Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 7th Anniversary to my wonderful husband Mike!

I know, who gets married on New Years Eve!?!?! We did and I wouldn't change it for the world! Love you Mike!

He is the best! He is very supportive or at least tolerant of my running and he secretly loves my blog. He has nicknames for it and makes up alternate names for his fictitious blog that are similar to SMMSLT. He also has a fictitious dads club based on my Moms RUN This Town club called DRTT. It's very endearing. :)

So what to get your spouse on your seventh anniversary??? The modern gift would be a desk set and the traditional is wool or copper.  Since he already has a desk set, maybe some wool socks or copper pipe fittings? Who decides this stuff? I have no idea. We will probably forgo a gift and celebrate with friends, if we can find a babysitter...anyone???

Happy Anniversary Mike! I love you and our life together~I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012: Year in Review

What a whirl wind year I've had. I set out to complete 2 half marathons, 4 obstacle course races of varying distance and difficulty, and a bunch of other shorter races. I spent well over $700 on races, gear, food, and fuel. If you count travel expenses and throw in physical therapy it would be much much higher. I had lofty PR and age group goals and would like to say I hit them all, but that is only partly true.

To make finding time to train fun, I thought it would be a good idea to buy a new house. Six months later I still have unpacking to do and pictures to hang. A few short months after moving day my son started school, this added a whole other dimension to our lives. I thought I would have more time when school started :/ Needless to say, there is never a free dull moment in our lives.

During the summer I quit drinking Diet Coke and decided to start eating cleanish. To help with that and free up some time, I have been doing monthly menu planning, which in turn has me heading to the grocery store less, but draining my pocket book more (I need to work on this). My family is somewhat on board, or my husband is just pacifying me, either way we have cut out a lot of unnecessary chemicals in our foods. I feel good about this, as good nutrition has always been important to me besides you are what you eat.

My ITB band protested my running for most of the year (9 months), but I think I finally have a handle on it. Since completing the last of my scheduled races in October, I have been taking it easy with running and have kicked up my strength training in hopes of thwarting any repeat ITB or other musculoskeletal problems.

I've began blogging in January and I think I hit 100 posts in 2012. :) I know I am not an award winning writer, but it is fun for me and it has been a good way to connect with other runners and like minded people. Thanks to everyone that took the time to read even one post! If you would like to follow me on Facebook, my link is and if you would like to follow me on Instagram my name is somanymiles. Thanks to all the bloggers who have shared so much information and inspiration! I have enjoyed reading your posts as well!

Overall I can say that 2012 was anything but boring.

2012 Stats:

10 Races
Half Marathons: 2, PR 1:51:10
10K: 2
5K:2, PR 24:24
Half Marathon Relay:1
Obstacle Races: 2, signed up for 4

6 Virtual Races
The Cupcake Classic
The Jelly Bean-Won Lululemon Gift Card!
The Great Cupcake Race
Frosty's Great Cupcake Race
Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k
Hot Momma Virtual Half Relay

SJA 5k, 1st place age group
Run Like a Girl Trail Run, 2nd place age group

I didn't meet all my goals as I was unable to compete in 2 races because of my knee and we all remember the Tough Mudder debacle that had me sitting in 5 hours of traffic! I am happy with my two age group awards, especially since I think the older I get the more competitive my age group gets, but I would be lying if I said I was ok with only coming in second in RLAG and not placing in the All Access 5k. I want to blame it all on my knee but falling short also had to do with time constraints and just not putting in the work.
I hope you all had a great year in all aspects of your life, not just running. Enjoy what is left of this year and I hope you can look back on 2012 and find joy and happiness and as you look ahead to 2013 you see nothing put promise!

Happy Running!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Nativity scene with shepherds, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a famous Spanish baroque painter (1618-1682).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Frosty's Great Cupcake Race

I know I said my racing days were done until 2013, but two of the our Moms RUN This Town chapter members are bloggers,  Run Find Your Happy Pace and Running In Sanity, together they put on Frosty's Great Cupcake 5k, 10K, and children's virtual race(s). They are raising money for  Team in Training and look at this medal, too cute!

