Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Success

I had many plans for myself this weekend. I believe I succeeded in doing just about all of them too. We'll get it out of the way from the start, I planned to go running and I did. Go me! I planned to have Starbucks, cupcakes, margaritas, and nuun; all goals accomplished. There was sadly no beach trip, but I did lay outside so I was happy.

The weekend kicked off in the best way, leaving work at 1pm on Friday. It was almost as good as not having to work at all on Friday. I went home and relaxed for a little while before dinner at my favorite mexican restaurant with Paul and friends. I got to enjoy the first margarita of the weekend there.


This was followed up by watching a depressing Rangers game, and a few more skinnygirl margaritas. 

At some point I went to bed, only to be greeted in the morning by the amazing sunny and warm weather. For various reasons the long run was pushed from Saturday to Sunday, which meant coffee and relaxing Saturday morning. I got to enjoy some time in the sun before it started to completely downpour! 

Unhappy iPhone having to deal with the heat!

Saturday night was a cookout with friends. This meant more skinny girl margaritas, and PLENTY of food. Don't think I'm exaggerating one bit when I say all I did this weekend was eat and drink. The cook off included: chips, hot dog, cheeseburger, sausage, pasta salad, cupcakes and cookies. All of it was delicious and I didn't regret any of it (even if I should of). 

Sunday morning was a little iffy with the weather. It was going to rain which would of ruined my long run plans and immediately put me in a bad mood all morning. I had a coffee and a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast (more proof that all I did was eat this weekend). It ended up being incredibly sunny out so around noon Paul and I finally went out for a run. It was about 100 degrees (or 85 you decide) and humid. The entire run was gross. First of all who knew that coffee, chocolate chip muffins, margaritas, cupcakes, and massive amounts of meat were not what you should eat to prep for a long run? Clearly I did and chose to ignore it. It was a long run to say the least. My stomach wasn't happy, and my entire body would of rather been standing in a pool instead of running through the streets without shade. If it was socially acceptable to just run in underwear, I promise you I would have on Sunday. TOO FREAKING HOT! In reality it was my own fault for waiting till noon, but whatever. I'm happy with myself for getting through the 6 miles, and following it up with eating yet another cupcake. 

I had a deal from living social for 6 cupcakes and finally picked them up this weekend. AMAZING. Key Lime, Red Velvet, Peanut Butter, Salted Chocolate Caramel, M&M, and Oreo. Yes, Paul and I did eat all of those this weekend, again I don't feel bad about it. 

Sunday night was dinner with friends at another great restaurant. There was a challenge with dumplings, and basically I ended up eating 10....and that was before dinner got there. If you are sick of hearing just how much I ate this weekend I understand, because it is now that I'm realizing just how out of control it was. I ran though, so I get some credit right? No? Ok, cool moving on. 

I'll sum up Monday for you a little faster. There was a graduation party, more fun with friends, lots more food, and a misspelled cake. All in all, a great time. 

Other than the fact that I basically ate 24/7 the entire weekend, it was a really great time. I need another weekend to calm down and relax from this weekend now. Lucky for me I have tomorrow and Thursday off of work. :) Happy girl right here. I have runs scheduled for today, tomorrow, and Thursday. My hopes are maybe I can run off everything I ate in the past 3 days, although I think a lot more than 3 days of running would be necessary for that. 

I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! Happy Tuesday! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend!

Finally the weekend! I had Monday off and this still felt like the longest week ever. Please enjoy this photo cluster of what I will be doing this long weekend!

There will be some of this. Not racing, just regular running. And it will most likely include me making faces during the run.

Starbucks <3 

 There will be lots of cupcakes. It's memorial day weekend people! I'm going to enjoy! 

Nuun drinking! 

 Possibility of a track workout at some point during the weekend 

 Plenty of margarita drinking! So much so that there will be two pictures of me partaking in it! 

Margarita love <3

Some swimming

And of course, some beach going...shh don't tell Paul

This is me, doing back flips thinking about the awesome weekend to come. 
ps...this is not really me at all

 Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Remember When...

