Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ghost Story

Unfortunately, I did not get a run in on Sunday.  Or Monday.  So today is Tuesday, and it gets dark before you can get home and blink your eyes.  Luckily, Kelly was back in action and wanted to go to the gym to do the strength toning class.

I went up to the rec center a little bit early hoping to get a couple of miles in before class started.  I started the Garmin just to keep track of my time, and off I go.  I wasn't listening to music because my phone was pretty much dead, so I was alone with my thoughts.

People often ask what I think about when I run.  Well, most of the time I have Kelly to bounce things off of or at least listen to her thoughts.  When you're on your own...well...I thought of this episode of My Ghost Story in which this couple goes to this castle which apparently is being used as a hotel.  They are awaken in the middle of the night by cold, frigid air.  It freaks them out enough for the husband to snap random photos in the dark. They see a large shadow on the right side of the picture. The next morning, the wife is in the shower.  All of sudden it is cold.  Then she hollers for her husband because her back is burning.  She has two large scratch marks on her back.  In the part of her back that she cannot reach and scratch herself.  So what do they do?  They go have breakfast.  Because that is the logical thing to do after being scratched by a ghost.  They do not mention this to the hotel manager, the desk clerk, the concierge, or even the guy who brought them their pancakes.    No.  They eat their breakfast.  And then!?  Then they go back to their room!  Why?  Why would you do that? I just don't get that.  It's like another show I saw where these people move into a haunted house.  Once they find out their is a child ghost in the house, they do the only logical thing.  They buy it toys and then continue to let their baby sleep in the room occupied by the ghost.  WTH people!!??!!  I don't know what I would do, but honestly, I don't think I'd be all "I think I'm ready for my omelet" if I was scratched by unseen forces. 

So this is what I was thinking when I look down at the Garmin.  I had one more lap to go, and I was right at 12 minutes.  I stepped it up a notch, but it wasn't enough to beat my magic mile time.  BUT...I ran a mile in 12:48.  And it was a good mile.  I didn't kill me or leave me winded like the magic miles do.  It was just a good run at a good pace.  I am pretty psyched really.  It's only 30 seconds slower than my magic mile, and if I hadn't been so lost in ghost thoughts, I may have been able to step it up a notch earlier and matched the magic mile.  Overall, I call it a success!  =)

It was only a mile, but I couldn't stand passing the heaters for another mile, so I went to stretch before meeting Kelly for class.  We started a few minutes late because the Weight Watcher people were hogging all the parking spaces, and Lydia was giving time for everyone to park.  Good class.  It is my belief that I will be very aware of my inner thighs and obliques tomorrow.  And the best part is I'll know why and it won't be because a ghost tortured me.  I did it all to myself.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rainy Days and Saturdays

Grace Kelly and I had discussed the potential rain that was forecasted for this morning.  We decided we would go running then go to Zumba.  If it was raining, we would skip the morning run, go to Zumba, and then get our six miles in later in the evening. 

Then Kelly texted me this morning at 5:45.  She was sick.  She wouldn't be making the run.  And then I listened to the night, and it was raining.  The rain, no Kelly, and the thought of failing at another magic mile kept me in bed as well.  And then I felt so guilty that I couldn't fall back asleep.

So I laid around for an hour or so before getting up.  I got dressed and went to the strength training class at the rec center.  It's been a while, so it felt good to work out some of those muscles that I re-discovered at the Warrior Dash.  It's not as intense as the circuit that I used to do, but it's a good start.

Tuesday, Renae was taking requests for Saturday's Zumba class.  She would be doing an extended "Turkey Burn" workout, and she would do some of our old favorites.  So I requested one and was excited when she knew which one it was and said it out loud.

So imagine my disappointment when we went through an hour and  half of Zumba, and my song didn't play.  Total bummer!  But of course, it was a fun class, and I loved having the extra half hour.  It was like a mini Zumba-thon.

Now, I'm concerned about my six miles.  It's still raining outside and yucky.  I really don't want to go to the rec center and run  around the track 60 times.  That sounds...torturous.  But I'll have to get it in somehow.  Let's hope for the weather to clear up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pause.....And Happy Thanksgiving!

