Wednesday, December 23, 2015

cocoa classic 10k!

three weeks after my marathon i set out to run a 10k on roosevelt island in nyc && it was a great race! not only did i PR at 53:00 but i got to run it with my husband! i always love it when he tags along for a race because it is extra support for me. && for once i was actually able to support him since he was so nervous. i believe in him so much && i knew he could do it. && he did, with an amazing time that blew me away!
the island is a beautiful course along the water so it was a great way for me to get back into the swing of things after my marathon. i did worry about my pace, but tried to push that out of my mind && just told myself to get to the finish. with the marathon under my belt i knew i was capable, i just struggled to go the distance because no one ever tells you just how long it takes to recover from a marathon. with every step i took in that 10k i had to will myself to go further. at times i felt like i had outran my love for running but i know now that i couldn’t possibly do that. running is such a HUGE part of my life && now that i am hooked, i have big goals for the years to come!
now everyone is different, but i feel that in some ways i am still recovering from my marathon. i will never be the same runner i was pre-marathon && im ok with that because i am a much stronger runner now. as michael && i drove into nyc the morning of the run, we didn’t say much because we were both nervous for the road ahead. it turned out to be a great race && we got to spend the day in the city afterwards, which of course included a trip to my favorite macaroon spot, laduree.
since christmas is now days away, i am looking forward to the new year && the goals i have set for myself. i have big dreams as a runner && every day that i get out there is another day i am pushing myself to be the best i can be. as i travel along this journey i have come to realize that pace isn’t always what’s important to me. finishing has become top priority && enjoying myself along the way is just a given.
the next race i will run is the glass slipper challenge in disney world! of course this is where the magic happens && the fun begins. i don’t need to worry myself with pace && PR’s, i just want to feel the magic in the air as i run through cinderella’s castle! the challenge is that you run a 10k on saturday && a half marathon on sunday. this will definitely push me to the limit because i know the feeling after any race && that feeling is TIRED! so to run two races back to back will be the ultimate test for me but it’s one that i am willing to conquer as i set out to reach my goals as a runner.
currently i am working on a list of bucket list runs && goals that i have for myself as i continue on my running journey. i will definitely have to share some of it with my loyal followers once i get it all together after the new year!
until then,

Saturday, November 28, 2015

26.2 crazy, beautiful miles!! [bucks county marathon]

