Monday, May 28, 2012

Hot and Hilly

I was writing this post in my head while I was running it. It was titled "I Came in Last...My Biggest Fear".  I decided I would embrace my lastness and be proud I opted for 5 miles rather than the 5k.   I actually didn't come in last, but I was pretty close.  :)

Race 8 was the Melody Miles. There were high school students along the route playing all kinds of instruments. I would like to say I listened to them, but this race required tunes by Jay Z and Kanye West to get me through.  I did hear a few as I passed when a song was ending.

The night before the race, I went to pick up the packets for myself and three awesome friends who ran this one with me. I got there and my packet wasn't there. It hadn't gone through online.  I had to register at the race and was soooo tempted to opt for the 5k rather than the 5 miler. It was hot as all get out and a few days before I slipped down the stairs causing a throbbing foot....but guilt got the best of me and I circled "5M".  Almost 200 smart people did the 5k, but only 63 did the 5 miler.

I was pretty convinced after mile one that this blog post would be about me coming in last...waaaay last. I ended up being third to last...I'll take it. It was a hot and hilly race, not huge hills, but rolling hills...and lots of them! This would have been bad if it also wasn't also close to 90 degrees and humid. I hit the second water stop, which I assumed was mile two and didn't see how I was going to finish three more miles. Then I discovered the Mile 3 sign a few hundred feet down the road. Two more miles were doable. I took it as a sign that I would finish.

I was expecting my time to be around 1:05, but I came in at 59:16. Once again, I'll take it!! As I was sitting in the curb trying to keep my pre-race crackers down, I heard my name be called over the speaker.  I won a raffle for new Asics sneakers up to $130 at my favorite running store!!

My awesome raffle prize donated by New England Running Company.    :) 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Tri-Rok a 5k

What a great race!! I am a creature of habit, so I tend to stick to the the races I have run in the past.  My mission is pushing me to make some changes and run some new races.  This was a beautiful one!!  The second mile was along a narrow gravel road with beautiful farms on either side. The horses seemed to be enjoying the entertainment of everyone running by. I sooo wanted to stop and watch them, but I had a race to finish!!

 The view would have been slightly more enjoyable had I not been sucking air for the entire race. ;)  The past two races, I have missed a sub 33 time by 6 and 4 seconds.  This morning I got my sign that today was my day. I had been nervous...trying not to put pressure on myself which could backfire on me pretty easily.  I arrived at the race and discovered it was chip timed. It would record my actual time once I crossed the start line until I finished. If there was a day to get in under 33 minutes...this was it!!

I forgot my Garmin and they were not calling out times... so I felt like I had to push hard. I did stop for water at mile two and walked a few steps to catch my breath. I trailed a woman most of the race. She had long legs and looked like running was effortless. Pretty sure I didn't look anything close to that behind her!! As we approached mile 3 I was speeding up and she seemed to be slowing down. As we turned into the park, I passed her and sprinted to the finish. The clock was showing 32 minutes and change, and I knew I met my goal!!  My official time was 32:16.

 Funny I got to my car, the woman I passed was parked next to me. Awkward...She smiled and commented about our competition at the end. I apologized (although I don't think I had to) and I explained my goal and the fact that I couldn't see the clock so I was slightly panicked I was going to miss it again. I've never done a race in this town before and I am loving much that I am doing a 5 miler there on Saturday.  :)

My boys were still in their jammies when I got home.
Noah took this one.  :)  It was an hour later and I was still not feeling back to normal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day...

A blog is an interesting thing.  It gives you a glimpse into a stranger's life.  It can make you think about something in a new way...or give you a glimpse into other people's reality.  I don't know the Fitzgerald family personally.  I learned about them in our local paper and began following their blogs.

This Mother's Day, I thought of Kezia and how she wouldn't have her baby girl with her on Mother's Day. I learned through her blog that Saoirse was also diagnosed the previous year...on Mother's Day.  In her very short time as a mother, Mother's Day hasn't been about flowers, or gifts, or kisses...and that just sucks.   

