Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - A Year to Remember

It's been a reoccurring sentiment in my posts over 2013 that this has been an amazing year!  I fell in love with running all over again this year.  The beginning of 2013 was incredibly stressful with work and instead of losing my mind and my temper, I turned to running as an outlet.  Running actually rewards you for your hard work and acknowledges all of the extra blood, sweat and tears when you step up to the start line of the big race. 

After spending the first half of the year training for The San Francisco Marathon, I really thought that was going to be it for the year.  Little did I know how much that race would change and inspire me.    This year has been so awesome but what happened last week?  Out of complete nowhere my right knee flared up.  Seriously?  I'm not talking just a little niggle of pain, I'm talking I wasn't able to make it through a mile before I was in tears with pain.  So after only being able to run twice in the last ten days and working to rehab this sucker, I woke up today in a pity party kind of mood.  This blog was originally started to just document my races so that I have a journal to keep with me over the years.  Today I realized that it also serves to remind me of just why my knee might hurt and maybe I shouldn't be so upset with it.

Let's do some math for 2013.....

1) I've run 12 races
  • (2) 10k's
  • (2) 15K's
  • (7) Half Marathons (NYE Race tomorrow will make #8 and 13 races overall)
  • (1) Full Marathon

2) If I hadn't switched between 3 different GPS devices I could tell you how many total training miles run, but if I had to guess (based on training plans) it's somewhere between 900 - 1,000 miles.

3)  Spent over $1,000 in race registrations.

4)  Burned through about 5 pairs of shoes.

5)  I'm not even going to attempt to calculate what I've spent on things that keep me running such as sports chiro, cryotherapy, and the occasional massage.  Willing to bet I could have spent a week in Bora Bora, but I digress....

If I'm being honest this is the first time I've ever done the math and quite frankly it makes me a little nauseous because this doesn't even include travel expenses or my husband's total.  >gulp<  (I'm so thankful AdvoCare is truly my running fund.  The products fuel my body and my bank account to make all this happen.)  But you know what?  I don't regret a single second of it.  I got to run in New Orleans and San Francisco this year!  The memories that were made on those trips, the ton of laughs shared, you cannot put a price on.  Every race has it's own story and each one I can look back and smile on.  There were some that were downright terrible and I asked myself multiple times while out on the course, "Why the hell am I doing this?".  Those memories were quickly trumped by the many great races I had where I couldn't stop smiling the entire race.  I proudly display all of my medals because to me they are better than any race photograph I could pay way to much money for print and hang on the wall.

Outside of just the races, 2013 lead me down a path to help others with their journey. 
  • In August I became certified as a running coach through the RRCA!  Hands down one of the best decision I made for my running.  Even if you aren't looking to have a running coach business, getting certified and the knowledge gained during certification is worth every penny and every minute of your time.  
  • Over the summer I was seeking a way to give back and use my new found coaching skills so that I could give back my time and give back to a sport that has given so much to me.  The opportunity presented itself in September when I was selected to become a Girls On The Run coach!  Being able to spend 10 weeks pouring into a wild group of 5th grade girls was so much fun and something I hope to do again.      
  • In December I was selected to be a guest blogger on one of my favorite running and motivational pages, The Daily Runner.  Such a fun thing to be a part of!  If you missed the article, here you go.     
The best thing about my 2013 recap and totals?  They don't even include our race for New Year's Eve!  The New Year's Double (part one) starts tomorrow and that will make race #13 and #8 half marathon for the year.  New Year's Day will mark race #1 and half marathon #1 for 2014!  I honestly cannot imagine a better way to end 2013 and kick off 2014.  So as I sit here wallowing in pity over my hurt knee I can't really be too upset.  The races won't produce the times I would like because I'm going to take it easy on this ol' knee, but that's not what these races are about.  The New Year's Double is the icing on the cake for 2013.  I'm going to use those 13.1 miles on New Year's Eve to reflect on what an incredibly blessed year it has been.  The 13.1 miles on New Year's Day will be a battle to the finish I'm sure, but I look forward to spending those miles with my husband, and the running friends that were put in my path this year.  Banged up and taped up knee and all, bring it on 2014 and lets start this year off the right way!

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope you can look back on 2013 and find the positives and look forward to an incredible year of new opportunity in 2014.

Run happy!  #happyrunner        

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From our little family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!  We hope Santa filled your stockings with goodies and your hearts with gratitude.

Brandon, Lindsay, Eddie, Lucy Lu, and Hank #adopt

Monday, December 23, 2013

Impromptu White Rock Half Marathon: Race Recap

So I'm a wee bit behind in posting this but better late than never I suppose.  After the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon was cancelled, I was left to decide if I wanted to skip the distance all together and just keep training, or throw in a half marathon of my own somewhere along the way.  My sister was on a quest to complete her New Year's resolution of running 12 races in 2013, the Dallas Marathon was supposed to be the 12th.  Obviously the ice storm put a bit of a damper on that resolution.  Immediately after the cancellation I started searching everywhere to find a half marathon race within driving distance of the metroplex.  No luck.  My sister finally made the decision to sign up for a virtual half marathon and run her own race!  Fancy marathon, we don't need no stinkin' fancy marathon.
If you don't get this reference, we might not be able to be friends.

 So on Saturday, December 14th (six days after what should have been the actual race) we headed out to White Rock to tackle our own half marathon.  It was cold, cloudy, a little drizzle, and the wind started gusting upwards of 20-25mph but hey, no ice!  If you're familiar with White Rock, you know that it is roughly 9 miles for one loop.  I opted to run an out-and-back race so I turned around at the 6.5 mile point.  I set out for this "race" with honestly no objective in my mind.  The lake was pretty empty so the excitement of "race day" was nowhere to be found.  It felt like another training run which means this would be a race of mental strength more than anything.   

