I run like a big girl

So…

How did it go?

I’m upright. I’m walking. I am managing going up and down the stairs under The Big Top. It hurts a little but I’m going up and down those stairs. I guess you could say I did okay with the half marathon comeback.

The day before the race, the boys joined me at the expo in downtown Modesto because what else were they going to do that day? Help Hollie and Ben move when Bill is still not 100% cleared from heavy lifting? Watch Netflix and play video games? It’s a beautiful day, let’s hit the expo, see what else they have and grab some grub because this mother runner needs to fuel up.

Oh and take my picture please because I’m wearing a cute dress…Old Navy!…and I am having a great hair day.

While at the expo, I made the decision to drop out of my age division and sign up for the Athena division, basically the big girl division. This involves stepping on a scale in the expo much like The Biggest Loser without the dramatic music and giant numbers flashing above your head. Still one must step on a scale and everyone within ear shot now knows how much you weigh. It’s just a number, I tell myself. A number that is now bigger than my darling husband; who, naturally, dropped about 10 pounds so far during his post STEMI recovery. I can’t hate him because I am certain that I can run a half marathon and he can not. So I am now officially in the big girl race division.

It’s all about that bass.

Back home, it was time to check out the swag,

and get my gear ready because come 5:00 in the morning, it is not the time to be looking for those socks or ear buds.

This kind of pre-gaming probably wasn’t the best idea but I reasoned it was to support my favorite dance team and studio…a little wine tasting, a little bit of good food and a little bit of shopping…the perfect way to unwind those pre-race jitters.

Bedtime soon followed because 5 am was going to come soon enough.

See?

A little oatmeal, blueberries, yogurt and coffee…definitely coffee and I was ready to go.

This lady is why I signed up for this race in the first place. She told me there was wine. She also told me that it would be her first half marathon. I warned that after about 2 miles I would take off and settle into my pace but I promised us both that this would be fun. It would be. The atmosphere at the start was happy, friendly and very comfortable. We were among friends all looking forward to a beautiful morning run.

Soon enough, I ran past Sandra and settled into my own pace. It was faster than I had planned but I felt good and I felt strong. It was about 58° under the shady college neighborhood so I figured that I might as well keep going at this pace. I soon passed this dapper gentleman above who was race walking and literally passing runners of all shapes and sizes. He smiled at me as I passed him saying “Great day for a stroll isn’t it?”

“Perfect day!” I agreed as I waved and ran on past him. Later I found out that he was just 12 minutes behind me crossing the finish line race walking all the way.

At the 7 mile mark water station, I could see that I was not going to maintain the fast pace I was running. No problem. It was a comfortable pace for a few miles but definitely not the long haul. I was planning to finish strong. It has been five years since I last ran a half marathon race. There was no PR planned for the day; just a respectable finish under a 12 minute pace. So at 7 miles, I walked through the water station. Drank some water. Drank some electrolytes and had a small snack. Back to running settling in a 11 minute pace, I decided that I would walk through the water stations.

And I would most definitely smile and wave at the photographers. Big girls run and look good while doing it!

It got warm soon enough. Not as warm as I imagined that it would be. Still, it was warm. I’m glad that I chose to allow short walk breaks. I was encouraged that I stayed with most of the pack that I had been running with since the 5K mark. The race organizers were true to their word. This was a fast course. Soon enough my pack and I were on 9th Street trying to power through because we were but 2 miles from being done when zooming past us was the marathon winner, Jesus Campos! With a series of 5:35 miles, he definitely ran past us all like he stole something complete with a police escort. We all cheered in our pack and found the energy to push through.

I was literally 6 minutes behind the marathon winner and ahead of the female marathon winner. Yes, I ran the half marathon. Still, I was beyond thrilled with this time. Just 3 minutes slower than my personal best and after a five year hiatus this was super…even better than what I had expected too!

Even better, I did well running in the Athena/Big Girl division placing 9th out of a 30.

Big girls do run and run sometimes faster than even they imagine…at an 11:55 average pace!

I’ll gladly take it and celebrate it.

After an ice bath.

You think running 13.1 miles is tortuous and hard!

and a massage…

and resting while rocking these sweet Pro Compression socks.

and along with a lot of hydration, a little celebration, thanks to the Modesto Marathon.

be on the lookout

If you happen to find yourself in and around Modesto come Sunday morning, be on the lookout for these sweet running tights. I will be wearing them while running The Modesto Half Marathon.

Current weather conditions promise it to be a very bright, sunny and WARM race.

I might die!

Kidding.

