Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Newport 10 Mile Race Recap

Sunday was race #5 for my #14in2014 – the Newport 10 Miler. This was also the longest distance I’ve ever run in my life and my first attempt at it. Prior to the race, I’d only run 7 miles as part of my training plan.

Going in to this race, I had no time aspirations. My endurance has suffered a lot over the last 6-8 months due to constant injuries. I haven’t been able to run 3 days a week, every week, for at least 3 miles like I was last summer. I’ve been doing a run/walk plan of 4 min run/2 min walk for a while now and was really just going in to this to cover the distance and finish, not win any awards. I’ve still got a massive competitive streak though, so I really just aim not to finish dead last so I don’t beat myself up.

On Saturday, I got a message from a friend of mine I’ve known since college. We’re Facebook friends, but hadn’t seen each other in probably 12 years. Since we were both doing the race, she wanted to meet up before the race so we made plans. It was really great to see her and nice that she finally got to meet Tara. We hung out pre-race and chatted, warmed up, made our portapotty runs and then lined up to start together. This is where that story ends because she is MUCH faster than I am! She got a new PR of 1:22:50. See? Speedy!

 

The two of us heading out of the Fort to line up

 

All week long I had watched the weather for this race. Normally I don’t obsess this much for a race, but when I knew I’d be out there for more than 2 hours, I reallllly didn’t want it to be in pouring rain. At the beginning of last week it showed somewhere around 60* and 0% chance of rain. By Saturday morning, it showed 30-40% chance of rain straight through 6pm Sunday! We ended up lucking out with the weather, for the most part. At the race start, it was chilly, but not super windy and no rain – just clouds. Around the halfway point of the race the sun even peeked through for maybe 15 minutes or so. It then got cloudier and cloudier, plus the wind started picking up something fierce. By the last mile, the wind was so bad right next to the water that it was almost pushing me backwards! The sprinkles didn’t start until we were leaving, but never really amounted to any rain of any sort until long after we’d gotten home.

 

 

Now let’s get down to the meat of the race – the running itself. I went in with my 4/2 plan, but didn’t end up paying attention to it. I decided watching my Garmin for my intervals would cause me to look at my overall time too much, so I decided to try doing a song for song interval (run one whole song, walk one whole song). This worked out pretty well and allowed me to not focus solely on my overall time. Sometimes I did a little less or a little more depending on if there was an uphill or downhill and used it to my advantage.

The course itself was gorgeous. We started out in the parking lot at Fort Adams, headed out onto Ocean Ave and just kept following that beautiful coastline. Once we’d run out the coast, we ended up on Bellevue Ave where the famous mansions are located. After we cruised through some side streets, we finished back inside the actual Fort, which was pretty cool.

 

From race website

 

They started the race by firing a “cannon”. The DJ then started by playing Follow The Yellow Brick Road as the lead-off song, which I thought was hysterical! I started out OK, but the first mile was almost all uphill which was a quick energy zapper. I wasn’t sure how my stomach would react with this type of distance (plus nerves), so I had only an English muffin with PB and jam, plus a banana and coffee around 4:30am (race start was 8am). I brought my handheld water bottle, which has a small pouch attached, so I stuffed some Shot Bloks in there to use throughout the race. I didn’t really know how to fuel myself properly during the race, so my plan was just to wing it based on various things I’ve read online, plus I knew there would be Gatorade at the mile 6 and 8 water stops.

 

 

They had water stops every 2 miles which I thought was great, too. I definitely didn’t drink enough because I never even finished my handheld and it’s not all that big (8 oz maybe?). I had two half cups of Gatorade and 4 of the 6 Shot Bloks. I ended up stopping at the portapotties at miles 4 and 8 so I definitely appreciated that they had them out at all the stops. I’ll definitely need to figure out fueling in the next few weeks considering how fast Tough Mudder is coming up and that it’s probably 10-12 miles (on a mountain!). That will be a big issue if I don’t figure it out.

I definitely enjoyed the scenery on this run. It’s really hard to have a tough run with views like this:

 

 

I felt pretty strong through about mile 7 and then sort of hit a wall. Each step seemed tougher and each time I ran seemed shorter and shorter. I think the last 2 miles took more out of me than the whole previous 8 did. The last mile was VERY hard due to the wind pushing us backwards for almost a mile, but then we got to round that corner and finish inside the Fort and it was like heaven being able to just stop moving for a minute. I had been nervous if I slowed too much or quit walking for a few minutes that I wouldn’t beat the 3 hour time limit. As it turns out, my official time was 2:19:52 so I was pretty happy with that.

