Surprise!

Usually I do my goals post on New Years Eve but I knew that this New Years Eve was going to hold bigger, more important things.

Back in October my mom called me and asked me what I was doing New Years Eve Day.  I pretty much said I have no idea mom, its October crazy lady!  She told me she had been working on a surprise for me but didn’t know if it was going to happen but it was during the day that day.  I told her I would keep my schedule clear and kinda forgot about it.

Then a few weeks ago I was trying to decide when I was coming up after Christmas and asked my mom about this mystery surprise and she said, “Well I have to sign us up for it so I guess we are going to do it.”  So I asked her if she was going to walk a race because I knew she had been walking everyday.  She responded by saying,

“No, I am going to run it!!!”

My mom have never played a sport or really done any physical fitness in her whole life so this was a HUGE, incredible surprise to me.

So today was the day and she was AMAZING!

Finish

Finish

 

She wanted me to run hard so I ran a 20:30 (which was okay considering the cold and wind I am not used to) then I doubled back and picked her and my dad up with a little less than a mile to go.  To make it even sweeter, today was their 20th anniversary!

What was also really awesome was the post race pancake breakfast!  There are always bagels and bananas and apples and that stuff but the pancakes were an awesome surprise.

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Awesome way to end an amazing year.  So proud of my momma!

How to Deal with a Disappointing Finish?

95 degrees, feels like 101.  Thats what my accuweather app read at the start of the fourth in the Race the Landing 5k series tonight.  Not exactly the recipe for a PR.

After a ridiculously hot past few days I knew this race was gonna be a doosie.  Walking up to the start, my friend and I were literally dreading it.

I started out feeling okay but didn’t make it far before realizing this wasn’t going to be my best.  At about 3/4 of a mile in I started to really feel the heat.  My legs felt fine but I felt my heart rate racing (up over 190 bpm according to the monitor) and knew I was doing the best I could with what I was given.  By mile 2 I settled in (to a much slower pace than I have been running) and was back and forth with one guy the rest of the race.  One thing I love about these small town races is what happen at the end.  With about .35 left, we were running together step for step but I always have a pretty good kick at the end.  He had been beating me the whole time so at about 1/4 left I told him to stay with me, lets finish together.  By the time we got to the finish line, neither one of us wanted to beat the other, we literally both slowed down to let the other one go, both almost walking through the finish line.  We both acknowledged each others good effort, cheersed our water bottle and headed our ways to meet up with friends.  These kinds of things are the reasons why I run and am proud to say I’m a runner; the compassion, camaraderie, motivation, understand of it all.

splits

I finished just less than a minute slower than last week (crazy what the heat can do).  Now I feel silly complaining about the rain, I would have taken that over tonight any day of the week.

Maribeth Finishing!

Maribeth Finishing!

Unfortunately, this was the first in the series that I didn’t place overall.  However, I got first in my age group and the age group awards were these awesome swords, so I am trying to view it as a win.

Age Group Awards

Age Group Awards

Its hard to finish a race and not make it a new PR.  But lets face the music people, every week can’t be a PR.  However, that doesn’t mean I should be a whole minute slower!  Dealing with that is tough, but it is important to realize all the factors that go into racing that are 100% out of your control.  I didn’t have any girls around me pushing me, the heat was insane, I probably didn’t hydrate well enough (however I could have control this).  I also let my head get in the game too much: I was hot, I got off pace fairly early, I knew I wasn’t close to placing as an overall female, I was thinking about the 7 mile pace run I have to do at 5:30 am tomorrow and all these factors made me decide to take it easier than I probably could have.

With one more to go, I will know I need to give it my all for the last one and hopefully I will be better prepared (mentally and physically) to do so.  I guess the best way to deal with disappointment is to take it to fuel you to work harder before the next race.

How do you deal with a “crappy” race?

Me 2, Andrea 0, Winning!

Last night was the third in the 5k Race the Landing Series.  It was also when Tropical Storm Andrea decided to grace us with her presence.  There was a good drizzle going at the start of the race and I already had excuses made in my head for not doing well.  I had told myself I was just going to run this one for fun, blah blah blah.  I told myself a million things that disintegrated the second the horn sounded.

rain at the start

rain at the start

more drearyness

more drearyness

The first mile I got dragged out pretty fast by the girl that I edged out in the last race.  I now realize she probably goes out too fast every time because I have had to pass her each week in mile 2 but in this one stupid me tried to keep up with her right from the get go.  Once I passed her and got a cushion I was able to slow a bit but by the time I got to the last mile I was hurting.  Oh yeah and the head wind picked up and the rain started coming down.  As if the last mile doesn’t suck enough right?

Around the next curve I turned to see how close she was behind me and I couldn’t see her, so then I really slowed down.  I ended up coming in at 20:31 which wasn’t bad, 6 seconds from my PR in the last race and given the conditions I was happy with that.  I also got third overall female again.  The girl that came in first ran an 18:40!! Holy moly!

Def not my best splits!

Def not my best splits!

Me and Maribeth Post Race all wet

Me and Maribeth Post Race all wet

They had an awesome photo booth after the race that I will have to scan the pictures in on Monday when I am in school.  Dinner was German night so cabbage, pork, sauerkraut, spiced cake, scalloped potatoes.  It was the best meal yet!

