Thursday, December 27, 2012

Proclaiming

I've made a decision, now I'm putting it out into the Universe.

I will run 500 miles
And I will run 500 more
Just to be the gal who runs 1000 miles
in 2013...

It will happen.
If you break it down, it averages 20 miles a week. I've done that before during half training. Maybe 5/10/5 is a bit much...RIGHT NOW, but while I'm building to that I can easily pull off 5miles 4 days a week.
I'd like to do some kind of race, even if it's just a local 5k, once a month. That should keep me motivated through the cold weather, and Atlanta summers.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reset

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I had just finished my second half marathon, but instead of improving my time and...well, everything, like most people, my time was worse, and I ran over half the course with an injury. But hey, I finished, right.

What have I been doing since? Well....a whole lot of NOT running. I do this. I put everything into a race, then take an extended break afterwards. I have to, for my head as much as my legs. The Monday morning after the race, I took a 3 day sub job teaching Zumba. That was such a crazy, fun, experience. That carried on to 3 days the following week, as well as a couple days during the week of Thanksgiving. I was having such a great time, it was just what I needed to reignite my love of Zumba.
But, as happens with subbing, the regular teacher came back, and now I'm looking for my next opportunity. One weekend a few weeks ago, my husband and I were just hanging out, watching silly infomercials, and came across Fluidity. I told my husband that I'd always wanted to try that out, but it was just way too expensive to invest in when it would probably turn out to be like every other piece of fitness equipment I bring in this house. Ugh, what can I say, I just get bored trying to work out at home. But, that I'd love to find a barre class and try it out. The conversation kinda moved on to other topics and I didn't think much more about it. Then, on an unassuming Weds morning, I saw a post in one of my fitness Facebook group about a barre certification course the following weekend. Brand new course, and we'd be certified by the creator. Best of all....it was $20. I was all over it. So, that Sunday I spent a few hours in Atlanta and came home with a shiny new certification I CAN'T WAIT to put into practice. I also walked on my toes for 2 days because...HOLY...you don't realize you're working until you stop.

So, I haven't been running. That doesn't mean I'm no longer a runner. I'm just taking a reset. I'm entering 2013 with a clear mind and rested body, and then...IT IS SO ON.

I laid out the path in 2012, and 2013 will be my year. It's the end of the world as we know it, indeed, and I feel fantastic.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All's well

REALLY well. Things are just falling into place and though I'm busier than I've been in years, I am so, so happy.

I took a sub job a few weeks ago. It was a bit of trial by fire, if you will. I was teaching for a group of non-English speakers...and I only speak English. But, music is universal, and it forced me to be better. I taught 3 days that week, then was asked back for 3 days the following week. Three days a week.....is a lot, ya'll, lol.
On top of that, I was asked to be a presenter at a Zumba Club event.
Then this week, I did some more sub work, again with non-English speakers. After yesterday's class it was said "Good class, good dancing, good instructor, very good". After months of back-handed compliments and passive-aggressive digs, it was really nice to hear.

I have a few things in the works for after Thanksgiving. I get to relax and enjoy my family for a couple of days before diving back in.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Run, Walk, or Crawl

However you get across that finish line, 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles.

On Saturday, I finished the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon. It was my first race in Savannah, but I hope it isn't my last.
The very first thing I want to say about this race is...my performance had nothing to do with the course, or location, and everything to do with me. Now, that being said...I fall short of calling it a disaster.
My first half, in April, I trained for nearly 6 mths for, and came across the finish line, hurting, at 3:33. I had trained with intervals, but the day of the race, I threw all that out the window and pushed to see how far I would run without stopping. I got to 11.5 miles and when I stopped to walk, I had to force myself to start again. After that race, I said the lesson I learned was to run the race the same as I trained and not try anything new.

This race...well, I let a lot of drama and straight up bullshit distract me from doing what I needed to do to get ready. my "training" consisted of running a bunch of  5 and 10ks from July until a couple weeks before this race. I knew it was going to be tough and just decided to do what I could do and not try to break any records. I was gonna start off taking walk breaks early, instead of waiting until I was past the point of needing it.

First 3 miles...fantastic. I was making good time, and even made myself slow down a bit. I told myself if I averaged a 15min mile, I was good and could still shave time off my previous half. Each miles got a little slower, but I was also walking, so I was ok with it. I maintained this pace though the 10K mark. At that point, I decided to give myself an extra long walk break and ended up walking to mile 7. I met up with my husband who was waiting for me along the course,. He asked how I was doing and I told him my knees were starting to hurt, so I was walking a little. He walked with me for just a bit, then said he'd meet me at the finish line and we went our separate ways.
About 7.5 miles, I started to run some more. My right knees started hurting more, so I had to walk more than I ran.

 By mile 8, I wasn't running much at all.

At 9.5 miles, I knew I was in trouble. I started to doubt that I would make it to the end. By this point, walking hurt, and I couldn't run at all. I started texting my Sole Sister, telling her I was hitting a wall.

Her: No Wall. There is no wall.
        Walk a bit
Me: I have been walking.
Her: You're over halfway done. Suck it up. Cry and ice later. You can do it
Me:If one more person asks if I'm doing ok, I'm gonna cry.
Her: So cry. It's almost over
Me: 10 mother fucking miles
Her: 5k left. Easy Peasy

Her: It's been 30 mins. Where are you at now?
Me: 11.5 I can't run, Can barely walk. I don't know if I'll make it
Her: You can make it. Walk slow

(30 mins later)
Her: Where now
Me: 12.8
Her: Cake. You got it.
        FINISH! FINISH! FINISH!

And I did finish. I'm not sure how I was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, but I was determined to finish.
I could see the finish line ahead of me, and I mustered what I could to run across it. I looked back at the live web cast of me (and everyone else) crossing the finish, and what I was doing really could not have been described as a run, lol.
As I cross the finish, and ice cold bottle of water was handed to me, and as I made my way through the crowd, I was rubbing the bottle on my knee. A woman from the med crew came up and asked if I was ok. I told her i was fine (because that's how stubborn I am), that I just needed to ice my knee. That's when she pulled me over to the med tent and sat me down and put ice on my knees. I never would have stopped on my own.
I sent my husband a text letting him know where I was. He said he'd go get the car and for me to stay put. Since we were parked a mile from the finish line, I happily sat there and waited.
It took 30 mins for him to walk to the car, and get back to a spot right outside the finish. With the ice still on my knees, I made my way to the car and we headed back to the hotel. At this point, my skin was numb from the ice, but I think that's what saved me.
We stopped for food on the way back and I sat on the bed with the ice still in place while I ate, then I went and soaked in a sports mix of Epsom salts and other stuff. I was so tired, I started nodding off in the tub and decided it was time to get out. Took 4 Aleve, rolled out my muscles with the foam roller and took a nap.
I'm not gonna say I wasn't sore later, but I could get up and walk without too much trouble. I prepared for recovery better than I did the race.
My official time was 4:11. Miserable, but at least I finished.

Now I know that I have to stop letting people and things that don't matter interfere with my running. The BS from the last 6mths or so was ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as me letting someone else tell me my running wasn't as important as what SHE wanted from me. I will NEVER make that mistake again. This is what Savannah taught me. This race was not my best, but that just means I have no where to go but up.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Aids Atlanta Walk and 5K

Yesterday I logged another 5k. This one was for Aids Atlanta.

It was a great day for a run. Fall in Atlanta can be anywhere from 50's and rain to 80's and blistering sun. Yesterday was in the 70's, low humidity, and sunny.
It was an afternoon race, which is different for me. I was able to sleep until a decent time, get up and have a couple cups of coffee, a banana, then make my way to the MARTA station.
Hopped on the train and headed to the Midtown station. It was about a mile walk from there to the park. Nice warm up. Check in, get bib, bathroom and we were ready to go.

