Category Archives: races

Humid, Hot, Hilly, Happy – 4 on the 4th

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Hello my midweek holiday celebrating friends!  That was a tough one for me. my brain could not understand that it was Wednesday and not Saturday.  and that everyone was off from work. very difficult. we pulled through. the Wednesday wannabe Saturday was exacerbated by the fact that I ran a race. because races are always on the weekend. but this was a Wednesday. a Wednesday race was a first for me. what was also a first was running a 4 mile race. but now we are getting ahead of ourselves. let’s backtrack and talk about some workouts leading up to and through today. that’s a lot of running, so I’ll try to keep it brief. which shouldn’t be a problem because I quite honestly can’t remember much past yesterday anyway.
Workouts

Tuesday – 6.25 miles easy. truly, it was easy. I kept it just under 8 minute miles.  because I was running a race the next day. and because it was getting late in the day and it was really hot. my legs wanted to go more like 7:20-7:30ish pace, but we persevered and kept 8 near and dear.  trying to conserve as much energy as possible.
Wednesday – 1 mile w/u plus 4 mile race plus 6 mile recovery run = 11 miles for the day. 
I ran with my watch for the 6 mile recovery, but didn’t look at the pace, just ran comfortable and it was right around 7:45. good.
Today – 6 miles really easy. 8:20 pace easy plus 3 treadmill miles for 9 total in 73 minutes. My legs were really tired from yesterday. I put very little effort into this run and just let it be what it was. It was very pleasant, but also SUPER humid and hot at 5:30am when I left.  I needed to get about 10 miles.  instead of getting up when my alarm went off, I chose to lay in bed and not sleep but think about how much of a bad mood I would be in if I didn’t get my bum out of bed. It took about 10 minutes for me to firmly decide that a foul mooded mama was not in the best interest of anyone today and it was now or never.  at which point I only had time for 6 miles before I had to be back for the hubs to hit the gym. hence, the undesirable little 3 mile stint on the home mill.  It had to be done. I’ve got to sneak those miles in somewhere.  It’s not easy to get 50plus miles in a week.  for me. I feel like I’ve been running a TON and I just hit 36. not complaining. just think I should be able to add some honorary miles for feeling like I’ve been running more.
RACE


My crew. love them to death. 
This was a last minute race. my kind of race. I was told it was hilly. I already knew it would be hot and suffocatinlgy humid. none of those H’s failed to represent. although, I feel the hills were a little misrepresented. agreed, this was a very hilly 4 miler –  but we were not climbing everest. some expreienced looking runner tells me this is the hilliest race you’ll run and I think, good lord what have I gotten myself into. he obviously didn’t run the colchester half. that was hills. these were significant rollers, the whole time.   and one or two real hills.  enough to make it very challenging. but not killer.
Before we get into the race, let’s take a look at what happens behind the scenes for the lucky spouse that doesn’t get to race…hanging out with 3 little cherubs with sassy attitudes in hot temps…
no explanation


that didn’t happen for very long. he doesn’t like containment. 

little knuckleheads. 

post race crazies. heat was getting to them. and possibly the sugar from the free soda. that we let them have. 

GOALS FOR THE RACE
# 1Goal was to RUN MY BEST RUN

I would have been ecstatic with a 6:15 pace. I had no idea what that equated to for finish time, and I have no idea where that number came from. completely arbitrary. and very aggressive. I thought. for a hilly run. on a hot day. with high humidity. 

Aggressive pace or not, I knew I would have to hold back for the first couple miles because I always go out way too fast. and was capable of doing a 5:40s first mile and a sub 6 second mile then crashing. I didn’t want to crash. I wanted to run my BEST run that I had in me that day. and that was a smart run. and a run that was going to be good practice in mental strength. I truly wasn’t concerned with the outcome. I just wanted to run well, and strong. 

I was dripping sweat at the start. It was about 80 degrees and 80% humidity.  I did a 1 mile warmup. and waited about 10 minutes for the start. I LOVE seeing all the different people toeing the start line. 8 year old boy kept shoving me out of the way and two men in their 70’s were chatting up a storm next to me. behind me were a group of goofball high schoolers that would run sub 25 with ease. 

Horn blows.  Runners start cruising. 

holding back. staying in the low 6’s. I kept seeing 6:06, 6:04…slow it down a tad

I was in the front. with a pack of guys. no idea who was behind me. 

I LOVE these short, fast races. so hard from the start. so beneficial to the grand scheme of distance running. so mental. 

Miles 1 and 2, I felt like I was on cruise control. very comfortable in that pace. 

6:19, 6:12

 Hills started within the first 1/4 mile.  I didn’t let the hills psyche me out. I took them head on. 

Mile 3 was equally strong.  I felt good that I hadn’t wasted all of my energy in the first two.  but I almost blew it on this one. at the end of mile 3, you come back near the finish and EVERYONE is cheering. There were a lot of people. something about a lot of people cheering in a small race seems to give the runner some sort of magic ability to grow wings and just soar. effortless. I think I even saw fairy dust. maybe a unicorn.

5:54

5:54 is never effortless. for this girl. people are gone just as fast as they appear. crowds die and mile 3 is over. and you find yourself smack at the bottom of a hill after running a 5:54 mile. not cool. my legs felt like lead. I saw 6:40 on my watch and for a split second thought I blew my run. a split second later I got back in it and didnt care what my watch said. I was running. and I was going to bust out whatever I had left. pants peeing, dead leg running, gut it out pace.  one mile.  and more rollers.  I tried to start picking off the guys, which is tough when they are all running sub 6 minute miles. I didn’t know who was right behind me. and at this point, I didn’t want some girl taking my first place when I had worked for this position. 

6:25

Before I knew it, the finish was ahead and I could see 24:42 on the clock. I had no idea what my time was until that point, and I sprinted to get in under 25. done. 

24:59

1st female

17th overall out of 730 racing peeps

6:15 average pace

2nd girl was just over 2 minutes behind me. glad she wasn’t nipping at my heals.

I ran my run. I couldn’t have done it better. Happy I won, but happier I ran smart and strong. in heat, humidity and hills.


