Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon!! ~ Never did I think I would say I ran the Chicago Marathon! It was kind of surreal being there after watching online the past 2 years. It was amazing being there, there was such an energetic atmosphere all over the city!
So this might be a long post so, sorry about that! But I will include some pictures through out to break up the words a bit!

I thought about signing up for the Chicago Marathon around mile 21 at the Detroit marathon, while I was running alone on Belle Isle. Ok not alone, but there were no spectators! and that was when I thought I really want to do Chicago. Don't ask how I remember that, but that was one of the things going through my brain back then! Before I signed up for the marathon, I really wanted to be able to run in one of the corrals that went in the 1st wave, and in order to do that I would have to get a PR in either a half or full before the deadline of August, but I really wanted it before I even registered. So that was one of the reasons why I went and ran the Mercedes Half Marathon (read recap here). SO I had my half PR which also allowed me to be in the C corral and 1st wave start. And then registration was the Tuesday after the race, perfect timing! In regards to registration, I was one of the lucky ones who after about an hour, did get in the 1st day even with all the madness. I really do hope it does not go to a lotto system next year, because I would like to run it again. But even if it does, I will most likely enter or run for a charity (which does seem to have some decent perks about it!)

Onto the weekend....I drove down from East Lansing on Friday afternoon. One of the other highlights of this weekend, in addition to the race, and played a huge role in making it an amazing weekend, was meeting up with so many of my runner friends from Alabama!
Photo Op during our Shake out Run
It was amazing to see all of them, and having their support made the weekend even more special! On Friday when we (my most amazing husband came with me) got there on Friday, he went to go sit in the bar while I explored the Expo. It was the most amazing and most organized expo ever! I didn't really spend that much time there, just enough to take most of it in and get some Nike swag (that I bought). I would had stood in line for a picture, but after being in the car and then being around so many people I was just ready to be done. So guess I have to go next year for that! That night we went out for dinner and it was nice to catch up with everyone. On Saturday we did our 3 mile shake out run around Grant Park. Then my husband and I went to Navy Pier for lunch and then I spent the rest of day off my feet being a bum, and drinking fluids and eating carbs!
Race day layout

Good Night Chicago

Then the morning came! And Holy Shit Balls it's RACE DAY! Before I get into the race, I need to preface a bit. And I guess it goes with why I have blogged much, running this summer has not been the greatest. It's been a challenge after the Flying Pig, winter running, mental battles, and stress of work. Of those, the stress of work is gone and for the last month life has felt good again and it reflected how I felt on the road as well.  I really did not know how I was going to do, but I was going to give it all I had and be happy with what ever I got. I had goals, A) 3:55, B)3:59, C)finish with a smile & PR. Will get to the finish in a bit.....
Good Morning...Let's do this!

Resolute Running Teammates Becca & Michael! 

We met up in the lobby at 5:20am to get the shuttle to take us as close as possible to Grant Park. {***They(Chicago Marathon) did such an amazing job keeping everything safe and secure with little hassle***}
Once we got there, myself, Michael & Julie and I walked to our gate entrance while we dropped the other runners with us at the charity tents. We then found a spot along a fence to pop a squat for a bit with a couple potty stops on the way. When the sun final rose we decided it was time to really get this day started! One last potty stop and bag check then we were off to the corrals! and then it hit me, WOW it is amazing! We were still trying to get in the corral when the National Anthem was going on but we were able to hear & see the fly over.
Michael, Julie & I in Corral C. It's Go Time! (thanks Julie for the pic)
And then it was run time....and running out of the chute was amazing, even more amazing then I had imagined after watching the start so many other times. Now onto the run.....It started AWESOME! I felt amazing, I was a bit faster then I should had been, (and that may have haunted me at the end) But it felt easy and steady! I was not breathing hard, I was taking everything in, I felt amazing! The only thing I didn't like of the whole run were the bridges, but I was able to figure out quickly find the rugs to run on! But the crowd support was every where, it was a perfect day to run the weather was awesome the sun was shining! I had no issues with hydration or nutrition, today's run fail was all mental. Around 18-19 is when I started to realize how much was left (and I have to say up until this point I had not looked at any of the mileage markers!) and I also looked at my watch and realized that I was on target to hit my goal and then I freaked out! I panicked, I started breathing really heavy, tears were welling up and I lost it. Things were started to move really slow & I guess I was too because a few people tapped my shoulder to ask if I was ok. I said yes, but was I?! It's kind of strange as I looked at the pictures from the course and I can see a really dazed look on my face and my hands were not in a good form, as they were in the earlier miles. I tried so hard to regroup myself, but somehow I was not able to get my self back, and then when I realized I was going to miss A and B goal I sunk again. So I guess I hit the wall.....and it sucks! It is so true, the marathon is not just a physical battle it is as much a mental battle. and on this day the mental battle beat me. I have now experienced everything that could go wrong in a marathon, Injured (stupid IT band)Some GI issues on the course, & Winter training, then Hills & Humidity on race day. So Lucky Number 5 will be the one! the one to get that sub-4 monkey off my back! 
I was able to get myself back enough to still get a 5 minute PR (finish at 4:06) but not the goal I had originally had for the race. Am I disappointed, yes a bit, but I am still very thankful and happy with my PR. And I am not devastated, especially knowing  I can do it (And WILL), and knowing I didn't have the greatest running year. I still would not had been able to do this with out the help of my Coach Alex! Even though he may live in Alabama, his support along with the whole Resolute Running team helps me in so many ways! 

