Monday, May 19, 2014

Race Report- Lilac Run 10k

My running began over 3 years ago, that is crazy to think about! I wont go into my whole story, if you haven't read it already you can check it out here. It was in February of 2011 that I downloaded a Couch to 5k app on my iPod and jumped on the treadmill at the local gym. That first run was horrible, I was just embarrassed and figured everyone was watching me. I slowly got better and eventually was doing more running then walking, so I decided to sign up for my first official race the Lilac Run 5k.

May 2011
Since most of my running had been done on a treadmill in a lovely air conditioned environment, I struggled with the rolling hills around Highland Park and the heat & humidity. I roped Dad and Rob into joining me and even though I was poorly dressed and walked more then I thought I would, I was hooked!
May 2012
In 2012 I returned to the Lilac Run and completed both the 5k & 10 races. I think this is a great feature about this race. The 5k starts at 8am and the 10k starts at 9am so it is totally possible to do both races and if I remember correctly they even give you a little discount if you do both! Last year I was bummed that I wasn't able to do the race for a 3rd year in a row, especially because this was the one that started it all, but as you know I was participating in my first marathon!

I was super excited to sign up for the race again this year and after much deliberation, we settled on running the 10k. Since I'm a sucker for tradition, I waited to do packet pick-up until my Dad was in town on Saturday. I had a bad feeling that waiting until close the end of packet pick-up would mean t-shirt issues and sure enough I was right. We arrived at Medved around 4pm on Saturday and they were out of all of the sizes we had asked for. Now in the race info it said the first 2000 runners who signed up would get a t-shirt. After getting our bibs we were told to go over and get the t-shirts ourselves. This made me wonder if not enough of each size was ordered, or if people took sizes that they didn't actually register for, since pick-up wasn't being monitored. Or maybe they allowed anyone who registered, even beyond the 2000, to take a t-shirt. I am not hugely disappointed since the t-shirts are white and I really hate when race t-shirts are white!

On the way home I sent Molly a message to see if she got a shirt. She had gone to the store and registered for the race the day before. Sure enough she did, which proved my theory that they must have just let everyone take a t-shirt even if they weren't the first 2000 to register. Oh well!

Evan & Molly
We received an email saying that most of the grass parking lots would be closed due to all of the rain we had last week. We thought since parking may be an issue, we would just go really early to ensure getting a spot and watch the 5k. It was prefect weather, very cool and sunny. We had fun watching the 5k runners come in and the time went pretty quick.

5k runners heading to the finish line
Our crew: Evan, Me, Dad & Molly
After some photo ops and getting Mom to her spectating spot we were ready to go! We all spread out quickly but I got into a pretty good rhythm. I was going slow, but consistent. Around mile 2, amongst the rolling hills, I started thinking that I wished I had signed up for the 5k!! Before I knew it we were turning on Monroe which has a nice downhill, but is also fully exposed to direct sunshine. I started to heat up on this section but I still feel like I dressed properly. As we were going through 12 Corners in Brighton we saw lots of familiar Fleet Feet faces cheering everyone on, then we turned on to Elmwood so the sun was now behind us.

We weaved around some neighborhoods off of Elmwood and there were lots of families out cheering, this area was shady and there was still a cool breeze once in a while. By this point my Dad and I were going pretty evenly with one another, Evan was no where to be seen since he is so speedy and Molly was not too far behind us. We turned out on to Elmwood and passed Laura's house where she and her family were cheering from the driveway!! We paused long enough to drink some bottled water they had gotten ready for us and we were on our way. Thanks Laura!! With one giant hill back up, we returned to Highland and were in the home stretch. Along the rolling hills again, Dad and I picked mini landmarks to run and walk to. Once we could see Goodman in our sights we booked it, back up hill, to the finish line. Along the way we smelled lilacs and hot dogs and lots of people cheered us in! Even though Dad and I finished at the same time, I was listed first in the results, so I did technically beat him.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A year ago today...

I was driving to Cleveland to run my first full marathon! One of the things I love about this journal is looking back and reflecting on my accomplishments and how far I have come and what in my life has changed. Since this whole blog was created to track my training for my first full, I figured it might be a nice time to look back and remember how challenging and fun it really was. I really want to get on that path again to training and running another marathon or even try my first ultra, looking back for me is really inspiring.

If you are new to the blog or are interested in going back in time to one year ago today, start here!