I met up with some women from my running club at a local park, one that I have never been to before and I was pleasantly surprised. There was a nice 1.5 mile loop around a lake. It was pretty and I think in the summer mostly shaded, a big bonus around here.

I brought my little running buddy and really bundled him up. This was the first day I actually had to layer up and wear gloves and pants. I signed up for the 5k but ended up doing 5 miles. I wanted to get 6 in, but every time we past the playground my little buddy wanted to jump out of the stroller and go play. I called it at 5 and let him play, while I waited for the others to finish.

While we waited we saw this guy doing push-ups and then heading off down the trail. The picture is grainy because I took this on the DL, but if you zoom in he is wearing a fully packed back pack and some sort of full face respirator. You would think this is an unusual occurrence, but I have seen this more than once! Luckily this oddity is explained by the fact that I live in a military community and this was likely some guy training for a deployment or the like (at least I hope that is what it was).

After the run we got our medals and took a quick picture. I was freezing if you couldn't tell! Darlena handed out some other goodies, snowman hand lotion and candy canes for the kids. Thanks ladies for putting together your virtual races and good luck meeting your fund raising goal!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm back from my blogging hiatus and partially back from my running hiatus. I have been maintaining very low mileage and doing some strength training. It's been kind of nice to just enjoy my runs and most of the time I don't even wear my Garmin. I have no idea what my pace is or actual distance. It's been nice.

When I say low mileage, I mean less than 10 miles. I started to pick it up last week but was thwarted by an random and sudden allergic reaction that sent me straight to the emergency room. I was about 3 miles into my run when my throat started to get tight and my body started to break out into itchy hives. I went straight back to work and within minutes I was puking and asked my coworkers to call 911. My blood pressure was 60/30 and my stomach was killing me. After some Benadryl, a ride in the ambulance, and an IV bag the ER doctor couldn't tell me what happened. I think it was the tuna I ate shortly before my run. I'm not allergic to tuna but that is the only thing I can think of that would have done that. Needless to say, I won't be eating tuna anytime soon!

Thankfully, I have great friends. My husband was out of town and my oldest son was at school, my neighbor Cathy took care of him and my good friend Meagan came to the hospital in rush hour traffic to get me. I can't thank them enough!

Three days later I decided to go for a short run around my neighborhood. I was slightly scared and was really hoping that running wasn't what I was allergic to. I made safely around the 2.5 mile loop and was feeling better about what had happened.

I have been starting to think ahead to my 2013 running goals and keep seeing virtual challenges popping up on the web, it's getting me excited to start training for something. I'm up to 10 miles this week and am planning on a 5 miler later today between batches of Chirstmas cookies. I am hoping to get my base mileage back up and then get serious about my next race.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving! 
It's Thanksgiving and although I was injured A LOT in 2012 and couldn't run as much or well as I would have liked to, I am still grateful and thankful that I have enjoyed running and have benefited from it in so many ways. I hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy time with your family and friends.

I have a little challenge for you...if you are running a turkey trot or headed out for a solo run, try to give thanks for something every half mile or so. Thanks for reading my blog and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Great F/V Challenge: Week 1

I know you have all been dying to know how the challenge is going!! The word in Vegas is 5:1, Mom over the Boys. (I have no idea what that means, I would make a horrible bookie.) You can read all about the challenge here.

I never did get around to making an actual chart. So we have been using the one Connor put together.  It has served  it's purpose and they are really into it. I knew $ would motivate them. Patrick is too little to understand but he copies whatever his big brother is up to and that carries over to eating more fruits and veggies. Yay!

I really have no idea who is winning, but I am pretty sure it's Patrick.  He eats a ton of food and gets fruits and veggies, like carrot sticks at daycare. However, I don't want to let Connor's enthusiasm for the whole event die out so I am going to let him win this week. I know, I know, it's not fair, but I am afraid Connor will stop participating if he doesn't win so I have a plan! Connor wins this week, Patrick next, me the week after that and then I will either let them tie or give it to Connor, since he is the reason I am doing this. They won't can't read this and don't tell them! They will never know!! Connor has actually eaten more this week than in the last few months and not just junk he is really trying to eat fruits and vegtables!! So it's a win win for all involved. He is getting the vitamins, minerals, and fiber he needs and I can feel better about what he is eating.