These short runs are purely mental for me. right now. the pace is what it is and I push myself, but i want to feel strong and present and in control when I run.  you start out hard and finish hard. and strong. physically and mentally.  I lost my mental edge a bit these past few months. I’m going to get it back doing races like this. 

Lululemon speed skirt and cool racerback top. that speed skirt is my favorite skirt. they don’t carry it now. but you could probably find it for twice as much on eBay. 

and that’s my last minute race. onto the next one.
By the time we got home, I put Luke down for a nap and scootched out the door to finish up my miles for the day. before it got too hot. it was already in the 90’s. I really do love running in the heat. that is why I love fall marathons. you have a full summer of hot running and training and then ease into some nice fall weather. if all goes according to plan.
but the heat takes everything out of you. my body wanted to be doing this…
seriously. give me a binky and a bath and let me chill out on a giant stuffed animal.  wrapped in a towel. rough life. 
not moving a muscle.  at all.  But my kids wanted to be doing this…


running around like maniacs, slip and sliding all over the yard. they win. 
moving. a lot. and it was the 4th of July.  meaning we had a long day and a later night ahead of us. and we would be bad parents if we made the kids leave the partay that night before te fireworks.  we played. and played some more and hung out with friends and watched some fireworks. perfect ending to a hot, hectic, hilly, fantastic day. 
and I pay for the late night and early morning, today.
they chose to ambush me at the grocery store. 3 on 1. no fair. two of my three decided to have a little soliloquy of screaming throughout. delightful experience.  we quickly moved our way through the store, as to ensure that I did not choke my kids out in the cereal aisle. surprisingly, I remained calm despite the ear piercing notes coming from their sweet little mouths. oh, stare all you want. I really don’t mind. I ran this morning. and I might have perused lululemon this afternoon.  always a mood lifter.  especially with all of their fantastically bright and exciting new colors. nothing can shake me. I can’t hear you, little screamers. but it was slightly exhausting.
somehow I managed to come home with something for dinner. Go me. randomly throwing items in a cart works. we had chicken and a nice little tomato/white bean/scallion salad. yum.
tomorrow will be a different story. I’m pretty confident we will be back at the grocery store. hopefully fully rested and with our happy pants on.
How was everyone’s 4th?? 

Who got some running in?  Racing?  

How do you stay sharp in a race or a long run?  Mantras?  Mantras really work for me. love ’em.




A 5K, A Win, and Base Miles

Standard
Workout(s)

So much to catch up on. Where the heck to begin, my friends???  Let’s start with Saturday and work our way forward and then back again then forward again. Keep it all over the place exciting.  Because this weekend had a lot going on. Kind of. Don’t get excited. It wasn’t super exciting stuff. It was nice family stuff, but nothing over the top. As always, I’m going to share the juicy details of a typical running family weekend.  weekends tend to revolve around the run when both parentals are running and training for something.
Saturday- 5k race (we will talk about this in a minute) + 5.3 miles later in day = 8.4 for the day
This put me at 45 miles for the week!!!  It truly does not take a lot to make me happy.  give me some running miles, chocolate and perhaps a new workout tank and I’m on cloud 9.  this 45 mile week included two days off from running, one day was stairmaster cross training. I’m very happy with my first 40+ mile week, which also included two good short races.  and is lacking any pain or soreness.
Sunday- 10 miles am before church + 3 miles after church = 13 for the day.  No garmin.  I actually started with the watch on, and it quite honestly was being a little pisser and bringing my run down, so I shut it off. I wanted it to be a nice easy run, no stress, no fuss- but I kept looking at the watch and getting annoyed that my “easy” run pace was not as easy as I wanted it to be. So I turned off the watch and just ran.  Turned out to be a 7:45ish pace, which is what I was shooting for.
Monday (which is today, for those of you in denial that the weekend is over)- 7.75 miles. no assistance from gps watch.  Hence the pesky “.75” at the end instead of a pretty looking figure 8.  Kind of a bummer. This is where taking pushy mr. Garmin works out well- you don’t get stuck with a “.75” at then end of your mileage.  but you also dontnget stuck with a poor attitude about a certain pace.  I don’t really like decimals with the numbers 75 after them when they are under the miles I wanted to hit.  If the .75 followed the 8, it would have been happy day.  So I’m stuck with 7.75 instead of 8.  I do suppose worse things could happen on a Monday.
So there it is. We’re all caught up on the running weekend. Let’s move back to the racing weekend.
Turns out I’m a sucker for 5k’s, or any k for that matter. I had fun at the 10k last weekend too.  I had to help my 5 year old visualize every “k” from 1 to 10 by telling her how far she would have to run from our house to make that distance.  It was a riveting conversation.
5k’s are frightening. They are a fast, scary, slightly torturous breed of race.  I like that. Thrilling. Challenging. Make you hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes kind of anxiety inducing distance. That might be just me. And that might happen to me before any race. but 5k’s especially.  my stomach starts flipping just thinking about it.  while they are short and fast, I think the challenge of them and the training benefits – both mental and physical – are great. You have to go fast from the start, stay fast in the middle and push it harder in the end.
When my friend said she was running the race, I obviously wanted to join.  and therein lies the problem of dual training parents. The hubs had a 26 mile run planned for that morning. Whats a mom to do.  I thought about hiding his sneakers, but didn’t want to play dirty.  So I’m left with three kids. One race. One parent. Find a way to make it happen…by pawning off the children on friend’s husband. perfect.  This is also why a 5k is great, its a quick race. so my children would only be torturing friends husband for approximately 18-20 minutes.
I signed the girls up for the half mile kids race. and stuck my little crazy man in the stroller.  the girls ran the whole thing. of course, I have no pictures of them running it.  I can’t be photographer/runner/mom/coach all at the same time. The race photographer caught some delightful images of them, but i am not tech savvy enough to hijack them from the website. and that would be stealing. I might be forced to pay for these ones. too cute.  This is the only picture I have – and it’s not very delightful…
I went into my 5k just like my 10k on Sunday- ready to run my best run that morning.  I always go into a race wanting a PR, but it’s just not always the case.  And I’m learning that it’s ok to not run faster at every run, but it’s great to run my best at every run.
On Saturday, my best got me First place overall female.  Happy.  I squeaked in just under 19 minutes. My garmin said 18:57, official time I think was 18:58. What a major discrepancy there.  Average pace was 6:05.  I was 9th place overall finisher out of 385 people- so it was kind of a small race.
This was a bit hillier than my 5k in march. There was a hill within the first 1/10 mile. And then the one that sucked the life out of my legs – it was a 1/2 mile incline from mile 2 – 2 1/2. that’s exactly one 1/2 mile too long of an incline for a 5k.  It wasn’t super steep, but anything other than flat in a 5k is just not desirable.  It was probably like running 3-4% incline on the treadmill. Naturally, that was my slowest mile.  Here are my garmin splits:
Mile 1- 5:50 

Mile 2- 5:55

Mile 3- 6:27 that’s a doosy. There’s the beloved hill. not fun.

