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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm not dead!!!!

So no...I have not died nor have I fallen off the planet. In fact, I have not even quit running. I did, however, take time off....a LOT of time off. So much time, in fact, that I began to question whether or not I was a runner. Or whether or not I wanted to continue. 

Let me recap my summer
- HOT...HUMID...miserable running conditions. 
- LAZY Erin (9-10 am wakeups? that was me!)
- New Orleans trip!
- Best friend visit!
- Baseball
- genealogy
- School year prep/trainings/planning/shopping

Notice how running wasn't really a part of the picture? Except for the 1-2 runs I tried in July (see previous postings), I did nothing. I think honestly, I was pushing myself too hard too fast and was getting burned out and frustrated at my perceived lack of progress. Also, it was admittedly very hard to find the motivation to leave my air conditioned house and place on the sofa for the hot and muggy (95%+ humidity and 100 heat index during the day and a cool 80 with 95% humidity at night) climate that is Tampa in July/August. At the beginning of the summer, I thought "oh yeah, I'll get up early and run" or "I'll get in the car and drive 25 minutes to the gym on base and use the treadmill/elliptical/bike" or "I'll swim laps in my backyard pool"

hahaha....boy was I kidding myself. 

And through all this, two races on my calendar crept closer: the Marine Corps Marathon 10k and the Women's Half Marathon. It's like I shoved them to the back recesses of my mind and vaguely thought they would come along "someday" 

Meanwhile I started teaching at a new school and had about a million things to do to prepare for that...

The list of excuses grows on and on...

So anyhow..once the calendar flipped to September and we barely got glanced by Isaac (my poor in laws didn't fare as well...and coincidentally just moved back into their house two days ago), I realized I had less than six weeks to go for my 10k and I had barely walked so much as three miles in two months. But did I do anything about it? 


But I started getting myself out there...once in a while. Finally, two weeks before the 10k, Jim (convinced I just had a mental block on the distance) took me out for 6 miles just so I could see what the distance was like. My goal for the 10k at the time was 1:45 (and not finish last) and without having run/walked in almost two months, went out and did 6 miles in 1:30! I found that the longer I went, the better I felt. I stopped fighting the body and the mental issues. Still walked a lot but it felt good. So I knew I could do it. 

Then we flew to Washington DC for an amazing weekend. What originally started as a plan for just Jim and I in the hotel room had morphed into my friend Dianne crashing with us as she ran her first marathon and that turned into Dianne's fiance coming with us and then Dianne's friend Frank who flew in just to pace her...yes 5 of us in a hotel room (granted it was a 1 BR suite)...made for a lot of laughs! DC overall was such a blast and by the time we all parted we were all the best of friends. Jim had a good time in the marathon, Dianne finished (with Frank playing the part of the bandit helping her along) and I did the 10k in 1:28 (woot!). I will eventually write an entire post on DC and the 10k but suffice it to say, it is a weekend I think we will all remember for a long time. 

So I came home from DC with a HUGE runner's high but the half marathon kept staring me in my face. I was so swamped with work plus Jim's son had moved in for 6 weeks so trying to find time to go out for the longer runs i should have been was hard. However, I was no longer mentally worried...I maintained a 13:00 or so pace for my 10k and a 9 mile training run so I was no longer panicking that I wouldn't finish (a long held fear of mine). Dianne had said she would bandit with me (be my Frank so to speak) and Jim was taking the unfamiliar role of spectator and I was running with another friend Melissa so I was ready to roll for the Womens Half in St. Pete. 

Another post will eventually follow about the St. Pete race but long story short, it was awesome! I exceeded my goal of 3:30 and was able to move when I was done. I stated out taking it nice and slow and almost had to reign in my desire to just go all out during the first 10k because I knew I would die on the last half. Best parts of the race: the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville pit stop with music and leis, getting to run on a Major League Baseball field, and crushing my expected time. The feeling of awesomeness when I got the medal was sweet!!! 

Now I am back into runner mode. Frank decided he was going to join Dianne, Jim, and I in running the Gasparilla races this February so it will be a DC reunion (at least we will all have more space than last time and hopefully we wont be chased away by a hurricane this time). I decided that after my half, I really can do more than I thought I could so I am going to tackle another half in January and then do 3 out of the 4 races at Gasparilla (15k, 5k, and half marathon). So now I am back training with the goal of maintaining a sub 3:30 time for my half marathon and a stretch goal of coming in around 3:00. This time with a training plan, I'm not so hardnosed about being frustrated that I can't run the full distance. I do what I can and not give up. The goal is the distance, not the time. So today for example, I had 3 miles (pace) on my schedule. Well, I still have no idea what my ideal race pace will be or even is (i just go) so I just did the 3 miles. I took a nice slow first mile to enjoy the rain and then kicked it up a notch for the last 2 miles and still finished with under a 15:00 pace (my new threshold...I dont want any runs slower than that...easier said than done)

All that being said, that's a recap of everything you missed since my last blog. I hopefully will start posting more regularly but I cant promise anything. I do update my daily mile with every workout so even if you dont see a blog, i promise i havent fallen off the horse. 

2013 goals include 4 half marathons (Clearwater, Gasparilla, Women's Half, and Holiday Half), more 10k races (including MCM10K) and preparations for a potential marathon run in 2014 (my original when I started this blog. 

I'm baaaccckkkk.....

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