Girls on the Run 5k Race Recap 11/24/19

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Girls on the Run (also known as GOTR) is an awesome nonprofit that helps train young girls to run a 5k, but more importantly, also helps them with their self esteem. The lovely Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner runs one of these groups, by the way.

This was my third time running this 5k (not in consecutive years) and it’s always been kind to me. In fact, it’s my “real” 5k PR. I say real because technically I have one a few seconds faster, but I also know that course was short. Like at least a quarter mile short.

Love the color; not so much the 100% Cotton

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was Friday night at our local Fleet Feet, from 4-7. The locals know how crazy busy that road gets on a Friday afternoon, but I knew it would make my life simpler not having to go back and forth to my car on Saturday.

I ran some errands in the vicinity and got there just a tad before 4, and they were enthusiastic, all set up, and ready to go. I had signed up on Wednesday, so they had to make me a packet, but it was quick and easy.

Not a lot of swag: some True Lemon drink samples and a lip balm. I actually used on of the True Lemon samples last week. The 100% cotton tee was a pretty teal color — of course I prefer a tech fabric, but sometimes in the winter I like to wear cotton tees under a sweater to keep warm.

The river is why I love this path

Getting There & Hanging Out
Since I had picked up my bib the night before and was going solo, I didn’t feel the need to get there super early: only an hour before, LOL. I parked in the Riverfront parking garage, which is free on weekends, and a short walk over a bridge to the race start.

We run in this area frequently, and it’s actually one of my favorite areas to run (but only in a group, as there have been several attacks there), so I knew where other free parking was, but I was unsure how far from the start the alternative parking lots were. Note to self: only a quarter of a mile.

I stayed in the car and meditated a bit. I had a really good feeling about this race. It was sunny, but still cold out. Eventually I got out and used a portapotty, walked around a bit (asking a stranger to take my photo), and then did my warmup.

I almost went back to the car to get my slightly heavier jacket, as my teeth were literally chattering as I walked over to the race start — but in the end, after I warmed up, I was fine.

Loving the Skirt Sports High Waist 7/8 Tights!

The weather & dressing
The weather was on the chilly side, but really, it was pretty darn nice. Partially sunny. Wind not too bad. 36F (which passes for warm this time of year here).

I chose Skirt Sports Wonder Wool Long Sleeve , Light-ish Jacket, and High Rise 7/8 Tight. (Skirt Sports Ambassador). I had light convertible gloves on as I walked around and did my warm up, but by the first half mile or so my hands were warm and I put them in my pockets. Newton Motion on the feet.

I might have been okay with a Watch Me Go Top instead of the Wonder Wool, but all in all, I was happy with this outfit.

I lined up close to the start to try & avoid too many girls (they can stop suddenly in front of you!)

My Race Plan
I put a little thought into how to handle this race. Yes, I wanted to run hard and chase that PR (this race being my 5k PR, after all, and flat, too!). I haven’t been training super hard, of course, and I slept horribly the night before.

I always knew it would be run in positive splits, and I was okay with that.

  • A Goal: PR
  • B Goal: How fast can I comfortably run that first mile and what could I hang onto after that?
  • C Goal: Run Naked
  • D Goal: Finish with a smile on my face feeling good

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 9:49. My Garmin Vivoactive 3 can be wonky on the first mile. If I just go by what it says, sometimes I’ve slowed down thinking I was running too fast — and I wasn’t. So I just wanted to go comfortably hard. I think that’s the fastest mile I’ve ever run in a race, so mission accomplished. Obviously I decided against the run naked goal.
  2. Mile 2: 10:13. I knew this mile would be slower. I don’t walk at all the first mile, so the second, when I take a short walk break to drink some water, is always slower.
  3. Mile 3: 10:31. I wish I could’ve held on to mile 2’s pace. Even just a tiny bit slower would have snagged me that PR.
  4. Last .10: 9:44. A sprint to the finish. Yes, indeed, finished with a smile and feeling good (well, feeling spent when I crossed the finish line but overall happy with the race after I caught my breath).

31:31 — Official Time
10:09 Average Pace
33 out of 159 (remember, lots of young girls!)
1 out of 6 F55-59

2016: 31:28, 10:08 Average Pace
2015: 31:37, 10:11 Average Pace

The official time is Gun Time (man, I hate when they do that). Net time was 31:27 (which would have been a 1 second PR, LOL!).

There was some ice on the course in several different spots, and I chose to slow to a walk over those spots. I’m quite sure I could have eeked out those few extra seconds for a PR had the course been ice-free, but you do what you do and if it’s not an actual PR, it’s not. No whining. I am very happy with this race.

Don’t get too excited about the fact that I was first in  my AG (whether you did 5 or 10 year AGs), because this isn’t a race that draws the speedsters. This race is about the girls, and a lot of people don’t enjoy dodging around them. Oddly enough, almost all my fastest 5ks have been ones that are geared to girls.

Was the race well run?
The race started exactly on time and miracle of miracles, my Garmin showed it was also exactly 3.10 miles. There was a warm up (geared to the girls) before the start. It’s a simple out and back on a narrow path, and yet there are plenty of course marshals to cheer the girls (and adults) on.

The swag and the after race refreshments were underwhelming, but at least there was something, and it’s a good cause.

Final Thoughts
Was it a PR, or wasn’t it? I guess it wasn’t. So tantalizingly close. Much like my recent 15k, I think it could have been without the icy spots, but there’s no prize for could-have-beens (or PRs, for that fact).

There might still be a couple of 5ks in the next few weeks. One is strictly a fun run. The other depends on weather, again. PR or not, I am so, so pleased with this race. I have been running roughly 11 years now. I don’t think my PR days are behind me, not yet, although you never know.

Are PRs important to me? Yes and no. Running is still about challenging myself, being the best version of me under the circumstances given to me on race day. Some day inevitably I will slow down and my PR days will be behind me. I’ll keep running, as long as I’m able to. Maybe I’ll race less. Maybe I’ll run less in general. As long as my body can run, though, I will run.

This race is for a good cause: using running to help young girls feel better about themselves. I wish I’d been exposed to something like this as a young girl, although chances are I would have hated it. I encourage you to see if there’s a chapter near you here.

