I am an IRON GIRL!!!

I am truly humbled by my journey over the past 8 months.  When I got the idea for this blog.  I was still on bed rest post-surgery.  In fact, when I decided to run a half marathon, I was in the middle of a hormonally charged crying jag and in extreme pain.  During the ugly cry, I was babbling about never being able to run again. My husband convinced me to take my pain meds which I was afraid of taking by assuring me that not only could I run but I would be able to run longer distances than before. (Long story short – I’m allergic to a lot of meds and am leery of them as a result.) Being that I had been hemorrhaging for the better part of the previous 5 months, I had been limited to 3-4 mile runs.

When my hormones started to return to normal and the pain subsided a few weeks later, I decided to run one 5K a month for 2013.  Then, I heard about the Iron Girl and the #13in2013 challenge and decided to go a bit farther.  I would run 13 races, including my first half marathon.  I planned my earlier races for the year to gradually build up to this distance.  The Cherry Blossom Ten Miler was actually my second peak long run for the training period.

So to recap a wonderful weekend…

Saturday morning, I was up at the crack of dawn not to head out for a long run but to take the mini to a Boy Scout STEM event which was actually held 20 minutes away from the start of the race.  I made sure to bring my water with me to stay hydrated.  When they broke for lunch, I left to pick up my race packet and hit the Expo.  I learned my lesson from the Cherry Blossom Expo and limited my time there to only about 45 minutes.  I picked up a magnet for my car and some cool arm sleeves. On my way back to base to pick up the mini, I ran 2 quick errands, including picking up some coconut water to aid in my continued hydrating, as well as to be prepared for post-race hydrating.  We headed home where I put my feet up for a few before heading to my girlfriend Betsey’s house.  She lives in Columbia so I stayed at her place to make race morning a bit smoother.  After pasta at Bertucci’s, we headed home and I prepared for a good night’s sleep.  Before going to bed, I posted the following tweet.

night before ig

Race morning, April 28, 2013 – I woke up, got dressed, and had oatmeal for breakfast. I hit the bathroom before leaving.  After a slight detour, I got to the start and needed to use the bathroom again.  I spent the next 20 minutes on line to use the Port-A-Janes and missed all BGR pre-race pics in the process.  I lined up with some friends in the 12-minute pace group just to chat but fell back to my 13-minute mile pace right as we exited the parking lot. My long slow distance runs were at a 14-minute pace with the intention of running at 13-minutes for race pace.  I was confident that this was pretty doable.  With the rolling hills of Columbia to slow me down at some points, I figured I could be done in about 3 hours.  I finished the first 5K and developed a slight stitch in my side, something that happened in longer runs during training so I was expecting it.  I lifted my arms and took deep breaths to get past it while I kept going.  At the 10K split, I was at 1:35 on point with pace and feeling pretty good.  Then came the serious hill.  Even though I trained on hills all winter, it was still hard.  The downhill had me staying in control but picking up the pace to make up for slowing down a bit earlier.  However, I run/walk on a 1:1 ratio and it was 3 intervals before I could stop running and walk.  You get to the bottom of the hill, turn the corner and have to go up a steep hill.  Most of us walked up that sucker!  The rest of the course was pretty much average rolling hills but my effort on those two steep ones definitely had me feeling the burn.  That being said, I finished strong with a final time of 3:06.12 just over my estimate but still a PR!!! LOL!!!

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Thirteen point freaking one baby! & yes, that’s a #RunChat tattoo on my shoulder!

Have you ever challenged yourself to do something new?  Have you ever run a half marathon?  Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

Half-Marathon Training Check-In

This year I am aiming to complete 13 races in 2013.  Key among these races will be my first half-marathons.  I will be running the Iron Girl Columbia in April and the Frederick Half Marathons a week apart which will make me a Titanium Girl.  Yeah, this Hysterrunner goes BIG! LOL!

halfcrazytshirt

Ever since I started running again in November, I have been going one step at a time.  I am not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination.  My first run back was barely over a mile long.  Even before my surgery, my long runs were 4 miles.  So choosing to go BIG requires a plan.  I couldn’t go from 1-2 miles a week to 13.1 overnight.  So here is what I have been doing.

