Category Archives: Running

#beattheheat

The US National Weather Service Forth Worth Texas posted the following status update on the Facebook: 2PM Heat index values across North and Central Texas…ranged from 98° to 105°. It’s HOT out there, take frequent breaks to avoid heat exhaustion! #‎beattheheat (hashtag all theirs).

So, in other words, another treadmill day for me.  I just can’t seem to get my booty out of the door early enough to #beattheheat unless it’s for my weekend long runs.  I used to think waking up at 5:00 or 5:30AM might be a tad on the over excessive side, but I recently found out it’s a necessity to #beatheheat (ok, I’ll stop hashtagging now). As soon as that friggin fire ball in the sky pushes up over the horizon it’s just plain hawwwwwwwt.

One time, as spring started to slowly melt away into summer, I (stupidly) decided to do a run outside around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.  I thought, 80 degrees?! Meh, I can manage.  I did for about 1.5M and started seeing mirages.  I turned down a street and saw lawn sprinklers sprinkling up ahead! Hallelujah!! Now that’s how you know your brain isn’t fully functioning.  No one is allowed to water their lawn in Droughtland, TX derp.  But, I was hot, sweat was stinging my eyes and I so badly wanted to run through those sprinklers.   As soon as I came upon them, they disappeared.  I cried.  Or Maybe it was the sweat pouring out of my eyes not sure which. Note to self: heat accumulation is a very real and very important thing.

 

So the treadmill and I have found summer love.  Can’t wait to break up with Mr. Treaddy come fall (shh, don’t tell him my plans!). I do push myself out into the inferno during my Wednesday night social runs and for the weekend long runs with my running club. Something about running in the heat with more than just yourself makes it way more easier to tolerate.  Running when the sun isn’t in all its glory helps, too.

Since moving to Texas, I’ve noticed two things. 1.) I’ve become infatuated with rain.  When it rains it feels like a National Holiday.  You need to call your loved ones and tell them it’s raining and see if they got rain, too. Everyone should stop what they are dong and just go outside and play in it; pray; or offer up your first born as thanks to whomever the powers that be are that decided to let it rain that day. 2.) I love all the people that tell me that both last year’s and this year’s summer has been mild.  I hear stories about the 2011 30 whatever days of 100 degree temp stories ALL. THE. TIME.  It’s great, I love it.  It’s like hearing old war stories.   

Anyways, I came across a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) running plan to do on the treadmill that I use on my “speed” days.  Anyone else have any good tips on how to pass the time on ol’ Treaddy? I’m trying to #beattheheat, y’all.  

 

 

Man, you know you’ve been slacking on your blogging when you try to log into your account and it takes you about five minutes longer than it should to log in.

I like to blog when the mood strikes or when I want to put something down that I want to document or when I want reflect “out loud”.

My last post talked about how bummed I was that I didn’t get into the New York City Marathon – but I’m over it.  On National Running Day, I signed up for my first full marathon – the Dallas Marathon on December 14, 2014!  I felt so queasy just hitting the submit button on the registration form! My nerves have settled down a lot and now I’m just anxious to start the training cycle.

Last night, I had such a fun and happy run that it made me feel thankful this morning.  I wanted to take some time and just reflect on how my running is so much different than it was a year ago and how thankful I am about it.

I’m thankful that I’ve consistently kept up my weekend long runs even though I don’t have anything long distance on the race calendar for several more months. I’m thankful that I can even do long runs! It’s so satisfying to see when your efforts start paying off.  I’m thankful for all the opportunities running has brought to the forefront.  Running in different states; checking out trails; meeting new people; finishing a race on the fifty yard line in Soldier Field with my bestie and husband.   So many fun things lately!

I don’t mean for this to come across as braggy.  I just wanted to take a minute to really think about how far I’ve come in the running world.  Hmm, nope, that still seems braggy, oops! I guess along with thankful, I’m happy.