There are definitely days I wish it hadn’t taken me until my mid 40s to find my inner athlete, although on the other hand, there are days I’m thankful that I started so late, because running may be good for our bodies, but it also is hard on them.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Night Out for You Harvest Hustle 5k Race Recap 10/26/19

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This was yet another new-to-me 5k, but we train at this park for the Freihofers Training Challenge — which is how I knew the race director lied when she said it’s a flat and fast race. In fact, if you just did Mowhawk Hudson here, you know that there’s a fairly steep hill in the beginning.

It’s a good cause (like Make a Wish for adults) and also quite close to where I live, so I decided to do it and then add miles afterwards.

Unisex long sleeve tech tee

Getting There & Hanging Out
I got there quite early, since I hadn’t registered — which was very easy, and they took credit cards, too. You get a unisex long sleeve tech short — I know a lot of people don’t get the long sleeves that often, but I have a ton of them now. I like to sleep in them, though, so it’s all good.

I used the real bathrooms three times before the race (yeah, I got there that early). Once for every glass of liquid I’d drunk before the race.

The finish line was being set up where registration was. The start line was down the hill, though, but no one actually seemed to know for sure (including the volunteers). Knowing where the race started, though, I knew that we’d be going uphill when it started. Good to know.

I didn’t know a soul at this race, but I chatted with a few women and got someone to take my photo.

Probably would have been fine without the vest but it didn’t really hinder me either

The weather & dressing
It was again a beautiful day with ideal weather. The park is pretty shady, though, and quite chilly even with the late race start (9:30 am).

I chose Skirt Sports Skirt Sports Wonder Wool Tee , Toasty Girl Vest, and Charmed Triple Pocket Leggings. I definitely got a bit too warm in the vest, and wish I’d worn the windbreaker I’d brought with me instead — but I don’t think that it effected my race. I might even have been fine with just the short sleeved wool top, but oh well.

Still some foliage hanging on

My Race Plan
I’ve been running pretty well; have had some really great runs lately. It had also been a very stressful week on the family front, and I’d spent Thursday going back and forth to my mom, rehab, back to my mom’s apartment, then home. I also knew the race wouldn’t be flat and fast. No plan, do my best.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:23. Despite the big hill, and the small hill on wet grass to get to the bike path, somehow I had a strong first mile. Elevation gain: 79 ft, loss: 7 ft.
  2. Mile 2: 11:12. Mile two is actually flat. Why the big slow down? No idea. Maybe too fast the first mile? Elevation gain: 7 ft, loss: 20 feet. I must’ve been recovering from the first mile, that’s all I can figure — I should have done better this mile! Even just 30 seconds faster –which should have been doable — would have snagged me a PR. Oh well.
  3. Mile 3: 10:14. I guess I’d recovered by mile 3. There was a great downhill to the finish. Elevation gain: 13 ft, loss: 49 ft.
  4. Last .07: 9:30. Gotta love a downhill finish, although the race was just slightly short. Elevation loss: 16 ft.

32:32 — Official Time
10:29 Average Pace
24 out of 57
2 out of 8 F55-59

Yup, I placed second in my AG; of course there were no AG awards. The woman who was first in my AG was a good 5 minutes faster. It’s a tiny race and attracts more people supporting the cause than the speedsters.

I was stuck at about the same finish time for many years when it came to the half. Then I had the year of 4 half PRs. I’ve been stuck at the same finish time for 5ks for quite some time, while still managing to PR sometimes in longer distances. My 5k PR is from about 4 years ago, but I don’t run a lot of 5ks, I don’t train to run 5ks, and let’s face it — 5ks are hard!

While clearly marked, no one seemed quite sure if this was really the start line (it was)

Was the race well run?
Where to park, where to start — all was a bit confusing. I know the park fairly well so I did know where to park — the bonus being since the finish was in a different place than the start, I didn’t have to drive through runners to get out of the park.

Kicking back with old school chip timing

OTOH, volunteers were very enthusiastic. I was handed a bottle of water as soon as I crossed the finish line. It’s chip timed, although the old school chips on your sneakers.

A nice spread for a small race

The post race spread was actually quite nice:

  • Donuts, including cider and chocolate glazed — you know what I chose!
  • Bananas
  • Apple Cider
  • A women from Power Surge Protein Nut Butters (they are awesome, btw — so much so they’re a little dangerous) with a bunch of flavors to sample on pretzels.
Cookie Dough is my favorite
Tshirt from my radio station, 99.5: Fake News Real Music

The radio station I listen to was there and I snagged a free tshirt from them, as well. I’d like to see a course map on the Website. That would be super helpful!

Final Thoughts
Another really small, low key 5k at a park that is close to my house. Even though the elevation gain/loss doesn’t look bad on paper, it is a little challenging; not so much flat & fast the first mile. Most of all, though, it raises money for a good cause (and did I mention it’s close to my house?).

I would definitely recommend it and if the circumstances are right, I would run it again.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Lawson Lake Trail 5k Race Recap 10/14/19

I know, I know — I just ran a 10k a couple of days before this “race”. I use the term race loosely. Trail runs/races just tend to be fun runs for me. That’s the attitude I went into this with. A gorgeous weekend, a lake, trails, friends. What could go wrong?

This fire felt great while we waited to start!

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our bibs the day of the race with no issues. It’s basically a club run, although there are bibs and timing chips — but no tee (no problem!) and no swag. Unless you’re one of the overall winners, then you get a free entry to the trail race of your choice in 2020.

I picked up Darlene @ Myfirst5kon my way there, and we got there early, which was a good thing because the one parking lot open was tiny.

We ran around this area twice at the start and once towards the end

There are two races (which start together): a 5k and a 5 miler. This was only the second year the event has been offered.

Ok, so light capris are not so flattering (but they were comfortable)

The weather & dressing
Another beautiful day to run with low wind and temps in the 50s. I wore my Skirt Sports Blue Deco Watch Me Go Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris with the Toasty Girl Vest. The Blue Deco top is very lightweight, and I knew a lot of the run would be in the woods, and hence shady and cool. I did get warm, but I’m also glad I kept the vest on.

