Sharon Timlin 5k Race Recap

On Saturday I ran the 14th annual Sharon Timlin Memorial 5k Race to Cure ALS (well, that’s a mouthful!). It was my first 5k after having Mr. Baby, and only my second road race in that time. I didn’t technically train for this, but I haven’t ever done specific training for a 5k, so that’s nothing out of the norm.

The race was paid for through a program at my work, which is fantastic, but was a little weird this weekend. The last time I ran a race with the program, we all got matching t-shirts, and met up for a picture before the race. This time, there was no pre-race organizational email, and I didn’t end up seeing any other people from work at the race. I don’t actually mind not having a meet-up; I just felt like I had missed some communication.

Jeff stayed home to watch Mr. Baby and get the house together because we had plans to celebrate Father’s Day with his family at 11:30 (at our house). I’ve run races alone before (a lot actually), but I can probably count on one hand the number of races I’ve gone to alone, without Jeff or another friend or family member to spectate or run another distance. Honestly, it felt strange and was less fun this way. And it made waiting around for the race to start feel like FOREVER.

After getting my number, checking out the post race party area, and visiting the start line, I stopped back at my car to pin on my number and drop off my tshirt. I then took the long way back to the start line and lined up between the 9 and 10 minute per mile signs.  I really wasn’t expecting to go that fast, but directly behind the 10 minute sign was where the walkers and jogging strollers were lining up and I wanted NO part of that.

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I had gotten to the race pretty early, and was in the corral about 20 min before race time, so the corral slowly filled up around me. I eavesdropped on conversations and took a few pictures for groups of runners around me, and then FINALLY the race started! It was pretty much right on time, but I’d been lined up for quite a while.  It took a minute or two to cross the start line, and then we were off!

My plan was to run “comfortably hard”, an effort level where during the last mile I would be eager to reach the finish line, but I wouldn’t be desperate to stop until the last quarter mile or so. I had no time goal in mind, and I forgot to wear my Garmin so I checked the time on my watch as I crossed the start so I would have some reference point during the race.

The first mile was mostly downhill, so even though I kept the weaving to a minimum and tried to settle into an even pace, I still finished that first mile fairly quickly (about 10 min according to my watch time). Mile 2 had a few hills and some flatter stretches. I haven’t been running very long distances lately, so in addition to the hills I was feeling that first mile and I slowed myself on the flatter sections so I would have enough left in the tank for mile 3.  

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In the second half of Mile 2, I was getting tired and a bit cranky. People around me were starting to get on my nerves! There was a water stop where they were handing out water on both sides of the fairly narrow street, which made it difficult to run through the water station. There were jogging strollers catching up to the rest of the pack by this time and taking up a lot of space with their “wide loads”. Also, this point is where the many, many kids running the race were starting to poop out, and do things like abruptly stop in the middle of the street to take walk breaks. I also ran for a while near a lady who had external speakers playing music. I don’t care if you want to listen to music while you run, but why force everyone to listen to YOUR music? Ugh.

None of these things are out of the realm of what I’d expect for a race, but I was tired and OVER IT, so I was happy when I hit the next mile marker and only had a mile left to go. My watch said the second mile took about 11 minutes, which seemed spot on with the hills and other slow downs.  

The last mile of the race had a fair amount of twists and turns and some more downhills. I was feeling ready to be done for most of this last mile, so I really appreciated the downhills. With about a half mile to go I got a side stich which only made me more anxious to get to the finish line. When I turned the final corner and saw the finish line, I pushed myself to bring it in strong. I crossed with the timer reading 33 minutes, but forgot to check my own watch. I promptly got myself some water then headed to the after race party and grabbed a cookie and some yogurt before heading back to the car.

The after party seemed like a good one, but I didn’t stick around long since we were having guests. They were also holding a color run for kids that hadn’t started yet, but seemed like it was going to be a big hit.

All in all, I had a pretty good time at the race, and I would definitely do it again. But with other people. I don’t think I’m a solo 5k runner, at least not unless I have a specific goal.

