Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Shamrock Marathon Race recap

On Sunday I ran my 13th marathon and my 3rd Shamrock Marathon. There isn’t much to say about this race except for the fact that the whole thing just sucked! From the time I got up and saw it was rainy and cold out, I just wanted to crawl back underneath my covers and go back to sleep. I thought I didn’t pay over $100 to run this race to just go back to bed. So I forced myself to get dressed and headed out the door. Luckily the start was close to where I live so I didn’t have to leave super early.   

I arrived at my friend’s house around 7 am which was only a few blocks from the start that was at 8:30 am. While I was walking into a hotel to wait for the start I ran into a friend that I work with. I asked him what he was doing here and he said he was running. After he told me that I felt bad because a few weeks ago I asked him to pick up my class at the gym on Monday morning (which would be the next day). I didn't want to teach the class because I knew I would be sore from the race.   He said that he would teach the class for me so I wouldn't have to.  Until right now, I had no idea he was running this race too!    

I was dodging puddles the whole way to the hotel so my shoes and my socks were completely wet. I am glad I brought an extra pair of socks. They were supposed to be for AFTER the race but I needed them now BEFORE we even got started

Soon enough it was time to time line up at the start. My friend had asked me what time I was planning to run and I said around 3:30-ish. He said oh good I’ll try to stick with you. I wanted to line up by the 3:30 pace group but unfortunately they only had 3:15 and 3:35. So I stayed back with the 3:35 group for a bit. My friend and I ran together for about 6 miles then he had to stop to use the port-o- potty and then we never met back up.  

Right from the start I was miserable. It was rainy and cold! I tried to go as long as I could before I needed to put my headphones in. I got to about mile 11 and it was time to get some motivation with my music. The wind got even worse than before and the rain turned into a snowy mix. I had passed the 3:35 group for a bit by this time and then I saw the group coming up to pass me. I thought this may be a good thing. Now I am in a pack of runners. I will stay behind someone tall so they can block the wind. This plan worked for a bit until I started knocking elbows with others since we were so close and people in front of me would step right in puddles and water would splash up on me. By now I was coming up on mile 18. I knew despite the weather I still had some left in my tank and I wanted to pick up my pace. At this point I wasn’t really thinking of a specific time I wanted to finish in, I just wanted to finish because I was so cold and miserable!  

I rounded the corner to another military base and there was a bunch of sand blowing since it was so windy. There was even a car that had gotten stuck from the sand blowing so much in the middle of the base. I knew there was only about 6 miles left from this point.  Only a 10k I thought, less than an hour. I was dodging puddles the whole time while running through the base. Finally I exited and was on the home stretch, less than two miles to go.  By this time I was so over this race and I wanted it to be done. Luckily some of my favorite songs came on my ipod and that helped me reach the finish line. 

The only fun part about this race was when it was over! Despite the awful conditions I still managed to BQ. However, I still did better in Chicago. Either way, I was just happy to have finished. I didn’t even stick around for the after party since it was so cold even in the tent that was supposed to be heated. I got my complimentary beef stew, said hi to my friends that had finished the half earlier, and I was out! -L

Monday, March 20, 2017

If you were to visit me...........

 I just started getting into the local race scene here last year, so I haven't been able to participate in all the local events my area has to offer.  However, I have realized that a race-cation every now and then is nice, but there are certainly enough races in my own area to keep one busy. If you were to visit me and wanted to run a race, these would be the ones I would suggest.

If you visit me in the Summer, I would ask you to run the monumental mile with me.  This race is a part of our county's 4th of July celebration and will be held right before the annual Veteran's Parade.

 I look forward to the Veteran's Parade every year because I drive my Pappy in the parade and all my family comes to watch. This year runner's will run the parade route and hour before the parade starts.

A week later a neighboring town holds it's annual 4th of July 5K.  I ran this one last year for the very first time and had a blast. I would warn you that it is super hot, and there is a super large hill, but the crowd support is amazing, and there is a large post race gathering. The race ends at the community pool so I would tell you to bring your suit because runners can stay at the pool all day for free.

If you visit me in the fall than you would HAVE to do the Harvest Festival race with me. I've run this one several times and it is clearly a favorite. I would tell you that this course is flat and makes a loop around town. I would also tell you that you would see many of my friends and family either on the course or in the crowd. This 5K is associated with the town's Harvest Festival that lasts for 2 weeks. That means that during the race there will be street vendors open for business, and people will be setting their chairs up for the parade that starts later that day (I haven't stayed for the parade in many, many years because it is so crowded). If you ran this race with me I would also tell you we would have to show up early because parking can be tricky.  If you visited during this time, we could also watch the pet parade, bike race, or other events that happen during this time.