I haven’t done it all myself.  I’m thankful for the people that support me by answering questions; review training plans; letting me blah blah blah about running; and for the people who are always so genuinely excited to hear about my endeavors.   It always gives me the extra push and it makes my heart happy.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thankful.

Tagged , ,

The Toughest 10K | Kemah, TX

My 1st 10K!!!

I signed up for this one with the husband on a complete whim! We were headed to Galveston for the weekend to celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary and the Monday before our trip I decided to see if there were any races happening in the Galveston/Houston area.  Low and behold, I found The Toughest 10K in Kemah, TX.  I wasn’t specifically looking for a 10K but as soon as I saw it I was hooked.  I told the husband about it and he was just as excited about giving it a try as I was.  Everything, from packet pickup to the actual race, fit in so perfectly with our plans.  I was pumped for this race the minute – no – the second we signed up for it!  The race has a great Facebook page that they kept updated with little race tidbits that just fueled the excitement and anticipation.

It didn’t phase us that we hadn’t run a 10K before – we planned to take it nice and easy, run as much as we could and do a walk/run interval after that.  We were a bit nervous because the course went on the Kemah/Seabrook Bridge – four times, but I felt up for the challenge!

I could barely sleep the night before the race and jumped out of bed well before the alarm clock rang I was so dang excited.  I truly felt like a kid on Christmas morning! I never was so pumped and amped for a race before!

It was cloudy and humid – I was so thankful the sun decided not to show up for the race because it could have made things icky weather wise. A nice little breeze kept us cool – especially on the bridge.

There were close to 2 thousand people running the 10K, a good amount of spectators, and a large group of beyond awesome volunteers.  The volunteers rang their cowbells, yelled, and cheered for us – oh, and manned the water/Gatorade table like nobody’s business.  I was able to pick up a cup without ever breaking my stride. At one point, I told one of the volunteers that she was awesome, and she replied, “No, you’re awesome!” – and dammit – I felt awesome!

Steve and I had a really good supportive race.  If the water stop was on my side and he wanted a drink, I got it – and vice versus.  We talked to each other and kept each other going.  Definitely a nice way to celebrate an anniversary and I was (and am) so excited that we did our 1st 10K together.

We kicked ass, if I do say so myself.  We ran the whole time, kept a decent and consistent pace and finished just slightly over the one hour mark.  Official results have not been posted due to some technical difficulties, but preliminary results have us in at 1:01.  We were blown away with our performance and we were on a runner’s high for days! DAYS!

 High lights: So much to say! But, I think being able to run the whole darn thing will be one of my fave race moments ever.  Just performing beyond expectation is pretty sweet in and of itself.

Low lights: it started pouring rain as we crossed the finish totally killing the post race festivities.  Tents with food were set up around the beautiful Kemah boardwalk area and it would have been nicer if the rain held out just a little longer.  Still really didn’t stop us from inhaling the yummy treats and chatting with fellow finishers.

Race Swag: A kick ass technical shirt (no sponsors on the back, yo!), a hat, and finisher’s medal.

Post Race Eats: Breakfast burritos, ice cream (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Power Bars, Muscle Milk, Soda, water, and fresh fruit.  The best post race spread I have encountered thus far.

Miracle Mile: During the race I really paid attention to the volunteers. Kids and adults of all ages giving their all to make it a great race.  All of them seemed so friendly – from packet pickup to during the race – to post race.  I remember seeing kids raking up discarded cups on the side of the road with so much oomph and effort.  It was really cool to see.

