Wicked Half Race Report

Last Saturday, I ran in the Wicked Half Marathon. If you’ve been around here for the past couple of weeks then you know that my plan was to run this race as a “long run with benefits” (aka the LRB). With only one longish run of 9 miles just the week before and a seriously unreliable ankle, let’s be honest, I really had no business jumping into a half marathon! But, I can be stubborn and I was looking forward to the Skirt Sports Ambassador meet-up. So I figured treating this as a long run with the benefits of course support and a medal was the way to go!

The bat in the medal actually spins!

My goals for this run were simple – stick to my 4:1 run/walk intervals, ignore pace and run by feel, and finish upright and smiling. “Finishing is winning” would be my mantra.

With my hotel just a short 20-minute ride to the start, I was able to sleep until a little after 5 before needing to get up and head out. The minute I stepped out of the hotel the humidity smacked me in the face and I knew this was going to be a tough morning – humidity is my kryptonite for sure, it just sucks the life out of me. So I knew the struggle bus would be coming for me…it was just a question of how long I could outrun it ūüôā

Parking was easy-peasy – I was literally steps from the start line so I had lots of time to tape up, finish fueling, and chat with a couple of other runners.

Pre-run and ready

Soon it was time to line up, listen to the national anthem and we were off. I’ve never done run/walk intervals in a race and was initially concerned about how it would work. But early on it was clear I had nothing to worry about and I fell in with a fair number of runners all doing some form of intervals. I ran the first few miles with a woman from Tennessee who was also following a 4:1 plan. We chatted easily and it helped take my mind off the soul-sucking humidity.

Somewhere in the 7th mile I started to slow and said goodbye to Ms. Tennessee. My ankle started to complain and I wondered if it was going to cooperate with still a half a race to go. I dubbed Mile 9 the “dark mile” – I was hurting, my walk breaks were getting longer, and the negative chatter in my head was getting louder. Once past the mile 9 marker, I was able to shake off the funk – yes my legs were less than happy, yes I was more than ready to be done, but I kept focused on the fact that I would soon hit 10 miles and I haven’t seen double-digits in a while. Finishing is winning!

I’m not going to lie, the final few miles were a trudge – the struggle bus not only caught up with me but was threatening to run me over! Somewhere in the 12th¬†mile, I met up with a woman named Jen. She said she’d been pacing off of me – running when I ran and walking when I walked. We chugged along towards the finish, and as we made the last turn towards the finish I spotted my “Skirt Sisters” – as each ambassador had finished they stuck around to cheer on the rest of the group. Such an awesome sight! Jen and I crossed the line and congratulated each other, I collected my medal and then joined the rest of the ambassadors. As our last Sister approached the finish, some of us went out to run her in. The Wicked Race organizers actually posted a video of our group finish on their Facebook page along with this group photo:

Finishing is winning!




Harborside Half Training Week 3

And just like that, we’re already halfway through the month! It’s Sunday again so I’m joining¬†Holly¬†and¬†Tricia¬†for the Weekly Wrap. If you do a weekly training recap, be sure to¬†join this great link-up!

This week was definitely all over the place – it started with my foot wrapped in ice and ended with an LRB.

Monday: Rest day. So how does one end up injured on a rest day? I’m still asking myself that question. One minute I’m pacing around my kitchen on the phone for work and all of the sudden¬†I take a step and I’m hit with a shooting pain in my foot. I’m talking “stop you in your tracks” pain. WTH?! I hobbled the rest of the afternoon and evening but was convinced it would be fine for Tuesday’s run.

Tuesday: No run – in fact, my foot actually hurt more! Again, WTH? So I spent a good bit of the day like this:

Wednesday: Time to get over the mini pity party I was starting to throw for myself. Upper body workout on the Bosu and then a trip to the chiropractor.

My chiro was as baffled as I was by the sudden pain. He did a stress fracture test and then went to work on my foot and ankle. While not fun, my foot felt a lot better afterward. When I told him my plan to run the Wicked Half as an LRB, he gave me the hairy eyeball and let it be known he didn’t love my plan.