So what's next?  The Warrior Dash is over, and we are making plans for the next one already.  I'm thinking we should get enough people to fill up an entire wave.

So in the interim...

Tuesday was the first day I had not been so sore that I couldn't sit on the potty without protests from the legs.  Monday night, I went ahead and went to Zumba.  What could it hurt?  I was sore, but staying still was just making me more stiff and that doesn't help.

So off to the rec center I went.  The muscles warmed up nicely, and I was forgot about the soreness.  Tuesday morning I felt much better.  So much better in fact, that I went to Zumba again.  Tuesday morning  classes are ones I don't get to indulge in often because I'm at work.  It's Renae's class, and it was ever so much fun.

Later, Angela called me and asked me to come over for a run.  So I did, and we headed over to Rice stadium where there is a three mile trail around the campus.  We would do 5:1's and we would stay at Angela's pace.  It was a nice, slow run; and it was Angela's first solid three miles.  She did great, and she even stepped it up in the last quarter mile.  Hopefully we'll get the chance to run together more often since we will have our race in February.

Which brings me to the next question.  What's next?

I'll continue to train.  I still have the two half marathons to run in February.  Then there is the Dirty Girl mud run in March.  I have enjoyed blogging me journey here, so I'll continue to do it for the next chapter.

I'll run.  I'll strength train.  And I'll Zumba as often as I can.  But truly, if there is anything I learned from the Warrior Dash it's that I cannot neglect the strength training.  I made it through, but I will be anxious to see what the difference is when I am stronger.

My friend Dianne bought me a 13.1 magnet.  She is so encouraging and thoughtful.  I told her I think I should run it again before I put it on the car just in case it was a fluke.  I don't really think it was, but I don't want to jinx it either.  The next long run is 14 miles, and that will be next Saturday.

I got up this morning and went for a run while the pumpkin pie was baking.  I got a full four miles in in just under an hour.  That should at least cover the pumpkin pie. 

So that's four work outs this week, and it's all been cardio.  Not too good for the strength training I'm supposed to be committing to.  But I can't say that I'm sorry that I've logged in 7 miles for the week so far.  That's much better than I have been doing with getting in my weekly runs. 

So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there.  I hope you are having a fun and food filled and blessed day.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Warrior Dash

The long-awaited day was finally here.  No more wondering.  No more guessing.  It was now or never.


I was still worried about that wall.  But as my sister and I pulled up tot he parking lot, it was just a little bit of excitement and curiosity as to what was coming.  Angie and I had taken off before the husbands and kids to be be sure we had time to get our packets and meet everyone before the race.  Packet pick up was a breeze, and we met up with Princess Che, Kelly, and Leslie before we knew it. As I handed Che her tutu, I put mine on "just for a picture" and then it never came back off.  The tutu had won the mean-voice war, and it was going with me on the battlefield!  We were also joined by a couple of handsome princes, Wessel and Pieter.  We were a pack of seven heading for the 9:30 wave.

Left to Right, Prince Pieter and Wessel, Princess Che, Leslie, Kelly, Angie, and me!
 Angie and I kept looking for our husbands, but as the clock counted down to the start of our race, we knew we were not going to see them.  This made us both sad.  The warrior fire went off, and our wave was starting.  As we made our way to the start line, I saw my husband.  I rushed over to the side to give him a kiss and then we were off; finally on our way for whatever was coming next.  We ran, and basically the first mile was just running.  Running on dirt, through pastures and by horses.  It was smelly, but very pretty.  My 'I-don't-run-sister' made it through that first mile like nothing.  She was in the zone, and it was awesome to see her running with such strength and ease.  Before we made the turn to go back into the woods, Leslie and the guys were waiting for us.  We trekked on as a group, and soon enough there was a back up.  It was a deep ravine that you had to run down so that you could make it up the other steep side.  After that we were at our first obstacle.  The Barricade Breakdown.  This obstacle consisted of five walls, each about four feet tall.  You had to jump over them and then crawl under barbed wire.  Kelly and I had practiced this at the playground, so I knew how to tackle it. 


