I have a few guest posts coming up from some lovely ladies too.
So, say you haven’t seen your husband in over seven months. What would you wear to the airport? 😀 😀 😀
Technically the race started at 8:30 A.M. on Sunday, 10/10/10 (perfect day for a race, eh?). I’ve been training for the half for over two months now so on Friday when I began my final prep (downloading new songs for the iPod, laying out my race clothes) it felt as though it really started for me. Obsessively Writing out lists of what I would be wearing/what gear I needed/reminding myself I needed to pick up a bagel for the morning and the like were all a part of this journey to 13.1.
Saturday brought the race expo and I was super excited- my first one ever! There were two exciting things about the race expo: 1) I ran into Jen and my friends Nicole and Michael and 2) my race bib had an odd number on it! A double odd number! I kind of have a thing about odd numbers. The alarm always has to be set to an odd number (Brian thinks I’m weird and yeah, I guess I am). Anyway, the number itself was odd (2383) and when you added all of the numbers together (2+3+8+3=16 and 1+6=7) it was an odd number. I thought that this bode well for the race 🙂
Saturday night I went out to an early dinner with some friends and looked longingly at their glasses of wine. None for me, no sir. I was taking this half-marathon seriously! Nevermind the wine and dancing at my friends’ wedding last weekend 😉 . I did carb load to my heart’s desire with some cheesy artichoke dip with french bread. Excellent pre-pre race fuel! When I got home on Saturday night, I reviewed my clothing checklist:
I was all set to go so I set my alarm for 6:01 (heh) and 6:19. Originally I was going to have to leave my house at 5:30 (wah) to catch the bus to the start but my friend Nicole generously offered to take me to the start at 7:30 since she was bringing her husband anyway. Sah-weet! An extra hour of sleep could only be a good thing. I got a restful night’s sleep, got dressed and checked weather.com. 35 degrees. Awesome. There was nothing I could do about it though! Good thing I had my throwaway fleece! I had half of a plain bagel with maple peanut butter with three ibuprofen to stop any foot pain in its tracks (which would come back to bite me in the ass quite literally after the race but that story is for another time. Or for never). The temperature gauge on my car was not looking any more promising- 38 degrees. I received a surprise good luck phone call from Brian all the way from Afghanistan, giving me an extra confidence boost! 🙂 I arrived at Nicole’s mother’s house and we were on our way!
The race literature indicated that the parking at the half was very limited. Not really. I was pleased to see that the start was at the Colonie Town Park. I spent many days in summer camp there swimming in the pool and jumping off the high dive (aside from one embarrassing incident where I climbed to the top of the high dive, walked out to jump and stood paralyzed with fear for a good five minutes before I climbed back down). We arrived with a half-hour to start time and I figured I should use the bathroom while I could. The line was around the building! I waited for 25 minutes and did my thing, arriving to the start area with three minutes to spare. Talk about a close call!
Miles 1-5: The starting gun sounded and we were off! The first mile of the race was very congested- it was kind of trail like and the space was limited so the runners were shuffling at that point. Still, we were running and I was so happy! 😀 We came across some bag pipers around .75 miles and that was neat! I was waffling between wearing my headphones or not, since I heard they weren’t allowed and you could be DQd. Yeah, that would have sucked! Tons of people were wearing them so I figured I was okay.
The first five miles passed in a blur. I had no foot pain at all and the weather had warmed up slightly. I was still wearing my fleece though! I remember stepping on a branch and it sounded like a gunshot- I startled all of the girls around me! Yikes. I told myself to just break it down into two 5 milers and one 5k- totally doable!
The half started on a pretty trail and then we ran through some roads and past a train track. Once I hit mile five I stopped off next to a gas station to take the first of two mint chocolate gus that I would take during the race. It didn’t slow my time. In fact, I realized that I was way ahead of my predicted schedule! I kept looking down and seeing my pace hovering around 9:40 and I felt great! I tried not to push it much harder than that because I didn’t want to fade out at the end.
