Maple Shade Soccer Club 5kish (19:36)

After racing a 5k on Saturday, I decided to run on Sunday too.  I had run the race last year, and it went to a great cause.  Since I ran last year, I knew the course was long.  It wasn’t a matter of Garmin “telling me so”, it was a matter of the course being 3X1 mile loops and then a loop on the track.  (which made for about 3.25-3.3).  If I was that upset about it, I wouldn’t have run the race.  Honestly, I would rather run a longer race than short.

5k shot

The race started at 9 am, and I got there at 8.  My stomach has felt off lately, and I can’t pinpoint what it is.  When I warmed up, I didn’t feel great but not awful either.  After all, I had raced the day before too.  My stomach felt off and “sloshy”.  I got to the start line at 8:58 and didn’t feel too ready.

In typical local 5k fashion, a young student yelled, “don’t start yet, I’m tying my shoe” and we waited for a minute.  Then abruptly like last year, we were off.  During the first mile, I found myself as fourth person overall.  I could see the high schoolers in front me and it kept me motivated.  We rounded the first loop and I hit the first mile in 5:53.  I was shocked and excited.  I didn’t feel “amazing” while racing.  My stomach wasn’t bothering me like in warmup but I didn’t feel great either.

During the second mile, I focused on the two boys immediately close to me.  I knew the winner was way out of my sights, but I thought I could stay focused enough to pass the other two.  Last year, the roads were under construction, and there were a lot of potholes.  This year it was a smooth and perfect road.  I passed the first boy around the second mile and ran a 6:03.

After that, my only goal was “not to fade too much”.  I passed the second place male during mile 3 as well.

There was a volunteer who was patrolling the course in a golf cart who stopped short in front of me.  I nearly ran right into him and stopped short. I told myself during the third mile; I would be happy with anything under 6:30 but surprised myself was another 6:03.

As we rounded the third mile, I couldn’t remember how to get to the track.  There was no volunteer, and the course wasn’t marked.  I tried to remember (in about 1 second) what we did last year and went with it.  I figured they would yell at me if I was wrong.  Since you have to go on the grass field to get to the track finish, I blazed my own path.

I got on the track and was going to the correct direction towards the finish so I figured I was okay.  I crossed the end in 19:36 and ran around 3.26 miles.

Thoughts:

To be honest, I didn’t expect to feel that good, especially after racing a 5k the day before.  I’m extremely pleased with my results and have no complaints.  Garmin tells me I crossed the “exact” 5k mark at 18:35 and averaged 6:01 pace, but you race the course you’re given.  It’s my fastest paced 5k since (by a lot!) before my injury so I can’t complain!  Last year I ran a 20:51 and this year a 19:36.  Granted last year I was recovering from a late weekend, 30 seconds per mile is a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever dealt with stomach problems during a race?

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

Rotary 5k (19:41)

On Saturday I ran the Rotary 5k.  I ran it in 2015 after spending a night at the Air Force Ball.  Needless to say, I was out late and wasn’t “prepared” to run the race last year.  Last year, I ran a 20:12 which I was happy with.  This year my only goal was to beat that time.

When I arrived at the race on Saturday, it was windy and somewhat cold.  I warmed up, and my legs didn’t feel good or bad.  They felt sore from the RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon but other than that I felt fine.

The race started, and I immediately found myself as fourth overall and 1st woman.  I stayed there the entire race, and there was no one 20 seconds in front or behind me.  It makes for a very boring race recap, but that is how some races go.  Heck, I don’t even have any race photos.

The first mile was both windy and hilly.  There are a few minor hills, and we were running into the headwind.  They closed down the road, but we were running close to several cars.  My legs felt decent.  I was surprised to run the first mile in 6:16 which wasn’t as fast the Flying Fish 5k two weeks ago.

During the second mile, we went into a neighborhood.  The course is out and back, and I nearly got lost in the middle mile.  Luckily, a police officer directed me in the correct direction.  At the turnaround, I saw I was still fourth overall, and the three males in front were quite far ahead battling it out.  We turned the corner, and I began seeing other racers behind going in the opposite direction.  There were a lot of high schoolers, and it was motivating to see them out running (considering I couldn’t even run a mile in high school?).  I hit the second mile in 6:27.

During the third mile, I just focused on finishing.  There were a lot of hills and turns.  The course was well marked and even though I had no sight of any other racers, I was confident I was going in the right direction.  (To be honest, I couldn’t remember the course at all).

Finally, we wrapped around the high school and headed towards the finish line.  I crossed the third mile in 6:27 and the finish line in 19:40.

