Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Disney Princess Half Marathon - Part 2

So I left off my last post when I was just about the half-way point in the race.  The sun was coming up and I was maintaining a steady 10 min/mile pace.  All of sudden my stomach started doing flips.  I had to stop and walk because I felt so awful.  Unfortunately this feeling NEVER went away and only go worse as the miles wore on.  I alternated between walking and running but my "running" didn't last more than a quarter mile at a time.  My stomach felt so queasy, running was just asking for trouble.  I thought about stopping at the port-a-potty but hate using those (I mean...who doesn't?). 

I literally stopped at every water stop and made sure I drank both water and Powerade.  So I really don't think I was dehydrated.  My theory is I must have picked up a bug.  Needless to say, I did my best to push through the race.  Just when I thought I couldn't take much more, yet another issue came up at Mile 10/11.  I knew just by how my foot felt, I was bleeding badly from blisters.  My feet are VERY sensitive to new shoes (and even ones I wear a lot like my running sneakers) and I am highly susceptible to blisters.  Four days later, my foot still looks awful so I have been trying to take it easy and have yet to run since the race. 

Finally, I crossed the 13 mile marker and with every ounce of stregth I had left, I pushed my self to a sprint and crossed the finish line, with tears streaming down my face.  I had done it.  I was officially a half marathoner.  My time was 2:26:40.  Certainly not the time I was hoping for but with the humidity, not feeling well and having no skin left on my heel, I would take it.  Generally I am one of those people who does not make excuses and always pushes through something and this was no exception.  Getting that medal put around my neck was such a sweet, incredible victory.

Sadly, my stomach was so upset and angry, once I got back to the hotel, I never left.  We ended up missing our last dinner reservation and never made it to the Magic Kingdom for more rides (so you KNOW I was ill).  Even today, it's not feeling all that great.  Fortunately Michael took wonderful care of me and he reminded me of how awesome what I just did was.  My next race is only a few weeks away (March 16th) and I am hoping to blow this time out of the water.  Fingers crossed...and stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Disney Princess Half Marathon - Part 1

So I have been a bit MIA but I have so many things to update everyone on!!  We just got back yesterday from our trip to the most magical place on earth...Disney World!!  More on the trip itself later.

For now, the most important thing to update everyone on is that I am officially a half marathoner!  That's right...I finished the race Sunday morning around 8AM.  My photos from the race are not up yet but I will be sure to share those as soon as they are.  But here is a picture of my snazzy medal:

Photo: Picture of my bling
Soooo pretty!!

My alarm went off at 3:30AM.  That's right...that's still night time.  I was trying to be as quiet as possible, but Michael sat up and asked if I was ready to win (in a far too excited voice for the middle of the night).  I quickly got dressed in my capris, tank, tutu and shoes.  My stomach was not feeling so great but I figured that was probably because it was so early and my dinner was still digesting.  Unfortunately this was a warning of what was to come.

I made my way to the closest bus stop and found a HUGE line with fellow runners waiting for the bus.  It took about 15 minutes but I finally made it on to one and I was on my way.  Traffic was a nightmare and it took us about 25 minutes to get there, plus the long walk from where the bus drops you off, meant I had no time to enjoy the race retreat I paid extra for.  O well...

I decided it would be for the best to go ahead and made the very long walk to the starting corrals.  I was placed in A, and got to the corral with about 10 minutes to spare before we started.  At 5:35AM the fairy godmother did her bibbidy bobbity boop to fireworks and off we went.  It was very dark and fairly congested but by the time we reached the Magic Kingdom, the crowd started to thin out.  This was lucky because those in later corrals were slowed to a crawl in this area because the course becomes so narrow.  I made a pitstop at the bathroom in Frontierland and went on my way.  Sadly I missed the fairy godmother sprinkling pixie dust on the runners :(

I made it to the 10K check point feeling good and was making good time with a 10/mile pace.  As I hit the half way point and the sun was starting to come up, something happened.  Something that would destroy any hope for meeting my goal of 2:15...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Back in the Game

Well this past weekend I did it!  I ran 12 miles!!  It wasn't easy and it wasn't really fun but I pushed through and made it.  My first 6 miles was great and I was ahead of my usual pace but then I could feel my body starting to get sluggish.  The rest of the 6 miles I alternated between walking and running.  My final time was 2:08.  Not at all on pace but for being very sick for 3 weeks, I will take it!!  It's better then not to have started at all...