I have to give it up to the Running Alliance Sports (RAS)! They put on a great race.  The Toughest 10K Kemah is part of  The Texas Bridge Series, the others being, The Toughest 10K Galveston and the La Porte Half Marathon.  I’m bummed that my schedule doesn’t allow for me to take on the 10K in Galveston this year, but I am keeping the race on my radar for next year.  Who knows, maybe we will take on the Texas Bridge Series.  I wouldn’t mind doing my first halfie organized by RAS. Dun dun DUN. Well see.

kemah boardwalk sign ginastevekemah ginapolicekemah ginakemah

Tagged , ,

Electric Zombie Run 5K | Denton, TX

A night run? Zombies?! Glow sticks?!? Yes, please! The minute I read about this race, like two months ago, I knew I HAD to put this race on the calendar.  Since the race was at night and involved zombies. I figured it would be a good idea to bench my son from this race and secure a babysitter.  Friends of ours came through beautifully and made running the race sans son easy peasy.  The babysitters had everything under control before we even left for the race! We paid them in pizza, cupcakes and cake pops! I’d take that gig in an instant if someone promised me junk food for payment!

When we got there, we heard some announcements about how the course would have no lighting and would be on x-country style terrain.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting THAT! The race director advised us not to make this a PR race or focus on our time as there would be no awards. Just go off and have fun with the zombies – and that is just what we did!  The race had such a cool atmosphere and everyone seemed so excited and pumped to go out and play with the Zombies. There was a really fun DJ and some people came in costumes and everyone was sporting a crap load of glow sticks! It was AWESOME! If you came in under 35 minutes you received a glow in the dark finisher medal that said I SURVIVED THE ELECTRIC ZOMBIE. If you came in after 35 minutes, you received a medal that said something like, YOU’RE TOO SLOW. YOU ARE A ZOMBIE.  You know I couldn’t bring home a you’re too slow medal for the medal rack so we had some good motivation to bust our asses a little bit.

As promised, the course was dark! Zombies stood on the side of the trails and did a really great job of jumping out at us from behind bushes, trees, and rocks.  Some runners had head lamps (why can’t I be that smart?!) but other than that and the moon, you couldn’t see too much.  Which is kind of a bummer because the zombies (whom I am pretty sure were volunteers) worked hard on their zombie looks, but it was a little too hard to see all the greatness. I only really got a good appreciation of their get ups after checking out some pictures on Instagram (thank you hastags!).  The zombies also set up the occasional strobe lights on the course which just made everything more creepier, haha.  Despite all that, I was only caught off guard once by a zombie when I was coming into the finish line.  They were hiding under a bridge and banging on it and I admit it, I totally yelped.  Out loud.

I had a really good run, felt great the whole time and came in under the 35 minute mark with plenty of time to spare.  We watched the other runners come in and yelled for them to pick it up so that they would be survivors!

All in all, it was a nicely organized fun run.   A perfect run to get you in that Halloween spirit and usher in fall.  Now, if only Texas would get the memo and turn down the heat. From what I understand, this was the inagural race and is part of a zombie series.  So, if you live in the Texas area or will be in the Texas area, you might want to go and check it out.  No need to be a hardcore runner to enjoy this one! http://www.electriczombierun.com/

High lights: Being a survivor, yo! Take that, zombies!

Low lights: not knowing course terrain before the race. I kinda wished that the website had more info on that so I would have been better prepared (mentally). No biggie, though. I probably was taking this race more seriously than I should have been.  I definitely had to change gears on race night.

Post Race Eats: water and Nutri-grain bars. Leftover deep dish pizza when I got home. Nom!

Race Swag: Cotton t-shirts, glow in the dark glow sticks and finisher medals.

Coming soon! Race recap of my first 10K!!

ginastevezombie ginazombiereportingforduty ginazombieahead

 

Tagged , , ,

Running Shirts Making Me Happy

I’ve acquired some new running tees that make me smile every time I put them on.

My bestie sent me a giftie a couple of weeks ago! Waiting for me inside the mailbox was this little gem:

Image

It’s hard to see, but the shirt says – wait for it – “JUST RUN, YA’LL”.  As a newly minted Texan, this shirt is freaking perfection! It was such a fun and awesome surprise that it truly made my day when I saw it waiting for me in the mail.  I procrastinated big time on writing this post (because I am sooo good at procrastination) but I am so glad that I did because it paid off! The last time I wore this tee, a lady at the grocery store read my shirt and in her wonderfully awesome Texan accent, squealed, “JUST RUN YA’LL, HAHAHA, THAT SOOO CUTE!”.  If receiving the shirt made my day, hearing someone squeal JUST RUN YA’LL made my year and it was all thanks to Kim!  I wish I had a recording.

