hubby

Negative splits and bacon!

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With half marathon #7 quickly approaching, I am trying to get in a long-ish run each weekend between now and then. Not following a strict training plan going into this one, I’m just trying to keep my legs feeling fresh and strong. So far, so good. This past Sunday, I headed out to Memorial Causeway in Clearwater to run my most favorite running route. Hubby was tagging along with his bike to keep me company. Have I mentioned how much I love that he will ride his bike along with me while I run? He’s great company, my cheerleader. and we chit chat the whole time. Which, by the way, when did I become the person that can carry on a conversation while running? Back in the day, I couldn’t form words through all my huffing and puffing and here I am having actual conversations!

 

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When I run my neighborhood and do 3 – 5 miles, I don’t always take walk breaks. I’ve gotten to the point where if I think I need a walk break, I can talk myself out of it for a bit. If it stays a nagging thought, I’ll take a quick one, and then off I go again. There is nothing wrong with walk breaks, I know this. But it is always my goal to run far more than walking every single time I go out there. I am constantly challenging myself. This MilePost running quote of the day from Sunday morning was fitting….

 

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When I did my long runs for my last half marathon, I took walk breaks as needed. Those long runs are not about speed – they are all about endurance.

On Sunday, my run started off in the face of a crazy headwind that literally had tears running down my face. After I got over the bridge and a slight turn, the wind died down immensely and I wasn’t crying anymore. When I reached the normal point that I would take a quick walk break, I just kept running. I didn’t realize at that moment that I had just challenged myself to run the whole route without a walk break. It wasn’t until mile 3 that I pointed out to hubby that I had not taken a walk break and it was my goal not to. For the whole 6.25 miles. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

 

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It actually felt great. I never once felt like I had to take a walk break. I was running a nice pace, one that is comfortable to me. When I finished mile 5, I realized I had a couple negative splits and I wasn’t surprised because the run just felt great. Overachiever that I am, I aimed for one more negative split.

 

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Negative splits are an awesome thing. In case you don’t know what a negative splits are, it simply means running the second half of an interval or an entire run or race at a faster speed.

What makes this even more awesome? My first mile included the Memorial Bridge, right at the start of my run. Mile 6, my best pace for a full mile, had me running back over Memorial Bridge. After running 5 miles leading up to this. With a crazy head wind the first mile. and tears running down my face. And a couple of negative splits even before this.

 

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Needless to say, I was pretty darn proud of myself. In discussing this with hubby, he told me he wasn’t surprised I did it, that I do anything I set my mind to (I’m telling you, he’s the best cheerleader ever!) and that he thinks I sell myself short sometimes. I love his confidence in me.

After some stretching, we headed to the store to stock up for the week. I had a bunch of food prep to do and I was seriously starving for breakfast. Reason number 2761 that hubby is the greatest ever and just gets me, he suggested BLT’s for breakfast. Bacon? YES!!! And while I am all about eating healthy – most of the time – I am not even going the route of turkey bacon. No sir, this girl requires REAL bacon. I ran 6.53 miles, I deserve bacon, REAL bacon. And boy oh boy, was it good.

 

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I can’t wait until Feb. 1, to run the Best Damn Race Half Marathon in Safety Harbor. Did I mention that it’s the day before my birthday? And I will earn this awesome medal….

 

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How many of you local folks will I see out there? Be sure to let me know! And, if you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. You can save $5 with my discount code NANCIC. Click here to register!

 

Tell me one running goal you are working towards!

2014 Goals

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Happy New Year! Here we are again, starting a new year. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate. And with the new year, there are new goals. Some of my goals from last year will carry over and others are new.

 

2014 goals

 

Last year, it was my goal to have more date nights with hubby and while we did have some great ones, we didn’t have enough. 2013 was a challenging year time-wise with much going on with work for both of us. I made some work changes that I hope will help us to have a little more time to have more date nights.

 

I would love to start writing a book – this is another goal that carries over from last year. I have two books I want to work on, both near and dear to my heart. I really hope that 2014 is the year I can get a great start on them.

 

I am so close to my goal at Weight Watchers. Today is the one-year anniversary of when I went back and it has definitely been a success. I also blogged every Saturday about each weigh-in. I started 2013 at 178 pounds and ended it at 149 pounds. Just a few more pounds to go to get to my ultimate goal of 140 and make lifetime again.