Thanks to everyone out there for any positive thoughts you sent my way!  We leave in just 8 days and I am really excited!  The weather outlook keeps changing but I am praying for it to be warm enough so I can wear some of my new Lilly I got for Christmas :)  13.1 here I come...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In Need of Some Pixie Dust...

So 4 weeks ago this weekend, I ran my first double digit run.  I was on top of the world and knew 100% that I could take on Princess Half Marathon in February.  Fast forward to today and I feel like everything I have been working for over the past 19 weeks (4 months!) has totally imploded.  While that might be a slight exaggeration, my confidence in my ability to finish is on really shaky ground at this point.  I am in some serious need of some pixie dust.

So what happened?  Just after my long run, I knew I was about to get a cold.  I NEVER get sick, or if I do, it rarely gets worse then a sniffle and I am better in a few days.  I started taking Zicam and Mucinex like a crazy person but to no avail.  By that weekend, I was officially ill.  I knew it was a sinus infection and went to the doctor for antibiotics.  Around the same time, the weather here in Maryland took a turn for the Arctic.  With high temps of 20-25 degrees (really?!), there was no way I could run outside.  That is just too darn cold!

With my medicine kicking in and feeling better, I tried to run on the treadmill.  And my sciatic pain was back!  Reminder: I am a pretty fit 27 year old.  WTF body?!  I had this same issue when I started training back in October and bought new shoes.  The pain went away so assumed it was fixed.  But I have recently amped up my session with my personal training, who focuses heavily on squats, sprinting and other more explosive movements.  Apparently my body does not like mixing long distance running with total body training.  UGH!!  Even when I am not moving, just sitting, I can feel the tingling in my upper thigh/lower butt (TMI?).  But when I run, this becomes a terrible pain in my calf.

So I took some time off, refocused my efforts on running and less time with my trainer, and made a better effort to hydrate.  Last Thursday, I was feeling back on top of the world.  I could tell the muscle that was irritating my nerve was calming down.  No more sickness and the temperature was back to normal.  Friday night, I took the last of my medicine.  Saturday I woke up and met with a potential wedding photographer (we ended up booking her and I am slightly obsessed).  And I knew that something was not right.  By Saturday night I was back to sniffling.  And by Sunday, I could barely move.  I did my best to cheer my Ravens on to an AMAZING victory.  But I knew I was getting sick again, and at an alarming pace.  I went to the Dr on Monday and was given another 10 days of medicine but this time the antibiotic is super strong.  Yesterday it spread deep in my lungs and I now have a disturbing cough.  All of this with 2 WEEKS before the RACE!!!!!!

To say I feel a bit defeated or derailed is an understatement.  I feel a lot better, but definitely not myself.  I cannot smell or taste anything and cannot currently hear out of my right ear.  I desperately need to get in one more long run, since my last one was 4 weeks ago.  But I also know I need to let my body rest.  I am so frustrated!  I have used more sick days in 2013 already then I did in all of 2012.  Plus, most of long distance running is mental.  And I am not in a good head space to push out 13 miles.  Unfortunately, it is too late to defer plus we have spent a lot of money on the Disney vacation itself.  So, I guess I will have to see how I feel in 2 weeks and hope for the best.  Even if I have to walk most of it, that's better than never trying in the first place.  I am running another half in March, so hopefully I can use that one for a personal record.  Even though my first half is not going according to plan, heck, I will be in DISNEY WORLD!  And I plan on having fun with the other 20,000 princesses who will be there running or walking by my side :)