Monday, March 26, 2012

What was it like to run a Quarter Marathon?

Race day was yesterday, Sunday March 25th, and it was an amazing event.  Over 2000 people showed up to run with runners from all 50 states represented.  

I am a new runner and still learning a lot about the sport and training.  I think of myself as an athletic person, enjoying sports and fitness from middle school through high school.  Although, after having children and being a stay at home mom, fitness was put on the back burner behind laundry, meals, diapers, and cleaning.
Once I became aware that all foods are not good for you, I changed our daily meals.  I have become passionate about eating right and exercising, trying many form of exercise.  I have discovered that I am a person that likes to be active.  I enjoy aerobic, dance, P90X, yoga, walking, swimming, hiking, kayaking, and running.  I need to be challenged and do best when I give myself goals.  I realized a while back that if I think of exercise as only a way to lose weight then I am more likely to get burned out and look negative to the scale and daily workouts.  Once I enjoyed the activity for the fun and feel of being active I found lacing up my shoes and gear a positive experience and looked forward to it.  I realize that exercise is a way of life and relaxing to the body and mind. That is why I now enjoy running.  I enjoy the beautiful landscape around me, the clean air through my lungs, and the nature I see all around me (minus the coyotes).  I still enjoy other workouts but when the weather is nice I'll be out running. 

Before race with friends, all very excited!
The training is not always fun but necessary for what I love most, the race!   Tons of thoughts and feeling race through my mind waiting for the start.  Waking up early, usually before dawn, to get ready and stretch.  Feeling the excitement and nerves leading into the start,  looking and wondering who is just starting with their first race or running for 50+ years.  Is everyone there having the same thoughts to do our best and to keep moving? Are they looking to know the feel of crossing over that finish line just like I am?  I am sure other people have their own reasons for running, these are just my own.  

I had three goals for today.
  • To finish.                                                                                    
  • To never stop running, no walking here.
  • And to finish with an average under 11 minutes miles.
View of those behind us.
I am thrilled that I completed all three of my goals.  My time was 1:10:46  with and average of 10:49 miles pace.  The first 2.5 miles were difficult with a steady uphill climb the entire time.  This was not something I really trained for, I usually ran rolling short hills.   I decided to find a group of ladies that were at the same pace as myself and stay with them.  They were a lot of fun as they had on rainbow tool skirts and bright hair ribbons.  They probably have no idea they helped me so much, but with them I was able pace myself without having to think about it too hard.  I was able to stay on pace and thought happy thoughts enjoying the view of the sun coming up and my music.  Before I knew it we went our separate ways.  I made the turn at the 10K marker while they continued on for the half marathon.  The way back I was by myself, but this is where I found a surge of energy knowing I was half way though.  I felt great, breathing even, and increased my speed a little more.  Before I knew it I was at the finish line and so excited!  I saw my husband and kids waving their arms and yelling my name.  The feeling of crossing over that finish line was like no other.  I knew I had completed 6.55 miles and I did it with 2, 000 people all trying our best!  

Many times during the run negative thoughts tried to worm there way in, wanting me to just walk for a few minutes.  This is where having my goals helped me so much.  Just by saying "no no walking" I was able to push on and stay on pace.  I believe running is 80% mental and my mind will tell me to stop before my body will.

Healthy eating plays a huge part in your fitness and you have to eat dense calorie quality meals and snacks.  I needed to have plenty of energy on hand waiting to be burned for the race.  We had a homemade sauce and organic spaghetti noodles, side salad, steamed squash medley, and bread. 

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe                                                
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 zucchini, diced small
1 yellow squash, diced small
1 red and yellow pepper, diced small
8 blanched tomatoes. crushed
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley

In sauce pan add olive and all remaining ingredients.  Simmer over medium heat for 30-40 minutes.   Pour over whole grain pasta noodles and enjoy!

The hair must be done!
Family excited before race!
 At 4am my husband and I started our day.  We had cut fruit the night before, and made egg and English muffins for the kids to eat at the race.  We also,  laid out clothes the night before to make sure the kids where in pants and sweatshirts for the early morning tempts and t-shirts for when the sun came up.  While I got ready my amazing husband started on the egg sandwiches.  We then went to wake the kids, they were so excited they jumped right up and got ready.  What a wonderful family of support and encouragement I have.  My breakfast was 8 ounces of Power C by Naked Juice and a cup of coffee.  There was no way I could eat anything big before the run.  That is why my night before meal was so important.  By 5 am we dressed, brushed hair and teeth, and left house by 5am.  We arrived to the race site by 6:15. After stretching we meet up with friends racing too, and got in the huge pack of runners.
2000+ runners.

After race I walked through the line to cool down and grab my banana, apple, bagel, and MEDAL!  Yep, I got to rock a medal for my hard work and training.  The day before when I picked up my running bib I received my tech shirt.  Over all I had a blast and looking forward to training for my next race, a half marathon!  Training starts.......Wednesday after a little rest and yoga.

Tech shirt

Are you a runner?
Starting out or seasoned runner?
What races are you in this year?
What is your favorite meal night before?


  1. The only thing I can say is WOW. You are amazing. Great job and I am so happy to follow you. Rhonda @ The Messy Roost

    1. Thanks Rhonda! It was a great milestone for me. Thanks for following!

  2. You inspire me so much! I cannot wait to start running. I recently decided to start walking a mile a day - it's a small start but it's something. This pregnancy has me so dizzy if I try to do too much but I am so eager to get into shape that I want to do what I can to get a start now. I'm already a total nutrition geek, so it is time to start getting caught up on the fitness side!!

    1. Great! Walking is a wonderful way to start and a mile is wonderful. It will help your delivery be so much smoother. Congrats on the pregnancy! When your ready this is a wonderful program that made it easy for me to train. Set goals and reach them :-)

  3. Congrats! Sounds like a really fun time. I love your attitude about exercise. This year I have started nature hiking as a way to get in my exercise. King and I walk daily in a huge State Park close to our home. I just got tired of walking down the same road looking at the same houses! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love nature hiking too. Its important to change your scenery so, like you said, you don't get bored! :-)
      It's nice to have a companion with you when walking, hiking, or running. Sharing in the beauty around you with someone. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, I joked with my husband that I need a trophy room now. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Congrats on completing your goals!

    1. Thank you Danielle. It felt good. To be honest I was have been happy with 2/3. I am glad I got to make all three, but I owe some of that to the race day adrenaline! Still enjoying the feel of it all. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  6. Congrats I remember reading about you gearing up for this run. Great sauce recipe too!! funny enough I have Sauce on the stove simmering for dinner. LOVE spaghetti.

    Also a New follower from


    1. Yep, my kids love spaghetti too. Its such a great energy booster and it hides a lot of veggies for those picky eaters. I can usually through in any veggie in the fridge to bulk up the nutritional value and flavor. Hope you enjoy your pasts tonight! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :-)

  7. love this! thanks for sharing and being an inspiration :)

    1. Thank you Renee, it was so much fun! I can't wait to do the next race :-)

  8. Great job! You are definitely an inspiration!

  9. Wow! You go girl! =) So awesome! And the recipe looks amazing too! Thanks so much for sharing for Delicious Dish Tuesday!!