race report: publix savannah women’s half marathon weekend part ii {4.7 – 4.9.2017}

This is a sponsored post. I am an ambassador for Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5K. Due to that relationship, I receive a complimentary race registration, as well as other sponsor amenities in exchange for my honest reviews and promotion of the event and affiliated sponsors. All opinions are my own.

I left you at the finish line of the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, reveling in our accomplishment and in our pretty fantastic pro pictures.

But now it was time for the rest of the fun!

Saturday – Post Race Party

We collected our medals and worked our way through the finisher’s chute, stopping for a photo and grabbing our reusable Publix grocery bag, filled with water, a banana and a pack of (the most delicious) blueberry mini muffins.

Continuing through the park, we passed the main stage and went to the adult beverages! Each runner was entitled to two beers or mimosas (or one of each, if you were so inclined).

I was delighted to take advantage.

We listened to the local headliner band, Tell Scarlet, rocking out on stage, and it was nice to see people camped out on the grass, enjoying the tunes and the glorious morning.

We did it!

Quite frankly, I could have hung out there all day. But, we were tired and sweaty, and ready to brunch.

The Ordinary Pub post-race has become a bit of a tradition, and I was happy to order a cocktail

and their interpretation of Chicken and Waffles. Again. I just can’t resist. And I got the very last order. Whew.

After our recovery meal, we shopped a bit and then gleefully headed to Leopold’s for ice cream cones. Leopold’s is absolutely amazing and not to be missed. Ever. Meghan and I had (and adored) the Thin Mints Cookies and Cream. Amy got a Lavender flavor. We were all very happy with our choices.

By this point in the afternoon, we were pretty tired and agreed to take a quick nap before going out for the evening.

The plan? Drinks at the rooftop bar at Rocks on the Roof,

with the most incredible view.

And then dinner. I had really wanted to go to The Olde Pink House as a celebratory meal, but there were no available reservations. Meghan called and they were on a rather short wait, so we walked that way, only to find three open seats at the downstairs bar. Winning!

We had more drinks and split three delicious appetizers: cornmeal dipped oysters with green goddess sauce, a local cheese board and fried green tomatoes.

Of course, after the long race and an even longer day of walking the city, we weren’t game for much more. I think we all fell asleep the minute our heads hit the pillows.

Sunday – Yoga On the Square

All good things must come to an end, and we were sad to wake up to our last day in Savannah.

We showered, dressed for yoga, and packed, and then stowed our bags in the car. We planned to go to yoga, get lunch and then collect the car and hit the road.

It was a lovely walk to Ellis Square and we set up our mats on the grass. There was a great turnout.

The practice was quick and challenging, but also just what I needed. Even though I was tired from Saturday’s race, it was wonderful to stretch and breathe deeply and be grateful.

And then it was time to say goodbye.

It was a somewhat sad walk back to the hotel, bidding farewell to Brandi and Amy along the way. Boo.

Meghan and I decided to have one last meal in Savannah, and tried to Public, right across the street from our hotel. It was delicious, and enough to fuel us for the ride home.

Until next year, Savannah!

 

weekly wrap: 4.16 – 4.22.2017

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

Sunday – rest

Hoppy Easter!

Since we had been on the road for the last few days, and my parents were recovering from being ill, we had a very, very quiet Easter. I had cooked everything the night before with the exception of the ham, and we were happy just to enjoy a nice meal together.

The bunny was especially good to little man, bring him a new, 24″ bike with his basket.

He has had quite the growth spurt in the last few months and was in desperate need. He is definitely going to need to get used to the hand brakes and gears, but he is so much more comfortable!

Monday – rest

I think we were all just excited to get back to our regular schedule. With all the craziness and travel, I can’t even remember the last time we did a full grocery shop. Fortunately, we had plenty of leftovers to carry us through the week.

Tuesday – 5 miles running

I was able to meet up with S for four miles and then ran one more when I got home. It felt pretty good, and it’s nice to be back running with a buddy.

Wednesday – 4.5 miles running

Mr PugRunner had to leave town for a conference on Thursday, so I met S for a second run. I hate going back to back and this one was definitely tough.

Thursday – rest

I had the day off work, and spent it finally cleaning and getting to the store. We had tons of laundry and organizing to get down, an edit was the perfect opportunity to do it.

That evening, little man had his Blue & Gold Ceremony or Cub Scouts.

He earned some more patches and badges and moved up to Webelo. There was a celebratory dinner and lots of nice speeches. I was so proud of him, and he’s very excited for next year.

Friday – rest

Friday was incredibly unproductive. I picked up my packet for Ultimate Tri on Sunday, and then sat myself down on the couch and didn’t move.

Mr PugRunner came home that evening, and we were all just happy to spend some time together.

Saturday – rest

Since my parents aren’t going to able to make little man’s birthday celebration next week, they asked to do a beach day so they could surprise him with their gift…

A metal detector!

