Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Coming off of two excellent race weekends has me all messed up - like, it's making me think I actually enjoy running! ;-)

I registered for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April!

Now my challenge will be not losing all of the fitness I have gained in the last several months. I have yet to sit down and make a plan, but I know I want to keep some long runs (several a month) in my schedule.  Who knows, maybe I'll do a half marathon training run and run the full 13. 

I've done this race before. It wasn't my most shining moment. But I'm coming to realize it wasn't about the course or the race - it was about my training and my mental place. It was about the way I fueled myself and the way my mind worked during races back then.  I am in a different place now (and they've apparently changed the route now, phew!) I have decided to give it another try. 

If anyone wants to join me, you are welcome! ;-) I always love to have people to run with during races!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I can smile - AND RUN!

This was posted by Go! St Louis today.  Finally! Proof that I am a HAPPY runner!!! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

GO! St Louis Halloween 10K, 2014 Edition

This morning was the Halloween 10K, one of my favorite races of the year!  We were out late last night, I had a few minor tweaks to make to costumes then went to bed by about 11:30. My kiddo has her seasonal allergy cough right now, so that woke me up around 1am. Alarm went off at 5:35am. Needless to say, I was TIRED!

It was raining on the drive downtown. Sprinkling, pouring.... we had it all. It cleared up when we pulled into our parking spot, but started again on our walk to the starting line. As you can see, I was soaked before I even started!

I love having the Arch in the background!
I told myself before the race - I just wanted to be better than last year. Last year's results were 1:01:44, so my goal for myself was simply a sub-1 hour 10K. That would require my pace to be even faster than last week, but since I had such an awesome time last weekend at MO Cowbell, I figured I could push myself. This is my last race of the "season" so I knew I could leave everything on the road today.

Crossed the start line and hit the button on my Garmin and started RunKeeper (yes, I use both. I'm ridiculous.)  I kept checking my pacing - I couldn't remember the EXACT number I needed to get to PR the race, but I knew it was faster than last year's 9:57 average... Until about a half mile in when I realized that my pace was there, but my mileage wasn't! I never actually hit START!! I just hit the button that wakes up my Garmin. UGH! So I started that up and hoped that RunKeeper was having an "on" day.

The weather wasn't awesome like last week (Cowbell weather was PERFECTION) but it wasn't awful either. The rain had stopped before we started running and if I recall correctly, it didn't start up again.

One minor annoyance was that they didn't take down the signage from the 5K, so when we were around 2 miles (who knows, my Garmin was wrong! *weeps*) we ran past the sign for 1 mile for the 5K!!  I think they planned the route so that the water station at 1.5m in the 5k was the 2mi water station for the 10K/half marathon. But between that and the Garmin error, I spent the first four miles having NO idea where I was. I just tried my hardest to keep my pacing below 9:40. Obviously, I did ok.

I started rationalizing with myself around mile 5 - I can slow down and still PR... I think. I did the math quickly, I was at 48 minutes at approximately 5.2 miles and got nervous - a 10 minute mile would get me there JUST under the wire - and that's if Runkeeper was still on target (which it rarely is!) Instead of easing up, I gave it all.

Finishing the race with the clock time under an hour was awesome. Finding out my official time was 58:04 - spectacular!!  Such an awesome feeling. FURTHER awesome? Look at the stats - 40th in my age group, 369 overall? That's top 30% of the racers! I've never considered myself fast (and I'm still not ever going to "win" a race) but I know that I can keep improving.



I love comparing how far I've come.  This one - this one is making me a happy camper tonight. 



