadmill and just felt so good that I kept going for another 3 miles.  Leaving me with a total of 5 miles run and class.  It was exactly what I needed. My body, my mind, my soul needed that run.  Someday are just like that.  It was good. 

 And just for the hell of it, this was one of yesterday’s Instagram posts.  I basically am just posting them here as documentation of my life.

Anyway, back to last night.  I came home, ate, and then ate some more, and then ate some more.  I was hungry. It was okay.  I did end up eating 4, yup 4 Greek yogurt cups.  They are only 80 calories a piece, so that is like 320 calories of yogurt but there are so many worse things than that and I just love them so much!  It’s all good.  I set out all my workout clothes for this morning and got everything ready to go.  The truth is, my marathon training plan has now shifted.  On Tuesdays they no longer require a 6.5 mile run, we are now down to 4.5 miles.  I just have this week left and then next week I start the taper.  What??? Yup, next week I move into taper which is less and less miles.  Crazy right?  So I knew I only needed to run 4.5 miles today.  I woke up at 5:30.  I got up. I turned on the coffee machine. I let the girls outside and it was dark. Like black as night and cold.  I was like, hmm, it’s almost September and my reasons for not running at night are getting less and less valid.  And boy did I just want to sleep.  So I made the executive decision that I was going back to bed.

I can run 4.5 miles at night. Hell I just ran 5 miles last night so I got this.  I crawled back into bed and snuggled with my dogs for another 2 hours.  And it was perfect.  I have to admit that the lack of sleep on previous Tuesdays really was affecting me all day long and then on Wednesdays too.  So I was like screw it, let’s sleep. BUT, I did formulate a new plan.

The new plan was this.  I would just wear my workout clothes to work because I have the chillest coolest office around and no one cares if I show up in full on workout clothes and then at lunchtime I would head over to the Snap Fitness that apparently I can go to with my membership card that is here close to my work.  The one I go to regularly is close to my house and it takes me 20 minutes to get there from work.  The one by work is like 5 minutes away.  I have never been to this location but I knew it was there.  Anyway, I decided that I could just take my lunch hour and run.  Yes, I’d be stinky and sweaty when I was done but oh well. I’ll dry.  Plus my work is again so chill.  I am typically the only one here anyway.  So long as I don’t do it all the time it would be fine.

So the plan was set in motion.  And I waiting until lunch time and did in fact drive to the gym.  I can tell you that I felt much more awake today and peppy.  Not actually getting up at 5:30 AM will do that.  Again, I only “needed” to run 4.5 miles per the plan.  But I was just like, we will see how I feel.  So I got on the treadmill and started it up.  This was a different treadmill than I was used to so it took me a few minutes to get it adjusted correctly.  This killed my pace for the first mile. It was a 10:40 something mile.  I was like whatever.  But then I was feeling really good so I upped the speed right away to a 6.2 and ran for a while.  Then I took it to a 6.3 and then a 6.4 where I ran up to a solid 4 miles.  And I was like, I SO got this. I was feeling AMAZING.  I went to 6.5 and I ran another 2 miles at 6.5 miles per hour.  I do not typically run this fast on a treadmill.  Treadmills are miserable typically.  But for whatever reason I was so full of energy and enthusiasm today that it just happened.  I ended up doing 6 miles in 57:29 and that included my 10:40 first mile.  So realistically I ran at a much faster pace than the 9:34 it clocked me at. But this was spectacular and I will take it. 615 calories burned.

 I felt totally redeemed for not having run in the morning.  Previous mornings I only ran 6.5 miles anyway so I was only doing ½ a mile less than I normally did.  All was still good.  But the good news is I felt so much better physically while doing it and I felt so much better this afternoon as a result of the run.  I did not feel sleepy and drained as waking up early makes me feel.  Yeah, yeah!  So this is all pretty much fabulous. I will take it all.  So I get to go to the gym again tonight and do different stuff. I will probably still do a warm up run before class to get my heart rate up there. I still feel fabulous and its almost 4 PM.  Honestly I feel better than I normally do at 4 PM on most days so I think the afternoon run was quite invigorating honestly.  So I will warm up with a mile run or so and then take the 30 minute abs/core class which I have previously mentioned how much I dislike. Good times.  And then I will do something. Probably some strength training. Something anyway.  I don’t know. 

I am on the final stretch of my marathon training and right now that is just getting my full attention.  Which is okay.  If the other stuff slides a little until after Maui, so be it.  This is where my heart  is fully at right now and it needs to be.  Speaking of that.  I posted this this afternoon. And I am just going to copy what I posted from Instagram because it says it all.

This right here is one of my favorite posts ever and I am going to tell you why.

I’ve talked a lot about how secretly it has always been my desire to run a marathon. But given my life history and the reality that I didn’t run my first race until about 2 years ago, it was a dream I kept buried deep. For years I ran on the treadmill and did NOT consider myself a runner. But that didn’t stop me from wishing that someday I could accomplish such an epic feat. In fact, for years I cut out running ads as motivation from various fitness magazines. In time, I assumed they were lost for the ages. This weekend I happened to open a long lost drawer and stumbled across a folder full of some of these torn magazine pages. And there it was. 26.2 miles of heart. I actually remember this ad vividly. I would read it and wonder if I’d ever be brave enough to run a real marathon.

I knew I kept this crazy dream in my heart for a long time. And sure enough, the bottom of one of those pages provided a date. April 2008. That’s well over 7 years ago my friends. For a minimum of 7 years but realistically longer, I have had this dream. I never ever spoke this dream out loud. I have no idea why. Fear. I am sure it was fear of failure. That is a very long time to carry around something that clearly means a whole lot to you.

And in exactly 24 days it’s going to happen. I am not even sure I’ve fully come to terms with the lasting ramifications of realizing a dream that I’ve carried around with me for so long. I can’t even put into words why it’s this important to me, other than it just is. Clearly. 7 plus years of wishing for it. And now it’s FINALLY going to happen. I can’t express at all how fulfilled crossing that finish line will make me. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. Imagine the day? Accomplishing this goal is a BIG deal.
I don’t even have the words to tell you what this will all mean. Because here is the real visible proof that 7 years ago I was hoping for this day. I now know that it simply was always meant to be. That destiny was someday going to lead me to both that start and finish line. I AM a REAL runner. End of Story.

Seriously, in all honesty I’ve  been cutting out marathon quotes for longer than 7 years.  Pretty much from when I started this whole journey like 11 years ago.  But to have some visual real tangible proof from 7 years ago is so crazy and cool.  This is pretty much what it all means to me.  This is why this is so important and my real everything.  It really touches my soul in a way that nothing else has.  And I am going to cry. Cry so much honestly.  Happy tears of joy.  This is the biggest lifelong dream.  And I can’t wait!