Facing My Holiday Hurdles: A Day in the Life

*Disclaimer: I was originally provided with a pair of Aftershockz Trekz Titanium as part of my work as a BibRave Pro. However, all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!*

I love when people post “A Day in the Life” posts, and I have even shared a couple myself! I think it’s great to look into others’ lives and see how their days go. Especially people who are super social media and blog savvy – seriously. Do you gals work?!

As we all know, this time of year is especially crazy. Not only are we in the depths of the holidays, but I’m also in my peak week of training for the Goofy Challenge. I’m trying to get all my reports at work done before Christmas and subsequent vacation. I set yesterday (Thursday) as a great day of my life to share – busy, but typical. Who knew that things would change a little!?

Wednesday, 10:30 – settle into bed, charge my Aftershockz, and watch my nightly Disney marathon/half marathon video. They’re keeping me going these days!

Thursday, 6:00 – I finally get up and out of bed (planned wake-up: 5:30). I hop in the shower and make the most of my morning. These days, instead of running, it’s grocery shopping and chores. This morning I have laundry to fold (it had been sitting for three days) and tried to meal plan for the days ahead. I was hoping to find a dessert to bring to Jake’s family’s Hanukkah dinner this weekend, but failed.

7:30 – I look out the window – we got snow last night? A whole dusting? I find out that my morning pre-schools are on a 2-hour delay. This saves me a commute to east Baltimore and gives me more time at home!

8:15 – Clean off my car and head to the clinic (it’s a private practice, speech, occupational and physical therapy clinic for kids). This morning I’m listening to Christmas music. Many days, it’s podcasts. I’m at the office by 8:45 to make coffee and clean my office a bit.

9:00 – Start to work. I had 5 kids scheduled for the morning between 2 schools and the clinic, but with the delays and cancellations I’m down to only one – so crazy! I have lots of time to get paperwork done. I didn’t get anything submitted, but I’m very close on three out of my 8 reports due. I make some more pictures for a visual schedule for my one kiddo, and he screams my ear off for 30 minutes. While I’m doing paperwork, I’m listening to Star Wars music with my Aftershockz! I love these headphones because the signal reaches when I’m walking around the office, and I can still hear what’s going on while I listen to my music!

12:30 – The start of my afternoon break. I work split shifts, which makes for a really long day. I try to make the most of my 2:15 in between my shifts. I used to go to the gym most days, but I’ve started to run from the office more often. I’m changed and out the door just after 12:40. I use my run to get a dose of Harry Potter on audiobook.

1:40 – I’m back to the office after my run. I’m seriously light-headed because I had hardly ate that morning, oops. I have a salad in the fridge but need more so I run out for lunch and bring it back to the office. I try to keep my door closed so I’m not bothered during my break, and it actually works today! I listen a a little more Christmas music before I need to get back to work.

2:45 – My second shift starts. I typically have 6 kids on Thursday afternoon. I have one cancellation, but also have one random kid that was dumped onto my schedule. We play some verb games, read some books (There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell this week), work on some sounds, and play with Play Doh and Mr. Potato Head. The toys have purposes, I swear. In the middle of all this, my friend bails on our plan for the evening, which adds some stress to my day.

6:45 – Since my last client cancelled, I leave work early! I’m off to the movies to see the new Star Wars!! Thankfully, my roommate came and met me, which lessened the blow of another friend bailing. I planned to eat an overpriced dinner there, but their menu was broken and they refused to tell me prices. So I ended up with a dinner of popcorn and an icee. Not ideal.

10:45: The movie’s over (it was fantastic) and I’m home within 10 minutes! I should have had some real food, but I was beat. I opened my mail to find my secret santa gift from the Oiselle Volee DC/MD/VA gift swap. It really brightened my day! I still feel like I have so much to do. My room’s an absolute disaster and I can’t decide if I’m going to do a race on Saturday as part of my 20 miler.

