Going the Distance for Autism 5K – Race Report

This race was about a half an hour from home and had a later-than-what-I’m-used-to 9am start so I planned on leaving home around 745. I figured the kids would wake me up in plenty of time but I set my alarm just in case they decided to sleep in. As if on cue, I heard my youngest talking about 10 minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

I got both kids up & gave them breakfast and sent them up with some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV. I was going to get myself a little something to eat but I started feeling the urge to go #2. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am very happy when my body is nice to me and eliminates before a race. As I’ve mentioned before, GI issues at a race are a huge fear of mine. Plus, I’ve always had this irrational phobia of going #2 in public places; weird, I know. Anyhow so this great thing soon turned into a not-so-great thing. (sorry, this is going to be TMI; skip to the next paragraph if you can’t stomach a little poop talk) My stool was loose and my stomach was pretty upset. I usually ride things out but, since I was going to be on the road and racing, I jumped the gun and took some anti-diarrhea meds.

I woke up my husband so that he could have breakfast before we left and got myself a granola bar & some water. I usually race on an empty stomach but I better have a little something in my stomach today due to the late start. As usual, we didn’t leave the house on time. We were about 15 minutes behind schedule but we still had plenty of time to get there on time so I wasn’t worried.

The ride was uneventful, other than my upset stomach. We managed to grab one of the last parking spots in one of the smaller parking lots and unloaded the car. We headed toward the crowd and I got into the packet pick-up line with my 3-year-old while my husband waited on the opposite side of the road w/ our 22 month old in the stroller. There were several people in line but the wait wasn’t too long. I’d say it was no more than 5 minutes between getting in line and getting my packet. A volunteer gave my 3-year-old a cool Autism awareness bracelet while another got my packet out of a box. He thought it was so cool! 🙂 We headed back to where my husband was waiting. I think I had about 20 minutes before race start as I got myself ready. I pinned my bib to my shirt, strapped on my iPod, put my ankle brace on & switched my everyday watch for my Garmin. With 15 minutes left, I decided to find the booth for the boys’ speech therapy clinic. It didn’t take long to find them and the girls from the clinic seemed happy to see the boys. Each boy got a pinwheel, we talked for a couple of minutes and then I had us head back to the start area so that I could do a very quick warm up.

I didn’t have long at all, I think there were 10 minutes left before the race start, maybe less. I ran for just under 5 minutes to get the juices flowing and stretched where my husband was. People started congregating near the start line as I was finishing up with my stretching and, after a quick picture with my 22 month old (3-year-old refused to take a picture with me), I joined them.