Throughout the race there were mile markers indicating which mile we had reached, with sayings from a sponsor. One sign in particular really resonated with me- I think it was mile 4- it said “trust your training.” Damn right, I thought! I think it can be so easy to doubt yourself come race day but you just have to remember- you put in the time and the effort and your body knows what to do. Trust it! 😀
Miles 6-10: Once we hit mile six I took off my fleece and left it on the side of the road. I heard that the race peeps come by and pick them up and donate them. I’m hoping that’s the case. This portion of the run was mainly on roads that were not closed for traffic- we had to stay inside the cones or else risk being hit! I began to understand why they forbade headphones and took them off. We were running next to a major highway (on the other side of a fence) so that was interesting. I actually drive down it on the way to work so now when I do I will look along the road and think about the half 🙂
Around 9.75 miles my foot started to ache a bit. At that point I had less than four miles left so I told myself to suck it up! We entered the bike path portion of the race and it was really pretty- right next to the water. Here’s a gripe: the bike path was not closed to bikers, which was fine with me. A lot of them announced that they were coming on your left, etc. However, this one woman kept riding around the runners without a helmet on wearing headphones, not announcing herself or anything. Who does that? She passed me going back and forth a few times (and she definitely was not affiliated with the race). So weird.
Miles 10-13.19: This part of the race was really nice but also challenging. I ventured off the path at mile 10 to take another mint chocolate gu. My foot was acting weird on and off but it wasn’t too bad. The weirdest thing was that I felt like I was running by myself. There really was no one around me. I looked at the river and felt at peace. I was running my first half-marathon, the leaves were crunching under my feet, the sun was shining. Life was good. Once I reached mile 11.01 I was at a new personal distance record and couldn’t stop smiling! I came across some runners and zipped right by them. I felt really strong! I got to the last half mile and started to get really excited. There were a group of drummers- my parents were watching them and apparently I ran right by them! I came down the chute and saw Amanda and my friends Nicole and Kristin 🙂 I was so happy to see them, as you can tell by this photo!
As I approached the finish line I noted that the time read 2:14 something and I couldn’t believe it! After I crossed the finish line I felt a bit like a crazy disoriented person. I was like that with the Boilermaker too. A nice volunteer cut my timing chip off and I was handed my mylar blanket (cool! I felt official) and race medal. Final chip time: 2:13:33. Yippee!
(Many thanks to Nicole, my unofficial race photog 😉 )
I hurried off to find my friends and family. The word yay was tossed around quite a bit (by me. I have an extensive vocabulary). I found my friend Bekah and she and her husband and friend Sindy made these awesome signs- “toenails are overrated” and “run like you stole something!” Hilarious! And awesome.
Jen and I after finishing! (photo courtesy of Jen) Don’t we look legit in our mylar blankets?
Afterwards, a delicious brunch was had, which included a raspberry mimosa. That probably wasn’t a good idea since I didn’t drink much water during the race (race foul!) but it was delish 🙂
As I’m sitting here typing this, my feet are yelling at me (seriously, so many blisters dangit) and it is hard to walk around (ice bath and all!) but I am so happy! When I first started my running journey I always said my ultimate goal was a half-marathon. Now I am here (I can’t believe it!) and am incredibly proud of myself. At the same time, I can’t help but ask- when can I start training for a marathon? 😀
Thank YOU for all of your encouragement and support- it truly means a lot.
Hello friends! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I had a fantastic weekend with my girls on Long Island. After an interesting train ride (ha), we shared some authentic wood-fired pizza with fried eggplant on it. Yum! Saturday was my actual birthday and I started the day/28th year out right with a seven mile run 😀 I can’t even believe that I just wrote that. If you had told me a year or two ago that not only would I voluntarily run seven miles on my birthday but actually consider it one of the highlights of the day (among many highlights) I would have laughed and laughed. I love the “new” me.
I tried a new fuel source during the run- chocolate mint gu. I received a free sample from my local running store and figured why not try it? I flippin’ LOVE it. It tasted like chocolate syrup and the texture didn’t bother me at all. I recommend drinking a lot of water with it, because it was a little thick.
One of my fave bloggers, Tina, had a birthday yesterday. She wrote this great post saying that “you know you’re a healthy living blogger when..” and listed all of the health related items that she wanted for her birthday. I received some AWESOME gifts for my birthday- 10 hot yoga classes from my stepmom, a hot yoga outfit from my bestie Kristin, an entire lululemon outfit (crop pants, sports bra and tank) from Bri AND a gift card to lululemon from my friends Nicole and Alicia. Fitness related much? Nicole and Alicia also let me know that there was a lululemon store less than FIVE minutes from Nicole’s house on Long Island AND the store was hosting a free yoga class Sunday morning. Awesome birthday gift, eh? Kristin and I skeddadled over there Sunday morning for a fantastic yoga class and I then spent my gift card on an awesome pair of running shorts. By the way, I love the word awesome, if you couldn’t tell. I wish there was a lululemon store in the area. I would definitely try to work there. And spend my entire paycheck there. Anyway.
