Race 4 Sundaes Recap

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Remember when I said, “I definitely wouldn’t consider it a PR course as it is extremely hilly?” Well, I apparently lied about that since I bettered my 10k PR by over 40 seconds.

Sometimes I really don’t understand my body. Recently, it seems like when I prepare perfectly for a race it doesn’t end up going well. Yet, I did barely anything right for this race and it goes great. First of all, I’m not near peak form right now. I took some time off after my marathon, and just barely started doing a little bit of speed work last week. Secondly, I wasn’t eating very smart going into the race. I literally ate this maple creemee the night before. I know, not smart, but it tasted so good!

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yum yum!

I guess what I did do right was not to get nervous. I decided I was going to wing the race just for fun a few days before. I thought that I could probably better my time from last year, but I didn’t think I had a PR in me. There’s about a mile long hill in the second half of the race, so I wasn’t expecting a fast time. Logically, I did know I was in good shape. I put so much effort in training for the marathon, but my performances this spring just didn’t reflect that.

Race Details:

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The first half of the race is an out and back on a paved road. It has a few little rolling hills, but is pretty flat for the most part. I wanted to make sure to go out easy to prepare for the hill in the second half. A few minutes in I tucked in behind a couple other women, but started to feel very antsy as I could tell they were working harder than I was. I waited a few more minutes before going ahead. I caught up to two other guys and we ran together until about halfway where we turned onto Camels Hump Road. Once I got to the hill I went ahead of them and started to push a bit. That hill sure is something and I was definitely hurting towards the top. I was glad this part was in the shade. I’m not a great downhill runner, but I did my best to let it all go coming back down. Towards the bottom, a guy had caught up to me, but I really kicked it in the last mile. I thought I heard his footsteps right behind me, but didn’t let myself glance back until the last turn when I realized I had lost him. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but kind of wish I did so that I knew how fast my last mile was. I felt good, or at least as good as you can feel at the end of a race. Overall results; 1st woman, 42:42.

I thought the race was put on really well. It was definitely on the small size, but sometimes I like those types of races more than the big ones. There was chip timing, a few water stops along the way, awesome prizes, and sundaes afterwards. I won a gallon of maple syrup – booyah! I might sneak some with me the next time I get pancakes in Mass. The real stuff is just so much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat much of my sundae since I always feel kind of queasy after a race. I do the thing where I think I’m hungry and get a bunch of food, but then when I actually start to eat I feel nasty. I normally am actually hungry a few hours after. Does anyone else get that? It’s so annoying.

my race prize!

my race prize!

All in all, I think what I need to remember going forward is that it takes time to learn certain races. I think I’ve run about four 10ks and I still have a LOT of learning left. Just because my first marathon didn’t go well doesn’t mean that I’m not a good marathoner. You can’t base your talent of the distance off of one race. There’s so much to learn. I may not be destined to be a good marathoner… who knows? But I shouldn’t assume that so soon.

The rest of my weekend has been jam-packed with as many Vermont activities as I could fit in. I got to see some of my friends, went for a run over at Mills River, and hiked up Mt. Mansfield. I wouldn’t suggest doing that after running a race… probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but we still had a blast. I’ll be spending a little while longer in VT today before heading back tonight.

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Back in the 802!

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I just landed in Vermont… say WHAT? Yep, I had my final exam for Physics I last night. Now I’ve got about a week and a half until Physics II starts… but I’m not gonna think about that right now! I’m up visiting my friends, maybe doing some hiking, and just chilling out. I went to Mass right after I got out of school, which meant that I didn’t get to see any of my friends from back home who were away at college. So, I’ve got some major catching up to do.

Racing

I’m also running in a race tomorrow! It’s called the Huntington Race 4 Sundaes and I ran it last year. When I figured out my plans I started looking up races this weekend and I was so excited to find out that I was going to be up here for this one. There’s a 1-mile, 5k, and 10k – I’ll be running the 10k. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a PR course as it is extremely hilly. The 5k and second half of the 10k go up Camels Hump Road. I don’t think I was quite mentally prepared for how big of a hill it was last year. It is a nice course, though, as a good portion of the race is on dirt road. Best part of the race? There are sundaes afterwards! Plus, they have really awesome prizes. Last year I won a Vermont Teddy Bear.

