Friday, May 31, 2013

SJA Stingray 5K

I have been terrible at keeping up to date with my blog, especially keeping up with my race recaps. I have run 2 races since before my last 5 posts and no recaps. I really don't have an excuse except that writing about life's happenings has been way easier than writing about running. I think I am majorly burned out or frustrated. Either way, I am having a hard time putting into words my last two races. Well, besides totally sucking, but that would make for a very short post.
So here is a quick recap of race #1...
SJA Stingray Run. I look forward to this race every year and this was a particularly exciting year because my son's school puts on this race and he, along with his classmates were running the 1 mile and a bunch of MRTTers were running in both races as well. His class won a trophy,pizza party, and class funds for raising the most money in donations and race entries! Thank you all who ran for his class!
Connor and his finishers ribbon for the 1 mile.
It is usually a great day at the beach. Not this year. It was about 45* and rain, windy, cold, rain. If it was another race I probably wouldn't have gone. I was frozen at the start and had one too many layers on. I was burning up by mile one. When I hit the halfway mark I think I was top 2 or 3 overall for the women and then boom, couldn't breath and I was spent. Great. I AM super happy for my good buddy Randi who went onto win it and Helen who took second place overall. I ended up 5th, yes I got beat by a 13 year old. :/  I did, however, win my age group because speedy friend 1 and speedy friend 2 took overall placings, congrats girls!!
There was one more race and that was for the little kids. The Stingray Dash. It usually is so cute and the kids are excited. This year they were cold and could care less. Poor Patrick was a popsicle and like and good stage mom I made him perform, err run!

He was not a happy camper!

Patrick and Mike running the dash for sand toys.
Courtney, I understand the weather was bad, but why do you say "it sucked"? Alright, maybe it sucked was a bit strong, but the weather was horrible and I think I could have placed overall if I could have just breathed or at least PR'd.  I totally lost my breath and felt like I was breathing through a straw. I am happy that I kept my age group title three years in row and I am happy for my friends, but this makes two races in a row that I fell apart and missed my goal. Running and I are at odds.

Next up Equi-Kids Cross Country 5K......

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

This has to be the best Mother's Day ever, and it started on Wednesday! I was invited to a Mother's Day celebration at my son's school after mass. And let me tell you I had tears of joy pretty much the entire time. Connor was so excited to have me come to school and even more excited to give me my surprise(s)! It was too cute for words. I can't thank my son's teachers enough for a great day!
We had a laua themed reception in the cafe. All the moms got fancy flower leis and were lead to our seats where these All About Mom papers were waiting for us. I am not sure if you can see this, but I wish I was only 36. And yes, I like to run. (This a running blog!)  I also apparently like to sleep. Which I do, but I asked him about it and he said "you like to sleep because you are always saying how tired you are!" Umm, I might need to work on that!!
We had some food and then things got good....
Even better, if you can believe it....
All the kids lined up and sang you are my sunshine. Cuttest.thing.ever.
Then we got our presents. A little story about us and a beaded ribbon necklace. I love it.
But my day does't end there. I left school just before lunch, picked up my little man from daycare and headed to the beach for a picnic. It was a perfect day. Patrick played on the playground and I got to we did some geocaching. Too bad I couldn't find the cache. :/
The sun was in his eyes.
We headed home, Patrick napped and I found out I won a Coach purse! Yes that's right a Coach bag, a 31 bag, a coupon oragnizer, a set of pans, and $50 to KFC. Whoo Hoo!! I know I know, doesnt she eat clean? Yes I do and I think I am going to buy lunch for the corpsman in my clinic as a thank you for serving and their hard work.  I can't tell you the last time I ate KFC, but I do know I really enjoyed their biscuts, so maybe I'll have one of those. Shhh, don't tell anyone!
I can't wait to see what they have in store for me today!
Happy Mother's Day
to all you mom's out there!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Strawberry Time!

It is strawberry season here in VA. We have a little area just south of town that is known for its strawberries. There must be about a 1000 you-pick fields. They even have their very own Strawberry Festival Memorial Day weekend. With the cold rainy weather we have had this spring the season was delayed a bit, but now it's game on!

The boys scouting out the field.

I think he found a good spot.

Not sure why I made them wear their boots. It was bone dry, haha.

Basket one.

The boys enjoying the berries.

