Wednesday, February 21, 2018

S.F. California Run

Last weekend I went to San Francisco, CA. for a teacher training and had a blast.  Of course, I packed my running shoes like I do everywhere I travel to.  I love to run and see new places all over the world.  Besides, I still have a marathon schedule I have to follow and always make time to run every day I need to run.  My work schedule was packed until Sunday, my last day there.  That day I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to start running at 5:30 a.m. in order to run my scheduled 14 mile run according to my pace per mile.  We had to be packed, eat breakfast and ready to go by 8:30 to head to our last tour before heading to the airport.

I'm not gonna lie.  I was a little scared running all by myself in the dark.  And if my husband knew I did this, he would not be happy.  He wanted me to wait till it was light outside, but I wouldn't get my 14 miles in.  My hotel was in the good side of town and I was 3 blocks away to Fishermans Wharf by the bay.  So, I decided to face my fears and just do it and go!  I didn't listen to music like I normally do and ran in the lit areas by the bay and stayed close to the street lights and street.
By the time I started running through some hilly neighborhoods up going towards Golden Gate Bridge, it started to get lighter.  My goal was to run to the Golden Gate Bridge and see the sunrise from the bridge.   Well, guess what?  I made it just in time and it was such a beautiful sight!  I was huffing and puffing my way up there for there was a killer hill to get there and it was windy up on the bridge.  However, I didn't care and it felt good to make it, reach my goal, face my fears and thanked the good Lord for watching over me.  Yes, I pray a lot and my faith keeps me going!  Keep on running :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New Training Schedule Begins

January was a blast with running the Disney's Goofy Marathon Challenge.  Now in February it back to training I go.  This time, I'm training to run the Nashville Rock n' Roll Marathon coming up at the end of April.  I love running this time of year and training is fun to me.  Now that my foot is completely heeled from my summer stress fracture, I'm good to go 100%.  

For February, I ran the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15K with a co-worker and saw some of my running friends out there.  That was a fun one and may do it again next year.  I placed 3rd in my age group and felt good to race again.

You can check out my training schedule and will see that I'm running only 4 times a week this time instead of 5 days a week.  Just because I want to work on more strength and core workouts.  As I get older, I feel like I need to not run as much to avoid injuries.  I know that once I get injured it seems to take longer to recovery.  Also, I tried this with my Disney Marathon training and since I still teach cycle 3x a week, I seem to get my cardio in that way too and still run good.  So, I'm going to test it again, but this time will try to go all out to see how I do when I run Nashville's Rock n' Roll Marathon.  

I don't really believe in all the diets out there like Keto, Whole 30, etc.  I know it works with some of my friends, but as a marathon runner, it doesn't work for me.  I don't want/need to loose weight, but just maintain and get stronger.  Everybody is different and what works for me may not for other so, you really just have to try out different things to see what works best for you and your body.  So for me, I'm back to eating healthy again and going gluten free.  I'll have a cheat day once a week and eat 6 times a day.  It's all about portion control when I eat and I stay away from sodas, fast food, processed food and sweets.  Let's do this!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Walt Disney's Goofy Race Challenge 2018 Conquered

Happy New Year!!  I ran the Disney Marathon Goofy Challenge and finished!  I can't think of a better way to start 2018.  My cheerleaders, Eddie and Noah went with me and we ALL had a blast.  I had mixed emotions for this the my first super long marathon since my stress fracture in July.  With the holidays just ending, my marathon weight isn't where I wanted it to be, but the good thing is that my foot pain is completely gone and has been since late September.  I always wonder through, if the pain would come back and I pushed it faster, so I'm been afraid to run fast.  I wasn't able to run my normal 8:00 pace per mile, but I managed to run around 8:15 comfortable.  I didn't care because this race wasn't about trying to PR.  This is more miles and pounding on concrete that I didn't want to be stupid and hurt my foot again.  Don't ever want to feel that pain again.  So, I decided to dress up for this one and feel like a little girl again and take it all in as I run through all 4 Disney parks.  Both Eddie and I felt like kids again, walking all over Disney World with our little boy and seeing all the Disney Characters walking around taking pictures, watching a parade, riding all the fun rides, seeing great shows and fireworks.  It's truly a magical experience and kinda brought tears to my eyes after watching the Happily  Ever After firework show at the Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

I didn't stay off my feet like I probably should have, but I didn't care.  This was all of our first time to visit Disney World and wanted to take it all in.  You see, this marathon trip wasn't just about me.  My little boy turns 10 years old at the end of this month and know that he's no longer going to be a little boy soon.  Heck, he stopped believing in Santa Clause and Tooth Fairy this Christmas :(  Then again, every marathon I do out of state is never a take it easy and rest before marathon anyway.  I'm the kind of person that wants to go see, eat and do fun things while visiting a new state I've never seen before.

