Yesterday, October 13, I had the amazing opportunity to run the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! It was an unforgettable experience!
My running adventure in Chicago started on Friday at the expo. To be there, at the Chicago marathon expo one of the marathon majors, seeing the Abbott World Marathon Majors booth was surreal. It’s a dream… a goal to one day run all six and I couldn’t believe I was there. I even saw the six star medal!
Then on Saturday I ran the International Chicago 5k. It was a great race! It was freezing though, and as a Florida girl it was probably a bit worse for me haha! But the course was great and it gave a nice peek on what the martahon would bring. My mom joined me and dad on this 5k so it made the experience even better.
Sunday was the marathon. I met some fellow runners at the hotel and it really made the entire experience even better. Standing there at our gate with my dad and new runner friend, again gave that unbelievable feeling. We were there… in Chicago, about to run the Chicago marathon. Each step brought us closer to that starting line and it was amazing.
Even crossing that start it was still surreal and I tried to take it all in. The crowds were great, the course was amazing but the experience… words can barely describe it! This marathon was rather tough for me though. I don’t know if the cold had anything to do with it, maybe it did since I’m not used to it at all, but my body started feeling it earlier than expected. I pushed through though, although it got really hard. I had my dad by me the entire time and we both kept each other going, even when we were out of it.
At the end my dad said let’s really run to the finish line. I said I couldn’t run that fast and he told me it’s almost done, we’re right there…. and I again pushed myself… found the energy I had left and we both rushed to that finish line crossing it together. I got emotional at the end and when we finished… I’m even getting emotional now. There’s something special about 26.2 miles… it’s not easy and I know I go through a lot of mental challenges. To finish, to know that I conquered all that and finished it is an incredible feeling. Then to know that I finished it along side my dad… finished my first world marathon major, earned my first star medal… it brought tears to my eyes.
I love running. I love everything it has brought to me and out of me. I’ve met new people, come together with family and friends, traveled and really pushed myself all through running. Running is a magical experience for me and I’m so thankful… and I’m thankful for all the support, and for the opportunity to run this Chicago marathon. Now… five more to go.
It’s been quite a while since I updated! Good thing this that I’ve been busy accomplishing growing and accomplishing new goals during that time. About a month ago I became yoga teacher! I considered being a yoga teacher before but never brought myself to take that step towards it. I finally did over the summer and I’m so glad I did. During my yoga teacher training I met the greatest fellow students and I learned so much!
I learned more about yoga and about myself. My journey brought me here and now I want to share more of this beautiful practice with others. Since I received my certification I have taught three public classes. Each class is a learning experience and that’s what I love so much about yoga too, I will always be a student.
During my yoga teacher training I also became certified in Reiki level 1 & 2. Learning more about reiki really made the experience more profound and I discovered so much about myself. Reiki provides a kind of healing that I believe everyone should experience. In last April I also visited Japan, which happens to be the country where Reiki originated. My trip to Japan was amazing… hard to even put in words. The country, culture and people are beautiful. I felt so welcomed there and it was one of the best vacations I have ever taken.
So, since the last time I wrote I have become a 200 hour yoga teacher, a Reiki level 1 & 2 practitioner, went to Japan and I am a RRCA level 1 running coach! A lot has happened this year and there are still a few more months left for more growth! In less than three weeks I will be going to my first major marathon, the Chicago marathon which is another step closer to my dream. All of this has taken hard work and dedication. It also comes with sacrifice… but when you know what you want that’s what it takes. Really put your mind to something and you can achieve it!
Last month was a month filled with many happenings! I had the opportunity to run on the Kennedy Space Center shuttle runaway again, I ran my third Disney Princess Half Marathon which is the run that ignited my running passion, I had a birthday and… I decided to take the RRCA level 1 course to become a certified running coach!
I decided to take the course because I know there’s always so much to learn about running. Being in the class with so many like minded individuals and with people who have such experience, I really learned a lot. It is one of the few opportunities where we were able to talk about running almost all day! I really enjoyed the course and am so glad that I decided to go for it.
Another reason I decided to get a RRCA coaching certification was to help myself and others. Again, I learned a lot about training plans, form, injuries, all in which I will implement on myself. I also did it for others. Without meaning to or realizing it, I inspired others to run. I would receive a lot of questions about running and people would tell me how I inspired them to get into running. It’s really humbling to know… I enjoy sharing my stories and am so happy good is coming out of it.
So I am now a running coach and I want to help others. I remember how scared and nervous I was when I first started running. I had no idea where to start, no idea how races worked… what should I wear? Do I need to bring anything? Will everyone run and leave me behind? It was scary doing it all alone but I managed… however I want to be there for others who are or were in a similar position. If anyone has any questions about running, races, etc I would love to help and give what advice I can. I’m also starting to offer training plans aimed more towards newer runner or those trying to improve their time. Feel free to contact me :)!