 

I killed my mileage goal last year, which I set at 450 miles. I finished 2013 with 628 miles. It was such a great year of running. I ran every day in May, and then my mileage really bumped up during my half marathon training. It’s no secret what a visual person I am so the graph on DailyMile is fun to look at…

 

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Right along with my mileage goal, I would love to complete a Sub-30 5K. I ran my best 5K to date at the Santa’s Twilight 5K in December, finishing it in 30:56. I will work on this!!

 

Last year I ran 4 half marathons, bringing me up to 6. This year, I want to run 4 more so that I have 10 total. I am such a Half Fanatic. To this day, I still can’t believe that signing up for that first half marathon would light such a fire in me. I really thought it would a one-time thing just to say I did it. Instead it created a monster. It is still just as exciting and exhilarating to cross the finish line…

 

And finally! The biggest goal I have set for the year is to train for and complete my first full marathon. Oh boy…. Even typing those words scares the heck out of me. I still remember when I swore I would never do a full marathon, I had no desire. It was sometime over the summer that that changed and I really started thinking about it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to do it. I thought I would hold off until early 2015 to do one, but it’s much too present in my mind to wait. I am currently looking into training plans, preferably an 18 – 20 week plan so that I can build my mileage slowly. It’s not the marathon itself that I am so much afraid of, it’s the training. Long runs of 18 and 20 miles? Scares the heck out of me. But after training for the Women’s Half this past fall and seeing how much the training prepared me for it and helped my time, I know that it’s possible. I also know that I have a lot of support going into it. Hubby will train with me by bike as he did my half marathon training (which I LOVED!!), and of course my mom knows I can do it. It also helps me to know that so many of my running friends are excited for me. My friend Beth seemed to know I was going to do a full before I did and told me to ask her any questions on training. She just completed her 7th marathon  and I really look up to her. I also know a few people running this same race. So… I will run the Space Coast Marathon on November 30, 2014 in Cocoa Beach near Kennedy Space Center. I am beyond excited to add this medal to my collection…. And to finally add a 26.2 sticker to my car.

 

space coast marathon 2014 medal

(Source: Space Coast Marathon)

 

I am excited about my goals for the year. I know that when I set goals and work towards them, all things are possible. Take them one step at a time and never give up. I accomplished so much in 2013, I am ready to tackle 2014 and see what it holds for me!

 

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Have you set goals for 2014? What are you most excited about?

Favorite posts of 2013

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Another year is coming to an end… As I look through posts from this past year, it’s amazing how much has happened, how much was accomplished. Running, weight loss, personal growth, and more…. My blog has turned out to be the best form of a scrapbook I have ever done. And now it’s time for me to share my favorite posts of 2013. Since I just shared all my race recaps for 2013 yesterday, I did not include those in this list…

 

 

I have so much to look forward to in 2014 and continuing my blog is one of them. I hope you’ll stay with me and follow along!

 

Have a safe and Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful 2014!

2013: The year of running and races

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As I sit here and look back over the year and all that I accomplished, I am trying to think of one word to describe how I feel. I think “proud” is perfect. proud - feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself Yes, that pretty much sums it up….   My last race for the year was before Christmas and as I finish up the year with the hopes of reaching 625 miles logged for the year (I’m at 616 as I post this), I thought it would be a great time to look back at my races for the year. 2013 was definitely the year of running, and my how I changed even from the beginning of the year.   01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL  -   44:16 This was a fun run, hubby ran it with me. It was at night in downtown St. Petersburg. I was just at the start of my weight loss journey for the year and I knew I needed to lose weight as I ran this one. But it was fun. Also, I look like Scuba Steve in our picture!   glow run 5k     02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL  -  39:21 I thoroughly enjoyed running a 5K on my birthday, and what would also be the first of three races in the month of February. It was really cold, but high on my list of favorites for the year. I was thrilled to finish under 40 minutes. Hubby also ran this one with me!   bdr 2013     02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL -  3:02:53 I had high hopes for this one, after running this event as my first half marathon in 2012. I wanted so much to finish under 3:00 but I had foot pain that slowed down my last 3 miles. I did enjoy it, though, it was neat to come full circle from my first one and to see an improvement on my time. This was also the first race that my friend Corinna and I ran together, and hubby ran the 5K.

