I had quite a few running highlights from February:
I’d completed a bit over 100 miles in January (31 days) and ended up doing the same mileage in February (29 days) – WIN! So while I’d hoped to be 20 miles further along I was able achieve more in February.
A few more Kent Island moms have come out for walks, stroller power walks & runs with me as part of the Kent Island MRTT. I’m excited to have more ladies get involved & join me on this fitness journey.
Training last week lead up to my first Relay race. It’s always a little nerve-racking to do something NEW but add to that extreme weather conditions and a break in my race routine and I was more than a little stressed leading up to start time.
Only a week before race day did we assemble our Relay Team for the Mid-Maryland 50k. All running mama’s (bonus) but all faster than me (Yikes!). I don’t compare myself per se but when you are on a team with people of varying abilities (and you are in the bottom) good/bad/indifferent you think about it.
My normal race day routine ALWAYS starts with my husband and little ones driving me to the venue. Because this was a relay with extreme weather it didn’t make sense to have them attend. I know this doesn’t sound like it’s a big deal but it was completely different than how I normally prep on race day. As a passenger I get to relax and clear my mind. This time there was a snow squall coming through as I was set to leave – so I waited worried I’d be late (live 40 miles from the venue, Rockburn Branch Park). But I made it on time & didn’t get caught in a squall.
When you are racing outside in extreme conditions you need to pick the right clothes to block out the wind & cold (especially on your feet and hands). Then add to that it’s a relay so you’ll be in the elements longer than just your race time as you wait for the runner before you.
Torso: Long-sleeve tech shirt, long sleeve cotton shirt & a cozy Zella sweatshirt
Legs: Full-length compression pants with running pants over (both Zella, I’m not an ambassador but I’d love to be!)
Feet: Pro Compression marathon socks with ankle length socks on top & my 2013 Nike Flex Run (I choose these among my ‘collection’ because I’d done trail races with them last year and I knew they felt great on uneven terrain).
While I didn’t train with these layers before the race, because it’s been cold, I have been out with multiple layers for my head and torso. The hat wasn’t necessary when I wasn’t doing my 6 mile leg so I took it off but the double layers everywhere else kept me just the right temp the whole morning.
Here’s how we divided the legs: Brittany (Leg 1 & 5), Me (Leg 2), Becky (Leg 3), Terri (Leg 4 & 5). We cheered Brittany as she took off at the start of the race and then Becky & I took cover in my heated car until Brittany finished. It was great to be warm, relax & chat so we didn’t focus much on the cold & how long it may take us to finish our Leg.
I’m not and probably will never be an elite runner – so what, I love racing. While it can be a bit unnerving to tackle a new type of race I knew I’d be able to finish. I think about the bling, about seeing the finish line and sprinting towards it & about how great it feels to get it done. This race was no different.
This is my first race of 2016 but I faced it head-on, was inspired by the ultra runners who attempted the entire 50k (some failed to finish), I ran on a team, I completed a cool relay and bottom-line proved to myself I can do more & I am a Winner because I try!
When I got home the results said we were 7 out of 9 teams but as I just checked we ended up 8 of 10 teams. Either way I am thrilled with our results! Our team finished in 6:29:32 with a pace of 12:33.
My next race is a 10k, Get Pumped for Pets! in Chester, MD. It’s a new one for me but it has bling (a medal & a shirt) and it’s in the next town over. Hopefully, the extreme cold weather will be passed us at that point and the worst I’d have to deal with is rain (oh, man wet socks are the worst!). I guess we’ll see!
RunUrOwnRace & Set Your Own Pace! Liz
P.S. I hope to have an exciting running related announcement to share in the next few days! A hint…it has to do with the Y of the Chesapeake.
Week 5, I finished the first month of the #2016in2016 Challenge. The Run the Edge challenge has a great online tracking system to capture your daily miles – so I don’t know why I was surprised to see I was 18 miles away from hitting 100 miles with only 3 days left in January. I mistakenly thought that maintaining a running streak meant the 100 miles would be completed on-time – but I knew I’d get there.
I pushed the last 3 days of the month & made it happen even though I was a mile over 100 mile – I – got – it – done. I felt amazing (and tired) as I walked into the house on the 31st knowing that I did it!
As I looked to February, I figured 6 miles/day will get me back on-track, it will definitely be a push but it’s doable.
Obviously, life can get in the way & there are things that are more important than running BUT pushing yourself to accomplish something you’d never done before gives you a sense of achievement you can’t buy & no one can take away from you.
My fitness motivation for February is to keep my big fitness goals in front of me & push to achieve them. I won’t ever be the fastest but I will finish!
Until next time, keep moving whether you walk or run, remember to RunUrOwnRace!
Week 3 is in the bag – left in the dust & it was my most successful week. And it could have been my worst.
It was too cold for Tony & I to take the kids on a run so I went alone Monday – Friday. As many motivational messages I create and post on social media, it’s still can be tough to go out there alone. But I did it – everyday.
During my runs, I used a trick I read in the most recent Runner’s World about successfully navigating strong wind. I had been digging in & lowering my head, the article says that’s a big ‘no-no’ instead loosen up and face the wind. It seems counter-intuitive but I adjusted and let the wind smack me in the face – I hope it’s building up running strength. Give it a try and we’ll see if it actually works in building running strength in preparation for different running conditions especially in a race setting.
