Saturday, June 30, 2012

Race Recap: Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon

I know, I know it's been a week since this race and I haven't shared a recap yet. Well here it is. It's pretty pic heavy because I took like 30+ photos on the course. A first for me for sure.

I decided to do this race while I was training for the Country Music half. I already had a trip to Seattle planned to attend a conference for work June 19-22, then I saw the Seattle Rock n Roll race was June 23rd. I can just stay the weekend, I thought, and it's only about 8 weeks between Nashville and Seattle so I can just keep my mileage up and it will be easy peasey.


Oh, how I forgot after training 4 months for a race you just want to be done training for something. Combined with the fact I was scheduled to begin training for a sprint triathlon this summer, I didn't quite do the mileage I should have during those 8 weeks.

With my focus on triathlon I only ran 1-2 times a week and the longest run I did was 8 miles. I've never felt so physically unprepared for a race before. And that's BEFORE I got to Seattle and was go, go, go for work during the 4 days leading up to the race. Come the Thursday before the race, I didn't even know where to pick up my race packet or how transportation to the race would work.

My co-worker suggested I just eat the race fee and skip out. For some reason that was never an option for me. I don't bow out on things just becausee they are hard or uncomfortable. Even if I walked every mile of the course, I was going to finish this race.

I got up at 5 AM and quickly got ready before the Starbucks in the hotel opened at 5:30 AM. I got a coffee, banana and wheat bagel from Starbucks for breakfast. I was lacking the protein I normally consume race morning, but as you've probably gathered I wasn't exactly prepared for this race and SBUX didn't have any peanut butter. Fail.

Even though the start line was only about a mile from my hotel, I took a taxi to the start line. I originally planned to take the monorail, but apparently you have to buy tickets for that in advance. I still got to the race start by 6 AM.

After waiting for about an hour (and meeting some Nashvillians in the process), I proceeded to the porta potties before getting in my corral. This guy was freaking out because it was 15 minutes before the 7 AM start and the line at the bathroom was so long. He was in corral 15. NEWSFLASH at these huge Rock n Roll events, if you are not in the first 5 corrals, you don't have to be in your corral right at 7! He had a good 30 minutes before his corral would start, but he was so so anxious.

The gun went off while I was in the porta potty. Then, I got in my corral (39 of 47) and waited....and waited...

And waited some more. It was like 8:07 before we crossed the start line.

Lots of cheer squads out on the course with the bands. Some dressed up, like these KISS girls. Overall the bands were more punk/grunge than Nashville's country and pop/rock country bands.

The race started out great and honestly I felt like I had a really strong race for not really being as diligent training as I should have been. Since I'd only done up to 8 miles, I expected to hit a wall at mile 9 or 10 and walk the last part of the race. Amazingly, this never happened and I was able to keep up with my quarter mile intervals of running/walking. Sometimes running a half mile before walking if I felt really good.

This girl was the BEST RACE SPECTATOR EVER. Seriously, is this not the best sign you've ever seen at a race before?
Good thing she was where she was because we had just turned the corner (around mile 5) and saw this HUGE incline. This picture does not do this incline justice, but believe me it was STRAIGHT UP for about 2-3 blocks.

Half way up the hill.

After tackling that incline, we headed towards Lake Washington.

Near the lake, they had a large group of military supporters and right along the course they had set up photos of killed in action military. So emotional.

After passing by the lake and going through a tunnel we ended up running on an interstate towards downtown.

Entering the downtown area, another view of the space needle. This was around mile 11.

Running along the byway with the Harbor to the other side. Great views for the last few miles.

Finished #5! My official time was 3:16:28, which is the 2nd fastest half I've ran. Not bad for piss poor training. Best finisher photo ever - love the space needle.

Gym Class Heros were playing at the finish. I thought that was kind of fun!

I still can't believe how incredibly great I felt during and even after the race. I never hit a wall. I never thought, "I can't do this." I felt amazingly blessed for this strong body I have. It allows me to abuse it by not training the way I should, and then busting out 13.1 miles.

After the race and a quick shower, I had the most amazing burger and onion rings at 8oz Burger Bar. Then, explored Capital Hill, went shopping, got the best cup of coffee, then walked down to the water and rode the ferry over the Bainbridge Island. We spent the afternoon/evening exploring the small town on the island and having drinks at the cutest place overlooking the water.

This race was everything I wanted it to be (a 13 mile tour of Seattle) and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an awesome destination race!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Well, I'm checking in to officially tell you I've completed my 5th half marathon. It went as well as I could have hoped! Look for tons of pictures and a recap soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Returning to Regularly Scheduled Weigh-ins

Weight on 5/20/12 - 240.0

This Week's Weight - 239.6

0.4 lbs LOST

89.6 pounds lost since June 2010

Going down, no matter how small, is the first step right? Honestly, I'm ecstatic since between May 20th and now, I've spent 6 days on vacation and 2 in Las Vegas. For someone not tracking what they are putting in their pie hole, I'd say this is a WIN!

