The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Monday, January 28, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 6}



This past week I had some crazy ridiculous energy, like the kind of energy that I really wanted to bottle up and store for later because I was literally on fire all week long. And actually right about now I am wishing I had bottled some of that energy because this week I can already tell I’m dragging.

Here is how last week turned out:

Week 5 (Jan 21-27)
4.5 miles



Done + spin
BodyPump



Done
5 miles + hills


5.5 miles + hills
4.5 miles + yoga


Off
Off



Done
10 miles (with Rach)

Done
Off



Done
24+ miles


21 miles

Monday I wound up adding on a spin class because well I just had so much energy. I was afraid the 4.5 miles afterwards would be hard but I wound up doing 3 of those miles as marathon goal pace (10:30) and managed just fine.

On Tuesday I upped all of my weights at BodyPump and I really killed it in the bicep track by not missing a single rep! This is huge for me because biceps are the hardest exercises for me for some reason.

Wednesday I went out for my favorite run of the week and I really pushed my speed big time. I had my fastest run since November and it felt amazing! I did 5 consecutive hill sprints with recovery jogs in between but that was it, I didn’t stop between sets at all, this was a first for me. I even went an extra half mile after all of that; like I said, I was on fire! I also wore my Brooks PureConnects that night. I love my PureFlows so much but I have a pair of connects that I usually wear for treadmill runs and BodyPump class and I’ve been really wanting to see if they will work well for me on the streets as well. They seemed to work really well and I’m going to keep trying to use them for shorter distances throughout the week to build up to primarily using those.

Thursday I was actually feeling really good and still had some of that energy left from the week but I could just tell that my body needed a rest day and I had worked out so hard the 5 previous days and I decided that I should allow myself a rest day.

Friday was also a rest day.

Saturday Rachel and I ran a personal distance record for her and she did awesome! I am constantly impressed with just how great she has been doing in her training; she definitely far exceeds how I did for my first half marathon. We started out doing a 6:1 keeping about an 11:30 pace and after about 5 miles we started working up to 7:1, then 8:1 and finally about 10:1 until we reached the last mile which we ran out completely. Man that girl can bust out a last mile like it’s no one’s business! I am getting really excited for race day with her.

This coming week is actually going to be a bit slower for me workout-wise, I have several things going on in the evenings and a bunch of stuff to get done this week. I also haven’t been sleeping very well lately so I am going to try to focus on getting some rest this week.

Week 6 (Jan 28-Feb 3)
4.5 miles


Off
5 miles + hills
Off
Off
13.1 miles* ( 12 with Rach) *5 miles for 5 by the 5th *Virtual race series 13 in 2013
off
22+ miles

On Saturday Rachel and I will go out for her longest run before we start to taper for her half marathon. She will do 12 miles with me. I will be participating in a virtual race as a part of the 13 in 2013 race series and I will also be dedicating 5 of those miles to my 5 by the 5th series as well.
Is anyone else doing the 5 by the 5th or the 13 in 2013 race series?

I hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The One About Gym Goers



I love to people watch. In fact I often have to remind myself not to stare at people and just watch nonchalantly so as to not be too rude. But people are interesting, people are fascinating and mostly people are just weird. I would have to say that the gym is definitely one of my very favorite places to people watch because there is just such a great variety of crazy that comes through those doors.

For example, last Saturday in spin class there was this lady in the back who liked to make suggestive groans and moans to express herself during the workout. If the instructor told us to add resistance she would moan loudly, if we had to sprint, another groan. I assume that this was her way to pushing herself to work harder but goodness gracious it was distracting. And yes, it was in fact those kinds of moans and groans. Thankfully she left after 45 minutes of class and I was able to finish the last 15 minutes in peace. But then, Monday, yeah she was back and this time stayed for the whole hour! Alex and I have named her the orgasmic exerciser. 


Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the occasional grunt or shout to pump you up, self talk is even ok, you may get weird looks but at least you are getting it done. But this lady, yeah she just needs to find some new noises.
Another example would be the tiny pregnant lady who ran next to me on the treadmill the other night. She was there before I got on and was sprinting along at a much faster pace than me and didn’t finish until I was almost finished. And I mean she was pregnant, like third trimester type pregnant. I commend her greatly for making me feel like a fool with my wimpy little 4.5 mile jaunt. Now she was intriguing.