I made sixteen 16 oz. tubs of freezer jam out of less than two of those baskets. Even tough we try to eat clean we still eat sugar. There is a ton of sugar in jam, 4 cups per box of Sure Jell. If you are Paleo, just imagine I crushed up berries and froze that.  I figure that homemade jam is better for you than Smuckers and way less expensive than organic store bought. I think each homemade jam was roughly 50 cents vs. $4 or more for store bought. I would LOVE to learn to can so I could do more than jam (that rhymes), although I  hope to try refrigerator pickles this summer. (I'll have to find something that rhymes with pickle-hehe.)

Half of my finished product

Friday, May 10, 2013

Flying Pirate Half Marathon Recap

I spent all winter training for this half marathon. I easily talked  my running partner Randi into doing it with me. As much as I love to run, I had been feeling a bit burnt out about it. I really wanted to do just one more half and then take it easy with shorter races and obstacle course runs. My hope was to train correctly, put in enough miles and do enough speed work and tempo runs to get that sub 1:50 half. 3.5 months of training went into this run and here is how race weekend went down.

The race takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That's the OBX for those of you not fortunate to be from the mid-Atlantic ;) There was a large group of women from my Moms RUN This Town club doing the race, so we all headed down on Saturday afternoon and hit up the expo.

Being from VA Beach, we are kind of spoiled by the size of races this area draws. We have Shamrock Marathon weekend in the Spring and The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in the late summer. Both expo's are huge and crowded with lots of stuff to buy and vendors giving away tons of stuff. I guess I was still coming down off my Shamrock induced high and was disappointed, no, not the right word, but snapped back to reality that most race expo's are not quit as big or packed with retail merchandise as those back in VB. Which was actually kind of nice, it was quick and painless getting my packet and although it was small and I told myself I wasn't going to buy anything....I did get a new iPhone holder.

There was also a contest for running in the best pirate costume and this magnificent thing was the 1st place prize. I almost went shopping for an eye patch and parrot after seeing this baby, but chose to run in my Lululemon and MRTT shirt instead. Obviously, I missed out.

After the expo we headed to the hotel and then out for some appetizers and a beer. I was without my family and even though I missed them, it was nice to not have to worry about getting the boys feed and ready for bed. I was actually going to be able to rest and concentrate on getting myself ready for the race. Yay me!

The course was a straight line south. We headed out early to catch the shuttle from the finish, where we parked our cars, to the starting area.  The race coordinators were very organized and had more than enough buses for everyone. We got to the starting area with plenty of time to take care of business, like the porta potty and pictures, you know important pre-race stuff!

Important pre-race stuff, getting pic's with my fellow MRTTers.

The race started after a failed attempt to get the crowd to the do the Harlem Shake and we were off. The course itself was really nice. It starts in Kitty Hawk and goes south to finish in Kill Devil Hills. The terrain varies from tree lined streets to bay views; onto a tour of the Wright Bothers Memorial (only around the base, thank Goodness!); and then into a park that starts as a packed dirt trail to actually running a hilly trail with pine straw under foot. You emerge from the forest at the top of a hill and sprint about a quarter mile to the the finish line down below. It was a really cool way to the end the race.

stock photo: Wright Brothers Memorial

So how did my race go? Well, it went. I felt great. I was well rested, well nourished and according to my Garmin, I was holding onto a 8:10 pace for the first 5 miles. At mile 4 there was a small hill  incline that I thought was not too bad, but somewhere around mile 6 then 7 I was slowing and I wasn't feeling so energetic. I wasn't too far behind Randi but somewhere around mile 7 she realized I wasn't with her and stopped for me to catch up. I have the bestest running partner, but I told her to go on and get her PR. We decided to shoot for a 1:49/48 and that is what we were on pace to do (knowing that we would slow once we got onto the trails). I didn't want to be the reason she didn't PR, so off she went and she got her 1:48! I think a 3 minute PR for her!

stock photo from flickr form 2012

When I got to the WB Memorial, my runners brain was in full on sabotage mode. I was still on pace for a sub 1:50, but I was shutting down mentally. I don't know where all this negative talk came from, but I was hating running. I was tired and my ITB started to hurt which just threw my mind into overdrive with stuff like.."why do I do this to myself"..."I still have 5 miles to go"...and "this sucks". Great positive self motivating stuff like that. (eye roll)

By mile 9 I had walked at least once and it wasn't even at a water stop. I decided to run and stop at the water stops and just keep moving. Well, that didn't happen. I think at mile 10  my friend Helen came up on me and was so sweet asking how I was. All I could do was give her a thumbs down and scowl. I was so mad that I was walking, my knee was hurting and I just threw the last 3.5 months of training out the window. (At least that is how I felt.) 

