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Firecracker 4 Mile Race Recap

21 Jul

On July 4th I ran the Firecracker 4 miler that is held locally annually. Last year, the first year they had the 4 mile (in addition to a 4k), I ran with some awesome ladies in my running group.  This year I was hoping to push the pace and “race it” and see what I could do.

There was a good group of awesome friends doing the races so of course we had to show off our guns pre-race.

2017 Firecracker 4 Mile Group

Then we split up to go to the different start lines.  The 4 mile race started first, a little bit after 9am.  It was already warm and humid (my garmin stats say it was 68 but it felt a lot warmer than that).

2017 Firecracker 4 Mile Day

Pre-race selfie with Day!

I planned to race but I took off way too fast clocking the first mile in under 9 minutes. Day even called me out on it and I responded “yea that’s just not necessary.”  The downhill at the beginning probably played a part too. 🙂

Miles 2 and 3 felt much harder. They each had substantial hills, and the heat and sun was hitting me. I slowed a bit more and had to walk a tad on the second hill (grr). I was a bit disappointed in how hard those two hills felt because we run them pretty regularly as part of our running group.  I’m going to blame the fact that it was after 9am (and not 6am when I am usually running up them) and the hot weather as the reasons they felt so cruddy this time around.  10:33, 10:39

Mile 4 was tough but some of my friends came up behind me and I just tried to keep up with them. I knew I was almost done and just tried to keep pushing. 9:51

The “official” stats:

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Garmin time was 40:08, OT: 40:14 (thanks to the gun start and no timing mat at the beginning).  Overall I am happy that I was able to maintain a 10:00 pace on this race on a tough course. It’s about a 4 minute PR from last year too, so I really can’t complain about that.

But man would I have loved to edge in with a pace with a 9 at the front of it, given my pace at the Hershey 10k this year.  Maybe next year. 🙂  There’s always a new goal you can set and push towards!

2017 Firecracker 4 Mile Finish

Finish line smiles!

Weekly Workout Recap 7/10-7/16

17 Jul

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Happy Monday!

Last week went pretty well. I am slowly building my weekly mileage up again, trying to get ready for fall half marathons!

Monday – 3 miles in the AM

Tuesday – BodyPump in the AM

Wednesday – 5 miles in the AM, Lunchtime Yoga, GRIT Cardio + CXWORX in the PM

Thursday – BodyPump + 2 miles in the AM

Friday – 5 miles over lunch, 2 miles + 30 minute BodyPump + CXWORX in the PM. It was thunder-storming in the morning so it was unsafe to run. Luckily I was working from home, so I was able to hop on the treadmill over lunch to get in 5 miles. I wanted to run 6 or 7 for the day, so I did a quick run before a BodyPump/CXWORX combo in the evening.

Saturday – 3.1 mile trail run/hike.  This was my last trail run before my trail race this weekend! Ahhh!!  And yes mom, we had bug/tick spray on, and I checked myself thoroughly after walking through here.

Sunday – Rest day!

Weekly Workout Recap 6/26-7/9

11 Jul

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Hey there and happy Monday!  This recap is of the past two weeks because between coming back from Vegas and the July 4th holiday weekend, I did a lot of non-blog things. 🙂

Monday 6/26 – Last day in Vegas! Plenty of walking around and a red-eye flight home.

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Tuesday – After sleeping a bunch, I woke up and got my life back in order (ha) before heading to the gym at 4:30 for a tough BodyPump class.

Wednesday – Back to work and the routine. 3 miles in the AM, GRIT Strength and CXWORX in the evening.

Thursday – BodyPump + 3 miles of running in the AM

Friday – 5 miles – we planned to do 4 and checkout the route for the July 4th race but got confused and ended up doing 5.

Saturday – 3.7 mile hike.

Sunday – Rest Day

Monday – 9:30am BodyPump + 30 minute BodyAttack since I was off of work.

Tuesday July 4th – Firecracker 4 miler. Hot, hilly and tired legs. It was tough, but I’m proud of how I did. Race recap this week!

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Wednesday – 5 miles in the AM. Lunchtime Yoga! My legs felt super heavy so I skipped GRIT in the evening knowing it was Plyo and probably wouldn’t help how lethargic I was feeling.

Thursday – BodyPump + 3 miles in the AM.

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These are our sleepy 5:30am faces. haha.

Friday – 5 miles in the AM. 30 minute BodyPump + CXWORX in the PM.

Saturday – 5.5 mile trail run/hike.

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I was so happy to get in a 5.5 mile trail run over the weekend. This was our longest trail training to date and I feel really good about my first trail race coming up in under two weeks (it’s 10k long).  Hopefully going up and down 1400 ft has prepared me for the challenge! (Also 778 calories?! Holy smokes.)

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Sunday – Rest Rest rest!!

I hope your week is off to a good start and continues to go well!

