Social Networking

Weight Loss Coach

Page 9 of 26« First...567891011121314...20...Last »

Contest Winner Experiences Pre Half Marathon Jitters

Dear Slender Seekers,
 
Running a Half Marathon is no small venture. Especially with the background of fighting obesity that many of us come from. It can be scary and it can be intimidating. I still get pre-event jitters on a regular basis. In fact you’ll read my blog about pre-event jitters later this week. But for today I want to take you back to the day before Amy, our How do YOU Celebrate Success contest winner got on the plane.
 
Facing a serious knee injury and worried about whether or not she could do this Amy was really nervous. She was kind enough to write a blog about her pre-race head space and now that the event is over and those emotions are not so raw and frightening I wanted to share it with you.
 
Guest Blog by “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest Winner
Amy Smith

new_blog_headshotWell, here I am. It’s 1:00 am, and in five short hours my friend Stacie and I will get on a plane to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon weekend. When I won the How Do You Celebrate Success contest, Stacie vowed to train with me and signed herself up for the race so she could run beside me. In April we “tested the waters” by running a half-marathon in Canton, Ohio, and we made it. So it seemed like we had it in the bag.

In May, Stacie fractured her foot. She was in a boot for six weeks. This girl hobbled through the Team Slender Seekers Color Run I organized in my community in her boot, but she was sidelined from running for a while. In October, injury found me, via my knee. What I hoped was just a “tweak” became chronic pain when running or walking down steps. As this weekend loomed closer, I was torn between taking it easy and not stressing it out more, but wanting to keep my training up.

I went from looking forward to the race to fearing it. I watched my per-mile time slip from 12 minute miles to 15 minute miles. I saw my ability to really endure long runs slip from a comfortable 10 miles to 7 miles. Then 3 miles. I unofficially saw a doctor, a family friend, who told me, “I would tell a normal patient to sit out this half-marathon. But I know you’re not going to, and what’s at stake, so here’s my best advice on getting through it.” That advice was to maintain short intervals the entire way, walking as much as possible. And in the meantime, no more impact exercise…only rest, ice, compression and elevation. 10362372_10154909288810347_2560319719682960177_n

So I walked out of that office knowing two things: 1) I have the ability to finish this race given enough time. 2) I could not finish this race under the 16-minute-mile pace required in order to not be swept off the course. I did some math and knew I’d need around 17 minutes a mile to walk as much as I’d need in order to keep my knee intact.

I called Pandora in a panic. We’ve trained for months, my sponsors have trusted me to carry their message through this race, my friends, family and community are all watching me and cheering for me…and I may let them down! It took several nights of phone calls and a letter to me via blog for Pandora to talk me off of the ledge. We realized I’d already completed what I’d set out to do – lose weight, run a half marathon, set goals and train for months. She reminded me that this race was simply one day of my life, not the end of the world. She also told me I should not run the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k the morning of the half marathon to save my knee. I’m disappointed, but I understand.

So now my bags are packed, and I can’t sleep. I’m excited! And I’m scared to death. I keep picturing that race and what will happen if my knee doesn’t hold up, or if I get swept. I’m trying to remain positive and imagine myself crossing the finish line, but I am also trying to be realistic and visualize being swept, to prepare myself for that possibility. Most of all, I just want to make everyone proud. I want all of the people who have made this dream a reality to know they made the right choice when they picked me to go on this adventure. It’s not myself I’m worried about letting down, it’s everyone else. Pandora says, “knock that off, we’re already all so proud.”

Pandora, the Slender Seekers and the sponsors have become like family to me, and I’m sad that the end of this chapter is drawing near. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the months of training. No matter what happens this weekend, I promise to give it absolutely everything I have to give, just as you have all given me

DSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

logo

WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
Like BariMelts on Facebook ]

Please support our sponsors!

Slender Seekers RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

So I have arrived home from our big adventure at Walt Disney World for the RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. As I sit here drinking my coffee I’m trying to decide where I should begin.

I could tell you all about our first day at Epcot. I could tell you all about the Health and Fitness Expo. But I can do that later in another blog. For today let’s begin at an obvious place, the start line.

My alarm went off at 6:30pm so I could be ready for the race before we had to catch the bus to the corrals at 7:15 pm. The start time was 10:00 pm but we had to be in our corral early. It wasn’t the only time my alarm had gone off that day. It went off at some horrific hour earlier that morning when several of us had gotten up to do the Mickey Jingle Jungle 5k.

