Friday, November 22, 2013

5 Things Friday- Southern Lights 5k

1. Last night the hubs Gerard and I headed over to the Southern Lights Stroll 5k in lovely Lexington, KY at the Kentucky Horse Park. This is a nice race that "strolls" through Christmas lights! Nice but I don't like not being able to see the road to run on. Usually it is freezing cold and rainy but this year it was 60° and it brought out the crowd the most I've ever seen there is around 400 this year there was around 1000+!! And I hate to sound rude but there was several inexperienced 5ker's there last night!

2. Mile 1- Last thing I told Gerard when we left the house "All I'm asking of you is to help get me 3 8:40 miles, I need help pushing myself like that and that's all I'm asking?!" He laughed and said "Ok I'll try!"  Ugghh that start was awful and so unorganized I stepped on so many toes and cut between several, it caused us to be really fast but I was still able to hang in right beside or behind depending on space.
Mile 1 - 8:27

3. Mile 2- Finally through the worst part of the crowd. I was still close to Gerard but was slowly starting to fall behind. I was feeling pretty good but beginning to feel over heated I way over dressed didn't expect 60°!
Mile 2 - 8:24

4. Mile 3- It was dark I knew Gerard wasn't too far ahead of me but I couldn't see him! I kept pushing on even though I was starting to feel like I was struggling. Along the way there was two water stops and they was passing out bottles of water~ such a waste as I saw so many people take a sip and toss them hopefully since its the horse park and there is horses on sight they gathered them up and gave the horses a drink! But some young boys that were walking as I passed them decided to sling their bottle cap my way and hit my nose as it flew across my face! They thought it was hilarious me not so much.... I had to walk about 10 steps as my neck started hurting and I kinda panicked had to get control of myself again.
Mile 3 - 8:38

5. There was such a crowd that the staff wasn't ready  you had to wait in line to turn your bib in for timing. The longer I stood there I felt like I was going to puke! Tried to just take some breaths and calm down then I looked up and saw Gerard! He had only finished 30 seconds before me! I ran my fastest 5k of the year last night! I was on cloud 9 only to find out they was doing awards by 10 year age groups! WHAT?? Even with no age group medal I am still thrilled and proud of my efforts and I did better than 8:40 miles!!
Finish Time- 25:58  

Gerard ran his fastest as well

Sherry got a PR as well!! Whoo Hoo:)

Have a Great Weekend :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Three Things Thursday- Its Been a While

Three Things Thursday is one of things I've missed most about regular blogging!

* It's getting that time of year again.....Holiday Shopping & Wish List Time!! I can not believe it is that time of year again already, I am no where near being ready or prepared to buy any Christmas gifts let alone put up a tree! However I am ready to start posting my annual "Great Gift Ideas & Holiday Gift Guide" !! Be on the look out for some great gift ideas and giveaways coming in the next few weeks:)

*It is also time Zaneta's 4th Annual Christmas Card Swap! 

If you haven't participated in this before you totally should! It is an awesome way to connect with and meet new bloggers. And who doesn't enjoy getting Christmas Cards in the mail! But don't wait too long you need to sign up by December 5 to join in on the FUN!!

*Its also time to start thinking about 2014 gosh where does time go??!! Here is something new that my lovely MOM has found for me to participate in.

Jill from Fitness, Health & Happiness is helping encourage all of us to stay active during 2014! This is actually an easy one for me considering I'm finishing up 2013 completing about 43 races (I think I might be a race addict:)! Be sure to head on over and check it out!

DO YOU DO BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING??  I can't wait to go myself!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Louisville Sports Commission Half- Did I do That?!!

I wish I would have wrote this post as I planned just as soon as the race was over and I got home, but it hasn't happened like that and that's ok! And I've been waiting on my fabulous professional photographer MOM to post some pictures for me to steal which at this moment she still hasn't! But ANYWAY.......
**(I finally got some pictures:)**

Sunday, November 10 Gerard & I and a few friends of course headed up to run the Louisville Sports Commission Half.