Weekly Workout Recap 6/19-6/25

28 Jun

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Happy Wednesday Guys!

I’m a few days late this week because late last week I was in Las Vegas!

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I got back early yesterday morning and slept for a bit before hitting the ground running again!

I made the purposeful decision to not take my running clothes or work out while in Vegas, and I’m so glad I did. Aside from the fact that it was always over 100 degrees, I really needed the mental and physical break. I was starting to feel a bit burnt out from the early wake up calls, and it was nice to sleep in with no alarm!

So, here’s how last week went, before I headed out of town:

Monday – GRIT Cardio in the PM

Tuesday – BodyPump + 3 miles in the AM

Wednesday – 3 miles in the AM

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday – Rest Days! But lots and lots of walking around Las Vegas!

 

Tips for Running a Ragnar Relay

22 Jun

Today I thought it would be fun to list out all the do’s and don’ts that I learned while running my first Ragnar Relay! You can check out my other Ragnar posts here.

Communication Tips

Download WhatsApp and get the rest of your teammates to do the same. You can create groups for your whole team and a group for each van. It makes communication during the race super simplified because everyone is in the same place.  Plus you can share photos along the way! As a bonus it doesn’t need a cell phone plan to work.

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Time stamp your texts. When texting the team about your runners statuses, always include a written time stamp. “Sarah started leg 3 at 10:04am”.  Sometimes cell phone reception can be spotty, so it assures everyone is on the same page, even if the texts arrive late.

What To Pack

Gallon Ziplocs are key. Pack each outfit that you plan to run in and stick it all in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Throw in an action wipe and anything else you’ll want access to for your post-run change. After your leg, grab the ziploc for your next leg and you’ll have a clean change of clothes and everything you need in one place. Put your sweaty clothes in the ziploc and zip them up to contain the smell. I swear, our van smelled totally fine for the entire race because we all store our gross clothes this way!  Also, leave this bag out in your seat so you can get to it easily while the van is moving. I didn’t do this and had to sit in my sweaty clothes longer than I wanted to sometimes.

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Pack toilet paper. Seriously. Ragnar’s port-a-potties were some of the cleanest I have experienced but you don’t want to end up in a situation where you have no access to toilet paper. It also doubles as a wipe for cleaning off window chalk if it rains!

Don’t forget a change of clothes for the ride home. The key here is comfy clothes. Think sweats and a comfy shirt. Anything that will make it more pleasant to be exhausted and in need of a shower for a little longer.

Pack a bunch of running options. I didn’t think I would need a long-sleeved shirt to run in June in Pennsylvania, but it was exactly what I needed for running the night leg. Options, options, options. I recommend having a variety of shorts and leggings too in case you end up chafing and need something that fits differently. Ladies, a fresh sports bra for each run is key.

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Pack layers. Along with the last tip, also bring some comfortable clothes you can layer over your running clothes for sleeping and hanging out in the van.  Comfort is key.

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Gear bag. If you are the last runner (runner 12), pack a bag of things you want your teammates to bring to the finish line for you. I was so glad that one of my teammates brought me my protein drink so I didn’t crash after my last leg. The rest of your team has been done for a while, so they have already recovered and will be ready to do all the things, and you want to be able to enjoy it with them.

Pleasantries

Check Out Local Restaurants!  Remember, you’ll have a good 6-8 hours between your van’s running shifts so you’ll have plenty of time to eat a real meal at a real restaurant! You don’t have to survive on peanut butter, bananas and gus. Yelp will be your friend!

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Gym Showers!!! My van had planned to take advantage of a 1-day pass at a gym along the route to get a nice shower after our second leg. It didn’t end up working out because our runners were taking less time than planned but I am definitely tucking this tip away for a future Ragnar. Especially if it’s super humid!

Brush Your Teeth.  Make sure your toothbrush and toothpaste is easily accessible and use a public restroom to freshen up.  It goes a long way.

Have Fun!

TrainI felt prepared going into Ragnar since I had done three simulation weekends where I ran three runs in 24 hours. I had less to stress about on race weekend because I knew I could handle it.

Take a bazillion photos. More than you think you need. I made sure to get a photo before and after every one of my runs and am so glad I did.  At 3am I wasn’t feeling it, but I’m glad I did it anyhow, because I love looking at the photos now.

Have a mascot. It may seem silly, but having a mascot made for a fun distraction and team camaraderie. It also created more opportunities for photos (see last tip)!

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Take the pace pressure off of you.  Ragnar will estimate your leg times based on your 10k pace, elevation and the amount of exhaustion they expect you to feel (so your third leg will generally be estimated as your slowest pace). Our team found that they accounted for plenty of time and we finished well before the cut off. So, try not to stress about pace. Remember, your team is in this together, and slow or fast you will get to the finish.  Enjoy your time running one of the coolest races.

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