Costumes all came together. I think my costume only made sense when I was standing with my family :-)  but my little people looked like ADORABLE little Lego characters. The fun run was great (once my daughter stopped crying that her costume broke in the first 100 feet...) I usually run "fast" with my daughter while my husband stays with my son. This year, since hubby was actually a registered runner, I let him take the fast one and I held back. My little guy (3 1/2) did an awesome job. I'm thankful for the mom with the stroller behind us who encouraged him - "You have the piece of resistance!! Run fast, Emmett!!"  My son was thrilled, gave me a high five and ran his heart out. It didn't last long, but it was so much fun <3 We walked a lot of the mile and found my speedy family members waiting just shy of the finish line so that we could all finish together.  I am so proud of my little runners. They are troopers for going out in this weather! And I'm so thankful to my husband that he supports this crazy hobby I've picked up in the last few years.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Half Marathon #5 - Check!

So as I mentioned, I wanted to PR from last year. Last year's time was 2:21:40 and this year I just wanted to get 2:20. It's all I wanted, all I expected from myself. 

And I KILLED it. 

I knew going into this that I was going to have to have a 10:40 average to make my PR. I started off and my first few miles according to my Garmin were looking good, low 10's. I purposefully tried to slow myself down so that I didn't wear myself out too early. And I found it hard to slow down to a 10:40 pace!!  I kept reminding myself if I started to ache that I CAN slow down - I was under no pressure to keep going 10:15, 10:20 miles. But every time I tried to slow down to 10:40, I found myself moving right along with the crowd!

Everyone was so nice on the course! I ran into some familiar faces and made some new friends along the way. I normally don't remember much of my runs, but I was trying so hard to ENJOY this one!! I know that my tendency is to speed out of the gate, so around mile 3 I warned myself I needed to slow down a little bit. But mile 4.5-5 was the "High Five zone" at a farm where they invite spectators to high five as the runners go through! As soon as I knew the farm was coming up, I sped up a little (hence the 10:11 mile at 4) to see my family!!  And it was worth the sprint because I got two of the sweetest little hugs ever. 

The next few miles is through a community. I tried to keep my headphones out and take in all the sights of fall (the weather today - PERFECT. Mild temps, no glaring beating sun...), appreciating all the people who came out to cheer for runners.  Once you come out of the community, it's almost mile 8. That starts a SLIGHT uphill. Mile 10 - the ONLY true uphill run in this race! Sort of mean that they put it so close to the end, but it is what it is!

Once I hit 10 miles, I had my favorite thought - "Now it's just a Tuesday run. A 5k!" And when I looked down and realized I had a 5k left and was only at 1:42??  The writing was on the wall that I would PR, by how much was the question. 

I kept going, tried to keep myself from sprinting at that very moment. My Garmin was off by about .2/mile and I kept having to remind myself - MORE than a mile left, MORE than a half mile, etc.  As I rounded the corner to the street I knew the finish line was on, I knew it was TIME to sprint! I saw my family again right at mile 13. I didn't ALL OUT sprint like I usually do, but I was at a good clip into the finish line. I paused my Garmin, got my medal and tried not to explode. The clock as I passed said 2:17!!! Could I have possibly broken not only 2:20, but 2:15?!!!

Once I finally found my family, my first question for my husband was "Did you get the text? What was my official time??" 


ZOMG, I shaved SIX MINUTES off my time from last year!!!!!! 


I have a 10K next weekend. then no more races on the books for awhile. I may try to sneak a few 5ks in before next spring race season, but I'm definitely going to keep going and training! I never in a MILLION years thought I could hit 2:15. Now it makes me wonder what else I am capable of doing!! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Race Day EVE!!!!

Tomorrow is the MO'Cowbell 
Half Marathon!!!!!! 
When they said yellow, they meant YELLOW!
I started having pre-race nightmares on Monday and have had race-related dreams almost every night since! Ran 6 miles on Tuesday. Thursday I ran TWO SLOOOW treadmill miles and went to Yogalates. 

Packet Pick up, complete.  Charging my devices today. Laying out my clothes (once I figure out what to wear, the weather is going to be everywhere from 50-70 tomorrow morning!) 

Next time I check in, I will be a five time half marathon finisher!!!