If you visited me around Christmas time than I would suggest we run the Running of the Elves. I would tell you that you must dress up in Christmasy running attire and be prepared to tackle the huge hill. It's all good though because being at this event and seeing everyone dressed up just kicks off the holiday season.

Of course if you visited any other time of year, I could find a race or two for you to participate in. There are several Tris  in the area as well as half marathons. In fact, if you wanted to visit this Spring, I might suggest we run the Forever Young 5K which is a Peter Pan and Tinker Bell themed race.  I would even give you a green tutu and do your hair in a bun!  -M

Do you have similar races in your town?

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring Race Plans: Whats on tap

After running a marathon in the first half of both 2015 and 2016, I wanted the first half of 2017 to be a bit more relaxed with shorter distance races.

 I initially wanted just one Spring Race-cation on my calendar this year but then other opportunities presented themselves.

1. Originally, my only plan for a Spring race included running the Hershey 10K in April. I've never done any of the Hershey races before and thought this would be a great way to check them out. I was hoping to concentrate on this distance during training and hopefully have a good finish time at this race (although I've heard there are some hills). I haven't raced a 10K since 2013.

2. Then I had the opportunity to run the NYC half marathon in March (THIS weekend). This is a race I wanted to do anyway. At this point in my life I am injury free (knock on wood I still am by the time I publish this post), and why put off something till next year if I have the opportunity to do it this year?
I know this won't be a goal race because of the many hills during the first half. I was going to use this race as just a scenic jaunt in the city.

3. Since I am now running the NYC half, I am no longer keeping the Hershey 10K as my "goal race". I guess I'll just use that as a fun recovery run.

4. Yet, another race opportunity has presented itself for May. I'm not going to mention the race by name yet because many details need to be worked out and I haven't made a decision yet. My husband's company is a sponsor for this race series and I was asked if I wanted to run the marathon. HECK NO!

 I will not run the marathon but a race in this series is on my list of races to accomplish.  I know this race is  hilly and would definitely be a challenge and it actually makes NYC look like a stroll in the park. Which makes me think that maybe I should set my expectations for NYC a little higher and use this race in May as my "just get through it" race, haha.

5. There is another local 5k/10k race coming up in May (it's a pirate theme) that I might run with friends and family.

 Out of all the races, I am the most excited about the Hershey 10K!  I'll be staying at the Hotel Hershey (which will be a first for me), and I already have appointments at the spa for chocolate treatments and the lunch buffet they offer there. -M

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Race Day Decisions

As you've been reading, both my sister and I are on edge this week due to our pretty big races we're running this weekend. Lacey is running Shamrock and I'm running NYC.

I wanted to do a run down of decisions I have made about the race and some concerns I still have.

I did indeed skip my long run this weekend (the only one I skipped this cycle) but I did get out on Monday and got in a few miles before the snow started.

I tested out some of the clothing I planned to wear on race day. I had a long sleeve tech zip up, my throwaway (That I actually got from the Lost and Found at work. Hey they were getting ready to take a pile to Good Will anyway), and my new NYC headband.

United airlines new york city half marathon

What I've discovered..........

1. I've decided not to bring my own water on race day. Using a handheld was out of the question but I was considering using the bottle that goes inside my flip belt.  After my run on Monday I realized that because of the layers I plan on wearing I probably won't take the time to dig out my water bottle. For all the more water I usually drink on a run I think the water stops will be just fine.

2. After realizing that I was going to have to wear layers I started stressing out about what I was going to do with my race bib.  Do I pin it to my shirt or my jacket?  If I pin it to my shirt (with the intention of eventually shedding my jacket), I'd be okay. But what if I decided to keep my jacket on the entire race?  I ended up wearing a second layer over top of my bib when I ran Rock n Roll Las Vegas a few years back and because my bib was not visible, I obviously got no race pictures. NYC is going to be a one and done for me so I at least want to have a race picture.

My mom advised me on this one and said "Just pin the bib to your race belt". Genius! That was such a simple solution, why hadn't I thought of that?

3. On Sunday I showed a picture of a new outfit that I bought for the race but was doubtful about wearing it. I tried on the short sleeve shirt and that is definitely a no go as it is not a good fit. I'm also going to pass on the pants as well (as cute as they are), because the quality isn't great (They are Avia and a little thinner than the other pants I have), and there are mesh panels on the side of the legs. I think these will be perfect for a race I have in April so I'll save them for that.

4. Like any concerned runner I've been stalking the weather for about a month. I know that does me no good as it would be unlikely the weather forecast would actually stay the same. For weeks now the forecast was a low of 40 and high of 50.  NOW it is showing a  low of 32 (real feel 34) and high of 38 (real feel 34) for race day morning.  There is now a possibility of precipitation.

