Monthly Archives: March 2012

Running With Spatulas Virtual Race – Race Report

In true Karly/Mother fashion, I procrastinated in doing my virutal race for Running With Spatulas. I had signed up for the 10K, 5K relay & the photo contest. I should have added the races into my schedule that way I would have guaranteed they get done on time. Live & learn. I ended up combining two of my easy runs to make up my time for the 10K and ran a 5K yesterday morning. Or so I thought… more about that later.

I set out after my husband got home from working midnights. I had enough time to get my run in, stretch afterwards, make the oldest’s lunch and then bring him to school. The run went very well. I flew through most of it with a few walking breaks to catch my breath. It’s amazing how fast I can go now (without the stroller). When I feel like I’m going slow, my pace is in the 9:00’s, and I have a hard time running slower than that  when I’m by myself. I suppose that’s progress. 😀

When I thought my Garmin read 3.10 miles, I stopped it so that my time would be accurate and continued the trek home. My time was 28:28. Woah! Huge PR for me. Or so I thought. You see, I had a dyslexic moment in my exhausted mommy state and read 3.10 when my Garmin actually said 3.01. Ugh. Fail. I did cover the distance just didn’t have the specific time. I took the average pace for the 3.01 miles and estimated my time w/ the same average pace for 3.10 miles. So, my made-up real finishing time was 29:18 with a pace of 9:27. Not bad but certainly not as impressive as a 28:28 finish. I’ll admit, I’m a little disappointed that I screwed up so badly, however, the made-up new time is still a 5K PR for me. That’s something to celebrate. Even though it’s not 100% accurate.

I had basic ideas for the photo contest that included the kids. However, it slipped my mind (my memory sucks) and I thought about it right after the kids went to bed. The deadline was last night so I had to come up with something else that didn’t include the kids. Bummer. I racked my brain and came up with the best I could at 8pm after a long day. I googled how to make a ninja mask (yes, seriously lol) and found a quick youtube video that used a t-shirt. Perfect. I tried my own t-shirt but it was too small. Thankfully, my husband had a black t-shirt in his dresser. It worked out perfectly. I ninja-ed myself, grabbed a couple of spatulas, and my husband got a few shots outside where it was dark. Darkness and ninjas just seem to go together. 😉 My favourites were the following:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I probably should have put on a black shirt that covered my entire upper body but that’s just another fail to add to the seemingly never ending list of fails for this virtual race. lol Hindsight is 20/20, I’ll do better next time. And next time starts tomorrow w/ Run With Jess’s Jelly Bean Virtual Race. I’ll be sure to put the run in my schedule this time so that it actually gets done on time and I can work on getting good times instead of being forced to combine easy runs to qualify.


Excuses, Excuses

Holy cow, I can’t believe I’ve been MIA for almost 2 weeks. Ugh. Here are my excuses is what’s been keeping me busy.

1. A feverish teething toddler. He’s been working on his eye teeth for several weeks and they’ve been giving him Hell the last couple of days. This also means a few sleepless nights this week for me.

2. A POS computer that is barely a year old and giving me nothing but problems. I think I may have everything fixed (finally!) but I’m sure it won’t last long. Gotta love playing ‘Musical Computers’.*eye roll*

3. Last week was Spring Break which made for a busy week of keeping both kids busy while Daddy slept during the day.

4. Keeping up with my regular busy schedule and my half marathon training. So far, so good but I can honestly say I’ll be glad when I can run what I want when I want. I like having a schedule/plan to follow because it helps me feel accountable and get things done. However, I’m ready for a training break and just enjoy running at my own pace.

hmm… I wonder if that’s why I’ve been dealing with a runner’s black wall lately…….

I need to find my motivation and keep going. Time has escaped me and I need to get my Running w/ Spatulas virtual race done and my photo contest submission in, too, by tomorrow night. I work better under pressure. :p Everything will fall into place, it’s just a matter of getting it done. 

Technology Failed Me

I’ve been looking forward to my St Patrick’s Day themed race since I signed up for a local one a month and a half ago.  I’ve spent that time putting together a costume and looking forward to what was going to be a fun time.