Last .13- 5:45

I felt great after this run.  #1 because I had no expectations other than to run my best run. #2 because I came in first. That always makes for a fun day. #3 because I had all of my kids with me. I love having my kids with me at races. I love that they did the kids race too. #4 because it was a new race to me.  I get stuck in a big box of not doing new races and not branching out.  I’m going to branch out this summer.  Lots of new races.  Lots of short, bathroom inducing races. It was a great morning. It would have been cool to PR and win, but that may be pushing it.  Throw a winning lotto ticket on there too and I’d be a happy mama.  I’ll take the win and leave the PR and winning lotto ticket for next time.

I ran in these green monsters.
Mizuno musha. Minimal shoe. 
 I LOVE THEM. I ran the 10k in them too, and will do speed work in them when it becomes part of my schedule. I’ve been training in these pretty little things…

Mizuno wave precision. To the right. I’m not crazy enough to wear 2 different sneakers. But I am too lazy to find a picture of just the precisons. So you get more musha action too. the precison are lightweight, but a little more support/cushion than the musha.

Right now I’m in base building, easy run phase.  These are my immediate goals: (because you do care)
1. Hit 40-45 miles a week through June
2. Keep all miles fairly “easy”, between 7:30-7:50 pace, depending on the day and the mood of my legs.  I would say 95% of my running has been easy, not really pushing my pace too much.  I might do one run a week that pushes it a bit, but nothing crazy.  run easy paces while not stressing about the easy pacing.
3. Keep all of my runs happy.  they have been pretty happy.  I love to run. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that.
4. Avoid injury. Ha. That’s what everyone is trying to do. I can hope for the best and train smart. that’s all I’ve got.
5. Run garmin less for the majority of my runs. The garmin is a GREAT training tool.  but it definitely has a time and a place. right now, that time and place for me is not on my wrist every time I walk out the door. It takes away the enjoyment of my run. And that makes me not happy. And that does not help with #3 above.
6. Add more strength work. I’m like a broken record saying that, because I’m always trying to do that and never really feel accomplished in that.  So I’ll just keep writing it in hopes that it will really happen. Strong core = stronger runner.
I do know how it’s done.  I just need to do it.  Break my 6 minute plank record.
I was definitely getting mentally burnt out on running before my spring marathon extravaganza. I took a MUCH needed timeout from running and feel like I’ve come back with a very new mindset. I’m in this moment with my running.  I’m not thinking about what I used to do and the paces I used to hit, because they were definitely faster. I bring zero stress into my running as far as goals and races.  Instead, I’m thinking about what I am capable of in the future, about what I CAN do and about how I am going to successfully get there. And that means switching things up a lot. My running hasn’t changed, but certain circumstances around it has. I stick to two days off a week, one cross training and one complete rest day – which allows my mind a break and my legs a break. and I’m confident it’s going to keep me fresh for adding more miles and energized for some super speedy workouts in the weeks to come. I leave the watch at home, which means the stress of mile times stays at home too.  I’m excited to do things a little differently, making the whole experience of training for the next marathon a new experience.  A fun one. A fresh one.  For my legs and my head.
Once the base building phase is over in a couple weeks, I will be more than ready to tackle some speed.  my body will be more than ready to add on some miles and get into the 50’s consistently – something I’ve never come close to doing, but I think will make me a much stronger runner.
Now we are all caught up on the racing weekend, let’s catch up on the family weekend. In a short condensed parsgraph, it consisted of running, running, some more running and some relaxing. That’s the perfect weekend to me. Not a lot of plans. just a lot of home time/running time/hang out in the driveway and wear pink boots time.
Turns out little boy pink has another double ear infection.  although, we aren’t confident that last one cleared up, it does explain his particularly devilish behavior as of late. pump him up with some antibiotics and hope for the best.
At the risk of turning this into another 3 day long post that doesn’t actually get posted until sometime at the end of the week, I’m going to have to end it now. so much to share, so little time. I have more chitty chat for you cool kids out there, but I’m going to end this long and drawn out running/training/racing reflections post right now.  I promise I have some fun sneaker talk coming up and a possible opportunity to get some sneaks, but I’m also confident I will probably come up with some super interesting day in the life of Katie talk to fill this blogspace first.  I’m also confident I finished off that jar of nutella over the weekend. I’m equally confident that I see a lululemon trip in my near future.  I’m pretty confident my ear infected 2 year old will be up at 5am tomorrow and that I need to get my hiney to bed ASAP. That’s about all I’m confident about right now.
Fill me in on the juicy race/running details of the weekend?!?

Has your training/running changed over the past year? Has your outlook on running changed?

Do 5k’s terrify you?

What is your favorite race distance?

