2015 Race Goals Recap 3- Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon

If you’re just joining and want to catch up on the races I’ve recently recapped from my 2015 running year, check them out here: Part 1 + Part 2!

June 27- Lake Michigan Seaway 1/2 Marathon or 15K (we’ll see, this is coming up quick!)

July 18/19- Either the Petoskey Bear River Crawl 10k or Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon (These two are still VERY tentative) DID NOT RUN

August 15- Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon

August 29- Hard Cider Run 5k  DID NOT RUN

September 12- Holland Haven 1/2 Marathon DID NOT RUN

September 26- Tough Mudder!!! I’m actually already registered for this one with a team and borderline terrified for my life!

October 18- Detroit Free Press MARATHON! {oh hey, did you hear I signed up for a marathon? ;)}

THIS. RACE. WAS. TOUGH.

Again, I had no idea what I was getting myself into (maybe I should start doing a little more research before I sign up…), so I didn’t really have any expectations going into this race. Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon is on the east side of Michigan, and I had never run a race over there before- I’m more of a lakeshore runner, so I was already out of my comfort zone! I ran with a friend who had just had a baby a few months prior, so our plan was to just do what we could and have fun while we ran.

The course was all dirt, back-road style with the exception of the end, which was through a really, crazy nice neighborhood. I am SO glad I didn’t pick this race with a goal to PR because in the 13.1 miles that we ran, there were rolling hills (ranging from medium to hard intensity-wise) for at least 10 of them. Luckily, I had already been training with the Gazelle group for a few months, and hill/speed work is incorporated into the training plan, because it took everything in me not to stop and walk up a few of them. My training in the past had been mediocre at best, with a focus on quantity over quality, which usually waned toward the end of the training cycle. I’m so happy to have had some quality training sessions under my belt to keep me motivated to power through. It also helped to have someone running with me to push me through as well!

We crossed the finish line together in 2:07:58 and I can honestly say I didn’t have a lot left in me at the end. Maybe it would have been a little different had I mentally prepared myself for those hills, but I just kept thinking ‘this has to be the last one’ as I looked a quarter mile ahead, in shock, and saw another monster and knew that I was dead wrong.

The medals themselves were pretty cool- wine stoppers- and each runner got an engraved wine glass as well. So the bling definitely made up for the pain from the hills (okay, sort of). All in all this was a fun race, but I don’t know that I’d love to repeat the course again. That’s maybe probably just me being scared, but it certainly wasn’t one of my favorites.

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2015 Race Goals Recap 2- Lakeshore Miracle Run

Check out my first recap of the Lake Michigan 1/2 Marathon here if you missed it!

Again, these were my planned races going into the 2015 season:

June 27- Lake Michigan Seaway 1/2 Marathon or 15K (we’ll see, this is coming up quick!)

July 18/19- Either the Petoskey Bear River Crawl 10k or Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon (These two are still VERY tentative) DID NOT RUN

August 15- Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon

August 29- Hard Cider Run 5k  DID NOT RUN

September 12- Holland Haven 1/2 Marathon DID NOT RUN

September 26- Tough Mudder!!! I’m actually already registered for this one with a team and borderline terrified for my life!

October 18- Detroit Free Press MARATHON! {oh hey, did you hear I signed up for a marathon? ;)}

As you can see, I didn’t end up running the Petoskey Bear River Crawl 10k or the Chicago RNR 1/2 Marathon. I can’t remember why, but I’m guessing it has something to do with not being able to travel that weekend/not wanting to spend another weekend away because our summers fill up FAST!

I did, however, end up signing up (on a whim once again) for the Lakeshore Miracle Run (now the Lake Michigan RTS – Road, Trail Sand) and called the ‘toughest race you’ll ever love’. This beast is a 10k that takes you through 2 miles of road racing, 2 miles of trails and 2 miles of sand…one of which is straight up a sand dune (yeah, ouch). It was hot, humid, and I’d run in sand a whole ZERO times in my life, so it was extremely challenging.

It started on the road, which was fine and just like pretty much any other race. It was relatively small, so there weren’t a ton of participants, and I didn’t think it would be tough navigating around people if need be. I proved myself completely wrong once we got into the trails about a mile later, as the course became a single lane ‘follow the leader’ style run. So if you ended up behind someone who was running a slower pace, you were stuck until you got out of the woods (or until they were nice enough to step aside). Additionally, it was literally in the woods, so I had to hang onto my sunglasses that I started with (and knew I’d need for the sand portion) since it was so dark and I was desperately trying not to break my neck on a tree branch or root. It wasn’t my favorite part of the race, but I ended up appreciating the little break in pace before we got to the sand.