Plus, I'm technically back in the 230s. I'm not declaring this as me being back on track since I've been here before, but it's a start.

My plan this week eat as well as I can while being in Seattle for 6 days; exercise today, tomorrow, and before I leave on Tuesday. Then, complete the half marathon on Saturday.

Time to stay focused.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Plugging along...

I've been awful at blogging lately. Just add it to the list of things I haven't been keeping up with, number one being any attempt at weight loss.

Part of the reason for lack of blogging (in addition to lack of motivation), is that I've been out of two twice in the last 2 weeks and I leave for Seattle on Tuesday.

First, I went to the beach for 5 days. It was a wonderful break from work and it was just what I needed to recharge myself at work. Then, I headed off to Vegas for a 48-hour work trip to attend a conference. I regret I didn't get to stay longer, but the short amount of time in Sin City was certainly better for my waist line.

Click for larger view
Food wise, I didn't do terrible at the beach. There was one night of fried seafood out at a restaurant, but for the most part we cooked at home and portions were controlled. I decided to give myself a break from exercise at the beach, but unfortunately, the week between the beach and leaving for Vegas I didn't get back on the regular exercise wagon.

After I got back from Vegas this week, I've gotten in a spin class, a 1000 meter swim, and a 5.5 mile run. Tomorrow I'll try to do another 10 mile bike ride. The tri is in 5 weeks....yowza!

I also have another half-marathon scheduled next weekend while I'm in Seattle - what I was thinking signing up for this, I don't know. The most mileage I've done since Country Music 7 weeks ago is 8 miles. I've done a few 4, 5, and 6 milers but I have only been running 1-2 times a week. My basic plan at this point is not to freak out. I'm just going to go and enjoy the race - use it as a way to see the city - and walk as much as I need to.

In triathlon training news, I am feeling stronger on the bike but I still feel that I am slower than I should be. Hopefully the next 4 weeks of regular spin and biking will help out with that. In swimming news, I swam 400 meters without stopping yesterday. The swim portion of the race is 400 yards. From my understanding 1 meter = approximately 1.09 yard, so essentially I've done the distance of the swim portion - in the pool. I will start open water swims the weekend of June 30. Looking forward to try those and some bricks prior to the race.

So basically, I'm checking in to say I'm plugging along and surviving. I'm planning on weighing in tomorrow so we'll see what the damage is since I weighed in last, which I can't even remember when the last one was.

I'm considering a 24-hour juice cleanse between Seattle and my July 4th vacation. Or I may do it after vacation since I'm sure I won't be eating very well that week. We'll see.

Thanks for sticking with me...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day, Hiatus, and 2nd Blogaversary

Well hello there!

I know, it has been a long, long time. In the history of the blog, I think this is the first time I've went MIA for 2+ weeks. But I needed it. I was ready to recharge and refresh. I went to the beach last week (which was fabulous) and decided to just take some time off for a bit. I was feeling too guilty about not being able to get on track after what is now is an 8 month rollercoaster. I needed some time to just let myself be guilt free.

While I may not be completely back in the saddle, I have noticed I am doing better. While I've been back on the scale, I'm not going to officially do a weigh in until Sunday. But I will admit I was back up to 241 last weekend, but as of yesterday I was back to 237. Not counting any of these as official, but again it's a start.

Today is the perfect day to re-enter the blogosphere.

First, it's National Running Day! I will celebrate with a 3 mile run today after work. I am so grateful that I have the ABILITY to celebrate in this way. Although running has taken a back burner to my swim and bike training for the triathlon in July, I still enjoy getting out for a run a few times a week. I am actually scheduled to do the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon in 2 1/2 weeks - a perfect way to experience a city I've never been to before!

Secondly, today is my 2 year Blogaversary! I began this blog journey at 329 pounds. When I look back at my first post, I don't recognize the person in the photo in that post. I struggle with saying I am not where I thought I would be in 2 years when I started the blog because I really had no expectations. It was really an experiment started in response to several weight loss show rejections. I had a close call with my 3rd and final audition, but I decided even before I received the rejection that I would need a backup plan if reality TV didn't work out in my favor. So I had already decided I would start a blog.

All that to say, I'm still not where I WANT to be. Do I wish I could lose about 45 more pounds? Yes! Do I wish I had already hit the 100 pound loss mark? Ab-so-freaking-loot-ly! Do I wish I practiced more self-love and didn't care so much about the extra skin now on my body! Oh, I do! But I have to remember that I HAVE lost about 90 pounds. I HAVE done 3 more half marathons in the last 2 years. I AM stronger! And I AM healthier! And whether I carry around these extra 40 lbs for the rest of my life, or whether I get my sh*t together and lose some or all of it, I have done better for myself in the last 2 years than I did all previous 26 combined.

I don't want to make this first post back any longer than it already is, so I will just say that I am grateful for what I've accomplished, I am grateful for the few of you that read my ramblings and the community this blog has found me a part of. THANK YOU!