What’s in store for 2-0-1-4?

This year will be a little less race intense, but more body fit intense.

I am hitting up the 2014 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute East Coast Conference to earn important credits and gain important fitness knowledge.

I am getting certified in TABATA Bootcamp, this way I can get you in shape this summer at morning bootcamp (keep watching for more info!)

I am looking at a few races, many of what I have done before, actually almost all – this year is a year for comfort and see if I can beat my times!! I am getting faster you know, did you see my last year race times? If not, view my race rundown page. I will also be running with my niece Sara who has completed her first 5k last year and has set her sights on the Kent Island metric Half this year! (I am so proud!)

So after all the blabbing, here is the draft list…

Ceasar Rodney Half Marathon
Kent Island Metric Half (with my niece Sara!)
Wines to vines 5k
Trail Blazers 5k
Half Saur Half Kraut Half
Good Neighbor day 10k
Tolsdorf 1 mile
CX 5k Race Series
Philly Rock n’ Roll Half
Brian’s Run 5 miler

Any suggestions for races for me? RAGNAR, anyone need an extra? Tri? Comment below!

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Iron Girl Race Day Recap… The Run

As I was saying… the sun was shinning and the wind was at my back. Man-was I pumped. You would think one would be tired after swimming in a typhoon and riding a bike through a wind tunnel! Just kidding, it wasn’t all that bad, it was behind me now. I was smiling, laughing, yes tearing up, and chatting with the ladies along the route.

The route was fast and flat, a small turn around and then head back to the finish!

I have to say, I was pushing it. Didn’t need that Gu I had in my pocket, I was running off of pure excitement, Joy, and adrenaline!

I chatted with one or two ladies who were passing me, we said things like “you are awesome, keep it up!” and “See you at the finish line!”

Before I knew it the run was over! What the heck, the whole race was over! The race that I had prepared for for how many months, swimming many times a week, running, more times a week, and trying to bike as much as mentally possible. It all paid off, can I tell you (you probably already guessed this) but I am tearing up right now! I probably will each and every time I re-read these posts.

The excitement, the exhilaration, the joy of going through the finish line is so amazing, everyone in their life must once feel the feeling of working hard to complete a goal and then completing it, and completing it well. It is a feeling of a life time, it is addicting and it makes you say – I am ready for another!

I finished, man did I finish! I was so pumped with adrenaline I think I talked with over 50 women and met the winner. She was so nice! Competing in a race or sport that you love makes you a happy person. I swear. As Reese Witherspoon’s character ELLE WOODS in Legally Blonde put it “…exercise gives endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!”

Happy people just don't kill their husbands!

Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!

Up next… my race times and how they compare to my pre race goals!

Iron Girl 2013 Race Day Recap… The Bike

Jogging out of the transition area, hit the line and jumped on my bike. The gears were too low, so (and here is where my user error occurs) I proceed to ‘cross my chains’ What? YES. Now my pedals would not move forward. Any of you out there that have had a 6 gear Iron Man quality bike know that when your chains cross, you are not going anywhere till you uncrossed them. I am not an experienced rider, if I were I probably could have stayed on the bike and shifted till I was in the clear, but I had to dismount. Not, though, before I gave a big smile to the camera guy and rode past him. Can’t have a bad picture, now can we?

bike pic 2

Dismounted, not many riders passed me, I clicked my gears and hand pedaled my pedals until I was clear to go, I think this took about 6-8 min off my time. Lesson Learned. And off I rode.

The wind was at my face, side, back, and other side, ( that is called ‘coming from all directions’, thank you narrator in my head) and I pushed. The view was so pretty, the Bay on one side and trees on the other, the sun was shining down and the sky was light blue. I was having an experience of a life time! I pretty much passed everyone, all you could hear was “passing on your left” as I passed each Iron girl. I hit the turn around and kept up the pedaling. “Passing on your left” was what I said, and “you go girl!”, “right on sister”, and a few other motivational phrases were yelled back to me. Before I was completed the bike I was passed by probably 3 ladies. I was pleased!bike pic 1

Into the transition I went, quick, quick. Pro-compression visor that matched my Pro-compression socks, CHECK!

20131031-101611.jpg

NUUN at the ready, Mike’s recovery drink and a GU and I was running out of the transition area. I waved to my parents and down the road I went.

The wind had died down now and at my back, the sun was shinning and I was pumped for the run!

Starting off too fast?

We read, write, hear and tell our runner friends and acquaintances that running out too fast at the start of a long distance race can ruin a great race and rightfully so.  When we train as long and as hard as we do, we can’t chance ruining a great race in the first few miles and we don’t want anyone else learning  that awful lesson first hand.

The things I say to myself when I am starting a long distance race, to keep from sprinting than crashing, come from many places. From my parents or sisters. Also I hear this from my friends, extended family, the books and blogs I read, and many many internet sites. This is because everyone agrees on this topic.

This is my top list of what I say to myself to speed up SLOW DOWN at the start of a distance race.

Starting with my most favorite,
Your not going to win the race in the first mile!

– Run your own race!
– Don’t worry about people passing you now, you will end up passing them later on!
– Negative splits are what I aim for, if you run out too fast you my not accomplish that.
– Who needs to be with the pack? Not me!

what do you say to yourself to stop from starting too fast?

1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Race recap

The 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut half was a race I signed up for 4 weeks ago and was very excited to complete. I had run the Marathon the year prior and scored a PR, I love this course!

My finishers medal!

My finishers medal!