In the end, my race time was posted as 32:59 which is a good time, but a little disappointing. This was the time on the clock when I crossed the finish line, but I definitely did not cross the starting line until at least a minute or two after the gun went off. I’ll take it, since it’s official, but I know I’m faster ☺

Tell me: Do you like to run races alone? Do other racers ever get on your nerves? And, what’s your favorite snack for them to give out post race? I took the yogurt for later, but the cookies were perfect!

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Last Week Running: 1st Edition

In an effort to make my “week in review” posts a little more timely, I’m going to try something new by switching up the order! It seems like most running blogs I read have a standard formula of posting a workout review on Monday and some kind of brain dump on Friday. While I know this isn’t mandatory, it is nice to have some kind of schedule/direction, and Monday certainly feels like a good “recap” day.

Unfortunately, I just can’t maintain this schedule. Actually, I can’t really seem to maintain any type of blogging schedule. All I know is that I WANT to blog, the what/when/how isn’t really quite as clear. I also think it would be nice if I wasn’t posting weekly recaps that are more than a month old, but that might be setting the bar too high.

I’m hoping that by freeing myself from the idea of “mandatory Monday”, I’ll have an easier time. Now, with no further ado…The 1st Edition of “Last Week Running”

Saturday – I ran a 5k! (Recap coming soon!) It was my first road race in a while, and it was a pretty good time. After the race, we had my in-laws over for lunch to celebrate Father’s day.  That was also a pretty good time with some delicious bagels and Buffalo Wing Doritos. These were the last “events” in a very busy month, and after our guests left I was pretty happy to have the rest of the weekend to relax.

Sunday – We woke up with no plans and no guests, so since the weather was nice, we went for a family run. My legs were pretty sore so we took plenty of walk breaks! We ran to the playground at the local elementary school and took Mr. Baby out of the jogger to play for a bit. The playground is a bit old for him, but he enjoyed a “controlled” ride down the slide and some swinging on my lap. It was a great way to break up the run, but we should have brought water or gatorade…next time!

Monday – I decided to skip my run because my legs were still sore from Saturday. Originally, I was going to push the run to Tuesday, but then I just skipped it. 

Thursday – Speed Work, Week 2! I increased to 5x400m (well, .25 mi). My plan (that I made up) is to increase to 8 intervals and then start over at 4, at a faster speed. Right now my speed is 10 min/mile. This is much slower than I’ve ever run intervals before, but my other runs are all at the 11 – 12 min/mile range, so I don’t think it’s an unreasonable place to start.


Step Goal Progress: My goal is currently 8,000 steps and I’m increasing by 1,000 every time I manage to hit my goal every day for a full week.  As I write this on Friday night, it’s the last day I need to hit 8,000 before moving up!

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Bunny seen on my walk

Study Goals: I’m on a 3 week studying “break” and it NEEDS to end.

Around the House: After living here for 2 years, I’ve finally set up the record player! We organized the basement which included setting up our old video game systems and the record player. I also set up a puzzle at the card table. It’s a fun place to hang out these days.

Fun Fact: A lot of people work from home on Fridays in my office, so each Friday my team tries to guess how many people that work in our area will show up. I have gotten it exactly right two weeks in a row! 🙂


Now this week:

  1. Running: Easy Run, 5 mile long run, Stroller run, 6x400s
  2. Studying: GET IT TOGETHER!
  3. Around the House: Organize my clothes
  4. Step Goals: Move it up to 9000
  5. Food Stuff: Don’t eat like crap, make banana muffins  and bbq chicken chili

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Week In Review

I did it! I ran 4 times last week, exactly according to my “plan”. ☺ Praise me!

Monday – Had off from work after our trip to Buffalo, which made fitting in a run a tad easier. I was exhausted from going to bed at 1 AM and still getting up at 6 AM, but forced/convinced myself to run mid-morning. I thought it was going to be awful because of how tired I was, but the run actually felt great!

