Friday, May 18, 2018

Nashville Rock n' Roll Marathon

Well it's been a couple weeks since I got back from running my Nashville marathon and haven't had any time to post about it due to busy work schedule.  It was the most hilly course I have ever ran!  The weather was in the high 40s when I started and no rain...YAY!  I was excited because I got my girlfriends, Carolyn and Juanita to sign up for the 5K run that morning too.  They are not runners, but heck, walking it is still a workout.  It was a hilly 5K too!  Nashville has really good food and known for country cooking and barbecue. I didn't eat any barbecue; however, I stuffed my face with spicy chicken and waffles after my marathon!  It was worth every bite!  We did some shopping and went to see the Johnny Cash Museum.  We walked all over Broadway which is where all the honky tonk bars are.  Come to find out that Nashville is famous for Bachlorette parties and sure enough, when we walked Broadway Streetk there were this school buses that were converted to party buses for these parties.  We also saw the drink while you pedal while party automobiles (same as seen here in downtown Fort Worth).

Race morning, we all woke up super early to take an Uber to race.  Juanita and Carolyn’s 5K started half an hour before mine did so I walked the to their start line.  On our way there, we went into a church that was allowing us to come in and use their clean bathrooms.  They also had a room where runner could stretch out, drink water and chill out in the warm indoor building.  That was super nice of them to do that.  I almost tripped on my own two feet hitting a curve twice and Juanita asked a man in the church to pray for me to make sure I have a good run.  That was sweet and felt less nervous about the course.   I just decided to give it my best and not worry about my pace.  I didn’t really watch my watch and just listened to my body.

I was able to run non-stop and the rolling hills just kept coming.  Seeing the pictures of all the St. Jude children along the course somehow made me not give up and fight through it.  They were the reason to run strong till the end!  The hardest part of the race was the last two miles.  It was a good hill to the finish and maybe cursed a little cause the finish line seemed soon far.  The crowd somehow pushed me through till I crossed the finish line.

My babe, Eddie calls me as soon as I crossed the finish to make sure I was okay.  He told me my time and  I was shocked because I finished under my goal of 3:30!  My phone was about to die and I went to find my friends who had text me.  But I just had to sit after getting my goodie snacks to stretch and chill for a few minutes.  So, I turned off my phone.  A girl comes and sits next to me and tell me, "Good job, I tried to stay up with you and catch up to you, but never could.  Those hills were crazy."  I just smiled and told her, "Good job, we finished and that's all that matters, cause yes, that was a hilly course for sure!"  I got up to go find my friends and decided to help a girl take her picture for she was trying to take a selfy with her medal.  She told me that was her first half marathon.  I bragged on her for completing a hilly one for her first one.  We walked together toward the family gathering to find our friends.  I love the running community and all the new runners I meet.  We understand each other and always so happy for each others accomplishments.

I finally found Carolyn and Juanita and of course we had to take our after pics together.  The Rock n' Roll marathons are fun because of the live music all around the course and always finish with a concert to celebrate and cold beer.  I don't really like beer, but after reading about the 80 year old lady who ran the Boston Marathon who celebrates with a pitcher of beer after her finishing, I told myself why not try it!  I drank about half of the Ultra Light beer and I was good...LOL!  We went straight the the hotel for I needed a hot shower.  After we got ready, we went to celebrate with spicy chicken and waffles and loved every bite!  Most of the restaurants have live music and that was pretty cool. Nashville has the best country cooking too!  May have to come back with my babe for a longer trip and go to Memphis and see Graceland where Elvis is from.

Keep on running!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Last Training Run

Today I ran my last long double digit training run of 12 miles.  I decided to run at Bear Creek, but skipped the crazy Keller Killer hills.  I don't want to risk getting hurt this close to my marathon.  Hard to believe that a week from today I will be running the Nashville Rock n' Roll Marathon.  Boy did time fly!  I think I'm ready, but my right hamstring is a little sore.  I rolled as soon as I got home and taking it easy the rest of the day.  It's raining and yucky outside to go anywhere anyway.  I was able to beat the rain and the weather was in the 60s.  The Texas Longhorns were out with their babies.  Love running outdoors in nature.  It was a good run and finished under 8:00 min. per mile.    I had to go work at our school Health/Art Craft Fair at school for 2 hours after running so had to pick up my pace.  However, when I would feel my hamstring pull, I made myself slow down.  It only hurt when I would go faster.  I pray, it gets better for the marathon.  Plan on doing easy runs this week and lots of yoga, core work and of course teach my cycle classes.  I also plan to stick to my nutrition.  Nashville, I worry about your hilly course, but I'm sure it's not as bad as Boston Marathon.  I'm ready to Rock n' Roll all over your city!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Last 20 Miler Run

