Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We did it!

I couldn’t have imagined a year ago that I would be able to say that I have run a half-marathon, but here I am a few days after and feeling great.  The whole running thing started last June when my stroller strides group started a running club.  You could train for a 5 or 10k, and even though the most I had ever run was a 5k, I decided to try for the 10k.  I remember at one point Hilary (the instructor) saying, “you aren’t going to try, you are going to do it.”  I ran the race with my friend Kelly in early September and we kind of joked about doing a half-marathon the next year.  We were having dinner with some friend’s right before we moved to Portland, and the husband and I were talking about running and on a whim decided to do the half.  Jeff later told me he would be interested as well.

I signed us up in November, and we started our training in spring.  The training called for 3-4 days of running, with a long run each Sunday.  With both of training we knew this would be a bit of a problem since we have the girls to think about.  I don’t know if we ever ran four days a week, and I probably missed a quarter of the long runs.  Jeff on the other hand did something to both of his ankles and essentially had to quit running in May.  He was determined to run the race though, even if we had to immediately go to the hospital and have his legs amputated! 

On our way to the starting line.

The day of the race, we had to get up around 4 a.m. and I was anything but excited to get out of bed.  I had been very nervous the day before (hell, pretty much anytime I thought about it) but when we got up, I felt okay.  We had moved up our estimated finish time to 2:10 and I felt that it was doable, as I had been pacing myself in training to run around a 9:55-minute mile. Even though Jeff and I were starting together, we agreed not to try to run it together as we were not at the same pace at this point.  I was pretty worried about Jeff, so when we saw each other at the water station at mile two I was pretty happy knowing that he had made it that far and timing wise wasn’t that far behind me.  Although I had seen a video of what the course was, I wasn’t expecting the hill at mile four to be so long or how steep the hill at mile nine would be.  I don’t like heights, and bridges freak me out, so I had been a little worried about the end of the race where you running on a overpass but what I hadn’t thought about was my hatred of driving through tunnels and now I had to run through one.  It was over a half-mile in the tunnel I believe, and there wasn’t a lot of air and it was very hot.  I was so excited to see the end, and definitely picked up the pace to get out of there! 

I had read in my training book that mile nine should really be considered the half-way point, but that the excitement of reaching the finish line would carry your through the last few miles.  I can’t say that this happened for me.  It took everything I had at the last mile not to walk it in, but I knew that if I kept going I would meet my goal of 2:10, which is what I did.  My legs felt like jello, but I kept moving after the finish line so I wouldn’t cramp up.  My friend Kelly was already done and found me right after, and I was so proud of her for doing the race in under two hours.  We went to get our bags and wait for Jeff to cross the finish line.  We kept waiting and waiting, and finally I went to see if he was our other meet up spot in case I had missed him.  I was so happy when I saw him standing there.  He had come in 13 minutes after me, so I must have missed him while I was getting our things. 

Kelly and I after the race.

Here is what I have learned:
  • I am a lot stronger that I thought I was.
  • That it is important to stick with your training, and your plan.  I was running with a friend for a while during the race and I realized that I was running faster than I had trained for.  I had to wish her good luck and go back to my pace.
  • Recovery is a lot quicker if you listen to your body.
  • Even though there wasn’t anybody cheering me on, reading other people’s signs of encouragement would not only give me chills but kept me going.  Same thing could be said for any little girls I saw cheering on their mamas. 
  • Seeing a lot of American flags and people wearing blue shirts in remembrance of fallen soldiers will bring a tear to my eye.

Jeff and I in the beer garden after the race. 

Jeff and I are both on board to do the race again next year, and our plan is to continue to keep a good running base in the “off season” and work towards finishing faster.  We are doing an 8k in August and I have a 10k scheduled for September, so running isn’t finished for the year by any means but the level of intensity has dropped off.  I go for my first post half run tonight and I am looking forward to it. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let’s talk “The Voice”

I haven’t blogged in forever, so a post about a TV show might seem a little odd but it is what it is.  When NBC started promoting the crap out of this show, I thought blah another American Idol, just what we need.  However, one afternoon the girls were napping, and I had a pile of laundry bigger than my SUV to fold so I watched the first show through on demand and really liked it.  Even when India woke up, we continued to watch it and dance.

I liked how they did blind auditions with the coaches (judges) having their back to the singer so that they would basis their decision based on their singing vs. their looks.  After that round was the battle round where two singers on the same team had to sing the same song together and the coach had to pick the best singer to move on to the next stage of the competition.  I can’t say I agreed with all the choices they made, but that’s fine. 

This week was the first “live” show, and of the four singers on each team, only two will move on to the next round.  The two teams to perform were Blake Shelton’s and Christina Aguilera’s.  I had thought that Adam Levine had the team to beat but I am not sure now.  I really liked the two videos below and really hope that these girls move on to the next round.  We ended up downloading Dia and Kenye’s version of this song (we already had The Fray version) and played them back to back.  We liked the remakes a lot more.  I like Xenia’s voice, but I feel bad for her since she is so shy.  I don’t see her ever performing in front of a large audience but I bet she would rock a small venue. 


Several years ago, I had seen a VH1 show about Christina and thought she seemed okay, but on this show, she is just horrible.  Besides her very nasty outfits (they are all about two sizes to small), the input she gives has nothing to do with the singing.  I find her incredibly rude, and honestly, whenever she talks I kind of want to punch her in the face.  I don’t listen to country music, so I don’t know a Blake Sheldon song to save my life, but I really like him on this show.  You can tell he really cares about his team, and wants them all to do well.    

I am looking forward to next week’s show to see who moves on and to see the other judge’s performance.  Who are you looking forward to seeing or want to move on to the next round?  Comment below.  
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