The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Savannah Women's Half Marathon--Half Marathon Attempt #7

I was reminded of a quote in my old CrossFit box, Fall down 7 times, get up 8.

Well, I fell down 6 times, and have gotten up 7.

We went to the expo on Friday night with the plan of getting our stuff, then heading to the Hotel.  My sister told me to buy the "I did it" or finisher t-shirt and just own it and KNOW I was going to finish.  I was going to, however, they didn't have one to buy.  The only thing I'm sad about is that I didn't buy a t-shirt, and we didn't get one with our registration.

While we were at the Expo, we signed up for the RNR Savannah in November.  I knew I
HAD to finish on Saturday.

We got up on Saturday and got ready to go to the race.  It started in Savannah's historic Forsyth Square.  On the way to the start line, I took a picture of the finish line and posted it on my Facebook page with the caption "See you in about 4 hours".  There was a 4 hour time limit for the race, and I was planning to walk the majority of the race.  I started using my RunKeeper app, and following the 30 second run/30 second walk intervals.  I figured I'd stick with those until I just couldn't stand it anymore and then I would walk.

To my surprise, at mile 6, I was still feeling pretty dang good.  about mile 6.5 I was a bit crampy and decided to eat the banana I had in my skirt pocket.  I missed a few running intervals while I was eating my banana.  I threw my peel away and got right back to my intervals.  The miles were clicking by fairly quickly (I know, I'm slower than slow, but for me, it seemed fast)

I just kept plugging along and running/walking whenever my running app told me to.  I did see the "sag wagon" following the last 3 ladies when I was between miles 7 & 8.  The last ladies were just after mile 6, as this was the part of the course where we went up and back and around the same park about 6 different ways.  I was a good bit ahead of them, but felt my anxiety starting to creep up.  As soon as it started I told myself, "no, run 30 seconds...walk 30 seconds....that is ALL that matters right now!"

I absolutely REFUSED to let anything negative enter my mind.  I had met with my running coach only once, but he told me that running is the most mental sport.  I told him that I have no faith in my ability to be a runner, or have any success athletically.  My sister is the athlete.  She is the one that everyone just knows will be good at things.  Anything she decides to do, if it's a sport, she's gonna kill it, or die trying.  I've always been the girly girl.  No one expects me to be athletic.  I want to be an athlete, but I just don't have any faith in my ability to be successful.

I refused to let anything negative get to me this time.  I started thinking at mile 8, "OMG, I still have 5 more miles to go?  How can I do this?"  So then I turned it around mentally and said, "You've finished 8 miles and the only time you didn't do your run intervals was when you were eating, KEEP IT UP!"

I hit the historic square before mile 9 (I had seen the mile 9 sign before I turned right to run around the square so I knew I was close).  Not long after that my sister called to see where I was.  The cool thing is, even when I was talking on the phone, my running app would notify me of the upcoming interval.  So even while on the phone with my sister, my mom, my kids, my husband, I kept doing my intervals.  When I talked o my sister at mile 9, she said, "oh, so you'll be here in about an hour."  I asked her what time it was, and she said, "9:35".  I almost passed out!!

That meant that I had done between 8 and 9 miles in 2 hours...averaging about 15 minute miles....and I was at mile 9.  Unheard of for me.  I was shocked, in a good way, and just kept plugging along.

I got past mile 10, then mile, mile 11 was brutal.  Why?  Not physically, no....but I was getting hungry...and someone between miles 11 & 12, somewhere, was cooking fried chicken.  I could smell it.  If I had known who it was, I would likely have busted through their door to steal a piece.  It smelled AMAZING!!!  I wanted a piece of that dang fried chicken.

I got to mile 12....almost the furthest I have ever been.  (remember at the Battleship Half I made it to mile 12.5).  Around the end of mile 11 my hamstrings would no longer let me run my 30 second intervals.  Kara called me again somewhere during mile 12.  I told her that I was somewhere in mile 12 and would be finishing soon.  About that time, I passed two of Savannah's finest, and asked them where I was, they said mile 12-1/2.  I told Kara that I couldn't run anymore, so it'd probably be like about 10-15 minutes.  Not too long after that, I turned a corner and I could see the fountain in Forsyth Park.  I started to cry...I knew I was going to make it.  I didn't give a CRAP about the time.  I was going to finish a half marathon!

I kept going, and a lady near me saw that I was crying and asked why.  I explained I had never finished a half marathon but had attempted it MANY times.  She slowed her pace a bit to stay with me, and encourage me through the last quarter mile or so.

Before I knew it, there was a guy telling us, "'re in the finisher's chute!!"  I was in shock.  There were people sitting on the park benches around the fountain, like spectators at a horse race.  I saw the mile 13 marker, and I wanted to run some intervals to finish.  I made myself run a bit.  I kept putting one foot in front of another.  I looked up at the finish line and could see the clock, which showed 3:27 something.  This is huge, because all Run Disney races, and most half marathons have a cap time of 3:30.  I was going to not only finish, but I was going to finish in under 3:30.  This is HUGE!!

Here are my split times, from RunKeeper, the third column has to do with change in elevation in each mile
1 mi
2 mi
3 mi
4 mi
5 mi
6 mi
7 mi
8 mi
9 mi
10 mi
11 mi
12 mi
13 mi
14 mi

Then I looked up and saw my sister, standing there waiting for me.  She had my medal, and she was going to put my medal on.  I crossed that finish line....and I cried, A LOT!  My sister hugged me and we cried together.  She was there to put my medal on me.  We took a finisher's photos, and I couldn't be more proud.

I am moving forward and will continue to run and work hard.  My next race is the Rock-n-Roll Chicago Half Marathon in July.  I do have a running coach, who will help me to get to reach all of my goals.  I'm hoping to train and get a bit faster, and see if I can't finish that race in under 3 hours...even 2:59:59 would work.  I know I can.