Thursday-Day 1:  We get there on Thursday and go to hotel and get there around 8:30 a.m. and realize that our hotel check-in isn't until 3 pm.  So, we go get a bite to eat and go to the marathon expo to pick up my race packet.  When we booked out trip all of the hotels at the Disney resorts were completely booked.  So, I had to go with what we could find and a parent at my school hooked me up with a good deal for she is a travel agent for Disney.  Trip included two-day park passes, adult VIP Dine 4Less Card, and Kid's Eat Free Card.  The only problem was that the hotel is 20 minutes from Disney World.  The hotel was across the street from Universal Studies, so that was nice.  The Expo was at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex.  There we meet and took picture of Micky Mouse.  Bought my outfit to wear while I run.  That evening we walked around Universal Studios and eat dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.

Friday-Day 2:  We wake up eat breakfast at TGI Fridays which is right next door to our hotel and one of the restaurants that Noah gets to eat free!  Then, we head out to the Magic Kingdom and uber it there.  We figure out the Fast Pass and get the Disney App. which made it helpful to find out the wait times for rides/shows.  We only rode about 4 rides and watched the magical firework show at 9:00 p.m. at the Cinderella castle.  I was scheduled to run 3 miles for a shake out run today, but skipped it.  This was an all day event and walked about 5.5 miles, so figured that was good enough.  I have no regrets.  That by far is the best fireworks show I'd ever seen.  Even better than the Eiffel Tower fireworks during Bastille Day.  I figured I'm only running half marathon tomorrow and plan to run it as it warm up and run/walk it.  I went to bed at midnight because of traffic and we got a late bite to eat.

Saturday-Day 3:  Half marathon day.  I have never ran a race that started at 5:30 a.m.  So, I decide to call a taxi and they picked me up at 3:30 a.m.  I figured better get there early than late and the taxi company recommended I leave at that time.  They have had people in the past not make it in time.  That scared me, so didn't want to risk it.  I told Eddie and Noah, to get some rest and that I would just uber it back cause they may still be asleep by the time I finish anyway.  Well, there was no traffic and the taxi driver loops around, missing his turn and that cost me about $45 to get there! I get there super early and hang out with a married couple from San Francisco.  Jason and Kathy who gave the some tips on what to expect.  Jason even gave me an extra heated sheet for me to wear until we had to walk to our corral.  Super nice couple.  He wasn't running it, but was there to hang out with wife till time to walk to corral.  They have done this before and he paid extra to get the family VIP access.  His wife stayed me and we walked together to our corrals and gave each other a hug and wished each other good luck.  That's what I love about the running community.  We all support each other and understand what we are about to endure.  Runners are of all shape and sizes and doesn't matter how fast/slow you are as long as you work on your fitness and do your best is all that matters!  It was so cold that I ran with my Boston marathon jacket until I warmed up.  The route for this one was start at Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot.  It was fun and took some pics with characters along the way.  I finished in 2:02:44 a 9:22 min/mile.  I felt good!  Today, we decide to get a rental car instead to save $$ on uber fees.  We go eat and head out to Animal Kingdom.  Today was not going to be a late night for this park closes at 8:00 p.m.  I had pizza for dinner and didn't get to bed until around 11:30 making sure I had everything for marathon.  I had hard time sleeping.  Nerves were sitting in.
Sunday-Day 4:  Full marathon day.  Decide to wake up at 4:00 today since Eddie was going to drive me there.  I eat a banana, no bagel this time.  I fill my water bottles with coconut water and get my margarita gu chomps and off we go.  We hit traffic and start to panic, but made it in time for go to restroom and walk mile to my corral.  No time to chat with anyone today, but didn't freeze my ass off either. The wait time is always the worst time (unless you meet new friends).  I had to jog it to my corral and at that time it's still dark.  I think more people ran this race because it was super crowded.  I had to get on the grass to pass people up and almost twisted my ankle stepping in a hole.  I was okay and made it just in time for a quick before picture.  It was warmer today and didn't run with my jacket today.  Instead, Eddie got me a plastic pancho that I tore off before crossing start line.  Fireworks go off and the Disney characters are on stage and they announce when we take off.  I felt good until about mile 14 my stomach feels quizzy.  Running this early didn't give me enough time to digest my food from dinner and since I wasn't able to use the restroom to use #2 before race like I always do, well this time I had no choice but to hit the restroom during my run.  I felt much better after and went back to running. I'm enjoying running and stopping with some of my favorite Disney characters for pictures.   Around mile 19th all the stopping and running is making my muscles cramp up in my calves and hamstrings.  Not bad, but enough that it's not comfortable and my knees are getting sore.  I try to work on my posture toward the end for I'm sure I'm not running correctly. I eat half a banana as volunteers are passing them out.  At mile 21, there is a hill that is difficult and pretty much do whatever I can to finish and not feel the pain in my legs the rest of the way.  Seeing the characters always make me smile but after mile 24 I'm done taking pictures with them and I just want to finish.  The finish line seemed like it would never get here!  I usually try to pass up girls at the end and finish strong, but not this time.  I felt like I was going in slow motion.  My Garmin showed I ran more than 26.2, it showed 26.73 almost 27 miles....geez!  My final time was 3:56:43 with a 9:02 min/mile.  I'm good with that.  This is for sure the toughest thing I have ever done.  However, it the pain was totally worth it.  These marathons have the best bling and shirts!  I received 3 shirts and 3 metals!  It was a truly magical experience!