After that, it was the Road Rage.  We had to run through a maze of tires after which came the junkyard of cars that we had to traipse over.  Then we had more tires to run through.  Surprisingly, I felt very balanced and strong, and we made it though without causalities.  True to form, I was slow; as I was most of the race.  =)-


I think the next obstacle was a muddy river.  It was about knee-high deep of very dirty and muddy water.  The bottom was very gooey and slimy, and your feet sunk into the mud with each and every step.  The guy in front of my lost his shoe.  We made it though without falling, but someone behind us, maybe even Wessel or Pieter, made big splash and our first splatters of mud made their appearance.  Pieter at this point, was drenched from head to toe in mud, and I used my tutu to wipe his bib clean.  This way his number was visible and I looked more muddy and more like a warrior without actually having to do any mud work. It was a win-win.




Along the way there were many, many ravines that we had to run up and down. I kept shouting, "Elevation!  Elevation!" but I quit because there was so much of it in the woods, that it would have lost its humor pretty quickly.  We came to a point where there was a steep incline.  It was muddy and slippery and there was a rope that you could use to pull yourself up.  I had my first concern there.  Did I have enough upper body strength to use the rope?


I did.  The guy at the top of this obstacle was even there to lend a hand to get you to the top, but I didn't need him.  I made it, and we kept going.  The next obstacle was the Chaotic Crossover.  This was my least favorite. Wessel had jumped into the middle and rolled his way across each of the three sections of cargo net. But I think I even may have cheated by scooting myself along the sides rather than going through the middle.  The girl behind my kept singing, "I'm sexy and I know it." and at this point, I believe Kelly had put hand prints on my butt, so I shook it when I was finally coming down the ladder.






Next up there was another knee-high muddy ravine, only this time you had to climb a plank to get over it when you were done.  So much mud!  Wessel handed Angie his camera because he was going to dive in!  He and Pieter were completely covered, head to toe, with mud by now.  This, I think is my favorite picture.


Front: Candi, Che, Kelly, Leslie
Behind: Angie
Behind Angie: Wessel


At this point, all of us girls had strategically placed hand prints on our shirts.  We kept going over more ravines and dips and inclines.  We had the Horizontal Hike which wasn't nearly as bad as it looked in the picture.  We had the teetering Traverses, which when we came to it, I heard that voice say, "Just go!' and I did. I even posed for a picture in the middle.  I never once looked down so that I couldnt' get freaked out if I looked at the ground to see how far off of it I was.  Turns out, there was a woman on a gurney by this obstacle.  I guess she had fallen off the traverses and they were taking her off.  I'm glad I didn't see her, but I know Che and Kelly did. 


Coming up was Normandy.  This was x-shaped logs with barbed wire at the top that you had to get low to crawl under.  After a few of those there was a large cargo net that you had to crawl under.  As I approached this one the guys hollered at me, "Come on princess, get low!"  He was also yelling out that once you get under the net, you could stand up and run it out.  That would make it easier.  But as soon as I got under the net, my tiara got stuck in the net.  It took me a second to get it out, but I did; and I was glad that guy gave us the tip, because it was kind of a long net.


Soon enough we came to our first water station.  The cups even said Warrior Dash on them.  Cute, but I wasn't about to try to carry one all the way back for a souvenir.  The guy shouted, "only three more miles to go!" and I laughed, "Three miles?  I can do that in my sleep!" 


We started coming out of the woods, and we were met by the trenches.  I tried to pick one that was wide to go in.  The ground was soft, but the texture was definitely more rocky; and my knees were starting to hurt as I got toward the end.  The last log before I got out was very low, and I had to scoot on my hip to make it out. 


There was a bit of running, or rather walking from there.  My shoes were so heavy from all the mud, and it must have added another 10 pounds per leg.  It was harder to run, and I didn't really want to because I wanted to save my strength for the obstacles ahead.  Angie commented that we could use some jelly beans or something, and it was true.  We were starting to feel the lack of fuel at this point. The trail was rough, with lots of sticks and cacti, and even poo!  Before you knew it, we were at the end and the last five obstacles. 


