Marathon Inspiration

 

Tomorrow is the one month countdown to my first marathon. Since I missed 6 weeks of crucial training, I have been a little down/nervous about it. This morning, I watched last night’s episode of the Biggest Loser. I was excited about this episode because every year it is a great motivation. It was the episode where the final four contestants run a marathon.

     Every season I watch, I cry, I get inspired. BUT, this is the first season I have watched where I have been personally training for a marathon. I can say this really was the pick me up I needed today! My two favorite contestants, Patrick and Ada, are part of the final 4. Ada is awesome and so strong and competitive, and Patrick is a Mississippi boy from about an hour or so away from where I live. I have been rooting for those two the whole time!

A little background:

Patrick started the show at 400 pounds. He is 27 years old and married with two little boys.

before

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now, running the marathon with fellow contestant Frado.

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Also, we have awesome Ada before at 278 pounds:

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and now running the marathon:

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Patrick finished the marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes (approx) and Ada finished in 4 hours 39 minutes, smashing the female record for the Biggest Loser marathon. Frado, the 3rd contestant finished just after Patrick, and Elizabeth, the 4th contestant, who had only run a long distance of 8 miles before the race (a stupid move) finished in 7 hours and something.

It was so inspiring hearing their stories and seeing their progress, I thought, if they can go from their previous weights to current weights, which is still not where they want to be, all in 3 months, then I can do it too.

Yes, I know I am undertrained, and coming back from an injury, but my goals do not revolve around time. I just want to FINISH and HAVE FUN. It is such a great accomplishment in itself to run a marathon, even if your time isn’t what you wanted it to be. I need to stop being so hard on myself and realize I have come so far in this past year of distance running, and I should be proud of myself.

As a blogger it’s easy to get caught up in PR’s and what other bloggers are running. Yes, I may be slow, but I have PR’ed in all of my half marathons (4 of them) and now I am a month out from my first marathon, all within a year. I think that is definitely something to be proud of! So, as Biggest Loser says…What have YOU done today to make you feel proud?

(by the way…that IS the questions of the day!)

 

Be sure to watch the finale next Tuesday!

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Runner’s Christmas Gift Guide

 

Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa just called me and wants to know what I think would be good Christmas gifts for all the runners on the nice list this year! I told him I would ask my readers, which I did, and here are the responses you gave me!

 

Katie has a Garmin, ipod armband, sunblock, and other small essentials on her list.

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One Small Town Girl says reflection gear is the way to go.  Particularly Brooks Nightlife hat and LED flashers as well as sweaty bands.

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Katy has Garmin, Fuel (Chomps, Stingers, Gel, etc), socks, a good sports bra, running clothes (shirts, pants, etc), iTunes gift card (to download music for runs), and gift cards for running stores on her list

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Paige is all about CEP compressions socks and the new Timex GPS watch.

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Stacy says a race entry would be a great gift, along with running gloves, a hat, Chomps, itunes card, and crazy socks.

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Michelle agrees with the others that a Garmin is the way to go, as well as a

Running Skirts skirt, Nike capris, GU Performance Pack, CEP Compression socks, and a Spibelt

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Courtney is a new runner, and she thinks any clothing items (skirts, shirts, socks, shoes, etc) would benefit as well as a spibelt, garmin, gift certificates, and running food related items or water bottles.

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Ali swears by Lululemon (of which I sadly own none of but would love to!!)

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Kimberly has a great list formed:

* A new pair of running shoes

*  nice running socks or compression socks

* compression knee shorts

*Road I.D.

*I love receiving different kinds of gels/fuel to try

 

Crystal has one of my favorite wishes on her list, an Allied Steel hanger for all of your race bling. I have been drooling over these for a long time now!!

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Elizabeth has CEP compression sleeves at the top of her list

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Lily thinks a Garmin and Nike tempo shorts should be on your list.

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Bethany enjoys trail running and wants you to check out runningfunky.com to see what they have to put on your wish list.

 

Jen has some great stocking stuffer ideas including GU, Body Glide, and running socks.

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Everyone came up with some great ideas that I am sure any runner would love to have! My personal favorites I would love to unwrap would be

-Allied Metal Hanger

Lululemon Gift Card

-Compression socks

-GU

-iTunes Gift card

Runningskirts.com skirt

-Race Registration

 

Talk about make me a happy girl! I hope this gift guide help you formulate your own wish list as well as help with shopping for your fellow running friends and family! Happy Shopping!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing on this list?

 

*I was not paid to post about these products nor was I given any free products to write about for this particular post. (As much as I would love to have gotten some of these cool things!)

Mardi Gras RnR Race Recap!

