Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So, What's He Look Like? A Dummy.

On Saturday, Haley and I headed to Memorial Park for a run. She has never been to this park and I felt like doing a full 3 mile loop around, going easy on my knees. We took our before shot, did a quick stretch by the shaded trees, and started walking at the 3 mile marker. The plan was to walk a little more, but we ran across the street so a car could drive and then decided to just keep running.

I have tried everything to get this picture to turn right side up. Note to self, take pictures with camera right side up. Anyhoo...this is Haley and I in our before shot (I believe it's the 3rd picture we tried to take that made us look human).

So, where did you come up with this title? This was a conversation that we were privy to as these 2 guys passed us. I really wanted to run with them more and just listen to them, because they were funny. Sadly, we never saw them again.

Dude 1:  So, what did he look like?
Dude 2:  A dummy.
Dude 2:  He's a trust fund baby.
Dude 1:  So, what did he look like?
Dude 2:  A dork.

Yeah, that was pretty funny to us, too and we just kept repeating it over and over again throughout our entire run.

Okay, back to the run.

We ran for almost 1.5 miles without stopping. The water station was just before the marker, but I had to stop. Since Haley and I took some time dragging ourselves out of bed, we got there when it was getting hot. Water was much needed. But I felt stupid when I walked 10 ft passed the water station and saw the marker. I could have made it there. Grrrr.

We walked, we ran, we walked, we ran, we sprinted when we saw the 3 mile marker again and gave eachother high fives. Our plan was to head over to the adult playground to do some crunches and other workouts, but Haley somehow convinced me to go another loop. I was worried about running another loop, because I haven't been running much during the week...okay, at all and then I'm doing these big 6 mile runs on Saturday. That's not good for training. But Haley ASSURED me that we would walk. ASSURED...laughing now. We walked maybe close to the Beck's Prime when she was begging me to run. So, I obliged. We ran to the shaded area and then I stopped. We picked up another run, but that was all I could muster. Now, it was getting hot and my legs were burning. Then, I called Haley a liar. Yup, that's right...a liar. Don't believe her wicked lies!

Well, then we walked all the way around for the rest of the 3 mile loop. Sometimes, when the sun was too much, we headed on the trail in the shade. And here are some pictures of our run...well, at this point, this is our walk, which is why I had some time to take some pictures.

Such determination to get through this.

A smile of a liar. Yup, that's what it looks like.

Haley is desperate to get back to the sun.

Yeah, we aren't having any fun together.

Look at the hotties at Memorial Park...oh we didn't get them in this photo. Just kidding. I was talking about us silly.

I think we did a quick sprint at the end when we reached the 3 mile marker again. And then, we headed to the shaded area to do some final stretching and take our after sweaty shot. We also did some stretching at Cafe Express and Hobby Lobby.

The look of unsure of what day it was, where I was, who I was.

So, all in all, we probably ran 2 miles total and walked 4. That's not too bad, but it could be better. I'm really trying to get up early to run, but I just slept in this morning. Motivation...need it. Where to find it?

On Saturday, I'm doing the Race for the Cure 5k with Amy and my company. I'm looking at getting the 5K down to under 35 minutes. If you can donate, please do so at the: 
Click here to visit my personal page.
Whatever you can give will help! I truly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. Thank you so much for your time and support in the fight against breast cancer. Every step counts. If you prefer to mail in your contribution, please mail to NEW LOCKBOX ADDRESS: P.O. Box 4080, Houston, TX   77210.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Toughest 10K Kemah Race Update

So, I thought I was nervous and scared about the Galveston 5K, but that didn't compare to how nervous and scared I was for the Toughest 10K Kemah. Between the traveling, entertaining an amazing friend, getting sick, and working my toosh off, I haven't been able to really run or exercise. To top it off, I haven't been able to get in to my boot camp classes, because they are always full when I can go and my month long yoga ran out. Consequently, I have been stagnate when it comes to exercise and I was worried that I was going to die...for real this time.

