Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post Race Thoughts

I guess now would be the time to share my post-race thoughts. I'm going to make this short and sweet (my lunch is waiting on me) and use bullets. We love bullets, right?
  • I do not enjoy ice baths (random, but I had to throw that out there).
  • My ITB is still a little tight and sore-ish.
  • I've decided that I love the distance of 13.1 (ok, actually anything past 10 miles I loathe).
  • I am FOR SURE doing that race again next year - hands down the best time I've ever had.
  • I'm pretty sure the feeling of doing the Half beat out the feeling on my college graduation day. So.Not.Kidding.
  • My parents bought me a cool card and gift (Willow Tree Figurine) for finishing. Score!
  • I'm unsure if I want to pursue the Half coming up in March (30 mins from my house). I kind of want my life back for a little bit longer and did I mention that I'm not a fan of running in cold weather? Not.A.Fan.
  • I'm thinking that I'll keep running (of course!) and take a few yoga and spin classes at the fitness center. You know, since I pay for it and all. Plus, my appetite is still majorly present and it's showing no sign of going away any time soon.
  • I'm mailing my grad school application next week. Reminds me...I need to write my essay pronto. Random.
  • I'm SO making a shadow box of my medal, bib number, and a few pictures (assuming my sister ever posts or emails them).
  • Did I mention that I love Half Marathons? Seriously, it's like I tasted chocolate for the first time. Yum.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bust A Move! Part II

After looking at yesterday's post, I realized that one of the pictures was a little dark. So, I hate doing things halfbass, so here you go:

Now, where were we? Oh yes, around Mile 6. Well, I kept trucking along, nothing really going on. I passed a man who was limping and looked to be in some pain. As I passed him, I told him that he could do this and not to give up. He then got his cell phone out and started calling someone. Poor guy. Later, I saw him limping around barely able to walk - I think he must've pulled something awful.

Anyways, I saw my family again around mile 7 or 8. I waved, stuck my tongue out, and kept running! I was having a great time! Then, we ran through a really nice neighborhood and I started getting tired somewhere around Mile 10. I just kept telling myself that I had a 5k left and that I could do that in my sleep! My 4 & 1 routine started turning into more like a 3 &1 and 2 &1 routine... But, I was determined to try to keep a decent pace.

I saw my family yet again (ha!) and then I saw my husband about a half mile later. It was the funniest thing, he was pulled over on a curb and I kept thinking ... He's going to cause an accident and get MY Tahoe hit! Ha! In reality, he wasn't really going to get hit, but I think I was getting a little delusional! LOL Anyways, I kept trying to push forward and not show that I was getting tired, when my IT band started to hurt. Not only that, I could feel my blisters on my feet now. I knew they were covered with Mole Skin pretty well, so I just told myself that it was all in my head. My feet weren't really hurting, but Self knew better! :)

Fast forward to somewhere around Mile 11. Here comes my dad and stepsister running along a sidewalk. It was really a site to see. My dad, you see, looked like he was really bookin' it, except his feet was doing more of a shuffle run. LOL I love my dad, he's so funny! Anyways, dad runs for a little ways and then says "Whew! I've had enough of this! This is hard!" and I replied back "Um yeah, you outta try it for 11 miles!!" in which he replied "No thanks!" and I just laughed. Then, I let my guard down and said, "I'm starting to hurt, but I'm pushing through!!" and he told me that I was doing great and to keep it up. I then passed the corner where my stepmom was standing (Ha, my stepmom was standing on a corner....LOL jk) and smiled really BIG. She shouted something like "You're still smiling?!" and I kept running. My IT Band was killing me, my blisters hurt, and my calves tried and tried to cramp.

Around Mile 12, I looked up to see the BIG hill. The one that I knew was there and had been dreading all along. That's when Miley Cyrus' song "The Climb" came on. I immediately thought of the Redhead and how she cries when she hears that song (I think it was The Redhead that admitted that, right?) and then thought, How ironic that this song would come on now!! I decided to let the song play through, even though it wasn't an upbeat song and I trudged up that hill. There was a man on a bike saying, "You're almost done, the rest of the way is downhill!" and I replied "Thank God!" (I really was thanking God btw) and he said "Yes! That's the spirit!". (Side note: This was a race for a Christian Children's Ranch, etc. etc.) Anyways, I made it up that BIG hill with nothing left. No energy, no nothing. I knew I had right at a mile to go and that it was only a mile, but I had no power left. At this point, I looked at my watch and said, I can almost make my goal right now even if I walked. But, instead, I ran down the hill and then decided it was time to walk. I knew I couldn't walk anywhere near the finish line, because I had to run I took a little walk break until I saw my dad...