Today I ran my last 20 miler and now it's time to taper down for Nashville Rock n' Roll Marathon coming up in two weeks!  I ran 2 minutes slower than my first marathon due to high winds and had to stop for a potty break!  That's okay though, my pace was still where I wanted it to be with 8:02 pace per mile.  I think I might of over ate last night causing me GI issues.  Funny, cause I ate the same thing for dinner as when I ran my first 20 miler, basil pasta with salmon.  I did noticed that the pasta had more sauce, I added sweet potatoes.  Oh well, didn't like stopping but when mother nature call you must do what you gotta do :)

I'll never forget when I ran my first marathon and some lady ran by me and she had shit going down her leg!  Not kidding!  I could just smell it as she ran by and she just kept running!  I couldn't believe what I was witnessing.  Anyways, I always told myself that would never be me and I don't care about pace, time or placing....if I have to go potty it will be in a restroom....LOL!

Excited about Nashville because I'm going with my two cheerleader girlfriends, Carolyn and Juanita who go with me to some of my marathon travel destinations and make it a girl's trip.  They are not runners, but I did talk them into job/walking the 5K.  I hear it's a hilly course, so I will make sure to put in some more hill work these last two weeks.  I hope for cold weather, but too soon to check it now.  Whatever happens with it, it will be okay.  I'm just happy to be injury free finally and back to my ideal weight.  Looking forward to be able to run another marathon.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Super Windy Cold Run

We got a cold front come in and ran in the 40's on Saturday morning.  I loved that it was cold, but the windy, cold, windchill.....ummm not so much!  Running out, I had the tailwind, but coming back was a challenge.  It felt like I was running in slow-motion and windchill had my nose dripping.  Not fun.  I put on some upbeat tunes on and that seemed to help and make me run faster.  I just wanted to hurry up and finish already.  It helped because I was able to stay under 8 min. mile per pace for 16 miles!  I'll take it :)!!  

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter Weekend

Today, I woke up excited about my 20 miler long run.  I was back to the weight I wanted and ready to see how I would do.  It's been a struggle getting back to eating healthy and sticking with it.  Don't get me wrong,  I always try to eat healthy, but I had a lot of days here and there where I didn't care and would get the extra glass of wine or try a dessert after dinner.  Why?  Because temptation is everywhere!  At school where I work, we get treated with food not so healthy for us, but when that's all there is, I eat it.  At holidays, parties, going out to eat, etc.  My hypothyroidism also sometimes makes me feel fatigue without any energy and hard to get motivated at times.  I make sure not to miss my daily pill, or it's bad news the rest of the day.  However, I know we all have choices and it's really up to me to decide how I want to feel and look to be more healthy.  So, now that my marathon is just about a month out, it is time to get shredded and no more excuses!  I'm happy that now Eddie is on board with eating healthy too and we both are making progress with our fitness and weight goals.  It's so much easier when he does it with me cause we both encourage each other and make better choices with our food intake.  Even when we go out to eat, we look for healthy options.  We also have cut back on alcohol.   I'm not drinking any wine until maybe after my marathon to celebrate :)

Last night I ate pasta to carb load at a new place I've never been before with Eddie.  It was delicious and topped with fresh Atlantic salmon.  It was a beautiful morning and I decided to run with a goal of 8:00 pace per mile.  I ran a flat course hoping to keep this pace.   Woke up and ate half a banana.  During my run, I hydrated with coconut water and ate one gu chomp package.  Well, I guess that helped me cause to my surprise I was able to run under that goal pace!  I felt strong and no pain anywhere.  It was a great Easter run!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Getting Faster with Dash

This week I was able to run with my favorite running buddy, Dash!  She ran three weekdays with me this week and was able to go faster each time.  I always let her pace me and I never force her to stay up with me.  In fact, that never happens anyway.  I'm always trying to keep up with her pace..LOL!  On Monday we ran 4 miles at a 8:48/mi. pace.  On Wednesday Dash went up 2 miles and we ran 8 miles with some hill work at my "Keller, Killer, Hills" and she forced me to go up at a faster pace and then I had to slow her down when we went downhill.  It was great teamwork.  That day her pace was 8:32/mi. and finished slower than what we started at.  Again, I just followed her pace.  On Thursday, we ran 3 fast miles at 7:37/mi. per mile and didn't really feel like we were going that fast!  It was fun and really enjoy running with her.  She now knows that when I put on my running shoes it's time to run and she starts getting excited and ready to go!  Love her!!