 

 

Pros:

  • Early packet pick-up Friday and Saturday
  • A nice quality tshirt, along with a sticker and a few snacks as part of the swag
  • Beautiful course
  • Water/portapotty stops every 2 miles that remained fully manned and stocked until us slow pokes ran through

Cons:

  • Parking. It’s not really the fault of the organizers, but there is limited parking space at the Fort, so the parking started ½ mile from the start and just kept getting further back the later people got there until people were parking on the streets! Luckily we followed instructions and showed up early so we weren’t terribly far away.
  • Vendors/food table at finish. This was a BIG disappointment for me personally. I don’t know if they ran out of food, or didn’t feel like sitting around in the cold wind, but when I finished multiple vendors were already packed up and leaving and there was NO food in sight except some guy selling kettle corn (which I hate). There was not a bagel in sight! Tara told me while she was waiting she saw people getting food and giving it to their kids and stuff. I was so exhausted and emotional that I burst into tears because my legs were cramping as soon as I stood still and I couldn’t even get a freakin’ banana!!
  • Disorganized start. They had us all milling around inside the Fort for registrations/packet pick-up as well as portapotties. The start, however, was outside in the Fort parking lot. There was no signage about this so when someone randomly starting shouting through a (not loud enough) megaphone, we all sort of just walked out of the fort, but didn’t know where to go for the start line. Once we got out there you could hear better because the DJ used the PA system to line us up, but it was a slight bit confusing.
  • Age groups. Both myself and at least one other person I know were put in the wrong age group because they changed our age. I’m 34, but I was put in the 35-39 age group. I don’t care that the age is wrong, but what if I was a serious competitor and wanted to really see how I did against my peers? I would have no idea because they put me in the wrong bracket. This is really just a minor thing, but still worth mentioning I think.

 

I would definitely do this race again in the future simply because of how awesome the course was, but I will definitely be working on my fueling procedure and my training.

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #31 (Plus The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For!)

Fitness this week:

Saturday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class + 4 mile hike

Sunday – Rest/Easter business

Monday – 2.62 miles for Boston

I don’t know if you heard of, or took part in, the Boston Marathon World Run, but I had pledged 25 miles. I finished the week before, but didn’t realize you could get fun virtual swag.

 

 

 

Tuesday & Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class

Friday – not sure yet, but I have lots of stuff to do around the house today and will probably just chill today and tomorrow since I have the Newport 10 Miler on Sunday

 

Well, looks like the ol’ blog is taking a backseat again, but it’s OK – it just leaves you more time to yearn to read my words again. Life has been fairly busy as of late. Tara and I had a really nice couple of days last weekend. We had plans for a mid afternoon lunch/dinner for Easter at my aunt’s house, so we checked with Julie and Dan about making a weekend out of it since we hadn’t seen them for a bit. They live only 15 minutes from my aunt’s house which meant we wouldn’t have to drive the hour plus up there and back on the same day as dinner.

I found out that Unleashed was hosting BoldrDash last Saturday morning as part of their race series they’ve started where the race directors come in and promote local races and you can get discounted entries and swag, as soon as you finish a kickass workout of course. I wanted to check out BoldrDash because it’s on 5/3 – which I originally had a race, but the race date got changed and I had to cancel due to volunteering on the same date they moved it to. I wasn’t sure what discounts BoldrDash were offering, but because it’s such a last minute registration for me, I didn’t want to sign up online at full price so I made plans to take the Saturday 6:30am class and then check them out afterwards. And yes, I got suckered in and signed up, so now I’ll have a “minor” warm-up race before Tough Mudder at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to it though – I’ve been told it’s a GREAT local race and I’ll be running with my Unleashed teammates so I’m excited.

After class and signing up for the race, I headed home to do a couple of things in the yard and then we drove up to MA. The weather last weekend was gorgeous, so we planned a hike around the Ponkapoag Pond Trail that Tara and I had done once last year. We knew it would be an easy beginner trail for Julie and Dan because most of it is gravel/dirt road and not so much an actual trail through the woods. I think it was a great time and it was fun doing something active together as a group.

 

Testing out my new Camelbak hiking pack I got for Christmas!

Me and Jules

 

 

The rest of the afternoon/night we just spent hanging out. It was also nice being able to chill with them on Sunday morning. Normally we’d drive up Friday night and leave Sunday morning, but because our dinner at my aunt’s wasn’t until 2:30 we didn’t have to rush off anywhere. I had brought my running stuff to get 4 miles in, but my shins and ankles hurt so bad from the hike I decided not to push it.