You can get a better view of the shirt at RUN PRETTY FAR.

See, the bracelet on my wrist? That was sent to me by another good buddy, Courtney! The bracelet was waiting for me after I signed up for a 6-week running class! Finding something fun in the mail from Courtney was the icing on my cake that day! Kim and Courtney are probably the reason why I have an obsession with checking the mail like a little kid every day.  I get the best surprises from these two!  I love when people take the time out of their day to send me a card, a trinket or a gift! It instantly makes me feel awesome. And loved.

I treated myself to the next two newly acquired shirts from GONE FOR A RUN.

Womens Everyday Runners Tee Texas State Runner

Womens Everyday Runners Tee New York State Runner

When GONE FOR A RUN posted these shirts on their Facebook page I knew, KNEW, I had to have one.  I agonized over which state to buy.  New York, my home state or Texas, my new state? What’s a girl to do? Buy both! I haven’t got any comments on these shirts yet, but I do get a couple of confused stares when I wear the New York Runner shirt in Texas.  Love it.

Any newly acquired running gear making you smile these days?

Tagged , , , ,

Recap Rewind – 1.31M = Runner’s High

So this last recap will make me all caught up in the race recap world! My latest race was more of a sprint than anything else.  It was billed as the

Moo Cow Mini Marathon | Fair Park, Dallas, Texas – July 20, 2013

Now I know I wrote marathon but it wasn’t really quite a marathon unless you’re a cow. Huh? Say Whaaa you say? When I say marathon, I mean a half marathon. When I say a half marathon, I mean 1.31 miles.  I’ll let the race website explain, The Moo Cow Mini  will be “2.62 miles in the Moo Cow Mini Marathon and 1.31 miles in the Moo Cow Mini Half Marathon. To a cow 2.62 miles is a marathon!” So there ya have it! If I chatted with a Cow down the road, he would be very proud of my halfie. Gimmicky? Yes.  A hell of a lot of fun, YES, again! (Side note: I urge you to take a peek at the FAQs on the website. Hilar. Love a race that doesn’t take themselves too seriously). I signed up for the half marathon and I’m so glad that I did because it was a blazing hot race morning.  It was me, the husband, and our son back in the jogging stroller.  Since we signed up for the shorter race we decided to just go all out and haul our butts from the get go. And we did! We hit our fastest pace ever and came in 16th and 17th place overall. The husband took 1st in his Age Group and I took 2nd in mine.  I was on a running high for days and it definitely put back a little running spark in my step. We had a blast and that’s what matters – not so much the distance. Who cares if it was a gimmicky race? It was a great opportunity to try something different and a great reminder not to take racing so serious.

Highlights: Taking home some hardware! A finisher medal and an Age Group medal. The husband and I both taking home awards was icing on the cake! So glad that I didn’t shy away from this race because of the short distance.

Low-lights: None. This one ranks as one of my all time faves. I hope to do it next year!

Post-Race Eats: Bananas, Nutri-grain bars, and lots and lots of water.  Free cans of Monster Energy Drink Samples.

Race Swag: Finisher Medal and a tech t-shirt.

Next race: a Zombie race in September unless I find a Labor Day race that sparks my interest.   Signing up for races is definitely helping us to explore more and more of the Dallas metroplex area (and beyond!).

Tagged , ,

Recap Rewind – Part II: The Texas Series

Howdy, y’all. The Cherry Tree Relay marked my last official race in NY. Before I even moved, I signed The Husband and myself up for a 10K in Dallas. I was feeling pretty good from all my running and felt I could take on the new distance. Well, that turned in a colossal pipe dream. Hindsight is 20/20 because looking back at that decision, it was pretty stupid of me.

