Thursday, May 31, 2012

ODDyssey Half Marathon Race Recap

I know I keep saying it, but it still seems surreal, I can't believe I ran a half marathon!

We got up at 5 am, left the hotel around 5:55, parked, walked over, and arrived just before 6:30.

We immediately got into the long porta potty lines and shortly after my family arrived!

Next thing I knew it was only a few minutes before the race was starting and we were lined up in our corral.

7 am... after walking for about 2 minutes up to the corral (as opposed to almost 40 at Broad Street), we were off!  It was pretty crowded at the beginning, but nothing like Broad Street, we weren't almost tripping over people.  We passed my family and Dave right in the beginning!  Tom was cheering SO loud.

The first few miles were a big loop around the start, which was nice because we got to see my fam multiple times.  It was super cloudy, which was amazing because you could feel the humidity right from the beginning.  I was feeling pretty good and these miles were fairly uneventful other than checking out all the funny costumes people were wearing, not to mention this guy who juggled the entire 13.1 miles!

Then we headed down a big hill around mile 4 and I got a mini side stitch.  I think it was from running too fast down the hill, but it subsided pretty quickly once we started our out and back.  I didn't enjoy the beginning of this part because the road was super slanted.  But soon we had some beautiful scenery with the river and the art museum approaching.  And then we started seeing the leaders come back which was inspiring and provided some eye candy, hello shirtless Mr. America hehe.

Next thing we knew we were at the Art Museum turning around.  Passing all the runners behind us was kind of fun, I felt fast and we were cheering on all the people towards the end that looked like they needed some inspiration!  Shayna had her ipod on her arm, so we decided some tunes would help pump us up.  Next thing I know we were headed into the next out and back for miles 8-12 and the sun started to come out but a lot of this part was shaded by trees, thank goodness!  Around mile 9 there was a band along the course, they weren't playing and we were kind of bummed, until we realized there was a girl passed out next to them.  Thankfully she had some medics with her, but it definitely gave me the chills to see her laying there.

My knees started to ache as we approached double digits, but I was still feeling pretty good and I knew we only had a few miles left.  Around mile 11 Don't Stop Me Now by Queen came on and it totally pumped us up, we were singing and loving it.  I hope the people around us liked Queen :)  I was really starting to anticipate the big hill at the end and then we started to hear the crowd cheering ahead of us...

I was like, oh somebody has some fans, those people are loud.  And then I saw my dad across the street in a tie dye shirt that he wasn't wearing at the beginning of the race.  I was like oh, hi Dad!  And then he points across the street and I realize... OMG those people cheering are MY friends!  I was blown away!

Over a dozen of my friends were screaming for us with matching tie dye shirts holding homemade signs!  I couldn't believe how awesome they were!

That gave me the perfect boost for the end of the race!  As we passed the mile 12 marker I kept thinking, omg only 1 left, I'm going to finish this thing!

And then around 12.5, the big hill came.  I knew there was a hill right at the end of this race from reading people's race recaps from last year and I knew what to expect since we ran down it in the beginning of the race... but then here it was.  My knees and hips were both in pain, but I didn't care... I was definitely ready to make that hill my bitch!  All that hill training in Valley Forge was worth it because I killed it.  So many people were walking up the hill and I felt like a champion passing everyone.  I refused to walk and soon enough, the hill was over and I could see the finish!

Passing Shayna's mom and her boyfriend gave me some energy and next thing I knew I was passing my huge fan club of friends and family all screaming my name and I sprinted to the finish!


I wanted to finish in 2:15, but I was feeling kind of disappointed when I looked up at the race clock and it said 2:16... but then I realized we didn't cross the start line until 2 minutes after the clock started!  I hit my goal and finished in 2:14:44 (chip time)!  Here are my splits!

Seriously, I ran the mile with the ridiculous hill at a 9:32 pace?!  Shayna finished shortly behind me with a smile on her face too!

Jenn came in strong a bit after us but apparently my team of photographers was a bit distracted, sorry Jenn!

After I finished, I got my metal and headed back to my fan club to give everyone sweaty hugs and get tons of congratulations!

I DID IT!  I felt amazing after finishing and having my family and all my friends there really just made it so special!  What an amazing experience!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ODDyssey Race Expo & City Eats

Let's start at the beginning...

After eating an entire box of mac & cheese out of the pot I made it in (hey, I was carb loading!), we headed down to Philly to our hotel.

Shortly after we checked in, we hopped a cab over to Boathouse Row to meet Shayna and Jenn at the race expo.

After Broad Street, this expo was a little bit on the sad side, well it was just tiny!  But we were super pumped to be there anyway.

