Last race of 2012: Jingle Bell 5k

Moving and the holidays got away from me so I didn’t get the chance to blog about my last race of 2012.


Pro Compression and Team Sparkle Skirt to help me run fast!

I ran the Jingle Bell 5k, the same course as my first postpartum race.

I had taken a significant amount of time off after the half-marathon in October. As soon as I got back to Massachusetts, I had to pack up the rest of our condo and we moved to Connecticut temporarily. We had originally thought we’d only be there a few weeks, but as it always does, house process didn’t go the way we thought it would and we were in CT for six weeks. Most days it was too cold to take B for a walk (we had packed most of our stuff in storage including some stroller gear), so I ended up getting a temporary gym membership.

Again, life doesn’t go as planned, and after suffering a stint in the ER every workout was stopped when I felt my ulcer flaring up, it was frustrating, as I was getting into the groove with my run or weights workout I would start to feel pain and I would have to stop. I didn’t want to make the situation worse but I didn’t want to lose my momentum either.

As I was overall starting to feel better, we were moving back to MA. The first weekend back was my last 5K of the year. It is a great course and I was doing the race with friends, I was excited, and grateful for the ability to go blow off some steam during the middle of the move. I will admit I was nervous, I hadn’t done a real run outside in weeks, I hadn’t raced since October, and it was cold and windy that day.


_Before I left for the race
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I met up with my friends and we took fun pics and watched all the fun costumes while we waited to start. The first mile was great, lots of crowd support, a bit of an incline, but I was able to keep my pace around 11 minutes, not bad for not racing in 2 months. The second mile was the worst, there was an insane amount of head wind and it was freezing. The saving grace was the local HS Girls Cross Country team manning the water station, they were yelling and screaming, it was hard to not catch their enthusiasm and smile. I definitely hit a mental block and when my hip started feeling off I took a few walk breaks, 90 seconds run 30 seconds walk, only until I got to the last hill. The course is near our old condo and apartment so I know the area. Once I got to the hill a group tethered together as reindeer carrying santa and a sleigh were close behind, I couldn’t let them beat me. So I picked it up and ran up the hill and took a small walking break at the top, and stretched out my hip. Then ran to the finish.


Crossing the finish line!

I PRed on the course by 5 minutes, and I am really excited by that.

So what is in store for 2013. Ideally I would love to complete 13 races in 2013. I ran 7 in 2012 and I only ran 2 between January and June. I can totally step it up. So far I have 2 half-marathons that I would love to run, one in May and one in September. Other than that I am open, what are your favorite races in the New England area?

Runner’s Preferences and a Sparkly Soul Discount

Remember when I gave you my list of items to buy for the new runner that are under $100?

Guess what? One of my mentors for Team In Training, now currently training for the Boston Marathon is holding a fundraiser with my favorite headbands, Sparkly Soul, from Sunday, December 2nd until Sunday, December 9 2012 you can get 10% off your order and 15% of the total order will go to Jess’ fundraising. All you need to do is use the code JESS as the promo code.

If you want to see some colors check out my collection, so far:

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From L to R: Maroon, Orange, Green, Teal, Purple (Lavender), Kaleidoscope Pink, White, Black, Silver, Red White and Blue.

Now for the fun runners survey. I saw this on Madeline’s blog last week and I thought it would be great to share my thoughts too!

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

Shot Bloks are my favorite by far and they don’t bother my stomach. Sports beans are a close second.

2. Race Length: 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

A 10K is my ideal race, in terms of distance and time it takes me to complete. My favorite race is a half marathon.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants, or Other?

Capris. You will never not find me wearing them. Although I will throw a Team Sparkle skirt on fora little flair.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

When I am running I alternate between water and nuun, if it is hot. Usually I drink water while running then hydrate with a nuun cocktail after my run.

5. Running temperatures: HOT or COLD?

Neither? I prefer 40’s or 50’s, which I guess is cold for some. I like that its not too cold, but that when I warm up I am not too hot.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics, or Other?

I used to live in my Brooks, but since my feet have changed since I had B, I haven’t found a shoe I love. I currently have Asics, but I am dying to get my hands on a pair of Nike’s that the gait analysis folks at the Nike Expotique fitted me for. They were great for my foot and super lightweight.