I started scouting out the Dallas area racing scene way before le move. I found the Disco 5K and 10K that looked sooo much fun – plus they promised a “huge disco medal” for all the finishers. I must have been blinded by the disco bling because I signed up for the 10K with little thought of logistics. After we moved to Texas and was able to focus on the impending race, I realized the following issues:

The race started at 7:45 AM and was approximately 45 mins away from my house. Gulp.

I didn’t have a babysitter for my son and the website said “no strollers” on the course. Uh oh.

It was May already and I hadn’t run AT ALL since February. Crap de la crap.

I really wasn’t sure what to do about the race and I was totally sweating it out. I really had little confidence that I could run a 10K and hello! No babysitter! The husband said he would sit it out, but I felt really bad that he would miss out on a finisher’s medal and that we would have to eat his race entry fee. Plus, I didn’t want to run my first 10K solo. Wah, wah, wah. So, I got my shite together and emailed the race organizer asking if we could switch from the 10K to the 5K. They replied that it would be no problem. Phew. But, what about the no babysitter issue? I do have some close friends nearby but asking someone to get up early on a Saturday morning to watch a squirmy two year old didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t bring myself to ask. So, the husband and I decided that we would both suit up for the 5K and ask at the race if we could use the jogging stroller. If not, the husband would sit it out.

When we got to the race we asked the volunteers at the registration desk if we could run with the jogging stroller and they gave us a big smile and said sure! WAHOOOO! I felt the stress melt off immediately. Now with the background out of the way, on to the recap of my first Texas race.

Disco 5K and 10K | Fair Park, Dallas, Texas – May 19, 2013

Highlights: Receiving the finisher medal at the finish line. A volunteer also gave one to my son which I thought was uber cool. I was happy to have survived the race since that was my first run in a long time. Another runner dressed up in a huge disco ball and had music playing from somewhere inside the disco ball. I laughed so hard when I saw that awesomeness. The one thing that stands out for me about this race is not running related at all. After finishing, I was more proud that the husband and I ventured out and did the race and made it work. I was happy that we didn’t have to rely on anyone else and it felt kinda good. Go us! The husband did great pushing my son in the jogger. No easy feat, people, my son is a solid 36ish lbs.

Low lights: The course was meh. There was a long stretch of nothingness and it made the course a little boring. It was 75 degrees with about 75% humidity at the start of the race. No bueno for me but something I have to get used to in TX.

Post Race Eats: To die for pancakes! My stomach felt a little off so I only had a bite of these amazingly good pancakes and wished my tummy wasn’t arguing with me. The husband chowed down on them and couldn’t believe how good they were. He still talks about it to this day. I opted for an orange and shared a banana with my son. Muscle Milk was there giving out samples. We had some brunch at Corner Bakery when we got towards home.

Race Swag: FINISHER MEDAL! Hooray! Tie dye t-shirt.

As far as tackling a 10K? I think I’ll give it a whirl in the fall and will probably do it solo.

Fireworks 5K | McKinney, TX – July 4th, 2013

Highlights: Interesting course running through a master planned community, under a tunnel (ECHO! ECHO!), and a nice stretch of shade. A Dad with his family watching the race from his front lawn shouting out encouragement and course information to the runners. His kids were banging on a cow bell. Fun for the runners but probably not so fun for his next door neighbors at 8 something in the morning haha! I loved it! My son telling us to “GO, GO, GO!” and “FASTER!”. He’s a tough coach and available for all your race pacing needs.

Low lights: The finish line was in complete sun. It felt hard to push it at the end when the sun was bbbbblazing straight into your eyes. What? There are these things called sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun?! I’ll have to check into these contraptions. What’s that you say? Visors? Hmmm…

Post Race Eats: There was none. NONE. NOOOOOOONE. No food = cranky Gina. They ran out of water, too. I’m not saying all races should have a gourmet spread post race (who am I kidding, YES THEY SHOULD!) but when the website mentioned free Starbucks and snow cones, you kinda get a little a lot stabby when there are no signs of Starbucks and snow cones. Dammit, maybe all the fasties took all the good stuff. Time to up my game. The husband made some breakfast for us at home and we bought our own damn Starbucks.

