Inspire

A friend of mine sent me one of the most amazing text messages earlier this week. It started, “Thought I’d give you an update since you inspire me to achieve my goals…” Then she went on to tell me about the awesome achievements she recently accomplished and the new goals that she hopes to achieve.

My first thoughts were of giddiness…aw, she thinks I inspired her!

My second thoughts were of honor…how honored I was that she chose me to share her news with.

My last thoughts were the most important. Pretty darn revolutionary.

You see, the past two months or so (since my 50K in November) I can count the number of times I’ve ran on one hand. I needed a break from running…really, I needed a break from everything…so I took one. This break lasted quite a long while with many hours spent watching the love tangles between Nathan, Lucas, Peyton, Hailey, and Brooke…snuggled up on my couch with a bottomless cup of coffee in my hand. Let me tell you, the drama from those twenty-something-looking characters at Tree Hill High is really captivating. Needless to say, I started feeling lazy…

…and lumpy.

My body-image slowly started becoming less positive, and before I knew it, I was feeling guilty about my time resting. Although I knew realistically that my body had not physically changed (other than losing some endurance), my mind was starting to tell me otherwise. Crazy pink elephants.

Then I got the text.

I realized that I needed to shut off those crazy thoughts in my head and start going after my goals again! And it’s okay that my goals are less fitness-oriented right now, and it’s okay that they may be more involved with finding out who Lucas Scott really ends up with in the end. And it’s okay that I may not run a marathon this year, especially if that means that I get to start working in the career field that I’ve been working so hard for.

Nursing Group

Just as long as I’m happy.

So, what I’d like to say now is…

Thank you Katrina, for inspiring me to remember to be happy and to stay positive.

ang

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2013 Wish List

2013 Wish List

  • Run for fun.
  • But also PR in  shorter distances.
  • Not let my husband beat me in a 5K. (One of his goals was to beat me…)
  • Do an unassisted pull-up…for real this year.
  • Eat more natural, less processed foods.
  • Try to learn to cook better…and with more variety. (Key word here is try…)
  • Do more yoga, even if it’s just in my living room. Try hot yoga…try zumba.
  • Make a better effort to write more. Revamp this little blog.
  • Read a few books for pleasure, not for school.
  • Rock my last year of nursing school and graduate with honors!
  • Make a difference…somewhere, somehow.
  • Stress way less (maybe this will solve the gray hair problem). Laugh way more.
  • Last, but most definitely not least, start expanding this little family.

ang

You’ll Get There, I Promise

I think I’m in the habit of trying to do the impossible…

Or at the very least, what might seem impossible to me.

In the midst of training for Chicago I got an e-mail from The NorthFace Endurance Challenge. I have a soft spot for this race, you see, a weak-in-the-knees adoration for this endurance challenge.

It was my first marathon ever last year.

So, you know it pulled at my little heart strings until I officially registered for a second round. Only this time I decided to go for the even more impossible.

The mini-ultra.

The 50K.

I just added a few more weeks of training after finishing the Chicago Marathon. I was tired, wornout, overwhelmed, scared and nervous…but I was stoked to complete another new challenge.

Come beautiful Saturday morning on November 17th, I had all the same feelings. I was tired, but excited. Overwhelmed but prepared. Nervous but amped. And when the race started I was off again on cloud nine. My feet, one after another, doing what they know best, my eyes on the road ahead, my hot pink fingernails waiting to give me my superpowers when I needed them. I know my mom thought I was crazy when I stayed up late just to paint my nails on race eve, but there was method to my madness. Superpowers, duh.

And I definitely needed them.

There’s no play-by-play for this race recap, just as there wasn’t for Chicago. I think what is happening is that I’m becoming so overwhelmed by emotions that everything seems to happen in a blur. I am so humbled by my running experiences, grateful for my capabilities, and beyond thankful for all the support I’ve received. I remember the race in moments, and these are moments I hope to remember for the rest of my life…

…all the runners lined up at the start, nervously chattering about how it’s “just five more miles.” Me, standing there in the middle of it, smiling like a kid in a candy store.

