Friday, March 22, 2013

Yuengling Shamrock 8K and Half Marathon - My FIRST Half! I did it!

I haven't blogged in almost 6 months.  I realized that I'm just not a regular blogger.  I'm still losing, but it's a little slow going at this point.  I'm almost to my baseline goal and I've switched my priorities to focus more on my running and overall fitness.

I've decided to use my blog to keep track of my races.  I've become an absolutely insane runner!  I ran my first half marathon this past know, the one I signed up for on my birthday last year?  It was AWESOME!!  I'm so in love with distance running.  I can't even put it into words.  I crossed the finish line and practically dashed over to my hotel to register for a dozen more!

Here is my race calendar as of right now:
4/14 - Kent Island Metric Marathon - 26.2K/16.3mi
4/28 - Iron Girl Half Marathon - Columbia, MD
5/4 - Apple Blossom 10K - Winchester, VA (Morning)
5/4 - Frederick Running Festival 5K - Frederick, MD (Evening)
5/5 - Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon - Frederick, MD (Nut Job Challenge)
5/12 - Cox Providence Half Marathon - Providence, RI
6/15 - Baltimore 10 miler (haven't registered yet, but pretty sure I'm doing this one)
7/13 - Jamestown Half Marathon - Jamestown, RI
9/14 - Diva Half Marathon - DC Wine Country (Leesburg, VA)
10/5 - Great Allegany 15K - Cumberland, MD
10/13 - Newport Half Marathon
10/19 - Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic - Gerrardstown, WV
11/16 - Turkey Trot 10K
I'm sure I will add a couple more in there because the depth of my crazy has not yet been realized, I'm afraid!

Anyhow, here is my Shamrock Race Report:
This was my first half and I'm SO glad I chose this race.  It was an awesome experience!  I did the Dolphin Challenge, so I ran in the 8k Saturday, too. 

I didn't have any time goals for the 8k since I was saving my energy for the 1/2 SUnday.  I just had fun checking out the scenery and everyone's costumes! This was my first really big race w/ corrals and all.  It did annoy me a little that walkers were in the earlier corrals than me (I ran ~10:45mm) - dodging them was a bit of a pain.

There was some unexplained delay in getting off for the half.  I don't think the first corral went out until 15 min after the scheduled start and I was a ball of nervous energy, so that kind of sucked.  They were quick getting people through once they did start going.  We were in corral 7 and started just about 7min after "gun time."  I was running with two other friends and it was a little crowded for the first couple miles and then in patches throughout, but I kind of expected that knowing we were going to be running 3 abreast the whole time.

There was awesome course support - tons of people, kids, pets out cheering us on.  There were also several "beer stops" that locals put together, which I thought was really cool.  I couldn't even drink my free Yuengling after the race, much less have beer during, but it added a fun element to the course.  Checking out all the costumes was another highlight of this race.  There was never a shortage of things to see and keep you distracted and motivated.

My friends struggled a little, but we all stuck together.  Finishing down the boardwalk was amazing - it's my favorite place in the world to run!  I live in WV, so I trained at mild elevation with ridiculous hills, so running flat felt A-mazing.  We crossed the finish at 2:24:01 for a perfect 11mm pace.  My goal for this race was to just finish under 2:30, so I succeeded!  I had a stretch goal of finishing under 2:20, but I'm happy with my time for my first.  When I initially registered in June last year, my predicted finish time was 3hrs!  I'm amazed at how much I've improved since then! I still had gas in the tank at the finish, so that's a good sign in my book  :)

The weather was perfect for running.  It was a little windy along the ocean front stretches, but by then it felt pretty good.  Once you cooled down and got through the medals & food chute, it was downright FREEZING!  Thankfully the finisher item was a blanket this year!  Everyone bundled right up

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Great Allegany Run 15K - 10/6/12

I haven't disappeared or fallen off the wagon.  I'm still losing weight and running.  I'm on a pretty good schedule now with my workouts.  I'm a little sad to see the daylight dwindling - it's making it harder to fit in my runs.

Anyhow, on to my race report!

This was my longest distance to date.  I trained for the past several weeks and my last long run was 8.3 miles.  I went in to this race confident that I'd have a decent time.  It's touted as a downhill race.  It starts at around 1200 ft and finishes around 600 ft.

