Monday, November 30, 2015

Countdown to Christmas Cardio Challenge

You may or may not know but I've been on hiatus from CrossFit since August 10th.  I also cut back my cardio to just one day a week on the recommendation of my physician.  I've been in PT for my shoulder and I think they've done just about all they can.  I'm definitely nowhere near 100%.  I still have pain in my shoulder with use, but my day-to-day pain is GONE!  So what does this mean for  me?  More importantly what does this mean for you?

It means it's time to step up my game and tackle some workouts.  I started thinking about what I wanted to do and I really have been missing cardio.  I know I can hardly believe it, but it's true. So I came up with the Countdown to Christmas Cardio Challenge.  This is where YOU come in!

Here's how it works:  25 minutes minutes of cardio every day til Christmas.  That's right EVERY DAY.  25 minutes every day is doable.  Any form of cardio counts.  Elliptical, swimming, biking, running, Zumba, whatever form of cardio you desire.

How do you get credit:

1) First things first.  You have to be a Facebook and/or Instagram follower to participate.
2) Facebook:  Post a picture to my Facebook wall documenting your 25 minutes.  It can be a picture of your treadmill screen, picture of your garmin, whiteboard at CrossFit, etc.  Anything that shows that you've done your cardio for the day.  We are on somewhat of an honor system, but you do have to show some sort of proof via picture even if it's just your feet in your shoes.  Every picture on my wall gets you 1 entry to win the grand prize.
3)  Instagram:  Post a picture to your Instagram using #MSBRCardioChallenge documenting your 25 minutes.  It can be a picture of your treadmill screen, picture of your garmin, whiteboard at CrossFit, etc.  Anything that shows that you've done your cardio for the day.  We are on somewhat of an honor system, but you do have to show some sort of proof via picture even if it's just your feet in your shoes. Every picture using #MSBRCardioChallenge gets you 1 entry to win the grand prize.

On Christmas day I will gather all the entries and pick a random winner.  The winner will receive their choice of ONE of the following Christmas gifts that are favorites on my list.

1) $25 gift card to Lululemon
2) 1.5 Pound About Time Protein Pancake mix (approx $25 value)
3) $25 gift card to Dicks Sporting Goods
4) SpiBelt Sports running Belt (approx $25 value)
5) $25 Gift Card to RoadID

The more cardio you do and log on my Facebook and/or Instagram the more chances you have to win.  One entry per Facebook and Instagram account per day.  You can enter on both Facebook and Instagram for the same workout, but not more than once per day.

Good luck.

Let's Countdown to Christmas with Cardio!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving and Scenes from the Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving everyone (a day late).

NOT $8 on Amazon even if your sister tells her husband it was 
I always spend thanksgiving with my dad.  I have since I was little.  He likes Thanksgiving better than Christmas because it's always when he got to spend time with us kids.  This year, however, George had to work and my dad decided to go with my sister to her in-laws.  Turns out, my dad didn't got and I should have gone to Indy to visit.  That's a story for another day.

I spent the holiday at my other sisters and it was very nice.  We had a FABULOUS meal and I appreciated all my sister's little extra efforts.

I woke up that morning and suggested to Jack that he wear his clothes that he recently had his pictures taken in.  He went for it.  I also made a suggestion to Ella and she quickly agreed.  Nicholas was still asleep when all this occurred.  I woke him up for the day and then went to get a shower.  I got out of the shower, to find him wearing this.

Without being told he put on dress clothes.  It was a thanksgiving miracle.  He did say Jack told him he had to dress up.  When I told him he didn't have to, he didn't change.  This was a win for mom!

My mom, Ella, Jack, Nicholas, My sister (Amy)
I love now that my nieces and nephews are adults.  It's pretty awesome to see them being good big people.  They make so proud and they're so pirty to look at.  Ha!

Andrew and Abbey (my sister Amy's kids) 
We took this cousin pic which has now happened 3 times.  These boys (Kurt and Ryan) are my step-brother Kevin's kids.

