My First Race of 2015! (Barlowe Bolt 5K Race Review)

Yesterday I ran my first race of 2015, my first race in 6 months, the Barlowe Bolt 5K! This is my second time running this race, you can see last year’s race review here….It felt great to stretch out my legs and a great confidence booster to push the pace a bit! I was able to maintain a respectable 7:45 pace, by far the fastest I’ve ran since before my injury, and even took 1st place overall female in this small community organized race! ūüôā

Finish Line Photo. I've never took good race photos! ;-)

Finish Line Photo. I’ve never took good race photos! ūüėČ

 

We had an out of nowhere, first day of Spring, snow day on Friday so it was still uncomfortably cold at the 7 am race start time. Luckily they were offering free coffee for runners! I always appreciate free coffee! I also thought it was pretty cool that they now made the race stroller and dog friendly too! My friend’s Wiener dog, Rocket, ran a 35 minute race (with a poop break!!)…impressive for a guy with 1 inch legs! Next year they plan on advertising the race as dog friendly, which hopefully will attract more runners to the race. ¬†This race is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for “Friends of Olde Mill” to build a new neighborhood playground. They’ve finally reach 20K of their 50K fundraising goal, and plan on breaking ground next month!

Thanks to Rocket, I totally want to go watch a Wiener dog race now!

Thanks to Rocket, I totally want to go watch a Wiener dog race now!

Not only did I run my first race of 2015 this week, I also ran my first long run of 2015 this week! Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good training week!! We had a few days with perfect weather, which gave me the chance to get off the treadmill and run outside! I’m looking forward to more running outside and more Spring races!

Soaking up the sunshine after my long run!

Soaking up the sunshine after my long run!


My weekly run-down…

  • Monday-6 miles (At the Park)
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday-¬†6.1 mles (At the Park)
  • Thursday-Rest
  • Friday-6 miles (Treadmill)
  • Saturday-5K + 3 miles (At the Park)
  • Sunday-10 miles (At the Park) + 1.25 miles (Around the Neighboorhood with Ilana)
  • Total Weekly Distance: 35.45 miles
  • Total 2015 Miles Distance: 190.57 miles

A new favorite: I started tracking more details about my daily runs in my Runner’s Diary so I can make tweaks/improvements as needed!

getbetter


How was your week? Any cool races this weekend?!? How do you log/track your mileage? Are you as excited as I am that the weather is finally warming up?!?! 

‚̧

Betty

Counting Down to 2015!

It has been a lot of fun reading everyone’s 2014 recaps.¬† It’s strange how one year can go by so fast and so much can change at the same time! I am one of those saps that happens to get a bit nostalgic about the New Year! I like the idea of new beginnings, optimism, and looking forward to better things.¬† Not that 2014 wasn’t an awesome year, because it totally rocked! Like most people, I went through highs and lows but feel like the positives far outweighed any negatives.¬† This is going to be a quick and dirty post because I’m ready to start celebrating! My NYE plans are perfectly low-key…a bonfire, some wine, and some fireworks with my two favorite people!

Some of my running highlights in 2014 included….

  • Ran 1155.55 miles!
  • Running the Color Run 5K with Ilana! Race review/recap here.
  • I won my first race, the Barlowe Bolt 5K, while supporting fundraising efforts for playground rehab in my BFFs neighborhood.
  • A new marathon PR and winning 1st place in my division at the Garden Spot Marathon
  • A new half marathon PR at the Annapolis Zooma race.
  • Ran my first trail marathon and LOVED it…Northface Challenge 26.2.
  • Running relays/fun runs¬†with friends, and making new friends at the American Odyssey Relay, Warrior Dash, and my 5th D.C. Ragnar!
  • Having Danny come to my races to support me and cheer me on!
Blurry post-race selfie!

Blurry post-race selfie!

Some of my running lows in 2014 included….