Here comes my dad, all alone, on the sidewalk telling me I'm almost there. So, I start running and chit chatting with my dad - who is trying his best to keep up. I tell him that this was so much fun and how I broke my best 5k time by like 2 minutes, etc. etc. Then he says, "I've gotta take a short cut so I can hear them call out your name!" and he starts running through the muddy grass. I just smile, thinking, that's my dad - RUNNING! I turn the corner and see my stepmom and sister, then on the other side of the chute I see a girl from our training group cheering me on, then another girl cheering, then I hit the mat that gives the announcer your name and I hear "Mrs. Mess" and I look to the left and see my dad and husband and immediately I get all excited and threw up JAZZ HANDS!! and sprinted into the finish - my husband started yelling when I sprinted and I felt as if all eyes were on ME! I loved it!

I hit the finish line, stopped my watch and smiled for the photographer. Then, I grabbed my medal from a kid who lives at the Ranch, and hobbled over to the lady who cut the chip off of my shoe. Then, another kid handed me a space blanket. I was done! I looked down at my watch and saw that I made my goal time and then grabbed a bottle of water and hobbled over to my family and to watch the others come in. My funny husband asked if I wanted him to carry me, to which I replied, "No way dude, my calves are trying to cramp!" LOL I watched a few of my friends run in and then I ran my friend Naomi in. I was as happy as can be!! So, there you have it.. My first half marathon!

That's all of the pictures I have for now..I'm still waiting on my pictures from my stepsister and from the photographer at the race. I'll share more when I get them, of course!!
Yesterday, they posted our official results:
2:45:30 (heck yeah!)
697 out of 842 (more than 1000 registered)
49 out of 59 in my age group
379 out of 498 females
And last but not least... My splits. Notice that Mile 6 was long (it was a slight hill) and then things got a little slower at Mile 10.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bust A Move! Part I

First off, I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for all of your comments! Seriously, I thought of some of the comments while running and they just put a smile on my face.

Here's the first part of the review:

Friday night, we met some friends at Larry's Pizza and carb loaded, then headed to Target for some Mole Skin (life saver). After we arrived home, I took a long warm Epsom bath (my 2nd of the day) and then checked on my race pile one last time. I set two alarms for 5:10am and was in bed by 10pm. I thought I'd have a hard time sleeping, but after saying my long list of prayers, I was out like a light! That is...until 4am. I usually get up at 4am to get ready for work, so I guess it's just natural for me to wake up at that time... I never went back to sleep. I laid in bed till about 5 and then hopped in the shower. I was a tad nervous, but tried not to think about it too much. I took my vitamins, drank lots of water, and made a 1/2 of a pb sandwich to eat later. We took a few before pictures and headed out the door!

A Before Picture...

On the way to the race, I ate my pb sandiwch and took my vitamins. Blah blah blah... Went to the bathroom twice (not to worry, no stomach issues!)...blah blah blah. Now, onto the start of the race!

I kissed hubs by and my eyes teared up - I was SO excited! But, I quickly dried my eyes and got in the last corral before the walkers. This was the corral for 2:00 - 2:45 finishers. I thought, "hmm, that could be me" and "there's no way I'm getting in with the walkers!". After waiting about 3 minutes from the time the gun went off, it was our turn! We walked up to the mat, then started running! I hit start on my Garmin and play on my iPod and was greeted with the song "Bust A Move" by Young MC!!!! I thought - Wow! This is definitely the song to start with!
The beginning of the race was a little crowded. I ran around people and tried not to bump into others, all the while trying not to go out too fast. I hit mile 1 and thought hmm, I should probably try to slow it down a bit! To be honest, I was full of adrenaline and felt great. So, I kept trucking along. I looked over to my right and who did I see? MY GRANDMA!!! She had told me that she wasn't going to be there and so it really surprised me to see her standing there all by herself! I ran over to the side of the road and waved like an idiot and shouted "Grandma!!" and bless her heart, she tried to take a picture of me, but ended up taking a snapshot of the people behind me! LOL It made my day to see her out there!

At the first water stop (1.5 miles), I grabbed the first cup I saw and took a sip to find out that it was GATORADE!! Ugh! I threw that cup and grabbed the next to find out it too was Gatorade. That's when I noticed that the volunteers were saying "Gatorade" and "Water", so I took a cup from a kid who said "Water" and drank a few gulps of it and kept running.

