Sunday, February 26, 2012

Race Weekend: Cowtown in Ft. Worth

It was finally here.  The weekend we had been talking about getting ready for since my surgery last June... note the "talking about".  Lots of talking - not so much doing, LOL.  We trained in fits and starts, mostly because I was concerned about the back.  We finally decided we were just going to walk the 1/2 marathon - try to match our 3 hour time (Pepaw's was 3:00, mine was 3:02) but our major goal was simply to finish!  Sometimes you just have to admit things didn't work out exactly as planned and go with the hand you are delt.

We packed up everything on Friday evening - this year I made triple sure I had my running pants packed! (Of course this meant that I totally forgot my TEAM 4:13 shirt and my Garmin!) We set everything by the door so we would be ready to leave bright and early Saturday morning.  The Adult 5K started at 8:15 and both Cotton and Candy were running that one, so we knew we needed to get there early - that meant we needed to be on the road by 5:30 A.M. - and we were!

As we neared our exit from the highway we were surprised at the line of cars just stopped on the off ramp and backed up for miles down the road.  We quickly decided we would go to the next exit and figure out what we needed to do from there.  Just about that time my phone rang, it was Cotton telling us he had been in that line for 20 minutes and still hadn't gotten to the street he needed!  We jumped off one exit further out and Garmin led us right to the parking area with no problem at all.  We parked and walked over to find Cotton. 

We stood along the barricades at the finish line and watched the 10K finishers, then Cotton and Candy took off for the start line. I kept thinking they would change the clock to the 5K time when they took off, but that didn't happen. I found out later it was changed on the side the racers could see, just not on the side for the spectators!  Cotton finished in just over 21 minutes - but I couldn't get my stupid iPhone camera to work quick enough to get a picture of him crossing the finish line. I thought his time was AMAZING, and he was pretty happy with it - he had forgotten just how hilly this course was!  Candy finished in just over 42 minutes - again, the hills are killer!  This was her first Cowtown, and she did a GREAT job too!  I posted the picture of her at the finish on FB - and of course that started a whole conversation about pictures of first borns...Cotton should learn to stop and pose, LOL  (Love you son!)

After everyone joined back up we walked to the cars and took off to find an IHOP for breakfast.  It was great to spend some post-race time together just laughing and visiting.  After breakfast it was back to the collisium to walk through the EXPO.  We were lucky to meet Joe Boyle - a former olympic athlete, now a running coach.  We visited with him and got some excellent training/running tips.  I wished we had more time to visit with him!  Cotton needed to get back so we went back to the cars and then headed to the hotel - hoping for an early check-in. 

We got all checked in and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.  About 5:00 or so we walked across the street with the kids to the Ft. Worth water park...that was fun!  We walked all around looking at the fountains and pools, climbed the "mountain" and then wandered back so we could go for an early dinner - then it was time for bed.

I wasn't able to sleep very well...this was one of the NOISIEST hotels I've stayed at in a LONG time!  I listend to noise until after 2:00 AM and then had to get up at 4:30 so we could catch the 5:15 shuttle to the race...NOT a happy camper!''

We were glad we went on the first shuttle though as we were able to get chairs inside the building to wait until close to the 7:00 AM starting gun.  We ambled out to our corral (near the back) and settled in to wait for about 10 minutes.  It was actually one of the smoothest corral starts I've ever been a part of.

Actually, for the majority of the race I was very happy with the planning.  Plenty of water and electrolite drinks to keep us hydrated and TONS of volunteers. 

I felt so good for the first 1/2 of the race I couldn't believe it!  We completed the first 10K in about 1:28 - so we were ahead of pace...whoo - hoo! I was still running/walking strong and felt GREAT.  Then....the dreaded WALL.  I hit that at about 8 miles...I could FEEL myself draining.  I tried a GU hoping that would get my going again - and it might have, if it hadn't been for the hill at mile 9.  I didn't think we were EVER going to reach the top of that sucker!  By the time we finished that my legs were shot.  I never did get my pace back - although I did continue to try the run/walk pattern I had started at the beginning of the race.  Our 11 mile time was 2:40 ... we knew by then we werent going to make the 3:00 hour mark...but we kept going. 

