5K races. Why I love them!

It seems like 5Ks are popping up all over the place!  This makes me incredibly happy because I love 5Ks.  They are long enough (3.1 miles) to feel like you got in a good run, but short enough you can really push your speed.  They are also the perfect distance to set an obtainable goal to finish.  You can make your goal to walk, run, jog, or a combo of any of the 3!  There are tons of 5K training guides out there.  Just make sure you give your body time to adjust as you train.  Pushing yourself to do more than your body is ready for can lead to injury and will keep you from meeting your 5K goals!  (So don’t freaking do it!!)

I am running in the Color Run in June and the Glow Run in July!  I have the pleasure of being a Glowbassador (hence the glowing picture!) for the Glow Run this year as well!  The Color Run is sold out (I believe) but the Glow Run still has spots!  I encourage you to check it out.  If you have never done one before, this will be an unforgettable first 5K or if you are an old pro, I can almost guarantee you have not done one at night that is lit with glowing lights!  I had to walk/run my first 5K in April of 2011 and ran my first half marathon almost 1 year to the day of my first 5K…So if you think you can’t do it…Knock it off.  Get up. Get going. And get ready to cross your first (but certainly not last) finish line!

13.1…Run and Done!

 

I did it!  I finished my first half marathon!  That. Was. Amazing. It was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Mentally and physically.

There were some factors out of my control that were working against me for this run: unexpected humidity and allergies.  The humidity KILLED me.  I couldn’t stop feeling thirsty, so I kept drinking at the aid stations, but felt the water and gatorade just sloshing around in my stomach more and more with each mile.  I also felt like I was running through thick air, while my allergies weren’t allowing me to breathe properly through my nose-horrible combo in everyday life…MISERABLE when trying to run!!

I hit a major wall around mile 8.  If it weren’t for my amazing friends jumping and screaming and holding up signs for me at that exact point I think I would have mentally broken down. I saw them and it put me in a new state of mind.  I suddenly remembered “I can do this.”  Mile 9 came and so did major side cramps in my stomach (yes, cramps…plural…as in, on both sides) thanks to the massive amounts of fluids I was consuming from the humidity!  But I stretched them out and allowed myself at mile 10 to walk one song, run one song.  I was still fighting, but I needed back up.  So, I tweeted my amazing friend Janelle and amazing runner (she had crossed the finish many minutes before!) She kept reminding me that at this point it was all mental and that I am strong and to just keep running.

I saw the mile 11 sign and felt relief that I was 1 closer, but couldn’t believe I had 2.1 to go.  The next thing that happened was a true gift from the running gods.  I felt someone tap my shoulder, looked over and it was my friend Norah.  I told her I was dying and she looked at me and said we are so close, we are running together, you can do this.  (She is also a doctor, which when you feel that far past what you think your body can handle…having a doctor running next to you is very comforting haha!)  She just kept telling me “you can do this” “we are almost there” “you’ve made it so far.” (I don’t know what would have happened had she not run up next to me…but let me just reiterate how thankful I am that she did.)

As we were running, she said are those people yelling your name?  I knew my cheering crew was anxiously awaiting me at the finish line so I was sure these people weren’t shouting my name.  As I got closer, I realized Janelle and 3 other awesome people (Val, Lisa, and Matt) were there to pump me up!  That was huge.  I was going to freaking finish this thing…running.

As we crossed mile 12 I just kept picturing my friends and family waiting for me.  I knew the faster I ran, the faster I would see them.  That did it.  As I could make out the words finish the pain left.  This was it, I was about to cross my first 13.1 finish line.  As I got closer, I looked to my right and saw my brother jumping and yelling and my mom crying and my friends going wild.  I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.  I don’t remember the exact moment I crossed that finish line, but I will be forever grateful to everyone who made that happen.  I thought I would be a crying mess as I finished, but I think the extreme exhaustion and shock of what I had just done made everything surreal.