Am I on the right path? Have I missed a turn?

My Race Plan
Again no race plan — run where I can, walk where it was steep or rocky or lots of roots. I didn’t think about the carpeting of leaves, and that certainly came into play.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:12. Slight downs & ups while we looped around the parking lot with views of the lake — twice. The road here was unpaved with a smattering of gravel, but it wasn’t a true trail for most of the first mile so I was able to keep a decent pace.
  2. Mile 2: 18:23. The fun began in mile two. About halfway through the race I found myself basically alone. Darlene and Running Buddy J were walking, and were behind me for a while here, but I’d lost almost all the rest of the runners. The leaves were deep, there were many roots and rocks, and I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way . . . often. There was a lot of walking. A lot of walking. I’ve never “run” a trail so slowly, LOL!
  3. Mile 3: 15:50. They had told us that we would go up a “small uphill” right before the downhill finish. Small my a$$. Okay, maybe to some runners it would be small — it was pretty darn steep in my opinion and just cruel at the end!
  4. Last .06: 12:40. It was, at least, downhill to the finish, and I’ve never met a downhill I didn’t love.

46:53 — Official Time
15:06 Average Pace
4 out of 5 in F55-59
40 out of 47 Runners

They were gonna walk (well, they mostly did). The final downhill to the finish.

I get a giggle that the runners who finished before and after me are from the same town as me — and both are 20 years younger than me. My first trail 5k, which was in the summer, was about 4 minutes faster, and one I ran earlier this year was a whopping 10 minutes faster. Both of them were in the summer, so no carpet of leaves to contend with.

Why do race directors always put a hill right before the end?

Was the race well run?
The race was well marked, although there were long stretches without flags that seriously had me wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. I told everyone I really counted it as a victory that I didn’t get lost. There were a few course marshals here and there, too, but I appreciate that that is very difficult on trail races.

We thought there were pies in here . . .

I personally didn’t need the medal at the end, although it’s a nice touch, as was the cider donuts. We’d all seen the boxes, but thought they were pies for AG awards (there were no AG awards, not that that mattered for me) — indeed they were cider donuts and plenty of them, although they were really cold so not terribly enticing to me. That half in the box is from me.

What I really wanted? Water! Again, I understand that everything had to be hauled up there. There was an empty gallon jug of water by the food. Had there been water somewhere else? I’d left the water bottle I brought with me in the car.

There were burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers (two, which Running Buddy J and I snagged), and chips for post race food. Not terribly exciting. This was not a potluck — too bad, I think a potluck would have been much more fun!

Positives:

  1. Another pretty park.
  2. Chip timing.
  3. Free lunch post race.
  4. Running with friends.
  5. A medal — I don’t need it for a simple 5k, but I’m sure others enjoyed it.
  6. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. A challenging course, especially with the deep carpet of leaves.
  2. More flags on the course, please!
  3. More water post race, too, please!
  4. Small parking lot.

What I learned
I’m really not sure I’d do this race again. Maybe I was just in a mood? My friends enjoyed it. It wasn’t expensive. Perhaps if I hadn’t been as anxious about getting lost I would have enjoyed it more. Or if I’d been running with a friend. I spent almost the entire second half of the race pretty much alone — worried that I’d missed a turn somewhere, and would never be found as there was no cell phone service out there. Although maybe Darlene wold have wondered where her ride was.
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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19

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Our group was slightly smaller than in past years, with Darlene @ Myfirst5kresting up for her 20 miler the next day (7 + a Half), and another running friend not able to make it. About evenly split between 5kers and 10kers.

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. They changed the tee design (which we all like) just slightly, and we all still liked it. Warned that they are a men’s style, I got a small — it was still rather large on me but better large than small I say.

We got there early enough to park by the pavilion that the race is held at, so we were able to go back and forth to the car frequently. The real bathrooms are always a plus and oddly never super crowded.

Cool It Long Sleeve under the fleece (which I took off for the race); as you can see it was a bit cool before we started but warmed up quickly!

The weather & dressing
It was pretty much perfection this year, in the low to mid 50s, with almost no wind at all.

I wore my Skirt Sports Cool It Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris. It was cold when we left, but I knew it would be warming up. I have to say I wish I’d worn a skirt instead of the capris, but I actually like not having to reach underneath my skirt to get at my water bottles, too.

The Cool It Long Sleeve actually works great in the Fall transitional weather — keeping you mostly covered can keep you warm before you start, but also still help you stay somewhat cool as you warm up during the race. Go figure.

Even the course marshals get into the holiday spirit. They warned us not to lose our heads.

My Race Plan
Nope, no race plan. No expectations, either. Running has been squeezed in when I can lately, and speed work has been pretty much non existent. I have run a few times at my mom’s, though, which is super hilly — as is the second portion of this 10k.

I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm every mile, but I knew that between the stress the past six weeks and a few really restless nights recently that was a tall order and I also knew I’d be okay with whatever the race handed me — well, within reason, of course. I wouldn’t be happy with an injury!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:19. A fast start (quite a bit faster than last year) but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
  2. Mile 2: 10:48. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track. <== that’s what I wrote last year. Still true. Faster than last year.
  3. Mile 3: 10:19. A slow decline and again faster than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:50. A long decline and a long incline. Slower than last year but not by a lot. I learned from Firecracker 4 this summer that with steep hills like these I’m better off doing run/walk, so I did. Just by feel.
  5. Mile 5: 11:09. Mostly a long hill. A bit faster than last year. Darn, that 11 at the front! Like last year, I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile. I also passed another running friend here who is generally faster than me so I was pleased.
  6. Mile 6: 10:56. Mostly downhill. A bit slower than last year.
  7. Last .16: 10:51. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in. Again just a bit slower than last year. Usually I can sprint in the last little bit but that darn small uphill before the finish gets me every time.

