Labor of Love 5K Recap

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On Monday, I decided to do an impromptu 5K race! I had considered doing the Labor of Love 5K for awhile because it was in the park right across the street where I always run, and 100% of the registration cost went to a really awesome cause (The Micah Project). I didn’t initially sign up though, because with Justin out of town, I didn’t know if Lilli would be ok by herself that early in the morning.

But on Sunday night, I really had the urge to race! So, I decided that I would wake up extra early to take Lilli for a long walk, then drop her off at home, and walk over to register for the race. So we woke up at 5:30AM Monday morning, got ready, and went for an hour walk. After our walk I took her back home and then I headed over to the park across the street to register for the race. The cost of the race was $35 (before race day it was $30), and at first I wasn’t certain if I would get a t-shirt since on the website it had said to guarantee a shirt you had to sign up by August 10th. I really was hoping to get a shirt because I had seen it online and thought it was so cute! Luckily, I went to register and included in my packet was the t-shirt for the race! I was also pleasantly surprised to see a lot of other goodies in the packet- coupons for free Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, indoor rock climbing, and many more great deals.

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About 10 minutes before the start, it wasn’t looking too great out. I had checked the weather before I left and there was about a 50% chance of storms at race time (8AM). And right as they told us to go to the start line, it started raining pretty hard. I was worried it was going to rain the whole time and was kind of regretting my decision to race! Luckily, I wore a hat so I didn’t get any rain in my face, and it the rain actually felt kind of good because it cooled down the hot temps a lot. And, about 1 mile into the race it was barely raining at all, so we really lucked out!

I felt pretty tired throughout the race. I hadn’t slept that well the night before, and then I had already wore out my legs a lot on the walk with Lilli! But I kept telling myself it was only a 5K, and I just needed to keep going and not stop. So that’s what I did. The route was pretty much a loop and it was hillier than I expected. I run there all the time, but it was a different loop than I was used to. There was a water stop at the halfway point, and then we circled around and went back by where the start line was (but the start and finish were not the same, a little farther apart). This was not a big race by any means! Altogether there were 176 runners, and I’m not sure if all those participants were in the 5K, because there was also a 1 mile walk. It was also a very family friendly event as there were many kids racing. Thus, I knew it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for me to place in my age group! So, this was extra motivation for me, because I wanted to make sure that if I did get passed, that it was NOT by a woman! (Or at least not by one that looked like she was in the 20-29 age range!)

I crossed the finish line and the clock said I was around 25:50. I knew I would not get a PR for the race, but I was still pretty happy with the time. But, I was a bit confused on how they would time this race, because we had no timing chip of any kind. I’m still not sure how they figured out the results…

So, I waited around for the other runners to finish to see if I had placed in my age group. I didn’t see a lot of women my age ahead of me, so I knew I had a decent chance of being in the top 3. It took FOREVER for them to figure out the awards (probably because they weren’t sure of the exact times! haha) so before the age group awards they raffled off a lot of prizes. There was probably at least 50 prizes, and everyone who participated had a chance to win. Shockingly, I didn’t win anything! (I RARELY do! Lol).

A nice part of the race was all the food available after. While we waited for the staff to figure out the age group winners, there were Krispy Kreme donuts, cookies, bananas, oranges, rolls, and water for us to snack on. I was a little disappointed that I did not see the sugar cookies that I had seen from the race last year, but I settled on a chocolate chip cookie instead. I wanted a Krispy Kreme but resisted because they always make me feel like crap an hour later!

FINALLY (even the DJ of the event was making fun of how long it was taking, joking that tomorrow’s race results would be available before these race results would be!) they gave the awards for the age groups. I heard that the top 3 in each age group got a medal, and then I found out that there were cookie “medals”, and then I realized those were the yummy looking cookies that I saw in the pictures from the race last year! I really wanted to place now more than ever!

There were many different age groups starting at 0-9 years old, so it took a bit to get to the 20-29 division. They started with 3rd place and the announcer said “LaurrA” and I was like darn! I thought that would be me! Then I looked at the woman and realized that I saw her behind me, so I must have been getting an award! Sure enough, I was the next one they called! I was very happy to place 2nd in my age group, especially since it was a last minute decision to even run this race!