As I have looked through pictures from yesterday and thought about my training and all of the people who showed me so much love and thought about where I have come from it finally hit me…and in true Grace fashion, I balled!  Major things happened to me yesterday.  Things I swear to God I never thought I would ever do.  I said goodbye forever to Fatty Grace yesterday at that finish line.  That race was for her, but the next one…That one is for today’s Grace…Me.

An Encouraging and Thoughtful Note

I know I have touched on how amazing my Weight Watchers leader is in a previous post…But can I just please reiterate HOW AMAZING SHE IS!? I wasn’t able to attend my meeting this week, but I woke up to an email this morning from her wishing me good luck at the race this weekend and telling me that I am awesome!  Another reason I LOVE WEIGHT WATCHERS!  The community as a whole really does care about one another and is the perfect breeding ground for successful weight loss and healthy living.  Such a simple gesture, but it means the world to me to know I have so much love and support going into this weekend! 13.1 ain’t got nothin on me! (I might be eating those words in a few days)

Race Week Eating…The Challenge before the Challenge!

This week I get to “fuel my body” for race day!  It’s hard to know what to eat to help your body perform its best for something like this.  I have consulted my running friends and have a pretty good idea for what I need to be doing.  Here is my lunch from today.  Egg Salad (recipe below) on Sara Lee Delight bread (6 Points Plus) 1/2 C low fat cottage cheese (2 Points Plus) Strawberries, Pineapple, Grapes (free!).  I. AM. STUFFED.  I know I have to eat more this week, but it is very hard.  I am not worrying as much about keeping my points this week, because I know the importance of making sure my body is fueled up…But I am also not going crazy eating huge amounts.  It’s a very good test for me!  We will see what the scale says next week!

Egg Salad

2 egg whites, 1 yolk (I unfortunately just throw the other one away)

1 Tbsp light mayo

1/2-1 Tsp mustard

1-2 Tsp chopped onion (I like red, but any variety works)

Pepper to taste, might need salt, I just try to avoid.

Chop it, mix it, eat it!

I’m ready.

I can’t believe race week is already here!  The training is done.  Taper, stretch, fuel, taper, stretch, fuel are the main tasks on my agenda this week.  Today someone asked me if I’m scared…I hadn’t really thought about it (thanks for putting that thought in my mind!! No, jk.)  Scared isn’t the right word…I’m excited, I’m anxious, and I’m eager…but mostly I’m ready.  I’m ready to explode at the start (but not a crazy explosion…one of the many excellent tips I have received!) I’m ready to zone out all the worries from everyday life and zone in on the Beyonce, LMFAO, Black Eyed Peas, and Will Smith’s Gettin Jiggy With It, playing through my earbuds.  I’m ready to look into the crowds and see my awesome friends and family cheering me on.  I’m ready to push my body.  I’m ready to push my mind.  I’m ready to cross that finish line (crying like a baby I’m sure!) And mostly I’m ready to prove to myself that I can do this.  This one is for Fatty Grace and especially for  that reason, I’m ready.

My Running Shoes

These are my Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7 running shoes.  And I love them.  Yeah they are light weight and breathable and all of those running things (I actually did spend a lot of time figuring out the important running aspects of these babies)…But let’s be honest…They are NEON!!! Oh and, they glow in the dark!  Those of you who know me know my love of neon…Those of you who don’t…soon will!  Not to get all sappy, but I spent most of my life trying to blend into the background by wearing black…Now that I have lost weight and feel amazing I wear the brightest stuff I can…A little Hello world, I’m not a fatty anymore!

I Ran 10 Freaking Miles!

Yes, you read correctly…On Sunday, for the first time in my entire life I ran 10 miles!  It took me about 1 hour and 43 minutes of actual run time.  (There were a few 1 minute water breaks in there)  It felt amazing.  Mile 9-10 was a bit of a challenge, but I knew I had ice cold chocolate milk waiting for me at the finish…Want to make a former fatty run faster?  Give her chocolate milk at the end! Ha, kidding (kind of!) But it does help to settle my stomach after those longer runs!  Next Sunday is 11 miles and I can’t wait!  I think I can…I think I can…