Race Recap: Wicked 10k 2016

Sorry for the late posting!  The Wicked 10k is always a great time! Who doesn’t love a Halloween race?! I love J&A races and I love running out at the VA Beach Oceanfront. Its a familiar place to run for me.

Packet Pick-up/Expo

I opted for race day pickup because I’m lazy.  Pickup was pretty efficient, but the shirts were a disappointment.  I ordered the same size I normally do, and it was way too small.  Guess I won’t be wearing it!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

The race started at about 40 degrees, warming up to 50 degrees within a few hours.  I opted for a short sleeved shirt under a long sleeved shirt, and capris.  I wore a hat, because I’m in love with wearing them for races now.  No costume this year because I was lazy!

Pre-Race

I hung out in the convention center post packet pickup and just relaxed.  I headed out about 20 minutes before the race start so I could get in my corral and look at all the costumes!

Race Time

I had planned on walking this race because I haven’t really been doing really ANY working out, let alone training for a race.

The first half of the race went pretty quickly, and I was able to stick to about 14 minute miles walking, which I was pretty proud of.  I really enjoyed getting to see all of the costumes on parts of the course that wrapped back around itself.

The last half of the race was a little rough. I was ready to be done.  I am not really a fan of the 10k distance at all.  I started getting a blister on my heel (sock seam in a bad place) and I slowed down considerably.

I wanted to finish on or around 1:40, so I ran a little bit during the last half mile.  I finished in 1:40:18.

After Party

To be honest, I didn’t even attend the after party. Michael and I had plans later in the day and we wanted to get out of there.  After it being so difficult to get beer afterward last year, I didn’t really mind skipping it!

Overall Reactions

Great weather and a great day.  I wish I had trained for it and run it, but I still had a ton of fun walking!

Did anyone run a Halloween run? How was it? Have you ever dressed up for a race?

Race Recap: Wicked 10k 2015

Sorry for the late posting!  The Wicked 10k is always a great time! Who doesn’t love a Halloween race?! I love J&A races and I love running out at the VA Beach Oceanfront. Its a familiar place to run for me.

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This is one of my favorite parts of the race….Ghostbusters!

Packet Pick-up/Expo

Everything was super efficient at packet pick-up; J&A races are always very well organized.  It was pretty crowded around 6pm when we went.  The shirts this year were FANTASTIC!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

The race started at about 50 degrees, warming up to 60 degrees within a few hours.  I opted for a short sleeved shirt and capris.  I wore my Starbucks barista costume again from last year because I’m lazy.

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Can you tell I’m not a morning person?

Pre-Race

Michael and I went inside the convention center to people watch before the race.  There were a lot of great costumes.  I found a short line for the bathroom and made sure I took care of that…I can usually be ok with a 5k, but I really didn’t want to have to stop on a 10k.

I was in corral 7 of 10.  It took me awhile to get back to my corral.  I plugged my headphones in, put on some hip hop and started stretching and people watching.

Race Time

Our corral started at 8:15 (they gave team Hoyt a big head start).  I really didn’t have a strategy for the race, although I knew I’d end up doing intervals based on how Crawlin Crab went a few weeks ago.

I ran the first mile straight in about 13 minutes.  I decided not to waste too much energy by going out too fast or doing a lot of weaving.  I just patiently followed behind people, knowing the pack would eventually thin out.

For mile 2, I walked a quarter mile, ran a quarter mile.  This seemed to work pretty well for me, so I kept that structure for most of the rest of the race.  I found myself among others also running/walking intervals, and we seemed to keep passing each other.

Once I hit the halfway mark, I found my energy severely draining, then I remembered I had forgotten to eat my granola bar before the start.  I kept with my intervals.

I hit the turn around toward the finish line at about the 5 mile mark.  I decided to only run a quarter mile of the last mile so that I could run in the last .20.  I found a friend from the gym with about a half mile left. She and I finished together, she just barely outkicked me.

I finished in 1:32:31.  I had hoped to be under 1:30:00, but I was ok with the time considering I haven’t been training.

Interestingly, at the Crawlin Crab, I had a 44:37 5k finish. At the halfway mark for this 10k, I was at 44:48.  Pretty consistent, huh?

