Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We Run DC

If you have been following my blog for a little bit, then you know that this weekend was the Inaugural Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC. You also know, that I got into the race through a random lottery, and therefore I was ecstatic to be a part of making history. Let's just start with saying how beautiful of a weekend it was, and how I could not have asked for better running weather.  Ok, now onto to the race. We went down earlier Friday than originally planned because I had signed up to volunteer at packet pickup. This was my third half marathon, and I feel that it was the most organized when it came to packet pickup. 
Yes, it had it's own tent. You walked into the tent with your race confirmation and photo ID. Your confirmation was scanned you received your race swag and your number was randomly assigned to you.There were about 50 people checking you in. There was never a long wait, and no delay with waiting to find your name, your number, yadda yadda yadda. The other volunteer were so awesome, and most of us were volunteering for the first time. I believe I checked in people from Alaska, Ontario and Nova Scotia to name a view. Everyone was so eager and excited to run the race. At the end of the tent, was your first photo opportunity
Needless to say, M was getting as excited as I was!
After the packet pick up they direct you to the Expotique. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect, but based on previous experiences (medium sized local races) I thought I was going to be amazed. I was so totally disappointed when I wasn't amazed. It was either too small or they  just didn't control the flow of people very well. I get that it is Nike, and they don't want other vendors there who sell the same stuff as them, but they really didn't give you a lot to look around and see. They took a Nike store and transferred it to a tent. Worse than that, you couldn't buy any of the stuff there, except outside the tent they had another kiosk type tent that sold the essentials. If you wanted to buy anything, you had to go to Nike Georgetown. They did offer bra fittings, which I did experience. The ladies there were so much fun, and were so knowledgeable about the products. Unfortunately, that was the only part of the expo I experienced. They had NUUN hydration there to offer samples, but they only had 3 people working the stand. I was not going to wait in a line that long. So, needless to say, I was slightly disappointed. My husband couldn't even make a sign for race day because the lines were too long. As we were leaving the expo, there was a huge sign that they told everyone to write on if you wanted. Of course, M did...
She wanted to help me write it!
We then left the expo after like 10 minutes and because one of the Nike expo workers had told us to check out the wall at Nike Georgetown to find my name, we headed to the store. I didn't realize how many hills were in DC, but the weather was beautiful, so I didn't mind. Once we got to Nike Georgetown, we saw the writing on the wall. After I figured out how the names were arranged, it took less than 5 minutes to find this...
Now, it was really setting in. I was about to run this race that I have trained so hard for! We went into Nike Georgetown and it was like a Nike store I have never experienced. More about that later. 

Race day....the day that I have been waiting for all of these weeks. I woke up at 4:45 knowing that I was ready to do this. 
My clothes were all laid out, I was ready. I was wearing green for Lymphoma and was running this race for my friend. I wanted to make her proud. Most importantly, I wanted to have fun and enjoy the race! I had met another runner the night before and we decided we were going to meet at 545 to head to the metro. On the way down, I met another runner on the elevator and she joined us as well. We took the metro to our stop at Federal Triangle and that is when it hit me. This was happening. Here, is where I took of my sweatshirt so that I could check my baggage in. A process that I began to despise because of the logistics of it all. Anyway, I hurried to check in my baggage and rushed to my corral just before 640 when they closed the corrals. At about 620 my corral was full! My group was the largest group and they had given us the least amount of space. At 630, they had moved our corral up to allow for more people, but at 640 when the corrals closed there were still a ton of young ladies still on the sidewalk. I believe they had to wait until all the corrals ran through in order to start. Anyway, we did a moment of silence before the national anthem to honor Boston, and then some lady had an awesome voice and sang the National Anthem.
And then we were off! The excitement from the crowd even at the beginning was awesome! Everyone cheering for everyone, all the runners supporting each other! I knew it was going to be a good race! The first mile clicked by, and when I saw what my current pace was (under 10:30) I knew I had gone out to fast too soon. I tried to wheel it in, but it felt like the more I tried to wheel it in the faster I went. But, my paces stayed consistent and I was happy. I was on the path to running a 2:30 if not faster half. After mile one we went into a tunnel and I wish I would have thought to take a picture at this point. It was awesome seeing all of the runners inside a tunnel with a band and their music being deafening because of the tunnel. It kept you charged up. The more we ran the more I got lost in the scenery. The first monument I saw was the White House, and while we didn't run directly past it, you got to see how it overlooks all of DC. Then we ran past Washington and Lincoln. I also believe we ran past the National Archives. We would be running past these again. At about mile 5 we headed across a bridge onto an Island. Still LOADED with spectators and still being charged by them. At mile 6, the first race hiccup started. I got to the water station, they had NO water prefilled. I had to grab a cup and wait for a water jug to fill my cup. But, who couldn't use a little extra rest right?!? I knew that this was going to slow me down, at this point I was ok because I needed to make sure I had some left to finish. At mile 7, I had a wardrobe malfunction and my sports bra broke. I tried to safety pin it, but it kept coming undone. At mile 7.5 I got sick of it and put another on one top. (It's a long story about why I had another one and I will tell it later). At this point, my head was out of the race and I just wanted to finish in under 3 hours. I knew that my chance for PRing was now lost. The fans were still everywhere! We ran past the monuments again and headed back in the direction we came. Back through the tunnel, and back up an on ramp that I didn't realize was a hill. I was trying to tell myself to trust my training, and I was trying. It is hard to get your head back into the game when it checked itself out. I was doing some walking at this point, and I knew that it was OK. You don't have to have a pretty run all the time, but you do have to finish it and have fun. I was. I told myself to not worry about my time, to just enjoy it, that not every race has to be a great race. At mile 12, my app told me I was finished, so I turned it off.  Just in time for me to see the Capitol building...
And here is my attempt at getting a photo of me in front of the capitol...
But, I knew I was almost finished. I knew I had to finish. I was this close. It wasn't a pretty run by any means, but it was a run none the less.  At the finish line, I was greeted by this...

