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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The 4am wake up

This is my why.  This is my blog post about why I get out of bed at 4:05am to workout.  This post is dedicated to explaining the purpose behind my crazy schedule and how I attempt to fit as much into my day as possible, even on the weekends.

Before I had my first child, I would get up before work around 6am and get a run or workout in before I needed to leave.  If I was feeling a bit sluggish when the alarm went off, I would just re-set it for a later time and fit my workout in after work.  Then came my first child.  After I returned to work, I had to fit my workout in before I left for the day.  I, also, needed to consider my husbands schedule to make sure I was home before he needed to leave.  This meant that I needed to get up at 5am.  That isn’t a horrible hour of the morning, I could do that a few days a week.

Then baby number 2 came along.  I completely lost my desire to workout simply because I was too tired to do just about anything outside of my normal routine.  Wake up, get kids ready, take them to grandparents by 7:30am, go to work, pick up kids, make dinner, put kids to bed by 7:30pm, clean up dinner or other household tasks.  I wanted my children to have consistency and schedules.  Children function much better when they know how the daily routine is going to progress.  This left little time for me to get a workout in before 8pm or I would have to start getting up at 4am.

I tried the 8pm workouts.  I found more ways to cancel on myself than one could believe. “I ate a donut for breakfast, the day is already shot, you can skip the run tonight.  Oh, the diaper laundry needs done, forget a workout tonight.”  If there was a way to cancel on myself, I did. This left me unmotivated and feeling very discouraged.

One thing I have learned, and my husband has learned, is that if I don’t workout consistently, I will live in a depressed state.  I want to sleep a lot more than my body really needs.  I will seclude myself from the people around me.  I cut off communication with my husband.  Therefore, I need to workout.  I need to run.  I need to commit to myself so that I can commit to others on a meaningful level.  Lucky for me, my husband completely understands that I need to do this as well.

So, I now get up at 4:05am to meet with a group of crazy runners at 5am three days a week.  On the days that I don’t run with the group, I still get up at 4:20am to head down to the home gym my husband so graciously remodeled recently.  I am able to get a positive physical and mental health start every single day.  I am able to still do the same daily routine mentioned above to maintain consistency for my family.  My children still go to bed by 7:30pm, but now I am able to be a better presence in their play when we are home.  I am a better me because of my 4am wake up.

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Newly remodeled home gym. That treadmill has seen enough use that we’ve replaced the belt!

Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

First Race

This past weekend was filled with fun adventures for our family of four.  We enjoyed the Pittsburgh children’s museum again, a favorite of ours!  We spent lots of time with family for a birthday picnic! Enjoyed the outdoors at the county fair where our 4-year-old completed her first race!  Racing was something I wanted her to enjoy when she was ready but not push it too early.  Our kids have been playing “Race” with my medals and my mom’s medals for about a year now.  I’ve wanted her to participate in a kids fun run for a while, but didn’t want it to be a hundred yard dash.  I knew she could do more than that because we walk all the time.  After searching for a race for the little one, I came across a nice 1 mile run at the local county fair.

The Stampede race had a “Country Mile” option as they called it before a 5k.  Individuals could register for the mile, 5k or both. The mile was starting an hour before the 5k, so there was no concern for finishing in time before the next race started.  The race fee would get her a medal of her own and entry into the fair.  She would be excited!  I signed us both up for the Country Mile.  The race time was not ideal with a 9am start and the 5k starting at 10, so I opted to only complete the 1 mile.  It was a double loop around the dirt track.

The day of the race was upon us and I was pinning her race bib to her shirt.  She was getting excited and her brother was less patient.  We did a couple of practice laps around some of the vendors at the fair just to get us warmed up.  The little one did some stretching with Mimi and we went to the track to wait for the start.  It was an inaugural race with a ton of race options in the area, so the pool of racers was very limited.  Daughter H was the youngest in the group to complete the 1 mile.

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We set off around the track and about a quarter of a mile in, she was getting HOT.  It was a scorcher, so I don’t blame her.  But, we enticed her to keep going because the back portion of the track was shadded.  She made it around the track and as we circled the hay bail to head back the other direction, she was starting to negotiate for some sweet treats.  She wanted shaved ice, ice cream, cold water poured on her head, anything to keep her cool.

As we were coming around the end and she was getting ready to cross the finish line she took my hand and we went across together!  They hung her medal around her neck and cheered for her since it was her first race!  I poured some cool water on her head and apparently she didn’t really want that after all.  A few tears later and being allowed to dump water on my head made up for that parenting mistake.  She was proud of herself for finishing but wanted something to help cool her down.  Unfortunately the fair vendors were still not open.

Little H’s medal is now proudly displayed in her room for her to see it daily.  She has requested to get more medals to hang on her wall! I may need to make her own display rack for her to hang her accomplishments up as she earns them!  I want to encourage her to be active without burning her out or pushing her further than her body is capable at this point.  She is young and I want her to enjoy exercising and being outdoors.

Training Continues

I haven’t stopped training and I haven’t stopped tracking with various forms of tracking methods.  What I have stopped doing was updating my blog weekly with the recaps.  To be honest, I think “oh, I’ll just update every two weeks.”  But then that comes and goes and I still haven’t updated anyone on my training.  So, here goes the few weeks of training recaps as well as the Weight Watchers updates.

