Thinking Out Loud Thursday

It’s Thursday!!  It’s Thursday!  We are one more day closer to the weekend.  Hang in there, folks, we are so close! 🙂

I’m excited to be joining up with Running with Spoons for another Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  I’ve come to look forward to these blog posts the most because I love the freeness of just writing.  Thinking-Out-LoudSo here’s what I’m thinking…

This weekend is our much anticipated Flying Pirate Weekend!!  It’s our yearly trek to the Outer Banks with our friends and family to run the Flying Pirate half marathon and enjoy the sights, sounds, food and fun of OBX.  Our kiddos have come to look forward to this race as much as the adults.  It’s one of my favorite weekends!  We’ve perfected our weekend plans and enjoy lunch at some of our favorite restaurants, as well as cooking a huge pre-race meal.  Our post race Monday includes a Bloody Mary breakfast.  The weekend has become much more than the actual races, but more about just being together.  It’s one of those weekends that just leaves you smiling! 232323232fp93232_uqcshlukaxroqdfv_;68=ot_2327=963=__8=XROQDF_279938_526248ot1lsi

My student teacher has just a few days left with us.  It’s been a learning experience for us both.  I am pretty excited to finally have my kiddos back and to start teaching again.  It’s funny when she first started taking my classes, it felt like a vacation.  But now, after weeks of not teaching and just observing, I’m ready to get back to it.  I’m missing it.  I’m ready to start planning lessons again, working with my kiddos and finishing out the year on a high note.you_cant_scare_me_i_teach_middle_school_tshirt-p235822029270728442zvwmt_400

So yesterday, I read this post by Jessica from the Fit Switch and it really hit home for me.  Firstly, I appreciate her being so honest and truthful in her post and unapologetically herself.  Secondly, she shared information about her recent struggle with sticking to a food plan and that she had some bumps in the road as the weekend neared.  She wrote how she’s killing her workouts but when it comes to food and eating, that she’s just not at the same level and that she’s recommitting to giving her best to her food and diet now too!  She also points out that we do struggle and that we do “fall off the wagon” but that women need to talk about food and dieting without judgment.  We all struggle with food in different ways.  It’s called life and living.

This was my comment to her:

Thank you for sharing! Every day is a new start and who cares if we have to start over every day?! One day, we won’t have to start over and we will have figured out what works and stick with it. Any movement forward is progress. May not feel like it, but it is! We have to be kind to ourselves too and realize that we are going to mess up, we are going to stumble, but that we can stand back up and keep pushing forward. Maybe the phrase I use for tough races can also apply to food and getting control…relentless forward progress.

I am in the same boat and find myself getting frustrated about the exact same thing. I am a force to be reckoned with when it comes to my daily workouts but the minute someone suggests eating out, grabbing a beer, I fall right in and forget making good choices.

Food for me is so social. It’s about hanging out with friends, talking around the table, etc and I just can’t find a way to be reasonable with my food and still be social. I feel like it has to be one or the other. I’m learning. I’ll get there one day. :) But I will not beat myself up about it when I slip up. Start again! Relentless forward progress!

And after writing that, I had my own “lightning bolt moment”.  I have work to do too when it comes to my diet.  I have to start putting in as much effort with my own diet as I do my workouts and running.  They aren’t separate things, but a partnership.  I have to attack my food plan and meals like I do a workout and listen to my body for cues on being full, one of anything is enough and making good choices.  I got this!  I am recommitting to my diet.  I’m going to make a plan and with our Hello Fresh box coming next week, it’s a perfect time to start.  I’m on it!  I’m going back to including meal planning each week.  I felt more accountable when I had a plan and I stuck to cooking more when I did it.

I’ll start on Wednesday next week, with Flying Pirate this week through Monday and Tuesday, I’ll do my best to make good choices, but honestly, I’d be setting myself up for failure.  Come Wednesday, it’s on!  Relentless Forward Progress! 61305993

So what’s on your mind? What are you thinking about?  Share it with me!

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Happy Week!

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Saturday Morning Motivation

As this morning rolls around, I’m sending shout outs to my running friends!  Whether who are running in the Runnerdude’s Trust. Believe. Conquer! 25K or any other race or hitting the pavement for your long run, I hope that you have an amazing run!runnerdude25K_final

I’ll be running long tomorrow because I’m helping to volunteer at the Runnerdude’s race!  I got my spirit wear and cowbell ready!  Can’t wait to cheer on some amazing runners!

