The BIG Runfession....

It's the last Friday of the month, can you believe it? I had a feeling March would just fly by and I was right!
We got a taste of Spring here and I'm seeing buds on trees so I'm excited for April!.  But first, lets see what we have to Runfess for March.

1. Downloading my run stats from my Garmin and then recording them in my running journal use to be my favorite thing to do. I enjoyed that time post run to relax , get out all my gadgets, and reflect on how it went. However, I Runfess that I haven't recorded any runs since December (maybe even before). I haven't done a lot of outside runs this winter so I may only have a dozen or so to go through.

2. I Runfess that last 10K I ran (The Lucky Charm), was a real hit to my ego.  I thought I was trained well enough for a 10k. It was a mostly flat course and I wasn't even injured. I really wanted to do well but that just didn't happen. I wonder if this was a result of maybe being under trained and being the first race of the year, or if this is my  new reality now of being a year older?

3. I can also Runfess that I finally tried out my Flipbelt pants I got for Christmas!  I wore them to the Lucky Charm race, and I slipped the flipbelt water bottle right in! I didn't feel it at all. In fact I didn;t even remember it was there. I didn't actually need water when on the course but I was so glad to have it at the finish!

4. I will also Runfess that I am just TIRED!  I don't even know how to explain this one but I've just felt like doing nothing lately. I've got a comfy couch, a really soft blanket, a cuddly yellow lab and a TV that plays Judge Judy and it just sucks me in!  I need to break out of this rut!

5. Okay, now here is the BIG Runfession of the month.

Since we all have very busy lives (blogging, running, work, family, etc) and we want to be able to do it ALL, time is of the essence, is it not?   For this reason,  we decided to try something new with the Friday 5.  You know originally the Friday 5 was suppose to be a quick list of 5 things (sometimes on a particular topic). This made it a fun and easy format to get through as many blogs that linked up.  However, over the years, the Friday 5 kind of morphed into other things.  The 5 format was not always followed and it kind of became just a place to drop ANY blog post and that was not our intention. 

We are still continuing to host the Friday 5 but now the 5 stands for (5 minutes). Please link up a post that will take no longer than 5 minutes to get through.  This could still be done in a quick 5 list format if you wish, but we will not be providing topics.  This is not the link up to share a long race recap, an in depth book review, or a long weekly wrap.  We are excited about breaking the confines of  5 things about a specific topic and we can not wait to see what you all come up with!

We will be trying this for the month of April (and hopefully going further) but we appreciate any feedback you may have on our changes.   

When was was the last time you recorded your running stats? What do you think of the Friday 5 Changes? Do you like not having a specific topic for your 5 things?  Do you like not having to come up with 5 things? -M

L.A Marathon : Race day in pictures

Last Sunday I ran the L.A Marathon, my first race of the year!

On race morning I kept debating what to where, capris or a skirt? Arm sleeves or gloves? I decided on capris and my tank top with arm sleeves plus gloves. Overdressed? Well my hands are always cold and my friend said I could throw my arms sleeves to him when I see him. 

 I didn’t really prepare well for this race. I had forgot to get something for breakfast for race morning but I knew there was a Starbucks in our hotel and it would be open early for runners.  I get down there and there were two plain bagels left and a flavored scone. Really? You would think they would have stocked up before this. I don't like plain bagels and I wasn’t sure how the scones would settle. I decided to forgo both. Luckily my friend had brought some cliff bars and bananas for me for the weekend. I never had a cliff bar before a race but didn’t really have any other choice so I guess that’d have to do. I ate the bar and a banana and soon it was time to head around the corner to get the shuttle to take me to the start of the race.  

We arrived at Dodger’s Stadium where the race was starting. After making a porta stop I made my way to my corral with plenty of time to spare. The third baseman from the Dodgers said a little something and then the National Anthem played and soon we were off. I knew there were going to be plenty of hills the first half of the course but then it flattens out and ends with some down hills towards the beach. Again I had no expectations on this race and I was going to run just for "fun” right?  I also heard that this was a very fast course and a negative split is possible.  

When I first started I knew I was going way too fast (like I do in most races) but so was everyone else. I was trying to just run my own race. My watch kept buzzing telling me I was going too fast, but soon I got into a good rhythm and found a comfortable pace. I knew where my friend was going to be  so I started to look for him. It was around mile 4.5. I did see him for a quick wave and then I continued on. There was no way of throwing my arms sleeves to him at this point. I wasn’t too warm yet so I was fine with that. He told me later that he was not expecting me to come so soon so unfortunately he couldn’t get a picture of me. He said you were really moving and looked strong!