Training has continued to be 5 days a week.  I have 3 run days and 2 cross training days.  I am using the 80 day obsession sessions for the cross training.  I actually want to complete this entire series when I am done with my half.  I may modify to keep 2 running days a week because I want to keep up some distance running.  I’m loving the 80 day obsession workouts because they are hard but they don’t include a lot of jumping and lunges, both of which my knees can’t handle.

My running has increased and my longest run so far completed is 7 miles.  I’m actually ahead in mileage for this training plan, but the longer runs skip over 8 and 10 miles and go from 9 to 11.  So, by being a little ahead I can add in a 10 mile run with no problem and just inch up each week by 1 mile instead of 2.  I ran my 5 mile training run with a

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7 mi. training run in 18*F

group of people training for either a full or half the week after my race.  During that run I met some very nice people and they introduced me to a group called Run Happy.  I joined their facebook group and found other crazy people that run at 5am consistently.  I was able to join up with them and have a good solid group of people to run with for my 7 mile training run.  I plan to join them each Saturday at the crack of dawn to train.  It gives me a sense of safety instead of running by myself.  Plus, I don’t find myself playing mind games to finish when I am with a group.  I keep pushing and telling myself to keep moving forward and make a turn that is further away from your car instead of ending short of the goal.

As for Weight Watchers, I am down 9lbs since I started 5 weeks ago.  I am losing slowly, which I am perfectly content with the results.  I haven’t completely given up my sweets and I’ve overindulged a few too many times.  I’m sure that number could be a little higher, but I haven’t deprived myself from foods that I want either, I have just cut back a little.  Over time, I am sure that I will be able to cut back even more to squash this sweet tooth that has taken over my taste buds.  I haven’t tracked everything, especially when I know the points will be insanely high.  Part of the reason I haven’t tracked certain foods is due to the process.  Not every recipe I use is in the system and I have to create a recipe before I can add the points.  This can be frustrating when the recipe on paper already tells me the points and I can’t just do a quick add, name the food, add the points and move on.  Regardless, I will continue to use the tracker and connect to help make me accountable for what I choose to eat.  Only when I am fully honest with myself will I see success.

Goals for this coming week:  Keep working through the training plan.  Track more consistently and honestly.  No CHOCOLATE- decided to give this up for Lent this year and I’ve noticed the struggle, but it is also a good thing.  I haven’t replaced the sweet with another form of sugar.  I did make egg-less chocolate chip cookie dough on Fat Tuesday and at half of it in preparation.

Be confident! Be fit! Be you!

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.

 

Weekly Update End of November 2017

Well, this post will be extremely short.  I was late to post for the previous week so my update only includes a few days.  Of those few days, I was only able to workout one of them and it was at the beginning of the week.  Last weekend our kids came down with a cold and we’ve spent the week battling late night coughing sessions and runny noses.

Source-PinterestI was able to get a treadmill run in on Monday before my exhaustion set in during the rest of the week.  There were days when I struggled to get out of bed for work, which I’m sure my coworkers easily noticed.  Although it was a rough week, I am not terribly upset about missing some workouts.  Apparently my body was needing a small break.

I did notice one thing…I have to get off of fast food.  My job has changed dramatically over the last year and I am on the road way more often.  I enjoy my job and getting to meet and work with a lot of new people all the time.  However, I have not figured out how to prepare for a day of being on the road and eating healthy meals that are filling.  I’ve scoured the internet over the last week to come up with some ideas to attempt a healthier food day.  Since I am on the road, I don’t have a microwave available to me and there are some foods that I just can’t eat cold.  I don’t mind taking left overs at all, but they usually need warmed up.

So, in the end, the week came and went and not much progress was made.  I plan to get up early and get some workouts in this coming week.  I will also be out of town for work for a few days.  What that means is a guarantee that I will get workouts in on those days. I am going alone and will be bored in the evening hours so I will probably hit up the treadmill and walk while I watch TV.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to December and finish off the year strong! Don’t wait until January to start a resolution.  Make and change now and end the year with a bang!  Until next week, be confident, be fit, be you!

Fitness Recap 11/18-11/24/17

running-family-isolated-vector-illustration-44748839Uh oh. I completely forgot to write my fitness recap this past week.  Having a few extra days off from work seems to have screwed up my internal clock.  But, alas, I am writing it now.  We’re just going to get right down with the nitty gritty.

 

Saturday: Treadmill workout

Sunday: 3.1 mile run outside with an average pace of 9:54/mile.  I was upset with this

number but I reminded myself that it was my first outdoor run in a seriously long time. I was running outside in preparation of the upcoming Turkey Trot and wanted to make sure I could consistently run the distance without stopping.

Monday: Unintentional rest day.  I just could not drag myself out of bed.

Tuesday: Treadmill run

Wednesday: Rest day

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Thursday: Turkey Trot 5k.  I ended up running an 8:00 first mile (which is too fast for me and nothing I can sustain at this point) and then 2- 9:00 miles.  The second and third mile were more consistent with where I feel I should be at this point in my running.  I’ve slacked a lot after having my second child that I really didn’t anticipate running anything more than a 9:45/mile average.  I was pleased with my first race.  Winter is hitting Ohio, so I’m not sure how many more of these I will do before my half in April.

Friday: Rest day

The week overall wasn’t horrible on the fitness side. I was still able to get 4 workouts  in before divulging in yummy carb loaded food.  However, the holiday hit and I still have pie in my fridge.   This coming week will be to get rid of the pie and workout 5 days.  I need to start adding weight training back into my routine.

Did you run a Turkey Trot?  Hopefully you remembered to take a picture, because I always forget.  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!