Tag Archives: 13in2013Race

A Good Run

22 Sep

Warning, this may be sort of sporatic. 🙂

I was pretty much confined to the couch for the entire week. But yesterday I started back up with some BodyPUMP! It was a good way to get back into sweating.

Today I had one of those super-awesome-don’t-want-to-stop-running runs. I ran 8.5 miles – I just sort of figured out my route as I went, knowing I wanted to come out somewhere between 8 and 10.

I really needed a good run. I feel like I haven’t had a run that I have felt good about (races included) in about a month.

I didn’t PR at my half last weekend, but I’ll have a race report soon – I have lots to say about the race despite not PRing.

I’m sure the new shoes had something to do with my good run. My old pair we hanging on by a thread and last weekends race was the last time I used them. Image

The weather I think had something to do with it too – Low 60s, overcast but a little sunny. It’s amazing how much better it feels to run when it’s not a gazillion degrees with intense sun. 🙂

Anyhow, this run gave me some confidence. Maybe I can PR at the Wineglass Half in two weeks. 🙂

I felt so good about it, I used it as my Minnie Cupcake Virtual. How adorable are these medals? Image

If you want to sign up (there is a whole series of Disney Cupcakes you can do so on this facebook page).

Heres to more good runs! Hope your weekend is going well!

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Color Me Rad 5k (Race Recap)

2 Jul

On Sunday June 16th I ran (and walked) the Color Me Rad 5k in Philadelphia, PA. This was race number THIRTEEN for me, thus completing my 13 in 2013 goal. woo hoo!

I did this race with two friends of mine (we made a whole Philly weekend of it) and we had a great time just enjoying it. We took walk breaks, got dirty in color and just had fun.

Since I ran The Color Run last year I was excited to try out a different series!

We arrived and parked about 90 minutes before our schedule wave, as was recommended. We had already picked up our bibs/shirts/sunglasses (which was pretty flawless) a few days prior on our drive into the city. Parking was free (awesome!) and we had a little bit of a walk from the cars to the course. But it was fun to be walking with others decked out in white.

2013colormerad1After snapping a picture we went towards the large stage where they were already throwing some color around, doing some zumba, and just pumping the crowd up. It was really fun.

When it got close to 8 we walked over towards the start line. We were able to join in with that wave with no issue. Since we were there and ready, we figured we might as well!

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We did have to wait about 10 minutes after the start of the first group to go. I’m glad they let people go in groups, it really helped to spread everything out. Probably around 8:10 we crossed the start.

The longest stretch without an color stations seemed to be between the start line and the first one. Or maybe we were just excited and it felt like a long time. 🙂

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We ran through it, getting covered in Pink! (The other colors on me are from the pre-race festivities.) I was glad to have a water bottle with me because the powder does seem to somehow end up in your mouth.

colormerad4I lost count of how many color stations there were but we never had far to go to get to the next one. Color Me Rad also has liquid color stations, where volunteers spray you with a thin spray of colored water. It creates a different effect than the powder and since it was warm outside we like the change of pace.

Before we knew it we were rounding the bend to the finish line. The finish was a huge cloud of purple powder as the volunteers pelted us with it.

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Seriously, the finish line came so fast that I’m not sure if the course was the full 5k distance. I wish I had worn my Garmin. But that’s not what these types of races are about anyhow.

Check out this awesome professional photo they got of me finishing:

colormerad6Awesome right? Also, side note, the cost for the digital copy of this photo was a whopping three dollars. I loved that their professional photos were so cheap!

After the finish line they gave out water bottles, and they had a bunch more color packets. We took some so we could get even more colored and get some neat photos.

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I call this my Braveheart look…

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We also joined in the crowd for a couple more color throws – it was so neat looking!colormerad9

After having some fun we headed back to the car to towel off and head back to the hotel to shower.

Color Me Rad was a great time! And hello completing 13 of 2013!!

Dirty Girl Mud Run (Race Recap)

20 Jun

On June 8th I completed the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was my twelfth race of my 13 in 2013 goal!