Then, I found out that the bridge that I run over is not the flat bridge that I was thinking about, but in fact, a really high bridge. I want to thank Haley for alerting me to this news the night before the race that I was already nervous about running. So, let's recap. I haven't exercised, I haven't ran 6 miles in over a year, and I'm adding an extra toughness with a high bridge. Yup, I see a death bed in my future.

Thankfully, Amy signed up for the event on Wednesday (nothing like a latecomer to keep me guessing). I was actually really relieved to not do this running event alone. Plus, my awesome photographer mother, Kandace Heimer would also be there to cheer me on and take some photos.

At 6 in the morning, Amy, mom, and I zombied our way in to the car, with much complaining from my mother about how early it was and she would never do this again (except she will on October 22 for the next Toughest 10K Galveston) blah blah blah. We made it down there with plenty of time to get in the confusing lines to get our packets. I hope for the next one, they get that organized by maybe putting some signs up to show which line is for what pickup. It also sucked that they ran out of socks. I really wanted those cute socks...I mean, tougher, manly, strong socks.

Amy and I took our before shots to get ready for the run.

Amy and I before the race under the Kemah Boardwalk sign. 

I absolutely love this shot.

I'm doing the superhero pose. I have to pump myself up somehow. But look at that sunrise...beautiful.

We lined up at the race, sang the National Anthem (which Amy didn't even realize we were singing after I told her), and then got on our way when the buzzer went. It was packed trying to run to the start, which is why Amy and I are in single file. No, I didn't leave her behind.

Yeah, this is my second favorite shot. 

So packed

And we are leaving my mom. I swear Amy runs next to me.

The race includes running around Kemah and going over the bridge 4 times; however, 1 time is just going up and down on 1 side. Actually, you are going over the bridge twice. There were people all around giving us high fives and cheering us on, which was motivating. Amy and I ran all the way around without stopping and up the bridge, which was a little over 1.5 miles.

The plan was to at least run up and down the bridge on the first time before stopping. I didn't make it. I made it halfway up the bridge when my legs were on fire. So, I stopped to walk and Amy ran really slow to keep up with me. We picked up the run on the way down, which was weird since you move faster than your legs are going. You really have to watch it so you don't fall on your face. Amy came up with the idea to just walk up the bridge and run down the bridge and that worked well for me. So, we ran all the way around and under the bridge before stopping on the up part again. I was pretty much grabbing water at each station.

Amy and I would stop and walk here and there, making little goal points, such as starting the run at this light pole or starting the walk at the second set of palm trees. Amy noticed that I start off running fast, which means that I need to slow it down to conserve energy. I'm working on it.

On our third time up, we looked longingly across to the people on the other side finishing up their last run on the bridge. Amy said, "We will be there next Toughest 10K." Yeah, I think we can do it.

I'm not sure where this is on the course, but I like this picture. I don't look like I'm constipated.

The scenery was pretty looking at the sun reflecting off the water. Also, it was cloudy giving us a break on the heat. Plus, we had a little bit of a breeze. I kept looking behind me and noticing that we had a lot of people still behind us running. I realized that I wasn't doing as bad as I thought. In fact, when we got on the final lap of the bridge, I looked over at the people on the other side (3rd lap of the bridge) and said, "Amy, I bet they are saying the same thing about us...We will be there next Toughest 10K." That made me feel better, but I was running out of steam and quickly.

Right before we hit the walk point, this lady said, "Kristi, you can do it." Whoa. I forgot that my name was on my bib number, but still, that was pretty cool. We ran to the last water station before I had to stop and I didn't think I could run anymore. But you know what, I did run again. I ran all the way down and crossed the street, with Amy trying to sneakily add more running. I couldn't do it. I stopped and then the kid came out. That darn kid was standing on the side at the second to last corner before the final stretch. He was yelling about how we can do it and we were all winners and don't walk. Well, I had to run and slap that kids hand. We slapped some more hands long the way and made it passed the last corner before I had to stop again for a quick walk. We picked up the run for the final stretch and then I saw my mom and the end.