Look for the orange & sunglasses in the middle, that's me 😉

 There were a couple of guys who attempted to shout directions to us runners prior to race start but I didn’t understand 75% of what they said. A megaphone would have probably been a good idea. National anthem was sung and we were off. Let me just say that I got a taste of what it’s like to be a faster runner and race with kids present. Not cool. I had one boy cut me off about a quarter-mile into the race which really annoyed me. I bee-lined to a free area next to me and blew past him so that I wouldn’t have to deal with his inconsideration for other runners. Ugh, really irritating and something I’ve never had to deal with in the past. I was going at a pretty good clip and, when I looked down, my pace was in the low 8’s. I tried to keep my eyes off of my Garmin and just go with how I felt. This made the first 2 miles fly by rather quickly. After that, I noticed I was getting really hot, even though there had already been a couple of water stations, and I was quickly losing steam. I walked for a very short bit a couple of times and pressed on. I’m not sure when it started but three of us girls started playing tag during the last mile or so. We’d run side-by-side, one would stop to walk and we’d pass her, then someone else would stop to walk while the previous walker was back to running and we’d meet up again, and repeat. It was a serious fight for me to the finish. I was spent and it took everything I had to continue running. I was so relieved when I came around the final turn but was soon filled with disappointment because the finish line seemed to be getting farther away instead of closer. During my last walk, the two girls caught up to me running and one of them said something about being able to do this and we could do this together because we’d been fighting for it for a while. And I took off running with them. Unfortunately, I really didn’t have the energy to keep up the pace and I had to pull back after what seemed like forever. One of the girls pulled back with me as she couldn’t keep up the pace of the third girl either. I was filled with disappointment as I watched her pull away from us. Still, the finish line seemed to be getting farther away from us. I swear, this last quarter-mile was the LONGEST of my life. It seemed like it would never end. I continued to run with the same girl and I think I muttered some profanities along the way. lol (If you ever find & read this, girl in the pink shirt, please excuse my French) We were finally nearing the finish line and I felt like I was knocking on death’s door. I was so hot and so done. I did peak at the clock as I ran up to it and I saw 28:01 & 28:02, then I crossed. I’m not sure what my final time was but I’m guessing somewhere in the 28:05 area. (I’ll update when the results are posted online). I got a card to fill out from a volunteer, I got a bottle of cold water and walked it off. My husband missed me crossing because he was dealing with a toddler & balloon dilemma and apparently he forgot to take the lens cap off as she shot off a the first couple of post race pictures of me. Fail! lol He got a few pictures of me looking like death, trying to walk it off and filling out my time card. I also noticed a professional photographer at the finish line, but I noticed him too late. I’m sure my finishing pictures will be real winners *sarcasm*.

Finally crossed the dang finish line

I look like I'm hurling here, I swear I'm not. lol

Walking it off, trying to catch my breath & lower my heart rate

Filling out my time card

I headed over to where my husband & the boys were waiting for me. I opened my water and didn’t get a sip in before both boys were yelling at me for a drink of my water. Good grief! Such is the life of a Mom! I continued to drink & stretch. At some point, my husband asked me if the heat bothered me because he heard from the faster runners that they were done before they finished, too.  Made me feel better that the more seasoned runners had difficulty during today’s race, too. The boys were getting rowdy so I figured we should head back over to the girls from their therapy clinic and perhaps that would calm them. We hung out there for a while. The boys each got a cookie, played with balloons, loved on the girls and I’m sure they got in the way a few times, too. Once they started to get unruly again, we headed toward the water for a change of scenery. We let them run a bit and got some pictures and I wanted to go back to the race start to see what my time was. I figured they’d have preliminary results posted somewhere but I was wrong. I didn’t find anything. The 3-year-old announced he had to pee so Daddy took him to the bathroom while I waited outside with the other one. Not a minute after they went into the bathroom, I heard someone asking everyone to gather near the stage area (next to the water) for the awards ceremony. I walked a bit but was still in view for when they came out. They finally emerged and we made our way to the stage area. I parked the stroller under some shade and we waited for things to get rolling. MC said some stuff & announced some names, a man (or older teenager, not quite sure) with autism sang a couple of songs (and he sang very well!), and they finally started to announce the winners. I’ll admit, even though I didn’t know my final time, I thought I had a chance at placing. Once again, I was wrong. The girl in the pink shirt I finished with ended up getting 2nd or 3rd in her age group (age group below mine) and I thought that was pretty awesome!

When they were announcing winners, my 22 month old started to cry hysterically for no reason. It was clear he had had enough and was ready for a nap after such a big morning. So, we decided to leave before all of the winners were announced. We made our way back to the car, changed a diaper, loaded everyone & everything and we were on our way.

Considering how hot it was, I’m very happy with my performance. It’s impossible to PR at every race, even though it’d be nice to do so. 😉


PHMB – Post-Half Marathon Blues

A black cloud has been looming over me since my half marathon on April 15th. I have not been able to find the motivation to run nor have I been making it a priority. Excuses have become easier and easier to come up with and embrace. In the eleven days since my half, I’ve run a total of 7 miles. That’s pathetic compared to what my weekly mileage was during my training. It’s very discouraging to be in this mindset but, it turns out, I’m not alone. According to this article (and many other I found with a quick google search), post-race blues are very common, especially among those who run full marathons.

