Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘5k’

Paddy’s Road Race 2013 – Race Recap

I am BEHIND! This 5k was almost 3 months ago! It was my first postpartum race and bonus: T and the baby were with me as well! This course was my first ever race, 2 years ago, and I was excited for the symmetry. So how was the race?

Well… it was good, a little rough, and I learned a VERY valuable lesson.

First the good – it felt awesome to be out running again with other runners! So, so good!

T; my friend, Ellen; and I wait with the baby at the back of the line. It was essentially a stroller parking lot!

T; my friend, Ellen; and I wait with the baby at the back of the line. It was essentially a stroller parking lot! I had dressed the baby in her Halloween costume because this race was at the end of October, but it was too warm for her to wear all of it.

There were a ton of spectators at this race, and a bunch of them were little kids giving out high fives! I love when kids are at a race to support people. I hope Baby Girl is one someday. And for this race, I was thrilled to high-five at least 8 kids – and one kid’s mom high-fived me because of the stroller! It was nice motivation towards the end.

I  received the same compliment repeatedly and I loved it – it was about how we were running with a baby small enough to still be in the car seat attachment – and how that was impressive. I didn’t know this before I was pregnant but a baby has to be 4 months old before you can run with him/her because of neck strength. The baby, at barely over 4 months old, had only been approved for about 3 days by her doctor for running. Clearly, I was excited to run with her as soon as possible! (T would want me to mention that he ran with the stroller for the first half and I did the second half – it wasn’t all me, despite what the pictures make it look like.)

If you’re ever at a race and see a woman pushing a baby in the car seat attachment for the stroller, give her a nice big “Wow! Go you!” If she’s anything like me, I can promise you it will make her feel like superwoman! (especially if she’s running as slowly as I was! We ended with a 13 minute average pace, whoa slow!)

I'm running with the car seat insert, the woman behind me isn't (in case you needed a visual)

I’m running with the car seat insert, the woman behind me isn’t (in case you needed a visual)

It was a little rough because T and I hadn’t trained enough. (T even trained less than I did – I at least have a gym/locker room in my office building so I could run at lunch, T was on his own). We ran the first mile, walked for 1/2 a mile, and then ran the remaining 1.6 miles. Of course the only spectator/supporter we had there (the husband of a friend, Ellen, running the race) saw us while we were walking! 😦

The lesson I learned was this: change the baby’s diaper IMMEDIATELY before the race starts! We fed the baby before the race, but we didn’t think to change her. We drove 45 minutes, waited at the starting line for another 30, and didn’t think to change her before it started! (Clearly, we’re bad parents…) To make matters worse, she was wearing a cloth diaper (we use both cloth and disposable) – and cloth diapers don’t wick away the moisture so if it’s wet – she’s uncomfortable and unhappy and she’s letting you know it! The poor kid screamed the ENTIRE run! We originally thought she would take a nap on the run, but no, she was way too miserable!

As soon as we crossed the finish line, we found a quiet place to change her diaper and she was happy as clam. Lesson learned!

There was actually a second (lesser) lesson that I learned on this run. If you’re a man, and you want your picture taken, run in a kilt!!! T proudly wore his sportkilt (it’s cotton instead of wool and is machine washable). Out of the professional pictures: there are 15 of me, 16 of Ellen, and over 50 of T! The photographers LOVED him!

Here’s my favorite photo of him, doing a heel click, about to cross the finish line:

About to cross the finish line!

About to cross the finish line!

It also makes me think of Jill over at FlyingJumpKicks.

As another random thought, I’m sure the camera man is glad T didn’t go “traditional” with the kilt… the coming down pictures are a sight to see! Thank goodness he chose to wear black shorts! I’d share one of them with you, but I don’t think T would enjoy me posting “up skirt” photos of him, even if he is wearing shorts…

Round Lady Running

I ran!

I ran, I ran, I ran! I am so stupidly excited about this!!!

If you’re not a regular reader, or you’ve forgotten the details, let me catch you up: I was a bit of a runner (not serious by ANY standards!) and then I got pregnant. I was sidelined for months thanks to morning sickness, major food aversions, and general exhaustion (I had no idea building such a tiny human was so tiring!). I saw my doctor last month and she gave me permission to run, but only for 5-10 minutes at a time, which I assumed would be my body’s max anyway. Afterall, I haven’t run since September.

