10k’s and Hair Products!

This past Sunday, I ran my 12th race of the year…back in March when I ran my first race of the year, a St. Patrick’s Day 5k, I never thought I would run 12 races this year, let alone finish a half-marathon (!!!) and three 10k’s within those 12 races.

The race was the Mark’s Place Healthy is Beautiful 10k and of course I ran it with my Running Bestie, Sarah πŸ™‚

Can’t run a race without her now πŸ™‚

I have to be honest though, we both were not feeling like running this race on Sunday. We’re not sure why, but we both admitted to each other that we were not feeling this race, but we decided to do it anyway because we knew that we would regret not doing it.

This race a little different for me because it was scheduled for the afternoon and not first thing in the morning, I’m used to. What I’m used to is working midnights and running my race first thing in the morning after I get off…crazy I know, but if I’m not running a race after I get off my midnight shift, then I’m working out or running at least a 5k myself anyway…so why not run a race??

Anyway…

I must say, that I am so very glad that I ran the race. I PR’d my 10k time (AND my 5k time by the way…go me!), and it was a beautiful fall day with the leaves changing and falling from the trees as we ran.

The best part about this race was the loot we got for running. The 10k was sponsored by a salon and for running we got a travel sized Matrix shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray (along with our t-shirt)…AND when we were done got a 2 bottle combo pack (big bottles) of Matrix shampoo and conditioner that costs $32 in the salon. We were suppose to trade our bibs for those, but Sarah and I asked if we could keep our bibs because we save them and lucky for us, they let us keep them. I don’t think I could give up my bib, even if that is the exact type of shampoo/conditioner that I use for my hair and it’s expensive…I earned my bib and it’s important to me that I save it for my wall…

It’s a runner thing…

Selfie

Post-Race Selfie

Another 5k coming up next Sunday! I’m actually excited about this one! Race number 13! When I started again at the beginning of this year, I had a mental goal to do a few races, maybe 2 or 3 over the summer…never thought I would be where I am today. I am very proud of myself.

Big plans in the works for 2014…it’s going to be EPIC!

I am a runner.

Happy Monday!!

#runnersheart

-Jen

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Name Changer ;)

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So, since I’ve conquered a pretty big goal of tackling my first ever Half-Marathon (!!!) I decided that I needed a name change on the blog since my initial quest of craziness what thinking I could do a half-marathon with only 16-ish weeks of training, has been accomplished. And now this blog is going to be mainly for me to document the journey I have been on since I became a runner.

The idea of #runnersheart came from my Running Bestie, Sarah during one of many long, ranting weekly email chains we have talking about our favorite thing to do, which of course is running (duh).

I’m not sure of the actual content of the email, but I’m sure it was about the mental game that plays in my head while I run and how it totally can turn a perfectly good run to crap. By the way, we discuss this all the time because we both feel it…all the time. To make a long story short, we emailed back and forth that about this topic and she put in one of her replies “runners heart”. After that I’m not sure who added the hashtag, but that’s not important.

Since that day, #runnersheart has been apart every single blog post I’ve put in, every picture I’ve loaded to Instagram, Facebook, and twitter. It has become a part of my everyday life where running is concerned.

I love having Sarah in my life because I know I can always go to her with anything and she always knows how to respond to make me feel better. Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone else in my life is equally important, but when it comes to the running and working out part, Sarah is the only one who gets me and I am very thankful for that πŸ™‚

And that is why I have renamed my blog! I think it’s fitting. I kinda love it πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday!!

#runnersheart

-Jen

PS- running a 10k this afternoon. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to post about that later πŸ˜‰

Who’s a Half-Marathoner? Oh yeah, ME!!!

I did it!!

I completed my first HALF-MARATHON!!

Here’s the play-by-play:

I woke up at the butt-crack of before dawn, and went to pick up my running bestie, Sarah (who ran her SECOND Half today!). We got up to Akron early because 1. We didn’t know exactly where we were going and 2. We wanted to beat the crowd because there were over 7000 (!!!) runners running the Akron Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Relay.

I was a bundle of nerves when I woke up and was having MAJOR heart palpitations…but by the time we got to the starting line, I was pretty calm.

On my way to pick up Sarah, I had to give myself a little pep talk in the car. I told myself that it doesn’t matter how fast I go. Today I was going to accomplish one of my dreams and my time didn’t matter. I also had to remind myself to not get caught up in the hype of the starting line and try to pace myself with anyone. The last time I did that at the Hall of Fame City Challenge 10k, I ended up sabotaging myself by mile 2 and it nearly killed me. I told myself that I wasn’t doing this for anyone else, but myself and I was the only person that I needed to worry about.Β 

That seemed to work because when they let our corral (C) go, I just turned up my music and just told myself that I was going on another run. It totally helped. I just let myself run and I didn’t worry about anyone else around me. I just did my thing and it felt great.

I kept up with my running intervals pretty well through out the race. I even PR’d my 5k and 10k times by a full minute each! I ran up and down every hill and made sure I took the water and powerade at every single stop and I even tried GU for the first time (vanilla flavored…wasn’t too shabby). Then right between mile 8 and 9 I hit a wall. My ankles were screaming at me and my was hurting pretty bad too. I had been keeping pretty good time for me (about a 12:30 pace) and then I had to start walking more. I walked most of miles 10-12 killing my pace time, but I had to keep trucking along because my time didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to finish. I just wanted my damn medal! (and to sit down!)

