A blog about my journey of training to run a 1/2 marathon with Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and beyond.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New PR, Hanson, & A Cool Medal...Oh MY!

The Route 66 Half Marathon was a great experience for so many reasons. I hardly know where to start. I got to roadtrip with my geektwin, which made me happy. Met tons of new people which is always an adventure in itself. The expo was cool and I bought some great stuff, including a new runhers tee. But the race...I'll be honest now.  I was kinda dreading it. It was supposed to be super cold that morning...and you know how I feel about morning runs. I seriously considered staying in the bed for half a millisecond. But I didn't! I got up, got dressed, and headed out to face the race. 

I got to meet up with my runhers ladies and my favorite neighbors before the race. We walked around warming up, using HotHands, and taking pictures. You know before we are a sweaty hot mess. (Sidebar: yes I did put HotHands in my bra. And yes, a friend commented, "You really do put everything in there". Yes, yes, I do. Safest place on earth. No ones getting in unless I say so. ) It was cold, but it could've been so much colder. I was so thankful that the racing gods smiled on us and gave us such a gorgeous day.  Since I wasn't completely miserable, I started to get excited. I'm kinda like a kid at Christmas waking her parents up every few hours, asking if it's time to open presents. "Can we go yet? Are we running soon? Is it time to start?"

The race started and I was shocked at how easy it was for me to start. Normally, it takes about 3 to 5 miles to shake the rust off. I was going from beat one. I did my run-walk method with a ratio of 10:1 but it wasn't feeling right, so I just trusted my body and my instincts and ran what felt comfortable. There was even a couple miles in the middle that I didn't stop at all. I know, I know. I had a training plan, I should've stuck with it. But it felt really good, so I did it. My playlist was a dead on for the race. It hit all the points right when I needed it to. And my powersong fittingly enough was Give A Little by Hanson. I know, right?! Local boys to the rescue.

I honestly don't remember  a whole lot of details of this race. I was in the moment a lot more than I usually am. I do know that I ran with my phone to use as an iPod and a GPS. This was my first time doing this. I know that when my music softens it means that someone is calling or texting me. I got several texts at the beginning of the race and I knew that I didn't want to look at them. 1. It would throw off my stride and 2. there was a good chance someone was going to make me cry. I continued getting texts all throughout the race (which made me feel very loved, but I was running a race here people). Finally about Mile 9 I snuck a peak at my phone and it was my husband. He made me cry. : /
I did not look my phone again until I was well past finished.

There were a lot of hills. Not ginormous hills, but there were enough of them to make them feel ginormous. My bum is paying the price for those hills today. Though wind was the biggest issue I had. Fortunately, it was only an issue for part of the race. I have to say I felt really good about this race. I even had enough oomph left to sprint across the finish line. A far cry from barely walking across the finish at my first half-marathon. I didn't shatter any records by any means. My time isn't even impressive on it's own. But it's my new PR and I love it. I had set a goal of 3:30. I finished in 3:17:26. I know that I couldn't have done it without the love an support of those around me. My family, my friends, my runhers group. You all helped me in ways you may never know. I thank you. Today I am sore, but I'm already thinking that maybe I can get my time down to 3:00 by next year. I'm gonna need you all to get there. I hope that everyone had an amazing time at the race. Now take this upcoming holiday to rest, relax, spend time with your loved ones, and remember to be thankful for the many blessings in your life, especially if it includes a new PR and a cool new medal like this one.

Peace, love, and joy this holiday season for everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

66 Songs for Route 66

I feel like I'm running behind about a week in my life lately. There just don't seem to be enough hours in a day. I don't know if it's because the time change has thrown off my mojo. (It gets dark at 6:30
pm! What's that about?!) Or it's the upcoming holidays and birthdays that I have this time of year. Or if it's because work is unexplainably CRAZY this time of year. Perhaps it's a combination of all of the above.