A 5K, A Win, and Base Miles

Standard
Workout(s)

So much to catch up on. Where the heck to begin, my friends???  Let’s start with Saturday and work our way forward and then back again then forward again. Keep it all over the place exciting.  Because this weekend had a lot going on. Kind of. Don’t get excited. It wasn’t super exciting stuff. It was nice family stuff, but nothing over the top. As always, I’m going to share the juicy details of a typical running family weekend.  weekends tend to revolve around the run when both parentals are running and training for something.
Saturday- 5k race (we will talk about this in a minute) + 5.3 miles later in day = 8.4 for the day
This put me at 45 miles for the week!!!  It truly does not take a lot to make me happy.  give me some running miles, chocolate and perhaps a new workout tank and I’m on cloud 9.  this 45 mile week included two days off from running, one day was stairmaster cross training. I’m very happy with my first 40+ mile week, which also included two good short races.  and is lacking any pain or soreness.
Sunday- 10 miles am before church + 3 miles after church = 13 for the day.  No garmin.  I actually started with the watch on, and it quite honestly was being a little pisser and bringing my run down, so I shut it off. I wanted it to be a nice easy run, no stress, no fuss- but I kept looking at the watch and getting annoyed that my “easy” run pace was not as easy as I wanted it to be. So I turned off the watch and just ran.  Turned out to be a 7:45ish pace, which is what I was shooting for.
Monday (which is today, for those of you in denial that the weekend is over)- 7.75 miles. no assistance from gps watch.  Hence the pesky “.75” at the end instead of a pretty looking figure 8.  Kind of a bummer. This is where taking pushy mr. Garmin works out well- you don’t get stuck with a “.75” at then end of your mileage.  but you also dontnget stuck with a poor attitude about a certain pace.  I don’t really like decimals with the numbers 75 after them when they are under the miles I wanted to hit.  If the .75 followed the 8, it would have been happy day.  So I’m stuck with 7.75 instead of 8.  I do suppose worse things could happen on a Monday.
So there it is. We’re all caught up on the running weekend. Let’s move back to the racing weekend.
Turns out I’m a sucker for 5k’s, or any k for that matter. I had fun at the 10k last weekend too.  I had to help my 5 year old visualize every “k” from 1 to 10 by telling her how far she would have to run from our house to make that distance.  It was a riveting conversation.
5k’s are frightening. They are a fast, scary, slightly torturous breed of race.  I like that. Thrilling. Challenging. Make you hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes kind of anxiety inducing distance. That might be just me. And that might happen to me before any race. but 5k’s especially.  my stomach starts flipping just thinking about it.  while they are short and fast, I think the challenge of them and the training benefits – both mental and physical – are great. You have to go fast from the start, stay fast in the middle and push it harder in the end.
When my friend said she was running the race, I obviously wanted to join.  and therein lies the problem of dual training parents. The hubs had a 26 mile run planned for that morning. Whats a mom to do.  I thought about hiding his sneakers, but didn’t want to play dirty.  So I’m left with three kids. One race. One parent. Find a way to make it happen…by pawning off the children on friend’s husband. perfect.  This is also why a 5k is great, its a quick race. so my children would only be torturing friends husband for approximately 18-20 minutes.
I signed the girls up for the half mile kids race. and stuck my little crazy man in the stroller.  the girls ran the whole thing. of course, I have no pictures of them running it.  I can’t be photographer/runner/mom/coach all at the same time. The race photographer caught some delightful images of them, but i am not tech savvy enough to hijack them from the website. and that would be stealing. I might be forced to pay for these ones. too cute.  This is the only picture I have – and it’s not very delightful…
I went into my 5k just like my 10k on Sunday- ready to run my best run that morning.  I always go into a race wanting a PR, but it’s just not always the case.  And I’m learning that it’s ok to not run faster at every run, but it’s great to run my best at every run.
On Saturday, my best got me First place overall female.  Happy.  I squeaked in just under 19 minutes. My garmin said 18:57, official time I think was 18:58. What a major discrepancy there.  Average pace was 6:05.  I was 9th place overall finisher out of 385 people- so it was kind of a small race.
This was a bit hillier than my 5k in march. There was a hill within the first 1/10 mile. And then the one that sucked the life out of my legs – it was a 1/2 mile incline from mile 2 – 2 1/2. that’s exactly one 1/2 mile too long of an incline for a 5k.  It wasn’t super steep, but anything other than flat in a 5k is just not desirable.  It was probably like running 3-4% incline on the treadmill. Naturally, that was my slowest mile.  Here are my garmin splits:
Mile 1- 5:50 

Mile 2- 5:55

Mile 3- 6:27 that’s a doosy. There’s the beloved hill. not fun.

Last .13- 5:45

I felt great after this run.  #1 because I had no expectations other than to run my best run. #2 because I came in first. That always makes for a fun day. #3 because I had all of my kids with me. I love having my kids with me at races. I love that they did the kids race too. #4 because it was a new race to me.  I get stuck in a big box of not doing new races and not branching out.  I’m going to branch out this summer.  Lots of new races.  Lots of short, bathroom inducing races. It was a great morning. It would have been cool to PR and win, but that may be pushing it.  Throw a winning lotto ticket on there too and I’d be a happy mama.  I’ll take the win and leave the PR and winning lotto ticket for next time.

I ran in these green monsters.
Mizuno musha. Minimal shoe. 
 I LOVE THEM. I ran the 10k in them too, and will do speed work in them when it becomes part of my schedule. I’ve been training in these pretty little things…

Mizuno wave precision. To the right. I’m not crazy enough to wear 2 different sneakers. But I am too lazy to find a picture of just the precisons. So you get more musha action too. the precison are lightweight, but a little more support/cushion than the musha.

