Friday, March 28, 2014

Palmetto Bluff 2014 Half Recap

I really have no idea what to write. Seriously one cannot put into words what an experience it was.
And I think some of the reason I didn't/haven't written about is because I figured it would be really over. It would be done. And I didn't want it to be done. The half was the best experience of my fitness adventure to date.

But here goes...

Game Day. March 9, 2014. A day that will be forever ingrained in my mind, body, and soul.
I woke up from *attempting* to sleep.
I took a shower, got dressed in my gear, laced up my shoes.
Packed enough water to supply a small country. Protein shakes, chocolate milk, and bananas were added. And I think we were finally ready to hit the open road.

Headed towards what I've been working on and dreaming about for so long.

I left Charleston *just* a runner.
But I came back so much more.

We arrived early to the start line.

I had to pee so much. Of course, at most of these races there are porta-potties. Thankfully I do squats! :) We arrived about 45 minutes before race time. So that meant 45 minutes to psych myself out. But thankfully Brent was there. We talked about small stuff. Trying to take my mind off about what I was getting myself into. He calmed me down. I calmed myself down.
Then it hit me.
I was about to become a HALF MARATHONER!!!
Say whaaaaaaa??!!

I, of course, started to cry from excitement, nerves, anticipation, and every other emotion one could have at this point.
I thought I was going to feel out of place, like I didn't belong. Because I still felt (and feel at times) 377 lbs. But there was such a variety runners out there. I felt so comfortable and ready to go!
Finally the annoucer told us to line up. Said somethings. Honestly couldn't hear or remember any of it.

We lined up. Brent went to the side and it was all me now.
We were off.

I kept my pace steady. I had it in my head to listen to my body and when I felt I needed to walk or slow down. Do it. This wasn't a race to beat everyone else. This race was about me beginning my new adventure. Leaving "Unhealthy Lydia" and all her bad habits and excuses in the dust. Although for the record she comes back from time to time. She always will but I don't let her control me anymore.

The trail was BEAUTIFUL!!! A fancy, shmancy resort. Lined with gorgeous trees, lakes, cutesy resturants and shops. It was something out of a movie set. I didn't take many pictures of the course because I was focused on getting done at the time I had in my head. But here is one that I took.

Next thing I knew, I was an hour in and 5 miles down.
Holy SHIT! I thought to myself. I just ran 5 miles in an hour. I've never done that before. I stuck my chest out and contined to run and pace myself.
Then 30 minutes later I was at mile 7! What the heck! I'm kicking ass!!
At this point my body was said slow it down some. You're half way through walk some so you can run across the finish line.

I walked mile 8. And during that time I met the coolest woman ever.
I wished I had gotten her name. She was in her 70s and running this thing. We made small talk and I told her she is my role model. Because at her age I still want to be doing halfs! Hell yeah!! She told me she wanted to finish under or at 3 hours like me. So then we parted and wished each other luck because my energy was coming back and I wanted to finish strong.

I picked my pace up at the beginning of mile 9, which the course took us through the little shops and there were people out there cheering for us. This one woman, having her morning coffee, said once you get over the small bridge you'll be at mile 10 and the rest is just a 5K! I laughed and told her that's nothing this is just my warm up! We shared a good chuckle and I got back in my zone. Saw the race photographer, naturally I had to ham it up! When I get them in I will post them because they are AWESOME!!!

Now it's mile 11-12 and I hit that proverbially wall!
NOOOOOOO!!! Damn it! Why now body and mind? So close!! Can't go on anymore. Leg hurts. Feet hurt. Being the beast I am I pushed through because I didn't come all this way to punk out. I didn't drive 2 hours to quit. I didn't put of with t-shirt nazi to quit. I didn't train for months to quit. I didn't lose 200 pounds to give up now!! HELL NO! If you have to crawl across that finish're finishing. You're getting your well deserved medal and chili cheese dog!

Half way through mile 12, I mustered up whatever energy I had left and headed towards the end. At this point I think I was just so overwhelmed with everything. I was actually doing it. I'm a half marathoner. I am a BEAST! I need to do this again.
At around .2 miles to go, I saw Brent and my Dad walking towards me. Cheering me on. Rooting for me. That was the little spark I needed to finish strong! And they walked the last part as I ran. That meant so much to me. More than I think they realize.

I ran over the line at 2 hours 54 minutes and 27 seconds!! I did it.
I wanted under 3 hours and I got it.
I got my medal.
I got the honor of being in a place where I belong. A HALF MARATHONER!!!

And my little old lady friend finished in right at 3 hours. I congratulated her and cheered on the few people. And crossed the finish line with a woman and her friend. The woman was about my age and I was her weight at one time during this adventure. She inspired more than she will ever know. She is awesome. She went out there and did her thing. And I have mad respect for her. I congratulated her on finishing and we went our seprerate ways.

But those 2 women had such an impact on my life. They were strong, hardworking, hard finishing half marathoners. To me they represented what you can do no matter where you are in your life.

So the long awaited Half recap is done and so is my race. But not the memories I will forever carry with me. I will never be the same person I was at the start line. As cheesy and cliche as it sounds it really did change me. This whole adventure has shown me time and time again that I can do whatever the hell I want.
I am a stronger, healthier, more determined, more everything.
I am who I'm suppose to be!
Lydia the Half Marathoner. Obesity fighter. Ass kicker!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Palmetto Bluff 2014 Half Packet Pick Up Recap

I honestly haven't written anything because I can't begin to even put into words how incredible this experience was to me. There are no words to describe going from a 377 pounds insecure girl to one badass self confident half marathoner, in the span of a year and a half.