2nd place in 20-29 women's division!

2nd place in 20-29 women’s division!

I think all I was thinking about here was how fast I could get home to eat this thing!

All I was thinking about here was how fast I could get home to eat this thing!

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Close-up of my yummy medal!

Overall, I was really happy I ran in this race. My official time was 25:52, and I finished overall 23rd, and 11th for the women. It was really cool to run a race in the park that I always train in, all the proceeds went to an amazing organization, and I was happy to have been one of the top in my age group. I’ll definitely run in this race again next year, but I will probably sign up ahead of time and not the day of!

Lauren

Weekly Recap (Lauren)

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HAPPY SEPTEMBER!! I am SO thrilled September is here, because that means Fall is on it’s way! Fall is my absolutely favorite season, and it’s my favorite time of the year to run outside. I can’t wait for it to cool off so that I’m finally not a sweaty beast after all my runs!

This week of running was not too great. With Justin out of town, it was hard for me to leave Lilli alone too long to go on my long run, so that run was cut this week. Here was what I did this week:

Monday, August 25th: Rest Day

Tuesday, August 26th: 3.25 miles running

Wednesday, August 27th: 3 miles running (Speed Work), Workout DVD

Thursday, August 28th: 2 miles running

Friday, August 29th: Rest Day

Saturday, August 30th: 4 miles running, Jillian Michaels 1 Week Shred DVD

Sunday, August 31st: 4 miles running, Jillian Michaels 1 Week Shred DVD

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My speed work run on Wednesday was ROUGH!! I haven’t worked on Speed Work in so long, so I think that’s why I was especially exhausted. I went on the treadmill at the gym because it was WAY too hot out to run. For the first 5 minutes, I warmed up at 6.1 speed. Then I alternated every other minute going slow and then fast. My slow was always at 6.0, and then my fast ranged from 7.0-8.0. The one I was originally going to do (that I found on Pinterest) STARTED the fast one at 8.0, but I quickly discovered that wasn’t going to be possible for me, unless I wanted to fall off the treadmill! Even though it was hard, I made it to the 3 miles and I want to incorporate a speed work run hopefully every week in my training. They suck, but the results will definitely be worth the pain!

This month also begins the OFFICIAL start to my marathon training program for Disney. I know in August I said I was starting my marathon training, which I was, but that was more of a warm-up to the official start. After the marathon in June, I was tired and spent most of July recovering, so August definitely was a great month for me to get back into top shape to start training for my next marathon!

I will be following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon Training Plan this time around. I looked around at various training plans, ones that had you running 6 days a week, to ones that had you running 3 days a week, but I found Hal Higdon’s plan closest to what I thought would adequately fit into my life style. I am excited to start this plan in the second week of September (his plan is for 18 weeks). Here is my training plan for this month: workout schedule – sept 2014 . I’m going to try my ABSOLUTE BEST to follow this better than I did last month!!

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This weekend I finally have a race – the Cardinals Care 6K! I have been waiting for this race forever as I had a great time at it last year, so I can’t wait for it to be Sunday! I will talk more about this race later this week.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy your day off (hopefully you don’t have to work today) and have an amazing week!

Lauren

And the next race is…

3 weeks from this weekend, my Dopey training schedule calls for a 13 mile run.  Sounds like a great excuse to run a half marathon in another state.  Since I just started my new job, I need to make sure this race was on a Sunday, so I don’t have to take a Friday off work (not sure that’s even allowed right now).

I live in Illinois and since I’ve already done Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota, that leaves Michigan, Indiana and Iowa as the other surrounding states if I wanted to drive.  I already am signed up for a half in Michigan in October, Indiana in May, and I’m saving Iowa for October 2015… that doesn’t leave myself really any states I could drive to successfully.

When I looked at the half marathon racing schedule in the United States, only a few races jumped out to me for Sunday, September 21st.  Rock N Roll Philly—but I was not in love with the bling.  It’s just ok.  I’d consider doing it if I did Rock N Roll Virginia Beach because there is an awesome Beach to Bell medal.  There was a half in Bismarck, North Dakota that looked semi-interesting but the medal wasn’t doing it for me, neither was the price of the airfare.  But one kept coming up and up… Omaha.  The medal is cute (it lights up) and it’s supposed to be an overall flat course.  I secured a hotel & rental car for $100 and airfare was not too bad either.

