Fitness Friday 12.20 – 10-Miler Virtual Race Recap

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a dedicated race recap on the blog, but this one was special — so I wanted to share. If you’ve been reading along on monthly Fitness Friday posts, you may have recognized a pattern and my focus on one specific fitness goal: running 6 races in 2020. Which all came from 2019, where we only ran one race and we usually do a couple!

The one race that we did run in 2019, was our annual 10-Miler race we always run in April. This is always a no brainer that we like to sign-up for no matter what and we always make sure to sign-up early in the year. And 2020 was no different, we were registered and then the pandemic hit. As the April race day approached, we knew it would be pushed… we kept waiting, and waiting, nothing in the summer came up and then finally it was rescheduled for an October date. Woo! October came, and the date approached and the decision to push indefinitely to 2021 was made. Runners could opt to run virtual or defer to next year. For B and I, we had planned to run this in 2020 and we were going to run it in 2020, so we switched to virtual and waited for our packets.

Welp! Long story short, I got sick in early November, we got hit with a ton of snow and now it’s December and we have this 10-miler race to still run… in December in the Midwest. We knew we would have to keep an eye out on the weather and plan quickly — which didn’t really help for me, who hasn’t been running, training or working out. And a 10-miler run, isn’t such a breeze when you’re not doing anything. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to running this and anticipated a lot of walking/running. But I needed to finish it and mark it off the list.

Two-Days Before the Run. It was Wednesday night, B and I have both been watching the weather separately and saw that the temps and conditions Friday and Saturday would be a possibility — but Friday morning was looking like the better option and without rain. Thursday, we confirmed that we would have to plan for Friday AM and account for at least 2+ hours. This was not a lot of time to mentally prepare, except that it was going to happen.

Race Morning. We woke up early, got ready and hit the pavement by 6:45am. I told B that we needed to start slow — the weather was surprisingly perfect around 41-degrees. And we stayed at a steady pace, didn’t have to worry about traffic, people or icy sidewalks. We continued at a speed for the distance we had ahead of us and stuck around an 11-minute + pace. Mile 8, I was feeling good and we took about a minute off with our pace and continued at a slightly quicker pace for the last two miles. As we hit mile 9, I started to get a bit emotional, I couldn’t believe we were still running and feeling decent and the end was in sight!

We finished at 1:53:10, with plenty of time to walk a bit, cool down and get back to the house before we started our work days! And even better yet, although I ended limping a bit and hunched over, I still had a smile on my face. This 10-mile race, went better than planned and as good as it could’ve went — I’m so happy that I was able to accomplish this. Now, I just have one more race to run before the end of the year to officially complete this 2020 fitness goal.

Fitness Friday 10.20

News flash! There are less than 3-months left of 2020. Mostly that is a good thing, because this year has mostly been a disaster — but if you’ve been working towards any goals, it’s go time, to crank that butt in gear to check off every single one of those goals! I just took a peak at my 2020 goals, and per usual, my fitness goals are always a constant roller coaster – and this year hasn’t been any different. But there is one goal, I am bound and determined to check off this year.

The one fitness goal, I’ve been really focused on is getting six races in — which pre-pandemic was going to be a piece of cake, but all of our races have been postponed, rescheduled or turned virtual. So with a few races, JUST NOW turning virtual — our Q4 of running is quickly becoming jammed packed. As of today, two runs have been completed and two runs are queued up. Which means, I need to still sign-up for two more and just plan for virtual. I was really hoping to have a half-marathon included in my six runs, but our 10-miler will just have to do.

This past month I just finished my second race, which happened to also be our first virtual race! Have you run a virtual race yet? There were a lot of things I liked about running a virtual race, like we could plan and run on our schedule – pick your own location/route – we got the race packet and medal at the same time! Not to mention, this race was benefitting a organization that is near and dear to us, so that made it extra special. Some things I missed from a traditional race, was the crowd and team mentality — you sort of get amped up to run a bit faster than you might if it’s just yourself running through the park. We did make sure that we woke up early to run our race, because what would race day be without an early morning wake up call?

