Monday, November 10, 2014

Red Ribbon Half Marathon

We did it! As of 9:45 on Saturday morning, Matt and I became half-marathoners! The accomplishment felt amazing and I'm so proud of us. There were so many moments during the run that I felt like giving up but I didn't :)
We woke up at 4AM on Saturday. The temperature was around 50 degrees with a humidity of 90%, making it extremely chilly. I stuffed my face with an almond butter smeared English muffin and sipped on my coffee. I was nervous and excited. I had my clothes laid out the night before, all the way down to my socks, head band and I pinned my bib onto my shirt. I was ready to go, and yet ready for it all to be over. Matt and I arrived to where the race was at around 6 AM. This Florida girl was freezing and I was in shorts. Matt and I did our dynamic stretches and around 6:45 we ate our Stinger waffle as we got in line with the pacers. I stuck with the 2:20 group because I didn't want to be overwhelmed with people passing me with my first half-marathon. The open ceremony ended and we were off! My adrenaline was pumping but I tried to keep a steady pace. We ended up comfortably passing the 2:20 group and kept the 2:10 group in our sites. The first 4 miles were easy, and the weather felt amazing. There were hilarious signs, and signs that made me feel so thankful and encouraged. One girl held a sign that said "Run like a girl!" and another saying "Run for those who can't" while another was the face of Ryan Gosling in glasses and said "Hey girl" which added a little pep to my run ;) Tons of people from the community came out with their lawn chairs and cheered us on throughout the course and I realized why so many people love to run these races! The community and encouragement was so awesome and really helped me enjoy the run. By mile 4.50 I saw a porto potty and I knew I needed to go! We stopped and waited in line which hurt our time, but I tried to keep my mind off that and enjoy myself. I was not going to run another 9 miles or so having to pee lol.

Around mile 5 I ate a pack of Stinger gummies and filled up our water bottle (buying a water bottle made for running was one of the best decisions we made). The water stations were spread out for this race, and trying to drink a cup of water in a hurry usually results in you splashing water all over your face and shirt instead of drinking it. I think out of nervousness I drank too much water early on and it resulted in a tummy cramp (I know rookie mistake). At about mile 8 I was beginning to feel the aches in my knees and my calves, but I refused to walk. I kept going along, and by mile 10 I was lagging and I was thanking God that I packed a second pack of gummies since the race only provided one GU station. The last 4 miles felt like forever and they were by far the legs hurt and by that time I was beating myself up for going "slow." Half-marathons hurt and by that point I was asking myself "why the heck did you sign up for this?" and at mile 11 I heard all the cheers and read the encouraging signs again and I began to talk to myself and pray. I began to tell myself "just two more miles" and "you're strong, you can make." I probably looked like a crazy person muttering to myself, but by that point I was tired, in pain and ready for it to be over. Mile 12 which was up a hill that I had practiced during my training and just so happened to be through the college campus I work! Having the hill be at the end of the race killed me! I swear I felt like a turtle running through peanut butter, but I never stopped! I pushed with everything in me up that hill and while I was crawling running up the hill I saw a man in a wheel chair with a sign cheering us on, and I was just so humbled by it that I gave it my all to finish the hill. I ran another 1/2 mile and then the steepest of all the hills came up near the finish line and with all the energy I had left- I ran up the hill when I heard the most beautiful sound-the sound of cheers from the finish line. I grabbed Matt's hand (he was so nice to stay with me the whole time) and we crossed the finish line together! It was the most amazing feeling! I was greeted with a medal and Gatorade. I swear I've never wanted a Gatorade more in my life! I could feel the salt on my skin and I needed electrolytes immediately. We walked to the Runner's village and while Matt downed a chocolate milk with a muffin, I felt woozy and slowly ate a banana. We snapped pictures, and slowly wobbled walked back to our car with the biggest smiles :) 
We indulged in pizza and beer for lunch as our victory meal and I spent the rest of the day stretching, foam rolling, and putting my feet up while I watched Netflix. That half-marathon was by far one of the hardest things I have every done, and I felt so proud and accomplished to be have completed it. There were times I really wanted to give up, but I just kept talking to myself and staying positive. Running challenges your mind more than your body, and I feel so proud that I could push through the pain and finish despite a cold, and despite the challenging course. We finished the half at 2:20 and although that sounds slow to some, I feel so proud and accomplished. I really worked hard for this. Now its time to begin training for the Disney Princess half! This time I'm going to begin working on speed. It is truly amazing what you can accomplish when you work hard :)

