Five half-marathons, two 8Ks, and five 5Ks later, I have found my inner #fitfemale. I have challenged myself in ways I never thought possible. I didn’t start running until I was 36 and that was only for a bit. I played tennis and softball when I was very young, but I never ran in school. I was in band which meant I didn’t have to take PE, which thankfully meant no running. I used to joke that I would only run if being chased and I bet even that would not have been very fast.
That crazy idea I had at the end of 2011 to run a half marathon changed me. I thought I was crazy for wanting to do it, it would be a one-time thing and that would be it. Running my first half marathon at age 40 in February 2012 just seemed like a fun thing to try. I never imagined it would be the experience that it was and that of all things, I would go and run for fun. Every race since then has been just as rewarding.
Running has become a necessity. Of course there are days where it’s the last thing I want to do. But I know that it’s exactly what I need to do. As much for my well-being and my sanity as my waistline and health. It has made me stronger in so many ways. It has become a huge part of my most recent Weight Watchers journey.
When you run a half marathon, or challenge yourself to run every day of the month, or do bridge training week after week, you realize how strong you really are and how bright that fire is inside of you. You realize that anything is possible. In a world that is full of drama, chaos, and uncertainty, it is one of a handful of things I can control.
I take away something good from every single run, even the hard ones. It’s an instant mood lifter, a huge boost of confidence, and it has the ability to calm my anxiety and nerves. If something is bothering me and has me feeling overwhelmed, a good run will suddenly make anything seem possible and manageable. I wish my inner #ftifemale was around several years ago when I had to take an anti-depressant, but that was another time.
Yesterday, I had a first. I went for my afternoon run, 2.06 miles. And this happened… I ran a 9:48 mile. I have never run that fast. I may not run that fast again tomorrow or the next day, but it’s just another reminder that anything is possible.
If you think you can’t run, you are wrong. I am proof of that. Throw on those shoes and go for a run and see how it changes your life. It has changed mine.
Have you celebrated your inner #fitfemale? Or is there an inspirational #fitfemale you’d like to share with me? Also, be sure to visit the Fit Female Campaign over at WomenRaces.com to read posts and share your own!
Here we are, mid-April and my spring race season is officially over. It’s now 90 degrees outside and summer is here. Perfect time to give an update on my #11in2013 update.
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about the races / runs I planned to do this year. Nine of them, to be exact, with the a tenth to be determined. #10in2013 because my goal for the year.
It seemed like a challenge, since three of them were in the same month but I was up for it. The day before Gasparilla, I decided to add in one more, the Sarasota Half Marathon, because I couldn’t resist the fabulous medal. When I registered for that one, I changed my goal for the year to #11in2013. And as of this past Sunday, I have 6 of the 11 completed. These four and a half months have been a whirlwind and also brought me a new half marathon PR!
01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL – 44:16
02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL - 39:21
02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL - 3:02:53
02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL - 1:05:58
03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL – 2:48:12 (PR!!!!!)
04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL - 2:48:32
Another thing it brought me… Half Fanatic status! When I registered for Sarasota, I realized that three half marathons in 90 days was in my reach and as long as I completed it and Iron Girl, I would qualify. Three half marathons in 64 days, to be exact. I love the challenge of the half marathon distance and I think it may be my favorite race distance. Yes, I am half crazy.
I was so excited to receive the email with my Half Fanatic number…. You have to love an email that starts like this…
Nanci, at last you have found refuge, a place where you can call home, where the Fanatical can feel Normal again, and once again be treated like a normal human being.
Love it! I am Half Fanatic #3972 (Neptune), which is the lowest level, but still a Half Fanatic nonetheless. I earned that status. And, if I keep it up, maybe one day I’ll work my way up to the next level! Interested in learning more about Half Fanatics? Visit their website!
I am actually sad that all these races are done with and I am anxious for the fall to get here so they will start up again. Here’s what I have planned!
10/05/13 – 15th Annual Komen Florida Suncoast Race for the Cure 5K
11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL
11/28/13 – Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot, Clearwater, FL
- 11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL
- 12/??/13 – Color Run, St. Petersburg, FL
Do you like to plan your races ahead of time or do you just wing it? How many do you plan to do this year?
With the Iron Girl this weekend here in Clearwater, I find myself in the midst of yet another race week and as with every other one I’ve done, I’m so excited. In all honestly, I didn’t think this type of excitement would go on forever. I figured the first few races would and then the excitement would die down a little. That is so not the case for me.
