Category: Fitness

Friday Fitness: Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon Recap

My winter of training was for the Pro Football Hall of Fame half marathon, which was this past Sunday.  I followed the Run Less, Run Faster training plan for this race, as I did last year.  I just love how this plan takes your pace and gives you a training plan with distance and pace.  It takes all the guesswork out of it!  I love having my intervals planned out!

The training went really well.  I had a few hits with sickness and one really bad 10-miler, but I also had a really good 10-miler and 11-miler.  And some hard, but successful interval runs.  And a 5K PR.  

Nasty weather moved in to the area the day before the race.  And it rained overnight.  We arrived at the start line to wet roads and puddles.  (and a delay because the traffic was so backed up – like 2 miles down the highway)  And it was the warmest day of the week.  Not a good start.

We met up with 3 other chapters of Moms Run This Town before the race, which was awesome!  And thanks to the delay I could make one more potty stop before heading to the start line (I drank 18 oz of nuun filled water on the way there!).

And I headed to the start line and settled in with the 4:00 marathon/2:00 half marathon pace group.  Pacer Mike was great!  He was very friendly and gave a great pep talk.  In full sun and warm temperatures the race began.

I was nervous about sticking with a pace group because I tend to want to start out just a tad slow and speed up as I get into a groove, but I also wanted someone to keep my sights set on.  There was a lot of bobbing and weaving to start (slow people – start in the back!), but we hit our target of 9:08 min/mile for mile 1.  The road started thinning out and we were cruising (8:55, 8:59, 8:56) even with two water stops (one unmanned) in there.  Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 there was a relay exchange and another water stop (9:11, 9:12).  And I was still just cruising, not feeling too bad (9:03, 9:08).  And I somehow lost sight of the pacer.  But in that 9th mile the sun was relentless, the roads were black and the water stops were spreading out.  I was getting tired.  (9:50)

And then I did something I hate to do.  I walked.  I was struggling in the heat and my hip was feeling really tight.  So I run/walked miles 10, 11 and 12 (11:29, 10:18,10:32).  My 2 hour finish time had slipped from my hands and then the 2:05 pace group passed me, which left me feeling really discouraged.  I was ready to give up in the last mile.  I just wanted to quit.  And I almost did, but then I saw an MRTT gal from another chapter on the sidelines cheering me on and I hung on for the last bit and crossed the finish line at 2:06:55.

And after catching up with my MRTT girls ahead of me we commiserated about how the course wasn’t as flat as they claimed it would be.  We would call it more gently rolling hills.  And the humidity was a killer!  (I felt like I was trying to breathe out of a straw).  And despite not finishing in 2 hours, I did PR and that was something to be proud of.  I shaved over 6 minutes off my previous half marathon PR.  

After celebrating with the rest of our MRTT crew (a few more PRs and first time half marathoners!) we headed out to get some food!!!

Swensons Drive In came highly recommended by locals and we’re suckers for milkshakes after a race, so we headed over.  And it was sooooo good!  The rootbeer milkshake was seriously amazing.

And included with our registration was free entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so we decided to check it out.

And I posed in the leg cast of a football player who is well over twice my size and more than a foot taller than me.  It felt good to walk around a bit before the 3+ hour car ride home.  

Despite the race not going quite like I wanted I still had a great time with my MRTT crew on our runcation.  But I was pretty ticked off at my weather app reminding me the rest of the day how the temperature would be trending cooler the next day……….

I don’t have any more half marathon plans this year, just a bunch of relays, so this PR will have to hold me over for a while.  

OH, and in other exciting news this week I registered for next year’s Run Disney Princess Half Marathon!  Woo hoo!  That’ll be a fun runcation!!!

 

*post contains affiliate links.  When you make a purchase using these links I receive a small commission, though your price remains the same.  Thank you for your support.

Friday Fitness: St. Patrick’s Day 5K

I haven’t raced a 5K in 15 months.  I’ve run a few.  I’ve run two 5K races (here and apparently I didn’t do a race recap for the other!) as part of challenges this year, but not actually raced them.  So, last Saturday the local running club had a 5K race on the calendar, so I decided to run it.  And I’m so glad I did! 

