Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 years later, remember 9/11

Every year I try to write about September 11, 2001.  

And every year I feel like I can't find the words, yet the memory of that early morning in San Diego never seems to fade. 

I still remember so vividly waking up just after 6am to the radio DJs talking about the towers being hit. I used to fall asleep to the radio playing, I think I woke up because instead of hearing music at 6am I was hearing panicked voices. 

9/11 happened about a week before I was set to go away to college.  If I am being honest this attack upset me for selfish reasons.  What would it mean for me and my future? I was 18 and ready to embark on my next journey.  

My dad was out to sea {Navy Submarine} and was supposed to pull in that day, they were almost in but because of the attack they were sent back out.  I remember our phone ringing constantly that day and the days to follow.  My mom was reassuring families things would be ok, the boat would pull in soon and not to pay too much attention to what the news was saying.  Hearing her say this over and over again was a reminder I also needed to hear, because again I was being a little bit selfish.  

A few days later my parents were supposed to drive me 3 hours north to UC Santa Barbara for my Freshman year of college.  This was an event all 3 of us had worked hard for and I wanted my dad to be home for this. So selfishly I was upset at the terrorists who attacked our country. It isn't something I am proud to admit, but it was my way of processing what had happened. 

Thankfully a few days later my dad's boat did pull in and he was able to join my mom and I on our road trip to college.  {In true military life my dad deployed a few times in the years to come and did miss family events. As I look back at this event I am super grateful he was able to be home for a small event that was a big moment for me.}

The first few weeks of school were kind of a daze. So many changes in my personal life and so many changes for our country.  I took a world religion class my first quarter and it was no surprise we talked a lot about 9/11. I wasn't ready to talk about it then. I had not yet fully understood how those terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 would affect myself and our country for the years to come. 

Looking back at how selfish I was is a bit embarrassing, but I truly think it was how I was able to process what had happened.  Every year I try to figure out why I had those feelings.  I knew the world, especially the United States would be changed in a significant way after 9/11/01.  I knew our country would go to war. I knew hundreds of thousands of military troops would deploy. I knew military families would be on a crazy journey.  I never realized it would be a 13 years and counting journey.  I never realized I would marry a sailor and would still be affected by the events that happened 13 years ago.  

I think I was selfish when I was 18 because I wouldn't be able to be selfish later on.  As I type this my husband has been deployed for 7 months.  Thankfully I know he is safe, but military life uncertainty, war, deployments, and terrorist attacks are things that always dance around in the back of my mind.  

Every year on this day I pray for the families who lost loved ones, I pray for our government officials, I pray for those currently serving, I pray for those who served after 9/11/01.  Mostly I just pray, because when I don't know what to do I pray.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 tips for training for a half marathon + my training plan

When training for a half marathon having a training plan is key.  You need to sit down and find a plan that will work for you, your body and your schedule.  

A 12-week plan, a 16-week plan, whatever works best for you. 

I ran my first half marathon back in April of 2010. I was a hot mess. I think the longest run I did before the race was 6-7 miles. I look back at that race and am amazed I didn't die, lol. 

When I signed up for that race I had every intention of training, but somehow life got in the way and I didn't make it a priority.  I was smart enough to email the sweet and amazing Danica of Chic Runner and ask her if she had any advice on how to train.  She sent me a great running plan.  

Her running plan was the base of my running plan for the 2014 Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach.  

My training plan: 

Sunday: easy 2 miles 

Monday & Tuesday: 4 miles 

Thursday or Friday: long run

I tried to up my long run 1 mile each week. It wasn't perfect but after I hit week 9 and did 10 miles I decided to focus on get comfortable with doing 8-9 miles and be really strong. 

Long runs: 

Week 1 - 4 miles 
Week 2 - 5 miles 
Week 3 - 5 miles 
Week 4 - 6 miles 
Week 5 - 7 miles {from week 5 on all long runs were on Thursdays}
Week 6 - 8 miles 
Week 7 - 7 miles 
Week 8 - 8 miles {stopped Sunday runs} 
Week 9 - 10 miles 
Week 10 - 8 miles 
Week 11 - 9.25 miles 
Week 12 - 9 miles
Week 13 - 9 miles
Week 14 - 6 miles
Week 15 - 4 miles {I only ran 4 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Thursday and then my race was Sunday}
Week 16- Race day! 