1:06:06 — Official Time
10:39 Average Pace
9 out of 19 in F55-59
233 out of 299 Runners

Previous Years:
2018: 1:07:14 — Official Time, 10:50 Average Pace
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace

Yes, like last year, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I mostly met my goal; that one mile was just barely over an 11 mm so I say that’s splitting hairs. Extremely pleased with such a strong race on so little training (and sleep). I’ve lowered my 10k time since my first, eight years ago, but about 5ish minutes.

Seriously, though, where were those 10:19s in my recent 5k? Oh yeah, that one wasn’t mostly downhill, as the first half of this 10k is.

I really do think those few hilly runs at my mom’s were good training. Or maybe the HR training has also been helping? My easy runs are a lot slower than they have been, but for this race, I completely ignored my HR and turned off HR alerts, too.

Running Buddy J was pleased with her stemless wineglass for her AG 3rd place

Was the race well run?
The race is extremely well marked and there are plenty of course marshals. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!). Although mostly the baked goods are just okay. Some year I’ll remember to photograph the spread. Running buddy J placed in her AG. I was very pleased with my PR.

People get into the holiday spirit with costumes (there’s also a kid’s race), and there’s a fire at the pavilion — in addition to those real bathrooms

Positives:

  1. Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
  2. Real bathrooms.
  3. A well marked and well directed course.
  4. Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
  5. The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
  6. Running with friends.
  7. A PR is always sweet.
  8. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Challenging hills.
  2. The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow, although this time I never really got too frustrated and felt I found my own space for much of the race.

What I learned
Using intervals on steep hills will probably always be the way to go for me. I didn’t use intervals on those hills at my moms for my last run there, but I also ran significantly slower. More than 2 minutes per mile slower.

Those little walk breaks are to help prevent fatigue from setting in, and they work. I won’t say you won’t get tired, you still do. But the break will help you have enough energy to power up the hill when you are back to running.

If none of my friends end up doing the November 15k, it will be a hard decision. Do I really want to do it by myself? Assuming that I am here, that is always up in the air the last 6 weeks. Maybe. Just to see what I can do. Fall really is my favorite time of year to race!
btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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The Crossings 5k Race Recap 9/29/19

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This was a new-to-me 5k, but this is the park I run at a lot, and train at with the Freihofers Challenge in the Spring. I used to walk the dogs there, too, but as my life has gotten busier, sadly, I rarely take them there.

I had told my friend who did my practicum with me that I might do it, depending on how I felt (and the weather). The weather was forecast to be great, and I felt ok enough to get in that longish run on Friday, so it was on.

Getting There & Hanging Out
My friend drove, which was great, as I was heading out to my mom’s later in the day. We were there early, as I needed to register. We walked the business and collected lots of swag — quite a bit of it even useful.

We were able to use the real bathrooms in the nearby gym, and there was barely a line. The bonus was we also got someone to take our photo — it was really cold outside with the wind, but nice inside the gym.

I left my friend to go out and do a warmup, but we met again a we waited for the start at the start line, where I was oddly quite near the front.

The weather & dressing
It was a really beautiful day with almost ideal weather, although it was quite windy.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. This was the first time I’d worn Lioness in a road race (I’ve worn it for a trail race), and it performed beautifully.

My Race Plan
I’ve got to say I was kind of secretly hoping for a PR, as that time trial earlier in the week went well. On the other hand, I was also kind of tired and beat up from several weeks of going back and forth between my mom, my dad’s rehab, and home.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:31. The mile started out fast, according to my Garmin, so I kept trying to (successfully) slow down. I had wanted to run this mile just a smidge faster. I also basically watched every runner pass me. Slight exaggeration.
  2. Mile 2: 10:36. Sure, there was some slight inclines and declines this mile, but really no reason for slowing down. Despite the race being run on a very narrow path, for the most part I always felt that I had my own running space.
  3. Mile 3: 10:29. My original plan was to try to run 1.5 miles before a took a walk break. Yeah, no, that didn’t happen, I took a walk break to drink water each mile. I did however put some strides into this mile. Overall, though, obviously my pace was just consistent the whole race. Which wasn’t quite what I was going for.
  4. Mile 4: 8:45. At least I managed a sprint to the end. The woman in front of me was encouraging me to pick up the pace, but seriouly, I had given my all for this day.

32:18 — Official Time
10:24 Average Pace
159 out of 293
3 out of 6 F55-59

Not only did I place third in my AG, there were more than three runners in my AG. And yes, I got an actual medal! Sweet. That isn’t the first time I’ve placed in my age group, but it’s very, very rare and I have never, ever received anything for it until today.

Was the race well run?
Registration was easy, and even though I registered the day of the race, I still got a long sleeve tech shirt which was quite nice — and came in handy before the race to keep warm.

The race itself offered no swag other than the race tee, but there were a lot of businesses actually offering useful swag:

  • Bag clips (I always need these!)
  • Sunglasses
  • One of those race-type backpacks
  • A cooling tool
  • And more

My friend was very far BOTP, and there were still plenty of refreshments left for her. I was afraid parking might be difficult, but we got there early and it was easy. The course was extremely well marked and there was always plenty of course marshals to direct you (and cheer you on).

My only complaint is that they took off all the race information from the Website after online registration closed — so I had no idea when the race day registration would start.

Final Thoughts
This was a very nice, smaller, low key 5k at the park that is close to my house. Apparently the speedy older people don’t come out for it (or didn’t this day, there were also a lot of races to choose from this weekend). It’s a mostly flat course.

I would definitely recommend it and if the circumstances are right, I would run it again.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Thatcher Park Trail Festival 10k Race Recap 8/25/19

My first trail race was a half marathon. Yes, chocolate was involved. Of course. My next trail race? A 5k. Kind of on a whim, the day after a long run, mostly because it was a beautiful day.

The next year I was getting close to my 18 mile road race, and I didn’t want to do a trail race so close to that race; there also was no longer a 5k option.

This year there are no big goal races on the horizon. Yet. The weather was beautiful again. Another friend would also be there. I signed up. I’ve been running trails here and there all summer with friends, but not really a lot — rarely more than once a week, and not every week.

Skirt Meetup

Getting There & Hanging Out
It’s a bit over 30 minutes to get to Thatcher Park so I arrived at 7:30, an hour before the race. I parked, grabbed my bag, thanked the weather Gods for the beautiful weather, and started walking over to packet pick up, just a short distance away. I chatted with a couple of runners doing the 50k (30 mile) option.

