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I know I haven’t been around the past couple of days, but I’ll be back in the swing of things starting tomorrow. I spent some time today planning out my Half Marathon training schedule. I based it off of Hal Higdon’s plan, but made a few tweeks so it would fit my needs.

NYC HALF MARATHON SCHEDULE

I have it so that it starts the week of December 20th and the race is March 21st.

Wish me luck!

and don’t forget to donate….

My Fundraising Page

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I went to the Team in Training information session last night and I must say it really exceeded my expectations. I was really impressed with how many people showed up and the benefits of running a race through TNT is amazing! I am also really excited about raising money. It is a very rewarding challenge. I am required to raise $1800, but I set a personal goal of $3000. I also had no idea that they provide you with coaches and training. After hearing that I was seriously considering signing up for a marathon! I got really excited about it and was thinking about doing the marathon in Vancouver. I’ve got this serious drive lately to run a marathon. I’ve been reading a lot of marathon recaps lately and they just sound so amazing and I can not wait to be there some day. Probably like 3 months ago I had the thought process of ‘oh yeah I’ll run a marathon some day, but not anytime soon thats for sure.’ But, seriously I feel like I am ready to tackle the marathon training very soon!

I also like to tackle distances in ascending order. My next big race is definitely a Half, then a Marathon. Anyway, I am psyched about Team in Training and the fact that I will be meeting up with people twice a week to run! Yay! I will actually be making new running friends. Oh and one more great thing about TNT is that there were so many people there that were completely out of shape and have no running experience at all and they were signing up for triathlons and half marathons! Amazing.

Help me raise money for the fight against all different types of blood cancers!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/halfnyc10/sbarkerf1a

I can not even express my excitement about the fact that my very first Half Marathon is going to be the amazing NYC Half!

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I Will Not Give Up!

I know I’ve already said it, but I really have not been running much at all lately and I can’t stop thinking about it. I really don’t want to stop running, but my motivation has fell by the wayside. I think I go through these periods every few months or so and I won’t give up, I will always fight through them. I will come out of it and be a confident runner again. I’ve not only been slacking on running, but all forms of exercise. This week I’ve started to come out of the slump and turn it all around. I’m starting slowly and I will hopefully be back to the top real soon. I need to make a schedule and stick to it. Today I woke up a little earlier than usual and was planning on going on a run, but decided I would put it off until a little later. I was thinking about meeting up with the Hellgate Road Runners, which is the Astoria running group. They have 3-4 weekly runs and one of them is tonight. I would love to be a part of them, but I just can’t seem to kick my ass into gear to go. Anyway, I randomly fell upon some running quotes earlier and they totally motivated me to just get out there and run. I felt pretty full of breakfast and coffee, but I decided to go anyway because my mind was mentally pumped to get out there.

These were my favorite quotes.

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”
-Oprah Winfrey

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”
-Priscilla Welch

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
-Edward Stanley

I went out and ran until I couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t plan any route I kind of just went with it. I felt really slow in the beginning, but came out strong.

  • Distance: 4.2 Miles
  • Time: 39:40
  • Pace: 9:26

I really want to become a hardcore runner over this winter. Well, more than I was last year anyway. Last year I wouldn’t run outside under 45°F and I am hoping to push that to 30°F this year. I just have to wear the proper clothing and get my breathing under control. I would like to run outside 1-2 times a week over the winter if at all possible.

I came home from my run and was looking over all of my runs from the past year and they made me feel good and motivated. I was feeling slightly disappointed with myself because I haven’t been as strong lately. My original goal was to run 750 miles this year, but I’m pretty sure I won’t reach that goal, but I know I will come close. I should be happy because I am almost at the 600 mile mark and yeah maybe it isn’t as much as I had anticipated, but it’s a hell of a lot more than I ever would’ve imagined myself running just 2 years ago! I am happy with how far I have come. I have run 6 races this year and I kicked ass at every single one of them, even my triathlon!

 

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Highlights from Race Season and Total Mileage Throughout the Year

April: My first 10K Race and Total Mileage: 60.49

May: My first 12K Race and Total Mileage: 71.24

June: 5K PR: 24:42 and Total Mileage: 68.86

July: My first Triathlon! and Total Mileage: 66.95

August: 5K Race and Total Mileage: 75.2

September: Personal Distance Record: 10.8 Miles! and Total Mileage: 52.75

October: 10K Nike Human Race and Total Mileage: TBD

 

There you have it! I shouldn’t feel so bad for slacking a little right now because I know it won’t last. I’ve had a lot of firsts this year and I ran a lot of races. I was really hoping to run at least one race per month until it got real cold, but I did end up missing September. I’m not too bummed though because another goal I had was to run 10 miles before I had moved to New York and I busted out almost 11 miles and shattered that goal. I am happy with that being my accomplishment of the month. Although there won’t be a Half Marathon this year like I was REALLY hoping, I know there will be more than one next year and I absolutely can not wait!!!

Sorry for the boring post, it was more for me anyway to get it all out and realize that I really shouldn’t feel too bad.