Right now I’m in base building, easy run phase.  These are my immediate goals: (because you do care)
1. Hit 40-45 miles a week through June
2. Keep all miles fairly “easy”, between 7:30-7:50 pace, depending on the day and the mood of my legs.  I would say 95% of my running has been easy, not really pushing my pace too much.  I might do one run a week that pushes it a bit, but nothing crazy.  run easy paces while not stressing about the easy pacing.
3. Keep all of my runs happy.  they have been pretty happy.  I love to run. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that.
4. Avoid injury. Ha. That’s what everyone is trying to do. I can hope for the best and train smart. that’s all I’ve got.
5. Run garmin less for the majority of my runs. The garmin is a GREAT training tool.  but it definitely has a time and a place. right now, that time and place for me is not on my wrist every time I walk out the door. It takes away the enjoyment of my run. And that makes me not happy. And that does not help with #3 above.
6. Add more strength work. I’m like a broken record saying that, because I’m always trying to do that and never really feel accomplished in that.  So I’ll just keep writing it in hopes that it will really happen. Strong core = stronger runner.
I do know how it’s done.  I just need to do it.  Break my 6 minute plank record.
I was definitely getting mentally burnt out on running before my spring marathon extravaganza. I took a MUCH needed timeout from running and feel like I’ve come back with a very new mindset. I’m in this moment with my running.  I’m not thinking about what I used to do and the paces I used to hit, because they were definitely faster. I bring zero stress into my running as far as goals and races.  Instead, I’m thinking about what I am capable of in the future, about what I CAN do and about how I am going to successfully get there. And that means switching things up a lot. My running hasn’t changed, but certain circumstances around it has. I stick to two days off a week, one cross training and one complete rest day – which allows my mind a break and my legs a break. and I’m confident it’s going to keep me fresh for adding more miles and energized for some super speedy workouts in the weeks to come. I leave the watch at home, which means the stress of mile times stays at home too.  I’m excited to do things a little differently, making the whole experience of training for the next marathon a new experience.  A fun one. A fresh one.  For my legs and my head.
Once the base building phase is over in a couple weeks, I will be more than ready to tackle some speed.  my body will be more than ready to add on some miles and get into the 50’s consistently – something I’ve never come close to doing, but I think will make me a much stronger runner.
Now we are all caught up on the racing weekend, let’s catch up on the family weekend. In a short condensed parsgraph, it consisted of running, running, some more running and some relaxing. That’s the perfect weekend to me. Not a lot of plans. just a lot of home time/running time/hang out in the driveway and wear pink boots time.
Turns out little boy pink has another double ear infection.  although, we aren’t confident that last one cleared up, it does explain his particularly devilish behavior as of late. pump him up with some antibiotics and hope for the best.
At the risk of turning this into another 3 day long post that doesn’t actually get posted until sometime at the end of the week, I’m going to have to end it now. so much to share, so little time. I have more chitty chat for you cool kids out there, but I’m going to end this long and drawn out running/training/racing reflections post right now.  I promise I have some fun sneaker talk coming up and a possible opportunity to get some sneaks, but I’m also confident I will probably come up with some super interesting day in the life of Katie talk to fill this blogspace first.  I’m also confident I finished off that jar of nutella over the weekend. I’m equally confident that I see a lululemon trip in my near future.  I’m pretty confident my ear infected 2 year old will be up at 5am tomorrow and that I need to get my hiney to bed ASAP. That’s about all I’m confident about right now.
Fill me in on the juicy race/running details of the weekend?!?

Has your training/running changed over the past year? Has your outlook on running changed?

Do 5k’s terrify you?

What is your favorite race distance?

Second, My Lot in Life – A 10K and a Half Marathon

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Workout – 3.7 mile run.  easy.  shockingly easy pace.  I was surprised when I looked at the clock and saw the pace.  but it was the slow pace I wanted to do.  right around 8 minute miles.  part 2 of the run to happen later today.  I’m very hopeful.  I didn’t have time this morning.  my husband and I are doing a very good job of sharing the morning workout hours.  go us.  *edited to add – run #2 did happen.  because my husband is just fabulous and came home for me to squeak out a 3.3 miler for a 7 mile total for the day.  same pace as before.  keep the hope.  and keep around a good husband who knows how much his wife needs to run.

Yesterday – a 10K/6.2 miles is a good run.  I really like to start my week off with a nice chunk of miles done, so 10+ is perfect.  I went back out to complete the days running.  I didn’t bring a watch, I just ran a nice comfortable pace.  But I did check the clock before and after I left.  I did 7 miles at about a  7:35-40 pace.  good stuff.  13.2 miles total for the day.  there’s my half marathon.  really good stuff.  at 20 miles for the week.  and it’s monday.  happy monday.

Lets chat about yesterday.  the race.  my thoughts.  epiphanies.  running highlights.  and what not.

I’ve run this Iron Horse Half Marathon every year since 2009.  I love it.  It was going to be my goal half for sub 1:25, had my spring races and running not blown up in my face.  blah blah blah.  condensed version of the happenings surrounding this race in a little flow chart….katie actually does something before the deadline and signs up for IronHorse half way back when running was nice to her —-> poor little katie has shin splints and can’t run, for awhile.  or do speedwork.  which she loves.  or train.  in any significant way for 6+ weeks.  and is really good at making excuses.  and talking in the 3rd person.  super fun sometimes —-> poor little katie has a couple bad marathons that kind of mess with her head —->  poor little katie realizes running is not the be all and end all of who she is and is really not so much the poor little katie.  life goes on.  go with it.  lemonade out of lemons and every other “pick yourself up and make the best of life” cliche saying you can think of —-> a couple more weeks off of running to recoup from what I thought were disaster marathons —-> goal half is not going to happen because healthy strong katie would put too much pressure on it and even though she could probably place top 3 women, she does not want to be poor little katie again all beat down about running —-> there will be more half marathons —-> I will run a fast half this year —->  not on June 3rd —-> but….

my friend was running the 10K.  hmmmm.  that’s an option.  I’ve never run a 10K.  I have no pressure on myself about it.  I have no idea what I can run these days.  I miss racing.  I just want to be at this race.  here’s my in.  without having to do the half.  10K it is.

My husband says, what’s your plan?  I say, I have no plan.  He says, are you starting in the front line.  I say, of course I am starting at the front line.  he says, then you have a plan.  so here’s what this race has given me.  we’re gonna gift this one out…

Gift #1 – The gift of running knowledge.  I always have a plan.  I always have an expectation.  a big one.  a winning one.  I always plan and expect to run my bestto run my race.  to race.  alwaysand that might just be enough for me.  I start adding more pressure on myself and I crumble.  I went into this race totally untrained.  totally open to any possibility.  totally unsure of what the outcome would be.  completely sure of how I would run.  and completely content with that plan.  I would run my run.  to the BEST of my ability that day.  it was kind of exciting.  because I had never done a 10K.  and I’ve been out of running for a bit.  and I’ve been out of running fast for a longer bit.  I had no idea what my legs and my body and my heart would do.

