Sunday, March 28, 2010

First ever half marathon!!

I am so pleased!! I finished my first half marathon yesterday in 2:20:19 and DIDN'T HAVE TO WALK ANY OF IT!!

I was NOT even closed to prepared for it, due to having had to take A LOT of time off to heal my left shin. **Actually, I just double checked the timing on-line and my chip time was 2:18:50!** I have literally ran about 6 times since January and my longest run was maybe 5 miles. I refused to withdraw from this event, so I just kind of went and hoped for the best!

I was expecting to have to walk some of it, but it felt really good after the first 5K and then after 8.1 miles, and even up to mile 10 things were going OK. When I hit mile 10, I decided that I was not going to walk any of it, so I just buckled down and kept going. The problem was that I started feeling pain in mile 10. I have a GIGANTIC blood blister on my right foot, due to new insoles that seem to be helping my shin, but were rubbing my foot wrong. I had run in the before, but not nearly as long of distances and obviously they aren't fine. I'll need to try to heat-customize them again, as I already had done with the right foot, which is the one that was giving me problems.

Warning: GROSS picture!!

Yeah, gnarly! I know. I've gotta make those insoles work out for me a bit better! (It really DOESN'T hurt at all! Sweet!)

Anyway, the course was GREAT with two times around a 5 mile gorgeous lake that had only minor rolling hills and an extra 5K loop with one fairly big hill on it. The organization of the event was WONDERFUL and I felt like it was an excellent race as my first half marathon!

It started to get really hard for me at mile 10, but by that point I was intent on finishing strong. Unfortunately I didn't drink enough water on the course and I did finish strong, but was really dizzy and could barely walk afterward. Luckily my friend was there and I was kind of just holding on to him to not fall down.

They had water stops every 1.5 miles on the course and most of the stops had Ultima sports drink, too. And they provided E-Gels at miles 4, 8 and 11. I grabbed a gel at 4 and saved it until mile 7, and then grabbed one at 8 and saved it for mile 10. (At which point the race got a lot harder for me!)

They had lots of port-a-potties (and they were flushing units! Fancy schmancy!) So that got a big thumbs up from me.

And I met a cool guy at the start line who I ended up talking to until mile 4 when we parted ways. So, everything together made for an AMAZING first time half marathon experience!

And here's the finisher's medal:

This past August (8 months ago) I could not even run 2 blocks without being winded! If you had told me that I would complete a 13.1 miles on March 27th without walking any of it, I probably would have laughed at you. It's almost surreal for me, just remembering back to how difficult running was just a few months ago. And I know that my pace isn't extremely fast, and that many people finish a full hour or more before me, but I am REALLY FREAKIN' PROUD!

And I CANNOT wait to run my next half marathon in just over a month on May 2nd!

The funniest part is that I had a long day yesterday after the half with my students doing some recitals in the afternoon and evening, and I was DYING from sore legs (and they're VERY stiff today!) But I had to be all professional and everything, so I just sucked it up and tried my best not to limp on and off stage and around my students. :D

And I don't have any food pictures from yesterday, but I had an amazing brunch of spinach quiche, spinach cheese fontina, and waffles with chocolate chips and pecans + lite maple syrup. And for dinner, my friend and I went to a new (for us) restaurant where I ordered a snapper-like fish (forget the name) with couscous, green beans and a red pepper sauce and we split an appetizer of mac and cheese with duck confit! It was all SOO good!

For now, I'm off to get some other work done, but I hope everyone has had just as amazing of a weekend as I have had!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm baaack!

I'm home from Missouri and it was a successful recital! I had a great time rehearsing with the pianist, and then performing, as well as getting to meet and talk to some students and faculty at the college! It was all very exciting and I would love to do more recitals like that in the future. And the hotel I stayed at was so beautiful!

A king size bed all to myself? Check. And an entire bathroom in which I can spread out all my little bottles of lotion and stuff? Double check. Swwweeet.

And a beautiful atrium.

With a fountain and glass elevator, which made me feel really high-class.

I did my morning runs down the Historic Route 66!

And spread some Operation Beautiful love along the way, including at all the airport bathrooms. :)

Before I left, I treated myself to a St. Paddy's Day cupcake from a local bakery. You can be jealous; it's OK.

(Eaten during one of my long teaching days.)

And on a completely different week, I bought a salted caramel cupcake from a different bakery! I promise, I actually do eat a lot of veggies and non-sweet things, too! :)

(And I made it last 3 days, so there! ;-)

The promised healthier stuff, including my marvelous lunch from today:

-Cod from Whole Foods, cooked stove top in EVOO with salt, garlic and pepper (my first time cooking without someone else around--it was seriously so easy and it's really not THAT expensive at WFs)
-brown rice
-broccoli and peas

It was AMAZING! And I have 2 more pieces of frozen fish for similar meals!

And a different meal:

-sauteed veggies

Also delicious!

My work was giving away free bouquets of flowers from Trader Joe's that they were just going to throw away! So these have been decorating my table for the past week:

I think they're lovely! :)

Finally, one more chocolate review:

This chocolate is very smooth, while still having some subtle complexities. It is very rich, while being perfectly balanced in sweetness. Good mouth feel and melted quickly in my mouth. It would pair very well with some red wine. Overall, it's excellent!

OK, I'm playing a fun indie rock show tonight and then tomorrow is the half marathon! I'm kind of nervous for it, but also quite excited! Wish me luck! My only goal is to finish, as I am HIGHLY under trained due to the left shin injury forcing me to take so much time off. I'm just telling myself:

"Run when you can, walk when you must, crawl if you need to. Just don't give up!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Concertizing and other fun stuff

Again, I am sorry for an extended absence. I really do miss you all! Recently, I have been preparing for a fairly large recital in Missouri and most of my attention has been on that. Additionally, I am now a part-time violin teacher at a local school here and have been trying to take care of clearances, FBI fingerprinting, a health check and more. So forgive me. I will still be blogging, but probably not until after March 20th.

However, rest assured that my blog world silence is only because my life is so full of exciting and wonderful opportunities right now! I am incredibly grateful for the work and experiences that I have now and will report back in a little over a week with stories of success and inspiration!

In the meantime, I'm trying to start running again, after an extended break because I had a VERY bad shin splint in my left leg only. I kind of suspect it was actually a stress fracture, as the pain radiated from my shin up to my knee and down to my big toe and top of my foot. I have tried to rest it. I took 3 weeks off entirely, and before that only ran twice since December. I just purchased insoles for my running shoes yesterday with a much higher arch and it seemed to be much better today on a 6-ish mile run. Only problem is that I have a huge blister, but the inserts are heat customizable, so hopefully that will be taken care of soon!


I'm supposed to run my first half marathon on March 27th!! I have NO IDEA why I impulsively signed up for it, but I am determined to complete it. Even though I know that I am grossly under trained.

See Girl Run!! For fun and to prove it to myself!

Well, I hope that everyone's lives are as beautiful and wonderful as mine is right now, because life is truly a gift and an exciting one at that! Take care of yourselves while I'm away!

P.S. If you want an excellent book to read I'd suggest: