Monday, July 19, 2010

My first Half Marathon Complete!!!!!

Wow I can't believe it actually happened. Everything that I had been training for, raising money for, blogging for- happened. For a split second I can't believe it happened but then I get up from sitting down and realized it did because my legs are super sore. haha. My first half marathon completed! Napa to Sonoma thank you!

So my weekend was pretty much perfect. My mom and grandma flew in on Friday night and we got to enjoy some yummy Thai food with my boyfriend Anthony before hitting the sheets to get ready to head up to Napa. Talk about being productive- before we headed up to wine country I managed to convince my family to hit the Nordstrom half yearly and came up big! Got some new running shoes for next season, boots, clothes, etc. I'll have to blog about the new shoes later.

So on our way to Napa for packet pickup! Yes we hit some major traffic and it took us longer than we expected but its ALL GOOD. Packet pickup was neat at Cornerstone Winery with all these art pieces and the coolest pat was meeting Dane Raushnberg from See Dane Run! He was doing a book signing and was talking to people about his training. He's fitting to be our generation's Dean Karnazes. 52 marathons in 52 weekends. Marathons for a year! That's sick!

Dane from See Dane Run- 52 marathons in 52 weekends!

We then drove to the hotel we were at for the weekend which was Doubletree at Rohnert Park. It was cool that all the Team Challenge people were here. Got to meet other Nor Cal people from the East Bay and San Francisco chapter (I am South Bay/Peninsula) We had a mandatory meeting and our Endurance Manager Breanne announced cool stats such as raising 2.2 million dollars for this event!!! I am so proud to be part of that. I also got a Team Challenge hoodie for being a Team VIP and raising over $3200.00!

Team Challenge Nor Cal Chapter at the mandatory meeting before Pasta Party

After our mandatory meeting we then rode a bus to the Pasta Party so we can carb load before the race! Now I know why they do Pasta Parties before races and that's so you won't eat anything that could upset your stomach the next day. The food was plan as can be but I definitely appreciated it the next day. There was soo many of us at the Pasta Party. We had two inspirational speakers that are dealing with Crohns'a and Colitis and it made me that much more excited to run this half marathon. Yes I shed some tears through it all.

Pasta Party with my honey bunny Anthony

Team Challenge Teammates minus our Mentor Deanna

To be honest with you I started this journey to train for this marathon to lose weight and get in better shape and it was more about me. Somewhere along the lines it became bigger than me and I knew that I was not only racing and training for me but for everyone that has been affected by this disease that has no cure at this point. Some of those people that are affected I have become close with and I want to keep fighting for a cure so they could have a better life.

So the Pasta Party ended at 8pm and instead of going to bed I went to play pool with my boyfriend. It still didn't hit me that I would be running a half marathon the next day. I had to wake up 4am because the buses were leaving at 5:15am in the morning. It was dark and cold the next morning but I'm glad I wore just my race jersey and shorts because it did get hot later.

Getting all my gear ready for race day

Group photo on race day at 4am!

My race experience was so amazing. I am so proud to say that I have done a half marathon and help contribute to that 2.2 million dollars that was raised for CCFA. For every mile we ran it was $167,000- how sick is that.

More than 3k people at the race!

People keep asking me what was my time!? I really get self conscience about that because I think its really personal. I never try to ask for someone's time because like me they may not feel comfortable saying it. I am a pretty slow runner because I am always afraid if I run too fast- I'll run out of juice so I really pace myself. Ideally I want to be in the 11 minute pace but that is something that I am working on. I am also working on not getting discouraged when you have multiple passing you by OR people you know passing you by. "Find your happy pace." That's one of my favorite quotes and I try to live by it.

BUT if you must know below is my time from
My pace being 12:01 - now I know what to work towards on my next race.

My goal was to finish the half marathon. Check. My second goal was to do it less than 3 hours. Check.

Finishing a half marathon feels good..

I was soo happy to see my mom, grandma, boyfriend, and best friend Stacy, Chooch, and Secira at the finish line. It means so much to me for them to come out and support. They even made a sign that said "Go Anya" When I finished my butt cramped right away and I was like.. noooo! But I stretched for a good amount of time and it felt better.

My family, boyfriend, and best friends with a "Go Anya" sign at the finish!

Me and my Team Challenge Coach Deanna!

Overall the next day I feel fine- legs are extra sore but nothing a good few days of not working out will cure.

Starting line, all mile markers, and finish line!

Its back to reality for me tomorrow with work but just wanted to say thank you again for everyone that donated or had encouraging words for me this whole season.

We've come a long way... 16 weeks of training.. group practices early Sat morning

Now I am looking forward to being a Mentor for the next group! Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon here I come!!

Pictures from Napa to Sonoma race here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Team Challenge Group Practice...


WOW. I am only 7 days away from my first half marathon in Napa for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon.

Where has the time go?! Seems like yesterday when I was starting my first blog, creating my fundraising website, and training to run. I went from not being able to run 1 mile in January to doing my first 5k in February. Then from that point doing 3 other 5k's and a 10k within 4 months! Also being able to lose 25 lbs was pretty cool too. ;) Okay and all the training I've been doing through out the week and with the group. I've done up to 12 miles!

Me and Tina in our race jerseys!

So in essence I feel ready. I feel physically and mentally ready to tackle this 13.2 miles and even though some of my friends say its going to be "easy" for me. I know its not. When I did 11 or 12 miles I was gritting my teeth with beads of sweat going down my face and that wasn't comfortable- but I did it. My only goal this upcoming Sunday is to FINISH. Everything else in terms of timing will fall into place later.

Breakfast for our last group practice this season

Our last Team Challenge practice was at Stanford for the Campus Drive Loop that was 4 miles finishing at the track. Since I was sore the day before from doing Mission Peak in Fremont I really kept it easy. Plus it got really hot at 9am! I do believe the weather in Napa will be in the high 80's but since we are starting so early hopefully it'll be fine.

It WAS SO NICE to see everyone that came to the mandatory meeting today! I missed the last 3 weekends of group practice because of Vegas, a wedding, and Disneyland so it was nice to see everyone. We got to hear the breakdown of the weekend and I am just getting so amped for it! Not only completing the half marathon but seeing my family! My mom and grandma are flying up Friday evening to catch all the action.

Last group photo! Until I stalk everyone again next season..

We got to decorate our bright orange jerseys so I put Anya R on it. Not majorly creative but hey so people will know who I am! haha.

It was bittersweet our last practice but it makes me excited that we've come such a long way and my journey with Team Challenge is not over yet! I am super excited to be coming back as a Team Challenge Mentor for the half marathon in Las Vegas.

Another Team Challenge Mentor MaryBeth and I even went to Los Gatos Half Marathon/10k this morning at 6AM to promote for people to find out more information about Team Challenge! Hey- that's how I found out and joined so that is the best way to do it is just to go out there.

So this week I am going to relax and run on Wednesday a nice and easy 3 miles. I will continue to stretch through out the weekend and just get excited about the whole thing!