Akron Marathon Relay Recap

It was 4am on a Saturday morning.  I was up and getting ready for my race with four other like-minded people I had never met.  We had some communication via a group chat, but I only knew the name of the person that would be handing me the bracelet to continue on with our race.  I didn’t know a face, didn’t know what they would be wearing or what their estimated pace would be to know when to be at my starting point.  There were a lot of unknown variables and I was okay with it!  I just wanted to run.

This says a few things about me.  First, I’m putting myself into situations where I am forced to meet new people.  A far cry from my middle school and high school days where I would hide in the music room to eat so that I didn’t have to socialize with people for fear of what they thought about me.  Second, I was running for fun and didn’t fear being the last person.  My only attempt in Track was in elementary school and I ran the mile distance but I was almost always second to last.  My motivation was to stay ahead of the last person because they had a queasy stomach and would often throw up towards the end.  I never wanted to be puked on so I had to keep moving forward. I wonder where those track pictures are???

The morning of the race, I prepped for a long run.  I was running the third leg of the relay which was 5.4 miles and had some nasty hills.  But, I wanted to get extra miles in since I had only completed one 20 miler in my training for Columbus.  My friend and I parked, found the bathrooms and gear check and then determined the safest place for me to run.  The final portion of the marathon would be the perfect place to get in some extra miles.  I ran back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for 6.7 miles.  Then the race was starting.  I had never experienced Akron’s Marathon before, so I went to the end of the starting corrals and watched the runners take off.  Then I set off to complete a few more circles around the block to get another 2.3 miles, putting my pre-race running at 9 miles.

Now, to sit and wait.  Since I had put in extra miles, I was starting to get really chilled.  About an hour into the race I received a text from the first runner that their leg was complete and the second person was off and running.  I estimated the second runner would be about an hour. I didn’t want to run the block anymore because runners were starting to come in and hand off to their teammates.  Remember, I had no idea who I was looking for to begin with so I definitely didn’t want to risk missing my handoff.  The announcer was calling off relay bibs left and right.  It was confusing, but I eventually heard 220 and so I set up in the relay lane.  After running 9 miles and now freezing where my toes were tingling, I was not prepared to “race” this relay leg.  My teammate found me and I was off.

I started and knew I needed to get moving to warm my body back up.  My start was at mile 12, so the half marathon finishers were getting ready to break off and go into the finish line.  Within half a mile I hit my stride and was feeling good.  My toes were still numb, but they were coming around.  I finished the first mile at an 8:42 pace and started the climb for the second mile.  I was determined to make it up the first big hill, after all I have been attempting Harmon Hill of death.  I made it up Market and hit mile two at 8:56 pace.  Heading up another long hill, I was feeling fatigued.  I walked a portion, and as IMG_4254soon as I could, I started running again.  Mile three finished much slower at a 9:42 pace.  Now the fun started.  There were people out eating breakfast on their lawns, champagne and macaroons, gummy bears, and just a lot more crowd interaction.  We had some downhill in this mile and I finished mile 4 with an 8:40 pace.  One more big climb and then I was done with hills, mile 5 was a 9:22 pace.  The last .4 of a mile I was able to push myself down a straight away.  I knew I was nearing the end of my relay leg and would be handing off to another complete stranger.  I knew what this person was wearing at least! I finished my leg with an average pace of 9:02/mi. which I will gladly take when I consider the hills.  My overall mileage for the day was 14.4 miles.

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Team Soaring Eagles meeting for the first time!

I had a great time and during the finishers festival I was finally able to meet my fellow teammates!  Well, three out of four. It was a great experience and definitely something I would do again.  I just want to do a different leg of the race LOL!

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HRC Wizards in the Wild! #somuchgood

 

 

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Training has commenced

Uh oh! It looks like I fell off the blogging train a month ago and didn’t know how to get back on board.  Well, I haven’t figured out a schedule to sit down and write that seems conducive to family time, working, meal prepping, half marathon training and sleep.  Yes, that last one is usually the thing I sacrifice the most these days.  I knew my schedule would get tighter when I made a commitment to healthier eating and getting more physical exercise.

So, what has happened in the last month.  I joined Weight Watchers again.  I was very successful with the program a year and a half before I had my daughter.  I even lost all the weight relatively quick after delivery and maintained that for a little over a year.  Then we decided to expand our family and my food cravings were for anything and everything that did not include a fruit or vegetable.  Fast forward about two years and I still don’t fit into most of my pants.  So, I joined Weight Watchers a second time and have been committed to tracking points.

