Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Spring Into Summer 5K (Middletown, NJ)

I feel like this race went in one of two directions:

1) Like they say in the theater, "Bad rehearsal, good performance."

2) What got Wendy, Michael, and John to NeverLand: Faith, trust, and pixie dust. Okay, maybe not pixie dust, but I did have a little sparkle. Lol. ;-)

Anyway, my training for this race did not exactly go as well as I hoped. I was only getting in two runs a week, mostly later in the day (stupid 5:30 in the morning job), and only broke 12:00 miles ONCE in over two months of training.

Needless to say, this did not help my confidence at all. I thought that since I was in the best shape I was in a long time, I would be, um, faster?

Anyway, as race day came closer, and even as I laid out Flat Tracy the night before, I still didn't feel ready. Flat Tracy was ready to shine, but Real Tracy was still a little unsure.

Top is from Old Navy, skirt is Sparkle Athletic, shorts are Tek Gear from Kohl's, leg sleeves are Zensah, headband is Sparkly Soul, and sneakers are Saucony Cohesion 5's.

Cristina (@WeightLossChica on Twitter), one of my semi-long time Twitter followers had sent me this tweet the night before the race (after I posted Flat Tracy):

Little did I know how much Cristina's words would come into play on race day. More on that in a bit.
I had my alarm set for 6:00 on Saturday, but was somehow awake at 5:30. It as actually peaceful watching the sunrise from my bed. I felt like it would set the tone for the rest of the day.

Rest of the morning was the usual pre-race stuff: eat, check my social networks, cuddle (or at least attempt to) my nephew, get dressed, and go. I was actually surprised how chilly it was that morning, unlike the rest of the week, where it was wet or muggy. I actually wore a sweatshirt on my ride over.

Once I was at the race site, the sun was out and felt warmer. At that point, it was just a lot of staying loose and not letting my nerves get to me. Thankfully, the second didn't happen.

Oh, and of course, I had to get a pic of Flat Tracy in 3-D (she looks much better in real life than on a
I don't look nervous! Really, I was still a wreck.
Unlike the last two years, the time seemed to DRAG until the 5K start! The mile went off first around 8:10, and there seemed to be more runners in that than in the last two years. Eventually, that ended, and it was FINALLY time for the 5K runners to line up. Of course, since I'm not a runner and only play one for my blog and fans (haha), I was further back. Within about three minutes, the gun went off, and the race was under way!
About 50 seconds later, my Polar and Endomondo trackers were on, I had hit the start mat, and my sixth 5K had officially begun!
I knew from past experience that the first quarter to half mile would be crowded, but as the sub 25:00 runners finished, it would thin out. This year was no exception, as there was quite a bit of weaving in and out of runners. I told myself that I would find my groove, and that I would need to run MY race.
And that I did. I hit the first mile at about 10:20, making it my fastest mile ever! At that point, I knew that I not only would finish, but could potentially have a PR in me!
I ran when I felt comfortable, like I usually do, and hit the second mile at about 21:40. I wouldn't run negative splits, since I started out too fast (Damn you, adrenaline!), but still could make a personal. I just kept going, and told myself "You got this girl! Just remember how far you've come!"
Again, thank you, Cristina for the kind words! Oh, and it helped that I was constantly hearing screams from people saying they loved my skirt! See, Sparkle Athletic is magic! ;-)
I had the song "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen on my playlist. It came on about halfway through the third mile, and it really pushed me through, especially the line "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all." I think that every Frozen fan who's a runner will forever have that song on their playlists. It's THAT amazing and inspirational.
As soon as I saw the football field, I knew the end was near. I gave it everything I had, and SPRINTED to that finish line! Clock time was 35:21, but I knew my chip time would be about 40-50 seconds ahead. I stopped my Polar, and that said 34:45. I stopped my Endomondo, and that said 34:38 for 3.15 miles (thanks to the zig-zagging...ugh.). I then knew I either had the PR or at least very close to it. Either way, I wasn't disappointed. I gave it my all, and felt amazing!
I grabbed a bottle of water, some orange juice, and a sample size smoothie (Caribbean Way from Smoothie King, which is very delicious by the way) while I waited for the official results. There was also a BBQ going on, but the thought of burgers and dogs at 9:00 in the morning, especially after running, kind of makes me queasy. So I just took the drinks and walked around a bit, trying to cool down while waiting for the official results.
After about 20 minutes or so, results were in. After all the crowding, I finally found my name and time. Clock time: 35:21.02. Chip time: 34:39 (Pace: 11:23/mile). PR by 17 seconds (beating my previous time of 34:56 back in 2012).
Holy cow.
For someone who didn't feel ready for this race, whose only goal was to finish the damn thing, I sure did awesome! Team Sparkle worked its magic, I didn't let my nerves get to me, and I just did my thing! Now that I look back, maybe having slightly slower training runs was a good thing. It let me save some of that energy for the real thing.
I know that I will never be one of those super fast runners who can complete a 5K in less than 20:00. Like I said, I just play runner for my blog and fans. ;-) However, this girl is doing something she never imagined she would do!
For that alone, I will forever be proud of myself. =)
Until Color Me Rad on June 7, my friends!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April Goals Recap and May Goals

