Tag Archives: Half marathon

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

2 Dec

 

 

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

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The Diva’s Half Recap

16 Sep

divas

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 Start

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.

The Run

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.

 

Going Left

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.

Finishing Up

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Gu: This would have also helped with the cramping issue.  I was used some Gatorade chews that did nothing.
  4. 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!

 

What’s Making Me Happy

13 Sep

My favorite scene in Paris is Burning

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.

Gardening

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?

The Hills Are Alive: The Diva’s Half Marathon

20 Jun
Diva's Half Marathon Medal

Diva’s Half Marathon Medal (Photo credit: slgckgc)

 

One of my Sole Sisters posted the course map for the Diva’s Half Marathon yesterday and that whole course is one giant hill.  If you look at the elevation chart, you will notice that the race starts off on a hill and there is really no drop off until the 10th mile and then you climb, you guessed it, another large hill.  Looking at that map has forced me to get my butt in gear and I will be adding hill repeats to my training plan, and yes, the long run has got to happen ASAP.  This is not the time to be afraid.  This is not the time to let anything over 4 miles scare me.  This is the time to put up or shut up….go hard or go home.  I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED or INTIMIDATED!!!

Hump Day: You’re Next!

8 May

I must be getting old, because this pollen business is knocking me on my ass every single day.  Monday night I could not function at all.  I came home, took out my contacts and just lay prostrate on my bed begging the swelling of my eyes and the running of my nose to subside.  Claritin and a rainstorm later I am feeling a lot better.

Everyone is pregnant.  No really.  Everyone.  Yesterday J’s brother had the distinction of listening to his baby’s heartbeat for the very first time.  Let’s all say a collective, “Awwwwwwww.”  Gosh I remember how much I loved to hear that sound.  The girl was really slow and The Boy sounded like a freight train.  Our conversation this morning made me miss those pregnant moments.  I know I complain about feeling like shit during both of my pregnancies amid swollen ankles, being pregnant in my neck and arms, and feeling like I was on a boat 24 hours a day, but I remember that both of my pregnancies were special in their own way.  This made me think: “Do I want more kids?”  At first my answer is, “Hell No….I like taking a nap on Saturday while watching copious amounts of documentaries and drinking HOT coffee!” But there is a part of me that wants to give the whole, “Marriage and baby” thing another try, but biology will be my biggest hindrance.  I am 32 and I am not even close to being married and my son is not down with being a big brother to anything.  I don’t see myself really getting married again until after I hit 35 and then I want two years to enjoy my husband so that gives me around 37/38 to began gestating (lol).  Then we have to account for the fact I have uno tubo fallopian (ruptured ectopic in 2005) this may not all happen until I am 40.  Sheesh.  I read somewhere a few weeks back before Kim Kardashian got pregnant, she was going to put a few of her eggs on ice.  Slap me, but Kimmy K gave me an idea……I may just look into freezing my little eggos until the right time.

Training for my first half marathon is just……falling flat.  I did not get up early enough for what was supposed to be my long run, and I was only able to do 3.7.  This weekend I am going to make it a point to get up early enough so I can do a solid 6.  The other problem I am facing is pulling back my pace.  On my Saturday run, I kept a 9:50 per mile pace.  I was able to maintain, but isn’t that too fast for a half?  I just don’t want to fizzle out, so I am going to concentrate on slowing down and waking up in the morning so I can do the whole run.

One thing I did realize this Saturday is I need to invest in a sports bra.  I am not particularly heavy chested, but I noticed my thin bra strap chafed the hell out of my right shoulder.  Maybe I should add bodyglide to that list as well.

I am happy to have made if through half of the week, as this has been an emotionally and mentally tough week for me (put a pin in that) and I am just happy that God did not allow me to collapse under the stress.

Nike Women’s Half Recap: More Cowbell

30 Apr

The Nike Women’s Half Marathon was this past Sunday in DC and I attended to help cheer my baby sister on.  The morning of the race we left at 4:30 am to get to Downtown DC and we found the commute and finding the bag drop easy to find and they had TONS of Port-o-Johns which made it crazy easy for me to do last minute bathroom breaks with my three year old (yes….I am insane).

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My sisters best friend and I in the “potty” line
 

Once we made it to the corrals, I got a chance to wish my sister and some of the girls from my running group good luck and the kids and I headed out to Mile 10 to spectate

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Mile Ten and  my FABULOUS VIEW!!!
 

Getting to Mile Ten was a lesson for me in map reading.  Days prior to the race, I scoured the map to find out where I wanted to spectate from, and my sister encouraged me to stand at the 10 mile mark.  So according to the Nike map, the 10 mile mark was near the Jefferson Monument.  I took this to mean it was the Jefferson Monument.  After the race started, I left my original spot, which clearly was marked Mile 10, and started walking toward the Jefferson Monument.  Fail, fail, fail!  I started following other people while trying to look up the map on my phone and then I looked up and noticed we were darn near the MLK monument!  I quickly turned around with my now irritated 9 year old and befuddled 3 year year old.  We got back to our original spot and waited for the runners to start coming back.  Little known fact about me is that I am a former cheerleader, but for whatever reason I did not have my cheer mojo working.  I think it was because I was missing pom-poms or…..cowbells.

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My sister arrived past the 10 mile mark first (as in the first of the people I knew), but I stayed on to cheer my fellow running Warriors.  I had a blast encouraging complete strangers as well and the DJ they had out there was dope!  I also heard they had a marching band and Go-Go band when the runners came through the tunnel.  Thank God I wasn’t running because I would have broken into all kinds of dancing in that tunnel.

The most important lesson I learned this weekend was when you don’t believe in yourself you could end up missing a great opportunity.  When my sister called and told me about Nike’s student entry policy for the half, I really did not believe I would be able to run a half or even a half of a half for that matter.  I thought the best I would be able to do by this point is a really good 5k.  I was wrong.  I run 3.11 three times a week……I missed out because I didn’t believe in myself.  That is the joy of running.  It is about challenging yourself.  So I won’t cry over spilled milk, but I will never let an “I Can’t” attitude keep me from signing up for a race.

Rainy Monday: The Mind of Miss Page

29 Apr

spongebob

After an awesome weekend, cheering my sister on in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, today is a rainy Monday.  Here are some things on the mind of Miss Page: Continue reading

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