To some of you this post may seem completely out of no where. The point of it may or may not have anything to do with what this blog is about, but the blog in general is about me and therefore I find it relevant to post. Feel free to not read it if you don't agree. I have too many thoughts about this topic that I need to write about it somewhere before I forget just how much I care about it again. Maybe I'm thinking more and more about this topic because in the past week I've seen or talked to 4 of my best friends from college (yes that would be you Beckie, Brittany, Joe, and Ben); but the reality is the conversation I had with Paul the other night after dinner reminded me about it. Ok I'll stop being vague and start explaining. We are going to go way back to the college days to explain this one.

Freshman year of college I went in some what open minded. My technical major was "Undecided Liberal Arts," but I knew I wanted something in the health field. I always said I wanted any job that included me wearing a white lab coat of any kind. I did some searching in between my doing nothing and partying.

 Perfect example of me sitting doing nothing. A lot of that happened freshman year

And then there was the party side to it.... 

There is the possibility that I spent so much time in health services with tonsil issues, that I finally decided on a career path. Nursing! Go me! I was all set and ready to go. I got home from college, had my tonsils out the next day, and three days later started summer school. I had to catch up on biology if I was going to be a nursing major. I spent my ENTIRE summer taking classes, Monday-Friday from 9am-12pm. The day before I left for my sophomore year was my last final for the summer. I will say I didn't put all my effort into the second half. By that point I got my first grades back from BIO 101, and started slacking a little for BIO 102. I got back to school and was ready to start off on my nursing track. I was a nursing major and was ready to go. I started taking my anatomy (loved) and chemistry (hated) classes. Then the summer class grades came in. I got a C+ in Bio 102. There was a clear (apparently) policy in place that QU could not accept any transfer credit below a B- from another university. I was immediately pulled from my anatomy class, because I no longer had the prerequisites to take it, and was stuck in limbo. I met with the head of the health science department and we switched me from nursing to Health Science Studies major. By having this I was going to also have to stay an extra year to finish my nursing degree. I got through the first semester and knew it wasn't for me. I was enjoying my sophomore year to say the least, and my chemistry grades were taking the rough end of it. 

Party time all the time sophomore year

I switched my major to undeclared health science and picked up a minor in psychology. If you are keeping count this is the 4th major I had by my second semester sophomore year. I got back to school and started taking my psychology classes for the spring semester. I LOVED every psychology class I took. I thought long and hard, and had a few margaritas (kidding, sort of), and made an important decision. I would yet again switch my major (major number 5!) to Psychology!

 Gotta love a good margarita!

There wasn't a psychology class that I didn't love. Junior year came and went. I added sociology as a minor and started to narrow down the field within psychology that I liked. I started off senior year taking all psychology classes that dealt with health psychology. I loved, and did well in, all of these classes. Senior year was also the year of my first half marathon! 

Clearly the night before, because day of was a DISASTER

Second semester sophomore year my life was taken over by my thesis. My topic was childhood obesity and social withdrawal. Please see here, here, here, here, here, here, or here to find status's about just how much work I was doing. Ignore all my complaining in the majority of it, because as hard as I worked on it, I loved the topic. Because all of you are wondering I don't get to brag about this enough, I received a 92 on the written thesis and a 97 on the presentation. I know, I was awesome. After that senior year life was much more relaxed and fun! 

Margaritaville inside Mohegan Sun . We randomly became friends with this guy

Finally it was graduation time. I really enjoyed every area of Psychology I worked in, but had no job prospects when I was graduating. I mean zero. I went on one job interview, that I apparently was not qualified for. None the less I had to graduate and go out in the world. 

Yay! Graduation day. What are you doing tomorrow Amy? Oh I don't know I have NO JOB! 

 At least we didn't have to move out of our house for a few weeks. 

Anyways. There is a purpose to memory lane. And no it was not just to tell you how awesome I did on my thesis, although I'm sure you did appreciate that part. After graduation I had a few weeks to hang around CT and finish up my internships before moving home. I also met the bf, you know, little stuff.

Possibly our first picture? 