  • Struggling with maintaining consistency and balance with my training (and the rest of my life).
  • Having to defer Wineglass Marathon until 2015.
  • Having to skip several other races due to work travel and injury.
  • Getting injured (3 separate stress fractures in my right foot) and having to hang up my running shoes for 8 weeks while recovering.
  • Accepting that 2014 was not the year for me to BQ
  • Having to take a big step back with my training (which also was a good opportunity to reassess!)
Danny loves taking pics of me on the treadmill!

Danny loves taking pics of me on the treadmill!

I also happen to believe in New Years Resolutions, all though I don’t limit myself to making and working towards my goals to the 1st of the year! So whether you are a resolutions person, or someone who chooses to forgo the New Year’s pressure, here are some of my resolutions and what I’m going to call “Anti-resolutions” (As in, things I probably should do better at, but I’m realistic and going to admit up front I am not going to make any effort to improve upon them in the New Year ūüėČ )

Resolutions:

  • Be more positive
  • Minimize the clutter and distractions from my life
  • Find more balance and consistency
  • Do more cross training
  • Do more trail running!
  • Run ultra-relay with friends (All ready registered for WV Ragnar Trail in June 2015!)
  • Be less competitive with my running, and enjoy it more
  • Enjoy life more
  • Remember to take my vitamins!
  • Drink more water.
  • Stay injury free!!

Anti-Resolutions:

  • Continue to eat too much frozen pizza (What can I say, I’m hooked on Dijornos!)
  • Continue to consume chocolate and red wine. Also, continue to talk about how much I like chocolate and red wine!
  • Do not¬†go into work early (I have a flex schedule and I like my sleep!)
  • Continue check various social media sites daily (Facebook/Pintrest/Wordpress!)
  • I will not stop day dreaming in the middle of conversations (Sorry, ADHD is a real thing!)
  • I will not clean out my purse, but instead wait until one purse gets to0 cluttered, move my wallet into another purse, and throw cluttered purse at the bottom of my closet (Only to wait for my annual clean all of my purses out day!)
  • I will continue to cave to running peer pressure to do various silly/fun races.
  • I will not sort my socks, ever. Instead continue to throw them all into one giant clean sock basket.

new hope

Do you have any new year’s resolutions or “anti-resolutions”? ūüėČ Happy New Year everyone!!

 

 

 

Color Run+More Miles

On Sunday I ran the Color Run in D.C. with my daughter and one of my friends. ¬†It was advertised as “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”, and it definitely was that! It ended up being a great 5K to do with my daughter, it was very family friendly and not at all competitive…in fact it wasn’t even timed. ¬†It was a bit of a hassle driving down to Alexandria (45 ¬†minutes from my house) the day before the race for the packet pick-up. ¬†The race swag was pretty sweet though, and it was hard to still be irritated about the long drive once I was handed our colorful bags, t-shirts, race headbands, and temporary tattoos. ¬†I’m pretty sure it’s against the rules to frown when you have a temp tattoo that says “HAPPY” in all bold letters! ūüėČ

We made it to the National Harbor for the race with plenty of time to spare since there were waves starting every 5 minutes between 9:00-9:45. ¬†We were able to park at a nearby parking garage (Bonus: Parking was FREE!!) and wandered down to the starting area. ¬†We were distracted by the techno music and photo areas, and spent some time dancing around and hamming it up for the cameras. ¬†Finally we made our way to the starting line. ¬†I was happy to see a lot of families and young kids ready to get their “color run on”!

Colorrun

The course was nice, with most of it on trails bordering the harbor. ¬†It would have been absolutely impossible to really run this race, even if you wanted to, because there were so many walkers, some pushing strollers. ¬†That was what I was expecting going into the race, and was just there to have a good time, so this didn’t bother me. ¬†Every 1/2 mile or so they had different color areas where the race staff threw colored corn starch all over you. The first two color areas, purple and pink, the race staff did not seem very into it and they kind of lamely squirted each race participant once with what looked like plastic condiment bottles. ¬†Ilana sounded disappointed and told me, “This isn’t what I thought it was going to be, this isn’t fun.” I was really worried at this point that this race was going to be a bust. ¬†Then after the first water station, yellow did it right!! They were going nuts, running around in a giant yellow cloud cheering and throwing corn starch everywhere. ¬†We also caught up to a large group of 20-somethings, one carrying a backpack with techno music blasting out of it, cheering enthusiastically for all the other runners. ¬†At this point, Ilana started to have a blast. ¬†And the rest of the color stations did an awesome job!