11:15: Realize that I can’t get everything done in one day. During the Holidays, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I listen to some  music (more Star Wars, duh) while I get ready for bed and crash, hard. I set alarms for 6:00 on Friday (my day off!) but deep down, I know I won’t be up until 7 or 8.

The holidays are great. You get to spend time with family in friends, hopefully get a little break from work, get to shop and give to others, and eat delicious foods. They’re stressful as well. Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat well (which has been my struggle this week), get enough sleep, and understand that you just can’t do everything in one day! Today I still have to run 10(ish?) miles, get car insurance/registration straightened out (I need to register my car in Maryland by the end of 2017), make Christmas gifts, prep for 20 miles tomorrow, and do more laundry. But I also want to work on my Christmas puzzle, go to Old Navy, start getting stuff together for Disney, write some more posts, bake some treats and make a nice dinner. Will it all happen? Probably not. What I do know, is that my aftershockz will make it all a little more festive and manageable!

What are some of your holiday hurdles?

What are some of your favorite holiday albums/songs? For me it’s Hanson – Finally it’s Christmas (song and album), Straight No Chaser, and the Barenaked Ladies Christmas album!

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Running in 2017: A Look Back

With December almost halfway over, it’s time to reflect on the year that has been 2017. I can’t put into words how good 2017 was to me in many ways. In terms of running, it was my best year yet. I’ll be sad to see it go, but 2018 also has a lot in store for me!

Throughout the year, I stayed healthy and injury-free for the first time. GUYS. I RAN A YEAR INJURY FREE!!!!!!!! Sure, I took extra days off here and there for aches and pains, but I was never hurt. I ran more miles than I ever have. I started to cross train regularly (then stopped, oops). I also experienced my first period of “burnout”, but I made it through.

January – March: In late 2016, I signed up for my second marathon. I started training the week before the new year began. Aside from a cancelled half marathon I ran relatively consistently. The worst part of these months was stepping away from November Project due to work-related stress. I remember one, 18-mile run that went very poorly but besides that, running was great. I ended up running 93.8 miles in January, 98.4 miles in February and 125.1 miles in March.

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With two of my fave pals (who run) at the trail half!

Races: Little Patuxtent River Run Trail Half (2:32), Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon  (2:19:35), Shamrock 5K (27:01 – PR), Baltimore Road Runners Club St. Patrick’s Day 5K (27:51)

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April-June: April brought peak week for the New Jersey Marathon, the taper, and of course, the race! I was so proud of myself for setting a huge PR. It took longer than I had hoped to recover from the marathon and I kept a pretty low running profile in the following two months. I ran my personal worst half marathon at Zooma Annapolis on a very challenging course. I also started to ride my bike more in preparation for my first Duathlon! I ran 134.1 miles in April, 46.4 miles in May and 74.8 miles in June.

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Sole of the City 10K (easy run before a 20 miler)

Races: Oldfields Half Marathon (2:12:43), Sole of the City 10K (1:12:22), Columbia 5K (aka Hangover 5K – 33:19), New Jersey Marathon (5:03:42 – PR), Stoneleigh Stampede 5K (28:52),  Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon (2:33:27), Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K (38:56)

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*don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry*

July-September: Once July hit, I really started to get back into the swing of things. My mind started to get back into training. I worked really hard to set a PR at the Charles Street 12 miler and went straight into training for the Goofy Challenge. I also completed my first multi-sport race and won an age-group award for the first time. Things got a little funky when I started my new job, but I was able to keep going strong. Summer seriously felt like it would never end, but it made me a stronger runner! I also ran my first RAGNAR! I ran 81.9 miles in July, 125.4 miles in August and 106.8 miles in September.

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Post Ragnar DC leg-3. I ran so hard my bib belt broke!

Races: Towson 4 on the 4th (39:44), Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon (2:29:08), Maryland Sprint Duathlon (1:43:04), Too Hot To Trot 10K (58:55 – short), Charles Street 12 Miler (2:03:33PR).