I was never planning on wearing a hat or a visor because I got the NYC headband, but now maybe I think I should. Should I be wearing my windbreaker as well? I've ran in the windbreaker often so I am very comfortable in it.  I know many of you are going to advise against this, but with temps in the 30's, I do believe I am going to wear my insulated running tights.  I'm wondering if I should wear my insulated top as well?  Should I wear the windbreaker over top of the insulated top?

Well, that's it. I'll probably do one more short treadmill run, lots of stretching, and pack several different outfits and hope for the best! -M

Monday, March 13, 2017

The count down is on!

Well the time is finally here. The week before the marathon aka the marathon jitters and second guessing yourself. I'm running the Shamrock Marathon this weekend and I keep asking myself, Did I do enough in this training cycle? Could I have done one more long run? Maybe more speed work? Last week and this week I am going through taper crazies. I feel like I need to run more, but know I shouldn’t so I have been sticking between 5-8 mile runs. The time has come to just trust in your training like they say right?

 I’m sure I am not the only one that feels stressed the week before the marathon. Between looking at the weather forecast non-stop and figuring out what you should wear, to logistics of the race, parking, and how early I need to get there? I even asked my friend to take me and he says, “that is too early!” I do have a friend that lives close to the start so I am going to try to park at her house and walk to the start.  

Why is it the week before the marathon your everyday life seems to be busier than normal? Between my classes and an annual St. Patrick’s Day party I feel like the marathon will be here before I know it.  My friend hosts this St. Patty’s Day party every year on St. Patrick’s Day so every year it falls on a different day. In years past it was after the marathon so I would celebrate afterwards. This year it falls before the marathon which kind of is a bummer! 

For those of you who don’t know the Shamrock Marathon is now a challenge like most races these days. You can run the 8k on Saturday and run the half or full on Sunday. I have two friends that always run the 8k and never have run a half. Well guess what? This year they finally chose to run the half. I do not think necessarily because they wanted to, I think it was more because they didn’t want to run the 8k the following day after the St. Patty’s Day party and that meant running the half marathon if they still wanted to be part of the popular race weekend. They have FOMO too apparently!  

I am looking forward to this coming weekend, but more important I think I am looking forward to afterwards so I can relax and not keep up with a training plan and I can just run when I want to and not feel like I have to run x amount of miles. I will be looking forward to getting a new pair of shoes too! This will be my second marathon I have run in these within 4 months. I am so bad at rotating shoes! I need to start.  

How do you handle stress the week before a marathon? 
Do you have taper crazies? 
Do you rotate shoes in a training cycle? -L

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Wrap....March 12

Here we are again for the weekly wrap!

Sunday: 10 Miles on the Tread Mill ( which I actually already reported last week). Afterwards I felt like all I did for the rest of the day was eat and snack, and eat, and snack. I know I did burn a lot of calories on that run but geesh, I must have been hungry. I did have a product day though. I watched some of my favorite movies, did some laundry, graded some papers, did house work and put my new Spring door mat and wreath on the door.  That was the first time all day I went outside. I was kind of bummed that it was so nice out and I missed it. I could have done my run outside instead of on the TM.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 TM miles

Wednesday: Rest.  I discovered that Baylee hides in my bathtub when I am not home.  When I got home that afternoon I caught her jumping out of the tub knocking over the shampoo bottles. I now know why things are disheveled in my bathroom.

Thursday: 3 mile run outside. Funny Story: While I was taking my post run shower, Baylee paid me a visit and decided to jump in the shower. I don't know what is up with her lately. She must be claiming that as HER spot.

Friday: Rest

I can't believe this is it, my last weekend before NYC! To be honest, I'm really not sure how to taper since this is the first half marathon in which I haven't been injured during training. I was thinking about doing 6 miles today but honestly I'm feeling a bit under the weather and just may skip it ( the past few weekends I've done 13.1, 13.1, and 10 miles).  I also planned to run one  or two other 3 milers sometime during the week before I leave for NYC. Do you think that is good enough?

 Even though I'm nervous, I'm extremely excited and I'm actually feeling strong. Of course I'm not making any goals for this race because I know there are just too many things out of my control (crowds, hills, weather, nerves, etc).

I bought a new outfit this weekend for the race. I wanted something other than my black or grey pants so Scott would have a better chance of spotting me in a crowd. Turns out that I probably won't have an opportunity to test out these clothes before race day so I probably won't wear them. I guess I'll be running in my boring black or grey pants.  The temps for the day (so far) are low of 40 and high of 50. Of course during the race I'm sure it will be closer to the 40's than the 50's. I'm still torn on what to wear. Will just a long sleeve running top and a throw away be enough? What would you wear?

There probably won't be a Weekly Wrap for next week but I will try to post on IG (@fairytalesnfit) if you care to follow along and show support! This weekend Lacey will also be racing. She's running the Shamrock Marathon.