…reliving all the sites of Kansas City and remembering running the same streets last year and how magnificent I felt when I finished my first marathon. The same hill, the same bridge, the same buildings…they all felt so nostalgic.

…my friends who were running the half marathon catching up with me and giving me words of encouragement. Then watching them as ran ahead, finishing a great race of their own.

…coming to the first aid station that offered sliced oranges. An orange has never been so delicious.

…the stairs. Four flights to be exact. At least they were going down.

…splitting away from the marathon runners and beginning the out and back route that added those no-big-deal five more miles.

…looking down at my pink fingernails and summoning them for some of those superpowers now.

…the smiles, waves, thumbs up, nods, and words of encouragement as the leader 50k-ers passed back along the out and back route. Those small gestures meant oh-so-much.

…seeing my dad at mile eighteen. I knew it was him from half a mile away…pride just beaming out of him.

…wanting to stop around mile twenty. I’ve never wanted to stop so bad. I decided to walk and eat another orange…then dug deep and found some way to keep going.

…seeing my sister. Her voice screeching as she cheered me on. Then seeing her again, driving in her car, yelling out her window. And again.

…coming to terms with the fact that I needed to walk again. So I did. And at the encouragement of one of the wonderful Kansas City Police Department officers, starting to run again.

…striking a conversation with another runner. Come to find out the only race he’d ever ran was a 5K, and here he was running a 50K right next to me. I told him he was doing great, and he admitted that it was only because he knew I’d been behind him for awhile and he didn’t want me to pass him.

…a mile later, passing him.

…walking for a third time up the longest and hardest and steepest hill, probably in the world.

…the feeling of knowing I only had two miles to go. I was actually going to finish this.

…the little girls who were cheering and told me that the finish line was so close.

…coming around the corner…the same corner that I rounded on August 27th, 2011…hearing my sister’s voice again…trying to hold the tears back and myself together long enough the make it a few more yards to the finish line…seeing my dad standing there…hearing the announcer call my name…

…and crossing the finish line after four hours, forty-seven minutes, and thirty-three seconds. Another seemingly impossible task…finished.

If there is one thing I can tell you, it’s that you can really do anything you want to in life.

My heart is so full of pride and gratitude and thankfulness. For everyone who has given me so much support through everything, I can’t thank you enough.

ang

On October Seventh…

…at 4:30 in the morning I jumped out of bed, put two long french braids in my hair, and applied two coats of waterproof mascara.

…at 5:30 in the morning my husband dropped me off somewhere in the middle of downtown Chicago and I nonchalantly followed a group of strangers in running shoes who looked like they knew where they were going. As I walked the sidewalks of Chicago I felt so small between the seemingly never-ending streets of skyscrapers. Butterflies filled my stomach, not because of what I was about to do, but because I was here in this big city for the first time in my life.

…at 7:10 in the morning I nervously waited in line with hundreds of other runners waiting to use the oh-so-delightful porta-potties.

…at 7:20 in the morning I made my way to my corral and held my head way up high for having the privilege to be in corral C. Everyone around me looked like pretty serious runners…and there I was…right there with them. And then I started to tear up (cue praises for waterproof mascara). I looked all around me at the people, the runners, the buildings, the skyscrapers. How lucky was I to get to be right there in the middle of Chicago about to run one of the biggest marathons in the world.

I quickly blinked those tears away. I needed to look serious. Focused. Hard-core. (Because hot pink nails, shorts, headband, and shoelaces emit hard-core, right?)

…at 7:30 in the morning I was off! I was running my third marathon in a beautiful city that I had never seen with my own two eyes before.

And this is where my minute-by-minute memory seems to fail me. It’s hard to put this race recap into coherent words in a time-wise sequence. The entire twenty-six point two miles were quite a blur of events, emotions, thoughts, and googly-eyed smiles.