Once getting cleared, I was really nervous about the belly jiggling and feeling awkward in the tiny gym at my office. But I worked up my confidence with yoga and the arc trainer at the gym (sort of a cross between a stair master and an elliptical). I went down for a late lunch-break on Friday and found the gym was empty! I was so pumped!

decision to try

My goal for the walk/run was a total of 2 – 2.5 miles, and I was hoping to run 1/4 mile, walk, run 1/2 mile, walk, run 1/4 mile. But I figured I would go with however I was feeling – good or bad.

I warmed up for 1/4 mile and then increased the speed to an easy, slow run. My legs were wanting to increase the speed, but the ligaments in my belly (which vaguely hurt all the time from the expanding tummy thing) were not loving it. They quieted down pretty quickly though and I continued on.

By the time I looked down to see how I was doing, I had almost run an entire mile! So I finished the mile and slowed back to a walk (my slow mile was a little over 10 minutes and I didn’t want to push my luck).

Honestly, the belly wiggled a little, but not nearly as much as I expected (I may have been worried that it would bounce frantically like my ponytail) . I feel like I want to look into some sort of weight belt or something though, just to hold it up a little (suggestions will be taken happily!).

My end distance totals were as follows:

  • .25 mile walking
  • 1 mile running
  • .5 walking
  • .5 running
  • .85 walking
  • Total: 3.1 miles (1.5 running!)

I basically did a 5k at lunch (which is what I liked to run on my lunch breaks before becoming preggers). I’m so excited because I didn’t think I could do it. I would love to run a real 5k super round (like 8 months pregnant, not just the 5 months that I am now) and this feels like the first step towards that. Honestly, my legs felt like I could have kept running, but I didn’t want to over do anything.

challenge yourself

And one of the benefits of the yoga was that I knew some stretches for my tummy after running (which I have NEVER focused on before).

I know this seems like a really small accomplishment, especially to runners (heck, even to the old me who happily ran a 10k), but it feels amazing to me in my new body that I’m still trying to figure out.

Yay! I can still call myself a runner!

You are a runner

No Thanksgiving Run…

Last year, I ran a 5k for MS on Thanksgiving Day… this year I wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, I managed to catch two mega colds this month that just wouldn’t quit. I feel like I’ve been super sick for almost the whole month. Both were respiratory so I just couldn’t imagine running. I haven’t run at all in the month of November, total bummer.

Why did I want to run this race so much?

  1. Thanksgiving races feel a little different. Like everyone is a little extra jovial.
  2. MS means something to me. Last year I ran with the names of people I know with MS on my back. I planned to do the same this year. I’ve also learned about more people in my life affected by MS and I wanted to add the names of their loved ones with MS to the list on my back as well. I may not know the loved one with MS, but it affects my dad/friend/boss/co-worker and I want to offer the little support to them that I can by offering a little nod to their loved one.

I blurred their last names, just in case they might prefer that. This was taken after the race.

I felt terrible not making it to this run: even though the course is absolutely the worst one I’ve ever encountered, the cause is so worth it. All day on Thanksgiving, I thought about those in my life dealing with MS. Every year, I give thanks for my health, and it just makes me sad that they can’t… I really hope some day they can!

So when my friend posted on Facebook that she was thankful for this study, curing a mouse of MS and giving her real hope for the first time in a while… well, I may have actually teared up.

Good luck to everyone dealing with MS! I hope this cure in mice is able to be replicated on human cells so that you have a cure someday in the near future! And next year, I look forward to being back on that course trying to help the cause!

Diva Dash Recap

Let me start by saying that I LOVED this race! I’m pretty sure this is the first race where I thought to myself “Man, I can’t wait to run this again next year” WHILE still running it! It was a ton of fun and if it comes to a city near you, I recommend checking it out.

My team and I put our best foot forward for this event… and we did it in pink, zebra striped socks!

First, it was a 5k with 11 obstacles. The obstacles consisted of climbing over mountains made out of hay, dirt, and tires (separate mountains). Climbing over “jersey barriers.” Scooting through a maze that was also covered in a net around waist height (so you had to bend down to go through it). There were plenty of balance beams. We had to carry large logs for awhile. And my favorite: the thing where you have to run with your feet through tires (so you get some nice high knees) while also being hit by inflatable pink balls!

My favorite obstacle. Looking for my teammate.

