Category: Fitness

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. 

Friday Fitness: Back from Vacation

So, I’m back from vacation.  Both a small vacation from the blog and a vacation away from home.  I guess it’s also a staycation as we went to the family lake house.  Along the way we stopped off for some fun at the Columbus Zoo and then it was lazy days!  It was great to get away for a bit even if I’m still trying to unpack and catch up on laundry post trip.

The first day at the lake I hit the road after breakfast.  It was a muggy morning for a 5K (9:27 min/mile) and I forgot what it was like to run rolling hills.  20160630_091859On Friday I tried something new!  We now have a kayak at the lake.  Despite never having kayaked before I took it out for a spin.  It was a lot of fun! It was such a peaceful morning on the lake and the wind felt good on my face.  I went out for about 30 minutes and made it about 1.3 miles.  And it was a great arm and shoulder workout!

kayakingSaturday was a busy day.  We had a family reunion, so I got up early to get some miles in before breakfast.  It was a cooler morning and it felt great. I had no big plans for how far to run since I’m not really training for anything, so I just went out for 6.2 miles (9:35 min/miles).  It was foggy, there were lots of rabbits out, there was a snake (dead) on the path, and those rolling hills again.

20160702_061739Sunday morning I was on the lake again after breakfast.  This time I went out for about 45 minutes and covered 2 miles.  I passed a lot of early morning fishers and a few other kayakers. 

I don’t typically run on Mondays, but I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to run on Tuesday, so I laced up (and wore the same stinky running clothes for the third time on my trip!) and headed out.  I was hoping to run 4 or the 4th, but I just wasn’t feeling it so I stopped after 3.1 miles (9:12 min/mile).  I’m going to blame it on the dead skunk in the road. 

20160704_084207Tuesday hubby and I had a day date!! We did some fabric shopping in Amish country, ate way too much food and hiked Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

Hiking Cuyahoga ValleyIt was back to reality on Wednesday as we headed home.  Luckily I had running to look forward to.  I skipped trail run group in favor of a Pub Run with the local running store that didn’t actually take place at a pub.  They had a summer cookout instead.  A bunch of my MRTT crew showed up so there was lots of chatting while we ran (3.1 miles at 9:45 min/mile) and burgers at the finish.

Thursday I hit the gym in the morning since the girls had swim lessons and did a total body strength training set and some ab work.  Cupcake had an appointment after lunch, so I loaded Pumpkin up in the stroller and we hit the road.  It was an overcast day except for that 29 minutes I was running!!  3 stroller miles at 9:57 min/mile. 

20160707_092432So despite being on vacation it was a very active week!  I didn’t take my usual rest day, but I enjoyed it.  I liked the change in routine and the change of scenery.  But now it’s back into the swing of things and hopefully that includes more blogging, too.  Have a great weekend!!!

Friday Fitness: Summer Routine

Guys, summer break is in full swing here and the girls and I have been having some fun!  We wrote out a summer bucket list (cute printable from Eye Candy Creative Studio) and we’re doing a great job of checking things of so far!  We’ve had playdates with friends, gone bowling, seen a movie, went swimming, and Cupcake is learning how to machine sew! 

Having both kids home makes running a little trickier for me.  Cupcake is too big for a stroller (and I wouldn’t want to push her plus Pumpkin anyway!), she’s too young to run and she doesn’t have the patience to bike that long either.  And she can’t keep the pace.  Last year I did a lot of my running in the evening, but I much prefer morning running.  Luckily I’ve been able to make that work so far this summer as our YMCA allows outdoor running while the kids are in child watch! 

Friday was National Donut Day, so a group of MRTT moms and kids got together for a donut dash!  We met at our local bike path and ran a mile, then headed across the street to a great little local donut shop. 

20160603_075221Usually I would run on Saturday morning, but we had a class at the zoo, so I skipped it as I didn’t want to feel rushed.  I wouldn’t call this a rest day, though because we walked around the zoo all day!

I got my run in on Sunday.  Just 5.25 miles.  Since I’m not training for anything I just ran what I felt like running.  Stopped when I felt like stopping. 

20160605_082701Monday we headed to the Y in the morning for my favorite class, Group Power.  After the Y we headed to the arboretum and went on a hike (or as Cupcake prefers to call it, a nature walk).  I hiked with a toddler on my back the whole time.

Tuesday I hit the streets for a run, but my Garmin battery was low, so I cut my outdoor run short (after 1.5 miles) and went inside and did a fast mile on the treadmill, for a total of 2.5 miles.  I then spent 30 minutes in the weight room.  Also, my left eye was super duper red and scratchy so I had to wear my glasses.  Wearing my glasses while working out is the pits!


Wednesday I squeezed in 30 minutes of strength training including lots of abs and push ups before the girls’ swim lesson at the Y.  And then it was trail run night!  It was a gorgeous night, too!!

trail runThursday morning I met up with an MRTT buddy to hit the road again and break in my new shoes (3.5 miles).

new shoes 

I’ve got a 5K farm race coming up this weekend, but I’m running that one for fun.  It’s supposed to be super hot on Saturday and the race starts pretty late.  I’m looking forward to the milkshake at the end!!

What have you got on tap this weekend?