Physical Wellness: Kansas Half Marathon

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PR-ed by 7 1/2 minutes which I think is not too shabby for being exactly 2 weeks post marathon.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this race – since it was so soon after my full but I had in my mind that I wanted to if I was feeling good. The company putting the race on used our Thursday night run club to get promo pictures for the event so I felt a little more “obligation” to do the race since I was part of the promo. I learned in this race that I’m not good at running with a pace group. I went into the race thinking, “Alright, I’m going to try and stick with the 1:55 group and if I can’t keep up, then I can back off a bit and hopefully finish in a sub-2.” Plus the winds were supposed to be 15-20 mph (thanks Kansas) so I wasn’t expecting to PR. So that’s what I tried doing but I just got so irritated with everyone. People kept trying to block me out, a guy almost spit on me (which really pissed me off – we were right beside a wooded area, if you need to spit, fine but don’t do it towards people when you have the option to do away from people), and I just generally really was irritated by being around a lot of people. See, I love the silence and solitude of running not necessarily the social aspect of running. I generally train by myself, do runs early in the morning when people in general are not out, and get to relish in silence. Being around lots of people is not my, well, jam.

I stuck with my pace group for Miles 1 (8:51) and 2 (8:32) and by Mile 3 (8:16) I had pulled away from the group and was running my own race. The miles were clicking by 4 (8:20), 5 (8:23), 6 (8:18), 7 (8:17). I was feeling good and the strong winds were really not getting me that much. Until I hit around Mile 8 (8:37). Man that was strong wind and it was reflected in my times. There was a section of the race that we ran on the levee and I could tell running to the turn around point that I was running with the wind so I tried as much as I could to pick up my pace and try to gain as much time as I could because I knew as soon as I got to the turn around point I would be running into the wind. (Mile 9, 8:49, Mile 10, 8:38, Mile 11 9:06). Getting off the levee I knew I just had some weaving through residential area and then I was done. But the wind and me being unprepared didn’t help me out and I could feel myself fading (Mile 12 8:45). I saw the last mile and tried to kick but we were weaving through a playground and an underground tunnel and random steep (but short hills) and I just couldn’t find my kick (Mile 13 9:08) but once I saw the finish line I just started going. I pulled my headphones out (something I have found I like to do when crossing the finish line) and heard someone say “Wow she looks like she is running a 100 meter dash!” and I assume this person was talking about me because I wasn’t in a group/cluster of people. That was pretty cool to hear.

I crossed the finish line and saw a 1:52:45 (official time 1:52:43) and felt pleased. I wish I would have gone out a bit harder at the beginning and I wish I had more left in me to have a strong sub 8 minute finish for my last mile. But I can say that as I finished I did feel like I put everything I had on that race course and I’m really glad that I didn’t try to stick with my pace group. I don’t think I will be using pacers for future races besides knowing where to line up.

So what’s next? I’m going to take some time off and start looking at spring races to do. I’ve had in my mind that I’d like to hit a 1:45 half marathon. I would also like to complete the 39.3 challenge that is 3 half marathons in about 5 weeks – all local races. My only drawback from doing this is that I hate running races in Kansas with the crazy wind. But for the immediate future, I am going to get back into hitting my workouts hard and keep running and working towards that 1:45 half!

Intellectual Wellness: Realistic Goals, Mind Set, Life.

My love for SMART goals is well-known. But today I want to talk about what I think is one of the hardest parts about goal setting, being realistic. I think it is the toughest part because you have to push yourself enough that it is a challenge but not so much that you feel like the end goal is impossible to reach. That delicate balance is really difficult to figure out. And honestly, I don’t have any good solid research or advice to give. I just have rambly thoughts (my favorite).

From my experience, setting some kind of baseline helps me get a good idea of an attainable goal. So, for examples sake, let’s use a nice easy task-running. I want to run a sub 9 minute mile half-marathon. Which puts me at around a 1:55 finish time. My last race was a 1:59. So that is a pretty attainable goal, in theory. But is it pushing myself enough? Seems like with another couple of months of proper training and not running a half marathon half dehydrated (perhaps tomorrow’s post will detail my problems with hydration) and in June, I would be able to attain this easily. So is it enough to push myself?

I also have a dream that one day I will run a 1:30 half. If I set the goal that I want to run my next half in 1:30, which means I would have to run about a sub 7 minute mile. Which I can (errr…I have once and I get into the low 7s) but only for 1 mile. A half marathon is 13.1. That’s a pretty loft goal and I can already feel myself getting frustrated with this goal.

Both of these goals demonstrate both ends of the spectrum with goal setting. Setting a realistic, attainable, but still challenging goal is freaking hard. And, for me, trial and error plus having a baseline tend to be the best approaches. But I know that they aren’t the only approaches.

How do you go about setting goals?

Half-Marathon Recap.

Facts first.

According to the website, official time was actually 1:59:07

Splits using my runkeeper app (which also had me running 13.41 miles)

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The Hype.

This race was doted to be one of the hilliest half marathons. Their entire slogan is about conquering the hill and everything in the marketing is about the hill. So going into this race, I was nervous that the hills would be horrendous (as you can tell, it really wasn’t that bad. I have run much, much, MUCH worse).

Pre-Race.

My sister and I ate at a Mexican restaurant and mainly concentrated on protein loading. We got up at 4:30 because the race started right outside of where my sister works. So we got there early so she could get a good parking spot and then napped until the race. We got up 15 minutes before the race started which means by the time we got down there…there was no way I would be able to make into my race group.

The Race.

