Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peachtree Road Race-Part 2

Sorry for the hiatus between parts 1 and 2 but we have been traveling and I have not had time to sit down and finish this until now. Anywho...

So Kayla, her Brother-in-law, and I are waiting to approach the starting line. We were just walking along enjoying the atmosphere until we get to the starting line. We had decided to run as much as I was able to so that's how we began. It felt so incredibly good to run with a purpose again. I truly missed racing and although there was no chance in Hades I was going to win, it was still fun to feel that competitive rush again. We ran for .5 miles before my legs were done. We spent the rest of the 5.5ish miles alternating between walking/running based on how I was feeling. Kayla and her Brother-in-law were both very supportive and reassuring the whole time and I never felt like a loser when I did need to slow down and walk. We really enjoyed our time together and it was nice being able to take things more slowly and really have a chance to revel in the race.

Once Kayla and I (her Brother-in-law took off so he could finish the race strong) neared the finish line I felt immense pride at what I had accomplished. Although the overall race did not go how I had envisioned it, I was proud for having completed it and being able to get my first finishers t-shirt. After we drudged through the mud, collected our shirts, and found the Brother-in-law we headed to the Marta station. That's when the effects of not doing anything for several months and then running a 10k started to hit me.

If you have never tried to run a 10k with absolutely no training please, please, please take my advice and don't do this. If any of who have ever seen "How I Met Your Mother" and recall the episode when Barney ran a marathon with no training, it was kind of like that. At first there was a little pain, which I expected just because I had been so lazy, but over time it just got worse and worse and worse. By the time I got home I could barely climb the stairs from our front door to the main floor (yay for split levels!) and when I sat down in our tub to soak my legs in an Epsom salt bath I was legitimately worried I would never stand again. Guys, I was absolutely pathetic.

Looking back on it now it's actually really funny. I had to basically roll myself everywhere. If I wanted to lay on the couch I had to just drop down and hope I landed in a comfortable position because my stupid legs sure weren't going to be much help in repositioning my body. And don't even get me started on sleeping. There was just no way my legs were able to help me move from one side to the other (remember I am also pregnant and not allowed to lay on my back) so if, in my subconscious state, my body forgot about its handicap and started to try and move to the other side I woke up in agony and had to use my upper body to complete the turn. Luckily, this amount of pain only lasted about 3 days and then I was able to function normally again.

Overall, I am so excited/proud/impressed with myself for having finally done the Peachtree Road Race. This is something my husband and I have talked about doing for about 4 years and now I finally did it. I really look forward to doing it again next year and being able to run the whole race with my little Schatzi able to see her/his Mommy complete the largest 10k in the world!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Peachtree Road Race- Part 1

About 4 months ago Dany and I were talking and she was like "I want to try a 10k soon" and I replied "Yea? That could be fun" then she said "What about the Peachtree Road Race?!" and I said "Sure, why not?"...or something like that. Anyway, that's where our idea originated from. Since that conversation we added a couple more to our ranks. Dany, Freddy, Kayla, and I all signed up and waited the couple of weeks it took to find out if we's been accepted or not. As we each got our e-mails on March 25 declaring we were entered in to the Peachtree Road Race we posted our announcements via Facebook and got more and more pumped for it. I found out I was pregnant on March 28.

I know women can/do run great distances during their pregnancies. I know that I could have been one of those women. But honestly, I was just too tired. It seemed that no matter what time of day it was I could not motivate myself to train for that race. I luckily wasn't super nauseous but I was just so tired. For those of you who have been pregnant you know what kind of tired it is. For those of you who haven't been it feels kind of likes this: imagine the most tired you've ever been, then multiply it by 1,000, add in the fact that your muscles feel really weak from the exhaustion, and then go about your normal routine which only adds to the tired. It feels kind of like that. By saying this please understand I am in no way complaining, merely stating fact. And it's not a fact for everyone but it certainly was for me.

The first couple weeks of my pregnancy were discouraging. I had tried so hard to be the person who exercised often and ate right and all of a sudden I couldn't even summon the energy to walk a mile and my first aversion was to vegetables. I was elated to be pregnant but I did feel sad that I could no longer engage in my regular activities without the exhaustion seeping in and sucking away all the little pockets of energy I had. All of this was happening while the longest race I had ever undertaken was looming 3 months away from me. I was adamant toward the end of those 3 months, when my "training" consisted of successfully walking 2 miles, that I was only going to walk the race and would hopefully finish in just under 2 hours. Kayla was very encouraging and she, along with her Brother-in-law, promised to go at whatever pace I needed.