Today is day 15 of the wardrobe challenge. Woohoo, HALFWAY DONE. I am proud that I have stuck with it. Saturday (Day 12) I didn’t get a full length picture:
My own personal version of sex and the city- Me, Nicole, Alicia & Kristin. Love these girls! Outfit:
On Sunday we had a suprise baby shower for Alicia (she is having a little girl in December!) complete with Crumbs cupcakes. Overall, it was an amazing weekend 🙂
Holy ginormous cupcakes! I definitely dominated the peanut butter cup cupcake in the bottom right corner. Amaze.
Last week I wrote about Eat Pray Love and asked you what one word you thought defined you. I loved the responses:
I loved the words you guys selected! They are all positive and demonstrate a thirst and passion for life. I’ve been trying to come up with a word for myself and although I don’t want to limit myself to one word, I think I have it. Effervescent. For whatever reason, that word happened to pop into my head. I googled the definition:
1. To emit small bubbles of gas, as a carbonated or fermenting liquid. Uh, no.
2. To escape from a liquid as bubbles; bubble up. Nope again.
3. To show high spirits or animation. YES.
I don’t think I am like this all the time, but it is something that I strive towards. Not necessarily to be animated but to appreciate life and radiate positivity. To be happy. Although when I eat something that is particularly delicious I tend to get a little animated. So, for now, I am choosing my word to be effervescent. Like Molly said, I think we are constantly evolving. So who knows what my future word will be 😉
Tonight I have a run with Jen (wahoo) and then I’m meeting up with some peeps at a coffee shop. Do you guys have any fun plans for the week? Thank you for reading and enjoy your Tuesday!
Hi friends! Happy Friday! Thanks for all of the comments and well wishes. I am really excited to start using the Vibrams. I am planning on just walking around in them a bit to break them in over the next month or two to build the strength in my feet and ankles and then maybe transition into short runs. Bri has had a pair for about a year and is a huge fan. Joanne– there really isn’t any padding in them. I’ll take some pictures of the inside and of the bottom and post them if you guys are interested!
I have a fun weekend on tap. A reunion with my college roommates and some of my best friends on Long Island, featuring the sun, beach, crumbs cupcakes (!!!) and a seven miler. I NEED to get it in tomorrow. I am excited to try out the new chocolate mint gu. Basically, I’m just excited 😀
Okay, onto the wardrobe challenge. It is going fairly well. Packing for the weekend was fairly light. Incredibly light. Too light. Aside from my running and beach gear and undergarments, I packed two shirts, one skirt and jeans. Three pairs of shoes and lots of jewelry though. Take that, wardrobe challenge 😀
I actually really liked this outfit. I will be wearing the necklace this weekend with my yellow tank so I’ll be sure to post a close up pic of it- it’s actually really cute and can be worn long or double stranded. I love an accessory that gives more than one look!
I apologize for the blurry picture but I had to include it- Bailey snuck in! Cute little guy.
The pumps up close and personal.
I love this necklace.
Lastly for today- Day 11
Normally I wouldn’t wear flats with pencil skirt but since it’s the wardrobe challenge it’s a whole different ballgame.
On a different note, Bri and I met three years ago today 🙂 We started dating a few weeks later. ❤
Any fun plans for the weekend? Have a good one friends!
Hi guys! Thanks so much for your well wishes yesterday- it worked! When I took up running last year, my ultimate goal was to run a 5k in under thirty minutes. Why, I don’t know. Just an arbitrary number that sounded legit to me. I ran my first race (the Crossings Challenge) on September 27th and crossed the finished line at 31:50. I was incredibly pleased, as I was aiming for a sub-33 for my first time (again, just a random number I selected based on my couch to 5k training). Crossing the finish line got me hooked on running races. It is true what they say- a 5k is truly a gateway race, as I later went on to run a 14k and 15k and am training for my first half. I went on to run a few more 5ks, setting a PR this past New Year’s day of 30:37. So close yet so far from sub-30.
Last night, I shattered my goal and ran the 5k in 28:13. YES! I was SO excited to cross the finish line and see 28 on the board. I feel like I have come so far in the past year. Less than a year ago, I was nervous about my ability to even run a 5k. Now, I KNOW that I can run this upcoming half and run it well, so long as I put in the requisite training. It feels really go to have shaved over three and a half minutes off of my first 5k time.
Okay, let’s get to the race recap, shall we? The race began at 6:30 P.M., which I was a huge fan of. I definitely think my body clock has me functioning better in the early evening than it does in the early morning. No sleep running during this race! I arrived around an hour early and hung around with my friend Melissa, stretching and talking. I was immediately impressed with the race- the entry fee was only $20 and I received a glass similar to the ones we received at the boilermaker PLUS a pretty cute tech shirt. Sa-weet.
