Monthly Archives: January 2014

Frostbite Half Marathon

I did it!!!

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I finished my first half marathon this morning!!

Nick and I arrived in STL late yesterday evening to his parent’s house. We settled in, ate my last carb-loaded pasta dinner, and headed to bed by 9:30 to get a good night’s rest before my race. My stuffy nose had other plans for me though.

I slept through half the night fine. But I woke up with a plugged nose around 3 AM and could barely get myself back to sleep. I propped myself upright with as many pillows as possible and prayed for another hour or 2 of sleep. I dozed in and out until my alarm clock (aka Mac) woke me up at 5:50 AM. He needed a potty break and I needed some coffee to work it’s magic. So we got up and started my prerun ritual: half a mug of coffee and a piece of toast with jelly. This morning I also had some Powerbar fuel for extra sugar and carbs before we left the house. My head cold was in the back of my mind, but I just packed some tissues and tried to ignore it. ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived at Forest Park around 7:40 and headed into the Visitors Center to get my bib and wait. There were tons of people inside waiting until the last minute to head out into the cold.

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I was so nervous at this point! I made one last bathroom stop before we headed out to the start line. Nick went with me to see me off before he headed back inside to hibernate. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It was sunny, around 40 degrees, and windy (around 20 mph). It was good for our take off and when they blew the air horn, I was feeling confident.

I paced myself through the first 1.5 miles to around a 8:55/mile pace. I was feeling great and decided to push it up to a 8:45/mile pace but no faster. The wind was picking up a bit and I had no time to beat. I settled into a good groove with a middle-aged man in a red jacket (strangers can make great pace buddies!) and completed the first loop of the course like a breeze.

The hills were intense, but I was prepared. I was sure to take some sugar and water before the hilly section. I also tried a new technique today… When I would approach a daunting hill, I would look towards the top and tell myself “I love hills. This flat pavement running is killing me. Push harder.” Then as I headed up, I kept my head down and looked only at the road right in front of me. Looking at the rising hill ahead of me never works so well for me. So I thought I would keep my head down and just pretend the crazy hill wasn’t really there. And you know what? It worked great. Until mile 8, I never even felt pain from the hills today. ๐Ÿ™‚

When I started loop 2 on the course, I could see dark storm clouds coming our direction and the winds were beginning to really gust on the open stretches. It was not easy running up those hills the 2nd time with 35 mph wind gusts coming at me. But I was thankful for the runners around me. We were all struggling but knew we had to keep pushing. I lost many people on the hills today late in the race. Runners that had been nearby the whole time began to slow and fall back. This motivated me even more to keep pushing. I didn’t want to be one of those people who let the weather get the best of them!

I made it through the hills the second time and knew I was in the home stretch. My phone said I was at 11.9 miles. Around 1:42 and I became extra hopeful that I would make it under the 2 hour mark. The wind was still getting worse and I started feeling some sprinkles. Push harder. It’s going to start pouring on you. I picked up my pace as much as possible and pushed past the stragglers in front of me to beat them to the finish line.

When the finish line was right in site, I pushed faster than I thought possible.

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I crossed the line right at 1:56:10. Yay!!!!!!

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I was so happy to see Nick that I kept running past the finish line and right over to him. Sweaty hug time! But the rain was picking up and I had to potty (too much Gatorade!!), so we headed inside ASAP.

Two minutes after we walked inside, it started pouring SNOW outside! I was beyond thankful that I had beat the sleet and snow. It was getting nasty fast out there. So I got a Frostbite Series shirt, took some photos and we headed out.

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Overall, it was a great race and I’m so happy that I did it under 2 hours. My head cold didn’t give me too much grief until the race was over and the wind didn’t damper my spirits…too much.

Tonight I’m just relaxing with my compression socks and sweat pants on. I’m in total post-race recovery mode.

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Lots of snacks plus lots of water have been on my agenda today. I love being allowed to be lazy after a good run. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well have a great night everyone!! We will be heading home tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll see you once we are back in Springfield. Nighty night!

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Anxious to Race

Happy Friday! We’re almost to the weekend again. Woot!

So last night I was having major stress and anxiety as I finished up my laundry and packing for this weekend’s race. At this point, I’m just anxious to race! I’m thankful I had my Jazzercise class in the middle of the evening to help me focus on something else for a bit. I have lots of clothing options packed, so I know I’ll be set for Saturday morning. I’m still nervous that I’ve forgotten something important though. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I have my outfits, shoes, compression socks, gels, and water bottle packed. Those are my essentials, and they will get me through my hilly 13.1 miles tomorrow AM!

