Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Year in Review....but not really

Towards the beginning of the month I saw so many blog posts of people I follow on twitter recapping the 2012 year and all their running. I thought about doing that, but I realized this year that running led me to something deeper.

Running opened up a whole new world for me - a world that I didn't know would exist within my world. I stepped outside my comfort zone many times this year. From cheering on random people at the Disneyland Half (and making a sign for random strangers and hoping to SEE random "strangers" (@runlikeacoyote & Teal and Beth from @Lifeisarun), dressing up in costume at a half marathon, making a Got Chocolate Milk video and asking people to vote on it, to actually talking to Dorothy from @MilesPosts in Vegas (while there was a print out of the magazine cover she was on to our right). It wasn't just people that I met (or hope to meet - Lisa (@runlikeacoyote) and I will both be running the same half in January and one of my goals is to meet her in person!). It was the things I've learned, both about myself and running.

I learned a lot about myself this year. I learned that I don't like getting up in the morning to run before work because it's cold, but I love the feeling after. I discovered the greatness that are Pro Compression socks (and FINALLY no blisters!). I've learned that even though its one of the hardest things to do that I LOVE trail running. I've learned that other peoples running adventures have shaped mine, even if they don't know it - I've read their blogs, tweets, etc and those people have proved to me that it can be done if you believe in yourself. I've learned that I really like running, and proving people wrong. I've learned that I need to stop doubting myself. I've learned that there are limits with everything, except running. I've also learned that the only limits I have when it comes to running are the ones that I put on myself. In 2013 I plan on pushing myself even further outside my comfort zone and past those limits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I became a Zombie, then a Survivor, set a Half Marathon PR & was a Dirty Girl.

Last post I mentioned that I had runs coming up 3 weekends in a row, well that's all done now. Like the subject of this blog, I was a Zombie (kind of) then a Survivor, set a Half Marathon PR & was a Dirty Girl.

To start at the beginning, my husband signed us up for Run for your lives. It was awesome. We drove the 2 hours to Temecula, grabbed a quick bite to eat then made our way to Vail Lake. We walked around and I bought a few zombie themed items (not a shock - I know!) then we got ready for our wave. While we were waiting in our corral as dessert (meaning we would be the last group from our wave let out) I started to get nervous. Really nervous. I had never done an obstacle course because and add in the zombie factor I was a little scared. Our corral went, and we went UP a hill. half a mile. Fun Times. I did good for awhile, everyone did a lot of walking. Eventually I lost all my flags, but a nice Zombie gave me another one (which was good because I actually wanted to KEEP the flag because it was cool) and then so did another Zombie, see zombies can be nice....a few of the obstacle were hard, I got stuck in the mud a few times and hurt my knee crawling in mud under the barbed wire and the electric house was scary, I only got shocked at the end while going under the fence because my hair kept touching the fence. Oh well. We made it to the end both as Survivors which was nice, and then we got our beer, got cleaned up and went home. I definitely had fun and I can't wait for next year.

Up next was the Rock and Roll LA Half Marathon. I had a goal. Under 3 hours. 2:59:59, I didn't care. I wanted under 3 so bad. Unfortunately  that didn't happen. I felt weird all weekend, not sure why. Around mile 8 I knew that I wouldn't hit under 3. I became ok with it. I wasn't happy, but I wasn't going to hurt myself to still try and get it. What gets me is I KNOW I can be faster, I've done it before. But I am scared, not sure of what. Being outside my comfort zone? I'm not sure. I DID set a new PR by 15 minutes though. So I was trying to be happy about that. I like the LA Half Marathon because it's so close to home (10-15 minute drive with traffic to the start). I don't like the hill going up the 6th street bride at mile 10. Torture. But the view from up there is amazing. After we all finished we went out to brunch, which was fun & well earned since some of set new PR's. I should celebrate that even if it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I went home and showered and put on my Pro Compression socks and my legs were very, very happy. I love these socks, I tried them out on a recommendation and love them, they need to have constant sales so that I can buy one in every color!