I quickly ran into someone I knew by the bathrooms, but she had just finished with them and I needed to use them. We chatted a bit before parting ways. I picked up my packet, which included my parking ticket (it’s $6 to park), and then had to walk back to the car to put the parking ticket in the car.

I left my bag in the pavilion, which is one of the things I love about this race, that you don’t have to continually go back and forth to your car if you have stuff you need with you before the race, although there is no official bag drop because it’s a pretty low key race, as trail races tend to be.

I ran into another friend, a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, but I was waiting on a third friend (another Skirt Sports Ambassador). We were just about to take our selfie when she finally appeared so we were able to get the three of us together.

I’d downloaded a mediation and something to listen to as I walked around before the race, knowing I’d be there early as usual, but I actually never had time.

I was glad to have company during the long stretches we didn’t see anyone . . . or a flag

The weather & dressing
There was a lot of hot, humid weather lately, but the morning started out a cool mid 50F temp, so I really waffled on what to wear. The park is also a higher elevation, so it’s always cool there.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. I really debated about wearing the long sleeve Cool It Top, since that’s what I’ve been running trails in all summer. I needed the extra pockets in my Supergirl Tank for my water bottles, though.

I had never worn the Lioness Skirt for a race, or anything much over 4 miles. I’d never worn that particular Lioness Skirt, either. Turned out it was the perfect outfit for me, for this day, for this race.

Plenty of roots

My Race Plan
2 simple goals:

  • Finish
  • Don’t fall

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:15. Significantly faster than the first mile of the 5k two years ago, and basically the same route.
  2. Mile 2: 18:44. Significantly slower than the second mile of the 5k two years ago. My bad for not looking at the elevation chart. I thought it would be somewhat flat like the 5k. It was not. The largest hill in the 5k was 66 ft. This mile had a hill that was 154 ft — which I know doesn’t sound like much, but throw in lots of rocks, roots, and mud, and it was tough! I ran with one of my Skirt Sports Ambassdor friends here for a while, but eventually she took off. I decided right here to make it a fun run and I stopped to take a lot of photos.
  3. Mile 3: 16:07. I believe this is where my friend caught up with me; she’d started slightly behind me, but she was racing. Although she agreed to stop and take a photo at Hang Glide Cliff here. This was an out and back to Hang Glide Cliff, and it seemed to go on forever.
  4. Mile 4: 14:05. This was a relatively flat mile (only a 66 ft hill, LOL!), with some wider paths, but still plenty of mud, rocks, and roots. It wasn’t really a super muddy race, but there were plenty of mud pits to go around — or through, I’m guessing, if you’re really into trails. We mostly went around.
  5. Mile 5: 14:42. This mile had a fairly good net drop, and yet we slowed down. Not sure why. Probably because we were getting tired! We traded on and off being in front. There was also some very narrow single track here.
  6. Mile 6: 12:03. Headed back to the finish, mostly just grass, so I was able to pick up some speed. It might have been faster if I hadn’t kept going in the wrong direction towards the very end (luckily my friend kept correcting me).
  7. Last .33: 10:53. Sort of sprinting to the end.
Mostly dry trails, except for the multiple mud pits

1:31:37 — Official Time
14:45 Average Pace
76 out of 82

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked!

Was the race well run?
If you’re into trail running, this is an awesome little festival. There are four distances:

  • 10k
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon
  • 50k
The lovely Hang Glide Cliff. Yes, Hang Gliders take off from here though I haven’t seen it!

The first time I ran the 5k I also volunteered after — there’s a really nice spread at the aid stations. They ask you when you register what your projected finish time is. This was my first trail 10k (although not my first trail race), so I took a guess and was almost right — considering I wasn’t expecting so many hills, I guess I guessed well.

I don’t know why they want to know your estimated finish time. Since there are people running anywhere from 10k to 50k, the 10k runners can take their time if they want to. One woman did, indeed, walk it — slowly, but she is older than me and coming back from battling Lyme disease. My hat’s off to her! She always volunteers at races, too.

All the races start together. The first half marathoner finished just shortly after my friend and I finished the 10k . . . The trails are extremely well marked — there are some long distances where you won’t see any flags, but seriously, I didn’t go wrong until the very end (apparently I did something similar at the 5k, too).

You used to get socks; this year we got a picnic blanket that folds up into its own little case. Personally I prefer the socks, because they’re useful (although not really as running socks, but I often wear them in the fall when walking the dogs).

There’s a really nice spread afterwards, too. I stayed this year, since I had some friends to hang out with. All sorts of different sandwiches (including vegetarian and vegan options). Chips, fruit, bread, peanut butter (some of that also available for pre-race fueling). This year there was a cake from Bountiful Bread, one of the sponsors, and it was worth every calorific bite — even if I only ran 10k!

I debated about those sunglasses. I didn’t need them much, but was glad I had them in the end.

Final Thoughts
I wouldn’t run this race in bad weather, but I’ve been blessed with great weather the two times I have run it. I wasn’t that inspired by the 5k course, but I have to say that even though the 10k was much tougher, it was also much more scenic. It’s a pretty park and there were runners who came from my home town, over an hour away — it’s worth it, I promise you!

There are more trail races here around Halloween — I’ve always wanted to do one of them, but the weather is almost always bad. I’m a fair weather trail runner (except for my trail half, which was in WA state and drizzling and cool for most of the race). Maybe 2019 will be the year for the Squirrely Six!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/19

bfirecracker18a

Firecracker 4 is a part shady, part really sunny, somewhat hilly four miles on the fourth of July. It’s almost always really hot, with a late start of 9 am, and this year was no exception.

Our group was small but mighty

Getting There & Hanging Out
Our group was much smaller this year. I think I a few of us are so over this hot race, but some of us diehards decided to brave it (or were talked into it by their friends). I talked my Running Buddy D, who I don’t see as much these days, into an early start (she was driving). We were rewarded with a good parking space, making it easy to go back & forth several times.