Or take the old guy in my BodyPump class last night who for the life of him could not figure out what we were doing or how he was supposed to do the moves. I mean I know BodyPump tempo is not your normal pumping iron on the floor type speed but the moves really aren’t earth shattering. I was starting to wonder if this guy had ever seen the inside of a gym or not. And honestly, I was more worried for his health and well-being than anything else. As a former personal trainer I am a huge stickler for proper form when lifting weights, HUGE! I cannot tell you how many injuries and sore muscles can be avoided if you just use the proper form. But this guy couldn’t even get the bicep curls right and I’m not sure he actually even really cared. He was right in front of me all night and when most people (read: all people) stand facing the front of the room he turned sideways all night long. Distracting I tell you! And don’t get me started on the way he was doing lunges….

Or better yet, the lady running full speed on the treadmill the other night while holding on to the sides for dear life…I’m not positive but I really don’t think that’s how you are supposed to do that. She did that for like 25 minutes! Maybe it’s just me but if you have to hold on to the sides then I really don’t think you should be going that fast. And are you really even getting a workout in?

Another very amusing thing to me is what people chose to wear; being a girl I do like to look decent at the gym and I would like for my gym clothes to match and I have the cute sparkly headbands, so yes, I of course pick up on what others are wearing. (Don’t worry, I still sweat it out even in my sparkly headband) But the people that really get me are the ones who chose not to wear a bra with their top…I’m sorry lady, that may have a self-bra in it but do you really think that’s doing the trick there? Or the lady that removes her shirt during spin class and only has on a regular bra, not a sports bra, say what?


I’m telling you people are crazy. Of course I’m sure I have my own annoying habits that someone else will gripe and complain about, I’m not completely excluding myself from the crazy but I do try to make an effort to be the least awkward I can be when I’m in public, especially at the gym! What about you guys, do you have any crazy gym-goer stories? And here you guys thought I actually went to the gym to workout…

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The One With Some Things Worth Noting


There are a few things around here that I keep forgetting to mention or make note of and so I thought I would just do a hodge-podge post with a few tidbits of information on things I haven’t mentioned or talked about.

For starters, I absolutely love all of the comments that I get on my blog, they really do make my day. And I love knowing that there are people who actually like to read what I have to say and then take the time to comment, it means a lot. However, the majority of my comments come from No-Reply Blogger accounts which means that I have absolutely no way of responding to your comments when you leave them. Now I understand that some of you are on Wordpress and well Blogger and Wordpress haven’t found a way to allow comments back and forth which stinks. And then there are some of you who prefer to not have your email attached to your comments and I completely respect that. And then there are some of you who have no idea what I’m talking about and think that I am very rude for not acknowledging your comments post after post. I can assure you that this is not the case, I would love very much to respond to your comments but I just can’t.

If you are in that last group and would like to know if you are a no-reply blogger you can check that by doing these things:

Go to your blog profile.

You access it by the drop down menu that will look like this. Click Account Settings.

Then click edit profile.

And make sure that the email box is checked. 

If it is not and you want to be able to receive replies to all of your comments then go ahead and check that box. Be sure and save the changes that you make!

Ok, now moving on…


I have also created a Facebook page for The Unlikely Runners and well I just keep forgetting to mention it. So there, now I’ve mentioned it and if you would like to go over and like the page you can. I am still figuring out how to use the page and make it useful but I’m learning.

Another thing worth noting is some of you may have noticed a new button on my sidebar:

Photobucket

That’s right, I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I actually found out the Friday before my marathon that I was chosen and I just keep forgetting to mention it. However I am so thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful community of lady bloggers and fitness enthusiast! 

Another thing, you can follow me on Instagram if you don't already at UNLIKELYRUNNERS. 

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment but I'm sure I have more random thoughts running through my mind that will come up later. I hope you all had a wonderful 3 day weekend! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Marathon Training {Week 5}



This past week of workouts was actually a very successful one and it was exactly what I needed! After being sick and then a couple of bummer runs last weekend I really needed to just shake off the bad vibes and get in a good weeks worth of workouts and I did just that! There was only 1 workout that I missed but I wound up changing up a few things and adding in a spin class so I was very satisfied with the efforts this week.

