Monday, September 23, 2013

Marathon Day-I can't believe I did it!

Yesterday I completed a marathon! This was absolutely the HARDEST thing I have ever done in my life. There are pictures of me smiling during this thing but this is what I actually felt like most of the time.
I had been anxious about getting done in the allotted time for days. So when I started the half-marathon portion (for this course you ran a half marathon and then turned around), I was really running for time. I was really excited because each mile seemed to get better and better. I was running faster than I than I thought I could run this course. So fast that I skipped the first 4 water/food stops.

Big Mistake

Mile 9 is always my enemy and it was no different on this day. Thankfully, I had friends meeting up with me at mile 10 so I figured I could get through mile 9. I was happy this was an up and back course because I believe I would have stopped at the half-marathon mark had that been an option.

At around mile 10, two of my friends, Melita and Jessie, started running the course with me and it was good that they started running with me because that's when I started to think "I don't have any idea how I am going to run another 16 miles." Around mile 11, my friend, Tami caught up with us and decided to run.

This is also the part where my stomach started having significant gastrointestinal problems. I felt extremely sick and needed to stop. But, I really wanted to get a better half-marathon time than I did at the Lincoln Half-Marathon so I kept going without stopping and I beat that time. I was also on track to finish in the allotted time.

It all went downhill from there. After I hit 13.1, I started walking because I NEEDED to stop or I was going to be sick. We finally got to a porta-potty and I was able to stop. After this, a lot of the race is a blur. My stomach was going crazy, I had to walk a lot more than I wanted and my blood sugar levels were so low due to not fueling much during the half-marathon portion, that I thought I was going to faint. At this point, it was one foot in front of the other to finish.

I didn't end up finishing in the allotted time but that was ok, because I finished. I've decided that finishing something that feels impossible, fundamentally changes you. I don't think I have an excuses anymore because when I had 9 miles left, I really didn't know how I could make it through those miles and somehow I did. It makes me believe that I am capable of more than I have ever allowed myself to be capable of.

I was also overwhelmed by all the support. Friends came out to cheer for me and run with me. All of them are amazing (Jess, Amber, Alicia, Sarah, Jane and Erin). And each friend that came out meant sooo much and gave me a little bit extra that I needed to complete the race. I remember saying yesterday that I needed to make a note for myself about how terrible the marathon was so I never run one again. But honestly, now I kind of want to. It was HORRIBLE but with a little more training, hopefully I'll be out there for significantly less than 7 hours and now that I know that I can...I feel like I really should:)

Amber and Alica both came out to cheer for me, it was awesome!

Jenny was one of the people with the race, she was nice enough to stay with us until we completed the race..otherwise we might have gotten super lost:)

Melita and Jessie ran with me most of the way, Melita was awesome enough to stay with me almost the whole time even though she probably could have finished in half that time. Jessie ran 17 miles with us! (Which really means she needs to run a marathon soon)

At the end of the marathon..don't I look relieved?

Tami came out and did 13 miles of the marathon with me, she wants to run the Lincoln Marathon next year. Go Tami!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Each Run is a Gift

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I have been anxious about the marathon and timing and finishing every day this week. Last night I realized that if I already wasn't sleeping over this, it was going to be a long 5 days. So I prayed for God to give me peace and rest during this time.

I decided that this morning I was going to run one last 5k before the marathon at a decently fast pace to see where I was at and calm my anxiety. I got to the beginning of the Keystone Trail and there was this beautiful double rainbow in which it seemed as if that was God's way of saying. "Trust me, you have done the me to take you the rest of the way."

I started to run the first mile and just began to be thankful. Thankful that I have legs to run on, thankful that what used to be a 300+ lb body is now a lot more slim and can carry me 26.2 miles. I realized that getting to run the marathon is a gift rather than something to stress over.

The second mile, the rain just started pouring down but I kept running. I had to slow down considerably because I didn't want to fall on wet pavement and get an injury but I continued to run and be thankful and worship God in the rain.

The third mile was when the rain stopped and my stomach started hurting really bad. I ran through it and ran pretty fast. In the end I averaged just a little over 13 minute miles and realized that I could do this. I could complete this marathon even if I'm the slowest one and the course has been taken apart by the time I'm done. I can and will finish 26.2 miles and I choose to be thankful the whole way.

(I wish I had a picture of the actual double rainbow because it was pretty spectacular, but I didn't have my phone with me on the run.) This is the closest to what it looked like.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Marathon Fears

Next Sunday is the marathon (September 22 if anyone wants to come out for it) and I'll be honest...

I am terrified.

I thought I would talk about why I am terrified because it probably isn't what you would expect. Am I terrified of being able to complete the marathon? No, last year at this time at a significantly heavier weight, I walked a marathon on my own on the Keystone Trail. So I know that I have put in the time and training and can run this thing. I know that I can finish.

