November 30, 2013

Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot 5K

On Thursday morning, I woke up around 7:15 to make sure to eat something small enough that it wouldn't weigh me down, but gave me enough energy to last through a 5K without feeling awful. I was doing okay, since I had delicious tacos and chocolate cake the previous night, but a 5K on fatty fuel probably wouldn't have been the best idea. I ate my normal Belvita with greek yogurt, and had some coffee to go along with it.

It was 30 degrees when I woke up, which I DON'T UNDERSTAND because isn't Texas supposed to be perpetually 20 degrees hotter than wherever you are in the US? Damn. Of course later that day it was near 60 degrees but that didn't matter - this race that morning would be cold. It had been a while since I ran in weather that cold, so I took every precaution I could to stay warm. I wore tights underneath my running pants, and had on three layers of shirts. I also had my ear warmers and gloves. That probably sounds like a lot of clothes, but I hate being cold. Ugh.

With the Peters clan
I basically just putzed around until my future in-laws picked me up at 8, and we drove downtown to where the race would start. We were cutting it pretty close, because they had a new system in place this year where they only let the timed runners into the front half of the race, where no dogs or strollers were allowed, but the corral would be closed at 8:40, 20 minutes before the race started. Of course there was traffic getting into downtown, and we waited to park in a lot but then two cars ahead of us, the teller told us it just filled up! 

Fortunately we found a lot not too far away and got out quickly. It was around 8:30, so we just jogged to the corrals and so began the waiting game. I stayed and chatted with them (there were 5 of us- JW, his parents, his sister, and me) until about 8:55 when I said bye and went to find a spot closer to the start line. 

The worst part about this 5K is that there are 40,000 people and not a lot of room to run. So, the first half of the race is typically dodging people and slowing down for walkers. I know that's the same for probably every single race in existence, but in a 5K it's much more disheartening when you're spending more than half the time dodging people and you're trying for speed.

I got up near the front, and before I knew it the countdown started and the race begun. I had set up a custom playlist that lasted for 26 minutes - my goal was under 25. I knew I had to finish once the last song came on, and I had some really upbeat ones at the beginning, with one slightly slower one in the middle in case I needed to cool down.

I really, really wanted to beat 25 minutes.

The start was crowded and I tried to start off conservatively, I had "Roar" playing and I was feeding off the song's energy. I could tell my feet were numb within about 5 minutes of running - I guess thin socks aren't the best choice when you're running in 40 degree weather?

My second song was "Thrift Shop" and that song ALWAYS increases my pace. I actually felt my body become warmer because my blood was already pumping - and I kept trying to tell myself, "Just have fun!" so I danced around to the song, made some (possibly) obscene hand gestures, made some grotesque faces, and lost myself in the song. It was kind of awesome. 

The third song was "Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse, which is my default power song. I just tried to keep up my pace because I cold tell I was slowing down a little bit. Usually I surge during this song but I thought I was doing fine, so I held back. I didn't want to look at my time yet. Somewhere during this song, I got the halfway point notification from my Nike Plus app - with an average pace of 7'20''. What!!!

Next was "Lose Yourself", which had a nice build to it and I think it helped just keep my pace. Then, "My Body" from Young the Giant, and I listened to the words: My body tells me no, but I won't quit... Running really is such a mental game. I knew I was in the second mile by this point and I just had a little bit to go. I didn't want to slow down but I kind of felt myself doing just that - but I figured if my average time was 7'20'' for the first half, then I only really needed anything near a 9 minute mile to get under 25 minutes. I was gonna achieve my goal, barring nothing terrible happening!!

My last song, "Don't Fail Me Now" by Melanie Amaro was my last song, and when I heard it, I knew the end was near and that I needed to kick it in gear to finish before the song ended. This is another one of those listen-to-the-lyrics songs - I've walked the longest road, so don't fail me now - feet, don't fail me now. Yeah, for real! Feet don't fail me now!!