And all was right in the world!
I may not have PR'd, but I wasn't dealt a hand to. I enjoyed the race, and am so glad that I had the opportunity to run it.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

My First Cross Fit Class

So, yesterday I attended my first CrossFit class at SMCF, the Box that I took fundamentals. I was a little disappointed that the WOD wasn't for Boston, but they did it because 2 of their members are moving to DC. I knew that the WOD was going to have to be scaled for me...but I made sure to remind Brad the owner that this was my first class. (Cue the nerves). Of course, what skill did they work on today, DU (double unders; which require jump roping, and umm yeah, I haven't done that in a long time) and the clean and jerk. The clean and jerk is an Olympic move, and they tell me that it takes many people years to master it...I have a feeling I am going to be one of those people. I just can't connect the pieces...but, I will keep trying.
Here is what it should look like....

Anyway, here is the WOD as RX....

Call Me Maybe’

Clean and Jerk
for time
50 DUs
20 Clean and Jerks 135/95
20 Box Jumps 30/24
50 DUs
10 CnJs
10 BJs
50 DUs
5 CnJs
5 BJs
50 DUs
Brad was so kind as to scale it for me, it was still for time...
30 single jump ropes
20 clean and jerks (with bar)
10 box jumps (18" box)

30 single jump ropes
10 clean and jerks (with bar)
10 box jumps

30 single jump ropes
5 clean and jerks (with bar)
10 box jumps (18" box)

30 single jump ropes
It took me 9 min and 40 seconds. Should it have, probably not. My arch-nemesis was those darn clean and jerks. It took me FOREVER to do them EVERY rotation, and I wonder if it is bc I thought about it too much.

Anyway, I have a feeling that not picking it up right away is going to be my biggest issue...I just have to trust the process and know that in time it will come. I will try to post later on Fundamentals II.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston

When I first started running, I was accepted into the running community as family even before I saw myself as a runner. Therefore, I feel really connected to the events of yesterday. I had 2 friends running the Boston Marathon and a third friend was there. They are all alright, but a day that was to be joyous was turned into sadness. I don't have much to say today, so I post this...
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Friday, April 5, 2013

What have I learned after 1 day of CrossFit

Besides being super nervous and scared about CrossFit, I am also excited to see what mentally it will do to me. See, I have always been competitive, and I will probably ALWAYS will. I blame childhood, or being the youngest of 3, either way, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know I am not up to the caliber of all the other CrossFitters at least not yet, but I am in awe at how strong they are. While CrossFit is about competing against others, it is really about competing with yourself. With, against, for, however you want to view it. It is about you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. About doing more than you thought you were and are capable of. One thing that KC the trainer told me was that CrossFit is about movement. Keeping yourself moving. I could have easily stopped to take a rest when I was doing my 8min AMRAP, it was my first day, no one would have said anything, but I couldn't. I COULD NOT do it! My body wouldn't let me take the break. Did it kill me, no, it proved to me that I can do it. I jokingly said that KC had kicked my ass, when in actuality, I kicked my own ass. In the 8 minute workout, I sweated more than I do when I run miles in the middle of the day in the middle of the summer. Holy cow!
Will I go again, you BETCHA! I can't wait until Sunday to come again for Fundamentals II. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do, what I am capable of. As I talked about in my last post, I jumped on a 16" box. I also dropped on a 20" box, but I was petrified of it, but I did it. I am hoping to do it again, so I can become more comfortable with jumping on it, because I KNOW I can do it, and I need to prove it to myself.
Well, I better get moving. It's almost time to leave to take the mini-me to school and for me to head to work. I woke up yesterday and my legs were sore. It was an awesome feeling. A feeling I am looking forward to again and again. Today is a rest day, and I will enjoy every minute of resting. I am heading to the airport tonight to pick up my sister and her family for a weekend visit here. There will be A LOT of photos. I cannot wait. Have a great day!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

