Would You Like a Beer with Your Run?

Last night my friend at work and I did the Fleet Feet Fun Run in Sacramento. We started at the Fleet Feet downtown and did a three-mile run ending at the Golden Bear. Fleet Feet passed out free drink tickets for the Bear and we just couldn’t resist. A cold beer sounded pretty tasty after a good run. Usually these runs only have about 20-30 attendees but this week’s was huge! I think there were close to 100 people last night (probably because of the free booze). After the run they had a raffle back at the bar and I even won a free dry-fit shirt. The name that was pulled after mine won a free pair of new Saucony running shoes! I was so close! Oh well, maybe next time. My friend and I plan on running these little fun-runs every week. I love to run outside, but never feel safe on my own in the dark. Now that daylight savings has passed it is too dark to run alone after work, so this is the perfect alternative. There are enough people in the group that I feel totally safe to run at night and it is much more motivating with a large group of people to keep going. Looking forward to next week! If you don’t have a fleet feet in your area, you can find running groups to join here.

How I Got to 13.1 Miles

I need to start by telling you all that I am not a runner. I’ve never been a runner. I grew up hating running/jogging, and any activity involving those things. In high school, I was the kid who walked the mile in p.e. with my friends. I used to act like it was because I was just too cool, but really I had horrible asthma and absolutely hated running and didn’t want to feel miserable. Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles. I started running in May to get ready to run a 5k (3.1 miles). I was only running on a treadmill at the time and got up to about 2.5 miles before going to run the 5k. When I started, running one mile was difficult for me. I’d want to quit the moment I started, but I kept going so I could finish the 5k. That day came and I ran the whole thing straight through (mostly because I had a friend with me telling me I wasn’t ALLOWED to stop). I did a few more 5ks over the next month or so and they started to get easier and easier.

This photo was taken after my first 5k.

So  I decided to start training for a 10k (6.2 miles) at the end of June. That number sounded HUGE to me. I ran every week and got to the point where I ran 4.5 miles outside one time and figured I was ready for the 10k. That race was at the end of June right in my neighborhood, which has very little shade, so I was huffing and puffing and getting sunburned the whole way. At the end I said to my friend “That wasn’t fun. I’m done. I don’t need to do that again.” And I took a month off of running. I went to Hawaii and planned on running, but I didn’t. Finally, in August I decided I wanted to get back into it. I started running again with a friend who lives in my neighborhood. We ran early in the morning before work and pretty soon we were back up to 6 miles. So, we registered for a 1/2 marathon on Halloween weekend. Each week we ran in the mornings and then did long runs on the weekend. We had good weeks and bad weeks depending on how busy we both were at work. Some days I would get out there and two miles would be extremely hard for me and some days six miles would be easy. On the days when running two miles was difficult, I’d want to throw in the towel. If two miles was hard, how the hell was I going to do 13.1?!

But, we didn’t quit, and a few weeks ago we did our longest run and got all the way up to 11 miles. We were very proud of ourselves. After that long run we both got so busy with work that we only ran 2-3 times in the following 2 weeks up to the race. We were also training on completely flat ground the whole time because there are very little hilly areas in Sacramento and none in our neighborhood. I was nervous about that because I knew our half marathon would have hills, but we didn’t have time to drive for 30 minutes to find them each time we ran. My nerves were warranted because yesterday, there were hills. Lots of them. And the worst one of all was at the very end of the race. How cruel is that?

Five miles into the half marathon I was dragging already. I was dreading the next eight miles ahead and questioning if I could even finish when I saw my dad waiting for me ahead, which meant my mom and husband were waiting for me too. After I noticed my dad was wearing a ridiculous shirt that read “My daughter kicks asphalt” I noticed that it wasn’t just my parents and my husband waiting for me. My best friend, her fiance, and their roommate and my good friend, were all there and ALL wearing their own ridiculous shirts. As silly as it might be, I got all teared up. 13 miles may not be a big deal to many people, but for me, it was a huge deal and having so many important people there who understand and appreciate how hard this was for me really meant a lot. AND their shirts were hilarious. Apparently the runners were loving them the whole way!

“Worst parade EVER.”      “Your feet hurt because you kick so much @$$!”

