Tag Archives: running

Four-Twelve, Stolen Coats, and We Like To Party

19 Dec

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

The Diva’s Half Recap

16 Sep

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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!

 

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!!!

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.

Nike Women’s Half Marathon: We Run DC

28 Apr

My sister is in town to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and we hit the expo in Georgetown on Friday and had a blast!!!!

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Off the Wagon

25 Apr

So I have a little confession to make. I fell all the way off my healthy living wagon, and now my thighs touch a little. I know how this happened, I started back eating horribly. More takeout and less cooking. When I did cook it was nothing good for me. To make matters worse, I started eating sweets…at night, late at night. So I have regrouped and let me tell you, breaking these bad habits is a hard thing to do. I am using My FitnessPal to stay accountable as far as my eating goes. Seeing what you actually consume and the nutritional value makes you really think before you eat. I have started packing more fruit (which I love) to eat at my desk at work because that helps with my sweet tooth. Almonds also have been helpful in curbing my appetite as well even though I have to eat those sparingly. Once I get my eating under control, I should be fine as I do run so I am not sedentary. The lesson here is that exercise doesn’t mean much if you aren’t eating the right food.

Let The Beat Build…..

17 Apr

This is a race plan, I could stick with!

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