…And That’s A Wrap!

It’s Monday, which means that I usually wake up very grumpy because I don’t want to start another hectic week of work. Today, it was a little different. I woke up with a BIG smile on my face and in better mood than any other Monday. Why you ask? Well, I concluded my 40 day challenge with the Miami ING Half Marathon yesterday and I had a wonderful time. The weather was okay for Miami, not too hot not cold and overcast. A bit humid earlier in the morning but nothing unbearable.

I was rather calm of nerves but excited to get the running started that morning. The amount of people and the energy is just amazing. Watching the wheelchair group come in as we all stand around them and cheer them on always gets me a bit choked up. I was ready! Positive talk all the way through. Reminded myself to push through and give it my all. I’m happy to report that I made my goal! I came in at 1:59:10 for 13.1 miles!

Oh happy day! It’s such a great feeling when you know you have worked so hard for a goal and see it come a reality. It’ s great feeling of accomplishment and in my case, it keeps me wanting more. I was also very happy to see friends including my training partner carry out the same goals. Many had a great race too so congrats!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

My results!

The Medal

ING 2012

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2 Days Away from MIAMI ING 2012

Time is approaching quickly and I’m as excited and nervous as it would be my first race. I’ve prepared a few months for this race but these two days before are critical! Water, water, water and some more water is all I’m thinking about. Being hydrated is so important for any type of race. Today I also started some carb loading. I get to eat a whole sweet potato today and another tomorrow. This is exciting to me as I limit my carbs and usually only have half as my serving. A quick light workout today, and nothing else to do but to get mentally prepared.

For those running GOOD LUCK! I hope to see some familiar faces out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

My lunch today. 1 sweet potato and Eggplant Lasagna.

ING Miami Half Marathon 2012

So this is the race that started it all. Last year as I began training for my first full marathon and I also started this blog. Things have changed quite a bit this year. This blog is now more focused on food and recipes than actual training. It was not my intention but it was what people (my friends mostly) were more interested in. I still like to included the races I’m training for and completing. I find that as much as I enjoy reading other people’s experiences and learning from them. Maybe, just maybe some one can learn something from me. ๐Ÿ™‚

So after running the full marathon on Jan 30th 2011, just the day after the race I decided to sign up again. Yup! you read this correctly. The day after running 26.2 I decided I wanted to do it all over again. Mind you, I still couldn’t walk I was in so much pain…

A few months ago I made a decision on where to take my training. I often battle with this because I enjoy both strength training and endurance training. I could either go on and start really pushing distance and train for my full marathon and maybe get into longer distance triathlons or I could focus more on strength training and getting my running pace back up. After the marathon I just couldn’t run as fast as I used to and would have trouble with keeping pace. After much consideration and deep conversations with my poodle, I decided to switch to the half marathon and begin strength training.

If you recall my 40 days of training were about this, in fact it hasn’t finished yet. My 40 days are up just on the same weekend of ING. 40 days of strict clean eating, increased protein, intense workouts and no alcohol. Yes, it has been tough. Could not have done it without the support of my husband who helps me in whatever crazy idea I have going on at the moment. My Jungle Fitness trainers have destroyed me at some of these workouts. But they have been truly amazing in helping me meet my goals. I have already seen some improvements in pace, overall performance, my weight and body appearance.

The last test, ING half marathon. My first half I ran at 2:15 which was my slowest and my fastest was at 2:00 flat. This coming Sunday the 29th will be my fifth or sixth half (can’t remember how many I’ve done) and I’m hoping for a PR. Won’t get disappointed if I don’t make it but I will certainly push myself towards as I have worked very hard and will continue to do so.

If you are in the area, come cheer! It’s an amazing experience!

If not, feel free to track a runner or even ME! ๐Ÿ™‚ My bib number is 13290.

http://www.racemyrace.com/hosted/ingmiami_half.php

Here’s a map of the 13.1 miles I’ll be running.

