Thursday, April 11, 2013

Aquarium Run

Last weekend, I participated in a 5K at the Oklahoma Aquarium as a part of my honor run for my 5K training last Saturday. 

I had signed up for this run a while ago and when my daughter told me that she wanted to start running after seeing me at the Shamrock the Ville race, I signed my husband and kids up for the 1 mile fun run.  Earlier last week, we received bad news that my aunt had passed away from cancer.  She's only a few years older than I, and she's battled cancer her entire life.  My uncle scheduled her memorial for Saturday as well at 1. 

I sat down with my husband to determine if we could do both the race and the memorial and we found that while it would be pushing the envelope somewhat we still could; my start time was at 7:15 and theirs was at 8:30. That would still allow for quick showers and the trip to Oklahoma City. 

Friday night, I ran around the house like a mad woman.  I laid out our race dummies and then started on our clothes for the memorial. 

Our race dummies
I think I finally crawled in bed around 11 or 11:30.  The alarm went off at 4:30.  I would like to say I got the 5 hours of sleep; I didn't.  I don't know if it was worry about hearing the alarm or excitement or both, but I slept fitfully.

Normally, I have to drag my children out of bed during the school week, but they always seem to bounce out of bed around 6:30-7 on the weekends (well my eldest isn't doing that anymore since he's a tween).  Imagine my surprise when they popped out of bed at 4:30 and were ready to go at 5:20-5:30 (with blankets in tow, of course).  It's about an hour drive to the Aquarium from our house and I wanted to be sure we got there with a little time to spare.

The kids slept on the way there.  My husband and I did not.  When we got to the Aquarium, we sat in the car until it was about 15 minutes until my race time and then they came to the start line to see me off.  I got warmed up and then it was time.  I was kind of excited when the race director said those with a pace of less than 18 minutes needed to be up front.  I thought...WHOA!  That's me finally!

It was one of the muggier days we've had thus far (it's been a colder spring) and the wind started to pick up.  I know they had several runners go down in the half marathon.  I just made sure I had my water and drank when I needed it and did my intervals.  I finished with a time of 52'28"; I wanted to be under 50', but I'm ok with the time.  I was doing a run 4/walk 3 and the walk time really drags your pace down.  I was also tired!

I got back and located my family in just enough time to grab a family picture before they took off on their fun run.  I am so proud that my family is wanting to support me and take part in my new passion!

Before the Fun Run
I waited for my little ones at the finish line so that I could run them in.  I had no hopes of ever getting a picture like this, but I was so excited when I did.  I wish you could see the pride on my face in this picture.  I am so proud of my family!  I am SO in love with this picture and hope to have many more like it in the future!

Running my daughter in


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The change...

Over the last 24 hours, I have finally felt a change in myself.    I was well aware of that the weather report called for cold rain yesterday; I packed my bag for my training yesterday and made sure I packed warm items just in case (ballcap, gloves, etc.) on Monday night.

Sure enough, it rained all day yesterday.  I'm not complaining about the rain.  We need it badly here.  I could have done without this however.  Notice the red circles.

It was cold and it was miserable!  Our illustrious training coordinator told our coaches, "Hey guys, it's miserable out there.  You have permission to shorten the workout and come back early.  If you want to come back early, come back."  We started our warmup indoors and then ventured out into the COLD rain.

We were supposed to do a run 4, walk 3 6X interval last night.  I'm not sure if we did a full run 4 because our lead coach's Garmin kept messing up and I wasn't struggling as bad as I would have thought I would.  I am proud to say that when our coaches, Pam and Edna, asked us if we wanted to cut it short or go for the full thing, we said we really didn't care and were game for at least trying the full 6 intervals.  I'm proud to say WE DID IT!  We sang to pass the time and get our minds off the horrid weather.  We sang "Tomorrow" from Annie, "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", and "My Favorite Things" to name a few.  I'm am honored to be a part of this pace group. 

The crazy thing is that I've felt that I've been "trying" to run this entire time.  That changed last night!  I finally crossed the mental block last night.  I AM A RUNNER!  I may not be the fastest one out there, but I am a runner.  It is so cool to be able to think of myself in that way. 

Another change was a sense of joy when I stepped on the scale this morning.  (I loathe the scale as most women do!)  I really haven't felt like I've lost any weight with this.  I know I had lost some between mom's surgery and my starting to run and then some since I began running.  I did the math today and I'm down 21 total from last fall and 13 since I began running.  I'm SO excited!  I'm really starting to see the change in me and...I like it. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking back - Reflections on my training

I started running with FleetFeet Tulsa's No Boundaries I program at the beginning of February.  This program is a Couch to 5K training program through our local FleetFeet store.  The I class gets you to a 5K through run/walking and possibly running the entire 5K.  The II class builds on getting to running the entire 5K and building your speed/time. 