Hi, everyone! Happy Sunday! Hope you all had a nice and relaxing weekend with a side of productivity! Or was that just me? ;-)

Anyway, I just wanted to recap my goals from April and share what I'm working on for May!

Here were my April goals:

How did I do? I ROCKED IT!! There were two days in the month where I didn't get a full gallon in and one week where I only did one day of core work due to not feeling 100%. I was awesome the rest of the month! I found out that I can cook and enjoy it! My blogging was mostly Friend Makin' Monday posts, but it got me going again. Oh, and that all it takes is 20 minutes before spin to get some extra weight lifting in!

My reward will be a mani-pedi, which I plan on getting after my 5K on the 17th. After a race, I will need it!

As for May, here's what I'm working on!

1) Plank-A-Day. I was a plank rockstar ages ago, then somehow gave up on it. I will be back on the wagon in May!

2) Drink 100 oz. of water daily. I found that 128 was too much some days. On days when I'm more active (mostly running or spinning days) it's easy, but on others when I'm either resting or only doing my Centergy, it's tough. So I knocked it down to 100. Totally doable.

3) No daily weighing. Confession: I've had weeks where I weigh myself daily. It then messes with my head which makes me miserable. No bueno. I moved the scale to the downstairs bathroom which I almost never use, so there's not as much temptation. It's working so far!

4) Treat-End back in place. Back in September, when I was working toward goal, this was one of the things I did that made me successful. I have since been slacking a bit with it (double chocolate cookie from work on a Tuesday, for example). I want to get back in control before I let my sweet tooth get the best of me! So, no sweet treats Monday-Thursday! I had Friday in this at one point, but decided against it this time. I sometimes split a cookie with my dad on Fridays. ;-)

5) Maximum of three trips to Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks a week combined. This is partially to save me money, partially to keep me from drinking more iced lattes than I should. Plus, I can get coffee at work for free and make my own at home for less. So, I should rock this one.

My reward for May will be an Alex and Ani Lucky Clover bracelet. I've become an A&A fanatic, and the Clover is the one I've had my eye on for a long time. However, it's $10 more than the rest that I want, so I decided that I had to earn it!

How did April go for you? What are you working on in May?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

Taking a rest day to blog is perfectly acceptable, right? ;-) Seriously, this was a planned rest, and after a crazy day at work, I need it!

Anyway, in addition to Friend Makin' Mondays, I found Thinking Out Loud on Thursdays! I discovered it on Brooke's page, but the idea originally came from Amanda at Running with Spoons. Basically, it's just a way to get all those random thoughts out on paper. Or in this case, a blog! ;-)

Here's the crazy randomness (and some not so random) going through my head:

1)SPRING HAS SPRUNG! It is still warm and light out at 7:00 in the evening. A girl can get used to this! Maybe some twilight running is in my future? Hmm...

2) I ate ice cream today for the first time in a year. Carvel was giving it away in honor of their 80th birthday, and who doesn't love something for free? I enjoyed it, but oddly don't miss it as much as I used to.

3) My current favorite album is "Night Visions" by Imagine Dragons. My favorite track is "It's Time." So cliché, I know, but at the same time, I feel like it speaks so much about where I'm at in my life right now. I've already done so much, but it's time to do something more, which leads to...

4) I'm taking the plunge and registering for my first half-marathon next April! One of my goals is to complete a half-marathon before my 30th birthday, and I think this is totally doable! I think I will probably be one and done with this distance (you know, the whole money thing), and that's fine with me. I'm not exactly the fastest runner, and can't put in the time that I would like to in order to properly train consistently. Still, I never thought I would even want to do this!

5) Oh, and the Rangers are in the second round of the playoffs!

I should be recapping my April goals and posting my ones for May in the next day or so. Always needing something to work on, right? ;-)

Happy May Day, everyone!