Sunday, July 25, 2010

Suzanne’s Race Recap: 2010 San Francisco Half Marathon

Wow, I can’t believe that I finished my first half marathon! It feels good to type those words. I won’t lie…the San Francisco half marathon was tough. The hills, inclines and more hills made it tough on someone like me who hates hills and wasn’t in the top shape I would have liked to have been in, but I was determined to finish.

My morning started with a 4 am wake up call to eat, stretch and get going. At 4:30 am I headed to the course and meet up with my “big sister” Judy. It was COLD. I guess that was a blessing in the end as even as we warmed up I was never hot.

At 6:17 am our wave finally started. It was exciting to cross the start line.

The run started off fine and we were off to a good pace. Didn’t officially start thawing out until mile 4. Then the lovely hills started and they were no joke. Since I didn’t do any hill training and wasn’t sure what my stamina was going to be like I power walked most of the hills to conserve my energy. Honestly, I probably power walked faster than I would have ran.

The Golden Gate Bridge was next and that was pretty cool to run across. We returned from that to guess what? More hills! The steepest in San Francisco according to the signs posted – 31.5 percent incline grades (whatever that meant but believe me it was steep).

Finally started going downhill for once which was a relief. Then we get more to a residential area and I’m praying for flat running but no…we had to climb up into the Golden Gate Park area. I honestly was not sure at that point how I was going to make it mentally. Who’s idea was it to put hills at the end of a half marathon – seriously?!

Cardio wise I felt great but my legs felt heavy like I had extra weights attached to my knees. Fortunately I had no pain in my hip or anywhere else…just tired legs.
Music wise here is who pulled me through: Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Muse and Eminem. They rocked and kept me going. Thank goodness for music!

I was relieved to finish and managed to try to muster enough energy to actually try to sprint (it definitely was not a sprint but as much as I had left in my tank) to the finish line. I was very excited, relieved and proud to have finished 13.1 miles…something I wasn’t quite sure was possible just a few weeks ago.

I’m happy that I finished and am proud, but wished I could have had a few more weeks to properly train. Those last few miles I had to really dig deep and gut it out. As for whether I’ll do this again….while I don’t see a full marathon in my future I definitely think I will continue to run 5ks, 10ks and even half marathons. I’d especially like to do another half marathon when I’m 100% healthy and had the proper training.

A special thank you to my “big sister” Judy who decided at the last minute to run the half marathon with me. Judy you made the run fun, you kept me going and I’ll always remember my first half marathon because of YOU! Thank you thank you for all you did – I truly appreciate it.

Thanks to my Mom and Dad for accompanying me on my half marathon adventure today! Bill – you too for supporting Judy!

And to my bestie Jenn who inspired me to try to run a marathon. This blog has been a fun way to document this process and share the experience with everyone. Thanks for always being there and so supportive - even though we're miles apart. Now I'm excited to cheer you on as you train for the Chicago marathon! Go Jenn go!

Thank you to all of you - family, friends, co-workers, fellow bloggers and runners - for all the support and encouragement as I took on this challenge.

It was fun and I learned a lot about myself and running. We’ll see what will be next on the running calendar for me and I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.

SF Half Marathon 2010 Complete!

Monday, July 19, 2010

OMG, I’m Running the SF Half Marathon on Sunday!

It’s almost here. On Sunday, I will be running the San Francisco Half Marathon. My start time is 6:12 am and I’m running the first half which goes across the Golden Gate bridge.

This morning I completed my last long run of 8 miles. It was an interesting run as the first mile did NOT suck (it usually does for me), I didn’t hit my runners high until the 4 mile mark, and afterwards I felt really good. I’m glad I got up early to get the run in because it is HOT here…the last few days have been in the 100’s.

The plan is to get two more runs in this week – 4 and 3 miles – before the big day.

Here are some new songs that I’ve added to my playlist:
Muse – Neutron Star Collision (I LOVE LOVE THIS SONG!)
Enrique Iglesias – I Like It
Katy Perry – California Gurls
Taio Cruz - Dynamite

This weekend will be fun. On Saturday we will go to the expo to pick up my race packet and go to dinner with the family. We’re staying overnight at the official race hotel which is at the starting line which should be convenient. I’ll definitely post a race report and try to incorporate some photos too.

And a special hello to all my Idaho relatives that I saw this past weekend and asked about the blog and Jenn and my training! We appreciate your support.

SF Half Marathon Here I Come,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why I Love and Hate to Run!

Okay, this should be fun and we definitely need participation from all of you. Below I’m listing reasons why I both LOVE and HATE to run. Please add your suggestions to those listed below in the comments section. Jenn will add in as well.

Why I LOVE to Run
1. I always feel better after I’m done running no matter how tired I may be before starting a run
2. Being able to just think through whatever is going on in my life while on a run. To think in silence is huge for me as a working mom as I don’t get many opportunities to do that.
3.There is nothing better then when you get that “runners high” and you feel like you can run forever
4.It’s a major stress reliever
5.Running makes me feel better about myself
6.When I’m running consistently, I really enjoy it - especially the mental toughness and competitiveness of it all
7.While I have only run one competitive race so far, that race was the most fun I’ve had exercising since playing basketball in college
8.Running (and exercising in general) sets a good example for my girls.
9.The benefits of running makes me a better person because I feel good, have more patience, less stress and more.
10.Playlists – I love music so I enjoy putting together lists that will keep me going during a run
11. When you run a personal's an awesome feeling!
12. Eating pizza guilt-free after a long run (thanks for the reminder on this one!)

Why I HATE to Run
1. The first mile always sucks no matter how great of shape you are in
2. It’s HARD work – physically and mentally
3. It’s a mental fight to even start a run and then to keep going
4. Whenever you think you’ve got it down and it’s getting easier….a run kicks your ass
5. When I want to run outside, it sometimes can be a major challenge to fit it in with work and family schedules. And when it's really hot outside!
6. It really sucks to get injured – I should know!

In making these lists I found out that I really do love running. There are just some days when it kicks my butt. But I suppose that’s the allure of it all and why I keep doing it.

Looking forward to hearing what all your reasons are for why you run!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Three Weeks to Go Until SF Half Marathon!

And we're down to three weeks to go! I just received the official email to let me know I was officially changed from the full marathon to the half marathon. My start time is 6:12 am and I'm starting to get excited.

This week I did my runs and felt good. My long run was 6 miles - yes I changed it from 8 miles after I did some research and they said to do 10 miles as your longest run prior to the half marathon. I felt OK and more importantly I had no pain in my hip. Was a little sore the day after and it was minor. I'm just hoping I'll be able to physically hold up these next few weeks...just three more weeks please!

It continues to be a "mental fight" as I'm still not used to the mileage like I used to be. Five miles used to be nothing and now it's a challenge. Funny thing is that in the end I'm physically able to do it but my brain thinks otherwise. Very interesting conversations to say the least...ha! I'm hoping the next few weeks will change that.

This week the plan is: 3-4-5-8-3

The next week will be: 4-5-4-10-3

The next two weekends we have trips planned so that will be a scheduling challenge but I'll make it work.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!

SF Half Marathon Here I Come,