This past Saturday I did the Go Dirty Girl mud run in Ventura  Santa Paula. One of my friends from high school wanted to do it since it was the day before her 30th birthday, so there was a team of 6 of us that headed out to wait in line. I mean, run in the mud. Let me explain, 2 days before the race we got an email saying that we would park in one location and be shuttled to another. We figured we need to allow extra time for that. So we did. We got to the parking location almost 2 hours before our wave time. We waited. And waited. And waited. For 2 hours. In the sun. Watching our wave time pass us by. There were what seemed to be 4 shuttles on rotation, not nearly enough. They told us we could run in whatever wave we get there by, gee, that's great, but some of us had other plans because we didn't expect to be waiting for a shuttle for 2 hours. Eventually we get to the location, only to see TONS of people had parked near/at the KOA and walked up to the event. We could have done the same. To say we were annoyed was the understatement of the century. We got checked in, checked our gear and got in the next wave. The race was fun. It's a women's race so nothing was too hard. We climbed  we went through mud, went up and down hills, and I got stuck at the top of the cargo net. I have an intense fear of heights. The girls in my group told me it would be fine once I got going. I got to the top and was holding on to both sides terrified to come down. But my team and the spectators cheered me on and got me down. Our group finally crossed the finish line mud pit, we took a group picture and then tried to get changed. The changing area wasn't great, the floor was muddy and that's where we had to rinse off as well so it was crowded, but we made the best of what we had and women got changed. While waiting for the rest of our team to come out I saw my friend, Tracey,  who has been my friend for YEARS (we met through Job's Daughters and both got escorted for the 1st time together and she made me laugh when I wanted to cry during my majority degree). I didn't know she was running so it was a much welcomed surprise  After we got our free beer we had to wait in ANOTHER line for the shuttle to go back to the cars. Another hour. At this point we were all tired and wanted to go home. The staff was great with having water out for us though and trying to get us all in the shade as much as possible. Waiting around for a shuttle sucked, big time. They really needed more to be running and on a constant rotation. Aside from all the shuttle waiting it was a very fun event and one that I recommend for women if they want to try an obstacle course / mud run. My advice would be grab a group of girl friends and find your nearest Dirty Girl run. I realize I complained about the shuttle a lot, but it was a big hindrance in our day because people did have other plans, but that's life. We had to wait around, besides waiting around for the shuttle and the annoyances that caused it was a GREAT event. One that I will hopefully run again with another group of friends.

My next race is the Rock and Roll Las Vegas half marathon. My first time running Las Vegas. 3 hours. Under 3. That's all I want. I know I will have to step outside my comfort zone to do that. I hope I'm prepared.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Running faster, gaining confidence and getting lost (and a name change)!

First of all, I decided to change the name of my blog. I'm a slow runner. I embrace being slow, I'm ok with it.

But - I'm getting faster.

I ran a mile in 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Normally I run in the 12 minute range. I was thrilled. Let me start at the beginning.

My husband @scotbritton was going to run the San Jose Rock and Roll half marathon. I was not, I'm doing the LA half at the end of the month and I thought it was too close together for me. During my training for the half, I was scheduled to do an approximate 6 mile run that weekend. At first I thought I would just run around the area of the hotel or use the hotel gym. During the time I had these thoughts Rock and Roll started to promote their horribly named "mini marathon" it was approximately 5 miles and was at the same time as the half. I debated running it - I hate the name of it. There is nothing wrong calling it a 5 mile "fun run" or something similar. But, at the last minute I decided to run it, figured it would give me something to do during the time my husband was running. I started in corral 3 (our placement was based on our 5K time) and my husband was in corral 11, we decided to see how long it would take him to "catch" me. My first mile was 10:30, I imagine it was because I was with the faster runners, but it felt GREAT. I wasn't getting tired, I felt like I could go further at that pace, but decided that I needed to slow down. I didn't want to hurt myself. At about 2.5 miles when I was walking, my husband "caught" me and passed me and he was off. When I got to the 5K point my time was in the 37 minute range. I had a new PR for a 5K!!! I finished the mini. It was less then 5 miles....but just barely, but even with that my 5 mile time would have been my best time. I was happy. I felt confident and knew I can do it.

I've started to feel more confident with my running, I feel like I am finally seeing progress and feeling great about it.

This past weekend called for my longest distance so far. 10 miles. I normally wake up early, go to the beach and run on the bike path before it gets too crowded. I knew that there was construction one way on the bike path so decided to go the other way towards Marina Del Rey and towards Venice Beach Boardwalk - a route that I hadn't ran before. I had a GREAT pace going in the Marina and towards the board walk. I felt confident. I knew I could do it. I thought of turning around at 4 miles out, but decided I wanted to make it to the Boardwalk. I got to the Boardwalk, and then remembered WHY I DON'T GO TO THE BOARDWALK! There are a lot of homeless people wondering on it in the morning, there were cops, but I just didn't feel safe. After taking a quick picture I turned around and headed back. Did you see the part where I said I hadn't ran that route before? I missed the street I need to turn down. Ended up lost in the streets of the Marina, trying to get to the bike path. I asked 2 people for directions - neither were helpful. Tried to figure out the maps on my phones - I'm bad with directions. After about 30-45 minutes of wandering around seeing if the streets were going to get me out of my little adventure, I found people who were headed to the bike path and followed them. By the time I got to the bike path I was at 10 miles and running out of water. But I wasn't done, my directional mishap added almost 1.5 miles to my route. While back on the bike path, I encountered a triathlon  Thankfully only the running portion, but I did all I could to stay out of their way. I got back to my car almost 3 hours after I started my adventurous morning, in a way it was good I went the different route because the triathlon running course was right along the path I normally run.