And so here is my race...Race Number Six...for the Fitzgerald family.  :)  I hope that knowing your little girl isn't forgotten and has impacted me (and many others) in so many ways gives you a small amount of comfort. 

Closing in on the finish line


My racing buddy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fast Chicks 5K

I made it to the half way point!  Five races down and five to go! 

This is a new race and I have to admit I ran it for the shirt.  C' could I not!  So cute!!  I'm not really a fast chick, but after today I am a faster chick.  I did this one at a pace of 11 minute miles...which is my fastest pace so far since I've started running again. I have to admit I wasn't feeling so well for this one.  I was battling a massive headache, but since I am running for Saoirse, I never doubted I would do the race.  Excedrin, water, and I was good to go!

The race was organized by a local moms group to raise money for a new play structure.  It was an all women race except for one man (the rooster) who won a spot through a raffle. I love the creativity and the kids in the jog strollers and watching from porches got a kick out of the guy who actually wore a rooster costume.  Each finisher got a rose as they crossed the finish line.  I have a feeling this is going to turn into a popular race.  Well organized, family friendly, cute shirts, flowers, and they had music blasting!

Before we started one of the organizers, who by the way was wearing her baby in a baby bjorn (love it!!!), thanked us for running.  She reminded us that although kids may look up to celebrities and reality tv stars, we were the ones they see everyday and today we were showing them we are strong and making a difference in our community. The purpose of the race was to celebrate the strength of women, their spirit, and their ability to impact their community.  She said is much better than I am...I was too busy welling up to recall the specifics. Yes, that makes two races in a row where I had to fight back tears.  Not really sure what is up with that. 

Rockin' the purple adidas kicks

Even the signs were cute

Having my picture taken by a very nice stranger. 

Next up....the Patrick Downey 5K next weekend!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


(This is a little late, but I had a crazy week.)

Something has been shifting, and today I noticed it...finally!!

 First the details... This was a 5 mile race with most of the miles along the rocky coast. It was beautiful...had it not been pouring rain with strong winds. ;) The rain started as we were leaving the house and it rained the entire time, but the downpours held off until the last half mile. I felt really good at each mile marker which caught me off guard.  I am used to fighting to finish, making sure I still have something left to actually get across the finish line. I noticed that I felt faster and my legs felt good. I decided when they yelled out my time at the first mile marker that I could do this one faster than my 5 miler in November. It seemed possible.

Mile 2 was across the causeway with open ocean on either side. I took my hat off for fear of losing it in the wind. I started to doubt a better time, but I was still ahead of a 12 minute pace. I refused to stop for water fearing that if I missed coming in under an hour by a few seconds I would be kicking myself. The end result was that I cut 3 minutes of my previous 5 mile pace and finished in 57.11.  Now I know I'm not breaking any world records, but for me that was a decent pace!  

This was an emotional race for me.  Around mile 3 I came across a boy who was probably 12 and was going back and forth between sprinting and walking.  I told him "good job...slow down a bit and you've got this one". He struck a jog and stuck with me. Pretty sure I  had a target on my back.   :) He came up beside me near the end and made small talk.  He gave me some words of encouragement in his 12 year old way and then sprinted around a corner to the finish as I cheered him on.

 I also got to high five a crowd of preschoolers lined up along the kind of crowd!! I felt like a rock star!  I also passed other runner during this race.  I caught up to the person in front of me and I knew I was picking up speed the last 1.5 miles. As I passed her, she said " Good job girl, way to finish." I wanted to hug her!! Whoever you are...thank you so much for those words...I needed them!!

The changes have been subtle, almost unnoticed until today. Today I realized I wasn't running to try to finish, I was running for a better time. All of this training is working and I think my head is starting to make some changes.   What I lack in speed I make up for in determination.  :)  Race Four is in the books!!