Still I just might because I am not a hot weather runner. Ignore the the half marathons past…The American River Parkway Half, The Disneyland Half, The San Jose Rock and Roll Half…all ran in the heat. Those were more than 4 years ago and I STILL hated running in the heat then as I do now…perhaps even more now because hot flashes make it even hotter…take your breath away and perhaps suffocate you hotter.

Yes, I just might die.

But at least I know I trained well in spite of the last two runs of my training which absolutely, positively sucked. I have been hydrating well all week. And I have some sweet running tights and equally colorful kicks to run through Mo-town come Sunday morning!

If your in my neck of the woods I do hope that you will come cheer me on. I need lots of cowbell and cheering. I won’t promise a PR time like the inaugural Stockton Half or even negative splits like my very first half marathon race because I am 5 years older and slower and this is a comeback for me. But I do promise for you lots of fun cheering racers on and a beer and wine garden with food trucks galore at the finish line.

But if you aren’t in my neck of the woods and want to be a creeper still want to cheer me on you can sign up for instant updates of me out on the race course where you will receive start time, splits and finish time sent directly to your phone, email or Facebook.

photo dump 2-9-15 edition

I may not be writing much lately but I am taking pictures.

There is that at least.

Colds and flu season…sigh!

Bridesmaid gown acquired. Little sister will be pleased.

So apparently Starbucks and Match have joined together to help me meet someone? Um…no one tell my husband?

I might have a problem. Then again, most runners I know have a similar problem…worse even. By the way, I crushed that long run this past weekend and then I ate all the Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

Actually I did save some for the family including Hazel who declared it all to be delicious…except the mushroom.

Meanwhile, not even her favorite, Queen Elsa, could wake up Fallon to come join the family for dinner.

Cavity inducing bedtime moments like these are truly the best.

And this. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

I sure do hope so!

Happy Monday y’all!

 

resting can be hard

Moms, remember when our babies were brand new and the well-meaning, but not asked, advice givers would tell us to rest when the baby sleeps and we might have ignored that advice in the beginning?

Remember?!

The baby is FINALLY asleep!!! OMG! I can take a shower and maybe shave my legs and armpits and blow-dry my hair I might put on makeup and I am definitely putting on clothes, real clothes and then I will take care of that sink full of dishes oh and the laundry who knew an 10lb baby could create so much laundry and I will watch all the tv and write thank-you notes and…

WAAAAAHHHH!!!!

There you are, dripping wet and wrapped in a towel. 

Damn!

And after changing the baby and feeding the baby and changing the baby again and rocking the baby, you realize that you might have slept 30 minutes in the last 24 hours and it dawns on you…

You should have taken the time to rest/sleep when that little baby was down for maybe an hour…that same hour that you made plans to do all kinds of stuff that really didn’t need to be done because this tiny new baby never sleeps.

Oh what a blessed hour it would have been too.

You learn…eventually…hopefully…perhaps after the third baby. Then the well-meaning, but not solicited, advice givers will judge you as lazy.

Resting, when we should, can be hard. There’s so much to do. So little time.

About 5 weeks now into my formal half marathon training, which by the way is going GREAT, I come upon an extra rest day. A rest day on a night that I am working in the NICU.

Hmmm…

I always run a quick 3-4 miles before work because I do. It’s part of my getting ready for 12 hours of taking care of tiny humans all night long routine. Last Friday I ran 3½ miles before work and then ran 7½ miles Saturday afternoon with no problem at all. I need to run before work, I tell myself. There is no way I can get through my night with out a little run before.

Then the rational part of me, the part of me that actually listens (sometimes) to well-meaning, good advice reminds me of what Hal Higdon says about rest:

The most important day in any beginning or intermediate running program is rest. Rest days are as vital as training days. They give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Actually, your muscles will build in strength as you rest. Without recovery days, you will not improve.

But it’s hard!

I need the before work run!

It’s a Friday night.

The census is up.

The acuity is high.

I really need to run.

SIGH!

I need the rest day too. My body needs the rest day. My mind probably does too. Resting IS fitness training.

Fine, I’ll rest.

Apologies to my colleagues if I get all twitchy.

Resting can sometimes be so hard.

comeback

My comeback begins today.

Aw, yeah!

It’s only four years in the making, four years since I earned a DNF in what would have been my 7th endurance event and, well, I am kind of excited. Some might be concerned over whether or not I am able to do this to which I remind them that this isn’t my first endurance race and considering the fact I ran over 100 miles last month I have a pretty solid base to begin officially training.

March 29 here I come!

I’m ready bitches!

Hopefully on race day I won’t have food from my pre-run fueling stuck in my teeth because that would be very awkward.

Fabulous running tank from the fabulous, always inspiring PavementRunner.