On top of the fun obstacles, the course itself was pretty challenging. Some of it was on a paved road, some of it was over gravel, but most of the running was a gorgeous trail run through the woods. Obviously, this part is specific to the Massachusetts one. I like to consider myself a trail runner (although let’s be real, half of my trail is paved), however, my trail is along the Charles River and is mostly flat, flat, flat. The trail for this 5k was LEGIT! It was winding, thin, and constantly going either uphill or downhill (steeply). And we actually had to hop over fallen trees! Luckily, everyone started in preassigned waves that were separated by 15 minutes, so I never felt like the course was crowded. Absolutely top-notch orchestration, I have to admit.

Besides the actual run, there were a lot of things that I liked about this race. It was my first ever “Women-only” event. If all “women-only” events are this nice, I will totally be doing more of them. Everyone was so cordial! Plus, so many people really thought about what they were wearing. I loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of my favorites, but let me at least describe them.

  • For about half of the run, I followed some women from a Boston Book Club, the back of their shirts read “I like BIG books and I cannot lie” (oh how I love it!)
  • There were about 20 women in aprons as “Domestic Divas”
  • There were some shirts that read: “My mascara runs faster than you!”
  • “If you run faster, you’ll get wine sooner! “
  • “Oxygen PLEASE!”
  • And one of my favorites: some women from a labor and delivery unit at some hospital (it said on the front of their shirts but I can’t remember now) had on the back of their shirts “We deliver!”

My team all dressed up. Who doesn’t love Animal from the Muppets?! Also, this is what happens when a bunch of theater nerds creating a running team…

Everyone was so friendly and encouraging the whole time, I had no idea women could all be so supportive of each other. Early on in the race, I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest, but I could try for the nicest! So anytime I was passed by someone or actually passed someone, I threw out a compliment. It was so easy! Everyone had on something cute (even if it was just a pair of socks that said “Bad Ass (with an arrow pointing up).” It was great chatting everyone up. Of course it was easier to talk to everyone because this was my first race without music. Whoa! But one of the women on my team ran my pace, so we had each other to talk to the whole time. That’s a first for me and it was awesome!

That was actually another of my favorites for this race. I ran as part of team of 10! We were a variety of speeds and we all mostly ran our own race… but with a buddy who was similar to us. I loved it!

They also have the best swag bag I’ve gotten so far:

Our swag included a t-shirt, a drawstring bag, a canvas bag, a magazine, and a Luna bar.

Plus, 90% of the vendors at the vendor fair were giving out free goodies. For example:

  • Socks from Asics
  • Frozen greek yogurt pops from Yasso
  • 5 hour energy shots
  • More Luna bars
  • Sahale Snacks – I took the cranberry, sesame seed, and honey covered almonds – AMAZING! I totally recommend them!
  • Beer from Coors light
  • Coconut water from Zico (I’ve tried coconut water a ton of times and I must be missing something, I never see the appeal)
  • And samples of about half a dozen energy or recovery drinks – most of which tasted pretty chemical filled.

There were just a few things that I think Shape could work on for next year:

  • They could use some bottles of water at the finish line. Instead we were given 3 oz dixie cups that we could fill up ourselves… dehydration was plentiful
  • On the course we were handed the same cups and we could also fill them up ourselves, on Facebook a lot of runners complained that they should have been filled up for us and I can see their point. I was running slowly so it didn’t bother me, but if I was going for speed I would have been pretty upset.
  • Something to nibble on at the finish line would have been good (none of us knew about the Luna bar in our bags). Once we realized everyone was giving out samples, it wasn’t so bad. But those first 30 minutes waiting for all of our friends to finish was a little tough without food.
  • They had a bag check at the race and I’m glad I didn’t use it (I left everything in my car), it was a total disaster!

All in all though, I would totally do this race again! It was a blast!

Because I didn’t know what the run/obstacles would be like. I didn’t go in with many expectations. I was hoping to finish in 45 minutes. I thought there would be more upper body stuff (there was really only 1). Next year, I know to be smarter on the obstacles. When going over the Jersey Barriers (you know, those large sometimes concrete road blocks, these were plastic though), I lead with my right leg on all of them and my right glute hurt like whoa the whole time. Next year, I need to switch up the leg choice every other time.

