Gobbler Grind Race Recap

This whole race seemed funny. Weird. Funky. Casual. That is, until I started running it.

It was the first race I’ve ever done where I didn’t know someone else running it. In a way this was a little bit sad, but in another way I kind of liked being able to have my own pre-race routine. I arrived to the race site super early, snagged a great parking space near the porta-potties, and blasted the heat and music in my car until I was ready for my first potty break. I was able to get right in and out and back to my car in less than two minutes.

(See…porta-potties in the background…)

I sat in my warm, warm car for another fifteen minutes and prepared myself for the race. When I attached my timing chip to my shoe I finally felt a surge of excitement when I read what it said. Finally, I started to feel like I was about to race!

I used the porta-potty one last time…this time after waiting in a long, long line…and with much caution since the lady who exited it before me warned me that it was “a little bit wobbly.” Visions of your porta-potties toppling over with you and your pretty new hot pink running jacket is not a pretty picture. Like I said, this race started out funky. Luckily, I squatted very carefully (because no one should put their behinds directly on those seats), distributed my weight evenly, finished my business, then headed over to the start line with no nightmares coming true.

At the start line I found a nice little place to stand and wait while the race director made some last minute comments. The race director seemed like a really sweet guy and he told all the runners to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know next to them. I shook hands and introduced myself to two older men right next to me. They were very nice, and the three of us spoke briefly on our running history. I promptly and proudly told them that I just ran my first marathon in August.

Of course, they were impressed. 🙂

Finally the race director yelled, “Go,” and slowly but surely the racers were off. I, along with my two new male friends, were near the back of the pack so we casually walked forward until the start mats were in our vision.

Since we were near the back, several people had already crossed the mat (duh). Someone’s foot up ahead must have caught the mat, because part of it was rolled over. I noticed this and told myself to be careful as I crossed so that my own foot wouldn’t get caught and cause myself some acrobatics at the start of the race. I finally reached the mat, crossed over it, caught my foot, and stumbled forward with my face only inches from the pavement for approximately fifteen seconds. After regaining my composure, finally, my new friend made sure I was okay and said, “Well that’s not the best way to start a half marathon!”

Like I said, this race started out weird. Funny, though? Not at the time.

Finally I started running for real, not stumbling, and everything fell (no pun intended…I promise) into place.

The first mile was only slightly crowded and I did a little bit of weaving, but nothing to drastic. The temperature was about thirty-one degrees, but I warmed up quite nicely during that first mile.

Mile 1: 8:54

Mile 2: 8:23

Mile 3: 8:24

I was making great time, but I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to maintain this pace. My goal was to average under nine minute miles…not run all my miles under nine minutes. But I always just run how I feel. I know this may not be the best method to running long distances, but if I feel good then I like to run fast.

Mile 4: 8:22

Mile 5: 8:36

Mile 6: 8:12

Eight minutes and twelve seconds for mile six?!?! Who was this girl, and can she stick around forever?! Still…the longer I kept this pace the more worried I was getting that I’d hit a wall. However, from approximately miles three through nine I ran right next to this pretty little girl wearing blue. I remember that she had on blue because I thought the color looked so nice next to my bright pink. Running next to my blue girl helped me keep up this pace because I did not want her to beat me. My ultra-competitiveness kicked in, and I knew I couldn’t let up if I wanted to beat her.

Thank you pretty blue girl for making me run fast.

Mile 7: 8:26

Mile 8: 8:49

Mile 9: 8:38

Miles seven through thirteen was an out and back on a paved trail. For the most part the trail was relatively flat, except for a few steep ups and downs. Very steep. Most of the time I despise hills, especially steep hills, but for this course there was always a very nice downhill payoff.

Mile 10: 8:51

Mile 11: 8:48

Mile 12: 8:57

I knew I was going to reach my goal of finishing in under one hour and fifty-five minutes and averaging under nine minute miles. I felt amazing!

Mile 13: 8:24

To make my race a little sweeter, I chicked this very tall and muscular man in the last .1 mile to the finish line. Sorry guy, you’re not beating this girl.

My official stats:

Time: 1:52.52

Average pace: 8:37

I blew my goals and expectations out of this world. I guess it makes my stumble at the start a little less embarrassing.

Funny? I guess so.

ang

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Happy Week Ahead!

I know I’ve said before that I’m a Thanksgiving scrooge, but I’m in a good mood on this lovely Monday, so I’m proud to say that I’m looking forward to a wonderful holiday week!