Look how little 
We wound up spending the night at my sisters and decided to make cookies the next day.  I'll admit I was grouchy.  I don't think I got enough sleep the night before and I was not really into it.  Whomp whomp.

Saturday was spent decorating my house and that made me feel a tad bit relieved and maybe like I'm ahead of the game.  Don't worry next week I'll be falling behind again.

The kids helped me decorate the main tree in the living room.  They love unwrapping all the ornaments and finding ornaments that they've chosen.  We have so many, I'm not sure I can buy any more.  As if!  

Ella was playing makeup (as she always does) while I was stringing garland and getting the tree ready for ornaments.  I didn't make her wash it off.  This is NOT her everyday look.  hahaha

I'm so happy my kids will still help and and actually have fun doing it.  It won't be long now where I'm sure I'll be all alone.  I might have messed up on cookies yesterday, but I enjoyed every bit of decorating with them today.  Ok, ok I yelled once when they were destroying the ornament boxes.  No one is perfect!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Philly Marathon Race Recap 2015

This is my recap of the Philadelphia Marathon that took place on Sunday.  I never really hold back on my thoughts and feelings on MY blog and I don't intend to do so here.  My reflections about my own race have nothing to do with anyone else.  They are MY feelings about MY race!  Ok disclaimer complete.

We arrived in Philly on Saturday to pick up our bibs.  Up until this point, I kept pushing all my feelings about the Marathon down.  I was just so scared (not nervous) and I didn't even want to think about how much this race was going to hurt.

Having all these amazing women surrounding me definitely helped.  I especially appreciate Kortni flying all the way from Houston just to run with me.  After my training went awry, because of my shoulder, I forced her to run her own race.  I wasn't trained for meeting the goal I had originally set for myself so it made sense for her to do her own thing.

We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we did some sight seeing.  We wanted to see the Liberty Bell and the Rocky steps too, but we never made it.

We did see Jesus though, so there's that!

Then there was dinner.  All was well.  We were fed and ready.  All that was left was sleep and run. 

We all laid out our clothes and went to sleep by 10 pm ish for a 5 am wake up call.  Thanks to some sleep aid, I actually fell asleep and managed to sleep soundly until 4:30 am.  I was happy for that because a night spend tossing and turning the night before a marathon is never good.

We planned to leave the hotel at 5:45 am for our 1 mile walk to the start line.  PLENTY of time.  Uh yeah.  About that.  We got into the security line to be let into the corals and waited over an hour and still hadn't made it into the entrance.  We debated trying to find another security check several times but at one point, an FBI agent said we could try another entrance but it was risky because the other lines might not be shorter.  So we stayed.  After a full hour of waiting, a police officer comes over and says a block over has no line no wait.  We high tailed it out of that line and got through security at 7:02.  The race started at 7 am.

waiting in security line in our throw away clothes 
We were all frazzled to say the least.  We had gear bags to check still and all of us wanted to use the restroom.  Luckily the held the race start due to so many runners being backed up at security.  Still it's not a good feeling at the start of a marathon.  I said goodbye to everyone and we all headed to our gear check stations to drops out bags (by last name).  Luckily Jaime and I stuck together because of our last names and when that chaos was over we were  still together.  We went to the porta potty and were walking to the corals when the race started.  We wound up walking to the green coral (a coral faster than where we were slotted).  It was seriously the only place we could find to enter so we did and we decided to stay there.

After being completely frazzled for over and hour Jaime and I cuddled together to keep warm and having her arms literally around me calmed me.  It's definitely what I needed right before the race and I'm so glad she was there with me.

We crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the clock and we were on our way.  My goal was to run a 10:40 pace for the whole time.  Based on my training and the races I had recently done, this shouldn't have been too aggressive of a pace for me.  In fact, many race predictors predicted I could do a faster pace. Having said that, I only ran ONE DAY A WEEK during the majority of my training in hopes of giving my shoulder time to heal. This was on the recommendation of my orthopedic.  My shoulder was affecting my every day life and being in pain every day is not fun.  Sadly my shoulder took priority over my training.  Regardless... my goal... 10:40 pace from mile 1 to mile 26.