Thanks to Our Sole Intent for this Saturday’s motivation!IMG_4558

Run with your heart!

Run happy!

Run for fun!

Just run!

Happy Week!

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Race Recap: Hamilton Lakes 10K

This weekend, Christine and I ran the Hamilton Lakes 10K.  We signed up a while back on a whim after the City of the Arts half was cancelled and we were no longer pacing.  We found a great deal and thought why not?!  If nothing else, we’d get a tech tee and add another medal to our collection!hamiltonlakes10Kswag

I had met Cara and Katie earlier in the morning to run.  I hadn’t planned on running 7 miles, but I felt really good going into the race.  The start is at 3pm, which is a hard time for me to have a race.  I just don’t know what to do with my food and body maintenance going into it.  I did a good time this year and had a real breakfast after my morning run and a snack before going to run around 1pm.

Christine and I met at 2pm so we could find a good parking spot and meet up with Christie who was coming to cheer for us.  We also had a few other friends running the event and we all hung out before the start.  There was a brief meeting with the race director and we lined up shortly after to start. The course had changed from last year and I was excited to run the new course.  The neighborhood where the race takes place is one of our favorites to run through.  There is also a trail that we run on from time to time around the lake. hamiltonlakes10Kcourse

Right at 3pm, the horn sounded and we were off!  The race started on a slight downhill.  Most of the course was rolling hills with some good sections of downhill.  I love running a shorter race that has two loops.  You learn a lot the first time around and can make adjustments for the second loop.  Christine and I made a plan to go on the downhills and reserve energy on several of the climbs.  We went out a little fast on the first mile and I finally found 9:40 to 9:45 by the second mile.  I told Christine I was staying there and we did…for the next 4 miles.  I stuck to that pace like it was my job. 🙂

On each lap, the last mile was always a slight grade climb.  We hit Starmount Rd and we just settled in.  We would recover on a few flatter sections and continue to keep a good steady pace.  We came through the first loop (3.2 miles) at 30:52.  We now knew the course and we would use that to our advantage.  We kept trucking along the next mile and at mile 4.2, I knew that with two miles left, we could finish under an hour if we kept this pace.  We wound around the neighborhood and came right back to that last mile climb.  hamiltonlakes10Kjazzhands

Right along that part of the course, we were greeted by our friend, Amy!  She was at the perfect place.  We had about .5 of a mile left and it was just the boost we needed.  I kept an eye on my watch at this point, knowing that we were super close to that hour goal. We carried on and could see the turn to take us to the finish line.  At the top of the hill, Christie and Lori were up there cheering us on!  We made the left and headed towards the finish line.  We had 30 seconds to get to that finish line!  I yelled at Christine, we have 30 seconds, go!!  We picked up our pace just a bit and finished in 59:52!  We were stoked!!  2015-03-29 20.18.35

Going into the race, both of us thought we’d be closer to 1:05 so to finish under an hour was an absolute treat!!  We grabbed our medals, took some pics with friends, and headed off to find warmer clothes.  While the weather was perfect for racing, we got super chilly afterward.  We hung around the finish line party, chatting with other runners, and grabbed a much needed Pepsi!  You know I love a soda after a race!  One of our friends was looking up the results and we asked him if he’d look up our times too.  Going into the race, we knew that Christine’s age group had 7 runners signed up and that if we ran smart, there was a chance she could finish top 3.

The results came up and she had done it!!  She was 3rd in her AG.  I was so excited for her!  We stayed around for the awards ceremony.  The race director came down and announced that there had been a glitch and that a chunk of times had disappeared and were written in some crazy code. They would have to fix them and would post the final results online.  They would have to hold on the award ceremony.  Everyone was very understanding and it did not put a damper on the race, but man, I so wanted them to call Christine’s name so she could go up there and get her award!

We went out to celebrate after!  We figured since we saw the results online before the glitch happened that Christine was good to go!  We checked the results one last time online while out to see if any changes happened and we saw that Christine had moved up to 1st in her AG!!!  We held our breath that it would stick.  Around 10pm, the final results were posted online and she had successfully claimed 1st place.  It was official!!  I woke up the next morning to see the good news!  I am so proud of her!!2015-03-29 20.13.32

PROS

The course is a really fair 10K.  There are just enough hills, nothing to awful, but there are some really good downhill stretches too.  The water stations were fully stocked along the course, although we did not stop at any of them.  There were many supportive volunteers along the course, encouraging runners the whole way.  The course was well marked and the miles were clearly marked with big flags.  The post race celebration was better than some larger races we have run!  There was plenty of pizza and soda.  The medals and tech tee are awesome!  I love supporting a local race and can’t wait to run this one again!

