Hyannis Half Marathon recap through thoughts!

Thoughts that run through my head (I hope you enjoy it!)

staying warm inside

staying warm inside

a new month has arrived and what do i find, my race this month is longer than last, 13.1 to be exact.

but i’m ready because i’ve been training so let’s hope for the best.

traveled south for two hours for the race weekend away, hydrating all the way.

first stop is race expo and see what we can find.

lots of cool stuff to buy but walk out only $12 poorer with a new fuel belt.

new friends bill rodgers and dick beardsley

new friends bill rodgers and dick beardsley

spend sometime chatting it up with marathon men, bill rodgers and dick beardsley, always nice to get some new advice!

after a nice dinner, dip in the hot tub, time to sleep but restless all night.

why such nerves, i’ve done this before?

breakfast is small and just plain oatmeal is served, or at least to me.

race time has arrived, i love towing the line with others joy and excitement to push ourselves to our fullest for the next few hours.

off we go on this beautiful day

faster than i want but i listen to the inner voice, the voice that is confident and assured so sub 8’s we go.

enjoying the weather, the breeze, the sun, the ocean. 

these rare days you get in new england in february!

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just a leisurely sunday run

i think i overdressed but i can handle it because i’m training, i’m learning what my body can take.

it’s just a run with 3000 of my closest running friends who enjoy doing crazy things like this.

settling in around mile 5 i see my partner cheering me on.  i love to see him in the crowd.

i’m lifted for the next miles to come.

fueled up and ready for more, settling for a solid pace right around 8 or 8:15.  

if my body will allow i can handle this and get a new pr.

mile 5 and still smiling

mile 5 and still smiling

chatted it up with a few people just relaxing and enjoying the time doing something so wonderful.

so thankful for the crowds that come out to cheer us on, thanking them as much as i can and lots of thumbs up if i can’t find my voice.

struggling now at mile 10, the wall has come, slowing down but knowing if i can just keep moving i will make it.

one foot in front of the other, step after step.

wait, there are the leg cramps, haven’t had those in a while but push through and remember the salt next time!

into mile 12, i can do anything for 1.1 more miles even if i have to crawl, okay not crawl but i will get that pr.

keep pushing, keep pushing.

oh look a downhill!

DSC_0379i can hear the end, the crowds are so loud.

music playing and voices blaring, here i come, here i come.

arms thrown up victorious, another battle won.

i made it and faster than i could ever think.

just like that it is over but the smile and time can not be erased.

love the finish line, the new bling, the cheers of the crowds, the knowledge it’s done.

lots of water and new sweaty fashion show with my bling

lots of water and new sweaty fashion show with my bling

time to rest, stretch and enjoy a great time by almost 5 minutes.

yippee

 

Official results:

New PR – 1:48:10 – 8:09 pace, 37 out of 336 in division, 727 out of 2983 racers

Garmin says the race was 13.26 long, instead of 13.1 but oh well, it was fun!

Here are a few more pics from this weekend.  Enjoy!

new reading material, my bib signed by dick and bill, my shirt to wear after completing the race

new reading material, my bib signed by dick and bill, my shirt to wear after completing the race

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

 

arriving on the cape, a beautiful day

arriving on the cape, a beautiful day

Motivational Monday 2/24/14

This is the advice I live on.  Happy Monday!

motivational46

Preparation…

Are you ready?Is there anything that really prepares you for change?

That is the question that is on my mind right now.  As I have started my new job I began to second guess my strengths mainly because I haven’t used them in this role just yet.  I haven’t really been challenged (which is good I need to learn how everything runs first) but I begin to wonder if I am ready and how do you know you are ready?  I guess my answer at this very moment is … you don’t.

Or maybe I should change that to “I don’t”.

