A New 5k PR!

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Giant potholes and chunks of snow falling off trees couldn’t stop us from PR’ing yesterday! The Adrenaline 5k is a bit of a community staple here in south Jersey! It is a 5k put on by the local running stores with a giant after-party. The race really brings out the local running community.

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I had a great time running with my friends and managed to snag a PR. I ran a 21:56! I am really happy with this time. Just a month ago I PR’ed with a 22:40, so I took over 40 seconds off my time in one month! I really pushed it to the limits. This is absolutely, with no doubt, the fastest I can possibly go. I was feeling the burn the entire time!

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It felt amazing to erase and add my new PR to the board my fiance and I made. I am feeling very inspired now that I am really seeing tangible results from all of my training. Now, foolishly, I am running a half marathon next week. I hope I am not still sore by then! Every year I promise myself that I am not going to run ALL THE RACES, and yet here we are…

Do you sign up for too many races?

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What a Difference a Year Makes!

IMG_20150214_082248This weekend was very exciting!! I ran in a little Valentine’s 5k Race called Cupid’s Chase. I was really anxious about this race. I have been training really hard this year and have seen a lot of growth. I didn’t quite realize how far I have come until this weekend.

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Valentine’s Day was very cold and windy! With the windchill, the starting temperature was in the teens! I was also running along a river, so that made for some extra wind, which was lovely. (It was great that they put hand warmers in the race swag bag!)

Anyways, last year around this time I had a PR in the 5k. It was 27:53, and I was very happy with this. Well…at the Cupid’s Chase 5k my time was 22:40! That is an average pace of 7:13. That is more than a minute faster per mile!!! All those speed workouts really worked! Even with the wind!

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If the PR was not enough, I won first place female! I got an awesome trophy, 2 Vera Bradley bags, and a gift certificate to the local running store. I could really get used to this winning thing! It was such an amazing experience to have people congratulating me!

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This was the perfect Valentine’s Day present. I think it really demonstrates the value of loving and taking care of yourself. Whenever I start to feel burnout or tired, I will look at this trophy. I have come a long way and can’t wait to see how far I can go next!

How was your Valentine’s Day?

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Ugly Sweater Run

This week I was just easing back into running, so it was perfect for the most laid back race on the planet… The Ugly Sweater Run!

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You basically wear ridiculous Christmas clothes, drink hot chocolate, and sort of run 2.6 miles. (Yes, it didn’t even end up being the full three miles!) Sometimes it is nice to just mess around with running and not worry about anything but having a good time with your friends.

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We were a little disappointed with the cut backs from last year. There was not much fake snow, I only saw one pile, and there was not hot chocolate at the water stations this year. There was only hot chocolate at the end. Last year we got two beers, and this year we only got one. Oh well, it was still fun! The people you are with is what really makes it fun, anyways.

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There were fun decorations along the course. You can’t really tell, but that is an inflatable reindeer behind us. The best part though, is the other people’s costumes.

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I think this woman really loves cats….

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These guys had a really hard time running in the gnome/elf costumes. We actually saw one fall off the edge of the sidewalk and roll into the leaves right after this picture was taken.

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Running in a full suit is impressive!

Next year, we are thinking about just organizing our own low key unofficial Ugly Sweater Run. We can make hot chocolate, and we might even rent a snow machine. Then, we won’t even have to drive into Philly!

Do you have any fun Christmas runs?

My Dad Ran His First 5k!

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Happy Memorial Day weekend! I am backtracking a little to last weekend to share about my dad’s first ever 5k! He has been doing the Couch to 5k Program, and I promised him that we would do a 5k together when he finished. For his first race, he did great! He finished in 32:10. I ran with him the whole time, which was a great experience. He came in 4th for his age group! He is already plotting how he is going to get into the top three in his next race. I think he is hooked!

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For his first race, I wanted to pick one that would be really fun, so he would enjoy himself and be motivated to keep racing. I chose a race from the Run the Vineyards series. We ran around a vineyard in Pennsylvania and then enjoyed ourselves at the onsite wine festival.

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The scenery was beautiful, and we got to run right through the vineyards. The only problem was that running on grass is more challenging. I think my dad would have had an easier time running on the road. Part of the race was on a trail, though, which was much better.

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Look at him go! He is in the neon yellow shirt!

After the race, we got a nice wine glass. We needed a glass because each finisher received six tickets for the wine festival. You could use those tickets for small tastings or towards a whole glass. My dad and I did a little of both. (My favorite was the Merlot.)

0518141001The only problem was the lines for the tastings. Many people just got a full glass so they didn’t have to keep getting back in line.

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Overall, it was a great race and a wonderful experience. I am glad that I have converted my dad to running. He is already talking about the Turkey Trot when I come home for Thanksgiving! It was also nice to not think about PR’s or anything like that. I was just there to help support my dad.

Have you helped anyone else pick up running?

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Another 5k!

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It may not be Spring quite yet, but it is already the season of the 5k! It seems like there is another 5k everywhere I turn! Today I did a race that is very popular in my neck of the words. It brings out some very fast runners. It is put on by three of the local running companies. (that are actually all part of one larger organization)

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The medal each year is always a bottle opener. The ribbon is velcro to make it easy to use. You can clearly see by the words on the ribbon that North and South Jersey don’t always play nice. If you don’t want to use the bottle opener to open your own beer, there is a huge after party the night of the race. You get a wristband when you show your medal/race bib, and then your drinks are free the entire night! The running stores foot the bill.

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Before the race started, we got our picture taken with Cecily Tynan, one of the meteorologists on a local Philadelphia news station. She is a very speedy lady!

As far as my race, I gave it my best and am pleased with my time. It was about 20 seconds slower than my 5k two weeks ago, which was a little disappointing, but such is life. I think I worked it up a little bit too much in my mind and stressed myself out. Something to work for next time at least!

Do you have any spring races coming up? Do you ever psyche yourself out before a race?

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The First Time I Actually Raced

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I ran a 5k this weekend. It was originally scheduled for the middle of December, but the snow had other plans.  Due to all the rescheduling and the fact that it was a low key event, not a ton of people participated.  (approximately 400) Despite that, it was a very BIG race for me. This was the first time that I actually planned on “racing.” Usually, I just go at a reasonable pace for myself and enjoy the atmosphere of the race.

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Note the creepy Santa

I ran the entire 5k in 27:40, which was my best time ever. I came in 5th for my age group and 17th overall. (I told you, small race!) Regardless, I am really proud of my PR. I think it helped that I ran with a friend from work who was way faster than she let on! I kept my eye on her the whole race!

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I really had my eye on this shoe with wings trophy…maybe next time! You know you would love to have that thing on your mantle. It was still a major win in my books. I have been focusing mostly on distance and actually haven’t ran a 5k in years! Sometimes it is fun to switch it up and focus on speed. I still think I prefer going long to going fast, though.

With this race, I learned a couple of things for my next 5k:

1. Don’t get too excited and go too strong at the beginning. (I went 8:30 the first mile, but slowed down to 9:00ish the next 2 miles. Not to mention that the first mile was mostly uphill…)

2. Start closer to the front than you think. (I actually learned this awhile back, but have always been to nervous to go up front. I think I actually placed myself appropriately close to the front this time. Dodging around walkers is the worst!)

3. Occasionally pick low key local races. Sometimes it is fun to have a boost in morale when you don’t normally place near the top!

Do you ever actually “race” at events? 

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