Thank you to everyone who has been so amazing and supportive of me and my goals over the years.  You all help me continue to chase my dreams, rather than giving up on them.

3 years, and I'm STILL fighting!

Three years ago at the end of February my kids went to Florida to watch the final shuttle launch.  While they were there, my Mom and Dad, my kids, my niece and my sister stayed at Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Property.  As a last minute thing, my sister signed up for the 5k during Princess Half Marathon weekend.  She told me how awesome it was, and seeing all the ladies dressed up in princess costumes while running, and that she was going to sign up.  I had decided to seriously work on my weight issues, and thus, the road to me finishing a half marathon began....

I was working with a Personal trainer, and seeing significant changes in my weight and ability, but he ended up leaving the gym, and I was again lost at sea.  My trainer hadn't talked to me about the logic behind what I was doing, he didn't teach me what to do or why I should do it.  I was at sea without a rudder, so I went back to old, unhealthy habits, and pretty much quit working out again.  Not having any concept of what it took to run a half marathon, and in complete denial about just how miserable unhealthy I was, I decided to start training in early January for a late February race.  This was a horrible decision that led to a early diagnosis of having a broken bone in my right foot after just 1 run.  The follow-up with my orthopedist showed no break, so I was basically told that running at 270 pounds was of course going to hurt, but if I kept running and moving, my weight should go down, and thus, the pain in the foot would get better.

February 26, 2012, I attempted the Princess Half Marathon.  I made it a whopping 2 miles before I saw a charter bus pulled across the road, and the bus took me to the finish line.  We were encouraged that even Cinderella had to catch a ride to the ball.  We were given our medals, and congratulated for our efforts.  I found this laughable, and didn't feel like I deserved my medal at all.  To this day, I'm not even sure where that medal is.  I didn't feel worthy of that medal.

I'm nothing if not persistent, sometimes to my own detriment.  I hurried up and registered for the Battleship Half Marathon in Wilmington, NC for the first weekend in November of 2012.  It had a 3 hour time limit for runners, but walkers were welcome, and could start an hour earlier to have a 4 hour time limit.  I didn't train between the two.  I did a 5k here in town and then waited for the race.  Again, I was in complete denial of just out horribly unhealthy and out of shape I was.  That day, I made it 12.5 miles before I threw in the towel.

Attempt number 3 at a half marathon was the Princess Half Marathon 2013.  I again made it 10 miles.  My foot was really painful.  I reached the point where the pain in my foot was SO BAD that I was feeling nauseous with every step.  I sat down and waited for that oh-so-dreaded charter bus to take me to the finish line.  That afternoon I went to the ER and they suspected I had a stress fracture.  I again followed up with an orthopedist who said there was no fracture or break, just the expected pain from running at 260 pounds or so.

In June of 2013 I ran a local 5k here in my town, and it took me almost an hour to finish, and then I couldn't walk right for nearly 3 days.  I finally went to a foot specialist who sent me for an MRI.  They found a small break in my Navicular bone.  This is one of the bones in the foot that bears weight.  As a result of it being an old break, I got to spend 8 blissful, sweaty and hot weeks in a boot.  Bone healed.

On September 30, 2013, I went ahead with Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.  Once cleared to start exercising, I did...very slowly.  Then I decided to sign up for a transformation challenge at my gym.  in the first week of the challenge, I went to a Zumba class and tore up my left knee.  I ended up having to have knee surgery a year ago, on March 6.  about 6 weeks later, I had a friend who won an entry to the Diva Half marathon.  I signed up, and made it to 7 miles, but my knee wasn't ready, and locked up.  This is also the race where I learned about the horrors of a Neuroma in my foot.

On to attempt 5, the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon.  I always end up getting a nervous stomach.  I tend to take an Imodium to prevent it, but forgot it this particular morning.  I started having to stop at every port-o-potty from mile 4 on.  Not a good thing.  Especially as a post-op WLS patient.  Dehydration is a serious danger, which I found out for myself in Chicago.  I got to mile 8 and asked for some Imodium.  When they took my blood pressure I was immediately pulled from the course due to dehydration.  I was transported to the finish line, this time in an ambulance, and got Salted Gatorade (the worst invention since Pitocin in my opinion) to get myself rehydrated.

Attempt number 6 was at the Wine and Dine race at Walt Disney World, otherwise known as "Splash and Dash"  There is nothing more hellish than a night race that starts at 10:00 in 50* weather an pouring down rain.  I was swept at mile 11.

I was supposed to do the Glass Slipper Challenge in February, but I got a stomach bug and ended up in the ER instead.  As a consolation my sister signed the two of us up for the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon.  It was so very worth it!!!

Race recap coming up soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I have a running coach!!!

So, I've been attempting this running thing for the last few years, and failing miserably, over and over.

Here is what I have learned about myself over the last few years:

1.  I suck at holding myself accountable
2.  I need outside accountability
3.  No matter how much I want to do something I need external support

I found out tonight that I can sign up for unlimited monthly child care at our gym, which costs only $4 more than taking my 3 kids once.  So, this weekend, I'll be adding unlimited child care, so that the only limitation to my ability to work out is if child care is open or not.

The exciting news is that not having any timing stuff with me, just working at listening to Gene, I ran when he said to, walking when he said to.  After all was said and done, I did 2 miles, averaged a 15:41 pace, which include 2 warm-up laps and 2 cool-down laps.  That felt really good.

This is my base-line.  I'm excited for the next few months and training for the Rock 'n Roll Chicago Half Marathon.  I'm going to do measurements, and weight this weekend.  I'm also going to walk the Publix Savannah Half Marathon to get a baseline time

I'll post more when I get done on Saturday afternoon.