Unlike little Tia, who had to endure a traumatic and horrid bath this morning, along with mommy forcing a bow in her hair, there are a few very good reasons that I’m in such a good mood today.

(Little does she know that this pink bow is going to give her super speedy powers…maybe now she’ll be able to catch those squirrels.)

1. I got to see my beautiful mom, dashing dad, gorgeous sister, sweet Mamaw, and handsome Rob this weekend. I didn’t get to see them for very long, but just long enough to share some smiles, laughs, hugs and kisses. (I must be the luckiest girl to have the most aesthetically pleasing family?!)

2. I woke up with tight tight hamstrings (that’s not a typo…the double “tight” is for emphasis), sore calves, and a strangely chafed collarbone. These might seem like things that would put a person in a not-so-good mood, but they have done the opposite for me…

…which makes sense, since…

3. I got a bright and shiny new half marathon PR on Sunday! (More to come on that tomorrow!)

Happy Monday!

ang

 

A Few Friday Favs

Good afternoon pretties! I’m geared up and excited for the weekend! It seems kind of strange that I’m running a half marathon on Sunday. I remember for my first half marathon there was so much excitement leading up to the big day…even weeks before. This time around the whole process has seemed somewhat casual.

I’d come home from a long run, and the husband would ask me how far I went. When I would tell him, “Nine miles,” or, “Ten miles,” he would reply, “Well that’s not very far.”

I promptly told him if that’s what he thought then he should go out and try it.

Yeah. That’s not happening.

No matter what, though, thirteen point one miles is a long way. It is hard, it is challenging, and it is rewarding. It is going to be exciting!

In honor of my thirteen point one to come, I want to share with you some of my favorite things right now.

Number one:

This hot pink running jacket. I’ve shared it on the blog before, and I will say it again. The color pink, specifically hot pink, has magical speedy powers. I hope this theory proves true again come Sunday.

Number two:

Black cherry Clif Bloks. I think I’ve had enough mocha flavored Clif Shots to last me for awhile now, so I picked up these at the store to give them a try. These bloks are delicious…seriously…they are like big fruit snacks. They will definitely be stowed in in the pocket of my hot pink running jacket on Sunday.

Number three:

A pretty and sparkly pink headband ear warmer made by the one and only Mamzie (my grandma). I have worn a special creation from my Mamz at every big race I’ve done this year…my first race of the year, my first official race recap, my first half marathon, and my first marathon.

I have a funny story about this particular headband. In August I had asked her to make me a headband for my marathon. I said that I wanted a pink headband with a flat, sparkly flower on it. When I said headband, I was imagining a regular elastic headband to hold my hair from sweating into my eyes. When she heard headband, she imagined what you see above…an ear warmer. So, that is what she made…and ear warmer headband with a flat, sparkly flower.

“Mamaw, I can’t wear this in August in the 90 degree weather,” I had to tell her. She replied, “I thought it seemed odd that you wanted one.” She’s too cute.

So, I will be wearing that headband on Sunday…in much more appropriate temperatures.

My last two favorite things do not have to do with the race…

Number four:

This fabric. I will be creating something this weekend using this pretty awesome looking fabric. I wonder what it will be?!?!

And last but definitely not least, it wouldn’t be a complete favorites things list without a picture of this…

Number five:

Goodness she is cute!

Have a good weekend!!!

ang

P.S.  I can’t forget a Friday affirmation! We are deserving of all things good in our lives. When something good happens to me, I can use that to do something good for another person.

Mr. Thirteen Point One

In three short days I have a date with a very lucky fellow! His name is half marathon. Hello again thirteen point one pretty miles!

My last (and first) date with Mr. thirteen point one went very well. Better than expected. But I have high high hopes for this next date…I mean, like…flowers upon arrival, long walk on the beach ending with a bonfire and s’mores, and a kiss on the front porch kind of high hopes. The kind of date that leaves you weak in the knees and short of breath…but in a good way.

It’s going to be hard to live up to my date with Mr. twenty-six point two. Probably downright impossible…but they are two different types of guys. Mr. twenty-six point two is the kind of guy who takes weeks, sometimes excruciating long weeks, to plan an extreme romantic getaway. Finally, when the time is exactly right, he sweeps you off your feet, flies you on a private jet to a secluded island, makes you feel like a true queen…and at the end of the date he’ll plant a whirlwind of a kiss on you. It’s the kind of kiss that sets the world spinning. And then the date is over before you know it. From my experience, there are many highs and lows along the way during preparation for and the actual date with him. Sometimes he makes you hurt…sometimes he makes you cry. But sometimes, most of the time, he is amazing. Sometimes you might doubt that you deserve someone so wonderful…but then he reminds you that you are worth it.

