All posts by bondskv

6 weeks till Philly!

T minus 6 weeks until go time!!  I’m feeling pretty okay.  This week’s schedule didn’t go exactly as planned.  Ah…life happens!  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Mon, Feb 4: OFF DAY
  • Tues, Feb 5: 4 treadmill miles (9:15 pace)
  • Wed, Feb 6: strength workout
  • Thurs, Feb 7: 3.5 treadmill miles (9:03 pace)
  • Fri, Feb 8: yoga (youtube in my living room)
  • Sat, Feb 9: strength workout
  • Sun, Feb 10: 6.5 outdoor miles (9:50 pace)
  • Mon, Feb 11: OFF DAY
  • Tues, Feb 12: strength
  • Wed, Feb 13: SICK – OFF
  • Thurs, Feb 14: OFF DAY (Still not feeling 100% + Valentine Heart Shaped Pancakes trump a workout)
  • Fri, Feb 15: 4 treadmill miles (9:23 pace)
  • Sat, Feb 16: – strength
  • Sun, Feb 17: OFF DAY
  • Mon, Feb 18: 7 outdoor miles (11:05 pace) 

I had originally rearranged my normal Tues/Thurs/Sun run days this past week because I thought I had a conflict on Tuesday evening.  It turned out that the Tuesday event was rescheduled so I *could* have gotten my run in, but I decided to just go with it and stick to Wed/Fri/Sun run.  Well…that backfired a little when I ended up coming home from work with a fever, body aches, and chills on Wednesday.  I was not feeling well at all and went straight to bed so no workout!  Thursday, I *could* have gone for a run but I opted to take another day off to eat Valentine’s day heart-shaped pancakes and rest instead.  Friday, I finally made it back to the gym.  It was tough.  I still have a nasty cough going on so I was just happy to be able to complete 4 miles!  

Sunday’s plan was to complete my long run with Sam.  Unfortunately, she has been having some issues with her feet so she wanted to push it to Monday since we were both going to be off anyway.  I was totally fine with that.  So, fast forward to Monday and we were on the hook for our long run.  Unfortunately, her issue with her feet going numb continued as we settled into the run.  She adjusted her shoelaces several times and we took some walk breaks, but nothing was really helping.  Finally, around 4.75 mile, Sam decided she was going to have to walk back home.  We decided to split at that point and I continued on to complete my 7 miles.  I’m happy to say that Sam got a ride back home, swapped out her shoes, and was able to finish her long run without numb feet!  We are hoping it’s just the new shoes that are causing the issues and she’ll be back to normal by her next run.  On a side note, I bought a pair of Brooks Levitate 2’s in January and am loving them so far!  Hopefully as my mileage increases, I will continue to love them just as much!

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 My run felt pretty good.  The wind was a little strong on our way back up 235 so that part was tough, but otherwise I can’t really complain.  Starting next week, the mileage will increase by one full mile each Sunday.  I’m hoping to run much of the mileage with Sam.  Having a friend to chat with on a long run makes all the difference! 

6 weeks to go!  I’ll check in every 2 weeks up until the race and then hopefully have an exciting race recap.  Bring on Philly!

Running update

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, y’all!!  I thought I’d update you on my running progress since my last blog update.  I’ve been trying to push myself to run at an uncomfortable pace during the weeks on my shorter runs and then upping my total mileage on Sundays.

  • Mon, Jan 21: Strength workout
  • Tues, Jan 22: 3.5 treadmill miles (9:33 pace)
  • Wed, Jan 23: Strength workout
  • Thurs, Jan 24: 3.5 treadmill miles (9:24 pace)
  • Fri, Jan 25: OFF DAY
  • Sat, Jan 26: Strength workout
  • Sun, Jan 27: 5.5 treadmill miles (9:50 pace)
  • Mon, Jan 28: Strength workout
  • Tues, Jan 29: 4 treadmill miles (9:32 pace)
  • Wed, Jan 30: Strength workout
  • Thurs, Jan 31: 3.5 treadmill miles (9:18 pace)
  • Fri, Feb 1: OFF DAY
  • Sat, Feb 2: Strength workout
  • Sun, Feb 3: 6 outdoor miles (10:21 pace)

Today, I ran outside with Sam which is so different than running on a treadmill.  I generally prefer running outside, but it does take me a while to get used to it once I’ve gotten used to the treadmill.  I always forget how to dress appropriately for the weather.  I have read to dress like its 20 degrees warmer, but I inevitably start doubting myself and overthinking everything.  I settled on long pants, a lightweight long sleeve shirt, and a thin headband to keep my ears warm.  This worked pretty well, although I could have worn capris.  I also struggle with which hydration option to go with.  I have a handheld, but it leaks sometimes.  I have a camelbak, but it’s a little heavy and I really don’t need that much water for 6 miles.  I have a fuel belt that has 2 small water bottles, which is what I decided on for today.  Then you have to remember sunglasses and I like to have chapstick as well.  My point in telling you all this is that outside running requires a lot more thinking/planning.  At least it does for me!   But I really enjoyed getting outside and I think it’s important to get outside as soon as possible if you are planning for a race because obviously the race is going to be outside!