Since I didn’t start in my group (I was slated to be in the 2hr. group, I ended up in the 4 hr. group) I had a lot of weaving to do. A lot. My sister enjoyed this b/c she felt like she was just flying by people. I did not b/c I had trouble pacing myself. At the half-way point in the race, I was at 55 minutes and feeling pretty good. But I was not hydrated enough. By mile 10/11 my body was just shutting down. I actually had to stop to walk a little bit b/c I got really dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out from being dehydrated. I stopped at every water station from like mile 7ish on.

I hit 12 miles and the little lady on my runkeeper let me know that I was 1:50 into the race…and I realized…I had 10 minutes to finish 1.1 miles…I could do that. That would be easy right? So I started by kick. By around 12.8 miles I had a stitch in my side that I would usually walk out but I would be damned if I would walk this one out. So I ripped my headphones out, and just started going. I would breath weird when I would exhale b/c of the stitch and the dehydration…but I didn’t care. I pushed and pushed and pushed.

Post Race.

Good snacks! But all I wanted was ice cold water. And all they had was sun warmed water. And chocolate milk. Which I’m lactose intolerant, but it was the only cold thing they had so I grabbed that. I regretted that later.

I definitely wore the wrong shoes, and I knew I shouldn’t have worn these shoes. And now I’m paying the price.

I really need to get my garmin battery fixed b/c holding my phone for 13.1 miles was a pain in the ass.

I also need to get a little hand-held water bottle b/c that would have been useful…I should also refrain from running halfs in June. They should be illegal. Ouch.

Also, waaaaay too much hype on this race about the hills, and honestly, I don’t even know what hill they were complaining about or boasting to be the big one. I kept waiting and thinking it would come and it never did. If you want a hilly half, go check out Run the Bluegrass. That’s a hilly half. This was just a normal half.

Physical Wellness: Finding Your Passion

I swear I will do more posts about the other dimensions of wellness! I just happen to be hitting major physical wellness milestones this week.

First up, on Tuesday I completed a 50 days of running challenge inspired by happyhealthycook.tumblr.com (she did 100 days and is currently doing 365 days). I clocked 150 miles during these 50 days and remembered my love of running…which often gets lost in the shuffle during the winter months when I’m not out running near as much.

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Me after completing my challenge.

Tomorrow I will leave town to go stay with my sister and we will run a half marathon together! My sister is unquestionably the better half runner and has hands down completed more halfs than me. This one will just be my third half. My last half was in Kentucky and was miles upon miles upon miles of hills…and was completely worth it.

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This is me completing my last half marathon in 2:00:11, just 12 seconds shy of my goals. I’m not planning on PR-ing or hitting my goal of a sub 2 hour half this weekend. I haven’t trained enough hills, logged enough miles, or prepared myself enough to do that. But I want to. My last half left a burn on me knowing that if I had just picked up the pace by one second on each mile, I would have hit my goal.

The point of this post is not to showcase my running. But to remind myself of how far I have come with my running. And as Saturday rapidly approaches and my nerves become more and more intense, I’m trying to keep perspective on this half. I didn’t really start racing until 2011. My first 5k was a 27 something. Right then I was hooked. I use to run for fitness reasons but after my first 5k I realized the joy of racing and being around a group of people that love running just as much as you. It’s pretty common for people around me to not understand why I love to run so much. I often hear, “ug it’s just so BORING! I don’t know why anyone would ever just go out and run.” But for someone who is a self-proclaimed running…running is everything. Running centers me. It pushes me. It shows me my limits, then helps me blow past them. Running is more than physical wellness to me.

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This is me after I won a 5k. Something I never thought would ever happen. And I won it side by side with someone who has easily become one of my best friends. We pushed each other the entire race and completely blew our PRs out of the water. This was the first race I had ever even placed in, and I ended up taking first overall female.

Find your passion. Find something that makes you feel alive and that pushes you. Find what makes you happy. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Including yourself.

 

Weekend Wellness

Back to the old grind! Hope everyone’s weekend was nice and you took at least a moment to remember the reason behind Memorial Day weekend! 

Wellness never takes a backseat, even during the weekend. I spent my weekend fulfilling multiple dimensions of wellness, most notably financial wellness. I scored this beauty for $40 at a garage sale this weekend! Image

The guy originally wanted $50 for it and I just stood there looking at it and then his daughter chirped in that they would go down they just wanted to get rid of it because they are moving. So I offered $40 and they took it! My apartment is slowly, slowly coming together and I’m getting pieces that I want and that I have taken the time to find and put together. Yes, I put this beast together by myself! I’m still on the hunt for throw pillows, just looking for the right price! Which is the main reason it has taken me so long to furnish my apartment. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to move all of my furniture from Kentucky to Iowa after grad school, I donated everything that wouldn’t fit in my car. Which meant when I moved to Kansas, I had nothing. But I have slowly found good deals and snagged them up! 

This weekend I also spent time with some of the boyfriend’s friends and got to engage in some social wellness! We grilled out and had some laughs. It was great! 

And of course, I had some physical wellness as well. 

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I will wrap up my 50 days of running challenge TODAY! And I will celebrate that by running a half marathon with my sister on Saturday. I am going to head to the staff gym during my lunch hour today and get the run down on everything and next week I will start training for a mini tri! I’m not sure when or where I will compete the mini tri or if it will just be something I do on my own. But it is the next fitness challenge for me. That also means scoping out area garage sales for a bike! 

How did you fulfill different wellness dimensions this weekend? 

PS after a week of bad nutrition, I’m back in my groove! I’ll detail out my food prep tomorrow!