Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Race Recap: Honolulu Marathon 2017

2017 has been nothing short of a tough year all around. Having a newborn in the house, learning to raise two children instead of just one, having to move during the Holiday Season because the house we rented was sold, and learning to balance Motherhood & Fitness as best as I can, has brought me many different kinds of challenges. These challenges, I can now reflect upon and be grateful for, despite the fact that I felt like I was falling apart all year long.

Thinking of racing Honolulu Marathon 2017, was definitely not an option. My postpartum body had felt completely foreign, in such a way I wasn't sure I'd ever feel like myself again. I experienced quite a few ups and downs after having my second child. I thought I would come back faster and stronger like I did after my first child, but it's been anything but fast and strong. Well maybe strong in some aspects and in others not as strong as I had hoped to be, as I wanted to be.
I've had to learn and I am still learning how to balance this whole motherhood and fitness concept. Sometimes I feel so lost at how to be a really good mother and be really good at Fitness (all aspects of my fitness including: teaching classes, motivating others to maintain a fitness routine, running, and of course trying to find time for my yoga practice.)
There have been days where I barely can even get in front of my students to teach them fitness because I feel like such a failure at my own fitness. Here I am trying to motivate and encourage others to stay on their path, and stay true to their Journey and stay in the moment of exactly where they're at and yet I can't even do it myself. It doesn't feel easy and maybe easy isn't what I'm supposed to be feeling.
So when I thought about doing the Honolulu Marathon this year, I was nothing but a mess in my thoughts. I couldn't seem to get myself just to say yes I'm going to go run the marathon, I'm so excited, and this is exactly what I need to do to prove exactly who I am. It didn't work like that, not at all like that. There were days that I just sat there with my hands on my head questioning if I'd ever feel normal again, if I would ever feel like myself running again. I feel completely frustrated at trying to achieve this fitness goal or dream of mine. I felt like all dreams or ideas that I had with running were just falling apart. To the point I didn't even know if I wanted to get out the door and go for a run anymore.
I was falling out of the moment and falling into expectations that I had for myself. I was impatient and unkind to this postpartum body. I was expecting it to be something that it just wasn't. 
When I thought to myself about running the Honolulu Marathon 2017, I felt like it would be an easier escape to not go. I thought I could excuse myself from the race due to the fact that financial struggles were taking place - I thought I could/should blame it on that.
I suppose I was searching for excuses, maybe to avoid the fact that I didn't feel strong enough to go run the marathon. I didn't feel like I could accomplish my big time 3:15 goal that I've had for myself. I tried to tell myself if I wasn't going to be fast, I didn't need to go run at all.
But, as the days were closing in on race day and the Honolulu Marathon was getting closer and closer, my heart wouldn't let the idea of going down. I knew deep inside of myself I wanted to run the Honolulu Marathon -no matter if it was going to be my slowest race of all times, I wanted to be there at the starting line. I wanted to be there just as much as everyone else wanted to be there.
This race is so important to me. This race holds a very special place in my heart, that I did not want to pass up.
I had to change my thinking and tune into the real reasons that I enjoy running. I knew for a fact no matter what anybody tried to tell me, a "PR" was not going to happen for me this year. I know there was no way I could accomplish running a 3:15 marathon pace.
I'm quite in tune with my own body and I know for a fact that my body was not capable of running a 3:15 this year. Putting that idea aside, I decided I would go run because I love to run. I knew how much I loved running this marathon.
After things were beginning to fall into place with ticket purchase (thanks to my sister for treating me for my birthday), the race was already paid for (early bird purchase at resident rate) and hotel accommodations we're good to go (because my sister already had that all set up for herself,) I knew the rest was up to me. It was up to me to get out of bed race morning and get myself to the starting line. That's the easy part for runner's!!! No runner wants to miss a race, so setting an alarm, and double checking the couch throughout the night is part of the process getting oneself to the starting line.
Okay anyways, let's move forward with my
Race Recap:

This year was different. 
It was different in many ways emotionally & physically. I showed up at the starting line just like those other 20+ thousand other individuals. This year - My heart didn't beat like it did all those other times. I felt lost, I felt numb, and I felt confused. I didn't have those butterflies in my stomach. I didn't find my running partner at the porta potty like I had the previous two marathon races. I didn't cry when the fireworks when off and trust me I always cry when the fireworks go off. I missed my family more than I imagined I would. I missed my two children and I missed Nick being a part of this comeback moment with me. Nothing felt like I anticipated it to be. 

Maybe it was the mommy hormones kicking in. Whatever the reason, before I knew it I was running across the starting line timing mat. I was running with thousands of other runners from all over the world. I thought at that moment it was time for me to create a plan for myself (ha ha anyone else create a race plan the day of the race?)
I know I wasn't capable of a marathon 3:15 pace, so I decided to work with what I was capable of. The miles seemed to pass by quickly. It's funny the longer you run, the shorter the miles become. It's like I blinked and I was already passing the halfway timing mat. Maybe running into my running partner near mile 10 helped. We smiled, we chatted for a moment, and she even managed to click a selfie of the two of us. She was exactly what I needed in order for myself to feel something that day. It was like she was my firework! She got me excited to be running!! 
Shortly after the selfie, we parted ways. I was holding steady and holding my bladder. I didn't want to use the bathroom, so I continued to hold my bladder until mile 17 which them I couldn't run with that "uncomfortable feeling" any longer. My bladder is weaker after two babies and the bathroom was the best pit stop by far. Just saying!!
Don't worry I didn't spend much time waisted, I got right back on course and into my groove again as if I never stopped in the first place. 
I couldn't believe I was almost near the "Hit the Wall" mile. You know that mile where everything could possibly fall apart? Well nothing fell apart because I didn't really have anything to give. I was just running. I was running without expectations. I was running to test out my new pair of Mizuno's (The Wave Rider 21's.) 
Which by the way, I ended up wearing my PATRIOT BLUE-WHITE pair... I did get one blister on my second toe (right foot.) I know the nail should have been removed before the run, but I never got around to taking care of that. Lol. Anyways I think the blister was mostly from that toenail, maybe a little from the rain ( but my feet weren't really that wet to be honest) so maybe the blister could have been from the shoes, but I wouldn't bet money on it. Who really knows or really cares. The blister did not effect my race in any way, so really it doesn't matter how I got it! I will say the Mizuno shoes were extremely comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable. 
Again thank you Mizuno & Fitfluential for the opportunity to wear and review #Waverider21 shoe. If you didn't have the opportunity to read my review - click here.
Anyways, back to the race, of yeah well 3 miles to go. A bit slower by this point and a few walks through and stations. Okay okay, maybe more walking than just through aid stations. My legs felt heavy by this point. Knees didn't feel like they wanted to bend much and well my feet were tired and so was my stomach. My stomach was kinda over gels & salts & the typical race day grinds...
Just then I saw the finish line and knew this race was almost over. Basically, just like that - Another year and another Honolulu Marathon in the books finishing time of 4:00:59...

2018 is literally around the corner and as far as racing is planned, I'll be heading back for my 3rd run at the Hilo To Volcano 50k (running from sea level to 4,000 feet.) January 6, 2018 will set the tone early in the morning, early in the season. I will be there with the others willing to challenge themselves, as we run the distance. My goal as of today for my 3rd 50k, other than finish of course, is..... Well I'm not really quite sure. I'm still in the process of putting my plan of action together according to what I know I'm capable of and what I'm actually capable of in this moment... I'll be sure to keep you posted!!!

Until then, I wish you all A Happy New Year!!!!!!