The day of the race had arrived and around 6:15am I got a text from Dany asking "Why did we decide to do this again?" and I replied "Because we thought it would be 'fun'". We all met up at a Marta station and rode to the race. For those of you who have never been to the race let me explain something. There is about a mile long walk from the nearest Marta station to the starting line, and a mile long walk from the end to another Marta station. This is important later. We got to the beginning, and Dany and her brother (Freddy was unable to go) went to go join their waves which started much earlier than ours. As Kayla, her Brother-in-law, and I waited to start we enjoyed the atmosphere and the excitement of the race. Luckily it wasn't raining, despite the 100% of precipitation that was promised, and although it was humid we were at least not boiling under the July sun.

To be continued... (Thus, this being called part 1) :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A needed update

As most of you have noticed (or no one has as I'm not sure anyone even reads this) but I have not posted since February. There is one really, really, really, good reason for this. At the end of March I found out that I'M PREGNANT!! This hasn't necessarily been the direct cause of my not posting but it has definitely over taken my life and now that I'm well in to my second trimester and feeling better I am going to redouble my efforts to try and pick this blog back up. This paragraph is actually being added to the beginning of a blog post I started about a 5k I ran at the beginning of March so I have left that original post as I started it for you to read.

Original post:
I have been meaning to post about past experiences related to dieting and more about that journey but honestly, at this point, I haven't really desired to relive those experiences enough to write about them. I have been enjoying my new healthy lifestyle and I'm sure at some point I'll want to explain more about the path I took to get here but right now I am happy living in the now.

I have been consistently working out for the longest period I can remember. I started on October 22 and between then and now the longest stretch I took off in a row was a week. This has been a huge victory for me. I now try to schedule my life around exercising instead of making time for it in my schedule. This attitude change has made all the difference in the world.

I ran my second 5k about a week ago (note: this is the one I ran at the beginning of March) and it was awesome! The route we did is a familiar one as it is the one I usually do with Dany and Freddy when we are training for 5k races. There is a pretty good hill in the middle of the course that has always kicked my butt. During this race I had forgotten to double tie one of my shoes and about halfway up the hill I had to stop and retie it. As I stood up to continue running I was struck by the realization that I had made it halfway up the hill and hadn't even realized it! I ran that hill like it was no big deal!! That was just the push I needed to finish out the race strong. I sprinted at the 2.9 mark as Dany as taught me and was able to finish the race in 30:04. I listed the rest of the stats below.

Finished: 30:04      Minute/Mile: 9:41      Overall: 182 out of 586     Age group: 16 out of 53

Present Day:
Since that race I also completed The Color Run at the beginning of April. I ran with Tell and another good friend of mine, Kayla, who had recently gotten bit by the running bug. The three of us walk/ran it and actually still managed to finish in pretty good time. Luckily, that race was more for the fun of it and we really enjoyed playing the different color zones and just having a good time while not being too concerned with our times. I don't have a record of my official time since I forgot to wear my watch that day but we finished around the 35 minute mark.

Before I found out I was pregnant a bunch of us signed up to do the Peachtree Road Race (10k). With the prospect of a 10k looming in front of me I was really excited about the opportunity to push myself further than I ever had. Around the middle of March though I started to become very tired and was not feeling 100%. Now I realize these were the early signs of my pregnancy and it pretty much left me so tried that running was not an option at that time. I still did Zumba but not nearly as often as I had before. Truthfully, I was really disappointed at first. Not about the pregnancy, but just that I had worked so hard to become the person I always wanted to be and now it was all being put on hold. I don't think there is a better reason to change my lifestyle, and at this point it doesn't bother me at all, but I do look forward to having my body to myself again and being able to pick up running more fully in the future.

I have definitely scaled back the exercising. I did Zumba until my membership ran out and plan on starting again after the baby is here but right now I don't feel coordinated enough to try and dance and I definitely don't want to hurt myself. I also did not train like I should have for the Peachtree Raod Race but more on that in my next blog post. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goals Update

Since my last post I have been working on achieving the goals I set. Officially I have only met one of my goals, which was running my first 5k. However, I do not feel like I failed. Here's a recap of the goals I set:

1. Complete my first 5k race.
2. Incorporate weight training in to my weekly routine. I want to start doing this 2 times a week for 10 minutes each time and build up to 30 minutes. I want this goal to be accomplished by the end of February.
3. Lose 3 inches overall by January 31. I did my initial measurements on December 27 so this will give me 5 weeks to accomplish this.