I signed up because my friend was signed up to do it with a team and she invited me to join in. There ended up being 23 of us on our team! Since I had previously done the Warrior Dash, I was excited to see what an all-female mud run would be like.

We got to the parking lot and were bussed to the race area. We were signed up for an 11:30 wave and I think got there around 10. We had plenty of time to take the bus, check in, go to the bathroom (twice), and wait around.

The check-in was a little jumbled and I think could probably be streamlined. There was one line to check in with ID and get your bib. Then another to get your shirt and necklace. Then another where you had to show ID again to get a wristband for the post-race beer. Though at the finish, you needed your actual ticket in addition to the wristband to actually get the beer. All of the check-ins didn’t take long, but I do think it could be streamlined a bit. Really though, that’s my only complain, and it’s a minor one.

We got in the start corral right before our wave went off. The announcer did a good job of getting everyone pumped up, and then we were off.

The first obstacle we came to was sort of like a tire run. Except it was one big pink inflatable with holes in it. We ran through it like you would if you were running over tires.

The second obstacle was a pink inflatable thing that you climbed up and then sort of bounced down. dirtygirlmudrun1 (picture from the Dirty Girl Mud Run Facebook Page)

It was really fun to bounce down the other side!

The next one we came to was a simple wall. It had “rungs” on each side so you could climb it up and then down. There was one part of it that was shorter than the rest in case you wanted a little less of a challenge. And it was pink. 🙂 Compared to the walls at the Warrior Dash, I would say it was about 1/2 to a 1/3rd of the height. I had no issues going over it.

The fourth obstacle is what Dirty Girl calls the “funky monkey”. Basically it’s a horizontal cargo net. For me this was probably the most physically tough obstacle on the course, because I sort of had to figure out how to scoot along the cargo net without having my feet fall through or get caught. Having knee high socks really helped for this one too. I didn’t have to worry about much rope burn. Overall though, I wouldn’t say it was hard.

Now the obstacles sort of blend together, so I may get the order wrong. But I belive the fifth obstacle we came to was “under over.” There was a wall to go under, which was low enough that you had to get on the ground. Then there was a wall to climb over. It was graded more so it wasn’t quite vertical, and had a rope and rungs. dirtygirlmudrun2

 (picture from the Dirty Girl Mud Run Facebook Page)

After under over, we came to the bungee maze. This was a pretty unique obstacle that was fun to get through. dirtygirlmudrun3

 (picture from the Dirty Girl Mud Run Facebook Page)

After that we started getting nice and muddy with a good old-fashioned mud pit. A couple of my teammates sort of belly-flopped in, I opted to walk my way through. It wasn’t too deep but I got pretty muddy from it splashing around.

From there we had to wait in a line (for probably a good 15-20 mins) to go through the H2OMG. I have no idea why there was such a line here, but we took the opportunity to people watch and enjoy ourselves. It wasn’t about our time, afterall. The H2OMG was basically a pool of COLD water that went about to the top of your legs. It wasn’t hard, just cold. I’m not sure why it was so backed up. But it was fun to run in our squishy shoes at to the next obstacle.

The next obstacle was a cargo climb. Basically a vertical cargo net that you went up and down. It was pretty high. There was a bell at the top that you could ring too.

The only obstacle I skipped was the next one, called “utopian tubes.” Basically they were black tubes on the ground that I assume were filled with mud. You had to crawl through them. I skipped them because I am claustrophobic so I knew that if I got in behind someone and someone was behind me blocking my “way out” I would freak. So I walked around it (you could easily walk around any of the obstacles) and waited for my team.

The last obstacle was probably my favorite. A giant pink inflatable slide!!! You climb up the back, and they had a volunteer instructing you as to when you could slide down into the mud pit at the bottom. dirtygirlmudrun4

You can sort of see me in the far end of that photo, I’m the one sitting in the mud. haha. My friend managed to land on her feet, I didn’t have that kind of luck. 🙂

From there we all ran/walked/slipped our way to the finish line. You really couldn’t run much at that point because it was just so muddy. When we crossed the finish there was a professional photographer who took our picture (that we can buy for a price, of course).