Usually I get my race packets the morning of (unless that’s not an option) but, since my husband had an errand to run near where packet pick up was last night, I decided to stop in then and get my race stuff. I figured that way we could also leave a little later and get there with just enough time for me to warm up before the race. I got all of our stuff ready before I went to bed so that I wouldn’t forget anything and would have only a small amount of things left to do (like get drinks for me and the kids). I think this was the first time I had ever been that organized the night before a race. ha! I set my dinosaur phone’s alarm (I say dinosaur because hubby and I don’t have smartphones because we refuse to pay the ridiculous monthly plan rates for them) and went to bed.

I was awakened by the sound over the baby monitor next to my bed of the blinds in my sons’ room hitting the window (my 20 month old likes to pull on the blinds and let ’em bang up against the window). Then I hear birds chirping and something in my mind clicked and I shot up into a sitting position on my bed. I tried to focus on the clock across the room and it took several seconds before I could squint my way into seeing any barely legible numbers. I’m near-sighted so I can’t see things that are far away, and “far away” isn’t that far away at all. The clock read “7:55 or 7:56; it’s hard to tell the difference between 5 & 6 when they’re really fuzzy. A wave of anger, frustration and disappointment engulfed me. My race was starting in 5 minutes. I didn’t know what to think or do. My mind went blank and I was numb. I was missing my race.

I didn’t want to do anything but lie there but duty called and I had two kids who were waiting for me to greet them in their bedroom. So, I got up. I silently sobbed as I got them breakfast and made my coffee. My husband came in a few minutes later to console me (he later told me crying women have a strange effect on men lol) and all I could do in my mind was blame him for going to bed. He’s been working midnights for several weeks and has several weeks of the same shift ahead of him. On his nights off, he’s been keeping his sleeping schedule the same to avoid royally effing up his body. So, I figured he’d do the same thing he did a couple of weeks ago for the Band on the Run 5K and just stay up all night and go to bed when we got home from the race. Instead, he decided to go to bed around 430am so that he wouldn’t have to be in bed all day after we got back from the race. I needed to blame someone or something for what happened and blaming my dinosaur phone wasn’t sufficient. I blamed my husband for going to bed because, had he been awake, he would have come in to wake me up when it was nearing go-time and I wasn’t emerging from my cave. I know it wasn’t his fault and, now that I’ve calmed down, I don’t really blame him. But, I am still so angry and disappointed in myself, even though I also know wasn’t my fault.

This is the first race I’ve missed and it would have been a hell of a lot easier to swallow had I been injured (God forbid) or sick. But, this was for something so stupid. Technology failed me. I missed out on a fun race, a huge raffle, costume contest and lucky bib # contest. Not that I would have won anything, but I paid extra for the raffle tickets. Not to mention the race entry fee, costume pieces, etc.. The money that went toward the race & raffle weren’t a complete loss because this race was a fundraiser to help a local family whose 21 month old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. And, like my husband reminded me, my costume will come in handy at future St Patrick’s Day themed races, so it’s not a complete loss.

And my 3 year old just asked me “Are we going to a race today?”. Ugh, way to make it sting again, kid.

It’s nothing extravagant, but here’s what my race costume would have looked like. I had my husband take pictures so that I could determine where to put stuff and what to exclude. I think I would have gone without the shamrock nylons (those things were ITCHY!), but everything else was a go.

My new green Team Sparkle skirt will be saved for my first half marathon that’s in less than a month. I guess I better not rely on my dinosaur phone’s alarm the morning of that race. :/

Upcoming Virtual Races

Two fellow bloggers are hosting virtual runs in the coming weeks. Join us for some fun and the chance to win great prizes.

First virtual race will take place at the end of March and is hosted by Ali @ Running w/ Spatulas

*Click on the picture below for race information and to sign up*

The second virtual race is The Jelly Bean Virtual Race hosted by Jess @ Run With Jess during the first week of April.

*Click on the picture below for race information and to sign up*

A day of “ughs”

Ugh #1 We had a day of thunderstorms & heavy rain on Saturday so my long run was pushed to yesterday. I ended up having to take both kids with me to get it done. They did awesome in the BOB the entire time. My youngest fell asleep during the first half of the run and my oldest fell asleep during the second half. I’m sure all of my runs with them won’t be as peaceful but it was nice to be able to do my thing without bickering or whining. I ended up hurting my hip somehow. I not sure if I got into a weird position while pushing 95+ pounds of stroller & kids (thank you stroller wheels for making it easy to push that kind of weight) or what happened but the pain got progressively worse as I ran yesterday and it bothering me at times today. I’ve decided to rest today and I hope it’s better tomorrow or later this week. I have half marathon training to continue!!