So it is onto the next one....So far Cleveland Marathon is on the schedule, but Rock n Roll New Orleans might be happening first! 
Sorry for the long post & thanks for reading! 
~ Jen

Did you run the Chicago Marathon? Thoughts?

Have you ever hit the mental wall? How did you react? 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Group (solo) Runs

Running is a solo sport...
so why do we feel the need to be with a group?

So this is a thought I have been dealing with lately on my long runs! I love running alone, especially on those runs that coach Alex makes not so easy! I feel that I have to runs the RX paces to what he gave to me and I want to make them without failure, and I don't want to feel that I am either holding others up or running a pace that others can't (or shouldn't) do, so I run them solo. But long runs are just that LONG.....
I had a little melt down on my long run today, at mile 8 (of 18) I realized I was alone, completely alone, and I stopped and cried, The only time I cry on a run is at the finish line not mid run! So i had to talk myself back into the run. I was close to calling my husband (yep carried my phone today not a normal thing) to come pick me up. But then I talked my self up to keep running I thought...When I go to Chicago in a 6 weeks, yes I will be with 45,000 of my closest friends, but I will be alone. I will be alone with my goals, my own run, my RACE!
I realized (after my meltdown) that I have to train for myself and my goals. and I thought about it later in the afternoon (post run) I am running the paces that will give me that goal I WANT!! After my long runs, I am not sore (ok a little) , I am not injured, I am running these runs for me (with or with out people)! Part of my break down today,  I thought back to my time when I was living in Alabama. And I think about my "family" that that I have there and miss them! I know I have a "family" here, but there a days its just not the same.  I miss Randy who never leaves anyone behind, or Michael who will meet anyone any time of day, & Tanya my northern friend I didn't get enough time to have fun with, and so many more!!

So even though I may be in the back of the pack today come race day I will know I did everything I needed to do!  And I will leave nothing out on there on those Chicago streets!
I will always run happy, when I am not happy I quit & today is not that day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What the Pig Taught Me.....

The Flying Pig marathon was a race that humbled me and made once again realize that running a marathon is work! Not only physically but mentally as well! 

Before I go into what I learned let me say that I really loved this whole event!! The expo was amazing!! It was huge, and even though I didn't spend a whole of time there, it had everything you ever wanted! The swag that came from the race was awesome! A great shirt (that fits!), the annual poster that goes with the race, & nice big cooler that will be nice to hold cold adult beverages! But it was the crowd support that was amazing! There were people everywhere and that was so awesome! It made me get a feel of what Chicago will be like. These people go all out for this race and that was so cool! The best water stops were on the long stretch of the highway....Michigan fans were handing out Gu nice to yell Go Blue! and right after them was the Parrot Head club..Fins Up! __/)__ And after crossing the the Finish Swine the after party was amazing. Even though I couldn't focus to much it was easy to navigate to where to go. 

