Monday, November 29, 2010

Run a race? Are you kidding?

I never liked running growing up. There was nothing fun about it. I don't remember why I signed up to do a half marathon 5 years ago. Probably not the best race to start with for a beginner. I couldn't even run a mile before I started training. And I didn't have a clue about the amount of effort it took to run it. In the end, I didn't train very well and I had this breathing problem and didn't really know what it was. I kind of skipped my 10 mile runs in training. I can't remember what else I skipped. I finished the race but I had to walk a few miles of it. And after it was over, I'm not sure how my legs carried me back to the hotel. They were like jelly.

Then in 2007, I ran it again. A friend said she wanted to run with me so we trained and ran together. It was good because we liked to run at the same pace and it was great because we counted on each other to get out and train together. This time we ran the entire race. It felt really good to accomplish it. Since I didn't miss my long runs during training, my legs felt pretty good later that day after the race.

Then last year, I felt compelled to run it again for some reason. I still didn't see myself as a runner. My husband is a runner and he always runs this half marathon and other races. I go to watch him run anyway so why not run it, right?! I was planning on running it with a couple other people but it didn't work out so I ran it by myself. This was another hurdle mentally. A lot of running is mental. Toward the end, I was tired. I kept thinking I'll just go as far as I think I can and then I'll push a little more. I kept saying that to myself. It worked! I saw my time when I was going into the last mile and sped up a little so I could beat 2 1/2 hours. (I'm not a fast runner!) I made it at 2:28:43. Little did I know that my sister's time from 2005 was 2:27:43. I would have run faster if I knew that!! I felt really good for accomplishing this race by myself and shaving about 14 or so minutes off my time.

I have also run the Fort 4 Fitness 4 mile race the last two years. That's a fun one and not too long!

I have to say, that over time I have come to like running a little more. I don't love it and I'm not sure I ever will but I do it to keep me moving and entering races helps me to have goals.

I am signed up for next years Indy Mini-Marathon because I got a free entry from filling out last years survey. I wasn't going to sign up but now I'm signed up. I think that I'll try to run it. I'm not sure yet.

I don't tell this story to discourage anyone from running but to tell how I came from not being able to run a mile to running a half marathon. Anyone can do it but it takes a lot of effort and determination. You never know what you are capable of until you try! To grow in any area, you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone every once in a while!

My husband runs several races a year and he says that you can just google races in your area to see what's available. He just did a 4 mile Galloping Gobbler on thanksgiving morning.

I don't think the mini-marathon in Indianapolis is filled up yet but it will be soon. That is in May. This is a fun race. It is the largest half marathon in the country with 35,000 runners!

Later I'll post the running schedule I use. There are several. There are sites that you can find a schedule to fit the race and speed you want. My husband incorporates speed work and tempo runs. But for me, I just stick with a simple one. Also, I am not a fast runner. I did a half marathon at a 11 minute pace while in my training, I was running at a 12:30 to 12:45 minute pace. You don't have to run fast to build up your miles.

Think about starting with a small race and find someone to run with you in it!

Friday, November 26, 2010


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends! I know it's kind of late for a thanksgiving recipe but I made this new sweet potato recipe yesterday and it turned out pretty good. I was looking for a sweet potato recipe to make for a get together and I found a lot of different ones. The first one I saw sounded really good but it was over 500 calories a serving! I couldn't believe it! I finally found one that has a different twist. I must admit, though, my favorite is the one with the marshmallows on top. But this one is pretty good.

I adapted this recipe from one I found on

Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 lbs sweet potatoes (4-5 large)
2 T butter
4 T pure maple syrup
1 T chili powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp allspice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce each potato with a fork. Place directly on oven rack and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Let cool 10 mins or long enough to handle. Slip skins off and place in large bowl. Add butter and mash. Add maple syrup, chili powder, ginger, salt, pepper, and allspice; stir to combine. About 12- 1/2 cup servings.