“You can’t run from your problems”        “My daughter kicks asphalt” “It could be worse. There could be FIVE bridges”

“You Rock!!” (of course, my mom’s is the sweetest)

Around 10.5 miles I was dragging. I knew the last mile was going to be extremely hard for me and I would want to walk. So, I text messaged my husband and asked him to meet me at mile 12. He showed up with my dad and they ran the next 1/2 mile with me and then took a short cut to the finish line so they could see me cross. Having them there pushing me along really helped. Then I bared the big hill on my own and made it to the finish and got my medal.

Lindsey and Me after the race.

If you want to read my past posts about training for the half, click on these links- To Run, or Not to Run? , 1/2 Marathon Update , 1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

Finishing felt pretty damn good. I guess I am a runner now?

1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

I am slowly working my way toward those 13.1 miles and when I say slowly I mean slowwwwlllly. I just hit 8 miles for the first time last weekend and I plan to do 8-9 this weekend. And I am still asking the question, when does this get easy? I ran 3 miles this morning and although it wasn’t excruciating, it was still hard! The first two miles are always the hardest for me and it usually gets easier around mile 3 or 4. But the important thing I need to keep telling myself is that I’m actually doing it. Never in my life did I think I would be able to survive an 8 mile run. And I wasn’t even sore the next day! I’m not going to sugar coat it, those 8 miles weren’t easy, but I felt amazing once I finished..just like I hope I feel after I cross that half-marathon finish line!

I am very late in posting this month’s training schedule, but here it is! In case you don’t remember from last time, x-train means cross train (work out by doing other activities, bike, swim, weight train, etc.).

I just bought a new armband for my iphone so I can listen to music while I run and never be without my phone.  Even though I always run with a partner, I hate the idea of running long distances without my phone in case of emergency. I picked this one up at target for $20. It was one of the only ones I could find that would tighten enough to fit my ridiculously small arm.

After my Four Bridges Half-Marathon in October, I plan on running the Run to Feed the Hungry 10k. I have done the fun Thanksgiving Day run many times, but always did the 5k and had to run/walk it.  I’m looking forward to running the whole 10k with all those people this year! It is always such a fun race and benefits such a great cause!

This is where I would prefer to run everyday. Where is your favorite place to run?

1/2 Marathon Update

So, I did it. I signed up for the 1/2 Marathon for October 30th. The longest run I have done is 6.2 miles, so I’m a little nervous about doing 13.1. And so far I’ve been kind of slacking on my training. I’ve only been running 3 mile runs the last few weeks and that’s not anywhere near what I should be doing for my training. So, basically… I need to get my sh*t together pretty soon here if I’m going to be ready in October! Here is the training schedule that a friend made for me. I’m going to attempt to follow this as best I can and see how it works out. Wish me luck! 13.1 miles here I come! This is just the training schedule for August, I’ll post the other two months later.

Oh, and I just bought this awesome running shirt by New Balance at my local Marshall’s for $12.99! I already have one just like it in white and I wear it all the time. It’s lightweight and super comfortable so you don’t even notice it while you’re running. And for $12? Such a great deal! 

To Run, or Not to Run?

Okay, so I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. And I have actually always hated running.  Up until June of this year, the furthest I had ever run was a little over 2 miles…on a treadmill. And I hated every minute of it.  I was the person who got on a treadmill at the gym and quit before the first mile because it was just TOO hard. I only started to enjoy running this year when I was consistently doing it each week and was improving my time and distance. When it gets a little easier, I hate it a little less.

At the end of last June, I decided to run a 10k (6.2 miles for those who don’t know) and it was hard. Really hard. I did it slow (12 minute miles) but I FINISHED it. 6.2 miles seemed impossible to me. But I did it. The week before the 10k I ran my furthest distance, which was 4.5 miles. I was not prepared for how much harder that extra mile and a half was going to be.

So…the question today is, can I do a half marathon? The problem is that after my 10k I took a little vacay from running. I went to Hawaii for 10 days and then had friends and their baby stay with us for a week and I used all of that as an excuse not to run. I just started back up two days ago and am slowly getting back into it.

 And now there is this half marathon… do I do it? CAN I do it? Do I devote my life for the next 3 months before the race to running? What do you think?

This is from the first 5k I ever ran– Maybe soon I’ll have a photo from the first half-marathon I’ve ever run?