Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

The New Harbor Lights Half Marathon and 5k Get Lit Challenge #harborlights14

This past weekend, November 22 and 23, I participated in the Inaugural Harbor Lights Half Marathon and 5K Get Lit challenge in Norfolk, VA.

I was excited as always to participate in another J&A Racing event.  J&A Racing is the premier racing company in the area. I swear they have their skills down to a science.  And this new race was no exception.  Well organized, plenty of cool swag and a great new course in Norfolk.

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The 5k

Saturday morning was one word……brrrr,.  It was very cold for this time of year in Virginia.  Like most of the country we had been experiencing below normal temps for most of the week.  Saturday morning was no exception.  With a start time temp of 27 my buddy Cara (Running in Sanity) and I bundled up an headed for the start line.  My goal for this race was nice and easy.   I have been fighting a cold virus all week and I wanted to stay as healthy as I could.  So no PR goal just a nice shake out for Sunday’s main event.  This was the first time I have ever run the day before a half marathon and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Although cold for VA the breeze was light and there was some sun.  The only negative for me was I wasn’t a huge fan of the two cobblestone roads that we hit during the course,  (we adapted by running on the brick sidewalk) the race was a nice new course to run.  This was also the first race Cara and I have ever run together from start to finish.  It was enjoyable to run with her as I often run solo.  I never got too warm during the race and my hat, headband, gloves etc stayed on for the entire 5k.   Race #1 done

Pre Race Selfie

Pre Race Selfie

 

Yup it was cold.  All these clothes stayed on me!

Yup it was cold. All these clothes stayed on me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race #2 The Half Marathon (lots of firsts this weekend for me)

  • first time I completed an entire half marathon using run/walk
  • first time I ran with a buddy at my pace
  • first time doing a race challenge weekend
  • first time I have ever run a race sick.
  • first time there was mini pie tarts at mile 10ish! 😉
  • first time I had negative splits during the second half of a race

Sunday’s weather started off about 10 degrees warmer than Saturday at about 38 degrees.  Thank goodness.  The high by my anticipated finish was supposed to be in the upper 40’s low 50’s.  I decided to go with a visor, short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve half zip top over that, capris and a gloves.  I also brought a “throw away” fleece I got from the thrift store for waiting at the start and warm up miles.  I am not a fan of cold and wanted to have options.  I had a plan to meet up with a buddy Natascha whom I met through the Sub Thirty Club on Facebook.  We had met in person at Crawlin’ Crab Half  but missed each other at Wicked 10K.

Cara, Myself and Natashca

Cara, Myself and Natashca

After catching up with Natasha at the corral we headed to the start.  I had warned her ahead of time about my cold and that I had no definite time goal because I wasn’t sure how I would feel.  We decided on a run/walk interval of 3/1 and off we went.  The course was really nice with some great views of Norfolk.  I guess I never realized how lovely Norfolk really is.  Natascha and I ended up staying together until somewhere between mile 7-8.  I was feeling way better than expected and decided to go ahead and stick with my 3/1 intervals.  I truly enjoyed pacing with another runner, it really did make the miles wiz by.  I wished my buddy luck and headed out on my own.  I have run a few races in Norfolk before (Heart of Ghent, CHKD 8k and The Freedom Half) but never this exact course.  I wish I had more pictures to share because I have to say this was my favorite race in Norfok by far.  And the tiny tarts around miles 10 didn’t hurt either!  YUM!

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View of the Battleship Wisconsin near the Nauticus Museum – photo credits HarborLights Facebook page

Tiny tart pies at around mile 10 ish

Tiny tart pies at around mile 10 ish  Photo Credits Harbor Lights Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At mile 10 I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good I felt.  Run/walk and the HRT or heart rate training  (you can learn more about that by clicking here) I have done since August definitely made all the difference for me.  At about mile 11 I realized I was in PR territory, even while not at 100% health.  Wow!  I found a few people around and ahead of me to set my sights on for those last few miles.  I missed my PR by only 28 seconds!   Of course a PR would have been nice of course but I am 100% satisfied with my race effort.  I took off just over 11 minutes since my last half in October.  That’s huge!  Kudos to J&A Racing for another amazing race!  Now its time for me to get healthy so I can enjoy the Manchester Road Race with my brother on Turkey Day in CT!

Running in Sanity and I Get Lit Challenge Finishers!

Running in Sanity and I
Get Lit Challenge Finishers!

Happy girl!  Ran sick yet only 28 seconds off my PR!

Happy girl! Sick and only 28 seconds off my PR!

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Weekend SHOUT OUT – 6/27

WEEKEND

SHOUT OUT!