ING Training

Next year I will be participating in the ING Miami Marathon for the second year. I’m a little behind on training for the ING as I’m still focusing on my last triathlon of this season on November 13th. Once I’m done with that then I can dedicate more time to running.

One good thing I noticed is that every year I can start my training at a higher mileage. For example, last year I began training at 8-9 miles having built a base during workouts. This year, in fact this week I just picked up and ran 12 miles for my first training session.

I’m looking forward to ING 2012 on January 29th!

Have a great weekend!!!

Twightlight 5K

Tomorrow I will participateย in this 5K! As some of you may know I started another session of Jungle Fitness boot camp on Thursday. As usual on our first week we do anywhere from 500 to 1,000 leg exercises. With that said, you can imagine I can barely walk today but yet I have a race tomorrow. Thankfully the race is at night and that gives me some time to get it together. As I write this, I’m drinking my green tea containing EGCG which has a anti-inflammatory properties. I hope that helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s see how the race goes…. Wish me luck!!

ALS 10K

This saturday I will be participating in the ALS 10K (6.2 miles) in Coconut Grove. This will be my first running race since March. I have not done much running lately since I have tried to get back into triathlon training. I will take this opportunity to try to get my running back. Just a fun event with some great people!

What are you doing to stay active this weekend??

Officially a Marathoner!

Having completed the Miami ING Marathon gives me a great sense of accomplishment. Nothing feels better than completing a goal that you have worked so hard for several months.

Yesterday, the day of the Marathon, started at 4 am. As usual on race day I wake up and eat some oatmeal with milk, cinnamon, blueberries and some slices of banana. Get dressed while taking my first gel pack to make sure I start the race fully hydrated. Not much preparation in the morning as I already had everything laid out the night before. We were ready to head out by 5 am.

When we got to the event it is still night time. Weather is in the 50s
and not much humidity. Perfect for race day except that while we waited we were cold! Race would start at 6:15 am. We needed to
wait about 40 mins to start. There were 21,000+ registrants and
everyone was lined up in sections up to the starting line. I was at letter G. I managed to keep myself calm and relaxed as we waited. I remember thinking “this is just another run.” Time went by quickly. Before I knew it we were slowly walking forward with a few stops. We finally got to the starting line and very slowly started to
jog.

We started in front of the American Airlines Arena and started to make our way into the beach by going on the McArthur causeway. At this point the sun started to come out. There were so many people that it was hard to maintain a steady pace. There were many
walkers, people taking pictures, some video taping themselves as they ran and I would have to run around them.

At about mile 10 we entered the Omni cheering zone. It feels so nice to run through a crowd of spectators cheering for all runners. Bands playing drums and music blasting. I get goose bumps every time. The first half (13.1) went by quickly for me. Before I knew it we were at the split point for the half marathoners and the full. The
half marathoners made a left turn to get to the finish line at Bay Front park while the people running the full kept going heading into the Brickell area and then the Grove. After this I felt so peaceful. Out of the 21,000 only 4,000 were running the full. Now we actually had room to run with no interruptions and maintain pace. At this point, I’m feeling good. I knew I was going a bit slower than what I
had planned to but for me feeling good was more important than time. So I kept the same pace. I was running with my friend Tanya who had been my training partner. We were both good with the pace we were keeping.

At about mile 16 my left ankle started to hurt. My ankle had never hurt before during training so I was a bit surprised. I tried not to
pay to much attention to it but I did notice I was running harder on the other leg trying to compensate. When I noticed this, I immediately started stepping on both feet the right way even if it hurt. I just didn’t want to hurt something else by compensating for my ankle. Miles 16-18 I remember them as painful. I believe that somewhere between 18 and 19 I took an aleve. Slowly my pain started to diminished but now I was just tired. I had been taking my gels every 50 minutes. All along the race I knew when time was getting closer for me to take my Gu because I would start to feel hungry and I could feel my stomach asking for some consumption.

