Sunday, November 25, 2012


Today was the day. 

And boy did 5:45 come early. 

Luckily I got loads of sleep the night before, aided by my glass of "Hot to Trot." Pretty sure this is going to be my new pre-race drink from now on. 

The plan was to leave the apartment at 6:30, so we could grab a good parking spot. I timed eating perfectly, having two pieces of toast, one with peanut butter and the other with avocado, at 6 am. 

Somehow I got out the door with everything that I needed. 
I even managed to remember to apply the deodorant and put 
on my heart rate monitor before I was too layered up. 

It was a very chilly, foggy 36 degrees this morning. I wanted to get in a bit of a warm-up jog, but by the time I convinced myself to get out of the car, it was too crowded to jog. Having not trained, I wasn't going for any particular time, and figured worst case scenario I spend the first few miles warming up. 

The run was a lot of fun. Usually during half marathons I struggle between miles 8 and 10; because eight miles is pretty far, isn't that enough? But the last 5k is always manageable. Today, however, I felt great the whole time. Am I physically capable of going faster? Probably. But I am happy with my performance today. 

{Did I mention it was my best time yet? PR'ed by 14 minutes!!!! 
This whole no training thing might just be for me}

I was really nervous about the cold and the hills today. There aren't any hills where I live in Florida, and it certainly isn't as cold. I ditched the vest and jacket within the first mile and a half (both were purchased from ValueVillage for that very reason), and was surprised by how very little I was affected by the hills. I stayed very consistent pace wise. I think this is good, because by staying consistent then I can easily reduce my overall time by improving my "natural" base speed. 

This being said THANK YOU THANK YOU to whoever cheered me on right before Mile 11. I heard a "FIFI!!" and the a "GO SOFIA" I thought it was my friend Alison, but when I called her after the race, she was still asleep. Hmmm... not many people called me Fifi in college, but I still can't figure out who the mystery cheerer was. Anyways, it gave me the jolt I needed to finish the race strong, so THANK YOU! 

My first half marathon was just over a year ago, and I went 24 minutes slower! I didn't explicitly train for this event, but I do have significantly more miles under my belt than I did at this point last year. I know people who are faster, better at maintaining their bodies and pushing themselves to new limits. Compared to the average person I am fit. Compared to competitive runners, athletes, etc, I'm pretty much a nobody. 
But that is ok with me. 

Being a nobody, I had never experimented with the computer component of my Garmin watch. For some reason, after I saved my work out, it wasn't showing up on my watch. This happens from time to time and it really annoys me. I wanted to see some data from today, so I figured, after two years of owning the darned thing, it was time to upload some runs. 

Kowabunga this thing tells you a lot of info! You can track the elevation, your speed and your heart rate for the duration of the run. I need someone to sit down and chat with me about what some of it means, and what to do to change some of it, but for now it is nice to know that I have a new tool to train with. I find that data is a huge motivator for me. It is the reason I invested in the watch in the first place. Now that I have a bit more experience and speed, I think it is time to be more intentional in my training. Can't wait to see how I can incorporate this new information!

Too many other ladies were rocking pink tops with black bottoms, and as such my mom and co. missed me at the finish line. It's probably for the best. We were able to snap a quick photo and get out of the stadium before the Seattle Center got too crowded. 

"Eat like you give a damn"

Breakfast meant an adventure to, where else, the Portage Bay Cafe! 
I wore my new shirt from RunPrettyFar!! 
Comfy 3/4 sleeve cotton shirt, perfect for throwing on after a cold run. 

Coffee and a mimosa went a lot better with breakfast than a beer. Can't drink a beer after every run. You know it is going to be a good breakfast when you need two plates for your meal! Couldn't decide between savory and a trip to the toppings bar. Best of both worlds with the Rancher's breakfast. If I'd been thinking I would have gone for a more interesting savory meal, since it's winter the toppings bar wasn't too exciting. That being said, the meal was delicious! 

My mom's friends ran down to the finish line to see the event and eat breakfast with us. Getting them home was quite the ordeal, since the race had us trapped! By the time we got back to the apartment I already felt as though I had had a significant rest. After we had both showered my mom attempted to take me to a friend's house for some Christmas celebrating, however the marathon runners were still blocking traffic {rude, who does those races anyways?!} 
Obviously this was the perfect time to set off to Macy's. 

Did I mention I was already wearing my ugly Christmas sweater?! 
At least we didn't head to the Macy's downtown! 

Had to try on this cute little number. Gold and cream leopard print? Yeah, thanks to 60% off this baby is now mine. Who is going to invite me to a Christmas party so I can show it off?! {PS You'll have to help me zip it up too...}

I spent the rest of the excursion helping my mom test out chairs. I think I could become a professional furniture shopper, especially if it means testing recliners all afternoon.
 I was in comfort heaven. 

Finally the roads opened and I was able to join some friends to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. Gaudy holiday sweaters, Christmas lights, funny movie and some holiday beverages were just what I needed to shift gears towards Christmas. It was fun to hang out with old friends and rehash some old stories. I'm glad I was able to come home this week. This upcoming week is going to be stressful, with the start of the official 70.3 training schedule, as well as completing all the tasks for school that I ignored this week. But sometimes you just need a break from it all. A little escape to remind you why you are where you are. This week was a lot of fun, and as much as I miss Seattle when I am there, I am returning to Tampa knowing that, for now, it is the place I am supposed to be. I left a lot of sweat on the course today, but gained a lot of sparkle. Can't wait to show it off back in the Florida. 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle 


  1. Ha that was me under the bridge. So fun seeing you rock that run. You look great and happy. p.s. your blog is adorable.

  2. Aww thanks lady! It really did help, it was a bit sad to run that much of Seattle and not see anyone I know. I am feeling pretty happy these days!! If this whole Triathlon thing takes off, maybe I'll see you at some events in the future -- if I get my patootie back to the west coast more often... Thanks again for the much needed cheer : )