July Adventures

I hope everyone is having a fantastic July!  Ours started off with fireworks, literally. The Mr. and I dropped the kids off with the inlaws and headed to Vegas…alone for the 4th of July weekend. (No kids = FREEDOM!) Right before we left I had a strange hip flair up, so the timing of the trip could not have been any better. I had no pressure to run and only laced up my shoes once to run to the classic Vegas sign with a friend.

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Other than that one run, we hung out by the pool daily (Bar service with a DJ by the pool is my dream world), saw Britney Spear (omg omg omg), saw White and Bengal Tigers (my spirit animal), met new friends, and maybe the best part…surprised my 91 year old grandfather. He had no idea my husband and I would be there and we met him (along with family he was traveling with) for dinner at Prime Bellagio (located right behind the Bellagio fountains) for the perfect dinner & views. Britney Spears was absolutely amazing but surprising my Pop-Pop will be something I’ll never forget!

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After our Vegas trip I took a few days to ease back into training. The hip pain had miraculously disappeared. Maybe dancing till 3 am is the cure? Actually I think it was the new Nike Pegasus from Running, Etc. Then I had to dive back into the next mini adventure which would be my first ever Run-Swim-Run race. The Allen Stone Braveheart Memorial races take place at the oceanfront of Virginia Beach. There is a 5K race and a combined 1k sand run, 1 k ocean swim, and 5K Run-Swim-Run race that benefits the Navy Seal Foundation and Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad. I have run the 5K event in the past and always admired the Swimmers, thinking one day I might be brave enough to try it. This was the year! Look at how the race begins, with parachuters carrying in an American flag. Beautiful.

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Before the race with Kristy, myself, Megan, and Jess. Kirsty and Megan ran the 5K while Jess and I did the Run-Swim-Run.

Race day was better than I could have imagined. I had been swimming in my pool often but we all know that is not the same as ocean swimming. Luckily a few friends took me swimming in the bay to ease my fears and although I was slow as can be, I loved it. Race day came and I made quite a few beginner mistakes (goggles kept filling with water, bad positioning at start, etc) but it didn’t matter.  We started on the beach and ran 1 kilometer down the shore, then swam that same 1K back up the shore before beginning the 5K run portion. I tried to set out fast that first 1K to get in a good spot but that didn’t go as planned. It was a bit too crowded.  I wish I had been able to get ahead because I needed all the advantage I could get in the water.  The water portion was my favorite but IT WAS SO HARD. I felt like a tiny fish in a huge school of them….and the slowest at that.  Every time I took a glance around me, I was being passed by 5-6 people. I had to laugh to myself. I was like Nemo though and just kept swimming.  At one point my friend Jess Horton passed me and it made me feel great to have a close friend there even if she was flying by me like a jet boat.:) Here is my coming out of the water.  I’d guess I was in the top 25 to get in the water and one of the last to get out but so darn happy that I didn’t drown! It may sound silly but I felt exhilarated, like I had conquered 1 kilometer of the ocean.

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The boardwalk run portion was obviously my best section and came easiest to me. I ran it with a smile on my face and tried to cheer for all the females I could (sorry guys, there were too many of you!) My run portion was around 20 minutes and I felt great considering how much ocean water I had swallowed.  Here I am coming into the finish line at 16th female.  This sport is not in my competitive future but I had an amazing time and truly loved the experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for this one again.

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Since the Run-Swim-Run was a fun event, there was no downtime afterwards. There is a point in training where you feel so tired almost every run. That has been me lately. I know it will all click in a few weeks though and my body will adjust and start running faster. It always does. So anyone else feeling tired, just hang in there and keep grinding away.   As part of training, yesterday I raced the J&A Racing Summer 5K Series as a workout. These races are weekly casual, low cost races at the Virginia Beach boardwalk that take place on Wednesday mornings throughout the summer.  Perfect for beach visitors (and stay at home parents like myself😉  ) I wish more cities would start events like these. Every time we travel, one of the first things I do is search for races in the area, so this idea is one of my favorites.