Around Mile 2, people started spreading out some. I was running with a group of women who I knew from training and they were doing the "4&1" just like me! I tried to stay with them, but they were a little too fast for me and I lost them around mile 3. At mile 3, I took my 2nd Gu (I took the first before the starting line). Not alot happened on Mile 3, I did see a sign along the way that said "Run Like You Stole Something!" which made me laugh. I missed my watch beeping at me at Mile 3, but looked down shortly after and realized that I had just ran my fastest 5k ever - somewhere around 35 minutes I think! Awesome! I took another sip of water at Mile 3 and looked up to see the dreaded hill at mile 4. That's when the girl behind me said "Now's the time when it's okay to look down!" and we all just laughed. I laughed alot during the race and I wore a smile the whole entire time!

I trudged up most of that hill, but ended up walking the top part of it. It didn't get me down though, I knew my family would be at 4.5 miles and I was ready to throw my gloves at hubs - my hands were getting a little warm! So, at 4.5 miles, I threw my gloves, smiled for hubs who was taking a picture, then smiled for the photographer at the other side of the course and looked for my parents who were no where to be found! My heart sank, but I kept trucking along.

4.5ish Miles, before throwing the gloves (yes, I tend to run with my arms a little high, I tried to work on that):

Then, at mile 6, I took another Gu and some more water and then Brandi came up beside me. We exchanged hellos (I think?) and then I looked up at another incline and saw my parents and sister at the top! Of course! My parent's would be at the top of a hill! ha! I wanted to walk, but said no way, I'm not walking in front of them! So, I kept running and smiled really big! They took pictures and then I rounded the corner. That made my day and I got chills running through me - I was SO happy! I kept running and low and behold... here comes the Yukon with the windows rolled down and my family sticking their heads out the window screaming "Go Mrs. Mess!" LOL To say that I was the happiest girl alive, would be an understatement!!

I don't remember alot of the next few miles... I just remember running and looking at everything around me and thinking I've ran this before, I can do this, this is so much fun, I'm running a half marathon!!!! I was over joyed!

Wow! That covers the first part of the race! Next, I'll tell you about the last half of the race - the part where it got a weee bit interesting! ha!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Did It!!!

According to the Garmin..

13.21 Miles
2:45:29 time (My Goal!!)
12:31 pace

I had a blast. Hit a wall at mile 10. Will share more later! A nap is in store!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo Friday

  • The gear is ready! I told ya, I'm wearing mostly black! ha!
  • Weather looks great for tomorrow - high of 67 and NO rain!
  • I stayed home today. I've felt like I'm coming down with something for the past two days and this morning I woke up feeling exhausted. So, I'm listening to my body and I'm taking some extra precautions. I've taken all of my vitamins and some Advil - to fight off the ickys. I feel pretty good, but on the verge of getting sick. I'm hoping it's just nerves, but there was NO way I was going to work and getting exposed to all the sick coworkers. Trust me, my hand santizer bottle has gotten used and abused this week!
  • Tonight, we're meeting other runner friends for some carb loading pizza! Yay!
  • Please let me do well tomorrow, running gods!
  • I'll post as soon as I can on how I did. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TWO Days!

Thanks for all the advice and comments! I think I've made a decision to just stick to Gu and water. I've read online that Gu does contain electrolytes, so that's a plus! Now, concerning the whole sock issue... I think I'll just wear my normal socks and just use Body Glide on my feet before putting the socks on. But, this is exactly what I did Saturday and it didn't stop the blisters. So, we'll see. My only concern on wearing different socks is that my feet will be hot. I wore different socks Tuesday night and I could definitely tell that the socks were too thick...

Moving on.. I've printed out the race map and have figured out a few places where my family can cheer me on from - without having to drive all over the place. So far, it looks like hubs, my dad and maybe my stepmom will be in attendance. Which, is fine by me. As long as I have a few people there - I'm pretty happy. :)

My stomach has started giving me some issues - I'm hoping it's just nerves. I'm pretty sure that's all it is. I just hope the issues go away and will not make an appearance on race day.

I'm thinking of soaking in Epsom Salt the night before the race. I usually just take a warm bath, but I'm wondering if this ES will help loosen up my muscles. Any thoughts?

I pick up my race packet after work - I'm super duper excited! I'll still have to pick up my timing chip race morning. For some reason, they're not letting us pick them up till Saturday morning. Guess they want us to be even more stressed?? ha!

Last but not least...and totally unrelated.. Here is a picture of me and Paula Deen (cut out) from this past weekend. It's a tradition that I take a picture with her every time we go eat there. I totally should've taken off my jacket as it makes me look like a whale...but you live and you learn, right? lol Also, please note that I ran 10.5 miles that day and hadn't had a nap! HA!

2 more days till my first half marathon!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Running Madness!

