Category: Fitness

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!) 



Friday Fitness: Hot Chocolate 15K or Running with Bronchitis

I ran my last race of the year on Sunday.  I’ve always wanted to do the Hot Chocolate 15K, but usually have a conflict.  This year I was able to fit it into my schedule!  I was so excited!  And a bunch of my MRTT crew was there, too, so it was super fun and cold!  Hot Chocolate 15K

We had amazing weather last week, particularly on Friday (it was in the 70s!!) so when race morning rolled around and it was only 34 degrees, cloudy and windy it was a smack in the face!  Also a smack in the face was being diagnosed with bronchitis on Friday, after having felt under the weather for almost 3 weeks.  I struggled with what to wear because we hadn’t eased into the cold temperatures.  Thankfully I picked the right outfit for running. Not so much for standing around before or after the race.

Hot Chocolate 15KI had originally submitted proof of time when I registered for this race.  I ran a 10 miler at an 8:56 min/mile in March so I used that as my proof of time for a preferred corral.  That put me in corral A.  Granted it was the back of corral A, but the first corral none-the-less.  Because I was constantly coughing up a lung I wasn’t holding out hope that I would actually complete this race in my predicted time. 

When the gun went off I just started running at a comfortable pace.  I was just going by what felt good and trying not to look at my watch.  I was pretty consistent, too.  9:33, 9:47, 9:19, 9:29, 9:41 Just over half way.  But then my chest was feeling really heavy.  I found a pit stop just after mile 5, so I took a bathroom break, coughed up a lung, blew my nose about 10 times, coughed some more, then walked through the water stop.  After that I felt a bit better.  11:41, 9:32, 9:52, 9:55, 8:46 sprint to the finish.  

Chip time 1:32:26 (9:55 min/mile)

So about a minute slower per mile than anticipated, but I survived.  It took quite some time after running for me to stop coughing and make my way over the the gear check to get my extra layers.  I put on some dry, fuzzy gloves and a fleece jacket, but it was still just so cold! 

Hot Chocolate 15KI managed to eat my marshmallow and Rice Krispie treat before my chocolate hardened and once the rest of my crew was done running we didn’t stick around.  It was just too cold!!!  We had a nice hot lunch at Melt Bar and Grilled and then we headed back home. 

I didn’t meet my goal and I didn’t get to take my picture with the inflatable marshmallow (they didn’t put them up because of the high winds), but it was a fun race!  I’d love to do it again some time and hopefully be able to enjoy the after party a bit more!


I’ve taken most of the rest of the week off to try and kick this chest stuff, but I did run to and from our local Turkey Trot (3.1 miles each way) to volunteer yesterday.  I helped out as a start line marshal and a finish line people mover and got to see a bunch of my MRTT friends run a great race!  I’m still struggling with chest pain so I’m hopefully heading back to the doctor today to get this taken care of.  Until then I’ll (try to) rest.


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!!!


Market to Market Relay 2016 Recap

Last Saturday was my favorite race of the year!  Market to Market Relay Ohio.  This was my third year participating in the race (and it’s also the race’s 3rd year).  New this year was an earlier start time.  In the past 6 AM was the earliest start time, but this year they added 5:00 and 5:30 waves.  Lucky us drew the 5 AM wave. So the day started at 2:30 AM.  It’s so hard to wake up so early!!

Upon arrival at the start line (which is an hour away from home!) we picked up our “baton” and proceeded to the photographer for our official costume contest photo.  If you’ve read my previous years’ recaps you know the costume contest is my favorite part of this race (2015 and 2014).  We’ve won the costume contest both years and we were looking for a threepeat!

Market to Market Relay Ohio - fruit running costumesWe went with a fruit theme and everyone got to pick what fruit they wanted to be.  I sewed all the costumes using Patterns for Pirates’ Essential Tank and embellished them with heat transfer vinyl and/or screen printing paint.  I had a little help with the HTV on the strawberry and watermelon.  I also made the headbands out of felt.  I was so excited to see us all together looking so cute!

We sent our first runner (grapes) over to the start line and at 5 AM the trombone wielding, pink fuzzy guy led the pack.

