Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How I became a "runner"

This specific post is mainly to help remind myself of how far I've come in my running, but I also hope it can be used to motivate others who either don't run, or are new to running. I know it can get discouraging at times, and we all need a little inspiration :).

This is probably one of my favorite running quotes.

1 year and 8 months ago: My friend, Andrea, sent me a text while I was at work, and asked if I wanted to run a half marathon with her in November (which was 8 months away.) I thought it was a joke, at first, because I don't run, and I knew she didn't run, so none of it made much sense. I dismissed my confusion, and thought "What the heck." And as soon as I got to a computer I signed up. I sent Andrea a text and said "I did it! I signed up!" Her response? "Ugh, now I really do have to sign up!" Wait. So, you weren't serious? Crap.

My immediate thought: What have I gotten myself into?

Soon after I signed up I thought, well I guess I better see what my legs can do! Apparently, they couldn't do much. I went out on the Greenway with no plan. Didn't know how far I wanted to go; didn't know how far I actually went; didn't know how fast, either. I was just going to run and see what happened. Biggest. mistake. ever. It didn't take me long to realize this wasn't going to work (or be easy.) That's when I decided to do the Couch to 5k program. Free app, starts you out easy (walk/run), beeps and tells you when to start and stop - sounds good to me. 

I decided since the last time I purchased a pair of tennis shoes was probably in high school, it was probably a good idea to buy a new pair. So, I went to the best shoe store around: Shoe Carnival. Actually, Marti & Liz is the best shoe store around, but I didn't think I could run in these:

I ended up buying a chunky pair of purple and black Asics that I thought were some of the best running shoes around. (I mean, they were $100!) Little did I know there were much better ones out there (and better shoe stores, too) Gah, I was such a newb!

Don't worry, I've upgraded twice since these.

In May, I also met my husband; my "coach"; my inspiration, and my running partner! He's an amazing triathlete! He made my 12 week training schedule and has been by my side ever since. (To add more sentimental value to this post, we met in May 2011, were engaged in December and married in June 2012.) 

Before I ran my first 13.1 I raced my first 10k and my first 4 miler (placing for the first time in my AG - 3rd place! I'm pretty sure I was hooked right then.)

1 year and 8 days ago: I ran my 1st half marathon! 2:04. Not too shabby. I thought, "I don't know if I'll ever do that again!" Lots of hills. But you get a medal. and a shirt. and free food. I mean, how can you say no to any of that?!

After that race I did a handful of 5k's. Placing 2nd in my AG for two out of five of them. 

7 months ago: Signed up for my second 1/2 marathon!

1 month ago: Ran my second 1/2 marathon in 2:02! I thought,"I could have done better had I not been injured for 4-5 weeks during my training. I can't wait to do another, though!"

Now, it's the end of  November, and I can say without a doubt I cannot wait until my third 13.1 - Tom King in Nashville, TN. on March 13th. I just hope no injury occurs!

I started out a year and 1/2 ago not being able to run for barely 30 seconds without getting out of breath. The thought of running one mile, let alone 13.1 was unimaginable. 

Now, I run on a regular basis 5-6 days a week. My "easy" pace is between 8:50-9:00, my 5k PR is 24:32, and anything under 8 miles is a "short" run. I'd say I've come a long way since my "Couch to 5k" days. 

Upgraded shoes:

<----- K-Swiss Blade Light Run

Saucony Kinvara 3 (current shoes)  ----->

Races I've done thus far:
one 10k
two 13.1's 
one 4 miler
one 10 miler
two fun runs (Color run and Zombie 5k - both 5k's, but I didn't "race")
five 5k's? (seems like there should be more, though.)

...I think that's all. I've already lost count! And there's lots more to come.

Don't ever say you can't do something. I've accomplished a lot more than I ever thought I would or could!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Childhood dreams

Growing up, I can think of three things I wanted to be (and on a pretty regular basis):

1. A teacher (well, when I was really little I wanted to be a babysitter. And some people don't seem to be able to differentiate between the two.)

2. A magazine editor/ writer
3. A hair stylist

The closest I came to being a hair stylist was working in a salon as a receptionist for 3 years; cutting doll hair; and the occasional bang trim for a very trusting 6 year old. 

The closest I have come to being an editor is proof reading essays for people or correcting someone’s spelling on Facebook.

As for teaching, well that’s what I do now - going on 4 years. Still somewhat of a newbie, but I've gained a LOT of experience within that short time period.

Sometimes, I wonder if teaching is really for me - everyday, until retirement?? If it’s my forte; my passion. Other times, I can’t see myself doing anything in life BUT teach. However, I would not say no to being a housewife or stay-at-home-mom some day.


Don't judge my look. I was unmotivated whilst working on lesson plans on a Sunday afternoon.  I promise I don't look like that when I teach (usually) ;).

But, let’s go back to number 2: magazine editor/writer. When I was little, two of my favorite things to do in elementary school were reading and writing. I wrote short stories, poems, songs, etc. Some were well written; a lot probably made no sense. I remember writing an 8 chapter story when I was in the third grade. Granted, it was strongly based off The Sweet Valley High series, but still. I wrote it. And I was proud of it. I wrote various other short stories as well. All too embarrassing to share, but at the time it was some of my best "work." Actually, If I find them, I promise I'll post one. Pinky swear.

Was anybody else as obsessed with this series as I was?  Along with Babysitter's Club, The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, etc., etc. 

Anyway, writing has always been a way for me to express myself when I don’t know how to any other way. Writing is an art, and unfortunately it seems to have become a lost art. I worry about future generations; that they will not be able to write a complete sentence without using slang or acronyms; that they will rely heavily on technology to “write” for them. 

It doesn't matter what I'm reading, I'll notice any kind of grammar error. Even in my own writing. I'm sure, after I post this, I will go back and find many mistakes. That's just what my brain does.. 

Just to forewarn you, this blog has no niche. It has no direction, and no guidelines. This is not the blog to refer to if you want a new delicious crock pot recipe; it’s not the blog to read if you want to know how to turn that ugly, old side table into an antique (though I want to pick up that hobby - I love antique-looking furniture!); and it won’t be that blog that tells you which exercises are the best to get those 6 pack abs. 

This is what you CAN expect out of this blog:

- personal experience with running, racing, running, racing
- my life as a tri-wife (
- complaints about teaching Kindergarten
- joys of teaching Kindergarten
- inspiration 
- stories of success
- stories of failure
- stories that will make you think. 
- stories that will make you laugh
- lots and lots of  stories that can’t be categorized

These are just aimless musings. Enjoy! :)