First up was a fire pole climb which was not listed on the website.  You had to climb up these very steep, narrow stairs.  This was difficult in itself because my thighs were feeling the effects of all the getting low and my lack of squats as of late.  Once we got up, the guy hollered, "Stand up princess!" and I had to stand up to slide down.  Che was down there encouraging me.  This was the one that had intimidated her because of the hieght, but she had made it down like a champ!  I reached out and slid down.  Then Che and I were all, "We just slid down a pole!  Uh huh!"


Next up was the wall.  That damn wall that had given me pause, I was now ready to tackle it!  Then I tried to climb a bit.  I came back down in a panic.  I said out loud, "I can't do this!  I can't do this!"  I heard Angie say, "Ya, you can!."  I stood there.  I looked up at the rope.  I looked at my feet.  "I can't do it," I said either to myself or out loud.  I don't know.  Then I looked over to the side of the wall.  That was the only other way around it, and I couldn't do that either. So I grabbed the rope and stepped up.  I looked up and reached up for the next piece of rope, and I pulled myself up to the next step.  I did this again and again until I reached the top.  Once I reached over the top of the wall, I knew I would make it.  I pulled myself over and sat on the top.  Angie told me, "You did it!  Now take a minute!"



I breathed.  I had climbed the wall, and I was sitting on top of the world.  I didn't take a long minute, and we climbed down the back.  I looked around; we had all done it.  We were not only warriors, we were wall-conquerors; and I felt a few tears coming down my face.



Right after that was the Cargo Climb.  Not that it was going to be a problem.  After that wall, it was all easy going as far as I was concerned.  The only "thing" here was it was  large step from the ground to the ropes.  We climbed the nets ,and they sank into every step that we took.  The three of us "tutu girls" as I heard us being called made it to the top at the same time. 


By now, our family was in sight, and we could see our kids cheering for us and jumping up and down. I blew them a kiss before going off to the tightropes.  There was no hesitation, I just grabbed one and started to cross.  My muddy foot slipped once, but not enough to bring me down.


We were now at the last obstacle.  Muddy Mayhem.  They had flags set up right before the mud pit, and I think the intent was so you would have to get really low to go under them.  I told myself, "just go" and Kelly, Leslie, Che, and I slipped into the muddy water on our bellies.  The muddy water was supringly cold, but it felt really good.  It was easy to glide along the top of the water by using your hands on the gooey soft bottom.  We just pushed ourselves along, and it got a little deeper toward the end.  Unfortunately, I forgot to close my mouth, and with all the waves people were making, I think I got mud in my teeth.  When I got to the end, my tutu weighed a ton! It was so heavy, and I tried to pull it up before getting out.  But I couldn't get out.  It was so slippery, and I just kept falling.  Finally, I had to rip the tutu off.  When I did this, my tiara came off for the second time.  I put it back on my head, and I knee climbed out of the pit.  And then I walked to the finish.  They put the medal around my neck, and I just said, "Thank you!"  I grabbed two cups of water and used one to rinse out my mouth and hopefully clean my teeth. 


We did it!  We all did it, and we had a blast. 



We stayed together for the full race.  It was just a great group.  I was definitely the weakest link, being the slowest at basically everything; but everyone was great and encouraging and it was just a great experience. I can't even describe much fun we all had and how great I felt.  We made our way to the hose-off station which is basically a large hose shooting out water and people standing in a crowd trying to clean off.  You couldn't even see. 


I donated that first pair of shoes, the ones that got me started.  It's hard to believe that I pushed through the pain of those shoes, because I felt it right away; and I missed my Brooks.  I tied them together and threw them in the pile, saying my final goodbye to the new runner I was.


We made our way with our families to the beer station to cash in our chip timers for our promised beer.  The girl asked me what kind I wanted, and I told her it didn't matter because I hated all beer.  But I sure was going to try to drink it.  We got our turkey legs. Oh my gosh, it tasted so good.  I'm sure just about any type of protein would have been delicious, but it was the Warrior Dash, so we got the turkey legs.  I tried to take a bite and sip my beer, hoping the leg would mask the taste.  Alas, I could not finish it.  I gave the rest to Kelly and Angie who were only too happy to help me with it.


