Aug 26, 2014

Race Recap: Road Race 5ks

This year in prep for the St. Jude half marathon that I'm running in December, I decided to sign up for MRTC's Road Race Series. You can sign up for the whole series ($65 if you are a MRTC member, which I strongly recommend) and you get 10 races! That is a bargain! Each month from July to November there are two races and the distances increase each month (5k, 5 miler, 10k, 10 miler, and half). You change locations each month too, so the 5ks are at the same place, 5 milers, etc etc etc. 

The first 5k was a few weekends over a month ago at a park in the East Memphis area. We basically ran around the block around the park to get to 3.1 miles. The route was simple because there weren't many turns but there are still some rolling hills. And it has the potential for having my running nemesis...running on an incline into the sun! For the first run it was sunny and it had gotten hot by 7:30 when I was on that last mile. That part felt awful but I liked knowing my route for this race. I liked seeing the next turn and seeing the finish long before I got there. And most importantly I loved having so many friends running this series too! {and insert picture we took at the first 5k that I can't find. This is another reason I need to post my recaps a little more timely hah!}

My plan for this series was to take it easy on the first race and push myself more on the second race. But one of the things I've learned about running is plans change. Right? 

The weekend of the second 5k in the series came around and my husband decided to go out to the hunting cabin to do some work before the seasons kick off. Hindsight: at that very moment I should have gone online and registered Brooklyn to run with me the following morning. I didn't. And it's my own fault. We didn't get there by 6:30 to get her registered. That was fine. Again, it was my own fault. But I realized just how much I love running because I was nearly in tears that not only was I not getting to run but I wasn't getting to run a race with my mini. She was actually really excited about doing it with me. Several weeks before, I told my husband I actually wanted to just go be a spectator one day and watch when the really fast people coming running in, so I guess I got my opportunity. Spoiler alert....they look just like regular runners only they make it look super easy! It was nice cheering for friends and strangers as they made their way across the finish line. We even got some pics afterwards. 


I usually have a donut (or two) after race Sundays, and even though I didn't race that Sunday I still stopped for a donut with B. 
Next up is the 5 miler recap. Anyone else run a series like this? Or run this series? Anyone prepping for St Jude this December?

Aug 25, 2014

New Routine

It's back to school time in Tennessee! I know a lot of areas don't start back quite as early as we do, but kids are out around mid-May in Tennessee so that means starting back in August. This year we aren't only getting used to starting back to school, we are getting used to having a middle schooler now. It's still unreal to say I have a middle schooler. I definitely had more anxiety about her moving to middle school than she did. I have learned to let go a little and let her learn some more responsibility this year. 
I threatened to come inside and take a picture of her by her locker, but she pretty much knew I was just messing with her. 

On top of school, she is getting used to playing middle school sports. Middle school sports = practice every single day. And you better be paying attention! I love it. I just have to fight the urge to yell, "Put me in, Coach!" at her games. I miss it, can you tell?
Cell phone quality pics because I can never seem to get my camera, a charged battery, and an SD card all together at one time. 

Back to School night was last week, and I felt even better about this year. They have so many teachers that truly love these kids and love to teach. Makes me very happy. Also, they are at the age where they get a little variety in their classes. This year they will all take Drama to help them get comfortable in front of people and prepare them for the presentations class next year. Some (mine) opted to take choir this year as well. So they get all their traditional classes plus some arts as well.

Remember when we used to get a study hall every year? And we had 7 classes a day? Yea, no. Now there's no study hall and they have 5 classes a day. Their year is divided into trimesters and sometimes their classes change from tri to tri. It's definitely different, but so far so good. And it's week 3 now so we seem to be back into our routine other than running late all the time. Wait, I think that IS our routine. Before we know it, it will be time for fall break! 

How's school in your area? Or how is school prep if you aren't already in school? Anyone with new middle schoolers this year?

Jul 28, 2014

Since You've Been Gone

Ok more like "since I've been gone" but I like song lyrics more. 

