Racecation NYC style at the Mini 10k

Going to New York has been on my list for quite some time. I always thought it would be a weekend girls trip but hubby mentioned to make it a week long family vacation and do some sightseeing. Which NYC race would I chose? I decided that it would need to be during the summer so my daughter could come and since I have always wanted to run in Central Park I set my sights on the  NYRR Mini 10k.  This is an all women race and 2016 would be the 45th year with 8,833 running (a record if I am not mistaken). I took a look at the landmarks on the race map and got even more excited ( Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tavern on the Green,  American Museum of Natural History, Central Park Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral ).  I decided to make the race the beginning part of the trip instead of the end and that was a smart move for my legs with all the walking we would do around New York. We flew in on Thursday and I easily got my race packet at the annex which wasn’t far from the hotel.

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Got my race bib,  YAY!!!!!

We decided to stay in the Hell’s Kitchen area of NYC at the Washington Jefferson which was just a short walk to Times Square, the race start at Columbus Circle and a short subway ride to the majority of the sightseeing during the trip. This worked out quite well.

Race morning on Saturday came quickly and so did the temperatures. Race start at 8am was 62 degrees but would quickly rise to 73 but I didn’t mind because I was finally going to run in Central Park!  I was ready, phone in hand ready to take pictures along the way to document the experience, though it would forever be in my memories. To make it even more special a social media friend I have had for years “Angie” agreed to meet me in real life and run the race by my side and show me the sights along the course. She met up with my daughter and I right before it was time to get in our corals for the wave start.

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Selfie at the Race Start

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Over 8000 ladies!

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Almost our turn for a little run in the park!

 

The race sights along the route did not disappoint. I even got to see the life-sized bronze statue of Fred Lebow (runner, race director, and founder of the NYC Marathon) .  You have to watch carefully for random decor on the statue. Today would be the same flowers that would be given to the ladies at the end of the race.

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As our 10 kilometers were nearing the end I texted hubby so he would be ready to take an epic picture of Angie and I at the Finish. We collected our race medals, carnation and pink bagel (yes, they were dyed pink!). Angie had plans right after the race so we said our goodbyes and I promised to return the favor if she ever decides to come to New Orleans for a racecation 🙂

 

Here are a few tips to ease your racecation planning alongside a family vacation:

  • Pack your gear separately in your luggage: I packed my running clothes with a short checklist in a seperate 2 gallon Ziploc so on race morning I could easily pull everything out. I also packed shorts & capris since I was unsure what the temperatures would be for race morning. Don’t forget the body glide & Biofreeze!
  • Charge up your running watch ahead of time and music if you decide to use any.
  • Wear your running shoes on your travel day since they are more bulky in your luggage.
  • Hydrate -Hydrate-Hydrate before race morning. This will help your energy level after the race so you can do some sightseeing.
  • Pack your portable stick/roller. Your legs will thank you!
  • Enjoy!!! This is what you came for. Just go with it and don’t worry about a PR.

 

Thank you New York for the memories!!!!

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Run like Phoebe

Words have escaped me as of late. Life gets hectic, chaotic and downright stressful so yes I have been a bit neglectful on my blog please forgive me. I do think about the rambles of words and subjects to throw on my blog but I don’t write just to have content. It has to mean something to me. I do admit I have scaled back my races this Spring/Summer due to my teenage daughter Sophomore year coming to an end and Junior year will be even more demanding. An involved parent has to put things on the backburner occasionally and not feel guilty doing so. Thankfully I have not completely neglected my fitness in the process. I have been spending more time in Bootcamp style classes at the gym instead of the road which has given me time to work on my core and meet new people. Reading blogs like Modern Mommy Madness  and Scary Mommy  has put some hearty laughter in my day which is much needed to not take things so seriously. I do have an event I am looking forward too in a couple weeks. My husband, daughter and I are scratching an item off of my bucket list. We will be traveling to New York for our first time. We will be doing the tourist thing and I finally get to run in Central Park!! Even better I get to participate in the New York Mini 10k! To sweeten the pot I get to finally meet Angela  my Yankee friend in person who I have chatted with on Social Media for years! I have been promising to visit the big apple and she has agreed to run with me and show me the sights during the race, so expect a picture recap on that one for sure! My daughter will be doing the #Mini10k as well (walk/jogging). We will be wearing matching Nike tanks (twinsies as she puts it) So it looks like NYC will be my runcation for the year which I am thankful to make more memories.

I cant wait to run like Phoebe! 🙂

 

 

What holds us back?

  • Time?
  • Fear?
  • Lack of Motivation?

From time to time we all have goals that pop up and wonder in the back of our minds and ask the question:  “Can I do that?” Whether it is to register for a lottery marathon in the fear we would actually get picked, to participate in a triathlon even if you don’t own a bike or swim very well. I have done these things and STILL fear creeps in when something strikes my interest.  I ask myself  “Can I afford this?” “Do I have the time to commit?” We always question ourselves and that is ok just make sure it is for the right reasons. It is one thing to ask if we can balance our lives with family and work or if we can actually afford the travel costs to commit but to not do something just for self-doubt is something else.