Easter was nice – just our small crew from my mom’s side of the family. My aunt, uncle, cousin & bf, my grandmother and me & Tara. My grandfather was working and never ended up making it there before we drove home around 4:30ish. There was lots of yummy food and we watched a little playoff hockey while we were there. I love just hanging out with them.

Monday I decided I would do that run I missed on Sunday, but what I intended to be 4 miles didn’t turn out that way. My shins were still really bothering me throughout the day, but I figured I’d try it out and see what happened. We drove up to the high school track so that I could run while Tara walked. I was OK for the first interval, but then my shins were screaming. I did a few more intervals, but couldn’t hack it so I just stopped and walked the rest of the time with Tara until I hit 2.62. I figured if I couldn’t get my 4 in, that would be perfect to do for Boston.

 

 

Speaking of Boston, I only have one thing to say – MEB!!! That was amazing! I had to work, but as soon as I got there I logged on my computer and the first thing I did was pull up the live feed of the race. I had it going in the background for hours and kept giving people updates even if they didn’t want them. I was so hoping Shalane was going to win it for the women, but you know what – she still kicked ass! Meb was a rockstar though, what an amazing finish. I only wish I could have been there and been a part of it. Maybe next year.

As for the rest of the week, well, Tara’s been a busy bee! She had the whole week off due to school vacation, so she’s tackled various projects around the house. The best one of all was our office/second guest room which is now our office/second guest room/MY RUNNING ROOM!! Now all of my workout clothes and running related gear all have one single home to live in instead of being scattered throughout the house. It’s pretty bare right now, but it was painted a cool grey color called “Pier” and we’re going to hang my medal holder I got for Christmas, as well as the awesome race photos Julie and Dan bought me. I’m sure I’ll post some pics eventually, but I pretty much suck at blogging and never remember to take pics of anything.

We also had some trees trimmed around our property line as well as had a weeping cherry tree removed that the previous owners decided would be a good idea to plant in the flower bed. Geniuses. None of the trees we trimmed actually live in our yard, but they’ve come over from the neighbor’s yard so much they were touching the house, our porch and the shed so we finally had enough. We couldn’t reach enough to trim ourselves anymore. It looks so naked, but now even more sunlight will reach the back of the house so that’s awesome – especially once we put our pool back up for the summer!

 

Tara said these guys climbed like monkeys. They were doing the trimming in the pouring rain!

 

 

OK, so…drumroll please! The most fabulous update you’ve all been waiting for….SHOES! Maybe that’s not such a big deal, but I really had you holding your breath, didn’t I?

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been seeing my sports chiropractor for a couple of months now. Since our very first appointment, she urged me to get bigger, narrow width shoes. I was wearing a size 8 regular width at the time, which I thought fit me fine. I had about a fingernail of space at the end of the toes and my foot touched both sides of the shoe – sounds fine, right? Nope. She said I had very narrow feet and should really be in a bigger shoe, length-wise, because she said my arches were like knots because my feet couldn’t stretch properly and the bone that protrudes on the outside of my foot, well, it shouldn’t do that apparently.

Every week I would go and every week she would tell me to get the other shoes. I really didn’t want to because I don’t want to spend tons of money and have to replace every shoe I own because once you stretch your foot out, the ones you have won’t fit anymore. Plus I had just gotten new running shoes a couple of months back so I didn’t want that to go to waste. So we battled every week until finally, about 3 weeks ago, she was so adamant about it that she actually said she would reimburse me for the shoes if it didn’t work out. I also figured she has nothing to gain because it’s not like she’s selling the shoes to me, so I finally caved in.

I went on Zappos since they have the free shipping both ways (in case I needed to return them) and got one of the only 3 pairs they had in stock of size 9.5 narrow width of the running shoes I already owned (Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s). Yes, that is a size and a half bigger than my current shoe. I figured they would feel like clown shoes and I’d be tripping over my toes! Well, when I got them in they actually fit like a glove. I was totally astonished. I brought them with me a few days later for my appointment and she put two pieces of felt pads in each shoe, one under the arch and one under the ball of the foot to “spread the toes”. That felt weird for a day or two, but now I barely notice them. She said it would just help my feet adjust to the new space and get them stretched out. I have to say, I can definitely tell the difference when I’m running and she said she’s already seen improvements in my muscles releasing during my ART.