He LOVES hunting for treasure and has been intrigued by people using these on the sand, so now he can join right in the fun!

We had a little bit of cake,

and then I spent the rest of the afternoon prepping for Sunday’s Ultimate Tri. I had to pack, eat, and get myself to bed for a good night’s sleep. Eek!

 

So, there was a lot going on, but at the same time, not much. I assure you, the next few weeks are going to be a frenetic whirlwind. I have a few 5Ks coming up in May, but nothing more ambitious than that on the running front.

I do plan, however, on upping the mileage on the bike. Mr PugRunner wants to join me, so we are in the market for a bike rack so the whole family can partake.

How was your week in training?

Is there a workout or activity your whole family enjoys?

 

race report: publix savannah women’s half marathon weekend part i {4.7 – 4.9.2017}

This is a sponsored post. I am an ambassador for Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5K. Due to that relationship, I receive a complimentary race registration, as well as other sponsor amenities in exchange for my honest reviews and promotion of the event and affiliated sponsors. All opinions are my own.

Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon Weekend is fast becoming a highlight of my running year. With three days of activities in one of the Southeast’s most beautiful cities, it is a perfect destination race.

Let’s get to it!

Friday – New Balance Fashion Fitness Expo

Meghan and I arrived in Savannah around lunchtime. Our room at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto wasn’t ready yet, but they happily stowed our bags so we could get something to eat.

After a few hours in the car, we  wanted to stretch our legs, so we made the walk to City Market to grab pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go.

We got a text that our room was ready so we returned to the hotel, brought up our suitcases

and hit the New Balance Fashion Fitness Expo.

 

We were able to score our race bibs, runner’s gift,

and some sweet swag from the race sponsors.

We were also able to do some shopping! I have been loving New Balance’s running gear lately, and was excited to score an adorable tank with the race logo on it!

Amy met us at the expo, and we made our dinner plans: Treylor Park!

So it wasn’t the traditional carb-loading dinner, but it was delicious and satisfying and just what we needed.

We had to get to bed because race morning was going to come early! Flat runners were laid out and the alarm got set!

Saturday – Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon

Amy, Meghan and I met in the lobby (and we also met our fellow ambassador Amy) at 6:45 to walk the few blocks to the race start. The weather was glorious! Cool and breezy without much humidity. We were absolutely stoked!

At 7:15, we got a group shot

Anna-Marie, me, Meghan, Amy, Cecilia, Brandi (not pictured: Amy & Andrea)

And then we hurried to get in the bathroom line. With so many women, things were slow-moving, but I was hopeful to be able to go before the race began.

We made it with minutes to spare! The start corral was self-seeded, and we inserted ourselves in the middle of the pack. Cecilia performed a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and we were off!

Here’s a look at the course:

Miles 1 -3

The half marathon and 5K follow the same route through about the 2.5 mile mark. Runners proceed towards the river, and then take a few left turns to head back into the city. There were some cobblestones and some squares to be navigated, but because it wasn’t wet or slick, we were able to maintain a steady pace. Conditions were great, too – I was a little worried about sun because I had forgotten my visor, but my sunglasses were perfect. The 5Kers turned left to head to their finish in Forsyth Park, and I was grateful to be moving on to the miles beyond.

Miles 4 – 6

We followed a long straightaway from downtown to the smaller neighborhoods beyond. Water stops were situated about every 1.5 miles, and were well stocked with cheering volunteers, water and electrolyte drink (red!) and even blasting music. This part of the race was a bit challenging – there were a lot of little out-and-backs, loops and switchbacks on the road. I knew we were heading towards Daffin Park, but I had lost all sense of direction. Fortunately, our little group was enjoying the morning, and the houses and little parks and squares are always fun to look at, so I just figured if we followed the crowd and the arrows, we would be fine.

Miles 7 – 9

These miles brought us into, through and out of Daffin Park, home of the Savannah Bananas Stadium. There were some pretty shaded parts of this area (Meghan and I ran a 5K in this area last year), and of course, the park’s trees and scenery is lovely. Volunteers were handing out gels and there was  medical station on our way to Mile 9. It was time to start heading back!

Miles 10 – 13.1

These last few miles are a wee bit deceiving. After a couple more out-and-backs and turns, runners find themselves back on the long straightaway last seen at Mile 4. However, rather than following that straight back to Forsyth Park and the finish line, the course hooks right, away from the festivities. We could hear the music, and even see the finish line a few blocks away, but we had more work to do before getting there. Boo!

That being said, once we we finally started winding our way back in the direction of the park, we were elated!

I would also love to point out that even though we were towards the back of the middle of the pack, the aid stations were going strong. Plenty of volunteers were still out with cups, the tunes were still blaring, and the drinks were plentiful (I even commented that the Gatorade wasn’t warm or watered down). It was such a morale boost.

Just a few more squares, and then the fountain and finish line were in sight!

Victory was ours!