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Making a plan is the first step. How much time will it take? Write out a schedule and put it where you can see it visibly. Have a second calendar to keep one for home and at work. Write out a budget on costs and see where you can cut back in other areas if needed. Save money each week if necessary by eating out less or foregoing the fancy coffee. You have to think about the bigger goal and lastly VISUALIZE! Visualize the Finish Line and the sense of accomplishment. It will take sacrifice but isn’t it worth it?

You may stumble, you may fall but the key is to get back up and keep going!

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Half Crazy in BAMA

If you read my last blog post you may have caught that I was heading to Alabama to finish out the series finally for Gulf Coast Half . Back in 2011 when I started running I ran the Mandeville Half and again in 2014. In 2013 I did Pensacola and FINALLY it was time for BAMA!

  • 2011 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:06:01 (Great Flat Course held in October)
  • 2014 Mandeville,LA Half time 2:07:41- Blog Race Recap
  • 2013 Pensacola,FL  Half time 2:10:08 – Blog Race Recap (held in April-Warm but great after party)
  • 2015 Gulf Shores,AL Half time 2:14:36 ( Flat course minus the bridge at the Start & Finish)

I took my own advice and packed ahead of time for this roadtrip to Alabama. I was looking forward to it considering this was actually my FIRST time to Gulf Shores. Fortunately my buddy Francine knew her way around and it was very easy to get around. On the way we stopped at Lambert’s for lunch. We split a grilled chicken salad which ended up being ginormous and filled up on rolls and pass arounds. Well worth the stop. A fun, family oriented restaurant perfect for those road tripping.
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After lunch we shopped at the nearby Tanger shopping outlet. We only went to a handful of stores but came out with bags at every one which says a lot because I am not much of a shopper. Today was a beautiful, sunny day with a high of 60 so we were definitely enjoying ourselves, even got some new sunglasses!

Time to head to packet pickup at LuLu’s which went very quickly to get our bib and shirt. We still had some time to spare so we went to their bar area and got a mudslide while scoping out the dinner menu before heading to the hotel for check in.

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Around 6pm we headed back to Lulu’s for some pre-race dinner grub. Afterwards we went to The Hangout since I had never been there before. Great fun laid back atmosphere.  A highlight of mine here was the “Wish Wall”. We each put in our request for a great race the next day before heading back to the hotel for the night.

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We always lay out our race gear the night before to reduce anxiety on race morning. We set our alarms for a 4:45am wake up since we wanted to get to LuLu’s to park by 6am. The race would start at 7am and we could always stay in the car before heading to the Start of the race since it was close. This would give us plenty of prep time! (Not our first rodeo lol!)

Finally it was race morning. 54 degrees, 8mph winds and FOOOOOGGGGGGYYY.

There was a drizzly, wet mist in the air and I was wishing I had not forgot my visor in the room. Grrrrrrrrrr. Both Francine and I thought the fog would burn off but we would soon find out that this unfortunately would not be the case.

Nonetheless Pre-Race picture time!!!

I  had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still tell the white fog in the background?

I had to brighten up the picture a bit. Can you still see the white fog in the background?

There was 378 runners for this 10k/Half race.  (328 for the Half & 50 for the 10k) The smallest of the three location series since most have to drive in for it per the race director Mike Wattigny. No matter the size there was ample water/Gatorade stations at nearly every mile and the course was very well marked. I had no hesitation moving past the 10k turnaround to the Half. I was ready to claim Half #18 today even though I was still cussing the Intracoastal bridge that I would have to go back over later at the Finish. The roads were very slick today and I could barely see out of my sunglasses the majority of the race. I just knew by how wet my hair was I was going to look like a drowned rat in my free race finisher picture. Getting close to the finish I had depleted all my GU and looked at my watch. I quickly did the math and knew it would not be a PR day but that’s ok I would still be Finishing Strong which is always Goal #1!

Crossing the finish with a sigh of relief I spotted Francine. She had finished a minute before me. I gave her the biggest hug and we headed to the car to freshen up before getting some post race food at LuLu’s and take our traditional “after” race pic with our bling. There was lots of food choices after the race including bagels, fruit, cookies, seafood rice, jambalaya plus complimentary beer, coke and water for the runners to wash it down with. We ate lightly since we knew we were wanting to grab a burger later after we got cleaned up at the hotel.

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!!

Alabama CLAIMED!!!!!! We were SO ready to go get cleaned up and changed!

and they call this the “LITTLE CHEESEBURGER”?!!! Plenty for me!

Enjoyed every bite!

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As as I said before the journey is part of the experience and once again this road trip did not disappoint 🙂

Until next time!

 

Tips For Your Roadtrip Race Weekend

Last weekend I had a blast at the Mardi Gras 10k and this weekend its off to to Gulf Shores Alabama for Half #17. Good times are in store for this 4th Annual Gulf Coast Half.

