Sunday, February 7, 2016

Half Marathon #8: Best Damn Race Recap

Good Sunday Morning!!!

So yesterday was my 8th Half Marathon. I still cant believe that I am writing that. 8 races that involved 13.1 miles, that isn't even counting all of that mileage that I did when I was training for my FULL marathon, these are just 8 races, I signed up for and finished. I started this journey only 4 years ago, running my first half marathon 3 years ago this month.

This half marathon yesterday was a little bit bittersweet. I had a lot of different emotions and doubts going into this run yesterday. Even though I was training and felt prepared, in the bit of my stomach I knew I was lying to myself. My pace and endurance was not at all like it was a year prior. And that is 100% due to the fact of my injury last year.

When I had been training for all my other half marathons, I had A LOT of running under my belt all ready and I was feeling really good. I was running 3 times a week and doing some cross training. This half marathon, I literally felt like I was starting way over again. And I truly was. I started training for this half right around Christmas time. Which as we all know in my job, was intense and super hard to do. I even took the last 10 days off of doing anything because I was working at my job, non-stop, 13 hour days at that point. The longest in December I ran was around 6 miles, as a long distance and I felt pretty good but my body was achy and tired.

January came and I was ready to take it on because I knew the craziness of Christmas was behind me. And well that was an awesome plan and all, then I got sick. My body shut down completely from being worn down from Christmas. So one week was down a bit and I rested and took it slow, but I knew, I needed to have some long runs under my belt. My body was finally feeling like me again, my runs were getting really good and that runners love and high was back. I went out for a 10 mile run, I knew if I could 10 miles, I was golden.

James had come home for work sick and so nicely gave me the worse cold. Then the Florida weather wrapped in it and I was down for the count. On medication and coughing. And my high from my 10 miler was broken. I had planned to run 12 miles the following week, the week before Best Damn Race, but I was on medication and because I couldn't breathe, I had to settle at the end of the week 5 miles. Which still is a pretty great amount of miles.

This past Monday, I ran a nice easy 3 miles and I was feeling pretty good. But in the back of my mind, I was still anxious from not running 12. Training for me is such a mind game. I mean, I know I could run all the miles, but because I didn't do it, I felt doomed. Crazy I know. I took this whole week to just rest, I probably should have stretched more. But every night I laid out my legs and took it easy. Concentrated on my eating and water intake, which by the way was on point.

The night before I used a foam roller and stick to work out my calves. They were feeling really, really tight. I actually went to bed at a decent time and slept great through out the night.

I got up and was ready to go. Those evil voices in my head, reminding me of some knee pain I was experiencing were making there way to my brain. I had some coffee, which by the way, I do not mind having now before a run and I ate the Kodiak Protein Pancake Mug. I had my stuff all laid out and I taped up my ankle and calf like no other with KT tape. I used a whole damn roll. I stepped outside and it was freezing, so I grabbed a long sleeved and headed over to Jen's house to park and head to the race, she lives right by there.


It was great to start the race off with Jen. She is not only my Boss, but a true friend and my Mentor. I adore this lady like no other. She is on a run streak right now of 3 miles a day and she is up to 71 days. And taking on the half also like no other. Her spirit and positive was just what I needed at the beginning.


Then the race went on. 

I started race with out my Galloway beeper and just ran the first mile with the crowd, making my way through, trying to get past everyone and find a good place to hit start. I saw a lot of people doing the run walk method, even in the pace groups and that always puts my mind at ease. I hit my beeper and was ready to go right before the  mile mark. I was starting off at 5:1's. My mind was a bit distracted because my knee had some pain and I realized I had to pee again, damn water. SO I figured once I got to 3 miles, I would run in really quick and pee.

I got water at all the water stations, mile 3 I peed and headed out. I had started at the 2:40 pace group and I found I was lagging behind a bit. My pace was still in the 12's but for some reason my legs were not moving. This course was hurting me. The course had some many inclines and hills and up and down, I was no prepared for mentally and physically.

I had not ran any form of hills contiiously since my marathon in October. And for someone who  hasn't ran much of a whole year last year, because of slowly coming back this hit me pretty hard. Then the race became a mind game. 

The 2:50 pace group came up behind me and I was with my 5:1's for a bit with them. I was watching them and allowing them to be my rabbit. They say in a race if you can't focus, find a rabbit. Chase that rabbit. Well the pacer lady was my rabbit. They were following Galloway and doing 2:1's. So I figured heck I will join in. I couldn't figure it out if it was really 2:1's so I just kept watching and following along. Which became quite hard. I was focusing so much. I wasn't in a groove anymore. I wasn't enjoying the run and then the pain came all at once.