We were all smiles when we crossed that finish line! And I was beyond thrilled because I had my redemption from last year! I was so glad to be able to take on the full distance, and feel great the whole way!

I was also so grateful to have some wonderful running friends by my side.

Stay tuned for Part II, for the after party and second part of the weekend!

What do you love most about racecation weekends?

 

What’s something that boosts your morale during a race?

weekly wrap: 4.9 – 4.15

Happy Marathon Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

For those readers who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Easter! We had a very quiet day, which was really just what we needed, after a whirlwind week.

And of course, congratulations to everyone who ran Boston today! It was a hot one out there, but I know those 26.2 miles had to be amazing!

Sunday – Yoga on the Square, 6o minutes

Full details of my Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon weekend are coming this week (just waiting on some final pictures), but Sunday morning was designated for a really intense yoga practice. There was a great group of participants assembled in Ellis Square, and I think we all had a really incredible workout.

After lunch, Meghan and I hopped in the car for the drive home. I was sad to leave, but super glad to see the boys and the pugs!

Monday – rest

I was pretty sore after yoga, so I was grateful for a day off from workouts. Plus, it’s always good to recover after a half marathon. I took advantage.

Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running

I was able to meet up with an old friend for a really nice morning run date. We were able to change up the scenery a bit, and I was even able to catch the sunrise over the water when we were finished.

Even better? I earned my gramophone medal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Tracks Virtual Series! Can’t wait to add these pieces of bling to my medal rack!

Little man worked on transition in his triathlon club, and at his next meeting, he will need to have his bike on hand to practice some cycling.

When Mr PugRunner got home from work, I was off to a dinner with some girlfriends. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we are in a phase where this is happening more frequently.

Wednesday – rest

It was the second to last day of standardized testing for little man. Mr PugRunner took him out to breakfast to give him a good start to the day, and we wished him luck.

We skipped out on karate so he could get a good night’s sleep for his final day of testing.

Thursday – 5 miles, running

S bailed on me for our run, so I handled five on my own. The weather was actually nice enough that I was able to go after little man went to school. I am going to miss the cooler mornings and nice breeze.

(And I was able to earn my Boombox medal, too!)

That afternoon was a bit insane. I did some Easter shopping, and then when little man got home from school, it was off to the mall for Easter Bunny pictures, dinner and then another meeting regarding our community’s new school. I was exhausted by the time we got home, but we still needed to pack for a quick road trip. Ugh.

Friday – rest

We were able to leave pretty early in the morning, to go visit some family members. It wasn’t going to be a long trip, so we wanted to get in as many hours as we could.

It was nice to see everyone, and we even managed to squeeze in lunch on the Gulf.

 

Saturday – 4 miles, running

I was hoping to get on the treadmill in the hotel gym, but by the time I rolled downstairs, it was in use. I mapped out a route on the roads, which I shared with Mr PugRunner and made it outside to get in four miles. It wasn’t my favorite run, but it got done.

We had to leave after lunch so we could get home in time to dye eggs (thanks to my parents for hard boiling them in advance and dropping them off at our house), and prep dinner for Sunday.

I didn’t want to have to do much cooking on Easter Sunday, and I was able to throw together a macaroni and cheese, potato salad and pickled beets before I went to bed.

We stayed up late to take care of our Bunny duties, and finally fell into bed around 11:00 PM.

 

It was a fair recovery week. It was good (and smart) to have some downtime, and I’m glad I was able to get in some good runs, even if I missed out on some cross training. I was also reminded of how much I miss yoga and I hope to be back to it soon.

How was your week in training?

How do you recover after a big race?

wine + chocolate + running + smoothies!

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Wine & Chocolate 5K and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

It’s probably fair to say that running is my favorite hobby. I love the physical activity, the health benefits and the sense of community. I love it even more when running takes the guise of a fun night out.

Enter the San Marco Wine and Chocolate Run.

1st Place Sports will be hosting this 5K through the lovely, historic downtown San Marco area on Saturday, April 22 at 4:30 PM. Runners get to enjoy 3.1 miles of gorgeous neighborhoods, and then celebrate their finish in San Marco Square with each participant receiving a customized wine glass. Wine will be flowing and chocolate will be plentiful at the afterparty, and local merchants will be raffling off some awesome prizes.

Register online here until Wednesday, April 19 or visit any 1st Place Sports location to enter in person. You will not be sorry you did.

Of course, since this is a late afternoon race, you’ll want to make sure you have a light but nourishing lunch beforehand.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a great option.

Try the Cha Cha Sriracha Chicken Flatbread: toasted flatbread packed with delicious grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, shredded carrots, house-made roasted pineapple salsa, cilantro, scallions and caramelized pineapple Sriracha sauce.

Pair it with one of Tropical Smoothie Cafes Boosted Smoothies, in refreshing flavors like Acai Berry Boost, Chia Banana Boost with Strawberries or Chia Banana Boost with Peanut Butter.