My BRF (best running friend) joined me for the race.  And by joined me I mean let me chase her for 3.1 miles.  We checked in, got our shoe chips and headed back to the car to stay warm.  We saw a chicken get out of a car and did a lap around the track to warm up before a quick potty break and grabbing another friend.  And then we found ourselves at the start line.  And it was go time!

The course promised to be flat and fast and I had a PR in my sights.  We started out way too fast.  #raceproblems  We hit the 1 mile mark at 7:50.  It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it should. But we just kept running.  My watch got all wonky and lost the GPS signal, so I really had no idea what pace I was running after about 1.5 miles.  I just kept running.

Lindsay was able to keep up the pace and I started to fall a bit behind, but I had her bright coral shirt in my sights and just kept chasing her.  The race started and ended on a high school track, so when we made our way back around the school and hit the track I looked up to the scoreboard and saw the time ticking away.  And I couldn’t believe what I saw.  As I made my way around the track the clock said 24:xx and I kicked it up a notch because I wanted to see if I could make it across the line before it hit 25 minutes.

I saw Lindsay cross the finish line up ahead and she turned back to cheer me in and I crossed the finish line in 24:54!  I (again) shaved over a minute off my 5K PR!  And (again) got 4th place in my age group. (If I was only 1 year younger I’d have gotten 3rd! – Lindsay got first in that age group, though there was a medal mix up and she ended up with the 2nd place medal!)  All the speedwork I’ve been doing has paid off!  Hopefully it’ll pay off come half marathon day, too! 

After the celebration at the finish line, I got my boobie prize and we headed back out to run a friend in.  (She also got a PR!!)  And then because the training plan said to run a million miles we went out for 2 more miles to make it a total of 6 for the day (which is less than the plan said………..). 

And of course we had to stop for a cocoa/coffee on the way home.  #tradition  (milkshakes in warm weather)

I’m still super excited about the new PR and tomorrow I have a 10K (MRTT virtual).  Is there another PR in there……?

Friday Fitness: Frostbite 5

The weather here in Ohio has been crazy!  Up and down. Up and down.  On Saturday, when I would normally do my long run it wasn’t even 20 degrees outside.  I didn’t run on Saturday, not because it was too cold, but because I had a race on Sunday afternoon.  Our local running club has several events throughout the year and this was the first of the year that I could attend.  I did this race last year, too, but pushing the stroller.  And, just like last year the weather was unseasonably warm.  Despite the bitter cold temperatures on Saturday, Sunday afternoon was a gorgeous one!  It was in the upper 40s and sunny.  But quite windy.  So of course I had no idea how to dress for the weather.  And I overdressed.

This is the only picture of me in the race photos.  And it’s a horrible one.  I had to wear the Buff because of the wind.  My ears don’t like the wind.  These races only give you a gun time (no timing mat at the start), so I placed myself sort of close to the front (but nowhere near the 5 and 6 minute mile runners).  I started off at and 8:46 min/mile, which might have been too fast, but by the time I made it to the photographer around 2.5 miles I was maintaining the pace.  Mile 3 brought a small hill, mile 4 was into the wind, and at 4.5 miles there was another decent hill.  So the last half slowed me down just a tad. 

But I crossed the finish line in 44:38 (8:50 min/mile), which is a 5 mile (race) PR for me. Though, this was only the 3rd time I’ve raced the distance. I felt great at the finish, too.  I even turned around and went back out to find a friend and run her into the finish line (so I got another 1.5 miles in). 

It was great racing with my MRTT crew and a nice change of pace to run in the afternoon! And it’s fun to run these little races and see the strong running community we have! 

 

Friday Fitness: Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon

A few weeks ago I completed my second triathlon, but this one was an indoor sprint triathlon.  I hadn’t planned on doing it because it was a week after the Beast Challenge, but a bunch of friends were doing it and there was an open spot and well, the next thing I knew I was in the pool practicing my laps in preparation.

The race was 10 minute swim, 30 minute cycle, 20 minute run.  I spent all of December practicing 10 minutes of straight swimming, as I’d never really swam 10 minutes straight before!  I also got in a few brick workouts of a swim and bike or a bike and run.  So when triathlon day came I was feeling pretty optimistic. 