Today I thought I would list some things that have been going on since I took my little unintentional blog hiatus. Lists=the lazy girl blog post

#Firstofall, I chopped my hair. I say chopped because to me anything more than a tiny trim is a chop. I love the beach wave, messy curled hair that everyone is sporting but I knew that just wasn't going to be possible with my longer hair. I don't know why but when my hair is longer, curls just don't work. They won't hold or they end up looking like wet perm. Or they look flat and stuck to my head. None of those things are cute. So I chopped. And I'm actually itching to take about another inch off of it. 
That's preworkout hair vs post workout hair. I'm starting to master the curling wand. But I can't say I totally understand what makes it better than just a curling iron used the right way for beach waves/curls. I'm a newbie though. 

Next up, I may have mentioned here that I got pretty busy a few months back when my work partner was on maternity leave. I had to learn a whole lot of her job. I would say probably 70% of what she did. The silver lining to that was I just had to know it all for 6 weeks, right? Wrong! After being back a week, she took a job within our parent company but with a different business unit. Now I'm still doing my job and that extra % of her job. It's been a little stressful, but I'm making it. I see a light at the end of the tunnel by way of shoving off my old work on someone else. Winning! That has been part of the reason why I haven't felt like typing or being anywhere near a computer after working hours. 

In other news, I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador while I was away. If you aren't already following, drop what you are doing and go follow @fitapproach on instagram. (oh and add me while you're there too)
Other than that, our summer has been winding down. Brooklyn competed in the softball World Series a week and a half ago. That doesn't mean that softball is over for long though. Tryouts are in just another week. She is also starting middle school in about two weeks. Which means I will be attending a sports parent meeting and middle school orientation this week. Add volleyball camp to that list and we have a lot going on. I feel like our summer has been pretty busy but I'm sure it's nothing compared to how busy we are going to be going forward. I am pretty excited about what the future holds though. 

Now fill me in. What is something new with you that maybe you haven't shared to all of social media yet??

Jul 25, 2014

Race Recap: Stars & Stripes 5k

Let me dust off this old blog, and see if I remember how to do this. 

I have got to be better about writing my recaps. Too much time has passed since my Stars and Stripes 5k and I know I don't remember it exactly as I did the week following. 

I will start by saying that the M-town Race Series is easily my favorite race series. Ok, so maybe it's the only race series I've completed. Minor detail. It really has all the fun summer races in it. I felt like after each race I said, "That one was my favorite!" Stars and Stripes was no different. 

This was my first race that I would have Brooklyn & Jeremy there to cheer me on. Thanks to my friend Lora for bringing B. This made it possible for me to get there in time and not have to backtrack. Another awesome friend picked up my race packet so that gave us a little time to hang out, find our other friends, and take pictures of course. 
Sidenote: How cute are my friends?! I love dressing up for themes or holidays, so this race was great for that. So many awesome red, white and blue race clothes. 

On to the running portion...we had really great weather. I mean, it's July in the South...it is usually a million degrees+ outside. It was comfortable. Everyone seemed pretty chilled out at the start too. I was worried with there being so many people that it would be hard to get off to a good start. People spaced out a little and took their time getting up to the start. I was fairly close to the front, but I noted that the timer was at 2 minutes by the time I crossed the line. 

The course was mostly flat (or maybe I've forgotten rolling hills) and shady for the first half. I found someone a little faster than me and chased her for almost two miles. Then she apparently got a burst of energy that I was lacking, and she left me in the dust. My Nike+ said I was running slower than my PR pace, but I'm starting to learn Nike+ can be a little liar. My legs were getting tired on the last half mile but I was trying my best to keep running. I remember feeling like I was running through molasses or running so slowly I felt like I was actually going backwards at times. I got a little burst when I rounded the last turn. I gave it all I had because I knew my loves were waiting somewhere along the finish line. I happened to look up and see the clock said 35 minutes....which meant 33 running minutes for me. I was ecstatic! That may be slow to some. That may be fast, but for me that meant a PR. Official time- 33:39. My goal is a sub30 5k and I'm trying to do it by the end of the year. 

To celebrate my PR, I got a new tank and new running top after the race. So much for my "no new workout clothes" ban I put on myself. I also got a tank for Brooklyn and a running tech shirt for Jeremy. I got those with the stipulation they had to start running with me. Ask me how many times they have run with me since....if you guessed 0, you'd be right. 