Ugh #2 As I was getting dressed for yesterday’s run, I discovered something terrible. The seam on the outer thigh of my favourite compression capris is split. WTF? A little strange that the split is on the hip that ended up getting injured yesterday. Hmm, foreshadowing to what was to come? Probably not but it’s a weird coincidence. The saddest part is I’ve only had these capris for about 5 months and they’ve been worn 1-2 times a week. So annoyed! I’m not sure if I should contact Old Navy about it or forget about it. Regardless, I need to find some more. I don’t have a huge running attire collection, just what I need to get me through a couple of runs before I have to do laundry.

Ugh #3 It’s Monday. Need I say more?

Band on the Run 5K

I hadn’t raced in a good two and a half months and my running had been on the slow side during my training runs so I wasn’t sure how things would pan out for me. Even with that in mind, for the first time since I started racing,  there was not a hint of pre-race jitters to be found. I was very calm and cool (literally, more about that later) and excited to race.

This race was a fundraiser for a local high school’s band. It was close to home so I didn’t have to get up at an ungodly hour, which I appreciated as a mom of two little boys who hardly ever sleep through the night. I quickly put together some cereal in ziploc bags and a couple of drinks for the boys to eat while I raced, filled a big bottle with water and we were on our way. We put the kids in the BOB Revolution SE Duallie stroller (my new running partner; review coming soon) and walked to where the race was being held. I had checked the weather but wasn’t expecting how chilly it actually felt while we were out there. The day before, it was 70 degrees at 8am. That morning, it was in the very low 40s at the same time. Mother Nature really needs to get on some hormone replacement therapy or something. Oy, anyhow, it was colder than I had anticipated and the poor kids nearly froze in the stroller.

Usually when I arrive at a race, there are plenty of participants running around doing their pre-race warm ups. When we approached the high school, we didn’t see anyone and this made me a little nervous. My husband actually asked me if I had the right date. I assured him I did and we pressed on. We finally started seeing cars that were parked and a small crowd of people making their way into the high school. Whew, good! I didn’t get the family up and out in the cold for nothing! I made my way into the school’s cafeteria to sign in while my husband waited outside with the boys. I was surprised when I was handed a t-shirt and sent on my way. No bibs? Hmm, OK, this was new to me. I found my husband, threw the t-shirt in the BOB, got my gadgets ready (Garmin & iPod) and set out to find somewhere to warm up. We found the start/finish line where my husband found a great spot to park the stroller and I went on my merry way. I believe at this point, it was 15 or so minutes before the race was supposed to start. I set out and did a quick warm-up and when I got back to where my husband was, participants had already started to migrate at the start line so I got a quick drink, headed closer to the start and used a tree to do some quick stretches while one of the race organizers started to talk on the megaphone.

More talk, national anthem done by the band, and then we were off. Most of the race was on a road I’ve run many times which was comforting to know what to expect as far as elevation goes and such. It was an open course but there were cops at a few points to help with traffic and safety. My mentality for this race was to just run and have fun but, as soon as we were told to “go”, my competitive side took over and I was going faster than I had intended. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement of a race. I wasn’t flying at first but I was going faster than I would normally start a run. I ran a lot of this race in the 9’s and 8’s. I actually caught up to the same woman I paced at the Run for New Life and I was able to keep up with her for a while. About half way through the race, I couldn’t keep up with her anymore and I was having trouble keeping my breathing under control so I took the first of a few walking breaks. I think because I took off faster than I normally would and ran the actual race like a rocket, I needed breaks to catch up with myself. However, because my running parts were fast, it averaged my pace pretty good. Near the end of the race, we had to cross a busy street to get to the finish line. There were cops on either side keeping traffic stopped so that we runners could safely make it across the street. There was a group of a few runners, a gap, and then me. As I crossed the median of the road, I caught a glimpse of something approaching me in my peripheral vision. Yup, the awesome cop let a couple of cars go through and I was forced to a dead stop in order to avoid being hit. Ugh! I was not pleased. And, because I was so freaked out by it, my heart was pounding which made it hard to regulate my breathing and I had to walk for a bit after I crossed the street. I was so close to the finish, it was like a tease but I knew I needed to calm down as quickly as I could before I could run to the finish. After what seemed like forever, I started running again and my running quickly turned into an insane sprint (pace during the fastest part of my sprint was 4:28; holy shit!) that I kept up until the finish. I passed a handful of people on my way to the finish line and I’m sure they were wondering wtf I was doing at such a low-key 5K but I didn’t care. As I got close to the finish, I saw a glimpse of the clock and “29:XX” was lit up in bright red. One of my goals right now is to run a sub-30 5K race, unfortunately, this wasn’t that race, though I was very close to doing so. I ended up crossing in 30:08 making my average pace of 9:43. Not bad for as many walking breaks as I took and having to come to a dead stop for the cars to pass. I got a ticket with a number on it after I crossed and had to fill it out with my name, age and sex. I took a few minutes to regulate my breathing before I even thought about my card and, even with that mini cool down, it was still hard for me to write. I was shaky and it was quite a chore to write. Good thing my name isn’t super long or I would have been in trouble. 😉

