Monday, November 19, 2012

Hi! I'm Jill & I'm a RUNNER!


Back in June I started the Couch to 5K program. I had attempted it before and got too eager, and failed. This time around, I wanted to succeed so I followed the program nice and slowly like it suggests. On a few rest days, I did take a spin class until about halfway into the program where I had to run more. I didn't want to get so sore to where I'd lose momentum. Along the way I signed up for my first 5K, because I knew I'd be more likely to quit if I didn't have something I was working towards.  Around the Week 4 marker, I treated myself to a real pair of running shoes. The Brooks Ghost 4s were a huge improvement from the old, cheap shoes I had AND I was wearing the wrong size! Who knew? At the end of C25K I logged a total of 56 miles and completed my first 5K on August 18th. It was a downhill race, so you're time is actually faster than a normal 5K (accept this one had TWO hills I walked up) but my time was 00:35:41 and a great starting personal record.
Again, knowing races would help me continue running then I registered. I ran The Mud Crusade in September with two mommy friends in Atlanta. It was definitely an experience!! We took this one slow, as Julie was injured, and we had to wait a few minutes at each obstacle. A bunch of husbands and wives are signed up for the Warrior Dash in May 2013 so I'm looking forward to that race!
In the search for Fun Runs, I stumbled upon The Firefly Run to be held in Atlanta in early October. This race has lots of energy, and with it being a night run lots of glow in the dark and flashing lights. There were music stations set-up throughout the race and some runners dressed up in costume which kept my amusement on high alert. I guess I should have started blogging about my journey into running months ago, because now I cannot find my final time for this race.
All this time, I had been dreaming about running Disney. Come on, all the Disney Magic into a race, where do I sign up!?! Well, somewhere along the line, I learned the WDWMarathon was going to be celebrating it's 20th Anniversary. This sounded like the ultimate Fun Run! On Labor Day, I decided on The Princess Half Marathon in February, which is also the 5th Anniversary celebration of this race. By this time I was already following lots of runDisney fans on Twitter and read through lots of race recaps of the Disneyland Half Marathon held Labor Day Wknd. I just couldn't help myself, and as the registration filled up for the WDWMarathon, I got more and more anxious (and impulsive) and jumped right on in!

The excitement of registering for the WDWMarathon set in immediately...slowly the nerves and anxiety started to emerge. What did I get myself into? Would I be prepared? I don't want to be picked up by the sweepers! The more I read through training guides and runner blogs, I decided it might be best to look into a longer (not 5K fun run) to help better prepare myself to runDisney. I found the Lady Speed Stick Women's Half Marathon which coincided with our Thanksgiving travels to Tampa.
I truly felt unprepared going into my first Half Marathon. I knew I could & would finish, but had no idea what to expect from this race. In October I only logged 43.67mi, but according to my training schedule I should have been over 100. I visited an orthopedic after having some weird feelings in both my knees. Luckily it's nothing serious, I was given a few stretches to do daily, a prescription anti-inflammatory and doc recommended trying to ice my knees multiple times a day. I wanted to be sure I wasn't going to injure myself during the race. 

I really enjoyed my first race expo, although it was smaller than I was expecting.  I got to check out a few different brands of race apparel and found myself a cute shirt to commemorate this race. From this point, I put all negative thoughts aside and pushed forward because I was going to finish a half marathon!



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