it has been almost two weeks since i ran my first marathon && i am still trying to figure out the words to say when describing the experience that is 26.2 miles. it was literally THE hardest thing i have ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding. to cross the finish line of a marathon is one of the most amazing feelings. i have to say it will arguably be one of the greatest days of my life.
when i started out running i never dreamed that i’d get to the point of running a full marathon. but here i am telling the tale of how i came to run 26.2 crazy, fun, beautiful, exhausting, && painful miles.
the night before the race was nothing out of the ordinary. i just relaxed && watched some movies with my compression socks on as i usually would before any race. i laid out my outfit && really felt as ready as i’d ever be. i was [[&& still am]] struggling with my fitness journey. i have been falling off the wagon && getting back on for almost two months now && am hoping that since thanksgiving is over i can get back on track! since i hadn’t been consistent i was afraid that it would effect my race but i knew i just had to  dig deep && trust the training that had consumed my life for five months!
anyway, race day came && i was excited yet SUPER nervous. i don’t know that it ever really hit me what i was doing. the car ride up to PA was short so once we got there && i grabbed my bib it started to sink in a little. was i really about to run a marathon? then all of the questions flooded my brain. can i really do this? what the hell was i thinking? how can i back out now? but as i asked myself each of those things i immediately reassured myself that i trained for this. i had been working my butt off for five months to get to that point && nothing would take it away from me!
with the support of my husband, sister, && her boyfriend i made it to the start line. i hugged each of them && told them i would see them over 4 hours later when i crossed that finish line. it was an emotional moment for me as i toed the start line because i realized what an amazing accomplishment it was to even be standing at the start line. in that moment one thing popped into my mind, grams. she was the biggest cheerleader in my life for so long && i knew she was looking down on me that day. i was in my corral but i looked over at my husband && asked him for a marker. on the back of my bib i wrote grams with a heart as a reminder that she was && always would be with me on each && every race day. the 26.2 miles i was about to run would be in her honor.
when it was time for my corral to go the nerves set in but i let them leave my mind as i turned on my headphones && let music distract me from the moment. i told myself it was just like any other day at home where i went out for a run. i started off a little fast which is normal for me because i always get over excited. i quickly settled into a great pace && was feeling super strong. the course was an out && back course along the BEAUTIFUL delaware canal!
there were plenty of spots along the toe path where spectators could come watch but i never expected to see my family. i just assumed i would see them at the finish. seeing them at mile 8 brought tears to my eyes. they had found cardboard && made signs that they were holding. at that point i was still feeling super strong && i just ran past them trying not to bawl my eyes out. i was at just over 2 hours at the half way point which is a great pace for me. as i turned back around i told myself i was halfway there.
i continued to just listen to my music && let whatever thoughts came to me just come && go as i took in the beautiful scenery around me. then around mile 16 i felt something pop in my hamstring && it did not feel right. i continued to run && try to keep pace but i felt myself slipping. for the next two miles i felt so beyond defeated because i had trained so hard && there was just no way i was going to call it quits && not finish. on top of that we were out on a pretty secluded path. there were volunteers on bikes that passed us occasionally to make sure everyone was alright but i was not going to throw in the towel on this one.
i let myself walk when i needed to but never stopped moving. it actually hurt me more to walk so i more or less shuffled along. at mile 18 i saw my family again && that time i stopped to grab water from my sister && i cried. you can see the pain written all over my face in the pictures my sister took of me [[a HUGE difference from the look on my face at mile 8 when i first saw them]]. i knew i had 8 miles to go at that point && it just seemed like i would never make it.
how could i go from so strong to feeling like total crap? i tried to push these negative thoughts from my mind && kept good music flowing. when i had about 4-5 miles to go i decided to pick up the pace as best i could && really push myself to the finish. at the 3 mile mark i told myself i was only a 5k away from the finish. i was hurting but determined to finish running, not walking or shuffling. i pushed && pushed until finally the finish line was in sight. the last mile was just like the first. it was a sort of loop around the start area so i saw my family as i came in with just over a mile to go. i knew i wasn’t at my fastest pace, not even close BUT i was doing it. i was finishing a marathon.
when my watch went off && said i hit 26 miles i took off like a bat out of hell && sprinted those last .2 miles. as i crossed the line i threw my hands in the air && could not believe i had just conquered 26.2 miles. the rush of emotion came quickly but i am not one to make a scene so i wiped a few tears from my face && hugged my husband. then my sister && her boyfriend came over to me && i knew she would cry but shockingly she held it together pretty well [[i think she did it so i wouldn’t get upset]]. they knew what my goal time was && obviously saw my finish time.
i hate to admit that i did beat myself up over my time briefly but then i remembered that i just ran a freaking marathon! it was also brought to my attention [[by my husband]] that i ran the last 10+ miles on an injured hamstring. in my mind that was just pure determination. i was not willing to quit or back down. i was going to push through even if i had to walk && i did a little bit of both.
i do think goals are important in life && in running. they give us something to work towards. i know my goal for my first marathon should have just been to finish it but i had a time in mind. unfortunately i can’t control everything in life so when i pulled my hamstring i just had to deal with it. plus i still finished, so i have given up on beating myself up over my finish time.
i was asked all about my marathon over the next several days but one question remained, will you ever run another marathon? my answer, YES! while if you had asked me during my marathon in those tough miles i would have flat out said no, i feel ready to take on another marathon. it won’t be until next fall but my long term goal is to run a marathon a year && of course a bunch of halves && other races in between. i just LOVE running. it is my passion in life && while i have been struggling to get back on track, i know i will get there.
running a marathon took A LOT out of me. way more than i ever expected. i was exhausted both physically && mentally for over a week. && when i went out for my first run nearly a week later i was afraid i had outran my love of running. which i have come to find is not true because i have gone out multiple times since && am running a 10k this coming saturday! it will be my first race since my marathon && the farthest i have run since then as well. i can’t wait to tell you all about the cocoa classic 10k! stay tuned!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