The back of the shirt is really cool because you can fill in your finishing time using a sharpie to fill in the yellow to make the numbers!  We were mildly disappointed when we couldn't find any 13.1 car magnets, but Shayna actually found some at a running store after the race.

After parking Shayna's car and hanging in the room for a little while, we walked across the street to meet up with Michelle and Alex for some dinner at Pizza Rustica.

The menu was loaded with so many mouthwatering choices it was hard to pick just one, so Dave and I decided to split the pollo a la rustica pizza (roasted rosemary chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, tomato sauce and mozzarella) and a Philly style supreme pie both on a wheat crust.

The food was SO delicious.  Just in case we weren't full enough, we spotted a frozen yogurt place a few doors down.  I'd only been to a build your own froyo once before when I was California a few summers ago, but now I officially need to hunt one down closer to home.  I felt like a little kid building my own sundae with all the best goodies.

After we settled into our food comas, we headed straight to bed.  I was feeling a little anxious about the next day, but also excited that the big day was finally here.  I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up with my heart pounding when someone was knocking repeatedly at our door around 12:30.  When I finally got up and answered the door, some random kid was standing there looking really awkward when he realized he was at the wrong room.  I settled back into bed and tried to relax because I knew my 5 am alarm was looming!

To be continued...

Monday, May 28, 2012

I still can't believe it...

I am a half marathoner!  It was an amazing experience and I still can't believe how awesome I did.  My family was so great and I officially have the best friends ever.  I owe you guys a full race recap, but we've been at the beach all weekend and I'm super exhausted!  I'm sorry, I promise to update tomorrow night!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 20 & 21

Week 20:
- Monday - 10 min cardio dance on demand, 20 min yoga on demand, BTN arms & abs
- Tuesday - 10 min boot camp style exercises w/the cheerleaders
- Wednesday - 25 min dog walk, BTN arms, abs, & cardio mix
- Thursday - 3.24 mi run 31:36, 2 sprints, 20 min dog walk, 40 min walking with friends
- Friday - 10 min dog walk
- Saturday - 45 min backyard vball, 15 min dodgeball
- Sunday - 5.01 mi with some ladies from my group 51:17, 20 min dog walk, 20 min yoga on demand
- Total Mileage =  8.25 mi
Week 20 Goals:
- Arms & abs 2 times: A
- Yoga 2 times: A+
- Get 2 good runs in that I actually enjoy and make me confident: A+

Wow, look at all that fitness!  I started counting my calories and apparently those negative exercise calories are super motivating.  More about that in a future post.  Wednesday I did a nice loop around Valley Forge and the huge hill that used to crush me is actually getting easier!  My average pace was 9:46 min/mi, look at me I'm fast!  Relatively speaking :)  Then on Sunday I got together with some ladies from my running group for a run and some brunch and it was great.  I love running and chatting, the miles just fly by.  Oh, and yoga twice last week, who am I? I think I actually found a yoga video I like, win!
Week 21:
- Monday - BTN arms & abs
- Wednesday - 3.10 mi with Dave, 3 sprints, a few arms & abs (less than BTN lol)
- Total Mileage = 3.10 mi

Does running around packing and doing laundry count?  Say yes.  We're headed straight to the beach after the half so I'm packing for the race and for a beach weekend.  I hate packing, almost as much as I hate laundry!

Anyway, this is it!  I've been looking forward to this weekend since January!  The forecast is looking unfavorable with temps in the high 70s to low 80s during race time with 80% humidity.  I guess that's not too horrible, but every time I look up the forecast and it says the high for the day is 90, feels like 96... it makes me cringe.  I'm definitely glad we did the 12 in some heat!  Tomorrow I'm taking a half day at work and we're headed into the city for the race expo and some dinner, and then we're crashing at a hotel with Shayna and Jenn!  It will definitely be nice to already be down there since the race starts at 7 am.  My family and a bunch of my friends are all coming down to support me, I'm so pumped!  I know having a mini crowd of fans will be amazing and really help me to finish.

Speaking of which, thank you for all your support!  I never thought I was capable of doing this and all the positive energy and inspiring comments have been so wonderful.  Thank you for reading all my updates and following me on this journey :D
No internet at the beach house, so I'll catch you on the flip side... when I'm officially a half marathoner!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Photo Dump

The blog has been quite focused on running recently, which is to be expected since my race is next weekend, but running hasn't been consuming all my time.  I've been up to a whole bunch of fun stuff and I've been taking a lot of pictures, they just haven't been making it to the blog.  There were tasty eats, Mother's Day treats, a Flyers game, a birthday celebration, and a fair with a pink firetruck!

Well I'm exhausted and I don't have much to say, so here are some recent photos from my adventures.