My body, was not happy with me. It did not want to be running anymore. My calves and knees were screaming in pain. The weather was becoming damp and colder by the minute, making my legs hurt, especially my knee. I unfocused from the group and changed my beeper to 3:1's. And went back to my own. I even called James around mile 11, just to hear his voice and have some encouragement. I was not feeling great. I was feeling pretty damn defeated.

I had  not felt that way in a race before. I kind of did when I did the challenge for Gasparilla because I had blisters like no other. But I was feeling just sad that I wasn't moving like my heart wanted me too. My legs felt heavy and did not want to move. So I figured I am going to walk more so I can finish strong. I saw a lot of people doing the same and believe it or not, it did bring some comfort.

 I snapped myself out of my pity party and knew no matter what, I was not quitting. NEVER would I quit a race, unless I was physically broken. Even though I didn't have a pace or time in mind, getting done under 3 hours would be nice for me. I knew I would hit that goal and it put some pep in my step and I just went with it.

Mile 12 I was like this sucks, why am I doing this and then the finish line was in sight and I was ready. My legs felt like they took flight. I ran that in strong and with some tears, not much and when I got that medal, I knew I couldn't wait to do it again.

Crazy I know. But that sense of accomplishment, it is a high like no other. It makes me feel so alive and awake and I knew I loved, everything about running again. 


I grabbed my free beer and it tasted AMAZING. I usually never drink beer after but this was so freaking earned. I walked around a bit trying to find some friends and food, but the line for the food was so long, so I met up with Nanci, her hubby and Corina at Starbucks, its a thing :0)


They earned 3 medals, running the 5k and the 10k Challenge, they are pretty bad ass. I grabbed my coffee and breaky with them and then headed home.

I was feeling a bit sore, but I was feeling really happy and satisfied that I accomplished the half and I never, ever gave up. Sure it wasn't my best run, but James said it best. He told me Ang you haven't been running like you were because of our injury and life, so you were just starting over.

And he was completely right. It took me a year to get back here, sure it was ugly but I got back here and ready to keep going. I love this life of running, how it makes me feel and how strong I become from it. One challenging race will not knock me down, it helps me stand back up.

I have the Iron Girl Half in April and I will be prepared for that one too. But no pressure, the pressure to do good is when all the fun goes away. 

I have the Gasparilla 15k in two weeks and I am back.

I am back to running races and loving my life in running!!




So here I am. After a rough year, I got my runners high and runners love back. How do you keep that motivation going, run a race, run a mile, Just never give up.








Friday, February 5, 2016

A Weekend of Running, Babies, Date night and Football

Good Friday Morning Loves!!!

I am extra happy and giddy this morning because I have a lot of awesome things going on this weekend and I have the whole weekend off of work too. Today through Sunday, which is rare and  am loving it.

I slept in this morning. It is super cold in Florida this morning and being wrapped in those blankets with  no alarm, was something of heavenly like. Then I am headed to finally getting a hair cut, gosh this Biotin really works, and my hair is growing like a weed. But it is in an awkward stage and it just needs to be cut some.

Then I am headed to the Best Damn Race Expo to pick up my race gear and well it is an Expo and I love Expo's so I will probably buy a couple of things lol, even though I limited to just one. Then it is a day of relaxing, reading and some shopping. And eating some carbs.

Its funny any other times I would love to just go face down in some carbs, today I am finding it so hard. I of course, will have my favorite of spaghetti because pasta before a long run is life for me. And today I am going to try a new place for lunch for some soup and sandwich, called Newks.

Then trying my hardest to get some rest tonight, but lets be real, I can NEVER sleep before a long run, let alone one that is a race day. But I will try my hardest and thank god for coffee and Spark.

The race is early and after they have some pretty great post race treats, like I am excited about. There is nothing I love than food after a long run. Then I am running to a friends house for a Baby Shower, then James and I planned to have a date night.

Sunday is super bowl and we are having some friends over, so I get to finally use some Pinterest finds and put them to good use!! I will  be relaxing for a huge part of the day on Sunday also.

So you know how busy and awesome my day is...what fun plans do you have planned this weekend??

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Good Start to the Year

Okay let us take a minute and reflect that it is now the end of January. Holy heck another time just flying on by. I know I say this all the time but god it just flys by. So lets reflect back on this month.

I had some pretty high hopes for this month and they fell a little bit short because of being sick. I was sick the beginning of the month for two days, which I believe accounted for my time of the month and then this last week, I was sick for the whole week, finally feeling better towards the end.