                        Love my boys!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Runs to Finish 2017

Hard to believe that 2017 is coming to an end in a couple of hours.  I had a great 12 mile run yesterday and ready for next weekend!  Looking back at 2017, I'd have to say there were a lot of ups and downs with my running.  I challenged my body and trained for my first ultra marathon (50K).  I decided to run it in my hometown and registered for the Fort Worth Cowtown Ultra Marathon and happy to say I was able to finish injury free.  Two weeks later I ran the Washington D.C. Rock n' Roll Marathon.  Again, I was able to finish much slower than my previous marathons, but then again, I was still kinda sore from the ultra. I was very happy with both results.  I placed first in my division for the ultra which was super cool cause that will probably be my last :)
I'll never change shoes again.  Mizunos are my favorite running shoes!

At the end of June I bought some new Altra zero drop running shoes. BIG mistake!  I ran a couple weeks with them and adding mileage slowly.  I messed up and ran hills in them (5 miles) and ended up with a stress fracture on July 3rd.  I've never broken a bone in my life!  I waited a week and couldn't bounce on my foot without pain so had no choice but go see a doctor.  Sure enough I went through 13 weeks of recovery.  I went through a small depression phase because I for once had no control of my body and only had to wait it out and not run.  I did whatever they told me to do because I wanted to be able to run the Las Vegas Marathon I had registered for on November 12th.  However, my training wasn't all there and I had to withdrawal and not go to it.  It sucked, but my health was more important for me in the long run.  You see, I want to be one of those old ladies in their 70's still fit and running.  Maybe not marathons anymore, but running to continue a healthy lifestyle.

On November 12th, I decided to run the Fort Worth Half Marathon for I knew my body might be ready for that mileage.  I was scared and had mixed emotions for I didn't want to ever feel that foot pain again.  To my surprise, I ran without any foot pain and happy to say I finished first in my age group out of 39 females.  So, that gave me confidence again and felt great to race again.

My R + F business is doing great and so happy I joined this for extra money.  Best part, it's giving me great skin and lashes and able to share this with all my friends/family and anyone with skin!  As far as family goes.  My oldest step-son got married and that was a happy event this year for our whole family.  My hubby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary in Greece this summer! It was my choice this year and so happy we went.  We meet new friends, had great food and the sunsets are breathtaking!  My other step-son got accepted in Texas A & M and will be transferring this January.  It's bittersweet and I will miss him.  I know he will grow up to do great things in life for he's very smart.  My son Fabian is continuing to do good at TCC and continuing his path to nursing school.  My running buddy Dash is 2 years old now and runs much better with me.  She's running 5 miles and hope to pick up her mileage.  She's such a great, beautiful, smart and fast dog!!  My little boy no longer believes in Santa Claus and that was kinda sad, but knew that would happen sooner or later.  He's turning 10 years old this January and part of his birthday gift is taking him to Disney World with us when I run the Goofy Challenge Marathon next weekend!  I'm kicking off 2018 with the biggest challenge of running a half marathon one day and full marathon the next day!  After missing out on Vegas, I figured my body is fully recovered to do this.  However,  I won't be stupid and plan to take them both slow and easy for that's more mileage than my ultra marathon back to back.

