Tuesday, October 25, 2016

rockin the streets of brooklyn for half marathon number eleven!!

going into rock n roll brooklyn, my nerves were in a bunch because in the back of my mind i kept thinking about how much i struggled with the hogsback half just two weeks prior. either way, i was determined to run this race && come out of it feeling strong! so just like with any other race, i got together my gear the night before, did a lot of stretching, && got some rest.

the morning of, my stomach was in knots but i got myself together && we headed to brooklyn. i had to pick up my bib the day of since i wasn’t able to make it to the expo. my hubby dropped me off at grand army plaza && went to find parking. sadly i lost track of time && that was the last time i got to see him before i started. i got through security just in time to line up in my corral. && just like that i was toeing the line of my eleventh half marathon.

i did one other rock n roll race in raleigh && loved it despite ALL the hills, little did i know brooklyn was full of  hills as well! i really love the crowd support && entertainment on the course at rock n roll races. it helps keep me focused on something other than pain! unfortunately, due to the time crunch i was unable to use a bathroom before lining up, however, around mile 4 i saw one open with no line && made a run for it {literally}! i have never had issues with my bladder in the past while running, but it has seemed to cause issues at a few races && even training runs lately. after my pit stop, i felt like a weight was lifted && i was able to move at a quicker pace!

i took in all the sights && sounds of brooklyn && even got to see my hubby on the course a few times. another great thing about these races is the aid stations. they are always full of water && gatorade which i like because i usually need one of each! they also supply glukos brand energy gels/gummies && while it was my first time trying them, i LOVED the lemon gummies. i always bring my own fuel to races but tend to try new ones if i feel i need the extra push. i know they say nothing new on race day but knock on wood, i have never had an issue.

the course was a good one but definitely more hills than i was prepared for. we finished in prospect park which was beautiful. once i crossed the finish line i immediately started searching for michael. he sent a text saying his phone was about to die and where he was standing. it took me what seemed like forever to find him, but i did && we looked around for the tent where i could grab my t-shirt. after this race i was actually able to walk which was a HUGE difference from the hogsback half where michael had to assist me to the car. we had almost a mile walk to the car after brooklyn but i didn’t mind. however, as soon as i sit down && let my body rest the aches && pains hit.. ALL OVER!

i was excited at my time for this race because it was a post diagnosis PR for me! && while i don’t like to set some huge time goal for myself anymore, i usually have a time in mind that i’d like to keep it around. stay tuned for another race recap from the runner’s world half in bethlehem, pa! talk about HILLS..

Sunday, October 2, 2016

hogback half marathon race recap!! πŸ·πŸΆπŸ‘ŸπŸ’•

traveling to a state i’ve never been to (as an adult) had my nerves in a bunch however, nothing could compare to the pressure of the race itself. this time last year i would have gone into the race totally confident but ever since my fibromyalgia diagnosis, my running has been on a bit of a downward spiral. this race has a very strict cutoff time. if you don’t make that time, you are disqualified. they do offer an early start, but i didn’t think it was necessary for me, now i realize that may have saved me in the end.

as with any other race, i set my clothes out the night before && set tons of alarms to be sure i was up on time! all ready to go, my husband && i set out on the three hour road trip to colebrook, CT! i was super nervous the whole way but very excited since it was my first race since may. after lots of stretching i felt ready to go.

i decided to hang back && try to pace with one of the pacers but i felt that rush of adrenaline && let myself take off way too fast. i actually was able to push my pace for a good six miles before i died out. i think that may have been what got me to finish before the cutoff in the end.

 the course was all open road && was absolutely gorgeous! i LOVE running in the fall but running on these CT roads with all the leaves changing was just breath taking! i had great music to listen to && beautiful scenery to look at && that is what got me through to the end. i won’t even lie, i did contemplate quitting a time or two but i am no quitter. i hadn’t realized just how hard it was for me to race. i have been training hard because i have the NYC marathon coming up so i had an idea of my pace. i was able to shave a good 16 minutes off of my training pace which made me proud.

but after all i have been through lately, my fibromyalgia has been in full on flare mode. i am trying my very best to get it under control but we all know that is not easy. going into this race on a high pain day was one of the most difficult things i’ve done on my running journey. all i could do was tell myself to dig deeper && just believe. i pushed until i made it to that finish line. i of course broke down as soon as i crossed && luckily my husband was right there to let me collapse into his arms. i hate to make a scene because the volunteers get so worried but this was literally the hardest race i have EVER ran (except for maybe my marathon).

running with fibromyalgia takes so much will && discipline. i know it is not going to be an easy road ahead. running was never easy for me, it is just something i love && am passionate about. i have two more half marathons this month before i run NYC in november. at least i can relax a little knowing the cutoff time on these races isn’t so strict. i would love to run the hogback half again but i have a goal to run a race in every state so i have to keep venturing further out.

one of the reasons i chose this race is because it benefited an animal rescue. anyone who knows me, knows my love for animals. i hope to one day go back && run that course but for now i have my eyes focused on a bigger prize. the course itself was actually mostly flat && downhill. there was one HUGE hill at the end that i felt really killed me BUT i can say i finished! going into each race now my goal is to finish. i don’t have a time in mind because honestly, with fibromyalgia i just never know what i am going to get. i know the day will come when i will no longer be able to push my body but until then i will continue to run all the races i can && hopefully make it to my dream races along the way! starting with the NYC marathon!!