My race plan is to definitely go out slower and more conservative. That way I can attack the hill in the second half. Then I’ll just let everything go coming back down, as it’s all downhill or flat to the finish. I’m not really in racing shape as I took some time off after my marathon, but it’ll be fun to get a 10k in. I’m hoping to run faster than I did last year.

Any weekend plans for you? Are you running in any races?

Throwback Thursday

A little while ago my mom found a hilarious picture of me running that I wanted to share with you guys. It was either when I was in 8th or 9th grade at the Dartmouth Relays. I think I was running the 800m.

My running form can range from pretty good to downright terrible depending on whether I’m focusing on it or not. Normally this is evident in my arm swing. When I don’t pay attention my arms swing across the front of my body. When I get really tired my arms will come up closer to my shoulders and look kind of ridiculous. You can see the range in my form in the pictures below – enjoy!

Looking good! I've got some good knee drive going on there.

Looking good! I’ve got some good knee drive going on there.

Just what... what on earth is happening with my right arm?

Just what… what on earth is happening with my right arm? It looks like my arms and body are going in two different directions.

How’s your form when you run? Do you have arm issues like me? 

 

Boston Escapades

the view from Fan Pier Park

the view from Fan Pier Park

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been having a great time finding my way around Boston. Between the November Project workouts, visiting out by my sister’s house, and finding new places to run, I’ve done a lot of exploring. Sometimes you have to completely mix things up to find new motivation.

Firstly, I absolutely love the November Project. I found myself smiling at the beginning of today’s workout as a few hundred people circled up doing jumping jacks at 6:30 in the morning. We’re all a tad bit crazy as you can probably tell. Mondays are normally core workouts, Wednesdays are stair climbs at Harvard stadium, and Friday hill sprints up Summit Ave.

Fridays are fantastic! They’re right up my alley. As a runner that’s used to hillier terrain I feel like those days are kind of my specialty. Remember when I was complaining about the flat terrain in Boston? Well, I’ve definitely found some really great hills. Between Summit Ave and running near my sister’s house I haven’t been deprived, so don’t worry! I’m not turning into a flatlander.

Mondays are awesome as well. I’m not as good at core days, but I have fun. I have issues doing core on my own, so it’s great to have other people to workout with. Mondays are always in a different place. This morning was at Fan Pier Park and I had to use a GPS to find my way over there.

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Wednesdays, on the other hand, are definitely something… There are 37 sections of the Harvard Stadium with 31 giant steps in each. The first time I went, I tried my best to make it all the way around, but only made it to section 31. Everyone starts out running and leaping up the stairs. Eventually I found myself losing momentum near the top and having to hike the last few steps. By the end I probably looked pretty pathetic gasping for air and slowly hiking up the stairs. Around halfway through I noticed a couple people leaning over the side puking. Oh, boy.

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Harvard Stadium. I couldn’t fit the whole thing in one picture it was so big!

Next time, I’ll try to start closer to the front of the group and I won’t run over there. It’s around 5 miles from my apartment and I had the brilliant idea of running over there the first time. NEVER AGAIN. It probably didn’t help that I got lost along the way. I think I’ll just bike next time thank you very much. My calves haven’t felt that sore in a long time. I want to go again so that I can finish the sections, but am not sure I’ll be doing that regularly. My calves were not happy with me to say the least.

I also wandered over to the Minuteman Bikepath for my long run yesterday. It was kind of a pain in the butt to get over there from where I live because I have to cross a bunch of streets. However, it was a beautiful path – kind of reminded me of the Burlington bike path. It went by some ponds, soccer fields, and through a cute little town. There were even some signs along the way pointing towards ice cream shops and good places to eat. Somehow on the way back I ran past a parade. I still have no idea what the parade was for, but it looked cool!

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a parade!

a parade!

the pond I ran by on my run

the pond I ran by on the bike path

What’s new in your life? Have you done something different lately? Explored a new place?

Stroller Adventures

This past weekend I finally got to meet my adorable little cousin. My relatives live in Spain, but just moved over here, which means I finally got to see him! He’s such a happy little dude and is super easy-going. Did I already mention he’s adorable? Sooo cute!

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Somehow I started talking about how cool it would be to use a stroller if/when I have my own kids (not for a looooooong time). That way I could still get my running in. When I was younger my dad used to rollerblade while pushing me along in a stroller. My mom tells me that I would kick my feet up and have a grand old time riding along. I didn’t realize it, but we kept that stroller from all the way back then.