CrossFit Fundamentals I

So, I went to South Mountain CrossFit yesterday. At first I missed the building, but, the big tire out front of the building should have given me the clue. (DUH!). Anyway, when I first got there I met Kurt, one of the owners and he gave me a brief tour of the Box. Then he left to teach a class. I then met with Kacie, another owner who was my trainer for this Fundamentals class. She gave me another tour, no, it isn't that big, but she hit on the important things like proper shoes (I didn't know they existed!!) and apparel and letting me know that I get a discount coupon for a local store! Score! Anyway, after the tour it was time to hit the gym. We went over black board systems...where you post your goals, and where announcements are located. We then went over to the Big White Board where the WOD was located. WOD is Workout of the Day! Yes, CrossFit has it's own language. So, as a way to help me learn the lingo, we jumped right into clinics.  We started off with introduction to mobility, by mobilizing the hips. Squat Clinic, where I learned an Air Squat (AS) and a Front Squat/Back Squat (FS/BS). Once I was able to perform the basics of all three squats, we moved onto Deads.  We did deadlifts (DL) and sumo deadlift high pull (SDLHP).   Then, we went to body weight basics, abmat situps, which are not much easier just because a mat is involved. We did push-up and Hand-Release push-ups (PU) which, I cannot do. I stress, I cannot do. They needed to be modified, and I still couldn't do them! At least I have a place to start from.  After push-ups, we, er, I did box jumps. I started with 12" box and was able to go to a 20" box, but I definitely didn't feel comfortable with the 20" box.  After I was able to do 20" box jumps, we moved onto The Presses.  We did Shoulder Press (SP), Push Press (PP) and Push Jerk (PJ). After that, I took a quick break. And then learned that I was going to have my own WOD. Yes, I was nervous. I was excited and nervous and scared and all of those same feelings I get before a race. Anyway, here is what my WOD was, and I will break it down for you.
8 min AMRAP* 
Increase ladder
DL and PP
In between each sequence of reps, 3 box jumps
*which I think I asked the dumbest question when I saw this, I thought it meant to repeat the DL and PP for 8 minutes, glad to learn that is not what it meant

ok, for those new to CrossFit, (me!me!me!) here is what my WOD means
WOD (Workout Of Day)
8 minutes As Many Reps A Possible
Increase Ladder (first round 1, second round 2, third round 3...)
3 Box Jumps (16" box jumps)
(DL 1, PP 1 3 box jumps; DL2, PP 2, 3 Box jumps and so forth)
In the 8 minutes of my WOD, I did 9 complete rounds and then was able to do 10 DL. 

One of the coolest thing about CrossFit is that everything counts. So my score got recorded as 9+10. So, at least I now have a baseline on how to grow. I go to Fundamentals II on Sunday at noon. With the fees I paid, both Fundamentals classes and then an unlimited month of classes is included. I am even thinking about giving up my Monday morning swimming for CrossFit. That is HUGE for me! CrossFit isn't cheap, and after my month membership, I will see how much CrossFit I do. Anyway, since it is summer soon, and I will be swimming outside, I am thinking about canceling my Y membership which would help me offset the money. Although, if I get a punch card it's $110 every 6 weeks, which is $55/month which is cheaper than my Y membership. All these decisions, but one day at a time, one WOD at a time.

Tomorrow, I will talk about another one of the coolest things. Tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to blog again tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

All is quiet here...

To my 5 followers, sorry that I was MIA. I promise, I have been rocking this pirate booty. Let me see where I can pick up. Easter has come and gone, and if you follow me on Facebook, twitter, or daily mile, then you heard all about my misadventures with my 10 mile long run last weekend. Then Easter Sunday came and went and it was a great holiday.  Monday, was April 1st, and isn't that just crappy...a Monday AFTER a holiday, also April fool's day?!?! I had planned to go swimming on Monday morning, but I didn't sleep well Sunday night into Morning, but there was NO way I was getting up. So, it became a rest day. Yesterday, was a planned 3 mile run, so after working 10 hours, I hit the elliptical hard for 3 miles. I felt spent, but so glad I got that workout done. So, today, is a day off of work for me. I woke up and did my usual routine.  I received from free samples of some gluten free bread, and although I didn't like it the first time I tried it, I wanted to try it again. Again, I was disappointed. I will blog about that later. I then took my daughter to daycare, and hit the trail for my 5 mile run. EVERYTHING about this run felt wrong. My legs still felt heavy from Saturday (is that even possible?!?) and  to top that off, I puked. FIRST TIME I ever puked while running. It was 2.5 miles into my run, I knew I had to finish it.  I think that the puking was related to the new food. Either way, the 5 miles, albeit ugly, are done. I am glad that I was able to finish it. I pushed through it, and at the end of the run, the last mile felt good.  But, that is not all that is in store for me, today I am joining in on the latest trend...I am going to try...CROSSFIT!!  Yep, you read that right, yours truly is taking a Crossfit Fundamentals class. I am going to be trying South mountain CrossFit. I found out that one of my coworkers goes there and she loves it. So, after researching many CrossFit gyms, or boxes as they call them, this one seemed to have the best to offer for the value. So, today and then again on Sunday I will be doing the 2 part fundamentals class. So, while right now running is my first fitness love, I am anxious and eager to see how CrossFit will fit into my life and how this journey will help make me into a better version of me. Oh, and hopefully get me that beach body that I long for. Not a perfect one, I am far from perfect, but one where I will feel comfortable in the bathing suit on the beach.post signature