It started off uphill...always nice, lol. There was plenty of support and cheers along the route, which was great. Right after the 2 mile mark came THE HILL. It was ROUGH...and never ending. Around a corner where I thought for sure it would level out, but nope, only about half was up. Once at the stop, there was another group cheering us on.
At the top, we went down hill for a bit then back into the park for the final push, That part of the route was absolutely packed with people clapping and cheering.
I saw the finish line and sprinted to the end, coming in at 45 and some change. Not great, but on par with what I expected.

I caught up with the other two runners in my group and we got our tshirts then went to find the walkers in our group. While they did their walk, we grabbed a bite to eat at Park Tavern.

After, we went to find the walkers and started making our way back to the MARTA station.
Short ride to my car and back home.
Long day, but a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rock n' Roll Here I Come!

But first....

Oct 21st I'll be running in the Aids Walk Atlanta and 5k
This is one that's important to me.

Oct 27th I'll be doing the Monster Dash 10k


Then....the big one. Rock n Roll Savannah Half.
Ummm....way too much stuff has happen and I really haven't been training like I need to.
I ran a 5 miler a few weeks ago and got through that...my legs were killing me after, but that's when I was still in the Newtons.
My plan of attack is to get a 10 mile run in next week. Day of the race, I'll take it 5k at a time. Run 5k, walk 1 mile. The trick will be stopping to walk before I'm spent. I could easily run up to 6 miles without needing to stop....but I'd be hurting at the finish line. I'd like to finish strong...not hobbling.

Sometimes the hardest thing is slowing down

Friday, October 12, 2012

What does bullying look like?

Oct is Bully Prevention Month. There has been a lot of talk about bullying amongst our kids. It's usually pretty blatant. Name calling, harassing, often escalating into physical altercations. We see it, even expect it in kids. But, what people don't often acknowledge is that it sometimes continues into adulthood.

Adults are supposed to be more mature than that. They are supposed to have learned their lessons as children and grown out of the bully stage. However, some people never grown out of this. And the more the Internet age grows, the more people will lash out behind that allure of a screen name. Sometimes the lines are blurred so much that people don't even know what bullying looks like.

I want to share a recent experience where I was bullied...still being bullied actually. And yes, I bit back and in turn bullied. I was no better than the one who bullied me.

So, what does bulling look like in adults? It looks like statements like this....

you seem to be gaining weight rather than losing… again, a former customer brought this up. This has come up a couple of times and I honestly have not known how to reply because it is a sensitive subject for me to address with the customers or with you. When a customer says; “as much as she says she runs she should be invisible”… we do need to address it and as I am typing I believe it was my place and I should have. Sorry I found it an uncomfortable subject
 
I do think you have reservations about your acceptance among others
 
And this...
 What an AWESOMELY RETARDED STOKED [REDACTED] class
 
And the reaction to someone who didn't like the use of the word "retarded"....
Just like you I too have a big mouth, and unlike you I am not new to the area and I am very well connected so I hope that I dont ever have to run my big mouth...

Make yourself scarse as you are not welcome in anything [REDACTED] related
As a very educated individual and business owner and someone with a well versed vocabulary I find your ranting completely unnecessary. Those that are our patrons of our estalishment are aware of everything we stand for and your need to judge your poor understanding of the definition of the word retarded shows that you spend your time insulting and running your big mouth rather than looking for truth, the good in people and mostly the facts. Let me educate you... Definition of retarded as per Websters Dictionary: underdeveloped: not fully developed. To clarify, although you dont deserve clarification... we showcased 4 new songs last night - 2 which were not fully developed/completed/in sync therefore RETARDED. Not only do I find your judging and your big mouth offensive but without any merit.
 
And this, which was sent out a MONTH after I was no longer involved with the person who sent it

Normally I will not put negativity out there as it has no place in my life; however, there are times when negativity and jealousy just cant seem to stay away no matter how much you try. During my trip to Spain my husband who is an Internet security executive discovered a blog page after receiving a message from a woman in Seattle stating that she was a part of this blog and that our studio and our staff and customers were being bashed and ridiculed in this page. After months of research he was able to be accepted into the blog page and to say that the attrocities posted were sad and pathetic is an understatement. During his research it came to light that the administrator and creator of this page was [ME] - YES, the [ME] that used to teach at our studio. Needless to say because I was out of the country and trying to relax both [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] decided not to make me aware of what was happening and dismissed [ME] immediately from her duties at our studio. Til this day I have no idea what was posted on that blog - - although [REDACTED, REDACTED, and REDACTED] all read some of the posts and state they were not only horrible things about us - but of a disgruntle nature. This page was created before our opening in Nov 2011. :(Description: frownI have refused to read them as I will not damage my soul with other's craziness.

Obviously I have no say in who you choose to befriend on your personal FB's, but I felt the need to share this with you because I care and I want you to be surrounded by light and for you to be safe

 
And yes, even my reply to the above was of the bullying nature...

OK, first...it wasn't a blog. It was a PRIVATE parenting message board that I've been a part of for 12yrs. We've watched people get married, have babies, go through divorce, and worse. These are my friends who happen to be spread out across the country. How [REDACTED] got access to the board is suspect. "Someone from Seattle"? whatever. I'm not sure I buy it, but regardless, yes, he did end up in the group. He LIED to get in. But whatever....did I talk shit about here there? Sometimes. Sometimes I just posted her psychotic emails and other people commented. Whatever the case, there no one in that group that even lives in [REDACTED STATE], let alone in our client base. I ALWAYS put on a professional face when talking to clients, potential clients. Can SHE say the same? Nope, and I have the emails she sent to CLIENTS to prove it.
I absolutely own that I vented to my friends. I can't sit around sipping coffee with the girls and vent about stuff, we do it in this group. It was created WAY before [REDACTED]. It wasn't created to bash [REDACTED]. In fact, it really had very very little to do WITH [REDACTED]. AND....the posting about her and the studio were very positive right up until April when se sent me that vile email that I showed you before. That's when things went downhill. Was I disgruntled? You damn right I was. Nothing I posted was a lie. could I have been less negative...probably. I wanted to leave there for a while, since that email where she called me fat, unapproachable, and unprofessional. i should have left then. I hate that things ended the way they did, but I have never been happier. It was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I'm sure glad she isn't damaging her soul with any of this, lol 
 
Because the truth is...I was a bully when I vented about what was going on. I was angry. I needed to fight back and didn't know how, so I went to a place where I felt "safe' and felt like people would be on my side, and I vented. And I said very mean things. Things like "shoving your tits up under your chin doesn't change the gut that hangs out below your shirt". And that was NO BETTER than the things that were said to me and others. I am guilty of being a bully as well. Only I did it behind the person's back. How is that any better? Because I never thought she'd find out?  Because I did it under the guise of venting? Some will say I was justified in what I said. I can understand the sentiment. People like to see the bad guy getting theirs. But the only person I've hurt in the process is myself. This other party will never see what they did as wrong, or bullying. They will always be the victim. I don't think there are victims here. We BOTH bullied each other in different ways.

I want to move on. I want to become a better person. I want to let go of the resentment I have for this person.  I want to recognoze where I was wrong and prevent it from happening again. Becasue how can I be an example to my kids, if this is how I interact with people?
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I gave up...