Gift #2 – gift of new beginnings.  I had to start over with running after my spring marathons.  but I didn’t know where to start.  I didn’t know where I was at with running; what I had lost or gained physically.  I’ve been floating around in running land for the last 3 weeks since I’ve gotten back into it.  Sometimes you just have to put it all out there, see what you can do and find a new beginning.  in my dreams, I would be able to run a sub 40 half, on this 10K race day.  literally, in my dreams.  I had dreamt about it the night before, probably because I did one quick pace calc right before my head it the pillow.  sub 40 would mean less than a 6:25 pace.  right.  I knew 100% that I was capable of it at some point in the next couple months.  I knew I was capable of it and faster 3 months ago.  but my recent training and runs would dictate that this was not possible.  but it was possible.  my little long legs thought it was possible.  and my new happy little running heart really wanted it.  just because it wanted it.  without causing my little happy sensitive running soul to be crushed if it didn’t happen.  because in my heart, it truly didn’t matter if sub 40 or any other time goal happened or not.  yesterday, my plan and my expectation was just to run my best run that day.  my happy little running heart and my little happy sensitive soul liked that plan.  and that will be the plan.  always.

Gift #3 – gift of life.  I was spared by the racing powers that be.  I was slightly concerned that karma would strike me down in the instant that I started running, for the fact that I kindly cut in front of about 15 half marathoners to get to the porta potty because it was 7:28.  my race started at 7:30.  theirs started at 7:45.  and I needed to pee.  and kindly, I was not punished for kindly jumping ahead in line.  it worked out that the race started a few minutes late because the start line was about 1/2 mile further up than I thought.  and that was my sprint warmup.  to the start line.

Gift #4 – the gift of athletic wear.  I have my next lululemon running skirt picked out.  I’m actually quite upset that it is not in my possession as we speak.  My lululemon stalking has not paid off.  I spied at least 2 runners wearing the flash colored Pace setter skirt.  why do they have it and I do not.  I almost threw a bratty tantrum as I saw them run by.  that top is the flash color.

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and it’s on a skirt.  I would like to own it.  it’s really more about my safety.  you can see that color a mile away on the road in the wee hours of 5 am.  that is all.  that is not all.  that look on my face can best be explained by me watching my daughter ride her bike into an art easel and take the whole thing out.  no children were harmed. clumsy runs in the family.

running apparel item #2 is the item that I won for coming in 2nd place.  yay.  Aspaeris compression shorts.  I love to be compressed.

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I just realized that it was THIS BLOGGER at the table.  Hi Kari!  Thanks for the shorts!  I should have listened to you and taken the medium but I will squeeze my hiney into these suckers until I can’t feel my legs, then I will take them off!

Gift #5 – gift of wearing racing flats.  I love me some light shoes.  I especially love an excuse to wear them.  I don’t really wear these on my daily runs.  I loved these yesterday.  they loved me.  it was happy union.

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Mizuno Musha.  go get yourself a pair.  and have fun running.  wouldn’t they look so fun with my new flash colored lululemon skirt?  I thought so too.

I will wear these up to half marathon distance for now.  I would wear them for a marathon.  I will work up to that.  maybe my fall marathon.  they just worked like a charm.  did what they were supposed to do and kept every part of my feet feeling happy and strong.

Gift #6 – the gift of second.  second place is not a bad place to be.  I would much rather be first.  but let’s review how I am always second.  aside from the 2 april races.  we are going to blot those out from racing history.  lessons were learned.  and the races can be forgotten.  anyway.  2nd place review – dating back to Hartford Marathon Fall 2011: 2nd place in age group

Harrisburg Marathon Fall 2011: 2nd place female overall

Cheshire 5K Fall 2011: 2nd place female overall

Colchester Half: ruined my 2nd streak and came in 3rd female, but gave me a new PR, on a hilly windy course

St. Patty’s Day Shamrock 5K: 2nd place female overall

April Races?  What April Marathons?  I do not know what you speak of.

IronHorse 10K: 2nd female overall.  this is interesting though.  perhaps only to me, so just skip this paragraph if you are grabbing at pencils to stick in your eyeballs from the sheer length of this post.  I would apologize for the longevity, but I’m not really sorry.  you can stop at anytime, but I think it’s probably kind of like watching a train wreck.  so just keep reading.

I started at the front.  I always do.  From when the horn went off, there was girl 1, girl 2, and me.  I had my eyes on them.  Girl 1 was about 200 yards ahead for about 1/2 the race.  I actually have no idea how far ahead.  that number sounded good.  she was a distance ahead, but I could see her.  Girl 2 was never more than 10 feet ahead of me.  I flew out of the start.  naturally.  6:08 first mile.  slowed it down a bit.  I was feeling great.  Did not feel like I was pushing it 100%.  I was very cautious for the first 5 miles of this race.  I would say I was at 80-85% effort.  I kept getting stuck in this pack of 5 or 6 people, Girl 2 and a couple guys.  Between mile 3 and 4, I decided to take Girl 2 because it was now or never.  I sprinted ahead of the pack and stayed ahead of Girl 2.  I took a Gu.  So glad I did.  I could see Girl 1.  We passed 10k’ers on the other side of the road that were still at the beginning of the race.  At mile 5.25, the 10k converged with the 5K, and all went toward the finish.  this was a bit of a downer.  I was in the front of a fast group of 10K runners, to be greeted by some slow 5k’ers, and even some walkers.  momentum killer.  I got back into it and continued to run my race.  not worried about Girl 1 in front of me or who was behind me.  I ran.  I started pushing it harder probably right around mile 5.4 when the 5k’ers were raining on my 10k running parade.  Got back in the groove and was pretty confident I had my second place finish.  I lost Girl 1 in the 5k crowd. saw 39:20’s as I approached the finish.  ran through in 39:40.  happy.  elated.

Fast forward to awards with the unofficial results, and they announce me as Overall Female placing 3rd.  😦  3rd is great, but not when you didn’t see a 2nd place between you and Girl 1 for the entire race.  I don’t know where she came from.  I started on the front line and it was me and Girl 1 and 2. no mysterious alter-second.

