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!
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!
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.
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!
This past weekend was our 10-Miler race weekend, and officially kicked off our 2019 running season! We’ve ran this race for the last 5-years, aka 50-miles, and it’s always challenging in new ways but also always so rewarding once the race is finished. Last year’s race was a huge accomplishment and super significant in my fitness journey and my life journey – it’s funny how races can be like that. This year my goal was to simply run the whole race without stopping.
If you’re an avid runner, especially an average one like me, you know that every race is different, every variable is unpredictable, not matter how much you train or prepare. For me, during this race I was feeling great until about mile 7, then the side cramps kicked in and the leg soreness started and stayed for the last three miles. I slowed down a lot, but I also was able to pick up speed and I just didn’t stop, B stayed by my side too which definitely helped, even though we didn’t have the best finish time.
What was super awesome about the 10-Miler race this year was it was my friend K’s first big race! We ran back in October for K’s first 10k and after she kicked that goal’s but her next goal was to run this race – and she kicked this goal’s butt too. I was so proud of her, she persisted through all the elements, through all the miles and crossed the finish like with pure victory!!
Running is just as much of a mental game as it is physical and I’m always reminded of that with each race, but also realize that I’m able to face and conquer new challenges with each one and know that I am capable!
This past weekend we checked off another race for our 2018 running season – number 3 of 4. The cool thing about this race was it offered three running distances and was the perfect offering for all types of runners. We stumbled upon this race when I was helping my friend K look for a 10k to run this year, she set a goal for herself to run and train for one! So after signing up for the Northcoast Harbor 15k a few months ago, I helped K set-up a training schedule so she could start training and get ready for the race!
What I love about running is that it’s a completely individualized ‘sport’ especially in this arena as adults, it doesn’t matter if you’re a faster runner, someone working towards a PR/qualifying for big race, 60-year-old walking, or running 11:00-minute miles. And this race was very much about that. B signed up to run the 15k, K & I were running the 10k and K’s fiance was running the 5k. We picked races based on our comfort level and what we wanted to accomplish. For me my goal was to help K reach her goal, so I signed up the 10k and I told her I was in it for the long road or as she would put it “my slow mile times.”
The race got started just as the sun was rising, we had lake views to our left and cities views to our right, it was the perfect mix of what I love about this city and why I love a good downtown race. We stuck close to the shoreline running in front of the airport, looping back around the Brown’s stadium to finish right where we started at Voinovich Park. Voinovich Park at Northcoast Harbor has always been my favorite views of the city, so it was a great starting and ending spot – plus great for our post-race metal pics.
The sun was shining just as we all crossed the finish line and turned into a pretty nice Saturday morning for late October. I stuck with K the whole way and we all came out of the race meeting our goals and feeling super accomplished! We went and celebrated with our new post-race place, a local doughnut shop, Brewnuts for an adult beverage and some tasty treats!
B and I have a 5k coming up in December that we’re doing more as a group/fun activity and less about the running… although we will see how much we can really stick to that! But we’re excited, as it’s been a race we’ve had on our list for a few years just have never gotten around to doing it! This was a nice accomplishment and another metal to hang upin our home office.
This past weekend marked our 7th half marathon and it’s incredible what a difference a year makes. We… or I should say, I struggled through out last half marathon, the Mighty Niagara last September, and this year seemed like a breeze, well… mostly.
Let’s rewind a bit – we signed up for this race a little over 2-months ago, I saw the price was about to increase and thought, why not? I easily convinced B and a little while later our registration was secured. I took a difference approach to half training this year, and it seemed to work out, as I definitely got a few more mid-size runs than I had anticipated. We ran 10-miles last weekend – so we were feeling as ready as we’d ever be going into the half on Sunday morning.
The start time for the race was 7am, which was good since it was going to warm up quickly and be pretty toasty by 9am, which would be just about finish time. We started out at a good pace and keep in sync with each other, slowed down a little around mile 5 but then were cruising and feeling really good after mile 6, moving into miles 9 and 10. The last three miles, were the longest and of course were straight pavement with the sun beating down on our backs. Thankfully the first 10-miles were relatively covered, which helped immensely, or we definitely would’ve been screwed! But those last three were giving us flashbacks of last year’s struggle, but we didn’t stop, we kept running and we crossed that finish line together! I finished 12th out of 32 in my age division, (woah!) and we had a respectable time of 2:08:51 – it was a good run.
We were covered in sweat when we crossed the finish line, and were happy to see the end. The after party at Hofbrauhaus was a great atmosphere and the definition of a race-after party. In addition to the awesome metal all runners also got a beer and a brat, it was the perfect treat! Live music was playing in the biergarten and there was a Starbucks truck sharing samples of their new coffee smoothies made with almond milk, yum! It was an accomplishing start to our Sunday and good to check off another half. As B said; “First half of 2018 and first one as a married couple. My run or die chick.” ❤
Happy Friday! We’re halfway through the year… what?! And I’m going to ask that annoying question that you may have been avoiding… how are you doing meeting your personal healthy and fitness goals so far?
I did some reflecting on my FF post from last June – and it started about the same way as this one, and too my surprise the rest of it was going to follow suit. I was just about to get ready to gear up for a half marathon. And ironically, B and I just signed up for a half in a little less than 2-months – just spur of the moment decision on a Friday night.