 I headed back to Boston and sat on my couch for a day. Then I spent the entire next day applying for jobs. Day 3 of being home I started my waitressing job again. Day 4 of being home I was offered a 6 week summer position to help out in the finance office of the high school near me. My brother went there, as did just about every other male family member, and my mom currently worked there. They needed some help and an excel pro, that was me! So I had two part time jobs making good money while looking for my full time job. At some point I realized I was not only good at what I was doing, but that I enjoyed it! Shocking! I talked to my boss at the beginning of August, and got the job full time. I worked on the budgets, admissions, financial aid, financial reports, I could go on and on. You all know how this story ends. I quit my job and move to NY, jobless. 

When I was on the search for jobs, I looked for colleges and high schools for admissions. I was good at what I was doing and I enjoyed it. I figured why not continue to look for jobs in this area. I got the job at the college and life continued. If you checked my All About Amy, you'll see I said that I was interested in being a school counselor. This was in line with working in admissions and etc. 

Ok ok, the point of all this? At some point after college I lost the idea of what I had planned to do and worked so hard for. I created a new plan out of no where that I would work in admissions for however long and then go to school counseling. No plans for health psychology. I use to, and still do, LOVE everything that was health psychology related. I gave up my ideas for this field so quickly, and left it in the dust for job security. I should mention that I know this is not the worst reason to give up an idea and plan. The other night though Paul and I were talking about weight loss. He may or may not have been told recently by a few people just how skinny he is (side note, I think he is perfectly healthy, I just like to push buttons). We discussed what he should be eating now, changing between weight loss and maintaing weight, and all things along those lines. I started to realize how much I missed having these, and other conversations, about health, weight loss, and all psychology related to it.

Am I doing anything about this right now? No, not at all. I have gone as far as thinking about it for two days now, and writing a blog post about it. I haven't gone forward with what I will do with the fact that I miss this area of my life. I would love to get back into health psychology, but at the moment, I also like having a job and paying my bills. I needed to write this though to remind myself from time to time that originally, I had other plans for my future. Maybe I will go forward with it, maybe I won't, I am only 24 after all. I don't want to forget anymore though about what my original plan was.

Thank you all for indulging in my randomness and walk down memory lane. If anything does change on this front, you will most likely be some of the first people to know.

Happy Thursday everyone :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long Run Hell

For those of you that caught my twitter Sunday, you already know this weekends long run sucked. To set the stage, or give an explanation, or just to make myself not question if I should be running another half marathon anytime soon, I'm going to explain the week in the hopes it better explains this long run disaster.

The week was going well with running so far. I had a great track morning on Tuesday, followed up with a good run Wednesday. Thursday's run had to be pushed to Friday morning. Regardless of my lack of excitement, I was up and out of the house to run by 5 am. I got my mileage done, but it wasn't my best run by any means.

Thanks nuun for making the run not completely miserable at 5 am. 

I ended up getting out of work early Friday, which gave Paul and I enough time to go to the running store down the street. Paul needed new shoes, and even though I had my new kswiss ones that I never wore, I'm always on the look out. Paul had been talking about getting Brooks shoes, so I had checked out the website and took their test about which type of shoes were best for me (Ghost 4). I asked to try on a pair of ghost 4s at the store, only to be informed they didn't have them in my size. "The women's track coach at Adelphi University wears Ghost 4s in a size 10, she must of bought the last pair today." My options were to find the track coach and steal the shoes before she wore them (a lot of effort), not buy any shoes (clearly that option only lasted in my mind for .2 seconds), or buy a different pair of shoes. The very nice woman, who was now dealing with my "what do you mean I can't have what I want" attitude, suggested two other shoes to me. One was the Glycerin 9, a similar but in her opinion a step up, from the ghost 4s (they were ugly, really ugly). The other were last seasons Glycerin 9's. Last seasons option wasn't ugly for starters, and only $50. Yes we found a winner! They also sold nuun so I snagged a pink lemonade and a lemon tea, just to make the entire purchase that much better. We followed up the shoe shopping with puppy viewing and a graduation dinner! I passed out at 9:45, yes 9:45pm on Friday night...party animal, I know.