The weather was not ideal.  It was threatening rain and did rain a little on the way to the race, but held out during the race itself.  It was a pretty cool morning, but not as cold as some mornings that I've run.  I managed to forget to grab my inhaler before we left the house.  I didn't realize it until we were too far away from home to turn around without being late.  If it weren't a mostly flat/downhill race, I don't know that I could have done 9.3 miles without my inhaler.

I made sure that I didn't start out too fast and get carried away by the downhill.  I had looked at the race results from last year and knew I'd be pretty close to last and I made peace with that.  I wasn't too sad when everyone took off and left me in the dust.  It was a beautiful course through the Allegany Mountains with the leaves changing, so I tried to focus on that.

I passed two people in the beginning, but I could hear them on my heels the whole way - it was an extra push when it got a little tough.  The last two miles killed me, though.  I hadn't started experimenting with different fuels yet, but I probably could have used something.  Between not having my iPod (I left it in the car b/c I was afraid it would downpour on me) and not having my inhaler, everything past the 7 mile marker was really hard!  Eventually those two people I had passed in the beginning, and kept behind me the whole way, passed me.

There was one small hill near the end (much smaller than the hills I usually run), but I was having a hard time mentally getting through that last mile and I did walk a little bit during that.  I don't have any fancy gadgets, so I didn't really know what my pace was or even what time it was.  I figured that instead of the 11:30 pace I was aiming for was out the window and settled for what I figured would be a 12:00 or higher pace....

And then I rounded that last corner toward the finish line and saw the clock at 1:41:xx and picked it up a bit. I crossed right at 1:42:30 - a 10:59 pace.  I was thrilled.  I was still 141/144, but I am okay with that.  I know I could have done better if I had my inhaler and music probably would have helped when things got tough, too.  It's a good starting point, though.  It was a great, local race and I think I'll make it a yearly tradition - I look forward to beating my time next year!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

DC Color Run Review

I know I'm way late getting this up.  It's been a crazy week at work.

Anyhow, last Sunday was The Color Run in DC.  They held it in the National Harbor and I'd heard a lot of buzz about another race held there back in the Winter that went horribly awry, so I was a bit weary.  It was VERY well organized.  I got there extra early just to make sure, but even people that got there at the last minute said things were smooth.

The start was between buildings.  I'm sure the people that live in those buildings were not thrilled with all the people there that early on a Sunday with the music and such, but it worked for the race logistics.

Running through the color stations was a lot of fun, but I definitely inhaled more colored corn starch than is probably recommended!

The run was fun, but these color throws at the after party were probably the most fun part of the whole event!  There was tons of energy and excitement.

Blue Color Zone

Orange Color Zone

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In 9/8/12

Weigh-in: 195.2 - Down 1.6lbs - Down 139.4 overall 
I was away last weekend and didn't get to make a post.  I was down 0.6 before I left and down another 1lb this week. I'd always like to see it go faster, but I have to live a little too.  Being out of town (and a little too close to Sweet Frog) was not good for me last weekend.  I tried to get back in the saddle this week, but still struggled a little.  I'm just happy to see a loss and I can also see a change in my shape here lately, so that's a positive.

High of the Week: Going away over the long weekend.  We just went to a local mountain resort, but it was nice to get away and have some time to relax.  We went on a scenic chairlift ride up into the mountains and spent some time at a huge indoor water park.

Low of the Week:  Returning to work after a long weekend - it's always rough!  My September calendar is out of control.  I'll be all over the state and even one trip out of state for work.  The nights away make it hard to keep my exercise routine and eating habits in check, so I'll have to be extra conscious of my decisions this month!

Best Work-Out:  I am doing the Color Run in DC TOMORROW!!  That meant that my long run either had to be added on top of this or moved.  I decided it'd be easier to move it.  I put in 6 miles before work yesterday!  I can't believe that I did a long run and then went to work.  It's not that they wipe me out, but I'm just not a morning person and to get up that early to run and then still work a full day.  It felt like an accomplishment.

Photo of the Week: 
Pictures from last weekend - it was a little foggy/rainy during our stay.

For real!  Nothing feels better than running off the stress of a rough day!
From Pinterest

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in 8/26/12

Weigh-in: 196.8 - Down 1.6lbs - Down 137.8 overall 
Slow and steady these days, which is just perfect for me.  I'm very excited to say that my BMI is now out of the Obese range and into the overweight range!  I don't put much stock into BMI because it doesn't take into account other factors like muscle mass and bone structure, BUT it's still nice to see a change in that category!