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October-December: These were, without a doubt, my hardest months of the year. In September and October I went full force training for Goofy. I was running doubles and putting in a lot of strength- and cross-training time at the gym. That, combined with work and putting tons of pressure on myself in my relationship, led to getting really burnt out. I thought about giving up on Goofy and just not running any more after. I stopped cross/strength work and really minimized my training – I began to do just enough to make it to the finish line but took all pressures off of myself. It took 3-4 weeks, but I finally found my way through it. During these months I’ve experienced some quad pain, but it’s nothing that made me take more than one extra rest day a week. I ran 121.6 miles in October, 116.8 in November and I have run 54.8 miles in December as of December 13 (I have 35 more on the plan for this week – HAH!).

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Favorite race photo ever – my nephew’s first finish line!

Races: 4 Miles for Eli 4 miler (38:XX – short, but with a stroller!), Baltimore Running Festival 5K (38:06) and Half Marathon (2:31:12), Towson Homecoming 5K (37:17 – short), Towson Turkey Trot 5K (31:50).

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October + November = 3 5Ks with friends!

In 2017 I ran 1 marathon, 6 half marathons, 1 10K and numerous other races. I set PRs in the marathon, 5K, and 12 mile. I will also hit my big goal of 1200 miles for the year in mid-December! It’s hard to pick out a favorite moment from the year, but if I had to choose it would be the entire New Jersey Marathon. I trained well, trusted my race plan, and ran my race. Or maybe hitting the 1,000 mile mark for the with friends by my side – it was amazing to share it with others, even if they were just a small part of it.

I also loved being a Bib Rave Pro in 2017! I ran three great races with them and tried numerous great products. I’m really looking forward to another year as a Pro!

As you know if you’re a regular reader, my 2018 is going to start off with a huge bang with my 18th half and 3rd full. I’ll be back soon with racing plans for 2018 as they are largely set in stone already. Crazy – right?!

What were some of your running highlights this year? What was your favorite race?

Getting Lit — No, Not Like That!

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights Colors to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Earlier this fall, I found myself with a pickle. It was obviously getting lighter later and darker earlier. With my crazy work hours, the rotation of the sun was not working in my favor. I disliked my headlamp, then it broke while I was trying to replace the batteries. I bought a new headlamp, but it wasn’t running-specific and I really didn’t like how it lit my path. About half of my morning route around my house isn’t well let, so I was in a tough spot.

Then I got the awesome opportunity to check out Knuckle Lights Colors! Seriously, this opportunity came at just the right time (Well, I needed lights. The burn out – not so much). These two lights would be handheld instead of having an uncomfortable headband and would have 120 total lumens. This was a little less than my two headlamps.

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I love lists, so here are some of the top reasons why I love my Knuckle Lights!

  • Hey – they light my path! Actually, I love how they light my path. They light up about 15 feet in front of me. I’m able to see the imperfections in the sidewalks (which are everywhere when I run in Baltimore) as well as other animals and people around me. On my first run with my lights I saw 3 deer, 1 fox and 6 bunnies!

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  • These are Knuckle Lights. Plural. I really like having two so I can move one if I want to see something to the side of me.
  • These puppies are light! They are small enough to fit my hands without making them feel weighed down.
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Start in the dark, end in the light.
  • The batteries (1 AA for each light) are easy to replace. Seeing how I broke a headlamp trying to change batteries, I’m super happy with this.

+1 Bonus: These make me feel very safe when I run in downtown Baltimore. It’s not the safest city and I panic easy. Running in these makes me feel like I almost have brass knuckles and could punch someone with them if I have to 😛

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Think you don’t need any running lights? Think again. Not only do lights help you see people/obstructions, but they help others see YOU. There’s a guy I see running on my route in the morning who never has any lights or reflection. He always scares the crap out of me and I’ve yelled at him multiple times to “light up.”  If lights make you and others around you feel better, use them!