Cutest Puppy Ever!  Made my Friday night! 

The alarms were all set for an early morning 6 mile long run on Saturday, and all the alarms were shut off when the time came around. Paul and I were both still exhausted, and I knew I had a long day ahead even without the run, so I pushed it off till Sunday morning.

I woke up Sunday morning, late. Got myself out of bed, had a bagel and peanut butter, and got ready to go. I wore my new Brooks shorts (thanks to myself), my new lulu sports bra(thanks to my mom), my lulu tank (thanks to the bf), and of course my new Brooks shoes (again thanks to myself). I also was able to snag Paul's garmin because he was going for a bike ride and didn't need it. If you are checking, the only item not new that I wore were my sunglasses. My super obnoxious eye infection (neglected to mention this before) was bothering me when I got outside. I still don't know what it is, but the result is my left eye watering uncontrollably when I'm in the sun. Yes, it is that obnoxious. So I: woke up late, wore all brand new things, had an eye infection, and a stomach ache. With all of this taken into account, I was really excited for this run. I was mentally prepared when I stepped out the door, after that I don't even know what happened.

I got the garmin all set and started running. It was sunny and warm out, but I was comfortable. I ran the mile about 30 second faster than what I was looking for, and told myself to slow down a little. I apparently listened to myself a little too much. At I'm not really sure what point of the 2nd mile I started walking because my knee bothered me. In my mind I said "ok 30 seconds to walk, then time to run again," what happened you ask? The exact opposite. I couldn't motivate myself AT ALL. Nothing was pushing me to run. My legs were tired, I was tired. I wanted the run to be done, I wanted to be home, I wanted to be doing just about anything but what I was doing. In my mind I wanted a great long run, I just had no desire to put in the effort for it apparently. It also was not helpful that every now and then a little man would pop up on my Garmin to tell me just how much slower my pace was than my usual pace. I almost yelled "IM NOT PAUL! 8 MINUTE MILES IS NOT MY USUAL PACE!". I realized I would look like an insane person if I started to yell at my watch however, and kept on moving. I some how got myself through 3.5 miles, about 3 minutes slower than my goal time, and ran into Paul on the bike. He was done his bike ride and was going to switch his shoes and meet me on the other side of the mile loop to run with me. He got me more water, checked on how I was doing, and sent me out to finish my .5 miles until we met up.

Just before I hit 4 miles I saw him with my water bottle, and sucked down some pink lemonade nuun (delicious). I told Paul it wasn't my day, and I thought I would do 5 miles. I explained  complained about my time, my stomach, my eye, the little man yelling at me on the Garmin, and everything else. He agreed this was fine and we started off to finish my run. I'm pretty sure I ran for about 2 minutes and started walking. I was DONE. Paul stopped and walked and humored me for about 30 seconds. He then informed me that I wasn't allowed to take another walk break for sometime. I started running and looked at my Garmin about 500 times to see if I hit the mileage I needed to walk. It was ridiculous. At one point Paul yelled "if you look at the watch again, I'm cutting your wrist off!". I whined and complained a lot. I think at one point I told him I couldn't breathe, to which he responded "If you really can't breathe you can stop, otherwise keep going". Well of course I could breathe, I just wanted it all to be done, so I kept running.

We made it to some sneaky back way to the track and I was allowed to walk. I'm not sure I was even actually tired, I was just over the run. My knees hurt and I was unhappy. We walked through some grass and past a baseball game, and once we hit the track I was informed I was running the rest of my mile. I don't know how long my final mile took, but I'm pretty sure it was at least two minutes faster than any other mile on my run. I thanked Paul multiple times for running with me at the end and apologized for my complaining. Listening to me complain about things is not fun (ask my mom), but having to listen to me complain while we are running, I'm sure is one of the more miserable activities anyone can partake in. He puts up with a lot of crap from me and for that I will be forever thankful.

