Local Races

After completing the Shamrock Marathon, I decided to cut back on running a bit to give my body some time to heal.  I took off about a week or so and then started again with short distances.  I have been trying to get back to my old routine of 3 days a week, but keeping the mileage between 3 and 4 miles.  I don’t have any big races in mind so I plan to keep my mileage low through the summer.  I have completed 2 local 5k’s since the marathon and actually did better than I expected on both of them.  I was supposed to run a 3rd (a margarita 5k), but it conflicted with Makayla’s prom so (obviously) prom won!

On another note, I made it through my entire marathon training and completed the actual marathon without injuries.  Strangely enough, now that I’ve decreased my mileage, I’m battling hip pain again.  Go figure.  Luckily, it hasn’t been bad enough yet to halt my running entirely, but it is something I’m keeping an eye on. 

Below is a quick recap of the 5k’s that I completed:

Run for Hospice 5k – 4/14/18

The hospice race will always be one of the most important races that I complete.  Not only was this the very first race I ever ran (in 2011), but we also run this particular race in honor of our neighbor, Bubbies (Kevin) Lent.  Sam had shirts made the year after his death and we always wear our shirts and run in memory of him.  A lot of family and friends participate in this local race so it’s always a good time.  My company pays my registration fees for this race as part of their wellness program.  And the cherry on top was that we had fantastic weather this year!

I started the race too fast and it caught up with me over the last 2 miles.  I ended up having to walk a few times.  Here are my splits according to Garmin:

Mile 1 – 8:45

Mile 2 – 9:39

Mile 3 – 10:05

Mile 3.13 – 8:13

Total 29:33 / 9:26 pace

We had another great year and Gabby won another medal (3rd place in her age group) this year!

Leatherneck 5k – 4/18/18

This is another local race that I always enjoy.  The last time I ran this race was 2 years ago and it was pouring!  Last year, I decided not to register in advance.  I woke up on race day and it was pouring again so I decided not to run it.  This year, I waited until race day to register just to make sure the weather was going to cooperate.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful day!  Makayla decided to run it with me.  Gabby had swim practice and Steven wanted to run a longer distance later in the day.  Makayla and I met up with some other friends and family on race morning.  First, we watched Lilee and another race friends son, Gavin participate in the kids 1 mile run.  They did great!  Then it was time for the 5k.  I started out running the first half mile or so with Makayla.  She wanted to alternate running and walking so I ran the next mile with Ashlee and Sam.  At the turnaround point, I decided to walk through the water stop.  Sam had taken a quick break too so at this point we were all separated.  I ran the last half of it by myself and actually surprised myself!  Here are my splits according to Garmin:

Mile 1 – 9:25

Mile 2 – 9:40

Mile 3 – 9:16

Mile 3.1 – 6:55

Total 29:02 / 9:23 pace 

After all the runners finished, we stuck around the raffle, which Lilee SCORED big time!  Makayla, my mom, and Sam also won some great prizes.  Thanks mom for giving me the massage gift card!  I love that this race is local and benefits wounded veterans! 

I don’t have any more races planned right now, but I want to continue running 3-4 miles a few times a week.  I’ll start making my fall race plan within the next couple of months and will probably pick up the training mileage then.


Shamrock Marathon – 3/18/18

Last weekend, I participated in the 2018 Shamrock marathon.  This race in particular is important to my family because it falls during the same time of year that our neighbors across the street from us lost their 6 year old son.  These aren’t just neighbors, but Sam is also my best friend and her oldest daughter is my oldest daughter’s best friend.  They moved into our neighborhood when Makayla was just 4 years old.  Our families “grew up” together.  Losing Bubbies had a massive impact on our families and running has been very therapeutic in the healing process for Sam and I (and Steven too, I believe).  Two years ago, the race fell on March 20th, which is the date he passed away in 2013.  Steven and Sam ran the marathon as a way to honor him (recap here).  I had planned to run the marathon also but an injury prevented me from properly training so I ran the half marathon that year instead.  This year, I decided in January to give the training another shot and I was successful this time!!  Unfortunately, due to injuries and other issues, I had to run it alone this year, although I am confident that Bubbies was with me every step of the way.  Steven and Gabby came along to support me and I had many other cheerleaders who were sending their support from home.

Makayla decided to stay home because my niece was having a birthday / baby gender reveal party that same weekend.  I was really bummed I couldn’t make it but Makayla called us right away when the babies gender was announced and sent us videos so that we could feel like we were a part of the excitement 🙂 

Steven, Gabby, and I headed to Virginia Beach on Saturday.  We went straight to the expo and picked up my bib and shirt and then headed to the hotel to get checked in. 

The hotel was right near the finish line, which was so much better than years past!  After getting settled, we walked down the street to find a pizza and pasta joint.  Carb loading is so much fun!!  We walked around the finish area for a bit to scope out some places to look for each other.  Then we returned to the room and I tried to go to bed early.  Unfortunately the heat was extremely loud and kept cutting on and off.  That, along with race jitters (can’t believe it has been so long since I ran a race) made for a horrible night of sleep.

 I got up and got ready as quietly as I could so that I didn’t wake Steven and Gabby up.  I had brought my breakfast with me to make in the room (Ezekiel toast with peanut butter, banana slices, and honey on top – yum).  They started stirring as I finished getting ready.  The race was starting at 7:30 and the hotel was about a mile from the start so I decided to leave around 6:50.  At 6:45, I went to put my hydration vest on and realized I had left the bladder at home (drying from my last run).  Seriously?!?  I panicked for a moment but then decided to just take one of my 16 ox. Water bottles with me (I had brought a bunch from home to fill the hydration vest).  I was planning to see Steven and Gabby at the halfway point so I asked them to bring another bottle and give it to me at that point in the race.  They also had water/Gatorade stations set up throughout the race so I knew if I ran out before seeing them, I could always rely on those stations.  Also, the vest I chose to wear had deep pockets so I was able to hold everything that I normally put in my hydration vest (fuels, phone, gloves after I warm up, etc).  Crisis averted!!  I kissed my family goodbye and headed to the start line.