Since this was the only pair of shoes I had in my now-correct size, I had to get a note from her to wear them to work (since we have to dress business casual) so I could be wearing them at all times. Not that you’d hear me complaining about getting to wear my sneakers all day long. I gave it a couple of weeks to make sure I wouldn’t be needing to adjust anything or change my mind and decided that I would definitely replace everything in that size (except for dress shoes, which she said would be 8.5 narrow). I can’t buy all my pairs of shoes at once, but since we were going hiking last weekend we swung in to REI to get new hiking and trail running shoes (since I’ll need those for TM next month). I fell in love with the first two I put on my feet, which happened to be the only two that they had there he said would work well with a naturally narrow fit. So now I have a pair of Salomon trail running shoes and a new pair of Merrell hiking shoes. I’m not 100% on the hiking shoes yet because they are a lot more rigid than the Merrell’s that I got last year and they seem to rub my ankle bones. I haven’t worn them outside the house yet because I want to be able to return them if I need to. I ended up wearing the Salomons when we went hiking and they did amazing. I’m totally in love with those.

 

The 3 pairs of shoes I’ve replaced so far

 

 

One other quick chiropractor update, other than her telling me that she noticed my muscles releasing more easily, is that my CES that I see after her ART/adjustment told me that I’m improving there as well. My issue with this is some unfortunate news we got earlier this week from the chiropractor. Back in March, she moved from her own practice location to a small area of a gym in Providence. This wasn’t an issue for me because it was pretty close to her old office and she said it was less overhead for her so I was happy for her. However, earlier this week I received an email saying that due to insurance or whatever, that the CES Mike wouldn’t be a part of her services anymore. He would basically be working through the gym now and would be paid for his own separate appointments – at $50 for 30 minutes!! I already pay a $40 copay per visit with the chiro so basically when I go for my appointment on Monday, I won’t be seeing Mike anymore. It’s too bad, but I’ll figure it out.

On to the song choice of the week now that you’ve probably all fallen asleep. I heard this play on my iPhone on the way up to MA on Saturday morning and just kept focusing on the lyrics “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, cause I want more”. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up nicely – especially after the massive cramping I had in class last night and my shoulder being all jacked up from the monkey bars last week.

My Body – Young The Giant

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #30

Fitness this week:
 
Saturday – Yard work
Sunday – 7 mile run (1 hr 34 min)
Monday – Chiro appt
Tuesday – PT stretches
Wednesday – 30 min run/walk
Thursday – PT stretches
Friday – possibly a run later, or maybe just PT stretches because I’ll be having a pretty active weekend

 

Lilah didn’t want me to leave so she watched me walk away and waited for me in the front window.

 

I would say my first ever 7-mile run was a big success! I mapped out a route about 7.5 miles because I always include a 1/4 mile warm-up and cool down. I did the first half the way I mapped it out, but decided a second loop of it would be boring (even if I was going to be going in the opposite direction) so I changed it up – this may have been a mistake. I wanted to stay somewhat close to home, so the first time I went out I took the right bike path out of the neighborhood then looped around the main road and back in. It was at this point that I decided to switch it up. When I headed back around, I went down the left bike path and planned to loop around like I used to. I could have sworn when I used to do this loop that it was 3 miles, but somewhere along the line I got mixed up in how far I’d gone and how far I had left. No worries – I just ran the neighborhood streets until it clicked over to that magic number!

 

 

This is also where I had my first ice bath (sans actual cubes). I let the tub fill with the coldest water possible and then threw caution to the wind and stepped right in. That was the absolute worst part because my feet and ankles were instantly mind-numbingly, achingly cold! Once I had my feet in, sitting wasn’t so bad. Honestly, the whole of my legs and butt were fine (I do have plenty of insulation), but man did it hurt my ankles and toes! I managed to stay in for 10 minutes and I honestly think it helped with my recovery the next day. For the remainder of Sunday I had to kind of hobble around the house because my calves were *really* tight, but I put on a clean pair of calf sleeves and wore them for the rest of the day, plus slept in them, and I was mostly OK the next day! I don’t know if it was a combo of the new bigger shoes or the ice bath or what, but I was a happy camper (and so was my chiro Monday night at my appt).

 

 

 

 

I still need to do up a post about the chiropractor/shoe situation but I just don’t have enough waking hours in the day. I’ve got a rough draft, but I’ve also since replaced 2 more pairs of shoes (trail running and hiking shoes since I may use them this weekend) and kind of want to include those in there.