{You can find some great info and a running plan from Danica.}

After a few weeks of running 7+ miles for my long run on Thursday's I realized my body need an extra day to recover so I stopped doing my short 2 mile sunday runs. 

My tips for training: 

1. Find a running plan and use it. You might have to tweak it, but you need to have goals and a plan. This helps when you are feeling unmotivated to run.  When you know you have a goal you want to meet for the week you are more likely to lace up your kicks and hit the pavement! 

2. Create a schedule and stick to it.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so it is going to take you at least a few weeks of consistently training/running before it really becomes a habit. I knew if I didn't set up a strict plan I would let training fall off my list of priorities.  I decided I was going to run every Mon/Tues and Thurs no matter what. If it rained I would head to the gym and get my run in via the treadmill.  {Thankfully there were no rainstorms on my long run days!} I don't start work until 10am so running first thing in the morning was easy for me to schedule in.  I also know myself well enough to know if I put it off until the evening I would never do it.  I found that I really enjoyed starting my day with a run and it set a great tone for the rest of the day. 

3. Have lots of good food in the fridge.  Eggs, lots of eggs! Hardboiled eggs were my lifesaver after long runs. I would be starving and they would be easy for me to eat with no prep since they were already cooked.  I had lots of fruit on hand to have in the morning to help rehydrate and since it is hot and humid in Virginia in the summer it was beyond refreshing.  Make sure you are getting enough protein. It doesn't always have to be from meat, but your body will need more protein the more miles you log. 

4. Take a multivitamin.  You already should be taking one, wink wink, but if you aren't now is a great time to start. 

5. Reward yourself for all the hard work you are doing.  My biggest reward is a massage. It is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going.  Treat yourself to a 60 or 90 minute massage halfway through your training.  If you body is anything like mine it will need it like crazy. ;)  Another good reward is new running clothes or shoes. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Half Marathon Must Haves

Wow, it's been a while bloggy friends.

I'm going to attempt to use this space a bit more to share tips and info about my running.

Last sunday {8/31} I ran my second 1/2 marathon, the Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach.

I have been training for the last 14 weeks and along the way I picked up a lot of good tips I thought might be valuable for others starting to train of 13.1 miles of fun!

I am going to start out with a post of what I used for my race. In the future I will share more in detail about many of the items show below.

1. Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 5 I love these shoes! I bought them about halfway though my training and instantly fell in love.  They are light weight and have a 4mm offset, which is similar to the Nike Frees I was running in before. {I loved those too, but I think I love these just a bit more}  If you have never been fitted for a running shoe before I highly suggest you do it.  Find a running/athletic store in your area and get fitted! If you are running in the wrong shoes your body will soon hate you!

2. Running top: Target no longer has this exact top, but here is a similar one.  I love the tops with the built in bra, and since I have tiny boobies I don't have to worry about my girls bouncing around.

3. Shorts: Champion shorts I buy these at the Navy Exchange, but I linked to them via their website.  Right now it looks like you can save 40% if you order 2 pairs, so 40% of $50 is $30 for two pairs, a great deal!

4. Socks: I like thin cotton socks. These are by Hanes. Nothing fancy, Less than $10 for a pack of 8.

5. Running pack: The running belt above is by Marika, I can't find it online. I bought it at Marshall's or TJMaxx for about $10. I use it to hold my iphone while I run so I can listen to music and get my mile splits via the Map my Run app. I also use the side pockets to hold my Clif Bloks.

6. Fuel: Clif Bloks, I am not a fan of gels, so these bloks are my go to. I like the Citrus flavor.

7. Sunscreen: for my body I use the Target brand sport spray in SPF 30. For my face I use Supergoop! Anti Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30

8. Knee tape: KT Tape, this stuff is AH-MAZ-ING. I have had issues with IT band {outer knee} for years, when it started to act up I bought some KTTape and never looked back! It is kind of hard for me to explain what it does so you should just read about it here. They have video tutorials for tons of injuries, I love love love this tape and their online team is super amazing and can answer questions if you tag them on IG or Tweet them @kttape. 

9. Sunglasses: These are prescription from Firmoo. Running in the blazing sun requires sunglasses.  

I'll soon be sharing the running plan I used to train for 13.1 miles of fun! 

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