There’s no other feeling like crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles and enduring months of training.
My biggest hesitation about training for the marathon is the one thing I’m most proud of: My daughter. I’m having a hard with “the mom guilt”. Part of me feels like I should be spending every free moment I have with her since she’s growing up so quickly, but I also know that I need to make time for the things that I enjoyed prior to having her. When I went back to work, my mom told me this: “It’s not the quantity of time you spend with her, but the quality of time that matters.” I try to keep reminding myself of this when life outside of the home gets crazy busy. With the way my training schedule is set up I have Sundays to give her and Larry my undivided attention. No barre, no running. Sundays will be designated family time this summer and I’m looking forward to it.
I am happy to announce that I survived a 1/2 marathon with very minimal train (6 miles was my longest training run-on a treadmill) and while breaking the rule-“nothing new on race day” and I have very little soreness today.
I was very nervous for this race for severals reasons: the weather in the Midwest has been less than stellar for outside running, so most of my running was done on a treadmill. I had only trained up to 6 miles when the normal amount is 10. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my mom since she did properly train. Needless to say, I am grateful that muscle memory kicked in and I was able to complete the race with my mom. Today we both said that we will do longer runs on the weekends so that we don’t lose any base training for upcoming races.
We drove down to Chicago on Friday afternoon with two of my mom’s friends who were also doing the race with us. We stayed at the Congress Hotel, which was Team Ortho’s host hotel. It was an ideal location because packet pickup was right at the hotel and there was a shuttle for us on race day to take us to the starting line since it was about a 20 minute drive away. After we picked up our packets, we walked down to Garmin to say hi to my friend Kristine and then it was off to Eataly for some carb loading. I decided on pizza-it was pretty amazing. After dinner, we ventured downstairs to check out the desserts.
We walked to closest Starbucks and hopped on the shuttle at 7:30. The race started in Jackson park, near the Museum of Science and Industry. I was excited to run a new part of the lakefront path. When we lived in Chicago, I usually ran more north of museum campus so it was nice to see the skyline coming from the south.
We got to the race pretty early, so hung out, stretched and beat the long port a potty lines :-)
At 9 am we were on our way! I told my mom from the beginning that I would be staying her pace the entire time. We started off at comfortable pace. I kept one ear bud out so that I could talk with my mom and communicate with other runners if I needed to. It was a great idea since there was ice on the path and runners ahead of you would yell out “Ice” so that you were aware of what was ahead. The path was also very narrow, so it was nice to be able to hear if other runners behind you were trying to pass.
The course was an out and back and I was little surprised to see the turn around point at around mile 5. It wasn’t until about mile 7 that my mom wanted to stop and walk for about a minute. It was then that I started to feel my quads cramp up. We ran the rest of the course and maybe stopped for walking breaks about 3 more times. Even though it can be difficult to run at someone else’s pace, I’m really glad that I stayed with my mom. It was nice to be able to have someone to talk to and keep your mind distracted. While I was motivating her, I really actually just trying to keep myself motivated. The race was route was really well laid out, until the end. There was one point where we ran past the finish line, saw mile marker 13 and still had to keep running. I was not a fan and it totally messed me up mentally. That last mile was a tough one. My Garmin was right on track with the mile markers until about mile 10, then it became slightly off, but still close enough. At the end of our race, my Garmin told me I ran 12.95 miles in 2:18 minutes.
I’m so proud of my mom and the timing we got for her first 1/2! She’s addicted :-) This was my first time running with compression socks from PRO Compression and my calves feel awesome today! Normally, my calves are what bother me the most after a long run because I tend to run more on my toes. I’m not sure if it was the compression socks or the fact that it was a nice and easy pace, but my legs feel great today and I will definitely be wearing these for all longer runs.
The Get Lucky Chicago 1/2 marathon was a great way to start off the 2014 racing season. My goal is keep logging longer runs on the weekend and to earn a new 1/2 marathon PR at my next run which is the Rock n Sole on June 14th!
It’s that time of year again: to think about 2014 and what I hope to accomplish. 2013 was a year of big events and accomplishments and I think 2014 will be a year of improvement. Starting with a big one.