The course’s jersey barriers

Final stats:

Time: 44:53:97
Place: 3184 (out of 5489 total – thus 58%)
Division Place: 1379 (out of 2286 – thus 60%)
Pace: 14:58
On my team, I was the second fastest runner (well… tied for second when you count my racing buddy, one other women on our team beat us by about 15 minutes). I’m pretty psyched about that too!

Saturday Morning Motivation – Strength

Today, I’m running the Diva Dash, which is a women-only obstacle 5k. I know I can do the 5k, no problem. It’s the 11 obstacles that I’m not so sure about. Yes, I’ve been doing more strength training at the gym for the past month, but I would still say that my upper body strength is laughable. Hmmm…

Well, here’s to trying new things and to believing in one’s untested abilities!

Good luck this weekend with whatever you’re up to!

Rove the Cove 5k

I ran a 5k on Saturday. Since you haven’t heard of this plan yet, you’re probably thinking it was pretty impetuous. It sort of wasn’t, but I had a lot of mixed feelings about it beforehand. “The Cove” is a park/playground in one of the suburbs west of Boston, along the Charles River. Specifically it’s within walking distance of T’s sister’s house. She is the one who told me about the 5k… months ago. Jen (that’s right, my wonderful boyfriend’s sister and I have the same name) is the soccer coach for her 10-year-old daughter’s team. At one of the games, Jen told me that she was trying to recruit the girls on the team and their moms to all run the Rove the Cove 5k (as it benefits the community association… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the town soccer teams have something to do with the community association). When she told me this, I wasn’t quite sure if this was an invitation to join or if she was just telling me about it because she was excited. (This is where my mixed feelings about the run started.)

Back story: I grew up with a little brother and we’re almost 4 years apart. Because he is male and I am female (and because my parents are pretty awesome), our relationship was never a competitive one. We always had separate interests – with the exception of liking high school drama… but it’s not like we were going out for the same parts.

Me and my little brother… when we were little.

I don’t want to create a competitive relationship with my sister-out-law (T and I aren’t legally married, so she’s not my in-law). Honestly, I would love to train with her but she and I have very different schedules. I’m a busy bee with work and theater and she’s a busy bee with her kids’ schedules. I would love to legitimately be friends with her, but we’re in very different places in our lives. So I was very worried about stepping on her toes and signing up for her race.

In the end, I decided to do it. It cost $12 for early registration, it was only a few miles from me, and I figured if she didn’t want me there, she wouldn’t have mentioned it along with “we’re trying to get as many people as possible to sign up.” Plus, I’m really embarrassed about running a 12 minute mile at the Race to Home Base 9k and I wanted to do a run that would make me feel more confident (especially before my 10k in July).

It turned out that she and her daughter didn’t run the race (I think they might have actually had soccer game at the same time), which was a bit of bummer because I would have LOVED to have run with them, but I’ll still get the chance at the Color Run.

I’m really glad that I did the run though. I’ve never done a small run before. Only 122 people finished (another 17 people signed up and “did not finish” according to the results). My next smallest race had 1150 finishers… It was a really nice vibe though (even if I was one of the slowest, clearly beaten by a bunch of 10 year olds).

I also tend to run “fast and flat” races, and even my neighborhood training ground isn’t very hilly. This was VERY hilly though! If I added up all of the flat bits, it might equal 1/2 mile of flat. And these weren’t soft, rolling hills; these were steep, aggressive hills. By mile 2.5, my calves were ready to quit. I’m taking it as a challenge though. Part of me really wants to run the course every week until I’m good at it! One really great highlight is that Jen’s husband and 6-year-old son were out on their front porch cheering on the runners! Their house was near the end of the race and I really needed some cheering at that point. It was so nice to see them! One other highlight was around the 2.25 mile mark, a 6-year-old girl was on her lawn with a cowbell, cheering everyone on! Yes!

My wonderful boyfriend didn’t make it to this race. Unfortunately, he had to take our little girl kitty to the vet that morning. We think she cut herself while crawling under a fence. She has a cut on her back that had gotten swollen, so she had to go to the vet for antibiotics and to lance the cyst. Luckily for her, the vet doesn’t think the cut was from an animal, so she’s not quarantined from other animals. Luckily for me, she’s a little miss priss and she’s more than happy to stay inside all day (curled up on the couch) until the wound heals and her fur grows back.

