Up Before the Sprinklers

Kirk coined this phrase on our run this morning – “Up Before the Sprinklers” for 5 wonderful miles around East Cobb. I didn’t feel into the run when we started, but felt great by the end. It’s funny that Kirk was running his recovery run and I was running more of a tempo run. Ah…to be faster like him. :)

This is a picture of Kirk running during Ironman Germany last year. 

One of the fun parts of running in the morning – two breakfasts! Pre-run was a glass of water and an Almond Butter/Banana Sandwich half. I’m usually really thirsty on runs, but I’ve found chugging a glass of water before my runs really helps.

Almond Butter & Bananas

Post-run, we made Blackberry Basil Smash Smoothies (from Peas & Thank You Cookbook) – we are finding lots of delicious ways to use all our fresh basil this week!

Mid-day, I remembered that today was the last day to use our Buckhead Life cards. These are a clever marketing tactic that we get every summer. They give you a card every month (May – August) for a different restaurant in the group. As long as you use the card during the month at that restaurant, which is good for $25 off your meal, they give you a new card for another of their restaurants. In September, if you kept up with the cards all summer, you get a $25 card for any of their restaurants. Good for us, good for the restaurants. Anyway – today was the last day for us, because our Wednesday nights are booked.

So tonight we headed to Buckhead Diner to use our card (yes, that means we skipped our bike ride – I’ll make it up later!). I checked before we left the house and this is not a restaurant on any of the Humane food lists, so a Vegan meal for me.  I decided on the Geezer Garden Vegetable Melt, exchanging the cheese for some Hummus I saw on the app list and the bread (which apparently had cheese) for Italian. It was very good – nice and flavorful!

On a side note, they also served Niman Ranch meat – which after some internet searching looks like a humane farm. Anyone familiar with Niman to know more about their operation?

From Couch to Ironman – Part 1

Note: I’ll be posting my Couch to Ironman story in the About section for future reference, so if you’re not up to a long post today – feel free to back later.

So, before you have any thoughts of me being a natural at runner, I thought I would share my story of how I went from a non-runner to an Ironman. My goal is to show you that anyone can do this – you don’t need natural talent – it’s all about baby-steps and setting goals along the way.

I grew up as a dancer – from age 2 through college. That was my life, I spent countless hours in the studio & on stage and LOVED it! I never really thought about it as working out, it was fun. After graduating college, however, it was a lot harder to find an outlet for my dancing. The adult classes in my area weren’t intended for those of us who had danced all our lives. I tried the gym thing – lifting weights & cardio thrown in, but that was tough for me to get excited about. I didn’t really have a reason to be going to the gym, no purpose that excited me.

When we moved into our first house, I decided running sounded like a good idea. How hard can it be – just put on some shoes & head outside. That is a lot easier to say than to do – I couldn’t even run to the front of my neighborhood (.2 miles – I clocked it!). I was a good “internet researcher” and found the Couch to 5K program and slowly run/walked my way to the 5K distance over the next 3 months. I finished my first 5K, with a little walking thrown in, in less than 45 minutes and was thrilled!

Being a goal-oriented person, I figured if I could run 3 miles; 6 miles must be better. I signed up for a 10K and found an online training plan to get me there. I don’t remember the time from my first 10K, but I do remember that I was getting hooked. I didn’t really like running, but I loved the feeling after I was done with a run! One crazy day, over lunch with my hubby & friend, I decided to sign up for the Disney Marathon. I hadn’t run over 6 miles yet, but I had 6 months and I like a challenge! Did I mention I’m a Disney fanatic? :)

I trained a lot with my Dad for my first marathon, which was really fun. I remember how scary it was hitting the longer distances for the first time. 14, 16, 18, 20 – yeow! I actually don’t remember if I finished the full 20 miles before my first marathon, hmm…. The week before the marathon, we went on a short vacation with some friends (over New Years) and I came home SICK with the FLU?!? After all that time and energy training, there was no way I was not racing. My “carbo-loading” the night before the race consisted of a few noodles and a half a banana – that was all my stomach could really handle.

The race itself was really tough. I was okay for the first 8 miles, but the remainder of the 26.2 was a struggle. My body was just wiped out and not really recovered. I did beat the sag wagon and finished the race within the cut-off: 6:45! I could barely walk the next two days, but the joy of completing a marathon was overwhelming. I signed up for my second shortly after – the Chicago Marathon.

I trained with a group for my second marathon, Get Fit Atlanta, which was a great experience. This was the first time I really felt the community of runners and how integrating running as part of my social life made it more fun! My second marathon was much better than my first, but I still had a tough experience and finished feeling completely wiped after 5:40. It took me several years to sign up for marathon #3.

More to come tomorrow!

Question: How did you get started in running (or your exercise of choice) as an adult? Did you continue something you were involved in as a child or dive into something new?

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