Before we knew it, we had ran/walked 3.1 miles and were at the finish line. ¬†Ilana’s mouth dropped when she saw the finish line party. ¬†There was a large crowd surrounding a stage, with a D.J. spinning more techno music dancing, bouncing large balloons from person to person, and throwing colored powder all over each other. ¬†We each got our finisher goody, a small bag of green dyed corn starch. ¬†We made sure that every inch of us that wasn’t all ready covered with bright colors….was covered! ¬†We laughed, grabbed a couple free bottles of water and kind bars and hung out for a while. ¬†We also rode the Ferris wheel since they were offering discounts to race participants, and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon exploring the harbor.

Overall….the Color Run was a fun, family friendly event….but definitely not a race. ¬†If you’re one of those competitive running types or someone who can’t stand having to walk/zig-zag through crowds of people, this is probably not the race for you. ¬†If you’re looking for a fun/active day with the family, this race is perfect for that! ¬†This is definitely not a race is not one I would have done on my own, but I enjoyed doing it with Ilana. Plus, we got lots of great pictures!

Color Run D.C. 2014

Color Run D.C. 2014

 

http://thecolorrun.com/


 

So now to totally jump topics, I have been running consistently over the last couple of weeks but have been totally slacking on posting my weekly run down.  Here are my miles for the last couple of weeks:

Week 1:

  • Monday-Rest
  • Tuesday-Run 6.3
  • Wednesday-Rest
  • Thursday- Run 6
  • Friday-Run 6
  • Saturday-Run 6
  • Sunday-Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 24.3

Week 2:

  • Monday-Run 6 +Strength Training
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday- Run 6 + Strength Training
  • Thursday-Run 2.2 and 30 minutes swimming (At YMCA with Lana)
  • Friday-Run 6.5 (Centennial Park)
  • Saturday-Run 10 miles (B&A Trail)
  • Sunday-Run/walk 3.1

Total Weekly Miles: 33.8

Total 2014 Miles to Date: 1024.55


Do you ever do races with your kids? Do you like running “fun” races or do you prefer more serious races?

 

 

D.C. Ragnar 2014 and Weekly Training Recap

This weekend I ran the D.C. Ragnar for the 5th time! This is a race that I know I am going to run every. single. year. until the day I die or can’t run any more (which will likely be the same day ūüėČ ) ¬†My first Ragnar in 2010 was a defining race for me; one that awakened my inner “crazy runner chick”, turning me from a casual 3-5 mile a day runner to a confident, marathon loving, “beast moding”, long distance runner! ¬†Because seriously, after surviving 2 days crammed in a smelly van competing in a 200 mile relay…it feels like ANYTHING is possible! ūüėČ

whoisragnar

This year I ran with a fabulous new group of gals, and our token white boy (aka Stud Driver!), on a team named “Offical Pace Van” #donotpass! ¬†While we were totally unsuccessful in “tricking” the other teams into following behind us ;-), we had one crazy fun time! I’d share all the juicy details, but official Ragnar rule….”What happens at Ragnar, Stays at Ragnar!” ūüėČ ¬†I will say, you get to know 5 other people VERY well by spending 30+ hours in a van together! Hehe ¬†The Ragnar is a super fun, well organized, well supported race, with lots of fantastic volunteers! ¬†These race series has events all over the country, and it’s a totally insane/fun concept….it’s a race, hippie-fest, road trip, and party rolled into one!

