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Leprechaun 7 Miler (45:51)

Leprechaun 7 Miler (45:51)

I haven’t run the Leprechaun Run in a couple of years. Last time I raced, there was only an option to run 5 miles. Since then, they’ve added a seven miler as well. I decided to run the seven milers because it was a fun distance. The race goes along the Kelly Drive and Schuylkill River.  Despite being 15 minutes away, it’s been nearly a year since I raced in Philadelphia.

The race started promptly at 7:30 am.  The start time was perfect because I could get back to work in NJ on time. At the time, I felt like it was too early, but it all worked out. Truthfully I had no idea what to expect in 7 miles. After running a few 5ks and four milers around 6:30 pace, I figured somewhere around 6:50.

I ran about a 2-mile warmup.  I got to the start at 7:25.  There were a short speech and dedication to Special Olympics. I always appreciate this race because the proceeds go directly to Special Olympics. We got going around 7:35.

The five and seven milers both went off together; the seven milers just went further. Around .1 into the race, I realized I forgot to start my watch.  I started it, but it meant all of my miles were off. It was fine and no big deal.  I ran the first mile with my husband, and we hit it in 6:39.

During the second mile, I started to find my rhythm. I ran the race almost all alone.  Most of the race was without event.  It felt like a time trial with myself. Since I’ve been running hard 5ks alone, it was no different. I hit the second mile around 6:35 and I was pleasantly surprised. I felt good.

As we went by mile 2.5, I noticed the only female in front of me turned. She was doing the five miles, which meant I was in first place. I was pleasantly surprised. I hit mile 3 in 6:34 and felt great. I knew I hadn’t taken it out too fast and felt relaxed; it was just a matter of counting down the miles.

We turned around at 3.5 and headed back to the start. I saw my good friend Pat (who took the photo), who is the race director for many unique and local races.

I like a good out and back course because I feel like I excel in an out and back course.

I hit mile 4 in 6:34. I told myself, “it’s only a 5k left”.  Because that’s all I’ve been running recently.  When we hit the 2.5 mile/5 miles turn around, we began to cross paths with other runners.

I ran mile 5 in 6:30 and felt good. I couldn’t believe I was running at nearly the same pace as the weekend before.

I found myself weaving around other races for the last 2 miles. It was no big deal. I ran a 6:28 and 6:28. I crossed in 45:51 and I was pleased with that.

Thoughts:

I’m pleased and excited about that. I wasn’t expecting to run 6:33 pace for 7 miles but truthfully I had no idea what to expect.  It’s been hard not to compare myself to previous fitness levels, but I know the fitness will come back.

I’m looking forward to getting more races under my belt and getting faster again.

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Questions for you:

Have you ever run a 7-mile race? It’s like a 10k with a bonus round.

Do you prefer loop courses, point to point, or out and back? 

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Four Seasons Diner (Mayfair, Pa)

Four Seasons Diner (Mayfair, Pa)

Recently I went to the Four Seasons Diner in Mayfair, Pa.  I was in the area, and I’ve heard the Four Seasons Diner is excellent. After going to diners for almost 4 years, the closest diners I haven’t been too are in Pa or even De.  (Which to be fair, Pa is only 15 minutes from my house, and Delaware is 30 minutes).

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Anyway, I arrived at the Four Seasons Diner around dinner time. There was plenty of parking, and it wasn’t too crowded. My party and I quickly got a booth.

Atmosphere: A
The outside is one long building next to a McDonalds with plenty of parking. The inside is lit up with neon signs. There are many booths, tables, and appeared a bar as well.  I appreciated that the booths were very personal and you weren’t sitting on top of anyone.  There was also a large salad bar in the back.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

How many diners do you know with a fish tank? I think in the 250+ I’ve been too, I’ve seen a fish tank 5 times at most.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Coffee: B
The coffee was excellent and the waiter refilled it often. There wasn’t anything unique or unusual about it but it was good.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Food: A
The Four Seasons Diner has every option you could want or need. There were even some unique options I’ve never seen at a diner before like creole! I can appreciate a restaurant with a salad bar too. I was in a pork chop mood so I ordered that. It came with an overwhelming amount of food.  I had run that day but still found myself unable to finish everything.