I was warned to wear tall socks and old running shoes since the terrain was not forgiving and would leave sand/dirt/mud EVERYWHERE. So I dressed accordingly in knee-high compression socks, shorts and an older pair of shoes that I didn’t mind getting ruined. This was definitely GREAT advice because the socks prevented me from flinging sand into my socks with ever step I took, and I didn’t care about my shoes getting SOAKED within the first 5 seconds running along the beach. The lakeshore had a tilt to it, so everyone ended up running as close to the water as possible to get some relief. Plus, it was a lot more packed down and ‘trail like’ versus the soft, deep sand that was further a way.

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And then came the dunes…. I’d say about 1.5 miles into the sand portion and about 2.5 miles into the race.

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The picture doesn’t even do it justice. It felt like we were on a straight vertical climb for HOURS. It once again turned into a ‘follow the leader’ style run because everyone tried to stay in the previous person’s path/footsteps where it was a little more packed down, bit I didn’t even care and thanked the little breaks that I was ‘forced’ to take when someone stopped ahead. I tried not to look up or down, because every time I did it felt like I hadn’t made any progress. Woof.

We finally made it to the top and I have never been more excited to see a water station (the first and ONLY ONE of the race!!!).fullsizerender1

After a much longer than normal water stop (where they would only let us have one small cup because they were afraid of running out… didn’t love this poor planning aspect) we began the descent back down the dune. This part was actually kind of fun and I felt like I was flying. You just had to sort of jump down because there was no way you could run, especially someone as clumsy as me who would have for sure broken their neck.

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We got back into the woods with probably 1.5-2 miles left to go in the race at this point. My legs were EXHAUSTED but the shade felt great. It was even harder to see this time since my eyes had adjusted to the bright sun that we’d just been running in for the last few miles, so it was even trickier to navigate around anything that may be lying on the trail. We finally got back to the pavement with maybe 1/2 a mile left in the run. There was not a lot of crowd support (mostly due to location), so you really had no indication of whether or not the finish line was close. We turned a corner and saw a fire truck spraying runners as they went by- this was probably the greatest feeling ever because I was drenched and way overheated and dehydrated at this point.

I crossed the finish line at 1:18:05. I didn’t even care a little bit about my time for this race as it was all about finishing. It felt like one of the hardest workouts I’d ever done and I was just so relieved to be done running. I’ve never had so much sand on me before or been so relieved to shower.

I definitely recommend this race to someone looking for a fun but challenging run. Don’t go into it with any time goals in mind, just have fun and get ready to sweat! And definitely bring a water bottle with you!!! I would have done it again this year had I not been pregnant, and I’ve definitely got it on my radar for 2017.

2015 Race Goals Recap 1- Lake Michigan 1/2 Marathon

The last blog post that I wrote last year detailed all of my race goals for the 2015 calendar year. You can find it Here!

I’ll go through it a few posts at a time and try to recap them as best I can! Not having raced them in over a year makes it a little difficult to recall all of the details (and I’ve deleted most pictures), but I will definitely try. If you want to skip ahead to just the results, check out my Race Results tab!

From 2015 post, these were some of the races I had in mind:

June 27- Lake Michigan Seaway 1/2 Marathon or 15K (we’ll see, this is coming up quick!)

July 18/19- Either the Petoskey Bear River Crawl 10k or Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon (These two are still VERY tentative) DID NOT RUN

August 15- Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon

August 29- Hard Cider Run 5k  DID NOT RUN

September 12- Holland Haven 1/2 Marathon DID NOT RUN

September 26- Tough Mudder!!! I’m actually already registered for this one with a team and borderline terrified for my life!

October 18- Detroit Free Press MARATHON! {oh hey, did you hear I signed up for a marathon? ;)}

The Lake Michigan Seaway 1/2 Marathon actually held my 1/2 marathon PR for the remainder of 2015! I set out to ‘just have fun’ and signed up on a whim. I knew I’d be racing alone (my friend, Katie, was a pacer so we both ran this race but didn’t end up running together). I knew nothing about the race going into it, whether or not it was hilly, etc. (I usually do a little research beforehand, but decided to just wing it) and had JUST started marathon training with the Gazelle Sports group, so I want to say 6 miles was the longest I had run going into this race since the Riverbank Run 25k about 2 months prior.

