The holidays are here and I am FINALLY getting into the Christmas spirit! While I was drunk with Christmas spirit a week or so ago, I made a status about wanting to throw a Christmas party and forgot all about it. That was until J called me at work and asked what was up with the party on Saturday. So on Saturday, J and I are throwing our first ever Christmas party. Thoughtful man he his, the first question out of his mouth was, “Do you want me to call the house cleaning service?” Uh, does a bear shit in the woods? Continue reading
This year my family decided to break from our tradition of eating at home and we went out to eat for Thanksgiving. In previous years, my mother would spend a day and a half preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast and while we all enjoyed the food, it left very little time for us to spend time together as a family. Continue reading
I can’t believe I did it!!! This weekend I completed my first half marathon, The Diva’s Half in Wine Country, and I had a BALL!!! I may be sore, but it was totally worth it, and I think it is safe to say I am hooked!
The race was held in Loudoun county which is about an hour from where I live. Getting to the race via 495 was a breeze, but the closer I got to the winery, the traffic began to stack up. The road leading there is a two lane road, so I expected that there would be a little wait. The fun part was when all the water that I drank the night before and the day of started to kick in. Once I got to the winery, I got a pretty good parking spot and then I started looking for the porta potties. This was a fail. There were four port a potties in the parking lot and the line to use them was bananas. I’m sorry I couldn’t hold it that long. I got between my car and another and took my tinkle right then and there. Thank God for my stash of baby wipes in my car. Once I got to the start, I met with my running group and we had our mini photo shoot and gave each other words of encouragement. My nerves started to dissipate. We all made our way to the starting line so we could be ready for the 7:30 start. This is where things went left. Once we got there, we heard an announcement that due to an accident outside of the winery they were going to delay the start of the race. No big deal, I was thinking a 15-20 minute delay tops. Yeah, no. The race did not start until almost 9:00. By that time, I had burned up my little bagel and my tummy was rumbling. It was ok though, I was ready to get this thing started.
Since this was my first half marathon, this race was one big teaching moment and the first lesson I learned was not to go out too fast. I started off at a 11:05 pace and even though it was 2 minutes slower than my regular pace, it was way to fast to sustain me. Did I also mention the first 2 miles was a hilly gravel dirt road? I got through the first four miles of the race as the same pace, and around mile 5 my pace started to drop to a 12 minute mile. I was still feeling good and I was enjoying the beautiful landscape complete with rustic farms and vast fields.
Mile 7 is where things began to go way down hill. My calves began to cramp. My knees felt like softballs. My feet were on fire. The hills for the last six miles destroyed me. I tried to start back running after each walking interval, but my calves seized up each time. I stopped and stretched my legs on a light post. Still no good. I walked another mile to the next water station (put a pin in that) to refuel on Gatorade and water. Then it became clear to me the cramping was happening because I was losing electrolytes and they were not being replenished properly. Once I got a little Gatorade in me I was able to run the next 2 miles in intervals and then my calves AND feet began to cramp. I stopped on the trail and bent over trying to stretch as best as I could. The next thing I heard was, “Come on Victoria! You can do this!” It was my running buddy who stopped and helped me stretch out my calves and thighs. Once we stretched she encouraged me to keep running and helped me keep my pace. By this time I dropped down to a 15 minute mile and that felt a little more comfortable. But just as we got comfortable, the hills became alive again. It was literally one hill after the next. To save my legs from locking up again we walked the hills and ran the flat parts. We came to a residential area and I focused on all of the beautiful homes to take mind off the fact my legs and now hips were HOLLERING from walking up and down these hills. Mile 10 we came across a group of neighbors who were tailgating on their lawn cheering all of us on. The hilliest part of the course was behind us, and now it was time for the last 3 miles.
The last three miles made me really wish I started out slower. My muscles were fatigued and I felt like the race would never end. Around each corner I kept hoping to see the finish line and it wasn’t there. We started to run into people who had finished the race and I was so jealous of their bagels and bananas. This just pushed me more. I just kept thinking that if I kept going I too could get a bagel and banana. I was totally ready to give up, and after receiving my tiara and boa, with my race buddy cheering me on I hit the corner to cross the finish line. I thought I would be more emotional when I crossed, but I was probably too dehydrated to produce tears and all I wanted to do was lay down on the ground. There were two things that rejuvenated me: Seeing the big shiny metal and the shirtless man candy holding it. Honey, when he put that metal around my neck I got a second wind of energy that I needed, and you know I took his picture too! Once I collected my sparkling cider (put a pin in that too), my friend and I took pictures in front of the step and repeat and grabbed bagels and oatmeal cookies. Our group took a picture together to commemorate our finishing and then I had to hightail it out of there so I could collect The Goons.
The Morning After
My legs felt like Rick James’ in that Chapelle skit. Everything was stiff and hurt despite doing an ice bath the day of the race. I let my muscles get a lot of rest and I spent the day rolling my legs and using a rice sock for heat therapy. I also hydrated with Gatorade so I could replace the vast amounts of electrolytes I lost.
What I Learned
I enjoyed running my first half marathon so much, I have already signed up for another one. I was in a great deal of pain after, but it is because of things I didn’t do to prepare.
- Compression: After this race, I have learned I need lots of compression for my calves and feet. Those were the areas that had the worst cramping.
- Fuel Belt/Nunn Tablets: When I called my sister and told her I didn’t have a fuel belt, I could hear the shock in her voice. Yes, I went out there and relied on the generous water stations for hydration and it was a fail. For the next race I plan to invest in either a camelbak or a fuel belt. Continuous hydration could have saved me a lot of trouble when it came to my calves.