This particular Ragnar starts in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in the National Harbor, D.C. ¬†The hills one the first 1/3 of this course are super challenging; well suited for “billy goats”, “mules”, and bad ass runners that are on the constant quest for new/more insane challenges! ¬†You can get together 12 of your best friends (or make it more interesting by joining a team of strangers! You’ll be BFFs or hate each other by the end of the race…either way, I promise it will be and adventure!) or be double crazy by putting together an ultra team, meaning half the runners and double the miles! (Oh, please someone do this with me next year!!!) ¬†I also just found out about the option to put together a “six pack”, where you only have to find half a team and Ragnar the team you up with another “six pack”. ¬†I wish I would have known about this option before, because it’s sometimes difficult to find 12 crazy or 6 double crazy people to put together a team for this race!

Each team divides their runners into two vans, each runner is assigned three legs (of varying distances), and there are 35 exchange points along the course. ¬†The first 6 runners in van 1 complete their legs and hand off to van 2 at one of the “major exchange” points where there are food tents, sleeping areas, massages, showers, and other fun activities. ¬†One van is “chillaxing” while the other van completes their legs, and you trade off again. ¬†You might get a chance to take a power nap at one of the major exchanges or in the van, but for the most part, there is NO sleeping during the Ragnar! And you Run, Rest, Repeat several times, until you finally reach the finish line! This means running at least one leg in the middle of the night, wearing a head lamp and other reflective safety gear! ¬†And no, this is not your typical race! The course is not blocked off, you will be running up some insane hills, over bridges, under highways, past cow fields, and so on! ¬†The vans “leap frog” their runners and cheer them along throughout the race. ¬†It’s a very fun and supportive environment! ¬†And it tends to get pretty crazy in the van as the race goes on!

You down with OPV?!? ;-)

You down with OPV?!? ūüėČ

When you finally do make it to the finish line it’s such a sense of accomplishment! You and your team just ran 200 freaking miles, across the entire freaking state! How crazy is that? And I LOVE the functional Ragnar bling! The race medals double as a beer bottle opener!! Sweet! (I actually use my other medals to open beers, the work very well!) The finish line party is a blast too, with free pizza and beers for the teams, music, and tables to relax at overlooking the harbor! Like I said before, I WILL be back next year (hopefully as an ultra team) and every year after that! ūüôā ¬†If you are interested in running a Ragnar in your area, check out their web-site:

https://www.ragnarrelay.com/

ragnar-relay-series1


I knew I was going to be running high mileage during the Ragnar, so I took it easy for the rest of the week.  I was runner 12 on my team, running 24 total miles (I had a little extra sneaky mileage on my final leg due to the finish line being moved) and one other 6 mile run during the week.

Total Weekly Mileage: 30 miles

Total 2014 Mileage: 966.45

My goal this week is to break 1000 miles for the year! Time to stop playing around…I got this! ūüėČ


Anyone else do D.C. Ragnar this weekend? What was your race experience?  

My First Trail Marathon and A Solid Training Week!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I had a blast! Yesterday I ran the North Face Challenge Trail Marathon at¬† Algonkian Regional Park, just outside of D.C.¬†I can count the number of trail runs I’ve done in my entire life on one hand…..So how did I end up signed up for this race? ¬†I work with an awesome group of runners, all guys so there is a lot of trash talking involved.¬† Last year they ran the NFC Half Marathon, and a few of them said they were going to take on the full this year.¬† Of course I wasn’t going to let a group of men outdo me, so I signed up for the marathon¬†the day the registration opened, throwing down the gauntlet.¬† ūüėȬ† I had no idea how I’d do, I was just hoping to be able to finish within the 7 hour time limit.¬† I was excited to¬†try something different from my normal road races and wanted to take on a new challenge.¬† Long story short, a couple of my co-workers signed up for the half but a week before my race I knew I would be running¬†the marathon¬†solo.¬† I considered changing to the half but I had 1) Gotten myself way too hyped about running the full, 2) Have been running high enough¬†mileage that I thought I had a decent chance of surviving this race, and 3) I am too damn stubborn once my mind is made up about something.¬† ūüėȬ† Still, I was nervous enough about this race that I didn’t talk much about it before hand.¬† I didn’t want to come off as a drama queen talking about how scared I was that I might get lost in the woods, be bitten by a snake, fall into a ditch, break a leg….list of irrational pre-race fears goes on and on! Lol¬†Obviously I survived, and am in good enough shape to be blogging about it the next day!