Saturday, I ran my 14 mile run and was able to maintain a 7:50/mi. pace and that's been my fastest pace for this training season.  My nutrition is back in check and weight is where I want it and that makes all the difference!  I'm drinking my coconut water to hydrate naturally and love it!  Eddie is also back to eating clean and he's also losing the weight he wants and we're getting back to where we want.  He's using the KETO diet.  I don't diet, I just eat clean and watch my food portions and that seems to work for me.  Next week is Easter weekend and my 20 miler run!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Break 2018

This Spring Break and one that we'll all remember!  Eddie and I took some of our middle school students on a STEM Tour to New York and Boston for 6 days.  We left Friday and came back on Wednesday the week of break.  We had 18 students including Noah.  My nutrition wasn't always the best, but was able to still get some runs in either outside or on the treadmill.  I wasn't too worried about it because we walked at least 7 miles a day and we were up and going from the time we had breakfast until we returned to the hotel at night to sleep!  It was nonstop!  It was very cold and I just wanted to run outside, but we stayed about 15 miles away from the city that there wasn't really anywhere to run while in NYC.  So, I had to run indoors which was fine with me.  I just had to wake up super early in order to make it in time for breakfast before heading out with the students.

Our students who I didn't really know since I don't teach them, I got to really get to know them by the  end of the trip.  We didn't have any discipline issues really and for the most part they followed our instructions and are really great kids.  Eddie didn't have much patience for any type of disrespect and student were quick to listen to him.  I'm glad he went with me as a chaperone.  He was my first responder and made sure we were all accounted for and safe everywhere we went.  We were exhausted at the end of day, but we saw so much and learned so much along with the students.

Noah was so cute and loved hanging with the older students and they were good to him.  He also asked great questions and participated in the hands-on lessons with the students.  He sometimes would get jealous because I would pay attention to the other students and not just him.  He would say, "mommy, I'm your son, pay attention to me"....LOL!  Eddie and I had to explain to him that we are responsible for all our students and that we are the parents for them too during the trip.  He was so cute!

In New York, we went to Central Park and students ate a hot dog from a stand, we showed the the outside skating rink, we went to the Plaza Hotel where they filmed Home Alone, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Time Square (shopping), Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, New York Academy of Science for Bridge Building Workshop and coding lesson next day with engineers, 911 Memorial, saw Alexander Hamilton's grave, subway ride to Grand Central Station, and grand finale was seeing a broadway show "Hello Dolly" with Bernadette Peters and Victor Garner!!

We traveled 4 hours on the bus to Boston and we went to dinner in Chinatown.  Next day, we went to MIT Museum, Quincy Market for shopping/lunch, Boston's Children's Hospital for a tour by engineers describing Simulator Program/Inventor Space, Tour of Fenway Baseball Park.  On day 5, we got hit by a blizzard they call the nor'easter and got 18 inches of snow!  Needless to say, we were stuck indoors and had to come up with STEM activities indoors.  We knew this was coming so the night before we went to Target and Eddie and I bought all the students waterproof gloves.  After our first hands-on indoor lesson, we had them get dressed and play in the snow.  Since we are all from Texas, this was such a treat and we were all happy to see so much snow!  Afterwards, we had them play in the pool before dinner and having our last indoor STEM activity.  Our final day, we went to MIT campus for a tour lead by a college student and went to Harvard for a binary coding lesson with science teachers before heading to the airport to go home.

Yes, it was a trip we'll always remember and so happy I was able to lead our students and open their eyes to these awesome cities!  I'm blessed to have met Nancy and other educators who introduced me EF Tours because I love to travel!  I'm already excited for next year's trip!  I did get a run outside in Boston the day before the winter storm.  I was only able to run 6 miles instead of my 14 scheduled miles due to black ice on the ground and time.  I was able to run hills super slow, but that is better than nothing.  I enjoyed the cold weather in the 30s and 40s and loved seeing the snow :)

It's great to be back home and the weather here is in the 70s!  The first run I did was with my running buddy Dash!  I couldn't wait to see her and run with her again.  I missed her so much!  I introduced her into the "Keller Killer Hills" and she did great.  She pushed me to go faster up the hill and then I slowed her down going down.  We pushed each and she challenged me.  She's so like me as a runner. She starts off too fast, runs in front of me and then toward the end she runs right by me.  She runs the whole time and drinks at the end of the run.

On Saturday, I ran 18 miles my first long run since before I left for our trip.  It was St. Patrick's Day and I was ready to run in my hometown again.  I ran by TCU for some hill work and mixed it with flat terrain.  I was excited with my final pace of 8:07 per mile especially, after not eating as healthy as I did before the trip :).  I really think all the walking really helped me and I did run indoors when I could.  It's time to get back on track!!  No excuses!