All things running associated are running through my head right now. I had my last training run last night and it went ...differently. We had 4 miles map'd out and the first mile I ran way too fast because I was so darn excited. How fast? 10:57. That's fast for me. After that, things went a little south. The run felt hard, my legs felt dead tired, and my heart just wasn't in it. But, you wouldn't have known that by my overall pace - 12:18 (I think). That's a tad quicker than I usually run! So, on paper, the run looks pretty well, though I know how hard it felt! I'm chalking it up to tired legs and from just being plain worn out myself.

Aside from that, I woke up in the middle of the night last night feeling a pain in my shin. Uh oh. So, I have plans of icing and resting that baby tonight. No worries since it doesn't actually hurt to walk and I'm not even thinking of sprinting across the parking lot to see how it feels. No worries, right?

Now, onto socks. I've been running in dry wick (is that right?) socks that have compression around the arch. I love those socks. They are thin, cheap, and I've used them for 2 years now. They hold up really well. Everything was fine till this past Saturday. 10.5 miles did a number on my feet. Blisters? Yes. Lucky for me, they didn't pop (ew) or anything and they're not bothering me as of right now. But, my thoughts are...should I try a thicker sock this Saturday or just stick with these and deal with the blisters? Or what about that mole skin stuff; does that stuff work?? Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Then, the thoughts on Gatorade - or any type of drink or gel with electrolytes in it... Gatorade and I don't get along. In training, I've drank normal ole water, but now I'm wondering - should I have something with electrolytes in it? I take Gu, but Gu doesn't have the elects in it does it? Oh what to do, what to do... So, I need input please!

Now, goals. Goals:

  • Goal A: to finish.
  • Goal B: to finish under 3 hours.
  • Goal C: to finish at 2:45 or under.
I know I can complete Goal A. I'm pretty darn sure I can do Goal B. Now, Goal C? It's going to be a close call!
For those of you who are interested...I'll be posting my racing outfit on Friday (Photo Friday)!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Mixture of Emotions

Wow, this weekend had all kinds of emotions going on. Here's a recap of part of the weekend:
  • Carb loaded on some pizza Friday night - long run jitters were definitely present. I was wondering if I was eating too much pizza - I was one hungry girl! I wont share how much I ate, because it's a tad embarrassing! :) Hubs didn't have to work Friday night = excellent!
  • Saturday morning it was frigid! The Beast said it was 46 degrees COLD! So, I dressed in shorts (yikes), my new running shirt, then a long sleeve technical shirt over, and some awesome (throw away) gloves. Met the group at 8am and we were off!
  • Immediately, this lady said she was going to be my partner for the 10 miles. I told her that I was doing 4&1 and to go ahead and leave me if I'm too slow. Side note - I hate being someone's pacer or buddy. It puts a lot of pressure on me! I don't like team sports for fear that I'll screw up the team and lose the game - so I definitely don't like being someone else's "partner." I'm okay with it if it happens on accident...LOL
  • Anyways, the first 5 miles went by pretty quickly. At mile 5 we passed by a golf course, where a group of guys where teeing off. We talked about stealing their golf cart and finishing our last 5 miles that way, but decided against it. LOL
  • Everything was going fine till I decided to try Gatorade at mile 7. Mistake. I knew this, but decided it wouldn't hurt to give it one last try. Yeah, I experienced that nice little vomit in mouth. Ugh.
  • Mile 8, 9, 10 were rough. I'm not going to lie. I began to wonder why I was doing this to myself. I began to wonder if I was going to make it on race day. I began feeling the lovely blisters on my feet. My calves were starting to cramp- something that has never happened thus far in training.
  • But, I powered through (slowly) and finished our 10.5 miles. My time - I can't even remember, but I do remember my overall pace fell to 12:55. So, with that pace, my goal of 2:45 is out of reach, but we'll find out on race day, wont we?!
  • Anyways, I came home and told hubs he would get the pleasure of torturing me. That's right, it was ice bath time. I sucked it up and did an ice bath - first time ever. I must say, it wasn't too bad once I got used to it. But, dang is that cold!
So, that's a recap of PART of my weekend. It's getting a little long I'll post part II later. Trust me, it isn't all that interesting! LOL

Friday, October 16, 2009

Starting To Get A Weee Bit Excited!!