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16 Days left…

Alright so I’ve FINALLY got some time to sit down and write a post! I have been so busy these past few weeks, but I’ve definitely been able to cross some major stuff off of my To Do list, which feels great.

I don’t even know where to begin. Surprisingly I’ve been able to keep up with my running during this craziness. I’m actually going to exceed my monthly goal of 75 miles this month. August is now the month I’ve put the most mileage into ever. I’m actually going to take a few days off from running. My body feels like it needs some rest from it, but I am hoping to get in a long run this Saturday morning, anywhere from 7-9 miles. I haven’t been running outside much though because it SO damn hot! I’ve been sticking to the treadmill mostly, otherwise I have to stop and walk a lot outside because of the heat and humidity.

I signed up for the Nike Human Race in New York City!!! I am SO excited for this race. It’s something I’ve heard so much about in the past and I am ecstatic that I will now be living in a city where it is held. It’s a huge 10K race that is held in 6 or 7 different cities across the country on the same day.  I haven’t been this excited for a race in a long time! I really can’t wait. It’s October 24th at 8am in Brooklyn at Prospect Park.

Had a yard sale last weekend and it went pretty well. We didn’t sell any of our big furniture stuff that we wanted to, but we are going to put it all on Craig’s List. We sold a lot of junk! and we made $165, so I’m pretty happy with that. My sister and my dad had some stuff in there too and they were nice enough to let us keep their profits! : ) Hopefully by the time all of our furniture sells we will have enough to cover the cost of the moving supplies.

Derek and I and Kerri and Scott went down to Salem, MA on Saturday night to go to this place called Gulu Gulu. It was awesome there! It was a cafe that served amazing beer, really good coffee, and yummy crepes! They had other things on the menu, but their signature food was definitely the crepes.

CIMG4862This was the banana walnut crepe with nutella, it was fabulous!

I also got an Ommegang Hennepin

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and…CIMG4859I don’t remember what this is! It isn’t a Gulden Draak. It’s going to drive me crazy trying to figure out what this was!

We had 2 delicious cheese plates as appetizers…

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and then played a game of scrabble

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Kerri kicked our butt!

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After that we headed to a sweet comic book shop and then hit up Salem beer works, where we shared a pitcher of Watermelon beer.

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I had a lot of fun that night! It was pretty much out last night out all together before Derek and I head to NYC. I will miss them a lot and I hope they come and visit frequently!

I got my car inspected today and it passed without any problems, yay! It was quick and painless, except for the fact that it cost me $45!!!

My mom got some major surgery done yesterday, but it all went smoothly and she is doing well. She pretty much got her whole thigh bone replaced (femur?) because it was extremely thin and frail. I am going to visit her in the hospital tomorrow morning and hopefully she will be going home on Friday.

16 days til I move! Eek!

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My First Triathlon

Okay so I will start from the beginning. I came home from work on Friday night and started packing all of the stuff that I would need for the next day. Turns out there was a hell of a stuff that was necessary. Two bags worth. My plan was to wake up around 5:30 and head out around 6:20. I went to bed at 11:30, well tried to anyway. I absolutely could NOT sleep. I figured I would eventually fall asleep after laying there awhile, but it just got worse. Derek came to bed around 12:45 and I was still awake. I think I kind of zone out around 1:30 and then woke up again at 2:30. I tried everything to go back to sleep. I got up and drank a little milk, I went to the bathroom and settled back into bed, but nope that didn’t work. I was going crazy and just couldn’t sleep. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I eventually moved out into the living room to try and sleep in my chair, but that didn’t work either. I got up and went on the internet for a few minutes thinking that the bright screen would tire my eyes, but nope. I was seriously going crazy, my mind was retarded by 4 am. I layed on the couch and I think I finally got some actual sleep around 4:30 and then Derek came out in the living room and asked what happened to me at around 5:15. That was it, that was my night, I literally slept for like and hour and a half. It was insane and I have no idea how I survived the day.

We left around 6:30 and arrived at Surry Mountain Rec. Area around 8am. It was beautiful there. I can’t believe I didn’t know that place existed when I actually lived in Keene. It was only about 10-15 minutes outside of Keene. There weren’t a lot of people there yet when we arrived, so I did not have a hard time finding a spot for my bike. I registered, got my bib, which was #63 and my swim cap which was bright yellow. They also wrote on my arm and my leg my number.

I was apparently really stressed and worried and you could totally tell by my face. I couldn’t even believe what I was going to be doing in less than an hour. It was really nice to have almost my whole family there for support. I love them and really appreciate them for coming to support me.



I did some major stretching before, which I forgot to do after so I was extremely sore the next day. I headed over to the beach area, which was going to be the start of the race. They held a 5 minute meeting to go over all of the rules.