Early morning, leaving for the race.

Early morning, leaving for the race.

 

The race was well organized, with race day packet pick-up available.¬† I¬† was SO thankful that¬†I didn’t have to drive into D.C. during the¬†work week, in rush hour traffic, to pick up my number.¬† I parked, shuttled to the park, and checked in with plenty of time to spare (45 minutes) before the 9 am marathon start time.¬† I wandered around talking to strangers, one of my all time favorite things to do! ūüėȬ† The other runners at this race were so friendly and super supportive when I told them this was my first trail race.¬† I had zero expectations so this was the first race I’ve ran in a while that I didn’t put pressure on myself.¬† My primary goal was to have fun and finish uninjured.¬† While it wasn’t really a goal, I told myself if I could run this race under 5 hours I’d be ecstatic!

I learned very quickly that Garmins are very inaccurate when calculating distance and pace on a trail.¬† I didn’t even pay attention to my watch, and I just ran by feel.¬† The trails included a lot of single track paths, rocks, stream crossings, mud, tree roots, and steep hills.¬† I felt like a gazelle hurdling over a few fallen trees within the first 5 miles of the race (I was NOT hurdling them on the way back though! Lol).¬† There were a couple of points during the race that were too steep for me to run; I walked while grabbing onto trees to keep my balance.¬† The race support was amazing, with some of the best aid stations I’ve ever seen on any race.¬† Each aid station had¬†big bowls of food including; fruit, pretzels, shot blocks, gels, candy, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken broth….And plenty of fluids.¬† They even had volunteers offering water refills, which was useful since there is an 8 mile stretch during this race that is totally unsupported.¬† I had to run with a camel pack, which I should have tried out before hand, because OH. MY. GOD. THE. CHAFFING!!!! It seriously looks like I had a zombie chewing on my collar bone, shoulders, and back! I’ll live though, and know better for next time!¬† (However my boyfriend did ask me to wear my hair down this week! Lol)¬† Oh, and when I said I took my time….I REALLY took my time, stopping to take pictures of the beautiful park scenery and to take mid-race selfies!

Race Photos from on the trail.

Race Photos from on the trail.

After getting past the half way turn around, I was so glad I did take my time because let me tell you something….trail running is tough!! As my legs started to fatigue, keeping my balance and footing on the varying terrain became REALLY difficult.¬† No more leaping through the air like a ballerina, flying over logs…I was just focused on keeping myself upright and moving forward.¬† About a mile after the turn around, I made a new friend! We kept each other motivated and chatted about life for the next 10+ miles.¬† It was her first marathon and she was a beast! At the last aid station, about 1.6 miles from the finish she had more left in her legs than I did, so I told her not to wait on me, that I was going to stop at that last aid station to regroup, and I’d meet her at the finish line.¬† She ended up coming in second in her age division!!¬† She totally rocks and is one of my new running BFFs!! I ended up finishing the race in 4:47:45! Yay, I finished the race, feeling strong, in under 5 hours! *Happy Dance*

Muddy, happy, and relaxing at the finish line!

Muddy, happy, and relaxing at the finish line!


 

After the NFC, I am totally hooked on trail running! Why?  Here are the few things NFC taught me about trail running;