We went to the beach after to enjoy the rest of the sunny day, mostly because it will rain all this week. We talked about my running and my running future. While part of the run difficulty could easily be because of my new shoes, there is a much larger part to it. The saying of "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" applies to me. When the going gets tough, I do in fact get going, just the other way. I'm not capable of pushing myself AT ALL. I could use my psych degree to figure out why, but I've decided to instead just use the degree to figure out the answer to how to fix my lack of motivation. It is clear that I can run the miles straight, not take walk breaks, and have a faster pace. The entire problem is mental and I need to work around that. If I had an answer as to the problem, I would of posted it first. Unfortunately I'm still working on it. For now I am going to continue doing what I can. I LOVE the track workouts on Tuesday morning, and I am able to get myself through the short runs. The answer during this set of training might be to make Paul run all my long runs with me. Kidding, sort of. I'm working through the answers the best I can, and trying to just enjoy running while I work it out.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sticking to a plan

Now that it has been almost two weeks since the UHC Providence 1/2, I think it is finally time for me to move on and talk about something else....such as my plans for the next race!

I havn't really been one in the past to come up with a training plan and stick with it. Please see just about any race on this page. I know sticking to the plans that I create will only help me down the line with my goals, I just really suck when it comes to the follow through. So this time I created a plan to help me stick to my plan. Confused? That's ok. 

Tada! This is the plan to stick to my plan. 

Recognize him? Ok good. After being a really awesome girlfriend and introducing Paul to the world of running way back when, he took over and started to kick my ass. I know, how shitty awesome is that? Regardless, he knows how to stick to a plan very well. No matter what is going on, if he has something scheduled for training, he does it. Other than the obvious reasons, such as I'm with him all the time, it was clear he would be the right person to get me out and moving every day that I needed. And guess what, I'm a genius and the plan worked! Well, it has only been a week of training, but so far so good! 

I need someone to get me up in the morning to run, out after work to run, take the candy away from me, or tell me to stop complaining about being tired. Paul has no problem doing all of the above. So now that I've seriously increased my boyfriends ego, lets move on to my actual running. 

Here is my training plan: 

  Click on it, it gets bigger! 

Surprise race day is June 24! Yes this does mean I added yet another half marathon to my schedule. Paul was running the Fairfield Half Marathon, and I found it completely ridiculous that he was doing this without me....or I really didn't want him to have another medal than me.  I'll talk more about the race another time, on to training for now. I am staying on track and completing all my runs so far. I even went back to Boston for the weekend and still did my run on Saturday, which I assure you has never happened before. 

Look I went running! Yay me! 

Tuesday morning was an early wake up for the track! I swear I am getting better about getting out of bed faster. This time I only begged for 3 more minutes of sleep instead of my usual 5-10 minutes. Baby steps people, baby steps. We headed down to the track and I did my warm up laps, followed by 5 x 400's. Keep in mind I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time to run, shower, eat, and get to work on time without waking up at 4am, so I take what I can with my distances. I'm also deciding if it is more beneficial for me to start adding to the distance or the amount I am doing to help improve. Thoughts on that are welcomed and appreciated! 

I'm working on pushing myself through at tough parts, because I know this is huge when it comes to my races. Once I start to see my goal slipping away, I throw in the towel and settle for what I can get. No more of that. So here's how it went: 

2- 1:56
3- 2:06
4- 2:08
5- 2:06
No I do not have a Garmin, it is on just about every wish list I have though....

In reality, this isn't bad for me, but it's not even close to what I would like to be doing. I'll take any improvements though, because I know I'm not going to be running sub 2 hour 1/2's over night. 

So there it is: new race, new plans, new plans for the plan, and I'm adding in stretching/pilates this time around! Blame it on the sunny and warm weather for my running excitement at the moment. 

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

UHC Providence 1/2 Marathon

I'm sorry, were you looking for my usual timely post of a recap? My apologies. Two Sunday's ago was half marathon number 4 for me! I had very (and I mean very) low expectations for this race. For starters, I hadn't planned on doing it originally. I can't really use that as an excuse though because even after I planned to do it, I still didn't really train for it. Proof of this would be the longest run I did for training was 7 miles...not 10 like I usually do. There are all sorts of excuses reasons as to why I didn't train, but I'll save you all from those explanations. So here it goes, from where I left off on Monday...

