Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Excuses Round 2

In 236 days Team No Excuses will be running the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon once again! With lots of buzz about the race trickling through a couple Versus Strength and Conditioning boot camps, this year's team is going to be a just a little bigger than the previous year, and I'm looking forward to making new running friends!
Never could I have ever thought I'd run a half marathon. Let alone sign up for a second one!

Yes, I remember what mile 10 felt like. How my legs weighed 1,000 pounds. How I wanted to gag every time I choked down an energy jelly bean. How my thoughts were consumed with just making it to the finish line without walking - so much so I may have imagined the end a few times, like a desert mirage. 

I also remember how it felt to cross the finish line, to work so hard for something for seven or so months and to create a unique bond with a group of people - a 'you had to have been there to really understand' type of bond. Not to mention a runner's high that lasted for... I don't know, MONTHS!

It's for all of those reasons that I'm doing this again. 

Currently we try to run when we can - lunch, four-mile post-work or three-mile pre-Saturday morning workouts. Honestly, we're running and working out more now than we ever did prior to our first half marathon, but we'll still need to get on a strict schedule soon. 

Last time around Brad and I avoided the hills of Bellegrass and Bent Creek, opting for flat surfaces such as The Trace, but this time around, we plan on taking our training a lot more serious! With an alarm clock that goes off in the 4 o'clock hour five days a week, hot yoga once a week, and the talk of making a couple of bike purchases (dang helmet), we'll have to manage our time for afternoon runs and long runs on the weekends, but we're excited to train with our friends, work hard and set a PR for this race.  

Speaking of personal records...

This weekend we ran in a local 5K and for the first time I ran three miles in under 30 minutes and ran my fastest mile to date! Shout out to Katie and Dawn - running with people that are ten times faster than you can only make you faster (no, I didn't say fast - I said faster than I was). It was a great race with great friends! Emma Claire even sported a number and "ran" in the race as well! 

Naturally, to celebrate our morning run, we went to a beer festival. What a fun (and long) day! Those small tasting glasses are deceiving. I've never drank so much beer in my life.

Sticking to the theme of this post: A few weeks ago Brad and I spent a couple of nights in New Orleans and did a jogging tour. It was a lot of fun, a great experience and we'd recommend anyone who wants to get a good six miles in before tipping back a few to check it out! 

Brad recently celebrated his one-year Versus anniversary, and new experiences such as this one always trigger a reflection on how far we've come since starting this journey. 

Recently I have had a couple of close friends start their own personal fitness journey. I am no expert by any means but if I could offer them any kind of advice, and what has worked for me, it would be exactly what the great Amy Poehler (yes, those SNL folks are genius) said: 
"Find a group of people that challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life."

The group that has challenged and inspired me 
and keeps doing so everyday!