I had a BLAST this weekend! The weather was beautiful for the race, I met my goal, and the whole weekend was fun. I feel like I can’t recap without telling some of the details of the weekend and showing pictures, so I hope yall don’t mind I add that in, too! Here we go!

Friday night we drove down and stayed at my parents house, Karen and her husband Jason stayed too. Then Saturday we drove downtown, checked into our hotel and headed to the expo!



we went back to the hotel to drop our stuff off then shopped in the french quarter
front of our hotel

race goodies

we shopped, ate at the riverwalk then walked back to the room and tried to get some sleep!
the next morning we got up at 5 and at about 5:15 I heard sirens, and a band and looked out the window and saw a 2nd line band leading a large group of people already haeding to the start. We were still in the room getting ready! oops.

ready to go!

we walked down to where everyone was hanging out until we could get into corrals at 6:30.

it was a beautiful sunny day but slightly chilly, but it was great for running once we got going.

we were in corral 13 of about 21 maybe. you can see the start curved to the left, see the balloon arch? that was the start!

love this one!

there was a wave start and they let a corral go every 3 minutes or so. we didn’t start till 29 minutes after the start!

when we got close I started getting pumped and singing and dancing and embarassing myself. Then it was pretty quiet, and the announcer made a joke about Drew Brees being there, and so i SCREAMED rally loud, WWWAAAHHH! DREW BREES, WHERE! I LOVE HIM!
some people laughed and some looked at me like I was crazy. It was funny.
yay here we go!

there were bands at every mile

We started out at a good pace, not super fast, but fast enough, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. It takes me about a mile to warm up but after that I felt great and we kept a great pace for us.
Karen and I were talking and I was taking pics of the pretty houses to post for yall. I love these old houses.


love there two

this poor girl. Her running skirt was about 3 sizes too small, and it was riding up her butt

we hit the 5k mark at 33 minutes, which I was happy with because I ran my first 5k 9 months ago and my time was 33 minutes so I was stoked this was my split on a half marathon!

there were a couple times the half and full courses split in different directions

this was about mile 4

run Karen!

there were beads all in the trees from the Mardi Gras parades

at mile 4.5 we stopped to take some GU and drink water so we stopped to walk a few seconds while we partook haha. That was when this guy stopped behind us and says “I have been following you ladies for over 4 miles, I am not a stalker yall are just keeping a good pace” Well, alright then! haha
we kept on grooving, and then Karen’s heart decided to speed up and go crazy so we stopped for a minute or two until it stopped. We hit the 10 mark around 1:08 and miles 7 and 8 flew by and we headed back downtown on magazine

St. Louis Cathedral is to the left (out of the pic)

cafe du monde is on the right with the green awning

about this time, I got an AWFUL cramp in my right side, like someone was stabbing me. We stopped and walked for a minute, then it went away. at mile 9 we got to the GU station, and walked for a sec while we ate that and got some water. Soon after, the cramp came back, and it was the most AWFUL pain! I could barely walk. I tried to stretch, change my breathing, it was awful. I kept apologizing to Karen! It went away after a minute or two and we were off again and I am happy to say it never cam back.

Mile ten is where it started to suck. I have no pics till the end bc I was hurting! My fet ached and I was wearing down. My longest training run was 10 miles so I was not surprised this happened at the ten mile mark! I looked at my garmin, did some math and realized if I wante to hit my 2:30 goal, we could NOT slow down!
I saw the museum of art ahead and knew we were withing a couple miles bc the Crescent city classic ended at the same place. we took a right and I saw we had to go around a lake, but it was a trick! when you ot to the lake you had to go RIGHT down a road, then back up THEN aroun the lake. What a tease! This is when Karen’s knee started hurting so we stopped for a minute, got some water, and then kept going.
We got to mile 12, and I realized we were only a mile away! I passed a girl groaning with every breathe and I wanted to turn and look at her and say “I feel your pain!” I was so close to my goal and was pushing myself so hard. We could hear the finish line music, so close! The last mile was TORTURE! We rounded a corner and had two tenths left and we started into a flat out sprint! We ran about a 9:20 pace and crossed the finish line at the same time. It seemed to go in slow motion. As soon as we crossed we yelled WE DID IT and hugged. I was SO HAPPY to be done I could cry! Not only did we reach the goal but we ran under it by 2 minutes. we ran a 2:28:07!!
sorry this is blurry but I was moving!
We got our medals and our food, took our pics with the backdrop and met Karen’s husband and then went and found my husaband. He ran a 2:14. I was so proud!
we sat down and it felt so good to sit!