I held my pace back and gradual eased into what felt comfortable and hovered around a 10:00/mile for most of the run.  Last month I was finally able to get Garmin to take back my 210 (which I had a million issues with) and upgraded to the new Forerunner 220.  Best.  Decision.  Ever. It deserves a review all on its own but for now, I can finally show splits!  >applause<

The new watch also provides cadence, which I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's a good starting point to start tracking that data as well.  Average cadence of 172 which I'd like to work on improving to 180 in the near future. 

The run itself wasn't actually that bad and at the end I could have kept on cruising.  At about mile 11 the wind picked up something fierce and with that came a temperature drop that served as great motivation to just get back to the car (and seat warmers) as soon as possible! 

I finished with a time of 2:12:10.  No crowd cheering.  No funny signs.  No cheers from the lovely volunteers at the water stations.  No shiny medal at the end.  Lots of boredom.  Sometimes it's making the decision to just "get out there and do it" that help to improve your strength more than anything.  I'll take my finish with a smile!


Monday, December 9, 2013

I don't run to be skinny.

I saw this picture over the weekend and it really stuck with me and made me think and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.  This past year has been a year of personal growth for me.  I've learned to really embrace all of the things that I once didn't like about myself.  (It's a work in progress but I'm getting there.)  Maybe it's the fact that I'm turning 30 in a few months?  Third-life crisis?  Maybe it's the fact that I've also really embraced the fact that you're never going to please everyone so stop it with that already.  Haters gonna hate regardless, right?  (bad grammar, not sorry.)

At the beginning of this year when I started training for the San Francisco Marathon I started to really focus on the little details of training that would make a big difference come race day.  Running is definitely a great way to stay in shape and lose weight, but you reach a point where that piece of the puzzle comes to a stand still.  When I started to focus on being a stronger runner my whole mindset towards so many things started to change.  The calories I was consuming were no longer being tracked to make sure I stayed under the limit, the calories were  monitored to make sure I had fuel.  Food = fuel.  It's too often we get caught up in the idea of what we're supposed to look like as a woman who runs all the time.  The women on the front of the running magazines are in incredible shape no doubt, but just because you don't look like that doesn't make you any less of a runner or athlete.  You know how many women I've met who if I didn't know them from the running community I would have previously said "There's no way she's a runner."  I erased that mindset because it's simply not true.  For so long I ran and ran with the hopes that I would be able to go down a size and get into those size 4 jeans again.  So I ran and ran and ran, my waist line stayed trim, I was feeling great.... so what happened?  My calves, quads, and thighs got so strong which was amazing!  However, with the added strength came extra muscle which lead to me doing a dance every morning trying to get my skinny jeans over my growing calves and quads.  It took me a few months but I finally gave in and went UP a size in the skinny jeans.  Mentally it tore me up to do it but a friend reminded me to embrace the strength I had gained.  It's so easy to get fixated on what the scale says, or what number is on the tag in your jeans.  This year has taught me more than ever that those things truly do not matter.

I no longer train to be skinny, I train to be badass.  The New Year's "Resolution-ers" are about to come out in full force and one of the number one things people say is "I want to lose weight, get skinny, etc."  I encourage you to use a little different wording and maybe that will change your mindset, not just for next year but for every year to follow.  Make a resolution to be HEALTHY and STRONG and a BADASS in 2014.  After all, when the zombie apocalypse happens looking good in a swimsuit isn't going to do you a whole lot of good, but being able to run for days will!  The world needs more badassery.  :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dallas Half Marathon Race Reca....just kidding :)

Tonight I should be downloading all of my data to my Garmin, analyzing splits, and giving you all a fantastic recap of this half marathon.  I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but Mother Nature has been rather pissy the past few days and the ice storm that she gave us resulted in the cancellation of the race.  Incredibly disappointed?  Yes.  Do I think it was the right decision to cancel?  Absolutely.

This race was truly a "just for fun" race that Brandon and I were doing with a group of friends.  My heart completely broke for those that this was there "big race" of the year.  Especially for those that it was their first marathon/half-marathon.  Your months and months of training are NOT a waste!  Training for an endurance race is 95% of the battle.  Granted you didn't get a medal but you've won.  Having your big event cancelled provides you with the perfect opportunity to test your mental strength.  You can be mad all you want, but that doesn't get you to the finish line.  I was in complete awe of the strength and commitment I saw from runners.  Those who formed their own Icepocalypse Marathons, made their own medals those who hopped on the treadmills and cranked out the miles was just incredible.  You can't defeat the spirit of a TRUE runner!  You just can't.

After hearing of the cancellation I immediately went back to my training plan and opted to change up a few things.  I decided that instead of still running the 13.1, I would treat this week and weekend as part of rest and recovery week, and pick the mileage back up next week.  On Saturday morning I hopped on the treadmill for 6 miles, which helped with the cabin fever.  Sunday morning I woke up and thought mayyyyybe today I really do just want to be completely lazy.  Could it be the fact that I woke up to the aroma of Brandon making Grands cinnamon rolls??  I might have devoured two cinnamon rolls (yep....) and maybe it was the sugar, or the overwhelming feeling of guilt afterwards but I changed into my running cloths and upstairs to the treadmill I went....

Back on the treadmill for another 8 miles bringing the cumulative distance for the weekend run to 14 miles.  A little piece of advice, I wouldn't recommend using Grands cinnamon rolls as a form of carb loading.  They turn into car batteries in your stomach if they haven't settled before attempting a run, who knew?

I'm bummed that we didn't get to race, but I'm also thankful that we are safe and sound (and warm).  No race is worth breaking your neck over.  Three weeks and counting until the New Years Double!