Monday, May 28, 2012

Finished My First 1/2 Marathon!

So, a few years ago - when I tried running my first 5K, I had to walk at the end. Who was I kidding? I wasn't a runner, I never would be. That was June 2009.

In May 2010, I ran Broad Street (America's largest 10mile race located here, in Philly) in 1:42. I ran the entire thing, but I went down at the end. My blood sugar dropped, and while I didn't fully pass out - I was miserable.

May 2011, I finished Broad Street in 1:42 again. I felt great after the run. I had been training as hard as I could (traveled internationally the 2 months leading up to the race), doing boot camps, watching what I ate, strength training, the whole nine. I had finally done it, I thought, I proved myself!

In July 2011 - I was at a family picnic, and I saw my cousin Theresa, who - like me - was chubby as a child. We were both athletes growing up, with her Lacrosse and my Softball, but neither of us were runners. We left that to our brothers. She was stick thin, and in awesome shape, and was talking about her most recent marathon. That got me thinking, how am I the only kid out of the four cousins to not be skinny, and not be a runner? All of a sudden, my 10mile race seemed insignificant.

In August 2011 - I started calorie counting. I had been doing everything else correctly, running a few miles before and after my morning boot camp class, long runs on the weekend, but my weight wasn't dropping.

By January 1, 2012, I had lost 20 lbs. That's when I made the switch to vegan. I know myself too well - I need a lifestyle change to keep me from eating cookies. I won't be able to calorie count forever, and if I'm not held accountable for those extra bites - than nothing is stopping me from eating 2-3- even 4 cookies. By switching to Vegan, it was a new reason to not reach for a cookie - it has dairy and eggs, and it will make me sick! (Dairy has always bothered my stomach).

March 7, 2012 - I severely fractured my finger, landing me with two pins, and a month and a half of intense pain, and doing nothing more than sitting on the couch. I lost an additional 10 lbs from the pain.

April 18, 2012 - Pins were removed. I'm still down 30 lbs (being vegan helped me not devour every last piece of comfort food in the house - but trust me - I tried), but I'm worrying about Broad Street. It's two weeks away - will I be ready?! If I can't run the whole thing - will I be ready for the 1/2 Marathon at the end of May?

May 6, 2012 - I ran Broad Street with my friend Angie, and we took it easy - treating it as a training long run for the 1/2 Marathon. I finished the race in 1:35 - taking 6:32 off my prior two times! I was feeling great, and I was ready! I prepared for the race by carb loading with the vegan pasta salad - yummy! I recovered with 2 bananas, 2 pretzels, and a Gatorade.

Angie and I at the end of Broad Street.

Memorial Day weekend 2012 - I have a half marathon and two weddings. Let's get into it!

May 26, 2012 - ODDessey 1/2 marathon in Philadelphia. My goal, based off my Broad Street Pace, was 2:05. The weather was not on our side, at race time (7am) it was already 70 degrees and very humid. By the end of the race, it was nearly 80 degrees. I had a blast! I managed to maintain a 9:15min mile pace the first 11 miles, before dropping down to a 10 min mile for the last 2.1 miles. While my legs were hating me - and my last two miles went slow, I finished. I ran the whole thing. This race was a blast - costumes were encouraged, there were random challenges set up along the course like corn-hole toss, life size operation, basketball dunks, jenga, etc, which made it a very relaxing stress free way to run my first half. I finished ther ace in 2:04:21!! 40 seconds better than my goal! I prepared for the race by carb loading with a pasta and veggies dish, topped off with Trader Joe's meatless meatballs. I recovered with a Gatorade, a bag of Herr's sourdough pretzels, and a bag of dried fruit I brought with me. This mix included dried apples, dried cranberries, and a few salted pumpkin seeds. I took a pretty long nap, elevated my feet, and had a multi-grain bagel with peanut butter and banana before heading to that night's wedding. I danced up a storm, racking up 8,000 more steps on the day (equivalent to approx. 4miles), and had a ball. We wear pedometers at work - I usually get 10-15K steps, I ended the day with 34,265!)

Matt and I at the end of the Half Marathon. It was his first as well, he ran it in 1:33.
Clearly - I have one lucky outfit that I tend to wear during long races!!
It helps that I love running in my hometown colors! ~ GO 'CUSE~

May 27, 2012 - Oww! Okay - maybe dancing that much in heels was a bad idea! I called in a favor with my massage therapist and got a deep tissue massage first thing in the morning. I followed that up with an epsom salt bath, baggie of my dried fruit mix and a bag of Herr's pretzels, and a nice 2.5 hour nap. Again, I went for my bagel with peanut butter and banana before heading off to wedding number two. Headed into the wedding I was at 1,300 steps. I finished off the day with 9,000. All in all - I felt awesome, I was full and happy, and my legs clearly were recovered enough for the dance floor!

So - there it is - as a vegan - I was not only able to run my fast time yet for Broad Street, beat my goal time for my first Half Marathon, I was also able to recover quicker, train harder, and feel healthier! I think I finally fit in with my brother and two cousins. While I haven't yet run a full marathon, I think I've caught the bug and can be considered a runner. Next up - Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon in November. Followed by a full marathon (TBD) in 2013.

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