Search results for 'man up 10K'

Let’s Regroup.

14 May

Last night, she♥ and I had a very difficult and heated conversation that has led me to reevaluate my summer training and race schedule.

The problem with being addicted to running blogs is that you feel like you have to sign up for a bunch of races.  I feel like I have to sign up for every race.  I have a problem.  I know.  Catching the race bug is a problem.

I’m finding that its distracting me from the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is that my goal is that half marathon, still so far out of my reach.

from familybalancesheet.org

I wasn’t ready this year.  And I won’t be ready by the time 2013 marathon season ends.  That stings.

But what I can make sure I’m ready for is a 10K.  And I mean really ready.  Not rushed and half-ass trained.  So yes, I’ve shelved the Man Up! 10K on June 16th.  It’s not the 10K I dreamed about anyway.  All the 5Ks I want to sign up for are distractions and I know that.  I’m realizing, always the hard way, that distractions lead to self-sabotage.  I want that half marathon too much.  No more distractions.

I’ve decided to spend the rest of my summer focusing on building a damn solid base for the Pittsburgh Great Race in September.  The Great Race has always been #2 on my race bucket list (the Pittsburgh Marathon holds the #1 spot) and I’ll be damned if I walk part of the way.

Completing my first 5K in early summer, my first 10K in early fall, and then focusing on training for my first half marathon (May 2014) is nothing to be ashamed of.  The time will come when I am able to run races on a whim, but I need to do this first.  I need to do it the right way and by that I mean, in a way that’s right for me. 

So that’s it.  Great Race or bust.

 

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The Biggest Announcement Yet!

9 May

2014 has been a strange sort of year for me.  I’ve got personal goals spewing out of my mouth like bottle rockets: upcoming races, books I want to read, writing goals, fitness ideas.

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It’s all becoming a bit of a problem.  When you’re an indecisive person like I am, the last thing you need is inspiration like firecrackers: excitement building, a big sudden bang, but then suddenly just smoke in the wind.

brit-cringing

This year (aka the year I turned 30), I knew I had to make a change in my attitude or I would forever be caught in a cycle of things left unfinished.  I told myself that I didn’t want to feel like that ever again.  So, I changed.  I stopped putting so much pressure on myself, I started using running mantras, I embraced flexibility as a means to success, I stopped comparing my progress and performance to the progress and performance of others, I starting being accountable for what goes in my body.  I started having fun with running and that changed everything.

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I took this week as a recovery week.  I’ve been reflecting on my work schedule, family obligations, etc. to figure out what my next move is.  Last summer, I was all wishy-washy about my goals and I ended up squandering opportunities to run 2 of the big races I really wanted to do:  The Man Up 10K and The Great Race.  Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can finish a 10K, I’m ready to make a big move.

So let’s chat goals.  There are a few 5Ks and 10Ks I’d like to run in the next few months, but one big fat race waiting for me in the fall.  I feel sick typing this, but here goes nothing:  I’ve made up my mind to run the Erie Half Marathon.  I’ve now said it out loud on the internet so that means I have to do it, right?  It’s a flat half marathon in an incredibly scenic state park that is spectator friendly.  Any races I participate in between now and September 14th are just preparation for that day.

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Oh, this is going to be a winding, lovely road built of blood, sweat, and tears.  In the back of my mind, the idea of running a friggin’ half marathon has been slowly gaining momentum for years and I’ve never felt more ready.  I am trading in my anxiety and self-doubt.  I’m trading them in for a really hard, elusive, demanding, difficult-to-explain thing that is the half marathon.  I can’t wait to suck every drop out of this experience, document it, and store it away here in this place that I love.

 

UPDATE (6/5/13):  I will no longer be running the 2014 Erie Half – it’s the Pittsburgh Half 2015 or die trying!  ♥  

 

Race Recap: Great Race

29 Sep

I don’t even know where to start with this recap other than to say this was such an awesome race!!  I had built this one up so much in my head that I had been nauseous for DAYS, I mean I’d been running but I definitely did not stick to my training plan.  Oopsie?  The night before I tried really hard to just relax, but of course I want to fuss over everything when I’m stressed out.  I ran down to the expo on Saturday and grabbed my bib, I did a few laps around and talked myself down from buying anything because I wanted EVERYTHING.  I did stick around and play with the kitties at the ARL booth and say hi to the Greyhounds.

Great-Race-2014-Expo-Bib

I made sure I ate something carbaliciously familiar the night before and somehow managed to get an awesome night’s sleep.  I woke up at 6:30 and at a pumpkin english muffin (who knew those existed?!) with peanut butter, a bottle of water, and a banana.  Then I paced around my house for several hours.  I finally decided to head to the starting line super early because I thought it would be better to just stretch and people watch.  As soon as I parked my car I realized that my phone armband thing was broken which was soooooooo annoying.  The stupid velcro just came completely off so it wouldn’t stick together anymore.  I guess if something had to go wrong on race day morning, I’m glad it was just that!