Playing therapist with myself, I’m assuming that my disappointment in my first half has more than likely fueled this bout of post-race blues. The last two to three months have been about training for my first half marathon. Now that it’s over with, I find myself trapped in a “where do I go from here” mindset. I don’t have a specific running plan in place which makes it even easier to skip running because I don’t have to accomplish anything for that day. Terrible mindset to have.

I have several 5K’s, a 10K, and a couple of 4+ milers coming up over the next two months. The thing is, I don’t really need to train for them per-say because they’re not new distances. I just need to keep up my running to be ready for them. I know I need to make myself a schedule to help me get back on track.  I do better when I’m working toward a goal of some sort and I have a schedule laid out. However, even that task seems daunting to me right now.

DM has also been a blessing & a curse lately. Everyone on there is inspiring but this stupid dark cloud makes me feel like a lazy blob instead of allowing others to motivate me to do great things for myself. I am so ready to shake this thing. I need to get my head back in the game. My fitness isn’t the only thing that’s suffering, I’ve noticed I’ve also been very on edge lately because I’m not making exercise a priority.

I have a 5K for Autism Awareness this Saturday. Hopefully it helps me get back into the swing of things. Something’s gotta give! Someone please light a fire under my ass!

Gulf Coast Half Marathon at Pensacola Beach – Race Report

This is the first day since the half that I’m enjoying sitting on my rumpus instead of constantly being on the go. I figured it was the perfect time to finally put my race report together for Sunday’s half.

We decided Friday night that we would get a couple of hotel rooms that way the kids could sleep in a room with my parents so that I could get as much rest as possible, we could get up around 5am instead of 3am (eww) and the kids could come to the race site later with my parents. A quick search on Expedia and we had a couple of rooms reserved for us for the following night.

With two cars loaded up, we headed to Pensacola. First stop was at Running Wild (a running store) to pick up my packet & t-shirt. The parking lot was ridiculously small and full when we got there. I was lucky enough that someone was leaving right after we got there, so I took that spot while my Dad went to the neighbouring business to find somewhere to park/wait for me. Things inside went smoothly and didn’t take long at all. I didn’t know what my bib number was so I had got it from one of the volunteers then headed over to where my number was. I was second in line so it went pretty quickly. I signed a waiver and headed to the table at the back of the room for my t-shirt and I was good to go. The whole process probably took less than 5 minutes.

After packet pickup, we headed to the hotel. We checked in, checked out our rooms (a little smelly, probably from being closed in, but they were clean) and the kids started going a little crazy so we decided to go for supper even though it was still a little early (just past 4 pm). I chose Olive Garden so that I could carb up on some pasta. 😉  I had written directions from google maps for our various destinations during our stay but we decided to use my parents’ GPS to guide us to the restaurant. We plugged in the address and were on our way. It was soon apparent to me that we were not going the right way but I figured the GPS knew better than me since I’ve only been to Pensacola once before so I’m really not familiar with the roads or the area. I continued to follow my parents and, after zigzagging and looping our way through Pensacola, my Dad turned into a mall parking lot. There was no Olive Garden to be seen. I parked next to him and he informed me the GPS told him he had reached his destination. LOL Uh, yeah. Kohl’s was not our destination. I got the address out of my car and we plugged it in again. The GPS made a new route and I saw what I thought we were doing with the initial directions. Olive Garden was South of our hotel’s location. The mall the GPS brought us to was North of our hotel. GPS fail! I got back into my car and we put our faith into the GPS once again. This time, it served its purpose and got us there successfully. We got there just in time, too. A rush of people came in not long after we got there. We were told we would have to wait 5 minutes for our table while people who came in after us were given estimates of 20-30 minutes. Yikes! Our actual wait was about 10 minutes but still not bad at all.