We hung out for a while.  We ate our turkey legs.  We danced.  We talked.  And we laughed.  It's a day I would love to live over again.  I had my family. I had my sister.  I had my friends-old and new.  And I had the best time. 


I think I would have to say my favorite obstacle was that wall.  I worried about it, and I stressed about it.  And then I conquered it.  I can do it.  You can do it.  We can do anything we set our minds to.  We are the warriors!


And victory is mine!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tutu Thursday

ONE MORE DAY TO THE WARRIOR DASH!!!

Wow!  It's amazing to think that this journey's beginning is almost at fruition.  Only one more day, and the most important question is still up in the air.

What am I going to wear?

So Kelly has started making herself a tutu.  She convinced me I needed one too, so I'm making mine as well.  It's black and white and fuchsia.  It's really cute.  The only problem is that it makes my overall circumference very large.  VERY large!  The tulle sticks out.  A lot!  I'm going to continue making it, but I am not committed to wearing it.

So, I am still in between freaking out over the Warrior Wall and the mud.  (Ewww mud.  So gross!)  But I am super excited, and so ready for Saturday to be here.  Unfortunately, I have not gotten a single run in this week.  Not one!  It gets dark so early now, and that is part of the problem.

I did lots of push ups last night though.  Well, a few. Okay, five.  But they were good ones.  I made them count.  I held a plank for a minute, and then I did sit ups.  All this confirmed that I need to strength train.  Big time!  I should be much further along by now, and this is what upsets me the most.  I've wasted my time.  And I've known it.  I can go back and read what I've written here, and I've known it.  I just didn't change my routine.  So any wall or obstacle that requires upper-body strength that I struggle with is going to be my own fault. 

But, I'm going to give it my all, because that is what warriors do.

I went to Zumba tonight.  So much fun.  And then Diah called me to the front of the class for one of the songs.  I've never been on the instruction side of a class, and it was very different.  First of all, I think I was backwards on every move.  Second, it's different not having the mirror.  Even if you're not looking at it, it's there.  Last, I guess part of me doesn't really care what people think, because I didn't change anything I normally do.  I was just having fun.

So why can't that transfer over to this tutu?  I just don't know.  I don't think I want to know what I look like in the tutu.  I think it would be fun to wear.  I really do.  I think I would feel really silly and cute.  But the mean girls in my head are loud.

Then I think about people like Daniel.  Daniel at the running store who was rude to me.  Daniel who looked at me like there was no way I earned the 13.1 sticker that I wanted to buy.   I know there are lots of Daniels out there.  They may even be on the Warrior Dash course.  They may think I don't belong there, and they may say mean things to me.  They are out there.  They always will be along with the mean girls in my head.  And as awful as they are, I'm willing to fight them off.  It is a battle.  But it's a battle worth fighting, and I hope I'm on the winning side more often than not.  I guess we'll see soon enough if the tutu is a casualty or this war or a victor! 

I'm hoping for victor!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Diana

I had a horrible night's sleep.  Horrible!  I was excited not to have worked the football game last night since I think that takes its toll on Saturday runs.  But I had bad dreams and just overall crappy sleep.  So when Kelly picked me up this morning, I got in the car and told her, "I don't want to be here!"  She didn't care.

So off we go to the professional building where we usually start our runs. Today would be 8 miles and we would vary our route just a little bit.  Diana was there, and she would be joining us.  I forgot my Garmin.  Kelly forgot her Garmin.  Luckily, Diana had hers.  She set it, and off we went.  Right away we fell into a good pace and the laughter started.  We were coming up to someone walking kind of strange on the side of the road, and I joked that it was a serial killer.  Turns out Diana watched scary movies with her daughter the night before, so I tortured her with as many scary scenarios as I could.  Turns out, he wasn't a disfigured monster or anything else.  Just some random guy putting out garage sale signs. 

The first half of the run seemed to go by pretty quickly.  I felt pretty good, but it was definitely not quite as good as the last run.  But the weather was great and so was the company.  We came to a point where the wind was stronger and Kelly pointed out the sunrise.  There were lots of clouds and the sun was sandwiched in between them.  It illuminated everything around it and the rays were stretching out behind the clouds.  It was beautiful. 