What I do remember is the hundreds and hundreds of spectators screaming, ringing bells, snapping photos, and cheering us all on…from the very second the race started. At the one mile mark I saw one spectator holding a sign that read Only Twenty-Five More Miles To Go! I remember thinking that he must be a real mean guy. I also remember at one mile my Garmin ticking at eight minutes and five seconds. That’s when any strategy of going out slow, conserving energy, or running smart flew right out the window.

That morning when I was getting ready I had plastered the pace tattoo on my right forearm for a lofty finishing goal time of 3:45. I remember as each of those beginning miles passed coming in thirty seconds…one minute…two minutes under pace for that goal.

I remember crossing over each timing mat, thinking about my friends and family who were keeping track of me. I could picture my dad’s proud smile and my mom’s worried face. I wanted to push on to make them proud. And then I remember PRing my 10K time.

I remember running past Elvis singing on stage.

I remember the spectators that had a table set up with cups, orange juice, and champagne. They had a sign that said Stop For Mimosas. I remember really wanting a mimosa.

I remember beaming when I PRed my half marathon time.

I remember one spectator yelling, “Go braided hair girl!” I remember high fiving a row of little kids. I remember all the signs that read Run (insert name here) Run! and thinking that they were all intended for me. I remember running way too fast, but before I could convince myself to slow down I told myself that this could be my last marathon for awhile so I’d better not run with any regrets.

I remember passing the 3:45 pacing crew. Then, somewhere around mile twenty, I remember them passing me back up. Before I let any negative thoughts enter my mind, I reminded myself that I truly was giving it my all.

I remember my pace faltering, ever-so-slightly during those last five miles. But I also remember the energizing salsa music, the smell of deep-dish pizza, the band blaring Lady Gaga, and all the wonderful volunteers eagerly waiting to give me water. And I remember willing myself to continue on.

I remember thinking of my girlfriend who was also running the race. I remembered her telling me that she sings Little Nemo songs in her head as she runs. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

Just keep running, just keep running

I remember counting down the last mile. Eight hundred meters. Four hundred meters. I remember that hill, the only hill as I rounded the corner with barely a quarter of a mile left. I remember thinking that it was pure evil. But then I remembered the crowd…the bleachers full of spectators…the fact the my husband was waiting somewhere in the runner meet up area for me.

And I pushed on.

I remember crossing that finish line. My third marathon finish line…on October 7th at 11:23 in the morning. A feeling indescribable. Unworthy of complete sentences.

…and at 11:35 in the morning a nice lady poured my a beer. She said, “Honey, you just ran a marathon and your mascara isn’t even messed up!”

Three hours, forty-eight minutes and thirty-four seconds of heart-filled, gosh darn hard work.

On October 7th, 2012, all the early morning wake-up calls, all the long runs, all the hot pink nail polish and waterproof mascara sure became worth the feeling of 3:48.54.

ang

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Race Recap

In true fashion of this training cycle I debated with myself today…write my race recap or study for my finals next week? Typically school would beat out training, although I’d usually still find time after schoolwork to lace up my running shoes. However, the endorphins have been slowly declining since last Saturday, and in an attempt to keep them alive I’m forcing myself to sit down and recap the day I ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz…the day I ran my second marathon…the day a ran a sub-4 hour marathon…the day I kind of got this feeling that I can do anything…and the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

I arrived at Garmin International where the race started and finished with enough time to make my final decisions on what to wear, pick up my packet, pin on my race bib, and dance in my car to a few songs.

I headed to the port-a-potties where I came upon a familiar scene. One year ago this is where I ran my first half marathon ever. And, one year ago I pretty much started my race from the port-a-potty. Luckily, I left myself with plenty of time to actually start this race from the start line.

Soon enough the race began and I was running. I didn’t have a detailed plan of how I wanted to run this race, I just knew that I needed to go out nice and easy, not too fast, and that I wanted to be under two hours at the halfway point. Before I knew it my ticker notified me that one mile had already passed…and at 9 minutes and 2 seconds. I had held back a little bit, but I was definitely worried that I hadn’t held back enough. However, I felt good, and plan or no plan, I just like to run how I feel.

