Monday, April 29, 2013

Feetures Socks Giveaway!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

On Friday I mentioned how the KY Derby Mini and Marathon was being held on Saturday, and how I wanted to run the marathon SO bad! I know it had only been a week, but I totally felt ready to do another one! Well, one of my precious Facebook readers offered to pay the $125 entry fee so I could do it!! I was just blown away that someone would offer that! It ended up not working out though, I just wasn't able to get downtown and buy the bib. If they had same day registration, I could've done it, but they didn't. I was so disappointed. :(  But I really appreciated her offering to do that!

  A few weeks ago Tyler, at Feetures Socks contacted me, and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of their performance socks. I agreed, and he sent me these cute things in the mail!



I LOVE these socks! These are the Feetures Elite, ultra light, no show tab. It is their thinnest sock, and really fits like a second skin! The no show tab sits below the ankle, but features front and back tabs to prevent against chafing and to keep the sock from sliding. I also love how the socks are anatomically correct (each one has an L or R) to enhance the fit. The iWick fibers keep the feet dry and stinky free. :)
 I wore these during a 10 miler, my last long run before my marathon. My feet stayed dry and comfortable (which was not my experience with the Injinji's) and I got no blisters.
 I highly recommend Feeture's Socks! They have lots of fun colors and different styles, as well as compression socks.
 Tyler has offered to give a pair to TWO of my readers!! Enter below! Ends 5/7



a Rafflecopter giveaway





Friday, April 26, 2013

5 (very random) Things Friday

Happy Friday!!

  Here's a few happenings from my week!

1. I can't believe tomorrow will be a week since my marathon!! By Tuesday morning all of my soreness was gone, and I felt like I could've ran another marathon! Instead I just went to a spin class. :)
 Tomorrow is the Derby Festival Marathon, right here in my town. (Well, real close anyway)
 I SO badly want to run it!! If I didn't already have plans, I probably would. Just cuz I'm crazy like that!



2. Last night my honey and I took our youth group to an Audio Adrenalin and Group 1 Crew Concert. Some of you might know DC Talk, they were one of my fave Christian bands in the 90's. Well, Kevin Max left DC Talk, and became lead singer for AA. So during one of the last songs, Kevin was walking through the crowd as he was singing, and started coming down my row (I was on the aisle). I stuck out my hand, thinking he would high five me or something, but NO- he stopped, grabbed my hand and put his arm around me for awhile!! Ok, it was probably 10 seconds, but let's just pretend it was 10 minutes, ok?
 I just acted all calm and cool, but the inner Katie was doing cartwheels and squeeling like one of those annoying Beiber fans! Haha! I might have screamed and jumped up and down once we got outside and I was telling the youth EXACTLY what happened again! I don't know why they think I'm a little cray cray...
1. Here he is!!
2. She's jelly that he loves me.

3.Why do I have a big bubble covering my body? Because I look like a cow next to these skinny teenagers. Yes, I still have body issues.




 3. I've been on a winning streak lately!
1. Loreal/Redbook House Party
2. Collagen Sport Protein Powder from Kat
3. $50 Gift Card from Gigi




4. My sweet Charley boy is alive and well. Last week one of my boy's accidentally stepped on his foot. He's so tiny, that it's very easy to not see him right behind you. I thought he was going to die; he was just laying there, obviously in pain. :( Honey took him to the animal hospital, and $200 later they said he just had a smashed foot. He limped around for a couple days, and is now back to his perky, happy self!

5. My marathon photos came in, out of about 10, this was the only decent looking one! I think this was at mile 26.4, almost to the finish line. It looks like I have nothing left to give!

 
 What are your plans for the weekend?
 My boys will be at their Mother's, so we'll get a nice, quiet weekend. I'm planning on going for a run! It's been a week, and I miss it!!





katie

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Marathon Tidbits and Details

So, here's the nitty gritty deets of my first marathon!