Once we were on the true trails, I was walking up them and running down them. I crossed the finish line at 1:55:10, 4 minutes off my PR and 6 minutes off my goal. Ugghhh. I can't lie, I was really pissed at first, not that that is a terrible time by any means, but that it just wasn't my day. I let my runners brain dictate my running. I was ready. I might not have run a 1:48 like Randi, but I knew I could do a sub 1:50. At least I think I am physically capable of it, but my stupid head keeps getting in the way!! It is very frustrating!!

After the race I got the courage to go and look at my Garmin split and compared them to the on course pacing. My 5 mile split had me at an 8:10 split. Their timing had me at a 7:41 split. Hmmm, I can't run a 7:41 pace for 13 miles. Maybe that is why I felt like death at mile 7? I was spent. Was it my Garmin that threw me off? Do I rely waaaayyy to much on it? Probably.

Even with my craptastic second half, I would totally do this race again. It was well organized and executed. The course was beautiful and the varied terrain was a plus. Also, my friends Cathy and Helen took second in the costume contest! I have to see what they come up with to take first!

Ahoy Matey's!
Unfortunately for them they didn't get to take home Captain Glitter Hooks skull, but they did score rum cake!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kentucky Derby Party

Saturday was the 139th running of The Kentucky Derby and our 3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Party. The funny thing is I know absolutely nothing, I mean nothing about horse racing. 3 years ago we decided the Derby was a good reason to invite some friends over and have a little party. It was a small get together, which consisted our close friends bringing a dish to pass and me attempting to make a mint julep. I say attempting because they were terrible. Times have changed and after taking last year off hosting due to our moving, we decided to go big.

We have been in our new house almost a year and being that it's spring in Virginia Beach we opened the pool and prepped the house. Thankfully we have some really great friends that lent a hand getting things up to snuff.

We decided to hire a caterer, which was a great move. I actually got to enjoy the party and wasn't stuck in the kitchen the entire night.

Chef Rich from Richson's Catering, VB

 I finally learned to make an amazing mint julep! Here is the recipe:

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups Kentucky Bourbon. (I used Makers Mark)
2 cups of mint leaves
Put it in a pitcher 10 days prior to the race and stir daily. Strain the mint leaves and serve over ice with a sprig of fresh mint. Obviously you can double or triple or quadruple the recipe and it still tastes great. But honestly after a couple of these things no one cares too much if the ratio is off a bit!

 Everyone dressed to The Oaks as they say out in Kentucky. I wore a chevron navy and mint dress complete with an ostrich on top of my fascinator. Princess Kate would be jealous!

My friends looked amazing and all came dressed to impress, seersucker pants and blazers, dresses and hats.


Oh wait, the race, almost forgot about that, Orb won.

Now back to the party, after everyone had their share of food and drink we had a serious dance party going on and things might have gotten a little crazy later in the night...conga line.I know crazy! Haha, just kidding. It was a great party and I think all of our friends had a great time getting dressed up to watch the fastest 2 minutes in sports. Now onto The Preakness!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quick update...

I have totally been neglecting my blog and have not been online a lot for that matter. Life has kept me pretty busy lately. Spring is here, although someone forgot to tell Mother Nature to up the temp. We have been busy getting our house ready for summer, inside and out. School is winding down for my kindergartner and Tball has started. I did run the Flying Pirate Half the day before the Boston Bombings. I was all set to write up my recap and then that happened. I didn't feel like writing and I didn't think it appropriate.  I will write it up soon, I hope. I guess I am still trying to process what happened. I have another 5k this weekend, my son's school's 5k. We are hosting a Kentucky Derby party that day too. I have a million things that pop into my head that I want to write about and then can't find the time. I think and hope that after this weekend things will wind down and I will be able to post more often. Wish me luck this weekend. Hopefully, I can PR in the 5K and pull off my party without loosing too much sleep!