Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bring on the New Year!

So long 2015, and hello 2016! 

2015 had it's share of struggles, but it also was full of so many amazing memories! This year has brought so many true friendships into my life for the first time in a very long time, and I have running to thank for that!  I'm thankful to start off 2016 with people who don't judge, people who believe in me, who encourage my dreams, lift me up when I'm feeling down, and bring me so many laughs! 

In less than a week I will be kicking off January with 48.6 miles in Disney World!  Last January was my first Disney race where I finished my 2nd marathon, and this year I will be doing the Dopey challenge! So nervous, but so excited at the same time!  I can't wait to see all of my friends!  Running Disney for me is about the experience.  Granted, 48.6 miles is no joke and a huge accomplishment, but I'm really there for the enjoyment and also because of our love for Disney World!  It's our place, and has so many special memories!  I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather kick off the new year!

As far as resolutions go for 2016 I don't have any!  I don't do resolutions, simply because I feel they are too much pressure.  I do however have goals that I like to set, but I tend to keep those simple and within reach!

  • First of all, as a family, we have decided to invest more in experiences rather than stuff.  We have enough stuff!  I'm not a high maintenance girl.  I don't like to carry expensive handbags, or wear expensive jewelry.  It's just not me.  Never has been.  Although, the Garmin fenix 3 is pretty sharp and I'd love to sport that thing!  Our goal is to travel a little more and see and do more!  We want to visit friends and make memories!
  • I thought about setting some running time goals then I was like nah, maybe not.  If I PR good, if not, I'm ok with that too.  For me, to PR usually takes running alone and that's not always fun!  I want running to stay enjoyable to me and that means running with my friends!  I do have a goal to run more local races, as well as a few more destination races...hopefully I can get some friends on board!
  • Physically this year I want to focus more on gaining some muscle weight. Recently I've lost some weight and I'm starting to feel and look a little bony.  After Disney Marathon weekend I'm adding more days of strength training to my plan!  I don't need to lose any weight, just add some muscle.
  • Another goal is to be more conscience of what I'm eating.  I started out doing great while training for my last marathon.  I cleaned up my diet, dropped some weight, then began to really skimp on meals.  Then I dropped a little too much weight at once for my liking.  My goal is to simply eat good foods and to meal prep.
That seems simple enough for now!  I always add goals and challenges throughout the year, and I also have a few personal goals as well.  I'm sure I will share those when I meet them. :)  So what are your goals for 2016?  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dallas Marathon and a New PR!

Last Sunday I ran the Dallas Marathon!  I ran the half marathon last year, but wanted to tackle the full this year.  This race is important to me because it always falls around the anniversary of Colt's passing and I love to run it in memory of him!  This year I would tackle the full marathon in hopes of getting a PR.

I trained so hard for this race this time around!  Through the running community I've met some amazing people!  During training this go around I had the help of friend who is a super fast runner! Like 2:30 marathon fast!  Instead of just running what I wanted to, I listened.... I incorporated speed work, and tempo runs into my training.  Majority of the time, the weeks consisted of running 5 to 6 days a week.  The focus was also not always on the long run, but on the weekly runs as well.  I never realized how important speed work, tempo and easy paced runs were!  The difference this time was that I was training to run those last 6 miles... not the first 20!  And what a difference it made!

The last marathon I ran was the Disney marathon and I didn't run this race for time.  My first marathon was Cowtown in Fort Worth and my time there was 5:38.  I knew I could beat that time, but I still lacked a little confidence in myself.  I've been so afraid of this distance! 

The first half I was feeling great! We had a light rain falling, but it felt great!  Not winded at all!  Legs were feeling amazing!  I crossed the halfway point at 2:11, and I had so much left!  I was still nervous to push harder because I was scared of hitting that wall!  Mile 15 was a turn at White Rock lake and the wind and rain around the lake was brutal!  It slowed my pace a little, but I was still feeling really good! Spectators were very few around the lake and that really stinks when you start to struggle a little.  I hit mile 20 and was still pushing!  I was starting to feel some pain in the legs so I grabbed a jello shot from some spectators on the course!  Probably not the best idea, but it tasted really good! :)

I think all the hills were in the last half of the race!  I was so happy to be off that lake and headed toward the finish line!  Around mile 22 to 23, I began to have some awful cramps in my lower legs!  My toes in my right shoe were curling up.  I stopped and stretched/walked briefly to get them to stop.  At that point I realized I couldn't stop anymore.  It's so hard to start back up after a break at that point.  I pushed on to the finish line!  The crowd support was amazing, and gave me just what I needed to finish! 

My time at the finish was 4:34:58 and the distance on my Garmin was slightly over at 26.4 miles.  I had PR'd by over an hour!!  I was super excited! And so happy to be done!  Those last 6 miles are the toughest and I will say that Colt was on my mind the entire time.  Thinking of him helps me push through the pain and finish.  His pain was unimaginable.... remembering his strength gives me so much strength myself.  I always remain Colt Strong!

My fear of the marathon was lost that day.  I look forward to the next one! I had so much left at the end that I know I can beat that time.  I was a little disappointed in myself for holding back.  The more you run the more you learn! 

Next up is the Dopey Challenge at Disney World.  I won't be "racing" this one, but will instead be enjoying the experience and the fun times with friends! 


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