 

You can even enjoy the Smoothie on its own – it’s definitely filling enough for a pre-race meal!

Grab your best running friends, and prepare to make a complete day of April 22: lunch and running all rolled into one!

Cheers!

race report: ready. set. glow 5k {3.31.2017}

I received free registration to this event for myself and my family in exchange for my promotion of the race. All opinions are my own.

For the second year in a row, three neighborhood schools came together for one of the most fun races around: Ready. Set. Glow 5K!

Due to a prior commitment, I missed out on the fun last year, so I was incredibly excited. In fact, the only negative was the Mr. PugRunner had to go out of town, so we weren’t able to run as a family.

Packet pickup took place on Thursday, the day prior, outside of Willie Jewell’s BBQ. Pre-registered runners got bibs, glow-in-the-dark cotton t-shirts (in youth and adult sizes), and a glow stick. It was quick and easy, plus we were able to grab dinner while we were doing it.

The festivities started on Friday night at 6:00 PM. Participants were advised to arrive early , in order to get parking in the main lot. Overflow parking was also available, but it was a bit of a walk from the start line (as were the portapotties, but it was manageable).

Race day registration was also available, but those who signed up last minute would not receive a shirt. The registration table was hopping all the same.

The staging area was set up with sponsor and vendor booths: there was a DJ, an ice/ice cream truck and Chick-Fil-A sandwiches for sale; other sponsors offered face painting with glow-in-the-dark paint and all kinds of glow gear.

Little man and I brought some of our own glow sticks, but we also took a few extra from the offerings.

I also customized our running shirts with glow-in-the-dark paint. Hey. We’ve got spirit.

At around 7:15 PM, the one mile Fun Run started. We continued to walk around, meet up with friends and hang out until it got a little darker and it was time for the 5K.

The sun started to sink, night fell, and we kind of lost track of time, so we headed over to the start line…

Only to realize that people had already begun to run! Oops! It’s always been a fear of mine to miss the start of a race, so we hurried to catch up and got ourselves in with the other runners!

Little man was sporting his new shoes, which he proclaimed made him extra fast. We had chatted a little about strategy prior to the race, and I thought we decided to take things like Daytona: run for about a half mile or so, until we were out of the initial crowd, and then fall into our :30/:30 intervals.

We were not on the same page.

With his “fast shoes”, he darted ahead, and I was compelled to keep up. At this age, I’m ok with him being a little more independent, but it was quite dark and hard to see, so I didn’t want him out there alone. When I did catch up to him, we quickly discussed a meet up plan, just in case he crossed the finish line before me.

That being said, after the first mile, we slowed down considerably. Fortunately, we were out of the thick of the crowd, and I tried to keep us moving at a nice clip. Pacing is not in little man’s vocabulary quite yet.

The course was simple enough. It was one and a half loops along a stretch of road with a median in front of the RingPower facility. Since it’s dark, the scenery comes from all the participants in their glow gear, helped along by some black lights set up at one point on the course. There was one water stop set up in the median that served for both sides of the course, and seemed well supplied.

This was the best I could do with photos. Let’s just say we were so fast all you could see was a blur.

The chute to the finish line was full of cheering spectators, glow sticks and cow bells! We kicked it in and collected medals, bananas and water.

I have to say, last year’s glow-in-the-dark medal was fun, but this? This was incredible.

RSG medal

The best part? Little man PR’d! I was so incredibly proud!

The Ready. Set. Glow 5K is a growing event. It’s a really nice size, and I love the community involvement and local support. Most of all, I love  seeing all the kids and families come out to participate. Proceeds from this race go to improvements at three of the area’s neighborhood schools, which is definitely a great cause. I will always support any activity that gets people of all ages moving, and this is truly one of the most fun around!

Ever run a glow run?

Do you have any local events that go to support your community?

 

weekly wrap: 4.2 – 4.8 + publix savannah women’s half marathon race week

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

This week came with its share of ups and downs. I tried really hard to focus on the good (a weekend in Savannah for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon) over the rest of it, and managed to get through that way.

Sunday – rest

We slacked on Sunday. Big time. Little man and I had planned to run a race in Jacksonville, but it was early, and we would have had to get up and out the door by around 5:15AM. After all Mr PugRunner’s traveling and dealing with some not so great news, we were just really tired. I decided that if we woke up on our own, we would go. If not? Well… it’s ok to have some rest.

Turns out, we did not wake up on time. I felt a little guilty, but also decently rested, so I got over it quickly. We went food shopping and then I took little man to see Power Rangers, which he had been begging to see. Honestly, I usually dig these kinds of things, but I didn’t  love this one. The language was awful for a young adult movie (and we aren’t particularly strict about that), and it was just a bit more intense than it needed to be.

However, Mr PugRunner finally made it home from his trip! We were really happy to see him and spend the evening hanging out at home. Things finally started to feel settled again.