Good Luck Everyone!

so627

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Weekend SHOUT OUT 6/13

Weekend SHOUT OUT!!  

Good Luck Everyone!

 

so614

 

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Weekend SHOUT OUT June 6 – 8 2014

so66

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Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run 2014 – Want to go for FREE?

For the second year I am proud to be an Ambassador with the Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run!  Spreading women’s running and mud all around the country 🙂  What fun!!

Last year I participated in my very first Pretty Muddy which was also my first mud run ever!  I had an absolute blast, who knew getting muddy could be so fun!  I loved seeing women of ALL ages and levels tackling the mud and obstacles.  I saw groups of women clebrating, getting dirty and just having a blast together.  The best thing about pretty muddy is this…

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No pressure to finish first, your HAPPY pace (whatever that may be) in a great women-only supportive atmosphere.

Here is my favorite picture from last years Pretty Muddy race in Richmond Virginia.  You have to admit that looks like fun and it was!  I mean how often do adults, moms and “responsible” women get to crawl through mud.  🙂  I love it and now you have a chance a winning a FREE race entry of your very own thanks to Pretty Muddy and Girls Gone Sporty!   You pick which event you can attend.

  • Dallas, April 26th
  • Sacramento, May 3rd
  • Chicago, August 16th
  • Richmond, September 20th

Follow the rafflecopter link on the top right to enter.  Good Luck!!!!

 (opens today and runs thru Friday February 21st.)

2 winners!

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My 2013 Recap and Merry Christmas from Me and Running Santa?

First and foremost I want to say  a BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC thanks to all of you who follow the blog, Facebook, twitter and/or instagram.  I started this page with no preconceived ideas other than to keep my family back home up to date on my running adventures.  You guys have been the ones to make the page a great success.  Blessing to you all, I have enjoyed getting to know and give / receive support from so many of you on our running adventures.

As for the blog:

Well all I can say is Wow!  2013 was a busy, busy year. I am so honored to continue to be a part of both Girls Gone Sporty and Sweat Pink Ambassadors for the second year.

New Communities:

This past year I was excited and blessed to add a bunch of new communities to my blogging circle including Running Bloggers, Happify, IDEA Fitness Bloggers and Miles to Blog.

I also had a blast being part of Team Pretty Muddy and a Color Me Rad Ambassador, 13 in 2013 and the Sub 30 5k Group.

Here is a great pic of all my medals (both “real” and “virtual”) I earned this year participating in 13 in 2013.

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Dreams Fulfilled:

I fulfilled a dream to run with Team in Training at Nike Women’s DC back in March.  And in 2013 my and Cara (Running in Sanity) Cupcake Virtual Runs for Charity have raised thousands of dollars for both Team in Training and Susan G. Komen with your help.

I ran my first mud run, my first color run AND I finally pulled out a sub 30 5k!

 So what’s new in 2014?  

I  am excited about continuing on with those great communities in addition I will be adding the following pretty cool items to my list:  Team Tough Chik  2014, Team Pretty Muddy 2014 and attempting to run 14 in 2014!

Have a wonderful Christmas

and I will catch up with you all again in 2014.

runningsanta

 

 

I need to thank all the great companies that allowed me to participate with them this year so here goes….

Healthy Suprise, iGlow Running, Runner Decals, Consious Box, LoveMichelle.net, DPI Tees, Shubeez, Zola, Lunatik Athletiks, Oral IV, Janji and The Sox Box.  I hope you all had as much fun with them as I did in 2013.

 

 

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Runfyhp and Friends Best Races of 2013 in Pics

Over the past few weeks I asked my Facebook followers to send in pics of their best / most memorable running moments of 2013.  I received a vast array of pics.  Everything from Mud Runs and Spartan Races to kids and families.  I really enjoyed looking at all the pics and why they were so special to each of you.

I have been so blessed in 2013 with a fantastic year of running, including being healthy, having great weather for my races and a wonderful travel buddy and friend in Cara from Running In Sanity.

Congrats again to everyone on all your accomplishments over the past year and thanks for sharing your time, kind words and pictures with me.

Enjoy the holidays and here is to a wonderful 2014!!

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Reaching My Pink Goal

This past Saturday (and by the way did I ever tell you I love Saturday races) myself and some of my family & friends participated in the 1st annual Virginia Fallen Heroes 5k and fun run.  A great cause, but it turned out to be an even better day than expected!

Good friends of ours were coming to visit from CT this weekend and I have always wanted to run with my buddy Aimee, the timing worked out perfect and we all signed up a few weeks before they came down. The race itself was held down at Mt. Trashmore, a local park in Virginia Beach.  The weather was beautiful for running, partly cloudy and highs in the upper 50’s low 60’s.  There was both a kids fun run and a 5k run.