I woke up on race morning feeling extremely relaxed. Paul and I had stayed at the Courtyard Marriott for the night. I will give them a huge (not even giving me money for this I just really like them) shout out. We just about always stay at Courtyard Marriott. They are nice and usually not the most expensive thing in the world. They also are great with customer service (ex...Someone on the phone told me parking would be free. Long story short it wasn't. I complained a tiny bit, they added the parking to our bill, but dropped the price of our room so we paid same amount! Win!) They got bonus points for this race because the hotel entrance was the starting point for the race. This means no sitting in traffic, no waiting for a train, no searching for parking and running two miles to the start line, and the biggest plus of all not waking up at the crack of dawn!

I woke up at 7 am, had an english muffin with peanut butter and got ready to go. The whole outfit selection thing was out of control. I left the shirt I wanted to wear at home so wasn't sure of what to do. The weather said it would be 60, but it was freezing at 7am. I debated the whole long sleeve/short sleeve and sunglasses/no sunglasses thing for far too long. I ended up with short sleeves (good choice) and no sunglasses (bad choice). At 7:50, Paul and I headed outside to join the group at the start line. It took maybe 2 seconds to get in the pack of people. I can't even stress how huge this was. Another win for the Marriott, even though they really didn't do anything for this one. Paul and I shuffled to the half way point of the pack, he planned on heading further up but it was way too much effort to push through those people.
Start Line

The gun went off and we all started to go. Paul and I crossed the start line together and then he took off to catch up with his pace group. I hung out in the middle/back of the pack. I watched people pass me and tried hard not to chase after them. I was overly cautious about going out too fast knowing that it could hurt me a lot in the end. I found a girl who looked like she knew how to pace herself and stayed near her. Once mile 1 was done people started taking off left and right to ditch extra clothes to the side of the road. Score one point for me being smart and wearing short sleeves. I lose points however because the sun was out in full force and I wanted sunglasses.

 I decided to break the race up into 5 parts. Part 1: miles 1-3, part 2: miles 4-6, part 3: miles 7-9, part 4: miles 10-12, and part 5: the last 1.1 miles. I figured if I could set (and stick close to) goal times for each of these sets, the race wouldn't seem so big and unmanageable. The first part I felt good, I passed about 10 cameras and tried hard to take a good race picture (epic fail).

I tried to listen and enjoy my music and the sites around me. There were a few hills and I decided I'd allow myself to walk any hills. This mostly was because I knew if I tried to push my ass up them running, I would be in more pain and walk the entire next part. The down side to this plan was that there were so many hills. I thought it was crazy during it and then realized I had done no hill training so maybe that was why. I was sticking to my time during the first part and into the second. Some point after mile 4 some guy yelled "you're almost there!". Seriously? I gave him a dirty look and kept running. On the other side of the park I could see the super speedy first couple of runners for the half that were about to finish mile 7. I tried not to let this discourage me and instead was excited for the girl dressed in pink from head to toe who was keeping up with all the front runner guys.

 My 5 part plan was working until around mile 7. I had just come off a huge downhill, only to be followed up with a very large up hill. My knee had been hurting for at least 3 miles and my feet had just really started hurting. I knew it was because I wore my old shoes, but just reminded myself it would of been worse if I had tried to break in the new ones during the race. At the end of the uphill I started running (mostly cause I had been waking for almost 2 minutes up the hill it was that big). I saw the cutest family sitting on their front steps cheering everyone on. I gave my "I know I'm not I first, but at least I'm not last" smile and they cheered even more. At the top of the hill was a police officer directing and also cheering. I'm not sure I've ever seen an officer cheering at the races, so I give this guy credit. He also informed all of us that was the last bad hill, all down hill from here. He kind of lied, but I don't think intentionally so I still like him.

We turned a few corners and were on the other side of the park from before. I was sort of looking at my watch during this time, but not anything serious. I was focused on getting through my parts and not the full race. I saw two brothers running together around mile 9. One was clearly hurting, and the other one was basically almost carrying him. It was probably the sweetest thing ever, and had I paid more attention I would of taken out my camera and got a picture.