They weren’t lying about the hills on this course. I was happy to have incorporated some steep hills in my runs during this training cycle. As much as those hills sucked, I think the challenging part was running downhill. This is where my quads started to scream. I just told them to shut up and keep going, and that is what I did. This is a pretty scenic race, well so I hear. I was so focused and in a zone I didn’t see much of my surroundings. 

Although, it was fun to run down Rodeo Drive and see all the fancy stores I know I would never buy anything in!  We also had a great view of the Hollywood sign at one part of the race.   

Being a fast course, I was afraid I was going to lose some steam the second half of the race since the first half flew by for me.  I was still going strong and knew the majority of the hills were behind me so I was hoping to continue with this pace. The sun was coming out and I was getting a little warm. By this time I had rolled down my arm sleeves and I thought about tossing my gloves but I remembered doing this in Outer Banks and I regretted it afterwards.  

 There was a mile marker at each mile with the clock time underneath it. I knew I wasn’t very far from the actual time so knew I was keeping a good pace if I could just hold on to it. I think the last 10k is always the most challenging of any marathon and that’s when my watch started buzzing that I was too slow. I was doing everything I could to just continue to push through and have my watch stop buzzing. It finally did. 

The last 4 miles I thought were the worst. I knew what I ran the first 4 miles in and I did not think I was going to be able to do that pace again. Luckily the hills were behind me now and it was a flat road to the finish. The mile 26 sign could not come soon enough! 

After passing that sign I saw the finish shoot ahead. It looked closer than it really was but I kicked it into high gear and actually passed a few people during this stretch. It wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I knew I beat my time from Outer Banks!  I finished with a PR (only of 23 seconds).

I met my friend at the finish line and we promptly made our way to the VIP section so I could sit down! I don’t think I ever pushed myself so much in a race, but it did pay off.  

They had quite the breakfast spread in the VIP area with Mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar.  

I found a spot by the fire and enjoyed a Bloody Mary while trying to rehydrate as well. I thought I should eat something but wasn’t really hungry. 

By the time I decided get some food they had removed breakfast and put the lunch spread out instead. Now there were different sandwiches and salads and some yummy macaroons. 

                                                      I even got to meet Meb

Afterwards we headed to my friend’s sister’s house for the remaining of the day. 

She had DVR-ed the race so I watched it while recovering in my compression socks and enjoying a glass of wine. 

She was super sweet and made a cheese platter appetizer before dinner. 

                 While we waited for dinner we headed to the beach for a while.  

She had made homemade cherry pie for dessert and it was delicious. A perfect post race treat! 

Soon after it was time to head to the airport for a red eye back to the East coast. 

Overall it was a great weekend! I was going into it with no expectations so it was a good feeling to finish the way I did.  I didn’t even think that was possible after crushing it in Outer Banks!  -L

Ever run a race just for fun but end up finishing with an unexpected PR instead? 

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Hello L.A.....Weekly Wrap

Last weekend I ran my 17th Marathon. It was the LA Marathon and a very quick trip. Usually I am running  the Shamrock marathon on this weekend and it's always so cold and windy. So, when I had the opportunity to run LA I decided it would be a great time to leave the East coast and enjoy some warmer weather and sunshine!

I arrived in LA after taking a very early flight and called an Uber to take me to the Convention Center where I was going to help my friend at the Expo. The Uber called me and told me he was up a few terminals from where I was so I told him I’d be there in a few minutes. When I arrived I saw two people getting in my Uber, so I raced to get to the car right before he pulled away. He asked if I was Lacey and I said yes. Those two said sorry we almost took your Uber!

I arrived at the expo and I have to say for being such a big marathon I was a bit underwhelmed by it. It wasn’t any bigger than any other expo. 

Most of the booths I have seen before. However there were a few booths that were new to me. One was Normatec. 

They were leg booties that were supposed to refresh your legs after a tough workout. They were super expensive at around 1,400. The guy at the booth said that they are used in some training rooms for NFL players. They  said they normally do not go to Marathon Expos but rather Ironman Expos because those athletes supposedly have more of a disposal income. Well they would have to with that price!  I didn’t really care for these. For the price of them you would think they would be amazing. Heck I like my foot massager I own much better and it was much less. The booties just inflated a bit. At least my massage actually squeezes.  

I tried another massage product out. I don’t remember what the name of it was but it was an electric massager. The pressure was pretty good and had several settings. It sounded like an electric mixer when it was getting used. I liked it, but I do not think I would like doing it on myself. 

My favorite product that I tried out was the Buff. They were actually located across from our booth and they were nice enough to let me take one that evening to use in my hotel room. They knew I would be back tomorrow to work the booth again, so they didn’t mind. It was lovely! 

