I’m so excited to participate in my first ever blogger linkup! Here’s the story of how I began running in 250 words.
I totally bandit-ed my first race.
I now know that’s an incredible runner sin, and I am super sorry.
My best friend invited me to run in a 5k with her and her family a week before Christmas 2011. I had never entertained the idea of running, but I wanted to hang out with Nikki, so I said I would be there.
I ran a mile and a half the night before, just to see if I could.
It took me 39 minutes to jog/ run/ walk my way through the Dallas Design District. But I was hooked.
Cut to New Year’s Eve 2011. I decided to really take the plunge. I made it my New Year’s Resolution to run a mile every day during 2012 (or an equivalent number of miles). 365 miles in one year.
That was the first resolution I’ve ever kept.
In 2012, I made the 5k my race. My first real, I-paid-money-for-this 5k took place in approximately 19 degree temperatures. I made a dorky tutu and tromped all over OU’s campus gleefully, knocking 3 minutes off my first race’s time.
I can now run a 5k in less than 30 minutes without killing myself. I’m two half marathons into what I hope will be a lifelong love affair with running.
Like I’ve said before, running makes me feel strong. I am so blessed to have a hobby that lets me do things I never thought I was capable of.
It’s gotten quite chilly outside the past few days, so let’s travel back in time to another cold couple of days…the weekend B, K, and I drove to Tulsa so that I could run the Route 66 Half Marathon.
We made the quick 2 hour trek from Norman to Tulsa and drove straight to the race expo. It was much smaller than the OKC expo, but it got the job done with much less waiting-in-line time. We perused the things for sale (and I promised K a 0.0 sticker for her Kia- still want one, bby?), made some inspirational race signs, then skedaddled to our hotel.
That night I crammed in a nervous Mexican dinner with B, K, and our friend Beth who lives in Tulsa. Seems like I always eat Mexican food before races?! Maybe they help me run faster. Who knows? We got home and I laid out all of my clothes for the next morning, pinned my bib to my pants, and strapped on my timing chip. I was as ready as I could be…but super nervous. I tried to go to bed at 10 pm, but I was so nervous that it took me forever to fall asleep and I woke up many times throughout the evening. At one point, I remember just praying that the morning would go ahead and come so I could stop pretending to get any semblance of rest.
Race day was COOOOOLD. Something like 12 degrees. We all layered up, B ran and got a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (more on that later), we posed for cute pictures, and then, all too soon, it was time to hit the road.
Parking was a hairy situation, but we managed to park about 4 blocks from the start. And that little walk was INTENSE. The cold was mind-numbing. I sincerely started to doubt if I could run 13.1 miles in that weather. We waited (probably illegally) in the lobby of the Mayo Hotel until about half an hour before the race started— that’s when B and K ditched me to go post up with their signs near the 2.5/5 mile marker at Woodward Park.
Waiting in that corral alone yet surrounded by thousands of people was incredibly difficult. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes. My scarf wouldn’t hang right on my neck. This race was starting to seem like a dumb idea. Then the gun went off, and I started running.
And 5 minutes into the race, I was actively thinking “Where can I meet B and K in order for me to drop out of this race?”
I’m evil, so that’s where I leave you until the next chapter!
Last time we talked about groceries, I told you my couponing tricks of the trade. Strangely enough, I’ve completely abandoned couponing. I’m just too busy to take the time to hunt around, and I found myself falling into the trap of buying unhealthy things and buying things I don’t need.
But cheap groceries without couponing is still possible! Here is an example of what I buy each week and how much it costs.
The total for these groceries was $23. And this is what I got…
- organic spinach
- baby carrots
- 4 sweet potatoes (small)
- 3 apples
- 2 packages of sliced mushrooms
- a loaf of freshly baked bread
- small log of goat cheese + honey
- frozen butternut squash ravioli (SO GOOD OMG)
- 3 pork chops
With the lunch meat I had leftover from Target, this food definitely lasted me a week. I even still have the ravioli left to eat tonight! You can see that I am still buying food that I think is good for me to eat (less Cheetos, more mushrooms) but not spending an insane amount of money.
Unfortunately, my budget for the week got a bit…derailed by my fear of the impending winter storm that Oklahoma got. I went and bought extra food for the weekend for me and my roommate. Oops.
In a future post, I will try and provide you guys with an example of my meal plan!
You all know I’m running in the Route 66 Marathon this weekend, and it’s finally time to start my favorite part: packing! Here’s what I’m bringing to ensure that I have perfect control over everything I CAN control (i. e. everything but the fact that there might be snow on the ground).
1. My Mizuno Wave Rider 16s. They’re kind of important for the running to occur. Also, three pairs of running socks. Because I am a chronic sock loser.
2. Running tights. I got mine from TJMaxx about a year ago, but I’ll be bringing 2 pairs to the race because I will probably need both of them. Layering is key, kids!
3. Armband for my tunes. At the OKC Half, I held my phone in my hand, but I don’t want to risk dropping my phone thanks to the cold giving me stiff fingers.
4. My Lululemon half zip. I don’t think they carry it anymore, but it’s closest to the Star Runner pullover. It’s great at wicking sweat and also super warm.
5. Running gloves (with fingertips that work with an iDevice). It’s cold. Self explanatory. I’ll have B on the course to hand these off to in case they’re too warm.
6. A fuel belt. Not sure if I’m going to wear one with water bottles or one with just a pocket for foods. I was well hydrated without my own water during OKC, so I will probably be fine without it this time.
Other things I won’t be able to live without:
sweats for the drive home
throwaway gear from Goodwill?
I was looking for race reviews of the Route 66 Marathon online last night in an attempt to get pumped for my race later this month, and I happened upon 50by25, a really extensive blog about Laura, the current world record holder for the youngest person to run a marathon in all 50 states! I got lost in her race recaps for about an hour last night, but it was totally worth it.
There’s less than a month until the Route 66 Half Marathon, and I have not blogged as much about training as I did last time (obviously). Turns out that training during the fall is extremely hard for a college student who enjoys football games, sleep, and going to Whataburger at 11pm.
Midweek runs: They suck. They make my calves hurt toooooo much. I had a breakthrough a few weeks ago where I loosened my laces a bunch and my calves felt better, but now they feel worse. I don’t have this problem on long runs, which is confusing. I’m beginning a regimen of calf exercises to help combat the pain before the race. So, progress!
Long runs: Sporadic, but great! I’ve had a really odd schedule this semester (see: football on long run days), and combine that with all of the free 5ks floating around, and my long runs have been all over the place. A couple of times I’ve done two-a-days or 3 miles at night (5k) and 5 miles in the morning to meet my total if I’m especially busy (or, you know, registered for a 5k). This weekend, I’m running 9 miles for the first time in a loooong while, but I’m excited. I’ve felt pretty good during most of my long runs, which is extremely calming when I look at the calendar and think “LESS THAN A MONTH!!”.
Overall: This training cycle has made me nervous. I keep thinking I am way farther behind than I was for the OKC half, but when I look back on my training posts, I’m definitely not. I keep forgetting that I also had a busted long run during that cycle, and that I got sick and missed a week of training during that cycle (last week I didn’t train at all due to B family fun). I’m going to be just fine. (I think.) Trying to adapt my attitude from “MUST PR” to “I’m going to do the best I can on this course”. It wouldn’t be fair to my hard work if I beat myself up over a non-PR on a course that I’ve literally never even seen before. Hills? Who knows!
13.1 take two.
“I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope.”