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Running

2017 Running Recap

In 2016, I had this grandiose idea of signing up for a runDisney Fairy Tale Challenge with the intention of getting my act together and losing weight. Day after day I kept using my “mom” status as an excuse, always too busy taking care of the kids, and before I knew it February was here and it was race time. It was the hardest thing I have ever done physically but somehow I managed to finish both the 10k and 1/2 marathon. The energy from the runners, elaborate costumes, and cheers from spectators were amazing. However, nothing compared to the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line. It left me wanting more. Within the month I had signed up for several local races and the 2018 runDisney Fairy Tale Challenge (plus the 5k).

This time, I made a promise to myself I would give it 100%, no more excuses. Looking back I am very happy with how far I have come in 9 months. I went from doing nothing to running, yoga, and cardio 3-5 days a week. Between training runs and races I clocked about 182 miles for the year which isn’t a lot but I managed to shave 10 minutes off my 5k and 22 minutes off my 10k.

I am and will probably always be a #backofthepackrunner but I am okay with that as long as I keep improving my time and crossing that finish line!

In case you noticed my 10 Mile time is much shorter than any of the other times. That’s because it was a race I did in 2010, before having kids, when I was 100 pounds lighter, and 7 years younger! I decided to keep it on there as a reminder of my ultimate pace goal.

Best race experience:
Hands down the Ottawa Fall Colours 1/2. It was a reasonable price and well organized. There were tons of water spots staffed with energetic volunteers and goodies to keep you going. Runners were so supportive, especially to us slower ones. Even though I was lapped by many completing the marathon I never felt defeated. At the end of the race there were massage students offering free 10 minute massages. They also had warm bowls of chili for all participants!

Other favorites this year were the Canadian Army 10k, Rattle Me Bones 5k, and Beat the Bridge 10k.

Best run: Rattle Me Bones
Although is was cold and pouring rain I was so happy with the way I felt at the end and my overall time. It was the first race where I ran 1/:30 intervals and couldn’t believe the difference it made. My pace improved and I maintained the same level of energy throughout. It was also the first time I actually liked a picture of myself in a long time.

Favorite piece of gear:
Since this was my first year I purchased quite a bit of gear but my favorite is definitely my Garmin 235. I love the shape, size, interval training function, and the “find my iPhone” function.

Most inspirational quote:
Definitely the words that I lived by this year were “forward is a pace”. As a #plussize #backofthepackrunner I often had to tell myself towards the end of each race to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As long as I kept moving forward I would finish.

Favorite running song:
I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco

February
Princess 10k 1:52:10
Princess 1/2 Marathon 4:06:51

May
Diefenbooker Classic 5k 49:06
Shoppers. Love. You. 10k 1:38:37
Tamarack 10k 1:41:36 RACE RECAP

July
Canada Day 10k 1:34:28 RECAP HERE
Foam Fest RECAP HERE
The Farm 5k 46:27 RECAP HERE

August
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #1 46:00

September
Run 4 Texas Virtual 10k 1:35:28
Wiggle Waggle Family 1k
Canadian Army 10k 1:40:43
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #2 50:00

October
Disney Running Shorts Virtual 5k #3 47:07
Ottawa Fall Colors 1/2 Marathon 3:58:32 RECAP HERE
Dashing Divas Virtual 5k 42:42
Rattle Me Bones 5k 41:44
Rattle Me Bones Family 1k

November
Beat The Bridge 10k 1:30:46
Gobble Till You Wobble Virtual 5k 43:40

December
Santa Shuffle Family 1k
Ugly Sweater Virtual 5k 49:00

Ottawa Fall Colours 1/2 Marathon

This past weekend I completed my second 1/2 marathon. This was my favorite race in Ottawa so far. I was really nervous leading up to the race. Although I have been staying active, most of my training runs have stayed between a 5k and 10k. Since there was a 5 hour time limit I decided to take it easy and enjoy the race so I stuck with mostly power walking.

The course was great although much hillier than I had anticipated. The other runners were amazing and so supportive cheering me on. Since the marathoners completed two laps of the course I crossed paths with all of them twice, and several a third time. I have to admit that was a little hard for me but I am use to being the last and always tell myself all that matter is I finish. My final time was 3:58:33, which was about 15 minutes faster than the Princess 1/2 back in February.

I had decided to stick with a 18:00 pace and try to sustain that the entire time. Between my watch acting up and getting caught up in all the excitement I reached the 1/2 way point about 1:30 in which was roughly a 14:75 pace. Not bad, and certainly what I strive for during my 10k runs. But the last 6 kilometers were rough and I had to slow down significantly, stopping a few times to stretch. At one point I did start running because it felt so much better on my muscles.