Today’s run felt surprisingly good.  Sam is trying a slightly different plan than I am this time around so she had to run 8 today.  We decided to start together and then pass by our neighborhood at 6 miles so I could stop and she kept going for 2 more.  I felt pretty strong…especially the first 4 miles.  The last 2 were a little tougher, but still not bad at all.  We had talked about running between a 10:20 and 10:30 pace so we did a pretty good job.  The only problem I had was chaffing!  I have some new sports bras and I have been chaffing pretty bad in the same spot.  I made sure to put some body glide on before I left, but I should have completely covered it.  I got home and realized I had chaffed so bad that I had been bleeding all over my new white sports bra!  That’s no fun!

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I’m feeling pretty good so I think I am going to go ahead and sign up for the Philly Love Run Half Marathon at the end of March!  Eeek!  I hope it’s not freezing.  The course is pretty flat and I’ve read some positive race reviews so I’m excited!  8 weeks to go…

One last note…I’ve been trying to come up with a music playlist for the race and have some ideas but would love to hear your suggestions!  I like to think I listen to a wide variety of music so any recommendations are appreciated.  I spent my last 2 gym strength sessions listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival & John Cougar Mellencamp’s greatest hits, but I usually run to something a little more fast-paced.  Think Missy Elliott and Beyonce (‘Get me Bodied’ is a favorite…I think it stems from a Zumba class I used to take).  Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my 80’s dance flicks so I have to throw in ‘Footloose’ and ‘Maniac’.   I have also taken a liking to some songs that were played in BodyPump & BodyCombat over the years.  Building a playlist that will keep me pumped for over 2 hours is tough!   Please leave a comment below and suggest a song or two that motivates you!

 

 

Busch Gardens Christmas Town 8k Recap

My family has fallen in love with the Christmas Town 8k at Busch Gardens.  Each year, we seem to have a bigger family turnout.  This year, my mother-in-law (Judi), cousin & his wife (Paul & Missy), and my sister’s stepdaughter (Olivia) joined us.  My mom, sister, brother-in-law, brother, brother’s girlfriend, and of course my whole family also returned to run the race.

Steven, Makayla, Gabby, Judi, and I headed to Williamsburg on Saturday to pick up our race packets and Busch Gardens tickets.  After picking up our packets, we checked into our hotel and then headed to the park.  It was chilly with a chance of rain in the evening.  We rode some rides, got some dinner while watching a show, walked around, and sat down for the outdoor ice skating show just as the rain started :/  It was cold and wet but we had umbrellas/ponchos so we decided to stay and watch it.  Afterwards, we caught an indoor production of Scrooge and then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

Sunday morning was uncharacteristically warm for December (61 degrees was the high for the day!).  My mom had crocheted us some really cute Santa wrist warmer gloves and we still had our ponytail hats from last year, but it was just too warm for me to wear them during the run.  I did wear them afterwards and some chose to wear them during the race.  I hate being too hot during a race but I know I’ll get to wear them in the future.

After getting to the park and meeting up with the rest of our family for some quick pictures, we got to watch the little kids run their fun run! It’s always so stinking cute.  Then we wished each other well and lined up in our corrals.  The girls and I waited in the 2nd corral while Steven seeded himself at the back of the first corral.

Go time!  The girls and I started together but quickly settled into our own comfortable paces.  The first and last mile and a half or so are pretty boring as they are in the parking lot.  They do have a lot of direction changes, which isn’t great for running but it is nice to get to see some other runners you know as you pass them in opposite directions throughout the run.  The park itself is a very scenic run and I especially love running across the bridge that is lined with Marines on either side, giving their support. 

 

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I passed Gabby towards the end of the race and knew I was about half a mile behind her.
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When I finished, Steven and Gabby had already completed the race and were making their way back to the finish line to cheer everyone on.  I joined them and we had a blast cheering at the finish line.  Hot chocolate along with some chocolate samples are given out at the end of the race, along with the usual waters, pretzels, bananas, etc.

