Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mayflower Brewery 1/2 Marathon

I was SO excited for this race for so many reasons.

1)  My good friend Sarah signed up to run with me and it was going to be not only her first half marathon, but her first race EVER!

2)  It was my second 1/2 of the year and I was ready to cruise!

3)  I ran a 10K in Plymouth, MA a few years ago and although it was hilly, it was super fun

4)  More free beer ;)

Leading up to this race, maybe I didn't train quite as hard as I could have, but I was feeling good, coming off of a great month of May races.  The Saturday before, Sarah and I ran together along the Cape Cod canal, a 10-mile, moderate paced run to see how we matched with each other.  It went great!  I was so ready.

After that 10-miler, I was feeling some knee pain that I wasn't a fan of, so I took it easy the week leading up and tapered even more than normal, which may have been my first mistake.

The morning of the race was awesome.  It was perfect weather starting out, with a promising outlook for the morning.

The first few miles were as expected, and it took a while to find a good stride.  There was a significant part of the course that ran along a packed dirt bike path, which I was not prepared for.  There were large divots and loose rocks that were difficult to see until you were right on top of them due to the amount of runners packed in on the course.

Also, it felt like the ENTIRE course was uphill.  I know it's all perception... but I can tell you that this was the most difficult course I have ever completed, aside from Tough Mudder... which was on a mountain.

One great aspect that I will applaud the race coordinators for was the water every mile.  I think that if it were not for that, there would have been some serious issues for people along the course.  It got hot FAST that morning and as someone who does not normally take cups from water stops, I took at least one cup every single mile.

All in all, it was certainly the most difficult race that I can remember completing in a long time.  Although it was torturous at times, I am certainly thankful for the experience because after reaching PR's in so many consecutive races, it was refreshing to have me knock me down a peg and really have to work for it.  Now, I am not going to stop striving for PR's but I am proud that I was able to finish in the tough conditions.

I am SO proud of my girl Sarah, and I cannot wait until we run our next race together :)

Harpoon 5Miler 2015

I was so excited to be selected in the lottery for the second year in a row for this race!  It supports a great cause, The Angel Fund, and is all around a fun race.  A pretty simple course with minimal hills, and a fun look at a part of South Boston that I probably wouldn't ever see otherwise.  And hello, free beer?! No brainer ;)

Mother's Day 5k

The second annual running of the Mattapoisett Mother's day 5k

This year the weather was a bit different.  It was a much cooler day which was nice.  The race was fun and I love the route.  It is through the waterfront neighborhoods of Mattapoisett, MA. Very fun!  I look forward to participating in the years to come :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cox Providence Half Marathon

This race was AMAZING

Of course being my first race of the year, I was so anxious to get out there.  I had compulsively checked the weather for over a week leading up to that morning, I had tried on what I would wear, and I set up my typical spread on the dining room table the night before.

The weather that morning was ideal for May in New England.  It started out cool, with a forecast to warm throughout the day.  A start time of 8:00am was ideal to be able to finish before the day got too hot.

The race started out awesome, I felt great and found my pace pretty easily.  Thankfully, the course was such that my boyfriend and family were able to move easily between mile-markers and see me several times throughout the course without much trouble.  The first "checkpoint" was mile 4.  I was feeling good, I had found my stride, I got my water bottle exchange from Randy and I was on my way.  The next was at mile 9, on the opposite side of the park from where I saw them at mile 4.  I slung off my running belt because by then I had burned through all but one of my Gu's, and I knew I wouldn't need my inhaler.  The next checkpoint was the finish line... piece of cake!

This was taken by the race photographers at Mile 11 - not too bad huh?!

Here is a brief rundown of my emotions throughout the race:

Miles 1-3: ok, here we go. Where is the pacer? I hope I don't have to pee soon
Miles 3-5: Hit my stride, I've got this. Piece of cake.. Wait is that a hill?
                 (Mile 4: See my family, get a fresh water bottle, now I can conquer the world)
Miles 5-8: This was a bad idea. Maybe I should walk for a bit. Nah, that's an even worse idea.
Miles 8: Hell ya! Only 5 miles to go... Wait is that another hill?!
Miles 9-11: OK for real, almost there!
Mile 13: all the above mentioned emotions at once.