From what I remember about this race, it was HOT (thank you, Michigan summers)! It was a small race that started through more of a residential neighborhood. I remember specifically having to jump over a dead raccoon that was in the middle of the road about a mile into the race and thinking what the hell is this!?

Here’s the current map from the race website (from what I can tell this is the same route as 2015):capture

The race ran along the Lake Michigan waterfront, and I recall there being A LOT of water stations (about 1 every mile!), which was amazing, and the volunteers really got into it and were SO supportive- some had their stations decked out in themes, which made it really fun. I distinctly remember this race as having the best water station support that I’d ever seen. The crowd support, however, was seriously lacking. Other than the volunteers, you didn’t see many people out cheering (probably since it was such as small race) so it got a bit lonely at times and you had to dig deep to find your own motivation.

I remember it being a relatively flat course, with one large downhill section. Some of the course was on a wooden boardwalk by the beach (the hottest part), but then alternated between shaded and un-shaded sections. I got about 10 miles in and remember looking at my watch and thinking OMG I COULD BREAK 2 HOURS! I remember sprinting HARD for half mile intervals at a time, but since my training was definitely not up to par, it was really hard for my legs to keep up. I also wore a running skirt and had some really bad chaffing going on, which I had never experienced before (since then, body glide has become my bff). I kept telling myself to push as hard as I could for as long as I could and then back off a little bit. I knew it would be close, but I didn’t have any gas left in the tank as I reached the finish line and knew I wasn’t going to make my goal, but I ended up crossing in 2:01:50, a HUGE PR over my previous time earlier that year of 2:06:05, exhausted but super happy with my results considering my lack of training.

 

Hey, Stranger!

Hi Friends!

It’s been a LONG time! I’m embarrassed that my last post was June of 2015….aka over 1.5 years ago. A LOT has happened since I last posted, and I’m not even sure how to put into words all that I’ve been through in just 2016 alone. I’m going to make it a goal of mine for 2017 to start blogging more, but you’ll have to bare with me because something CRAZY is going to be happening and time is going to be pretty non-existent.

I feel like I should just jump right in with the good news, and then I’m going to go back and recap some other really fun stuff that’s happened over the course of the last year and a half, like running my first full marathon, finally breaking a sub-2 hour half marathon (lucky #7, woohoo!) and graduating from grad school!

I’m getting a new running buddy!!!

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First, this happened (yeah, pee everywhere):f3288f03-a84f-4a68-9560-a49eae52c370

Then, 4 weeks later, when we had finally regained consciousness, this happened:

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Fast forward a few months and I went from waking up one day and telling my best friend “OMG WE HAVE TO START TAKING BUMP PICTURES, I’M GETTING HUGE!!!” (insert eye-roll here because umm what bump?!):

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To actually having a bump and my @$$ literally tripling in size in the span of 7 weeks:

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And then, the most beautiful day, when we got to see that little nose and confirm that yes, it’s actually a little human in there and not too much pizza (okay, it’s probably both):

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Our beautiful little baby (more affectionately known to us as Cub, and what you will probably hear me call it 99% of the time) will be here at the end of February! I’m still in total disbelief, and I’m as positive as that pregnancy test that I will be one of those people who doesn’t really know they’re having a baby until they go into labor. So for now I’m taking it one day at a time, trying to enjoy the holidays with my amazing husband, family and friends, and prepare for the craziest adventure to come! We are waiting until we deliver to find out the gender, which has been so exciting and horrifying for a crazy, OCD planner like myself, but I’ve come to love the mystery.

So I sit here, 27.5 weeks pregnant, being kicked in the bladder by this beautiful little creature, about to enter my third trimester on Monday. I’m so grateful to be able to share such exciting news.