After Party

So I have mixed feelings about the after party.  It was a nice day, so I liked having the party on the beach, but I really prefer being in the convention center.  We had tomato and cheese soup inside bread bowls from Baker’s Crust, which is always a favorite.

But lets talk about the beer.  The beer lines were ATROCIOUS.  I have never ever had a problem getting beer after a race.  Ever.  I ‘ve had to wait in a little line, but these lines were so bad, I left without getting a beer. I got so pissed. What made me more mad is that a race organizer told us there were no lines at another tent, so we got out of line….then the lines were LONGER at the other tent.

I’m usually a massive fan of J&A races and how they are organized, but they failed the after party at this one.

Overall Reactions

This is a really fun race, and I loved that it was actually on Halloween this year.  The race bling and shirt was fantastic too.

Did anyone run a Halloween run? How was it? Have you ever dressed up for a race?

Weekly Update – 10/26/15

This week wasn’t a fantastic week in terms of workouts, but I did manage to have a good 10k race.  After the busyness of the last few weeks, it was nice to have a pretty relaxed week.

Monday

Yay for yoga!  I missed it so much over the last 2 weeks.  Jaye mixed it up a little and did some different flows, and now she’s doing more concentrated ab/core work.

Tuesday

On Tuesday I had a little clumsy moment.  I hit my wrist and thumb HARD on something on my way to the gym.  So rather than aggravating it, I decided just to foam roll and hit the elliptical.  I just did 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Wednesday

Yoga again.  I felt pretty decent in class on Wednesday. I still have trouble holding my Warrior II pose for as long as she likes to make us do it, but I’m getting better.

Thursday

So Thursday was supposed to be a gym night, but we had to drive up to the BMW dealership to pick up Michael’s car.  There was a recall on the fuel pump and it needed to be fixed.  Even if we didn’t have that errand to run, we probably would have skipped anyway.  We were not feeling it after the rough day at work.

Friday

After work on Friday, we went to pick up my race packet for the Wicked 10k the next day.  We treated ourselves to Red Robin afterwards.  Although I’m going to say that RR is a terrible idea the night before a race.

Saturday

Halloween AND the Wicked 10k! Race recap to come soon!  The rest of the day was mostly a lazy day, but we did hand out candy in my mom’s neighborhood and got to enjoy all the little kids dressed up.

Sunday

After church we went to my dad’s house to watch a little football and hang out. My stepmom made lots of really good tasting but bad for you food.  We watched the Saints beat the Giants in a really good game.

Did you have a Halloween race this weekend?  How was Halloween for you?

 

Fall Races

I have a bunch of fall races coming up. Normally I’d be super excited about that, except I haven’t run since like….April.  I’m still dealing with some plantar fasciitis issues.  I know that the structure and anatomy of my feet is such that I’ll probably continue to be plagued with issues for awhile.  I haven’t been even walking a lot due to the stress and pain it puts on my feet, much less running.

Here’s my fall schedule:

October 3, 2015 – Crawlin Crab 5k (Virginia Beach, VA)

October 31, 2015 – Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 21, 2015 – Harbor Lights 5k (Virginia Beach, VA)

December 19, 2015 – Surf N Santa 5 Miler (Virginia Beach, VA)

I don’t have anything longer than a 10k.  Quite frankly, I could walk all of these, no problem (until the next day when my feet kill me!) But I’d really like to run them.  My first race just over a month away.  I’m going to focus on going back to yoga, getting my mobility and strength back and finding ways to get conditioning in without killing my feet.

The awesome thing about these races is that they are a ton of fun and I always know a bunch of people doing them.  I’m at a place where I want running to be fun again, so I’m not gonna worry about anything but having fun! Here’s to a stress free fall schedule!

 

What does your fall schedule look like?  What race are you most looking forward to?

2014 – First Half Marathon, Engagement and Life Lessons!

2014 was a fantastic year for me! I hope all of you feel the same way.  I think its really important to reflect on the year and focus on the positive!

January

I hadn’t started this blog yet, but it was brewing in my mind!  I started my training for my first half marathon!

February

I began this blog! It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.  I have loved the community that I’ve found with you guys! Its nearly impossible to articulate how encouraging each one of you is!