Here’s what happened this past week of working out:

Week 4 (Jan 14-20)
Off



Done
BodyPump



Done

4.5 miles



Done

3 miles + heated yoga

Done

yoga



Off (expired yoga)
 9 miles (with Rach)

Spin 90 min
yoga



9 miles
16 + miles


17.5 miles

Monday I took the day off to recover from my 2 Houston races (the recaps are here and here if you missed them).

Thankfully by Monday night the hip flexor pain that I had been experiencing on Sunday afternoon and evening was gone; I think it was just the residual effects of having not run much and then running a race in the rain. Running in the rain can really change your stride more than you realize and so you have to be careful to be attentive to aches and pains that you may not otherwise notice. Thankfully for me some icing and ibuprofen did the trick and within 24 hours I was good to go.

On Tuesday I was back and BodyPump and we started a new workout tract (meaning new songs and new moves) and man it was killer! I went a little bit lighter on the weight since it had been a while but I still got a great workout.

Wednesday night was the return of my favorite run of the week! I absolutely love running on Wednesday nights before bible study because it’s such a great way to get over the Wednesday hump and I get to run in a different neighborhood and I get to do hill work. All of this just adds up to a great run for me. This run was a bit tough and the miles weren’t easy but I do love getting it done.

On Thursday I headed to the gym to get some easy treadmill miles in before I headed off to heated yoga class. These miles were also a bit tough but being on the treadmill and only having 3 to do really made me just stick with it. After I got those miles in I went across the street to the local yoga studio where I had a Groupon that was about to expire and I love the heated yoga class so I wanted to be sure and use my classes. As it turns out my Groupon already had expired but the instructor was very sweet and let me take the class anyways since I had made the effort to get there. It’s been a while since I’ve done yoga and my body really needed the good stretching of a heated yoga class. I was very thankful that she let me stay.

On Friday I actually had to work late and since my Groupon was expired I just went ahead and took the day off and my body really appreciated it.

Saturday morning I usually like to get my run in but my sister couldn’t meet me this weekend so rolling out of my warm bed on Saturday was just so hard for me (plus I have had a very sick doggie since Thursday and hadn’t slept much!) so I decided that I would just go to spin class and get a good cross training workout in. I really like Saturday morning spin class and I like it when I have the time to go. I did the 60 minute class and then stayed on the bike for an extra 30 minutes to get in a little bit longer workout.

Sunday morning came way too soon and I knew that I absolutely had to get my run in or it just wasn’t going to happen at all. I almost went with the not happening at all option and I even pushed snooze for an hour before I finally forced myself up. I’m not really sure why I wasn’t motivated to get this run done but it was a chore to get myself out the door. But I did. I would like to say that it was worth it and I guess it really was but goodness gracious that was a crappy 9 mile run. There was nothing particularly wrong with it and no injuries and nothing hurt I was just having an “it really sucks to be running right now” kind of day.

Other than some tired feeling runs and having my yoga Groupon expire I felt very satisfied with the workouts I got in this week. And if you would like to follow my workouts during the week you can friend me on Daily Mile here. You can also read about my humbling moments in each workout on my Daily Mile and you can read {here} why I am doing that with each workout.

I’m looking forward to this week and I think I’ll be able to tackle the workouts as well as I did last week!

Week 5 (Jan 21-27)
4.5 miles
BodyPump
5 miles + hills
4.5 miles + yoga
Off
10 miles (with Rach)
Off
25+ miles

This week I am really looking forward to my Wednesday night hill repeats and then I’m looking even more forward to running with my sister again this weekend! Our schedules have been crazy and so it’s been a month since we have run together but I am so looking forward to her hitting 10 miles!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The One With My New Mantra


I’m not really the type of person to have mantras that I say to myself; I mean sure I have a few things that often run through my head while I’m running or during races…

Ephesians 3:20 being at the top of that list: 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine…."

That has gotten me through many a rough day or race. But other than that I really don’t have a saying that I like or that I try to live out each day.

While on my run on Wednesday night I was thinking about how the word HUMBLING kept creeping into my mind throughout Sunday’s half marathon and I really thought about that word and why it was hitting me so hard. I think it stood out to me for a couple of different reasons; hopefully I can put those thoughts down here so that it makes sense to everyone.