But I took a time out tonight. I needed to pack up my gear for the race this weekend. While packing, I decided I have been training sooooo hard that I have completely worn out the my playlists. I need some freshness for this race. So I sat down and built a new playlist. There are some oldies, some newbies, and all goodies. I wish that I could take credit for 66 songs that I ended up with, but it just sort of happened (which in Cyndiland means that it is kismet). Now as usual I do not intend to use all of the songs. There is about 4 hours worth of music in this list. I am aiming to finish the race in 3:30 or less. But there is always a song or two that sounds good at home but just doesn't fit the moment. So I always bring extra. :)
  1. All My Life - Foo Fighters 
  2. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen 
  3. B.O.B. - OutKast 
  4. Ho Hey - The Lumineers 
  5. Bang a Gong (Get It On) - T. Rex 
  6. Champion - The Chevin 
  7. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson 
  8. A-Punk -Vampire Weekend 
  9. Clocks - Coldplay 
  10. Firestarter - The Prodigy 
  11. 18 Wheeler - P!nk 
  12. We Come Running - Youngblood Hawke 
  13. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey 
  14. Cherry Bomb - The Runaways 
  15. Beverly Hills - Weezer 
  16. Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin 
  17. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees 
  18. Mercy - Duffy 
  19. Excuse Me Mr. -No Doubt 
  20. Black or White - Michael Jackson 
  21. Fighter - Christina Aguilera 
  22. Bad Reputation - Joan Jett 
  23. Firework - Katy Perry 
  24. Born Alone - Wilco Born
  25. Fluorescent Adolescent 2- Arctic Monkeys 
  26. Give a Little - Hanson 
  27. Dog Days Are Over - Florence + The Machine 
  28. The Kids Aren't Alright - The Offspring 
  29. Gunpowder & Lead - Miranda Lambert 
  30. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons 
  31. The Longer I Run -Peter Bradley Adams 
  32. Hash Pipe - Weezer 
  33. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)- Eurythmics 
  34. Without You (feat. Usher) - David Guetta & Usher 
  35. Hey Now Now - The Cloud Room 
  36. Sleeping Aides & Razorblades - The Exploding Hearts 
  37. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas 
  38. Gold On the Ceiling - The Black Keys 
  39. O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature 
  40. Seven Nation Army -The White Stripes 
  41. Lonely Boy -The Black Keys 
  42. You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins 
  43. Run Riot - Def Leppard 
  44. My Body - Young the Giant 
  45. One Way or Another - Blondie 
  46. Places to Go - Leftover Cuties 
  47. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson 
  48. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon 
  49. Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles 
  50. Kerosene - Miranda Lambert 
  51. Runaway Baby - Bruno Mars
  52. Search And Destroy - Iggy Pop
  53. Wide Awake - Katy Perry 
  54. Good Life -OneRepublic 
  55. Too Close - Alex Clare 
  56. Spirit In the Sky - Norman Greenbaum 
  57. Sabotage - Beastie Boys 
  58. Gone Tomorrow - The Gossip 
  59. We Are Young (feat. Janelle MonĂ¡e) - Fun.
  60. Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine 
  61. Take Off Your Shirt -Bibio 
  62. Thinking 'Bout Somethin' -Hanson 
  63. Thinking- Ke$ha 
  64. Salute Your Solution-The Raconteurs 
  65. What Makes You Beautiful -One Direction 
  66. It's Time - Imagine Dragons  
So I've packed my iPhone and my iPod (as I have yet to decide which one I want to use), couple of pairs of tights, a tee, a long sleeve tee, my favorite hoody, two pairs of socks, my favorite hat, and of course my Brooks. I wish everyone running this weekend the best of luck and the best of times. If you are in the Tulsa area, I hope to see you at the race Sunday, cheering, volunteering, racing, living. We are going to have a blast. My geek-twin, my bestest neighbors, and all my runHers ladies will be hanging out with me this weekend.

And I run3rd this weekend for all those children who are going without during this holiday season. Times are tough for everyone, but every little bit helps. Donate what you can: money, goods, or time. All are appreciated. Every child deserves to have a happy holiday season. I can't think of any greater joy than giving joy to a child in need.

Peace, Love, and Getting my Kicks on Route 66

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Running Tights and Other Clothing Tribulations

Okay, here's the deal. Running isn't easy for me. I have to work at running. So I use every tool at my disposal to help make it easier, including running tights, compression pants, and tight tanks. Now as you know (and my blog name clearly states) the words: small, tiny, petite, thin, skinny, non-jiggly are not used to describe me. So..... While I know that spandex is a privilege, not a right, I wear running tights and I don't care what you think.

There are two main reasons why I wear them (and a few sub-reasons) and I am going to share them with you now.

Reason #1: I swell. A LOT. Like a lot lot. I swell up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. I am the giant Snoopy floating down the street, trying to take out some of my handlers down below. It's a symptom of my lupus. I've done it for years. It's a year-round thing, but gets worse in the winter and....when I longer distances. So I have found that compression running tights helps keep the swelling to a minimum and that feels awesome.

Sub-reason #1: Because they are so tight. They keep some of the jiggle out of my wiggle. ; ) Which also feels awesome.

Reason #2: When running longer distances, I really don't want loose clothes flopping around, creeping up, riding way up, digging in, rubbing raw, or doing any other thing that they should never do. I have tried just about every different type of running gear style out there, except those tiny lycra running shorts (because no body wants to see that and I don't wanna have to dig lycra shorts out of unmentionable places). I have tried sweats, windpants, loose capris, flared pants, tight capris, running skirts, shorts, you name it. I really have tried them all. I found that for me the bigger the clothing, the more flopping it does, the more it annoys me. I can't concentrate on my stride or breathing or tempo or anything else that I should be focused on. A few times all I could think about was wanting nothing more than to strip off whatever article of clothing that was irritating me. So I wear tighter clothing to help eliminate some of the problem/distraction. I won't wear shorts or a skirt over the tights because the flopping/riding up is again an issue.

Sub-reason #2: Big women want to look cute too! Big floppy ill-fitted clothes are not flattering on anyone. Why would bigger women be any different?! I'm not a pretty runner. I wish that I looked more like the people in running magazines that look like running is fun and easy, but I don't. I look like I am in pain and want to cry and/or puke all at the same time. So the least I can do is wear some cute running clothes.

Now cute running clothes in bigger sizes are difficult to find, but there are out there. Although, it would be nice if there were more options out there that would accommodate bigger hips and chest areas. **hint, hint, wink, wink** In the end, it really comes down to what are you comfortable in. Everyone is different. Some are more modest, others (like me) not so much. You should always be comfortable and confident in whatever you choose to wear, whether it be running or in general. You are beautiful!

That being said, you should always dress appropriately for the weather, climate, and time of day. And I insist that you invest in a good pair of running shoes and a really great running bra. The rest is up to you.

Peace, Love, and compression tights.

P.S. I  even incorporated them into my Halloween costume. Somewhere under all that tulle is an awesome pair of tights.