Monday, May 10, 2010

i did it. and i didn't die!

the hippie chick half marathon was two days ago and i'm finally recovered enough to write about it! just kidding-- in all honesty it went great and i feel pretty good.

i totally thought i was going to bomb it. i thought i was going to be slow and hate it and be awful. but that isn't how it went down. i wasn't slow. in fact, i did the first seven miles at a pace more than a minute faster than my usual pace. i kept looking at my garmin and thinking how great (but unusual) it was that i was holding such a fast, steady pace. (now, don't be confused-- fast is relative. last year my average pace for this race was 13:50something. the first seven miles of this race: 12:30ish.)

i had a strategy: run to the aid stations. as fast as i comfortably could. this could have been a dangerous strategy as frankly, no pace feels comfortable and i wouldn't have minded a morning of sleeping in followed by some pancakes with bacon..but..that's not the point here. the point is i was planning to move my butt as fast as i could between aid stations and allow myself to walk through and briefly after aid stations. it turned out to be a great plan. worked like a charm the first seven miles. at mile six i remember thinking how much better shape i was halfway through this year than last. i didn't even feel overly hateful or jealous when i watched the quarter marathoners turn toward the finish line while i turned toward the second loop..toward ANOTHER 6:55 miles!

but then i started to fade. but it was a hopeful fade. hopeful that i had done so well so far that i could still come in under three hours. last year i was three hours, three minutes and fifty nine seconds. so coming in under three hours would be quite an accomplishment. i hadn't even considered it as a possibility until this point. but now that it was there, a real option, right in front of me-- oh man, i wanted it. but i was still fading. i had to walk. but i didn't get discouraged. i was still on a high over how well i had done to this point. and my positive attitude did me well. it carried me the next four miles or so of walk/run/walk/run.

around mile eleven i had to dig deep. i was really hurting and having an internal argument with myself. forget about the time, just concentrate on making it to the finish, i can't forget about the time, if i slow down, i won't hit three what if i don't hit three hours, just finish...why would i give up now-- i can still come in under three hours..

with a quarter of a mile to go i mustered all i had and started to move it as fast as i could. i really had a chance at three hours but it was going to be close. i rounded the last corner and there was my best friend. she had finished an hour ago (nice job, bf!) and was waiting for me. she ran with me for a minute or so. i told her i had my eye on three hours and she told me to stop talking and keep moving. that's what friends are for.

i'm not exaggerating when i say i didn't know if i was going to be able to make it that last tenth of a mile without stopping. i had put it in full gear a little too early and now every step was a push. my breath wasn't coming easy. but i was so close. i couldn't very well start walking while steps from the finish line. could i? i could see the clock at this point. i was only going to make it if i kept running.

my final time: 2:59:32. and i didn't die. i must admit-- i'm proud.

Friday, May 7, 2010

pre race jitters!

i am so nervous for tomorrow!

i went to packet pick up this morning. that was fun. 10% off at portland running company so i got a new pair of socks to wear during the race. the shirts they are giving this year are cute, pink tech shirts. they are nice but a little short. last year's was a bit short, too. i will still wear mine, though, as it is lightweight and comfortable.

in order to have the most energy possible i decided not to worry about calories at dinner and have pasta. so i went to a favorite italian place that i haven't been to in ages on account of trying to lose weight. so...that was fun and a nice perk of running a million miles tomorrow. ok, not a million. but thirteen point one. and that feels like a million. bag of ipod, garmin, extra clothes, etc is all packed and ready to go. nothing left to do but try to get a good nights sleep. and hope for the best.

be back after the race..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

review: garmin forerunner 305

i tried out my new garmin this morning. i have a forerunner 305 with heart rate monitor. (check it out below.) as i'm tapering for my hippie chick half marathon this weekend, i only had two miles to run today. but two miles is enough to give it a try.

the heart rate monitor works great. it isn't uncomfortable and it read my heart rate right away. one thing that could be improved is the display. the heart rate shows in the top right of the screen in small numbers. it seemed fine at first but once i started running i realized it was hard to read while in motion. there may be a way to change the display that i haven't found yet, though, that makes it bigger. i hope so.

the pace display also works great. it is pretty sensitive and therefore keeps up with me as i slow and speed. (i wish i was able to keep a steadier pace but that's a post for another day.)

the garmin found the satellites right away. my old one sometimes took several minutes to find its bearings and be ready to go.

so, all in all, i'm really happy with my garmin forerunner 305 so far. hopefully it will come through for me during my hippie chick half marathon. we'll soon know as the race is the day after tomorrow. yikes!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

another one bites the dust.

my garmin (aka my training partner) pretty much died the other day. not the greatest timing considering i was planning on using it in this weekends hippie chick half marathon. sigh. so i ordered myself a fancy new one. and today, at my door: the garmin forefunner 305 with heart rate monitor. (check it out below.) it's now all set up and ready to go. fingers crossed it does the job on saturday. stay tuned..

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

seize the sunshine..or the hail..

in the spirit of keeping my legs moving this week, leading up to this weekend's hippie chick half marathon, and continuing to burn calories as i 'rest', i decided to leash up my dog and head out for a brisk walk-- 10K or so. i live in portland, oregon, so i've got to work with (or around) the weather. it's a spring day today, which means hail with some sun-breaks. i took a chance on a sunny several minutes. it didn't really work out so well. about and hour, and three and a half miles later, my dog and i were absolutely soaked. just drenched. not the most fun i've ever had. but i suppose i've had worse walks and runs before. can't win em' all, i guess. hoping tomorrow is a better (dryer..) day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

the storm before the storm.

before i can even think about the october marathon, i've got to conquer two half-marathons. and one of them is this weekend (yikes!). i'll be participating in the hippie chick half marathon this saturday. i did this race last year, so at least i know what to expect. but that almost makes it scarier as i remember how hard it was. so, so hard. and sadly, only half as hard as the marathon is going to be. but i can't think about that quite yet. must concentrate on this weekend's race. (and then the eugene half marathon in early september.)

i haven't been doing so well with my training this year. i'm not sure what the problem is but i've been slower than last year and needed to stop/walk more often. so i'm nervous for this weekend. i'm actually just looking forward to it being over and a fresh start for training for the next races. i think part of the reason i've been having trouble is because i've been cutting so many calories in order to lose weight. so i haven't had as much energy as i need. so i need to find a better calorie/exercise balance on hard/long run days.

since the race is this weekend i need to save my legs and i won't be running this week. but i still need to move them around so they don't get stiff and i need to burn calories so i'm going to walk to all my errands today. all said and done it will be several miles. if i keep a good pace it will add up to a decent workout. but it will take awhile.

so..i'll see y'all tomorrow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

it's time to make it happen.

diet and exercise? there has GOT to be another way! but alas, there isn't another way. at least not another way that works and lasts.

so here i am. mid-thirties right around the corner, overweight and ready to fix it. for real this time.

i've been running for a couple of years now. but it stopped taking the weight off. i guess my body got used to it and i need to step it up again. (there has GOT to be another way. but alas, there isn't another way.)

so i'm going to run a marathon. on october 10th. i bought a training guide the other day. it promises if i follow the schedule for four months i'll be able to complete the race in four hours. and if oprah can do it, so can i. (i'm not kidding-- it really says the part about oprah.)

can i really do it? well...we'll know soon enough. follow my journey here to find out.