How long have you been running? That oh crap, time to wake up, moment happened about 5 years ago, but in truth it never really stuck. I would run a few days and then quit for months at a time. Then try to start again and be frustrated because it was so hard. A little over two years ago I started to get more serious about it. However, I really began considering myself a runner on October 1st, 2010. That is the day T and I started half marathon training. I made a promise to myself that I was going to commit to: I was going to become a runner, I was going to finish the race, I wasn't going to let T down, and I wasn't going to let myself down. Ever since then I haven't stopped. Running is now truly a part of who I am.
Why BackAtSquareZero? I choose the name because I started this running adventure from nothing. I was the kid in middle & high school who prayed to God to just finish that stupid timed mile run under 12 minutes so I wouldn't fail and get teased by the others. I was awkward, clumsy, lacked balance, depth perception, and generally just radiated an aura of hot mess. Okay, who are we kidding, I am still that person. (When I did Cross Fit before I got injured I couldn't do box jumps because I kept flying off.) I started off slowly just trying to run to the mailbox. Then just one mailbox further the next day. It took me weeks just to make it to a mile or two. I really was starting from nothing.
Post injury I felt like I was back at that place again. I was back where I started, not even able to run one mile. I wanted a name that illustrated how I was right back to the beginning and I think, or I hope, BackAtSquareZero does just that. However, instead of being sad about starting over I decided to use it to motivate me. I created this blog to keep me accountable and on track. I will become the best runner I can be, the best I have ever been. At 30 I want to be in the best shape of my life, better than I was at 25, or 21, or even 18. I'm starting over, but cannot wait to see how far I'll go.
What is your favorite thing about running? That feeling you get when you PR a race or meet your goal is absolutely amazing, but I also love nice chill long runs on cool days when it's just you and your run.
What do you dislike about running? I am horrible about stretching. Stretching after every 5+ mile run was actually my New Year's Resolution and I instantly broke it, so being sore is my least favorite thing, but also very common. I'm sure if I stretched more (I'm working on it) it would help with the pain.
What has been your favorite race? Running a sub 2 hour half at the Charleston Marathon was amazing. I am usually a happy 10 min mile girl so to run a whole 13.1 mile race at a 9 min mile pace was amazing. It showed me what I am capable of and how I can push myself to get better. Disney, while an abysmal finish, was actually a great race. I got hurt part way through. At first I moaned and whined, "Why does this have to happen on marathon day and not a training run?" Then after about 5 super slow, extremely painful miles I swore I was an idiot and would never run a marathon again. However, when I crossed the finish line I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment. Yes, I was injured, yes, my time was horrid, but I had done it - I had run a marathon. Who would have ever guessed that about me just a few years ago? I got off my pity party wagon, found T, and we started planning our next race in the recovery area of our first one.
I wish that I had run more races - so far I've done some 10Ks, 2 half marathons, and am currently training for my 2nd marathon. There are many others I'd love to do (New Orleans, Chicago, etc.), but travel gets expensive. T and I plan on saving up and doing one destination race a year plus digging around to find some smaller local ones. Hopefully I'll have more race recaps and new favorite races for you all soon.What are your running goals?
Run a 50+ mile week. Haven't done it in 2012 because of injury.
PR a 10K - sub 55:00
PR a Half - sub 1:58
Complete a full marathon in under 4:30
Run a Relay Race
Most embarrassing running moment? I learned the hard way not to hydrate too quickly post long, hot runs. After a run down the trail C and I stopped at East Bay Deli for lunch. I chugged a glass of unsweetened tea, because I wanted something other than water, and filled up a second. I was almost done with cup number 2 when I felt a wave of nausea hit. I looked for the bathroom and knew I would never make it. I pulled the lid off the cup and vomited all my iced tea directly back into the cup, while still sitting at the table!
Sometimes it takes me more than once to learn a valuable lesson though. After an 20 miler with T we stopped at Atlanta Bread to refuel. I once again got unsweetened tea. I thought I'd learned my lesson. I drank way slower, but boom! Suddenly there was the puke monster again. I quickly skedaddled to the bathroom and loudly projectile vomited my tea up into the toilet. The Sunday church group did not appreciate me! I wanted to yell, "I'm not a hung over sinner I just ran 20 miles. Stop staring." Luckily I refrained and we exited the premise pretty quickly.
Favorite run gear? Capris (I cannot find shorts that don't give me chub rub), my Nike Dry Fit tops, Mizuno Wave Creations, and my blinking green clip on light that prevents cars from running over me. I'd love to find some good running tank tops; so far they've all been too tight, too loose, or too short. I feel like Goldilocks and the three bears of running tanks. Plus I would kill, well maybe injure or maim, for a Garmin or MOTOACTV to keep my time and miles on.
What do you listen to when you run? Half the time I am running with friends and we talk instead of listening to music. All my marathon training runs and races with T are music free. When I am running on my own I listen to everything from alternative music from my HS days (Third Eye Blind, Everclear, etc) to pop (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, etc.) to rap and R&B (Jay Z, T.I., Usher, etc). If someone got a hold of my iPod shuffle they would think I had multiple personality disorder.
Any running quotes that motivate you? These quotes work great for distance running!
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." John Bingham
“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” ― Mae West
Do you do anything besides run? I did cross fit for about 3 weeks before I got injured and enjoyed it. I'd like to return sometime. I play rugby - we have practice once a week and games a few times a month. I love spin classes especially when the music is good. I also enjoy walking and biking with friends.What is your food philosophy? I try to really watch what I eat. I use the MyFitnessPal calorie counter to keep me on track and weigh myself, not to see if I am losing weight, but to try and stay where I am. I generally allow myself 1,600 calories a day because anything less than that and I become an angry, crazy, hungry person. I generally burn anywhere from about 400 - 1,000 calories a day exercising so I do actually take in much less than that 1,600 I consume.
However, I do believe in treating yourself. What is the point in being healthy and living until 90 if you never let yourself enjoy it? That means that sometime I splurge and go over my calorie count. I'd like to say I am 90/10, 90% healthy 10% occasional splurge, but some weeks it is more like 80/20. I am okay with that though because denying myself delicious foods sucks and I run my bottom off to be able to have that occasional treat. Why not enjoy it?
Anything else you do to stay healthy? On top of all the exercise and trying to eat well (usually) I believe in getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night and love naps on weekends. I think being happy adds to your health so I surround myself with positive people and try to spend lots of time with them. I also am a poster child for sunscreen, I wear it nonstop. Plus I go to the doctor, dentist, OB/GYN, and dermatologist for regular preventative checkups.