TRUST the journey.

a health && fitness journey is a life long journey. the sooner you realize this, the easier it all becomes. i struggled to believe this statement for the longest time && i now realize the truth in it. i was always putting a cap on my journey && while it always gave me something to work towards, i realize that if you string all of those "somethings" together they are actually goals. why stop when you hit a certain weight, when you could continue to maintain or tone && tighten? i feel like there is always a reason to keep working on yourself. even if it is more mentally than physically we always have room to grow!

i am not sure that i can actually pinpoint exactly when my journey began, but i think it was around the time i bought the home workout program, insanity. i was really at a breaking point in my life where i knew i needed to make a change && that change came when i began doing the insanity workouts. sure it was tough && i even had moments where i would cry but i kept at it. && just like anyone on a journey, i have had MANY bumps along the way. life happens && we don't always have control over everything. so we make the best of things. i had times where i fell into days, weeks, or even months of not working out at all or just eating horribly. the best part about it is that every day is a new day to start fresh. this is another statement i struggled to find the truth in.

i always had a belief that in order to start over or start something new it had to be a monday. this may sound silly, but think of how many times you have said to yourself "oh i'll start on monday." to me it just seemed like a week was the start of something fresh but as i go along this journey i have come to find that life is way too short && each day is a new opportunity to start fresh. && if you really think about it, every minute the ball is in your court && you are calling the shots. so what if you just ate that cookie or that pizza, have a piece of fruit or a healthier meal your next meal. it is up to you to make the decisions that are right for your body, so i decided i would call the shots from now on. it is a liberating feeling to come to this realization with yourself.

there will always be times where i struggle, but those struggles have shaped who i am today so i wouldn't trade them for the world. even after all the success i had losing weight through home workouts i still wanted a challenge && that was where running came in. running had filled a void in my life that i didn't even truly know existed. i never had a hobby that i was really passionate about until i started running. i am glad i did because it has quickly become one of the most important aspects of my life && has shaped who i am as a person. i am about to run my FIRST marathon a week from today && i am beyond blessed to have this opportunity in my life. if i had gone down a different path i wouldn't be where i am at today ready to run this marathon. i know i will have A LOT of mixed emotion over this next week but i am now strong enough to realize that the most important thing to remember is to trust my training. each choice i made has led me to this point && while i have hit many bumps i am here && that is all that matters. i know i will continue along this bumpy journey but i believe that is a little something called LIFE.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

the INSANITY of cross training!

as promised, i am back to write about my journey through cross training. there are many things that have made up my cross training routine over the years but the one thing that has stuck with me the most is home workouts! back in june of 2012 i bought my first at home workout. i saw an infomercial [yes they still exist, lol] for insanity && at the time, i was willing to do whatever it took to lose the weight. i was on a medication that made me gain 50+ pounds && i was feeling totally down on myself. i figured if anything could help me lose the weight it would be a program with a name like INSANITY. i was a bit nervous that  i wouldn't be able to get through it but when it came, i was super excited. i had no more excuses at that point so i just got down to business.

day one is the fit test. when i was finished i could not believe that that video was only the fit test. if that was day one, then what was going to follow? it was literally the hardest workout i had ever done in my life. although i was feeling a bit discouraged i was able to keep at it for a few weeks; but i would give up && start over again. this happened multiple times over the course of a few months. once i even made it all the way to month two && got two days in && said screw this, it is too hard.

this program is named the hardest workout ever put on dvd. now that i have made it all the way through, i understand why! month two is even harder than i imagined. however, this time around i was both physically && mentally ready to power through. that is not to say that i haven't had days where i totally did not want to work out, because believe me those days came A LOT in month two. but i knew i made a commitment to myself that i would finish this program one day && tonight, i did it! tomorrow is technically the last day because i have to do the fit test to measure how far i have come over to course of the program. but i am over the moon excited to say that i finished this program!!

if you asked me back when i bought insanity if i thought i had it in me to complete it, i would have laughed in your face. it really is the hardest workout i have ever done but it is so worth it. it has shaped me physically && mentally over the course of 60 days!

