So now that I’m back to running, I’ve got a bit of a race plan for 2014. This is subject to change, of course, but here’s where I’m at now:
March 29: Nutri Run 20K in Fort Wayne with Kimberly
April 27: Crossroads Half Marathon in Lowell, Indiana with Dave, courtesy of a GroupOn deal (still available!)
June 7: Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon (tentative) with friends
September 14: Presque Isle Marathon in Erie, PA (maybe with my sister again?)
Through the summer I’ll do the trail run 5ks as much as possible. I might also add in a few other races if I find them, they work, and they’re cheap. It would be fun to do another fall marathon in early October, when I’m already trained up, but we’ll see how things work out.
Right now I’m only registered for the Crossroads Half, but the Nutri Run registration isn’t open yet and I’m holding off on pulling the trigger on Presque Isle… for now. I really love that race so if I hear it’s starting to fill up, I’ll be sure to register to save my place.
What does your race schedule look like for this year?
I know we’re already a week in to 2014, but I wanted to do a recap of my running in 2013 (it’s fun for me to look back!). I ran 941.8 miles in 2013. 701 miles were during pregnancy. Remember when I was overdue and still running? Kim had jokingly told me that Kate was waiting until I hit 700 miles to be born. Turns out, she was right! On Friday, November 15 I hit 700 miles. On Sunday, November 17 I tried to run again, but quit after a mile because it was really really uncomfortable (probably because Kate was really really low in my pelvis). I went in to labor that evening and delivered Kate the next morning!
And just in case you wondered what running at 41 weeks pregnant looks like:
I ran one half marathon, in Wisconsin, at 13 weeks pregnant. It was a lot of fun and I felt really good during the race. I came in 2:13:02, just a minute shy of my pregnancy half marathon PR. I also did a lot of trail 5ks throughout the summer, including a few where it was 98 and 99 degrees!
So now that we’re in 2014 and I’ve just started running again, it’s fair enough to talk about some goals and races plans for this year. Initially I was planning on doing a spring marathon and a fall marathon, but right now I’m thinking I’ll scrap the spring marathon because I don’t want to jeopardize my milk supply by jumping right in to intense training. Dave and I are planning on running the Crossroad half marathon in Lowell, Indiana on April 27. Interested in running it? We bought our entries using this GroupOn offer! I’m also considering the Holy Half marathon at Notre Dame University in April and the Women’s Half marathon in June in Indianapolis (hopefully both with friends). During the summer I’ll run the trail 5ks here in town when I can. And then if all goes well, I’m hoping to run the Presque Isle marathon in September. This is my favorite marathon (I’ve ran it twice before) and I’d love to run it again. It’s flat, gorgeous, decently priced, well managed, and near my sister’s house!
For now I’m logging 2 miles at a time, although I think I’ll bump up to 3 soon. So far I’ve been able to keep a decent pace and not feel sore or out of breath, so that’s awesome! It feels so good to run again!
How did running (or exercise) in 2013 go for you? What goals do you have for 2014?
On Wednesday we found out Dave was going to be out of town for July 4, so I hopped on the computer and found a local race for Leo with 3.3 or 8 mile options. Bonus: $15 day of registration and only 15ish minutes away.
Thursday morning Leo slept in til 5:30am. I thought about going for a run before our race, but decided to just lay low with some decaf and my boy. We left the house a little before 7 and hit up the bank ATM (I never have cash on me anymore) and then drove down. The race had a couple hundred people and was laid-back and very small-town feel. There was also a playground at the start/finish, so after we registered Leo got some playtime before it was time to run. The hardest part was knowing how to use the port-o-potty with Leo in tow. I ended up finding one on the end and parking the stroller next to it, then asking another mom if she wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on the stroller. I wasn’t really worried about anyone stealing Leo, but it’s still weird to let your toddler out of your sight in a public place.
I lined up in the back since I had the stroller, but ended up fencing myself in for the first 50 yards or so, since a lot of people were walking. The course was actually fairly hilly and wasn’t marked at all, so I have no idea how the leaders knew where to go (I just followed the group). It ran past a golf course and through a neighborhood and then hooked back in toward the park where we started. Leo was happy to run and played the role of course monitor and coach, telling me “Big hill! Fast! Race! That way!” as we went along. People seemed to get a kick out of seeing him, too.
The race wasn’t chip timed, so it’s a little hard to know what I ran. At the finish they told me 31:52, but I had 31:00 on my watch (I waited to start my watch at the start line) and I think that is probably more accurate. Either way, it was a lot of fun and I’m happy with sub-10 minute miles, especially given the hills! After the race there were bananas, water, and apples. Leo and I spent about an hour on the playground before we packed up for home.
