Liebster Award

So my buddy Salt nominated me for the Liebster Award which is basically an award given to new bloggers just starting out. I’m a newb to this blogging business so I’m a perfect candidate and am honored she thought of me for this.

liebster

Like the Traveling Pants Award from a few posts ago, there are rules:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you
  • 11 random facts about yourself
  • List some bloggers with fewer than 200 followers that you really feel deserve this award
  • Let all of the bloggers know you’ve nominated them. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated to answer

I like these types of awards that involve answering/asking questions. I like thinking about what’s being asked, usually questions I don’t/wouldn’t normally ask myself. And I also like asking questions and getting to know other people.

These were Salt’s questions:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?

I decided to start blogging because I thought it was the perfect way to combine two things I love and missed: running and writing. I hadn’t been able to run for a long time due to back to back pregnancies; I mean like really run–I ran while pregnant but that’s not the same. Since I’d also taken a leave of absence from my job as an English teacher, I hadn’t had many opportunities to read or write either.

I figured I’d run and then write about 🙂 Salt gave me an extra push to go for it and here I am!

2. What is your favorite race you’ve ever run in?

I’d have to say it was the one I just ran, Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon. This race meant a lot to me for so many reasons: It was my first major race post pregnancy, I had a pretty lofty goal in mind, and I was running it with my husband.

Having been training for this race as well as my marathon coming up, It was so rewarding to see the results of my hard work.

3. What do you think about when you are out on a long run?

I think about A LOT of things. I don’t listen to music so it’s me and my thoughts.

I think about my kids, my husband, clothes, my surroundings, things people have said/written, books, what other runners are thinking about, why I can’t cook, my pace, if I’m going to make it all the way–just a jambalaya of thoughts.

4. Favorite brand of shoes? (Running and/or otherwise?)

I’d always been an Asics fan until recently. I still like them but I also really like my Brooks. Non-running shoes, definitely Cole Haan (with the Nike air). Soooo comfy

5. What is your favorite way to cross train?

I don’t think basketball counts, right? I love yoga but don’t have a lot of time, or money, to devote myself to it. I like doing pilates videos at home, ride the bike at the gym, and the elliptical.

6. Guilty pleasure movie?

Embarrassingly too many but Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman top the list.

7. What is one skill that you have always wanted to learn?

Gosh, there are so many things I’d like to be able to do….hmmm……

Cook. I can’t cook. It’s hard and I give up way too easily.

8. What was your favorite class in high school?

This one’s easy. English. I love reading and I love writing and I love reading other people’s writing.

9. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’d have to say graduating from college. I’m the first in my family to graduate from college and when I was younger, I never thought I’d even get the opportunity to go. It was just something I wished I would be able to do.

I went to Arizona State on an academic scholarship and worked the entire time that I was there.  Somehow, I was able to get my degree in 4 years while working mostly full-time taking full loads of classes.

10. What is your favorite food?

Mexican food. I grew up eating it and there are just soooooo many options. Yummy ones too.

11. Let’s imagine that you’ve reached your physical peak and now you’re unable to get any faster, regardless of training. If an omnipotent being offered you a deal where if you were to be less intelligent by a certain %, you’ll gain that % in speed, would you take this deal? And if so, what would the % be?

No way, Jose. My smarts have gotten me where I am today, not my speed.

11 Random Facts About Me

  • I abhor peanut butter. Even the smell of it makes me sick.
  • I’m obsessed with trivia games and random facts.
  • I read the dictionary when I was younger. (I’m a word nerd)
  • I’m a very plain eater. I only like ketchup on my hamburgers and hot dogs; I’m not a fan of most condiments. I just like pepperoni on my pizza, glazed donuts–nothing fancy, cake with no frosting, plain vanilla or chocolate ice cream…
  • I’ve never read Twilight or Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings nor have seen any of the movies.
  • My husband is an engineer and a math nerd, and I’m an English teacher and a word nerd but somehow we are absolutely perfect for each other.
  • I’m not a pet person. I’m hoping my kids never want a dog.
  • My favorite concert ever was when the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers toured together in 2000.
  • Huge departments stores and store like Ross and TJ Maxx overwhelm me. I’m more of a boutique type of gal.
  • I’m obsessed with my wedding ring and stare at it often.
  • I could live off of David’s Bar-b-Que Sunflower Seeds.

Who’s Next??

Anna @Piper’s Run

Annie @TheLittleGSP

Sue @ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes

These are three blogs I’ve been enjoying reading lately. I have no idea if they’re new bloggers but they write good stuff. Ladies, here are your questions:

1. When people ask you, “Why do you like running?” How do you respond?
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
3. Someone received an award they cheated to get. Do you notify someone or keep quiet?
4. What’s your favorite breakfast meal?
5. Do you speak any other language besides English? If not, what language would you like to learn?
6. The Voice or American Idol? (or none)
7. What is the last book you read?
8. If you could time travel, would you go the past or future?
9. What are you most looking forward to this year?
10. What is your favorite holiday?
11. Who/what inspires you?

–Any of my random facts surprise you?

–Choose and answer one of the questions I asked the three bloggers 🙂

RnR AZ–Fave Photo

This was the picture I was telling you about in yesterday’s race recap! I love it and shelled out the money to have it forever 🙂

yay!

yay!