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Friday, November 7, 2014

13.1 Miles-Ready or Not.

Tomorrow I run my first half-marathon. It has been a tiring and yet an incredible journey! I've had the best running partner and I've grown stronger physically, emotionally and mentally. I am my worst critic and I never thought I could run 12 miles or even be a day away from running a half marathon, but here we are! Although I'm so nervous I feel an incredible spirit of peace pouring over me this morning. I've worked so hard to prepare for this race.

I've kept my nutrition in check, I carb-loaded yesterday and I've been taking it easy all week because I have felt a slight cold (I've heard this common during a taper week). I have been eating clean plant-based meals with some extra cold-pressed veggie juices to just to prepare my body for the race. I have also been spending about 15 minutes a day to foam roll and stretch my legs. Taking it easy this week has been exactly what my body needs.

My whole life I've always been so critical of myself and I've spent the whole week scared that I will some how fail at running the half, or some way some how I won't be able to complete it. Those thoughts however are drowned out by a divine peace and confidence in my training. I don't talk about personal faith very much on this blog, but I am so grateful to God for giving me strength and keeping me so healthy through this. He has matched my every step and has been with me through every part of this journey.

A lot of sweat and emotion goes into training for a race, and anything that requires hard work for that matter. There were a couple moments where I felt insecure about my body and then while I completing a long run, I remember being so grateful for the very legs and body that I was insecure about the day before. Every muscle, tendon and ligament was strong enough to take my body through every mile. How could I not be proud and thankful for it? How could I be critical of a body that could carry me through my day-the same body that houses my heart and my human spirit. That lesson has been the greatest asset that I have gained through this training. So many people are unable to physically run tomorrow, and I am humbled and thankful that I get to run those 13.1 miles.

So here we go! We're ready to run hard, but most of all- we're ready to enjoy ourselves :)

If you feel led, please donate to the Inner Act Alliance, which works to prevent underage alcohol and tobacco abuse. Donate here:  

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Hummus

Well it has been a crazy month. We moved, Matt received an amazing opportunity at work, lots of half-marathon training and then before I knew it we were in October and I will be turning 25 next Monday. Where has the time gone? I swear I feel like it was just summer and now my apartment is full of fall decorations and now I'm stuffing myself with everything pumpkin or some other squash. I swear once the first day of fall rolls around, I frantically run around the grocery store with excitement buying up cinnamon brooms and everything that is seasonal. I've been living off squash soups, and fall-related recipes because I just LOVE FALL. Florida falls and winters are amazing and I look forward to shorter days and crisper and less humid weather :)

This week I got a cooking bug and decided to scour Pinterest for fall recipes and what did I find?!?! PUMPKIN HUMMUS from the amazing Pinch of Yum. She has better pictures than me, because lets be honest, I was too excited to snap too many shots. As you can see in the pic above-I was already diving in with my cracker that was not able to handle the weight of the hummus that I was scooping onto it lol (see recipe below).

In running news, we ran our longest run yet on Saturday and it was killer! I felt so proud of us for sticking to this goal and I really could not have done it without Matt. I become such a baby near the end of long runs and his positivity just keeps me going :) 

I'm excited/nervous for the race, but I'm positive that we have worked hard and we will accomplish this together on November 8th!