You have to have a whole lot of heart to put up with Mr. twenty-six point two.

Now Mr. thirteen point one…this guy is sweet! Flowers, chocolates, and a kiss on the cheek sweet.

I can’t wait to see what our date goes on Sunday. I hope it will be filled with good spirits, laughter, and confidence. I know guys like confidence in a girl. I’ve put in all the effort to make the date as good as it can be. I have my outfit picked out and my mascara ready.

However…I hope it only lasts one hours and fifty-five minutes.

ang

Can’t Make Up My Mind

I woke up bright and early again with dread in my mind.

The temperature? Thirty degrees.

The plan? Two hour run.

I couldn’t put it off because I have plans this afternoon, tomorrow, and Sunday. It had to be done today. In the cold.

Silver lining? At least it wasn’t raining.

I bundled up…capris, t-shirt, arm sleeves, jacket, gloves and headband…tied up my shoes, strapped on my garmin, and I was ready to conquer the cold. Kind of. Mostly I was still dreading it.

After about half of a mile I was acclimated to the temperature and I felt pretty good. I ran my first two miles at a speed I rarely see, but I didn’t expect to keep it up. After three miles the gloves came off. After six miles I was surprised to see that I was still averaging just under nine minute miles. Were these legs mine?

I started feeling pretty awesome. I started thinking to myself that I actually liked running in the cold. (Oh my goodness did she just say that? After yesterday’s post?)

After ten miles I was shocked to see that I was still maintaining a great speed. Then I realized that I could actually set a new personal record on my half marathon time today.

The new plan? Run a half marathon. No more, no less.

I kicked out the last three point one with a sprint to the finish (my front door)…

Final time? One hour, fifty-seven minutes, and fifty-four seconds.

I credit my amazing new hot pink running jacket for this awesome run. And the fact that I now think I love cold weather running!

November goal number two? Check!

November goal number five? I’m well on my way!

ang

P.S. A Friday Affirmation? Yes, please!

Oh-My-Goodness Hardcore

It’s raining here…and it’s in the thirties. I never said I liked the cooler temps, did I? What, I did? Well, let me take that back now. Silly me.

I had a date this morning with the running group…a date that I promptly canceled (in my head) and rescheduled with the lonely treadmill for later this afternoon. I hope that the other girls had the same thought process, too, so that they weren’t waiting for me in the freezing drizzle. The truth is, last night when I checked the hour by hour weather and saw that there was still a 70% chance of precipitation at 5:00am, I didn’t even set my alarm. That is when I rescheduled today’s sweat session appointment. Sorry gals.

I have run in the rain before…for a race, nonetheless…and I didn’t like it. But I probably need to toughen up and tough it out. I mean, that’s what the hardcore, win-the-race, most awesome runners do. Run. Rain or shine. Sleet or snow. Oh wait, or is that just mail people? Or both. I bet it goes for both.

It is possible to be hardcore on the treadmill, though. I may have questioned this before, but I have seen the hardcore-ness of a runner on a treadmill in action. Let’s rewind to my marathon training days. Once again I had put off my morning run, but this time I had to resort to the treadmill at the college gym based on the heat of the summer day. I set up my machine with water and Gu, set my pace on 6.3mph and went on my way to reach nine beautiful miles.

I thought I was pretty hardcore.

Behind me in the corner of my eye I saw someone else running. It was a man wearing a very official looking red singlet and runners shorts. It’s easy to spot running shorts on a man because they weren’t down to his knees. Picture it with me. He looked like the type you’d see breaking records at Boston. He was running fast, and it motivated me to keep going…and to my benefit, keep raising my pace.

After about two miles into my run, my husband came over to check on me and upon arrival whispered to me, “Did you see that guy behind you?!” I confirmed, still feeling stellar from the 6.5mph displayed on my screen. Then what the husband said almost made me fall down right then and there on my machine. Almost.

“He’s running at 11.0mph!!!”

