MS Blues Marathon Relay Recap

I realize that most runners laugh at the thought of a marathon relay (5 runners, 4 running 5 mile legs, last running 6.2 miles).  But, for a group of not so young kids who all just finished Couch to 5K about 4 months prior, this was a perfect next step.  Not only was it a challenging  5 miles, but it was SO much fun!  We might not have won any timing awards, but I’m pretty sure we won the Spirit Award!!

The night before, Team Running on Empty met up to do the most important part of a Marathon Relay: Team Spirit!  Decorated car?  Check!  Signs? Check!  Team logos?  Check! Check!

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Team Car!

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The Love of My Life modeling our Team Running on Empty logo.

We met up bright and early, and got ready to cheer on all of the marathoners, half-marathoners, and the relay-ers, especially The Love of My Life, at the start!

Where's Waldo, The Love of My Life Edition?

Where’s Waldo, The Love of My Life Edition?

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Team Running on Empty!

Then the rest of Team Running on Empty piled in our decorated car (full of snacks and hydration), and headed to the first relay point.  Thanks to the handy-dandy stalker app “Find My Friend”, we were able to track our teammates.  But, until they got there, we had a great time cheering on all the marathoners as they passed!

Soon, The Love of My Life rounded the bend, and I was up.  He handed the timer chip off to me, and I was off.  I was rocking my new Garmin, but had only used it once, and it took me a solid 4-5 minutes to figure out how to start the thing (“I don’t care how much battery is left! Just time me!!”)

I was smarter this time (as compared to my last race), and ran it how I trained.  I am a run:walker, and that’s just how I roll.  I like the mental and physical break of the run:walk.  Anyway, I started my timer (no technical difficulties there) and started with 4:1.  A few of the hills killed me and I had to take some unplanned walk time, and the last 1.5 miles I had to cut down to 3:1.  I was a bit disappointed with myself about that.  But, I saw my check point up ahead and I finished strong!!  And there’s no better feeling that having your team cheering you in!!

After my leg, (and a quick potty break and protein shake) I took a peak at my Garmin, and PAINT ME GREEN AND CALL ME GUMBIE!!  I averaged a 10:54 mile pace!  And that’s with walk breaks!  That means I was averaging about a 9:00 min/mile during my run intervals!  This is crazy fast for me!  Like SuperMan fast.  The Flash even.

The cold, hard, AWESOME facts!

The cold, hard, AWESOME facts!

So, we kept on with the runner-stalker, driving to the next relay point, and cheering, having fun the entire time.  This is when I thought we became a super important part of the marathon experience.  Every 5 miles there we were with signs, smiles, and cheers for all the marathon participants.  In a marathon in a city like Jackson MS, there just isn’t great fan support, especially as the hours drag on.  But Team Running on Empty represented!

We finally sent off our last runner and headed toward the finish line.  We app stalked her, and when she was about 2 blocks from the finish, we all joined to bring it in together.

Crossing the finish line as a team!

Crossing the finish line as a team!

Team Running on Empty!

Team Running on Empty!

Official finish time: 4:56:36, #59 of 79 relay teams, average pace 11:19.

Leg 1 (The Love of My Life), Mile 1-5, 52:23

Leg 2 (ME), Mile 5-10, 53:55

Leg 3, Mile 10-15,  1:02:02

Leg 4, Mile 15-20, 1:04:13

Leg 5, Mile 20-26.2, 1:04:03

Moral of the story, I highly recommend a relay, for anyone looking for a fun day of teamwork, running, cheering, and good times!  And this experience has only fueled my fire to one day participate in a Ragnar!

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The Week in Review

The short story of this past week:

- You can be so sore that it physically hurts to sleep.

- Sometimes it is difficult to find the right balance between running, resting, and CrossFit. 

- Caffeine is a very powerful drug, and when used appropriately can truly save a day.

 

MONDAY

After being incredibly sore after my first WOD on Thursday (to the point that I actually had to ask the Hubby, aka The Love of My Life,  to help me take off my sports bra), I finally started to feel like a real person again.  So, I started the day at 5am at the gym with The Love of My Life, with a nice, slow, easy treadmill run.  

4.36 miles, 55:38min, run pace 11:30 min/mile

It was slow, but it felt great.  I could have kept going for days, but work happens.  So, I did the work thing, and made it back to Tupelo just in time!

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If my first WOD was a “this is great! I so got this!” experience, this was the humbling “holy smokes, I’m worthless”.  The burpees in the warm up had me beat.  I had to scale so much in the WOD I felt pretty bummed.   I have never tried a box jump so out of pure lack of confidence I did the step-ups. But, I finished it! Trying to stay positive! 

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Lindsey 12:34, and I felt every second of it.

TUESDAY

Woke up crazy sore.  As in, couldn’t lift a full Nalgene bottle with one arm kind of sore.  And, needless to say, standing in one place in the OR all day doesn’t loosen you up very well.  But, I took a peak at the WOD and thought, “hey, I think I can do that!”  So, sucked it up, and went back to the box.