I ended up doing pretty well on my half marathon training. I didn't do a whole lot of cross train because at times I consider my job my cross train, I mean I can earn 10,000 steps in one day there. But I did get 55 miles in this month and 945 left to go for the year lol. I chipped away nicely with that. I did want to add a 12 miler this month but its okay, I will make that up later on.

I have done very well I believe with my eating. Really focusing on my protein and my carbs. Protein has defintely been big for me and I am looking for all chances to get it in when I can. I love protein and a lot of my favorite foods include it, so it isn't hard for me to get it in. Carbs of course are hard. I just love me some carbs, but I have been super mindful and it really is paying off. The other day on my day off, I actually put on some jeans. They were a size 6, they didn't fit a 100% perfect but damn were they close and I wore them, which is a huge win because I love to just wear sweats and leggings on my days off.

I have been taking Biotin for a while now and that is starting to kick in. My hair is growing like a weed and I need a serious hair cut, soon.

My FitBit obsession is still very real and especially now because Nanci got one and we have been doing goal days and work weeks with it. It is so much more fun when you have friends who have one. The motivation is like no other. My water intake this month has been great. I Have really only had one diet coke or diet drink a day. That is big and I have been craving water religiously. Also drinking more tea.

James and I had a great month. We had a couple of date nights, mainly just ordering in and hanging out. But we did get a movie date night and a dinner out. We are way more homebodies than anything, but I think next month, we need a little bit more time out to just have fun.

I watched some great shows on Hulu. The Affair on Showtime is my new jam and can not wait for Season 3 to begin. We binge watched that and Making of a Murderer on Netflix, another must watch.

Financially I probably spent more than I should this month for sure. I started my obsession with my Erin Condren Life Planner and have been buying stickers like crazy, Etsy is a very dangerous place and god they have so many cute ones. I need to limit for sure, but you know what at least I am not buying any clothes, cause lord knows I have too much of those.

One thing this month I did not do enough of, was get together with friends. I didn't have a lunch or coffee date, so that is on my to do this coming month.

And I need to take a moment for myself this month too for a pedi and my hair.

All in all it wasn't a huge loss for the month AND I got some reading done too. I have fallen back into the routine a bit and it has been so nice.

Okay, so tomorrow considering it is February 1, I will post how much fun February will be :0) and I need to get ready to watch Grease Live!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Food Finds

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!!!

It is a super rainy day and night here in the sunshine state lol. This morning James and I woke up too rain and no power, it was beyond strange because the storm is not bad at all, but our whole apartment complex was with out power. You tend forget how privalaged you are when you go with out power for hours. I can not imagine going without power for days.

The first thing out of James mouth and thought in my head, was COFFEE! haha, duh priotories. I saved the day and went to Dunkin for our fix. Thank god for DUNKIN!!! I then had a conference call to take care of and then the whole day was mine. We were out of power till around 1:30, so I organized my desk and worked on my Erin Condren Life planner and read some of a book. And went to Big Lots to get some steps in and well shop a bit lol.

While looking at my phone, bored for a bit, I realized I had taken pictures of some new to me products I am loving lately and figured I would do a New Finds Post, which I love. I found most of these items at Walmart and some at Target, but I believe you can find all at Walmart, I know the Publix by me does not have these items yet.

Okay, so these are NEW FOOD FINDS,
But it is a Back to us Food Find! Taco
Tuesday is back in our lives, I mean
Two Tacos, side of chips and a drink
for 5.00!!!



Next Time You go to Chili's make sure
you get the Skinny Rita! 110 calories
and soooo delicious! 

I finally found these!!! I have been
searching FOREVER! I found them at a Super
Target and they are so delicious and super
easy to make and perfect for on the go.

The gum I found at Target and I love gum and
cookie dough and key lime pie, seriously it craves
a sweet tooth like no other. The yogurt is amazing, mint
and chocolate is for me and these Fiber One bars are really
light and refreshing!


These are amazing. The blueberry one is my favorite!
A little crunch and 100 calories for the whole thing.
Perfect for with breakfast, dessert or just a snack!


I had this before I went on a run and it
was perfect!! Kept me full  and gave me
some really good energy and an easy way to
get some protein in the morning. 

Okay so this one was not great. I love yogurt and spicy, but
this just did not go together well at all. I finished it but
will not be buying it again.

I LOVE THESE!!! The sharp cheddar is 90 calories, 3 come in a
pack and the chocolate is 100 calories. Perfect quick snack. I
always through one in my purse or lunch bag.

Another good one. Not my favorite but the cone pieces
were a nice touch.