Rob and the kids were cheering me on at the end. I could hear Parker say, “run Mom! You’re suppose to be running! Dad why isn’t she running?” So I ended the race in a slow trot just to make him happy. A few Epsom salt baths and a massage later and I am feeling pretty good. I definitely find myself wondering what it will be like to run when I loose these 100lbs or so. I have a hard time even picking up a 20lb weight…

Registration was easy and there were several distances to choose from. Price was reasonable and included swag bag, shirt, medal, and free finish line photos. This was also a Boston & New York marathon qualifier so everything was very organized.

Packet pick up was available morning of which was nice being a little bit of a hike from us.

The event vendors were great. There were free massages available pre and post race, one of the perks of finishing towards the end I was able to get one right away! There were several vendors selling gear. McDonald’s was there providing free coffee and a food truck selling food. Runners of the 1/2 and full received a free bowl of chili as part of their race entry.

The course was well marked with volunteers every few kilometers. Water stations were every 2ish kilometers and had water, Gatorade, gels, and gummies. Each station was well stocked and full of volunteers cheering runners on. Several bikers rod along the race making sure everyone was doing all right and accompanying the lead runners.

This is definitely a race I will be doing next year and maybe I will try for the full marathon in 2 years or so.

Foam Fest

 

This weekend I convinced Rob it would be fun to get up super early, drive to a paintball field, and run through 3 miles of foam, mud, and obstacles. He wasn’t thrilled at first but was all smiles as we crossed the finish line.

 

I never thought I would have so much fun getting so incredibly dirty.  We jogged for parts of it but after the first mud pit it was a little harder. I had never run a trail ___ which was a little challenging but fun.

Race Low Down: I was extremely impressed with this race from start to finish. The location, although it wasn’t their first choice, was amazing. Parking was $10 but everything was marked and the ride in was smooth. There were separate booths to sign waivers, pick up packets, and check your bags ($5 donation).

There were a ton of different booths and activities to keep you busy while you waited for your race to start. The DJ was very energetic, engaged the crowd, and the music was spot on. The course was a great mix of flat and rough terrain with different obstacles and inflatables full of foam throughout.

Waiting for us at the end of the race was bling, a beach towel, and sweet treats from Sparkling ICE and Chapman’s ice pops.  We rinsed off at the shower station and changed into some cleaner clothes at the changing tents.

 

We spent the rest of our kid free afternoon eating fancy hot dogs in Majors Hill Park and decedent treats from Sweet Jesus.

5/15k At The Farm

Earlier this week an add came through my FB feed about the upcoming 5/15k At The Farm. I always need some encouragement to run midweek and decided to sign up. 5/15k presents 5:15 when they let the cows out each evening. It was an absolutely beautiful night.

Race Low Down: It was a great race, very organized, well attended, and full of friendly energetic runners. The cost was low but we still got a shirt and bling! Parking was free and packet pick up was well organized. It’s a nice smooth coarse with slight elevation. The race was complete with water stations and sprinklers at the finish.

Celebrating the 4th On LBI

June was pretty hectic around here. Parker finished school, Rob’s parents came for a visit, I flew home for my sister’s shower, and then a good friend came to help celebrate Canada Day. Needless to say come July 3rd I was so ready to head to the beach for some family time.

These kiddos are pretty much rock stars when it comes to road trips. For us an 8ish hour drive is now no big deal which makes travel so much easier. I have learned through the years what works for us and what doesn’t. They are happy with movies and lots of snacks to eat.

We spent the 4th with family at my Aunt & Uncles beach house. It was nice to see everyone, relax, and I even got to hold a squishy baby, eekkkkk. One day we decided to hit up the bay side which was perfect. There was a playground, organized events, food trucks, and calm knee deep water fenced in for the kids to explore.

Nope, there is no coffee inside that cup. I played a little guessing game on FB and it took forever for someone to guess it. A beer mimosa which was delicious, and I don’t even like beer!

We got to finally use these cups holders I made months ago to keep our drinks out of the sand. Although it doesn’t work well when certain kids grab them up and use them for sand castles…

I managed to get out 3 times for runs and completed the Pledge the Pink Virtual 1/2 Marathon.
July 4th – 6 miles at a 16’14” pace
July 6th – 3 mile walk with my mom
July 7th – 4.1 miles at 16’51” pace

Spending some quite time with my Mom was nice, we don’t get to do that much. So we spent most of the time catching up. Since we were just walking I took that opportunity to snap a few photos of some of the houses I had fallen in love with a few days before.

Every time we come to the beach we also try and take some family photos. The kids don’t make it easy but we try our best. My sister asked if I could snap some maternity photos at the same time.

Another tradition of ours is to take a walk on the beach at night decked out in glow sticks!

It’s always hard to leave a vacation but I think leaving the beach is the hardest. But I can’t say I am bummed about being home and able to finally take the week easy.