The second mile…8:41. The third…8:38. Fourth…8:46. Fifth…8:37. Angela, you are running too fast. You are going to get too tired. I ate my first mocha Clif Shot at mile five, and I clocked in mile six at 8:37, and then mile seven at 8:27.

8:27…Angela you are seriously running too fast.

I was worried. I never trained to run this fast for this long. But my legs felt great and it was a gorgeous morning, so I just kept running. Mile eight…8:35, mile nine…8:30. Mile ten came in at 8:42 and I ate some delicious Clif bites. Around this time I was running near these two men who were very entertaining. I just listening to them cheer on each other and every runner that they came across. They seemed so full of energy I just thought to myself if I can stay near them then I’d be doing well. Mile eleven…8:38, mile twelve…..8:31.

Mile thirteen…8:26. Goodness gracious…that’s fast for me…especially at mile thirteen…especially since I had thirteen more to go. I reached the halfway point around 1 hour and 52 minutes. I just may have PRed my half marathon time, too.

As I was running too fast, but feeling amazing at the same time I was literally smiling the entire time. I even heard one spectator say around mile 20, “Why is that girl still smiling?” I knew a sub-4 hour marathon was definitely within reach which motivated me to keep going.

The second half of the marathon was an out-and-back on a paved trail. The trail was beautiful, and it was so lovely to be able to run for so long through the pretty trees and scenery. However, I knew that my family would be trying to find during the second half of the race, and running this trail was not going to be conducive to them finding me. My family was such a big motivator for me during my first marathon, I tried to prepare myself not to see them until the finish line this time around. Mile fourteen came in at 8:30 (you’re still going too fast), mile fifteen at 8:40 (downed another mocha Clif Shot and thought you are still going too fast), sixteen and seventeen both at 8:43, and eighteen at 8:50.

I reached the turnaround point and I knew I was on the final stretch. I was still feeling ridiculously amazing, but I knew the last part would be difficult. I kept running along, and as I passed a water station I heard the best sound ever. “ANGELA! It’s Angela! There she is!!!” my sister screeched as I ran past her. Somehow her and my dad managed to find me along the trail. I’d given my dad a map and my potential splits to help him navigate, but after being on the trail for so long I just didn’t expect to see anyone. Later they told me they had been close to leaving that spot because according to the splits I’d provided them I should have been coming from the other way. Little did they know that I was running like crazy that morning.

I saw them once again…I can’t explain the excitement I felt as I heard both of their voices. Later I saw that my sister had posted this…

Mile nineteen…8:48, mile twenty (and more Clif bites)…8:53.

About this time I had another very welcome surprise. I saw the most gorgeous six foot eight inches walking toward the trail as it passed along a main road. My beautiful husband also managed to track me down and give me some encouragement…he also added in there, “You are way ahead of your splits!”

After mile twenty ended my rein of sub-9 minute miles. Mile twenty-one…9:01, twenty-two…9:12 (I knew I had been running too fast), and mile twenty-three…9:20, I was slowing down quite a bit, but I knew without a doubt that I would be coming in under four hours. After mile twenty-three I felt really exhausted. To make matters worse, I had noticed that my Garmin had been ticking anywhere from a tenth of a mile to three tenths of a mile before I passed the actual mile markers along the course. My Garmin would notify me that I’d completed another mile, then two minutes later I’d pass the course mile marker.

Mile twenty-four…9:33. Come on Angela, you are almost there…less than thirty minutes more of running. When you are running for so long, it’s definitely okay to talk out loud to yourself. Keep going!

Twenty-five…9:34. Hold on girl. Keep running! Twenty-six…9:37.

I saw the twenty-six mile marker. I could hear the crowd at the finish line. I rounded the corner…I heard them announce my name, “Angela Habermehl, twenty-six point two miles…!”

I saw the timer…I saw the “3”…

3:54:01.27. Sub-4 hours.

And that’s when I knew that anything is possible. It really, honest-to-goodness, is. This whole training cycle I questioned my ability…my ability to actually train for the marathon, my ability to get faster, my ability to sub-4 hours. But I did it. I did it all.