Team & AG Awards

Thankfully the city center, where packet pickup is, is air conditioned. And real bathrooms. We got our bibs & tshirts (although somehow I didn’t get a goodie bag; there was nothing exciting in it anyway so no big deal).

New sculpture on the streets of Saratoga (new to me, anyway)

Running Buddy D was very disappointed that they wouldn’t allow you to exchange tshirts until 8:40, as hers was just too tight. She managed to sweet talk a volunteer into doing it for her earlier. She wanted to wear it in the race, but I reminded her nothing new on race day.

Raising the flag and a nice band entertained us as we waited

We met up with the other two from our group, hung out a bit, then we headed back to the car to pick up our water and my cooling towel, all of which I had on ice (literally). We met back up with our friends in the corrals. We had used the real bathroom a couple of times already.

Worked as well as anything would on a hot day!

The weather & dressing
Skirt Sports for the win. I went with the Racecation Tank  and Cool It Skirt; Newton Distance on the feet.

Runners always deck themselves out patriotically

My Race Plan
I had actually ended up reading the race recap from last year (which I usually try to avoid), so I formed a plan — I wanted to hang at about a 10:45 pace, but I knew the heat was gonna be a big factor. Overall I wanted to get an average pace under 11 mm.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:33. Despite being a little frustrated by being bottled in the first part of this mile, this was significantly faster than last year. Would I regret it later?
  2. Mile 2: 10:37. This mile was really slow last year. No idea why. Again, much faster this year (and for the most part much more space to run)..
  3. Mile 3: 10:43. slowing down a bit, no doubt because of the speedy first 2 miles. There’s a few rolling hills in this mile, but there’s also a fair amount of shade. Still faster than last year and very consistent.
  4. Mile 4: 11:55. This last mile is always tough. There’s no shade. It’s mostly uphill. Last year I slowed down this mile, but was still very strong. I was also just a few weeks out from a downhill half, so lots of training on these legs. This year? I was almost a full minute slower than last year. Let’s just say while the thermometer wasn’t quite as hot as last year, it was close, and I think a lot more humid. I walked a lot. And I’m okay with that.

43:55 — Official Time
10:59 Average Pace
50 out of 101 in 55-59 division
1824 our of 2628

Previous years:
2018: 44:02
2017: 44:17
2016: 47:10
2015: 44:11
2014: 47:48

I just squeaked through with a 7 second course PR and met my goal of a average pace below 11 mm (again, just!). I know that I could have done much better if I hadn’t walked so much the last mile, but I met my goals and I didn’t faint, so I’m good with that.

Waiting for the kid race to start

Was the race well run?
This race is so much fun — if you’re ever in Saratoga, NY on the fourth you should check it out. There’s a ton of spectator support and the locals are out in force with hoses — much appreciated — even on a hot fourth like this one!

The AG awards are cool (not that I’m ever going to see one), the space with AC to hang out in and real bathrooms is a blessing. There’s water available both before and after the race, and some fruit and granola bars afterward. A couple of local food vendors had samples afterwards, too. New this year was food available for purchase post race, as well as a free beer, but Running Buddy D & I skipped that.

The late start is a pain, as is parking. Unless you know Saratoga well, the parking situation can be nerve wracking.
btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Dodge the Deer 5k Race Recap 6/23/19

I have only run three trail races. My first was a half marathon — go big or go home, right? Dodge the Deer, a very family-oriented day  out at a local park with our local running group, Albany Running Exchange, includes a couple of kiddy races and a trail 5k and has been on my radar a long time.

Historically it’s been in April, which historically is not-so-great weather in these parts. I am a fair weather trail runner, even if my trail half was cool, rainy, and muddy (you can read about it here).

However, Sunday was a gorgeous day. There is also a cookout/potluck following the race. I tried to convince a few friends to go, but didn’t have any luck. Other friends that might have gone were out of town. So I headed out by myself — the first time in a long time that I went to a race without knowing that someone I knew would also be there.

I would have gotten the race socks (from past years) if they had had my size; you could choose one thing from any of these — I like that!

Packet Pickup
If I’d registered before it closed online, I could have saved $5, oh well. I registered day of, which meant getting there really early — like an hour and a half before the race. The race is in a nice park, though, and it was a beautiful day. Getting there so early meant I got parking close to the activities and could go back and forth multiple times.

I was surprised I could pay with a credit card; I’d expected to have to pay cash. I was also surprised that despite day-of registration, I was still able to pick out one piece of swag from the variety they had (mostly from old races). I wanted to get the race socks, but they were only L & XL — so I got ARE socks (the running group that puts this race on) instead.

The Famous Dodge the Deer — even being very BOTP I was able to outrun him

I went back & forth to the real bathrooms a bunch of times (because I was there so early and so well hydrated). I also sat in the shade on a picnic bench listening to “Marathon Woman”, our running group’s next book club (I use that term loosely) pick.

I chatted with a couple with their dog there, a woman who had driven in 2 hours from MA to run this race — she’s the one I asked to take my photo before the race — and someone I recognized from our Wed night group runs.

It wasn’t super technical, but there were still plenty of roots out there! And shade, thankfully.

My Race Plan
Have fun. Stay uninjured. That’s all she wrote. Happy to say I met my goals. Despite the fact that my Garmin and the official race results tallied almost perfectly, the mile splits were way off. Yes, your results included your mile splits — a nice touch. So I’m reporting them with O for Official time and G for my Garmin time.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:40 O/11:16 G. Very weird. There’s no mat to cross, but there is a Start sign and a line on the path. Did I start my watch too early? Too late? Just weird. The first mile felt pretty good.
  2. Mile 2: 11:06 O/11:33 G. I was definitely surprised by my time the first mile. I’m usually pretty darn slow on trails. Despite the nice shady paths, I was already feeling tired!
  3. Mile 3: 12:45 O/12:13 G. I am still running without walk breaks, except for a short one at the end of each mile to drink water (which I definitely needed with the 10 am start). I thought to myself “don’t walk in the middle of this mile” but I think you can guess what happened.
  4. Last .14: 9:49 G. I was, quite literally, neck and neck with this older woman coming into the finish chute. Which helped me to push faster. She was 72, it turned out, and I didn’t want her beating me! We crossed at the same exact time.