This week has been a really extreme weather week in New England and I’m not happy about it. Monday was close to 80 and then by Wednesday it had dropped to freezing and there was snow on the ground and cars when I got up!! It’s been really windy and chilly since then, but looks like the weekend might be nicer, near 60 and no rain. I’ll take it!

 

 

 

 

I’m planning on doing my Unleashed class tomorrow morning (instead of last night like normal) and then do a couple of things around the house. We plan on maybe taking a hike with Julie and Dan and then Sunday we’ll have Easter dinner at my aunt’s house.

My song choice this week is a Jack Johnson song that I love. He always makes me think “summer” when I hear his music, so I’m hoping to speed the nicer weather up. Plus he’s just got such a chill, mellow voice I could listen to him all day. Enjoy!

Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #29

Fitness this week:

Saturday – 4 hours of raking the yard

Sunday – Jamestown Bridge 10K

Monday – rest/chiro appt

Tuesday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – rest

 

So this week didn’t go exactly as I had planned. I ended up switching schedules with someone Mon/Tues/Wed while they were on a trip so I worked different hours. I’m a creature of habit and when things aren’t part of my regular routine, I get thrown out of whack. I’ve had a lot of little extra things to do this week and, along with working those different hours, I just didn’t manage to get my workouts in that I wanted. For instance, instead of the run I planned on last night, I fought with a filing cabinet and my car for 1/2 hour. By the time I got home, I’d already said screw it.

 

 

 

This weekend will be the first time I run 7 miles as part of my training plan. I’m a little nervous, but it looks like we’ll have perfect weather this weekend so I’m looking forward to it. We also have a lot going on in terms of doing stuff around the house so we’ll be moving around plenty. I’ve got more yard work to do to prep the lawn after all that raking last weekend, plus we’re going to grab some paint because Tara will be home for April vacation and she plans on repainting the office. We’re finally going to hang up my race medals on the awesome hanger that I got for Christmas so I’m really excited they can be displayed because I’ve worked damn hard for them. I can do some during and after pics because she already started taking shelving down so it’s not technically a full before picture, but you’ll get the idea.

I’m gonna keep it short this week, so straight into the music we go. I’m a big fan of Broadway and musicals in general. I love music so much and seeing it acted out just makes me love it even more sometimes. Needless to say, I watch Glee. I loved the idea of it and when it started I liked how they mixed up or mashed up songs and sometimes even made them better. The story lines are pretty weak, but I still watch because of the music. I’ve actually discovered several songs I love through watching it that I didn’t previously know.

This past week’s episode “Bash” started with this haunting Stephen Sondheim song from Into The Woods. I thought it was hauntingly beautiful and it gave me goosebumps (even listening to it again as I found the YouTube video).

No One Is Alone – Glee Cast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jamestown Bridge 10K Race Recap

Race #4 of my #14in2014 was the Jamestown Bridge 10K in Jamestown, RI on 4/6/14. I couldn’t have asked for better weather for this race. It was a bit on the chilly side, but bright, bright sunshine and only a slight breeze – perfect for running on a bridge! This race was also the polar opposite of what I had experienced the weekend before in the Run The Reservoir 5K.

The race start was at 9:00am, but we planned on getting there around 7:30 because the only parking available was along Route 1A on the street. We didn’t want to have to park a mile away and walk that far after running 6 miles – which I had never attempted before.

Luckily, Tara knew the area where we needed to go, so we got there no problem and got a really close parking spot. Once we determined we were far enough away as not to get towed or ticketed, we headed over to the Park & Ride where the tents and portapotties were set up. We just people watched for a bit and tried to stay warm. It ended up that I dressed perfectly for my run, but unfortunately I was cold the whole time leading up to the race! I really need to be better about wearing more layers I can shed, or else we need to wait in the car sometimes.

 

 

 

 

About 15 minutes out from the start, I started warming up and hit the portapotty line one more time. There was a 5K starting at the same time as us, but on the opposite side of the bridge. They had been bused over by shuttles prior to us lining up. While we were waiting to start, they didn’t make any announcements or anything so people started wondering what was going on. Then they said the 5K had started. OK, but what about us? We didn’t end up starting until almost 9:15 according to my phone. By then, I’d lost my signal on my Garmin and was having trouble getting it back. I literally got it back right as they told us to start going.

