Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Journey Back to CrossFit

Early last month, I went home to Texas for a much needed visit. After being hiatus from CrossFit for about 4 months due to personal reasons, I challenged myself to visit as many boxes as I could along the way.

I had never stepped foot into another "box" before, so I was quite nervous when I called the owners, Trey and Stephanie, of "Be Challenged CrossFit". They immediately welcomed me into their box as if I were their very own. I was quite impressed with their generosity, and their gorgeous CrossFit playground.

They had an indoor AND an outdoor training area. What I really liked about this particular box, was the showers. CrossFit tends to leave me extremely dirty and sweaty from burpees, chalk, etc. so having the ability to take shower immediately before stepping into my car was quite appealing. Too bad I couldn't take them back with me to Virginia! Trey and Stephanie truly made my experience enjoyable, and I was able to get two workouts of the day, (WOD) in.
I wanted to continue my journey to other boxes, but I developed a mild case of Rhabdo in my arms, and was out of commission for a couple of weeks until they started to recover. It happens from overuse and break down of the muscle fibers, which somehow gets into the blood stream. It can be potentially deadly if not treated immediately.

I started to CrossFit a little over a year ago, and I started to feel stagnant and unsure in my abilities back in February, and visiting "Be Challenged" rekindled my desire as an athlete. I started CrossFit to improve my running endurance, and it gives me confidence in my strengthening, running stamina, and injury prevention.

If you are in south-east Texas, go check out their box. They are quite amazing!

Their Facebook Page: Be Challenged CrossFit

Thank you Trey and Stephanie! I look forward to visiting when I come back in town. :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Heritage 5 miler race recap

This week marked the first official week of marathon training for me. By my training matrix for the next 17 weeks is a little intimidating! However, it also appears that I need to get super clean with my diet again for the duration. Tuesday evening kicked off my training, and I attempted 3 easy miles, except my stomach had other plans. I had to stop my run by mile 2. So, I was like, okay, I will run again tomorrow. Well, it turns out that the Heritage 5 miler was on Thursday, and it would be a great training run to participate in. Plus, I love running amongst a crowd, even if I am talking to myself the whole time. So, I wake up super excited, and I eat a banana.

I saw some of my CrossFit buddies, and got a photo op with them.

Then, as soon as the race kicked off, my stomach or should I say, colon, started to protest. I forewarn you now, that I am very unfiltered about my bodily functions, so if you are prudent, please abort this blog post now. I have decided to call my spastic colon, Theodora, after the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. In previous race caps, I have mentioned my colon mishaps, but I thought I was slowly getting into the clear this week. Apparently not.

I start to jog a slow steady run, as to pace myself, so I don't make the mistake of burning out too soon. It was hot and humid, but I was doing quite well - until Theodora decided to protest around 2 miles. By this time, my pace started to get slower and slower, and I panicked due to no port-o-johns along the way. By mile 3, we were along a canal path with deep brush. I was able to ask a race official to step aside into the wooded area, to do my business. I want to say 10 minutes were added to my time. It was quite embarrassing, and I felt defeated as I finished the race, and throughout the day.

Now that I can reflect on it, I can honestly say, "You know what? I went out there and I tried. I did what I could with the conditions my body gave me, and I didn't just quit."

I am going to have many more runs and races by the time I do my full marathon, and I will have plenty of redemptions. "Just because it burns, doesn't mean you're gonna die, you gotta get up and try, try, try." -Pink

Monday, March 25, 2013

17.75k: Access Granted - Race recap

I am not going to lie, but I hibernate during the winter when it comes to running. I don't like how the cold stings my lungs, and how snot comes pouring out of my nose like a faucet. I feel like I get a brain freeze. So, I thought I was safe by registering my first race of 2013 with the Marine Corps 17.75k. Muahaha... the groundhog should be indicted.

As race day approached, and with friends telling me that the hills were brutal from when they surveyed the site, I knew the Marine Corps was not going to let us go easy. My husband of course, always chuckles before I do a race, because I don't put the mileage in to prepare. I know it drives him crazy! I am just horrible about getting on a training program, and I should. Watch out when I do! ;)

The night before:

I am so nervous. I am always nervous before a race. Why? Because of my guilty conscience from not training like everyone else. At least not the conventional training; however, I've been CrossFitting a month after the last Marine Corps Historic Half. Believe me, it has definitely helped my endurance.
My daughters had a birthday party, and I had a piece of cheese pizza - and literally prayed to the GI gods that it wouldn't raise it's ugly head during the race the following morning - I am lactose intolerant. I also had some popcorn. and cake.

I went home, and laid out my shirt and bib, and went to bed.

The Morning:

I told my husband to set the alarm for 5ish, and my body decided to get up 3:30 am. I can barely open my eyes at 7 am to get my girls ready for school on a week day, and it is a freaking Saturday! I went online to make sure that I had the correct address, got dressed, took an awesome picture, and off to the start line I go to wait. I went to the nearest 7-Eleven and grabbed a banana and a bottle of water. Besides a couple of nibbles of a mini blueberry muffin, that was my pre-fuel. I just can't eat a whole lot that early in the morning.

Start Line:

It was soo cold! It was in the 20's, and my bones hurt from how hard I was shivering. I kept a positive mindset that I would warm up down the road. I have to say that I am so happy that I joined the RFRC. Just amazing support from other runners, and one of them was kind of enough to loan me their shuffle, since my iPod had no juice left. My husband bought a set of earbuds that actually stayed put. I don't ever run with music, surprising, huh? I tried during the Ragnar Relay, and it was an epic fail. The ear buds kept flying out of my ears, and my iPod kept flying out of my sports bra. EPIC FAIL. It even messed with my pace.

I even got a photo op with Sgt Chesty, the Marine Corps mascot. He even turned towards me to give me a few snuggles, and he wouldn't allow others to pet him. I felt honored.

One of my friends is a videographer for the Marine Corps, and interviewed me. I am a little nervous on how that turned out.

We took off!

In my oversized Ragnar Ambassador running jacket, full of keys and a cell phone, with an infinity scarf on, I had 11.03 miles of the unknown that awaited me. The first 3 miles are always the toughest for me. I guess my body is like, why.. why are we doing this? Then, my body is like, okay... I got this. I am not too crazy about running on asphalt. I feel like my legs get a pounding. Put me on a trail, and I fly. So, after 3 miles on the asphalt, we plunge up into a trail, and I jokingly replied, "I am dancing up these hills!" I seriously say the craziest things to distract myself.

It was amazing though. My breathing was great, the music motivated me, and the scenery was beautiful. I just felt overall wonderful. It started to get challenging towards the end with the crazy steep hills, and it is so rough seeing runners start to walk. It is like my body tells me, "hey.. they are doing it, it's okay if you take a rest..." I knew the whole time, that if I caved to my bladder - which I had to go before we took off - or if I did stop, it was going to be incredibly hard to make a good pace. So, I didn't. I looked at every port-o- john on the course as I went by. I kept going, one foot in front of the other. The last 2 miles were super rough, because my legs were done. I had bruised my tibia really bad the week before from falling on wooden 20 inch box from doing box jumps, and I just prayed that it wouldn't give me issues, and it didn't!

The finish was amazing. I was so happy that I was done. My legs; however, were complete jello. I was on cloud nine. I had rightfully earned my entry into the Marine Corps Marathon. I finished at 2:06:19. I believe the course was a lot harder than the Marine Corps Historic Half, in my honest opinion. But, it was a lot of fun!

I am officially registered for my first 26.2, and I will be following an actual training program. :)