We got to our water stop, but there was no water.  That was disappointing, but we stopped to stretch for a minute anyway.  Then we kept going, and I wondered if Diana would cut out when we passed her neighborhood since she kind of struggled with the six miles from two weeks ago.  But she didn't, and we rounded the next corner.  We were at 6.5 miles when I felt like she started to struggle a little bit.  Kelly was feeling really good, and I was okay. 

We got to 7.3, and Diana said, "Hey guys, I am going to have to walk."  But she was so close.  I told her she could make it to eight.  Slow her pace; I would slow down with her.  Kelly came behind us, and we told her we would go at her pace.  And she did.  She ran two minutes at a time.  I said things out loud.  "Coach Dan said it's not supposed to be easy.  We can do this."  I said lots of things, not not only for her benefit, but for mine as well.  I was struggling more than I had the week before. 

We got to eight, and she kept going.  And we were all laughing again.  We ran, and Diana even sped up a bit.  We made it all the way back.  8.23 miles.  We did it.  She did it!  And she finished strong.  We cooled down and stretched.  Then we saw Michelle coming.  She wanted to be sure she caught us to congratulate us on our 13.5 last week.  I thought that was awesome! 

We'll miss everyone next week as it will be WARRIOR DASH DAY!!!  Wow!  Still in shock over that one.  Last night, I felt a little more confident about the wall, but this morning the fear and intimidation is back.  I figure I'll stress about it all week and hope that it works in my favor.  It's worked in the past.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Practicing at the Battlegound

Or rather the playground.  More on that later...

So I'm freaking out over the new obstacles, and everyone knows it.  So my friend, Tiffany, facebooked me and told me to get to Zumba and forget about the dash for a little while.  I'm so glad I did.  I had the best time.  I met Tiffany there, and we started laughing about the YouTube videos that she has been creeping me out with.  The music started, and I just let it all go - All the stress and tension from the week, the fear of the wall at the dash, and the lack of time to work on my upper body.  We just danced and laughed and had a great time.  It helped that the second song was I'm Sexy and I know It and I had made the mistake of watching that music video.  It is hilarious and kind of disturbing, but unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to that song without some of those disturbing images.  But anyway, the class was fun and I had a great workout.  I wished it would have gone on for a little longer, or at least one more song.  She asked, "Ready to cool down?" and I shouted, "NO!" but she didn't hear me.  Actually, she probably did; but she ignored me, and we cooled down.  Diah commended me for my workout, and said she's going to pull me to the front of the class next week.  We'll see.

So today, Grace Kelly and I were going to head over the old police department where they have a training center complete with a rope wall.  This would be the test to see if I would be able to conquer the Great Warrior Wall.  Off we go.  We met there, and there was no wall.  They must have torn it down.  We were bummed!  So instead of going home defeated we took off to another battleground.

Actually, it was my daughter's school playground.  They have a vault bar and parallel bars. So we practiced jumping over them.  It may not seem like much, but it was good to know that I could probably make it over those lower walls, although it won't be pretty.  We climbed the rock wall of terror and some other ladders and that's about all we could do before it got too dark to see.  Kelly has pure faith that I can make it over that wall.  I will just wait for her confidence to catch up.

When it comes down to it, I'm just disappointed in myself for losing the full-body focus.  It's like that wall is the wall keeping me from my goal and serving as a reminder of what I started out to do.  It's time to get back to the strength training.  That's the reality.

Regardless of that wall, I am getting really excited!  We are going to have so much fun, and I can't believe it's so close!  Wall or no wall, I'm still in.  The warrior princesses will be there, and we will prevail.  We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!

Countdown to Warrior Dash:

8 DAYS!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 Days!!!

Last week, I was showing my husband the Warrior Dash obstacle course.  It was pretty  much the same as when I had signed up in March. 

So my sister and fellow warrior princess looked today, AND THE OBSTACLES ARE ALL DIFFERENT!!!!!  There are tightropes!  There is a great warrior wall!!  There is ever so much more barbed wire!! And there are trenches!  TRENCHES!!!!