Jennifer, Sherry P, Jenna, Ricky, Me & Gerard
Aren't we a lovely bunch?!
 This is a new half for me and the 3rd year that its been around. The first two years I already had other things scheduled, this year as a Ky Derby Minimarathon participant they offered a special low price so I jumped on board and signed up early for this. As I have stated I really planned on training for at least one of these four fall half's that I had signed up for and umm well yep that didn't happen like I wanted either and that's ok! Going into these races without time goals has actually felt pretty good this year much less pressure but at the same time I have felt feelings of letting myself down. We arrived really early which I would rather do to have enough time to find parking and  bathroom breaks & such, we were lucky enough to park right beside the starting line and the finish line was only 3 blocks down the road~SWEET! While we stood around waiting to begin we discussed what every one's goal was, we was wanting to try to all stay together but Jenna was really wanting this to be her "it" race of the year, Sherry P was sick with a head cold, Gerard & I were all about whatever, Jennifer wanted around 2:10 and Ricky is really training for his first marathon so it was a long run for him!
He can be so silly, that's me behind smiling!
Miles 1 - 4     9:20, 8:48, 8:41, 8:25
Although there was only (ha yea only) 2300 runners it was crowded at the start, Ricky already said no one worry about the first mile it will be slow trying to get through the crowd, we was surprised that we made it through in 9:20! Jenna started pulling away from us a little and I jokingly said "She's probably at mile 3 already, LOL!" She turned around and said "I can hear you I'm right here!" Everyone was chatty for the first couple of miles, I tried to stay focused and just listen so I didn't wear myself down.  Louisville is fairly flat for any race I've ever run there but this one went through a park and cemetery that each had a couple of decent hills. About mile 3 we entered Cherokee Park, this was the only part of the course that I really didn't like, it was a narrow walking type path that lead us into the park and it was a little too early in the race as it was still crowded. Around 3½ the first hill started it wasn't terrible but for me running in the 8:40's for a few miles already I struggled a little, towards the top of the hill I saw a water stop I decided to go ahead and walk the 10 steps to it grab a drink then pick it up again. I was in shock when my watch showed an 8:25 for mile 4!
Show off LOL! I Love 'em that way though!
Miles 5 - 8     9:20, 8:56, 9:16, 9:24
By mile 5 we had all split away from each other, Gerard & Jenna was in the lead I could still see them but they was close to a half mile away, I thought and figured Ricky was close behind me and wasn't too sure where Sherry P & Jennifer was. I was still feeling pretty good and actually running pretty well, I wasn't sure how well as I do not like to look at my watch too often if I'm doing really well it tends to send me into panic mode and I fall to pieces. I don't really remember when the next hill started but it was it was between 8 - 9, it wasn't as bad. Yes I know you should get water often during these things but I always go on how I feel when I approach the water stops, I went past the one around mile 8½ looking down still trying to stay focused when I heard "Bobbie!" I looked over it was Gerard :) he & Jenna had stopped for a potty break but I just kept on going I thought about stopping with them but I knew they would catch up. Sure enough I had to take about another 10 steps to get to the top of the hill and they passed me! So off I went again just trying to keep them in my sights I knew I was doing good if I could see them!

The look of determination!
Miles 9 - 12      9:13, 9:14, 9:47, 9:52
Mom had asked someone about the course so she could find places to get pics so she told me the second time I see her will be about mile 9, since I haven't properly trained for anything this year at every half I've ran this year mile 8 is where I start falling apart I just kept telling myself hang in there I should be seeing Mom soon. Except that I'm trying to remain focused and looking down, she had to yell at me to get my attention or I would have never seen her thankfully it was more like mile 10 cause I was starting to go downhill. Then at mile 11 my right calf no longer liked me anymore and wasn't happy at all! And I can't really explain how it was feeling, like I've never felt before pain and not really a cramp but maybe something in between. Every time my heel would strike the ground the pain would shoot through my calf so I started staying up on my toes  until that became uncomfortable. I still don't think I had looked at my time yet but I knew that 1:59 finish was slipping away from me I could no longer see Gerard & Jenna or the 2hr pace group and it was showing in my lap paces.
For me too the look of determination!
Miles 13 - .14      10:13, 1:11
Oh goodness that last mile was the longest mile EVER!! I thought it would never end! I would run a little walk a little and this man kept telling me "Come on we are almost there" and I would run a little again. Finally I could see the finish line and I gave it all I had...................I finished in 2:01:44!! I was almost in shock that I did so well! For a brief moment I was mad/sad at myself for not trying harder to get that 1:59 but then I reminded myself of the pain I was in and the fact that I hadn't trained for a 1:59 let alone a 2:01! That's not a PR for me but its my PR for this year and I will take it!! That wonderful silly husband of my finished in 1:58:21!! His first under 2hr half and 4th one ever!

I really enjoyed this race, enjoyed the course and hope that it will fit for my schedule next year!

Jenna & Jennifer
Besides my mom & I (LOL) these two are the sweetest mother/daughter!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Half Marathon Trail Run- Me a Trail Runner??

Saturday, November 2 I completed the hardest half marathon or hardest anything I've EVER done in my life! I have only ran one trail race and it was only a 4k and I really despise the cross country race that is on the local series that I do. So the question was and is WHAT AM I THINKING?!??!!

 They had a Pre race pasta dinner that was included in your registration. It was a great dinner it was a baked ziti type pasta and they offered both a meat sauce or veggie sauce, salad and blackberry cobbler! (Although I'm not a fan of blackberry) Being the awesome blogger that I am I should have taken some pictures~DUH!! They also had course review where they went over the course mile by mile for that reason alone I was so happy I went!

The weather couldn't have been any more perfect it was 48* when I got out of my car the sun was coming up and there was still 30+ minutes until start time! I showed up not nervous at all and not really caring about any certain time goal just to go out finish it and hopefully have some fun! Only a few of us regular friends/runners decided to give this thing a try, we talked about what kind of pace we thought we would "try" for and was pretty happy settling on 9:55 feeling fully confident we could do it! This was the first time for this race and there was only a 134 pre registered but only 100 showed up!