 

You can’t really tell that about 5 seconds before this picture was taken I was about to melt into the concrete. I have no idea how I mustered the energy to attempt a smile! Regardless, this one is a def keeper ❤

Have you ever bought a race photo? I usually look like a hot mess during and after lol!

Rock n Roll AZ 1/2 Marathon Recap

I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!!

Official Time– 1:58:11

Oh my goodness gracious, that was the hardest race I’ve ran so far ever, ever, ever.

It was pretty clear that I had a lot of jitters leading up to this race. Oddly though, I slept like a log the night before. I think I was so beat from worrying that my body went into shut down mode. Either way, I was glad that I was able to rest.

Our alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. –our real alarm, not my almost 6 month old 🙂 — and we began getting ready. I had my clothes laid out and ready to go so this process didn’t take too long; we wanted to leave our house by 5:45. I ate my usual Nutrigrain bar and we were off.

Do you have a pre-race song you like to listen to before a race? I do. It’s Delta Goodrem’s “Believe Again”. I hear that song on repeat in the car on my way to each race. Luckily, my husband likes it and didn’t mind hearing it for the 20 minute car ride. We had to park and take the light rail to the race as the area where it started was super congested and trying to find parking there would have been ridiculous and expensive.

The race’s starting line was right smack in the middle of my college campus, Arizona State University. This is me in front of the bridge I’d cross each morning on my way to class 🙂  My dorm building is the farthest one on the left.

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I was able to move up corrals, thank goodness!, and hung out there while I waited for the start. I seriously thought my corral had to be the most popular; we were packed in there like sardines. I anticipated the first mile to be a weave through process and it was. Once it was time to go, I moved towards the outside left so I can pass as many as I could to get my pace started. I didn’t feel like I was settled in until about mile 3!

I went into the race telling myself I wanted to maintain an under 9 minute average the first 6 miles. I knew from the map that these were the flattest and I wanted to take advantage of it. Sure enough, each mile I was in the 8:35-8:50 range. Up to that point, I was really enjoying myself. There was a very slight downhill in one spot and you could see the thousands of people running the race–it was pretty cool to see and know you were one of those colored specks. The music was loud and definitely helping to move us all along. Spectators were cheering, holding signs–the atmosphere was just awesome.

And then things started to get a little rough around mile 8. I reached the low incline portion of the course, the one leading up to the hill, and I instantly felt myself slow down. I wanted to stay at the 9:00 min mark and it was so difficult to do.

By the time I got to mile 10, I had had it. My legs felt heavy and I could feel the hill approaching. The mental game had official started.

I was trudging up the hill, it was an up and back so I could see on the other side the runners who had already climbed the hill running back down. As I was snailing, I noticed a runner on the descent bouncing two basketballs, one on each hand. Yes, someone running while bouncing basketballs! Yes, this was around mile 10! It took me a split second to realize that it was Doctor Dribble. If you don’t know who he is, you need to check him out–he’s pretty incredible. I recognized him because he’d commented on one of my Instagram photos and when I checked out his profile, I saw that this is something he’s done in quite a few races. I had no idea he was doing RnRAZ .

Having gotten pumped up by Doctor Dribble, I moved up what was left of the hill. On the ride down, I let the descent carry me for a while. My legs were tired and I could use all the help I could get. I got to mile 11 and told myself that once I got to my 12 I would be sooo close. I just needed to get to mile 12.

The eleventh mile was the longest mile of my life.

Have you ever had those miles? That one mile that just seems way longer than all the others? This was it. This was that mile. I was thinking to myself how I had ran 13 miles quite a few times in my lifetime. How this was not anything new to me. I could do this. I’ve done this!

But I could feel my form falling apart. I could hear my feet start to shuffle. But then all of a sudden, I also heard my name! I looked around me but couldn’t see anyone I knew but I could definitely hear my name being yelled. Finally, I saw a girl jumping and waving her hands hysterically. It was my old friend from waayyy back, Nadia. Nadia ran cross country with me in high school and was one of the elite. She’s so hard core. I love her because she’s a no-nonsense type of gal. But there was my typically serious friend cheering me on, trying her best to make sure I could hear her tell me to Keep Going! You got this!

I could not have seen  her at a better time. She was exactly what I needed.

Not long after, I saw mile 12 and I knew I was on my way to reaching my PR. I wanted to make sure I left no room for doubt, so I picked up my pace wanting to get as under 2 as possible.

I turned and saw mile 13 and immediately begin my final kick. I finished that .1 leaving everything I had behind me. Immediately crossing the finish line, I looked down at my watch and saw 1:58:10. I wanted so badly to yell, scream, shout in joy but I had absolutely no strength left. I clumsily made my way through the finisher’s chute to look for my husband and when he found me, he could see that I had given it all I had.

“You did it, didn’t you?!?”

All I could do was nod.

I somehow managed to pull myself together to take a finisher’s photo with him. (I actually loved the pic and ordered it! I’ll share it with you guys as soon as I get it.)

Once were able to get past the crowd of finishers, we came across a grassy knoll that I found perfect to rest my weary bones.

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And this is where I stayed for about 45 minutes.

I honestly don’t think it was until yesterday that it sunk in. I DID IT. I ran a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours!!

–What’s your most memorable race or the race you’re most proud of ? (This one is mine!)

My 1/2 marathon was dedicated to Meg Cross Menzies.