Market to Market Relay start lineShe ran in the dark.  Runner #2 ran in the dark and I started in the dark as well as my leg started around 6:40.  Thankfully halfway through my first leg the sun started to make it’s way up and I was able to turn off the headlamp and see where I was going.  I was feeling pretty good about my run, but keeping my pace a bit on the slower side as I was anticipating a 5 mile run.  Turns out the leg was only 4.3 miles, so I was saving gas for no reason.  But I had two legs ahead of me so I was happy with that.  And well, we’re in it to win the costumes, not the race.  😉

Market to Market Relay Ohio

It was a beautiful morning and we all ran through our first leg feeling good.  Then it was back to the top.  By the time my second leg rolled around the sun was shining really bright and the heat and humidity were really picking up.

dsc_1538I threw on my visor to give me some sun protection (blue eyes problem) and grabbed my handheld water bottle and braced myself for a 5.6 mile leg. 

Market to Market Relay Ohio I started the leg feeling pretty good.  I didn’t get very far before the wind knocked my pineapple top off my head, so I ended up having to just carry it.  So, with a water bottle in one hand and a pineapple top in the other I cruised through the first two miles of the leg.  I could definitely feel the heat, but I had the shade of the trees to help it feel somewhat bearable.  But I spend the next 3.6 in the sun.  The hot, hot sun.  I was fading fast, but I told myself I just ease back and keep running until I was passed by April (she’s was on our 3rd M2M team and I knew she would pass me on this leg).  But just before 4 miles I needed a break.  So I walked.  I poured a little water on my head, drank a little and tried to give myself a pep talk.  I started running again and right at 4 miles April caught up to me.  We chatted for a minute and then she went on ahead.  I had been playing leapfrog with another runner and in commiserating about the heat she mentioned it was lunch time.  And then it dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten!  No wonder I had no energy.  It was now after noon and all I had eaten was an egg sandwich at 3 AM and a Quest Bar after my first leg (around 7:30). 

I hopped in the van after my leg and devoured my lunch!  We continued moving through our legs, chatting with other teams along the way, occasionally  running into our two other teams, and just having fun.  We sent runner 7 out on her second leg and shortly after we got a notice of a lightning delay.  Our poor lemon had to run the last 2 miles of her leg in the pouring rain with a lightning rod on her head!  (the headbands were made of foil wrapped in felt)

Market to Market Relay 2016For every 30 minutes of lightning we had to move forward an exchange point.  So we waited for a bit, then moved on.  So runner #8 didn’t get to run her second leg.  And at the next exchange it was the same situation. And then again.  It had been stormed for an hour and a half at this point.  So we just hung out in the van, sang along to the radio, ate lots of chips and begged the lightning to stop so we could run the last leg of the race.  We made it to the last exchange point and decided whoever wanted to run could run.  And our second team was planning to do the same, so we could all finish together.  Just as we were preparing to head to the path a huge streak of lightning flashed right where we were standing, so we packed up and drove to the finish line exchange.  We ran in for the team finish and our 2016 relay was in the books. 

Market to Market Relay OhioDespite the disappointing ending to the day we still had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again next year. 

We hung out a big after the race for our free pizza and beer and to hear the result of the costume contest.  Even though they wouldn’t be able to hand out the time awards because of the adjustments that needed to be made for the lightning delays we were told they would announce the contest winners.  Finally it was time!  After a quick tally of the votes the costume contest winners were announced and once again we won!!!

Market to Market Relay OhioI tell you what.  Waiting for those results and listening to them announce the runners up is torture for me.  A lot of thought and hard work goes into our homemade costumes, so it really means a lot to me.  My team is awesome for wearing the silly headbands I made for them or carrying them while they ran! 

So, now the pressure is on!  It’s time to start thinking about next year’s costumes!  We’ve got a reputation to maintain! 


Friday Fitness: Triathlon Recap

So last week I mentioned that I had signed up for a triathlon.  I wavered quite a bit on whether or not to sign up for it and in the end I’m so glad I did!!  The event was a small, local race, right here in my hometown.  It was a sprint tri, but instead of swimming the first leg was paddling.  As a solo participant I was in a kayak.  (Doubles were in a canoe).  I have some kayaking experience as my in laws now have a kayak at the lake house!  It’s so fun kayaking on a quiet lake in the morning.  But this wasn’t a quiet lake.