It was really cool to get to the 13 mile mark and see the family there to cheer us on.  The grand-kids were so excited...running up and down the sidewalk with the signs they had made at the EXPO and cheering us on...made us smile really big.

We turned the corner, saw the finish line and decided to go for it.  We ran across the finish line holding our hands up in the air...Cowtown 1/2 Marathon #4 complete and in the books! 

Now we only have one more - and the plan is to actually get some training time in before we run that one!

I have decided to go back to a C25K type training program and start all over again.  Now that I know my back can handle it - not a single twinge or tweak during the entire race - we are going to sign up for some 5Ks here in the next few months, then add some 10Ks in the fall/winter time frame so we will be MUCH more prepared.  Watch out COWTOWN.  I WILL break the 3 hour mark NEXT year!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My first KoKo workout

So, last night I was totally exhausted and ended up going to bed at about 8:00!  Couldn't believe it, but I did sleep ALL NIGHT.  We got up early and went to the club for our first workout.  The Smarttrainer placed us on an Intermediate Foundation workout to build our strength and endurance.  This should be about 6 sessions - then the "real" training will begin... Let me tell you... this was quite the workout - even though they call it the foundation, and even though we've worked out for years, the break we've taken took it's toll - even though we have worked out off and on I was taking it quite easy because of the surgery and now I'm "pumping it up"! 

I have quite a bit to learn...especially about the timing of the workout.  I had to change out bars and such several times - then put them right back on again...hopefully I'll get better about knowing when I can leave them on to shave some seconds off the workout.  It times you the entire time.  Today's workout took 43 minutes when the goal is 30.  I had a couple of sets that took WAYYYYY longer than they should have because I stopped to get water, LOL.  I did keep an accuracy of 94% overall - not to bad for a start...This is how you do staying on pace while you lift.  My KoKo score for the session was 968 out of a possible 1000.  That made me happy! 

Overall, I was very pleased with the session.  I'm excited to be trying something new...I'm excited to have the machine keep track of what I've done each session and make the adjustments to help me reach my goal...and I'm excited to be active again - FINALLY! 

I'm still cautiously optimistic that we can keep this going strong - I'll let you know how that works for me :)  .....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Strength Test accomplished

Rushed home from a LONG day at work, changed clothes, hopped in the car and off to the gym we went.  Lindsay was there to meet us and handed us our new keys. (She wrote our names on them so we could tell who's was who's since they are identical - wouldn't want Pepaw's workout on my USB key now would we, LOL).  She showed us how to insert them into the machine and the machine pretty much walked us through everything!  It shows you how to set the machine up for the exercise, how to perform the exercise with the correct form, and had a pace bar to make sure you stay on track.

Today was just the strength test so we only had a few different exercises to measure strength and range of motion on the machine.  I did fairly well.  92% accuracy with the pace bar, and I lifted over 4600 lbs. overall.

After we finished the strength test we went over to the treadmill and walked for an extra 15 minutes and we were done.  It felt really good, the only thing I think I'll change next time is remembering my iPod so I can listen to my own music :)  .... other than that it is full speed ahead.

Oh, yeah, by the way - a perfect eating day too!  I have a feeling I'll be feeling better and more in the mood for a run in no time!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


How many times do I need to start over again? I was doing very well, then we went to Lousiana for a conference and everything went south. Came home, started again. Do pretty good during the week and crash and burn over the weekend. Always seems to be a good excuse not to work out, or to eat something I shouldn't. Today I hit the wall! Crammed with valentines chocolate and feeling disgusted with myself I proposed to Pepaw that we try to go back to our at home workouts. I ate on plan all day but was pretty wiped out at the end of the day. When we got home we talked about what we felt would work. We knew we needed to shake things up...or we would never get going again. We've been fighting it too long!

  There is a new club in town, we got a postcard in the mail so thought we'd go check it out. It is a cool concept. The machine is computerized and programmed for your goals. It is like having a personal trainer with you for every workout. plus, they have a leader board for different goals, you earn points for working out, and earn "ranks" (a new colored lanyard for your data key) as you continue to work out. You know how competitive I am - that is right up my alley. We talked it over and decided to go for it! We joined up (we'll be canceling our other membership) and we go for our initial visit and strength test tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes....

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.