I took the Newtons back and got a pair of Brooks.
Maybe at another time, when I'm not pushing to train for so many upcoming races. Maybe I should have tried them out in April, when my race season started to die down a little. As it is...I've got the Haunted Hustle 5k next weekend, the Aids Walk Atlanta 5K after that, the Monster Dash 10k, then a week later the Rock n Roll Savannah Half. Too much training to try to change how I run.
In the meantime, I'll work on trying to change my foot strike on my own so when/if I try the Newtons again, maybe it will go better.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Newtons "60 Days of Better"

OK, I've been fascinated with these Newton shoes. At the same time, I've been hesitant to try them out because my feet are just so screwy. I didn't want to spend nearly $200 on a pair of shoes and end up hating them. So, when I saw that Newton was offering a 60 day test drive on their shoes, with no hassle, no questions asked returns, I decided to jump on it.

$180 later, I was the proud owner of Newton Motion (Motus) shoes.
My first run was only a mile. It was a busy day and I was trying to squeeze in a run in between errands. That mile was tough, and I found that my calves and thighs hurt more than usual, but chalked that up to using different muscles.

Today, I ran 3.1 miles with the local shoe store group. In fact, it was the store I bought my Newtons from. Anyway...first mile was OK.My the second mile, my knees were hurting. By the time I got to 3 miles, I was heel striking. That's been an ongoing issue with me, to the point where I developed plantar fasciitis back in April when training for my half, and it hasn't gotten any better.
By the time I made it back to the store, my right heel, and top of the foot was hurting.

I'm not sure how much longer I will give these shoes, honestly. I have 4 races, including a half marathon coming up in the next 6 weeks, and I'm worried I wont be able to do it with these shoes.

Plus, if I'm gonna heel strike anyway, I can do that with a pair of $100 Brooks.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sometimes.....

I hate the industry I work in. With all the "be skinny", "be pretty", "who you are is not good enough", messages that some people put out there.
Someone on my facebook just posted "....making a prettier world one butt at a time". Why isn't the message "making a HEALTHIER world"?  At the end of the day, "pretty" and "skinny" doesn't equal healthy. I really think all the focus on looks makes the people who need it the most, stay home on the couch.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Open Letter to Everyone

Dear Everyone,

If I do not know you, and you are not delivering a package, do not knock on my door in the middle of the day. Yes, my dogs will bite, don't bother asking. What a stupid question.
No, none of the vehicles in my driveway are for sale. Do you see a "For Sale" sign? No, you can not "go look at it". What you can do is take your ass off my property. Even if there were a For Sale sign on the car, how about showing up looking like you have a job. Put on some pants that fit, and something other than a stained and torn "wife beater".

Additionally, I do not want the meat from the back of your truck, to join your church, or for you to look at my roof, or give me an estimate to mow my lawn. I have two teenagers that do it for room and board. I'm happy with my satellite provider, too. And please do not insult my intelligence by offering me a "free sample" of air freshener. I don't want your $2,000 vacuum. I don't care how "awesome" it is...does it carry itself up the stairs? Didn't think so.

This is my home, respect that. I don't show up on your doorstep...don't show up on mine

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why I hate people

So first, a quick back story.
When I was 16, I bought my first car. It was a total beater...a 1976 Honda Civic; $200 and she was all mine. My second car was an orange Ford Pinto station wagon... I honestly can't remember the year. I just remember it was the only 2 door station wagon I had ever seen, and it was so damn ugly, it was cool. I had a couple more cars before I became a mom at 19 and had to settle into responsible mom vehicle. I had 3 kids by the time I was 24 and had settled into life behind the wheel of a minivan.

At age 36, my kids were finally grown enough that I didn't need the big mom vehicle. I could FINALLY have something "fun". I had always wanted a VW Bug...convertible. It had never been practical until now.

Christmas of 2010 my husband surprised me with Prudence. My 2005 VW Beetle convertible. She had about 13,000 miles on her when we bought her, and in the nearly 2yrs I've had her she still has less than 29,000. I. Love. That. Car.

On Monday, Aug 6th, I was sitting in the left turn lane and a red light waiting for it to turn green. The light changed, I took a second or two to look across the intersection at on coming traffic and see that the line of cars appeared to be turning let as well, so I was clear to make my turn. I pulled out and heard a horn. It caught my attention enough for me to hit the brakes at the same instant a woman ran a red light and plowed into me. Now, let me just say that IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. Everyone walked away unharmed. If I hadn't heard the horn, she would have t-boned me and who knows how bad that would have been in my little car. As it was, she hit my front fender/tire, area.
I was livid! How do you run a freaking red light and HIT MY CAR. The first thing I did was roll down my window and point to my still green light and yell "WHAT THE HELL AER YOU DOING? MY LIGHT WAS GREEN". She pulled off. I couldn't believe it. I tried to move my car and the tire was pushed in and something under there was broken. My daughter, who was in the car with me, called 911, while I called my husband.
Turned out the woman just pulled into the parking lot of the shopping center I was pulling out of. About this time an off duty officer came up to make sure everyone was ok. As he was asking me what happen, the other woman came up and started asking me why I ran the red light.
YOU HAVE GOT TO ME KIDDING ME. I lost it. I went off on her. I told her I would beat her ass in the middle of the street, SHE had run the light and hit me. The officer told her to go sit in her car.
That was the last I saw of her. All parties decided it was for the best if she stayed on her end of the parking lot
The on duty officer showed up and it was the same story, She claimed she had a green light and I came out of no where. Yep, me and all the people behind me...and the ones across the intersection that were also turning into her path, we ALL came out of no where. The officer flat out told me he thought she was lying, but because no witnesses stayed, there wasn't anything he could do but write it up as I told it and how she told it and let insurance figure it out.

So it's been nearly 2 weeks. My insurance called me today to tell me that their investigation showed "No definitive proof" who ran the light. So, they will take care of my damages, minus my deductible, and she is on her own for hers. My consolation...she was driving a 97 Toyota and had Geico insurance, there's a real good chance she only had liability and will pay out of pocket for her damages. Karma, bitch.
Meanwhile I'm without a car until mine is repaired (thankfully the axle isn't broken like I first thought), because I don't have loss of use coverage (direct quote when my husband asked if we had loss o use coverage, I replied "What you should be worried about is if we have beat a bitch's ass coverage", told you I lost it). Had this woman just owned her shit, I could have had a rental. Plus, it's the right thing to do. Only a piece of shit lies about causing a wreck. I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm the one paying for it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Where did July go?

So, officially I didn't get fired. Unofficially...might as well have been.

We had our July event. I threw something together that was completely out of my comfort zone, and it was pretty damn good if I do say so myself. And I do, because I deserve the praise. I was told during this time that I would be very happy with the outcome of the following week's meeting based on how well I did during the event.

So, fast forward to the next week. I go to my meeting and get told that I was being taken off the schedule for August. I could figure out what I wanted to go and possibly come back in Sept.  I was scheduled to get Zumba© licensed the next week...I could come back as a Zumba© instructor, or learn the new way they had decided to teach my weight class.
MY weight class. The one I brought to the studio, and developed. No longer mine. No longer taught the way I set it up.
Ok, I was determined to be all Zen and whatever happens happens about the whole thing. I had a lot o stuff going on or me, so just go with the flow.

The next week I went back to my ballroom performance class. That made me happy, since I had missed the last performance to do this studio event. The very next day, I got up and went into  the city and spent 10hrs getting Zumba© licensed. When I got home, I had to pack. I had a 6am flight to Las Vegas the next morning. I managed to sleep for a couple hours, but was up by 2am to head to the airport. We flew ALL DAY.  Finally made it to Vegas around 9am local time. We then crashed. When we woke up, it felt like I had been eating sand in my sleep. Welcome to the desert.
We were in Vegas from Friday thru Tuesday. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (or lives forever on Facebook)
Tuesday was another day of flying. I was exhausted when we got home. Weds morning, real life started back up. I was back in my ballroom class that night. Barely enough time to stop and take a breath. The rest of the week consisted of back to school orientations and school shopping.