I don't always eat meals like these but
I have found how easy they are to have
at work, and this one was really tasty, on clearance
and had a great amount of protein.

Now that I am back to running long distance more
and more, this is the perfect pick me up after and way to
refuel my body. I mean who doesn't love cookies
and milk!

I LOVE YOGURT and Water and so many flavors. I haven't
tried all those yogurts yet, but I will post each one :0)

The dessert pack is from Walmart and it is
Genius. I LOVE portioned out items. The brownie
pieces were awesome and soft and gooey. It was a
perfect combo worth the carbs and calories, when you
make it work.

Great Coffee Flavor and tons of protein
make for an awesome morning. I eat ate least
one form of yogurt a day!

These are portable and easy and perfect snack.
Yes, I am sure  I could make this myself but
I love when it is already done for me!

Another awesome quick snack and find from Walmart. Found in the
produce area.

These are way better then Belvita!! I
mean James loves these two! Perfect
for a pre-run or breakfast with some
fruit or yogurt.

When I need protein in the middle of the day. The
turkey stick is awesome!!

I don't eat these often but again so quick and easy and
this one was so good!! 

Got this at Starbucks and it was so yummy. I got this
mainly because it reminded me of home with the
name and then it tasted even better!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Down With Sickness

So 2016 is off to an all around crazy start for me lately! I cant keep to get into a good routine without things going all over the place. Between work, running, keeping up with social activities, the never ending pile of laundry and keeping our house clean, oh trying to dive into a book and finish shows on Netflix, it has been crazy and I have neglected my blog, which is the thing that brings me such happiness. Well I will change that very soon, I have two days coming up this week that are back to back days off and I have made it a point to get some good blogs going with it.

Right now, I just wanted to pop in so quickly to tell you I am here. I am sure if you follow me on Facebook and IG, you know I haven't been doing a whole lot, just running, working, drinking coffee and Being SICK!!! Yup, I have gotten hit with a wicked bad cold/sinus infection. Which cost me a nice 100.00 copay today when I went into the Urgent Care because I Have not set up a new doctor yet.

Being an adult and a healthy adult sure does suck! But I got some meds because as much as I was trying to ride it out, I just was not getting better and it was staying the same and getting worse,  not the best combo and I can not take off anymore time with work, too much going on. And I have Best Damn Race on February 6th.

I can not wait to run that half marathon. Long distance running is my love and my jam, Seriously it just makes me feel alive again. The long miles, the tiredness, the sweat and just the pure satisification of the long run just gets me. I went out last Wednesday and did 10 miles and it was amazing. I felt so good, I had a great pace and I did the 5:1's with Galloway. I felt really, really good. I had such a runners high, the only high I ever want to chase. I felt good all day and then at night and the next day I got hit with a fever and the sickness and took away my high.

I haven't ran since. I haven't had the energy and I couldn't breathe through my nose. I am really, really wanting to run 12 miles on Thursday. I am going to attempt and see what happens. I am not getting up super early, go in the mid morning and just see how it goes. I honestly just want to sweat, BUT not get myself worse. On Wednesday  I am going to do go to the gym and do some strength and stretching. I have completed 10 miles, so I know I can do the 13.1, it is all about just getting me healthy and there.

I plan on diving into a really good post on Wednesday to why and how I got my running grove back  because I seriously have gotten it back and it feels great.

The one thing with being sick that sucks is how I look at myself. I have been feeling so great lately, not bloated at all. Or hungry to say the least too. My Fitness Pal, has really been great for me. I have been making some great choices with food and knowing what my body is wanting and responding too. While the scale isn't always moving, I am seeing some major improvements in my body and how I am feeling.

Honestly, that is where I am at right now. Just getting myself away from being sick, which by the way, I was given this bug from James. He was sick and then thought I could really use it.

Men, I tell ya!!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Currently....

Good Friday Morning!!!!

So I haven't done one of these Currently posts in a long time... and these are one of my favorite posts.

Current..

Book:
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.  I was super excited to find this book at the Library finally. I haven't started it yet, I tried to the other day but I ended up falling asleep. I do plan on Sunday spending a good part of the morning doing just that.



Music:
Well I am still obsessed with the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack. But this song by the Zac Brown Band, is my new favorite running song. I love the beat and it really pumps me up.


Guilty Pleasure:
My new Erin Condren planner. I guess it is no a guilty pleasure per say, but I am obsessed with stickers and decorating it and making it look so visual. Every day  I am looking at my planner and how I am going to make it better.




Drink:
Nothing special at all, just coffee and water.

