Gritty 5k (20:45)

Gritty 5k (20:45)

Gritty 5k (20:45)

After running the Heroes to Hero 5k the day before, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Gritty 5k fun run on Sunday, October 13. The Gritty 5k seemed like it would be a lot of fun and no pressure. There were zero awards for race winners of the Gritty 5k, just most Gritty themed and for Gritty Costumes. All of the proceeds for the Gritty 5k go to the Philadelphia Flyers Charity.  My two good friends Danielle and Amelia, also came down to do the Gritty 5k so it was awesome to catch up with them too.

Danielle and I wanted to do a long run that day to get ready for the NYCM so long run was our primary goal and racing fast at the Gritty 5k was our secondary goal. Since the Gritty 5k starts at the Wells Fargo Stadium, there is plenty of parking.

We got to the Gritty 5k around 7:30 warmed up 4 miles and got to the start around 8:20.

Of course, I left my bib at the car so I had to run back before getting to the Gritty 5k starting line.  I panicked but luckily the Gritty 5k didn’t start on time…at all.

I wasn’t surprised that the Gritty 5k started about 20 minutes late from the warmup and race announcements. I hope next year they either state the true start is 8:50 or do all of the warmups, stretches, dancing, etc beforehand. Anyway, after that, we were off.

Even though the Gritty 5k was massive, the majority of people participating were not weekend warrior road racers. There were more Flyer fans at the Gritty 5k than people who identified as “runners.” More people dressed up as Gritty himself, then didn’t. My feet cringed, seeing people running in converse, basketball shoes, and vans but more power to them or being active and supporting a charity.  There was a huge after-party celebrating the Flyers Home Opener at the Xfinity Live and Wells Fargo Center. If you are looking for a no-pressure, party race, the Gritty 5k is for you.

The first mile of the Gritty 5k was filled with people that took the race out too fast. It goes through the Philadelphia Flyers Stadium. While I know many people don’t love that course, I do. I think it’s well marked and wide.

During the first mile of the Gritty 5k, Girard went by me wearing a full Gritty outfit and wig. I was loling. I felt comfortable and like I was pushing it, but not too much. I considered adding a second race+long run a “danger zone” weekend for me and made sure to listen to all cues from my body.

I hit the first mile of the Gritty 5k in around 6:40 and it felt comfortable. I saw two females running side by side just up ahead and I was hoping to catch them. Around 1.5, I caught them and didn’t look back. We traveled through the Navy Yard. It was windy, but not too bad.

I hit mile 2 in 6:43 and felt comfortable. At the Heroes to Hero 5k, I ran mile 2 in 6:35 and thought I would keel over.

The last mile of the Gritty 5k went by quickly. During the final mile of the Gritty 5k, there was a hot dog stop (instead of water stop). I tried to grab a hot dog but was too far over. I was happy my hamstring felt the same whether I was running or walking. It didn’t seem to get worse, albeit still noticeable. I crossed the Gritty 5k finish line in 20:45 which I was pleased with.

Gritty 5k Thoughts:

It’s been rough not comparing myself to previous years and previous fitness levels, but I know it will come back when it comes back.  I’m happy with my results for where I am right now. Plus, it was fun to get 15 miles in with Danielle, which was the primary goal of Sunday anyway. I had an enjoyable time at the Gritty 5k and I highly recommend it. The Gritty 5k was a well-organized race and a lot of fun.

Have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you done a Charity race? 

Are you a Gritty fan?


Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)

Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)

Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)

The Heroes to Hero 5k is well put together, the money raised goes to a good cause, and you get a cotton long-sleeve T-shirt. I always see a lot of friends and coworkers so I enjoy it. Even though it was my slowest Heroes to Hero 5k yet, I had an enjoyable time with friends.

Anyway, as I get back into my running my body feels like it’s taken 12 steps back. In the last couple of weeks, I can’t seem to get into a groove or fitness back. I haven’t run anything fast in over a month, and my body felt that. I was hoping I would be faster than 20:30, but that’s all my body had for the day.

With the Heroes to Hero 5k, you must take a bus over from Glouster to the start in Audubon.  The bus ride was easy and we made it to the start with about 20 minutes to spare. The race went off a few minutes late and before I knew it, we were of.  I got to chat with a lot of friends in the beginning which is always fun.

The Heroes to Hero 5k started fast. I felt like I was flying. I crossed the first mile in 6:20 and thought it would be awesome to break 20 minutes. My body quickly reminded me I hadn’t done any speed in a few months and my calves were stiff. I began to feel the tightness of my hamstring, but it was a different tight than it’s been.