As usual, the race starts out so fast.  I watched my watch very carefully and ran much slower than felt natural, but I was being consistent with my pacing.  I was on track and kept telling myself how very early it was in a very long marathon.  Unfortunately my garmin doesn't tell me my current pace only my average pace so I was going by feel and just trying to keep my average at 10:40 ish.  That made me miles not very consistent.  Regardless, after the first 5 miles I was on track.

Mile 1: 10:33
Mile 2: 10:37
Mile 3: 10:34
Mile 4: 10:54
Mile 5: 10:34 ----> Gu 

Miles 6 and 7 were invigorating.  There were SO many people along the race course.  I swear those were the 2 faster miles of my race.  I was so busy looking at people and reading signs and being pumped up that I didn't even feel like I was running.  It was definitely my favorite part of the race.

Mile 6: 10:09
Mile 7: 10:16

By then I was looking at my watch less and less.  I wasn't as obsessed with my pace and tried to run what I felt would be my "go all day" pace.  My average pace kept reading right around 10:40 so I thought I was doing well.  Apparently I wasn't because my splits are all over the place.

Mile 8: 11:09
Mile 9: 10:53
Mile 10: 11:05 ----> 2nd Gu 

I honestly don't remember much between miles 10 and 13.  I do remember looking around at people who had hit the wall at the 10 mile mark and pushing through.  I imagined those people's stories and how maybe they were completing their first half.  It was an inspirational moment to see them push through.

The split for the half and the full is right at mile 13.  Full marathoners go left and half marathoners go right.  I never wanted to go right so badly.  Ha!  I knew making that left turn would be lonely.

Mile 11: 10:50 
Mile 12: 11:00
Mile 13: 10:48

Shortly after the marathon split I saw my friend Kate's mom.  It was just nice to see a familiar face.  Of course it only lasts 2 seconds so the high doesn't last long.  I was now on the out and back portion of the course.  It was both inspiring and humiliating to see runners at mile 24 and 25 when I was at mile 14 and 15.

Mile 14: 11:00
Mile 15: 11:17 ----> 3rd Gu 

Right around the 15 mile mark I started to feel tired physically.  My legs hurt, my hips hurt and I wanted to be done.  Thinking to myself that I still had 11 miles to go was devastating.  I allowed my self to mentally get defeated.  After mile 16 I allowed myself to walk.  I heard Kortni's voice in my head telling me to schedule my walk breaks if I had to take them.  She said to pick a ratio and stick to it.  Somehow I decided on 3:1.  I'd run 3 minutes and walk one.  It mentally defeated me, but physically it helped.  In fact, many times I would be running and realize I didn't need a break and I'd run longer than 3 minutes and when I did have to walk I never allowed myself to walk more than 1 minute.

Miles 16 to 20 weren't horrible.  I was doing my walk/run thing.  I saw Kate, then Charlene, then Jaime and seeing their faces made me happy.   I originally thought the out and back turn around was at mile 19, but quickly realized it was at mile 20.  I prayed for mile 20 to come quickly.

Mile 16: 11:13
Mile 17: 12:03
Mile 18: 11:51
Mile 19: 12:21
Mile 20: 11:45----> 4th Gu 

When I hit mile 20 I hit my second wall.  I had 6.2 miles which meant over an hour more of running. It seemed like a task I wasn't physically capable of.  I started calculating what my finishing time would be.  I still had a chance to make it under 5 hours.  That  encouraged me through miles 22 and 23 to push and not walk as much.  I'm not sure what ratio I was doing but it was running more than 3 minutes at a time and walking 1 minute.  When I walked it felt good, but starting to run again was excruciating.  At this point everything hurt.
Mile 21: 12:38
Mile 22: 12:06
Mile 23: 12:07
Mile 24: 12:12

After mile 24 I cried.  I was in so much pain and I couldn't push anymore.  As badly as I wanted to come in under 5 hours, I couldn't do much more than run 3 walk 1.  Running 3 minutes at a time felt like a life time.  I would look at my watch every time I wanted to stop running and it was always 1:30 into my run interval.  I forced myself to run, but I'm sure it was a shuffle.  So many people were reading my name on my bib and encouraging me.  At this point I was holding in tears.  At mile 25 I decided crying would make me feel better and so I did.  I was crying because I was in so much pain and just wanted it to be over.  I told myself that a 4:59 finish vs a 5:02 finish didn't matter and I just did the best I could.  It was ugly on every level.