My run yesterday gave me confidence, even though I got lost, I am confident enough in my ability to run my upcoming half. I am hoping to finish in under 3 hours. I don't care if it's 2:59:59, I want to finish in under 3. The next 3 weekends are filling with running events - next weekend my husband and I are doing the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K I'm a little scared, but know that I will have fun. I'm excited to see the people dressed as zombies. Then the following weekend is the Rock and Roll LA Half Marathon where I am dressing up as Batman. Then the first weekend in November, a few girls I went to high school with and I (and hopefully my sister in law) are doing the Dirty Girl Mud Run. It's a lot coming up, but I'm excited.

Normally I take a picture post training run -  this was all I could do:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Depression and Running

Depression is something that most people don't talk about, it's something that we like to pretend doesn't happen. But it does. The statistics are out there for depression, it's not hard to find. Over the past few weeks I've found myself getting more and more depressed. I feel the darkness trying to pull me in, but I am fighting it with every ounce of my being that I can. Last year I met with a doctor who wanted to put me on medication, I declined. I have my own personal reasons for not wishing to take anti-depressants, which I don't feel the need to share. I know that they work wonderfully for some people, but I would just prefer not to take them. One thing that he mentioned was that with my running, it could possibly take the place of and be better then any medication out there. After that I threw myself in to running events, and now that this year is almost over and I am not where I want to be with running - I feel like a failure. I feel like I should be more then I am. Deep down I KNOW that I am awesome. That even my friends doubt me. Hell, I even doubt myself.

After every run that I wasn't as fast as I wanted to be, or I wasn't able to go as far. I want to give up. I wonder what's the point? I keep trying but it doesn't change. This is my self doubt, this is my depression, it grabs on to me and makes me take notice that it's there and doesn't want to go away. It makes me question my self, it makes me feel like everything I am doing is pointless. Running - pointless, School - pointless, Work - pointless, Life - pointless. ( At this point I feel like I should say, I am NOT going to hurt myself in any way - I do not have any thoughts towards that). When I get this way all I want to do is lay in bed, and hide from the world. But I can't. I have to face the world and hope I can make it through the tough days - which I do.

This past Monday was World Suicide Prevention Day, suicide is never the answer, if you feel it is PLEASE call someone. Call anyone. One of women bloggers/writers I follow on twitter (@thebloggess) suffers from depression as well. One of my favorite posts by her on the subject is here. The Fight Goes On . One thing she mentions is - DEPRESSION LIES. The thoughts of pointlessness, the thoughts of failure, THOSE ARE LIES. That is the darkness that is pulling you in. Don't listen to it. 

One thing the doctor I met with told me was that the benefits of running will be physical as well as emotional. At first I thought he was a little crazy, how could there be emotional benefits to running? The more I run, the more I am able to work through, the more I am able to get past. I leave it out on the run. I contemplate life changes on the runs (and shared these with my husband after a few runs to gather his opinion). There have been times when I've been running and started crying, I didn't even realize it. Running has become a release for me. Beyond the depression, beyond the self doubts and the darkness, I've found a light that I am trying to grasp on to with both hands, I'm trying my hardest to keep it with me. I've found something that helps me keep going. Most people won't understand, if you don't suffer from depression it's hard to understand, there isn't a way that I can make you understand either.

I've written and deleted this post a few times, talking about depression is hard. Not talking about it is even harder.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

10 days later

I'm in a very movie centric mood right now. All I can think about with my title is the movie 28 days later, which I haven't seen but totally want to. And Forrest Gump (random I know!) .

I'm still running. But not like Forrest did, I stop. I get up in the morning, do my two miles (I'm adding more miles starting August 1st) then am glad that I did it. Funny, isn't it? I never thought I'd be glad to run. The only bad thing is I live in a not so great area of Los Angeles, and no one bugs me on my run (I did have two stray cats follow me from my front yard down the block yesterday though!), I decided to (re)start carrying my pepper spray with me, since I pass homeless people and run past a few sketchy alleys, maybe I should have my phone too. I'm a bit of a klutz so I have to make sure that it's always locked.

