Thursday, March 29, 2012

13.1 New York Half Marathon--March 24, 2012

I ran 13.1 miles.  13.1 MILES!!!!!  I've accomplished what I'd always called my "ultimate fitness goal" over the weekend.  The race was held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens and I had a freaking BLAST!

I'm not going to lie though, I was really worried the day of the race.  I'd had all sorts of interesting problems while training for the 1/2.  I had this weird back pain for a week, a sore right ankle from the 2nd week on of training, and in the last two weeks of my training, this AWFUL pain in my right calf along my shin.  On Monday night (race week) I was only able to run 1.5 miles at the Pub Run because my calf/shin was hurting so bad.  I mean BAD!  So I took off the rest of the week and prayed it wouldn't hurt Saturday morning.

When we got into the city on Friday we did all of our site seeing. (more on that later.) I wore sneakers for the day because I didn't want my feet or shins to be too sore on Saturday.  It didn't matter though, because after walking around from 10am-after 7pm, my feet hurt and my legs were restless.  That caused more nervousness for me.  I have a bean bag heating pad I use on my legs before I run, so I called the front desk at the hotel that evening and they sent a microwave to my room so I could warm up my "bean" as I call it. :) I heated my legs before bed and took a few Ibuprofen too.   Bedtime for me was around 9:00.

The next morning I was excited and nervous.  After I got ready, heated my legs, and had my breakfast and coffee, I did a little jog around the room.  Guess what, my leg was hurting!!! Ahhh!!! I had already taken three Ibuprofen so I took 4 more.  Yes, 7 Ibuprofen.  I like to load up on caffeine too before I run.  Starbucks energy drinks are the best for me, but guess what?  I wasn't able to get my hands on one (which actually put me in a panic because I was already nervous and I didn't want to drink something I'd never had before a run) but I needed caffeine so I settled for a Starbucks Frappuccino and about 10 minutes before the race I downed a Red Bull.  (I'm so healthy, huh?)  My running buddy Erin was pretty nervous too.  She told me she tossed and turned all night and the poor girl threw up her tea and oatmeal like 5 minutes after she ate it.  We were all kind of freaking out!

That was short lived though!  :)  Once we got to Corona Park and met up with some friends, everything changed.  Nervous, what?!  Our adrenaline was going and we were too excited to worry about anything.  Check out our pre race pics:

 Erin, me, and Jennifer.  

 Erin made us all headbands for the race to match our shirts. :)  Such a doll!

 Here's where we lined up.  Super happy that I finished the race under that time! 

 Here's where we started the race.

There's the start!

Minutes before the race began. :)  Ahhhhhh, we were so pumped!!!

When we started running it felt like we were going soooooooo slow in comparison to everyone else.  But we'd trained enough to know what pace we needed to run at to not burn out too quickly.  (We've made that mistake before.)  So we just kept it at 10:30 and cranked up our music.  Oh, and about that pain in my leg...gone!!!  I'm sure the meds, drinks, and adrenaline all had something to do with this.  I felt amazing.  No really, I don't think you understand.  I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!  

We were having so much fun too!  There were people holding up signs offering "free high 5s" and words of encouragement, lots of peeps cheering us on, and then there were the photographers snapping pics.  In almost all the race day photos taken of me I am smiling and giving the peace sign. :)  There's also a picture of Erin, Jennifer, and me together all smiles.  I'm planning on buying that one! :)  We ran the first 6 miles together. After we hit the halfway point Erin and I picked up our pace (as planned) and pulled away from our friend Jennifer.  By mile 8 Erin started pulling away from me.  Home girl can run!!!  When I got to mile 9 I couldn't even see her anymore!  I had my iTunes playlist blasting and some caffeine chews and gu ready for when I needed a push.  