I know that I had so much more than just my two feet moving one in front of the other working for me leading up to and during the race. My husband, dad, and sister who all came out to support me…my family and friends all thinking about me from home…people sending up prayers for me…that little redbird I saw the day before…all kept me going. So much more…thank you.

much love, ang

Just Maybe if All the Stars Aligned

I’m not even sure where to start this recap, so I’ll just start with my time leading up to race day. My thoughts are so scattered and random and I still feel like I’m riding on an endorphin high.

…definitely a high I don’t want to end.

As you know, one of my wishes this year was to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I knew I wanted to run a spring marathon, but I didn’t have high hopes that it’d be my sub-4 hour goal marathon. I put a lot of effort and time into my training, but not as much effort and time that I have put into nursing school. I knew that at the very least I wanted to PR…and to PR I’d have to get faster…and to get faster I’d have to do some speedwork…and I maybe did speedwork once a month. (Although, I have to give some credit to my lovely W.O.W. running gals…you three pretties dragging me along all those mornings definitely helped my speed!)

But…three weeks ago I set out for a twenty-two mile run. It was going to be my longest long run of this marathon training, and the longest training run I’d ever done in my life. I was terrified to tackle this, but excited to slaughter yet another seemingly impossible task. I started the run nice and easy…and mile after mile passed by…and pretty soon I was seeing some “8:XX’s” on my little ticker. I finished that run with an average pace of 9:12.

…and then I got this little feeling that sub-4 hours was maybe-just maybe-if-all-the-stars-aligned-possible.

The week leading up to the race was perfect. I didn’t go taper-crazy, my little runs seemed effortless, I drank lots of water, ate lots of carbs (like that is something new), and I actually stretched. I finished all my homework early so that I could have a clear mind on Friday, rest as much as I wanted, and have plenty of time to prepare my gear. I wanted to do everything that I did last August on race-eve that I felt was beneficial. I leashed up my little princess Tia and went out for a short two-mile run/walk. As we were strolling along a pretty little redbird crossed my path.

That’s when I knew I’d have someone looking out for me on race day. It didn’t matter if I subbed-4 hours or even PRed. I knew I’d have an amazing time.

And that I did.

ang

Made It Official

I’ve been running.

I haven’t been writing much about running, but I’ve been running. I’ve listened to my little garmin chirp as it tracked mile after mile. A delightful little sound.

One of my goals this year is to run two marathons. I signed up for the Chicago marathon that is in October, and I’ve been training for a spring marathon. However, I have been afraid to fully commit and actually register for this spring marathon because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in all my training miles with nursing school.

Until today. I finally made it official!

My mind was pretty made up two Fridays ago, though. I crammed my face with carbs the night before and set my alarm to go off way too early for a Friday morning. I knew I’d need extra motivation for my longest run of the training cycle (so far), so I did the only thing I thought truly appropriate…

…switched the bright pink laces, of course!

The marathon is only twenty-five (what?!) days away, and this weekend I am going to attempt my longest training run ever…22 miles.

Please send your positive running vibes to my pretty pink laces!

ang

The Week I Didn’t Run, Eat Healthy, Blog, or Even Study Very Much

People have commented and complimented me for keeping up with my running plan and eating well during nursing school. I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. However, if you ask me how I do it…run, study, eat, study, study, study…the truth is, I don’t.

An entire week without running is not something I have experienced since my marathon last August. Instead of finding me on the treadmill or hitting the pavement, last week you would have found me cuddled up on the couch with two blankets, little Tia on the lap, a kleenex stuffed up my nose, and a coffee cup of TheraFlu steaming from the tv tray in front of me.

An entire week without running makes me nervous. What if my endurance is gone? If I’m going to stick to my plan I am going to run my first marathon of 2012 in approximately sixty days. That means I’m going to start seeing 14, 16, 20 mile long runs pretty soon. Um, what?!

I’m going to stick to my plan though. I know if I kick it back into gear again then I will be ready come sixty days from now. Eating healthy on the other hand…that one’s always a little tricky for me.

