Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter, My Birthday, and the Jelly Bean





Today is Easter and it is also my 38th birthday. I was 16 the last time I was blessed enough to share my birthday with Jesus' resurrection. Unlike my my 16th birthday, I keep forgetting my big day was approaching this year. I guess as I get older, I am less and less concerned about my day as I am concerned about the others in my life, namely my children.

My present to myself was to finish up my training for the Flying Pirate Half with a 12 mile trail run in warm sunny weather with my friend Randi. We can now head into our taper! I love that this race is almost here. It has been a long cold winter and spring and I am ready to race! 

As for Easter, we will be heading to mass after the boys round up their Easter baskets and find all the eggs the Easter Bunny hid. Our church puts on an egg hunt for the kids, so we are going to be doing that as well, then heading to an Easter/birthday dinner at one of the restaurants at the oceanfront. Looking forward to it.

I also finished up my races for The Jelly Bean Virtual Race. I did the 5 and 10k. My sister-in-law won a prize pack for sharing RWJ's photo on FB. Go Jill! :) Don't forget to report your results if you are doing this one, today is the last day!

Happy Easter!



Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

~Courtney

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Freezing!

This so called spring weather has stolen my running mojo! It is freezing here. When I say freezing, its more like in the mid 40's with chance of snow! Snow?!? Not cold to some, but I live in Virginia Beach. It is NOT suppose to be this cold!!! It's one if the reasons I moved here from Western NY State. Because I HATE long winters. I don't mind the cold for a short time but this is getting old.

I have three weeks until my half marathon. Three short weeks to get in what training I can. This cold damp weather is making it really hard to get pumped up for yet another long cold run! I took last week very easy to recover from the race and my high mileage. (And by easy I mean I was lazy, using racing and the cold weather to slack off! And by high mileage I mean less than 20 for the week.) I have one more long run before taper week which I will be spending in Florida. Hopefully, it will be a little warmer than it is here. I found this cool running tour and hope to do it while I'm there!

Ok I am done complaining about what a terrible life I have :/ and how horrible it is to have to run in the cold. I know these are such inconsequential first world problems, but I needed to get it off my chest! ;)



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sham-Rock Weekend 2013


39:10
7:50 pace
2:01 PR!


Another Shamrock weekend has come and gone and it was just as great as it was last year and the year before and the year before and the year before...Congrats to all the runners! Living in Virginia Beach gives me access to a ton of racing events and the reason I keep coming back to this one is that it encompasses everything I love about running, including giving me a reason to get outside during the often dreary drizzle of of our winter rains.

Shamrock weekend, as it is known in these parts, is put on by J&A Racing and Yuengling. It is a weekend full of everything running, from the 26.2 yard Leprechaun Dash to the Full Marathon; the big names it draws, like Bart Yasso who gave us a pep talk before our race, and the excitement of the expo; it truly has something for all runners.
 

Since I am training for a half marathon next month I chose to do the 8k this year and see if I couldn't PR. It has been a couple years since I raced a true 8k, not a 8k obstacle course or mud run, and I wanted to see what I could do while mentally checking how ready I am for my upcoming half. So on Saturday morning, I headed down to the VB Oceanfront with my sister-in-law Jill. We meet up with some of the women from my running club and got some quick pictures while we tried to stay warm. It wasn't too cold, but it certainly wasn't stand around in your shorts kind of weather. I wore this old hoodie that I was ok parting with in the corral, luckily for me it was exactly where I left it at the end of the race for me to reclaim.

I had planned on doing a warm up run and then doing my little movement prep routine, but I wanted to be in a good spot in my corral. Really I didn't want to be that guy. You know the guy I'm talking about. The one in his singlet in 20 degree weather doing quick 20 yard runs and whipping his legs back and forth to get loose. I'm sure it helps but I'd rather be inconspicuous and take my chance at being 5 seconds slower than if I whipped my hair back and forth, I mean my legs.

Anyhoo...I was near the front of corral 1 and only 3 seconds back from the gun time. I felt good and fell into and held my pace for the first couple of miles. And the it happened...I got into my own head and backed off my pace. I kept thinking "you are doing it again, you are starting out too fast and are going to die at mile 3." So instead of dying at mile 3, I backed off at mile 2 and by mile 4 was up to an 8:03 pace. There is a turn onto the boardwalk at about mile 4 and as I took the turn onto the boardwalk I felt like my breath was being robbed from me. I'm starting to think I have exercise indused asthma, but that is another story. I pushed through it and tried to finish strong and leave nothing on the course. I finished at 39:10. Yes a PR! A 2 minute PR, but I think I could have done better. I still had gas in the tank and wished I hadn't backed off. I'm such a typical runner. I should be happy with my time and I am happy with my time, how could I not be, a 2 minute PR, but I can't help think I could have gotten under 39 minutes.
 
I met up with my family and brought my son down to the race after party where we ran into our old friends, who if you are reading this the next time you are in town I want to see you for more than 10 minutes!
 
After I got some food and drink we headed back to take shelter from the rain and wait for the Leprechaun Dash to start. My little guy was doing this one. He was so focused!
 
 
It must have been his pre-race warm-up!
 
He is either playing on an iPhone or reading inspirational running quotes! 











 
I really think it's cute to see all the 5 and under's running their dash. I also think it is more for the adults. I have forced had my sons do this several times and I think they get so overwhelmed with the crowd and the noise that they don't know what to think of it, but at the same time I want them to be part of the weekend too. Plus they get these cute bibs, shirts, and medals. So he will have to endure it for at least one more year. Sorry buddy!





Thursday, March 14, 2013

VA is for Runners 14K

VA is for Lovers Runners 14K




That is not me wearing a tutu! ;)
I have a race in 2 days and I just realized that I never wrote a recap of my 14k I did last month. I guess besides being incredibly busy, I just don’t have much to say about the race. Although, I did have fun running with my new friends!
 The weather was cold, windy, and kind of dreary. It was the kind of day that makes me want to stay home and bake or curl up on the couch, not run 8+ miles.
A 14k is not a usual race distance, but being February with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, and being in Virginia where the state motto is Virginia is for Lovers, a 14K just makes sense.





I actually wanted to check this off my ‘local races to do list’ for a couple years. Plus, it fit in well with my half marathon training plan. My goal was to practice my pacing and to not only keep it even, but to get a negative split. Well the negative split still eludes me, but my pacing was much better. 

Here are my splits according to my Garmin:
Mile 1  8:01
Mile 2  8:16
Mile 3 8:19
Mile 4  8:35
Mile 5  8:28
Mile 6  8:35
Mile 7  8:37
Mile 8  9:06
last .65 8:09
 

The schwag was nice. We got these stem-less wine glasses, along with short sleeve tech shirts, and pink carnations at the finish line.  



 
 
 
The Shamrock 8k is coming in a couple days. I haven't raced this distance in a while and I hope to get a sub 40 minute PR. Wish my luck!