I should have been tired but adrenalin will take you a long way. Amy her friend Stacie and I stood in the K corral as the fireworks went off to send the first corral off. A mixture of emotions ran through me; in fact, I could probably go through the alphabet and find a different emotion for each letter in it.

Amy and I both had faced a lot of challenges leading into this experience. We’d both had injuries or illnesses that threw us off our training schedule. But we’d gotten back on track, we had a plan to deal with Amy’s knee injury, and we were ready. But every Disney story has a Villain and ours was no different. Mother Nature had decided we needed one more obstacle to really test our determination to complete our goal. She sent us the rain and while it wasn’t a torrential downpour it was steady enough that we knew we were going to be soaking wet for 13.1 miles.

Standing in the corral eating the pre-race high protein snacks that our sponsors Kay’s Naturals and Celebrate Vitamins had supplied Amy and I decided that running in a poncho wasn’t going to be ideal and so as our 10:36 start time hit and our corral was sent off, we threw the ponchos to the side.

Pandora Lesson #1 – When running an event in the winter make sure the team shirts are made of a water wicking material and not cotton.

As we rounded the first corner past the ESPN World of Sports sign we began with Amy’s chosen one minute on one minute off intervals. In a sea of 14,000 runners I realized quickly that three of us running side by side wasn’t going to be easy so instead I figured I could save Amy a little time by making sure that when she was ready for her running intervals I was just far enough ahead that I could clear a space for her to run between those that were walking or jogging slower than she was.

At the mile one I started running just a little bit ahead to grab a picture of the mile marker and wait for Amy so I could grab a shot of her. This was an awesome plan until mile three hit and my phone had already gotten so wet that it started acting up and needed a restart.

Determined to get pictures of those mile makers I spent a little too much time meddling with my phone and lost track of where Amy and Stacie were. Thinking they must have not passed me just yet I stood there watching the crowd go by and after a few minutes unsure of whether they were in front of me or behind me I took off. I tried to call Amy to see where she was but her phone had already suffered from the weather conditions and though she could accept the call, she couldn’t talk or hear what I was saying.

When I hit the mile 4 marker and still couldn’t find Amy I cursed myself for those pictures and made a mental note that one should always stay with their running partner even if it means missing one of the mile marker pictures. I stood there for a few minutes watching the crowed roll by and trying to find Amy and finally decided it was time to move on.

I finally ran into Amy and Stacie just before mile marker 5 and when I got there, the look on Amy’s face told me how much she was struggling already. The clock had just struck midnight and we were a little past mile 5 averaging and according to my Nike+ Sports watch we were averaging a 15:04.

Pandora Lesson #2 – Never trust what someone without a stop watch tells you.

Doing the math really quick and knowing there was a corral after us and that they were spaced about 5 minutes apart I figured we were roughly 10 minutes ahead of the pace keepers but I ran off to the side to ask one of the cast members at the event how far back the pacers were and was told we were doing fine and were about twenty minutes in front of the balloons.

I figured they must have started the corral behind us a little bit later because they were larger corrals and ran back to relayed that information to Amy. It seemed to calm her down a bit and allowed her to take a breath and try to get her head back into a good emotional head-space despite the pain she was running through.

We had slowed down a little as we hit the mile 6 marker and grabbed a quick selfie. But we were pretty confident that we were ahead of the game. I got concerned when I heard someone else say that they had seen the balloon folks just a few minutes back and ran ahead to once again ask one of the cast members how we were doing. Suddenly I was informed that we were about six or seven minutes in front of the pacers.

I’m not sure if it was the fear of getting swept, the sense of accomplishment at knowing we were half way there or Amy’s first second wind that kicked in, but we hit the mile 7 marker at about 12:35 pm and I realized that we had gained some time and were averaging about a 14:30 mile.

That should have placed us, as I first thought about 10 minutes ahead of the pacers. But speeding up was taking a toll on Amy’s knee fast and I started to get concerned as I saw her hit what I call the “runners wall” from mile 7 to mile 8.

When Amy let me know that she couldn’t keep up the pace we were going at and that she was going to need to walk more I got a little worried. When we hit the mile 8 maker eighteen minutes later I looked back and saw the balloons behind us and ran off to the side to check in with a cast member again. The balloons were about a minute behind us.

Checking in with Amy and Stacie we trudged along discussing the plan.  We agreed that it was very likely Amy was going to get swept and it was very important to Amy that we didn’t get swept with her. So at mile 8.5 with the balloons at our back we agreed that Stacie and I should run ahead and that Amy would try to get to mile 10 so that those 10 miles combined with the 3.1 she ran in the 5K earlier that morning would have her completing the distance  she had set out to do.

