2015 Race Goals

Hi there!๐Ÿ™‚

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!๐Ÿ™‚

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!๐Ÿ™‚, 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! ;)


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.๐Ÿ˜‰

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!๐Ÿ™‚

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! 



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!

Miles Monday 3/30

Hi there! 

Here’s a quick recap of last week:

Monday- SpinCore 

Tuesday- 5 mile run

Wednesday- OFF

Thursday- OFF

Friday- OFF

Saturday- 10 miles

Total Weekly Miles- 15 miles! 

I knew the 10 miler would be hard so I purposely took a few days off before. I think it will be my only double-digit run before the half! 

1/2 Marathon Countdown: 20 days

25k Run: 40 days 

Have a great week!! Here are some pics from Saturday:




I read a really awesome blog post yesterday! You can check it out HERE! It’s the basis for this post today. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I take several pictures to find the most flattering angle before posting. I’m sure this is true with 99% of people who post pictures to social media. I started this blog to share my journey. The good, bad and the ugly. I hope that’s apparent in every post that you read.

So, if for any reason you thought I looked like this all the time…  

Just remember, I’m as awkward as they come…  *top left pic was taken in black and white to begin with!  

Have an awesome Thursday! 

Have to vs. Get to

Oh hey, Wednesday! Looking good friend. I think the thing I’m looking forward to the most is NOT having to run today. I had an extremely shitty (for lack of a better and more appropriate word) 5-mile run yesterday. I was a grump and didn’t want to do it AT ALL. I decided to suck it up, after a lot of convincing from a friend. And by convincing I mean her telling me 45 times “just go do it”. She knows how important running is to me and how much better it makes me feel, so I’m really lucky to have such a good friend who can yell and be so mean๐Ÿ˜‰. I finally got down to the treadmill and struggled through each and every mile.  

I tried really hard to stay positive and appreciate the fact that I get to run. I was talking to Bear later last night and kept finding myself saying ‘I have to run 10 miles this weekend’. I made myself change my attitude and say ‘I get to run 10 miles’ instead. I realized that I’m really lucky to be where I am fitness-wise, especially considering where I started. I am injury free so far this training cycle (knock on wood) and am already so much further with my mileage than I was when I trained last year. Plus, I do this for fun! As crazy as it may be, nobody is making me do it. I enjoy putting on spandex pants and running until I can’t walk and have blisters and chaffing and spend more on running shoes than 10 pairs of normal shoes combined. So, 5 miles later, I didn’t appreciate it at the time but I definitely do now. Another training run in the books.  

 I even did it in my new Brooks seamless ombre running capris, which are pretty amazing.  

Breakfast was the first green smoothie in a long time, lunch was a kale salad and grilled chicken. 

 And because I was starving after my run I came home and devoured some gluten free spaghetti. Carbs, baby. All the carbs. 

We ended up heading to Downtown Holland for the night to Our Brewing for trivia! So much fun even though our team was in dead last most of the night. I need to brush up on my NASA, cartoon and river knowledge!  

 Hope you’re having a great week! Enjoy your workouts because you GET to do them! Push through and you’ll be thankful you did. :) 

3 Secrets

I’m definitely not a Facebook person but I am really digging the Timehop app. If you’re not familiar, you log in through Facebook and/or Instagram and it shows you all of the extremely embarrassing things that you’ve posted on your page thought the years. It’s a really great reminder of how awkward I really am! All joking aside, it’s reminded me of some really awesome times that I’ve forgotten about, like my trip to South Korea 4 years ago! 

 A few days ago it showed me this post that I put up several years back: 

 It’s kind of crazy to me that I posted it considering where I was with my life at that time. I didn’t embrace my passions because I didn’t really know who I was, took absolutely no risks and, worst of all, I was extremely self critical and just plain mean to myself about a lot of different things. Derek had moved an hour away to a different city for work after college, I was stuck in a job that I hated and my self esteem was at an all time low. I was surrounded by people who loved me, so I made it out alive๐Ÿ™‚ and, compared to most, my life really wasn’t that bad, but it just shows me that I was either a) lying to myself at that time or b) desperate for things to change and for that quote to be true (or probably a combination of both). I feel like finally, 5 years later, I have a much better idea of who I am and what makes me happy. I’ve embraced myself and am really learning to love me for me. Last year was a real turning point in my life, so I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! 

In fitness news, I FINALLY made it back to a spin class for the first time in way too long!! 

 I cancelled my gym membership and, much to my excitement, my work is now offering spin classes (in addition to a bunch of other great ones!). Today was a spin core class, which is 30 minutes of spin and 15 minutes of abs. During spin I couldn’t wait to start the abs portion and during abs I wanted back on the bike!! I have a feeling I’m going to be sore! I’m glad I pushed myself to go because I so wasn’t feeling it. Never miss a Monday! 

My dinner from Sunday was pretty amazing- sushi and Silk Neapolitan ice cream (weird combo but pretty delicious anyway) and I wasn’t sure how I was going to top it.    *note: ice cream is 10x better when cuddled up in front of a fire. We decided to have our last fire of the season.๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Somehow I did! I was starving, so I came home and immediately threw some chicken into the oven for chicken sandwiches: Seriously the best quick meal and it hit the spot! Gluten free 7-grain bread with avocado and grilled chicken. I could eat this for every meal every day! 

It was a great start to the week! I’m already ready for the weekend, but I suppose I’ll be patient! Happy Tuesday!