No Boundaries Information

I've been thinking back to that first week.  Running a full minute was brutal!  I couldn't believe that I had let myself get so out of shape.  I can remember the humiliation I felt when struggling to get that minute in.  I actually told one of the coaches that I was worried that I had signed up for more than I could handle.  I thought very long and hard about stepping back down to the WalkFit programs.  I'll never forget my coach and I don't think she'll ever know how much her motivation has meant to me.  She looked at me and said, "I know you can do this.  I started way later than you did.  Just show up and run with us and you'll be able to do it."

I showed back up.  I was scared.  I've thought about backing out more than once.  I've stuck with it though.  Last week, we did our first run 3/walk 3 interval.  I missed Tuesday due to illness but tonight we are running 3/walking 2.  We are getting there.

I'm amazed at how far I have come.  I might be in the slowest pace group and I might be bringing up the rear but I'm there.  I'm putting the work in.  Finishing is what matters.  What is even more cool is that I am finally starting to think of myself as a runner.

So for those that are thinking about starting a Couch to 5K, GO FOR IT!  I'm not going to lie.  It's not easy.  To quote Ralph Marston, Life is not always easy. And that is a major reason why it is so precious. Many of life’s best rewards are possible only because you must work your way through difficult challenges to get to them. If everything in life were easy, there would be no opportunity for real fulfillment.”

I'll also admit that I have this hate/love relationship with training.  I hate it when I'm out there, but I love the feeling of pride that I have in myself when I finish for the night.  So if this mid-30s, overweight, out of shape, overscheduled mom can do this, you got this as well.  As Nike would say, JUST DO IT!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

An unplanned week off...

So last week, I knew that I was going to miss Thursday as I was attending a funeral for a friend that lost her baby at 36 weeks.  I fully intended to run that night.

So Tuesday morning, I woke up with a horrid migraine.

I was in full-on vampire mode that day.  My hope was that I would be able to just rest for half the day and come into work and then go run that afternoon.  I should have known better.  While my headache did go away that evening, when I woke from the migraine recovery, my allergies had kicked in full force.  Just fabulous!!  I sat in the living room and tried to watch TV with itchy, watery eyes and sneezed like crazy.

I came into work Wednesday even though I didn't feel any better and ended up having to get a steriod shot. 
I still really didn't recover from the allergies until Friday.  By then, I ended up NOT running because I was scheduled to run the "Shamrock the 'Ville."  I'm not going to lie, I ended up walking most of it because I was still having trouble breathing.  I also didn't get a DTag, but I know I finished right around 52 minutes which considering that I hadn't trained all week and I felt like crap, I'm pretty happy with that.

My daughter and I before the race

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward

I saw this on facebook today, and it really spoke to me.  I am most of this list.  I think it is all something we need to work toward especially as we work to better ourself.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The day that made it real...

My mother has had heart issues for a long time. In 1991, she had a heart attack due to an allergic reaction she had to a medication she was taking. With the stress of losing my paternal grandmother and fighting pneumonia, her immune system was compromised.  She had taken this medication many times before and this one time did the trick.

I can remember her lying there in the floor in doorway between her bathroom and bedroom as if it were yesterday. I can remember the drive to the hospital and waiting in the ER to find out what had happened. Even with that situation and the stents she had when I was 16 and other medical situations, she was still invincible. That all came crashing down recently.

My mother had told us earlier this summer that they were running some heart-related tests in preparation for another medical procedure they were preparing to perform this summer. Well, fastforward to my nephew's birthday party, and we were told it was worse than we thought. I should caveat this with the fact that my mother has smoked heavily for almost 30 years as well.  "I have what they call a widow maker," she said. "They are referring me to a cardiac surgeon to decide what to do. I'm supposed to take it easy until my appointment and then we will know more."   I'm not sure what my brother and father thought it meant.  I knew in my heart that it meant an eventual open heart.

I'm not sure what she defined as "taking it easy." Whatever it was, I received a call around lunch on September 4th from my aunt. My mother had started having heart pains around Collinsville (about 15 minutes from Tulsa) and they had just arrived at the house in Tulsa and called EMSA. I shut down my laptop as fast as I could and sped to my mother's to find her in the exact same condition as I did just over 20 years ago. I knew it wasn't good. She was on her way to having a heart attack.

She was transported to the hospital and the only thing keeping her stable was nitro - multiple doses of nitro.  Of course, she didn't "present with typical symptoms of angina."  After fighting with a narcissitic ER doctor who wouldn't listen to her, she remained in the hospital until she had a triple bypass on September 9th. She had a 90% blockage on her main and has very narrow arteries, which meant she needed to treat this bypass as her last resort.

After talking with her cardiologist on her checkup, I was advised I also needed to take this seriously since I have been on blood pressure meds as well for about three years. I'm just shy of the same age as she was when she had her first heart attack. 

I have worked out off and on for a few years but I have never stuck with it. I lose weight; I gain it back. This whole experience has made me realize I have to take my health seriously.

So, here we go...follow me on my journey...with all its ups and downs as I begin to change my life.