i have many people question why i choose such hard workouts as cross training for my runs. i don't really have a clear cut answer. i love beachbody programs. aside from insanity i have completed insanity max 30 && cize as well. now that i have finished insanity for the first time, i am going to go back to max 30 because it is an awesome 30 minute workout. the greatest part about that program is that it really works you && it's only 30 minutes of your day. cize is a really great program as well. i torched hundreds of calories with every workout when i was doing that program over the summer. if you want to learn how to dance, cize is the perfect program for you because shaun t really breaks it down && makes it so much fun! for someone like myself who isn't the greatest of dancers, i felt super confident by the end of the program!

so my love for beachbody programs has grown over time && i want to continue on with purchasing && completing more when i can. i think it is great to be able to get a full body workout in the comfort of my own home. i have never been into lifting weights so the fact that each of these programs doesn't involve them is perfect for me. however, more recently i have decided that i may want to shake things up a bit && incorporate weights into my workouts. so i am now looking into different at home programs for that!

i did hold gym memberships multiple times. i even found the motivation to get myself there which was always a struggle. mostly i went because i had a wedding dress that i wanted to look good in so i remained disciplined with going. once i was married i just couldn't be bothered with the gym anymore && reconnected to at home workouts. my journey through running also began a few months after i got married.

no matter what, cross training remains a staple in my every day life. it is something i do when i get home from work that helps me decompress from the day. for now i plan to keep up with my at home workouts. i don't really see myself going back to the gym anytime soon. i have my own little gym in my house where i get all my workouts done. i also own an elliptical which i use occasionally && plan to incorporate more into my routine in the upcoming months.

i have worked very hard over the past year or so && i just don't see myself turning back anytime soon. i love where i am at && i just want to continue to build on it. some say i am over doing it. i promise you i am not doing anything that my body can't handle. i think all that i do between my cross training && my running helps me stay on track both physically && mentally. so for now, this runner girl will continue going about life just the way she is. because in the end, it is what works for me && that is all that counts!

stay tuned for my next blog post where i will give you a deeper look into my fitness journey && how i got where i am today!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

my love/hate relationship with distance running!!

since my running journey started just over a year ago, i have always been pushing for something more! i am the kind of girl who is constantly seeking my next big challenge. when one thing isn't pushing me hard enough i move on to the next thing that will kick it up a notch! that is how it has been with running as well. i started off at the 5k level && have now worked my way up to full blown marathon training. what's next, an ultra? [hey, never say never right]?!

training for this marathon has been extremely challenging in more ways than one. for starters, it is all consuming. just to cross train && keep up with my runs i feel that i am constantly busy with something related to running. even when i am not, i am thinking about it. it literally consumes my life && while i may not find that to be a bad thing, it does take away from time with my family. i have very much enjoyed training && i plan to continue on, but i would like to find a better way to balance it all. i wake up before work to get my runs in && i am cross training after work to keep up with that aspect of my training.

to some it may seem as though i am pushing myself too hard,  but i assure you i am not pushing myself harder than my body is willing to go. we are all a heck of a lot stronger than we realize. that is one thing i have come to learn over the course of my training. we all have a reserve of energy. just when you think you can't possibly go one step further you keep pushing && run a few more miles. we all have it within us, it is just a matter of how far we are willing to push ourselves. i am not going to say i don't push the limit sometimes, because i definitely have, but i have always come out feeling better than ever!

another challenge with my training came in the summer time. the heat is not my friend! i had never experienced running in the summer before so this past summer took the life out of me with the SUPER hot days we had. although it really drained me, i continued on with my training because i knew what i needed to do in order to be prepared come marathon day. it seems crazy to think that nearly 5 months have gone by since i signed up && started training for this. in reality, it seem like another lifetime ago!

i never thought the distance would be so challenging. for some reason i thought it would just sort of come naturally. well, i was DEAD wrong about that. i am not saying that it has to be forced, but it is definitely something that has to be worked towards. just like anything, you only get better with practice. so, over these past few months i have tried && perfected many different methods && still continue to learn more with each mile i run.

