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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!