Running, Running Reads

Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)

Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40) Provo, Utah

Last week, I ran the Haunted Half Marathon 5k in Provo, Utah.  Janae, Hungry Runners Girl, recommended we drive out to Utah and run the Haunted Half or Haunted Half 5k.  Since we had zero plans, but had a rental car and had never been to Utah, we thought it sounded fun.  So we progressed over and were there for the Saturday race.

The Haunted Half itself was massive. There is the Haunted Half Marathon, Haunted Half Relay Teams (each person runs 4-4.5 miles), and the Haunted Half 5k. Each race for the Haunted Half receives a long sleeve race shirt, haunted themed finishers medals, ad unique haunted themed finisher gift (this year they were Haunted Half gloves). While yes, I could have gutted out a half marathon a few things prevented me from wanting to do that.

  • I don’t run at altitude and we were at 4500 feet.
  • I had run a half the week before, and while I’ve done back to back half marathon weekends, I’m not in that fitness right now. I would probably injure myself.
  • I didn’t want to be sore the entire vacation.
  • I like the 5k.

We picked up the packets at the mall for the Haunted Half 5k and on Saturday quickly made it to the start.  There was a big parking lot which made it easy.  The race went off right at 9 am.

During the first mile of the Haunted Half 5k, my legs felt heavy.  I didn’t feel good.  Between traveling, not eating the best (well, the best for my soul…not for training), and still recovering from the half, it wasn’t surprising.

The first mile of the Haunted Half 5k was the easiest, and I ran a 6:20.  I had positioned myself as the second woman, and third was shortly behind me.

During the second mile of the Haunted Half 5k, we ran down a small hill and made a hairpin turn at the bottom.  The turn was sharp, and I wasn’t expecting it and nearly barreled into a volunteer holding water at the bottom.  Luckily I didn’t.  As we turned around, we ran straight through a tunnel which Janae more accurately recapped.  I hit several of the streamers.  After popping out in front of a barricade, I thought I had gone the wrong way, but another racer said we were going the right way.  We hit the second mile of the Haunted Half 5k in 6:12.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running
No, seriously it was painful

During the third mile of the Haunted Half 5k, I felt the altitude hit me.  I felt as though I was breathing through a straw and winded.  We also ran up a giant hill, and I wheezed the entire way of the Haunted Half 5k.  I made it my goal to break 20 minutes for the Haunted Half 5k.  I felt like I couldn’t breath (not in a dangerous way) just in working tough way.

Around 2.7, we hit a long straight away, and I could hear the third place woman catching me.  I am making it a point to work hard on my finishing kick of the Haunted Half 5k.  I had too many races last training cycle that I was passed in the final strides.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

I crossed the third mile in 6:30 and finish line in 19:40 as second woman for the Haunted Half 5k.  In all, I’m pleased with my time.  The Haunted Half 5k was a fun race, and it was a whole different experience running at altitude.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

Afterward, I got to hang with Janae for a while, which was a lot of fun.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running
My husband got fourth overall with a time of 18:05

It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.   I had no idea Provo, Utah was as big as it is!

Questions for you:

Have you met another blogger before?

Do you run at altitude or sea level? Have you run the Haunted Half 5k? 


Wicked 10k (39:28)

Wicked 10k Race Recap

I have been dying to do the Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach for quite some time.  J&A Racing puts on five races a year (all being themed and I love dressing up).  So when the possibility of being able to run the Wicked 10k race rose up, I immediately took it.

The Wicked 10k weekend has several events including the Mini Monster 1k presented by Bon Secours, and now even a flat, fast, one-mile race, the National Bank Monster Mile (The mile happens on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk on Friday Night).

With the Wicked 10k, J&A Racing brings you, Hampton Roads, the largest Halloween Race and Party. During the Anthem Wicked 10k, participates are encouraged to be creative and dress up. That’s why Kris an I chose to be pumpkins for the Wicked 10k. Plus there is live music and post-race party. After the Wicked 10k, you can enjoy the Huge Post Race Party with blue moon beer, live music, and the costume contest.

Then I realized that since the Wicked 10k was a week before the marathon, it would be a perfect last high effort run (or really only high effort run).  Though my run at the Wicked 10k is a solid minute per mile faster than my marathon goal pace…I think the marathon is a little longer…

A local runner, Kris and I decided to dress up as pumpkins for the Wicked 10k.  It would be a lie if I didn’t tell you that Kris has always been one of my running idols since she moved to VA.


We warmed up for the Wicket 10k around the Convention center and it honestly went by really quickly.  As much as I love running with Tim, it’s not the same as running with females and gossiping.  We quickly made it back to the start of the Wicked 10k and put our stuff away in the car.  Since it was a 10,000 person 10k the lines for the bathroom were so long.  We quickly went to the porta-potty and hauled butt to the starting line of the Wicked 10k.