My running is still slow, but my pace is constant. My miles are with in seconds of each other, it's really weird and funny. 

It's funny the people who give me the motivation to keep going - they probably don't even know that they are. The interesting part, is I've never met them. I only talk to them on twitter, or see things that they retweet. One is Lisa - @runlikeacoyote - she lives in so cal....I'm hoping to one day meet her. She's crazy awesome. She runs in the morning then bikes to work. This morning she ran 12 miles BEFORE WORK and then rode her bike to work....oh and she's training for the 100 mile Javelina Jundred in October. 100 miles. Running. at once. She's freakin awesome. Another person is @Running_Hutch, who also lives in so cal, and we've "talked" in passing at a race (she encouraged me when I was struggling and she was going the other way), she started running with team in training, and is now training for the nuun team hood to coast relay this summer. I promise I'm not a stalker, these are just two of the women that I think are awesome that give ME motivation to keep going, that I can keep pushing and that I can reach my running goals. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Starting over again

This morning I started training for my half marathon at the end of October. Yes, I realize it's July 9th, but to reach my goals I need to start now. I need to be prepared. I need to train. I also need sleep. I did not want to get out of bed this morning, I'm hoping with my gradual increase in running that falling (and staying asleep) will become a lot easier. I am also trying to eat healthier, and cut back on the sweets and alcohol during the week. I need to start making healthy desserts, sweets are my downfall. 

I am 5 pounds away from my first goal weight. Not my final goal weight, but my first. Hopefully by the time I reach my birthday on the 30th (I'll be turning 30) I'll be past my first goal weight and closer to my 2nd. I realize that I will never been a tiny, skinny person. My genetic make up doesn't work that way. I come from a line of large women. But that doesn't mean that I can't work hard and be healthy. 

We don't have any running events this summer, which is nice, it gets hot. I want to sign up for the  Awesome 80s Run , but we will see. It's a 3 day weekend and we have my stepsons - need to try to convince everyone that we should do it as a family event....we will see. But I am looking forward to my training runs at the beach on the weekends. Maybe I'll throw in a trail or two when the hubby goes mountain biking? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Am I a runner?

My twitter bio says that I am a wannabe runner. Why is that? I've done half marathons where I've ran and walked the whole time....but I finished. Is it because I am not able to run as fast/long as I want that I don't consider myself a runner?

runner : noun
1.a person, animal, or thing that runs, especially as a racer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's a blessing and a curse

I married someone that is a runner, and worse of all he runs for fun. Which in my mind is a blessing and a curse. You see, he is who got me in to running. I'd be waiting for him on the sidelines of events and think, "Hey! That's something I can do!". He is also the person I blame & curse during the event for getting me in the damn situation in the first place! And worst of all, it's contagious. I should mention his youngest brother also like to run, his middle brother doesn't, he doesn't have the same build as the two of them. To date, since I started running, my sister in law, soon to be sister in law, family friend, and best friend have signed up to or have done running events, and even signed up for more than one! I blame my husband for this, of course in a loving way.

He doesn't have the same mental hangups that I do about running, or the physical (BLISTERS!) issues that I do when I run. But what he does do is support me, and encourage me, and push me to do my best, in his own annoying way. You see, marrying a spouse that runs or does any sort of physical activity is a curse, because you will eventually start to like that activity, and start participating. Since I've met my husband I've done, 5K's, a marathon, two half marathons, and by the end of January 2013 I will have done 3 more half marathons.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The more things change....

The more they stay the same.

I ran the LA Rock and Roll. I won't really say I RAN - but I finished. I think my time was around 3:20....NOT under 3 hours like I wanted. But, the bright side is there is always room for improvement.

Since then I've signed up for the Pasadena Rock N Roll half. Which is in a month. I have not been running as I should, so I am a little worried. I could blame it on a million things, but it all comes down to being lazy. I changed jobs, so my hours changed and if I want to run I have to do it in the morning before work, when it's dark and cold. My other option? Not running. Doesn't sound like a good option to me!

I actually did a 5K this past weekend, while my husband ran the LA 13.1, I didn't do it under 40 minutes like I wanted to, but I improved my time by 3 minutes from the previous year. I did a work out DVD this morning, will hopefully run tomorrow morning (late night tonight), and alternate my workouts until my half marathon. Improvement is what I am looking for. Improvement is what I need.