I’d definitely do this race again. Low entry fee and laid-back, which is what I look for in smaller races (10K or less). And I got a new shirt!
This past weekend I traveled up to Chicago and then to Kenosha, WI for the Wisconsin half marathon. I left Friday morning, when Kimberly picked me up at my house. Kimberly and I have met a few times before – once when I stalked her down on the streets of Fort Wayne and once when we met up with our boys for a playdate and Old Navy shopping excursion. And other than that we keep up with each other via blogs, twitter, facebook, and text. We planned to stop for lunch on the way and once we got past Gary, Indiana we started looking for options. We saw Red Burrito, which seemed like a sketchy day-before-the-race option, so we kept driving. We saw a McDonalds but thought we’d see what else there was. And then there was nothing – not a restaurant or rest stop to be found. Just highway and then, eventually, Chicago. Luckily I had come with some (lame) road snacks, so we held on by pretzel rods. Still searching for something other than a gas station, we spotted a shopping plaza off the highway, pulled over, and found a Trader Joe’s! We both scored some wraps, grabbed coffee and a bathroom stop at Starbucks, and got back in the car. To note: by this time it was close to 2 Indiana time, which is pretty much a record for Kimberly and I in waiting for lunch. Solid proof of our friendship: we made it through hunger and never got snappy with each other!
We rolled in to Bobbi’s house in the early afternoon. We loved getting to meet her super sweet kids – who were pretty excited to meet “The Kims” – and had so much fun hanging out with them. For dinner we went to Olive Garden with Bobbi’s family and enjoyed pasta and breadsticks and soup and salad. Perfection! Then we came home, talked a little, and crashed out to get ready for the race.
Saturday morning we left the house a little before 6am. The race started at 7am but Bobbi lives close and knows Kenosha well, so she drove us there and found a parking spot and got us to the race area with plenty of time to see people, go to the bathroom, and do gear check.
Going in to the race I had pretty low expectations. My running hasn’t been super consistent lately as I’ve been tired and I’ve mostly just been running 4 miles at a time. I figured I would run what I could and walk what I needed – hoping that I wouldn’t have to walk too much of the race.
I started out very conservative, going a little slower than normal. Around mile 3 I picked it up a little. At mile 5 the race came through town, with lots of spectators, which made things fun and gave me energy. Then we started an out and back along the lake – which was gorgeous – and also meant we could see other runners. I had so much fun watching the other runners and looking for Kim, Kimberly, and Bobbi! Around mile 7 I realized that I was feeling really good and thought I might try to go for a pregnant PR. I figured I might crash and burn out, but then I would walk. But instead, I kept feeling better and better, so I kept running! Miles 10, 11, and 12 I tried to hammer down as much as I could while still not really pushing it (better to play it safe for pregnancy). At mile 13 I went for it, making sure I was still getting good, deep breaths, but really trying to see what I could do. I finished in 2:13:02, missing my pregnant PR by less than a minute (2:12:06). But I felt fantastic and like I could have kept running! I was so surprised and so happy!
After the race I found Kimberly and Kim, both who had good races, and then we cheered in Bobbi, who was pacing her friend through her first half marathon. Kimberly and I wrapped up in the mylar blankets (it was chilly!) and hung out while Bobbi and Kim cheered on their running club teammates.
Around lunchtime the four of us – the Kims and Bobbi – headed over to Red Robin to grab lunch. It was my first time there and I loved it! I had an awesome boca burger with sauted onions, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg. Yum!
Then the four of us headed back to Bobbi’s to shower and hang out. Saturday night we watched Pitch Perfect with Bobbi and her husband and daughter, then Sunday morning Kimberly and I headed out early to get home.
It was such a fun and perfect weekend. I loved getting time with Kimberly and Kim and Bobbi – all who feel like old friends rather than new buddies I made via blogs. And I loved the Wisconsin race. It was an awesome course and really well done. Definitely one I will be keeping in mind for the future!
Most people start the new year amped up with new goals and challenges, recommitted and refreshed. And then there’s me.
I haven’t run since Christmas Day.
After Christmas we had family at our house, then we were traveling. We got home and I was in full vacation mode, not to mention tiiiired (in the span of 10 days we did Chicago, home, Fort Wayne, home, Fort Wayne, home, Ohio, home).
I’m all about taking a break when I need it or just feel like it, so I’ve been rolling with it and walking at an incline most mornings. I expect I’ll jump back to running later this week.
