I want you to know that I am so proud of you for running your very first race this week. Before the race began I saw you become a bit worried about what may lay ahead and begin to question if you even wanted to run the race. I understand. I feel this way often at the beginning of a race. You will feel this way many times in life. You will wonder if it is worth taking on a challenge. It is. I am so proud of you for taking on the challenge. Throughout the race, I saw you tire and want to walk and stop. I knew your legs were hurting and your breathing was labored. You pushed yourself to continue. I was there to tell you it was going to be ok, and that the end was in sight. I want to always be there for you. I want to always be able to encourage you to keep going when life throws hurt and heartache and challenges your way. I am proud of you for going even when it was tough. As we pushed to the finish your dad captured a picture of you and me. Side by side. Stride for Stride. I know I have taught and demonstrated many not so great habits and actions for you, I can only hope and pray that the positive ones have outweighed the negative ones. Even though I love thinking you are a little like me, I can only hope you grow and become more like Jesus. I love you sweet daughter and I can not wait to be a part of your next accomplishment!
Keep running the race,
I am 31 days into my streak. Training for my Tri has definitely benefited from my commitment to running every day. Even though most days I only run 1 mile, I have managed to average more than 2 miles a day over the last 31 days.
I am also thrilled that I am still on track to reach a couple goals I set on New Year's Eve! It is so easy to give up on resolutions a few days or weeks into the New Year, but here we are half way through the year and I am still committed to my goals!
Saturday I will participate in my 3rd Sprint Triathlon. I am excited and nervous. I am not anticipating as fast of a bike time, however I think my run will improve a lot from last year and my swim will break even. Therefore, unless we have terrible weather, I am thinking I might end up with a very similar time as last year, though my ultimate goal would be to break 1:30 gulp. I can't believe I said that out loud??!? Looking
I have agreed to a running streak...and no it is not what you think. I will be fully clothed! What it means is that from Memorial Day-July 4th I have agreed to run at least 1 mile everyday. This seemed easy 2 days ago. That was before life got in the way. There have been so many ups and downs lately that it has made working out really hard. But I ran 5 miles of trails on Monday, a 12.3 mile bike ride on Tuesday and a 1 mile run in the rain. Now today is day 3 and I am waiting for everyone to go to bed so I can hurry up and run my 1 mile. I am not sure how I am going to keep this up for another 37 days. I have also begun my official tri training. Which really means I am cutting back on my running and increasing my biking...and very, very, little swimming. I have 4 weeks until my first tri of the season. To complicate things I was offered free entry into a half marathon this weekend. And I said YES. What is wrong with me? What was I thinking? The longest I have ran since my last half has been 5 miles. I am sure this is going to be a train wreck! But I am still going to attempt it.
I will be following the last 5 weeks of the Oylmpic Training plan found in the book Triathlon Training by Michael Finch. Happy Training!
Two weeks ago, I posted about the journey of life and the life of a runner. I spent the last two weeks recovering from my first half marathon, the stomach flu, and some sort of congestion or allergies. I did not do a lot of running over the last two weeks as I prepared for my second half marathon. Instead I spent time healing my body and preparing my mind for the mental aspect of running. I was determined to NOT feel defeated at any point in this half marathon no matter how it went!
Kyle and I were excited that my dad was able to join us for this half marathon. My dad has had a hurt ankle and foot for a couple of months and his training has been decreased because of it. So before the race he kept saying how he thought I would beat him. But I knew better. Only minutes after this picture, my dad made his way a few rows ahead of me...I knew when the race began he would be off and running at a much faster pace than I wanted to go for 13.1...so I let him go.
As the race began I had one negative thought go through my mind during the first mile. I thought, "Can you really do this?" But I refused to hear those thoughts. Instead I looked around and watched the passer-bys (that would be the people passing me) :) I did not care. I fell into a nice 10:30ish pace. I put in my head phones and began thinking. I thought about how the last race was symbolic of the journey of my life and marriage with Kyle, and how this one was a symbol of how sometimes we have to do things by ourselves. How sometimes we need to see just how strong we are all by ourselves. I did have a group of friends catch up with me around 1.5 miles and we ran until around mile 3 together but then went our separate ways and paces. I continued on by myself. Telling myself how good I felt. How good the sun felt shining on me. How strong my legs were. How I could not do this just 6 months ago and now here I was running and not even feeling winded after 6 miles.