For the remaining 2014 year, I’ll do one more half marathon (Detroit) and then I’m going to do the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago in November.  December is a really crazy Dopey training month, so I’ll be focusing on that during my weekends in December.

So excited!!  I love racing :)

Kathleen

Healthy Human Race Recap

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After the amazing speakers, it was time to get ready for the 5k on Saturday!  My hotel was about 3 blocks away from the race start, so I was able to leave my hotel pretty close to the race start time.

There were about 1200 participants in the 5k.  Lots of kids, families, stroller moms, and more.  I was only doing this race because the bling was good.  I wasn’t interested in time since I was running the half marathon the next day and I wanted to be able to tackle that as best as I could.  Plus it was very hot and humid!!  Temps were in the 80s and the humidity was high as well.

Since I listen to music when I run, my plan going into this race was to run at an easy pace for a song and then walk a full song.  It was SO HARD to walk a full song!!  I wanted to run SO BAD!!  But I stuck with the plan and did the 5k in 37:18 (which was a 12:00 pace).  I’ll need to keep working on slowing it down so when I do Dopey I’ll miss the balloon ladies but have time to stop for characters and have fun.

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I’m glad I did the 5k at this race because the final 1.5 miles of the race was the same as the final 1.5 miles of the half marathon (so I knew what to expect when I hit that part of the course the next day).  Overall the 5k was pretty flat and had one water stop for the race.  At the end of the race, there were water bottles and I made my way back into the expo area for the spaghetti dinner that I had purchased.

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The dinner was excellent!  For only $9, I got spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert and lemonade!  It was a great meal.  I sat with some other people who had run the 5k.  They were all really impressed that I drove from Chicago just to do this race.  In my opinion, it’s only 5 hours, that’s nothing!  And I love doing these trips… seriously it’s an addiction… I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t doing them.

The next morning, the race didn’t start until 7:00 am and my plan wasn’t to leave my hotel until6:30am, so I woke up at 5:45.  When I got to the start line around 6:45, people were starting to line up according to pace.  I really wanted to be right around 2:20, but I knew with the humidity and heat that probably wasn’t going to happen (74 degrees at the start with 94% humidity).

The first few miles, I wasn’t doing too bad and I was keeping up with the 2:20 pacers pretty well.  Then mile 6 happened.  I should read elevation charts before signing up for races, but I don’t study them nearly as much as I should.  Mile 6 was pretty much a never ending hill.  Literally one of the volunteers told us that the hill would eventually end.  I had to take more walking breaks than usual during that mile.  The race was pretty much held on the Rochester trails and occasional neighborhoods.  It had a very small town feel to the race.  With the heat, humidity and the horrible hill… I didn’t have the best time ever, 2:23:58.  But as always, I finished, I wasn’t injured and I was able to get the bling.

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After the race, I got a Gatorade, water bottle, chips and a banana.  I got back to my hotel, took a quick shower and then hit the road for home.

Of course, I needed a Minnesota lottery ticket to remember the day :)  I won $9—strange amount… but I’ll take it!

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And I stopped for a Wisconsin beer brat at the Brat House Grill in Wisconsin Dells—I love post half marathon meals!

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I’ve been home for a few days, so I’ve had time to think about the pros/cons of this race

Pros:

-Amazing medals!

-Amazing speaker series

-Colorful t-shirts (should have been race specific though)

-Pre-Race Dinner—affordable, good, and filling!

Cons:

-Horrible pre-race communication—no emails, no updates on facebook for over a week—in today’s racing age, you need to have good communication

-The first few water stops were not properly equipped with volunteers—ahh

Definitely a great Minnesota race overall!  The only time I want to come back to this state for a race is in 2016 for Grandma’s Marathon with Lauren (it’s the 40th anniversary of the race—why not?!).  Now to state #8… I’ll tell you about it on Friday!