7. Pre-Race Meal: Oatmeal. Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

I usually eat a plain bagel thin with plain peanut butter and a drizzle of honey or the Peanut Butter & Co. Bee’s Knees peanut butter.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

Usually 1 – 2 times a week, it really depends on my mileage, what I am training for and life. As much as I would love to, I can’t plain my training to a T, life just sometimes gets in the way.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I can go either way, if I am on the treadmill or running in a race alone I usually have it, although I ran without it for the entire Nike Half. I guess let’s just say I won’t be heartbroken if I am required to run without it.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?

I run because I love it. I didn’t used to love it. I started running because it was a convenient and “easy” way to workout. I love the alone time, I love the feeling of accomplishment with each new race distance completed and every new PR. I love the high, endorphins make me happy (and happy people don’t shoot their husbands ;))

Why do you run?

San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

Check out where I shopped and what I ate before you read about how I raced!

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It’s here, it’s finally race day. Decked out in my favorite reebok capris, sparkle skirt, lululemon tank, TNT tank and of course no outfit is complete without a sparkly soul headband or garmin ;)

I may have a big smile on my gave but I was a wreck. My sister made me coffee while I showered and dressed. I drank about half a cup and choked down an english muffin with some peanut butter. I met the rest of my Team In Training group in the hotel lobby, we took some group photos and headed to the start corrals together. I took a banana with me so that I could have something to eat, but ended up eating it before we left the hotel. We got into the corrals around 6ish, the race didn’t start until 7 am.

Let me start by saying, I did have race goals, ones that I kept to myself, the first was to finish and be happy, but what I really wanted was to finish in the same time as my first half or PR. So when I bird pooped on my head on Friday I thought, hey this race is going to be awesome and I am going to ROCK IT.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale. As I mentioned before we went to our start corrals about an hour before the race started and because it was such a large race and my corral was so far back, it took our group about 30 minutes to even cross the start line. I ended up starting my fuel earlier than I usually do.

The race started in Union Square and made its way down towards the Embarcadero and the Marina, Christine managed to find me in the crowd and I actually heard her, thanks for the encouragement! The first 4 miles were relatively flat and I was under my goal pace for those miles, but I still felt like I was not really pushing myself, I wanted some energy in the tank for the hard miles.

I made a bathroom stop around mile 3 and around mile 3.5-4 was the first big hill, but I just powered through it and got to the top, I saw my sister at mile 4…(sorry to anyone I sent this too, she took this pic at mile 4 NOT the finish line)

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I wish I had remembered to grab the extra fuel that I packed for her to take but I forgot, problem #2. I had my fuel around mile 4.5 – 5, these areas were fairly flat, I remembered that there were going to be shot bloks at the aid stations so I thought I would be okay. Mile 6 was were it started to take a turn for the worse. It was a winding hill that I thought was going to never end. I trained on some hills but they were nothing compared to this. I ended up power walking about halfway through, but I was starting to feel woozy at the top. I started walking when it flattened out and grabbed as much water and nuun as I could carry and hoped that I was dehydrated, but the fluid was not helping either. Around mile 8 a girl that I talked to earlier in the race noticed that I had slowed down, and maybe saw the desperate look on my face. She offered me a pack of sports beans, black cherry flavor, and I was so grateful, I wish I had caught her name or something, she saved me from a DNF, I am quite certain.

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This is what desperation looks like

I call mile 8 – 9.5 my dark miles. These are the ones I was alone and all I wanted to do was quit. It was an internal battle. I started secondary fuel way too late and I just wouldn’t be able to recover. Which meant walking the last 5 miles, I ended up on my feet for much longer than I ever had been before and that really hurt my knees and hips.

I was texting my sister and told her that she was going to have to wait longer than we had anticipated, but she was awesome.

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Honestly, I was not feeling it, I just wanted to finish. My time was 03:56:45, a full 38 minutes slower than my first half-marathon. I ran through the finish line, determined to have a smile on my face, it didn’t hurt that the commentators were discussing my awesome sparkle skirt over the speakers.

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FINALLY

I grabbed my necklace, finishers T, food and bag! I just wanted to eat and go shower, so I only stuck around long enough to snag the last long sleeved 13.1 finishers shirt.

NWM

Caty and I hopped on to the TNT shuttle back to our hotel and showered & changed then proceeded to Boudin and Ghiradelli for my post-race treats, and unfortunately I forgot my ID so no post-race beer for me