But what am I most afraid of? I am afraid of my own pride. I am afraid of my own self-talk when I run this marathon.

I am afraid of being the slowest one out there.

The reality is that I am a very slow runner. In fact, I am not even sure that I will finish in the allotted cut off time which means that all drink stations and everything will be taken down.

I know how this works because when I ran a half-marathon in college (10 years ago or so), I was one of the slowest people out there and all the support was gone. It was awful. But the difference was that with the half-marathon, at least there were still people around because people were still finishing the marathon.

I worry that I will run into a ghost town and even after finishing a marathon, feel like a fat failure...which sounds ridiculous if you think about it. But that's the truth. I think by being open and honest about our fears, they lose their power so that is what I am trying to do here.

So if you could all pray for me during my marathon, I would appreciate it. Conquering this is a huge step for me and I have been sitting in this fear for far too long.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Whole 30- Day 2 Complete

Today, was my second day of finishing the Whole 30. Today was a little different. The point of the Whole 30 is not only to get healthy but also learn about your triggers and eating habits. This is what I learned today.

1. I get bored with food really really fast and need to spend serious time food planning
2. I am not used to eating enough vegetables so I need to buy about double the amount that I had on hand.
3. Grass fed beef is good, but not for both breakfast AND dinner
4. I use food as "entertainment" because sitting at the table eating each meal without distraction has been very difficult for me.
5. I really don't like eating meat in the morning
6. Dates and Macadamia nuts are amazing, but if I am not careful I can treat them like candy and lose control. The point is to have control over food..even healthy food.
7. Trying to find dates without added sugar is hard, once I found them..I wondered WHY anyone adds sugar to them. They are already sweet enough. Are our palates SOOO addicted to sugar that we can't even handle something as sweet as dates without it?
8. This new way of eating has already completely helped my workouts. Today I ran a 10 minute mile, which is extremely rare for me to do. 

Anyway, off to meal planning and preparing for another day on the Whole 30. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Whole 30-Day 1 Complete


I just saw that the last post I wrote was introducing dairy back into my life. Unfortunately, that was a super short experiment. Right after I introduced dairy back into my life, my chest started getting tight when I would lay down at night and I couldn't breathe. By yesterday (Wednesday) I had not slept more than an hour and a half for almost a week because I just couldn't breathe.

Yesterday, my chest was so tight and I couldn't breathe for so long that I was having headaches. I stayed home from work because I honestly felt like I was on death's door. During this time I started researching doing the Whole 30 plan and a lightbulb hit me. When was the last time I was researching the Whole 30? Oh yah, it was right before I went off dairy the first time.

I was having the same symptoms, inability to breathe after lying down, chest feeling tight, headaches..not fun.

I probably should put a disclaimer that if you are feeling these things, you should go to the doctor immediately.. but I'm stubborn, and my insurance I started researching dietary changes instead.

Yesterday, I immediately gave up dairy once the lightbulb hit and incidentally, was able to sleep through the night again.

After spending the day researching the Whole 30 again, I decided to take the plunge. I thought this was an interesting jump for me because this is the first time I have decided to make an extreme dietary change in my life and it had absolutely nothing to do with weight loss.

It has everything to do with health and focus and living the best life that I can possibly live. The Whole 30 isn't a weird crash diet or anything. It really just focuses on putting clean, whole foods into your body and changing some of your body's unhealthy signals (horrible sugar cravings anyone?).

I am hoping by the end of my Whole 30, my breathing problems will be completely gone.

Since I also had another impromptu day off of work, I spent the day at the bookstore reading It Starts With Food which explains the "why" of certain elements of the Whole 30. I found it extremely interesting.

Today was actually pretty easy, a couple of cravings for hot tamales in there..but for the most part, it was easy to stick with it. However, this is the Whole 30 timeline they give you for the first week, so the fact that "So What's the Big Deal" falls on today means I am right on schedule. My "Kill All The Things" days will fall on Sunday and Monday, just as a warning for anyone who comes in contact with me:)

Here are some of the meals I had this morning. I really had to get past my breakfast mentality because I am a gluten free waffles and peanut butter girl almost every morning. So this breakfast was different.
 It is ground beef stir fried with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil with a side of a cooked apple with cinnamon on it. Who knew an apple with just a little bit of cinnamon could taste like dessert?

Here was lunch. It was a spinach salad with blueberries, ginger chicken (chicken with cut up ginger and onions), avocado, and the juice of a half of a lime. I am not really a salad person, but I had some leftover spinach from my smoothies so thought I would give it a try.

For dinner I just had a grass-fed beef patty with a side of bell peppers and onions with a little olive oil.

I also had some raw macadamia nuts and dates for a post-workout snack. They were delicious. All in all, this first day I feel better than I have in a LONG time. We'll see how tomorrow goes:)