Saturday, November 29, 2014

From Wine & Dine to Yellowstone

Me -a drenched & frozen finisher-  proudly
displaying her medal alongside
her fantastic drenched & frozen run buddy.
(Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon 2014) 
Greetings! It's been forever hasn't it?  Well, I can say I have continued to sign up and run some races since the last time I posted a real race report. I have also healed and been able to run a little better as well. But the big big news is I have signed up for my first trail race in none other than Yellowstone National Park!

Now, you may ask yourself why would a below sea level, slow road runner, and over weight over forty young lady like myself sign up for a trail run at 6,000 feet with real hills? What was she thinking at the time? Honestly I was thinking "That looks pretty and challenging.".

Then I hit the register button and instantly began freaking out in my mind. I remember there being a lot of panicked screaming in my head and I may have begun to sweat a little as my heart began to race. But I knew that because it scared the poo out of me I had to do it! I am also realistic and knew that I had to completely focus and get into shape.

During the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (also known as the Splash & Freeze) my awesome run partner suggested we become sugarholic sponsors for each other. We chose a "cheat day" and would only allow ourselves to have an obviously bad treat/food on that day. Plus, we would keep each other on track regarding exercise. Yeah, you have a lot of time to chat during a half marathon when you are trying to not focus on how wet and cold you are. F.Y.I., it rained the entire race and the temperature continually dropped while we ran.

This plan helped me truly focus on an all around training plan for this massive challenge ahead. I need to loose weight (this will help in tons of ways), cross train, and run. 

For the losing weight part I am simply eating healthy and keeping a food journal on Map My Fitness. Smaller portions and healthier choices plus drinking more water. A lighter me will reduce stress on my joints while gaining speed. Less to carry around.

My cross training consists of PiYo from Beach Body. No, I am not a coach so this is not an advertisement for the program. I just know that I need to strengthen my weak ankles and feet and core if I am to tackle trail running. I did my research and every article I have read states that you need strong feet, ankles, and core for what a trail throws at you. I know my body and I am weak on all three areas. A program that focuses on these things is exactly what I need. I'll let you know how it goes.

My run training plan is two fold. First, I want to run in the WDW Half Marathon 2016 but I no longer want to be in the last corral or second to last corral. I want to move up. I am tired of having to limit my photo stops because of my game of tag with the balloon ladies. Because of this I have to plan a year in advance in order to submit a good P.O.T.. That means I have to improve my pace time and run in a 10k before September 2015. I chose the Best D**n Race in Orlando on February 28th, 2015. It is a fairly flat race and therefore lends itself to a faster finish time. I just need to go from a 15:30 to a 13:30 from now until then. I know I can do it. I just have to break this mental barrier I have regarding fear of injury. IF I don't succeed in that race there is another flat race in July I can try. So, from now until then I will be focusing on speed.

The second part of my plan starts right after the BDR. Vacation Races (the organizers of the YSHalf) provide training plans for the registered racers. It includes hill training. I contacted the training plan creator and they assured me the plan would help a mermaid such as myself gain her legs for the mountains. I also have a local running buddy that promised she would push me and not let me slack.

So, there you have it! This South Floridian is tackling a mountain half marathon trail race. My first trail race ever. I have a plan, I have gotten through the majority of my panic attack, and I am ready to do this! Now I just need some new trail running shoes. 

Keep challenging yourself my friends!