I started with the matzah ball soup and salad bar.  The soup was good and I rarely see matzah ball soup have strips of chicken in it too.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

The salad bar had a lot of options. It’s one of the better salad bars I’ve seen. There were several different kinds of greens, the usual salad toppings, three bean salad, beets, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms and pickled vegetables, cornbread, and even grape leaves.  You can tell I like beets, artichokes, and Italian dressing.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

My entrée came with pork chops, applesauce, and a baked potato. The pork chops were cooked well, and they weren’t too rubbery. They were some of the better diner pork chops I’ve had. The applesauce and baked potato were typical of a baked potato and nothing unusual about them.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Service: A
Our waiter was one of the most friendly waiters we’ve had.  He refilled our beverages often, plus our food came out fast. I couldn’t have asked for better service.

Cost:  $
For my meal and coffee, it was $15.  That is a lot of food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the Four Seasons Diner, and if I’m in the area again, I’ve be back. I was surprised by how great the food was and it’s one of my more favorite diners in the Philadelphia area.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall: A 

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite salad bar option?
Do you like pork chops?

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Last weekend I ripped the bandaid off and ran a 5k.  I’ve kind of been avoiding them since late April.  I think it was a combination of a meh race the Phillies 5k and then just not doing them.  I knew eventually if I wanted to run fast again, I would need to dive head first and do a few.  On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k in Philadelphia. I said not really, but we still went.  I had run two days the previous week, and I would consider it a high risk of injury race.  It wasn’t my smartest decision of the year, but I still went.  I decided to run in trainers to minimize the risk of injury as well.

It started at Fairmount park where my current 5k of 18:13 is.  We warmed up, and it was already 80 degrees and humid. I decided to wear a crop top and shorts.  We got to the start at 8:25 and I chatted with people, and we were off.  I knew it would hurt.

During the first mile, there was a sea of people in front of me.  I went back and forth from 1-3rd female with a few women. I didn’t care about the place, but my goal was to hopefully run around 20 minutes.  Eventually, we spread out, and I hit the first mile in 6:17.  I felt good about it, but I knew I wasn’t going to maintain that.

During the second mile, I went back and forth with a woman.  She was in front most of the second mile, and I ran with my husband.  I don’t usually take water during a 5k but it was hot, and I took a cup and splattered across my face.  I hit the second mile in 6:23 and then hit the pain train.

My husband dropped me around mile 2, and I was happy with that.  He hasn’t been running much either, but he is both a faster runner in better shape.  I went back and forth with the first place woman, but she ultimately surged and won.  The third mile was painful and I just wanted to be done.  I knew the race was a good gauge of where I was fitness-wise, but it didn’t make the last mile any easier.

I ran the third mile in 6:40 and crossed the finish in 20:06.   I’ve run most half marathon miles faster, but that’s not the shape I’m in now.  I am definitely happy with my time and looking forward to racing again more.  For an inaugural race, I thought the Fathers Day was well put together.  I got what I needed out of it and had an enjoyable morning.

Questions for you:

Has the weather heated up near you?

Do you normally take water in a 5k?

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:02.51)

This year, Broad Street wasn’t about my running my fastest.  After PRing in the half marathon this February, I haven’t trained as consistently over the past few months.  Life has gotten away from me, and small things have popped up here and there.  I am still in shape, but am I in PRing shape?  No.  That’s okay, and you can’t be in peak performance all of the time.

Anyway, this year Broad Street was about my finishing happy.  I DNSed last year because I was burned out. I could have run, but I would have been miserable. I knew I had made the right decision when I spectated the end and had no sadness at all.

This year I was determined to finish healthy, happy, and with a smile.

I did all of that and even had a consistent and solid race.

Each year, both my dad and my father in law come up for Broad Street.  Both are avid runners, and my dad has been running far longer than I have.  Everything up to race day went without a hitch.  My dad got my bib at the Convention center.  We got to the stadiums around 6 and made it to the start line around 7.

broad street 10 miler

I was seeded bib F143.  I tried to use the “seeded bathrooms”, but the volunteer told me my bib was too high (I.E., I was too slow).  There wasn’t really a point for me to be seeded I guess. I started exactly where I did when I ran every other year in the red coral.

I didn’t have time to wait again to use the bathroom, and when you are surrounded by 40,000 other people, there isn’t anywhere to go.  I rarely start any race having to use the bathroom, but I didn’t have a choice. I respect that there were faster athletes, but it didn’t make it easier to start a race needing to use the bathroom.