I turned the corner, saw the finish line, and tried to surge. But I honestly couldn't - I was going the fastest that I could. I tried to see a clock - there wasn't any, so I figured I'd just go as fast as I could and look at it afterwards. I thought I was gonna die when I crossed that finish line - but I did it. I made it. I looked down at my watch and was AMAZED- 

23:53. BOOM. And that was only with my Nike Plus app- I wondered what my official time was!!

I can't believe those splits!! All within 7'30''! I never thought I was capable of that speed. 

:D :D :D :D - 23:31!! I can't even believe it!! That's an overall pace of 7'34''!


Snuggling for warmth :)
I feel so awesome about my results and the race experience was great. Not as much food as last year, but the new course was a great improvement and I enjoyed the small walk back to the finisher's area so I could slow down my heart rate. Not too crowded, and the timed runner's corral was a fantastic idea. My only complaint was that the 5K and 8 Miler splits were not marked as high as they could have been (to be seen from far away), so I was a little hesitant as I approached the split area. But that's literally the only thing!

It was a great race!!

Did you run on Thanksgiving?

November 26, 2013

Pre-Turkey Trot Shake-Out

Today started early - this morning we had our engagement pictures taken! Fortunately we only had to meet across town at 10 instead of 8:30 (it makes all the difference!) with the hopes of it being a bit warmer. It ended up still being pretty windy and cloudy. I think they'll turn out really well, and it was a lot of fun to boot! So cool to have someone follow you around with your fiancé and knowing you'll get awesome pictures out of it.

I came home and ran 2 miles with my dog while the sun peeked through the clouds (figures). It was so nice to feel the sun on my face, but it was still pretty cold outside. I was dressed like a bum in sweatpants and two t-shirts but I didn't care.

It's really nice to be back in my old running neighborhood - this is where I trained for my very first half marathon.

This will be the third year I've run the Turkey Trot 5K with my (now) future in-laws and I kind of love it.

2011 - Finished in 26:37

2012 - Finished in 25:08
I hope to get in under 25 minutes, but with my recent training I feel like that'll be a big stretch. I'll be happy to just get a workout in before I devour ALL THE FOOD for Thanksgiving.

I'm gonna sleep on it another day, but I think I'm gonna buy my wedding dress tomorrow y'all!! Eek!!

November 25, 2013

Hello from Dallas!

Helloooo blogging world! Why does it feel like, when I take just a smidgen of time off, it feels like it's been forever since I've been on here??

Oh well. I'm writing from Dallas. It's cold here.

 A lot has happened since I arrived, both positive and negative:

  • We got here without a hitch (winter weather in Dallas, but no delays! Yay!)
  • We met with our officiant
  • My grandmother broke her hip :(
  • I think I found my wedding dress??
  • I've seen most of my family and had lottsssss of mexican food. Yesss.
It's been glorious, but I realized that I never posted about my run the other day- the last one before we left for Dallas.

It was hard but not too bad. I was supposed to run 8 miles on Sunday the morning that we left, but that just didn't happen. (What's new???) I feel sooo unprepared for the half on Sunday - and especially unprepared for the 5K on Thursday. Eek. I want to be fast but I know I haven't been training for it - I feel like I'm gonna go way too fast way too soon on both races and end up screwing them both.

I guess we'll just see what happens?

Some nice scenery pictures before I go - 

Taken from the plane
And finally, me and my dog, reunited again!!

Tomorrow morning we're taking our engagement pictures, I'm getting my hair cut, and hopefully running 2 miles so I have some rest time before the Turkey Trot on Thursday.

November 22, 2013

Apparently I'm Fast Now...?

Well this morning sure was a surprise. I was getting kind of sick of my attitude about running lately so I decided to just get out there this morning and train for my Thanksgiving 5K. It's in less than a week and my goal is to get under 25 minutes, which would be a PR for me.