I signed up for onceamonthmeals.com and picked foods that were healthy and didn’t include processed foods.  My mom and I spent two days prepping 30 meals to have for lunches and dinners.  Most of the meals were insanely easy to prep and we’ve only ordered out once in two weeks.  That is a HUGE improvement for our family.  *disclaimer: we did go out to eat one night for dinner for a fundraiser*  The website provides a grocery shopping list, a prep day set of instructions, labels for the containers and cooking day instructions.  I plan to do this type of prep about every 3 weeks, just not at the extent of the first go around.

I started my training for my half marathon!  I signed up for this half last April for a seriously low price.  It has finally come to start training with a bit more intention.  I planning
found a training plan on pinterest that would work with my schedule and wouldn’t feel like I was only running on the treadmill.  There are numerous cross training days and I’ve got my beach body on demand ready to go to assist with that training.  I use my planner to track my workouts, water intake and successes/challenges for the day.  I feel ready to go and I have found some serious support in a virtual running group!

Hogwarts Running Club

Finally, I signed up for 7 virtual races with the Hogwarts Running Club that is run by the non-profit Random Tuesday Inc.  It has been the most supportive group of people to get me back into running and fitness in general.  The first race is scheduled and I’m even planning to meet up with local members to run as a group!  If anyone is interested in running the Nargle 9k, sign up here.  I encourage everyone looking for fitness support to join the Facebook group
@HogwartsRunningClub.

So, all in all I haven’t been slacking too much.  Just on this blog.  I hope to be consistent with it to provide updates on my training.  Until next time, what do you like to do while running/walking on the treadmill?

Be Confident! Be Fit! Be you!

This post does have links, but I receive no kick backs for clicking or registering.

 

Recap 11/11-11/17/17

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This past week had some success and some short comings with my goals.  I wanted to run/walk every day in order to assist my Quidditch team to the finish line and provide the winning pot of money to Back on My Feet.  I was also going to continue to write everything down and make sure I eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day. So, let’s start with the fitness portion.

  • Saturday: ran 5.1 miles
  • Sunday: walked 2 miles
  • Monday: ran 4.8 miles, walked 1.1 miles on lunchIMG_2976
  • Tuesday: ran 5.2 miles, walked 2.3 miles on lunch, walked another .5 mile when I got home after a long day at work.  This was the night my team crossed the finish line and everyone was pushing themselves to their limits
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Rest day- wasn’t feeling the greatest
  • Friday: Walked 3.2 miles

Overall, I would say a successful week with workouts.  The longer distances were a nice steady pace on the treadmill and I was getting used to completing longer distances.  After doing it a few times this week, it convinced me that I was ready for a 5k race again where I would be challenged by others.

Now, the food portion of the week was the less than ideal part of the week.  I started the week writing down what I was eating, but I stopped/wasn’t dedicated to it by Monday.  Then there was the fruit and veggie challenge.  The first day I fell short so the next day I made sure to get at least one in by the end of the day.  After the weekend the goal was just to start the process of eating healthier.  I had three salads this past week.  That is a huge improvement.  I hadn’t consumed a salad in quite a while before this week.  So, I’m going to just set this week behind me and start fresh with fresh fruits and veggies this week.  It definitely has to do with the preparation.  I went to the grocery store Friday and stocked the house with fruits and veggies that could be easily packed.  Over the weekend I will prep the food and make some food for my work day lunches.  I plan on making overnight oats for breakfast and adding some fresh fruit.

Overall, I saw success in some areas and some areas that clearly need improvement.  I didn’t fail necessarily, I fell short a few times and that’s okay.  I have an area for growth and I plan on focusing on that this week.  I’m going to continue working out in the morning and I’ll be adding back in a few days of weights.  Finally, I will be running a turkey trot race in my area on Thanksgiving.  I’ll be dusting off the old running watch for the first time in almost two years.

What are your goals this week?  Is there a Turkey Trot in your area that you can participate in with family or friends?  What types of foods do you like to pack for lunch to ensure healthy eating throughout the day?

As always, be confident, be fit, be you!