(Pictured here in a cape she made for herself out of a brown paper bag)

It was a bummer not to have my biggest fan at this race, but it was for a good reason. The biggest downside was that I parked too far away from the park (there is another park right next to it and I parked on that side… oops!) so I had to run with my new, race t-shirt in my hand. I usually run with a bottle of water and the shirt was about the same size, rolled up. So it really wasn’t much of an issue. And because there were so few people, no one was in jeans or a funny costume, nor did anyone have a good sign. So I didn’t feel bad about missing a  photo-op for one of my favorite bloggers, Jill.

Oh! And because the race was so small, they didn’t give prizes to the top people in age categories. Instead they entered all finishers into a raffle. And I won! (along with about 40 other people… seriously the Auburndale Community Association are AWESOME fundraisers!) But I was the second winner, so I had my choice of the table of prizes and now I’ll get to buy myself some new clothes from a local business called The Dress Shop! I’ve never been before, but I’m excited to support a small business and for new clothes!

Oh and some other good news? Despite all the hills, my first mile was 9:25! WAY better than 12! So I’m feeling better about myself… even though my total time puts me closer to an 11 minute mile.

My final stats for the Rove the Cove 5k:
Time: 33:49
Place: 102/122 (84%)

That’s it for stats… they don’t even show the ages of the other runners (unless they are under 18) so I’m not sure how I did in regards to my age group. Based on my own calculations though (ok… I counted), I came in 44 out of 55 women (6 of whom are under 18… 3 finished before me and 3 finished after me). So clearly, this race is nothing to brag about, but I’m still glad I did it.

The Diva Dash

As I had mentioned last week, while completing my master’s thesis and not blogging, I signed up for 2 more races. I’ve already talked about my overwhelming excitement for The Color Run. Today, I’ll talk about the other run I signed up for: Shape Magazine‘s Diva Dash in September! This is actually an obstacle course… which I’m completely scared of.

Now let me explain, I’m not really afraid of the obstacles… I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I’m not a good little runner who also cross trains… If it’s not a muscle used for running, it has NO strength!

Side note, I never thought I would run an obstacle course. So how did I end up signed up for one?

Peer pressure!

Source: for sale on zazzle.com 🙂

My thesis project was a play with 9 women (and 5 men) in the cast. A few of the people in my cast were also in a fundraiser for a local group that happened to be a staged murder mystery. One of the women in both plays invited the women from the two plays to participate in this event with her. And a bunch of people got excited and joined. There was a lot of hype! I didn’t want to be left out! Plus, I figure if I’m ever going to do an obstacle course, an all women one sounds ideal… and having 10 other friends with me should make it easier more fun. Granted, I don’t know all of the women yet… but I know most of them. The ones I don’t know seem funny so I think it’s going to be a blast.

The obstacles don’t look terrible either, from what I’ve seen in YouTube videos, there are some balance beams, some climbing nets, climbing over walls, and army crawls. There should only be 6 (they occur every 1/2 mile). I think I can survive. There is only one obstacle so far that makes me nervous. There is a photo of an obstacle from another city where the women had to walk through water (looks like a lake) up to the mid-thigh, around some stuff. “Why is this so terrible” you ask? Because I’m not looking forward to soggy shoes. I wouldn’t mind crawling through some mud, but wading through water in my beloved running shoes, uh-uh, doesn’t sound like a good time! After that obstacle, I know I’m going to be running with the following sound effects: squish (“yuck!”) squish (“gross”) squish (“ew” “Jen, suck it up and get over it!!!”). I may need to purchase some fast-draining, running shoes. Suggestions?

For all my silly complaining, I KNOW this is one run that I will be very proud of myself once it’s over. And I’m SURE I can handle the obstacles! (I just might make some funny faces while completing them… and I might need to lift some weights this summer)

And to make it better, the group will be occasionally training together to become better runners and to strengthen other muscles. (Shape even has a training suggestion we could follow.) Added fun! I never get to run with other people, so I’m really looking forward to this. But on that note… what’s the etiquette? I know we have a variety of skill levels (ranging from someone who just ran her second half marathon to someone who hasn’t run in 15 years – since her freshman year of high school – but is starting the Couch to 5k). What’s polite? Do we all run together at the slowest person’s speed? Do we just run by ourselves? Do we naturally break into similar skill levels?

For our first training session, there will only be 5 (maybe 6) of us so the small group thing probably won’t work super well. Please, please, please send your suggestions! I don’t know what’s polite and I don’t want to come off as a jerk just because I always run alone.

Tag Cloud