CONS

I could say the result glitch, but honestly, that happens sometimes.  It was crazy windy (20 mph winds at race time) and that kind of thing can mess with timing.  I really don’t think it was enough of an issue to call it a con.  Everyone seemed to take it in stride and even online it didn’t look like anyone complained about it either.

Looking for more running-related posts, check out Tuesdays on the Run here.  See what other runner’s are sharing!

Happy Week!

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Weekly Rundown

This was one of those weeks where I am just smiling about how my training went!  Some great surprises this week and I got to head back to the gym!

weeklyrundown

Monday – I finally got back to BodyPump!!  YAY!!  I met Christie and Julie for class.  I ran a mile earlier in the day knowing I wouldn’t have time before class.

Tuesday – Cara and I met to run but traffic was so bad so we ended up meeting a little bit later than we planned.  We realized once we got started that it was close to 6pm and that our friend, Kay’s beginning running group would be meeting at the local running shop.  Cara and I ran towards the shop hoping to catch up with them.  We made it all the way to the shop to be greeted by not only Kay, but Andrea and Christine!!  It was such an awesome surprise!  Cara, Christine and I ran 4.1 miles in honor of my birthday the next day.2015-03-24 19.27.17

Wednesday – My birthday!  I got in one mile in the morning knowing that we were going out to dinner later that night.  It was a great day!!

Thursday – A group of us met to run and to grab Mexican food after.  Kay and I hung together for a really solid 4.3 miler.  I felt really good running and we stuck right at my upcoming pacing pace, which made me happy.

Friday – 1 mile in the morning

Saturday – I met Katie and Cara last minute to run some early miles.  I was running the Hamilton Lakes 10K in the afternoon and thought I’d run 4 miles to just loosen up my legs a bit.  Katie had 10 miles to complete and Cara and I kept her company for 7.  I was really happy to meet up with them and I enjoyed the run!  The temperature though was not enjoyable.  We had dipped down into the low 30’s and a ridiculously cold wind.2015-03-28 10.20.08-2

At 2pm, I met Christine for the race.  We planned to stick together and I had planned secretly to see if we could get under an hour.  I’ll have a race recap soon!

Sunday – I met Christie and Amy at the gym to get some miles in and a circuit workout.  I started with 2 miles on the treadmill, then switched to the stepper to hang with the girls, but it felt awkward.  I have one leg just slightly longer than the other and it was jacking me up not being able to pick my feet up.  So I switched back to the treadmill.  After cardio, Christie set up a mini circuit that we completed 4 times through.  I ended up with 100 jump ropes, 100 jumping jacks, 60 kettle bell swings, 60 box “jumps” (I did a step version), and 125 crunches.  It was an awesome workout!  I loved it!

Weekly miles: 28.60

2015 miles to date: 349.82 on my way to 1500

Need some motivation?  Check out other #MotivateME Monday posts here.

How did your week go??  Did you have any surprises too?

Happy Week!

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Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thursday!!  It’s time for another Thinking Out Loud post. Thinking-Out-Loud

Yesterday, I celebrated my 41st birthday!  It was the perfect day, very low key and we enjoyed a really nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants.  We spent the evening sharing funny college stories with Nick’s dad and step-mom.  Many of the antidotes, they had never heard.  It’s funny how we wait until we are well into adulthood to let our parents know all of our “stories”.  Hayden sat and listened to all of them, laughing.  We are very honest with her when she asks questions about life and our past.  It’s helped strengthen our relationship with her.  She’s not afraid to ask us questions, sometimes she doesn’t want to hear the answers, but I’m happy that we have that kind of relationship with her.  She also doesn’t play favorites between Nick and I either.  She is just as willing to ask Nick questions.  I think it’s great!

I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday.  It was the worst feeling in the world.  You know exactly what I mean?!  I’ve been trying all day to be okay with it being Thursday.

This weekend, I’ll be running the Hamilton Lakes 10K.  I’m not ready to race anything.  I thought about it briefly after this past weekend’s 5 miler, but I really just want to treat this as part of my weekend long run.  I’m planning to add in some miles on Sunday too.