 

 

I started out feeling strong. I decided I would run as long as I felt I could (lately I’ve been doing 4 min run/2 min walk). The MC had warned us to save energy because the first mile was downhill, so don’t burn ourselves out. I took his advice to heart and just kept a slow steady pace. I didn’t stop to walk until after I’d reached a mile (about 10:30 I believe). This was where we hit the huge incline leading to the top of the bridge. I tried to jog up it a little, but I wanted to conserve my energy to run when I could on flatter ground (or downhill). Once I hit the peak, I did speed up a bit on the downhill, but still not by much because I knew I still had a ways to go.

 

I’m right not the white line in the front of that pack. In about 1 minute, all those people will pass me.

 

Once I reached the bottom of the bridge on the other side, we turned into the neighborhood portion of the run. It was really nice seeing people out on their lawns cheering us on. The volunteers did a great job with the water stops and pointing us in the right directions. This course was VERY well marked and I never had any instance where I thought I might get lost.

After a couple of miles through the town, we turned back on to the bridge for the second killer incline. I did the same thing as I did the first time – walked up to the peak, ran quickly downhill. The issue with this one was that nice downhill mile we had at the beginning was uphill for the last mile back! I ran as long and as often as I could, but I walked a substantial portion of the end of the race. I didn’t feel too bad though, because every single person in view in front of me was walking as well. It was a seriously killer ending to a very hilly race. I liked seeing Tara on the bridge overpass when I was coming in at the end. Lots of people were up there cheering either as spectators or walking back over to the food tent after finishing the race.

 

 

What I didn’t realize about this race, that Tara said she heard an announcement about before the start, was that it was a gun-timed race. I was kind of annoyed about this because I didn’t know. The bibs had timing chips on them. We also received numerous notifications that we could sign up for a website that would text real time updates about us to our friends or family. I had signed Tara up to receive texts by filling in my name and bib # and it said she was all set. I didn’t even notice when we started if there was a timing mat when we crossed, but I do remember one when we finished.

Unfortunately, I started towards the back of the pack because I’m slow and don’t want to get in the way, which means precious seconds were eaten up after the gun went off until I could start running. What sucks even more is I’m not 100% on my time because I forgot to stop BOTH my Garmin and Runkeeper app when I finished. So my “official” time is 1:20:16. I assume I probably could have been just under 1:20, but who knows. At least it’s an automatic PR since it’s my first 10K!

 

 

One last thing I have to point out is that they put out the biggest, most diverse food spread after the race. There was pizza, bagels, half a dozen different kind of little bags of chips, granola bars, cookies, peanuts and a bunch of other stuff I can’t even remember right now. I came in pretty close to the very last person and there was still TONS of food left and Tara said people were stuffing it in their coats, too. That’s pretty amazing. I’ve been to other races where I’m lucky if there is a banana left when I finish.

I would definitely recommend this race. They were highly organized, well marked and lots of super helpful volunteers directing us at every turn. I can’t say if I would do this race again because of those crazy hills, but I am a special type of crazy so I suppose I’d challenge myself to do it again just to beat my own time.

 

 

 

 

28 Comments »

Run The Reservoir 5K Recap

Race #3 of my #14in2014 was the Run The Reservoir 5K in North Scituate, RI on 3/29/14. I didn’t have huge expectations of this race since I knew it would probably be the smallest I’ve ever run, but it was being put on by one of the members of the RIRR so I wanted to come out and support it.

I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. According to the t-shirt I received, this was the 7th annual race. I think I would have expected just a bit better organization.

The first thing was parking. I luckily knew exactly where to find the race because the Scituate Art Festival is held there every year and we’ve been selling my friend’s jewelry there for the last 3 years. This means I also knew there was plenty of parking across the street. Unfortunately, it wasn’t organized so people were just kind of parking wherever they felt like it. We were there early, so we didn’t have an issue but a friend of mine from RIRR almost missed the start of her 15K because she had no idea where to go.

Once you were parked, the next issue is that it wasn’t really clear where to get your stuff. It was kind of a “follow the leader” type scenario that led you into the small church. They were very organized once you were inside with plenty of signage so that was a plus. They also let people use the indoor restroom, as well as had 3 portapotties outside. For a race this size it was fine, the line never got very long.

The worst thing of all was the start of the race. There was a 15K starting at 9:00 and then the 5K would start at 9:05. Unfortunately, the only way to hear any announcements was if you were up at the front of the pack because they were just using a bullhorn and it wasn’t very loud. We had no idea what was going on since we were at the back for the 5K start. This was bad, too, because we heard after the fact that several 5K runners had taken off with the 15K – big mistake! The way they did it was that the 15K started then the few 5K-ers were left after that so we stood where the 15K-ers had started from. A minute later, we all started moving forward, so I thought maybe we were starting. Not the case. Apparently the 5K start line was about 50 yards up the street so we were just moving to “our” start line.