That Friday, we had another studio event along with a staff meeting. It became painfully obvious how unwanted I am there after that staff meeting. Two instructors were auditioned that night. Then we talked about upcoming events.The studio is bringing in a children's dance program. Ballet and jazz to start. That program is getting my old time slot. The prime slot after that is taken by other instructors. There's just no room for me there.
We're also being asked to "chip in" for various advertising expenses. Expensive advertising expenses. And, if we don't sell at least 10 tickets to the next studio event, the difference will be taken from our pay. Say what?? We're all independent contractors, so I'm thinking maybe the labor laws aren't the same as if we were just employees. Either way, I don't really feel like sticking around for this one.

So, am I fired...or just being pushed out? In the end, does it matter?

Meanwhile, I'm trying to set up some other options. I have bills to pay, I can't sit here waiting for something to happen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It still hurts

I think I'm being fired. I got an email today asking when a good time would be to sit down and talk about my future with the company.
So much has happen in the past couple of months. I've been hurt by the studio owner, someone I considered a friend. I've been thinking about moving on anyway, so I don't know why this upsets me so much.
Maybe it's the perceived friendship. I feel duped. I thought we had actually become friends outside of the studio, but I've come to realize that she saw me as someone she could get something from. I didn't live up to my potential, so she is looking for a tactful way to get rid of me so I don't run out and bad mouth her business. I've come to realize the "friendship" was a lie.
Plus...there's an event this weekend. I feel like she is holding off the meeting until after that so she can squeeze as much out of me as possible. If she tells me this week she doesn't want me back in August, I might not want to perform at the party. Again, I'm just someone she can get something from.

I need to just breathe and accept it for what it is and move on.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Peachtree Road Race (2)

So, on July 4th, I joined 60,000 others in an Atlanta institution known as the Peachtree Road Race.
People take this thing very seriously...in a totally unserious way. Around March, there is a lottery to enter. About 70,000 people register for the 60,000 slots available...then we wait. Although the vast majority of people who want to run the race get in, the ones who don't, get rather angry about it. The day of the drawing, you will see tons of angry facebook postings from people who didn't make it, think it's unfair that walkers get in when they didn't, don't like that first timers got in when they didn't...you name it, they are angry about it.
That being said..I've won the lottery the past two years, so this made my second Peachtree. Just like last year, I entered with my best friend and Sole Sister, Sarah. We counted down the months to July. We had shirts made. We talked about the other stuff we would do when she came down.
Then, unexpected expenses caused her to not be able to come down. She will get guaranteed entry next year, so we have that to look forward to, but as far as this year, I was on my own.

So, on July 4th, I got up way too early and headed into Atlanta.  I went as far as the MARTA station and rode that into town with the rest of the crowds. I found my way to my start corral, and waited. I had gotten there way too early. I should have stopped at the porta potty, but I was just ready to go. After an hour of waiting at the start (Plenty of time to go to the potty), we were off.
I'm running along, in my zone, headphones in, music up, and out of nowhere I hear my name. It's a rather common name, so it could have been for anyone, but something told me to turn around. There was my friend Rachael and her husband Jason. It was their first Peactree, and I knew we were starting in the same corral, and had looked around for them while I was waiting, but they were  no where to be found. I thought it was hilarious that she recognized me from behind. She said it was my funky knee high sock monkey socks. I'm kind of known for my funky knee highs.
We said our hellos and awkwardly hugged while running and then we were both on our way.
Right after the one mile mark I decided I would take the time loss and stand in the potty line. There was no way I would make it to the finish and there was no use even trying.
Seven mins later, I was back on the road.

Before I knew it, I was at mile 3 and heading up Cardiac Hill. I remembered from last year that this hill wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so I plugged along. When I got to the top, I let myself walk for about  0.2 mile just to refresh my legs. The sun was coming out and it was getting hot.
The rest of the race went about the same. I ran more than last year, but walked more than I would have liked.
The miles flew by and soon I was at the finish line. I grabbed my bottle of water, my shirt, stood in line for a finisher's photo, then headed to the other side of the park and on to the MARTA station. I didn't have any reason to hang out at the finish since I was on my own this year.
Last year, the walk to the MARTA was brutal. Uphill the whole mile (or more). My legs were dead by the time I got there. This year, it wasn't a big deal at all. It felt shorter, my legs were fine; what a difference a year of training does.

In the end, my Garmin time was 1:35:16...7 mins faster than last year's time, but those 7 mins in the bathroom line made my official time closer to last year's time. I'll take the bathroom break over the alternative

I'm already looking forward to next year. Sarah will be here and all will be right with the world :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Letting Go

I've been carrying around a lot of stress, negativity and hurt feelings lately. I need to release it.
I've always been a person who holds grudges. If someone crosses me, real or percieved, I'm done. The proof in that is a year ago when I walked away from an 11yr friendship becuase of several nasty things that were said about me. No explanations, no second chances, I'm done.
Even so, I held on to that anger for quite some time. Perhaps I'm still holding on to it a bit. Letting go feels like forgiveness and forgiveness has always felt like acceptance to me. It's an issue, I know.

But, the negativity that I've carried around the past month or so, has not benefitted me at all. In fact, I think it is holding me back quite a bit. I need to let go. I can not control the actions of other people, I can only control how I react to them. I have to just accept that not everyone handles things the way I do, and that doesnt make them wrong and me right. It's just who we are. I'll never get an apology that I feel I deserve, so I have to just accept that I know my truth, and move on with intergrity

So, to all the people I've been holding grudges against, most of whom had no idea...I'm letting go and moving forward from a place of positivity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cutting Myself Some Slack

I found myself beating myself up tonight.
I didn't get out of bed and run my 8miles this morning
It got too hot for me to go out during the day
When I finally did go out at 7:30, I only managed 3.5 miles before I called it a day.

It wasn't "good enough". I found myself disapointed that I gave up when I probably could have pounded out 2 more miles. I probably could have, but I didn't.
Did I "give in"?
Should I have done another loop around the park, even though I was tired and hot, and my fingers were starting to swell, my whole body is still sore from my weight workout Monday night, and my plantar fasciitis is still being a persnickty bitch and I have a 10k coming up in a week?
Probably..

But maybe I should just be happy that I got out there and did what I did, and let it go. It's 3.5 more miles than I had done this morning. It's 3.5 more miles than a lot of other people did today.
There's always another day, another week, another month to log the miles. There is no finish line...I'm training for life.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Running While Female

I run solo. It's not so much that I prefer it, it's just the way it is. My pace, and schedule, and location doesn't lend itself to running partners. It's just always been this way. It's what I know. It's what I'm used to. So, I never really think about safety issues. That is, until I hear stories about women like Sherry Arnold and Sarah Hart. Women, mothers, wives, daughters, who were just out doing something they loved.
It makes me angry that we, as women, face more threats than men do. No one writes blogs giving men safety advice when they are out running alone. No one tells a man he is stupid for going out at 5:30am alone for a 5 miler. Men don't think about checking in with a friend so someone knows where they are. But there it is, ingrained in girls as soon as they are young enough to venture out on their own.
I can remember being a teenager and getting caught sneaking out to go to a party with my friend. When her mom caught us, one of the biggest things she was angry about was not knowing where we were. She kept saying, what if we hadn't made it back...she wouldn't have even known where to start looking. That we had to always make sure someone knew where we were. It stuck with me to the point that it's now something I tell my own daughter.