Thursday: 3-mile run – the foot was a little sore, but the run gave me hope I might be able to pull off Saturday’s half.

Friday: Rest day. I ran errands, met a friend for lunch, and then headed up to Salem to meet some of the Skirt Sports Ambassadors for a pre-race dinner. This meet-up was so much fun – there was lots of running talk and lots of laughs!

Thanks to Serena for the photo!

Saturday: Wicked Half Marathon – aka, LRB (long run with benefits!) I’ll be doing a separate recap on Tuesday, but I will share that it was 100% humidity, the ankle was done after mile 8, but I completed my main goal of finishing upright and smiling! Half marathon #13 done.

Needless to say, today was a total rest day, and thankfully the ankle’s a little sore but otherwise not too bad.

Talk to me – how was your week?


Harborside Week 2 & an Upcoming LRB

So week 2 of Harborside training is done and an LRB awaits. What’s an LRB? ¬†I’ll explain more but first a brief recap of this past week:
M – Rest day. Spent a great Labor Day touring around Newport with the family!
Tu – 5-mile run
W – Ankle PT and lower body strength work
Th – Yoga
F – 3-mile run
Sa – 9-mile (my longest in months!)
Su – Rest
It was a fairly uneventful week. Saturday’s nine miles was the longest I’ve run in a while – it was not without its ups and downs, especially in the final 2 miles, but I was very happy to see that 9 come across my Garmin!

OK, so what’s an LRB?¬†A long run with benefits!

With the Wicked Half Marathon¬†coming up on Saturday,¬†this is technically “race week”. When I signed up for Wicked my main goal was just to join in on the Skirt Sports Ambassador meet up, run for fun, and finish upright. And, now given my sometimes temperamental ankle, those are still the goals. So the RC coaches want me to treat this as a long run… with benefits. Basically, it will be a 13-mile training run with course support and a medal ūüôā The challenge for me will be to not get swept up in the race atmosphere and try to do more than I should. The plan is to stick with the run:walk intervals, ignore my watch (pace-wise), and just run by feel.

So that said, this will be a pretty routine training week with no special race prep except to try to get a little more sleep-which has been lacking lately.

Have you ever used a race as a training run? 

I’m wrapping up another week with Holly, Tricia, and this week’s guest host Sara from Sara Runs This Town. If you do a weekly training recap, be sure to join into this great link-up!


Weekly Wrap – 6 weeks to Wicked

I hate to sound like a broken record but I really do feel like these weeks are just flying by! Anyone else feeling that way?

There are just 6 weeks to my next race, the Wicked Half Marathon.

Actually, thanks to the nagging hip/glute/piriformis thing, Wicked will be my first race of 2017. Gotta say that I’m glad I don’t have any big goals for this race, other than to finish upright and have fun, cause I feel like my training mojo comes and goes. While in the past two weeks I’ve been motivated to hit the track for speedwork and even worked in hill repeats…err this week…not so much. Here quickly is how the week shook out:

Monday – Since of late¬†I’ve been running long on Sundays, Mondays are a total rest day.

Tuesday – A back-to-basics strength workout filled with lots of lunges, squats, and bridges in addition to the daily planks.

Wednesday – I enjoyed a break in the temps and got out an early for 4 miles.

Thursday – After a crazy hectic day, I got some much needed yoga in.

Friday – Kicked off my birthday with some miles with my husband – gotta run on your birthday right?!

Saturday – Yard work, planting, and cleaning counted as my cross-training.

Sunday – I have been battling poor quality sleep all week and when the alarm went off for this morning’s run it had all caught up with me. I was wiped out! I tried playing the re-set the alarm game, hoping an extra half hour…then hour would make a difference, but it wasn’t getting any better. So I decided to skip the run and give my body what it needed – sleep!