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The starting line was insanity.  This was by far the biggest race I’ve ever been to.  The relay didn’t seem crowded to me because I started at an exchange point and the crowd was pretty small.  It looked like this in front and behind me.  I seriously could not stop people watching, I’m such a creeper!  The crowd started slowly walking towards the starting line and I was so so so nervous because this race starts with a hill.  As the people crossed under the start, the tempo picked up a little bit and they were blasting the song “Shout.”  It was seriously the perfect time in the song as I started, the way the crowd was picking up speed at that exact moment – I seriously can’t even explain how awesome that feeling was!  I was totally not nervous anymore and I killed it up the hill.

I felt like I was pacing myself pretty well, which was easy since it was so crowded.  I tried to just find someone who looked experienced and was running around the same pace I wanted to be at, then just tried to stick with them!  That worked like a charm for the first 2.5 miles.  As we got into the Oakland, I was shocked that the first 1/3 of the race went so fast.  I started to struggle around UPMC because I felt like my bladder was about to pop – luckily that’s right where the 5K starting line was so there were bathrooms available.  I seriously wished there had been at least one other bathroom available  before the middle of the race.

The second half of the race was a LOT harder than the first for me.  It was getting really hot and there is not much shade from Oakland until you get downtown.  I made sure to walk through every water station.  The first actual walking break I had to take was right at the mile 5 marker because I started getting a side stitch.  My legs felt like jelly as soon as I started walking so I kept telling myself to push through it because ain’t nobody got time for that.  I think I SPRINTED down the hill on the Boulevard of the Allies and I knew I would be okay when I was still passing people as we pushed into downtown.  I just remember thinking – “OMG, this is the coolest thing EVER!” as I ran into downtown.  That was another big first for me!

As soon as I saw the finish line banner I gave it all I had and finished strong.  I was actually kind of nervous at the mile 6 marker that I would be crawling across the timing mat because I was just so done at that point.  Of course the crowds and the adrenaline wouldn’t let that happen though. 🙂

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It was really disorientating after the finish line because it was just a massive crowd of confused, tired, sweaty, disoriented zombies wandering around a grassy knoll.  I made a bee-line for the water station, which was really understaffed if you ask me.  All I wanted was a banana and people would. not. move.

Starving

I grabbed 2 bananas and an apple and headed directly for a shady spot closer to the point and away from the crowds.  I just laid there and couldn’t move.  You know I’m just exhausted when there is a squirrel within 15 feet of me and I literally don’t react.  (I do NOT like squirrels.)  I laid in the grass, ate my apple, and listened to my favorite cool down music.  I want to always remember those few minutes and that feeling:

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It was seriously so awesome!  My Garmin said I finished in 1:07:22, but my official time was 1:09:55.  Since this is my first official 10K, I’m considering this my PDR race AND since I ran basically this same distance in the relay in May – it was a PR too!  Just a great day all around and an absolutely awesome race.   Definitely didn’t have the energy for a full smile though!

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I took the shuttle back to the starting line where my car was and I will NEVER do that again.  I underestimated how badly a city bus full of sweaty runners could actually smell.  I will run this race again and again and again though!

 

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

25 Aug

Welcome to today’s 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly series in which I document my weekly running progress, nutrition, photos, and mileage as I train for Pittsburgh’s 2014 Great Race on September 28th.  If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you can also follow along using the hashtag #sftsRUNS.   These overviews are intended not only for me as a way to document my fitness journey, but also as a means to inspire other newbie runners who are ready to move beyond the 5K distance.

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns

Weekly Overview:

This week, I could feel myself mentally refocusing on fitness which is exactly what my goal was.  Actually, my goal was to not skip any training runs.  That goal was unreached this week, but I’m really happy with how the week went.  I tried to balance between the need to add mileage and listening to my body.  My body let me know pretty early in the week that we would not be logging too many miles too quickly.  I missed a few runs after all.  BUT, I’m happy with the quantity of miles I logged and also at the quality of my runs.  I’m feeling pretty confident going into this week!

Training Plan:

Planned Mileage:  13.5

Actual Mileage: 11.86

Longest Distance:  4.52

Training Miles to Date: 13.86

Weight Change:

I really dislike weighing myself when my monthly gift arrives because my body retains an unnecessary amount of water.  I have seen 10 lbs. fluctuations over the course of 24 hours, it’s actually insane.

Physical Condition:

I didn’t notice any issues this week, except that I think my shoes are nearing their end of life.  I was hoping they would last me through Great Race training, but I don’t know if they will!  I’m waiting a week or so to figure out if my feet are just readjusting to being active again, which is equally as likely right now.  Running in Pittsburgh is no joke, yo.  The unwavering humidity we’ve had, the endless steep or rolling hills, THE MADNESS.  Maybe I’m just not a summer runner…but I’m trying to be dammit!

Mental Condition:

My super power is that I curl up into a ball and wait for death every time I menstruate, so yeah.  I’m in my usual fog of complete and utter exhaustion, fatigue, hunger, and crankiness right now BUT I’m not letting it stop my fitness.  <- I actually talked to my doctor about this and she prescribed me a low-dose birth control which I will be starting soon.  Hopefully being on the pill will help regulate my hormones and I won’t be on such a crazy emotional roller coaster every month.  It should also prevent the hormone fluctuations which I think are causing my fatigue.  No more excuses!

