Thursday, May 27, 2010

Self Indulgent Ramblings

I have many different topics that have been rumbling around in my head that could potentially be their own blog posts, but I’ve decided to get it all out at once. Self indulgent you may think? Perhaps, but I'm OK with that.

From Seas to Mountains

If you ever find yourself traveling to high altitude from almost sea level be prepared for gasping breaths while running, hiking or cycling. More about this in a future post.

When I’m Not Blogging

I recently took a road trip and spent hour after hour in the car. I wouldn’t do it any differently because my Dukie Man and I had the best time and it forced me to think a lot. I managed to maintain my training schedule while on the road which was amazing in itself but I bet you can guess what happened when I got back to Columbus. That is right, the exercise sabbatical has crept back into my life. This I am not proud of… So here is what I learned, when I am not following my training plan (or when I’m on vacation) I’m also not blogging. You may ask what I am doing??? I’m hanging out on my couch trying to figure out how to get myself off the couch. I seriously need to get over this. I am making a commitment to my faithful readers (and me) that I will no longer take said sabbaticals so I can provide you wandering thoughts about various athletic journeys that you may consider joining.

The BEST Bicycle Shop

Right before I went on my road trip I had my bicycle serviced. You may recall a previous post where I spoke of a horrible bike shop that didn’t even attempt to fix what I asked them to fix. Well the new shop, less than a mile away from my house, is now my new favorite place. If you live in Columbus and need a new bike, regular maintenance or a big fix on your bike you have got to check out roll: as they were the most helpful and thorough staff!!!

Race For the Cure

My new running buddy and I ran our fastest 5k ever a couple weeks ago. We broke 12 minute miles!!! My buddy also asked me what race is next. I’m telling you this stuff is not only addictive but it is contagious too. To read more about how healthy lifestyles can be contagious check out this blog post or this article from Runner’s World.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life Lessons in Running

About eleven months ago I decided to start focusing on my running to improve my triathlon performance. I started with Robert Ulrey and his Couch to 5k program and then hung out with Hal Higdon to train for a 10k. Finally I joined Team in Training to tackle a Half Marathon.

Yesterday I learned that I can accomplish ANYTHING!!! I ran a half marathon in under three hours, and will improve my time for the next half I do.

I have learned a number of things while training for this half marathon:

1) If you don’t believe you can do it, then you can’t. Running is a mind game; actually everything is a mind game. I’ve learned through this process that you have to believe in yourself to accomplish your goals.

2) Sisters and Brothers are super important to help push you. One of my sisters got me started on these endurance events years ago, my brother provides the realistic support by reminding me I need to do things because I want to do them, and my other sister is always pushing me to do the next difficult thing and not settle.

3) Spectators are the best motivation in the world. Knowing that I was going to see my Sister, Aunt and Uncle at various points during the race kept me moving along.

4) A smile can change your entire attitude. Every time I felt myself slipping into frustration and thinking I can’t do it I would remind myself I can do it and smile. When you smile on a course like that it is incredible how many people want to talk to you to see why/how you are smiling. This picture is of me at mile 9.

5) Strangers ROCK!!! The reason I say this is because at a certain point during the race I had to go to the bathroom SOOOOOOO badly and the port-a-potty lines were outrageous so I just kept running. This guy was sitting in front of his “house” when I asked him if I could use his bathroom. Next thing I know I am in this dude’s house going to the bathroom in the middle of the race.

6) Supportive friends are necessary. First of all my mom and dad are awesome; they encourage me all of the time. Second of all I have the greatest friends who live a couple hours away from me; they come out and participate in these races with me, and encourage me through the training and are there in the end to cheer me across the finish line. Also, a couple of my Columbus friends are always giving me a pat on the back and even running with me or calling me the morning of the race to wish me good luck.

7) Next time I am a spectator at a race I need to find the mile marker that has the fewest spectators and go there with a huge crowd of drunk friends and bang on my chest while yelling emphatically at the crowd, letting them know they are awesome for what they are doing. Seriously, there were frat dudes on the course with their chests painted, and jumping up and down for the runners. They were awesome!

I seriously feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I’m looking forward to my next event. Just to recount what is coming up next:

Race for the Cure
Sprint Tri in July
International distance Tri in August

I challenge you to join me!!!