Hopefully I will not regret skipping today’s 8 miles. I’m not sure why my sleep has been so bad this week – I’ve been trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and falling a sleep hasn’t been the problem – staying asleep is another story! Fingers-crossed this week will be better.

How do you overcome bouts of bad sleep?

I‚Äôm joining in with¬†Hoho,¬†Tricia,¬†and guest host¬†Heather¬†for the Weekly Wrap. Be sure to stop by and check out what they’ve been up to!


Weekly Wrap – Slow return to training

The first full week of July is in the books, and it’s time for the Weekly Wrap with Holly, Tricia, and this week’s guest host Christine.¬†Definitely be sure to stop by and check out all of the great ladies who join in for this link-up!

So how’d things shake out this week? Here’s a quick run down…

Sunday – 4-mile run. A rare Sunday run for me, but I had missed running Saturday due to family plans. And besides, the morning was too beautiful to pass up! Also, I got back to daily planks.

Monday – Rest day.
Tuesday – The track was calling – I swear 800-meter repeats never get easier!

Wednesday – OK so I may have gotten a bit ambitious at the track ūüėČ I had plans on a strength workout, but listened to my legs and opted for rest.
Thursday – 5.5-mile run.
Friday – Strength work and chiro visit.
Saturday – 3.4 miles – this was supposed to be a 6 or 7-mile run but for some reason, nothing felt good on this run. My stride felt off and so did my breathing. After a solid week of running, the wheels came off the wagon a bit. I’m chalking it up to being just “one of those days!”
Sunday – Feeling especially tight today, so I went with some gentle yoga.

So as the title of this post alludes, this week marked a return to training. While I enjoyed taking June at a leisurely¬†pace, I know the fall race season will be here in a blink of an eye so it’s time to ease back into a training plan. I still haven’t settled on a goal race, but the RC coaches and I are leaning towards a couple of November options with a possible tune-up race or two. I did sign up for the Wicked Half and I’m looking forward to the Skirt Sports Ambassador meet-up. ¬†This race will be for fun and should help me to get focused. It’s a mere 68 days away, so Saturday runs will get longer and I’m going to try to keep one day for speed work.


Lessons from My Worst Race

Erika, Patty¬†and April posed an interesting question for today’s Tuesday on the Run topic: What was your worst race? Worst kind be defined a lot of different ways – missed goals? horrible weather? ¬†injury? DNF?

For me the race came to mind immediately – the Wicked Half Marathon. ¬†countdown_wickedHalfYou can read about the full debacle here. This was an ugly race for me because I was sick. In hindsight, I knew I didn’t feel well when I left that morning for the drive up to Salem, but I ignored the early warning signs and went anyway. I knew something was off as I waited for the race to begin…again I didn’t heed the warning. You see where this is going, right? Long story short, the wheels came off the wagon a mere 5 miles into the race. I made my first ever in-the-middle-of-a-race porta potty stop, briefly considered the nearby med tent but instead chose to keep going. I went from a run, to a shuffle, to a walk. And yes I did finish, but I was so sick afterwards that I had to wait around almost an hour post-race before I could drive myself home. (Turned out I was at the front-end of a virus that stuck around for several days!)

Lessons learned?

Listen to your body! — Yes there are times to push your limits, but it’s most important to heed the warning signals your body is giving you. There will always be another race.

My kids are a great source of motivation — They eagerly ran, walked and cheered me through the course. As always, they were a great source of inspiration!

Runners are wonderfully supportive — I met some great runners along the course who stopped to check on me and encourage me. And I bonded with many other “walking wounded” all determined to finish the route.

Mental toughness will carry you a long way — While physically my body had given up on this race early on, I still found a way to will myself on. It’s an experience I’m sure I’ll reflect on, the next time a race gets tough.

What was your worst race? What did you learn from it?





Wicked Half Marathon Recap

countdown_wickedHalfOn Saturday I headed up to Salem for the Wicked Half Marathon. This race was to be a training run for me – a chance to make sure that the stomach issues which have plagued me during races this year were behind me and a chance to test my race pace.

