Marathon Photos- Finally!

Ok first- thank you for the awesome comments, texts and emails.  It took a lot of thought coming back…but I am glad I did. Its awesome to see how much support is still out there.  So thank you.  And welcome new readers 🙂 I am working on quite a few posts that I hope with help me get through some of the stuff I have been going through.  Writing is good therapy…has always been my therapy.  I let the things that define me slip away for a little while and I am so ready to get them back.  One blog post at a time 🙂

It dawned on me as I looked back, that I never posted any photos from my marathon!  It’s kind of funny- when I look at them, I still get the excited feelings I had when I ran the race.  Some days, I still cannot believe I ran 26.2 miles.  But I did…and here is the proof:

My favorite of them all- coming into the finish!!!  (That’s my dad with his hand out!)

Expo!  And it WAS the best time of my life!!

Race morning with all my signs 🙂

Mile 14- R2 had quite the set up for me to re-fuel

Pure joy with my biggest fan!

My friends Dee and Greg who were with me the last 4 miles!

With my BFF Kate, who also ran the marathon!

Ahhhh…MUCH needed recovery!!!

Every time I think about the race, I smile.  It was hard work and took  more out of me than I ever could have anticipated, but crossing that finish line is one of the best feelings I ever had.  If I had to do it all over again…through the injuries, exhaustion, pain and even the last few months of rough recovery and personal strife…I would do it over and over and over again.  And again.  With that said, I have no actual plans of ever doing it again!

It’s Been A Good Run (No Pun Intended)

Dear Interwebs,

I wish I could make this short and sweet.  I wish I had it in me to just say “it’s been real” but I have always been a woman of many words and this is no exception.

I started this blog in February of 2009 with no real expectations except to journal what would come to be an extraordinary journey.  At the time, I was only a few months out of a relationship that left me eating way too much breyers and drinking way too much pinot grigio.  I had woken up one day in December with a renewed sense of energy, yet no idea with that to do with said energy.  I was always someone who went to the gym- a few days a week to bike, lift or take a class here and there.  I was in relatively good shape prior to the break up but within six weeks I went up a solid three sizes.  Let me repeat that for you…six weeks, three sizes.  Working out was really only keeping me from completely blowing out of control.  So it was time for a change. 

I decided that morning that I would run a 5k.  And by run, I mean jog.  And by jog, I mean walk.  I started walking on the treadmill four days a week.  It never really occured to me to run .  But then something weird happened after a week or so…I had the urge to run.  Unfortunately, my lungs did not share in the urges.  The thing is, I was a smoker.  Running and smoking don’t mix.  At all.  So one had to go.  Bye, bye smoking.  Hello running 🙂

Since I was working my way to finishing a 5k, at some point I felt it was necessary to actually find a 5k.  I began searching the internet and found triathlon.  Hmmm….I thought to myself, “I can do that” and without another thought, I signed up.  I actually signed up for my first tri 7 months in advance, having not known how to ride a bike and without being able to run more than 1/4 mile without stopping.  It took me 15-17 minutes to finish a mile, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE and yet…there I was signed up for a triathlon. 

I learned how to ride a bike and with a lot of hard work and dedication started running 9-10 minute miles.  I got back into shape and felt amazing.  And I started signing up for races.  I became a runner and a triathlete.

And that my friends is how it all began

I have completed:

Ten 5k’s

Six 8k’s

One 15k

One 7-miler

One 10-miler

Six Half-Marathons

Two Duathlons

Thirteen Triathlons

ONE MARATHON 🙂

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And this my friends is how it ends.

Today, it’s almost 4 years exactly since I woke up that morning ready to change my life.  Running and triathlon have done exactly that- my life has been forever changed in ways I cannot accurately put into words.  And whether you have been reading my blog from the beginning or only recently, you have been able to follow me in this amazing journey.  I wrote my high highs and my low lows.  I met amazing people.  I faced insane challenges.  I fell and rose above.  I never faltered on my one mantra: Finishing is Winning. 

And I am not done yet- this journey continues.  I have at least one ten-miler and three half-marathons planned and I am looking to do the Tough Mudder all in 2012.  There may be a few more tri’s left in me- relays for sure- but I don’t know.  I do know I will never stop running. 

But, it is time to stop blogging.

This blog has taken me so many places (the best of which were Florida and Boston) and through here I have “met” and met so many, amazing and  wonderful people.  There were times when this blog is what kept me going- your comments are what kept me honest about who I was and what I was doing.  Your support was always with me– during training and in every raceYou were all there.