 As soon as I exited the hotel lobby, I could see the excitement of the race day all around.  So many runners were headed to the start.  I walked to the boardwalk side to take a few quick pictures, but it was too cold (windy) to stay on that side!  I made it to the start and hung out behind a wall of a parking garage to stay out of the wind as much as possible.  

I was so cold!  I guess this is good time to address the weather.  We had horrible weather 2 years ago.  That year, the half marathon began an hour and a half before the full and it was pouring at the start.  Luckily, the rain stopped for the marathoners, but they still contended with high winds.  We missed last year’s race, but word on the street is that the weather was even worse.  Snow, sleet, high winds, and sand blowing all over runners.  Eek!  So, although I complain that it was cold and windy I really couldn’t have asked for more perfect race weather.  Cold at the start is a good thing.  And wind on the beach is pretty much a given, so I can’t even really complain about that. 

I texted my family to let them know I made it to the start and ate my gu and stretched a little before finding a spot in my corral (10).  Before I knew it, it was time to start.  The corrals started about 2 minutes apart so I didn’t actually cross the start line until 7:54.

I had come up with a walk/run plan that would get me to my goal of a sub 5 hour marathon.  My first marathon was in 2014 and I finished with a time of 5.01.48.  So close!  I knew I needed to schedule walk breaks or I would burn out at the end.  I decided to take a quick (.10) walk break every 1.5 miles and then a longer (.30) walk break after every 4.5 miles so that I could fuel (alternating gu’s and honey stinger waffles. 

The first 4.5 miles took me north up Pacific Avenue towards Fort Story.  It took me about a mile to get into a good rhythm and another mile or so to really warm up.  My hat kept wanting to blow off so I ended up taking it off and carrying it.  I also came out of my gloves once I warmed up.   

The next 4.5 miles took me onto Fort Story.  This portion of the race was pretty boring.  Since it is a military base, there isn’t much crowd support.  I texted Steven and Gabby at my mile 9 walk break to tell them where I was.  They let me know where to look for them.

 After exiting the base, I headed back south.  The crowd support really picked up!  Just after mile 13, I started looking for Steven and Gabby and was able to find them waiting on the street.  Gabby had made me two signs!  She had told me the day before that signs weren’t really her thing so that I would be surprised when I saw them 🙂 

As a side note, I didn’t think it was cool that a lady stopped to correct her grammar.  Umm…how about “THANK YOU FOR STANDING OUT IN THE COLD AND CHEERING ALL THE RUNNERS ON”.  They even brought tissues with them to give to runners (great idea; runners always need tissues when running in cold weather) and also gave out a few water bottles.  They had so much fun they ended up staying outside for the duration of the race.  Most people were very appreciative!  I stopped in order to ditch my gloves, hat, and empty water bottle, and grabbed the other water bottle from them.  After a quick hug for each of them, I was running again.  I wish I would have got a quick picture with them, but I completely forgot.  I took my walk break to fuel at mile 13.5 and then continued heading south.

 The race took me back to the boardwalk for another mile and half and then we headed back to the road.  The only hill of the race was just before mile 16 to cross an over pass.  I ended up walking ahead of schedule to get through the hill.  I started really struggling around this point of the race.  I remember sending out a couple of texts around mile 16 to let them know I was struggling.  I got some encouraging texts back and then put my phone away.  At this point in the race, I honestly felt like I wouldn’t be able to meet my goal, but was also too mentally/physically exhausted to figure out the math.  It didn’t help that this part of the race was very boring to me.  We reached Camp Pendleton and again there was no crowd support.  Steven and Gabby received an automated text when I crossed a timing mat at mile 18.4.  At this point I was running a 10:53 pace.  Around this part of the race, I noticed that my phone was at 1%.  I had used airplane mode for most of the race so I was really surprised and bummed about this.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to send out anymore updates.  I was still able to listen to a podcast and I was really worried that if I sent a message that it would use up the remaining juice and I wouldn’t be able to listen to anything for the remainder of the race.   

By this point, I was not running according to my plan.  While my first water bottle lasted the entire first half of the race, I was finished my 2nd water bottle by mile 20 so I was having to rely on the water stops for the rest of the race.  I was taking walk breaks a lot more often and having a hard time getting back into a run.  I was so happy to finally cross back over the overpass and head back to the boardwalk.  Only 3-ish miles left and there was more crowd support (although still less than I expected).  I was also running into the wind now which was really tough.  I just wanted to be DONE!  I headed back out to the street for the last time and saw Steven and Gabby at 25.2 miles.  Apparently they were really starting to get worried.  They hadn’t gotten an update since the 18.4 mile update at 11:18 and it was now going on 1:00.  I LOVED seeing them, but I didn’t stop for hugs this time.  I just wanted to finish and knew I’d be seeing them in a mile.  At this point I knew I would break a 5 hours.  As bad as I wanted to sprint to the finish, I actually had to walk 2 more times.  I was so exhausted!  I finally could see the finish line and gave it everything I had!  It was great having Steven and Gabby cheer me into the finish!  My official time was 4:52:13 / 11:10 min pace.

 I collected my medal, beach towel, hat, snacks, water, and then headed to find Steven and Gabby.  Such and awesome feeling!  We headed to our hotel room so I could charge my phone a little and drop off a bunch of my stuff.  Then we headed back to the finish festival to hang out.  I rang the PR bell, got Steven and I a beer, some stew, and then we just hung out and took some photos. 