So what does someone do who is not sure if they are ready, they jump in with faith and trust.  Faith they know what to do and trust that the others will believe in them enough to give them a chance.   There is also that piece of past history meaning I have changed things in the past and they have worked so I should believe that it will happen again.  preparation1

Then there is the running piece… I prepare by working out, doing lots of core work, eating better, and putting lots and lots of miles under my feet to prepare for a race.  Not so I will win (okay there are probably some of those unrealistic thoughts out there but really my winning is doing my best and hitting my goals) but so I can have that accomplishment under my belt.  But oddly enough when each race comes around (especially for longer distances) I begin to ask myself, am I prepared?  Did I do enough?  Should I take one more run just to be ready?  I guess the answer here is “no”.  Don’t second guess all the things I have done to prepare.  One of my favorite signs from my marathon was “Trust your training”.  I think this applies to real life too.

Trust your abilities, trust your preparation!  (That is my slogan over the next few weeks in running and at work!)

Gotta love self-doubt!  Anyone else ever experience this and how do you overcome it?

17 mile fuel report

As you all already know I am training for my next marathon and last night for Valentine ’s Day (okay after dinner and a wonderful time with my man) I made a stop at Dicks for some new fuel to try out.  I think I am finding a good mix but I only have 2 months left to make sure I get this right.

This is all unsolicited but here is what I discovered today (the good and the bad).

I started with these as I drove to my long run:

IMG_1654

 

They were pretty good but after about 10 I wanted to not eat anymore due to the fact that the lemon taste was getting to me (insert the puckered face look here).  I was drinking a lot so maybe it was good I ate them.  I did feel like I had a lot of energy at the beginning and they were able to sustain me through the fast part of my run.

Up next around mile 5.5, I ate this.  (I usually eat it sooner but I was doing a fast 5.5 miles and then a long 11.5 miles so I was pacing myself)

Yummm!  Mocha flavored

Yummm! Mocha flavored

This seems to be my new favorite.  I love the taste and believe it or not, it is not as thick as GU.  I felt the energy fairly quickly and I was able to keep a pretty solid pace.

My final energy gel was taken around mile 10 (I probably should have taken the other one I brought around mile 15 but quite frankly I was just ready to be done by then so I didn’t).

 

Picture Vanilla here!

Picture Vanilla here!

I thought this one would be good because it is very thin but I totally disliked it.  Maybe it was the flavor.  I had the vanilla one thinking that it would be nice to have something a little different.  Well let’s just say the feeling I had in my stomach was a little different, I wanted to find a place to get rid of it!  But I didn’t I found myself drinking a lot of my water I brought along to get the taste out of my mouth and to try and calm my stomach.  (Guess what I won’t be buying again, vanilla!)

All in all I was able to complete my 17 mile run at my favorite place in the snow (it snowed the WHOLE time) and it felt pretty good.  I felt like I learned a lot about the fueling piece but there is still work to do before that April marathon (it is coming to fast!!!!).  Here are all the ones I picked up last night:

IMG_1646

Anyone else ever had these issues?  Any recommendations for some fuel that has worked for you?

IMG_1653[1]

Not a very flattering picture but who looks great after 17 miles!

 Happy 15th day of February!

Awww snow days….

squirrel-snow-dayIn the past 7 weeks we have had 7 snowstorms that have produced quite a bit of snow.  Today was one of them.  I did get some work in before I came home at noon but I am always amazed at how our snowstorms differ from other states.

My mom lives in Oklahoma and if they got the 12 inches we received today they would be trapped for a few days before the roads were cleared.  I went out this evening and cleared off the cars and shoveled a little to prepare for the plowing but if I wanted to go somewhere I could (but really who wants to when vegging on the coach is a better option).  I guess that is one of the things I love about living in New England is that seasons come but we are prepared and can handle it (of course at this point, it is getting a little old shoveling).

nap

I wish I looked this cute when I napped!

So you ask, what does one do with so many snow days in a season (translation: an extra day off each week!)?  Well today I took a nap!  Yep I said it.  A nap!  It wasn’t too long but it was long enough to make me feel refreshed.  (I am starting to think that we should always include naps in our days!)  And I got some other stuff done around the house so I can have the long weekend to relax (translation: run my long run without too much guilt).