We are so screwed!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Half Marathon Morning

I had set my mind on running 13 miles this Saturday, because I was looking at the wrong schedule.  Usually I panic and stress and freak out over each new long distance, but I was actually excited about this one.  I told my husband that I probably needed the fear back because it's been working for me so far. 


When we got our "assignments" for our Saturday run, coach said we would be running 12 miles.  Hmmm.  But then I never got our routes; somehow Kelly and I were left off the list.  So I mapped out a route for us for the 13 that I thought we were scheduled to do.  The next morning, Coach Dan had forwarded me our 12 mile route, so I had both with me when I left my house at 4:15 am for our run.

It was cold out again, but this time I was prepared.  Kelly and I warmed up, and took off.  It started off pretty good, and we warmed up some within the first mile.  We got to the point in our run where we sometimes turn and Kelly asked what we were to do.  So we stopped for a minute to discuss.  I told her that the 12 mile run I got that morning said to go straight.  The 13 mile route I had mapped had us turning.  What were we going to do?  I told her I had it in my head all week that we were running 13 miles, and I really wanted to get there today.  So we turned.

Things went pretty well.   We were well aware of the distance we had to go, and Kelly was aware of the wall she was afraid of hitting.  We had a small pow wow when this all came up.  We had to take these thoughts captive.  There would be no wall today.  Only a small partition, if anything, that we would jump over.  We would push through.  I don't know what it was, but I just felt determined.  Maybe it was the message in the mirror that my husband had left for me that morning.  Although I didn't actually see it until I got home, I think I noticed it subliminally. 

We kept going, and we took a quick break to stretch at our first water station at mile 5.7.  When we were getting closer to our turnaround point, we met up with another group running the 12 miles.  They looked great and strong, and we encouraged each other as they passed us up.  The thought occurred to me that they were going to finish much earlier than we would, but that's OK; because I was mainly focused on finishing and not so much of the pace and time. 

We made it to our turn around point somewhere around 8.5 miles.  It wasn't until about 10.5 miles that things started going downhill.  My back started to hurt.  Kelly's too.  Then my legs were starting to hurt.  And my hips were tight.  It was all at once, and I had to say out loud to my legs, "You will not win!  I am doing this, so you may as well buck up and play along!"  Kelly kept saying, "We can do this.  We can do this."  We told each other that we would stretch at the next water station; we just had to get there; but I knew we would.  Some of the groups running 23 miles met up with us right before then, and seeing them helped. 

We made it to the water station, and we took our five minutes this time.  We got water.  We stretched.  We breathed.  We were at 11.8 miles, and we had 1.7 to get back to the finish.  We would not only do the half marathon route, we would surpass it a little bit.  Refreshed, we took off again.  We were even still laughing, so things were good.  When we got to 12, I reminded Kelly that if I hadn't altered our route, we would be done.  I think she told me to shut up, but it was probably in a nice way because Kelly is like that.   

We were tired.  Kelly asked if once we hit 13 if it was okay if we just walked.  I said 13.1 and it was agreed.  We were almost at the 13 mark when two of the other ladies running 23 miles passed us up.  DeAnn was very funny.  She looked at us and was all, "Why? Why? Why?"  I laughed, and said, "Because we're rock stars!"  They kept going, and I was glad to know we wouldn't be far behind. 

And then we made it.  We were at our 13.1 mile mark, and I had just run my first half marathon.  We high-fived, took a quick breath, and then started to walk. 

And it hurt!

I couldn't believe how bad it hurt to walk.  We ignored the beeps of the Garmin, and let our heart rates come back down.  When we got a little closer, I could see the group waiting by the entrance to the parking lot.  I told Kelly, "They are waiting for us, let's go!" and we ran it in.  We ran slowly, but we ran.  I could see Tina at the end.  She was clapping and hollering for us.  She had waited for us to finish, and she ran to meet us and finished it up with us.  We made it to the end and she hugged me.  Kelly told her I just ran my first 13.1 miles, and she hugged me again and told me how proud she was of me.  And I cried.  I started bawling like a baby right there and was met with more high fives and hugs from the others.  DeAnn gave me a hug and when she let me go, I almost fell-a small protest from my legs.  We kept moving and then stretched for a few minutes.  Coach Ric asked me how I felt and I said, " I feel great now!"  Then he said that it's always the last three miles.  Wow!  That is exactly when I started hurting and things became painful.  I always find it amazing that these seasoned and elite runners go through the same things I do.  They are so graceful and they make it look so easy; it's a comfort to know that they feel the same way, they have the same pains, they struggle with the same voices and negative thoughts. 