Race Swag: A tech t-shirt. A local chiropractor gave out towels at the finish line which came in handy to wipe the massive amount of sweat off of…everywhere.

One more race recap and you’ll be all caught up. Happy dance!

 

Tagged ,

Run for Congo Women Race Report | Roosevelt Island, N.Y.

I decided very last minute to run this race.  I had it on my radar for a while but didn’t register for it because my running for September was pretty close to zilch.  I ran a race on Labor Day and that was pretty much it until September 22nd.  The running lapse was due in part me trying to wait out the humidity for cooler temps.  When the cooler temps came my son got sick and then passed it on to me.  It’s crazy how much an illness or two can really side line me from my running routine.  I was relieved when I picked it up again towards the end of the month as I didn’t seem to lose much in the way of my running ability – thankfully.  I was almost too scared to start running again.  I’ve been slowly increasing the mileage and pushing myself to keep going and I’m pretty happy with how everything has been going for the last couple of weeks. So, since I felt pretty good I decided to sign up for the race on race day. I didn’t mention it to anyone just in case I decided to skip the run.

The Run for the Congo Women brought me back to Roosevelt Island!  As my Dad said to me, I must really like running flat courses.  Yup! This race marked my 7th race and my 3rd at Roosevelt Island.   I can’t seem to get enough of those Roosevelt Island runs!

It was a shot gun start but was chipped timed (that really threw me for some reason).  The chips were connected to a piece of Velcro that I strapped onto my wrist. I’m used to the chip being on the bib and was a little worried that the chip on my wrist would annoy me during my run.  It didn’t – it was really light weight and I hardly noticed it during the run.

 Image

Before the race, I threw down some small goals that I wanted to meet.  I wanted to run 2M straight before thinking about a walk break and I wanted to come in faster that my previous Roosevelt Island time.  I did both! I felt a lot stronger than my past two Roosevelt Island runs but not nearly as strong as the race I ran in Illinois.  I think weather is still playing a factor with these races.  It was about 70 degrees and sunny.  I was hoping that the temps would be a lot cooler for an early morning October race.

The Husband and my son were there to cheer me on.  They are such good sports. They saw me off at the start, again at around mile one and at the finish! The Husband noticed that they didn’t have a mat at the start so I edged up closer to the starting line but not close enough where I would be trampled by the fasties.

The race was pretty well organized save for the fact that it started about 20 mins late.  No biggie.  No race marshals so no one to high five with along the way.  I did manage one single high five for a guy running with a child.  The little girl would get a burst of energy and sprint from one bench to another and the poor man had to try and keep up with her sprinting spurts.  I gave him a high five when he and the little girl were catching a break on the bench! He seemed to get a kick out of it.

My one and only complaint was that the water stop was located at about mile 2.34 which is a little too late in the game for my liking.  I had already passed and stopped at a water fountain before I came upon the water stop.

I came in at 35:43. I’m happy that I came in slightly faster than my last race – still didn’t beat my IL PR.  I wish I could have pushed myself more for a better time, but that is an ongoing effort. I love, love, LOVE coming into the finish line and seeing my boys.  It’s beyond nice having someone waiting for you at the finish!  Favorite part of the race! Race swag! They gave out plastic tote bags with hand and foot creams and a lubricating cream! Pretty cool! They had cookies, bagels, bananas and sample sized Luna bars (S’more flavor) post race.  I wasn’t really that hungry so I grabbed a cookie for Steve and a banana for myself.

Image

 What’s next?

Hopefully I won’t get derailed from running and I can continue train for a November race.  I want to get outside more and focus on pace and form. Form because my calves are still sore so I’m thinking I’m doing something wrong. Any tips?