Last weekend, I ran the Disney’s Goofy Challenge and had a blast! To be honest I wanted to be more prepared for this race weekend, but with Christmas and New Years and everything in between… I may have slacked off just a bit. I still put training into it of course but not as much as I should have. Still, as with every Disney run I had such a great time and I learned more about my running plans for 2019.
Saturday was the half marathon. The course was nice and it was the first time I stopped to take pictures with the characters!
In the past I was always afraid of taking pictures because I wanted to keep the pace and not get swept. I’ve come a long way and this time I ran without that worry and stopped for multiple pictures. It was so much fun and the Donald medal was beautiful! After the half marathon I spent the day at the park, taking a solo adventure!
Sunday was the full marathon. It was only my second marathon so I have to admit that I was starting to regret my decision of taking the Goofy Challenge. But, I’m so glad that I did it! I had such a great time during the marathon!
Again, I stopped for pictures and was even able to stop and ride Expedition Everest when I got to Animal Kingdom! It was so much fun and I made the most of it! Those 26.2 miles were so magical and I really can’t wait to do it again next year! But next year I plan on taking the Dopey Challenge!
These races were my first runs in 2019 and it was such a great way to start my racing year. After running my second marathon I now feel ready to fully train for it. I know this year will bring about amazing things and I look forward to training hard! Also, I aim to update more on my training and races. Right now what I’m training for the Chicago Marathon and to run a half marathon under 2 hours!
2018 has been such an amazing year of running for me! I did so many runs and accomplished new PRs. I did one run on my bucket list, the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas, and will be doing another bucket list run in 2019! Before getting into that… this has been a great final month for me! Earlier this month I did my 10th half marathon, the Rotary Club of Weston’s Run for Tomorrow, and despite being a little sick I managed to set a new personal record! I finished in 2:19:05, 51 seconds faster than my other time! Yes, my goal this year was to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours but I’m setting that goal for 2019. I’m proud of myself and I know I can finish even faster.
Also during this month I did my final 5K, the Jingle Jog where we ran all dressed in Santa suits! It’s definitely one of my favorite 5Ks. When I first started running I remember I couldn’t wait to do a Jingle Jog! Well also during this final 5K, and my final run for the year, I set another personal record for my fastest 5K! So I ended my running year setting two new personal records and with a will to do more. Which now leads me to something else that happened this month…
I got into the Chicago Marathon!! I am so excited and still can barely believe it! The Chicago Marathon, along with all the majors, is one of my bucket list runs and I can’t believe I have the opportunity to run it! It brings me one step closer to my goal and dream of running all six world majors! It also gave me a boost to end this running year… made me realize how much I love this sport and how much room I have for growth. This has been an amazing year and I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings. Thank you always for reading :)!
Last Sunday, November 25th, I completed my first marathon. I’ve been writing and talking about it a lot… about my training and how I was nervous about the run. My goal for the marathon was to finish I didn’t want to do it for time, although it did cross my mind a few time while on the course. And I did finish… I didn’t doubt myself but I am still almost in disbelief that it happened.
The marathon I decided to do was the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach. I’m so glad I did this one because the run and course was amazing. I loved the atmosphere and all the volunteers who were there. It was such a great run and I’m really really looking forward to doing it again next year.
But on to how the run went. My plan was to keep a steady pace for the first half and I succeed in that. I finished the half in about 2 hours and 30 minutes and I felt strong. I went faster the next to miles and I was still feeling great. At about mile 18 is when my legs began to feel a bit tired so I slowed down a bit. I really started walking/running at mile 19 almost 20. Mile 20 was a hard one because although I was finally there at 20 I knew I had a 10K left.
Still I pushed through because this is what I trained for and this is what I wanted. I’m going to be honest though… I wasn’t fully trained. If I was I know I would have performed better but my ultimate goal was to finish and that’s what I did. I experienced a marathon… I was exhausted and despite what I consider to be experience, it’s difficult and not an easy task to accomplish.
I finished the marathon in 6 hours and 5 minutes. That time is definitely not what my ultimate goal is but I am happy with it because it gives me so much room for improvement. I grew so much since I crossed that finish line of my first half marathon… and that person then would have never even thought that she would attempt and finish a marathon.
After I finished, when I received the congratulations from my sister and father, I cried. It all meant so much to me because I remembered my journey. The journey means everything to me and it keeps leading me to places I never expected. This marathon is one of many and I’m so glad I did it when I did. It helped me build goals for my 2019 running year. I can’t wait to write about this same marathon next year to see the changes.