Would I do this race again? ---> Yes! Maybe only half of it. 
Would I recommend anyone to do it?---> Yes!! 

So what did I learn:

  • Running a marathon is work! You can do all the training you want but come race day "it just doesn't happen"
  • Seeing that I know live and run in the flat land of Michigan find a race that is not so hilly! The hills would been 'easier' had I still lived in Alabama where you can't get away from the hills.
  • Maybe look for a spring marathon later in the spring, to allow for more time to get adjusted to the weather change. 5 days of above 40 degrees is not enough time for your body to get adjusted to warmer temps come race day! 
  • I learned how to hydrate during the race a whole lot better then my time in Detroit
  • I learned that oranges never tasted so good! 
  • I need to try something other then Gu, I couldn't suck down a whole packet.
  • I need to keep my brain in it! It was brain that quit before my body....but I still finished and I was not going to Quit!!!
  • And 12 hours later, the main thing I learned is that it is OK to not reach your goal, as long as you come away from it learning something!
No I did not reach my goal time, but I FINISHED my 3rd marathon!! Something I thought I would NEVER be able to say.

Medal and Beer...well earned!

I now have a big chip on my shoulder and ready to Dig Deep and Dream Big for the Chicago Marathon in October. 
 Coach Alex is well aware of this and I'm ready for what ever he throws at me!

So no the race didn't go as I would had liked, but I am at peace with it and ready to tackle the next one! I still have the drive to finish the next one, Stronger and better then ever!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The day after the Flying Pig Marathon

One hard earned Medal!

I had signed up for the Flying Pig Marathon months ago, as one of those races I just wanted to run! Then I trained all winter long! And was it a long winter!! It was a challenge going out in the cold (really cold) the snow and the ice! But I was out there. All for this race. At the beginning of the year I had told myself and coach Alex I was going to use this race as a training run, to learn more about the marathon. But as the training went on, I kind of forgot all about that statement, I was now looking for a PR and that Sub-4hour marathon. But as the race progressed the goal changed quickly from the sub-4hour marathon to just finish! 
My Story of the Flying Pig....
I originally was going to drive down to Cincinnati Friday night, and have the whole day Saturday to rest, see friends, go the expo and rest. But due to a change in my husband's work schedule plans changed. I was lucky enough to have my friend, Chelsea, drive down with me on Saturday and then drive me home on Sunday. We got up early and drove to the expo Saturday. And the expo was massive! But we only spent a short amount of time there, trying to stay off my feet! I did get to meet up with one of the girls I used to run with in Alabama. We had lunch and got to get caught up a bit, which was nice. After lunch we checked in to our hotel and took a power nap before dinner with friends of mine whose parents live in the city just off the marathon route. Dinner was great and home made! After wards it was back to the hotel and sleep time! 
I woke up at 5:15am to get ready for the 6:30 start time! I put on the clothes and checked the weather...Rain!! Good thing I packed a hat just in case! Because there was a big green cloud of rain on the radar! I packed up my bag, as Chelsea was going to check out of hotel for us. No late check out---boo to that! I headed downstairs to catch a cab over to the start line, a mile and half walk did not seem exciting before running 26.2 miles! I got to the start area and into my corral, and the nerves and excitement really hit me. It was that magical time of waiting and seeing the startline and all the excitement that goes with it! The air had a crisp feel to it, if only it stayed that way! In the corral I did see Erica and we were going to try and run together, but she wanted to wait for the porta potty line, which still had about a 15min wait after the start. I figured we would see each other on the course again, but little did I know we would not only see each other, but I would watch her crush the uphill she passed me on! Oh the hills...
As for the race.....I felt really good at the start, I was on pace, a little fast, but felt great and I slowed my self down. At mile 3.5 Chelsea jumped in for a few miles. I asked her if she checked to see if the rain was still going to come, because it got humid!  Then the hills started around mile 6-7 and this girl who now lives in the flat land did not enjoy! I knew going into it was going to be tough, and the hills were going to be there...but I didn't realize how much they were going to effect me. When Chelsea was getting ready to cut off and meet me at the finish line, I told her this was getting really hard and I didn't know if I had it in me. The hills & humidity and started to beat me down, and this was at mile 10. And while going up the "last" hill people around were saying it was the last....not sure what they were smoking because they just kept coming and coming! And when I was on flat ground, my legs and brain had slowly checked out. I tried to get back on pace but it wasn't working. The only time I know I got back on pace was the final half mile, because I was not going to allow myself go over I cruised in at an 8:50pace and finished at 4:29. Not the goal time I had hoped but then again, I did originally sign up and plan to run it as a training run. And that is how I felt about it....12 hours after the fact!! 