the music stage. we left before sister hazel and cowboy mouth came on b/c it was 10:30 and they were not coming on till 2:30 and later!

after party

we walked back to the shuttle, then walked back to the hotel to shower and check out then we headed back to my parents for lunch, then drove back to MS and got home about 8:00. WHEW! It was great but so tiring. I am sore but not near as bad as after the Disney half! It was a great experience, and a very organized race, I highly reccommend it to anyone! I leave you with one last photo:

Race eve

Happy race day eve! We got up this morning, took our time, came downtown, checked into the hotel. Then we went to the expo and walked in the French quarter. Then we walked to the riverwalk and ate and hung out. It was a nice relaxing day. Now we are in the room winding down before bed.
The race is at 7 in the morning! I am getting nervous! I will try to remember to Twitter my time when I am done so either follow me on Twitter or cone visit the blog for Twitter updates. My phone will be in the room though so it will be a little while.
Hope everyone has a good night! We should have good race weather! I can’t wait!!!

Playlist

Tomorrow I am running 8 miles, in the cold, and I am SO excited because I have a new ipod playlist I am hoping will give me a little boost. Here is just a sampling of some of my fun songs!

Bananas-Gwen Stefani
Crazy-Britney Spears
Fighter-Christina Aguilera
Hey Baby-Gwen Stefani
Stronger- Kanye West
Stomp- Kirk Franklin
Life of Praise-Casting Crowns
Livin La Vida Loca-Ricky Martin
My Life Would Suck Without You- Kelly Clarkson
Party in the USA- Miley Cyrus
Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy- Big n Rich
SexyBack- Justin Timberlake
Sin Wagon- Dixie Chicks
Single Ladies- Beyonce
So What- Pink
Womanizer- Britney Spears
Work It- Missy Elliot

Ya ya I know it is kind of a random mix, but I am going to try it out. All these songs have a good beat, so hopefully I will run fast! Any additions I should make?
I am going to wear my nice warm long sleeve running shirt from runningskirts.com tomorrow.It keeps me ssoo warm. I will take pictures of it tomorrow. I highly reccommend it! I am also going to wear my C9 champion pants I got at target. You will just have to come back tomorrow to see!

Effort

I have this poster hanging up in my classroom. I am big on motivational kind of stuff like that, and a lot of those types of things really apply to school. I have looked at the poster 100 times but today I REALLY looked at it.

Effort. You can’t become a better runner, spouse, parent, employee, without effort. I tell my basketball girls all the time that they aren’t going to just wake up one day and be a good basketball player. They have to work at it, and put in the time and EFFORT to become great.
I think the hardest of the 4 on the poster for me is the last one. Making the most of every opportunity. I squander a lot of opportunities to be better at things but especially my running. Sometimes I can just be flat out lazy. I am really trying to work on this. I can’t let the small stuff get in my way of me running/working out. Yes there are days I literally just need a break and can’t do it, usually when I am so mentally tired. But, there re a lot of times I am just being lazy! Anyone with me? So. Imprint this poster in your mine. Give your best effort. don’t give up or give in. Make the most of every opportunity. Achieve your goals through commitment and hard work. You can do it!

I did however reward myself today with McAlister’s sweet tea. I have been so good lately with my liquid calories, so I thought I deserved it.

Bella said she wants some.

On a workout note, it is pouring rain and 45 degrees so no run for me, and I am achy from my good run yesterday. But I am about to hop on the elliptical, and put forth some EFFORT!

Lots of reading to do!

So I never got my February issue of runners world, so I had to e mail them and complain, and I just got it today…the day the March issue came in! So now I have lots of reading to catch up on. I love magazines, and I like to run, so a running magazine is right up my alley.I have flipped through a few differnt ones and this one is by far my favorite. I also love www.runnersworld.com, they have a great forum and training and advice.
It is freezing rain/sleeting outside….so obviously no run for me, glad I ran yesterday! May do eliptical and arms later. Hope everyone is having a good evening! Now go check out runner’s world.com…I am going to go read and relax!

Change of Scenery

We went to the New Orleans area this weekend to visit my parents. I really enjoy going there for many reasons, one being it’s nice to have a change of scenery for running. They live in a huge neighborhood so there are so many different paths you can take.
First of all, this is what we drove down in. yuck.

We had a good time hanging out, Saturday I shopped with my mom, and then Saturday night we were huge gluttons at the casino buffet! So, felling quite guilty this morning, we got up and ran in the 32ish degree weather and wind. bbrr. Our goal was 7 miles but only made it 5 b/c it was so cold and my nose was running so badly! BUT, the good news is, the run felt great, I felt like I could have gone on forever. I ran the last half mile at a 9:30 pace which is super good for me, especially after running 4.5 miles!

down their street

we ran by the marina. There is a river through the side of the neighborhood.