I have included weight training and actually didn't have to build up to 30 minutes but was able to do that right away. I have been doing a 30 minute weight lifting class at the Zumba studio I go to which has been fun. It's called Power Up and if anyone is interested in adding some pretty easy weight routines I recommend this class. The only reason I haven't done it two times a week is that I was sick for a few days this past month and it messed up my work out schedule and I wasn't able to make it up. But other than that little break I have done really well towards completing this goal.

The last goal was to lose 3 inches and when I measured myself I had lost 2. Even though I didn't lose the 3 inches I was planning on I am still really, really excited about this. It's been hard to find motivation because the number on the scale isn't getting lower but losing inches, any amount, is a great motivator!

I have slacked off a little on my running but part of that was because I'm not feeling well and having a crazy schedule. On the bright side, Tell is moving in with me soon for a few months so it'll be great having a work out buddy around 24/7! I have also started training my husband to run and we, along with Dany, Tell, Freddy, and some other friends, have signed up for The Color Run that is taking lace in Atlanta on 4/6! I think it'll be good to have another race looming in my future to prepare for. Meanwhile, I've been doing Zumba and adding the weights in so at least I haven't been completely lazy! :)

Here are the goals I want to accomplish next:

1. Continue to incorporate weight training in to my weekly routine. I want to do this 2 times a week for 30 minutes. I want this goal to be accomplished by the end of February.
1. Be below 150 pounds by the end of February (I'm at 152.2 as of this morning)
2. Lose another inch (Measurements will be taken February 28)
3. Complete Nike+ goal of burning 4,000 calories per week

Stay tuned for some posts regarding the fad diets I've tried in the past...

Monday, January 14, 2013

1 down, many more to go

They say the first step to conquering an addiction is to admit you have a problem. Well, I don't want to conquer this addiction but I will admit that I am addicted to running 5k races! I finished my first one Sunday. I did the Hot Chocolate 5k in Atlanta and it was awesome! There were some obstacles to the day, but overall it was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I want to give a blow-by-blow of the day and include some very important lessons I have learned about running these races, especially big ones like this. I will warn you, some information might be to much for some but trust me, it's important to the story.

The day started at 5am for myself and my very sweet and supportive husband who wanted to come and cheer me on. We headed down to my sister's apartment in Atlanta to meet Dany and Freddy so we could ride together from there. A shout out also goes to my sweet sister who let me in to her apartment even though I woke her up, so I could use the restroom before I left. We got near Centennial Olympic park and started looking for parking. Luckily we found some not too far from where the shuttle was going to pick us up even though it was $20. As we started walking to the shuttle it was about 7:30 and the race started at 7:45. We started running toward the shuttle, along with some other late comers, and made it just in time to one about to pull out. As we headed toward Turner Field we realized we are definitely going to be late. Lesson 1: Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the race.

We finally get there and see that it is absolutely packed. There were a total of 19,000 people at this race. Dany was supposed to run in corral A and Freddy and I were slated to run in corral B. For those of you who are unaware of how they line runners up for larger races, as I was, they do it based on how fast you can run a mile and line everyone up accordingly. Unfortunately, because we were late, we started out in corral G. This means we started mostly with walkers and this posed a challenge as we started to run the race and needed to try and get around people in order to pick up speed. As we crossed the starting line we went single file in order for us to run around others and try to get into some kind of open area. Danny and Freddy left me pretty early on and I began my first 5k.

As I began to get clear of people I picked up some speed and was off! I still had to dodge people but tried to run on the sidewalks as much as possible as they were mostly empty. There was one point early on where I was passing someone on their right and thought I had enough room to clear them. Apparently I didn't and as his right arm came back in his stride and accidentally hit me. I shrugged it off and quickly dodged in front of him, while saying I was sorry, because at the moment I passed him I was about to run in to someone who had started slowing down in front of him. As I did that he hit me on my shoulder to let me know he was mad at me for cutting in front of him. I just waved and kept running. Lesson 2: Be prepared that you will have to dodge and weave around people.

