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 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.
ICYMI (here and here) B and I were training for a half marathon! After 12-weeks of training and knocking off a majority of our long runs together we were feeling good going into the race. In addition we knew the race course was fairly flat, with little surprises, so we were ready to conquer it! Plus, it was a completely new race for us, it was on a Saturday, we were excited! We headed to the area Thursday to grab our race packets and made a quick stop to explore Niagara Falls, after all we were running the Mighty Niagara, so it only made sense to visit the mighty falls.
Fast Forward Race Morning: A race morning wouldn’t be a race morning if you didn’t have to wake up before the sun. With an hour-plus drive we had to leave by 6:30am to have plenty of time to figure out parking and get to the start line! With a start time at 9:15 – the sun was in full force, but luckily the first part of the course was nicely covered, and navigated us through the adorable town of Lewiston, we were off to a good start, and sticking to our pace.
By the time we hit mile 4/5 we were in straight sun down a lonngg straight road. The mental game set in. By mile 7, I couldn’t handle the heat – I had to stop and take off my tank top and pour some water on my head, this would become the trend for the next 5-water stations. By mile 8/9, the heat had really gotten to me, and I was in bad shape – but B stuck by my side. The remaining 5 miles were slow, hot and miserable, the mental and physical game was strong.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to finish a race before. I was defeated, mad at myself, mad at our time and overheated, but we finished and we finished together! My parents and Moz were waiting for us at the finish line, so it was good to see them and be done with the race. And at the end of the day, we accomplished a difficult feat and didn’t give up!
The after race festivities were impressive and the scenery throughout the race was beautiful, running along the Niagara River was stunning! We would definitely run the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon again, but would hope for much cooler weather. This being the first half in almost 3-years, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but I can’t say I’ve completely hung up my half-running sneaks just yet!
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!
This weekend marked a mini milestone already this year; we finished our first race! And boy, is March the perfect month to get outside and run. *smiles*
I’d always wanted to run the St. Malachi race, because it’s always in March right around my birthday plus it’s Irish themed! Well this year we finally signed up, and although there was no finishers medal as a consolation prize, we thought it’d be the perfect jump-start to our 2017 running year.
The morning of, I was laying in bed checking the weather, while I knew it was going to be cold, I didn’t think it would “feel like 4” … my comforter seemed that much bigger and warmer than it already was. But we got out of bed and started bundling. When you run in a cold weather race it’s always that fine line of what’s too much and what’s not enough, clothing wise. And standing at the start waiting to go, it definitely felt like not enough especially with the big gusts of wind, but as we ran my outfit choice seemed to be alright and plenty warm with my layers.
B and I stuck together most of the race and for running 5-miles in “feels like 4” weather it went relatively quickly and before you knew it we were crossing the finish line together! We then, awkwardly posed for a photo and immediately wanted more clothes and shelter! We ended up brunching with B’s brother and some of their friends afterwards at a nearby spot, the food was excellent plus lots of hot coffee! We were home early enough and able to relax the rest of the afternoon.
It was nice to get a race in the books so early in the year! Our next race is the 10-miler in April, so we are looking forward to that and seeing how we can improve in our 3rd year running it!
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!
One of my goals is to get back into a consistent workout routine, back to how I used to be when if I missed a workout it was the end of the world! The high of working out is addicting and I’ve told friends who’re trying to workout more, to stay consistent enough because once you get to that point you’ll know – I also warn it’s far to easy to break that habit (much easier than it was to create) … and here we are.
One thing that had always helped me stay on track was training for half marathons, I would run at least one a year sometimes even two when I was feeling a little extra crazy. Granted that was pre-Moz, pre-house, and still early into my job (yes I will always blame work) – yes those are excuses. B and I have signed up for a 10-Miler this April, so let the training ensue!
With races I like to be able to make my own schedule, this way I can switch up days when I know I’ll be able to take a long run or only squeeze in a quick cross-training session. Since I know I have some busy weekends that’ll interfere with training I’ve taken the initiative to star* the days that are a conflict or an opportunity. For example, President’s day I can squeeze in some extra miles that I normally wouldn’t on a Monday and I have a weekend I’ll be traveling so that’ll throw some things off, but only if I let it. Being able to plan ahead for these is smart, I can game plan and accommodate ahead of time because all I need is a few days of procrastination to break everything I’ve been working towards. I also like to track during the week my distance and time, and then tally up my total distance for the EOW, it’s just another way to track progress or be honest where improvements may need to be made.
Beware of Burnout. I am always cautious about this I am planning or starting to train for any long race. B always got burnout a lot quicker than I, but a training program that is longer than it needs to be (depending on your skill) can be exhausting by week 6 out of 12. So I wanted to keep this manageable but also a decent amount of time, since I could use a little extra discipline.
As you can see training officially starts next weekend, but I am going to try and get some miles in this weekend as a preempt since it takes mental and physical prep to be all in for training!
What’re your training tricks? Are you getting ready to train for a race?