20160821_074421This was a moving river.  And there were lots of other people in it.  And even though I rented a recreational kayak when I arrived at the start line all that was left were the performance kayaks.  In talking with some guys at the starting line there were 4 kayaks dropped off and the guys grabbed the first two (the recreational kayaks) and left the other two (much larger kayaks) for me and another girl.  I tried to convince them to trade since the store I rented it from picked a kayak for me based on my size (which was smaller than those two guys!) but they weren’t having it.  So I was stuck with a kayak that was much larger than anticipated.  I was having a hard time keeping it straight and almost ran into about 6 people.  I felt so bad! It took me about a mile of the 2.5 mile course to get comfortable with the kayak and find my groove (and start passing people). 

Based on my practice runs I thought it would take me about 40 minutes to go 2.5 miles.  My time was 32:27, which included  transition time. 

After getting out of the water I had to haul my kayak to the grass across the path and then head out on the run.  I took off running, but then realized I forgot to take my life jacket off!  So I had to circle back, toss the life jacket back in the kayak and then take off on the run! 

The run was a 5K.  It was on the bike path that I run a lot!  It’s a pretty flat path so it made for a quick run!

image257I finished in 26:12 (8:27 min/mile) which is only 5 seconds over my 5K PR.  Not too shabby! 

The bike part made me a little nervous.  I really wish I’d have taken a picture of my yellow cruiser bike on the rack with all those legit looking bikes.  My transition time was only 32 seconds since all I really had to do was put my helmet on, get my bike off the rack and walk it out of transition (and panic for a moment!).  I hopped on my bike ready to tackle 10 miles.  I peddled my little heart out.  And so many times I wished I had more than 7 gears on my bike.  My legs were working double time and not getting me very far because again, the course was pretty flat!

image415I loved that the course was an out and back because I got to see all of my friends as I was riding so it was fun cheering for each other along the way (I also saw them canoeing while I was running and we were yelling back and forth to each other!).  I figured it would take me about 45 minutes to complete the cycling portion and I came in at 42:01.  Pretty close.  It would’ve been faster if I’d have had more gears. 

My overall time was 1:41:07, which was almost 20 minutes faster than I thought it would be.  Although I really had no goals or expectations for completion time as it was my first triathlon.  So I’m very happy with it. 

Luckily the weather was great that morning (a little humidity, but not nearly as hot or humid as it has been).  And the small event meant that I wasn’t fighting for space.  It also helped having some friends there, some experienced at triathlons, and some first timers like me.  We all loved the event and would definitely do it again next year.  And I think we’ve got some other people excited about it, too.

20160821_094000Hopefully I can get some more time in at the pool this winter so I can try a swimming triathlon next year because that was so fun!

Friday Fitness: The Heat of July

Happy Friday!!!  I hope you had a great week.  Ours was busy!  And fun.  We spent time with friends, checked off a few items on our summer bucket list and ran the air conditioning more than usual.  It was hot this week!  And I got my sweat on!

Friday – Group Power.  One of our local Y’s is just starting the April release, so it’s the routine I’ve been doing for over 3 months.  This was the class I went to.  I really loaded up my bar and boy did I feel it! It was definitely a workout!!

Saturday – My legs were feeling the effect of the previous day’s heavy lifting.  But I cranked out 6 miles and helped one of my MRTT girls push her pace (10:10 min/mile).  Later that day the whole family headed up to one of our many gorgeous parks and went for a nature walk.

hikeWe hiked 2.25 miles then let the girls play on the natural playscape and go creeking.  It was a lot of fun!

Sunday I took a much needed rest.

Monday – Group Power.  The first day of the July release (for me).  It was a new routine so weights were a bit of a guessing game.  I think I’m going to like this new routine!

Tuesday – Cupcake had an appointment, so I dropped her off and took Pumpkin for a ride.  In the hot sun.  Not a cloud in the sky.  It was a tough 3 miles, especially pushing that stroller up some hills!  (10:02 min/mile)  On tired legs from the previous day’s workout.


Wednesday – CSI (cardio, strength, intervals).  So. Much. Plyo.  There was a whole lot of jumping going on.  And after jumping we worked legs.  My legs got no rest!  And then I ran 3 miles on the trail. 

20160713_185557_1468543185471_resizedThursday – I started out on the treadmill and only made it 1 mile (9:37 min/mile) due to some ankle pain.  So I hit the weights instead.  Luckily I got my 40 minutes of strength training in before the weightroom was overtaken by a dozen baseball players. 

It was a good week.  I’m feeling stronger and even though I ran slower than usual I think it was needed.  I’m not training for anything right now, so I’m just running for the love of running.