Food:
I have been trying to get as much protein as I can lately. I have been eating yogurt and chicken, anything and everything that is. I always thought protein would be the hardest thing for me but I have found it to be a lot easier and I really love protein, it is in a lot of my favorite foods. I have been using My Fitness Pal for over 100 days now and I am still loving it. Synced with my FitBit and Running Apps and activity, it really has made a huge difference. While the scale is not moving much, I am seeing some good changes.

Show:
All my shows are coming back!! YAY!!!  We have even started some new shows to watch weekly, The Grinder, Grandfathered, Shades of Blue, all really different but good shows.

Triumphs:
Probably my biggest Triumph is getting my new car. Gosh, I can not tell you how awesome it feels to drive around in that car. Also the fact that I am back to running longer miles again. I have truly missed the longest distance. I did 9 miles the other day and it felt wonderful. I missed getting lost out on runs and just going and going.

Need:
Honestly there is nothing I need. I have everything I need. But my NEED TO DO list could go on and on lol.

Mood & Excitement:
I will combine these two. Mood, happy and feeling like I don't want to go to work haha. Excitement, off on Sunday and James and I are having a date night tomorrow night to see a movie!!

So what are you Currently up to these days????


Sunday, January 10, 2016

A High Note, Crappy and then Pretty Amazing

Happy Sunday!!

Man oh man do I love having Sunday off, there is just something about having that day off that just truly makes everything feel better in the world...



And today has been set up for satisfaction.

While I am ready for football to be over a little bit so James can stop being super crazy, it is an excuse to have him home every Sunday, as long as the Redskins are playing. It has been awesome. And we have started a tradition to go out to breakfast each morning we have off. We have been trying new places too which is so much fun. I love our little moments together and then we just spend the rest of the day relaxing and cheering on the Skins.

But wait let me back up from this week....

So my Half Marathon training had been going really well lately. I finally get back into a routine as work has slowed down and life can go back to normal again. Monday I had to get in 5 miles and I did that after work, which I am  not a huge fan of, but I love to sleep more, so I have to do what I have to do.

But Monday and Tuesday I started feeling a bit off. I was excited to get my long run in on Wednesday because it was my other day off. Well I set my alarm on Wednesday and my whole body just ached. I mean seriously from top to bottom and I was so tired. Even the thought of getting out of bed was horrible. My throat and ears were hurting a bit and my face felt like it had a fever brewing. I know it was happening and I was getting sick. It was horrible feeling. I hated the idea of moving my long run around.

Wednesday I laid around and took it easy, with maybe the idea I will run in the morning again. As you can guess I woke up feeling horrible again. I thought I could make it through the day at work but then things started going south for me. I had to call out of work and I NEVER do that. I spent the day on the couch and in my bed. I didn't change or move and finally my fever broke. James even brought me home a frosty to make me feel better.

Friday I woke up feeling a lot better and I was anxious to get running and sweat a bit. So I took it easy and got in 2 miles. It felt good and gave me the endorphin and energy back I needed. I was set up for a great day, until I got to my car....

My car was dying. I mean I turned it on and it literally sounded like it was going to blow up. I was scared to drive it and AGAIN had to use some PTO and call out AGAIN....

But then this happened...








To fix my car it would have cost so  much more than put down a down payment on this beauty. So James and I headed to the dealership and after a long 7 hours, I got this gorgeous car. 2012 Chevy Cruze with 3700 miles on it. The inside is perfect, it rides amazing and I have a car again with AC. I am so stinking happy and can cross one of the biggest goals of my year off my list. I felt beyond accomplished being able to get this car. I had saved and put emergency fund aside and felt confident going into that dealership.

I almost feel like it isn't mine still.

On Saturday, I knew I had to get my long run in. I brought my clothes to work, so I would change and make no excuses. Well Mother Nature had another idea, and it was pouring rain. I wanted nothing more than just relax but I took myself it our little gym and got running on the treadmill. I started off with the new show, Shades of Blue and I kept setting different miles, steps or time I would get off. I knew I had to do 8 miles, but I hate the treadmill so much I was negotiating with  myself a bunch.

Then on Hulu I found my beloved Sons of Anarchy and watched the final episode and made it through the 8 miles. It was literally hell. I can never get a good rhythm when I am running on that machine, I get distracted and cant focus. But I was not giving up. And god it hurts a lot running on that thing too BUT I made it through. 8 miles completely done.

I only missed 3 miles last week, but I know I can make that up for sure this week.

This week started off great, went crappy and then ended on one of the best high notes.

So the first official week of the new year has been pretty great. Hope yours has been also!

Here is too the second week being just as great!!!