I will fully admit that I don't do enough to ensure my safety when I'm out running. I just seem to have a Bad Ass mentality that no one is going to do anything to me. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that most people are good.

That being said, I need to do more.
I run pretty much the same route. I have ways of making it longer or shorter, depending on the day, but it's the same basic route. However, I realized while talking to my husband over the weekend, that even though I run the same roads 3-4 days a week...he has no idea what those roads are, or what my running schedule is. He doesn't know which days are long runs, and which are short runs. That's something that needs to change.

I always try to be aware of my enviroment. I look at everyone I meet and give a head nod, a wave, a hello...some type of acknowledgment that I see them. Even so....I've been caught off gaurd. I've had people come "out of no where" or the sun in my face and I didnt see them. It always shakes me a little when this happens.
The biggest thing I have to kick myself for is talking to people in cars. I must stop doing that. It doesn't matter if someone things I'm rude because I didn't tell them where the local fast food breakfast place was. my safety is more important.
I have had people stop and ask for directions before and I've given them, but one time...in the middle of the day, on a busy street, in front of the fire dept of all places...I had a guy pull over and ask me if I needed a ride. I couldn't hear what he was saying, so I approached the car and leaned down. I should have kept walking and ignored him. Of course I didn't want a ride, and I said as much and walked away, but in the time I took to find out what he wanted, something very bad could have happen
Lesson here...Be a bitch. I do not have to be the polite little southern girl I was raised to be. Who cares if someone I don't know, and will likely never see again, thinks I'm rude. It's better than my family having to identify my body later.

I love running. I don't want to be scared away from it. I want to feel like I can walk out my front door and come back 10 miles later, unscathed.

I will be making changes to how I run. I will make sure someone knows my route, and my schedule.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So...

Yesterday was not a good day.
I have a lot of stresses right now, that running would probably help, but I haven't been able to run as much as I want because of nagging Plantar Fasciitis, scheduling, and yes, the goddamn Atlanta humidity. I've always been a southern girl. ALWAYS loved the south. Always said I'd never live anywhere else. But, I swear, I loved the south a whole lot more before I was a runner. Now I'm thinking the west coast is calling me (I left my heart in San Francisco)

So, things that are currently stressing me out...

My best friend and "sole sister" might not be able to make it down for the Peachtree. I miss her so much, and all I want to do is buy her  plane ticket and get her down here, but I can't really afford to do that either. It's making me really sad.

There's someone else in my life who has turned out to not be who I thought they were. This person said some unbelievably cruel things to me under the guise of  someone else said them, and she was just passing it along. She makes sure to get her back handed compliments, or flat out digs in whenever she can. She presents herself s this wonderful, positive, person, but she is not. She is petty, and vindictive, and will not think twice about ripping a person to shreds if she feels they have crossed her. I thought we were friends, but now I think she just saw me as someone who could benefit her. I think I've benefited her as much as I can, and now she is pushing me out. I'm ready to go, but I have a few more ducks that need to be lined up before I make the jump, so I have to smile and play the game and sometimes I think it is killing me. I am so incredibly unhappy, and my friends....my REAL friends are concerned for me and want me to just cut ties with this person, NOW.

I'm so tired of the bullshit. I just want to run, and dance.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Believe in me, 'Cause I want to be someone to believe in"

My old friend self doubt has come to visit.
I don't know why I do this to myself. I get an idea. I get excited about it. It takes over my thoughts and it's all I can talk about. Then all it can take is ONE person not sharing that excitement and I start to second guess myself.
Why am I the person who can make this happen? What makes me so damn special when there are a million other people out there who could do the same thing? Why hasn't anyone else done this if it's such a good idea?
Then I talk myself out of whatever it was. Then I go through a period of sadness over not going for it. And finally convince myself that it was better I didn't try anyway. What if I had failed? I can't have another thing I fail at.

But where is the success in never trying?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Heat is On!

Well, there's no getting around it...Summer has hit Atlanta; with a vengeance!

The humidity the past couple of weeks has ZAPPED my speed and endurance. I've been struggling to get through a 5/8/5 schedule.
It's strange to go from a half marathon, to struggling through 5 miles. I haven't even been able to run a full 8. I've been doing a 3/2 interval on those days.

I didn't lose any outdoor run time this winter. It was just a perfect winter for running. The temps stayed in the 50's most days. Even on the "cold" days, I could get by wearing capris and a light long sleeve tech shirt. Most of the time I'd come home too hot.
That really should have been a sign that summer was coming hard and fast. One look at my Daily Mile log and you'll see that all I seem to do lately is bitch about the heat. The last fantastic run I had was in April, when I ran the 10k across the Golden Gate Bridge. I day dream about that race. I'd do it every year.

But, this IS Atlanta, and there is simply no getting around the heat and humidity. Stopping for the summer isn't an option, so I just have to suck it up and do it.

The miracle isn't that I finished, or started, it's that I kept putting one foot in front of the other and got the miles I wanted in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've got my own demons, I don't need yours

This needs to be said.
Not that many years ago, I was a size 2. I had 3 kids under the age of 10 that I was raising practically on my own due to my husband's travel schedule. I worked at a gym and taught 2 classes a day. Three days a week I left the gym and went to a martial arts class, where I eventually earned a Brown Belt.
I was thin. I was pointed to as the ideal body type to strive for at the gym I worked at. What people didn't know.... I had no energy. I had to co-teach my classes because I couldn't get through them. Going up the stairs got me winded and left my heart racing to the point where my Dr. insisted I get an EKG to check my heart. My hips stuck out. My stomach was flat, but you could also count my ribs. My collar bone protruded, and my cheeks were sunken. I had dark circles under my eyes. I couldn't left the weights in the Body Pump class that I was teaching. I was too busy keeping up the facade to take care of myself.
I burnt out.

I stopped everything and gain 50lbs. I gained it 5lbs at a time, so I didn't see it so much at first. Then one day I realized I was 150lbs, and unhappy.

It started slow. First I started ballroom dancing. Then running. Then I went to Zumba and fell in love with that. Before long I was asked to develop and teach a weight class. I started that in Jan. Along the way, I found myself. I found a healthier version of that girl I was 7yrs ago.  I didn't lose a lot of weight, because i was building the muscle my body so desperately wanted and needed. I did lose though. I went from a size 14 to an 8. If I never lose another dress size I will be happy.

I carry my class. Me! There's no instructor beside me to to "take the hard songs".

I'm a runner. For the first time in my life I can say that. I can scream it from the mountain tops. I AM A RUNNER. And it doesn't matter that it takes me 3 and a half hours to finish a half marathon, I still crossed the same finish line that the first place runner crossed. It was my legs that carried me the distance. It was my lungs that breathed in oxygen. It was my heart that pumped the blood through my body.
A body that is not perfect, but that is mine and I am proud of.

So, if my muffin has a little more top than you would like...well, first you are delusional about what a real woman looks like. Second, you can kiss my fat ass. If that offends you, well, saying things like "With all the running she says she does, she should be invisible by now", offends me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baby Stepping

I had no idea just how much taking two weeks off from running would effect me. Of course, there is also the thick Atlanta humidity to take into consideration, but still....

Monday, I was excited to get back out on the road. I planned 5 miles. I set out and almost immediately, my body reminded me why I had taken a break. The area behind my left knee (which never bothered me before the half marathon) started to make itself known. I decided to just keep going. I can't stop for every ache and pain, I'd never get out of bed. I kept going, and everything was fine...not great, but, fine, up until around 2 1/2 miles. I managed to get to 3 miles before feeling like I really needed to just call it a day. I was disappointed with only 3 miles, so I walked a little, hoping to get a second wind. It didn't happen, but I did manage to walk/run another mile to bring me to 4miles for the day.