Okay, so my 6.5 was pretty hardcore. His 11.0 was oh-my-goodness hardcore, the win-the-race, I’m-going-to-blow-you-out-of-the-water, I’ll-see-you-on-my-cool-down-lap, breaking records kind.

Maybe someday I’ll be half that cool. For now, I’m perfectly happy running three easy miles at 6.3mph this afternoon! 🙂

ang

Achievable and Challenging

I think there is a great importance to setting goals. Before volleyball games, I had my girls come up with goals as a team and come up with individual goals. At the beginning of the season someone would say, “Our goal should be to do good.” Well, that’s a given! I then explained to them that our goals needed to be measurable. We need to be able to actually see if we achieve them.

Once the girls grasped that concept someone would suggest, “Our goal should be to have no missed serves.” This seems like a great goal, however, these are middle school girls…and for many serving was not yet their strong suit. I had to explain that our goals need to be achievable. Then someone would blurt out, “Okay then, only ten missed serves.” Ten?! We’d surely lose the game is we missed that many serves. I then explained that our goals need to be achievable, yes, but also challenging.

Ooooohhh.

So for this month, I am setting some very measurable, achievable, and challenging goals for myself.

1. Decide which nursing school I will attend.

Obviously I need to make this decision because I’ll be enrolling in classes soon! Aaahhh! I am so excited to start school, I just can’t say it enough! I am definitely feeling a pull toward one school, but I’m not ready to make a definite decision. Soon, though!

2. PR on November 20th in my second ever half marathon.

I finished my last (first) half marathon in one hour, fifty-nine minutes, and ten seconds. I so want to beat this!

3. Finish my second ever half marathon in one hour and fifty-five minutes.

Yes, I’ll be happy with any PR, but to really challenge myself I want to finish 1.55:xx. I know that for so long (marathon training) I was focused on mileage rather than speed, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve really been trying to get faster!

4. Cook (3 meals a week and two great Thanksgiving sides). Read (1 book). Make (3 things from Pinterest).

5. Smile 334,918,374,918,327,419,834,719,238,471,903,248,102 times!

How are you challenging yourself this month?!

ang

September in Review, October Underway

I simply cannot believe that it is October…October 3rd to be exact. September flew by insanely fast…the whole summer flew by too fast. And now it’s October. Crazy.

I know that I am going to regret saying this in a few weeks when I can’t stand the fall cold anymore (even though the weather is perfect right now, Missouri weather changes too fast), but I’m kind of glad that the seasons are changing. Dare I say that I’m looking forward to our first snow? (Insert my dad gasping here…he loves the snow and he knows I’m a summer baby!) Okay, snow is still pretty far off and maybe taking it too far. No, definitely too far. Nonetheless, I am kind of stoked that it’s now fall.

source

The fact that September seemed so short, I’m not going to be too hard on myself about my September goals (and maybe because I already know that I did not accomplish very many of them!) Let’s be real here…in September I spent most of my time trying to overcome my post-first-marathon depression, and even though that wasn’t one of the goals I listed for myself, I think it was the biggest accomplishment.

I did achieve my first two goals: find a new race to sign up for and create a new workout schedule. I ran a 10K in September and I am registered to run my second half marathon at the end of November. I also created a new training plan for my half that I will share with you all later! Success!

My third goal was to strength train at least twice a week. I don’t think I completely accomplished this goal, but I did manage to weight lift once a week. Semi-success!

Two more goals were to blog more and cook more. These are both pretty relative goals, but I can say for a fact that I did blog and cook more than I did in August (which really isn’t saying that much.)

And now for the walk of shame…

Finish unpacking and decorating. Fail.

Do yoga. Fail. Not.Even.One.Time.

Find a book to read. Fail.

Create something artsy. Fail.

And last, but definitely not least, enjoy life. I did enjoy life…but not enough. I spent too much time being sad that my marathon was over and just being moody. Enough of that!

Now that it is a new month, it is time for a new mindset and some new goals!

1. Stick to my half marathon training plan. It is easy to blow off a three miles run here and there, but for the most part I want to stay on track! I’ve devised this plan a little bit differently, so I’d like to stick it out!

2. Cook even more. My body is telling me that it’s had enough frozen meals and frozen pizzas for a lifetime. So, why not make a homemade pizza, with homemade crust, instead of cooking one frozen? As I was preparing dinner last night (yes, I cooked last night!) I thought to myself this isn’t so bad. Maybe I could even start to enjoy cooking. Hmmm.