For starters I was hoping for a PR; maybe that was overly ambitious of me or maybe I just got caught up in the excitement of so many good races lately but for whatever reason it was probably a goal that I didn’t need to bother with. I did have good intention and I did know that it wouldn’t come without hard work and I even did a few speed training workouts but at the end of the day being sidelined for 10 days just really didn’t help. That was humbling to me. It made me stop and realize just how hard it is to achieve a well run race. I was immediately humbled by the fact that my body has in fact worked hard enough to reach a 2:18 half marathon! Sunday’s race was way harder than that 2:18 half marathon in Tulsa was in many ways but at the end of the day I can appreciate that hard work so much more.

I was humbled by the fact that despite awful weather and having been sick I still managed to find my way to the starting line. I’m not sure who this person is that I’ve created but I kind of like her. Sure I may be crazy and many of my friends and family may think I’m extreme but for me the self-confidence I have gained from this journey to crazy runner girl is worth so much more to me than I could ever explain (and so I probably won’t try to). 



I toed the line of a race that no one was forcing me to run knowing full well that it might be a rough day with the wind and the rain and the cold. I mean of course I had paid money and taken a trip and drug my friend down there, so it would be pretty selfish of me not to run but I didn’t have to and I did it anyways, because I like it. And of course for that extra Marathons of Texas medal…. Anyways the point being is I get out there and do this because I like to run, I enjoy the races and the process even if that includes having a rough day. Do I like the rough days, no, of course not but I do realize that’s just a part of life. So I’ll take them and learn from them.

The other reason I was humbled on Sunday was because somehow along with the thought of being humbled the thought of me being experienced also crept into my mind. I’m still surprised that I felt comfortable thinking that word but at the end of the day I do. I don’t necessarily think of myself as an experienced runner the way I would consider others an experienced runners, for example Skinny Runner…she’s run 40 marathons, that’s experience. My blog friend Erin, I consider her experienced, she’s been around the block a few times and done many different athletic endeavors and she’s even taken second place at a marathon (Rock ‘N Roll San Antonio, in case you were wondering). So no, I’m not that kind of experienced, not even close. But I have run a few races and I have completed several rounds of training and I have spent a good part of this year learning about myself and running. I may not be the first person you would think to ask your running questions to but I could help you out with a few minor details. But more importantly is I’ve learned things for myself; I have gained confidence in what I need to do to accomplish certain things. I’ve gained confidence in knowing what running 13 miles is like and I’ve even gained confidence in knowing what running 26 miles is like. I know what I am capable of and I know how to push myself to achieve bigger and better things.

So there you have it, I’ve been humbled. All of this led to the decision that for the next 6 weeks I will be using the word Humble as a focus for all of my workouts, it will become my mantra. Each time I go out to run or each BodyPump or yoga class I take I will be looking for ways in which the workout can humble me. If there isn’t a moment during the prescribed workout that I feel completely humbled by then I will create one for myself. I want to really focus on making the most of my training and becoming the best I can be at what I enjoy doing.

You will also find a little thought at the end of each workout about what was humbling to me.



We will see how this goes; I may like it and decided to have monthly mantras from now on. But for now I will be focused on being humbled from now until the end of February. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The One About The Houston Half Marathon


If there was one word to describe this race it would be, humbling. This race was a true test of my will along with a great reminder of just how far I have come and why I love doing this so much.

This race I did not achieve a PR like I had wanted; in fact I was pretty far from PR standards and while I have to be honest with myself and say I am disappointed with my running this weekend I cannot say that I am disappointed in what I accomplished. I had a lot of time out there on the course on Sunday and I was able to spend a lot of time thinking about and appreciating the ability to run. It is very hard to have a rough race when the last 5 of my 6 races have been PR’s for me. But at the same time I have enough experience to know that not all races can be great races. But what really hit me was that the word experience came to mind. I may not be a great runner and I know there is always room for improvement but I do feel confident enough to say that I feel like I’m an experienced runner. But enough of that, let’s talk about this race, awful race shall we?



The race started at 7:00am which I really like, I love earlier starts and I wish more races would do this. I guess Houston does this because they usually have more hot and humid conditions, although neither were to be had that day at all! Karen dropped me off around 5:30 right next to the convention center. And can I just say that I am so very thankful for friends and family who are always around to support me and usually drop me off at races; I realize I am spoiled in this regard but not having to worry about parking and those types of things at bigger races is a huge welcome relief. I cannot thank my friends and family enough for coming and supporting me and making those things easy when they do. Anyways, I immediately went inside the convention center where it was warm and dry and where there were clean toilets with plenty of toilet paper. There were a ton of people hanging out and after using a real toilet I just found a place to sit and wait. At this point it wasn’t really raining yet, just a few drizzles here and there but man it was cold and the wind was fierce!