I’m kicking myself for not getting Knuckle Lights earlier, but I’m sure glad I have them now. I will never go back to using a headlamp (aside from at a Ragnar). At $39.99 the Knuckle Lights Colors are about the same price as a decent running headlamp. If you’re in the market, I definitely recommend that you try them out! Knuckle Lights also have a set with rechargeable batteries. Use the code BIBRAVEPRO to save $15 off your order!

Goofy Challenge Training Week 2: 9/11 – 9/18/17

Happy Saturday everyone (well, Sunday, really). I have a weekend to myself, and with my long run being done this morning, I’ve already been reflecting on my week!

This week was weird for me because it was much lower mileage-wise than I have been running in a long time. My training plan has “down” weeks every other week, as opposed to every fourth weekend. So for right now that means one 7-9 mile run on the weekend, aside from a short run and a longer run. This will be nice when I’m up to doing 7+17 in a weekend, but for now I’m “bored” by the short weekend mileage, and even the mileage during the week.

Monday: 3 miles super easy. After last weekend’s long run fiasco (and actually being sore?!) I took it real slow and easy. And guess what? It felt great!

Tuesday: 5 miles at Planet Fitness. I simply could.not. get out of bed in the morning but thankfully I just joined the gym near work so I put my membership to use!

Wednesday: 4 miles during 2 workouts at November Project. It was one of my favorite workouts, with about half cardio and half strength. My legs and arms were sore the next day!

Thursday10 minutes on the elliptical as a warm up, then about 45 minutes of weights and strength work (arms and core).

Friday: Rest. I planned to cross train or do a few easy miles, but I came down with a cold and spent most of the day sleeping!

Saturday: 9 miles of hills! My plan called for only 7, but I wanted more, so I added a couple of miles and headed to a hilly area. I felt the completely opposite of last weekend.

Sunday: Rest day

Weekly miles: 21. Not sure how much I’m going to like the drastic changes from week to week. We’ll see how it goes, and the off weeks may add more miles to be closer to the “on” weeks.

 

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin  and Holly from HoHoRuns for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Charles St 12 Miler 2017: Race Recap

Okay I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about the Charles Street 12 miler by now. But all the oversharing is worth it because the race itself was (almost) just as good as the first time I ran, and I did better as well! Here’s my last talk of it for a while.

Friday: On Friday afternoon I went to the local Charm City Run store to get my packet. It was quick and easy. My favorite shorts (the only shorts I wear) were on sale, and I needed new inserts and more GU. I left much poorer but with some “running necessities”. This includes the Marshmellow and Smore’s flavored GU that I’d been searching for, for forever!

I got to Jake’s before he got home, so I hit up happy hour for a couple of brews to relax a bit. We had a nice dinner in of pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs, and watched some movies. By 11:30 I was ready for the morning and out like a light!

Pardon Jake’s horribly messy room…I’m working on it/him.

Pre-race: It was raining as I woke up, which was expected. I got ready, and while I waited for Beth to pick me up I cracked open a red bull. They’re so bad for you but SO GOOD. The busses/finish line was just a mile from Jake’s, but it was nice not to walk in the rain. I also had a Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie, and on the bus I had my UCan. Before we knew it, our bus had arrived in Towson!

Porta-john lines were short, thankfully! The rain was still coming down and we waited the rest of the pre-race time inside. When we came out to line up the rain had stopped!!! Beth and I lined up around the 2:10 pacers. I didn’t stretch well, and I’m not sure why. Realistically, the hardest decision was what to do with our rain coats! I put mine around my waist, because I expected it to rain again.

Miles 1-6: Beth and I ran together with 90:30 intervals, keeping it easier through the hills. Making sure she stayed with me was great to keep me from going out too fast. Unlike in 2014, the big hills in the first 4 miles passed with little issues. As it always is with run/walk intervals, it was so hard getting passed by seemingly everyone during these miles. But, I knew if I stuck to my plan, I’d pass them later. While our effort was even, our splits weren’t, due to the elevation changes and intervals (when you hit a mile on a walk break = THE WORST). Splits: 11:02, 1o:26, 11:12, 10:33, 10:22, 11:05.