Thoughts:

I was happy with my results.  My time was 30 seconds faster than last year on the same course.  (Although this year I had not been out late the night before😉.  I don’t have any complaints.  Some race recaps are more boring than others, but that is what happens when you run the race so frequently.

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced alone?

Do you run the same races each year?

Workouts: 2 5ks and RIP Cell Phone

Training last week was spent recovering and moving forward.  After running a surprising Rock n Roll Philadelphia, I spent the week running easy and recovering.

running me

Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: Easy Run ART/Pt
Wednesday: Easy Run with a friend
Thursday: OFF ART/PT
Friday: Easy run
Saturday: Rotary 5k (19:40)
 Sunday: Lee Sharples 5k (3.3 miles) 19:36 average 6 min pace Core
Total: 60 miles

 

Monday was a miserable run.  When I started the run around 6:30, it was beautiful.  About halfway into the run, it started downpouring.  Then it started to lightening and thunder.  The three miles home was the scariest miles I’ve run in a while, and unfortunately my phone was not a survivor, and I had water damage.  Luckily I had insurance, and they delivered a new one, but it was frustrating.

The rest of the runs for the week were easy.  I ran with a friend on Wednesday but other than that, nothing of interested.

Saturday: Rotary 5k (19:40)

I ran the Rotary 5k last year after going to the Air Force Ball the night before.  Sometimes I go back and read the recap for the LOLZ…In summary, last year, I was sleep deprived and not at my best.  The weather was beautiful, and I was content with my 20:12.

My only goal this year was to beat that time.  Despite it being extremely windy, I ran a 19:40 and was the first woman overall.  I can’t complain.  I like the race, and it supports a great cause.

Sunday: Lee Sharples 5k 3.3 miles 19:36

Tis the season of double 5k workouts!  Typically, I don’t care about the course being long, but this course is well known to be a longer course.  I ran each mile split in 5:53, 6:03, 6:03 and honestly I’m still in shock. I ran over a minute faster than last year and can’t believe it.

It’s interesting because I didn’t feel the greatest before the race, considering I had raced well the day before. I crossed the “exact” 5k mark at 18:35 but unfortunately the longer course had the extra mileage.  No harm was done and I knew going into the race that it would be long.

In summary, I’m proud of all of my runs and races.  I’m going to continue doing races with no workouts for a couple more weeks and see how I feel after that. Tis the season for 5ks every everywhere, and I enjoy seeing friends out there running.

Posts from last week:
Rock n Roll Philadelphia (1:27.37)
Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review
Goodbye Summer

Questions for you:
Would you rather race a long course or short?
Have you ever gotten water damage on your phone? 

Rock n Roll Philadelphia (1:27.37)

Last year, Rock n Roll Philadelphia was several weeks later due to the Pope coming to town.  The weather was brisk and perfect, and I ran a solid 1:25.45.  The weather was perfect, so I knew this year wouldn’t be a course PR.  Plus coming off an injury and a half marathon two weeks, I didn’t expect to be close to that time. I was okay with that.

I was lucky to get a ride over with my boss.  Two days before the race I had no idea how I even would get to the race.  He wasn’t racing the half marathon but placed second overall at the 5k the day before.  After arriving at the start, I chatted with a few people and hung around.
I didn’t warm up for the race as it was hot enough.  During the drive over I realized I had forgotten my watch.  There wasn’t much I could do and honestly I had to suck up racing without a watch. I was irritated, but it was either race without a watch or miss the race.
As I lined up in my corral, I was overwhelmed with a bunch of familiar faces like my coworker Colleen and the famous running blogger, Michele.
The race went off and during the first mile, I felt extremely boxed in.  I felt like I was running slow because I couldn’t get around people (and people couldn’t get around me).  We were packed in like sardines.  When I hit the first mile in 6:38, I was shocked.  That was much faster than Virginia Beach, plus, I didn’t take into account I had crossed the start line 10 seconds later.
The second mile began to spread out.  The second and third mile, take you back towards the starting line.  I like this aspect of the race a lot because the spectators are there cheering you on, and it’s a full crowd.  It’s hard not to feel motivated!

We rounded the third mile and went down Spring Garden.  The section is about a mile out and back with an 180-degree turn.  As I ran the fourth mile, I saw the elites going the opposite direction.  It’s always humbling to see them glide by effortlessly.