It has hit me - the Half Marathon excitement! Tomorrow is my last long run and I hope to do well on it, but as I was reminded - it's only a training run! So, screw it if I don't do well - it doesn't count anyways! LOL

After work yesterday, I stopped by and bought another running shirt. I started thinking about my outfit and how I wanted to be easy to spot... Well, I went in for a bright pink shirt {to match the pink in my black and pink shorts} but I came out with a black shirt. I know...everyone will be wearing black. But, as we know, I hate shopping {mostly} and I just wanted a new shirt {truth be told}. I did try on a few bright pink shirts, but I didn't like the fit. This black one however fit perfectly and I'll be trying it out tomorrow on my long run. Also, I'm trying the Gu's exactly how I'll be using them on race day. So, I'm excited {and nervous} as I've never ran this long and I'm hoping the Gus settle well {they have been thus far, so why shouldn't they?}.

Anyways, I'll take a picture sometime soon of the race outfit. :) Something else I'm excited about is ...

We're going to Tunica this weekend! A little background, before I go further. The hubs works a ton - a TON - so I haven't seen him since Monday night. Yes, Monday night. Now, don't get me wrong, he does come home, but I'm already asleep by this time {think midnight and later} and I get up at the crack of dawn to come to work. Anyways, I mentioned earlier this week that I was ready to go back and eat at Paula Deen's Buffet at the Harrah's in Tunica. Well, I knew it wasn't going to happen, because hubs has been working weekends too. Well, he called me last night and told me to book a room - we're going to Tunica! Yay! Neither of us are big gamblers by any means, but we do like to visit about once a year. So, this will be a much needed mini vacation.

And I leave you with a picture from last year's visit at Paula Deen's Buffet {it's a cutout}:

Monday, October 12, 2009

GMAT & An Outdoor Wedding!

Well ladies and gents, I took the GMAT Friday morning. I needed a score of 500 and I scored a 580!! To say that I'm pleased and excited, is an understatement. I literally cried in the elevator as I was leaving. The test took me 3 hours to complete - I didn't take any of my breaks. I was just so stressed, that I wanted to finish as soon as possible! There were 2 essays, a math section, and a grammar section. This was the hardest test that I have ever taken - hands down!!! I'm very glad that I took the time and studied for 2 solid months before taking the test! Now, it's behind me and I can start applying to Grad School! Woohoo! Side note... The math section, I ran out of time on, and had to pick random answers for the last 4 questions - because you HAVE to answer the questions!! Wow. But, it's now behind me!!

Other than that, I've had a relaxing weekend. I skipped my long run Saturday morning due to poor planning. I totally forgot to pick up any Gu's on Friday and when I woke up Saturday morning, I knew that I couldn't do 9.6 miles without my Gu. Well, 9.6 miles VERY WELL without them! And, I was not prepared to have a bad run - so I skipped it. Horrible, I know. But, it's ok - I totally know I can do the mileage, so I'm not too upset.

Saturday evening, one of my great friends got married. It was an outdoor wedding - and a little chilly - but it was beautiful! She looked amazing and I loved how everything turned out. Right now, she's on her honeymoon in Hawaii. Sigh. Wish I was there!

Myself with the Beautiful Bride:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Running Review

It's that time again!

If you remember, August looked like this:

34.61 miles
13:26 overall average pace

Ready for September?

53.57 miles
12:55 overall average pace

Nice improvement, right? I was suppose to run more mileage than this, but I've cut back due to some issues with my shins. I'm having a slight pain in them both and I'm trying to avoid injury since the Half is 3 weeks away. So, we shall see!

I haven't posted my runs in a while, so here are the most previous two:

I failed to notice that I cut the last 1.5 miles off of this one... So, you can only see the first 7:

Thanks for all the comments yesterday. We received some not-so-great news about my grandmother's scan. To share a little bit, she has cancer in her spleen, lung, liver, and bones. Please continue to pray. That really means a lot to us all.
In case you haven't noticed {I'm hoping you haven't}, I'm running out of things to blog about so I'm opening up the floor to questions. Anything that you'd like to know about me, my job, my training, or anything - the floor is open. I'll answer all questions. So, lets hear them!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

3 Things Thursday

You know the drill...
  • I'm thankful for my J O B. Yesterday our company laid off close to 400 employees. This hit too close to home. So, I'm very thankful for said job.
  • I'm ready for this GMAT test to be over. I take the test next Friday and at this point, I have no idea how I'll score.
  • I wish we were running more than 6 miles this Saturday. Our training calls for 6 and I really wish we were doing 9. Maybe I should just be happy with the 6?
In case you couldn't tell, I'm in a bad mood. Yesterday was just a very bad day and it somehow carried into today.

Also, my grandmother gets her scan results today to see if the cancer has spread. Thoughts and prayers are definitely appreciated. I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Job stuff, GMAT, HM training, and family stuff...just a little too much for me to handle right now. Blah. I am, however, excited to post my last few runs and September stats {to compare with August's}. Maybe I'll get to that tonight.