The Iron Girl Half Marathon will be my 6th event for the year and my third half marathon. Who am I? When did I become this person who loves to get out there and run and sign up for races? Years ago, if you had asked me to run, I would have laughed. I swore the only way I would have run was if I was being chased. I used to be a walker, I would walk my heart out 5 days a week. I enjoyed it and it was what I needed at that time. In 2006 I temporarily became a runner. I was losing weight and it was easier to run. I eased my way into it and realized I could do it. But it wasn’t the same then as it is now. I didn’t crave it, I never signed up for races, and I didn’t feel the need to talk about it all the time.
In 2011 I jumped back into it, completely out of shape. It became my therapy and for the little bit of time I was able to do it, I enjoyed it. I slowly worked my way back into it. At the end of 2011, I decided it would run a race. I had no idea that it would lead to this.
I signed up for a small local 5K with my friend Terrie and we did it together. I huffed and puffed my way through it. This was weeks leading up to the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, which Terrie was also doing and we were spending most Saturday mornings walking together to get ready. Neither one of us was prepared to really run it, we just wanted to finish it.
I will never forget my first half marathon. I was all kinds of nervous the morning of, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. But I got totally wrapped up in the excitement of it and gave it my all. Somewhere along the way, I knew I wanted to run more of it than I thought. I finished 19 minutes faster than I guesstimated I would, cried I don’t know how many times during the race and as I crossed the finish line, and I don’t think I have ever been so proud of myself as I was at that moment. I was in pain, I hurt so bad, and I was already wondering when I could do it again.
My next race was just three weeks later, the Gasparilla 5+3K, also with Terrie. I loved that we were doing these together and cheering each other on. I was just as proud of her as I was myself. It was another great event and I knew that I wanted to do another and do better.
In the fall, I did my first mud run ever and my second half marathon, after dealing with sciatica. It had been my goal since the minute I crossed the finish line of my first half, to beat that time at my second. That didn’t happen but I was just so proud that I finished after being injured. I was also happy to know that the thrill of doing a half was still there.
2013 started with the Glow Run 5K and the Best Damn Race 5K (on my birthday!). Then I came full circle, running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon again. This year, I was determined to set a PR, and I did. More excitement, more living in the moment and being so proud of myself. I did the Gasparilla 8K again this year, and then I was randomly signing up for the Sarasota Half Marathon because of the amazing dolphin medal. Oh yeah, and this one had a bridge. Days before, I told hubby that it was just my goal to finish, that the bridge was really going to mess with my time and I’d be lucky to get in under the 4 hour time limit. I never in a million years expected to PR at that race. Never. Another proud moment, more crying, this time with less pain afterwards.
And now here I am, just days away from my 5th half marathon in just over a year. Still just as excited as every other one. And this one I’ve actually put some training in for, running the bridges a couple times a week, determined not to let those bridges get the best of me on race day. Hubby has been a trooper, keeping me company and pushing me a little more and more each time.
I run for stress relief. I run to get in shape. I run to feel better. I run because I love food. I run because it’s cheaper than therapy. I run because I can. I run because it makes me feel strong. I run because i t makes me proud.
Slowly but surely I have convinced myself that I am a runner. I. Am. A. Runner. No, I don’t run a 10 minute mile and no, I don’t run the whole time. But I’m getting more consistent with my pace and I’m running more than I walk. I am tackling the bridges to prove that I can. I’m getting stronger and better. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
After Sunday, I’ll officially be an Iron Girl. I’ll also be a Half Fanatic for having completed 3 half marathons within 90 days. It’s a wonderful thing to be proud of yourself, and most of all, it’s a huge motivator to keep going…
Why do you run? What motivates you? Tag #irunbecause and share!
Another month is coming to an end, which means it’s time to follow up on my February Gogalgetter2013 post. As a reminder, here is my post from the beginning of the month.
My goal for February was to complete the 3 races I was registered for!
It seemed like an easy task, I was already registered for them. But in my world, and I’m sure many of you out there can relate to this, nothing is guaranteed. There can be injuries, illness, and more. I am happy to report that I completed all 3 of them AND I have a new half marathon PR!
I had a blast at all 3 races. When I first planned 3 races for one month, the shortest moth of the year, I thought I was a little nuts. But it was a great time and a reminder that I really do love taking part in these events. Hubby also did all three, the Best Damn Race 5K, the Rock N’ Roll Mini Marathon 5K, and the Gasparilla 8K.