  • Trail running¬†forces/allows¬†me¬†to be moment.¬† I was literally focused on every step I took and what¬†was right in front of me!
  • Being in nature is inspiring! I stopped a few times to take in the sites, smells, and sounds of everything around me!
  • Variation!¬† The¬†constantly changing terrain kept things interesting, and kept me challenged and focused.¬† I completely lost track of time during this race!
  • My competitive side got to take a break….I’ve heard trail runners say, “Don’t bring your ego on the trail!” Now I know first hand what they mean! The trail was unpredictable and keeping my balance required me to run much slower than I would normally run.¬† Also, since Garmins don’t work well on the trail any way, I had no idea how fast I was running and was not focused or worried about my pace.
  • Hydration and Fuel is Key! I learned a lot about fueling and hydrating during a race.¬† I was drinking water throughout the entire race and fueling up on peanut butter (in reusable camping tube), cliff shot blocks, and orange slices (from fueling stations).¬† My energy levels were high and I felt great!
  • Trail running is easier on¬†my legs.¬† Usually for a day or two after a marathon my legs feel destroyed and I’m walking with my “marathon limp”.¬† I do feel tired today, but my legs don’t hurt AT ALL!
  • The other runners! Trail runners are some of the nicest¬†people I’ve ever met! This race wasn’t overly competitive and everyone was running at a conversational pace.¬† We ran in packs for miles; joking, laughing, and motivating each other.¬† And as I mentioned before, I made a new running BFF! ūüôā

Not only did I have a great race, I had a great week of training.¬† I didn’t even slack on my cross training this week, like I normally do! ūüėČ

Recap of this weeks training:

-Monday: Ab Ripper X, 10 x burpees, 10 minute AM yoga routine.

-Tuesday: 6 mile tempo run (7:59 AP), TRX workout (3×15 each Chest press, Low-Row, Skull crushers, One arm bicep Curl) 11 x burpees.

-Wednesday: 8 mile track work out (Including 12×400 Repeats), Ab ripper X, 12 x burpees.

-Thursday: 6 miles easy, TRX workout (Same as Tuesday), 13 x burpees.

-Friday: Rest Day.  14 x burpees.

-Saturday: NFC Trail Marathon (26.2 miles)

-Sunday: 2 mile easy recovery run, Ab ripper X, 16 x burpees.

 

  • Total Weekly Miles: 48.2
  • Total 2014 Miles: 716.35

Another training cycle starts soon!! I’ll be starting Hanson’s 18 week Advanced Marathon Training Program in One Week!!!


Have you ever tried trail running? What do you love about trail running?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zooma Half Marathon (PR!) and Other Training News

Saturday I ran the Zooma Half Marathon in Annapolis. ¬†I signed up for this race last minute, since it’s right around the corner from where I live and I wanted to get a Spring half marathon under my belt for this year. ¬†I’ve been focused on my marathon for the last year, but the half has always been my favorite distance to race. ¬†I don’t have to at “puke inducing turbo” speeds like a 5K/10K and I’m finished before hitting the dreaded leg crushing wall.

I loved the race; it was well organized and had such a positive atmosphere. ¬†A majority of the runners were women and I love how female athletes encourage and support each other. ¬†They also had an option to have your race packet mailed to you, which I took advantage of since making it to a packet pick-up during the work week (I’m a commuter with lots of after school activities to take my daughter to) can be a stressful experience for me. ¬†I think all races should have either a mail or same day packet pick-up option so you don’t have to make an additional trip. ¬†The swag was awesome! ¬†In addition to an awesome race shirt, tech tee in an adorable baby blue color, I got a new running hat (Hats are a necessity for this fair skinned gal!) and new feeture running socks (one of my favorite brands of running socks!)

It was a beautiful day (perfect racing weather) and the race location was fantastic, starting and finishing near the Naval Academy Stadium. ¬†There were plenty of porta potties so the lines weren’t bad before the race. ¬†There were just over 900 half marathon runners and the 10K and half started together (then merged again a few miles before the finish line). ¬†I had a good start to the race; running just under 7 minutes for my first two miles before settling in at my goal pace of 7:20. ¬†For the first 5 miles, I was running with the “lead pack” of females and was enjoying the fast/flat route through down town Annapolis. ¬†The crowd support was good, and there were water stations every 2 miles.