After our meal, we headed back to the hotel. While my Mom gave the kids a bath, I moved their car seats into my parents’ car. The kids had a quick snack after their bath while I hooked up to the hotel’s wireless internet connection so that I could show my Dad where he would need to go the following morning to get to the race. We said goodnight to the boys and my husband and I headed to our room. I quickly took a picture of my shirt & bib and posted it onto Facebook then I set up the connect thing that would update my Facebook when I passed the half way mark & finished the half.

My husband is still on midnights and he passed out in one of the beds while I was checking in online. I decided to take a quick shower and get into my PJs so that I could hopefully hit the hay soon. I crawled into bed around 8 or 830pm and set two different alarms to make sure I didn’t miss this race. My husband woke up at some point in there but I was exhausted and kept slipping in and out of consciousness. I slept pretty shitty at first. The pollen is insane here right now and we’re all suffering pretty bad w/ allergies because of it. The lack of being able to breathe through my nose kept waking me up plus I wasn’t in my bed. I remember waking up at one point with a stream of snot across my face. Sexy! Eventually, I conked out and didn’t get up again until just before 5am. I think it was my husband who woke me up five minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off.

I got up, got dressed and logged in online one last time. One of my biggest fears for the half was having GI issues so I was hoping and praying that my body would be nice to me and I could #2 before we had to leave. Without getting into TMI territory, I’ll just say that it was a success. lol We got our stuff and headed out the door. The thermostat in the car read 72 degrees at 540am. The air was also very heavy with humidity. Clear indication of how gross the weather was going to be for running later. The mapped out route on google maps said it would take 30 minutes to get to the race and I believe it took us about 20 minutes. No, we didn’t do any crazy speeding either. 😉

It was just after 6 when we pulled up near the parking area. It was filling up quickly but we easily found a spot. I got my gear on and got out of the car. It was very windy (we were right next to the Gulf of Mexico) and, with the humidity, it made me cold. I was a shivering nervous mess. We headed toward the pavilion next to the parking area to meet up with Steve and a few other DMers. I spotted him in front of the pavilion with a few other people. We greeted each other, eventually took some pictures then split up for a bit. My husband and I headed toward the beach next to the pavilion to get a few pictures. We quickly discovered that I forgot to take the memory card out of my computer and put it back in the camera the night before. Ugh! Oops!! Fail on my part. No pictures. Dang it! He took some video instead as that was the best we could do. I decided I should probably hit up a toilet before the race start. There was a public washroom available but the line was insane so I decided to just hit up a port-a-potty (eww) and get on with life. I had to wait in line for a good 5 minutes or so before it was my turn. I don’t need to explain the nastiness that is a port-a-potty with you. I’m sure you know from experience. lol I did my thing and got out as quickly as I could. Thank God they have hand sanitizer dispensers on the outside of the doors. I loaded up on it when I was done. No sooner did I get out of the john, I saw Steve waving me over again. We got a few more pictures taken with other people (that I’ve never met lol) and then it was time to line up.

I had been stewing over whether I would use my Camelbak or not. Being nervous about the race in general, I was afraid of using new gear so I finally decided against using it and relied solely on the water provided at the water stations along the route. This was a decision I would later regret. I gave my husband a kiss the headed closer to the start line while he went off. As we waited, the sun started to rise above the tall building in front of us. I was so far back in the pack that I didn’t hear any announcements (if they made any) nor did I hear the national anthem I’m sure they played before the race started. It didn’t take long before they fired a gun (or something) and we were on our way. We walked toward the start and, once we were close to it, the crowd started to disperse a little and we started running. I started my Garmin when I reached the start line.

The first two or three miles were weird. They’re usually a warm up for me and it wasn’t any different in that regard but the whole experience was just so surreal to me. I don’t know if I was caught up in the ‘I can’t believe I’m here’ mentality or what was going on but it was almost an out-of-body experience. I chugged along and my pace was naturally in the 9’s.  The wind was blowing really good and it made my mouth dry which made me really thirsty. I can’t remember where the water stations were located but I do remember that I ate my first Clif Shot Blok at the second one. I’m guessing it was between 3 & 4 miles in. I pretty well continued to eat them at every second water station along the course.