So, we pulled it out of the basement – just needed a little dusting off and some air in the tires. After that, it was in perfectly good condition! My little cousin happily sat down in the stroller and we took off! It’s so strange to think that at some point I was actually the one riding in the stroller. Now I’m pushing it!

 

all decked out for the ride!

all decked out for the ride!

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I was a little nervous that he would get fussy being away from his parents, but he did perfectly fine! I kept checking in on him to make sure he was really there – he was so quiet and content. He took a little snooze during the ride, but mostly was just looking out at the scenery soaking everything in for the 10 miles. I think we’ve got a future runner in the making!

For the most part, it wasn’t that much extra work pushing a stroller. My arm swing was impeded slightly and I definitely had to work harder on the uphills, but the rest of it was just fine. It probably gave me a little more strength training, which I could definitely use! Plus, the steering kept me occupied so I didn’t get bored at all.

Have you used a stroller? What are your thoughts on it?

Wedding Weekend

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A lot has happened since my last post on the November Project. Firstly, I survived the November Project’s three workouts this week, but a much bigger much more important event happened. My brother got married!!!!

Ian and Aubrey make the perfect couple and their personalities compliment each other so well. They’re high school sweethearts and both share common interests such as running, mountain biking, and hiking. It was a picture-perfect wedding. From the stunning view of the White Mountains to Aubrey’s beautiful dress every detail was accounted for.

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talk about gorgeous!

My brother has always been a huge part of my running life. He’s the reason I started the sport in the first place. I was always the little kid being dragged around to his cross-country and track meets. Somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to be like him and gave the sport a try for myself. I figured if he was good at it then maybe I could be too! He’s always whole-heartedly supported and encouraged me along the way. Now we’re planning to run the same race in the fall!

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at the Shelburne Half Marathon

I’m so excited to have Aubrey be officially part of the family although it feels like she’s been part of it for a long time.

an oldy but goody - at the summit of Mt. Hale in 2005.

an oldy but goody – at the summit of Mt. Hale in 2005. We look so little!

When I was struggling at the end of the Vermont City Marathon, Aubrey caught up to me. My family had a 5-person relay team and Aubrey ran the last leg. Between the horrible calf cramps and extreme heat I was kind of a mess to say the least. I told her I was okay and that she should keep on running, but she insisted on staying with me. Those last few miles would’ve been really dark without her and I am forever grateful that she stayed with me. She made it possible for me to finish with a smile on my face. That was something only a sister would do.

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I love them both so much and wish them the best on this next stage in life.

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The November Project

group picture: photo credits to the November Project

group picture: photo credits to the November Project. I’m somewhere in the back rightish.

A while ago I read about something called the November Project in a magazine. It’s basically a grassroots fitness group that meets up to work out together. Workouts range from core strengthening, climbing stairs in a stadium, to hill sprints. There are now multiple November Projects in a variety of different cities in the US. Since I’m spending the summer in Boston I thought I’d check them out. Best part? IT’S FREE!!!! As a college kid without a ton of extra cash, I don’t like to spend my money very often, so this group sounded perfect.

So, bright and early on Monday morning I headed over to check them out. I’m not a morning person, definitely not a morning runner, but I wanted to see what they were all about. On Mondays they meet at a variety of different places that they notify people of via social media. Luckily for me, the meet up spot was just a 10-minute run from my apartment. I was really surprised by the sheer amount of people that showed up. There were well over 100!

the most game face I could muster at 6am

the most game face I could muster at 6am

The challenge on this particular day was to split up into a bunch of different groups and run around to the different boathouses. At each boathouse there was a picture of someone from the November Project on a tree and each group had to take selfies with the picture and post it up on instagram. It was a bit chaotic, but loads of fun!

The people that showed up were extremely friendly and welcoming. Once people found out that it was my first time coming, they chimed in about why they loved the November Project and informed me about the different locations and what it was all about. Most of the people I talked to were runners as well. Some were marathoners, others 5k-ers, some mud runners. There were peoples of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.

I will definitely be going to some more of these workouts. I’m unsure about how I will fit these workouts into my running schedule once I start seriously training again, but I’ll figure it out when the time comes. In high school I absolutely loved this strength and conditioning camp I did. I wasn’t great at it as I don’t have much upper-body strength, but it was so much fun. This seems kind of similar, so I’m excited to go to some more of the workouts.

What have you been up to this week? Try anything new? Have you ever gone to a November Project meet-up?