I came home and worked on new routines for my class later that night. It was good to feel some accomplishment.
Class was good. I added 3 new songs. They were good and challenging. Especially the squat track. Because I still believe that Jordan Catalano was singing "Red" to me, I used 30 Seconds to Mars - "Closer to the Edge" for the new squat track. It's hard, but I love it.
My knees weren't happy with me after that one, and I expected to be sore on Tuesday, but I must be doing something right because, I wasn't.

Tuesday is rest day, and even though I was itching to do something, I made myself hang out and lay low.

Today I had originally planned 10miles. My head was against me. Kept telling me that Monday sucked, today would suck too. And it was going to rain, so why bother. I hate my head sometimes.
I forced myself to put on my running gear. I set my Garmin for intervals. 90 mins. Whatever happened, happened.
Halfway through the intervals, it started raining. Barely. I might have noticed it more if I was standing still. I was at the park a mile from the house. I contemplated turning around and cutting the run short. What if it started pouring and here I was a mile from home? Well, I guess I'd run home in the rain, huh?
I decided to do the mile loop around the park. Not even halfway around, I decided to keep going and make it the mile and a half loop instead. Back to the start and heading the mile home. I zig zagged it a little to get some more mileage. The rain picked up some by this point, but still not enough to notice. Certainly not enough to wash the humidity blanket out of my path.
Almost home and I detoured around the 0.6mile loop around the small park across the street from my neighborhood.
I was at the last run cycle of my intervals when I got back to my house. I ran past to the end of the block and then walked it back to the house.
Just as I walked in the door, it started pouring.

The intervals definitely made this run better. I managed 5.31miles. Better than Monday, mentally and physically, if not time wise. Actually, I have no idea how my average pace compares. I wasn't out there today to break any records. I just wanted to get the miles in and get back on track.

I am going to give myself 2 weeks to get back to where I was. I hope to be back on a 5/10/5 running schedule for the week.

Races on deck:
May 28th - Memorial day 5k
June 2nd - Buford 10k (maybe)
July 4th - Peachtree Road Race (10k)
Oct 7th - Half Marathon

Friday, May 4, 2012

Much needed

I took a break from running after the half. At first, it was just going to be a week, but  then I taught my class on Monday, and could feel all the aches and pains that were lingering on. Then the end of the week came and we had the Glow in the Dark party at the studio and after 3hrs of that, I was beat. So, another week off. I'm finally starting to feel more like me. I'm inching to get back on the road, so Monday is the day.
I'm Looking at a couple of 5 and 10ks in the next month. Then July brings the Peachtree. After that I'll start working on half training again. Working on speed instead of just finishing. I already know I can finish

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And then I became a Marathoner

(Because a half marathon is still a marathon)

There were some great things about this race. There were some really not great things about this race. The biggest thing is...I did it. I crossed the finish line at 3:31:05. I ran all but probably a half mile of it. And I feel every one of those miles.
More than anything, this was a learning experience. I learned a lot about what works for me, what doesn't, and what a good race should be.

Zooma Race Series, Atlanta at Lake Lanier Islands. April 22, 2012

We got there with plenty of time to spare. There was plenty of parking and we got right in and started the short walk down to the starting line. Now, right before we arrived, my husband asked if I needed to stop anywhere before hand. I SHOULD have stopped for the bathroom. But I didn't. So I ended up standing in line for close to 30 mins for the porta potty. You would think at a women's race, they would have had more, but they didn't.

I finished there with just enough time to walk across the parking lot, find my start group, kiss my husband and start running.

Right out of the starting gate, I saw a tall, beautiful, black girl breezy effortlessly by me. I knew it had to be Tes, founder of RunningNerds, and inspiration to many. I wanted to yell out to her, but the opportunity had been missed. She was in the zone, and probably wouldn't have heard me anyway.

Mile 1-4: Out of the parking lot, down the road to the clock tower and onto the bridge. This is where I encountered my first car issue. Two cars tried to cut off runners to get across the bridge. I think the idea was to have one lane for runners and one for cars, and the cars take turns going across the bridge in opposite directions. Only, they had no one there to direct that, so as the runners, still in large groups, since we hadn't reached a mile yet, were fighting for position against cars. So, these two cars that didn't want to wait for the truck coming in the opposite direction, decided to muscle the runners over so they could get across the bridge. I was able to get myself in front of one of them, then ran down the middle of the lane, blocking his way, so he was forced to slow down and yield to the runners. It's a sore spot with me, since I've had more than my fair share of car run ins while running around town
When we crossed the bridge, the lanes opened up and there was plenty of room for everyone. Through the front gate and around the flags and up the hill I had heard about before the race. "Bulldog bite". It wasn't that bad, I didn't think.
It was sometime around here, either on the bridge or this hill, that I saw Tes again. She was coming in the other direction. I watched her, trying to catch her eye. She was still in her zone. The moment I thought I had lost my opportunity, she looked at me and recognition flashed across her face. We had less than a moment to acknowledge each other and keep on moving.
Back down the hill and back through the gates, across the bridge, and heading back towards where we came from. Around mile 3, I saw my husband. It took me by surprise because I hadn't expected him to wait. I thought he would leave, then come back closer to my finish time.
Immediately after passing him, I saw two girls in RunningNerds 5k shirts. They saw my orange RunningNerds shirt and immediately starting pointing at their shirts and cheering me on.
I've never met these girls before, I don't even know their names, but their cheering for me meant everything to me. I would see them a couple more times through the race, and every time they would yell out "Go running nerd!!"
Heading to mile 4, was the big hill through the water park. I wasn't looking forward to going back up this one.

Mile 4-7: I found this stretch to be really dull and boring. It was out by the campsites and was just dull, dull, dull. It depressed me to think I had to come back through here a second time. Mile 5 was the turn around point, and I was still feeling good. I joked to the volunteers standing there to "Please tell me there are people behind me".

Miles 7-10 was a repeat of what I had already done. Back up the hill by the water park. Made it to the top and enjoyed the release my legs were feeling. Back across the bridge and around the flags and back up "Bulldog Bite" and around the parking lot and back down.
At this point, I was approaching mile 10, and I felt myself giving in, mentally.My head wanted to just be done already. I had been running for nearly 2 and a half hours by this point. I was tired. My knees were protesting, my hip was starting to join the conversation. I started to break, just a little. Passing water stations, I found volunteers packing up (or sleeping in come cases). It was a little defeating. Like they were trying to hurry us up, so they could be done. Or maybe it was just me, and the head space I was in at the time.
I saw my husband again around mile 10. He came over and tried to give me a pep talk. I didn't want to hear it, but I took it, because I knew he was trying. I was trying really hard to hold my shit together at that point. I really wanted to get through this thing without crying.

Mile 10-12: Back down that damn hill. My knees screaming the whole way. Once I got to 10.5 miles, I let myself walk for a bit. My plan had been to run to 10 miles, then do my intervals. By the time I got there, though, I completely through intervals out the window. I walked until I felt guilty for walking, then ran until I couldn't pick up my feet. I was going back through that dull, boring patch.
The volunteers at this point were just as bored as I was, I guess. They were texting, and one water station was completely packed up and abandoned. I got to the mile 12 marker and snapped a pic and texted it to my husband.