The morning started out at 4:20am, getting up and ready to hop in the car by 5am to take us to the race. I had my pre-race oatmeal all set and my gu’s all ready. The drive in was uneventful, I wasn’t as nervous or teary eyed as I have with my others. I cared a lot how I was going to do on this race but I was taking a different, less stressed approach. I think it helped. I wanted to PR. I didn’t care if it was by 1 second. I wanted it! I deserved it! I have put tons of time into my training and felt ready for anything.

Philly

Philly in the distance…

Usually, I worry, worry, plan, plan to the smallest detail possible, worry more, tear up in anticipation and then get to the race and run and worry… This time around was going to be different! I cooled it with the worrying, cooled it with the planning. I did, however, go over the race in my head a bunch of times, but not in a stressed out way. More of a ‘man I love this course’ way and thought that the mantra of the day would be “just run” …AND it all paid off! I PR’d by almost 3 minutes and I felt awesome throughout the entire race!

Getting to the Cannstatter Volkfestverein

Sorry about the fence, it surrounds the complex

Sorry about the fence, it surrounds the complex

I picked up my packet with ease and stood in line for the bus.

Waiting in line for the bus I heard many weird conversations...

Waiting in line for the bus I heard many weird conversations…

My parents were there to support me in my efforts and cheer me on, and well, just be there for me because they are so great. I was meeting them at the starting line.

On the bus, I people watched and reflected on the ride noticing that I didn’t see one pair of shoes that was like the other. I mean, everyone was wearing two shoes that match, it was just that no one in the place was wearing the same shoe! Are there that many different types of shoes that I step on a bus of, what? 100 or so people and no ones matchy-matchy? It is mind-boggling. The ride was short but a couple had time to fit in some PDA. Crazy, I know, I get it, but really?

Anyways… At the race location

Pennypack Park, race location

Pennypack Park, race location

there were plenty of Port-o-pots, lines were not outrageous and I went for a short warm up jog. During my warm up I picked it up to my race pace so I could feel the pace I was planning to run, stretched and it was time to get into my starting wave. I was in wave 2. There were 1000 runners, and notably one guy was running 160 in one year (he wore a ‘supermarathoner’ suit with a cape). I saw him a few times on the course.

The start had a few hitches, but then we were off. The pack was running fast, I stuck in there and said “just run.”  Usually at this point I would worry about going out too fast and petering out later on. Not this time. I just ran. Getting to the first hill and the second water station there was a row of young lady’s all dressed in their Lederhosen. It was neat, I passed them by, this time, but would see them again on my way back. This race is an out, up Mount Cuckoo and back. Rolling Hills and beautiful views!

(Sorry no more pictures till the end, I still haven’t got that ‘take photo while running thing’ down.)

Running at first was pretty uneventful, just running, I was going back and forth with a runner and finally asked her if she wanted to run together, because it was exhausting passing and then being passed (about 5 x) she said yes and we quickly began chatting and discussing life, family, running, and solving worldly problems (as we all do while running a race).  We were keeping a pretty good pace, gliding up hills and flying down the other side.  I ate a gu at mile 5 and she and I split up at the off-road trail. The race supplied Hammer Gels, I took one to try later. I don’t like trying new things on race day. That I will not change.

The off-road trail (Mount Cuckoo) is probably my most favorite part about this race.  This is what the race website (www.uberendurancesports.com) says about the off-road trail- ” Mount cuckoo is a 1 mile trail section that might feature minor roadblocks like rocks, dirt, possibly horse poop and some short rolling hills. This section is relatively easy by trail runner standards, but the surface is definitely different from what you usually discover during a (half)marathon. This might just slow you down enough to miss your PR even if the weather cooperates.”

When running this race you really do run on a path riddled with mud, stones, rocks, sticks, horse poop, and there is a beautiful uphill then a nice downhill and I love it! One thing I find is that when non-trail runners see a trail they almost do a complete stop. When we all hit the start of the trail we were running in a close straight line.  The moment the first person hit the dirt it was almost like a wave of dominos almost ready to fall backwards.

Is that bad to say?

Is that bad to say?

I had to get past those people if I was going to hit my PR, AND I did!

I was through with Mount Cuckoo and had less than a half of the half to go. I said “just run” and I did. I put my feet to the pavement and ran and passed people.  This is new to me, usually I am dying on the second half.  I hardly looked at my Garmen and tried to be a ‘Gazelle’ AND it was working!

Gliding up hills and flying down the other side. I said hello to the ladies in their Lederhosen which was located up the last hill and took a sip of water.  Down this last hill, a few more bumps in the next 3 miles, and I was home free. My mind said, “slow down you need to conserve” and I said back a resounding “just run” and I did!  I passed a ton more people, which, again, is all brand new for me. I chatted with one runner who was upset about her time and I had to leave that negativity and picked up my feet, bent my knees, and “just ran”.

Cow bells in the not so far distance told me the finish line was near! I looked at my watch, it said 2:00:01,  I wasn’t going to finish under 2 hrs. no worries. I minute later I was at the last bend.  I picked up my pace.  I was flying, smiling, and yes tearing up.   I saw my Mom and she yelled for me to “GOOOO” and I pushed harder. I felt a little nauseous but said, to myself, “you throw up at the end if you need too, but you are just going to run now” and I did!

No, not throw up! Run! and I finished official chip time 2:02:20! My new 1/2 Marathon PR. Awesome.

Who's Awesome? You are!

Who’s Awesome? You are!

The fans were great, the course amazing, and the race administrators are one of a kind. I will be doing this again next year!

I have  a few thoughts of why I did so well this race. I’ll share that with you in an upcoming post.

What is your favorite course?