Last weekend I was so lucky to cross off one of my bucket list races! I went to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas run weekend and had a blast! I’ve never been to Vegas before then so it was the perfect time to go… for a run and for the experience. It was so much fun and such an experience!
On Saturday the 10th I did the 5K! It was a great run. The 5K didn’t exactly go through the strip but we were able to see parts of it. There was music on the course and the environment was great of course! It was a chilly night… at least for me since I’m a Floridan, but I enjoyed the cool weather. I didn’t attend any of the events at the finish but there were some celebrations afterwards! I had a long morning and went out to dinner instead. Plus I had to get read for my half marathon the next night!
That was something I enjoyed so much about this race… they took place at night! Since I’ve never been to Las Vegas I was able to do a lot during the day and I wasn’t exhausted from waking up early the next day for the run. No it was at night and even afterwards
it wasn’t too late so it gave me time to explore more of Vegas afterwards! And plus running the Las Vegas strip… at night time?! I couldn’t let that opportunity pass! That was why it was a bucket list run for me. The half marathon was so much fun! The only con for me was the start line/corral placement. We get placed in corrals but it isn’t organized at all. For the half marathon no one was in the proper corral it was rather a mess… but besides that factor the entire run was amazing.
We ran the entire strip and saw all the highlights of Vegas in those 13.1 miles. The people there were so encouraging and again I say it was a lot of fun. For the half marathon I dressed as Tron because I thought it would be cool to light up blue on the course. There were so many great costumes too. I’m sooo glad I did it! It was really worth it and I would definitely do it again!
It was such a great weekend. This is the second bucket list race I’ve done and I’m aiming to add more! In exactly 1 week and a day I have my first marathon. Training for that hasn’t gone exactly as planned but… I feel ready yet nervous. Thank you for reading!
The last two Saturdays I tried different types of yoga. The first yoga I tried was heated yoga. I was pretty hesitant about it because I don’t like too much heat (being a Floridian I’m surrounded by it), and the thought of hot temperature with a bunch of body heat didn’t attract me. But since I was still on my new trial membership I thought I may as well take advantage. So I went and… I actually liked it! It was terribly hot (I asked the yoga teacher later and it was only a slightly heated room to about 90°), it was more of a nice warmth that made me sweat. I’m also used to being drenched in sweat when I run and it was much less than that. I plan on going again and trying the hotter yoga they have available soon!
And the yoga I went to this weekend was a bit more exciting in my opinion… Goat Yoga!! I heard about it a while ago and being a goat lover I really wanted to try it! I searched and search for one in South Florida and finally found some classes available in my area (kind of it was an hour drive!)! It was so much fun! I didn’t pay much attention to the class because the goats were so interactive haha, but the teacher was really great and it was enjoyable. The goats were soo cute, I wanted to take one home! It is a different experience for sure and I would recommend it for animal lovers or if you’re looking for a different yoga experience! I would do it again for sure!
Well I’ve spoken about my yoga experiences and I also had a Back to School 5K where I got third place. I’ve been slacking though and haven’t gotten my best time again and I know it’s mental problem not a physical one. Training myself mentally is very important in running and throughout life, it’s one of the many reasons I picked up yoga. I doubt myself a lot when I run and I’m training myself to stop feeling those doubts it only affects my performance. It’s something I’m working on and I will post more on it.
I’ve gone longer than I wanted to without writing… my sister left for Japan to live for a year, my marathon training is on its fourth week, I have more tinctures that are soaking (I will definitely write on this soon!), and I have some more planned races coming up. I’m going to try and set a goal for every month. My goal this month is to write more often. My half goal is to read all the books I bought but haven’t gotten to yet. I will work more on the first goal and if I don’t make my half goal that will be it for September. I’m hoping to make some progress! If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of my experiences I post a lot on Instagram and you’re welcome to follow me at aDaywithDay! Thank you for reading!
On Sunday I went to another 5K. I was first place in my age group but the run was really small so I still want that day when I really earn it! It felt good though knowing that with enough training it really is possible. This week marathon training has officially started. It’s 18 weeks until my first marathon and I want to feel prepared for it! Monday was cross training day. I went to the gym did the elliptical and the bike… cross training really does help because it was a great workout. Yesterday was a 3 mile run and today is 5 miles. It isn’t much right now but the mileage will build up!
Along with my marathon training I’m still adding yoga to it. I’ve gone 6 days since I started, most of those days involving early morning wake ups but I really feel good. It takes a lot of work and dedication to get to where you want to be but it will be all worth it. This is just the start of my official training and I’m already seeing how much work it’s going to take!