We didn’t stay too long.  We headed back up to the room so I could shower and then we decided to get some dinner and take Gabby to see the new Tomb Raider movie.  I could already feel the sore muscles setting in.  

We stayed the night and then headed home on Monday morning.  My quads and shoulder muscles were really sore.  Sitting/standing was so tough!  But it was worth it!

 I have now completed 2 marathons and have had something stand out at me at each one.  During my first marathon, I passed a building (not sure if it was an auto repair or something along those lines) that was called “Bubba’s”.  During this marathon, I passed a sign that said “Bubba”.  I can’t help but think that was more than a crazy coincidence.  I get so far in “the zone” that I don’t generally notice a whole lot so the fact that I noticed that particular sign seems crazy.  I really wish I would have stopped to take a picture.  I just know he was with me in spirit!

On another sad note, last week on March 20th (ironically, 5 years since Bubbies death), our entire community faced another tragedy.  The shooting at Great Mills High School left many of us feeling a sense of sadness/helplessness.  I highly suggest running (or some other form of exercise) to anyone who is having a hard time coping with this tremendous loss.  I truly believe that it is good for the soul (sole).

Christmas Town 8k

Gabby and I ran the Christmas Town 8k last year (read recap here) and we knew we wanted to race it again.  Except this time, the whole family decided to run!  This would be Makayla’s first 8k!  And since you get a discounted ticket to Busch Gardens Christmas Town, we decided to make a weekend out of it.

We headed to Williamsburg on Saturday to pick up our race packets and Busch Gardens tickets.  After picking up our packets, we headed straight to the park.  It really is a beautiful park, especially with all the Christmas decorations.  We rode a few rides and watched a couple of shows and then headed to the hotel to get some sleep.

We got ourselves ready for the race on Sunday morning.  My mom had crocheted festive ponytail hats for us to wear during the race.  After some obligatory selfies, we were headed back to the park to meet up with my mom, sister, future brother-in-law, brother, and sister-in-law, who were also running the race.

Steven lined up with my brother and the girls and I lined up together.  Everyone else was scattered amongst the corrals.  It was finally time to start and the girls and I started together, but quickly separated to settle into our own comfortable paces. 

I LOVE running through the park.  Although it is very hilly, the scenery makes up for it.  There were a few turnarounds spots where I would pass some family members headed in the opposite direction.  When I finished, Steven and Gabby had already completed the race and were waiting for me.  We hung out and waited for Makayla to update us that she was near the finish line and we cheered her into the finish line!!  Way to go, Makayla!  Everyone had finished at this point except for my mom so we waited to cheer her on!!  She never gives up!  She doesn’t let injuries, knee replacements, asthma, or anything else stop her from reaching the finish line.

Our official times:

Steven – 43:51.57 / 8:49 pace

Gabby – 47:30.79 / 9:33 pace

Kim – 48:31.90 / 9:46 pace (That’s an 8k PR for me!)

Makayla – 1:06:04 / 13.18 pace


After heading back to the hotel and cleaning up, we spent some time shopping at the outlets before heading home that evening.  The whole family has already talked about running this race again next year.  We are also excited to head back to Busch Gardens this spring for free, as those passes are also included in your race entry fee.  That’s definitely worth the cost of the race itself!

10k Across the Bay – 2017 Race Recap

This was the 2nd year that I wasn’t planning to run the 10k Across the Bay, but ended up running it.  I was supposed to have plans this weekend.  When those plans fell through and my weekend opened up, I started thinking about signing up.  I asked Makayla and Gabby if they would want to join me.  Makayla didn’t want to, but Gabby said she would do it again so I registered us both.  Later that week, Natalee and I decided to pitch in to register Sam as a birthday surprise, although I had to tell her about it to make sure she would want to do it ;o) 

Since Sam and I were both off on Friday, we drove up to the Navy Stadium to pick up our bibs.  We picked up our bibs, bought a parking pass, and picked up our t-shirts.  We didn’t stay at the expo long as neither of us really needed anything.  We both bought some GU’s and then decided to head down the road.  We stopped for lunch and since the weather was absolutely gorgeous, we decided to sit outside and enjoy our food.

We decided on Saturday evening that we would leave at 5:00 a.m.  We weren’t assigned a wave.  Our bibs said “Choose” so we decided to try to get there early.  While I don’t generally enjoy having Daylight Savings Time come to an end, I did enjoy it before the race!  An extra hour of sleep was nice, but 4:30 still came way too early.  Gabby and I got ourselves together and met Sam outside around 5:00.  We had decided to park at the Anne Arundel Fair Grounds again since we had a good experience there last year.  By the time we hit the port-a-pots and got to the race, it was just before the start of Wave 3 so we figured we would take a few pics and jump in Wave 4.  They staged the corrals a little differently this year so we got in line for what we thought was wave 4, but ended up being wave 5. 