Friday night I was SUPER nervous. I just didn't know what to expect.  Prior to my marathon, the most I had run was 20 miles. It was a horrible experience. I seriously thought how can I run 26.2, when I could barely run 20? I was terrified. 
 But, my blogging/running friend, Elizabeth, saved the day. She was running her first marathon on Saturday too!! She and I texted all evening, she was a HUGE help in calming my nerves! Thank you, sweet girl! You need to read her recap, she did AWESOME at her first marathon, and I can't wait to run a marathon with her!

And then another friend, Carie, made this adorable sign for me!
 That made me so happy! Thank you so much, Carie! You have no idea how much that meant to me. She said her girls were carrying the sign around the house cheering for me! We have plans to run a marathon together someday too!

Friday night, after picking up my packet, we went out to Abuelo's, a Mexican restaurant.
I was hoping this wouldn't effect my race, and it probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done! But I have never had stomach troubles when I run, so I figured I would be okay, and I was.

 I've always heard never try anything new before your race...but I broke that rule. Before I left Saturday morning, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I usually only have a banana before a race, but I knew a banana alone wouldn't get me through 26 miles! I think that's another reason why my 20 miler went so bad, because I hadn't fueled properly beforehand! I'm very glad I ate that sandwich, and I really believe it helped!

  Starting at mile 5, and every 5 miles after that, I would take GU Energy Gels. I carried 4 of these with me in my SpiBelt. Love them!

I didn't carry any water with me because I knew there were plenty of water/powerade stops. I drank at most of them. Towards the end I was grabbing both a cup of water and powerade. I was thirsty!! 

  After the race we met with some friends in the area and had lunch together. For some reason, I was not hungry at all, and could hardly eat anything! I thought I would be ravenous, but I wasn't. When we got home that evening, my honey did get me some ice cream. I always have room for ice cream! ;)

My family was so wonderful and supportive of me. My lovely twinnie would send me texts as I was running, just encouraging and praying for me. Every time I would get a text from her was the EXACT moment I needed to be encouraged. Of course I didn't reply, but I would hear my text alert go off on my phone, look at my arm and read it, and be SO encouraged! Thank you, Annie!!

When I had finished, I read a facebook message from my precious Dad. Of course I started crying again. I think I cried pretty much all day long! I love my family!!

Saturday evening and Sunday I was VERY sore. I was walking slow and it was very difficult standing and sitting! Jeremy was such a huge help! I don't know what I would've done without him!
 Of course wearing these shoes for 10 hours on Sunday probably didn't help my soreness!
What can I say, I love my heels (yes, even though they make me over 6'!), and they went perfectly with my outfit, so I had to! :)

 Thank you all, my faithful readers, who I now call friends, for your support, love and encouragement! Thank you to my sweet friends for the little things you did and said that kept me going. Thank you to my wonderful family for your support and for sharing in my excitement. Thank you to the love of my life, Jeremy. This wouldn't have been nearly as fun without you! And thanks to God for running beside me every step of the way. 

 And one last picture... I finally get to put this sticker on my car!!




 



 
katie

Monday, April 22, 2013

My First 26.2 DONE! Carmel Marathon Recap

Good Morning, my friends!!

  I feel like I'm still on that runner's high. I still feel like I'm dreaming. Surely I didn't run a marathon, did I? The former fat girl who felt like I would die after running a 5k, and only dreamed of running a marathon. Marathon's are for super fit, fast people, not me. I honestly felt a little silly for even having that dream. Shouldn't I dream of something more attainable, something more in my grasp? Something that might actually be possible? How many times have I doubted myself, because I thought running a marathon was impossible. Many times I even thought I should change the name of my blog because there was no way I could run a marathon.

 But on Saturday I proved to myself that I CAN do it. No dream is too big or too silly. If there's something you want- go after it. I'm still not where I want to be physically, I'm not super fit yet, but I still did it. As they say, if I can do it, anyone can do it. That is absolutely true!

 So, let's talk about this marathon!! Carmel is about 3 hours from me so Jeremy, my stepson, Jonah, and I left Friday night and stayed the night in Carmel.
 I woke up at 5 am, got dressed and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and we were out the door! Before we left though, I woke up Jonah to tell him goodbye. He gave me the biggest hug ever and said "Katie, I'm SO proud of you." Oh, my heart!! And that is when the tears started!