Monday – rest

Monday was just getting everything back on track. We had school and karate and all the regular things. Normalcy is much appreciated.

What wasn’t appreciated? This guy. It was tough removing him from our garage but we got it done.

Tuesday – rest

I had planned to run, but when I woke up, we were in the midst of a crazy thunderstorm with tons of lightning. Obviously, I didn’t have much of a choice but to roll over and go back to sleep.

Little man had his first day of triathlon club, and it went really well. The coach will be working on something different each week and I am hoping to be able to pop into some practices.

We also attended a meeting for little man’s new school. We were able to meet his new principal and get some ideas as to when things will be ready. It’s bittersweet – we love his current school, but this one will be brand new, with a great administration and a smaller student body. Fingers crossed that it all goes well.

Wednesday – 3 miles running

I was able to slip in three miles before work. I cut it a little closer than I would have liked, but miles are miles.

It was a busy day and I was ready to turn my focus to my upcoming weekend in Savannah by the time the day was done.

Little man had a great karate session, despite some raging storms. When we got home, we hunkered down for the night, and hoped that everything would pass quickly.

Thursday – 2 miles running, 6 miles cycling, 2 miles running

Even though the storms left us, the winds were crazy all through the day.

I had planned on a two mile run – 10 mile ride – three mile run series, but when I got on the bike, I quickly found out that Mother Nature was not on my side. I ended up turning in six exhausting miles and cut my second run down to two miles. I wanted to do more, but I still had a half on Saturday and the wind was blowing my bike all over the place.

Little man had his final Honor Roll awards ceremony at school, and then we left there to have lunch with a friend.

While the boys went to Cub Scouts, I finished packing for my Savannah trip. I was in desperate need of this weekend.

Friday – rest

After sending the boys off to school and work, I packed the car and waited for Meghan. We were on the road by 10:00 AM, and made the drive to Savannah in record time.

I’ll recap the whole weekend in an upcoming post, so stay tuned for all the great details!

In the meantime, little man and Mr PugRunner put in some workouts for little man’s upcoming tri! One half mile run following 1.6 miles on the bike. Way to go, guys!

Meghan and I were pretty worn out from our drive, so we laid out our flat runners and got to bed early. It was almost go-time!

Saturday – Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon

Race day! Not to worry, full recap to come! I can’t wait to write it all out! I had the best time with some really awesome running friends, and celebrating the rest of the weekend in Savannah!

 

Workout wise, this was a great week! I still desperately need some swim time, and my friend has offered up her heated pool for some laps, so I’m going to try to take advantage of that. With the half behind me, it’s time to start focusing on the spring and summer 5Ks and shorter races, while building up my cross-training.

How was your week in training?

How do you supplement your running in the summer months?

race report: gate river run 15K {3.11.2017}

This has taken a while to write. I was waiting for the professional race photos, which are trickling in slowly. I can always add photos later.

2017 was the 40th anniversary of the Gate River Run 15K. That’s fairly exciting when you think about it. I should have been more pumped to run it, but I was dragging mentally. The bulk of my ennui was how quickly plans kept changing. I was invited to the Girls On The Run Solemates shindig, which was really exciting, but then my host got the flu (I still got to go and had other friends there, but I hated that my host missed out). I had a friend who was going to run with me, but then she had to bail due to other commitments, so another friend wanted to join me, but then SHE got really sick, and I was back on my own.

There was nothing to be done about that, so let’s get to it!

I arrived at around 6:30 AM and got my assigned parking spot at the FJCT building where the Solemates event was being held. We had been advised to be parked by 7AM because that’s when the road closures would start, and with so many people trying to get into the area, traffic builds quickly.

It was still pretty chilly out, so I was grateful to be able to stay warm inside. There were real restrooms (with no line), and a great spread of bagels, bananas, fruit, coffee and water. I met up with my other friends who were there and we grabbed a table. My stomach was being cranky, so I definitely took advantage of the restroom more than once.

Being inside and away from the bulk of the runners made it hard to gauge the crowd mood and when it was time to start getting into the corrals. I think we left with sufficient time (the Solemates also provided private gear check, so we could just leave our stuff while we were running), and I was able to make one final portapotty stop.

The Gate River Run starts a little later – 8:30AM. This means that things heat up quickly. It’s all part of the experience, and I was prepared with a handheld of Gatorade.

I crossed the start line close to 8:45. At this point, my strategy was just to run and see how I felt. It’s so crowded in the beginning that popping in and out of intervals is difficult, and I made it all the way to the Main Street Bridge (Mile 1) before I needed my first walk break. My fourth Gate River Run was off to a positive start.

Start – Mile 2

Things stayed pretty crowded all through the first bridge and into the San Marco area. I thought about how last year, I wasn’t able to run any of the Main Street Bridge because of my hip and felt extra motivated to push this year. My right glute was (and has been) annoyed with me, but I was able to work it out on my walk breaks. I felt pretty good, and although it was warm, the humidity didn’t seem as ridiculous as in the past.