So, other than getting hit, the first half of the race went along without a hitch. I was calm, focused, breathing well, and had dominated every hill I came across. What I didn't mention earlier was that as we lined up for the race I realized I had to use the restroom again. I drank a lot of water on the way to Atlanta and it didn't catch up with me until we got there. About half way through the race it hit me. I was so uncomfortable and tried to run faster in order to get done and go to the restroom. As I ran up the last hill (which seemed much easier to me!) I was thankful to look over and see the finish line. Lesson 3: Make sure you use the restroom right before the race, even if you think you don't have to go.

As I crossed the finish line I was smiling, pumping my fists in the air, and telling the MC who was encouraging people at the end that I just finished my first ever 5k. I felt unstoppable and incredibly proud of myself. But, as I started walking the urge to use the restroom intensified. I walked over to a volunteer and asked her where the bathroom was. She gave me a sympathetic look and said that they were over near where we started. I thanked her and continued running! I weaved around the people walking telling them to excuse me but that I really had to pee! At one point another volunteer who had a megaphone saw me and said, "look at this girl, she's still running!" As I came upon the porta potties I saw the one on the end open and someone about to walk in. She saw my distress and let me go ahead of her. Once I came out of the porta potty I was much happier and very ready to find my husband and coaches to celebrate.

I called my husband and he walked over to where I was. As soon as I saw him I started to cry because I was so happy to have accomplished this goal! After he congratulated me I asked if he had seen Dany and Freddy. He said he hadn't so we started looking for them. Neither of them had their phones and, as I said before, there were about 19,000 people there. This post is already pretty long so I won't go in to detail but after more than an hour, and some pretty funny near misses and communication ingenuity, we were finally reunited and as I hugged Dany I felt like we had spent years apart instead of an hour. Lesson 4: Always, always, always come up with a meeting place before hand.

I am extremely proud of myself for this accomplishment and now I am thoroughly addicted to running races. And I actually did really well considering it was my first race ever, and it was a pretty difficult course. I have posted my stats below. Look out for more posts about races because this is definitely not my last!

Stats: I completed the race in 32:03 with a 10:19 pace. I finished 1566 out of 9086 overall and 137 out of 907 in my age group (females only).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Goals for 2013

As the new year starts I want to look over the goals I set for myself when I started this journey and see what kind of progress I have made. I set forth 3 goals in my very first blog post. These were as follows:

1. To run two times a week, for 1 month. (At the time I set this I was two weeks in to this goal)
2. To exercise, for at least 30 minutes, on the days I do not run. (One rest day a week)
3. To lose 5-10 pounds by the end of the year.

Goal 1-I have not been consistent in my running the whole time. I did run 2 times a week for most of the last 2 months but I did miss an entire week around Thanksgiving so this goal is not completed. Goal 2- I also have not exercised for 30 minutes on the days I did not run. Another failed goal. Goal 3-As it stands now I have only lost 1.2 pounds since I started on October 22. So basically none of the goals I set have been accomplished. However, I do not feel like I failure in ANY way!

Here's the reason why. I'm doing something about my health instead of just talking about it. I may not have accomplished a single goal, but I have accomplished a lot of others that I didn't put in writing. For instance, I have run 3 5k distances since I started running in October. This means I went from 0 miles to 3.1 in about two months. I also may not have lost weight but I am gaining muscle and my clothes feel more lose so I know I am losing inches. And my self-esteem and energy is outstanding now! I feel like I have succeeded in a lot of ways!

With that being said, now that I am over the initial hump of learning to run I want to progress at living more healthy. I have made great strides at being more active and trying to eat better but I still have a lot I want to accomplish so here are the next set of goals I want to set, and actually accomplish this time.

1. Complete my first 5k race. I have signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5k. It will be held on January 13 and I am pumped!
2. Incorporate weight training in to my weekly routine. I want to start doing this 2 times a week for 10 minutes each time and build up to 30 minutes. I want this goal to be accomplished by the end of February.
3. Lose 3 inches overall by January 31. I did my initial measurements on December 27 so this will give me 5 weeks to accomplish this.

There you have it! I will check in with how these are going in my subsequent posts. And just to give you an update on how the running has been going, it has been awesome! I went on vacation around Christmas and exercised every day I was gone which was a first for me. I have been running consistently and picking up the pace a little. My endurance is increasing and I'm feeling more prepared for my first 5k! I want to shout out to my awesome trainers, Dany and Freddy, for encouraging me and helping me feel confident about my ability to do this!  Happy New Year everyone!