Fear Not…

One month from today, I will run my first marathon. Here’s the thing, I said I would NEVER run one. Why? FEAR!

I have run several races at various distances: 5k, 10k, 10 miles and 13.1. I was afraid to run 26.2. I have heard horror stories and I let them get the best of me…until now. Yes, I was afraid at registration as well. But I faced my fear and registered any way.

I have looked fear in the face and started training with others who are running their first marathon as well. I am trusting in my training. I am nervous but no longer afraid. Why? Strength.
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This Chase Infinite tank is a reminder of how I need to view my fears. Be strong and face my fears because I can do it. I am stronger than I think I am. I am capable of more. The motto I will use for this race is…

Forget
Everything
And
Run

What fears have you faced and overcome? I am working on overcoming another….stay tuned.

Weekend Recap –  Bald Girl Inc. 5k Race and 911

On Saturday morning I ran the Bald Girl Inc. 5k to raise awareness for Alopecia Areata.  It was a fun run.  The weather was a little warmer than I expected.  I met with fellow members of Black Girls Run.  It was a beautiful morning for a run.  I was next to my marathon training partner Davida.  She was pumped.  I was telling myself to take it easy since I had a 15 mile marathon training run on Sunday.

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The horn sounded and we were off.  The course was flat and through a neighborhood. I was taking it easy.  Mile one came easy, mile 2 was when my breathing was off. I felt my chest tighten and I slowed down to catch my breath.   I said “just keep running! 1 mile to go take it slow and steady! “

I got to the finish line.  I made it!  My friend was there waiting for me.  She finished first overall.  So proud of her!  She reprimanded me for forgetting my inhaler.  She made me sit down and got me water.  My breathing settled back to normal and the nausea went away.

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I checked my results.  I finished 5th overall and 1st in my age group.  Not too shabby for not being able to breathe that well. I will receive a prize pack from Skechers and in a random drawing, I won 30 days with a personal trainer. Although I could not breathe and feel that I could have done better,  I am still proud of my accomplishments.
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My marathon training run was scheduled for 15 miles.  We chose a route with hills.  No matter how much I hate hills, I always incorporate them into my training.  We were at mile 7 when we had to make a pit stop for the bathroom.  Luckily we found a restroom in the park.  We were back on track.  Mile 12, my hamstrings were tight, I had to walk. I walked a bit and ran a bit up until mile 13.  Then I could not run any more without cramping.  My friend walked with me.

We were walking and talking when I heard my phone say “911 what is your emergency?”  I was shocked.  My phone was in my fuel belt, how did I dial 911?  I immediately told the operator there was no emergency and apologized for the error.  I still do not know how I dialed them.  I will definitely make sure my phone is locked on my runs from now on.

I hope you all had an active weekend.  Never stop moving!

 

Returning to Marathon Training – 20 Mile Run

I woke at 4:00 am to prepare to meet my running partners at 5.  I was nervous and wanted to calm myself before the run. I was unable to run for a while due to illness.  At 4:20 I sent her a text saying, “I have decided to take it easy and run around my house. I don’t want any setbacks.” Then I sat in the dark, with my mind racing 100 miles per minute. I asked myself what I was afraid of.  I could not answer.  I sent another text “I have changed my mind, I am on my way!” She responded “See you there! It’s going to be an easy run.  We need to pace ourselves.”

I put on my running clothes, my polar, jacket and grabbed some water.  I was out of the door and on my way.  I was nervous.  The drive was quiet and I kept pushing the doubts out of my mind. I was ready to test my body.  I wanted to see if I had it in me.  20 miles, that would be the longest run I have ever ran.

I arrived at the park, it was still dark.  We were greeting one another and getting ready to go.  We went over the route again.  My nervousness turned into excitement.  I was ready to test my body and give this run my all.
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Miles 1 – 6:  The miles were coming easy, I felt good. We were catching up, laughing and talking.  I fell back in to where I previously left off.

Mile 7:  I started feeling sluggish, I needed to use the restroom.  I found one and went right back to running. The sun was rising. It was beautiful.
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Miles 8 – 15: I found my stride again and was on a good pace.  We wanted to stay around 10 minutes. We were right on track.