After the race, we ate typical 4th of July food (hamburgers, hot dogs) along with typical post race foods (bananas, oranges) and hung out around the fountain. Once it got dark, it was time for some fireworks. 
This is apparently how you take pictures of fireworks these days. She missed half the show trying to take the right selfie #tweens

And being the hypocrite I am, then we took a selfie, eh um, I mean an usie? I don't know. And yes, I was so cold in July I had to get my race shirt out and put it on. And I was still cold! 

First M-town Race Series is over, but I think this is going to be a yearly tradition. I loved all these races even the Gibson which was my worst. I definitely recommend anyone in the area to sign up for all or at least one of these series races. 

Jun 20, 2014

Race Recap: Gibson 5k

Last weekend I ran the Gibson Guitar 5k in downtown Memphis. I wrote up my thoughts on it and somehow deleted the post or blogger was hungry and ate it. I'm not really sure. And since I hate rewriting posts, I closed blogger and didn't log in for 4 more days. Now I'm finally back around and feel like sharing, so here is my recap. 

I've mentioned a few times (here, here) that my goal this summer was to beat my pace in each race of the M-town series that I'm doing. Well....spoiler alert, that didn't happen. Do I get a mulligan? I started off the race fine. My first mile is always the hardest for me mentally. I get nervous and then I start thinking that something is hurting. It's usually an ankle, random muscle, knee, something. This happens while I am dodging people and parked cars on the first mile. Coming into the mile marker, I'm headed up a little hill straight into the sun. I start feeling kind of weird. We round the corner and I smell one of my favorite things about Memphis....BBQ. Yum, right? No. The smell made me feel nauseous. From that point on, my sense of smell was super sensitive. Every change made me feel worse. I continued slowing down, walking some parts, trying my best not to get sick. I started feeling better toward the end and sprinted up the hill from the river up to Beale Street. Mistake. The hill had been too much for at least one person. I saw their lunch (sorry, TMI). I don't do well with that, so I walked and tried to pull it together to the finish. My husband came to this race so I had to run at the end for him. Once I saw and heard the crowd (and a man that kept pumping people up and running with them for the last sprint) I started running as hard as I could. I think when Jeremy saw me he knew by the look on my face and the time on the clock that I was not feeling great. 

All in all I didn't do that horribly. I didn't get the pace I wanted but the way I see it, there's always a next time. And since I don't want this post to be a "woe is me, I took an extra minute a mile" type post, I'm going to share some positives. 

[one] I can see why so many people love that race. It was fun and there's lots of good energy. We got to run down Riverside Drive. I love Riverside Drive. I love seeing the "M Bridge" and pyramid along the river. We started on Beale St. What a great starting line! The after party is at the Gibson Guitar factory. I mean, could it get any better. 

[two] I love evening runs. I had time that morning to hydrate up, eat right, enjoy the day and prepare for my run that night. 

[three] I got to meet up with a running friend before the race. And Meredith met several ladies of the Schweddy Belles running group from Breakaway Running. I'm telling you, runners are the most friendly people. We had a little conversation with those ladies before getting to our spots. 
[four] The only pictures I saw of myself during the race were when I was running. No grumpy pictures of myself when I was getting frustrated with myself. And I don't totally hate them. 
 [five] Despite the rough run, I felt amazing afterwards. I grabbed something to drink, had some oranges and I felt amazing. I even felt great the next day. I have finally reached that point I used to hear about. I used to think my friends were crazy when they said they felt awesome after a run. That used to sound crazy to me. Now I get it. I totally get the runner's high. 

That's it for this run. Next one coming up is the Stars and Stripes on July 3rd. I think I may have talked Jeremy into running it too! I am really excited about that. Also, I have started low heart rate training thanks to some friends and some online research. I still have a book I want to read about it, but I will share my initial thoughts on it all one day next week. Now get out there and run!

Jun 13, 2014

Friday Five

In case you haven't looked at the calendar or been on any social media all day, guess what? It's Friday the 13th. My mind just stopped at "it's Friday" though. And Friday the 13th or not, it's my favorite easy link up...Five on Friday!
[one] One of the big reasons I don't blog every day is because I read blogs everyday. Make sense? I like to catch up on my internet friends before jumping into a post of my own. This week, my blog reader has been on the fritz and I was not happy about it. I use Feedly, and have been avoiding Bloglovin since Google Reader went away. To me it wasn't as user friendly. To each their own. So for the last few days I have probably been missing out on my favorite blogs but I have had a lot of ideas for my own blog, so maybe this was just a sign or a kick in the pants, whichever. 