1. Marriage. I’m not going to lie and say it was all rainbows and smiles over here…2013 was a tough year for us. I can say that it was our most challenging year and it tested us immensely. I was so focused on being a good mother to Madelyn while trying to maintain my own self-identity that I completely neglected my marriage and my husband. We hit a turning point in our marriage in the middle of this year and realized that things needed to change in order for this to work. So, my goal is to make more time for “us”, have fun, get back to where we were and try to let the little things go. The last part is definitely not my personality, but I’m a work in progress ;-)
2. Mother/Daughter dates. Madelyn is the coolest little girl I know. She’s so smart, it amazes me every single day. She’s growing up WAY TOO FAST. I wish life had a pause button sometimes. Now that she’s a bit older and mobile, I want to make more time to do stuff with her besides shopping and grocery store trips. I have 3 day weekends and I need to start taking more advantage of them. I also need to get her into some kind of swim class or other sport to burn off some of her energy. She is constantly on the go!
3. Run my fastest 1/2 marathon. This year I earned a half-marathon PR without even trying. Next year, I’d like to focus on getting faster and at try to run it a little bit faster. I have a time goal in mind, but I’m keeping that to myself ;-)
4. Complete my first mud run. When hubs did tough mudder a few years ago, I said there was absolutely no way that I would ever do one with him. Now, I’m changing my tune :-) They look like a of fun so I’m hoping to either do Tough Mudder or another muddy obstacle course race.
5. Keep better track of what I’m eating. I love to eat. When I was marathon training, I didn’t track calories, but I made a more conscious effort to eat well because I noticed a difference in my running the next day if I ate crappy food the day prior. After the marathon, that kind of fell off so I’m working at it again. I don’t plan on counting calories, but just writing down what I eat just to make myself more aware. There might even be a Paleo Diet challenge in the future.
6. Get Strong. Tone up. Get to my happy weight. During marathon training, I lost 10 pounds. I’ve since gained some of it back but I’m okay with that. I’m still about 10 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with Madelyn. I’m not so much focused on the number of the scale as much as I am focused on feeling and looking my best. This year, I want to tone up and get stronger.
7. Take a camera class and learn how to use my camera. When I found out I was pregnant with Madelyn, we bought a fancy SLR camera. I know how to point and shoot. That is it. Because I know that camera is capable of so much more, I’m planning on taking a camera class this year to learn how to use it to its full potential.
8. Travel more. Every year Larry and I travel somewhere for our anniversary. We do this instead of buying presents. Our first year was to Door County and last year was to Michigan for wine tasting. I’d like to get out of the Midwest this next year. No set plans yet, so we’ll see. I do know that a trip to Memphis is in the books for my sister in law’s bachelorette party! Can’t wait for that :-)
9. NASM personal training certification. Back in October, I bit the bullet and decided to start studying for my personal training certification. There are so many out there to choose from but at the end of the day I decided to go with NASM. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. I have a few grand ideas floating around in my head. For now, I’d love to teach a fitness class a couple nights a week, but we’ll see what happens. I’m taking it one step at a time.
Any fun plans for this evening? Tonight we’re going to an early dinner and then heading over to my sister’s house for a NYE party. Nothing too crazy :-)
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you in 2014!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I hope you celebrated the holidays surrounded by the people you love and care about most. I’ve had the past five days off of work and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by. I wish that all companies could shut down between Christmas and New Years. That would be nice :-)
Our Christmas started on Sunday with a trip down to Chicago to celebrate with my in-laws. We were expecting it to just be us, larry’s two sisters and their significant others but when we walked in, we were greeted by 20 other family members. It was a nice surprise to see all of his cousins, aunts and uncles, since we don’t get to see them too often.
On Tuesday, I started my morning off with a workout at Barre Bee Fit, headed to a doctor’s appointment, did some last minute grocery shopping, came home and got ready for church and Christmas eve at my mom’s house. Madelyn hung out at daycare until about 1pm. It just made it easier with the doctor’s appointment and shopping. I plan on taking off of work New Years’ Eve and spending the day doing something fun with her. We met my uncle and aunt at my mom’s house, had some drinks and appetizers and headed to church.
After church, we came home, ate dinner and opened up presents. My mom made a prime rib roast, asparagus, mashed potatoes along side a glass of wine. Everything was amazing. Madelyn lucked out in the present department this year, even though she was more interested in playing with her old toys instead of opening her new ones.