There were three waves of people, the men went first, then the women, then the relay groups and the kids. The water was pretty darn cold, in my opinion anyway. I was off and surrounded by so many people. I needed to swim with my head up at the start because I didn’t want to get kicked in the head. The swim was HARD, I totally underestimated it. I knew I needed to start off slow, but I got so tired fast. I think I panicked a little bit in the beginning and I knew I had to calm myself down if I was going get through it. I started off doing the crawl, then I did some side stroke and then it just turned into a mess. I was so exhausted half way through I couldn’t believe how tough the swimming was. I even did the backstroke, by the last quarter of it, I was just doing whatever I could to make it to the end. I kept talking to myself and pushing myself further and I knew the end was near. I was SO close to hanging onto a canoe for support so I could take a break. If I ever do another triathlon again, I will make sure I swim so much while training. I was definitely under trained for that leg of the race.

OFFICIAL SWIM TIME (1/4 mi.): 9:46



I felt wiped after leaving the water, I could not believe I had to go for an 8 mile bike ride now. I kind of took my time in the transition area in order to catch my breath some. I dried off, put my helmet and socks and shoes on and then was off. It started off on a pretty steep hill and my gears on my bike were not in low enough gear for the hill. I shifted way to fast and early and my chain got all messed up and fell off. Luckily the photographer and my dad rushed over to help me out. I was really upset and frustrated especially since my swim took me longer than I had anticipated. I kept looking back to make sure that I was not the last one leaving on the bikes. They fixed it and then it messed up again right away. I started to get concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to move on and complete the race. After another go, I was good and my dad gave me a good shove on the bike and I was off, FINALLY. I knew I needed to make up for lost time, so I tried real hard to push myself on the bike, but made sure not to over do it because I still had 3.1 miles to run after that was over. It was a good ride, I was mostly by myself and passed a good amount of people. The road wasn’t closed off or anything so there were some cars and motorcycles literally speeding by. I enjoyed the bike ride overall and there weren’t any major hills, which surprised me. I did a lot of training on some mean hills in order to prepare, guess it wasn’t needed. (Except that stupid one in the beginning). My family was so glad to see me ride in on my bike because of the fiasco in the beginning.

OFFICIAL BIKE TIME (8 mi.): 34:50


I racked my back super fast and took off for the run. This was what I had been waiting for, my strongest leg of the race. I knew I could make up for lost time here. I was pretty weak in the beginning, but I kept pushing myself and knew that after a few minutes I would start to feel better. I passed a ton of people running, which felt awesome! I heard many people saying how this was the hardest part for them. By the last mile, I felt great and knew I had some good speed going on. I crossed the finish line and my family was there waiting for me, it was such a relief and a great feeling of accomplishment!

OFFICIAL RUN TIME (5K): 24:11
I was soo happy just to finish the whole race. I never knew I would be capable of something like that. I only trained for 8 weeks and that flew by fast, if there is a next time I will make sure I tack on at least another 4 weeks of training time. I still can’t believe I did a triathlon! I thank Joe Heck who inspired me and simply told me not to wait to do one. I’m glad I did and I’m even happier it was a success.

OVERALL TIME: 68:46

THE FINISH LINE!

The Give Peace a Tri Triathlon was held at the Surry Mountain Recreation Area in Surry, NH.


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5K Personal Record!

I ran a 5K race today and I kind of decided to do it last minute. I figured this weekend was my only chance this month because I am going to be busy for the next few. I am trying to run at least one race every month. It is my first 5K of the year, that last one I ran was September ’08 and I beat my time by 3 minutes! Today I came in at 24:42, that is a 7:58 pace! I am so excited, I didn’t even know I was capable of that! It was tough competition and my only goal was to come in under 26 minutes. I couldn’t believe how well I did, I really pushed myself though and it was so worth it. I absolutely love running races, they are so addicting! I always feel like I could’ve done better after I am done, ha! I really feel like if I train hard to run fast then I could totally place and get some kind of medal. I want to win an award so badly! I don’t even really try that hard to run fast, it comes pretty naturally. 


I also went hiking with my sister and Scott, it was actually more like wandering in the woods because we ended up taking the wrong trail. It was fun though and I want to go again, but actually make it up to the summit next time. I took a couple good pictures, but I will have to post them later, I don’t feel like it right now. 

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I worked first shift today. It was pretty rough working til 10 last night and then going back in today at 7am! I went straight to the mall after work so I could buy a red sox hat. I am going to a Red Sox game next thursday against the Yankees. I’m really excited, it will be my first baseball game ever. I have trouble finding things that fit my head, I apparently have a tiny head! I thought I was going to have to buy a children’s hat, but I got lucky and found this awesome one and it fit nicely.



I also went out to see ‘Angels and Demons’ with my Mom. The movie was good, fast paced and very much enthralling. Though a little long, things could have been cut out here and there, but overall I enjoyed it very much. My mom liked it too. Now, I just have to read the book, ha! I brought her out to dinner to Applebees after the movie (she loves it there) and we had a good dinner. I got a quesadilla burger and I ate it like I’ve never had meat before in my life! It was so good and I don’t know why but I’ve been having this huge craving for meat recently, weird. Now I’m stuffed.

Tomorrow I am running a 5K race in the morning and then I am going hiking with my sister Kerri and Scott. It should be a fun day. I think I will wear my new hat!


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