The kids fun run took off at 10 am and Mr. Cutesie Face rocked it!  Although it was a fun run he came in fourth.  Nice job Mr 🙂 My kiddos always amaze me!

FallenHerosKaden

 

The 5k was held after the kids race.  The hubbies were granted the “privilege” 😉 of running with the strollers so the Moms could race together.  Don’t worry my hubby still rocked it and beat me by about 3 minutes even with the stroller!  I had a sub 30 minute race on my mind.  I have belonged to a Sub 30 Facebook Support  Group (yes we runners are a funny and supportive bunch) for quite a few months but had not managed one as of yet.  I told my hubby I wasn’t feeling a sub 30 today, his words “Hey you should always give it your all and at least try.”  He was right, sometimes I really need someone to set me straight.

The course was an out and back, sort of.  There were lots of runners of all paces that came out to support the great cause.  I told Aimee (who is a bit faster than me) prior to the race I would try to hang with her but to take off if she felt I was holding her back.  We stayed together until mile 2 when I told her to go on ahead.  I looked at my watch and saw I was holding a steady 9:50/mm.  Really?  Me?  Thanks Aimee 🙂  I kept Aimee in my sites for most of the last 1.1 miles.  I was determined to try my best for that sub 30.  To my elation I finished with 29:57!

OK here comes some TMI: After receiving my medal I nearly puked on both the volunteer and Aimee, who was waiting for me at the finish, lol.  NEVER have I come that close to actually puking.  I have felt like it but this was a little uglier than that, hehe.  I had to walk off to the side and come back for my water later.  But you know what, it was TOTALLY worth it!

FallenHeros

So why the PINK Goal you ask?

Well over the past few months I have been determined to accomplish a sub 30 5k for my “Pink Awareness Cupcake Race” (the virtual race I co-hosted to raise money for Komen for the Cure)  I have a strong family history of breast cancer in my family (my mom, sister and aunt)

So I dedicate my first sub 30 5k  ever to both my Mom and Sister and my late Aunt

who are breast cancer survivors.   

I love you so much, thank you for being so inspirational.

With the help of everyone who participated I was able to donate $1529.00 to Komen for the Cure!

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Color Me Rad and FUN – Review

A few months back I was given the opportunity to become an Ambassador for Color Me Rad.  I jumped at the chance as I had never participated in a fun run like this before.

A few Sunday’s ago myself and two of my kiddos participated in Color Me Rad 5k Virginia Beach.  I’m pretty sure my kids were even more excited than I was!  A few of their friends had done it in the past and it had definitely become a bucket list item for all of us.  One of the coolest things is that kids under 7 can participate with a parent for FREE!  Sweet!

Packet pick up was done at Sports Authority, a local sporting goods store.  The line was a bit long but moved fairly quickly.  We got our Color Me Rad Swag which included shirts, bibs and a color bomb (bombs were given out post race for the after party).  There was also a Color Me Rad store where you could purchase shirts, shorts, bandanas, etc.  We picked up a few items including extra color bombs, because hey we didn’t want to chance coming home clean 😉

Race morning was cool and breezy but we got to the race early and had plenty of time to park and hang out.  My kids were bouncing off the mini-van (which we affectionately call the mommy-mobile) walls.  Hey no laughing, I totally rock it 😉  We were signed up for the first wave at 9 AM.  Pre-race we stopped for “clean” pictures.  The DJ was already pumping some music and there was a Zumba warm up just before start time.

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And we were off!  The kids were so exited and my son must have told me 10 times how cool the race was.  Within the 5k we were color bombed and splashed with various colors and fun.  The Virginia Beach run was mostly grass trails and is NOT a timed race, Color Me Rad is all about fun!  I took it slow to hang with my little man and not twist my ankle because I had a half marathon coming up.

Post race we stopped for “RAD” after pics and joined the post race party.  The DJ played games, threw out TONS of swag and extra color bombs.  We were lucky enough to catch not one but two (one for each kid) extra shirts and a rubber bracelet!  The DJ and crew threw out tons of extra color and did countdowns that led to huge color bombs.  My kids absolutely loved it all!

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I would recommend this race as a some good clean  colorful fun for the whole family.  It was a great experience but not meant for the serious racer wanting to PR.  So if you have kids or your just a big kid yourself I am sure you would enjoy a Color Me Rad 5k.

Colormerad2013

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Pretty Muddy Richmond, VA

This past Saturday I got to participate in Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run in Richmond, VA.  This was my very first mud run and I was so excited.  Special thanks to Fit Approach (#sweatpink) and Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run for the opportunity!