On a side note, since this is a blog (mainly) about  running...I think I am ready to get back at it. I only ran once last week and it was almost 3 miles. Knock and wood, I think my IT Bands are ready and I miss it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The GREAT Fruit and Vegtable Challenge of 2012

How do I get my picky 5 year old to eat more fruits and vegetables? He was such a good eater when he was a baby and toddler, then something happened. The fruits and vegetables he used to gobble down he started turning his nose up to!

This fall he started kindergarten and getting him to eat has been a challenge. Yes, you read that, not eat his fruits and vegetables, but eat in general. I pack in him a sandwich, fruit, yogurt or cheese stick, and pretzels or something like for lunch. All things he likes. He takes his lunch to school and comes home with it barely touched. He tells me he wasn't hungry or he doesn't like this or that. Ughh. Not only is he not getting the nutrients his little body needs to grow, he is wasting food. Which drives me nuts! I spend a lot of money and time getting him healthy nutritious food, that at one point in his short life he liked and he wastes it!

He is a picky eater but he is also motivated by money. He has a peanut allergy, so for Halloween I buy the candy that he can't have. This year I sorted his candy and then told him it was worth two dollars, he looked at me and said make it three! He drives a hard bargain. This is where my challenge comes into play...I think I can motivate him with a little friendly competition and dollar bills $$$$.

I am going to challenge my family to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day for 4 weeks. They will get one point for each up to 5 and 2 points for each after that. Because my kids are small and a full 30 days seems like and eternity to them, I am going to reward them at the end of each week and then again at the end of the 30 days. Whoever is in the lead at the end of the week will get a dollar and then the overall winner will get $10 (to hopefully spend on a toy.)I think it will work. I hope it will work.  My goal is to get him to eat more healthy foods and teach him a little about good nutrition. I know childhood obesity is  a huge growing problem in the country but I feel like I have to he opposite problem.

I still need to make a chart but we started it yesterday and Connor made his own chart and seems pretty determined to win! I'll keep you posted :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I haven't run in two weeks. My last run was The Wicked 10k that left me with both my ITB's screaming. I decided that I was going to take some time off and then get back in the gym to start some strength training.

So for a week I didn't do anything and then last week I started hitting the weights. It was good to feel sore again.

I also wrote up a training plan for a race series I want to do in January, complete with speedwork, tempo runs, and stretching and strength training days, I decided that I was sick of limping around and half-assing my training. So when I took a good look at my plan, I decided that there was no way I would have time for this. I figured I would probably end up half completing the running workouts and probably skipping the day I dedicated to yoga, not because I am lazy, but because I just simply don't have time. I think that is part of the reason my ITB pain keeps coming back. The race distance I wrote the plan for was a 5k, 6k, and then maxes out at a 8k. How has my life has gotten so busy that I can't even find time to train for a 5k?!?!

So after a week of doing nothing and a week of hitting the weights, I decided today I was going to go for a short run just because it's November and it was so nice out! Beautiful really. I hit the 2 mile mark and BAM, my left knee was not happy. Great. So maybe I need more than a week in the gym :/ I haven't signed up for that race series yet and I am not sure I am going to. I am trying to stay positive and think how strong I will be after a winter in the gym, but I am getting antsy (and sad) when I hear about everyone signing up for the spring races and how their training is starting soon. I think to keep positive I am going to find some really cool races to do starting in the late spring, races that I haven't done before and may even involve some travel. I probably won't log as many races as I did this year, but they are going to definitely be different.