I was humbled and I learned a lot from this run, and because I learned from it It was not a complete fail! 

What I learned will come in another post...this one's dragged on long enough! 
Back of Medal from Marathon #3

Have you run the Flying Pig Half or Full Marathon?
& would you run it again?
(my answer is was a great event and I would recommend to anyone!!)

If a Race doesn't go as plan, did you learn anything from it? And did it make you stronger at your next race?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My thoughts on the Lansing Half/Full Marathon

Today I ran at the Lansing Half Marathon. I am not one who usually would write about the event itself usually I write about my experience, but I guess this will be a little of both.
My Garmin time, but not official time.....

I ran this event to be with the crew that I run with, plus it was less then 10miles from my house! I went into this run as a training run, Flying Pig marathon is 2 weeks away! So I went into calm and not on a mission to PR. I also was going to try and help a couple others run a sub-2. All and all is was a fun event, but that was more because of the people I was with and little to do with the actual event itself. 
Little fun before the run

So here are my Pro's and Con's of the race.....
  • Location, close to home
  • Time of start, 8am! I got to wake while in 6am hour not earlier!
  • The people I ran with!!
  • Ease of packet pick up, (even though many would say this was a con due to some issues with pick up and running out of shirts!)
  • The medal (again was an issue with some runners as they ran out of half marathon medals)
  • Volunteers, there were a lot of them and did a great job
  • post race food
  • Course (except one area, to be discussed) I liked being on the road, I think the crowd support would had been less if we were on the River Trail. 
  • Seeing so many of my friends get there first Sub-2 half and/or set PRs!!
  • Seeing my friend and (Team RR team mate) Crush her Half marathon PR

PR For Chlesea!!

  • Race shirt....would had been nice to gender specific shirt. Not seeing myself wear this shirt on any runs as the co-ed small is like a large.
  • Hydration choices on course- water which is fine. but the electrolyte drink was something I had never heard of. It was called Shaklee, I did not try it and after hearing from others I am so glad I didn't! If you are putting on a race, have a beverage that most runners have drank before, such as Gatorade or Powerade! Rule number 1 of racing, don't try anything new on race day....
  • Start of the race.....No Pacers or any type of corral system. It really is not fun to start a race running and right in front of you are walkers. If your not going to have pacers at least have signs that say pace/per mile. 
  • Post race atmosphere...or the lack of it! No post race party. So instead of being around all the runners who finished you are off to go 'discover' Lansing. Which is a nice idea but not much is open prior to 11am. & runners like beer and that was not available until noon. The other downside of no post race is that everyone is gone that could had been around on the race course at the end to help cheer on the others. 
  • No Gu on the course. I know that this should not be a given, and most runners supply their own type, but Most Full Marathons do provide some thing at the higher mileages. Not here! and the reason I read on their Facebook page was because it was a "green" race and wanted to limit the waste.....
  • The Train!!! Yes....we got stuck behind a train for 3 minutes! If I was trying for a PR and got stopped I would had been 1 pissed off runner! Living in the area there are ways around the tracks!! I didn't even know that getting stuck by a train could had been a possibility...
Really a Train!?!? Had to have fun with the issue!
  • Double loop. No I did not run the full and finding out they made it a double loop I am so glad I didn't! The worst part of the double loop was they made the full runners run past the finish line in starting their 2nd loop. Maybe that was there were only 400 full runners of the 2,100+ total runners??!
    another shot of finish
    start 2nd loop... but don't go to finish!

These are just my thoughts on the event. I do hope they can make some improvements, as this was only there 2nd year. But next year, I will set up my own little cheer station and have fun cheering on my friends and other runners. And yes I will have beer to hand out to runners and other important runner fuel such as oranges, pretzels, Coke, all the things us runners crave at mile 18 or so!
Fun Group to Run with!!

