New Runner in the Family

No…its not what you think.  I’m not pregnant.

My husband is going to start running and doing races with me!!!!!!

He has been a faithful fan and supporter at all my races.  Even when we first started dating, he came to support me.  I will never forget him being at the finish line of my first half marathon.  It meant so much that he stood for HOURS in the cold to wait for me to finish.

Recently, he’s been in the bad habit of going to find a coffee shop…or donut shop and having a treat while I run a race.  He’s not been happy with his weight or his level of activity, so he wanted to do something to change all that.

So this year, he’s decided to start running with me.  His first race will be a 5k in April – and a J&A race at that! We’ve also signed for an 8k in December.  I’m so incredibly proud of him. We’ve been walking/running on the treadmill at the gym…and he’s been doing quite well.  I think he will be MORE than ready by the time the 5k rolls around.

Do you have any words of encouragement to pass on to him? Do you run with your spouse/significant other?


Upcoming Christmas Race

This Saturday, I will be running the Surfin’ Santa 5 miler.  It’ll be my first “twilight” race, as it starts at 4pm.  I’m excited at the prospect of a race that is not in the morning, since I’m not a morning person, but I’m a little unsure how to fuel properly for this race.

The course will take through the Christmas lights at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  Christmas and running combined?! What could be better? I’m really excited about this one.  I love running new races!

I am nervous about the weather.  We are supposed to get rain on Saturday night and its supposed to be in the low 40s.  Yuck.  I’ve been so beyond lucky, that I’ve never run a race in rain.  Its rained right before, and right after, but never during the race.

Also important to note: this is my first 5 miler! I’ve done plenty of 8ks, which we all know are basically a 5 miler, but not actually (4.97)! So technically, whatever time I get will be a PR!

Any tips on how to fuel for a night-time race? Any tips for racing in the rain?

Winter Race in the cards again?

Look, I know its August.  I know that we haven’t even gotten into the fall racing season – but this girl is looking forward to CHRISTMAS.

About a few weeks ago, I got some news at work that made me sad.  We have a huge project that will take place over the first weekend in December.  That meant that I would not be able to do a Christmas themed 10-miler that I really wanted to do.  It would have been my first 10 miler.  However, I was a bit nervous about doing a 10 miler only 2 weeks after my goal half-marathon (so I was secretly relieved).

But the wind has changed direction, and there were some big changes!  The race is now a 5 miler and changed weekends!  It’ll be on December 20th in VA Beach.  In addition to changing it to a 5 miler, they have made it an evening race, starting at 4:30pm.

I have mixed feelings about this change.  I LOVE that I can do it now, but am unsure how I feel about an evening race, that’ll be a new one for me.  I am indifferent about the race distance changing.  A 5 miler is still a new race distance for me (though I’m no stranger to an 8k), but I was really looking forward to the 10 miler.

Anyways – the Surfin Santa is back in the cards for me!

Do you have a Christmas themed race you like to do? Have you ever had a major change to a race you wanted to do?  Has work ever kept you from doing a race?

Harbor Lights Race Series & a big decision

O.M.G! New J&A Race coming this fall and I cannot control my excitement!!!

Just today, they announced a new race series for the November 21-23rd weekend.  This will be a very beautiful run, taking place along the historic downtown Norfolk waterfront.

Races it will feature:

– Blue Moon Harbor Lights 5k

-Harbor Lights Final Mile

-Harbor Lights Half Marathon

-Get Lit Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

Check out more information here:

Of course, you know I’m a sucker for a challenge, and I want to do the Get Lit Challenge.  However, I also know that I cannot push it, and I’ve pushed that idea out of my mind.  I am considering the half though.

This is what my current race schedule for the fall looks like:

October 4-5: Crawlin Crab Shell Yeah Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

October 25: Wicked 10k

December 6: Surfin Santa 10 Miler

I”m not sure that inserting a half marathon into that schedule in late November is the best of ideas, but I really really want to do it.  November is such a great month for a half marathon.  I know for sure I could do the 5k, no problem.

If I were to do it, I would use the Crawlin Crab weekend as my tune up race – getting back into the swing of things, and make Harbor Lights my goal race for the the fall.  I’m not in as great shape as a lot of you guys are, and I tend to be injury/niggle prone.  I would love to be one of those people that can race 1/2 marathons back to back weekends, or even in the same month, but I’m not there.

If I were to do this, I’d have a 7 week window between the two.  I think it’s do-able, I just don’t know how smart it is.  Or maybe I chose to defer Crawlin Crab till next year (which I really don’t want to do).

I know that none of you can tell me what to do, I definitely don’t expect you to; I’m just trying to work out my thoughts about it.

How much time do you like to leave between half marathons? 

Back in Time: 2012 &2013 Virginia Running Festival Alumni 5k Recap

Can you tell I’m out of writing material? I thought I’d go back in time and review the races I’ve done in the past for posterity’s sake.  I want to make sure I record my thoughts about them before I forget!

November 2012

The 2012 Virginia Running Festival Alumni 5k was my first road race EVER.

It’s put on by Flat Out Events and was on the campus of my alma mater, Christopher Newport University during homecoming weekend.  Its a pretty small race so it wasn’t too intimidating.