Just after seeing my family at mile 9, a woman ran by me who started singing the song playing from my phone.  One thing you should know about me is that I really dislike wearing headphones.  So I place my phone in my armband and play my music on speaker as loud as it will go.  When I am training at home, alone it's never an issue.  But at races, I can never tell how people will react.  Sometimes they love it, other times I think they cringe, but oh well!  Well, this woman ran up beside me and was so happy to hear that song she started singing right along.  Come to find out, her name was Adrienne and she was chasing the same finish time I was!  So we ran along together for the remainder of the race.  Although I will say that the last 2+ miles she more like dragged me along.  But I was so thankful for her in that moment because without her, I would have slowed down.  I was feeling tired and I was already on good pace, so I would have eased up a bit. But she wouldn't let me quit.  We pushed hard up those last few hills and each got a PR!  

My new friend Adrienne! She is a rockstar!

It was a fantastic way to begin race season 2015!  Bring on the next one ;)

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 2015

It has been one hell of a year so far!

The snow finally melted and all is well on the road!  I got my first run in since January on March 31st and I have been going full steam ahead ever since :)

So far in April I have run just shy of 50 miles!  I hope to get to around 65, but I am not sure how that will work with taper week upon me.  Although, I have never really tapered, considering I don't put in the huge # of miles that the experts usually suggest.

I was thrilled with how quickly my body rebounded after being house bound for nearly 8 weeks!!  I kept up with other strength training including lots of T25 gamma.  I certainly think that helped.  The first few runs were so tough, and the cold was brutal in my lungs.  But I kept on and now I am running longer distances comfortably... assuming I don't run out of water or daylight ;) haha

My first race is coming up quickly and I am super excited to be participating in my first HM in over 6 months!

Wish me luck and Happy running! :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hello 2015

WOW!  I cannot believe that it has been almost 4 months since my last post.  I have been so busy, I am not sure where the time has gone!

2014 was a great year for me in many ways!

My personal life has been wonderful with so many great milestones including my boyfriend's 30th birthday and two of my closest friends having babies!

Professionally, I made a very scary decision to leave my job in Boston.  In reflection it was one of the best decisions I could have possibly made.  My personal happiness and overall well-being benefited greatly from leaving.

And of course, I started a new chapter in my fitness life that led me to be in the best shape I have been in since I was 19 years old!  I found T25, a program that I cannot say enough good things about.  Also, along with some focused training, I ran a new half marathon PR, beating my old time by over 20 minutes!

I made a few resolutions for 2015 that I am excited to share with you, a few of which I have already been able to check off of my list!

  • Find a new job - I began a new job with a small biotech company in Providence, RI.  I have only been here a few weeks but I am confident that it is going to be a great fit for me.
  • Sign up for the UHC Triple Crown half marathon race series - I am so excited to participate in this half marathon series this coming year, beginning in March and ending in October.  I was so excited in fact that I am completing an additional race in Plymouth, MA somewhere in the middle of the three!
    • A secondary goal is to set a new PR in at least one of the races, and ultimately finish in under 2:00!
  • Complete T25 + gamma - I was partially through T25 at the beginning of the year, so I have continued on with the program but I am SO pumped to begin the gamma cycle in only one week!!
  • Complete my graduate thesis - To say that this thesis is a work in progress would be the understatement of the year!  I have worked so hard, for a long time to get this paper done and I cannot wait until I can say that I am 100% DONE... Stay tuned for updates on that!
  • I also have a few other personal goals that I am working towards including being on the right financial path for my boyfriend and I to buy a home together!
I hope everyone had a happy and blessed end to their year, and I am looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

And as always, happy running!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Two weeks in...

I am now two complete weeks into T25 and I feel GREAT!  The first week was a humbling reminder that even though I recently ran a half-marathon, Shaun T DOES NOT mess around haha

I struggled hard the first week but I kept pushing every day, and I have even done the "doubles" each week.

Week one was completed with no breaks, Monday - Friday with a double Friday consisting of lower focus and cardio... OUCH

Week 2 was Monday - Thursday as the schedule calls for, but then Friday was a long, late shift at work and the double session was pushed to Saturday morning!  Lower focus followed by ab intervals.  Best part was that Randy was doing P90X in the next room and when he finished his workout I persuaded him to come finish ab intervals with me :)

I am really happy that I have been sticking with the recommended calendar this time.  I think the impending New Year has me focused to stay on track with the timeline!  

Week 3 begins tonight!! :)