It’s a mystery.  Official results came out and 2nd place, elusive ‘2nd place’ was not on there.  I kind of suspected.  and I held my 2nd place that I thought I had at the finish.  This is what I theorize.  when the 5K joined with the 10k, at mile 5.25, to finish with the 10k peeps.  they were splitting off from a stream of 10k’ers that were still in the first couple miles (the 5k started 15 minutes later).  so either this ‘2nd place’ was a 5k lady that got clocked in as a 10k, or it was a 10K that didn’t want to run the whole race and took the shortcut to the finish with the 5k group and didn’t run miles 2-5.  my theory.  I never saw a 2nd place.  I was 2nd place from when I passed Girl 2 at mile 3ish until the end.  and every volunteer person I passed from that point on said, ‘you’re second female, you are awesome and fast and stylish and you run like a gazelle, go get it!’  or something to that effect.

my splits: (my garmin said 6.31 miles, and an avg 6:17 pace.  I don’t think my garmin is that off.  I think I was doing some serious dodging and running all over the road – it was not closed to traffic.  or walking 5k ‘racers’.  and I’m kind of a spastic runner.  haven’t figured out how to run the shortest tangent.  ever)  So these splits are a tad faster than my official pace, but not so far off.

6:08, 6:22, 6:22, 6:07, 6:31 (hello 5K walkers), 6:18, 6:03 for the last .2

And there I hold my second place finish.  I hope to have a first place streak sometime.  that would be thrilling.

Gift #7 – the gift of good friends to go to fun races with.  it was a really nice morning out for a nice quick race.  followed by eating some really not so tasty but very thoughtfully prepared by the boy scouts pancakes.  with a very good friend that had a very good race.  life is good.  and so are the good things in it.  as with many running lessons, I think all things learned can be applied to a lot of things in life.  gifts abound everywhere (and I get sappy and emotional these days like you wouldn’t believe.  or you would believe if you have endured this post.  pretty sappy) like the gifts my sweet boy brings into my home in the early hours of the day. I swiftly sent him outside where he carried his pet froggy around like it was an accessory.

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froggy boy.  love him.

In conclusion to this short long essay, I am very much looking forward to watching the bachelorette tonight.  and that statement scares me, but it’s the truth.  I said it.  I am also very much looking forward to doing some core work and some massage sticking whilst I watch the bachelorette.  that is a more suitable statement for me.  I still can’t do much strength work with my bum arm, but I do what I can.

My brain is far too tired to think about questions.  so fill me in on your weekends please!!! and chime in with comments or children bringing you frogs for breakfast, your favorite fast running shoes or anything of the like.

last thing.  I PROMISE to the best of my ability to keep a promise, that I will answer questions about my STAIRMASTER and other things like running fast next time I am on here writing an insanely long post!  promise.  with my pinky.

xoxo

I Ran It

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And it looks like I raced it too.

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My first 10K

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Offical results for now:

2nd Place Female

24th overall out of 545

39:40

6:24 pace

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beloved Mizuno Musha.  happy feet.

And then I came home and got gift wrapped for my daughter’s imaginary horse/gymnastics/dance/acrobatics show.  quite the afternoon.

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Full race recap/story/life lessons/world ponderings to come in a post tomorrow.

for now I’m going to go hang with this gentleman.

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the big one, not the little one picking his nose with pliers.  I’m not sure where the parents are.  we found this little boy and thought he was cute and we’d keep him.  didn’t realize how much work he would be.

I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend!!

Tell me about the fun you had?

Tell me about the races you had?

Did your children try to gift wrap you too?

What to Do

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To run or not to run.

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that is the question.

We shall find out tomorrow am.  That’s all I’ve got for you peeps right now.  I just sat through a 3 hour dance recital.  that is endurance, my friends.  It was actually completely adorable and precious and makes the year worth of dance classes totally worth it.  my girls are going to be superstars.  and the horrible mom that I am has not one picture to document the beautiful day.  fail.  we will remember it in our hearts.  we will also remember it because I did take some pics at the dress rehearsal.  which is exactly the same thing.

I will be back tomorrow with a normal post.  I think I promised something like stairmaster info in ‘tomorrow’s post’.  which would have been yesterday’s post.  which didn’t happen.  which by now you should know that promises made for info in ‘tomorrow’s post’ is synonymous with ‘the next post’ or ‘one of the next three posts’.  so it will be.  stairmaster info and other things you need to know.  in one of the next three posts.  there will be some good info coming your way.  but you also know that weekends are chock full of those fun things mentioned above – dance recitals – and this weekend a bridal shower, and a lot of rain.  and it looks like maybe a race.

What races are going on this weekend?

Who attended or has attended a dance recital?

Who is a dancer?  definitely not me.  I fall down when running.  uphill.

Let’s Take Care of Business

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#1 Item of Business:

Workout Business

I think I have quite a few days of workouts to record here.  where do I begin…

Thursday night Family Track workout

There was a lot of this going on…

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and not a lot of running.  but we made it to the track.

Much of what I expected.  I just did 2 miles.  really not even worth it, but it was my last run in my 20’s.  farewell.  It was more of a let’s see how the legs are feeling kind of track run.  they weren’t feeling so hot.  not because I ran a marathon 4 days before, but because something is just really tight in my right leg.  much better today.  but solidified that I will not be running much at all until the next marathon.  surprise.

1/2 mile warmup, 1 mile @ 6:23 (cruising, didn’t feel like I was pushing it) (but it was only 1 mile), 1/2 mile c/d.  big time.  I’m pulling reverse psychology on marathon training – called don’t run at all for 4 weeks leading up to a marathon and have big expectations.  solid training.

some mild not dramatic at all self talk following the little unnecessary, not useful for anything track run:

oh good God in heaven, my leg is broken, that hurt so bad, I’m never going to run again

there’s nothing wrong with your legs, katie, you are 100% fine, it’s just a little numb feeling and you should definitely run 10 miles in this 75 degree weather

oh dear Lord my leg hurts from my glute to my big toe and it will surely need to be amputated.  maybe I could be an elite amputee runner.  that could work.