Miles 3 – 6

This is the heart of the race. So many people are out in all the beautiful neighborhoods. They cheer, hold up signs and offer refreshments. There’s lots to see and with the live bands playing along the route, there is more than enough to keep one’s mind off the actual running.

I had Gu with me, but I was more than happy to accept a cold orange slice and a popsicle along the way – the sweetness of the fruit and the sugar of the popsicle were everything. In the past, I’ve snagged sausage and beer, but this time, I didn’t want to stop.

Mile 7 – 9.3

The end of this race is pretty brutal. There is a long stretch of highway leading to the Green Monster. And then it’s just the interminable climb to the top of the Hart Bridge. This year, the wind was, indeed a factor. After the summit, the last mile of the race is a winding downhill, which can be treacherous on tired legs and failing form.

I put my head down and focused on my music for the whole of Atlantic Boulevard. It seemed a little shorter this year, and soon I made the left and started the climb to the bridge.

My buddy Mike was out in a sombrero, cheering on all the runners on the ascent. I didn’t realize how tired I was until he started yelling my name and taking selfies (it’s what he does). He gave me a hug and asked if I needed water or Gatorade and I realized I just needed to be done. He told me to get over that bridge and sent me off.

At the start of the metal grating (again, treacherous for tired feet), a runner wiped out. It’s really hard watching people fall, either by tripping or from exhaustion – I got a thumbs up from her and kept going.

Finally, I reached the 1600m timing mat (there is a contest for fastest downhill mile). I was just about to open it up, when a runner saw the photographer a few yards ahead of me, cut across most of the course and attempted to get a pro photo of her leaping in the air. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion: she ran, launched herself…. and crashed flat on her face directly in front of me. I had to brake hard to keep from tripping and falling over her. I stopped to try to help, but she would not get up. Two women came back (maybe they were with her?) and created a road block so other runners wouldn’t trip. She finally sat up and seemed to be ok, short of some road rash, so I ran off.

My groove had been interrupted, but I got back in stride and finished pretty strong.

I met up with a girlfriend and we went to grab a free beer (the event is all you can drink) before heading back to the SoleMates event. We were both pretty happy with our performances.

We enjoyed the outdoor festivities for a little, but we were both starving, so we returned to the FJCT building to get some food. There were burgers with all the toppings, salads, chips and cupcakes. And drinks. Everything was delicious and it was nice to chill in the air conditioning and enjoy.

It wasn’t until I got home that afternoon that I realized I had, in fact, PR’d. Which was just huge and unexpected. I was fairly sure my PR days were over, but maybe there is still gas in the old tank.

I say it every year, but it bears repeating. The Gate River Run 15K is really one of the best races in Jacksonville. Not only is it an amazing running event, but it’s just a wonderful all around experience. The community and crowd support is second to none, the course is always a challenge, and the atmosphere is always incredible.

Even though I wasn’t feeling motivated at the start of the race, things worked out. I was sufficiently trained, and even though I was a little discouraged at having to run 9.3 miles alone, I found a good place in my head and ended up reaping the benefits with a personal best on this course. I didn’t stop for selfies or photos, passed on most of the treats being handed out and took advantage of feeling good. I hope more races can go this way in the future.

What’s the local race that stands out as representative of your running community?

Have you ever had someone in a photo-gone-wrong situation during a race?

 

race report: y not tri indoor triathlon {3.26.2017}

About a month ago, I talked myself into registering for my first sprint triathlon. I am still not entirely convinced it was a great idea (because I’m anxious like that), but, like it or not, it’s happening.

I am kind of excited to be trying something new.

I had a rough outline of how to train worked out in my head. Obviously, I had the running part down, and it was easy enough to add in cycling, but I planned to get in the pool over Spring Break. Our community has a pool with a span of 25 yards to swim laps. It’s not fancy but it serves its purpose. However, Spring Break roared in with high winds, lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s and 60s, so I took a hard pass on that.

In the meantime, I happened to see a Facebook ad for the Y Not Tri Indoor Tri at one of Jacksonville’s YMCAs.

We are not members of a Y, but the event was open to everyone (non-members just had to pay a little extra). I mulled it over for a few days and then registered. I figured even it was indoors, it would be a great way to get a feel for switching from the pool to the bike to the road.

What’s an Indoor Tri, you ask? Well, it’s a multi-sport (swim/bike/run) event where participants execute the activities indoors, completing as much as they can within certain time parameters, rather than having to achieve specified distances.

There are also transitions (10 minutes between the swim and the bike and 5 minutes between the bike and the run) to allow for changing and switching shoes.

Basically, it sounded like a great introduction to the sport, and maybe make things a little less anxiety-inducing come April 23.

