Where is My Mojo

Posts Tagged ‘ING Half Marathon’

Mojo. Where are you?

In Bike, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on September 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

It’s been long since I last wrote. And it’s been long since I last trained. Since the “Hell City” race (a.k.a. Ironman Florida 70.3 in Haines City) it’s been really hard to get back on the training wagon. Hell City, as renamed by my friend and teammate Karla, was… well? HELL. She couldn’t have given it a better name. The heat was excruciating during the run and doing three loops with two climbs each for a total of 6, was… ahem… HELL. To me at least.

Since after the race, back in May, all up to maybe a month ago, I was feeling terribly guilty because I was not training properly. I would maybe go out for a long run on a Sunday, but skip the previous Saturday brick workout. Or vice versa. And during the week, I couldn’t find the strength to get out of bed at 5am. Then it wasn’t even not training properly, it was not training at all. The guilt trip I submitted myself to was horrendous. Many Friday nights I packed my transition bag for the next day’s brick workout. As soon as the alarm would go off at 5:15am there was no incentive attractive enough to get me out of the bedsheets. Not even if I was told that Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Gosling, and Johnny Depp were all waiting for me at Alien Endurance Beach. Turning off the alarm had become my new sport.

The interesting thing about this funk I was (and still) going through, was that it was not physical. It was worse. Mental. I was mentally broken into pieces. My body was strong. My mind and will power, frail.

The guilt trip went on for quite some time, until my friend and teammate (also Hell City finisher) MyMultipersonality returned from her summer gig and were talking about what we were both going through. She made me realize that I had been going non-stop (and so had she) since January of last year. More or less this is what I’ve been up to for the past year and a half (or more):

  • January 2012 – ING Half Marathon
  • April 2012 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • April 2012 – Key Biscayne Half Marathon
  • May 2012 – Tri Miami/Sprint Distance
  • June 2012 – Trilogy #1/Sprint Distance
  • June through September – Training for my first 70.3 (Augusta)
  • September 2012 – Escape to Miami Triathlon/International Relay – Bike
  • September 2012 – ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta
  • October 2012 – Started training for a full marathon which then I downgraded to a half after running 20 miles of physical and mental pain
  • November 2012 – Miami Man Triathlon/International Distance
  • November – Turkey Trot/10K
  • January 2013 – ING Half Marathon
  • February 2013 – Chapman Partnership Run Wild/5K
  • February 2013 –  Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • March – May – Training for my second 70.3 (Hell City)
  • April 2013 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • May 2013 – Ironman 70.3 Florida (a.k.a. Hell City)

I’m completely out of breath from just writing all of the above. Mind you, this does not account for 2011 which was my first year of triathlon-ing. Click here for full list.

Thanks to Edith I purposely began to skip training all together and give my mind and body the rest it needed, guilt-free. I haven’t bothered in setting the alarm at 5am, much less on a Saturday. I’m listening to my body, and I am really enjoying it. At one point I felt I was going to be left behind. But now I’m certain that when I get back I will pick it up very quickly with a stronger body, and a mind that will not be sabotaging me along the way.

I now feel so good, that tonight I went out on a one-hour run with Karla and I felt like a million bucks. Body responded well. My mind was at ease. Now my soul is at peace. Little by little I think I’m getting my mojo back (yeah, baby! In the words of Austin Powers).

For what’s left of the year, I will not race. I’m done. I’m hoping to be at full throttle by October as I’m already signed up for the ING Half Marathon 2014 and will be doing my first Ragner race with my friends and teammates a week after the ING. Those are the two races I am registered for early next year. Soon I will look into doing a couple of 70.3s for 2014, to prepare myself for 2015 when I plan to do a full Ironman once I have turned 50. I hope by then I am still kicking and stretching and kicking like Sally O’Malley.

Good night, folks!


Aliens Run on Newtons

In Marathons and Half, Run, Triathlons on July 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Last night, after our Track workout session, I went to Fresh Market to grab some fruits, nuts, vegetables, and gluten free crackers and chips.

While waiting in the cashier’s line, a woman approached me and asked “Are those shoes good?”

She was referring to my blue and orange Distancia Newton Running shoes. Newton Running Shoes… You either LOVE them or HATE them. Us Aliens are OBSESSED with them… I won’t speak for all the Aliens, but the a vast majority wears them. Some of us have started our little own collection. I have four pairs… Three that are active and one retired… my first pair, the “Lady Isaac”. She and I ran my first half marathon together, and did all the 2011 tri races I participated up to the November Miami Man International Distance. During the run I broke the news to her that it would be our last collaboration together. We had shared so many moments, and we were almost one, but it was time to let her rest. Since then, she has been the first, and still only, inductee of my Newton “Hall of Fame”.