I spent November 2012 getting myself back to being comfortable with running again.  It was a slow and frustrating process to get back to 3 mile long runs.  There was a lot of internal struggling and crying.  But, I kept at it.  At the end of November, I joined the Road Runners for additional training in addition to my regular runs with Black Girls Run and the Resolution Run training I had started to work back up to 3 miles.  The Road Runners of Baltimore are doing a middle distance training program to get members ready to run a 10-miler in February.  I felt that working with these awesome runners was just what I needed to get my base up in a supportive environment.  It’s because of RRCA Baltimore that I learned how to properly do speedwork.  Books and online training plans are great but sometimes you need to learn from other humans.

Over the past few months, with training from RRCA and support from Black Girls Run and my other running buddies, I have built my weekly base up to 16 miles and gotten down to a 14 minute mile.  I am well on my way to a less than 12 minute mile by the time of the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April which is my aim.  My long run is up to 6.5 miles! This lines up perfectly with the Train Like A Mother Half-Marathon Finish It Plan.  After I finish at the RRCA 10-miler in February, I will be able to pick up the TLAM plan and keep going right to the finish line! WOOHOO!!!

Unfortunately, life is about to get in the way.  In my non-hysterrunner life, I am a prevention research scientist who teaches at a University.  My class for this term is on Thursday evenings which conflicts with speedwork evenings with the RRCA.  I’m  not giving up on speedwork, however.  I hate gyms BUT the gym on campus has an indoor track complete with a track only membership.  I have paid for that and will be doing my speedwork on the track as well as using the track for occasional indoor runs when the weather is really yucky this Winter.  In order to not take too much time away from my family, indoor track runs will be done at lunchtime.

Next week will mark my first 7 mile long run, I am hoping to do it in about 90 minutes! Wish me luck!

2013 Race Goals

Happy_New_Year_Charlie_Brown

In the spirit of looking back and forward, I am presenting my goals for the New Year.  These are what I aim to do with the hope of continuing to improve on myself.  After my health scares in 2012, I am blessed to be alive.  Every day that I am able to wake up, spend time with my family, and run is precious to me.  With that being said, I am grateful for the experiences that I had in 2012 and am looking forward to new experiences in 2013. 

12 months year of you

I will be aiming to run 13 races in 2013.  My cardiovascular strength and endurance has been building since my return to running post-hysterectomy.  I am up to ~15 miles a week.  I actually exceeded my 10 mile/week goal for December!  With this base, I am well poised to reach my race distance goals for 2013.  I have set up my races for the first half of the year to gradually build up to a half-marathon.  One year ago, I just wanted to run a 5K.  Now, I’m looking forward to becoming a Titanium Girl/Half Fanatic!!! Here are my January – June Race Goals.

resolution run 5k 2013

January 1 ~ Resolution Run 5K

January 19 ~ Winter Runnerland: Moms Run This Town Virtual 10K

 

 

 

February 24 ~ RRCA Club Challenge Ten Miler

March – ?

April 7 ~ Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 20121116203347

Isn’t this a cute pic of Amanda of the awesome blog www.runningonwaffles.com and I at the Cherry Blossom Kickoff?  Amanda is one of the social runners for the race.

 

 

 

 

April 28 ~ Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon

This will be my first half marathon!!!! WOOHOO!!!

May 5 ~ Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon

2 races, 7 days, 3 medals = ONE TITANIUM GIRL!

 

June ~ Decisions, decisions, decisions…

There are 4 races that I want to run in June!!! I’ve already registered for the previous races which puts me at 5.  I can do 1 or 2 races in June and still be on pace for 2013.  But, I am not sure if I should race 4 times.  That being said, here are the ones I am considering.

June 1 – Zooma Annapolis ~ This is a Black Girls Run goal race for 2013 which means lots of my sole sisters will be running this one.  I’m trying to decide if to push for a third half marathon or the 10K.

June 15 – Baltimore Ten Miler ~ I volunteered at a water stop for this one last year.  I need to decide if to volunteer again or run it.

June 16 – Road Runners Club GPS 5K ~ It would be nice to do another RRCA race and it’s around the corner from my house!

June 23 – Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K ~ This is more than likely a definite.  The BWC was my first race in 2012.  I’m thinking of coaching newbies like I was last year.

Regardless of which races I choose in June, for 2013 I will be a …

girl-on-a-mission

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15, 2013
Aiming for a PR!