Congratulations to Judi on her first 8k!  She had been iffy about walking it because of a foot injury, but she was feeling good on race morning and decided to go for it and she did great!

After everyone was done, we grabbed a few photos and checked our finish times.  Gabby got 3rd place in her age group – woot woot!

Our official times:

Steven – 44:15 / 8:55 pace

Gabby – 45:30.71 / 9:09 pace

Kim – 50:31.36 / 10:10 pace

Makayla – 55:37.27 / 11:11 pace

Just as a side note, 8k is just under 5 miles.  According to my GPS, I ended up running 5.29 miles.  I think my GPS may have been a bit off and in addition to that, the course had a lot of twists and turns and I did not run the tangents. There are some great youtube videos that explain this well if you are interested in learning more information.  I was a little bummed because I did feel like I was running faster than a 10:10 pace.  Based on the mileage that my GPS logged (5.29 miles), my pace would have been 9:34.  I just ran a lot more than I needed to and my total official time is based off of 8k.  I need to be more mindful of running tangents in the future.

We headed back to the hotel to clean ourselves up, grabbed some lunch, and then headed home.

I love this race and hope to continue racing it every year.  The race swag alone is worth the cost of registration (reduced price ticket to Christmas Town, FREE ticket to Busch Gardens for the following spring, race t-shirt, and race medal for each participant).  As a bonus, I was finally able to fulfill my wish of the family wearing matching PJs on Christmas morning because we used our race shirts 🙂dsc_0295

 

Hello Again!

I’m bacckkkkk!  If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  I guess part of the reason for that is because I didn’t really have any exciting runs or races to share.  In fact, I only ran 4 races in 2018.  For perspective, I completed 14 races in 2014 when the race bug first hit, 15 races in both 2015 and 2016, and 8 races in 2017.  Surprisingly, I did manage to log a few more miles in 2018 than I did in 2017.  Much of that mileage was in preparation for the Shamrock marathon (recap here) that I completed back in March.  Since then, I continued running lower mileage on and off throughout the year and finished with a total of 427 miles for the year.

Other than random mileage here and there, I did run the Busch Gardens Christmastown 8k since my last update.  This was my 3rd year racing it.  I love that this has become a family event and each year we have a few extras join us.  I’ll cover more of that in a separate race recap post, hopefully soon.

I was hit and miss with strength training throughout the year.  I stopped going to Body Pump at the gym, but did sometimes do my own version at home with hand weights (Kimbo Pump, as I like to call it).  Unfortunately, our gym closed its doors at the end of November and we were forced to join another gym.  Ultimately, we decided on Planet Fitness and we are still adjusting to it.  I don’t like that there are no group classes and I find myself missing body pump (even though I hadn’t taken it in a while I’ve always ended up going back to it over the years).  Of course the gym has been super crowded.  I don’t think I’m the only one who over indulged a bit in December and gained a few (or 10) pounds.  Ughh…weight comes on so easily and then takes so long to shed.  But I’m a sucker for cookie dough and oreo balls so I think it was worth it ;o) 

Steven and Makayla have a membership as well so we try to go together a few days a week.  Gabby doesn’t usually have time to go because of swim but she managed to squeeze in a stretch/walk session with us once.  Sam is also a member so we try to help motivate each other.

 

On the food front…I’ve been scouring the web for healthy recipes and have found a few that look promising.  I found a delicious salad on Skinnytaste that I will definitely be making again.  I am not great in the kitchen so it took me FOREVER to prep the salad.  In the future, I think I’ll sprinkle the cranberries, almonds, and cheese (maybe feta) rather than rolling individual goat cheese balls into crushed almonds and cranberries.

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As for my 2019 plan, I am still trying to decide which race I want to do next.  Sam and I would like to run another half marathon together in the spring but our schedules are crazy so it’s been hard to nail down the exact race.  We considered running Shamrock again but are kind of itching to run something different.  We were thinking about the Charlottesville, VA half marathon.  The date seemed perfect…Saturday race with the Friday off before would have been great.  But…she realized that it is prom weekend for our girls so we had to throw that one out.  Right now, we are thinking about the Love Run in Philly.  We are going to try to make a final decision by the end of the month.  This race also offers a 7k so it would be nice for other family to join us if they are interested!

P.S. Sorry about the quality of my photos.  I will be trying to step up my pictures game in the future.

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 oz. 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 an 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.

Screenshot_20170430-104455

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.

Screenshot_20170430-104459

 

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 😉