Just after mile 5, we started to climb a steep bridge. ¬†This is where the other girls started to pull away from me. ¬†Unfortunately, the bridge took a lot out of me and I struggled on the rolling hills that followed for the next 4 miles. ¬†I let myself get discouraged, and mentally almost gave up during this portion of the race. ¬†I’m embarrassed to admit I let myself get in my head during this part of the race, and my attitude was terrible! I finally told myself (I talk to myself a lot when I run! Lol), “Snap out of it Woman!!! So you had a few bad miles out of 13.1 miles! Don’t give up on all of them!” Then I kicked my butt back into gear. ¬†The 1:40 pacer caught up with me with about 2 miles left to go, and I pushed myself to keep up with him (and the two runners pacing with him). ¬†They were amazingly encouraging and helped me get through the final 2 miles. ¬†I did my best to stay with them for the final stretch, but they pulled away a bit the last half mile. ¬†I kept them in my sites and was watching my Garmin. ¬†At 13 miles I was just under 1:38 so I thought I was going to run my first sub-1:40 half. ¬†At 13.1, my watch was at 1:39:30 and I still didn’t see the finish line. ¬†“Shoot!” I ran as hard as I could for the final stretch of the race. ¬†I ended up finishing in 1:40:26 (A new PR by just over a minute) and I found out later I was 4th in my division.

I was happy that I was able to get it together and finish my race strong with a new PR. ¬†But also disappointed that I was SO close to my goal of breaking 1:40 and SO close to getting a division award. ¬†I normally would have been ecstatic with my time (and a new PR) but I knew that I could have ran the race better than I did if I hadn’t mentally thrown in the towel for 4 miles of the race. ¬†However, I am NOT feeling sorry for myself and am focusing on all of the positives of this race. ¬†I am treating this as a learning experience. ¬†The #1 thing I need to focus on for the next race is to maintain mental strength and a positive attitude when I am racing, regardless of what curve balls are thrown at me (http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/training/7-traits-of-mentally-tough-runners_68365). ¬†In my training I also need to focus on more hill training (hills have been slowing my pace down over a minute per mile in my last few races) and my nutrition (I need to cut out some sweets and sodas and try to eat and hydrate like an athlete!).

After my half marathon.

After my half marathon.

Bottom line; I LOVE the Zooma Race series, if there is a race in your area it is totally worth checking out!!

http://www.zoomarun.com


The rest of my training for the week went well.

Weekly Run Down:

  • Monday-¬†TRX work-out, Ab ripper X, Bryan Kest Power Yoga
  • Tuesday– 5 Mile Trail Run (@10:30 pace)
  • Wednesday-6 miles (@8:10 AP)
  • Thursday-Rest
  • Friday-¬†Run 2 miles (8:30 pace on treadmill)
  • Saturday-Zooma Half Marathon, 13.25 (1:40:36, 7:36 AP)
  • Sunday– 7.1 miles Davidsonville Park (8:59 AP)

Total Weekly Miles: 33.35

Total 2014 Miles: 668.15


What is your favorite distance to race?  What advice do you have for staying mentally strong when competing?  

 

 

Warrior Dash Recap-It was muddy fun!

This year I ran my 3rd Warrior Dash with a group of friends, the same group of super fun people I ran with last year! Our fearless leader and creative director, Pat, came up with a great idea for our costumes! We all dressed up as convicts and were “Team Prison Break”. ¬†(And I thought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be IMPOSSIBLE to beat!) ¬†I met my friend Christina at her apartment early Saturday morning and we tried on our black and white striped dresses (We wore running shorts underneath, In case you were wondering! ūüėČ ) and did some “functional testing”. ¬†We were cracking ourselves up doing squats, hurdling over chairs, and low crawling in her living room. ¬†We realized some alterations were needed, and took on the role of impromptu “fashion designers”….a cut here, a snip there….Voila! ¬†Perfection!

We gathered up our gear and headed over to Pat’s house to meet the rest of the team for a waffle breakfast and car pool. ¬†Pat’s teenage daughter and some of her friends decided to join us crazy old people this year, after hearing how much fun we had at the last Warrior Dash. ūüôā It took us a LITTLE longer than expected to get on the road….we had to perfect costumes, then do cute poses for our pre-race pictures! It’s all about priorities people! ūüėČ

There was this one….

"Team Prison Break" before getting dirty!

“Team Prison Break” before getting dirty!

And this Pre-race pyramid was TOTALLY necessary!