It was a CHILLY 34 degrees. I was slightly regretting my decision to wear a skirt!


I knew as soon as I started running I would warm up though!
They started out with a local pastor saying a prayer for Boston and then having a moment of silence. My heart was so heavy for them. Just thinking of all those runners, who had lined up that day, just like I was, chasing their dream, just like I was. And then so many of them didn't get to finish. Thinking of the wonderful spectators, who get us through these races, being injured so horrifically. Yep, the tears were flowing.
I believe there were around 4,000 runners. There was also an 8k and a half marathon, so once they turned off, the crowd thinned out considerably!
And we're off!

The course was advertised as flat and fast, and perfect for first timers. And it was! There were only a few small inclines. If you remember my SUPER hilly Run the Bluegrass half a few weeks ago, this course was a breeze compared to that! 

  Everyone told me not to set a time goal, just aim to finish and have a great race. But a part of me REALLY wanted to finish under 5 hours. I know I can run a half in 2:20, so I thought for sure that was possible. 
The first 6 miles my average pace was around 10:30. I knew I could go faster, but also knew I needed to start out slower and pace myself, so I would still have some energy for the end! 
 At the 13 mile marker my time was 2:33. I knew then that I would be over 5 hours, but still hoping I could speed up a little bit the 2nd half, since I was purposefully going slower the first half.
 But, that was not to be. :(
At mile 18, it started getting very difficult. I never once thought about quitting, I knew I would finish. But I could see that 5 hour goal slipping by. The next 3 miles were tough mentally. When I would think of how many hours I had left, that brought me down, so I would just think of it in terms of how many miles I had left, and then it didn't seem so bad.
 I don't remember exactly which mile it was, but for quite a ways I was running with one of the pacers, 5:10 maybe, I don't remember. It was a lot of fun running with them. There were maybe 7 or 8 of us, everyone encouraging each other. They REALLY kept me going! But then I had to stop at a port-a-pottie, so I lost them. 
 At mile 21 I got a burst of energy and started feeling good again! (Maybe it was that 1 minute potty break that refreshed me!) I ran most of those miles at the end alone. Every once in awhile I could see someone in front of me, several times when I looked behind me I could see someone way in the distance. There were a few times I wondered if I had made a wrong turn because there was NO ONE around! But the course was marked very well, so I was pretty sure I was on the right path!
 Finally I saw a sign that said "1/2 mile left". Guess what happened? Every ounce of energy I had- LEFT me. How crazy is that! I would think knowing that would energize me to give it my all! But I walked most of that last half mile, until I could see the finish line! 
 As I was getting closer I saw my honey and Jonah and my puppy, Charley. They were holding signs and cheering for me!
On the back of the sign he had written this sweet note.
 And then came the ecstasy after the agony- the glorious finish line! There is nothing that compares to crossing that line! It was amazing!! I was hugging my family, laughing, crying, trying to breathe and walk all at once! The clock said 5:31. 
 My Garmin actually died at the 26.2 mark at a time of 5:25, but the course was a little long at 26.5.

He wore that shirt just for me. :)


Done!! I had a wonderful, absolutely perfect experience! During my training a lot of times my knees would hurt, once I injured my foot somehow, and once I injured my Achilles tendon. 
 But do you know, not ONE time during my marathon did I have any pain at all!! Of course I had the normal soreness, but my knees never hurt, my feet or ankles never hurt, I felt perfect! I can only thank my Jesus for that. I know a lot of people were praying for me, heck I was praying for me! I kept quoting the scripture "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me". (I had written that on my arm) I kept thinking of the tattoo I got on my ankle last summer, specifically for this day, "Yahweh my Strength". 

  I am SO thankful for my amazing husband, who encourages me in everything and never doubts that I can do anything I set my mind to. And I'm so thankful for all of you. All of your encouragement and words of advice- I can't even tell you how much they all meant to me. I'm convinced the running community is the best community in the world. Never have I felt so loved and accepted. 