36:26 — Official Time (36:25 Garmin)
11:44 — Average Pace (11:37 Garmin)
4 out of 7? in my AG
196 out of 236 runners

I’ve run one trail half (which was considerably slower and also much more difficult), and one other trail 5k a couple of years ago. And that one was 42:25. 6 minutes slower!

I don’t really remember if the course at my first trail 5k was that much tougher, but I don’t think it was. It was even a cooler day, I remember that distinctly! I had run a long run (maybe 9 miles?) the day before. I had no idea what that finish time was going into this race, so a much faster finish time was a pleasant surprise.

I wasn’t at all surprised to find myself so far to the BOTP, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of the pack for my age group. I think there was about 3 minutes between me and the woman who placed third, so even without that extra walk break the last mile I don’t think I would have placed. No problem, I was extremely surprised to see I came in fourth — when I saw that I actually wondered if there were only four women in my AG, LOL!

Actually, the person who won my AG had a 23:46 time — there are some speedy older trail runners out there!

Even with my Cool It Skirt and towel, and the shade, it was a hot race!

The weather & dressing
A late 10 am start and temps already hovering around 70, it was a hot one even with all the shade. Good practice for my Fourth of July race, which will most likely have similar conditions (but start a little earlier).

There just has to be a story behind this costume, although I never got it. Apparently he is the Race Director’s father.

I wore my Cool It Skirt and Racecation Tank from Skirt Sports. I also wore my cooling scarf, which this time I dosed more thoroughly with water beforehand (last race I didn’t really get it wet enough).

Despite the claims of a very non-technical trail, I  wore my Saucony Peregrines and I’m glad I did. I am willing to bet you that my finish time would have been slower had I worn my regular running shoes.

Was the race well run?
This is such a great family-friendly event. Low key as most trail races are. Races for the kids. I had fun cheering them on as I was sitting on the picnic table before my race! Some of the kids were seriously speedy, too, but they were all so cute.

I had never been to this park but had no trouble finding the race. There was no one directing parking, but it seemed to work out okay. There are real bathrooms (which I always love). Registration was easy, I was happy I could use a credit card, results were posted quickly, there was a nice spread afterwards — and a cookout I didn’t stay for.

The one bone I have to pick is with the description of the trails:

The Dodge the Deer 5K (and Kids Races) are on the safest and most enjoyable trails around. It’s basically an unpaved road with easy footing and no hills. If you think of rocks, roots, and other gnarly things when you think of trail running – you’re thinking of places that aren’t Schodack Island State Park. 🙂

Okay, I guess they weren’t that technical because normally my trail running pace is a lot slower. Still, there were plenty of roots and while it wasn’t super hilly, it definitely wasn’t completely flat either — I guess it was flat as trail races go. I wasn’t the only person who thought this.

One last bone: I don’t really think there’s anything they can do about this, but several people were complaining that there were no water stops. Where would you have put them? I always carry water with me, and I’d even remembered to freeze half the night before so I had cool water the whole race. It might be nice to mention on the Website that there will be no water available during the race, though.

Would I run this race again? If the weather is nice, I absolutely would.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k Race Recap 6/1/19

The main thing you have to know about Freihofer’s Run for Women: the atmosphere is just amazing. Think any race you’ve ever started in and take it up a few notches. It’s why we come back, year after year, despite the heat, the narrow streets, the never ending hill at the start, and the crowded conditions.

It was a nice little expo (just need more food options than burgers!)

Packet Pickup
Parking is free, but it’s really, really crowded. The Race Director had really talked up the expo this year — I do think it was better than last year, and I actually made a couple of purchases.

They spread it out so you went one place to pick up your bib, another to pick up your race tee, and another to pick up your cookies and bread. Which of course sort of forced you to check out a lot of the vendors, but I wanted to anyway.

One unfortunate snafu was that there were supposed to be clear plastic bags for your gear check — except there weren’t. I regretted using one of my previous ones for that clothes swap earlier on, but I had another, thankfully. You have to use clear plastic bags for anything you bring into the race.

Those fries were sooooo good (the sandwich, too)

There was supposed to be more food and my friend & I had planned to eat there, but there was only burgers. We ended up stopping at a restaurant on the way home, which was thankfully open, and had a very pleasant al fresco lunch.

Most of the friends showed up

My Race Plan
Not much of one, again. Not a whole lot of running, and a lot of slow running with the mentees. I knew I wasn’t in PR shape, but I still wanted to do the best I could do, and I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm the whole race — unfortunately that didn’t happen.
So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:50. Last year my watch played tricks with the first mile — this year it was accurate. I wanted to be conservative, not go out too fast, and while I wished it was a bit faster, I was pleased with this mile. Especially as it seemed like we were climbing uphill the whole mile.
  2. Mile 2: 11:20. Almost a full minute slower than last year; this is why my overall time was slower than last year. I only took two walk breaks during this race. I actually didn’t feel it was quite as congested as years past, or at least I didn’t feel I was really held back by other runners.
  3. Mile 3: 10:36. Mile three seems like it’s completely downhill towards the finish. Which isn’t quite true, but it is definitely a nice downhill for most of the mile and that saved my finish time for this race!
  4. Last .16: 8:19. A downhill sprint to the finish line.

34:35 — Official Time
10:59 — Average Pace
111 out of 233 in my AG
1385 out of 2649 runners

2018: 32:57
2016:
36:02
2010: 40:58

Last year I’d run 3 5ks in the 6 weeks before this race. I was in the middle of training for a half. This year I’d spent the majority of the spring either sick or simply rebuilding my base.

Classic: smile for the photographer (once I see them)

So I guess it was a pretty good showing, considering; fairly solidly middle of the pack. I was just kind of disappointed in myself slowing down so much the second mile. I ended the race feeling good, not the least bit sore . . . and I knew I hadn’t really given it my all.

You can view a video of the finish line here. The cool thing is you actually get to see the elites finishing the race if you start at the beginning. I come along roughly at 18:30, although as usual, I’m obscured by other runners until I’m at the finish line.