I looked over at the finish line and noticed that there weren’t any timing mats. Then I realized that we weren’t handed chips. Apparently this race was all on one timer, which is kind of a bummer if you don’t start up at the front. I was surprised by the number of runners. I was expecting it to be a lot smaller for some reason! I think there were probably around 300 or so runners but I’m not sure.
We started to line up and I felt ridiculously nervous. Get it together Katie, I thought to myself. This isn’t your first race, ya dumb! I just couldn’t shake the nervousness. Melissa and I lined up towards the front of the start line. I programmed my garmin to start beeping if I dropped below a 9:15/mile, much to the chagrin of those around me later in the race probably :p
After a little speech by the organizer, we were off! There was a bullhorn, but it didn’t work right away. No matter. Um, now I realize why I usually don’t start in the front. Holy speed demons! I looked down at my garmin and was running somewhere in the six and change minute mile range. Uh yeah, WAAY too fast. Just run your own race, I told myself. I dropped back and let my heart rate get back to a decent clip. My heart was still beating fast. I told myself to get in the zone. Whenever I think of getting in the zone, I think of that ridiculous youtube video, “my new haircut.” Some Jersey shore wannabe parodies the typical stereotype and the dude in the video says “Not now chief, I’m in the $$#@%$ zone.” Yeah. I’m a flipping weirdo.
The first mile went by in a blur. I looked down at my garmin- first mile in 8:49! Woohoo, probably the fastest mile I ever ran. The course was out and back, and the first mile incorporated a “trail”- really, just a short run up a little wooded path. There was a water station at the end of the first and second mile, which I didn’t utilize because I had my trusty handheld water bottle.
Mile two was okay. My pace dropped here and there and my garmin yelled at me to remind me to speed up. I felt bad for being that girl with the garmin going off but I was looking to PR! At some point during the second mile I heard someone coming up behind very heavily. What on earth? Yes, I was about to get smoked by an eighty year old. No lie. It was so awesome to see someone still running well at that age.
The race took us through a residential neighborhood, and some folks were out clapping and supporting. I tried to smile and wave at everyone, because I really appreciate the support. After I passed mile marker two I was having a tough time maintaining a 9:15/mile pace. I probably ticked off a lot of people with my garmin. Sorry! I was ticking myself off. Ha. Anyway, with a half a mile to go I kicked it up and tried to finish strong. I hovered around 8:40/mile until the last .1 of the race- I could feel myself starting to drop heavily. I pushed through and crossed the finish line at 28:13. Goal: achieved 😀
Immediately I looked for somewhere to sit down. However, Melissa and I caught up with Suzy, who I was so excited to finally meet in person! We hung around and chatted for a bit and then had a delicious dinner at Moe’s. Suzy was able to snag some pictures of me finishing:
Approaching the finish line
Almost there. And I think I have a mid foot strike- YES!
Overall, it was a great race. I would definitely run it again!
My split times were as follows:
Not exactly negative splits, haha. I’ll take it though!
Lastly, some pictures of the swag:
I spy a cute puppy in the left of the picture. Holding up the shirt with the glass. And my celebratory honeymoon beer. Not really working so I put the shirt on:
Good stuff. Thank you for reading! Make sure to check back later in the week- I have a post regarding all of your amazing comments on my Eat Pray Love post– some of your “words” were really inspiring! Have a great day friends 🙂
Hi friends! I hope the end of your weekend is shaping up nicely. Mine has been pretty fantab. Friday evening brought me to the Saratoga Winery for my stepsister’s bachelorette. What an awesome place! They opened up this past October and sell lovely New York State wines. On Friday evenings they have a live band and wood-fired pizza. If you’re local, I definitely suggest you check it out!
On Saturday I caught brunch with my friend Nicole and then headed to Borders to pick up the new Runner’s World magazine and a copy of Operation Beautiful, written by the lovely Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point.
I’m about thirty pages in and it is definitely a must-read for all women out there. Go pick up a copy!
Last night my training plan demanded a six-miler, so that’s what I did. I completed it in about an hour and two minutes. A little slower than I’d like but it was still a great run. The weather was beautiful! My hips felt super tight afterwards but that’s okay- I attended hot yoga this morning with Kristin, Jen, Courtney and Becca and got all loosened up! It was Jen, Becca and Courtney’s first time practicing hot yoga and they rocked it. I was super impressed! Afterwards we headed to my fave coffee shop and chatted about blogging and whatnot. It was nice to finally meet them in person!