Mile 12-finish: Right after the 12 mile mark, a volunteer told me I was almost there. No, I'm not, shut up. I didn't say that out loud. I said "Not close enough".  At mile 12.5 I lost the ability to hold my shit together. The tears started and didn't stop. The song that popped up on my playlist did not help. Whoever put "The Story" by Brandi Carlile on my running playlist is an idiot (that would be me).
I got to the roundabout and was told to go to the right and the finish was downhill. Thanks, but downhill is not a blessing right now. I could hear the announcer and see the finish line just around the corner. All I wanted to do was cross that line and be DONE.
About that time, I saw Tes, and my two RunningNerd girls standing by the finish line. They started calling out my name and cheering me on. I reached down and pulled out some last bit of energy and sprinted across the finish.
My husband took a video of me crossing the finish and it still makes me tear up to watch it. You can see me wiping tears from my face. He came over and hugged me and I just started bawling. I said "I'm done. I have nothing left"

I couldn't stand, but I couldn't really sit either. Everything hurt. I took a moment to look for Tes and the other girls so I could thank them for cheering me on throughout the race. I found one girl, but wasn't able to find the other, or Tes.

I was ready to get to the car, and the ice packs I had brought in a cooler. We walked over to where the trolley was taking people the near mile back to parking. We didn't get on the first trolley and had to wait about 15mins for the next one. I sat on the sidewalk and took my shoes off and tried to massage my feet and stretch out my legs. things were starting to seize up and I just really wanted to be in my car heading home.
The trolley pulled up and I got up and hobbled to the steps. Just as I was getting on, a woman in a volunteer shirt cut in front of me and swooped in and took the last seat. The rest of us were packed in, literally smooshed up against each other, standing, holding on to the strap. As the trolley moved, I was swaying back and forth and felt sicker and sicker. My stomach was not happy. As I stood there, trying not to puke, I got to listen to this volunteer tell a couple of women how long of a day she'd had. How she ran registration that morning, then headed to the finish to help hand out necklaces. How, when she was walking from the start to the finish, a trolley stopped for her, and they joked about how he wasn't supposed to do that, so don't tell anyone. Oh, hahaha, what an amusing story. Not really.

Which pretty much summed up how I felt about the race. I've since seen a lot of other comments that concur with my opinion. A lot of people felt that the race was poorly organized and that some of the volunteers were less than desirable.
There was no GU on the course, like advertised. I didn't bother with the after-party, but I've heard the massages were also missing, and the lunch was pretty sparse. Apparently you had to pay for bananas, too. I've never been to a race where bananas weren't part of the finish line fare.

Compare that to the MUCH smaller 10K I did a week prior in San Francisco, where they were giving out chocolate milk, coconut water, a pancake breakfast, and beer ...ALL FREE.

I've already signed up for another half marathon, but I can't see myself doing Zooma again.

April 18, 2012

Birthday weekend in San Francisco.
I had never been to San Francisco, but I always felt like I needed to go. The city fascinated me. I’m not sure how it all came about, but we had some free tickets that needed to be used, so we booked a flight for my birthday.
We got up early Friday morning and headed to the airport. Smooth sailing to the west coast and we were landed and in our hotel by noon. We spent Friday just exploring the city a bit. One day I will run those hills!
Saturday, we got up and went for a drive through the mountains and visited Sonoma. Then we spent the evening at the piers and Fisherman’s Wharf.
There was a race on Sunday morning. I had gone back and forth about doing it or not. On the one hand, how often would I be in San Francisco to run a race across the Golden Gate Bridge. On the other hand, did I really want to spend a vacation doing a run. Also, my husband is NOT into races at all, and hates standing around waiting for me to finish one. I really didn’t want to inconvenience him. We talked about me just running the bridge, but it just didn’t feel the same to me.
I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning, and by 7 we had decided to do the race. It started at 8. As a result, I jumped up, got dressed and ran out the door. No breakfast, no usual pre-race ritual. I resigned myself to just sitting back and enjoying myself and not worrying about time or anything else. We got to the starting point just as the 10 milers were starting out. I paid my registration fee, got my bib and t-shirt and handed it off to my husband, waited in the line for the bathroom and that left me with just a few mins before the 10k’rs started. I told my husband I’d see him in an hour and a half, and off we went.
There was a nice incline leading up to the bridge. I knew I could run up it, but I reminded myself that I was out to have a good time, not run hard and wear myself out. I slowed to a walk and snapped a couple pics.
On to the bridge. It was crowded and congested. People were stopping to take pics. We were herded on to the narrow walking path so stopping to take pics just made things more congested. I spent a bit of time weaving my way through the people who were walking or chatting or stopping. I reminded myself the whole race to calm down, not race this, enjoy the scenery. How often was I going to run this again!
We got across the bridge and went down the stairs and under the bridge to the other side to start the trek back. People were much better spaced out at this point and it was a very enjoyable, and quick run back. It was also windy. I loved it.
Came off the bridge on the other side and had to weave around some buildings and back under the bridges toll station to some volunteers waiting to cheer us on. I glanced at my Garmin and I was almost at 5miles at 1:09. Holy was I making good time!
Back towards the start, we zigged instead of zagged to get that last 1.2 miles in. Down and back along the coastline. This is where it got difficult. It was a hard packed sand trail with gravel on top. This is not something I’m used to running on and I found it hard to get traction. Instead of fighting the path, I stopped often to walk it. When the finish line was within site, I put on the gas and made a sprint for the end.
I cross the finish at 1:29:57
Almost 10mins better than my last 10K.
Without trying
And I felt great afterwards

April 8, 2012

It’s hard to believe that 2 weeks from today, 2 weeks from this very moment, I will be running my first half marathon. The girl who didn’t run, unless she was being chased. The girl who joked that the whole reason she was a brown belt in karate was so she wouldn’t HAVE to run from someone chasing her. The girl who thought nothing of jumping on a bike and peddling 75 miles (yes, in one day), but running to the mailbox was out of the question.
2!! Weeks!!
It started in Oct. When I ran my last 10K and was so terribly unprepared that even beating my Peachtree time wasn’t good enough. When my legs started protesting less than a mile in, and they hurt for 2 days straight. Laying in bed that evening unable to roll over. Struggling to get myself to the airport, and fly home on legs that just didn’t want to move, ever. I swore then that I would never run another race that unprepared. I started running at least 3 days a week. I got someone to coach me ( www.uphillrunning.com ), and in Jan we started weekly workouts. Only ONCE did I “cheat” and do the workout on the treadmill. Some weeks were tough. Some workouts were tough. But, I got through them. And now here we are at 2 weeks from the half. What have I gotten for all my training?
Well, I’m not really faster. I’ve learned the value of intervals, but the combo of walking and running still puts me around the 15min/mile mark. But, last week I pushed myself. I had a 12mile run on the schedule and something in my head said “If I can do 12, I can do 13” so instead of going out 2miles to the turn around point and coming back (after 8miles). I went 2.5 miles before turning back. I’m not gonna lie, it was hard. It sucked. I cried around mile 12. But, I did it. And what’s more, I was still able to do about my day. My legs weren’t dead. Oh, they were tired, and I had some knee pain that I had to ice, but, I still took my daughter to her friends house, I still fed my friend’s dogs. The next morning I was able to get out of bed. All things I wasn’t able to do back in Oct after that 10K.
This is all progress. Even if I come in dead last. Even if I come in past the 3.5hr course limit. I have still gotten myself to the point where I can do a half marathon.
And you know what, last place crosses the same finish line that first place crosses.