From there my friends went to find their husbands with their bags to get their drink tickets. I didn’t bother because I didn’t feel like slip sliding my way around to get a drink ticket for a beer.

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After a few photos we made our plan for getting cleaned up. I donated my sneakers and then just walked around in my socks (which were pretty padded to protect me from the ground). Dirty Girl actually has a hose-off tent and a private changing tent that I thought was pretty cool.

The hose off tent was just that. A tent with garden hoses of COLD water. But it did the job to rinse off thoroughly enough. Ladies, I’d considering wearing a swim suit under your clothes so you can really rinse off effectively. The other tent was a public/private changing tent. Meaning, I found a corner and changed as effectively I could. We had towels with us too, thank goodness. So we were really able to get pretty clean, given the circumstances.

I have to say though, I am pretty impressed with the hose off tents and changing tents. It’s not something I expected to even have the (minor) luxury of having.

Overall, I would do a Dirty Girl Mud Run again. For fun. It is NOT a “hard” mud run. I found it to be easier than the Warrior Dash. But it is a lot of fun – I mean, they have INFLATABLE obstacles. How can that not be fun?! It’s a blast if you are going with a large group! The girl-power thing is especially prevalent which I enjoyed, but if you don’t like that sort of thing, I’d stay away.

Memorial Day Race (Race Recap)

30 May

On Monday I ran a local Memorial Day race. The race takes place in Boalsburg, PA, which claims to be the first to celebrate Memorial Day. They have a parade, festival, art vendors, food, etc during the three day weekend every year. The 3.8 mile race has also been a part of the celebration for 30-something years.

The last time I ran it was two years ago (race recap is here – check out the crazy elevation chart!). I couldn’t do it last year because we were in Florida for a wedding, so I was excited to do it again. I wanted to just enjoy the race, come in under 50 minutes, and secretly I wanted to beat my time from 2 years ago – 48:57 – because who doesn’t want to beat their previous time. 🙂

The start of the race was a little jumbled this year. We started in a grassy field so everyone was just sort of standing around and then all of a sudden people were running. It was weird, because last time I did it they started us with a cannon shot. So needless to say my start wasn’t very precise.

Let me preface by saying that I don’t have my Garmin data right now (purely because I’m lazy) so I’m not sure of my mile splits or anything. Anyhow, the first mile or so goes through the town of Boalsburg. I felt pretty speedy. Then at about a mile in the first hill starts. I knew to run/walk it so that’s just what I did. I picked mailboxes to say “okay walk from the blue one to the white one, then run.” I slowly made my way up. At the turn around at the top of the hill I picked up speed and went down as fast as I could while letting gravity to the majority of the work.

A picture of the leaders at the top of hill 1. From the Memorial Day in Boalsburg Facebook page.

I tried to keep up my momentum going up the second hill but had to start taking walk breaks about half way up. The second hill is MUCH steeper and longer.

Naturally, I enjoyed speeding down it. Downhills are so much more fun. 🙂

When I was on my way down the second hill there were a couple people who I saw turn around on the course to basically cut off 80% of the hill. And yes, they had chips on. I don’t know why, but seeing people cheat like that (even when it wasn’t a situation where any of us were going to place or anything), really pissed me off and lit a fire. It was my goal to pass those two girls and not let them place higher than me, so that’s just what I did.

The last bit of the race runs through the town again, which is very scenic. I kept checking my watch and I knew my time was going to be very close to last time.

I crossed in 48:51 according to my watch. A six second PR!!! I will absolutely take it! Given my lack of hard training lately, I was psyched!

This marks race 11 of my 13 in 2013 goal!

Pittsburgh Half Marathon (Race Recap)

9 May

On Sunday I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. This is my second time running this race.

I had pretty realistic expectations for this race. Secretly I would have loved to PR (I mean, who wouldn’t?) and with the weather reports and the course being relatively flat (except for the bridges) I thought it was possible to surprise myself. But honestly, I didn’t do any real training for it. I only had 2 weeks between the Hershey 10k and this race, so the most I managed to squeeze in was a 7 mile run followed by a 5k. I knew I was going to be hurting during and after the race, but I was confident I’d finish.