Kathleen

Weekly Recap (Lauren)

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It has been SOOOO hot/humd in STL this week! We are still under an extreme heat advisory until tonight at 8PM, so it has been a bit unpleasant to say the least! Here is a quick recap:

Monday, August 18th: Workout DVD

Tuesday, August 19th: Workout DVD

Wednesday, August 20th: 4 miles running, Workout DVD

Thursday, August 21st: 4 miles running, Workout DVD

Friday, August 22nd: Rest Day

Saturday, August 23rd: Workout DVD

Sunday, August 24th: 10 miles running

I didn’t get in as many runs as I wanted to, but I was happy that I got my long run in for the week on Sunday. It was very hot and I forgot to bring my water, but the run itself actually went pretty well.

I’m hoping to get a good week in of runs, and I will try to focus on my speed this week with a few speed workouts. My next race (in what feels like forever!) will be on Sunday, September 7th and it is a 6K so I’m hoping to get a PR. I found a few speed workouts on Pinterest that I’m going to follow and hopefully they will lead me to that PR! (I’m shooting for under 30 minutes, last year I was a little over 34 minutes.)

I hope everyone has a great week!

Lauren

Weekly Recap + Healthy Human Race Expo Review

What a crazy week it has been!!  Here is the workout recap:

Monday, August 11th: Rest day

Tuesday, August 12th: 3 miles running (10:34 pace on treadmill)

Wednesday, August 13th: 5 miles running (10:37 pace on treadmill)

Thursday, August 14th: Rest day

Friday, August 15th: Rest day

Saturday, August 23rd: Healthy Human Race 5k (37:18—12:00 pace)

Sunday, August 24th: Healthy Human Race Half Marathon (2:23:58—11:00 pace)

Rochester Minnesota is about 315 miles away from my house (about 5 hours).  I really wanted to go halfway on Friday evening, but I could not get a good price to come up on a hotel and I didn’t want to spend more than $60.  So, wakeup call at 5:30 to be on the road by 6:00 am happened on Saturday morning!

The ride to Minnesota was pretty uneventful.  There was some construction, fog and a bit of rain.  I ended up stopping right before I hit the Minnesota border in Wisconsin and purchased this lottery ticket.

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I love playing the lottery and my good luck came again as I won $25 on the ticket :)

I got to the expo around 11 am.  Packet pickup was super easy.  I cannot believe the line would ever be this long…

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Since I signed up for both the 5k and the Half Marathon—I got two shirts.  The shirts are super comfortable and I cannot wait to wear them for a run!  I also got this lanyard too… not sure why or what you’d use it for, but I’ll always take free stuff!

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The expo wasn’t huge (it fit in a small room) and had local races, running stores, etc.  The usual small “expo”.  I picked up some jelly beans and stinger gels for Sunday as well as this cool “Run Minnesota” shirt (paid for with my lottery winnings!).

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After about 20 minutes, I made my way out of the expo and discovered where I could pick up my extra shirt I had purchased.  This race was also sponsored/hosted by “the” Mayo Clinic (if you don’t know what the Mayo Clinic is, look it up… one of the best hospitals in the country) and they were selling a souvenir race shirt at the race registration where all proceeds would go to the Mayo Clinic.  When I gave them my name for the shirt, they had my name down twice (I don’t think I paid for two shirts), but I got two and Lauren will be getting one soon then :)

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After going thru the expo, I still had over an hour before the speaker series would begin.  I ended up checking into my hotel, grabbing lunch and walking back to the expo (my hotel was about 3 blocks from the expo—which was also the start lines for the races!  What luck!!

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One of the reasons I signed up for this race was not only the awesome bling (pictures on Wednesday!!), but for the speaker series—Jeff Galloway and Apolo Anton Ohno.  Jeff Galloway is definitely someone whom I look up to in the racing world—he is a celebrity for sure.  I can only run the Dopey Challenge following his training program and adopting his run/walk method.  I am 8 weeks into the program and I have been following it to a T (usually I’m adding more mileage since I have half marathons in there too J).  His speech was great and afterwards, I got a picture with him and the Disney bling (he thought it was appropriate since I was going Dopey—that Coast to Coast medal is so amazing, I hope I can score one of those too next year).  Jeff and his wife Pam ran the half marathon on Sunday and they finished about a minute behind me!  If I knew he was that close, I would have slowed down to finish the race with him.