  Tomorrow I'll be posting some marathon tidbits, things I ate, things I learned along the way, more details, as well as a few special friends who got me through this. If you have any questions for me, please ask them and I'll answer them on the blog tomorrow as well.
I love you guys!!

 

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2 MORE DAYS...

...until my first marathon!! I'm running the Carmel Marathon. 

For a long time it seemed SO far off, I can't believe it's really almost here!! I'm feeling very anxious and nervous, but super excited!! I'm having a hard time eating because my stomach is in so many knots already! 
 A man at my church has ran 6 marathons, 4 of those in Boston. He's no longer able to run because his knees are messed up. He has given me so much advice and help! 
 He advised against setting a goal, just go out there and finish, but I can't help it, I'm setting a goal anyway! I want to do it under 5 hours. I can do a half in 2:20 or less, so I really believe that's a reasonable goal.

I know not to start out too fast, even if I feel like I could go faster. I'll try to stay at an 11 min mile pace, even though I know I can go faster. He said I can pick it up during the second half, if I want to.

  I am so excited!! I'm running a marathon!! I remember when I could hardly finish a 5k!!! That amazes me!!  I love doing things I never thought I was capable of.
I can't wait to get to the race, go to my corral, feel the energy of the crowd. I can't even imagine what I'll feel like crossing the finish line. I'm sure it'll be like nothing I've ever experienced before!!

 Tonight I'm taking a spin class, and tomorrow plan on running 3 miles. I need to test out my new outfit and my new Garmin. :)

 I'm ready for this!! I feel confident and I know I can do it. I'm not sure if I'll be back here until after the race. Hubby and I will be leaving tomorrow and staying in Carmel for the night, so I have lots to do!!
I will be posting to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter though!

Thank you SO much for all of your encouragement and support!

Do you have anymore advice for me?
Do you have a first marathon recap, send me the link, I'd love to read your experience!

katie

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Thoughts on Boston

It's hard for me to know what to say, or how to put it into words. So this might be a jumbled mess.
 Monday morning I excitedly watched the live streaming of the elites racing. I was so impressed, and so proud. I had to laugh when the announcers kept saying how slow they were going, or that they were just 'jogging'- at 6 min miles.
 The Boston Marathon was on my mind all day. I didn't know anyone personally who was running it, but I follow a lot of bloggers who were. I would check their twitter or facebook throughout the day, to see how they were doing.
 Jeremy called me shortly after the bombs went off and told me to turn on the tv.
I was shocked and saddened. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach. How could anyone do this to us (runners)? My heart broke for those wonderful spectators. Where would we be without them? I know I'm counting on them to get me through my marathon on Saturday. How could anyone be so cruel??

  I've had people ask me if I'm still running mine on Saturday- heck, yes. Aren't I scared? Well, this definitely didn't do any favors for my nerves and emotional state :), but now more than ever I will run. I won't give in to fear, I won't let them win.
 Now as for the Chicago Marathon, truthfully I'm scared about that. But again, they won't stop me.

Since this is taper week, I just ran 2 miles tonight.
Saturday I will run for those who couldn't finish, and for those who were killed and injured. And of course always on my mind will be the 8 year old boy who greeted his dad after finishing, then went back to standing among the spectators, and got killed. I will cross that finish line for him.

katie

Monday, April 15, 2013

I've finally found where I belong...

This weekend I got to do something I've never done before...volunteer at a race!
It was so much fun! I loved being on this side of a race, it was so strange not to be out there running with everyone though. Then I came home and ran 10 miles, my last long run.

 I can already tell this is going to be a very emotional week for me! Just thinking about my marathon in 5 days makes me want to cry! A good cry, not a bad cry!
  As I was standing out there watching the runners, directing them which way to go, encouraging them, it just struck me that I have finally, at 35 years old, found where I truly belong.