Friday, November 2, 2012

12 Races, 11 New Metals

My race season has come to an end for 2012 and I added 11 new metals to my collection. I am happy to say that they weren't all finisher metals, two are age group metals. I finished 1st in my age group in the SJA Stingray 5k back in May and 2nd in Run Like a Girl earlier this month. I should have had an orange headband in there from TM but that will have to wait until next year. I missed two additional races because of my knee issues, which would have placed me at 14 races for the year. There are also some races that I am not going to enter in November and December simply because I (and my family) need a break. 
My new metals. The two flanking the end are my age group metals. I completed the Dolphin Challenge for the Shamrock, which consisted of the 8k and half marathon. There are two virtual race metals in there too, The Hot Momma Half and The Great Cupcake Race.
I really like the purple Run Like a Girl and The Wicked metals.
I was expirimnting with a new layout. I really need a couple of those race metal holders!
My helper.
He said he was a metal too and yes in his own special way he is.
These are all the metals I have collected since 2006, 30 in all. Hopefully I can add more in 2013.
Do you have a metal holder? If so where do you have it hanging? I want to put mine in the dining room but my husband won't let me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Foodie Penpals Reveal


Back in late September I stumbled across something called Foodie Penpals. I thought what a cool idea! I love trying new food and although I am a far cry from being a judge on Chopped, I appreciate good food, so when I saw that anyone can get in on the fun I signed up.

Here's how it works. The Lean Green Bean is the mastermind behind this and pairs up the participants (bloggers and readers alike).

FPP post Foodie Penpals

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program: On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

I paired up with Esther Fox [Dot] Com to send to and Life Love and Puppy Paws to receive from. Both Ladies have really nice blogs about totally different things and you should check them out. Jen at LL&PP has the cutest post about Halloween outfits for your pet. This is a very cute post! Esther is a talented photographer and is also on Instagram. Definitely worth a look!

So when talking with Esther I found out that she prefers foods free of HFC, has a slight nut allergy, likes chocolate and cooking Italian. I decided to send her Blue Crab Co. She Crab Soup (a regional fav), organic stone ground crackers from Robert Rothschild Farm, GoPicnic black bean dip & plantation chips, two chocolate bars from the UK (they don't use HFS or artificial colors and flavors), and for the written item a menu from one of my favorite restaurant's in the area Back Bay Gourmet$15 goes fast!
 I hope she likes at least some of the items. I actually have never had the soup (I know, I know-it might be crap), but she crab soup in general is good and Blue Crab Co. usually has very good products, so fingers crossed! The GoPicnic is something I found at Target and have had several. They are these little prepackaged natural and organic food items in a "picnic" box. And the chocolate, well it's all natural so how could that go wrong?

I received my package right on time, thanks Jen!
Jen sent me a collection of her favorite Trader Joe's foods and I am so glad she did! We do have a TJ in town but I never go there mostly because it's across town and I never have a reason to drive over there, but I think I am going to start making time.

Here is the rundown: 2 Larabars, Powerberries, Cookie Butter, Sugared Dried Mango's, Pumpkin Butter, a pumpkin, Pumpkin Bread, and a TJ recipe for pumpkin muffins. I love pumpkin! So of course I dug right in and made the pumpkin bread. My family devoured it and I have since bought two more boxes.
My boys loved the Powerberries. I think they have no idea that they are actually fruit, not just chocolate and also bought another bag.
I haven't tried the cookie butter yet. I am not sure what to eat with it. I think I am going to use it as an appetizer for my son's bday party that is coming up soon and serve it with fruit and graham crackers.
I am holding onto the pumpkin butter too. I think I am going to serve it warm over vanilla ice cream and also maybe make the muffin recipe. I just have to space it out over the next few months. I dont' want to overdo the pumpkin and ruin my taste for it.
I would show a picture of the pumpkin bread, but we ate it too fast!
The Larabars and mango's took a trip to work with me. The bars are gone and I am working on the mango's, another all time favorite!

I LOVED my package! It was like Jen knew exactly what I would like. She nailed it and I couldn't be happier with what she sent me! Thank you so much!!!!

