Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I Believe In Re-Defining My Impossible

First 5K Race, March 2009

First 10K Race, April 2011

First Ragnar Relay, September 2011

First Half Marathon Race, November 2011

First Full Marathon Race, October 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Motivation: Live Fearlessly


On days when I just don't feel like running for whatever reason, I know I need to just go out there and do it because at the end of my run, I always feel good or better.  Running helps me let go of all of the above:  fat days, regret, guilt, frustrations, loneliness, self doubt....and I didn't know it until now, but running helps keep me centered.  When you're centered, you get that feeling that all is good in the world, nothing is impossible, and that in turn radiates to everything we do, to everyone we come in contact with.

I just finished the last few pages of Anita Moorjani's Dying To Be Me, a memoir about her journey from trying so hard to meet everybody's expectations, to fighting cancer, to near death, and finally to her true healing.  What does her book got to do with running?  To me, everything!  Her book validated why I need to run, why I run and why I need to keep running.  Anita wrote about being aware of your "magnificence" as a way of healing and freeing yourself - not just from illness - but from those same things I listed above - fear, regret, guilt, frustrations.  To do that, you must find your true self.  To me, part of my true self is to run which in turn helps keep me centered.  She shared her views on living life, how religion fits into it, and her inspirational near death experience.  It's amazing.  Her book in some way, connected all the dots in my life:  my mom passing away from lung cancer, discovering running, my art, discovering yoga, and the people I've met along the way that led me to those dots and to where I am now.  I am overwhelmed by how everything and everyone is connected and by Anita's revelations.

Go check out her book.  It's eye-opening and very inspirational.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Manassas Runway 10K/5K Race Recap

Yes.  I am so behind.  Very behind on posts.  Life at home has been so crazy busy it's been so hard to squeeze in some online time.

Until today.  Laundry done, groceries done.  Kids fed.  I am actually sitting down for more than 5 minutes and it's not in a car!

So I'm going to start with today's race and go backwards and get you all caught up on my crazy running, mothering, and drawing (art) life.

Manassas Runway 10K/5K Race Recap.  Manassas, VA.  May 12, 2012
This is the second year for this race and my second time running it too!  What makes this race so unique is that you get to run on the airport tarmac!  The best part about this course?  It's FLAT.  Ok, mostly flat except for the tiny slightly steep grade around Mile 3 - but it's tiny as in 20 feet - and it's not on the tarmac.

Packet Pickup.  A friend offered to pick up ours (The Hubs and I ran the race) which was a HUGE help considering Little Man was sick at home with a fever.  Packet pickup last year was a breeze, so I'm sure it was the same for this year.  Gotta love a small race!

I LOVE that this year's shirts are tech shirts!  Yay for for tech race shirts!  I never wear cotton race shirts unless they are a ladies' cut.  So I'm happy about this one!  I can actually wear it to races and to my workout classes.

Aside from a free frozen yogurt from Zinga's and a coupon to our local running store, that was it in terms of swag.  Small town race, but I love it.  No complaints.

Sleep.  I was exhausted from the week's busy-ness:  Football, Teacher Appreciation Week, Guitar, preschool Mother's Day Tea, Muffins With Mom, laundry, laundry, laundry!  Felt like I was coming down with something.  Little Man was down with a fever, and not running the race actually crossed my mind.  After putting the kids to bed, I crashed.  Hard.  So it was a good night-before-a-race-sleep.

Race Morning.  The Hubs and I are grateful for our babysitter who can come at 6am to our house to watch our kids so we can run races together.  We got to the race just 50 minutes before the starting gun time and were really confused to see only 15-20 cars parked. this the right place?  Turns out, most people parked somewhere else and ended up having to move their cars to where we parked.  This caused a lot of traffic getting into the correct parking lot.  Last year, they had volunteers directing cars.  This year, unfortunately, we didn't see anyone directing traffic.  I had friends call me on my cell, frantic, sitting in traffic, with just 15 minutes to the starting gun time.  Lesson so many people learned from this:  get to the race at least 1 hour before the start!

Getting to the race is the most stressful part of races for me because knowing me, I need to pee at least 2 times before a race.  Once I'm standing at the start line though, I'm good and ready to roll.

Despite the traffic, it was nice to wait for the start indoors - inside the airport terminal - AND be able to use restrooms, NOT porta potties.  The lines to the restroom wasn't long and race day packet pickup looked like a breeze.

Just a few of my mommy friends
Racing With Friends.  At this race, my two worlds collided - college friends and mommy friends.  It was fun meeting up with everyone when we could - in between restroom breaks, packet pickup, and gearing up.  I was excited to see and happy for 3 friends who are getting ready for their first 5K and 2 friends who are going to run their first 10K!  After just a few pre-race photos and a last stop at the restroom, I hear the 5 minute warning for the 10K start.

