Category Archives: Running

Chasing Pavement

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With the end of January approaching and thoughts of spring (which I hear arrives pretty early in Atlanta) on my mind, I have been researching some fun races to participate in.  I’m always looking for a reason to train. One source of motivation for pursuing these races is my sister, Katie.

Katie successfully completed her first half marathon a week ago this morning. One year after recovering from a broken foot sustained during a training run for the half marathon we were meant to run together in 2010. I asked Katie if she would share her reflections on her renewed love of running and races with newlyeverything…

and now I turn it over to the lovely and wonderful KATIE

“Should I give up? Or should I just keep chasing pavement?” – ADELE

It’s funny how just a few music lyrics can bring you back to a specific moment in your life. You remember how old you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing and exactly how you felt. The above song, although addressing a bad breakup, leads me to think back to the day I broke my foot only 3 shorts weeks prior to running my first half marathon.

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Ever since, it has been my goal to cross that finish line and last weekend, in Naples, Florida…. I DID IT!

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The night before the race was filled with a little carbo-loading, football watching, and nerves. With my support crew by my side, we went to Naples Tomato, a fantastic Italian Restaurant only a few minutes from our condo. Being surrounded by family and one of my close college friends was exactly what I needed to relax and distract my self from the task at hand.

 

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I awoke the following morning, anxious and excited. Being the late sleeper I am, I was surprised to be so alert and ready to go at 4:30 in the morning… talk about new experiences. Having completed 2 half marathons herself, not to mention her accomplishment of finishing the 2009 Chicago Marathon, I took Sarah’s advice and enjoyed a breakfast of 2 plain English muffins with peanut butter and a banana. An hour later, I was out the door and headed to the starting line.

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7:00am…the moment I had been anticipating for some time was here. I was off and running!!

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And with a little hidden reminder of what this race meant to me.

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The air that morning was brisk and  50 degrees, a comfort to a Chicagoan such as myself, but cold for most of the Florida runners, including my Aunt and running partner Judy. It was humorous seeing the various articles of clothing being thrown to the curb by fellow runners as both the sun and the temperature began to rise.

The race itself was what you’d expect, lots of Gatorade, water, sore muscles and varying emotions of adrenaline and fatigue. However, it’s the little things, the experiences past runners don’t tell you about, that really give you that extra boost. For example, the sprinkling of holy water from a priest of a church conveniently located at mile 9 or the sign that read “You’re amazing, keep it up…total stranger!”

And then, when least expected… I saw it…THE FINISH LINE!!! All the energy that I thought I had lost, all of the emotions I didn’t know I was feeling, suddenly burst out of hiding and provided me with the push I needed to finish this journey the way I always wanted to…in fact, better than I initially imagined. I ended up finishing under my goal time of 2 and half hours and instead finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, and 23 seconds.

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I crossed the finish line, was awarded my medal and, before I was able to fully catch my breath, was in the arms of my family. Tears of joy I didn’t expect, instantaneously began to fall down my cheeks. I had finished what I started. I started the race unsure of my ability and came out the other side a stronger individual. A new Katie.

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I can’t believe it’s all over, but I am confident it’s a day that I will never forget. How do I know this? It’s easy! “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas was playing when I finished the race…and you know what they say about music lyrics and memories…

2012… Off and Running

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Well, this year is off and running…literally. I participated in the @nikerunning and @nikeplus hangover challenge via twitter and started the morning off with a 3.75 mile run around the neighborhood.

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It was a great way to start the day, kick off the year, and get moving after the last few days of road trippin’ back from southwest Florida.

With 80 degree temps and plenty of sunshine, I spent most of my time here…

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with my favorite people in the world…

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Our holiday was a wonderful celebration of friends and family.

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filled with lots of laughter, great food and some special surprises from Santa

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We arrived back in Atlanta with enough time to power nap and refuel for our “big” night out. After some drinks with friends, who were heading to a concert, Danny and joined the sea of orange and blue (team colors of both UVA and Auburn) heading to the Georgia Dome for the Chik-fil-A bowl. We don’t have any ties to either school but the seats were great and we love Chik-fil-A a good football match up.

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Some words to live by in 2012…

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We made it back home just before midnight to ring in 2012 with a bottle of champagne and coverage of Time Square.

A toast to you and your something new in 2012!

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My Run, Revamped

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 The weather this week is off to a beautiful start. I decided to take full advantage of this sunny morning with a quick run around my neighborhood. I am very excited for the extended outdoor running season and I hope that this new southern climate will boost my motivation to revamp my run.  While I don’t mind running in the cold (and actually prefer it to hot temps), I used to hit the treadmill as soon as the temps or the weather patterns became too variable. Unfortunately this could be very early when I lived in Boston. As you can imagine, that doesn’t do much for the motivation and many times I felt like this..

 

I always thought this commercial was funny, and the male actor is a friend from college

My more regular running schedule over the past few weeks comes after a several month break (or break-up if you will) with running.

In May, I ran the Run To Remember Boston Half Marathon and the conditions were awful. The hot and humid weather on race day combined my poor-training schedule (I was traveling a lot for pre-wedding activities and it was a cold & rainy Boston “spring”) left me way behind my goal time and totally burnt out! After the race, I swore of half marathons for good and definitely made my runs more sporadic and at one point, non existent. Running became a chore and I definitely wasn’t “running happy”.

I spent my time off taking long walks, on the elliptical machine or taking work out classes. I must say, though, that this marathon season has made me ancy, and I’m excited to get back in the swing! I plan to start off with lower mileage and focus on increasing speed. Considering this for my motivation (and half marathon redemption!)

This week, I commit to revamping my run and bringing the happy back (see hat above).  Some of my new tricks for the trail include the RunKeeper app I downloaded to my phone to track pace and distance and the Pandora app to keep the music interesting. I plan to use these programs for a while, unless I score one of these from Santa …

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Plus,  you can’t beat these views! This is where I get to run Smile I included a few hills today which are my least favorite thing (not used to them from growing up in Chicago). This provided a mental and physical challenge.  My goal is to, one day soon, run all of the hills on my route without breaking for a walk.

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Workout Stats: I am still working out the kinks of running with a tracking program. This morning I paused the tracker to take a picture and  kept the program off  for about .3 miles or so. I also forgot to shut it off when I arrived back home and waited for the elevator. Thus, the stats on the screen are  a little skewed but I made some estimates of what I did today based on my tech mishaps and how long I was gone for.

Mileage- 3.3-3.4

Time-31 minutes

Pace- around 9.30

Pandora Station- LMAFO “Party Rock Anthem”

After my run, I refueled with a smoothie. The combination was a recommendation from Stephanie. It tasted like chocolate milk! I must admit, the green color was a surprise (not sure what I expected though since it does have a handful of spinach in it!)

Ingredients:

1 banana (hint- frozen banana gives it a thicker texture)1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 large handful of spinach (I was skeptical..but I didn’t even taste it!)

4-6 ice cubes

blend & enjoy!

What is your motivation to get movin’?

What type of music keeps you going?