I am totally going to do this again, probably after the holiday's. It was fun picking stuff out but hard at the same time, everyone's taste is different. Jen did a great job and I hope that Esther likes at least some of her foods.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wicked 10k

Where do I even start? I have wanted to do this race since it started 4 years ago, but I always had other things going on, a wedding, giving birth, you know the usual. So when I finally didn't have anything else on my calendar, I almost didnt' sign up. I am suffering from something I like to call over-scheduleitis. You have heard of parents over scheduling there kids, well I over schedule myself and have no one to blame but myself. I always feel like I can and have to do it all and lately it is coming back to bite me in the ass. I am burnt out! So what does a stressed out mom do? She runs and she runs in costume!
With only 5 days since my last race, Run Like a Girl, my legs were sore, heavy, and tired.  I went all out on the trail and I didn't have much left in my tank for any hopes of a PR for The Wicked. I knew that going in and had the mind set to just have fun and enjoy the costumes. Of course, this is only partially true and I started the race with the hopes of everything coming together so I would get that PR. Here is how it went down...

I met up with my running club about an hour before the race to get some pictures. We had some superhero's, two Mini Mouse, cheer leaders, Alice in Wonderland, The Energizer Bunny, a zebra and a bunch of other great costumes.

My two running buddies, Meagan a.k.a Robin and Randi a.k.a Wonder Woman.
I ran as Bat Girl. I already had most of my costume and it would be easy to run in and modify if needed for the weather. I was wearing my black Nike running skirt, Bat Girl socks, a black tech t-shirt that I hot glued a Batman symbol and a homemade black cape to, and I got a mask and arm sleeves at the Halloween store to complete my look.
I think capes should come back in style.
Randi and I headed to corral 1 and noticed that the other people in corral 1 aren't as festive as the other runners. In fact, most of the people running in the first corral were dressed as runners. We were a minority. We decided that fast people are boring.
Randi was set on trying for a PR. I played along and was aiming for a sub 50 minute race. I really did want a PR (who doesn't), but knew deep down I wasn't feeling it today. We started out doing a sub 8-min mile, I think around a 7:40 pace. We did that for the first two miles as we headed south one block in from the boardwalk. Now, you may have heard a little about "the perfect storm" threatening the east coast. This Frankenstorm is made up of Hurricane Sandy and 5 other storms inland or something like that...I haven't had time to read the paper. I just new that it wasn't going to really start until after the race and that was what I was focused on. I probably should have been at the grocery store getting water and bread.
Once we turned and headed north on the boardwalk another perfect storm started and my PR was way out reach.  The wind was strong causing my pace dropped to over a 10 min mile at times and my knee started to ache. As I was fighting the wind and worrying about a possible DNF because my knee was screaming at me, Randi was able to hold her pace and was off chasing her PR. 
I tried to correct my form and do all the little self checks Chi Running suggests you do, but nothing was helping. My ITB was flaring up big time. I just embraced the suck and kept moving. The course finally took a turn off the boardwalk and headed north on Atlantic Ave. For a second the wind wasn't as bad, except every time I ran past a building I had to brace myself for the gust of wind.
At about mile 3.5 I heard a familiar voice come from behind me, it was my friend Cathy. I was so grateful that she was there. I was feeling my ITB with every step and just wanted the race to be over, so to have someone to run the last couple of miles with was great.  We headed up Atlantic and turned back onto the boardwalk, this time with the wind to our backs. I felt like a new person. My knee was fine and I felt a surge of energy, so I decided I was going to try and make up some lost time and kick it into high gear. That lasted about a quarter of a mile until I realized I really had nothing left in the tank and couldn't push my pace any faster. Oh well, I put my mask back on hoping for one decent race picture at the finish line (I always look like death) and finally jogged crossed the finish line.
Randi got her PR with a time of 48:45! Great Job!! I strolled in with a time of 52:05. Three seconds slower than my 10k PR, which was a hilly trail run (just wanted to point that out).
52:05 finish time
8:24 pace/mile
28/774 in 35-39 age group
710/7264 overall
Now onto the after party. Because of Sandy the post race party was moved to the cozy confines of the VB Convention Center. What a great idea! They had Blue Moon Beer, chili bread bowls and the costume contest. Not to mention a ton of runners in fabulous costumes!

