I made it back to Alabama, safe and sound. A tad exhausted, but glad to be home.
I’ll be honest, heading into this years BlissDom, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Financially, it was a bigger undertaking for me having to fly, instead of drive. Since I’ve already gone to Miami this year, and heading to DC next month, plus a vacation this summer, I was sorta, kinda wishing I hadn’t committed myself to it. GUILT set in.
But, I decided to go and have a good time and and learn and network, with the knowledge that maybe next year, I wouldn’t go.
The travel alone needs it’s own post dedicated to it, but I’ll leave you with what is fresh on my mind.
I didn’t get a lot of time last year to chat with sponsors and I really wanted to make sure I had time for that this year. I did and feel I have walked away with some amazing connections.
I feel like I have changed so much since last year. Going back to work, really changed my priorities. Things I took for granted, priorities being shifted, etc etc.
Lately, I have been feeling down on my blogging. I rarely read blogs andI don’t have a ton of extra time. But I love blogging and sharing my life. I am very present on Instagram and Twitter, and generally once my thought bubbles or pictures are out, I forget to post them. I haven’t been posting on my family life or the reds as much as I should.
With being a Community Leader, I had certain assignments for sessions and one of my sessions was David Molnar’s. If you aren’t familiar with him, YOU SHOULD BE. He is not only an amazing photographer and story teller, his devotion to his son and wife are nothing short of spectacular. His Friday session spoke leaps and bounds to me, where I sat with tears in my eyes through most of the session. Even though, his session was about storytelling, his point was “Who will tell your story if you don’t?” Since pictures obviously are the best storytellers, he was just saying that no matter if you are a professional or novice, Nikon or Canon, Camera phone or DSLR, just get out there and take pictures of your story.
His story spoke to me on a different level though. I realized I never take my actual camera out to tell our story. The iPhone is so much easier and less bulky. So, I am challenging myself to not share a picture from my iPhone for 30 days on the blog. All pictures have to be from my Nikon. WHOA. Right?
Now.. let’s be honest. When I do a BlissDom recap post, I WILL have to post from my iPhone because I didn’t take my Nikon everywhere. So, let’s just exclude those posts, Mmkay?
Lastly, Jon Acuff always delivers. That man is hilarious, but he also knows how to really make you re-evaluate and think about things. His closing key note, did NOT disappoint. He spoke about the Road to Awesome… and a few things he said really stuck with me. As we get older, we start to edit our lives– cut out those who don’t uplift us or things that no longer give us joy. As we begin to edit, we will meet fear. FEAR IS A LIAR. Fear only gets loud when you do things that matter. Fear never throws rocks at someone who is lying down. Fear FEARS community. Fear will always try to isolate you from others.
Fear sometimes paralyzes me. I am fearful of failure. Failing my husband. Failing my kids. Failing myself. I’ve got to stop being afraid. When you stop being afraid, amazing things happen. When you are unstuck, you are unstoppable.
So.. I’m a little behind on getting this up.. it’s been a busy month with all of that dominating going on around here!
I’ve completed 2/3 of my Spring Half Mary schedule, with them both beind PR’s.. not bad.
I crushed my sub 2:15 half marathon goal.
I have my 3 tri’s picked out.
Still sort of working on those splits.. not sure if it’s going to happen or not. This old body ain’t as flexible as it used to be.
Anyway… how are y’all holding up on your goals? Crushed any of them? Given up on any? Tell me the good and the bad!!
I’ve geared back up with my cross training… not so much with the weight training.
My eating is back to abysmal.
I can’t tell you the last time I cooked dinner.
I am way behind in my 1500 mile goal for the year. I am currently behind schedule by 91 miles. YO. That’s a LOT of miles.
I have officially completed 1/3 of my Spring half marathons and let me tell you, I am still floating on cloud 9 about this race.
I was sort of (okay a LOT) freaking out about it. The pressure I was putting on myself to sub 2:15 this race was INSANE. I got a surprise in the mail from Mary (which. when she told me she was sending me something, I was totally expecting a funny saying on a pair of thong underwear that we kept seeing in Key West.) on Thursday, and tears were in my eyes when I opened it. The bracelet says WWCD? What would Clowney Do? Getting that bracelet from Mary, helped me calm the eff down and realize that I could do this. It may not be this weekend, but it was coming.
I knew the weather was going to be cold and everyone kept telling me it was going to be 25 at the start. I knew I would need some throw away clothing for along the course. I decided on the piece of clothing I have owned the longest. I know Philly was glad to see it go, since it came from an ex-boyfriend 13 years ago, but at one time, it was the only sweatshirt I owned.
I packed my bag the night before, because, well, that 4 am wake up call was NOT my friend.
These numbers blow my mind. Too early and TOO cold.
We made it downtown to wait inside Boutwell to stay warm. Shannon was running her first full and my goal was to stay with her and Kelly and knock out as many 9:40 miles as we could.
The corrals were crazy busy and we ended up hanging on the sidewalk until the gun went off and people starting moving. I decided to shed the sweatshirt before crossing the start line since temperature wise, I was comfortable in it what I had on. Yes, I said goodbye to it. Sue me. I was sad to see the sweatshirt go!
Maleah snapped this pic of us-I love how caught off guard I am.
We started out conservative.. especially for us. 10:00 first mile. I’ll be honest.. I was a little mad. I know how I do in races, and I tend to fall apart around mile 10-11. I needed to have those good times in the beginning to make up for a crappy ending.