Inside the convention center was the bag drop and there were also plenty of port-o-potties set up inside. I also loved that there was a worship band playing in one of the corners of the building that was so awesome! More races should definitely do this (I’ve heard from my cousin that Little Rock does this and it makes me excited!) I used the real toilets one last time and then waited inside to the last possible minute before walking to the corrals. I was in an open corral so I wasn’t worried about them closing it so I waited until 6:47 to start walking outside. The marathon and half marathon has separate starting lines which I still don’t really understand, I guess it’s to avoid so much congestion at the start? Then there are A and B corrals and then an open corral. However, once the A corral took off they let the open corral and B corral merge together (they were set up on different side streets and both corrals had to make right turns to get to the starting line) and so I really saw no point in being in corral B at all. I had tried to move to corral B so that I could run with Landi but they wouldn’t let me and in the end I was actually ahead of her for a good 7 miles of the race even though she was running faster, it just didn’t make sense to me.


It was brutally cold outside and the wind was pretty strong and then about 100 yards from the starting line the skies opened up and it started raining. Swell. I don’t really mind the rain and running in it isn’t all that bad but when it’s cold, windy AND raining that just really isn’t all that fun no matter how to slice it.
I started off fairly conservatively since I was unsure how I would feel and because it was raining but I was keeping a decent pace of around 11:30 miles. I don’t really remember a lot about this course at all, there weren’t too many memorable things about it at all and it’s was raining which was distracting but I do remember the first mile being on a bridge/overpass type thing, boring. About a half a mile in I was soaked from head to toe and my hands were cold and my Garmin was freaking out on my because of the rain. I would obviously be wet for this entire race and my Garmin didn’t start working again until mile 11 so most of this race I just went with how I felt, which was just as well, it wasn’t a good day.

By the time I got to mile 4 I had to stop and blow my nose and thankfully Karen had given me a packet of Kleenex that I was thankful to have. This was also the point where I knew that any sort of PR was out. Initially I was running conservatively so that I could possibly bust out some late fast miles but at mile 4 when I started hitting a wall of exhaustion I knew my goal was going to be try for a decent time and forget a PR. I saw Karen right about mile 5 as we were turning to gone down the 4 mile stretch of the course. I wasn’t really looking forward to this portion and I’m not really sure why. I usually like out and back portions on race courses because I love being able to see the faster runners, it’s so encouraging to me. But for some reason I just felt like 4 miles was a long time to head down this road before turning around.

At mile 5 it started raining again pretty hard and kept up until about mile 6.5 or 7. I had to stop and walk again to blow my nose about the 10K mark and that was when I knew that I was really done for the day. My body was tired and my energy stores were going quickly thanks to being sick and I was cold and just really wanted to be done. My goal now was to just finish and get this over with.

I was trying to wait until my usual 9 mile mark to take my GU but I needed it at mile 7 so I decided to go ahead and take it. I actually didn’t take it all at once and would just kind of sip on it for about half a mile but once I finished my GU I got another stomach cramp like I had had the day before during the 5K. Thankfully this one wasn’t as bad but it still hurt so I walked so that it wouldn’t get any worse. My plan was to walk until mile 8 and then see how I felt. As I was walking I remember just being so incredibly cold! My jacket and gloves were wet and therefore the wind was making them cold and I just wanted to run to keep warm but couldn’t because of my stomach!

About mile 7.5 Landi passes me and says hi. I was shocked to see her and asked how she was doing. She said she was on track for her PR so I wished her luck. This is why I say the corrals didn’t really matter because she was in corral B and therefore should have been way ahead of me but was on her way to a 2:15 PR and just passing me over half way into the race!

I told Karen later (which makes sense to me now) that when I was walking there was not another person walking around me and I felt so weird. The course was actually pretty congested until about mile 11 but usually you see a handful or so of people walking at this point in a race but not a soul was walking. I realize now that’s it’s because the open and B corrals were so meshed together.