Granted, my 4 miler this morning started out downhill but it also ended uphill, so putting most of the effort on the back end of the run was good for my training. I suppose. I'm no expert here.

Not really sure why, in my chart, it says 33:51 for finishing 4 miles, but in my summary it gives me a time of 33:59. Where did those 8 seconds come from? Hmm.

I'm genuinely surprised by those numbers. I felt like I was pushing it, but not really pushing it to my limit. I guess this is good since it's just a training run, right...? Plus I'm gonna have to start tapering here if I'm gonna be nice and ready for the 5K next Thursday. But then I have the half on Sunday...

It's like I'm going back and forth between PRing for the 5K and PRing for the Half. I'm convinced I can't do both. If I PR on Thursday, surely my legs will be spent for the half on Sunday, right? Or should I just run both of them for fun? Technically the Turkey Trot will have so many people that it'll be hard to get to a PR. Unless I'm in the front.

In any case, it was another beautiful sunny day in Bellevue. :) Even though it was 41 degrees! Brrr. I don't do cold very well.

Not much running in the next few days - I'm sure it'll fly by!

I'm going to a Thanksgiving Sides party tomorrow and I kind of can't wait, but I've noticed that we've been eating out a lot lately because of our birthdays. Mine was last Friday and his was this Wednesday, and I swear we've been going to restaurants almost every night since. Thankfully I have running to counterbalance all the calories I'm consuming?? All in moderation, right??

November 21, 2013

Ready for Thanksgiving

This morning, I got another run over with - 6 miles. This was supposed to have happened yesterday, but it just didn't.

I tried to keep a consistent pace - not really sure what happened around 4 miles and why I got a burst of speed, but I suspect I was coming back into the neighborhood, which is a slight downhill. I really tried to surge at the end (granted, it was uphill) but I suppose that didn't happen, haha!

Edit: Looking back, this is my 2nd fastest time running 6 miles. I feel much more positive about this now!

It was SUPER cold - about 40 degrees, but with a biting wind chill. I had to break out my ear warmers and gloves for this one.
I realized today that I wear a lot of purple...
At least it was sunny?

I'm super thankful for all the sun we've been getting lately, and I'll be sad to leave it on Sunday - but I'm happy that I'm going home. I left Dallas on June 24 - and my flight back is on November 24th. Exactly 5 months! Kinda cool how those things work out.

However, I've been no stranger to vacations since leaving Dallas in June. Since then, I've traveled to:

Portland (June 27)
Victoria, BC (July 2nd AND September 6th)
New York City (July 17 - 23)
San Francisco (October 19 - 21)
Las Vegas (October 31 - November 3)

Super excited about all the traveling I've done this year. Isn't it crazy that I'm already reflecting back on the year?? Damn, I need to give December a chance to wow me before I get all nostalgic about a year that hasn't even completed itself yet.

I will say that I'm good and ready for Thanksgiving. Turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes... lay it on me! YUM. Plus lots of family time and dun dun dun.... engagement pictures! Eep! Crossing my fingers that those turn out well.

Ready for Thanksgiving?

November 20, 2013

I Need Some Motivation

Sometimes I find that I have a really bad mentality about running. Lately, it's been "get it over with". Rather than getting excited about running and spending some time for myself, I've been sort of dreading it. Is this a sign of being burnt out? Should I dial back the miles? Should I forget about getting a PR in the half in December?

I've had a great excuse for running on the treadmill so much - the weather has been awful here lately. Rainy, cold, and the sun sets at 4:30pm. Yesterday, I had a full day on my plate - to add to it, I overslept. My voice lesson, which was 45 minutes away, was at 10- and I woke up at 9:15. Whoops. I had to quickly stop at the bank before I left, and miraculously made it to my voice teacher's house only 5 minutes late.