Spring Break is right around the corner!  We have just 5 more school days until we have off 7 days.  I’m looking forward to spending some time with Hayden.  We’re headed out of town just the two of us!  I’m pretty excited!!  Nick scored tickets to the Masters so he’s heading out of town the same time with the guys.  I’m so happy for him.  This is the first year he’s gotten tickets through the lottery!!

So what’s on your mind?  What are you thinking about?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Happy Week!

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I Ran This Year!

Today I am celebrating!!  It’s my 41st birthday and what better time then to look back at the past year!  I’m kind of excited when I think back about all of the great races and events that happened this past year and where I’m headed this year! 🙂

birthdaycelebration

The Year of Races, PRs, and Pacing: 40th Edition

The first race in my new age group was the Hamilton Lakes 10K last April.  I ended having a super race and ended up with a 2nd place AG and a shiny new PR!  I’m running this one again this weekend, but I’m still working on recovering from my full, so no racing just yet!

I added 9 more half marathons to my growing list!  Of those 9 races, I paced 4 of them!  I am so happy to have found the love of pacing.  It has really added something special to my running!

I surprised myself with a PR at the Salem Lake 30K last September.  We signed up to use this race as a training run and I was thrilled when I saw that I had finished almost 23 minutes faster than the last time I ran it.

I ran 2 marathons (City of Oaks and Tobacco Road) and another ultra distance (43 miles) at Crooked Road.  I finally learned not to be afraid of the marathon distance and how to run and train for them that fits me.

We ran a new race to us in December, the Reindeer Fun Run.  I hope to go back and run that one again this year!  It was so much fun, even if the course was crazy hilly!

And finally,

Gasparilla!!  4 races over 2 days for 30.4 miles!  It was an amazing trip!  So much fun!

 

By numbers

21 Races

Ran my 35th Half at Gasparilla

Ran my 6th marathon at Tobacco Road

Ran my 3rd ultra distance at Crooked Road

2 new PR’s: 10K and 30K

First time race distance: 12K and 15K

 

What’s next?!

  • Pace some of the same races again this Spring and Fall
  • Pick a fall marathon or maybe a challenge?
  • Go for that 100K distance at Crooked Road
  • Run fun races through the summer (5k’s and 10K’s)
  • Run a spring marathon before I turn 42. 🙂
  • Sprinkle in some races (one per month)

Cheers to another year!  Cheers to 41!  It’s going to be a great year!

This week’s optional topic is healthy recipes.  Check them out at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

Happy Week!

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Weekly Rundown

This week was all about the miles…recovery miles that is!  With just finishing the marathon last weekend, an easy week was just what I needed.  weeklyrundown

Monday to Wednesday – I told myself that I was taking these days “off” and just run my daily mile.  Monday’s after the Marathon mile was the toughest and I was back to a normal gait by Wednesday.  I took it super slow and easy.

Thursday – By today, I was itching to run again.  I was so glad I had taken those “rest” days because I felt really good for this run.  I met Christine and Katie for a 4 miler.  The weather seemed less than perfect, cold and rainy, but we made the most of it!  I actually don’t mind running in the rain.  We had a super run!  Katie surprised the heck out of me too!  She uses intervals for her long runs to help with her breathing, but she had stopped doing them on her weekly runs.  We were running along and it wasn’t until mile one that I realized we hadn’t stopped. I gave her a big ol’ smack when I realized it!  It was a love tap! 🙂  I’m super proud of her!

Friday – one mile day

Saturday – Katie and Nathan were running long on Saturday so a few of us joined them to get a few miles in.  I thought I’d maybe run 3-4 miles, but ended up running 5 miles.  It was super humid!  I had a hard time finding a comfortable pace.  By mile 3, it clicked and we stayed the exact same pace for the next 2 miles.

Sunday – The 15th annual Old Town Beerun, the rite of Spring in Greensboro.  This yearly race is when you know that Spring has come!  We lucked out this year with amazing weather.  The last two years were freezing cold!  It was great to see a lot of friends out there and fellow Tobacco Road Marathoners too.  No racing for me yet.  We ran this at what I call “beer drinking pace”.   We just enjoyed the course (as much as you can! It’s hilly!) and just ran and chatted for the 5 miles.  We had a great time at the post race party!  I got to stop by the Elite Performance Chiropractic Table and Jeremy did some hip adjustments and some good IT band and hip flexor stretches.  I feel like a million bucks!  I’ll going to head back to him in 2 weeks to get another adjustment/stretch.  2015-03-22 20.02.28

Total Miles: 18 miles

I’m happy with that!  I was shooting for 15-16 for the week.