But this blog has run its course.  (Again, no put intended)

The dead truth is this- I have decided to take back my personal life.  Throughout my marathon training I was facing some tough stuff.  Things have gotten a lot tougher in the weeks following the race.  And I am at a place in my life where I cannot keep this blog and NOT talk about my personal life…and I just can’t be THAT open right now.  Or maybe ever again.

For every post you ever read.  For every comment you ever left.  For the awards.  For the encouragement.  For the friendship.  For being a part of what made me feel human again.  For everything.  Thank you.

With love,

Onelittletrigirl ♥

(I have email and facebook! Please keep in touch 🙂 )

Thoughts On The Marathon- One Week Till Go Time

Here I am, one week away from marathon day.  This time next week, I will be recovering with the biggest margarita ever and a lot of ice cream! Maybe at the same time, who knows 🙂

And now for my favorite kind of post- list post!  Here are some of my thoughts with one week to go:

  • Taper sucks! I never felt this way with half-marathon or triathlon training, but I feel it now.  I am going out of my mind!  For one, everything hurts.  Bones and muscles I didnt even know I had are hurting.  I am having nightmares of the most ridiculous nature; showing up naked being the most popular, I constantly think I am sick if I so much as sneeze and all I want to do is eat and sleep!!!  I am totally over taper!
  • My 20 mile run was easier than my last long run yesterday.  I was completely beat before I even started the run and I struggled through the whole thing.  I was downright exhilarated when the run was over!
  • I am so excited for this week- I know it is going to crawl by but I don’t even care.  I am just happy to only be working two nights.  I have plenty of time to rest, elevate my legs and sleep, sleep and sleep!
  • I have officially become obsessed with the weather.  I check it one or two or ten times a day.  Yesterday it said 57 and raining and I was angry.  Today, it says cloudy and 54 and I am all about it.  I know God is busy with things like the Superbowl, NBA lockout and the Oscars, but if he is listening, I would like it to be in the low 40’s at the start with it getting no higher than mid-50’s by the finish.  And if I can be really picky, partly sunny.  Whatever the weather, please please please NO RAIN, please!
  • I have three outfits picked out.  I will probably pack a weeks worth of stuff for one night.  Possibly more.  And I bet you, I will still forget something.
  • I am staying overnight in a hotel.  I live less than 20 minutes from the start line. I don’t care.  I know I will feel so much better if I am there when I wake up.  Not only will I not have to leave until 15 minutes before the start but I will have my own toilet to poop in; there really is no better reason!
  • I am starting to get very emotional when I think about the race.  Anxious, nervous and emotional. I’ll probably cry like a baby when I cross that line.
  • When I start to feel worried about race day, I go back and read past race reports.  Especially, Philly half from last year.  It helps immensely.
  • I am looking insanely forward to my massage this week. Ridiculously. Like, I cannot describe.  I am looking even more forward to my post marathon massage.
  • I have worn Brooks Adrenalines since 2007.  I hated the new ones that came out and needed new shoes.  I have officially been running in Saucony’s for the last 5 weeks.  Still, there is a part of me that wants to run in my Brooks on race day.  I am sure they have 26.2 miles left in them 🙂   Let’s face it, I’ll probably pack both!
  • So many people are so excited for me, that I am getting so excited.  I know that no matter when I cross that line, my family and friends will make me feel like a winner.  And I am, because I have them in my life.
  • I have taken more Airborne and more vitamins in the last 8 weeks than ever before.  Next to getting injured, getting sick has been fear #2…I have 6 days to go, so lets hope my body stays with me on this one!!!
  • I have gained weight and quite a bit of it.  Gaining weight while marathon training…of could I would! 
  • This is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done.  I can honestly say, without a doubt, this has never been fun.  I have been thrown so many curve balls- having first planned for run a marathon two years ago.  When I am training for half-marathons and tris, I actually have fun.  But these last 15 weeks have tested in me in many ways.  I have sacrificed a lot to get here- and I have worked so hard.  I didn’t always get my work outs in, and I went three weeks in a boot hardly working out at all…a lot of people told me I should bag the race…but I kept at it.  I decided as long as I had my doctors blessing, I was only going to listen to myself.  I worked hard to get healed and picked back up my training.  I trained in rain, I trained on boring courses without music, I did long runs on the treadmill (seriously, there is nothing fun about 16 miles on a treadmill!!!) and I trained alone most of the time.  I did all of this while working a full time job and a part time job.  I did this while changing full time jobs.  I did this with some personal stuff happening.  I did this with still maintaining a social life as much as possible.  But it should be noted, I could not have done this without the unending support I have received from my parents, R2, my friends and my amazing support group here.  My parents and R2 have definitely felt the hit of my training personally- my time with them is much more limited, they deal with my nerves, self-doubt and anxiety and they have changed their schedules to work around my long runs when needed.  No, marathon training has not been fun for me…but it has taught me so much and I know that all the hard work will pay off when I cross that finish line.  And I cannot wait!!!
  • And last but not least…the most important thing I must always remember…my mantra for race day…