Last night as I was watching the weather, I was anticipating a day to do nothing as they talked about this new snowstorm.  I knew that my nothing really translates as getting things done so I can do other things I really want to do!

Which brings up the next subject of my upcoming half and marathon training…… I set the goal of participating in a race monthly and next weekend (2/23) is my first half of my trilogy of halves and I am confused.  I use to taper for these races but I am really training for my marathon which at this point is my priority.  The half was just added in there to make me accountable and keep me training.  I’m trying to figure out what to do.  This weekend is supposed to be a long run day (at least 15 miles, probably more) and I would not normally run this far the weekend before a half marathon but since I am not doing the half for time but more for training and experience, I think I will keep my long distance this weekend.  I guess the confusion arises when I think is this too much?  I guess the only way to know is when I do it but then I don’t want to hurt myself which would cause my marathon training to get off.

So this is the part of the blog where someone slaps me and tells me to “shut up and suck it up!  You are not doing anything that someone else hasn’t done!  And seriously when you are doing your distance runs you do consecutive long distance run  in following weekends.”  Okay, okay, quit slapping me and yelling at me!  I get it!  I’m not an elite runner (because if I were I would have a hard-core trainer to tell me what to do and wouldn’t have to put it out there to my blog friends for advice) but if I were an elite runner, I would probably laugh at my dilemma and say “unless you are running over 50 miles a week you are probably not running enough miles to worry about an extra half during your training” (special note: not running 50 miles a week, sometimes I even find it an accomplishment to run 50 miles in a month!)

Thanks for letting me work out my issues in my blog.  You guys are awesome for reading all my crazy thoughts.  Since you have made it this far in my unusually long blog, I will share with you a picture from our local TV station during the height of our storm today.  Enjoy!winterstorm

Have a wonderful 13th day of February!

Acceptance

acceptance2A common theme of my work is “accepting the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

But how do we know?  How do we know what to accept and what we can change?  I guess that is the wisdom piece but as humans we tend to second guess ourselves even if we have all the wisdom in the world.

I’m no guru on how to make this happen but I know how this works in my life (or at least I work on this acceptance piece a lot in my life).

Recently I knew I needed a change in my career path, I was unsure when, where, why or how but I knew a difference would help me.  So I accepted this fact and I began to look.  I was fortunate enough to get some immediate interviews and options and realized that indeed this was going to happen.  Then acceptance once again, change is hard but necessary in order to grow.

For me this is where the courage part had to step in and take over.  I spent two weeks saying “Goodbye” to my clients.  It was hard and I fortunately was able to write about it here.  It took courage to meet with each client each day and process with them their next step while really the only thing I wanted to do was run (I’m not a huge fan of confrontation and having to do it 40 times in two weeks was overwhelming).

Now I am two days in to my new adventure and I am accepting the change and becoming overwhelmed with all the new knowledge I must take on to do the job successfully.  I am however fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful people who are encouraging and calming.  Some of the best advice I have gotten from a fellow employee is to give it time (hey isn’t that acceptance?!) because you don’t learn this overnight but you will learn it.  I am confident that I know what I am doing because it is still therapy it just comes down to the paperwork and reporting aspect which is always different at every agency.

For me, I have and still remind myself each day to accept the things I cannot change, having the courage to change the things I can and using my knowledge and wisdom to know the difference. acceptance3

Oh and did I mention that acceptance is my word for the year!  So what a great way to get it started with “acceptance” happening at the beginning of the year!

Are there things you need to accept and things you need to change?

Up since 4:45 and Hangry!

hangry1Do you ever have those moments in your life where you stop and say, “What the heck?”?