How did your week go?  Training going well?  Any races coming up?

Need some motivation?  Check out other #MotivateME Monday posts here.

Happy Week!

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Race Recap: Tobacco Road Marathon

I can’t stop smiling.  This was the race of all races for me and I had no idea that I’d learn so much from training and running another marathon.  What started as Gasparilla training with a marathon kicker ended up being quite possibly one of my proudest moments as a runner!

Let me start at the beginning…

We arrived in Cary around 1:30pm and headed straight to the Expo to pick up our race packets.  The Expo was held in the Embassy Suites, the host hotel.  We grabbed our bibs and swag, which was a super nice tech tee and a sock hat for winter embroidered with the race logo.  I love when races hand out other fun goodies besides just a tee.  It was a smaller Expo but we took our time walking around, trying some delicious cinnamon bread samples from Great Harvest Bread Company and getting information and discounts for other events.  We stopped by the Race 13.1 booth to say hi since we’ll be pacing several of their races this year.  We each grabbed a really great long sleeve cotton tee with the race logo on it.  I like buying other race merchandise to wear every day.  tobaccoroadraceswag

We headed to eat lunch at Mellow Mushroom after and checked into our hotel a little before 4:30pm.  I was starting to feel a bit nervous as the hours ticked down.  We had a little of downtime before dinner so we decided to go shopping for just a bit.  It was the perfect diversion for me!  It kept my mind off of the race and it was a fairly entertaining trip looking through the racks at TJ Maxx.  Around 6:30pm, we tried a nearby Mexican restaurant which was really good and was exactly what we needed for a perfect pre-race meal.

Once back the hotel, we got our race outfits laid out, set alarms, put out our breakfast bars and pretty much hit the bed.  We had to be at the parking lot by 5:30am in order to ensure we would be parked near the start.  This meant we had a 3:30am wake-up call.  tobaccoroadoutfit

Race Day

Alarms went off right at 3:30am and I got up after hitting the snooze a few times.  We all got ready and were out the door by 5:10am.  It was a short drive to the start and we were in a huge line of traffic right at 5:30am.  This race offers a parking pass option for $10 and you are literally parked right at the start.  You can choose to park for free in a lot about 15 minutes from the start and ride a shuttle in.  We paid for the parking pass and luckily made it into the first lot, which is closest to the start and port-a-potties.  We were so happy!  The only part of this that kind of stinks is that we had an hour and a half to sit in the car.  We did hit the potties a few times and just rested in the warm car until 6:30am.

We hit the potties one last time, cutting it super close and we heard the National Anthem while in the potty.  It wasn’t the first race that happened.  I did the same thing in Wrightsville two years ago.  I thought I’d be stressed out heading towards the corrals but we just kind of weaved our way to the 4:45 pacer.  We stood there for just a bit when I heard my college friend, Mindy!!  She was running the full also and I was so happy to see her!!  We talked for just a bit then she headed back over to her running buddy as the gun went off.

We headed out the park, passing under a huge American Flag flying above us.  It was really cool!  We ran just 3/4 of mile making our way to the nearby road.  I was running on using my heart rate so I stayed just at 145.  The first 2-ish miles were pretty much rolling hills.  I pushed on the downhills and stayed conservative on the uphills.  My first few miles were really comfortable and we settled into a good pace as we hit the American Tobacco Trail.  We’d be on trails for the next 21 miles before coming back out to the road.

The first few miles on the trail were a slight downhill grade.  With each mile, we were getting faster and faster.  My heart rate was on target and I continued to keep that pace as long as it felt comfortable.  At this point, we were right around the 4:45 pace group and it was making me a bit buggy.  It was crowded right near him.  The three of us were talking about how fast we were going but we also knew that it was mostly downhill at the beginning.  It’s such a hard decision so early to either stay at a faster pace or to slow up a bit.  I felt good by mile 5 (9:57 pace) and made my way around the pace group to get a bit more room.  Christine and Cara stayed just a little bit behind me.  I told them I was staying at that pace.  I ran the next 7 miles at the same pace (ranging between 9:54-10:15).  The turn around was at mile 8.3 and I saw them just before mile 9.  We yelled out asking how we were feeling and everyone was doing well!  I also started taking walk breaks every 4 miles when I’d stop for Gatorade.  My heart rate was in check and just started going above 145 on uphills.