Award

Award

This morning I had planned to hit the road for a 14 miler with my friend I ran with last week but we were playing it by ear because of the storm.  We ended up just deciding to tough it out and hit the road at like 9:30.  The first two miles I was a little concerned because it was raining pretty hard but after that it calmed down to a light mist though the wind when we got down to the beach was pretty strong.  Other than that though it was a pretty enjoyable run, it wasn’t hot, the rain kept us cool, it wasn’t humid.  It was really a runners dream other than my feet and sneakers being soaked from the inevitable puddle everywhere.  However, not 20 minutes after finishing, the sun came out and has been shining ever since, figures.

These are the days that make me feel strong though. Hitting the road when in the past I would have thought no way am I going out there.

Tomorrow will be an early day.  We are doing an adaptive water sports clinic for people with spinal cord injuries and we have to be at the site at 7:30 am and it is an hour from my house.  Yikes!!  I also really wanna get my three miles in before too, so thats probably gonna mean a 5:00 am wake up call, ON A SATURDAY!! ahh!  Sunday I’m going to have to sleep all day!  It should be really awesome though, I will have to make sure to take a lot of pictures throughout the day.

Hope you are able to have a nice relaxing weekend since I can’t!!

Charlestowne Landing Race 2: A Lesson In Believing in Yourself

I’m not sure when I will wake up and respect myself as a runner.  You would think after running a marathon at 19, four years ago that that would have convinced me but it didn’t.  Or the 3 marathons and 4 halves that have followed.  Nothing really has been able to convince me I’m a “real runner”.

So with this mindset, I arrived with my friend Maribeth at the second in the 5k series to find many members of the local running group present.  I pretty much decided after seeing them that I would try to beat my time from last week and be completely content with no award this race.  No worries, bettering myself was good enough for me.

The race got started and I went out hard but comfortable.

Start of the Race

Start of the Race

My first mile I clocked in around 6:37 and was still feeling decent.  I kept pushing but started to fade at about 1.4ish, deciding to bump back to a slightly more comfortable pace until mile 2 was over.  Right around the mile 2 marker I saw the two girls from the running group about 30 yards ahead of me and another girl I didn’t know about 15 yards ahead of me.  I went to catch up to the last girl and planned to just draft for a bit and get my bearings before kicking in at the end.  She started to slow down and the two girls in front of us split so I sped up again to catch the second girl.  I caught her with the same plan to draft again but she had started to slow as well.  With the third and final girl about 20 yards ahead of me at this point I thought “This is good, I’ll take this spot right here.”

I rounded a corner with about 0.65 left and there was a girl from that group standing on the sidelines cheering.  To say she was shocked to see me in front of her other friend was a HUGE understatement.  She promptly yelled to her friend behind me, “Don’t you dare let that girl beat you!!”  Which may have been meant to fuel her friend but really ended up lighting a fire under my a$$.  I finished 3 seconds behind the first girl from that group and 38 seconds in front of the other.

PR by 30 seconds!

PR by 30 seconds!

On top of all that, I PRed by 30 seconds and got third overall female again.  I got a different picture/plaque thing this time which was cool.

splits

What I really got from this race was confidence.  I was in there with these girls that I view as “the real deal.”  I had put myself, in my mind, in a league far behind them.

So the moral is, give yourself a little credit everyone, guaranteed you are better than you think!!

Charlestowne Landing 5k

Last night was the first of a 5k series at Charlestowne Landing.  There are five races in the series that goes until July.  The race takes place a park in West Ashley, SC and it is absolutely beautiful.  We actually went to a wedding there last year!

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from myself for this race.  I haven’t run a 5k in 5 years so I was really winging it.  First off, I have to say it was so much fun.  By the time I was kinda hurting I only had a mile left which is a lot easier to power through than 6 miles.  It was also cool to start a race and not be thinking, in 3 hours, I will still be running.

I ended up running a 20:52.  This was by far a 5k PR.  I think my best time in high school was a 22:12 (maybe 21:12, I can’t remember, it was 8 years ago people)!

Splits

Splits

Not too shabby considering I had no idea I could run a mile faster than 7 minutes!!

On top of that, I got third overall female!! I couldn’t believe it!

Award from the race!

Award from the race!

Post race, I got a free massage, had a free beer and they had food but I wasn’t quite up to eating yet.  We did however stop and get some TCBY for a fundraiser on the way home.

tcby

I got banana and peanut butter swirl with a few chocolate chunks!  Delicious!!

So, overall success I believe.  I do wish I hadn’t started the series out so hard because it is just going to make it that much harder to get better!

Have you ever completely surprised yourself in a race?  Is it not the best feeling ever?

 

Something New

There is a local race series called Race the Landing at Charlestowne Landing that runs from May-July.  There are five 5-k races on Thursday nights through those months.  Each run has a different theme night with food and beverages after.  What could be better than than?!  The races are also held in a beautiful location…

ctlrunIt just doesn’t get better than that.  A few of my friends got married here about a year ago, it is gorgeous.  Also, if you register for all 5 you get them for the price of 4.

Sounds perfect right?

I thought so, with one little hiccup…

I have NO idea how to run a 5k anymore.  I looked up my Athlinks, the last time I ran a 5k was in 2008!!  SERIOUSLY?  I couldn’t believe it.

I know I can run a lot faster than a marathon or half, but I know that to my mind that will mean SPRINT, and I will be worn out in a half mile.  I will have to do some practicing with shorter runs and maybe start throwing in some speed work for sure.  I will probably run the first one to feel it out and then go from there I guess.  It will be fun to have something fun and easy to do for a few hot months before getting back into marathon training for a Fall marathon (potentially OBX).

If anyone has any tips for running a fast 5k without burning out early, help a girl out.