Thursday – I checked the weather forecast earlier in the week and since rain was predicted for Thursday, I decided to get some work done outside on Wednesday and run on the treadmill Thursday night. I was not overly excited to do it, but I did anyways. A new season of Switched at Birth was released on Netflix, so I’ve been watching that while I run and ONLY while I run. It’s very good motivation.

Saturday – I took to the treadmill in the afternoon for my weekly “long” run. In this case, long is relative. My typical run right now is 5 minutes walking, 25 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. I want to increase to a half marathon distance, but I’m in no rush. So for this run, I just did the “route of the day” on my treadmill, which was 3.33 miles. I sandwiched that distance between 5-minute warmup/cool down walks.

Sunday – The weather was finally nice enough again to take Mr. Baby for a spin in the jogger. And, Jeff was up for a run as well, so the three of us headed to a nearby (paved) trail. I didn’t bring my garmin, but according to the charity miles app, we covered 3 miles. (2.99 actually…ha!) It was nice to get the run done early in the day and while Mr Baby was awake. This meant I didn’t have to spend nap time running, and could get other things done.

My plan for this week is 4 runs again, and this time I’d like my mid-week run to be intervals. I’m thinking I’ll start with 4 x ¼ mile, and add an interval each week. I’m not sure how many I’ll build to; maybe 8. It seems like a good amount while allowing me to keep the run relatively short. As for pace, I’m not sure on that either, but thinking I’ll start with 10 min/mile and see how it feels. I haven’t really been keeping track of my pace, but I know it’s slower than that, so it seems like a nice round starting point.

This week left me feeling good about my running schedule, and hopeful that I can get some consistency back. I know it’s only the first week, but I feel like I could get into a good groove here. ☺

Note: I wrote this about a month ago, but somehow didn’t get it published (goodness!) It would seem that I’m not always a very prompt blogger. As an update, I made it a second week with 4 runs (including intervals!) before we had a house full of guests and a packed schedule to keep my from running. Hoping to get back at it this week!

I have a plan (sort of)

Last Monday I was finally able to get my act together and go for a run during the week. At this point, I’ve built up the trouble I’ve had with weekday running so much that it’s like slaying a mythical beast (the bad kind though, not like a unicorn…I would never slay a unicorn…all that business about having a “cursed life”, no thanks!)

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I squeezed it into a free half hour I had between Mr. Baby’s bedtime and my standing Monday skype call with my friend.  I managed slightly over 2 miles. I essentially felt like a superhero for getting this done, and I’m thrilled to add this to my regular routine.

After that run, I didn’t run again for the rest of the week. (oops!) But I filled my time with doing things around the house, so I don’t feel too bad. I still want to work my way up to 10 miles so I can earn my medal for the virtual 10 miler I signed up for, so I’ll have to dial it back a bit on the DIY projects.

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My medal is in that package…I just have to earn it!

I’ve been hoping to make an easy stroller run a regular weekly thing, but so far the weather hasn’t been agreeable. I’m sure things will turn around soon enough, and the price per run of my stroller won’t be so astronomical. (With only two runs under its belt it’s a pretty expensive ride..haha)


For months, I’ve been thinking I need a training plan to keep myself on track, but I’m starting to think I just need a weekly plan. Both for running, and other things I want to get done. Just a little something to keep me on track.

So far, here’s what I have:

Monday: squeeze in quick run before my Skype date

Wednesday/Thursdsay: Get in another run! JUST DO IT!

Saturday: Long(er) run

Sunday: Stroller run

The Wednesday/Thursday run I think will be the toughest to get done, and Sunday is weather dependent, so we’ll see on that one, but I think this will be a pretty good start.  I plan to come up with some build up for the long run so I can get to that 10 miles, but other than that I’m keeping it pretty open.


Now, before I wrap up this post: I registered for a 5k on June 17th!

It’ll be my first 5k since November 2015, and only my second road race since then. Know what that means? It’ll be a post baby PR! Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing. 🙂

Free!

