Marathon 26.2


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Food and Running

Last Saturday,  I made the trip to Doraville to the Asian supermarket.  It was a late start and I arrived there around 1:30pm.  The place was super crowded so I picked up mostly essentials, few Asian vegetables, pho soup broth, etc.  I had to finish my trip with a stop to the bakery for my boba tea and pastry.  To my surprise, my favorite bakery was open.  I think it is called the Hong Kong Bakery located in the Asian Square.  It is a small bakery down from the Sweet Hut.  I purchased some fresh (and very delicious) pastry then I stopped by the Sweet Hut for some Boba Tea and Thai tea.  It was a good way to finish the trip.  It was a long car ride (over 4 hours round trip) but well worth it.  Here is what I bought from the bakery:

This is my first full week back into half marathon training.  I am still not at 100% so I want to ease back gently into my training.  Friday is suppose to be my long run day of 6 miles.  By the time I got to the trail, it had turned into a cloudy humid day.  At mile 1, I was not feeling it at all.  It had been a super stressful day and I did not want to run.  I made it for a few laps and finally called it before mile 3.  It was frustrating and when I have really bad running days like this, I wonder if I should stop running all togetherness, not run the half in November.  I was in full feeling sorry for myself mode.  Besides, my heel was slightly hurting.  I ended up taking Saturday off  and today, I resumed my training. Sometimes I just need some time to get a new perspective.  Today, (no sitter) I had to do my run on the treadmill and decided to aim for 6 miles again.  I set the incline to 1 and went to running.  First 3 miles were a little bit of a struggle but mile 4 felt good.  Around mile 5, I was having to push myself to keep going.  Sometimes, those voices want me to just quit and walk!  Not today!!!!  I was able finish my run at a consistent pace without any walk breaks.  This has been my longest run since my last race.  I want to continue increasing my long runs by 1 mile per week until race week.  That's about 5 or 6 weeks away.  I figure if I can run 10 or 11 miles by then,  I won't have any trouble finishing the half...  I am trying to be real careful about not overdoing it and getting hurt.  

I recently purchased a pair of compression socks.  I have noticed a few runners wearing them at races but I have never owned a pair.  I think with my Achilles/heel/foot/calf issues I recently encountered,  I am willing to trying anything.  The compression socks were costly but I wanted to give them a try.  I opted for the CEP 2.0 compression socks.  I wasn't sure if I would like them but when I put them on, it felt good.  It could feel the extra cushion on the bottom of my feet and the compression on my Achilles and calf.  I think I will probably wear them during my race!  I have also ordered a pair of heel lift and I am looking forward to trying them too.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Crochet Top and Running!!!!

Today was my first run in almost 2 weeks.  My last run was at the half marathon.  I have been letting my Achilles heal getting daily acupuncture treatment and taking herbal medicine to repair it.  It helps to have a family member who is licensed Both in Acupuncture and herbal medicine!  I have been taking it easy for some time now, even before my half marathon race.  My Achilles has not been hurting and I was going to take a few months off.  After talking with hubby, he suggested I go for a run and see how it feels.  Makes sense to me, especially since he is the one who is the voice of reason and has lots of knowledge on sports injury.

This afternoon, I set out for my favorite running trail.  I wanted to run 4 miles, if possible and see how it goes.  I didn't want to get injured so I set out at an easy pace.  I actually felt good during the first 2 miles. It felt great to run again.  After mile 2, I took a short 1 minute walk break and resumed my running.  Mile 3 and 4 also went well and I finished at about 4.65 miles according to my runkeeper.  Taking 2 more 1 minute walk breaks before I was finished.  My Achilles felt fine after my run.  I am hoping tomorrow it will still be feeling good, that will be the true test.  I have been icing it, just in case.  I'll just have to wait to see how it feels tomorrow!  It's nice to feel hope again that I may be able to run my half marathon in November!  If I do, I will train smarter this time and not over train!