Best post race meal ever!
I am surprised this guy didn't get blown away by Sandy!

Even though my knee has been killing me for two days  I am happy that I finally got to experience The Wicked. I will definitely put this on my race schedule for next year! Over the next couple of months I am going to enjoy my family and the holidays. As much as it is going to pain me to not do a Turkey Trot or Santa themed run this winter, I need to let my body rest and get my house that I moved into in July sorted out and decorated. Don't worry, I'll be up in the gym working on my fitness for 2013. Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

I found my motivation and it was hiding right next to my competition. I have recently meet some really nice women who happen to be in my age group and are fast. Last week they both beat me in The All Access 5k, you can read about it here, today it was time for a rematch....

Run Like a Girl, brought to you by The Hera Foundation, puts on a nice trail race to bring awareness to ovarian cancer. Do you know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full fast
  • Urinary symptoms
  • also, indigestion, back pain, bowel problems, abnormal bleeding or unusual fatigue.
If these symptoms last for 2-3 weeks and are unusual for you, experts recommend a CA 125 blood test, transvaginal US and a pelvic/rectum exam. If ovarian cancer is suspected see your gynecologist!

Last year it was a 10k and I won my age group, today it was a 8k and thank goodness for that because this trail was kicking my butt, at least 3 people fell and I rolled my ankle.
It is really hard to roll these tree trunks so you know the trail was tough.

The course was The Osmanthus trail in First Landing State Park, here in Virgina Beach. I love running at First Landing, but surprisingly enough I had never run that particular trail. As you can imagine coastal living is very flat and First Landing is one of the few places with rolling hills around here. If you don't train here regularly it can be a beeznatch come race day.

I really didn't have a plan other than to run as fast as my little legs could carry me. I started out with my friend Randi and she cautioned me that we were going too fast and about a mile in she backed off only to come back strong and place 5th overall and win her age group! I just kept at it. At mile two I rolled my ankle on a tree stump, but was able to keep moving. When we started we were in the top 5 but by the time we hit mile 3 I had fallen to 8th. There was an older woman in purple who passed me, but I was able to keep on her tail for the second half of the race. When it got closer to end I would try an pick her off.

The race was suppose to be a 4.5 mile run, so when we hit the 4 mile mark I started to close in on the lady in purple (I like to give people nicknames when I run). There was also a women, I think she took 2nd overall who was dressed in all green and I kept referring to her as The Green Lantern....anyway, I started to make my move with about a quarter mile left. I picked up speed and zoomed past her only to be not .2 tenths of a mile from the finish but over a half mile! WTH? They changed the distance and forgot to tell us! At one point I thought I took a wrong turn and purple lady passed don't want to know what word I referred to her as then....As we got closer to the end I could hear the crowd and dug deep and zoomed past her once again to finish just before her with an unofficial time of 42:04 for 5.04 miles (so says my Garmin). I came in 8th overall and second in my age group. Not only did I get a really cool medal, I also got a copy of Run Like a Girl the book and a cool back pack.

My awesome MRTT ladies!

I also got to meet some awesome MRTT members and I think we were successful at recruiting some more women to this awesome club. I did beat the two ladies that beat me last week and we now have a nice friendly rivalry going, little do they know that Randi, the MRTTer that took first in her age group, fifth overall is moving up into our age group in December. Another MRTTer that I had the pleasure of meeting today, Meghan, took first place! I'm so proud of my chapter, not only for winning, but because they are a great group of women of all paces who encourage and support one another! Thanks for making MRTT a success!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I need motivation or sleep or both. I have two races coming up and then I plan on taking a nice big break from running or at least my pathetic attempt at training.