I missed mile 8 completely, I have no idea where the mile marker was or if there was one or what and since my Garmin was still freaking out from the rain I had no idea. Finally I looked up and saw the 15K flag on the other side of the street and realized that I must have missed mile 8 because we turn around at mile 9 and head back. So I picked up the pace and started jogging again and thankfully my stomach wasn’t cramping anymore. At the 15K I looked at my phone and Karen had sent a text saying she was between miles 9 and 10 so I was looking for her which helped that mile pass quickly. Finally I got to mile 10 and told her that I must have missed her somewhere and she said she was already at the finish thinking she missed me. I told her 36 more minutes and I meant that. I was feeling a little bit of soreness in my right hip flexor at this point which was something new but it wasn’t major.

At mile 10 I was just happy to know I was almost done and so I picked up the pace even more and started working my way to the finish. Still some soreness but again nothing earth shattering. I assumed it was from running on the slick streets all day. At mile 11 we made a right turn to head back downtown and we were also joined back with the marathon course at their mile 24 on the other side of the median. I also really like being able to see the marathoners but there weren’t many at this point, just a few of the elite stragglers coming in but it was still encouraging!

About 11.5 I started talking to a girl from Houston (Hi Casey Jo!) and she was telling me that this was her first half and something she has always wanted to do. She is a fitness instructor in the evenings and she was telling me how different endurance workouts are to the classes she teaches. She teaches my favorite class, BodyPump and I was telling her that I was interested in becoming certified to teach and she told me to go for it! She said that if I am familiar with the class then it wouldn’t be hard at all. So who knows, maybe I will pursue that certification. She said her hips were hurting so she slowed down and I wished her luck and took off. She really helped me make it to mile 12 for sure. Once I got to mile 12 I was just so ready to be done that I picked up the pace some as we were heading into the downtown streets.


The last 3 miles were some of the hardest but also some on my best miles for the day. I knew Karen was waiting at the finish area and at this point my Garmin was working again, although that didn’t really matter. I was just trying to get as close to 2:35 as I could now. I came to the 12.9 mark and saw Karen on the corner and then had a little ways left until I could make the left turn to the finish line. I ran as hard as I could which wasn’t very hard and finished barely under 2:38 with a time of 2:37:57 (official chip time). I have never in my life been so glad to finish a half marathon.


I wander down the finishers shoot and got my medal and half expected someone to hand me a space blanket but there were none which was a huge disappointment, it was cold people, come on now! All I could think was get warm so I made my way inside the building to get my finishers shirt and ask about my extra medal for completing both races. I found Karen easily, saw Ryan Hall again and then we made our way outside to where I needed to pick up my medal and to leave. 


As we were walking to the tent to get my medal a lady came around with space blankets thankfully and I gladly took one! Once I got my medal we headed home so I could stand in a hot shower and get my lips back to their normal color.

So in a nutshell this race was very humbling to me; it was not what I had hoped it would be and it wasn’t my greatest race ever but I knew that no matter what I was going to finish. That was never a question in my mind and that’s where I feel like my experience really helped me. I have run enough races to know that they can’t all be perfect but they don’t last forever. This race, as rough as it was reminded me exactly why I love running; I love running because while some things are the same there are new adventures to be had at each race. I ran in the freezing cold rain, I did that so now I can just add that to my repertoire of things I have done and experienced and maybe next time that happens I will be better. There were many things beyond my control during this race such as the weather and being sick but despite all of that I feel satisfied at what I accomplished. I’m not sure if I will ever run Houston again, this race wasn’t too memorable for me and I wasn’t all that impressed but I am glad that I did it and I did have a wonderful weekend with Karen. Half marathon #19 is done and in the books. And I’m still looking for that PR! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The One With A Trip To Houston & A Disappointing 5K


I was very vocal about wanting a 5k PR and vocal about the fact that I thought it would be easy and boy was I sure wrong. The Houston 5K was one of the weirdest races I have ever run and one that I think I would like to forget (clearly I don’t mean that since I’m writing about it for all the world to read…). But let’s back up and talk about the start of my weekend.

Friday afternoon my friend Karen and I headed south for the weekend in a pretty uneventful car trip. Karen confirmed that we in fact had not taken a road trip together but after this weekend I will gladly go on any road trip with her, we had a great time and it was nice to have company along for the weekend.


We made great time to Houston and even somehow managed to avoid all the dreaded Houston traffic. Once we checked into our hotel we made our way to the race expo. I needed to pick up my packet for the 5K and I also had a date with Ryan Hall.