Miles 7-9: After mile 6 I upped the intervals to 120:30, as planned. I was feeling great. I wasn’t struggling with the extra running time on the rolling hills and my run pace started to speed up. I also have to mention the amazing Toasted Marshmellow GU I had – it seriously was the best. I did eventually lose Beth around mile 8.5, as I apologized for getting in the zone and not really being able to slow back down! Splits: 9:51, :38, :52

Miles 10-12: At mile 10 I finally caught the 2:10 pacer, and yelled “gotta catch the 2:05!” It kept me going. It felt so good to be running strong, and passing the people who passed me during my walk intervals earlier. For the last mile and a half, the course flattens. After a lot of downhills in miles 7-10, it honestly felt like I was climbing a mountain to keep my speed up. While I never started to hurt, I was definitely starting to have to push a little extra. At mile 11.5 I passed the 2:05 group, and while I knew I wouldn’t catch the 2:00 group (I was at like, 1:54) I set my sights on it to keep going strong. I tried to nix the walk breaks in the last mile, but kept them to keep my run speed up. Before I knew it, I was chasing the finish with a great kick (.06 with 7:59 pace) and I was done! Splits: 9:28, :51, :39, 0:29 (.06 nubbin)

I might have to buy this, it’s fantastic! Photo cred: Chessie Photo. I’ll likely buy (They always take good ones of me!)

Final time: 2:03:32 (10:14 avg)

Post race: This is where I had the only issues with this race, and also where there were the most changes since I ran in 2014. The race ended at the Under Armour World Headquarters, which was awesome. I loved that we got a meal from the food truck as a refreshment, however, that’s all there was for food. And the lines were ridiculous. Ridiculous as in I waited in line half an hour for a small funnel cake and a piece of bacon, because that was the shortest line. There were no bananas/oranges/pretzels/simple foods for finishers right after the race. I’m thankful it was a cool day, because if it was hot and I had to wait that long for food, I would have been at risk of passing out without any nutrition. The beer line was long, but it went quickly, and the selection was local and fantastic. So really the worst part was the food, but that needs to be fixed!

Rain-wise, it thankfully held off for ALL of the race! It downpoured as I got my food and we sprinted back to the car. It poured for a while then cleared up in time for me to go to the Towson football tailgate (and game).

Photo cred: Kanji Takeno

Takeaways: I’m so proud of myself for getting the revenge on this race that I wanted needed. I had a great summer of training and put a lot of work into my speed, and it paid off. (I also think the unintentional taper helped) My one regret was starting out so slowly. My interval plan was great, but I could have started picking up my run pace sooner. I still had a lot left in the tank at the end, and felt like I could have kept going at the pace I was running for at least two more miles.

 

Will I run this race again? Definitely. I don’t love that it’s on Labor Day weekend, but it makes for potentially more mild weather than when it was in Early August. The course is moderately challenging and runs through beautiful areas of Baltimore (and my alma matter!). This year I ran the race as part of the B3 challenge. I won’t be doing the challenge again next year, as the 5K is on a Sunday (work) and the premium isn’t very unique, compared to this year’s amazing sweater. I am planning on this race for next year though!

Charles St. 12 and Baltimore B3 medals

 

Goofy Challenge 2018 – My Training Plans

Happy Tuesday everyone! Yes, I can’t believe I’ve been posting so much lately. I’m in a really positive place with running right now and I just can’t stop myself. Now that the Charles Street 12 Miler is over, it’s time to officially start training for the Goofy Challenge.

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I can’t wait to run through you – TWICE!

For those of you that don’t know, the Goofy Challenge is a two-part race challenge that happens during Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in January. On Saturday you run a half marathon, and on Sunday you run a marathon! That’s 39.3 miles through Disney World in just two days! This will be my third marathon and 18th half marathon.