I looked up to see our time and it was 1 hour, 21 minutes. I couldn't believe it. The last time I did a 10K, it was one hour and 40 something minutes (close to 50); I was tired and had a pulled muscle. So, it was amazing to see my time and it made me pick up the pace. Amy swears up and down that I didn't say anything, but I did. I think I did. I'm sure I did. I just saw the time and dug deep, because I didn't want the time to hit 22 minutes. As we crossed the finish line, they said our names and where we lived. That was pretty cool to hear.

I'm not sure why I'm laughing. I think that I thought the guy was starting to fumble Amy's last name, but he got it right. 

They took our time chips and gave us our medals. I wasn't expecting a medal. But I really didn't care about the medal. I wanted the popsicle, the popsicles that I seen those show off people that finished earlier than us eating. Yup, that's what I wanted. So, mom took our after shots and we headed to get the frozen treat.

Amy and I with our cool medals.

I tried looking for my friend, Haley and her family, but we missed them. I was looking forward to seeing them. They said they would have beer. Oh well. Maybe next time.

On the way home, Amy said she would do the next one with me and that we should shave off 10 minutes from our time. I was skeptical, but my mom made me say that we could. It's hard to say no to your mother. So, now, my new goal for Toughest 10K Galveston is to make it in under 1 hour, 10 minutes. Do you think I can do it?

On a side note, I was really thankful that Amy decided to go with me. I don't think that I would have been able to do this race in a pretty decent time and survive. She pushed me to keep on going even when I didn't think I had anything left in me. So, this post is to thank her for coming along this running journey with me. And if she tries to get out of the next one, I will hunt her down and drag her to the start line!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Florida Wedding Parties and Exercising

This past weekend, I went to Orlando, Melbourne, and Cocoa Beach, Florida, to celebrate the wedding of Ashley #1 (wrote about her before) and Matt. I had a plan to bring my tennis shoes so that I can run on the beach as much as I could, which meant that I would also wear these shoes for skydiving. I haven't worn regular tennis shoes for skydiving since I was a youngling in this sport. But I didn't have the room in my suitcase for both.

On a side note, I need to get some new luggage.

Anyways, on to the exercising. I am slacking on my running. I was so busy one week (managed to only get in a mile run on a treadmill in Grand Junction), busy the next week showing my friend around town, and then I got pretty sick the next week.

Ashley #1 and I did 2 skydives at Skydive Sebastian on Friday, which were so cool and worked our arms and legs (freeflying). I finally caught my whale. I started to feel better on Saturday, but I had no one to run with and this was an unfamiliar running area  (not on the beach). If I got up early enough, I could have ran with the girl (also named Ashley, which is why I am numbering the Ashleys) who we were staying with on Friday night. She trains for triathalons. Oh well. So, there was much discussion about what we were going to do and then it became clear that kayaking was it. I have wanted to kayak for some time and I still plan to go on September 25 with Haley. Ashley's (#2) house is beautiful and has this river right next to it where we just drop in with the kayaks and go explore Turtle Creek Sanctuary for an hour or two. 

Ashley #2 and Ryan's house with their amazing porch and view.

I was alittle nervous since it was my first time kayaking and I have heard that it can be hard, especially on the arms.  It was also hard to get used to moving in the kayak; every small movement swings the boat. And it took forever to get the turns down correctly without slamming into Ashley #1.

I figured I'm in Flordia, I should carry on a surfer attitude. Or is that for Hawaii only?
Ashley #1 waiting for Ryan and Ashley #2 to get in the kayaks.

I'm not sure why I can't get this photo upright, but it's the better one of us, too. So, deal with it!

Ashley #2 and Ryan moving in front of us to lead the way.

The scenery was amazing. Then, I was told that we might see manatees on our adventure. I don't think I've seen a manatee live before even when I was scuba diving. Naturally, I was excited like a kid in a candy store. And you know what, we saw one immediately. Not only that, we saw somewhere between 4 to 6 manatees (although, I believe 1 of them was the same manatee). It was so neat. They are these huge seals, but they are the cows of the sea just picking their heads up to eat grass. They would swim right by the kayak and you had to really watch the paddles from poking them.