 

Shoe Fairy, FTW!

March has been such a roller coaster month and by far my least run mileage month since I started this running charade adventure.  On this month’s list of activities was my son’s first nasty cold.  He was a trooper – can’t really say the same for his mom.  I had a couple of back to back to back to back sleepless nights listening to him cough, breath and sneeze. I never caught the cold from LP per se but I felt on the brink of sick for about a week.  Not sure which is worse –  a full blown out cold or feeling like I’m about to go down for days on end.

I’m also in the midst of planning a baby shower for my sister-in-law which requires me to ponder the merits of pale pink ribbon vs. dark pink ribbon for several hours on end.  Somewhere in there I threw a small party for my mom’s 60th.  Shh, don’t tell her I told you she’s 60.  So, yeah my plates been a little full lately and running has unfortunately taken a back seat.  My first opportunity for a run doesn’t come ‘til after 8 PM and some days I just don’t have anything left. Wah wah wah, I know.

However a few cool things have happened in the running department despite my lackluster running efforts. I discovered that along with the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Mr. Claus, there is a Shoe Fairy walking running among us.  It’s true.  This particular Shoe Fairy works together with Amazon and together they sent me a pair of freaking awesome running sneakers right to my door step.  Sneakers that someone else bought for ME.  I don’t even know the last time that happened.  Maybe like in the 5th grade by my parents? The Shoe Fairy heard about some shin (shudder – I HATE that word) issues and a few days later through the magic of Amazon Prime, new Asics Cumulus 13’s in HOT PINK were waiting for me at my doorstep.  Um, what? I still have to pinch myself that something like that actually happened to me.  I’m not going to mention who the Shoe Fairy is to protect his or her or their identity but those shoes made my week.  For someone to be that selfless and buy me a pair of (not cheap) sneakers blew my mind and just made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  I’m not going to lie, I cried.  I didn’t cry over the fact that I was gifted a pair of  (sweet) sneakers, but more over the fact that someone believes enough in my running ability and in me felt amazing.  Better than amazing. What’s the word for better than amazing? Insert that word here because that’s how I felt.    I still catch myself staring at my new sneakers when I run. So stay tuned to this blog for that accident waiting to happen.

Another fun running moment was an opportunity to run with Kim! Kim was on business in NYC so we planned an after work run! She patiently waited until the baby was sleeping to go out on a five+ mile run.  I did the first 2.7 miles with her and The Husband cut in to do the last 2.55.  I took Kim through a nice, pleasant section of the nabe with views of Manhattan and circled back to the house so Steve could get his run in while I stayed home with the sleeping baby.  Steve took her through the most sketchy part of the neighborhood that’s very industrial, desolate at night and topped it off with a turnaround at Riker’s Island.  Seriously, Steve? I am happy to report that Kim is still alive.  The run was so much fun despite some nagging knee issues. I still can’t talk and run at the same time (WHYYYY?!) but I tried anyway.  I always have so much to talk to Kim about that I find myself interrupting her with questions, stories and whatever else just to try to get it all in.  Sorry, Kim -and- thanks for being so patient with us and for running so late in the evening – especially when you had to wake up early the next morning to get another run in!

I’m hoping to ramp up my running days in April – I’m signed up for a 5K with The Husband on Roosevelt Island in May so I need to make sure I get moving!

So, now you’re caught up. Hopefully it won’t be another month to my next blog post.

Aren't they purty?!

2012 Cherry Tree 10 Miler & Relay

Alternatively titled, the Race for The Hard Core. Mmm hmm. I didn’t get a chance to talk about the race here prior to running in it, but I definetly wanted to take the time to recap my 1st race of 2012. As the title suggests, the race could either be ran as a 10 Miler or as part of a relay team.

The race was held in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. Below is a picture of the course, although even after running it, I still can’t figure out how to read that map.