Besides Runner’s World various Facebook groups were my virtual running partners this week. I spent evenings on the couch after the kids went to bed scrolling through the hundreds of posts where newbie through ultra walkers/runners overcame challenges of weather & health, shared inspiration and just went out there & did it. Those posts helped push me this week.
This past Sunday, my friend Jenn was sick so we didn’t get in our 4 mile walk. Luckily my mom flew in Sunday afternoon from Chicago and we ended up doing intervals on that same 4-mile course. It was pretty cool – we’d never run together before and it was a new way to connect.
As I look back on the week it became ‘easy’ going once I got into the groove on Tuesday. On Thursday, I got a social media boost from Run the Edge (creators of the #2016in2016 challenge) with this tweet:
Also, as I plan my race calendar, I got together with 3 other MRTT ladies and we decided to form a relay for the Mid-Maryland Ultra 50k team name Badass Mama’s. This is my first relay & it will be good prep for the September Ragnar DC relay I’m doing with 11 other MRTT lovely’s.
All in all, a great week:
I doubled my mileage from Weeks 1 & 2, now with 48 miles completed and 1,968 to go;
My 1st relay is 6 weeks away; and
I’m enjoying running by myself and finding motivation all around me to keep moving.
Make a plan from your fitness goals, your New Years Resolutions, whatever you are calling them and get out there (or stay inside on the track or treadmill) and make sure you #RunUrOwnRace!
Ok, I know we’ve had a mild winter on the East Coast. I’ve seen the pictures of snow & unbelievably cold temps from running friends in the Northwest but here it hasn’t cracked the 20s. It was in the 60s on Christmas so getting hit in the face on a windy 34 degree afternoon multiple days in a row, was t…o…u…g…h! (first world problems, for sure!) But I got out there everyday – the really cold days, yes, I complained but I bundled up and ran at least a mile. While I’m behind on my Run the Year Goal, I’m excited I’ve kept up the streak.
Mid-week, I reached out to my MRTT friends asking what they wore (hat or headband) to keep their head warm during cold/windy runs. I thought perhaps I was missing some magical running hat that was super warm, light-weight, cute and reasonably priced. I found out my MRTT buds wear a variety of hats & headbands, whatever they have – nothing special. This made me feel better simply coordinating a wool hat, a ski hat and fleece head bands with my outfit for the run. It’s the little things that help you feel better and be more confident when you go out for a run especially when you go out alone.
This week, Tony & I took the kids out once but with the cold temps/winds and Jenn & I went out on Sunday but most of the days did alone. I’m not used to going out alone hence my lesson for the week – I can’t let the cold temps derail me from going more than a mile otherwise I’ll never reach my mileage goal.
My miles for the week were 14 making it 1,992 left for the year. I have 356 days left to reach my mileage goal, very attainable. The streak continues and if you’ve been following my daily profile pics on Facebook you already know I’m still going strong (thankfully!).
I look forward to reading about your running journey, what you learned and how you motivate yourself to keep moving.
So, I’ve committed to do “2,016 miles in 2016” – week ONE down and success!!! 10 miles completed in 3 days, I’m on-track.
Day 1: Bundled up the kids and took them out with us. One-quarter of a mile in I say to my husband, Tony “let’s just do a mile…the kids must be cold!” Like a good accountability partner he looked at me like I was half-crazy and said, “NO! The kids are nice and warm, we said we’d do 3 miles, let’s go!” And so it went, we did a 5k route we’ve done since we moved here Thanksgiving weekend and I was uninspired.
Day 2: Tony took the kids to a Navy basketball game so I was on my own today…thankfully I didn’t need a kick in the butt. Did intervals, nothing special, didn’t break any speed records but I did it! 3 more miles completed!
Day 3: I have more than one accountability partner – thankfully! Today, I a walked with a new friend Jenn. We live in the same neighborhood and she’s the second local member to join the Kent Island MRTT group, which I started in December (I live on Kent Island – the Eastern Shore of Maryland). I’m going with the Field of Dreams premise, if you build it they will come, therefore I’m confident word will get out & more women runners/walkers on KI will join.
We did a 4 mile loop on the Kent Island South Trail. The view the entire way was beautiful! Unlike the route my husband & I had been running – in the other direction – this one makes you feel like you are in a park and not walking next to a highway.
At the turnaround is the Romancoke Pier, the sun was rising as we got there what a great way to start Sunday and end the first week of my 2016 running journey. I am grateful for the conversation with Jenn, the time and miles seem to fly by when you are chatting with a friend!
I realize Week 1 only lasted 3 days but I’m working my plan and have been successful everyday, so far! Week 2 is underway & I’m still on-track but more on that next Monday.
Keep walking, running or moving in whatever way you is right for you. Reach out to an accountability partner for motivation (a little kick in the butt!) and plan your outfits and any necessary accessories so you can reduce any stress for in your workout/fitness routine.
I’m excited about sharing this journey with you & know there are many more lessons that will unfold in the coming days and weeks. Connect with me on social media or shoot me your blog link, I’d love to read about your running/walking or fitness journey and share our lessons while we support each other!