Miles 16 – 20: My running partner started having leg cramps.  She told me to go ahead, but I was not going to leave her.  I told her we could run for 10 minutes and walk for a minute.  It was helping me to. I began to feel nauseous at mile 18 and did not want to push myself too hard to have a relapse.
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I surprised myself! I ran 20 miles and erased all of the doubt that I had in my mind about completing a marathon. I am looking forward to running and finishing my first marathon. 26.2 here I come!

Marathon Training – Week Seven

16 miles on tap.  I was looking forward to it.  I was thinking of this run as 8 miles out and 8 miles back to avoid being overwhelmed.  It was working. I was pumped!  Then I starting feeling sick.  I was trying to talk myself out of it and it was not working.  I started feeling worse as the week progressed.  I decided to listen to my body and not run.

I’m looking forward to week eight and getting my miles in. Hoping to feel better by then.
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Hoping these empty shoes will be filled this weekend. Wish me luck! Happy Running!

Marathon Training Week Six

This week’s training run was BRUTAL!!  First it was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday because of weather.  Thunderstorms, we decided safety first. I had to mentally prepare for a Sunday run.  I am used to resting, relaxing and running a few errands.

I got my clothes and gear ready then I set my alarm for 4:15 am.  I got up, got dressed and was ready to run.  I got to the meeting place and was warming up. It started to rain.  It was my first time training in the rain.  It was AWFUL!  The rain was in my eyes, my feet and clothes were wet and it was just plain uncomfortable.  Running on a road in the dark and rain was not the best idea.

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It started to rain harder, and we decided to turn around at the 3 mile mark for safety reasons.  We got 6 miles in.  I needed 14.  I wanted to get 14 in.  I told myself that I WILL run later. I had to.  I am taking this training very seriously and I want to get in all of my long runs.

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I went home, showered, took my car to get an oil change. Then I took a nap.  I had 8 miles lingering over my head. I got up, got dressed and ran.  It was cloudy and humid.  The first 6 miles were easy but the last 2 were BRUTAL!  The humidity was kicking my ass! I had sweat in my eyes and my breathing was not good at all.

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I got it in! I got my 14 miles in!!  I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.  The best part of it all was hearing my boys and their friends tell me that I did a good job.  One of the best feelings in the world is having your child compliment you and more importantly be proud of you.

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I hope your runs were easy and enjoyable.  Not all runs will be but I just keep telling myself “a run is a run.  As long as you get out there, you are still running. Not all runs will be easy and the tough ones are lessons. Keep the faith, believe in yourself and run!”

Marathon Training – Week Five

All week I was prepping myself for this run.  13 miles. I kept telling myself I had it in me.  I told my friends and coworkers to hold me accountable. I’ve run half marathons but a training run is different. No crowds, no adrenaline rush and no cheers at the finish line. By the end of the week, I was ready.

My running partner and I made a plan and I mapped the route.  We would meet at 5 am and run 6.5 miles out and back.  I set out my gear the night before. I am still trying to get used to running with a fuel belt.  I set 2 alarms one at 4:00 am and the other at 4:15 am. I wanted to be up and out of the house by 4:45 am.

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Alarm went off and I got up. I was ready to run.  I was on the road and at the meeting place on time.  Since it was still dark, I used my headlamp to guide us until the sun came up. We decided not to run with our jackets to avoid overheating.  We synced out watches and set out on the road.

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My legs felt heavy.  I felt like a slug.  I felt slow!  I just kept telling myself “give it time, it’s the first mile, you’ll loosen up.”  I did not loosen up. Those first 6.5 miles felt like I had cement shoes on. The hills were brutal.  My legs were burning and I was gasping at the top of each one. I told myself I was not going to quit.  I took a few sips of my drink. I gathered my strength and prepared myself for the second half.

We started back on the same route. We were talking on the way back about how we were feeling.  I mentioned that I felt off, my legs were heavy and was not in my groove yet. She said she was felt the same way.  She was feeling slow and sluggish like I was.  I said, “Whew!  I thought I was slowing you down. I am feeling heavy and slow.  It is good to know that you feel the same way today.” She laughed.

