Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tom King Half Marathon recap

Two things I love - races and road trips! The only thing that makes the two better is when my friends are along for the ride and run! March 7-9 my friends, hubby and I all packed our bags and headed to Nashville, TN for a half marathon and lots of fun.

The details -
20th Annual Tom King Half marathon (and 5k)
Saturday, March 8, 2014
7:30 AM (limited to 1500 registrants)

My morning started like all race mornings. Up about 2-3 hours before the race, walk around, and eat breakfast before getting dressed and heading out the door. We arrived in plenty of time for a stop at the bathrooms and to hang around. We even saw THE Tom King as we were headed back out to meet the rest of the group before our warm up.

The weather was perfect at the start. It was cool enough to not have to bundle up and warm enough that I could've have switched my crops for a skirt if I had packed better. My friends and I did a half mile warm up then a few striders and lined up, ready to go.

I've been having some hip and tailbone issues and in therapy twice a week for that for a while now. So, I knew going in that this was not necessarily going to be the PR race I had hoped for. However, my race plan was pretty much laid out that it could have been a PR if my body was cooperative. The goal was to start at 9:25 pace and progress down from there. I knew this goal was attainable given my endurance and speed workouts lately.

The course is really flat (compared to K'ville). There were some inclines but nothing I'd even come close to calling a hill despite the volunteers saying, "You're downhill now," and "it's all downhill from here." The start and finish is at LP field. Start is on the outside road by the stadium and the finish is inside. The course itself is ran on some road then a paved bike/running path in a wooded park. We crossed a few bridges, one of which was bouncy and totally weird!

I liked this course/race well enough but not sure I'd rush back to it next year. I like the out and back but there wasn't really a lot of scenery. The finish was ok except once you think you're close to the finish line and see the stadium you then have to run around to the back side of the stadium which is kind of a mental challenge that close to the end. And that isn't all, once inside the stadium you have to run the entire inside loop to the finish. Not really fun when it's the end of the race and the goal is to pickup the pace for the final sprint. It's grassy and I'm just not a fan of running on grass.

My splits -
9:26 9:35 9:35 9:29 9:27 9:17
9:36 9:30 9:22 9:34 9:33 9:41
9:01 1:29

Obviously, I did not hit my goal paces nor did I PR. However, as I stated before my hip has been giving me fits so I knew going in this would be tough physically. I can stand about 8-9 miles before the tightness begins. Rather than stop and stretch wasting precious time on the clock, I push forward continuing to move. The best thing with that is that I was at least consistent and for this race that was a plus. My schedule did not have this race set up as my goal race for the year, so I was happy to run/race and collect a medal.

The only thing I'd have really done differently was carry my own water. I debated doing so because I thought there were plenty of water stops. However, it was warmer than I expected and around mile 9-10 we were in an open area of the park where the sun was beating down quite hard. That would have been the perfect spot for an extra water stop. This was also the time in which I needed to take another gel but was difficult without fluids to wash it down. Next time, I'd have my smaller hand held just in case.

The great thing about the out and back was being able to cheer on all my friends as they were headed back. Everyone did such a great job and looked awesome out there. They all came home with PRs!!!

Post race pic w/my hubby.

Finish time - 2:05:04
Age 35/39 - 48/107
Overall - 695/1283

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Best "What If" I ever heard.

You know we've all played that "what if" game before. What if you had a million dollars? What if you could have any car you want? What if you could take the trip of your dreams.
Well friends, here is an even better what if......

What IF Everybody Ran?

My friends over at Mizuno Running have come up with an awesome illustration and statics to show you what the world would be like if everyone ran. Less cigarettes smoked, better sleep, more smiles. The list goes on and on and on.

Here is my favorite -
More smiles! Why is more smiles my favorite?

Let me shed some light.
I've been criticized by others for my love of running (and the gym for that matter) especially in regards to my job as a mother. Some things have been said along the lines of time taken away from my kids. There was a time when it would bother me a little especially when my own kids have asked, "Do you have to run today?" But I've let any negativity with that go. Sure, there are times I feel guilt but let me explain as I have to my children.

If you've read here long enough you know where I was 6 years ago. For those that haven't let me share briefly. I was overweight, not just a little BUT A LOT! I weighed in at 248 lbs at my highest that I can recall even seeing on a scale. That number could very well have been higher. In 2008 a friend of mine knew I had desires to learn to run and at the same time lose weight. She signed us both up for a 5k. My friend was fit and in great shape. This was the kick in the butt I needed. I "ran" that race with her finishing in barely under 50 minutes. It was miserable but I was happy to have accomplished something.

Six years later I still run. My fastest 5k to date is 25:51 (summer 2013). I've completed the following:
13 - 5k
5- 10k
4- 8k
2- 15k
2- 10 miler
8 - 1/2 marathon
2 - marathon

Running has brought me a long way physically (losing 90 lbs!!).  Running has also brought me a long way mentally. Running has also helped me find not just myself but a ton of life long friends! What does all that mean? It means this mama is smiling more. It means this mama is happy and healthy and ALIVE!

So, when others question "WHY" I run so much or when  my kids ask "Do you have to?," I have an answer.

If I didn't run, I'd be unhealthy and obese. Being unhealthy and obese means I can't do all the amazing things I can do with my family/kids. It means being tired and grumpy and out of shape. It means not being around for very long because we know that being unhealthy and obese isn't just being tired and fat. There are SO many other related health issues that aren't just related to physical health. 

Along with all the other little things in my life that make me happy - running is my smile.

So, I ask YOU... what IF everybody ran? What if YOU ran? 

If you want to read more on this awesome project go 
here and here 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a busy weekend we had around here!
Friday was my birthday and you know how it started. 5am on the track with 10x200 repeats. I killed them!! I worked most of the day before heading to a torturous PT session. Instead of starting with my exercises and finishing with the tens machine we started with the tens and ended with the exercises and some other stuff. The torturous part? An elbow digging deep into my super tight muscles. I thought I was going to come off the table.

Because my son's birthday is so close to mine (me - Feb 28, him -  March 3) we decided to have his birthday party on Friday night. I'm such a cool mom to share my actual birthday for his celebration. :) Anyway, we had 4 of his friends over which made for a houseful of smelly, rowdy 8 yr old boys! FUN! They spent the night. The fun ended Saturday morning.  I lost my train of thought. Did you catch that? Haha My hubby made a birthday cake for ME and we celebrated my day on Thursday.

He did such an awesome job with my cake and thankfully didn't light 35 candles. It was a nice night with my family.

Saturday  morning once all the boys left I met a couple of friends for my long run. I was suppose to run 12 miles but they were only going 9. We rode together to the park. They suggested leaving and heading to Starbucks for coffee while I finished my last 3 BUT since we'd ran a decent clip and the course was hillier than my usual I decided to call it done at 9 miles too.

I think I made a wise decision there since I'd been having some issues with my hip this week. I'm also going into a race week. I have a half marathon coming up this Saturday, March 8th that I want to be ready for. I am ready but what I mean is I need my hip/body to completely cooperate for the best possible race. Skipping 3 miles from long run this weekend didn't worry me at all. I know I have the endurance to complete 13.1.

Sunday was spent with family taking it easy and meal planning for the week. We made a menu and I spent the evening getting my food ready for tomorrow. I think pre-planning is the best and easiest way for me to stay on track. It always makes me feel good going into a new week with a plan.

Tell me about your weekend. Anything fun?
Do you meal plan/food prep ahead of time?