This morning I tried to sleep in, but my mind was anxious for me to be awake around 5:30. I also wanted to get into work early today so I can leave early to load up the car, so I decided to just get up and start my day. No workout today! So I made it to work by 7 AM which is a miracle! Now I can leave early guilt-free and get my ‘ducks in a row’ before we hit the road.

Breakfast was nice and carby today. Some thick Greek yogurt and oatmeal + a banana were on the menu this morning. The banana was overripe and the oatmeal looked gross, so I decided photographs weren’t necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Clif Bar sufficed as my carbolicious snack this AM. Did you know those delicious little bars have 43 grams of carbs in them?! Holy smokes, they pack a punch.

IMG_3146Remember how I was feeling icky yesterday? Well the lovely people from CVS pharmacy must’ve known, and I got a free sample of Airborne in the mail last night!

IMG_3144I was so excited. I took one of them right away and the other 3 tablets this morning. I must say, they tasted a little funky, but they weren’t too bad for being full of vitamins.

IMG_3145Hopefully they give my immune system a nice little kick today to push this sinus stuff out of my head! No sore throat today – just some sinus pressure and a runny nose. I feel great otherwise, so I’ll take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

On my lunch break today, I walked Mac and double-checked that I had everything packed.

IMG_3147My tiny suitcase is about 90% loaded with running apparel and the other 10% with everyday clothes. I may end up wearing running tights and tennis shoes all weekend, but at least I will be comfy!

I checked the weather one more time this morning. Tomorrow’s forecast for STL is looking good, minus the wind!

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I’m hoping for a temp right around 30 degrees with some sunshine. And hopefully the wind will have some mercy. Especially on the hills. Fingers crossed.

Okay, I’m headed out in a couple hours (I’m anxious – can you tell?!). I hope you all enjoy your evening and the weekend! I will check in with my results as soon as I get a quick second. See you all after the 13.1!

Carb Loading is NOT My Fave

Happy Thursday! It is FRIGID here today. I’m talking ‘high of 15 degrees with a negative wind chill’ frigid. Yuck! When I woke up this morning, my weather app told me to go to the gym instead of run outside.

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Yes, I’ve powered through worse during these past few months, but when it feels like -10 degrees and the wind is blowing that hard, it’s just not worth it…especially during my taper week! So I headed out to the gym to complete my easy 3 miles for the day. I did some intervals – 2 minutes at a 8:15 pace, 2 minutes recovery at a 10 min pace – and that helped the time fly by on the dreaded treadmill.

Once I got to work this morning, the carbo-loading began. To be perfectly honest, it’s not that exciting and I’m not feeling so hot from it. I thought I would love it, but it’s really not my fave. At all…This is what I’ve had so far today.

IMG_3136Breakfast! Which was followed by a snack of cinnamon graham crackers (not pictured).

IMG_3137Then this stuff! Donated by a kind coworker. It was tasty and helps the immune system + 14g of carbs, so I was thankful for their gift.

IMG_3140Lunch! Whole wheat bagel + some fettucine Lean cuisine. I also stole some of Nick’s guacamole and had it some tortilla chips. Don’t tell him though. ๐Ÿ™‚

After that lunch, my tummy has been slowly expanding the rest of this afternoon (probably from the alfredo sauce….oops). I know it’ll pass as the gluten and carbs digest, but it’s definitely not been the most pleasant experience so far! I’m just thankful for my run this morning. Exercise makes my tummy hungry. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to stomach this much food.

I’ve decided that I will continue with my ‘carb-o-thon’ through dinner tomorrow night, but my heaviest meal tomorrow will be lunch. Dinner will be eaten late with Nick’s family, and I don’t want to wake up Saturday morning still trying to digest my food from the night before. So I’ll try to keep my helpings of spaghetti and bread fairly small tomorrow evening!

Sickness Be-Gone!

Today, I’ve still felt a little icky with a sore throat and a runny nose, so during lunch I grabbed some meds to get me through the day.

IMG_3143And also two little Halos for a citrus + vitamin C kick. (Ignore Mac….he’s doing doggie yoga in the background!)

IMG_3141It all seems to be helping this afternoon! Hopefully the Zicam will work and at least keep me from feeling any worse through the weekend. I’m not sick yet, but I definitely feel like it could hit at any moment. Lots of hand sanitizer and orange juice for me until Sunday!

In other news, I came across our professional photos from the Diva Dash 5K today!

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Can you spot Rikki and I? Look for the pink tutus on the right-hand side. Good luck.

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Tonight will consist of last minute packing (though most of it got done last night!) and teaching Jazzercise at 6:45. This will be my last class before the race, so we will be taking it easy so we don’t kill my quads pre-race. I’ll try to have a little fun though….it’s my last class until Monday AM!

Have a great night, and I will see you all tomorrow before we head off to STL!