Michael and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together and he spoiled me rotten.

tiffany necklace

Its so beautiful!

 

March

I ran my first half marathon – Shamrock! Not only did I run my first half, but I completed the Dolphin Challenge by doing the 8k and Half Marathon in the same weekend. It was such a rewarding experience.

Celebratory beer and 8k medal

Celebratory beer and 8k medal

My race bling!

My race bling!

Michael and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary.

We know we are obnoxiously in love and we don't care! :)

We know we are obnoxiously in love and we don’t care! 🙂

Pretty roses!

Pretty roses!

We also went to see comedian Gabriel Iglesias!

At the Gabriel Iglesias show!

April

April was my favorite month this year!

Michael and I went to Florida and I got to go to Key West for the first time!

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Sunset Cruise in Key West

 

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Key West Sunset

 

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Sunset Cruise in Key West

 

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Pool in Orlando

 

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

Hotel in Orlando

Hotel in Orlando

The water was so clear and warm

The water was so clear and warm

On April 19th, Michael proposed!

Happy!

Happy!

The ring!

The ring!

On April 21st, I celebrated my 27th birthday.

Michael's parents

May

In May, I ran the Chickfila 5k and logged my worst 5k time ever due to major sinus issues! But the Chickfila sandwich at the end totally made up for it.

June

I bought my wedding dress in June and did lots of other wedding things!

say yes to the dress

I said yes to the dress!

 

July

In July, I fell out of love with running, then made a re-commitment to get my act together for my fall races.

August

I started to focus a lot on a balance of different types of workouts and came up with a killer workout schedule that I kinda kept to….

September

September brought a lot of anxiety and stress, but also brought things like my 1 year anniversary and a great anniversary trip.

cape charles 2

cape charles 3

cape charles

October

October was a busy month.

I ran my second half marathon – Crawlin Crab.  I did both the 5k and the half marathon for the Shell Yeah Challenge.  I learned a hard lesson about proper fueling when I bonked early.

crawlin crab 5k 2014

Allyson and I after the 5k

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After the half!

 

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Shell Yeah Challenge bling!

Michael and I took a mini vacation to the mountains and got our engagement pictures taken.

engagement 2

engagement 3

engagement

Later in the month, I ran the Wicked 10k.

wicked 10k 2014

Wicked 10k 2014

 

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I’m such a cheeseball.

 

November

In November, I ran my third half marathon – Harbor Lights.  I was very pleased with my mental fortitude during this race as well as my fueling plan!

My AWESOME friend Diane who totally kicked butt!

My AWESOME friend Diane who totally kicked butt!

 

harbor lights finisher

Harbor Lights!

 

 

Hollie is a pro at taking pics!

Hollie is a pro at taking pics!

December

Who doesn’t love December?!

I ran my first 5-miler at the Surfin Santa. It was also my first twilight race.

surfnsanta

Then of course, Christmas with my dear family and friends.

Merry christmas

Engaged ornament

 

2014 was a great year and 2015 promises to be ever more incredible!  Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

Is it too early for New Year’s Resolutions?

Thanks for letting me whine the past few days.  This community is so wonderful and so supportive.  After much counseling from you all and from my trainer, I think I’ve got a game plan for next year that’ll make me happy, not burn me out, and hopefully keep me injury free.

So, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the races that I choose.  I’ve come to learn that as much as I love the challenge of a half-marathon, I don’t know that I’m meant to do a lot of them (at least at this time).  I remember a post from my friend Lee when he talked about being a 5k-er.  That is HIS distance.  Sure, he can do half marathons and marathons (and is a total beast at them!) but in his heart of hearts, he loves a 5k.

I don’t know that I feel a strong pull toward any one distance, but I do know that I’m not defined by the distance that I do/do not run.  Any distance at all makes me a runner.  I just have to decide what keeps me happy AND healthy.

So, I think my strategy at this time will be to do no more than 2 half-marathon’s a year, and stick with shorter distances.  I’d like to do a spring half and a fall half.  But if I only want to do one, it’ll be the spring half (Shamrock!).  It was my first half, I love it, and I’ve already signed up for it 🙂 There are so many good short distance races in the fall, and I’d like to be able to do more of them.

