Monday, May 30, 2011

Asthma Awareness Virtual 5k Race Report

Well I was planning on getting my virtual race in last night, but life happened and I didn't get the chance. However, I woke this morning and made sure to get my butt straight to running. As you can probably tell from my lack of mileage on dailymile, I've been struggling to get myself moving lately.But, I was excited to get this run in. 

Mom and I decided to run together at the gym because it's so windy here and we were trying not to get blown away. Before we left we snapped a quick pre-race photo. 

Sorry about our awkward smiles. Wind....
Then we hopped in the car and drove to the gym. We grabbed two treadmills and started our race. It was really nice to run next to her without having to sync our paces. I know I'm very guilty of getting frustrated when our paces don't line up. She always likes to sprint to start and slows down later and changes up her intervals much more than me. I like to start slower and maintain the intervals as best as I can, so it's really funny to watch us at races because she always takes off in the beginning and I'm always yelling for her to slow down. haha. It really is like the tortoise and the hare trying to run together sometimes. Anyways, we both felt pretty good during the race. It was hot hot hot in the gym for some reason today though, so we definitely were sweating.

My strategy for today was to run as long as possible and take as few walking breaks as I could. I've been really focusing on increasing the time I spend running because I'd love to be able to run a 5k straight at some point. Maybe then I can finish only 10 minutes behind the rest of my age group. haha. I ran one mile, took a two minute walk break to start. The rest of the race I would run a half mile followed by a 1-2 minute walk break until I finished. I finished in 37 minutes even so I was happy with my time. 

After the race we cooled down, and went to the locker room to rest for a minute. We talked after about the race. I felt like the race was much easier for me than usual and we agreed it was probably because of the cross-training I've been doing (swimming) at work. We both decided that we should try to cross-train more and really make running a priority. I really put it off, but when I actually get out there and do it I feel amazing after. It didn't start that way at all, and it isn't that way everyday, but I definitely need to remember why I do it more. 

Anyways, I had a fun race. Did you?

I'll be posting results and the giveaway winner soon. I just want to make sure everyone has had a chance to let me know they finished. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the race! Oh, and I'll be posting very soon about some exciting new things so be sure to stay tuned!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Race Bibs!

Print this out for your virtual race!
(Make sure you get to the full size image, by clicking on your bib then just save the picture and print it!)




If you have any questions or problems let me know!
(Sorry Cindi, I had all ready made up mine as 4 )

Monday, May 23, 2011

Virtual 5k! Take Two

I didn't realize this but, May is Asthma Awareness Month (and I call myself a wheezer...). I think I really need to do something big to finish the out the month with a bang, so I've decided to host another virtual 5k! So, without further ado...

You are cordially invited to attend the first annual Wheezy Asthma Awareness Virtual 5k!

Where: Anywhere you want, it's a virtual race!
When: The weekend of May 27th-29th
What: A virtual 5k race
Why: To raise awareness for asthma and to keep in shape in a fun way
The Details:

  • To enter the race leave a comment with you're name
  • Every participant will get a personalized bib to print out for the race
  • PRIZE. A winner will be randomly chosen from those who enter the race on Sunday and they will receive an iTunes giftcard! For extra chances to enter the giveaway you can:
    1. Blog, Tweet, or Facebook about asthma to help raise awareness
    2. Post a picture of you in your bib on race day
    3. Donate to the American Lung Association
    4. Tell me something extra you did to raise awareness this month
  • Leave a comment for each additional entry
  • After you finish your race, post a link to your report and I'll include it in the follow-up post!
And in the spirit of Asthma Awareness Month, I'll leave you with a few tips to help out the wheezers and breathers in your life:
  • Quit Smoking - The number one thing you can do to help out asthmatics is not to smoke. Studies now show even third-hand smoke (ie if you smoke in another room then interact with them without changing your clothes) can cause serious breathing problems
  • Encourage Wheezers - Asthma can make being active incredibly frustrating, so a little encouragement goes a long way. 
  • Be Aware - There are 25 millions asthma sufferers and, although I like to make jokes to lighten the mood, asthma can be a serious condition. It is a real disease, and patients can have light occasional symptoms that are well-controlled with proper medication, to serious life-changing symptoms that keep them bedridden for months. Please don't assume everyone with asthma has the same abilities. My pet peeve is when people say "oh well there are olympians with asthma, so he's is just being lazy/out of shape". 
Thanks everyone!
PS: If you missed my race recap yesterday, be sure to check it out!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aquarium Run Half Marathon Race Recap