I did have a great moment between mile 11 and 12 when I was crossing over the “Y” bridge (if you were from Akron, you’d know where I was talking about). I was coming down one side, while the racers on mile 12 were coming back up the other side. I knew my running bestie, Sarah, was probably about a 1 to 1.25 miles ahead of me. I looked up and across the bridge and I saw her running towards me. And as we passed each other, we gave each other a high five. That really gave me the motivation to keep going. She texted me throughout the entire race to help me keep pushing through. I don’t know if I would have made it without her.

It was so awesome to see all the spectators throughout the course, holding up signs and cheering everyone on. I have never been apart of such a big race and yes, there have been spectators, but never this many. I was really blown away by all the people that were in Canal Stadium cheering the racers on as the crossed the finish line.

What really helped me through were some of the songs I put on my playlist. I picked a few songs that made me think of important people in my life and how they would help me through this race.

I picked the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles because it makes me think of my mom because of her, I choose to be brave and do the things I do between taking care of my son, furthering my education to get my nursing degree, and to be brave enough to start running and complete something so great as my first half-marathon.

Another song I picked was “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Boy. This song always makes me think of Sarah because we dance to it in Zumba and it’s one of my (and I think hers too) favorite dances we do. And Sarah is also one of my big inspirations when I run. She has come so far from when she started and I am so proud of her and I hope to be as great as she is some day.

One song I picked, may sound odd, but it really helped me keep going (and also almost made me cry during the race). “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. I picked this song for my Grandma who passed away when I was 15 years old. It was her favorite song and it is so special to me and it seem to come on my iPod at the EXACT time I needed to hear it. It made me think that she was looking down on me today during the race and I know she would have been proud of me today.

I picked “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins because that is my son dedicated to my 6 (almost 7) year old son, Antonio. I used to sing it to him all the time when he was a baby and a toddler. It started playing right before mile 13 and it nearly brought tears to my eyes because he is one of my main inspirations as I run.

This journey to complete my first half marathon has been a very fulfilling one for me. At the beginning of the year when I decided to start running again, I never thought I would be completing a half-marathon. That was always a thought I had in the back of my mind for way down the road. I didn’t think I would be able to do it this year, but I did. And it feels great (other than my aching back and ankles).

I am so glad that I made the decision back in May to sign up for this race. It has been the best thing I have ever done. It was hard, but it was so worth it. I cannot wait until I do another one…though it’s going to be a little while before that happens. I am signed up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half-Marathon in April of next year…that will probably be my next one. Until then, I have a few more races (a few 5ks and a 10k). And I plan on stepping up my game on my training. There are few things that I need to work on that I didn’t do for this one (like strengthening my ankles more).

What a great day!!

Now I need to go ice my feet πŸ˜‰

Happy Saturday!

I’m a Half-Marathoner!!

#runnersheart

-Jen

Sarah and I at the starting line!

Sarah and I at the starting line!

Highlights!

Highlights!

13.1 Baby!

13.1 Baby!

The Excitement/Nerves are Killing Me!

This is it…tomorrow is the day that I have been working so hard towards. What happens tomorrow is the very reason I started this blog in the first place. Tomorrow is when I run my first HALF-MARATHON! (Insert dramatic music here)

I am excited and nervous all rolled up into one package. I woke up this morning with heart palpitations. Picking up my bib and race packet at the Expo, I became very emotional. This is what I have trained for these past few months and sometime after 9:30am tomorrow I will officially be a “Half-Marathoner”. I can’t describe what it is I am feeling right now. Only know that it is probably one of the scariest/best feelings I have ever had in my life.

And that’s really all I have to say about that. Look for updates the next few days with pictures of me probably balling my eyes out at the finish line with my running bestie, Sarah.

Happy Friday!
And BEST WISHES to everyone running the Akron Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Relays tomorrow!!

#runnersheart
-Jen

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Proud Momma!

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I’ve got the Hall of Fame City Challenge 10k in the morning and I am PUMPED!! My running Bestie, Sarah, is running the Half-Marathon (her first!!!!) and we’ve been excited/nervous all day long. Race starts at 6am tomorrow.

I went to the Expo earlier today and was super close to changing my registration to the Half-Marathon, but then decided against it because the reason I chose the 10k in the first place was because the route goes right in front of my mom and uncle’s house and my son would be able to cheer me on (and give me a good luck kiss) as I ran by. Also the last part of the race takes me through the park and up to the McKinley Monument where I run all the time.

I am hoping to PR, but I haven’t ran as much this past week due to being sick with a sinus infection over last weekend and just life being busy in general with nursing school, a hurt dog (she’s okay now), an my stepfather having hip surgery. I did get 7.25 miles in on Wednesday which is the farthest I’ve gone at one time. So fingers are crossed!

Here are some pictures from my son, Antonio’s race the Hall of Fame City Challenge Kids Event. He came in 2nd place in the 100 meter dash, attended a kids boot camp and completed an obstacle course! It was a great event and he was so excited to get his Finisher Medal!

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I am one proud Momma!

Happy Saturday!!

-Jen

Can you see the difference?

What a difference running has made for me. Since about March, I’ve lost almost 30 lbs. I can definitely tell by house my clothes fit and the fact that I can wear a size smaller (WOOT! WOOT!). Though for me to stand in the mirror I can’t see too much of a difference in my body. I can tell it is smaller, but to me it looks the same otherwise. Where I can really tell that I have lost weight is in my face. What do you think??

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#runnersheart

-Jen