I got my race bibs and shirts easily and then stood in line to meet Ryan Hall! We didn’t have to wait too long which was a good thing because I was super excited to meet him! I truly have a great friend because she stood in line with me and put up with me and my crazy hobby all weekend!




After chatting with Ryan for a bit and getting his autograph we walked around the expo so that I could get a 26.2 sticker for my car, FINALLY! Then as we were leaving the expo low and behold there’s Ryan Hall about arms distance in front of me just leaving the expo himself and talking on his cell phone like it’s no big deal. After stalking following him down the street Karen and I headed to dinner at Chick-fil-A and then back to our hotel for an early evening. I think we had lights out by 9:30, we are just crazy like that!


Before going to bed I laid out all my race gear for the 5K and I was anticipating cold and rainy weather but when I woke up it was neither. Instead it was very muggy and humid, not the kind of weather I deal well with. Karen dropped me off downtown and I made my way to the starting area where I had about an hour to kill. I did a warm-up mile that was actually a lot harder than I was hoping for (11:30) but I figured I would rather shake out my legs now since it had been 10 days since my last run. I decided not to warm-up any further since technically it was already really hot and humid and I was feeling ok other than just feeling sluggish. I still had hopes of busting out a PR but I wasn’t too sure.

I lined up pretty close to the front of the starting line and at exactly 8:00 we took off. I took off too fast, this I know for sure because at one point I looked down and I saw an 8:40 average on my Garmin. I was breathing hard partly from my pace and partly from the fact that I had the last bits of a lingering cold. I tried to slow way, way down but I think that damage was already done because within half a mile of the start I got the worst side-stitch cramp I have ever had. I slowed to a walk and put my hands over my head and tried to calm my breathing to get it to go away and it went away a little bit so I tried to run again. When I tried running again my entire stomach seized up in a side-stitch kind of cramp and I nearly double over from the pain. I have never in my life felt such a pain and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Clearly running was not happening at this point and walking, even slowly still hurt. I was approaching mile 2 and I was frustrated beyond anything but I was so very glad that I was only at a 5K; had this been a half marathon I think I might have just sat down and cried.

I didn’t have my phone with me so I couldn’t text Karen to tell her that I was having issues and I couldn’t really pull off the course either so I just walked. It was so odd to be walking as people are passing me right and left. And I honestly have no idea what was causing my stomach cramps. I walked somewhat slowly until mile 2 and then about mile 2.2 just as quickly as the pain came it disappeared. I was so baffled. Obviously with my walking I was already a half hour in even only at mile 2, not that I cared about time at this point but I wanted to run. So I started with a slow jog because I most definitely didn’t want that pain to return. My mind just kept racing wondering what in the world was going on and what was causing this and hoping and praying this wasn’t going to happen to me during the half marathon too.

I alternating between walking and running that last mile and finally neared the finish line. I honestly don’t remember my finish time…I think it was like 44 minutes or something. Obviously a disappointment.

The only thing that I could think to do when I finished was find some electrolytes!! I don’t know if that was truly my issue or not but I figured that with being sick for over a week clearly my body was lacking something. And since the pain was more of a muscle type pain I thought electrolytes couldn’t hurt. So I went into the expo and bought me some Nuun (more on this stuff later!).


Karen and I sat at the expo for about an hour waiting for the other bloggers that I had plans to meet. While we were waiting for the other bloggers Ryan Hall strolls on in again and at this point I’m pretty sure he’s following me, but I really didn’t care!

Finally the other bloggers arrived and it was so very nice to meet everyone! This was my first blogger meet-up and I was excited to meet people in real life. Most of these women would be running the full the next day and they are all super fast and very inspirational! Be sure and stop by and tell them congrats on their finishes!

Jojo, Amie, Tiffany, Holly, Landi, Kelli, Laura and me

Laura got a PR and a BQ! (and thanks for organizing the meet-up!!)

Preserving Polly also got a PR!


Sweet Amie lives in Houston and her and I have been twitter buddies for a long time. She was actually running the 3M Half in Austin on Sunday but before she left town she made her way to the expo just to meet me (and everyone else I guess)!! That was so very sweet of her and it was so nice to meet.

The rest of Saturday was spent being lazy in my hotel room and drinking Nuun. I even took Nuun to the movies with me that night!


Stay tuned for my half marathon report!