Marathon Fail… Twin Cities Marathon

Seriously, why do I do this to myself???????  For some reason it really sounded like a good idea, not sure why because the first one didn’t go so well.  I honestly thought, experience would be on my side and I’d do much better than the last time…  I was wrong and I need to remember to stop believing in myself 😉

I could blame a lot of things on another failed marathon attempt, but I take full responsibility…  I am not meant to run 26.2 miles, and I understand that now.  I truly enjoy running and like seeing what I can do (obviously it’s not marathons).

I don’t mean for this post to be a pity party, this isn’t an Attention Seeking post.  I’m not looking for uplifting words like “At least you finished” or “That’s impressive, I would never do that”, or “Lots of people wouldn’t have even started”.  All of those are true sentiments and I appreciate people’s candor, however, it was awful and I’m not all that impressed with myself.  But that’s just how I feel about me… I’d be super proud of anyone else 🙂

My training started off really well, I created a spreadsheet with a variety of runs (hills, speed work, long runs) as well as lifting/cross-training days, rest days and stretching days.  About a month in it pretty much went out the window; I have the worst immune system ever!!  I got a really bad cold in May, June & September… getting chest congestion while trying to train for a marathon really don’t work well and my training got completely off track.  I thought after the June sickness I’d be able to make up for lost mileage and I was actually doing pretty well…  until I got sick again in September, a little less than 2 weeks before the marathon.  And on top of getting sick, at a Bachelorette Party (a week before the marathon) a drunken cowboy stepped on my foot and it was swollen and badly bruised… shoes hurt (yep, I’m making excuses, didn’t I say I take full responsibility? 😉 ).

I was actually debating not even doing the marathon.  My husband and I tried (well I tried, Matt kindly ran with me) running a week before the marathon… 1.5 miles and I thought I was going to die!  I gave myself til the end of the week before I made a decision.  Luckily, I had to go on an antibiotic for a procedure I was having a week later and it cleared up my cold/chest congestion.

I sought out a friend from grade school, I knew was also running to see if she wanted to run together.  We don’t have the same running style (I like to do a run/walk on long runs, where she likes to just run); however, we were both in similar positions.  Neither one of us were very confident in our running abilities in this race, but were happy to be running with someone and knew together we could probably do ok 🙂

I wasn’t sure how well I’d do not doing the run/walk, so I told her I’d run as far as I could before I needed to start doing the run/walk.  I was able to run half the race with her and was doing really well.  I was on track to finishing in a 4:15-4:30, which was my goal 🙂  I was really proud of myself, however, my first mistake was either not starting out doing the run/walk or stopping at the half-way point to start the run/walk…

By mile 16, I could barely run and by mile 18 I couldn’t run at all.  I had thought about quitting and it didn’t help that my mp3 player ran out of juice; but I really wanted my shirt and my medal (whether or not I felt I deserved it…).  I decided to take it one mile at a time.  It was helpful that I had friends/family at mile 16 and 22 and they were also waiting for me at the finish line.

A part of me is glad that I walked a good portion of it, just because of the fact that I felt really good at the end.  I didn’t feel sick, my body didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  I would have prefered to finish sooner than I did, but I finished 🙂  All-in-all, I didn’t do too horribly considering the fact that I walked almost 10 miles and only finished an hour past my goal… Bright Side!!!!!

Lesson Learned: No Marathons, Only Halfs!  🙂

On another note…

Matt, his Grandpa, Uncle, and Cousin all ran the 10 miler!!!  They all did such a great job 🙂  The race was fun for everyone and I’m glad to have been able to share it with so many amazing people!

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4th of July: Food, Fun & Footfalls

We enjoyed a wonderful 4 day weekend at the lake over the holiday!  Matt and I both had Friday off so we were able to spend the long holiday together (which I can’t even tell you the last time we were in the same place for 4 whole days).

Melvin really enjoyed the car ride up to the lake 😉

We got to the lake late Wednesday night and enjoyed some food and drinks with our family and friends before heading to bed. I’m kind of a loser at the lake or on vacation in general.  I like going to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up at a decent time, so I can enjoy the WHOLE day.  I don’t like sleeping until 11 or staying up til 2am, it throws off my whole schedule, plus sleeping in just wastes sunshine hours.

Thurday morning, I went for a great 4 mile run.  It’s so refreshing running at the lake and I enjoyed every minute (of my 32 minute run… 8 min/miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  can you tell I’m pretty proud??  and I got the same time as Matt 🙂 ).