March 23, 2012

After thinking I had gotten over my mental hump, and having a few really good running weeks…I had an awful week.
During one of my runs, I got to the point where I was so spent, that I crouched on the side of the road and willed myself not to cry. Then I walked home and didn’t finish the workout.
My coach told me to take it easy this week and “reset”. My first thoughts were how can I manage to do that? What will I do if I’m not runing?
Then the pollen count went over 9300 and I couldn’t breathe and my whole face hurt and there was no way I could WALK outside, let alone run. Just getting the cocktail of meds right so I could sleep was enough of a challenge.
I havent run all week.
The result is…I can’t wait to get back out there. I’ve gone from dreading my workouts to looking forward to getting back to it.
Reset indeed

March 8, 2012

Is it, maybe, time for my monthly update?
So, Feb….for being the shortest month of the year, I certainly packed it full of stuff.
Here’s my typical schedule:
Run-
Monday/Wednesday/Friday (and recently starting adding Saturdays)
Teach at the studio-
Monday/Thursday
Try to get to another class at the studio-
Umm, whenever I get a chance?? sometimes I would stay after my class on Mondays and take the Zumba class afterwards. Tuesday is a total rest day, and I take full advantage of it.
So, lets run through my week…..Monday, get up and go run. Teach a weight class in the evening, and then sometimes stay for a Zumba class. Tuesday..sit on the couch and catch up on my DVR, and throw some laundry in the wash. Maybe sweep the floors. Weds, get up and run. Sometimes take a ballroom dance class in the evening (but I’m taking 6 weeks off because of a schedule conflict). Thursday, get in an active recovery walk, teach a weight class in the evening. Friday, get up and run . Saturday, get up and run….then cater to the demands of a house full of people (I am a wife and mom, after all). Sunday, do as little as possible.
Are you tired? Cause I’m just catching my second wind.
So, how it is all going? Surprisingly well, actually. I was worried about how it would all fall into place, but it is. I’m putting more responsibility on my kids on my teaching days. they are old enough (17, 15, 12). I put them in charge of dinner (I make sure there are leftovers on those days) and cleaning up the kitchen while I’m gone.
My body is adapting quickly to the extra strain. My weight class is improving my running and my running is improving my weight class (really, you should see my squat. Even when I was teaching full time, I didn’t have that good of a squat)
So, running….I’ll be honest, I had a couple of mentally tough weeks. I know it was in my head. I think it was finding the balance. I’m getting over my mental humps and I’m having way more good run days than bad. I’m pushing myself, working my route so that I’m running uphills that I would normally try to avoid.
Yesterday, I was so into my pace that I misjudged where I was in relation to how much time I had left in my workout and ended up “finishing” a mile from my house. So, I just jogged it home.
Pushing the distance is bringing up an old knee ache. At the beginning of the year, I started having a knee twinge that would start up at around 3 miles and prevented me from running past 4. I just had to push past it and eventually, it stopped. yesterday when I got to 6miles, the pain came back. I ran through it, which might not have been the best idea. I finished up at 6.62 miles, came home and iced it, but it still bugged me all day. I’m icing it again today. I’m hoping it will be like before and I just keep plugging away and eventually it will go away.
A couple of things on the horizon… On March 24th, there is a 5K at the local elementary school. The school is about 2 miles from my house, and along my normal running route. I plan to get up a little earlier and run to the school, do the 5K, then run home. I wont be “racing”, just using it as a fun training run.
In April, right before my half, I’m taking a trip to San Francisco for my birthday. The weekend we are there, there’s a 10K going on. I’m throwing around the idea of doing that, too. Again, not as a race, but a really cool training run. It’s not every day I get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge.
The half is just a little more than 6 weeks away. I’m still not sure how I’m gonna get there, but I’m trusting the process. I will finish!

Jan 29, 2012

Wow, so, I’ve slacked on this thing, huh?
Let’s see. I got through December. I took an unintentional break from nearly everything…Zumba, Ballroom, and almost running. I went down to running only 1 or 2 days a week.
On Dec 31st, I ran the Flashlight 5K sponsored by a local church. I was determined to run the whole thing. Seemed easy enough since I’d been running twice the distance during training, but when it comes to race day, it’s easy to fall into old habits. I did it, though. I finished with a PR for a 5K event, 43:17. Not fast, but an improvement, and I’ll take it.
Right after New Year’s, things started falling into place. My running coach started sending me weekly workouts. Accountability, you complete me. It’s all laid out for me. I don’t have the think about it, or wonder what my distance/time should be today. I just follow the schedule. Today officially marks 12 weeks until my first Half Marathon. I’m scared and excited all at once.
I got back into ballroom dancing. Working on a Rumba performance for Feb. I’m not back in weekly classes yet, but I’ll get there. I’m thinking of switching to Latin ballroom and using it as a tax write off, lol. Which brings me to zumba
The studio finally opened. Yesterday was out Grand Opening celebration. I went a little crazy and allowed self doubt to creep in. I felt unprepared. Everything went off without a hitch, and the energy and excitement makes me want to move forward with getting Zumba certified. I had said I wasn’t going to do it, but something changed yesterday. I don’t want to be the mean one that makes people lift weights and wake up sore the next morning. I want to be part of the party.
It could happen by Spring.

Therapy

(Originally posted Dec 19, 2011)

So, I hate Winter. December thru Feb is torture. My instinct is to hunker down and wait for March. I do a lot of talking myself through the months. Dec brings Christmas, then it’s practically January, which brings us to Feb and that’s a short month and by March, Spring is just around the corner and I can breathe again.
Activity helps. Rountine helps. Holidays through a monkey wrench into both.
I start teaching my weight class in January when the studio opens. Because of all the last minute things needing to be finished at the studio, Zumba classes were canceled. That’s 4 weeks of no classes.
Where I could normally set a running schedule and stick to it, December brings a whole mess of mental road blocks. I get into funks where I know it’s either go for a run, or curl up in a ball, but the thought of running makes me want to curl up in a ball. My inner monologue keeps telling me to just get up and put on the runnig clothes. If I can get the clothes on, I’m more likely to get out and run. Since my route is now out my front door, I dont have to put any effort into driving somewhere, a plus.
So, I just keep telling myself, get up, put one foot in front of the other, keep moving to keep moving, Spring is just around the corner

Here's the thing

(Originally posted Nov. 9, 2011)

Running is a chore. For me anyway. Just like loading the dishwasher or doing laundry or taking the car for an oil change. It’s just another thing that needs to be done. And I’d much rather sit on teh couch watching my DVR’s episodes of Dexter eating a bag of chips or a Moe’s burrito (Mmmmm, Moe’s) than do any of those things.
Running beats the shit out of you. It chews you up and spits you out and asks you who the fuck you think you are. It’s way more mental than physical, and the physical is a bitch.
But my house can’t function if the laundry isn’t done, or the dishwasher isn’t ran, and my car will leave me starnded if I don’t get the oil changed.
Dexter will be there, waiting for me on the DVR, but the running can’t wait.
I’ll never run a marathon if I don’t do the work.
I know, it can be argued that no one NEEDS to run a marathon. This is true. And the fact remains that I may never run one. But I can try. I have two legs that function. That’s more than some people have. I have the ability, I shouldn’t squander it.
So, whether it’s a 4 min mile or a 14 min mile, it’s still a mile. One after another after another.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who am I?

Wife, mother, runner, dancer, teacher, student.

I've been married forever, and a mother for forever plus 1 year. I ballroom dance. I run. I'm a best friend. My friends are my family, because my family is lacking.
I'm a fitness instructor waiting for my studio to open.
2011 was a turning point in my life and I feel like 2012 will answer a lot of questions, both asked and unasked

I'm running my first half marathon in April, a week after my 37th birthday.

This is my journey