What do you think of my mileage plan (and skipped run) for this week?  M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I'm not impressed with this trend in Running

This week's Friday 5 theme is "Fitness Trends".  A few years ago, I wrote a post titled 5 Fitness trends I'll never be a part of.  I just re-read that post and had to laugh because there are now things on the list that I am considering (...gasp)! You should go check it out!

I now have a new story on the topic Fitness Trends, that I'm going to share.

As you know, last year I gave up on a very popular Fitness Trend, those "Challenge" races.  I've done a few challenge races during my time, and then in 2015 I ran the Goofy Challenge (The half marathon and full marathon), The Glass Slipper Challenge, and The Pixie Dust Challenge, all with in a few months.  Needless to say I was exhausted! I'm not proving any points to myself by running this way and to tell you the truth I really don't need that "extra" medal.

Yesterday, I got an email that announced our local race series is now hosting a Fall Day 10K. Yay, I was super excited to have this added to the line up!

When I read closer, I noticed the Fall Day 10K is part of a Trifecta, meaning there is a 5K on Friday night, the Fall Day 10K, on Saturday, and then the Half Marathon on Sunday. Thus ending in another one of those "Challenge" races!

If you are new to this race series than you may think this is a good idea. I am not new to the series and I am quite upset because ......

1. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm done with "Challenge" races so now I have to pick and choose which one I want to run.

2. The 5K that is part of the Trifecta, is the Night time 5K that I planned to run this fall. I passed on running it last year because I was training for the Wine n Dine Half Marathon (I'm probably the only person who does not sign up to run races as part of a training run).

3. I was planning on running this Half marathon this fall with a friend by doing it as a relay. Now that it is part of the Trifecta, the relay is not an option.

4. Both the the Night time 5K  and the Half marathon were always run on two different weekends in September. Now they are both moved to October to coincide with the Fall Day 10K.

5. So in essence, this race series has taken 3 fun races that I really wanted to run individually throughout the fall and now crammed them all into one weekend.  Ugg!

There are a ton of races that happen in the fall so finding one on any given weekend really isn't going to be a problem, but I really like doing THIS particular race series because it is literally right down the road from my home.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My beginning

The other day when I was doing my long run I was listening to a podcast and the presenter was interviewing an elite runner and asked if they were always a runner and what made them take up running. It got me thinking about myself and how I came to love the sport of running. Misery loves company, right? 

When I was in High School I ran track and honestly didn’t even like it that much.  didn’t even do it all four years. I ran the 100m and 200m. Back then the mile felt way too long for me. I would get mad at my coach when he would make me do the 400m. 

Back then if you would have asked me if I would ever run a marathon, I would have just laughed and thought you were crazy to ask such a question. 

Well fast forward to my college days, I still wasn’t a big runner by any means, but thought I could stand to lose a few pounds that seem to creep up in college, so I did start running a little, but 30 minutes was my limit. When I got my first job out of college, my co-worker was a runner and was training for her first half marathon and asked if I wanted to do it with her. By this time I was running regularly but never did much distance. I thought why not, how hard could it be? And oh my, it was! Looking back there were many reasons why it was, no training plan, didn’t fuel properly, cotton everything, etc! I told myself that I never wanted to do that again! (If you want to read about that race, you can find it HERE).

Four years later, I ran a 5k with my mom and sister down at Disney World. We had a blast! Now we did take our time and stop for pictures and got the most out of what the race had to offer. However, after I completed it, I thought if we do this next year I want more of a challenge.  

This brought me to my second half. We ran the 5k the next year, and the following day I ran the half marathon. It went much better than my first half experience that was five years prior.  

That spring I got involved in a running group. At first I wasn’t sure if I would fit in, because these were “serious runners” that ran many races and had a lot of marathons under their belt.  I didn’t think of myself as a serious runner, I just ran when it was convenient and fit in my schedule since I was a flight attendant during this time (so you can imagine the crazy schedule). 

I began really liking this running community and I felt like I was a part of the group. I even started running with other people on certain days without the group. I was running more than I ever had and upped my mileage and began really liking the longer runs.  During long runs, there is plenty of time to talk and conversations come up. During one run my friend asked me why I haven’t ever run a marathon. I told him that I was a sprinter in school and never have been a distance runner. He looked at me and said, Well you’re doing it now, and besides you never know unless you try. Wouldn’t you want to try it and say you have, than ever wonder what if?” For the longest time I kept thinking I never wanted to pay money to be miserable.

 But the more I thought about it, the more he made sense and I wanted to take on the challenge. Ok, so I would run a marathon to prove to my friend I could. One and done right? Well let’s just say I'm now training for #13 and going strong! By the way, we are still very good friends and to this day still train often together. I guess I have to thank him for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  

What made you take up running? Did someone have an influence on you when you first started running?  -L