Start Line.  I couldn't find The Hubs at first.  I knew he was anxious about this race, his first 10k race, so I figured he's already lined up at the start.  I wanted to give him a hug and a kiss, and the mom in me wanted to tell him to be careful.  LOL.  He found me first so we lined up with the other runners and met up with friends running the 10K too.

Don't do this pre-race (wpclipart)
When the race director asked to take our caps off for the national anthem, I couldn't believe I thought, "crap, this is going to mess up my ponytail."  Umm, selfish thought, I know!  Of course, I took it off and showed respect, until I almost pulled my hamstring trying to stretch my quads (dumb dumb dumb to do before a race and during the national anthem!) so while the anthem was playing, I was shaking my leg off like crazy to loosen it up while everyone else was so still and respectful.  People must have thought I was nuts!

By the time I got over being so selfish and weird, the race started, and at that point, I realized I had lined up way too far up front. 

Mile 1:  People are passing me left and right.  I almost get swept away by the mass of speedy runners until I look at my Garmin and see 9:02 min./mile.  Whoa, Nelly!  Must stay around 10 min./mile if I want to finish strong.  Gosh was that hard!  9:17, 9:29, 9:09 - all within that first mile.  But I feel good, though! I keep reeling myself in, fighting to keep my legs from going fast ("fast" for me anyway).

Mile 1 split:  9:24 min./mile (CRAP!)

Mile 2:  Finally get my groove on during Mile 2.  Running on that tarmac was such a mind game.  You think you're slow but you're actually running fast.  It was hard to gauge my pace since there's not much around you but the tarmac, grass and trees in the distance.  I keep looking at my Garmin.  Everyone still keeps passing me, LOL.  I scold my body and really make myself go closer to 10 min./mile.

Mile 2 split: 9:57 min./mile. Much better.


Mile 3:  It's getting hot at this point. I end up stopping for just a few seconds to take a swig of water and feel better. I see The Hubs on his last lap towards the finish.  I couldn't help but think he must be hot, and I bet he didn't stop for any water.  I try to channel the cool swig of water to him as if that would help him.

Mile 3 split: 9:48

Mile 4:  After Mile 3, I knew I could go back to doing 9:45 to 9:30 pace. I couldn't believe I was halfway there. Still feeling good at this point.  I see The Hubs running the last 1.2 miles towards the finish and man does he look spent, but his pace is steady and strong.  (I think he's just so awesome and fast! lol).

Mile 4 split: 9:29.

Mile 5:  I had to take another swig of water after Mile 4 so I walk for a few seconds. Gosh it's getting hot.  I'm feeling tired.  I'm thinking now would be a good time to GU.  I start thinking about how I prefer the longer races, then I switch to thinking about a song (I ran without music), grasping for a song to keep me moving.  "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri comes to mind, and I'm like, "what?!"  I start praying (really!) just to keep my mind off of that feeling of slowly slipping into a wall.  Yikes!

Mile 5 split: 9:25

Shoelaces untied! (
Mile 6:  I try to stay at a 9:30 min/mile pace. I take deeper breaths. I start to think, man, I could REALLY use some GU right now. Then I notice my left shoelace has come undone. CRAP! Should I stop to tie them or not?   I look at my Garmin and when I see I could get under 60 min., I decide to keep going.  "Please don't trip, please don't trip, please don't trip now.  No, not in front of these people," I keep chugging along.  I push my pace to 9 min./mile for the last 0.5 miles.

Mile 6 split: 9:03.

Last 0.2 Freakin' Mile.  I could see the finish line and think, "OMG, OMG, I want to stop, NO, I'm SO CLOSE.  Thiiiiiis close!!  Can't slow down now!  Please don't trip, please don't trip, please don't trip, ok, if I trip, I'm going to dive for the finish line strips."  I empty the tank, someone shouts my name, The Hubs is cheering for me. I cross the finish line without tripping, YES! I walk off that OMG-I'm-spent-leave-me-alone feeling.

Last 0.2 mile split: 8:35.

Celebrating PRs.  The Hubs won first place in his age group and since this was his first 10K race, it's an automatic PR for him!  So proud of him!  I PR'd by 12 minutes!!! Couldn't believe it!   What a great feeling, meeting my goal time (which was under 60 min.!).

Official 10K time:  58:32:35, 11th out of 22 in my age group, 9:26 min/mile pace.  NEGATIVE split for this middle of the pack girl!  So happy.

I was so happy for my friends who finished their first 5K and 10K races.  I was happy for friends who ran without taking any walking breaks.  I was happy for friends who got PRs.  I was happy for friends who placed in their age group.  I was happy for The Hubs.  Cannot be more proud of him.  Love that man.

Overall, what a great small race.  I think the people you race with makes the difference.  I saw so many familiar faces, it was awesome.  I hope BRATS continue to offer this race again and again.   Definitely a race The Hubs and I will do every year.  Oh and nice bling this year.  Thanks, BRATS!

(NOTE:  Photo of medal and tech shirt coming tomorrow.  The photos I took today came out really dark, so hoping tomorrow I'll get better lighting!)

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