I'm not sure why this photo was blurry. It only happened to 2 pictures. But that gray mass was the first manatee we saw.

We kept on rowing or kayaking (not sure what the official term is) and saw some amazing turtles. They would leap in to the water when we got close. There were so many of them though. And there were birds and these fish called Mullet Fish that leaped out of the water. I couldn't help but snicker every time they said it was a Mullet Fish. I kept expecting the fish to yell out, "Whooeeweee Business in the front, party in the back."

Those turtles are covered in moss so that they are camouflaged on the tree.

Turtles just lined up on the tree. They didn't even budge when Ashley #1 got close.

This guy was hilarious. You can't tell from this angle, but he was doing the superman pose. He was like that both times we passed him. At one point, I wanted to go over there to make sure he was alive.

A turtle swam up to the kayak and Ryan picked him up. He put him right back.

We mostly kayaked upstream, which adds more to the rowing that you are doing. However, we got to kayak downstream on the way back. My arms were on fire when we got done and my back was sore, but what an awesome workout. I can't wait to do this again. I was almost tempted to just buy a kayak, because I was immediately hooked. However, I don't have anywhere to store it or to transport it. Hmmmm.....

Action shot of Ashley #1 getting her kayak on.

Ahhhh how sweet. They have pink and blue kayaks.
I do want to thank them for opening their house for us to stay and allowing us to experience this great experience.
On Sunday, I got the sudden urge to run. You know how I love to run on the beach and I really didn't want to miss this opportunity being in Florida and all. I mean I lugged those tennis shoes here. I was worried about my stomach and the pain I might get (kayaking was more about the back and arms), but I went for it anyways. I tried to wake up for sunrise, but I misjudged the light seeping through the window curtain. However, I did make it for the end. I plugged in my ipod and walked to the beach (which is a good walk). When I reached the sand, I saw all these people in two big circles like some kind of drum circle, people standing around, people photographing, and a lady meditating to the rising sun. It was amazing and I kicked myself for not getting out there earlier. But what I got to see was still beautiful and made for a great start to my run.

How tranquil.

I started my run with my Unknown album; however, I'm getting tired of the same songs. I created a running playlist, but it didn't go on to my ipod. I need time to figure it out. Oh well. I set my turnaround point to be this white building (condos) in the distance, which looked like a mile a way. When I started running and reached the building, it was more like 1.5 miles. The packed sand was softer than in Corpus and Galveston due to the high tide, which made it a little harder to run. Although, I got an extra workout by trying to not let the water reach my feet. I had to travel that day and didn't want to pack wet shoes.

The sun getting higher in the sky.

The last white building at the end was my turnaround point.

That building kept getting farther and farther away even though I was getting closer. But I kept pushing through. A couple of times, I told myself that I could just turnaround, but I didn't listen. I had to make it to this building. And finally FINALLY, I did. Whoa! I even had to stop for a second to rest. I walked the rest of the way back and was happy with my little run.

I made it to the white building...Thank God.

As I was walking back, I turned off my unknown album and just listened to random songs. I had some really relaxing songs that came on, which was perfect for my mood. For instance, this meditation yoga sunrise song came on and it just gave me tranquility. My head was on a swivel just looking at the sights.

Look at that ocean. So pretty compared to what I see in Corpus or Galveston.

I haven't seen a beachcomber in a while.

White, sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Well, at this point, I don't even see or know where my hotel is located.

Pelicans flying by.

I believe these are egrets and there were so many of them.

I didn't do any stretches when I was done (bad me, slap my hand), washed off the sand on the bottoms of my shoes, and went back to pack. I got back to my room with enough time to see the second silence moment of the second plane attack on the twin towers 9/11. I think the run I just had was needed for this day. After listening to the people talking and reading off names and remembering all the beauty I saw, it made me realize how life is precious. Enjoy your surroundings no matter how bad they might seem.

On a side note, it was really erie to fly on 9/11. I have never done that before and not sure I want to again. I had an extra anxiety that was not needed. Plus, I wanted to watch all the memorials. I at least saw 3 of the 4 silence moments.