As we approached Key Biscayne people started to walk more. We were by mile 22-23 at the turn around under the Ricken Backer bridge. At the water stop there they were handing out sponges
soaked in ice water, and boy did that feel good! The course was shady for the most part until this short stretch so I was relieved to leave Key Biscayne and head back to Brickell.

Now we only had about 2 miles left. I was eager to get to the finish and felt that I had picked up my pace a bit. Not by much because at that point everything hurt but the thought of finishing gave me the
extra push I needed. And then… I look up and see the Brickell bridge, ugh! Not a big bridge but at mile 25 it’s definitely something. I just don’t know how I had the strength to run it as I saw many people walking the bridge.

When I saw the sign for mile 26 my heart starting beating faster and I kept a faster pace. I didn’t want to get too excited because
when you are this tired .2 of a mile can still feel very long. I just remember telling myself ” push through the finish, you just ran a marathon!” When approaching the finish line I looked down not to trip on the timing mats and put my arms up with joy. I got a bit chocked up but got myself together quickly and was off to look for family and friends that had been cheering all along the way. At 4:45 hours I’m officially a marathoner!!!!!!!!!!

with my training partners!!

with my training partners!!

23 miles, check!

Today, on a rainy day I ran 23.13 miles. The ING is only 2 weeks away and after today’s run I feel ready. I ran my usual long course from the gables to Key Biscayne. I went over two bridges including Rickenbacker bridge. I made it just under 4 hours with a few 1 minute running breaks after mile 17. I believe that these breaks helped me pick up my pace when running. I ran my last two miles at a 9 minute pace and felt like I had energy to keep going.

Having a good run today really motivates me to push through the day of the marathon and try to put in my best time possible. I have my shoes, new socks and all the gels I need for my run. Excitement is starting to creep in but I’m trying to keep as calm as possible so nervousness won’t take over. I have learned to take it easy at the beginning even if I feel I’m going a bit slow. In my mind I always say to myself ” start slow, finish strong”.

ING, I am ready!!!!! For the next two weeks I will still be running but nothing more than 10 miles at most. I need to tapper down and get some rest that last week.

Have a great day off today! It is couch time for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gel tasting 101

When running for more than two hours it is very important that I stay hydrated and support energy level to keep going. My fuel of choice are gels. They contain calories, potassium, sodium, some sugars and vitamins. They also have carbohydrates and caffeine. Some do have amino acid blends said to help with recovery.

Choosing the right one depends on one’s taste in flavor and gel consistency. I have found that because I am eating these while running, I need a flavor that I really enjoy so it won’t make me nauseous and it will go down easy. This weekend we went on a shopping spree and bought all of these. We bought a variety of flavors, brand, amount of caffeine and ingredients. Let the tasting begin!

On Sunday (1-9-11) we were scheduled to run 23 miles but because both of my training partners were sick or injured we scaled it back to 16 miles. Thank god!!! After not running for a week, I struggled through that run and became very tired at about the half way point. This weekend, no excuses, it’s the last chance to do 23 miles. Race day is three weeks away, starting to get a bit nervous!

16 miles and counting.

This past weekend was my first 16 mile run. Two hours and a half of running through the city non-stop. I started the run in Coral Gables residential then entered Miracle Mile. I continued on coral way and made my way into the Roads. From there I continued via Key Biscayne and turned around right at the beginning of the Rickenbacker bridge.

It was a nice course. With some lights to cross but the busyness of the city made my run more enjoyable. Most of my long runs are in beautiful neighborhoods but after a while looking at trees may get pretty boring. On this course I found myself being entertained by the different sights and neighborhoods.

It was around 3:30 pm when I started my run. The weather was a bit muggy but then it cleared up to a nice beautiful sunset. Running on Key biscyane by the water is definitely very relaxing. Sometimes we take for granted the views and weather we have in Miami.

One thing I did experience on my long run is all the different pain one starts feeling. The arch of my foot started to hurt but when I reached half way that started to fade away and a new pain would start. It was this way until the end. By the time I got home nothing and everything hurt! I was happy to take a warm shower and head out for a much deserved dinner!