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Loved me some running for warm up.  I’ve got that in the bag.  Still doing “bar for form” on my back squats, but I’m okay with that.  I don’t want to hurt myself.  The WOD was tough, no joke, but I powered through!  Finished in 10:44!  Love that sense of accomplishment!

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That says Lindsey 10:44! Blurry!

WEDNESDAY

A much needed recovery day.  Could barely move.  Couldn’t open up doors.  Couldn’t brush my hair.  Woke up every time I tried to roll over during the night with severe pain in my arms and left ribs.  Not a good day.

THURSDAY

Still sore, but it was time to get another run in for the week.  It did not go well.  Somebody filled my shoes with lead.

2.33miles, 31:33min, run pace 11:27 

I took a look at the WOD.  It included double unders for warm up, then handstand push ups, pull ups, power hanging snatch, sit ups, air squats.  First– I can’t jump rope.  I mean, unless it includes 3 girls with pig tails, a playground, and a song about bubblegum or puppies.  Second, the pain in my rib was so bad I could barely do a plank.  So, I did a very very scaled down version of the WOD at the gym.  Then, I had some nice random people at the gym try to teach me to jump rope.  I made it to 5 singles… Counting that as a win.

FRIDAY

Such a mental battle.  Run or CrossFit?  CrossFit or run?  I’ve got to train for my upcoming half.  But, if I don’t keep doing CrossFit, how will I ever get better??  UGH!  Plus, had a raging case of the blahs.  Really didn’t want to do anything.  But a nice cup of java did just the trick!

Decided to go for my long run.  It was overall tough.  Heavy legs, a few super tough hills. But rocked 7.45 miles!

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SATURDAY- Today!

My first time on the rowing machine, my first partner WOD = love them both!  Coach had me skip the Kipping swings due to my what I’ve self diagnosed as an oblique strain, but I did get to add some weight on my back squats as I’m finally starting to get my form right! Woohoo! Plus, we finished the WOD in 9:34 (about mid of the pack).  WIN!

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Can’t wait for next week!  (Sorry all the WOD pics are off the internet…)

How do you balance CrossFit with other sports?  Any pointers?

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Tales of a CrossFit Newbie

For a while I have been toying with the idea of trying CrossFit.  And I’ve had a lot of people both in real life and in the blogger world encouraging me with their stories, and promising me that I’d love it.  But I’ve been scared to death.  Afraid that I am not strong enough; that I wouldn’t be able to make it through a single work out (I mean, have you SEEN those people?!); that I would stick out like a sore thumb in this club of beast-like atheletes.

 

Well, after a lot of self pep talks, I finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot!  So I googled the “box”, checked out the schedule, hydrated, and headed to the 12 o’clock class.

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Me, pre-workout, with my “I’m excited but scared to death” face.

But, as luck would have it, the 12 o’clock class was cancelled.  I figured I could take this as one of two things: 1) A sign from destiny that CrossFit is just not for me.  Or 2) My first chance  to show myself that I don’t give up.

 

I chose the latter.  And returned at 4PM.

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Home of CrossFit Tupelo (for now, moving soon!)

 

Here was the WOD and other whatnot (sorry, don’t know enough lingo yet.) 

 

WOD - 15 min

8 minute AMRAP of:

8 Ring Dips

16 KBS 55/35#

 Scale 1: Assisted Ring Dips

Scale 2: Assisted Ring Dips, 35/20#

Scale 3: Box Dips, 20/15#

 

STRENGTH - 10 min

Back Squat: 3 x 2 (60%)
 
WARM UP - 15 min

400 forward/backward run (100m f/100m b, etc)

- Then-

1 min of each:

lunge twists

toy soldiers

burpees

v-ups

hip mob (2 min)

shoulder mob (2 min)

 

The warm-up went decent.  Well except for those burpees.  Ugh.  Not only am I not coordinated enough for those… Umm.. They are just terrible.

 

Next up, strength– back squats.  The coach spent a ton of time making sure I had proper form, which made me feel good.  He first had me just using the bar, but I asked for weight (whoop whoop), but we kept it modest.  But I thought to myself:  “What’s the big deal?  This isn’t all that bad!! I can handle CrossFit!!”

 

And then the WOD happened.  Holy smokes.  As many reps as possible in 8 minutes of 8 ring dips and 16 kettle bell swings.  And the coach (after showing me proper form and how to scale the dips) put me in the second group so I could watch.  Bad move.  I watched as these strong, buff people grunted and groaned to make it through 8 minutes.  The butterflies were on crack in my tummy.  

 

My turn came up.  And I DID IT.  Eight minutes of legs and arms quivering, sweat dripping down my nose, muscles screaming.  But I powered through, with only one 10 second break to chalk my hands (it’s all fun and games until someone loses a kettle bell.)  Of course, in the end I know I did the work, my muscles, my energy.  But, I have to be honest, the real reason I finished was due to all the support I got from the coach and the other members.