Kim and I started mulling over the idea of doing this relay when we realized it would coincide with her trip to NYC. I mentioned the idea to my Brother-in-Law, Greg, who jumped right on the idea and boom! – our team was born!

Race day brought really great running weather, which is a small blessing considering it is near the end of February in NYC. Usually this is the time where we have a snow storm or two or three. I ran the first leg, Greg the second, and Kim was our anchor. Slowest to fastest.

As I started on my leg, Kim and Greg cheered me on which gave me a good push coming out of the starting line. It made me smile for a couple of feet until I realized that 1.) I’m running all by myself (my last race I ran side by side with Kim) and 2.) I had to pee. Great. My mind was all over the place during the run, I don’t think I ever quite got into “the zone”. I was slightly freaking out about the hilly course and the impending hill of death.

Greg was familiar with the course and long before the race gave me the heads up on the infamous hill that would await us during our run. The entire week before the race THAT HILL added to my pre-race jitters. Most of my runs have been on the treadmill in my basement and the last time I checked there were no hills. I was able to take some of my runs outdoors, but as far as I am aware, its not that hilly in my section of Queens (or it could be that I am deliberately ignoring anything resembling an incline). Let me tell you a little about this hill via wikipedia:

“Mount Prospect, or Prospect Hill, near the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway, rises 200 feet (61 m) above sea level[9] and is the highest among a string of hills that extends into the park…” (source)

Now, let me tell you about the hill via me. It sucked. The end. It seemed to never end and just as I thought I was almost finished climbing the hill, the road curved a bit and showed me that I was probably only half way up. And that’s exactly where I felt like I started to unravel. I stopped running and walked a bit up the hill until I spotted Steve (The Husband) and Steven (Kim’s husband), aka spectators extraordinaire. I ran up to them and muttered something about the hill being a bitch female dog. Seeing them cheering me on gave me a push that I really needed. I took a few other walk breaks at the water areas. Side note: If I ever organize a race, there will not be water in those plastic bathroom cups. I’m thinking something a lot stronger. My legs and thighs were burning at this point and I still felt like I was running uphill, even when I was clearly running down hill. The hill (which really should be called a damn mountain) got to Greg, too. He had to walk it for a bit. The hill however, was no match for Kim. Rumor has it that she was doing cartwheels all the way up the hill. Ok, not cartwheels, but the hill didn’t faze her one bit. GO KIM! Interesting side note: as another runner went by Steve and Steven, he asked them if the hill ever ended. The answer is no, my friend. The answer is no.

But let’s not focus entirely on the hill. It was a relay after all, and that meant that I got to slap on a slap braclet, better know as the baton, onto Greg’s wrist. I don’t think it went as smoothly as that, but it was definitely a favorite moment of the race. Here are some other favorite race moments:

  • Seeing Kim’s face as she sprinted towards the finish line. She looked amazing and that image of her approaching the finish line will inspire me for a long time to come.
  • Greg saying we should run this relay again next year and also inquiring about another race I had mentioned to him in passing about 10 minutes after he completed his leg.
  • My spectators. Steve and Steven did a great job at seeing each of us TWICE on the course. The crowd support was light for this race so seeing them helped me tremendously.
  • Kim coming over to give me a big hug right after I finished my leg.
  • My relay team mates.

When my leg was over, I was acutely aware that I was disappointed with my performance. The hilly course took a lot out of me and I just didn’t feel like I was strong. There was a lot of shoulda, whoulda, coulda’s floating around in my head and it’s taken me a full day to finally cut myself some slack. This race was a PDR and I guess it was a PR since this was my “fastest” 5K race. Not too hard considering that I hobbled through the majority of my first 5K in November of 2011 with a knee injury of sorts.

I am also very excited and pleased to announce that I am signed up to run The Roosevelt Island 5K in May with special guest, The Husband! This will be Steve’s first 5K ever and am excited to see him train and run this race with me. I’m hoping Greg will sign up so that we can make it a family affair.

And you know what, Mount Pain In My Ass. I’ll be back.