What has been your greatest lesson while training for an important event?  What is your favorite mantra during tough parts of the race?

It Shall Not Go Unnoticed

One year ago today, the blog world lost a great guy and I lost a great friend.  A year ago today, I woke up ready to race Warrior Dash but was presented with some sad news as soon as I opened my Facebook.

Rick was a great blog friend, always ready with a funny comment and great advice.  I have missed him through this last year- we intended to meet in Boston, and while I felt his presence there, he was so very missed.  I have missed his humor while I have gone through many ups and downs with my racing this year and I think of him often.  I know Rick will be on my mind as I run Philly this year.

One year- so much happens in a year.  Days might go slow, but man does time fly.

Hope you are resting, and running, happy 🙂

Excitement & A Bit Of Sadness

Last April I wanted to spectate Boston.  Financially, I couldn’t work it out no matter how hard I tried.  However, I knew I was going to be there in 2011.  I made a deal with a fellow blogger to run the 5k together.  I was looking very forward to it, even a year ago when Boston seemed so far away.  Often myself and this blogger would talk about meeting up- we emailed frequently, became close friends and over summer started making plans for Boston.  I was so excited!

That friend was Rick.  Suddenly, and sadly, Rick passed away in October.

Rick and his Daughter- he loved this photo and I love how happy they both look.

Boston won’t be the same.  Not without Rick. He was the whole reason I was going to do the 5K…we were supposed to toe the line together.  And he won’t be there.  However, I know I won’t be totally alone…something tells me that Rick’s spirit will be at Boston…he wouldn’t miss all his friends running for the world!

Boston is going to be a great time- I am looking so very forward to meeting all the amazing bloggies (especially Denise, Meg and Lindsay…I have been reading their blogs since the beginning!) and taking part in all the festivities.  I have a whole heck of a lot jammed into two short days but I cannot wait!  This is more than likely my last post until I return but when I come back I will have a full 5K report, a spectator report and lots and lots and lots of photos! 

March Review & Updates

Today it is snowing.  Yes, in April.  No, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke!  That Mother Nature sure is a trickster!  I mean realllllly???  Isn’t March supposed to go out like a lamb???  April showers….okay, but snow?  What the heck global warming…what the heck?? 

Despite the snow, I am so happy April is here- and that March is over.  March was a good month, but it was stressful at work.  Super stressful.  Luckily, some of that is over now, which is also attributing to my good moods lately 🙂  But it seems as though I made the choice in 2011 to be happy, I find that I am happy! 

My workouts in March were awesome- I only missed three which might actually be a new record for me.  My running is progressing very well and I am continuing to see improvements in the way I look due to lifting.  The only thing I would say I really need to work on, is my nutrition.  I am eating like a friggen pig and on the worst possible schedule ever!  Keeping up with two jobs, working out, a social life, family and a boyfriend is definitely taking some getting used to…time is so limited.  Truth is, I find myself either A-eating on the run and picking at random foods or B-not eating all day and then stuffing my face at dinner on nights that I have a chance to eat.  Neither of those options are going to work long-term, clearly, so I need to get on the ball.  I am lucky that I am working out so much that I am not gaining, but I am not losing either!  How do you eat on a busy schedule? 

I won’t lie, the busy schedule is busy.  And sometimes I feel like I could just lay in bed and sleep for days…but it is all worth the energy!  Two jobs are exhausting but I love the money it brings in and all the things I am experiencing because I have some extra.  And I wouldn’t trade the time I have with family, friends and especially R2 for anything, even if it is at times, limited.  Speaking of R2…everything is still awesome with us.  Last weekend we spent overnight in the city…had a fabulous and relaxed time along with an amazing dinner.  I asked him permission to use his photo on my blog and lucky for all of you, he said yes (as long as he likes the photos, it isn’t all the time and I don’t use his name 🙂 Fair enough, right? ).  So without further adieu, here is a picture from our dinner:

Oh and one last thing…with April…comes…BOSTON!!!  I am so excited to be going to Boston and very much looking forward to bloggy meet-ups and watching all you amazing runners!  We lost our Easter Break at work this year, so the long weekend get-a-way will be a nice break!  Are you going to be in Boston??  Let me know!!