After a pause, because I had to access my hard drive to find a good answer, I told the lady “It depends. I LOVE them”. And then I went on explaining the front logs, and what they were for, etc. The man behind me in the line was caught in the middle of a conversation he probably didn’t care for, but ended up asking if there were any “neutral” colors for men. After thinking for a micro second I said no, but then I said yes, there a couple of neutral colors… black… white… but always with some flashy, colorful accent.

He made a comment about me probably having several pairs to match my apparel, to what I answered “not really”, but actually I do have an orange colored pair, the Gravitas because 1) They match my Alien Endurance uniform and 2) They were on sale. But these I don’t really wear for races, because I run better on the Distancias. I think Distancias rock, especially going up the Key Biscayne bridge. I feel I’m catapulted with every stride.

The lady was very happy with the info I gave her, so I can only hope we get a new follower. And for the gentleman behind me, I think he’s a closeted Newton fan. I hope he gets the strength to come out soon and get a pair as well. Newtons ROCK!

My little Newton collection

ING Half Marathon 2012 – Memories

In Marathons and Half, Run on February 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What a day!

In Run on January 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM

It’s been two days since the ING and I have had no time to write. Between plummeting on the couch after the race and then going back to work next day, it’s been difficult to find the energy to write. However, the excitement continues to beat inside my body, enjoying every memory I have of a day that was very important to me.

It started at 3am when both alarms went off. The boys (as in dogs) didn’t bother to lift their heads despite me jumping out of the bed to start getting dressed. Fifteen minutes later I was waking them up to go out for their walk and  then come back home to feed them, and feed myself with the customary bagel with peanut butter and strawberry jelly. That has been my breakfast for every training and race I’ve done in the past year and a half, and there is no way I will change it. Once ready, I took my car and drove 2 minutes (literally) to meet some of my team mates that live in the Grove to board the cab that would take us to the American Airlines Arena… the place where the race would start out from.

We were the first from our team to arrive before 5am… it was chilly, and some of us had brought garbage bags which we immediately wore as windbreakers. It was a fab idea from Little Frankie, one of our team mates. Once our coach arrived, and most of our team members were there, we did our warm up with stretches, and a very short run just to get those muscles going. Afterwards, we said our goodbyes and good lucks, proceeded to the bathrooms for one last quick discharge and off to our corrals.

Around 6:30am we started running. I began my run with Magui, the owner of Trijungle, but once on MacArthur bridge, I was in need of another bio break and stopped at the bathrooms, which took me around 10 minutes of my time because everybody had the same need as I. The lines were  l o n g!!!

With a few ounces off my body, I began my run again, alone, without a team mate, but surrounded by so many people who ran in silence… While dawn was making its full way into the morning, the sole sound of footsteps was priceless. It was music to my ears.

I focused on my body, just like Vic told me to… At the mere sign of pain, I asked my body to keep up with me. To let me go through this with as little pain as possible. I tried not thinking of anything else other than my body and its well being… and my objective.

After mile 6, I started stopping at every aid station whether I took water or not, so I could stretch quickly without cooling off. Mile 9 had a lot of significance for me, as this was where I completely stopped last year and continued walking to the finish line. I passed it in high spirits, while continuing to send positive thoughts to my body.

After that mile I started rewiring my mind… I did what some Mexican friends call “Coco Wash”… Rather than thinking I “still” had 4 more miles to run, I said to myself “You are just doing a 4.1 mile run from scratch”. When I got to mile 10, I reprogramed myself as if I were just about to start a 3.1 mile run. That I did until mile 11, because what happened to me gave me a charge that took me through the end.

Right after completing mile 11, somehow I managed to trip over myself and landed on all six! Yes, all SIX: my two hands, two knees, one chin and one right boob which I almost erased from my body. I’m happy it’s still there. At the same speed I fell, I got up and continued to run, this time with an added adrenaline rush and thinking to myself “There’s no way this is going to get me!!” While blood fled out of my chin, I continued tall and proud, and very, very emotional because I was about to accomplish what I had set myself to. At times I had tears in my eyes from overwhelming joy. Crazy. I know.

At the sight of the finish line I ran to it like I was caught on fire. I sprinted so hard, that by the time I crossed the line I felt sick. It’s good to have the shoes I have. I highly recommend them!!! These babies made me fly!

As I was texting the Dude “It has been accomplished”, he called me. I thought he had received my message and therefore had called me. I just (right now) realized that my message never left my phone… Magically he called at the right moment!

The medal. What can I say about it? It’s HUGE and beautiful. They did a great job this year in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the ING Miami event.

My bling bling!

Unfortunately for everyone else, including the Dude, I cannot stop smiling nor talking about my experience when I’m asked about the race. Sorry folks, but this race was important and so much fun. I enjoyed every minute of it. I took it all in and I don’t feel like letting it out just yet.

I got home around 12:30. Showered, ate, and crashed for three hours. Only to get up to feed the boys and take them out for their final walk of the day.

That night I slept like a little girl. No, I didn’t sleep with my medal around my neck. Instead, I curled up with my little boy Pocho, and woke up to a beautiful Monday of continuous race story telling, a lot of work and swim drills at night. Yes, swim drills… Tri season is here… so it’s time to train hard.