as the day quickly approaches && i now realize that i am only about 2 && 1/2 weeks way from my marathon i feel mostly nervous! 26.2 miles is a far distance && it is a HUGE accomplishment. i know that no matter what, it will be totally worth it when i cross that finish line. i am just afraid to get there. i know to most importantly trust my training but somehow it never feels like enough. just like any person, i do feel self doubt at times but i quickly find the positive in it. i try to find that silver lining because i know that that is what will carry me through. i have worked SUPER hard && this is arguably the hardest i have ever worked for something in my life. i know i will make it to the finish. i know i have what it takes. when the fear takes over, i just have to wash it all away.

once again i let time slip away from me but i promise i will be back to blog about how i cross train as part of my marathon [&& even half marathon] training schedule.


Monday, October 26, 2015

26.2 miles?! anyone that does that for fun is CRAZY!!

those are the words that i have come to hear over && over from my amazing co-worker! every time we discuss my upcoming marathon, he cant believe i do all of this for fun! but lets not get ahead of ourselves, there are still three more half marathons that happened in the meantime && a few other important races as well! after my first half, i signed up for my second which was not a pretty one. this one took place in morristown, NJ && was superhero themed! sounds pretty awesome right? well, lets just say i wish my super power that day was to be able to instantly cool my body! again, we were having some very abnormal weather for the time of year && had one heck of a hot day in may. my mama came out to support me this time along with my husband && she was super nervous that i would be braving the weather && running this race despite the heat.

of course i was not backing down so i once again toed the start line to yet another race. this race was a bit more intimidating than the others, since there were many more people running than i was used to. as we all squished together at the start i instantly got that nervous feeling. i knew i wanted to push hard in this race && beat my previous PR but i questioned how i would do it in the heat. i was afraid if i pushed myself too hard that i would pass out somewhere. while this was not what happened to me, i will tell you that there were plenty of runners laying on the ground that day. some passed out, some being taken by ambulance. it was all a blur as i ran this race that went from road to paved trail && then back out again. i prayed silently for these runners && thought of my mom, anxiously waiting to see me cross the finish line in one piece.

this race really tested me but i of course would stop at nothing and although i did not beat my PR, i did finish && that alone was a huge accomplishment given the conditions. && honestly, i felt like it was a really big accomplishment period! my moms first words to me were "wow! you don't even look tired." i couldn't help but laugh. of course i was tired but i just had that glow. the runners high that lifts you up for a while before suddenly, you crash && burn.

my third half marathon was to this day the HARDEST thing i have ever done in my entire life! the unique thing about this race? it was a trail run. did i sign up for a trail run? not exactly. see, i signed up for this race because i was excited about the theme. it was called the "Beat The Blerch" run, after a comic written about distance running. "The Blerch" is basically a fat little cherub who sits on your shoulder && tells you to eat the extra slice of pizza, or have the cake, or just to workout later. but, you get the point. [&& if you are into running i highly recommend reading the comic sometime because it is hilarious]! cute little fat guy && a food themed race, what could go wrong?

about two weeks prior to the race i received an e-mail about the upcoming course. as the words read, there will be some "LEGIT trail running." i thought to myself, well i have always wanted to do a trail run, no time like the present. plus it said "some," so not all of the course would be trail running. well let me tell you i was DEAD wrong! my husband was signed up to do the 10k that day so i said good bye to him && toed the start line to my third half marathon! i was again nervous && this time the nerves stayed with me for a while!

as soon as we took off && started out going up hill into the woods i thought to myself, "good lord what have i gotten myself in to?" let me highlight a few things from this race: one, there were two parts of the race that actually went out onto roads && i'd estimate that to be roughly two miles of the race. two, imagine that you are hiking the hardest trail you have ever hiked, NOW imagine running it instead. three, the terrain consisted of roots, rocks, fallen trees, gravel, boulders, && the list could go on. four, && probably the BIGGEST highlight, i ate shit around mile 8!

that's right. i totally fell face forward into the dirt after being tripped up by a tree root that was hidden beneath some leaves. when running this race it was super important to keep focused on where your feet were at all times && i swear this thing just kind of jumped up out of nowhere. luckily, the way i fell, i was able to just push myself back up in one swift motion && just keep going. i was already 8 miles in && just way too invested both physically && emotionally to give up; && truth be told, we were in the middle of the woods, there really was only one way out!