And lastly, a little favor- please head over to Jesse’s blog and send some thoughts and prayers to his cousin.  She was unfortunately hit by a bus while riding her Tri bike in Las Vegas earlier this week.  Her injuries are critical and she has a long road to recovery.  I am sure  Jesse and his family can use all the get well vibes they can get. ♥

First 2011 Post…Where I Have Been & Goals

I have been struggling to come up with the right way to express how I have been feeling lately and when it came time to put my goals list together I struggled even more.  It took me almost the whole month of December to figure out why.

And here it is…

I was keeping charts and graphs and tracking everything I did.  I was driving myself crazy writing schedules, setting alarms and calculating my pace/distance for every swim/bike/run.  I was completely overwhelmed by all the facebook updates and blog posts in my google reader that were all about running, working out and etc.  I was putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself and feeling negative about myself.  All because I felt like I had to fit into some standard.  (I feel like a five year old even admitting all this.)  At times lately, it has all felt very competitive; I notice gatherings with my teammates where the only conversations we have are about working out and who is doing what and how much of it they are doing.  Honestly, it makes my head spin. And instead of being motivated to change, I shut down and allowed it all to push me into a hole that kept me from having a desire to do anything at all.

Running is not my life.  Neither is swimming.  And well, I think we all know biking isn’t either.  There are so many more aspects to my life than working out and keeping track of my miles.  But I was pressuring myself to “keep up with the Jones’s” for a while and was concentrating to the point of exhaustion on things that honestly don’t matter to me.  But I wanted them to matter to me so I kept doing them.  I wanted them to matter because I thought it put me in the same ranks as everyone else.  A “real” athlete.  If I woke up and didn’t want to work out, I felt like something was wrong with me.  And the truth is, more days than not I woke up not wanting to work out.  The more days in a row this happened, the less I felt about who I was as an athlete.  And not only was I frustrated but I was confused as to why I even felt that way.

But I know why- I felt that way because I thought I was letting myself and others down if I wasn’t “taking it serious enough” and that if I didn’t take it serious, people wouldn’t take me as a person seriously.  Got all that?  Anyway, the good news is, I snapped myself out of it, got real with myself and decided that I don’t have to be so serious.  And people who like and respect me will like and respect me even if I am not caculating my miles vs. distance every step of the way.  They will like me even if I don’t care that I missed a workout.  But most importantly, I will like myself again.  Because I will be having fun again.  And for me, fun is what it is all about.  And for the record, I am totally most definitely without a doubt an athlete!

At the end of it all I was able to come up with some goals.

Goals for 2011:

  1. Run for time, not distance; stop focusing so much on mileage.  It’ll be easier now with a Garmin to keep track of my miles without having to map out runs and etc, but some days I just want to run.  Run without caring about the exact distance.  At the end of the day, the miles I run in a week, month, year…that is not who I am.  I am not the miles I run, I am a runner simply because I run.
  2. There will be no more week in reviews.  No more formula posts to keep up with or anything else that cause me to self-pressure over miles/hours/etc.
  3. No more “100 push-ups a week” challenges for me.  Or anything of that nature.
  4. I will only host a give-a-way when I truly believe in the product.  I will not make the give-a-way rules harder than and IQ tests and there will always be less steps than when you call your credit card company!
  5. I will eliminate all unrealistic goals.  And I will push hard to achieve the realistic ones.
  6. Give myself a break.  Or two. Or ten.
  7. Realize I don’t need to blog every day.  Go back to quality over quantity.  My faithful readers will be here whether I blog once a day or once a week.
  8. Keep my goals more private.  Again, limiting the self-pressure.
  9. Continue to be an honest blogger.  Remember that at its most basic foundation this blog was my journey.  It is not always pretty, but it is always real!
  10. I will make it fun again. I want to channel the way I felt when I started this whole journey to my first tri…I felt fresh and new and it was fun.  I want to go back to how good it felt to just want to go to the gym…get out and run or hop in the pool.  I want to get back to a place where I knew what I was doing was making me a better person, not driving me insane.  I want to get back to me.

I just thought I should start the year posting how I really felt.  Being me.  Honest little me.