Everything was going well until I neared mile 6. Uh uh, you guessed it, my left hip started to bother me. I had taken small walking breaks before I reached 6 miles but, once my hip started to hurt, it was a battle to keep running. Once the fast runners started to go by us after they reached the turn around point, I kept my eyes peeled for Steve. I also ran as much as I could because I wanted to be running when I spotted him. lol I don’t remember how far I was when I saw him, but I did and we exchanged glances and a wave. The turn around point was still so far away, it was a little discouraging and I was envious of the faster runners. At this point, the sun was beating down on us, we were on a highway next to the Gulf and there was NOTHING around us but hills of sand. A handful amount of people came out to cheer on their runner that was doing the half and the only other people we had cheering us on were those at the water stations. I will say those at the water stations did a wonderful job and were very encouraging but it wasn’t enough to keep me going. It was easy to get caught up in mind games. I was so very thirsty, my hip was being a pain in the ass and I was walking far more than I wanted to. I was becoming more and more disappointed as my average pace got higher and higher. I got lost mentally during the last few miles and chugged along as best I could. It was so hot and I wasn’t getting enough water. I was taking two cups at every water station but it felt like I was teasing myself as I continued on. Thank God I had the Clif Shot Bloks. I can’t imagine the state I would have been in had I not been taking them.

There was a bunch of us that kind of stuck together during those last few miles as well. We were all struggling and would run past one another, then walk and be passed, then run again, rinse & repeat. The view during the last bit of the race was a little better. We were heading West through neighbourhoods and could see some water on our right. Throughout the race, there were some times that we could see the Gulf but I remember seeing endless hills of white sand more than anything. Or houses as we zigzagged through neighbourhoods. So seeing water was a nice change and also a bad thing because I just wanted to jump into it. I was so hot and over it at this point.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we were coming up to the area with businesses and civilization. They didn’t map out the route properly and my Garmin started beeping away the miles before I reached the mile markers along the course so I had no idea how much longer I actually had. But, I knew the end was near and that made me happy. I chugged long and started to see runners who had finished with their medals around their necks. Then the people sitting on the curbs started to get heavy. Then there was a bunch of people and I spotted my husband and Dad w/ cameras aimed at me. I was almost there. They were at the turn before the finish. After I passed them, I sprinted toward the finish. If I had known it was so close to where they were standing, I would have started sprinting before I did. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:38:40 (the distance on my Garmin was 13.28 miles, so my pace was 11:56), got my medal and a cold bottle of water (HEAVEN!) and walked around aimlessly trying to find my family.

Coming up to the finish (in case you didn't know, I'm the one in the pink Team Sparkle skirt) 😉