I had one of those today and I kind of got mad at myself.  I was angry with everyone.  I had been up since 4:45am and only eaten one time at 8am and I realized it was 4 pm in the afternoon and I was mad.  I didn’t want to be mad, I didn’t want to be hangry (that is what we call so hungry, I’m angry mood I slip into now and then).  It seemed like things were going bad and I was frustrated!

It all started with having to be at the hospital early for a surgery (not for me).  Things went really well and I was all excited about getting to leave on time to be able to get home, have lunch and then get to my afternoon appointment.  But sadly that is not what happened.  There was nothing tragic, it was just that time seemed to slip away.  Before I knew it I was having to rush to an appointment at 2:30 without lunch (meaning the only meal I had eaten was at 8am and now all I had eaten were the m&m’s I brought to the hospital, gotta have my chocolate but I had water to make sure some of my eating was healthy).  My appointment was a follow-up to an appointment I had on Tuesday so I was scared and nervous already because in my eyes it can never be good if they call you back to run more tests/another mammogram and ultrasound a few days later.

My appointment went okay, I discovered I need to find a new imaging center because the radiologist was a complete jerk and seemed to have no bedside manner, but everything was okay.  I just now get the assignment of going back and doing it over again in 6 months.  So the “hanger” set in more.  I started saying to myself, “I’m in the best shape of my entire life, why do they have to find things like this now.”  There isn’t much to talk about because it is really nothing but a cyst, I’m very hopeful.  But it was more in how I was treated.  Sometimes other women (specifically doctors) don’t seem to have the bedside manner towards others that is needed especially when it comes to breast health (there I said it, “boobies need love too”).  Hangry

Well anyway, my “hanger” has a mind of its own at times.  And as I drove home, I found myself very tense and critical of other drivers.  I was not happy!  But now I began to realize it and began to think, “What the heck?”  Which is then proceeded by “How the heck do I get out of it?”  Well, I think you know the answer, just eat something you crazy woman!  Hey, guess what, that is what I did once I got home.  (I can’t say as that handled it right away but I did feel better)  There was more to getting out of the “hanger” though.

One, I had to realize it!  Two, I had to make a change.  Three, I had to follow through!

Isn’t that the way all change happens?!  Why is it so hard for any of us to do?  I don’t know about you but I don’t like to feel out of control and that is what “hangry” makes me.  But really in order to stop this behavior, I had to realize how I was acting, decide to do something about it and then do it!

So in the end, hunger + not eating + getting up before the crack-a** of dawn = Hangry Shanna!  And the best remedy I have (because I can’t control other people and their behaviors) is to eat regularly and go to bed early tonight to recover!

Happy Friday! hangry3

The Benefits of Therapy

massage2Okay so we are not going to talk about mental health therapy because I could go on and on about the benefits of this but I’m talking about Massage therapy.

I get excited when I make the appointment, knowing that when I am done I will feel soooooo good!  I will have been rubbed down and all those spots that are overwhelmed in pain will feel so relieved.

So back to the benefits….

We all know that it helps reduce stress, pain, and muscle tension but I know there is more.  For me it gives me “me” time, you know that time that you can just lay there and someone is serving you (I don’t know about you but it doesn’t happen for me to often).  A massage also helps me with sinus issues (even though I am completing allergy shots and feeling great, it’s amazing how much massages open up my sinuses).   I also find that massage helps with headaches.  I have never been a fan of taking to many medications so when I get a headache, I usually find myself putting an icepack on that pesky shoulder of torture or even on my neck as well as doing a self-massage.  massage3

I really I think a huge benefit of massage is the feeling of taking care of myself.  We all go to doctors and dentists for regular check-ups (if you don’t you better) but who is checking up on our muscles?  Who is helping us keep the blood flowing and getting rid of those toxins in our body?  For me, my answer is going to be my massage therapist.

I think adding more of these sessions will benefit my marathon training too, not to mention my mental health!

Do you have benefits from massage I haven’t mentioned?  When was your last massage?  What is keeping you from having another one?

Happy Thursday!