I am also excited to say that my race report for the Stars and Stripes 5k held on Veteran's Day each year, caught the eye of the race directors and they asked if they can use it to present to potential sponsors, how neat is that!

Lilac Fest 10k tomorrow with Dad, Molly & Evan, can't wait to tell you all about it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Start of a New Season

Has it really been six months since my last post? Six months and 15+ pounds! I tried for most of last year to get some inspiration back for running. After the marathon I had a hard time getting into training consistently, mostly because I didn't want to train consistently, if that makes any sense. I had nothing major I wanted to accomplish, combine that with a freezing cold winter and I was pretty lazy with both my exercising and healthy eating.

One of my last posts mentioned trying to get the funk out... well I think six months later, maybe, I have done just that!! A change of the seasons helps. Both having the weather improve and the summer race season approaching, has put a spring in my step. My "runiversary" is coming up and I got inspired big time this past weekend for a couple of reasons. I'll get to that later. Now don't get the wrong idea, even though I haven't been blogging I have still been running, sporadically. I did quite a few late fall and winter races and my total race mileage for 2013 was 115. Not too shabby considering I was only 5 race miles down from 2012 and I wasn't really trying for most of the year!

Turkey Trot 2013

I decided to sign up for the Lake Effect Half Marathon again hoping that would keep me running through the winter. Well at least February, who knew winter would continue into April! I knew since I PR'd last year and had only done a long run of ten slow miles that my time wouldn't compare. I just tried to not have it be my worst time and that worked. Thanks goodness for the train wreck that was Oak Tree 2012!

Awesome spinner medal this year!

March came along and found my Dad running his first half marathon! I went back and forth on running with him, especially since I liked this race so much and finally we both came to the conclusion that I would spectate. So I went all out! I made tons of signs, drove around like a crazy person beeping and yelling, and totally teared up at the finish line. I am so proud! Can't wait to run one together. We also tried another race in Syracuse for the first time, The Shamrock Run. This was so much fun and we will be returning for sure!

One of many signs...



I did set a goal at the beginning of the year to try to run 3-4 half marathons throughout the year so I would have reason to keep doing some long runs. In April, I did my first major race 3-peat by completing the Flower City Half Marathon. This was the first long distance race I did and I met some amazing people, who I still run with today, at HFM training in 2012.

Now I don't recommend my training plan, but I didn't run for the entire month leading up to the race. For one reason or another life just got in the way. I decided, after chatting with another runner, that I would go into the race with a run/walk method, and see how I felt going forward. I would run 2 miles and then walk 1. I also figured I would walk some of the major hills. When I started I felt great, I should have since my legs were very fresh! The weather was perfect and the race went so well for me. Yes I was super slow, but I found that  I didn't even need my run/walk strategy, my walk breaks were usually short and I had such a great time overall. I also saw lots of familar faces that I hadn't seen in a while and it helped me to remember why I love running and participating in races so much!

Accidental twins, me & Katie at the
Flower City Half Marathon

During the Lake Effect half Marathon I found myself running around the same pace as a girl Kaitlin. Turns out she is from Rochester too! We had a great time running and chatting and even though she smoked me at the finish line, I was secretly hoping we would run together again some day. Thank goodness for social media and my good memory, because I found Kaitlin on FB and we actually got together for a run this past Saturday. We messaged back and forth and I created a route based on where she wanted to start and how many miles she needed to do. Kaitlin had 10 miles on the schedule, she is training for her first full, I said I would join her for 5 so I found a loop. I felt like I was back to my old self planning routes and looking forward to running.

Turns out it was pretty sunny and warm Saturday morning but it was a beautiful run. There were tons of people out, it was sunny with a breeze and we had so much fun. It went by so fast and our pace matched pretty well. We made it back to our cars and I headed home and Kaitlin went back out on her own for some more miles. After I went home and got ready for the day I decided to head over to North Ponds Park in Webster to check out the Mind The Ducks 12 hour race. I could only stay for an hour or so, but I had so much fun cheering on my running friends and watching then accomplish this amazing acheievement. It got me thinking could I run for 12 hours on a 1-mile loop, I'm not sure but I think I want to find out!

This Sunday marks my "runiversary" with the Lilac Festival races. It was the first 5k race I trained for and began this whole running journey. In 2011 I ran the 5k, in 2012 I got cocky and ran both the 5k and the 10k, last year I was in Cleveland running my first full marathon and this year I plan to return to run just the 10k. I'll have a race report on Sunday or Monday.

And you thought you were done having to read my blog, I'm just getting started...again!