High of the Week: Getting under 200lbs and now leaving Obesity behind have been two huge and exciting milestones for me.  I've been obese for pretty much my whole life with the exception of a couple months my senior year of HS when I lost 20ish lbs and was in the overweight category....unfortunately it didn't last long back then and I quickly gained it all back and then some!

Low of the Week:  I had to take the week off of running because I hurt a tendon in my ankle.  It was a bit of a bummer to not be able to run.

Best Work-Out:  I couldn't run this week because of my injured ankle, so I had to get creative with my workouts.  I took a couple nice walks with my dogs.  I also tried a new strength class at my gym.  It's at 6:15 in the morning which is a bit of a struggle for me, but I feel it for days after!  As much as I love running, it was nice to change up the routine this week and try some new things.

Photo of the Week: 


Motivational Fitness Quotes
From Pinterest

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One-derland and my Fitness Re-assessment

Weigh-in: 198.4 - Down 3.6lbs - Down 136.2 overall 
I FINALLY got under 200 after teetering there for a couple weeks!  My weight begins with a 1 for the first time since my age also started with a 1!!  It's all a bit surreal for me, but I'm excited to have finally crossed this milestone.

I went in for my fitness reassessment yesterday morning as part of my wellness program at the gym.  I have these reassessments every three months and it tests both my cardiovascular and strength as well as some other health stats.  I still max out the leg press (400lbs) which means that I can leg press twice my body weight!!  I also almost maxed out the cardio test!  I think I will max it out at my next one.

At the end of my assessment, they enter all my stats in a computer program and I get a nice little print-out showing my progress.  I wish I had started this program when I first started my weight loss journey because it'd be great to see the stats of my progress from the beginning.  Now I just have them from the beginning of March.  Since then, I've lost 35lbs, almost 12" from my waist, and 6" from my hips.

The other thing that I like about my results is that it gives me an analysis of body fat vs. lean body weight.  I started at 40.5% fat and I'm down to 34.2%.  My lean body weight is 132lbs - meaning that if I had absolutely not one single pound of fat on my body, I'd be 132lbs.  Seeing this made me realize that I needed to re-evaluate my goal weight.  I know I've talked on here before about my changing goals, but I've never had much basis for my goal other than the BMI charts, which can be pretty useless since they don't take into account body composition.  

So, after looking at what healthy body fat percentages are and doing some math based on my current lean body mass, I've come up with a new goal.  Lean body mass can/will decrease as I lose weight, but it shouldn't go down too much more.  Athletes have between 14% and 20% body fat - I'm optimistic, but not delusional - I know I'll never fall into this category.  "Fitness" is between 21% and 24% and then Average is 25% to 31%.  I'd like to see myself in the fitness category, but I won't beat myself up if I am in the lower end of average.  If my lean body mass doesn't change, 24% would be 174lbs.  I figure it will go down some, so I've changed my current goal to 167.3 - it's a bit of an odd number, but it is half of my previous weight - I will be HALF the person that I used to be if I can make it to there.  I realize that this will put me on the high end of BMI and even a little into the overweight category, but obviously that's not always the most accurate indicator of fitness!

I promise I'm going to leave my goal weight alone until I reach my first goal and then I can re-evaluate!

From Pinterest

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In 8/12/12

Weigh-in: 202.0 - Up 1.8 lbs - Down 132.6 overall 
I was hoping to not see a gain this week, but somewhat expecting it anyway.  I don't like seeing a gain and it sucks since I was so close to a milestone, but I enjoyed my little mini-vacay with my friends and don't regret that.  I just have to get back at it, workout harder and eat better.

High of the Week: Coming home to my pets?  Maybe...  I don't want to say this week has sucked totally, but I've been dreaming about moving back up North all week and dreading seeing a gain on the scale, so I don't really know what my "high" is.

Low of the Week:  Coming back to work after vacation!  Sometimes it feels like it's not even worth it to leave because of everything I have to catch up on after returning, but then I remember how much I enjoyed myself while I was gone.  My sunburnt legs also made it hard to get motivated to workout this week...

Best Work-Out:  I got an awful sunburn on my legs before I left Massachusetts, so I didn't run much this week.  I did go to the 30/30/30 Interval class at the gym yesterday.  It was my second time and it really kicks my butt and the time flies.  I am trying to change up my routine a little more because I've been majorly slacking on my strength training!

Photo of the Week: 
Getting ready for my Sunday long run!  My new favorite outfit...if only I had hot pink running shoes to match ;)

From pinterest