Tonight I’m heading to John Mayer with Kristin and the ‘rents. Gotta love it 🙂 I am all about the concerts lately. Speaking of, here are some photos from the concert last week of Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5:
We were really, really close. It was awesome!
So, you may have noticed the Distance Dreamers emblem on my sidebar. Abbi over at Higher Miles started a wonderful support group for first time marathoners and half-marathoners (me!) to get together and commiserate about their experiences. She recently posted a blog with a bunch of questions for us to answer. Of course, I typed out a nice long response on her blog and then the internet ate it. What better place to address them than here on the blog?
What made you decide you wanted to run a long distance race?
When I first started training for a 5k last year, the distance of 3.1 miles seemed endless, almost insurmountable. However, they say that the 5k is a gateway race and it truly is. No sooner had I finished the race that I started plotting out my next one. Brian convinced me that I could complete the Virginia is for Lovers 14k. We ran it together and it was amazing. Knowing that I could do 8.67 miles, I set my sights on a half-marathon.
Why the full marathon or half as your distance of choice?
Ultimately, I think it would be amazing to run a full marathon. However, as a new (just over a year) runner I don’t want to put too much pressure on my body too fast. I grew up with significant ankle problems from spraining/breaking them while playing sports and started having IT Band issues after my first 5k. So, we’ll see how I do with a half and go from there.
Finally, why was this the year to go for it?
Why not, right? I am in decent shape from training for the Boilermaker and hot yoga, and I have the time to devote to a training plan, especially with Brian serving in Afghanistan. I’m excited to see where training takes me!
Okay y’all, time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. This week, I will be posting on:
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! See you on Tuesday with my first wardrobe challenge outfit! 🙂
Hi friends! I just got in from a humid and rainy 3.5 mile run. Originally my training plan called for three miles but I ran 3.5. I had to put my garmin in the car about fifteen minutes into the run because of a torrential downpour. I didn’t want the garmin to get ruined from the rain. “Take my eyes, but not the shirt garmin.” Any Forgetting Sarah Marshall fans out there? So, the first mile and a half of the run was complete in just under fifteen minutes with the iPod. The remaining two miles were just me, my breath, the rain and the godforsaken humidity. I think I finished around 35 minutes total but who’s counting right? I have to say, I really enjoy running in the rain. There is something really liberating about it. And, it helped ease the humidity a bit. I really can’t wait for Fall running weather!
Obligatory post-run, no makeup shot. My hair is wet from the rain. I think.
So, I’m really excited about this next challenge that I’m about to partake in, along with my bestie Kristin and anyone else that feels so inclined. What’s the challenge, you ask? Well, it is not fitness-related. Rather, it relates to something that we all deal with on a daily basis- our wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong- I love me some fashion and clothing (heck, my senior superlative was “Most Fashionable”), but lately I’ve found myself staring at a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear in the morning. We’ve all been there. In fact, last week I decided I was going to purchase some tops at Banana online to wear under my suits, as I got an email blast offering 30% off (dang you Banana and your effective marketing tactics!) So, I’m sitting there on my lunch break, eating, perusing the site and adding items to my cart. I’d added around four items when I stumbled upon this blog post by Naomi Seldin, a blogger for the local paper. In it she references an article featured in the New York Times discussing people who decided to only wear six items of clothing from their closet for an entire month. Restrictive? Yes. Extreme? Perhaps. Liberating? Definitely.
For whatever reason, this article really spoke to me. I have a closet full of beautiful, well-made clothes. Why do I feel like I need more? The irony of reading an article on practicing clothing minimalism and engaging in less consumerism while filling my online shopping cart was not lost on me. After finishing the article, I clicked away from the Banana site and began discussing the challenge with my bestie Kristin. She thought it sounded neat too. We began hatching our own plan. Instead of sticking to six items like those persons in the NY Times article, we’d select ten from our wardrobe. From this, the 30 day wardrobe challenge was born. The basic rules:
Why engage in this challenge? Well for starters, it is going to force me to think outside of my fashion “box”, if you will. Additionally, I think it will open my eyes to the possibilities of outfits that I can create with clothes that I already have. Some other reasons include:
So, what ten items am I selecting? My office dress code is professional, so I have to work around that. With that in mind, I chose:
So, I’ll have to create all of my outfits from those ten items. We are starting the wardrobe challenge Monday, August 9th and it will run until September 9th. I’m excited for it! Who’s with me? If you don’t want to join the challenge, let me know what sort of clothing items you would include in your list of ten!