Athletes would report to the YMCA on Friday or Saturday to pick up their packets (including a bib and event shirt). We were free to look around the facility and acquaint ourselves with the location of the pool, bikes, treadmills and locker rooms, so that we would know where to go on Sunday. Our instruction email said that volunteers could help us write down our settings for the bike, but it was pretty busy when I was there, and I didn’t want to trouble anyone. It was always easy enough to set up my bike at spin class, so figured this shouldn’t be hard.

We were also emailed our wave times for Sunday (wave 1 started at 9:00 AM, wave 2 at 9:35 AM and wave 3 at 10:10 AM), and requested to show up about 30 minutes in advance to be marked, set up our transition area, and be ready to report to the pool five minutes prior to the wave start. I found myself in Wave 3. On the one hand, I am all about getting up and out for fitness related stuff, but on the other, I didn’t have to wake up too early, and could still arrive ahead of my wave in case I had any last minute questions.

I confess. I was really nervous. I kind of didn’t want to go by myself, but sometimes, you just have to put on your big girl pants and go for it.

I arrived at the Y in advance of the first wave, and had plenty of time to orient myself.

I got marked

and one of the staff members escorted me to the locker room to show me how to operate the locks and where I could find the back entrance of the pool. I don’t think I’ve been in a locker room since high school, so it was a little disconcerting. K told me there were private rooms if I wasn’t comfortable changing in public, but I realized I probably wasn’t going to care that much in the moment.

She also took me up to the bikes and helped me figure out my settings. They were a little more complicated than what I have used, so I was grateful for that assistance. I noted all the numbers in my phone and hoped I would be able to make the adjustments when my ride time arrived.

After that, I returned to the lockers and set up my transition as best I could.

And then it was time to wait. I camped out on a window seat near the pool to watch some of the action. It was actually pretty calming to watch the two previous waves complete their swim. Finally, it was time for one last trip to the restroom, to put on my cap and goggles and head out to the pool.

Swim – 10 minutes, 415 yards (8+ laps)

I managed to get the end lane to myself – some people doubled up in their other lanes, but I was glad I didn’t have to worry about running into anyone. I was a little nervous – I hadn’t been in a pool in about a year, and although I know how to swim and consider myself reasonably decent at it, I’ve never been in an actual timed situation. There were several volunteers stationed at the end of the pool, keeping track of time, recording laps and calling out encouragement.

When the whistle sounded, I started pretty strong. Forgetting to actually start my Garmin in the process. Good job. I wasn’t particularly skilled at pacing myself or being too consistent, so I just did what felt good: I managed three good laps of nice freestyle, and then switched between breast stroke and freestyle for the remainder of the ten minutes. I didn’t ever have to stop or take an actual break, but I did get a little panicky at some of the chop from other lanes slapping at my face. On the plus side, I know to expect it now, which will keep me calmer during the real thing.

At the final whistle, everyone returned to the shallow end of the pool, got their official completed laps (I swam 8 laps plus about 1/4 more, but only the full lengths counted), and retreated to their respective locker rooms.

Transition 1 – 10 minutes

Ten minutes ended up being a lot of time. I used my towel as a bit of a shield, dried and changed my top (I brought a sports bra with an actual hook closure so I didn’t get stuck if I wasn’t completely dry), then my bottom. I was able to get my socks and shoes on, grab my phone, headphones, ArmPocket and water bottle of Nuun, and make it upstairs in plenty of time to choose a bike.

A volunteer made the appropriate adjustments for me, which was really nice. Everyone hopped on their bikes, the volunteers zeroed out everyone’s computers, and the bike segment began.

Ride – 30 minutes, 8.2 miles

I felt pretty good going from the pool to the ride. It took a few minutes to kind of settle into a groove and find the tension that felt best, but I figured it out.

I confess, it was boring, just sitting in one place and staring ahead. Way different than being out on the road. People were very much in their zones, so it felt weird trying to start a conversation, although the volunteers were really helpful coming around and seeing how we were doing. One of them even picked up my phone for me after I dropped trying to change my music. That wouldn’t happen on the road, for sure!

I did notice that some people were mixing up their routines (increasing their tension and then peddling in a standing position or doing really crazy sprint intervals). Me? I just did my thing and worked to get in as many miles as possible.

Transition 2: 5 minutes

Getting off that bike was somewhat unpleasant. Everything felt kind of tight and unresponsive. Boo.

Treadmills were located only a few feet away and I quickly selected one. For some reason, the five minutes passed really quickly. I (made a mistake and) didn’t bring a different pair of shoes for running: I had my Catalysts, which are great for cycling and for speedwork, so I assumed they would be ok for twenty minutes on the treadmill.

Once again, volunteers checked us and made sure our machines were zeroed out. I didn’t feel like I was ready when they said “go” but I certainly wasn’t going to waste any time.

Run: 20 minutes, 1.78 miles

Treadmill running isn’t my jam. In a crunch, I’ll endure it, but I would really rather not.

This was no different, and I had a hard time getting comfortable. Even one of the volunteers commented that I looked stressed.