- Gu: This would have also helped with the cramping issue. I was used some Gatorade chews that did nothing.
- Different Pace for Different Race: I cannot run a half marathon at my 5k pace. Now I know what they mean when they say run at your such and such pace. At least now I have a baseline to know what pace to run when I am training.
My first half marathon was a huge accomplishment, and I am looking forward to running my next one!
Everyone OK after that Wale post? God knows that made my morning. Clearly I need to get a Vine account and get one NOW!
Diva’s Half Marathon
Saturday is the Diva’s Half and I am PUMPED!!!! I spent last night picking up out my outfit and putting all of my things together. Tonight I will go through the intricate task of putting my running playlist together. SInce this is the Diva’s Half, my playlist is going to be very Beyonce and RuPaul heavy. I will also throw a little Action Bronson and Mos Def in there as well.
My mums are blooming!!!! This is a source of pride for me because I struggle to keep houseplants alive, so I just knew my mums where going to meet their maker this week.
Saving My Coins
I am going to attempt to start bringing my lunch to work and start cooking at home more. I like to see my savings up front, so a friend of mine gave me a great tip: For every day I bring my lunch, take the money that I would have spent that day and put it in a piggy bank! This way I can see my savings on a daily basis. I spend about 10 dollars a day so that money is going to rack up quick. I wonder what I will do with the excess????
The Kickoff to My Daughter’s School Year
I know people have their theories and opinions about ADD, but this year instead of “waiting it out” before giving my daughter her medicine, I went ahead and started giving it to her day one. You know what the result was? A child that can now keep up with her work because she is focused in class. On Tuesday when I went to check her math homework I was prepared to have to work extensively with her correcting her work. Don’t you know there was nary a problem wrong? I even asked her if she did it herself and she said, “Of course, here’s where I showed my work.” The bottom line is I am happy I went with my gut, and I can tell my daughter has more confidence since she is able to keep up with her classmates.
Six Sigma Training
I have signed up for my first Six Sigma training. I am starting off with the White Belt training as I don’t have a lot of experience in Project Management, but my new position will require me to do a lot of work in regards to creating processes and protocols for the sites that I will currently manage and the future sights. I think this will be a helpful tool for me when it comes making these different sites run more efficiently. Anyone have any experience with this certification?
- From The Desk Of Miss Page: Closing, Falling Asleep, and The Diva’s Half (missvpage.com)
- Guest Post! 7 Tips for First Time Half Marathon Runners (racingbananas.com)
It looks like the Diva’s Half won’t be happening for me. The race is early Saturday morning, and my sitter canceled on me this morning.
This is the caveat of being a single parent runner. I am restricted to the deadmill to train because, I don’t have someone to watch my kids three times a week so I can get in a good outdoor run. My gym has a daycare so that is my only real child care option when it comes to running. I crave running with my local running group outside, but I don’t think that will ever happen because I have two children who are both too old for jogging strollers, but too young to keep up with me on a 3-5 mile run. Hiring a sitter just so I can run or participate in races is an extra cost I don’t want to incur. I want to hear from some other single parent runners. How are you making it work?
- Single Parent Strategies (omtimes.com)
Many of you may be wondering what happened to J, as I really don’t blog about him as much anymore. I figured today was a good time to address that. For over a year, I defended his need for what he called privacy in his relationship. This was a lot for me to swallow, even when he referred to me as his “homegirl” or “the homie” when introducing me.
I took this too, as a part of his need for privacy. But there is a fine line between privacy and hiding. After uncovering lies by omission every couple of months, it became painfully clear that J wasn’t being private about our relationship, he was hiding it. I defended this for so long because I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had made the SAME mistake again. I was dating a man that loved me in the dark, but not in the light. The final straw is when I heard the actual truth of what happened and who was called when he had an emergency this past winter. I don’t have to tell you who, if you read this blog you already know (here’s a hint: Wedding). You know when I found about his emergency? Three days later. And during that three days NO ONE said anything to me. Why? Because to his friends I wasn’t his girl. I was his “homie.” So, I sit here a little embarrassed, because I really thought I knew better, but I didn’t. That being said, I don’t harbor any ill will, I just know that the next time around, I will pay closer attention.
Three more days until closing and I am pumped!!! My walk through is scheduled for the 29th, and the next day is closing time. I honestly did not think I was going to make it to this week.
I ran a 5k this morning before work, and I feel like a bag of money. My intention was to only run 2 miles, but when I got to two, I felt so damn good that I wanted to go to three. I would have gone to four, but I love my job and I was already on the cusp of being late.
Thank God for GPS. Yesterday, I accidently got on at 495 NORTH, and the next thing I know, my ass was at Dulles Airport. Let’s note that Dulles is nowhere near my house and I learned that taking the free Dulles toll road and turning around at the airport will get your ass a ticket. It took me an extra 45 minutes to get home, but I did discover that if I never need to catch a flight and I have leave from my job, it’s not that far to the airport. The more you know….
Confession time: I have not been training for these 13.1 miles I am facing on September 14th. Between my final weeks of school and life, running has been on the back burner. I didn’t realize how serious things were until I looked at my training calendar. I’m so behind… I don’t know what I am going to do. This was supposed to be my big moment in my 32nd chapter and now it feels like I’m going to flop. Maybe once this week is over I can focus a little more but I don’t know how much good it will do. My contingency plan is to run the race in intervals since my stamina is not up but, as with my first 5k, I may surprise myself. Who knows……