Ready to say goodbye to 2017 and ready to bring on 2018!  It's going to be a great year of traveling and running all over this beautiful world :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December Runs

This month has really made a difference on my runs.  The weather is cooler and I’m running faster.  I’m watching what I eat and feel that is making a difference.  I FINALLY feel like I’m fully recovered from my stress fracture and feel no pain when I run.  I can finally run closer to my 8:00 minute mile pace on my speed work runs.  I’m started to get excited about the Goofy Marathon.  Plus, Christmas Break is coming up and looking forward to running in the mornings again.  I run much better in the AM than PM.  It’s time to get shredded and work on loosing at least 5 lbs between now and then.  Although, my hubby loves my fuller butt, I’m loosing these few lbs....LOL!  Will it be challenging, YES!  But I can do it.  Just have to believe that and focus on my goal and make it happen!  I ran 19 miles this past Saturday and was able to average 8:04 pace and the best part is, that I didn’t even feel like I was going that fast!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Week

Today is my last day of Thanksgiving Break and back to work tomorrow I go.  What an great week I had.  I was able to catch up with my girlfriends, went hunting with my man and little boy, tried out our new camper trailer, celebrated a Sweet 15 with family, had a huge get together with family for Thanksgiving, got Christmas lights up and continued my marathon training.  So much to be thankful for and loved my busy week.

I ran 18 miles yesterday and that has been my longest run so far since my stress fracture.  I am so happy that I was able to run without any foot pain.  I had knee pain towards the end, but it’s because I haven’t been running as much.  I didn’t care, it felt good to run again.  Yes, I'm finally back.  The only thing is that since I've gained weight, I'm not as fast as I used to be.  That is about to change for now that I'm running longer distances, I will watch what I eat and get back to my target weight.  I have a goal and challenge marathon coming up like no other and don't want to screw it up!  I have ran an ultra marathon and then two weeks later ran a full marathon and that was a challenge.  However, I have NEVER ran a half marathon one day and then a full marathon next day!!  It's starting to freak me out and wonder what the heck I got myself into.  There is no turning back and I will train like never before and want to be able to finish both marathons injury free.  Yes, that is my goal for this one.  It's not to try and PR.  I just want to enjoy it, have fun and finish.

This will be our first time to go to Disney and Eddie and I are taking Noah with us.  This will be his big birthday gift since January is his birthday month.  He is so excited and I can't wait to enjoy this trip with both of them.  Yes, I do plan on enjoying myself at Disney and that is why I don't plan to PR for this one.  I can already tell you that I will walk a lot of miles before my runs.  This will be fun, but for sure the most challenging marathons!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fort Worth Half Complete

Today, I ran my first race since my stress fracture injury.  I was a nervous wreck because my training hasn’t been that great.  I’ve had to skip a lot of runs due to work and my out patient surgery I had a couple of weeks ago.  However, I really think that helped my foot recover even more.  I felt okay about the course because I have ran that a ton of times and always like to run Trinity Trails for my longer runs.  I know that for the most part it’s a pretty flat course so I wasn’t worried about that part.  I was worried about maybe pushing it too fast and hurting my foot again.  I’ve very competitive when it comes to racing.   I’m competitive with myself only.  I know what I’m capable of and know when to push and back off, but this injury has really tested my patience.  When I was training for this, I wanted to run my normal fast pace, but my foot would hurt and had no choice but to back off.   I had to learn to listen to my body and run what I could tolerate.  Yes, lots and lots of patience with this training and stress fracture recovery.

I ran and felt good during my run.  I didn’t feel my foot hurt at all.  I was so relieved and knew half way through that I was going to be okay.  I started passing people up and felt strong.  Toward the end and last two miles, I started counting to see how many girls I can pass up.  It’s a mental game I play with myself.  It was nice to see Eddie and my son, Noah underneath the finish sign.  Eddie taking pictures as I crossed the finish line.  They are my best cheerleaders and happy they came to see me.
There were 487 who ran the half marathon.  My results: I came in 42nd place overall, I placed 13 out of 298 females, and placed 1st in my age group out of 39.  My pace per mile was 8:08.  I’m very happy with that!  Time to focus on Goofy Half/Marathon in 8 weeks!!! YIKES!