OK, remember when I said I was back on the wagon a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, I lied. But now I am. I think.
Saturday was another race – Shamrock 4 Miler. Since I had barely run at all since the 15k, I didn’t have very high expectations. My sister and I had already agreed that we wouldn’t run the whole thing. We were planning on taking walk breaks. The last time we attempted to run, we weren’t even able to run 2 miles without taking a walk break.
Flash forward to race day, when our friend Victoria informed us she was planning on running the whole 4 miles. We started off running, and we were able to finish the whole thing without walking. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something.
This race served as a reminder that I am stronger than my excuses. My body is capable of more than I give myself credit for. I’ve worked hard for several months, and I need to remember to keep pushing myself.
It’s so easy to fall into old traps and old habits, but I can’t do that anymore. Every race this year is going to be better than the last, and by November 3, I WILL be able to run the whole Half Marathon.
It’s been over a week since I’ve written, and during that time, I’m basically just gone off the rails. I have eaten everything in site, existing on cookies and soda. I haven’t
exercised. I’ve gone back to watching mindless TV and I’ve stopped writing.
That ends today. Well, not the eating part. I ate like doo-doo today. But I did go running again, and it felt awesome. I ran for 1.35 miles, which is nothing compared to the 4 miles I’m running in less than 3 weeks, but it’s a good start.
It’s amazing how much of running is mental. The last couple of times I’ve attempted to go out running, I’ve convinced myself I couldn’t do it. I ran a few steps, then I gave up and went home. There was no reason for it, but I let my mind overtake my desire to be better.
Today, my entire focus during my run was the idea that my body was made to move. It was made to exert energy. It was made to push the limits. It was made to get off the couch and get into the fresh air.
The feeling while running is so hard to describe. It’s an amazing love/hate thing that my body does. It’s painful and exhausting, but it’s proof that I’m alive and capable of more than I ever thought.
Tonight, I’m reupping my commitment to working out, to running, to myself. This is it. Welcome back to the new me.
OK, I did it. I completed a 15k. In the rain. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
1 – Don’t do a long distance race. Hahaha…just kidding. Actually, running across the finish line in this race was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had accomplished something, and it was big. All of my training, all of my stressing, all of my whining and excuses had finally come to this moment.
2 – That brings me to my next thought. An event like this requires a LOT of preparation. I knew I wasn’t actually ready for running this distance, but I gave it my best. I ran my first 5k in November. My longest actual run (without walking) was 5 miles on December 1. Since then, I’ve done several distance runs with walking breaks, so I knew this race would be a run/walk. I completed an 8 mile run/walk with just over 15 minute mile pace and I did a 10 mile run/walk with just under a 15 minute pace. The minimum pace for this run was 15 minute miles, so I knew I had to bring it. Luckily, I wasn’t alone so I brought it.
3 – FIND FRIENDS TO RUN WITH! This was important for me. Since I’ve started this little running journey, I’ve been running with my sister. It’s great when we both push each other to keep going, but it’s not so great when we help each other make excuses. Overall, we’ve done a good job keeping each other on track getting ready for this race. Luckily, we had two co-workers who also wanted to run this race. One of them finished an hour before us (but waited for us at the finish line!) and the other stuck with us. It was awesome to have friends there encouraging, cheering me on, and keeping me going.
4 – Most importantly, have fun! Everyone got into running for a reason, and I’m sure fitness was in there somewhere, but if you aren’t having fun, then why are you doing it? This particular race was awesome because it was the Hot Chocolate 15K. That meant awesome fuel during the race and an AMAZING post race snack. This race had the best swag of any races I’ve seen. All of the volunteers and staff were all friendly and happy to be there. It was such a great experience running with my friends and enjoying the day.
I am so glad I did this race, and I can’t wait for the next one. I have a 4 miler coming up in March, but no more long distance races until my half marathon in November. Let the training continue!
Ok, so now I’m 4 days out from my longest race yet, the 15K. I’ve been thinking a lot about tapering.
Since it’s hard to find anything about a 15K, I decided to read up on tapering for a half-marathon. I found this article from the Chicago Half Marathon that gave some good tips.
I did my long run 2 weeks prior to the race, but since then I’ve been slacking off majorly. It was my birthday. The weather was bad. It was Super Bowl Weekend. All kinds of excuses piled up and kept me from actually running.
Today I’m planning on running two miles and then I’ll run again on Thursday. Other than that, I’m not going to do much exercise. I’ll focus on stretching.
Nutrition wise, I’m really trying to focus on eating whole grains and protein. I made some chicken salad from rotisserie chicken, Greek yogurt and some spices which I’m going to eat with some whole wheat pitas. I’m also trying REALLY hard to avoid eating out and eating a bunch of greasy crap. Last week, I did horribly with that goal, so I’m hoping I do better this week.
Mostly, this week is about resting and getting mentally prepared for my longest race ever. Here’s hoping I don’t die!
A week from today is the big day. The 15K I’ve been looking forward to (or maybe dreading…) is almost upon us. Now it’s time for tapering and preparing and possibly freaking out a little.
I can’t believe it’s almost here. I feel like it’s been forever since I signed up for it. I’ve been working hard to towards this since November, so I should be ready. Why don’t I feel ready??
Last week was my final long run before the race. It was a total of 10 miles, 7.75 of which was actual running. Or at least what I consider running. Other people may consider it jogging. Or somehow walking with both feet off the ground at one time. Whatever. The important part is I finished. And I think I learned a lot about what to expect next Saturday.
First of all, chafing is REAL, y’all. Like, Oh Em Gee. They weren’t kidding about that part of it. I scurried myself right over to the running store to buy some body glide stuff. That should make next Sunday much better.
I also realized that I need more fuel if I’m going to run that far. As a very slow runner, a 15K is going to take a long time. I went a little crazy at the running store buying some different energy things – gels, beans, sports drinks. I need to try them out, but I’m scared! I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories. I don’t think it would be a good idea to try them for the first time during the race, so I’ll need to figure that part out.
Last, and most importantly, I realized that I can do it. I know it sounds cheesy, but I needed that long run to convince me. I’ve been working towards this for a long time, and on Saturday, I get to prove to myself that it was all worth it.
Besides, there will be chocolate at the end, and isn’t that worth running for??