After not eating all day we were starving so we stopped and got dinner at a nice bar and grill right next to the LA Lakers stadium. It was a home game so it was very busy in there but it was a fun atmosphere.

 I got the spinach and shrimp salad with fried capers and a remoulade dressing. It was delicious!

Afterwards we finally checked in at our hotel. It was a beautiful hotel at the Westin Bonaventure. 

This hotel was in many movies back in the 80s and 90s and the “It” place back in the day. There were many restaurants still in the hotel and even a rooftop bar. It was in a great location too since it was only about a mile away from the Expo. The next day I had to meet my friend at the Expo at a certain time because he had a meeting to attend to and I had to watch the booth. 

While I was walking to the expo, I realized I forgot something back at the hotel. While I was walking back I got a bit warm and wanted to take my jacket off. While I was doing that, my hydroflask slipped out of my hand and fell right on my ankle….ouch! Of course it was a full so it was extra heavy.

 I had a feeling it was going to swell up and I needed to put ice on it. Why do things like this happen right before race day?

After working another full day at the expo we headed back to the hotel and just grabbed dinner at a restaurant inside the hotel.

 I decided on a turkey burger with fries. It was the perfect prerace dinner. Then it was time to get ready for my race and to get a good night’s sleep. Stay tuned for my race recap to come!   -L

                                We will be linking up with Holly and Wendy for their weekly wrap.

Races that are Family Traditions

I actually started running, not for fitness, but to spend time with family.  Of course I like the whole race atmosphere and actually running the courses, and who better to share that with than the ones you love.

Here are a few races that I've done with family that have become traditions over the years.

1.  Disney- Our love of races started with Disney races. In fact, this is probably the best race to do with family! This became a tradition for a few years, then we moved on to some other races.

2. April Fools - I've been doing this race with either my mom, sister, or both for the past 5 years. I missed it last year due to the Hershey 10K. I look forward to running April Fools again this year. This race always makes for a great girls weekend at the beach!

3. Harvest Festival - This race has definitely become a tradition. It's a local race that I run with my dad (and sometimes Sister). It's a favorite because the atmosphere is always festive and my pap comes to watch every year! Usually someone in my family will win an AG award.

The next two races are ones I've only run with my family one time, but now that we've run them we will probably make them traditions as well.

4. The Monumental Mile- This race is held in conjunction with our county's 4th of July veterans parade. I ran the inaugural race with my dad ( who won an AG award) last year before the parade started. This is another race that is so festive because people are there to watch the parade. Since it supports the veterans, I think this is a race we will continue to do each year.

5. The Running of the Elves-  I've run this race twice so far but only last year did my family run it too.  My mom and sister both earned AG awards. This usually takes place the second week in December and is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. We'll probably run it again this year. It's another local race so why not?

What races do you run with your family? (or is there a race that your family accompanies you to each year?)  -M

Lucky Charm Race

On Sunday my friend Heather and I ran the Lucky Charm 10K. This race offered both a 5K and a 10K and when Scott found out we were running the 10K he asked whyDo you get the same medal for both? Yes you do, I said! Then why would you run the further distance, he asked.

I can find a 5K around here like every other weekend but there seems to be fewer 10K's offered, especially ones that actually offer a medal.  I'm okay with running a 5K and not receiving a medal, but a 10K distance deserves a medal, don't you think? 

When we got there, that atmosphere was already fun and festive. It was nice seeing everyone dressed in green and some in costumes! As far as the weather, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to run.

Packet pick up was available starting on Friday but we chose to just pick our stuff up right before the race. I registered for this race back in January and at the time of registration I ordered a size small race shirt. When I picked up my bib and shirt on Sunday, they no longer had any smalls left. How does this happen?  They gave me a medium instead, but turns out that ended up being a mistake in my favor because the shirts ran pretty small and the medium one fit perfect! I actually really love these shirts and the material is SO soft. They are just like the shirts that you get from Gone For A Run. At packet pick up I got to seen Ana and her son!

In real life, this jacket I am wearing (from the Tinkerbell half in California), looked a bit more green ( I knew it wasn't really green-green), but enough that it was a shade of blue green. Of course now that I look at it in this picture, it just looks blue! O well.  I was unsure what the weather was actually going to be like and it was a bit breezy walking to the race from the car, so I kept the jacket on. I decided to race with it on too.  It was a good decision in the beginning because it was a bit chilly running by the water, but after that, keeping it on was a BAD choice!

The 10K race is basically an out and back, running up one side of town and coming back on the other. It is actually a really nice, scenic course. We passed the capitol building on our way. I also saw Ana and her son again on the course cheering for runners! 