I made it to mile 8, still feeling good, then mile 9, 10, and as I approached mile 11 I began to grow weary. The race was getting long, my once strong legs were growing tired. My water that was once full of ice cold water now only had a few drops of warm water remaining. "Keep going" You are almost there. I hit the 11 mile mark at 2 hours and 7 min. I only had 2.1 more miles to go and 23 min to get my ultimate goal of 2:30. It was doable. But I just could not keep the pace and intensity it required. I was alone. Those around me were either passing me by or beginning to walk. As I hit 11.1 I allowed my feet to slow and began to walk. But guess what? This time I did not feel sad, or defeated or like a failure. No, instead I said, wow. I just ran for 2 hours and 10 min. without walking. Ok, let's finish this race. So I ran when I could and walked when I had to. We rounded the last corner and I was so excited I could see the finish line off in the distance! I still had close to a half mile but I could see the large balloon with the words FINISH! A few of the girls around me began to walk. I cheered out, "Come On Ladies! I see the finish line!!" I was excited to reach it because I knew 3 things:
1. I could finally stop running.
2. I was about to PR.
3. Best of all Kyle and my dad would be waiting there for me!
As I crossed the line I felt accomplished, tired, sore, and ready to do it again!!
Running like Life is a Journey. Every race, every run, everyone has a story and a special place in a runner's life. Today my 12 weeks of training was put to the test. I am still analyzing if I feel like I passed, failed, or perhaps came away with a C+.
I ended my training runs last weekend with a very successful 12 mile run. What made it successful in my mind was that I ran the whole thing. I came away with confidence that this weekend though my time may not be fast I would be fully capable of running the whole half marathon.
As this week progressed so did a cold that I was fighting off. Between nerves, my cold and sinus drainage issues, I threw up twice yesterday...which did not set the stage well for this morning. However, I slept pretty well for a pre-race night's sleep. I woke up feeling good, excited and once again confident that the race would go well.
Kyle agreed to run this race at my pace. Stride for Stride with me. Much like our last 15 years of marriage. We have been together, step for step, encouraging each other to be our best, helping each other when we feel like we can not go on, and laughing, celebrating and crying together.
We anxiously awaited the 9 a.m. start time. I tied and retied my shoes, pinned and repinned my race number. Finally, it was time to head to the start line. I was excited to see several running friends at the start line. We all exchanged good luck wishes and began readying our Garmins for the start.
We took off. I felt great (well I could have done without the person behind me who said, "One tenth done, 13 more miles to go." The race was going well. I felt like this was going to be a great run. At 2.9 miles all of a sudden a man near us yelled out, "I am in the WRONG race!!" I thought he was just joking around and really saying, "Why did I sign up for a half marathon?" Nope. He was literally in the WRONG race! He ran 2.9 miles of the half marathon all the while believing he was running the 5k. I felt so bad for this guy. It did provide a nice little laugh, but I could not help but feel bad for him. We ran on, met some people along the way and had a few brief conversations. We entered the park area of the run and hit 5 miles. We were greeted by WIND. Lots of WIND. So much wind that as we passed the 6 mile mark it blew over. I put my head down and tried to convince myself that it was not going to be windy once we got out of the park area.
We hit the half-way split mark and we were at 1:12. This gave me a sudden burst of energy. I just might make 2:30 for the half. But my energy burst was short lived and as we exited the park I began some negative talk. "I can't do this..." That sort of junk. Then at 8.5-9 miles it happened. I walked. I also cried a little. I felt like I was failing. I walked for .1 of a mile and then started to "run" again. My legs were complete lead. I felt like I could barely lift them. My energy was GONE. I spent the next 4 miles walk/running.
At mile 10, my husband told me once again how proud he was of me. How he was so proud I set a goal and I was completing it. It was right around this time, that I had convinced myself that I was not failing. I reminded myself that I had a baby less than 14 months ago. That I was doing something that 1 year ago I did not even think was possible for me.
We pushed on. As we approached the last .5 mile I was determined to run it in to the finish. So I put in my headphones and jammed to "Best Day of My Life".
We rounded the final corner. Only .1 of a mile left to go. Kyle turned around and said, "Take your headphones out!! Someone is cheering for you!" I pulled out my headphones and that is when I heard it "Go Charissa, You DID IT! Yeah Charissa! Go! You Got This, Finish Strong!!" Whoa. The emotion flooded up immediately. I began crying. I could not control it. Kyle once again said, "Do you hear it? They are cheering for you!" As I crossed over that finish line I knew I had not run the race I had set out to run, but I was extremely proud of the race I did run. My heart was full. My 12 week journey came to an end. Now two more weeks until I attempt this crazy thing again! I am proud to say I DID IT, YOU CAN TOO!