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I signed up for this challenge for a couple of reasons. 1- I’m crazy for running. 2 – I was so sad when the WDW Half was cancelled this past January. I knew I wanted to run the marathon this year, but wanted to finish what I went to Disney for in January. SO, my motivation for the Goofy Challenge was born! I wish I could do the Dopey Challenge, but for a 25 year old who spent the summer transitioning between jobs, that’s not a financially sound decision 😛

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Anyways, today’s Tuesday On The Run topic is Fall Training Schedules, which is perfect! I spent so much time and effort researching and deciding how to train for this race.

  • NO fall marathon. This decision broke my heart. I LOVE the marathon but I’ve only done two so far. It simply takes my body too long to recover from one to feel comfortable running Goofy after a fall 26.2.
  • Hal Higdon’s Dopey Training Plan is what I’ll be following, mileage wise. This plan mirrors his Novice-2 marathon plan, with double long runs every other weekend, and 3 weekday runs. The mileage starts out low the last month, so I may add some miles here and there. I’ll also modify some weekends towards the end, when there are “Dopey simulations”. Seeing as I’m not doing Dopey (but having serious FOMO about it), I don’t need the 4 day simulations.
  • Different training days. Due to my new job, I now have Friday-Saturday weekends and work 9-5 on Sundays, which doesn’t work with 3:00+ Sunday long runs. My weekday runs will now be Monday-Wednesday (NP Day!), with rest days on Thursday and Sunday. (Every other)Friday and Saturday will be my two long run days.
  • Galloway intervals will continue. I have been training using run/walk intervals with great results for over a year. I’ll be upping my everyday intervals to 90 seconds run and 30 seconds walk for easy runs, 2 minutes run and 30 seconds walk for “pace” runs, and will do a mix of both for long runs.
  • Fewer races! My plans to run a half marathon in December fell through, so right now my only major race planned for the fall is the Baltimore Half Marathon (and 5K). I’m going all out with this trip to Disney. I’d rather save my money to spend there than run random races. If the opportunity comes to run another race or to, I’ll consider it/them, but I’m okay with the minimal races for once.

This week is my first week of training and the drop in mileage scares me a little. Three 3 mile runs, a 5 mile “Pace” run, and 13 miles on the weekend. It has been so long since I have routinely run “just” 3 miles. I keep telling myself that the reduce in mileage will be a break my body needs after a high-mileage month in August. My body will be thankful for that break when I’m running 20-30 miles in a weekend.

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I’ve also spent time thinking of goals for the Goofy Challenge. Realistically and honestly, I’m going to run the half marathon SO EASY. Like I’ll be proud of myself for running a 3 hour half, and plan to take most of my character photos during that race. I want to show up for marathon morning with legs feeling like they just on a really long shakeout the day before. Also realistically, I’ll probably stop for some different character photos. I’ll be training for a goal time around 4:45-4:50, giving myself time for character stops in hopes of beating 5:00. I don’t think it will happen, especially the day after 13 miles, but training this way will set me up for more success for marathon #4.

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LOVE character photos!

Vacation wise, the trip to Disney World for the Goofy Challenge is really planned out. Everything on my end is booked (my mom needs to book her flights!) and I have every day planned out. I’m stoked to stay at the Art of Animation Resort – I booked back in February to get the lowest rate possible. This hotel is closer to everything than the All Star resorts, and will hopefully cut down on the bus troubles that my group experienced in January. I’ll do 3 park days, with NO park between the half and the full, because I think that’s just dumb. I swear I’ve read almost every restaurant menu to find out where I can track down my carbs for the weekend.

This may be more than you all wanted to know, but seriously, I’m just so excited to run 39.3 miles on January 6th and 7th! BTW if you want to do the WDW Marathon or the Goofy Challenge, there are still spots open to register!

Thank you Erika at MCM Mama Runs, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty at No-Guilt Life  for hosting Tuesday’s on the Run! I’m happy to be linking up once again and can’t wait to participate again.