I pulled myself back down to earth and am preparing to run with a decent amount of leg discomfort on Saturday.  marathons do hurt.   it is a fact.  I will not say pain because certain unnamed people (mom and nana) will get upset if I say I am going to run with pain.

 Side note business…

I’m trying to keep out of my conscious that it’s been one month since I called it on extensive amounts of running.  I think I could count on one hand the # of runs I have done, none of which have exceeded in miles the # of fingers I have on one hand.  I have 5 fingers on my hand.  I don’t have a freakishly odd number of fingers on my hands.  they’re normal.  that’s not a lot of running.  staying positive.  making smart choices.  riding the line between taking it easy and preserving my running body- and overdoing it and killing my running body.  I don’t want that.  I’m really taking it easy, and that’s not necessarily by choice but by the fact that my right leg will eat me alive if I push it through a run before another marathon

Friday Workout 

I put my taper hat on and called it a complete rest day.  I am technically tapering.  how did we get to one week before a marathon again???  I am SO EXCITED to run this marathon.  more on that in uno momento.

Saturday Workout

In the new cool racerback.  another item of clothing everyone should experience.  along with a pair of designer jeans and lululemon wunder unders.  complete wardrobe right there. 

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Pretty decent cross training at the gym

1 hour elliptical – I wanted to push it a little bit so I did level 20 alternated with level 16 intervals – alternating forward and backward motion.  fun.

20 minutes speed intervals on stairmaster.

Leg strength training – seated leg abductors (great for IT band issues), seated leg press, squats with shoulder work, planks.

#2 Item of Business:

30th Bday Business

Recap in pictures.  because I’m pretty sick of talking about myself, my birthday and all other things going on.  I was treated like a queen. as it should have been.

Birthday eve cupcakes from the madre

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I took a little nibble pre pic.  couldn’t wait.

approximately 3 hours later

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   possibly three of the most wonderful things all together in one package

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only to possibly be trumped by these that came on my birthday.  that came to me for free.  doesn’t get better.

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These will get an entire post of their own.  but I love them.  thank you mizuno.  you are awesome.  and comfortable.  and make my feet happy in every level of stability.

I couldn’t decide which to put on first.  so I wore one on each foot around the house. 

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mizuno musha to the left.  mizuno wave precision 12 to the right.  fab.

more flowers…

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birthday rocks.  everyone needs birthday rocks. 

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according to my children it’s because it would be ‘sad if I didn’t have anything to open on my birthday’.  thoughtful.

because my girls were so generous and gave me precious rocks from the yard that are now sitting on my nightstand, as naturally that’s the only place for them – I in turn took them for a little bday girls day to the salon to get their haircut for the first time and to get their nails done.  I guess salon Katie in the bathroom wasn’t good enough for them. 

to finish off the bday, dinner with the hubs and a trip to lululemon to spend the bday money appropriately and quickly before it got spent on something like food or gas.  fashionable athletic wear is far more important.

here’s my only dinner pic.  it’s a dark picture.  I wore the target shirt.  that was not ugly at all.  hangin’ with my peach kicker in a jar.  it was super tasty.  no pictures of food.  it was super tasty too.  

bday dinner

the peach kicker had peppers in it.  that’s a first for me.  drinking an adult beverage with a vegetable in it.  I’m 30 now.  I can do adult things like that.  another first for me was entering “age 30” on the cardio machines at the gym.  honesty is the best policy.

#3 Item of Business

Running Talk

I’M EXCITED TO RUN A MARATHON IN LESS THAN A WEEK.  really excited.

While I have put ZERO pressure on myself to achieve a certain outcome, I still have tucked away in my mind an adjusted and possibly tangible, but possibly tough to reach goal.  one that will still make me work.  but one that I’m holding onto loosely because I’m not letting this race be my new goal race.  this is my fun race.  and this is my race that I want to love running.  but one that I know will be hard…. 

because my last long run (not including gansett marathon) was in February

because I have taken a huge break from running in this past month

because my right leg still does not feel great.  or near great.

but one that I will be mentally prepared for….

because I am going to remember the training that I have done

because I’m going to tell myself that I am more than capable of achieving what I want to do

because I am going to be confident in my running abilities aside from the speedwork and tempo runs and track work and long runs that I did or did not do.  I have an ability to run.  and I am going to hold onto what I know I can do.

because I know it’s going to hurt.  I know my threshold and I know when the hurt is making me a better, stronger runner and when the hurt is truly a potential injury.  sometimes it’s a fine line and I’m learning how to ride it because I’m not convinced I’m truly injured.  I’d like to get completely off the line and just be a stronger runner.  a work in progress.  balancing work and rest.  I’m in that phase of training where I had upped my miles quite a bit and upped the stress on my body with speedwork and my body is responding and trying to adapt to this stress.

According to The Runner’s Body by Runner’s World, when running and training – there are three stages your body can go through:

1. Alarm

2. Adaptation

3. Exhuastion

Running places a stress on your body and induces an alarm reaction.  this can go either way – lead you to adapt, become a stronger runner.  If the stimulus is too much, it can lead to injury and bodily breakdown.  If the stimulus is too little, you won’t see improvements.  Certain things that determine which way your body goes are Volume (duration, frequency), Intensity and Recovery.  The right interaction of these things determine how your body adapts.  very interesting.

Your body moves into the ADAPTATION phase.

If you put too much stress on your body, you move into the EXHAUSTION phase.  which can be managed by understanding and changing the volume, intensity and very importantly recovery (and rest)

I’m learning how to REST.  I probably came close to the exhaustion phase.  not in the sense that I was physically exhausted, but like I said – walking the line between becoming a stronger runner and getting really injured.  when things start to go wrong, it’s really important to REST.  it gives your body a change.  and a new way to adapt.

It’s very hard for me to rest.  it’s becoming harder to not run.  but I want to run for a long time.  not just the next time I want to go out for a nice 10 mile jog.  patience.

So I’m excited to run this marathon.  with no pressure.  in hot nashville weather.  with my little girls at the finish line and my little sister running the half.  listening to country music all the way.  fantastic.

Tell me about the races this weekend?!?  Who did what?

What is your favorite type of flower?

Cupcakes or brownies?  you must pick one of the two.  no other options.