 Out of just about no where there was a huge downhill during mile 10. And by that I really mean just a gigantic drop. Running downhill kills your knees, and when they already hurt its worse. I wanted to take advantage and run down it fast, but I also didn't want to fall over and roll down it and kill myself. At the bottom of the hill you could see the 10 mile marker and I ran hard to hit it. We were along the water and I stopped to finally look at my watch and see just how far off I was from a PR and making sure I wasn't going to have a PW. I realized if I pushed it (and I mean pushed it) I could hit my 2:45. I got a little emotional thinking it was even possible, but was totally determined. I turned my music up loud and started running. I ran hard and felt good, and then surprise another hill. I cursed about the police officer who had lied and said no more hills, and tried to run up it. I was definitely slowing down a bit. I also saw some guy bring a girl a cookie at this point. I seriously considered using stealing the cookie out of her hand as motivation for me to run as fast as I could away, plus I really wanted that cookie.

Around mile 11 we met up with the marathon route. They started the marathon about a half hour before the half. I looked at my watch and realized these were all the marathon runners who were trying to BQ. I moved over to not get run down or in their way and just hoped some of their speed would rub off on me. We were along the water again and running through a park. The team in training group had put up signs along the way of people they were running for (mom who died from cancer, baby with cancer, dad fighting cancer and etc). I of course got a little choked up then too. There was another hill and I saw some marathoners walking it, this seemed like a good enough reason for me to walk it as well. I was starting to get really exhausted and the no training was really hurting me. I saw the 12 mile mark and looked at my watch. I realized to make it in at 2:45, I had to run an 8 min mile. I thought to myself if I could do this, and thought I sure as hell would try. For those keeping count at home, this is time number 3 I almost cried during this race. Back in the day I would of seen that I need to run an 8 min mile and would of been so discouraged and upset. I was very proud of myself for how far I had come.

Probably about .2 miles after the 12 mile mark, I saw the marathon 25 mile mark. I thought maybe they had a different finish line then we did. I was pushing it a lot in that last mile, but it hurt so much. I suddenly saw the 26 mile mark for the marathon and hadn't seen the 13 mile mark yet for the half. I was too tired to try and figure this out, I just knew I could only have .2 miles left to go. This is around the time my right foot went numb, like completely numb. Terrifying moment. I just thought keep running. I kept going, I knew I wasn't making my 2:45, I had walked too much in the last mile cause of pain. I knew I was going to PR and I really wanted the race to be done.

I turned the corner and saw the finish shoot and people on either side. I ignored the fact that these people were here to see the marathoners who were killing it, and took in all of the cheering and excitement. My foot went numb again but I didn't care. I was scanning the crowd for Paul and my mom. I finally caught them right after the finish line smiling and cheering. My entire face lit up. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see them in my life. I crossed the finish and almost fell over. I grabbed my medal and moved out of the way for everyone else finishing. I finished in 2 hours and 52 mins. A 4 minute PR for me.

Finish Line. Ignore the clock, that was for the marathoners

I found out Paul killed it, no surprise there, and went out for lunch with him and my mom. I was so happy with the race being done and that I PR'd. I wanted the 2:45 so bad, but knew that wasn't the race for it.

With my mom after the race!

During the drive back I came up with goals for future races that are even more than finishing in 2:45. I know if I work hard I can do it. I need to properly train and push myself every step and I'll get them. I'm happy I did the race and still consider it a success!

Half-marathon number 4 is done, and now time to get ready for number 5!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Please excuse this brief interruption

The full recap that would have been today has been interrupted and postponed until, well I don't know when. To me a full recap includes pictures and etc. Mostly because this time I think some of my pictures are going to be good. Aka they will not look like the following:

Sadly there are no pictures posted from the race, so no recap. For now I am getting my training plan all set and ready for my next race. I have a month and half to two months to improve my speed, a lot. I have time goals for all my upcoming races which I will post as the time gets closer!