Last March I was afflicted (yes afflicted) with ITB friction syndrome after the Shamrock Half. My painful knee, along with a bunch of changes in my personal life, including moving and my son starting school, left me doing spotty training for a bunch of races that I had paid for in advance. The last of those two races (ok, I might have signed up for these during my attempt to overcome a painful knee and/or because I can’t say no) are coming within the next week and a half,  Run Like a Girl 4.5 mile trail run is this Sunday and The Wicked 10k is next Saturday.

My knee is doing well and I think I am moving into unconscious competence in regards to learning to not heel strike, but I have lost misplaced my loving feeling with running. I do still love it, but right now I am feeling suffocated and need some me time. I think a two month break from racing and specifically training for an event will help me regain the warm fuzzies I usually get with running. Doesn’t absence make the heart grow fonder?

I plan on spending time in the gym working on my fitness and when and if I do run it will be without my Garmin, without a specific pace, without any rules or pressure. I am going to spend more time with the kids, especially on Saturday mornings.

BUT I still need to not only get through these races but perform well. I race to race, not really to race anyone specifically, but I like the challenge and pushing myself.  I will be disappointed if I go out and give a half-ass effort. Last year RLaG was a 10k trail. I trained hard for it and did well, winning my age group. I pushed myself and it paid off. This Sunday I don’t have the training to get me through, so I am going to have to dig deep and push my mental limits if I want to repeat. I have some stiff competition again this year so it could be anyone’s race. As for the Wicked, I plan on it being a fun run and enjoying the experience of running at the oceanfront with a bunch of people in costume.

Monday, October 15, 2012

All Access 5k

The All Access 5K

I did a last minute 5k this weekend. I thought it would be fun to see if my 5k time had improved since May, when I did the SJA Stingray 5k. The race was at 5 pm which gave me all day to recover from my 5.5 mile trail run I did at 7 am. Kind of. Recover is a relative statement and since I have little ones, it was also non-existent. Oh well, it was fun to challenge myself and I got in 8.5 miles for the day.

hanging out on stage prior to the race
The race started at 5:00 and registration opened at 3:00. Since I missed online registration I headed over the Virginia Beach Amphitheater at 3 to make sure I could register and sure enough for $50 I could, but I could not get a shirt, boo! I need to follow-up on that. Since the race was at the amphitheater and as the name implies, we would be running around the grounds, through the venue and end up back stage where all the cool kids are during a performance.

My new neighbors Cathy and Cheryl were running this, along with Cathy's workout buddies who were gracious enough to let me tag along. I even got some cool socks out of the deal! Thanks Helen!

It was a small race and we were able to get near the front of the corral with no problems. Not that I am super speedy or deserve to be at the front, but there really weren't that many people running it. So up close to the front we went. As usual, the gun fired and we were off. I tried to not get caught up in the initial sprint and save some of my energy. My legs were heavy from my morning run and the hectic life I live. Helen was off and there was no catching her. Cathy and I ran together for a while, but then she was off too! Somewhere around the 2 mile mark my tank was close to empty and then my shoe came untied. Great. The final lap had us running through the seating area and there are some small gradual inclines and I thought I was climbing Mt. Olympus. Then we snaked back around and finished behind the stage.

My boys were there cheering me on! We hung out for a little, enjoyed some Moe's and beer. Took a tour of the dressing rooms and headed home. It was a nice little race to do. I got to take a sneak peak at my competition for next weekends Run Like a Girl (it doesn't look good for me!) These are some FAST (and very nice) ladies I met! Great job. Helen took 2nd, Cathy 3rd and I got 4th in our age group. Great job ladies. It was another new friends frist race ever! She did great too and I think she really enjoyed the experieince. Great job Julie. Our other neighbor also took 2nd in her age group. I am surrounded by speedy women!! Thanks again for letting me tag along!

I ended up doing it 24:24, that's 7:51/mile. Not to bad for my second run of the day, but not a PR. Now it's time to "tapper" for Sunday's race.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

Warrior Dash was a blast! I had an amazing time running it again this year. The course was on the grounds of Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, VA. It sits on the banks of the James River and of course part of the course runs right through the river.
I have been very busy lately and hadn't had time to train properly for the race let alone look at a map to see if the course was going to vary from last years. I had no idea that they added an additional water obstacle or that they was more crawling through mud tunnels. I went in with the mindset that I wasn't looking to break any records, but rather, to just have a good time and enjoy running through the mud, woods, and river with my friends.
It had rained the day before and when we got there the corn field/parking lot was a mud pit, so we made our own parking spot close to the road and finished fueling for the race.