Sprinting to the finish

I did hear the announcer come on and announce that I had crossed along with a handful of other people when I was walking around. He must have been busy when I actually crossed. I finally found my husband and we made our way over to where my Dad & the boys were. There were so many people. It was like flies on a piece of shit. I don’t do crowds and I really wasn’t feeling good and all I wanted to do was get the eff out of there. My Mom had gone to the bathroom so we had to wait for her to make her way back to us. We probably waited a good 15 or 20 minutes. Apparently the wait in the bathroom was super long and there were a ton of sick runners in there. Eww. I’m thankful I was fortunate enough to avoid tossing my cookies or dealing with heat sickness or severe dehydration. When my Mom found us, she hugged me and congratulated me. I can’t remember what else was said, my mind was focused on getting out of there. We parted ways, my parents were going to head back to our house with the boys while my husband and I went back to the hotel room so that I could shower before heading home. On our way to the car, I heard someone yell my name. I turned around and saw Steve coming our way. We talked for a couple of minutes. I remember he asked me how I felt and I couldn’t answer him right away. I was so numb from the whole experience that I didn’t really know how I was feeling. I was sore because my hip hurt so much and I think that’s what I went with. Or tired. I can’t remember. I know, sad that I can’t remember our conversation. We parted ways and headed to the car. I couldn’t wait to have the cool air of the A/C blow on me. My husband brought my Clif Builder’s bar to the finish and gave it to me but I couldn’t stomach eating it until we were almost back at the hotel. I forced myself to eat it because I hadn’t eaten yet (other than Clif Shot Bloks) and I knew I needed to get something in me and that it would probably eventually help me feel better. We got to the room, I checked Facebook real quick to see if the updates had shown up and they did. Woot, something went right. lol I finally made my way to the shower, peeled my clothes off and got in. I felt like butt the entire time but it felt good to wash the stink off. I got dressed, we packed up the rest of our things, packed up the car and went to the Wendy’s across the road to grab a bite before we headed home. It was kind of nice to eat without the kids for a change. 😉 My legs were bothering me the whole time. They were very sore and I’m assuming it was lactic acid buildup or something. I also failed to do any kind of stretching when I was done because I felt so sick so I’m sure that didn’t do me any favours. Oops. When we were done our meal, we were on our way back home. That was it. My first half marathon was over.

Unfortunately, the pride of having finished my first half marathon was clouded by so much disappointment. I was disappointed in my time. I was disappointed in the weather. I was disappointed in the lack of spectators/cheering along the course. I was disappointed in the “spectacular view” we were supposed to have along the course. I was disappointed in most everything about how this race went. It’s not how I envisioned things going. The initial disappointment in how things went subsided after a couple of days and it helped to read that other runners had also struggled with this race; most of which were seasoned runners that had more than one half under their belt. I felt much better knowing I didn’t struggle because I was a newbie but because we had all kind of odds stacked against us. It was hot. It was humid. It was windy. There weren’t enough water stations for the conditions. Etc..

I have filed this as I have my other firsts– as a learning experience. I will be sure my next half is scheduled when it’s cooler outside. My luck, it’ll be unseasonably hot and I’ll suffer again. lol

My "most useful finishers medal in America" (It's a bottle cap opener)

My Jelly Bean photo, Camelbak, and taper week

The submission period for the Jelly Bean is over so I think it’s safe to share my picture, especially since it’s been posted on Run w/ Jess’s Facebook album.

Jelly Beans + tape +  Run W/ Jess’s ‘Heart & Sole’ t-shirt = my attempt at being creative for the photo contest

It was a little challenging to put it on, and a few jelly beans fell to the ground in the process, but it was well worth it. I’m sure it was comical to watch me put it on. I didn’t actually run in it, it was pretty heavy and I didn’t want melted jelly beans to ruin my new shirt. 😉

As I mentioned in my last post, my Camelbak Annadel pack arrived a few days ago. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet and I only have a short 2 mile run left (today) before the half marathon on Sunday. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to end up breaking the no new things during race day rule. :/ Hopefully it doesn’t bite me in the ass.

My taper week continues and it’s been strange to look at my planned runs for the week and see so few and so little miles. I feel like a slacker but I know I’ll benefit from resting before the half.

I’m sure it’s nerves, but I have an irrational fear that I’m going to royally eff up this half on Sunday. That I’m going to forget something pertinent to my performance. Or that I’m going to end up having serious GI issues and embarrass the crap out of myself (nice pun, eh?). Or whatever other nightmare I can come up with in my mind. I know I’m ready for the challenge and I’ve trained properly for this, I’m just scared, I guess. All I can do at this point is hope & pray everything goes well.

My parents are on their way from Canada as I type this so I may be a little scattered for the next week or so. I will do my best get my race recap for the half up as soon as possible. 🙂 It’s pretty easy to update facebook, so I’ll probably post an update or two there to keep you in the loop.

