Race Recap: PIT Fly By 5k

Missing some race reports, but clearly if they’d been particularly noteworthy I would’ve found it in me to post…so no sleep lost. This weekend I completed race #30 for the year (so far)…10 more to go to meet my goal.

This is a fun race, I did it last year. 5k with a medal, and you all know I love the bling. Flat and fast course at the airport. I did not PR this year, I was about a minute off, but it was better than my past few 5ks had been so I was happy with it. I *might* have PR’d, but my phone fell out of my belt at one point and I lost some time doubling back to get it. That doesn’t account for the whole minute, but there also came a point that once I knew I wasn’t going to PR I didn’t dig as deep as I could’ve if I’d been close.  So oh well, is what it is. Overall I’m happy with it. I’ll probably do this race again because it’s fun and kinda different.

After the race I made a whirlwind trip to Ohio for the day for a much needed visit. Really low mileage last week, and its making me vaguely crazy. Definitely need to log some more miles this week. That said–I’ll be happy when marathon training is over. A few more weeks and the race will be behind me, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m excited to move onto the next set of goals and adventures. Big plans in the works for 2018…

Happy Monday, friends.

Marathon Training: Week 4

This was a week, let me tell you. Slightly less stressful but HOT. Rested on Monday since I raced on Sunday. Tuesday I blew off my cross-training workout in favor of an impromptu date night with my husband. Wednesday I did my now usual group run with the SCRR East Enders, though only 2 of us showed up and I cut it short because it was HOT and I was completely drained. Thursday was the second SCRR Flash 5k (though it was my first) and I didn’t get the time that I wanted, but it was a great event and I had a fantastic time. A Flash 5k is kind of like Flash Mob for runners–date and time are publicized ahead, but location isn’t released until that day. You show up, you run. No charge, no frills, just a mass of people running a 5k. And this particular one had a couple of local food trucks, so I snagged some dinner before I headed home. Shout out to The Coop Pgh for the AMAZING Chicken & Waffles…seriously hit the spot and they were incredible. Friday was cross training and a warm up mile at Pittsburgh Kettlebell and Performance. Great class, decent mile. Got it done. Saturday I needed to log 10 miles for my long run, so I headed out to Annie’s Run–a local 6 hour trail event fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation put on by a member of my running club. Didn’t do the full 6 hours, just the 10 miles I needed to get in. Another great no frills event, with excellent food at the aid station. I’m not a trail girl, but I’d do it again.

Sunday I spent recovering and preparing for my work trip this week. I’m on a plane for Milwaukee at the butt crack of dawn on Monday morning and not coming back until Friday evening. Did some finagling to figure out runs while I’m out there, and hopefully I can hook up with their local running club for a run or two-we’ll see. More later.

Happy Monday, Friends.

Race Recaps…

So to jump right back in…I’ve done three races in basically as many weeks. So here’s a brief rundown of the events. I ended 2016 with a bang by doing the Harmony Silvester 5k on 12/31 where I managed to eek out a PR for the end of the year–33:04, a little over a minute faster than my previous 5k PR and a great place to end the year. It’s a nice race, rolling course, which is my favorite (I never seem to do as well on flat courses), decent number of participants. Having run in Harmony before, I’ve definitely encountered worse hills on other courses (looking at you Shamrock Shuffle Half Marathon). The race goes by gun time, which makes me even happier with my time. Overall a great event, and one I would definitely go back to.

Then on New Year’s Day we started off right with the First Day 5k. Not a gently rolling course, but a hilly beast that has kicked my butt now two years in a row. Finished two minutes slower than the Harmony race the day before, which I’m remarkably okay with as it was a solid 7 minutes faster than I did the same race and course the previous year, so I couldn’t be upset. It’s a tough course. I always underestimate the hills and end up walking (which, while there’s no shame in it, pisses me off a little). So hill work it is. Because if I hadn’t walked, I probably would’ve PR’d on that course, and now I want to do that. First goal for 2018, boom.