We got into Pittsburgh on Saturday and after checking into the hotel walked around a bit to find the finish line and head to the expo.2013PittsburghHalf1I think this is the first time I’ve ever been able to actually walk up to the finish line before a race. It was really cool. Thanks to the kind volunteer who took this photo of my dad and I. I refused to actually step on the finish line or timing mat though. I’m superstitious, what can I say. 🙂

We walked to the convention center where the expo was being held. I started getting really excited when we were there, I finally was feeling like I was going to be running a half marathon the next day! We also met up with some friends from North Carolina who happened to be in town for the race. It was completely unplanned but we all happened to be in the same place at the same time and met up. After the expo we grabbed dinner (I got my traditional pasta and Cesar salad) and my dad and I headed to bed for the next day.

Unfortunately there was a bachelorette party going on in the room next to us, and those girls were LOUD. I understand a little pre-gaming before hitting the bars but they were yelling, screaming, chanting, laughing, and it STARTED around 10pm. I hated to be a downer but I had to call hotel security on them. I could not sleep and I managed to get a headache – something that never happens to me. They were just so loud. I was glad when they left around midnight. Of course they came back around 2am and woke me up for about 30 minutes but I was able to fall back to sleep pretty easily. So all that being said, not the best night-before-race sleeping conditions.

When the alarm went off I was able to get out of bed pretty easily. I guess it was the adrenaline. After eating my breakfast (cereal + rice milk), I got dressed and my dad and I headed to the start.

Following what happened in Boston we had gotten a few emails from the Pittsburgh Marathon race director that security was going to be heightened. No backpacks were allowed in corrals, corral assignments were going to be strictly enforced, and there were specific runner-only areas (including the start corrals) that you had to show your bib to get into. I expected there to be a little bit of a back up as everyone showed their bib to get where they needed to go. But I have to hand it to the Pittsburgh Marathon team, they handled it all so well. We didn’t have an issue at all. The volunteers were so  knowledgeable. I was so impressed. Considering they had only decided to up the security a few weeks prior, they pulled it together and were completely organized on race day.

Around 7 they started the pre-race stuff with a moment of silence for Boston, followed by the national anthem. It was really powerful. There were 30,000 runners, but you could have heard a pin drop. From there they pumped us up with some music, Ryan Clark (a Steelers) blew the start whistle, and corral by corral we moved up to the start line. We were in corral E so we didn’t cross the start until around 7:30.

I immediately started off too fast, this seems to be a common problem lately. I said bye to my dad (he was feeling great and wanted to go faster). I stopped at the first aid station about a mile in and smeared vasoline between my legs – I had stupidly forgotten to body glide that morning.

In the second mile I took my first walk break. When I ran I was still too fast though, I kept thinking things like “stop going so fast!!!” but my legs just wouldn’t listen.  Unfortunately, that meant the walk breaks became more and more frequent. Around mile 4 I realized that this probably wasn’t a PR day, and made the deliberate decision to enjoy the course and the experience.

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon course is GORGEOUS. First of all, the weather was perfect. I wore a tank top and running skirt and was comfortable, if not a little cold most of the way. I’d much rather be cold than warm though. The course crosses four bridges (I think?), goes through various neighborhoods and under the incline. The on course entertainment is great – there are many organized groups, and  many locals come out to party along the course. My favorite group was an ROTC group that had their hands out for high fives going up on of the hills. Definite motivation to run the whole thing. 🙂

In the end, I completed the race in 3:17:10. Far from a PR, but faster than the Disney Half or the first half of the Disney Marathon in January. Considering the whole not training thing though, I will take it.2013PittsburghHalf3

I really enjoyed my time on the course and found it to be very cathartic as I ran with people with Boston bibs on their back, ran by signs about how tough runners are, and took in my surroundings. When it comes down to it, my finishing time really doesn’t matter because I had a great time out there.

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But that PR…I’m coming for it. 🙂