Once we got going, I settled into my groove. Unfortunately, that groove was post-sickness and I wasn’t at 100% so I did a fair amount of walking. I was OK with it though, because I knew going in I would be. I couldn’t fully breathe yet (still a bit congested) and my hip is still bothering me. As long as I go in knowing I’ll be doing some walking, it never seems to get me down very much.

It was a very pretty race to start with, being right on the reservoir, however that didn’t last long. I would say 75% of our run was on busy roads with semi trailers blasting by us. The roads had NO markings or cones for safety of the runners in any way (we were literally just running the shoulder of the road). There were a couple of volunteers at key turning points to show us where to go, which was good because other than that there weren’t any posters or anything with arrows showing us what to do. I was highly disappointed by this and a little nervous I would get lost or hit by a car. Not really stuff I want to worry about while I’m running a race.

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have any timing chips, so I think they just made note of our bibs as we crossed with the time on the clock. My official time was 40:18 which was OK with me considering the amount of walking I did. I forgot to stop my Runkeeper and Garmin right away, so my recorded times are slightly off.

 

 

 

 

I felt so bad when Tara was telling me about runners that did the wrong race, or wrong course. One woman was with the wrong group and her husband took off to find her after he finished and she hadn’t yet. She refused to cross the finish line with her bib because it took her 35 minutes (when she can normally finish in under 20 min). I don’t blame her – I’d be pretty pissed if I were racing to win like her.

I can say I definitely won’t be doing this race again. As nice as it is to support a fellow RIRR, I need organization and safety and those were 2 things I felt were sorely lacking that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awards

I know I need to get my butt in gear and write a couple of race recaps, but I lack serious motivation. Right now, I’m still in the afterglow of finishing my first ever 10K yesterday (and my longest distance ever run to date).

For now, you get some fluff. I’d like to thank Talia at 52 Miles Per Month for a nomination for a Liebster Award and Bree at Running Breezy for a different blogger award (missed the name of it I think?). For Bree’s, I need to list 7 random facts and the remaining questions come from Talia.

In terms of rules, I’m throwing them out the window. Please just comment and answer anything you’d like. Or tell me a random fact. The floor is yours!

Random facts:

1. I love watching Matlock and Murder She Wrote reruns. I swear I’m 34. No, really.

2. I used to love eating peanut butter and cheese sandwiches. American cheese only. I’m not a weirdo or anything.

3. I used to have a VHS tape of recordings of Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting from PBS. I would turn it on and lay down to take a nap because his voice is ridiculously relaxing. I love happy little trees…and happy little squirrels… There are no mistakes, only happy accidents. OK – maybe I’ve seen too much.

 

 

 

4. One my cats (Delilah) and I have “tubby time” every day. She comes in the bathroom with me while I’m in the shower and she lays in the sink and let’s it drip on her and takes a bath. As soon as I open the shower curtain, she starts meowing at me until I pet her. That’s totally normal, right?

5. I’ve started a collection of coffee mugs, but I will only buy them if they are from somewhere on vacation or an adventure date with Tara.

6. I may have an unhealthy obsession with Yankee Candles. Just ask Tara, Julie or Dan about that trip to their factory store when the ADD squirrel came out in me.

7. I really like working out in the yard (yay Spring!!), but hate raking. Raking can go take a hike.

 

And now on to the questions as provided by Talia:

1. What inspires you on a day to day basis?!  Other people. I’m not going to be able, nor do I want to, single out any particular person. Everyone has their own personal struggles and one day person A may inspire me and the next day person B will give me the kick in the ass I need to get over myself.
2. Why do you write?  I write for accountability. For somewhere to put my feelings. I’m not a talker. I tend to bottle up and explode instead. I like looking back and seeing how far I’ve come (even if lately it’s nowhere).
3. How do you feel about exercise… Honestly?!  I absolutely hate traditional exercise. I’d rather go for a hike or something so the exercise is disguised. I do it because I always feel better after the fact, but I find it boring most of the time and just want it to be over.
4. If you could wake up anywhere in the world where would you wake up and why?  In one of those little huts on the water in Bora Bora. That’s where they are, right? Yeah. I want nothingness and relaxation.