The half we ran in September was really rough for me, but yet here we are again, giving it another shot. So I’d be a fool if I said this half was going to be a walk in the park, I’ve run enough races to know that all the training in the world isn’t going to help you kill a race, but also no training doesn’t help you either! So my plan of attack for this half is simple:
Continue my cross training classes
Get in at least one 3-4 mile run each week until the race
Go on 3-longer runs (6, 8, 10-miles)
Don’t stress about it
I’m not out to beat any PRs, I just like the mental challenge as much as the physical challenge… and that feeling once you’ve accomplished both of those things after crossing the finish line is true euphoria. Signing up for these longer races has always kept B and I motivated and running – it was the one thing that first things that connected us and that we’ve always enjoyed doing together!
This past weekend we only really had one thing to do, and it was to run 10-miles at the annual race we partake in! Last year’s run was a struggle for me, so I was looking forward to seeing how all the progress I’ve made this past year would improve this run for me (not to mention being down 15+ pounds).
I started the race, as I often now do with my races… with no expectations. It was raining pretty decently when we woke up in the morning with a forecast of rain for the first hour or so of the race. Walking up to the start line along the lake with the rain and chilly breeze wasn’t really inspiring me to run! But, we got started at good pace and kept it up throughout.
It wasn’t until we I saw the mile 6 sign that I started to get emotional, as I started to realize I’ve been able to run this entire time and I was still feeling good – last year I broke at mile 5. I pulled it together reminding myself the last few miles are always the toughest. But mile 8 came along and I felt those tears again. It was that realization at how much I’ve accomplished this past year. Going into the race last year I wasn’t in a great space physically and I was just getting out of a super stressful and toxic work environment (which I had let affect me physically – the weight gain, not being able to get out of bed, unhappy, stressed with constant added anxiety). Now a year at my new job, it’s a worlds difference how all that has shifted for the better – which started me with making some major changes.
Needless to say, this race was bitter sweet for me, it was a full circle of how far I’ve come, compared to where I was at this time last year and how much stronger and happier I am. B and I finished the race together and it felt so good to cross that finish line!
Woah! It’s the last Friday of August <wide-eyed emoji>
With it being the last week of August, that means we are quickly approaching half-marathon month, EEK! We are three-weeks away from breaking our 3-year break from halfs. I must admit, I am a bit excited to conquer this feat again! Not to mention, a completely new race and course, so it’ll be a fun experience in a different city… and state.
Training has been going pretty well, I was in a good groove of running and bootcamp every other day, even in the summer heat. I’ve had a few weeks where I haven’t run at all, except for my long run – and those have surprisingly gone well! I’m not stressing out, but I am also not letting myself slack off.
My favorite run so far was seven miles the weekend of my bridal shower – I was up super early, and my stomach grumbly, I wasn’t really feeling so hot, but it was going to be a long morning on top of a long day. So I decided to go and give seven a try. Since it was so early, on a Saturday it was quite and peaceful, and the stomach pains and weakness I was feeling eventually went away – I conquered those 7-miles, only stopping to pet a puppy. It felt so good. And since I still had time to kill after, I went to yoga for an hour.
Bootcamp has remained a constant these past 7-months, I’m stronger and I’m pushing myself to pick up the heavier weights – plus my trainer got me to write by fitness goal up on the board with the rest of the members, so now I can see it every day I go! And remember what the end goal is, beyond a healthy me.
This past weekend, B and I ran and finished our third 10-Miler! This year I was fairly confident going into the race, as I have been the last two years, having minimally trained and relying heavily on my cross training. The weather was surprisingly perfect for a late April run, all signs were pointing to an easy race, we just needed to get through those ten miles.
Well… even with all the confidence and perfect weather conditions, this just wasn’t my race. I started out strong within the first five miles, but it quickly went down hill from there. The mental game was strong and I couldn’t fight it. By the time mile eight rolled around I was over it *smiles* and ready to be done and at the finish line. I went from being well paced with 9-minute miles, slowing down to 11-minute miles with my intermittent walking. But I made myself finish strong and ran that last mile with all of my might, and crossed the finish line with sore, angry legs!
Bentley and his brother, of course killed it and ran most of the race together (leaving me in the dust!) Another friend didn’t finish too far behind me and we were all feeling the weight of those miles. It was great finishing the race, but definitely one of the harder ones I’ve ran. Training for our upcoming half-marathon will definitely be happening if I want to make it 3.1 more miles!
Yesterday was the 10-Miler race I attempted to start training for back in February, but if you’ve been reading along on my fitness journey it’s been an up and down struggle for the last year… or two… so getting into a consistent workout routine has been the primary goal, and struggle. Long story short – it was ambitious, I didn’t do well with training, but I have gotten into a consistent workout routine with boot camp and am starting to incorporate other workouts, like running! So how did the 10-Miler go… well I hadn’t trained last year and impressed myself, and I did it again this year.
Approaching Mile 8
I beat my time from last year by 2-minutes, didn’t stop, and finished strong! It was a chilly morning, especially starting right next to the lake, but luckily as we got deeper into the course was able to hide from the wind a bit. Of course B left me in the dust before we even hit mile one! But he was waiting at the finish line for me, and jumped out and finish with me! He ended up beating his time from last year and kicked butt, too.
Finishing any race is always an awesome accomplishment but when it’s an significant mileage it always feels that much more awesome. We are looking to sign up for a half marathon before the year is over to keep pushing ourselves and getting back into our old running habits. We were done with our race by 10AM and had the rest of the day to brunch, soak up the sun, and socialize with family and friends!