Friends and I got down there early but bib pickup was so organized that we had plenty of extra time to warm up and chat with friends. The actual race went well for me. My coach said afterwards he predicted that with the heat, my tired legs, and no taper that I would run around 19:05.  I ran 18:39, so I can’t complain! Afterwards we were given a medal and towel with the same bib design (below) of runners on the beach that I love.  Here are some photos that I snagged from friends and the race facebook page because I didn’t bring my phone for pics.

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Thank you @WilliamandMindy for this photo!

We went 1 & 2 which felt amazing because we have run so many miles together lately and have been working so hard! It was a nice payoff.

Megan and I went 1 & 2 which felt amazing because we have run so many miles together lately and have been working so hard! It was the first time this happened and a nice payoff. Also, I get MANY questions about these shoes. They are the Nike Steaks lt 3’s. I got them from Running, Etc. here in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

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Alright friends, I think I have rambled enough. I won’t be blogging as much during the summer months (tough with the kids home) but I am on snapchat. It’s a great mini-blogging platform, I am krislawrence8 for those interested. Wishing you all a great training season and as always, thank you for reading!!

Hello beautiful Summer & a 5K recap

Hello Summer!  We are one week away from school break and I cannot wait. The end of the school year with three little ones is a bit maddening but with a glimpse of lounging, lazy days (overly hopeful on my part?) on the horizon, we are grinding through. It has not been without hiccups. People think I am crazy when I say I can’t wait for the kids to get out of school but with ours at the brink of almost having less summers left with us than they’ve had, I’m trying to soak up every bit I can get with them….even if they do argue over the silliest things, like who gets the “good” goggles when they are all the same.

Since this is a running blog after all, where does Summer leave me? It’s a challenge for sure. The running part is easy. I wake up early and knock that out. I eliminated run doubles over a year and a half ago when I started working with a new coach. I no longer have to drag three kids to a park or put on a tv show in the afternoon to squeeze in an extra three miles.  Those three miles were something we determined wasn’t worth the stress (both time constraining & injury concerns) that accompanied. It’s SO easy to fall into the “So and So runs this many miles, I should too” trap. I am very guilty of this! Luckily I’ve felt like my training in the past year has proven that I can do well on less. Instead of extra miles I supplement with cross training in my own home, either strength work or swimming (I realize how lucky I am to have a pool available to me). This won’t be easy to maintain with kids home but doable with some advanced planning. Also, for the parents- Picking a late Fall marathon is a huge help. I won’t need to start most of my 20+ milers until after summer break. Here is a quick glimpse of what my typical training weeks have been like lately.

Monday-  Easy paced 8 miles followed by 45 minutes of Strength work.

Tuesday- AM- Speed day. 2 mile warm up stretching & drills, 3 by 1 mile (as much rest as needed), 2 mile cool down. PM- 45 minutes of Swim .

Wednesday-  5 miles easy. 45 minutes of Strength work.

Thursday- AM- 2 mile warm up, drills & strides, 5 mile time trial, 2 mile cool down.

PM- 45 of Swim Intervals.

Friday- 45 minutes of Strength work. No running.

Saturday- 10 miles, negative splitting the run.

Sunday- Off Day. 

 

Yes, you read that right. I’ve had two days off a week.  It won’t last much longer but I’ve been loving it. With 140ish (?) days until my goal race, there is no rush. Rushing leads to injury for me. I’d also like to note that I am stretching constantly.  I’ve been really pushing the short speed lately in hopes of getting my times down before marathon training begins in another month or so and with my body, I MUST stay on top of things to stay healthy. Stretching, hydrating, and sleeping are huge priorities for me on a daily basis.

Speaking of short speed, I raced a 5K this past weekend.  It was the Low Rent 5K in Chic’s Beach, only a few miles from my house. The event was awesome with gorgeous views, post race party at Commonwealth Brewery, and lots of free race photos.  I highly recommend it to any friends thinking about signing up next year. Here are some photos and a quick recap.