We really had a beautiful view, so I tried to focus on my music and the river.

After a while, my right leg started to feel a bit achy. It has been bugging me rather regularly, but the treadmill was just exacerbating the feeling. My strategy was “slow and steady” and, since run/walk intervals are pretty complicated to manage on the treadmill, I ran all but one minute of the 20. Granted, it was nothing epic, but it was an accomplishment for me, nonetheless.

I felt really good when it was all done. I was incredibly pleased with my swim, happy with my run, and while my run wasn’t great on this day, I am confident enough that I can get it done.

This was a fantastic opportunity and the perfect way to get my feet wet (literally) in the sport of triathlon. I still have a little work to do in advance of the big day, but I think I have a pretty solid handle on everything.

My plan is continue to work on ride/run bricks throughout the week, and hit a few more targeted workouts in the pool. On no training at all, my swim felt good, so it shouldn’t take me too long to achieve a bit more strength and endurance. The swimsuit worked out great and while I hate the idea of being wet while I ride and run, that’s just part of the sport. I have to add a sports bra under the suit for a little extra support, but that won’t be a big deal.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all goes well.

Have you ever done an indoor triathlon?

What’s your strongest discipline: swimming, cycling or running?

weekly wrap: 3.26 – 4.1 + publix savannah women’s half marathon training week 8

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability!

Here we are. Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon week! The weather reports are in, and it looks like everything is on track for an amazing weekend. I am really looking forward to visiting with some wonderful running friends, and visiting a city I love.

How did the past week shape up? Pretty decently, considering.

Sunday – Y Not Tri Indoor Triathlon (415 yards swimming, 8.2 miles cycling, 1.72 miles running)

Recap on this coming soon! I promise! It was a great preview to the triathlon world, and I was actually pretty proud of myself.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day was spent helping Mr PugRunner get packed for two trips (one personal and unexpected, the other for business). We took a break to check out a new restaurant that opened recently.

Monday – rest

Mr PugRunner headed out early Monday, and so I got little man off to school for his FSA tests. We haven’t really made a big deal out of the tests, so the plan was to make sure he had a good night’s sleep and a solid breakfast.

It ended up being a great day – little man got his report card and made honor roll again! We opted to stay home from karate because it was a later class and he had another test on Tuesday. It was a great idea in theory, but he ended up shredding both his knees when he tripped while running in flip flops. Ugh.

Tuesday – 4 miles running

I had a pair of new shoes that I was eager to try, so I headed out for a four mile spin in these Adidas Supernova STs.

Honestly, I was quite impressed. While I don’t know if I would wear them for longer than five or six miles, they felt great for the shorter distance and I am happy to add them to my rotation.

Work ended up being insanely busy, which was probably for the best. However, I was really, really glad to get home. Little man skipped his last session of running club because of his cut up knees, and I was just really happy to have a quiet night with him.

Wednesday – 8.5 miles cycling, 3 miles running

I went out for another brick on Wednesday morning. The wind was still a factor, but I felt strong and quite pleased with the results. That being said, my Garmin was almost dead and I managed to finish up right before it pooped out. Yay, me!

My parents came over that afternoon, and Mr PugRunner arrived home earlier than planned (yay!) so we all went out to a nice family dinner. It was much needed and I was so happy to have our little family together.

Thursday – rest

The day started incredibly early as Mr PugRunner had  5:30 AM flight. I didn’t get back to sleep, so I just started my day.

That being said, I had a hair appointment! It has been a LONG time since I treated myself, and I was so happy to have F take care of my grays and dead ends. She layered everything so my hair is much lighter for summer.

After school, little man and I picked up our race packets for the Ready. Set. Glow 5K and grabbed a bite to eat before Cub Scouts. I confess, we spent a lot of time eating out this week. It was just easier with everything going on.

Friday – 5 miles running + Ready. Set. Glow 5K

With the way the week was going, I knew I wasn’t going to get in any kind of a long run, so I split it up into a morning five miler, saving the last three miles for our evening 5K.

Little man had complained that his shoes were getting too small, so I made a trip to the New Balance outlet to get him another pair in the next size up. Holy moly, his feet are getting so big!

The race was wonderful. I wish it had been a little cooler, but we toughed it out. Little man did an amazing job. I can’t wait to share all about it!

Saturday – rest

Saturday was a day of errands and getting things done. Little man helped me take some photos for another blog post I had to write,

we went to the grocery store and Target. We had a late night, enjoying snacks and cocktails with neighbors while the kids played in the culdesac. It was a very welcome break.

 

The month of March did end on a high note: 74.2 miles running and 24.5 miles cycling. I feel back to myself in a lot of ways, and am looking forward to the month ahead.

On Saturday, I’ll be running the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon! If you still haven’t signed up, online registration closes on Wednesday night at 11:59 PM ET.

How was your week in training? 

What’s next up for you?

 

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