At mile 9, we had to stop for a bathroom break at Starbucks. No drinks, just to use the bathroom and be on our way. It felt like I was starting the run all over again.  It was BRUTAL! My legs felt tight and tired.  I pushed through. I kept thinking that there are going to be times during the marathon that I am going to feel this way and I am going to have to push through in order to finish.

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I am conditioning myself for those tough times.  Don’t get me wrong; I know when to stop, when pushing through is not an option.  Today was not that day. I knew that my mind was trying to talk y body out of finishing and I was not going to let it.  I had it in me, I just had to dig a little deeper than usual to find it.

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We got back to our car, hugged, thanked one another for the encouragement, discussed the route and decided that next week’s run will be FLAT!! I am looking forward to it.  Keep on pushing!!

Marathon Training – Week Four and Run or Dye 5k

I had 12 miles on tap. My running partners and I had to decide where to run and what time. We all had prior commitments so we decided to start at 5 and selected a trail that we had run before to ensure we would get done our run in a timely manner.

IMG_9191 It was still dark when we started so we decided to wait until sunrise to run the trail. We ran the well lit streets out 3 miles and back 3 and picked up the trail there. I found $1 while running, the 2nd one this week. (I decided to play the lottery with the $2 and am hoping for the best). We picked up the trail and started running our remaining miles.

We ran, we talked and we laughed. It is always great running with my running girls. It is always a great time running with people who love and appreciate running as much as I do.

After my training run, I was off to a race. Run or Dye in Dover, Delaware. I got home at 7:30 and had to be at the race by 9. I showered and headed to the race to meet my friends. I got there 30 minutes before the start. I was supposed to run this race last year but I was rear ended on my way there.

This race was full of energy. Music was playing people were dancing and laughing as we approached the start line. As we lined up, people were dousing us with dye. There were Instagram contests and giveaways. I started off running and decided against it. It was not a timed race and I wanted to enjoy the sites and sounds of the race.

First color, blue…right in my mouth! Second color, yellow, third color purple, my mouth was closed. Whew! Then I was on the track of the Dover International Raceway. The track was steep, and I walked around the base, on pit road, passed victory lane and across the finish line on the track. The final color was pink. I decided to run through the final color.

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I headed to the stage and it was a lot going on. Throwing prizes into the crowd (I caught a bag of yellow dye) and one huge dye bomb. They walked though the crowd with a box of pink dye. I grabbed a handful and waited for the countdown. 5,4,3,2,1 a cloud of color was in the air and everyone was cheering. It was a blast. Next year it will be a fun run with my boys.

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I had a fun weekend and I hope all of you did as well.

Marathon Training – Week Three

My running partners and I decided to try a new trail. We were to meet at 6 am. It was a new trail and I got lost on my way there. I called and my girls got me there. 11 miles were scheduled. I arrived at 6:30 with the help of the ladies. They met me at the entrance and I followed them to the parking area. We parked and decided which way we were going. We did our dynamic stretching and were off.

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It was beautiful. We were running along the canal. We got to the end of the trail at about 4 miles in and we started to head back in the opposite direction. As we were running, I reluctantly told the girls I need to stop at the restrooms. (This trail had real restroom, not Port-O-Potties, which I avoid at all costs). This was the first time I’ve ever needed a bathroom break during a run.

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I stopped at the bathroom on mile 7. This is where it gets dicey. I lined the toilet and used the facilities. I thoroughly washed my hands, feeling like a new woman. I was ready for the final 4 miles. I began to sweat, so badly it was getting in my eyes. As I made the turn to run to my car, I caught a glimpse of something.

I had TOILET PAPER hanging from my Capri pants like I had a tail! It was HILARIOUS! I could not stop laughing! I composed myself and started running again. My pants felt lumpy, and there was another wad of toilet paper that had slipped down my leg. Yes, I started laughing again. Miles 8 – 10 we talked about the race, training schedule and planning next week’s run. I like planning in advance and running new trails with the girls.

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Mile 11, we decided to pick up the pace. We wanted to finish strong. We finished strong 7:54 pace with an average pace of 9:50. I am proud of myself for running something I was afraid to run. I still do not know why I was afraid, but I am facing my fears. Go out there and face your fears!

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