At 8:00, our wave started and we were off.  I noticed that there were a LOT of bibs around me that had later waves on them, which was a little disappointing.  I know this is a huge race and probably very difficult to control, but it makes it REALLY hard to get into a good rhythm in a race when you spend the better part of the first mile weaving around walkers.  I’m all for walkers and people of all abilities running races; it’s just hard when they are all starting at the same time.  Sam, Gabby, and I were finally able to settle into a good pace.  We continued together for about a mile and a half.  We were all a little over-dressed.  I had on a lightweight long sleeve shirt with a t-shirt overtop; Sam had on a thicker long sleeve shirt, with a tank underneath; and Gabby had on a lightweight long sleeve shirt.  This was good for the chilly start of the race (around 58 degrees), but once we started running, we heated up pretty fast.  Luckily, the sun wasn’t out or it would have been much worse.  Sam decided to slow down so that she could take off her top layer.  Gabby and I continued on.  thumbnail_36730

The uphill portion of the bridge is so tough!  Gabby hadn’t really “ran” in a LONG time.  She runs occasionally for the drylands portion of her swim practice, but hasn’t really done any distance running in a while so I really didn’t know what to expect from her.  I told her if she was feeling good, she could go ahead and leave me behind, but if she needed to walk, I would walk with her.  Let me just say that I was SO impressed.  23316325_10210142720595772_5236801244320390069_nShe said she was going to stop at mile 3 and then quickly changed her mind when we got to the mile marker.  Somewhere on the downhill portion of the bridge, Sam caught back up to us and then pulled ahead.  At mile marker 4, we did walk and I decided to try my new Marshmallow GU.  As soon as I pulled it out and opened it, Gabby had started running again!  Woah…quick walk break.  Gabby and I continued on.  For me, the mileage after the bridge is always the toughest part, mentally.  You kind of feel like you should be done, but you know you have over a mile to go (and that includes a couple of inclines).

We dug deep and kept running.  We caught up to Sam with less than a half a mile to go.  We all rounded the final turn together and then Gabby took off in a full sprint.  I tried to catch her and when she saw I was gaining on her, she really picked it up.  I was cracking up at her competitive drive.  I sure as heck couldn’t catch her!  She beat me by 2 seconds – lol!

My official time was 1.02.53 / 10:07 pace

Here are our splits according to Map My Run:

Mile 1 – 10:04

Mile 2 – 10:12

Mile 3 – 9:45

Mile 4 – 9:52

Mile 5 – 10:26

Mile 6 – 9:57

Mile .27 – 9:23

Gabby placed 40 out of 277 girls in her age group (10-14).  I placed 349 out of 1787 women in my age group (35-39).  On a side note, when I complete my next race, I’ll be in a new age group.  Iye-yie-yie.

We collected our finisher medals, water, and some snacks and headed to the finish festival.  Unfortunately, the ground was wet and muddy so hanging out didn’t seem very appealing.  We decided to head out relatively early.  We stopped at Applebee’s on the way home for lunch and were home by 2:00. 




Bit by the race bug

I ran two races this past weekend and just signed up for another race last night.  I guess you could say I’m getting the race bug again.  While I’ve continued running since the spring, I haven’t really been running consistently or decided to train for any specific races.  I think it’s time to dust off the old training plan, pick a half marathon and JUST DO IT!  I’ve even had crazy thoughts about running another full marathon.  I am definitely not ready to commit to that level of training at this time, but if I’m feeling good in 4-6 weeks about my progress, I may seriously consider it. 

My last blog update was after my Historic St. Mary’s City Half Marathon.  That race did not go particularly well for me and I definitely felt like I needed a break afterwards.  Since then, this is what I’ve been up to:

I have logged 172 miles since May.  This includes 3 races.  I ran the Clarendon 10K in September.  I didn’t write a recap this year, but you can click here for last year’s recap.  Below are some pictures from this years race.

I also ran my very first trail run on Saturday.  It was the CPCS Running Crab 5k.  It was definitely different than a road race.  I felt like I was running much faster than I was.  I think that is due to the energy you expend while avoiding roots and rocks.  I did enjoy the race though and was happy to receive my first age group medal.  This wasn’t a big race and most of the runners seemed to be kids, but I’ll still take it ;o)

I ran the 10k Across the Bay with Gabby and Sam on Sunday.  I will post a separate race recap about that soon.

In other news, Makayla decided to join the gym with me.  She has also starting running with me (when she doesn’t have too much homework) and has taken Body Pump a few times with me.  Her 1 mile time has already improved significantly so I am hoping she sticks with it.  We have also been doing yoga together on Monday nights at home via YouTube on the living room TV.  Working out has had a great impact on her overall mood and self-confidence.  I love that it means I get to spend more time with her too.

For my upcoming birthday weekend, the family has agreed to participate in a race weekend with me.  I signed the entire family up for the Christmastown 8k at Busch Gardens the first weekend of December.  I am really excited about it.  We will go to Busch Gardens the night before the race and then we will all run the race together and maybe even do some outlet shopping together afterwards.  Last year, the girls and I went, along with my mom, sister, and sister’s boyfriend.  Gabby and I raced, and Makayla tagged along for moral support.  We really enjoyed the race last year so I’m excited that we are all participating this year, along with other members of my family.

Stay tuned for the 10k Across the Bay recap – coming soon!

Historic St. Mary’s City Half Marathon Recap – 4/30/17

I have been questioning my desire to run longer distance races lately.  My hip issues have been bugging me and I just think I need the break.  With that being said, I had just completed my 15th Half Marathon in Delaware and although my hip was sore, I had been considering running the Historic St. Mary’s City Half Marathon the following weekend.  First of all, it’s local for me.  It’s not very often that I get to sleep in my own bed the night before a race and then only drive 20 minutes or so to the start.  2nd, I figured I was already semi-trained.  I might as well knock another one out before taking my break.  But the 3rd and most convincing reason was because I had several running friends who were considering it and we were all kind of in same boat training-wise (i.e not feeling like we are in top running form).  We all decided to sign up on Wednesday night and race it together.  We didn’t want to put any time pressure on ourselves.  We would just run and have fun. 

The weather was a big concern heading into the weekend because the forecast was calling for a very hot and humid day (my weather app even had a cactus on the icon – yikes).  I was pretty nervous about that.  I don’t perform very well in heat/humidity (see Super Hero or Crawlin’ Crab recap) and I hadn’t even run one training run in the heat this year.  Our weather is sporadic and even though we had a few hot days sprinkled in, I hadn’t actually run on those days.  Oh well…no turning back now!!