Hit my 300th mile of the year at mile 5

I continued on at the same pace range from mile 13-19 (9:34 at mile 16 to 10:42 at mile 13).  I passed the halfway point at 2:18 which shocked the heck out of me.  About that time, I realized that I made the decision somewhere in the last few miles to keep pushing.  This is the first marathon that I have run where I ran so evenly and ran at a pace that would have scared me in previous marathons for a fear of crapping out later in the higher miles.  I had my heart rate training on my side and I could tell that I wasn’t pushing to the point of exhaustion.  By mile 20, I had run a negative split.  I didn’t hit a HR over 155 until mile 21.

At mile 21.5 is where the real work started for me, there was stretch for 3 miles of a slow uphill grade, 150 feet over 3 miles.  It was relentless.  I was getting tired, but not exhausted.  I ran the first 2 miles of this section at a conservative pace, slowing down as my HR would come up.  By mile 23.5, I was having to mix in some walk breaks just to try to get my HR to come down, preserve my legs for the remaining 2 miles to the finish.  Mile 24 was my slowest of the day (12:02).  I regrouped once I was off of the trail and headed back on the road back to the finish.  I was also watching my time.  I somehow ended up really close to being able to PR this race?!  I had an idea that I was close just by overall pace, but I also knew that my mileage was off from the markers.  I was running long.tobaccoroadelevation I dug in the best I could for the last two miles, running .5, walking .1 and running the remaining .4.  It was a plan that worked for me and I was comfortable pushing myself.  I was so close, but right as the 26th mile clicked on my watch, I knew that I wouldn’t make it and it was okay.  I ran the next .5 of a mile (yes, my watch was off .3) at a 9:15 pace, finishing strong.  I ran through the finish line with the BIGGEST grin!  I missed a PR by 42 seconds and I wasn’t bummed.  I was super giddy.  The marathon didn’t scare me anymore!!

I finished with a 4:39:42.  My best is at Richmond with a 4:39:00.  It’s the second time now I’ve danced around 4:39.  Last year in Wrightsville, I finished in 4:39:13.  So if nothing else, I’m super consistent.  Ha!  Here’s the thing though, the other two times, I felt a lot worse coming through the finish line.  In Richmond, my hip was really messed up and in Wrightsville, I felt like someone beat me with a bat.  I felt pretty good and nothing hurt!

Once everyone finished, we headed to the after race party, which was dying down.  I have a huge pet peeve with races that shut down the after party long before the last runner comes through.  It’s not the first event where this has happened and I feel like every runner should have their moment in the sun and enjoy a really good post-race shindig.postracepic

We decided to head to one of our favorite burger chains, Big Daddy Burger Bar, for food and celebratory brews!  We all had just accomplished something huge and it was time to celebrate that!!  Both Cara and Christine had come out of marathon retirement and I’m just a nut who wanted to run another one.

PROS

The race was well organized and all of the water stops were fully stocked with water and Gatorade.  Several of the marathon water stops had snacks too, which although I didn’t eat anything, was a nice touch.  The volunteers were awesome!!  Because this race was on a trail, there was not as much crowd support, but the volunteers well made up for that.  It was also super nice to see our friend, A Co, out there along the course too!!  She rocks for coming out there and supporting us!  The parking pass is worth the $10.  Buy the parking pass. The tee and hat are nice!  The medal is awesome!! Thanks to the Race 13.1 guys for being out there at the post race party with chocolate milk.  It hit the spot!medalpictobaccoroad

CONS

The post race party was over by the time we got there.  It’s a shame really.  The half marathoners get all the fun and the marathoners get a few cold pieces of pizza and leftover beer.  It was really anti-climatic, but lucky for us, we made our own celebration!

My other con is the use of the words “flat” in the course description.  This race is not flat.  Not at all.  There was 941ft gained over the marathon.  Sure there were no rolling hills along the trail, but there were plenty of sections of climbing.  We knew it wasn’t “flat” when we signed up so I’m not complaining, just not sure that’s a word I’d use to describe the course accurately.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on what I learned!  I’m so excited to share my thoughts with you.

How was your weekend?  Did you run a race too?  How did it go?  Share it with me!

Check out other blogger’s posts at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

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To Enter a Race Lottery or Not?

