Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Finding My Way

The past month has been full of ups and downs, emotionally life has been tough.  I've always had a hard time pushing through the hard emotional times and sticking to any sort of plan.

The passing of my Grandma was very hard, watching her fade away over a course of about six weeks was extremely emotional and so painful.  I let my emotions take control for a good part of that time.  I was sad, tired, angry, feeling so many different things.  I spent a lot of my lunch hours and evenings with her, that was way more important than getting a workout in.

Funny how things can workout in life.  I'm so happy I did make the decision to not compete in October.  I can't imagine how much more stressful I would have felt over skipping workouts.

This is where real life and knowing what your true priorities are come into play.  I will keep my priorities in order, my family ALWAYS comes first, sacrificing times with them for a workout or doing workouts at 4:30am when I am completely physically and emotionally exhausted will not happen.

In some eyes that makes me a non-hardcore competitor.  Thankfully in my own eyes it makes me a human being who knows her own worth and finds peace in taking breaks when I need to so I can be there for my family.  Hardcore shouldn't be about missing out on time with family or training to the point of harming your body.  I am my own version of "hardcore" working a full-time job that doesn't allow me to be in the gym whenever I want, taking Bella to dance, watching my niece Evey to help out my sister, spending quality time with my family and my friends, then still fitting in time for the gym or some running.

I hear so many people talk about being willing to sacrifice so much to compete.  Some days I wish I would have started this journey at a younger age, but then again I am glad I have the wisdom I do to really know my own path at this moment.  I know that the younger me probably would have been willing to sacrifice more, getting those workouts in with a couple hours of sleep and exhausting myself to a point of not being able to function.

I have gotten workouts in, don't get me wrong, last week was a non workout week.  Other than that I've gotten some in and will get more of a structured schedule going by next week.  It is going to be more "difficult" as the only time I really will be able to be at the gym is 4:30am, back to the early morning workouts with Kyle's new job and new hours.  Not gonna lie, I'm going to hate it for about the first week until I get used to being up that early again, at least Kyle will be with me :)   We plan on being more workout partners at this point, working out together will be more fun for us rather than him just telling me what to do and watching me.  Time for us both to be in the best shape of our lives :)

It sucks not being able to workout in the evenings with David, but I have to get used to that.  He is leaving me in October and moving to Florida, that will be very hard for me but I am happy for him.  Life is ever changing, just have to be willing to adjust to the changes in a positive way.

Sometimes I glance at myself and feel like I must have lost a lot of muscle by now from not lifting six days a week.  Then I flex, see those awesome muscles and smile :)

I'm not going anywhere and neither are my muscles.  Looking forward to making them grow more, find my real inner strength again, continue to be the real me and enjoy this journey!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dam to Dam

I ran the Dam to Dam half marathon with one of my best friends Shalae on May 31st.

The last half marathon we ran was two years ago in St. Louis.  At mile 11 my legs completely cramped up, I hobbled through the finish and ended up with IT band syndrome.  I crossed that finish line and said, "I will never run a half marathon again."

Fast forward two years and I was ready to try again!  This time around I trained a lot, I of course had the competition to get ready for as well.  I made sure to not skip long runs (besides the weekend of the competition), I stretched more than normal and just kept at it.

Shalae and I were so excited, it was a mini get away for us.  We stayed with my brother John, his girlfriend Elizabeth and my brother Larry.  The night before the race we enjoyed some delicious pasta and wine where Liz works at The Wine Experience, I am now obsessed with Stella Rosa wine by the way and their mac and cheese was out of this world!  Afterwards we just had to have some cheesecake so off to The Cheesecake Factory we went, I of course took forever to decide but finally chose the tiramisu cheesecake, mmmmmmm :)  Shalae and John each got the red velvet cheesecake, I did try a bite and oh my goodness, so yummy!!!!!  John asked how many calories were in a slice, if you don't want to know skip this part......1700 calories!!!!!  Good lord, that is insane, needless to say none of us ate our entire piece in one sitting ;)

We were up bright and early at 4am, got all our gear ready and took our bagels and bananas to eat on the bus.  We had to ride buses to the Saylorville Dam for the start of the race.

It was crazy having so many runners beginning on a two lane road running over a dam.  It was HUMID and warm, the gnats were awful and the start was pretty slow.  I felt good, other than the humidity, it started to sprinkle just a little bit and that felt amazing!  At about mile 6 Shalae started having some stomach cramps, I felt awful for her but she told me to keep running.

I ran the entire race, my legs started cramping up a bit at mile 11 but nothing too major.  For me at that point it was all mental, I knew I wanted to beat my St. Louis time.  When I saw the sign that said "400 meters" I just imagined that one lap on the track and started sprinting, not sure how the hell I had it in me to sprint but I did!  I finished it five minutes faster than the St. Louis race.

I do wish my pace could have been a little faster but I'm not sure how I would have made it if it was.  I actually really enjoyed this race and will possibly do another half marathon in the fall.

I'm so proud of Shalae and I, we will do this race again next year and hopefully I can talk her into doing some more half marathons :)