Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bridge Day 5k

In 2013 a 5k would have been nothing for me to run. That is what I ran when I didn't have a lot of time. On Saturday, October 15th, a 5k was a big deal. I've worked on getting back to that mileage. I'm slower, a lot slower.

And it wasn't easy.

Let's start on Friday. I joined my sisters in an adventure in itself. We went tent camping for the night. It was located in Fayetteville, WV (the location of the race) which is not far from where I live. We got the tent set up. Realized it has two holes in it because it's probably twenty years old and was given to me by my grandfather. So I crossed my fingers that it didn't rain.

After dinner and trying to find my sisters friend who ended up going the completely wrong direction and having to stay with my mom, we went to the bar at the campground to watch several bands play. I should note that the bands didn't start until 10 pm. I usually go to bed at 10! And close crowds are not my scene. And I'm trying to not drink a bunch of alcohol so that it doesn't throw my body off course from eating healthy. Needless to say by 12:30 I was back at our campsite, sitting by the fire. I went to bed shortly thereafter. I was doing okay with my three blankets on top (it dropped into the 40's) and two sleeping bags underneath me for some cushion...for about an hour. Then the musicians decided to move the party to their cabin. Which was right behind our tents. All night. Literally all night of singing, loud talking, laughing, etc. I woke up at 6:20am to get ready and they were still going. How in the hell did they still have voices after that long???

Other than being tired and a bit pissed, I felt okay. I was afraid my back would act up from being on the ground all night, but I got lucky and after some stretching it felt okay.

I was at the high school by 7am to pick up my bib. I ate peanut butter and banana on a slice of Ezekiel bread for breakfast in my warm car. We had to load onto buses by 8 to get to the start line, so I just hung out, looked at Facebook for a while, used the port-o-potty, stretched some more until 8.

Security for this event was extremely high. Higher than any other race I've been to. We listened to the local police give us directions and they checked anything we took with us. Bags weren't allowed. I suppose they are rightly cautious in this day and age of any bomb material that people could take on the bridge. The FBI was even there!

We had a strict start time of 9:15. Therefore, we just had to hang out on the side of the highway for an hour. Since this is the inaugural event, maybe that will change in the future, but it got to be a bit boring. No one was allowed onto the bridge yet, but they had bathrooms that everyone could use. Which was a good thing! I did meet a lady, Lynn, on the bus who lives in Fairmont. Where I used to live. So I got to reminisce about the wonderful trails in that area that I miss so much.

Lynn and I at the finish line.
FINALLY, 9:15 came and we were off!

Going across the New River Gorge Bridge was beautiful. I tried to take it all in.

My first running selfie, haha

The morning had started out relatively chilly, so most of us had on jackets. The race offered to take our things to the finish line, but most of us kept ours. I think we all regretted that. Two minutes on the bridge in the sun and I was hot! But it was beautiful! And my sisters arrived to the bridge in time to see me go by! That made my day!

I was still smiling at this point! After the highway, it was all hills. I don't think I've ever run on so many hills for a 5k ever! They had posted a video of the race course, but I didn't bother watching it. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't because I would have been dreading it. I knew there were some hills, but I didn't expect them to be as steep as they were. I'm not ashamed to say that I walked up just about all of them.

Walking the first hill

If you want to see the race course video you can go here,

After a lot more hills and a loop around the town park, my watch vibrated with the notification of three miles. We weren't close to the finish yet! Turns out it was more around 3.65 miles long rather than the 3.1 it was supposed to be. But that was okay. My time was off because of that, but I knew it was going to be slow. I finished with a time of 45 mins and 46 seconds. I was happy to be done!

After I got my beautiful handmade medal for finishing I met my sisters to enjoy the festivities.

By the time I finished, the bridge was pretty packed. We had a good time though. The jumpers from the bridge are crazy! Here are a few pictures from the day.
"Jumping from the bridge" yeah right!

Add caption

Can you tell we are sisters?

Santa? Kei finally made it safely to Bridge Day (after getting lost the night before)

Those specks are people!

We probably walked another three miles that day! But it was a beautiful day.

After lunch in town and packing up our campsite, I immediately went home, showered, and took a two hour nap. It was glorious!