I didn’t have time to pick up my bib on Saturday, but they were offering packet pickup on Sunday morning before the race.  Sam and I got to the race around 7:00.  It was already pretty humid and the temp was rising!  Since it is a smaller race, there wasn’t even a line at packet pick-up.  Nice!  We put a few items back in my van and headed to the start to find Ashlee at the start.  I also ran into a few other friends who were running.  It’s not the norm to run into so many familiar faces at half marathons so that was really nice.  We found (boy) Sam and headed to the start line.  After a few selfies, it was go-time!

Mile 1 – 3 – Ashlee, (girl) Sam, and I had decided to run intervals.  Initially, we planned to walk every .5 mile, but we were all feeling okay so decided to push the walk breaks to each mile.  We made a loop around the St. Marys College campus and out to Mattapany Road.  It was so nice having the ladies to run with and talk to.


THE HILL – We knew there was a pretty significant hill on the course, so I was mentally prepared.  I hadn’t trained on any hills so I wasn’t quite as prepared physically but am really proud to say we made it through without walking (even though I really, really wanted to).  We passed (boy) Sam on the hill (he was heading back the other direction).  Luckily there was a walk break coming up soon after the hill.  We found the turnaround point around mile 4.25 and were able to head DOWN the same hill.  It was nice to see a few of my runner friends along the way.  We were all very hot by this point.  I ate a Stinger Waffle around mile 5.  We couldn’t wait to find the next water stop!  We filled up our water bottles and poured some water on our heads/necks.  That felt so good.

We ran down a street (out and back) and I remember feeling miserable around mile 8-ish.  I just felt like I was spent.  My hip wasn’t hurting too bad, but my blister on my left foot was hurting pretty bad.  I was so hot and started wondering if I could make the full mile intervals.  We talked about walking at .5 mile intervals when we got to Mile 10.  Fortunately, I felt a little boost of energy during the next mile.   At that point of the race its crazy how you can feel so differently from mile to mile.



The boost of energy didn’t last very long.  We headed through some beautiful neighborhoods and I enjoyed the scenery, but I was feeling pretty exhausted.  We passed our last water stop around mile 11 and I should have refilled my water bottles again but I thought I had enough to finish the race.  I think I ran out by my 12 and that last mile with no water was particularly tough.  We had been lucky enough to have a lot of shade on the route, but one of our turns in that last mile put us directly in the sun with no shade and no water.  I was miserable!! 

We turned into the historic trail and headed for the finish line.  We spotted Sam, Steven, and Gabby, who were at the finish line cheering us on and gave it all we had to get across that finish line!!  Thank Goodness…so glad to be done!!  My official time was 2:30:23/11:29 pace.

Luckily, we were greeted with cold, wet towels at the end and of course, our medals and water.  We found a shaded spot in the grass to sit and talk about the race.  Sam (boy) had rocked it and finished under 2 hours, but we all agreed that the heat, humidity, and hills made for a tough race.  I heard them announce my co-worker finishing and it was her first half marathon!!  Congrats, Sarah!  What a tough first race!  I also heard some of my other runner friends finish.  Jaime came and joined us for a bit while we continued to cool down and enjoy the shade.  Steven and Gabby were nice enough to get my flip flops out of the van for me.  I desperately needed to get those running shoes off and take the pressure off my blister!  After a bit longer, we all decided to head home.  Best part…we were home in 25 minutes!  No 2-4 hour drive after this race!

Here are my splits according to my Garmin:

Mile 1 – 10:24

Mile 2 – 10:47

Mile 3 – 11:05

Mile 4 – 10:32

Mile 5 – 10:44

Mile 6 – 12:27

Mile 7 – 11:03

Mile 8 – 11:37

Mile 9 –11:38

Mile 10 – 11:50

Mile 11 – 12:09

Mile 12 – 12:23

Mile 13 – 12:32

Mile .11 – 9:37

 I’m glad I decided to sign up for this race.  Although my “time” wasn’t the greatest, there was really no reason for me not to run this race.  I really enjoyed running with my friends and it made the miles fly by much faster than they would have without them.  My half marathon season is officially over.  I ran 2 this season and am happy with that.  I’ll probably let my hip heal for a couple of weeks and then get back to shorter runs.  I have my eye on a couple of upcoming 5k’s, so hopefully I’ll be all healed up in time to run those.  As for half marathons, I’m sure I’ll miss them after my break, so we’ll see what the Fall brings 😉

Coastal Delaware Running Festival – Half Marathon Recap

Half Marathon #15 (and race #50) is in the books!  I absolutely loved the Coastal Delaware Running Festival and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a race of pretty much any distance.  They offer a 5k (Saturday), 9k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and the opportunity to run a combination of the 5k and any of the other races on Sunday.  We considered running one of the challenges, but due to Gabby’s swim schedule, we wouldn’t be able to make it in time for the 5k on Saturday.

My mom and Gabby each decided to race the 9k, while I signed up for the half marathon.  I didn’t feel very prepared for this race.  In fact, the longest training run I had completed this season was a 10 miler and it had been several weeks before the race.  I didn’t have any real time expectations going into this one.  I contemplated leaving my Garmin home because sometimes it leads to me making “deals” with myself and taking more walk breaks.  I also considered running with the 2:15 pace group.  Another option that really interested me was run/walk intervals.  After reading an article that a runner friend recently posted on facebook about interval running, I decided to give it a try.  The plan I settled on was to run a mile, walk a minute, and repeat. 