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    02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL  -  1:05:58 Another one that I hoped to beat my previous year’s time on, but I did not. I remember the first half was windy but when we turned around, it was HOT. Hubby also ran this one with me, as well as my friend Corinna and her son John Evan. I love Gasparilla!

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    03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL  -  2:48:12    PR!!!!! I registered for this one on a whim simply because of the dolphin medal. I actually registered for it at the Gasparilla Expo, so less than a month before the race. I was already training on the bridges for Iron Girl so I just wanted to give it my best shot and have fun with it. I never ever expected to PR at this race, coming in 12 minutes under the 3:00 mark.   sarasota me medal 2013l     04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL  -  2:48:32 I was very excited to run this one, practically in my backyard, and on the bridges I trained hard on. I did not let the bridges get the best of me and I gave it my best, finishing just 20 seconds slower than my PR in Sarasota. My friend Corinna also ran this one with me.   iron girl 2013 me corinna     11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL  -  2:23:28    PR!!!!! After not racing over the hot summer, I trained for 15 weeks for this race. I needed serious redemption over it after finishing it in 3:37:11 in 2012 thanks to my sciatica. I knew I could finish it under 3:00 thanks to Sarasota and Iron Girl, but as I trained for it and worked hard on my long runs, I set an optimistic goal of finishing in 02:30. I was thrilled and ecstatic to finish in 2:23:28, a new PR. This was my best run yet. I ran most of it, a nice even pace, and felt great. I didn’t listen to any music, I just focused on running. This half marathon is the one that really made me start thinking seriously about a full marathon.   IMG_3003     11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL  -  approx. 45:00 (untimed) Another fun run with my friend Corinna. It was a smaller event than last year, but we still had fun running the course together. It was untimed, but we did every obstacle. I was able to climb over the big cargo net much easier than last year. It’s amazing what weight loss can do!   IMG_3306     12/14/13 – Santa’s Twilight 5K, Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL   -   30:56      PR!!!!! This was another night time run on a beautiful evening. Hubby and my friend Corinna also ran this one and it was so much fun. I ran my best time on this one, setting a 5K PR. I definitely see a sub-30:00 5K in my future.

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  What a year! I had hoped to do 10 or 11 races, but it just didn’t work out. So, what’s up for 2014? Stay tuned to find out!   How many races did you do in 2013? Which was your favorite?

Sports Buddies Day with our Little Brother!

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Since becoming a Big Couple for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County back in August, we have spent quite a bit of time with our Little Brother. We have taken him bowling, to Celebration Station, to the batting cages, and out for pizza. For the last couple of months, we have been spending Wednesday evenings with him at the library to help him with his school work while he faces some challenges with his grades. We enjoy helping him and he responds well to it. This past Saturday, we had a chance to attend our first official Big Brothers Big Sisters event which we registered for back in early November. It was the Mike Alstott Family Foundation Sports Buddies Day in St. Petersburg. Our Little Brother loves sports – especially football – so we knew this was an event he would really enjoy. The morning started with some football drills. They divided the kids up and each group spent time on the different drills before rotating to the next. Mike Alstott was at the one of the drills, and he interacted with the kids quite a bit.

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  One of the best moments was when our Little Brother caught a pass from Mike Alstott. You can tell he was having a great time, and maybe showing off for the camera just a little bit…

Mike Alstott Family Foundation Sports Buddies Day–12/14/13

After all the drills, they managed to get all the kiddos together for a group picture with Mike Alstott. This was not an easy task, but it all worked out in the end!   IMG_3631   They also served lunch and ice cream and let each child choose a Christmas gift! There were many happy kiddos there. Hubby and I really enjoyed the morning. All of our time so far has been spent one on one with our Little, and it was fun to see him interact with other kids and also see him do something he loves – football. He is quite the ham and kept asking me to video him when it was his turn. While they were serving lunch, Mike Alstott was signing autographs. They had given out t-shirts at the event, so our Little Brother had that signed.

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  His mom spent the morning there as well, with her daughter who is also in the Big Brother Big Sisters program. It’s been fun getting to know them as well. We also have a picture of the three of us to share, with his mom’s permission, of course… IMG_3589 edit   Such a fun day! Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great organization, and everyone who is involved is focused on the children. We look forward to more events and continuing to spend time with our Little Brother. It has already been a very rewarding experience.   Have you ever been a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters or a similar organization?

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