Our boxes of cookies weren’t quite that big, LOL!

The weather & dressing
The weather is one reason I love to hate this race. I swear it’s always hot. Often it’s suddenly hot, and that was the case this year — it was unseasonably cool both before and after the race, but race day was warm. In fact, the previous two Saturdays had been beautiful running weather. Thankfully it was not humid, and the cloud cover held for most of the race — it’s been worse.

Cool It Skirt was my go-to skirt for hot racing last year, but being a shorter race and not terribly hot, I went with my Hover Skirt and Racecation Tank (so happy Racecation came back this year — one of my fav tops for hot weather racing/running) from Skirt Sports. It was a great outfit (My Cool It Skirt with my Bonita Racecation Tank would have been a nice combo, too).

I learned from past mistakes, and took my cool it scarf along — and wore it — but I didn’t get it wet enough, so I’m not sure it really helped much but it didn’t harm either.

Training group
Skirt Sports Ambassadors/Wearers

Was the race well run?
Freihofers is mostly a well oiled machine, but there are always a few little hiccups. Like the fact that the main ramp to where I park was closed (a surprise to both me & my friend) — luckily I had my friend (aka my human GPS) to navigate me to the parking and we still managed to get there in time for the photo of the training challenge.

The free massages are a nice touch

I partook of the massages for the first time this year and it was awesome. For some reason my masseuse took her time with me. I started before my two friends, and they were waiting for me to finish.

Would I run this race again? My answer is always the same: if I’m here, I’ll do it.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

I Can’t Make You Love Me

bgradefeb19

Still riding the love train (read about it here), and this month I give you Bonnie Raitt. You’re welcome. I chose that one because sometimes races are just ok — not necessarily anything you did or didn’t do, it happens.

Last month it was “What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me”. Well, my race (read about it here) did hurt me, in the form of a blood blister, but overall I was fine so I guess it sort of worked.

I got lucky and got all my long runs done outside

Getting in scheduled runs
I get very lucky with this training cycle — I managed to get all my long runs done outside. That also meant the last 3 or 4 were in the same neighborhood, and by the time I left I felt that if I had to run there one more time, I’d be scratching my own eyes out.

I also got lucky we escaped this . . . 

Luckily the next week was all running in Savannah.

It wasn’t the sunny vacation I dreamed of, but it was better than back home!

Grade Earned:  A+

Recording my runs
I have continued to do a good job recording runs, including making copious notes all over my journal while in Savannah.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
I’m still struggling with this on cold days. If I ran more at home, I’d do it inside, but I rarely ended up running in my own neighborhood (often icier than where I did run). I did not do my warm up mile in Savannah — the streets can be uneven and who wants to trip on the way to their race? However it was a mile and a half walk to the start, so there’s that.

Grade Earned: B-

Ok, this was from January. But you get the idea.

Foam Rolling
I did great with this right up until I got home from Savannah . . . and no foam rolling. Really broke my streak! No PT exercises either. With no running, though, things still feel pretty good. I’ll get back to it — I’ve gotten back to the foam rolling, not to the PT exercises yet.

There’s a lot of debate whether or not foam rolling is really helpful — read Wendy’s review of “Good to Go” here — but I’m #teamfoamroller. Not #teamicebath (never done one).

Grade Earned: B

Also #teamchickennoodlesoup post run

Nutrition
If you don’t count Savannah, my nutrition in February was pretty good. That’s kind of like saying if you don’t count the bank robbery, he’s an upright citizen. Am I the least bit regretful? No!

And all the rich food in Savannah . . .

Grade Earned: B

Support

  • Massage? Yes.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? Yes.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? Done.

Grade Earned: A+

Cross Training
I committed to Iron Strength while training and stuck to it. I did more yoga, and more Pilates, too. After the race I’ve spent some time on my stationary bike, usually as warmups for strength training. And still doing yoga and Pilates but not running — by the time you read this, that will probably change (yes, it has).

Grade Earned: A

February 2019  gets  . . . 
. . . an A-. I think I’m going easy on myself here, quite frankly, there are lots of Bs here. I completed my race and my training despite the stress of losing Giz. I also allowed myself #allthefood in Savannah — good thing I don’t drink; Savannah may be a foodie city, but it’s also a drinking city. Let’s just say there was a lot of adults having a lot of fun there. #thestruggleisreal when it comes to warmups in cold weather, which ironically is when you need it most.

February Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. Y. Until we got back home, yes.
    • Add on some short strength training 2-3 x week.Y. I was faithful to my Iron Strength workouts once a week. Right now many of my workouts are short, often bodyweight, but it’s getting done. 
    • Continue alternating Yoga & Pilates — emphasis on Yoga.Y. Even though I was heavy on the R&R when I got back, I have definitely continued to do yoga and Pilates. 
    • Plan out meals the day before. Y/N. Sometimes . . . not as often as I should. I’m working my way back to making this more of a habit, but I’m not there yet. And obviously all bets were off on vacation.
    • Foam roll almost daily.Y. Again, until I got back from vacation. 
    • Play around with savory snacks (and report back on them!).N. Yeah, no. I just haven’t been super motivated in the kitchen lately.
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Y. Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan. 
    • Be mindful of eating on vacation. Y/N. I definitely indulged. I also never felt bad due to food choices, and I got right back on track with healthy eating when I got home — I think that’s really key.

Which leads me to March Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. As always, something is always better than nothing.
    • Strength training 2-3 x week. Pilates is a great workout, but I truly believe that actually lifting weights will help me age better. So while I’ll continue to concentrate more on Pilates and Yoga, I need to start lifting, even if it’s just a little.
    • Continue practicing Yoga & Pilates. I actually enjoy both and see benefits from both.
    • Foam roll almost daily. I’d really like to say daily, but I just know that won’t happen. 
    • Play around with savory snacks (and report back on them!). I am still really struggling with this one and it probably means I really need to do it.
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan. 
    • Plan out meals the day before. Another habit I’m really struggling with. I think I need to try doing it earlier in the day. Most of the time by night I am tired and have a lot of other little things I need to get done before going to bed.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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