We headed to Dewey Beach after Gabby’s swim practice on Saturday morning.  We decided to go directly to packet pickup when we arrived around 4:00.  To be honest, my first impression was not a good one.  The parking situation appeared to be a nightmare.  As soon as someone pulled out and I started to pull into a “spot”, I got lectured by a grumpy man about how my van would be towed and he wasn’t very helpful in advising me where I could park.  After our near-towing incident in Virginia Beach last year at the Shamrock race, I didn’t want to take any chances.  I decided to go find my hotel first and get checked in first and we would try packet pickup later.  The lady who checked me in at the hotel was wonderful and helped me in regards to parking.  20170422_170410Basically, before Memorial Day you can pretty much park anywhere in Dewey Beach (the signs stated this but between the weather and being stressed out by the grumpy man I hadn’t really noticed).  Fortunately, when we got back to the packet pickup location, the rush was gone and there was plenty of parking.  From there on out, everything was a breeze.  The expo was small, which was expected, due to the small size of the race but it had everything we needed.  I loved the shirts, although they did seem to run a bit small (good news for Gabby who is generally given a shirt she can wear as a nightgown).  We also received a Coastal Delaware Running Festival beer glass.  Nice!

After packet pickup, we decided to drive to the Rehobeth Beach boardwalk to find dinner and look around.  I just love this cute little town.  We carb loaded and then let Gabby get a henna tattoo.  Afterwards, it had started raining again so we decided to go back to the hotel, after a quick shop at the grocery store to pick up breakfast items.  We laid out our running gear and then headed to bed. 

I was still a little concerned about finding parking in the morning so we decided to leave around 6:00 to start the search.  The start and finish were about a mile apart and you could park at either and take the buses that were running back and forth.  We decided to park at the finish line (town of Dewey) and easily found parking.  We sat in the van for a while because it was pretty chilly outside.  Although it was chilly, we were very pleased that there was no precipitation.  The forecast was looking pretty bad up until the night before.  We finally decided to make our way to the bus line, but the buses seemed to be taking forever so we ended up jumping out of line and walking to the start, which was about a mile away.  We had just enough time to hit the port a pots!  When I came out, they announced 17 seconds to the start of the race!  I was in corral 3 so luckily I had a little more time to get lined up, snap a few selfies, and get ready to race!  I contemplated taking my jacket off up until the last minute.  The weather was in the 50’s, overcast, and breezy and I knew I had to run near the ocean for a bit so I decided to leave it on (spoiler alert – mistake).  My mom and Gabby still had a half hour before their 9k started.

Miles 1 – 4: The first few miles felt pretty easy.  Although I didn’t feel like I needed to walk at the mile markers, I decided to stick with my plan and walk for one minute after each mile.  I was feeling pretty good.  I liked how the intervals broke up the run and always gave me a break to look forward to (3 down, 10 to go).  We started at the Delaware Seashore State Park and headed north through Dewey Beach.


Miles 4 – 5: We made our way to Rehobeth Beach and ran along the boardwalk and then continued through the town of Rehobeth (we saw some beautiful houses).  Around mile 4, I was starting to feel like things weren’t going to stay quite as easy as they had been.  At my mile 5 walk break, I decided to eat half of my Stinger waffle. 

Miles 6 – 8: We headed into Gordons Pond Wild Life Area, which was a trail.  The trail had to accommodate runners going both directions, so it was a little narrow, but I didn’t really run into many problems where it was hard to pass.  I was very hot by this point of the race and I could really feel it on my walk breaks.  I thought about wrapping my jacket around my waist but I had my id and credit card in it and really didn’t want to take the extra time to rearrange.  Plus, I hate running with a jacket hanging from my waist.  I finished my Stinger waffle at some point around this time.

Miles 9 – 13.1: After a loop in the park, we headed back down to Rehobeth and crossed the boardwalk again and then headed back to the start via another loop.  I could tell the farthest I had run was 10 miles (and it had been a few weeks) because mile 10 – 13 were very hard for me.  Towards the end of mile 10, I decided to take an early walk break because there was a water stop and walked for .2 of a mile instead of only 1 minute.  I ended up walking again during mile 12 and again in 13.  I even took a quick walk break right around mile 13, even though the finish line was right around the corner.  I was spent! 


I finally made my way across the finish line and saw Gabby and my mom cheering me on. 


I finished in 2:16:51, which was a 10:27 average pace.  Definitely not a PR by a long shot, but I was happy with it, considering my lack of training.  Here are my splits according to my Garmin:

Mile 1 – 9:34

Mile 2 – 9:51

Mile 3 – 9:42

Mile 4 – 9:58

Mile 5 – 9:57

Mile 6 – 10:16

Mile 7 – 10:11

Mile 8 – 10:08

Mile 9 –10:24

Mile 10 – 10:27

Mile 11 – 10:46

Mile 12 – 11:56

Mile 13 – 10:49

Mile .27 – 10:44

I got my medal, my finisher’s trucker hat, and some water and reunited with my mom and Gabby.  Gabby did outstanding once again and placed in her age group.  Her age group prize will be mailed at a later date.  My mom also did amazing, especially considering she hasn’t been able to run as much lately and really didn’t know what to expect.  Congratulation to them!

My clothes were drenched with sweat so we went upstairs to grab my bag so I could at least change into my dry sweatshirt I had brought.  The finisher’s festival was really nice.  There was plenty of space both inside and outside on the beach.  They also provided a full buffet for the runners.  It included BBQ, chicken, pasta, salad, mac & cheese, rolls, and more.  The only drawback is that if you are not a runner, you have to pay to attend the buffet ($24.99 each, I believe).  This was okay for us this year, but if Makayla and Steven would have gone, we probably wouldn’t have attended.  We found a table and chairs inside and ate our lunch and then headed back out to the beach for a little while. 