 I'm originally from Indiana, and my family moved to KY when I was 14. It was very, very tough. I left all my friends, my church, everything I had ever known, to start all over in a brand new place. 
 So I had to make new friends, get used to a new school and start all over.
 I know my parents did what was best for our family, and I am SO glad now to be in KY. But my teenage years were hard. I did a lot of stupid things, including marrying the wrong man when I was 20 and going through a divorce. I will always feel bad for the hell I put my parents through. But, I know that's all in the past and they've forgiven me!
 I say all that to say in my 20's and now even 30's, I've felt like I don't know where I belong, where I fit in, what my passion or purpose is. I always thought I would be like my friends, get married and have kids, and have the typical life. When I realized that I was never going to have children, that dream was crushed. I thought my purpose was to be a mommy, but when I realized it wasn't, I felt so lost. I still struggle with the fact that I'll never know that pure joy and love of having a baby. When I'm older, I won't have a daughter to be friends with, or a son who just adores his momma, I won't have my own granchildren. 
 I don't say all that for pity though, because God has brought me to a place now where I am completely happy. Yes, I'll always have that 'baby' hole in my heart, but He has blessed me with an amazing husband and 2 stepsons who I feel like are my own.
 So, over the years I've been searching for what my purpose is. Why was I created? Was I meant to just exist, and that's it? I couldn't settle for that. There has to be more, there has to be a reason.

  And yesterday as I was watching the runners I realized I had finally found my purpose and my passion. Running is my passion, and my purpose is to inspire and help others, and show them they can do this too. So many people have told me that I've inspired them to start running or exercising. I love hearing that!! My dream is to someday be a fitness coach or spin instructor- or anything to do with fitness! 

I finally feel like I really fit in somewhere, this running community knows me, understands me, and loves me. I'm no longer searching, I'm now complete.  

Sorry this has been so long and personal. I just wanted you all to know a little more about Katie. :)

I've already warned my honey that I just might be a basket case this week!! I might cry a little more than usual, I might be a little distracted, I might talk incessantly about Saturday, and who knows what else I may do!!
 I love you guys and am so thankful for each one of you!

Now, I'm going to grab some more kleenex and that ice cream is calling my name... ;)



katie

Thursday, April 11, 2013

3 Things Thursday and Huma Energy Gel Review!

Hello friends!!

  Welcome to 3 Things Thursday!

1. Just because I know you're wondering... only 9 days until my first marathon!! 

Up until recently I was so nervous, but now I'm just excited! It's a great course for first timers, mostly flat, and the weather is supposed to be cloudy and 53. (I know that could change) I think this weekend I'm going to buy a new running outfit. I'm tired of my few running clothes and think this calls for something new!


 2. My girl, Gina, recently did a review on Huma Energy Gels, and said that Ian, one of the founders, was looking for someone else to review them and would I be interested. YES! I had heard so much about them, so was very excited for the opportunity to try them.



He sent me a sample pack of Apples & Cinnamon and Strawberry. I took them with me on my 20 mile run and loved them! I love that they're all natural, healthy, no chemicals or preservatives. You can actually pronounce all of the ingredients. They base the gels on Chia Seeds, to bring you a superfood burst of nutrients! So you might think with all the healthy stuff, they might not taste very good...but they do! They have great texture and the flavor is not too sweet or 'cough syrupy' at all. You should try them! Go here to order, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter!

3. Today is day #4 on Weight Watchers, and it's going great! We've been having lovely weather, I had an awesome 5 mile run Monday night, and then took a spin class Tuesday night. I plan on going to spin again tonight. I just love spin class! Something about dripping sweat and that feeling of exhaustion is SO exhilarating! I am so thankful for the ability to exercise! (I know that sounds weird, but it really is addicting!)
 My daycare babies and me enjoying the gorgeous weather!
QOTD: Have you tried Huma Gel?
What's your weather like? I know a lot of places in the East are getting snowstorms!


katie

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Just Another Manic Monday...

                                                    I wish it was Sunday,
                                                   cause that's my Funday
                                                 My I don't have to Runday
                                              It's just another Manic Monday.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was insanely busy! Saturday I had planned on running 21 miles, but only did 15.
Why 15 instead of 21? I don't know! No good reason.
I only have 2 weeks until my marathon, so I will do at least 21 next Saturday- although I'm supposed to taper then. I know I'll feel more comfortable if i can at least get in another 20 miler!