I stayed at my friend’s apartment, which in hindsight was probably not a good idea because I didn’t sleep well the night before.  I got up early, headed out there and stood around in the cold (it was November).


Before my first race ever!

I distinctly remember the REALLY long lines for the porta potties because they didn’t have very many.  The half-marathon start was about 15 minute before the 5k start…I let a few half marathoners cut me so they wouldn’t start the race too late.

I watched them start, then headed to my start.  No corrals, just a gun start (we did have chips).  My chip time was only 15 seconds off from the gun time if that tells you how few people there were.

The first mile of the race I chatted with a former hall-mate of mine.  At about 1.5 miles I pulled away cause I was wanted to go faster.  The course was not wonderful – there was an out and back section that was torture, and we spent a lot of time weaving through campus.

I was way too talkative with the volunteers along the course, which meant I should have been able to go a lot faster, but hey, it was fun.  The race ended on the track, and one of the volunteers would run a couple paces with each runner she could and encouraged them.  I finished in 36 flat…which for my first race EVER was so awesome!

The after party was great.  No medals, but as an alumni I got to go in a special tent with coffee, Panera bagels and Moe’s burritos.  I hung around to watch the first half marathoners finish – then headed off to get ready for Homecoming festivities!

November 2013

In 2013, I decided I wanted to do this race again.  However, this time they had it on Sunday, which sucked because then I couldn’t enjoy the game the night before (aka, not drink).  Also, I signed up to pick up my race packet at the tailgate and they left early,  forcing me to pick up my bib on race morning – then they lost my personalized bib and I had to get a generic one.

I got there early because my friend Erin was running the half and I wanted to see her start.  Her father and I watched her start, then I went through my prerace bathroom ritual and got in my corral.  Finally! Corrals!  We took off on a slightly different course this year (they adjusted where the race started). I struggled a lot more than I thought I should have.  It was a pretty cold day but I opted for a short sleeve shirt and capris and I’m so glad I did.  I can’t imagine how I would have done in long sleeves and being hot!

I finished 10 seconds slower than the previous year, but my Garmin also said I ran 3.3 miles.  I’m convinced the course was not the right length.  Truth be told, I had not trained, so I probably wouldn’t have done fantastically anyway.

I got my food and drink and waited with Erin’s family for her finish.  She was hoping for around 2:15 but didn’t feel like she had trained enough so she was thinking she might be a little slower.  I mentally did the math and noted when I should see her.

Sidebar: she always wears one calf sleeve (she had compression syndrome in one leg) that is bright blue.

So I’m looking around and looking on the opposite side of the track from the finish line at the runners coming in, and I see that bright blue calf sleeve….a full FIFTEEN minutes before we were expecting it.  I pointed her out to her family and watching as she secured a sub-2 hour half.

She later told me she was with the the wrong pace group, realized her mistake, thought she’d stick with them as long as she could and did so much better than she expected!

Overall Impression:

The food is good.  Organization is ok.  The shirts are nice, but there are no medals for the 5k.  With the move to Sunday and lack of medal, I’d have to think about doing this race again.

Found my next race!

So I’ve been struggling with finding another race to do this spring.  There are an abundance of races around here, but I like race bling, and there weren’t a lot of races with medals.   I mean, if I’m gonna pay $30 for a 5k, some bling is nice! There were two races in May that I’ve been thinking about, but hadn’t made a decision yet.

THEN, lo and behold, one of the races I was contemplating added race bling!

My next race will be the Chickfila 5k.  They had a 10k option, but I want to redeem myself in the 10k, and I’m not ready for that yet.

I’m excited about this race.  Its local, I wanted to do it last year, but with my busy racing schedule, I couldn’t fit it in.  A 5k is a nice, easy fun race before I really get down to business training and rehabbing for my next 1/2.

Do you love race bling?


Creating a Race Schedule

I’m fairly new to running.  I ran my first road race in November of 2012.  I ran two races that year; a 5k and an 8k.  In 2013, I had a pretty good schedule, I ran a total of 10 races.  Two of them were color runs, so I don’t know that I really want to count those.  They are fun, but no preparation went into them 🙂  If you are interested in what I’ve done, check out my Race Schedule page.

Spring Races:

I didn’t do any races in January-early March, because all I could think about was getting through Shamrock. Now I can think about trying to fit some others in (10k or shorter).  I’m thinking about doing the Run for the Dream 8k in late May. I will most likely sign up for that one.

Summer Races:

I don’t like running in the heat. I may try to find some, but not sure yet.

Fall Races:

My next goal race is the Crawlin Crab half marathon in early October.  I’ll also be doing the 5k the day before because I haven’t learned my lesson about back to back races yet.  And because I like race bling- its a horrible addiction.

I have signed up Wicked 10k in late October, but other than that, I have no other planned races.

I’m looking for some other great local fall races.  I usually do a small 5k in November at my alma mater (it was my first 5k that I ever did!)

I’ve also done an 8k through ChristmasTown at Busch Gardens Williamsburg every year (put on by Flat Out Events).  However, this year, I’m contemplating the Surfin Santa 10 Miler put on by J&A Racing.  They fall on the same weekend.  I’m very torn.  I really enjoy ChristmasTown, but would love the challenge of a 10 miler (and I love J&A!). I have a big decision ahead of me!

How do you formulate your race schedule? How do you decide between two races?