I am still happy to have run it...but now its taper time and flying pig in 2 weeks! 

Did you run the Lansing full or half marathon? what did you like or not like?

Have you ever gone to event and felt a little let down from what they offered for what you paid?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Winter Running Blues...

I am officially over all this Michigan weather! Please bring on real spring weather!
This is my little rant on the weather and how I have been trying to deal with it....
Michigan's mother nature of weather this winter has been playing a horrible joke or very rude welcome back to the north on my part. Looking back I am still very impressed that I really did run through out the entire winter! At times I will did wonder about my sanity!
In December and January I have to say it was 'kindof' cute and a novelty to run in the snow! I was not a runner when I used live in Michigan, so when I returned and was now a runner it was an adventure. I was able to say I ran in the snow. And I ran in it, but it felt like I ran in over and over and over again, with no end in sight. As the months went by and the sidewalks were not being shoveled as well and the ice was not salted running was a challenge! But during those months I was training for the Mercedes Half Marathon, and somewhat for the spring marathon, Flying Pig. So I kept going. And there were some horrible runs, it was cold, windy, wet, and slippery. But somehow I still managed to make it through and got a nice new PR along the way.

1st run in the snow
yes..that is a single digit
February the only break from the weather I had was my trip to Alabama. And it was a nice break to get out of the winter conditions, that I realized I really did not miss it all when I live in Alabama. And yes I started questioning my husband of why did we move back?! I did try to run on a treadmill a few times, but I hate the treadmill! My mom was getting rid of hers so I took it and put it in my garage, which I only used a 3 times. Maybe I would had used it more if I could actually get my wi-fi to reach and be able to watch stuff on my iPad. But doing over 4 miles is really difficult for me on the treadmill, I definitely like being on the road a whole lot more.
Thankful to have a great running partner while running in the snow!
There were a few breaks in the weather, and occasionally the sun came out...but that was far and few between. I was very lucky to have found a great running partner and friend when I moved up here. And she was a part of most of the fun and interesting Saturday long runs! And yes, Michigan found it cute to snow on Friday to Saturday's the most often. It's like it knew we had a long run to run so why not make it even more challenging! 
So in March the snow did slowly start to melt, but the sun was still hiding and the temperatures were still low. And the wind....oh the wind! It seems as if it never wants to stop, and every time I went to run it seemed as if it would change its direction to make sure it was always in my face, even when I would change directions. And it was never a little breeze, it was the take your breath away wind and I was trying to run..not fun! But I was still out there!
It's Melting!
So now into April...1 month to go till the Flying Pig Marathon. And the training should be going great. It's April, it's spring....right?! Well Michigan weather has decided that its not done with winter weather. It's still cold, we have gotten above freezing but still cold. And now instead of snow we have rain! and a lot of has now been 4 days in a row of rain and not just a shower here and there, but all day rain. So now yet another thing I thought I would Never do...go run in the rain.

But it rained every day this week, & i ran everyday in it. But yesterday was the most challenging run I think I have had. And after it I am really starting to wonder and question myself as a runner. Yesterday was my weekly speedwork day, and it was a workout that should had been run on a track. Well, getting onto a track here is not easy, they have either been snowed covered or locked gates. So I have had to run all my speed workouts on the road. Which can be difficult, especially with snow/ice on the ground... Last week was my 1st decent speed work out I had for a long time. So I thought the winter running blues (as I had called them) were gone. But yesterday, it was cold, wet, and gray outside. But I thought I could fight through it. Coach Alex, sent the workout...and I went out with some hopes of being able to do it. I tried to get on a track, but the gates were locked up. So I did few circles around a block on MSU campus. But it wasn't really the running that was hard, ok yes it was, but the fact that when I started running there was no rain, but mile 3 and the start of the intervals the rain stating coming down strong and of course my friend the wind started as well. I had to keep my head down the entire time otherwise there was rain in my eyes. 
I was never able to make any of the targets that I was supposed to. And I really really wanted to. Over this whole winter I feel as if I have been failing a bit on the speed work, and I am hoping it really has been the weather. I know I can do it, I did all summer and fall long. But lately I have felt I can't do it. And the part that stinks is that I have been feeling really strong on all my other runs, but when it comes to speed day the weather seems to not want to corporate, which I know is a factor, but it is really playing with my mindset! So needless to say I am really looking forward to Spring....which I hope shows up soon! 
I have always told my self the day running is no longer a happy place I will stop....I'm not there yet but these past few months are really starting to test me! I want to continue to Run Happy but lately its been a challenge! I just need to keep going knowing that the weather will change, it has to!! Plus I am signed up for the Chicago Marathon!! And with the spring/summer to train in is what I am looking forward to. Knowing this is helping me to keep going.