Immediately after I take an exam I always realize just how much time studying takes up and I feel like I have loads of free time.  This time hasn’t been any different! I think it’s partly that when I’m studying I feel like if I have any free time I should use it to study so if I’m not studying that must mean I’m too tired to do anything, so I just sit on the couch watching netflix and reading facebook/blogs. I know that this is not sound logic, but maybe my brain is too tired (from all the studying) to be logical. Yes, let’s go with that.

So, anyways, now that my exam is over and I have decided not to find a new netflix show, I’ve been getting things done! And, maybe this is weird and dorky, but one of my favorite things to do when I’ve had a productive day/week/etc. is to list out all the things I did and be impressed with myself. In that spirit, let’s recap the weekend-

Friday: My SIL and BIL brought dinner over and we told them all about cloth diapering and how awesome it is what it’s really like. My BIL told me I should start a blog about cloth diapers…one can dream. 🙂

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Saturday: We did our normal Saturday errands (grocery store, the dump, starbucks), but also got some house projects done while Mr. Baby was napping. We borrowed a power washer from my SIL and BIL, which we’re using as part of what I’m going to call the Great Deck Project of 2017. We also worked on wall mounting our TV, and did some spray painting (also part of TGDP 2017).

Sunday: On Saturday we did 3 loads of laundry, so on Sunday we folded ALL THE LAUNDRY.  Somehow we managed to escape MT. WASHMORE long enough to go for a jaunt through the woods at the state park. And during nap time, more power washing and finishing hanging the TV. We also made a quick trip to Lowe’s for more spray paint. (I have no concept of how much spray paint is needed for a project, but I think I’m good now.) <— Edited to Add: Nope, I will definitely need more spray paint.

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This beaut is gettin’ a makeover!

I got zero running in this weekend, but I did enough physical labor that I don’t feel like a slouch. I’m still working on what my “training” schedule is going to look like, and currently would rather spend my time and energy on house projects and walks in the woods. 🙂

I’ve also been giving myself a study break, which has been fantastic! I’m hoping I can start up studying at lunch again soon; if I can manage to accomplish enough that way, I’ll let myself have my weekends free at least until June.

I hope you all had a fun and productive weekend! Any projects on the horizon? Would you read my cloth diaper blog?

Note: Conceptually, I understand that it’s possible to recap the weekend on Sunday night or Monday morning and have a post ready to go that Monday.  However, in practice, I can’t seem to get a hang of it. For that reason, this post is a week in the past. You just time traveled! Congratulations! And, You’re Welcome!

A Week in Review

Over the past month, I’ve written several posts but have just gotten around to adding the finishing touches and posting them. If you know me in real life and are confused that some of this stuff is old news, it’s because this post is really from April 10th.  Sorry for the delay!


Back in the day when I used to blog and run regularly, I did a Monday post recapping the prior week and posting the current week’s goals. I can’t promise that I’ll start this up again every week, but I’m bringing it back for today at least.  Combined with a recap of some non-running activities to add a little content.

Week in Review –

Monday – No running. Went for a walk with Jeff and Mr. Baby after work. Had my weekly Skype call with one of my best friends and then baked angel food cupcakes.  Hit my step goal for the day. (Currently 6k steps.)

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Getting ready to inhale the cupcakes!

Tuesday – Could not convince myself to run, but I walked on the treadmill. Hit my step goal again.

Wednesday – Work was super busy and meetings got pushed back AND ran long. I ended up staying late, and got home about an hour later than normal. Was exhausted by the time Mr. Baby was asleep, and again didn’t run. Didn’t hit my step goal, either.  I ate cupcakes…yum.

Thursday – Again, no running.  I kind of suck at getting runs in during the week.  I didn’t hit my step goal, either. We were having work done on our house (moving our laundry room), and it finished today, so we ordered celebratory pizza.  It was delicious!

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This is going to be amazing.

Friday – Finally it has stopped raining (kind of). We met up with my sister in law at the nearby state park to go for a walk. I brought along Jeff and Mr. Baby, and she brought along her dog. It was a tad chilly and a bit rainy, but a good time. And, I hit my step goal again finally!