Well nothing about this day went as planned.

Given the fact that I’m still sick a couple of days later, ¬†I can now say that I was battling some kind of bug during the race. The wheels came off the wagon at mile 5 – for the first time ever in a race I made a porta potty stop and struggled to keep running/walking through mile 10. Just after the 10 mile marker I was only walking. My stomach was a nightmare – I was really nauseous and had the continual feeling that I was going to be sick. I seriously thought about packing it in and taking a DNF but what kept me going was my kids out along the course.

Boys at wickedSince the course was open to traffic, J and the boys were able to leap-frog me along the course, so I saw them multiples times. They¬†cheered their hearts out and it really kept me going – the boys even came and ran along¬†with me a little bit. I wanted them to know that even when things don’t go well that you don’t give up! So when I just didn’t think I could manage a shuffle any more, I walked.

I ended up connecting with a woman named Dawn whose ITB had her walking since mile 4! We stuck together and encouraged each other and the other “walking wounded” we encountered along the way. ¬†As we passed the 12 mile marker, we talked about trying to run it in. Dawn really didn’t think that she could but she knew I really wanted to try (I just couldn’t bring myself to walk across the finish line!) so she encouraged me to give it a shot. I did and ran/shuffled to the finish. I waited for Dawn to cross the finish and we gave each other a big hug! Isn’t it amazng how quickly you can bond with another runner over the course of just a few miles?!

Best moment – my son telling me he was proud of me! Doesn’t get better than that!

Every race experience teaches you something about yourself right? So I take this experience and dig in for the next couple of weeks and get ready for the BAA Half.


Monday Motivation

StFrancis Quote

With 6 weeks to go until the Wicked Half, here’s what I’ve got on my training plan for this week:

Monday — ¬†7 mile hilly run with negative split on back half (followed by another visit to the chiro!)

Tuesday — ¬†Cross-training (Jillian Michaels Shred 30 DVD)

Wednesday — ¬†4 miles Fartlek

Thursday — ¬†8 miles with 5 @ tempo

Friday — ¬†Rest day

Saturday — ¬†11 mile LSD

Sunday — ¬†Cross-training (more Jillian!)

Plus I’ll continue to do the #AugustCoreFocus challenge everyday – I’m loving this challenge!

What have you got planned for this week?


Friday Ramblings

Sitting here in a quiet house with the dog at my feet and coffee cup in hand…

There has been at least one, if not both, boys home sick since Tuesday! I was happy to see both smiling faces heading off to camp this morning – I swear there’s nothing worst than seeing your children not feel well ūüôĀ

Between the sick kids and my cranky left hip, running has been a bit challenging this week. I am trying very hard to not get hung up in the miles I’ve missed, knowing that the cross-training will help and getting this hip happy is priority one!

Changes in family plans means I’ve needed to change up my fall racing schedule – I won’t be running ZOOMA in September so I’ve been on the hunt for another race to use as a “tune up” before I get to the B.A.A. Half in October. Though I think I’ve now found the source of my recent GI issues, Coach Bennett thinks it will be helpful to put my body through “race conditions” and see how I respond. So I think I’ll be adding this to my schedule:

countdown_wickedHalf¬†It’s run on a beautiful course through Salem & Marblehead – Can. Not. Wait!

Seriously, how is it Friday again already? I feel like I just finished coming down from last weekend’s birthday fun and here we are again. Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing Friday arrive, but this summer is flying by way too fast! We still have a number of things left on our family summer bucket list!

We’ll get one more item checked off tomorrow as we’ll be catching a Boston Cannons’ game! My hubs J was elected to his lacrosse league’s all-star game (so proud of him!) ¬†and they’ll be playing their game before the Cannons. So the boys and I are going to go cheer on our All-Star and then we’re all hanging out for the Cannons’ game afterwards!

How are you doing with your Summer Bucket list?

Do you run tune-up races?