I am pretty sure that pre-gaming with a banana and beer is what lead to this...

Gangnam Style

We started in the 11:00 wave and in Warrior Dash style, flames shot into the air signaling the start of the race. The first mile was just running through mud and I was maintaining a pretty good pace, right around a 8:30 mm. But within another half mile I was panting and sucking wind. An older guy came running up behind me and told me I needed to get my breathing under control! WTH! In my defense, I was sick all week with a chest cold. I grunted out something about being sick and knowing what I was doing, but he flew by me and probably didn't hear me. Oh well, I kept at it and finally made it to the first couple of obstacles (WD has clever names for all these but I have no idea what they are, you can check it out here); crawling under bared wire in the mud; over under walls; tunnels carved into the mud topped with more barbed wire; and tires covered with a mesh you had to crawl under. By now I was exhausted and I decided to really just take my time and avoid scrapping my knees any more than I had to, but then I came to the obstacle that I both loved and hated last year, the log jam. Picture a muddy creek with three logs spaced out running horizontally to shore. After entering the water you have to climb up and over these logs.  For my 5'4" butt, that is a challenge because I couldn't reach the bottom of the creek. I did do better this year and exited the creek and onto the second part of the run.
We had to scale 50 foot walls (not really but it felt like it at the top). Nothing like climbing up, probably 15-20 foot wall with wet running shoes and a rope. I am happy to say that all those push-ups and assisted pull-ups payed off and I scaled that thing like I was being chased by the po po. Now here is where it gets interesting...they added a swim. It crossed a very big pond! I am not much of a swimmer. I can float around the pool, but to swim for fitness is not my thing. I can't do the whole head turning thing and my arm motion looks like I got caught in a spider web. I decided to back stroke and side stroke my way across the pond and although I really tried to not swallow any chocolate milk colored water, I did anyway. (I am happy to say I did not get dysentery.)  In the middle of the pond was a dock that you had to pull yourself up and over, I was spent. At this point the only thing that kept me going was this woman, a little older than me, who was clad in a cheetah skirt and mesh tank top, 80's style. We kept passing each other and right then she had the lead. That is, until we hit another wall that I scaled like a spider monkey. There was a little more running on flat ground until we came to the river. This slowed me way down. You couldn't run. The water was knee high and the best I could do was high step through it. She took the lead, bitch. (She was actually really nice.) Once we hit land she was mine and I closed in on her again. We were neck and neck going into the last three obstacles, a cargo net climb, the wall of fire, and the final mud pit. I was taking the lead over the cargo net and then this really slow guy was taking his sweet-ass time going over the top of the net and this is when she took off. I wasn't able to catch her after that. Yes, I am blaming that guy. I came to the fire, stopped, got in a little Gangnam and jumped over the fire and through the final mud crawl, which, I have to say is my least favorite obstacle and not because of the mud, but because it scraps up me knees. I know....Whaaaaa.
I meet up with Chad and we waited for the rest of our neon clad friends to come through the finish line.

 We got cleaned up in the river and noshed on the traditional turkey leg (ok, I actually think turkey legs look better than they taste, so I got a BBQ sandwich).
Meagan enjoying her turkey leg like a true warrior!
According to my Garmin I did it in 35 minutes, BUT I knew I couldn't have done that well. I walked way to much and and I am a very slow swimmer. My watch  probably auto paused when I stopped at each obstacle. I actually finished in 44:18:05, which put me at a 12:27/mi pace. I came in 15 out of 1,138 women in the 30-39 year age group, 48th overall for women and 421/6,661 overall male and female combined! Take that old guy! It was a tough course and I was sick, so I am totally happy with my performance.


Until next year....