Our group was split up between waves, so we were able to cheer on our swimmers, especially me being in the second to last wave of the day (last of our group).  But that meant we missed a lot of each others bike and run. 

After one last bathroom break it was time to get in the pool.  We had to share a lane and luckily I had a friend to share with.  Except once we started swimming I was super paranoid about running into her and I actually bumped hands with the person in the next lane at one point.  Despite hitting 400 or 425 yds in 10 minutes consistently in training I only managed 375 yds. 

Out of the pool it was into the locker room to go to the bathroom again, because wet bathing suit.  I put on a pair of shorts and shirt over my suit and headed upstairs to the cycle studio.  I had gone into the studio before the race started so I knew what settings I needed on the bike.  So I grabbed a bike without clips and got my feet into the straps just in time for them to say go.  Except no one showed us show to start the recording on the bike.  So I started pedaling and it didn’t start recording.  We had to call someone over to get it recording, so I lost some time/distance there.  I also didn’t like how the bike didn’t tell you what gear you were in so it was a  guessing game and I kept adjusting up and down trying to find a good gear.  In 30 minutes I biked 8.3 miles.

After hopping off the bike we had to head down the stairs, across the fitness center and back up the stairs to get to the treadmills.  The wave before us was finishing up so we cheered on some of our girls and when the timer stopped for them it started for us.  I hit the quick start jog button and we were off.  Every few minutes I upped the speed a bit and sprinted to the finish.  When the 20 minutes was up I had run 2.31 miles. 

Overall I was pretty happy with how it went.  Since it was my first indoor triathlon I have nothing to compare it to, but now I have some numbers to improve on for the next one.  I’m not sure when the next one will be, though.  Until then I’ll just keep running (cause I still have some running races on the calendar and well, that’s what I do) and I’ll keep swimming because I really enjoy swimming.  I’ll bike if I have to.  It’s my least favorite part.

Mostly I had fun because my MRTT crew was there.  And then we went to Whole Foods for lunch afterward. 

Friday Fitness: The Beast Challenge

I have some race updates to give you!  It’s been a while since my last Friday Fitness post and I’ve raced twice since then!  The first was on New Year’s Day. I did the Pancakes and Resolutions Run Beast Challenge.  The race had a 1 mile, 5K and 10K option.  Or you could do all 3.  I did all three.

It started with a 1 mile run.  There was a small crowd gathered at the start and the race started 10 minutes late because it was taking so long for everyone to get checked in.  I started near the front because it was a small crowd.  Knowing I had two more races ahead of me the plan was to take it easy.  After all, I had 20 minutes from the start of this race until the next.

And then I crossed the finish line in 8:07.  Oops. Not the slow start I had planned.

Next up was the 5K.  Now, I have a knack for running a 27 minute 5K and when chatting with friends prior to the race I made that remark.  But I also said I should probably ease back a bit since I still had the 10K after that. 

And then I ran a 27 minute 5K (8:43 min/mile).  Ha!  My speedy friend was waiting at the finish line (she got 2nd in our age group) and the first thing out of her mouth was “You called it!”

I took a bathroom break after the 5K, which was the best decision I had made all day!  I swapped out my last bib and headed back to the start line for the 10K.  I got off to a great start, but then we took a turn and headed up a hill.  And when we got to the top of that hill there was another small hill.  And when we descended from that hill we had to go up a third hill.  By the time we hit the third hill my legs were done.  I took a walking break.  No shame.  I was tired and hungry and running out of steam.  But I made it to the top of the hill and then got to run back down.

Pretty good finish line photo, too, in my Balega Crazy Crews!!!  It wasn’t my best 10K time, 59:47 (9:38 min/mile), but it was the 3rd race of the day, so…….

But look, still smiling!  It was a fun way to start off the new year.  And I was happy to have some of my MRTT crew there to chat with and cheer on.

If you completed any one of the races you got a pancake medal (and his little legs swing back and forth!) and for completing all 3 races you got a beast medal to go with it. 

And then there was all you can eat pancakes!!!

They tasted much better than they looked! And yes, that’s caramel drizzle on them!  (I’m not a big fan of syrup)  This was a great little local race.  I’m glad I did it!  (It didn’t hurt that the weather was pretty nice.  36 degrees and sunny!)