I Love Racing: Always a Winner! (#RuntheYear2016)

February 17, 2016

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.

Lesson - Blog 2.17.16
My 1st Relay Race, February 13, 2015

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.

Here were my Race Day layers:

Head: Nike therma-fit headband, Spyder hat & hood

Neck: Lululemon run fast neck warmer

Hands: 2 pair of tech gloves

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.

Lesson 2- Blog 2.17.16
Mid-Maryland Tech Shirt & Runner Girl Jewelry on Valentine’s Day

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.








Another Birthday & Beatin’ Jonas!

January 26, 2016

Week 4 of the #RunTheYear2016 #2016in2016 Challenge.

It’s been quite a week for me, as you know from last weeks post, my mom was in town. She was with me during 4 runs of the week – all before Jonas. She came out to celebrate my birthday & to start off the day we went out for 7 miles. This is the most I’ve done during this challenge and we had only done a mile the 2 days previous.

my 43rd bday - blog pic
Add a little flare to your running outfit!

I decided to break out a little race flare with a pair of purple shwings I got for Christmas. While the shwings are purely ornamental, they did seem to have some mental power to help me go longer than I had all month. Total Win!

Mom went home Thursday morning & I had an all-day Board retreat. I had to leave at 6:30 am and didn’t have a chance to get out for a run beforehand. I packed a bag with a workout outfit in case I had to stop on the way home and get in a run. The meeting ended around 3 pm so I was able to wait until I got home to get in a run. Lesson: Be prepared with a packed gym bag in case you need to stop on the way home to get in a run.

Then we have Jonas – we were lucky that we didn’t get as much snow as others in Maryland but we still got pummeled with about 18″ overnight.

My Neighborhood – Saturday 1/23/16

While I’ve been racing for 13 years, I haven’t been one to train. I love Race Day, other walkers/runners, the t-shirt, the bling and the Finish Line. I realized that in order to improve at races I need to consistently train (duh!) which was a main reason I signed up for the #2016in2016 Challenge (the bling is nice too!).

I started off the month thinking that Tony & I would team up to tackle the miles over the course of the year but as I got going I decided to do it by myself. I am behind – to stay on-track I need to do 5.5 miles/day and I haven’t been able to fit that in. Seeing the month approaching its end and not even hitting 100 miles yet is what’s pushed me to keep up my streak.

Mother Nature - 1.26.16 blog pic
Jonas Didn’t Beat Me!

I had every excuse to NOT go out the day Jonas dumped all this powdery white stuff, but once I got outside I asked Tony, “Am I going to let Jonas beat me and ruin my streak?” Like a great accountability partner, he encouraged me to head out & BE CAREFUL going in the middle of the road and heading to the side if a vehicle approached. The smile on my face here doesn’t even begin to capture how I felt when I got back – I felt like a badass!

This day turned things around for me. I stopped focusing on checking off the miles and instead saw the Challenge as something I was going to conquer every single day!


I have this mantra to keep me centered – to remind me that all parts of this Journey are my own. My success is measured by how I feel, how I work to accomplish my goals and work through my mental & physical obstacles. I’m owning it!


As-a-side-note, I found out at the beginning of the week that I’m a #SweatPink Ambassador.  I’m excited to be a part of their #BeFitAllYear Challenge and I hope you’ll stay tuned for my blogs about that part of my fitness journey!


Remember to RunUrOwnRace! Liz