I rounded the 180 turn and didn’t take it well.  I’m bad at turns and tend to take them too wide, but I would rather do that than fall.  A couple of extra seconds is not worth falling.  I headed back the opposite direction.  As I was running, I saw several friends and coworkers running the opposite direction.  I had no idea the time or pace, but I hit mile 5 in 33:00 exactly (per the course clock).  I was surprisingly pleased.  I saw one of my good friends Anita and continued to Kelley Drive and around the river.

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

I’ve run the 8.4-mile loop around the Schuylkill a dozen times.  I know the loop well, and it’s a boring, unshaded loop around the Schukyill River.  Not that I care but starting that loop when you aren’t even halfway done is mind numbing.

I hit the 10k just under 41 minutes per clock time.  I was pleased.  The next few miles were just spent staying mentally engaged.  I knew if I lost focus, I would unknowingly slow down my pace.  It was hot and humid, and I sweat through my entire singlet.  I kept hoping the water stops would have Gatorade, but it was minimal.  In fact, there wasn’t much in the form of electrolytes for the entire race.  It was something I thought about during Virginia Beach as well.

I hit mile 10 in 1:05.30 and made it my goal to finish under 1:28.  I knew the last three miles would be tough.  There was no wind; it was heating up, and my clothing was soaken through. I kept reminding myself:

I set my 5k PR on this exact course, and I can race it well.

A man asked my goal, and I said 1:28 sounded reasonable.  He said that was his goal and asked if we could run together.  After a few exchanges, we realized we were at mile 11.

I saw a pack of 5 women in front as well as a man with a cast.  Honestly, I wanted to catch them all, and they kept me focused.  The last two miles is always tough because you can see Center City but it never seems to get any closer.

I hit mile 12, at just over 1:20 and I knew if I could maintain my pace I could break 1:28.  I saw the pack of 5 women, and I ran right by them.  If you know me, you know this hardly ever happens, and it’s a huge accomplishment.  In fact, it might be the only time I’ve outkicked anyone.

Typically I get passed in the final mile…like in Shamrock when I went from 7th place to 14th in the last half mile.

At the final stretch, another woman outkicked and passed me.  She kept me engaged up a minor uphill.  I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1:27.37 and as 30th woman overall.  I was 10th in my age group.

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

I even got to cool down with Sarah D, who set a half marathon PR of 1:25 in the heat!

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

Thoughts:
I’m both pleased and surprised with my result.  To be honest, I was hoping to run between 1:28-1:32.  After not getting the best nights sleep as well as the weather.  I’m extremely happy with my time considering it was 2 minutes faster than two weeks ago, plus I was injury free.

rock n roll philadelphia

September in Philadelphia is unpredictable.  I thought it was extremely humid, but I’ve raced RnR Virginia Beach as well as the Remember the Alamo 13.2 which were both hotter and more humid.  It stinks because this course has potential to be extremely fast in the fall (like last year when 40+ athletes qualified for the Olympic Trials).

Questions for you:
What is the hottest you’ve run in?
Have you ever forgotten your watch or something important to a race? 

Goodbye Summer

Summer came roaring through and now in the blink of the eye it’s gone.

When people asked how my summer went, I can’t say it was my favorite summer. 

Thinking out loud, I didn’t necessarily have a bad summer, but being injured as well as my husband’s deployment didn’t make it “the best summer ever”.

hiking sunfish pond

And you know what? That’s fine, I made the best of it and I’m looking forward to a great fall.

Technically summer spans from June 20-now but we have had plenty of 90+ degree days out of that time frame too.

tim and I

By June 20, I was already over a month of injury recovery.  The month of June was relatively boring.  I worked a lot, volunteered and hiked a ton.

What did I do in June? 

Night out at Zahav

Products I Love over the Summer

Four Reasons Runners Should Get in the Pool <- I swam😉

How can I forget that I met Jon and Jenna?
How can I forget that I met Jon and Jenna?
How about July? 

I turned 26

A Day in the (Boring) Life…

I got my Blood Drawn with InsideTracker

Ran my First Race Back

My husband and I flew

flying

Finally August and September: 

This summer, I hiked more than ever.  I found it to be relaxing.  I felt like I could conquer distance when I couldn’t run.  It was a reminder my body could do other things besides running.

hiking bear mountain

My ankle never hurt to hike, and it was a great way to spend time with my husband and go to several new diners.

Here is some hiking I did this summer:
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Getting Lost in Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain Part 2
Hiking around Sunfish Pond
That Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

I had a few struggles both physically (thanks, injury) to mentally (thanks anxiety), but honestly, I’m coming through as a stronger person.  A stronger woman, wife, sister and daughter.

Something I learned this summer, is it’s okay to ask for help.  I’ve always given myself the title of being “independent.”  During my mid-20s, and this summer more than ever, I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help and not do it all.