  After my run we went to pick up this cute little thing!


Isn't he the cutest thing ever? He's a Yorkie, 5 weeks old, and we've named him Charley! We've never had a puppy before, although we did have a full grown dog last year, but he just wasn't a right fit for our family, so we gave him to some friends of ours. But we just love little Charley!

Remember when I was asking for some advice on whether I should join Weight Watchers? I decided to do it! Today is Day 1. I'm really excited about it, and ready to get rid of this last 30 lbs.!

Tell me something you did this weekend!

katie

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Does Weight Watchers Really Work?

Hello friends!

 My legs are finally not sore anymore after my VERY hilly half marathon on Saturday! I did get in a 4 mile run on Tuesday, and today will be doing 6 miles.
 My first full marathon is in 2 weeks!! I'm so excited, and getting more confident, the closer it gets. 

 The reason for my post today is to talk about Weight Watchers. I have been on every 'diet' out there, and have lost weight on most of them. About 13 years ago I was at my highest weight ever, and joined WW and lost 25 lbs. Although I did gain some of it back over the years, my weight has never been back up as high as it was then.
 Lately I've been against diets, because I think if you exercise and eat right, that's all you need, and you just gain back any weight you've lost, because you're not really learning HOW to eat right.
 I don't think WW is a diet or a fad though.  I think it really teaches you how to eat and self control. Not to sound vain- but I feel like I already know how to do that! I did lose 30 lbs. last year on my own.
 But this year I have not lost ONE pound! In fact, I've gained a few! And I haven't changed my eating habits, the only thing that has changed is I'm running a lot more. 

  So, I'm thinking about joining WW. I think maybe having that structure, and writing down everything I eat, will help me. Maybe that will help get off the last 30 lbs. I need to lose. 
 Also my Mom just joined, and my twinnie is thinking about joining too. So it could be a family affair! 

Have you done Weight Watchers?
What would your advice be?
katie

Monday, April 1, 2013

Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon Race Recap

Saturday I ran my 3rd half marathon! It was Run the Bluegrass, at the beautiful Keeneland, in Lexingon, KY. This was by far the most challenging and hilly course I've ever run! 


 My wonderful man brought me, it was about 35 degrees and very foggy! They delayed the start by 15 minutes because of the fog and there was construction going on, so a lot of people were still stuck in traffic. I think that was great, I felt so bad for all the people who would've missed it!

 Back to those hills... they were INSANE! Over 30 hills, nonstop. Mile 9 was the worst. It was a steep incline, then curved, then steep incline, and curved again. As I looked around, every single person was walking it, including me. For most of the hills, I tried to run a little bit of them. I just looked down and ran, until I couldn't run anymore, then I would just walk. 

But the views and sights were SO beautiful! Gorgeous rolling hills, horses, beautiful houses, etc. As I was rounding a corner, I saw these horses just running and running along with us. It was amazing! Thankfully once the sun came out, it warmed up into the 40's, and was perfect running weather.
I really felt good throughout the whole race. There were a lot of water/gatorade stops. They were also handing out power bars along the course. (I'm not sure who could eat a power bar while running though!) I brought along my GU's, which always help me. 
 The hills were challenging, but I love challenging! I love that feeling of 'I can't do this', but pushing myself anyway, and discovering that I can do anything!! 
 This was an awesome race, they took such great care of the runners. I was happy to see all of these at the finish line! As well as chocolate milk and Glier's Goetta, which was...interesting!

I also found out that this year's race theme was Genuine Risk, which was the filly that won the 1980 KY Derby. So the ribbon on our medal was the filly's silks! (Last year's theme was Secretariat.) I thought that was so cool!


My official time was 2:34. Not a PR, my last half was 2:25. :(
 But I am positive that if this had been a 'regular' course, I would've PR'd.
My honey took this pic of me coming into the finish!
This was a crazy, awesome race and I can't wait to do it again next year!!

katie