 

Pandora Lesson #3 – Buy a water proof cell phone case for running in wet weather conditions!

Stacie and I ran ahead and once we got to the point that we were running through Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios together things started to get a little bit easier. Our Villain; Mother Nature, had stolen a lot of the evenings sideline entertainment from us with the rain and honestly those runs through the streets of Orlando with long stretches of nothing to see but other runners putting their feet to pavement was hard.

My phone was now so water-logged that all of my pictures were coming out blurry and with crazy kaleidoscope water marks all over them. Then my blue tooth headphones ran out of battery power and I had to take a couple of minutes rummaging through my utility belt to find my corded headphones because this Slender Seeker just can’t run without music

When Stacie and I hit that 15K split about thirteen minutes after the 8 mile marker I knew we were going to be safe and that we had gained a bit of time. But two of us navigating our way through the back-end traffic was a battle and Stacie suggested I break off. Confident she would make it to the finish line I took off to try to get far enough ahead that I could see all of my team cross the finish line.

I was running as fast as I could, but trying to run from the back of the line through the walkers was a struggle and the irritation they had with runners trying to pass them was a bit deflating. I felt like I had suddenly become the villain in their story as I called out “On your left,” more times than I could count.

I hit the mile 10 marker about thirteen minutes after we had passed the mile 9 one and about twelve minutes later I was grabbing a shot of the mile 11 marker.

Usually mile 11 to 12 is where I struggle. That runner wall kicks in and I have to keep telling myself I’m almost there. But there was no mile 11 wall for me. All I wanted was to get to the finish line and meet the rest of #TeamSlenderSeekers. Then my phone stopped responding to touch. I could take a picture with the button on the side but nothing else was working.

I was shockingly able to maintain that twelve-minute per mile pace right through until the very end and came across the finish line with an overall time of 03:21:49 and an overall pace time of 15:24.

Surprisingly crossing the finish line was anticlimactic. I heard them call my name out as I came through which was new, they hadn’t done that at the Tinker Bell half marathon back in January. I was quickly handed a medal, a RunDisney snack box and the cool Run Disney astronaut blanket. When I asked about the Coast to Coast medal I was ushered into a small undecorated tent where they handed me my  medal and stopped me to take a picture with no special back drop or anything. I was disappointed.

I guess I expected more out of an eleven month-long journey. Soaking wet, freezing in the cold at nearly 2:00 am and with my feet squishing in my socks and shoes I posed for a picture at the finisher line area and tried to find Heather who was waiting for us all at the finish line as part of our cheer team.

Pandora Lesson #4 – Have a planned meeting point for after the event in case of communication errors.

My waterlogged phone gave out on me and wouldn’t let me do anything. The screen was flashing and blinking and I had to ask a fellow runner to text Heather for me and tell her I was standing just outside where you took the finishers photo.

Tammy who I had seen and passed somewhere between mile 10 – 11 crossed the finish line just about 10 minutes later with an overall time of 3:42:04 and found Heather and I.  We stood there watching for Stacie and wondering where they had dropped off Amy. Stacie crossed the finish line about 7 minutes after Tammy with an overall time of 3:39:05 and much to our surprise Amy had gathered a little bit of extra wind and she was able to finish the event and cross the finish line with an overall time of 3:51:59.

Unfortunately with all of our water-logged phones it was hard to communicate after the race and the one text that we managed to get through to Stacie telling her the name of the food truck we were standing next to in the finishers area lead her and Amy to think that we had left and headed over to the after party at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and left us a little handicapped in getting photos and congratulatory hugs at the finish line.

Every member of Team Slender Seekers crossed the finish line despite some amazing obstacles that were put in our way. But overcoming obstacles is an integral part of a weight loss journey and we’ve all learned that, after all we were there celebrating an amazing overall combined total of 499 pounds of weight loss together.

Now it was time for us to all get some sleep so that we could spend the next day letting all our run gear dry out while we celebrated our successful Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Adventure.

DSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

logo

WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
Like BariMelts on Facebook ]

Please support our sponsors!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Page 9 of 26« First...567891011121314...20...Last »

About (Pandora) The Author

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

Check Out BariLife

The kind people at BariLife have been generous enough to send me to Paris to represent the WLS Community in the inaugural RunDisney Paris Disney Half Marathon.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out! Be sure to tell them Pandora sent you!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,606 other subscribers

Talk on Twitter

Follow Seeking Slender


Visit Blog to Lose

Proud Member of the OAC

Health Activist Award Finalist Best Kept Secret

Grab My Button