a really nice woman who was behind me started talking to me after that && we chatted back && forth a bit trying to keep one another going. all the while i could not help but to think of my husband. in the back of my mind i knew he was out there somewhere, enduring this grueling course && it was absolutely not what he signed up for. it really wasn't what any of us signed up for! somehow or another i made it out alive && set a PR! i remember the moment i saw the white tents above the trees. "oh my god, the finish line" i thought, && i took off. i didn't realize you had to do a bit of a loop to get there, but i just pushed && pushed because i wanted this craziness to be over. with tears streaming down my face i ran my heart out && as i looked up standing there was my husband who i thanked god was alright. he jumped in && ran the last little leg with me before i took off full speed into the finishing chute.

that race is a race i will remember until the end of time. there are hardly words to describe what i went through both physically && emotionally that day. i didn't actually know the extent of the damage done until i got home && was able to get my running tights off. i was pretty beat up but still in good spirits because we had a wedding to attend that night [&& i may have signed myself up for another half].

in the month of october i ran a 5k, 10k, [actually 6.66 mile "devil's run"] && a half marathon! each of these races holds a special place in my heart. the 5k was for parkinson's disease, which my grams suffered from before she passed away in 2012. that race became a HUGE moment for me when i ended up taking second place female overall! i knew she was looking down on me that day && i ran with all my heart wanting to make her more proud than ever. she was ALWAYS my biggest cheerleader! i can always remember her telling me no goal or dream was too big; i just wish she were physically here to see me now.

the next huge moment in october came at the 6.66 mile devil's run where i took first place female in my age group! i was on fire that day once again just running my heart out. "i have no idea how i pulled that one off" were my first words to my husband as i crossed the finish. to later find out i had placed was just proof to me that all my hard work was paying off!

my fourth half marathon was just over a week ago, again a race with big accomplishments for me as i beat my half marathon PR by over 18 minutes coming in at almost 2 hours flat [2:00:10]!

running has become so many things in my life, but the one word i would use to describe it is passion. i am so passionate about running that i get up every morning before work just to get my miles in. i cross train every day to avoid injury && i eat as healthy as i can to fuel my body for each run. this is not to say i am perfect by any means but i have worked very hard to get where i am at. && where i am at right now is facing my FIRST marathon!

november 15, 2015. that will be the day i cross the finish line of my first ever marathon! how am i so sure i'll finish? because i will stop at nothing to finish! run, jog, walk, sprint, CRAWL if i must, i will cross that finish line head held high! plus i always remember one thing, trust your training. the day is quickly approaching && i have lots on my mind with regards to it. but, maybe it's best i save that for tomorrow's blog post. the night is coming to an end for me. after all, this early bird has to be up to run in the morning!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

the journey to my FIRST half marathon!!

as promised, i am back && ready to continue the story of how i came to run my first half marathon!! after completing my first 5k i went on to run seven more! in the meantime, i completed my first 10k as well, all of which were HUGE milestones for me. see, each race i run has something special about it. whether i PR or not, there is always something unique to each race that i can recognize as a great moment. sometimes it's the people i meet or the cause for which i am running, but all of it matters && all of it impacts my life.

as the day of my first half marathon approached i grew more && more nervous. two weeks out i completed my last long run before the race && i came home in tears questioning how i would ever finish a half. my husband comforted me && reminded me of what i already knew, believe in the training. when in doubt trust && believe in your training because it is exactly what got me to run my first half!

the morning of the race came && at that moment i was just anxious && excited. i could not wait to cross the finish line! my sister && her boyfriend came out to support me as well as my husband, which meant the world to me [races start pretty early && we made a trip out to brooklyn, NY so i was thankful they could all be there to support me]!