My race recaps for these fun races:
Check back with me tomorrow for my March #goalgetter2013 plan!
So, would you like to take part in the #goalgetter2013 challenge? It’s pretty simple….
Goals are most successful when broken up into smaller goals! Post a picture on Instagram on the last day of each month to show how you are working toward achieving your goals! Use the hashtag #goalgetter2013.
If you’d like to take part in this challenge and have another way to keep yourself accountable this year, you should definitely join in! Visit the #goalgetter2013 Facebook page today!
For more inspiration, visit these blogs… These are the gals who put this challenge together:
- Mom Running On Empty
- Back At Square Zero
- Noshing On Asphalt
- Sneakers and Fingerpaints
- Mindy’s Fitness Journey
- Run With Kate
- Road Runner Girl
- Rebecca Roams
How did you do on your February goals? Share with me one goal you accomplished!
What a great time! Or should I say, what a damn great time! The inaugural Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor was a great way to spend the morning of my birthday. I signed up for the 5K last year for two reasons – it was on my birthday and it was in Safety Harbor which is not too far from me. Last week, just days before the race, hubby decided he wanted to do the 5K as well. Within minutes of him saying he wanted to do it, I had him registered so he wouldn’t change his mind. Aren’t I a good wife?
Hubby and I arrived at 7:15, just as the half marathon was starting. The 10K had started at 6:30, so there were runners finishing up. The 5K would not start until 9:30, so we were early, but I was looking forward to walking around, watching runners finish, and looking at the gorgeous view of the water that I know and love in Safety Harbor.
It was cold, a very crisp 43 degrees. It was reminiscent of the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon last year, minus the crazy wind. I was so happy that I had my brand new gloves on to keep my fingers warm. I had a long sleeve Nike Dri-Fit shirt on under my race shirt. But the weather was amazing. I love a crisp morning like that. Perfect for running. I also knew that I would warm up once we started running.
I was pretty excited to cross the finish line…. It was fun watching the 10K runners finish and we even saw the first finisher of the half-marathon… He finished in 1:13:50. So amazing. He could finish a full marathon in one it takes me to do just one half marathon!
Before the 5k started, I ran into a couple blogging friends who I knew would be there. Yay for the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers! Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I knew who to watch out for from all the early morning talk about who would be there. First I saw Beth from Discom-BOB-ulated Running – she was volunteering and handing out medals at the finish line. Hi Beth!
Then I saw Caroline from My Fascinating Life – she had just finished the 10K. She’s had hip pain the last several months and had to stop running. After following the Whole30 plan for almost a month now, her hip pain has been just about nonexistent. She’s working her way back into running. I am so happy for her!
Just before the 5K started, I also ran into Debbie from Discovering Debbie. She was running the 5K also. Debbie is always full of laughter, I was happy to see her!
Finally, it was time to start… I was ready to run and warm up. We started near the back so the crowd could thin out ahead of us. I started out running and ran for a good half mile before walking. I did a lot of running with walk breaks and really felt great. I caught up to hubby a couple times and he was doing well too. There were a couple water stops along the way, perfectly timed. Before I knew it I was hitting mile 2 and I had definitely warmed up. I almost wanted to take my gloves off but I left them on. The view along the course was beautiful, much of it along the water. I wanted to take a couple pictures during but didn’t want to stop because I felt like I was making great time. And then, there was the finish line! I ran in and looked for hubby since I knew he had finished ahead of me. When I stopped my Garmin, I realized I had finished just under 40 minutes which for me is great. I hoped that my official time was close to my Garmin!
How cool is the medal? I was pretty excited to get my hands on it and add it to my others. I love that is has my birthday on it. And it’s a bottle opener!
Afterwards, we went to Starbucks so I could get my free birthday drink. All morning, I planned on having a hot drink to warm up, but I was so warm after the 5K, I ended up having a caramel frappuccino. I haven’t had one in so long, it was yummy. While we were waiting for our drinks, I looked up our official times on the Best Damn Race website and I was very excited to see that I finished 6 seconds sooner than what my Garmin said!
Hubby did great too, finishing in 38:25 for his first timed 5K. Yay hubby! All in all, this was a great race. Everything ran perfectly smooth, everyone was so friendly, and it was the perfect morning. I can’t wait to do this race again next year. Thank you to the folks at the Best Damn Race for a great time! And…. this puts me at 2 done for my #10in2013 challenge!
Did you run the Best Damn Race? What has your experience been running an inaugural race?