I love this group!

Two more of the 23 milers came in after us.  After high fives, Kelly and I sat down in the parking lot to stretch, promising to pick each other up if one of us couldn't get back up.  As we were stretching and just talking, one of the ladies commented that we looked so fresh and happy laughing over here, not like we just ran 13 miles. 

But we had just ran 13 miles.  13.5 to be exact, and we did it in 3.5 hours.  We were able to walk, and we were alive.  I think that makes the run a success!  I was happy the rest of the day.  It was a great day.  We went to see my daughter.  We enjoyed the pre-game reception of the Texas State game, and the Bobcats won!  Half time was awesome, as expected, and dinner with my family and my daughter's friend was wonderful! 


Maybe it was all those endorphins that people talk about, but maybe it was just an awesome day. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Footloose

Somehow Tiffany hasn't stopped answering my calls or texts, and she agreed again to meet me at Zumba.  We started talking, and it may have been that we should have kept talking; but instead we went for the stress relief. 

The music started and the warm up song was Footloose.  I'm thinking someone went to the movies and liked it and decided to add it to our repertoire.  Luckily, that was the only song like that.  One of the first real songs was I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO.  (I didn't really know that; I had to look it up) I like that song; it cracks me up. And when there was a break in between songs, Diah asked how we were.  So I said in a monotone voice, "We're sexy and we know it!" 

It was a fun class, but the air was kind of toned down tonight.  When she asked if we were ready for a cool down, I shouted, "No!" but I was the only one.  But we still did another song, and it was a good way to end the night.  Lots of fat cells crying, and my legs were okay.  But my Zumba shoes suck, and they kind of make my foot fall asleep.  I wonder how it would be in socks.

Days to the Warrior Dash: 16!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

18 Days!

18 days until the Warrior Dash!

I can hardly believe it's so close!  And I have totally fallen off the building-my-upper-body-strength wagon!

I was thinking I should start doing push ups or side planks or something to build up my arms.  But instead, I went for a run. 

Yesterday was Halloween, so there was no exercise; there was only the walking of the block for trick or treating with my black kitty cat and our neighbors.  It was also my oldest's birthday, and she was turning 21!  (Happy birthday, sweetie!) I was totally fine with her turning 21, by the way.  I've been preparing for a while, you know.  I was just great until I was in the car and listening to 10,000 Maniacs singing These Are Days and all of a sudden I couldn't stop crying.  And then it was like that all day.  Just sporadic tears of joy and pride.   I love Halloween and my daughter's birthday and the trick or treating with my family, but I couldn't have used a run to work out all those emotions I encountered all at once. 

I took my shoes back to my chiropractor who deemed my shoes in good shape.  That made me happy, so after working on math facts for half an hour or so, I put them on and put them to work.  The legs were still fighting me a little, but I just pushed past it.  I decided to run the distance and not do intervals this time.  I've gotten spoiled with those breaks.  But I didn't wear my belt, so I didn't even have the excuse of stopping for water.  But it was good.  The weather is nice right now, so as the sun was setting I stayed cool and didn't really start getting thirsty until after the first mile. 

My pace was 14:20, and it makes me wonder how people can be so fast.  

Now, it's 18 days til the race that started this crazy journey for me!  I have to focus on the important things now.  There is no more time to waste.  So the important question is:

What am I going to wear????????

UPDATE:
I re-mapped this run on mapmyrun.com.  It turns out, my GPS on the phone is still not completely accurate which I would have noticed if I had looked at the map.  This was a 2.11 mile run with a pace of 13:51!  I still wonder how people can be so fast, but I am happy to know that I made it to a pace under 14:00 and I wasn't dying because of it!  =)