If you read all of this, thanks for reading my little rant on the weather and how I have been dealing with this weather.

And to go along with this little weather rant you will be happy to know that Michigan is forcasting yet another wet day tomorrow even with that evil word...Snow! And yes I have 22 miles to run, so nothing like testing my running soul!
Tomorrow's running forcast...who's coming along?!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mercedes Half Marathon, fun times with a PR on the side!

So how did that race go, well......It was Awesome!!
Finish Line in Sight, and yes that is a smile! 

I had signed up and decided to run the Mercedes Half Marathon back in October. It was to be a weekend to race but more importantly a weekend to see friends down in Alabama. This would be the 1st half marathon that I had actually trained for. The past few half's that I have run, I was in the middle of training for the Detroit Marathon, so they were at training pace plus additional miles before or after. And the half's that I had run before were before I knew some proper ways to train, I just went out and ran.

I started my training plan for Mercedes from Coach Alex back in December. And in December the weather was not horrible, yes it was cold. But there was no snow/ice like there has been the last couple months here in Michigan. Mother Nature has not been so nice since my return back to Michigan after being gone for a few years, I guess payback's a bitch!
Saturday morning Long run in Feb.
But even with the crazy not so great weather, I still was able to get in my runs and tried as hard as I could to stick to the plan that was given. Some of the speed works outs were tough! And not the workout, the actually conditions, one of the runs it was -8 with the windchill, and that was at 2 in the afternoon! Yes, I could had gone on a treadmill, but I really really dislike the treadmill, 3 miles is .5miles to far on a treadmill! But I still got out there everyday, and every weekend to get my runs in, and some were not pretty! But at least I got them done.

Needless to say, I was nervous when I got down there. Race weekend was here, and I did not feel ready. And then on Saturday am while doing a nice and easy 3 miles with Vann and Tanya, I forgot about the hills. I didn't really forget about the hills, but I don't know what hills are anymore living in the flat land of Michigan! So I then got a little nervous about the race even more! Plus I was nervous of how I would do, I had high hopes about this race, and I was in town with a bunch of people I knew!

Race morning, was the most relaxed I have ever been. Actually the whole weekend, I was very relaxed! It helped being in company of great easy people! And a huge thanks to Allison for opening her home for the weekend. As well as to Abigail and Allison for inviting me for cake I mean lunch at Olexas, in Mountain Brook. I still think it was the vanilla cake that brought the PR on Sunday!

The race started at 7:03 am, and we got down to Boutwell (startline area) around 6:15. There was time for pictures and a little race prep. Of the Resolute Running team, there were only a handful of us racing, the others were running in relays (the relay teams were for the Bell Center) as they were off to New Orleans the next weekend for their races.
And even once I got there, I had nerves, but not really that bad.
Thanks Michael for getting some time in the Bank
I think the company and everyone being so relaxed helped me not get so worked up about what I was about to do. So the plan was to run and shot for a 1:49:59. Keep the pace at 8:20. Michael was leading off his relay team, Team Daniel The Dynamites, and was kind enough to pace me for the 1st 6 miles. And we were a bit faster then pace I was going for, but it was some time in the bank for when the "real" hills would arrive. And I have to say, those 6 miles felt great! if only the hills didn't come....
Vann helping me be Powerful
After his 1st leg of the relay, Vann was nice enough to help pace me for the next 4 miles before his relay leg! And those were some tough miles, the hills came...but having Vann reminding me to be Powerful was a huge help! Well he ended up doing almost 6 miles, and almost missed his relay leg, but he did get a ride to his relay leg! So somehow I ended being lucky enough to have 2 great people help me get me to my goal time and actually crush that goal time! I can't thank them enough!
I actually crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, and I held back the tears. I was beyond shocked and happy with my time. My goal was 1:49:59 but official time of crossing the line....1:46:55!! I was a bit happy!! (Then of course, those damn hills, had they not come into play I would have been in at least 1:45 or better! but I can do that in another time!)One of the 1st people I saw after crossing the line was Coach Alex! And that was when the tears were actually in my eyes!
Me, Alex, & Emily. (Emily also ran a huge PR)

 It was true, I really had accomplished yet another goal!