Throughout almost all of my training, except when I ran 13.5 miles (best run of my life) I was dying around mile 10 and cursing the world.  Not this time.  I was too happy and feeling really good.  So good that I started tearing up twice because I was accomplishing a goal I never thought I had in me.  By mile 10 I wasn't feeling too tired and just knew I was going to KILL the last 3.1 miles of the race.  I picked up my pace and started pushing myself.  I was so far in the zone that I missed mile marker 11 and then there it was, mile 12.  I started running so hard.  I knew it was going to be over in about 10 minutes and I could do anything for that long.  When I passed mile 13 and saw the straight away I began sprinting.  I was passing so many people and I loved it!!  When I was about to cross the finish I was screaming, "I'm almost there!" and then it was over.  I did it.  I ran a half marathon.  Damn!!  That felt good.  12 weeks of hard work had paid off. :)  After the race, when Erin was taking my picture, tears were streaming! 

 My official time time: 2:15:40
pace: 10:20

 Erin's official time: 2:11:44 
pace: 10:02
(She's got some puma in her!)

Jennifer's official time: 2:31:46
pace: 11:35
(I am sooooo proud of Jennifer finishing hard because her longest run before the race was 8 miles.) 

Before headed out, and after changing out of our sweaty shirts and getting out of our sneakers, we took some pictures.  We took our pics in front of the Unisphere.  


Before we even did our half we talked about doing an ice bath afterwards.  It's helps repair the tiny tears in your muscles.  Erin's dad ran track in college and agreed we should do it.  Ummm, yeah..can we say FREEEEEEEZING and PAINFUL!!!  Right before Erin hopped in I checked how long you should stay in.  It recommended 15 minutes and also noted that the first three minutes are the worst.  No kidding!!!  

Here are a couple pics I snapped of Erin. 

 1 minute in

 After going numb!!

When it was my turn Erin filmed me getting in.  Please excuse the profanity!!  You'd use it too if you knew just how cold that water was!!  The camera's shaking so much from Erin laughing!!

Well there you have it, my 1/2 marathon adventure!!  Erin and I got back into Raleigh Sunday afternoon and picked out our next race over lunch.  We're going to be doing the 13.1 Dallas on October 27, 2012.  The best part about this race is I'll get to see Megan!!!!!!!

Megan with her sister (Megan's on the right.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York, New York--Instagram Addition

Race Day has come and gone.  I was lucky enough to run my first 1/2 marathon in NYC over the weekend.  Talk about an AWESOME trip!!!  48 hours of sheer fun and excitement!  I'm super sad it's over, but so happy for all the awesome memories I have of the trip.  My run was an AMAZING experience and I can't wait to share it with y'all.  In the meantime, I'd like to share a few pictures I took and later Instagrammed.  You know I'm just crazy about this app and so I wanted to share some of what I did and saw in the city. Enjoy!!

I snapped this on the way to a bodega in Queens.  


 The Statue of Liberty

 We caught the ferry in Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

 The MOMA.  The last time I was in NYC I was 18.  I went with friends and this was the one place I wanted to go.  There was a Vincent Van Gogh exhibit that I was dying to see.  The Starry Night was the one painting I HAD to see.  Well, the plans were messed up and we didn't make it there. :(  I was sooooo bummed!!

 But look what I found when I turned the corner!!!  I had no idea that this beauty stays in the MOMA. :)

 On the ferry.  Such a cool view of Manhattan.

 I had to have my pic taken with Lady Liberty. 

 Manhattan in all it's SUPER TALL glory.

 I wasn't expecting to see so many signs of spring in NY.  This tree was by our hotel in Queens.

 I found love in the city!

 Erin and I took our medals out with us Saturday night to celebrate our 13.1 mile race. 

 These are the pics of Erin, Jennifer, and I moments after we crossed the finish.

 Us with the Unisphere in the back.

In the Subway Station. about a cool way to display pictures!!!!!!  I'll have more photos and details about the race sooooooon!!!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Confessional-Week 5


Yo yo yo!!!  It's Monday and I am laying in my bed sick.  :(  I left work at 11:45am today feeling pretty bad.  Such a shame too because I was wearing a cute new dress and only got to wear it for half the day!  I picked it up at Target last Thursday for $25.  Pretty cute, huh?