Saturday – Did a 6k run on the treadmill while Mr. Baby napped. I’m slowly eeking my way up to 10k in order to earn my virtual 10k medal.  I’m hoping to go up to 8k this weekend and then do the full 10k the next week. I switched my treadmill over to metric so I could see my progress toward 10k in kilometers rather than miles.  I have no concept of how fast I’m going at any given time, and the k’s add up much quicker than miles do.  It’s been kind of great.

Sunday – On Sunday I took Mr. Baby for our first ever stroller run. It was SO AWESOME!  I ended up not getting out until the afternoon because it was too chilly for my passenger in the morning and then I had to work around naps and meals. Pushing the stroller isn’t really too difficult, but I am definitely sore now from all the hills!  Originally, I had hoped to go to a (flat) rail trail, but because I went so late I decided to go to the state park instead. The roads inside the park are closed to cars this time of year, and I figured that there would be tons of people out and I’d want a wider path to run than at the rail trail.  In that respect it worked out great, but the hills! Yikes!

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There were so many people out. I don’t know how I managed this picture.

This week, I’m keeping my step goal of 6,000; once I get a week’s worth of hitting my goal I’ll up it to 7,000. I also plan on running 8k at some point (probably Saturday) on my mission to hit 10k. And, it would be nice if I could get a run in during the week.  I have a hard time motivating myself to do that, but I really would like to get back on the horse, so to speak.

Hope you had a great week!  Do you have a step goal? Ever run with a stroller? Am I the only one who falls apart when I have to stay late at work?

 

What Now?

Over the past couple of weeks, the following three things happened-

  1. I ran the virtual 10k I’ve been “training” for.
  2. I took my 5th Actuarial Exam
  3. I finished the Netflix show I was watching (Switched at Birth)

And now, I’m sitting here like, “What now???”

Soooo…last things first I guess. I decided NOT to find another Netflix show. Jeff and I still have a show we watch together, but I’m not going to start another show just for me. I’m hoping this will prompt me to do more things at night after Mr. Baby goes to bed.  So far, I can’t say this has changed anything except to make treadmill running less appealing, but I’m still hopeful.  I’m thinking I should find movies to watch while running. At least with movies there’s no “just one more episode.”

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I totally know the signs for “okay”, “thank you” and “dating”.  The essentials.

Moving backwards up the list, I’ve had some difficulty deciding what to study next on the actuarial front. There are some changes in the works in regards to the credentialing path, which has resulted in several deadlines I must meet in order to avoid new requirements. The timing of this stinks and is the main reason why choosing what’s next has become such a dilemma.  I think I’ve settled on focusing the next few months on an online course about corporate finance. I haven’t pulled the trigger on buying the course yet because I still feel unsure about what order to do things. Ultimately though, I need to stop waffling about this and just DO SOMETHING.  Something is better than nothing.

Now, on to the running.

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10k and S.P.E.W medal!

I’ve signed up for another virtual race through the Hogwarts Running Club. Technically, the suggested run date was yesterday, but that’s the beauty of a virtual race…you can do it whenever you please. This one is the Unmasked 10 Miler. Which means I need to progress from 10k to 10 miles. While I’m fairly certain I could build up to 10 miles in the same pathetic manner I built up to 10k, I’d really like to finally get my act together and run more than once or twice a week. I’ve settled on using the 80/20 running plan, but need to pick a distance – the plans in the book are for 10k or ½ marathon. Technically, I could craft my own plan, but I’m not up for that right now. Whichever I pick, I’ll tweak the long run distances, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go with that.

I know it sounds like I’m pretty settled on my running plans, so let’s throw a tweak in there. I got an email this week about a 5k near my house that would be work sponsored. I have a hankering to do this race, so then what plan do I use? Would I use the 5k plan and do the 10 miler later? Do I just run the 5k with no distance specific training (in other words, the same way I’ve run every 5k I’ve ever done)?  It’s a tough choice! I’m not sure there’s even enough time to complete the 5k training plan before the race…maybe that’ll be the deciding factor. 🙂

So, tell me…did you finish anything recently? How do you decide what’s next?