On another note my first infused oil was finished last night! It has calendula and horsetail in it which is really good for the skin! I’ve just started using it and I will update on the results. The tincture I made for cardiac health so far seems to have a great result for blood pressure (my dad is the test), I’ll post more on this as the days go by. I’m also making more tinctures. All these natural medicines really are the best.
It was July 12, 2016 when I signed up for the 2017 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I had slacked off with my workouts and had gained weight again. I told myself that now that I was registered for my first half marathon I would get back to it and start training. I bought a running journal hoping that it would keep me encouraged. As the months went by I told myself I would sign up for another run, I would go to the gym and run some miles on the treadmill. I never did sign up for another run and while I did run on the treadmill, it wasn’t very often and not enough to be considered training. I did a mile sometimes around my block with my dog and I was glad to at least get some running done.
As the February race came closer I started to get nervous. I knew that Disney swept you if you didn’t keep their pace (thankfully I didn’t know about the Balloon Ladies then, it would have made me more nervous), so I started to look it up to see if they really did do that… yes they do. I started to search if it was possible to run a half marathon without proper training… everything I read didn’t make me feel better. I had gained all the weight I had lost plus a bit more. With the run barely 2 months away, I went to the gym more often and ran longer miles everyday I went. I never reached the 13.1 but I did go as far as 8 miles before the race inched closer.
2017 was the year that Disney cancelled their marathon due to weather conditions. I remember that well because I began to hope that they would cancel the Princess half marathon because I just didn’t feel confident. I truly believed I could not finish the race. I was so scared that I didn’t want to go, I was willing to lose the money I paid because I didn’t want to face the possibility of failure. I would have quit, I would have never attempted the half marathon if it weren’t for my older sister. I thank her immensely because it was her who pushed me to go anyway. If it weren’t for her encouraging me, going to Disney with me, staying up to 3AM to drive me to the race, I would not have gone and would never have experienced the run that changed my life. To this I really can’t thank her enough.
It brings me to tears when I think back on that day. It was February 26, 2017 a year after I had done my first run. A part of me still hoped that the run wouldn’t go on but my sister was there staying up all night so that she could drive me and kept on encouraging me. I was so nervous… not only was I about to attempt a half marathon I didn’t feel ready for I was going to do it alone. After she dropped me off I followed the crowd since I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It was cold that morning but I seriously didn’t know if I was shaking from the cold or from nerves. Once I got to my corral I couldn’t stop shaking. After waiting for about an hour it was finally my turn to start the half marathon.
That first step across that start line was the beginning of the moment that changed my life. I ran, not at a fast pace but at a steady pace for about the first 6 miles. I was so scared of getting swept I refused to walk (and take pictures) unless I really had to. It was about mile 6.5 that one of the entertainers on the course said that we were 45 minutes ahead of the buses. At that point I was so relieved that I started to walk. I kept a walk, run, walk, run pace until mile 9 when I felt I could no longer run. I was exhausted but just kept on going. People always ask me how I felt during my first half marathon. One thing I always say is that the final 5K felt like the longest 5K of my life. I remember one of the volunteers at the 10 mile water stop told us “just a 5K left!” and I thought “only a 5K?”. The second thing is that mile 12 is the longest mile ever! I remember wondering how much longer until I saw mile 13.
And then I saw it, mile 13 and I knew the finish line was right around the corner.
I ran to the finish line. As I crossed it I heard a man announce, “you all are now half marathoners!”. Yes, we were, yes I was… and I couldn’t believe it. I did it. I really did, I started and finished a half marathon. My mom, who was another of my supporters, messaged me as she got the text update and my sister sent me another grand text telling me that she knew I could do it… I was surprised she was even awake after staying up all night. My little sister had also gone to Orlando with me so I thank her too for being there for me and also supporting me, she kept telling me what an accomplishment it was to finish.
It really was an accomplishment and it was one that really changed my life. It was this run that inspired me. After finishing my first half marathon I now felt inspired to run more, I wanted to run more. I looked for more runs and signed up for them, I no longer cared if I had to go alone. I had run the entire half marathon alone and being alone no longer scared me. When I think back on the person I was then it really brings me to tears because I still can’t believe what I did and what I continued to do. I did it alone, not truly alone because I had the encouraging words from my family and friends and it was all that I needed. Over a year later I re-read that running journal I had bought back in summer 2016. In it there was a page where I wrote down my goals. One of the goals was to run a half marathon. The reason why I wanted to run the half marathon was to prove to myself that I could. I not only proved to myself that I could, I proved to myself that I was capable of so much more and that this was only the beginning.
“Running is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It’s the focus of my daily routine, the source of everything. It gives my life a sense of rhythm. It’s not just a game or a sport, something outside of life; it’s a part of life. It’s an adjective that defines me.” – The Complete Book of Running; James F. Fixx