We enjoyed laying out and boat rides all day Thursday and Friday!  I read a few good books The Heist, Second Honeymoon, & Now You See Her, and enjoyed the sunshine (with SPF 30 🙂 ).

Holidays aren’t the same without treats, Right?!  I made 2 different kinds; S’more Rice Krispie treats for us and then 4th of July Rice Kripsie Treats for the party!

IMAG0437mlFor the 4th of July Rice Krispie Treats; each layer needs:
5 C. Rice Krispies

3 TBSP butter

1 bag marshmallows

Melt butter and marshmallows (for red and blue layers, add 30 drops of food coloring), stir in cereal.  Press into sprayed 9×13″ pan, making sure layers are even.

We had a great holiday weekend!  I think we often forget that 4th of July and other holidays come at a price and that we are lucky to be able to have these parties and gatherings.  I’m thankful for everyone involved in the military who makes everything we do in America possible. I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

Memorial Weekend Fun

We were blessed to be able to spend some of the Memorial Weekend holiday with my family (and extended family/friends).  I’ve mentioned before that we have some really good family friends that we often spend holidays with, Memorial Weekend being one of the many 🙂

We drove up Friday after work and got to the Lake around 9:30, I unpacked all the food and then hit the hay…  I was tired and needed to get up in the morning for a run.  Around 7:30 I was ready for my run.

Memorial Weekend is always hit or miss when it comes to weather.  And lately MN/WI hasn’t had the greatest track record for the season, I mean we had a blizzard the beginning of May for goodness sakes.  However, it was shaping up to be a pretty good day, and I wasn’t prepared at how nice it was actually going to be on my run.  I’m the worst judge of how warm it is or going to be once I start running… I wore my capris and a long-sleeve running shirt; probably could have gone with a t-shirt….  Oh well!

My plan was to do an 8ish mile loop, doing 7:1s (run 7 min, walk 1 min).  The area around where the lake house is, is really gorgeous.  Very scenic and full of nature!  It was so surreal to be out on the open road with just the noises of nature (and a few passing cars).  It was very refreshing to not have the noises/smells of the city in the or seeing the litter on the side of the road.  However, in the back of my mind I kept thinking “What do I do if I see a bear?”  Luckily, the only creatures I saw were birds and the poor road-killed turtle 😦  Last year, I did see a fox on my run which was pretty cool!

Later in the day everyone had finally arrived and we decided to head over to Stone Lake, WI and visit School House Wines.  This is the cutest little wine shop, that we often visit when at the lake!  It has a wide variety of wines at affordable prices.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and we were able to sit out on the patio and enjoy a few cocktails/wines/spirits 🙂

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Well, I turned 29 a few weekends ago…  I don’t know why people worry so much about getting older.  I look at it as an opportunity, it’s another year to work toward an accomplishment or it’s a time to reflect, to look back and know that you achieved something in the last year!  It’s so exciting to see the way your life changes and how you evolve.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your  years.

Abraham  Lincoln

In the last year, I have (with the help of the hubby by my side):

–moved across the country

–broadened my career working with kids with Autism and loving every minute of it!!!!

–ran 2 15Ks, a 10 miler, 4+ half marathons, and 1 marathon

–went to Disney World, Sea World, Discovery Cove & Universal Studios

–met wonderful people along the way and reconnected with friends back home

I can’t wait to see what next year brings!! 🙂

How did I celebrate?

I ran the Get in Gear Half Marathon 🙂  Some people say I’m crazy, but I thought it would be nice to accomplish something on my birthday.  I realize I’ve already ran plenty of half marathons, but for some reason running a race on your birthday is somehow different.

What a beautiful day it was too!  There’s nothing like being outside for a run on a gorgeous day 🙂  I was blessed to have my husband and mom come see me run, as well as one of Matt’s cousin who met us at the finish line!!!

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The day before the race I headed to the Mall of America to get my packet, and to hang out and relax before the race 🙂

Before running, fashion stores would always catch my eye… not anymore; I see a running store and make a bee line!!! 🙂  Super glad I made that bee line because I found Lululemon!  I didn’t realize what store I was in, until I had purchased my clothes and looked at the receipt.  The store only had the logo over the door and I didn’t have a clue as to where I was.  I had heard of Lululemon before but never thought to shop there.  So glad I found this store, cause I got some super tanks!