She also was a fan of hiding on us and playing peek-a-boo…
Santa was good to me as well. I got this bag from lululemon along with some running socks and some other odds and ends :-)
We celebrated Christmas Day by opening gifts with Madelyn. While we were trying to get her to open her duplo blocks, she was more interested in the pen that was on the table :-) We still had fun with her this year, but I’m looking forward to when she gets to be a little bit older and gets really excited for Christmas. While I cooked up brunch for my family, Larry got to work assembling toys and putting batteries in where they needed to go.
I made an egg bake with mushrooms, onions, spinach, garlic, bacon, goat gouda and goat cheddar. I seasoned it with Thyme, Rosemary, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and added in 1 cup of soy milk and 3 tbsp on flour. It turned out really good. So good in fact that I forgot to snap any food pictures today because I was more concerned about eating :-) I served that along side some polish sausage, fruit, Kringles and cinnamon roll french toast bake—AMAZING! This french toast bake was super easy and was incredibly delicious. This definitely goes into a Sunday brunch rotation :-)
Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to focus on getting back on track with healthy eating and setting goals for 2014! Last year, I posted my 2013 goals. While I accomplished most of them, there are still a few that are a work in progress :-)
I’ll be back this week to talk about 2013 highlights, goals and other fun stuff!
I hope Santa was good to you all as well ;-)
- Follow the marathon plan you’ve chosen. Bart & Hal know a thing or two about marathon training. It’s okay to move your long run around (doing it on Sunday instead of Saturday), but if you want to be successful, don’t skimp out on mileage.
- Get serious about nutrition. During marathon training, I was not a carb queen much to my surprise. I did eat relatively healthy but my breakfast before most of my workouts consisted of coffee, water and a banana. Post workout would be a protein shake. No good for those longer runs. The week before the marathon, I loaded up on the good carbs as best as I could. Next time I’ll plan out my pre & post run meals/protein & carb ratios out a little better.
- Have a hydration plan in place and use it on those long practice runs. Toward the end, I switched over to Endurolyte tablets by Hammer. I liked them because they were just little electrolyte capsules I could just chug with water or Gatorade and I didn’t have to worry about carrying chews or trying to suck down a gel packet. I used them a few times on my practice runs and my system worked well. However, you tend to forget about replenishing your electrolytes when you’re running the streets of Chicago, high on life. There were a few times when I’d pass by a water stop, chug my water and continue on my way without even giving my electrolytes a second thought. Do whatever you can to try and remember to get the proper nutrition in during the race.
- Don’t forget your sunglasses/visor/hat. The whole time I trained, I wore either my sunglasses or visor and low and behold, on race day I left both of them in hubs’ car. Don’t do that. Squinting is no fun, it causes headaches and wrinkles. The last thing you want to do is weave in and out of the course to get to the shadier spots. Which brings me to my next point.
- STUDY your race course and hug the corners as best you can. A few weeks prior to race day, Larry posted this article stating that if runners don’t hug the corners of the courses 36 turns, they could possibly add up to a half mile to their race.
- Set multiple goals for yourself. You never know what can happen on race day and if you only set one goal (i.e. a finish time) and you don’t achieve it, it will take away from the awesomeness that was just accomplished. Look back at your training. You had good days and not so great days. The same thing can happen when it comes to marathon time. Not to mention other things you can’t control. Like the weather. Or the sun. Goal #1 for me was just to finish. Goal #2 was to finish in under 5 hours. Goal #2 didn’t happen, but I did achieve my main goal and now, I can take everything I learned and put it into practice when it comes time for marathon numero 2.
- Write your name somewhere visible on yourself. I wish I would’ve done this!! I saw lots of people with iron ons, bright tape & black sharpie (if you don’t want to ruin a shirt), and people who wrote their names on their arm with sharpies. Strangers will call out your name and cheer you on during the race and it’s really motivating.
- ENJOY every single moment! The marathon was honestly the fastest 5 hours of my life. There will be times on the course when you’re on top of the world one mile and the next mile, you’re hating life, questioning your sanity and wondering why you thought this was a good idea. Then you’ll hear Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful as you approach the finish and realize that those few miles of agony were totally and utterly worth it.