Around mile 2, I passed a few men. I could see the first place female (a 13-year-old) way out in front and I knew I wasn’t in shape to catch her. I just progressed on. My body hurt after mile 1 and it felt like a death march for miles 2 and 3. I could have finished the race at mile 1 and been perfectly content.

I hit mile 2 of the Heroes to Hero 5k in 6:35 and I thought I was going slower than that. My legs were stiff and I was tired. My body just wanted to be done.

We ran under the giant firetruck and flag and I was counting down the final mile. .9 to go,  then .89. I had taken out the race entirely too fast for where I’m at with life now and it bit me in the butt. I crossed the Heroes to Hero 5k finish line in 20:30.


Heroes to Hero 5k Thoughts:

I’m not thrilled with a 20:30 time but for now that is the shape I’m in. After my marathon, I’m looking forward to getting back into speed and working on that.

Questions for you:

Do you have a favorite local 5k?

Do you prefer loop courses or point to point? 

Cow Run 10 Miler 1:15.00

Cow Run 10 Miler 1:15.00

Cow Run 10 Miler (7:30)

The Cow Run 10 Miler was the longest and fastest run I’ve done since the 18.12 Challenge. I had no idea what to expect. The weather forecast was decent, although we dealt with a headwind most of the race. I was too concerned and my goal was to start and finish healthy, something I hadn’t done in 5 weeks.  Plus, I was wearing a $15, one size fits all Cow Dress. It was the first time I feel like a costume hindered my running, but that’s okay.

The 6th annual Cow Run 10 Miler ends in Salem County, NJ. Most people don’t realize, but southern NJ has a lot of farmlands and a lot of cow pastures.  One year, actual cows chased runners in the “great cow chase.”  Luckily, this year at the Cow Run 10 Miler, no cows chased us…or turkeys…or anything.

Anyway, my husband and I got to Salem, NJ, around 7:45. We met up with friends Grace and Lom and took the bus over to Cow Town Rodeo. The Cow Run is a 10-mile point to point race. Unfortunately, that meant we dealt with a headwind for most of the race.

cow town 10 miler

Anyway, I warmed up 1.5 miles with Grace (who ended up winning for women). I felt like garbage and my mind couldn’t comprehend I was going to run 10 miles. The Cow Run 10 Miler start was delayed due to one bus running late.

We finally started. During the first mile, I thought I felt “pretty good.” Maybe I’ll surprise myself, and that quickly faded. I ran the first mile in 7:00 and knew there was no way I could hold that for the entire race.

During the second mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, my body started to heat up. We ran up a couple of hills and I was already sweating through my dress. The dress was not moisture-wicking and maybe I should have practiced running in it beforehand. Truthfully I wasn’t out for a PR or to run fast, just to have fun and get a solid workout in.  I completed stopping and taking off the dress but just decided to keep it.

During the third mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, I ran alone. I was running near a man playing music out of his phone, it annoyed me, but I bit my tongue. I just kept plodding along.

The next mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, felt like it would never end. We were running a straight, boring road, into a headwind. My dress was flapping around with the wind, and I was overheated. It was not pleasant and I questioned myself every step of the way.

I hit mile 5 around 37:00 minutes and just chuckled. It’s been challenging to adjust to paces the last six months and what is hard effort versus easy. I was overheated and running in headwind and I tried not to let that get me down.  I reminded myself, “you’re halfway there.”

The next mile went by a little faster, but we were just running into a headwind. I began counting down. At mile 6, I was like just half an hour to go. A few women went by me between mile 6-7. I just kept plodding along.

Mile 7 felt like I hit a huge wall. Since the Cow Run 10 Miler was my longest run in 5 weeks, I began to hit a wall. Hitting a wall in a 10-mile race makes me question running a marathon next month, but I just progressed on.

During mile 8 of the Cow Run 10 Miler,  we passed a hospital. Two more miles, I told myself. I just kept trying to motivate myself.

The last two miles went by without notice. I was just counting down. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to my watch but just trying to run around effort. I thought 7:30 pace would be good.

By the time I knew it, we were in downtown Salem sprinting towards the finish. My sprint was more like an “in my mind I’m sprinting but not really,” and I crossed the Cow Run 10 Miler finish in 1:15.00 exactly.

It was fun to see so many actual cows at the Cow Town 10 Miler finish. I wanted to take a photo with the cows. Apparently, they just wanted to lick my cow dress because of all of the sweat and Gatorade I spilled on it.

Cow Run 10 Miler Thoughts:

I felt decent and my hamstring seemed to hold up. It’s a bit sorer than I would like post-race.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race in a costume? I’ve done many and I really enjoy it.

Have you done a cow run?