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This is their Practice Freely Tank, I bought it in green, blue and yellow (in size 4, and seems to be the perfect size for me) 🙂  They are super comfortable and airy.  I have noticed that the tank part will stretch out a little, however the sports bra part stays nice and snug!

After the race, we headed home and got ready for a friend’s surprise birthday party!!  It was a 1920’s theme, murder mystery party 🙂  How exciting??  It was a very fun night, and a great way to celebrate!!

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Half or Full?

You are all probably thinking I’m going to start a philosophical question about life and how we perceive things.  Or Pessimistic vs. Optimistic vs. Realistic…

You would be wrong… I’m talking Marathons 🙂  Half or Full?

I keep debating with myself if I want to do another full marathon…  I keep going round and round.  Here are my For and Against reasons:

For: A part of me would really like to try another marathon.  I don’t believe the Disney World Marathon was a good example of a true marathon.  Definitely not saying that it’s not a real marathon in any way, but it’s more for fun and entertainment.  Stopping for photo ops with characters added an extra hour and half on to my time, so a part of me wants to see if I’d do better if it was all about running.  Knowing what I know now, I believe I’d be better prepared for a marathon if I chose to do one again.

Against: I’m afraid to fail…  I know I finished the marathon, and I know starting and finishing is a great accomplishment.  However, I was really disappointed in myself for not being better prepared.  I was disappointed in my time and having to walk the last 6 miles.  What if that happens again?  I don’t want to let myself down again.  I know I can run a half marathon, I’ve done it numerous times… Heck, I even ran 14 miles today just because 🙂  A part of me wants to just keep doing 1/2s and get better with my time, maybe do more difficult courses.

There are 2 marathons that I have been thinking about doing: the Twin Cities Marathon or the Mankato Marathon both in October.  I think both would be great runs and the time of year is fantastic. Training would be awesome cause I’d be able to do all of my training outdoors, which was the downfall of my previous marathon.

I took to Facebook to get feedback from friends and family.  The comments were great about the Twin Cities Marathon, everyone said it was a wonderful course, great for beginning marathoners 🙂

Well, it’s decided Twin Cities Marathon it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m really proud of my decision to try another marathon!  Running has become a great part of my life and I continue to want to challenge myself!  I’d really like to try some more races nearby that offer scenic courses and are fun; if you have MN, WI, IA, ND, SD, NE races you know of that are awesome, please let me know!

Disney Marathon: What Was I Thinking?!?! (Part 2)

Where was Fat Amy when I decided to sign up for a marathon?!?!

I could have said, “I think I’d like to try a marathon.”

and she’d say:

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This is what I was thinking at about mile 17!  Seriously, who the hell let me sign up for a marathon!

It was starting to get super hot and my legs were starting to cramp, but I kept going.  I just wanted to get to the Magical 20 mile I had kept hearing about, from there I didn’t really care how well I did!

The Wide World of Sports complex was next.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this area cause there were tons of turns just to try and make add miles into the course.  I called Matt around mile 18 to let him know I wasn’t doing very well, I felt like I was letting him down cause I was hurting.  I kept apologizing because I knew he would be waiting a while for me at the finish… A few stops to stretch and more walking added into my run/walk when finally there was the Magic 20 mile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I was hurting pretty bad by this point…  I was just trying to get from one mile to the next, one step at a time.  Hollywood Studios was next on the path to the finish!  The park was open by this time and a part of me wanted to run just so the people watching would think better of me (how vain!).  But then I realized I didn’t care and continued walking, with a few stops for more character pics!

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Leaving Hollywood Studios, I knew the end was near… Unfortunately it felt a little farther than the 2 miles it actually was.  To be honest, continuing on the course and hearing people cheering you on, giving you hope started to overwhelm me and I was almost to tears cause I was tired, hot, my legs hurt and I just wanted to be done.  Plus, my mp3 player and Nike watch died….

Epcot, I’m here!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Finally!!!!!!!!!  As much as I wanted to finish I still wanted to make sure I made the most of my experience and continue to get those pictures!

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Almost there, I think I can, I think I can… just a little further!  And finish line!

725175-1103-0034sCan you tell how excited I am to be done?  That might be pain, & excitement you see in my eyes 🙂  Finish line along with that medal really made me happy to be done!

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You can’t beat all those memories!!!!!!!!!!