This whole weekend was a blast, and the half marathon PR was just icing on the cake! I hope to make it down to Alabama at least once a year, either for a race or just a fun weekend with some running involved!

Now onto the next race....Flying Pig Marathon in May. But the big one Chicago in October! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The weight of a PR

I know it has been forever since I have written a blog post. I have all good intentions and great ideas..then I get busy or just lazy! So this might be a long one or even a two parter!
This past weekend I went down to my "2nd home" of Birmingham, Alabama! I went for a long weekend of visiting and running! Yes, I went down to run in the Mercedes Marathon, well not the 26.2 just the 13.1 of it! It's kind of funny in the past 2 almost 3 years of running, I never ran in that race because it is ran during my husbands birthday weekend and we usually would be out of town. But this year, still his birthday weekend I was the one who went out of town without him to run in the race. I promise to make it up with a special weekend get away of his choice soon!
I arrived in the warmth of Alabama on Thursday night, and spent the 1st night with my running friend, Liz, in Helena. We were the early (running) birds of the Helena area and were ~Freaklishy Amazing~!
Liz & I...
It was wonderful to catch up with her! And to hear of all the great stuff going on in her life! & at the time I saw her she just had a boyfriend and by the end of the weekend she had a finance! I am so happy for her!!

On Friday, I enjoyed another warm wonderful day, and I started wondering why did we move north again?! But I enjoyed a few hours with my old work people before heading downtown to go to the expo and see the rest of the running crew.

Friday night I got to spend time with my running team. Yep, team. I have been lucky enough for the past (almost year) to have an awesome running coach who is building a great team, the Resolute Runners. No I may not live in town anymore, but with the great world of technology I can still feel like a part of it.
RR Team Pic prior to Race

Plus I got to start to know most of them after spending a little weekend running from Atlanta to Birmingham as part of the Dixie 200 relay. So for me seeing and catching up with everyone Friday night was a perfect way to start the weekend.

Saturday I needed to get a nice easy 3 miles in before the big race on Sunday. So Vann, Tanya (Tanya's Blog that you really need to follow! click here), & I set out on little run through downtown Birmingham.
Tanya & I, with a little view of Bham

And I got to re-learn what real hills are....oh how I used to hate them, and now living in the flat land I missed them. But those 3 miles seems so short, because it was with great peeps and good conversation! Afterwards we had a delish breakfast and more  chatting! Plus it was so amazing to see so many other runners I haven't seen since I left Birmingham a few months ago.

I will get to the race on the next part, but going back to the title of this post....I have not really spoke much about weight, but that is one of the main reasons I got into running. Now I just keep running not only for weight management but also because I actually kind of love it! But over the last few months I have slacked a bit on what I have been eating, the post marathon, the holidays, the winter, & yes the excuses! But sadly like most others its a picture that speaks to us. I am so happy to have pics from this past weekend, great memories, but memories of a not as healthy me. And I am super happy that I made my PR, but I know I need to make a change back to old new me!  SO when I got back I told my self that I will go back to a veggie diet! I did that as part of my training for Detroit and I felt great! Plus I need to get myself back into a workout other then running routine. I will be going and trying yoga and make use of my bosu ball that I bought a few months ago. I know I can do it, I just need to get myself back on that saddle! I have some lofty goals for my next couple races so I train hard, win big, then play big! oh and by the way one of those races will be the Chicago Marathon! Yes I was 1 of the lucky to get in before the big crash!!
I do also promise myself as getting back at it also means blogging my journey to the next accomplishment. If you wish to follow keep an eye out for the next posts and beyond. Next one will be a recap of the actually huge PR on my Half Marathon in Birmingham at the Mercedes Marathon.
Running towards that PR! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Out with the old in with the New.....