Nutrition:

Somehow I managed to procrastinate grocery shopping for almost two full weeks, which meant scavenging for food when I was home and eating Subway when I couldn’t find anything.  I don’t feel like I ate particularly bad, but it wasn’t great either.  The summer heat does NOT motivate me to cook much, let alone eat much.  The good news is, I stocked my fridge and pantry back up so this should improve this coming week.  🙂  I had considered trying the paleo diet, but the doctor said that I should rethink it.  I’ve been reading a ton about macro-nutrients and IIFYM; I’m still sifting through all the info and I’m thinking this might be the one for me!  Right now I’m just focusing on preparing and eating healthy options.

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

Big zero in this column for the week!  I even skipped the last day of Yoga In The Square because I moved my long run to Sunday.  Ooops!

Impact On Real Life:

Someday I hope I look back on this post and remember this rookie mistake:  I started training for an end-of-September race in the beginning of June.  This makes absolutely no sense, but does explain why I was feeling so burned out by training by the time actual training was supposed to start.  I was technically training for a Firecracker the entire month of June, but mentally I was training for the Great Race.  A more experienced runner would’ve separated their 5K and 10K training into two different plans, with a few recovery weeks in between.  Hindsight being 20/20, I won’t make that mistake again.  But, last week I realized that I needed to reevaluate my training plan to get the most out of the time I have left.

Action Plan:

This week, I really need to dig deep and get every training run in. The only person who is going to be effected is ME, and why would I want to screw myself over?  I don’t want to screw anybody else over obviously, but I definitely don’t want to screw myself over!  I want to finish the Great Race, and honestly I’d like to run a better race than I did in the PM Relay.  I have a hundred thousand excuses for any and everything throughout the day – they no longer apply to my running.

Pre-The-Gift

Friday Five: Goals

25 Jul

This week’s Friday Five linkup (an awesome weekly event hosted by Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC, Mar @ Mar On The Run, and Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What!) is themed: Goals!  One of my favorite things to talk about since I’m endless making new goals for myself!!  I find that being goal-oriented is one of the only things that keeps me focused at getting things done.  I’ve always expressed my goals here, and mid-summer is a fab time to check in on their progress.

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1. Pittsburgh’s Great Race 10K – Last summer, I struggled with running.  I set lofty goals for myself and then sabotaged myself when I couldn’t handle the pressure.  I registered last year and talked a big game about how I was going to run in September.  Then, in one of the most disappointing moments I’ve ever had in myself, I sold my bib the weekend of the race because I just wasn’t able to run that far.  Not this year.  This year, I’ve kept my eye on the prize and I’ve all ready got my 6.1 mile leg of the Pittsburgh Marathon under my belt.  I’ve been more realistic with my training schedule, I’ve been more focused on nutrition, and I generally feel like I’m in a better place mentally with running.  The race is 10 weeks out and I feel like I’m right on track!

2.  Lucky # 12 – This is a goal I’ve really struggled with over the years because I’ve generally been a very lazy person.  BUT!  This summer I’ve finally pushed past my plateau and I think I may actually reach my goal.  By the end of the summer, I hope to be down to 175 lbs.  I’m only 12 lbs. away from hitting that milestone (a milestone which I haven’t seen since probably high school!) and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can crush that goal, too.

At my heaviest vs. last weekend!

At my heaviest vs. last weekend!

3.  4 Week Challenge Group – This one isn’t quite as serious as the other 2, but committing to a 4 week challenge group where you are asked to participate daily is kind of a big commitment.  The group happens in a secret Facebook page and I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful.  I’m getting tons of ideas and support from the other members, which is the reason I joined.  There have been MANY days in which I would’ve let the lazy get the better of me, but seeing the “sweaty” pics the other members posts pushes me to be active.  The challenge is over the first week of August, and I’m honestly going to miss it!

4.  Service – Back in April, I made a commitment to volunteer more.  And by more I mean period, at all.  The beginning of the summer sent my personal life into a bit of a tailspin, so unfortunately this goal got pushed to the back burner for a few months.  Through this awesome gal, I learned about this awesome program through the Animal Rescue League where runners volunteer to jog with the shelter dogs.  What an incredibly mutually beneficial program for everyone involved – the shelter dogs get personal human interaction, physical time in the great outdoors, and valuable social skills.  The shelter gets free man power and I get to be active while making a difference.  I mean how great is that?

5.  Pittsburgh Half Marathon – I basically started running so that I could run this race.  No pressure or anything.  It has been my goal race for years.  YEARS. YEARS!!!!!!!!!  2015 is about to be my year, I just know it.  I’m crazy superstitious about stuff, and I’m obsessed with the idea of running 13.1 miles for the 1st time the year I turn 31.  TRY AND TELL ME THAT’S NOT A SIGN….

girrrrrrl


I hope you enjoyed this Friday Five linkup, I had fun writing it and I can’t wait to participate in more of them!!

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