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27.5 weeks pregnant

 

I promise to still keep this blog running, fitness and clean-ish eating related as much as possible, but again you’ll have to bare with me because I’m pretty sure trying to figure out how to keep a baby alive is going to take up a lot of my time!

xo

2015 Race Goals

Hi there! 🙂

Now that we’re all up to date with this year’s race recaps, I wanted to share with you some of my goals for the 2015 race season. I’ve joined a running group (more on this later!) and plan to really work on improving my fitness so that I can finish the year off strong. I’ve probably said it a million times, but running just isn’t enough for me. I have to have a strong core, focus on strengthening my quads and keep up with a {mostly} healthy meal plan in order to stay strong. I’ve also added the help of a chiropractor to help keep me injury free. After the 25k I gave myself a little time off before I officially started marathon training, so I will likely tweak these goals depending on how I am feeling throughout the summer. I ran the other day and can definitely feel that I took a few weeks off of major cardio. I re-joined MVP because I missed the classes and every muscle in my arms and legs currently hurt. DOMS is real, baby!

Here are some of the races I have in mind for this year:

June 27- Lake Michigan Seaway 1/2 Marathon or 15K (we’ll see, this is coming up quick!)

July 18/19- Either the Petoskey Bear River Crawl 10k or Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon (These two are still VERY tentative)

August 15- Running Between the Vines 1/2 Marathon

August 29- Hard Cider Run 5k

September 12- Holland Haven 1/2 Marathon

September 26- Tough Mudder!!! I’m actually already registered for this one with a team and borderline terrified for my life!

October 18- Detroit Free Press MARATHON! {oh hey, did you hear I signed up for a marathon? ;)}

I really don’t put a ton of pressure on myself when it comes to time and pace, but I’d like to see a few PR’s this summer if possible. Some of my goals are:

5k– 25 minutes or less (this is probably the hardest because I’m TERRIFIED of shorter distance races)

10k– 45 minutes

1/2 Marathon– sub 2 hour (I think this is totally doable if I just keep focused)

Full Marathon– don’t die (ummm, enough said… fingers crossed)

I LOVE the summer because of race season and cannot wait! Again, all of these are tentative depending on what else I have going on/what comes up, but I’ve started planning my life around races #runNERD alert!

Riverbank 25k Race Recap

Yeah, sorry it took a month to get this up! 🙂

I’ve mentioned it a few times, but the Riverbank Run 25k was a very emotional race for me. Since it was my longest distance at 15.5 miles, I would definitely describe it as the ‘ultimate test of the human heart’. There is not a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have been able to finish this race without my love of running.

The race was on a Saturday, which meant Friday I headed down to GR for packet pickup. They have a really great race expo the day before the race, which always gets me so pumped up. There are tons of vendors at this race, and because of the size of the event there are so many people and a TON of energy. It’s a really great way to get excited for racing the next day. After packet pickup I met up with some friends for dinner at Red Robin (it’s become my pre-race favorite for carb loading).

I have mentioned that after Gazelle Girl I experienced some pain in my calf/right leg, which I believe was due to the fact that it was FREEZING and my muscles were way overworked from not training outside. I had been going to the chiropractor for a few weeks and the Thursday before the race he had adjusted my ankle. Maybe it actually worked or maybe it was mental, but it felt like it made a HUGE difference. I had a ton of anxiety about my leg heading into this race and questioned up until the day before whether or not I should run or would even be able to run it. This was a horrible feeling on top of the normal pre-race jitters and the fact that I had never ran this distance before, so there was some normal self-doubt as to whether or not I could even actually pull this off. On Friday I decided to just do it, give it my all, and if I had to stop for some reason I would let myself knowing that I had tried to do everything to heal myself up until that point.

I woke up feeling pretty good on Saturday. I forced down a banana and a rice cake with pb and we headed out the door. There were a few of us running different races, and the 25k started last, so it was nice to get downtown and walk around for a bit to warm up and get out some of the pre-race jitters. I also got to watch my friends and Bear start their races, so it was awesome to get to cheer them on. I’d been watching the weather all week, and it had been calling for rain. I kept my fingers crossed hoping it would pass, but no such luck. I knew from the Gazelle Girl 1/2 that I did NOT want to wear a jacket, so I layered up and planned to hand everything off to my friends when I got in line to race. The rain let up a bit, but didn’t clear up, so I made peace with the fact that it was going to be a wet 15 miles. I said my goodbyes to my friends who went to watch the finish of the 10k, and took shelter with another group of runners. I had a ‘first 25k’ bib on, so other runners were extremely friendly and supportive knowing that I was nervous and anxious about the race. I chatted with a few of them who gave me some tips about the race, but one girl really freaked me out. This race is known to be a HARD course, particularly toward the end, so I already had some anxiety about it. She said she had run the race about 8 times, told me to make sure I took ice and oranges at the stations, and to save some gas for the hills. I mentioned that the hills were what had me anxious, and she said I’d be totally fine (I think she was just being nice and lying to me), and then proceeded to say, “I have seen some runners get to the top and drop though, so just be careful”. Ummm…..what!? Who does that!??!?! This upped my anxiety about 10x, but I tried to just breathe and tell myself to relax and just suck it up and get it done.