When I signed up for the Disney World Marathon in April of last year I thought it was a really good idea 🙂  I figured it was the 20th Anniversary of the marathon so why not?  I thought if I was ever going to run a marathon, Disney was the way to do it!

I was both right and wrong 🙂  I love the Disney runs, they are really fun and enjoyable.  But on the other hand, 26.2 miles is really far and a long time to run.

When I started training I felt it was going really well.  But then the move from FL to MN plus being sick with a bad cold for a good 2 weeks in November really threw off my training.  However, I was still able to get in 20 miles before the race.  So I thought I would do fairly well…

Everyone kept telling me, “If you can run 20 miles, you can run 26.2; the adrenaline will get you the rest of the way” or “You can train on a treadmill as long as you increase your incline between 1.5 & 2.5.”  They are liars!!!  No, you can’t fully train on a treadmill cause it doesn’t prepare you for what you might encounter on the road.  And no, you can’t run 26.2 if you’ve ran at least 20 cause guess what, my adrenaline ran out halfway through.

The experience of running a Disney race is completely worth it in the end.  Even though my legs were cramping really bad by mile 20, I had to walk the last 6 miles and the sun was beating down on me, being able to say ‘I did it!” was all that mattered in the end.

Thanks Disney 🙂

Disney World Marathon (Part 1)

I was pretty pumped from the previous day at Disney World; getting to go on rides and taking pictures with characters.  I had my costume, and I was ready!!!!!

Remember that Disney World commercial from quite a few years ago, those kids were trying to sleep but they were too excited to sleep… yea that was me the night before the race!  Even though I couldn’t sleep I somehow I felt rested when I woke up at 2am to get ready and get to the bus at a decent time.

I sat next to a nice young man (I say that like I’m 60.. 🙂 ) on the bus ride and we had a nice chat about running and our uncertainty about the race.  On the walk to the prerace festivities I met some fellow Minnies, who were super friendly and encouraging!!

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The prerace festivies were in full effect when I got there!!!  Pumping music, tons of people and some photo opporutnities. Great way to get yourself excited to run a marathon!!!!!

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Finally there were announcements letting us know it was time to start making our way to our corrals!  Picture thousands of people being herded to a specific area… thankfully there was a speical someone encouraging us along the way!

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Another port-a-potty stop and I was ready to get into my corral!!!  My nerves were out in full by this point, I was so nervous!  As I was waiting at the front of my corral, I just kept thinking, ‘I don’t think I can do this!’  I had to tell myself, ‘Finishing is all that matters, you trained hard and are pretty ready for what’s about to happen.’

Corral A & B had left and we were next, as I walked with the rest of Corral C to the start line, I was eager to start, I was pumped and ready!  I saw the race people counting down, 10, 9, (holy crap), 8, 7, 6, (I think I need to pee again), 5, 4, 3 (Is it too late to not do this?), 2, 1 Fireworks and Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Well, that settled it, I was off!

I felt really good, and had to remind myself to keep a nice pace cause I had a long way to go 🙂  A few miles down the road & on the way to the Magic Kingdom, I met some pirates & a few characters from the Nightmare before Christmas

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I love the run from the Magic Kingdom entrance into the park!  There’s such anticipation winding through the parking lots and past the shuttle bus stops; there’s so many people along the way to cheer you on plus being able to see Space Mountain and Cinderella’s castle off in the distance just makes you want to get there faster!!!  When you enter the park; you enter from the side, you can hear the cheering but can’t see anything til you round that corner and see tons of cheering people and then THE CASTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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There’s so many characters in the Magic Kingdom!

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Love seeing Mickey & Minnie at the Castle!!!  Once you run through the castle there’s even more people to cheer you on; it’s so exciting!  And if you’re lucky the Disney cameras might capture a great photo of you coming out of the castle!!!

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There were a few more friendly characters to see before heading towards the Disney Race Track.

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The Race Track was filled (FILLED) with antique and classic cars!  I’m not a huge car person, but it was still pretty cool to see all those cars lined up on the track, including this gem:

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It was off to the Animal Kingdom!  By this point the sun was up, but I was surprised to notice that the route was shaded and felt pretty cool!  The breeze was nice and I was still feeling good!  I couldn’t believe how many characters were out to support all of us runners!

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The Animal Kindgom was only the halfway point…  Not going to lie, I was wishing I would have just done the 1/2 marathon.  I was starting to get really hungry and tired; thankfully there were bananas ahead and so I kept going….