 

And I think that is what already has me hooked — the encouragement from the other people!  Yes, it sucks, but we were all in it together, pushing ourselves to our limit.  And everybody wanted everyone else to succeed.  Leave no man behind!!  Who would have thought that these hard core, beasts of physical fitness part-time as your own personal cheering squad?!

 

So yes.  I survived my first WOD (5+2, S2 if you’re curious)!  And, once I’m able to lift my arms above my head to take this sweaty shirt off, I’m definitely going back!

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The Goal Post

No, this is not a post about the BCS National Championship game.  (That one will come tomorrow night!  Roll Tide!!)  This is the obligatory “Put My 2013 Goals Into Writing” post.  Something about writing it down and then sending it out into the world on the internet makes it real.  I mean, it’s easy to “mis-remember” those goals come December.  “Oh, no, my goal wasn’t to LOSE weight, just not to GAIN any in 2012.”

But here it is.  In stone.  No denying it in 12 months!!

#1- The Basic — 500 miles Total Mileage

Before you scoff, please take into account that I am still a “new” runner.  I just started last year, and I logged (approximately) 250 miles in 2012, but I wasn’t great with logging.  (I’m hoping my new Garmin will fix that!)  So 2x increase seems reasonable without being crazy.  Plus, this takes into account that A- I hate running in the summer heat (yeah, not convenient when you live in Mississippi, aka the Face of the Sun), so I know that will be a down time; B- Still rocking these 80hr work weeks; C- other possible life changes that might decrease mileage.  So, for this one, I’d much rather SMOKE my goal then not meet it.

#2- The Lofty Goal — Under-30 5K

How amazing would it be to hit an under-30 5K in my last year under 30?!? It is basically destined to happen! My last 5K was 34:41, so I think it’ll be tough, but possibly do-able!  It’s just gonna take A LOT of training!

#3- The Biggie — My First Half Marathon

This is the one that I have been thinking (and praying) about for a while, and actually the reason I’m not putting my goals into writing until January 6th.  For years I’ve been flippantly saying “I want to run a half marathon,” without being able to run a mile.  So, I didn’t want to commit to it if I didn’t think I could do it.  But here I am, finally able to run more than 5 miles, and pretty darn motivated.  So I am taking the plunge.  First half marathon, prepare to be conquered!  Now, just have to find one that fits my schedule… (But secretly having SO much fun race shopping!)

#4- Not Running Related — Do An Unassisted Pull-Up

I don’t know why I associate a pull-up to bad-assness, but I do.  And I want to be that girl in the gym, or at the local playground, or in the grocery store, or anywhere I can find a horizontal bar above waist-height (and then I’ll also be “that girl” but who cares?!)  I’ve got a plan for this one that includes a lot of personal time with the Lat Pull-Down and Assisted Pull-Up machines at the gym.  AND, I’m toying with the idea of throwing some CrossFit into my fitness routine to help me toward my goal, and to increase my overall bad-assness rating.

There they are!  For all the internet to see!  I would welcome any advice!  Oh, and next up, my first blog race re-cap of the Mississippi Blues Marathon Relay!

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Introduction

For months now I have enjoyed being inspired by other people’s blogs on fitness, running, and life.  As I read about others running goals, struggles and accomplishments, I have often I’ve though to myself, “I have something to say on that! But, I need more than 140 characters!” #TwitterProblems

 

So, one day, The Love of My Life said, “Well, BabyDoll, why don’t you just say it?”  And here I am.  New year.  Starting a blog.  Not that I think anything I have to say will be earth-shattering or life-changing.  But, maybe I’ll be able to inspire one person like so many of those who’ve come before me.

 

Now it’s time to meet me!  To go around the circle, stand up, and introduce myself!  Wow.  This is harder than it sounds.  Who am I?  How do I define myself?  If you know nothing else about me, and what this blog will be about, here it is:

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I am a child of God, bought by the blood of Christ, the Light of the World, the salt of the earth.

Yes.  I am a Christian and have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  No, this is not going to be a blog about the Bible.  But, I can not hide my Light under a basket, so get ready for some Jesus every now and then!

 

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I am a runner.

Albeit, I am new and slow.  But, I am a runner darn it.  (And don’t you dare call me a jogger!)  I started a Couch to 5K in January of 2012, and have since progressed to running 3 times a week, mostly with a run:walk style alla Jeff Galloway. 

 

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I am a wife.

I have been married to The Love of My Life for two and a half years.

 

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I am a physician.

An Ob-Gyn to be exact.  It’s my job– not who I am.  But, I do really love what I do, and most days am excited about going to work, the people I’ll help, and the awesome things I get to do.  I do get tired of my current 80hours/week schedule, but that’s just temporary.  

 

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I am a dog lover.

We are the proud parents of two Great Danes.  They are the size of tween children, so I think they definitely count.

 

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I am now a blogger.

Mostly I plan on writing about my fitness journey, and my every growing love of running.  But, I’m sure all aspects of life will spill over at times.  My goal/promise is to post at least weekly.  I hope you give me a chance, encourage me, and grow with me!  

 

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