Because I had pushed myself so hard, I felt like shit when I was done. My stomach was doing flip flops and it took several minutes for my innards to calm down. I tried to get my mind off of how crappy I felt by talking to my husband and the boys but it didn’t always work. When I finally felt like I wasn’t going to lose my cookies, we made our way toward the cafeteria area. They had some trays set out on picnic tables outside with quartered bagels of various flavours and some orange wedges and a couple of those Gatorade keg things (lol) though I’m sure not what they had in them because I had my own water. The stroller was too big to fit through the doors to the cafeteria and we didn’t feel like taking it apart so my husband sat outside with our youngest while I went inside with our oldest to warm up a bit. Big mistake. When I headed back outside, I was even colder and found it impossible to warm up. I was more than ready to go home but we stuck around for the awards ceremony just in case. We had to wait for them to do the 1 mile fun run and for the race results to be ready before they started the awards ceremony and that was probably a good hour or more after I had crossed the finish line. I know it was my own fault for not thinking about how cold we would be post-race but I had had more than enough and debated leaving more than once. Being cold and tired isn’t a good combination. However, I’m glad we stuck around because I ended up taking 3rd in my age group. 🙂 My first bling was a small towel with the race info on it, which I thought was a little strange but whatever, I got some bling! haha!! Although, technically this isn’t my first age group win. I also won 1st in my age group at the Run for New Life and my prize was a 1 month free membership at Gold’s gym, which I haven’t taken advantage of yet. Will probably do that after my half marathon. 😉

After walking up to get my award, I didn’t bother sitting back down and headed straight for the doors. I was more than ready to go home and take a hot shower and I knew my husband was ready to go home as he hadn’t slept yet (he’s working midnights so he’s nocturnal right now). The walk home seemed to take forever but we finally made it and, after the initial burn of the water hitting my frigid skin, the shower was exactly what I needed. Ahhhh!

The official race results were available online a couple of days later and I immediately started kicking myself for taking so many walking breaks and not pushing myself harder to keep running. Usually, I’m miles away from placing in races but I missed placing 1st in my AG by 48 seconds. I realize 48 seconds is a lifetime in sports but to be that close when usually there are several minutes that separate me from those who place in my AG, I couldn’t help but get into the “what if’s” in my mind. I got even more upset with myself when I saw that 2nd place went to someone who crossed 9 seconds before me. NINE! Gah!!!! That one was definitely attainable! I blamed myself for walking and I blamed the cop for making a stupid decision to let those cars go through forcing me to stop dead in my tracks. It’s not like the award was any different, we all got towels, it was just my competitive perfectionist side beating me up for being less than perfect and not getting something I had a chance of getting. Of course, I felt like an idiot and I finally stopped tormenting myself when when I realized there were only three runners in my age group. My placement suddenly meant less to me because I would have placed no matter what and I didn’t really “beat” anyone. That’s probably hard for people to understand but I’m hoping fellow runners know what I’m talking about.

While I am proud of my accomplishments and the progress I’ve made in my running over the last few months, I’m having a hard time still being one of the “slow” runners. Mostly because I’ve tasted what it feels like to place in my age group and I have high expectations of myself (that can be such a flaw at times!). My mind is ready for me to be a fast runner but my body hasn’t quite caught up. Building a base takes times and I know I’m being impatient with that process. I’m sure fellow runners understand that! Basically it sucks at time to be a competitive perfectionist but I’ll use what happened as motivation for my next 5K in a couple of weeks. I’m sure there will be a far bigger crowd at my next 5K but I hope that sub-30 finish will be mine!