Thanks for reading and being a part of this fun journey.

P.S.: This morning at 6am ING had their blitz registration… I registered for next year’s full marathon. Thanks Eliana for inspiring me. I hope I look as good and fresh as you did running through the finish line last Sunday.

The real last entry of the day

In Run on January 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM

I thought I had written the last entry of the day before the race, but it’s not true. I’m back again…

So I left it at going to The Dude’s for dinner… After that, I started playing Monopoly with Francisco, his 7 year old. Yes, Monopoly. A game I haven’t played since maybe Fran’s age back when we used to live in Chicago. I would sit there with my mom and siblings, and sometimes even my cousin Carmen, on the kitchen table, hot chocolate in one hand, and play a game I had no clue what it was about… yes, I knew it implied money and property acquisitions, a banker (normally my brother who would always cheat), taxes, going to jail, and for some reason passing through “Go” to collect $200. I wonder where “Go” is in real life. I’d like to collect $200 for just passing in front of it.

Fran and I were having a nice time, when suddenly The Dude broke the spell of the moment and brought me back, at the speed of light, to reality… “Amor, you have to go, you have to get up early tomorrow for the race.” Those words for a split second felt out of context, and suddenly the butterflies started to move their wings inside my stomach. My entire day of serenity came to an end when I heard those shocking words. Yes, there’s a race tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is a very long day.

The butterflies are getting tired now, and I’m feeling better. I can only hope to get some sleep so I can wake up fresh by 3am. And if my mind gets all worked up, I will try to calm it down by using Frank Costanza’s famous words: “Serenity now! Serenity now!”

Tomorrow is THE day!

In Run on January 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

We had a great day today visiting the Expo and picking up our bibs, with a much needed lunch afterwards because we were starving! I’m happy to say I did manage to get a commemorative jacket and a long sleeve t-shirt. And also happy to announce that this year’s ING t-shirt is actually very nice. I like it much more than last year’s which has been lying in total darkness inside a drawer for the entire year.

With the two Franks!

My team mates

Now, tomorrow is the THE day and I’m overly excited. I know I won’t sleep, and I need to be up by 3am. I will set up two alarm clocks, cause I would hate that what happened to Jean Paul Jean-Paul on Seinfeld, happened to me. Because we are meeting at the race location at 5:15am with our coach to stretch, we are leaving at 4:30am from a friend’s house in a cab. I thought this was a brilliant idea! No looking for a parking spot, no stress. Brilliant!

Undoubtedly tomorrow will be a long day filled with excitement and tiredness, and for sure with a sense of loss once it’s all over. I normally get the post-race blues, and it’s terrible. Seriously terrible.

I have my race strategy in place … stop at every aid station to replenish and stretch, and continue, while focusing all the way on giving my body the extra energy so the muscles keep on going… I want to cross that finish line running, not hopping and grab my medal, so any additional happy thoughts that can help the cause, are most appreciated.

Now, I gotta go to have dinner with The Dude and kids… Good night, my friends and thanks for reading!

Tomorrow’s a big day…

In Run on January 27, 2012 at 11:00 PM

… but not as big as Sunday. Yet, I am excited and I can speak for my Alien Endurance team mates. Tomorrow we are picking up our bibs for the race at the ING Expo. But first, we will do a two mile run. So we will head to Miami Beach, do the run, and hit the Expo. I cannot wait to get my number and stroll around the booths along with my team mates. Trijungle, our “home” store, also has a booth. In their honor I will be sporting a Trijungle t-shirt and cap. While on Sunday it will be the Alien Endurance/Trijungle tee with the Alien cap. Yes, I already have that figured out. Who says you can’t have “style” while you run!

This year I have convinced myself in getting either jacket or a cap commemorating the occasion. I want to have something that reads “2012 ING Half Marathon” to remind me of this race. For some reason I feel it’s a very special one.

At the Garmin booth

At the 2011 ING Expo

I can’t believe just last year I was doing the same thing with The Dude… that is The Garmin Dude. This year he’s not running and can’t make it to the Expo either. So, I will miss him, but I’m sure he’s going to miss being there more. Yes, a year has passed by… and we are here again. I can only imagine I’m doing this race next year!

After the Expo we are going to have lunch and then we’ll head back home to rest and take it easy. At some point in the late afternoon, I will be playing Monopoly with The Dude and the kids, but will have to call it a night somewhat early. Just like tonight I’m hitting the sack early.

So this is good night, everybody! I feel like a little girl… I want to go to bed now so that tomorrow comes quickly!

Our Colors

In Triathlons on January 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Today I went to pick up my t-shirt for the race. We will be sporting the colors of our Alien Endurance and Trijungle teams. I’m very excited because I will be running this race with a lot of team mates wearing the same shirt. We will all be carrying our colors proud.