Weekly Recap 11/4-11/10

This week started the Quidditch tournament with the Hogwarts Running Club and let me just say, my team is #FawkesingAmazing!  This team is full of encouragement and great spirits.  The constant updates and stat breakdowns have been extremely helpful to see where we are in the tournament.  I can honestly say I have checked my racery team stats more than Facebook.  So, let’s get to the weekly fitness report.

  • Saturday: Vacation treadmill run plus 3 mile walk on the beach in the middle of the day!
  • Sunday: Treadmill run and walking Universal Studios Diagon Alley and Hogwarts for 12 hours.  Yes, we stayed in that portion of the part nearly that entire time.
  • Monday: 2.5 miles treadmill run
  • Tuesday: 3.5 miles in the morning on the treadmill and then 2 mile walk during lunch
  • Wednesday: 3 mile treadmill run
    • I seriously had no desire to get up this morning because I worked a 12 hour day on Tuesday and was woken up at 3:30am by our daughter who doesn’t sleep well.  But, I did it because my team was expecting miles from me.
  • Thursday: 3.2 mile treadmill run
  • Friday (AKA: my birthday): 2.3 miles- my daughter came downstairs at 5:30am so I had to stop sooner than I wanted.

Now, I will say I am doing far less miles than half the members of my team.  But, I am getting up every morning at 4:30am and getting some miles in to contribute.  The team goal to reach the finish line first and provide prize money to the Back on My Feet foundation is motivation.  I have really enjoyed this challenge and will definitely complete more of them in the future!

As I mentioned last week, I was going to start writing down my food I ate throughout the day.  All of it, the good, the bad and the seriously not healthy.  Well, I did that.  What I realized was that I was not only eating super unhealthy most of the time, but I was not eating any fruits or vegetables.  Like seriously, maybe twice this week.  I had a salad one day and that is all I can remember for the vegetables.  This is the one thing that will help me finally take off the rest of the baby weight.  I can no longer give myself excuses.  I need to start focusing on being healthy for myself and my family.

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This coming weeks goals will include eating at least one fruit and one vegetable a day.  This is something that will need to increase obviously, but I need to start with something attainable for the moment.  I will also continue to write down what I eat and participate in the second half of the Quidditch tournament.  What are your goals for the week?  Do you have someone to check in with or report back so that you are being accountable?  I’m happy to help!  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

 

 

 

 

Wedding, Beach and HOGWARTS!

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This past weekend I was able to spend some time with my girl friends from High School.  We graduated High School 12 years ago and these ladies are still such an important part of my life.  That’s the bond a small, all girls Catholic school can create.

The weekend started on Friday when we met in Lake Mary, FL.  We just had a nice casual dinner and spent time catching up, not via texting, at Sonny’s.  It was some really good BBQ and conversation.  Then on Saturday, my friend took us to her childhood home and showed us around New Smyrna.  We met her grandma and had some great conversation.  Then we walked to the beach.  It was gorgeous and I was truly appreciative of the moment because I had been checking into the weather back home and it was less than ideal.  We took a long walk down the beach.  Like 3 miles or so to the jetty where we saw a lighthouse and I picked up some large seashells for my kids! We also saw some tortoises on our way back to the car.

It was time to head back to get ready for our friends wedding.  It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony.  The bride and groom had all of the bridal party and immediate family hold their rings for each of them to say a quick blessing, quietly, and share their love.  When they came back around, the rings would hold the love of everyone who touched them.  It was a really nice moment.  The wedding and reception were beautiful.

The next day, we headed to HOGWARTS!!! I couldn’t come to Florida and not go to Universal studios if I was less than an hour away.  We started first thing in the morning when the park opened and left when the park closed.  Yes, we stayed at Hogwarts or Diagon Alley almost the entire day.  We rode the Hogwarts express between the parks!  The day started with the ride at Gringotts, which was really exciting.  Then my friend and I had to get wands from Ollivanders.  I originally wasn’t going to get one, but then we found out they were interactive and had a life-time warranty so I was sold.  We were just like the little kids doing spells to make things move, stop or spit water!  We ate at the 3 broomsticks and had butterbeer, of course.  It was truly a magical day. I was so thankful that I was able to spend this time with my friends whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

If you ever get the chance to go to Universal, I highly recommend getting a wand.  At least one for your group but kids definitely would enjoy all of the interaction.  Next weeks blog post on Wednesday will be an updated Advent list for families.  I’m going to modify and adjust based on my time availability and my kids interests.  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!