But here it goes!

Since the race was in Bluffton, SC. Which is about 2 hours away from Charleston. I made the trek to ritzy Bluffton/Hilton Head area the day before the race. I picked this race because it was a gorgeous, scenic, and beautiful trail. Plus, I figured if I was going to die...why not be in such a beautiful place.
I loaded up some healthy snacks, protein, and a lot of water and hit the the road.

At this point I was a bundle of nerves. I was honestly a basket case. I was so nervous. I was wondering if I could do this. I was wondering if I had trained enough. I was wondering if I was going to finish in the time I set for myself. I was wondering if was simply ready. I was wondering what if my body couldn't hold up. I was wondering what if I didn't like it. I was wondering what if I didn't finish.

And this was the record I heard for the next...two...hours.

THANKFULLY! I arrived to my destination.
A little cute running store. I arrived a few minutes early to assess my situation. I hopped out of the truck. Put my game face on. Went in the store, took a look around and found the packets. Found my place in line and waited until they started giving them out. I had my packet in a few minutes.

Then I walked over to get my coveted half t-shirt.

That's when things went sideways!

Plain and simple the t-shirt Nazi was a complete douche!

I don't want to have this post be a negative and ranting one. Because this was such a small part of the grand scheme of things. But it's funny now.
When I signed up for this race, back in October 2013, I didn't know what t-shirt size I would be wearing. At that point XLarges and Larges were getting too big. So I ordered a Medium. Thinking they were unisex t-shirts, like every other race I've done.
But I got to the station and they had women and men t-shirts. Naturally since I'm a woman...I would have receive a woman's medium. HELL NO! There is no way that would've fit. So I told the t-shirt crew that I  was under the impression that the shirts were unisex and that it why I ordered what I did. Apparently the lady in front of me thought the same thing. And we asked if we could swap them out for the proper men size.
The t-shirt guy was like we pre-order them for what is needed, so I'm not sure. Let me check.
Enters t-shirt Nazi.
He proceeded to say "Ladies, you need to know what size you ordered. Because blah blah blah I'm a douche and secretly want to have lady parts."
Okay seriously I blocked out what he really said after the first part.

My first thought was, FUCK YOU! I signed up 6 months ago, I've lost 200 pounds and didn't know what size I was going to be wearing. So kiss my ass.
What I actually said/did was with my straight serious face "Sooo can I get a men's medium?" And just took one.

But on the way home, I called Brent and told him the whole story. I told him I never wanted to do this race again or do the actual race the next day. And I was going to punch the guy.
Naturally, being the voice of reason my husband is, talked me off the ledge. Basically said don't let this moron ruin what you've worked so hard for and trained so hard for. You're doing it. He's a jerk but added more intense words.

That wraps up my experience picking up the packet. 
I'll be writing a separate one for the actual Half, with pictures and everything! I just want to right words to describe the whole thing.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hey Elephant, You Look Different!

Why, yes!
Yes...I do!

As I mentioned yesterday on my new and improved-ish Facebook page.
Don't forget to click it and like it. Again "networking"! :)

I made some changes. The big one is obviously the name!

"The Adventures of Lydia and Frankentummy"! 

Rather genius I think! But then again I'm bias to my super creativity! ;)

Now here is the reason. It's the least I could do after springing it on you too quickly! Sorry!

Reason being was I felt "The 218 lb Elephant" was the my weight loss journey.
*cringe* I hate the word "journey", more on that later.
I felt it was only addressing the weight loss side. And I felt it limited me to some degree. I love the name and what I had written during the phase. But it was a phase. Several chapters during this process. And those chapters have been written. Those chapters are done. It was time to start a new section of this saga.

And just like that "The Adventures of Lydia and Frankentummy" morphed from the Elephant's legacy.

And I have to say I LOVE IT!!! It was genius, on my end! LOL! And the Elephant will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. But it was time to begin anew!

The reasoning for this name you ask.
I think is pretty simple.
I'm Lydia and I've named my Gastric Bypass stomach, "Frankentummy".
Copyrighted. BOOYAH!
I pieced together Frankentummy because will that's essentially what my guts are now. I have my intestines jerry-rigged to my tiny stomach. And plus it mumbles, moans, and groans...much like Frankenstein.
Tried another names ,such as "Baby Tummy" and people thought I was preggos. I just hate "Pouch". That's stupid. "Tiny Tummy" was dumb. And if you use these...sorry. It's just not my style! :)

As I mentioned before I hate the word "journey" when describing my gastric bypass story.
Because it's sooooooooooooo cliche!
It's dumb.
And plus when I hear "journey", I think there is an end. For me there is no end to this ride. I will always have my guts rearranged. I will always be fighting the good fight. I will always be running. I will always NOT be watching what I eat. I will always be doing this in one form or another. It will ALWAYS be a part of me and my life now. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

I was using "process" for awhile. But it felt too mechanical. Too Mr. Roboto. Too blah! Too serious.

Then the heavens open and my mind went to "Adventure"!
I said "AH-AH! Genius, you are Lydia!" It's completely BRILLIANT!
Because that's what it is to me. A wild, crazy, up, down, sideways, insane rollercoaster of a ride. One I don't want to get off.
Scary? Yes!
Nerve racking? Oh yeah!
Greatest thing EVER? HELL YEAH!!

I feel "adventure" covers EVERYTHING that I've done. What I have left to do. Whatever else comes my way. From maintenace to more running shenanigans to God knows what else. It covers everything!
And I love it! Almost as much as I love Brent. Well some days! :) 

I sincerely hope you stick around for the next saga and adventure that is my life now!