Recap will be up as soon as the pictures are posted!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Recap

This is going to be long..so everyone get some coffee and relax. Saturday morning Paul and I were up at 5 am to get ready to drive to Harriman State Park for his triathlon. I did as promised and got up without too much complaining. We got on the road and headed out for the race. Paul was pretty excited, and I think a little nervous. It was his first tri of the season and was hoping to place for his age group.

This wasn't staged or anything

During the drive I noticed the insane fog a few times, and really thought nothing of it. Once we started driving into the park, we could see nothing. I mean nothing. There was water on either side of us and I had no idea. We parked and Paul got in and all set up. 

Then we waited, and waited, and waited. The fog was so bad that they kept pushing back the start. The hope was if they pushed it back enough the fog would burn off, and they could do the swim. We walked around a little and headed to the beach to check it out. 

 All ready to swim!

 There is a lake...I swear

But seriously, where is the beach? 

The race was supposed to start at 8am, and finally at 8:45 they called off the swim. Lots of disappointment all around, but I knew Paul was mostly upset because the swim is what he's best at. Everyone got out of swim gear and ready to run. The event turned into a 1.2 mile run, 11 mile bike, 3 mile run. 

After some really great pre run stretching, that I'm not allowed to post pictures of

Mandatory pre race picture...ignore the tired eyes on my part

After some quick organizing by the race directors, everyone got lined up and ready to go. I have to say, the race directors did a great job. They made timely updates, and when they realized they couldn't do the swim, handled it very well with the line up for the run. 

Start line

Finally at 9 it got started. Everyone went off in the same waves as they would of for the swim. They all went down one side, did the first loop of the run, and came back for the bike. 

Running into the fog

The only time I was nervous about people running into each other was when the fastest from the first wave got back before the last wave went off. Luckily, no disasters. 

 Paul on his way back (not man in red) 

Then they were off on the bike. I like triathlons for the main reason of there is always something to look at. By the time the last person leaves for the bike, it usually is only a few minutes before someone else gets back. In the mean time though, I take part in my favorite triathlon activity...puppy stalking. 


 Cute Puppy 

Puppy that looks like a fox and I wanted to steal 

Sadly, there were not many cute puppies at this race. After about 10 minutes or so the first bikers came back in to get ready to run and I was entertained again. I saw one man take out a rice director trying to get off his bike....don't worry everyone was ok so we can laugh about this. 

Paul coming back from the bike

I headed over to the finish line after to wait and see Paul finish. There was some great entertainment at the end line as usual. People sprinting to the finish, guys hoping to finish before the girls that are just two or three steps ahead of them, and then this guy. 

He did the whole race in this hat. 

I guessed what time I thought Paul would come in, and was wrong. He killed it and came in way before.

We hung around at the end and took some pictures while waiting to see if Paul finished top in his age group. 

There are clearly more details to this race that you can check out at his blog. This is just my spectator angle of it all. After this was done, Paul and I headed out to Rhode Island for the race. We checked into the hotel and over to packet pick up before it closed. 

View from hotel was great 

We ran into the Rock n Roll Providence crew at the expo, and they gave us a sneak peek at the medals for the race this year (umm they're awesome). Then we headed over for our pre race dinner at Dave n Busters. 

 Buffalo Chicken Slider amazingness (yes extra pickles on the side!) 

We watched the Kentucky Derby, I picked the winner thank you very much! I sadly did not bet though and made nothing off of my selection. I mean come on, "I'll have another" it was clear no other horse had as good of a name. 

We headed back to the hotel after and got everything ready for the next day. The hotel also had just about every cheerleader from age 5 to 15 there for a competition that weekend. I may or may not have yelled at a group of 7 year olds in the hallway at 10:15. In fairness, their parents were out to dinner so nobody else was around to yell at them. I also warned everyone I wanted a PR and didn't train so I was going to be a little on edge. Paul made me feel bad for about 10 minutes, and then there was more screaming, so I got over my guilt. At some point they all got yelled at by security and the parents came back, and I fell asleep. Before I knew it, it was race morning! 

Full recap tomorrow! Spoiler...I PR'd....

Happy Monday everyone!