Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Locomotive Half Marathon Completed

I just completed my second half marathon this past Sunday morning!!  This was week 6 day 5 of marathon training.  I went to the race feeling really confident.  Since the race was very close by to where I live, I decided to do the last 3 long runs on the course, one of which was a 14 miler and did great!  I also did my long training runs in the morning which prepared me for a chilly race day.  My family had to stay home because of the cold, so I went to the race alone.  I went an hour early so that I could find good parking, pickup my race packet, stretch, warm up and use the port a potties. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be.  I did have  a hard time deciding on how much to wear for the race.  I layered with 2 long sleeve shirts and had my black loose Brooks pants over my Under Armour tights, I didn't decide to take off one layer of pants until the last minute of the race (and I'm glad I did.)  I wore light gloves and ended up taking them off and carrying them the whole race.  I guess I know better next time.  Anyways, at the start of the race, I had my iPod shuffle with me and turned it on, turned on my Garmin watch and started running.  About a minute into the race, I turned up the volume on my shuffle, then I heard it, because of the earphones in my ears, I also heard an echo of a cracking.  I ROLLED my left ankle!!! It was so loud and painful.  Everything in me immediately felt discouraged. I felt so mad, I had worked so hard and felt so ready to run this race and then out of no where I roll my ankle.  My running turned into awkward limping as runners passed me by, I then stopped and tried to stretch it out.  That did nothing.  I knew right then and there I was gonna have to make a choice, I was either gonna drop out of the race, limp back to my car, go home and into my comfy warm bed and call it a day or I was gonna keep on running and finish the race.  I decided to keep on going and I am so glad I did!!
After about the first mile my ankle stopped hurting, I was able to focus more on the race.  Every now and then I wondered if I had made the right decision, I also wondered why I couldn't feel the pain anymore.  I guess I have the cold to thank for that! :)   I have to say that God showed up as He always does in my races and reminded me of the painful moments in my life, He showed me that He was with me, just as He was with me during this race.  I was literally running with tears in my eyes as I was shown just how faithful He is.  How greatly He wants me to succeed in accomplishing my goals and dreams.  I ran that race with more passion, more drive, more strength than I ever did before.  I had hoped to run this half marathon faster than the Allstate Half (2:18) but I wasn't sure I was going to be able to with my ankle.  I did feel good the whole way through and made sure to keep a pace that was comfortable yet competitive. I kept positive the whole way through as well.  The end was tough though, I did start getting tired around mile 12 but didn't wanna slow down.  I was able to finish strong.  My official time was 2:13:32.45.  I couldn't believe it when I saw the time!! My personal record by 5 minutes with a ROLLED ANKLE!!!!
Check out my Medal!! :)

Oh and when I crossed that finish line, I definitely felt the ankle, but I was so overwhelmed and excited with my time!!! The finish line is still the best feeling in the world!!! I placed 11th in my age group, got a pretty awesome medal and left that race with a new level of strength. 

AND since this is my blog I am posting a pic of my ankle: WARNING!!

Taken on Monday(no longer purple, swelling went down a bit)





And lastly a picture sample  from the race that I LOVE!!! To me, it symbolizes so much in my life. Even though I had a pretty bad beginning of the race, I was able to pick myself up and keep on going, even forgot about the pain, enjoyed every bit of the race, because it's what I LOVE to do and I'm willing to go through some pain to get to where I want to be.  I am determined and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to chase after my running dreams!! :)

Pure Happiness!!



Next up, continue to train for the marathon.  I can't believe it is less than 3 months away!!!

Resolutions

So its almost the end of February... I wonder how everyone is doing with their New Years Resolutions.  I really didn't make any publicly, but I did observe people on social media either sharing their resolutions or judging others who make resolutions.  Now I'm a peaceful person, I like to be able to see other peoples views on things, different perspectives.  I guess for some people, its just easier to make commitments, or maybe they are on the top of the mountain and reached their goals and have lost sight of the feeling of the climb up...
But I really wanted to share my heart....

I heard people talking about how their gyms were gonna be packed and how "annoying" it would be and then give these people a month or two until they stopped coming.  That may be true.  I remember how hard I tried to stay strong to my commitments to getting healthier and getting fit and how many times I gave up.  But instead of watching people make these commitments... why don't we help them along the way??  My heart is to encourage others on their journey, I know how great it feels to be thought of, to have someone just let you know that they are there for you.  It really is tough to keep resolutions.  To change and break cycles and change a whole way of living.
When I had decided I wanted to start trying to run again, I researched local running groups, I found a certain one who stated "all runners are welcome" I arrived at the meetup and immediately felt out of place, I wore baggy yoga pants and a t-shirt... Overweight... embarrassed.  Everyone there looked like they had been running for at least 1 year or more. I ended up running by myself and left... needless to say I never went back again.  And I'm almost sure I didn't try running again for quite a while.  Being overweight really takes over your mind and feelings.

One experience I had was one that was so very impacting and it really is amazing how one positive person with kind words of encouragment along my journey so here it is...

After I had visited this running club... I was definitely discouraged, I thought well maybe if I lost some weight and went back maybe they would be more accepting.  It probably took me about a month to look into other running groups to give a try, So I found on meetup.com a group called Divas Run in Atlanta, I decided I would give it another try, this was probably the first time I ventured out to Atlanta for a group run ever, so I did get lost, but once I did find the gym where the meet up was, I was greeted by a sweet lady named Sher, she was so welcoming, and inviting.  As we stretched we  talked about upcoming races, she shared for passion for running and the things that she did in her community, it was so nice to be treated as "another runner" and not some outsider and I obviously didnt look like a runner.  After we stretched and chatted for a bit, we headed out for a 3 mile loop.  In my head, I figured 3 miles wouldnt be too hard, but it was so challenging at the time, I started off strong and then fell back, the negative thoughts came up and I stopped, part of me just wanted to turn around and leave, before I could even react, Sher (who was quite a ways in front of me, came up and encouraged me to keep on going, she ran with me, talked to me, I was able to share with her my heart and how badly I wanted to be a runner again.  I cant quite remember the things that she said, but I know that she shared her story with me, she encouraged me to keep on running.  Those 3 miles felt like eternity, but it was such a great feeling to have completed it.  I left the meetup with a new hope, with a seed of encouragement.

As I write this I get emotional... such a small act of kindess has definitely went a long way. The sweetest thing was that when she saw my article on Women's Running Magazine, she noticed me and congratulated me.  It has to have been about 2 years ago when I met her.  Thank you Sher!!! You have no idea the impact you have made in my life and in my heart!!

And here I sit, a month and a half into marathon training, I have logged 85 miles in January, just ran my 2nd half marathon over the weekend.  I prefer double digit miles now... 3 miles is just a warm up. :)

My goals and dreams are bigger now, but I know that if I work hard toward them, they will be reached.  I don't doubt it anymore.  I have people like Sher to thank.

 So whether you are going strong on your resolutions and commitments for this New Year or you've lost sight, or hope of them, tomorrow is another day.

MAKE RESOLUTIONS!! TRY AND TRY!!! and if you fail... GET BACK UP AND TRY AGAIN...

It's in these moments where you get stronger... where you discover a drive, a passion, a little voice that says "I can do it."