The sun did come out but it was still sssoo cold and windy. But that’s ok, I am just glad we did something! It was so nice to have some different houses to look at, too!

Oh also I got two new sports bras at Target, they were on sale, and a pair of running pants. Yay!

Back to work tomorrow, I will run again Tuesday. Supposed to be 60, YES!!!

The Dangers of Running

Most of you are probably going “huh? running is good for you? how is it dangerous?” Well, if you don’t run, I am here to tell you, be careful, it can be hazardous to your health! Let me give you some examples:
Dogs. yes dogs. We have a leash law in our neighborhood, but does that stop people from letting their dogs run amuck like crazy kids in a toy store? Of course not! Who follows the rules anyway!!! I am here to tell you, I am very observant when I run, and am always on the lookout, and searching for the closest car that I can potentially jump on the roof of. What is even more scary is when there are dogs inside of electric fences that you don’t know exist (the fence not the dog.) There is one particular house with such a fence, and a very large, scary, dog. One day, I was minding my own business, running on the sidewalk, and said dog comes sprinting out of nowhere, right towards me. As I went flying into the street, nearing peeing my pants, the dog suddenly stops dead in his tracks. This is when notice…the collar…UG. So i totally just freaked out for nothing. I was NOT amused.
Next danger is signs. I have the story of my best friend for this one. She was running one day, no one else was home, and she somehow managed to trip on a yard sign that was sticking out. She fell and cut up her hands and legs and broke a bone in her foot and had to hobble a long way back home on her poor broken foot since no one was home to come get her. Isn’t that sad? I am now very careful of stop signs, yard signs, and the like. I kind of like my feet and do not want to break them.
Third danger is the road itself. This story did not happen to my same friend but to someone she knows. A lady was out walking in the dark one morning, tripped on a part of the road, face planted, and had to get stitches in her face! WOW! I would not only feel stupid but ouch!!! Poor woman.
The dark reminds me of my next danger, well…the dark. This is hazardous for me more mentally than anything. I ama chicken. I do not like the dark. Therefore, I do not run alone in the dark. Creepy things live in the dark/woods! Talk about giving me nightmares! The physical dangers of dark are also very scary because if you are running on the road, in the dark, NOT wearing reflective gear (shame shame) you could very easily be hit by a not so fun thing, yes, a car.
The last thing I want to discuss is regional scary things. For instance, I was home for Christmas in Louisiana, running with my mom next to a swamp.Let me tell you, the entire run I kept my eyes on that watery mess just waiting for an alligator to jump out and eat me! Or a snake. Obviously a snake couldn’t eat me, but, you get the idea. I kept looking for things I could climb on if necessary. I have watched animal planet. I know how fast those things move! With that being said, what are some regional things that are dangers of running near you? I can think of some from other regions, but first want to see what others come up with before I list the ones I thought of.
On a side note, I think running is great, and the benefits largely outweigh the hazards, but I like to file things like this under the cabinet in my brain labeled “good to know” just in case that dog’s electric fence isn’t turned on….

SO running. I only ran 2 miles today. The wind was horrid and my nose was running so badly and I couldn’t breathe. awesome.
look at this pretty picture I took on my way to work. It was a gorgeous day, high of 61 and sunny!

Movin to the beat

Music. I am not a huge music person. I mean, I listen to it in the car, but that’s about it. I don’t have 100 million songs downloaded on my ipod nor do i care to go to 10 concerts a year. I love to sing, but I am more of a thinker when I am alone if that makes sense. Well, I used to run with my husband a lot, but now that he is working two jobs we rarely get to run together, so i need some motivation, something to keep me busy. I would love to get some fun uptempo songs on my ipod, go for a run, and see what happens with my time. So, whata re your favorite songs to run with? Please help me out here!

On a side note, THE SAINTS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!
Last night was awful just AWFUL! I went form happy, to angry, to excited, to freaking out! My blood pressure must have been skyrocketing! Oh, and then i cried at the end of regulation when the Vikings had the ball in FG range. Yes I CRIED! I kept saying it wasn’t fair, we deserved to win, etc. It was so pathetic. Then, I got mad at myself for crying over something so stupid and letting football have it’s magical powers over me! My poor husband asked if I will be like that for the superbowl and i said yes, and now he is fearing for his life! (I tend to yell, a lot..at anyone in range, for doing anything…so, word of warning, stay away!)

NFC CHAMPIONS! I am trying to resist the urge to buy NFC champion gear b/c i want SUPERBOWL gear!