In all, I wasn't exactly happy with how my 5k turned out. I was glad I could do it and finish it. However, I was hoping that my legs would have been stronger. That is something I am now working on. I set up my bike trainer and I'm already working in more strength training.

I also wasn't thrilled to see how I looked in the photos of the race. I long for a day where I am happy with how I look. But it's a work in progress. I definitely feel better now that my eating habits are getting better. I can already tell a difference in my energy levels. I've lost a few pounds and I'm pretty sure I've already lost some weight around my waist. So that is all good. But really I am just so happy right now that I can do any of this that what I look like is an after thought. I know I can get stronger, it will take consistency though.

My next race will be the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, so I'll keep working at it all. And it's a flat course so I'm hoping to see my finish time to be closer to 32-34 minutes. But we'll see!

Until next time, I will be consistent with my exercise and eating habits and work on getting stronger! :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

In 7 Months

I haven't blogged in about 7 months! I suppose that I just didn't feel worthy of writing anything down, since I haven't been doing much and having such a hard time with my health.

But I've been trying to turn myself around and feel like I'm headed in the right direction.

I did have a few 'big' things happen this summer:

1. Um I got Married!!

It was a small get together. We got married on the steps of my great grandfather's church. We had our close friends and family there. Then we simply went to one of our favorite restaurants, had a wonderful meal and cake that his sister made for us. It was perfect!

We wanted  a small wedding so that we could have a nice honeymoon.

Hello, Alaska!

We went to Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Anchorage, and the Prince William Sound. It was all gorgeous. We had a blast! I'd love to go back and do some hiking. We only had about a week, so we were limited on what we could see. I absolutely loved it though!

2. I've been running, kind of.

It has been slow going. My back is still not right which makes running correctly kind of hard. I have bulging discs which over the summer I had my nerves burned (it's called radiofrequency ablation) to help with the pain. It helped some, but I still have pain. I'm trying though. I used Runs For Cookies training plan to get back up to three miles. It's pretty damn humbling, when you were used to running half marathons and now I'm not sure I can do the 5k I have on schedule for tomorrow. It's damn frustrating!

But I have to work slowly. I have to strengthen my core so that my whole body is stronger and my back won't be so week.

I am excited for the 5k in a way though. It's the inaugural race for a big event that we have in our area. It's the Bridge Day 5k.
(This picture is from their website.) But I get to run across that bridge and be among the first to do so! The race supports Active Southern WV, which is an organization whose mission is to make our communities in this area more active and healthier. Which is awesome!

I just hope I don't die!

Depending on how this goes, I'll start either increasing my mileage or just work on getting stronger and better at running this distance. We'll see.

3. I've began a new nutrition plan/class. It's with the popular Swim Bike Mom group, called Swim Bike Fuel. I am not a mother, but its great for people that are/want to be active and need help nutritionally to fuel themselves.

It began on October 1st and it has been eye opening to say the least. I've learned so much already about added sugars in our food, artificial sweeteners (goodbye Diet Coke!), and what's best for me.

It's a six week course, so I still have a ways to go, but I'm learning. I've already implemented quite a few of the lessons, such as giving up Diet soda, cutting back on the added sugar in my food, and planning when I want to have a treat and when I need to pass. And water! I've been drinking so much water! Most days now I've been consuming more than 100 ounces of water per day. Which is crazy to me. I've never been good about drinking this much. I've also never had to pee so much in my life!

Next step is working on getting more green veggies in my life.

I've definitely been having withdraw from the sugar and artificial sweetener. My head hurt and sometimes I feel extremely tired, but I know it's from years of feeding my body unhealthy foods. I'm really happy I made the commitment to eat healthier. I'm not going to be perfect at it, but it feels good to be trying. It's also really nice to have a group to lean on and to learn from. Because I have been getting some harsh/funny looks and comments when I tell people that I'm cutting back on certain foods.

There will be more adventures in my future, I'll just have to take it somewhat slower for now.

Walking with Mattie and my family at Babcock State Park

Part of the Appalachian Trail, WV

Appalachian Trail

You never know what you'll see when you go outside!