 

5. You have a choice- you can ride a bike or walk. The distance isn’t far. What so you choose?  I would walk. I hate riding bikes because the seats always hurt my butt/thighs.
6. What’s your go to beverage of choice?  I drink water 98% of the time. If I have a craving for soda, it’s generally Dr. Pepper.
7. Describe a challenging obstacle you have faced and how you dealt with it:  moving to RI to be with my love, without having a place to live or a job. We ended up paying some rent to her parents to live in their finished basement for 9 months and I managed to get a job within a month (ahh, the good ol’ days).
8. Describe a childhood memory that you believe shaped you.  Christmases with my family. It is, and probably always will be, my absolute favorite holiday because it was so fun to be with everyone and just spend time together.
9. When you were a kid what did you imagine for your life by this point?  I honestly have no idea. I guess I’ve never had dreams or goals for myself. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian or physical therapist, but my math and science grades prevented me from thinking that would ever be possible. I also hated school, so there’s that. I did think I’d be married by this age, so there’s that.
10. What brings you the greatest joy in life?  My wife. She can make me laugh like nobody else on the planet and takes care of me in every way imaginable. And music. Always music.
11. How do you like to spend your Sunday?!  Doing absolutely nothing if at all possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #28

Fitness this week:

Saturday – Run the Reservoir 5K race + 1.5 hour trail running “class”

 

 

 

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Chiro appointment (more about that soon)

Tuesday – PT stretches and rest

Wednesday – Short run

 

 

Thursday – 1 hour Unleashed OCF class

Friday – PT stretches and rest

 

I’m a little bit crazy, as you can tell by Saturday. My hip has really been bothering me, so I’ve been limiting my running. I could totally tell when I ran on Saturday, too.  My endurance isn’t worth anything right now. I think I walked more of that race than I ran…but I did it and didn’t feel too bad afterwards. I’ll eventually have a race recap at some point. Tara caught the cold that I’ve finally gotten rid of and didn’t want to hang around (which I don’t blame her at all!) so we headed home. It was then I realized I could make the trail running class if I left right away, so I grabbed the address of the high school that we meet at, changed into my trail shoes and took off. Let me tell you, I felt like a joke.

The people in the class were all really fit people and even some elite racers, along with a second trainer. I COULD NOT keep up. I was so winded and kept ending up at the back of the pack the entire hour and a half class. Even if I was up to my fittest last year (in terms of running endurance), I couldn’t keep up with the pace they were running. We started at the high school to “warm up” by running through the woods, then up and down repeatedly through a ravine, then over next to the stadium where we went up and down a really steep hill for 5 minutes. Then we ran over to the bleachers where we proceeded to run up and down them the entire length of bleachers (on the bleachers, not steps). Some squats thrown in for good measure, then we took off behind the bleachers running down a hill into a clearing where we did some burpees. Then “sprinted” (yeah right) back up the hill we ran down a minute ago before we headed into the real woods where we’d be running.

Very steep terrain and not so much of a “trail” is what I recall after that. Up and down lots of hills (as you can see by all the squiggles on my Garmin picture). I was ready to quit about 15 minutes in, but I figured if I couldn’t keep up, I would just walk up and down the huge hill in the middle while they ran in and out of the woods. I was wheezing at that point, which I’ve never done and could have been cold-related. I did eventually suck it up and rejoin the group, but felt bad because anytime he stopped to regroup and do a head count, they would be doing push-ups or squats or burpees while they waited for me. I still had to do some, too, but they had to do a lot more because of the waiting so I felt really bad about that.

I ended up making it through, but I seriously overtaxed my hip and have been paying for it all week. It was feeling a little better mid-week, so I decided to do that short run on Wednesday to test it out because I have my first ever 10K on Sunday!! The run felt pretty good and the pain actually went mostly away while I was running. I’m nervous about Sunday due to the huge inclines, but I’m pretty sure even with a good amount of walking I can beat the time cut-off. I have one hour to get to the “last chance” point before I’ll have to get a ride back. I think it’s totally d0-able.

On another note, I have to admit I’ve been a really bad blogger friend. I’m so overwhelmed lately I haven’t been spending as much time online. I’m trying to reset myself basically. I’ve been working on my eating this week, which is going great. Next week I’ll be adding my strength training back in, possibly more running as well, too. I need to buckle down. I only have less than 2 months until Tough Mudder! So yeah…I haven’t been reading most blogs, definitely not commenting at all and not even bothering trying to write my own. If you’re still around to read, thanks for sticking with me.  🙂

 

Since I’ll be doing a good amount of this on Sunday, I thought this song was fitting for this week.

Running Up That Hill – Placebo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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