3. Be creative. I am in the middle of a fun design project for a spa company which I think is very beautiful, but I need to create something out of pure enjoyment! I just haven’t made enough time for creativity lately…and I think I need to get on the Pinterest bandwagon to get the wheels a’rollin! Add that to the goal…be creative and join Pinterest!

4. Try something pumpkin flavored. I have been reading about everyones’ undying love for pumpkin lattes, coffees, creamers, pies, oatmeal, cookies, ect., so why not give it a try? I’ve always veered away from pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, but I actually tried a slice last year and I think I kind of liked it.

5. Spruce up this little blog of mine. It’s been on my mind for awhile to lose the “.wordpress” from my web address, but I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing. If you have any advice, please share it with me! So, maybe I’m not ready to go self-hosted, but I would like to add a few new pages, update my current pages, and just make it overall a little bit better!

6. Read a book. Let’s give this goal another try.

7. Have faith. October is destined to bring me some more news regarding my future in nursing school. Whatever happens, I want to know that it is the right thing and that I can get through it.

8. Be happy. Life is too short not to be.

What are your October goals?!

ang

Running Encouragement From Princess Tia

I am officially registered for my second ever half marathon, and day two of training goes down in the books! I am determined to set a new personal record for this half marathon, even though I am still extremely pleased with my first half marathon time. This means that I am trying to focus a lot more on my pace and incorporate more speed work into my routine.

Maybe I should take some running advice from my little baby Tia.

Let’s back it up…

I’m definitely a summer baby. I love the sunshine, the hot temperatures, swimming, being outside, and sweating. I love that I have my husband all to myself in the summer. I love everything about summer…that is, until I started seriously running.

Running in the humidity is utterly ridiculous.

So, I have to admit it, I’m kind of loving this fall weather right now. It’s cooler, but not too cool. The sun is still shining so vitamin D has not become a rarity yet. I can step outside without feeling like I’m going to suffocate. And best yet, Tia and I get to spend more quality time together outdoors!

I have taken her for a couple of run/walks with me, and she absolutely adores it! However, I get nervous having her little six pound body run for too long…her lungs are probably smaller than a couple slices of bread! I try to break it up by half miles…walk half a mile, run half a mile, walk half a mile, run half a mile.

Somehow, though, she always stays ahead of me. That little princess can run her little booty off! She uses the technique of a gazelle, I think…it doesn’t look like a dog’s run. Every now and then she will slow down to run next to me, or she’ll turn around and encourage me to catch up, “Come on Mom!” Sometimes she stops to smell something, and as I pass her, she runs up ahead again.

It’s kind of like running with a little kid. Have you ever been in a race where there was a ten year old boy running near you? You see them up ahead and think to yourself there’s no way I’m letting a little kid beat me! Then you see them slow to a walk and you think you’ve got them. But lo and behold, as soon as you make your way up to them, they take their little adolescent body and sprint ahead again…always staying in front of you.

Frustrating…but maybe they’ve got this running thing figured out. I know I haven’t yet!

I laced up my shoes this morning to complete a forty minute tempo run on the treadmill, and when she saw me putting on my running shoes she got excited. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure doggies aren’t allowed at the gym, so I had to break the news to her that she wasn’t going to run with me today.

I guess I’m just going to have to improvise and add a few more 2 miles run/walks into this new training plan!

ang

Little By Little

I’m finally getting around to posting for today. I still don’t quite feel like I have my writing or running groove back yet, but little by little I’m getting there.

I’m definitely a list kind of person. At one point in time I usually have several lists laying around…or things to do, items to buy, quotes I like, blog topics, ect. Taking into consideration my mood lately, I haven’t been that motivated to get up and get going…to cross things off my lists. However, like yesterday, I know that it is only up to me to get back into the swing of things and get productive.

So it’s time to start checking things off my list!

Order blank gatefold invitations…done! More work for angheartsdesign…I’ll take it!

Apply to Rockhurst College…check! Nursing school will be here before I know it. I simply cannot wait!

E-mail volleyball game results…almost done!

Confirm t-shirt designs…done!

Create a new half marathon training plan…check!

You read that right. I have made a new half marathon training plan for a race that is eight weeks away! I’m trying a little bit different type of training plan, and I’m definitely looking forward to challenging myself again. When I do start nursing school, I won’t have all this free time to spend hours a week running or in the gym, so why not live it up while I can and while I am loving it!

Little by little…I’m coming back!

ang