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The keynote speaker was Apolo Anton Ohno—the most decorated US Winter Olympian.  Apolo gave an amazing keynote address to a packed arena (probably 1,000-2,000 people) about his life and his fitness journey.  I got a great seat for Jeff (second row) and I just stayed put until Apolo came because I knew I wanted to have a great seat.  He ended his message with this quote “One world, one life, one change, your choice”.  I LOVE THIS!!  I think I’m going to get this put on my medal rack (I’ve run out of desk space… I need to get those medal racks!).  I think Apolo participated in the Healthy Human Race 1 Mile walk, but he didn’t stick around for the 5k or the Half Marathon.  Right now he’s training for an Ironman and he told us he was going on a 100 mile bike ride on Sunday… ugh!

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On Wednesday, I’ll share the recap of the 5k and the Half Marathon and share my pros/cons of the race/race experience.

Kathleen

Randomness Friday

This week has seemed SOOOO long, but I’m so happy it’s FINALLY FRIDAY! WOO-HOO! We all made it! This post is going to be super random, because I have nothing really specific to blog about, so here are some various thoughts on my mind:

1. runningecard

I’m pretty tired because I have been waking up super early to get all my workouts in this week. One reason I’ve been getting up early is because on Mondays and Tuesdays I leave for work at 7:45AM, so I have to get up around 5:15AM to do my workouts, take Lilli for a walk, take a shower, and then get to work. Another reason, is because this has been an awful week of HUMIDITY! Before I’ve gone on my runs, I look at the weather app on my phone and it says 70, so I think that’s not that bad. And then I step out the door and it feels about 100 degrees all because of the super high humidity! This being said, I can absolutely NOT WAIT for Fall! Fall is, in my opinion, perfect running weather. It’s typically not too hot, but not cold enough that you feel the need to be in a million layers. I wish Fall weather could be all year round. Unfortunately, I live in the Midwest, so I am “lucky” enough to experience each season. Ugh.

2. quest-barsMy new obsession – QUEST BARS! These things are delicious. I have been seeing them pop up on ads on Facebook for a while, and some of my friends have even posted about them. I never had tried them until last week when I saw them at the grocery store. I figured I might as well try them out. Well, I’m happy I did, because it turns out these bars are amazing! I don’t know how they can be so good and so healthy for you (full of protein and no added sugar) but they are literally as good as a candy bar! I have tried the cookie dough, cookies and cream, and apple pie flavors and they are all amazing. I can’t wait to try more!

3. B000W09NYMAbove is a picture of a girl with a Pilates Magic Circle, or Pilates Ring (not sure of the technical name). I was just posting about this because I was wondering if anyone has ever worked out with one before. I was contemplating buying one and trying it out, but was hoping someone could let me know if they would recommend it!

4. Shred415_Logo.ashxSo I’ve been super bummed because the Bootcamp group fitness class I’ve been going to every Wednesday morning has been cancelled :( My instructor could not do the time anymore because of her work hours from her other job changing, so instead of finding a new instructor, the YMCA has just cancelled the class completely. I was upset because I loved going to this class because it was a challenge for me, but I knew it was working because I could feel myself getting stronger. There is another class at a different Y that’s just a bit farther from me that seems similar, so I might try it out. But, I also found out about a Shred 415 recently opening in the suburbs. Before opening in St. Louis, it had only been in Chicago. It is an hour long workout that combines strength workouts and the treadmill. Apparently it’s very intense, but people love it. I can’t afford to become a member (over $200 a month!) but I wanted to try it out because a drop in class is only $24. I think I might go fairly soon to see what all the hype is about. Has anybody from Chicago ever tried this place out before? Let me know!

5. 81J+9qYEqYLFinally, many people enjoy reading over the summer, so I thought I would give a recommendation. I read Big Little Lies while we were on vacation in Colorado, and I could not put it down! It is the best book I have read all summer, and I would definitely recommend it to you all. It’s a story about 3 different women who are all connected and each have their own issues. The characters are so real you feel like you know them. It is similar to Liane Moriarty’s other huge hit – The Husband’s Secret (which I loved), but I thought Big Little Lies was even better and I love a story full of unexpected twists and turns!

Well, that’s it for my randomness this Friday! I hope you all get through the day and enjoy your weekend :)

Lauren