Well, I did it! I finished my third half marathon (in less than 90 days too)! Today was the Aquarium Run Half Marathon in Tulsa at the Oklahoma Aquarium. We drove to Tulsa last night and picked up our packets at a local running store, then headed straight to dinner. I've been really sticking to my diet (down 4.8lbs so far!) but, after talking to my weight watchers leader, decided that that night I need to splurge in order to get enough calories and carbs to fuel me for the race. Mom and I have a tradition of having a pina colada before each half. It's probably a really dumb idea, but it somehow makes the idea of running 13.1 miles less intimidating. :P

Yay Carbs and Coladas!
Then we got set up in our hotel room. My boyfriend works at the front desk at a hotel, so he got us a great rate in Tulsa and the room was really comfy. So glad I didn't have to drive 2 hours in the morning!

Our Room
Next, we had to inspect our swag. We got a free tee that said Aquarium Run, this race has teeth and race bibs as well as coupons from some of the sponsors.

The free race shirt

My Bib
I laid out all my gear and got ready for bed.

Ready to go
We arrived at the Aquarium and started to get a little nervous. We knew this race would be small, but it didn't really sink in until we saw just how few people were there. They all looked so fast! We so didn't want to finish last. 


Fleet Feet, the company putting on the race, had amazing staff there that took care of us and made sure our tags were on right. They had bagels and bananas set out for the runners to fuel. I stuck to my water, but appreciated the effort. Soon it was time to line up for the race.

The finish line being set up in front of the aquarium entrance
Passing the start line
(we're actually in this picture, but very hard to see)
Then we were off! The race had lots of hills and a good amount of wind and sun, but we did okay considering everything. The miles sort of blended together and once again I was impressed with how nice runners were. Everyone cheered us on the entire way no matter how far behind them we were. There were a few water stops and powerade stops along the way to help keep us going. Towards the very end, around mile 11.5 we met a fellow Galloway Method runner and started chatting with him about how much the Galloway Method has changed our lives and opened up new doors for us. He was running his first half marathon and was so proud that he could do it. It was nice to spend the last stretch reflecting on how far we've come. We crossed the finish line and received our shark medals! After the race, the runners got a cookout and free admission to the aquarium. We got some snacks and then enjoyed a couple of hours watching the fish. 

Our medal
The Stingrays

One of my favorites to watch: the jellyfish!
So, what did I think of the race?

The Good:
  • The Runners and Staff - everyone was really friendly and supportive
  • The Theme - I'm all about the shark stuff. Who doesn't want a shark medal/shirt?
  • The course - It was a really scenic course with lots of shade and nature views
The Bad:
  • The course - OMG the hills were ridonkulous. 
  • The water stops - There just weren't enough, especially once the sun came out
  • The bling - The medals are only about an inch by an inch and the 5k and 1 mile fun runners got the same exact medal. Trivial really, but somehow when you're that tired it feels like a bigger deal.
 Overall I really loved the race. It wasn't the easiest, but it was a great way to end the distance race season! And, I now qualify for Half Fanatics! Woo Hoo!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wait I thought this was summer....