We lined up just as it started to POUR. I figured there was no going back now, so I just tried to be grateful that it wasn’t an extremely hot, sunny day. The first few miles weren’t bad at all. I felt pretty good, was SO happy that my calf wasn’t really bothering me at all, and mentally was in a good place. I knew it was going to be a long run, so I tried to just take it mile by mile and not think about how much was ahead of me. I got to mile 7 feeling great. I honestly thought I could run all day and took my Gu (salted caramel, so good!!) and continued on. There were some veteran runners who kept yelling ‘keep some gas in the tank’ so that everyone remembered the ‘hills of doom’ ahead. It rained on and off, but I had pretty much blocked it out at that point. I powered through the water stations, took oranges and ice like the ‘nice’ blonde girl had told me to do, and was doing just fine. I saw the first hill and remembered thinking ‘ugh, crap, here we go’. It was around mile 9, so I was starting to get tired just from running alone. I got to the top and was glad that I didn’t ‘DROP’ like I had been warned, and didn’t see much in sight except the road ahead. They call it the ‘lonely stretch’ because they don’t have spectators on that part of the course, so it’s really just you and the other runners to keep each other going. It starts to get more difficult at this point, and the hills get closer and closer together.

The last 5 miles were really hard, to say the least. I got to the 1/2 marathon mark and told myself okay, only 2 miles left. I had told myself this about a million times before the race, and this was what was keeping me going strong, but holy crap it was the longest 2 miles of my life. 2 more miles after 4 straight miles of rolling hills, rain and loneliness in the second half of a long race sucks, just for the record. Just after the 13 mile mark I saw my bf and husband. They had come to cheer me on since they knew I’d be so over it by that point. It was just the push I needed, and it put a much needed smile on my face. The last mile was kind of crazy- there were ambulances in more spots than I would have ever thought, and runners were on gurneys with oxygen masks. I wish I was making it up. The blondie was right about people dropping. I rounded the corner and finally headed back into the crowd and downtown GR. I hit the 15 mile mark and was in rough shape. It took everything in me not to stop. I learned that I’m definitely not one of those people who gets a boost of energy from the crowd and knowing I’m close to the end and seeing the finish line. Nope, don’t care about any of that. I saw my other group of friends off to the side, powered across the finish line as hard as I could, grabbed my medal and made my way to the exit to find everyone.

It felt like a LONG walk and my body started to hurt- blisters, knees (just sore, not pain! :), even my back was hurting. I met up with everyone, grabbed my double down medal from the Gazelle tent (for running the Gazelle Girl 1/2 and the Riverbank Run 25k back to back), and headed home. I was in desperate need of a shower and ALL the food. Much to my dismay my shower was horrible from all of the chaffing from being wet from the rain.

Overall, it was a great race. Very tough but so mentally and physically rewarding. I realize I have a LONG way to go before October 18, but I am feeling great about working hard and getting across that finish line!

Here are some pics from the race (excuse the previous day’s makeup 1/2 way down my face!):

   
       

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Happy ‘Tuesday that feels like a Monday’!

It was a great LONG Memorial Day weekend here in the mitten relaxing with friends.

Friday the hubs and I relaxed at home, and Saturday I got up and headed to GR for brunch and yoga with some friends. It was a Soul Pose session, which was outdoors in GR. It was the PERFECT weather for it and a great way to relax and get in some much needed stretching. It was put on by the same company who does the Color Runs, where you wear white and they spray you with color as you run by. Luckily, it was a LOT less messy and they just had bubbles and confetti this time! 🙂 

 We hit up an awesome restaurant on our way out for some fresh pressed juice, called Freshii. I will definitely be heading back the next time I’m in the area and would love to try them out for lunch. It’s a great menu with fresh veggies and clean eating meal options. I opted for the carrot+apple+ginger juice that was pretty amazing. I’m definitely not used to the temperature of the fresh juices, and could have used a little ice. But other than that I would HIGHLY recommend this place. 