How is your training changing this fall? What are your upcoming goal races?

Charles St 12 Miler: Looking Back and Forging Ahead

As I’ve recapped in training posts, these past 6 weeks or so have been all about the Charles St 12 Mile race. After deciding I wouldn’t be attending Rock N Roll Philadelphia due to a new work schedule/travel costs, this race became my “goal race” for summer training.

Charles Street 12 Miler revente

Unless you’ve been reading for a while, you may or may not know that the Charles St 12 haunts me. I ran the race in 2014, as my first long distance race. It was horrible. HorribleHorrible. Not the race itself – it’s wonderfully run, as Charm City Run races always are. It was me. My performance was abysmal. Running and my body were not friends that day.

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I recapped this race in my early blog days, but this summer I have spent so much time on runs processing that race. I won’t recap it again (although the recap I wrote is horrible, lol), but I will summarize what was so bad about that race.

  • I misjudged the hills on a “net-downhill” course. Net-downhill doesn’t mean all downhill. Any hill I saw thoroughly intimidated me. This was stupid, because I totally ran hills while training in New Hampshire.
  • I ran this race with a sub-2:00 goal (10:00 pace) and also with a goal to beat my friend. Uh, why did I care about beating someone, especially my friend, and base my success of of hers?!
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Pre-race with Beth!
  • My pre-race nutrition was horrid. I had beer and a crab pretzel the night before, and all I drank for the two days before was nuun. I was overhydrated (or mishydrated – is that a thing?), and I paid for it.

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  • Due to my nutrition errors, my right hamstring cramped up real bad around mile 5/6 and I never recovered. I basically walked the last 4 miles of the race. 4 miles. WTF?!
  • I finished with my slowest race pace EVER, even slower than my slowest half marathons, with a time of 2:35, pace of 12:51/mi. Dreadful.
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    I only ran in because there were people watching…

What’s different this time?

  • I’ve run the course, backwards and forwards. I know where/how bad the hills are. And realistically, they’re not that bad. I’ve studied and studied those runs on Strava. Over and over. There will be no surprises.
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Elevation chart from 2014. The last mile is slightly different, but elevation remains the same. Those first two hills are not fun, then it’s really not that bad.
  • I haven’t completely set a time goal for this race. I’ve thought about it, but I’ve struggled. I know that when I set time goals I stress out and fail. I plan to run the first half with 90:30 walk/run intervals, and the second half with 120:30 walk/run intervals. Needless to say, I will set a course/12 mile PR. By a lot. Like at least a half an hour most likely.
  • I’m not stupid with pre-race nutrition anymore. Also, 12 miles isn’t that long and I’m plenty trained. I still drink Nuun, but not nearly as much. As long as I don’t get drunk the night before (which trust me, won’t happen) I don’t see nutrition/hydration as being an issue unless it’s stupidly hot. **knockonwood** The forecast looks perfect so far.
  • I love doing races with Beth, but no longer concern myself with anyone else’s perfromance but mine. She will probably run with me, and whether or not we finish together or apart could make no difference to me. I’m going to run my race this time! Although, I don’t think we’ve ever finished a race together, so that would be kinda cool.
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    Poor AK has a stress fracture, so it’s just Beth and I!

As I’m writing this on Monday, I am feeling so excited for a chance to redeem myself on Saturday; to put to use these summer miles; and to seek revenge on this course. Regardless of my pace or time, Saturday will be amazing. Charm City Run always puts on amazingly well organized races. I’m excited for the race to end with beers at the Under Armor world headquarters, and hopefully have Jake there for me at the finish (his house is only a mile from the finish – talk about convenient!) Oh – and the premium! CCR is also known for their premiums. The hoodie for this race looks glorious – almost as good as the B3 race series premium.

I’ll also earn an extra medal for completing the B3 race series!

Have you ever felt the need to seek revenge on a race? 

12 miles is a weird race distance…What’s the weirdest race distance you’ve ever done? Seriously…why not make it a half marathon?