My crochet/knitting has been on the back burner since I've been concentrating on running.  The crochet top, "In The Shade" has been on hold for a while.  I started this crochet top in late July.  I think I also got bored with the pattern.  Yesterday, I decided to finish the last few row.  It is now complete!  Here it is:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Half Marathon Completed!!!!

I completed my first half marathon last Saturday and I am now finally ready to blog about my experience.

I had been looking forward to my first half marathon for so long so when the day became closer, I found that I was not as excited about it.  On Friday, I was driving to the expo.  I arrived in Peachtree City around 4 pm, picked up my packet and looked around the expo.  I purchased a handana and a pair of super light glasses.  Next was check in and I was disappointed to find out the hotel may not have enough shuttle to race site in the morning because they did not know they were suppose to provide this service.  It was disappointing and so after settling in, I went to find where the race shuttle site was and pick up dinner.  By the time I returned to the hotel with my dinner, it was after 8:00.  It was way later than I wanted to eat.  I did not get any chance to buy snacks or water for the morning.

That night, I tossed and turned.  I did not get any sleep!  I think I was too nervous and not to mention dehydrated.  I had not hydrated well in the last few days like I should of.  The wake up call was set for 4 am but I was already up.  I got ready and I was out the door around 5.  On the way to my car, the hotel shuttle was there and I decided to take the shuttle at the last minute.  I had wanted to wear my other sneakers because the pair I was wearing felt lose.  (I had just gotten them on Thursday and I only ran 1 mile in them).  Once on the shuttle, everyone seemed confused to where the start was.  Fortunately, it was the right place.  Arriving so early (5:30), I had so much time.  Around 7:05, I decided to make the last port-a-potty run before my race starts at 7:30 since I was in the first corral.  I was shocked in a matter of minutes, how long the lines were.  Everyone had the same idea.  Anyways, by the time, I was in the starting line, I had literally 2 minutes before the start!

On that Saturday, it was still unusually humid and warm for September.  Normally, September is when it cools off but this week has been hot and humid!

I was set to run in the first group.  I was surprised that I was not nervous at all.  The first few miles, I ran at a good pace, not going out too fast.  I took my energy gel at mile 3.  Around mile 5, I could feel the fatigue start to set in.  Mile 5 and 6 were tough, which is surprising because miles 3 to 6 are usually my best miles.  The course turned out to be quite hilly, unlike what was described, as flat and fast.  It was not flat!  At mile 7, I was on track to meet my time for the half.  That's when I was in trouble.  I tried to run about 10 steps and my calf muscle would tighten up.  Every time I attempted to run, it would tighten up and give out.  I was worried that I would not be able to walk.  I attempted to stretch a few times and even started to drink Gatorade at the water stops but it didn't help.  It was frustrating knowing that I would have to walk for the rest of the race.  The spectators on the course were supportive and I wish that I could of kept running.  I was so happy to see the finish line and I wished that I could of run it in but I knew I couldn't.  I was greatful that I was able to cross the finish line without myAchilles  giving out but I wish that I was able to run most of the course.  My time was disappointing, under 3 hours.  Yes, I finished and completed my first half marathon but I was so disappointed with myself.  I was fighting too many battles, both mental and physical...

Back at the hotel, I had realized that I needed to turn this negative attitude around and focus on the positive and what I learned.  I learned so many lessons that I would not otherwise have learned.  Here are some of the key things I learned.  Not necessarily in this order:  I needed to have a positive attitude and make sure mentally I am prepared for the race, to not get distracted.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate days before the race and especially the night before!  Yes, I read this and I was told to hydrate but I didn't.  Make sure to eat enough calories and carb load a few days ahead of time.  Bring water and snacks with me for the trip, don't count on getting it the day before the race in a new town. Get to expo and eat early so I can relax and unwind.  Don't wear new sneakers the day of the race.  Again, I read this, don't try anything new on race day!  So true!

I remember thinking that I would not do this race again next year but after a few days, I realized that I want and will do this race again next year.  Redemption, to do it right and to conquer the hills!  So for now, I will rest my Achilles and look forward to when I can once again run and get back to running!