Now, since I can’t read an elevation chart, a friend so nicely told me, “Once you reach the Chevron in 5 points, it’s all downhill from there.” This course is generally flat, minus miles 4-6 with some steep climbs. I saw the Chevron, and just beyond said Chevron, was a hill. LIAR, I said in head. But then, I came through 5 points and there was another Chevron and it was literally starting a downhill.. so. Yeah. My bad. Right after the 10K split was a hill and I just kept pushing up it (yep. Me. I pushed myself UP A HILL.) and lost Kelly and Shannon around that point. I kept holding back with them because I was afraid I would need to push later from them.
I did walk through my first water station that was uphill and Kelly and Shannon caught back up with me. We ran through the Highlands for a little bit.. just long enough to spot Dad and Karen! I ran over and gave my dad a kiss, all while Karen was screaming “That’s our daughter, Rachel!! Right there! Run Rachel!” and people were turning around and cheering. Definitely a racing highlight for me. Dad and Karen always come out to support races, no matter how big or small and it means so much to have them there.
Karen snapped this pic..
I think mile 9 was a good bit of downhills and I took a GU at that point. I was still feeling good, still had some left in the tank and I was holding out for that final stretch. At one point, I looked around and realized, I was in the presence of mostly men and I just started weaving in and out of people, picking me feet up. It felt good. No matter how many races I run, mile 10-11 is ALWAYS the longest and the hardest. You wouldn’t think it’d be that way. You’ve hit double digits, and you have less than a 5K left. I believe this was the point that I did some bad math in my head and thought I was going to come in around 2 hours, but I realized, even if I feel off and had to run walk the last 2 miles, I was going to make that sub 2:15 goal. That got the adrenaline pumping again, and it helped me pick up my step– I started seeing 9:15′s and 9:14′s for those final miles. I kicked it up through the shoot, and crossed the finish line with a clock time of 2:09. By the time I made it through the finishers shoot, the texts and tweets were coming through. I had broken both goals I set for myself this year. A sub 2:15 and a sub 2:10.
I called Dad but they were still stuck over on Highland. I called John and he informed me that I was smart to come in around when the wheelchair racers finished, because I had a tv finish.
I found Donnie when he got done and we went over to Boutwell for the after party..
Jim N Nick’s provided the post race food.. and if you know me, you know I do NOT eat BBQ. But I happily ate this pulled pork sandwich.
I was on cloud 9 all day. I couldn’t believe what I had accomplished. I also couldn’t believe the outpour of support from twitter and Instagram. Seriously.. blog friends ROCK.
Me and my medal! And all of my Lululemon glory, I might add.
Donnie and I drank and chatted for a while until it was time for Shannon and Kelly to finish. I don’t ever get to spectate races, and it’s nothing short of amazing watching those relay teams and individuals cross a marathon finish line. Some are elated, some are struggling, but they are all badasses in my opinion.
Me, Shannon, and Kelly
Me and more beer… lesson learned. Beer is proper post race hydration. No matter how yummy.
I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this goal. My next goal is obviously a sub 2, or as close to it as I can get for Nike in April. I’ve got one more half in two weeks, and the goal there is to finish. As of today, I still have no desire to do a full marathon, but the desire to complete a 70.3 is growing, so I think that will be the next big goal.. probably for 2014. The year of my 30th birthday.
Mercedes was a great course and honestly, the best I have ever felt physically and mentally through an entire race. I guess all that hill training paid off.
My official time was 2:06:37.
Thank you for all of the support that y’all have given me.. it feels amazing to get that sub 2:15 monkey off my back.
I decided to do a monthly breakdown of my goals to help me stay accountable for them.
Don’t remember my 2013 goals?
So, I didn’t die at Ragnar.. CHECK!
Sadly, I am behind on my miles already for the month of January.. I need to average around 125, and the month of January, I ran 88. It’s still about double what I normally do, so I can’t complain, but having to make that up isn’t going to be easy!
Balancing everyone’s goals and priorities is going to be an on going affair, but I think I’ve been rocking it. Getting up at 4:30 to run when needed, and not running quite so late at night.
I’m working on my splits as part of my stretching routine, but I am not convinced this is going to happen.. it’s hard, y’all! If you have any tips or witch craft to help me along with that, I’d be happy to take it.
I have my 3 Spring Half’s lined up and in one month, I will have completed 2/3′s of them.. crazy sauce.
I also think I have my 3 Tri’s picked out.
The plan is to also utilize FitnessGlo’s website to help with my stretching, core strengthening, and arm strength.
I’ve also been working on my game plan to clean up my eating, so if you have any suggestions there, I’m all ears!
How did January shape up for you?
I think setting my goals for 2012 seriously helped me stay focused, so I decided to do it again for 2013. I also want to do a monthly re-cap of how I am doing with these goals, just to keep me in check! Here are my goals for 2013:
- Run/swim/bike a combined total of 1500 miles.
- Run 3 half marathons this Spring.
- Complete 3 tri’s this summer.
- Don’t die during the Ragnar Relay.
- Run a sub 2:15 half marathon.
- Cook dinner every night for an entire week.
- Grow an herb garden and use it!
- Balance between my goals, John’s goals, and what’s good for the girls. Reaching goals take sacrifice for all parties, and it’s very easy to become selfish with what you want, and not what’s best for the family.
- Take the girls on a weekend trip.. somewhere fun but within driving distance.
- Be able to do the splits.
- Continue with cross training and weight training.
- Clean up my eating… being more mindful of what I am putting into my body.
- Go to a Pro Football Game.
What are your goals for 2013? Should I add anything to my list?
Happy New Year, Y’all!!