My plan was the make one healthy change to my diet each week. I totally rocked January adding lots of fruits and veggies, minimizing my soda pop and drinking lots of water. Then I amped up the coffee…then I ran out of fruit…then I ran out of time…then I forgot to make one healthy change…then I got sick (correlation here?!)…then I stopped trying.

So I need some help here. Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to do is just decide what my one healthy change will be. Does anyone have any suggestions other than servings of fruit and veggies? When it comes to what I’m eating I can use all the help I can get! I think for the remainder of this week I’m going to try to get back to where I was at the end of January, and for next week my goal is to simply plan ahead.

Last but not least, this poor little blog…has been…oh so…so neglected. Every now and then I check in just to make sure it hasn’t somehow vanished from the internet. The funny thing is that I actually have thought up quite a few of blog posts that I’d love to write…I just never get to it. What’s even crazier is that this month is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month…and I haven’t posted one time about it. Sad face. I still have a few days left, though, and National Eating Disorders Awareness week is coming right up, which is the anniversary of my discovery of the blog world…so you will hear from me again soon…I promise!

Until next time, keep on keeping on people!

ang

 

 

Woah January

Don’t worry people, somehow I’m still alive. Barely.

Even though somehow my stack of textbooks managed to double in size.

To be completely honest, school is ridiculously overwhelming. I thought the first week was crazy and hard…and since then, each week as gotten even more difficult. And I love it. Even though I’m lacking on sleep, quadrupled my coffee intake, and already studied more than I did in my first time through college combined, I love it.

And somehow January is ending and it’s time to start a new month. That means only three and a half more months until my first semester of nursing school is over.

With the month coming to an end, I wanted to quickly (very quickly since I have a test in fifteen minutes!) go over how great January actually was, even though I’ve been running around like a crazy lady for the past couple weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually made a better eating goal each week. I shared my first, second, and third weekly goals on here (eat breakfast everyday, eat at least three servings of fruit a day, and eat at least three servings of vegetables a day), but I didn’t share my last two. Last week my goal was to incorporate protein in breakfast. Thank you greek yogurt…goal achieved. This week’s goal is to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. This goal, oddly enough, is a little harder to obtain…especially since my recent want and need for coffee. I’m trying here though.

Another New Year’s goal of mine was to cook a new dinner once a month. Once a month may not seem like anything to most everyone else in the world, but for a non-cooker like me with hardly any time, once a month is lofty. I did cook enchiladas a couple weeks ago, and while they weren’t as tasty as when my madre makes them, they were still delicious. And I was pretty darn proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to touch on this little subject of marathon training.

I knew it’d be hard to find the time to run, but aside from studying and spending time with my family, running has been number three on my priority list (sorry blog…right now you’re near the bottom of this list!) So far I’ve been keeping up with the majority of my runs, and I’ve gotten in each and every long run.

In my pile of assignments and to-do lists sits my training plan, all written in pencil since I still change it daily. The month of January I was able to run 114 miles…total success.

Woah January.

ang

School Week Two, Marathon Training and Eating Healthy Week Three

One week of nursing school down, only fifteen more weeks this semester to go. It sure feels good to be starting week two!

Not only have I completed one week of school, I’m also on my third week of marathon training!

image

I still haven’t nailed down my training plan, but I’m loosely following one of the good ol’ Hal Higdon’s plans. When I say loosely I mean loosely. It hasn’t been the easiest thing trying to figure out when to fit in a good run in my newly acquired crazy schedule.

But again, I’m definitely up for the challenge. I’m going to have to get used to some pretty early morning wake up calls and long run dates with that wonderful treadmill…like the beautiful seven miles we spent together this morning.

I’m also into the third week of my making over my eating habits, and I think it’s definitely helping my overall stamina. I just feel healthier. This week my goal is to eat at least three servings of vegetables each day.

Vegetables are a little bit more difficult for me than fruit. I adore fruit, so three servings a day is simple. Vegetables, on the other hand, are something else completely. I’m going to have to branch out further than three servings of baby carrots or V8 Fusion a day.

Happy four day week everyone!

ang