Life, as always, has been crazy. I thought once I made it past finals I would be in the clear to train like a mad woman and run a ton of races this summer. Wrong again young grasshopper.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

  • My sister's graduation - I'm so proud of my sister for making it through high school! She's a rockstar! She's the youngest in my family so we've been going all out trying to make it special for her and I've spent most of the week running errands with mom for her big day and working on a present for her.
  • Dieting - can I just say, I am absolutely not made for this stuff. Once I get to my goal weight I BETTER keep it off just so I don't have to mess with this again. I swear I daydream about icing and cupcakes at least twice a day. PATHETIC. Today's my first weigh in so I'm hoping it will be a good loss at least.
  • Getting my summer job back- I'm not too excited about this one. I was really hoping for a "big kid" internship this year that at least had a tiny bit of something to do with my major, but it just didn't work out. Programming jobs are pretty sparse in Oklahoma for nubes. So instead, I'm going to be the world's oldest lifeguard (again). I'll also be teaching some private swim lessons on the side. I love the pool I work at, and it will make training easier because I get breaks frequently and mandatory laps to swim, but I really wish I was getting some job experience this summer. 
  • Packing and Unpacking - I'm moving home for the summer so I've been back and forth and unpacking quite a bit. 
  • Cleaning - My parents are trying to sell their house to downsize now that they are almost empty nesters (this fall) and don't want to keep up with a large home and are thinking about retiring to Florida! So, the house has been having frequent visitors and we have to keep it clean, which is no easy feat when you've got people moving in and out and graduation parties to mess it up. 
  • Taking care of business- (Who else started singing that song??) Next week I've got to get my recerts for lifeguarding which means I will be in classes with 15 year olds from 9am-6pm Monday through Friday. boo! But I will be getting a lot of exercise, which I've been skimping on lately, so that will be good. 
  • Not running - I know, I fail. Motivation has hit an all time low for me, and I've been busy and distracted. I WILL run next week if I have to go at midnight! (Bonus! The gym here at home is 24 hours so really I have no excuse).
I've got a lot going on and a lot coming up as you can tell. This week I've got classes all day, then Saturday is my Aquarium Half Marathon! Supposedly I get a shark medal, but I haven't seen pics or heard anything from the race website to confirm this, so we will have to see.

How do you stay motivated when you're in a slump? How do you fit in training runs when your schedule is crammed? 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Soooooo Sorry!

Hey everyone!

I'm so sorry! I was going through my things now that my classes are over and I'm moving back with the parents for summer (i think...long story) and I realized I still have everyone's medals from my virtual 5k! I have no idea how it happened, and I'm really sorry. I PROMISE to mail them out today, so please don't hate me!!  I really appreciate everyone who ran the race! And my next virtual 5k will definitely be more organized I swear!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Changes

I've discussed before how much added weight affects running, asthma, and your life and that I wanted to make healthier choices and lose some extra pounds. Well, I tried to lose some weight, but a massive amount of work for school (we're talking all-nighters every week) and a bucket full of excuses led to that not happening. But now it's summer. I'll have much less work to do, more time to make healthy choices, and hopefully more money to invest in healthy food. So, this is me saying to you that I am going to lose a good chunk of weight this summer and I am going to stick to a healthier lifestyle.

source
I enrolled into WeightWatchers again yesterday and went to a meeting to learn about the new program. I haven't done WeightWatchers in a few years, but I really believe it works if you stick with it. I lost about 30 pounds last time, and kept it off for a while then got lazy with college and stopped following the program and keeping up with maintenance. I'm hoping this time, the weight loss will be for good. My goal is too lose (gulp!) 40 pounds. It sounds drastic, at least it did to me, but that puts me right in the healthy range based on my height and I feel comfortable changing it later if I realize that it's too much or too little. I just want to be healthy, and I promise "too skinny" will never be my problem.

The biggest thing I need to change is my diet. It's really obvious that eating boxes of mac n cheese and Reeses cups are my main contributor to my weight problem. However, I am planning to rev up the workouts as well. I'm planning to stick with the running 3 times a week, and also add in daily walks, weight training 2 times a week, and maybe some swimming if I end up working at the pool again.

I really want to lose the weight for so many reasons. First, because it will improve my asthma greatly. Second, because it will improve my running. Obviously it will improve my self-confidence and I'd love to help that happen. And also because my life is absolutely insane right now. I feel like so many things are out of my control between graduation looming and possible career paths. Weight loss, and being healthy, is one thing I can control which I think will help me deal with the stress a lot better.