As the year comes to an end, it makes most of us reflect on the year we are leaving and the year we are headed into! As for me I am doing the same.
It has been quite a year! A year ago today I was sitting in Alabama with no idea what 2012 would bring or that I would be back in my home state of Michigan again. 

This plate will sum it all up!

As for year of running I accomplished so much more then I never imagined that I could. I can honestly say I am a runner, and it is a part of my soul now. Yes I have become of those people who plans weekend events around running, and how to fit in my runs during the week. But I don't know that I would trade it in for anything. And I am so thankful that I have a husband that still puts up with my crazy running life! 
My wonderful Husband & I in New Orleans @ 2012 Sugar Bowl {Go Blue}

In March I ran my 1st know that thing I [once] said I would Never do...I did! I ran with my friend and training buddy from Alabama, who helped me achieve this goal! 

Georgia Marathon! Stef & I at the end of 26.2.

In March another life change was starting. My husband was given a chance to change auto plants from the one in Alabama to one in Michigan, where we are both from. We had talked about the possibility of moving back home, but never gave much thought about it until this opportunity came about. And it happened so quickly! Literally the week of the marathon and the week after the marathon did all of this take place, and in April he was up in Michigan starting his new position and our now [new] old home. 
I stayed in Alabama for another couple of months. And I made the most of the time I had while down there. I made sure to run with my Running Family <---- click there to read abou them) as much as I could. I was very lucky to have found such a great group of people! I have to say one of my funnest memories before leaving was running in the Dixie Relay! 200 miles with 10 other people going from Atlanta to Birmingham, it was a great way to end the time I was living in the south! 

Dirty Dozen @ Dixie 200 Relay! 
I so happy for the friends and runners I have met and made while living in Alabama, and it is true the south gets into your heart and soul and stays! 

In June I made my move up to Michigan. And the first thing I did was [of course] look for races and runners! I started with running the Ann Arbor Half Marathon! Which was a great race, except for the events that happened in my life the night before. {if interested read about them here---->crazy night before a race} And after that race, the official start of Detroit Marathon training began! I was so very excited to start this training, I had a plan, a running coach and best part no job! I was in work limbo with the move and was putting finding a job on hold until we got more situated with our move, like get a house!  So I got to spend most of my time training and not having to get up at 5 in the morning! Which was awesome...if only I could be super fast and be an elite runner and have that my life! a girl can dream! 
I also started to run with a new group of people. And I am so happy to found this group of runners! I can say that I am very lucky to have found this group! I may be one of the 'crazy' runner people out of the group, but many of them joined me on my long runs on the weekend and from that I have gained a few good friends.  I met Chelsea who was also training for Detroit Marathon (her 1st) and we were at the same pace so it worked out well. And we spent many good quality miles and hours on the roads this summer and fall! and seeing many more miles together. I was also lucky to meet Kristen who was crazy enough to come and run in costume on Halloween weekend with me! & now she is signed up for her 1st marathon, so I will get to spend some quality miles on the road as I start training for Flying Pig in a few weeks. And to all the other great people I have met at the Mid-Michigan Running group, Mark, Bob, Tim and every one else...I am happy to have met you and happy that I can call you part of my running family. 

Mid-Michigan Running Group

October was the highlight of the running year! the Detroit Marathon!  I finally got to see what all that training was going to show! And I could not have been happier! And I got to run with one of my Resolute Running teammates from Alabama, even though Vann was well ahead of me! 
after running 26.2 
Vann & I prior to race! Team RR

I feel as if I could go on and on about the wonderful year that I have had! It has been filled with so many ups and a few downs, but all in all it has been a great year! I accomplished so many running goals! I set a new PR in a 5k, 10k, and a marathon! Yep, a marathon...that thing I said I woul Never do!! I am looking forward to what 2013 has to bring! 

 I am grateful to have my wonderful husband, my real family, and my running family here in Michigan and those in Alabama. 

I have been working on my goals for 2013, and one of them is to work on blogging more often, & part of that will be blogging on my running goals! So you will have to stay tuned!!