[two] I have another race this weekend! I love back to back race weekends. After this weekend, I have two and a half weeks until my next race in the series. Unless I sign up for a race between now and then. 

[three] I have been really bad lately for the last year or more about remembering to take my real camera places. I used to be the photo nazi! My friends could count on me to document our lives in photos. I've been slacking. So this weekend I am going to get a few more camera cards and have my camera ready to go for whatever comes our way. I'm going to start by trying to join in Rachel's day in the life linkup next week. I love the camera on my phone, but for the most part they don't beat out photos from my actual camera. The linkup is next week so everyone has plenty of time to document a day and write a post.

[four] Father's Day is this weekend and I still have to make a mad dash to the store to pick up our gift. Nothing like last minute shopping! At least I know what I want to get for Jeremy this year. That's half the battle. I just have to make sure it's approved by Miss Brooklyn, of course. And since she will be at her dad's house on Sunday we will do our thing to celebrate either tonight or tomorrow during the day. She has already requested that we grill out. Let's see if the weather cooperates.
[five] Also on the agenda this weekend....baseball. Yep, not our usual softball tourney weekend. This weekend we are supposed to take B to her friend-that's-a-boy's baseball game. This is all new territory for me. It makes me nervous and I don't know exactly why. It makes me feel like she is so grown up, but she's also still my baby. 

[bonus] According to my planner, summer is passing by extremely quickly this year. There is little time left on the calendar that is blank. And I still haven't planned our summer vacation. I can't decide between beach, water park, mountains, cruise. Everything sounds like something we should do, so leave your vacation advice in the comments! I need to weigh out our options. 

Jun 10, 2014

Small Victories

This weekend was busy, fun, and a whole lot of stormy! I could have done without that adjective {she says, as her area is under a tornado watch currently}. 

Friday night was the second race in the 4 race M-town series that I signed up for. This is the only race in the series that I have actually run before, two times actually. I love this race! It is in one seriously cute part of town. I love every single adorable little house here. What makes it even better is my friend Laura lives there and this year the race went right by her house. 
Usually it is already 100 degrees by the time this race rolls around. It's humid and sticky and hard to breath, but this year I have to say the weather during the race was probably the best weather you could ask for in Memphis in June. It had rained and stormed all afternoon pretty much. But by the time the race started the rain cleared and the temp was closer to 70.

I got there really early....that is totally not like me. But I've been surprising friends lately by being on time or even early for things. Maybe I will lose that late reputation one of these days. Anyways, so I was texting my friend Lora who was in route and searching for a place to park. I was also meeting Debi in front of a restaurant so we could find each other before the race. She brought Cecilia, which was awesome because I have been following her blog and IG, but I haven't met her in person until this week. They are both super nice, and I love meeting more of the awesome running community we have around us here in the city. Then when I finally get into the start line about where I think I should be, Meredith turns around and says hey! She was in front of me for no telling how long. More friendly faces to look for before the next race in the series! 

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am not fast. I have never been a fast runner. My body will require more training to speed up my pace. Thank goodness I found my love for running, right? Anyways, I set a goal for myself this year to PR each and every race from now until the end of the year. Sounds like a lofty goal, but this is the first year I've been training and running on somewhat of a schedule. Plus, besides 5ks I've only ever raced one half marathon and one 10k. I just have one untrained (pretty much) time to beat for those. So I'm happy to say, that I have accomplished my goal so far. My pace for the Zoo race was 13:07 (it was a 4 miler) and my pace for Harbortown was 11:41. See, not breaking any course records for sure, but I improved! And my biggest surprise....I wasn't sore. I waited until two days later to say anything. I was kind of disappointed in myself. I assumed this meant I didn't push myself hard enough, but a friend told me that just means my body has gotten adjusted to the distance. Already time to add on some miles! Now I'm excited! 

My goal this week is to follow the rest of my training in my Nike Running app. Then I run the Gibson Guitar 5k on Saturday night. I'm excited about this one. I have heard it is a really fun race too.