The race started right at 8 am, and we were off.  I told myself 1,000 times to run my race.  Time didn’t matter, but finishing happy and strong did.  I wasn’t sure what I was capable of.  I thought faster than the 1:05s I ran a few years ago but slower than my PR of 1:01.59.

My plan was just run my own race. I saw many people I knew storm by me, but I was in my own world.  The first mile of Broad Street always gets out fast anyway.  I ran a 6:15 and I thought, I think that’s half marathon PR pace but I would not be able to sustain that.

I saw a couple of friends during the second mile that zoomed by me. I thought, dang I’ve run fast in races with them before, and they are just floating by.  No big deal though. The next few miles went without much excitement.  I ran a 6:15, 6:16, 6:15.

By the time I knew it, we were doing the one turn in the entire race, around City Hall.  That is when I saw a few people in front, I knew I was going to reel in.  The humidity had started to get to me. It was forecasted to rain during Broad Street but never did.  The weather had spiked over the week from 40 to 60 and humid.  I wasn’t as prepared for it.  It was by no means bad weather, but was it wasn’t whether we were accustomed too!

Around city hall, I saw my good friend and coworker (thanks TJ) which motivated me.  The small turn in the race makes mile 5 fly by.  I think it breaks up the course well and by the time you know it, you’re over halfway done.  I ran mile 5 in 6:19.

During the next few miles, I focused on reeling people in.  It gave me the motivation to keep plugging along. I hit mile 6 in 6:10 and mile 7 in 6:11. I didn’t purposely run faster, I just did.

The heat and humidity hit me during the next few miles.  I was still enjoying myself, high fiving kids, etc. but I did not feel “on top of the world”.  My stomach was in knots because of the heat.  I always take Gatorade/electrolyte aid on course for anything more than a 10k.  I had been taking the on-course aid.

The last three miles, I traded back and forth with local runner Bryan.  I recognized him from other races, and we later chatted afterward. Around mile 7, I told myself, my goal was to run under 63.  Not a race PR but still a strong race for me.  I just needed to hold on.

broad street 10 miler

The last 3 miles were a bit of a blur.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me.  My legs never felt great, or loose during the race but they didn’t feel awful either.  Finally, we hit the Navy Yard at 9.75, and I began smiling.  I knew I was almost home and almost done.

broad street 10 miler

I powered to the finish and actually passed someone!  (In case you don’t know, I have the world’s worst kick).  I crossed in 1:02.51 and 35th female overall.  Apparently, I was beaming after the race and don’t even remember this.

broad street 10 miler

Thoughts:

I’m happy with how Broad Street went. It wasn’t my fastest or my slowest, but I was able to run a strong and consistent race.  I smiled the entire way.  It was nice to see so many friends along the course as well as after.  Even in a 40,000 person race you always see someone! Both my father and father in law had great races as well.

Questions for you:

What is the biggest race you’ve run?

Have you ever raced a 10 miler?

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Training Recap: Warm Weather and 10 Milers

Last weeks of training went well.  My goal was to run Broad Street, something I didn’t do last year.  I knew I wasn’t in the same shape as when I PRed at the Phoenix half and honestly that is okay.

Monday: 6-mile hike at Cattus Island Park
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes run
Wednesday: 12X400s 400 recovery average 87 seconds
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Broad Street 10 miler 1:02.51

 

Wednesday: 12x400s average 87 seconds

My workout went well.  I do all of my workouts on the road right now because of the limited Availablity of local tracks.  I ran 400 and jogged 400.  I felt good during the entire workout and was pleasantly surprised with how fast I was able to run.

Broad Street 10 miler (1:02.51)

I’ve run faster Broad Streets and I’ve run slower.  I kept a very even pace the entire time.  All of my miles were between 6:10-6:19.  I smiled, I side fived kids, and truly enjoyed myself.  That was not something I could do last year and I’m proud of how I ran the race.  I’ll have a full recap later in the week.  Both my dad and father in law had great races as well and it’s been great having my entire family here.

Other then that, it was a good week.  While I’m not in the same shape as I was when I ran the Phoenix half marathon, I am in good shape.  I’m looking forward to just running shorter races from 5ks to 10 miles until the fall.

Posts of the Week:

April Training

Broad Street Last Minute Tips (I guess too late now LOL?)

Making Strides 5k (19:08)

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a 10-mile race?

What is your ideal running temperature?

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