Jelly Bean Virutal Race Recap

I had originally planned on running the 5K & the 10K. I put them both in my schedule and life still managed to get in the way so I ended up only doing the 5K.

I had planned on doing the 5K after my husband got home from work in the morning but a thunderstorm hindered my plans so I had to improvise. Instead, I headed out with my youngest in the BOB when there was a break in the clouds. I started far too quickly and I lost steam within the first mile. I ended up with a finish of 30:41 (9:53 pace). That was not the kind of performance I had in mind and I knew I could do better.

The following afternoon, I had my husband take the boys for a walk while I set out around the neighbourhood for a solo run. I was determined to beat the previous day’s finish time. No part of that run was easy; I pushed myself and I pushed myself hard. I saw my average pace was teetering just under 9:00 min/Mi and I was determined to keep it there. I gave it my all and I finished my 5K in 27:50 (8:58 pace). Now that’s what I knew was inside of me! I was so proud of myself (and still am). The cherry on top is that this was also a new 5K PR for me. 😀

I was going to run the 10K some time during the weekend but life got in the way. I didn’t make it a high enough priority, I guess. I ended up focusing on my photo contest entry and did something that I think was pretty awesome. I don’t want to reveal my picture yet because people are still submitting their stuff to Jess. Once tomorrow’s deadline hits, I’ll post my entry for the photo contest. 😉

Also, in other news, my new Camelbak Annadel pack was delivered today. I’ve been wanting to get a Fuel Belt for my long runs and upcoming half marathon but something (don’t remember what) swayed me away from a belt and toward a pack instead. I hope it works for me. Because this is a taper week leading up to the half (on Sunday), I only have two short runs left to test it out. Hopefully that’s enough for me to get a feel for it. I’ll also provide a review for it once we’ve been introduced to one another.

Hello, Facebook!

I’m about to head out the door but I wanted to let you all know Running Trek is now on Facebook. I’m still in the process of making everything pretty but it’s up and running. So head on over to the Running Trek Facebook page & “like” for an easier way to keep up with me. 😉

The Countdown Continues

My first half marathon is two weeks away. Holy cow. I’m starting to freak out a little.

My long run today was 11 miles. My last few long runs have been a tad difficult as I’ve been bringing the BOB and both kids along for the ride. The added struggle hasn’t done much for my confidence in my ability to actual run a half. My left hip has been giving me problems, as if on cue, every time I reach 6  miles during my runs. I’m not sure if I have some funky form when I run with both kids in the stroller (or with the stroller period) or if I’d still have the issue while running solo. I don’t get the opportunity to run solo much anymore so it’s a little difficult to test things out on my own. I’m just hoping that I’ll be pleasantly surprise and the half will go better than I think it will. I’ll be running it solo so I’m looking forward to that.

Ever since I started running last August, my runs have always been my “me” time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that time to escape from the kids and from home and just let my mind wander. I’m sure fellow mother/parent runners understand where I’m coming from. I also started running when my husband was off so it was pretty easy for me to get out on my own for a half an hour or so. Since my husband went back to work in January, it’s been more difficult to schedule solo runs.  Actually, it was difficult to schedule any run, which is why we finally splurged for a BOB Duallie (I’m working on my review for that, wanted to use it for a good amount of time before reviewing for you all). So, with my husband’s working schedule (midnights, eww), the only way I can run 95% of the time is to bring along the BOB and little running partner(s). The only problem I’ve had with this arrangement is my pace has taken a hit and I miss my truly alone time. I try to remind myself that I’m doing good things with the stroller. It should help me become a stronger runner and, when I do run solo, I’ll be a faster runner as well (I’ve already seen evidence of this). Wow, I went off on a tangent there. I guess I explained, in a few too many words, why I’m looking forward to running solo at the race. :p

I guess there’s no point in worrying about how things will go. All I can do is continue my training and give it my all. Everything else will, hopefully, fall into place.

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:

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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. :/