As I mentioned and you may see — our virtual run was a quick 5k, which helped raise money to support Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, which provides financial assistance to City Dogs is the adoption division of Cleveland Animal Care and Control which is an open intake facility – meaning they don’t turn dogs away. This nonprofit steps in and provides additional resources to support medical expenses like HW+, torn AC surgery, general enrichment and training. B and I also happen to volunteer for City Dogs and walk dogs – so we love this organization a little extra – but more on that, another day!

So as I work my way towards finishing 6 races, I encourage you to continue to work towards your fitness goal(s) to make a small part of your year a success!

Race Recap – Resolution Run 5k

This past weekend I ran my first race of 2020! It was a last minute decision to sign up just four days before the race — but I’m so glad I did and I’m glad my running pal, K said she would run the race too.  One of my fitness goals is to run more, and completing six races this year – check the first one off the list!
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With the race being the first weekend in January, I knew the weather could be a crap shoot, but I didn’t want that to be an excuse.  It was 37 degrees and misting rain, which was manageable for the dead of winter and quite frankly my type of running weather.  I was feeling good and started with a slower pace for the first half mile or so and then picked it up to have a 9-minute pace for the second and third miles.  Kayla was not far behind and had an awesome time for her first race of the new year, too!
RaceRecap5k-beelifeblog(2)Part of the resolution was was pre-race toast with sparkling juice to toast to everyone’s resolutions.  There was even a resolution wall that everyone could write and share their resolutions for thew New Year on, K and I both thought of meaningful resolutions and wrote ours on the board.  Mine was not necessarily fitness based, and even a little cliche, but it’s true! I want to be more in the moment, with friends, with B, with family and even with coworkers.
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It feels good to have one race down. I signed up for my next race in April, a race we do every year. With two races already figured out, I only need to work on getting four more.  Not to mention it was truly great kicking off the new year with an awesome time, feeling great and staying motivated!

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Fitness Friday no. 9

TGIF!

This week is all about RUNNING! Some people love running and some people hate running! I have a love-hate relationship with running. I never considered myself a runner, until later in my life. In high school basketball sprints were the only kind of running I knew, and I knew it was not for me.  Then later in high school I joined track, and was placed on the mile, a mile seemed SO long to me.  And I was one of the slower runners coming in at just over a 7-minute mile (which is fast!).  After that I would run to release stress and clear my head, because I could only focus on the pounding of the pavement.

Fast-forward to my junior year in college, and my aunts encouraged me to run a 5k with them, and then offered to buy my registration for a half marathon if I trained and did it. So I did! I got my training schedule, and trained religiously – this was a big task for me! I finished my first half just under 2-hours and kept a great pace. I became addicted to the challenge mentally and physically especially for longer races like a half.  Since my first half in 2011, I’ve ran 5 other halfs and a handful of 10-milers, 10k’s, 5k’s – and continue to try and dabble, but my training game has not been as strong as it was in my peak time.

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So enough about me, here are some running tips whether you’re a beginner, a veteran, or someone like me – trying to get back into the race.

Start Slow: Don’t worry about your mile pace, and if you’re the person who says “running isn’t for me” run/walk and try interval training.  Your time will improve as you spend time and start tracking more miles.

Stay Consistent: Most training programs recommend at least 4-days during the week of lower mile runs, try and start here working your way up to a comfortable 3-miles.

Be Brave. Okay, so you’ve been running and improving, but you don’t think you’ll be able to finish that 6-miles? You can, go for it! You actually might be surprised at how easy it is! If you run the same pace and same distance for too long, the benefits of the exercise will lessen over time because you body will be conditioned. Any slight ways that you can push yourself, do it!

Stretch. Make sure to stretch out before and after runs, your muscles will drastically change from before you start to after, it’s important to tend to them!

It’s Mental. No matter the distance or skill you have, it’s mental challenge just as much as the physical, as soon as you want to stop running you need to fight and get those thoughts out of your head to keep running. You’ll be happier once you finish and didn’t stop!

It’s springtime, so get some fresh kicks and get out on that pavement and clock some miles!