Race Details:

– Beautiful course
– Great support
– Awesome finishers medal
– Spectacular views
– Nearly world famous post race party at Lulu’s

Starting at Lulu’s runners will loop underneath then cross over the intracoastal bridge to begin their 13.1 miles. Exploring the many coastal neighborhoods that make Lower Alabama great runners will then enter Gulf State Park for a loop around Lake Shelby briefly popping out onto Perdido Beach Blvd for a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico. Finishing the loop around Lake Shelby runners will trace back part of the course to return to the north side of the Intracoastal Canal before turning for home and the nearly World Famous Post Race Party hosted at Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s!

I have run the Pensacola, FL series once and Mandeville, LA twice so its FINALLY time for me to finish the three location series with ALABAMA!! I have not had a long run since my January races so I am a little bit nervous. I am hoping I don’t crash and burn by mile 9. This week the weather hasn’t been that good so my mileage has been low but I have been stretching, lifting weights and my nutrition is getting better as I am recovering from King Cake overload from Mardi Gras.

The drive to Alabama is only about 3 hours away but I am looking forward to the short overnight trip and hoping to at least walk on the beach for some relaxation time. In preparing to leave Saturday morning I thought I would share some tips for those with a racecation roadtrip weekend coming up.

  • Pack ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute. Make a list and check it twice. I even pack my list so when I am leaving I remember everything I brought. This also helps on race morning so I remember everything I need and nothing gets left behind at the hotel.
  • It is ok to over pack if your unsure about the weather. Bring a throwaway sweatshirt or mylar blanket if you think it will be a chilly morning. Remember the 10 degree rule you always warm up after Mile 1 so disposable layers are key.
  • Put in all of your addresses (expo,restaurants,hotel) ahead of time in your Garmin so you are not scrambling for time and can plan.
  • Charge your music, phone and watch ahead of time. Test everything before leaving.
  • Bring your own snacks, drinks, breakfast and race day energy supplies such as GU. Your stomach may not like surprises.
  • Clean up your house and pay bills before leaving. Last thing you want to do when you get home is chores. You will want to stretch and rest because more than likely you have to work the next day.
  • If you know of somewhere fun to stop on the way to your destination DO IT! Trust me you won’t feel like it on the way home after the race. I remember one of my favorite stops with friends on the way to the Pensacola race was “World Of Beers”. Memories with friends is part of the experience.
  • On your drive home from the race weekend stop every hour to stretch and wear comfortable clothes. Even compression socks on your legs will be helpful.

You want the least possible headaches for your race weekend away to give you the best possible race day results. Remember the journey is part of the experience 🙂

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Runner Moments

This morning I posted a picture on social media. One that took over a day to choose pictures for. I don’t participate in “Throwback Thursday” very often but I felt the urge today. I wanted to post a collage of “Runner Moments” for #TBT. As I scrolled through my phone and my Facebook albums I noticed I had countless to choose from. I have been very lucky since starting my Runner Journey in 2011 and I don’t take one moment or experience for granted. Thank you for those that I have met along the way.

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I am very thankful for the memories and friendships made through running. It definetly gives back more than I ever expected. It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege. Keep it fun!

Lessons from the road

Race day may not always going go as planned there are so many variables:

  • Weather may be too hot or too cold, rain, humidity
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Stomach distress, nutrition, hydration
  • Sleep, fatigue, overall energy level

What went Right during my recent back to back races:

  • Good attitude going in. Goal #1 to Finish and to Enjoy the Experience
  • I foam rolled and stretched daily
  • I ate good the night before and morning of the race
  • I packed and prepared ahead of time so no last minute frenzy

What went Wrong:

  • I need better nutrition two weeks before my race at least. I need to go back to my brown rice, spinach and tuna regimen. Lay off the junk food and go back to my food journal.
  • I did not take my daily vitamins like I should have, I did take EmergenC daily but need to get back to my vitamins.
  • I did not hydrate as much as I should have. Need to start a week before not two days before.
  • I didn’t get enough sleep. I felt this after the second race weekend. It took me 3 days to catch up on my rest
  • Back to back weekends are not for me especially with my schedule.
  • I did not stretch after the race. Once again I got caught up with the after race festivities.

Did you notice my “What went Wrong” list is longer than the “ What went Right” ?. Well that’s part of running. Did I enjoy the experience? YES! Would I do it all over again? Absolutely!

I am currently struggling with Shin Splints and off running for the next week, implementing R.I.C.E. (short for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation)

I found some good daily stretching techniques to add to my routine and help with recovery: Stretches for Runners via Cool Running

My next race isn’t until the end of February so it is the perfect time to recover and refocus.
# KeepPushingForward

 kara

“We all have had injuries and disappointments. It is a part of running. It can bring us down and at times be overwhelming when we see how far we have to go. But I encourage you all to take your time, stay inspired and focused. Instead of stressing about how far behind we are, we need to focus on the progress we are making and continue to make.”

-Kara Goucher, two-time U.S. Olympian