The Beginning-
When we first took off we was on a gravel path for a little over a quarter of a mile before we hit the grassy path. The first mile wasn't too bad at all, we decided to take it as easy as possible on the first half and if we still had it in us we would pick it up towards the end except that our first mile was 8:54! Yea its time to slow down for sure!! About a 1½ mile the first creek/puddle crossing hit with almost no way to get around it!

I knew we would be getting our feet wet but I didn't expect it this early on! At the start of the second mile was the first pretty good size hill and I was already ready to walk~geez! We trucked on and made it to the first water stop Jenna & Kelli was ahead of David & I but they was nice enough to wait for us.

We stood around and drank our water then up the hill we went
Except for Kelli not being in the pic I really like this photo!
 As we were going up the hill to mile 3 we was talking joking saying that we should just tell everyone we did a tough mudder as we felt it was probably comparable and that we should put mud all over us to kinda freak my mom out since we would probably be the only ones showing up with mud all over us at the end~LOL! Then there I went......DOWN that is! I tripped over a tree root that was covered in leaves so I didn't see it! We all laughed hysterically so much so that I kinda tinkled a little on myself ~oops that was maybe a little too much info!! Anyway David helped me up brushed me off I looked myself over and off we went!

Miles 4 -5 were just as tough as the first 3 and a few more puddles & mud! Even in the grassy areas there was spots with that thick mud that pulls you down and almost pulls your shoes off! Again WHAT AM I THINKING?!??!! Around mile 4 we caught up with someone we knew and has ran trails before, he was giving us tips and pointers and helping us make sure we stayed on the right track thank goodness. At mile 5 we broke up into 2 & 2 and David & I thought the other two took a wrong turn tried to yell for them and asked the water stop lady if she saw them.

The Middle-
I couldn't remember exactly where they said the worst hill was at the informational meeting but I did remember hearing there was lots of down hills in between 6 -8. Those miles were easier but not much, we came across a couple of people on horses I asked if they was willing to ride us towards the end and not tell anyone although I was joking I think I might have just done it (NOT REALLY:). Then it appeared the worst hill in the entire thing. I think it went up (&up & up & up) for at least an entire mile that darn hill was so stinking steep I was almost to the point of crawling up it. They did say at the meeting that starting around mile 9 your GPS watches would be off by about .3 however it was off from the start and by the time we hit mile 9 by the signs our Garmins were off by over a half mile, I kept saying I really think its only going to be 12 miles instead of 13 but I am NOT complaining AT ALL! Miles 9 - 10 were along the single file trail I really liked that part even though it was the worst for footing, thick mud that mad me slip on the big rocks and I almost rolled off the side down the cliff.

This is Jenna on the trail
The gentleman at the water stop for mile 10 was really nice, he said we could throw our cups down stack them up do whatever we wanted or we could stick around and talk with him a little! I said I will take you up on that one, so we drank a few cups of water & Gatorade talked for a few minutes and off we went!

The End-
Oh the last two miles were so hard both mentally and physically. I told David I really wasn't sure I could run anymore, he a agreed but we was so ready to just be done that we decided to try running for 2 minutes and walking for one that helped so much mentally! Then we hit a really nice downhill with a flat stretch after which allowed us to run longer than only two minutes. The last mile was on gravel small gravel that makes you feel like your going no where fast! We walked most of it until we could see the end of it and the final home stretch! We could hear Rhonda (David's wife) yelling so I asked him "How far does her voice travel? Because however far that is that's how much more we have to go!" I was so worn out I really could have walked through the finish. David and I finished in 2:30:52 and I was right it ended up being 12.20 miles but I am not complaining!

That is by far the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life let alone my running career, I really think it was harder than the Flying Pig Marathon which was my first. Usually I am one of the last ones to leave, this day I was GONE! I was ready to go home and hit the bath tub and relax. And usually I'm not very hungry after long runs but I was starving! When I woke up the next day I felt like I had been run over by a dump truck. There wasn't too many parts or places that didn't hurt and places that hurt that's never hurt before. Then I text everyone to see how they was, sorry for there luck but thankfully they felt like me LOL! HOWEVER we all agreed on how much fun we had and how anxious we was to do it again next year! Yeah we are crazy runners like that:)

They had a really nice New Balance shirt! I loved it and the color! (great blogger again haven't taken a photo of it yet~DUH!!)
The pasta dinner being included was really nice!
The grounds were beautiful! 

The medal wasn't the best and can be improved on a LOT!
Lower the cost of adding additional people to join the pasta dinner, it was very good but probably not $25 worth!
Can you cut out some of those HILLS?? LOL

I'm still waiting on my wonderful Mom who is the The Picture Lady to get me photos but thanks to Kelli she took all the photos in this post along the course. Thanks for sharing Kelli!! Wish I would have taken some of you too!! Hopefully I'll have more tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday:)

Me & Kelli

Mom & I