I am proud of myself for starting off slow on this race. I usually start off way too fast and then am drained by the last half of the race. But turns out my slow pace just continued. I didn't end up speeding up.  My legs were feeling super tight, but I knew that I would feel this way for the first few miles and then they would loosen up like they normally do on a run.  They didn't end up loosening up till half way through mile 4!   Even though my legs felt better, I did not gain any speed!

At one point in the course we looped through a little park and then made our way down near the water. I am not kidding you when I say a flock of seagulls literally grazed my head. I am NOT a fan of birds to begin with and to have like 50 of them flying right in front of me and over my head was insane.  I was actually trying to get my phone out to take a picture when I saw a professional photographer take a photo of me doing so. I must have looked like a hot mess. Can't wait to see what those race photos look like..haha.  (by the way, I ended up looking back while I was running to get this photo once the seagulls dispersed)

This course was advertised as a flat course, which it mostly was except for two spots. There was a slight hill at the half way mark,  which I sort of did not mind because at that point I was looking forward to the downward portion to hopefully gain some momentum. The second hill was going back up into town after running by the water, which I was kind of wondering how we were getting back up there and figured there was going to be a hill.

I took this picture after the race and realize now that I did not capture the complete incline. It  wasn't a big deal, but just not something I was happy about seeing at the end of mile 5 of a 10K race.

The finish line was up the incline and around the corner.

I was not sick for this race, nor was I injured, yet I earned one of my slowest finish times for a 10K race.  All I can say is I was over dressed and under trained. That's it. There are no excuses. It was a beautiful day and a great course overall.

Afterwards we were treated to green bagels, and cups of Lucky Charms.  There were also Jimmy John sandwiches but the line was too long to wait in and I wanted to go meet my friend.

We then found a seat to watch the the festivities continue with the St. Patrick's day parade. The atmosphere was so festive and fun and it was a great way to spend the afternoon.  I would actually consider this race again in the future.  -M

We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap....March 18

                                                  Good morning (or good afternoon)

Today is race day for the both of us! I will be running the Lucky Charm 10K later today and Lacey will be running a little race called the L.A Marathon.

Guys, I think both of us have sort of been in a running rut because neither of us really trained like we should have.

I was so excited to have a 10K be the first race of the year for me. I thought it would be a good distance. I wouldn't have to put in the time and dedication that I would for a half marathon (like I did last year), yet something more than a 5K would give me something to work towards.  Like I mentioned previously, I wanted to use this 10K as a "goal race" since I was sick for my 10K last Spring, but I don't think that will happen. In any case, I'm anxious to see how it will go since it will be a "new to me race".

I still got in three (pretty weak) workouts this week.

1) On Sunday I  did 6 Run-walk miles on the trail with my sister. I'm definitely glad we got out and got some miles in.  We treated ourselves to those yummy girl scout flavored coffees and split this mint brownie treat!

2) I did do a mid week strengthening session and actually spent an hour on the treadmill! I decided that since it takes me much longer to run the same distance on the tread than it does outside, that I would just run by time and not distance. I figured it should only take me about an hour to do the 10K on Sunday, so I just stayed on the mill for an hour just to keep my endurance up.

3) My last (sad) workout for the week was a 2 mile walk on the trail with my friend Heather who came to visit. She will also be running the Lucky Charm Race!

What I plan to wear on race day.

Heather and I will be heading out soon to the race and I'm actually excited! It is St. Patrick's day themed (which I have never done a St. Patty's day race before), and there will be festivities and a parade afterwards. The weather is even suppose to be nice, so that's a plus!  Can't wait to share how it goes!   -M

We will be linking up with Holly and Wendy for their weekly wrap!

What people think about me

When I run my favorite routes, I notice that I tend to see the same people day after day. It’s the lady walking her dog, the couple walking together, the middle aged man running, you get the idea. 

Sometimes I wonder if those regulars notice me too.  I mean, I don’t care if they don’t notice me at all and honestly I would prefer to stay under the radar, but if they do notice me running, what do you think they think about me?

   Just for fun, this is what I think they think of me at the park (or on the trail).

1       1.There’s that girl that bops her head when she runs (to the music that of course they can not hear).

         2.  There’s that girl that is breathing heavy (this may be in my own head). 

         3.There’s that girl who always runs with her hair in a messy bun.

        4. There’s that girl that always waves to my dog.

       5. There’s that girl that is eventually going to trip over her own feet because she is not paying attention. (it’s true, I do like to observe my surroundings and pay very little attention to the ground. I need to work on this).

What do you think the regulars on your route would say about you?  -M