Philly 10k (42:15)

Philly 10k (42:15)

Last weekend I ran the Philly 10k. I’ve never run the Philly 10k before. I’ve always wanted to but the race sells out quickly and you have to sign up months in advance. The Philadephia running community is great and together with the Broad Street 10 miler, RnR Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia and Full marathon, we have plenty of great races.

This year most of my coworkers decided to run so it made it more exciting.

Coming back after my trip to Colorado has been difficult. I’m struggling with adjusting back to the time zone and I’ve been tired most of the time. The Philly 10k starts at 7:30 am so it’s an early wake up.

When my alarm went off at 5:30, I mumbled ugh what am I doing. I was excited to do the Philly 10k but my body felt stiff and I was tired.

I got to center city around 6:30, warmed up for about a mile and then headed to the start. I chatted with my coworkers and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The Philly 10k is one of the few races that runs in South Philly. If you are looking for a unique and fun course in Philadelphia, the Philly 10k is a good option. Plus it gives a competitive  6.2 mile tour of the South Philly.

Me Running Philly 10k

Thanks November Project Philly…even though I photobombed this shot at the Philly 10k 😉

One of my coworkers and I decided we were going to try and run together. We probably started a little further back and we were boxed in most of the first mile. We ran a 6:37 which I was pleased with.

Around mile 2, the race started to spread out and I found some space. Throughout the entire race, I never had a lot of space but I had more as the Philly 10k progressed.

I knew I would not be able to run 6:30s for the entire race. Around mile 3, my coworker motioned to go with her and I didn’t have the leg speed.

I hit the halfway right at 21 minutes. I hoped I would be able to maintain and run around 42 minutes.

During the second half of the Philly 10k, I just put my head down and went. We went down long straight roads. There were several parts that we were running into the headwind. I tried to tuck in behind people but couldn’t really get my groove. I hit the fourth mile in 6:50 and told myself 15 minutes to go.

The next mile was just a countdown to the finish. I ran a 6:58 fifth mile and there wasn’t much of note. I thought for sure my last mile would be over 7 but I seemed to have motivation knowing the race was almost done.

Me Running Philly 10k

We went through a few more turns and all of a sudden I hit mile 6 in 6:50. I just powered to the finish line and crossed in 42:15 chip time.

I think it’s the most amount of time between chip and gun time (nearly 30 seconds). Next time I’ll start a little further up.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m happy with my efforts at the Philly 10k. I didn’t feel great after taking most of the week off and adjusting back from vacation.

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite race distance? 

Have you been to Philadelphia before? 

Big Cottonwood Week 12: Rest and Philly 10k

Big Cottonwood Week 12: Rest and Philly 10k

Last week was the week I didn’t realize I needed to catch up on sleep and rest…until I realized it. My body told me it wanted to sleep and so I said: ok.  I’ve gone out west a few times, and typically I don’t have an issue readjusting back to East Coast time. This time coming back home was different, and I found myself wanting and needing sleep. I could have run later at night, but I chose not too.

Monday: 10 miles with Angela
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Philly 10k: 42:15 Total mileage 15
Total Mileage: 33.5 miles

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW
Week 11:: Quality Miles
Week 12:  Altitude and Half Marathons

Week 13: Cutback Week and Philly 10k


Well, this wasn’t exactly the week I planned, but my body clearly needed it. Truthfully, I’m wondering how I’m supposed to run a marathon in a few weeks, but I know I’ll make it through.

I don’t have any regrets with taking time off. We need that sometimes. Due to running three times, there isn’t much to say. Running with Angela on Monday was tough. She lives at altitude in Colorado, but there were no flat areas to run at all. We climbed nearly 900 feet, including a mile-long climb. It was a lot of fun, but all I wanted to do was sleep afterward.

Philly 10k: 42:15

I’ve always wanted to do this race, but the timing has never worked out for me. This year, my coworkers and I decided to sign up and race the Philly 10k together.

Sometimes after a lot of rest, you feel great. This particular time, I did not, and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep. Race morning came early, and I woke up, “not feeling it.” I raced the best for the day, and at the Philly 10k, it was a 42:15.  That is actually one of my faster 5ks recently, so I have no complaints.

I’m happy for the day, and it was fun to hang out with my workers. This training cycle has been adjusting to my right now normal. It’s been frustrating after 4 minutes faster about two years ago, but I know I’ll get back eventually.

Next week will be my last long run before the Big Cottonwood Marathon, then off to taper. There have been a lot of challenging days, training for a marathon through the summer but I’m looking forward to it.

Posts from the Week:

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)
Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)
Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

When was your last cutback week?

What is the race you’ve always wanted to run? 


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