    We headed to the beach on Saturday afternoon and played sand volleyball (holy workout!) with a group of friends and then hopped on a boat and cruised down to Saugatuck to Coral Gables for dinner and drinks. 

      I had every intention of running on Sunday until the weather ruined those plans. It was gloomy and rainy all afternoon, so we squeezed in a quick bike ride and laid low the rest of the day.

Monday was not much better weather-wise, but it died down enough toward the end of the day to allow us to head to Riley Trails for a 4-mile trail run. It was SO humid, windy, sandy and HILLY, but a great workout. 

   It felt great to run again for the first time since Riverbank (recap still coming soon!), which was good considering I now only have 145 days until my MARATHON (yes, I just had a panic attack typing that!).  

 Hope you have an amazing day!

Staying Pain Free

You got a chance to read my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon the other day and, as I mentioned, I was happy to have finished without the injuries that plagued me during the 1/2 marathons that I ran last year.

Rewind to a few weeks prior to race day.

I had been experiencing some weird hip pain during my training. I noticed that every time I bent down to stretch my right quad my hip would pop in/out of place. Not ideal. Nothing that hurt during running, but it would be sore later that night. It was definitely nothing that I’d experienced before. I took a few weeks to try to understand what was happening, and focused on stretching really well before and after my run to see if it helped. Unfortunately, not such luck.

I had a few friends from work recommend a chiropractor in the area, so I decided to check it out. I had been to my medical doctor a few times last year for IT band, knee and foot pain and the recommendation that I was receiving was basically rest, ice and take some pain killers. Overall it wasn’t terrible advice, but I didn’t want to just keep taking medicine to mask the pain. I decided to try the chiropractor because I figured if I went in for a consultation and didn’t get a good vibe I could just not go back and try out something else.

I went in for my consultation and, after some x-rays, I was told that my hips were out of alignment. What the doctor was saying did match what my medical doctor had told me about a year ago, which was that there was a muscle imbalance between my quads and calves and my knees were taking the brunt of the imbalance. He recommended an 11-week plan of adjustments to re-align my hips. I decided to take a few days to think about it, and had the Gazelle Girl 1/2 on Sunday (my appointment was on a Friday), and wanted to see how I felt after the race.

Post-race my right IT-band did bother me, but it was only right after the race and I woke up the next morning without any problems. As I continued to train for the Riverbank 25k, I had noticed some pain developing in my right calf/shin/Achilles- honestly, I couldn’t really tell where the pain was originating from.

I started to get EXTREMELY frustrated and had a decision to make: either suffer through the summer as I trained for my full marathon in October, or try to be as proactive as possible and give the chiropractor a shot. The thought of training all summer and potentially not being able to cross the finish line (or even make it to the starting line for that matter) was just not an option for me, so I knew what I had to do.

I’m happy to report that my knees have been doing great and other than having really uncomfortable ‘growing pain’ type symptoms in my hips after the first few adjustments things have been going great. He said that my weird leg pain after the 1/2 was probably due to the fact that a) I didn’t train outside all winter and then ran a 13.1 mile hilly course and then b) It was freezing cold at the start and my muscles probably had to work too hard before warming up enough.

I’ll talk a little more about my weird leg pain (technical term) in the coming posts, but I was able to successfully run Riverbank with absolutely NO pain afterward, so there’s a happy ending in sight and my confidence is high that this whole chiropractor thing is working. Obviously, everyone’s body is different, but for me it’s been a great choice thus far.

No pics of the chiropractor yet, but here’s one of me from yesterday. I needed that beautiful green angel-mermaid to get me through the day! 😉

  TGIF!

Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon Recap

Happy Hump Day!

Warning: This is a long one!

I’m really excited to start back up with blogging by sharing my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon. It was only a few weeks ago, on April 19th, and I think I honestly still remember every second of that race.

They emailed us our race packets a few days before the race, which was nice because I honestly hate all of the random flyers and junk mail that they stuff into the normal ‘goodie bags’. Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon was a zero waste event, so they try to do everything in the most environmentally responsible way, which I thought was awesome about this race.