After cleaning up, we headed back to the boardwalk for a little while.  It was a much nicer day than yesterday, although still a bit breezy.  I got some Thrashers fries and we headed down to the beach, although it was short lived because a flock of seagulls REALLY wanted my fries and chased me off of the beach, which Gabby and my mom thought was hilarious.  For some reason they don’t bother you on the boardwalk but as soon as you hit the beach, they attack!  After finishing our snacks, we did head back out to the beach for a few photo ops and then after a quick stop at the candy store, we were headed home.

I would definitely run this race again!  It’s definitely up there with my favorites and kind of reminded me of the Outer Banks Half Marathon.  I love all of the loot we got, I love the course, I love the small size of the race, and I love the town.  And I almost forgot to mention that you get free downloads of your race photos!  What a great bonus (those suckers can be expensive)!  If you are looking for a half marathon in the Spring on the East Coast, I would highly recommend this race.

March Recap

Sorry I’ve been missing in action so much lately!  Life has continued to fly by and I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last blogged!  On the fitness front, a few notable things have happened:

  • I signed up for my first half marathon of the year!!  I will be running the Coastal Delaware Half Marathon on April 23rd!  I’m excited and nervous!
  • I signed up for the Hospice 5k!  This is the race that started it all for me and also has a special meaning.  I am excited to run this race on Saturday.
  • Makayla joined me for a Body Pump class!  I was so excited, but unfortunately she did not enjoy it one bit.  I am still holding out hope that she will get bit with the exercise bug and want to join me.  It’s always more fun with friends and family.
  • I “successfully” completed long runs (7, 8, 9, and 10 miler) over the past several Sunday’s.  I had some serious doubt setting in before my 8 miler and ALMOST decided that I was done with long runs.  Then I had a solid run that felt pretty good and decided to keep on moving!  I was able to keep an average pace of 10:12 for the 8 miler and 10:15 for the 9 miler and that included multiple walk breaks.  Then for my 10 miler, I was able to meet up with Sam for 5 of my miles!  And while I was SO excited to have my running buddy back at my side for half of the race, I felt pretty crappy for a lot of the run.  I ended with a 10:39 pace and doubt started setting in again.
  • I am experiencing hip issues (again!).  This time, its my left hip and the symptoms are the same symptoms that I experienced a year and a half ago when I was diagnosed with hip bursitis.  This makes me extremely nervous to continue my training, but I’m so close to the race date, I don’t want to throw in the towel yet.  I have been cutting out some shorter runs and replacing them with other cardio (bike, elliptical) and I think I’m going to skip my long run this weekend.  Again, going to see how I feel.  I have the hospice 5k on Saturday so I am going to wait and see how my hip feels on Saturday night.  I have also started doing some of the exercises that I learned in rehab.

Below are my March totals:

Running: 59.2 Miles

Body Pump: 5 Classes

I am considering going back on the Tone It Up nutrition plan that I did last year, or at least some variation of it.  I remember that it was really time-consuming and I didn’t *love* all of the food, but there were definitely plenty of good recipes as well.  I’d like to start incorporating some of those ideas into my diet again.  They focus on natural foods and also eating 5 smaller meals a day.  It worked for me last year so why not give it another go?  I just have to get in the right mindset.


Hopefully my next blog update will be telling you all about how great the Hospice 5k went and how great my hip is feeling!  Stay tuned…




St. Pat’s 10k Race Recap – 03/05/17

Gabby and I completed our first race of 2017!!!  And BRRRRRRRRR…it was a cold one!  I raced both the 5k and the 10k last year (recap here) so I already knew that I enjoyed this race, but it was very cold last year so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run it again.  I decided to keep an eye on the weather and sign up at the last minute based on the forecast.  Screenshot_20170303-202012Well…I waited until March 1st and the forecast was saying it would be in the 50’s!  Great!!  I talked to Gabby and she said she wanted to run it as well so I went ahead and signed us up.  Lo and Behold…the forecast changed over the next couple of days (our weather has been very unpredictable lately) and we were in for a very cold morning!! 

Gabby and I made sure we had some warm clothes (trying to find as much green as possible) and laid everything out the day before to ensure a smooth race morning.  We hadn’t participated in a race since December, so I was a little paranoid that I was forgetting something. 

We got up bright and early in the morning and hit the road by 6:00. 

The race didn’t start until 9:00, but I wanted to ensure we had plenty of time to find parking and pick up our packets.  Gabby read some of her Ronda Rousey book on the way up the road and I think that helped to motivate her.  We were there with plenty of time to spare so we decided to hang out in the van for a little while.  We were trying to avoid the cold for as long as possible!

We finally decided to head towards the starting area to hit the port a pots and pick up our bibs.  After getting our bibs pinned on (difficult to do with numb fingers), we took some fun photos/videos (can you tell the Ronda Rousey book motivated Gabby?).  

Next, we went over to the starting area to watch the start of the 5k (8:15 start time).  This race is pet friendly so it was fun seeing all the dogs.  We hung out for a while longer and talked about where we would meet back up if we got separated and then I decided to go ahead and check my coat.  Gabby was going to check hers but decided it was too cold so she kept it on.  Finally it was time for us to head to the starting line.  We lined up right around the 10:00/mile corral. 