Anyway, I need to get some rest so I should get to my confessions.

1.  I confess that...I have a total of 5 bags of clothing I need to take to the Ship of Zion (a church in southeast Raleigh.)  Three bags are stacked up on top of each other in my bedroom and the other two bags have been in the trunk of my car since I moved in with my roommate at the end of August.  I'd rather donate my clothing to people who are struggling and can have them for free than take them to Goodwill or a consignment store.

2.  I confess that...I've been thinking a lot about a change of scenery.  I'm single and without kids and have nothing tying me down.  I'm thinking about applying for teaching jobs in other states and starting a new chapter.  Who knows what will happen, if anything at all?  But I like knowing that I can go wherever I want and don't have to discuss it with anyone but myself!

3.  I confess that...I haven't cleaned my cat's liter box in a week and it is really starting to stink!  (I'm going to clean it later today.)

4.  I confess that...while I was running my half marathon on Saturday morning in NYC I was so unbelievably happy!  Three times during the race I started crying just knowing I was accomplishing a goal I would have never thought I could do three years ago when I began running.  I also confess...I ran the last mile of that race the hardest I have ever run before.

5.  I confess that...I'm having zero luck this time around with internet dating.  I also confess...I could care less!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Confessional-Week 4

Monday Monday Monday!  Why does the weekend have to breeze by so quickly? It's a shame, really.  My weekend was pretty uneventful.  I can't complain though.  My 3 hour nap on Sunday made it a great weekend! :)

Now to confess....

1. I confess that...I'll be in NYC Friday morning for a whirlwind weekend. :)  It's been a decade since my last visit.  My first trip was spring break my freshman year in college.  I went with my sister, Courtney and friends Melanie and Sara.  This time around I'll be with my friend, Erin to run our first 1/2 marathon.  :)  I'm getting super excited!!!!!  It's almost herrrrrrre!

2. I confess that...I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life.  No house, no kids, no husband, no money and I feel great.  All that will come in time, and for now I'm just enjoying me, myself, and I.  :)

3.  I confess that...I stayed in my jams all day Sunday and didn't even take a shower.  It's not too often I do that and it felt great just bumming around my apartment all day. 

4.  I confess cards go home Friday and I haven't done a single one.  Getting all my students' documentation together to figure out their grades seems to be taking a whole lot longer this quarter.  I'm almost ready though.  

5.  I confess that...the dress I wore to work today is cut pretty low on top.  Even after three safety pins I still feel like I pulled my top up all day.  Note to self: wear a cami underneath next time!

Well, I gotta jet set!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I may need an intervention

I've turned into an Instagram fanatic.  

I can't stop!

I'm often thinking--"I should Instagram that."

And when there is nothing cool around I just take pictures of myself.  Not because I am a complete narcissist, but because I can add filters, borders, and effects to make myself look really cool.  Way cooler than I look in real life. ;)

Check out my past few days according to Instagram.

 That cutie at the top is my good friend and running partner, Erin.  

I took these photos of my siblings in WV over Christmas, but created this collage while I was sitting in a waiting room last week.  The app I used to create the collage is called Frametastic.  I added labels using the app Labelbox.  I added the filter last in Instagram.

I snapped this photo of my niece at a stop light last week.  I added the cool bubble effect using the app Phototreats.
P.S. I could kiss her to death!!

fun decor pics

ME!!  After an 11 mile run Sunday and before work today.

flowerbed outside the school I teach at

I keep this picture of my sister, Tiffany in my car.  My family lost her at a young age.  I think about her everyday.

The picture on the left is the original.  The picture on the right was created with the app Snapbucket.

A before and after of the tastiest cookies I've ever eaten.  Again, I used the Snapbucket app to add filters, effects, and a frame.  

That eye belongs to me. :)

They make my life so much better.  

Okay bloggies----get out your iPhones and install these awesome photo apps!!  And while you're at it, try VintageCam, Pic Stitch (another collage app), Pici Booth, and Reflection.