In summary, it was my favorite summer but it wasn’t bad either.  I learned a lot about myself and grew as a person.

Questions for you:

Can you believe summer is over?

What was your best memory this summer?

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Review

A few weeks ago I decided to try the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  The Saucony Zealot was one of my favorite shoes last year.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 came out a couple of months ago but due to injury, I was cautious to try anything new.  My injury took over the blog for a while, but since this is a running blog, it affected my ability to train and try new shoes (not that running is everything).

So once I felt comfortable to experiment with new shoes, I decided to try the Zealot.  I was both curious and excited to see what the newest update had to offer.  At work, our Saucony rep told us it was going through significant changes, so I was also nervous.  It was only the second model, so the shoe doesn’t have anything consistent behind it.

Saucony is not paying to promote their shoes and remember what works for me, might not work for you.  See: why online running shoe reviews are (mostly) worthless.

Fit:

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 still uses the ISO and sock-like upper fit which I like.  It fits similar to the first model. However, it is much smaller.  In the Saucony Zealot ISO, I wore a size 9.5.  However, when I put the 9.5 in the ISO 2, I immediately thought it was both too tight and too narrow.  Sizing is never a big issue, and I went with the size 10.  When comparing, it appears the Zealot 2 has a much more narrow toe box.  After getting a more appropriate size 10, I liked the fit, and it felt much better on my foot.

Ride:

The previous Zealot was firmer and lower to the ground.  I liked to use the shoe for “faster” paced runs.  The Zealot ISO 2 includes the Saucony Everrun material which makes it feel less like the Kinvara and more like the Triumph.  For me, that is a good thing since the Triumph is one of my all-time favorite running shoes.  There is much more cushion and more “shoe” to the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  If you like more of a shoe, then you’ll like the update.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Conclusion: 

Even though the shoe is drastically different, I like the update.  I was in need of either a new pair of Saucony Triumphs or something comparable to replace them in my shoe rotation.  I think the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 fits that and I’ll continue to use them.  They are significantly more shoe and cushion than the debut edition but for me, that is not a bad thing.

Pros:

  • Light weight but cushioned
  • Same price

Cons:

  • Update is drastically different and more cushioned
  • Fit is more narrow

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Similar models: Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Triumph ISO 2, Saucony Ride

My personal shoe rotation: Saucony Zealot ISO 2, Hoka Clifton 3 and Brooks Launch 3

Questions for you:

What is your all time favorite running shoe?
Do you get nervous for shoe updates? 

Training: Little Things and RnR Philly (1:27.37)

Last week was a great training week for me.  While I did log higher mileage, I also spent time doing little things such as PT, recovering and resting.  Each being important to keeping me healthy.

Monday: Easy run with Meghan Deep Tissue Massage
Tuesday: OFF PT/ART appointment
Wednesday: Easy Run
Thursday: Easy Run PT/ART appointment
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Easy run with my friend Katie
Sunday: RnR Philly (1:27.37)+3 mile cool down

Thoughts:

Where to begin? I’m beginning to put in the mileage again.  While I’m not doing workouts, I’m running about 50-60 miles per week and racing once.  That’s a huge progression, and I can now say I’m 100% injury free.  I’ve raced two halves and had a 16-mile day with no issues.  Do I feel in shape?  No, but my bones don’t hurt.

I’m proud to continue getting my PT/ART, and it has made all the difference.  While it is expensive, I do believe going to Dr. Kemenosh and his team is helping me stay healthy as I increase my mileage.  My foot hasn’t hurt but then again, neither has anything else.

Rock N Roll Philadelphia: 1:27.37

rock n roll philadelphia

I’ll have a longer recap sometime this week, but I’m pleasantly surprised with how the race went.  I told myself I would be very happy with anything faster than RnR Virginia Beach.

The weather forecasted a hot, humid day.  Honestly, it’s one of the better days I’ve raced this year so while the weather was tough, but not unbearable.  I forgot my watch at home and just ran by how I felt.  I don’t let the watch tell me to speed up/slow down anyways, but I do like to know my pace.  I never felt “good” during the race, but I never felt awful either.  The short recap is, I was pretty consistent, and I was proud of how I ran.

rock n roll philadelphia

I’m looking forward to getting into shorter races for the next month.  My next half marathon is potentially the Runners World Half.  While it’s a much tougher course, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do on in cooler weather and with another month of training under my belt.  For now, I’ll continue to race 5ks.

Questions for you:
Do you race well in the heat?
What was your best workout last week?