Runners everywhere just found out whether or not they will be running this year’s New York Marathon.  Only 18% of the people who put their names into the lottery were chosen.  18%?!  Cara and I threw our names into it last year and with similar odds (14%); neither one of us got in.  In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise for us.  Gasparilla may not have happened if we did.  Everything truly happens for a reason!

Chicago’s lottery opens up on March 10th and Marine Corp (MCM) is shortly behind on March 13.  With all the big time popular marathons now using a lottery, it got me thinking about the pros and cons of either signing up for a race “the old fashion” way or throwing your chances to luck and putting your name in the lottery.

All of my marathons that I’ve run so far have all been through signing up vs a lottery.  I did enter a lottery race for the Nike Woman DC race in 2013.  I did not get in the first round, but through the second chance drawing. I was the only one in our group wanting to run it so the lottery worked well for me in that case.  We also entered the Cherry Blossom 10 miler lottery as a group.  We did not get in.  I love that both of those races offered an option to sign up as a group.  Either the whole group got in or no one got in.  That’s my kind of lottery!

So here are five questions to think about when deciding what to do for your next marathon.  These are the same ones that Christine and I thought about when making our decision about Chicago. lottery

To Enter the Lottery or Not?

1. Is this event THE event for you?  Or would you be happy with another marathon?

We both want to run Chicago.  Christine has run it twice before and she loves it!!  We are really excited about the possibility of running it, but then we started thinking, was it really Chicago that we wanted to run or was it that we really wanted to just run another marathon.  Chicago is on my bucket list of races, but would I be okay putting that on hold and running something else?

2. Do you plan on running or making this a trip with other running friends?

For us, this was a biggie.  We want to run the race and have a trip together.  If only one of us got in, that would change that.  Do we want to run the event together more than we want to run it solo?  Part of the excitement of choosing a race is planning the trip.

3. Are you willing to leave it all up to fate? Or are you more of a planner?

I was willing to let go of my Type A personality and enter the lottery. I figured that if we got in, that would determine our Fall race schedule.  If we didn’t, there would be other options.  But waiting to find out, could limit those choices, but I am willing to take my chances. 

4. Are you on a budget?

For me, this is part of my decision.  A lot of the lottery races seem to have a higher price tag.  The entry fee for Chicago is $185 which is not too outrageous, but when I just paid that same amount for 4 races in Gasparilla, I was like well?!  Because we are not from the Chicago area, our race-cation cost will include a flight, hotel, and all meals.  Add in a trip to the Expo and other miscellaneous race swag goodies, the cost just keeps rising.  Now if you live near the race, then of course, this may not be a huge concern.

5. How do you handle disappointment and stress? 

When you enter the lottery, there is a chance you will not get in.  Unless you are guaranteed a spot with a finish time, you are one of tens of thousands vying for a spot.  Look at NYM, only 18% of those who applied were accepted to the race.  80,080 people were in the running for 14,326 spots.  That’s 65,754 runners who got the dreaded rejection email. When I entered the lottery for Nike, I sent out all the positive thoughts I could.  I imagined myself running through the streets of DC and I saw myself running that race.  I spent decision day asking Nick to check our credit card statement about 5 million times, watching FB and seeing posts from women announcing they were in, and wishing and hoping that I would be one of those lucky runners!  About mid-day, there it was.  The rejection email.  I did not get in.  I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or throw something. For a brief second, I really thought why not me?  Why did I not get in?  It was a weird feeling.  Like I wasn’t part of the “cool kid” club.  I made amends with not getting in and went about my day.  It took a bit of time to get over the feeling of missing out.  Strangely enough, they offered a second chance option a few weeks later and I jumped on it, of course.

Was I the best at dealing with that disappointment?  Not at all.  I wanted to run that race and was really upset I didn’t get in. Imagine if it was a lottery with a friend!  I would have been even more bummed.

So what did Christine and I decide to do??

After some thinking we decided that we will not be putting our names into the hat for Chicago.  We really want to run the marathon together and with a lottery entry, there are no guarantees.  Running a race together outweighs the race itself for us.  It would be a big disappoint if one of us got in and the other did not.  I know that most of the lottery races have a charity option, but that’s just not something that I want to do at this point.

We’re looking at other marathons a little bit closer to us which would require a car ride vs a plane ride.  As soon as we decide, we’re narrowing it down between 2, I’ll share it with you all!

What are your thoughts?  How do you decide to enter the lottery or not?  Who got in to New York?!  Anyone entering the Chicago or MCM lottery?

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