after finding parking && going to pick up my packet the whole idea of the race became surreal. with the NYC skyline behind me i began to get the pre-race jitters. a RUSH of emotion came over me && i didn't know how to feel. was i excited? anxious? nervous? scared? probably all of the above. i began to warm up && stretch out all while just breathing it all in. NYC is a beautiful place && this race actually took place in brooklyn, NY all along the water && it was BEAUTIFUL! i couldn't have asked for a better place to run my first half!
with the NYC skyline in sight i toed the start line. immediately i felt scared. would i be able to finish the race? would my time be what i want it to be? && while all this worry flooded my mind, the horn went off && i just began to tell myself to trust my training. the first few miles were great. i found a woman whom i was able to pace with && was feeling great. as i got deeper into the race [probably about mile 5-6] i started to have my doubts. it was an abnormally hot day in april && the heat was wearing me down. all i could think was if i could just get through this, i would feel so rewarded. i kept glancing at my garmin with each passing mile hoping to come in around the 2 hour mark. when the later miles hit && i found myself having to stop to walk i realized a 2 hour half wasn't in the cards. && while this may have dragged some people down [&& believe me it did for a moment] i just let myself see the bigger picture. the bigger picture being that i was running a freaking half marathon! i didn't care if i came in dead last, i was going to finish this thing, bottom line.

i remember seeing the finish line && thinking oh my god is this for real? at that point it felt like that finish line was a mirage. as soon as it was in my sight, i picked up my pace. && as i drew closer, i mustered up every ounce of energy i had left && sprinted into the finish! everyone was there waiting as i received my medal && damn did it feel good. i remember going over to my sister && collapsing into her arms. i know she wanted to cry [she gets rather emotional over these things] && to be honest so did i, but i didn't let myself. i just wanted to relish in the most amazing feeling that is completing a half marathon!
don't be fooled because while i may have been on cloud nine for a while after the race, i was soon hit with the feeling of pure exhaustion! we all grabbed a bite to eat afterwards && then i went home && pretty much crashed && burned. when i woke up one of the first things i did [after chugging a bottle of water] was sign myself up for another half marathon! it seemed crazy at that moment, but i just loved the rush of the race! so, just like that i found myself heading into my next half marathon && it was only a month away!

stay tuned for my next post which will cover my second half marathon as well as my journey to training for my FIRST MARATHON!!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

the post that started it ALL..

it is considerably early on a friday night [8:45 PM] && i find myself ready to finally write my first blog post! not your typical friday night activity, i admit, however, there seems to be a calmness in the air && i find that that is when i do my best writing. i want this blog to be open, honest, && raw; the story of my life as both a runner && a lover of all things fitness. please bare with me as i go through the growing pains of creating my very first blog!

tonight i just want to write a little about how i began my journey as a runner. it really began somewhat quietly, but then seemingly all at once! a year ago september i set out on a run that changed my life. it was no real ah ha moment, just me deciding i wanted a new challenge in life. i was sick of the gym && i had given up on workout videos more times than i could count. so i laced up my shoes && hit the pavement. OUCH! i ran one single mile && it took the life out of me. at that moment i realized that this journey i was about the embark on, would be one that would change my life.. FOREVER!

while my first big night out wasn't much, a mile is still a mile in my book. so for nights to come i would set out for my mile long runs. finally, when i had decided i was ready to kick things up a notch, i signed myself up for a local 5k that was for a cause near to my heart && gave myself something to really work towards. as i increased my mileage i realized this was something i could actually grow to love. of course we all know there are good && bad days in running but i kept at my nightly runs for months && months.

then came race day && i was so beyond ecstatic to get out there && run my first race! my ever supportive husband was there by my side through it all && signed up for the race as well, in support of me. i toed the line to my first race && with my heart racing, i took a deep breath && suddenly i heard "GO!" && off we went! i took off at a pretty quick pace for myself at the time. && while i remember hurting after the race one thing still remained, i WANTED to run another race. i quickly found another 5k && registered myself for it. as time went on i was noticing that my pace only continued to improve. to me, this really gave me a sense of self because i had always felt like i didn't have that one thing to call my own. that one thing that i felt defined myself outside of my family && friends. running quickly became that thing!

after completing multiple 5k's i decided to take on what would then be the biggest challenge of my life, a half marathon! stay tuned for my next post where i will recall the amazing, painful, liberating, freeing && challenging months that led up to my very first half marathon!