Oh and these little fur balls are loving all of their new space and lake view :) 
Catober October puts a spot light on black cats and we're so LUCKY to have these two to love and spoil :) 

Pumpkin Hummus (inspired by Pinch of Yum)
 by Whitney Davis
 Prep Time: 10 minutes
 Keywords: vegetarian gluten-free Thanksgiving fall
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 Coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 honey
  • 1teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary (more to taste)
  • salt to taste
To roast the garlic, add the cloves to 1 the coconut oil and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes or until fragrant.
Puree all ingredients except rosemary in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add more oil or water as needed. Stir in the rosemary.
Serve with whole wheat crackers, veggies or apples!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Training for a half marathon as a working gal

Well I think its official-running has taken over my life! A lot has been going on. School started up again where I work, so I have been a busy little bee. Matt is starting his last year of of his MBA, and oh yeah-we signed up for another half in November! We thought the Disney princess half would be our first but since our training has been going so well, we thought-lets just do one sooner! We also needed to submit a time before December 1st in order to not be placed in the last corral. I'm nervous and excited. Training has been amazing but grueling...we wake up at 4 am during the work week in order to avoid the Florida heat, and to be honest when I get off at 5...I just want to eat and be lazy lol. We're also in the process of moving into a bigger apartment this month, so our evenings and weekends are filled with packing and cleaning, oh and trying to maintain somewhat of a social life :P

The most beautiful thing about running is you constantly amaze yourself. I never think I can go further and then week after week we get up, tie our shoes and do it. This past Saturday we ran 7 miles! I have not ran 7 miles in awhile and I'm so proud of how far we have come so early in game. Running truly is an amazing test of the human spirit. 

A lot of people say to me "how do you do this working full-time!" well the truth is-its hard. I have to go bed early, I have to eat right and constantly have bananas, keep bags of ice on hand, and it means a lot to me. Running is really therapeutic if you allow it. I don't listen to music, I just listen to nature and talk to myself. I have trouble with self-criticism and in order to run long distance in a Florida August-you have to talk to yourself. You have to encourage yourself when you want to give up. Your mind will always give up before the body, so you have to make your mind obey and you have to stay positive. I'm by no means a pro, and I'm training myself as I go, but I guess you just have to find what works for you. I also have Matt, and he is just ball of positivity all the time, so working out with him has encouraged me and our relationship to grow :) 

In order to really have time to train and exercise. I don't run everyday. I take two days a week to cross train and rest one or two days a week. If I ran every day I would be injured, and I would get really really bored. I also know the importance of strength training, so days like today I go to body pump or yoga. It is always hardest waking up, but I never regret starting my day off right.

Here is my current schedule. Obviously some days I change it up, or I just rest-whatever my body tells me! 

Monday: Run 3-4 miles 
Tuesday: Strength train or yoga
Wednesday: Run 3 miles 
Thursday: Strength train or yoga 
Friday: Spin 
Saturday: Long run 
Sunday: Active rest and foam roll

Some weeks I'll take an extra day off, but it really depends. This Sunday we took the day off and walked around Disney, which helped us walk out our my muscles and have fun ;)
What I try emphasize in my life is the is the importance of treating yourself. Matt and I will go out for lunch after our long runs, or I'll go get a pedicure to soak my feet and legs. Last week, we stopped by Starbucks to grab a Pumpkin Spice latte (half sugar and no whip of course ;) 

You don't have to go crazy, but you have to treat yourself when you work hard.

In order to really get out the door in the mornings, we try and get everything prepped. I always try and have my clothes laid out the night before, and we try to set up the coffee so its ready to go when we come back from running or the gym.  We also have been keeping up with our weekly preps on Sundays. 

I'm not a pro, and again I'm trying to figure this run/life balance as I go, but it seems to be really manageable for us, and I can't wait for cooler weather so we have a little more flexibility in our schedule. 

I've also been taking ice baths after my long runs....they suck! I do however have a routine now. I stretch, make a cup of hot tea and then I take an ice bath in my running clothes. Afterwards, I feel like a million bucks! It really helps with reducing inflammation in my achilles and knees. 

I've also been going to the chiropractor and getting adjustments and massages. We have a good bit of money in our health fund account so we have been using it wisely :) 

How do you stay healthy when you have a busy schedule?
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