Tuesday, October 28, 2014

T25 to end 2014!

Now that running season has ended for me (although it has been seasonably warm here in MA, so I am sad that I haven't gotten outside more) I have re-submerged myself into T25!

I took brand new "before" photos and measurements.  This time, I am going to try as much as possible to stick to the calendar provided for the workouts, because 10 weeks from last Monday is only a few days before New Years' Day!  I want to send 2014 out with a bang, and be my best self possible BEFORE that clock hits 12 :)

Also, I read a crazy statistic recently that the average American gains ~7lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas!  WHAT?!  Not me!

The only thing that will hold me back from this goal is the completion of my Masters thesis which is in it's final stages, with a hopeful turn in date and presentation just before Christmas.  That being said, one reason I think that I will be able to stick to my calendar is that the 25 minutes per day is a stress release that I very much look forward to after sitting on my bum all day staring at a computer screen!

Do you have any year end goals?  I would love to hear them! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Newport Half marathon

This was the most amazing race ever.  I seriously don't think I can over sell my experience.

My training for this race was different than any other race before.  Over the course of the past 10 months I have focused on overall fitness and getting my body to a place where I felt my best.  I did this through T25.

I have always been one to shrug off "running tips" and the need to cross-train.  I was sure that if I just kept running and running and logging my miles that I would get better.  I never really did.  My will got stronger, but that's about it.  In previous races, I was convinced that I was small, and slow and winded because of my asthma and that there was nothing I could do about it.

I could not have been more wrong.

After 1 full round of T25, then doing those workouts Zumba and running I found an entirely new level of speed and comfort in my abilities.  In less than 1 year I have brought my average pace down by almost 2 minutes/mile.  I KNOW that is because I took the time to train my entire body.  My core is as strong as it has ever been, and my legs feel unstoppable.

I logged far less miles in preparation for this race than any other, but I felt SO much more prepared due to my overall strength.

Goofing off in the car
Let's DO this!
Randy is ready too!
When race day came, it was a cool, bright, ocean side morning in Newport, RI and everyone was VERY ready to get going due to the chilly temps.

Bright enough for ya?
Don't mess with the belt!
Beautiful scene at the start line!
He loves it when I take his picture! haha
Ready to get this show on the road! Literally!!
Through the first 5 miles I felt great.  I wasn't looking for mile-markers like I usually am, and I wasn't worried about running out of breath.  I was enjoying the course and the atmosphere and the little voice coming out of my GPS every mile assuring me of my rock-star pace!

Then it happened.  I had a runner stop right in my path at a water station and to avoid running her over like a tiny freight train I had to dig in with all my might and run around her.  About 100 yards later, there it was.  The pull in my muscle... the know in my calf.  It was like someone had put my muscle in a vice and each step was a tiny twist in the cog.

I was SO determined not to let that stop me.  I slowed my pace for a mile or so.  I was able to ensure that it wasn't getting any worse, and that there was no tendon damage (because there was no burning sensation).  So I decided to go with it.  I continued and finished the course without stopping, and I am very glad that I did because the moment I stopped, there was NO WAY I was getting going again.

Terrible photographer skills, but views at mile 7!
The rest of the race was amazing.  The views kept me occupied the whole way, and the runners are always a great source of entertainment.  I even had one woman singing along with me to "This girl is on fire"!!
An official race photo and I don't look like a complete goober!!! :)

The pain in my leg really started to set in around mile 11, but at that point there was absolutely no way that I was stopping.  I tried to keep my mind clear, enjoying the scenery of the multi-million dollar mansions and encouraging crowds!

The finish line was after a nice cruise downhill and I knew it was coming so I gathered all that I had left and absolutely steam-rolled ahead.  Just about 1/4 mile from the finish was my family and my boyfriend, and it was SO great to see them :)

I am forever grateful that there are there every race, no matter the weather (unless it's raining, I don't do rain haha) to cheer me on!  Although I am quite busy for that 2 hour span, I know that it is a lot of patient waiting around on their part, and I appreciate it so much.

To say that I finished in record time is an understatement.  I absolutely blew my previous PR, and my expectations right out of the water.  On the drive in, I had a goal of anything under 2:15. 2:12 would have been ideal, and 2:10 was my "holy crap can you believe that just happened?"

Well when I crossed that finish line and looked down to see 2:07:45 I just about burst into tears.  1) because I had stopped running and my left leg was in a complete knot and thoroughly pissed, but 2) because I couldn't even comprehend that that time was possible for me.

3 1/2 years ago I "ran" my first half marathon in 2:43 at a run/walk pace.  I had never run farther than 3 miles consecutively in my life.  Even through training for the first race, I knew it was a long shot.  Snap forward to this day and I had just undershot my "holy crap" time by over 2 minutes!

Guess you know what that means!  New goal: sub 2:00 half-marathon!

Again, I cannot say enough how thankful I am to those who come out to my races, but also all of the kind words from friends and family not only on race day but throughout my training.  I am strong-willed on my own, but the encouragement helps me to ensure that maybe I'm not crazy after all! ;)

Showered, relaxing and ready for a Patriots win!!!