I don't want this blog to become too much about weight loss, but I will be posting about how it's going to keep myself accountable and maybe help stay/get motivated in making their own healthy choices.

What about you? Are you making any big changes?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OKC Memorial Half Marathon Race Report

I just got done running the OKC Memorial Half Marathon and it was QUITE the experience. Saturday, I went to the race expo. I was expecting it to be pretty small, but actually it was decent and size and I had fun looking around. I found a new race I want to do simply for the bling of it! The race is called The Cowtown and is located in the Fort Worth Texas area. 
The medals each year fit together to form a star. You can  earn medal by completing the half, full or ultra marathon. 

An individual medal
Back to my race, the expo was very crowded but full of lots of great gear.

The Expo
 Mom and I picked up our race bibs and t-shirts then went shopping! 
The Freebie race shirt
A practically glow in the dark shirt I bought

my bib
My mom got me my charm for the race. It's the survivor tree that's at the memorial site and is also featured on the medals

Finally we left the expo and headed home. I don't think I mentioned it before, but I was planning on walking this race because my mom was injured recently and broke a rib and bruised her kidney! She's fine (although very sore) now, but we thought it would be best for her to walk if she insisted on doing the race. I decided to make her a little sign to wear on her back to help get her the cheers she deserved!
Mom's Sign

This is where my post gets very picture-light and kind of depressing. Sorry in advance! The night/morning before the race the weather said the temps would be in the 40s to 50s and there was a 30% chance of showers. Mom and I woke up checked the weather again and decided on t-shirts and a skirt for  her and thin capris for me because 50s feels like 70s when your running. Then we headed to the race and our day went completely downhill. As soon as we got there, it started to pour, and I seriously mean pour. The race was delayed for 30 minutes due to lightning, but then it started despite the fact that lightning was all around us still. The wind was blowing strong and later I heard on the news that the wind chill put the temperature at 10 degrees. Thank goodness we both brought throwaway jackets to keep us warm, but they did almost nothing for us. The rain soaked us completely through all of our layers before we hit the first mile marker. Our shoes filled completely with water, and by the end of the race we dumped out a full cup when we took them off. My feet we're completely raw because of the water inside my shoe that caused my skin to basically peel off. The cold air was terrible on my asthma and there were a few times my mom almost had to catch me because I got so dizzy. The hail started at one point and I seriously just wanted to sit down and cry until the medics came to get me. 

But then I looked over at my mom. She was running with a broken rib, bruised kidney, and all of her own pain and she wasn't giving up. I told myself that if Mom could do it, I could do it. I wouldn't ruin this race for her no matter how bad it hurt. So, I tried to suck it up and keep running, but it was no easy feat. We tried making jokes throughout the race and pretended we we're running through warm sunny Disney World instead of cold and miserable OKC. We really laughed when we saw OKC's Spaceship Earth knock-off. 
You wish OKC....
Well through some more hail, never-ending rain, thunder, lighting, and strong winds we still made it to the finish line. We weren't in good shape at all. Both of us were suffering for hypothermia and our feet had lost a lot of skin. It took us the entire day to warm back up again, but no serious lasting harm was done. 
My face in this pic was my "lets try to pretend like we're not dying..... oh wait. we are" face
For all of my complaints, I'd like to say some good things about the race. The spectators were absolutely amazing. There were so many people along the course despite the terrible conditions cheering us on and providing support. I was very touched by the volunteers dedication to the runners. Another thing that really impressed me was the water stops. There were more water stops than I knew what to do with and every stop had a choice of water or powerade as well as a variety of snack to choose from like pretzels or bananas. I stuck to mostly water and powerade, but it was nice to see that they really wanted to keep runners fueled. Finally the runners themselves blew me away. The fact that anyone ran in those conditions was impressive, but to see over 30,000 voluntarily doing it to remember the lives of those who were lost was truly moving. I know this race wouldv'e been phenomenal if it weren't for the weather, but it was still pretty incredible with it.
The bling