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New PR!   Honestly this was the first race in ages that I only looked at my watch twice (a huge improvement for me), once at about .75 miles in and then right at the end. At the finish line I was shocked to see I had run just about a minute faster than my last 5K at Big Blue. I’ve been coming back slowly, mileage is still very low, and low interval reps for speed days, so I didn’t feel 5K ready. The first mile I went out with a small group of friends. I told myself to hold back until atleast the halfway point but I got a bit antsy and picked up the effort at .75 miles in. Funny how during the warm up I commented to my friends that I felt horrendous, then miraculously I felt great during the race. The final mile was tough but I felt strong and smooth the whole time and had enough left to pick it up the final stretch.

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Strollered  by my great friend Thomas and his daughter Amya. No big deal they came in 3rd overall on a turn filled hot course.  

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If you are wondering why I’m in my race outfit for all the post race festivities, it’s because we had to take a bus to the start (closed roads) and without a bag check, I didn’t bring anything, not even my phone. I don’t usually hang out at a brewery in my sports bra for hours.

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With The Fit Petite! I didn’t get the memo that the donut smile was supposed to actually look like a smile.  oops. 

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Post race beer & smiles.

Thanks for reading friends!  Have a wonderful week! If you will PRETTY PLEASE click on this link and vote for our amazing friend Ryan to get on the cover of Runners World, I will be thankful to you for life. Ryan has been an amazing local runner, mentor, training team leader, training partner, and friend to so many of us here in Virginia Beach. I’m so proud of everything he has done for our local running community and cannot think of a more deserving person. It only takes 3 seconds so please click HERE.  I promise Runners World won’t send you spam unless you click that box that says they can😉  Xoxo!!

Race Plans

Happy May friends!  I hope you all had a fun filled Cinco De Mayo. We are celebrating tonight…FriYay! Honestly I cannot believe it is May already. This year has flown by and I doubt it helps that we haven’t reached typical Virginia Beach weather yet. I believe it was warmer in Canada then it was here yesterday! Ugh. I love my hot weather and can’t wait.

As far as training as has gone, I’m in the “use 5K’s to get into shape” training method. I’ve run a 5K every week for the last three weeks, which I believe may be more than the entire total number of 5Ks I ran in 2015!  First 5K was my favorite, ODU Big Blue 5K.  The look on my face in the second picture below adequately displays how I felt.  Horrible!!  :) I went out way too fast and while I didn’t wear a Garmin with splits, judging from my regular watch, I must have run my last mile over a minute slower than my first.  Yikes.  The afterparty and finishing on the Old Dominion football field was pretty amazing though so it was worth that 5K pain. Results and website HERE. This was the most fun 5K event I’ve run in a very long time and watching the kids run the 1K race was the cutest bonus.

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The Thursday after the ODU 5K, I ran a 5K on a local Navy base.  The only pictures of myself were equally on par with the above pain face, so no point in sharing. I still felt out of shape but enjoyed having friends to race with on a random Thursday instead of busting through a hard workout solo. I ran it only a few seconds faster than my first 5K but my pacing was much smarter. Progress.  The final 5K I ran was yesterday and I did it solo in my neighborhood.  There was an awesome local 5K (Corporate 5K Challenge) but my son had a baseball game against the number one ranked team in the league and I couldn’t stand missing that. They ended the game tied 9-9 (two hour time limit and pouring rain made the Umpires end the game) and my son pitched a few innings, pitching better than he ever had before. Hearing him say “I’m so tired but so proud!” was priceless. So while I didn’t want to miss the local 5K with friends, Mom Life always comes first.  The solo 5K was brutal. More of a mental struggle than anything. I grinded out a 18:53,  not because I was fitter than I was at the ODU or Navy 5K but because of pure stubbornness. I wanted progress so I willed it that badly even if it was by mere seconds.

Judging from the past three weeks, I’m still far off from my fitness prior to Shamrock, but I’m content with where I am at during this point of the post-recovery comeback. The first month back is always the hardest and I’m almost through that.  After weeks of okay legs, I’m starting to get that bounce back.  So, what am I training for?  I’ve gotten this question many times. I told a few people and was hesitant to say. My plans were to hold off telling anyone else but after many inquiries, it’s easier just two write it out.  I am THRILLED to say I will be running the New York City Marathon this Fall.