Pyramid2

 

After goofing off all morning we FINALLY made it to the race! ¬†It costs $10.00 to park and then you end up walking about 1/4 mile to the registration tents. ¬†They have waves running all day, so seeing the other runners walk back up the hill covered in mud got me hyped to run! ¬†Registration and bag drop off are well organized and went quickly. ¬†THANKFULLY! Since we barely made it in time for our wave! Haha ¬†And there were also plenty of port-a-potties for last minute pit stops before your wave. ¬†There was one major change for this years race, the Warrior Dash is no longer timed. ¬†My competitive side was slightly disappointed but after running the race I decided it was actually a positive. ¬†Runners were much safer and there was more of a “team work” mentality to the run this year compared to previous years. ¬†Everyone was helping each other over obstacles and making sure people who fell down along the course were OK.

We lined up for our wave in the starting coral, and did a “1, 2, 3….PRISON BREAK!” cheer as we ran across the starting line. ¬†It was pretty much impossible to run the first mile with the crowd of people trying to make it up some steep and VERY muddy hills. ¬†There were a lot of people slipping and sliding, falling over, helping each other up, and laughing. ¬†There were 12 obstacles along the course, that were challenging but nothing too insane. ¬†My favorite obstacle was the “Mud Mounds”….there was some rain earlier in the day so the hills were super slippery and the trenches in between the mounds were filled with water. ¬†Our costumes attracted a lot of attention; runners and volunteers along the course were calling out things like, “You better run faster if you’re going to get away from the Warden!” ¬†Haha…So clever and cute that I overlooked the fact that they were calling us slow! (No man left behind!!! ;-)) And it’s always fun when other people are getting a kick out of your costumes!

Other runners navigating the "Mud Mounds"

Other runners navigating the “Mud Mounds”

I like any race where it’s acceptable to get this dirty! It honestly makes me feel like a big kid! ¬†I had the biggest grin on my face, splashing through the mud and climbing over things the ENTIRE race! I even had one of the other runners nickname me “Smiley”! Haha This race is more about having fun and camaraderie than getting your fastest time. ¬†(Now that the race isn’t timed, that isn’t even an issue!) ¬†Our group started together, but ended up divided into two teams, “The 25 and Under Escapees” and “The 30+ Escapees”. ¬†The 30+ group crossed the finish line together, a low crawl through THICK mud!

At the finish line!

At the finish line!

Posing for Free Honest Tea!

Posing for Free Honest Tea!

With Christina in the "Facebook Photo Booth"

With Christina in the “Facebook Photo Booth”

I was free of responsible parental responsibilities for this dash, so we enjoyed some of the finish line festivities. ¬†The finish line party for this race is definitely a PAR-TAY!! The D.J. was playing awesome music and “Shock Top” had a very legit bar set up. ¬†We got our free beers (Not a huge fan of the citrus blended into the beer, but hey…. it was free!) and danced covered in mud long enough to satisfy my “Woodstock” fantasy! ¬†You can donate your muddy shoes at the end of the race, so we tie wrapped our shoes together and added them to the muddy shoe mountain before walking back up the hill for our “showers”. ¬†BTW…The people who volunteer to clean these shoes are Saints!

muddyshoes

 

So about the “showers”….this is one thing Warrior Dash almost failed on this year! ¬†The hoses that they had set up for runners to clean off with were broken! ¬†Yikes! We just happened to be lucky enough to get there at the same time as a water truck, an improvise, pulled up. ¬†We literally got hosed off with ice cold water out of a fire hose! It wasn’t the MOST pleasant thing….I was all ready shivering BEFORE my “shower”, but I have to admit…it was a LOT of fun! ūüôā

Hit the showers!!

Hit the showers!!

Overall, the 2014 Warrior Dash was a great event. ¬†There were lots of fun people and an awesome atmosphere. It is definitely more of a party than an actual race, but if you go into it with that expectation you won’t be disappointed!

Have you ran a Warrior Dash or another mud run? ¬†I’d love to hear about it! Did you have lots of muddy fun?

https://www.warriordash.com/