Well, Dave is still at an all day concert, and I'm off to cuddle with my dog and watch the Kardashians premier!  Girls night :)

How do you like to unwind on Sundays?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Week 19

Week 19:
- Wednesday - 2.02 mi, 20:03 quick run with Dave
- Thursday - 1 min plank, 20 push-ups
- Saturday - better than nothing arms and 1 min plank
- Sunday - 12 miles of death, Garmin died, 15 minute dog walk
- Total Mileage =  14.04 mi

Week 19 Goals:
- Listen to my body to determine how much training vs. rest is best for my knee: A
- Planks 3 times: B
- Yoga 1 time: F
- Survive my 12 miler on Sunday: A-

Not much to say this week.  The 12 did not make me feel like a boss, but I know that the 13.1 will feel better when I get lots of rest, fuel properly, and have race day energy!  I only have 1.5 weeks left and honestly, I'm ready to get it over with!  I'm super excited to accomplish this goal, but honestly I hate double digits.  My knees say no thank you.

Week 20 Goals:
- Arms & abs 2 times
- Yoga 2 times
- Get 2 good runs in that I actually enjoy and make me confident

Next weekend... ahhhhh!

How do you get yourself back on track after a tough workout?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

12 Miles, It Ain't Easy

Just finished my longest run yet!  12 miles in the books and it's my last long run before the half (next week is a taper).  After I killed Broad Street, I was feeling super confident about the half distance and this training run.  And then I went to a concert the night before (no drinking but still on my feet).  And then I got 6 hours of sleep.  And then I woke up with a displeased tummy.  And then I didn't eat my regular long run breakfast.  And then it was SO hot.  (Maybe not so hot for other people, but I do not enjoy running in the sun in what feels like 80 degrees!)

Oh and did I mention my Garmin died in the middle of the run?  Sweet moves.

I ran with Shayna and TJ and thank goodness for them because they really pushed me to get it done.  I was seriously feeling rough from the beginning but I do think part of that was the pace that was a little too fast for me.  I also started the run in a t-shirt, which started to feel super heavy and awful so I ran the second half in just my sports bra which was so much better.  I need to get more sweat wicking tanks.  Marshalls and Old Navy here I come!

At the end I really wanted to stop.  Those last 2 miles were brutal.  I definitely wouldn't have finished without my own little cheering squad.  They were so amazing, singing random songs and keeping the motivation the whole way through!  Thanks guys :)

A lot of the training plans for half marathons only take you up to 10 miles and then they just assume the adrenaline and all of the rest of your training will take you through the additional 3.1.  Personally, I'm so glad I did this run, it was by far the hardest run I have ever done but I feel that much more prepared for 2 weekends from now.  And as of right now, they are calling for 87 and sunny in Philly on May 26th, so I'm glad I felt the heat today!

Well, my knees feel like death, my hips ache... but I knew it wouldn't be easy and that just makes it all the more worth it.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Week 18

Week 18:
- Monday - 20 minute dog walk, 1 min plank
- Tuesday - 3.41 mi, 36:00, boot camp w/cheerleaders (10 burpees, 50 mountain climbers, high knees, 20 ab scissors, 30 second plank, 10 push-ups, 40 tricep dips)
- Thursday - 5 min elliptical, free weight arms, 1 min plank, 30 second plank, side planks 20 seconds each side
- Saturday - 20 minute dog walk
- Sunday - Broad Street 10:09 mi, 1:40:32
- Total Mileage = 13.60 mi

Week 18 Goals:
- Ice my knee: A+
- Planks 3 times: A
- Prep for the Broad Street Run (early to bed, clean eating, hydrating): A+

I feel like I may have missed a midweek dog walk and/or plank, but whatever.  This week's focus was all about Broad Street.  When I ran on Tuesday I was really feeling it in my knee, so I decided that resting through the week was more important than getting in another run.  It definitely paid off because my knee felt fine through the race and I haven't had any post race pain either!

I'm a little bummed because I canceled my gym membership on Thursday, but now that I've moved in with Dave it just doesn't make sense.  Between running, my free weights at home, online resources, and the zumba/yoga combo Groupon I still need to activate I really don't see the need to pay for a gym right now.  I love working out at a gym but the only one super close to Dave's is mega expensive.  I'd love to keep paying $10 a month at Planet Fitness, but the closest one is 20 some minutes away and I refuse to join a gym with that kind of commute.  I know I won't go and I refuse to set myself up for failure.

Week 19 Goals:
- Listen to my body to determine how much training vs. rest is best for my knee
- Planks 3 times
- Yoga 1 time
- Survive my 12 miler on Sunday

 Only 2.5 weeks left!!!

Do you prefer to workout at a gym?

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