Official packet pickup was on Saturday, so a group of us headed downtown and ate lunch and I picked up my bib and XXXS tee-shirt. Okay, it was a medium but who the heck is designing these women’s sizes? My shirt from a few years ago was way too big, and this one was like a belly shirt. What’s going on here? Maybe I’ll model it for you if you’re lucky. 😉

I had my traditional Red Robin feast (which wasn’t too much of a feast because they were pretty skimpy on the fries) and started to develop a KILLER headache. Since it was early spring my sinus/allergies were in full effect and I was starting to really worry about race day. I could barely hold my head up let alone think about running 13.1 miles. After dinner we swung by the drug store to grab some meds and then I crashed hard when I got home.

I woke up Sunday feeling tired but great! No headache in sight, which was a huge relief. I got a good luck text from my bff who couldn’t be there to cheer me on, but it was a MUCH needed confidence boost! 🙂

It was FREEZING cold and I had absolutely no clue what to wear for the race since I am typically a fair weather outdoor runner (I’m ashamed, but it’s true!). I settled on a running skirt, tank, compression socks and a wind breaker jacket over top. I figured I’d wear the jacket there and see how I felt once I had to line up for the race. We got to the start and it was windy as all get out and I was shaking and questioning my sanity. The bathroom lines were SO long, so by the time I made it through for one final pee break it was time to get lined up. I decided on keeping my jacket because the thought of taking it off was unbearable.

The first few miles of the race were slow and painful. My legs were SO tight from the cold weather and it felt like time was standing still. I remember my watch beeping at mile 3 and thinking ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. Once my body started to warm up it was pretty smooth sailing. I hit mile 6, ate a Gu packet and went through a mental check list of how I was feeling. I was staying hydrated, I wasn’t really in any pain (take that IT bands!), I was feeling good mentally, but I was starting to get HOT. I wish I could have thrown my jacket onto the ground, and definitely would have if it wasn’t a semi-expensive running jacket. Since it was windy the jacket was actually dragging me down and I remember feeling a LOT of resistance at some points during the race. I also mentally kicked myself a few times for not getting out and doing more outdoor runs. I think I did a great job of keeping my cardio up via the DREAD-mill all winter, but I had run a whopping ONE time outside for 6 miles a week before. There were some pretty serious hills throughout the course, so I could have done a much better job of preparing had I actually ran outside a little more. I went out thinking I wanted to run a sub-2:00 race. I really think I could have done it had I trained properly, and I remember realizing around mile 10 that it just wasn’t going to happen this time.

I crossed the finish line still feeling really strong and was overall very happy with my 2:06:05 time. It was only a PR of about 20 seconds (whoop!), but I was okay with it all things considered. 

Some takeaways from the race:

  • If I want to go into a spring race season and finish comfortably, training on the treadmill is A-OK for me. If I want to compete for a strong PR or have some incredibly ambitious time, I will definitely need to work on running outside through the fall and winter. 
  • I think that listening to my body was key and that I took a good amount of time off of running every time I had something bother me knee or leg-wise. 
  • I proved to myself that I can work+go to school+ continue to train! 

Again, I am very happy with how I finished all things considered. Working and going to school was a chore in itself and some days I just plain didn’t feel like running. As I continue to develop and get better (more on this in the coming days!) I am excited to see how my times improve. It wasn’t the sub-2:00 that I hoped for, but I know I’ll get there with hard work and determination. 

Here are some of the very few pics I have from the day:

   
  


They gave out finisher charms instead of metals, pretty cool.   

I highly recommend the Gazelle Girl 1/2 marathon as a first or one of many race. The course was great and the spectators were awesome. I will definitely be running this again next year! 

Hibernation

Hiiiii!

I’m finally out of hibernation (let’s just call it that because laziness sounds a little too negative, eh?)!

It’s been a beyond busy spring and I am really looking forward to summer and the warmer weather and camping/kayaking and RACE SEASON!

Since my last post was back on March 30, I’ve got a lot to fill you in on. I’ll take the next week or so to do that, but I wanted to drop in and say a) I’m still alive! b) I’ve successfully finished the semester and c) I have finished 2 races (mostly) pain free! <— this last one is particularly exciting for me!

I’ve added a new page of  race results here: https://sixfootfit.wordpress.com/race-results/ and hope to add a few more pages of my running/fitness favorites shortly.   

Have an amazing day!