And just in case I needed extra motivation, I’ve signed up for my first 2013 race – the Wisconsin Half Marathon on May 4. The best part: roadtrip/weekend hangout/race fun with Kimberly, Bobbi, and Kim (also, apparently, the half marathons of Kims). I’m not sure what other races I’ll do for 2013 yet, but I’m keeping my eye out for a spring marathon and any other half marathons that are a decent price. I’ll most likely go for the Presque Isle marathon in September again – that remains my all-time favorite race and course.
What races are you doing in 2013? Do you have a spring marathon suggestion for me?
I ran the Hilly Haunted Half Marathon on Saturday (or was it the Haunted Hilly?). I went in to this race feeling pretty unprepared. I’ve run since the Presque Isle marathon, but not a ton, and probably not more than 7 miles (more like 4 or 5 on average). I knew the course was going to be hilly, too. So I expected to crash around mile 8 or so and end up walk/running the last bit of it. High expectations and optimism, eh?
Saturday morning was cold. COLD. Dave and Leo stayed home because of the weather and I drove the 20 or so minutes over to Bonneyville County Park to pick up my race stuff and get ready… which basically entailed huddling in my car, debating whether I should run in my fleece jacket or not. It was about 32 degrees out with a 28 degree windchill. I finally ended up nixing the fleece jacket, figuring I would get hot midway and then be super annoyed with hauling a bulky jacket around. I wore capris, a long sleeve tech t (a fairly thick one), a short sleeve shirt, my headband pulled over my ears, and thin cheapie gloves.
Around 8am all the racers gathered in the pavilion for announcements and a “costume parade.” The costume parade was pretty unorganized and kind of hard to actually see those who dressed up. Then the race director talked a little, a cheerleading squad from the Down Syndrome Support Group performed (it was so sweet!), and we walked over to the start. There were about 90 people doing the half marathon. We began with a whistle or just a “GO!” – I forget which.
The first couple miles I ended up running with a girl I know – I randomly saw her around mile 1. She lives in Iowa but was in town running with her brother. Around mile 4 or 5 they stopped for a drink and I kept going, running with another guy from Goshen who heads up the running club. He and I ran and talked until about mile 9 or 10. He was good for me in that he kept me going and pushed my pace a little. Around mile 10 he was starting to feel tired, so I pushed on. The hills of the course were mainly in the first 4 miles and the last 3 miles. They were mostly rollers, but a few were pretty big. One was at mile 9 – I ran half and walked half of it – and the other around mile 11.5. Again, I ran half and walked half. About mile 12 a guy caught up with me and we ran the last bit together. I finished in 2:06:22, my best time since having Leo!
I was really happy with this race and really surprised with how I did. The hills – which normally psyche me out at least mentally, if not physically – weren’t a problem. It was really cold at the start and I couldn’t feel my hands, feet, or face until mile 4 (it’s weird to run on numb stumps), but ended up being fantastic weather once the sun rose. It was in the high 30s and pretty perfect – you felt warm but not hot. And my lack of training ended up being no big deal. I felt refreshed and ready to go.
As always, I think “I wonder how I would have done if I had really pushed myself?”, but then sometimes I think I wouldn’t have really enjoyed the race and the experience if I really killed myself. Going for a PR is always good, but it just hasn’t been a priority to me this year, I guess?
I don’t have any pictures of the race but it’s definitely one I’ll keep in mind for next year. Close to home, fun course, and registration proceeds benefit some important area charities. Plus it was really lowkey (I always like that) and the other runners were all super friendly and chatty.
Initially I had hoped to do a few marathons this fall but I’m scaling back my plans. I loved the Presque marathon and felt great during it, but now that the weather is cooler most of my runs have switched to the treadmill to accommodate our family schedule. I have trained for a marathon mostly on the treadmill before (the Carmel marathon), but wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again. Then Dave found the Haunted Hilly Half Marathon run at a nearby park. It seemed like a great option – completely workable distance, hilly enough to be challenging, close by, decent registration fee, and soon (last weekend of October). This will most likely be my last race of the year and while I don’t expect to PR (I’m not at PR pace right now and a hilly course will be way different for me), I’m excited to just run and have fun. Hopefully it will be a nice enough day that Dave and Leo can join me at the park, too! I would like to do a marathon again in the spring, so I do plan on keeping my mileage up over the winter – at least half marathon distance – while also working on speed.
I suppose if I wanted to get really crazy I could do the race in costume! What do you think?