Well, you'd think that was the end of my problems- nope. The lesson ran long, I had to get gas on my way to my acting lesson, and I had nothing to eat. I had to run inside the gas station and grab the only thing that sort of resembled a meal - a box of Pop Tarts. Pop Tarts! It was that or a bag of Doritos. I mean... ugh. I had to call the acting teacher about 5 minutes before class started to tell him I was running late. When I got there, he gave all of us a lecture about what being on time meant. Yikes. The lesson lasted for 3 hours, which I struggled through - two Pop Tarts isn't the best kind of fuel.

After that, I had to run 3 miles and go to a yoga class. I got home and figured - just get it over with. So, even though I could have run outside, I ran on the treadmill. 3 miles, nothing special. No speed work, no nothing. Just mindless running.

My yoga class went really well. I finally did a headstand, and when I got home, got to a place where I could actually lift my torso up and start lifting up my legs! Yesss. I've been working on that for this whole month. I'd love to be able to do a handstand, but my upper body just isn't strong enough yet.

Well, this afternoon, this is what it looks like outside:

Beautiful, right? I have 6 miles on the docket to complete today and I'm just not feeling the motivation to go out there and run. I know it's cold, I know it'll be an hour of running (how funny that 4 hours of running seems like a lifetime ago) and I kind of just want to sit here and work until my yoga class at 6.

What's wrong with me?? Shouldn't I just be itching to go run outside?? Why am I so unmotivated? Is it because I'm about to go home for Thanksgiving? Is it because I'm stressed about taking our engagement pictures next week? (We finally booked a photographer - score!) Is it just completely unrelated and I'm doing too much running?

Le SIGH. Any motivation tips?

November 18, 2013

My 25th Birthday!

Friday was my 25th birthday and I had a blast. I have such good friends!! Here are some pictures from the night:
Ultimate Hot Chocolate from Panera Bread the morning of :)
Panera Bread Red Velvet cupcake!
We saw Thor 2 and it was awesome!
Best. Picture. Ever.
2nd visit to the Cheesecake Factory - they sung Happy Birthday to me!
Birthday chocolate-covered caramel cookie at Lot 3
More friends :)
happy !!!

I may have felt like a 5 year old walking around a movie theatre, a restaurant, and a lounge wearing a huge tiara, but I didn't care. It was an awesome day, I have awesome friends, and it's gonna be an awesome year!!

November 17, 2013

Cheesecake and Running

Last Thursday, JW surprised me by meeting me at the mall where my rehearsal was and took me to Red Robin where we split a hamburger, and then walked over to The Cheesecake Factory to get some cheesecake. Pre-birthday celebration!

S'mores Cheesecake
30th Anniversary Cheesecake
Then we walked over to Ruth's Chris and partook in their happy hour.

Yummy wine and lemon drop :)
our relationship in a nutshell
The bartender noticed it was close to our birthdays - JW's is on November 20th - so he gave us these Rattlesnake shots, which was Kahlua, Bailey's, and creme de cacao. It was DELICIOUS.

Rattlesnake Shots
After we walked back home, I decided it was a good idea to run 6 miles on the treadmill. Ha-ha! I had to stop 3 different times. Yeahhh.

It was a dismal run. Ugh. Soooo bad.

On Saturday I skipped my 5.5 mile planned run and just went right onto the 11 miler on Sunday. On the treadmill. May not have been the best idea, but oh well.

Felt a LOT faster on this run, and just better overall. I've been really slacking on running lately and I feel bad about it, so I hope to make this week a lot better since next week I'll be in Dallas and tapering for the half. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough that it feels good to run outside. I'm still kind of battling a semi-cold so I'm trying not to push it.

This'll be the first month since July that I'll be running less than 100 miles in a month - why does that make me feel weird?? I keep trying to find a way to fit in 30 extra miles but I mean, come on. That's not gonna happen.

I feel like this week will FLY by - I'm leaving on Sunday for Thanksgiving in Dallas, and until then, I'll just be catching up on work, running, going to yoga, and packing. Eep.