Time to run!!  I decided not to bring my earbuds since I figured I would be running with Gabby.  The first half a mile or so was a little crowded but we were easily able to run side by side.  Before we hit mile marker one, Gabby was warmed up and ready to come out of her jacket so she took it off and wrapped it around her waist.  The first couple of miles took us beyond the Lincoln Memorial and just past the Kennedy Center before turning around.  20170305_150308I looked at my Garmin and realized we had completed mile 2 in 9:08, which is a little fast for me.  I remember telling Gabby that I needed to slow down a bit but that she could keep going.  We headed back towards the Jefferson Memorial and then made an extra loop down Independence Avenue.  I could see Gabby just ahead of me.  Occasionally, she would take a quick walk break and I would catch up to her.  I kept her in my sights until just beyond mile 5.5.  She said she was heading towards the finish line when the announcer was saying that if you had a goal to finish the 10k in under an hour you had a minute left, and he kept counting it down from there.  She told me she really gave it her all for her last .10 of a mile!!  I could heard the announcer saying the same thing so I wasn’t too far behind her, but I knew I was going to just barely miss the 1 hour mark.  I finished my race and saw Gabby off to the side!  She beat me by 1 minute and 26 seconds.  That girl is amazing!

We got our finishers medals, water, and another picture before heading over to grab my coat and wait for the awards.  I was curious to see if Gabby would place in the race.  We didn’t see many other younger kids in the 10k so I thought she might have a chance.


She did it!!  She placed 2nd in her age group (F11-14).  I was so happy for her! 

Her official time was 58:59 (9:30 min pace) and my official time was 1:00:25 (9:44 min pace).  Below are my splits according to my Garmin watch (GPS was a little off making my time a little faster than official time):

Mile 1 – 9:25

Mile 2 – 9:08

Mile 3 – 9:35

Mile 4 – 9:37

Mile 5 – 9:49

Mile 6 – 9:48

Mile 6.32 – 9:25

We originally contemplated walking around DC for the day, but we just wanted to get out of the cold so we headed home.  20170305_113431Gabby slept most of the way home.  We stopped at Panera Bread for lunch and were home by early afternoon. 

I love that Pacers gives you free photos of the event!  They have posted some of them already, but I am very anxious to see the rest.  I also love the size and route of this race and would definitely do it again.  If only Mother Nature could turn up the heat a little bit for us in the future!

Recent Workout Highlights

Hi there!  I hope you all are having a good weekend!  Our weather continues to be all over the place.  This weekend has been so cold!  I’ll be so glad when the weather is consistently warmer, but it looks like we have a cold week ahead of us.  I just want to be inside my warm, cozy house when its cold outside. 

Below is my workout recap:

Wed, Mar 1st – Rest Day

Thurs, Mar 2nd – 3.5 Treadmill miles total.  20170302_060153I’ve been struggling with finding time to fit everything into my schedule again.  I have not been able to take a lunch at work recently because I am not able to get in until 7:30 (Makayla’s school is out of district so it adds a bit of time in the morning for me to get her to the transfer location, but that’s a whole different story).  Anyway, I decided that maybe I can become a morning runner.  We do have treadmill in our basement and although I really am not fond of it, it will do in a pinch.  So believe it or not, I actually got up and got some miles in before work.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time so I was only able to get 2.5 miles in before work (10:23 pace).  Those miles were a STRUGGLE!  I’m not sure if it was because I was still sleepy or because the house was so hot, but I had a hard time getting through the miles.  Then I still had one more mile to complete after work.  Since I knew I only had a mile to go, I was able to run a little faster (9:09 pace).

Phewww…I barely made it out of that run alive!

Fri, Mar 3rd – Rest Day

Sat, Mar 4th – Body Pump with Sam!  I was very excited to have my workout partner back!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture but I’m hoping we are able to work out together regularly again.  It helps so much to have a workout buddy.  Finding someone who has a similar schedule is tough.

Sun, Mar 5th – St. Pats Day 10k.  Gabby and I ran the Pacers St. Pats Day 10k in Washington DC (race recap coming soon).  Spoiler Alert – Gabby took 2nd place in her age group!!  Woot Woot!


Mon, Mar 6th – Rest Day

Tues, Mar 7th – 4.5 treadmill miles (9:43 pace)

Wed, Mar 8th – Body Pump again with Sam!  It’s a challenging release but I’m already feeling stronger than I was just 2 months ago.

Thurs, Mar 9th – Rest Day.  I usually run on Thursdays, but on weeks when I have off on Friday’s, I’m known to push my run to Friday instead since I have the whole day.  Instead, Sam and I met up for dinner and a drink.  Exercise isn’t the only form of stress relief 😉

Fri, Mar 10th – 4 treadmill miles (9:25 pace).  I get so bored on the treadmill so I found an interval plan that had me sprinting.  I was unable to complete the entire 4 miles based on the plan, but I was still happy with my pace.  It was tough though!!

Sat, Mar 11th – I wasn’t able to attend Body Pump today because I was busy watching Gabby compete in the Maryland Junior Championship Short Course Meet!!  She qualified in 8 different events and was also signed up for two relays!!  She swam 5 events today, and still has to swim 5 events tomorrow.  I’m currently debating about going to the gym to get some sort of strength workout in.  Anything other than the treadmill at the gym is intimidating to me though.  I have some old videos that I could complete at home if I don’t work up the nerve to go to the gym.  I’m hoping to fit something in.  If not, I’ll make sure to take body pump on Monday to make up for today.

I have 7 miles on the schedule tomorrow that I’m a little nervous about.  With the time change and the early morning swim meet, I’m going to be exhausted by the time we get home in the afternoon.  The last time I ran more than 6.2 miles was back in October so we’ll see how it goes.

I still haven’t gotten a handle on my nutrition just yet and that plays such a bigger role in weight management than working out does.  I generally make pretty decent choices during the week and then when the weekends come…anything goes!  I have no self-control!   I’ve considered posting my “My Fitness Pal” summaries on my blog.  Knowing that I’m going to share my food choices with the world (okay…more like my 10 followers) might inspire me to make better choices.  Stay tuned to see if I follow through with that idea!

I hope you all have a good weekend!  Stay warm!