I’ve said it before that the marathon is my favorite event.  In my mind, everything else I run is aimed as preparation for my next 26.2.  Mr. Law was deployed when I ran at Boston last Spring. Having him miss that dream experience of mine was tough. I wanted to share it with him so badly. This time though, he will be in NYC to experience this bucket list race by my side so I want to make it a great one. 2015 was a rebuilding year for me and this past Shamrock Marathon exceeded my “comeback” expectations, so as long as I can stay healthy (the key for me!) I feel confident saying I can run fast on the challenging New York course come November. I thrive on accountability and laying it all out there so my running goal for 2016 is to run sub 2:47 at NYCM. Get there healthy, be brave,  be thankful I get to run on one of the best courses in the world, and be faster than ever!

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Before NYCM, I have on my race calendar- The Strider Mile,  Allen Stone Braveheart Run-Swim-Run (Guys I’m Swimming!! ), Strider 10 Miler, my favorite half Crawling Crab Half, Fox Trot 5K,  and Wicked 10K. I’m still looking for more races so suggestions on the East Coast are welcome.  We are traveling a ton this Summer so traveling too too far for races is probably not an option for me.

If anyone had NYCM advice, blog posts, helpful links, etc. please send me my way!  I could read race recaps all day long so New York ones are greatly appreciated.

Wishing all the Moms and Amazing Women that are just like Moms a wonderful Mother’s Day!! We are thankful for you!  Sleep in, make them bring you coffee, wear your pajamas ALL DAY LONG, then make them bring you cake:) Enjoy your day!

Recovery Time

 

Days Since Shamrock Marathon- 26

Number of Days I have run since Shamrock- 11

Average miles run on said days- 4

Cinnamon rolls consumed in past 26 days- 23

Fast miles run- 2.

How I felt during those 2 miles- Death

Favorite recovery period quote- “When I said you have to get hungry, I didn’t mean for pie.” -Jerry Frostick

Up Next- ODU Big Blue 5K

As a firm believer in taking as many days off/easy as the distance you race in miles, I am nearing the tail end of my post Shamrock Marathon recovery period.  Unlike the Philly Marathon where I didn’t feel like I had spent my energy, after Shamrock I was drained both physically and mentally, happy as can be, but drained.  I did not run a step for 6 days after the marathon and a quarter mile into that run, I turned around to go home. The following week I ran twice, then each week a little more. Nothing planned, nothing formal. For someone who adores marathon training, I adore a good rest period and I”ll never be the kind of person busting out miles soon after an A race.  My mind had zero desire to run even a foot. Thats how I knew it was a good training cycle.

We told myself I wouldn’t start planning things until I got hungry again. (Hungry for running not hungry for dessert) and coincidently my “hunger” started back up when then Boston Marathon news started peaking last week. I entered my first race back, which will be the ODU Big Blue 5K this upcoming Saturday. I don’t expect much out of it but I’m anxious to shake some rust off these legs and see where I am at. I’m hoping I surprise myself but the cinnamon roll count above hints otherwise.

Here are some snapshots of life lately but other than this, I don’t have much to share running wise. By the way, for the East Coasters, today is Wawa Day.  Go get yourself some free coffee!

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Even Bart Yasso agrees!

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More fun bike miles than run miles lately

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This arrived in the mail, along with a nice check, from which Britney tickets will be bought. #bucketlist

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Geocaching with my favorite twins! We searched for this one FOREVER and have the leg scratches to prove it.

Good luck to all my friends running Boston next Monday! Go 2015 Boston roomie, Michele!!!  I’ll be spectating and cheering from afar! Best of luck to friend Jenny running the Carmel Marathon on Saturday!  If anyone has any interest, here are my recaps of my Boston Marathon 2013 and Boston Marathon 2015.  Happy training friends!