This is what a dream schedule (not necessarily actual) would look like for me:

March: Shamrock Dolphin Challenge (8k and Half) *signed up already

May: Chickfila 5k or 10k

Maybe something in June/July/August?

September: Rock N Roll 5k

Early October: Crawlin Crab 5k

Late October: Wicked 10k

Early November: CNU Alumni 5k

Late November: Harbor Lights 5k or Half

Early December: ChristmasTown 8k

Late December: Surfin Santa 5 miler

I think I’d like to stick with 10k or under.  I want to end up with more quality races than quantity. I think I can do 5k’s more frequently if I’m doing far fewer long distance races.  My fall would be pretty race heavy, but if I drop the half and just do the shorter distances, I think I’ll be ok.

Realistically, if I need to cut down, I’ll just do the J&A Races: Shamrock, Crawlin Crab, Wicked, Surfin Santa.

I want to enjoy the run.  I want to stay healthy.  I want to do the races I love and not have the training kill me.  If I’m honest, I want to get back to my faster times.  The only way I’m going to get there (speaking for me personally) is if I stick with shorter distances.

Also, I want to try to keep some more consistent weekly mileage, even if its relatively low mileage.  I’m really enjoying all the other activities I’m doing, so I want to keep room for them.

I’m starting to have a sense of peace about this plan.  Its given me direction and focus to push through the end of the year with the promise of a new start.

Thank you guys for being so awesome.

Are you already thinking about new year’s resolutions? What race distances do you love? How do you find balance when planning a race schedule?

Shoe Problems + Self-Diagnosis

So I have been wearing the Saucony Guides ever since I started running. I got fitted at a great local shoe store (Running Etc). I have tried a pair of Nike that were similar, but they just didn’t do the trick.

I was a little apprehensive when the updates from the Guide 6 to the Guide 7 seemed pretty major, but after wearing them a few times, they didn’t seem that different.  Among the notable changes were:

-Saucony has switched from its ProGrid cushioning system to Power Grid for the 7 which is a 15% lighter and 30% more durable material.

-The Guide 7’s newly-created platform have a roomier wider toebox that is definitely more accommodating. Adjustments to the overlays have helped to open up the shoes fit as well.

None of these changes really worried me.  When I put on the shoe, it felt the same as the Guide 6.  So fast forward a few weeks into wearing them and I’m not so sure that these changes were as benign as I once thought.

I started having issues with my heels and arches (suspected plantar fasciitis – yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t self diagnose) a few weeks before I switched to these shoes.  When I realized how horribly worn down the tread was, I chalked it up to broken down shoes.  After switching to the new shoes, it felt much better….for awhile.  Now my arches ache after wearing them.

I didn’t have a ton of pain after Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, but I do remember my feet hurting more than normal while running.  After the Wicked 10k this weekend I had excruciating pain in my left heel the next morning. I couldn’t even bear weight on it for hours it hurt so bad.

Now I’m wondering if the shoes are playing a huge part into my foot pain.  The only other factor that changed in my life is that I’m now doing yoga.  All the research I’ve found is that most yoga poses (especially the simple ones I’m doing) are not detrimental to plantar faciitis… if that is even what is going on.

I’m not sure if the shoes are the culprit, but it seems a bit suspicious.  I probably should stop self-diagnosing and scouring the internet for answers and go get checked by a doctor for real answers.

All my issues seem to point to PF: the pain is worse in the AM or when getting up from a seated position, doesn’t hurt while running, only after, most of the pain is in the heel, but the arches feel tight throughout.

I’m rolling my feet on a tennis ball throughout the day under my desk.  I should be icing more than I am, but I do roll on a frozen water bottle occasionally.  I am going to work in more exercises to stretch out my feet, achilles, and calf. I know that I’m really tight in my back line.  My hamstrings are the only thing that have made any progress.  I hope that trying to stretch more will allow me to ease the tightness that is probably the source of a lot of my pain.

If any of you have suggestions for a stability shoe that is similar to the Saucony Guides, please let me know.  I’m willing to try a new style to see if that makes a difference.

Have you ever switched shoes and noticed a difference in your feet? Do you like to self diagnose?