Last weekend I participated in my first group training run with the Steel City Road Runners–the Marathon Training Kickoff run. I’m doing the half at Pittsburgh this year, because I have a score to settle and honestly, I prefer the half to the full. I prefer to train for a full during the heat of the summer and end up rewarded with cooler temps on race day than vice versa. But I’m planning to run an ultra (and potentially now a full) in June, so doing the full marathon training makes way more sense. It was cold, and awful, and my pace SUCKED, but I got the miles done and had a good time. More group runs are in my future, for sure.

This weekend I did the Chilly Cheeks 5-miler up in Hermitage. Again, cold, which seems to be affecting my pace more than I want it to (and more than I want to admit it does). It wasn’t a tough course, but it *felt* tough. And my time was about a minute slower than the 5-miler I did in November, but when put in perspective of the fact it was significantly colder, I can accept it. Lots of work to do to hit my time goals, but I’m not starting off from a bad place.

Week is off to a solid start. Happy Monday, friends.

Race Recap: Holiday Double Header

I started this post last week, but the cold I’d acquired really kicked my butt and I couldn’t even get through typing it on Monday morning before I dragged myself to work.

I have really been looking forward to these races. I ran the Ugly Sweater Run in Pittsburgh last year with friends and it was so much fun. It didn’t come back here, but when I saw it was in Cleveland that seemed like a good excuse for a weekend trip. Then I found out the A Christmas Story Run was the day before. Sold. Unfortunately I caught a pretty wicked cold right before the trip which dampened my enthusiasm some for the weekend, but still…it was a lot of fun.

Headed to Ohio on Friday so we could hit packet pickup for the first race–A Christmas Story House run. No issues navigating in Cleveland (because it’s a grid built on a square…unlike our beloved Pittsburgh). Spent some time with my parents, then went over to Kel and Erik’s to have our pre-race dinner, a couple of drinks (because the pre-race beer has re-entered my life) and crash for the night.

Saturday morning we got up early, prepped, got out the door so we could find our way and make sure to get parking before road closures could become an issue (they wouldn’t have been for us, it turns out, but we didn’t know that). We were really early, and the lights were still on downtown, so Andy took some pictures of me before we went to Tower City for the SCRR photo.

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I started off great. I had energy, I was feeling good. I started with the 10:30 pacer (who was awesome) and stuck with him the whole first mile without much issue. But by mile two the sickness started to rear its ugly head and I was started to get depleted. I had to walk a few times. Cheers from fellow SCRR members helped as we passed each other along the course. It was a fun race, though, and I would totally do it again. Wish I could’ve seen more of the house (the actual house from A Christmas Story is the 5k endpoint and 10k turnaround) I thought about stopping for a selfie with it–pretty sure my time was already screwed because I’d had to walk, and this was supposed to be fun and not matter–but at that point I was running pretty well so I didn’t want to break momentum. So I kept going. The last bit of the course was rough for me, but I pressed on best I could manage. And ultimately I’m glad I did–I pulled out a PR! Only 5 seconds, and I’m reasonably sure the course was a little short, but hell it’s an official time on a course labeled 10k, so I’m going with it.

I was super depleted after the race, so we hightailed it back to the car and headed back to Kel & Erik’s. We got showered and such then the four of us went to lunch at FatHeads. So Good. Really hit the spot. Then we split ways and Andy and I went to pick up our packets for Sunday’s race, do a little shopping, then went to my parents house to help mom get ready for dad’s surprise party. I really could’ve used a nap, but it just wasn’t in the cards. We had a successful surprise 70th birthday party for my dad (and his twin brother). Then we headed back to Kel & Erik’s for the night.

Up and at ’em again on Sunday, not quite as bright eyed and bushy-tailed as I was on Saturday but good enough. This race was at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which was admittedly a big part of the appeal. I love the zoo. Huddled in the info center to stay warm before the race and took some more pics while waiting for go time.

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The Ugly Sweater Run is billed as a 5k, but it isn’t timed–it truly is meant to be a fun run style event. I didn’t even start off as strong as I had the day before, I was definitely drained from the sickness, so I was really glad that there was no timing so there was no pressure at all for me to perform well. The course was also really short, definitely not 5k–Garmin clocked it about 2.75 miles. But again, it was a fun event. I liked it, I would do it again, especially at the zoo (or Pittsburgh, it was cool here too, and much closer to a real 5k). And this year there were medals! We got sweet medals for both events, which was awesome, because I am ALL about that bling.