Mile 25: 12:56
Mile 26: 13:01
Mile .5 (I was over): 12:26 pace 

Crossing the finish line was anti-climactic.  I was in survival mode and when I crossed, I simply started walking and thank God (literally) that it was over.  My legs could barely move.  I was at a snails pace moving through the finisher's area.

Garmin Total:  26.54 miles 5:02:03 
Garmin Average:  11:23/mile  

Official Total 26.2 miles 5:01:59
Official Average:  11:32/mile  

Overall, I'm definitely disappointed.  I'm more disappointed that I missed the opportunity to train healthy and have a good race.  I don't know what I was thinking trusting my body to run a 10:40 pace.  Looking back it was an aggressive goal.  I am happy I finished and didn't completely bomb but it does sting that this is my worst marathon to date.  It's logical, however, considering it was also my worst training to date.  I still ran 26.2 miles and I have to give myself props for that.  26.2 miles is a long way.  Get in your car and drive 26.2 miles.  It's probably a long way from home.

To all my amazing friends:

Charlene:  I know you weren't happy that it wasn't a PR today, but you still ran an excellent race.  It says a lot about your training and commitment that you never hit the proverbial wall.  Great job on your consistency in your training and running your 2nd marathon.   Hold your head high.  You ran a marathon! Congratulations.

Kortni: I can't wait to read your recap on your blog.  I know this wasn't the race you wanted it to be, I still love you though (inside joke)!  Seriously, you're one of my running mentors and I always look up to you.  You're an inspiration to me and so many others.  You will get your BQ.  I know it.  I'm so thankful that you came into my life.  I cherish each time we get to spend with one another.  Even if it is running 26.2 miles.  Love you so much!

Meghan:  I'm beyond happy for you and am in awe that your first marathon was so amazing.  You were so consistent in your training and determined and you did it!  I know you're proud (so I won't say "be proud").  You deserve all the glory girl!  You did it!  Congratulations.

Tracey:  I never doubted your ability for one single solitary second.  I knew you'd PR and you did!  You will ALWAYS be someone I look up to.  You manage to do it all.  You're an amazing mother, friend and athlete.  Your dedication to being each of those things inspires me daily.   I'm so thankful for having met you and for being a part of your life.  Love you girl!

Jaime:  I feel like your training was "The Little Engine that Could."  Not having done a marathon before I think you needed to prove to yourself through your training that you could do it.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  I watched you blossom throughout your training and I knew you could and you did.  I hope you're proud of you first (and not last) marathon.  Congrats on an amazing race.  PR baby!  Thanks for being my calm before the storm.  xoxoxo

Kate (not pictured):  What can I say girl?  Despite you being so mature, you're so young (compared to me) and I definitely have the mom mentality with you.  I want to see you do well and am so proud of you when you do.  You have been through so much the past several months but you didn't allow it to derail you.  NOT YOU.  You said, I'll show you and you did.  You made this mama proud!

Kim (also not pictured):  I know you let doubt creep in so many times about this marathon.  Can I do it?  What am I doing?  What's the matter with you?  Any of this sound familiar?  ha!  I, nor anyone else who knows you, doubted you would finish this marathon.  I know you and know when you set your mind to it, you will get it done.  I admire you perseverance so much and am beyond proud of your determination.  You are such an inspiration to me and it's about time you realize that YOU are the lion.  Let's hear you ROAR!  Love you and am so proud of you!

Photo cred

Thanks for a great race Philly.