Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 is off to a great start!

Yes, today was a race day but I'll get back to those exciting details in a minute.

My family is awesome.  I mean seriously, how many people will get up at the butt crack of dawn to go to a 5k?  I stayed with Stefanie last night and she & Avery were up at 5:30am with me to head over to the UH Sugar Land campus for my 5k.  Avery doesn't typically like to get up early but we found her in her room, ready to go!  Angel baby!  On top of that, Keith work up extremely early for the 2nd weekend in a row so he could drive down from The Woodlands to watch.  As if that's not awesome enough, my mom was there to watch too. The 5k started just before 6:40am…yes, you heard that right.  After the half & full marathoners started, the 5k took off.  Let me tell you what impressed me about today though.  While the race start was 6:30am, there was a 4:30am start for marathoners who expected to be on the race course for longer than 6 hours.  FOUR THIRTY IN THE MORNING.  I can't tell you how impressed I am with those who started this early….and I'll tell you, there were a lot of them b/c they were out there when I arrived at the race site.  To get up that early in the morning means they really wanted to finish that marathon.  I was so impressed.  

After the race, we had beignets and hot cocoa/coffee and then Keith & I went to Rosenberg to deliver the cradle he made for Olivia.  Oh my gosh, she's going to love sleeping in that thing.  Keith is so talented and it makes me so happy that he takes the time to make these special keepsakes for my family.  They love them so much and I love him!!!  Yay Keith!

Ok, the race recap.  My previous 5k PR was run in 2009 (I think) and was 27:44…a time I was very proud of.  To finally run a 5k under 30 minutes was a BIG deal to me.  

It would appear that my first mile was somewhere around a 7:50min/mile pace.  W.T.F.  I knew when the race started I wanted to make this one hurt but I didn't expect that type of pace.  Heading out, I saw my family half way between the start and the turnaround.  I wish I could've smiled and waved but I was a woman on a mission and I needed to stay focused. I also thought if I waved I may actually fall down.  Run, breathe, repeat.  Mile 2 I slowed a bit which I think partially had to do with a slight incline and then also a little to do with the turn around.  Either way, I knew I was at a pace that would guarantee a PR.  Just run.  Mile 3 I dropped my pace by about 15 seconds from my Mile 2 pace and knew I had enough to finish strong. I saw my family again and was SO happy but still so focused on making my goal.  I knew that there was a chance for a podium spot if the times were consistent with 2013.  That being said, you never know who is going to show up in a given year so I reminded myself that a PR would be a very good reward with a podium spot being icing on the cake!

I could see the finish line and was hurting. Pumping my arms for extra speed wasn't working due to the fact they were sore from my barre class the day before.  Oopsie.  I glanced at my Garmin and was at a 7:29min/mile pace.  Ok, just a little longer now.  I rounded the final turn and hit the gas.  My breathing was labored, my abs hurt and my arms were on fire.  Not so surprising, my legs felt strong (thank you NYC Marathon training).   I crossed the finish and saw 24:55 on my watch but knew that wasn't official.  Nope, I would have to wait for those results.  Either way, I knew I was probably below 25 minutes and was FREAKING EXCITED.  I called Ana to leave her a message.  Even though she's not coaching me right now, she's still my coach and I knew she would want to hear my update.  I was dying when I called her. I think I even said, "f, I'm tired" and then hung up.  LOL.  I didn't vomit post race but I did taste blood when I coughed.  Hmmm, not sure what that was but I think it meant I went balls to the wall.  

I caught up with the family and then waited (not so) patiently for them to post the results.  Official time was 24:57….a nearly 3 minute PR.  That time was good to get me 2nd place in the 30-39 age group!!!!  For a split second, I was sad not to get 1st BUT I was so happy with my performance. I've done virtually no speed work and I signed up for this race less than a week ago.  I'd say I did just fine!  I do want to point out that had I raced in the 40+ group (like I would've if this were a tri), I would've had 1st.  Just saying.  

So yeah, my 2nd race of the 2014 season was awesome and it felt so good!  I'm racing again in 2 weeks…my first duathlon.  I actually plan on having a little fun with that. I haven't been out on my bike in awhile so I thought this would be a good kick in the pants.  

Happy training y'all!!!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Houston Half in the books!!!!

Monday I completed my 7th Houston Half Marathon and I have to say, aside from my first race, this was my favorite.  I wasn't chasing a PR so I really got to enjoy the day.  And what a beautiful day it was!  The sun was out and it wasn't as chilly as it's been recently.  It was gorgeous!   

This race was especially special b/c I got to run with Keith's daughter, Caitlin.  This was her first half marathon so the plan was to run together.  I was so excited for her and never had a doubt she would finish this race.  She got to experience the feelings I think we all face at some point during a race.  Excitement, exhaustion, being "over" running, etc.  There was nothing cooler than turning on to Allen Parkway and getting that glimpse of downtown, knowing we were headed to the finish.  All the spectators who yelled for her made the day even more memorable.  I especially like the dude who called her Cat-lin.  Meow.  Keith was our best spectator once again and made his way to three points on the course to cheer for us. I always look forward to seeing him out there.  It was a great day to run.  I'm so proud of Caitlin for tackling a goal like this and doing something she never thought she would.  How cool is that?!?!?

Being out there has definitely reignited the bug to race.  So of course, I signed up for my very first duathlon, Du the Polar Bear.  I haven't been out on the roads on my bike much at all so this will force me to get off the trainer and/or spin bike and get outside.  This race is a short, sweet one which makes it even better.  A 2 mile run, 15 mile bike and 2 mile run.  I'm super excited and hope to do well!  And if that wasn't enough, I signed up for a 5k that is this Sunday so I can run after my PR!!!  There is something seriously wrong w/ me.

The Woodlands Half is on the horizon for me as well and weather permitting, I will be chasing my PR and my goal of getting in under 2hrs.  You guys know this is a goal I've wanted for a long time and I'm so close.  I just need all the stars to align, execute a great race and not go out too hard.  Seems reasonable.  Oh yeah, I also need Mother Nature to be kind to me and give me PR weather.  Pretty please.  With sugar on top.

So that's all I've got this fine Wednesday.  Happy Training!!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First post of the year (sorry it's boring)!

(this entry was previously recorded)

My first official post of 2014 and we're only 6 days into the year!  Woo hoo.  

November 2012 was my last visit with Chase who helped me achieve my weight loss goals.  I'm happy to report I maintained that weight loss for a solid year!!  I made the decision to start back on the meal plan he had me on effective today!!  While I did eat like crap for much of the holiday break, the reason for getting back on the wagon now is because I want to try to get a little lighter as I gear up for Ironman training (which starts in April for me).  I've been very happy with the weight I maintained all through 2013 but I do want to see if dropping a little extra can help me with my race goals for the next 11 months.  I figured now was the time to get started so I could see if the new weight I want is good for me and if my performance stays where it's been.  Sometimes you get a little weaker/slower when you lose weight and I don't want that. 

Other than that, I've got nothing new to report just yet. The Houston Half is a week from Sunday.  I have not been training hard at all and as I mentioned before, this race will be strictly for fun. I can't wait!!!

Happy 2014!!!!