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Next up is our New Year’s Double Header–the Harmon Silvester 5k on New Year’s Eve and the First Day 5k on New Year’s Day–because I can think of no better way to cap off this year and start next year than by running. Working on my training plan for the first part of the year and trying to get some races scheduled and on the books. It’s going to be a little intense, possibly INSANE, but I need to challenge myself to get where I want to be. More to come on that as it unfolds.

Also worth noting, I had to break my run streak. I made it 14 days, then my knee started acting up and I literally could not run. I rested a couple days and was fine. Then ran one day, but the last bit of chest congestion killed me. Yesterday I felt really lousy so I missed my run. I think I’ve just about kicked it though, so I’m going to start again. I’d rather keep trying and falling short than not go for it at all. Don’t give up. Just keep pushing.

Happy Monday, friends!

Pittsburgh Great Race 5k Race Report

So first a word about good life decisions. I make them. Moving here has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, hands down. I’ve been here less than 3 weeks and I’ve already run two 5Ks and today I PR’d. For realsies.

So it started Wednesday night. Kristi needed to give up her spot in the Great Race 10k, and Lynn came home at the end of a long day and asked if I had any interest in doing a 5k or 10k this weekend. I said I’d be up for a 5k, but I’m not ready for a 10k yet. So we figure out the details of transferring the registration to my name, and the next day I drive over to Kristi’s to have her sign the form. Lynn turns it in on Friday and comes home with our ‘Swag Bags’. This is happening.

I get up at 5 this morning, change into my race gear–it was supposed to be chilly with a good chance of wet. So I’m layered to the hilt. Decide to abandon a layer in the car, which turned out to be a good call. Lynn and I took the 5k shuttle to the start and kill the better part of the hour until start time. The strategy–middle of the road over the start line, then shift left for passing and all that. My goal was to PR. My best 5k time was my first race, what feels like eons ago, and it was 39-something. I wanted to see 38 or better on the clock, that’s all I wanted.

We started off and it was clear to me straight off that I love Pittsburgh. I LOVE IT. I love running through this city. I LOVE IT. It’s gorgeous. It’s friendly. And it’s just so much fun to run in. So we started running. And the really fun part about huge races like this for admittedly slow, but improving, runners like myself is that you actually get to pass people. A lot of people. So we’re weaving and bobbing and working our way through the crowd. Lynn was an awesome pacer. I felt solid and steady. I didn’t want to walk or even slow down because there was someone running with me. First mile was a breeze once I warmed up, though I was definitely ready for the water stop at the halfway point. Walked the first water stop. Continued, mile two was a little rougher, a little slower, but we hung in there. I knew that we were 2 minutes behind clock time, so when I heard 27:15 at the two mile I knew I had it in me to PR. I could do 13. So we continued. Last water stop I didn’t want to walk, I wanted that PR so we jogged through. MISTAKE! (Imagine that being sung.) I got a stitch in my side shortly thereafter and had it not been for Lynn I would’ve walked. But I didn’t. I kept going. Kept running. Groaning every few steps, trying desperately to massage the ache in my side, but I kept moving. We kept bobbing and weaving and passing. And after what felt like the longest finish chute EVER (I swear the ones for the half marathons are shorter) there was the clock. We finished. Scanned our bibs to get our times (thank you fancy QR coded bibs! I seriously hope they do that for the half marathon next year). 38:14. BAM!! And that, my friends, is how you PR. (Did I mention that Lynn was an awesome pacer? Totally couldn’t have done it without her.) We got the requisite Smiley cookie (another great thing about running in the ‘burgh) and headed back to the car to change out of our sweaty stuff into warmer stuff, picked up post-race caffeine (Diet Mt. Dew for Ben and coffee for Lynn and I) then made our way back to the finish area to find Kristi and wait for Ben and Kristi’s friend Melissa to finish. Lynn and I were almost hit by the press truck (members of the press riding on a flatbed) and then it started to rain steadily harder and harder as we waited for Ben and Melissa.

I was cold and wet, but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I had PR’d! I had Dunkin Donuts coffee in my hand! I was surrounded by friends and in a city I love. Life is good. 😀

And I’m thinking I have to do the 10k next year. 🙂