When the Wicked 10k went off, I immediately fell into my groove.  I wasn’t sure how my skirt would hold up or if the socks would give me blisters but in proper running technique, I didn’t test any beforehand and just winged it.  If I got massive blisters on my feet from the Wicked 10k, that would have been my fault and I probably would have stopped to take the socks off.

The first mile of the Wicked 10k, I felt I was in a solid groove.  It was pretty crowded and I got boxed in several times but I managed to pass a few females and settle in by myself.  I was weaving a lot during this first mile and with the turns, I managed to take out every turn way to wide.  (5:52)

The second mile of the Wicked 10k went right down where I got hit by the cyclist and onto the boardwalk. (6:10)

Mile three of the Wicked 10k was along the boardwalk and I was all alone.  The closest person in front of me was a female (about a quarter of a mile up).  I wanted to catch her so badly, but couldn’t and never did.  (6:14).

 I hit the 5k of the Wicked 10k at exactly 19:30.

Mile four of the Wicked 10k, I drew on the crowds from other corrals passing the other way.  It kept my mind off running and I was high fiven’, cheering and looking at other people passing the other way.  I wanted to speed up during the Wicked 10k but my legs would not turn over any faster.  This is just a product of not doing speed workouts and focusing on longer runs as well as high mileage.  (6:14)

Mile five of the Wicked 10k was exactly the same way, but there was no one cheering and I was all by myself.  I was passed by some males somewhere along there and I tried to keep up but they powered way by me.  This was the hardest mile mentally but just kept reminding myself…that’s probably how I’ll feel for 10 miles in the marathon.  (6:30)

Mile 6 of the Wicked 10k was motivating because we were heading back to the convention center and it was almost over.  I didn’t feel like I was dying but I certainly wasn’t getting any faster.  I just gave it everything I had and went to the end.  (6:14).

The final .4, you could see the Wicked 10k finish line.  I hate those finishes because they never seem like they are getting any closer and there are people at the .4 telling you that you are almost there…when, in reality, you still have 2-3 more minutes.

In my mind, “almost there” means I have about 5 strides to the finish line…not 2 more minutes going into cardiac arrest.  Then after a few minutes (but not before being outkicked by someone), I crossed the Wicked 10k finish line, begged for some water, coffee mug and medal and headed into the post-race party with Kris.

Thoughts on the Wicked 10k: 

The Wicked 10k was a great confidence booster going into the marathon.  I had made the executive decision throughout training to forgo speed workouts and focus on building high mileage instead.  Since it is my first marathon and my goal is to FINISH (with a secondary goal around 3:10), I took away all speed and just focused on high mileage.

It was great to only be 8 seconds off my 10k PR without any speed and not feeling the greatest.  The weather for the Wicked 10k was beautiful and it was a flat, fast course so I cannot complain about that.  Overall the Wicked 10k was a great race and I had a lot of fun.  I was 4th female overall at the Wicked 10k and Kris got first!  The Wicked 10k also a minute faster then last month’s Zero Prostate Cancer Run (and 40 degrees cooler!)

If you are ever in the VA Beach area, I recommend any race put on by J&A Racing. I always enjoy festive races, especially Halloween, so the Wicked 10k remains one of my favorite.

Questions for you:

 Do you like themed races? Have you run the Wicked 10k? 

What are your plans for Halloween? 

Mine are to whine and complain that I have to wait till Sunday to eat all the candy.


Catch Up

This post is really long overdo.  I do exist outside of the blogging world and exercise and the internets…I do have a life.  Somewhat. 

So last weekend, I had dinner and met up with one of my really good friends (who also happens to blog) Chuck!  We have this whole once a year type of thing seeing each other thing because sadly that is how the cookie crumbles.  Let me tell you, it was one of the highlights of my time in Northern New York.  We went to the Dinosaur BBQ (which he had been telling me to go to for ages…) so it was only fitting he was my date there.  We hung out for over 6 hours and I’m 100% sure that were wasn’t a time in that 6 hours that we didn’t have something to catch up about.  It was such a nice surprise when he texted me earlier in the week saying he would be up!

Then on Halloween in the office was a lot of fun.  One of my coworkers and I dressed (in 5 minutes) as Hurricane Sandy.  Was it too soon?  Maybe…but we were informing people of all the damage that had been done from the Hurricane.  No major damage around me in NY state but there was some serious damage and people often forget the world doesn’t revolve around them.

I also thought it was a grand ole idea to post with our pumpkin piñata and be a pumpkin face.  Don’t ask what that means…because I don’t really know.   It seemed like a good idea at the time.

So yes, that is a nut shell where my life has been recently.  Hanging out with friends and having a happy Halloween.    I’ve been trying to be better at doing personal and life posts so here we go!  😉

For the last month or so that I’m in Northern NY, I FULLY plan on visiting and seeing as many people as possible.  So if you anywhere within a couple hours of me…send me an email ( 

Questions for you:

1.       What have you been up too this week?

2.       Any close friends that you could chat for hours with?