4 months ago the hubby and I sat on the couch, and made the decision to sign up for 2 half marathons, 2 weeks apart. At the time, it seemed so exciting and a bit unattainable. At that point I could consistently run about 2-3 miles with a decent amount of effort. I began my training program 12 weeks ago. Each week I tried my very best to follow it and stick with the required mileage for the days/weeks. There were illnesses, surgeries, vacations, work demands, school projects, home chores but somehow I managed to make it through the 12 weeks and run approx. 170 miles in the process. Now it all comes down to the final 24 hours. I am excited, nervous, anxious. At this point I am just hoping for some sleep tonight!
I know no matter what happens, I have put in the work and I am proud of my efforts--So set your goals, and get out there and reach them!
I Can Do It, You Can Too!
This is the face of someone who is super proud because she just ran 12 miles without walking!
I met some friends this morning at 6 a.m. which required a 5 a.m. wake up. But it was well worth it to have running buddies! There is something so encouraging about having someone running right there by your side. One of my running buddies is especially great because we do not get the chance to talk very often, so when we run, we spend the entire time talking and catching up. It is perfect! It makes the hours pass by so much more quickly than music ever could!
I have now officially finished my last long run before our half marathon, which will take place in just 7 short days. Thanks to a great 12 miler today I feel prepared and ready to take on the challenge next week!
A few things that I practiced for next week, I used my hydration belt. I filled both my water bottles up and drank most of one 12 oz bottle. I also had the little pouch full of about 20 jelly beans. I began eating those around mile 6. I would eat 2 or 3 every half mile or so along with a gulp of water. It really seemed to help pass the miles and keep me hydrated and looking forward to that next little sugar rush. So I will be using this same system on race day.
Now to refuel and enjoy a wonderful Easter weekend with the family!
I Can Do It, You Can Too!
This past week was the week my husband and I have been planning for the last 4 years. Our getaway for our 15th wedding anniversary. Our children were being well taken care of (spoiled) at their nana and papa's house while my hubby and I spent the week in the Florida sun. We began our week by running a 5K race. The Cocoa Classic. I will review the race in a separate post. Let's just say it was not my favorite race, but I did get a PR, just not under 30 min. yet....We then made our way to the downtown YMCA, where we were able to shower and get dressed which made things super convenient to get to the airport after the race.
Monday morning, we were way too tired to get up and run, and so that day was spent enjoying the beaches and just resting. Tuesday morning it was suppose to rain all day. So we woke up early and went out for a hot, and humid run. I did not know how to run in 75 degrees and 90% humidity. But I put in a quick 2.2 miles before the rain began falling.
That evening we mapped out our run for the following morning. We needed 11 miles. We knew we wanted the challenge and beauty of running the causeways. So we picked out a route that allowed us to cross 2 different causeways along the Clearwater Beach ocean front. This was an adventurous run.
When we got out of the car the sprinkles began coming down and the skies looked ominous but we were determined to run. So we left anyway. Five minutes down the path and the downpour began. The oceanfront winds beat the rain against us. We ran as far as we could and then ducked inside of a parking garage. We laughed as we squeezed the water out of our shoes and tried to decide if we were crazy and having a good time or miserable. It was a thin line. 15 min. later the storm passed and the clouds gave way to a perfect blue sky. The rest of the run was fun and beautiful! By the end of the 11 miles I felt strong, and confident and ready to tackle the half in just 2 weeks!
Which led us to our last day of vacation which was spent running the Martian Marathon 10K. This was a fun and beautiful run. I also set another PR during this run! 1:07:22 (Garmin Time) 1:07:18 chip time.
I am thankful that my husband and I were able to spend this week together, we relaxed and rested and still stuck with our training plan and ran 2 races!
This year the kids and I have been able to be involved in a family exercise class at our Macomb Family YMCA. We often have crazy and busy weeknight schedules but try to make time to attend this super fun family program, that also happens to be FREE with our membership! The instructor is awesome. She is patient, enthusiastic and best of all creative. You never know what you are going to be doing...every class she has incorporated a new and fun exercise. One week it was drumming on giant exercise balls, being drill sargents, running relays, step exercises and many other exciting games! Each class begins in a similar fashion, we walk in a giant circle around the room, which turns into running, which turns into skipping or shuffling and then a time of stretching. After that the games and exercises begin. We are often asked to find a partner and encouraged to get to know others within the class. Most partner type exercises require a bit of competition as well as team building skills.
When the hour is up, the kids and I always leave having had a great time and looking forward to the next class we can attend!