I was also lucky to have my Sweat Pink sister and good friend Cara from Running In Sanity join me, because getting muddy with a friend is how to do it…or so my kids tell me. 🙂  Cara and I headed out to Chesterfield, just outside Richmond, (about and hour and a half ride from Virginia Beach) at 6:45 AM.  Not too early for a race, no Disney 2 am wake up call here ;).  The weather was already nice, not too hot or cold and temps in the low 60’s.   Our wave was expected to leave at 10 AM.

After arriving at Pocahontas State Park we headed to check in.  I was glad we were able to race day check in so we didn’t need to head up to Richmond 2 days in a row.   There was a hay ride (picture tractor/hay bails) from the parking lot out to the check in area.  We were happy to meet up with Anna, another of our Sweat Pink Sisters from Virginia just before boarding.  Cara and I had the pleasure of meeting Anna at Nike DC as she had also participated in Team in Training Virginia.  Check in was fast, we picked up our pins and numbers and headed off to gear check.  The first waves had started earlier that morning and we got to view some of the happy, muddy girls finishing up the course.  Now I was really excited.  Mud, real mud!  I mean how often does a Mom get to get muddy on purpose!  We hit gear check and the port-o-potties and got a pre-race pic together thanks to Anna before she checked her bag.  I had left my phone in the car because I had no way to keep it clean and mud free 😉

Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud

Cara, Anna and Myself pre-mud

The start/finish area consisted of a DJ, a photographer, Pretty Muddy merchandise tent and a few food vendors with items for sale.  We headed to the start line while the DJ pumped up the corrals with music and a short impromptu pre-run stretch.  Countdown on let the fun begin!

The terrain heading into the first obstacle was grassy and very uneven, we were all very careful.  In my mind I was concerned the entire course might be this way, thankfully it wasn’t.  The first “obstacle” was a fun bubble type tunnel, it was a tad windy so I think some of the bubbles were getting carried away, but still fun.  The second one was all about slipping /sliding muddy fun…yeah!  We climbed up the backside of a giant slide and down the wet side directly into a mud pit!!!  I was able to keep the mud from the knees down, however Anna lost her shoe in the mud pit and I had to help pull her out, hehe.  Note to self and everyone else…lock laces not the best choice for Anna, however my double tied #sweatpink laces held up like a charm 🙂

The rest of the course terrain was mostly well beaten dirt trails and grass which was much more of what I am used to not to mention much safer.  I love trail running and this did not disappoint Pocahontas State Park was just beautiful.  I remarked to my buddies that God had done good because the weather and the views were so pretty.  There were a total of 10 obstacles for this 5k.  Some muddy, some not.  We climbed nets and walls, through tunnels, carried wood and got to crawl through mud a few more times.  The runner landscape consisted of beginners, birthday girls, experienced runners to tutus and good spirited fun.  All the runners at this race were respectful and encouraging.  Good, clean…well muddy girl fun!

My only wish was that there had been photographers at each obstacles.  Most people did not carry phones/cameras because of the nature of the mud.  I would love to have had the opportunity to look for and purchase pictures from all the obstacles, especially this being my first mud run.   According to one of the volunteers we asked there were photographers but they were roaming between different parts of the course.

Post race you were given your Pretty Muddy 5k medal, a Propel and a protein bar.  We also stopped for a post run muddy picture, you must have one of those!  The DJ was still pumping the music as waves continued to leave.  There was also a live band in the finisher area.  Just past the finish area was a rinse station with hoses set up to clean off and de-mudify.  Next to it was a large privacy tent for changing into some clean and dry clothing for our long ride home.

All in all I would say Pretty Muddy is a fun, muddy experience for women.  I had a great time with my Sweat Pink sisters.  I loved the number of groups we saw running together along with women who braved the course alone for various personal reasons.   There were bucket listers, birthday girls and more!   Everyone seemed to have a good time and the volunteers where encouraging and informative.  The course was well-marked.  Pretty Muddy also has family waves that were set to take off later in the morning.  Female participants were welcome and encouraged to run the course again with their families.

The medal we got was a nice bonus and a great memento.  Personally I didn’t find the course as challenging as I would have wanted, however with that being said I think it was the most fun I have ever had getting muddy 🙂  If your thinking of a first or a fun all female mud run Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run would be a great one for you!  I would do it again with girlfriends if given the opportunity.

Pretty Muddy Bling

Pretty Muddy Bling

So what’s next?  Tough Mudder maybe 🙂  Ha,ha…I think I have fallen in love with mud.

pretty muddy

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